Thursday, February 25, 2010

Guest Blog: Kristin Walker

Kristin Walker is the author of A Match Made in High School, which was released on February 4.

For those of you who don't know what it's about:

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. That’s until she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very dorky, very big Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


Romance and the Modern Teen

Romance is never easy. Neither is being a teen. Put them together and you get teen romance: a powder keg of emotions and complications. On top of that, now we have the technological advances that were supposed to make our lives easier, but instead have made things more difficult. Teen romance is just another casualty of this paradox. 
With today’s communication gadgetry, there is no “playing hard-to-get.” Everyone is easy to get at all times and anywhere. When I was a teen, we didn’t even have answering machines, let alone call-waiting. So I could pretend that all kinds of bitchen and rad guys (that’s what they were, in the 80s) had called me, but I’d just missed them. Damn! The only reason so-and-so hadn’t invited me to some party was because I’d stepped out briefly to the orthodontist to have my massive braces tightened when the invite call came. Yeah, that was it.
But today, you can’t even pretend that some guy tried desperately to get in touch with you, but couldn’t. Your total loserdom is unquestionably evident in your empty inbox/mailbox/caller ID/IM/DM messages, etc… Where’s the self-esteem in that? At least let us losers sit at home with our dignity.
Back then, I could keep secret the fact that I was spending the whole weekend alone with a bag of Doritos. Nowadays, one little Saturday-night status update on twitter or facebook betrays the fact that you’ve got nothing better to do. Or worse – that you’d lied through your teeth to someone. “No, I can’t upload those pics of the concert last night to facebook because I told Jeremy I was going camping this weekend and that’s why I couldn’t go to his horrid church ice cream social with him! Wait, did I tweet this morning? Gah! Remind me only to tweet from my iPhone until Monday, ’kay?”
Teen romance is fraught with more complications than ever. With the internet, teens are ever-present everywhere. There’s no privacy. There’s none of the lovely mystery we teens-of-old manipulated to our advantage. And sure, most of that coy, “hard-to-get” crap was what our mothers fed us to preserve our virginity. But it also saved our dignity. Or at least we could pretend that it had, and no one was the wiser.
Thanks for stopping by Kristin! :)

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