The Longing for the Victorian Frankie and Friday


Here’s the story of birthdays, humiliation, and plates.

Am I a misery? It is really so much to want to live in the era of the mighty Victorians? I mean, sure, they had problems, but it was a respectable society full of people you like. People who said hello. People who were friendly. People who knew your name. It was like Cheers. There was logic and order, everybody had their place. Admittedly, a ‘woman’s place’ wasn’t very fair and I don’t agree with that, obviously, but everything else was tip-top. Take a look at a place such as Frankie & Benny’s or T.G.I. Friday’s. In Victorian times, you’d have had a nice quiet meal with people you like. Now, you have a noisy meal with your family who you started the evening liking but ended hating after the entire staff got together for a jolly old time song and dance. It’s utterly humiliating. But if you’re alive today and you don’t like all that stuff, you are labelled a misery. Am I one? Or do I have a point? I’m not sure. Every point I’ve made before now has been a tad crap. I’m starting to doubt my point making abilities, if I’m being honest. Hmm.

I mean no offence to Frankie or Friday, they’re brilliant establishments, wonderfully old fashioned, something I like and thought I’d mention now since I clearly haven’t gotten that message across yet. The staff are very friendly, for the most part. Except they do engage in the juvenile cheering when a plate gets smashed, something I feel the poor waitress doesn’t deserve and secondly, is incredibly stupid. You don’t encounter that in everyday life, do you? “Your cheque has bounced!” “YEA!” “You’re wang is hanging out because your fly is undone – I bet it’s been like that since you left home for work!” “YEA!” “Hey honey, guess what? I’ve been sleeping with the milkman!” “YEA! Hang on – what?” Just behave. It’s not funny.

Where’s the order? We’re not in Greece. We’re gonna descend into anarchy if we’re not careful. What kind of attitude is this for children who witness it? They’re like sponges. I bet you, I bet you, there have been many children who’ve went home from some establishment and started smashing plates. “YEA!” “OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” “SMASHY, SMASHY!” “ARRGH! SWEETHEART, PUT THE FRIGGIN’ PLATES DOWN!” “YEA! MORE, MORE, MORE – SMASH, SMASH, SMASH!” “Oh no, my child, my poor child – he’s gone insane! He’s mad he is, mad as a traffic warden!” And before you know it, our asylums are full of children. And then, and then, it’s gonna – it’s gonna be like Children of Men. With an ageing population, and before you know it, society starts to collapse, and IT’S THE END OF EVERYTHING! STOP FRIGGIN’ CHEERING! DO YOU WANT TO KILL US ALL! BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE WE’RE HEADED!

We didn’t have these problems in the days of yore. People didn’t drop plates, only the Greeks, and we just presumed they were mad. And now they’re broke, so maybe we were right. But most of all, no establishment got the entire staff to come out and sing to us. To children and adults alike. I understand it’s well intentioned, and every single time they put on a show with a smile in their eyes and a gleam in their hearts. They always try their hardest, and I respect them for that. But it’s pathetic.

The UK has become a very liberal country. People these days, the vast majority, like a song and dance. Like a party. Are freethinking and open-minded. Outgoing and larger than life. It’s a change in attitude that has finally enabled this country to start injecting some equality into life. This revolution of thought has swept over the country like a blanket of loveliness. It’s a hippy-esque belief that is a million times better than where we were. It’s fantastic and I support this feel-good vibe. But it’s a complete turnaround. It’s flowed into every aspect of life like blood through veins. If you are not these things, you are a miser. It’s black and white. It’s what people keep calling me.

I’m very proud of the world we’re creating. It’s a good attitude we have. What I don’t like, is the lack of distinction between the support I have given to this world, and the involvement I’m being forced into.

It’s not just a little song and dance. It’s a small part of the wider culture of the current UK. Get involved. Join the dance. Live the party. Be outgoing and larger than life. When, in the days of yore, this was a minority opinion. And now it’s a majority opinion, and yes, it’s enabled us to get to a good place, but if you aren’t these very liberal things, you are called a miser. I always hear it. ‘Why are you the only one who doesn’t want to sing, dance, be outgoing, love life and be happy like everybody else?’ Nobody used to think like this. How I think wouldn’t have been an issue long ago. But now, now, it’s an offence. People think it’s a joke, that we are being miserable. But in actual fact, we are the ones who are correct.

I am very shy. It’s a disease that I will have no choice but to live with for the rest of my life. I can’t form relationships with women, friends and most of my family, and I never will be able to. It hurts me deeply that I can do nothing to show them who I really am. I constantly sweat in public. I find it very frightening being among people. I thrive on being alone in a quiet corner and being left to read a book. I fully support the air of wonderfulness that has enveloped our country, but it makes me sad because it’s not me, not my personality, that I am being made to feel very small and of a dying breed that has no place anymore. This makes me sad. I’m incapable of functioning properly in society and now that society is chastising me. You see? It’s not just about being able to sit down at a bloody restaurant without being humiliated by those we love who argue we shouldn’t be like that, it’s about the negative side of the positive culture we are arriving at. That I am the one that is wrong. And the worst part is, there’s nothing I can do. The future of the millions like me is rather depressing. ‘We shouldn’t be like this, not nowadays’, says our current culture. It’s a fact of life. Hmm, not in my world it isn’t.

I am sticking up a virtual middle finger to anyone who will dare to call me a miser. I’d like my Victorian world back, but it’s gone. I can accept that. I am as supportive of our new liberal country as the next guy. But I will not, for one second, be dragged into that world. My personality does not fit this world, as is the case for many people for their many worlds. But never, ever, change who you are. It brings a tear to my eye that I am constantly being reminded of how much of a miserable pathetic drab grey useless lump of excrement I am. But I just don’t care anymore. My birthday is coming up in two weeks. Last year, I was humiliated. Mother said, “We’ll go for a nice, quiet meal.” Of course she was lying. Singing and dancing. The year before, the same, the same the year before, the year before and so on. But I can’t do that anymore. I’m tired of it, I’m fed up. You may call me miserable, but I am very happy. What makes me miserable is people calling me miserable. And I’m sorry if I’m not the person this brave new world wants me to be. No, you know what, I’m not sorry. Deal with it or shut up.

What type of person am I? Of Italian descent. So, sexy. He, he. Happy. Try to do the right thing. Still haven’t forgiven the shed roof for collapsing underneath me. Sodding thing. Alone. Bit lost. I have many very holy socks. Roman Catholic and proud. I have a great hair band. Makes me look like the missing member of Van Halen. I love a good cup of Yorkshire Tea. I cried when my goldfish died. Five years ago. Ahem. And I’m 24 in two weeks. I’m now a very old man. Who has great hair. Not that I’m bragging. Ladies…

The world is very funny place. With very funny people. And when I meet some, I’ll let you know.

It’s also my father’s birthday this week. I think he’s 64 or 65. And I’ve just heard, right this second, that we are going to… Frankie & Benny’s.

Oh, crap a doodle…

Irish novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist, Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963), once said, “He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
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Hark Around the Words
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