Monday 30 November 2015

"I don’t have to imagine the awkward moment when you fall asleep on a stranger, I've been there," says Caitlin McBride

Published 26/07/2013 | 13:14

Caitlin McBride

It’s not the falling asleep that is mortifying’s the waking up. I know, because I’ve been there.

It’s a fact that most viral videos feature someone getting injured, getting angry or doing something terribly embarrassing.

Case in point is the ‘woman who fell asleep on a stranger’s lap during a flight’ video, which the lap-owner uploaded to YouTube, and became a subsequent sensation online.

Rather than laugh at what is obviously a very awkward moment, I felt quite bad for the sleeper, primarily because I have been her.

On a long-haul flight several years ago, I was sitting in the middle seat, with my sister Maura, to my left and a stranger to the right. Maura, being the kind soul that she is, was sick of me using her as a pillow and nudged my head from her shoulder to that of the stranger next to me. 

Needless to say, this woman I’ve never met before wasn’t exactly comfortable enough to do the same move and was stuck with me using her as a human pillow. Those who know me well, will know that it takes a lot to wake me up from my precious sleep, so she had the pleasure of a mid-air cuddle for most of the flight. When I woke up, I apologised, she kindly accepted, and my sister was laughing hysterically next to me.

Nowadays, you can’t as much take a tumble while walking down the street without becoming a You Tube sensation. If there was a camera on me at all times to capture my clumsy moments, I’d be the new Antoine Dobson. Or Jenna Marbles. Or ‘guy who slipped on the ice on RTE news’.

At this exact moment in time, I have two scratches and approximately three bruises on my body.

 I received the second scrape while running excitedly to a till to purchase a magazine I was featured in.

As I was running and smiling, I scraped my arm on a shelf.

I’ve walked up to strangers after calling their name across the road and waving at them enthusiastically, thinking they were my friends.

I’ve tripped and fallen on nights out...and during the day.

 I’ve even been known to smack people next to me in my sleep, whether it be an elbow in the face or a good old-fashioned slap.

I wake up with mystery bruises, my spatial awareness leaves a lot to be desired and I snort relentlessly (and very loudly) when I laugh.

 I laugh hysterically to myself while I’m on my own walking down the street and not a day goes by that I don’t stop to pet a dog and start nuzzling this strange mutt as if he’s part of my family.

I challenge people to dance-offs even though I don’t know how. 

And I sing power ballads at the top of my lungs while driving with the windows down.

I’m human.

Anyone who hasn’t done at least one of the above is a liar, or a very, very boring person.

We’ve all had those embarrassing moments, ones which we would like to erase from our memories forever and pretend it never happened. But in this day and age, we don’t have such a luxury.

Everything is recorded. Big Brother is always watching, and he can’t wait to upload it on the internet. It’s human nature, really.  I’m just as guilty as watching everyone else’s mortifying moment online – I’ve just been lucky enough to escape the record button personally.

The idea of everything being documented, recorded and shared for all to see scares me a little bit. Not quite as much as it scared George Orwell, but it is one of the reasons I’ve given up my dream of becoming a world-famous superstar.

Jennifer Lawrence famously tripped over her Dior gown while accepting an Oscar, and of course, it became an overnight hit. While many gasped at her dramatic dive, many applauded the fact that she got right back up on the horse and commended her behaviour because she’s such a likeable celebrity.

On the other hand, Kanye West recently walked face first into a pole while trying to dodge the paparazzi and we all laughed at him because he’s, well, he’s Kanye West. He is a self-described “God” after all.

These days, we’re all reality stars whether we like it or not. And it’sonly  a matter of time before we all get the recognition for it. As long as you don’t refer to yourself as ‘God’ and you’re not receiving a Best Actress Academy Award, the consolation prize is that you’ll be replaced within hours with another fool.

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