Friday, April 21, 2006

A LOT OF PRIDE AND A BIT OF PREJUDICE

Story contd.

Ginny and I travelled home together taking the bus to Manchester from outside the hospital and crossing the city on foot to Moseley Street Bus Station. (Surely it wasn’t named after Oswald?) We discussed what I should wear for the Ball. I thought I would probably have to make do with the white lace inherited from Maddie as I had to find the fare to Oxbridge. Ginny offered to lend me one of hers – she had already borrowed my bridesmaid’s dress – and promised to bring it the next day when we returned to hospital.

Maddie and Paul had been visiting for a few days, so Mum and Dad knew about the invitation and I could see from their faces that something was up. Finally Dad said.

‘Pat we don’t want you go.’

I just could not believe it. After some heated argument and a few tears it transpired that Paul had told my father that Commem Balls were riotous affairs that went on all night and ended up with orgies on the river. Paul was very persuasive – he had already convinced my parents that Maddie should marry him before she had finished college and aged just nineteen. I’m sure he described the Ball more succinctly than that but the gist is there.

When I had calmed down I pointed out that I had been living away from home for almost two years and could have got up to all sorts of mischief for all they knew, but that I hadn’t. Also I was now eighteen, the age that Mum got married and a year younger than Maddie when she got married. All to no avail.

I had always had a very loving, affectionate relationship with my parents – as had Evan and Maddie. I don’t remember them ever hitting me – although it was the norm in those days. My worst punishment was to be sent to bed early. But the one thing I couldn’t bear was my father’s disapproval. We had a special relationship - it was different with Mum. So I had to accept that – unlike Cinders – I shall NOT go to the Ball.

I don’t know which upset me more: the fact that, apparently Dad didn’t trust me or that he had been swayed by a b….y Southerner. There’s the prejudice!
When I told Ginny the next day she was both incredulous and sympathetic. I had to write and tell MTL that unfortunately I now had to refuse his invitation.

I had a letter form Sarah suggesting we should spend our summer holiday together and how did I fancy Scotland. This was a welcome distraction and we arranged to meet to discuss plans. Out of the blue I had a letter from Sean Malloy, Paul’s best man who was at the same college as Paul, inviting me to his Commemoration Ball. When I got over the shock I was angry to discover that this was acceptable to my parents – presumably because he was a friend of Paul’s. Maybe I was prejudiced but this seemed blatant hypocrisy. Pride made me spurn the invitation in spite of MTL pointing out that if I went down at least we would see each other.

A sorry tale and I admit I behaved like a spoilt brat but, please fathers: if you are lucky enough to have a daughter, at least consider trusting her.

12 comments:

FOUR DINNERS said...

I do trust her. It's the boys I don't.

Jacqui's current beau said "Why does your dad keep growling at me?"

"He doesn't"

"He does. Every time you're not looking"

Me? As if I would....

AndrewM said...

It's not a question of trust - it's just what Dads do.

fjl said...

Excellent title xx

R. Sherman said...

I agree with F.D. The official daughter is fine. It's the louts who call the house at all hours who are the problem.

Cheers.

mreddie said...

As a Dad of two daughters - both now married - I agree that it was the guys they went out with that I didn't trust. Could that come from the things I did as a young man? ec

Ivan the Terrible said...

Never! NEVER! My daughter is MINE! And also irredeemably wicked, like all fickle females. I can see it in her cunning little two-year-old eyes...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yes, you are right, Pat. Too bad, Dad bad.

PI said...

Hoss: praise be!

Theblonde said...

Now that Gadgeteen is off to secondary school on his own by bus and going off into town with mates for the cinema or something, I can only talk to him about possible dilemmas he might find himself in. The rest is up to him.

At sixteen I left home and got a job because I didn't want the control that you talk about, my dad was not happy about this at the time but didn't have a choice, and for as long as he lives, his approval will mean a lot to me, so I can relate to what you said.

PI said...

theblonde: you understand from whence I come.
After this I did become more circumspect about how much I told him - which was a bore as we were both alike - very open.

Guyana-Gyal said...

My dad didn't trust the boys. I grew up very, very sheltered. I could only go out with best friend and it used to feel like the end of the world when my parents said no, I couldn't go out. I managed to survive haha

PI said...

GG: did you read the comments above?
Dads eh!