Standing outside my office last week, as the rain started again and large splotches threatened to soak me, I felt a bit like a victim of the world. Not a martyr to the summer that nearly but never was, but a twotime loser. I have curly hair, and a crutch (again). I looked to the heavens and speared it with a sarcastic thought; thanks God I though, slippy and frizzy had better be THE look for Autumn.
As I mulled this a van pulled past. A van with a window wide open which seemed to be proudly shouting out its owner’s view of the world: The Scientist by Coldplay. ‘Nobody said it was easy…’ blasted through the drizzle.
‘Hah’, I continued to myself on a roll in my ranting at the skies. ‘No, they didn’t. The mythical ‘they’, the generation above mine, the ‘nobody’ of the title did something far bloody worse. They said we, the mythical our generation, had to spend our lives making it look easy. ‘It’, of course, being that even more mythical ‘it all’ of ‘having it all’ fame’.
I’ve drafted several posts, harrumphing like a madwoman from my laptop about this, rewriting and reposing the same arguments about what the hell ‘it all’ is, why it is impossible yet still so alluring and the Nigella trap that I feel so many women, myself barging through the throng desperate not be left out, have fallen into. (The Nigella trap is the desire to be so freaking effortless in everything in life that the un-hardness of things is a be-all-and-end-all of itself, consuming as much time and energy as the stuff you’re so easily achieving).
It is as if for women now, the cardinal sin is finding anything, anything, hard. Whether that’s pastry-making, childbirth, deciding on a career, choosing flattering sexy separates which straddle work meetings and the school gates whilst looking, crucially, casual and like you weren’t trying. And God forbid your hair looks like you spent time wondering how to make it fall so carelessly, sexually, glossily down your back which is no doubt in something you just ‘picked up’ from a vintage store.
But I don’t think I’ve ever quite nailed it, the proper ‘Nobody Said It Was Easy – actually everyone said it should appear that way’ post. And I certainly didn’t as my straightened fringe (not my whole barnet, of course, in hair care I am predictably half-arsed) melted into unbecoming sponge, which meant when I finally got home, crutch slidey but pelvis still only slightly wobbly, I had to resort to the sort of tunes which always cheer me up, of which the link below is one. I hope you like it, Feist’s charmful count-along. I think it totally transcends being used on that advert. And what is more it remains one of the many Thatwoman-dancing-with-herself-or-a-sleepless-baby-in-the-kitchen classics, where, even when I have a crutch, my moves are so great I make my life and living it look really fucking easy.
Oh Mammy has a fine blog with a regular feature where she asks for a song for Mondays. I’m touched she asked me to join in. This post is linked to hers and the other bloggers who also shared some songs.