I’ve left school a long way behind me. That’s both literal, because I moved three hundred full miles away and if I went any further I’d end up in the sea, and metaphorical, because a lot of things would need to happen for me to start fondly reminiscing about my school days. It’s not that they were particularly bad. In fact, some might say I stormed it. I made at least £40 in Virgin Megastores vouchers for good behaviour, and sometimes hung around with upwards of three people at lunchtimes. I even had a Bacardi Breezer at a party once.
Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t matter how fabulous and excessive a student life I lived, I was I was never going to be epic enough to be remembered. The teachers who used to talk to us about a couple of other famous students called George someone-or-other and Andrew let’s-be-honest-we-don’t-remember-him-quite-as-much-as-George-but-presumably-we-taught-him-too-so-godammit-we-will-talk-about-it are still raving about those guys. Anything the rest of us came up with never stood a chance.
No matter what I do, I can never live up to Wham!.
It’s always this time of year when the radio reminds me every hour that I’m never going to write synth-heavy 80s pop hits, like some ex-students did. I’m never going to rock a perm and frolic on a mountain top in aggressively bright ski gear in a video that gets trotted out every Christmas until the end of time. I’m probably not even going to crash my car into a local branch of Snappy Snaps, because I don’t own a car and if Snappy Snaps still exists it sure as hell does not still exist in Cornwall.
I’m not going to lie. It’s hard. I try to take it one day at a time, and it works perfectly well from Mid-January to Mid-November. And then the truly dangerous times hit. The times where I’m just one glass of rosé and an hour with a pack of Sun-In away from sacking everything else off and fulfilling my destiny as a one-woman tribute band, desperately searching for the chink of light at the end of the giant, Wham!-shaped tunnel.
So how does one carry on when one lives permanently in George Michael’s shadow (Less so Andrew Ridgeley’s if we’re all being very honest with ourselves)? Well, you gotta have faith.