because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Growing Pains.

"So let me get this straight," S said to me. "You are applying for a job in Italy?"
I grinned proudly. "Yes".
"To live with Italians?"
"And work with Italians?"
"But you don't speak Italian?"
"... No". I bowed my head in mock-shame and my housemate laughed.
"That is so typically you," she told me. "No plan, just fingers crossed".

If I didn't suffer from high self esteem I may have been upset by that. I seem to be a constant source of amusement to my housemates, who take my custard experiments (sweet scrambled eggs), dress sense ("Bloody hell! You look like Felicity Kendal on speed!) and student status (I sleep a lot) all in good nature, sprinkled with only a hint of sarcasm and a barely visible solemn shake of the head as I tuck into my veggie burger whilst they eat Spaghetti Puttanesca or similar.

"You are so bloody weird that you're a veggie who doesn't even eat vegetables!" is a common derisment.

I am also a student who lives in a house with a hot tub, but let's not get into that.

I do have a theory, though. I reckon there are two types of people in this world: Those that get their five-a-day, and those who sometimes cannot even manage to catch the number four bus on time. I suspect I might fall into the latter category, with any doubt being removed by a quick glance down to the white stain on my jumper where I spilled my lunch. On reflection, actually, the only thing I managed to say to S yesterday was as I ran down the stairs and out of the door shouting wildly something about, 'Guess which gal overslept and is runnnnnning......' She probably didn't hear the rest.

Similarly, a few days before that they had my burst through the door to grab The Boyfriend's wallet. "I thought you were paying for supper?" B said to me. "I am," I replied to him. "But The Boyfriend needs to lend me fifty quid first".

You really do have to be a grown-up to eat five whole portions of fruit and veg everyday, don't you? And to get up before 9 am on a weekday (okay, okay... noon). And to have a pad by the telephone for messages.

You have to be a grown up for things like houseplants and a filing system and fresh bread and extra loo roll under the sink and to have the nerve to tell the man at Starbucks that he hasn't made your tall non-fat, soy, vanilla latte with no froth hot enough. I don't even like coffee.

There are some things that make me feel like a grown-up. At the 'pick n mix' counter in the cinema I often feel like a grown up purely because there is no longer anybody looking over my shoulder saying, "I think that is enough, don't you?" My last purchase at the cinema came to £8.38 when it was put on the scales and do you know what? I didn't care. Obviously the fact that I threw up when I got home is beside the point.

If I manage to catch the bus, I feel like a grown up when I offer my seat to somebody old or with a pram. A sense of nobility makes me sit a little taller, and I love knowing that because of my altruism I am better than everybody else.

That same sense of superiority also commeth over me when I wash my bed linen- well, that one time I did, anyway. Remembering to put on a wash before having to resort to cotton Marks and Spencer granny pants is always an achievement, as is knowing it is time to go to bed. That feeling of relief when you know your 02 bill is due to come out your overdraft and you've actually got the cash to pay it on time this month is almost enough to make one feel like actually becoming a grown-up. But once glance at the dead basil plant on my windowsill is enough to make me change my mind.

I do think growing up is overrated- as is eating all that veg, too.
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