by EMMA CROWE
When I was a child, I remember being mortified when my mother would use her spit to clean my face. Sometimes she’d have a tissue, but other times she’d just lick her finger and wipe a bit of stray vegemite from my cheek.
I remember thinking at the time, How embarrassing! How disgusting! When I’m a mum I don’t care how grubby my children are. I will never clean their faces with my spit.
Well, how times change. I used saliva as a cleaning agent on my six-year-old’s face just yesterday…
When I was at University, I remember catching the train to Central, dressed in my groovy cream crocheted cardigan and burgundy cords. As I looked around at my fellow commuters, I would scoff inwardly at their plainly ridiculous outfits.
Who invented velour tracksuits? How tragic! How can that person possibly think they look good! I wouldn’t be seen DEAD in one of those.
Wore my velour tracksuit to the Mall just last week – oh and by the way, it’s hot pink…
As a young woman in my early twenties I remember promising myself that I would never, EVER turn into one of those women who refused to get their hair wet. I would dive into the deep end of North Sydney Olympic Pool and look on, perplexed, as all these women swam laps with their hair up in clips. The only stroke they could do was a modified kind of breast stroke and it looked silly. At the beach, I’d jump in and surrender myself to the surf and then look back to the shoreline to see all these women wading around in the shallows with their perfect hair, some venturing in as deep as their waists.
What’s wrong with you! As if you’d go swimming and not get your hair wet! Diving under waves is THE reason you go to the beach! Didn’t anybody tell you that? Who cares about your hair! You look ridiculous! You’re missing out! Your priorities are all WRONG! I’m never going to be like that.
Well, last summer I was that woman in the shallows with the perfect hair, at least twice.
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Am I ashamed? Not a bit.
You see…. There are perfectly rational, reasonable explanations for all of these things. If I had a time machine, I would go back and whisper these explanations to my younger self:
1. Cleaning the child’s face with spit?
She knows she’s embarrassing her child. She knows it’s disgusting. She’s just weighed it up and decided she’d rather embarrass her child than have everyone think the child is neglected. Anyway, her mother did it to her.
2. Hot pink velour tracksuit?
Have you considered that maybe her friend gave her the tracksuit as a joke birthday present and she’s wearing it because she discovered that velour is super comfy and hot pink actually really suits her? And it has a convenient hood!
3. Dancing Around Handbags in the nightclub?
You see, when you’re older, you don’t go out ‘dancing’. You go out for dinner and then – if you’re drunk enough – you go out dancing afterwards. After that many drinks, you don’t care what anyone thinks.
4. Going to Luna Park and NOT going on the scary rides? Something happens when you turn about twenty-seven. Getting dizzy stops being fun and rollercoasters make you feel sick. The Ferris Wheel and the Carousel hold a a gentle, old-world charm. You’ll understand one day.
5. Wearing Slippers to the Playground?
Look, she’s just trying to make her Facebook friends laugh. She took a photo of her slippers at home and thought a follow up photo of the slippers in the playground might be hilarious. Can you blame her for trying to inject a little bit of fun into her day? It can get a bit boring at home you know.
6. Wearing exercise gear all day, but not doing any exercise? This woman has every intention of exercising. She puts on the gear in the morning, but just doesn’t get around to it. Don’t judge her. The intention was there. Anyway, everyone knows you get slimmer just by wearing Lyrcra.
7. Not getting the hair wet?
She only goes out once every five weeks and she’s had her hair done this morning to impress her friends. The whole thing cost about 170 dollars (because she’s nearly 38 you see… and that means she needs colour too). She knows she looks silly wading on the shoreline but it’s worth it. She’s going to have fabulous hair tonight and when she has fabulous hair, she has a better time and might even end up dancing around her handbag. Please don’t worry about her. She’s fine. In fact, she’ll probably dive under a wave tomorrow afternoon to cure the hangover she now gets from four glasses of wine.
So, as you can see, I’ve grown up a bit. But there are still some things I swear I will NEVER do:
– Wear bifocal reading glasses around my neck.
– Wear slacks with built-in waist expanders.
– Venture out on a power walk with my husband in his-and-hers matching tracksuits.
Never ever? I’ll check back in with you in another twenty years.
Emma Crowe works as a Radio Producer at 702 ABC Sydney two days a week. The rest of the week, she can be found driving a people mover around Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Anything you never thought you’d do?