Provocative opinions aired on the clothes line of life.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Fling Is For Christmas Not For Life

Men. They're just so flinging flanging hard to open.

Contrary to popular belief, most men are decent people. No really, they are. On the whole they're polite, kind and moral human beings. They dutifully pay their taxes, chivalrously hold doors open for others and generously help their landlady take out her rubbish. So, it often comes as a surprise to women when these decent men inevitably disappoint them by breaking their promises. It just seems so atypical of a person who is so virtuous in most other aspects of their daily lives. When actually what you'll find is this behaviour is very typical of these men, purely for the reason that they are so nice and decent.

You see when it comes to women, most men don't enjoy saying things which they don't mean - they just feel obligated to. Because they're cowards and they'd rather give you something to desperately cling on to as opposed to the actual truth. The truth being that there's something about you which they fundamentally don't like and on account of this they don't want you to be their girlfriend. Ouch. So, you can see why their words and actions rarely have a positive correlation. What man who values his life and genitalia would tell you that?

Of course, men aren't stupid. They realise that by flat out lying to you there will be consequences and they don't want to be held responsible for their actions and risk being accused of leading you on.

Men really don't like that happening.

After all a tarnished image is problematic when attracting women they're actually interested in (and also being confronted by the jilted lover's irate friends in public is such a nuisance). No, what they'll do instead is serve you up a compliment cleverly laced with an insult. They're not really aware it's an insult, as they don't give it too much thought. They just want you to construe it as nice and encouraging without having you read too much into it.

They do this because they don't want a woman they've slept with more than once to over-analyse the situation. I mean they enjoy the sex, naturally - and why wouldn't they? (You're probably very good in bed). Something which they would like to continue to benefit from, while at the same time knowing that this can't and won't last. Because after a while women start to expect commitment from them and they're not prepared to give that to a woman they've comparmentalised as a fling. It's very rare for a woman to transcend the fling / potential girlfriend boundaries which a man has set for them. Almost non-existent actually, so please don't think you're in the minority. Because you're not.

Take the following example, which you've probably been on the receiving end of at least once:

A friend of mine recently committed the ultimate dating cliche i.e. he met a girl in a bar and within a matter of hours swiftly found himself being invited back to her flat. The classic one-night stand, nothing out of the ordinary there. However, he didn't actually end up going home until 4pm the following day, which is a little unusual. They spent the day in bed, presumably kissing, cuddling and chatting. Which could mean that he viewed her as potentially more than a one-night stand? I thought so. It definitely showed promise right?

These were his exact words to me:  

"She had a really fit body (thin with boobs - win) and she was really lovely as well. Very easy to get on with and we talked for hours. She's not really the type of girl I usually go for though. She's into her fake tan and she has tattoos. Which I didn't mind. But ultimately, she's a bit of a chav and I'm not going to meet up with her sober. I wouldn't say no to her if we found ourselves in the same situation again though."

N.B That isn't to say that this certain je ne sais quoi which they don't like about you is perceived as negative by everyone. You shouldn't have to dramatically tailor your personality to suit someone else. Because even if you did, it wouldn't last and surely you want to find someone who will appreciate the subtle intricacies about you instead of wanting to change them? And if you don't, then you certainly deserve it. Don't sell yourself short.

(Of course it is important to note that women can also demonstrate the aforementioned behaviour. It isn't just limited to men). 

Which is clearly depicted in an episode of the IT Crowd (the scene is15 minutes in) where Jen ends her brief relationship with Michael the Magnificent purely because she believes him to resemble that of a stereotypical magician. And when he asks her what it is about him that causes her to think it, she simply answers, "It's everything! Just everything about you. I mean, don't you wake up in the morning and think to yourself wow I look like a magician?! Because I would if I was a weirdy-beardy-magiciany-man." He then goes on to reason with her and offers to learn some magic tricks in an attempt to make the relationship work. Jen replies that he would actually have to become a full-time magician in order to pull it off and questions whether he'd be willing to make that kind of commitment. The final scene of the episode shows Michael dressed in traditional magician attire haplessly failing to impress Jen with a card trick, and ends with him running out of the office crying.

(So, moral of the story: don't try and change yourself to benefit someone else. Particularly if it's just a fling, as it will only end in tears. Which will probably be your own).

The duration of a fling can be difficult to determine, as it is based purely on what the person who is in control of it identifies as risky behaviour from the other person. And when I say risky behaviour, of course I mean actions which convey relationship progression  i.e. pushing for more commitment than the other person is willing to give. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the two big hitters which women will nudge a new man in their life to comply with in order to acknowledge her are:
  1. Attendance at social events together.
  2. Introductions to her friends and family.
As soon as a man who isn't really interested in you realises this is where it's headed (and trust me he will) - watch him disappear from your life. It's brutal, but something which you can spot early on and prepare yourself for. Because if men can easily pick up on this risky behaviour from women who they don't want exhibiting it and run for the hills, so then can women train themselves to decipher whether they're viewed as just that.

Of course I can't hold your hand through every bump in the road, but in order to provide a guideline I can give you some real-life examples of what men have said when they regarded me as a fling.

(Note: I've changed their names. Although I doubt any of the following people even have a means in which to access the internet. Actually that's unkind. They probably do. On their phone).

Maurice, who I'd met in a bar (naturally) and been on a few dates with decided this was appropriate pillow talk:
  • "I haven't come like that in a while."
 You think: I must be a really good lay.
What it really means: I'm restricting my compliments to sex because you're not worth enough to me for anything else.

I realise now that we were coming to the end of the casual period and he felt obligated to say something vaguely positive to me, which would hopefully keep me blissfully unaware that he wasn't interested in a relationship for another week or so. Thankfully even then, I knew something wasn't right. If a man ever feels the need to clarify that your vagina gives him a more intense experience than that of his hand then it's time to get out. And as he described the period as 'a while' I can only assume he meant that the environment I'd provided wasn't as hospitable as previous girls. I distinctly remember putting my clothes on and leaving the room without so much as a word. I think in therapy they call that the break-through.


Chester took me on only two excursions in the entire time we were seeing each other (which was approximately three months). Chester, you cheap bastard.
  • "Oh, please stay. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever had naked in my bed."
You think: I'm the best thing that's ever happened to him.
What it really means: I'm never taking you anywhere beyond these four walls.

While that may well have been the case, my name isn't Rapunzel. I don't enjoy being confined to a tower with nowhere to go. But what an accolade! I'm a gold medallist. Finally. Where's Miss Silver and Bronze? Let's get a podium set up so I can really rub it in their faces.

You should be very wary of the man who will only agree to see you if it's conveniently located in his bedroom. Because 'hanging out' is not a date. Oh sure, eating a takeaway in front of the television while in bed seems very romantic. And I am partial to it, now and again. But I also like to do other things where sex isn't so readily available and there are other things on the menu. Like going outside. You know in public? Among other people who are also living their lives and enjoying each others company. Because that's what people want to do when they're in a relationship. Complex? No, not at all.


The following is one that I get rather a lot. And while I don't tolerate it I'm certainly prepared for it.  
  • "Your tits are amazing."
You think: He must really fancy me and therefore like me.
What it really means: I have nothing else to compliment you on.

I have rather an impressive rack, this much is true. I appreciate positive feedback as much as the next person and yes, I'm partial to a bit of playful banter. But when this is the only thing they have to compliment me on or in some cases even talk to me about - I pull the plug. And I mean that literally. Because this conversation more often than not occurs online (men tend to think they can get away with more if their words are confined to a screen). And there's no use in playing along with them in the hopes that you'll eventually meet in person. Because you won't.

I don't really have to tell you that a man who fixates on a part of your body which isn't your brain is not the sort of man you want to project a fantasy onto do I? Do you know what you are to him? You're his porn. Happy with being an online hobby are you? No, didn't think so. Delete. Reboot. Start again.


Adrienne Mole and I never saw each other with a level head.
  • "I really need to see you when I'm sober."
You think: The relationship is progressing.
What it really means: He said this while drunk and "won't remember".

 
That's a terrific idea. But that was precisely the problem, Adrienne Mole only contacted me when he was drunk or when I was drunk or when we were both drunk. He text me most nights. Always late. Always under the influence. This is how we would typically interact with each other: he would contact me purely because he was intoxicated and then I would bring it to his attention the next day because he couldn't remember. "I text you last night?" He should have written a book: 'How to offend a woman in five words or less'. As you can see, an immensely satisfying relationship.

Alcohol is an essential precursor with which to break the ice and anyone who knows me won't be shy in telling you that I enjoy more than my fair share on a regular basis. But you can't rely on these altered states to form the basis of a relationship. It just doesn't work like that. Sure, a few drinks enables you to relax and encourages a more chatty side of you. But total inebriation whenever you're together is a barometer for what's really going on. Which is a whole lot of nothing. Being drunk with someone you like is great. Do you know what's even better? Being with someone you like when you're aware of all of your senses. And if indulging in their illicit hobbies is all they want to do, then you may never know what their priorities are, but you can be certain that you'll never be one of them.


If his parting words are any variation of the following:
  •  "Take it easy / Stay cool / You're swell"
You think: He's saying goodbye.
What it really means:  Yes he is. Forever.

 
You need to do one of two things. Either slam the door shut. Or delete his phone number. In some cases you may need to do both.

Men don't tell women they're infatuated with to "take it easy." They say "goodbye" or "goodnight" or something equally appropriately normal.  

"You're swell" is a slip of the tongue (no one means that to be taken seriously) and they've said it because they're uncomfortable with the manner in which they're leaving. It's probably in the morning and they're feeling awkward about telling you they'll text you later or add you on Facebook, because in actual fact they're not going to do either of those things.

And if anyone has the nerve to tell you to "stay cool" they're an imbecile and have wasted your time. The fact that this even happened to me has left me convinced that I murdered a child in a previous life.
 

Finally...

Deep down, you already knew all of those things. You just didn't want to admit it to yourself. Because when you meet someone new, you want to make allowances for them and not punish them for someone elses mistakes. You accept that people will disappoint you, after all no one's perfect right?

No they're not. But don't allow them to make you feel as though you shouldn't be valued as much as you deserve to be. And often the decisions you make are not even about the other person. They're about you being honest with yourself.  

Because being alone is a daunting prospect, but sometimes it's a preferable one.

All The Single Ladies Stick Your Tongue Out

Fantastic news for single women everywhere. FINALLY we can rest assured that ailments which befall our beloved vaginas are not a direct consequence of our single promiscuous lifestyles. I have been informed by a trusted source, that married vaginas are no more trustworthy than their single counterparts.

A friend of mine recently divulged that a colleague of his (who we will call Morgan so as to protect his identity) recently returned to work after a rather suspicious absence, which he claimed was on account of a chest infection. However Morgan displayed none of the typical symptoms of said chest infection i.e. a noticeably chesty cough. And as it transpired, Morgan is a lousy liar and crumbled under questioning from the Big Cheese at the first opportunity. He confessed to being the unfortunate victim of tongue thrush. And seen as this particularly nasty affliction typically befalls newborn babies and elderly people with dentures (of which Morgan is neither) I can only assume Morgan has contracted it via the act of cunninglingus from the yeast fungus in his wife's vaginal area.

As my friend so succinctly tweeted:


So let us put an end to the myth once and for all and remember that married people are just as likely to contract and pass on gynaecological ailments as single people are.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Mon The Biff This Christmas

 

Last year the battle for the UK Christmas Number One racked up an impressive amount of column inches detailing the biggest chart upset in years. This was most notably due to the online Facebook campaign urging people to challenge the mainstream X-Factor (or Karoke Colosseum as Blur front man Damon Albarn recently dubbed it) single, by opting to purchase Rage Against The Machine's 1992 track Killing In The Name instead. Over half a million Facebook users flocked to the page to pledge their support for the anti-X-Factor cause and sure enough by 20 December they had claimed the top spot, triumphing over 2009 winner Joe Mcelderry's The Climb by 50,000 copies. Of course he went on to enjoy the Number One slot the following week, outselling the campaign overall. But the statement had been made. People had nothing but contempt for the stranglehold the televised reality contest had consecutively gripped the British music charts with for years. And the lyrics of the chosen alternative strongly emulated this: "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me." Indeed, let's just rally together and do what everyone else on our friend list is doing instead.

Despite my vehemence for the The X-Factor I didn't pledge my support for this cause. As I didn't agree with the premise of trying to quash an innocent persons chance of securing widespread success. It seemed unfair to punish Joe Mcelderry for a collective discontentment a group of people felt towards Simon Cowell.  The campaign wasn't trying to give credence to Rage Against The Machine, it was simply tailoring its political message to destroy a normal person who was currently being revered by other normal people. X-Factor  contestants have an expiration date on their careers as it is. The likes of  Shayne Ward and Steve Brookstein have been sent to the reality television scrapheap and forgotten about in half the time it took to build them up. And sure enough the endless saturation of Joe Mcelderry quietly dropped off and has now been replaced with that of another name, 2010's newly crowned winner: Matt Cardle.

Sadly, he's just as forgettable as the rest and presumably his career will be just as fledgling and short-lived as his predecessors. His single which is currently 2/7 to top the festive chart, is a cover of Biffy Clyro's 'Many of Horror' retitled 'When We Collide'. When asked his thoughts on Cardle's version, Biffy drummer Ben Johnston commented in a radio interview, "It's an X-Factor version of the song." So, I take that to mean they think it's a watered down version. Which is certainly what they've said about the concept of the show as a whole. In a previous interview with NME the band had stated they didn't think the X-Factor was a threat to 'real' music. Front man Simon Neil commented, "It's always just been Saturday night entertainment - The X Factor is for people who buy fucking Robbie Williams calendars."

Nevertheless several Facebook Campaigns have sprung up over the last few months, hoping to replicate the same success as last year. All have the same premise of preventing the X-Factor from achieving the coveted Christmas top spot. All that is, save one.

A worthy campaign, and one which I'm backing this year is that of Let's Get Biffy Clyro's 'Many of Horror' To Number One For Christmas 2010. I was fortunate enough to watch Biffy Clyro perform live at this years Reading Festival and was completely blown away by them. (Also, it's not very festive or particularly appropriate of me to note, but if I were given the opportunity I would ruin front man Simon Neil in several positions based on his stage presence alone). So, the reason I'm staunchly for this cause, like that of the creator, is because I believe the Scottish trio deserve to be in the Top Ten with their original version and that they should take the credit for it, not Matt Cardle. At the time of writing this Many of Horror  is expected to reach Number Seven in the UK Chart and will be a significant achievement for the band, as to date it will only be preceded by their 2008 single Mountains, which peaked at Number Five.

So, if like me, you're a Biffy fan and your musical tastes are rarely catered for in terms of contenders for the seasonal accolade - then spare a mere 49p in favour of this Facebook Campaign, which is in support of musical talent achieving success instead of simply causing anarchy for the sake of it. With only a mere 50,000 people supporting it at the moment, it could do with a lot more help. And also, for anyone who has clicked like, but hasn't yet downloaded the single, then shame on you. There's still time to redeem your bystander behaviour though. The final chart positions will be announced on Sunday, so what are you waiting for?

You can download Many Of Horror at any of the following websites:
And also, if you email a proof of purchase to the following: biffy@nsdpowerballs.com. I believe a donation will be made to the charity http://www.invisiblechildren.com/

You can Like the campaign here: Lets Get Biffy Clyro's 'Many of Horror' to Number One for Christmas 2010

So, pledge your support and MON THE BIFF this Christmas 2010.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Silence is Golden

 

I'm not like most women my age. In fact, I would go as far to say, that I'm not like most women of any age. Sure, I have feminine interests. Just take a look at my header: pink, frilly, swirly calligraphy. See, I'm a woman. But I just don't share any of the typical common ground which other women seem to have with each other. I don't have any interest in diets or having my nails done or televised reality contests or celebrity gossip or babies or making gravy from scratch or discussing what age I'd like to get married.

(I don't enjoy reading romance novels by pre-menopausal Irish writers which are then adapted to simpering romantic comedies starring Hilary Swank either. So please, none of them for Christmas this year. Although after reading this I'm sure none of my female friends will want to talk to me again let alone buy me anything, and I'm already on thin ice in that department as it is).

Of course, there's nothing wrong with doing any of those aforementioned things and I'm in no way saying that they are the only things which women are interested in. It just means that when it comes to interacting with women I don't know, I rarely have anything to break the ice with. Which can be excruciatingly awkward.

This coupled with the fact that I'm a bit of an oxymoron anyway. In that I'm very social and enjoy going out, but I rarely make an effort with anyone new. As some of my now close friends will tell you: they did all the leg work. Which is very childish of me, I will concede and it's something I've recently started to change. As I've got older, I've realised that letting your guard down and being just that little bit friendly to people can be very rewarding.

What I'm yet to master though, is casual conversation with hairdressers. Cringe upon cringe. I suppose it's partly because I have little to no vested interest in the maintenance of my hair. It's been a weird amalgamation of dirty blonde and light brown for as long as I can remember, with its upkeep being typical of my general attitude: I don't care.

The bulk of the reason though is because as we've already established, I don't enjoy the company of strange women. And I particularly don't like said company in typically feminine surroundings. So naturally, anywhere beauty related is my idea of pure unadulterated hell. Row upon row of women bonding with each other over the current X-Factor contestants and fictional characters of Glee. Musing over their clever roller-derby pseudonyms and little nieces/nephews/godchildren who they just adore and can't wait to have of their own. Swooning over pictures of Robert Pattinson or the other Twilight one in the women's lifestyle magazine spread open before them.

Again, nothing wrong with any of these things, I just don't have any interest in them. Sometimes I wish I did, just so I wouldn't feel so isolated in these situations. And feigning interest in them just doesn't work on account of my innate sarcastic nature. I enjoy it, but as I've discovered first hand, some women get terribly over-sensitive when it comes to flippant remarks.

But like I've said, I do possess some feminine interests. For example, I have an unhealthy obsession with Sex and the City. But I'm a deeply pretentious person, and if someone were to start discussing the films with me (which I pretend don't exist) I would scoff at them. And Lord help them if they confessed to not knowing it originated from a book, which they haven't read. Oh, would they be in for a berating. So, as you can see I'm a difficult person who takes herself far too seriously and therefore it's much easier for me to remain silent. And smile.

But therein lies a problem. Hairdressers won't let you be silent. They probe you for information about yourself. Because they've very nice people and are genuinely at ease with chatting about every day topics. I hate them for this. I'm very socially awkward. I prefer them to come to my house - I have my bearings in my own territory. I can make them a cup of tea in a mug which reads 'fuck tea where's the fucking caffeine?' and enjoy it. I'm sick.

But sometimes I haven't been able to keep them confined to my kitchen, and have been forced to venture outside of my comfort zone. Which is an ordeal right from the initial phone call needed to make the appointment. I always opt for the cut and blow-dry. Never anything else. No hair dye please. It's extortionate and they always try to bully you into having a lighter colour. What do you mean you don't think the shade of wet straw I always go for isn't very becoming? I like it. It looks natural. Do you know what doesn't look natural? Having a hairstyle which is significantly longer on one side than it is on the other. But who I am to judge? Then they want to know who I'm requesting to perform the haircut. Um, I don't know, all hairdressers are called Tracey right? Sorry, that's unfair. Sometimes they're called Sharon. Or Tina. Yeah, I'm going to stop now.

And when you get there, in a timely fashion for the slot which you have reserved might I add, they keep you waiting for around twenty minutes. This is the time in which I pretend that I'm an anthropologist. I'm only here to study these people. Did you know if you close your eyes you can almost make yourself believe that the incessant noise is being emitted by hens? Because that's what women (myself included), sound like when they're around each other. Shrill clucking sounds likened to that of your average farmyard animal. They don't even have to be talking about the same thing. It's fascinating.

So eventually you're summoned to have your scalp massaged by a youth on work experience, who always manages to fasten the cape (don't even get me started on the fucking cape), too tightly while catching a stray hair in the Velcro. Thus exposing the little tattoo on the back of my neck, which prompts them to go into unnecessary detail about the swirls they're having done on the bottom of their back next week. Of course, I'm not listening, I'm just thinking over and over, why do I even need this cape? It's perfectly ridiculous. I don't mind if little snippets of stray hairs get on my clothes, it's my hair after all. Seriously, every time. That's all I think about. Oh and this: I don't care if everyone else is wearing it too, I can't see my arms, this isn't natural.

I'm sometimes so caught up in this perpetual anguish, that I don't have any recollection of the hair washing coming to an end and being escorted from one piece of wacky Ikea decor to the next. And so then you sit and wait some more. Resisting the urge to spin around on the chair while trying to avoid your reflection, which in my case is dripping rats tails and smudged eyeliner. Great for the ego. So, I do, what everyone does when they don't know what to do with themselves in public: lamely turn my fixation to my phone. Some people choose to re-read old text messages, others abuse the Facebook check in feature. I on the other hand, opt for scrolling through my contact list and silently curse every single name.

Then finally the moment arrives and the very nice lady is snipping away at my hair, after adjusting the seat to a ludicrously high level, with the cape sometimes getting caught in one of the wheels. (Fucking cape). She chats away about herself and her day with a breezy demeanour which I'm more than happy to listen to. I try to treat it like I would a sport: spectating never participating. But then she eventually attempts to engage me in conversation. Uh oh. All of my anticipated dread has been leading up to this moment: 


  • "Going out the weekend then?" 
Well, it's Tuesday, so I don't really know. I suppose I might..I do like to leave the house occasionally. Oh Christ, just say yes Sam.

"Yes."


  • "Where you going then? I'm going to Revs. LOVE it there. Do you like it there?"
I suppose this isn't the best time to divulge that I harbour secret fantasies of blowing that place up. 

"No, I don't really go there much."

Shit, now I have to go into detail about these fictional plans. Where can I hypothetically go, so she'll stop asking questions?

"I'm going to a gig."


  • "Ooooh, I love gigs. I'm going to see Pink next year, do you like Pink?"
Fuck my life. No I don't like Pink. In fact to say I don't like her would be an understatement so vast it would swallow every abandoned Chinese infant girl throughout history. 

"Um. No."

Smooth. Although probably safer to be concise.

  • "I think she's amaaaaaaaazing!!"
Yeah, I'm just going to make a point of fiddling with the cape now.

  • "Especially when she comes down into the crowd on one of them things."
    (She gestures wildly in my face with two fingers imitating what I can only assume are Pinks kicking legs).

At this point I'm at a loss. As I've already established, I'm not a great conversationalist at the best of times. So, I ask you: what is the correct conversational protocol when someone you don't know sticks their waggling fingers in your face because they don't know what the word trapeze is?

(I'm not insinuating that this is representative of all hairdressers, this is just a snippet of what has happened to me).

There must be other women out there like me who:
  1. Fucking hate getting their hair cut.
  2. Are socially awkward on an insane level.
  3. Can't talk to other women.
  4. Don't want to talk to other women even if they could.
  5. Don't go to Vodka Revolution on the weekend.
  6. Have a mortal fear of hairdressing capes.

I refuse to believe I'm the only one. Your support would be appreciated. As would any awkward conversational encounters of your own. Comment away.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

"I was in love, too. In love in an utterly mundane way."



I was reading one of my favourite chapters from Bushnell's, "Sex and the City", just recently and wanted to inject some dating honesty into your day with some of my favourite excerpts from the chapter:

"Like most men he made up his mind about a woman right away. Put her in a category - one-night stand, potential girlfriend, hot two-week fling. Libby was definitely a one-night stand. She wasn't pretty enough to date, to be seen in public with."

"He met all her friends, but wouldn't introduce her to his. He never spent a whole weekend with her - or even a whole day. They never went to a party together. "I didn't want her to get the wrong idea". 

"They went back to her place and had sex. 'It was great,' Stephen said. 'I performed, on an objective basis, better than I had with other women. I was going back for seconds and thirds. I was giving her the forty-five-minute fuck.' The 'relationship' progressed further from there. They would watch TV in bed and then have sex with the TV on. 'A pretty woman would never let you have the TV on during sex,' Stephen said. 'But it's relaxing somehow, with the TV on. You're not the focus. Women like Ellen allow you to be yourself."


"She was funny. A real firecracker, a wiseacre. I could go out with her and shoot the shit like a guy. She could talk about movies, Letterman, she knew TV - and most women don't understand TV. If you try to talk about TV with a pretty girl, her eyes glaze over."

Click here to read the chapter in full:
SEX AND THE CITY: Chapter 15 - He Loves His Little Mouse But He Won't Take Her Home To Mom

Friday, 3 December 2010

This is a Public Service Announcement

Hello, lovely people who have so lovingly clicked on a link from theSprout, CLIC, StumbleUpon or any other subterranean patch of online landscape. If you've come from the first two aforementioned sites, then in an effort to not have you read the exact same article which has just been published on them, I've transferred my  Humanity Annoys Me posts from my Tumblr account - so as to deliver some fresh controversy to you. Aren't you lucky.

So, enjoy! And thanks for visiting. I would say I love you all. But I don't know you. So, instead I'll say: you're swell, take care. Which is coincidentally a phrase many a drunken one-night stand has uttered to me before pushing me out the front door.

Yeah and follow me on Twitter for more condensed misanthropy HERE

Also, if you scroll down, on the right hand column I've divided my posts into categories so you can choose what you read as opposed to me thrusting my thoughts at you in chronological order. If there's a topic there you don't see please feel free to e-mail me a request. My contact deets can be found in the About section - top right. 

Sam

Humanity Annoys Me - Week Ending 19/11/10

I'm in one of my black moods today. This doesn't mean I'm harbouring suicidal thoughts, I simply feel varying degrees of annoyance at what humanity is doing and/or saying.

                     

Bullet points are the order of the day.
  • I don't understand why people direct questions about a general topic, to which they want a specific answer to via social networking. They could just as easily Google what they're trying to find the answer to, instead of waiting for a reply. While I concede that neither source is particularly credible, I'd choose Google over any of my acquaintances' so-called knowledge. I'm sorry, but it's true. 
  • I have a hard time looking at sentences that read like, "your pritty cute to", which is what I was met with this morning in my online dating inbox. I don't realistically think I'm going to meet anyone online with whom I would start a relationship with, but I enjoy conversing with people and this saddened me. (And anyone who attempts to judge me based on this confession should take a long hard look at themselves. How do you meet people? Spending too much money on Vodka and throwing it up all over them/yourself? Yes, thought so).
  • Vegetarians are offending me, (as usual), with their self-satisfied fan pages they persistently affiliate themselves with. I encountered one which instructs people on how to become more environmentally-friendly. Here's a thought, that electricity you're using to assert your smugness to everyone else in the developed world has contributed to your carbon footprint. Why don't you stop using electricity altogether? Stop being so selfish. And while you're at it, stop using public services/transport, your own transport, living in buildings, eating and drinking, wearing clothes and doing anything which involves using gas, oil or coal. At least then you'd have made a start.
Also, I'm aware people are often annoyed by me. And I'm glad. Because the amount of contempt I have for most people doesn't feel quite so acute, when I realise that I impact just as negatively on their day as they do on mine.

Humanity Annoys Me - Week Ending 12/11/10

Oh hi, how are you? Yeah I don't really care, I was just being polite. But now that you ask how I am, well, let me tell you....

Public Displays of Awareness

  • I'm not averse to the sentiment which comes with romance and love as a whole. Really I'm not. In fact, personally, I rather quite enjoy it. But I've said it once, and I'll say it again, this perpetual public display of awareness is bordering on insane behaviour. You're not declaring your love, you're declaring your insecurity and territorial obsessiveness. The whole point of being in a relationship with someone is the fact that they are available to you in private, when it's just the two of you. Dial their phone number, write a text message, type one to their inbox, tweet a direct message, instant message, send a carrier pigeon. The possibilities are endless. But please, stop making it public. Your love can exist without other people being privy to it. Really, it can.
Sentences are greater than symbols
  • > is a popular maths symbol which has leaped out of Key Stage 3 textbooks and become an overused aphorism which is beginning to wear on me. I've used it a few times to illustrate a point, sure. But it has the originality shelf life of dairy and it curdled long ago. It's wonderful that you have an opinion, really it is, a lot of people don't have any. But why stop there? Try backing your opinion up with an argument. Or if it's too challenging, please just write greater than instead. Did you know that's what it meant? Sure you did.
The iPhone Locator App
  • OK, let me just clear this up once and for all. I don't care what location you happen to be at. I don't care who you're there with. I don't care that you were there, but are no longer there and are now somewhere else equally more generic. Seriously, they're always generic places which is usually a Nandos or a Wetherspoon. It baffles me why people would want to make it known to other people how dull and mundane their choices of venues are. And if you persist with notifying me of your exact whereabouts via GPS, I will use this information and wait for you in the conveniently located alley behind it. So become more interesting or be silent. It's up to you.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Nice Guys Finish Somewhere In The Middle


Everyone is familiar with the aphorism, "nice guys finish last". It's become as ubiquitous a concept in the dating game as the concept of dating itself. We all have friends who we consider to be the quintessential decent guy, (in fact I have a few), and we all agree that they shouldn't still be single. Yet, despite their keenness to attract a long-term girlfriend, that's exactly what they are. Which is endlessly frustrating to them, because they're of the opinion, (like everyone else), that single women are desperately yearning for a special man in their lives. I mean, of course they are. Right?

Well...yes. There are of course, varying degrees of desperation, depending on the individual. (I, for instance, am not explicitly looking for a boyfriend, but am not averse to being found - so yes, pretty desperate). But allow me to shine a clarifying beam of truth into the dark recesses of your understanding of women: being a guy with amiable qualities doesn't automatically make you boyfriend material. Women don't want to be treated like your grandmother. They also don't want to feel as though you're only interested in entering into a relationship with them because they meet a basic criterion, i.e they're single, straight and live nearby. They want to feel as though you've chosen them based on individual merit. Complex isn't it?


This isn't to say that amiable qualities can't be endearing. Of course they can. The trouble is words such as nice and amiable harbour both attractive and unattractive qualities. The attractive are that of caring, respectful, committed and virtuous. With the unattractive being boring, lacking in confidence and essentially a door-mat. So, when faced with the prospect of a man who is nice but unsure of himself, and a man who is confident and assertive, yet lacking in any qualities that a loving relationship can be built on, women will choose the latter. Or the bad boy, as he's often referred to.

Yes, confidence really is that attractive a quality to women. Even if it is accompanied by, selfishness, an aversion to fidelity and arrogance. Women don't take pleasure in experiencing any of these qualities, but they often feel it's a small price to pay for the sexy appeal of a man who is self-assured and assertive.

Here's the key: women don't want a man who is too nice. Someone who encompasses a little of both is a far more attractive prospect. We'll call him, Mr. not-so-nice. A man who knows he's a catch and isn't afraid of rejection, but who doesn't objectify a woman and isn't conceited enough to assume she will respond to his advances because it's worked for him before. I'm just as likely to reject the affections of an unassertive nice guy, as I am to ignore the arrogant presumptions of a bad boy.


A popular misconception though, is that women enjoy being treated poorly. I can't stress how vehemently untrue this is. When it comes to affairs of the heart, there's a difference between liking a person's behaviour and tolerating that behaviour. The treat them mean to keep them keen philosophy only works to an extent. It shouldn't be abused to justify hurtful actions. Instead, it should be used as a precursor. You see, women, as with men, enjoy feeling a sense of achievement. Make room for her in your life by all means, but still show her that you actually have one, i.e. commitments and responsibilities. It's important to keep a woman on her toes and not to be constantly available to her.

Because even though, women are more successful, intelligent and independent than ever before, their emotional needs are still the same. They don't need to be protected, or depend on someone else. But they do want a man who can offer these things, which they can then rely on - should they ever need to. 

Over the course of my adult dating life, I've experienced both sides of the equation. I've been both the enabler of bad behaviour and the callous objector - with each being equally unfulfilling. I've tolerated having no contact for weeks, being lied to, being cheated on and being stood up. Not because I took any pleasure in it, but rather I was holding on to the idea, that if I kept tolerating it the person in question would soon grow to reciprocate my infatuation with them. Of course they never did, and eventually I either had enough or was dumped for being so uninteresting to them. Which was a good thing, because it taught me to respect myself and stop pursuing people who weren't prepared to treat me the way I deserved to be treated.

(NB If you're a man reading this, gleefully thinking you've found a loophole and you'll just find a woman who will tolerate your appalling behaviour, because it appears to work for a while - then you might want to consider the fact that by not wanting to make someone happy, you're yet to discover what makes yourself happy. So, I suggest you concentrate on that first, before you attempt to pursue a mature relationship with a woman).



And as a semi-reformed Ice Queen, I've also doled out my fair share of hurtful behaviour. I knew instantly what behaviour I could get away with and what I couldn't. If I ever met a nice guy, sure, I took advantage of their patience and understanding. And like a little puppy who has been spitefully rapped on the nose, after I displayed a hint of remorseful kindness, they were all too willing to come back for more. Because, even though I wasn't interested in them romantically, they were a significant ego boost for when I was feeling lonely, depressed or generally bored. (Usually because I was being kept waiting for a response from a bad boy I was relentlessly hounding at the time).

But, sometimes it doesn't matter what you do - she's just not going to be attracted to you in that way and will exile you to her safe place: the friendship zone. Sure, it might seem as though you're making head way; she refers to you as, "sweetie", sometimes replies to your messages at lightning speed and seeks you out for advice. But, face it, you've got predictable, vulnerable and eager-to-please written all over you. She's never going to regard you as that person who will be strong and take charge of a situation.  Sure, when she pulls that cute expression with those big innocent eyes, you'd swear butter wouldn't melt behind that perfectly formed pout. But she knows she can have you, and therefore doesn't want you. So, stop wasting your time fixated on winning over this girl, because that's exactly what it is: time wasted.

 
Here are a few helpful hints, which the nice guy should consider the relationship weapons of mass destruction.

She says:
  • You're SUCH a nice guy."
    Translation: I'm never going to have sex with you. Not even out of pity. Maybe if I'm horny or depressed. But probably not even then.
    • "I wish I could find someone who understands me the way you do."
    Translation: I'm looking for a guy who is going to have sex with me and never have anything to do with me ever again.

    • "You're going to make some girl very happy one day."
    Translation: And she's going to be a less attractive un-funny watered down version of me. 

    • "I feel like I can tell you anything."
    Translation: And everything about all the men I'm actually interested in.

    • "I just don't deserve you."
    Translation: I just don't find you physically attractive.

    • "I'm really nothing special." 
     Translation: I really am, I just don't want to be special to you. 

    • "I've reached a time in my life where I want to focus on me and my career."
    Translation: Please stop asking me out on dates, I'm trying to let you down gently here but you're making it damn near impossible.

    And by she said, of course what I really mean is I've said. Yes, it's true. I really have said ALL of those things, at one time or another. 

    But, don't get disheartened. You're a catch. Really, you are. Women do appreciate nice qualities. It's just sometimes, they don't believe it's real unless they're made to work a little for it first.

    Tuesday, 16 November 2010

    Fly Me To The Moon



    Apparently Facebook is unveiling a revolutionary messaging service which is better than e-mail. I've read several articles from various news sources and a few opinion pieces about this new development, but am no closer to discovering just what on earth any of it even means. Couldn't these tech whizzes be inventing more constructive things which people actually want, instead of boxing us further into a social networking corner which we'll never leave?

    Such as making broadband faster, so that videos don't take an insubordinate amount of time to buffer. That's what people really want. Or maybe put some pressure on Megavideo to extend the allocated 72 minutes of free streaming time to encompass the length of an actual film. What do you mean I need to wait a 54 minute period to watch the end of it? Why? That's insane. What am I going to do until then? I'll tell you what I'm going to do, I'm going to go Google the ending. Find the bit of the plot I was at on Wikipedia and READ the ending courtesy of user updated spoilers. "Screw you Megavideo", to quote a popular Facebook fan page.

    Also, every futuristic Sci-Fi film I've ever seen have depicted airbourne automobiles. It's nearly 2011, I don't want a unified messaging service, I want flying cars. I don't necessarily need to own one myself, (I'm not even licensed to drive one on the ground), however just knowing that they're in existence and available on some kind of extortionate finance agreement would be far more newsworthy than all my online messages being in one convenient place. People don't even send me any messages. People do however like to take me places in cars. So, go touch a monolith and make it happen.

    Monday, 1 November 2010

    EsCABade

    Recently I blogged about the perils that can often be involved when experiencing a seemingly mundane journey via public transport. In which I portrayed myself to be a hapless victim forced to eavesdrop on other people's ludicrous conversations. Of course what I didn't tell you is that I've had my fair share of outlandish behaviour when it comes to public transport. It mostly involves the fact that I vehemently refuse to cough up for the fare and take extreme measures in avoiding this legal requirement. In the past it's just been limited to trains, (which I think is perfectly acceptable), but recently I'm ashamed to admit, I entered new territory and added cabs to my shameful list of callous debauchery.

    In my defence, it wasn't premeditated. Halfway through a journey home from a drunken escapade my cab buddy decided to get out and leave me with no contribution and so as I neared home I discovered that I didn't have a shred of cash on me. I panicked for a few moments, desperately trying to think of a plausible solution. And that's exactly what I did. Well, what seemed perfectly plausible to me at the time anyway. I decided that I would convincingly sound shocked and appalled at having no money as we neared the entrance to my close and venture the idea for the driver to come back the following day to collect the fare. Of course in those few moments of mulling over my options, the crazed penny pincher in me decided that I would thwart the drivers efforts to obtain the fare the next day by instructing him to go to the wrong house.


    Believe me. This seemed like such ingenuity at the time. I believe I even stifled a few glee filled giggles, marveling at my plan. So anyway, he agreed to return the following day. Begrudgingly so. But he had no choice in the matter. So upon entering my estate, I proceeded to tell one clumsy lie after another in an attempt to calm my nerves. I claimed to live at number 11, but instead instructed him to stop outside a house bearing the number 19. He presented this fact to me, to which I replied very cleverly with, "yes that's what I meant." Accompanied with a hefty amount of nervous laughter.

    So it was at this point I felt as though I wasn't really doing my best to legitimize the lie and proceeded to tell him my name was Sian. (Which is completely absurd as Sian isn't exactly dissimilar to my actual name), and as a further stroke of genius supplied him with a contact number, in case there were any problems. Half way through reiterating my phone number to him I realised of course there were going to be problems - he would be returning to a house which blatantly wasn't mine, so I panicked and tried to give him an incorrect number, only to then not give him enough digits. All in all, I don't think he was terribly convinced that anything I'd said was the truth.

    Still, I bravely bade him good night, stepped out of the taxi and walked up the pathway of number 19 - where I do not live. (I cannot stress this enough). So, as I'm slowly getting closer to the front door, I can still hear the cab engine at a standstill and not reversing as I'd hoped. Shit. I calmly stopped mid-way and proceeded to make an epic show of, "looking for my keys", in order to kill some extra time in wondering just what in the hell I was going to do next. I did this for about a minute, which is a very long time to be making exasperated sounds and flailing your arms in the air, all the while surreptitiously looking over your shoulder to check if a suspicious cab driver is showing any signs of leaving. Which of course, he wasn't.

    So I walked further down the drive way and stood in front of the back gate, which was a great big wooden mechanism, (presumably designed that way to keep people like me out), put my bag on top of a wheelie bin which stood adjacent to the side of the house and pretended to go through the contents of it further. I then took my phone out and pretended to be on it, wandering around the perimeter of the house, as if I was trying to reach someone who was inside to let me in. Still he's parked there with the engine running, gawping at me like an insane person. Because clearly he's the one who is mentally ill in this scenario. I retreated back to my position outside the gate and idly considered climbing over it into the back garden. I immediately aborted this plan when I took a closer look and discovered a sign warning, "beware of the dog". It was probably a fictional deterrent, but I didn't want to risk it.

    Several minutes had gone by now and at this stage I sat down on the floor for a while behind number 19's Renault Megane, obstructing the cab drivers view of me, which was oddly relieving. Even though the ominous growl of the engine, still in the same spot where I'd gotten out, was a constant reminder that I would have to come out eventually. I contemplated climbing over Number 17's gate and curling up in a flower bed for a while, as that didn't have a guard dog sign on it. But then the driver would see me doing so and would know for certain that I didn't live in Number 19 then. Although I think he was beginning to cotton on to the fact that I blatantly didn't live there by now.

    Feeling defeated, I started to put all of the contents back into my bag from the top of the wheelie bin, which I'd removed earlier in my, "key searching", efforts. I whipped my phone out and started talking. I don't know who it was supposed to be to, all I know is the person on the other end was incredibly funny, because I didn't stop laughing. At this point the cab driver had finally turned the engine off and was talking on his phone. I assume he was talking to a real person, unlike me who was essentially talking to nobody. He was probably rallying around his cab driving cronies to come and teach me a lesson, or worse; the Police. As soon as this thought entered my brain, my reaction was immediate. Within seconds I'd whipped my shoes off, thrown my phone into my bag and ran off at lightning speed, (or what certainly felt like it) in the opposite direction. Back to the entrance of the close, as the cab driver was facing the other way and so it would take more time for him to turn around if he decided to follow me. (I do possess some logic after all).

    Of course he did follow me. But I had some distance on him. I can only imagine what this must have looked like. A girl erratically sprinting along a main road at 4.30am, being chased by a cab while trying to keep her shoes wedged under her arm and hold her dress up, which was doing little to stay where it should have been. I covered a couple of hundred yards in all and physically exhausted, chest heaving, I finally flung myself into a footpath which led back to my estate. Funnily enough once back inside the residential area I jogged past number 19. Ah, my old friend. And then proceeded to run through various front gardens, not wanting to venture too close to the roadside, just in case the cab driver suddenly appeared and tried to run me over. Which in all fairness, I wouldn't blame him for attempting.

    Suffice to say, I got home unscathed but drastically short of breath. The next day I didn't so much as go near a window, just in case I was spotted. To my horror though, I discovered that in all the confusion I'd misplaced my purse. To this day, I'm not sure where it's gone. I could put it to a poll. Either it's on number 19's wheelie bin. On the roadside. Or, sickeningly enough, still in the taxi? In which case, calling and asking for it back would just be bad form. Luckily the address on my drivers licence isn't my current one. But I guess he knows my name isn't Sian now. Damn, and I'd almost got away with it.

    National Novel Writing Month

    Apparently it's  National Novel Writing Month. So in lieu of any actual facial hair in which to lovingly craft a suitable 'tache for Movember, I shall be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days, throughout this lovely month of November.

    If it does so well as to actually get published, I shall consider sitting through a televised charity appeal and not flicking over.



    Thursday, 28 October 2010

    Snap Happy

    There’s an epidemic of irrational and unnecessary photography sweeping the internet since, well forever really and I’m no exception, (in fact I’ve just had the pleasure of being tagged in several photos of myself in various poses with a novelty moustache). So, I just wanted to shine a bit of hypocritical light on the absurd commonalities of online photo sharing.




    The Myspace Pose


    It’s become as ubiquitous as the site itself. And when the Myspacer’s eventually jumped from the sinking ship, (sorry Tom but it’s true), aboard more attractive social networks, they brought with them an unwelcome stowaway. Pointing a camera directly at a mirror while holding it from various angles can often give the illusion that you’re thinner and more attractive than you are. But that’s all it is: an illusion. You can’t hold a person in quite the same manner and make sure their eye line is viewing you at your best. You just can’t. They’re going to see you and your gut in all its conspicuous glory when they inevitably click on view more pictures. Why does this never occur to people? I personally like to have a mixed bag of good and not so good snap shots of me, so as to ensure if anyone ever met me in the flesh they wouldn’t be too disappointed and even dare I say it, pleasantly surprised.




    Scenery


    Holiday snaps. They’re very effective at elevating your smug sense of self-worth to the online community. They confirm that you do in fact leave the dreary location of home once in a while and are a very cultured member of society. (Not to mention own goal-ing yourself, by intensifying an already prevalent bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder). And I know being a tourist with a camera is likened to that of a junkie looking for their next fix, but the need to fill a memory card with shot after shot of landscapes, sunsets, animals and the bed in the hotel room remains a mystery to me. The moment can never be captured, because when you get home you’re just going to bypass the photos of the horizon in favour of the ones of you enjoying yourself. Which is why you went on holiday in the first place, right?




    Food


    When you’re hungry everything looks appetizing. I’m often hungry because I have a secret fat girl inside me. Many a time she’s seen strips of cardboard which resemble a succulent cut of sirloin. She’s mentally ill. The appeal is in her head. So listen carefully, just because it’s a meal that you’ve warmed up yourself, doesn’t mean it’s photo-worthy, in fact it’s mediocre at best and really quite forgettable. Your taste buds have momentarily taken control of your better judgment and convinced you that this dish wouldn’t look out of place in the likes of a pretentious yuppie establishment with a french sounding name. A picture of an “epic sandwich” isn’t timeless, it’s time consuming. Just eat it, experience a sense of self-loathing if you’ve just cheated your diet, be full, forget about it, be content for a few hours, then do it all again. And so the cycle of endless consumption continues.




    Your Car

    Immerse yourself in this knowledge: NO ONE CARES. That’s all I have to say in this category. No witticisms. No picture. No tolerance.




    Kissing


    A few months ago I blogged about the online presence of relationships and their public display of awareness. Which you can find here: http://bit.ly/c99299 Newsflash, you’re not on the cover of a gossip rag and neither is your relationship. No one cares that you’ve been photographed kissing, (the fact that our celebrity obsessed culture cares that anyone of fame and wealth is kissing, frankly frightens me, but that’s a separate issue). You’re a couple, it’s what couples do, we know. And believe me, no one is more thrilled than I am that you’ve found a life companion within this hostile world in which to exchange various diseases with, but, as a popular pop punk quintet would say, “save it for the bedroom”. And don’t leak a sex video to be passed among the local Smart phones either, because no one wants to see that. (That’s not a lyric in the song, but it really should be).




    Gigs


    Watching and enjoying a gig used to be the primary motives as an audience member. But as technology has soldiered on, so has our idea of a good time. I used to have my view obstructed by people’s heads and now, my vision is consistently accosted with rows of camera phones. You think you’re immortalising the moment, but what you’re going to end up with is, well arm ache, primarily. And an image that might have a silhouette of a figure, clutching what looks to be a threatening weapon, that has become an amalgamated part of them. Not to mention a ream of blurred images that resemble a child’s water painted interpretation of a rainbow.




    Sabotage


    Recognise her? No? Well, I do. It’s me. How refreshingly original. I’ve taken a regular word and manipulated it to fit a different context. A lewd context. I’m living proof that maturity isn’t acquired simply through age. Don’t do this. It will come back to haunt you, I guarantee it. This also goes for moronically grinning and pointing at an advertisement for a company which has the same name as you. Yes, the world exists outside of your own bubble. It’s mind boggling.

    Romance Intolerant



    I’m always listening to my friends divulge hilarious anecdotes about their trials and tribulations with the opposite sex and the elusive concept that is romance. It’s a tricky business. Human beings are a complex bag of emotions and a fickle one at that. And while their stories range from the cringe worthy to just plain bizarre, they’re always left with the same resounding echo of uncertainty. Just what went wrong?

    I’ve been seriously mulling this over for most of my adult dating life and think I might just have solved it. When I was younger, I’m not ashamed to admit that I led a pretty promiscuous existence and knocking on the door of 24, not an awful lot has changed (most people develop a certain level of maturity and restraint with age, but I have yet to acquire so much as a hint of either of those things). But one thing that has changed is my method of approach.

    I was always of the opinion that in order to get someone to like you it was imperative to stick to the rules. The most significant being: nonchalance. I’m not saying I mastered it with ease, but for the most part I managed to maintain a decidedly uninterested approach when engaging with potential dates. In that, I would refrain from contact for days on end, often be rude and abrupt and sometimes leave dates early to leave them wanting more. I lived by the idea that appearing interested reeked of desperation and was eager to maintain the mysterious and cool persona, because anything less than that was considered irrational and psychotic - like most girls. And I didn’t want to behave like most girls. Of course this approach got me nowhere. Because in my eagerness to not appear jealous or demanding, I would find myself engaging with people just to appear powerful and superior in not feeling anything for them.


    And so when I reflect on those early single years now, I don’t think that I was necessarily unhappy. I certainly wasn’t the type to go out searching for a boyfriend, because the company I enjoy the most is that of my friends (not to mention my own). But the Ice Queen approach certainly wasn’t gratifying and I ended up not knowing a great deal about myself, which is paramount before getting to know someone else.

    Now, I know myself only too well. And I’ve realised that the more you hold back the less you know. Putting yourself out there is almost as humiliating as using the turn of phrase itself, but I highly recommend that you do. It’s good to get knocked back once in a while. In the long-term of course, in the short-term rejection feels like a vast obstacle which you’ll never overcome. But you will. Because as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to relationships there are no rules. A one size fits all method just isn’t logical.

    But my advice, if you care to hear it (and if you’ve read this far, I’m sure you do) would be to not try too hard. Everyone has an innate talent, don’t force it, just let it occur naturally. I tried far too hard for years to appear emotionless, when I wasn’t. I got nowhere. At the same time though, don’t force yourself to be too emotional if you’re not. It’s about striking a balance. Which isn’t easy and only comes with practice. And how can you practice if you’re not willing to take a risk?

    A friend who I’ve suffered traumatic dating experiences with for years, recently said to me,“but you’re so strong and uncaring about the way men behave, I always think of you when I’m trying not to be upset.” And what I’ll say to that is, it’s very easy to come across as though you’re not phased when you don’t have any feelings for someone. When I do have feelings for someone I behave just as crazily and irrationally as the best of them. I once rang someone at 15 minute intervals until they answered. Thankfully that person and I are still friends and have managed to put the awkwardness behind us.

    Here’s another cliché: be yourself. How long are you expecting to hold on to someone if they’re not seeing the real you? It has to come out eventually. Not all at once of course. Just make sure your crazy behaviour resonates in a residual and gradual manner. By no means am I instructing you to lump it on them all at once.


    Let me give you an example:

    I have a friend (who won’t mind my using this anecdote, though I will be posting it to her Facebook later) she’s a very attractive, articulate and intelligent girl. In short she’s a catch. Suffice to say she receives a hefty amount of male attention and was once conversing with a potential date online. This in itself is a perilous endeavor, but she’s very naturally witty (far more so than I am) and was following the guideline of her usual effortlessly charming approach. He was rather keen in his attempts to secure a date with her and taking advantage of this she felt comfortable enough to make a joke, which she considered to be zany and kooky.

    She accompanied the joke with an image of an orthopedic shoe.

    Yes, you’ve just read that correctly. I can’t remember the particulars of the message, but I remember receiving the conversation via email and couldn’t reply for days, such was the depth of my amusement.
    He never replied. So, it doesn’t matter how much of a super human you are in every other area because if your actions appear too contrived, rejection is highly probable.

    And I say this with much love intended:


    People don’t want to envisage you trawling through image websites for god knows how long, trying to find a picture of a shoe for people who have issues with their feet, to back up a joke which wasn’t even relevant in the first place.

    Show your interest, by all means, but still maintain that you have other interests as well. I’ve lovingly named this blunder Orth-Gate and have been and still am a frequent perpetrator. (I wouldn’t say I’m proud of it, but I’ve made my peace with it nonetheless).

    And if they reject you, at least you have something funny to entertain people with. These are called experiences. So, go, do, share, reflect. You never know, you might learn something.

    Cinderella, eat your heart out.

    Serious Journalism

    The first rule about the hidden photocopier paper cupboard is you don’t talk about the hidden photocopier paper cupboard.

    I’ve decided that the Telegraph is the thinking persons Daily Mail. While it doesn’t have quite the same caliber of sensationalist headlines based on nothing even remotely factual, it does throw in utter ludicrous statements wedged between otherwise standard news story paragraphs.

    Take this sentence from a political article about Topshop boss Philip Green and his investigation into public sector spending:


    “It is understood he has identified numerous examples of public bodies paying well over the commercial price for photocopier paper and other office supplies.”

    WELL OVER? How much well over? Which other office supplies? Don’t tell me the Bic pens could have been bought in bulk cheaply elsewhere? Careless Civil Servants. Haven’t they heard of price comparison websites? Honestly.

    Is there a secret back room in every office where the luxurious photocopier paper is stacked high to the ceiling like a hidden treasure trove of wonders where the evil administrators go and roll around, cackling giddily, covered in paper cuts?

    Probably not. But I’m intrigued now. It’s 10am on a Thursday morning and I'm idly daydreaming about elitist photocopier paper.

    The Perils of Public Transport


    The atmosphere on public transport and how people choose to behave on it, are endlessly fascinating to me. There is a heightened sense of unawareness prevalent throughout the journey which reflects just how self-centered a society we really are. People chattering away on the latest smart phone or to their commuter buddy having the most ridiculous conversations, completely oblivious to the fact that those around them are silently judging their latent stupidity.

    Just recently I was making a short journey on a First Great Western train from Cardiff to Swansea, and found myself with an uncharged iPod, not a publication in sight and a replacement phone with no Wi-Fi access. How on earth was I to pass the listless minutes? Thankfully after the experience I have come to the conclusion that the setting is an untapped resource of inspiration. Accidental eavesdropping is people watching’s more affluent cousin; richer in all aspects of comedic value and witticism material by far.

    In front of me were two young women, who throughout the entire duration of the 45 minute journey tackled the significant topic of wedding day etiquette. I’m not a person who has ever even contemplated what type of bride I’d be, so I was way out of my depth on this triviality. Apparently it’s not just about the ring or the dress or even the venue any more, it’s about the timing of the day’s events. Because apparently an hour and a half is too short in which to adequately fill your guests stomachs, but anything over two and a half hours is construed as just too arduous. The toasts should be condensed to just the immediate family, allowing perhaps one or two work colleagues/old friends. In typical female fashion there were no justifications offered for these opinions, (but I imagine it’s because really, once you’ve heard one conservative ice breaker from an elderly relative and a daring ice breaker from a cocky groomsman, found in a standard search engine, you’ve pretty much heard them all).

    They went on and on and on. Honestly, they scrupulously analysed every typical wedding day activity, scheduling it into the most appropriate time slot. Because the key to a good wedding isn’t ensuring that you pace your alcohol intake, but more importantly it’s to ensure that you pace the itinerary of your guests like that of a carefully structured circuit race. The theme of the day is seamless not sentiment after all. And you know exactly who these women were. Early 30-slightly overweight-not a sniff of a boyfriend in 18+ months let alone a fiancee. An utterly preposterous conversation to be having, especially when they could be chattering about shoes, or cocktails or pink things. That’s what single women are limited to after all.

    Then there was the young girl with an undecipherable accent sat adjacent to me, making an incessant racket on her mobile phone to someone she obviously wanted to impress. She haughtily expressed how her and her work colleagues had just ordered a round of alcoholic beverages and how crazy that fact was since it wasn’t yet 5pm. Except it wasn’t a fact. She made this phone call 20 minutes into the journey and the seat next to her had remained vacant throughout. And as for the beverages all she had in front of her was a half-empty fruit cup. I’ll concede that every one fabricates events once in a while to make themselves feel marginally better about their otherwise mundane existence. But in front of a carriage load of people who can see that you’re being grossly untruthful? I for one wouldn’t want my blatant lies echoing throughout rush hour. But that’s just me.

    Since the experience I’ve been idly wondering if I’ve ever fallen victim to a sarcastic stranger delighting in my politically incorrect comments or ill-informed opinions while on some mode of public transport. And then I remembered that in terms of train etiquette, I was traditionally British; kept my eyes averted to anything other than someone elses eye line, while mentally assessing whether to get a taxi to my planned destination or to walk. I’m safe. Are you?

    Abvs


    So, my grammar post had a few minor mistakes of its own, which were lovingly pointed out to me, from which I learned the valuable lesson of proof reading. We’re all human, we make mistakes and we learn from them. Suffice to say I have replaced my delete button with a sharp point.

    Anyway, next I wish to address typical online conversation and the abbreviated language it has spawned as a result. While it might be easier for people to type, it certainly isn’t easy to read.


    Shortened Words
    I think the object of shortened words is to save time when you’re typing them. The words on the list below don’t exceed six letters. Is it really worth it? I don’t think it’s worth it one bit. What are you actually going to do with the point whatever of a second that you’ve saved from missing out crucial vowels? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.


    Ne1 - Anyone

    Ur - Your

    4get - Forget

    Cnt - Can’t

    Ther - There
    Wot - What
    Thn - Than
    Ppl - People

    I attempted to type the word ‘anyone’ as the abbreviated alternate shown above. I failed. I spent too much time saying the word in my head phonetically in order to work out which letter to type as opposed to the letter it actually begins with. And then there was the whole palaver of remembering to access the numerate keys, wrongly holding the shift button down to create an exclamation mark. In short it was a travesty. But I find I can type the correctly spelled ‘anyone’ in no time at all without so much as a hitch. Interesting.


    Abbreviated sentences (often conversation killers)
    It’s like a form of Newspeak, eradicating letters for convenience. But it’s not convenient, because I often have to ask someone what the abbreviation means and they end up having to type it in order to explain anyway. Which is senseless and time consuming, not convenient in the slightest.



    Lol - I find that humourous.
    Pmsl/Rofl/Lmao - I find that very humourous.
    OMG - I find that shocking.
    OBV - I find that glaringly apparent.
    Brb - I find that, oh wait hang on.
    STFU - (Shut the fuck up). Oddly this is one I get a lot. I’d have more respect for someone simply going offline and crying in a corner in response to whatever I’d insulted them with.

    TBH - To be honest.
    ATM - At the moment.


    HAND - Have a nice day.
    I’m undecided which comment bothers me the most. On the one hand, (no pun intended), it’s a random body part being thrown into the conversation for seemingly no reason. And on the other, someone is actually telling me to enjoy my day. Yes, definitely the latter. This must be an American one. We’re British, no one has nice days and we don’t even so much as look at each other on public transport let alone wish each other well.



    Hearts
    Hearts have a lot to answer for.


    Just for reference, that is a human heart. It’s the size of a fist and not particularly attractive either.

    I often see people using this online:
    “I love you ♥” - I love you heart.

    Why is that heart there? I love my heart. It’s done a lot for me. But using it for extra emphasis is annoying. The sentence implies that there is a lot of heart involved in what you’re trying to express. The fact that you also had to copy and paste that heart from somewhere reeks of desperation. I found mine from a particular person’s profile because I knew they were the type to use it, (one of their friends had actually written it), but you can tell a lot about a person by who they’re friends with, so I rest my case.

    Also, using the noun, “heart” as a verb. You don’t heart anything, it’s not correct. People profess to heart the City they live in, when actually they simply experience varying degrees of enjoyment from cohabiting there. If I walked around with a t-shirt proclaiming the sentence, “I often enjoy living in Cardiff”, you’d think I was mentally ill, and you’d be right. I will concede that you can love something, of course you can. But the problem is you don’t even feel that way about it. I see things written like, “I heart this sandwich.” You don’t love it, you will marginally like it for a short period of time and then forget its existence entirely.

    Like ex-boyfriends. LOLZ.

    I Has A Grammar



    Every day I use the internet. I open up my laptop and log in to the plethora of social networking sites I’ve lovingly crafted to exhibit my personality to the online community. It has become as imperative to my daily activities as my exhalation of carbon dioxide. If I didn’t do it, I would in effect cease to function.

    And naturally the main offenders of are:

    • Facebook; A blessing that is often a curse. A constant flurry of insight into people of little or no interest, but you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through their recent activities anyway.
    • Twitter; Unstructured, random, seldom answered and mostly sentences spoken at rather than to each other. Conversation at its best.
    • Blogger; Blogging gives you such a tremendous sense of purpose and self-satisfaction. To me it’s the equivalent to eating olives.


    I’m completely unashamed to admit that I log in to each and every one of these websites every single day. I have the applications for my Blackberry also. (Tweeting on the go is like a drug. Spontaneous, totally necessary at the time and an unyielding desire to share the experience with others around you there and then).

    But it’s a love-hate relationship, because every day I log in and every day I am accosted by grammatical negligence. Tell me, are you unaware of your latent stupidity or are you simply careless?

    Seriously, the question plagues me. And I don’t know which notion bothers me the most. If you’re unaware, then the fact that you have an average degree and/or are earning a modest salary infuriates me. And if you’re careless about how you portray your intellect to the world, then I know exactly what type of person you are. You are a fan of Katie Price and profess to not be able to read in answer to questions about literary interests.
    Someone recently informed me that life isn’t an English lesson, via Formspring of course, no one would have the guts to say that to me in person. (Which also goes for the all of the other poisonous jabs on there).

    And it got me thinking, how amusing it would be to put together a list of the most irritating grammatical faux pas. So, here they are...




    PUNCTUATION

    Apostrophes. They’re not that difficult to comprehend.


    Your / You’re

    Your is a possessive pronoun. As in, your house or your inability to grasp the basics of your native language.
    You’re is a contraction of you are.
    Example: You’re a moron for not knowing the difference between your and you’re.


    Its / It’s

    Same principle. It’s is a contraction of it is or it has.
    Example: It’s been good to know you but not your illiteracy.


    Its is a possessive pronoun, meaning of it or belonging to it.
    Example: Your writing is known for its inability to make sense.


    And if you’re still unsure just don’t use one. 






    CONTEXTUALISATION 

    This is the one that infuriates me more than any other. Using words in the wrong context. It’s great that you’re using that ‘Word of the Day’ toilet paper but the object will have been defeated if you use it incorrectly. 

    Knowing the meaning is only half the battle when trying to use it in a sentence.


    Their is a possessive word that shows ownership of something.
    There is a word with many uses, indicating a place or position.
    Example: Their braincells are less active than ours, as there was a lack of oxygen present when they were born.


    Wary / Weary
    These adjectives may sound similar, but their definitions are another story.
    If you’re weary of someone, you’re tired or bored of them. If you’re wary, you’re cautious of them.
    Example: Sam, I’m weary of this patronising post now, but I’m going to continue reading because I’m wary of you and what you’ll do if I don’t.


    A/Effect
    Affect is a verb. It acts upon something, someone or an emotion.
    Effect is a noun. It is the result or consequence of something.

    Example: The poor grammar affected me, the effect was rage.




    MISSPELLING 
    (Note the double s)

    This is unforgivable. Why? I just typed the word unforgivable and mistakenly typed an e between the v and the a. It’s a common error. A red squiggly line appeared underneath it immediately after I hit the space key, alerting me that something was wrong. So I right clicked, (because I’m a Windows user and it’s unnatural not to have a right click button), and perused the suggested alternatives until I found the right one. Rocket science?

    You feel wierd do you? Do you really? No, you don’t. You are weird though, for thinking the i comes before the e.

    You loose. Excuse me? I loose? Now you’re making a conscious effort to look stupid by adding letters. I think you meant to say I lose. Looser. Oh, you recognised that was wrong did you? Jerk.

    I don’t know weather I should be allowed to live because I’m clearly not talking about sunshine, or snow or typhoons or anything else in regards to the state of the atmosphere. Whether. You meant to say WHETHER. Also, it’s Wetherspoon. It is NOT Witherspoons/Weatherspoons/I can’t think of any others. Sometimes it’s ‘Spoons. But only if you’re under 35. Actually 30.


    Alot. I’m sorry what’s that now? Why haven’t you used a space to separate those two separate words? A lot. See? Easy. You don’t say abatch/apack/apile do you? I hope not. So don’t say alot. Use a space. Space is good.







    POPULAR FOREIGN PHRASES



    I.E / E.G These Latin abbreviations come up frequently and are infrequently used correctly.


    I.E is an abbreviation of id est. English translation: that is. It is used to make something more clear.
    I’m going to do what I do best, i.e be sarcastic. There’s only one that thing that I claim to do best and by using i.e I’m telling you I’m about to specify it.


    E.G is an abbreviation of exempli gratia. English translation: for example. This is used when you are not intending to list everything which is being discussed.
    I have a lot of negative qualities, e.g sarcasm. Instead of listing them all, I’ve given you an example of the one which gets me into the most trouble.


    En Route
    This is a French phrase, which translates as, “on the way” or “along the way”.
    It is NOT to be written as any of the following: en-route / En route / En-route or any other other spelling variation.

    If you’re not sure, don’t write it! Or take the trouble to Google it at least. Honestly, that’s what Google is there for after all.

    And that’s all you really need to do if in doubt. Just Google it. Majority influence rules.