I’ve always quite fancied the idea of being under house arrest. Like, so long as I could sit in the sunshine and maybe go for a run along the beach and also maybe go to F45 every now and again, then it’d be sweet. Like, I’d HAVE to stay at home. The LAW would dictate that I had to stay at home.
“I’m sorry, I can’t come to your party/baby-naming ceremony/gender reveal [I’ve just discovered that these are a thing. Like, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? Who gives a shit?] because I’m legally obliged to stay at home. I’m not allowed to come to your made-up celebration. Goodbye and good luck.” To me, that sounds fucking blissful.
House arrest sounds appealing not – I hasten to add – because I’m agoraphobic or any of that other medically diagnosed shiz. I just like being at home. I like my own company. I am happiest in the company of a cup of Yorkshire tea, a good book and BBC 6 Music on the radio. And maybe some biscuits. Biscuits are good.
I don’t wish to over-dramatise, but I hate leaving the house. I really have to psych myself up to head out for the school run, a day of work or – good god – a social engagement. And let’s not even mention social engagements after – shock, horror – dark.
But that is not the point of this story. This is not a blog post subtly (not so fucking subtly) suggesting that you never, ever invite me to another social engagement, after dark or otherwise.
No. On the contrary, this is a blog post suggesting that leaving the house is a GOOD IDEA, even though every fibre of your being is hoping that the other party falls ill and cancels your social engagement, right up to the point that you’re politely kissing them on the cheek and saying HOW LOVELY IT IS TO SEE THEM AGAIN.
Here’s why: last week, I reluctantly left my house on three different reluctant occasions. On three of these occasions, I hoped, prayed and fervently wished that the other party would cancel. C’mon, surely a pet could, like, DIE, and get me off the hook, right? No, apparently they couldn’t, the selfish fuckers.
But! And here comes the point of this stupid blog post: on each of these three occasions I found myself in the company of the most incredible humans I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. I LEARNT shit and laughed and related and thought OH MY GOD, I REALLY BLOODY LIKE YOU AND I AM SO GLAD THAT YOUR GERBIL DIDN’T SUDDENLY DIE.
IF their respective gerbils had suddenly died, I wouldn’t have found about the wonders of naked yoga, the perils of online dating (WILLIES! WILLIES EVERYWHERE!), the reality of communist Yugoslavia (actually quite jolly!), the number of mothers faking their post-natal depression questionnaire, the joy of infected tonsils (PUS! PUS EVERYWHERE!), the appearance of a body after 12 days in a freezing river and the undisputed fact that humans are fucking brilliant, if you make the effort to get to know them, which of course you won’t if you never leave the fucking house.
And so, I have made a resolution. While I will NEVER answer the phone to have a wee chit-chat (LOOK AND LEARN ELLA KENT, LOOK AND LEARN) and I will RARELY, IF EVER, leave the house after dark, I will, at a push, make the effort to meet people, both new and old. By which I mean, both people that I’ve known for a while and people that I’ve never met; not PEOPLE WHO ARE LITERALY NEW AND OLD, like infants and old people. I have little to no interest in infants, not even my own.