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As crushes go from real-life likes to digital “likes,” the typical American teenage girl is confronted with a set of social anxieties never before seen in human history. He was “really smart, really funny, really athletic, really tall,” she said, eating chips at the long wooden table in the kitchen of her home, an eight-bedroom house on a leafy street in Garden City. “It goes on the best and you can make wings like Audrey Hepburn’s. I watch of them ’cause they give you really good information.”She had ordered the eyeliner on Amazon the night before for next-day delivery. “Garden City kids are sick at sports,” said Matt, a 17-year-old boy at Roosevelt Field, a mall in East Garden City, the 10th largest mall in America; it used to be an airfield.“You work hard, you excel at sports,” Matt said, “you get into an Ivy League school, or even like an N. They see everything in terms of money so that’s how they show their love—through money.” “But a lot of kids who are fuck-ups get whatever they want, too,” his friend Roxanne, 16, observed.In this adaptation from her new book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Nancy Jo Sales observes one 14-year-old as she gets ready to embark on her first I. “And he’s been my friend for a while”—since the previous summer, when they went to science camp together at an Ivy League university (“It sounds really nerdy I know, and it , but honestly it’s fun”)—“and I really like him and he really likes me so I think it’s . “My mom’s credit card is on there,” she said, “so we can just like get whatever we want. He’s just jealous because I’m older and he’s immature. During the financial crisis of 2008, ran a story about how the residents of Garden City were coping; one resident, a wealth manager, told the paper, “Someone from Des Moines might not feel bad about well-off people like this losing their money, but people get used to an income level.” The number of Garden City residents who work in finance and real estate has been estimated at 20 percent.Her room was messy, crammed with things: a bed, desk, a chair, clothes, books, shoes, discarded toys, and an elliptical exercise machine she used to “stay in shape.” “Sometimes when I’m stressed out I just go on it for like an hour and it takes the stress away.”She began piecing together an outfit. “I modeled for like two years, but then I gave up because I fell down on the runway,” in a practice show, “and I didn’t like it anymore.I modeled from like 11 to 13—I was in a modeling agency.At the school I go to one bad grade can, like, crush a person.”And so she wasn’t sure whether she could fit “a relationship” into her jam-packed schedule.Josh lived on Long Island, too, in a town nearby, but through all of this texting and Skyping and favoriting and liking, they had never managed to actually see each other in person. date, she said—she had been on dates, of sorts, since seventh grade, but this was the first one where she “really liked” the boy. Lily said she wanted the date to be “perfect,” so she really wanted this certain Lancôme eyeliner to come before she had to start getting ready to go out. The school district is known for its strength in sports; in the afternoons, the playing fields are dotted with kids in team uniforms, running up and down. or a Boston College, you make your parents look good, and they, like, pay you for your time.She never notices.”The doorbell rang and some packages came—the UPS man had two: some squishy neon-colored balls for Lily’s younger sister, Olivia, 10, and Lily’s eyeliner. ” Lily told the UPS man, signing for it.“Don’t tell Mom,” she told Olivia, the package under her arm. ”“She took Henry to the Apple store,” Olivia said, tearing open her box of squishy balls. ” Lily asked.“To buy him a new i Phone,” Olivia said. He threw it at the wall when he got mad at the game he was playing. Lily’s father was a lawyer who worked in Manhattan and her mother was a stay-at-home mom.
She was one of the top students in her grade at a competitive Manhattan private school. “My whole family’s good at sports,” she said breezily.
“I just thought of him as a friend after camp until a month or two ago,” Lily said. “We just talked and talked for like four hours, and he really liked talking to me and I really liked talking to him so . It’s partly the pressure I’m putting on myself and partly the pressure that my parents put on me to do well—all this pressure combined, to take this education and do something great with it, it can all make you feel really overwhelmed.
Of course I want to amount to great things,” she said, “but when everyone’s telling you and constantly badgering you about it, it can be really stressful.
“And that’s why I wanted it to be a date, because if it’s weird to see each other again there will be other people there.”She had enlisted the help of her best friend, Priya, to come along that night “in case it gets awkward,” and Josh was bringing along another boy as Priya’s date.
They were going to see .” There was a five-tier makeup tray in her bedroom, overflowing with shiny, colorful cosmetics.