Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bye bye princess outfits, hello body piercings and beyond

WHAT, the Wolverine ponders aloud, will Santa bring this year? She casts you an assessing glance from beneath her side-fringe as she picks desultorily at her dinner. She was thinking of asking to get her belly-button pierced for Christmas. Or maybe a tattoo on her wrist. Look -- she's already done this brilliant design in biro along the top of her hand. Isn't it class?

Though if Santa was in any way willing to be any way normal about things, she says acerbically, she might get both a piercing and a tattoo; maybe a dragon or a butterfly on the back of her neck, even.

She forestalls your protests with a raised palm. She's tried transfers -- they always wash off in the end.

This is absolutely what she wants for Christmas. She is positive about it. She doesn't intend to ask for anything big -- not like her friend Regina, for instance, who thinks she might be getting a car from her Dad. Her Mom is giving her an iPhone.

There's a stunned pause while everyone else struggles to absorb the concept of such parental magnanimity.

What kind of a car, you ask eventually, just for something to say.

Oh some kind of red sports car, she says airily. But Regina isn't old enough to drive, your husband points out. Yes she is, the Wolverine retorts. She's been taking lessons forever, it emerges. Her Dad paid for them.

"God, he's a great father altogether," your husband says solemnly.

Yeah, the Wolverine agrees with a bitter look, he is. But is she asking for a car or even an iPhone? Not in a million years. As if she'd ever get anything like that!

In fact, she says, compared to her friends, she's really not asking for anything big or expensive.

Just controversial, you murmur.

She whirls around. All her friends have tattoos and their belly-buttons pierced!

They all have wonderful lives with parents who understand what being a teenager is all about!

Your husband regards her with bemusement. "So, er, it's a dragon tattoo or belly-piercing for Christmas then?" he asks.

The Wolverine assents with a nod.

Like, they're probably not all that expensive, really. Can't she have both?

Your husband looks at you and shakes his head before departing for the shed.

You sigh. Gone, all gone, are the cosy days of dolls houses and story books, cuddles and furry teddy bears, princess outfits and bed-time giggles.

Gone forever.

Irish Independent

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