Pretty much all my friends and family tell me on a regular basis that I’m weirdly old fashioned for a girl/woman of my age and that I was the same as a child. You don’t just act 40, you were born 40 Mandy. Through the years I’ve demonstrated a few times, how little I understand the generation growing up with me.
6 Years old.
I was painfully aware of being different to others my age when I was saaaaaay 6? I have a vivid memory of being incandescent with rage when a particular boy took to trying to chase me around the play ground. The other girls giggled and said it was because he liked me. He asked me if I wanted to play tig/tag. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to run anywhere, he began playfully throwing pebbles at me. He followed that with trying to tickle me so I picked up a stick and mercilessly beat him with it. Got in a fair bit of trouble for that.
13 years old.
I didn’t like wearing makeup or skimpy clothes because I thought it looked cheap. I did neither with vehemence and dedication. I couldn’t understand why my friends were nice to the girl they gossiped about and insulted passionately whenever she wasn’t around. I couldn’t get to grips with pop music and had a real problem with the gyrating and over sexualised dancing that went with it. I was with my first boyfriend for about 2 months when we tried kissing properly for the first time. His scraped his tongue along my teeth and I retched into his open mouth.
24 years old.
I don’t watch music videos or enjoy reality TV or soaps/social dramas of any sort. I hold doors open for people and say thank you to the bus driver. I prefer old fashioned manners and respect than being told ‘You’re fit.’ I’ve never been keen on ‘booze culture’ and live a virtually teetotal existence. If anything I’ve only grown to despise pop/chart music more over the years. I can’t handle small talk from acquaintances or strangers, the sheer banality of it makes me regret remembering to breathe.
The last time I felt old and weird beyond my years (which is screamingly funny because I pass for 17 on looks alone) was walking past some club promoters in a shopping centre a month or so ago. Two of them were girls in hot pants and low cut tank tops, fake tans, eyelashes, the works. While they were talking to me about entry prices and cocktails, an individual in a full on gorilla suit ran up behind me and hugged me tightly with a gentle humping motion while a third girl took a picture for their website. This prank did not go down well with me one bit. I did not see the funny side. For a split second I thought a real ape was defiling me. When I was done lifting my jaw off the floor and spewing words that would make a sex shop owner blush I insisted that sexual harassment had just been committed in the name of business and wouldn’t a leaflet have done?! I threw my half eaten sausage roll on the floor in disgust and stropped off in a manner that my friend found hilarious.
So! To round up. I have trouble understanding flirting, social interactions, popular culture and generally struggle with the norms of my generation. Luckily, I’ve managed to secure a small group of like minded people that I’ve annoyed for long enough to love me platonically. When the world and most of the people in it are getting to me, I have them to remind me that society is lucky there aren’t very many of us.
I guess in a world where we want individuality to be celebrated and welcomed, I should be happy that I’m my own distinct person in a sea of mindless wankers? But in actual fact, it just serves to annoy me and make me wish I could make friends more easily. Those ‘mindless wankers’ look really happy and content. Look at them conversing without getting confused or frustrated at the person with them. How dare they succeed socially in night clubs bumping and grinding against each other and smiling too?! Bastards.
All my love and rage, Mandy xx.