Who am I?

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
This is a “thought bubble”. It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to see The Great Gatsby this week with a friend. The cinematography was beautiful, the soundtrack was wonderful and the plot…well, it was based on ‘The Great American Novel’ after all. Afterwards, my friend said, “I would love to go to one of those parties.” “Me too,” I replied. “I’ve been to plenty of parties but never to ones so debauched.” “I’ve never been that drunk,” my friend said. “Never to the point of passing-out or not been able to remember anything.” “Really?” I answered in astonishment. “Never?” I then told her some of the tales from my pre-mummy days of when I had made a complete and utter arse of myself by drinking far too much.

“I would never have thought that of you,” she said. “I always thought you were sensible.” Sensible! Hell-fire, call me anything you like but not sensible! It was then I was reminded of another conversation I had recently had with one of the mums at my English group. She was discussing a friend of hers when she said, “And she has tattoos.” I began to chuckle and told her that I too have tattoos. “Really? I would never have thought if of you. I’m glad you told me. I would have got a big shock if I’d seen you in a vest top in the summer showing them off.”

I suddenly realised that the reason these two women saw me as a sensible mothering-type is because they have only got to know me after I had my children. The days of me drinking to excess, dancing all-night, throwing-up and spending all day Sunday in bed recovering from the hangover-from-hell are long gone. I know that me is still in there but I now know how to keep a tight leash on her. This is not because I see myself as being ‘far too sensible for this sort of thing now’ but because I can’t cope with the aftermath and look after two small children.

I also realised that how people perceive you depends on when in your life and in what capacity they have met you. I wondered how my old clubbing buddies, friends for twenty plus years, saw me. I was due to go out for a meal and drinks with them a couple of days later and thought I would ask them. I then decided better of it. I really couldn’t have coped if they used the word ‘sensible.’  In fact, if they had used the word ‘sensible’ I would have to have taken the leash off and that wouldn’t have been pretty.

I thought about how my former work colleagues saw me. I imagined they would use words like “competent”’, “efficient”, and “organised.” I thought back to when I first starting working in a bank at eighteen. I imagined my boss would have used words such as “constantly late”, “”constantly tired” and “why the hell did we employ her in the first place and how can we get rid of her?” I thought about how my old school friends would describe me. I imagined they would say I was “quiet” and “studious” but also that I was “politically minded” and “not afraid to voice her opinions on any cause she believed in.” I thought about how the women at my writing group would describe me. I hoped very much they would use only three words – “she’s a writer.”

I was also reminded of a job interview I went to in 2005. In it, I was asked to describe how my work colleagues and friends saw me. I began giving job-interview speech about being “competent”, “efficient”, and “organised”. “No,” said my soon-to-be boss. “How would they describe you out of work?” I thought for a moment and said, “I hope they would say I was good fun.”

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5 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. I get that.I had my crazy ‘Gatsby’ parties and I sure can do a mean tequila fulled sing-a-long to basically any song from the late 90’s. My problem is I’m 22 and already I start my wild nights with ‘I was watching the block*…’ Don’t get me wrong I can handle myself in a fight with a bottle of vodka, it’s just, I have too many ‘things’ to think about. Before it was always F the consequences, ill be right. But now its, i cannot afford rent, electricity, food, petrol AND a glass of bourbon, which can i do without?

    Turns out bourbon is low on my priorities now. Apparently at 22, having a semi-decent roof above my head is more important than being ‘slizzered’ Never thought the day would come when I would look at the clock and grumble that i had too much work to do so, no, as much as i wanted i could not snuggle into bed before 10.30pm.

    My ‘all-nighters’ turned into ‘all-night shifts’ and my ‘hangover headaches’ turned into ‘i haven’t had a decent sleep in weeks’, headaches.

    And I don’t even have any kids. That’s the problem with studying again. I have a bachelors degree, but i am doing an extra year because apparently i am a god damn idiot. So now all i do is work and school stuff and time to go out? HA. bless your cotton socks and get off my lawn you whippernapper i need me some beauty sleep. Or just some sleep will do me, I’ve learned to give up.

    Do I at least get points because I used to be cool? Extra because I also have a hidden tattoo? Good. I’m so keeping score.

    *If you’ve never heard of the block, or house rules if you’re a seven watcher, then your nights suck regardless. Seriously, its mind numbing crap TV, which makes for great TV that i will watch until i feel mind numbed enough to face life again.

    Also if you’re not from the land of things that try to kill you, (Australia) and seriously have no idea what the block is, its like a home reno show where couples have to renovate houses, or apartments and ‘deliver’ one room a week. Although most of the time i think they just argue with themselves and each other until magically on the seventh day the rooms are complete. TV magic. love it.

    PS. Sorry for clogging up your comment space. I tend to go off on tangents and make everything about me. Also I’ve linked this post to my blog, because I thought this comment is long enough to blog, so I hope you don’t mind your’e on my Blog. If you haven’t noticed i do so love the word Blog. 🙂

    1. No problem! I’m sorry I didn’t know what The Block is. I live in the UK but we have our own fair share of home renovation programmes. We have whole channels devoted to them so I’m now going to have to lokk out for it. Blog is a great word isn’t it. Along with cucumber and nincompoop.

      1. nincompoop. Love it. I also enjoy the word ‘spork’ but unfortunately it doesn’t come into use very often. Thanks for being my inspiration for a post 🙂 I’ll be keeping up with your going-ons, even if just to sound creepy.

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