The day the BlackBerry smartphone was released was a revolutionary one; since then, the BlackBerry has crept further and further into our consciousness; it has replaced the necessity to remember birthdays, or even know what your plans for the day are. A reminder will bleep, and you will be told where to go, and what to do. It’s so clever that you don’t even have to have the ability to co-ordinate time; your smartphone will advise you of clashes. You have no need to remember small social trivialities, because with the click of several buttons, your brain capacity can be released to worry about other things.
For those of us who lack the ability to remember even their own birthday, this is a wonderful creation. However, there is a fundamental flaw; I am also one of these forgetful, occasionally unfortunate people, who forgets that the smartphone is tucked into the pocket of her jeans, so when she goes to the toilet, it lands with a splash at the bottom. Or she spills liquid on it. Or stands on it. You see, I’m fundamentally clumsy. The same sort of thing tends to happen at work; I’ll knock over a tower of tea cups, or knock a wine glass off the silver tray onto the floor. When it smashes, it looks slightly beautiful, however it’s a mess nonetheless. I throw cutlery around the still room, and spill soup over the side of the bowl. Presentation and finesse one could say, are not my forte.
Grace in physical movement is also a characteristic that eludes me; my mother is particularly graceful, and has an exceedingly light step. It would seem though that I inherited the somewhat less refined Shrek gene; I have been known to trip over my own walking boots, catch the toes on my sandals and trip forwards; wearing stiletto heels is akin to playing Russian roulette. The problem is, I’ve always wanted to be graceful, and not walk into walls. I’d like to be one of the effortlessly sophisticated that are so revered on television, however a more appropriate comparison would be to Betty Suarez. We have innumerable similarities.
Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe created a terrible precedent. They really ought to have been less sophisticated and graceful, because frankly, they just raised the bar for us too high. Haute Couture is unbearable to almost everyone, similarly to the emperor’s new clothes. In the same way, the expectation of slimness, hobbies, intelligent conversation, and excellent child rearing is completely preposterous. I have almost none of these hobbies, and I have accepted that I will never be especially graceful in movement, or particularly refined in terms of hobbies. I enjoy looking through stamp collections, and reading books; I don’t dance, or paint.
I think it is far easier being clumsy, anyway; no one expects very much, and a precedent of accidents only surprises people when you go a whole week with not one broken item. I suppose it’s better to raise expectations as you go, instead of starting too high. We just have to be grateful for smartphones, bubble wrap, and improved medicine, for when we inevitably dislocate a shoulder arm-butting a wall, or nearly forget to attend a little sister’s birthday party.