Quiz: Bezzie or Backstabber? What Sort of Friend Are You?
 Does it Itch?
 Quiz: How Shallow Are You?

Real Life at the Shallow End

You can be super-bright and super-interested in the world around you, and still have startlingly shallow moments in the most unexpected of circumstances. If you find yourself standing outside your house freezing to death rather than putting your newly manicured hands in your bag to get out your house keys (me), or at a funeral and stressing over how you're going to walk across a boggy graveyard in new stilettos without getting stuck in the mud (OK, me again), you know what it's like to occasionally live life at the shallow end. Sometimes having shallow moments rescues us from facing difficult times or embarrassing situations, and sometimes there's just no excuse!

A friend of mine was involved in a nasty traffic accident. After she recovered she confessed that when the paramedics started cutting her sweater off to get to her chest, all she could think was, "Oh no! It's cashmere!"

When I was a scientist I took a physiology practical which involved everyone rolling up their jeans or taking their socks and tights off. One of the students refused to take her thick black tights off to do the experiment even though it meant losing marks because, as she whispered to me, she hadn't shaved her legs for weeks.

And a shallow confession from yours truly. Someone recently asked me whether I would like to be JK Rowling. I nodded furiously. I expect the person asking thought I was going to say because of the fantastic effect Ms Rowling has had on encouraging reading, which was the right answer, except I found myself gushing, "She owns some fabulous shoes and bags."

So celebrate your shallowness! Don't be ashamed or shy: send me your shallow stories at helen@helenbaileybooks.com. I promise to protect your identity!

Sian contacted me with a wonderfully shallow story: "I have incredibly bad eyesight. At the age of fourteen I did not yet wear contact lenses, but rather than let the boy that I liked see me in my glasses, I played pool without them making me almost completely blind. I literally could not see the balls at the far end of the table. Needless to say I lost and he still did not ask me out."

Chloe from Leeds spent so long stressing over what shoes to wear to a first date and what impression they'd make, she missed her bus, the next one didn't turn up, and when she finally made it to the cinema the film had started and the boy had gone.

Kathleen felt she could be classed as shallow for spending shed-loads of money on shoes that she only wears once, if at all. Kathleen, spending money on shoes is never shallow. Ill-advised for the bank balance maybe, but never shallow.

Someone sent me this saying they'd found it on the internet. I don't know who the author was so I can't credit them, but if you recognize yourself let me know and I'll gladly give you a name check. Or perhaps you'd rather remain anonymous!
"Well I think I'm shallow. I went on a team-building event for work with all of my colleagues, bosses etc. As an ice breaker we had to say when we had felt joy, when we had felt part of something bigger than ourselves and when we had felt united as one with others.
My answers were:
Joy—Everton winning League Championship.
Bigger than myself? when singing out at an Everton game knowing that my voice can't be heard but many voices CAN be heard.
United as one? Shouting 'offside' or 'handball' at the same time as the rest of the crowd when watching Everton.
Other people's answers involved giving birth to their first child or holding him in their arms for the first time, getting exam results, working together to meet a deadline etc etc.