Sunday, 22 May 2016
..A surprisingly accurate summary of my love life.
For the past few months, I've had my lips on serious lockdown, and I'm not sure why. It could be because I've ran out of people to kiss, or it could be because I'm actually related to a lot of people in the Greater Manchester area, and I have no idea what they look like. Or, it could be because I've recently discovered that Brandon Flowers lied to us all - it's rarely 'only a kiss'.
Sure, it was different when we were younger. My friends and I would don our awful bodycon skirts and our stupidly high heels, and we’d head out on out-out. You wouldn’t be allowed drinks on the dance floor, so we’d throw back our 'three for one' drinks like we'd been buried in some sort of desert hole for weeks (when Lady GaGa's Poker Face was playing, you had to dance – those were the rules). But, seeing off that much vodka, in such a short space of time, meant that almost everyone was on the prowl. The dancefloor would be full of hormonal teenagers who were desperate to dry-rub their disco genitals against someone else. If you were single, there's a high chance you spent your night spreading your ethanol-drenched saliva about. If you weren't single, there's still a high chance you spent your night spreading your ethanol-drenched saliva about. We'd kiss each other, we'd kiss strangers, and then we'd kiss each other again. Yeah, it was incestuous, but we didn't really care back then (by ‘we’, I definitely mean ‘I’).
At Uni, it was worse...a lot worse. No one lived with their parents, everyone was legally allowed to drink, and the drinks were cheap. It's why most relationships don't survive Freshers’ Week; you're convinced that having the freedom to kiss multiple strangers every night is better than staying loyal to someone who actually knows your full name. And at that time in your life, it probably is the better option; you're young, and you're not responsible for anyone but yourself…it’s the perfect time to make lots of mistakes (in my opinion, it's much better to go through your ‘being a dick’ stage when it doesn’t affect anyone else).
Since entering the ‘real world’, I’ve realised that I'd often kiss people for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes it’d be because I needed an ego-boost, but most of the time it’d be because I was bored. Occasionally, I’d kiss a total stranger just to persuade the person that I’m actually into that I don’t care about them. I know…ten points to dickindor. But, you know how girls are always told that boys are mean to the girls they fancy? I think I took it as backwards dating advice…I became that mean boy.
Anyway, maybe becoming more self-aware is what ruined casual kissing for me. Or maybe it’s because everyone is older, and everyone cares more now. You might not realise it (I definitely didn’t), but there’s a big chance you’re fucking someone over, somehow.
It might be that the person you're ‘only’ kissing is actually really into you, so you’re giving them false hope that you're into them too, and no one needs to be on that emotional rollercoaster; it always ends with crushing rejection. Sure, they might still have all of their limbs when they get off that ride, but they’ll have to spend a good few weeks scraping their splattered ego off of those rusty, metal railings (and no one enjoys being on either end of that lawsuit).
Even if you're ‘only’ kissing a total stranger, you're probably fucking over your friend who you’ve ditched. Despite the thumbs up they’re giving you, it's rare that someone is actually comfortable dancing on their own, whilst they watch their friend eat someone else's face.
Plus, if I’m brutally honest, nuns probably get more tongue action than me these days because I’m so over drunken kisses with people I don’t know, or care about. It might be a quick-fix for my ego, but all I’m left with is a lipstick-smeared face, an aroma of regret, and another friend request to ignore.
Nowadays, I only go out because I love dancing aggressively with my friends. If I get bored at any point, I’ll just go home and kitchen dance. I’ve got absolutely no interest in listening to bullshit chat-up lines, and I’ve definitely not got any interest in anything that stops me from aggressively dancing. And it’s genuinely really hard to snog someone whilst you’re trying to throw shapes to Stevie Nicks…trust me.
Although this does mean that I’m kind of stuck in some sort of Mexican standoff with myself, because I’ve got no interest in dating either. Honestly, the thought of having to re-download tinder makes me want to sew up my vagina. Even when I have dated, all it’s done is make me think more about the guys I’m actually into. In fact, the only date I truly enjoyed wasn’t even a date...it was just food with a friend. But, because I’m still an embarrassing teenage girl, I’m going to call it a date (even if I’m 99.7% sure he only agreed to it so I’d stop bothering him on snapchat).
Plus, I still can’t handle rejection. I’d much rather get stuck in a hot festival toilet, on a Sunday evening, than make a move with a guy I actually like. Sometimes, thanks to alcohol, I’ve been stupid enough to admit that I accidentally caught feelings. But, thanks to alcohol, I’ve been as subtle as an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5. Needless to say, my drunken confessions didn’t shake their world.
So, due to my recent prudishness and my British awkwardness, it’s looking quite likely that I will become one of those cat ladies your parents worn you about. It’s a future that’s particularly worrying for me; cats terrify me (it’s one of the main reasons I’ll never be internet cool).
Secretly, I’m kind of hoping that it’s all just a weird phase, and that I’ll get myself a good snog soon. I’m already beginning to worry that saying ‘I only kiss my nephew’ is making me even more of a social outcast.
But, if it’s not a phase, there’s always the back of my palm, and my Josh Homme phone background.
Saturday, 30 April 2016
For those of you that didn't know me during the Chubgate scandal of 2009, I gained a fair bit of weight, and I gained it real quick. It all began when I was sixteen, and I hustled someone into thinking I was an appropriate choice for a full-time office job. Most of my time was spent staring at a computer screen, answering calls that I didn't really care about, and pretending that I was actually happy with my rash decision to leave college. It was hardly a strenuous job. The only time I needed to do any sort of physical exercise was when I walked to the shop to buy another boredom-relieving snack, or when I was forced to waddle quickly for the bus.
My weight gain escalated massively when I started to hustle bartenders with an ID that clearly wasn't mine. Honestly, I'll never know how they fell for it; the girl in the photo had lovely, dark olive skin, and I still have to buy foundation that's titled 'been dead a few days'.
What's actually really concerning is that I genuinely didn't realise how much weight I'd gained. In hindsight, it probably should've been a sign when I was trying on a dress I'd just bought, and I had to shout at my little sister to stand on my back, just so she'd be at a better angle to forcibly do up the zip (she still couldn’t do up the zip, so I was just left lying on the floor like a sweaty, and partially dressed, beached whale). It also should've been a sign when my parents felt the need to use exercise as a 'consequence for my actions'. It most definitely should've been a sign when I was directly told by people that they were concerned about how much weight I'd gained. But, in a childish act of defiance, I actually started to eat, and drink, more. Needless to say, I didn't have the last laugh, especially when fitting into clothes from high street stores became a real struggle.
Looking back, I think that was the tipping point for me. When you’re on your own in a changing room, you do not want to get stuck in a dress; it's more intense than watching the first series of the Walking Dead. Sure, I could've blamed high street stores for not catering for larger sizes (which they don’t), but I'm not naturally a ‘larger woman’. I was only larger because I drank too much, and ate too many half-cooked pizzas after drinking too much.
Finally, I realised that if I carried on the way I was, I’d be forced to wear a bedsheet to work. Not in a cute toga way, but in an ‘I can only be carried by a crane’ kind of way. I knew something had to change. But, ever since I discovered the 'rosebud' code on the Sims, I've been a sucker for a good cheat. So, instead of doing the normal thing of dieting and exercising, I took 'diet' pills for a week, which completely numbed my hunger. Yes, I did lose weight, but I also had to leave work early on the Friday because I was sicker than the girl from the Exorcist.
Worryingly, that didn't bother me; I was too pleased with my rapid weight loss to even consider the damage I was doing to my health. Losing weight became an obsession, and I started to weigh myself almost every day. Watching the numbers decrease on the scales was more satisfying than when I discovered that some guys didn’t actually use the classic ‘machine gun’ tactic.
The more weight I lost, the more obsessed I became. I started refusing to eat carbs, and my diet pretty much consisted solely of omelettes. At one point, I even stopped eating mayonnaise (for me, that's like refusing to shower regularly).
What's even more embarrassing is that sometimes I actually resented both of my younger sisters; they ate pretty much what they wanted, and they both looked like Swedish models. Whereas I thought I looked like Bruce Bogtrotter...on one of his good days.
It’s pretty scary, but I was probably on the verge of developing an eating disorder. I’m ridiculously lucky that my love for homemade banoffee pie outweighs my need to be skinny.
I know there are healthy ways to lose weight, because I’ve done it. Two years ago, I spent the summer training aggressively; I was convinced you needed to be super fit to run a Tough Mudder (oh yeah, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’ve completed two Tough Mudders…I’m kind of a big deal). Even though it did feel great to be toned, and I absolutely loved that a strong lunge was my preferred mode of transport, I still wasn’t happy. Training took over my life. My evenings consisted of lots of tears and swearing, minimal laughter, and definitely no frolicking (my absolute favourite thing).
Towards the end of the summer, I stopped training, because I remembered how great it is to see your friends regularly, and I’ve not regretted it. Since then, I’ve realised that it’s okay not to have the ‘perfect figure’. I enjoy pizza and rum way too much to be one of Victoria’s Angels anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s important to eat well (most of the time), and to exercise (sometimes). Apart from the fact it massively helps your ego, it’s good to look after your body a little bit. But, I do strongly believe that it’s important not to judge yourself by what you look like. Honestly, it makes you so much happier. Of course, it’s not always easy; we’d all like to look like Daniel Craig when we come out of the sea, but it really is okay to be more of a budget Bond.
So go ahead: skip that boxercise class, frolic with your friends, and rock those short shorts.
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Sunday, 17 January 2016
A few years ago, I lived with my boyfriend and worked a standard 9-5 job. My life was comfortable (as long as you ignore the fact that my boyfriend and I were genuinely living in a shed, in the back of his parent's garden). Back in my white-collar days, I had a routine, a fixed income, a pretentious car, and I knew who I'd be sharing a bed with every night. Tragically, I even knew when I should wear underwear that I hadn't owned since I was a teenager (apparently Topshop's 'Girl Boxers' weren't actually a turn on in the MySpace days of 2007, and the same knickers definitely weren't a turn on for my boyfriend five years later). Surprisingly to some, I was also even pretty good at my job.
According to the expectations of modern society, I had everything (apart from a bathroom). In reality, I had merely settled for an easy life, and I certainly wasn't enjoying it, so something had to change. Even Karl Pilkington, who is literally known for moaning, recently said that if you're not happy then you need to something about it.
It's not that I don't believe in donning a suit, and settling down...it's just not what I want right now. One day, I might find myself working regular hours in an office again. I might even go home to a house that I actually own, and I might even end up having legitimate children. But for now, that day seems more unrealistic than Bill Nighy asking me if he can come round for an adult sleepover. Occasionally (very occasionally), I do secretly envy one of my oldest friends, who has happily settled, but that's mainly because her little girl is obscenely gorgeous. If I do ever have children, it's likely that they'll be mistaken as gremlins that managed to escape from the film set back in 1984.
Eventually, after a stream of ridiculous life choices and monumental cock-ups, I realised that I'd only be happy if I braved going against the grain. Finally, I stopped caring about other people's expectations, and I started to pursue a more creative career (which obviously means that I now work in a bar). Despite the fact that having an entire weekend off is now more rare for me than successfully shaving off all of my leg hair (I have a short attention span, and I'm unfortunately hairy), I'm significantly happier than I was a few years ago.
Of course, when you've left home to try and pursue something different, there is always a risk that you'll fail spectacularly. Failure might mean that you'll end up having to move back home with nothing but great memories, and the challenging experience of trying to con a bunch of new people into being your friend. Saying that it'd suck to go back home, with your tail between your legs, would be an understatement, but you'd be okay eventually. You'd be okay eventually because you'll know that you tried, and there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to try again. Remember, even Bowie once released some absolutely awful material (if you disagree then you should definitely google 'The Laughing Gnome'), but he did eventually go on to blow everyone's mind.
Although I think I'm mainly saying that failing will be okay incase there does comes a day when I'm forced to inform my dad that I have to move back home, and that it'd be real stellar of him if he'd just tell any debt collectors that I've actually emigrated to an obscure mining town in Peru. Even though I don't care about money, you do apparently need to be able to pay your rent regularly. When your main source of income is your wage from a bar, you definitely won't make it rain all the way to the bank. In fact, it probably won't even lightly drizzle on payday.
Thursday, 31 December 2015
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Of course, apart from spending time with loved ones, we all know that the festive season is also wonderful because you're actively encouraged to gorge in an extortionate amount of food and alcohol. Seriously, I have become so round during the festive period that I could have rolled back up to Manchester. In fact, that probably would've been better than the sweaty, sardine train that I had to travel on. Nothing says 'the holidays are over' quite like a stranger using your head as a handrail. I'm aware that I'm not a huge asset to the community, but I still believe that I have more to offer than that.
As a child, I found Christmas Eve terribly exciting. To me, it seemed enchanting that you could lure Santa to your house with the promise of a glass of Chery and a mince pie (which is actually how I still try and lure men to my house, rather unsuccessfully). When I grew up, I discovered that Christmas Eve actually gets better. It becomes better because all of your friends will happily don their favourite Christmas jumpers, and drink too many mulled wines with you. This year was no different. Although, instead of mulled wines, there were lots of Jägerbombs and Beer Pong (apparently we were all absolute fresher 'lads' again).
Personally, I think I enjoy Christmas Eve so much because everyone is home. Even my friend, who moved to Australia nearly two years ago, came home for Christmas. Although her newly acquired Australian accent made it quite challenging to take anything she said seriously (sorry about that). Yet there are downsides to Christmas Eve. When you haven't seen friends for a while, they strangely seem to become that uncle, who you’re never actually related to, and they begin to ask questions about your rather stale love life. This line of enquiry might temporarily make me feel quite ill, because I hate emotions, but it wouldn't normally bother me. But there's something about the festive season that makes you more aware that there’s no one in your life who will dance along to A-Ha with you, and then join you in an adult sleepover.
Given that I was fuelled by rum, baileys, and foolish festive spirit, I decided to take action. This was a catastrophic error, and I'm not exaggerating. Christmas may be about spending time with your loved ones, but it's not about sending them a WhatsApp message at 3am on Christmas Eve. It's not as charming as you think it’ll be (mainly because you’re not Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually). Brutally, you're just drunk, and making things quite awkward for yourself. Disappointingly (even though it’s probably for the best), your declaration will not be taken seriously, and you will just be called a silly sod. It turns out that no one will chase you barefoot down a cobbled street just to kiss you. Who knew that life isn't actually like it is in the movies?
As a child, waking up on Christmas Day is magical. When I grew up, I discovered that waking up on Christmas Day is actually rather painful. Normally, it's just a hangover that I have to suffer through. This year, I had to suffer through the shame of admitting that I rather liked someone. As if that wasn't enough, I also had to suffer the judgemental looks from my father when he came downstairs at 7:30am. Apparently, finding your daughter, in her Christmas onesie, fully conked out on the sofa, whilst Alan Partridge's Alpha Papa is blaring out from the telly, does not fill a father with festive pride. His blatant disappointment only increased when he discovered that I'd drunkenly eaten all of the pork pies and sausage rolls, again.
Christmas: I love you. But, unlike Wizzard, I'm ludicrously happy that you only happen once a year.
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
When I've indulged in far too much food, I can't help but feel personally victimised by Steel Panther's 'Fat Girl'. When I lost my virginity, I thankfully stopped relating to Britney Spears' 'I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.' But in all honesty, I never thought I'd help someone relate to Little Man Tate's 'It seems a little funny, cause her sister kissed the same' lyric. It most certainly wasn't what I was expecting when I went home the other weekend.
Having said that, I hadn’t gone home with the expectation that I'd fall in literal crap. I’m 98% sure that also happened. It turns out that Vans are not the best trainers to wear when you're adventuring in a forest. Their lack of grip will not help you when you're clambering over wet moss, and you will fall into a large pile of extremely questionable matter. No matter how many times your parent tries to convince you that your elbows and knees are simply covered in mouldy tree bark, you can't ignore the distinct smell of feces. I guess shit really does happen.
So, back to the real issue; my sister and I somehow ended our Saturday night by kissing the same guy. My sister and I will often share things, but sharing a guy is definitely a few steps too far. I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but I can't deny that it did happen. It's not like the guy can claim that it was a case of drunken misidentification, given that my sister and I look completely different. My sister looks like she could be one of those Swedish girls that guys talk about, whilst it's not uncommon for people to mistake me for Michael McIntyre.
On reflection, introducing a game of Minesweep might have been the catalyst. I understand that some people think that consuming beverages, that have been foolishly left unattended, is quite dangerous, pretty stupid, and actually just grim. I personally prefer to believe that initiating a game of Minesweep actually makes me much more like a modern day Robin Hood. Instead of strangers drinking their own potentially drugged drink, I'll save them from that risk by consuming it for them. I guess you could say that I'm just your average Saturday night hero (you probably won't say that, but you could).
Truthfully, I probably shouldn't have kissed the guy in the first place because I've already more than made out with his brother (it's a small town...kind of)
. Thankfully, it meant that I wasn't bothered when my sister came over and told me that she'd also kissed this guy . In all fairness to her, she had no idea that I'd already locked lips with him a mere ten minutes ago. Embracing the Christmas spirit of giving, I was more than happy for her to carry on exchanging her DNA with him. Although, for some bizarre reason, they'd only kiss when I turned around. It was like a much more explicit version of peekaboo.
The three of us ended up getting a taxi home together, because we live near each other (not because we were about to reenact a disturbing scene from an American teen movie). When the taxi arrived at mine, I'd just assumed that my sister had followed me out of the car. I definitely did not expect to see the taxi drive off down the road, with my sister still in it. After accepting that she wasn't coming home, I saw the taxi sharply brake. My sister suddenly swung open the taxi door and ran back towards the house, with her Snape-like coat billowing behind her. It turns out that she'd gone to kiss the guy goodbye, and the taxi driver thought he'd help the guy out by taking my sister back to his. If taxi drivers had slogans, his would definitely involve the word 'ride'.
Despite the fact that my sister and I shared too much, and that I became too close with nature, I had an excellent time back home.In a bizzare way, it’s comforting to know that not much changes. You’ll still end up in the same shit bar on a Saturday night. The bouncers will still call you trouble as you walk by them. You’ll bump into an old friend, and it’ll be like you’ve never been away; you’ll both still aggressively dad dance, and pull unattractive faces at each other. Your parents will still greet you in the morning with a smug ‘good afternoon', just to highlight how lazy you are. Your Nan and Grandad will still come over for Sunday dinner, and you’ll still laugh inappropriately at their unintentional innuendos (it happens a lot when your Grandad plays bowls; the word ‘ball’ is said far too often).
It turns out that leaving home really does make going back home pretty great. Hopefully, next time I won't give people another opportunity to use my surname in a punderful way, and my sister and I will go back to only sharing clothes.