Home is where the Arrested Development/Heart is…
On Saturday night I spent the evening at a friend’s house gossiping about boys, eating takeaway pizza and watching Take Me Out. At 1030pm, my dad picked me up in the car and asked if I’d had a nice time.
It was at this point that I realised I appear to have stolen the life of a 14 year-old girl. I imagined that somewhere in the country at that very minute, a very confused teenager must be in the midst of an ironic game of table tennis in a overpriced bar in East London, as someone called JJ asks her how much of a dent she’s made in her student loan repayments.
This game of Freaky Friday has happened because I have moved back into my childhood home. I’ve been there since Christmas because my partner decided that our relationship was clearly going so well, that the only option he had was to take things to the next level. No not by proposing, but by moving to Russia. ALONE. Such larks.
But as one of my friends said to me, ‘Russia? A land full of predatory prostitutes and limitless vodka; what could go wrong?’.
So out of the nice flat in London and back to the mother ship I have come. It’s weird timing, what with me diving into the comedy world. On one hand it’s a terribly exciting bit of my life, full of potential work projects and tantalising grown-up meetings, then on the other hand, rarely has a day passed in 2012 where I haven’t heard ‘ELEANOR. Small bowls go in the BOTTOM of the dishwasher.’
In fact, I have learnt that the dishwasher is a crucial part of family life in a way I hadn’t appreciated before I left home. After a thorough scientific study, I have learnt that my mother’s mood is directly proportional to how loudly she unloads the crockery from the depths of its wiry skeleton.
Two or three bangs of china on china: proceed with caution but so long as you don’t interrupt The Archers, you should be OK.
Four bangs or more: RED ALERT. YOU SHALL NOT PASS. DISASTER HAS OCCURED (90% of the time, the disaster is Sky Plus related. Incomplete recordings of shows about fat people, or shows about dancing prove to be the most disastrous. If it’s deleted something about fat-people-dancing , RUN LIKE THE FRICKING WIND).
So it’s taking some getting used to. Not because my parents are anything other than wonderful housemates (Sky Plus dependent of course) but basically, because it’s not normal for 28 year-old people to live with their mum and dad. Unless you are an Italian man. And I am definitely not an Italian man, because I hate both olives AND infidelity.
So here I am, a grown woman trying to work out exactly what I want from life all in this strange domestic setting of arrested development. But I have promised myself that I will not let this odd happenstance affect my progression through life. No, I will strive forward to independence, soldiering a path on my own two feet towards a future full of fulfillment and success! I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.
…But not right now, ‘cos Dad’s just said dinner’s ready.