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.

 

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Posers, Musclemen and Heroes

Lets face it, the only time we tend to smile at the gym is when our workout is over or when we have managed to smuggle out a fart without anyone noticing. Ah yes, that glorious moment when we finish that last set, wipe our faces and machines respectively and skip over to the changing room to see exactly how haggard we have made ourselves look.  One thing, however, which is making my whole gym experience a little more bearable is the presence of FPT (Fit Personal Trainer) FPT is 45, bald with rugged dirty blonde super manly stubble and a stomach you could grate cheese on (this last i know through very minor Facebook stalk). My general demeanor in life is not that of a shrinking violet (as those who have read my previous ramblings will know all too well) and at the gym I am no different. When something hurts, I give FPT verbal hell like I’m in labor with his child. The other day I was using a hard foam roller to stretch out my hamstrings (which essentially involves oscillating up and down on it starting at your ‘pockets’/ vageene). So there I am, essentially dry humping this roller, when suddenly i hit a nerve and freeze mid-thrust and utter everything under the sun between gritted teeth.

I shit you not, this is what I was doing

I shit you not, this is what I was doing

It’s amazing how quickly you stop giving a shit about wandering around semi naked in there as well. I tend to strip off and saunter over to the showers in the nuddy so I can see if the last half an hour of pain has paid off yet. It hasn’t. Gympatience strikes again. Whats also fairly amusing is the rate at which you grow accustomed to conversations with strangers when one or both of you has their tits out. Its pretty rad, we are all girls here and its great not having to awkwardly fumble to keep them covered when you’re trying to get your bra on.  The other day I had literally just stepped out of the shower and opened my locker when the gym’s receptionist came in for a casual chat. Allow me to elaborate; it was her last shift and it was pretty quiet, as it tends to be when I’m there, and she came in to check the changing room, found me in there,  and decided to stay for a chinwag. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not shy when it comes to my body (insert reference to Lena Dunham here) and it was only when she gesticulated at her own nipples,  smiled wide and said ‘I love those’ that I remembered that mine are special. They are pierced, straight silver bars. Yes they hurt, you have a needle shoved through one of the most sensitive parts of your body. But its one hell of a show stopper when people first catch a glimpse.

 

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Let me assure you all, I have NEVER been a gym-bunny. In fact, back in the days when I was basically eating all of my feelings and then some, I spent much time scorning those who voluntarily put themselves through the undeniable torture than is willingly moving at anything other than regular walking pace. I recently realized that when I go do some exercise I go through the Kubler-Ross model; first comes denial (this isn’t going to be that bad, I’ll be fine) , then its anger (fuck me ow ow ow), followed by bargaining (OK I’ll do three more sets and then I’ll stop), depression (oh god, will the pain never end) and finally acceptance (fuck yeah, I can do this!) I tell you its an emotional roller-coaster three times a week for everyone there. Don’t get me wrong, there are still those people in the gym who you look at and go “please, God, just fuck off”; like the forty-something bloke in the tight vest top who seems to think he has more bulging muscle than bulging belly. Or the girl wearing a crop top and power walking at a feeble pace for 5 minutes then making a big show of mopping her brow (note the orange smudge on the blue paper towel),  taking a huge gulp from her pink gym bottle before she retires to the yoga mats where she spends the remainder of her ‘workout’ working out how best to stretch in order that the whole place can trace the outline of her thong through her tiny shorts. Whore. If you are not a red sweaty foul beast by the time you’re done, you are being a huge pussy. If you walk down the stairs with ease and saunter casually into the changing rooms, you are faking all of this gymness. You are a poser. We do not wear makeup for a workout. If we do, it gets everywhere, you sweat it all off, you clog your pores and end up looking like a pizza later on in the week. Not worth it. No one is there to look pretty while they put their bodies through hell.

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But hidden amongst the posers and the limp-wristed wannabes, the overly muscular and very vocal lifters are those hidden gems, like this lady I see there every time I go, who has to be in her 60s, who absolutely kills it on the rowing machine for forty mins, or the balding guy who runs along beside me on the treadmill listening to old school rock which I can hear him quietly singing along to. Even I have become my own hero, I force myself over there thrice a week, obviously the promise of half an hour sweaty and breathless with FPT helps. I even got an email telling me I was in the top 15% of users at my particular gym. MENTAL. Thus concludes today’s ramblings.

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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!

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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Progress

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

 

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

Obsession, not Love

We go through most of our lives from one love to the next. It starts with your favorite toy, when you outgrow that,its your first bike, then your first pair of glitter jelly shoes until finally you start liking other people. Now before this you focused your attention on inanimate objects which have no choice but to silently and graciously accept your love, until the time comes you are ready to move onto bigger and better things. Ah a simple time, the chase is brief, the bond seemingly unbreakable. But when it comes to people, you are up against a sentient being which has its own wants and needs, not to mention the ability to destroy you with the greatest weapon humankind has in its arsenal: rejection.

Have you ever been so blinded by your own obsession with someone, hazed by your ability to convince yourself and, dangerously, other people, that you and this person are absolutely game on, perfect and its just a matter of time. I have, not even just once either; many many excruciating times. There are a few different types of people in the word when it comes to lurve; I will look at two of them. There are those who are blessed with the ability to attract those they like and to happily get on with things in a ‘normal’ manner and then there are people like me. The ones who, no matter what, something will happen to rain shit all over your heart. I have never been in love; I consider love to be what I call a ‘reciprocal’ emotion, you cannot love alone, it is a mutual thing. I have however had much experience with love’s ugly cousin: obsession. bunny boiler Obsession is something with which most of us suffer, and it seems with age comes the self-confidence to overcome this most crippling of weaknesses. Looking back at the compulsively kept diaries from my late teens, obsession was something which absolutely mangled my already fragile mind. Being a teenager is horrendous, we all know this, its a time of awkwardness and self loathing, made all the more difficult with those fucking hormones running riot in your veins, giving you weird tits, greasy skin and an increased awareness of your body hair. What a perfect time then, to discover feelings! Now over the years there have been several typical teenaged crushes, I’m talking the popular boy at school who smiled at you when everyone else was taking the piss, the guy from drama who always caught you staring at him but never called you on it, the boy you’ve known your entire life and never done anything about. These are the school crushes, they are the ones who shape you views on love. Then come the more complex ones.

At 18 I found myself living with 27 people 24/7 doing a year long course. One person will always stand out to me in a ‘special’ way. Let’s call him D (for dickhead). D was seeing someone, but D also liked me, so foolishly I allowed myself to think that I would be something to him, the way he was to me. A year of cheating (on his part) went by with various inappropriate texts, adult sleepovers (I would like to point out that at no point did I do anything beyond fumble with D) lies and confrontations, until the final night of the course, where he consolidated everything that had happened with us with a kiss under a bridge and then off he fucked. Our paths have crossed a couple of times since, but I will never be able to look him in the eye and have a normal conversation knowing that he effectively shat all over my very delicate heart. shat on my heart Since then, I pretty much decided that sex was a non-emotional thing, the majority of the sex I’ve had was drunken and essentially meaningless, I remember in my third year of uni my housemate gave my number to the head of the waterpolo team (oh sweet jesus what a bod) who had just broken up with his girl and was looking for a rebound; which I graciously provided. I slept with a guy I met in class in first year who in third year revealed he was single (nb never judge a penis by its abs, this guy was shredded, but man was he tiny) I am coming to learn, that sex is not so emotionless to your partner; a guy I encountered of late told me that ‘the casual sex thing doesn’t work for him’. Now this was astounding to me, the girl who has basically spent the last 5 years being the man, fucking and dropping. The ones I actually like, nothing has ever happened with. Four times now I’ve fallen for a close friend, and each time I’ve fallen hard. I have always gotten over it, with time and drugs….lots and lots of drugs. These guys know who they are, one of their girlfriends has come to be one of my closest friends. But why is it that I can seduce those I have no real interest in, but those I do I repel? Discuss.