embarrassing tableaux from my childhood

Uh-oh. BEDA* fail.

My excuse is that I was in Bath with Shezwa for the weekend, I didn’t have time to schedule posts I left, and if I’d taken my laptop with me I would have been a) rude, b) boring and c) in unearthly amounts of back pain due to carrying around a mofo of a machine in a messenger bag.

I feel like I need to make some sort of offering to make up for my epic fail, though. So I’ve thought about it, and this is what I’m giving you: three embarrassing moments from my childhood. Take it or leave it.

Embarrassing tableau #1

I am four. I decide that a fun thing to do will be to sneak a pair of scissors from the kitchen drawer, go upstairs to my bedroom and cut my own fringe.

Interestingly, even at four years old, the two defining qualities of my life are already firmly in place – a) I am a perfectionist, and b) I am a bit spazzy. So while I cannot quite get my fringe perfectly even and straight, it’s certainly not for want of trying! I just keep snipping and snipping, straightening and fixing, until… oh, look at that. My fringe is all up in my hairline, SHAZAM.

My mum, slightly distressed, takes me to the hairdresser who decides in her infinite 80s wisdom that the best way to fix my hair (which, to quote Karen Walker, is such a disaster the Red Cross won’t give it coffee) would be to chop it into a mullet. A flat-top mullet.

Oh yes. I once had a flat-top mullet**. And somewhere in the world there is photographic evidence. BOOYA! Beat THAT if you can.

Embarrassing tableau #2

When I was seven my cousin Lisa got married and my sister and I were both flowergirls. I had just started singing that year, so Lisa asked me to sing a song (it was The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston – and no, that’s not the embarrassing fact***).

On the day of the wedding, I developed an immediate crush on one of the groomsmen. I’ve always liked older men, but as he was probably about 30, in hindsight this seems somewhat inappropriate. I don’t remember his name or what he looked like, but when I try to picture him now my brain turns up an image of Slater from Saved By The Bell.

When I was little I wasn’t very good at playing hard to get. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I was all over the poor guy like white on rice, and this retrospectively mortifying display culminated in me belting out my final note, bowing, running off the stage towards the bridal party table… you would think to do something sweet, cute and cousinly like give the bride a hug or something. Er, no. Off I skulked like a little flower-garlanded hussy, straight into the arms of Dreamy Groomsman, to plant giant flirtatious smooch on his cheek.

This happened 16 years ago and the memory of it still makes me cringe. Also, there is video evidence.

Embarrassing tableau #3

I was in a dance school for about nine years as a kid, and I used to compete in the Sunshine Coast Dance Eisteddfod every year. Mostly in groups, but I always did a song and dance solo and even though I wasn’t a brilliant dancer, I managed to perform some kind of crazy voodoo on the adjudicators that made them lose all sense of themselves and their surroundings and stupidly award me first place every year (plus I had a geeky love of show tunes that somehow rendered me shiztastic in their eyes… ohhhh yeah).

So this one year I’m doing my song and dance solo**** in a rather large auditorium, in front of an admittedly not gigantic but also not tiny audience of a couple of hundred people. I finished the song, and then about halfway through the dance part of it, my brain just froze. I wasn’t nervous or anything, because I’d done this sort of thing a thousand times and it didn’t really faze me… I just forgot what I was doing. I stopped dancing. Stood there frowning for a couple of seconds. Then walked off the stage.


Okay, it may not sound very dramatic to you, but at the time it was a scandal. Especially since after I walked off, I stood in the wings blinking stupidly for several moments, and then burst into slightly hysterical laughter, like some sort of evil overlord maniac in the second-to-last scene of a Bond film, like I should have been holding a bomb detonator in one hand while stroking a white cat wit the other.

It wasn’t my finest moment*****.

Also, there is video evidence.




* Blog Every Day April.

** To be fair, this isn’t so much embarrassing as one of the proudest moments of my life. It was the EIGHTIES, man! I thought I was the shizzle!

*** It’s an embarrassing fact, though, obviously.

**** It was Leaning on a Lamppost from Me & My Girl that year, if you were wondering. Yes, I chose it. Yes, I was wearing a flatcap, shirt, trousers and suspenders. Jealous?

***** But… I did get to go back on and do it again. Properly. And got first place anyway, awwwyeeeahbizatches!

5 responses to “embarrassing tableaux from my childhood

  1. I want to see all this video evidence… i cant believe you never showed me on one of our random sleepovers in your tv room.

  2. You can’t paint all those pictures and leave us hanging without pictorial evidence! Who wants to see a fringe pic…?

  3. Yes please, now that you are home, I am sure you can conjure up video and pictures of these delightful moments.
    My 3 year old daughter has ‘trimmed’ her fringe twice now a year apart from each incident(both times for a boy) she cut her own mullet, but I resisted the shaved look and gave her a mullet bob until it recently grew out.
    I had a similar incident where I went to a boys place up the road at 7 and used his mum’s curling wand to look beautiful for him, then got my hair tangled and it was burning my scalp, so instead of doing something sensible like unplug the wand or go to my mum for help, I asked the boy for scissors and he cut off half my hair.
    I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and if ever you have a daughter…you can look forward to watching her do the same.
    Love your blog.
    xx tina

  4. Kaite. Do you SERIOUSLY think I would go bandying about that junk when I was a TEENAGER, at my VERY MOST VULNERABLE AND AFRAID OF NOT BEING AWESOME?! No. Our teenage years were for drinking slurpies, making up new words, concocting future business plans, thinking we were amazingly cool and watching Return to Oz on a loop. Not for RUINING MY LIFE.

    Reena, now that I am a grown-up and have practically no shame whatsoever – and also, now that I am back in Oz – I just might go on an embarrassing video evidence hunt and see what I can dig up.

    Tina! When are you bringing those little cuties back to the coast for a visit? I think I only saw Teddy once when he was a baby, probably at Christmas Carols or something? Looks like you’re living it up on Norfolk though, how fun! P.S. When I have a daughter there will be no cutting implements anywhere in my house, and she will be forced to wear a helmet with a lock on it for the first fifteen years of her life. I don’t think one could take too many precautions with any devil spawn of mine.

  5. Pingback: mullet « digressica.com

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