A few weeks ago, Kitty Holland published an article on ‘mom bashing’ and the negative reaction that a mother got from her fellow mums at the school gate when she broke the news to them that she was returning to college. The reaction to this article online was one of disbelief, people all over the country couldn’t believe it. But I could. It was all too familiar. It must have taken place somewhere on the southside. Living in South Co Dublin comes with some baggage… and that baggage is… drumroll… bolloxing about at school. I was previously unaware of this phenomena, but with my son starting school in September, we both were dropped in the deep end.
‘Oh, don’t bother introducing yourself, this is the only morning I will be here, I have to work you know.’
‘I have to work too! I’m unemployed! Those magic beans didn’t work out!’
‘There is no point playing rugby unless you start him in Blackrock.’
‘You are SO right, you know these half baked clubs don’t put NEARLY enough pressure on the five year olds starting out.’
So, once the dust settled on the school runs and people started talking to me, no it’s not the crappy rental the car company gave me, that’s my ACTUAL car, I found that I had adjusted to the new levels of southsideyness and it all flowed over my head. That was until last Wednesday when I had occasion to find myself in a south Co Dublin Swiftcare clinic. To take my mind off the impending three stitches that my son needed in his chin, I began to look around. And then at myself. I didn’t fit in. That’s nothing new, I can generally be spotted sticking out like a sore thumb. Heels when everyone else is in flats? Short skirt when everyone else is in jeans? But this was subtle, and I began to think of areas that I could work on. I’m not talking full on makeover, just a few tweaks.
I would like to present now my new to do list.
Wearing an impossibly perfect white pressed crisp blouse – Being unemployed, er, a writer, my work wardrobe is dwindling. I no longer decide the night before what I am going to wear, preferring to go with the ‘If it doesn’t have puke on it, it’ll do’ method. I could do with being more organised.
Test: Still immaculate at the end of the day
Result: Lasted until we got the school gates. C+
Work on my accent – The Dort accent hasn’t gone away you know, it has just morphed. Into its more neutral cousin, the radio accent.
Test: Order a cappuccino with a hint disdain and ego. Not too much now, but just enough so that only people with the same accent will talk to you.
Result: No funny looks. B+
Improve my food skills -They have sandwiches my son mused, referring to the family behind us. They kindly offered us one. Pastrami? Only if its organic I scoffed.
Test: During a medical emergency have the presence of mind to make poncy sandwiches. Individually wrapped in special one off designer eco friendly picnic basket.
Result: Awaiting next emergency to practise. Might do a dry run to the GP.
All in all, I felt I learned something about myself, never ever change. Also, that I love where we live. Not only because we are beside the sea, but because I do quite enjoy sticking out and will continue to do so.