HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Nearly-But-Not-Quite Girl

"Do you think you'll win this competition?" a journalist asked me a couple of days ago.
"No," I said without even thinking about it: not for me the blind optimism of the truly confident. "Almost definitely not," I added.
"Why not?" she said.
"Because I never do," was the only answer I could come up with.

I am, I have realised, The Nearly-But-Not-Quite-Girl. I always have been. As a child, I was Angel Gabriel, not Mary. I was the Queen, not Snow White. The Blue Fairy, not Pinnochio (damn gender restrictions). I gave Cambridge University a shot, and got the last question so badly wrong that the lecturer put her head in her hands. I spent my BA getting 69s (ehehe, no, not in a sexual way: just one mark off a first) and I missed a distinction in my Masters by one point. My friends are always a tiny bit more beautiful than me, a tiny bit more funny than me, and a tiny bit more clever than me.

"You're awesome," the boy who broke my heart said when he decided he didn't want to see me again, "but you're just not..."
"Brunette?" I offered, helpfully.
"...quite right for me," he finished gently.

And, it's true, it's not a bad place to be in. The Nearly-But-Not-Quite-Girl is in a much better position than the Nowhere-Near-Girl, or the Don't-Even-Bother-Trying-Because-It-Never-Works-Girl. And it's infinitely better than being the Why-Don't-You-Just-Give-Up-And-Go-Home-Girl. So I'm pretty happy with my lot. It gives me something to keep aspiring to and aiming for, and I may never quite reach the stars but at least I consistently end up on the moon.

So will I win this competition? Will I even get into the final? My assessment is no: I'll probably be number 12. Which is still a brilliant place to be, in the scale of things, and I should thank my lucky stars that I got to be part of something that so many other people could only watch.

But I'd be lying if there wasn't a tiny part of me that still hopes that one day - in one way - one lecturer, one job, one man will turn to me and tell me I'm The Right Girl.