I witnessed a rather shocking moment in Starbucks the other day. (I realize a lot of my posts start.. "I was in Starbucks and...". Just to clarify - this is a mere indication of my impulsive tendency to buy expensive coffee, not some poorly concealed effort to promote Starbucks) I was enjoying a latte on one of my mornings off, watching the amalgam of people: young hip moms - accompanied either by chubby babies in Bugaboos, or pre-school girls in expensive dresses and crocs; retired people sipping cappuccinos and doing the people-watching thing; middle-aged business men huddled over a lap top, squinting at a chart of figures; students hunched intently over their MacBook (how do students afford Macs anyway?).
It was all calm and peaceful and pleasant, when suddenly I heard "you are REALLY starting to irritate me." I turned to see a girl, late teens, glaring at a middle aged woman who looked kind of like an older, grayer version of the girl - who I could only assume was her mother. The mother was trying to grab some papers from the girl's hand and the girl kept pulling them away from her - kind of like when your kid is teasing your dog with a chew toy and the dog is getting really mad and looks like he's going to bite him.
A sort of intrigued hush fell around the room. Everyone pretended to get on with their business, while the argument continued. Although I couldn't hear all the details of the conversation that followed, I could hear the tension rising between them. Eventually the girl stood up, slightly red-faced, stuffing her things into her bag and saying "No. No. You can't tell me what to do. I'm leaving now." The girl walked off and the older woman stood up, completely exasperated, yelling "Get back here. GET BACK HERE! NOW!" She kept saying it, over and over, while her daughter strutted out of the store. By this point everyone in the cafe had given up the pretense of not watching, and was staring open-mouthed at the mother.
I have no idea what caused the argument or who was to blame, but as I watched the mother I wondered, first - what could be bad enough to cause a public scene like that? And, second - bloody hell - teenagers! No one has a baby thinking "ooh I can't wait to have a teenager." You have a baby because you want a baby - a cute, plump, cooing, smiling little bundle of joy. And one day they're not anymore. Scary, isn't it? Right now I'd take a toddler tantrum over a teenage one any day.