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Neesh Ratatouille

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Ready? Yeah, me neither.

Okay. Does anyone else feel like they’re growing up at a really alarming rate?

A while ago I wrote briefly about the fact that this year, for me at least, is one that involves a lot of growth, a few more steps toward adulting, and although it’s all mostly entirely on my own terms, I can’t help but feel like I’ve been cheated out of my ‘Lazy Teenager’ phase. It’s seriously a right of passage in my head, wherein growing up goes like this;

  1. Usually ugly baby, with your squished little head.
  2. Cute baby/infant (you still poop too much though).
  3. Naughty infant/small child.
  4. The wonder years of being 8 or 9.
  5. The ‘I think I look cool, but I’m going to look back on this and wish I’d just let mum dress me’ phase.
  6. Blue eyeshadow and braces and growing pains in your lanky lil’ self.
  7. That one boy/girl, and the significant hair change (you know, he/she breaks your heart, you fix your hair, circle of life, rights and responsibilities, photosynthesis).
  8. The ‘Lazy Teenager’ phase, happy, slow, naps and nuggets and all that jazz.
  9. Senior blazers and all its consequences.

The My ‘Breakout’ Debut article was written in a positive light of this whole little process I find myself in as of this year. However, that article was written in anticipation, and not in the reality of it all. The too fast but too slow, always busy but never getting anything done struggle of life is upon me, and just about everyone I know of in my age group.

Within the mixture of observing how people handle themselves at this point, most of them knowing that it will affect them for the rest of their lives (but really, what part of your life won’t affect your life… duh) and actually be doing an alright job at handling myself, there is a lot of scary almost-adulting going on around the place. The scariest part of it all being that we are officially six months into 2017. Halfway… halfway through or half to go, depending on what mood you’re in (or how you’re handling yourself).

So consider this my half-yearly review.

The word ratatouille derives from the Occitan ratatolha and is related to the French ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the verb touiller, meaning “to stir up”. From the late 18th century, in French, it merely indicated a coarse stew. The modern ratatouille – tomatoes as a foundation for sautéed garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence – does not appear in print until 1930. – yes i stole that from wikipedia. what of it?

Ratatouille, much like my life at this point, is a mixture of random things that aren’t enough on their own, but combined, creates a massive pot for me to stir of peasant juice, which will hopefully end up as a Disney movie one day. So consider this my half-yearly review/Ratatouille post.

Everyone slightly uncomfortable? Got your disgusting bucket of butter and popcorn to dip in it? Phones on silent? Told that rude crying kid to shut up? Okay, cool bananas and iguanas.

Festy leftover ingredient #1 – That Disgusting first day of School.

Is it just me, or the month or so after Christmas before school starts, (yeah Australia’s cool and we are all perplexed as to how you Americans do school), is thirty-one days which just aren’t their own. I don’t know if that thing happened last year or this year, probably because during the holidays, let’s be real, who knows what day it is? I refused to write the date in my workbooks for the rest of this year because I was still writing ‘2016’ three months in. Despite this, I know what happened when based on the structure of the school years. So actually, 2017 didn’t start until I started Year 11.

Yep, Year 11, with all of the homework and assessment tasks which are either assigned 5 months before the due date or what feels like a week beforehand. Year 11 with a year group who had no idea what we were doing or where we were allowed to be… hence a guy who sat at one of the Year 12 tables and got hit in the head with a lunchbox, yeah, someone grab this dude some thug life glasses. Year 11, with all the new blindingly fresh white shirts, worn by faces slowly realising that we never get to wear sports uniform again, no matter how ratty our uniforms got towards the end of Year 10. Year 11, who still looks like a bunch of 12-year-olds in adult clothes, yet to get their blazers. Year 11, with a year coordinator who… well actually, on the first day, we didn’t know who the year co was this year, but we found out quickly enough. We learned that they replaced the year co that we’d gotten used to for the last 3 or 4 years, who honestly reminded me a lot of papa smurf, with some health ‘teacher’ who reminds me of this guy, mixed with a stale piece of bread.

Neesh Ratatouille - Year Coordinator
Neesh Ratatouille – Year Coordinator

We’d been bumped down to 0 again, the new kids, well, the 150 or so of us that were left after people dropped out or moved schools or whatever (yeah that’s not a lot for our school). And it showed. We got sorted into homerooms and were assigned lockers. Lockers, yeah, I still struggle with that one. At my school, only senior students get lockers, the rest have to use backpacks and have notebooks and pencil cases. I never touched a folder/binder/whatever the bloody hell they’re called, and I never used a locker, and I never walked around school holding my things in my hands and feeling the wind on my backpack-less back.

You know how in movies you see people drop their stuff in hallways on the way to class and that cute boy helps them pick it up or something Yeah, my response to scenes like that has always been the same “OMG how original” and “that never actually happens though” (these reactions take place in my head; usually, I’m not that annoying person talking in a movie so don’t worry) BUT THEY DO HAPPEN, DUDE! Well Okay, not a cute boy helping, but dropping your stuff is a real issue, and I’m scared of it. I’m afraid of it happening to me, I’m fearful of it happening because of me, I’m leery of it happening around me… because you know, I don’t want to be that person that’s stuck behind someone who dropped their stuff and someone else is already helping and I’m just standing here all inpatient and sorrowful. Although impatient and sorrowful would probably serve as the best possible description of any given Year 11 student at this point.

Rotten Tomato (ironically, the rating system that will judge my Disney movie) #2 – Getting a Job.

Around half way through April, I got a job. My entire family had been bugging me to do so for like a year, mind you. So now I have a job at a supermarket that I’m not going to name because I know that people I work with read my stuff and if I ever bag (hehe get it) on the place then I don’t particularly want to be fired or sued or whatever it is that happens when people actually call you up on your rudeness.

On the topic of rudeness, when I first started, I was made pretty aware of the fact that I will have rude customers that get mad at me, and was advised to handle that kind of situation in the same way I pretty much handle anyone being cranky with me… put on your best smile and make someone else deal with it. But I can honestly say that I’ve only really had one rude customer come through in 3 months of working. Sit down kids; it’s story time (also if you actually just sat down then why were you standing up? My Blog is not eat in or takeaway, have some commitment. Also, click on the purple bell thingy in the bottom right of this page that allows me to send you notifications. Please.)

So it was a cold night at work, where the air conditioning makes me sick, and I think I’d been there for around two hours or so, doing the night time shift (so like, up until 9 pm). Which is cool with me because after 7:30 ish it’s just a massive bludge. But there’s always those random people whom for some reason have nothing more exciting to do at 8 pm on a weekend than to go do a $200 grocery shop.

The lady that I served at this point, honestly, didn’t even look like she had a house of her own to go to, let alone a social life to participate in on a Saturday night. She was short, had ratty thin black hair and kind of a hunch in her skin and bone fragile frame of a body. She also had about five items, a cold, and a 10-11-year-old daughter, who stood at the other end of the conveyer belt with sad eyes watching as the security guard checked her Mother’s handbag in suspicion of theft (mind you, we’d unusually already had two other shoplifters that night).

This lady pulled out a few things and didn’t bother acting like she hadn’t stolen them. The security guard wrote her name and address down while the woman reassured her daughter that everything was okay and that she’d get her yoghurt in the end (which the girl had been staring at for the last 15 minutes).

After the security guard, who is a big tall man with white hair and smiling blue eyes whom I don’t know the name of, ( I swear security guards are the nicest people), had left, I put the five or six items that the woman had brought through the checkout. Two packets of flavoured rice, two packets of cheap strepsil type things, the yoghurt, sour worms and a packet of milky ways, if I remember correctly. That lady, having scraped the bottom of her handbag only to find $5.50 in change, left with only the little tub of yoghurt for her daughter and the strepsil things that her patient-beyond-belief daughter had told her that she needed for herself because the lady was obviously sick.

Now, I had no problem with this thou it was confusing having to go back and cancel a heap of items so that she could afford stuff. I did feel kind of bad for the customers waiting behind her, but more so, I just felt really really sorry for this woman and a lot of respect for her little daughter and the way they conducted themselves. There were no racist, hateful or petty insults thrown at the guard. There was no disrespect from the woman towards anyone involved. She just apparently wanted to get out of there, away from judgy eyes, and rightly so.

After she left, the next customer utterly destroyed my faith in humanity or what little I have left after Hitler and Donald Trump. Here came this absolute sack of a douche, walking up like he’s so funny, leaning over the counter to point at the hand sanitizer saying, “I would use that if I were you”. I froze in absolute disbelief, and kind of just instinctively said something like “huh?”. Half not understanding what he was on about, or what he thought was so funny, and the other half giving him an opportunity to NOT repeat himself. But no, his smartass smile just grew wider, “After handling her, you should use that…” he said, pointing again to the hand sanitizer.

That’s when it clicked, the douchey thing he was saying, the fact that people actually think like that, and actually voice that thought. As if it was funny that this woman was sick and obviously not in a great place financially, and she has a kid to look after. Here he was, waltzing on through with his grin and whatever it was he was buying, I don’t remember, but hopefully, it was some kind of soap which washed him clean of his bullshit and a good bottle of compassion and a sense of humour. I couldn’t help but think about the difference I’d seen in the way the ladies daughter had conducted herself in comparison to any possible children this guy might or will have had.

But, as I said, I was taught to deal with people with my best smile and let someone else deal with it. It killed me to have to do that, smile at someone who should be rightfully slapped. He didn’t know her or her situation, what right did he have to say that? Another thing that he didn’t seem to know was that people don’t do that kind of thing, or go through all the trouble and embarrassment for no reason. She didn’t just feel like stealing; she didn’t feel like being stared at. But no matter what I do or don’t say, my face betrays me. The crease in my forehead refuses me any ability to hide whatever it is I’m thinking, but he didn’t seem to notice what I thought of him as he wished me a good night and took off, whilst I was left hoping that someone else, would, in fact, deal with this guy, and hoping karma would do the world justice.

Afterwards, the security guard asked me what the lady had to leave behind, and I’m pretty sure he went to buy them for her, and that’s why he’d collected her address, which seriously made everything so much better.

Okay, story over.

Floppy Carrot #3 – That Birthday.

This one time, at band health camp, I turned 16. Now if I’m honest, it wasn’t my favourite birthday, although I did wake up to a heap of cute early morning birthday messages, which of course progressed later to the public shaming of my occasional presence in photos… ahh good old Facebook.

It was raining most of that day, as you’ll know if you had read my post about that (here), and they made me eat the smallest meal I’ve ever had and I was eaten alive by mozzies that night. On the other hand, my new pretty phone was flat so I didn’t have to see any horrific photos of myself, but I did see a mad fire show and nearly died because of a campfire story and the long drop toilet, not to mention the next day was pretty lit and my friends shouted me Maccas on the way down, and we all had a lot of fun pigging out on my birthday chocolate the whole time. This website you find yourself on right now kicked off as I was supposed to be listening to instructions for the giant swing. Then I got to go home and milk this birthday for yet another week.

Turning 16 however, seemed to mark the start of a lot. Not because I’m 16 of course, but the fact is that this particular time marked the beginning of a life in which I ask myself “what do I have to do by the end of this week” and “what do I have to look forward to afterwards”, funny enough, they’re usually the same thing. Nah, just that around the time I turned 16, I found myself halfway through Year 11, holding down a job, training with a black belt, writing this blog and struggling for time to learn to drive, have any kind of social life, and anytime for music, with a whole lot of pimples. But hey, I guess it can only get easier right?

Just Stir it up a bit #4 – Trying to Drive.

Butttt, I eventually got on with it of course, as we always must, and mum took me for my first driving lesson. Let me tell you, she… was… freaking… out. We went out of town, and she went out of her miiinddd. I’m honestly not that bad; I just need to remember that the car is wider than me and the road, unlike life, has lines that aren’t supposed to be crossed. And what do I do? Yep, ignore them and nearly get myself killed while that old dude in the ute is just shaking his head off laughing at me and my loser plates.

I’ll resume that story another time though; once I get some more lessons. So buckle in for the driving puns which aren’t nearly as cringy as the thought of me driving a car.

Enjoy your meal. “🎜Elevator Music🎝,”
– Tyneesha

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