Monday, July 21, 2008

Sisters are doing it for themselves…

Having rented rooms in several shared houses in four different cities since the age of 18, I can really appreciate the merits of having a place all to myself. Not quite “Hell is other people”, rather “Hell is SOME other people”. I’ve had to put up with all kinds of stuff in the past. Smelly people. A religious nut. An alcoholic with lesbian tendencies (kept my door locked in that house). People with appalling table manners – a pet hate of mine. A girl who attempted to order me about like a strict parent. A girl who would stomp around in high heels in her wood floored bedroom next door to mine every morning and make a mess with makeup in the bathroom. It hasn’t been all bad, though; I have also made many friends from several countries.

Living in Ballyfuck and having the place all to myself means I can have friends over to stay any time I want, I can have a whole shelf in the fridge reserved for BEER, and I don’t have to put up with other people’s bathroom habits, noisy shoes or stinking dinners made from dead sheep. It hasn’t been possible to rent a room out in such a remote place, so I’ve resigned myself happily to managing the fixed-rate mortgage on my own.

The new living arrangements have brought new challenges into my life. DIY. Yes, I can enlist the help of friends living close by or my dad when my parents come for a visit, but I like to try things for myself when I can. I have become adept at gluing bits of plywood together to make a crappy bookshelf or end table. My nails are permanently short to avoid dirt and breakages when working. I don’t think a “Dowel” is the father of a Minister for Justice we once had. However when a flat-pack says “two people needed to assemble” I don’t divide myself in two by a process of mitosis; I seek help.

Recently I needed to do some more heavy duty work and decided that I should invest in the tools to do the job. So I took myself off to my nearest Argos (because I get to fill in a little form at the start – woohoo! Form!), chose a decent electric drill from the laminated catalogue with a lollipop sticking page 236 and 237 together, paid for it and waited for it to come out on the conveyor belt while studying the people around me. A tracksuited bleached-blond teenager of uncertain sex was intently studying the range of Elizabeth Duke products on offer. A man had bought up all the batteries in the store and was waddling to the door with them. A stray dog had entered the store and peed on the faux leather display sofa near the door (why do they hunt these fauxes?). A cheerful Polish girl was marking dockets and handing customers their purchases over the counter.

When Order number 534390924.222∞ was called, I stood up, ready to claim the device that would symbolise my initial foray into the wonderful world of power tools. The Polish girl glanced around and, noting the corresponding number on my docket, looked at me, gave a nervous laugh and said “Oh you don’t need THIS; you are a WOMAN!”.

I couldn’t help but laugh and say “Shit! I forgot to hide my boobs!”

She did have lovely nails though.

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