Thursday, November 19, 2009
Now, a few years on, I am old(er), relatively wiser and no less broke. With a second film on the horizon, (I'm going to break into a real Carrie-ism here) I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to the girls when the big R set in. That's R for Recession, not for Rodarte.
I had always thought that the laissez-faire attitude to spending money in the show was cool. When Carrie explained that while penniless, she would buy Vogue instead of food because it fed her more, it lent her the romantic nous of James Dean. There was something suicidally cavalier about dropping over forty grand on shoes alone. I too wanted to be sartorially nourished. The whippet thin body of La Bradshaw would also be a welcome side-effect.
Like many but definitely not all women, I would sometimes ask 'What would Carrie do?' as if she was some kind of mid-level deity like Ganesh or Oprah. It took watching the first film to realise that Carrie Bradshaw is a female role model ranking alongside Imelda Marcos in terms of both shoe ownership and rampant self-obsession.
From time to time I will buy magazines instead of food. I currently have four euros to my name. I also have two huge wardrobes bursting with nice clothes. Now that I think about it, the only thing I learned from Sex and the City (apart from 'Men are crap') was the relative merit of a life of fiscal irresponsibility. I became a Carrie clone faster than a trolley dash with Usain Bolt. So take it from someone who knows - next time you wonder what Carrie would have done, go do the complete opposite, Your life will be all the richer.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Consider the following a b-side column if you will.
I'm starting to notice a LOT of people pulling this face. The pouty-sticky-out-slightly-modelly-but- actually-ridiculous face. Recently I opened a copy of The Evening Echo to reveal a picture of me at a book launch... pulling the duckface. Go here for more examples of the beautiful people.
(via Dlisted and Anti Duckface)
The dole queue can be a minefield. I'm by no means insinuating that Mr Cowen et al have installed mines, beartraps, speakers playing Abba's Waterloo on a loop and even the occasional bout of Chinese water torture to deter people from applying for benefits (although you'd never know what will happen with Budget '10). Instead, the mines are planted deep in the consciousness of the applicant. These mines may not be real but are still highly dangerous - like actual incendiary devices, they will affect you worst when you are ill-prepared for the coming onslaught.
"What queue am I supposed to go to?" BOOM! "Ooh, forgot my PPS number, whoops." BLAM! "Form? What form? I didn't fill out any form!" WHAM! "Back of the line, bucko." Here are a few tips to make your Social Welfare application run ever so smoothly. Cut out this article and keep it somewhere handy. After you do that, have a look at my picture. You will probably see me in there. Best of luck!
1) Be like a Boy Scout and/or safe sex advocate: come prepared. Nothing makes a person roll their eyes and emit an exasperated sigh faster that a fruitless fumble for a rent book or mortgage agreement. So bring everything along with you. Bring along the kitchen sink if you must.
2) But don't go too mad. No-one wants to see your Xtravision membership card, bronzed baby shoes or photos from your last boozy stint in Santa Ponsa. Stick to the essential paperwork.
3) Don't get dressed up. To the men in three-piece suits: your application will not be processed faster if you look like you just need a government cheque to light a cigar. A standing ovation to the suited and booted who are so because they just take careful pride in their appearance. A cream pie in the face to those who think that looking like the CEO of a Fortune 500 company actually makes them one and thus entitled to give orders. I actually saw one such specimen physically push a girl out of his way in a queue and swear at the woman behind the counter when she told him to move back. His excuse? He was tired of waiting.
4) Tired of waiting? Bring a book. And don't push me out of the way if you see me queueing.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
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.