New Year Same Outlook

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Champagne all round! More canapes! Bring on the rest of that honey glazed Christmas ham! Right that’s enough of that. Resolutions to spend less on frivolous lattes and spend more time at the gym! Dryathalons! Sales! Taking down decorations and tangling the Christmas tree lights up in a bundle resembling a bowl of squid ink spaghetti! The inevitable boredom that comes with the seasonal comedown that is January. The pointless harbinger of two more month of freezing winds and icy rain. No worldwide holidays allowing a week or so of hiding in the warmth of your house eating an entire pannetone followed by a box of celebrations. No chocolate for breakfast. Just a miserable cold month during which time we make ourselves even more miserable by adopting this strange worldwide competitive healthy living. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, especially after a month of gorging ourselves to the point of bursting through the seams of those Topshop Joni’s we shouldn’t have worn in the first place. A detox of a few days, remembering that not all vegetables have to be slathered in goose fat and gravy to taste good. Remembering that water is a beverage as well as a substance with which to wash the glitter from our hair and clothes. Treating prosecco as a treat at weekends rather than a casual 11am pick me up. It is a difficult transition to make for us all. The children are still asking for presents, the parents are still weeping over their sobriety and people like me are looking into the misty future year ahead of us with our usual face of expectancy and cynicism. So here is my advice for getting through this bitter month.

 

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CALM DOWN-  Everyone gets so over excited in January trying to push themselves over the edge by limiting calorie intake and time spent indoors in favor of spending this disgusting month running about outside in the cold and getting themselves ill. You have a whole freaking year to sort yourself out before the world somehow forces you to re-evaluate in the annual reset that is New Years Eve, so even if you do make some bad decisions in terms of career, personal life or whatever, you will have time to right them. Don’t rush into getting everything on that bucket list done. Don’t spend the month performing these weird self-punishments like the Fast Diet (which is total garbage) and daily spin classes with Rodriguez the Destroyer. Instead do nice things for yourself. Go for a walk wrapped all up warm and cosy in your Christmas knits (keep them hidden though, people will judge). Stick on some wellies and run about in a soggy field. Laugh at people’s “New Year, New Me” Pinterest boards. There is so much time to make yourself feel bad for not exercising as much as you think you should, or for eating too much fast food. Why consolidate it all into the one month which already sucks. Enjoy the Christmas belly, you earned it, you put a lot of hours into dedicating your time the glorious mistress that is food! Also, why is everyone starting to pop their little sequinned numbers to the back of the wardrobe? Why is glitter banished until Festival Season is in full swing?

 

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I have this very linear view of the year, kind of like a ladder with January at the top in the mist of frosty clouds and December at the bottom bathed in the balmy light of log fires and daytime drinking. With this ladder you start at the top; you start in Blanduary having been kicked out of the glorious log cabin of joy that is Christmas and onto the cold hard curb of the bleak new year and you spend the rest of the year gingerly climbing back down the ladder to get back to December again. For me things tend to pick up in April with my birthday and Easter (another chocolate for breakfast situation) and I tend to ride the wave of smugness right to the end of August when everything becomes dull until Halloween and then again until Christmas. So what is the answer to the annual ennui? What do we do to drag ourselves through the moods of early March and the graying September skies? We plan. There are 53 Saturdays in a year. 53 opportunities to do something new and different and challenging and exciting. 53 opportunities to binge watch those series on Netflix that everyone has been banging on about since 2013. 53 opportunities to deal with another hangover with a fry up with friends. 53 opportunities for city breaks, country breaks, tea breaks and wine breaks. So start planning, use these Saturdays to your advantage, you may only get 18 days holiday a year, but there are 53 more that work can’t take away from you damnit!

Should I be freaking out?

Thanksgiving is not something I have ever celebrated, being from the UK it isn’t a tradition I was brought up on. However, this year I was invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with some family. Sitting at the table was an ex Investment Banker, the Director of a successful Advertising Company, a Children’s Theatre Manager, an Events Manager, a medical student about to receive his Doctorate and me… a receptionist and the youngest in the room by only a matter of months. Throughout the meal a thick helping of loaded questions was sprinkled upon me, the sum of which  was: “what are you doing with your life?”  I feel as though its a horrible question that people are asked only at the times of their lives when it is obvious that they don’t know what they’re doing. From my online ramblings alone, I think it is pretty clear that this has been a tumultuous year for this somewhat sporadic writer. And I ask myself this same question pretty much every day…”What are you doing with your life?” Honestly, I don’t know. I sit in an office in central London, working with perfectly nice people, in a perfectly nice job feeling perfectly unsatisfied. A bit like being in the gilded cage, its all very nice but its not enough. This weekend, I met up with the girls I used to live with at University. Of the 6 of us, 5 were living at home, and working in the gilded cage, trainee lawyers who worked their arses off for three years back in offices and retail outlets because that’s how you have to do it to get a trainee-ship. I’m told that we are supposed to get ourselves on the job ladder, to seek work from work. But how is that possible when you don’t know what you’re doing now, let alone what you want to do for the rest of your life.

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It’s a shock spending 4 years away from home living what you thought was ‘independently’, using your student loan to buy food and pay rent, using money from a part time job to get yourself drunk on the days where you should have been working, then moving back home. I am one of the lucky ones; I live at home and I have an amazing relationship with my ma and her man, we eat dinner together every night, we have breakfast together on weekends. So for me, the pull of ‘independence’ is not so strong what with the lack of rent to pay and the constant feeling of support. In truth, I know that the only way for me to find me impetus to move would be to find my dream job somewhere I couldn’t get to from home in less than an hour by train. Very few of my friends have moved out of home, and those who have are paying though the nose for rent and bills. At the end of my working month, less than a grand goes  into my bank account. I am staying put until its at least a grand and a half. A lot of the time it is easy to get my head down at work, binge watch a series on an internet TV site and not think about the future. Other times, like Thanksgiving, I begin to freak out asking myself endless unanswerable questions; have I wasted my degree and gotten myself into over 10k’s worth of debt to sit in reception all day doing nothing? Was doing a drama degree a terrible mistake? Was my father right to unsuccessfully try to dissuade me for all those years? I felt, after this meal last week, about an inch tall. I was useless, going nowhere, I had no wish to act anymore because I dislike the attitude of young actors, I had no qualifications to get myself a job which I could potentially do well in. What I do have is my ma. I have my mates. I have a support network that will never fail me. Even if I feel I am failing myself.

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I have a friend who is an actor. He has gotten pretty constant work from when he left uni to the present (he’s currently touring with a show!) We had the most brutally honest conversation the other day over a glass of red wine in a virtually empty pub in North London. We came to this conclusion: everyone is struggling in some way or another. Whether its the problem of making ends meet and paying rent, whether its finding a job that makes you happy so that scraping by doesn’t matter so much, whether its freaking out because the idea of getting yourself a mortgage and paying real bills every month. Everyone of my generation, bar those who managed to sort themselves out (hats off), is freaking out a little. It seems as though we have to settle in one part of our lives, if we want a good job which pays well, we have to let go of our passion. If we follow our passion we wave a tearful farewell to financial security and what my friend described as comfort. Comfort comes in many forms, whether its treating yourself to a solo Wagamama’s at the end of a brutal day of envelope stuffing or receiving a drawn out hug from a parent. Comfort is one of those little things that can make everything ok, and put you in the frame of mind that says “Life is not so bad”.  So when comforts are few and far between, when pressure from sources out of your control gets too much, when you are unhappy at work, what do you do? Make time.

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It might be the spirit of the holiday season which is forced upon us like acid rain, but I honestly feel as though making time to see friends and family around this time of year is worth its weight in wine. And gold. And gin. And cheese. In all seriousness though, when you feel as though you are drowning in your worries, that you’ll be alone forever and die alone only to be eaten by Alsatians, that you’ll never pay this month’s rent on time, that you’ll be eating tinned beans until March, that you getting a promotion is about as likely as unicorn orgies; just find some time to spend with your loved ones. Talk things out, be honest. The less you talk about what’s worrying you, the more gravity you give it. Everyone is freaking out. Its only natural that you are too.

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Should I Hibernate?

As the nights draw in and the weather begins to work against every new hairstyle you attempt, my (still very single) mind turns to how I will spend the darkest months. It  seems as though everyone is coupling up, as though the north with doth blow and we shall have  snow and I will die alone when the heating fails because everyone I know is under a blanket by a log fire with someone they love. The beginning of winter signals the arrival of four months of cold nights and short days. We bid tearful farewell to the days of beer gardens and sun soaked lunches with friends are long gone, because why brave wind and rain for a pint when you can stay in with red wine and Netflix?

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In truth, I adore winter there’s something about wrapping up against the cold in layers and topping everything off with a time of year themed coffee beverage that shits all over sweating and shaving all summer. My skimpy summer dresses have been exiled to the loft as I welcome back my cold month cosies back to my wardrobe with open arms. Oh oversized cashmere jumper and  leggings, how I have missed you. I have to say I really love winter fashion but don’t get me wrong I’m devastated to have said goodbye to my bright prints, outrageous clashing and the ability to wear a bikini top in lieu of a bra. With winter comes velvet, the most glorious of winter fabrics, the simple fabric that turns a navy dress into the perfect post work drinks outfit. Blacks are back.  It is now completely acceptable to wear an outfit without a splash of color and I love it and its so chic!

A friend recently wrote a blog on the power of an all black outfit (http://www.thefbombblog.com/#!Back-to-Black/c1w7u/8EE83955-1B15-4355-B43D-0CD19BAAE658)

There is also a lot to be said about the party season, sequins are still here and they will not be banished. I love the glamour of winter, the (faux) fur coats, the sparkly chandelier earrings, the fact that dark lipsticks during the day are not only acceptable but celebrated.

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It’s the time of year for hot soups and hearty stews and endless roast potatoes and I love it. But winter is a cruel mistress; for every charity shop jumper, there is having to watch couples Christmas shopping in town. For every pumpkin spiced latte there is forgetting how to use the damn heating. We must take care of ourselves this time of year, make time for a hot bath with a glass of red (Oh Merlot, how I’ve missed your caress). My first post back in March, I was writing to get over some moron who crossed me; I referenced Bridget Jones then, and I’ll do it again now. That gorgeous moment when she runs out in her pants and gets wrapped up in Mr D’Arcy’s coat and you die inside. Yeh that. I feel like that’s what every couple does instead of a peck on the cheek in wintertime. The smug winter advertising about what you and your loved one will gorge yourselves on as you wear matching jumpers while sequinned confetti rains down on your perfectly laid dinner table. The emotional blackmail from supermarkets. Its a confusing time of year for singletons, while wrapped happily in the warm embrace of winter’s blend of warm smells enjoying the spices that the approach to Christmas reintroduce onto our pallets to; we remember the couples’ playground that is winter wonderland. The couples on ice rinks holding hands and laughing as you trip them up with a stray limb and curse as you avoid slicing apart their smug fingers.

 

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I feel constantly between moments of solitary bliss,  wrapped up cosy on the sofa, Sex and the city filling in the silence in the background, watching Carrie struggle with having landed an amazing book deal but suffers from a total lack of love life and feeling like I know what its like! Standing on a dark platform as the mist makes way for the rain but getting to work and having gourmet chocolate waiting on my desk. How do I feel? I honestly can’t decide! Winter is the pull of a cracker; a loud bang, secreted in one half festive novelty fun, the other a lonely cardboard cylinder of nothingness. So dark. So bleak. But all is by no means lost, the festive season brings delicious treats with which to quell the fires of anger. I’m talking hot chocolate, cinnamon pretzels, freshly made chilli chicken wraps warming your fingers as you peruse tiffin at Borough Market. Warm your belly on that crowded, damp train home with a warm coffee beverage laced with spices and sugar. Winter is for dinner parties and wine and catching up with old friends and eating too much cheese. Sure many of us may be facing the bleak wilderness of singledom, some are seasoned pros, others left out in the cold, others throwing their arms out to the open sky with the glee that comes with new found freedom. Many things are uncertain, will we ever go a whole day without having to hoist the crotch of our tights away from your knees? Will I ever bring my useless tiny umbrella on days when I actually need it? Will I ever see the sun again?

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Girls…Please

Many moons ago, in my first year of uni, I was all about the heels and the dresses. Night after night I would go out dressed to the nines, wearing heels that made me look like an unsteady baby giraffe and more make up than you could shake a packet of face wipes at, only to inevitably come home, shoes in one hand, wadge of toilet roll in the other desperately trying to mop up the tequila and shame from my skirt. These nights out were a meat market, a cat walk without the glamour, during which time the sole aim was to be considered ‘fit’ by the dribbling masses slurring into their jagerbombs and forgetting your name every ten seconds. I shiver now when I think of the money I spent on these dresses, the time I wasted convincing myself that I would totally wear those heels all the time and the smiles and fake laughs I wasted on those mugs in the smoking area who didn’t give a fuck what your favorite Kubrick film was as long as they could tongue you.  I remember the significance those nights out had, how important it was to look good, to look like everyone else, to dare to wear the tiniest skirt, the highest heels, to pull off that quiff and why? Because it gave you some sense of self, some evidence that you exist in the eyes of others, and you know, since I stopped giving a shit, more people have been interested in talking to me. Gone is the girl who would get too drunk smile and laugh and play along, she has long since been replaced with a more superior model; the girl who is quicker than you, funnier than you and can take an insult better than you. Beware, females, your doe lashes and hair extensions will only take you so far, but what happens when they come off and all you have is you, and you’ve forgotten how.

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As I take the final pull on my cigarette before extinguishing it against the side of TGI Fridays, I see the hoards of girls begin to flock by in a milee of tiny skirts, huge coifs and heels that could kill a man. Inside ten female traipse in, each wearing heels and dresses that would make a drag queen blush. There is a sense of competition in the air as she who dares will surely be carried off over the shoulder of some hulking rugby player who has replaced his brains with biceps and foregone having a neck in favor of having pecks like dinner plates. This competition is at the centre of it all, the push up bras, the heels, the holding in tights, the false eyelashes, the mesh skirts, the see-through tops. I saw a girl wearing a white pencil skirt which was all but see-through throw shade at this girl for wearing a tiny black dress displaying both T and A. Hilarious, pot kettle slut! This is it though, these girls are going out dressed like they’re going to some horrendous TOWIE party, they work all week in jobs they hate, developing no real interests or hobbies focusing everything they are on how they look, the clothes they wear, the next color to dye their hair and literally living for the two nights a week they can put on a costume and pretend to be like the people they see on these horrendous shows (The Kardashians, Jersey Shore, The Valleys) when these people do fuck all with their lives. Oh look, Kim Kardashian posted another selfie online, why? Because she has no fucking life, she spends money, she has her picture taken and she goes home wondering why she still feels empty inside even though there is a generation of girls coming who want to be just like her. Forget Ellen Page and Michelle Obama because Jordan just released another autobiography about her life, oh, Emma Watson did a nice speech at the UN, that’s cute but look Rita Ora just dyed her hair pink, I wonder if  I could pull that off.

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Meanwhile, in my leggings and t shirt I tuck into a burger the size of my head, having already tucked into two starters waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, I have no shame. We all meet for dinner and head our separate ways to get ready for our friends’ birthday night out, for some this means taking out the rollers they wore at dinner, applying fake tan and picking one of the ten dresses they brought to wear. For me it meant having a shower, sticking me face on (and attempting contouring) and pulling on my jeans and top. Boom. Low maintenance. Ready. I even have time to roll a joint which I will share with the only guy in the group before we brave the land of spanx and blisters.

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As we head out, most are already drunk, girls walking around looking like Bambi on ice in heels that will doubtless be worn for an hour to deliver maximum effect when strutting into that first bar, to show in the split second that less than half the eyes in the place will be on you, that you take care of yourself, you make an effort, you’re a hottie.  Meanwhile, yours truly draws looks all night wearing black jeans, doc martens and a  nondescript black strap top. How upsetting for those who spent hours on their hair and make up to be ignored in favour for she who made the most minimal effort possible, and isn’t even remotely drunk when she cracks out her best grunge dance moves (all knees and face). I should point out now that it is not everyone’s fault that they are so drunk, the drinks in Swansea are hilariously cheap, at one bar I got a sizable cocktail for £6, a tequila for £2 and a Disaronno Cranberry for £3, so its no surprise that at one point I see a woman in a pencil skirt cuffed and escorted by police still holding her stilettos.  Also, tits. Tits everywhere in Swansea, little tits shown off with a plunging neckline in a backless number, tits propped up by so much foam they’re popping out of the tops these girls shouldn’t even bother to wear and the sheer amount of fake tits about was staggering. The rest of the night was harmonious, we kept to ourselves, danced like we were the Supremes, Michael Jackson and Beyonce all rolled into one. One of the girls in heels disappeared and returned triumphant and smug in flip flops and I have never been so proud.  It was traumatic for me to be confronted with the types of people I thought ceased to exist after 2009, but I feel secure in the knowledge that eventually they will go, fuck this, catapult their spanx out the window and opt for something comfy and let themselves be themselves rather than the girl who’s face they put on to go out in.

 

Bestival 2014 “Survival” Tips

As summer merges into autumn and bikini panic begins to ebb away along with the cares you had about your ever growing leg hair, the strange month of September rolls around, signalling the end of Summer. A time which over the years has had so much significance now does nothing to remind you that you know longer have Summer Holidays and are a fully fledged adult. This time signals the end of summer festivals and daytime drinking and reminds us that the sun cannot last forever…But just when you thought it was all over, the last festival of the season approaches with gathering speed. Thanks to the genius that is Rob Da Bank and his empire, Sunday Best, we are lucky enough to have Bestival. For four days Robin Hill Park on the Isle of Wight is overrun with nutters dressed up to the nines and dancing their little wellies off to some of the biggest names in music at the UKs biggest fancy dress party. And there are only two days to go!!

 

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Now, at some point, everyone has to lose their Festivirginity, and I am no different, I spent weeks before Bestival 2013 googling ‘Festival Survival Tips’ and honestly, its not about surviving, its about giving in to fun for four straight days, dancing your little socks off and wearing more glitter than you could shake a Drag Queen at! So here are my three top tips for the Best(ival)

  1. Stop giving a shit about needing to shit. Yes its number one on my list (hilarious) and it seems it is the thing that bothers festival goers the most. So let me lay it out on the line for you. You will wait awkwardly in line to take a shit in a foul porta-loo. There will be pee on the floor and the seat, you may even find a little excrement art to admire while you do your thing. You will then come out into what will hopefully be glorious sunshine looking a little ashamed. But so does everyone else, so don’t worry about it. Everybody Poops, and it is never more apparent than at a festival. Just deal with it. TOP TIP: There are sawdust toilets in less crowded areas where you take a cup of sawdust in to cover your business like a cat, fun and eco-friendly, what could be better!
  2. Make friends. Everyone is there to have fun, get fucked up and dance like a lunatic, so make friends with your camping neighbors because in the battlefield that is the campsite, its always worth having an ally to watch your shit. TOP TIP: give them a ciggie or a toke, offer a beer or some brioche, do their glitter for them and help them set up camp, because when you stumble into the wrong tent at 4am in a whirlwind of beer farts and sequins, its better to have someone say “oh babe, fucked it”, than “get the fuck out”.
  3. Do not as “is this too much”. Bestival is, as I said, the UKs biggest fancy dress party, you are there to be outlandish and look fabulous. Plus, I have a theory; after four days of sweating and smoking you will stink, your hair will be greasy and your skin will suck, therefore we plaster ourselves in more and more glitter, wear flowers in our hair and wear ridiculous clothes to mask our putrid scent. Don’t worry, its not just you. Plus with its own carnival style parade, you will never be the sparkliest girl at the party. TOP TIP: Use vaseline to secure glitter, comes right off with a face wipe and keeps you well moisturised. Use eyelash glue for pompoms, feathers and gems (you’re welcome)

Thats it. Go out and have fun.

Oh, and if you see some fuckhead wearing this, you found me!

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Commitment

After a two month hiatus in which apparently nothing has bothered me enough to make me blog, I am back Fucked It fans to talk about the tricky subject of Commitment, a word which up until pretty recently has been almost exclusively used to describe men enjoying the single lifestyle of taking numbers and breaking hearts. If you type “Fear of commitment” into Google you get 10,700,000 results, so it is clearly something which is widely discussed, at least online. For men it seems that commitment means an immediate loss of freedom and the swift introduction of your balls to a vice, which, unless you’re into that sort of thing, is pretty scary. There are things in life which people commit to without a second thought, I’m talking Gym memberships, E-bay purchases and phone contracts, so why when it comes to sharing ourselves, our happiness and our lives with another person do we tend to run for the hills, find a cave and live on lichen and beetles for a few months until the coast is clear?

 

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I’ve spent much of my adult life being asked the same question by friends and relatives “how’s your love life?” And I have had the same answer since forever “non-existent”. This always creates the same reaction, furrowed brows, worried eyes and that weird sad smile that says ‘oh sweetheart you’re just so alone aren’t you, it must be so hard, let’s go for coffee and talk about how lonely and miserable you must be.” WRONG. I am a smug bitch, my life is complication free, oh and that’s absolute danger. When you describe your love life as ‘complicated’ or ‘hard to explain’ or ‘a long story’, that’s when you are miserable. That’s the time that you are spending days on end trying to decode texts, or lack there of, or Facebook stalking to make sure they aren’t having more fun than you. Fuck. That.  Meeting a potential love interest is fun for the first few weeks, the butterflies in the stomach when they text you, the planning of an outfit that doesn’t look too planned for a casual cup of coffee, the shaving every frigging inch of yourself every few days. But after that is the difficult bit, which I am not talking about from experience, I mean as I’ve said before I find it difficult to sleep with the same person twice, so getting out of the dating phase and into the “so what are we” phase is mythology to me.   I hear that once you get past the initial few months and enter long-term territory, it becomes about farting in front of each other and eating dominoes before deciding you are both too bloated to even think about the no pants dance.

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So let’s get specific. I want to talk about ladies who are not into committing. We are not rare, we are not the unicorns of the human world, we are not few and far between and we are certainly not ashamed of our lack of interest in the long-term. I will use my friend as an example, lets call her PMP (for Pretty Much Perfect), PMP has a boyfriend (BF) and has been seeing him for lets say 8 months. PMP is a sexual butterfly and her immaculate physique, intelligence and sense of humor mean that she literally turns heads wherever she goes (she would NEVER admit this because she’s a stupid bitch). Now this constant interest from men is having some sort of chemical or psychological effect on her in that she cannot be with one person without wanting to drift. Obviously BF has no idea, he takes for granted the fact that they have some unspoken contract where neither of them will flit about the pond in search of other options, however, BF also doesn’t know that he is very much punching above his weight, and therefore should not be taking anything with PMP for granted.  PMP has always been a horn dog, she appreciates the male of the species in many different forms, but has a penchant for intelligence, so while BF is madly in love with her but has forgotten to show it, PMP has sought out comfort elsewhere. Why? Because commitment has burned her before. PMP seeks to avoid getting hurt by keeping her options open even though her partner is totally besotted with her (as is every member of the straight male population). PMP is bored and undervalued and has sought out fun in the form of ED (for End Date). ED is exotic, reminds PMP of how much she’s done with her life in terms of travel and offers escape and far more than BF when it comes to emotional intelligence. ED is also moving abroad in a few months thus any sort of fling between PMP and ED has an end date which means he is a hugely attractive option, minimal commitment for maximum satisfaction.

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 They always say nice guys finish last, and its true, we like bad boys, we like the dangerous option and subconsciously we like the fact that they will never commit; why else would certain ladies (like myself) constantly find themselves attracted to guys who are utter dickheads. We are ingeniously finding a way to escape the bonds of any sort of relationship before it has even been established because we are that clever. “Where are all the nice boys” we ask, rhetorically, “We’re here” come the cries from the nice guys  in the friend zone who are absolutely furious. To the guys who think that they are absolutely bossing it, finding a different girl every weekend, texting ladies left right and center, just remember that we are not stupid. We know what you are, if you are an asshole, we are probably using you too even if we aren’t that aware of it. Ladies,we all know that it isn’t just men who think that monogamy is unnatural, it is part of our biological make up to want to spread our DNA as far as possible. But this bullshit about how girls are sluts and men are studs has got to stop, we ladies are far more aware of how we are perceived that men think, we know that if we wear this dress we will get attention, but if we wear this one, we will be left well alone. We know how to manipulate men in a way which makes them think they have the power in an exchange. We just have to be stronger, not look for emotional bonds and let them find us naturally.

Also Christina had it right when she said

“If you look back in history
It’s a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore”

Beauty is Gross

 

I can deny it no longer, summer is here, tights banished to the back of the drawer and this (for me at least)  means one thing: time to step up the old beauty regimen. Blessed as I am with lady friends with whom I can be completely open, I have come to realize the hilarious irony of the foul things we put ourselves through in the name of beauty. From shaving to Veeting we are a living in an age where prepubescent hairlessness is not only preferred but expected by the masses, and its not just women. Thanks, in part, to shows like jersey shore and TOWIE male grooming is fast catching up with its long-established feminine equivalent. Waxing hairy shoulders and investing in periodical back sack and crack maintenance are now considered general housekeeping for today’s man and I am not going to berate them for this. Eyebrow grooming in men should be minimal the aim is not to look like a drag queen or Gwen Stefani circa 2004.  However, I personally must draw the line at removing chest and armpit hair, these are a magnificent manly things, I have a particular penchant for a strong snail trail, or the garden path as i like to call it.

 

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Meanwhile, in Girl World, we are doing everything we can to remain smooth and hairless everywhere we can without looking stupid. Only our brows and lashes are safe, everything else is fair game. Its pretty ridiculous that we wait with anticipation to grow our first pubes only to annihilate them as soon as they arrive on the scene. It starts when we see the ladies on the Venus ads, splashing about in pools in a tropical climate (because that’s where you shave your legs, under a waterfall in the amazon, and you definitely won’t contract a nasty infection) and you think, I too wish to be a smooth goddess; so you buy your first razor and shred your legs into ribbons, they don’t show you that on TV! Then you realize that not only is a shaving cut THE most painful thing in the world, but that they just will not stop bleeding. EVER. So then you discover Veet and Nair, two products which literally dissolve the hair upon which they are smeared, how convenient, how easy. But the SMELL, sweet Jesus lord, the smell. Rotten eggs sprayed with Febreeze, on your legs, on your foof, on your upper lip. Oh yeh, where there’s hair, there’s Nair. Its an easy way of doing things but it just isn’t worth having everything in a 5 mile radius smell like a dead pigeon.  So then you try waxing, because you’ve heard great things; nothing extreme at first, you have your friends warm up the prepared strips by rubbing them between their hands, and then you cover your legs in these strips and get someone else to tear them off.  OUCHIE!! Eventually you try Epilating which was invented in the 15th century as a way of torturing, alongside the rack,  people into the confession of crimes they were innocent of. Epilators work by tearing out each individual hair at the root as you roll it up your leg, like tweezing, but times 30. Are you absolutely kidding me?! Not a chance. Personally, it didn’t take me long to accept that I would stick to shaving for the foreseeable future, I just have to be extra careful in the danger zones (ankles, shins, knees) and yes ladies, we all shave our toes.

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So legs wrangled under the control of your trusty razor, we come to realize that an unkempt bikini line is not what you want in your life. So you begin to experiment with different management styles. I find the different ways of maintaining your lady garden are very much the product of experimentation, a friend of mine was told from a young age to TWEEZE her bikini like. Now I guess when it’s literally just the bikini line itself, that’s not so bad, plucking out strays here and there so it doesn’t look like there’s a spider in your knickers, that’s just fine. But this friend then explained that she would regularly spend about two hours tweezing her entireness, which resulted in a cricked neck and (years later) much ridicule….from me. You can try waxing but the idea of hot wax anywhere near my foofla is something that fills me with horror, plus all the dangers of ingrowing hairs, the fact that you have to keep getting it done and it costs you like £20 a pop. Personally, I stick to shaving, there’s nothing like that glorious position you get yourself into to really make sure you do a thorough job, I’m talking to squat and shave, the Brazilian squat if you will, hey the better you squat the smoother your twat, am I right? Yes…I am. That’s another thing, how do you know how much to take off?  Like I’ve always just gone whole hog, mainly because I can never shave a straight landing strip, but some of my friends think its bizarre to look like a 12-year-old girl down there?! There is no right or wrong answer here, its all a question of what you like. I don’t feel that this applies to men. Men folk, please, for the love of all things manly, do not get rid of your manly shrubbery, by all means trim and maintain, but to be bald there… Just no!

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Then women start stripping their arms, their armpits, their upper lips. Actually this last is hilarious, I once watched my mother sit and read a book whilst casually sporting an Einstein style Veetstache. Then come things like fake tanning, I mean the stuff that comes in a tube looks like Marmite and smells like a tramp’s shoe, the stuff they spray you with makes your entire body smell like an armpit. Then there’s the problem of it going all streaky, getting the wrong shade done and looking like Katie Price. There’s the pain of threading, the mess of teeth whitening and the stinging of getting your eyelashes tinted.   All of these things in the name of beauty! How completely hysterical is that?! We put ourselves through frankly UGLY processes in order to look more beautiful, and don’t even get me started on plastic surgery, sweet Lord! The injecting of chemicals all over our bodies in order to alter our natural appearance more often than not goes horribly wrong, let us not forget the likes of Leslie Ash and The Jacksons. Lets just stick to ripping, cutting and burning our hairs away for now, shall we?

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