Childhood punishments have become adult pleasures


Childhood punishments have become adult pleasures

Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan

Do you remember sitting on your bed, having been sent to your room, thinking that your mother or father was brutal and insane? Turns out they were actually a genius.
They were furnishing you with an entire index of adult goals that would, in later life, provide you with true solace.  Because many perfectly reasonable childhood punishments – the ones that felt ruthless and inhumane when you were 12 – have morphed into clear grown-up objectives.
What could be better, on a dark winter’s night, than being clearly told, with no wriggle room for argument, that:
You are not going to that partyNot having to stand in a crowded room with people you don’t know and music too loud and nowhere to sit and – oh, look! – there’s your ex with his new girlfriend who was born in 1987 and God your feet hurt. Damn.
You are not leaving the houseYou don’t have to think about clothes. Or keys. Or taking the car or not taking the car. Or where your phone is and what the weather’s like and will you have to socially interact with people and what if you just want a nap because you’re not sleeping well at the moment and you don’t want to put shoes on ever again or sit up, let alone stand up.
You are banned from the phoneYou can’t be shouted at by your brother or have lengthy discussions about whether your friend should have joined Tinder. You don’t have to find the moral fibre not to check your emails at midnight or try to work out how you pause Instagram stories because they’re just too damn quick to read. Really sad about this.Go to your room and readLie down on your own with no one asking you questions and read. A book. With a story. In silence. Just you and the bed. And the book. Mmm, feeling a bit sleepy now. That’ll teach you!You have to be home by 10pmYou’re at a drinks thing you forced yourself to go to because of a duty/FOMO combo and there’s all that chat about mortgages and investment properties that have nothing to do with you and Christ, you’re tired – sorry, but it’s now 9.30pm and you have to go because you’ve got this curfew. Not your fault or your choice.Your boyfriend has to sleep in the spare roomOh no. You have to sleep in your own bed. With room to stretch your legs out or switch on the light if you feel like it or thrash about a bit. The temperature isn’t volcanic because of that extra body. You can have the window open if you want. No one is breathing loudly or flinging their jerky arms about. How will you cope?Cover yourself upNot allowed to wear that thin, strappy dress that looks like it’s made of tissue and is flatteringly but uncomfortably tight. Have to wear this cosy jumper instead. Sad to no longer be freezing or anxious about flashing your bits when you cross your legs. Nightmare.
You are going to bed earlyYou are not allowed to stay up and worry about death/the weird noise the boiler is making/deadlines/the fact that the car is dying. You have to go to sleep. Shame.
– © The Daily Telegraph

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