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Teenager

13/01/2017

otttoottto-1ottto-2ottto-3

Another despatch from the school holiday trenches… I totally sympathise with Otto, of course. I went through an equally self-conscious phase. Not only were my parents a huge embarrassment, I was also supremely uncomfortable in my body and felt like everyone was looking at how mistakenly I was put together. The difference, of course, was that I grew up pre-internet and gaming. I even grew up without a TV, although I used to hang out at my neighbour’s to watch all the shows I was missing. The worlds inside games are so very compelling and so much more dramatic than our suburban surroundings. And in case you’re wondering, that Team Fortress 2 he’s playing. God they’re good at perspective drawing in those games!

Of course, I do have this regret – why does he not want to read books? I read him so many when he was young, and his bookshelf is stuffed. Why does he not want to go skateboarding, draw comics or hang out with his friends in real life? I am reminded of something my mother used to say – how she imagined, when she had a son, that he would wear waistcoats and play the violin. My brother never wanted to play the violin. And our children don’t always turn out the way we imagine they might.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 13/01/2017 10:51 am

    Love the blue purple palette Sarah – this is genius, you catch it is so it pokes you as you read and the next thing I am remembering my neighbour who promised I could watch TV if she had a ride on my bike (no TV either) but after a very long ride she ran inside and slammed the door! Love the lying at the top of the hill refusing to look! A little act of defiance. I loved this comic!

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/01/2017 9:07 pm

      What a cow! How could she? My neighbour was more obliging, but I only ever got to watch after school stuff with her, not the exciting evening stuff. Actually, come to think of it, we watched hours of taped McGivor and A Team shows!

  2. 13/01/2017 11:08 am

    Great post – timelessly true!and funny! Oh those sideways looks. Next stop on the ‘descent through adolescent hell’ train – Veganism

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/01/2017 9:07 pm

      Haha – I will look out for it!

  3. exkaroriboy permalink
    13/01/2017 5:45 pm

    Sarah, particularly loved this one. No, they don’t turn out as we imagined and hoped they would – part of the creative mind of the universe showing its strength, I say…

    Arohanui

    Ian

    PS Did you ignore my order to you for a copy of M and Me because it was a darn nuisance? I thought you might be able to flog one to me at an improved return to yourself. Wrong? I had a good browse in it at Paradox Books, Devonport, and my lust for possession is rampant! Ian

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/01/2017 6:36 pm

      Hi Ian, it’s actually better for me if you do buy it at a bookshop because then bookshops think it’s worth getting! But I can also order one from the publisher, sign it and then forward it on… let me know – sorry for not getting back to you! I have been a bit disaorganised lately.

  4. Amanda permalink
    13/01/2017 10:46 pm

    Good god this is perfect. I’m taking note because I’m expect I’ll be experiencing something similar in about 5 years time.

  5. 15/01/2017 9:12 am

    Seems you’ve got the understanding and sensitivity to get where he’s at. I really how you’ve depicted something so insightful.

    My dad used to say to me raising kids is like throwing a bucket of water, you might have a direction in mind but they have their own path and gravity.

  6. Caroline permalink
    15/01/2017 1:35 pm

    You’ve nailed it. My son in no way resembles my dreams for him…

    And you raised the neglected issue of growing up without tv! I spent half my life at my kind neighbours’ house – I especially remember going there one evening a week to watch Alias Smith and Jones (a 1970s cowboy series). I was in love with both the cowboys.

  7. 28/01/2017 4:36 pm

    I love this! Relating hard.

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