Here’s the story of being a big kid, learning to live again, and exposure.
You see, the biggest problem with one’s trousers and underwear falling down in the middle of a winter wonderland, is that a winter wonderland is very white. And human beings really stick out against a canvas of white. Admittedly, I am one of the whitest people you’ll ever meet, but, still, it’s not a great thing to happen to anyone. Luckily, this didn’t happen to me, but I had a couple close shaves, readers. I don’t know why, but, lately, I’ve started to forget to put my belt on, and I really need a belt. I’m quite thin. And I don’t know why, but since 2016 started, I’ve just started forgetting to put my belt on. And I really don’t know why. Nothing has changed. I’m no different and what I do is no different. And I don’t usually notice until I’m at the bus stop, in the middle of a winter wonderland, when I suddenly notice that something isn’t right. And then you remember that you forgot to put on tight underwear. It’s a perfect concoction of maximum embarrassment. You spend the entire day praying your pants don’t fall down and hoping that, even if they do drop, that one’s incredibly loose underwear don’t follow suit. I’ve also forgotten where I’ve put my hairbrush. If you’ve seen it, do let me know…
Snow is a funny thing, isn’t it? Well, not really. Well, I suppose you can make a jolly snowman with it. That would be mildly amusing. For a bit. Maybe. We spend our childhood idolising it, don’t we? Waiting for that first flake in winter so we can get time off school and have some fun with it. And sure, as an adult, I still enjoy waking up and seeing a blanket of white. And a blizzard is just marvellous. But, as an adult, you have to get up at a ridiculous hour and venture to the bus stop where you’ll be waiting for some time for a bus that is inevitably caught in a traffic jam. And that feeling, ‘Ooh, what a magical winter wonderland!’ will quickly vanish and be replaced with, ‘ARRGH! I can’t see! There are millions of snowflakes in my eyes! And I’m cold! And I’m tired! And – oh, Jesus, I’ve forgot my belt again!’
As you’ve probably figured out, the vast amounts of rain that have bombarded the country in recent months has finally stopped. And made way for snow. So, so much snow. And ice. And a blizzard. That I had to walk through. At seven in the morning. Winter has finally arrived. That said, I’m glad it’s starting to melt. What I’m not glad about is the ice I’m constantly slipping on. But, at heart, I’m a big kid, so I secretly love these snowy days. I love the bus driving through the huge puddles at the side of the road and wading through our flooded roads. I love kicking puddles. And I love the sight of my own breath. In fact, I spend my time, standing alone at the bus stop, waiting for the bus, deliberately breathing out so I can watch the huge puff of vapour leaving my breath, constantly trying to make it bigger and bigger. And, I suppose, there’s an element of wanting others to take pity on me and give me a bloody lift to work. Sniff. I’m so cold…
I’m 25 by the way. Couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks. Really couldn’t. That’s my message of the week. Screw everybody…
One of the advantages in living with one’s parents is that when you get in after a hard day, they have your dinner ready and a nice warm cuppa tea. I mean, the tea is decaffeinated because the folks are on a diet and aren’t going to buy me my own tea, obviously. But I hate decaffeinated anything. And the butter? Oh, gee, don’t start me on the butter. Low fat. LOW FAT! I’m nine bloody stone! I’m one a half stone underweight! I need more fat and caffeine! Pumped into me around the clock, I tells ya…
But mum and dad have gone away for mum’s birthday, for a couple days. Yes, I’m on my own again. Whisper it, readers, but nothing has really gone wrong so far, and I’m quite amazed by that. I mean, my memory is clearly going yet I haven’t left the gas on or anything like that. So, just whisper it, if I get through Saturday, I might just make it through the week in one piece.
But, no dinner and no tea when I get in, and I’m not complaining. Well, okay, I am, but I’ll live alone one day and I’ll have to get used it. No, not bloody likely. You know, they’ve invented a wireless internet connected kettle. It’s ingenious. When you’re like, five minutes away from home, you go on this app and ‘tell’ your kettle to turn itself on. One day, I’m going to get one of those, readers. I really am. I just need a machine to make my dinner, now, and I’ll be set…
So when I came in on Friday, cold, wet, snow covered, and annoyed because I was stuck on the bus for a long time because of a string of accidents on the roads, I thought I’d treat myself. Oh, you know what parents are like. “I don’t care how old you are, eat your vegetables.” Oh, mum. “I don’t care what you say, drink your decaffeinated tea.” But mum, this is Yorkshire. You can’t drink decaffeinated tea in Yorkshire. It’s a hanging offense. Sigh. But they’re not here! So I treated myself to several very fatty bacon sandwiches. Mmm… bacon. So much bacon. Drools…
I’m proud of myself, readers. This work experience I’m on is tough but I’m enjoying it. It’s a fun place to work. Not too big and not too many people, which is great for my social anxiety, and it’s nice being around people. It’s not something I like, but I something I need. It’s good exposing oneself to the big scary world, sometimes. I’ve bought several things from shops lately and I wasn’t afraid. I normally freeze, turn pale white and start shaking when I’m in a shop by myself. But, for some reason, that hasn’t happened lately. I’m still an awkward mess, but… I don’t know. Something is different.
I got my mum some money for her birthday. I’m sorry if I have any Danes reading, but your currency is complete shit. Hardly anywhere sells it and it’s ludicrous. It’s like that Asian currency, I forget which one. You know the one I mean, though. One penny is like a million whatever it is. Most currency is like, between 20 and 30 more or less than the pound. Not in Denmark. 200 Danish Krone. I mean, to 99% of the world, that sounds like a lot of money. You could by shopping for months, or a television, or, I don’t know, a golden toilet. Yet it’s only £20! You can’t buy anything for £20 these days! To do the weekly family shop is gonna cost you, what, 800 Danish Krone! That’s insanity! Even if you had their highest note, you’re still going to have to have, what, 1,600 of them in your wallet! How big are their bloody wallets! Seriously, have you not heard of the Euro? It’s the currency of that thing you’re in…
Now, I’ve never exchanged money before. I had no idea how to do it. Normally, I’d be worried about that. Utterly frightened. Normally, I’d go in one shop, start having a panic attack, nervously and quietly ask for some money, and if they didn’t have it, I’d go home and make up some excuse to an angry dad about why I didn’t get mum a birthday present. And yes, this time, I was quite worried – shy people like knowing what we’re getting in to. And yes, the first shop didn’t have any Krone. But then I did something I don’t normally do. I went to another shop. Completely out of character for me. And they didn’t have any either. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir, the only place you’ll find it is in M&S.” So I went to M&S, staggered at who this me was and what he’d done with the usual bastard who stops me from doing anything of any value or importance. I was worried. I didn’t even know they had an exchange place.
‘Oh, I don’t know where it is. It’s all going to go wrong. I’m going to make a right tit of myself. I’m gonna be looking around for hours and hours for this exchange thing and – ooh, there it is…’
And it was fine, readers. And then I got a card. And then I got a notepad for work. Well, when you’re on top, flaunt it, I say. Why put off tomorrow what can be done today? Unless what you’re planning tomorrow is murder, then, yeah, don’t – don’t do that. Why put off tomorrow what can be done today, providing it’s legal and moral?
I don’t know if I’ll be like this next time I need to do some shopping. Shyness, some days, is overbearing and other days it’s hardly there at all. You have your good days and your bad days. To you, what I’m talking about is innocuous and stupid, but to me, it’s a small victory. Perhaps temporary, I don’t know. But maybe that’s why the winter wonderland that’s now starting to fade away has cheered me up after such a horrible and devastating start to the year. The breath. The puddle kicking. Lots of little things each day make us smile yet we forget them the second something goes wrong. Yet, if you remember them, if you anticipate them, and if you expect them, they add up to create something rather powerful. A special kind of joy that we all need in our hearts. That doesn’t negate, diminish or devalue the sadness we bear, but it makes it tolerable and lifts some of that burden, don’t you think?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find that damn hairbrush…
American author, Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, once said: “The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.”
Peace Out :|:
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