After a long day out and about I like to come home and change straight into my pyjamas. Replacing zips and buttons with elasticated cotton and jersey is an every day kind of bliss. But when the fire alarm unexpectedly starts trumpeting in its full glory, in a student hall where you don’t know anyone yet, a social nightmare begins to play out. No-one, especially not complete strangers, needs to know that I sport last year’s Primark fleece Christmas-themed pyjamas to bed in September. What’s more, strangers certainly don’t need to find themselves being introduced to me sans any form of tinted moisturizer. I’d go as far as saying that this sort of thing might top my list of worst possible social scenarios.
However, Leeds isn’t being too kind to me when it comes to social engagements. So this is exactly what happened to me last week. Hounded outside by an alarm that felt like a troll was hammering on my eardrums with a bone-club, I made it to the first floor landing before the raucous was replaced by a patronizing automated female voice that reminded me that “in cases of fire one should exit the building”. As if anyone but the demonically possessed could remain inside the building given the blaring siren.
Once outside it begins to dawn on me that it’s night-time, and that given it’s night-time it is cold. Not ‘nippy’ either. We’re talking full on, northern, galacial cold. And you know what I’ve gone and done (or more specifically, not done) I haven’t picked up a jacket and I’m not wearing shoes. I felt like some sot of cave woman who’s stumbled through time into polite, accessorized company. My immediate reaction is not humour, which in retrospect would have transformed my state from tragic to endearing, no. I was just quietly angry; I was angry at the incompetent cook or reckless smoker who had engendered this social disaster. And if you didn’t already know, anger isn’t much of a social lubricant among polite society. Thus, my first meeting with all my new neighbours was entirely wasted on me. When you don’t know more than three people in a city it pays to be chilled out, even if you’re freezing cold, braless and in snowman pyjamas.
....and since I finished writing this post the entire situation has happened AGAIN. Angry caps-lock. But at least I remembered shoes this time. I guess this is where I cut to the moral of the story- life is all about learning and growing, but mostly about remembering to wear shoes.