It’s week three of my non-theatrical blog challenge and I’m having to revise my goal already. Previously, I gushed about my hope that my efforts would lead to the wonderful Caitlin Moran taking notice of me and begging me to become her best friend. Well, as she made clear in her Times column this week, Caitlin doesn’t want any more friends…
Despite my disappointment, I will plough on regardless. I promise I’m not a stalker, or even slightly threatening to Caitlin. I’m just keen to emulate her ability to churn out a weekly column – that has nothing to do with theatre. So, for the writing practice if not for the friendship potential, I continue.
You can read more about why I started doing this here. In the meantime, on to this week’s letter. And do feel free to check out Caitlin’s original Times piece (summary and outtakes below, the – wittier, better written – paragraphs in indented quotes are Caitlin’s words, not mine). Hey, you may even think it makes sense to read her first so you know what I’m responding to.
I’m a Buzzfeed fan (though I strictly limit my time on the site or days would simply disappear) so I love a listicle. Yours this week of “Six Things I Will Never Do Again” was a good use of the form.
To recap in case you’ve forgotten – or for the benefit of others reading – your six things were:
- Taking drugs
- Spending evenings with cokeheads (closely related to 1)
- Visiting East Anglia
- Drinking champagne with oysters
- Making new friends
I’m generally averse to saying “never again” because, hey, you never know how you or life circumstances may change in future. (A prime example of this: I can’t see myself ever again living in the country of my birth, the United States, but I daren’t give up my passport … just in case.)
However, having considered the gauntlet you’ve thrown down, I realise there are indeed some I can pretty safely and categorically rule out.
“I’ve got eight friends, and that really does seem enough – one for each day of the week, and a spare, in case of accidents. Just the right amount to fit around the table without having to get the extra chairs up from the basement. I don’t have any more room – either in my heart or in my kitchen, which are pretty much the same thing, tbh – for any more people… Unless one of the eight dies, the shutters on my heart are closed. NO MORE SUBMISSIONS FOR AMITY THANK YOU I AM REPLETE.”
First, though, let me just comment on your friends’ stance. I am not simply saying this because I’d love to befriend you myself, but this seems to me a very sad and misguided decision. Yes, I’ve got some wonderful friends who I have been close to since my formative years in my teens and twenties. But I would be so much poorer if I closed myself off to friendships established in recent years. Some truly incredible individuals who have seen me through some dark and difficult times over the past year in particular. I wouldn’t still be here, sane and happy, without them.
We don’t remain fixed throughout our lives; we evolve, as do our passions, interests and ambitions. We enhance our daily lives and experiences by meeting and connecting people who share those passions and interests, people who challenge, inspire, motivate and affect us in ways we can’t even anticipate.
I’m so grateful for all of my friends, new and old – and the future ones I look forward to meeting and getting to know.
11 things I’ll never do again
Here’s my list of things I’ll never do again – some imposed upon me, some by choice and some by very hard lessons learned.
- Introduce myself as “Terri from WhatsOnStage”, attend the WhatsOnStage Awards or represent the company in any way. (People, that means, you can please stop complaining to me about what WhatsOnStage is or isn’t doing anymore – nothing to do with me!)
- Own less than 50% of any company I found.
- Work with anyone I don’t like, trust and respect.
- File an employment tribunal claim. (Mainly because I never intend to call anyone else boss again, or give them authority over my career fate).
- Wear leggings in public.
- Start watching a play without checking my phone, Ipad and any other device to ensure that they are on silent plus switched off and are absolutely not going to make a peep that might disturb the performance. (Otherwise, TheatreCharter would be all over me like a ton of bricks! Have you signed yet, by the way?)
- Buy a DVD.
- Subscribe to a print newspaper. (Print magazines I still do. I love the monthly thunk as it drops through my letter slot onto the doormat.)
- Have 20/20 vision. (Reading glasses now accompany me everywhere.)
- Date an actor.
- Get a full Hollywood bikini wax. (PAIN!)
- Give birth. (Well, this is not an again as I have no children, but at 45, I have to admit that that boat has sailed. And I’m okay with that. I love my life. I love my nieces, nephews and friends’ kids.)
Until next week,