All the unavoidable things that will happen when you’re back home this Christmas
Enjoy the blue pitchers at Spoons, again
Christmas is a wonderful time where you return to your home town, which for most of the population means a market town with nothing but a Post Office, a Shell garage and a big roundabout.
90 per cent of your school friends don't like you anymore as all you go on about is your dissertation. You forget it's just you that cares about analysing the gap year through an existentialist lens. Getting a bus down the road involves a minimum 12 minute wait and when you brave the milk run wearing monkey onesie and a pasty complexion, you will bump into like seven people you know.
No matter how much you try to alter the course of your time at home, it always turns out exactly the fucking same. So here's a comprehensive list of every promise you will make to yourself that you will inevitably break this festive period.
Even though you swore you wouldn't, you get into an argument with racist uncle Tony
Two glasses of Malbec down and after Tony's branded you a snowflake for the seventh time, you start feeling like hitting his smug red leathery face with some post-colonial theory. Before you know it, he's laid back in his bright yellow chinos chuckling at the angry tears welling in your eyes, after forgetting the reason why Brexit would be bad for farmers.
You storm up to your room. Whilst sliding through the Facebook home feed you hear everyone talking about you: "She'll calm down in a minute".
You will retreat back to your squirmy, incapable 12-year-old self, relying on Mum to do everything
A soon as you enter your parents' house, your brain will return to its squishy pre-teen state. From now on, every sentence begins with "muuuuuuuuum", and for some reason you can't work out how to turn ovens on anymore or locate pyjama bottoms. You become incapable of paying for toothpaste or Simple makeup removal pads, as that's a requirement that simply has to come from your parents bank account.
You try to go on the pull, forgetting the black hole that is the male population of your market town
Despite how thirsty you are, out in Revs you struggle to find a hottie amidst the thick stench of Lynx Africa, the wet look jeans and the Lyle & Scott polo shirts. The only chat up line guys have here involves bringing up how posh you are now.
You will accidentally drunk message that guy from university, even though you promised yourself you'd play it cool
You're seeing a guy who doesn't speak to you unless it's a 2am "you out tonight?" text. In an attempt to make him take you seriously, you plan on ignoring him so that he gets jealous and begs for your attention.
It doesn't happen. Your first night out ends with you sat barefooted on a pavement, feet covered in muck, one fake eyelash in your fringe. Hair extensions spill out your bag, men walking past wonder whether you've got someones scalp in your River Island clutch. You ring him, "welcome to the O2 messaging service" – rude. In retaliation you furiously punch out a text, "you doejk geyt how fbaulous I am".
You'll want to airlift your parents into a skip within minutes of being reunited with them
As soon you drive out the train station car park, Mum will say the following: "Did you send Granny a thank you card for the chocolate she sent you at Easter?"
"What have you done to your hair?"
"Get out the shower. We are not made of money."
You swore to yourself you wouldn't nap through the whole of Christmas again – hah
You said you'd spend time with Granny, meet up with old friends, soak up the country breeze. But inevitably you spend the Christmas period in a coma.
It's not your fault. It's all that time spent in fluffy Tesco dressing gowns, constantly ingesting meat and potato. It's so difficult to process all the calories you wonder whether it counts as a work out. You spend the whole time watching sitcoms you've seen seven times over, falling into warm sticky sleeps and waking up every time the studio audience laugh, rousing only when it's time to squeeze more pastry inside yourself.
You won't return any of your shit presents and will effectively loose £200 on novelty mugs and clothes you won't wear
You have no money, that's why you get upset when people drink your milk. So this year, you decide you will return all the shit presents you get.
Midway through a cheese and onion Iceland mini quiche, your Aunty Karen hands you a parcel. "I know you asked for money, but I thought I'd get you a little something". (Why?????????)
You open the paper to see yet another Hollister hoodie. You might be pissed off but when you look up at her shaky, hopeful face you don't have the heart to ask for the receipt. The hoodie will sit at the bottom of your wardrobe until your mum does "a big clear out" in four years time. You will never get round to selling it on eBay.
You promised yourself you're going to do something new with your home friends
You hit up the group chat that hasn't seen action since Zante 2012. Links from art exhibitions on surrealist feminist photography to a new Thai restaurant in town are pasted into the chat, but somehow you end up in the same Wetherspoons, drinking from the same blue pitcher, talking about the same shit.
Like that time you pissed yourself in the smoking area of Space, or the weird maths teacher who's now dating a pupil. Gossip from four years ago endlessly recycled, the same punchlines rehashed again and again, each of you chiming in to see the story through. It's the Nando's equivalent of friendship and you will never be able to change it – but that's kinda what makes it the best friendship in the world.
You end up revealing to your parents that you smoke
The excuses you use will become increasingly creative:
"Why do you smell of smoke?"
"I was sat next to someone on the 38 into town and they breathed on me".
Getting drunk in the local pub and talking to some girl you were never friends with for three hours
Tears will be shed, phone numbers will be exchanged, you will aggressively assert that you need to go for a drink together. You speak in dripping emotive sentences like you're Oprah, "I've always really respected you". But you have literally nothing in common with this girl other than a shared tendency to become emotional after a G&T.
You're accidentally nice to the guy who used to call you pancake tits all of Year 7
Out at a bar, you bump into a guy who is basically the main root of all your bodily insecurities. The feeling of your shaky – I'm so spotty and gross – feelings return and you find yourself getting all gooey and submissive around him. Not only are you friendly, you actually run up to this guy, arms extended, "maaate". You end up buying him a drink, and his friend a drink, in fact, did they get a free ride in your UBER?
There will be at least one pathetic fight with your sibling over the TV remote
What is it that's so unbelievably annoying about watching your brother endlessly skip through the Sky channels, turning the volume too high and clicking all the wrong buttons, "up there, on the right, no go back". You have no choice but to rip it from his pudgy, balmy little hands. Mum will walk in, "stop it you too" – she doesn't care that you are bending her sons wrist back as he screams, more that her Cath Kidston cushions are being bandied around.