I can’t you how angry I am having just come home from a full days work to a smell that just about knocked me out when I opened the door.
Oh God the aged dogs have combusted I thought uncharitably but one look at them proved they were as horrified as I was as they pushed past me to get out the door.
A cursory sniff as they scattered took me to the source – Teenwolf had decided to whip up a snack for his pal – smoked mackerel. He’d manfully opened the package, sliced it on a chopping board all left there with fishy knife . The pan is also in evidence as are the plates they ate from with the leftovers, a few further fishy wee shards.
All of this has been sitting in the warm house left to emanate fishy fishy smells all day long. Ggggggrrr.
Our pals are coming round in an hour so I have to decide whether to open the windows and freeze them to death or invite them into fishy hell.
I am off to dig out jumpers, rugs, hats and gloves – they will thank me for it if and when they ever thaw out.
My mood will take longer to thaw out when the Teenwolf slopes in. I guarantee it.
If you have a teenager. Or a child that will one day turn into one. This will hit the spot. No not that kind of spot the sort of relevant, been there done that, guffaw we are not alone spot as this illustrates the hormonal fluctuation of the teenager is not unique it is a universal joy. That was sarcasm. Mind you it made me laugh like a drain as it does feel good to know we are not alone.
And here’s the good news. I have heard it on very good authority once their brain synapsses join up again they do resemble the delicious delightful people they were when they submerged into the hormone tunnel – they just have more facial hair and better enunciated verbs.
What do you give a teenage boy to whip him into a frenzy?
Beer that cannot be detected on the breath by the sharp nosed parent?
A one on one with the cheerleaders of the national rugby team?
X Ray eyes?
An ability to study whilst listening to their Ipod, texting their friends and Facebooking – oh no of course, according to teenwolf they can do that.
A pizza the size of a sports stadium?
Some ‘`how to get the ladyeeeez to`LOVE you’ tips from Jayzee?
Yes to one or all of the above.
One thing that will not however get them into a frenzy, is the package I took home today.
As you can see it looks rather intriguing. It was as teenwolf undid the tags on the side and as it burst into it’s upright glory .it resembled one of those cloth tunnels he had as a 3 year old from IKEA which he spent many hours climbing through.
‘God Mum it’s not a tunnel is it?
‘You’re joking! ‘
‘Oh…well ‘, he muttered as he looked in a bemused fashion into the very belly of the cloth beast as it stood on it’s end.
‘Well what is it?’
‘Ok sit down,’ he sat down ‘this is an alien concept, an implement which will stun and confuse you’.
A nervous tick emerged as he watched me suspiciously.
‘It is a …’
Pause for effect
For once I had his full attention
‘A receptacle into which you put your dirty laundry.’
‘Oh’ instant and extreme disinterest is now displayed.
‘Anything that is dirty that does not go in here, will not be washed.’
He gave me that ‘och Mum I know how much you love me this is bound to a temporary arrangement’ grin.
I gave him the evil eye.
‘ I mean it.’
So off he went to do his homework. AKA Sit in front of the computer, facebooking his pals, strumming the guitar, texting, listening to his Ipod – oh but only after spreading his school books on the kitchen table so when I walk in he can quick as a flash sit in front of them and look studious. I shall post an update in 24 hours…what do you think the odds are of anything being in it?
Please examine the artists (if you can call me that!) impression of the process below. – I am the one with the big bottom on the left. Double click on it to make it bigger – but beware it is Teenwolf’s lair. Welcome to my world.
I always think I am allergic to something. Fact is I’m allergic to bugger all. It’s all in the mind. I know it. I just can’t face up to the fact that stuffing my face with chocolate, wine and bread is going to make me puff up. And that’s not an allergy that’s life. So as I spot the latest self help book in the bookshop – How to Have a Bum Like a Pair of Walnuts in 25 minutes by R.Yoo Mintal I put down my jammy donut, wipe my fingers and reach out for it like the 100’s of other misguided woman around me. STOP.
Diet and exercise – its not rocket science but the sad fact is it’s not fun so therefore I’m not interested.
A sea change of attitude is what’s required here I know that. But at this stage is it going to happen to me? I think not.
And anyway who wants to see a 47 year old dancing around half naked on a beach? Is it not about now it is acceptable to be seen lounging louchely in a dark coloured kafthan sporting a large brimmed hat, a huge gin and tonic and oh God a fag! Does that mean I have to start smoking again? How I suffer for my art. The art of growing old disgracefully.
A week ago I fell for the ad on the telly – 2 Easter eggs for the price of one, and planning ahead – a rare event I went off and bought a shed load for nieces, nephews, friends, Romans and countrymen. Having distributed most there were 4 in the house at 10.55pm Thursday night. There are now 3.
I fell by the wayside about 11pm last night. Long day, low blood sugar, hormones flying and a big sparkly chocolate egg winking at me from the IKEA carrier bag in the hall. Eat me . Eat me. It willed from it’s hiding place.
Scowling at it I walked away and yet even when in the kitchen toying with a satsuma I could hear it’s doleful cry. I’m creamy, chocolatey and wonderful to stuff into your chops. Hey come on. Where’s the wild renegade face stuffer of old it goaded, the one who would rip open a family bag of Revels, toast them on a slab of homemade bread and down it in a oner?
That wasn’t me! I heard myself answer, knowing I was lying. It was. The egg was right. Had I really become that rather sad person, that staying in on a Thursday night, pathetic satsuma stroker? The sort of fruit eater I would have scoffed at – and how (and with what?) – in the past. Hell the No. 36 bus might take me out tomorrow I rationalised.
So stomping purposefully into the hall I opened the bag roughly plucking out the big cardboard box of beautifully packaged giant Cadbury Mini egg. Ripping into it, my heart thumped, the egg fell out, grabbing it, tearing off the sparkly wrap I groaned as I snapped it in two, the noise of that thick milk chocolate dense and decadent was coming my way.
20 minutes later, still in the hall, feeling sick. The deed was done. The egg was gone. The gut was burbling. If I was a dog I’d be dead. Poisoned. Still it was bloody worth it.
Not exactly a role model. More a horrible warning.
Teenwolf has just come in, given me the ‘ Oh God are you still here?’ look before sloping upstairs. 3 minutes later he appeared in the kitchen. ‘Um hungry’ he mumbled before emptying a cupboard of all edible things and I am pretty sure some packaging too. As he guzzled I took my life in my hands and asked ‘so what was going today at school then?’ with my rather too practised, calm, don’t want a fight, I’m not really the vile harridan you think I am, Doris Day expression on my face. ‘Nuthin’ he said showcasing an accent that is neither Scots, English, Irish, Welsh, Canadian but more chimp than anything. ‘Oh guitar’ he said looking vaguely animated for a micro-second ”m learnin’ Paranoid’ he added clearly hoping to flummux the ancient crone that is his mother.
‘Oh Sabbath’ I said casually and despite his practised air of indifference his sprouting eyebrows shot up ‘YOU know it?’ ‘Yeh’ I said grabbing the ukelele that lives in the kitchen and giving him an off the cuff rendition. Disgusted isn’t strong enough for his expression as he lowered his brows before he ran off, upstairs, plugged in his electric plank and started spanking it. I am pretty sure he hates me you know. Or am I just Paranoid?
Yesterday afternoon we ended up at a party with a cast of dozens from a 6 month old baby to a 79 year old but the most prevalent group were the teenwolves patrolling the premises, hands jammed into pockets, perusing the scene picking off the sausage rolls and cans of Irn Bru and surrepticiously eyeing up the lager.
The highlight of any mixed gathering of ages is observing the crushing inhibition of the teenagers versus the total lack of inhibition of the elderly. I often think you could rule the world if you had the lack of inhibition of a 79 year old whilst line-free young and with it all ahead of you.
Anyway I digress. One of the teenwolves in evidence was wearing a pair of jeans, which had more holes than jeans, the crotch of which was actually toying with trailing along the ground. As he leaned louchely yet desperately self-consciously against a wall, slugging a can and feeling like the dogs bahookey my Mum went up, smiled at him and asked.
Are they meant to be like that?
Yes these are the best jeans I’ve ever owned he said as if that justified the threadbare mass that barely clung to his form. Oh she said turning to me, they look like yours. Eh? A brief glance down at my own legs which were covered in more lycra than denim, thigh squishing, bum holding inners and dark dark blue for maximum slimming effect made me think for a moment yup she’s finally lost it but then another look at the teenagers jeans brought it all back.
When a teenwolf myself I had a pair of leg coverings made of denim, to call them jeans would be an insult to all jeans everywhere.
They were made up a myriad of patches that my pal Johnny MacFarlane had made and after much pestering had leant to me for a family holiday to The Cotwolds. I was keeping them for a special occasion so as we checked into a Stately Home that was also running as a B&B my parents had no idea that having weighed up the surroundings of opulence and grandeur I decided tonight was the night to debut the fabulous denim look. Arranging to meet in the downstairs bar at 7pm gave me just about long enough to squish my body into said jeans before sauntering downstairs and into the bar. On entering I made two instantaneous observations 1 Surprisingly Jimmy Hill the pointy chinned sports commentator was standing with a crowd around him holding court at the bar and more urgently
2. my Dad’s face had turned from a normal ruddy Scottish hue to a deep rumbling red. ‘You are not wearing those to eat dinner’ – he pointed at my jeans. Yes I am. No you are not. Yes I am . No You are not. OK I said I don’t want dinner anyway and out I stomped in high dudgeon back to my room. God I was hungry. As time went on I expected the Peace Keeper that was my mum to come up and say ‘OK Alison if you ditch the breeks you can come back down and eat’ but she didn’t.
So I ran a bath and boiled myself to distract from the hunger and fury and unjust world in which I found myself and as I lay there listening to my battery operated radio the shocking news that Elvis Presley had died was announced.
August 16th 1977. I was 15. Teenwolf is 15. It brought it back, that moment, that era, that age, like an anvil to the head. Trousers, hormones, making a stand, unjust parents, them in control, me in purgatory, my pals being great,them being the worst parents ever. And here I am. Roles reversed. The words ‘you are not wearing those to visit your Grandma’ has come out of my mouth on more than one occasion and his reaction of ‘well I’m not coming’ has too.
So as it turns out ‘I’m just a teenage dirtbag baby’ could have been penned by me, a now 40 something woman in her bedroom in the 70’s as the universal recognition of the circle of hormones – never mind life – is inescapable.
Will this turn me into a more maleable understanding cool parent? I’d like to say yeh but I suspect I already know the answer will be to quote another family favourite ‘over my dead body’ followed by the teenager of whatever era muttering under their breath ‘if you insist’.
To all mothers everywhere. This is not a comedy sketch a documentary.