Progress

So I don’t know whether its Bikini Panic, something in the water or the relentless romantic knock-backs, but something has changed within me (something is not the same). The last few months has seen some new sense of substance arriving with a force strong enough to have blown away a lot of the negativity i once embraced as a loved one. Living in the dark realms of catatonia used to be far more appealing, there was a sense of lone heroism to seeing the world through smog smeared glasses. The tempestuous nature of this kaleidoscope of mine has settled somewhat, and the sequins and glitter are beginning to gingerly swim into focus. I won’t pretend that life is sunshine, lollipops, puppies and rainbows because it isn’t, but it also isn’t rain-clouds and constant impending doom. Instead of it being an epic battle, rushing forward with my  battalion of mismatched soldiers, swords swinging, arrows flying, hooves, antlers, metal and bone shattering against the force of each other, its been more like sliding into a scorching hot bath; burning and uncomfortable at first, but I’m slowly submerging myself into this warmer sense of self.

 

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Things that would have sent me tumbling into the abyss where I would live, Gollum-like,  for days feeding myself on the tender flesh of my guilt and self-loathing, now merely smart on the surface of me, like the embers of cigarette ash, blistering for a few seconds, then all but gone. If anyone had told me a year ago I would be content, I wouldn’t have believed them, I would probably have snorted and offered up some hilarious remark about how content I was in my little pit of negation, how comfortable it was sleeping with a mind full of thorns every night. The difference in me feels huge, I’m not obsessing over things as much as I used to, I’m adopting a duck’s back in place of my own, letting everything roll over me like a wave of glorious indifference. Yes nasty things still happen every now and then, but they aren’t world-enders like before. Don’t get me wrong, the social inadequacy is still there in bucket-loads, I’m already panicking about a friend’s birthday party at the end of May when I’ll have to meet new people and try not to over think every little detail of said social encounter. But I know that there will be people there who I can have a quiet little freak out to, who will hand me a cigarette and tell me to calm my tits.

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The Perfect Shoes

We all want things all the time. It’s part of the modern human condition to never be fully satisfied with our lot in life, whether it be our jobs, our bodies or our possessions, there is always something more that we crave but don’t necessarily need. Perhaps its due to the fact that instant gratification is now expected in all areas of our lives; from ordering books online to buying fat burners at Holland and Barratt, it seems as though our generation has lost the ability to value longevity. ‘Wanting’ in general is not necessarily a bad thing at all; it gives us a goal, a summit to reach, a target and these things all create in us a sense of self-responsibility, that is to say, by wanting something, we push ourselves to acquire it. If you want that promotion you batter down the competition and prove you’re the best for the job, if you want that last pair of Kurt Geiger’s you better be ready to floor some bitches for those kicks , and you will be praised for you fervor. So why is it that when we want a person, giving it our all is deemed “desperate”?

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 Imagine the scene, you’re out shopping one fine day, bank card loaded up with this month’s paycheck, handbag prepped with a bottle of water and snacks, phone on silent so no one can interrupt you. Eventually you find them, the most beautiful shoes in the land, flat and practical in a glorious shade of pastel lilac with playful leather fringing and tassels across the fronts. They’re just your size, well within your budget and (for once)  you are not lying to yourself and everyone around you when you swear they will go with everything. So you try them on and they fit beautifully and the sales assistants are cooing and the other customers are glowing an envious green. They must be yours. You get them home and the day comes when you wear them out for the first time, and lo and behold… they rub relentlessly at the backs, leaving you with blisters and resentment. So here is my question;these shoes that you adore so much hurt, do you give up and throw them out, or do you throw on a pair of socks and persevere? For those of you who give in, you didn’t deserve those shoes in the first place, you were not willing to go through a little pain for a lot of gain. The best shoes are the ones you wear in, the ones that take their time molding to the shape and size of your feet. This is why I am willing to put myself through a whole heap of shit on my personal quest for the perfect shoe. Everyone is different, for some its those Christian Louboutin Miss Rigidanie PVCs, others chose indestructible Doc Marten’s and for many its reliable Converse or even those horrendously-made and ill-fitting Primark offerings.

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Of course I’m  not talking about shoes, but its a lot easier to defend your actions when talking about inanimate objects than people. I was accused this morning of acting “desperate” by a very close friend of mine (I will add here that I was in no way offended, but it got me thinking enough to start writing) because I am continuing contact with one of those mind-fucks I’ve written of so fondly.  Now I know that this contact could possibly be detrimental to my mental well being, given the last contact we had concluded with him yelling at me in the street outside a bar until my friends physically removed me from the scene . Me being me, I have defended him to all those who are far closer to me than he is, offering my own explanations for the psyche screwing, the radio silence and the apparent lack of low level social skills. Why? Because you don’t throw new shoes out because they haven’t been properly broken in yet. I am, of course, all too aware that in honoring people with the benefits of my doubts, I am leaving myself open to all the nasty things that can occur; regret, heart ache, disdain. But I’m also blazing the trail for the nice things that could come because no one will put their trust in you if they don’t think its reciprocated, that’s human nature.

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You know the best thing about shoes though, you are supposed to have more than one pair. You can wear your oxblood brogues one day, your lilac fabu-flats the next and your leather ankle boots the next and no one can say a damn thing about it. I was not made for one shoe, one style or one material, I was made to look at them all, make my mistakes and remain faithful to the ones I’ve had the longest. Yes, I may treat myself to the odd pair of Irregular Choice Abgail’s Party Sequin Kittens, and yes I may toy with the idea of  transparent glitter Jelly Shoes, but these fads come and go, but Converse are forever.  Just gotta find the perfect pair.

Be Prepared For Sensational News

They have this atrocious ability to creep back into your mind when you least expect it, these sneaky bastards. You’ll be casually sitting on the train, brain idling and all of a sudden find yourself wondering whether they’ve cut you out without you knowing (which I suppose is the definition thereof).  So, you automatically try to think of something else but they somehow manage to worm their way into thoughts of your summer or whether you are going to join the gym near work. They have no business there; they are usually quite well confined to the realms of hopeless fantasy and past conquests, straddling worlds, one foot there, the other in the confusing compartment housing a mixture of lust and pity. Then, without warning, they’ve seeped everywhere like sludge after a landslide caused by a stampede. You can’t even ponder about whether to wear tights tomorrow without remembering whipping them off that time, which you still refuse to regret. The most maddening thing is knowing that you probably haven’t had even a scrap of this effect on him, he’s off swanking about like fucking Mufasa while you sit in the Elephant Graveyard wondering what the fuck happened to the strong woman you used to be .

 

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And what’s lurking on the horizon? In the dark shadow of the badlands is the day they make their tumultuous reappearance and you have to deal with it. Fuck that for a laugh! You have got to be kidding. You have just hurled yourself back into being you, seeing friends, solidly filling the diary from here to September, every day crammed with the things you should have been doing when you were wasting your precious time with Mr Indecision, Mr Booty Call and Mr I’m Obviously An Asshole But You Haven’t Realized Yet. And just as the sun is at its peak, and you realize that everything the light touches could someday be yours, the storm clouds which had been lurking are suddenly upon you once more and obviously you are caught without an umbrella. It’s a vicious cycle; you lust, you lose, you hurt, you live.

Oh you haven’t seen the light, you are very much still allowing a little sludge between your toes, because what’s the harm, right? Maybe you caught him on (numerous) bad occasions, what if you were actually in the wrong? You weren’t. Well you were, if only in choosing such a subsidiary specimen on which to focus your attention, you complete goddess you.  The thing about cycles is how easily they can be interrupted if you have the balls to take the plunge. Smash one step and the whole thing crumbles. Hakuna fucking Matata bitches. There is much to be said for crossing the bridge when you come to it. Worrying about what will happen before it does wastes energy that could be spent making you happy; instead of laying awake at night wondering where it all went wrong, you could be sleeping soundly dreaming of Ian Somerhalder’s eyes roving over you in a crowded bar. Naturally, there is a certain amount of brain wrangling to be done, you must train yourself to prowl through the Savannah of your mind and be completely focused on your own personal hunt. Take pride in being on your own, a sole lioness who knows her way around the wilderness her mind, knows that her profundity cannot be appreciated by all and is fine with that.

 

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Sorry, I forgot where, what and who I was for a second there. DISTRACTION. It is the technique of the great queens of the past who look down on us, tiara’s askew from one too many margaritas up on mount Olympus or wherever.  Yes, distraction is an absolute glory sent from on high; and it can come in many many forms. From friends to food, cats to cartoons, restaurants to raves, there is far too much going on for anyone to get hung up on one of the 7.5 billion  human beings on planet earth.  They say there’s a place where the passion fruit grows sweet, and its so divine that you’ll lose your mind as it sweeps you off your feet. However, there is no map and no compass, so  its a case of stumbling through unknown territory, taking wrong turns and reaching dead ends before you get caught in another storm.  So what can you do when you feel the air getting thick around you, the disquieting calm before the gathering tempest… you can run, run away and never return… or you can take your place in the circle of life, surround yourself with idiots and be prepared.

Bikini Panic

As we bid a fond farewell to the icy bonds of winter, waving with one hand, flipping the bird with the other, there is but a moment of serenity during which time one contemplates the fast approaching summer with relative ease. We envisage the baking heat of the UK’s glorious festival scene, late nights in pub gardens and strolls along river banks wearing long white skirts, and many many necklaces. We save our pennies to buy tickets to far away lands where booze and debauchery flow as freely and as naturally as the rivers we dive into. We remember in a dusty haze the summer gone by, the baking streets, the radiant gardens and the endless bar-b-ques. The parties always longer and the hangovers eased by the gentle hand of the sun, caressing us back to life.  But as the sun gets hotter and we peel off our layers, emerging from our chrysalises, we come to realize that some are more butterfly than others and Bikini Panic sets in.Image

The summer has so much to offer in terms of entertainment, travel opportunities, family gatherings and endless partying, but let us not forget the hardships of summer. I will start with what I consider to be the paradigm of the summer blues; I’m talking chub rub. For those of you who are unaware of this most horrendous of afflictions, fuck you you lucky fuckers and please skip this paragraph because you do not understand the misery of chafeage. The summer before uni I took a trip to Rome with two girls I’ve known my entire life, the weather was glorious, that perfect European dry heat with just enough breeze to keep you from complaining… or so I thought. We had been walking around the city for a couple of hours wearing a dress cut just below the knee, and the fattest part of my inner thighs had been making out with each other the entire time, until it got to the point where the friction was too much and I had to dive hastily into and H and M to purchase some leggings. The other two girls reacted with a mixture of pity and amusement, they didn’t seem to understand the painful burning between my thighs was not something to be laughed at, it was a challenge to be overcome. Over the years I have tried several different things, from wearing little shorts beneath skirts and dresses, to braving tights in mid July to using what can only be described as a slick stick which allows your thighs to gracefully glide against one another. I have news for you ladies… essentially you just gotta grin and bear it.

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There’s no miracle cure, except the cultivating the thigh gap, which I’m pleased to report is gaining the press it deserves. I think it is hugely unfair to stigmatize those whose thighs must send carrier pigeons to communicate with each other, who will never feel the heat of a momentary embrace, the rush of a cooling dip soothing the blistering fires of friction. A thigh gap does not a demon make, it doesn’t make a girl anorexic, it doesn’t mean she’s so obsessed with how she looks that she’s shaved off part of her anatomy; it simply means that she was blessed with the gift of never having to apply a thick layer of soothing cream to her burning loins. Speaking of which, is it just me, or does the sun create this salacious atmosphere in which everyone reverts back to the times of the Bacchanalia? Fueled by illicit substances, booze and sunshine we all become little Eroses, flattering, flirting, squeezing, teasing, batting eyelids and flexing in a ritual as old as time.

Festivals are the perfect example of the sun creating this oasis of hedonism where naughtiness is shared in abundance, girls cavort in metallic unitards and neon wigs, wearing more glitter than you could throw at a Drag Queen, while boys unashamedly douse their freshly shaved chests with tanning oil and throw on yet another neon tank top. This is where my Bikini Panic is at its peak; in the hoards of people I would say 80% are body beautiful, perching happily on the shoulders of strangers, crop tops revealing a brown wrinkled area where my gut would be. What I wouldn’t give to wander around in a bikini top and denim shorts like a big ho, relishing the looks of voracity, but then you realize. Skinny bitch goddess over there hasn’t showered in three days either. Her skin is also caked in three days worth of makeup, glitter, sweat, Vaseline and sequins, and as the days wear on, the more sparkle she will don to mask the lingering scent of other peoples’ perspiration, her own tangy aroma concealed by layer upon layer of dry shampoo, deodorant and cheap perfume. Just like the rest of us, she has braved the packed queues for the hovel like porta-loos, she has played wee jenga, she has flown in the face of fecal graffiti and tampon paper chains.

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So, as the sun commences its 6 month reign, the clouds scamper off to the southern hemisphere and the Festival season begins, remember this: Bikini Panic is real, it is out there, but you can totally ignore it if you so wish. As long as you are in  an elated state, surrounded by your favorites, dressed like you stumbled into a fancy dress shop in the dark and smelling like a hobo’s pocket you are doing it right!

And That’s Why They Call It a ‘Crush’

Crush

1.To press, mash or squeeze so as to injure, break, crease etc.
2. To break or grind into small particles
3. To put down or subdue
4. To oppress harshly
5. To defeat or humiliate utterly

This word ‘crush’ is one which we spend our entire lives using to describe the feeling of idolatry, colloquialisms have shrouded an absolute demon behind a thin veil called ‘puppy love’  or ‘adoration’ , when actually what lurks beneath the surface is a malevolent creature out to annihilate you.  For many of our first years we crush on everything, from Peter Pan and the fit one from The Biker Mice from Mars to Ben from A1 (who I recently saw on an episode of Celebrity Juice, where it turned out he had zero chat) and Jack Ryder from East Enders (I obviously had a thing for curtains in the 90s)

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Now these first crushes are actually sort of harmless mostly because a) they are fictional or b) they are at least 10 years older than me and would have gone to jail had any of my perverted fantasies come to fruition. You think your heart bleeds for them, you will never get over them, and then suddenly Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp make it to the scene and you forget all about Ben, Peter, Jack and Throttle because you’ve found real men, bloody pirates! And so your fantasies change and evolve, and eventually your obsession with celebrities subside as you realise you can fancy people you actually know and speak to! And that’s where the word crush really works.

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Oh how I miss the days when I fancied people who I knew I would literally never meet. Its so much easier to love from afar, because when you’re right there with the person you like the danger begins.Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy (hopefully no vomit on your sweater or anything, that would be super awkward and socially inept of you) but you know the feeling. I remember my first proper crush, it was a guy called Brett, we were 7, his friends were mean to me at school (actually everyone was but this kid actually punched me once….asshole…punched me in the back…I mean what the fuck is that?!) but he would always give me a little smile. Then I remember moving schools and starting to crush on guys who were mean to me. I think that’s where my issues began really, I could only really have been 9 or 10, but I obviously relished a challenge. I remember fancying John McCloud who was in the year above me and was about a foot shorter with bright red hair…how embarrassing that I’m pretty sure he knew and never said jack shit.

This crushing business is so aptly named because that’s exactly what it does, it molds you into this totally distorted person who lurks in the shadows like Gollum waiting to get a whiff of Lynx Africa as your Prince Charming (who is more often than not actually just a total arse hole with a cute face) walks by.  Its fucking creepy really, I used to keep these diaries and write literally everything in them, and the amount of pages dedicated to that FLAMES game (you know the one where you count how many Fs etc there are in your two names and somehow through witchcraft and maths work out the percentage for potential love), or writing ‘I heart so and so’ until the pages all look the same but with different names. I even used to keep a list of people I’d pulled, always seemed to be the older brothers of friends, or randoms at parties for the under 18s at the local Liquid. Oh the shame. What was nice about this golden age of innocence was that mix of excitement and embarrassment whenever you saw your crush. Now, because apparently I’ve had to grow up and bring sex into the equation, crushes are so much more complicated.

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Don’t get me wrong, being in my mid-twenties is the most fun ever, I can do pretty much whatever the fuck I like and it seems as though the crushing stage only needs to last a matter of hours before all those naughty Johnny Depp fantasies come to fruition because banging someone you fancy is just what you do now. But no one warns you about after that. As I’ve said before, sex and emotion are two VERY separate things for me, so why is it that I have managed to get emotionally attached to someone who is no where near good enough. I mean seriously. I mean essentially what I am dealing with now is a controlling sociopath who does everything in his power to push those around him away so that he has a reason to be angry and resentful. I know this because I’ve done it a thousand times, and originally recognizing this in him I did that paradigmatic thing women are renowned for and thought “I can help! I can change him!”…..no. No you cannot, do not be a stupid bitch. Firstly, if someone doesn’t worship the ground you walk on, you most certainly shouldn’t be building shrines around every coaster they ever used. Secondly, if your friends hate him immediately, the chances are that you have been blinded by some sort of witchery and are now incapable of seeing what an utter nipple this person is. You will create excuses for them; oh he hates himself, oh he’s sad when actually OH he’s a total penis who cannot make up his goddamn mind.

 

Try to remember your sanity people, try to remember that there was life before this meteorite came in like a wrecking ball and relentlessly fucked your shit up

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Keeping Busy

Following last night’s somewhat dark post I thought it would be good for me to reengage with my lighter side, thus forcing myself to take a walk on the sunny side of the street where I give the sun a chance to warm my reptilian skin. My mood today is like a cloudy day; I know its daylight, I know the sun is up there somewhere, but its a little obscured by what are nothing but transient puffs of insignificance which will disappear as soon as I have the balls to create a gust of spirit again. And that is this.

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I’ve realized of late that I’m never so happy as when I am busy. To have endless plans to see friends, celebrate birthdays and eat (oh god how I love to eat) is to have meaning, a plan and something to focus on which has actual substance rather than seeking to give weight to things which are really quite trivial. We spend our lives on a huge spider’s web, different fibers linking us to different people, some days the web looks glorious, dazzling with the dew of a new morning looking like nature’s own snazzy chandelier. Those are the days when you forget the webs you walk through in dark damp areas, where they somehow get into your every orifice, choking you and instilling a sense of distrust for the dark. The web is full of peril, there are those on there whose tremblings can set you off course, careering to the edge of the safety net. Then there are those who flutter at the same frequency as you, and you both wobble along the spindly veins of life, supporting each other in your mutual ambiguity. The nature of the spider’s web is its endless paths, each leading to different outcomes, each connected with every other one. We live and we learn because its the most natural thing to do, they say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time. This is why we learn. I cannot sit and spend hours wondering “Why, oh, why did it not work out. Why does this always happen to me…bitch bitch whine whine moan moan” .

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So, for the foreseeable future I’m going to be selfish… But in a good way. I will do things purely to make myself happy, whether that’s getting a caramel iced coffee on the way to work, sitting in the sun at lunch time or deliberately eating four rounds of toast when I’m supposed to be cutting down on carbs. I will go to Zumba every week because it makes me feel awesome, I will go to rehearsals for the local musical, I will eat an entire chocolate bunny days before Easter because I can (and I’m literally doing that now, I lopped off its head so it can watch me eat its body…because I’m an absolute psychopath). This is the key to everything, self satisfaction, but never at the expense of others. One thing I won’t be is totally narcissistic. You know how you have those friends and it literally doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you are happy. You know the ones, the ones you can sit in total silence with and feel totally at ease, the ones who you can watch endless episodes of Buffy with, even though one of you is in South Wales and the other is in Berkshire. I’ve already done a couple of posts about how important my friends are, but I can’t help but continue.

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PRAISE BE to my boys, the ones who listen to my endless, repetitive wailings and still want to hang out with me. GLORY IN THE HIGHEST to the girls who have known me since we were children and know me better than I do, who have watched me make the same mistakes over and over again and never judge me. Here’s to the ladies who have watched me lose my mind to the ash of the demon and claw it back again, who have endured my endless drivellings in silence and sympathy. It must be fucking exhausting being my friend; I wander through life like a drunken hobo, constantly embarrassing myself with these decisions and infatuations which I literally ALWAYS overcome (following a period of wallowing, of course). Now I reckon I have probably overcome this hiccup, for now. I can always manage to control myself to some extent, but I can’t control other people. Watch this space, something is always about to happen.

Mind Games: A Dire Idea

 

Fancying someone is like what I imagine having children to be like, no matter what you’re doing you cannot get a moment of peace and radio silence is more suspicious than anything. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing where you stand. A friend said to me this weekend that relationships would go a lot more smoothly if there was a stronger element of transparency to them. He’s absolutely right, of course, the games we all play to do nothing but shroud us in an unnecessary fog of ‘mystery’ or, as I like to call it ‘mind fuckery’. The act of mind fucking is a plague upon all of our houses, serving no purpose other than to deliberately taunt the minds of those unfortunate enough to experience it. My assumption is that you’re either a brain raper, or you’re a perfectly honest person just trying to get by in a world where having the upper hand is apparently paramount. Gone are the days of honest hearts and open minds. We are, all of us, allowing game playing to become a horrendously ordinary way of going about our romantic business.

 

With the advent of Tinder has come the loss of transparency; casually flicking through five or six potential candidates a minute, stock piling those you ‘definitely would’ is creating a selfish generation where ‘playing the field’ has never been more a la mode . To me, it is clear that we are losing faith in the idea of finding anything meaningful, we no longer value monogamy, we fish about in the sea using a net rather than a rod, preferring to ‘keep our options open’. I was guilty of this too,however since the flaccid experience on a Tinder Date lately, I’m hanging up my swiping shoes in the hopes of finding a genuine connection with someone which isn’t based on looks and proximity. Imagine my frustration then, when I think I’ve found something that could have become significant, only to have fucked it (ha!) by hastily fumbling about naked…..twice. Silly, silly girl, when will you learn that no matter how glorious you are as a sexual partner, carnally vivacious does not girlfriend material make.

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Our old enemy obsession (see my post Obsession not Love for full rant) plays a key part when it comes to brain banging. The culprit relies on the fact that their victim has a strong interest in them, whether it is forged in a mutual interest, or (more commonly for me) in manipulation. A friend who I will call M (for Master Manipulator) has told me a few times that to get someone to fall for you, you need to work out what is missing from them and provide them with it. For a while I thought ‘what a great idea, creating for oneself the opportunity to seize the upper hand, to hold the power and become (This summer, Arnold Schwarzeneggar is) the Manipulator’.  But I soon realized, having spent years feeling endless tuggings on my various strings, I couldn’t put someone else through it. Call me weak, call me soft, but having been fucked over time and time again, I know how pathetic it can make you feel, and it isn’t something I would risk on my hunt for a permanent piece of peen, slash ‘love’ (if it still exists somewhere)

 

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I’m sure it isn’t just me who gets excited when I embark on a new adventure in romance, I will fantasize, maybe I’ll see something of a  future, maybe I’ll read into things a little too much and is that so wrong? Perhaps my interest in finding something real shows in my face, in my posture, the way I construct my texts or the frequency of them. Maybe I reek of neediness, but whatever it is, it can be sensed and it is a repellent. So I deliberately try to be chill, I treat the situation as a fragile glass spider, handling it with care and diligence, holding back so as not to snap its frail legs. Yes, this is obviously not transparency at its best, but it is keeping my cards to my chest in order to cushion the blow of what will doubtless be yet another rejection. Obviously this is incredibly negative, but, honestly, its the only surefire way of avoiding that horrific ache in your chest you only experience when your affections are rebuffed. Why shouldn’t I use any armor available to me? Why shouldn’t I get my cub scout on and be prepared? The worst that will happen is my assumption that things will flop is, yet again, correct. Its surely better than getting your hopes up, pinning them all on someone (which, by the way puts a huge amount of unknown pressure on your beloved) and having all of them smashed in an instant. The situation I’m in now, I am doing my utmost to put out of my head, the more I think, the more the obsession takes hold, and the top of a pedestal is a long way for anyone to fall.

 

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So I will protect myself, I will keep my shit together, be a friend first and foremost, as has been asked of me.  I can’t stop the sensation of butterflies that follows a dazzling smile, and I can’t avoid feeling as though everything is a sign of something that could be coming, but I can try to ignore them. I will not decode every text, every full stop, every lack of  kisses at the end. I will keep my feet firmly on the ground and do my best to keep my head out of the clouds, but we all know that eventually, not matter how many distractions you provide yourself with, no matter how busy you are and how much you try to ignore it, your mind will saunter back to the forbidden land of your heartthrob and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

An Ode to Friends

For the last week I have been deliberately avoiding making contact with a recent conquest.  D (for doesn’t know what he wants) made it very clear he ‘just’ wanted to be friends (See my post ‘Romance vs ‘Singledom’ ‘ for the full rant). So, I thought; give the guy some space, let him cool off, allow him the time without any sort of pointless “hi are you alive” texts, to really consider what it is that he is willing to give to this so called ‘friendship’.  When I complained about D to a friend this morning, she told me  “you have friends who love you, an awesome home, and a job…sooner or later the rest will fall into place” and she’s right. To my mind, as I’ve said before, a friendship requires a far longer term commitment than any sort of ‘romantic’ endeavor, so why is it offered up as a substitute so easily? Seriously, I have friends who I’ve known since I was 3 years old, I have a friend who I physically helped puke up a dodgy cocktail in a supposedly ‘high end’ London club, I have a friend who once managed to impale herself with a pair of fish tweezers which I then had to remove from between her toes to avoid a lengthy trip to a and e and I have one friend who following an overdose, aged 15, I visited in hospital and did nothing but crack jokes at for the whole half hour visit. If you think that regular bonking and mutual fanciage equates to any of that then you are more out of your mind than I am!

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I have grown up with a lot of male friends; for a long time when I was little there weren’t any girls to play with, so I hung out with my older brother and his friends and I grew up close to my three male cousins. Whilst I did my fair share of playing with Barbies, I also spent a hell of a lot of time building dams in the local brook, making mud pies and eating bugs in the garden. This is the sort of thing which evolved into my being totally comfortable among large groups of males.  I am not a girls’ girl, until my second year of Uni I was very very wary of other women, and their mystical effects on my friends. It wasn’t so much that I saw other females as threats, more that I thought that their romantic interests in my friends would cause them to unwisely spend their time with what I considered to be lesser beings. The kinds of girls who go from relationship to relationship from their early teens and quickly assume that they are only able to function fully when associated with someone else.  Now there is obviously a chance that its bitterness talking, that if I had had any sort of long term romantic male contact that I wouldn’t be so negative towards these girls. There was one girl at Uni who I must mention here.

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R (for Rabid Bitch) began as one of my closest friends; we both had sort of a tough one at school, had pretty low self esteem as a result of the ‘popular’ kids’ constant put-downs. Despite having a hard time adjusting to the people she was living with, R soon made a huge group of friends at uni and pretty much became Queen Bee, she was the Regina George of my year. Then, something miraculous happened; boys started to fancy her (apparently for the first time).  The transformation this girl went through during second year of Uni was astounding. Gone was the initial loyalty and mutual understanding upon which our very important (to me) friendship had been built, suddenly it was like school all over again. It started with little things, like put downs in front of her hoard of adoring male followers, progressed to her climbing the object of my affections like a tree in front of me, making out with two guys she knew I liked and climaxed the time when I literally asked her to stay with me and she left. That night was one of the most humiliating of my life; without going into much detail, I am occasionally socially incapable and essentially don’t get drunk anymore because it simply ends in tears (mine). That night, following a fundraising event attended by pretty much everyone from my course, I had a minor melt down and ended up slumped by a Tesco Express, physically conquered by my emotions (I had probably had two or three glasses of wine as well but that was nothing at the time) . It was the kind of crying where you cannot catch your breath and your legs just give out, the kind of crying that you do curled up, alone,  in the foetal position, not in the street whilst your peers file past staring at you with eyes that can’t see past their own perspective. Luckily, I had, by this time, discovered three people who could understand. These three stood by me as I sobbed uncontrollably for about 45 minutes and it has never since been brought up as a joke, because honestly it wasn’t funny. I have never felt so completely out of control in my entire life, and I know that if R had simply stayed with me, been there, then i would have been fine. But then, I never would have realized that she was utter poison and run into the open arms of my glorious piggies.

 

Being abandoned by a close friend is far far worse than being betrayed by a lover could ever possibly be. Friends are those in whom you can recognize a part of yourself, for me they form the majority of the fabric of who I am. They are the people with whom you can get through literally anything; sure we laugh at each others’ misfortunes (because, by and large, they are hilarious), yes they use the words “I told you so” way too often, yes they have to be the ones to tell you when your paramour is acting like an utter bell-end and/or is clearly not interested in you. But ultimately they form the family that you can chose; I am lucky enough to say with absolute confidence that my friends are my soul mates. Each and every one of them (who will doubtless be reading this and smiling)  has seen me at my worst and still chosen to be associated with me. Each of them has watched me struggling on my belly in the various puddles of shit in life’s never-ending obstacle course, and they have picked me up time and time again, soiling themselves with my putrid misery and never once complained about it. Good job friends, you are better than any admirer could ever even dream of being!