This could be the Irish comedy book of the year!
You may have heard of the very popular Facebook page Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling. This is a page that consists mostly of the culchie folk in Ireland. It started off the phrase ‘what a complete Aisling’ and is where people go to share their hilarious, typically Irish stories. Back in 2008 journalists Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen started the page and it now has over 35,000 followers.
They created an Irish girl called Aisling that a lot of us can relate too. As time went by her character and life has been developed to such detail that we feel like we know her.
The description on the page goes as follows:
We all know an Aisling**.
She’s your stereotypical friend who carries her court shoes to work in a bag while pounding the pavement with her MBTs on the walk in from Rathmines.
Aisling loves a Colours Night in the Portobello and a cheeky Coors Light in Mc Gowans of Phibsboro.
She keeps all of her Laser receipts and checks them off against her bank statement.
She has a loyalty card from both Tesco and Dunnes but not Marks and Spencer, have you seen the prices in there?
Aisling loves a good bit of drying and thinks tumble driers are a sinful waste.
She enjoys a good removal and heads home to (insert appropriate culchie location here) whenever Mammy needs her to be a good daughter.
Aisling doubles up on contraception…using both anti-babby pills and french letters…just in case. Although she has been seeing Generic John for 5 and a half years and has never even had a scare.
Aisling has NEVER dyed her hair
BUT bear in mind…don’t get too smug. We ALL have a bit of Aisling in us.
**no offence intended to people actually named Aisling. We should have gone with Majella.
So what is an ‘Aisling’?
In her late twenties, an Aisling often lives at home somewhere down the country with her parents, commuting to her mid-level, pensionable administrative job in Dublin. Sensible and reliable, she’s the only one who knows how to work the office fax machine and always has paracetamol for her co-workers (but nothing stronger, codeine is fierce addictive).
But Aisling is good craic. She goes out every Saturday night – usually to Flannery’s or Coppers, hoofing into the Coor’s Light, the West Coast Cooler, or the Vodka and Diet Cokes if she’s ‘Out Out’.
Twice a week, Ais spends the night at her boyfriend’s in Drumcondra – Generic John, an engineer and confirmed ‘fine thing’ from down home where he has good road frontage – always doubling up on contraception, because god forbid she might get caught out.
The character Aisling was originally conceived by Sarah and Emer in their Stoneybatter sitting room, when they began to observe certain traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.
Emer and Sarah’s circle of friends embraced the concept of Aisling as a stereotype they all knew and could relate to, and soon little “Aislingisms” were being shared among them:
- Aisling has never once gone to Tesco without a Bag For Life and her Clubcard.
- Aisling loves a good bit of drying and thinks tumble driers are a sinful waste.
- Aisling has never dyed her hair. She has natural highlights and a wonderful kink.
So they set up a Facebook page to collect them all up. Friends told friends. Dozens joined, and then hundreds, all exclaiming “Yes! I know her” or “Oh God, this is me”.
Everyone that is a member of the group is encouraged to take part and tell Aisling-like stories. Here is some of the best that were shared.
Here is some videos that likens what this legend would be like in real life. Ais and Majella and the girlies on a ‘wild night out’:
After Aisling caught GJ texting someone else:
The novel takes up with Aisling and John at a crossroads in their relationship. Aisling wants the ring on her finger but when a week in Tenerife together doesn’t end with the expected engagement, she calls a halt to things and very soon she’s surprised herself and everyone else by agreeing to move into a three-bed in Portobello with stylish Sadhbh from the third floor and her friend, the mysterious Elaine.
Home will always be where they heart is – and of course there will be guest appearances from the extended Aisling cast of characters including ‘Mammy’ and ‘Mad Tom’ – but newly single and relocated to the big smoke, the adventures of Aisling are only just beginning!
Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling will be published by Gill Books on Friday, 15 September, priced at €14.99.