WE’RE all unique aren’t we? This is what I keep reading on Facebook anyway. “You’re unique…just like everyone else.” Of course, I’ve been saying for years that not only are we not unique, we’re so alike that it’s actually scary.
Have you ever met with someone for an ‘auld natter’ and at some point in the chat one of you will say “ah here…me and you are like two peas in a pod.” You’ll talk about something you do and then the other person will say that they’re always doing that too.
The thing is, we’re all a lot busier than we used to be. More of us are working now, with kids and partners to look after and we don’t have the time to sit and have those long chats that we might have done in our youth. It’s only when you get the chance to have these tête-à-tête’s that you will remember just how unique you actually aren’t.
I picked up a cool retro T-shirt in Penneys the other week except it wasn’t cool at all because every Tom, Dick and Harry will be wearing it around John Roberts Square within the next fortnight.
Let me tell you about some of the things that I do and have done – just notions from the top of my head – and you can shout “SNAP” in your head (or out loud if you want – that would be pretty unique in fairness).
When I was a child, I somehow managed to think that rape and stab meant the same thing. Seriously. I was going around telling people that I’d rape them if they didn’t give back my sticker album. I can’t remember exactly when I learned about the mystery of child birth but I know for a fact that through most of primary school I went from thinking that babies came out of a belly button or a bum. Primary School boys don’t really haven’t a clue about vaginas or how many holes women actually have down there. To be honest, this probably remained a mystery right through secondary school as well.
Also, as a child, I believed that if you swallowed anything that wasn’t food, you’d more than likely die. I remember swallowing a bit of plastic and instantly coming out in a sweat convinced I had inadvertently killed myself. I sat in my room, in nervous silence, waiting for death to collect me, but he never arrived (although I still keep one eye open for him as I walk the streets as a 35-year old. Most of you probably shared my belief that swallowing chewing gum or swimming after a hape of ham sandwiches would also more than likely result in your death.
As a result of TV advertisements, the most dangerous place on Earth, as far as 12 year old me was concerned, was one of those Electricity gardens (I don’t know what they’re actually called). Remember the ad where the little idiot runs in to get his ball…I used to be taunted as a kid cause he shared the same name as me…do you remember it? Darren…DARREN! Darren’s dead.
The belief in the tooth fairy was real and I remember trying to con her one year after I found half a chewed peanut that looked remarkably like a tooth. Surprisingly, it didn’t work. When the Ice Cream man came down our street we’d all run out in our socks to get one of those screwballs (Ice cream with a bubble gum at the bottom)…running around in your socks was extremely common in the 80s and 90s.
Jump forward to today and we’ll see how ‘unique’ we actually are. I have become infinitely more irritable than I ever thought possible since I’ve been a member of Facebook. Consequently, I have probably unfollowed about 85% of my friends list on the book. Now, before I go on, let me say that if you’re a Facebook friend of mine, I definitely don’t do this with you (promise). Also, I’m very much aware of how much of a narky fecker I’m about to look here but I bet you that you’re going to be just as guilty!
When I see someone checking in to the airport I usually unfollow them – for the duration of their holiday anyway – simply because I’m not sure I can cope with the pictures of the beach knees, cocktails and beautiful sunsets. If I see ya sharing something like “Facebook will be charging from next week…it says so on Channel 13 news”, then there’s a good chance that I will never see any of your future Facebook updates again. I recently saw a list of all the people that I have recently unfollowed and I felt quite bad, so I started to follow them again, only to quickly be reminded of why I unfollowed them in the first place.
When I get a phone call in a public place, that I have no intention of answering, I’ll sometimes look around me to make sure that the person is not watching me from across John Robert Square and then gets to witness me seeing their name and choosing not to answer. As narky and as unsociable as I am making myself look, I’ll actually go out of my way to help someone and not have them think that I’m rude or stuck up.
Do you ever see someone you know on the street but they don’t see you, and you decide not to stop and say hello because you’re really just not in the mood for a chat? No, me neither, I’d never be that rude. Do you throw a napkin over the dinner that you’re embarrassed about not finishing? Do you laugh at the naivety of “private numbers” thinking that you’re ever going to answer the phone to them? Do you ever feel tempted to leave that thing at the bottom of the trolley that you know the check-out person didn’t see?
Are you currently thinking that I’m, frankly, a horrible person? It’s okay, because you are too.