Thursday, 20 January 2011

Curriculum Vitae.

“That’s it”, I said, slamming down the lid of my laptop, “I’m never going to get a job”. Hubby, who had only been home a matter of minutes and who was no doubt, looking forward to snuggling on the sofa with a daughter or two before the evening’s onslaught began, sighed deeply.
“What is it now?”, he asked wearily, taking off his coat.
“This!”, I spat, lifting the lid again and gesticulating furiously at my computer.
“What has it done to you to make you so cross? It is an inanimate object”. I could, at this point, have thrown that last comment back in his face given his severe lack of humour two days previously when the new tv we’d bought in the sale had not fitted into the cubby hole in the sitting room where the tv resides. This meant that Hubby had to apply hammer and saw before he could sit back with a beer and gaze at his new, flat screen. He was very grumpy. Very grumpy indeed.
Instead I bit my lip and pouted a little. Hubby looked over my shoulder.
“So, what’s the problem love?”. His tone was decidedly more delicate. Perhaps he had remembered his contretemps with the MDF shelf and a 32 inch Toshiba.
“I’m unemployable”, I groaned, “I’m trying to write my CV but it’s a joke. I don’t know where to start. Who’s going to give a 45 year old woman a job who, for the past, almost 20 years, has been out of the serious job market? Making cappuccinos in a cafe doesn’t count and neither does the not, inconsiderable task of raising four children. Besides, I can barely get them to write their Christmas thank-you letters, so they are hardly likely to write their old mother a reference”.
At this juncture both my eldest children and Jacob the lodger, walked in.
“I’d give you a reference ma”, said my son, “You are a great cook and bon vivant!”
“Very kind of you my love but I’m not going for a job as a dinner lady”.
“Good point”.
“You are good at spelling mummy” added the 15 year old, “and you like poetry”.
“Yeah and look how you’ve taken me in Alice. Surely that comes under pastoral care or something?”
I smiled, “Listen kids, this is terribly sweet but there’s a little bit more to it than that. It has been quite a job bringing you all up and whilst the jury is still out”, I looked rather pointedly at my raven haired rocker of a son, “on how you may eventually turn out, you are at least not drug taking, little old lady attacking, car-jacking ASBOS. Unfortunately that means for knack all on my CV”.
“But mummy”, interjected my 15 year old daughter, “ if you have inspired us to read all sorts of works of literature and care about punctuation and grammar and how we construct a sentence, then I’m sure that you can inspire other young minds too”. I could have eaten her.
“Thank-you darling, I’ve also taught you all about persuasive speeches if that was anything to go by, I’m just not quite sure how to include that on my CV. Present teenagers recommend? I don’t think it would wash with the Head.” The Red-Head came looking for me and once found, climbed onto my lap.
“How was school?” I asked her, burying my face into her newly washed hair.
“We are learning all about the ancient Greeks”.
“Wow! That’s interesting”, I said.
“Yes but why were they all ancient? Wasn’t anybody young?” I looked at her askance. Her siblings laughed. The eight year old wandered in.
“I’ve tried explaining it to her mummy but she doesn’t get it” and as if to prove a point she came right into her sister’s face and said, very pointedly, “ These people lived a long-long-long-long-long-long-long-long, long time ago. That’s why they are ancient and not because they are all extremely old. Duh!”
We were all now in the dining room, seven humans, a dog and three cats. Almost everyone arguing with the other about some subject or other. The youngest were discussing the chronological intricacies of historical anthropology.
“So, you see after the Ancient Greeks came the Romans, followed by the Anglo-Saxons, followed by the Vikings. Then there was the Victorians..”
“When was baby Jesus then?”, asked the Red-Head. The eight year old scratched her head.
“Not sure”, she said, “After the Vikings maybe”.
There was a knock at the door and dad walked in.
“Alice dear” he said, waving a newspaper at me, “I’ve almost finished the crossword. Stuck on the last one. With whom was Yeats in love?”
“Maud Gonne”, I replied perfunctorily.
“Mum”, asked the 15 year old, “Can you help me with my essay? I need to analyse forms of love in Romeo and Juliet”.
“Yeah ma and I need help with The Great Gatsby and…”
“The decline of the American Dream?” He looked amazed.
“It’s always about that”, I said. Passionate about my subject, I can simultaneously inspire young minds and help old dads. Where oh where, can I insert that into my Curriculum Vitae?

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