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.

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!

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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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 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.