I have a confession to make.
I have always wanted to be that flippy-haired, colt-limbed, dainty princess with a voice like a tinkling brook of fresh water.
I’m not, though. I’m forgetful and scatterbrained. I often look as if I got dressed in a tornado and unfortunate things happen to me with alarming regularity.
I have unwittingly stepped in a dog poo in the street only seconds before attending an interview, with only a passing large leaf and facial mist with which to clean up and thus halt my shame (and damage to the nasal passages of the potential employer).
I have held serious discussions with my former senior manager whilst walking down the street, at which point the large buttons on my coat attached themselves to the hinges of a wheelie bin which careered down the hill after me as I tried furiously to unhook myself.
I have queued (at my husband’s behest, and against my better judgment) for The Hulk roller coaster ride at Universal Studios in Florida, only to beat a hasty retreat when I reached the top and saw a sign advertising that ‘spectacles and prosthetic limbs may unexpectedly fly off die to the speed of the ride’ (neither of which I possess, I hasten to add).
I looked for the way back. There WAS no way back.
Incredibly, they expected you to just board the ride and get off at the other end, minus your glasses, limbs and dignity, apparently.
I began to make my way through the queue…backwards. Members of the queue eyed me in a puzzled fashion, perhaps expecting to see me being pursued by a team of paramedics or someone shouting ‘Stop! Thief!’
After all, when was the last time YOU saw anyone reverse queuing for a fun, adrenaline-pumping theme park ride?
I made my way back down to the bottom of the spiral queue, and looked around. There was no sign of anything I recognised around me, so I cautiously peered around the corner to find that – horror of horrors – I was in an area designated for STAFF ONLY. And there was only one way past this staff meeting that was currently underway, so I was going to be absolutely obvious in my state of being utterly lost.
I reasoned that the only possible solution was to brazen it out, and walk past ‘the team’ with my head held high and an exuding an aura of quiet confidence.
So, with this in mind, of course I ran past the staff area as fast as I could, red-faced and apologetically eyeballing the somewhat confused members of staff who had seen me.
My husband and the rest of my family discovered me some time later, wandering round in need of water and gasping ‘I’ve been to the staff meeting,’ when they expressed concern for my prior whereabouts.
I’m going to catch a plane to Melbourne all by myself for the first time ever in two weeks’ time. If you’re on my flight and you see someone without a uniform heading towards the staff quarters with no apparent purpose and no discernible sense of direction, please don’t call the police.
Call my husband instead. He’ll know where to start looking.