On my way into work this morning I watched a group of young lads get off the bus laden with fishing tackle obviously heading to the big park in Barnsley. It made me think how when I was that age if I’d suggested to my mates “Let’s go fishing” on a cold wet Thursday morning such as today they’d have laughed at me and probably would have opted to stay at home.
This then led me on the thought path of how everything I’ve thought as a good thing to do has been scoffed at by my peers. Drama; Gay, Walking; Can’t be arsed, Cycling; Why would we want to do that?, Singing; Gay. So on and so forth. This mocking continued through my teens and developed into moans about where we would go to socialise. For example “Lets go to the White Horse!” was often countered with “Let’s go to Birch House instead” and “Shall we go into town and meet girls in night clubs” was met with “Can’t, I’m skint, let’s go to the White Horse instead”.
Into my twenties and a different set of friends. Socialising became just sitting in my mates bedsits smoking and talking toot, only breaking from the norm by going to the Dovedale Towers or, on very rare occasions to the Blue Angel in town (money permitting) neither were my suggestion. Then I met my wife. A brief spurt of agreement in what I suggested as things to do swiftly collapsed into “Yeah yeah maybe”s. So I learnt to stop suggesting things. Instead I would just recommend. If we didn’t take part in things I recommended then it wasn’t so much of a blow to me. Besides which I enjoyed trying out new things and experiences. Moreover, I eventually got to try or do things I might have suggested we’d try earlier by just biding my time and letting the things become vogue.
Such hindrance coupled with the “I don’t want to do it on my own” factor probably stifled my development as a teen. While all the people I’ve met in the past 10 years regale me with stories of their promiscuous and misspent youth, all I can do is roll off tales of how I went youth hostelling with the choir or how I used to sit in old men’s pubs talking old toot. Of course I have no regrets about the path that I took then. I met really good and interesting folk who shared their tales with me at that time.
So yeah. Maybe while those young lads are having a good old male bonding session hunched over a fishing rod in a wet and cold Thursday morning in April, developing their social skills to aid their later years, they’re missing out on the serene and apathetic low key adventures I shared with my peers at that age. I’m sure those very experiences shaped me into the apathetic person I am today. A walking wind bag of second hand tales and cynical viewpoints.
I am 35. Some think I am older.