Apparently, Oscar Wilde once said that youth is wasted on the young. (I say ‘apparently’ because I’m not sure I’m quoting him exactly and I can’t really check this right now because my Internet is down and I also figure that this is a blog and if you can’t be sloppy with your fact checking here, where can you, are you with me on this, and also by the time the Internet is back up, I’ll probably be taking a nap, I really shouldn’t have had that extra cup of coffee this morning.)
The other thing that is wasted on the young is holidays. Really, when you come right down to it, what do six year olds need a holiday for? They’re not working a nine-to-five slog. They don’t have to battle it out every morning and every evening on crowded trains. They don’t have to fight for a pay-rise. They don’t have to stress out over a Powerpoint presentation. They don’t have to balance their mortgage repayments, car loans, or deal with maid agencies.
So let’s just admit it. Children don’t need holidays. Because their whole lives are already a holiday.
“That’s a little extreme, isn’t it?” Amanda asked the other day.
“I’m with Jason on this,” Saffy said, her fabulous bosom vibrating with the social injustice of it all. “When you have to deal with a horrible boss whose greatest pleasure in life is to make you redo the audit report for the fifteenth time and then yells at you for spelling his name wrong, then we can talk about holidays!”
Amanda blinked. “You spelt your boss’s name wrong? How is that possible?”
Saffy puffed up. “How was I supposed to know what his name is, let alone that he spells Elvin with two ‘y’s? I only ever call him Mr Tan!”
“Wait a minute, he spells his name E-L-V-Y-Y-N?”
“My point exactly! What is he, an elf from Lord of the Bloody Rings?”
“Speaking of which,” Amanda said, “have you seen Orlando Bloom’s girlfriend, Miranda Kerr, that Victoria’s Secret model? Can you believe that she’s just had a baby?”
“I wish I could walk around all day wearing just a bikini, body glitter and big wings,” Saffy said wistfully.
As I later complained to Karl at lunch, it’s no wonder I seldom initiate a conversation in the little flat I share with Saffy and Amanda. Within thirty seconds, we’re invariably talking about a completely different subject to the one we started out with.
“And within thirty seconds of the second conversation, we’re talking about another topic altogether!” Even in my heightened state of discontent, I could hear a distinct whining note in my voice.
“Calm down,” Karl said, his soothing voice somewhat muffled by the burger he was chewing. “You sound like you need a holiday.”
And that was my point, I said, it’s adults who need holidays. Not kids. Kids, I said, should be sent to school and not be let out till they’re ready for NS.
“Please don’t talk like this in public,” Karl begged.
Meanwhile, Amanda says she’s reading a book called ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ which is, apparently, life-changing.
“It says that we need to make a paradigm shift in our lives,” she reported this morning. “We need to look at life as one long vacation that’s interrupted by work. Isn’t that a fabulous idea?”
Saffy looked up from her cereal. “How?”
“I don’t know. I’m just dipping in and out of it. I have the attention span of a walnut these days. I can’t seem to concentrate for very long on any given topic.”
“You need a holiday!” I said, pleased that we were back on track.
“I need to stop working and just sit under a palm tree on a beach for a year. And I also need to find a boyfriend.”
“None of which you’ll find holed up all day in an office,” I said, not daring to look at my watch to see how many seconds we had left for this topic.
“I can’t remember the last time I went on a holiday,” Saffy said as she stared up at the ceiling. “I’m so tired. Jason is right. It’s so unfair. Kids these days have, what, three months of holidays a year? What do they need three months off for? We need it more. Not to mention, more deserving. I’m telling you, if it wasn’t for adults, there’d be no kids in the first place!”
“You sound just like your mother, Saff,” Amanda said.
“Oh. My. God. Did I tell you what she said to me the other day? I was so angry I nearly reached out to choke her. She said…”
I sighed as I glanced at my watch. Thirty-one seconds.