Life, eh? What a little b*gger it can be sometimes.
As someone easily embarrassed and prone to calamity, I have experienced my fair share of humiliating minor gaffes. A recent little treat was this:
With tiredness reaching new and interesting levels, I arrived at my office one morning laden with bags, like a donkey, and thus unable to easily locate my security access pass. A kind man came to my rescue and once safely inside the building, I fumbled around in my Mary Poppins bag (one day I will pull out a hat stand) until I finally realised it was tucked safely into my jacket pocket. Feeling triumphant, I decided to take the lift instead of the stairs, taking a crazy diversion to my morning routine.
Said lift was jam-packed with bleary-eyed workers and as I was the last one in, lift-etiquette dictated that I was the one to kick off our upward journey using my pass to activate the sensor. I attempted this by bending my knees, awkwardly, and swiping my coat pocket across the sensor in the hope it would send us on our merry way. It didn't. I tried again. Nothing. In effect, I pelvic-thrusted the lift sensor, twice, in front of a group of strangers. Someone coughed nervously. Determined not to be beaten, I gave it one more thrust and finally we were on our way up, the uncomfortable silence now deafening.
As we ascended, I concentrated on looking serious, professional, meaning business in a kind of Melanie Griffiths-Working Girl manner. I glanced around the lift in exaggerated impatience at someone's very loud and irritating music, completely unaware that the tinny noise was in fact coming from my own iPhone headphones. It was I'm Going Bananas by Madonna, as featured on the Dick Tracy soundtrack. Which wasn't in the slightest bit embarrassing.
For those unfamiliar with this song, in my opinion, it's a fine piece of music. With a nod to Broadway and a slice of Spanish pop, inspired by the 1940s, it is chirpy, cheepy and makes me think of past car journeys with my parents and two sisters when we were kids and utterly obsessed with the Dick Tracy soundtrack. (Flashback: my Dad finally succumbing to the torture of having to listen to it on repeat 27 times and ejecting the cassette in desperate rage).
The thing is, it's the kind of song you don't actually want anyone else to know you like. Or have purposely, actively downloaded. Especially as it was recorded in 1990. I only had to travel a single floor to reach my office, but I may as well have climbed the full length of The Shard. I couldn't bear anymore fumbling around to try to de-activate iTunes from my phone (hidden somewhere in the depths of bag), so instead Madonna went bananas and so did everyone else. After what seemed like an hour, we finally reached my floor where I ran to the safe cocoon of my office. Mortified.
It was here where I began to think about embarrassing songs we all secretly store on our playlists. Deeply personal, usually connected to an event or time in our life and accompanied by a heap of memories. We love them but know full well they should never should be given public exposure, certainly not in the workplace. My guilty pleasures include As Long as He Needs Me from the Oliver! Soundtrack - often wandering around London's charming back streets or Theatreland when I'm feeling particularly dramatic, I fancy myself as Nancy belting out the 'ell I've got my pride, AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME! in all her cockney finery for nasty Bill Sikes - and Alone by Heart that amazing soft-rock classic from the 1980s where the lead singer never really cared until she met you. Utter brilliance.
Fortunately, some dignity has been restored by talking to my friends who confirm they too have some absolute corkers on their pods / pads / devices which they have cared to share with me.
1. Hanson - MMMBop
It is 1997 again whenever I hear this song.
2. Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With my Heart)
Backstreet's back, alright.
3. Wham! - Wham Rap! (Enjoy What you Do?)
This song defies brilliance. The inclusion of Pepsi and Shirley is almost too much to handle.
4. The Theme Tune to White Horses by JACKY with Jackie's Lee's
The friend who confessed to this also admitted alcohol may have been involved.
5. Karyn White - Superwoman
Empowerment in one song. I've got my pride, I will not cry.
6. S Club 7 - Reach
7. Girls Aloud - Call the Shots
8. Spice Girls - Say You'll Be There
9. Meat Loaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Light
10. Alexander Rybak - Fairytale (Eurovision 2009)
11. Celine Dion - Because You Loved Me
12. Slade - Far Far Away
13. David Soul - Silver Lady
He won't run out on you again. Believe him.
14. Dolly Parton - Jolene
15. Salt n Pepa - Push it
16. Tony Christie feat. All Seeing I - Walk Like a Panther
An excellent selection, and definitely worthy of lift-exposure.