Before I moved to Trinity Hall, I had to pay a subscription of €50 to something called the JCR, or the Junior Common Room. This is a misleading name. The Junior Common Room is not, in fact, a room. It is a committee. A committee that organises parties. It also looks after the sports and music facilities and distributes condoms, but mainly it organises parties. Parties I have paid €50 for but never once attended. Every week, the President of the JCR sends me a badly punctuated email that I read in a Southside Dublin accent. It always ends with “Your JCR loves you”. And every time I read those words, I want to punch the screen of whatever computer I happen to be sitting at.
My JCR may love me, but I do not love my JCR.
And yet, the thing that is preoccupying me this week, above anything else, is the election for next year’s JCR.
Over the last week or two, I’ve been spending a bit more time with my flatmates, for a number of reasons, but mainly because I want to. Three of the boys are going for positions on next year’s JCR. And it has me in a right tizzy.
I’ve come up with slogans. I’ve helped with speechifying. And I’ve pledged my poor put-upon sister’s poor put-upon car as a campaign vehicle.
And my chest tightens and my tummy knots at the thoughts of my boys not winning. Or worse, the thought that one of them wins and the others don’t. I literally don’t think I’d cope. Urgh!
I have absolutely no idea why this matters a damn to me. But it does, so keep your fingers crossed. All of you.
I have been unusually emotional for the last few weeks too. I’m not sure if it’s related to the fact that I’m spending time with younger people, but I’ve been FEELING an unusual number of FEELINGS recently. A bit like a girl in a vampire novel.
So much so that I found myself listening to Depeche Mode’s Somebody and Radiohead’s Black Star over and over again the other day, tempted by my strong FEELINGS to turn off the lights. Maybe even to rock back and forth a bit with my eyes closed.
Don’t worry though, it’s not depression. I had equally strong FEELINGS yesterday that prompted me to listen to the Vengaboys on repeat. The Vengabus IS coming. And everybody’s jumping.
I still have a grown-up life too. I’m working the bejayzus out of myself. I feel like a teacher again, which is nice. And in a very grown-up-esque episode yesterday I went to a garden centre.
It should have been easy. Both myself and my friend – let’s call her Fluorouracil- were fairly sure of how to get to the Garden Centre. We were to follow the Luas tracks and it was on the right. We set off at a leisurely pace. Having gone wrong once and having to reverse into the front of a long queue of cars, we did well and saw the garden centre on our right. There was no right turn. We drove on. There was no way to turn right. Suddenly we had to make a choice. The M50 ring road? The road to the city centre? Neither made much sense. So of course I took the wrong one and found myself on the motorway, heading for Galway, with very little petrol. I’d left myself a two and a half hour window to get to the garden centre, drop Fluorouracil and her gardening paraphernalia home and get back to work for my evening class. This window suddenly seemed very narrow.
We got off the M50 and found petrol. The petrol pump went beyond my control and ejaculated petrol all over Fluorouracil’s shoes.
Now, to re-find the Luas line. We got to Heuston Station, drove into the carpark by accident and turned around to drive back out. We crossed back to the wrong side of the river. It was now only an hour and a half till I had to be at work.
On the third go, we got on the right road. We found our way to the garden centre. We bought the necessaries. The rush hour traffic was in no way helpful. I dumped my friend and her gardening accoutrements at the front of her house like a lonesome Paddington Bear, then drove to town, taught my class, drove home and spent three hours talking JCR elections, getting up for work five hours later.
I’m having lots of FEELINGS about my weight too. The other day, I found myself asking myself “What if I lose all thirteen stone I need to and I still don’t like myself?” That’s a dangerous thought that weightwatchers shouldn’t have.
Because of my bonkers work schedule, I was at an unusual WeightWatchers meeting on Monday. It was on the Northside. And the leader was a man. I’ve never met a male WeightWatchers leader before. He had a belly. Not a cute little belly. A full-on beergut. And he was responsible for helping me lose weight. I’m sure he’s a healthy weight, or else WeightWatchers would fire him, but I still judged him for not having the body of Ryan Gosling.
He was great fun, entertaining all the old dears at the meeting with a patter like a market stall trader or a snake-oil salesman. He was funny and engaging, but I don’t think he mentioned weightloss once. Next week I’m going to his competition, another male WeightWatchers leader who once lost 21 stone (an Irish record). If he won’t inspire me, I have no idea what will.
Not that I need inspiring. I lost two and a half pounds this week. That’s all the weight I gained at my birthday and at the Hen Weekend gone.
Onward and upward. I’m off out now for my first run of Week 3 of Couch-to-5K.
Wish me luck!