|Pet Shop Boys in Prom Number 8. Awesome. Seek it out, have|
a listen. It's worth it.
I went to see the Pet Shop Boys at the Proms last night with my father. It was a belated birthday present. I like the Pet Shops Boys, it may be apparent. It was my father who got me into them in the first place, he bought their early singles and albums and I had them on tape as a consequence. It was his buying, and playing, of Miracles that got me back into them after University. I had been looking forward to it.
On the drive down we had a deep and meaningful. My father believes I talk too much, listen too little, have a problem with authority and a wannabe rebel. It was not a fun discussion. He believes that the Boy has serious communication problems, that he is behind his peers, that he ought to be fully potty trained by now and that we give too much choice and freedom to both our children. He violently, and I realised how violently on this journey, disagrees with our decision to home educate. He believes that education is failing students trying to get a job by being too supportive and, as a teacher, that's mostly my fault. With my nervousness, it came up, I should just buck up and be more confident. I mean, jeez, what's the problem here, right?
We reached London. I decided to derail yet another go-over of how the Boy is deficient and how concerned he is about what we are not doing to help the Boy (you know, by labeling him with problems and talking about how he has issues in front of him to complete strangers) by coming out as a cross-dresser. His response was as predicted. Some factual questions: do you still do it, are you doing it now, what does Tilly think, do you do it at work (what the hell?) and is it because you're gay? I answered them. Much was said of my father's relationship with his own gay father (we were going to see something about Alan Turing, it seemed quite appropriate actually). Then it was gone and not brought up again.
The concert was brilliant. Then we came home. The journey back had some allusions to the Boy, to home education, to my job but not to my little bombshell. Mostly my father spoke about his relationship with his wife and fears about eventually retiring. Yes, my father spoke the majority of the time. He usually does on long journeys but I have a reputation for talking too much. I suspect my revelation has been filed away and is unlikely to be spoken of again. In a few years my father will be hard-pushed to remember me mentioning it. What else is there to be said of it anyway?
In the morning, I stopped over at my father's, I spoke to his wife (he had a meeting) at length. She shared concerns about the Boy (spotting a pattern?) and home education. I learned that her own experience of education was mostly negative and that when her learning began "after school" she did it the way we are trying with our children. I thus questioned why it was so important that our children went to school. "Because that's what everyone does" I was told. Right, stellar argument there. Then there was quizzing about my job and why it is that education (for which I am responsible) fails to prepare young people effectively for the job market. Why are things getting worse? I had grown a little bored of this by now, I was a bit more officious and dismissive. We discussed my parents' divorce and I told her how sorry I was for being such a bastard to her and my father at the time - it wasn't their fault - and assured her there was no ill-will from then remaining. There isn't. It was never really real ill-will, it was anger directed inward at my own inability to deal with it on my own. I did not seek support or sympathy from anyone, let alone my parents, and pretty much supported my mother rather than the other way around. It was fine, I wasn't getting divorced. I didn't share all of that with my father's wife.