He blushed, but not that much, for it seems that life gets less embarrassing as we get older. I honestly can’t remember the last time my face pulled the full Charlie Brown, with red cheeks above a blazing neck.
My sister has a theory that, once you’ve had kids – once you’ve grunted and groaned for several hours in a maternity ward, with a revolving audience of relatives and complete strangers in the room – well, you simply have nothing left to feel embarrassed about. She could be right.
When I was in my late 20s, my thenboyfriend Martin, a keen surfer, took me up north to Matauri Bay for a romantic getaway. But when we got there, he handed me a wetsuit and told me he was going to teach me how to surf.
I was dead keen, for surfing has always ranked highly on my bucket list, along with other notable slacker skills such as playing the guitar, being a natural blonde and mixing the perfect mojito, but sadly it was not to be.
After I’d huffed and puffed my way into the wetsuit, then huffed and puffed my way through 100 push-ups, squats, and lunges (flexibility has never been my forte), I was hot, sweaty, and humiliated. I never even made it into the water, deciding instead to retire to our caravan with the campground cat and a good book.
But this summer, my five-year-old son started taking surfing lessons, so I went along for the ride. While Lucas was up on his feet, fist-pumping and high-fiving on his first wave, I’ve been paying a nice man with an all over tan to teach me how to wobble on a large lump of foam for a few seconds before falling off.
I haven’t managed to stand yet, though I did once pull off an improvised yoga pose – picture a downward facing dog doing the dolphin plank – before nose-diving into the whitewater. The wetsuit is also several sizes bigger, and yet it no longer seems embarrassing to make an idiot of myself in front of my nearest and dearest. It was actually jolly good fun.
Psychologists say people predisposed to blushing also tend to be perceived as more trustworthy, empathetic and selfaware. Or just a bit daft, like my husband.
We’ve all done it, and it can be very embarrassing ... sending a text that falls into the wrong hands.