Hello, lovely reader! How the devil are you?
I don’t know whether it’s the heat or Brexit or an angry Norse god having a tantrum, but there’s some dreadful stuff going on with my social circle at the moment. Everyone seems to be breaking up, getting into arguments, losing jobs or just generally feeling sad. Imagine the scene in Shaun of the Dead when Dylan Moran wants to kill Penelope Wilton and everyone’s getting hysterical and Liz screams “PLEASE can we all just CALM THE F*** DOWN!” – That’s the gist of things for us at the moment, except that no one is actually calming down…on the bright side, no one is threatening to shoot anyone’s mum. So that’s nice.
Apart from all of the serious problems, there are also a lot of people who are giving themselves an identity crisis by accidentally reliving their adolescence. For example:
“I think I’ve got a crush on someone.”
“Yeah. I don’t want to sleep with him, I just want to daydream about his hair and giggle.”
“I bought bubblegum the other day.”
“Are you twelve?!”
“Oh God, don’t. I dug out my Linkin Park CD as well.”
Worst of all, there are a few people who are going through quite serious bad patches in an adolescent way:
“And then SHE was all ‘bla bla bla’, and I was like ‘errrrrr, no!’ And then the OTHER guy was all like, I dunno, weird, and then I just turned round and was all, ‘no way’. You know?”
“…So you left your job?”
There is most definitely something strange in our neighbourhood.
Everyone knows that the hardest thing about watching your friends struggle is that that’s often all you can do: watch. When I was seven I got cast as the fairy godmother in the Year 2 production of Cinderella (five stars from the Independent and Time Out’s pick of the week, thank you very much), and the whole beneficent-sorceress-covered-in-glitter thing really went to my head. To this day I cannot understand why I do not own a real, fully functional magic wand. I don’t think any of us like not being able to fix things.
When we’re kids we think that everything can and will be fixed, either by an authority figure or by our own, unshakeable confidence in an ethical code (which is usually passed on by said authority figure and begins with “Well MY mum says…”). As adults we are less equipped to respond to our friends’ problems, partly because of social convention – it’s not really the done thing to interfere with other people’s relationships, jobs etc. – and partly because we actually have no idea what the hell we’re doing in our own lives.
The way I see it, there are two metaphorical ways of handling these bad patches: you either go to Mum’s, kill Philip (Sorry Philip), grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over, or you get out there and start killing the zombies with a Sade record and a cricket bat. Both approaches have their own merits, I suppose.
Whichever way you and your friends choose to act, I think the important thing is just to be present. If your friends are having an absolute shocker and you yourself are not entirely convinced that the “capable adult” costume looks good on you, standing shoulder to shoulder against the zombies is really your only option. Sometimes it seems easier to run away or hide when things are getting tricky, but then you’re alone, and no one wants to be alone when the apocalypse hits. Watching catastrophes might be frustrating, but it means the world to your friends to have you there with them. See if you can rope Simon Pegg in as well; he’s probably good in a crisis.
Have a gorgeous weekend!