A Little Life Lesson From The Stacey West

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Not all stories in the bible were actually about God and Jesus. Some were parables, and for those who do not know what a parable is, let the next few minutes be a lesson to you.

A parable is a short story that is used to illustrate a spiritual or moral lesson. There are numerous parables in the bible, but you all know of a story in a similar vein even if it wasn’t written by whoever wrote the bible (Donald and Ian Nannestad wrote my bible). Ever heard the one about the boy who cried wolf? It is a story designed to teach you not to pretend to be in peril or make false claims, because if the claims you make ever become true people will be less inclined to believe you.

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Marron blazer, red hair. Tragic really.

This isn’t the bible, it is a Lincoln City site, and yet here I am, telling you a short story designed to deliver a message about the rumour and half-truths circulating today. As a lead in, the is a song by Bowling for Soup called High School Never Ends, which essentially highlights that you spend all your school life wanting to leave school, only to discover the world is one big schoolyard. Today, with some of the stuff I’ve been reading, I’ve been getting a feeling I used to get at my school, albeit not a High School in America, but a Grammar School in Horncastle. I’ve had a sick, foreboding feeling in my stomach I used to get in the fourth and fifth year, and it leads nicely into my story.

As a youngster, I wasn’t a hit with the ladies, and I awkwardly mooched through my early teenage years acting much younger than I should have. A classic example is that at 15 I thought it fashionable to wear market stall trainers and padded lumberjack shirts over random football shirts, such as Yugoslavia’s 1991 home kit. No wonder the girls stayed away, is there?

Eventually, I found myself (not like that, for those giggling at the back) and I bagged a girlfriend. I felt like I’d been promoted in social circles, but before long we broke up. The fact I’d had a girlfriend meant that it wasn’t difficult to get another, girls suddenly realised I wasn’t some spotty ginger kid in a padded lumberjack shirt and football shirt, or rather I wasn’t just some spotty ginger kid in a padded lumberjack shirt and football shirt. I was fair game, and eventually, I bagged girlfriend number two.

This felt great, but she was hot (I say that, I don’t mean now as a 42-year-old I think a 15-year-old was hot, but as two 15-year-olds. I’m sure you get that, but just incase…). It wasn’t always perfect though, I was an insecure worrier, and I used to hear things about her being coveted by other lads. We lived in different towns and I wasn’t always with her, so I worried, much I have today, in June 2021. I was worried that I might lose her, because there was talk of other lads, lads who wore nice clothes and had trainers that didn’t cost less than a tenner. Sometimes, I’d worry all day long, with people who knew nothing about her or me adding to the misery by discussing it as if they did. Ultimately, we’d meet at the end of a day and it would all turn out to be rubbish. Still, I’d worried all day and it made the relationship miserable, to be honest.

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Believe it or not, this is when I was cooler….

This happened six or seven times, always the same outcome. I’d hear a rumour about her leaving me for someone better, I’d have people stirring the pot pretending they knew stuff they didn’t, and then when we met up, everything was alright. One day, I heard a rumour and I had the same reaction as I always did. I felt a bit sick, I worried about the future and I desperately wanted it not to be true. This time was different though, it was true. She’d been snatched away by some kid with a moped from another school and I was alone. It felt like the end of the world.

I was a fool really. I need not have bothered the first few times, because what will be will be. I let what others said make me feel worse, even though they knew sweet FA, and eventually, when it did go mammaries vertical, I’d spent too long worrying and not enough time enjoying what we actually had. Worry is such a stupid thing – you’re either bothering yourself with something you have no power to change or fretting over something that never actually happens.

I soon found another girl, in fact, I think the next one was a girl who already had a boyfriend, but one even less cool than me (I know, imagine that). That’s how football life works, and how relationships do as a teenager – you traded up and down, you got your heart broken, but the world kept turning and as of 2021, everything seems to have turned out ok.

Have you spotted the life lesson here? Just because someone says something might happen, doesn’t mean it will, but if it does, you can’t affect it by being a miserable sod. There’s no point in worrying what people say until the one person you need to speak up, does so. Until then, it is best just to chill, enjoy the nice weather and try not to worry like a 15-year-old boy hearing his girlfriend is seeing someone called West Brom behind his back, because she probably isn’t and, even if she is, there’s nowt you can do about it.

Oh, and if you’re one of the utter bum wipes who thinks it is funny to wind people up about the girlfriend being snatched away, be warned that it isn’t funny and ultimately, it makes people dislike you. A lot.

Disclaimer – The above story does use some artistic license, if I’m honest. My first proper girlfriend only lasted three weeks and she only went out with me because her mate fancied my mate, plus I may have screwed up my RE GSCE by taking her to the Kinema in the Woods to watch Street Fighter instead of revising the night before, but I’m not sure I can relate that to mindless football manager tittle-tattle.

Credit Graham Burrell