Do we perceive ourselves differently to how others see us? Of course we blinking do – it’s embarrassing!! This week, in my quest for self improvement, I got the shock of my life…
I live by a code of ethics. One example would be ‘Thou will not lie’ and ‘thou must be kind as everything is fighting a hidden battle’. Fair enough you might say. More obscure ones would be ‘Every morning, thou must make sure the elephant’s nose is pointing towards the door to bring health, wealth and happiness into thou’s house’. I am slightly paranoid about the ramifications of failing any of my ‘code’ (there are many on the list) I believe I will be struck down by lightning and never see my family again (or in hindsight, made to watch myself on film), if i don’t strictly adhere to the code. So when my trainee teacher was faced with the task of being videoed in the classroom, my thought was ‘thou would never ask anyone to do anything thou wouldn’t do thou self’.
Now then, the last time i was caught on camera was whilst dancing (with Him) after one too many birthday drinks. We were away for the weekend in a luxury lodge. The floor space was immense; I’m sure Strictly could have filmed on location there. Desperate for a 10 from Len, the exhibitionist In me wanted to steal the floor.
For those of you how don’t know me, I have historical status for my dancing – especially sans Smirnoff. However, Him is definitely not. After many years of beating him with my rhythm stick, and with a significant birthday on the horizon, it was agreed he would begin to embrace his backing dancer wife.
You see, for many years we argued (yes really, I can be quite hard work) when attending various functions. Dirty Dancing medleys would be launched around the time of the fifth vodka, my arms and head would start to wave (apparently that’s what I do) and I would propel myself onto the glittering dance floor. He would stand to one side, praying for no scene, hoping that some poor husband of a friend would take pity on me and allow me to attempt the famous lift. My passion for the floor culminated on the evening I danced around the Tina Turner tribute act, who offered me a job as her backing dancer…family and commitments stood between me and the bright lights of the working men’s club circuit. This year though, arm twisted, I had a sidekick in training.
We initially agreed that a song and dance routine was to be created and rehearsed. We chose a song, began to learn the words and we were on our way to a nice little party piece. I felt smug (new code ‘Smugness always comes before a fall; thou shalt not be smug’. Bolstered by our newly found confidence, we thought we were ready. So what we’d not done the whole routine yet? So what Him still had two left feet? We were invincible; we’d blow them away!!
We covered the floor with our newly found moves; strictly style. Him threw me around and we felt like Rico and Lola. That night I went to sleep all Tina Sparkle; I wanted the feathers, sequins and perma tan life. New routines whizzed through my head, aspirations of dancing competitions, Strictly Ballroom had always been one of our favourite films…
I can see now I’d gotten ahead of myself. ‘Thou must know pride always comes before a spectacular fall’. It was a couple of days later, one of my beautiful and oldest ‘friends’ sent me the video…
For the love of God, I was like a sack of spuds being wheeled around the warehouse floor. Where was my poise? Do I really look that untidy with my footwork? Always the harshest critic on any dance show (I have s particular issue with lines) I was mortified. Everything was wrong, wrong, wrong…how did I have any family or friends looking like that? Jesus, how did I even have a husband?
With this recent trauma in mind you’d think I’d have learnt. I’ll not go into too much detail but suffice to say I looked utterly ridiculous in front of my class. I sound (and look by the way I flap my hands) like a demented seal. How on earth do any of the 30 kids, at any given time, take me seriously? I’m sure OFSTED would give me RI just for my tone and facial expressions. God, if I knew me I’d hate me!!
Upshot is, with recent film traumas in mind I’ve decided the best course of action, to solve all major problems highlighted by recent filming (there were many) is ‘Thou shalt not ever be filmed ever again’. Therefore, I apologise to all of you wholeheartedly that I’m that difficult to watch and listen to. Thank you for persevering and I will endeavour to improve all aspects of oneself. And as for my previous aspirations for a TV/radio chat show…best stick to blogging.