Saturday, 17 July 2010


Unfortunately accompanying parents to a party is not a Paaaa...rty, allegedly. This is old people's territory. This old people's laughter. This old people being old.

Teenagers want 'old school' rock trapped in a time warp when the groovers and shakers who once cut discs and danced to the midnight air are solely on celluloid... looking young... damn it. If they saw these celluloid facses now, they would have wrinkles like mine, chins as numerous as mine, bags under eyes that could shop at tesco like mine, a paunch like mine to rest a beer on probably. They would be condemned, but on celluloid they are not only condoned they are celebrated.

I use to cut shapes with the best of them. Apparently cutting shapes is hip version of navel gazing to New Order. I could do that -and ladies and gentlemen, the award for best Navel Gazing in Video goes to....

Nowadays an old disc may be cool, but slipping a disc is a risk. Perhaps my teenagers are being caring and considerate that the old fella is one tango away from hospital and they need to think where the next black Goth-rock T-shirt is coming from.

So today as we do things together as a family, I call it party, my pair of teenagers call sitting down. Teenagers that would-be happy" children if I respected their exclusion zone. I do not respect the exclusion zone because I can. I am at a Party, we are at a party, the operative word is party, let us party.

Somewhere in the ether this translates at Dad Pryce begging Teenager Pryce to cut shapes and teenager Pryce is cutting the air with a sharp stare and a look. I am recognising slowly this Look as "You are not my Father because my father would be considerate".

Rock on. I cut shapes alone amonst the Tango-ers. I am hip going on hip replacement. A circle forms a la America's best dance crew. Is there to be a Dad-on-Dad Dance off. I feel a challenger coming through the masses of playing it safe Tango/ers , I feel he's readying Jiggywithit while I am a ready to shake my tail feather. Sadly I am more alone than Marlene on the wall. Sharp staring is back in fashion apparently, aswell as my new blushing red and it does not match my pants. The middle aged "in crowd" appear to share my daughter's opinion. The middle aged crowd are conditioned to behave to a teenage view of the world, to behave as if old and being old is not having lots of fun. Middling fun once in blue moon is supposed to be my norm. I am not only a disgrace to all things paternal, but to all things middle aged. I am in a void of my own making.

I retreat after a last humiliating "I don't care stand" that leaves little to my dignity as a fellow adult, with an internal voice saying at least, they did not laugh....aloud.... well did not laugh in my face .....much.

So today we talk post dance off with myself, about things my teenagers say are not so good about me. Damning the evidence, I listen but make no promises, I have memories of how to party and I wish to grow old slowly.

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