What was I thinking? Why on earth did I agree to bake something for my English class tomorrow? If that wasn’t bad enough, for some unknown reason I’ve decided to try out a new, never tried before recipe. What kind of idiot does that? Actually I know exactly how I ended up doing this. When someone mentioned bringing in a cake to our next class, my thought process went as follows: I like baking; I’m quite good at it; I don’t work so there is no reason why I shouldn’t offer to make one; if I don’t do it no-one else will.
I’m sure there are allsorts of reasons people volunteer, but with me it has always been guilt. Schools, I have found, are quite good at piling this on when they need parents to volunteer for whatever new activity, fund-raiser, trip, etc., etc. they seem to be currently undertaking. We NEED eight parents to help with the school trip. OK, I better volunteer as I would hate for the trip to be cancelled because they were one parent short. We REALLY NEED help in the classroom as the teachers are so busy that sometimes they don’t get the chance to hear every child read each week. Well, I’d better volunteer for this too as I don’t want to be responsible for a child not progressing as quickly as they should. We REALLY NEED you to take this course we are running to support your child at home. I’d better do that as well as I don’t want my kids to be disadvantaged, even though I don’t need the English qualification the course gives you as I already have it. You get the picture.
The problem I have is the fear that if I don’t offer to help out with whatever it is someone is trying to organise it will not take place. This will then be my fault. Guilt is powerful stuff. So powerful, it is now responsible for me making an Apple and Blackberry tray cake. As I wait for it to bake, I wonder how it is I ended-up becoming a Stepford Wife. The most reckless thing I do nowadays is try out a new recipe on a group of relative strangers. It wasn’t always like this. And to prove this point, tonight I’m going to a Jack White gig with my husband.
The last time we went to a concert was four years ago when I was expecting the girls. In hindsight, standing whilst six months pregnant with twins at a Kings of Leon concert was not the best idea we ever had. We were also supposed to see the White Stripes around the same time, but they cancelled as Meg was suffering from exhaustion. I am ashamed to say I made some uncharitable remarks about only sitting behind drums at the time, which was very ungenerous of me. As you can imagine, the thought of getting to see Jack play at last and do something rock and roll again, means I’m very excited.
However, I do wonder how rock and roll Jack actually is now. I mean, the concert is at the Bridlington Spa. If you are reading this and don’t know anything about Bridlington (or Brid as it’s known locally) I’d better explain. Brid is an East Yorkshire, seaside town that, like many of its kind, had its heyday in the nineteenth century when it was besieged with Victorian day-trippers. Unfortunately, its popularity has declined since then and it has not managed to reinvent itself as a hip, happening destination like Brighton. It doesn’t have a so cool it hurts arts scene or insane clubs or a retro vibe going on, which leads me to question what Jack will do after his show. Fish and Chips, and spending a couple of quid in the amusement arcades are all that spring to mind.
Perhaps this is all he wants. I guess the fact is that we all get older no matter how we try and fight against it. Many of us have responsibilities we didn’t have twenty years ago, and these responsibilities shape what we do and how we behave today. I think this is probably for the best. Who wants to be acting like a twenty-something in their forties and beyond? I mean, look at Keith Richards. He’s more than enough to put you off that sort of behaviour. I think there is just one question I’d like to ask Jack. Would you like a piece of Apple and Blackberry tray cake?