This week I travelled back in time.
It was an emotional journey and one that has me hankering for things I can not have, again.
It all started on Facebook,of all places.
I have never hidden my love/hate relationship with social media. I am old.. er and therefore generally just dont get it, but I am also young.. enough (just), to see that there are some benefits to it. So, while I participate in some of it, ie I have a Facebook profile, I rarely get too heavily involved in anything other than sharing a few family things here and there.
I rarely comment or post opinions about anything, or see the need to check-in at every place I have ever visited (bar a few which are usually done by others), nor do I share pictures of my food and drink, take pictures of my over-lipsticked lips or post life affirming quotes that people usually misinterpret or think are about them, when they could, let’s be honest, be about every single person you know.
I still fail to see how something with such good intention turned so incredibly ugly, misused and exploited by most, but anyway that’s a whole other issue.
Then, out of nowhere I was added to a new Facebook group by a friend and found myself becoming slightly addicted to Stories of a holiday rep!
Yes, it is as bad as it sounds, worse in places, even I have recoiled in horror at some of the tales people have told and I thought I was largely un-shockable. I say things sometimes just to shock people, I have been known at various times in my life to be contrary and outlandish in my view and opinions, I have very open ideas about, relationships, life and sex and well pretty much anything really, but my goodness I am tame compared to some.
The boys (who are now men), are having a great time re-telling their stories, reliving the many challenges and dares that led to the hundreds of conquests they notched up in a season, nights of drunken debauchery and sexual shenanigans that would make your toes curl.
The page has grown rapidly and now has upwards of 17,000 members of all ages, from people who repped in the early 80’s and 90’s, to those who are doing it now and they all have tales to tell.
Like anything connected to social media it has it’s pros and cons. On the whole it has been fun to link up, both with people you have worked with before but maybe lost contact with and those who maybe worked in the same resort or hotel at some point and so you have a common interest, it has been great to share stories and memories of a time and place that you all have in common and weirdly see how many people you mutually share as friends… BUT
… and there is always a BUT
Any group as large and as seemingly popular as this one is, also comes with those who seem to delight in pushing boundaries, people who want to draw attention to themselves for what ever reason and the only way they can do that is to shock or embarrass, to make people react in a way that then has repercussions for them. There has already been a fair few heated debates about what is considered right and wrong on this page.
As you can probably imagine Reps are not shy people, they are loud, opinionated and think they are the centre of the universe, add this to the fact that most were reps in their twenties and you have a recipe for some rather large ego’s battling for centre stage. It is a battle that can be fun to watch but at the same time intensely frustrating.
My first thought when I joined was to get involved and a few times I did, mostly on posts that were based on everyday experiences rather than the ‘how many people have you shagged in one night variety’ but I have liked and shared a laughing gif or two at some of the often hilarious stories that are being shared.
It was, I have to say, a little unnerving for the first few days as getting a notification to say that someone had tagged you in a post on Stories of a holiday rep! is enough to give you a heart attack at 11 am on a weekday morning when you’ve got your sensible head on. #ohnopleaseno
Fortunately I have been assured that it is a closed group and as such, what goes on in the group, stays in the group!
Just thinking of my Mother here and my children and well, anyone else who knows me really.
I don’t mind people talking about the things we used to get up to, we were all there, as friends, practically family, we lived, worked and played together everyone knew everyone else’s business and if they didn’t someone was only to happy to tell them, at the same time as embellishing it a little, obviously. 😉
Talking about it all again and hearing stories of Benidorm and Majorca and Tenerife and remembering all the people you thought you had forgotten, the bar crawls and the fancy dress, the party nights and late night airports with horrendous flight delays, the cockroaches (insect and human), the coach drivers! The sun and the beaches, the music and laughter. Even the holiday makers, God love them. It was AMAZING!
There were some laugh out loud moments, days when I ached from laughing so much, at the same time as there were sad moments, days when you just wanted to go home to your family and wayyyy more cringe worthy times than anyone would want to remember, all those drunken nights and harrowing morning afters. Am I glad there was no social media then!
In fact that has been one of the things that everyone has said about the early days of repping. Back in the days when we still had throwaway cameras. Not a mobile phone in sight and certainly no #instapouts
I got my first resort phone in 2000, it was nokia something or other and I thought texting was amazing granted, even though no one I knew had a phone at home and even if they had one you couldn’t afford to text them at something like 65 pence a text, even more if it was outside the country you were in. It was for emergencies only! I was still sending letters home once a week!
I loved my letters, sending them and receiving them and I have them all to this very day. Along with my diaries, which is partly what prompted this post. I have always loved to write, I also know that my memory is shocking (why do you think I started a blog), I have kept diaries on and off my whole life, some I still have and some I don’t, sadly, but my repping diaries are my holy grail. I knew that I would never remember all of it, I drunk way too much to even know what was happening at the time, never mind the day after, so I wrote some of it down. Not all of it, that would have taken hours a day and not every day but just as and when, when I thought I needed to and reading them now just makes me happy.
Not everything I wrote about was happy but looking back now I can see it all for what it truly was, my life experiences. My days and nights, my loves and friendships, the fun and laughter, the craziness of it all and sometimes the just plain ordinary feelings that over the years haven’t really changed.
I came across this excerpt in one of my diaries when I was flicking through the other day (while actually looking for a magazine article I knew I had kept from Majorca when we made the company magazine, looking through my three boxes worth of five years of my life I get easily side-tracked by photos and letters and well all of it really, I could spend hours in the loft going back to those days) and I had to smile.
For a long while when I was away I had an on off relationship with a guy, a fellow rep, who in fact gave up after two seasons to go home, but despite us being in different countries we continued to have this kind of relationship/thing going on. He came out to see me a few times in various places and although neither of us were traditionally faithful (I don’t think), in the back of my mind I thought we were a couple. Then out of the blue I had a phone call from a girl claiming to be his fiancé, I was a little shocked as you can imagine but not devastated, as you see from the diary. It all just felt a little weird and looking back I think I was a little relieved to be able to just let go but anyway the thing that caught my eye was the closing statement for the day.
I ended the entry with…
So, I can only assume that I am 29 and a half and still don’t know what it feels like to be in love!
Hold on just a cotton picking moment…. I’m having deja vu!
I’m more Bridget Jones than Bridget Jones at least she finally gets married! Doesn’t she?
My repping days were no different to my non-repping days except I am sober now, well most of the time, I still like to party and I still like to have sex I just don’t need to announce it every time these days. I’ll save that for the next blog! 😉
Topic of the day is… Would you do it again?
Yes! If I could time travel or turn back the clock, I would, in a heart beat.
A part of me would love the chance to do it all over, to have those amazing carefree days again, to only have the worry of what to wear and who to shag and how many hours of sunbathing I could fit in between airport shifts and desk duties. What would be my free drink of choice for that evening?
Did I realise just how amazing that time was? No! Of course not.
I spent most of my time in just the same way I do now, over thinking and under doing, sweating the small stuff and wondering why and what if all the sodding time.
Would I change any of it? Not a cat in hell’s chance.