Imagine sitting in a crowded pub, surrounded by hustling, nice-looking servers, tables full of young women dressed to the nines, young 20-something men threaded throughout the action, watching every movement of the nearest attractive female. Now substitute any social situation for this scenario, populate it with any group of people, and mix in whatever age you like.
Regardless of the setting or activity, at some point you’re going to realize that you need to use the bathroom which will, of course, be located at the other end of the room. And that you going to have to navigate through the crowd, knowing you’re going to be watched and evaluated, perhaps talked about. All the while, you really need to pee because you’ve delayed the trip as long as you can. So you grab the other women at the table “for company” to make the trip with you.
Image: Pink Sherbert Photography via Flickr
We learn early on, like most young animals, that there is safety in numbers. Chances are good that being in a group will protect you from being singled out by any of the "others" who are casually leaning against the lockers. Should direct contact be made, you’re totally safe because you’re surrounded by the protective cocoon of the pack, which provides you the confidence to acknowledge or ignore.
But this isn’t about the pains of being a teenager so fast forward to adulthood.
You know that, at some point, it’s going to happen. You’re going to be somewhere, sometime, with someone other than another female companion and you’re going to need to cross the room all by yourself.
So here’s what I do. It’s like a suit of armour I put on in any situation where I’m not comfortable or if I feel like I’m back in high school. It’s self empowering armour which makes me feel totally in control, totally sexy, and totally at ease. It’s called “The Strut”.
Casually scan the route you’ll need to take so you can walk without worrying about ending up trapped behind the group of drunken buffoons who are totally blocking the aisle as they attempt to impress whoever they can. Excuse yourself from the table and stand up with a smile. If you need to make any adjustments to your clothing, just do with a casual ease and minimum fuss. Think cool class.
Then it’s all about "mind over matter". Keep a half-smile on your face and strut. Strut like you own the room and everyone knows it. Don’t hurry like a scared rabbit. Take your time, but move with purpose. In your head, think runway model on the cat walk. Not only are you worthy of being noticed, you expect to be noticed.
Keep your eyes up, focused on the path you want to walk and not on the floor. If you happen to end up locked in eye contact with someone, simply quirk your half-smile a bit and then look away, but not down. Insecurity looks down. Confidence does not, with one exception - to flirtatiously glance down and then up again from under your eyelashes. (I’ve used that one a few times to give myself a second get back into the strut mindset).
If someone gets in your way, you stop and smile because of course they’re going to step out of your way. Once they’ve stepped back, just say "Thank you" and keep moving forward with your head up, your shoulders back ,and that model swing of your hips.
Try to remember to breathe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached my destination only to realize I’m a bit light-headed because I was so busy trying to maintain my cool strut, I forgot to really breathe. I suspect that passing out and hitting the floor at any point during the journey, is going to be hard to recover from. If anything unexpected derails your strut, remember there’s nothing as charming as someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously and can laugh at herself.
Ifall else fails, just follow another pack of women through the crowd as they make their way to the bathroom. They’ll blaze the trail and you’ll be fairly inconspicuous at the back.
Of course there’s still the return trip to be undertaken.