I was just in Spar. A family came in, and huddled round the newspaper stand.
“She’s been in Playboy” says the precocious 14 year old daughter.
Ok, I’m dealing with Liberal parents. I leaf through Heat and try to ignore them.
The girl takes her tweeny sister over to the lad’s mags.
“Oh my god look at Nuts!” she lisps, “I can’t believe she’s on the cover!”
I start to feel a bit sick in my feminist/prudish parts, and I have to walk down to the freezer section to cool off.
While I zone out with the Viennettas, I think ‘Should they know this stuff?‘ They know more than an (admittedly late flowering) 30 year old man about the Glamour Industry. Maybe their parents are porn stars, or refuse to have a lock on their bedroom door.
I often dismiss things as ‘just wrong’ because I wouldn’t want to do it. But who the fuck am I? Some kind of taste-maker?
Is it right to cut yourself off from certain experiences?
Is it right to say ‘I will never try this’ and have done with it?
Fair enough, you may say, if we’re talking something BIG like heroin, or murder?
But where do you draw the line? If it’s legal? If it’s moral? If it’s mentioned in the Guardian?
“OMG, if you haven’t eaten Basking Shark buttocks, you’ve never tasted food”
Part of the middle class world-view is that everything is there for the taking: foreign countries provide interesting food promotions in Waitrose, and other cultures provide amusing anecdotes at dinner parties (“We were captured and raped by the janjaweed. It’s simply divine!”). Keeping up with the Smyth-Headingley’s requires single minded dedication to seeking out new experiences. A pathological need for MORE.
“1001 movies you must see before you die” “The Bucket List” “Must Haves”:
We’re constantly being told that we’re missing out.
Fuck off and leave me alone. If I go to my deathbed without having watched Citizen Kane, have I wasted my life? If I die before I try the Backwards Cowboy position, am I losing out?
Am I fuck. I refuse to believe your hype. I refuse to bully myself into trying stuff for the sake of ticking a box. If I’m not careful, I could lose faith in my own judgement- “I like this because NME gave it 10/10”.
I would quite like to be happy more than 50% of the time, and find a way to go bald gracefully, but that’s where my ambition for the future ends.
Getting older is a shift of perspective- you go from instant gratification (now!), to a 5/10/50 Year Plan (then!) where life becomes about Big Stuff: how to get to where you’re going, and whether it’ll be worth it when you get there.
Also as you get old, your face becomes weathered. Your life is written in crow’s feet and saggy jowls. Your face betrays you, the fucker.
Apparently, Esther can instantly tell when I try to suppress my emotions. Apparently I have whenever I am mad, I get an “anger chin” and whenever I’ve done something naughty I get “guilty lips”. I wonder if each of my features is associated with a feeling: a horny nose? a peevish eyebrow? a cringing cheek?
Damnit, this means that she can read me like a (picture) book.
George Michael had the same problem. Poor bloke, his transparency made him the object of ridicule at discotheques.