Somewhere, deep in the annals of time (like maybe a thousand years ago), there are hazy memories of shenanigans and japes and underage naughtiness. Of course there are, none of us are angels. And if you claim to be, then I don’t trust you one little bit.
I tried my first cigarette at thirteen. Thankfully it nearly choked me half to death and I threw up behind the bike shed, putting me off good and proper, until my twenties in London. I remember buying a bottle of Martini to share with my friend in the public toilets, age fifteen/sixteen, before the work’s Christmas dinner at the local Chinese restaurant. We adopted different Coronation Street characters as we polished off the bottle, and swapped from cubicle to cubicle acting out life on the cobbles, as if we were Vera and Hilda. Totes hilarious, until we arrived at the restaurant, where I promptly threw up again. I’ve never been able to hold my liquor.
On that occasion, I was taken back to work (the hotel where I was a chambermaid), by a very understanding boss, sobered up and sent home in a more acceptable state some hours later.
I snogged boys and tried to get into pubs. In a town as big as a thimble, and with a father who drank in most of them – the latter was not my best idea. The former wasn’t all bad…… But, although my parents were not at all stupid, they couldn’t know for sure exactly what had gone on, could only guess and cook me a full English – in all its greasy glory – the morning after; to prompt a reaction that might cement their suspicion. Crafty mother. *narrows eyes*.
However, in the absence of smart phones (and shared drives, more of that later), and a complete lack of the narcissism necessary to carry around an actual camera – none of this, none, was documented. Thank all the gods in the heavens above. Unlike, say for example, the son of one of my students…….
Whilst scrolling through his photos, in order to show me something from the weekend, he happened upon his son smoking in several snaps and with his girlfriend draped over him etc. etc. All very James Dean, although I doubt very much the kid knows who he is. Nothing too disturbing, but nonetheless there in all their high-definition glory. I’m quite sure no parent wants to actually see their suspicions confirmed. I know absolutely for sure that I wouldn’t.
First thing – don’t photograph every. little. detail little people; it’s just not necessary. Why do you do it? Trust me, when you look back in future years, you will be so mortified and ask yourself, ‘what was I thinking?’. I do, and that’s without photographic evidence floating about the ether for all to see. Secondly – WHAT IN GOD’S NAME ARE YOU DOING SHARING A DRIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS? Come on already, think damn it, THINK! For the love of sweet baby Jesus.
This is where we’re at. No kids have dodgy make-up mishaps, they’re contoured and plucked and sculpted to perfection. Where’s the fun in that? And everything, literally everything is recorded and posted online. And if the ‘rents are footing the bill, chances are – you’re all connected. And for that reason, I am soooo glad I don’t have to face that. I’m happy enough simply not needing to worry about where anybody is or who they’re with or what they’re doing; let alone worry about the possibility of actually seeing it too. I’d be a nervous wreck, more so than I am already. Probably a thin nervous wreck, but a wreck nonetheless. I know that’s by the by, but you know…….. The problem is you see, I remember me at that age, I know what we get up to, and now it’s sped up and happens earlier than ever before. I don’t have the emotional strength to deal with offspring that would inevitably have inherited at least some of me and my character – and most definitely not to see it reflected back to me by chance, while flicking through my cloud/drive.
And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #66