It’s VBS week. I haven’t done VBS since I was in VBS but for some inexplicable reason I am helping with it this year. And I use the term “helping” loosely because if the crafts leader were being honest she would probably have to admit that she’d be more efficient without me.
See also: I had to count a stack of papers four times today. I am still not quite clear on whether there were 16, 17, or 18 in it. (They only taught us to count to 10 at A&M.)
And of course, the other reason the word “helping” is used loosely is that I may or may not have a moderate fear of groups of children, which as I understand it is a socially unacceptable fear when you’re working with groups of children.
BUT ISN’T ANYONE ELSE WORRIED THAT IF THEY ORGANIZED THEMSELVES THEY COULD TAKE US ALL OUT!?
Deep breaths, everyone.
Anyway, there’s me and some other volunteers in the crafts area (because as we have learned, Mandy is crafty!!), including a new friend from my Sunday school class, and then a group of teen helpers too.
So Rachael, said friend from said Sunday school class, jokingly asked one of the teen girls last night whether the kids still say “cool” these days, to which the teen replied “uh, no, not really.”
Rachael and I exchanged that certain incredulous glance that two 30-year-olds exchange when their illusion of youth suddenly comes tumbling down around them.
“Wait, what?” she asked.
“You’re kidding, right?” I chimed in.
The three girls exchanged uncomfortable glances and looked back at us like students who just gave the wrong answer in class.
“Um, no, nobody really says ‘cool’ anymore,” the girl replied.
Within moments, we were both peppering them question after question, all of them some variation of:
“WHAT do you say instead?”
(The answer? “Chill,” “sick,” or maybe “neat.” The internet* later added the words “shiny,” “dope,” “nifty,” “spiffy,” and of course “tizight.” to my new, very uncool list.)
As Rachael and I got more and more intense in our drilling them with questions, they got more and more uncomfortable. (I can’t imagine why.)
By the end of the conversation I had one of the kids by the shoulders, shaking her with wide eyes screaming “JUST TELL ME WHAT DID YOU REPLACE IT WITH AND WHY!?” **
I’m not crazy. I just really need data. In a crazy, crazy, socially unacceptable manner.
When our group leader mercifully excused them from the awkward conversation, me holding Rachael back as she tried to charge and swing at them,** they grabbed their belongings and darted at lightening speed toward the staircase in uncomfortable silence.
As they rounded the corner, we heard all three bust into uncontrollable laughter and immediately begin chattering about the preceding conversation. Rachael’s eyes lit up and she whipped her head around toward me.
“They were totally making fun of us!”
The group leader tried to convince us that that was a good thing because they were bonding! And that the joke’s on them, we can drive and they can’t! Score!
Later, Rachael and I were texting.
“What I usually tell kids when they think I’m uncool is that I eat ice cream for dinner sometimes and that nobody tells me no.” I typed. “I’ll take a grown-up paycheck over being cool. I wasn’t cool before anyway.”
“Man. I’m lactose intolerant and a stay at home mom. Burn,” Rachael responded.
At least she can drive.
Driving is pretty cool.
*YES, OKAY, I spent the evening Googling “Do kids still say cool?” I am a thousand years old.
**That didn’t happen.