Monday, October 15, 2007

Young at heart (old at flesh)


AOG, London
It would appear that every time I go to London I have an ok time.  Just.

Unfortunately, given the pressures of modern life, I have not long ago realised, that a weekend in London, though very glamorous sounding, is actually 2 evenings, and one and a half (or a third), days in the British capital.

I normally fly out on Friday night after work, arrive in Gatwick at some ungodly hour, then rush to Victoria Station on the next-to-last Gatwick Express (almost ₤15.00 these days!).
 
Once there, I normally enjoy all day Saturday, which I spend visiting galleries, museums, and try to catch a show on the evening. 

Not always, but normally I achieve some sort of cultural hiatus during the visit.
 
Amongst all of this cultural froth, I have to pencil in meeting with Madame Mère at some point, as well as the odd friend here and there for coffee in Soho somewhere (somewhere means Costa Café on Compton street).
 
This last time I was there, something I had not seen in ages reared its ugly head. 

As I waited for a couple of friends, next to me I noticed a very handsome guy in his 40s who was dressed -at first sight- youthfully. As I waited for my tardy friends, some of his friends showed up.
 
It was the usual “hey”, “kiss”, and recap on the weekend’s events. I began to notice, slowly, that this man, in his 40s, was verbally cavorting with guys in their 20s. 

Nothing wrong there, half of my improv class in Madrid is in their 20s and I feel like their father sometimes. 

But it was not as innocent as all that.
 
It soon occurred to me that, upon closer inspection, this man was not dressed “youthfully”, he was dressed like a male Britney Spears. I noticed this when he got up to air kiss one of his friends. There it was, a mid 40s bare navel. 

He also acted very like la Spears: Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch; non stop.
 
Nothing wrong there, except that not only was he trying to look like a teenager, he was trying to talk like one too. But I was ok with that too (I from the “let and let live” school of life).
 
The thing that most ruffled my feathers was that the content of his whole conversation was drugs; and partying; and going to this club or that club and being off his face. 

I thought to myself that this is the kind of conversation best reserved to real guys in their 20s, not 40 year olds attempting to hold on to their youth, ça n’importe quoie! (no matter what).
 
He was handsome enough to pull off looking like a teenager, albeit only just and then only because Halloween is nigh, but he was not young enough to pull off teenage speak. 

That is where he blew it. He sounded ridiculous. And this made him, in turn, look ridiculous.
 
And, invariably, I began to think about myself and my friends (all in our mid to late 30s). 

About how we speak, what we say, how we dress, how we sound and look.
 
When my friends arrived, I inspected their clothes. 

Youthful, but more like trendy (Yes, A&F but subdued). I listened to their (our) speech, (no talk about drugs, but the occasional fashion rebuff and odd bit of trivia). 

And I figured that we were about average within our age group and generation.
 
So, of course, I wasted no time in pointing out our "young" neighbour but before I could explain what was his ‘biscuit’, one of my friends looked at me and said in a low tone “Does he think he’s 15?

I was vindicated. 

I was not alone in being slightly, and gayly, outraged.

Given that the trip was so short, I had no time to introspectively discover, or excuse, why that guy was so out of touch with himself.

1 comment:

bhamgrad said...

Oh God...do I ever know how you feel!!! And with all of my students being in their early twenties....it all just makes me feel not particularly older....just more mature!!