V Day Approacheth

Hey January! Fuck you in your stupid fucking face. Yes that’s right, off you fuck for another year. February, come at me, I’m ready. Oh except, whats that? Oh Valentine’s day. The day in the year that no one asked for. Ooo look: hearts and flowers, expensive dinners in restaurants set up with only tables for two. Oh an intimate dinner in a quiet bistro, dream on!  Couples are packed in like sardines in a can, all competing with each other to look the most in love. Yes! Let’s all eat oysters and drink champagne and use our noses to push that last meatball towards our other halves. Let’s buy roses and watch them wither and die the following week. You know what I need? I need a fuzzy white teddy bear holding a heart with the words “I love you” or “Be mine” on it. I want edible body paint and a pair of handcuffs inspired by Kim Kardashian’s ass cheeks! I want a butt plug shaped like Ryan Gosling! Let’s make the singles feel like unloved lepers for a(nother) day! I can’t even enjoy my usual activities like online window shopping with out being confronted with “Ideas He’ll love” and “Meanwhile in the Bedroom” sections (cheers ASOS). Netflix starts chiming in with either “10 Romantic Movies to Watch this Valentine’s Day” or the even more sick making “6  Movies to Watch Alone this Valentine’s Day” (suggestions included Mission Impossible (1 and 2) and Star Trek Into Darkness)) because apparently being single is the same as being a teen-aged boy. I lie, I loved Star Trek. Even Ann Summers is getting involved with daily promotional emails “Kitty, your Valentine’s Day specialists are here to make sure the big day is as perfect as possible”. God damn, Ann, can a bitch not enjoy a one time purchase without being bombarded with your assumption filled bullshit for months afterwards. It was a  lonely winter…

 

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Ahhh romance

Yes, okay that was fairly bitter. But to be fair, when you’ve just had to deal with log-fire-and-red-wine couples at Christmas and their smug Instagram posts, the last thing you want (after the utter ball ache that is January) is to be faced with the bleak weekend of February 14th. You can’t fucking go anywhere without being bombarded with love hearts and cherubs and Valentine’s Three Course Lunch Menus. When I was a kid, my dad would get me a red rose, a box of nice heart shaped chocolates and a card every year signed from “Guess Who?”, I was part of the fun of the day. It was nice. But now that I’m expected to actually be having a sex life (scoff!) I’ll be lucky if I get a smile from the crazy man who wanders outside my office with a can of Special Brew at 11am. Maybe I’ll sit and listen to Eminem’s Kim on repeat and think about all the boys who have wronged me. Maybe I’ll look up said boys on Facebook and go through all seven stages of grief as I scroll through their profile pictures. Maybe I’ll build a bonfire and burn effigies and chant to The Goddess in the hopes of retribution. Just a quiet night in, you know?

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The one thing I actually really enjoy about this horrid day is that for a week afterwards, you can buy a big fucking box of chocolates for like £2. Sure you have to go in and look like you’re a shit girlfriend who forgot to get her other half anything, but no one has to know that you’re single. Or that the only other person who might get a look in on your chocolatey goodness is your cat. And he can get fucked if he thinks you’re sharing. It seems like most of my (coupled up) mates have plans, and they’re all so blasé about it, saying (direct quote) “Valentine’s is a load of shit anyway. I’m more excited about the prospect of getting laid without parents being within hearing distance”. Also, I’ve just seen that 1979 Horror Classic, Dawn of the Dead is on Iplayer so I’ll be watching that in my pants whilst I snigger into a tub of Ben and Jerries at how little I spent this most consumeristic of days. So my fellow singles, don’t get down. If you got through the week long utter Shitfest that was Christmas on your one, you can get through this. Now excuse me while I go make out with a hot dog.

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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.

 

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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Power and Passion

Today there is a worldwide lemon shortage as I have apparently eaten them all. Such bitterness has not been experienced since Megan Fox had hundreds of  thousands of dollars worth of cosmetic surgery done only to have her toe-thumbs pointed out (seriously, Google it) . Love and hate are twin emotions, both felt with a fiery passion which is hard to extinguish once the embers are crackling to life. One could argue that the difference betwixt the two are simple, one is positive, the other negative. We are supposed to associate love with romance, warmth, puppies and kittens, toasting with champagne and generally being really quite smug. Hate is the badlands, the shadows, lurking alone scowling and nothing filling the void. However, each can be as brutal as its brother. Love can put a sharper edge on the twisting knife just as hate can make you feel power and accomplishment. Love lifts us up where we belong but hate sends us into orbit. Both can send us spinning us out of control until we slow down enough to enjoy the view with which we have been presented. Yes, glorious perspective. Given the impetus for today’s post, I will focus on hate, with the promise that if I ever experience smugness of the romantic sort I will create a post full of puppies and kittens and feelings and sweetness. But that is not for now.

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What, I hear you cry, has happened to send your blood boiling to this extent? What chaos has erupted into your life, miss salt, to make you unleash the beast? I’ll let you think about it for a second or two…..can you guess what it is yet? Ahhhh yes what else could it possibly be.  For a few months now I have been battling a ghost, something not quite there, but who is the vengeful spirit now?! Me… I am.  I have spent time with G (for Ghost) fewer times as I can count on both hands, and yet my mind has given him such power as the spirits themselves possess. Lurking in corners and disappearing from view when looked upon directly. There is nothing supernatural at work here, no measurable powers of charm, persuasion or seduction, there is only the smokey air of vague. I gave him undeserved weight, status and purpose in my stupid mind clouded by a pretty face and cracking blue eyes. And an accent. The journey of blogging began with him because I let myself feel. Well, lesson learnt, there is to be no more of that nonsense.

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The best thing about being on the other side of the fairground ghost train is knowing it’s not real. Knowing its cogs, bells and whistles. Seeing the horror house actors underneath the makeup and wigs and knowing that the fear comes mostly from you imagining what isn’t there. The same is true of whatever I have let myself feel, reading warmth into an icy blast, making allowances, omitting and adding details, essentially creating a person who doesn’t exist out of the good bits you find. And so Frankinstein’s Monster is given life by its creator and allowed to blunder about in my mind for weeks on end, trampling everything in its path. But in my version the monster doesn’t develop a sense of duty to those around it. It just ceases to be. Hate helps,like a torch in the dark it picks out pieces of Lego and upturned plugs on the floor wishing to cause us harm in the night. Nothing can hide from hate, nothing fogs its crystal clear focus.  It is not the nasty dark power people think it is,it is the last knife in the drawer when it comes to self-preservation. Hatred is both sword and shield, aggressor and protector. It gives a sense of purpose, an outlet for excess emotions, recently evolved from something softer and less able to protect itself. Where many of us are left in a state of dribbling confusion, unsure of what to do with ourselves when mere thoughts sting, we can use hate. Give your weakness strength; transform those fragile butterflies into iron dragonflies. Shed your exhausted and tear-stained skin and step out clothed in glorious hate, the smoldering embers in your eyes the only clue as to the depth of your true feelings. Some may say that promoting hate is a bad thing. I am promoting the kind of hate that you feel but never act on, it gives you a charge, an electricity that surges through your veins, speeding up synapses, reminding you what you’ve been through so you are not taken in again. I’m preaching power with a sustainable source, you don’t need to feel weak, no more tears only clenched fists and a source of power that will never run dry, after all, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

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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.

My Preciouses

Oh my god it is beautiful. It is the most glorious thing I have ever seen in my life, I need it to complete my soul and cement my happiness… this bag shall rule over all of the other bags. Turquoise leather with a large leopard print pony skin panel and a removable strap made of chain and leather, it is truly a thing of substantial caliber. My heart race increases as I click on it, choosing it alone  from among the ranks of  lowly polyester blended tat, all neatly presented in tile formation across my screen. It has become clear to me by now that this gorgeous little piece would go with anything, smart, casual, fancy dress it would go, I just know it. My palms perspire as I click the add to bag button… the items in there have a total cost of £177. A dress with a thick petticoat layer in a neon tribal print at £98 tops the list, a moment of weakness…deleted. A Boy London T-shirt at £49….gone. All that remains is you, sweet bag, you alone are destined for a place in my life.  You alone have been chosen to join my celestial collection of eclectic accessories; the illustrious holographic clutch, the renowned Vintage Mulberry, the splendid silver glittery round shoulder bag and the ridiculous menagerie of enormous earrings. For all of them I fought to resist, fought to remain abstinent from shopping, spending, going on a…..a spree.

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Two words that will get us more worked up than finding an oiled up Channing Tatum waiting for us in the shower are “Shopping Spree”. Our pupils dilate, we take a shallow, faltering breath, we grip the edges of our laptops and think of England as we prepare to hit that “Pay Now Securely” button and ready ourselves for our ecstasy comes to an exultant climax. But there’s a problem… its slap bang in the middle of the month..and you are, once more, poor as shit til pay day. Alas, the collection you have built up in that online shopping basket over the last hour or so cannot be yours. After all you had that night out at the weekend, you bought that book that you probably won’t have time to read, that lunch last week when you forgot to prepare anything at home, not to mention your Gym Membership and Phone Contract. God damn our incredible ability to spend faster than we save.  But its so EASY, you click a little button here, tick a box there and two passwords later you’ve spent £45 on a pair of novelty sunglasses with flamingos on them, a T-Shirt featuring a cat pun and a scarf you don’t actually even like that much. I mean obviously we all forget our passwords here and there and end up having to use CAPS LOCK, symbols, numbers, the Deathly Hallows and the One Ring to create a new one. Now, as much as this is a total ball-ache, it does often somehow manage to deter me from my spending habits, slowing down the depletion of my bank balance to a rate I can almost keep up with. But there are times when you will find something in particular, be it a book, a dress, a rare original DC Print of Jennifer Walters mid-transformation (She-Hulk for you non-nerds out there), you end up like Gollum, rubbing your hands together, eyes like saucers whispering “I must have the precious” to yourself over and over again. Sure, every few seconds you will come to and realize that you have none of the money, and should probably ignore this absolute diamond for the sake of your future self who will want a beautiful pair of limited edition Irregular Choice Sequinned Kitten heels instead.

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So you force yourself to forget. It’s almost like a breakup because you had your sights set on a beautiful future with your precious, you could see the photos together, the holidays you could go on, the compliments you would receive from envious party-goers. Due to internet ‘cookies’, you’ll see them everywhere you go, on the Facebook Sidebar, in the ads when you are trying to stream the latest episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ on your preferred pirating website (no judgement here, we all do it). Its painful seeing them out there in public as though nothing has changed between you, acting nonchalant when all you want is to scoop them up into your open arms and never let them go. You clear your cookies, and your internet history for good measure. ‘Just forget about it’, your mind says, but your heart can’t let go just yet. You find yourself creeping back to ASOS.com just for a look, just to see if the price has dropped, whether there are any left in stock. Of  course there they are, looking as glamorous as ever, surrounded by their mediocre friends who make them look even better than before.  Eventually the memories fade, and life moves on, you find yourself taking joy in all things free; walks in the park, sunshine and birdsong, dinner with friends. One fateful day you brave checking your bank balance and find a TRIPLE DIGIT for the first time in weeks, and all hell is about to break lose. You have no option… you …. must… SPEND.

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So you make a day of it. You pick Saturday (just like everyone else) to go out armed with your smallest shoulder bag (room for key, phone, card and fags only), flat shoes and sharpened elbows ready to give a bitch a black eye if she even touches that clutch bag before you get there. You arrive in your local town center and one of two things will happen. Either you will go out and all your shopping dreams will come true, you will find endless bargains, that vintage shop will have a 1950s velvet prom dress made for you, there will be a sale on at Topshop and only YOUR size is left and you will get so many taster samples of food that you skip lunch and spend the money on shoes. Alternatively nothing will fit and the one thing that does is a totally ludicrous neon orange neoprene playsuit with scuba zip detailing which you would probably buy, wear once and regret it so much you donate it to a local charity shop where some crazy old lady will buy it and wear it in the streets with her pink dyed hair and her enormous 90s platform trainers asking for spare change to feed her thousands of cats. There is no rhyme or reason to a bad shopping day, but it can happen to the best of us, just remember, with that failure comes the promise of a better run next time, with double the budget (YAAAAY). People may say that society is becoming increasingly materialistic, and honestly I’m inclined to agree. As Carrie Bradshaw once said “I like my money right where I can see it… Hanging in my closet”.     It is true that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you lots and lots of shoes and bags and shit, and that’s a good start.

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One Night Stands

Its coming, the weather is hotting up, the skirts are getting shorter, the tops are getting plungier and the hedonistic nature in all of us is effervescing away beneath the surface waiting to burst forth in a wave of skin revealing revelry. Summer. The time of year where the youth of the day return to a primordial state where the smell of sunscreen, sweat and hair products propels the masses into a frenzy of sloppy tonguing sessions and even sloppier sex. We abandon ourselves to our baser instincts, summer is prime time for one night stands and I am here to tell you the DO’s and DON’Ts of this oh so special of occasions.

First things first, if you don’t use a condom when bonking a stranger, you are essentially a vile slut who doesn’t care if she catches every STD under the sun. This goes for boys and girls, for both are sluts equally. Do not skip the rubber, you don’t know where Mr P has been, and you don’t know who has been visiting Mrs V, so why risk it. Better than to have to momentarily pause proceedings than have to call ever one of your sexual partners and explain that due to your foul sexual discrepancies, you may have given them herpes. The rule is essentially, if your partner doesn’t suggest the use of any sort of protection with you, the odds are they don’t use it with anyone. Bail.condom1

 

Now, the fun bits. One night stands are the perfect opportunity to try those weird sex tips your read in  magazines, or to try that thing you’ve always wanted to. For example, in my final year of uni, my sluttish behavior was at an all time high, I had a fire escape outside my room, which my bedroom window opened onto. I called it the balcony and it was a happening place. I therefore made it my mission to get laid on there at least once. And I did, with a total random, who was JUST terrible. Which brings me to do number two; always bring them back to yours. This means you have control of when your conquest vacates the premises; fire escape guy wanted to stay and cuddle (something I will literally never understand) so I had to deliver the classic line “oh shit, my boyfriend is coming home in like twenty minutes. You should go!” (scoffing quietly to myself at the idea of me having a boyfriend at all)  It is also the perfect time to be demanding. Once you know that bonking is on the cards, you can pretty much draw up a little contract in order to be fully satisfied, I once gave a guy actual rules before agreeing to sleep with him (which ended up being a three-hour romp, followed by wedding  jokes at breakfast with the rest of the group in the morning) Also, one night stands are prime time for hilarity; take the time to do something hilarious and socially inappropriate and create an urban myth that you know to be true. For example, I had one guy back and after thirty minutes of heavy petting he was still…..a little more Philadelphia than Parmesan in the penis department.  Anyway, I was drunk and intolerant and delivered the classic ultimatum “Babe, at this point, go hard or go home”…he went home and I passed out naked…again. Then there are those classic moments when you’ve drunkenly gotten naked with a friend with no real intention of actual penetration. This happened to me at uni and the pair of us ended up passing out au naturel. About an hour or so later, our mate came into my room (greeted by the sight of my bare ass) to get the guy to go back and smoke up at his place, and I (still in a naked drunken stupor)  could only repeat the words “Babe, just chill out, its fine”.  There are those moments when you both think you are porn stars and then catch sight of yourselves in the mirror and both have to take a second to laugh hysterically. There are those times when you take a mid-session break for a cigarette and end up performing a top-notch blow-job in the communal garden in full view of the upstairs neighbors… just cos. There are hilariously awkward moments, however. For example, I once ended up bedding my Uni’s water polo captain, who definitely forgot my name and just referred to me as  “Baby”, I have never been so pleased as when he got up and left in search of a kebab.

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Things to beware: Beware the “accidental slip”, we all know what I mean here, and there is a chance that in the fumble to pleasure you, your partner may have gotten too excited and popped something somewhere it doesn’t belong for a second or two, causing you to perform the gravity defying ‘gecko’ move up the nearest wall.  Beware Magic FM…Seriously, I remember ‘Careless Whisper’ coming on at 2am and being completely unable to continue, while my playmate thought it was the sexiest thing ever. I literally almost pee’d with laughter at how cheesy it was. Horrendous.  Beware volume control. There is nothing worse than hearing other people bumping uglies, honestly it isn’t ok, you end up feeling like some sort of aural voyeur because no matter what you do you can’t block out the sounds.Beware inequality; go tit for tat, if you go down for fifteen minutes, the favor should be returned…any guy who says anything pertaining to “I don’t do that” can suck your imaginary balls and get out of your bed.  Beware feelings. As I have said before, if your legs open faster than Google’s homepage, you are not girlfriend material…one night stands are called this because they have a very precise shelf life. You are not going to find ‘the one’ this way. What you will gain is confidence, skill, experience and fun. Try not to give a shit about reputation, because the only reason people will disapprove is if they aren’t getting laid or if one of you is cheating. Cheating is BAD. Do not get involved with ANYONE who is attached.

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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!

Gympatience

Gympatience is a phenomenon which occurs when one finally decides to haul ones ass to the gym, and grows impatient when results aren’t instantaneous. With my first pay from my new job,I bought myself a pair of bright orange Nike Free Run iDs. With my second, I got myself a gym membership to the gym right by where I work. I now have no excuse but to go to the gym. At the particular establishment which I am starting to frequent, there is a personal trainer who I will refer to as SBG (Sexy Bald Guy) who is probably the only reason I’m so committed to going at least thrice a week. SBG is in his late 30s, and is one of few men who has managed to go to the gym and not end up looking like a horrific cave man/ hulk hybrid. He is toned and muscular but he still, somewhat miraculously, has a neck! Hurrah! So i had some free sessions with him, and it turns out, I can tone up simply by doing a little weight training and a little cardio for 20 mins three times a week! IDEAL!

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So summer is coming, Bikini Panic is occurring all over the world, and cupcakes have never looked so sexy. They peek at you from all over the place, behind glass counters in coffee shops, all over platters at family parties, blushing with pink icing, flashing a strip of  chocolaty muffin top before all is hidden beneath the thin layer of a pastry case. The sluts. Salad is making an effort, collecting together the best parts of the season in the shape of brightly coloured peppers, sweet vine tomatoes and creamy feta cheese, but it will always look like a sack of shit when placed beside the glory of a freshly made meringue pavlova oozing with raspberry coulis and chocolate mouse. Oh summery desserts, you are the bane and the beauty of the next few months, tantalizing me with your zesty yet creamy fillings, your sticky, crumbly, crunching texture and your empty, sugary, malicious calories. ‘You know you can’t resist me’, the siren cupcake murmers with a voice like honey, ‘Just one bite, no-one has to know!’ You resist!  Walking away, an ice cream catches your eye, ‘Oh, but I’m so delicious, and its summer! When else can we be together like this?’

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You find yourself salivating, your eyes drawn to all things naughty! Why is everything so much more delicious when its hot! Burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, scones, whipped cream, donuts, french fries and fucking pizza all baying for your attention like the gorgons on the rocks, luring you in with sweet sticky promises then devouring you whole. What’s a girl to do?!

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We ignore the temptation around us, throwing ourselves through the doors of the gym, out of our front doors, into the local school hall for Zumba and we move our gelatinous asses in the hopes that we will jiggle them right off! Lately I’ve been massively addicted to the health and fitness section on Pinterest. I go there for inspiration (NOT THINSPIRATION…this is a hugely unhealthy way to look. You want to be strong. Not thin) I see stories of ladies who have lost half their body weight and the only way to do it is to work hard and commit. So I am… fucking finally. I’ve flirted with the idea before, but never really bothered to stick with it but I’m in the right head space now. This weekend was horrific, surrounded by tiger bread, real butter (be still my frothing thighs), cupcakes, kettle chips and SO MUCH BOOZE I managed to stay strong. I owe it to myself to get this waist nipped in the bud! Its week 3 now. Just you wait til week 12 bitch.

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The G Word

Our famed family includes Boudica, Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Chuck Norris, David Bowie, Judy Garland, Mark Twain, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tori Amos and Vincent Van Gough. The Ancient Greeks believed we would become vampires after death. In Ancient Egypt we were buried alive as sacrifices to the God Osiris. Studies have shown that we have more sex, require more anesthetic and are more likely to be stung by bees. We are redheads. I hear that sharp inhalation, I feel the air turn cold, breath turning foggy you pull your  Gingers….have no souls. We are mutants, our mutated MC1R gene which gives us our red hair, pale skin and freckles also gives us the super-ability to withstand much greater levels of pain than non-gingers. The Spanish describe us as ‘human unicorns’ because we are so rare. In the 90s, when I was a child, even the glory of Ginger Spice could not abate the teasing, everything from ‘carrot top’ to ‘ginger pubes’ was hurled my way, like verbal rocks thrown at a stray cat. Playground taunts are one thing, but there have been horrendous news stories about youths being stabbed for “being ginger”,  women sexually harassed for their hair colour and kids as young as 14 committing suicide because of the taunting he had to face every day.

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But, there are two sides to every story. Some of us spend years dying our hair, covering ourselves in foundation and bronzer in an attempt to hide our true nature, but it will always out in the end. My fiery temper has been harnessed now, but back in the day, my god I was like Phoenix from X-Men, just totally out of control. I would get into fights at school over the smallest thing. At home I once smashed a double glazed window during a tantrum. We have  a fire within us that, if it goes untamed, could consume everything within a ten mile radius. Mark Twain famously said “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats”. We are a secretly smug race; eventually we develop an amazing sense of humor because we spent so long being victimized by the common blondes and brunettes. To be honest, I would much rather be seen as a soul stealing sex fiend than a supposedly dumb blonde or dull brunette. Holy shit we are vampires! It is hugely inconvenient that we are essentially cursed to wander the shadows for all of time; this weekend I was in my garden for an hour and a half in the sun. Burnt isn’t even the world, I am scorched, I’m talking full on lobster. And the best bit? People telling you how burnt you are…like you don’t know. Like holy shit I’m burnt? Are you sure? Because it could be something else that is literally searing my skin down to the bone. Oh this redness? No you’re right, I don’t look as pale as usual.

 

However, there is one thing about ginger skin which I actually really enjoy. Freckles. Freckles are fucking adorable, so much so that you don’t have to be ginger to have them, but if you are they look even cuter! Some say they are sun kisses, others that you get a freckle for every sin you commit…but for redheads its true what you’ve heard, for every soul we steal, we earn a freckle. Our comeuppance comes, however, when we get a spot, because you cover that bad-boy in concealer and BAM! One bit of your face is freckle-less and you can see it from fucking space. I do think that ginger boys have it harder than ginger girls, however.

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More and more these days, gingers are becoming the revered and idolized creatures they were always meant to be, from Jessica Rabbit to Peter Pan, Eddie Redmayne to Christina Hendricks, we are increasingly prevalent in pop culture. But we are a proud race, built to protect each other. I swear to god, we gingers are naturally attracted to each other. If I see a redheaded man in the street, there is always this exchange of looks, both of us wordlessly agreeing that we would have cosmic fiery children. Let’s just take a moment to enjoy the ridiculous, mythical beauty of ginger men, shall we?

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Sweet lord above, I thank you for these inconceivably gorgeous additions to the human race. May I live long enough to find myself a specimen with bountiful fervid locks and an enormous package with whom to spend the rest of my days in a dark room. I mean, if I had to pick, Michael Fassbender would win every single time without fail. He’s like a handsome shark, he’s just the right side of fierce and if you’ve seen Shame then you know that there is no way in hell he’d ever be a disappointment, if you catch my drift.