What I really want to do is shout from the rooftops with Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, completely over-the-top enthusiasm about Emma Watson’s recent speech for the UN, on inequality.
Did you know that there are women out there declaring that they aren’t feminists because we already have equality?
Now I know I shouldn’t use this forum to impose my personal views about equality on you. But then again, we shouldn’t really need ‘views’ about equality, should we? It should just be there, a given, taken for granted. But that’s a whole other post.
So I’ll stop there, and instead I’ll tell you a funny little ditty about what a bloody awful parent I am (again) and how Kurt got stuck in a girls changing room this week.
With our holiday looming (two days and already drinking!), I had to get Kurt to the shops. Kurt dislikes clothes shopping intensely, like a lot of males. Added to the fear of bumping into his peers in the outside world, WITH HIS MUM, (because none of them have mums, evidently), is the awkwardness of trying things on and not looking cool in public. Then there’s the ADHD factor – all that noise, lighting and people in the mall easily overwhelm him and he also doesn’t do ‘choice’ well.
All that pressure turns him into a complete ratbag on shopping trips, which is a real shame, because I loving nothing more than playing personal stylist with my boys.
Anyway, a few days ago I finally managed to blackmail him into going by reminding him that if he didn’t come, he would be forced to wear last year’s VERY uncool, boardies and I might have also mentioned something about new Nike shoes.
He did his usual thing of dropping me like I’m a hot potato as soon as we left the block and I had to walk the usual ten metres or so behind him, like fucking serf, but eventually we met up again in the youth section of Myer. I love that floor of Myer because it’s full of the most wonderfully camp male retail assistants who don’t care that I’m middle-aged and invisible and actually talk to me like I’m a valued customer. Kurt immediately retreated into the nearest corner of the floor, of course, with the biggest teenage gob on, while I chatted to the guys and grabbed at clothes that I thought might suit him.
It’s not that I’m insensitive to his teenage need to appear cool and I am also aware that it can be a bit awkward when your mum asks you to try things on in the aisles, holds up clothes against you or insists on calling you ‘darling’ very loudly, but I was trying.
Eventually, armed with a bundle of boy clothes, we headed to the fitting room and Kurt got underway with the apparently torturous task of trying stuff on. When suddenly we heard voices, VERY close by. Girl voices. And it was obvious from the high-pitched squeals that a gaggle of female pubescents had accidentally come into the male changing rooms next to us.
All we could hear were shrieks of:
‘Boys love it when you get your tits out like that.’
‘You’ll never get a boyfriend if you don’t wear shorter dresses.’
‘What do my boobs look like in this dress?’
I felt the heat come off Kurt’s face before I saw what I can only describe as a beautiful shade of fuchsia, as he looked at me accusingly. Had I mistakenly taken him into the women’s changing room? It wasn’t beyond me. Even I felt mortified as I watched my son’s face collapse with embarrassment and thought about what my punishment would be for orchestrating this, the most awkward teenage faux-pas. I tried to laugh it off, nervously, (as you do as a parent when you know you’re in trouble; but if you know anything about teenagers, you’ll also know that they have NO sense of humor when it comes to awkward situations), but Kurt slapped his hand around my mouth quickly and it was obvious we were going to play dead. The girls, meanwhile, carried on discussing every intimate detail of their bodies, boys and then sex, while I watched my boy physically shrink in stature, as he stood there, vulnerably, in his undies.
After the longest five minutes of our lives, not including my recent session in the sauna or my first kiss with the mouth-muncher, the girls began to leave and Kurt regained his ability to breathe again. We grabbed his things and made a run for the exit, noting on our way out that it was indeed a unisex changing room.
I’m with Emma and for equality, just not quite sure if the whole unisex thing, where men and women actually do things together, is ever going to work.