Update #67

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Remember the Bullshit Report? Although I haven’t written about it in a while, my mission to call men out on their bullshit is still very much an active and ongoing project.

It came to light this week that Mr.Fail, who I have already called out on his lies and game playing before, hasn’t really learnt from my previous warning. Apparently, some people need to be told twice. Sometimes even three or four times. This particular incident saw a young girl, Myra, blabbing her mouth about their relationship during a busy Friday pub lunchtime. In a small town like ours, the news didn’t take time to spread. Initially I laughed it all off…then I realised the time line. All the months Mr.Fail was telling me how wonderful and beautiful I was, all the times he pleaded with me not to break his heart, he was in a sexual relationship with Myra. My response was a simple text message…

‘Oh my God! You giant lump of lying, worthless pig shit! 7 months! 7 fucking months! All that bullshit you gave me about liking me and you were already fucking Myra. Then you have the plain stupidity to tell me you’re ‘just friends’! I am not a retard, nor do I live on an abandoned island ergo, I was going to find out sooner or later. For the record, anything I ever felt for you is long gone, but I feel an obligation to womankind to actively tell men when their pathetic lies and excuses have been discovered, in the pitiful hope that they never try to fool another woman again. Consider yourself officially called out on your bullshit mate!’

It made very little difference. The rest of my evening was spent fighting back intruding text messages where Mr.Fail begged and pleaded with me not to believe the rumours, declaring he had always been honest with me and never wanted her. Blah blah blah. The monotony of lies is just too tiring to bother with. I guess some men will just never learn.

The Cricketer is another one who won’t learn from past mistakes and reprimands. He was obviously permitted a rare night out by his live-in girlfriend this weekend, as his requests for me to call him, meet him or answer his texts, were frequent, like clockwork. I didn’t answer him. Saying ‘no’ to horny, drunk men is much like banging your head against a brick wall.

Even Weston was lining himself up for a ‘Biggest Wanker’ award this week, until I realised he was doing that pulling away thing that all guys inevitably do. We were getting on great, in daily contact, mind blowing sex etc etc, then he just seemed to disappear off the planet. Like most women in my situation, I wondered what I’d done wrong. I considered inviting him over to dinner, tempting him round with sexual favours and just flat out asking him what the problem was, but I resisted. I sat, I waited. Just as I was beginning to think I’d made the wrong decision and should be chasing his arse down, there he was, as cute and as keen as ever. Giving him space really was the right choice. Patience 1, Obsessive Bunny Boiler 0!

Sex: Yes, yes, yes!

Drugs: 0

Alcohol: 0

Physical Health: Still breathing.

Mental Health: Still breathing.

Sex And The Single Mother

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Very few women opt to become a single parent, but regardless of how they find themselves in that situation, there are a few hurdles that nobody warns them about…like never being able to use the bathroom without an audience or becoming the sole designated driver for a tiny person with a more active social calendar than you. Of course, these little irks are all part and parcel of being a parent and when a single mother finally gets to put her feet up at the end of the day, she is fully aware that her children are worth every last yoghurt stained t-shirt.

Despite this, a girl has needs. She may be a mother but she is also a woman and, every now and again when she’s not too exhausted or busy washing the regurgitated milk out of her hair, she’s going to get a little horny. Nobody warns the single mother just how difficult it’s going to be to scratch that particular itch. Until now. Ladies, I’ve been there and done that, so here is my advice to you…

1) Unless you’re the kind of woman who is happy to be traipsing various ‘uncles’ through the house, you’re going to want to wait until the kids are at their grandparents/a birthday party/an extra curricular activity before you invite any man friend round to play. This takes planning. Say goodbye to spontaneous quickies over the kitchen sink, because your sex life is going to become a carefully organised mission akin to a special ops excursion into enemy territory. You need to arrange where the kids are going, what time they’ll be back, whether you’re collecting them or if a kindly neighbour is dropping them off. You have to pre-empt the possibility of cancellation or early return. Do they have a key? What is your man’s escape route should you be caught in a compromising position when the kids come bounding through the front door? Timing and discipline are everything. If your man friend is even 5 minutes late, you won’t have enough time to pull your knickers down, let alone reach a level of sexual satisfaction.

2) Should you be happy for your man friend to spend the evening with you while the children are at home, you’re going to need to learn the art of quiet sex. And I mean, really quiet sex! Its all good at the beginning. Kissing and caressing are usually gentle activities and, in the beginning, you’re still keeping one ear on high alert for the pitter-patter of tiny feet in the hallway. As things become a little more intense with your man friend, you’re at risk of dropping your guard. The headboard may start to bang, his breathing becomes heavier and you start moaning and groaning in pangs of ecstasy. THIS is the exact moment when your child will burst through the bedroom door and cry, ‘Mummy! Are you OK?’ Trust me when I say ‘What are you doing?’ is not a question you ever want to answer when you have a sweaty man wedged between your thighs.

3) The single mother has to remember to always keep the garden tidy. It’s very easy to let the bikini line grow out a bit or  leave your legs until they look like Chewbacca’s before you decide to shave. After all, being a single mum is physically and emotionally draining, so you can be forgiven if personal preening finds its way to the bottom of the To Do list. I strongly advise, however, that you make the extra effort. This, combined with having your lover’s number on speed dial, is going to save you precious minutes when you’re presented with that rare opportunity of a spontaneous invite,  ‘would your child like to come to tea?’ Yes! Yes they would!

4) As a lone parent you’re highly unlikely to want to risk an unexpected pregnancy, so contraception is advised. More than this, you’re not going to want to catch an STI that leaves you unable to sit properly for the next two weeks until the antibiotics kick in. You have children to run around after and any form of illness is too great a burden. Condoms are obviously the most effective prevention against these two actualities. Keep them out of the reach of children. Seriously…HIDE THE CONDOMS! Younger children will be thrilled to discover a new batch of balloons to celebrate the dog’s birthday with, and older children, if they’re as smart as mine, will count the damn things to see if Mummy’s getting any  action while their backs are turned!

5) If you’re having a rare evening out and are hoping to bump into some illustrious hunk  for one night of pure, unadulterated filth, then preparation is the key. Firstly, empty your purse of pacifiers and  fairy hair clips…pulling them out at an inopportune moment is going to ruin the ‘sexy, allusive female’ image you’ve worked all evening to maintain. A quick double check of your appearance and clothing is required before leaving the house too…those pesky Avengers stickers get everywhere.

Taking him back to your place is a no-no unless you want to risk the disapproving looks of your hunk as he steps over Tonka toys to get to your bedroom. The car is always a possibility, but let’s face it, empty happy meal boxes and booster seats are likely to be a mood killer. His place is the best option, so make sure you have enough money for the taxi home and the babysitter knows not to call unless your child is caught in a house fire or other extreme emergency. A phone call just before climax asking where the wet wipes are kept is not something your dignity will ever recover from.

6) As a single mother, you  have to apply a little extra scrutiny when purchasing sex toys. The purpose of the sex aide may be the same as that of any other woman, but the environment in which it is going to be used, is not. If it resembles anything remotely child friendly, if it is brightly coloured, sparkly or makes an interesting jingle jangle noise, then it will inevitably find it’s way into the kid’s toybox. You don’t want to have to explain that to the babysitter. I cannot stress enough the importance of storing your sex toys out of the reach of small children. My son was 3 years old when he ran into the kitchen with my vibrator and declared to his assembled grandparents, ‘this is Mummy’s toy!’  Seriously ladies, HIDE YOUR DAMN DILDO!

A single mother also has to consider the durability and performance of her sex toy. They don’t come cheap and if it breaks you’ll have the gut wrenching decision of having to live without one, or buy a new one and suffer the guilt of knowing you could have brought the children something nice with the money if you weren’t such a horny bitch. Also, make sure your sex aide is quiet. Nothing kills your buzz like worrying about how far down the corridor your ‘buzz’ can be heard. Remember – A noisy sex toy is a useless sex toy.

Satisfying your sexual urges as a single mother isn’t easy. When you have a child it often feels like you’ve given up your right to the simple things like privacy, a social life and clean clothes, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. With a little forward planning and attention to detail, you can get your rocks off nearly as much as your single, non-child rearing friends.

What The F**k, Alice?!

Image‘You’re Alice down the rabbit hole,’ he’d said. I wasn’t sure he fully understood the depths of the literary metaphor he had just used, but it wasn’t lost on me.

I’ve read some very positive interpretations of this phrase, related to Alice’s curious nature and her courage in chasing after the rabbit as he disappeared down the hole. Some literary critics like to see it as a metaphor for determination or ambition and Alice is clearly fearless in pursuing her goal and need for adventure.

Of course, there is also the obligatory drugs reference. Any work of fiction that creates a fantastical land of mystery and intrigue is, sooner or later, going to be compared to the effects of a hallucinogenic drug. What Alice experiences down the rabbit hole is indeed surreal and could easily be compared to a drug induced ‘trip’, but the scholar in me refuses to believe that Lewis Carroll was writing about something so mundanely obvious.

Whatever Carroll meant, it is fair to say that the phrase has taken on meanings of it’s own that are all contextual. Making it’s way into popular culture has contributed to it’s evolution and confirmed the rabbit hole as a place of wonder, excitement and possibly, answers,

‘You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes’ – Morpheus, The Matrix

I should have taken the blue pill. I’m pretty sure life would have been much simpler then. But I am more like Alice than I should admit. Impetuous, inquisitive, easily bored and a constant thrill seeker. I’m happy to defy the rules and common sense if I am to discover something exquisite and inspiring. By doing this, by willingly jumping down that rabbit hole, I am subjecting myself to an alien place, a different reality that brings with it the risk of losing touch with what is familiar, what is safe. And I don’t mind that. I’m not afraid of that. What I usually fail to realise, as Alice did, is that satisfying your curiosity can produce bizarre experiences that distort your philosophies and emotional responses, so much so that not only does the rabbit hole world confuse you, but the real one too. Sometimes, mentally, the risk is too much.

So, he was right. I am Alice down the rabbit hole. I’m lost, caught between what I know, what I want and what I think I know. There’s too many tunnels to choose from, up is down and left is right and getting out of this bind that I find myself in wasn’t even something I contemplated. Did I enjoy the journey? Has my adventure been worth it? When I find my way out, I’ll let you know.

Resources:

http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/

http://alicethirdperiod.weebly.com/index.html

http://aliceproject4.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/down-the-rabbit-hole-what-does-it-mean/

http://www.philosophypathways.com/newcomer/wonderland.html

http://www.shmoop.com/alice-in-wonderland-looking-glass/rabbit-hole-symbol.html

A Letter To My Younger Self

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Dear 18 year old Me,

Look around you. Take in your surroundings. Cherish the sky when it’s blue, the rain when it’s cold, the air when it’s fresh. Absorb the colours, feel the music, be dazzled by the lights. Listen to the sound of strangers talking, the waves crashing against the shore and your friends laughing. Notice the skylines and the statues in the cities. Feel the grass under your feet and the sand between your fingers. Smell the flowers. Remember his cologne. Be fascinated.

Look in the mirror. Be naked. Admire those slender, long legs. Run your hands over that neat, nipped in waist and toned stomach. Revel in your pert, rounded breasts. Check out that arse. Flick your flowing blonde hair and flutter those beautiful eyelashes that frame your bright, flirtatious eyes. Enjoy the smoothness of your skin. Start moisturising. Please. Be proud. 

Say yes. Go to parties and festivals, music gigs and poetry readings. Get on the plane, the train, the bus, the boat. Drive too fast, laugh too loudly, swim in that river. Accept that date, agree to that drink, eat that meal. Sit outside the box office and get those tickets. Wear the dress, buy those shoes, dye your hair that colour and definitely kiss that man. Be spontaneous.

Talk to your family. Ask your father about his first love, his school days, his favourite bands. Tell your grandmother you appreciate her more than she will ever know. Teach your little sister that even though people can be cruel, some of them are worth the risk. Pay attention to your great aunts and uncles. Look after your cousins. Tell your mother it will be ok. Thank them all. Be humbled.

Listen to yourself. Do what you want, not what is expected. Do what makes you happy. Ignore the critics, laugh at the envious, control your anger. Understand that what is right for them is not necessarily right for you. Think for yourself. Do not be motivated by materialism and popularity. Know your worth. Make your point. Look beyond the surface and trust your instincts. Be you.

One day, everything will change. Your looks will fade, your waistline will spread and your breasts will defy gravity and the most powerful of wishes. You will be too tired to notice the sunsets, too worn to climb the mountains. The tears that run down your face will mostly be from sorrow, not laughter. The opportunities that present themselves to you now will still present themselves to you later, but you will not be able to take them. You will have commitments, responsibilities and duties. You will still laugh and dance and sing, but it will not be with the energy you do now. Don’t worry, you will have other great pleasures. There will be experiences that swell your heart. You will love with greater abundance than you ever thought possible. You will have a wisdom that guides you through the darkest of times and offers clarity amidst the mayhem. You will be smarter and more grateful. But for now, taste it all. You will never be as free and as beautiful as you are at this very moment.

Enjoy it.

What Not To Say To A Therapist On Your First Meeting…

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I met yet another new psychotherapist today. It was her job to recommend suitable treatment programmes for me, probably to a board of stuck up, overpaid suits who volunteered for Doctors Without Borders for 3 months and now consider themselves experts on trauma and mental health.

Anyway, I had promised my lovely doctor that I would fully cooperate with the assessing psychologist in the hope that this time, just maybe, the great National Health Service would get it’s shit together and finally help me.

I may have been a little too forthcoming. Apparently, some medical practitioners aren’t ready for your life to be an open book when it reads like the love child of Sid Vicious’ biography and Elizabeth Wurzel’s Prozac Nation…

Her: So why do you think you engage in self destructive behaviour?
Me: Honestly? It’s fun! Drugs are bad for you, but they’re fun! Getting drunk with my mates is fun! Sex with hot men a decade younger than me is definitely fun!

Her: Any reason you prefer younger men?
Me: Seriously?! Nothing says ‘my cellulite doesn’t matter’ more than getting banged by a hot, muscular twentysomething.

Her: How do you feel about group therapy?
Me: Truthfully, I have enough shit of my own to deal with, I don’t care enough to listen to other people’s.

Her: Give me an example of your ‘black and white’ thinking…
Me: Well, from the first moment I saw you I thought, ‘this isn’t going to work. There’s no way she’ll get my shit’.

Her: What are your strengths?
Me: Giving head doesn’t count, does it?

Her: How often do you require valium?
Me: How often can you give it to me?

Her: Do you have any issues with mixed gender therapy?
Me: I’m promiscuous with a dangerous attraction to violent and unstable men…it’s probably not your smartest idea.

Her: Are your family a support to you?
Me: We’ve only got an hour and a half for this session, right?

Her: Where do you think you are with your mental health issues at the moment?
Me: Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, right? Ok, I know I’m batshit, so I’m good for now!

Her: Would you say you’re impulsive?
Me: Give me a thousand pounds and I’ll have all my mates in the pub, off their tits, in 30 minutes.

Her: As a child, did you have anyone to lean on? To look up to?
Me: My Gran. She’s incredible. If we were the mob, she’d be the one leaving horse’s heads in your bed.

And so there she sat, the psychologist, in her floral skirt and pastel pink cardigan, a fixed grin on her face that suggested she was terrified of how highly entertaining she had found our session.

‘I love your honesty. You’re obviously a very intelligent woman who has a clear and in-depth knowledge of her condition…and it’s great that you have a sense of humour about it’.

Bless her. That’s not humour love, that’s 20mg of diazepam and two cans of Red Bull for breakfast!

99% Match…Now What?

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‘He likes you, really, really likes you’.

‘I’ve heard you two are quite the little couple’.

‘It’s not a typical fuck buddy relationship…he’s into you’.

Comments like these don’t actually help a woman when she’s trying to keep her toyboy boytoy in one metaphorical box and her grown up, potential relationships in another. Comments like these actually make us doubt whether we should have put toyboy boytoy in a different box, or any box at all, and if maybe, just maybe, they are the one we’re meant to be with after all.

This confusion may be why I’ve just spent the last 45 minutes doing ridiculous online quizzes called ‘Does He Really Like Me?’ and ‘How To Tell If He’s The One’. I’m like a pathetic teenage girl, over analysing every little look, every comment. I’m remembering the play fights, the banter, the way he kisses me and the flirty glint in his eye when he looks at me. Then I chastise myself for being such an idiot and not acting like the mature, educated woman that I am.

In truth, it doesn’t matter how old we women are, when someone plants that seed in our head, that seed that says a boy may actually truly like us, we all get a little giddy and girly about it. We may no longer doodle his name on our notebooks, but we still take more of an interest in his Facebook page. We may not stay up all night asking our girlfriends what they think of him, but we still pick up our phone when it beeps with a secret hope that it’s him texting. We may not do silly online quizzes to determine our compatibility…Oh, ok, some of us still do that! My point is, those three little words ‘ he likes you’, fill our heads, flatter our egos and distract us from asking the most important question of all…

Do I like him?

Current toyboy boytoy is Weston, although the amount of time we spend together and how well we get on has led others to speculate that our relationship goes further than a friends with benefits arrangement. I can see how such a conclusion has been drawn by nosey spectators. He has sat calmly by my side as I suffer from illness, both physical and mental. We are in regular contact, be it through texts, social media or phone calls. He stays with me, in my bed, quite frequently. We laugh and joke together all the time, whether engaging in a wild evening of drink and drugs, or just relaxing with a meal in front of a movie. He is friends with my friends, he is gentle and positive with my son. I am as comfortable with him when lounging around in my trackie bottoms with my hair in a scrunchie (yes, I own one of those and I am not ashamed!) as I am with full hair and make up and heels on a night out. And, it cannot go without saying, that the sexual chemistry between us gets stronger and stronger every time we meet. Consequently, the sex is incredible! I enjoy every aspect of our time together and I always look forward to seeing him. So yes, I like him.

I just know that is not enough.

All women of a certain age with a penchant for younger men, will undoubtedly face the dilemma that I do now. My relationship with Weston can be nothing more than it is at present, for soon he will want, lest need, to fulfil some rites of passage and life milestones that I have long passed and have no desire to relive. He will, eventually, want to settle down, to find love and commitment, longevity and the comfort of his own family. I do not. My son is grown and I can now look forward to a time of frivolity and travel, adventures and spontaneous excitement. I am entering a period of my life where it is ok to be selfish, to do what I want, to look after myself. Weston will, sooner or later, be looking for the security that comes with sharing your life with someone else, in one stable place. I cannot offer him those things, through detriment to my own dreams and ambitions.

Maybe Weston could offer me everything I’ve ever wanted. A relationship based on support, non-judgement, fun, adventure, mutual adoration…but as I am in no place to offer him anything he wants in his future, whether we like each other or not is no longer the question.

The question now is whether I like him enough to give up all that I look forward to. There’s a reason that quiz is never available online or in some teen magazine. The answer is, and I believe should always be, no.

How To Destroy A Girl In One Easy Step…

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Not long after my treatment for cervical cancer, I fell pregnant by the The Tattooed One. It was somewhat of a miracle that I fell pregnant at all and, after much deliberation, tests and scans, a whole host of medical practitioners advised me to have a termination. There was a high risk of our child being born with multiple, debilitating defects and the toll that the pregnancy would take on my body was extremely dangerous. I already had my son to take care of and he had to be my priority. It broke my heart, but I agreed to the termination on medical grounds.

I didn’t tell the Tattooed One. I didn’t tell anyone. As is typical of me, I thought I could cope with everything by myself and so I went through the devastating procedure with no-one but an overworked, underpaid nurse to hold my hand.

Despite coping with the physical elements of the termination alone, I struggled greatly with the mental torture. The guilt. The grief. Through no fault of his own, I took my heartache out on the Tattooed One. I was selfish and vindictive. I interfered in aspects of his life that had nothing to do with me. I was a manipulative bunny boiler fuelled by anger and resentment. Quite rightly, it was nearly a year before I heard from the Tattooed One again.

He was walking near the school I was teaching at when we bumped into each other. He made out that it was a purely coincidental meeting and that he walked that way every day, but I’d never seen him near the school before or since. Part of me always felt he had planned it. He was surprisingly friendly, holding no animosity towards me, and we agreed to meet up at my place that evening for a proper catch up. That was when I apologised for my crazy lady behaviour and eventually told him why. I don’t remember how he responded. I don’t recall if he was upset or surprised. All I know is that he didn’t hold any of it against me.

A couple of years later, the Tattooed One had suggested we try for a baby. He so desperately wanted to be a father and I knew he’d be a wonderful Dad, but I was apprehensive because of the fickle state of our relationship. I told him I would think about it, but the Tattooed One never mentioned it again. After that, any connection between us fizzled out. We saw each other less and less. We barely spoke. A couple of months ago I told him we had come to the end of our path. We wanted different things and were headed in different directions. Besides a few Whatsapp messages, that I ignored, I didn’t hear from the Tattooed One again.

Until last night.

Last night I received a friendly Whatsapp message from him, just saying hello and asking how I was. As I sat crossed legged on my living room floor, carefully stitching together my latest rag rug creation, I felt quite confident that there was nothing he could say or do to ruin my evening. The Italian had already been in touch after our date, Weston had shown ego boosting jealousy about the fact that I was dating at all and a few friends had implied a local man, whom I was quite keen on, may be interested in me. The thought of the Tattooed One held no power over me anymore, so I saw no issue in replying to his message.

He asked about my work and my writing. He told me he was moving house soon. He expressed regret at not being in touch sooner. He enquired about my love life. Then he told me he was going to be a father,

‘I’m going to be a dad…crazy huh!’

Correct me if I’m wrong, but calling the woman who was forced to terminate your child to tell her you’ve impregnated somebody else, is pretty much one of the cunty-ish things a man can do. I, obviously, told him this.

Sure, he apologised for being insensitive, told me he never intended to upset me and was really only contacting me to see how I was, but the salt was already burning deeply into my wounds. I was hurt that he could be so blasé about it, as if I was going to jump up and down with joy and offer him my deepest congratulations. The man who once told me, ‘we’d be excellent parents’. The man I discussed naming our future twins with. The only man I’d considered having a child with since my son.

The conversation didn’t end well. He asked if I wanted to talk, but I told him we really had nothing to talk about. The Tattooed One doesn’t hold any power over me in that I no longer desire him. I am validated aesthetically by the men who actively seek my attention. I am validated emotionally by my friends and intellectually by my work. He can offer me nothing and it has been quite some time since I have considered him anything other than a past conquest. Despite this, we have known each other for over six years. He has seen me at my weakest, my most vulnerable. We have shared secrets and desires that no-one else knows about. I may have no right to be as upset as I am. I’m sure many people would think it kinder of him to tell me of his impending fatherhood, before I found out another way. I just hoped our history would have prompted him to be more considerate towards me. Instead, he just discovered how to destroy me in one easy step…