Oscar Wilde once remarked:
The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.
In the last few years as I’ve watched my parents lean inquiringly over the parapet of their own mortality, it’s like they seem to be trying their damndest to be more and more down with the kids. My mother’s fondness for abbreviated txt spk annoys me in an adolescent way I should really rise above, as does her newfound need to walk around everywhere with her iPad strapped to her forehead. I thought my old man was faring a bit better, but no.
I got this email from my mum on Saturday entitled.
Pops watching Grease on lovely summer afternoon.
And the attached photo.
On one of the balmiest Saturdays to hit rural Buckinghamshire in recent memory, with the mercury pushing 32, it’s a photo of my old man, inside, chair pulled up to within 6 inches of our 2003-model Hitachi, hypnotised by the hit musical Grease. This is a man who chastises my brother and I as idiots, who can hardly bear to have a conversation with us because we haven’t finished In Search Of Lost Time, and who has about 0.4 friends because it takes him all of half an hour to declare anyone he ever meets a bore.
Not so intellectual now are you pops.
Annoyingly the case for my father’s defence is being aided by my mother’s obvious ‘mastery’ of the technology at her fingertips. The photo is that size because my mother sent all 12KB of it.
Would the below stand up in court?
That could literally be a vase with some pussy willow sticking out of it. I sent her an email telling her it was possible to send photos as well as just their thumbnails and she went mental.
Then again, this is all good news.
My mum being in the throes of an unrequited love affair with her iPad and my father watering his unhealthy obsession with John Travolta is actually the best thing ever. Because what kills us faster than old age is loss of enthusiasm. And as much as all this makes me want to roll around on the floor and moan like a twelve year old, it’s also proof my parents aren’t throwing in the towel any time soon. Which means I don’t have to take any responsibility for my life. None whatsoever. Not yet.