Attention Isn’t Always a Good Thing

When I decided to publish my first book, I would periodically daydream about being just a little bit famous. Not too much, you understand – I am much too old to be in the sex, drug and alcohol scene that they all seem to get caught up in. And for heavens sake what would one do with all that money? Apart from pay the credit card, buy new clothes, go to the hairdressers, pay the council rates/electricity/water/ house insurance, pay off my mortgage, buy a nice little cottage on the West Coast of Ireland, pay off the university fees, own Argos, give to the poor and needy, donate to all my favourite charities, buy myself a cool pair of (prescription) sunglasses and a blue Ferrari so I can hang my arm from the windows as I glide past…

Anyway, think how awful it would be to have no private life…’Ooh! Look everyone, there she goes – that’s her!’ or, ‘I used to know her!’ and, ‘Who’d have thought?’ I would definitely need to buy new sunglasses; Raybans or Oakleys. No, I wouldn’t like to be too famous though, I warned my ego, as I don’t like being the centre of attention (unless I’m singing on a stage,) or to stand out in a crowd, unless I were slim and beautiful.

People sometimes look twice at me – it must be that they are ‘aware’ of my being foreign by just looking at me I’m sure. Surely it couldn’t be the fact that I’m always tripping up kerbs, down paths & stairs, breaking limbs down mountains etc. I’m somewhat socially awkward and honestly your preschooler would have more dress sense than I. I am unremarkable, really. Not beautiful (not even a little tinsy bit), yet am hopeful not to resemble Medusa on a bad-hair day. So you see attention isn’t always a Good Thing.

On this note, one day several years ago when the kids were little and my life was a blur of kids, school, friends, housework and barbecues, I ran into the newsagents to buy something on my way home, and noticed that people were giving me second looks. Ohh I must be beautiful today! I thought, fluffing my hair up. Well! It does help to put that bit of lippy on I suppose. I ducked happily into the fruit shop to grab some apples and grapes, but again people were casting furtive glances my way. Goodness, I wondered, Perhaps I look like some famous person…hopefully not someone infamous… Not being a regular TV Watcher or Newspaper Reader though, I really wouldn’t have known if I looked like some Walleen on the newest X-Factor or some sociopathic axe murderer that had just run amok in the shopping centre. It was really easier to just believe tongue-in-cheek that they thought me lovely. Anyway, I shrugged the fruit into my bag and hurried back to my car. Checking my rear-view mirror to reverse, I suddenly caught a rude flash of plum. Upon closer inspection, I saw with absolute horror why everybody had been staring! I had slashed on the wrong lipstick – Personified Plum instead of my usual Silky Peach in my hurry and also had forgotten to go around the ‘bow’ part in the middle, instead, drawing it straight around like Great Aunty Lily had in her later years.

Yes, well we can’t all be perfect, now, can we?

[Previously published in WordPress January 2007 and in What Brainstem, by Smashwords © July 29, 2011]