"I carried a watermelon," Baby groans in one of cinema's most cringetastic moments. For those of us with a heightened sense of self-awareness and who live our lives doing one embarrassing thing after another, this line from Dirty Dancing is pretty much our catchphrase. I wish I could care less about every faux pas, every mistake, I really do. But as someone who overthinks everything and spends way more time cringing and reeling over life's events than I spend actually participating in them, it's not going to happen soon. I've been thinking about the most awkward, blush-worthy things to happen to me specifically relating to the blog. I've narrowed it down from approximately three thousand incidents to five.
1.) Being On The Radio
Earlier this year there was an international prosecco shortage, everyone was up in arms – or mostly just joking about it on Twitter. People, remembering that I am partial to the Italian fizz and have named my blog after it got in touch to LOL and tell me to keep calm. It was all fun and games until a BBC radio producer tweeted me and asked me to follow her so she could DM me. Behind the Twitter scenes she asked if I'd like to go on a BBC Radio 5 Live show to talk about the prosecco shortage. I explained I wasn't a prosecco expert, just a mere fangirl. That's okay, it's just a lighthearted chat I was told. I said yes, and producer lady took my number. I thought she'd call me later in the week, maybe even the week after. Turns out the news waits for no man, and definitely no blogger with radio anxiety – I was told I'd be on air in ten minutes. TEN MINUTES! I pretty much freaked out for the duration of the build up to this call. When my phone rang I jumped so much I nearly threw it at a wall. A man told me to listen to the studio and he'd put me through after I was introduced by the presenter. I had another agonising wait, this time only a minute or two, during which the people in the studio were talking about a sad story in the news concerning a rape. How could I follow this with lighthearted? My heart was thumping so hard I could feel it in my throat.
Then suddenly, the discussion is over and the DJ is talking about the prosecco crisis and introducing me and my blog. The way he says 'blogger' was in a tone filled with doubt that this makes me a legit spokesperson. I am literally on the show for two minutes before the music for the news starts and the DJ is saying thanks and bye, but it feels like the longest two minutes of my life. I talk and talk and talk, until I don't really know what I'm saying. I'm later told by a broadcaster friend that it's way better to do this than to dry up and say nothing like some people who go on live radio or TV do. But I have to accept that I've been a duff guest. Later I cringed as I watched it back on the BBC iPlayer (yes, all BBC radio shows are filmed now as well) especially when the presenter says at one point "prosecco isn't champagne though, is it?" In my crazy radio guest haze I'd thought he meant he didn't know the difference and I had literally explained this to him. Now I could see he meant prosecco isn't as good as champagne. Oh dear. Well, I'm sure they were grateful for some kind of comic relief on an otherwise tense news show, and the producer lady was probably laughed at for bringing on such a lame 'expert'.
2.) Any Blogger Event I've Attended, Ever
You'd be surprised to know, especially if you've met me at a blogger event, or knew that I organise them too, that I'm initially in a state of social anxiety at such soirees. It's more to do with meeting people I don't know, or that I'm out of my comfort zone as I'm more of an introvert (which doesn't mean I'm not social, just that I need time by myself too). Even when I was a little kid I'd get nervous around new people, especially adults, and hated the build up to having to go to a new place more than actually being there. After I've met people at a blogger event (and had a drink or two) I'm totally fine, and I even wrote an article in Blogosphere Magazine telling people not to worry about going to blogger events on your own as we're all in the same boat. It doesn't stop me cringing over every embarrassing thing I say or do whilst in nervous mode though, just little things like getting names wrong or breaking delicate china, things that a normal person would move on from and not care too much about. But like I say, I'm self-aware to the point of awkwardness.
3.) Getting Twitter Slammed By Women I Admire
When I wrote an article for Cosmopolitan's digital site about the best workshops to attend to learn about blogging, they asked me to include the best bits and worst bits. Remembering Liz Jones' advice that you haven't written a good enough piece if you don't regret hitting 'send' to an editor, I went all out – saying that the worst bit about my experience of attending Blogcademy was not getting the personalised 'report card' that is their USP. At the time the organisers had seemed really stressed, they'd crammed in an extra London workshop the day before ours, and I suggested the lack of report card might be down to them not having enough time. I wrote lots of good things too! Everything else was positively glowing. But, when you've spent a huge amount of time and effort organising something, or course you're going to focus on the one negative, and that's what happened with Kat Williams, one of Blogcademy's leaders. She tweeted me:
She had indeed emailed me some feedback the evening of the workshop, only because I asked for it in lieu of the report card, but the damage was done with my article. I'd long admired Kat as a blogger and businesswoman, and now she was tweeting me to express her disappointment in me, maybe even anger. As a huge fan of Crown and Glory I was further dismayed to get this tweet from owner Sophie:
I'm not sure what they mean about not having my blog URL (surely that's something that's easy to get from each person's blog title they submit when registering?) but I was mortified to think they saw me as a liar, someone setting out to trash them on the digital site of a popular women's magazine. At the end of the day, my article never stopped Blogcademy from being a roaring success (especially as Kat had my report card bit removed, lol) if anything it was positive PR seeing as everything else in the review heartily recommended the workshop. Who cares about this, you might say? I'm sure Kat and Sophie have long forgotten it, but me being me, I still cringe over the experience. I can't read Kat's blog or see a Crown & Glory rose crown without getting a twinge of yikes, that happened. Liz Jones would be disappointed in me. On the plus side maybe it's good that I've proved myself to be no Liz Jones in the lack of conscience stakes.
4.) Being Forgotten By Sprinkle Of Glitter
Honestly, what must you think of me, getting embarrassed by something that I didn't even do. This is how awkward I am – I'm the kind of person who says sorry when someone bumps into me. I'd paid for a blog advert on Louise from awesome blog Sprinkle of Glitter's site. I'd done this before and it had all gone swimmingly well, but this time I'd gone for the biggest package, which I think cost me £100? Or maybe it was $100 (you have to purchase it through an American site). Anyway, it was expensive. I also had to wait six months as it was very much in demand – not only with this package do you get your blog advertised on Louise' site, she'll also include you in her monthly roundup and give you a number of shoutouts on her Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. When my time finally came I waited all month for shoutouts that never happened, and was disappointed to get a few lines in her roundup that showed she hadn't really read my blog that month. I emailed Louise, and again a week later when I didn't hear anything. I was already cringing because I knew where this was heading. I was going to have to complain, dear lord, no. Not about Louise, truly one of my blogging heroes.
Someone pointed out to me that Louise' management company were likely to be dealing with her emails and possibly even administrating her adverts now that she was in a whirlwind of exciting things like promoting her own book and performing in one-woman shows. That actually made me feel better about Louise not having read my blog or replying to me. But it still wasn't great for me having to go about getting a refund. I did get this through the US website, but I cringe now whenever I see Louise' tweets or YouTube videos. I wonder if it was her that saw my emails (all very polite) or if there was someone else being paid to ignore me (bitter lolz). But either way, I feel so awkward and British about the whole thing, and wish I could ban cringe-inducing moments like this from my life.
5.) Forgetting My Lines In Front Of Boohoo And ASOS
This one is super-fresh. Last week I was asked to give a talk to a number of household name fashion and beauty brands about good working relationships with bloggers, and felt generally okay about this. I'd run through my talk, planned my PowerPoint, and had lots and lots to say about the state of the blogging industry, a subject dear to my heart. I also used to be a teacher, so although I get nervous about parties, and cringe over the simplest of human interactions, I actually formerly earned a living standing in front of large groups of teenagers and controlling the space. Weird, huh? On the day, it went mostly well except one moment where I completely lost my thread and started going on about goody bags. I still can't remember what I said, but when I realised I'd backed myself into a verbal cul-de-sac I just went, "So…okay… yeah…okay", and started talking about something else. Another example of something the average person wouldn't care about, but I cringed all day. This is just a little insight into my overactive mind where I wish at least a dozen times a day I could re-do some part or pretend something stupid I said or did hadn't happened.
But enough about me, what's been your most embarrassing blogger moment?