Break Ups

Mark Twain once said “write what you know” which is advice which, in these posts, I generally try to follow. However, today’s subject is one i have experienced many many times but only ever second-hand. Break ups. The words conjure different images for different people; some see tubs of Ben and Jerries devoured in a single sitting, tears over old pictures and love notes, Rom-Coms and lone walks on rainy days in the park wearing something floatey and feminine and looking vaguely vulnerable for the rest of time. Others see freedom, more time with friends, one night stands, a step up in lifestyle and the burning of effigies and belongings while you dance around in stilettos like Stevie Nicks in American Horror Story: Coven.

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I have watched my friends crumble time and time again: their relationship has reached its inevitable expiry date. I know, i know, how terribly cruel and unfeeling of me. Me being the cynical singleton i am, i see break ups as the inevitable punctuator that stops each relationship in its tracks. This is one of many reasons i have been devoutly single my entire life. I do not have the emotional strength or trust within me to give myself to another person completely having seen my friends go through what they have. From what i see, relationships occur when you find a best friend who you sleep with. Too many people describe the L word as finding someone who’s missing piece matches yours, someone you can ache with, someone to take the worst bits of you and exchange them for the worst bits of them. And both of you assume that this mutual misery that drew you to each other is enough to keep you together. There always seems to be a power struggle within the bounds of relationships, one person always giving, the recipient always wanting more. Something you both know but fail to acknowledge eventually tears you apart and one of you is always left more hurt than the other. There are always those people who have always been in relationships, those who like to plaster their Facebook walls with selfies and posts about being “so happy with my love bear” or spending “the perfect evening with the other half”, taking endless photos of their pets and calling them “the kids” then breaking up and posting emotional status updates about losing the one person they thought they would be with forever, listening to endless  Bon Iver and Adele, Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos in an effort to use someone else’s words to purge your mind.

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Bile spat, i have to admit that i have friends who are in the closest to perfect partnerships i have ever seen, each with their arguments and differences, but each of them feeds the tiny embers hope my soul often quells. Two of my friends met at a festival, both strangers three days previous, made it through a couple of long distance months and now are on the verge of smug most of the time. Another two came together out of very long term relationships, and found something completely new in each other after two years of close friendship. Two met over a photocopier at a school they both worked at and became ying and yang. Two found each other when one was with the other’s best friend and now have one of the most sickeningly sweet relationships in the world. So there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I suppose you must have the balls to set foot in the tunnel in the first place.

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Schadenfreude

There is a nasty bastard inside each and every one of us who gains pleasure from witnessing the misfortune of others, we call this phenomenon Schadenfreude (Sha-den-froy-dah). Now each of us will have watched shows like You’ve Been Framed and spent half an hour giggling guiltily at grannies falling off benches and toddlers getting maimed by the family pet. There is no joy like watching other people absolutely fuck it. A great example occurred this weekend, me and my friends went paint-balling and it must have been maybe the 6th game of the day. I was pumped up, paintball gun in hand, loaded up with precious ammo, the adrenaline was coursing through my veins, I was so ready. The Marshall called “Game On” and it all happened in slow motion much like the battle movies of the eighties. I sprung forward aiming for the shelter of a nearby palette and caught my foot on a root or a branch or some other unhelpful dickhead like that. I was flat on my face, paint-balls spilling everywhere like blood from the wound in my ego. I took a friend down with me, we both scrambled towards the palette to take cover and a third friend, who had watched it all unfold all but pissed herself at our misfortune. In this example, I too found the entire mishap completely fucking hilarious, I haven’t fallen like that since the playground, it was a glorious mess, and had us laughing for the rest of the day.

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Now the reason I bring this up is because I still find myself thinking of a particular past conquest every now and then and it bothers me. I am aware that it could be a case of a bruised ego, as if it hasn’t suffered enough, this asshole wormed his way into my brain without permission, and usually he is a fairly good tenant, keeping to himself, but every now and then he will throw a kegger up there, and the odd empty can will roll into the conscious side. Upon hearing that he who has so dis-pleasingly plagued my thoughts is allegedly pretty unhappy with his current lot in life has filled with with a sense of serenity unlike any other. I’ll openly admit that hearing this news has given me the congenial gift of smugness. This prick has made and broken promises, he has mind fucked me, he has been unfair and essentially represents the side of the male gender which we are all programmed to avoid at all costs, and now, finally I have received glorious confirmation of karma biting him on his pretty perfect ass. How honest of me to accept this nasty little part of me with open arms, because we can’t possibly be nice all of the time. It is healthy to, every now and then, leave yourself completely open to being a total bitch, being nice all the time and swallowing our venom creates within us a miniature Dark Lord Cthulhu, whose tentacles spread into our arms and legs and turn us into a walking nightmare when we least expect it. Exorcising our bitchiness is our right, nay, our duty as human beings.

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Schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure, a bit like watching Man VS Food or quietly farting at the station as the train rolls in. You know you shouldn’t be doing it, you know you shouldn’t be enjoying it, and yet you let it happen time and time again just to induce that smug little smile, that grin of perverse enjoyment which only mischief can induce. And you just know that others do it too, groups of school girls burst into musical giggles as a teenage boy face-plants whilst showing off on his skateboard, friends deliberately commenting on unfortunate Facebook photos so as to bring them to light in an annual event of hilarity and piss taking. It’s good hearted fun, a bit of comic relief, there is nothing like the savage joy of watching somebody else fuck up and watching beauteous karma show its occasionally demonic face at the party.  So yes, when I hear that that girl at school who was mean to me now has three kids with another on the way and zero qualifications, I smirk to myself, when I see that smug bitch take the last seat on the tube only to be sat next to the world’s smelliest man, I grin and when I see a cat, nature’s most graceful creature, stack it and fall off a counter top, I outright laugh because I know, were our roles reversed, it would do the same to me!

Love is a Tool

Love songs are unrealistic. Written to tell us what we want to hear, making him out to be a saint and her to be this perfect pedestal dwelling angel. They aren’t. They are people with flaws. It is the most written about subject in literature, film and song. Shakespeare had it right in his sonnet 130 beginning “my mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”, in which he talks about his amour being imperfect and even ugly, but concludes with ‘and yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare’;  essentially he loves her for who she is. A glorious revelation, but one whose value has been lost in time. We tend to listen to people drone on about how in love they are and how the world is new to them, how everything has changed,how perfect she is, how wonderful he is,  how lonely they were before and how fucking smug they are these days. Its fucking exhausting hearing about it. Today’s drive for perfection has seen beautiful women reduced to alien beings, more plastic than fantastic! Giving themselves horrifically over-inflated trout pouts, noses that belong on barbies and don’t even get me started on fake tits! These poor women think that looking ‘perfect’ outwardly will help them find love, help them to find someone perfect for them, when actually you should be more concerned with giving your mind a makeover because you will only ever attract someone who is as apparently vacuous as you seem to be. That’s the horrible thing, I see these barbie dolls walking around like clones of each other, all of them armed with their black leather Michael Kors Tote, hair up in a high bun, each clinging ferociously to the over-pumped arm of some orange skinned slick-haired buffoon.  I look around at these couples on MTV’s The Valleys and Geordie Shore and it’s no wonder it makes such good entertainment when those people essentially are caricatures of themselves. Covering themselves in war paint and hair extensions, the lads doing so many push ups they end up looking like a skinny guy coming out of the torso of a buff guy, it’s just not right!

 

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Love is a complicated mess and yet the pinnacle, the summit of our lives.  My uncle asked my mum recently whether I would be bringing my ‘latest squeeze’ to this family party we are throwing. And the truth is i have never had a ‘latest squeeze’. The relationship thing is a shadow to me, an illusion. I don’t know whether its me being hilariously picky, whether I ‘just haven’t found the right person yet’ (ps for the love of fuck, relationship dwellers, stop fucking telling us this…I know I haven’t otherwise I wouldn’t be on my fucking one now would I?) or whether its something deeper like a the constant need to self-sabotage for some reason. Who knows? But one thing is certain, whilst I may have missed out on many, many lovely things like make-up sex, couples holidays and whatever else it is that they do, I’ve also avoided break-ups, cheating, foul PDA and the absolute hell of meeting the parents. I think so many people these days are so preoccupied with not being alone that they will jump into any relationship offered to them, rather than spend some time getting to know themselves a little better. Especially the generation following mine, where 14 year old seem to think that listening to Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift makes them ready for any kind of committed relationship that isn’t with a celebrity who is unaware of said relationship. I have friends who have never been truly single and who like to pretend like they are just  like me… gurl…you  are not. Spending a couple of months post break up is not being single…it is being momentarily indisposed. Having to pick between guys and it being a struggle…not being single.  Spending at least a year struggling to even sleep with the same person twice…that, my friend, is being single. And you know what, for me, so far, it’s working. Sure I don’t have anyone to wrestle naked with, but I have friends with whom I can do literally anything a couple would. We cook dinners together, sleep in the same bed, share secrets, cry together, laugh and love. As I’ve said before, friendship is a BIG deal to me and there aren’t enough songs about that!

 

Here is a poem I enjoy immensely:

 

Love is a tool

Love is a tool to manipulate the weak.

We see love on TV every day,

But its something that’s followed with ads for Diet Dr Pepper and mascara or Trojan Condoms

Love is a marketing scheme designed by CEOs

Who have gone through five wives with no remorse

And haven’t paid child support in years

But their bank accounts support octuple digits

That can buy a new car

A Swedish cabin

Or a set of new shot glasses.

Thats why when you tell me you love me

I’m reluctant to believe it.

How do I know you’re not going to sell me shoes

Or trade me in when the new wears off?

I don’t want a price tag on my head,

So fuck love

And its sneaky trappings.

Love is a tool to persuade girls like me to buy romance novels

and Ben and Jerry’s

And sit and cry over guys in High School

Who called us fat one too many times.

That’s exactly what love is.

Take the Tesco sticker off your roses

And try to convince me otherwise.

– Anon

I think love is finding someone who drives you up the wall but you can’t kill them because you’d miss them too much. Its laughing at every fart (because they are always funny), sitting through questionable movies and braving awkward social situations like a two man army. Its finding a best friend who you want to have naked playfights with and who will hold your hair back when you puke. It isn’t just having someone.

The Penny Drops

How much shit are we all willing to endure for the sake of aesthetics? I have mentioned before that I have a pretty sparkling track record when it comes to notches on the bedpost, this bitch has punched above her weight time and time again never failing to coax her prey into bed. Each and every one of them was a solid 7 or above externally…but I find the lack of substance in the bunch disturbing. Reflecting over late night cocktails with my friend/ volunteer life coach, I realized that much of my grief surrounding the rejection following conquests is because they were gorgeous physically. On closer inspection i realize that X had a pretty tiny penis, which is the route of their generally negative demeanor, Y was incredibly stupid,  which is probably the most unattractive thing ever ,and Z all your friends hated, and your friends are NEVER wrong.

Time and time again I have found myself defending dickish behavior and severely below average performance, citing past traumas or some confidence crisis as reasoning behind laughable social etiquette. Why? Because we all like hotties. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder, and sometimes, when you are standing too close to something your vision becomes blurred. So we squint and imagine that what we are seeing through the haze of  desire is what we want and attempt to cram a triangular peg into a round hole. Having a certain allure means that we are willing to overlook a lot of shit that people throw at us, you can become a crutch for someone; misery loves company and you assume that getting to them on an emotional level will even out the playing field. It doesn’t. This is something to really keep an eye on, everyone has their own shit to deal with, their crosses to bear, their skeletons in the closet, always be aware that when your arms are full of your own controversies, you are in no position to offer to carry someone else’s too.

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These hotties come in many shapes and sizes, but all of them give you that unrivaled tingle of pure lust which clouds our judgement. This is where our friends come into their own. My lot have been saying for weeks that i should run for the hills. Of course they are right. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy being smug that I have failed to really see the idiocy of this all too familiar situation. So the cycle continues, we lust, we lose, we hurt, we live and we LEARN, which is the most important step. I am learning, slowly but surely, by pulling this carcass of mine up this endless hill called life, that you can’t compromise when it comes to your peace of mind. Fuck bargaining for your happiness. Fuck waiting. Fuck being fucked over.  I am in my god damn mid-twenties, the world is my proverbial oyster! So what the fuck am I wasting my time on anyone who isn’t going to make me even happier (to those of you who know me reading this, yes, you were right, fuck you all)

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So having been knocked back for the millionth time I feel it is time to stop all this feelingsy bullshit.As my cocktail compadre said last night, I have come too far of late in the mastery of my mind to throw it into the fires of lust and watch it shrivel into nothingness, especially for anyone who isn’t even remotely worth it. This ache will ease, the butterflies in my stomach will be consumed by the acid therein and I will emerge victorious once more. With my gym membership in hand and summer looming on the horizon I will embrace Hedonism as my mantra. I will behave appallingly and I will not let myself get bogged down in these futile swamps of douchebags who are going to try to fuck me about. No longer! Those who are unwilling to make little changes for the better are not worthy of a second of my precious time. I am a fucking phoenix rising from the ashes of another charred fuck up.   The sun-starved goddess in me is surfacing, she has been hiding in Hades for too long now, she needs to breathe the glorious honey tinged air of Mount Olympus where she is meant to be,  she needs to spread her legs and fly.

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

Singledom vs ‘Romance’

All of us have come to fear singledom since Bridget Jones’ terrible premonition of dying alone and being eaten by Alsatians. There is a huge pressure placed on each of us to couple up, pair off, find our “perfect match” and begin the rest of our lives, you now cannot watch an advert for a frigging sofa company without being told that this sofa will impress a member of the opposite sex enough for them to never want to leave your living room or your life ever again.  There is even an advert for Freeview in which a cat seduces a budgie with a love song, in what world does that make sense?!

It’s no wonder that everyone is running around like a headless chicken trying to find their ‘one’, with modern technology taking full advantage of our fear it’s now just a case of swiping right to find your ‘match’, there are now countless different websites offering to help you find someone, there are websites for even the most specific needs. I’m talking ‘Equestrian Cupid’, ‘Amish Dating’, ‘Clown Dating’ , ‘Singles with food allergies’, ‘Mullet Passions’, and even ‘STD Match’ where you can find a partner who shares your foul disregard for safe sex.

At 23, I am one of what seems like few who are adamant that online dating is not for them. I went on a date with a chap I matched with on Tinder yesterday and it was super fucking dull. He is a perfectly nice guy, but following our conversations over Facebook and Tinder in which he came across as very chatty and funny, he failed to match up in person. The screen gives us the opportunity to think before we speak (type), it removes tone and gesture, making it almost impossible to really gauge what a personality is really like. You choose what people see of you, you choose which picture looks the cutest, or the most fun, or the coolest and that is how you choose to represent yourself.  They say a picture paints a thousand words, but most of those words could be lies.

I am a traditionalist when it comes to so-called ‘romance’: I think it is a case of meeting someone with a mind like yours. That said, I’ve been single my entire life, I will admit that I find it difficult to sleep with the same person twice due to a phenomenon I have labelled ‘Post-Sex Hate’. That feeling where you are aware that someone has seen you naked and at your most vulnerable and can do whatever they like with that information. There are a few people who I have experienced this feeling with and managed to remain friends, with one friend in particular I constantly joke about it and it doesn’t hurt either of us. What I struggle with is the fact that every time I find someone and think ‘game on, this person is awesome (and you’ll notice I do not specify gender), let’s see where this goes’ that person inevitably walks away. I’m always left thinking ‘Again?! Really?! Are you fucking serious, what was it this time?!’. Meanwhile most of my closest friends are with partners who are like mirror images of themselves, they glide effortlessly into a relationship like its nothing at all.

During a conversation with a friend last night, I realized that I have consistently slept with what I would consider to be very attractive people. There is not one conquest that I look back on and think ‘ew, what was I thinking’, beer goggles or not. And I should point out here that I’m more Lena Dunham than Mila Kunis, so my achievements with said attractive specimens are something of a revelation to me. I’m told that being hilarious helps, but at some point it has to be more than that, right?

 

I recently met a guy who I thought was brilliant, let’s call him D (for dickhead). So D and I shagged the first time we met in a booze fuelled, clothes tearing frenzy. A couple of weeks later we hung out and lo-and-behold I’m told “I just want to be friends”. Ah yes, that familiar kick in the cunt we have all experienced at one time or another (or in my case, probably going on 100 times).  I feel as though I should get this ego shattering mantra tattooed on my hand so I can cheat during the test of life and crack it out whenever I can’t be bothered to explain to someone the complex reasons behind why I am happy to pork you, but talking regularly isn’t going to work for me. And may I remind the charlatans who throw the mantra about like fucking wedding confetti, FRIENDS ARE BETTER THAN SEXUAL PARTNERS, and I have enough friends. Friends are the people who listen to you whinge and bitch and moan about literally everything, they let you get your tits out and puke in their living room and don’t get cross about it, they support you as you do stupid shit which they know you’ll regret. So if you “can’t commit to anything meaningful” with me, telling me you want to be friends is like asking to marry me. You cannot handle a friendship, not a real one, not with me.