By Lori-Ann Doig
It has recently occurred to me that I am now almost – not quite yet – an adult. And I use the term ‘adult’ extremely loosely. I’m making plans for the future, almost finished education, looking at job applications, a potential gap year abroad, and perhaps the most petrifying thing of all: thinking of flying the nest. However, all this growing up has made one thing glaringly obvious, I’m domestically challenged. In fact, it is so glaringly obvious that any time I mention leaving home to my friends, I’m met with stifled laughter, looks of complete and utter disbelief and something along the lines of “You? Aye, that’ll be right!” And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s true. I can’t cook, don’t clean, have never put on a clothes wash in my life and wouldn’t even know where to start with an iron. I can tell that people will be reading this thinking I’m spoilt, and I can assure you that’s certainly not the case. I think ‘lazy’ is a more appropriate word, possibly with a hint of hopelessness thrown in for good measure too. I’m probably the messiest of all my friends who, as a group of 18-year-olds, are pretty messy people. It’s not like my parents have never attempted to show me how to do these things, I just keep putting off the fact that one of these days I will actually have to learn how to look after myself. I’ve got to the point where I have realised that if I’m asked to tidy my room, I can put it off long enough and my mum will eventually do it for me, and if I do the hoovering half heartedly, I won’t be asked to do it again in a hurry...result! I don’t think I’ve always been this lazy, I think it’s an attribute I’ve developed in my teenage years. I used to have set chores to do at home every day. However it seems that secondary school, homework and, most importantly, a social life meant that I was always far too busy to spend five minutes emptying the dishwasher. My dad’s solution? Do it before school, but the choice between an extra five minutes in bed or getting up early to do chores was simply a no brainer. Anyway, the realisation that I’m the polar opposite of a domestic goddess made me wonder what on earth I spent my high school years learning. Many of us slaving away our high school years, memorising Pythagoras theorem formulas, quotes from books older than our parents and how the nitrogen cycle works, when we can’t even do the most basic everyday tasks. Schools seem to be teaching more and more outlandish subjects (algebra, anyone?) and fewer subjects that give us skills we can actually apply in later life. Now, I’m not for a second suggesting there are school subjects on how to do the ironing or how to cook a roast dinner - I think there would be public outcry if that was the case, plus could you imagine the boredom? My point is that how can we leave school as well rounded human beings when we’re not taught the basics? We can study maths and modern studies for six years and still leave school utterly clueless as to how Council Tax works and how to pay bills. Or am I completely wrong and these are things we have to live and learn? If that’s the case then I could quite happily live at home forever to save the embarrassment of getting things wrong and having to phone my mum for help around nine times a day – which I often do when she’s just at work. Maybe I’m just apprehensive because the realisation has hit me that I’m not Peter Pan and someday, fairly soon, I will actually have to act like a grown up and take responsibility for myself. If that’s the case then I guess it would be rude not to be as lazy as possible until the day when I actually have to fly the nest.
Lori-Ann is studying HND practical journalism at Fife College. She spent last week on a placement with the Fife Free Press.