Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thank you for your time today, and we won't be in contact soon.

With graduation coming up, I thought it would be a good idea to prepare for all those graduate jobs that I'm not applying for. I already have a pretty good curriculum vitae, so I thought it would be more useful to prepare for typical questions that are asked during an interview. I believe that the purpose of an interview is for a company to gain a good insight into who they are potentially hiring. Therefore, I've come up with a set of answers that provide an accurate representation of myself.

Why have you applied for this job?
I've applied for this job because I no longer receive regular income from the government, I've maxed out my student overdrafts, and I was informed that this job pays pretty well. Plus, my friend works here so I've got someone to go to lunch with.

What are your greatest strengths?
I believe that my greatest strengths are aggressive dad dancing, eating copious amounts of cake, and perfectly quoting Kevin G's 'Mathlete Rap' from Mean Girls.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Ideally, I'd like to be exploring the world with someone who wouldn't mind admitting to strangers that they knew me. More realistically, I'd like to have better hair, and to be the owner of a coat that isn't broken.

What motivates you?
Free food, free rum, and happiness (but my happiness mainly comes from free food and rum).

What makes you a good team member?
I can communicate effectively, which I regularly demonstrate by forcing my friends to play Taboo with me.
I'm prepared to sacrifice being known as the 'star player' in order to benefit the whole team, which I recently demonstrated by offering to be on the bottom layer of a human pyramid.
Also, I'm prepared to step out of my comfort zone for the benefit of my entire team. Despite finding everything about tuna absolutely disgusting, I ate three spoons of it just so my team would win a drinking game. Honestly, it was traumastising. In fact, the memory of having to fish those dry, tuna flakes out from behind my wisdom teeth, with my own tongue, is so traumasting that I often still suffer sweat-inducing flashbacks.

Can you give us an example of when you showed resilience?
I was watching Jamie T last summer, and I was having simply the best time. Unfortuntately, I became the victim of someone's piss in a cup. What's more unfortunate is that the piss hit my face just as I'd started to sing along rather enthusiastically. Yes, the piss landed directly into my mouth. Before I knew what had actually happened, I was swallowing. I know for definite that it was piss, and not drink, because it was warm. It was so very warm.
Instead of letting someone's potentially disease riddled piss ruin Jamie T for me, I simply decided to accept what had happened, and carry on. That, I personally believe, is true resilience.

Can you give us an example of when you've had to use your initiative?
Back when I was in school, some friends were planning to perform The Darkness' 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love', but their lead singer had pulled out. For a fiver, I said I would do it (it's actually depressing how much I'd still do for a fiver). It hadn't occurred to me that a lead singer normally has to know all of the words to their own song, so I obviously didn't make an effort to learn the lyrics. This became a bit of an issue when I was faced with a sea of disappointed teachers and parents. Apparently, humming along to the music was not fooling any of them. Using my initiative, I decided to distract the crowd by aggressively two-stepping and wind-milling (it was back in the days of MySpace). If I remember correctly, I closed the show by swinging the blonde wig that I'd been wearing around my head as if, instead of publicly humiliating myself, I'd just headlined Glastonbury.
Using my initiative effectively meant that the crowd had become so distracted that they'd totally forgot that I didn't know any of the lyrics, apart from 'touching meeee, touching youuuuuu.' Although, I sincerely doubt that the music teacher ever forgot how I had 'spoilt' her concert that had originally aimed to celebrate talented and gifted musicians.

Finally, what can you do for us that other candidates can't?
I think it's unlikely that another candidate would be able to fit thirty two pickled onions into their mouth, or completely bend their thumb backwards. Fortunately for you, I can do both of these things.

Granted, these answers might not have employers fighting over me, but at least I'd never be faced with the fear that I'd over sold myself in the interview. Although, that is mainly because no one would ever hire me, unless they needed to fill some bizarre, and unheard of, 'pity the unemployable' quota.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How many times do you have to kiss someone before they can call you the c bomb?

Apparently, it's just the once.

I received my first piece of hate mail last week. Honestly, and surprisingly, it was the most offensive thing a stranger has ever said to me. Fortunately I grew up in an environment where causing offensive wasn't a taboo, even if it did often cause tears (of laughter). This means that I have pretty thick skin. Some might say it's too thick, especially my sister who is often forced into giving me a pedicure.

As you can see, it was pretty aggressive. Concerningly, it was actually the fact that he used 'n' instead of 'and' that I found most offensive. Don't worry, I'm aware that I'd probably have more friends if I stopped being such a grammar Nazi, but I firmly believe in quality over quantity.

Naturally, my first reaction was to seek reassurance from my best friend. Thankfully, she did assure me that, even though I might act terribly, I'm not actually terrible. With that, I decided to accept this 'gentleman's' feedback and move on. Although, I am refusing to acknowledge the fact that he called me fat (which was a low blow). I was actually skinny once (honestly), but it only lasted for a month because I quickly realised that in order to stay skinny you have to stop eating mince pies for breakfast, and that's not the kind of world I want to live in. 

I could easily write a bitter and defensive post, but I don't think I could ever write anything quite as eloquent as Frankee's 'Fuck You Right Back'. Also, I sincerely doubt that a defensive blog post would ever gain enough attention to pay off my student debt, and I genuinely believe that being bitter would be less attractive than when I managed to get my teeth stuck in an entire slab of steak. Having to explain that it was actually an animal's blood on my leg, not period, was not how I had originally imagined that barbecue going. Plus, even though I do often ramble, I doubt that I could stretch 'we only kissed' into even one short paragraph. Although, when you really think about it, that is basically how the Killers' 'Mr. Brightside' begins and it worked out pretty well for them.

Despite not wanting to rant, I will say that I don't think this guy was very kind. Whilst I do apologise for accidentally (and definitely not maliciously) leading him on, I do believe that there really wasn't a need for his criticism to be so brutal. I don't regret a lot in my life. I don't even regret taking a picture of my boobs in an empty Big Mac box and sending it to all of my friends (seriously, no one was safe from seeing it). However, I do regret every single time that I've been unkind. In my opinion, being kind is more important than most things in life (cake obviously still comes first).

Being kind, I believe, does not necessarily mean that you have to be nice. In fact, I find that I struggle to be kind when I'd rather be nice to someone than be honest with them. Through being dishonest with people (and sometimes with myself), an old friendship turned very sour and I royally fucked up (with quite a few people) by refusing to admit that I'd fallen for one of my closet friends. Yes, I'm aware that my love life is like a rom-com that would've gone straight to the 'bargain DVD' bin. I even doubt that it would ever be shown on channel 5.

This summer, I met a guy who I genuinely disliked for a while (mainly because he was a grumpy bastard who wouldn't let me gatecrash his camping trips), but I did learn a lot from him; he was honest. This guy never pretended to be my friend, but he didn't hesitate to cover my work for me so I could lie on the bathroom floor and cry whilst suffering a horrendous hangover (don't drink free whiskey shots and expect to be fresh for a 6am start). That morning, he showed true kindness and compassion. Eventually, by being honest with him too (which may have been alcohol induced), I'd like to think we're friends now, and I'm glad.

Whilst this guy's hate mail was extremely horrid (and I'm frankly quite pleased that he doesn't know where I live), I do believe he may have done me a favour. Although I'll never condone speaking to someone in such a disgusting manner, ignorance isn't bliss (unless you're trying to convince me that Andrew Garfield and I will never be a thing). Now I know for definite that I do need to ensure that I aim to be kind, rather than nice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to laugh directly in your face if you fall over, and I'll probably always be the type of person that finds it hilarious to purposefully drive too fast through puddles. I might aim to be kind, but they'll always be a part of me that's bastard enough to commit a 'splash by'.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

A medical affirmation, a human pyramid, and a lot of balls.

A while ago, my friend and I bought tickets to see the Coasts’ gig in Manchester. My friend is a medical student and she realised that her medical affirmation was unfortunately on the same night. Apparently, a medical affirmation is quite important because it provides the opportunity for medical students to confirm that they won’t abuse their position by using a cadaver as an effective Halloween prop. Although I personally believe that you should never say never, which is probably why it’s an extremely good thing that I’ll never be a doctor. Despite it being quite a significant event, my friend and I both thought it would be a great idea if I tagged along so we could easily head to the gig together afterwards.

Ridiculously, gate-crashing a medical affirmation was a lot easier than the time that I gate-crashed a 10km charity run. It only became slightly awkward when I found myself to be confronted with a rather inquisitive lecturer. Thankfully, the intention of his questions seemed purely to learn more about a medical student’s social experience and luckily, I seem to be quite talented at blagging (which is definitely a synonym for bullshitting). Being able to confidently blag is certainly how I’ve managed to succeed in several interviews (my employers always end up severely disappointed when they realise I have no managerial experience and that I can’t speak fluent mandarin). It’s also how I managed to convince my friends at school that my brother was indeed the Asian boy sat on the toilet in the ‘you can do it too, with kandoo’ advert. I think my friends are still waiting for his autograph.
After my friend and I consumed far too much of the free wine, it was time to take the medical affirmation. For some reason, I seemed to take the affirmation more seriously than any of the genuine medical students. That might’ve been because I didn’t want to arouse suspicions, or it could’ve been because it was the closest I’ll ever be to becoming Christina Yang (the total boss bitch heart surgeon from Grey’s Anatomy).

Once we had all confirmed that we would strive to equip ourselves with the academic knowledge, skills and attributes that are needed to become excellent doctors, the buffet opened. My friend and I had tactically positioned ourselves close to the plates so that we could have first dibs. Our winter bulking has obviously started early.
When everyone had finished eating, each individual learning group seemed to want to take a group picture. Not being ones to follow the crowd (and because we’re total losers), my friend and I thought that her group should take a photo of them doing a human pyramid. Somehow, I ended up in the picture too. I suspect it’s because I was larger than most of the group and they needed my size for the bottom layer. Bizarrely, it was the second time in two days that I was involved in a human pyramid with people I had just met. I really should stop being so comfortable with getting on my knees in an attempt to make friends.

My friend and I took the closing down of the buffet as our sign that we should leave. Although we only left after we’d managed to convince a poor guy to take a platter of risotto balls home on our behalf. Even I know that we couldn’t have gone out carrying a platter of balls.
We got to the gig as the Hunna’s were playing, who I’d never heard of but were actually really good. I’ve often been told that going to a gig up north is a lot more fun because people tend to get more involved. Whoever told me that was wrong. It quickly became apparent that the crowd did not like to dance, or even remotely look like they were enjoying themselves. I do understand that people probably shouldn’t dance as ridiculously as I do. This is especially true given that people probably thought that my friend was recording my  dance moves in an attempt to gain evidence, so that a court would rule that I should have to remain inside at all times. I don’t understand why people actually pay to see a band, and make the effort to stand near the front, only to make it clear that they’re not enjoying themselves. I actually think it’s quite rude. Being British, I believe that being rude is a lot worse than pretending to be a medical student in order to eat free food and drink free wine.

Even though I look more like the girl from the Exorcist when I dance, it did actually somehow attract a guy. I’m obviously assuming that he has a condition that limits his ability to see clearly. He hung out with my friend and I whilst we flaunted what our mothers gave us and fan-girled over the Coasts’ lead singer. When the gig was over, the guy even came with us to the next bar.
On our way to another bar, we came across a statue which I clearly had to climb. This was ridiculous because I am twenty four years old now and should not find it amusing to climb statues. It was also ridiculous because I had spent a good chunk of my evening complaining that I’d broken my foot (I’ve taken a medical affirmation so I can definitely self-diagnose accurately now). This was when it should’ve been clear to me that I would not have gotten along with this guy long-term because instead of mocking me (like my friend was actively doing), he only showed concern for my foot. What a bastard.

In the next bar, my friend left me with the guy whilst she conned the bartender into giving her a free shot of absinthe (I approve of her priorities). Naturally, I made out with the guy to prevent having to actually talk to him. Although I think I’ve finally realised that, as I’ve gotten older, I now only enjoy making out with people if I actually fancy them. This realisation is more upsetting than the fact that someone recently ruined the final of the Great British Bake Off for me.
As well as gaining a free shot, my friend had convinced the bartender to conduct an impromptu interview with me (because I’m poor and I need to actually pay her rent). He asked me to confirm what goes into three different cocktails. Even though I’d spent the summer making (and drinking) cocktails, I somehow could only think of the euphemism ‘how’s your father?’ when he asked me to confirm the ingredients for an old fashioned. I also spent a lot of time telling him that he’s clearly a bartender, not the manager, and that he should stop trying to mug me off. According to my friend, he was definitely the manager and could’ve hired me.  Needless to say, he didn’t offer me a job.
Unemployed and slightly more inebriated, my friend and I parted from the guy we’d met and headed to one more bar. This bar provided another excellent opportunity to throw invasive dancing shapes, so I obviously loved it. Surprisingly, another guy seemed to actually not be totally put off by my dance moves. Either he also had a secret sight condition (which could’ve been alcohol induced), or I might actually be more socially acceptable in Manchester.  
Before I knew it, it was the next day and I was walking through Manchester with a platter of risotto balls that I'd picked up from a very disgruntled medical student. Honestly, they were the only balls that I was really interested in from that night.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Honey, I'm home.

After spending the summer season in America, arriving at Heathrow Airport was definitely a little bit disappointing. It turns out that everything you see in the opening and closing credits of Love Actually is a lie. The love of my life wasn't unexpectedly waiting for me, but that's probably because it's Josh Homme and he has no idea I exist. Even worse, there weren't any welcoming balloons or banners, and there certainly wasn't any cake. The only thing that was waiting for me was a tube full of London commuters, who I only ended up unintentionally injuring with my outrageously large backpack. I can guarantee that those commuters were not expecting a side of minor bodily harm with their morning coffee.

Eventually, I made it to my brother's house and he at least gave me a decent cup of tea. I very rarely judge (because it'd be extremely hypocritical), but I do judge people by their ability to make tea. My first boyfriend used to make an awful cup of tea, as it was often 90% milk. That ridiculous milk to tea ratio should've told me that it was never going to work out between us and I should've instantly ended the relationship.

Once my sister finished work, my brother and I met up with her to go for dinner. She might not have cried like she'd promised but we did have an embarrassingly long hug, which is probably the maximum amount of public affection I could've handled anyway. Too much affection causes me literal physical pain, especially public affection. The only exception is when I'm on hangover highway because then I'd probably even accept a cuddle from Hitler's corpse.

At dinner we claimed it was my birthday in an attempt to get a free dessert. This meant that I finally received the big fuss I'd been waiting for. Granted, the fuss was from a stranger singing happy birthday to me ten months early, but I'll still take it. I also sincerely doubt that the waiter believed that it was my birthday given that he still charged me for the dessert. It's looking significantly more unlikely that I'll be hosting my own hustling show anytime soon.

I spent the night at my sister's house so we could exchange tales of terribly poor choices without mentally scarring my younger brother. There's only so much a sister and brother should know about each other before there becomes a need for therapy, or the neuralyzer from Men in Black. Even though I haven't seen my sister since May, it wasn't long before she was telling me to shut up. In fairness, it was because she had important business to attend to. Although I'm pretty sure that the 'important business' was actually her sending a reply to a match on Happn that would still make her sound appealing.

My sister had to go to work early the next morning, because she is actually a successful adult with a promising career. This meant that I just stayed in bed catching up on This Is England '90 whilst eating too much of her cereal. I'm more than slightly convinced that I was the real winner that morning. Eventually, I headed off to pick up my backpack from my brother's house so I could cause minor bodily harm again on the tube.

Thankfully, the tube wasn't as busy this time so injuries were kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, I decided that it was a good time to catch up on my podcasts. This meant that I spent a lot of time laughing out loud at apparently nothing. I was surprised to find that there wasn't a straitjacket waiting for me when I get off the tube. I might do an awful impression of Buffalo Bill too often, but I'm not actually a psychopath. Although I did once spend a concerning amount of time combining a video I took of liver being cooked to a clip from Silence of the Lambs. I like to think it was because my dissertation was due and I was severely procrastinating. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.


Finally, I met my parents (who had just landed at Heathrow themselves) and I gatecrashed their lift home. I'd seen them in San Francisco only two weeks before so it wasn't much of a big reunion. In fact, it wasn't until I got home and saw my youngest sister that I got the reaction my ego secretly wanted. At last, someone cried. On reflection, they were potentially tears of misery rather than joy because we were back to bickering within half an hour.

Disappointingly, I can confirm that coming home after a few months away is not as much of a big deal as you'd like to think it is. It appears that your family and friends will selfishly continue on with their lives without you. Sure, they'll want to hear interesting stories from your time away but apart from that, everything is the same. Okay, not everything is the same because one of my friends grew a beard and my youngest sister now has a nose piercing. But apart from that, it feels like I haven't been away at all.

It may have been an amazing summer but all I'm left with now is a copious amount of freckles, crippling debt and broken bras that don't even fit. Hopefully, I'll get to work another season soon and I can't bloody wait.

Monday, 5 October 2015

A suprise date, hot sauce and a new skill.

Thursday 17th September

Waking to the sound of a persistent alarm was not at all soothed by the sight of my fellow roommate's package.  I sincerely doubt that a view from a Hostel bunk bed will be getting a high score on Trip Advisor anytime soon. Despite the view, I was more than happy to be waking up in Chicago.

Once I had returned from the bathroom, the package guy had put on more clothes and we bonded over discussions on how to cure hangovers effectively. We agreed to meet for a drink later on so we could check out the local bars in the area. Given that I was proudly wearing my Gryffindor pyjamas and hadn't recently brushed my teeth, I didn't even consider the fact that he may have been asking me out on a date. I later found out that I definitely should've considered it, which I'm using as a huge ego boost.

I spent the day roaming around the city. I quickly discovered that whilst Chicago may be architecturally beautiful, it sincerely lacks in public toilets. Even when I finally gave in and purchased a ridiculously expensive coffee from Starbucks just so I could use their toilet, they gave me a gigantic key of shame to unlock the door with. Walking to the toilet with that gigantic key was worse than any traditional walk of shame that I've ever encountered (and that includes the walk of shame which crossed counties and incorporated various modes of transport, a pit stop at my friend's house and even a drive-by from my own dad).

After enjoying a lot of the food Chicago has to offer, I made my way back to the hostel and I met the package guy for a drink. Turns out that instead of heading out to the local bars, he had drinks for two planned on the hostel's rooftop terrace. That was the first sign that it may have been a date. The second sign was when he clearly began trying to block out the other guy that was attempting to talk to us. The third sign was when he confirmed how single I was. In hindsight, I probably should've made out that I have a boyfriend back home who I madly love instead of making it explicitly clear how single I really am.

Brutally, it was the most boring conversation that I've ever had in my life. I would ask him a simple question and it would result in at least a fifteen minute monologue. Unfortunately, I have a very short attention span so I literally had to cause myself mild physical pain, through the act of pinching, to stop myself from falling asleep. If I had been in a bar, I would've made a polite excuse and I would've left that bar very promptly. It's extremely difficult to bomb someone off when you're staying in the same hostel as them, especially when you're actually still at the hostel.

 Eventually, he agreed to make like a baby and head out so we could check out the local bars (like we had originally agreed to). We both agreed that we needed to change our shoes and visit the toilet, so we decided to meet downstairs in 10 minutes.  He left first and I simply never followed. I didn't intentionally stand him up, I just ended up having a great conversation with the other guys that were on the rooftop terrace. Looking back, it probably would've been kinder to have told the package guy that I simply wasn't interested. It also probably would've made it less awkward when I bumped into him downstairs a few hours later. Remembering his name might have also made the situation less awkward.

In fact, a friend recently told me off for my inability to reject people when I informed him of my usual method of rejection. Apparently, really going to town with the garlic mayo at the end of a night out isn't an explicit, or socially acceptable way, to tell a guy that I'm not interested. Instead, the only thing that it guarantees is that I'll gain a garlic related nickname amongst the guy and his friends. This night in Chicago definitely taught me that it's extremely important to be confident enough to inform someone that you're not keen in pursuing anything with them. It may be brutal but I guess sometimes, honesty really is the best policy.

Friday 18th September

Once again, I wandered out and explored the city. I stumbled across the French Quarter, which had an amazing selection of food. There were actually too many delicious options, so I ended up panic picking from a Thai stall. I panic picked incorrectly. All I gained was an intense after-taste and a noodle-spray stain on my t-shirt (not an innuendo). 

When I was on my way back to the hostel in the evening, a woman tried hustling me for money and my phone by claiming that she needed urgent medical assistance due to her being pregnant and bleeding heavily. Not only did this woman and her friends lack any convincing acting abilities, the woman hadn't even gone to the effort of making herself look pregnant. So instead of giving her any money, I ran away. OK, I didn't run but I did walk in a very brisk manner back in the direction I'd come from. 

Finally, I made it back the hostel and actually ended up checking out some of the local bars with some guys I'd met the previous night. We headed to the Emporium Bar, which was great because it's full of old school arcade games. I discovered that I'm actually genuinely incredible at playing Street Fighter, which I'm pretty sure now makes me 100% more employable. It was also a great bar because it seemed to have a strict dress-code requirement of double denim and moustaches, so I instantly fit in. There was also a genuinely great band playing, although nobody else seemed to dance as enthusiastically as I did. I did enjoy the fact that it was a woman's actual job to create the special effects using a projector from the 90's and various arts and crafts materials. Despite what the unemployment figures suggest, there really is a job out there for everyone.

After heading to a few more bars, we ended up in a Mexican Bar. Bizarrely and amazingly, this bar seemed to offer a free buffet at the end of the night. Naturally, I headed over to take full advantage. It turns out that the buffet was for employees only and my friend and I had to leave the bar pretty promptly. Thankfully, there was a street cart outside selling tacos and I took advantage of that instead. Although I probably shouldn't have taken advantage of the hot sauce. Ending my night by simultaneously crying and sweating was not a proud moment for me. There was probably enough liquid coming from my face to solve the drought problem in California.

Saturday 19th September

Originally, I had planned to check out the beaches in Chicago but the weather was still pretty bad so I decided to head to the zoo. On my way, I came across an arts and crafts street festival which emphasised how people will buy anything if you market it correctly, including guitars made out of old matchboxes.

Once I got to the zoo, I didn't really enjoy it. It could've been because I was hungover or it could've been because the enclosures seemed particularly small at the Chicago Zoo. Even though I normally love the punderful opportunities a zoo provides, I don't believe that animals should be kept in unsuitably small enclosures. This may seem hypocritical to some given that I'm more than happy to tuck into 'surprise meat' at the end of a night but, as the clearly profound Hannah Montana would sing, nobody's perfect.

When I was making my way back to the Hostel, I indulged in a bagel from the Chicago Bagel Authority. Not only is the menu incredible, but the guys that work there are ridiculously hot. Although this poses as a problem for me as I'm apparently unable to communicate effectively with people if I think they're hot. This meant that when the guy gave me my bagel as a take-out, instead of eat-in, I felt way too awkward to correct him and simply left with my bagel in a bag. I ended up sitting on a nearby bench, like a gremlin, trying to eat my bagel without spilling avocado everywhere. I failed.

Back at the Hostel, I packed up my bags and made my way to the subway. When I was leaving the subway, I was faced with the option of a lift or the stairs. Cockily, I took the stairs. That was an error. Instead of feeling like Rocky when I got to the top, I felt a lot like Simon Pegg's character in Run Fatboy Run. Slightly out of breath, I made it to the Greyhound Bus Station so I could begin my overnight bus journey to Nashville, Tennessee.  It was my first overnight bus journey since I went on a school Ski Trip. I quickly realised that whilst it may not have been as fun as travelling with my friends, people were less likely to hate me (mainly because I wasn't waking them up constantly by letting off a whoopee cushion in their face). Also, despite the fact that there was more of a risk of being mugged on a Greyhound journey, there was also more of a guarantee that I'd keep my trousers on and my dignity in tact. 

Even though I gained an extra few pounds and lost quite a few dollars, Chicago was a great city. When I next visit, I'll probably spend less time eating biscoff & banana doughnuts, and more time perfecting the art of Street Fighter.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

To date or not to date? That is the question.

Before coming out to America, I was firmly against the idea of dating. I know, it's easier to say that you don't date than to admit that, despite lowering swiping standards on tinder, the offers aren't rolling in. As mentioned in a previous post, my game is seriously lacking and I'm incapable of flirting without someone thinking that I require a permanent carer. Also, I find the idea of someone knowing that I like them more horrifying than when I open the camera up on my phone and I'm confronted by all of my chins (I can often put the thumb man to shame).

This summer, I decided to put on my big girl pants and actually go on a date (yes, it was a tinder date). It quickly became apparent that he was an extremely successful and well-accomplished adult. Naturally, this made the date very awkward at first given that I'm currently avoiding even the smallest of responsibilities and I have no career prospects. Luckily, we ended up bonding over ridiculous videos that we'd both seen and urban dictionary (who ever said that the internet has killed the art of conversation?). Although the hug he gave me at the end of the date indicated that it hadn't been too much of a success. I may not be a connoisseur of dating but I am pretty sure that closing a date with a hug is merely a polite way of saying  'sorry, but I'm not that keen'.

Surprisingly, we did end up going on another date a few weeks later (the dating pool is very small in this town). This date was a lot more fun because he took me out on his boat. This meant that once the conversation started to run dry, we could avoid the awkward silence by going for a swim in the water. In hindsight, cannon balling into the water might not have been the most graceful approach. Although the cannon ball can't have bothered him too much as I received three separate texts from him later that night. I'm often unaware of social norms but even I know that triple texting is at least one, if not two, texts too far.

Although I didn't have a great summer romance, I do now understand that dating can be a great way to meet new people and to experience new things. Despite this, I think it's time to put my tinder swiping days to bed. As unconvincing as it sounds, I'm genuinely not looking to date anyone. I'd much rather spend my nights causing general mischief with my friends than trying to convince someone I barely know, or particularly care about, that they should see me again. Plus, I'd only really feel comfortable going to dinner with someone who I know would tell me when I have a herb stuck in my teeth (my front teeth are unfortunately close together, which means they often act like the filter for herbs I never wanted, or needed). Besides, it's actually become quite embarrassing how many times I've completed tinder and have had to extend my distance setting in order to reel in new potential fish. Turns out that the app isn't as much of an ego boost as my friend promised it would be.

Although a friend did tell me this year, rather brutally, that I have been single long enough and that it was time for me to settle down. I personally believe that this advice was more ridiculous than Kanye declaring that he will be running for President in 2020 (even if, as Jimmy Fallon pointed out, you can't spell Amerikanye without 'Kanye'). It's ridiculous advice because I don't feel the need to 'settle down'. This might be because I'm lucky in that I already have people in my life who I know I love (even if they are mildly attractive, at best).

In fact, they might be the true loves of my life because they genuinely seem to enjoy my terribly niche jokes and my awful Terminator impressions. I also know that I can rely on them to sooth my hangovers and that they would never judge me for eating two takeaways in one day (it's happened). What's more, they would never tell me off, although they probably should sometimes, for rolly-pollying during a gig or for demonstrating how strong my lunge is in a highly populated area. Most importantly, I know that they'll always dance ridiculously with me no matter where we are. Really, that's all I want from the loves in my life. Unfortunately, they also have an outrageous collection of potentially life ruining photos and videos that they could release into the world at any point. This means that I have to keep them in my life and that's already more commitment than I can truly handle.

So, to the guys on tinder: don't worry, you're safe for now.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Pass me my zimmer frame.

Another birthday has been and gone. It's now becoming increasingly more difficult to use my youth as an excuse for my terrible decision making and my lack of financial security. However, I do enjoy taking advantage of the fact that there is one day each year where it's a requirement to be fed cake and to treat yourself. To me, treating myself involves ensuring that all of my friends hang out with me and encourage my need to act ridiculously. I see it as the hen party that I'll probably never have.

Last year, I got quite stroppy with some of my friends for not making an appearance on the actual day of my birthday. The strop was a definite mistake because they decided to more than make up for it a few days later at Reading Festival. It started off quite innocently with them buying me a birthday cake (they know cake is the way to my heart). It escalated quite quickly when I was funneling a beer and they thought it would be hilarious to simultaneously poor a bottle of vodka into the funnel. I'm pretty sure instead of being hilarious, it actually counts as a severe crime given I had to sit down and give myself a pep talk on how I was going to survive the night. 

At first, it appeared that my pep talk had done the trick. My main crime was smushing my birthday cake into most of my friends' faces and for some of them, that's definitely not the worst facial they've ever had. The havoc didn't come until we went to visit another camp. I had never met the people at this camp before and within less than half an hour, I'd rolly-pollied through their campfire because I'm apparently Evel Knievel reincarnated when vodka kicks in. I then proceeded to break a few of their campchairs because I heard that's a good way to make excellent first impressions. Being the fatty that I am, I also stole a sausage and swallowed it whole. The sausage didn't stay down for long but it did still remain whole (which I'm worryingly quite proud of). Eventually, my friends hauled me back to my own campsite and folded me into my insanely small tent.

Ridiculously, that isn't where the havoc stopped. I woke up in the early hours of the morning and somehow managed to locate the toilets and purchase a cup of tea. When I went back to what  I though was my tent, I found a boy sleeping in my place. It was like a festival version of Goldilocks and the three bears. Naturally, I began shaking his legs and shouting, "get out of my tent, boy!" whilst simultaneously scolding him with my tea. Fortunately, it only took me a minute or two to realise that the boy was sleeping in a copious amount of bedding and I had hardly brought a sleeping bag with me. Awkwardly, I zipped the poor boy's tent back up and stumbled back to my own campsite and my own tent. 

This year, I might have managed to avoid rolling through a fire but my birthday was still quite ridiculous. The day started off quite respectably given I mainly spent the day treating myself. I even treated myself to a pedicure which, if I'm being honest, was probably more of a treat for the people of St. Michaels who have to see my feet regularly. 

In the late afternoon, Steve the local pirate offered to take my friends and I on his sail boat. Steve might have failed as a pirate to supply rum but my friend had bought me wine and cake so I was more than happy. After an hour or so of sailing, and enjoying how ridiculously gorgeous the view was out on the bay, we decided to get in the water. Despite not having any appropriate swimming gear on, I jumped in right after my friends because I've never really understood why it's deemed as unacceptable for people to see you in your underwear. Although I do believe that jumping in the water with eye-liner on should definitely be deemed as unacceptable. Smudged eye-liner is not a good look and I don't want people thinking that I'm taking my new love for Giant Pandas too far.

After a while, our stomachs were telling us that we needed to head back to land and get some food. Although it was delicious, the cake I had proudly scoffed wasn't really substantial. Despite this, when we docked the boat and went to get some food, I decided that I was no longer hungry. Not eating was definitely my first mistake. Some might say that eating is cheating but sometimes, eating is actually a necessity. 

My second mistake was playing a game with my friend that resulted in me drinking two buckets of rum in under ten minutes. Seriously, there was no rum left at the bar because I had literally drank it all. Before I knew it, I was ordering my friend to pass me the mini american flags that were decorating the bar so I could be toplessly patriotic. If class was a requirement to stay in this country, I'd definitely be on the next plane home. 

The rest of the evening is hazy but thankfully, my friends are more decent than they make out to be and made sure I got home safely. Their efforts were slightly wasted though because I didn't stay at home. I had an extremely short nap and woke up thinking that my friends had sent me to bed early. Given I suffer terribly from fear of missing out (FOMO as it's known amongst professionals), I decided to cycle back out again and meet my friends out. I'd failed to take a light with me so naturally, I swept up a garden light as I was cycling. I then proceeded to hold the light as if I was Aragorn leading the Host of the West into battle. Luckily, I realised before I got to the bar that it was actually gone three in the morning and my friends were already in bed. Awkwardly, I turned my bike around and cycled home. 

Finally, I ended up in bed but still continued to make ridiculous choices. I thought it would be a great idea to message an old friend and tell him that he was shit for not remembering my birthday. I then proceeded to tell him that he'd changed. When he asked how he'd changed, I merely sent him a stream of poo emojis. Unsurprisingly, he hasn't replied. The internet may have made a lot of things easier in my life but it does mean, even when there's an ocean separating you, it's still easy to drunkenly harass someone. I can move to a different country but if you're in my contact list then you're at risk. You've been warned. 

Despite the minor theft, indecent exposure and brutal hangover (they really do get worse every year), I had a great birthday and I'm grateful that I still have friends that don't mind hanging out with me. I'm looking forward to avoiding coming of age for another year.