Understanding the Typical Teenage Boy, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Everyday Life
People

Understanding the Typical Teenage Boy
This material courtesy of Cathy C. Hall

Ask a teenage boy, “How was your day?” and he will say, “Good.”

He may have flunked a test, spilled orange juice on his jacket, and lost his calculator, but it’s still “all good” to the average American teenage boy. Is it any wonder the average teenage girl is going crazy, trying to figure out a boy like that? Relax, girls. A few inside tips and you’re on your way to understanding that guy who’s always borrowing your calculator in Chem lab.

First up is the Nice Gesture. Teenage girls love, love, love to do nice things for their friends. They will make cookies, or decorate a locker, or bring a balloon for no other reason than to cheer up a friend.

Beware the Nice Gesture around the male creature. If you make cookies for a boy, he will think you like him. If you decorate his locker, he will be embarrassed. If you bring him a balloon, he will pop it. So what’s a girl to do? Don’t do anything nice for a teenage boy. Unless you really do like him. Then it’s okay. But only if it’s cookies.

On the other hand, teenage boys do not, as a rule, do nice things for their friends. So girls, if you have a friend who happens to be a boy and he brings you a bag of candy, then you are no longer a “friend”. He likes you. Although it may be awhile before he’ll do another nice thing.

Next is the very important Big Dance. Teenage girls love, love, love everything about the Big Dance. They like to buy pretty dresses and get matching corsages. They like to get their hair and nails done. They like to make plans for months ahead of time so that everything will be perfect.

Boys, unfortunately, will start getting ready for the Big Dance about 20 minutes before the limo arrives. So girls, if you want everything to be perfect for the Big Dance, you will have to do everything yourself. But at least you will get in plenty of practice for the future Big Wedding.

Another thing about the Big Dance: teenage boys only go because they like the teenage girls they have asked. They do not ask girls to the Big Dance just to “be nice” (Remember that point from the Nice Gesture section?). So if you do not particularly like the teenage boy who has asked you, it is much better to say no, thank you, than to have an enemy for life (Oh, not the teenage boy. He’ll get over it. His mother will not.)

Finally, there’s Food. The typical teenage girl considers eating as just a small part of the normal daily routine. To the teenage boy, eating is the whole routine. He thinks about eating all day long, even when he is eating. That is why the teenage boy will enthusiastically discuss in detail where he would like to eat before and after the Big Dance, but may forget to buy a corsage. Don’t take it personally.

And do not, under any circumstances, get involved in any food wagers (I bet I can fit 27 cookies in my mouth!) or food fights (Could not. Could, too!) with a teenage boy. He will always win. Or get very, very sick trying.

One last thing, girls. Just when you think you have the teenage boy all figured out, he will decorate your locker with little Valentine cards. You can’t win. But at least now you have a fighting chance.


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