I like to think of myself as a fairly mature young adult. I attempt to educate myself where possible - watching QI counts, right? - and I do my best to refrain from rolling down hills (no guarantee, though).
But my weekend suggested otherwise. Since my sister turned the ripe old age of eleven the previous Wednesday, my mum and I took her ice-skating along with a school friend and my little cousin, as part of a birthday present.
I’m not going to lie to you, I was pretty damn excited. The thought of skating around for hours on end to pop music ignited the child in me, something I haven’t felt since one of my best friends brought me copious amounts of popping candy for my birthday. Still, I tried not to let my inner child show too much. Us nineteen year olds must maintain a certain level of 'I'm-only-here-for-the-kids' nature.
So I’m skating around, having the time of my life when someone going at approximately three thousand miles per hour skates up beside me, nearly knocking me off my feet. I look at him in sheer terror, and he smiles widely and greets me with a casual ‘you alright?. I would have been alright if you hadn’t nearly made me poo myself on an ice rink, I thought wryly.
Still, I remained civil and maintained a somewhat bland conversation with him as we skate round. Call me anti-social but at that moment in time, I just wanted to shake him off. I tried the mature adult approach – ‘it was good speaking to you, but I better go and give my little cousin a hand, he’s not really confident on the ice yet’, but for some reason he saw that as an invitation to offer his services in teaching my cousin how to ice skate. ‘Be mature about this Kerry, be mature’ I reminded myself.
Anyway, this bizarre situation continued for a good two and a half hours - him talking, me smiling, nodding and wishing it would all end soon. At one point he held out his hand to mine and my instinct reaction was to consider breaking my own leg to escape him. But, of course, that wouldn’t have been mature. So in the end I did what any self respecting adult would do.
I hid behind a bollard.