Ordinary Hepburn, or should that be Audinary?

Audrey Hepburn is an icon for many young women.  She has poise, elegance and is just lovely.

But how many of us can relate to Audrey?  As much as we might want to?  I’ve been reading a lot of terrific blogs written by people who I might consider to be more privileged than me.   I went to a fantastic grammar school, but a state school nonetheless.  They, on the other hand, have received the kind of education that has to be paid for.

And then there was a short spell at university where we all rubbed our dirty shoulders with near-royalty (or at least that’s how they seemed!).  Now, I always considered myself to be quite well-spoken, albeit with a Scouse twang, and I’m unmistakeably “Northern” to a Southern ear.  But I could use “big” words and was the cause of private giggles by my family in “Canny Farm” for knowing certain words so young.  I had good manners and I knew how to behave myself (most of the time, give or take that trying-smoking-in-the-schoolgrounds-in-an-act-of rebellion incident).  I am a rebel, don’t get me wrong, and a complete maverick, at that, but what I’m saying is that in terms of class, it shouldn’t have mattered where I came from.  I was as good as any public-schooler.  But then, when I got to unversity, it became apparent that the most popular students were the “ras” and if you tried to speak to certain ones while waiting for a class, they wouldn’t welcome you.  I talk to people, you see.  Because I’m friendly.  It’s a nice thing we do in Liverpool when waiting for a bus or when a train has been delayed.  It’s also okay to do it outside of a class, but not to just anyone, evidently.  And on such occasions as I felt my friendliness unreciprocated, I felt more and more common.

Let’s fast-forward to now.  I thought I could manage in any social circle, but now I’m having doubts.  You see, there seem to be rules I wasn’t aware of, for example, not being grammatically correct on tweets on Facebook is frowned upon, and mixing certain foods together makes you a freak.  So I don’t think I’d ever survive in London or New York or anywhere like that.  I’d make to many faux-pas, being the kind of girl who has Ketchup with everything and who has a penchant for sweet and savoury things mixed together.  I’d probably read the wrong sort of book or wear something completely wrong without realising it.

This is were we get to the title of my post.  You see, I’m not a “ra” and I’m not very fashionable, and I’m only glamorous when certain occasions call for it (because comfort beats glamour hands down).  So, in Gibraltar when I saw a girl wearing a black coat, black trousers and normal, slightly worn, heeled-but-practical-for-work leather shoes, I thought to myself “There’s a girl who could be British.  She’s one of us “normies.”  I expressed this observation to my colleague, using the word “ordinary”, to which my friend repeated, in her Virginia accent, “Orrdinrrry?” with a laugh in her voice, which reminded me of the name “Audrey”.  And so the term Ordinary Hepburn was coined.

An Ordinary Hepburn is a normal girl who goes to work and hasn’t got the time and money to be glamorous all the time, but perhaps would like to be more often, and who doesn’t quite fit in with the “ras” and the fashionistas, but could compete with them with her mind.

All the Ordinary Hepburns, please stand up!



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