Live and Let Dye…..or The Trials of Teenage Boys and their Love Lives

I was talking about dyeing hair the other week with one of my Twitter friends, and it reminded me of the time one of my eldest son’s girlfriend decided to dye her hair purple  in my bathroom.

Now, my children have always gone in for fairly long-term “relationships” from early ages. K, my daughter, went out with a boy from the age of 14-16. Then went on to meet the lad who was to become her husband.

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Master Chef met the “love of his life” at the tender age of 15 and was with her until she cruelly dumped him the morning after he had lavished her with 18th birthday presents. Apart one further brief foray into the world of romance ( you’ll see later) he has remained resolutely single….despite the best efforts of my friend’s daughter!

Which just leaves  A, the middle son. Now A is a Aquarian day dreamer and idealist, and boy did he wear his heart on his sleeve during his formative years during which time we saw a steady stream of young ladies wander through the house. Some stayed for quite a long time, some for a couple of months, some a couple  of weeks, and  a few  a couple of hours!

The first one to make an impression was K. A petite blonde with a mean line in delicious puddings!! She often came to Sunday lunch armed with a wonderful creamy, fat inducing creation. K was on the scene for about 15 months until she was caught sidling up to the captain of the under 16’s Rugby captain. We didn’t see her after that.

images (24)But to this day I still use the Strawberry Cheesecake recipe she gave me (Isn’t it supposed to be the other way round??)

Oh well, you all know I was never a domestic goddess.

Anyway poor A was heartbroken. He mopped about the house, slammed doors, couldn’t eat, couldn’t do homework for what seemed like an eternity, but was in fact about 4 days until he was taken to a local club by his friends to cheer him up. By the next morning, miraculously, A was in love again.

Can’t remember her name, but suffice to say she was a leggy blonde with a piercing giggle! she didn’t  stay long enough to be invited for Sunday lunch but still managed to cause A considerable heartache. He, of course, was always the innocent party in these matters.

By now he was a musician of some note…well he was lead singer and played guitar in a local band that were doing pretty well in the area, and as he was now almost 6′ and, what he liked to call, slim ( I called it his emaciated look) It was during this time that my eye make up and dark coloured nail varnish started to disappear!!

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There was always a gaggle of girls hanging around hoping to catch a glimpse of him.

The next one who appeared to catch his attention was C, a girl from his tutor group at school.  A lovely, smiley girl with long dark hair, an infectious laugh, and love of animals. C was on the scene for over 2 years , and an almost permanent fixture in our house. She was very easy to get on with and even had one of our kittens..which endeared her to Master Chef. In fact, when K and G got married there were photos of A and C than the Bride and Groom!  They were inseparable and most people thought they were another match made in heaven.

There was a small blip when C somehow persuaded A to buy her some mice, which I discovered were living in his bedroom, she wasn’t allowed to have them at home.  I was less than ecstatic, particularly when I discovered that they weren’t 2 male mice and had managed to produce about 15 babies!!!

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These were quickly dispatched to the pet shop where they had come from!! I could smell mice in that bedroom for years afterwards

Unfortunately, the big romance all fell apart as they were taking their GCSEs  and they were both heartbroken. To this day, no one really knows what happened… perhaps the stress of exams…..but they both held a torch for each other for quite some time afterwards. They even ended up living in London at the same time. I have remained good friends with C, and last Christmas she brought her boyfriend to meet me. He joked he had never had to meet the approval of his girlfriend’s ex’s mother before! They are now happily engaged, and the proud parents of a gorgeous little girl, and I still see her regularly for a chat.

After C there was a plethora of  girls ringing the door bell and appearing, looking a little sheepish, in the mornings. Which was, at time,s embarrassing for both them and us.

A couple turned out to stay slightly longer than some. One, a painfully shy girl, who was a vegetarian but hardly ever seemed to eat anything, despite me making her meals when she stayed. she disappeared as mysteriously as she had appeared, though I still saw her around, and she always inquired after everyone. The last time I saw her she had just completed a Journalism course in Cornwall and was heading to Norway to live.

She replaced by a 6th form class mate of hers! Now  J was a lovely girl, very intelligent but with little common sense and incredibly gullible. I remember one Sunday when she came to lunch. I’d not made any custard to go with pud, and had sent someone to the supermarket to get some of their own. J was raving over this custard, and asked if I had made it myself….I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself…..I told I had, but that often people felt intimidated by my cooking skills, so I use to buy supermarket custard, empty the container and then pour mine in there. As the whole table dissolved in laughter (I’m afraid my children all share my warped sense of humour) J fell for it hook, line, and sinker. And promptly went home and told her mum!!

I’m afraid I wasn’t terribly popular with her parents after a conversation I had with J, on one of the many nights she was left with me while A went off to band practice. J was a brilliant artist and really wanted to be an architect but her parents wanted her to go to Cambridge and study English. She had been offered a conditional place there but was still not sure. I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wanted to do, not what her parents wanted her to do. This resulted in her applying and being accepted at Bath. She is now in her final year and very happy….and, yes, I do see her and we are friendly. A thinks its hilarious that his ex’s run across the road to speak to me when they see me!!

And so we finally meet “hair dye” girl. L was considerably younger than A, and in fact had been going out with master chef. She was a bit of a rebel without a cause, which was a shame as she was a very clever and artistically talented girl, but Master chef seemed happy. He had passed his driving test and he would often drive her home from school to save her waiting for the bus. We didn’t know much about her until A rang me at work one day to inform me that “his baby brother had a girl in his bedroom”. We were all delighted! and he seemed happy again.

However a few weeks later, he had the obligatory 17 yr old’s car crash, writing off his car but luckily escaping with little injury. suddenly she didn’t seem so interested in him and the next thing we knew she was with A! She later told me she only went out with master Chef to get to A!!

It caused, as you may imagine, a real upset and rift between the boys, and they didn’t truly get over it until A came back from London.

Anyway  the day after L’s 16th birthday she practically moved in with A… much to my chagrin.( By this time we had made A his own little den..he had left home and returned as he couldn’t afford the rent, and neither could I anymore!)

L seemed to think that she could help herself to anything she fancied in the house, from food to my make up and bath stuff

I’d often come back from work to find her drying her hair with my drier and using my hair products. Then they’d just be dropped for me to put away.I had a word with A and asked him to speak to her about it but he said I was being “picky” and didn’t like her (true but wasn’t the point in question)

I did try hard to “bond” with her, taking her out for milk shakes and trying to engage her in conversation when she was left with me while A was at his beloved band practice. It wasn’t easy, she had a practically non existent relationship with her mother and obviously tarred me with the same brush. I said to A that she had to go back home to her father but he said she couldn’t as they had just had a terrible row and it was only temporary until she also was planning to go to college in Cornwall.  Things were very tense and we were at a complete stand-off……….

Then came  “TOWELGATE”…….

I had recently bought some lovely new cream bath towels  as had some friends coming to stay for the weekend

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I came home from work early one day and went upstairs to the bathroom to do something, as I entered I was greeted with a scene straight out of Psycho, only  PURPLE!!

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There was purple all over the bath, up the walls…..and all over my beautiful new cream bath towel!!

I cried!

A denied it was anything to do with either him or L but seeing as I couldn’t see anyone else with purple hair I was less than inclined to believe him.

L was packed off home to her father almost instantly. There was never any apology or offer to help clean the bathroom or replace the towels. They split up shortly after that, something to do with the fact she found some other poor mug to take her in,

Needless to say we did not remain friends, and the only thing I do know is that she never did go to Cornwall to pursue her dream.

Well after that A met his current girlfriend and the rest, as they say, is history

And I have a lovely set of cream bath towels  hidden away at the back of the airing cupboard!

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