Sunday, May 29, 2011

Commandments for (Social) Life

Hear Ye, all the Facebook faithful. Read and obey:

1. Thou shalt not pepper my news feed with mundane status updates. What you had for dinner/lunch/snack time, the fact that you are now going to bed and that you've just showered are not in the least bit interesting and should not be shared with the rest of the world.

2. Some of you have decided to reproduce, that is a fine and valid choice. Do not however, inflict the hourly activities of your offspring onto the rest of the FB world. We do not care in the least that little Johnny has just done a poo, or had burped or has spit up. Updates like that make the rest of us want to spit up as well. That being said, if little Johnny or Jenny or Balthazar has done something momentous like taken a first step or shoplifted for the first time (and got away), by all mean, feel free to share.

3. If you are going to post about the weather, at least try and be creative about it. Merely stating "It's hot/cold/rainy/windy/snowing" etc. is both boring and unnecessary. I can look out my window and see for myself.

4. Using abbreviations when texting is considered acceptable, but that does not mean you can use text messaging language and terms on here. Also poor spellings and appalling grammar is inexcusable. If you don’t know how to spell something, look it up. I do. (mostly). And, replacing "s" with "z" in a word does not make you urban and cool. It makes you look like a cool, urban wannabe.

5. PDAs are bad enough. But when you clutter my feed with inane banter ‘tween you and your coochie-coo when all the while you’re sitting two feet away from him/her in the same room, THAT is more than I can tolerate. Stop it.

6. If you join a group or event that already has a pre designated purpose, kindly do not clutter their feed/wall with information or adverts for your own gain. That is just plain rude. If I wanted to know about 50% off dancing midgets for this Saturday night, I would have joined their group instead.

7. We get it. You're popular. You go out clubbing/drinking/partying a LOT. But, if almost every single photograph that you are tagged in shows you beary eyed,  with a drink in your hand and along with an equally drunken posse, then perhaps you should think about a stint at the Betty Ford clinic. Just saying.
8. If I've deleted you off my friend's list once, really, WHY would I want you back on? Quit sending me requests. It's just emphasising your neediness and making me all the more resolved not to want you in my life.

9.Just because I do not repost comments/status updates about pleas for cancer cures does not mean I am indifferent to the situation. Posting status updates for an hour about remembering lost loved ones and the likes does nothing concrete. Going out into the world and DOING something - planning a fundraiser, spending quality time with patients and their families, volunteering time towards a cause - THAT is real and valid help.

10. People who constantly moan that Facebook is silly, trivial and mundane and keep threatening to leave, but in fact are still on and judging by their updates clogging my news feed, are actually rather active users! Quit being so la-di-dah and uppity and jump in and splash around with the rest of the riff raff!  

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Groovy Kind of Love

We are all familiar with the sequence. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. There is an attraction, they date. And perhaps they live happily ever after or else they split up and the cycle begins all over again. After an appropriate interval where broken hearts/wounded feelings mended with the help of copious amounts of ice cream eating of course!

That is exactly how things started out with Wookie.

We met last December at one of the comedy nights where I managed to make a complete tit of myself. Shockingly, that didn’t put him right off and over the next few weeks there was more talking (mostly on my part) and subtle flirting continued. He finally made his move one night as we walked home post comedy which resulted in a most lovely snogging session. The lad didn’t have much chat, but it turns out he had a talented tongue regardless. We made plans to meet on New Year’s Eve after he was done work, but thanks to a longer than usual shift (him), a dead phone battery (me) and general New Year’s Eve madness, that didn’t pan out. Feeling guilty about the whole fiasco, he contacted me the next morning and we made plans to meet up after I was back from Berlin. He suggested going to the Stand, which was actually quite nice; we both liked comedy and I’d never been there before. It was a perfect evening. Lots of laughs thanks to the stellar line up, an equal amount of private jokes between us two; meeting up with fellow comedy lovers and heading out to a pub post show and of course, more of that talented tongue. So when he called to set up another date for that Sunday, of course, I was more than happy.

And that’s where it all went so very wrong.

For starters, he showed up more than 20 minutes late. There was no explanatory text/phone message to give me a heads up and no apology when he finally did get there. Fortunately, I had a book with me and so I didn’t really notice the passage of time. I did however notice a couple of sympathetic glances from the serving staff who, no doubt have seen their share of poor stood up folk. Seated at the table, he was far more interested in focusing on his phone rather on me. I got staccato responses to my questions and no eye contact. At one point I even stopped talking mid sentence and started counting silently to see how long it would take him to notice the silence: I got to 11. To add insult to injury, he mentioned that he intended to head over to his parents place that evening and had a train to catch in an hour. I took that as a not to subtle request to eat faster so that he could get out of there. Upset and rather frustrated by the total opposite of our previous date and the entire sham of an afternoon, I choked down my meal as quickly as possible. We parted at the street corner and I walked back to my flat in a rage.

Not even a half hour later, he pops up on Facebook chat; GoodNews! My parents are here, so I’m getting a lift down to their place. Wonderful, I responded. And then, because I had nothing to lose and I was still hopping mad I added, Let’s just hope you’re better company for them than you were for me today. Nothing for a while, then I got a Whatever do you mean? which, Reader, was JUST the opening I had been looking for. I spewed out all of my rage and frustrations on to that chat message, holding nothing back. For the next hour or so, we chatted back and forth furiously, both attacking and defending. He claimed he was nervous. I said I was too. He said I was forceful, I said he was confusing. He said I didn’t know anything about football, I said that wasn’t even a reasonable statement. And so it went on until we were both out of steam. Look, let’s just forget about the whole thing and move on with our lives, was my final comment. He agreed, we both signed off and I imagined that I would never hear from him again and perhaps see him only occasionally at comedy events where there were enough other people around for us not to have to converse.

How wrong I was!

We ended up chatting online the next day. And the day after, and the day after that as well. In fact, since that fateful “date” not a single day went by without us chatting online or trading a barrage of text messages. We met at comedy. We met outside of comedy. By then, I had started to plan the fundraiser night and he ended up helping me out in little ways; introducing me to his sister who agreed to come photograph the event, running errands to pick up raffle prizes from around the city and sometimes just listening to me rant about various things that were driving me insane. We talked about everything. With other people he was shy to the point of playing mute. Yet, with each other we were never at a loss for words. I told him about the entire fiasco with Beans and he told me about the girl he’d been crushing on for the past six months. We plotted over ways to get her to realise his existence. He declared that I’d gone long enough without football in my life, and I became Padwan to his Jedi Master. And that is how it has been for these past five months.

Sometimes, the memory of those kisses return. But there is no lingering on a “what if.” I know that this is the better way. Had we not had that disaster date, there may have been a few more meetings, a few more kisses, perhaps even sex. But that is where it would have ended. I am sure of it. I do not want a long term relationship right now and he is not ready for one either. A long term friendship however, we can both handle just fine. Our friends joke about us being a couple and yes, it does seem so; all the hallmarks of a relationship just minus the physical intimacy. And yes, there is love: a lot of it in fact. Somehow, Wookie has managed to make me open up again and trust in love again. Perhaps the next time, I will be ready to go that one step further. But for now, I am happy with this kind of love. And when alls said and done, he is so handy when it comes to the changing of the light bulbs!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Epic Fail

About a month ago, Beer Baron emailed me about making a potential trip out to Scotland. After a few emails back and forth to confirm availability, within a few days his tickets were booked and *boom* just like that - I was finally having my first T Dot visitor! Full of plans for what we would do when he got here, I made sure to book a few days off work so that I could show him around, hang out together and generally do a lot of catching up over the past two years.

The night before he arrived, I was at the comedy club as usual. When I made to head home after the show, my pals pulled me back pooh poohing my efforts to leave citing that since I had the day off on the morrow, I was duty bound to stay out with them that night. I'll be honest, it didn't take much persuasion. We headed to our usual watering hole on main street which was followed by a wee stint at the casino. Because apparently, 3am was too early to head home to bed.

Post casino (and a few more rounds), Roo and I were last men standing and we stumbled in a homeward direction. Roo professed hunger and because I was CLEARLY not thinking straight, I told him he could come over and I'd make him a sammich. (Note: I make darn good sammiches. Even at odd hours of the morning) Roo took me up on that, came over and ate and drank his way through two sammiches, crisps, some of Flatmate's beer and ginger cookies. About half way though his feast, I went off to bed telling him to shut the door behind him when he left. I figured, I could get at least two hours of shut eye before I had to head off to the airport to meet Beer Baron who's flight was scheduled to land at 8:30am.

Oh. The mistake.

The alarm rang, I turned it off and slept soundly right until 9:30 until Flatmate happened to drop something in the kitchen and startle me awake. Upon which I leaped out of bed and dialed BB's cell phone frantically. Turns out, he had made his way over to the city centre and was trying to figure out the underground. I told him I'd pick him up at my station.

Dragging on some jeans and runners, I brushed my teeth, ran my fingers through my hair and made my way to the station to sit and wait for my friend. Gone were the grand plans of meeting him at the arrival hall with a great big hug and escorting him back to the flat. Instead, I sat in the corner of the station looking like a bag lady and with the stench of yesterday's alcohol seeping out of my every pore.

When Beer Baron did arrive, there was still a great BIG hug waiting. At least I couldn't screw that up! And then, I took him home and made him a sammich.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nothing But the Truth?

On the heels of my previous post about "whole truths", I started to wonder about expanding that concept to other parts of my life. Parents teach their kids that honesty is the best policy, and then proceed to undermine that lesson with the infusion of little white lies. Eat your vegetables or else the monster will get you, You can't watch cartoons because the TV is broken, This is not going to hurt at all. 

And why stop with just the kids? The tendency to infuse these lies into everyday living seems to increase exponentially as we grow older. Nice haircut, I can't make it, am feeling under the weather, It's not you, it's me!!

Of course, I understand full well why we all season our conversation with these wee white lies, and the consequences of everyone speaking the truth every time all the time has already been explored quite thoroughly. Still, I did wonder about the consequences of total and utter honesty in one area of life that for many is the centre of their very universe of being.

I speak of course of Facebook.

What would happen if status updates read Horny beyond belief and desperate for a shag. Or perhaps a comment on a photo that says, That's your baby? Wow, he got your husband's gigantic nose, didn't he? Or a post on a friend's wall stating, Yes, we KNOW you two are fucking cute and totally soul mates and everything. But do you have to post that on his wall? Can't you just turn to him and say it so that it doesn't show up on my newsfeed??? 

What? I'm just being HONEST! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wheeling and Dealing

As if I wasn't already eyeball deep in the fantasy world of Westeros (am now on book 5), Wookie recently introduced me to another feature of the series; the Game of Thrones board game. Given that it is strategy based and requires players to think about three turns ahead a la chess mode, it goes without saying that I'm totally rubbish at it. But Wookie is desperate for more people to learn to play this game, so he waved aside all protests about my inherent rubbishness re anything requiring sneaky strategy moves and proceeded to tutor me in the basics.

We've played it twice now and although I got royally thumped both times, he insists I'm learning and doing better. Me thinks he just needs me as a player. More importantly, he needs my friends.

So we have a deal.

I put together game nights with my pals and he buys the beer and downloads movies for me and comes round to change my lightbulbs. It's a win-win! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Whole Truth

It struck me the other day just how much about my personal life I post on here. Although I have done my best to stick to using pseudonyms and deleting all identifiable photos and references, the veil is but paper thin and anyone with even the tiniest bit of detective skills will be able to pierce through.

Call it a new wave in personal confession, but I know that especially when I am troubled, sad, angry or upset, writing about it always seems to make me feel better. And when it comes to the happy and exciting times, I want to put it down on the blog just so that I have a reminder of the crazy, mad, wonderful things in my life that make giggle on the bad days. 

Many of my friends and even other blog buddies have cautioned me about this; told me to stick to neutral topics and leave out items of deep personal nature. But I cannot. True, that would be a better and more effective smoke screen, but it would also end up hiding so much of who I am. I'm sure "real" authors are able to do it all the time; write about versions of themselves. As I am merely a fake one (author, that is) I'm going to have to carry on with the only way I know how. With the Whole Truth. And nothing but.

And per chance I do get "found out", well, it's no biggie. There's nothing on here that's fake or made up. If someone comes looking for me, well that's just what they're going to find.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

On Mother's Day

Always on the look out to make a bit of extra cash, I picked up a couple of shifts working over the weekend at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) here in G Town. It wasn’t until I showed up for my first shift yesterday morning that I realised the event in question was the annual Girls Day Out weekend, Scotland’s biggest health, lifestyle, fashion and beauty event. Two things immediately came to mind; 1. Holy Hell, there’s going to be a LOT of oestrogen packed into this place and 2. Just how much of a crap girl am I that I didn’t even have the slightest inkling that something as big as this event was happening!

At this stage, Dear Reader, you should know that there is nothing even remotely “girly” about me. I don’t pay attention to clothes… or fashion in general; my idea of make up is a tube of chap stick and I’ve owned a hair straightener for about 3 years but still cannot really get my hair properly unwavy each time I use it. Mainly because I’m too afraid of burning my ears. But that’s a story for a whole other blog post. For now, just pop in the mental picture of a straight talking, no make up wearing, plain dressing girl suddenly surrounded by the largest number of women she has EVER seen together in one place at one time.

It was rather interesting watching the long lines stream past me. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Fashionable ones and fake tanned ones. Carefully coiffed ones and carelessly dressed ones. Moms with daughters, Sisters with Mothers and Grandmothers, Gaggles of Girl Friends…. all out for a day of fun together.

I found myself focusing on the more carefully put together women. For some, looking good seemed effortless. How did they know to match that top with those jeans? And how do they get their hair to fall in such bountiful curls? Even my colleagues were very well put together young ladies who had eyed me with blatant disbelief as I tumbled into the staff room, hot and sweaty from the 30 minute walk from home with windswept hair and sensible (read non cute) shoes.

For the most part, I am comfortable in my skin and very happy with being me. Still, every now and then I do feel a twinge of regret re the whole “girly-ness” issue. My mum is just as bad as I am, worse even and I’ve often wondered if I would have benefited from her teaching me how to do my hair, or wear makeup or properly wield hair straighteners.

But that regret usually lasts just moments. I usually shake out my unruly mane, stick my hands into my non fashionable jeans and focus instead on all the things that she DID teach me.

Honesty. Loyalty. Friendship. Love.

Just a few examples of her life lessons. I guess she wasn’t so focused on teaching me to be a good girl. Instead, she tried to teach me how to be a good person. So much better than being able to tie a French braid, don’t you think?
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