It's okay. I've confessed to Clokes about this one. He made a comment about me writing that Robert Pattinson is a fucking spunk, but I told him this is the double-standard I'm allowed to have. Men have a bunch of them, I'm going to have this one. (Although as Clokes said, yes he might think other women are fucking spunks but he doesn't write about them. The difference, ladies and gentlemen, between me and him.) (Also, I didn't think he read my blog anymore. So there you go.)
So, today's story. Princess and I went to Borders earlier this week to get her a book. I tell you, she is mental about reading (a good thing) and she reads prolifically (also a good thing) and she is starting to branch out a bit more from fantasy (also a good thing.) However, we can be spending heaps of money every month because seriously, she reads like a book every two days. Yes, big fat thick ones, with small writing. So my new economy approach is I'm trying to encourage her to read from her school library so I don't have to buy everything straight away, she borrows, she reads, and then over time if they must be in her collection, I will buy. This is working out pretty well so far.
So, we were at Borders and were served by a baby Zac Efron (how do you spell his name? I mix him with Nora Ephron.) I swear this guy is about 19, his chest is an inverted triangle, he is short and so cute and he knows how to make eye contact. After we left, I told Princess I thought he was cute. She got embarrassed.
Age difference much, motherrrrr? is what she said.
Then I made some pathetic back-pedal like I wasn't thinking for myself, I was thinking for a younger girl. Like you, for example.
Now, I've got a couple of friends who always talk about sex and are incredibly stupidly inappropriate when they talk about guys being spunks, and will even embarrass their daughters by talking in this way. I've always hated it, and thought I was above it. I don't think girls need to be sexualised or made any more aware of all those world issues than they already are by their mothers for godsake. She doesn't need to hear me prattle on about good-looking guys, or stuff like that. Daughters are desperate to separate from their mothers, and it's a hard battle. They don't want to be like their mothers in any way, and thinking their mothers are sexual beings is just another undeniable piece of evidence that mothers and daughters are so alike. So young girls claim the sexual world as their own, and mothers are shut out. But that's good. It's wrong, so wrong I reckon for me to be talking about boys with her. It feels wrong. She's my daughter, not a gf I can cackle with about things like this. Not that I cackle. I don't like it when my friends talk about sex, it's boring and try-hard in some way. I'm not even interested in this sort of stuff. I'm sure I'm not. I've always prided myself on being down to earth, don't care much about my appearance, more about the intellect than looks, etc. I appreciate beauty just like I appreciate other aesthetics. I could stare at my daughter for hours, I drink in her youthful beauty and I love to look at magazine pics of beautiful people and all that. But I have always reared away from what I see as that kind of skanky-talk. The hurr-hurr stuff that can go on between men, and women too.
See, I'm learning about myself here. Even at this late stage. Maybe I am repressed. I probably am.
So today. Was in Borders again. Went in to see if they had two books that I read about today. One called The Danger Game, the other Affection, by Krissy Kneen.
I'm at the old self-serve computer screen doing a search. I've typed in the Affection one, and it's come up. Five copies. Yay. Then, over my shoulder, a voice:
Do you need help?
Well, I said, not looking around, I can see you've got five copies, but I'm not sure where they're located.
I look. It's him. Baby Zac. I daren't look to my left, which is where Princess is standing. I know if I catch her eye, I'll giggle.
He looks at the screen, I shift a little so he can get his extra-large torso in front of the screen.
It's in... Sex, he said. Do you know where that is?
No, I say. Looking dumb. Trying not to look embarrassed.
He pointed to where it was, near Self Help, near Psychology.
Do you want me to help you find it? he asked, looking at me. I can't look at him. No big smiley eye contact stuff going on this time, unlike last time. I'm hopeless. I've never been a flirt. Never been able to do it, to know how to do it or what it is. Surely he's not flirting with me. He hasn't made a bee-line to me to ask if I need help at the catalogue screen? There were three screens in a line, a guy on the left one, a girl on the right one. Mother and daughter were standing at the centre one. Was it my age that made him offer to help me? I'm so old, maybe I don't know what I'm doing? Do I look like a grandmother to him?
There was an awkward moment where he seemed to think he was going to come with me and help me find it. I thought I'd made it clear I could find it myself, and that I just wanted to be in the Sex section by myself, scanning shelves pathetically, not with a Baby Zac Ephron. At the point, Princess said: Mum, I'm going back to wait for the others (she was going to see a movie with friends, and they were running late. She just had to get away from this car crash.)
Baby Zac and I disengaged, I hesitated, he said Are you sure? I said I can find it, and I walked away. Of course, it took me ages to find it, and there was a creepy guy hanging around there while I was looking. When I took it up to the counter, I wasn't served by Baby Zac. It was some other guy who had a normal torso and face.
Driving home, and knowing I'm going back to pick up the girls, I'm thinking what excuse can I find to go back in there.
Germaine Greer's Boy I'm thinking.