“THAT’S outrageous,” says Eldest Child to Youngest. Then to me, “Are you going to put that in your column?”
“Yes, probably,” I say, now that he’s mentioned it.
“She always does,” says Youngest.
“Yeah. And makes it up,” says Eldest.
“I do not. I’ll write what you just said. You don’t mind, do you?”
“No. Don’t care,” says Eldest Child.
“And I never put in any of the illegal, personal, offensive stuff you do or say. One day I’ll do it anonymously and it’ll all be in there – the time you didn’t get your Easter egg because you were in xxxx, the time you told xxxx to xxxx. Why don’t you write it for me this week? Tell it like you see it, instead of how I see it.”
“Nah. Can’t be bothered,” says Youngest Child.
“You could write about being refused service in that fast food place,” I tell her, lighting the blue touch paper and retreating.
“Yeah. I still can’t believe that! Refusing me service. What a cheek! I said please but they said they wouldn’t serve me just because I was a teenager! I would have to have an adult with me!”
“I’ll come in with you,” I say. “We could have some Mother/Daughter time.” (I’m only saying this to unnerve her. I’d rather remove my eye with a spoon than hang out in a fast food joint, swamped by teens or not.)
“Er no,” she says. Four letters, two words, yet they convey a whole alphabet of embarrassment, a blockbuster of disdain.
“It’s only teenagers that go in there,” she says. “They’ve just banned their whole market. Idiots.”
“Yeah, they’re the ones with all the money,” says Eldest, who has now joined the ranks of the adult poor. “Dinner money and that,” he says, wistfully.
“You see, you do have issues, grievances, stuff you’d like to raise, things you care about. You could write about that, get it out there,” I say.
“Nah. Can’t be bothered,” says Youngest. “You do it.”