Thursday, 28 May 2009

My friends: ‘teenagers of all ages’

I found a sweatshirt with a hood (a ‘hoodie’, I believe it’s called these days) slung over one of my living-room chairs yesterday, and immediately used it as evidence to accuse my teenage daughter of having had an illicit party last weekend while I was away overnight in the city.

‘That’s been there since last Saturday morning, Mom,’ my daughter sniffed. ‘You went to Cape Town on Saturday afternoon. So even if I did have a party – which I didn’t – it couldn’t belong to one of my friends.’

My memory is dodgy at the best of times, so there I was, scratching around in my brain to try to work out if she was feeding me a line or actually telling me like it is, when my housemate Dean piped up. ‘That’s Ronaldo’s,’ he said.

I held it up and looked more carefully at it. Now, I am no sartorial master (in fact, my dress sense is bizarre even when I really try to make it not so), but this particular garment seemed very much to me to have been made for a teenager. I mean, hello, it is a hoodie – and it’s got ‘Reg-07’ stitched on it in bright red. What adult wears something like that?

But because I am, you know, a sensible grownup, I SMSd Ronaldo to ask him if he’d left his hoodie here. And, indeed, he had.

I was doing my usual ‘well, this is just ridiculous’ shpiel to anyone who would listen (mainly the dogs) when my daughter said, with a great big eye-roll, ‘I don’t know why you’re going on and on like that. Your friends are just teenagers of all ages.’

Which did kind of stop me in my tracks. To put some perspective on this, Ronaldo is definitely my friend who is most like a teenager – in all respects. He’s still got that physical wiriness that most adults lose practically the minute they turn 20, and he stays up all night with unsuitable people, and he drinks irresponsible amounts, and he has a hormonally addled eye for the grrrls. And he wears hoodies with ‘Reg-07’ stitched on the front.

Ronaldo is, in fact, the teenager I would be most careful about keeping my own teenagers away from: he is a Bad Influence. Once, we were still dancing in my kitchen and opening yet another bottle of red when my son, then about 13, came through from his bedroom, knotting the tie on his school uniform. ‘What are you doing up?’ Ronaldo asked him. ‘Go back to bed! It’s the middle of the night!’

My son gave us both a withering look. ‘It’s 6am and I’m getting ready for school,’ he said.

And, going back to the hoodie, it must be said that Ronaldo was here on Friday night. Until 3am.

Pics, from the top:
Teenagers of all ages:
Dancing in my living room, these pics include my sister and her husband (43 and 50, respectively), L (early 20s), my Dad (who turns 75 in a week) and me (45); and S (early 30s) and Wren (late 40s). Not pictured but also present at this party and joining in the dancing were my own two children – the only genuine teenagers.
Ronaldo turns 19 (again): here are Johann, me and Ronaldo at his 50th birthday party. (Note Ronaldo's SWAT peak and Che Guevara T.)
Ronaldo revealed: He washes dishes like a Renaissance Man, but his inner teenager just can’t help creeping out (of his pants).
Ronaldo keeps us up all night, and then…: Like any teenager worth his salt, Ronaldo will crash anywhere.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gotta lurve that beer bottle in the champagne bucket - so classy, so sophisticated, so... well, grown-up...

- Ronaldo

tonypark said...

Ah, yes, the inner teenager.

What, no pictures of moi?

There's something about you, muriel, that brings out the drunken 18 year old in us all.

Certainly the music fits 1982.