Monday, February 09, 2004
I Wanna Be In Your Gang
I hate being left out. It dates back to my junior school days. Then, whenever it was anyone's birthday, the lucky seven-year-old was ceremoniously lifted onto the teacher's desk, and everyone crowded around him to sing "Happy Birthday" very badly. It was probably excruciatingly embarrassing for the person concerned, but I so much wanted to be that boy. But my birthday was in July, bang in the middle of the summer holidays, so I was forever denied my schoolboy serenade, as well as the pocket-money birthday presents they were encouraged to buy, and some of whom actually did. Chiz, swizz, as Nigel might say.
So ever since then I've always wanted to belong, and to be included in everything. You have a badge? Let me wear it. You run a pub quiz team? Ask me to be on it. Some ridiculous fashion trend? Let me follow it, till I realise I can no longer carry off the kind of things I could at twenty. A brand-new cheap thrill? Go on, but just a cheeky half, mind you. And it goes without saying that, should you ever be lucky enough to be in possession of an envelope, you simply must invite me to its opening. Darlings.
So to those other dear darlings who threw a little get-together over the weekend, and neglected to put my name on the guest-list: yes, I know I would have hated it, and it certainly wasn't my sort of scene; yes, you'd known for weeks I had a previous appointment on a podium somewhere in South London; and of course I do recall saying I never again wanted to share floor-space with the individual whose milestone birthday was being celebrated for what I calculate to be the third time.
And would I have turned up if I had been invited? Oh, do grow up, my dears, of course I wouldn't have. But you might have asked.
And no, I am not sulking. Much.