Instagram vs. Reality
It’s that hazy time of the year when we’re divided into two.
One half of us is semi-pissed on varying rosés in every summer pub garden from here to our overdraft. We’re in ‘that’ Zara dress that fitted at the start of the summer but the quick ones after work in the heatwave have left you half a stone heavier with a distinct red ridge around your midriff from the elastic pinched in waist, as you take a seat at the wedding of someone you’re not entirely sure you have anything in common with anymore.
The other half of us is wearing nothing more than an old pair of gym shorts and a sports bra, sprawled out underneath a fan in your swelteringly warm sixth floor flat, scrolling the ‘gram. Looking at the glasses of rosé and dresses of another with pangs of ‘I really should leave the house in the sun’.
I was kind of the latter during that heatwave that lasted the same amount of time it takes to microwave a curry from the Co-op. Less cycling short. More thinking I was a genius for putting a hot water bottle in the freezer. But still finding myself scrolling and wondering what the real stories were behind the pictures.
Because everyone looked like they were having such fun, in dresses that really flattered their shapes and swung well in a boomerang, drinking drinks the colours of which made my eyes squint at a pop-up somewhere that looked equal parts fun, equal parts full of wankers.
And then I thought, are they actually having a nice time? Or are they just taking a photo of what looks like a nice time?
So I decided to re-draft the captions to their pictures because I was too hot to do anything else.
“Had the best time watching this perfect pair get hitched in the most amazing setting [bride emoji] [groom emoji][champagne emoji][the ring emoji because, why not]”
Should have read…
“I’ve spent £200 on a Premier Inn, £70 on acidic wine at the reception, there was only a quarter of a canapé per head so I was half cut before I sat down for the meal and I’ve just bumped into my ex-boyfriend and his pregnant wife. I did go to school with the bride, but we’ve not seen each other for about 2 years because she went on a wedding detox and stopped replying to texts that weren’t specifically related to her big day. I’ve only ever met the groom once and to be honest I think he might be a bit of a racist. #happyeverafters"
“OUT OF OFFICE ON [sun emoji] [cocktail emoji]”
"I’m not going to tag a location because everyone will realise I’m actually in Torremolinos, and to the left of me is a Linkear’s bar and a stag do of 40 from Bolton. Alas, I have found a corner of nice building that I will snap to allude to the fact that I’m in an old town in rural Spainthat nobody’s heard of because I’m quirky like that. In reality, I’m about to have pie & mash for my tea and spend €12 a pop on Pornstar Martini giant cocktails until Reiss, in his “40 go mad for Bomber’ t-shirt asks me what hotel I’m staying in. #vacay.”
“PIMMS O CLOCK [emoji that looks like a Pimms but also like a Woo Woo from Weatherspoons]
“This cost me £8.50 and is more mint than booze. I’m with the annoying girl from Accounts Payable because nobody else saw the value from going to the pub on a Tuesday night just because the light was good for the 'gram. She’ll talk about her French bulldog Mitzy until I’ve finished this drink. Then I’ll make up a story about my flat mate being locked out so I can leave and go home, slagging her off on my girls WhatsApp chat on the train home #workwifeforlife"
“A year of sunsets with this one [pink heart/ blue heart] #happiestiveeverbeen”
“It’s actually just a year since we swiped each other on Tinder but I was eager for the post. He pissed me about for three months, only ever really texting me when he fancied a Nando’s and a bunk up. I’m pretty sure he was still on Tinder at month five. Every now and again he goes MIA for weekends at a time getting ‘on it with the lads’ and comes back £300 in the hole and I have to pay for all our nights at Zizzi for the rest of the month. But it’s fine, because I reckon next month will defintley be the month he’ll tell me he loves me back. #whenyouknowyouknow”.