The singing in the car thing: stop it
JOe lawreNce is 17 and in his final year of a-levels. He lives with his parents Julia, a writer, and John, a producer, and sister lois, 20, in east Finchley, london.
1 I Don’T find it annoying that you’re utterly clueless when it comes to downloading a film onto the TV or configuring a new mobile phone, it’s the fact you won’t even try to learn. You’re not stupid, but you deliberately act like you are just so I will do it for you. gushing ‘what a clever lad’ I am doesn’t make it any better. 2When
you’re in ‘ hostess mode’ you’re cringey. Your accent changes, your voice goes up in pitch and you find everything your friends say really funny, even when it’s not. 3IT’S
really annoying how you act like certain parts of the house and certain bits of furniture are yours. I don’t like being ordered off ‘your’ sofa like a dog. 4You
spend a fortune on stuff for you, but we’re always on a tight budget when you take me shopping. I know how much those goose-down, egyptian cotton pillows on your bed cost. But you say the lumpy old foam ones on my bed are ‘absolutely fine’. 5Your
homemade fish pie and liver and bacon casserole are revolting. I’m not saying it to be annoying, I really don’t like them. And your pleas to ‘just try a little bit’ like I’m some stroppy toddler really gets on my wick. 6You’re
not the only one who works hard and who gets tired. A-levels are hard, and it’s really patronising when you sneer ‘tough day?’ when I finish college at 3pm. 7WhY
do both you and Dad insist on tagging along when I’m going into town? It’s (almost) acceptable to be seen on the Tube with one parent, but with both is plain embarrassing.
singing in the car thing. Stop it. It sounds like you stepped on the cat. 9When
my friends laugh at your jokes most of the time they’re just humouring you. It’s really embarrassing when you try and join in the banter. My friends’ parents do it to me when I go round theirs, so I know what I’m talking about. 10 LookIng over at my phone or laptop and getting really suspicious when I won’t let you read stuff. It’s not dodgy; it’s private.
I AcTuALLY thought Joe liked helping out his poor old Luddite mum with technology. But ok, point taken, I promise to pay attention next time you load up a film for me.
But I’m sorry, my fish pie is to die for. I am not taking culinary criticism from someone who considers a meal to be a Pot noodle with a boiled egg.
And the singing? I’ll do my best. But I can’t promise.
interviews by Julia lawrence and Helen carroll.