Yesterday evening was like any other Saturday evening. A pot bubbled wafts of tasty scents through the house as we sat around relaxing and chatting. Tummies rumbling with shouts of “mum when’s dinner”? There was even some sunshine! Life was good…
That was until my daughter alerted me to a dilemma of sorts. One involving under-age access to a music festival next weekend. She has the ticket, EVERYONE is going, but due to the festival organisers cleverly dropping dramatic warnings about unaccompanied under 18s through social media, she’s worried. She has succumbed to the shock-waves of panic sweeping through the under-age-concert-going community in Cork. Amazing how the organisers didn’t spread these rumours BEFORE the tickets sold out!
What if she is refused access to a muddy field in Mitchelstown next weekend? What if she’s denied the chance to stand knee deep in mud, beer and excrement as she queues for the portaloos? What a dilemma…
Back in the days of the Féile 90-91 ‘Trips to Tipp’ festivals, all us under-agers were herded happily into a hurling stadium, guaranteed access if you waved a can of Harp at the fella manning the gate. Back before there was much awareness of public safety, thankfully! Of course I shouldn’t be condoning this activity, but in reality I’m just jealous!
We’ve all been there! There is nothing like the pressure of queuing to enter a club or event knowing your under the legal age of access. I used to adopt the ‘act casual and confident approach’ as you shuffle towards the bouncers / security. Chatting with apparent ease among your friends, desperately hiding the fear that YOU MIGHT NOT GET IN. Oh the shame, the embarrassment and the disappointment.
As her mother I think my daughter would easily pass for 18. I did myself many times. At 5ft 10 inches tall, she’ll have the possible advantage of staring down any security guy in a high-vis yellow vest, or at least looking him in the eye as she dares him to ask for her dodgy fake ID. Plus she has regular arguments with city bus drivers about paying the ‘child’ fare, I reckon she’s a shoe-in. And NO I won’t Photoshop her passport!!?? Nice try though…
Through all this consideration of potentially illegal activity, I simply thought – if she gets in, she gets in, if not? Sell her tickets and put it down to experience, and a wasted Friday evening bouncing around the roads of Cork. You’ll probably spot me loitering around the car parks of Michelstown next weekend as I wait to collect her. The things us mothers get roped in to!! If I can get close enough, you might see me perched in a ditch trying to hear one of my favourites Basement Jaxx on the country breeze. Am I mad? Simply put, yes.
Speaking of passports, my relaxing evening was about to take a significant nose-dive!
I suddenly thought I’d better check my daughter’s passport as she is travelling to Belgium in a fortnight for holidays with her friend. Of course I’d meant to check it weeks ago!
Ya I was sure it wasn’t out until 2016, no it’ll be fine, sshhh no I can’t make fake age card’s – what sort of daughter am I rearing?? What sort of idiot am I? As I realise that her passport EXPIRES THIS MONTH. Honestly there was a loud expletive roared through the relative calm of the discussions of illegal activities in my house yesterday evening.
F*************k!!!!!!!!! Google, I frantically grabbed the laptop. Google fast!!
Phew… there’s an emergency service, you simply click the button ‘disorganised gobshites’ and you start the process to renew the passport within 3 working days. She’ll be fine. It will take me a day or so to recover from the shock.
Great. Now on top of a hectic work week ahead, I look forward to the joyous experience of attending a police station with forms and my ex husband followed by hours in the passport office.
Could be worse… and the passport panic certainly put the music festival worries in perspective.
The next time you sit smugly listening to a friend’s woes of a late passport application, CHECK YOUR OWN CHILDREN’S!!! It could happen to you…
Where is my head at?