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Except for Me (Ten Things a Teenage Girl Needs)

As my mouse glides smoothly over to the Internet icon on my two-year-old laptop and as my Facebook account pulls up automatically, I’m greeted by a page, liked by a friend, that states:
Ten things a teenage girl needs:
1. A mobile phone.
2. A laptop or computer.
3. Headphones.
4. A warm hoodie
5. Music
6. A Facebook, YouTube, or twitter account.
7. Hair straightener
8. Him(:
9. Sleep.
10. Reality television.
Now, far be it from me to question the all mighty wisdom of Facebook, but it’s all I can do to simply ignore it as I check my other updates and various messages from friends far off or far lost. I find myself, over a period of several hours, coming back to it again and again and feeling that it’s not quite right, that though I am a teenage girl, this isn’t me.
I suppose that I’m not your typical teenage girl. I suppose that some would tag me with meaningless words like “weird,” “ugly,” or, perhaps, “mentally unhinged.” And usually I don’t mind these terms--embrace them, in fact, finding that they merely set me aside from what I deem to be the hoards of mindless text-zombie teenage girls out there.
And yet, this list bothers me deeply.
It really shouldn’t. It is not written in a negative way. It is only summarizing, and isn’t that what I had been doing to these same girls?
But I guess that’s my mistake. Assuming that all teenage girls are the same--except for me.
I wonder how many girls think that, how many “except for me” cases there are in the world.
So I’m sitting down now to devise a new list, something that I can’t live without. Something worth not being normal for.
Ten things a teenage girl needs:
1. Love--in any form.
2. Someone to catch her when she falls.
3. Tissues, ice cream, and sad movies.
4. A rhythm and a routine.
5. A story to hold on to.
6. Something soft.
7. Laughter in the middle of a storm.
8. Memories.
9. Hope.
10. A chance. And then, because nobody’s perfect, a second one as well.
I’m not a genius with words. Never have been. Never will be. And I’m not the smartest, the fastest, the prettiest girl in the bunch. But how many people think to ask for a second chance before it’s too late?
And maybe, just maybe, I think that I might not be the only “except for me” out there after all.



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