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Sunday, November 1, 2009

A rock and a hard place

Like a lot of people this summer, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I fact, I was stuck somewhere in between a rock and an Aggregated Diamond Nanorod (commonly believed to be the hardest substance known to man, fact fans). I had spent the best part of June and July siphoning money from my parents and applying for jobs without any discrimination whatsoever.

Someone somewhere would give me some kind of job, wouldn't they?
In retrospect, it was painfully obvious that I wasn't going to land the job of my dreams. To my parents however, I just wasn't trying hard enough. On trips back to the hometown, my father would routinely wake me up at 7am on a Sunday to demand what I was doing with my life. Didn't I know that I could be writing for Vogue if I just got off my lazy bum? Why didn't I have Anna Wintour on the phone right that second? And why didn't I send Obama on some speeches? There would have been no such problems with the Universal Healthcare proposal had I been on board, oh no.

Pending being plucked from obscurity to the dazzling heights of speechwriting stardom, I was sending off CVs to everyone. I ended up sending one to my cousin in lieu of a 21st birthday card (as for what I sent to the manager of Tesco... perhaps it's best if you don't ask). Instead of tips, waiters would get a list of my career objectives. A publicity stunt involving a sandwich board and a whimsical Wonderwoman costume was seriously considered.

All that time it never occurred to me to apply for Social Welfare. It's a common and contradictory trait that while many people of my age are too proud to take money from the State, some of us were only too pleased to be granted an interest free loan at the Bank of Mom and Dad. I was at the front of the queue and far too blinkered to see that my parents could only support me for a certain amount of time. June and July would be wine and roses compared to the Dickensian nightmare that would await me when the funds ran out in August and September. I knew I had to swallow my misguided guilt and pride. And I had to apply for Jobseekers Assistance, if only to assure peaceful weekend lie-ins for the forseeable future.