Last year, on my 23rd birthday, I went to Kmart to buy Moana on DVD. As I walked out of the aisle, clutching the DVD a lady approached me and asked me how much it was. I answered her and then she said the words that every willingly childless woman who has literally just turned 23 LOVES to hear:
“It’s such a great movie, I bet you’re going to love watching it with your kids – how old are yours?!”
I laughed her off with the classic “Oh, no no no no no no no,” and blurted out some other nonsense words. She didn’t miss a beat. She moved on with another line of conversation immediately with no signs of awkwardness at all. I can tell you exactly what would have happened if the roles were reversed: it would have started with a very sweaty brow and ended with some garbled apology and a feeble attempt to reassure her I don’t judge women according to their children. It wouldn’t have been pretty, that’s for sure.
Since that moment – fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things – I have been proper jealous of ‘The Lady I Met At Kmart’. How could she be so effortless? So easy breezy Covergirl in the face of even a minor awkwardness? I go to pieces and immediately try to bury the remnants of my former self and yet there she was, smiling calmly and very much in one piece.
In our one short conversation I knew that she was definitely the kind of woman Miranda Hart describes in S2E1:
“I’m going to be the kind of woman who leaps out of bed and … their hair looks perfect. They then grab a home-made muffin out of their Cath Kidston polka dot biscuit tin and head to work, wearing trainers at the bottom of a skirt suit to show off they’ve power walked in. They have pot plants that don’t die on them. Their fruit bowl isn’t full of three-week-old rotting pears because they actually eat the fruit. They have day bags, evening bags and a clutch. They just grab a wheat germ smoothie in between work because that’s enough to keep them going, even though at lunch they jogged, and enjoyed it, because they don’t have flesh that moves independently to their main frame.”
My response is a little more like Miranda’s:
Fortunately … or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I don’t think I am alone in feeling like I’d like the earth to swallow me up at even the most minor incidents.
So, I’m on a mission to overcome these awkward moments. And my role model? ‘The Lady I Met at Kmart’. I aspire to be as effortless as she was in that moment but I know that I won’t ever reach those heights. That’s why I’ve decided to get some other role models to give me plenty of inspiration.
There’s that old quote that lets us know that we can’t ever be happy with what we have if we’re always comparing our cringey blooper reels to everyone else’s highlight reels (that’s definitely not how the quote goes but I’m taking the approach of free adaption). When our social media pipes are filled with everyone’s perfectly curated, perfectly posed photos, it can be hard to feel like you’ll ever be that effortless Instagram model (not that you need to).
Over the last few weeks, I’ve come to love some gals on Instagram who are keeping it very real. Their feeds are full of beautiful pictures, fancy coffee shops and incredible events, but their Instagram stories are full of tales of hilarious everyday shenanigans, big mistakes, awkward behind the scenes photos and long rants on raw things we all face every day.
These girls are being real and GETTING OVER THINGS than I ever will be. I don’t know any of them personally but I really wish I did and I do not apologise if that’s really creepy.
Enjoy and please let me know if you’re on a similar mission to delight in the awkwardness. Let’s all be effortlessly awkward together.