Wednesday, 23 July 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Adult Visions

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

Roses in the rain

I did not imagine what it would be like to be an adult. My ideas were suffocated from the beginning because I was receiving bad vibes. I was just a rose in the rain.

“The best days of your life are your school days” said mum when I moaned about going to school, so that idea was put down. Getting up in the morning and walking to a place called school with other same-aged victims; sitting at a desk all day and having my brain formed, going home for dinner and doing it all again in the afternoon was not my idea of the best days of my life, but I was not alone. I was surrounded with other offspring also condemned to the daily learning process. I decided to learn from the mistakes and never told my kids that they were the best days of their lives. I found as an adult school was OK. It got the kids out of the house and I had time to clean the place up and go shopping on my own. Funny, I do not remember imagining that my adult life would be full of cleaning and shopping when I was a kid, so it seems my idea of adult life was quite far away, misunderstood from the beginning.

“Eat your crusts”, “eat your greens”, “eat the fat”. eat everything you do not like to eat would have been more appropriate. It seemed to mum that all things I did not like on my dinner plate were the actual things I should be eating, otherwise a dark and murky future would await me. I survived without all this healthy food. The crusts were on the soft white pappy English cut loaves which were only crust like because of their brown colour. They were as tasteless as the rest of the bread. I never liked greens. They were the health bringing vegetables of the working class family; pulled out of boiling water, dosed with a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda to keep them nice and green, and as sloppy and tasteless as you can imagine. Mum was convinced they were the key to being healthy, the vegetable to eat, and they were cheap. OK, we did not have a lot of money, so to make sure I ate my greens, I was told this fairy tale of it being good for me. Unfortunately mum did not have a great knowledge of vitamins and health food. Reflecting on these cooked greens, I am convinced that the vitamin content disappeared down the sink with the water she emptied away.

Eating fat was not something that actually spurred me on to enjoy the meal, but there again it was the best part of the meat, although it was not meat. Aunt Lil, mum’s older sister, was a true disciple of eating fat, although strangely she would keep all the fat on her plate, as she was convinced that Uncle Arthur, her husband, had a sensitive stomach. Mum just said uncle Arthur was spoilt when I told her this. As I was an obstinate child and never did follow instructions from mum’s growing up manual, I still cut the fat off the meat and left it in a pile at the edge of the plate. Someone ate it, but it was not me.

So here I am today, still alive despite all these things I did not like that were good for me. My idea of adult life was to be freed from all these “have to’s” and I really tried not to impose these wise words of upbringing on my own offspring.

Whether I succeeded or not I do not know. My mum invested a lot of child psychology into her ideas of editing my brain and dad? My dad was OK. He was a working man, came home every day and enjoyed his nutritional meals. He was happy to have a quiet life and left the childhood Freudian stuff to mum. Now and again he might have spoken a word but they were not to be taken seriously.

So now I am a grown up and it’s my turn to bear the blame. My wise thoughts: know what your kids are planning to do before they know it themselves, always be a step ahead and do not cook greens for lunch.

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  1. I was too busy being a kid to think about what it was like to be an adult. I left worrying about that the adults!!