“One of the things I love about you is your wanton abandon,” my husband said. Don’t be concerned, I know you’re probably thinking this will be the most hideous over-share in the history of blogging. But honestly, I was washing up at the time. James’ reaction was ironical, and in response to my suggestion that we have a cup of Earl Grey tea and eat chocolate in front of Doctor Who, “…it being Saturday night and all”.
I get this a lot. I’m sure many many parents of small children do: that sudden realisation that large wads of your life and your character are, well, ‘lame’.
If I were a racehorse, this would mean that I could not run, but I could breed instead. I am not a racehorse, but the difference is minimal. (Excepting that, in actual fact, I may have reached that stage of life that is more like being ‘put out to pasture’. That is, I’m not planning on having any more foals.)
And so, to lameness. Our subject for the day. And it is intended to be something of a celebration of all things twee, uncool, lame-ish and even old-hat. Because, let’s face it: the concept of ‘trending’, as Twitter calls it, is repugnant to me.
I had a wonderful meal recently at an Indian restaurant with two of my girly friends. Without our kids. It was bliss with raita on top. I did the Vindaloo thing just because I could. Across at another table, there was a family accompanied by a bunch of balloons clearly indicating that they were celebrating a 10th birthday. Not having my glasses on at first I had thought it was a 70th. And so proceeded a bit of a discussion about how unusual it was, or was not, to have a 10th birthday party with your family at an Indian restaurant.
My lovely companions, clearly being cooler than me, reminisced about their birthday parties, and I have to say that “Grease” was mentioned. Dancing, and costumes, and girlishness.
All I could remember was that I got my first mountain bike when I was ten, and that my mother, throughout my childhood, threw parties for me that were organised, fun, well-attended and….a mystery to me. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them. I did. But partying didn’t come naturally to me. As I said to my dinner companions, “I was that girl enjoying eating Indian with my family…that girl reading books in the corner on the weekends, or playing with my siblings in our big, bushy backyard”. I went off to primary school in 1986 not knowing who Kylie Minogue was. I thought neighbours were the people next door, and also some assorted Samaritans. I thought grease was what lubricated wheels. I have, in fact, probably dozens of people whom I attended high school with, who can attest to my ‘preppiness’ or ‘dagginess’, who liked my anyway. Bless them for that.
And I haven’t really grown out of it. Hence my lovely hubby’s comment about my daring plans with tea. (In my defence, it has been rather keeping me awake at nights recently and I do quite like my sleep.)
Which reminds me. Earl Grey turned up on some Twitfeeds recently. I will use letters, not names, so that the gentlemen in question can only claim notoriety if they wish to, but the thread went like this: [I am s, by the way.]
j: mmmm great start to the morning [pic of his cuppa – it looks like a latte]
w: you have the same latte cups as t?
s: we used to have those coffee cups too. The handles kept falling off.
w: Yes, and then you can put them on upside down. My morning pick me up includes bergamot [another pic of awful looking milky tea]
s: Bergamot = not so manly
w: it’s Earl Grey, not Lady Grey
j: isn’t the manliness of the tea only related to the cup it’s served in?
As you can see, I also have nerdy friends with occasionally questionable taste in beverages. And their hash-tagging can be a source of bemusement to me. I also note that ‘t’ kept well out of the conversation, from what I can tell, which indicates a decent level of shame related to his choice of mug. What I say to this is, ‘t’, if you like the mugs, stand up and own them. And if, like me, you always hated that kind where the handle falls off, stand up and stomp them into little pieces!
But I digress.
What I’m trying to get at is quite illusive, really. How do we even decide what we want for ourselves, or what is ok for other people, and what is patently not? What is our yardstick? Do we have a right to lambast other people for their choices? Big questions. I can’t answer them all here because my fingers have gone somewhat numb and my Earl Grey has gone cold.
But I did hear a wonderful sermon this morning. It was based on 1 Peter 3:15 [find it here, or the larger context, aqui. Don’t freak out about this passage. It’s not your imagination: it really is chock-full of theological intricacies]. The question asked by the preacher-man, who was in fact my lovely hubby, was, “Whose are you?” Other variations thereon included, “whose opinion do you care about?”, “who can make or break your day with their remarks?” and “on whom do you rely for your sense of self?”. And the crux, for Christians, is that if we rely on anyone or anything other than Jesus, we have our focus in the wrong place.
So, in a sense, we don’t need to decide what is lame and what is not. If we are lame, we can come to the One who heals the lame. If we have ‘got it’, we need to see that as just another label that we humans put on ourselves and each other, and get over it. Because, what does ‘it’ matter? At the end of time, when He returns, all our latte receptacles will mean nothing at all.