Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thatchers Child

I am what sociologists have come to call a child of the Thatcher Generation. I grew up being told I could have it all - career, possessions, wealth, children. What's more I was told that I could have it on my terms. For a while I lived that life. I was suited and booted in designer labels, made up and coiffed accompanied by expensive accessories. I spent Christmas's in St Moritz and summers on Lake Como. I had access to a private plane for trips to Paris and Milan. I have eaten at some of the most renowned restaurants and stayed at the most spectacular of hotels. I attended glitzy charity events and more than the occaisional film premier.

For those of you who know me now - yes it's true for a while that really was my life.

There are reminders now - at the back of my wardrobe there lurks a Prada bag and a pair of Chanel killer heels.

I've been thinking about my previous life for the past couple of days.

This weekend Dalesboy was part of a recital for outstanding young muscians - he played for almost 30 minutes solo - it was amazing.

Afterwards as I stood talking with one of the organisers I suddenly realised that I was being treated like the poor relation. I had been listening to a lively conversation between her and some other parents earlier and was intrigued so was looking forward to a similar chat. I found she was not so patiently explaining some of the classical music to me as if to a child - amusing as my favourite radio station is Classic FM. There were references to a conservatoire in Paris which she apologised for and then explained just what one is and tried to 'dumb down' Paris.

For a moment I wanted to stop time and show her the sum of my experiences. Put on all my old airs and graces, speak with the posh voice and drop names until she was buried under them. I wanted to tell her (teacher at a private school) which boarding school I went to and where I was 'finished'.

Instead I thanked her for her skills in organising the event and walked to my beautiful old car, drove to my rented house in the middle of nowhere, toasted home made bread to have with home made jam and spent the evening knitting socks and listening to Sibelius.

This post started out as one on living a simple life and turned into something completley different. I don't for a moment wish for my old life and yet I am irritated by how I felt and the fact that my fingers have typed this when I wanted to be all mindful about simplicity - what's that about?


Aussie Stitcher said...

Well done to Dalesboy, you must be so proud of him.

jamsandwich said...

I too am one of Thatchers children. I tried that have it all life - high powered job, kids in childcare, wealth, travel - almost had a breakdown and divorce!
Am now a stay at home Mum and often get wound up by people assuming I only want to talk about the best laundry powder! I feel your frustration totally! I long for real conversation yet so often others laugh at me when I try to bring up real issues and just start talking about the kids again.
Congratulations on maintaining your grace with the teacher, you would have felt bad if you had chosen the alternative.
I do think there s a change coming and that soon the choice of a simpler life will be valued in society. Lets hope so, the world is just mad right now. Until then know that you are not alone.