All your children are belong to me.

A couple of years ago I applied for a Big Brother Big Sister program in my local area. They promptly ran out of funding before I finished the interview process, and that was that.

Last week they gave me a call – hello Inga, we have your records on file as well as actual money, would you still consider volunteering?

Well, sure.

I’m still not 100% sure what the deal is with BBBS, but from what I understand they match ‘vulnerable’ young people with a mentor who supposedly shares random wisdom, hangs out with them, and generally makes them feel good about themselves without committing inappropriate acts of sexual misconduct.

I had my first ‘interview’ yesterday, which was basically questions like “Why does a 28 year old woman want to hang out with young children you SICK FREAK?!” No, it wasn’t really like that. There was “what was your favourite thing about high school?” and “describe a time when you’ve been tested by a young person?”. Now I have to obtain a police check, a working with children check, and undergo psychological profiling. Then they come to your house, chat to you, and make sure you don’t have a meth lab in the laundry or a rape dungeon in the spare room. Then there’s an online study course, face-to-face training, and if all goes well they’ll find one lucky ‘vulnerable’ young person I can foist myself onto.

I’ve stated my minion preference as 12 and above. I don’t have anything against small children (when they’re not crapping everywhere), but I remember what being a teenager was like, and it was ghastly. And that was with great friends, basic social intellect and ace parents. I’d hate to imagine what teenage-hood would be like lacking even one of those factors. Hopefully, I can lend an oar to some poor chick navigating the shit creek that is female pubescence. At the very least, I can give them tequila.

It’s all mildly daunting, but I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not sure a teenage girl in 2011 would have anything to learn from my haphazard, half-arsed drunken lifestyle, and I seriously doubt my ability to convey any pertinent life advice. But I sure as hell can slap a kid on the back and say “girl, you think life is arse now? Wait until you have to keep a roof over your head, file tax returns and punch people who ask why you haven’t ‘settled down’ yet. Pimples and cyber bulling ain’t got nothing on real life.”

Ow, pointy.

Predictably, the Powers That Be have bounced up to subtly let me know I lack the capacity to adequately take care of a home of my own.

I was supposed to go Go-Karting with the guys from work last week, so I bolted home a few minutes early, swapped skirt and heels for jeans and runners, grabbed a thick cosy jacket and hurtled out the door.

THUNK-click.

That’s the noise a door makes when it locks itself between you and your keys. I slipped into a coma for a full minute while my brain processed that bit of information. I walked to my car and tentatively tried the door – nope, I’d locked that too. With my purse and phone inside. I stared blankly at the house for a while, feeling remarkably similar to the way I felt when presented with my end-of-semester physics exam in 1998.

Eventually, I clambered up onto one of my wheelie bins and vaulted over the fence (because my side gate, too, was locked). I did a lap of the house, trying every single window and entry. Then I made another lap for good measure, and wandered into the garage and looked around aimlessly for ‘tools’ I knew I didn’t have. Then I bit my lip and grimly told myself I was a strong independent woman and I CAN HANDLE THIS MYSELF, FOOL.

Ok, I thought, I need to call someone. But who? There’s only a handful of people with phone numbers I know by heart. My parents, my bestie in Canberra, my ex with the Inexplicably Hateful Girlfriend, Pizza Hut, and my work. Work seemed like my best bet, so I walked two kilometers down the road to the nearest pay phone, hoping someone would still be in the office at 5.00pm, and thankful that those annoying 1800REVERSE ads with Pat Rafter had sank into my subconscious. The German Production Manager answered.

“Sweetheart my car is in the servicing, I don’t can come help you until later. You want I maybe call one the other boys and see off they can help opening?”

“They’re Go-Karting and won’t be finished for another couple of hours. I’ll just go home and figure something out.”

“You go back to your unit. I come as soon as I have my car, off I don’t hear from you I assuming you don’t can get in still. Then I come over.”

“Thanks heaps.”    

I tramped dejectedly home and glared at the house again. I knew what I had to do, but it took me a good fifteen minutes to work up the grit to do it.

Misspent youth

Nothing will liven you up quite like crawling on hands and knees through shards of glass.

New window pane: $120
Reverse calling charges: $6.80
Loss of dignity and increasing aversion to spending the rest of my life as a misanthropic catlady spinster: Priceless

At least it’s not a booze related activity.

Inga’s Financial Column

I have house lust. It’s no secret. I browse the realty websites daily, check interest rates, take photos of fences and gardens, and peer surreptitiously through open blinds if I’m wandering past a pretty house in the evening. I get as excited about three bedroom brick veneers with ducted heating as I did watching Vin Diesel and The Rock beat the shit out of each other*. I can’t wait to buy my own little piece of Australia and pay it off for the next 30 years of my life, along with an alarming interest component.

The first thing I’ve had to do is figure out whether I can actually afford mortgage repayments. On paper, apparently I can. Generally I’m good with money, but for the last couple of years I’ve been splashing it around like I’m Charlie Sheen (sports model Fiesta, anyone?), so I’ve set myself a task. For the next couple of months I’m going to live like I’m paying a $520 per week mortgage. I’ve been writing down every cent I spend in a spreadsheet (I’m an absolute whore for spreadsheets), and the results are disturbing:

Mmm...pie

Yes, a full 32% of my disposable income is spent on random crap and alcohol. ‘Random crap’ includes things like candles, wooden chickens and The Most Awesome Push-up Bra Ever. ‘Booze related activity’ includes taxi fares and club entry charges.

To summarise, I spend more money partying than I do on groceries and I spend more on wooden chickens than I do on electricity, gas, water, telephone, and internet combined.

It’s possible some prioritisation may be in order.

Or I could knock off my parents.     

*Fast Five, seen it twice so far. Will probably go again.

Memo to the Internets

We regret to inform you that Inga is currently dying from unmitigated spasms of happiness due to finding a website streaming Game of Thrones episodes.

Additionally:

Ayla and her posse be back, biatches!!

2011 is turning out to be the best year EVAAAARRRRRRRRRRR!!!111!!eleventy!!