Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Can men and women ever REALLY be just friends??

I know, I know. Excuse the clich├ęd question above. Very 'When Harry Met Sally' (but then this week is the anniversary of Nora Ephron's passing, so allow my indulgence). I, for one, have always answered it as enthusiastically as a cheerleader at the homecoming game, with a resounding 'YES.'

I have some amazing male friends in my life - several of whom I've known since we all still peed our pants (actually one or two of them drunk, still do). They're like brothers - we've gone through the 'you can't play football with us because you are a girl' stage; the 'ok, let's snog each other at house parties while our parents are out as let's face it, we don't know anyone else to snog' stage and the 'how are we friends when you treat your girlfriends so badly' stage and are now in the 'I'd love to open another bottle of Waitrose's pick of the month, but I've gotta call you a cab as the kids get up at 6 am' stage.

My other male friends have come from my days of working in telly - most of whom I met when I was single and a lack of chemistry meant we were only ever mates. One guy was my surrogate boyfriend for about 3 years (he even bought my tampax for me, let me cry on his shoulder at midnight when another boy broke my heart, brought me cookies and treats when I was down).  He was SUCH a great friend, that everyone wanted us to get it together.

I tried. With a mixture of vodka and willpower I closed my eyes and let him kiss me. Nothing. Nada. It was like kissing a deal squirrel. So, he accepted that the hand of friendship was all I was offering and all was fine - until he met a girl who HATED me. Off  he ran, up the aisle and down the divorce court with her and our friendship didn't survive.

I'm not sure I've ever had a friendship with a boy I actually fancied (since Jeremy Hall rejected me at the tender age of 12, for my much prettier friend Wendy)... Those were the pre-dental work days, when I had yet to discover the joys of make-up and hair bleach.

A quick poll of my work mates, revealed that most of the women have at some stage or another, been friends with a guy who claimed to be totally down with that. Just before aforementioned guy then tried to stick his tongue down the their throat. Inevitably the friendship crumbles. Obviously this happens the other way around - I've known many women who have been hopelessly in love with their best mates only to watch teary eyed as said best mate coupled up.

Is the rule as simple as, you can be friends, as long as neither of you wants to fiddle with the other one? (For want of a better expression?) Or, in even the most platonic of platonic friendships, is sexual attraction still the big elephant in the room? Is there an argument that all male/female heterosexual friendships are based on some for of attraction or another? OR is the very existence of only friendship symbolic of a complete lack of attraction?

The mind boggles. Is it easier to make these friendships, when one of you is already in a relationship? Therefore negating the chance of the new budding friendship being anything other than that? Funnily enough I've not known many friends, who post marriage, have started new friendships with someone of the opposite sex. Which frankly, is odd. Are you never supposed to have another male friend again, after wearing your white frock?

The other day I read an article where 2 buddies (both single) decided to date for 30 days. (What is the difference between hanging out and dating? Or is that another discussion entirely?). Anyway, they were 'committed' to the dating. They knew, inevitably, they'd have to have sex... part of this dating ritual.

They are now a couple.

Turns out, they fancied each other all along, which begs the question, why didn't you just shag to begin with and not have to do some hokey experiment to justify it? Maybe that is proof, that in between every great male/female friendship lies someone who has a secret crush and is probably masturbating regularly thinking about their 'best chum.'

I want to believe in Ephron's film, that Sally was in fact right, men and women CAN be friends - and Harry was  horribly wrong, and also, a sex pest.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Robin Thicke has a big D**k

Now I know Thea at work told me that I can't write a blog post called the above, but I am.

In case any of you are unacquainted with the video to Blurred Lines, the most infectious of all summer tunes, I shall explain. Amongst women with the most AMAZING boobs of all time galloping about playing with animals and er... huge stuffed dice, there are some silver helium balloons spelling out the title of this blog.

Clearly, Robin has a small penis. Or shares a similar sense of humour as that of a 14 year old boy. Or both.

But, oh god, I REALLY fancy him.

There, I said it. Actually, my work mates hit upon this before I did. It's not unusual for friends to deduce something is happening in my life, long before my blonde self is aware of it. One day they realised that I talked him about often, when really, there is precious little to talk about. Least of all, his video that causes grown women to throw their dinner plates at the TV screen. Why I am attracted to him? I am mystified. Then most attractions cannot be explained can they?

To be honest, my fascination with his 'risque' video was how repetitive and deeply uninspiring it was, for such a catchy song. That, and that brunette girl's boobs. You don't believe me? Check it out.

What makes men think, 'I know, we'll all wear some dashing whistles and let the girls run around in the buff - women will LOVE it!' Because boys, dear children, we won't. It astounds me that Thicke thinks the vid is hilarious, a kind of Benny Hill sketch - a bit of slap and tickle. It astounds me even more that his wife encouraged this - but then, maybe she was shrewd. After all, what woman is going to fancy Thicke after he promotes such blatant sexism?

*blushes.* Let's move on...

Then I read that he has been with the same woman since he was 14 years old and the penny dropped. That, in teenagedom, is clearly where his knowledge of women ended. Where his emotional maturity remains - like a broken thermometer. He genuinely thinks it is funny, and innocent and declares himself a 'gentleman.'

It explains everything - most of all, why he is affronted that women have accused it as being a bit 'rapey,' with the lyrics banging on 'I know you want it' as he describes splitting a girl's ass in two. Thicke refuses to even to dignify this with a response - which usually means, 'I don't have a clue how to respond to that at all.'

Yet, I like him, inexplicably. I love the song and the fact he sweats every time I've seen him sing it. But I am absolutely positive, that Robin Thicke has a small d**k.

Put that in some silver balloons...


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Wander - Lust

He wrote a contract to (how shall I say this?) help me out of my self-enforced celibacy, on the back of an old tampax box. We both signed it in a darkened basement bar called The Crowbar (geddit?). The deal was sealed. I was beside myself with excitement. The boy with the eyebrows, he liked me back. It is a moment that I'll never forget.

It was the early summer '95 (wet Auckland winter) and I'd spent a total of two glorious rainy weeks in New Zealand. We hadn't planned on arriving there so soon. No, my travelling plan for the year around the world with my best mate, had started out a little differently:


I was 22 - it was the year of Fincher's Se7en, Oasis's Wonderwall and OJ's lies. My best buddy and I had bought our plane tickets, (8 months of folding jeans at the gap - hard labour I tell you) stuffed our backpacks, held our drunken farewell parties and hitched a lift with a band to London - ready for our big adventure.

First stop - Hong Kong. We arrived and pitched up at 'Mirador mansions' - a traveller's favourite. Perhaps it had been - when the guide book we were using had come out - 5 years previously. It is without a doubt, the most bizarre place I have ever stayed at in my life. An old mansion block that had rivers of stairs running through it and endless Burton-esque doors. Open one door - ta dah! A pet store. Open another - a sweat shop! Then the next - only to reveal a long corridor off which were dozens of pokey little rooms - with a bed, basin and shower over the toilet. Yes, you read that right - a shower over the toilet. You had to crouch around the bog to wash. Nice. Did I mention it was also crushingly clothes-stuck-to-your-every-crevice humid? To drown our sorrows we went to the nearest bar in Kowloon - some dreary Cheers effort - and proceeded to buy the most expensive pitcher of beer we had ever purchased. Too broke to eat, we chowed down on the free overly salted popcorn, until a man with a kind smile invited us to join him and his friend for drinks. My best mate rolled her eyes, but I reckoned, how bad could one drink with these over 40s be?

Turns out the guy was called Keith Billion. Swear to god. His mate was in fact his boss, a multi millionaire who owned the rights to Godzilla and they were in Hong Kong on business. By the end of the night we were all singing New York New York (why? Gawd only knows) and they insisted on seeing our room - 'you have shower over the crapper? No way!' I remember through a beer filled haze, we still checked their IDs - being uber safety conscious. When they tried to see our room - impossible with 4 people, only two could squeeze in at a time - they were duly horrified and told us to pack. Best mate said - 'We can't possibly.'

Me? I was too busy stuffing my worldly belongings in my back pack and racing out the smelly door, down the rat infested stairs as fast as my travelling sandals could take me. 

As I walked into the Shangri La 5 star hotel in Kowloon with my backpack on -  I stared at a chandelier bigger than the room we had just evacuated. Those kind guys paid for us to stay there for 5 nights. We had a twin queen-sized beds room - with a marble bathroom. I awoke the next day and fumbled for a button by my bed - and the curtains opened.

Then closed.

Then opened.

It was heaven. My pretty woman moment, without all the sex. And Richard Gere. But in the cold light of day we realised there is no such thing as a free lunch,  even less a free 5 star stay.... and so that night, as we met the guys for dinner we stated clearly that we weren't those type of girls. Silence was met with stony stares and disappointed frowns. Then it was our turn to be mortified -  when we saw how much we had offended them, as they explained they had daughters not much younger than us - and they just wanted to make sure we were ok, at the very start of our travels.

True to their word they took us to the magnificent Philippe Starck designed Felix bar on the roof of the Peninsula hotel (in the mens' loos you wee basically over the Hong Kong skyline) and for dinner at amazing restaurants and they never once tried anything on. We gave them framed Chinese drawings that spelt out friendship as thank you gifts. It was before the days of emails and facebook - we never managed to keep in touch.

We had planned to get jobs hostessing - a mate back home had instructed us in how easy it was: 'all you do is chat.' For me, the girl who can talk a glass eye to sleep, it wasn't gonna be a stretch. But when we visited the club she suggested, we were horrified to see the outfits we were expected to wear: nipples freezing in the wind, through bits of net the size of stamps.  We turned on our all too sensible heels and left. 

Next stop - New Zealand.

Hong Kong had drained our finances beyond belief,  so after a cursory trip around some geysers and a spot of white water rafting, we got bar tending jobs at a plush bar/restaurant called 'The Waterfront.' Eyebrow boy worked there. It was usual to shut the bar at 3am, then clean up and hit The Crow somewhere around 4am. There, you'd drink shots, barracuda people for more free shots (translation - you'd bite some poor fecker's arse and then duck before they clouted you one) and then affix your shades appropriately to make the ascent back up the stairs to the real world somewhere around 9am.

Mondays were quiet at work, so we tended to head to K road or Jimmies bar, downing all our wages and running up tabs, we'd most likely never pay off. On one such night Eyebrow boy told us all how generous he was, about helping out ladies if they needed attention.  I'd seen all types of women pour over the bar, desperate to be served by him in any way possible. He could have his pick of the women. I never for a moment thought he'd look at me - my best mate and travelling companion was the one that the guys always hit on. I was 'the friend.' The ugly sidekick.

But he wasn't interested in my buddy. For the first time in like, ever, a boy liked me first. My best mate knew I liked him back although I wouldn't admit it to her, or even myself. She drew up this contract and the plan was made. That Thursday we'd meet...

He told co-workers that he was meeting an old friend. I ducked out of that evenings plans saying I was heading home. I met him. He had a cold, wore a school scarf around his neck that he'd stolen from his cousin. I did three shots without even thinking, I was so nervous.

We didn't sleep together - for all his bluster, and offerings. Instead we went to my closest NZ  friend's house and crashed on her sofa. It was 2am and she answered the door, without complaining. Little did I know those two would end up married. We talked and kissed all night, in that heady daze of discovering someone new. I was convinced I'd fallen for him hard.

The next day he drove me to work and people raised eyebrows - how come we'd arrived together? Yet our secret remained intact. That night was his last in Auckland - he was leaving, for, yep.... the UK. His leaving drinks were at the Crow, (predictably) and people swarmed around him, pushing goodbye drinks in his hand and hugging him tightly. I couldn't get near. He'd promised me he'd kiss me goodbye. I cornered him and asked if he remembered all he'd said. We kissed, he left. I cried.

No one knew about me and Eyebrow boy. A year later we caught up with each other in London. Close as we'd been before - I still felt the same, and apparently he did too;  I'd waited a whole year for this reunion. He had broken many hearts along that year - but me, I'd kind of never forgotten him. I'm loyal to a ridiculous degree. We ended up in some seedy Islington dive bar, on a hot London night, where he stood up to some guy pushing in next me at the bar. The guy turned round and in a flash pummelled his face to the point Eyebrows needed 14 stitches in his lip. Obviously, this time, there was no kiss goodbye as I got on my morning flight from London to Ireland.

Did we ever sort it out?

No. There was a letter I sent, declaring how I felt, that he received the day he moved in with a girl. Then a night of vodka and regret and saying we'd find a way. We never did. He returned to NZ and the Eyebrows boy married my best friend there. She invited me to the wedding, but somehow, at the time, I couldn't go.


There was Perth and Melbourne and Sydney and Thailand and India.  There was skinny dipping with phosphorus, getting tattoos, dancing on bars, getting fired from bars, escaping spiritualists, getting held up in a robbery, and all kinds of other adventures.

But no more contracts, and no more boys with great eyebrows.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Girl most Likely to... who never did.

I'm at sixes and sevens. Don't know which way to go. Don't know my own mind.

Things I was sure of, now I'm not. Belief I had in myself feels lost.

I watch as the world flies past - all busy, busy, busy moving upwards and onwards and I remain totally stagnant. My nose pressed up at the window pane watching everything on the other side of the glass.

I'm loving babbling, I only wish I had more time to devote to it. I'd love to write for some more of their channels... At the same I feel bad that I haven't given this here blog my attention, like a diary that has empty pages.

I'm hating dropping my little fire cracker Sproglette at nursery every day, missing her like crazy... and yet when I get whole days with her at weekends, I'm tired and snappy and wish for just a moment to myself. I'm the ultimate crummy mummy who drinks. That red wine buzz at the end of the day, sometimes is all I am waiting for. That's sad right?

I often wonder if I became a parent for the wrong reasons - to fill up some void in my heart, a legacy of my own childhood... That when it all boils down, I don't have the patience, I am too selfish, wishing for time for me - to give myself wholly to motherhood. To truly love it like other mothers do.

At the opticians this week they said I had 'wavy' lines behind my eyes - a sign of stress. He looked at me, a straight face and asked if I was stressed about anything... Where could I begin? My stagnant career, my poor pay packet that will end shortly and I'll be right back where I was in 2010; Husband's pay cut, the hand to mouth life I lead... 2 jobs, 2 kids, 2 mortgages, no time, no time no time.

I'm all churned up, can't eat. Can't sleep in this relentless heatwave. I'm angry at myself for my failings and yet... yet I can't seem to... work it out.

I wonder if it will ever work out for me. Am I just the eternal joke amongst my friends, my colleagues. The girl most likely to, who never did.

Maybe I was meant to be the that worst of all words - mediocre. Maybe that's who I am. Maybe I just thought I was better than that - like that couple in Revolutionary Road... that deep down they were just as inane as everyone else.

I know this, I am tired. I am tired of people saying 'I don't know how you do it.' Because I'm not doing it - or I am, but just not very well. That Jack of all trades and master of none.

What next for me? I don't know. I truly wish I did.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Never fake tan whilst drunk and other summer lessons...

Sorry, I feel like I've been playing away with the neighbour's husband and just aren't emotionally available any more.

Because of my dirty affair with all things Babble. I'm not gonna lie - it takes us a huge chunk of my time - thinking about articles and then getting the photos and all the uploaded and saving and stuff to write. I probably over -write, but I want a job done well, not a cursory effort. So what with that and work being busy as ever and kids - folk often ask me 'how do you get the time?' I don't.

I watch 'The Returned' on fast forward, reading all the subtitles (and it is great - go watch). I haven't exercised in like ever, and so my clothes are that bit tighter. I am just about keeping on top of the laundry and I'm trying not to turn into a cranky nightmare in this heat-wave. I know, all we do is slag off the weather and then when it gets good, we STILL grumble. I'm just not into heat. Give me autumn any day of the year. Trying to work out what to wear, when I have zero clothes to cope with this onslaught of sun, makes every day a challenge. Apparently it is here to stay as well. Better get investing in some flowy, floaty numbers. The only people who look good in heat-waves, are matadors and bikini models wearing dental floss neon things on Miami beaches. The rest of us just swell and bloat and sweat and burn and curse our Irish ancestors for bequeathing us such flimsy white skin that never tans, but only goes a fetching itchy shade of 'blotchy.'

The one thing I have learnt  this summer, is never ever buy a spray on fake tan for your body. And two, never ever buy said fake tan and apply whilst drunk. You know, that old, "A ha! I am one step ahead of the game here... getting my tan on, so tomorrow when that sun splits the sky - I can indeed get my pasty white legs out! How clever am I?" Only to wake up and discover that it looks like I've had some bad stomach ailment and it has accidently leaked all down one calf...

So apart from tryin' to keep my cool, I'm bloggin' (usually about stuff I am enjoying writing about - how old is 'too old' to be a Mum, and slagging off GP and all that) and I'm slapping sunscreen on my kids and trying to figure out what the fuck I am doing childcare wise this summer.

Right, I have 10 mins until bedtime, just enough time to squeeze in the folding of laundry and half an ep of The Returned. Busy, me? Never....

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Before Midnight V This is 40

So er... sorry about my total meltdown on Saturday. I've come to the conclusion, that I just don't do tired very well. It had been a bit of a hideous week, with Husband working all hours and me left holding the kids. We were both fractious, over-wrought and generally in bad moods. So it all went a bit pear shaped. But, and there is a but, Sunday rocked.

Husband got up with children; we then went to pitch n putt and played crazy golf in the sunshine. I was typically hopeless. We all trooped to 'spickmetoooooo' (in Sproglette's language) which is Despicable Me 2. It was cute. Sproglette loved it until she fell asleep. Sproglet thought it was hilarious. Me? I just want a Minion. Or several. Husband then whipped up some burgers and we had friends for dinner, who helped hang all kinds of things on our walls that needed hung. All in all, a lovely family day. Phew!

That night, Husband hit the hay and I wanted some light entertainment, nothing too taxing on my foggy brain. Something funny, a bit of relief. So I ordered This is 40. It should have been called This is a pile of shit, don't both watching it, you will never get that time back. It was woeful. If anyone could find the semblance of a story in there, please holler. I think it was about an annoying, cloying couple who were a bit fed up, with something or other. Some kid swearing. The Mum had THE most annoying whiney voice I have EVER heard. Hearing her speak made me want to claw my ears off - let alone the fact all this woman did was moan. I'm not even sure what she was moaning about - something to do with money missing at (I think) the store she owned (but was never at). Her being pregnant again and his business dying. I couldn't tell you, because as I said, there was no plot. No characterisation. No nothing. Certainly nothing about being 40...

The Sunday before, I'd taken a trip by myself to see Before Midnight, the last in the Before Sunrise trilogy. I LOVED it. Mainly because it made me feel COMPLETELY sane. I almost jumped up in the cinema and screamed 'my husband said that very line to me this morning!' Delpy was amazing. As she complained that Jesse assumes little fairies sunscreen the kids, and pack the holiday suitcases, and he defended himself saying 'but you would never trust me to do it!' I knew EXACTLY what she would say next - and she did. She said that if he packed the cases, the kids would arrive with no underwear. How many times have we said the same things to each other? Delpy made me feel completely vindicated, completely sane.

I came dancing home through the door, ready to demand that Husband see this movie, to see that our fights are universal and that NO, I am not crazy. Well, not most of the time anyway. But sadly he was asleep. So I wrote this review on Babble instead. I urge you to go and see it. Maybe it's just one long argument on screen (my colleague who isn't married with kids hated it) and you see enough of all that in your house most nights of the week... But I felt utter relief upon watching it - and before men start wagging their fingers, women aren't portrayed completely as angels. There are two sides to every story.

Talking of Babble, if you feel like clicking over - and I promise you JKelsoFarrell that I've been writing in my own voice, I swear! Here are some blogs I've written:

On who you would pick as celebrity mates... here. and 15 Years of Sex and the City - here. Ok, so I didn't mention Samantha's great line about blow jobs, but still, the rest is very CM. I'm getting more into the swing of it I think... Being me and still fitting their groove...

So, after the storm, there is peace. And I'll never blog mid-meltdown again. For those that emailed/commented though - I thank you. Good to know you're still reading!