This week has seen me retracing my teenage years in more ways than one. I started the week childishly pranking with my sister and was instantly reminded of oh-so-hilarious “joke” calls we used to make to bide our time as perpetually “bored” children. These phone calls were much more drawn out than Bart Simpson's clever rather juvenile name requests and used to involve long conversations pretending we were selling things like double-glazing. Of course as soon as our victims realised we were trying to sell something or having a laugh, the call terminated pretty swiftly. This week's “prank” was on a grander scale than these phone calls but far less imposing and more of a twisted social experiment.
As my sister and I share a confined room and exceedingly uncomfortable single bed with a pull out camp-bed style section to transform it to a creaky double, we've been forced to rekindle the bond we once had before we both went to University. Working in a restaurant doing evening shifts, leaves her little time for socialising or meeting the one who'll make her a “kept woman”. As a friend of mine had unsuccessfully signed up to free dating website, Plenty of Fish, Tiff decided there was no harm in following suit. The creating of her profile has led to a kind of domino effect as her friends have joined up too and one has even found love. Unfortunately, she has been less successful and seems to attract body builders, topless posers and much older men – many of whom seem to enjoy taking pictures of themselves in mirrors.
After Tiff dressed up as a chorizo for a Spanish-themed Boxing Day family party, we decided to set up a Plenty of Fish profile in the character of a chorizo to see if she'd have any more luck or interest under cover. As I work days and she works most nights, it's only three months on from our initial discussion that we've finally put the plan into action. Sadly since creating this profile (http://www.plentyoffish.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=26832656), 48 guys have checked us out but no-one has spontaneously messaged us. To try to get the ball rolling we wrote to some of these window shoppers but got very few responses – one from a guy denying having looked at our profile despite the damming evidence and another from someone cluelessly telling us “weird pictures you have there mate :D” in response to us pointing out we both share a love of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Disappointing as all of this is, neither Tiff nor I have given up hope that this lonely sausage might find love.
On a more adult note, I've also been doing some serious soul-searching this week and confronting some nasty truths about who I was as a teenager. For years I have held this resentment inside of me, believing I had been wronged by certain ex-friends and suffering from this bizarre allergy to ex-secondary school peers. Every time I see someone I used to go to school with I haven't seen for years I have this tendency to either try and hide or rather rudely ignore them. I have often mused as to why this is and this week I finally did some growing up and admitted the reason to myself.
Everyone has memories or actions they are not proud of – thankfully I don't have too many that have affected or upset other people but the ones that I do have tend to haunt me they are so out-of- character. In the first year of GCSEs I decided I no longer wanted to be friends with someone who was once considered a “best friend”, mainly because for some inexplicable reason I started to find her excruciatingly irritating. At 15, I had no idea how to cope with this revelation so alongside my other “best friend” bullied my way out of the situation. As someone who was bullied for being a fattie or retro weirdo for most of my life, I was exceedingly disappointed and shocked when I finally admitted to myself what had really happened.
What surprised me most was the realisation that what I had done was essentially what those ex-friends had also done to me, except they had simply started to blank me and make backhand remarks, rather than outright bully me. And even more difficult to admit was the reality that they'd probably ditched me because in secondary school we actually started to get different interests and my strange aversion to old secondary school folk was probably brought on by my own guilt. As an adult dealing with these kind of awkward situations isn't easy but as a child it's even harder to make the right decision and be tactful. In order to try and make amends for some of these poorly judged actions, I have sent a series of apologetic out-of-the-blue Facebook messages to wronged parties. After all, it may sound cliched but life really is too short for enemies and the world far too small – something I never understood as a child but grow all the more conscious of as each year passes.