Tuesday, 31 March 2009
First, here's a little tension-building info for you:
*I'd been working at the local newsagents for a few months.
*Also working there was a VERY CUTE GUY who I'll call Paul.
This particular Valentine's Day, Paul and I were finishing a busy shift (people will insisit on buying Valentine's Day chocolates on their way home from work won't they?), we were sweeping up and putting away and just closing the shop in general. We were exhausted, having been on our feet running back and forth around the madhouse all evening. There was still quite a bit of cleaning up left to do and I was feeling tired, pathetic and loveless (typical secondary school Valentine's Day feelings), when Paul suddenly spoke.
P: "Do you have any plans tonight?"
Me: (suddenly feeling significantly less tired, pathetic and loveless because, HELLO, I'm about to be asked out by this boy I'm in love with) "Um, no. Why?"
P: "Well, I thought if you had somewhere you needed to be after this, I'd stay and help you clean up - but since you don't, I'm going to go."
P: "See ya!"
Monday, 30 March 2009
So, instead, allow me to give you a brief bulleted list, in no particular order, of self-discoveries and personal theories I've lately made.
*Sometimes there's nothing to say. Turns out there ARE things too special for the blog.
*Large chicken legs take longer to bake than breasts do.
*Men won't eat everything - they draw the line at bleeding drumsticks.
*When I hear a love song, I feel an intense longing to be skinny, a sure sign that the Hollywood brainwashers have done their work well on me. In my deepest subconsciousness, I believe romance is only for the thin and beautiful.
*I actually wanted to sit outside in the sun the other day. See I'm maturing.
*After making approximately seven hundred rice crispy buns in one month, I can testify that they don't get old.
*The best exchange from "Juno": "You're the coolest person I know, and you don't even try." "I try really hard, actually."
*Risotto is yah-UMMY.
*I really love food shopping on Friday nights. No one else is there and I can wander down the empty aisles at my leisure, taking in the sights and smells with glee. Plus it is the start of the weekend which always makes me giddy.
*Happiness, to say it for the one thousandth time, truly is a choice.
There you have it, my life in a nutshell.
Friday, 27 March 2009
Anyway, this was a much better way to spend a day off than previous ones I have had. Like what I hear you say.
Funny you should ask...
A few months ago I had a hospital appointment so took the day off work, here is the day, itinerary style:
10.00: Plan to depart from the house, this takes half an hour as I decide I can't possibly walk all the way all that way without having Babycakes on my ipod.
11.00: Arrive at the hospital. Find out that they are running behind and have implemented a ticket system. Take a number (348). Notice wall ticker tracking the numbers (it's currently on 327).
11.15: Decide to sit on a bench outside, where I can enjoy a view of the garage across the road and all the ill people wandering around, all while being serenaded by thumping bass and enjoying the fragrance of freshly lit cigarettes.
11.45: Meet Dan. He sits next to me on the bench and chats me up while we wait. I try to count both his tattoos and the number of times he says fuck, but in both cases I quickly lose count.
12.30: Dan shows me pictures of his son and his dog.
13.00: Dan lights his third cigarette.
13.35: Dan says he's 'too sodding old' for this stuff. I ask him how old he is. He replies "Twenty-six".
13.45: Dan hints that he's looking for a nice girl to move to Liverpool with him.
13.55: Dan tells me has an 'old lady' - a live-in girlfriend who's carrying his child. I suggest to Dan that she might be a good candidate for the Liverpool thing.
14.20: Dan asks me if I ever go to bars. I say occasionally, but I becoming a more of a homebody type. He approves of this; he is, after all, twenty-six. Time to settle down. He says he tends to be that way too these days, he hasn't even been in a fight for like six months.
14.35: Dan tells me he's one of those lucky people who can 'pull off any look'. He says he sometimes rolls up his trousers, tucks in his shirts, and slicks his hair back. He likes the 50s.
14.45: "@!!$%&!@!!" Dan got so carried away describing his wardrobe that he missed his number (340). They're now on 342.
15.10: My number is up! I go in and see a nice (if slightly surley) Doctor. Only took five hours to do.
S: (instantly alert, thinking of intruders or worse) What? (long pause) Honey, what?
Me: (softly, barely awake) There's a tiger on the ceiling and it's going to jump on ussss . . .
S: Fuck off
I hesitated before questioning him on this and this was his response:
"Oh I had a hole in my sock so I coloured my ankle black so no-one would know."
Thursday, 26 March 2009
"You look gorgeous," he said. "Brown is a good colour on you, you look all sparkley and pretty."
Haven't I trained him well? Seriously people, listen to me, give your favourite person a sincere and specific compliment and watch the romance unfold.
Fast forward about an hour. We're watching TV and he is playing with my hair. He sweeps my hair off my face, looks at me with the same critical eye. I wait for more romance.
"God, you've got a big forehead. You should probably always have a side fringe."
I hated PE so much at school. I mean hated it. I was AWFUL. I was always the girl who waited outside the teacher's office complaining of a headache/pulled muscle/period pain. In fact, if I remember correctly I had 'period pains' for four solid weeks in year 9.
Now I don't mind physical activity at all, I was fine at aerobics and my PE teacher remarked on a skiing trip (with incredulous surprise in her voice) that I 'wasn't bad at all. But anything outside or team sports I HATED and whats more completely SUCKED at. If there was any other option I would take it and if I had to actually participate then I would lag behind when we played netball or hockey or whatever the wretched game was. If I ever happened to get my hands on the ball (which was an accident, I assure you - no one in their right mind would pass it to me), I would freeze up in terror and pass it off to someone else the second I could.
I developed several surefire ways of ensuring that I would have as little contact with the ball as possible. Firstly I would make sure I was on Annabel's team. Annabel was the best at sport in my year and therefore, if I was on her team and played in a defense position, the chances of me actually moving was small. Secondly, as we had a big year, I would volunteer the most for subs. I could deal with playing for 10 minutes if it meant I could sit off for the next 20. Thirdly I would offer to help the teacher referee. Yes I was a suck up I know.
When applied effectively it meant that in an average lesson I had zero time with the ball.
The thing that excited me most about finishing school was the sure knowledge that I would never, ever have to play a sport again. No one could make me. Even now, just thinking about my liberation from sports (almost seven years ago) makes me smile.
Being with S who is sporty and footbally and LOVED sport at school, hell he went to college to study it, I have struggled to explain to him my detest of all things that make me sweaty.
Once, after S and I had been together about a year, we were going to play a game of rounders with some friends, he assured me that I would be fine, that it wasn't like games at school, that no-one would laugh at my ineptness. The time came and, full of nerves, we played. And I sucked. As a fielder I didn't touch the ball (thank you guys). As a batter I missed every single ball and then got stumped at first.
Later that night, as I got ridiculously drunk to cover up my humiliation and prove that hey, I may suck at sport but I can drink you guys under the table, S assured me that he'd never make me play a sport again.
Less comforting was his muttered, "Thank goodness our kids will have some of my genes too."
I HEARD THAT. But really, thank goodness.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Me: "S, this Indian kid is Muslim, Catholic, and Hindu!"
S: "I don't think it works that way."
Me: "He just loves God, that's why. He likes all the ways to love God."
Me: "His father owns a zoo! And so he grew up with all those animals! And his dad made him watch a hungry tiger eat a goat, so that he would understand how mean tigers are even when they appear tame!"
S: "That's kind of ruthless. Also, is this book just about belonging to three religions and growing up in a zoo?"
Me: "So far!"
Me: "S, HE WAS ON A SHIP WITH ALL THE ANIMALS GOING TO CANADA AND IT SANK! THE SHIP SANK! AND HE'S ON A LIFEBOAT WITH A TIGER!"
S: "How did the tiger get on the lifeboat?"
Me: "He helped it get on there!"
Me: "He was confused! There's a zebra on there too, and a hyena, and an orangutan! And the tiger's name is Richard Parker!"
S: "Isn't it orangutang? And isn't Richard Parker a stupid name for a tiger?"
Me: "No! And no!"
Me: "S! The hyena ate the zebra and the orangutang, and the tiger ate the hyena! And now he wants to eat the boy!"
S: "That makes sense."
Me: "He's trying to train the tiger! So it won't eat him!"
S: "What? Who's trying to train a tiger?"
Me: "Pi! Are you sleeping?"
S: "I was."
Me: "He's training the tiger like in a circus, so it won't eat him! And he tried to eat its faeces!"
Me: "They're going to starve to death and they're going blind!"
S: "Who is?"
Me: "Pi and the tiger! They can only eat raw fish and turtles and they haven't caught any and they're starving and all the salt's making them go blind!"
S: "Is that whole book about a boy and a tiger floating around in a lifeboat?"
Me: "I think so!"
S: "That's really boring."
Me: "No it's not! It's like the movie 'Castaway' only better because there's a TIGER!"
Me: "S, HE FOUND ANOTHER PERSON AND THE OTHER PERSON TRIED TO EAT HIM AND SO THEN THE TIGER ATE HIM!"
S: "Ate who?"
Me: "RICHARD PARKER! HE ATE THE PERSON WHO TRIED TO EAT PI! ATE HIM!"
S: "Well, at least the bloody tiger served some purpose in the story besides making you think that an otherwise boring book is good just because it has a tiger in it."
Me: "I will kill you."
Me: "They found an island with meerkats and fresh water!"
S: "Are the meerkats the ones from the 'Compare the Market' adverts?"
S: "Sorry, what did you say?"
Me: "They are on an island!"
S: "So now they really are castaways."
Me: "No, they had to leave because it was poison!"
S: "What was poison?"
Me: "The island! It ATE people!"
S: "I'm going to bed."
------Me: (crying) "S, I'm crying."
S: (long sigh) "Why are you crying?"
Me: "Richard Parker left. They got to Mexico and he left. And he didn't even say goodbye."
S: "He's a tiger. They don't talk. And it's midnight, can we please turn off the lights?"
Me: "He left." (sniffle) "He left, S. They were on the boat together for like 290 days and then he just left. Why would he do that?"
S: "Because he's a tiger."
Me: "I love this book."
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Deadly serious, my personal 'economic stimulus plan' relies on the legalisation of cannabis. And I'll tell you for why:
First of all, you can tax the heck out of it, so there's your £££ for whatever other economic bailout measures you want to take.
Secondly, people who would normally smoke weed but don't because of legal implications could buy it, thus a major infusion of capital into the economy.
Thirdly, people would finally CHILL THE HELL OUT about the economic crisis.
Fourthly, Pringles and other munchie-type snacks would skyrocket. Thus improving the economy.
It's a win-win-win situation.
"At this point, Chris Brown would have been better off getting caught with a bong."
Seriously. I know.
Please assure me that you are all MUCH more concerned over the assault allegations against Chris Brown than you are about the fact that Michael Phelps was recently photographed smoking weed.
Let's weigh them on the scales, shall we?
Michael Phelps: uses recreational drugs from time to time. Not exactly something you'd do in church, but come on. The illegal status of marijuana use is up for debate anyway.
Chris Brown: allegedly PUNCHED AND BIT HIS GIRLFRIEND. In a heated argument, he inflicted serious bodily harm on a person - a woman, no less.
I'm just going to go out on a limb with this one and say YOU'RE ALWAYS BETTER OFF GETTING CAUGHT WITH A BONG.
Monday, 23 March 2009
When I was in year 1, I 'got married' to a boy in my class named Michael. We had an elaborate ceremony under a tree in the school field. I had decided he loved me because we both kissed the school rabbit at the same time this obviously meant we practically had kissed each other. After all, we would have, had we not been separated by long-eared Buttons. I therefore persuaded Michael that we should get married. Two days after he held hands with my friend Laura under the maths table. My heart broken, I cried for days.
In year 2 a boy standing behind me in the line to see the teacher said the word "bum". I unleashed my righteous indignation on him for daring to use such horrid language, and he meekly apologized. (Oh, how the mighty have fallen.)
When I was in year 3, I was in love with a boy named James. I wrote him secret admirer letters with clues about my identity. Clearly I was no Agatha Christie; he guessed after the second note. When he confronted me about it, I told him I'd just been delivering the letters for my friend Josie (I had no such friend) who went to a different school but had caught a glimpse of James on the playground one day and fallen in love from a distance. (Is there a prize for thinking on your feet? If so then I'd have won it.) He demanded to meet her. I convinced my (real) friend Laura (yes, we made up since the maths table incident) to pose as Josie and let them meet in the playground of my school (where she was inexplicably wearing our school uniform, geez James you weren't the brightest bulb in the tanning booth were you?). Anyway, they swapped numbers, and we instructed him to ask for Laura when he called her, because, er, that was her family nickname. Laura. As a nickname for Josie.
When I was in year 4, I was picked to play the part of Persephone for the class assembly AND due to fab casting it meant that the most yummy, popular boy in the class had to hold my hand. The popular girls actually cried tears of envy; it was my finest moment. I could say that's where my career in theatrics started, but if you've read this whole post... you know I was a drama queen, born and bred, before anyone ever handed me a script.
Anyway, as is the case with pretty much everything, I have become the woman I used to judge. No, I don't have a cleaner. But, if I could afford one, you better believe that the 24-year-old chick with the able body, the no kids, and the one bedroom flat would totally pay someone else to clean it. IN A HEARTBEAT. Homemaker's pride be hanged!
The lesson here is this: any and every time you find yourself on a soapbox, even if it's just a soapbox in your head, you better take a good look around while you've got the vantage point, and find a nice space for yourself down there with the gross embarrassments to humanity at whom you are sneering.
Also, will someone please come clean my house?
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
S: I'm sorry I told you I had broken my leg as a joke when I was living in London and forgot to text you to five minutes later as I had intended to tell you I was kidding.
S: I'm am sorry you spent £40 on a huge bunch of flowers for me when you thought I had broken my leg.
My younger brothers: I'm sorry for making you dress up like girls once. If it makes you feel any better, you were both pretty girls.
My friend Amie: I'm sorry for that I once grabbed your neck with the tongs after using them to get waffles out of the oil. It really was an accident, I didn't know they were hot and would burn your neck. I really was just playing around.
Amie's mum: I'm sorry I lied and told you that it was a complete accident that Amie had perfectly lined up burn marks on either side of her neck... I realise now you saw through my story of how it happened.
Mrs Hancock: I'm sorry for hiding under my desk in year three when I didn't finish my work. I thought you couldn't see me and that you would forget I was there, I now know that you can't really hide effectively under your desk when you are in the front row. I just didn't want you to be mad.
Miss Goforth (head teacher): I'm sorry thinking you would make the perfect Ursala. I was really into The Little Mermaid and you had a scratchy voice and you were a pleasantly plump lady. It just fit. But it wasn't right. Sorry.
My sister: I'm sorry I continuously told you you were adopted and that you couldn't ask Mum because it would make her cry.
My sister: I'm sorry I told you that Mum and Dad only had you because I needed a kidney when you discovered that you weren't in fact adopted.
My sister: I am sorry that I made you kiss my bare bum when I was 6 and you were three because 'I was the big sister and the most important'.
My sister: I'm sorry that I told you that before people are born they are asked whether they want to be pretty and that you had obviously said no.
Dad: I am sorry that my sister and I told one of your girlfriends that you were in a cult and that you wanted her to join. And I'm sorry she then unexplicabley left the restaurant.
Self: I'm sorry for the mushroom head hairstyle of the late nineties. Ick.
Katie: I am sorry that I thought I could cut layers into your hair because I watched a stylist cut layers into mine.
Mrs Wilson: (my reception teacher): I am sorry that I cried nearly every day in school. All I wanted was to go home or to get my stinking lunch box open. I am also sorry that I stole your blutack every time I spotted it and also for stealing toys like the counting bears...they were too hard to resist... I took one of every color...
Self: I am sorry that I just couldn't resist the blutack and that I ended up dropping it in my hair during nap time. I am sorry I was too afraid to tell my teacher because I didn't want her to know I was the culprit, so I ended up ripping out my hair and leaving a huge bald spot on the right side.
Boys I fancied during my school years: I am extremely sorry that you recieved countless phone calls from my friends telling you that you better get your chance with me while you can, because I was moving soon. I put them up to that, and no, I was never going to move.
My sister, Ian and Ryan: I am sorry that you guys were dumb enough for really believing that Laura, Leona and me could hypnotise you and make you do our chores.
My sister, Ian and Ryan: I am sorry for calling you dumb.
Mrs Batty (playgroup teacher): I'm sorry I told my mum you made the nursery class play a game where I had to kiss boys, just because I didn't want to play in the home corner so you made me sit out. I'm sorry that my mum called you, furious, and you had to tell her I was a big fat liar.
Mrs Crossland (other playgroup teacher): I'm sorry I got put into your group because Mrs Batty no longer wanted a liar in her group.
Mum: I'm sorry I lied to you about that..
My sister: I'm sorry I always fed you really yucky foods when we'd play 'Guess what I'm feeding you'. I am also sorry that I laughed when you threw up.
My sister: I'm sorry that I gave you fairy liquid water in a cup when you asked me to get you a drink. I am also sorry that you drank it and then spat all over the carpet. I am even more sorry that when Mum got cross at you and you told her what happened that I said that you were lying and she believed me and told you off more.
S: I'm sorry that when we are seeing what is on tv I deliberately don't mention that Top Gear is on because I know that without your glasses you won't know and then that way I can watch My Super Sweet 16.
My sister: I am sorry that I threw your knickers onto the top of the lockers when we were at the swimming pool and that neither of us could reach them and you had to go home without them, wearing just a skirt.
My sister: I am sorry that I told everyone about the knickers thing.
Mr Riley (Year 2 teacher): I'm sorry I told you I was a better speller than you.
Victoria Moxon: I'm sorry that Amie and I stuffed balloons up our noses and then gave them to you to blow up. It was her idea.
Chris Woodbrush: I'm sorry I didn't go to the Hymers/Hull High Ball with you.
Jamie Churchill: I'm sorry I didn't go to the Hymers/Hull High Ball with you.
Greg Matthews: I'm NOT sorry I didn't go to the Hymers/Hull High Ball with you. You were creepy.
Nana: I'm sorry I thought it appropriate to tell you about my friend who got pregnant while on the pill. I really have no explanation for that.
Nana: I'm sorry I told you that S and I spent £400 a month on food shopping when we first moved in. It wasn't true and I have no explanation for that either.
Weird religious man who knocked on my door: I'm sorry I told you I was also going to hell with Obama, but seriously, I wasn't thinking clearly after you listed him in the same category as Hitler.
Damien Smaile: I'm sorry I broke up with you because you were too short. Oh, and I'm sorry I nicknamed you Chester the Molester.
Whew. I feel 100 times better now that I have gotten all that off my chest. I am sure there are 100s more, but I think this will do! You should try it.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
I was thirteen and it wasn't really my first kiss, but all the previous ones (all two of them) were super-brief pecks on the mouth that were fun but not exactly thrilling. And so, with mostly virgin lips, I entered the summer before year 9. I went to the local village summer fair thing with two friends. It was a yummy hot, summer day. We met up with some boys from another school who we had pretended to flirt with at Ionians discos. I'll call them Greg, Paul and Joe - because those were their names. We paired off, naturally, and wandered into the trees at the park nearby. I was with Greg, who, by the way, was really goodlooking.
My two friends were old pros at kissing, so things progressed quickly under their respective trees, but Greg and I had to warm up a little... mostly because I was terrified. We sat there talking about nothing for a long time and eventually the elephant under the tree - the fact that we weren't kissing - got too big to ignore.
"Why won't you kiss me?" he finally demanded.
I giggled and thought about killing myself. (No, you wouldn't think those two things can happen simultaneously, but it's because you don't have my multi-tasking skills.) I sucked it up and tried to be brave. "I WILL kiss you," I announced. We looked at each other for another minute or so. He was clearly getting agitated. Finally I leaned in and kissed his cheek, and he (of course) turned his head and caught me. So then our lips were touching, which HEY! Is kissing!
Unfortunately, being the inexperienced kisser that I was, I thought that was all that needed to happen (obviously, I hadn't watched enough TV). I continued to just kind of sit there motionless, my lips pressed tightly together and against his, as the minutes ticked by... and by... and by. I was getting bored, which should have been an indicator to me that things weren't really going right. If any passersby had wandered along during this 20-minutes-plus kiss, they'd have been hard-pressed to tell whether we were live bodies or just kissing sculptures.
FINALLY, after several loooooong kisses, it was over. I went home.The next day, I cheerfully announced that I'd had my first real kiss. And that it was amazing. And that I loved him.
Greg and I went out several times after that and even attempted to revisit the kissing a couple more times, but he eventually gave up (I give him props for sticking it out as long as he did). He ended things with the classic line,
"If you put money into a chocolate machine and no chocolate came out, would you keep putting money in?"
And we went our separate ways.
Friday, 13 March 2009
I am slightly addicted to American Idol. It's like X Factor but on drugs and without Louis Walsh. Which always makes a show better in my eyes.
Now, I love love love Adam Lambert (above, yum). If anyone can sing 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' and make me not want to vomit, I'm probably going to be a fan. Not only, did he not induce the gag reflex but I actually ENJOYED this once loathed song. It is utter iPod material. Along the same lines... I have never enjoyed Michael Jackson's 'Black or White'. But when my boy sings it.. oh yes. I have a serious crush on him. Not in a 'he's so cute I'm gonna paint my fingernails just like him' way (although would that be so wrong...), but in a 'I would immediately download anything he sings on my iPod and rotate his songs ad nauseum' way. I also like him as he is the only person in the competition that is not married at the age of 27. Seriously, they are all about 22 and married with about 12 babies.
Don't misunderstand... I have other loves in the competition: the guy who looks like Robert Downey Jr (although he will seriously go out of favour if he cries about his dead wife again. Harsh? I like to think so), Michael (simply because his real job is a 'roughneck'), quirky Megan and the rockerish 16 year old with the 'not a red in the world could look more unnatural' hair.
But Adam's my guy. End of. I've been loving Adam since early auditions but I've tried to keep it to myself. It's early. Things change. The judges get fickle. The voters get fickle. And it is all so tragic as I can't vote... well I could but it probably costs a lot to call a premium phone line in the US.
So please... watch American Idol and you will love him and if you don't.... just don't tell me. I generally shy away from contention, but over this... I may have to kick your arse.
Have you seen the man in the paper today who got attacked by a mountain lion and he barely even has scratches even though the lion chewed on his head? Apparently he just 'held still' and the lion stopped.
First of all, I don't know how you could do that and secondly, I watched a documentary with David Attenborough (who I am pretty sure does not lie) and he clearly stated that if you happen to be attacked by a mountain lion then you must 'fight back vigorously'.
So which is it? Hold still? Or fight back with all you've got?
I'm so confused. I just don't know what I'm going to do if I get attacked by a mountain lion this week.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
I love it.
And it is not just for babies. Oh no. What happened is this: I ran out of facewash and didn't buy a new one. So I looked around my shower and tried to find something to use instead (see, I live on the edge) and I decided to try baby shampoo.
Now let me first explain why I even own baby shampoo - it is a long and complex story about being in Boots for shower gel and them not having my favourite kind and me remembering how yummy baby shampoo smells from when my brothers were little and deciding it was a toss up between that or Matey bubble bath. Now they only had the silly boy sailor in the Matey, not the cool pink mermaid, and besides I'm not a swilling-in-your-own-dirt-in-the-bath kind of girl. So baby shampoo it was.
It is fab! I kid you not my friends, my face has never felt so soft and smooth! So what you need to do is this:
1. Go buy some baby shampoo. Johnsons in best, generic is OK.
2. Wash your face with it.
3. Delight in the softness and smoothness of your face.
4. Thank me later.
So there you have it.
What, were you expecting me to post about something sensible?
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Why can't I retire yet? I mean, I've worked hard... well I've worked... for almost four years now. I pay into a pension scheme at work (I bet you think that was me being mature and sensible, well no, I just couldn't find the box I needed to tick in order to opt out) and checked it recently and if I retire now I will get approximately £6.05 a month until I am 80.
I'm never going to get all the shoes I want with that now am I?
Monday, 9 March 2009
20% believe it is acceptable to hit a woman.
50% believe that a woman is 'at least partly to blame for being raped'. Fifty percent. Half the country. It is absolutely heartbreaking if this is even half true.
It was once reported that a quarter of all women would be a victim of assault, rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. These are our sisters, our mothers, our best friends, our daughters, our grandmothers, our aunties, our nieces, our cousins, the friendly girl who serves you your coffee at Starbucks, our colleagues, they are half the world and yet it is seen as OK for them to be hit, raped and assaulted. I presume that everyone surveyed knows and loves a woman somewhere.
I don't get it.
In our ever sophisticated and technological society, domestic violence and rape are the last taboos. It is somehow seen that women are always asking for it or have always brought it on themselves. That they are responsible for someone else's actions.
It is often said that when men sleep around then they are labelled 'a lad', 'a stud', 'a ladies' man'. A woman in the same situation? 'A whore', 'a slag', 'a tart', 'a slut'. Why do we allow this double standard? I used to think it was just a certain sect of society that perpetuated this myth but it isn't. It is people I know, people I love, people who may not know or understand the damage they are doing by vocalising their opinion because, perhaps, they are intelligent, have never felt threatened physically or sexually and just haven't thought of it in that way. But by thrusting their views into society they are picked up and repeated, they give the message that it is OK.
Rape is complex, it is a murky territory - a land of tiny skirts and girls who drink too much, with lots of myths and half-myths, and rarely more than the main two witnesses.
The taboo is reflected in the number of rapes reported. In 2004 the number of rapes reported totalled 13,976 (incidentally, in the same year a survey revealed that only 4% of people believed that more than 10,000 people were raped a year). It is estimated that this number only accounts for 15% of rapes that year. So, in actuality, it is thought that 93,174 people were raped in 2004. Nearly 100,000. Out of the reported rapes, so 13,976, only 5.6% resulted in a conviction.
So, lets recap, approximately 93,174 people raped, 13,976 reported and 783 convictions.
Why don't women report their rape or assault. It comes down to the taboo issue again. Can you really blame them when 50% of society believes that they are at least partially responsible?
Just think about the courage it takes to go to someone and say you have been raped. The courage it takes when you feel violated and vulnerable and humilated and dirty and the thought that must niggle in your head that you may not even be believed.
But what I don't understand is why people are so unwilling to believe that rape has occurred. Why is the woman mistrusted? Why is everything so weighted against her? Why don't we want to believe it?
I once read in a newspaper that three female members of the Welsh Assembly had said in a questionnaire that they had been raped and never reported it.
The quote that accompanied the article was provided by a survivor - because that they are, not victims - when asked why, she replied,
'We don't want to believe that there are so many men who would go ahead and have sex without consent. Even when it isn't hard to prove rape, we are much more inclined to blame the victim than to admit that men and boys we know are doing it.'
And her final quote makes me want to cry forever.
'We want to believe that we live in a civilised society'.
Please, if you know, explain this to me beacuse I just don't understand.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not dirty but you could definitely catalogue me in the messy section of society. Our flat is in a semi permanent messy state. Why this happens I don't know, I mean, it obviously can't be my fault - maybe it has something to do with six magazines I buy on average a week or the fact I don't seem to have Mary Poppin's skills of finger clicking (Lord knows I have tried). Either way I just have a lot of stuff. And it is all stuff that I absolutely need. Like old theatre tickets and empty CD cases. However, from analysing my desk at work I think I have realised the core of the problem is lack of knowing of where to put paper.
I think I may even have some sort of disability - I do not have the capability of dealing with paper. I create piles and piles on desks, the floor, on shelves. And then I clean up and they get put into boxes and drawers because I still don't know what to do with them and definitely can't throw them away as they may have something vital written on them (why don't you just read them all, I hear you cry, and then judge which you need and which you don't. Because that would be sensible). Maybe I'll start doodling on every piece of paper I have, that way I can just bind all the paper I own and put it on my bookcase and call it a sketch book. Then all paper will fall into the same category and when I need some old banking information or notes from an important meeting, I'll know exactly where to look. Perhaps.
See solves the problem AND makes me look arty.
Friday, 6 March 2009
Now this got me thinking, wouldn't it be sensible if when you booked tickets they asked you your height? Then they had tall columns and short ones so as you look at the stage it would go tall, short, tall, short etc...
Granted this would mean that if you and your friend were both tall or both short then you couldn't sit together but you know, sucks to be you, you really shouldn't be talking through the show anyway.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
I was really nervous though before we got there, not because of the restaurant or anything but that I wouldn't be able to eat as much as I wanted to, like my stomach just wouldn't have room or something. According to a friend this is weird but I bet a lot of people get nervous about that.
Which brings me on to food - tonight is the all exciting food delivery from the supermarket. I love it because it seems magical and miraculous that the food just appears without me having to pick it out or pay or anything. Plus dinner is always the best as there is so much choice, true I have to keep up the pretence that I have a child to the weird delivery man (I didn't want to carry the bags upstairs about a year ago so told him I was pregnant so he would do it and he has never forgotten, I have told him it is a daughter called Nancy - not that I would ever call a daughter Nancy but you know, she's imaginary so she'll have way more issues with that than her name) but generally it is happy days.
Then of course, we get to put everything away (well S does, I like to stand there with the receipt marking things off like a teacher) and check the best before dates. Sometimes while doing this I am relieved that I have over a year left on some items. But then I rethink that and wonder, what did they put in this to make it last for that long when really it shouldn't? So I don't know if it's better or worse that it's not going to be rotten anytime soon. For my health, it's got to be worse. For ease in food shopping and keeping my kitchen from smelling bad, better.
Tis a puzzle.