Do you find yourself wondering how the heck your life turned out so – well ordinary? As you glide through your humble home like a perpetual motion machine picking family detritus up from the floor or you plunge into the washing up for what seems like the millionth time this week, do you ponder on how things got so mundane? Do you reflect on how your current existence bears zero resemblance to your adolescent fantasies? For myself – my teenage dream of dating all five members of Duran Duran simultaneously didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped. Nor did my plans for a musical collaboration with Robert Smith of The Cure. Being able to actually play music may have helped with that project but alas I was roadblocked by a thing called the Higher School Certificate. I could never nail the hair and makeup anyhow.
It may surprise you to read that I didn’t spend all my youth fantasizing about my pop idols – only 90% of it. The other 10% of the time I was entertaining a host of vague aspirations. I’d be an actress but not your average Bond dolly girl type. I would be a tour de force like Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett (only Cate was in High School too at the time). Otherwise I’d be some kind of glamorous, globe trotting Pulitzer Prize winning journalist or a revered author whose master work would be inflicted upon unwitting future HSC students. Unfortunately I took the well trodden path of practicality. I studied Economics but was far more interested in action at the campus bars than my lectures. I mean spectating while engineering students constructed sky scrapers from plastic beer cups was so entertaining. Why would anyone go to a lecture about demand elasticity when there was serious nation building to attend to?
A long stint in finance finally gave way to family life in all its Eastern Suburbs middle class glory. I’m the boss’ wife. I drink cappuccinos and indulge my kids. I cook things like spaghetti meatballs and fight a losing battle with my housework. Instead of taking out the Booker Prize, I blog. (Granted this has brought illustrious accolades like the Sunshine and Liebster awards). Our most salubrious holiday over during the past five years was Noosa where we honeymooned with the then nine month old P1 in tow.
I sometimes wonder what my sixteen year old self would have made of all this. Would she have been disgusted or delighted? I’d imagine the answer is a combination of both. That black clad rebel without a clue would probably be horrified at how mainstream she’s become. On the other hand I’d imagine she’d be fist pumping the air with excitement over the choice of husband. Even in the mid 1980s she had a fetish for red heads (Hello Eric Stolz ) and technical geniuses. To get both in the one compact package is quite an achievement ( apart from the small issue of the Dungeons and Dragons obsession ). I doubt that she’d be too disappointed with Chez ‘Abulous with its five toilets, custom built fairy garden and ocean glimpses. As for the princesses – those strawberry blonde imps could put a smile on anyone’s face. Even that of an adolescent who wears “black on the outside ’cause black is how I feel on the inside”*
Its often said that “everyone wants to be normal but no one wants to be ordinary”. I think that “ordinary” has received a bad rap. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone pursued their youthful visions? The world would be full of film makers, pop stars, choreographers, celebrity chefs, firemen and a handful of action heroes. Yet there would be no-one to fill in your tax return or collect the garbage. The ColesWorths’ check out would be a chick free zone and there would be no one to serve you in Myer. (Hang on a minute…). There would be precious little IT support but there would be more computer games than you can point a joy stick at ( Hang on another minute…..). Call centers would simply cease to function and you would never receive a parking infringement notice. Similarly the used car yard would go the way of the dinosaur and only the sickest of sick bastards would study dentistry.
Hmmm. On second thoughts all you crazy Gen Y and Gen Z kids don’t follow Mumabulous’ example. Get out there and live the dream. Be extra-ordinary.
What would your teenage self think of your life now?
* from Unloveable by The Smiths 1987