Things I’ve learnt to be true now I’ve graduated (A.K.A my parents were right)

I talk too fast

When I was a wee extremely, cute baby (think a baby cherub: blonde hair, blue eyes, chubby face) my mother looked at my cot and wistfully wondered “I wonder what she will sound like when she starts talking?” The answer, much to my mother’s and father’s horror, was fast. The elderly are continually confused by my gibbering, non-native English speakers are constantly baffled and I have seen more than one boy glaze over as I continue to natter away undeterred and unbroken. However, despite constant rebuking by my despairing parents and a brief stint at elocution where said parents, in their desperation, did what all middle class parents do and hired a tutor.  Essentially, they spent an extortionate amount of money paying an elocutionist, a woman named Ruby Gold, (who gets a mention simply by virtue of having the most delightful name I have ever encountered) who told me to elongate my vowels and breathe whilst I spoke. I even got a certificate for doing this whilst reciting the Sorting Hat poem from the Harry Potter novels by heart. However, my parents pretty soon realised there were far better uses for a twenty pound note (such as wrapping paper, wall paper or simply flushing it down the toilet) than continuing on this somewhat useless endeavour. So despite the combined endeavours of Ruby Gold, my parents, my grandparents, various teachers and well meaning relations my West Wing style of cramming as many words into a sentence as humanly possible has remained steadfast.

However, a big part of my job is communications; on a daily basis I have to interact with other people and prove myself to be nice, friendly, open and warm. This proves extremely difficult when the person you are speaking to has no earthly idea what you are saying, I could be pontificating on the legal status of oranges in the intergalactic triumvirate for all they know. So I am trying to learn to speak slower, a feat harder than one might think. And, whilst all my haters have clearly been vindicated I maintain there is one advantage to speaking quickly; I can rap Lean Back by Fat Joe and the Terror Squad like nobody’s business. I doubt even Ruby and her breathing techniques can attest to that.

Tidy your Room

I am messy, I can create mess in minimum time and with maximum efficiency. My room can be sparkling and simply by virtue of deciding what to wear in the morning I manage to create a mammoth mess, as if some seismic shift in the earth’s foundations has caused my furniture to vomit out my possessions in no particular order. As a student this was acceptable, encouraged even, I didn’t go clubbing or buy food from any bargain supermarket chains, but at least I fit nicely into this little cliché. However, now I have a job, I even host people in my apartment. Basically, the messy routine is no longer seen as a charming quirk (though I imagine few people ever thought it was) so I am now endeavouring to be tidier. As part of my proactive plan I went with my very patient and tidy friend to Ikea to buy boxes and other storage untensils generally required to ensure tidiness. I think this is a significant moment in my life: the day I took my first unsupervised trip to Ikea to buy furniture.

Who Cares

Growing up every action I did was punctuated by the following thought: what will other people think? If I dress like this, talk like that and walk just so will people think well of me? Will I avoid being talked about? Basically I was acting if I was part of the Kardashian klan. And whilst my mother desperately tried to shake this mentality out of me it stuck like a fattie at an all you can eat buffet.

However, age has brought with it this gem of wisdom: people will always always talk. It’s why Heat magazines sells so well, (not that I have ever bought such a trashy, juvenile magazine on a Friday afternoon for some light weekend reading.) Deep down, embedded within our genetic code, is a human preposition to gossip. And simple actions like walking; talking and dressing will almost certainly ellicit comment. Marie Antoinette once said let them eat cake; my grand philosophy, for this article anyway, is somewhat similar, if fewer calories, let them talk. Because by virtue of breathing people will find an excuse to gossip. Meanwhile all this talk of cake has made me hungry. Off to buy some Battenberg.


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