Yesterday I surrendered three hours of my life to a chore that I despise: clothes shopping. My daughter needed a winter coat and boots, so we faced down the pavement traffic and oppressive venues of the high street.
In one shop, we walked past a Ramones tshirt and I pointed it out to her, saying “hey how about this?” She turned to glance at it, then rolled her eyes in disgust and said “Oh god, mum. No way.”
She rolled her eyes at it. She rolled her eyes at the Ramones the way I used to roll my eyes at my parents’ Barbra Streisand albums.
I should point out here that she started high school recently, an occasion we celebrated with a viewing of Rock n Roll High School.
Rather than providing a super-cool bonding experience, this merely opened up a new generational gulf between us. I have to face the truth: the problem for her isn’t that she doesn’t like the Ramones, the problem is that I like the Ramones. And I’m not, nor ever will be, nor indeed should be, super-cool as far as my daughter is concerned.
It’s about passing the torch, and doing it gracefully. I hope I can do that, for her sake.
It puts me in mind of the lyrics to Freakwater’s Gravity:
All your beauty will be stolen by a young girl in the night, a thief as quiet as a dark cloud that stole away the moonlight.