Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Feeling slightly left behind (this time, avoiding libel!)

I had a very weird experience in work the other day. We have Radio 1 on in work, despite all being way too old for the demographic. (I want Radio 6, other staff want Radio 5, some losers want Magic, weirdly on that list Radio 1 is the middle ground. We all like Scott Mills.) Anyway, it chirps along in the background, excluding occasionally howling abuse at Fern Cotton. No one really listens to it, but it keeps the office from weird silence.

No, really, I'm going somewhere with this.

Anyway, the radio was chirping away, and I was vaguely aware of Fern Cotton and another female presenter talking cheerfully about a hot new boyband, and how the lead singer was the only one worth looking at. Christina, my desk buddy, suddenly gave a shriek.

“Disorientated Graduate! That bloke they're talking about! You went to school with him!”

[n.b. Christina went to a different high school, but in the same small town – the crossover of people known is fairly high.]

Anyway, I listened properly and gave out a small shriek myself. “OH MY GOD, I DID!”

He's the closest thing from my school year that constitutes a celebrity, obviously excluding my upcoming fame as a writer. He was on a popular talent show, albeit without getting through to the live shows or having too much TV time, and dated a famous female singer for quite a long time. Then they broke up, and an ex-colleague of mine, who lives opposite the chap in question's parents, informed me she broke up with him because he 'didn't earn enough money, and she wanted a man to earn more money than she did'. I am, as such, failing to name any of the people involved so I'm not sued for libel. (DISCLAIMER: I would also like to point in that I have no idea if the aforementioned story is true, and is probably just slightly malicious gossip. Amusing, though.)

Anyway, I did some googling and was highly amused to see that the chap in question is in fact the lead singer of an up and coming boyband of whom even I've heard of, although he's got a lot of fake tan and a bit of a perm involved.

Then I felt a bit depressed, and a little bit old as well. Or possibly that I'm getting left behind, a little bit, mostly because one of my dearest friends just had a baby and has now made a lovely little family. One of my fondest (and fuzziest) memories of aforementioned friend is in our first year at university when we got legless at a Rocky Horror themed night at the union, and I think we're still on the Union website in our underwear, convinced we look sexy. Now she's a mother, and a radiant one at that. And someone I still remember singing in the Year 3 Christmas play has a song on Radio 1.

I am aware that I'm pretty awesome, honestly. I'm doing well in my life, and at a party this weekend a group of us celebrated the genuine leaps ahead we've made in the last twelve months in our lives. One of the problems of being a graduate – and perhaps, simply being this age – is that occasionally I'm blown away by the achievements on my peers, and I feel a little behind. I know I'm not, and goodness knows I don't want to be a pop star or indeed a mother; still, it's a strange feeling.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Guide to Freshers Week?

It's Freshers Week across the country for many students, or alternatively it's about to start. I've been reading the various 'Guide to Freshers Week' in papers with a sense of arch irony, wondering if many of the articles are in fact writing for graduates who chortle at the stereotypes and remember their own Freshers Week fondly. After all, no student is reading the paper, right?

It was at about this point I remembered my first day at university. I moved into university owned housing, a self-catering house for six girls, and on the first day three of us sort of awkwardly banded together and desperately tried to make tea for the others. We all had biscuits, too. I felt very cunning, because I'd read the UCAS guide to making friends and it was very emphatic that making tea was a great way to make friends. The only downside is that Frances managed to make a round of tea, first.

About a week later, more comfortable in each other's presence and with a few vodkas in us, Frances mentioned that she didn't actually like tea. She'd only made it and drank it because that was what she'd read in the UCAS guide. I gasped. So did Sandra. Turned out we'd all tried the same cunning trick.

(True story: Frances really doesn't like tea. I've seen her drink it once since, when she was desperately trying to work out what her pregnancy cravings were. Turns out that it wasn't tea, but she felt it was a fair guess.)

My own Freshers Week was an awfully long time ago, but I do know that Freshers Week is a lot more fun when you're not a Fresher. Still, it's the start of a great time. Plus, in what feels like an eternity away, you'll be sat on the internet and reading Freshers Week guides and feeling horribly nostalgic, particularly as you have to be up early for work tomorrow. Alas.