The Greta Garbo complex

Greta Garbo

‘I vant to be alone’ Greta Garbo (Photo credit: aclbraga)

According to Johari’s Window, there’s a ‘me’ that both I and all my friends and family know, there’s a ‘me’ that only I know, there’s a ‘me’ that only my friends know, and there’s a ‘me’ that none of us knows…

So, where are you going with this Kirst?

Well, the ‘me’ that only I know is crotchety, intolerant, messy, insular, dark and likes to go to bed early. Basically, I like my own company, a la Garbo. The ‘me’ that (hopefully) we all know is gregarious, open, sunny, and amenable (I think Hayley Mills would be a stretch (irony for her would be something she used to get rid of creases),  but you get my drift). This is why I like to live alone. These two ladies are not going to be going out for a Pisco Sour together any time soon. Occasionally they blend but generally I like to keep these girls separate. No one needs Greta at a party.

Therefore, the last 3 months of sofa surfing shouldn’t have worked. They just shouldn’t have. The decision to give up my flat to save some money was frightening – there would be nowhere to hide: 24-7 in the company of different friends and family who had been incredibly generous in agreeing to have me but hadn’t banked on having Evil Edna in the spare bedroom. 

Of course, it didn’t work out that way and this is what I learnt:

Lemon Martinis should not be considered ‘nightcaps’; always say yes when Polish neighbours ask you for an impromptu BBQ; horror movies are best tipsy and with my brother; I’ll never win at pub quizzes; Norwegians celebrate their independence on the 17th May with cinnamon buns; 3 year-olds can’t say ‘Kirsty’ – they say ‘Percy’; Brown Cheese tastes like toffee-ish cheddar; Hyde Park is a beautiful place to jog; there’s always something you forget to pack; Ceviche in Soho do great Pisco Sours; I’m no longer allergic to cats; cats are actually kinda cool; some cats can talk; I can’t sing; I can’t tango; there are penthouses in Paddington; however expensive, there is no such thing as a comfortable sofa bed; there’s a very cool composer from Dusseldorf; blogs are THE most fabulous reading; Elvis lives in south London; I still can’t sing, even at 3 in the morning; my friends know about both Hayley and Greta – and they don’t mind.

…and there’s no place like home.

It was an education and fun. Suddenly, sharing a house In Tanzania with 8 other people seems less daunting (but there’s always the worry of the ‘me’ that I don’t know, that my friends don’t know, that nobody knows…)


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