From the moment I saw Patrick Swayze declare “nobody puts baby in a corner” I’ve been a hopeless romantic. You name any poorly made, clichéd, romantic-comedy and I’ll tell you that I’ve seen it at least three times. Whilst I’m aware that I’m no Jennifer Grey, and the men I meet don’t possess snake hips and a charming accent, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed that I’m still not having ‘the time of my life.’
I’m often told that one of the main reasons I’m still single is because I have standards that are too high, which no man is ever going to be able to match. I’m no Scarlett Johansson but I do consider myself to be a funny, intelligent, interesting woman and I need to date someone who also possesses these qualities.
When did narcissism become a concept with such negative connotations attached? Is there an appropriate amount of love I should feel towards myself to ensure that I still appear attractive and non-threatening to the opposite sex? Should I settle for men who ask me whether I’d like “an anal adventure” to prove to those around me that my expectations of men and dating aren’t too high?
Ryan Gosling probably isn’t going to appear at my doorstep with a bunch of flowers and a dinner invitation anytime soon, but until then I’m happy to spend the evening with the best alternative: me.
As I’m still wildly unsure of what I plan to do with my career, and want nothing more than to spend every day enjoying champagne for breakfast, I’m partial to purchasing a lottery ticket every now and again. In fact, what started as a silly way to spend £2 whilst I’m buying groceries has evolved into the weekly panic attack of a desperate woman.
Whilst the only time I’ve been to a casino is at 5am to ply myself with more alcohol after all of the local bars close, it is worrying that I continue to pin my hopes and dreams on winning the jackpot. What’s even worse is that every time I wait for the numbers to be revealed, I’m convinced that this is the week my life makes a sudden turn for the better and I finally get to live the life I deserve. No more inner-debates over whether I should buy the £3.99 wine or splash out and treat myself to the £5 bottle: I’ll get myself a damn vineyard.
Unfortunately, once again my evening spent refreshing the ‘euromillions’ tag on my twitter timeline has been a fruitless endeavour, and plans to quit my day job in favour of becoming a lady of leisure have come to a grinding halt as someone else walks away with my prize.
At least I’m safe in the knowledge that none of my friends that claim the first thing they’d do with the money is give half to charity have won: the vineyard will just have to wait until next week.
I love to rant, it’s one of my favourite activities along with waking up before my alarm and drinking coffee in the bath. I don’t expect a resolution to my problem and I don’t need pity or advice, the only thing I need to get my kicks is five minutes of unadulterated, ranting pleasure. Just five minutes to verbally spout everything that’s on my mind to the poor, unsuspecting person in front of me.
Unfortunately, there are some people that don’t seem to understand the positive power of a good rant and seem determined to ruin my fun: the guilt trippers. There’s nothing I find more frustrating than being mid-rant about work or money problems, when someone tries to tell me “I’d rather have your problems than mine” or “I’ll swap with you anytime.”
I’m aware that most of my problems are minute in the grand scheme of things, but I still reserve the right to complain about life every now and again when things aren’t going my way and I don’t believe I should be made to feel guilty about that. There are people in the world with issues far greater than mine, but pointing that out to me won’t make my problems disappear, so how about letting me complain for five minutes whilst you think about the sandwich you’re going to get for lunch?
Rant over. Now I know how Taylor Swift must have been feeling when Kanye cut her off mid-speech to tell the world that Beyonce deserved the VMA more: pissed off.
The biggest daily struggle I have is with my conscience. From the moment I wake up in the morning, I critique every move I make: from forgetting to buy milk at the supermarket, to spending the evening watching ‘Made in Chelsea’ with a glass of wine instead of hitting the gym. No matter how big or small, I so easily find flaws in my actions and quite often lay awake at night wishing I’d been more polite to the lady that accidentally knocked over my coffee in Starbucks.
Recently I read a fantastic article by Zosia Mamet in Glamour, which beautifully summarises everything I’ve been feeling, and has made me realise that I’m not alone. The following passage in particular really struck a chord with me:
“As women we have internalized the idea that every morning we wake up, we have to go for the f–king gold. You can’t just jog; you have to run a triathlon. Having a cup of coffee, reading the paper, and heading to work isn’t enough—that’s settling, that’s giving in, that’s letting them win. You have to wake up, have a cup of coffee, conquer France, bake a perfect cake, take a boxing class, and figure out how you are going to get that corner office or become district supervisor, while also looking damn sexy—but not too sexy, because cleavage is degrading—all before lunchtime”
Not every woman can be Emma Watson. I wish I were a multi-millionaire, actress, model and scholar with beauty to boot but unfortunately that isn’t my reality. On most days I wake up in the morning, go to work for 8 hours and by the time 5pm arrives I’m exhausted and can’t think of anything better than watching television in my pyjamas. I don’t always brush my hair in the mornings, sometimes I skip dinner in favour of peanut butter on toast and I have watched an entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in less than 48 hours. I might not be as successful or well dressed as I’d like, but at least I’m safe in the knowledge that Emma Watson is probably sat at home right now, wishing she’d remembered to buy milk at the supermarket too.
As someone who can’t even watch a heated argument on television without hiding my face in my hands, complaining about bad service is my worst nightmare. I’ve never taken my food back in a restaurant and I if I accidentally forget to say “please” whilst asking Mary at Starbucks for a coffee, I feel guilty for days. So naturally, the discovery that Amazon had taken money out of my account for something I hadn’t ordered was less than ideal.
As I spent an hour on the phone, having to recant my email address to at least 5 different Amazon employees, something strange happened. I don’t know if it was the incredulous Dylan who seemed shocked that money had been taken from me when he couldn’t even find an account for an ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or the fact that I had to repeat this story to at least 5 different people just as delightful as him, but I got angry. For the first time ever, I took pleasure in complaining.
Our discussion went a little something like this:-
“I understand that working on a Saturday is less than peachy considering half of your friends are tweeting about drinking sangria at the beach, but please, please – and this is to all customer service representatives – please at least pretend to care about my problems. I know that £60 of my money means bugger all to you considering you get paid minimum wage and work in a call centre, but every time you tell me that you can’t see any money has been taken from my account, a piece of my soul dies.”
In the end I got a full refund and a sense of accomplishment in knowing that the gentleman who told me he’d help me as a “gesture of good will” still had another 6 hours left of his shift. Being bad never felt so good.
It’s that time of year again, temperatures rise a couple of degrees for just a weekend and all of a sudden we’re in the bloody Bahamas. Every time Spring rolls around I tell myself that I’ll try not to behave like Wednesday Addams on crack but unfortunately the sudden spike in sunny weather has once again left me feeling like an anxiety-ridden, social pariah.
It all began with the wasp stinging incident of 1995, the day I lost my dignity and ability to act normally in social situations involving beer gardens, barbecues or ice-cream: the day Pollyanna replaced herself with Blair Waldorf’s less-nice sister. I can be sat having lunch, enjoying a large G&T with my friends until a wasp lands on my large order of fries and my palms start to sweat, my entire body is ridden with fear and I’m out of the door faster than Usain Bolt.
It’s probably for the best anyway: why would I want to be sat at the local park, surrounded by screaming children and half-price sausage rolls when I can be at home alone complaining? I miss Christmas, bobble hats, mulled wine and the sheer misery of everyone else in the UK.