1. Giving my Facebook name to every Tom, Dick & Harry who ask for it
Oh hi, I’m Rhiannon and you’ve only just met me but if you ask for my Facebook name and/or Whatsapp number, I’ll probably give it to you because I am a weak person with zero concept of the word ‘no’.
I currently have 11 Facebook friend requests from strange people, mostly men, who I’ve met once, maybe twice, in my life. Because I am just too weak to say no! Mostly it happens on buses. I end up sat next to a complete stranger who just wants to practice speaking English, and so that we do. The next thing I know I’ve got a Blackberry shoved in my face with the Facebook search bar already open and being asked to promise that I’ll teach them English over Chat. ‘Elp.
“Oh, that’d be difficult; I hardly ever use Facebook,” she says, trying hard to rack her brains for the last day she didn’t aimlessly scroll through the Newsfeed without actually taking anything in.
Mostly I don’t mind having these people as friends, occasionally Liking their new profile pic, wishing them happy birthday and having the odd awkward “Hi how are you? Good how are you? I’m fine” chat every once in a while. But when the friend request comes flying in with a little message along the lines of “Hey sxc you have nice legs”, I’m out.
And besides, you wouldn’t notice my legs in a field of potatoes. They are far from nice, so clearly he’s lying. Who wants to be cyber friends with a bare-faced liar, huh?!
2. Buying custard creams anywhere other than the UK.
Silly as it sounds, custard creams taste like home to me. On the rare occasions I’m feeling a little homesick, watching a bit of Harry Potter and wolfing down half a pack of custard creams soon sorts me out.
Except [cue whiny Angelica from Rugrats voice] they’re not the saaaaame.
No matter where I am in the world, the biscuit part always has that same half-mushy texture as the biscuit that spent the night at the top of a pack you forgot to seal, and the cream actually tastes like custard. I’m sorry but that is not what I go for in a custard cream.
3. Comparing myself to others.
Within my friendship circle, within the workplace (back when I had one), in the streets, in the blogging world, even within my family. I do this in all aspects of my life.
It’s never in an “I want to be her“, envious kind of a way though.
Except for Beyoncé. I want to be Beyoncé please. Who doesn’t want to be Beyoncé?
It’s more of an observational “Oh look, she/he has got this and that and is going here and there. Why is that not me?”
And you bet your bottom dollar I’ll find a reason!
When I was dumped on Copacabana beach (not 100% true but makes me laugh to type it) by BF of almost six years in favour of a doctor he’d known for 2 minutes, it wasn’t because we’d both grown up and grown apart and weren’t right for each other anymore.
It was because she is a doctor and I am not; she has green eyes and mine are boring brown; she owns a flat and I own a Nutribullet; she can drive and I can’t; she is a “professional” and I work for the Internet, and not in a super-rich Bill Gates kind of way; she runs because she enjoys it and I run because I just can’t say no; she has a good background and I’m from the Valleys *shudder*; she’s a bring home to your mother type girl and I- well, let’s not go there.
I spent weeks and weeks mentally comparing myself to her – this girl who I never had and hoped I never would meet – and it really put me on edge. But at the end of the day, does it really matter?
Yes. Yes it does. No. It doesn’t. Because we’re all unique little snowflakes, aren’t we?
4. Taking taxi drivers’ phone numbers and promising them they’ll be the first person I’ll call.
Because I’m sorry to all the taxi drivers I’ve ever lied to, but the next time I’m in town (which will likely be a good few years from now) and I rock up at the airport in the middle of the night all jetlagged and stinky and in dire need of a hot shower and a donut, the first thing on my mind will not be “oh wait, let’s call that nice man from before to come pick us up! What’s his name again...” The first thing on my mind will be running out of those main doors and jumping in the first taxi I see. If that is you and you recognise me, fan-bloody-tastic.
Otherwise, maybe I’ll call you the next day.
But I promise you won’t remember me! Because you probably give your number to aaaallll the chatty little foreigners you get in your cab. You probably ask all of them what their name is, where they’re from and the all important question of whether they’re married and if not why not?
And that’s fine, I’m okay with that.
I don’t have to be your favourite passenger ever *sob*. I don’t have to be the “crazy girl” in your eyes like you claim I am.
But if you don’t remember me, I won’t call you. Simple.
And more realistically and less cold-hearted, by the time I come back you all might have moved on from a life of ferrying people around in your little yellow cars, and how silly would I look then calling up and being all “hey, remember me from 6 years ago? My plane just landed – come pick me up! Oh, you’re an accountant now? Well…”
5. Wishing time away.
You know when you’re a kid and you really really really want the Autumn term to go by super fast because you just want Christmas and presents and Home Alone on TV and you no longer care about the value of x or how many different ways you can describe an apple? So you wish every night that it would fly by but if anything it just drags on slower than ever, and a day feels like a year. Then Christmas does finally come around and it whizzes past in the blink of an eye.
I still do that now, and I really shouldn’t! Because when you’re a grown-up (if being 23 with your most valuable possession being a Nutribullet counts as grown up) time actually does what it’s told.
For the most part anyway.
One minute you’re sat there in a boring work meeting willing the clock to strike 5 so you can go home to GBBO and last night’s leftover Chinese, and the next thing you know you are at home but it’s 60 years later and you’re sat in a rocking-chair on the front porch with your husband listening to Classic FM while your sixteen grandkids are fighting over who gets the last Werther out of your purse.
Okay, so that hasn’t happened to me. Yet. But you get the gist. Time is whizzing by, but I still find myself wishing it’d go faster sometimes.
6. Buying clothes without trying them on first.
Everyone knows that sizes vary from store to store, even when the stores are right next door to each other on the high street. You think there’d be a bit of coordination going on, right? Yeah, I’m talking to you H&M and your random pull names out of a hat sizing guide.
It’s even bloody worse when you go from country to country!
In the UK I’m consistently Size 10, sometimes 8 depending on the garment and brand. That would translate to what? S/M?
Well, in China I am L/XL.
Not even lying. Wish I was but I’m not.
I found this out the hard way when all I wanted was a plain, slightly oversized t-shirt to wear to bed – not normally something you’d have to try on in-store, right? I grabbed a size L because bed clothes should always be bigger for more comfort and took it to the till. The nice Chinese man kept pointing at the tag, back to me, back to the tag and saying something in Chinese but obviously I had no clue what he was trying to get across because I only had three Chinese lessons before my teacher fell down the stairs and then moved back to China.
It all became clear that night, though, when I got ready for bed and the “oversized” t-shirt I bought fell just above my hips with my non-existent biceps bulging out of the arms like Popeye.
Moral of the story: always try clothes on, especially in China where you can’t understand the returns policy.
7. Making tiny little plaits in my hair and forgetting about them.
Because when I eventually find them six days later after spending an hour trying to condition my hair and wondering why it’s not coming out all smooth and shiny like a Kardashian, I hate myself.
They are impossible to comb out by that point, and so inevitably I end up losing my patience and ripping out clumps of hair the size of Hawaii. Then I cry and hate myself even more than before.
It’s a vicious never-ending Circle of Plait Life.
But I genuinely cannot stop. It’s an automatic reaction now. Two hour bus ride? Make tiny plaits. WiFi not working? Make tiny plaits. Nothing else to do? Make tiny plaits.
Make all the tiny plaits and pull out all the hair.
8. Over-analysing and over-thinking absolutely every tiny detail of everything.
In my mind the train can’t just be late. It has to be for a reason. Maybe there was a sheep on the track (common problem in Wales, not lying) or someone jumped on the track or there’s a flood somewhere or the train driver had trouble getting his kid to go to school that morning or an old man had a heart attack three train stations back so now the whole schedule is lagging.
I’ll notice someone looking at me in the street and within seconds 999 is up on my screen with my finger hovered over the CALL button.
Because that person is planning my imminent kidnapping and/or murder. Of course they are. They’re planning on tying me up to one of those drain pipes that run along the side of the walls in abandoned buildings and forcing me to sell my kidneys to fund their international drug business. Or they’ll cut off my hair and make me change my name to Eliza and feed me nothing but gruel and bread in a cosy little basement prepared especially for me to live out the rest of my days, kitted out with a bed and nice little kitchenette a la Room.
Except they’re probably not planning any of that. I mean, they might be but probably not. Chances are they weren’t even looking at me in the first place, and what actually happened is I was stood in the way of an advertisement for Lion King Live in Theatre or something.
Pretty sure that 99% of people think people who don’t want to kill them do want to kill them, though. And the other 1% are just trying to seem tough.
My brain should switch off and just let things be for a change.
9. Spending money I don’t *yet* have.
The *yet* is there to make it clear to any people reading back home that I’m not completely irresponsible with money, just a little bit irresponsible with money.
So, I’m not a max out your credit card, extend your overdraft by 100% and borrow £50 off your next door neighbour while still buying a new Kate Spade bag every week kind of gal.
Like, I do owe people money right now, but that’s not because I don’t have money, more because I lost my debit card in Chile and have been in a bit of a topsy-turvy, swapping money from one account to the other and back again kind of pickle ever since. And also because I was overcharged by $100 at my hotel in California and am still waiting for my $313 refund 2 weeks later.
Anyway, I don’t spend money I don’t have and know I never will have, mainly because I don’t want to go bankrupt and end up in an all women’s prison with a lot of scary ladies.
I do, however, spend money that’s coming to me before it’s actually in my hand.
If I know I’ve got some money coming my way, I won’t think twice about dipping into my overdraft to splash out on a fancy hotel for the night or a one way ticket to Bucharest (really happened… coming up next January) because my mentality is “it’ll be replaced soon”.
Doesn’t work like that, Rhiannon, stop being a lemon.
10. Putting off doing things I should be doing with things that kind of aren’t so important.
Current example: this post is brought to you in the middle of a fifteen-minute turned 2 hour “break” from translating a very interesting 7500 word document about Spanish ham and why it doesn’t taste as salty as it actually is, complete with a diagrams. Don’t envy my life please.
I should be translating. I really, really should. Those 7500 words will pay for a whole month in India, and I only have 72 hours to get it done so it’s kind of urgent.
But what am I doing instead?
Writing a blog post about things I should stop doing. I’m such a hoot.
Seriously. I use blogging as an excuse not to translate, translating as an excuse not to blog, sleeping as an excuse not to go out and going out as an excuse to be sleeping. And I spend so long not doing what I should be doing that by the time I actually do them it’s too late.
You get me?