Unexpected parental visits, with undesired lack of skiving because of it

This is the world in which I had hoped to spend some time. My mother had other ideas.

This is the world in which I had hoped to spend some time. My mother had other ideas.

It is like being fifteen again, and not this advanced age that I am now. My mother has arrived for an extended visit, and she has come at this inopportune time when I’m seeking reasons to avoid doing any school work. So, I’m back to having a critical and un-deceivable hawk on my shoulder.

This week I had planned to have some mental relief for at least a day, when I was going to drop everything about school and just play a computer game and be utterly lazy. I have a grip of my subject, and I have a road map (with added margins) that should see my work finished at a comfortable time. I know myself well enough to think my plan is reasonable.

That was, however, before my mother rang. She announced that she was coming back to England and would stay for two weeks. Her reasons, which I will not go into because it’s none of anyone’s business but hers, are legacy issues from her last employer up in Coventry. She has to spend some time in London, tying up loose ends of that.

Naturally, she hadn’t told me until she was nearly on my door-step. Actually, that’s a bit unfair. My parents usually tell me far in advance of things. The problem with them is more that they keep zealously reminding me in the time between announcement and execution. This time, though, the time between announcement and execution was two days.

Now, instead of skiving off my school work, I have my mother staying with my auntie, and together they come over regularly to ask about the effort I put into that school work, and to drill me about the upcoming tests and the paper. Like I said, it’s like being fifteen again, on the day before a big test. I may have moved out years ago, married, had pets, and have a continent between us – but some things never change.

I have suggested to Mark that we trade parents. He can have mine, and I’ll have his. They’re much more hands-off. They treat Mark like an adult. They don’t constantly ring to pressure him to do this or that. Mark took one look at me, scoffed, and said “Your parents are weird”. Speaking of his parents, they’re coming over this weekend to eat dinner with Mark and me, auntie, mum, and our cousins. It will be like a clan-meeting. Our Scottish cousin can play the pipes and serve the haggis.

The game I hope to play is Witcher 3. I’m itching to get stuck into it, because it looks to be quite a treat. I have watched ALL the video reviews, and the common theme among all is the amount of slobbering drool on the reviers’ chins. What I need most of all, to enjoy it, is time. Time which I don’t have. And time I’m not likely to have thanks to my mother’s visit.

Give me strength.

But now we have to get back at it again…

There is an end to everything, they say. I certainly hope so because I realised yesterday that I haven’t written a single sentence in weeks that’s not about this damned paper which I’m supposed to finish this year with. This paper will propel me into next year, and the work-placement, and finally into my last year. But right now, I just want it all to end.

I barely see Mark these days. We nod to each other as we pass through the door in the morning, and then when we come home we collapse on the sofa and watch stupid television in silence. Tests, meetings, tutors, projects… We’re too tired to do anything else after all that. And then, before we know it, the mobile phones’ alarms insist that we get up from bed and do another day.

Weekends, like the one that just ended, seem more about catching a breather between revisions and editing. That said, on Saturday we did go out, and didn’t come home until two in the morning on Sunday. For once, it felt nice to do like students should do – gather in a bunch in some bar and just behave irresponsibly for a few hours.

Of all of us, Stephen is probably the one who handles his drinks best, but for some reason he became very drunk while yours truly and Mark didn’t. Then there was the inevitable crying in the beer about life, love, lust, and liberation from the massed expectations of his parents.

Ben has taken up with a serious girl who never smile but who manage to be both funny and unnerving at the same the time. She has one of those expressions where you never know whether her sarcastic sayings is meant as factual or ironic. It’s disconcerting. But their intensity when they sit together and read poetry together is cutting.

On Thursday I also did a cover, but for once I wasn’t very happy with the result, and copying and pasting and rejigging things during the weekend didn’t improve anything, so I’m keeping my song to myself for now. But it was nice to do something with music again. I have to do more of that, when I have the time.

There’s two weeks more of this, and then we’ll be done. The paper will be handed in, and we’ll be marked, and our fates will be sealed or not. Two weeks. I can handle two weeks, even if I want this to end. Now. But now we have to get back at it again.

Sigh. Don’t mind my whining, by the way. I’m just engaging in an age old student tradition. I have precedents to uphold, and traditions to keep, after all. We’ll be fine, eventually, maybe. Once this damned paper is finished and done and delivered.