Alexa, what does ‘bougie’ mean?

Unkategorised / Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Yesterday, I used the word ‘bougie’ for the first time. It turns out I don’t really know what ‘bougie’ means.

In the last month, as another lockdown has continued in the UK, I have:

  • Mastered the piña colada (and decided I’m not into yoga)
  • Invested in a new, semi-professional frisbee
  • Learnt all the words to Double Trouble, one of the main songs from the Netflix film, Eurovision – how can something so wrong feel so right?
  • Discovered walking workouts (walkouts) on YouTube – cooler than it sounds. At least… my mum agrees
  • Celebrated each time I guessed the song the Bridgerton string quartet was playing
  • Straightened my hair for the first time in three months

As months go, or as they have been going in recent times, I’d consider it quite a successful one. I even washed my car. Okay, now I’m boasting.

My greatest achievement of the last month, though, is discovering the brilliance of a voice note. All right, grandma, I hear you say, and you’d be right. I’m a 24-year old who deletes apps on her phone until she only has the Tenable game left (if I have to delete all of the precious memories stored in my phone for that game, you betcha, I will). “iCloud!” people pull their hair out on my behalf. Unbothered by their urgency, I open up the Tenable app and impatiently flick away the notification nagging me about my lack of space.

If you’re like me and you haven’t yet stepped into 2021, I completely recommend voice notes. The ridiculousness of speaking into your phone and releasing your unedited thoughts into the world. The impatient wait for your brother to listen to your voice note. The urge to send another ten seconds of you impersonating the Harry Potter puppets video as punishment for his lacklustre response. The moment you forget you’re parked up at Lidl and your phone is still connected to your car’s Bluetooth system, play your brother’s voice note and soon enough his rendition of the “Ron, Ron, Ron Weasley!” layer is filling the air around you. You close your window and smile apologetically at the unassuming woman opening her boot. (But you have your mask on and so, really, you’re just staring at her as the voice note keeps going on loop. Good.)

If you’re not yet convinced voice notes are for you, here are just a few of the things I have achieved as a direct result of the time saved from switching up the traditional text with the newer voice note function. I have:

  • Organised every drawer in the house; The Home Edit, eat your heart out
  • Sifted through photos from a trip to Cornwall last year (see photo of this blog post) to order prints
  • Dusted the television for the first time since we moved in
  • Fluffed some cushions for the first time in my entire existence
  • Turned around the sticks in my diffuser for the first time since I purchased it a month ago and then admired the coconut scent I barely even recognised
  • Binge watched Bridgeton and successfully guessed who Lady Whistledown is (I guessed almost the entire cast)

All in all, the last month has been pretty lockdown-y. It no longer seems at all alien to see a bottle of sanitiser and two reusable masks on top of the shoebox, as I leave the house to take four wine bottles to the glass bin. I’ve finally got the routine I go through down to three minutes when the internet crashes on a MS Teams call:

  1. Hang up
  2. Turn off the Wi-Fi
  3. Turn it back on
  4. Click ‘connect’
  5. Watch it fail
  6. Sigh
  7. Wait 45 seconds
  8. Click ‘connect’
  9. “Sorry, my internet crashed,” I confirm

I’ve continued to see friends from afar on the screen of my phone instead of our previously planned meet ups, trading in the background of London for the background of cats floating around in space. (Other Facebook backgrounds available.)

As I put my book aside last night, content with the couple of chapters I got down before my eyes gave me away and I started to yawn, I looked at the clock. 21:58, it read. On a Friday, I thought. As I closed my eyes, I remembered Fridays of old. Of dinner with a friend and a bottle of wine that turned into cocktails for desert. I picked up my phone and found my friend on Whatsapp.

“I can’t wait to see you once this is all over and we can go for a bougie,” my voice note says.

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