I’m sitting here, trying to comb my fingers through ice-cream matted hair because I’ve just cuddled our toddler when he fell over in the garden, and he smeared his cone across my head before wiping his nose on my shoulder.
And as I sit here, with my sticky hair and snot-crusted cardigan, I’m trying to cast my mind back to a time when I was ‘cool.’ I can’t find one.
I was the five-year-old who went on a school trip, so proud to be wearing my brand-new mint green and white dress with matching bolero jacket…for the teacher to gently tell me on the way back that the price tag was hanging out.
I was the eight-year-old who played Mary in the school played and violently whacked ‘Joseph’ with ‘Jesus’ in front of an audience of proud parents because he was pulling on my veil.
I was the ten-year-old who got my mum to write a Valentine’s card to a boy I liked at primary school…and then posted it through the wrong door. Then I posted one through the correct door and he saw me through the window. And then his next-door neighbour gave him the one I’d posted the day before. So it became a moot point that my mum had written it to disguise my writing in the first place.
I was also the twelve-year-old who described in my diary what I was wearing for the school disco, ‘leggings and a sparkly top’…and then proceeded to offer MYSELF a definition, ‘leggings are like tight, stretchy trousers’ just in case I forgot to look down at my legs.
I was the fifteen-year-old who was asked to take a penalty in hockey at school…and hit the ball into our own net at the opposite end of the field instead, losing not only the match but also the respect of my team-mates. I DID win their laughter and ridicule, though.
I was the seventeen-year-old who went to Cyprus on a girls’ holiday and drove a moped around Ayia Napa, blissfully ignorant of the fact that the steering lock was still on. Come to think of it, I DID keep wondering why it was pulling to the left and causing sparks to fly as I scraped and bumped against the curb…
I was the eighteen-year-old who left the handbrake off the car shortly after passing my test, leaving it to slowly roll all the way down the street to block the main road at the bottom, where cars had to take turns ‘giving way’ around it until my mum ran down and retrieved it.
I was the twenty-one-year-old who went to a fancy dress party dressed as a French maid…and then got separated from everyone, queued up for the pub in mortifying embarrassment, got turned away because the pub was full and then climbed over the railings of the beer garden, flashing my fishnet stockings and barely concealed frilly knickers at innocent bystanders.
I was the thirty-two-year-old who went go-carting with my husband to ‘show the kids how it’s done’ whilst on holiday and crashed my go cart into the safety railings with such force that I crumpled the bumper into the front wheels and effectively wrote it off, much to the dismay of the man in charge who, even despite speaking in rapid Spanish, I just knew was bemoaning women drivers the world over.
Today I can’t deny that I’m the thirty-six-year-old woman who has banged her own and then her son’s head on the car roof and then tried to throw a ball to him and instead smacked him in the head with it and knocked him over.
I’ve also just instinctively told the dog to say ‘thank you’ when my friend/neighbour gave her a dog biscuit before realising that she is not, in fact a) one of the children and b) a talking dog (as far as we know).
So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I have never been and WILL never be cool. But at least I can laugh about it *said as I curl up in a corner in the foetal position and suck my thumb*
I’ve tried to think of my most embarrassing faux pas but before my ‘friends’ start thinking of some other ‘gems’ that I’ve forgotten about, just remember, I’ve got some on you, too… 🙂