They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
Extract from ‘This Be the Verse’ by Philip Larkin.
Wouldn’t it be nice to blame everything on your parents? “Nature or nurture, it’s your fault!” you might scream when they tell you off.
What happens, though, when you acknowledge a fault in yourself, a trait that neither parent exhibits nor condones? So it is with my profligacy. Apparently I spend more than both parents put together on going out, clothes and, indeed, anything else you might care to mention. Now that is embarrassing…
Even with a detailed plan showing how I’ll repay the loan, the Angels aren’t happy. Every day I get a taser-like prod, reminding me of where I’m going wrong.
We haven’t bought a new car. We don’t live in an expensive area of London. We don’t go out. We don’t buy new clothes. We never put the heating on. Oh, and just to really ram the point home, ‘we paid for your education’, you ungrateful little madam!
Well, bully for them. Maybe when I’m dressed in rags, driving an old banger back to my flat in Peckham, where I’ll freeze to death sitting there alone, doing bugger all, I’ll be a smug martyr. Until then, I’ll focus on having a life, while living within my means, and saving up to pay them back.
Once the debt’s repaid, I might just have to celebrate by driving my brand new car to a shop in one of the most expensive areas of London, where I’ll buy a bottle of champagne to take back to my toasty warm house. There I’ll sit with all of my beautiful, lovely, brilliant friends, wearing ALL the clothes I own, enjoying myself, having fun, and praising the good Lord that I’ve not (so far) made the mistake of having a materialistic, money-sapping child. Amen to that.