Me: Hey, do you want this candle?
14 y/o: It doesn’t go with my aesthetic.
Me: I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
14 y/o: Yes, it does, and that candle does not fit into mine.
Me: Alright, Miss Smarty-Pants. What, pray tell, is your aesthetic?
14 y/o: A minimalist neutral background of black, gray and white accented by teal and burgundy.
Me: A minimalist neutral background??? Where are you getting this stuff?
14 y/o: I read.
Me: Yeah, so did I when I was 14, and I didn’t have an aesthetic.
14 y/o: I’m sure you did. You do now, too.
Me: Oh, and what is it?
14 y/o: Suburban mom.
Me: That’s not an aesthetic! That’s an epithet or at least a moniker! That’s like me saying your ‘minimalist neutral background’ is ‘Gothic cemetery.’
14 y/o: I like that.
Me: Fine. Let me get a tombstone to complete your look.
14 y/o: As long as you admit those yoga pants and slip-on Skechers belong in the suburbs.
Me: That’s it. No more HGTV for you.
(C) Sara Ackerman 2017