They don’t make ’em like they used to

I was listening to a classic hits station in the car as I drove my teenage daughter to a party, and she said she’d only just noticed how dodgy the lyrics were to a lot of the old songs, i.e. classic songs from the glory days of my youth (1970s and 80s). My list of feminist anthems from that time include:

Are You Old Enough? by Dragon – the lyrics include
I just wanted to kiss someone
I got the moondog blues
You just happened to be standing there
So won’t you tell me, won’t you tell me the truth?
Are you old enough? Are you old enough?

When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman by Dr Hook
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You watch her eyes
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You look for lies

And Mick Jagger, that champion of mothers with newborns, wrote these lyrics for Some Girls:

Some girls give me children
I never asked them for
Black girls just wanna get fucked all night
I just don’t have that much jam

Another classic, sung by Tom Jones, has the male lover stab his girlfriend to death because she cheated on him. He couldn’t help himself. Poor man.

Why, why, why, Delilah
I could see that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
I cross the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
My, my, my Delilah
Why, why, why Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

I’m sure there’s more


HSC Mothers Anonymous

My senior school kid has been back at her girls’ prison camp for a few weeks and I’m already suffering. One day I had a beautiful child, the next the HSC devil dragged her away and left a lovely ‘personality’ in her place. Part way through Term 1 the pressure of big exams is already driving me crackers, so I’m starting a therapy group for mothers of HSC students.

Hello I’m Lou and I’m going through HSC stress. Symptoms include cranky cat’s bum face, lethargic dinner making, chocolate eating, bitching and moaning during over long phone calls with other mothers, slovenly housekeeping, delusions and fantasies about holidays.

My week looked like this:

Monday
Revolting moody child, homework piled up.

Tuesday
Revolting moody mother, work emails 30% finished

Wednesday
Coffee drinking, insomniac mother reading celebrity crap on internet until small hours

Thursday
Under eating daughter

Friday
Over eating mother

Saturday
Beautiful sunny child woman (weekends only). Highlight of week: 85% for essay mother helped with despite the tears. Mother calm.

Sunday nights at 5.30pm
Tearful tantrum throwing mother, only 61 pages of homework to finish.

I’ve had to call the chardonnay support group hotline three or four times this week.

When I tell my mother about my worries, she laughs and lets me know that the karma fairy has caught up with me. In the past fortnight I’ve finished a legal studies essay, written a piece on Warhol’s contribution to the art world and discussed the origins of World War 1 all while indulging her taste for exotic foods like feta cheese and olives. I’m up late every night doing all the study I should have done for my HSC back in the dark days of the 1980s. I hope I get a good mark this time.

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don’t mean a thing.” Toni Morrison


Words of warning for my daughters

My eldest child has been ‘dating’, and it scares me. I’ve met some of these guys, some of them are players, some of them are nice. She is testing the waters and learning that love can hurt. This worries me because it makes me question what I could have done differently as a parent. How do I keep her from harm? How do I narcissist-proof her and my other daughters? How do I warn them away from the creeps that I fell for? How do I teach them all that falling in love is magical but they must mind the gap? The gap between the face people show you and their real self. How do I tell them that the words people say are largely a mask and that their actions speak volumes? I’m trying to teach my gals about the ‘red flags’. I saw the red flags and I chose to ignore them. I will say to my gals, if your beau has no money and you are constantly paying for everything then perhaps he can’t get his act together (I’ve read that book, I also have the T-shirt, the ruler and the DVD). That bailing your boyfriend out of every financial disaster is no way to run a partnership. And watch out for boys who are tangled in a scary Oedipal relationship with their mummies. Some mothers aren’t able to say to their sons ‘grow up and be a man Peter Pan.’ But what would I know? I’m only their mother. The lyrics to this song are the kind of rubbish I listened to (and believed) when I was a teenager. I love the Rolling Stones’ music but I tell my gals if a man ever says these words to you, run fast and do not look back. That way co dependency lies….