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Teenage wisdom
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New Orleans may still be recovering from Katrina, five years after 9/11 the memorial may still be a big hole in the ground, and we may still be embroiled in an ill-defined war with no end in sight, but the real struggles of the world have been happening in my household in the last few weeks.

1. Who knew that the extraction of 3 wisdom teeth would require massive doses of the pain killer with which Rush Limbaugh is so intimately acquainted? Having never had any surgically removed myself (I only had 2 and they were both of the miniature variety), I found it hard to sympathize with the teenage wails of woe. We did make an emergency trip back to the oral surgeon when the “wounds” (come on, they each only have one stitch in them) were still leaking a tiny quantity of blood after 3 days. The doctor proclaimed them uninfected, healing beautifully, and that there should be no need for morphine.

2. While the recuperation was under way, the cable *and* Internet service went “poof” one evening. No TV! No stored programs! No On Demand movies! No email! No IMs! This is just the sort of tragedy for which the rending of clothing and the gnashing of teeth were invented. Hamlet, Macbeth and all those other allegedly tragic figures never had it so bad.

3. The same teenager and I had an appointment one afternoon at about 3:00; convenient when your sleep habits dictate that you never wake up until well past midday. That morning I got a call from the office we would be visiting and were asked to come in a couple of hours early due to a death that would require the attention of the person we were visiting. When I poked my head into the lion’s den and announced that we needed to leave early and gave the reason for this gross inconvenience, I was informed, “Death is not an excuse to wake me up early.” Which just about says it all.

4. Not to be outdone, when asked to bring the trash cans up from the curb, the other teenage resident declared that she could not possibly do this task. Why? “Because I just straightened my hair and it’s damp outside.” Which sums up her priorities pretty well.

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