It’s generally not a good idea to sit in judgement upon people you haven’t seen in over 15 years, but this is my blogge goddammit and I’ll say what I like. I grumbled and mumbled for a few days, and couldn’t pinpoint what I found so bothersome about the whole event. Even Bek claimed to be so disturbed by the whole shebang she had to stay home the next day to drink cups of tea and apply soothing compresses to her alabaster brow.
Behold, my litany of complaints:
1. Gratuitous use of the word ‘hubby’: If I hear this more than once in a decade, I get a bit itchy. More than thrice in one room and that’s really pushing it. A word that manages to be simultaneously bogan and Toorak-posh, ‘hubby’ puts one toe over the line from normal to baby-talk. What is wrong with ‘husband’? ‘Partner’? Or god forbid the poor oaf should have a name!!
2. The hair: Everyone with curly hair had straightened it. Those with straight hair had made it even straighter. One woman had had the most wondrous, unique black curly locks, which she’d dyed chestnut and straightened to death. She looked like any other person in the street. What is it, o people of the eastern burbs? Is it a sign of your adulthood and your conformity to tame your tresses? I’m proud of my stupidly fuzzy hair – so what if some mornings I look as plain as Michelle Grattan? At least it’s mine, all mine! Psha.
3. Use of the word ‘just’: get a load of these sentences: ‘I’m just working in IT part-time,’ ‘I just have a couple of kids and look after them’, ‘I just work, you know, and keep busy’. WHAT IS THAT?? Are these people APOLOGISING for what they do now? Where is the EXCITEMENT?? Ok so not everyone leads thrilling lives all the time, but WHAT, THEN, IS THE POINT OF LIVING??? Surely if all you are going to do is settle down and breed, then there must be some pleasure in it? Surely if all you are going to do is work, then it must be in some way fulfilling? This leads in to my next point.
4. Conversatory techniques: Is the art of conversation so dead these days? Look I admit I’m not so bad at chit-chatting with most people. I grew up with the old feller, who could probably find common ground with just about every human being on earth.
There is no secret to this technique. All I can say is that the old man is interested in people. He asks questions. He talks a lot (far too much, many people would say!), but he also listens as well. In my mind, this is what a bloody conversation is.
At the reunion, no-one asked me any questions about myself. When I asked them questions, they reverted to point #3. When I launched into my own tales they said ‘uh-huh’ and nodded their heads. At one stage I recall regaling some people with more of my usual rubbish, and them cracking up laughing. I felt like the freakin’ court jester.
Whenever I meet people this boring I always have these dim thoughts: ”How do these people get together in the first place? What is the process? And now they are married, what do they talk about at home? No seriously, what do they talk about?” This leads into my next point.
5. The unfairness of it all: Despite all the hubbies, the boring hairstyles, the 3-bedroom houses in Burwood and the giant prams, these fools have something I do not. When they wake up in the morning and flop over, they have one person, or mob of tiny clamouring people, who think they are the bee’s knees. Whereas I wake up in a cold house with rats in the walls, and two terrible women rattling about who I cannot stand. There I’ve said it.
I suppose the reason why I’ve kept in contact with the handful of people I have après school, is because they’re, you know, good value. The shizzle. And not dull.
Right – yep – I think that just about does it. The bayotching has ceased.