From a young age, we are conditioned to be embarrassed about certain things. Some things are not to be spoken about, to be hidden and whispered about at sleep overs during 'Truth or Dare'.
Being a child is hard, because other children can be MEAN. So yeah, I of course kept a lot of things secret as a younger me - I'm sure I had secret crushes and occasionally laughed so much I did a little bit of wee that I would never have told anyone about. I had diaries devoted to spilling my secrets, my dedication to fancying Simon Leppard in Year 6 and how much I hated my teacher for moving me on to a different table where I couldn't quite make out the freckles on his nose properly. Heartbreaker.
I do recall the hot red flush in my cheeks if I had to answer a question in class and I wasn't 100% confident in my answer. I wouldn't want to look stupid by saying the wrong thing, so maybe I'd mumble. That said, I was generally a very confident and some might say 'gobby' young person, so it wasn't too often that I'd feel myself blush.
As I grew older (and probably gobbier) I realised that there wasn't all that much to be embarrassed about in life. Done something you're mortified about? You'll probably not even remember it in a couple of years (or months, if you're really lucky). When I look back on my adult life, there are only a few things that really make me cringe.
One is 'sexy dancing'. EUGH. The very memory of trying to dance in a sexy manner, when I am The Worst Dancer In The World, in nightclubs aged around 20 makes my bum clench and my toes curl. I can picture myself now, attempting to wind and grind in the Creation nightclub in Brighton, back when you could still smoke on the dancefloor, trying to blow my smoke in a seductive manner - picturing myself as a smoking Sherilyn Fenn - and in reality being slightly boss eyed and blowing smoke out of my nose like Waynetta Slob. GRIM. Actually, just 'trying to be sexy' in general. No. No. NO.
THAT makes me embarrassed for the 20 year old me. I think, Natalie, go home. Go and get a chicken burger from Wimpy on West Street and then GO HOME. Wake up and pretend it NEVER HAPPENED.
I also get a bit embarrassed when I think about a couple of dates I went on back in the day that went a bit tits up. Like the one I went on where I tried to impress my date by going really overboard and telling him I loved the website Literotica (because I thought all boys just wanted a woman who talked about sex ALL THE TIME) and scaring him off. He was nice, as well. Oh, Natalie.
But the list of things I am embarrassed about is far smaller than the list of things that I think I should be, because society tells us we should be, but am not. As an adult, I often wonder what I would get embarrassed about now. What would it take?
Things I Am Not Embarrassed About - An Incomplete List.
- My bra showing through my top. Nope, don't care. This happened yesterday.
- Eating KFC at my desk when everyone else is eating salads.
- Sharing stories about sex. Even the stories where you accidentally fart as you climax and then laugh so much you fart again.
- Showing the world my terrible toenails (pre-Micro Pedi!! BUY ONE).
- Dancing terribly.
- Looking like an idiot in general.
- Reading gossip magazines and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. JUDGE ME ALL YOU WANT, I still got 3 A-Levels so whatever. My love for Khloe is unconditional.
- Bad photos. I hate it when people can't hack it when an unflattering photo pops up of them in an album on Facebook and they ask to take it down. Just ride it out! We're all gross. It's fine.
- Owning over 120 nail polishes.
- Telling people if my knickers are on inside out.
- I actually like Pot Noodles. See also: Rustler microwavable burgers.
- Sharing the Worst Photo Of Me Ever - also known as 'the photo from the Work Christmas Lunch where I had been up all night doing pills and then went to work and pretended nothing was up' - on the internet.
- I like Coldplay and trance and I am NOT SORRY.
- The wind blowing my skirt up and flashing my bum.
- Talking about toilet habits. You kind of get used to this very quickly if you have an IBD like me. We share!
- Tweezing my eyebrows in public.
- A couple of years ago, Chris woke up in the middle of the night and saw me crawl out of bed, with my eye mask (embroidered with 'It's Not PMT, It's YOU') still on and my hair all over the place. He assumed I was off to the loo, which I was, but sadly not in the actual toilet. He watched as I, in my sleep, did a wee in my luggage bag. That happened. It happened, and I had to throw the bag away, which was annoying, but I laughed about it the next day.
I just don't care for embarrassment. Embarrassment takes up too much energy. Toothpaste on my dress? OH WELL. Life goes on.
I often find myself sharing things that some people might NEVER TELL ANYONE EVER. I mainly do this because I like making people laugh, and there is often a lot of comedy in the mortifying. The funniest stories are often the ones you ought to keep secret. I got a text from an equally unashamed friend at the weekend saying "I was just sick in my shoe on the tube". I LOVE OVERSHARERS.
So with this in mind, let's share. What are you happily not embarrassed about? Ever done a wee in your handbag? Or are you massively private? Let's discuss!
I over-share regularly on Twitter. @Natalie_KateM