The Big Dream and The Get-me-out-of-here

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There is a pandemic sweeping the lives of the late-twenty-early-thirty-something year olds who don’t have children, might have fur-babies and wake up one day asking themselves WHAT THE FUCK.

If you are reading this and taking a big deep breath because you realize you are not alone, you are welcome. If this awakens a long dormant sleeping dragon of thought that you suspected existed but you couldn’t fully recognize, then I apologize – because shiiiiit I am about to justify every niggle you ever felt.

We, the unsettled settled are out there and we are hungry, we are stubborn, we are restless and we are bursting out of our skins. Indulge me in self indulgence all you traditionalists.

Over countless coffee’s and beers, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again. The “I am stuck in a rut and I don’t even know how to get out because I’m too damn tired” one, where educated, hardworking, passionate people, lament the thought bubble we are stuck in. We were told we could have it all. So where is it? Cookie please!

The new normal is that we want to have jobs we like, we want to travel the world, have a couple babies, maybe get married and be able to afford it all while the job market around us is like “JK bae, 10+ years experience, no benefits, $38k pa and you cool with working unpaid overtime and weekends? Holla at me!” and the dating scene is a revolving door of fuckboys and girls who can’t make eye contact with anything but their phones. The news is going: Don’t even THINK about getting on a train/plane or congregating anywhere in public in case of shootings/bombings/knife attacks and our parents are getting older and more dependent. That isn’t depressing. No siree.

Believe me, I’m aware of how lucky I am. I’m writing this to you from a first world country that I am allowed to live in because my parents were born in the right place and got me a “good” passport. If I sound articulate or intelligent by any stretch, it’s because I am also educated thanks to that same birth place, and the guidance of two excellent people who poured money into my brain (via the veins of formal instructional institutions). I’m white, which means I hopefully wont get shot for no reason in my car, and I’m female, which puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you talk to, and so long as I’m not running for president.

And listen, I’m the first person to call people out on #firstworldproblems. Believe me. I’ve walked on the sidelines of poverty, I know that there are deeper issues at play in our world than the demented cries of a person who can’t afford the new iPhone.

But if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months of the ups and downs, it is that you can’t just push away things that you feel, and you can’t panic or beat yourself up because you feel them (thanks Mum) or because you are so preoccupied with keeping up the pretences that you have your shit together on social media. We know you don’t have your shit together…we’ve been to your apartment.

I feel it and I’m calling it out. The transition from hopefully graduate to slightly more jaded adult is not that fun at the moment. It’s not cute any more that we feel directionless. This isn’t Sex and the City where our lack of partners is because there is just too much dick to choose from. Our parents are sitting us down telling us they’d “like to see us get on the property ladder” and we’re agreeing with them whole heartedly as we open another letter about our student loans and wondering if we’ll get scurvy if we eat no-brand frosted flakes five nights a week for dinner.

We all started out with such big dreams! We went to school and we played along and we were encouraged to day-dream about what we “wanted to be” when we grew up. And then half of us fell off the wagon somewhere after high school and shrugged and realized that our job’s maybe don’t have to be our careers. Then we split up again when some of us realized that we’d give up that dream job for the security of that paycheck, or the option to travel with work. Those of us that have stayed the course  are more often than not slamming our faces into our laptops in the public library when we are on the hunt for the next job or big break AGAIN, thinking about escaping through English teaching in Asia or “how much DOES selling your *insert body part or fluid* really pay?”

I don’t have the solution to the twentythirtysomething malaise, and no matter how I google it (or Bing it… just kidding The Bing is dead, long live the Bing), no advice post or computer filtered answer can make my decisions for me (though I’d invest in the app that could).

All I know is that personally, I live happiest in the carnage and constant movement of work and sensory overload – when there are TOO many plates spinning in the air (because when that happens, how could I possibly have time to turn inwards). That lifestyle doesn’t really jive-turkey with the expiring “rising-of-the-ladder” career trajectory theory, and I’m tired of trying to be a square peg in a round hole.

Success is measured in many different ways, which is a topic for another day.

But for today – for those this resonates with, just know that you are not alone, and I’ve come to know, for myself anyway, that is the door doesn’t open, I’m just going to have to buy a sledge hammer. The coffee is on me when it comes to these conversations, because maybe if we stack our thoughts and idea’s one on top of each other, we’ll find a way to climb out of these ruts.

 

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…or maims you horrifically for life

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I like that saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”(WDKYMYS). It sounds good, it’s inspirational. It makes you think “Heck, things were tough/awful/soul destroying – but I’m still here!!”

People have appropriated that saying into songs (looking at you Kelly Clarkson), put it on T-shirts, tattooed it on their bodies, put it over pictures of sunsets and posted it on each others walls when their friends have been dumped by jerk’s named Derrick (fuck you Derrick you meanie!)

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I like the expression, but I don’t know if I always agree with it.

Because sometimes things kill you a little bit inside and they make you feel weaker, they throw off your game.

Was Leo’s character stronger at the end of the Revenant after he got fucked up by a bear, watched his son get murdered, was left for dead and then had to crawl through the snow and shit of 1800’s Canada to Murder my future ex-husband/baby-daddy Tom Hardy’s character? (Oh yeah, spoiler alert… but seriously if you haven’t seen that movie yet get your shit together – it was nominated for and lost best picture like 5 months ago).

I mean…I guess he was stronger – like how calluses get stronger on the tops of your feet. But he was also weaker because he had lost his humanity, and he was a murderer murderer and he was gross (like a callus – see how I tied all that together? Yay Creative Writing Masters degree)

I wonder if people use WDKYMYS as a way to excuse awful situations they don’t know how to extricate themselves from?

I’d consider myself a strong person who has faced some challenges. Would I exchange them for an easy life where some of the shitty things didn’t happen to me? Yes of course! I’m not insane. Faced with two choices: an easy road and a hard, bush-basher of a path, I think most of us would choose the easy option.

But life doesn’t work like that, and there are plenty of things that will try to throw you off the plans you’ve made, a death in the family, a financial set-back, a painful divorce, an unexpected illness.

So I propose a re-word. “What doesn’t kill you makes you different” – because not all things make you stronger, and thats okay too.

You are not a failure if you come out of a near-death-esque experience and think: “well that fucking sucked” and you’re not stronger.

End of Thought.

 

My Lighthouse

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Are you a human adult?

Do you find yourself unable to sleep some nights (even when you are utterly exhausted) because the great whirring globule inside your skull has chosen this exact moment to throw all of the personal challenges you have ever considered or thought about- into your face?

Maybe you trip down the rabbit hole of “what the fuck am I doing with my life?”

You wouldn’t be alone with that – almost everybody I know, childless or childful (is that a word…?) Teenagers, Twenties, Thirties, Forties, Fifties, Sixties… everybody is trying to figure out what they’re doing, why they did what they did, and what they are going to do next. All the while maintaing an immaculately maintained and crafted image of themselves on Social Media.

You think its just you?

I will be the first to admit that the last ten years have been a colliding merry-go-round of lucky breaks, happenstance and the ability to fall upwards.
From the University I attended, to the country I now live in, to the jobs that I have had – it’s all been one big “OKAY SURE!?” + tears.

I’ve had my goals and dreams, but while they remain a lighthouse on the coast, I’ve happily gone down into employment mermaid lairs and boarded pirate ships that have been more than diverting. (Are you staying comfortable with all the Metaphors?)

 

It is really hard to sail directly for the lighthouse when there is an unpredictable ocean (life) you are riding on. I am far from easy-going, but to avoid sinking, I’ve tried to take the waves as they come – and yet I see the lighthouse on the shore and it gives me pangs to see that some days it feels like I am further away from it than I was yesterday. That drives me crazy – especially when you feel like you’ve rowed as hard as you possibly could and it doesn’t make a difference – the lighthouse feels like an impossible target.

Still following?

For a long time now I’ve struggled to be honest about what it is I’m even sailing towards – because for a long time, floating at all seemed like the greatest achievement (hey look at me I’m on a boat and I haven’t crashed into the rocks!)

At 2am, for whatever reason, my brain finally decided to admit to itself what it is we’re aiming for and here it is:

I want to be a writer.

I’ve spent the last month funemployed and in that time (amongst the watching of numerous fail and cat videos) I buckled down and wrote a screenplay that has haunted me for four years. A story that I started and abandoned with no real deadline.

On Friday last week, I finished the first complete draft, 83 pages. And while my bank account reminds me that I need to get a real job again ASAP, I’m prouder of myself for those garbage 83 pages than I have been in anything for a long time.

And all the noise and splashing and the disquieted seas feel calmer now than they have in years because I don’t feel like an idiot for saying I want to be something – I AM something. I used to feel ashamed to admit that I wanted to be a writer because outside of this blog and the witty Facebook statuses I craft – I hadn’t written anything. I felt like a fraud with my Masters Degree in Creative Writing. I’d never in a million years have answered “What do you do?” with “I am a writer” because what a fucking fraud!

Now that I can admit what my goal is, all of the jobs and the career I’ve been carving – make sense. Because silly me – you don’t sail towards a lighthouse, that isn’t what a lighthouse is for. A lighthouse is a navigational tool. It helps guide you through the rocky sea and warns you of danger.

 

Thats what my brain was thinking about at 2am – that maybe you don’t ever reach your lighthouse – but knowing what it is and how it affects your decisions, is enough to see the path. Isn’t that we’re always looking for? Patterns and paths that make us feel like our lives aren’t haphazardly thrown together?

Find your lighthouse and then sit back and enjoy the boat ride.

5 Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

At my apartment we have a shower bath Combo (which is pretty glorious and so fancy) so that when I feel lazy or sick (like ever since I got from France) I can lie down and just kindof splash around a bit and then BOOM, I’m clean. That’s how hygiene works, right you guys?

But lets be honest – there is something to be said for showers. Not only can you get in and out faster than a bath, showers are great places for activities. It’s a time all of your own where all of life’s irritations just slip away.

For a very long time I was convinced that I was ACTUALLY in the Truman show. I thought there were camera behind the mirrors (this has a large part to play in why I always used to hate being naked as an awkward teenager, even alone in the bathroom…

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that and the film Candy Man which scarred me for life – I thought a man with Hook hands who could control bees would jump out of the mirror and kill me if I said “Candy Man” three times looking into a reflective service…I wouldn’t used a public restroom by myself for 2 years… my parents were furious)

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Thank god there isn’t an audience tuned into me at all times (I’m an attention seeker, but I’m not that bad…). If you were to observe my habits in the shower… you would have me taken off to a nice quiet room somewhere. Somewhere nice with padded walls and a TV set to static.

Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

1. Winning imaginary arguments (that have likely ended long ago or never actually occurred)
This is by far the most cliche and popular of the not showering activities. I know I am not alone when I say that I come up with some of my best counter attacks in that damp, white walled solitude. Witty lines that are just the right amount of cutting as to leave my foe destroyed, barbarous parting remarks that I re-enact as I flip my soggy hair over my shoulder. If only there were a way to pause a fight mid-bitch, so that I might run home, jump in the shower, think of all the right things to say, dry off, return to the scene and deliver a long lasting comeuppance. Come on Science, hop to it.

2. Trying out awkward voices and faces
By no means am I a professional voice actor (This face was not made to be hid behind that of a cartoon, I mean c’mon) but I definitely fancy myself a bit of an amateur when it comes to silly voices. My favourite thing to do is speak-sing the words of a song in a really terrifyingly shrill voice. Like “A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me, hanging on the passenger side of his best friends ride, trying to holler at me” spoken like a much more high pitched yoda voice. Then imagine me trying to do a convincing velociraptor… all while naked. You’re aroused. I can tell. You’re thinking… HOW is this girl single. I know. I know.

3. Sucking in my Stomach really hard to see how it would be feel to be super skinny
If I sucked in my stomach really hard all the time, man I would be so sexy. I could totally do it right? Just like never breathe or laugh or talk? I’d be like 2 sizes smaller AT LEAST. Try it next time you’re in there and marvel at the body you could totally have if you just weren’t alive and stuff.

4. Trying to figure out how much less I would weigh if I just didn’t have boobs
Is there a way to weigh one specific body part? Like do they have a bra scale that you can just sling over your shoulder and be like: It’s all good guys, I actually only weigh 146 pounds, cos I’m carrying like 10 pounds a boob of breast weight! Or for those with big booties, couldn’t they just have the lip of a seat that you could hang your ass over? And then you could be like I’m not fat, I just have exactly 14lbs of junk in my trunk.

5. Doing Sweet dance moves (I could totally be Beyonce’s back up dancer)
Too bad professional dance studios don’t have shower settings, because the shower brings out the FIERCE in me. I like to shower with music (it makes me feel like I’m in a video clip okay?!) and I like to bust out my MOVES. Sometimes I like to combine my witty comebacks with dance moves like take THAT, biyatch. And then I bust a move in their face. Goddamn I’m hardcore. Hold me back bro.

Isn’t it nice to know that you aren’t alone in your weirdness?

You’re welcome.

7 Things I learned about France

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Why do we travel? For me personally it’s a combination of the desire to never sit still or commit to anything (watch me run from responsibility, WEEEEEEEE!) and to big-up myself to old high school friends who recently just added me on Facebook (whaaaaat? I’m in France for the film festival… sorry my life is so much more awesome than yours. Maybe you shouldn’t have bullied me in fifth period biyaaaatch. Sorry can’t chat – #jetsetting).

But I guess another reason we travel is because we like to learn from other cultures and junk – I mean that is what I tell myself/my parents, so yes, lets go with that.

1. Everything in France tastes better than anything, anywhere.
As a long time liver and lover of Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, I feel I am the right person to tell you with confidence that the rest of global cuisines ain’t got shit on the French. Twenty minutes before my flight out of Nice airport, I headed over to Mono-Prix (some kind of grocery/clothes/homewares store hybrid) and snagged a 2.99euro chocolate mousse which was LITERALLY the best mousse I have ever had…ever…in my whole life. At an airport. For the same price as a ride on the Toronto subway. “Yes hello everywhere? Sort your shit out, French food is leaving you behind in the dust.” The French care about their food and it’s definitely quality over quantity. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t attempt to eat a new kind of cheese or try a new flavor of ice cream every day we were there. Yes that’s right – I am bikini season ready.

2. Everyone in France smells really amazing and takes care of their appearance
This probably isn’t shocking to you, but people in France dress extremely well and take mega pride in their appearance. Walking down the street to buy milk? Heels. Walking to the beach? Better wear my super fine silver jewelry and awesome lace throw thats nicer than anything ever that Paris H-T would wear. Working out? Hang on – I need to make sure I smell like vanilla and sandalwood and fairy dreams. As someone who is as delicate as an elephant who could stand to lose a few, I feel there is much to be gleaned from the elegance of these people. Also the French wear their sophistication with a big “fuck you’ attitude, which I also enjoy.

3. French customer service is the worst thing ever aka, the French are tired of your bullshit.
Living in North America has made me jaded to customer service. Never, ever, ever, ever, in almost 3 years have I ever heard a sales associate talk back to a client. The customer is always right, dontcha know? Not true in France. During this trip I experienced multiple instances of stubborn, rude, even aggressive behavior towards paying customers. I cannot even begin to imagine the shit storm that would occur if someone in retail in North America behaved the way some of the French did. There would be anarchy, or at the very least, some kind of beatdown.

4. My French is way worse than I thought, but most people speak English.
Perhaps because of the time of year and because of where I was in France, I found that my French did not really approve at all on this trip (except to learn never to say “La Chat sur la Table – as that in actual fact translates to something like the Vagina is on the table – oh how they laughed … at me). I hate to be one of those English speaking tourists that rocks up to a new country and expects everyone to speak my language, but in reality, most, if not all of the people I spoke to could speak English – and pretty well. Parle Anglaise? Oui? Sweeeeeet.

5. The Russians are taking over France, and slowly, the world.
After English, the language people the in the south of France are learning is Russian. You have been warned.

6. The French are insanely attractive
There is that expression that “French women don’t get fat” and goddamn if that expression isn’t true. But also, no one told me that I’d be in eyecandy central and that I should rest my eyes before I was almost blinded by the attractiveness gleaming from every sidewalk. Can you say “Schwing”?

7. I could easily live in the South of France
The sun, the people, the architecture, the food. I wish I had had more time to explore because this is a truly beautiful part of the world.

 

I hate going to the Gym but I hate being Fat more

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Today, like most days I set my alarm for 6am because yesterday, like most days, I could not be fucked going to the gym after work. Today, like most days, I rolled over, denied my alarm and re-set it for 7.45am.

I have calculated the exact number of minutes it takes for me to check my facebook first thing (gotta know whats happening on them Internets) slather my face in make up, pretend my hair looks all sexy and fresh-outta-the-bed-tousled “naturally”(yeaaaahhhhright), cut up some fruit, add almond milk and gross healthy seeds and blend it to a fine brown paste of sweet baby puke which I then sip, as I gag and curse the heavens. Brush the yellow pearly whites, choose which fab (least hobo-ish) outfit to wear, try to figure out if my outfit is too slutty, realize I don’t have time to change anyway, but yes I should probably invest in some not-skintight clothing now that I have a “real” (ish) job and get out the door so I can either pack into a super crowded subway car, or walk in the fresh (read still -4 degrees + WINDCHILL, mother nature you bi-polar BITCH) Toronto spring weather to get to the office on time.

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And then spend the rest of the day kicking myself for not just getting up and going to the bloody gym as I google pictures of Prince Harry’s gorgeous (and thin) would-be-fiance (I’m coming for you Cressida).

I fucking hate the gym.

People who tell me they love the Gym are out of their goddamn minds/have reached a place where they have replaced fun drugs with endorphin drugs. They are endorphin-addicts. Healthy Harold needs to have a serious talk with you guys. Seriously, track marks/running tracks -same same but different you overly-happy, protein punching psychopaths.

But I digress.

I have no idea how anyone could love a room that smells like sweaty boy-private parts/meaty farts, that contains all 360-degree full length mirrors so one can successfully gawp at all ones jiggling flaws with machines that make you burn and hurt and sweat and cry and beg (no more treadmill… I concede, I concede *weeps*).

But then I don’t know how anyone could love Honey Boo Boo’s mother and scienticifics tell me that she has had sex at least four times so…

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The reason I go to the prison of misery is simple:

laziness.

Que? – you ask. Or maybe you don’t – I don’t speak Spanish.

One would think that the very opposite would be true of someone with lazy running slowly walking, through their veins.

You: But Paris, if you’re as lazy as you claim – you wouldn’t be going to the gym at all! You’d be 659lbs and you’d have Chihuahua dogs, 4 of whom you’d accidentally have squished in your sleep when you rolled over!

Too true concerned citizen. Five points to Gryffindor for your astute observations.

But in reality – getting that fat means I would in fact have to do more in the long run.

Here’s how I figure:

Step 1: Get thin and mega attractive (thin is in… deal with it)
Step 2: Entice a wider selection of potential life-partners
Step 3: Now that am prized possession, select partner with most resources good hunter/fire builder/best cave location
Step 4: Entice partner into legal situation where my happiness is now THEIR responsibility and they must do my bidding
Step 5: Profit

If I was 659lbs of pure ugly and loneliness, I’d have to do things all for myself.
Need to replace the light in the bathroom?
Fat Paris: struggles to reach ceiling as she is 5″4 of uncoordinated girliness girthiness
Thin Paris: Casually select any of the multitude of dudes dying to screw anything of mine in.

Need to tell Jehovah’s Witness people to fuck off?
Fat Paris: Trapped in house. Must listen.
Thin Paris: Not at home – out on fabulous dates. TTYL jesus.

You see where this going.

Yes I hate the Gym, but I also hate doing Laundry (see post below). Both of these things could be cured with unlimited money resources, but as I’m the bottom of the food chain of my industry…

Well.

I’ve set the alarm for 6am tomorrow.

 

That thing is happening again…

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About two years ago, people I know personally, started doing this thing where they were getting engaged and married and posting photos of it all over social media and junk. This freaked me the fuck out because it seemed like a very drastic and grown-up way to be like “I luv you 4eva xxx“. I thought we were still at the doodling each others names in our diaries stage, or carving the initials of the person we like into trees or our arms and stuff. I thought we were still all daydreaming about marrying Prince Harry and being princesses of England (he will notice me even though we have never met… I just know it!).

And now the trend has progressed to something even MORE drastic and ludicrous. At first it was just people putting rings on each others fingers (curious, very curious) and has now escalated to people mixing their saliva and body parts together and creating human life.

I’m talking about people I know having babies.

Like.

Actually.

On purpose.

Dayyyyummmm, I thought the word “Pregnant” was still up there with sentences like “her life is over” and “he got a girl” & “ohmygoddidyouHEAR!?”

But now everybody is all like “congratulations” and “that’s wonderful!”

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Oh yeah that’s right, I’m twenty five.

I’m in my MID-twenties. Day by day I’m closer to being thirty than I am to being twenty. I graduated from High School 8 years ago. People who were in year four when I was in year 12 can buy booze now and that’s totally fine (in Australia anyway, HAHA America still hates you 1996 – SUCK IT!)

And yet, in my mind I’m still 16. I’m like OH-SHIT-I-HOPE-MY-PARENTS-DON’T-FIND-OUT-I-FAILED-MY-EXAM oh wait that was a dream, that I had because I drank all this wine I bought without getting carded before I went to bed, and ate all this expensive cheese I paid for with my “real job” that I work, that I use to pay my bills that I have by myself in this life I live without my parents who don’t give a fuck so long as I’m not in jail, hospital, or dead.

I definitely want children.

I love kids (always have). I am not “baby-crazy” (go fuck yourself younger brother announcing this to table of friends at girls wing-night) but yes, I think tiny-humans are amazing, and cute and wondrous. But somewhere in my brain the word baby is synonymous with “adult” and when that word comes up, I look around the room because there’s no way they’re talking about me and my friends. We’re youths. We’re young people. We’re in our twenties, LONGhairDON’Tcare. Right? We’re hip, we’re cool. Do the kids still say “Hip” these days?! Lord I hope so. I need this.

I never wanted to be on 16 and Pregnant, but I also don’t want to be a part of MTV’s new  controversial programming 39 and Childless (copyright pending) or 41 and Wondering if she should go the IVF/Sperm Donor route or try to get on the adoption-list or if its too late (We’re still working on the title for that one).

If you never want children more power to you.

No ticking clock for you, nobody reminding you that by your age she had 3 kids, a husband a dog, 2 cars and a giant house in Malaysia. Right mum?

Soooo many of my single girlfriends tell me they’d like to, ideally, have their first baby by 29.

29?! How can you be so specific!? That’s in like, 4 years time yo.

First you’re going to have to find someone who wants to hang out with you more than once and in the daytime and who isn’t totally fucked, and then you’re going to have to convince this person to spend a shittonne of money on a joint party with you and all your annoying friends, the process of which is going to turn you into a mega-bitch and everyone is going to be like I don’t even want to go to that girls fragrance-free wedding anyway, and then you’re going to pour more money into a place that can accommodate your stuff ANNNND his stuff and that hopefully isn’t located in an area frequented by prostitues and crack whores (insert joke about Toronto’s mayor- eyyyyoooh) and then convince him that – you know what would make this stressful situation even more fun? Something I pushed out of my vagina that will live with us forever and if we kill it, we’re going to jail!

Four years?

You got this.

No seriously it could totally happen, and when it does – call me. Any time. I mean that. I’ll be awake because – you know… I don’t have an offspring, and I’m busy morphing my face with Prince Harry’s face to see what our babies will look like.