Thursday 2 June 2016
8:35 a.m. Ten-year-old son Billy asked at breakfast today, “Mummy, how old do you have to be to get married?”
Mr. Wallaker and I both dropped our spoons, splashing muesli and milk onto our chins. We looked at each other, with no accurate idea of exact commencing age of being marriageable in 21st century UK. Dead human rights laywer-cum-husband Mark, who is also biological father of Billy, would have been helpful in such situation. Would probably have enumerated marriageable ages of boys and girls in ALL countries of the world.
Finally, Mr. Wallaker replied, “When people are much older, Billy. At least, when they are twenty or so. Though I’m never going to let you get married, my little girl!” he said to Mabel, who’d wrapped her arms around Mr. Wallaker’s left arm. Hope she never, ever grows up.
“Why do you ask, Billy?” I said.
“Everyone in our class wants to marry Mavis Bottomley. She has written a book, for which she’s going to America to become a big star. The other boys were saying one of us should marry her. That way, we’d never have to worry about having money, or going to Disneyland.”
There’s no way Mr. Wallaker and I could finish breakfast after hearing that. How did we manage to raise a feminist daughter (who calls all her female dolls Katniss, paints her blonde Barbies’ hair black, and tries to balance her wimpy Ken doll in Barbie’s arms, damsel-in-distress position. She also professes never to marry but live like Mr. Wallaker and me, a more achievable variety of Brangelina pre-marriage) and a gold-digging son? That too, before either have reached puberty? Do not understand youth of this generation. Though, do not want to be uncool mother, like all other mothers of previous generations, by having no understanding of present-day youth.
Mr. Wallaker said, “Did you say your friend wrote a book? How clever of her.”
“What is her name?” I said, phone in hand to google and learn more. Am today’s youth already.
Googled Mavis Bottomley. Read astonishingly long bio on her, saying her father’s an opera tenure, her mother CEO in some oil company. She’s already been to six different schools in four different continents, has about 4000 skills and hobbies, and wrote her current masterpiece (which is serious literary fiction and 384 pages long) called The Boy And His Kite at age 9. She is currently single, but has dated an Arab prince who was three years older than her.
10 a.m. Have managed to calm down after being given anti-anxiety pill by Rebecca following panic attack. Could not process Billy’s classmate Mavis Bottomley being more accomplished than me in every conceivable way (except, she’s yet to be able to conceive, I hope). Have to admit, hate today’s youth. Or millennials, as they are called. Won’t allow Billy to marry Mavis, even if was legal. Bet her Arab prince boyfriend left her for being too perfect, too busy achieving things, to give any time to him. Rebecca says is silly and childish to be jealous of one young enough to be daughter. Though, that is precise reason to be jealous and childish, especially as Mavis Bottomley has no time or scope to be either herself.
11:45 a.m. Rebecca and I have decided to undergo self-study course on understanding Millennials. No such course exists, though have found several books and articles online. Asked Quora, who empathized with self regarding inability to understand current generation of young people, and went into several rants on how obnoxious and ruthlessly competitive young people are. Only one helpful reply regarding means of self-study: Check out BuzzFeed.
5 p.m. Buzzfeed is so fetch (I know, fetch’s never gonna happen). Am grateful videos come with subtitles. Have made several notes, and looked up several words on Urban Dictionary. Have been through all how-to’s on getting Kylie Jenner lips. Hmm, might try Kylie Jenner lips. By which I mean, Kylie Jenner lipsticks and not her actual lips, which would be totes creepy.
5:55 p.m. Watching vloggers with Mabel. Actually, quite fun and relaxing. Never thought it’d be such, sitting in pyjamas on bed looking into camera and talking about life. And have so many people watch it, comment and even get paid, just to talk about that one time when you went to school and forgot to wear pants. Have million such stories, that could have said to camera in pyjamas, and made enough money to buy giant house.
7:02 p.m. Billy and Mabel doing homework. Mr. Wallaker preparing lesson plans. James and Michael out for football practice. Feeling bored, and tired from sitting in front of computer all day, without working even a tiny bit. Feel as if weariness is to compensate for overenthusiasm of youth culture. Even if youth culture back in the day was to be out in streets breaking things and scaring people, and now is to watch prank videos of students releasing buckets of icy water on unsuspecting teachers in class, telling them it’s to raise money for ALS.
9 p.m. Am on group video chat with Jude, Talitha, Tom and Shazzer (who lives in California now) where we’ve been ranting, er, discussing Millennials. Shazzer says, “Well, Bottomley can kiss my f**king arse! Who do these midget geniuses think they are? They’re going to spend the rest of their lives in their parents’ basements, because all that money made from start-ups and pop-ups isn’t going to f**king last!”
Jude said, “Huh, just the other day I had an intern telling me her five-year plan is to run a Fortune 500 company. She’s six years old.”
Tom said, “The music’s hideous. I could put up with everything, all the fast-talking jibber-jabber, all the perverted hours spent on phones as if tweeting was preferable to sex, but they can keep their twerking to hip trap music to themselves. I refuse to bed anyone who does not know what Depeche Mode is.”
Talitha said, “We built the millennium! We slogged f**cking hard through those years, being single power women in the age of Ab Fab and Sex and the City. We managed to keep this bloody planet going. And now, they tell me 90s children are so cool, but the young people who made the 90s are not. F**k Kylie Jenner and her f**cking brown lips!”
Though had started conversation, had very little to add to conversation, especially when had managed to rather like Millennial culture after in-depth study. Shazzer did offer consolation on Bottomley front.
“That Mavis Bottomley’s probably had her book ghostwritten by some impoverished, struggling mother like J.K. Rowling pre-Harry Potter success, while she was getting her hair done and snapchatting it. All the millennials are doing the same, if YouTube celebs are anything to go by.”
Am horrified. What if have been letting Mabel’s brain get corrupted by Millennial culture? Why can’t she watch cartoons or Blue Peter like we used to do when we were eight? Would rather let her copy Madonna’s stage-humping moves, wearing white wedding dress, at MTV Video Awards whilst singing “Like A Virgin”, than copy Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”. Or provide wholesome entertainment, in form of something like Doctor Who or Dido. Is the thing to do, if BuzzFeed nostalgia videos on 70s, 80s and 90s are anything to go by.
11 p.m. In bed, discussing events of the day with Mr. Wallaker. Mr. Wallaker shares concern, except states children already watch Doctor Who. No, they don’t, I say, because they don’t watch TV on Saturday nights, doing something cultural with Mr. Wallaker instead, like going to classical music concerts.
“They watch it on James’s iPad. We all do, together. Haven’t you seen Matt Smith’s picture on Mabel’s desk?”
Don’t know who Matt Smith is. Mr. Wallaker describes him as fez and bowtie wearing man holding magnifying glass, saying “You should be studying.” Remember picture. Of course, he’s Doctor Who. He already looks like an alien.
There is hope, after all. Of raising healthy, normal, moderately achieving, happy children. Though, still can’t stop feeling jealous of Mavis Bottomley. Shazzer says she’ll call publisher friends and try to get to the “bottom” of her writing abilities.
11:45 p.m. Showed Mr. Wallaker list of words noted down from Urban Dictionary. He says he’ll never buy truffle butter from supermarket again. I, Bridget Jones, solemnly promise to NEVER google truffle butter again, especially after reading article with title ‘Things You Must Never Google’.