Earlier this week on a rare sunny day, a middle aged mother brought her young teenage daughter to see me about her hay fever prescription. It was clear that the daughter didn't want to be there. She sat on the seat furthest away from me with her legs folded under her, refused to look at either me or her mother, and addressed her few brief comments to the walls. I was trying to establish whether her current treatment was satisfactory, which symptoms were not well controlled, and to discuss treatment options. Although participating in this discussion was clearly to her advantage, that fact was overridden by the necessity of maintaining the belief that her mother had forced her to attend a useless consultation.
From one point of view, her wilful refusal to enter into dialogue with someone who was trying to help her in a friendly manner could be seen as rude. From another, her flamboyant teenage huff was delightful. Truly the world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. But I felt sorry for her mother who was clearly embarrassed by the proceedings, and as they left I said “don't worry about the teenager-itis, she'll grow out of it”. You can never have the last word with teenagers of course, and as she flounced out she said “Hilarious!”
It was indeed quite amusing.