(This short piece was published in Motto & You magazine in 1995. Motto Stores were throughout Melbourne at the time and I worked closely with Faye Browne, designer and owner of Motto Stores, to produce the magazine)
According to my pubescent son, I’m a “posh” Mum. With braces bared, he eyeballs me and growls about the way I dress. He calls my favourite outfit “over the top” for a casual barbeque, and putting on lipstick or combing my hair out of its frenzy only adds to the image of being “posh”.
The usual conversation flows like this: “Mum, you’re not wearing those clothes, are you?”
“But we’re only going to someone’s house.”
“That’s right. And I’m wearing this outfit because I like it.”
“But you look, you know, too dressed up.”
“Would you like me to just slop about in a track suit?”
“I don’t know.”
He doesn’t know. Imersed in Nirvana-land, surrounded by posters of he-men on surf-boards and his first bikini-clad female, he’s soaring to new heights of personal discovery and I just happen to be there, too.
But, not only do I dress this way, it appears I even act “posh”.
“You don’t have to talk like that, Mum.”
“Do you want me to swear? Is that it? Or should I be cool?”
“Don’t say that word, you’re too old!”
“I was saying that word long before you were ever invented.”
“Yeah, right Mum.”
Yeah, right son.
Oh, the joys of puberty! In desperation I search the bookstores for enlightenment, but alas, it’s Everygirl or nothing. “I’ve had that book,” I grumble to the salesgirl, so tell me, where’s Everyboy?”
Everyboy? She sounds surprised. No, there’s never been one of those!
Never been one of those! Is puberty for boys unheard of? Am I the only Mum who yearns for an instruction book? Or is it true that boys are really from another planet and the manual just hasn’t been translated yet? Whatever the answer, one thing’s for sure. This Mum’s going to hang in there, “posh” or not. And right now, tracky-dacks on, lippy-free and hair in a muddle, I’m off to collect that once delightful, cooing bundle from his first teenage birthday party!
©Tina Blackmur 1995