When I was about five and on holiday with my family in the Lake District I fell, bottom first, into a puddle. I can still vaguely recall everyone around me laughing.
I also sneezed so violently at a school concert that the entire row of children collapsed like dominoes and fell off my chair at work. On one slightly tipsy night out with a boyfriend, I tumbled down some external cellar steps while trying to find a secluded spot to pee. He laughed uncontrollably for at least half an hour afterwards.
Strangely, most of my embarrassing mistakes seem to involve falling. But nevertheless, they are all things I would prefer not to have happened. Just like those times I have ended up sleeping with people I would never normally even look at, if I hadn’t drank so much cider/wine/vodka* (*delete as appropriate).
There was the slightly overweight geeky bore my friends barely tolerated, who had a soft spot for me. I remember he would ramble on about a comedian who was famous at the time and constantly try to impersonate him. But he always had a compliment for me and I felt a bit sorry for him being the ridiculed one.
He came back to my flat with me one night. Being a big clumsy oaf, he stumbled and fumbled and even fell over backwards knocking over the thin wicker screen I used to divide my bed off from the rest of the room.
Then there was the monosyllabic dimwit who looked quite cute, but could barely string a sentence together. I was out with a female friend who introduced him to me, but she fancied him herself. Rather shamefully and knowing this full well, I still set my sights on him. Being brazenly obvious about my desires after a few drinks, I triumphed at the end of the night. I still regret this a little now, even though it was around 15 years ago. But I cringe more at my lack of judgement in choosing him – to cap it all, he had the word ‘fuck’ crudely tattooed on the inside of his bottom lip.
The other closet skeleton I will confess to is bedding (if women are allowed to use this verb for themselves) my best friend’s little brother on her wedding night.
It was a case of “blimey – he’s grown since I last saw him” as my eyes scanned a six-foot tall blue- eyed vision of gorgeousness instead of the annoying and rather cheeky little boy who used to always muscle in on whatever we were doing, even if it was looking at Smash Hits magazines.
We were all very, very drunk, the married couple had retired to their room and we were the only two left standing. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. In the end, he was too drunk to make a real go of it and passed out. In fact, only last year, I came clean to my friend about this.
I could never say ‘je ne regrette rien’ as all these (and other) episodes still make me cringe today. (And there was the time when I was taken in the back of a Ford Transit van while dressed as Morticia Adams at a Halloween party…)
But I cannot be the only woman on earth to have embarrassing memories and maybe some of you will find solace in reading this that you are not alone. Mistakes make us human and if we lead virtuous, error-free lives, where is the fun in that? Do these people actually exist and if they do, do they not get bored of ironing their crisp white sheets and looking down on us mere mortals?