A convoluted thought process last week made me ponder my GCSE Drama production. We were asked to perform for about 15 minutes but for reasons I’ve forgotten we didn’t just do a scene but condensed an entire play (P’Tang Yang Kipperbang by Jack Rosenthal) into 25 minutes. Each of us had two parts except Nyk who played the main boy. If I remember rightly, we went down a storm.
Anyway, it stuck in my mind as the only thing my dad came to where he hadn’t arranged to have his work call him out halfway through. A lot of other things we did – at Guides, at school, whatever – he asked work to page him so he’d have an excuse to leave once we’d finished whatever our bit was and this way he’d look alright in front of the other parents. I don’t remember being upset by this, it was just something he did. But not for my Drama GCSE performance. He sat through everyone’s production and we chatted about them afterwards.
The thing is, I kind of sympathise with this behaviour. Of course it’s terrible, but really, do you want to sit through other people’s children performing? Be honest. No I thought not. Which got me thinking, what other aspects of my parents’ behaviour will I probably copy?
I don’t remember if I ever stormed off in a huff saying ‘I won’t do this when I have children!’ mainly as I’d planned from an early age not to have any. But I suppose I may have said this when faced with some hideous aspect of adult behaviour. Things are different now.
One thing I’ve already decided to stick to is the rule my dad had about him choosing the music we play in the car. This is why I know all the words to Billie Joe Spears songs. And Kenny Rogers. And Crystal Gayle. His logic was he was driving therefore he picked. Only on one occasion – a family holiday to France – do I remember him allowing us to pick something else. I can’t for the life of me remember my choice – it might have been Level 42 – but my mum picked Randy Crawford and my sister Huey Lewis and the News. He liked Huey but said Randy Crawford was boring. Anyway, this rule definitely appeals. An erstwhile colleague complained about having to listen to CBeebies and High School Musical in the car once and I thought ‘No, Dad’s rule will be reinstated.’ It’s for my peace of mind – if Justin Bieber or One Direction (or whatever) is playing in the car, I’m liable to crash.
The only other piece of behaviour I remember being mortified at was my mother skipping to buskers playing in the High Street. I’ll be honest here, I’m not ruling it out. (Cue my mother laughing and laughing) Having said that, I doubt I’ll skip in the High Street. I have been known, even this year, to skip in parks but not High Streets. But I have also been known to dance in streets and that sounds better.
All this signifies nothing except that I’ve got to the age where I just don’t care any more. And that I recognise that if I want to dance then I will. E will undoubtedly be embarrassed but look, I survived this so she can too.