We adults always complicate things

They said I was a precocious child. I’d say such things lies in the eyes of the beholder.


One afternoon in early middle school, during a break, I was browsing through a catalogue with office supplies (like you obviously do when you are ten). I found a gadget that I ”really needed for my home office” (which you obviously have when you are ten) which, according to the catalogue, had a price of one hundred SEK.

I happened to have exactly one hundred SEK in my piggy bank at home, so I dialed the phone number on the back of the catalogue, gave the operator the customer number written next to it and then placed an order with the most grown-up voice I could muster. I asked the guy to put my home address as the delivery address (hey, that’s where my home office was!). He told me that the customer number belonged to a school so he had to send the invoice to that address. That’s fine, I ensured him before saying thank you very much and hanging up.

A few days later, the package arrived in my mailbox at home and happy as only a child could ever be I put a hundred SEK bill into a white envelope, wrote principal Berit’s name on it and tossed it into the box outside of her office door.

The morning after I was stopped by principal Berit on my way to school and she was very upset. Obviously, you can’t do WHATEVER YOU WANT and apparently there’s something called BOOKKEEPING and RULES and how would she explain this to her boss and OH MY GOD? Her mouth kept throwing capital letters with difficult words while her face turned more and more red. I didn’t understand anything – after all, I just ordered something for my home office and paid for it. What’s the problem exactly?

It was neither the first nor the last time that principal Berit’s face went all red because of a 30-year-old in a 10-year-old body that happened to be a student at her elementary school. Unfortunately, she died shortly after, otherwise I’d have liked to meet her today over a cup of coffee.