I think I speak for womankind when I say we all have things we’d like to change about ourselves.
It might be that we’d like to have a slightly thinner nose, or different boobs, or Pippa Middleton’s bottom, but whatever it is we’d like to change, it’s safe to say that we’re never entirely happy with our lot.
There’s a whole host of things I’d quite happily swap around, but the first is rather more fundamental than wishing my eyes weren’t quite such a mish-mash of colours. I’d really love just a little more grace.
It’s difficult enough being thought of as elegant when you’re the wrong side of 5’4”: it’s even harder when you’re the clumsiest person known to womankind. As things stand, I’m more often than not highly embarrassed and nursing some sort of stain or bruise.
But I would dearly, dearly love to have grace and poise; to be able to drift elegantly into a room and sashay back out again without being gripped by the fear that I’ll fall over my feet halfway round.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be well aware of the frequency of tweets that involve me and some sort of spillage – whether it’s Diet Coke down my top; coffee on my scarf; or cous cous in the keyboard. And it’s not just at my desk that my malcoordination shows.
Working in a basement comes with its problems (the lack of natural light, and having to stare at a wall all day, for two) but for a gal as clumsy as I, the stairs prove a particular challenge. Ours up to the ground floor are winding and exceptionally steep in that way that stairs can only be in converted houses. And, not too long ago, in an attempt to sneak out quietly, I managed to make a total eejit of myself by falling not down, but up them on my way out of work. Planting oneself squarely in the carpet in front of a room full of people still sitting at their computers is decidedly not smooth. And, for the record, neither is my leg – whilst the large and purple bruise seems to have vanished, the bump hasn’t.
It’s not just at work, either – at home there’s more likely than not to be slutty red nail polish on the white bedlinen (painting your nails in bed: not wise, kids); and the number of times I’ve almost fallen down the stairs whilst performing a slalom with the cat is unthinkable.
At a recent Blonde Towers dinner party, just before the arrival of my guests, I managed to break six side plates in my attempt to remove them from the cupboard, resulting in a distinct lack of matching crockery (that might be a peculiarly middle class dilemma, but it is a dilemma nonetheless).
I look at other, more graceful women and think that I would love not to spend my evenings falling face first into the Soho pavement in front of people I’d really rather not fall face into the Soho pavement in front of. I would love to glide round place like a swan, no feather out of place, serene and beautiful. But sadly, I’m rather more familiar with the frantic scrabbling that goes on under the water in an attempt to get from A-B.
But if I were able to get from A-B at all, gracefully or no, without breaking something in the meantime, that’d be good too.
Or, y’know, Pippa’s bum. Whichever.