“I’m so cranky with my daughter right now I don’t know what to do!” sighed my friend Shazza one day in the staffroom.
Oh goody! I thought spitefully. Someone else’s teenagers besides mine are acting up. I wonder what the daughter did? Maybe she was driven home in a paddy wagon by the cops… or perhaps she was sprung sneaking out at night?
“Poor Shazza,” said the wise, experienced Pinky who had been behind the door when the good Lord had been handing out parenting skills.
“She’s been lying to me about where she goes on weekends.” croaked an emotional Shazza.
This is good, I contemplated, I can’t wait to hear this juicy piece of scandal.
“Go on Shazza,” I murmured sympathetically.
“She’s been telling me for the last two months that she’s been at a girlfriend’s house studying.”
Holy cow, if my kids had ever told me that sort of story I would have been instantly on to them. What's wrong with this woman?
“So where has she been going then?” I asked, knowing in my heart it could only be boys! She's probably meeting up with some loser lout who drives a fluorescent Ute and hoons up and down the Strand, I mused.
Shazza leaned in closely and whispered in a discreet manner,
“She has been going to rehearsals for her high school’s annual musical! I told her she wasn’t allowed to be in it this year because she’s in grade twelve but she went behind my back. Not only that, she somehow managed to get a lead role and now it’s too late for her to pull out without letting the whole production team down.”
I stared at Shazza with a mixture of intense jealousy, resentment and a sense of thespian outrage.
“So what’s the musical then?” I sniffed enviously.
“That’s not the point, Pinky! She’s been lying to me!”
“Lying, Schmying! you big spoilsport!” I snapped. “What’s the musical?”
“So she is playing Nancy?” I demanded deferentially.
“Yeah, I think that’s what she said.”
“You should be thankful she has the initiative to go and follow her dreams. This is a fantastic opportunity. She’s a super smart kid, I’m sure she’ll keep her marks up to scratch! Stop trying to make her someone she's not!” I blurted out a bit too passionately for the conservative time of morning.
Do you see what this scenario reveals?
Pinky reliving lost aspirations and pipedreams? No.
Pinky revealing why she has failed as a mother? Yes.
Too much permissiveness. Too many situations where an indulgent and liberal minded Pinky gave way to outright deceit in the name of creative exploration.
Oh well... it’s too late for me now, but I like to think, partly because of my rant, Shazza relented and her resourceful and inspired daughter was permitted to indulge in her artistic pursuits. (Fancy taking Pinky's advice!)
Kyles, Lee-lee, Emmsie and I went to watch Shazza’s daughter perform last night at the theatre.
She was stunning.
If she was my daughter I would have bawled my eyes out with pride.
But the best part was when, in character as Nancy, she Oom Pah Pahed her way up onto a table and sang her heart out…
just like her Mum, Shazza does every time she has one drink too many!