confusion central
if you’re here, you are SO lost.

The staying power of a sticky note

I find profound words striking when I hear them. Granted, I don’t get the privilege of absorbing pure and simple wisdom very frequently. So when I stumble across something particularly brilliant, my ears always perk up.

Most recently, a friend mentioned casually in passing that because I’m so young, my forever “is very short.” Coming as this was after a particularly inane comment on my part, I was intrigued. My forever is short? What does that mean? Where does this idea originate? Could this be – horror of horrors! – true?

Young people have been making big promises for ages. Esau’s haste to sate his appetite springs to mind, though we don’t know exactly how old he was. Underage kings down through the years have quickly discovered great talent for making bad decisions. Of course, there were exceptions, but anyone who denies that age has a great impact on how decisions are made has apparently never raised a teen. No matter what hyper-conservative sources say, pop culture is not the reason for teen discrepancy. True, it may be a source to a host of other evils, but as far as the adolescent mind is concerned, stupidity is timeless.

Perhaps most interesting was the way this wondrous comment segued so perfectly into the next few discoveries I made during the week.
The second brilliant flash of light I encountered came Friday afternoon, as I laughed and listened to music with another good friend. The question arose when she chose a particularly sappy song to play for my sister and I. “Why,” she asked, “don’t you like this song? How could you not like it?” I was at a loss. The song was definitely a “girl” song – you know the kind; Pop medley, bouncy rhythm, and lovestruck verses. My response was simple: I’m cynical. I don’t buy that an 18-year-old can honestly tell his girlfriend du jour that “forever” is the true measure of how long he’ll love her. Pessimistic? Sure. Unimaginative? Maybe. Limited? By all means. Teen love at its finest makes me roll my eyes. Life does not have to be one sappy love song. It can’t be. Realism is vital, hormones are not. Truth hurts. And the sooner teens learn that, the better off they’ll be.

Later, as I made dinner and considered this Second Insight into why teens should never promise forever, I received my third and final inspiration. It was small, unassuming and funny enough to warrant a tiny smile as I sautéed the onions: Teen love has all the staying power of a sticky note (but is often, somehow, much less practical).

Not impressive. Sure, it will stick where you need it, but it will not stay there for any notable length of time unless squished between the book covers of reality. And do you know what I discovered? I learned that any analogy involving sticky notes can be taken way too far way too fast. But I also realized that I needed to sit down and organize this week’s discoveries in an essay. But as the elements came together, they didn’t fit perfectly.

So what should my conclusion be based these three observations:

– The younger you are, the shorter your forever is
– Sappy love songs are unrealistic because they promise forever
– Teens shouldn’t promise forever because teen love has the staying power of a sticky note?

Or am I just overanalyzing? I’ve done that before, too….

As always, I rely too heavily on my readers. 😉 But I do value your opinions. Please, share!


8 Responses to “The staying power of a sticky note”

  1. “Teen love at its finest makes me roll my eyes. Life does not have to be one sappy love song. It can’t be. Realism is vital, hormones are not. Truth hurts. And the sooner teens learn that, the better off they’ll be.”


  2. I know plenty of older people who are sappy. (Perhaps too many) But I also know lots of folks who met when they were teens, dated a long time, got married out of college and are still happily married with children.
    I don’t think being a teen makes your forever short. Being immature might, but age has little to do with that, as I’m sure you know. Love has little to do with hormones, for sure, but its an explosion that gets the fire going – just be careful that it doesn’t burn so hot it burns out.

  3. I agree with you… to an extent.

    I honestly think that some teens are more mature than others. I have a friend who I knew when she was 12 (I was 7), I always considered her *much* more mature than I… or any other teen I knew.

    She started courting this guy shortly after her 16th birthday, they were engaged a month after she turned 18. Married a month before she was 19, they now have a child. My friend will be turning 21 shortly before her son turns 1.

    Then, I know 21 year olds who I wouldn’t trust with a message for my mom.. much less a spouse, child, and house!

    All in all… I think it depends on the person.

  4. I know older people can be sappy, too – it really isn’t limited to a specific age. 🙂 But I find that teens are much more frequently idealistic and unfounded in their interests. They just don’t have the experience. James, you point out that people meet when they’re teens, then date for a long time, and then get married. The “date for a long time” is the clincher: Without that firm basis in reality, all the teen drama seems completely…well…inane. 😉

    Sarah, it does depend on the person. But as a general rule, it seems that teens are really just immature, surprisingly enough. There are exceptions to every rule, though – that’s what your friend sounds like.

  5. Sure, dating for a long time is good thing, but I think their “forever” meant forever when they said it at 14, they just waited to get married because, well, married at 16 isn’t very practical… or legal. Anymore. People used to get married at 14 and 15 (!!?!) and had great lives. On the other hand, there are too many people who say “forever” with “I do” that don’t mean it any more than 16 year old boys in puppy love.
    I think it may be, in part, due to a large number of distractions available now-a-days. People can go new places, see new things, meet new people that distract from their original hormone-sparked love affair. These distractions were not available ‘back in the day.’ Not that they are bad. Every age has its distractions. The ones now just perhaps add to the confusion of the heart.
    I still remember my first love. She lived in England and we thought that too far away… so I got married to a girl in Tokyo instead. =P

  6. The younger you are, the shorter your forever is

    LOL So true, a friend of mine, “I’ll be 10 FOREVER”

    Sappy love songs are unrealistic because they promise foreverLove songs? BLECK!

    Teens shouldn’t promise forever because teen love has the staying power of a sticky note?
    Teen love? Not gonna touch that, I don’t know my topic. I don’t know if this is where you’re coming from, and if you’re just applying this to teen love, but… I can say I will follow God “forever” right? Or is that not possible? Because a Teen’s forever is lasting “like a sticky note”

    It also sounds like your saying teens can’t be serious or responsible.
    But, maybe, “I[am] just over analyzing? I’ve done that before.”

    So, I won’t argue with you on that point, hmm, why do my comments always turn out longer, than I mean them to be?

  7. Sappy love songs are unrealistic. But think about the alternative.

    Girl: Goodbye, Alfred. I’ll think about you for a time. I love you!
    Guy: Goodbye, Isabella! I’ll love for a little while too!

  8. Humorous, yet true, Mark. Now if only love songs could actually capture that intent to remember forever ::honestly!!!::

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