I cringe a lot throughout the day – I have much to cringe about. I have had many embarrassing experiences that literally make me shudder – or hum out loud – when I get flash backs to them. I say ‘embarrassing experiences’, that makes it sound like slipping on a misplaced banana skin or my skirt getting caught on a door and flashing my knickers, a la the Tena lady ad. What’s more accurate is, times when I’ve been a dick. And there seem to be a lot of those.
A while ago – a long time ago now, I guess – I met up with some friends from my sixth form college when we were all working in London. I’d got my first proper job in TV, it was going really well and the whole thing was like a dream come true. We’d have idea meetings in the pub and the producer refused to let runners pay for drinks as we earned so little so basically we got free beer while working! I’d just been told I was going on the shoot to the States and I was super happy. I felt like a rock star and think I may have tried acting a bit like one too. I don’t think I did anything majorly ridiculous, but looking back it does make me cringe.
I keep thinking about getting in touch with those friends and trying to arrange another meet up – it would be great to see them, and it would be a bonus to show them that that was a passing phase and I’m actually much more decent now. But then I wonder – am I? Really? Has the dick phase properly passed?
You’d think that having children forces you to grow up a lot, and focus on what’s important in life. They act like an anti-dick shield. Or at least, they should, but I’m not really finding that. I still don’t feel like a grown-up – I feel like a teenage imposter (with ever-increasing wrinkles and saggy boobs), pretending to be a grown up, pretending that it’s okay that I’m responsible for two actual people. I remember the first time I was left alone with Boy No 1 (H)– it felt so bizarre and scary and a bit wrong that I was responsible for everything to do with him – keeping him alive and stuff.
I still don’t feel, or always act like, a grown up and, while I’d like to think my dick tendencies have decreased even a little bit, they still like to come to the surface every now and again. Having children probably makes it worse for me as when I do get a rare night out/away I get totally over-excited and regress.
Recent (ish) examples include:
Falling arse over tit at a very fancy wedding, skirt round the ears, before getting up, sitting on randoms’ laps, falling over again on the dance floor (it was Kanye, I couldn’t help it) and then being sick in my bag on the bus back down the hill.
Having people over for dinner, ordering them around to make the dinner before promptly falling asleep upstairs trying to calm Boy no 2 (C) down (who then came downstairs while I was sleeping).
Drinking far too many margaritas, standing in my knickers demanding my husband (who was with a work colleague at the time) tell me where they’d been (FYI – they’d been trying to locate the colleague’s luggage, which they’d told me they were doing).
These are just the tip of the iceberg – too many others I am too ashamed to have on written record. And others that I have, thankfully, forgotten – luckily, I have an appalling memory.
The only joy I have in my dick-stories, is that you have to remember there is always someone worse out there. When I was teaching, we used to go the pub a lot after work. I once (!) made a fool out of myself by insisting, to the Deputy Head, that she was having a relationship with the Headteacher – a claim I followed up with the ‘evidence’ I had gathered. I’m pretty sure this was at about the end of my first week working there.
BUT, even better, at the end of term party, a teaching assistant got so drunk, that while she was sat on the Deputy Head’s lap, she peed herself. She later passed out and had to have an ambulance called.
See, there’s always someone worse.
And don’t get me wrong – this isn’t totally self-deprecating, I’m not down on myself. I’ve just learned to accept my strengths and weaknesses. I have lots of strengths – I’m very good at relaxing, I could win prizes for my napping ability and I’m getting better at drinking – to name but a few.
So, if maturing, and growing up and not acting like a dick is like evolution, I think I’m still at the scraping-my-knuckles-along-the-floor-and-grunting-stage. But I’m hoping one day soon I may be standing upright.