Friday, 17 July 2009

The Emperors new clothes

Since we moved back into urban life from the rural idyllic farmhouse we had maintained for 9 years. We knew we would have some adjustments to make and accept. The local village had not been an attraction, unless you choice was to dress in a tatty old tracksuit with high ponytail detail. And sit on pavement outside the bank all hours developing piles.

It was a choice we made as we knew that we would maintain an element of control over our kids activities. Because of our location, 15 miles from town, 3 miles form nearest pint of milk and newspaper. Okay most weekdays I drove the 26 miles round trip to town and back home at least twice sometimes 3 or 4 times. You can do the math! A lot of miles. A taxi would have been less hassle and cost us less. There's a thought. I'm qualified. Anyhow on many levels all practical and to do with teens, we took the decision to move to town. Again on a practical level it is much easier. On the purse, car tyres and my own stress levels. But you can be sure that something will take it's place.

And for me that thing is that the kids are out more. Now I know that's to be expected. They need to grow. Become independent. Learn how to cross busy roads before they are thirty. Now I try to manage around Larry and the kids who each have different schedules, the dog and of course myself. But the thing of it is that I have decided that I won't actually, juggle different meal times. Food is round about 6-7pm week nights. Weekends I am flexible, as I work 5 weekends in every 8. Heck but I'm digressing badly here.

Back to the core subject matter here. Teenagers. You parents all understand me I am sure. Teenagers and being just a tad more of a mile from the 'city' centre is exciting. Tempting. Calling to them night and day. There is much coming and going.

What I find irritating is the going out, just as I am coming in from work. Ships. Passing.

'Bye Mum.'

'Food! have you eaten?'

'Nah, catch something when l'm out or later. Much later.'

Not only the no lining of stomachs, it's that for the lack of suitable clothing. For example it is 8am, school leaving time. It's pissing down cats and dogs and shout up the stairs, I'm already planning my galoshes, Pacamac and bullet proof brolly, so I say,

' As it's raining I'll drive you, be ready in ten!'

Yes I am a soft touch. Obviously.

Son emerges, a haze above his head. He is steaming! Which is actually steam as he has just emerged from shower and blasted his hair with a very hot hairdryer. His eyes are just open. He mumbles 'grhummph' or something similar. He has no coat. Well he has one in his wardrobe, just not on his shoulders.

Daughter appears in a waft of Miss Dior. Hair straightened. Her eyes peering out of the kohl liner. She is wearing denim leggings, a sleeveless tunic white vest, which states to the world (and every perve), ' I'm mad about love' over a black bra. So where are the dress rules? She is wearing leopard pumps that will not protect her permanently purple feet (she has issues with her circulation since babyhood). She carries no coat only a broken brolly in her hand, that which l'm sure will catch three eyeballs today. Perhaps she can prepare her own supper then. Futilely, I refer to the rain. The puddles on the pavements. I sigh. Daughter goes to retrieve a coat muttering some profanity, which I choose to ignore and returns with a purple shrug thingy. Hardly a coat. More a hanky. I shush them out of the front door. Muttering under my breath about why l am even bothering. And something about 9 months of warmth and nurture.... blah de blah. Their ear phones are in their ears. hey pretend not to hear me. I know the drill. They want to hear what l'm muttering in case I cross the line!

I turn on the radio ahh .. no not 4, too chilling, 2 Johnny Walker is relieving the Wogan, whom I cannot bear, it's his drivelling high pitched banter and brogue. Isn't that a shoe? I won't put on radio 1 because that is what THEY want me to do. So I sing along so as to keep my day from disintegrating in my now miffed frenzy.

They say bye and thanks for the ride. Acknowledgement. Small rewards.

Another example of the lack of clothing from a few weeks back on a Saturday night. Daughter was dressing with a friend for planned night out. Larry said to me,

' When they come down. Don't comment onto the clothing and makeup. Don't burst their bubble. Just smile and let it pass'. Okay, l'll play along.'

A while later I could hear the girls tumble from their room, high heels echoing down the stairs. Giggles. They came in and said they were leaving. I managed a smile. Faked. Then I heard Larry coming downstairs and he shouted,

' You're not going out like that. You'll freeze. That's too much flesh. Go find a coat. better still a skirt over that... that er dress? You can't walk into town like that. '

I found my voice and added, ' I'll take you to the meeting place. You can't walk a mile into town this early. You'll be stopped and offered money!'

They did look lovely, if not a tad overdressed. In Lycra dresses and bugger all noticeable underneath. I could only hope that the local vice squad would know the difference, between exuberant youth and the more experienced ladies of a Saturday night. Heaven forfend.


  1. The Queenager won't wear anything leather or suede (sigh) and spent the entire winter - a fierce and long Chicago winter - walking to school in sort of knitted boots. How she doesn't have purple feet I don't know.

  2. And the girl in the red dress, was that my grand daughter or her friend...good grief! And like Wow!

    Give up Saz, she's a woman.

  3. It's hard to always be the police. But, if not mothers and fathers, who? I like Moannie's comment about your daughter being a woman; but, can't she wait until you are ready to give her permission?

  4. I was right with you until you got a Thanks for the chauffeuring... Then you lost me. Thanks - that's a dumb old-fashioned sort of word, isn't it. "Errumm the lift" is more like it. That way you can't complain you weren't thanked - "I said THANKS didn't you hear me?" - but they don't have to use that awful word.

  5. Moannie- if she ever thought I had this blog and wrote about her she and Larry would thump me!! let alone publish a pic of her in the red was thigh high and tight!! you dont want to see it..

    SInex - I LOS you , no....the daughter thing is scary for a Dad no?

    Expat..Queenager..I like it...great new word.....clever you, it is yours an original?

  6. Oh Saz, I worried about Grizz today for we've had severe weather over here, torrential rain...

    Most of the time he's dressed in a T Shirt and I can see his Pierre Cardin underwear on top of his troos - 'It's the fashion, mum!'

    Tonight, his school bus stalled the engine in a river's ford, and he had to wade through 3 feet of raging water, and walk 2 miles home...

    Drowned rat doesn't quite cover it! Oh, they are draining us of our youth, my dahlink!

    Breathe, Saz, breathe... Oxygen is good for the complexion, non?! xox

  7. I have the same gripes re food and have told my eldest(17)that if he is not here at meal times I will not be cooking for him, he knows when dinner will be served, as I have got fed up of cooking a dinner only to see it wasted because he decided not to come home or eat else where and not have the decency to tell me.