Saturday, 26 January 2013

Vanity in Vain

Out on a school night , trusting the teenagers at home alone they will survive without my parental guiding hand. I feel secure in the knowledge of there is a packet of popcorn available and low calorie drinks to be had.

We are at a Jazz concert where the good, the old and the mighty of this town gather to show they are still cutting it, despite the onset of podginess abounding.

It is time to watch my fellow citizens dressed to their nines, whereas perhaps size  10 or 12 would have been a better fit.

And there is a choice, a ready  plethora of mutton dressed as lamb, and by degrees, there is mutton dressed as lamb from a forgotten age.

She looked ok from the rear in a kind of a 50's debutante might look with a dodgy knee and crocked hip and gammy leg. Then she rolled on her heels and revealed that ageing was not kind above the neck line either, the beehive stood there adding feet to a stature that badly needed height that high heels could probably not provide any more, due to a replacement hip or something.

It as if a new paradigm, it was as if a beehive dressed as honey. I had passed judgement, condemned without forethought, even giggled, as easily as it was to catch myself in a mirror. Yes a mirror.

And perhaps I thought there was a little old lady looking at a man who was wearing trousers that were not designed to be seated in anymore, shirts of an older vintage, shoes that had the feeling that they were last seen in a black and white photograph.

Perhaps this is the real reason that the teenagers prefer not to walk with their own version of the living dead, if not attached to a credit card. I am afraid to ask. Because by damn, my heart knows, I am age appropriate with edge.

Pass me the sarong.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Day in the Decade of Joe Ex-teen

As Confuscious  may say my name is not a confusing anagram.

To confuse or not to confuse, I sometimes explain how it was to my kids  and how it is now, to give a benchmark, much as my parents  monetary system counted in twelves and stuff, and I, thank the good Lord, counted in tens. I try to show the teenagers where they came from and in some way where they should go, without defining how they should get there, but hopefully avoiding my mistakes. Things change, sometimes for good reason,. I explain things, they may see I confuse things. They see things through modern dynamic eyes, and I through grey tinted spectacles.

My kids measure time in days, and I in decades. A 10% of my life is a third of theirs, give or take a short month in my book and a long month in their Kindle.

Like other things, I measure things on a different gauge to their view of standard
I measure hair in shades of grey and they in inches.
I measure growth in a buckle in a belt-hole and they on my eyeline and extent of my neck-ache
I judge armpit hair in degrees of density and they in "Yes or No"
I measure nasal hair on their escape velocity to moustache dashes and they with a torch
They measure fashion in S and M and I measure in a lottery of Xs.
I measure pimples counts in singular and they zits in plural.

These are examples of how things have changed for me over the years

And in the same way I can  look around at a home that resembles a quantum leap in technology and stuff from my teens: phones without cords, televisions that are flat, microwaves that have moved on from a joke about a hand gently quivering, computers are not a major piece of furniture. I remember records that were black, wood that was formica, glasses that were NHS.

And they remember a little of nothing as nappies were changed, schools were visited and children deposited in tears and then retrieved with smiles hopefully, footballs  that were kicked in between acrobatic falls. I remember these days, they kind of don't. They believe my stories of old from photographs and videos. Now they remember each day, a new day, each weekend to do things that I am not to be told. They see a canvas, and I see a canvas in a frame with paint-by-numbers guidance provided by moi, they see no boundaries, they see a blank canvas.

And so it should be.... but when I lie on the sofa amidst my middle age crisises and feel that a cup of tea is not going to calm the staying powers of carrying on, do I feel the need for a happy pill .... I say thrice no, not when there's Cadbury Chocolate bar to eat. When all else, hair, dyes, bellies, belts, hair, rashes, nostrils, snobs, trousers, flares, fails there is chocolate.....aah.
And this explains the metal in my teeth, whilst their teeth are only caged in metal.

And the morale of this tale is, as aging progresses and the Age progresses and as Confuscious may say ~I no Scofu ~ which is not really an angram either, more an unnecessary confusion, so its time to go with the flow and perhaps occasionally steer the boat to calmer waters if the boundaries are a waterfall.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Restricted Comfort Zones

In a world of middling age, my world. A world in that I am more comfortable with "I paid" rather than I-pad, I-pod; and no doubt probably to be followed by I-ped, I-pid and I-pud, if the law of diminishing vowels is anything to do with it.

I still feel young, vibrant, dynamic, as cutting edge as one can get this side of a Sunday Roast knife, but like that roasting knife, the cutting edge is let down by a handle that knows it takes two to tango and it ain't dancing to any sharp jig no more.

I face the mirror where reality dawns, if I turn on the light. Hair loss cannot be hidden  by ruffling and curling to increase surface coverage, any more. Jowls cannot be explained away as a hiding place for a pickle or two, on the point of causing indigestion. Chins are not even looking better in bad lighting. I am facing the face of an older man.

Whilst the youngsters are there, not seeing that this one day, is their destiny. They swagger at times, they shuffle at others, they jump and they slump, they are young. Slouching to a couch, bouncing to a disco.

But thankfully they have homework which I do not, hooray for mathematics, howah for history.  I can take my coffee, in quiet time, my time. I can take my biscuits or two, I have jowls and chins to feed, I can sit in front of the telly and lounge. I am adult not in need of learning no more.

But as if my world in the comfort zone is also not mine, they know, they know I am ripe to be prodded into dynamism. The teenagers own me 24 hours apparently. There is a demand, there is a sigh of teenage helplessness. I am called to assist. I am called to move creaking bones and be brainy, to roll back the algebra years, to re-visit the algorithms, to recognise symbols that may be of Greek origin and are designed to cause me a crisis. I am questioned on kings as if I know history like the back of my hand, "What king did..?" is being roughly stuttered in the older cerebral mind as "What 'kin king did what ...?", and I call this adult thinking. I am called upon to advise on political discourse but my covering up skills are one up on a Pledge to be brainy and one down on the Pleb that I am.

I-pad or not, there is a coffee that may not have my name on it, but it damn well should have my lips on it. So first my lips need to be patient for there are but a few words to say, so I say 'I do not think, therefore I am pointing to Wiki, Go! Wiki!'. Wiki knows all. Back to the Comfort Zone.