So, as you all know by now, I come into college every day and sit next to an actual celebrity.
I’m not sure the other people in my office suite know that she’s famous. They’re all from places like America and Uganda, and the other two Irish girls never seem to be in the office at the same time as her. So no one’s ever brought up the fact that she’s “off the telly”. I know some of my friends would be really good at that. They’d just say it to her, but not me. I am a wuss, and so, just like the Trinity College School of Education website pretends she’s been nothing but a teacher all her life, so do I. We talk about the desks, the times we arrive, the times we leave (I do both later than she), the weather and the like (though we still haven’t mentioned the crops. I’m sure it’ll come up soon.)
How do I have a real conversation with her? I’ve vaguely considered the tack: “So, nobody else has said it, but I know you’re famous.” That sounds weird and stalker-y, so I won’t do that.
I’ve also thought about friending her, and all the rest of the PhD’s, on facebook, making it look like I was just being friendly to everyone in the office. Then she would get to know me through my witty and insightful status updates, she’d discover this blog, and be moved by the pathos and humour of my writing and we’d become best buddies and I’d be famous within months.
But no! If she saw my facebook page or if she read the blog, then she’d see that I’d written four status updates about her AND two blog posts. She’d see that I’d googled her, looked at her Wikipedia page and her IMDB page. That’s real stalker behaviour. I’d be shamed. And then, if I did ever become famous, she’d make sure that all the other celebrities refused to be friends with me, and what’s the point in being famous if you don’t have fabulous showbiz friends to go to fabulous showbiz parties with?
So, she can never see my facebook. She can never read this blog. In short, we can never be friends.
In other wuss-related news, I’ve been loitering outside the gym again. I’ve joined both the boxing club and the squash club. You’re allowed to laugh. My mother laughed in my face when I said I’d joined the squash club.
Anyway, the boxing club does an hour of non-contact boxing technique three times a week. It’s basically a free aerobics class. I haven’t been past the door yet. I guess I’m afraid the other kids will laugh at me.
And I haven’t even pretended to myself that I’ll be going to the squash classes this week.
I will screw up my courage eventually and just do it.
I know I’m capable of getting on with “students”. Yesterday evening was the first time I sat down in the kitchen and had a proper chat with my flatmates. They’re lovely. And a little scared of me. The kitchen had been in a state. But as soon as I sat down among them, one of them (who appears to have an unspoken leadership role) announced that they were going to do a clean-up. With that, they all stood up, separated and took out rubbish, washed, dried and put away dishes, cleaned off counter-tops and tables, swept and mopped(!) the floor. It was a military operation. I offered to help, but was told that I wasn’t the cause of it, so I wasn’t to even dream of helping, which is a shame, because I’d pictured the scene in my mind, and it had different. The scene I had imagined had been like “A Woman’s Touch” from Calamity Jane, when Katie (me) shows Calamity Jane (the boys) how to spruce up a room real nice. But that’s not going to happen now. Apparently they already know how. They just don’t do it. Often. Until my presence scares them into action.
Anyway, I ate with them for the first time. One had a lasagne, another pancakes and two more shared an entire chicken, and nothing else.
Two of the boys tossed a rugby ball to each other across the room for about two hours.
I may have stumbled into something good.
Or not. I’ll keep you updated.