Oh Lord, What Now?!
The Serial Drama Of A Teenage Christian
“Your childhood years are the best of your life. Not having to worry about anything or do anything you don’t want to. No cares in the world, you young ones”, that’s what Gramps always says.
Sometimes I think adults don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. Carefree! I’ve never been so care(full)! I mean, let’s look at it methodically, as if we’re checking things off a list!!
CLOTHES! – I’m always the odd one out cause mum can’t afford the designer stuff. I try my best and cut the labels out of the most embarrassing things, but it’s still not good enough. Even the school uniform is wrong, and my shoes look like something that’s just stepped out of the eighties. It’s no wonder really that Sarah Jane Castelthwaight takes the mickey out of me.
BODY – I look like a cross between Frankenstein and the Incredible Hulk! Mum always says “You look fine”, and “You’re beautiful” – Yeah RIGHT! My body began developing at the tender age of nine. How do you explain to nine year old boys that the lumps on your chest are those things adult women have – all you end up with is comments like “Hey everyone, Andie’s got (hushed voice) BOOBIES!!” and then the sniggering goes up! And how do you explain that you can’t go swimming with the rest of the school, even though you’re the ONLY one not going, because you’re cursed with being a ‘woman’. I can’t fit into any of my clothes! It’s unbelievable what I have to go through and Grandad thinks I have it easy?!?! Not likely!!
HAIR – What type are you? Look Andie’s got rats tails! My hair has always been a problem. It’s got a mind of it’s own. When I want it straight, it goes curly, when I want it curly, it goes straight! It’s not even a decent colour (mousy browny blonde – eek!), but I’m too young for having it coloured and straighteners are a no no! Everyone else seems to have this perfect hair, and I’m stuck with… THIS!
MAKE UP! – Mum won’t let me wear any at all. She thinks I’m too young. Meanwhile, I’m not too young to get a face so full of spots that ‘Pizza Face’ would be wasted on me! Still, Mum’s know best! REALLY! My lips are too thin, my eyebrows are so bushy and thick that they look like one giant fuzzy caterpillar, yet I’m “too young” to pluck them.
This is only the beginning of the list of things I’m too young to do!!
Let’s digress a moment and list them, shall we?
Pluck my eyebrows – Solo fuzzy caterpillarville here I come!!
Wear make up – “Pizza Face Andie!”
Shave my legs – I look like a Gorilla!
Wear tampons – Well, this is one I don’t listen to! She hasn’t found my secret stash yet!
High heels – Yeah, cause EVERYONE loves a shorty!
So many more, but I’d run out of time if I listed them all. Mums think they know best “I’ve been there –I know how you feel” – No you don’t!! If you did then you’d let me do all these things that I’m “too young” for! She still thinks I’m a kid! That I’m not out of the playing with Barbie dolls phase! OooK! Whatever, Mother!
Anyway, back to my first list, where was I?
BOYS – “You’re too young to be going on dates, why don’t you just be friends??” YES, that’s what I’ve been doing wrong – I should be dressed in trackie bums running around, getting all muddy playing footy with the lads! I’m sure she’d LOVE that!! Then in a few months time, she’ll be asking why everyone else is paired off, and I’m going solo to all the discos – Oh, wait – another thing I’m too young for! The only discos I’m allowed to go to are the ones arranged by the local church.
HOMEWORK – Well, I wish I WAS too young for this one, but no such luck!! Mum makes sure it’s all done and checked within an hour of my getting it home from school, which is ok in summer, but in winter it means no going out at all, cause guess what?!
GOING OUT AFTER DARK – TOO YOUNG!! I have a strict curfew of ‘When it gets dark’ – Now we’ve had some fights about this one cause mum’s and my idea of dark is very different!!
RELIGION – Yes, we’re Christians – and yes, Mum makes me go to Church. And yes, it’s not even a sedate church – it’s one of those happy clappy ones! I don’t mind about church really, it’s just.. do they have to be so loud about it? Of course, I get teased about that too. Sometimes I hate parents!
BULLYING – Or general teasing or arguing with someone – it all amounts to the same in mum’s book. Her response – “try to ignore it dear – it’ll blow over and you’ll be friends before you know it”. Yeah! Right!
SCHOOL – Reports, parent’s evenings – all the same! I HATE them!! Mum loves them, cause she gets to find out exactly how I’m doing academically, which obviously starts off not only taunts at school about how mum looks, but also flaming rows about how I’m not working hard enough. I’m working as hard as I can! Maybe I’m just not a genius and you should give me a break huh?
FRIENDS – Now here’s an interesting argument – my one and only friend is a goth! You can imagine how much mum likes that! “She’s so… BLACK – why can’t she wear anything lighter?” which sparks off my telling her that she’s a good friend and so it shouldn’t matter what she looks like, which makes mum say “Of course it doesn’t matter – as long as she’s a good friend – it’s just such a shame she wears such unattractive things – I mean that skull t-shirt…” Even my friends have to act/dress a certain way and even then it’s not good enough!
All in all, you can see that my life is not the piece of cake that Grandad thinks it is! Childhood may have been like that in his day, but times have changed and being young now, with parents that haven’t moved on is HELL! And not only that – I’m living it, so I know! Don’t let them fool you into thinking that being young is great – true, you have your life ahead of you, but it’s AHEAD of you – you have to go through the shitty parts first! And they ain’t great – believe me!!
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.