Thursday, 19 February 2009

16 Year Olds Know Everything ...

Today I had to degrade myself in front of 2 government officials in my quest to get them to give me Free Money.

I put on my most formal tracksuit following CBM's words of wisdom - "You don't want to look too smart. They might make you get a job". I looked like I fit right in - I even wore my Ugg boots - though these stood out for being grey. And not fake.

As I was telling one of the women that I had no money, I had to produce my National Insurance number as ID. My card was in my purse which was at the bottom of my bag. To get my purse, I had to take out and place on the desk a brand new Nokia phone, a digital camera and an I-Pod. My purse is also clearly made by Radley.

I am also probably the only person who has ever sat in the Free Money waiting room reading a copy of 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand.

It was clearly mass Free Money distribution time as I was leaving (incidentally the process was supposed to take an hour, I was in and out in 20 minutes) and I had to dodge the Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the Rottweilers like it was going out of fashion. Not to mention the kids ...

There were a disturbing number of people there wearing shorts. It was about 5 degrees at most.

I was given an official government document which had 3 grammatical errors and the almost-word 'freinds' written on it.

Before I could get the Free Money, I had to do a supervised job search. The search of all my criteria produced 4 matches. Three of these were dismissed by me and the last job was dismissed by the Free Money employee who said that she wouldn't let me apply for that job as 'someone with your CV should be earning more than that'. And what type of CV is that, pray tell? One riddled with lies? Full of gaps? Revealing a startling lack of previous employment? Affirmative!

The Free Money Centre is dangerously close to a Borders books. And like a crack addict drawn to the den, I found myself in there. I then bought three more books. I need more books like Angelina Jolie needs more kids. I got a copy of 'The Shack' purely so I can prove to myself that I do hate this book, as I hate it already and I haven't even read it yet. Does that make any sense?!

So I got home and yesterday, in the Alice In Wonderland style rabbit hole that is under my bed, I found my school leaving book. This is the book wherein everyone I knew at school wrote me a farewell message and told me what a fabulous person I was because nobody could bring themselves to write the truth. We were sixteen, we had such high hopes, we thought we knew everything.

I have been crying with laughter at most of it. We were so very deluded. And here are some extracts for everyone's enjoyment:

'We have had thousands of brill times I will never forget - bat cave, London, shopping for Stella, planning our future, saddo cider drinking, Scarborough, Mr T and many more'

Note the many references to underage drinking and the baffling A-Team name check.

'I can't write down how much you mean to me, you have been the greatest friend I have ever had'

I have not seen or spoken to this person in 8 years.

'We will have a top summer (not that we will remember much of it due to our alcoholic tendencies). Can't wait till we invade Paris and all the other places we plan to go'

Another reference to underage drinking.

'School has nearly finished but we will see each other after and when we have kids (even though I might adopt). I don't fancy going through childbirth.'

Thanks for that info Captain Unnecesssary!

'I'll always remember you as the slightly alcoholic vodka lover'

A pattern is beginning to emerge. And my parents had to read this book!

'Was mochten sie bitte?
Ich mochte 1 kilo Bananen, 2 kilo Trauben, 0.5 kilo Apfel, 1 kilo Himbeeren und 0.5 pfund Erbsen. Was macht das?
Es ist 15 DM

Why would someone write a German conversation in my book? And why would someone want so many grapes and raspberries? And the Deutschmark still existed.

'I hope you have a nice summer and enjoy yourself with everyone. Do try and get a tan.'

I guess my complexion has always been corpse-in-a-river then hasn't it?

'If you ever want to get away from the stress of life give us a bell and you can come and visit me in New York!'

It's a good job I don't get too stressed as you never did make it there did you?!

'Jessie paint a picture about how it's going to be'

The number of references to this fucking song are ridiculous. Yeah Joshua Kadison (whoever the hell you are), write a song featuring part of my name. To you, it's just a song. To me it's a lifetime of conversations along these lines: 'Jessie?' 'What?' 'Paint a picture...' Grr.

'We have had some mental, mental, chicken oriental times haven't we? Poo under the stairs, Mr Pigfield, 'I'm a tree', story writing, sleepovers involving Mike Myers, china dolls, shark shagging, streaking round the house, jibber jabber conversations and drunken mums. The list goes on! Sad cider drinking, the 'tent' night, witchcraft, Scarborough, the awards (the banana award), singing Spice Girls on the multi-storey car park.'

What a piece of writing. I have no clue what 90% of this refers to - bar the potentially libellous geography teacher reference. I don't even know why I was friends with this person. Wow. And what was the banana award? I don't like the sound of it.

'I think you're one of the funniest people I'll ever know - and you don't even know it.'

Oh, I know it.

This next one is from Chan:

'I've known you, what 13 years now? Wow, all those memories of Juniors and we even went to the same playschool. Well, I know we've never been close mates, but I wish you all the best for the future and hope we stay friends for a long time. You deserve the best - I'll never forget the help in geography'

Well, Channy are we close mates now?!

'Even though I know further education is a mistake and I know you will regret it for the rest of your life, I wish you luck for the sixth form and university (another big mistake). Next time I see you we can have another in depth discussion about Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. I know where you live.'

I have let my WWF (I will never refer to it as WWE!) knowledge seriously lapse in the past 10 years.

'If I become a pilot, I'll give you all a free holiday to the Caribbean'

Well, I guess I'll be walking to the Caribbean as I know no pilots.

'You live in the same street as me, which is nice.'

Indeed it is nice.

'I have known you since infants and that's all I have to say about that.'

12 years summed up in one sentence

'I'll remember you as one of the girls to challenge my knowledge and win, but don't go spreading it around as you know that I am scared of people who are cleverer than me. I might see you at Oxford or Cambridge.'

You would not see me at Oxford or Cambridge. I am not that clever.

'Don't use my photo to fantasize about myself'

Something is wrong with this sentence. Besides the person who wrote it.

'In a few years I'll be a famous doctor, so just pop around to Cook County Hospital and I'll introduce you to all the docs'

I'll not hold my breath, eh?

'We wrote Mr Chinea hate letters in Year 7 about the ear on his chin. Remember when we used to pat our imaginary dog in the back of your dad's car. Oh shame.'

The joys of owning a Montego estate car. Seats in the boot.

'Remember when we all tried smoking and your mum took me home. We opened all the windows and hoped for the best'

My mum is going to read this so don't write things like that!

'I hope you achieve everything you want in life cause I know you'll reach highest of all'

I am such a crashing disappointment.

'I've known you for a while now and can't remember ever having an argument. Which is weird as I like to argue with everyone!'

That is very true - you do like to argue.

This is from E:

'Do you remember the Noony impressions? Quite poor weren't they? Except for the time I had K's 70s glasses. Talking about Noony, I bet you're glad she left - or maybe not. I always remember you revising IT and geography in Food Tech - but then the witch came and you could revise no more'

'I remember the improvements you made to the 'To Kill A Mockingbird' book in English. It looked really cool so if you can't decide on a career maybe you should design covers for books. Only kidding! You're too clever for that sort of job'

Or for any job, it seems.

'Hello luv. I'm sure that I will see you next year in the Sixth Form. I will probably not get to know you better than I already do because we don't chat much.'

What an opener and what a closer!

'Give me a ring when you get married or are making millions of pounds per year'

Why would I do that?

'The only time I talk to you is when I'm stuck on my work and I'm asking you for the answer. Only joking.'

He wasn't joking.

'My cat is called Jess'

Thanks for that.

'Thanks for being such a great student'

Oh, Mr Simpson. Sigh.

I dread to think what I wrote in other people's books - I am essentially making fun of what other people wrote but when I was 16 I was the biggest moron of all.

I also don't remember being as naughty as others seemed to think - I don't think I did that much underage drinking. I am certainly jealous at the loss of my ability to never have a hangover - those days are long gone.

I was quite unpopular at school - hard to believe, I know - but looking back on it now, whisper it, it doesn't seem that bad.

Let's get rid of this nostalgia by listening to some Alphabeat shall we?


Chan said...

Haha how things can change in ten years. So you helped me in Geography...hmmm...its your fault I am where I am now!!

I'm going to dig out my leavers book this weekend and find out what words of wisdom you left me, watch this space...

Jessclub7 said...

I dread to think what absolute garbage I wrote in people's books! Probably something lke this:

'Oh Chan, you are the greatest person ever in the world ever. I love you. Remember that time when we laughed all day and all night? No neither do I. Good luck for the future and all that jazz.'

Jason Mraz is on TV now - making me wish I was in Hawaii or somewhere. And making me think of you Chan. And the CD I made you because I don't know you that well. Hahahahaha!

Jessclub7 said...

And I don't remember helping you in geography. You thicko!

Chan said...

Heres you entry in my leavers book:

"Yo! Vicky,

Well I've known you for many years and we had some fun times at Bruche didn't we? Lakeside, Ilam Hall etc.

Remember our fabulous geography lessons where Steph quizzed Mr Kennedy about his affair with Miss Waltho every lesson and the time he took off!

Good luck with your exams - I know you'll do well in geography at least! I'll see you in Sixth Form hopefully.

I hate biology it is really boring and I'm waffling so I'll say goodbye now! Have the bestest summer ever"

Haha, Jess I have no idea how I managed a whole Geography A level and degree without you!! (granted El and Kaz helped me out a lot at A level, lol)

Jessclub7 said...

Yo, yo, yo!

See how I slyly implied that you would only do well because of me?

Geography degree = colouring in maps innit?!