I always wanted to be one of those perfectly coiffed girls who could ride a bicycle in a skirt. The wicker basket on my handlebars would be filled with the fresh flowers I had picked that dew-kissed morning. With my skirt rippling softly in the breeze, I would smile and wave amiably to people as I coasted by. Birds would circle overhead, their bright and cheerful songs adding a melodic soundtrack to my ride. Rolling to an effortless stop at the corner, I would stand giggling behind my hand with a girlfriend as I took her fluffy new puppy in my arms. It would lick me on the nose as the cute neighbor boy approached, and I would look at him from beneath my lashes, coquettishly tucking my hair behind my ear before turning for home.
Things never seemed to work out for me that way.
Most days I can hardly walk down the street – much less ride a bicycle – without my romantically breezy skirt getting blown up over my head. Whenever I pick flowers, I end up with ants crawling all over me and angry red mosquito bites. And flirting? I’m the girl who trips trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s sexy stroll, or with lipstick on her teeth and a booger in her nose when a cute boy looks her way.
Fortunately, I eventually learned to accept all of these things as okay. Life rarely emulates a magazine spread or a movie scene where Audrey Hepburn-esque women float effortlessly down sunlit streets or laugh giddily through perfectly painted lips at raindrops falling from blue skies as their hair and mascara remain flawlessly in place.
In fact, the moments when you step in dog doo or have a bird shit on your head can be some of the greatest that you remember. And sometimes, just sometimes, those memories are even better if your skirt was also blown up over your head at the time.
They certainly make the best stories anyway.