The day we got our GCSE results was one of the most exciting days of my teenage years, though possibly for the wrong reasons.
The exams themselves had been full of stress and complications. Being entered for the wrong IT exam and not knowing until actually in the exam hall, failing at Geography because I couldn’t think straight for “womanly cramps” (there should be something in the rules to deal with that sort of stuff) and forgetting my calculator for the Maths exam that I’d forgotten about until 20 minutes before start time all helped to convince me that the results would be nothing spectacular (and I was right).
None of that mattered however because, pass or fail, our results were going to be overshadowed by the fact that we were setting off after collecting them to attend our first ever rock festival. It was Reading 2000, and we’d been planning it for months.
The night before had been somewhat of a panic, since my boyfriend at the time (codename: Beef Gnome) rang me at around 10pm to say he’d somehow managed to lose the ticket that should have been safely filed away for the past 6 months. This was the origin of my tactic of blutacking important documents to my walls until they’re needed. I turned up at his house to ineffectually flail around in drawers and on shelves but after a few hours we realised that, wherever the ticket had got to, it didn’t want to come back.
“Come anyway, you can probably buy a ticket there, it’ll be fine” I uttered.
So there we are, after inadvertantly insulting teachers with our lack of enthusiasm and hiding behind the school bins to avoid having our resident genius friend’s picture taken, in a minibus on our way to Reading. Beef Gnome is understandably freaking out about his lack of ticket, which leads me to voice my Theory of Things Being Fine for the first time in human history. It goes a little something like this:
Sometimes, bad things happen. These things could lead to getting arrested, or death, or getting stranded in the middle of Reading city centre but that never happens to me or people I know, because I always believe firmly that everything will be fine. No matter how bleak the situation, it’s always fine in the end, so there’s no need to worry too much.
Beef Gnome is understandably dubious, but he has to keep up the illusion of trusting me or he won’t get any action all weekend, so once in a traffic jam on a main Reading street he confidently leaps out to go and argue with a ticket tout. Despite the fact our bus hasn’t been able to move at all for at least 10 minutes, while Beef Gnome is being threatened with a knife for asking for a discount the traffic surges forward and we have no choice but to abandon him to his fate.
We spend some time driving aimlessly about,getting lost and passing the festival site without noticing before finally finding our way in, by which time we’re rather concerned about our missing member and his ability to find us again. I had a mobile phone, for I was cool, but he did not. Sitting in the endless queue of cars waiting to be herded into a parking space, we were pretty much clueless about how to find him before driving back in 4 days time. We shouldn’t have worried.
While our van is parked in the ridiculous queue of traffic, unmoving but looking exactly the same as all the other white hire vans in the vicinity, Beef Gnome comes striding confidently across a field towards us. Apparently he claimbed through a hole in a fence, or something, and by some sort of it’ll be fine magic just happened to walk down the row of cars that would take him directly to us.
And that is why I always insist, in any situation, it’ll be fine. It drives people mad, hooray!