Whatever your opinion on Groovy Young Things, one thing is clear: they generally don’t live around my ‘hood.
Traditionally, our suburb – although less than 10km from the city – is populated by aged persons and young families. It’s just how it is. It’s a bit like Perth: most of the population between the ages of twenty and thirty get the hell out.
But listen, it’s not like I’m totally cut off from the world of Groovy Youngters or anything, okay?
My dear friend Mzzzz E remains a steady link between their world and mine – for example, it’s thanks to her I know that these days the young people are drinking coca-cola and red wine cocktails known as “Bambas” or “Calimocho”. Which has only confirmed my fears that there is no possible future for the human race in the hands of such people. No future at all.
Oh, and I occasionally cross town to be seated next to and served by GYTs in trendy bars and cafés, where I inevitably end up pulling out that sanitary napkin randomly floating around my handbag instead of my wallet when it comes time to pay.
Anyway, at a recent community picnic near our home, I spied at least three Groovy Young Things standing unabashedly near the Scouts’ Sausage Sizzle stand. It was disconcerting to say the least.
“Look over there,” I hissed to my friends MGK and RR. “Those people are young and attractive. It’s, like, freaking me out.”
In fact, it was freaking me out so much that I just wanted to rush up and order them to return at once to the inner-city tapas-punk-fusion bar they’d ironically crawled out of.
“They really should leave,” I moaned. “They’re making me feel… well, they’re making me feel old.”
There, I said it. The vintage floral skirt I’d chosen to wear that day suddenly felt decidedly mumsy. I noticed I had grease marks on my breasts made by the small hands of a preschooler yielding a “piggy in a blanket”. I knew for a fact that there was a bottle of low-joule, low-alcohol champagne chilling in my fridge at home. I was wearing Birkenstock clogs for fuck’s sake.
“Oh, I turned 34 earlier this week,” RR said to me, oh-so-casually. “I’m now officially mid-30s.”
“Oh, my bleeding heart,” was my appalled reaction. Here I was, thinking he was One Of Us and he was pretty much One Of Them. It was galling, to say the least.
Eventually, the Groovy Young Things moved off (to groovier pastures which served Calimochos, no doubt) and I was left to glare at RR and his thirty-four year-old ways.
When I got home, I told my husband about the terrible situation that had befallen us all at the picnic and how those GYTs had stood around totally unaware of what harm they were causing by their very presence. And how RR had then revealed himself to be practically young.
“How dare they!” I said. “How very dare they all!”
My husband then admitted to me that, while his short-term memory might be completely shite, his long-term memory was crystal clear.
“I remember, with absolute clarity, what it felt like to be young,” he said. “And part of that was swearing never – ever! – to become what I am today.”
“But at least you can’t remember what you are today,” I remarked. “You know, short-term memory loss and all.”
And we both laughed and laughed – until we forgot what we were laughing about, that is.