Thursday, January 25, 2007

bluntness - is the truth really so ugly?

I spent some time with one of my teenagers today. Throughout the conversation I was shocked at how she actually seemed to prefer and enjoy many unhealthy lifestyle choices. I guess I didn't think people like this actually existed.

Teen: "I like buying my lunch, I don't like bringing lunch from home."
Me: "Oh yeah? What's your favourite lunch to buy?"
Teen: "New York Fries!"
Me: "I like buying subs. You can have meat and vegetables and cheese, and together with the bun that's all four food groups!"
Teen: "When I have subs, I get lots of meat and cheese and no vegetables. And then I get them to heat it up and melt the cheese."
Me: "You don't like vegetables?"
Teen: "Nope, not really!"


Me: "It's such a beautiful day! I love it when the sun comes out and I get to be outside."
Teen: "People keep saying that. I don't really like to be outside."
Me: "No?"
Teen: "No, I'd rather be inside, sitting in front of my flat screen TV!"
(Yes, this is a verbatim quote.)

Part of the picture that you may be missing is that this teen has some developmental disabilities, and so she tends not to conform to a lot of our social behaviour expectations. Most people would probably censor their preferences based on their knowledge of healthy lifestyles, or at least express some guilt about their unhealthy preferences. Not so with our teenaged friend. She was blunt to the point of being incredulous that anyone would think her preferences to be unusual or odd.

Maybe a lot of teens really do prefer greasy food and hate vegetables. Maybe they really do prefer indoor TV to a walk in the oh-so-rare Vancouver sunshine. Maybe it takes someone with few social inhibitions to just come out and say it. But I sure hope that this one teen is a rare exception. What's not to like about vegetables and sunshine?

1 comment:

Elliot said...

I think they're an acquired taste.