Blushing is associated with extreme youth, isn’t it? The blush of the first flush. Blushing, with all its agitation and humiliating will, we assume, be gone from our lives once we become grown-ups. Well, just as with spots and feelings, that did not happen. In fact, it just intensified so that what was once a charming blush has evolved towards a full-on flusterfuck. Because the blush no longer happens in isolation but is accompanied by such clumsy agitation that it sometimes results in injury and almost always in indignity.
Does this sound familiar? Walking into a room, seeing someone you would rather not see, instinctively backing out slightly, treading on someone’s toe, staggering into the door handle which punches you in the hip and dislodges your sunglasses from your head, down over your face and on to the floor where they break. Cue helpful people crawling around trying to find the invisible-to-the-naked-eye-not-to-mention-so-rolly-aroundy screws while you blush and flush and start to sweat and get pins and needles in your hands just as the person you would rather not see notices you and ruthlessly begins their approach, just as you are pinned in place by crawling helpers. No elegant exit available. No elegance at all available. So disappointing to be this woman.
And disappointing also because the flusterfuck fulfils all the clichés about a woman ‘in a tizzy’. A harmless, pointless otherwise invisible bundle of hot stress. It is just as discombobulating in our forties as it was in our teens. Which in an odd twisted way, is kind of a comfort.