As my youngest child progressed through his teens, I became quite excited. I reckoned that, once he reached his 18th birthday, I had fulfilled my contract. Anything after that was overtime. I could be irresponsible, decadent - hell, I could even die if it came to it, because I'd done the job I started 28 years before.
When he reached his birthday, I was too busy to be frivolous, so I set my sights on my own 50th. I spent some time considering a fresh vice to take up. I considered smoking - I had never been a smoker. Then I got a nasty chest infection and actually felt so ill that I went to the doctor about it. He thought I was developing asthma at first, as I was wheezing so much. It put me right off the Evil Weed.
I've never been interested in illegal weeds either. And I already drank quite as much as was good for me. Furthermore, I was a respectable married woman in a small town, with a husband I still actually rather fancied.
I'm not much of a gambler. I don't see the point. I do take a keen pleasure in poker, as a matter of fact, and the boys and I often used to play, but we had a pot of small change and, at the end of the evening, all the coins were swept back in, because we didn't care who won, except in the confines of the game itself. And I haven't had anyone to play with for a long time - I've no interest in the online stuff.
So I swore quite a lot, in a decorous manner, and listened to loud music, though at quite a low volume of course, as one wouldn't want to be inconsiderate, or injure the old eardrums. Vice lite, you might say.
And now I have gone from sedate to so dull I'm even boring myself. So I need a vice. Please come up with an idea or two.
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Vice? That's to do with woodwork isn't it?
Get a grip, Stitch!
I'd suggest drive-by shootings, but that doesn't seem to be really you.
Maybe just turn the dial up on all your minor vices. I'm sure the Sage will be delighted.
No, I'm interested, Malc. If I'm Bonnie, will you be Clyde?
The Sage is accustomed to eyeing me apprehensively.
Gluttony. Fine cheeses. Rich sauces. Fill the bathtub with them.
But I've restricted myself to one small piece of cheese per week, so the bath would be a bit stinky by the time I ate it all. I've even cut down on the booze. Mind you, cracked open the champagne tonight.
All my shootin's be drive-bys.
But without wanting to get too serious, I'd have to ask what you're hoping to achieve, here, z. As in, what's making you want a vice? What do you want the outcome to be?
In the meantime, I second malc's suggestion.
Some cap-poppin' would indeed be a fun vice in Yagnub.
I can see it now... "Excuse me, I came in a few minutes ago and bought an artichoke. I think you gave me the wrong change."
You: "Step off, bitch, befo' I put a cap in yo' Beccles-bein' ass!"
Be careful not to get that wrong and to volunteer to put your ass in their cap, that can be quite embarrassing.
Other than that, it really only leaves hard drugs, and they're really no fun.
How about... bear with me on this, it's controversial... cycling? I only took up running because I absolutely hated it and I wanted to do something I would find really difficult.
Outcome? I wasn't planning on an outcome exactly. But there is an answer, and I'm sorry it isn't a flippant one.
I married at 19. Had babies at 20, 22 and 30. When I was 40, my mother, who had lived with us (granny annexe) for several years already, had an accident following a hip replacement and her health deteriorated, to everyone's great unhappiness. I looked after her until she died, when I was 49. I've never been irresponsible in my whole life and I rather fancy the idea.
Badgerdaddy, in what sense is cycling vicious and irresponsible? Do you think I am going to run over kittens and small children?
Illicit sex you discount as you still fancy your husband. Fair enough.
Recreational drugs don't grab your interest.
That only leaves the Rock 'n' Roll, baby!
"Vice lite" is a wonderful expression. Have I told you lately how marvellous you are?
Yay, Steg! You have helped splendidly with the broadening of my musical tastebuds.
I have, for the last year or two, been trying to persuade my younger son to take me to a rock festival. He is strangely reluctant. It's not that I want to share his tent or anything...
And darling Steg, thank you xx
I guessed there'd be a non-flippant answer z, now I think I understand where you're coming from.
Hard drugs in moderation can actually be quite fun, but they're also dangerous. Also, it is possible I think to have illicit sex with one's husband, fwiw.
But anyway. I see you're looking for vicious and irresponsible so...
I want to suggest some sort of extreme/violent sport or game. a) archery, b) bungee-jumping (or boxing), c) grand theft auto. And so on.
I'd also like to throw out quad-biking, skate-boarding, wake-boarding, free-running, tank-balling, and battle-re-enactment. You will hardly notice your hip when you've broken your ankle, eh?
Finally, I highly recommend trampolining. Really lifts the spirits and it burns calories too.
In a way though, anything can be irresponsible if you do it when you should be doing something else. And I think vicious is in the attitude - even flower-arranging or cake decorating can be vicious if you do it right...
I concur with Dan de Lion's closing comments. Cycling can be especially vicious. You've been to London, you must have seen them...
I decided some time ago that, as we only have one chance on this earth, I really ought to make the most of it - but so far I can't really say I've managed to throw over the traces and take up anything that might be described as a vice - except this blogging lark.
1. Illicit sex with the Sage, for sure. Wherever and whenever- that's why you were waiting for the kids to move out, right? Ooh! What about out in the yard?
2. Peeing with the door open.
3. Drinking milk straight from the carton.
Of course I am also on board with the rock and roll, but I am biased.
Yeah- I'm not really good at this, either. I do swear like a sailor, but I don't think that counts anymore. If you think of anything, let me know.
You could try on the mantle of the virtuous groupie. You get to dress up, travel to gigs, dance (or tap foot depending on the genre) like a crazy lady, wave at the band and go home.
Dandelion, I should have said vicious, irresponsible and lazy. I'm supposed to be enjoying this, remember?
Dave, good point. Blogging is certainly a vice.
Julie, those are vices? *cough* I thought they were normal.
Arabella, good idea. I suspect I wouldn't enjoy sleeping in a tent any more.
Oh, it has to be the rock and roll, baby. Go to some gigs!
It was only the other day, Mike, that you observed that your young self was one of the few over-23s in the room. How will I feel?
However, I think you are right. It is quite the most peculiar thing I could do, and therefore must be the right one. I shall have to do some research. If you hear of anything unsuitable, do let me know.
It depends on the demographic of the gig, z. That particular gig was a very young and fashionable guitar band, but there are plenty of more age-diverse attractions on offer. Indeed, one of my regular gigging companions is a lady of similar years to yourself, who stayed away from live music for many years for similar reasons.
Incidentally, as a formerly enthusiastic consumer of dubious substances (I had one damned good mid-life crisis during the 1990s), my considered opinion is that they just don't suit the older mindset and physiology. In other words: you wouldn't enjoy them, and they'd provide more pain than pleasure. (Don't you hate people who sanctimoniously pull up the drawbridge behind them, on their way out of the palace of excess?)
Ooh, I know... thinking of the sin of "pride", what about becoming a fully fledged Official Consort of Gentlemen Who Understand Colours? (I'm trying to avoid using the expression "Fag Hag".) This would afford all manner of louche privileges.
Mike, some years ago, my daughter gave me her well-considered opinion that drugs and alcohol are better not combined, and that sealed my fate. Although it will always be a regret that I will never taste a magic mushroom, it's not a route I'll venture down. If I didn't when young - for much the same reasons that I didn't smoke tobacco, and despite going to parties where everyone else did- I'm not going to now.
The only thing that would really embarrass me, of course, would be being caught bobbing like a meerkat. It suits some people though.
I read Tales of the City enough decades ago to be delighted at being described as a fag hag. That is a splendid suggestion.
I think you should take up pole dancing.
Also you could have your belly button or eyebrow or, dare I say it, nipples pierced or you could get a tattoo, all things my kids wanted as teenagers, but didn't get.
The Sage would not be pleased. I would not care to incur his disappointment.
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