Teen Spirit’s New Year’s IM showed a real lack of IQ

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Aside from the drunken woman who threw up (and just missed Smartmom) on the A train, Smartmom spent an exceedingly pleasant New Year’s Eve drinking champagne and sparkling cider with Hepcat, the Oh So Feisty One and a gaggle of college friends in the West Village.

Just before the midnight hour, her college friends’ kids were handed all variety of percussion instruments to make ear-shattering noises when the ball dropped.

It was quite a New Year’s moment, and Smartmom found herself quite moved by the enthusiastic and raucous celebration by her college friends’ children (not that Smartmom was feeling old, you know).

OSFO, who was dubious about attending the party in the first place, had to be dragged away from the festivities at 1:30 am. She bonded with a group of girls her age, who were reading the “Guinness Book of World Records” out loud.

The train ride home was mostly uneventful except for the aforementioned vomit near-miss, which incited every one on the train to bolt from the car.

“I don’t feel so good after seeing that,” OSFO told Smartmom. “It looked like Progresso Soup.” Think pretty thoughts Smartmom said.

Pretty thoughts. Pink roses. Your Build-a-Bear. Your little Nintendogz’s face.

Arriving in Brooklyn at 2:30 in the morning, Smartmom cellphoned Teen Spirit, who had attended a parent-supervised party in Park Slope.

“Should we pick you up?” she asked as they walked past Smiling Pizza and the new Zana cafe.

“No, that’s OK,” he said. “We’re playing with the Wii and we’re making me a Mii.”

Smartmom didn’t have a clue about what he meant but she said okay. Then she realized that her son had just told her that he wasn’t ready to come home at 2:30 in the morning. And she said okay.

What were things coming to? Had she lost her mind? Was she a flake? The worst parent in Park Slope?

Probably all of the above.

But it was New Year’s Eve, she thought. What’s the big deal?

The ghosts of New Years’ past all came rushing back to Smartmom: In 1969, she was 11 and tasted Champagne for the first time. In 1975, she was 17 and she and a friend went to an early showing of Truffaut’s “Day for Night,” a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, and a midnight dinner on then-dicey Columbus Avenue.

In both cases, she — and the Republic — survived.

So once she got home, Smartmom promptly fell asleep. At 6 am, Hepcat woke her up to say that Teen Spirit had never made it back.

“But I spoke to him twice during the night,” she told Hepcat. Then she shot up in bed: “No I didn’t. I must have been dreaming.”

Frantically, she dialed Teen Spirit’s cellphone. First, she got his annoying message, the voice of a female friend saying, “Teen Spirit can’t come to the phone right now. He’s been kidnapped.”

Then the panic really set in. He’s dead, Smartmom thought. She imagined him bleeding on Ninth Street. He’d been robbed and killed. She just knew it. My poor baby.

And it’s all my fault, she thought. I should have gone and picked him up all those hours ago.

Then she tried him again on the cellphone. “Hello?” Teen Spirit said groggily.

Now Smartmom felt like killing him. In cold blood. It’s moments like these that make her want to keep Teen Spirit in lockdown.

“Why didn’t you call?!?!!” she screamed.

“I sent you an Instant Message. I didn’t want to wake you guys” he said. “Can I go back to sleep? It’s 6 in the morning.”

“I know it’s 6 in the morning, you little jerk. That’s why I’m calling you.”

Smartmom checked Hepcat’s cellphone and checked the text message in-box on his phone. There were none.

And he’s a liar, too, Smartmom thought.

When Teen Spirit got home on New Year’s Day, he swore up and down that he had text-messaged Hepcat. Hepcat rechecked his phone. Smartmom even checked her phone.


Even if they did find the text message, Smartmom wasn’t sure if she’d ever let Teen Spirit out of the house again.

A few hours later, Hepcat got the text message on his cellphone. It had taken more than 12 hours to get there.

“I guess he did text-message me,” Hepcat said. Neither of them knew what to think. Teen Spirit had tried to be considerate by texting rather than calling.

But doesn’t he know that his parents don’t consider text-messaging a viable form of communication? Doesn’t he know — of course he knows! — that his parents are not of that IM generation.

They may be crazy flakes and the worst parents in Park Slope, but they don’t believe that text-messaging on New Year’s Eve is a way to communicate one’s whereabouts.

Got that?

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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