Decisions, Decisions…

Or, Brobdingnag or Lilliput?

This piece is written with my psychotherapy hat on. Or psychotherapy head on, because I have yet to come across sentient clothes. It reflects many experiences I’ve witnessed, heard or been a part of. (Grammar Nazis, I defy your stifling behests!)

When I was four, I decided I couldn’t draw. It was a wet Sunday after lunch. Dad was having a kip so we had to be quiet. Mum was ironing (hankies! socks! But that’s another story). My sister said, ‘Mum, I’m bored. What can I do?’ Mum said, ‘Draw something.’ ‘What shall we draw?’ I cried, in the voice of a 1950s girl in white ankle socks, because I didn’t want to miss out. ‘A house,’ said Mum. ‘You can both draw me a nice house.’

So we did. Mine looked like a little square with a wonky roof and scribbles of smoke coming out of the chimney. Its windows were littler squares in the corners, with hair-bow curtains. Janet’s was a Disney castle.

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Who Are You?


Did you speak to your head teacher the same way you spoke to your Mum?

Of course not. You adapted, instantaneously, without a conscious thought.  ‘Yes, sir,’ one shoe polished on the back of the other sock before daring to enter The Presence. Or, if you were the Rebel, you’d probably have planned your tactics in advance: how to get away with what you want, purposely flouting Authority’s  expectations while hopefully keeping your safety paramount. A neat trick – so long as you instinctively knew precisely what expectations in posture, facial expression, eye contact, tone of voice the head or the mother holds. Even Rebels have to know how to rebel.

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