Skip to main content

Ever Been an Unwanted Guest? (Writing Workshop)

Some years back,  I was a single working girl  living with my mother in Dublin, waiting to join my fiance in India just as soon as we could manage it.  I wasn't quite alone in my fiance-less state.  Oh, I had my family of course, but there was this great friend of mine, Tina, who was in the same boat. Tina's fiance Tony was off in the United States, working hard to build a future for the two of them. We loved to get together to discuss our hopes and dreams every so often.

One Saturday, after an evening drinking and chatting in a nice, friendly pub, neither of us was in a mood to go home. Tina suggested we go back to her place, so I could stay the night and we could continue our chat. Her parents and younger siblings were away on holiday, she told me. Only her brother Jim was there. I agreed, so we got the bus out to her place.

On reaching the house, we discovered a party in full swing. Loud music, smoke and bodies everywhere. Jim, Tina's brother along with his girlfriend, was hosting a get together  to celebrate his recent birthday. Smiling, I wished him a happy birthday. He muttered his thanks and took Tina aside for a quick word. I looked the other way, feigning disinterest. Family matters, especially other peoples', are best left alone. Tina asked me to sit down in the drawing room for a few minutes.

I lit up a cigarette and introduced myself to the person sitting beside me. Jim's girlfriend Sandy drifted by with a plate of potato chips. My mouth watered. Tina and I had visited the Golden Arches for burgers and chips earlier in the evening, but that seemed an age away. I helped myself to a handful of chips and Sandy felled me with a look. I couldn't believe it. What was the matter with the girl? I'd been visiting this house long before she came on the scene, I was like one of the family. What was her problem?

A couple of minutes later, she came by bearing a plate of microwaved cocktail sausages. Of course she didn't offer me any and I didn't even attempt to help myself. Same with the cans of beer she came around with a few minutes later. She pointedly offered a can to the people sitting on either side of me and purposely avoided me. Don't worry, I can take a hint!

Tina appeared before me bearing two large mugs of coffee with 'I heart Dublin' written on them. Told me she was tired and just wanted to crash out. She suggested we go upstairs to her room. So we did.

We drank our coffee, chatted a little more, but the fizz had gone out of the evening. Jim and Sandy's rudeness had really ruined it for me. I got into the bed of Tina's absent younger sister, and was soon asleep. We met Jim and Sandy nursing hangovers in the kitchen the next morning. I had nothing to say, but I couldn't help thinking 'serves them right!'  Tina served me tea, toast and marmalade, cornflakes and milk. And I went on my way, back home to mum.

I've always been a bit slow on the uptake. On the bus home it hit me. Jim was obviously ripe and ready for a place of his own. It was probably only a matter of time before he moved out of his parents' home. Last night, with parents away, that had been his chance to entertain friends at home as if he had his own place. He'd probably warned Tina that the house was his for the night and to keep her friends away. Knowing him, he'd probably counted the cost of every can of beer and cocktail sausage and had no intention of wasting his hospitality on Tina's friends.  Tina of course, would never tell me this. Such has been the problem of adult children living at home with parents!

Writing practise is always good.  This has been written for the writing workshop at  Sleep is for the Weak, authored by Josie George.  The piece was inspired by this week's (#27) prompt 4, "Tell us about a time when you didn't feel welcome.

This post originally appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 17/06/2010

Popular posts from this blog

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

The Climate in my Hometown LBC Post

I am originally from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. We have a maritime climate, neither too hot nor too cold. Cool, wet winters and warm summers.  We get the odd freak weather condition, like several feet of snow, once in a while to make life interesting.  Pretty ideal really.  

Now I reside in Lucknow in north India. In the Indo-Gangetic plain.  Cold dry winters, roasting hot summers and a humid rainy season.  It seems like it's always too hot or too cold. Or too humid. Humidity is something I dread.  It brings itching, rashes and all of that.  Okay, too hot will work for me. So will too cold (although I hate dry cold, that's energy-sapping). But humidity is .......not at all good. And that's a euphemism if ever there was one,. 

I wish to dedicate this post to my beloved and erudite rakhi brother Rummuser, who suggested this topic.

And thanks to for the above illustration, 'Paper Weather Icon Illustration' by SweetCrisis.

The Loose Blogging C…