Tag Archives: relationships

A Different Shade of Grey:

Today sees the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in our cinemas and with it, comes the controversy and the heady, dizzy frenzy surrounding the novel and subsequent movie will hopefully begin to subside… There will be an undoubted rush of women bellowing for all to hear that on-screen Christian Grey is as much of a romantic hero as his character in the novel, of which most will know my opinion! I recently wrote an article over on Femtellectual that explains why he isn’t anything of the sort and why women shouldn’t let Christian Grey anywhere near their sex lives, but even I have to admit, with all of my judgements and peeling a part of the novel to reveal the less than savoury centre, that EL James and her violently domineering romantic hero has changed the manner in which we view sex and relationships exponentially.

Back in 2011, when the novel was released, I am sure I’m not the only person who reluctantly experienced, first-hand, what it was like to come face to face with a woman who had read the novel. Out of the woodwork crawled many dishevelled women who were positively tickled pink by the contents of the novel and the ‘activities’ carried out by Grey in his ‘Red Room of Pain’, many with comments articulating their desire for their own Christian Grey. It’s no secret that sexual confidence soared within so many women that I know in my real life, including family and friends, and, as much as I have nothing good to say about the novel, or the domestic abuse within the storyline, I can get on board with the sexual confidence that ensued following James’ terrible, terrible writing.

I’m not afraid to admit that I was ashamed that so many of my family and friends read the novel and got excited over the concept of Christian Grey and I was especially embarrassed when my mother and sister seemingly jumped on the bandwagon. Because they’re my family, I saved them the diatribe reserved for other folk and I let them get on, but I realised later on, especially when my mother began reading them, that her enjoyment had nothing to do with her supporting the abuse or believing that it didn’t exist, or even finding it romantic. For my mother in particular, she was positively aghast, but not necessarily in a bad way, that things like this went on, not only within the confines of the novel, but in real life too. Apparently, when she was reading the novel, she meandered into my sister’s bedroom, book in one hand, reading glasses in the other and with a presumably adorably furrowed brow said, “can I ask you to Google something for me? I don’t know what anal beads are…” turns out my sister didn’t either, so they both discovered anal beads in all of their glory and my sweet mama vowed never to ask her youngest daughter any sex related questions ever again, instead choosing to either Google them herself, or ask me. I’ve always been renowned for my cavalier attitude towards sex and all that it entails, so I think my mother felt emboldened and happy to discuss things she’d never discussed before. When we went shopping, she would slide into Ann Summers and giggle at all of the ‘sexy’ clothes and even wandered so far as the vibrators and turned pink in the cheeks as I switched them all on and told her about the merits of certain movements and how it pleasures the female, much to her amusement/horror/surprise! Yet, whipping, flogging and sex toys inserted into anus’ didn’t seem like her cup of tea but, “those jiggly ball things” that Christian uses on Ana seemed to intrigue her a great deal. When she found out I own a pair and she laughed so hard that tea came out of her nose, “Really?!” she screamed, “what are they like?!”

***

One of my best friends got in contact with me this week to discuss Fifty Shades of Grey and asked if I was going to be going to see it or if I would like to have a girly night in my flat and we’d watch it together with wine, provided she could get either her partner or her mother to babysit (not us, a baby!). I informed her that I wasn’t all that supportive of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and sent her the link to the article I mentioned earlier and her response was surprisingly different to most women. Promising anonymity, she allowed me to quote her:

I understand where you’re coming from with this, right, but ever since we’ve been young, you’ve been SO sexually confident. You’ve talked about sex toys like they’re your best friends and you’ve been so cavalier with your attitudes; what you like and what you don’t. I’ve never had that. I never understood where you got your confidence from, to be honest. But, after I read Fifty Shades I began thinking differently. As much as you were a lot of the inspiration behind my desire to be more sexually confident, a lot of the content in the book helped me begin to explore that with [her partner].

Admittedly, I was pretty shocked when I read her response, especially given my attitude towards the novel. I know and I do respect that people will have differing opinions and mostly, I just let people believe what they want to believe, but I have to say that it did surprise me that someone could feel so emboldened by Fifty Shades of Grey and that was one of the reasons behind one of my dearest friends exploring her sex life in a definitely more kinky detail.

My friends are, obviously, not the only people who have been affected by the novel, whether good or bad and it’s clear to see that EL James has inspired a surge within many factors of the sex industry. The sex toy industry for example, has positively boomed since Fifty Shades was released in 2011 and EL James has managed to bag herself a specific Fifty Shades inspired sex toy range that fans of the book/movie can purchase for their own sex play, which is available at LoveHoney and has proven extremely popular since it was first available online. There was obviously an existing BDSM inspired market, but with the popularity of the book and undoubtedly the novel, this has increased dramatically, and as much as I am firmly against the empire that EL James has created for herself, on the back of a book that undoubtedly promotes domestic abuse, but I can’t say that I’m unhappy that there are more and more women out there who have decided to positively and safely (presumably) explore a kinkier element to their sex lives.

It does extend beyond the bedroom, though, and I think due to attitudes towards online dating mellowing, I think a lot more freedom has been allowed for people to discuss their sexual preferences openly as part of the (for want of a better word) courting process, if you will. When I was single, I spoke to a lot of different men and used the likes of online dating to, at the very least, get my confidence (read: MOJO) back with regards to communicating with the opposite sex. Whilst I didn’t do it for very long, it did seem that every man I spoke to basically inferred elements of sex that they were into pretty much immediately. One man informed me, without any preamble, that he would like to see me hog died and insert sex toys into very specific orifices because that’s the kind of thing he was into… (three dots included) and whilst I didn’t respond to this person, it did seem to me that sex was the only thing that was on the table to this person and other people I spoke to as an immediate introduction to myself and presumably other women. In the past, where this might have been taboo to mention, or you might not have discovered until later on in the relationship, exploring kink and being open about one’s sexual proclivities has become a cultural norm and I do think the soaring popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey has something do with it; sensibilities have changed and, again, as much as I’m against the novel, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Talking about sex is, I feel, wildly important within relationships because everyone should be open and honest about their preferences and their boundaries; whilst having discussions within two sentences that reveal one’s sexual appetites is potentially a little full on, it’s still a good sign of confidences and shedding the ‘taboo’ moniker of sexual intercourse – everyone does it, but not everyone talks about it and Fifty Shades has helped that. Dating sites such as Plenty of Fish have even begun including specific sections of their website dedicated to people who like the novel and the ability to be able to specifically search for a dating site that caters to your needs has never been easier. Following the popularity of the novel, areas of the market have opened up and BDSM has become a popular, relatively normative sexual practice, with sites such as 50shadesofgreydating.com that allows you to sign up to the ‘luxury BDSM dating site’ for free and allows you to explore your inner dominant or submissive side by finding your Ana or Christian…Red room included! It’s refreshing to see that a kinky lifestyle is not only available, but widely promoted online and that people are exploring potentially dormant desires to be dominant or submissive in the bedroom by reaching out to like-minded individuals. It would be intruiging to find out whether these sites operate under the full safety of written contracts and promotion of safe words and loving/supportive after care for all involved, but even so, if two consenting adults actively go into a situation knowing full facts about BDSM, then I guess it’s up to the individuals to ascertain their boundaries, rather than the company, but it would still be interesting to find out.

It just goes to show that whether you love it or loathe it, Fifty Shades of Grey has had an impact on our sex lives and the manner we conduct our relationships in significant ways, and, whilst I am still fundamentally against the concepts of the novel and the promotion of domestic abuse within the poorly written pages, I am hoping that the movie depicts the relationship in a more consensual, loving manner that better represents the BDSM community, allowing for people who are potentially experiencing Fifty Shades of Grey to explore their potentially dormant proclivities in a more positive and safe manner.

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Rear Windowing The Neighbours:

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The view from my flat… Missing the river, of course! 🙂

Not many of you may know that I live in a block of flats. They’re not a block of flats in the traditional sense; it’s three stories high and boasts six flats in total, including mine. Mine is ground floor and the patio doors boast a truly phenomenal view, to the point where I like to sit in the rocking chairs outside in the summer and watch the river idle by. Where I live is really quiet, idyllic and peaceful and I love it. I’m not the type of person who craves drama or intrigue, I like to keep myself to myself and living somewhere that is as quiet as my flat is truly amazing.

Even though I live in a block of flats, I very rarely see my neighbours. I sometimes see the family who live above with their tiny little girl who as of late has been screaming for hours on end, breaking her little heart over something that is troubling her. I see the man who lives with his partner opposite who ignores me all the time and sometimes drives in and out of the estate for no reason, before standing outside and smoking for ages. I am also pretty obsessed with the old lady who lives at the very top of the building; I’m not sure if she’s in a same sex relationship with the lady I see around often, but either way, I think she’s the type of person who likes to get drunk on gin and tell inappropriately filthy jokes, which basically makes her my soul mate and I long to pluck up the courage to ask her or happen to accidently drop a bottle of Hendrick’s one night as she wanders past, hoping to strike up a conversation that allows her to be my best friend forever more. There’s another couple that I don’t really know much about; I’ve said hello to them both separately and I very rarely see them… until recently. Recently, dear readers, Brain and I have developed a Rear Window situation, which basically means I am the Grace Kelly in the situation and he is the wheelchair bound James Stewart… we are obsessed with one of our neighbours.

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

They’re a young couple like Brain and myself, which means I have often thought about them and wondered what they’re like. I do this with people who are in relationships, because relationship dynamics intrigue me to no end; I like to wonder if all couples are the same and if their concept of love is the same as mine, for example. Like, I wonder if couples behind closed doors spend as much time cuddling on the sofa, or if they like to cook together or if they chase each other round playing stupid games like Brain and I do. I’m obsessed with the closeness that couples share and if it feels the same. This sounds entirely mental, I totally appreciate that, but either way, I have wondered about this couple.

They are both young, they’re both pale and they’re both very polite, prim and I think quite proper. She is very quiet and I haven’t really spoken to her and he only says hello in passing, so I haven’t managed to strike up a friendship with them yet, to be able to outright ask them what I am dying to ask them. So instead, I have to spy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shimmy up the side of the building and Spiderman my way along until I can spy in their windows, and I don’t hang out in front of their door waiting or anything, it’s not that bad. Really, my spying is entirely accidental and I think that’s what makes the situation worse.

You see, every evening if I or Brain leave the house, or if we go out to our family’s house and return later on at night, or whatever, this couple are sitting in their car. The engine is running, the lights are on and they don’t do anything. They just sit there. And I am foaming about it.

Last night, we went out quite early because it was my dad’s birthday and we had gifts to take him, so we left at about six o clock and didn’t return until about half ten. When we left the house and I helped Brain put my dad’s presents in the car, the male human from this car couple was standing outside of the car putting his coat on. We exchanged pleasantries, as we always do and Brain and I got in the car. Immediately, as we do, we wondered out loud what they were doing sitting in the car, again. I mentioned that it was pretty weird and put it out of my mind, opting to bother Brain in the car by pushing all of the pushable buttons in the car and laughing wickedly as he clicks them all off, cursing me and calling me a nightmare, then we drove off, not to think of it again.

We had a lovely  night with my parents and after watching the Newcastle match, we came home. We got home at about half past ten and when I stepped out of the car, I realised that the couple were still in the car!! WHY, WHY ARE THEY IN THE CAR!!!!! I immediately started grinning, as I do when I’m excited and nervous and desperate to tell Brain some gossip and as soon as we got in the flat, we began wondering aloud what the fuck they could possibly be doing STILL SAT IN THE CAR. I’ve never known couples who do this, especially when they have a flat of their own to go into and do whatever it is they want to do. So I’m at a loss and I am so excited for night time to fall so I can watch them again…

Why are they in the car?

What are they doing?

Are they planning a murder?

Are they playing Mexican music loudly to mask the sound of them arguing?

What the fuck are they doing in the car?!

Stay tuned, because I will eventually find out. Until next time, Grace Kelly OUT!

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Sexual Confidence

Recently, I agreed to answer some questions for a journalist who was looking to find some women between the ages of 25 and 30, who would be willing to answer some questions about their sexual confidence for a supplement in one of the UK’s largest newspaper publications, a free magazine targeted at women. The article came out earlier in the week, and suffice it to say, I was bitterly disappointed at being severely misquoted and having my well thought out, articulate and structured answers butchered and spliced to fit the journalist’s true intentions when writing the article. What I gathered from it is that neither the journalist, nor anyone at the magazine, truly cared about the sexual confidence of young women, but, instead, wanted to marginalise these women into certain categories and from my perspective, none of us were shown in a positive light. In hindsight, I realise that the questions were both vague and worryingly infantile for a grown woman to be asking another and instead of putting my faith in this person, hoping to, eventually, find an article that didn’t discuss sexual discourse from an angle consisting of solely demographics, percentages and charts, but instead, highlighting that sexual confidence is something that we should all be aware of and participating in. Needless to say, I was wrong about the journalist and wrong about the publication; instead of championing women who are confident in their sex lives, the article seemingly chastised us for daring to speak so brazenly about our sexual pasts. Shame on us, eh? So, in today’s blog post I am going to write about what I would have chosen, had I, as a decent writer and person, been given the opportunity to do so:

 

Typically, the concept of being sexually confident is something that is, by and large, considered a taboo topic, even in today’s society. To discuss being sexually confident, perhaps conjures images of that rare breed of woman who has the body to pull off matching lingerie, teamed with suspenders and high heels; Victoria’s Secret models and porn stars, maybe, but not your average English woman, whose underwear drawer consists mostly of comfortable, practical pants, with the odd pair of Spanx in there for when we truly need it; the idea of wearing high heels and underwear and lounging seductively anywhere bringing us out in hot sweats, panic attacks looming above us like death. For a long time, I was part of this demographic; I was ashamed of the way I looked and frightened that I wouldn’t only not look like other women, but that I wouldn’t perform correctly, or that I’d do something that the other women didn’t do, and it hasn’t been until very, very recently that I realised that none of it matters: The concept of sexual confidence is a myth, yet another demographic and percentile mark that we are forced into, in the aid of yet another boring article about sex, that doesn’t help normal people with sex worries at all.

 

I think part of the reason that articles like this can exist and highlight sexual insecurities is because we all have them; even porn stars, even women so perfect it looks like there is someone photo shopping them in real life: Everyone has insecurities and this is why articles like this thrive, especially amongst British people who suffered the indignity of sex education classes as children. I’m sure I’m not the only person who thought those awkward sex education classes were entirely counter-productive and not at all insightful or helpful when coming to terms with the concept of sex overall. In hindsight, and I’m sure you’ll agree, it seemed less about providing people with sexual education and more an instructional manual of contraceptives and how to put them on; more intent on stopping diseases and unplanned, teenaged pregnancies, from spreading within their school (how embarrassing would that OfSted report be?). But, it didn’t truly educate people as young as fourteen and it didn’t stop them from having sex; it was demonstrably unhelpful in discussing sex in real terms: The emotional implications, the concept of self-respect and not doing anything you are uncomfortable with, or even consent. As a result, I found that a lot of my class mates were incredibly well versed  in the Karma Sutra and that none of them truly had any idea what they were participating in: They were just pumping away until the male ejaculated… from what I was informed. Admittedly, a lot of my sex education came from the internet; I would hear terms and Google them, or look up an array of different sexual practices just for the sake of soaking up knowledge, but sex education at school taught me nothing. I didn’t even know that females could orgasm from sex; all we learned is that we need to wear protection so that when our male partner ejaculates; we won’t get pregnant, which is very, very sad.

Even as adult women, which the article I’m discussing proves (I think), is that not a lot of people truly understand sex: To have an article that uses percentages and graphs to outline their target demographic or discuss topics that might not be considered normal within general sexual discourse is entirely infantile to a worrying extent, as I’ve already discussed. It just proves that we’re a society that thrives on these ridiculous articles to feel, I guess, the opposite of validation, to a certain extent, like sex is some kind of secret that none of us are truly a part of and that we’re still not quite there when having sex; we’re ultimately marginalising ourselves and stopping ourselves from experiencing good sex, because we’re too busy concentrating on being like the percentages in the piss-poor articles we’re reading, rather than our partners or our own enjoyment. I think the first question I was asked, do you think you’re good in bed, only highlights the infantile nature of the article and the general childish attitudes that people perceive others to have about sex; there is no such thing as being good in bed – you either enjoy yourself or you don’t and that bares absolutely no relevance on the manner of performance that either you or your partner exude; you simply either have or haven’t enjoyed that particular moment. In the article, sexual confidence implied a sense of superiority over other people, which simply isn’t the point of being confident at all: Sex isn’t a public display for us all to participate in, if you enjoy the things that you partake in sexually and have an enjoyable sex life, then you are confident, there is no in-between.

The questions the journalist asked also involved perceptions of society and that if I, as someone sexually confident, felt restricted by the perceptions society had about female sexuality and, if this would change in the near future. Overall, I think it was an excellent question, but I don’t see it featured anywhere in the article; the idea of encroaching on society’s ideals of how women should behave sexually, still, seemingly too taboo to post, which is so unfortunate and upsetting. I thought I was writing something that would assist the general struggle a lot of women are feeling, that is evidenced on Twitter and within movements such as Everyday Sexism or even my best friend Em over at Any Girl Friday; that women are sexual beings and that it’s okay that we enjoy masturbating or have a right to say ‘no’ when approached by a man regarding sex, but that wasn’t featured in the article at all. Instead, the fact that I had a partner who was into male chastity was featured as though I was some kind of aggressive dominatrix type woman, which wasn’t what I wrote at all. In fact, quite surprisingly to some, I wrote quite nice things about that person and looked at the psychology behind why he might have been into male chastity, which stemmed from his inherent, uncontrollable, somewhat oedipal maternal issues. But I guess the journalist took ‘I don’t do things by halves’ (written in the first paragraph) and the ‘My ex was into male chastity’ (fifth paragraph) and spliced them together to make me sound like I was a heartless, cruel dominatrix, because that’s what sexual confidence is all about, isn’t it?

 

If you’re a woman and you have worries about sex, or if you’re a man and panic about this too, then heed my advice: Speak to your partner. Sexual confidence isn’t about being able to perform alongside some archaic ideals of what good sex is supposed to be. If your woman isn’t screaming the walls down, that doesn’t mean you’re not doing a stellar job. If your man isn’t ejaculating into your mouth within five minutes of sucking his dick, that doesn’t mean you aren’t awesome at sucking cock. But that’s not for me, or anyone at all to tell you, especially not some piss-poor article written in a magazine.

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This is a Tribute… Of Sorts.

In the past year, my life has changed completely and I’ve spent a lot of this week reflecting on how different my life is now to what it was twelve months ago. I know a lot of people say this, but then their lives haven’t changed at all… My life really has, in every aspect, changed.

Last year, I was the unhappiest I have ever been. I spent the majority of my year being bullied, belittled and treated like I wasn’t even human. I was living with someone I had spent half a decade with and, to be quite frank, we didn’t like each other. We were in a situation where we felt like we had been together for so long, that we should just ride it out, that one day it may get better. We were in an environment where people were with partners they didn’t get on with or like; that common interests weren’t necessary and that lads nights out with girls in short dresses all over the place was acceptable, whilst the women stayed at home; mutual happiness wasn’t important and male feelings/thoughts/opinions prevailed. My partner’s mother decided that she no longer liked me and began heinous and vicious rumours, she attacked my mother at the local Tesco and put so much pressure on my partner, that he would then treat me like shit because he felt so rubbish; he didn’t want to ‘do as mammy said’, but he wanted me to change who I was and just toe the line, allowing my life to be controlled by a vapid, evil woman who thinks that her children are simply bank accounts she can bleed dry so she can keep getting her hair extensions and botox. It led to me being isolated, treated viciously and becoming a shadow of my former self; in short, my partner thought he was better than me and thought so low of me that he genuinely thought I considered myself lucky to be with him. I didn’t leave because I’d invested so much time and money into the relationship and, to be frank, was treated so poorly that I really did think I was unattractive, horrible and undeserving of happiness. It was during this time that I actually thought out, planned and attempted to kill myself. The only reason I didn’t was because my sister randomly text me one day to tell me that she loved me. She is the reason I’m here and I guess, I owe my current happiness to her too.

Eventually, my ex simply didn’t come home one night and I realised that he never would. I’m not going to say that I wasn’t upset… I was. But, I’ve come to realise it wasn’t because I loved him and missed him, but because it kind of reiterated how much better than me he thought he was. That all the suffering I had faced at the hands of his vicious and vile mother was all for nothing; that had he left me when his mam told him too back in March last year, I would have never been in a position where I wanted to kill myself. I was angry, I was hurt and I was totally lost – I had no job, no money and was left in so much debt that only accumulated because he had left me with every single bill to pay, whilst he fled. I had been left in an enormous problem and it kind of just reiterated how little this person I had spent five years of my life with thought of me. It did affect me… but not for the reasons most people feel when they break up. I was relieved, but simply depressed at how terrible my life had become. I didn’t think it would get better.

Because I didn’t have a job, I spent every single day and night alone. If my dad didn’t come to pick me up on a Friday, I wouldn’t  see a single soul. It made me terribly agoraphobic and terrified of the outside world. I can’t really blame any friends for not wanting to see me during this time, because I really did isolate myself quite a bit, but it would have been nice even to just get an email or text off someone just inviting me somewhere, even if I didn’t go… Anyway, this lasted for months and months. I didn’t really start to feel happy again until this year and I can pinpoint the who, what and where, so to speak, of when I became happy again:

My girls:

I began blogging at the start of 2014 and decided to use Twitter as a means of marketing myself and communicate with pretty much anyone, so that I didn’t feel so alone. It worked and before long I had begun communicating with a few people and basically just, very slowly, making myself feel better through my passion – writing. Eventually, I got in touch with one of my Twitter followers, a fellow blogger and general awesome human, Rachel. We had some excellent back and forth, we call each other Eddie and Patsy (I am, naturally, Patsy!) and eventually exchanged numbers and became friends. She had a blogging event which was only my second time out of the house alone since summer 2013; I went completely alone and only knew Rachel, who was hosting the event and thus not really available to sit next to me and protect me from freaking out, so I had to face the event entirely alone and speak to humans I didn’t know. Luckily, the event was filled with wonderful women and I had a really lovely time. Not too long after that, I began tweeting with other women, who have since become my best friends, my support network and my favourite women. These girls are: Mungle, Sian, Em, Marie, Amy, Becky and Leona  and they have literally changed my life; they took the sadness and the loneliness away with every single hilarious tweet and later, Whatsapp messages. They were the first people I spoke to on a morning and every single one of them were there if I needed someone to talk to, so even when I spent every single day by myself, they were there for me and took the loneliness away. For the first time in many, many years, I had true friends. They are my best friends and I love them so, so much. I don’t think they know just how much they have helped me, but if they’re reading this, I guess now they do. They’re my women and I never want to lose them.

My Sister:

When my relationship was ending, she was embarking on a new relationship, so wasn’t really there for me as much as I would have liked and when we did see each other, I tried really hard not to be depressed and anxious as I was feeling so that she would come back and not think of me as this huge drag, making her new and happy relationship seem unimportant in comparison. She was happy and I was very pleased for her; so my feelings didn’t matter. Ironically, she became really depressed earlier in the year (yes, it runs in our family, we’re a BLAST) and, because I am her big sister and eternal protector from any sadness, I was there for her and we helped each other get through the day. We’d spend days lying in bed watching Friends or we’d go on long drives to the countryside listening to Disney songs and we eventually got ourselves into a routine where life didn’t seem as painful or as bad any more. We became closer as a result and even as I’m writing this, she’s sat on my sofa watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and doing artwork. Just being around her makes my anxieties disappear and, although she will never know that she is the reason that I didn’t kill myself, I think she knows just how much I need her.

Brain:

I can pinpoint the exact moment when my life changed; when anxieties and sadness no longer mattered, when my general bitterness towards life and what happened to me dissipated and that was, quite literally, the moment I met Brain. I’ve never been the type of person to believe in things like love at first sight or anything as corny as that, but I was pretty besotted with him as soon as I met him. When I got home after my first day of work, I sent the girls a Whatsapp message about my first day and told them all about this human who I’d met. “He was wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt… AND HE HAS A BEARD!!” we began chatting and realised we had everything in common and it became one of those ridiculously inappropriate crushes that school girls have: He actually gave me constant butterflies. Obviously, we eventually got together and now spend every day together; he is the love of my life. I say that with no concerns or doubts that he isn’t, it’s just one of those facts like when someone asks what day it is, you say Wednesday with no doubt in your mind. He’s my male human and I love him with all of my heart. He doesn’t treat me like he thinks he’s better than me, he doesn’t disappear for days on end or manipulate or treat me like my feelings and opinions don’t matter. He respects and adores me and being with him just feels natural and right. He has taken away every ounce of anxiety that I’ve had and when I feel down or anxious he doesn’t blame me or say it’s because I’m horrible; he hugs me and talks through every aspect of why I feel down and how we, as a team, can make it so I don’t feel bad any more. He makes me laugh and being around him is perfect; I feel like we’re meant to be and I know that sounds so stupid, but I do. He supports my writing, reads my blog and tells me how great he thinks I am every day… he’s my human, as I said. I love you, Brain, with my entire aortic pump.

My Home:

I moved three months ago to a new flat, devoid of any bad memories or feelings. I was able to start a complete fresh and forget about the shit times I had in my former home. Brain and I have created an amazing home where we both live (yes, after a few months we moved in together… It wasn’t a conscious decision, but as with everything about Brain, it just felt right to have him here all the time, so he resides here now too!) and we have become closer. It’s an amazing flat that I love so, so much. The walls are lined with things that are personal to us; Our main feature wall has two movie posters, Pillow Talk and An Affair to Remember that Brain bought me as a moving in present (back when he didn’t initially live here!) and a small, framed picture of our mutual love, Mr Bob Dylan. We have superhero merchandise littered around and photos of us and family. We have a small addiction to candles, so naturally they’re prevalent and book cases and movies, guitars and games consoles too. When people visit they fall in love because it really is a quirky home that no one, other than two people who have everything in common could create together. Brain’s sister called me his dream girl, because he can fill his home with enormous posters of Batman and I enthusiastically participate in fawning all over it, because I’m a total geek at heart too.

There are other things that make me blissfully happy, but I think these are the main factors. I am no longer sad, I no longer self-harm or think about killing myself. I’ve come a long way from the fat, unhappy, agoraphobic loner that I was literally this time last year. There are parts of my life that I am unhappy about and I do have moments where I just want to curl up and cry, but I guess everything pales in comparison when you have people in your life who make you feel important and who would miss you if you were no longer there. I spoke to my mother about this the other day and she said that I was a shadow of my former self, that her happy, confident and beautiful girl was back and that I was no longer filled with bitter or angry thoughts and that when bad things or things I didn’t like happened to me, I would brush it off with a comedic quip and just get on with it. It’s nice that people notice that I’ve changed and it’s even nicer knowing that there are very, very important people in my life who have made me this way. If you’re still reading, girls or Brain (my sister doesn’t read my blog): You guys are my everything, my happy place, the loves of my life. I love you all so much and I am so grateful that you are there for me, that you laugh when I tell shit jokes and that when I need you you’re there. I’ve never felt important before, but you all make me feel important and you make me feel happier about myself. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if you guys weren’t there anymore. Love you all forever, I promise. xx

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I’m in the Business of Making Friends.

“Do it! You’ll enjoy it!”
“I don’t think so… I’m not really that kind of girl.”
“Oh, come on! What have you got to lose?”
“Nothing, I just…”
“Come on! I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.”
“… Okay, I guess… But don’t tell my parents, I’d die of shame.”

And that was how I was forced into prostitution.

No, that’s a complete lie, but it is how I was encouraged to download the app Tinder at the behest of a friend who enthused about it and said I would find it a bit of a lark. I did have my apprehensions because I have never had any desire to join on-line dating sites or anything like that, mostly because of my tendency to attract absolute weirdos; you know the type that dwell in the darkest, most bizarre areas of the internet and eventually crawl out when they see my giant eyes having a bit of a nose around. The whole ‘oh look, she’s weird and quite chubby; SHE WILL LOVE MY INCEST BANTER!’ (Never okay, guys), but also because I’m a lot more interesting on the internet and I always imagine when I meet people they look at me and visibly deflate in enthusiasm, especially when I trip over or walk into a door and they become horrifically disappointed in me for having absolutely no social skills whatsoever. Also because I’m terrified of being captured and forced into a sex ring a la Taken. My dad is not Liam Neeson, he’d probably just tell them to keep me.

I assumed Tinder would be different after reading the description. It’s a totally anonymous application, where if you reject someone it doesn’t come up with ‘this person rejected your face… let’s exact revenge!’ equally, if you click the like button on someone’s face and they don’t like you back, you’re none the wiser. The rejection part was generally the big pull for me, it allows me to reject humans without even having to speak to them, from the comfort of my bed when I have my hair scraped back and no make up on – it’s strangely empowering to a chubby, weird looking, presumably drunk girl like me. That does sound decidedly harsh, but I can only imagine that there are more than plenty of people who see my giant face appear on their screens and click the massive cross button that stamps my image with a big old ‘NOPE’ and I’m fine with that, because there is a definite sense of joy to be felt when clicking that big old button on images of men with their insanely honed abdominals threatening me with fitness, pants hanging ridiculously low on their beyond tanned and slender hips – I imagine these are the types of people who see me in real life and shudder with absolute disgust, not interested in knowing how hilarious and brilliant at everything I am, so it does feel quite empowering to be able to think ‘I don’t fancy you types of people at all, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!’ and rejecting them happily. Although, part of me does want them to know that I find them horrendous, which is why I’m putting that on here – you’re all very unattractive, muscles are horrible, STOP OFFENDING ME WITH THEM!

I do have to admit that it’s not as hilarious as I thought I was going to be, because no interaction between the people you reject is actually not as fun as having someone valiantly try to chat you up for you to reject with a humorous anecdote in your comedy satchel for when you want to tell someone about your exploration into online photo appreciation, I guess. I’m quite annoyed by the whole thing if I’m being honest, because when I decided to take it seriously and started clicking the like button (I don’t swipe like everyone else, because I sometimes get my left and right mixed up and I’d smash my phone, screaming bloody murder if I ever rejected someone super interesting) I didn’t realise that people had, obviously, also been clicking buttons on my face and it came up with ‘It’s a match! Talk to this person!’ which is horrific and scary. I didn’t, because I’m a terrible person, but some of them do also chat to you and I’ve found that everyone I’ve spoken to has been really funny and interesting. Damn it all! I didn’t expect that. I’ve spoken to writers, avid readers, one particularly awesome Rolling Stone enthusiast and Chef, comic book nerds and people who have left me messages beginning with quotes from Goodfellas and they’ve all been able to hold pretty hilarious conversations. It has been refreshing, but also really bloody annoying, because my friend promised me I’d get some weirdos to interact with and I’ve only really had one, who I didn’t really interact with as much as I should have because I was drunk.

This guy looked normal and we did have a lot of mutual interests and a lot of his photos had him smiling with friends and wearing a dorky Christmas jumper and he had a really nice smile, with a kind face around it, so he didn’t look like he was going to be creep 101, in my defence. He’d already liked my face and then sent me a message, which was really normal, we said hello and asked one another how we were and what we did for a living etc and then, pretty much right after I told him I had a new job, he then asked me for my number so I could send him some nudes? What? Eh? No thanks, pal! I suppose that’s part of the deal when you download apps like this, but I didn’t expect full on perversion from a lanky dork in a shitty Christmas jumper. I told him no, because I’m a classy kinda gal and I’m also not a fan of giving my number to internet folk and he got really arsey about it.

“Why not?”
“Because I don’t want to.”
“Why, what’s wrong with you? Are you fat?”
“Excuse me? Because I don’t want to send nude pictures of myself to an absolute stranger, it must be because I’m fat? Not at all because I have self respect, high standards and decent morals?”
“Other girls do it”
“Well, you must not speak to many intelligent, self assured women, then.”
“You’re not intelligent.”
“You fucking what?”
“You can’t be, you’re on Tinder looking for a lad”
“Actually, I’m on Tinder so I can write about it on my blog. Took a screenshot of your picture as well, pal, so you’ll be on my blog by the end of the weekend… Enjoy!”

And I sent him a link. I didn’t screen shot his face, nor would I ever be so cruel to someone, but I did instil the fear of God into him for a little while, at least.

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Why That One Guy on the Internet Can Go Fuck Himself.

The above is a working title for an introduction I intend to write for my future autobiography. The general title of the novel will be, as ever, The History of Dildos: The Story of a Perpetually Single Red Wine Addict. You might laugh right now, but just you watch. I will write it and people will FLOCK to the shops to buy it as soon as it opens and I will read one of the funnier chapters in a book shop and people will sigh and tell me that I am their hero. Just you watch. But, I am not at the stage yet where I can describe myself as being ‘perpetually single’. I don’t really believe any of my teenage relationships count as being anything other than a few months of awkwardness and ill-advised sexual experiences followed by intense shame and self loathing. Either way, even those were so few and far between that I think instead of ‘perpetually’, ‘constantly’ is more apt. Equally so, even though I am currently a single lady, I wasn’t single for the past five years, so I have been far more ‘couple’ than ‘single’ for all of my dating life, which, in my opinion began when I was nineteen and finally grew into the whole awkward, doe eyed idiot phase of my existence instead of just being totally disgusted by the fact that I wasn’t the girl all the bad guys wanted and developing hugely significant crushes solely on the more unattainable and beautiful men that I have known, feeling the bitter sting of rejection solely through omission, because I am the queen of friend-zoning myself purely by talking and existing. Anyway, none of this matters, nor does it bare any relevance to the topic of my blog. I was just letting you all know that I will eventually be in a position where I will use my blog to catapult me into an accidental dream career and people will be desperate to hear my words in an audio book read by me, in my Geordie accent, laughing at all the bits I think are brilliant, prompting you all to laugh along and think I am a comedic genius. I am also about thirty per cent confident that my tactics will work, so shut your face, Judgey Mcjudgerson. Ahem. Sorry, here’s the actual blog (and if you’ve just started reading here, as opposed to the beginning because I’ve emboldened it, don’t read the rest, it’s not meant for you):

I receive a lot of emails and correspondence from people who, to be quite honest, applaud me for my honesty when it comes to blogging and writing about my life. I do agree that it does take a certain level of confidence and an I don’t give a fuck attitude to be able to write about myself and the horrific things that I have done in the most public setting imaginable. Slightly less embarrassing than standing at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle with a microphone shouting “I once knocked myself out after a blow job because I was laughing too much!” And having passers-by look at me with sheer disgust; on the internet it is much easier, because I can’t see any of you and even if you do have something horrible to say, I will assume that you are jealous of my comedic prowess and move on, confident that I am a genius – it’s a win-win situation for me, you see? But, as with anyone else who counts themselves as a Lifestyle Blogger, you’ll agree that it does take some pretty enormous balls to be able to talk about yourself in a candid manner and, until a few months ago, I didn’t actually realise I had huge, metaphorical testicles, so it’s something I am enjoying exploring both enthusiastically and wholeheartedly.

I have also received a few emails from men, who have questioned my reasons for writing and suggested that my topics of discussion weren’t very womanly. I agree, of course, that they aren’t, unless you count all the Ryan Gosling references, in which case, men, you should all be aware that every single woman has very unladylike thoughts about him and you should just accept that as one of those facts of life. You know, like women do fake orgasms, but have never done that with you. That type of life fact. Anyway, today I received a rather scathing direct message on Twitter from a user who will remain anonymous (because I’m a lady and that’s the type of shit we do for people), basically, in about 280 characters told me that I was going to die alone and am not at all attractive, not only because my eyes are too big, but also because no man could ever want me to be his girlfriend because I swear too much and make too many references to things that men don’t find attractive in a woman. I didn’t respond, but fully intend on sending him a link to this post in order to be abundantly clear when I tell him:

I don’t give a fuck.

 

You see, pal, about five months ago I came home to find that the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with had moved out without telling me and cut off all communications with me so that I couldn’t even ask him why he threw five years down the drain and left me in thousands of pounds worth of debts I didn’t even know about. Since then, through my friends and family talking to me and bringing me out of the serious funk that he had left me in, I came to realise that for the past five years I have also been manipulated and controlled by him and his mother, who in turn, controlled him. On a daily basis, I was made to feel really small and that my literary pursuits weren’t good enough to be published, that my writing was shit and that instead of pursuing a career; I should be settling down and eating as many carbs as I could in order to house a baby. I was encouraged to quit my job and focus on a baby I didn’t even want, by both my boyfriend and his mother because that’s how their family behaved. For a while, I rebelled against it and did what the fuck I wanted any way and he left me in 2011. I changed myself entirely in order to win him back and became exactly what he wanted, and in doing so, lost myself, completely and became a dutiful girlfriend who put her dreams and life on hold to sit in the house every weekend and miss out on so many fun opportunities and distance myself from all of my friends, just to keep him happy. Don’t get me wrong I loved him so much, but now that I am not with him, I see that I sacrificed far too much for far too little in return, other than getting a TV and an iPad that he forgot to take with him when he left.

I’ve never been an overly confident person and for the majority of my life I allowed myself to be forced into so many different things because I didn’t know what it took to be accepted. All I ever wanted was to be loved my someone and when I met my boyfriend and realised that he actually fancied me, I didn’t believe it, because I always had people telling me that I was too tall, that I wasn’t skinny enough or that I wasn’t particularly pretty enough and that I shouldn’t try so hard to be funny or I shouldn’t talk so smart… I haven’t been myself for a long time and in these past five months I have had time to reflect on my relationship and how miserable, antagonistic, paranoid and down right nasty I became to people who had once thought of me as friends, I realise that everything I have done up until starting this blog hasn’t been ME. For the first time in half a decade I can safely say that I like myself. Actually, fuck that, I love myself and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing at all. Since starting this blog and communicating with people via social media, who blog too, new doors have been opened to me and has also made me feel happy and more like myself than I ever have and I wake up every day with a smile on my face. It doesn’t sound like a really great life, but to me, it’s the best. I’m not one of those people who are really hard to please, I honestly just like to smile – and because of this blog and the people who enjoy it I do and in doing so, have become a more confident girl to the girl I was last year (last year I couldn’t leave the house by myself and now I toddle off to different parts of the country to hang out with people who actually think I’m nice and funny).

If, as you suggest, all men want to be with a really beautiful woman with perky tits and a perfect body, who doesn’t really have opinions or a sense of humour, then you’re absolutely right in saying that I will die alone. And that’s okay, because, as you so politely implied: I will indeed spend a long time fucking myself; because GOD FORBID that someone want to have sex with a woman who actually likes herself. And that’s okay too, because I am excellent company and have a lot of sex toys. Oops. Sorry, will rephrase that for you: ‘Don’t indulge in self-love because it’s not very lady like’. Is that okay? Prick.

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Help! I dream sexed a lady and now I think I might be gay?

I have always fancied males. I was about five when I saw my first penis, because I blackmailed a local boy into showing me his boy parts as a condition of being allowed to play with me and in the same year, I also got wrong off a teacher in nursery school for running into the boy’s toilets to kiss a boy, but then backed out of the situation because I realised that if I kissed him, I would get his voice and he would get mine and I’d not be able to play Mary in our school’s nativity play any more and I really couldn’t have that on my conscience. Jesus would be so disappointed. Since then, my enjoyment of the male form has changed somewhat, I don’t ask people to see their male parts and I tend not to back out of kissing people unless they have bad breath or weird teeth. And, I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that I am not attracted to little boys and have also never stepped foot into a male restroom since that first time (unless, of course, you count the times I was forced in my youth when it was hilarious to throw girls into male restrooms and shout “AH, SHE’SA MAN, A MAN! WHERE’S YOUR COCK? EH? WHERE IS IT?!” and point in a dramatic and exaggerated manner so that everyone knows that yes, I am the man lady my friend is talking about). I have only ever had male boyfriends and have only kissed one or two girls when drunk on either spin the bottle dares or that one time I kissed a married ladybecause she put her tongue in my mouth and then told all the males at the party I was an excellent kisser (which I so am).

I have never found women attractive in the sense that I would like to have sex with them. Of course, I do find women attractive, because women are actually beautiful, marvellous creatures with their weird affinity for hair extensions, fake eyelashes and in some cases, padded bras (which actually makes me wonder, what are you going to do when you meet someone and he discovers you are, essentially, a mannequin? What happens there? Do you do some kind of big, Stars in Your Eyes reveal after a well timed steak and a blow job? What happens if he doesn’t like you any more? Is he a sexist pig for being attracted to you solely for the looks you lied about?) and when I’m out and about I do often spend a lot more time looking at women than at men because I don’t find men’s clothes all that nice, and I often spend time wondering how I could achieve that whole I woke up like dis look instead of looking like Medusa. I am also often a wing-woman for my lovely male friends in their Pursuit of Pussy (a term I came up with, because, I think I might be a bit of a misogynist. They, on the other hand frown at me and tell me not to wing-woman them any more.) But, in general, I do tend to find myself getting gooey and tongue tied over men, rather than women and I can safely say in my twenty five years of existence I’ve never thought yes I would like to have sex with that woman right there (because I imagine that’s exactly how men and lesbians do it… Right?).

However (and we all know there was going to be a massive, elongated, exclamatory ‘however’ in there somewhere, didn’t we?), these past few nights I have been having the most strange and realistic dreams, that would technically suggest that the idea of having sex with a woman has crossed my mind, even if I have never articulated this to anyone, or even subconsciously thought it to myself ever in my life. Now, let me set the scene of my dream before I go into the whole ‘what does it mean’ segment of the blog. I should warn you all that it could, technically, be the beginning of a very bad porn film, so if we have any pornographic writers in our midst, keep the fuck away from my dreams! I am, effectively, copywriting them, should I ever want to make a porn film. I mean, I can’t see myself ever wanting to make porn, but you never know what the future may bring. Maybe that’s why I am so lost and cast adrift in my career right now: Maybe I am destined to be a porn writer and this will be my big break and I can start a company called I’m coming for you, porn! Because my porn company will be a hilarious play on words and everything will have a whole Carry On! Theme throughout. I have given this far too much thought, let’s move onto the dream:

I was walking through a massive expanse of land; full of rolling hills, in different shades of lush green, contrasted beautifully against the sunset, which cast a warm pink glow over the whole land. I think I owned it, because I was looking around it with a sense of immense pride and I felt quite peaceful and at ease with everything. I was dressed in an extravagant red gown with really long medieval sleeves and I was carrying a ray gun, because there had been a series of murders on the land lately due to giant insects that kept hopping onto people and squishing them. So, naturally, I carried a gun, lest there be any threats on my life. Eventually, I got to what appeared to be an orchard (so dream me is a borderline alcoholic too), which was also a really long and winding road, with rows of neat and well kempt trees as far as the eye could see. I made a call on my mobile phone and asked for them to send Ana, who then immediately appeared from a gap in the trees, where some stairs had grown. She walked over to me, smiling, wearing a long pink gown with no sleeves and her long blonde hair was tied up, with tendrils framing her face. She had enormous blue eyes and a red, heart shaped, pouty mouth. I remember being really pleased to see her, which is weird, cos I usually don’t fancy blondes unless you count Ryan Gosling, but he could also have blue hair and a penis with a scorpion attached to it and I’d still want to have sex with him. Anyway, when she got to me I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her slowly and rather sexily (way sexier than I’ve kissed anyone in real life in a while) and then, the rest is really too filthy to write and I can’t be bothered to rehash the really sexy parts, just in case there is any secret perverts or porn writers reading this; if you’re looking for some cheap thrills, go the fuck else where you little creeps! But, I will kiss and tell because Ana thought I was really excellent with my dextrous hands and talented tongue and I am going to show off how great at lesbian sex I am through bragging, rather than actual descriptors. Overall, I am very pleased with how dream me performed. Good on you, Doris pet.

When I woke up, it was one of those things where I’d forgotten about it altogether and did a little stretch thinking wow, I feel really well rested, I loved that sleep! Then remembered I’d gone down on a sexy blonde in an orchard and got a little confused. I panicked thinking that maybe I was a lesbian and what did that mean? What would my mother say? My dad has often vocalised his support for any of his female family members being lesbians, so long as we only invite the really sexy ones round and not the butch ones that threaten his masculinity, so I knew I’d have his support. Would I have to adopt children or would we just have a fight and see who got to be the pregnant one artificially inseminated by a robot? It was all too confusing for the first thoughts of the day, if I’m honest. So, I decided to go for a walk with the dog and then consult the internet/dream books when I got home. And yes, the blog title is lifted from my google search. Anyway, this is the general result from all my searching:

If you are not a lesbian in your waking life, but dream that you are a lesbian, then it signifies a union with aspects of yourself. It is symbolic of self-love, self-acceptance, and passion. You are comfortable with your sexuality and femininity. (Via Dreammoods)

I’m not going to say that I wasn’t disappointed that I wouldn’t be changing the lives of lesbians everywhere with my evident superior sex skills (seriously, Ana was totally loving it), because I figured that if I was going to dedicate 2014 to trying new things, why not perform cunnilingus on a series of willing ladies? I mean, other than the fact that I don’t want to and am much more preferential to being on the receiving end, providing the cunnilinguist also has a penis, but whatever, I still maintain that I rocked dream Ana’s world and would genuinely be the greatest lesbian lover known to (wo)man. What I did like about the explanation is that it is actually pretty accurate to how I’ve been feeling. If anyone did actually read my blog earlier, I stated that I was actually the happiest I’ve ever felt within myself, and that through blogging and having an outlet and simply being alone has given me the opportunity to grow into someone who I actually really like, then my dream makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure why it was shown to me through fingering a really fit dream woman, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy being a dream lesbian for a while. Dream women have proven to be far more responsive and appreciative of my sexy efforts than real men, which makes me want to sleep more, that’s for sure.

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National Sibling Day

I didn’t realise it was National Sibling Day today. In fact, I didn’t know that it existed until today, but the internet informs me that it is, so I shall write a blog dedicated to my only, thus favourite sibling: My younger sister, who, for the sake of the blog will go by her nickname Ingrid.

From being tiny humans, my sister and I were always instilled with a mantra our mother taught us:

When you have a sister, you’re never lonely. When you have a sister, you always have a best friend.

us

My sister and I would roll our eyes and look at each other with a sense of disgust, presumably thinking, whatever, mother! When we grow up we’ll have our own lives and our own friends and only se each other on family holidays! What kind of saddo actually chooses her own family as her best friend anyway, mam? EH?! But, as she would countless times throughout our lives, our mother proved us right (let’s never speak of this to her). Even though we had our own friendship groups and gone off to do our own things in life, we’ve always gravitated towards each other and sought each other’s company when, to put it simply, no one else will do.

My sister and I are so similar, yet the complete polar opposite of one another at the same time, and, I think that’s what makes our friendship so solid. I’ve often looked at our relationship critically and thought to myself if that girl wasn’t related to me, I’d probably hate her and I know Ingrid feels the exact same way about me too. Yet, there is nothing about each other that we dislike. I suppose it’s a sibling thing, but I haven’t actually met another set of siblings as in love with one another as my sister and I are (platonically, might I add. There’s no Lannistering going on in this family… Well, at least none that include me, which would be typical. Bastards!) to ask them. Where as I am incredibly girly and I enjoy doing my hair and make up, going shopping and spending hours wandering around just looking at clothes I don’t even intend to buy, she absolutely hates it and would rather chop of her tits and fling them at me in a rage before running away sobbing, than spend five minutes in a shop without having a specific reason to be there. She is the opposite of girly; she’s more like a brother to be honest. Ingrid is also one of the most intelligent people I have ever had the privilege of knowing; she is one of those people who are just so knowledgeable about everything and so passionate about their chosen subjects. It really is awe inspiring, particularly to me, because as much as I love literature, cinema, music, comedy etc, I often feel pretty reluctant to have conversations about them because I never feel intelligent enough to be having a conversation pertaining to any of the aforementioned. Where as, Ingrid discusses her interests with no real academic knowledge, just information she’s picked up subconsciously from a book or the internet, or a documentary she watched one time about ten years ago. You’d think she’d studied it for years, the way she talks and I think it’s one of the most amazing qualities to have.

In the past two years, at least, my sister and I have gone through some really horrific times and we’ve suffered quite a bit from depression etc. My depression got quite bad last year and my sister was actually the only person in the world who supported me wholeheartedly and understood what I was going through. My parents thought I was being dramatic and my boyfriend at the time thought I was lying about it, that I was acting out and doing it because I liked to make him miserable; he made my depression all about himself and how it affected him rather than seeing I was at the lowest point in my life. I actually felt so low that I wrote my parents, my sister and my boyfriend each a note, explaining why I didn’t want to be alive any more and I told them all pretty much the same thing: That I loved them with all my heart. I put them in envelopes and left them next to my boyfriend’s Xbox controller, because I figured that’s where they’d best be seen and I left the house. I fully intended to kill myself because that year, I had been bullied and worn down so much by my boyfriend’s mother who decided she didn’t like me any more and I felt like nothing, I felt like existing was too much for me. I’d rationalised that me killing myself was actually the best thing for everyone; my parents and sister would have each other and my boyfriend wouldn’t have to break up with me to please his mother. Now, they seem like pretty stupid reasons to want to kill myself, but I don’t think anyone who goes through those thought processes ever has anything eloquent in mind other than: I want to die. As I was walking towards where I needed to be, I felt pretty numb and I wasn’t really thinking about anything, but at one point, I realised I still had my phone on me and I looked at it, to see a text I’d received before I left the house: I love you xxxxx from my sister. I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and walked home. Later on, I rationalised that I was being selfish to make my boyfriend go through the whole ‘telling my parents’ thing, but when it came down to it, had I not received that text message, I’d not be here writing about how amazing my sister is now. I know that with one hundred percent certainty. She saved my life.

Ingrid doesn’t know any of this and I don’t think she’d be able to handle knowing, which is why she doesn’t read my blog. But, the love I have for her extends far beyond any love I think I’ll ever feel for another person in my life; that girl is everything to me. Since then, we’ve gotten even closer and I have made her my priority in life. I’ve stopped seeing a lot of my friends, because even when they knew I’d broken up with my ex, they were still pretty nonchalant and behaved as though it was nothing and I realised that all the love and care I had for them, wasn’t really reciprocated and I don’t go out as often as I should, because I choose to see her when she’s free. We spend days lounging on  her bed, playing Skyrim or watching Friends and not even talking at all, but just being near her makes me happy. Since that day, I decided I was going to try and be a better person for her and be the sister she needs me to be. I mean, I’m the eldest sister and she needs me, even if she doesn’t know it. I’m her best friend too and to ever leave her would destroy her – I couldn’t do that to her.  She needs me just as much as I need her and I think that’s what our mam meant when she recited her mantra to us throughout the years. She didn’t mean having someone to go drinking with, or someone to hang out with when your friends weren’t free – she meant that when we felt like we couldn’t breathe or didn’t want to any more, that we just needed to look towards each other for guidance and we’d find our way back to feeling normal. My baby sister is my best friend and I have, quite literally, everything to be thankful for. I am so lucky to have her in my life. Love you, little legs.

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Okay, I died… Now What?

This week, I have re-immersed myself in the safety cocoon of family life. I have spent my evenings lounged on the sofa with my sister, dog and parents watching bad TV and sharing hilarious anecdotes about nothing, in the way that families do and spending my days in a distinct routine involving my dog and our playful walks in the nearby fields. It has been somewhat of a welcome relief from my mundane reality and an eagerly anticipated break from my tiresome living situation. I’ve always been ruthlessly independent and don’t really enjoy the company of others all too often, but spending a week with my family has been necessary, I think, to re-charge my batteries and give me some kind of perspective on my life: Being looked after and given cuddles, kisses and high fives on a daily basis actually does a lot for the self-esteem, and if you’re lucky enough to have a family as loving and excellent as mine – your self esteem will be in abundance too! (Cheesy McCheeserson has taken over the blog today).

I’ve also been given the opportunity to do a lot of reading and reflecting, which has, for the majority, resulted in some rather cathartic, free-flowing snotty tears cascading down my entire face, but it has given me some food for thought and some room for inspiration (hence the blog). Today, I read some of Caitlin Moran’s pieces, which she shared on her Twitter feed, including a letter she wrote to her daughter whilst alive, but pretending she wasn’t, just in case she did die. Some people might accuse her of being morbid, but it did actually inspire me to write something too. I don’t have a daughter, or any plans on becoming a mother in the foreseeable future, but I think, like pretty much every other twenty five year old in the UK this week, I have been pretty affected by Peaches Geldof’s sudden death and have been reflecting rather seriously on my life and what kind of legacy I’d leave behind if we were to die suddenly and unexpectedly. So, I am going to write a post-homous open letter to people who may or may not be affected by my death, should I pop off suddenly and unexpectedly too.

Dear anyone who happens to be reading this,

If you’re reading this, that means I’m dead now. I’m not sure why I’ve died; it might have been suddenly, or a long drawn-out disease or it might have been that last tequila shot that caused me to pass out and then choke on my own vomit, alone in my house, without even a pet to eat me after a few days of food deprivation. That actually sounds more likely, I’ve probably done that. So, here I am. I didn’t lead a very interesting life, or a very accomplished life in the grand scheme of things, but I have lived a life that I’ve enjoyed wholeheartedly and a life that I hope had an impact on the people I care about. I also hope that it had an impact on the people I didn’t care about. I hope you’re so pleased with my death that, if there is a God, he’s sat next to me, sharing a bottle of his son’s finest blood, looking at you thinking what a dickhead, you’re going to hell for what you’re thinking about her, you fuck. And then we’ll high five, because I think that God and I would get on really well.

Being young, I never really had the time to properly discuss and plan my funeral. My grandma had hers planned right after my granddad died, because she was convinced she only had five years left to live; he’s been dead for over a decade now and she’s still here, so maybe I should have planned mine and I’d be here too. Anyway, I did speak to a few people about songs that have moved me and everyone should know that my favourite flowers are daisies, so I hope that people took that on board and didn’t just think I was a rambling fool chatting about songs and flowers all the time. I know for a fact my sister knew that my one favourite songs ever is The World Spins Madly On by The Weepies and I know that my ex boyfriend knew that Lover You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley means more to me than anything else on the planet (although, I dunno why he’d be involved in the funeral at all, other than to maybe cry a single tear at the fact that the last thing he said/did to me was the most scathing and hurtful thing possible. Actually, I hope someone thinks to invite him so he can live a life of torment knowing that he’d been so nasty to poor, dead me.). I also love Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, which I wanted my first dance at my wedding to be, but seen as I’m not going to be getting married, I hope someone thinks to play that too. In fact, I hope my funeral was just a bunch of people sitting round my body strapped to a rocket and they played a few songs and then shot me off to space as my parents threw daisies at my disappearing corpse. I also hope my dad stands up and tells jokes about me, too. I don’t really want anyone to cry, but I want them to regale one another in the stupid and clumsy things I did on a daily basis and remind each other than even though I’m dead, I can still be the happy go lucky fool that entertained them all.

I could go into detail about how much I love my family and how I want them to carry on without me, maybe buy a dog and name her Doris and spend their time strolling along the beach like I never did, living life to the full, like I also never did, but I think my family will know what to do. Same goes for my friends. When they all get together on the anniversary of my death I want them all to pour one out for ones homie and then get mortal on cheap red wine and have a sexy orgy, like we all never did when we never got together as a group. I think everyone who is worth mentioning will probably remember me fondly and know that I love them with all of my heart. I think this post-homous letter is purely for the people who didn’t know me and how amazing it would have been to actually be a part of my inner circle of beloved buffoons.

To all the handsome males I’ve fancied and been rejected by over the years, I hope you’re sad. I hope you write songs about how you regret friendzoning me and I hope you compare all your future lovers to the lover you never took and wonder out loud when drunk, I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d only just taken a chance on that lanky, dopey idiot I called a friend. And I will tell you: It would have been awesome. Who else is a self-proclaimed awesome ball who loves gaming, eating pizza, drinking beer and giving head and calls that an ideal Friday night? THIS MOI! And you missed out. For shame, dickheads! Instead you wasted your time on far more beautiful, skinny creatures when this chubby ball of awesome was just waiting around to die! Well, cry me a river, sonny jim, because now you’ll never know. No, I’m totally kidding, guys, I have no sour feelings towards you, the majority of you never knew I was besotted with you and those who did and rejected me anyway, well, you had good right – I’ve always been a bit of a dickhead and you’re right to assume I’d be a shit girlfriend, because I’m a pretty shit friend, really. Except I’m not a shit girlfriend, I’m actually the bomb (as my ideal Friday night suggests).

All joking aside, though, I have led the best life; I learned Dutch before the age of ten and played Korfbal for my local team and, was desired by PSV Eindhoven Korfbal team too. I went to university and studied English Literature and Film and although I didn’t get to learn to drive or travel the world or have children, I experienced everything exactly the way I wanted to experience it. I fell in love with someone who, for a very long time, made me the happiest girl in the world and was everything a girl could wish for from a first love: He was my best friend and everything else in between. I had a family and friend network who wrapped me up and supported me when I needed a helping hand and the same people were there for me when I wanted to drink too much and make poor, male-related decisions. Life is so precious and people often take it for granted wishing that they were thinner, or had bigger tits or that they haven’t done something that is expected of them, or that their life has come to a stand still for a while through no fault of their own and we let ourselves get so down about it too, but we shouldn’t. Life is a gift and we should all learn to just savour every moment, before it’s taken away from us suddenly. Like what happened to me. Because I’m dead now.

Thanks for everything, people in my life. I love you all more now than I did yesterday.

Doris xxx

Links to the music in my letter:

The Weepies – The World Spins Madly On – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWGfzu6yE2Q

Jeff Buckley – Lover You Should’ve Come Over – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXe1jpHPnUs

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl7Hd2r0LOs

 

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Thanks for the Cock-Blocking, Parents!

When you’re a kid – especially when you’re a teenager – you always say to yourself that you’re never going to raise your children the way your parents raised you. Like when you begged to dye your hair bright pink and they said no because you’d look ridiculous: fuck you guys, my kids are going to have the BEST and most OUTLANDISH hair ever! Or when you were banned from going to parties because despite how many times you said you weren’t going to drink because it was entirely irresponsible and my liver hasn’t even properly formed yet, I don’t want to get cancer or anything, you guys! Look at how responsible I am! That kind of parental guidance that has you thinking about certain injustices way into your mid-twenties and makes you feel that their shitty (excellent) parenting led you to not experience things that you wanted to experience and, in the most idealistic and nonsensical way possible you blame your parents and their shitty (excellent) rules and boundaries that essentially, cock-blocked you throughout your teenaged years. Way to go, parents, thanks for loving me… Not!

All throughout Comprehensive School, I was madly in love with a boy (who shall remain nameless because I can’t think of a fake name that embodies just how cool this guy was. Like, even his name was cool) whose bright blue eyes and jet black hair made my heart flutter from the very first day I laid eyes on him, at the tender age of twelve. I wasn’t all that cool; I was too tall and my limbs seemed to grow at an alarming daily rate and I wore glasses that made twelve year old me look like I was constantly in wait to stand in for Daniel Radcliffe should he not be able to play Harry Potter any more, but I was pretty smitten with this guy from day one. And this love would continue until I was sixteen and then never saw him again because he wasn’t a super nerd like me. It was difficult to fancy someone who, to me, seemed entirely unobtainable. Like, even girls in my class would whisper when he walked by our tables and say things like “we’d never stand a chance with him, he’s so amazing!” and it made me feel a little bit like he was a celebrity and my adoration simply grew, despite not having a chance. As I said, I didn’t have much going for me in the looks department. And his on/off girlfriend (which always seemed a bit too adult for me at the age of twelve… Like what kind of problems could they really have?) was one of the cool girls.

The cool girls of my age actually looked like fully formed women; their tiny breasts were far larger than my non-existent ones and their school bags were like the kind of bags I take on nights out with me now. Their hair, usually blonde, were all worn in super thick high pony tails and their gym kits were always the en-vogue brand of the season. I was not that cool. I had no-brand PE trainers because my parents were smart and didn’t see the need to spend £50 on trainers that I was going to wear solely in the PE hall (I’m sure my dad’s argument would have been “you have expensive trainers for kicking about in, you don’t need expensive trainers for an hour of PE a week!” and my PE uniform was of the same vain. My parents’ financial responsibility and general logic was a burden to my desperate desire not to be the too tall Harry Potter look-a-like I was. My only saving grace was (and always has been) my sense of humour and my pretty excellent taste in music and I had that whole ‘lived in Holland for a while’ exoticness going on, which actually did grab my school-crush’s attention. Take that you big breasted bitches with your bouncy pony tails!

I should probably point out that he didn’t really know where Holland was and my music taste wasn’t really his kind of thing; he was way into that so called music that sounds like someone is performing an exorcism over a really loud and incessant beat and I was pretty heavily into the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Clash and I think at that point I was still pretty besotted with Good Charlotte and CKY, which prompted a lot of people to call me a GOTH, but I was always generally well liked because of my sense of humour and ability to use big words and throughout school, my crush and I bounced our sense of humour off one another and that was pretty much it as far as our romance went. In my head, he and I were going to get married, but in reality my parents’ shitty (and yes I’m still calling it shitty because THEY RUINED MY LOVE LIFE) parental skills stopped what could have been the Ben Affleck and J.LO relationship of 2001-2005. Thanks again, guys.

When we were thirteen, my best friend’s family were going away for the weekend and leaving her at home, under the illusion that she would have her best girl friends round for a weekend of film watching and general girly banter. Which of course, was the plan, however, she did also invite a bunch of boys round and managed to get her hands on a lot of booze (how did we ever manage this? I never had any money, but I was always drunk… Then again, I still am, I think it’s just a Geordie knack). I had never been to a party before, other than the parties we had when we were kids and I was guessing there would be no pin the tail on the donkey or, indeed, parental chaperones of any kind. However, with this lack of knowledge surrounding teenaged parties, I didn’t know what to expect and of course, like a total ding-bat, I told my parents the truth: That my friend was having a party because her parents were away for the weekend, there will be boys there, and can I go too? I was genuinely surprised by their resounding NO followed by a you must think I was born yesterday style lecture. What the fuck was their problem? It was a party not a satanic ritual followed by mass suicide. Anyway, I couldn’t go and I was pretty put out about the whole affair. I remember sitting on my bed all weekend receiving text messages from my best friend asking me where I was (I lied and said I was doing something way better, like sky diving or hanging out with my friend Mick Jagger) and weeping dramatically at the unknown, until they realised that I wasn’t coming and got on with their, what turned out to be, AMAZING party – a party people would actually talk about for years to comeSo, when Monday rolled around and I got to school, pushed slightly out of my friend group because I didn’t have the inside knowledge on the past weekend, I felt like a giant heap of steaming shit. That was, until my best friend grabbed me by the arm and said, “when he got to mine, he kept asking where you were, like literally all night!” and I swooned like I was in an old fashioned film and Etta James’ At Last began playing in my head (not really, but now when I think about how excited I was by this, I can totally imagine modern day me singing that song out loud and swinging round a lamppost). Monday was also the day we had music in the afternoons and music lessons were my absolute favourite because our music teacher could actually never be arsed to teach us and just sat us in front of keyboards, told us to learn a song with our headphones on and locked himself in his office, which meant that the majority of us didn’t play at all, but caused general mischief until our teacher came out and screamed at us. In hindsight, I probably should have paid more attention because I always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but at the same time, I also really wanted a first kiss and at the age of thirteen, that seemed way more important than musical talent (until at the age of fourteen, I discovered the boys who played guitar in the year above then I realised its importance). Anyway, I still remember this lesson as being the best lesson in the history of all lessons because he sat behind me and kept playing with my hair. I would turn round and we’d have a conversation, usually ending in fits of laughter and we’d just stare in each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity until one of us looked away, blushing. We seriously had the hots for each other.

The flirtation lasted, horrifically platonically, until we left school. Alas, it was never meant to be, because my parents obviously heard my ramblings of a teenager in love to everyone and anyone who would listen, and decided to put a stop to any of this boy behaviour before it grew wings and also out of control. But the reason I’m posting this blog post is because I saw him recently and he still made me blush and grin like an absolute maniac and I did exactly the same to him and it made me really angry that instead of having the most perfect first kiss with my most perfect and hilarious school crush, I kissed some ghoul human who shoved his tongue as far down my throat as he could get it, which, if you were watching, looked like he was the mama bird and I was the baby bird, which makes me feel a little sick. It also makes me wonder what if? And if I had gone to that party and let him touch my non-boobs and kiss me, would I have taken different routes in life? Instead of discovering those boys who played guitar and wanting to be the next Marianne Faithfull and kissing a boy who couldn’t even play guitar all that well (and he played bass guitar, which was always my least favourite) because he was there and I was fourteen and hadn’t had a proper kiss yet  and had drank a lot of Iron Bru flavoured WKD, if I’d gone to that party and kissed my school crush a year before and then began socialising with him outside of school with all of his strangely adult friends (they also took drugs, which was never my thing, but you know, Amy Winehouse was pretty well behaved before she met her crush) that my life would have turned out any differently. I can guarantee you I probably would be more tanned and a bit less chubby because when I saw him, I literally stopped breathing for about twenty seconds because dayum! He was a beauty and his arms were like the size of both my legs wrapped together in a neat little muscle bound parcel. I think I might have re-developed my school crush.

Any way, this is one of the many stories in my life where my parents have inadvertently ruined my life in the short term. I’m sure there are plenty more, but I was thinking about this today and got really angry about it, so there you have it. But there is a lesson to be learned, either for parents who have small children, or people who intend to procreate and not let your children make the same mistakes you did: Let them. My parents tried to shield me from the bad things in life as much as they could and whilst their parental guidance has always been for the benefit of me, it has also worked to my detriment too and saw me in situations that I should never have been forced into. Like, oh, let our daughter hang out with the game nerds and band geeks, they are pretty non-threatening because of all the Metallica songs they obsess over then when you’re locked in a room with the most predatory human ever, crying because he won’t let you out until you touch his cock and let him force himself onto you, then you think BAM my parenting could have been a bit better there and my fifteen year old daughter wouldn’t be terrified of being in rooms alone with men she doesn’t really know very well  ten years later. Not that that’s anyone’s fault other than the fuckwit who did that to me, but still, my school-crush would never have forced me to touch his man parts. So really, you should have let me go to that party when I was thirteen, mam and dad! GOD!

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