I Fail At the “Girly” Things: Confessions of a Charm School Dropout

Technically, I am a straight female. Technically. And I’ve learned enough to get by, and put myself together fairly well. Children do not flee from the sight of my horrible, wizened visage, and all of the rumors about my house made of candy have simmered down at last. That said, I think there are some apparently key skills that I am simply not meant to develop. I share with you: My list of feminine fails.

Styling my hair with clips and other hair accessories.


Please help.

I have always envied women and girls who are able to maneuver their hair into an effortless bob, chignon or ponytail without the aid of a 3-way mirror and a team of stylists. When I pull my hair up or back, something is always…off. I’m left with either a cone head, a weird bump, or I look like a grown woman who still plays with dolls.


Wearing white clothing


I suppose a hot date with a Tide-Stick-carrying gentleman could be in order.

My daily coffee is attracted to a clean canvas. Red wine also enjoys expressing itself in this manner. I’m thinking of patenting a knee-length coffee smock to address this very important issue, which is affecting us as a people.


Posing for Photos

Something about cameras has always terrified me. I remember leaving the room to avoid having my picture taken at birthday parties as a kid. Did I think, as the aboriginal people of Australia do, that it would steal my soul? I don’t know. I just know that it made me feel icky and weird and fake and unhappy.

IMG_0300And so it happened that I never learned to properly pose for photos. I am not one of the many people in the western world who has mastered the art of lifting my chins just so, turning at an attractive angle and giving the camera a charming smile. In every picture, I face forward, do something gawky with my arms, and either smile too enthusiastically or do something weird with my mouth that conveys uncomfortable gas pains.

Walking in Heels

I’m pretty tall (5’ 10”) and was a tom-boy as a kid, so toddling about in high heels never really appealed to me. It still doesn’t, for the most part. If I wear any shoe or boot with a heel higher than 1 inch, it must be a thick heel to distribute my weight properly and keep me from toppling over.

If I do wear fancy shoes to a wedding, they must be Mary Janes or have T-straps to keep them on my feet. Otherwise, I am forced to walk in an awkward, lumbering, stompy fashion, which ruins the whole look I am attempting to achieve. Is there anything more terrifying to your average wedding guest than a 6’2” woman stomping in your direction?


Also on the list of charms that I struggle with:

  • Flirting
  • Knowing When to Hug People
  • Pretending to Like People That I Hate
  • Slow Dancing without Leading

I know I have more…

14 thoughts on “I Fail At the “Girly” Things: Confessions of a Charm School Dropout

  1. annieemmy

    Holy Crappers. This post is so me. I’m so glad I’m not alone out there… Awkward, somewhat creepy females unite!

  2. horsesrcumin

    Me too, me too! The only one I can (kinda) do is the heels – because I am short! But holy shit, the camera – my worst enemy, white clothing – d’uh, flirting-hugging-pretending – all fails.

  3. DogDharma

    Though it wont apply to YOU, these were some of the reasons I knew I wasn’t a GIRL, even though I cry shamelessly at mushy romance movies. I’m a renegade, and will wear white, DESPITE the stains. I consider them clothing tattoos! 🙂

    1. notesfromthebathroomfloor Post author

      Rock on, you renegade, you. 🙂
      For me, the choice was to work around my coffee need. Coffee before clothes. So I wear black. Maybe people will think I’m a rebel, rather than an addict.

      Also, note that “girly” is in quotes. That was intentional. I’m still a Tom-boy at heart, and this stuff doesn’t really matter to me. I just like laughing at it.

  4. wendykarasin

    I’m wondering (as per the name of your blog and its tagline) if you may be using humor to skirt the pain of divorce (and being floored). I’m all for humor (a most necessary trait) but is the blog about the experience of divorce (which pulled me to it as I, too, am divorced) or about flunking charm school? There’s room for interpretation here, but maybe you can thread them together a bit. Just saying. I have the feeling there’s more going on under the humor, and that needs expression (and healing) too.

    1. notesfromthebathroomfloor Post author

      Good observations. Yes, I am *definitely* using humor — though I’m not sure if it’s always to skirt the pain (well, ok — maybe sometimes), so much as an attempt to transform it.

      I think maybe I’m at a point where I’m a little sick of thinking about the misery all the time. I think what I like about humor is that it doesn’t deny the reality — it puts the stark, awkward truth on display and says “Aw, hell. It’s so tragic, it’s hilarious.

      Thanks for making me think about it, though. I have been giving this a lot of thought, and will definitely address the “humor as an escape” subject in the blog. 🙂

  5. ChumpDad

    This is so not the first impression you make. And what is wrong with finding humor in the midst of misery? Humor helps many of us through the tough stuff. Humor helps break the ice. Humor takes the edge off awkwardness.

  6. movingliquid

    Holy cow, do I recognize myself in your descriptions. I think a date with a Tide Stick would be HOT. I, like you, am coming to terms with my weird self. And when I say “a date with a Tide Stick” I mean, dating a man who carries a Tide Stick, not actually dating a Tide Stick. Heh.


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