Getting Stuff Wrong: Soap & Roy Orbison
Don’t you hate it when you discover you’ve been doing something wrong all along?
I’ve been using my ruddy washing machine for well over a year now, merrily going about my laundry business thinking I was some kind of goddess of meadow-fresh, and today I walked into the kitchen to find my flatmate Drew pouring soap powder into the tray on The Left Hand Side.
I froze to the spot in horror. I confessed I had been using The Middle Tray all this time; tried to laugh casually as I said “Crumbs, have my clothes not been clean since moving in here, like, ever?”, but I was not really laughing, people – IT WAS FAKE LAUGHING – I FAKED IT.
We did that polite British dance of “Oh, you’re probably right, I’m definitely probably wrong”, “No, no – I’m the one who’s wrong. I’m wrong about most things. I could just punch myself right now with how wrong I am. I HATE ME.”, but I knew he was just doing it to be nice. It’s clearly me who’s wrong, isn’t it? Drew can take apart a hard-drive with tiny screwdrivers in less time than it takes me to open a ring-pull tin of beans and I can’t even switch my computer off without singing it a lullaby first – of course he’s the one that’s right; I’m an idiot. I was horrified to find that I have been wafting Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine softener (AKA LIES) around like a total pretender – that my clothes are sweet-smelling but essentially dirty, like a busy prostitute who squirts herself with Givenchy as she cuts through the fragrance counter at Boots.
Where’s all the powder been going? It’s baffling.
What else have I been getting wrong?
What about the fact that until recently I’ve been calling people ‘funny fruits’? Who knew that ‘fruit’ meant gay? Everyone but me, it would seem. I have been calling my nephew gay. He’s five! He’s in no way ready for such a big life decision, even if he does love that pink kimono. (Not that I would mind if he was gay. You can never have too many people to watch Hairspray with.)
What about the fact that three individual professional breast-measurers have told me that I have been wearing the wrong size bra all these years and should have been trussing myself up in a crippling 32DD and forgoing breathing for the sake of not tucking my mammaries in my socks in ten years time? Hey, Boob-Wibblers of Debenhams! I prefer breathing; I SUPPOSE THAT’S WRONG TOO??
And what about the fact that Roy Orbison wasn’t really blind? My whole life, I thought that’s why he wore those big dark glasses even when he was inside. I saw The Roy Orbison Story three times before I figured out his sight was absolutely fine. And by figured out, I mean someone had to tell me, repeatedly over the course of an evening, with Google factoid back-up. It was a terrible shock for me. When Roy hits the high notes in ‘Crying’, I used to well up thinking of his cornea’s demise, and marvel at his ability to find his way onto stage without the help of a labrador. Now I think he must have been trying to hide the world’s longest hangover and it’s just not the same.
Why is finding out we’ve been wrong so painful?
I have got to start paying more attention and getting more general stuff right. In fact, I’m going to make that my resolution for 2011. If that is in fact the real year…