Thursday, December 23, 2010

If I Were a 17-year-old Boy

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Boy? Man? Guy.

First, I wouldn't want to be called a boy. do novelists do it? I'm having a failure of imagination. I can picture only what I *was* like, as a 17-year-old girl:

I was amorous and lonely; grief-stricken at my dad's death on November 1st of my senior year; and an active dancer among my friends at high school dances. Fortunately, we went as a group and danced as a group.

At 17, I had a girlfriend and a boyfriend and the boyfriend did not know about the girlfriend, but the girlfriend -- and my mother -- knew about both. A tumultuous existence. I felt money-strapped and privileged; and smart finally, but half-hearted about school once my dad died. I was anxious about which college(s) would accept me, or not, and wanted to be out of the house without knowing how challenging that would be, having lived there for a solid 18 years.

I was furtive and gregarious. Kind and fake. Prudish publicly and hyper-sexual privately. Active with skiing and with eating as much candy and junk as I could bare, and more. Luckily, my metabolism is so fast that I didn't need to vomit. "Don't drink. Don't smoke. What do you do?" From an Adam Ant song that was popular then....

I wanted love and security and to be a star, but of what, I wasn't sure. All of this occurs to me as I get ready to spend the afternoon in Manhattan with my 17-year-old nephew Zach.

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