Every morning I pass Elvis. Not the real one of course (he’d be a little worse for the wear by now), but someone who looks as near as. Dyed black hair towering in a gravity defying quiff, starched denim shirt straining to hold together across his comfortable tum and tucked into a rhinestone belt, rhinestone adorned boots.
Elvis walks his Cairn Terrier, regular as clock work, lovingly talking to it and keeping it close to his side if a car passes.
At first sightings I was slightly bemused by the ageing rock star impersonator walking the field in his finery, but then I realised there was a big point I was missing.
‘Elvis’ doesn’t care a jot what others think, he’s happy in his own skin. Does it matter that music’s moved on ? He’s happy with his idol, something he knows and loves.
Conform? Why should he? He polishes his boots with pride and walks on regardless, same outfit, same route, same time each morning and evening.
Meandering school kids pass Elvis and snigger. Elvis continues on his way oblivious, or unconcerned, his thoughts wrapped up in his beloved pet and his morning walk. I’m not close enough to hear if he hums, but if he does I’m sure it’d be the same tune he’s hummed for the last 30 years, and of course one of the King’s. What does society think about middle aged men dressed as their dead idols? He really, really doesn’t care.
As single parents we attract social comment from so many areas, from politicians, the media or simply people who feel qualified to judge us for the lives we find outselves in, whether by accident or design. Our family set-ups prevent us from conforming to the image of the ideal family and we’re constantly criticised, or in places even ostracised for this. Do we care…..or should we take a tip from Elvis, hold our quiff high and simply smile and carry on regardless.
If only we could bottle this!