It was Sigmund Freud who said, "What does a woman want?"

It was Sam Loganville who asked, "What do female teenagers want, dear God, what do they want?" The reason he asked this question is that Sam has two teenage daughters, and he has no idea what they want.

He told me, "I know what they don't want--that is anything my wife and I want."

If you say you want clam chowder they will tell you, "We hate clam chowder." You remind them they had clam chowder at the Browns' Monday night. The reply will be, "The Browns have good clam chowder."

Sam told me, "One of the major weapons of female teenagers is silence. When they get up in the morning they don't want to speak to anyone, unless it's to ask for money to go shopping for bluejeans.

"If you refuse to give them money it is interpreted as another example of withholding love from them, and the silence will intensify.

"If you ask a teenager to help with the dishes the response will be, 'Too late. The gang is waiting for me at the bagel shop.'

"The most important thing a parent can do for a teenager is answer her telephone calls. Some parents occasionally miss saving a call, and there is all heck to pay. By the same token if a teenager takes a parent's call and forgets to give the message, a father or mother should not get too upset because the teenager can't remember everything."

Sam told me that teenagers at home have dark clouds over their heads. If asked why they are blue the reply is, "You wouldn't understand."

If pressed for a response they explain the reason for their unhappiness is that they weren't allowed to go to Woodstock even though all their friends went. Loganville said, "Teenagers, when around adults, communicate with each other by whispering."

He recently heard a conversation between two teenagers. One said to the other, "Did you hear what they both said? They said, 'Good morning.' "

The other girl replied, "My parents always say 'Good morning.' It doesn't mean anything."

"But if we answered them it would start a conversation."

"Don't answer and they will know we don't want to talk."

"I'm hungry."

"We can eat without saying anything. They have to feed us. It's the law."

{copy} 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate