Popularity should be based on how one treats one fellow man, but then again.....
My popularity rises as I do my best impression of a third of the three wise men, although perhaps I should stay with the lesser effort of representing a man and leave the wise to grey haired men who know why e equals mc squared. I am better off to know the "wise" bit as a bit of an exaggeration, having made too many mistakes in this life to count on a single hand. As a friend once said deep in a grappa induced hangover "Bass, I may grow older but I do not grow wiser".
I have been away on business. I return jaded by undergarments resting on sweat as opposed to skin. To greet me or kind of greet me, a muted form of acknwledgement that is discrenible to a parent as "Hi" although to the casual observer, he may have heard an "urgh". There are teenagers here and teenager or not; a father may now briefly be returned to Dad, by absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps with the help of a bar of foreign chocolate ..well ...a bloody big bar of foreign chocolate.
They wait wishing not to sound too keen, to be too keen would reveal the behaviour of a toddler, a battle of dare ensues of "Have or haven't I" bought a gift. It seems I am in the grey zone of teenage homecoming, an acquaintance or perhaps a near stranger possibly bearing gifts and possibly the same DNA.
A teenager sits sprawled on a throne, my former throne in the Living Room that once a week is cleaned by a cleaner and destroyed in a matter of hours by children in double digit and three plus. A teenager hides an excitement of a gift that is not marked by Christmas or Birthday wishes. A teenager still trying to be cool in the midst of a potential surprise present.
Eventually I prove I am still "right on" by actually buying and handing over, without barter, T-shirts of fave bands that by all things teenage I should not, never in a month of sundays have heard of. And to boot, their teenage veneer is unscratched, is saved. And for these gifts, I receive in return a smile or two, where once was kisses, hugs and elation, I am happy with a smile. I have learnt.
I may be little wise after all, as I eat my big bar of chocolate.