Friday, 31 July 2009

Turn The Corner

It is official HWMBO can be downright offensive sometimes. Today he made me cry not for the first time. I had barely switched on my laptop, before he hammered me for a diary mix-up. He seems to take some sort of sadistic pleasure in making me feel crap!

His exaggerated teeth grinding, head in hands, all while going on about how 'frustrated' he is by my inability to get things right. The power of monthly cheque this job is providing me with, was the only thing that made me hold my tongue.

I have resolved to show this man once and for all, just who the hell he's dealing with. A strong, independent woman who will succeed on her own terms, in spite of him. I shouldn't have to deal with this stress ! I am many things, but I am not and never will be a silent doormat, who lets people wipe themselves all over her.

No one (however important they may think they are or how outwardly successful), has the right to make another human being feel as bad as he did this morning. My determination to get away from living my life dependent on a single source of income has been sealed.

I should and do control my own destiny and happiness, not my job.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Too Much Information !

I haven't been entirely honest with you dear readers. When I said I'd abandoned all cyber dating efforts, I was stretching the truth a little. A diva's gotta keep her hand in many pies, in pursuit of new blood and content for her blogs.

A and M's cautionery words about my approach to internet dating, have not fallen on deaf ears. The fickle and sometimes predatory nature of cyber inhabitants, can lead them to being almost too open about their preferences and desires.

Take D-007, 25 and looking for a sexy mature partner, swho sent me the following by way of introduction:

"About me well I love motorcycles and music. Specifically guitar and cats.I have an interesting job which i love very much and is demanding but rewarding. I would say I can be easy to get along with but serious sometimes. Oh and lady please note I really really love to give a woman oral pleasure, so if you are not into that then I am probably not for you. I only say this to avoid any such situation where I might meet you and if it gets to the serious stage find out you are not into that."

My first reaction was that of laughter "..specifically guitar and cats" - what a random connection of his favourite things ! D-007 take on his love of giving "oral pleasure" led me to consider the following.

While there are some things a woman needs to know, there are some things that should come as a pleasant surprise to her. A potential suitor who reveals all he has to offer from the get go, denies his lady the the mystery of a slow burn seduction, and the delicious delight of not knowing what to expect next !

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

It's All In The Body and the Voice

When I workout, I think, people watch and amuse myself with the stories that unfold in front of me and the ones that friends tell me. A's latest encounter with a beautiful interior designer came to a premature end because of one little thing....his voice. His beautiful body didn't quite marry with a Julian Clary vocal and more camp guises than a drag queen at a beauty shop. So does the beauty of a man's body, excuse any other shortcomings he might have ?

I looked for the answer at my gym. My daily journeys to the gym have uncovered another dodgy habit to add to my growing list. I am a dirty gym watcher! The joy of perving over beautiful bodies remains a guilty pleasure I am not letting go of anytime soon !

There are three types of gym boys. First are the Muscle Boys. Sweaty adonis types bulging from head to toe with muscles, who lift heavy weights because they are there. These beautiful men admire themselves in the mirror, after every single set of reps, just to see what change has been wrought in their bodies. The muscle boys are distinguished by their competitive nature, a nature which subconsciously leads them to compete against the guy on the next bench to see who has the biggest muscles.

Type two are the Wannabes. These men have been lured to the gym by the promise of a body beautiful, which will only ever appear, if they actually put some hard work in! Wannabes have the right equipment (running gear, trainers and sometimes even head bands), but they have fretful, weak willpower and the durability of a melting marshmallow. When they are on the cross-trainer, they invariably get bored looking around to see if anyone hot is close by, or to see if anyone else around is as bored as they are.

A tiny section of the Wannabes are formerMuscle Boys. Contentment, middle-age spread, married or divorced life, in addition to long hours at work, laziness and children; mean that these guys don't have the time they once had to devote themselves to their body beautiful. Gym mirrors in which they once used to admire themselves, now serve as reminders of their past glories.

Finally there are the Lost Boys...or the hopeless cases. This category can be subdivided into corporate boys who've come to talk business while they 'train'. These gym sessions are distinguished by their infrequency, even mediocrity and and are often used as office watercooler conversation starters. And let us not forget the 'Fatties' ridiculously overweight men who hire personal trainers in a desperate battle with the bulge and spend their whole personal training session complaining aout how knackered they are.

Argh don't you just love working out!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Dreams Can Come True....Right!

It seems almost daily or weekly, something appears in a newspaper or magazine, or a throwaway comment from some apparently well meaning smugee ("Your time will come". "You're adopting what a great idea, we thought of that before we had our two naturally"), reminds me of not only my singleton status, but the reality that I may be one of the 30 percent of graduate thirtysomething women, who will never conceive naturally, or have a successful long-term relationship.

Coming home to an empty house at the best of times is incredibly quiet and very boring, but some days it's just downright lonely. There I said it, lonely doesn't mean you want to kill yourself, it just means that sometimes it would be great to have someone to come home to.

It's no secret the reason I work the long hours that I do, first, because I get a buzz out of it and I like to challenge myself; but also because I know that even before I put the key in the lock , there would be nothing or no one on the other side of it - an animal addition to my household is now immitent - it's a toss up between a goldfish or a rabbit (oops forgot, got one of those already!).

On my answer phone was a weekly check-in from my Mum whose answer to any kind of emotional crisis of any level is "to pray" and one of my acquaintances who wants to 'catch up', while her other half is out of town on business. Yep, I am one popular lady today.

On a bad day, this could lead to a mild bout of melancholy (sugar rush, followed by some really dodgy easy listening music) but today I dealt with it optimistically. What's to say that just like my degree (which I still have no idea how I managed to pass), that things won't turn out well....fingers crossed and where did I put that lucky heather again !

Thursday, 23 July 2009

....And Another Thing....

A celebration dinner with G, (at last after three years of working by day and studying at night and on the weekends, I have a 2:1 degree in Media and Business...yah me!), led to the inevitable subject of the Fool.

My main focus as G gave me my update, was taken up by the slow, savored demolition of my katsu chicken and rice bowl. A hungry diva is as dangerous, as a fashionista at a Jimmy Choo sale - the huntress zeros in on her prey, sharpens her claws (or chopsticks in this case) and then pounces. She takes no prisoners !

The arrival of chilli squid and duck dumplings served as a delicious distraction for me, as G talked and talked.

"I had to have a few harsh words with him B. He just doesn't understand how busy I am at the moment with work and stuff. Honestly, it's like going out with a fifteen year old schoolboy, not a grown man. I told him go to Manchester (the Fool has just been granted a bursary for his MBA) and make some friends and stop being so bloody controlling"

"But you know this all comes from you cheating G...I mean taking 'a break'. from him" ( I don't think I will ever grow tired of laughing 'we were on a break' line, it is such bollocks!).

"I know, but if he had any concept of a woman's personal space, he wouldn't have gone through my phone in the first place and found out I'd cheated on him". I nearly choked on my squid.
"So you're saying it's his own fault then?" - I snorted loudly. Near hysterical laughter followed from the both of us, loud enough to secure a few filthy looks from some other diners.

I couldn't resist pulling out my phone to show her the Fool's last text message to me "He's just trying to connect with you B" "Well he needs to stop"I said sharply. "If he thinks that telling me about how horrible you are, is a way of us bonding he needs to work a little harder on his trash talking. He is completely rubbish at it. No wit, no irony, no humour, what do you see in this guy?".

More laughter, food and drinks followed, culminating in one of those profound, but at the same time totally ridiculous statements your friends sometimes make. " I want him to be a well-educated, well-rounded person B. At the moment he's just raw material for a dominating, nit-picking woman.

"When's the wedding?" I said laughing.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Other People's Boyfriends

Since the unfortunate Facebook incident (see The Truth about Men, Women and....), I have been focusing my efforts on my body beautiful. I have been to the gym every day, sometimes twice daily. I have religiously abstained from my favourite treats (anything sweet!) and to my surprise a slightly cheeky swan is emerging (my gym kit is so tight and fierce, that I look like an extra from Fame).

My bum has transformed fromsquashy to pert peach again, my arms are firm and my legs are returning to their former 'strong leggy pins' status. I'm enjoying being fit and dare I say it looking kinda hot.

In the midst of my fitness frenzy, there has been a disruption to the force (just once in a while a diva has to make a Star Wars reference!), the return of the Fool aka G's on/off boyfriend. As you all know, I am not a fan.

My knowledge of his more insecure side - "You don't need me!" " How could you cheat on me!" "We were on a breakkkk!" - has come primarily from angry phone calls from G to me, after their latest arguement. Ordinarily this wouldn't register a flicker from me, in terms of sheer annoyance, but for his irritating insistence in involving me in their rows via unwanted text messaging; usually pleading for me to see his point of view, which makes me feeling decidedly uncomfortable.

I have been piggy in the middle several times in my life - most notably when when AS and LM were fighting over an Active Sindy doll on "Bring Your Toys To School Day" at primary school. Despite my best peacemaker efforts, Sindy ended up a dismembered torso.

Then when I was in college. P was cheating on D with T. Unfortunately, P and T decided to share their innermost thoughts with me, knowing full well I wouldn't say anything. The only problem was that when it all came out D, thought I should have have told her....yes, that age old tell or not to tell ?

On both occasions I was left with the distinct impression that being piggy in the middle, was the place I wanted to be. When the Fool's name, flashed up on my mobile, I winched. Reading his message which denounced G as "....a real sulky arse at times", pissed me right off. After all this idiot is bad mouthing one of my best friends and I don't appreciate it one little bit.

Then he rang me. I pressed end call, when I saw his name flash up. I called G to ask once again exactly why she was going with such a twat, she told me that he was joking with me!! Some relationships are just too weird to try and understand, let alone be piggy in the middle of.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Good Girls Sleep Alone

Ok, so I have to tell you that my non-date was a good one. PP was bright, funny, charming, easy on the eye, open (time will tell on that one!) and a grade A snog.

What I have learnt from my time with him is that you can have a fun time with a man without the anticipation or even expectation of romance in any shape or form. As it turned out PP decided to test the waters at the end of our non-date curtsey of a much needed (by me! ) impromptu snogging session.

The man was dynamite. So good in fact that my mind started to wonder if he was that amazing with his tongue, what else could he do with it! But never fear - I didn't sleep with him (my impression of a reborn nun continues unchecked!). Instead I contented myself with a flurry of cheeky text mesages.

God I miss getting those. There is a artform to a filthy text message(take note boys!) from PP which sent me to sleep with a large dirty grin on my face. Could this be the beginning of something new? Another phone call....perhaps...gulp....and this was going out on a limb......another date?

PP's e-mail confessional reminded me to not get carried away and it was a good thing too. As of end of play today, despite one non-commital text message from moi "How was your day? ", I have heard nothing from PP - another Diva man bites the dust! If I was a sensitive soul I might think there was something wrong with me!

The good thing is I am finally recognising how to read men. Internet dating was a nightmare for me, but I have learnt a lot from reading between the lines of those 'liar' profiles and tales that some men tell.

First listen to what a man says to you. We women are notorious for hearing what we want to hear. If a guy says he just wants a booty call, or other gems like "I'm not looking for anything serious" or the age old favourite "Do you mind if I call my wife"; don't expect him to call you the morning after the night before, particularly if you didn't give it up to him.

'He's Just Not Into You' is not just a book and a movie, it is a real life medical condition experienced by many men in today's dating market. If they're interested they will hunt you down - pursuing you ruthlessly and actually returning text messages immediately and in some rare cases turning up (yes it does happen sometimes) for your dates (i'm told this really does happen) and if they're super keen, even turning up early to meet you, so you're not kept waiting.
If you don't hear from a guy - he's already moved on to new prey'or returned to his girfriend, wife or ex. Should you beat yourself up, consume ice cream by the carton, bin the gym and dissect everything he ever said with your girlfriends.

No - life's too bloody short. I am bothered about PP - No and who wants to go out again with a man who can't even be bothered to respond to a one line harmless text message, unless of course "How was your day" actually translates to "Let's get married, I want your babies" in man talk !

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Guess Who's Going on a Non-Date ?

To fully qualify as a dating commentator, you must once in a while go out on a date. Today is that day. PP who I 'met' during my abortive internet stint (twice just to make sure I really was completely rubbish at it), is meeting me today after work for a coffee.

The lead up to a date is fraught with various concerns primarily "What am I going to wear?", followed by "What if my date's hot", "What if my date isn't hot" and then rounded up by "Will he want to see me again" and if you are a guy"She's nice and I definitely would".

My own dating countdown has consisted of bringing an extra top into work to change into, remembering where and when PP and I are supposed to met and keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well. I have previously been stood up by email (by Hottie) and text message (by Hottie), who I suspect if he had ever had my fax number would have stood me up via that as well.

What makes the date a good date already is there is absolutely no expectation of romance. PP sent me an e-mail ahead of our 'date' stating that he felt I was looking for a relationship and he wasn't looking for "Anything serious" - another classic stock phrase from the annual of the thirtysomething dating man.

My response was neither hysterical nor standoffish "No problem, when you mentioned your preferred dating range was 20 to 30, I figured a wedding was out of the question and that you were probably just looking for a booty call. I thought you sounded funny though and we might get along as friends. The ball's in your court re: the drink". Cool like Vanilla Ice - not that he was ever really cool!

He fired back "Glad you noticed how cool I am and thanks for being so understanding" Understanding? I've been trying to understand men for the duration of my dating life so far. They remain a mystery to me.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Truth About Men, Women and......

I am an angry diva. I have been knocked from a pedestal, removed from my cocoon of effortless styling and all round general fabulousness. A relative newcomer to my office family, decided it would be funny to be post pictures of me au naturale (trackie bottoms and dodgy t-shirt) at our office fun day.

I was not amused and told the little Madam so. "I look like an hobbit, what possessed you to the post those pictures, without my permission online . S laughed, I kid you not she laughed. "Oh come on, it's just a bit of fun"she said laughing agin with every fibre of her size 8 body. I asked her to take the pictures down for a second time. More laughter. The gloves were off and I was gonna take her down a peg...or two!

Lunch was summarily dispatched (uneaten, not hurled!) and I followed work with a 90 minute gym session. Pure hell! Revelation hit me on the treadmill on how to deal with madam. One business impact email later and a line manager dressing down and the little minx has now removed all traces of my pictorial shame. Job done ! Lesson learned by S methinks!

A has recovered from his heartbreak in a typical A fashion - with a beautiful man. H and A meet over the weekend. They managed to almost finish their beer, before abandoning themselves to the mother of all sessions.

"We spent the rest of the day, talking, watching movies and eating pizza. See that's the difference between men and women like I said, women want three weeks of that romance action, before they will even let a guy you finger them!".

How charming A is. So effortlessly crude, lewd, and typically blunt - it's good to have Mr Pink back in the land of dating !

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Just when you think you have nothing else to say about that old devil called love; it visits one of your favourite people and promptly throws them the one curve ball, that makes us act crazy and do some really stupid things.

My funny, fabulous pink warrior A, who regularly dispenses advice to me on everything from men to my wardrobe, with all the subtitly of a dead parrot is a mess. He is in love. He is in love with one of his best friends and was driven to distraction during a recent mini-break to Madrid, when said friend flirted and 'cavorted' with some of the many beautiful boys the city had to offer.

A distinguished himself by displaying all the traits of a neurotic woman from sulking to the 'look at me' attention seeking of drinking way too much, popping the odd recreational pill and dare I say it crying. The weekend ended unceremoniously at the train station, when A "ran like a girl" to catch the first train away from the object of his desire. he retreated to his flat to lick his wounds and dare I say it cry some more.

"I hate to think of you crying cherub. it's so not you!"I said laughing with him not at him. "That's not nice" said A pouting. " I'm serious, I'm in pain. I'm so miserable" . I almost gave him a real hug, but that would go against our fashionista rules of bodily contact being air to air only.

What makes the whole thing so touching is that after years as the ultimate bedroom pleasure seeker, A has fallen for the brain as well as the body of his friend. I remembered what he had said to me "men go for body first, then personality" and smiled at the irony of his falling foul of his own mantra.

I know that A is in a full on emotional, downward spiral because he has also temporarily retired from being one of the cooliest dressed men I know and started dressing like a slovenly, mature straight man. His brown polyster mixed trousers last week drew condemnation from me "What the fuck are you wearing?", his being snubbed by K - who viewed the offending clothing, raised one shocked eyebrow, then spun his chair around to carry on tapping on his keyboard. M declared they were "Something my grandad used to wear".

As we stood in line waiting for our morning caffeine fix, I couldn't help ribbing A some more about his fashion faux pas, his response was hilarious "I'm expressing my pain through the medium of clothing". We both burst out laughing and when I finally stop snorting I couldn't resist adding
"That's all well and good cherub, by you're causing me pain by me having to look at them". He gave me the look and we collapsed in laughter again.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Bridget Bites Back

My favourite Welsh export AW was back in town today. A is an Asian Jessica Rabbit, with a snappy trade in one liners, which would put Chris Rock to shame. Despite my entreaties to read the blog for an update on my latest dating disaster, when she pressed me for the shortened version I caved.

"You need to deal better with rejection love " she said in her brash Welsh tones. "Try this love, my friend's on it" she said scribbling something down and folding it neatly into two. I unfolded it and laughed at the words " ". "Read the bloody blog" I said as I walked through the double doors back to my side of the office. Back at my desk I showed it to M who smirked. "She's a bloody joker". Or maybe she thinks I am a glutton for punishment.

At lunch having demolished my sandwich, I flicked through the women's section of the paper. One particular article caught my eye entitled the "The Art of Being Alone" with a sub-heading of "Stop Sobbing Into Your Chardonnay, Single Life Doesn't Have To Mean Sad".

What a silly title. There is no flaming art to being alone - you just get on with it. To make such a sweeping pronoucement that myself and other single women are incapable of dealing with singledom, without drowning our sorrows in copious bottles of wine, is totally ridiculous and it seems the impact of Bridget Jones and that flaming diary of hers has a lot the answer for!

Even before I'd the first paragraph, I knew that any author who could also be responsible for Solemate: Master The Art of Aloneness And Transform Your Life had to be a smugee. A smugee is a man or woman who had already found, accepted and embraced the reality of 'love' which they then suggest us singletons should happily make do without, if it is not immediately on offer to us.

She chronicled her own story, from meeting her husband, the raising of two children and the subsequent painful breakdown of her marriage, all of which I could genuinely sympathise with. However, it was her fightback by numbers summary, including the obligatory pyschotherapist sessions and 'rebirth' as an all action working heroine with a dynamic career and a brand new take on life, that got right up my nose.

Am I knocking her phonenix resurrection - no good on her. What I do take issue with is the following:

Changing your perceptions of being alone, is what she marks out as the cornerstone of any singletons existence. Forgive me what other perception can you derive from the word single. What you chose to do with status depends on your day, life and mood. Not every single woman attributes their status and overall well being to whether they are in a relationship or not, or turns into a chardonnay swigging hermit harpie when they go home to an empty house.

She then states that when people feel bad about themselves, they tend to project that to others. "Just as confidence inspires confidence, negativity invokes negativity". What rubbish - I am a confident, successful woman who happens to be single. Granted I am not little Ms Sunshine every day, nor am I elated at my single status; but I am secure enough in myself to recognise that although being with someone is desirable, being with the right person is infinitely more important.

Not all single women are depressed at being single as the author suggests. A lot of single women are just bored and disappointed by the continuous effort they are forced to deploy in pursuit of a decent relationship. If you are the wrong side of thirty onwards, being on isn't the most edifying way to compete with a river of younger rivals, for the favours of the few eligible men left on the dating market.

Single women are strong and independent - we have to be. As the cheery "Single Ladies" statistic yelled from within the article " The number of women living alone between the ages of 25 and 44 had doubled in the last two decades." With no man around, the buck stops with us in terms of housing, finance, career, self cpntentment (mentally and sexually) DIY etc....if you start out as a dependent women, necessity will drive you towards independence and empowerment, before you can say Jimmy Choo.

The author concluded that singletons need to turn their expanse of alone time and repackage it into me time, stepping off the couch, being more active and banishing anything which reinforces feelings of singleton isolation.

If I and any of my other fabulous single friends were as sad, needy, depressed and pathetic as this so called expert suggests, then we might just forgo that bottle of Chardonnay and purchase one of her crappy books. Happily for us all, this is not the case...yet!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Beautiful Day and the Return of the Mac

Just four days in from ditching the dating websites and the bounce has returned to this diva's step. Being able to encase myself in a smaller size pair of jeans, due to the ultimate appetite suppresser - misery, started my day off with a cheeky bang.

A loud wolf whistle from a way too young, but fit shirtless brickie me made me smile at him for his nerve and myself for enjoying being his momentary object of lust. My last day of freedom before the return of HWMBO to the office, was spent running around trying to finish off the last things on his to do list and then trying to prepare and prempt the volley of questions he will be firing at me on his return.

I was still surrounded by folders, scribbed post-it notes I couldn't decipher and paperwork when DA stopped by for a chat. DA is a cheeky bugger. He is a divorced (still bitter about it, but in a very amusing way), funny (of course), dark haired, blue eyed peacock, trianthlon competing thirtysomething. His taste in sharp suits and even sharper ties is off the hook and he's one those guys who works in a mainly female evironment, who somehow manages to get his point across without being a total tool.

He laughed his head off when I told him about my 'Dear John' e-mail from S2 and told me not to take it to heart, because "Men are idiots and he probably though he was being nice to you" and I returned the favour when he told me he was off to Spain for a 'grown up' Stag Do - which is actually a Stag Week!! "You'll end up in a gutter somewhere with some 18 year blonde on her first holiday without her parents" "Here's hoping!" he said smiling.

Back home a final quote from the builder, confirming that sorting out the condensation in the bathroom won't actually cost me a body part, ended this beautiful day on a high.