I was having Easter dinner yesterday with my good friend Rumple Station and her two children, and the conversation turned to the social lives of today’s youth. Apparently there is sometimes harsh judgement between peers at this age, and it can be hard to navigate this societal quagmire in a healthy way. You need to be able to be who you are, obviously, but also be able to fit in at the same time. How can you strike that delicate balance between sticking up for your own true self and yet still having the respect and friendship of your closest companions? Luckily I solved this problem.
You see, you just need a “thing.” It may take people time to get used to your thing, but once they do you will just be known for that thing, and they will love you for it. For instance, you might choose to focus on your love of rock operas from the 70’s, or you might become a brony. These are things that can define you in a playful manner, and when you get teased for them, you can just own it and know that your friends will have your back. My “things” are superheroes, parody music, turning everyday life into a musical, and general ridiculousness. Your things should be something else. You can’t have my things. In the case of Rumple’s daughter Stanya I suggested that her thing be shouting bible quotes at people.
This is the perfect way not to be judged! If someone says something judgy at you, you just shout “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” Then they will probably be confused and try to re-judge you. That’s when you scream “And why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? Leave me alone, Plank-Eye!” And then all the other kids will start chanting “Plank-eye! Plank-eye! Plank-eye!” and you will be riding triumphantly on the shoulders of your classmates on your way to study hall. This plan is fool-proof. Plus then, everyone would be like, “Oh, yeah, that’s Stanya. She is always shouting bible quotes at people. Don’t piss her off.” It’s a win-win.
Hypothetical (but likely) scenario:
Kid 1: “Hey, do you want to go downtown today?”
Kid 2: “Nah, there are too many weirdos there. They creep me out.”
Kid 1: “But what if we had someone with us who was always shouting bible quotes at people?”
Kid 2: “Yeah! That would keep them at bay! Let’s call Stanya!”
Kid 1: “Hey Stanya, do you want to go downtown with us?”
Stanya: “WOE TO YOU, Pharisees! For you love the prominent seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces!”
Kid 1: “Cool! See you there!”
So after my stellar advice, you can see that young Stanya will do just fine socially from now on. And as for the rest of you, you just need to find your hook, your thing, your defining trait that you will defend to the death. Good luck. And remember, the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not have a divided hoof, IS UNCLEAN TO YOU!