I turn 32 this year. In a few short weeks actually. Another trip around the sun nearly completed and what have I learnt? Feels like not much and while I attempt to get some kind of career path going, I am reminded of the fact that there are some things that no matter how old I get or how much I study/practise, will forever remain just beyond the realm of my understanding.
1. How to reverse into a parking space.
Not because I’m a woman but because I have a terrible problem with depth perception. At times I’m nearly as bad as that tortoise trying to get the tomato. So reversing into a parking space can only be achieved by allowing my mind to go blank and entering a Zen like state-a kind of becoming one with the steering wheel, which allows me to be finely attuned to the movements of the car. And no one, absolutely no one can be watching me while I do this. Any sighting of traffic coming against me in the other direction and that’s the end of that manoeuvre-I become like this poor lady.
2. The female reproductive system.
I’m a woman who has been surfing the monthly crimson wave now for nigh on twenty years now, plus I also gave birth, which should indicate that I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on down below but it pains me to say that this just isn’t the case. I know the bit about an egg being released and needing to be fertilised but what leads up to that happening with hormones flying around left, right and centre, and the aftermath which makes use of words like blastocyte, endometrium and corpus luteum just downright baffles me. No wonder we women are as bonkers as we are when our internal plumbing is so complicated.
3. Not knowing my left from my right
I can just about follow directions, but if you’re facing me and ask me to turn to the left, my brain will become instantly muddled. Do you mean your left of my left?Or stage left? This reaches levels of chronic confusion whenever I get on a healthy buzz and head to a local Yoga class. Unless the instructor is standing with his back to me, any request to lift the right leg/arm/toe/knee is met with a a flummoxed flailing until I steal a glance at my neighbour to confirm which direction I am supposed to bend my unwilling body part into next.
4. The French language.
I love this language but it seems I may never master its unforgiving pronunciation and myriad grammar exceptions. And the French are the most unforgiving in the world when it comes to inaccuracies, even of the slightest nature, concerning their beloved native tongue. Sometimes I think I should just abandon my confused mumblings and go the route of Joey from Friends.
5. Feeling comfortable with shopping in Brown Thomas.
This doesn’t happen very often as I don’t generally tend to have the sufficient funds needed to shop in this designer boutique. My father gave up buying actual presents years ago to go down the voucher route so every Christmas I duly receive an ebony gift card promising luxury items that are beyond the capabilities of my thin, threadbare wallet.
Two things I don’t like about the store-
1) I generally buy make up with the gift card because it’s still all I could afford even with its plastic assistance. The products have no price tags, or they do but in such minute form that you literally have to bend over double and angle your eye to the counter to such a degree that you end up inhaling half of the eyeshadow that’s such a garish shade of orange that you’ll never wear it the real world and oh God, here comes a sales assistant… which brings me to…
2) The staff. This sounds silly, as I’m a ( nearly) 32 year old WOMAN but I still revert to the painfully shy 16 year old me when it comes to dealing with the perceived uber-confidence of the staff. So much so, that at times I have nearly collided into a stand brimming with shiny goodies, just to avoid making eye contact with a particularly enthusiastic make up assistant. In my mind, they can sense that I don’t belong here amongst the finer things in life and are trying to rat me out with a seemingly benign “Can I help you?” Maybe one day (when I win the Lotto) I’ll be able to sashay in there and buy all around me without the batter of a Lancome enhanced thick black eyelash.
And you guys, what seemingly innocuous things do you fear may be forever beyond your grasp?