When I'm working at the desk in the teen area, or in my office with the door open, I often hear teens carrying out "private" conversations. I put private in quotes because these conversations are often carried out at the level of a shout, despite the fact that other people are less than two feet away. Some of my favorite conversations from yesterday....
Guy to Girl: Let's go somewhere else. All these books make me feel dumb.
Girl to Guy: Ain't the books that make you seem dumb.
Guy: What's that mean?
Girl: You dumb!
Girl on Cellphone: Girl, if that rat's still in my house when I get home I'm letting the cat have it. **pause** I don't care if it's your pet, get rid of it!
Guy to Girl: Why you gotta be so mean? You know I love you!
Girl: Dude, you're my cousin.
My personal favorite overheard conversation EVER. First, a bit of background. We often have spontaneous craft days in the teen area when it's particularly busy or when the teens seem especially bored. One of the favorite activities is bead jewelry making. We put out stretchy cord and a variety of beads and let them have at it - some of them are amazingly talented and make beautiful pieces; others make things that are less attractive but everyone has fun.
During one of these events, a group of regulars sat down. These kids are between the ages of 13 and 14 and desperately want everyone to believe that they're gangstas. Real gangstas laugh at them, so they spend their time talking tough in the library.
Since they spend so much time trying to act tough, it was something of a surprise to see them happily making bracelets with hemp and alphabet beads. The ringleader of the group approached his friends, and the following conversation took place:
Ringleader: C'mon, yo. Let's go!
Beading Guy: Just a minute, I gotta finish this.
Ringleader: Man, what are you doing? You makin a bracelet?
Beading Guy: Yeah. Wanna make one?
Ringleader: Man, that's not gangsta!
Beading Guy: It's fun.
Second Beading Guy: Yeah, sit down and make something.
Ringleader: That's not gangsta, yo! Come on!
His friends ignore him
Ringleader: How we gonna be gangsta if you be makin a bracelet, yo?
Snarky Librarian (Chokes hysterical laughter into a cough)
Ringleader (sitting down): They got any purple?