Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Emma Watson's dress

The teen's shoes

My teenager has just come back from two days at my parents. She rocked up there in complete Victoriana, a ruffly white dress ("It's dirty." "I know, it's supposed to be."), little lace-up boots, and a black and white leg o' mutton sleeve coat. The little match girl indeed.
Of course my parents are horrified. My dad spent the whole two days sighing. My mum, who possesses a rapier wit, said cruelly that my teenager looked like Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen. To make matters worse, the 'perfect cousin', all meek manners and Christian values, same age as my daughter, was there.
"I told them that they didn't have to buy me anything, that I'm not celebrating Christmas. Grandpa and Grandma hate me now", says my teenager.
"They don't really you know. It's me they hate. They are just expressing their annoyance with me through you."
She is very happy however because they bought her Emma Watson's(1) dress and shoes from a vintage shop. The dress was made by Emma Watson's mother. It is rather lovely. 
"So what happened with your friend the other night?" I ask, referring to the sleepover.
"Well she just annoys me. She's really depressed. I'm really depressed but I don't like other people so I don't cry about it. It's all second layer stuff anyway."
My teenager has this theory: most problems fit into 'second layer stuff'. This includes love problems, money problems, housing, education, body issues, politics, health. She, on the other hand, only worries about 'first layer problems', which are existential: Why are we here? Are we even here? What is the nature of consciousness? That type of stuff.

"What are your friend's 'second layer problems'?", I ask patiently.

"Well she's not very attractive, not very intelligent, her mum has made her live in a foreign country, and she's always crying about losing her dads."
"Her dad...z?" I emphasize the plural. 
"Yeah her real dad and her step-dad died. But that was years ago! She's still going on about it", says my teenager wearily.
"Hmm to lose one dad is unfortunate, to lose two is carelessness", I paraphrase.
We both snicker nastily.

(1) Emma Watson is of course the actress who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films. My teenager is a Harrypotterologist.


  1. My daughter saw her once and you should have seen her face! She wants to be Hermione so much; she even tries out magic spells on me!

    Marry Christmas to you and your teenager!

  2. lovely lovely
    can I use that first and second level stuff thingy?
    pissing off the grandparents with fabric was my greatest thrill in life at or anywhere near that age.

  3. My nan never got pissed with what I was wearing. Only my parents did. Especially when I attended the Queen's Jubilee street party wearing only a Union Jack carrier bag as a skirt.
    Grandparents and grandchildren are supposed to have a common enemy: the parents. My lot aren't playing the game!

  4. In my family my grandmother lived with us until her death in 2001. Alliances and emnities seemed to vary between her and my mum more often that they did between Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia in "1984"! ML, when you say your nan got "pissed", you mean it in the American sense, not the British I take it. I had an image in my head of your nan soaking your dress in a glass of vodka and then lifting it to her mouth and sucking it! :-)

  5. oops sorry missed off the "off". I try not to use Americanisms, unless I'm actually over there.
    My nan never got pissed either, her idea of a drink was a thimbleful of Baileys.
    That image....erm...kind of disgusting. But thanks for sharing it, Ben. You are at liberty to express yourself freely here!

  6. Thanks, ML. Although my mind is such a sewer at times that I wouldn't excersise that liberty!

    Hope you had a nice Christmas. Happy New Year.

  7. To find out how my christmas was, read about it on my other blog, The English can cook, in that christmas is mostly food oriented.

  8. So - I have to ask - what do you have to fork out for a Hermione dress? And is it one she wore, or just a lookalike?

    I ask because when I met my daughters mum she wore Chrissie Hynde's cast-offs and that seriously impressed me... I mean I had some of her cast-off plectrums, but I could never dream of owning Chrissie Hyndes blouse or anything!


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)