LOUISE RIPLEY-DUGGAN does not want to be a real person with real ambitions and a real job. Ever.
This year I will turn 21, and in 18 months I will be forced to leave university and pretend to be a real person with real ambitions and real plans for the future. What a foul prospect. Until now, all I’ve had to think about are holiday jobs to fund my plethora of filthy habits. I figure that the more I obsess over finding one of them, the less I have to think about figuring out an actual career in just over a year.
This summer I have miraculously found myself proper, full time employment. This feels like an achievement. Last summer, I spent six hours a day sitting at a desk; approximately two of which I spent data inputting, and four of which I spent determinedly and furiously locked in a head-to-head battle against the computer in endless games of solitaire. This year, however, I will be working as an air-hostess.
How and why this is possible is a tedious story, so I won’t go into it. What is more entertaining is the fact that I am going to be wearing a uniform and a smile IN THE SKY. For those of you who don’t know me, I will refer back to a pleasingly fitting comment from last week’s column, naming me ‘Sloppy-Sluggan’. They were right. My shoes often have holes in them, as do most of my clothes. The majority of my wardrobe could double up as ‘loungewear’ (read: pyjamas). In a bid to grow my hair back to princess-flowing-long-locks, it is currently lacking what anyone might classify as a ‘style’, and thus my only option is to scrape it into variations on ‘dragged through a hedge backwards’ in a vain attempt to achieve ‘bedhead’ and pass it off as a ‘look’.
Come 1st July, I will somehow have to transform myself into a pristine paradigm of – shock horror - tidiness. My hair will have to be brushed and scraped; inexplicably turned into a doughnut atop my head. (I assume they will cover this in my training). Out will come the nose ring, the earrings and off with the cheap gemstones surgically attached to my knuckles. It’s a daunting prospect, and I pity whoever has the misfortune of having to supervise my rebirth as a neatly turned out, respectable looking lady.
When I tell people about this job, most of them look at me with uncertainty and say: ‘So, erm, is that something you might like to do, erm, full-time later on?’ Their looks say: ‘I am going keep my trap shut in case your lifelong dream is to be an air-hostess. I am going to pretend like I don’t think it’s a job for airheads, in case you actually are a raging bimbo.’ And, in case you were wondering: no, I don’t actually want to be an air-stewardess for the rest of my life. One summer is more than long enough to be forced to smile at wankers asking for another fucking blanket.
With such an exciting adventure ahead of me, and still no long term plans, I find myself at something of a loss. Last week, three important grownup people asked me what the fuck I plan on doing with my life once I’ve left The Bubble. Gone are the days when I can respond with statements like: ‘Sleep. All day every day,’ or ‘Pfff, probably marry someone with bags of cashdollar, and be a lady of leisure in my townhouse with a pug called Humphrey for company,’ or ‘actually I’ve just been to an interview at Stringfellow’s in Covent Garden. Turn up at 5 o’clock sharp on Tuesdays and Thursday in a G-string, heels and an easily removable dress and they’ll take you on. My training starts tomorrow.’
The honest answer is that I have no bloody clue what to do with myself, and I don’t really want to think about it. All you ‘sorted’ types with internships for REAL jobs in preparation for REAL life being paid REAL money can sod off – I plan on staying firmly ensconced in my dream world for as long as possible. The dream world where I get paid to smoke, eat infinite slices of toast (obviously never causing me to gain weight) and sleep for as long as I want, whenever I want. And until I am ready to emerge from my cocoon of comfort, please kindly leave me with my delusions.