The Tale of the Bieber-haired Youth


Cool-parent nonchalence

A Bieber-haired youth knocked on the door last week, asking if my daughter was in. I gave him my best Kenneth Williams face – specifically, the one one above from Carry on Jack.

“She’s going out,” I replied. “Whom shall I say called?”

Bieber scuttled off on his scooter without answering (sans helmet, I noted – presumably to avoid squashing the coiffe.)

When I turned to go back into the house, my daughter was standing in the shadows of the corridor with that half-mortified, half-excited look of young love. Bieber, she informed me, was in fact called “Dean.” He was – is – her boyfriend.

I tried to affect the cool-parent nonchalance I had been practising for this eventuality, though I admit, I hadn’t expected to have to use it quite yet. Surely sixteen is the threshold for this kind of indecency? They’re ten.

And while they’re not exactly Rene and Renata (having observed them since, with my binoculars, from behind various bushes and playground furniture, they barely acknowledge each other – such is the complexity of young love) it struck me that this is the milestone that many blokes I know dread the most. Dad meets The Prospective Boyfriend is a well-worn comedy trope for a reason.

Mark died B was just three, so the only parenting milestones he bore witness to were of the first steps / ohmygodwhatdidsheeat,noYOUchangethefuckingnappy variety. How would he have coped this this one?

I’ve been mulling this over since. The answer is, I have no idea. My own response has surprised me. I had thought I’d be all Cressida from Viz’s Modern Parents strip, but in fact, I’ve gone more Cressida Dick from the Met – setting up a series of strategic command bases to check what they’re up to next.

Mark approached everything, even the most grotesque of nappies, with a playful, sidelong glance. How would he have approached the Bieber milestone?

Mark and Bea

When Mark met B. Not Bieber.





2 thoughts on “The Tale of the Bieber-haired Youth

  1. Hi – your blog and a few others are my lifeline at the moment. I’m at the moment sat in hospital with my husband while he gets his tummy drained.
    10 weeks ago our world changed forever – he had been ill since Feb, lots of visits to Gp then finally end of May a diagnosis of Cancer of unknown primary which had spread – after a week in hospital we were sent home under the palliative care team and told nothing could be done. He’s lost 6 stone since Christmas and it’s heartbreaking. So here I am – broken hearted and about to join a club no one wants to be apart of. I’ve been told he has a few weeks – how on earth has this happened i feel I’m in a dream.
    Our children 24 and 22 and I all devastated. I really do not think I can get through it the pain is just to much. Thank you for your blog it’s beautifully written and a huge support. It’s so good to read your latest post as I know you haven’t posted in a while. I continue to read and read again whenever I’m at my lowest. Thank you – you help so many people. Amanda xx

    • Hi there Amanda,
      What a heartbreaking message. I really am truly sorry for you all. Thanks for taking the time to write and I can only really say that I am glad that this, and other blogs, help in some small way to let you know you are not alone. I assume you will be joining WAY, or WAY UP (if over 50)? Sending you solidarity and strength over the weeks and months ahead. Lucie x

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