Friday, 10 October 2008

Day 10 - On bowling and youth

Guess how I spent my Friday afternoon?

I could have spent it at work, but instead, from about 1:30, I spent it playing lawn bowls. I was in the sun with a bunch of 20 year olds dressed as fairies and I loved it! I wasn't so sure I would, but in the end, I did.

It was the birthday party of the Indigenous girl I work with, and supervise, and she'd taken the day off for this important event - turning 20 - and invited me to go along. We had a huge week, so crazily busy, and so our boss was happy to let us both go.

If I wasn't so terribly fond of her, I'd have been freaking out about such an event but really, what could go wrong? I'd show up, we'd all have a few drinks alongside the old blokes who take their lawn bowls seriously, and have a laugh about our lack of skill. 

And that's exactly what happened. 

Sadly, I have no photographic evidence because I left my camera at home. But the girls showed up in white sun dresses, glittery things glued to their faces and pink fairy wings on their backs. I, too, had some fairy wings. If you're on Facebook you may see photos from others show up when they tag me in the next day or so. There were cameras galore there and the birthday girl vowed to shame me when she puts the photos up before too long.

What I learned today was that I don't really have to be afraid of 20 year olds. I have been before now, because I don't know many and I wonder what I could have to talk to them about. It's a bit like when I met Donna's 15 year old daughter last week. I thought she was lovely but felt slightly out of my depth. Little kids I can manage, but once they're older, I think there must be an enormous gap between us that can't be crossed. That probably has a lot to do with not having been a particularly cool or comfortable teenager. I didn't get them then, and I don't really get them now.

Even though I work with the birthday girl every day and we talk all day about everything under the sun, en masse, I thought they must be scary as all hell.  They're so young and I do remember being their age and knowing women my age and thinking they just seemed ancient, but from this side of the fence, even though I do feel remarkably older than them, I think I coped ok. 

When it comes down to it, if you're hanging around in the sun wearing fairy wings and drinking beer, all those boundaries can be broken down and we could just laugh about how stupid we all looked trying to play lawn bowls half tanked.

Thankfully, RoseRed had suggested beforehand that perhaps, on this occasion, taking out my knitting might not be appropriate. I think she was right. There was no moment today that felt right. 

I had to leave to go and meet another friend, and they all said I should come back later for karaoke. I said maybe, but meant no. We all have our limits.