Ahh, to be 14
My niece Amanda is at that age. An awkward age. She seems very opinionated sometimes (like about her English teacher) and other times not at all (most everything else). This can get frustrating. Drawing information out from her about what she wants to do or what she wants to eat is nearly impossible. A typical conversation from her visit:
Me: So what singers do you like?
Amanda: I dunno.
Me: You dunno? How is that possible?
Me: Do you like the Jonas Brothers? [knowing that all kids her age like the Jonas Brothers]
Me: Okay, good. Now, who else?
Amanda: I dunno.
But this lack of opinionatedness aside, she's a real sweetie. And very used to being a helper. She's a big sister to a 2-year-old, after all. I'm sensitive to this and made sure I didn't ask her to do too much for me. After all, it's her vacation. But she's apparently conditioned to help.
Last night when I got home from class, I asked her, "Hey, Manda, do you want to go across the street and see if the place is open so we can get some pedicures?"
She made an unintelligible noise that was clearly meant to mean no. I looked at my sister and was like, "What did she say? Did she just say that she doesn't
want to go get pedicures?"
"Amanda," I repeated. "Do you want to go across the street to see if the place is open to go get pedicures?" Again, she grumbled. Then she disappeared.
I asked my sister where she was. My sister didn't know. We assumed she went back into her room. I'm like, man
, what's her problem? I thought she would've been happy at the prospect of getting her piggies painted. Teenagers
Fast forward 10 minutes or so, Amanda reappears and announces, all annoyed, "They're closed."
Then it dawns on me: she thought I was telling her
to go across the street for me, to see if the place was open. Rather than what I was really saying, which was, DO YOU WANT TO GO TOGETHER TO SEE IF THE PLACE IS OPEN? I just started laughing and said, "Amanda! No, that's not what I meant!" And explained myself.
Then we went down the street (together) to the other
place, which turned out to be a lot better anyhow.
They're on their way back to Wisconsin today. I called Manda's mom and told her today that she'd better be very appreciative of how helpful she is, and told her the story. She guessed partway through the story that, "She just didn't want to pay." "No, no, listen," I said. When we got to the end -- "Apparently she thought I wanted her to go across the street and look at the place's door for me" -- her mom started laughing so hard she almost cried. Poor kid. :)