what they should REALLY teach kids in school
AHOY THERE BLOG LOVERS. Hope you’re all jolly and embracing life. I know I certainly am, I’ve barely had time to sup down a gin let alone write a blog. It struck me the other day, when did life get so blooming complicated? Granted, I was at the time late for work, trying to pay for my prêt latte in 2p pieces whilst also having a nosebleed and trying to keep it secret from the barista , because I was worried he’d assumed that my nose was bleeding because I was a coke addict (I’m not by the way), which is a difficult situation to cope with in anyone’s book but still!
Attempting to be a grown-up is the thing I struggle most with on a day-to-day basis. I thought, as someone who has spent a good 22 years in education, from Montessori school through to a Masters degree, WHY ARE MY SKILLS AT PROFESSIONAL ADULTING SO BAD? I mean, all that painful toil spent learning quadratic equations seem a little pointless at the moment. Not once have I used a quadratic equation since I skipped out of my maths GCSE exam, feeling the knowledge canter out of my brain in the opposite direction. TALLY HO QUADRATICS! FAREWELL FUNCTIONS! PIP PIP ALGEBRA! (don’t even get me started on algebra. As a literature lover, I felt personally betrayed by the alphabet to see it pop up in a maths textbook. YOU JUDAS.) So, here are some things I think would be actually useful to learn in school to prepare you for grown-up life.
1. How to fold a fitted sheet- WHAT IS THIS DEVILRY?! And don’t get me started on changing a duvet cover elegantly. When I do it, I have to get IN the duvet. Actually that’s still quite fun. I pretend it’s my tent. Or my cottony sex igloo…. annnnnnyway…
2. HOW DO I DO MY TAX?!- I think this is self explanatory. Moira Stewart, no matter how deliciously dulcet your tones, tax is always taxing. No-one gets how to do it properly, not even the people at HMRC. Which leads on to:
3. WHAT IS TAX?!- again. I don’t feel we need to pause here. Let it just be known that me and DIANE FROM HMRC ARE NOW SWORN ENEMIES. DICKHEAD.GOV.UK I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE.
4. How to casually ask for the bill in a restaurant- WHERE do people learn how to do that squiggly signature mime thing?! Every time I try, I have to pause conversation for 15 minutes whilst I look like I’m trying to aggressively eye-rape the waitress and then I’m so thrilled when I finally get her attention I end up forgetting how to do it and give her some over-enthused jazz hands instead.
5. How to get the timings right to cook a full English and a roast dinner. This, as an adult-type person, will make or break you as a host and also make you incredibly popular.
6. How to jump start my car/change a tyre- thank god for the RAC. I once called them out because I ran out of petrol. Actually looking back, they weren’t that cool with that. Apparently that’s not what they do…just FYI….
7. WHAT is this MYTHICAL thing called ‘MORTGAGE’ and HOW do I get it? Also, what the TITS do words like ‘ISA’ and ‘tracker’ mean?!
8. The different options available as hangover cures, and which one best suits you. I’ve spent a good nine years trying to work this out (Yes nine, come on, we all got wasted on pineapple bacardi breezers aged 16)- full fat coke and walkers ready salted crisps. If you even think about anything containing a raw egg and Worcestershire sauce, you’re an absolute rookie.
9. PENSIONS- when do you start one? And how do you save it? Is it in a big piggy bank marked ‘FOR WHEN I AM OLD AND NEED TO BUY WERTHERS ORIGINALS’?
10. How to know which colour bins to put out on what day. Why are there so many and why are they all a different colour?! Just use WORDS ON THEM rather than painting them blue or yellow and expecting us to know what day they correlate with?!
11. Simple household DIY. I do own a tool kit, yet I only get it out (wheyyyy) to give to my male housemates to help me in my hour of need (as a strident feminist, this is clearly my right). It would be easier if I knew myself how to do basic things like ‘bleed my radiator’. The first time I heard that I thought it was a slang term for a having sex with a girl whilst she was on her period (ha, but imagine if the current slang term for penis was ‘radiator’. Hahahahahaha. “He had a really big radiator”. I quite like it actually. I might try and make this happen.)
12. How to “spend the weekend just pottering”- this is truly the mark of a middle-aged person, surely? To me that conjures up an image of people just constantly walking round and round their houses at no great pace and for no real reason. “Good Saturday?” “Yep, had such an indulgent potter.” …………sorry, what?
Making the transition from unknowing naive graduate to adult is so scary and baffling. I mean for god’s sake, all I want is an amazing job that stimulates and uses my brain and is challenging without being too stressful in the area that I love/ trained/did a degree in, that pays me enough money to live in London, in an area that is vaguely pleasant and safe without fearing for my life whilst walking back from the station past sunset, go out for dinner without the help of a pizza express voucher and not automatically say ‘the cheapest one’ when asked which wine one would like, to buy a weekly travel card without wincing, to be able to book one decent, exciting holiday a year, to finally feel comfortable and confident with the way I look, to meet a man who is my best friend, who I fancy the pants off, who treats me well and doesn’t want to have sex with anyone else and to not feel like owning a house/getting married/having children are ridiculous, unattainable, laughable ideals and goals. I MEAN REALLY IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK WORLD?
But I am getting there, very slowly but sort of surely. There are some adult things I DO now know. But, dear hearts, that’s a blog for another time and for now, we’ll rub through these awkward twentysomething years together my pals. I’ve got your back.
P.s I’ll be really impressed if we can make ‘Radiator’ explicit slang. Hahahahhaha HIS LARGE THROBBING RADIATOR. HAAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA