The past few days’ electronic silence has mainly been due (I must confess) to some shilly-shallying about how to approach the thorny subject of a new year on the horizon. I have now resolved (ha ha – geddit?) not to bore you all by being yet another blogger who lists reams of worthy intentions when, in reality, my New Year (any year) always tends to end up as 1/12 detox to 11/12 re-tox.
I will, however, share a deeply depressing conversation I had with my beautiful teenage daughter only a couple of days ago.
TD: Mum – I’ve made a New Year Resolution!
Me: Huzzah! (Fondly imagining an improved work ethic, a tidier bedroom, less bickering with her brother, fewer swearwords rebounding off the walls).
TD: (Proudly) I’m going to become a Vegetarian!
Me: (in a warm and maternal manner) Oh crap no...
TD: I can’t stand meat any more – it’s like ewwwwwww (pulls face of disgust)
Me: (Threateningly) Ugh – you’ll have to eat TOFU (pulls face of disgust). Anyway, you love bacon.
TD: I can live without it. It comes from pigs – like, ewwwwwww.
Me: (now babbling helplessly and sensing a battle about to be lost) Er, first class protein, er, amino acids, er building blocks of life – er, growth spurts, ummmm ...
TD: That Louis from One Direction is really hot...
Me: Can we get back on the subject please? This is an important discussion.
TD: (looks blank) What’s to discuss? I’ll eat Quorn.
Me: (outraged) Quorn? QUORN? It’s made of mushrooms – you hate mushrooms.
TD: (as if talking to a retard) Yes mum, but it doesn’t TASTE like mushrooms. (Pats my hand condescendingly).
Me: (feebly) Quorn is made to LOOK like meat. You may as well just eat the bloody meat....Quorn is just cheating.....(voice trails away as the bitter realisation that the battle is well and truly lost hits home...)
So – we head to the supermarket where I am forced to purchase stonking amounts of ludicrously expensive vegetarian sausages, burgers, and vile-looking soya mince which looks like something a drunk has left on a pavement as a calling card.
Later that day, the Shah and I decide on a lovely family outing to the cinema. We resolve (ha ha, see – I’ve done it again! Is there no beginning to my wit?) to see Little Fockers on the grounds that we can put up with it and the children will like it. The children react in a wholly lukewarm manner (I may have even caught a glimpse of a bit of eye-rolling, I’m not sure) and behave as if they are doing us a gigantic favour. Undeterred and to facilitate TS’s social life which often doesn’t even begin until late at night, I mention that we could catch an early showing at our local independent cinema. The reaction is volcanic.
“Whaaaat? I’m not going to that shithole! If you wanna go there, you can go on your own. It’s shite – you and Dad only like it because they sell BOOZE and you can take the BOOZE into the cinema with you. And get drunk, like, AGAIN.”
Ahem. There is, of course, absolutely no truth in this opinion and to prove it, we end up at the giant-screen multiplex which is inconveniently miles away but where you can buy colossal buckets of popcorn, bilious-looking cheesy slime which oozes over bland nachos and gallons of fizzy drink. Yay! As an added bonus, you even get to stick to the floor when you walk. Wow! The film is okay but nothing to write home about and nowhere near as full of belly-laughs as the first two. Time to abandon that franchise methinks, particularly as the latest version featured Owen Wilson playing a blond, shaggy haired airhead. As opposed to Wedding Crashers where he played a fair-haired tousle-headed dipstick or You Me & Dupree where he played a flaxen shaggy-headed pillock or Marley & Me....you get my drift.
Exiting the cinema, I suggest a light repast – possibly a Pizza to facilitate the new Vegetarian. Cue another eruption from number one son.
“Pizza? I don’t want Pizza. Me and Dad want NANDOS where they sell MEAT, not poncy pizza crap...” I point out (quite accurately) that it is not the meat that attracts his father to Nandos, merely the availability of gallons of chilli sauce with which the Shah likes to anoint his food. The Shah adopts a hunted look.
“Anyway,” continues TS in an outraged voice, discernible to the whole of the Home Counties, “she’s not a f*****g vegetarian! She had a Ham and Cheese toastie for lunch!”
We turn as one person to glare at TD. Her cheeks blush the colour of rare beef. “Er, well,” she stutters, “it was disgusting and like, the veggie thing doesn’t officially start until New Year’s Day.....”
Give me strength.