EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Dando- 'I'm the Samantha Brick of Southampton'
Our agony aunt and star reporter Michelle Dando salutes Sam Brick for writing those Daily Mail articles
It’s Fresher’s Week, and I’m waiting in line for my very first Jesters experience. As expected, the throng of togas and tiger onesies stretches all the way to Sobar and beyond, and my group are currently somewhere just past Chicoland. So near, and yet so far. The October drizzle becomes harder, my gorgeous new white mini-dress becomes wetter. I duck under the nearest girl’s umbrella. I’ve forgotten her name and she frowns, but it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is I’m dry.
Suddenly, I am approached by a passing bouncer. Ignoring the surrounding gaggle of smudged mascara and running fake tan, he smiles, beckons, and escorts me to the front of the queue. The other girls aren’t allowed to come with me and they tut and huff. ‘Omigod Michelle, you’re so f****ng pretty’. They’ve known me two days, and already they see my curse.
I am too beautiful to have friends.
When Samantha Brick’s article came out, I was overjoyed. Finally, someone who shares my problem. Though Sam’s no oil painting, in a way I see myself as her younger, more attractive counterpart, in that I completely empathise. Women at Southampton University (and indeed all over the globe) hate me; not for my journalistic success or my love of Kit-Kats, but for my radiant smile and god-given figure, both of which I cannot help, and yet both of which have accidentally ensnared many a man.
I’m definitely not flirtatious or ‘up myself’ (as a course mate once put it when her boyfriend bought me a pre-exam good luck card), and yet free Lattés coffees and regular waives of Hartley Library late-book fines are just standard parts of my student life. Male lecturers bump up my essay marks purely because my smile has made their day, and even something as simple as a quick lipstick top-up in the gym often results in the nearest jealous girl turning my treadmill up to maximum speed whilst I’m not looking. Luckily, I’ve never yet smudged it.
Unlike Ms Brick, I have been a bridesmaid three times already this year, and on two occasions the groom got cold feet after one adoring glance at me, my flowing gown and my radiant aura. I’m somewhat bashful to admit that both of these times resulted in marriage, followed by speedy divorce due to various death threats from a number of female relatives. Fortunately, the third wedding was not quite so embarrassing, and simply ended in a round the world honeymoon cruise trip with a hot Italian stallion who decided I would be much better arm candy than his new (and quite frankly, ugly) wife.
And so, this is me. Michelle Dando. University student. Popular journalist for the (currently male-dominated) Soton Tab. Natural, beautiful, modest. Southampton’s own Samantha Brick. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.