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mulled whine
April 2, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Mulled Whine with H.G. Beattie

Farewell, teens. Thanks for all the character building but in retrospect I would rather have just had breasts.

As a pre-teen, I knew what was up. Or so I thought. I didn’t wear T-shirts that said “Dear Santa… define nice”. Sex was something Mufasa and Sarabi had this one time. I wasn’t allowed Pulp platforms because “they’ll break your ankle”, and they would have. The Listener’s exposés of adolescent shenanigans simply didnot apply to me. Until this fateful day on which a girl called Charlotte mocked me at a tennis holiday programme for wearing a wraparound skirt over flared red pants. Cue a decade of insecurity and self-pity. Charlotte, you were a bitch. The skort had beads on it, and your backhand sucked.

I am nineteen. I will be twenty in a few short days. Naturally, then, I have been thinking recently about the defining features of my teens. There are no bones about it. (There’ll probably be none in my twenties either—whey hey!) Srsly, though, no denial here: things have been bleak.

Highlights of my adolescence included a brief spell in light therapy with my mother because of my “disrespect”. Come on, woman. This “disrespect” you speak of refers to one badly timed shoe-throwing episode in early 2003. The shoe was made of canvas, because I wasn’t allowed Pulps. Keep up. She enacted revenge when I was fifteen by coming into the room when I was luxuriating in a Grey’s Anatomy obsession and saying “Patrick Dempsey looks just like your father used to.” This being the same father who didn’t pull my covers up at night because “you looked asleep and I was worried you would wake up and think I was abusing you.”

My physical inadequacy as a teenager gave me something in common with other physically inadequate teenagers. Note that physical inadequacy here refers to a flat chest/nose you’ll “grow into”/overzealous orthodontia, not actual physical inadequacy. So we’re talking a shallow and distorted concept here. It doesn’t really go away, now I think about it. I still hate that my little brother’s friends are a bevy of beautiful seventeen-year- olds. Where is the character building in that?

I have emerged with a fair few theories. Smaller-breasted women are better conversationalists. This is so logical
that no one has considered spending money on proving it. Equally logical is my working definition of a relationship as a means for girls to have security and boys to have sex (coupled-up flatmate interjects with “that’s so not true—love is out there for you.” Excuse me while I go shit in her bed).

The most—actually probably the only—damning realization that has emerged from my thoul thearching has been that I realized far too late that my worldview was woefully narrow. Maybe I was physically adequate  after all. Maybe it didn’t really matter. Maybe the best place to find saucy literature with which I could try and win friends at lunchtime was not ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, because no one uses the word ‘cunny’ any more.

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