I think that it’s because I’ve been working a lot of Friday and Saturday nights that I’ve really noticed it. They come in packs.
It’s not just two or three teenagers coming in together, but they literally come with no less than five people. Always. It’s like they can’t go out unless everyone in the whole school can go with them and they can’t do anything without the whole group. Like being loud and annoying.
Ok, so here’s what I see at work. It’s 3:30 pm and school has just let out. Two or three of them will walk down to beautiful Downtown Burbank and either walk around the mall or loiter on street corners or do whatever it is the kids these days are doing. These two or three will come into Starbucks and meet a few other groups and merge into one. Then, they will either hang out there for a few hours, holding tables and chatting loudly about last night’s episode of Gossip Girl and how hot the Jonas Brothers are, or they will go outside and take up the whole sidewalk walking down to the mall where they will aimlessly wander in and out of stores until their parents pick them up and force them to go home.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t so loud about everything they do. Everything has to be vocalized, but instead of waiting until the others are done speaking, they just speak over each other. It gets so loud that you can barely hear, and the bits of conversation you can hear makes you understand why some teachers become druggies. (If you grew up in Burbank, then you should know some of the great stories…If not, feel lucky)
Now, I totally remember what it was like to be a teenager. But I never went out with that many people. We would go out with three or four of us, unless it was someone’s birthday, and then we would go to dinner in a big group but not walk all over town 20 people thick. I tried thinking about all the other groups I wasn’t really tight with, but even the most popular crowd didn’t go out in large groups like this. We might have all congregated at someone’s house to cause a raucous, but we never did it in public.
I asked my friend’s little sis, Sami, age 16, about it the other night before work. We were sitting there and a group of twelve kids come in, get in line, make a ton of noise and get in the way for every other customer in the store, and then only one of them actually orders something. I asked Sami if that’s what she and her friends do, and she just rolled her eyes at me.
“I’m so over that,” she said. “It turns into too many cliques and someone is always mad at someone else so you have to choose sides because there is no middle ground. I only need a few good friends to hang out with and I’m good.”
Ah, girl after my own heart.