““Are you lesbian?” Twice I was asked the question this week, granted at the same party. But seriously?! Apparently being selectively single, out with a gorgeous girlfriend and nearing forty, that’d be my aspirational demographic according to twitty and twatty. I toyed with titillating their taste buds and asking if I were the stereotypical butch looking type or t’other. Then considered a consequence of their truth. I love Christmas time, being around my family, friends, the fun and food from Iceland. But being described as Fatima Whitbread, this year I’d consider calling it off. “Thank you,” I replied, for my own very rational reason.
Did I really care what Mr and Mrs, what are you called, think of me? A little. Maybe they were judging me for getting to my age and not being married and this makes me a bit sad. So what to do about these people whom I shall probably never see again, nor whose names do I recall?
Well this is what some people who care so much about their image and others perception of it, do: “… I have recently experienced stuff that surpasses sensibility and wavers way beyond my wildest wishes. I only watch rom. coms and choose to avoid horror movies so never truly imagined baseless barbaric behaviour possible. Until this happened. Unless you’re part of my close clique I can never share the details of, the this, in my then life…” What’s the this, I nosily nose around for, what’d he do?! Well the this you and I (fellow lesbians) shall never know the dreary details of, but that sentiment is how I can only imagine Alex Hall felt when she was served and slapped across the proverbial chops with the worrisome weight of a super duper gagging order. “Happy Christmas honey, I’m home! Fancy a sh** but when others find out about us, do be a special princess and keep the details to yourself. All right sweet cheeks.” Let’s talk/think/protect me me me and then more about meeeee.
Cue Jeremy Clarkson aka silence of the lamb’s wannabe and his version of how Alex and indeed I should’ve perhaps dealt with this Simon Cowell esq journalist duo promoting suggestions for my sexuality. Jeremy is the UK’s latest gagging extraordinaire.* The self proclaimed motor mouth of the motor TV industry allegedly banging a ban on an ex, disallowing her to have a chin wag about the mighty chinny chin chinned one’s cheekiness. Word on the street is he and she engaged in an affair while he was married. Nice driving skills big boy but why so shy suddenly?
Arret right there! I hear you all and double concur. His philandering fabulous filly named Alex isn’t all blameless in their this’s and that’s of their then life. She knew he was married and in the eyes of the law, infidelity is wrong and I double this sentiment with bing bong bad boy bells on. Why should she be allowed to bleat about their joint wrong doings, she’s not exactly an innocent party? But is it fair that since the desperate details became public, Alex’s not able to defend/explain herself publicly because of this legal Burka her promiscuous (ex?) partner has forced her to don? He’s choking her voice and some may say he’s purporting the real truth (in this case, info from both sides)and creating a type of fantasy. The Lord of lewdness is trying to change reality by depicting a fake form of a fantasy is he not? So what we see on TV may not be who he really is.
I am now questioning the legal muffler’s aka Clarkson’s rational and start to think about ducks. D**k, duck; you following my logical thought process children? Blame Myers – Briggs. Pierce and I are fascinated by the duck ding-dongs we observe at the pond in Battersea Park. Rather Cirque de Soleil in their theatrics and always with a fabulously funny ending. They peck, prod and poke at each other, feathers flying and spitting as they cut a line and chase each other around the pond. And then they stop. Dead still and they stare, squarely at each other and with a final squawk that concludes it’s over and out in the open, they swim off in opposite directions as independent hippy hoppy happy hens. My point? Is currently unclear to me at time of writing…
So the ducks are permitted freedom of speech, and are clearly oblivious to their peer’s judgements, but I wonder if Donald Duck periodically started popping into our local park via his G5 jet from Disney, should he, as an A lister, also have priority access to this hierarchical historic statue aka Jerry’s muffler? Well the boy has a reputation to uphold and needs to control what his public think about him. Right Walt Disney, or am I being quackers? What if Donald fancied letting his feathers down, a super duck’s super injunction would certainly keep the squealers silent and his public image and reputation in tact. Well what judge would argue with the Donald of all ducks, he’s depicted as a cutsie white ducky type but seemingly the reality is different, the drake likes to party. When the park lights are dimmed and the last guest leaves, he’s off secretly organising all night raves with Mickey Mouse, Snow white and the seven dwarves. Hoi paloy, this bad boy image would never wash with the brand and his public. I can only imagine the Walt Disney legal team quaking into their millions of merchandising contracts and oversized fancy dress costume boots. “Mickey, Donald needs to revert to his fantasy image immediately, we need to lead by example and let’s all imagine this is a reality. Who he really is. That ducks’s public dancing days are over! If the kids don’t like Donald, I’m set to loose my Bugatti” Sssshhh. So in public Donald is a hero and in private he’s a little horror. Maybe Donald duck is more similar to Jeremy Clarkson than I originally thought. Is interesting that some will go to terrific lengths to avoid judgment. I want to know why they make such an effort to cover up who they really are and what they do, or is it they just want others to always like them?
Jeremy, oh king of verbal diarrhoea, who made you the new Hu Jintao? Your legal muzzle is the work of a mean militant madman… or is it?
Now I find myself pontificating the purpose of muffling another’s dulcet tones other than keeping your sponsors sweet..as a lemon. Gosh, all those people who now may think I’m a lesbian. Hopefully it’ll be a little like a Chinese whisper and may end up as me loving leafy legumes or Lesbos the Greek island?! But back to grand people controlling public perception and avoiding being judged negatively. What’s this deal? Essentially being summoned via a court and informed Donald/Jeremy has commanded a situation/experience/event including them and Mickey/Alex, not be discussed publicly. Rather Dickensian me thinks. Thou shalt not speak about me, unlesseth you speaketh nice stuffeth. The sentence for non-conformance? Alex Hall is sentenced to three full days of Top Gear Christmas specials and Mickey will watch the Food channel who this week are prepping a bird in a bird in a bird. No lion’s den here but instead a tearing tongue lashing from a heinous high court judge, a hefty fine and a refresher course in being a minion. Plus as it’s Christmas, a reminder that your vote don’t count baby. I wonder then if it’s a type of primeval chest pumping for the mufflers? ”I be da biggest da baddest big boy out dere!” But they choose to chest pump behind a weird looking crew donning Videla super mops on their bonces. Boo!
So continuing with my minion theme I am trying to rationalise Lord Jerry’s behaviour and considering if it is only super human hero’s with a public image and merchandising rights to protect, who control the output of us lesser mortals? Or in fact are we all a nation of controlling types and in our own way attempt to control how others think of us? Are we happy just being us or do we change to suit and please our audience?
Hands up anyone who has done something they’re ashamed of or would like to keep private? Sadly I be included with bells on. From romantic dalliances with unsavoury types to bad business decisions to once stealing a Cadbury’s cream egg age six. (Has been on my conscience every since and Sainsbury’s I have paid the price via my chocolate consumption disorder that I fuel via multipacks I nowadays purchase vs. steal from your store.) I’ve been there done that and have the t-shirt, in several sizes sadly. Regularly I would share the dreary details of my doldrums filled stories with my long-suffering pals and finish with: please don’t share this with anyone, (The Z listers gagging order.) But the older and even older I get, I find myself more readily accepting that my actions always lead to consequences and these actions are always initiated by me. Surely at my age I’m making my own decisions hey! So if I do something bad or occasionally interesting to others, I need to own it, deal with it, learn from it and move on. ABCD. Is the law. So would I ever get the law involved? My rule; business is for ego and relationships are for love. So friends, family and anyone whom I love; you’re absolutely safe forever – your secrets are safe with me always. But I still wonder if this would suddenly change with A list status, pots of cash and Donald Ducks merchandising rights, the ego bullets of society. Or are these unsavory nuisances, simply egotistical, deluded, irresponsible, individuals who take zero responsibility for their actions and choose to blame the world, but never themselves. See If I gagged everyone who knew my secrets or conversely created a public image everyone loved but that wasn’t truly me, surely I might just forgot my most important life lesson:
Who I really truly am.
So Mr and Mrs thingy bobby and for anyone who cares, I love lesbians (but not in that way). The man thing is a tricky one when my favourite night out is staying in and cooking a chicken. But I also love/prefer my rabbits, Anne and Summer. Whatever will you think of me. Bleuch
* I understand Jeremy’s since lifted the ban on Alex chatting. How very virtuous of thou Saint Jeremy. Await your imminent OBE.
Er, how come I wasn’t on the memo explaining the simplest of my most recent revelations: the richness of life is directly related to the quality of my decisions? Rocket science this is not but still, I am seriously peeved, perplexed and now need to phone a friend to share this most recent of my phenomena’s.
Granted I didn’t have to mastermind an MBA to manifest this revelation, just a series of serious migraines. Which is why one of my most favorite of all activities is to go into schools and share with young adults my life’s worth of mess-ups and also many great high points with my aim for them to realise:
This really is not rocket science.
Sadly my most recent excursion to The Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster to meet one of my favourite headmasters and blog critiques; Ernest Carthwrite was scuppered by my son’s health. Not to make too light a point of it, Pierce will be absolutely fine and I was gutted to have missed spending time at the school and plan to reschedule ASAP. Maybe with Pierce in tow next time.
So onto the most asked questions by Ernest’s students with my answers below
How can I follow my dream when I’m going to be heavily in debt after university?
First of all congratulations choosing University as a next option, taking you that bit further along your windy yellow brick road. Consider the adventures about to unfold for you! Experiences and learning beyond your wildest dreams. Sucks about the possible debt situation. I hear you. But you also may get run over by a bus or decide to drop out part way through the course and go live in an Ashram. They’re possibilities. Or you may discover this course helps to open up so many opportunities and different paths, the world is about to become your pearly white oyster. My years have taught me it’s key to focus on what I want, gloss over and always consider what I don’t want, sure and then keep it locked up back there in the safety deposit box part of my brain. Damn I lost the access code! But to make a problem/obstacle or challenge, the centre of a dream and to give it such a starring role! Absolutomondo not! Wrong wrong wrong. The resultant debt post uni, is what it is and my suggestion would be to visit your family’s money man to see if he has any tricks up his sleeves or if you have no such person in your life, Martin Lewis’s website – (Money saving expert http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students) may offer you some ventures you can get involved with while at uni. Stuff you can fit in around your studies. See this next suggestion (I have no idea if it works): http://job10.net/finance-journals
My advice: make a plan and always be proactive. Focus on your goal – what do I want? This’ll help you stay ahead of your game and the pack e.g. your competition
Your 2 decisions: 1: to focus on the debt challenge and create opportunities with this problem taking centre stage.
2: to carefully budget and actively search out part time moneymaking opportunities and then focus singly on achieving whatever it is your dream may be.
(If you chose 1: You’re almost guaranteed a headache. Choose 2 and you may well still experience a headache, or you may not. You’ve a broader remit of opportunities open to you by making this decision)
Did Melissa Porter plan her career or did it just happen?
Did you ever sit at home and wonder why no one is calling you to invite you out? You flick through your facebook contacts and everyone else seems to be living the dream while you’re sat at home in front of the latest ep. of TOWIE with a bowl of vanilla ice cream?! You’ve got to be in it to win it! Come on and get calling up those pals up, being proactive in making suggestions, posting fun pictures on facebook and spend more time out and about experiencing life. This is how to create opportunities; to get involved. Make it your job to be in amidst the thick of the opportunities. I was the shy geek at school so I’m not necessarily suggesting you become a socialite, (god forbid the thought would have terrified me.) Do your research, become involved with online forums and discussions, jump into the thick of where the noise is happening. Opportunities may be lying dormant anywhere and it’s up to us to unearth and discover them.
I always have my fingers in several pies at any one time and some lead to opportunities and others lead to less satisfying results. Ask plenty of questions. Sometimes people may remark your questions are silly. Maybe to them, but I encourage you to stand firm. To you it’s an important question so stick with it. Keep the eye contact locked to theirs and stay focused, never quivering. I promise it works every time to replace those question bashers firmly onto their back foot! People sometimes think or assume I’m dumb by my choice of question. Who cares, I know different and am confident with my agenda and myself. That said, my chosen paths might not always be the most direct. So be receptive to advice you deem discerning. Keep asking questions and listening to smart answers. Infact even dumb answers are useful as may reassure you, you’re on the right track as are progressing in exactly the opposite direction their advice would guide you. Don’t forget to always look to make contacts, build relationships and learn new stuff. Someone saying no to me, is equally as valuable as a yes. Potentially their answer to my question may have helped me avoid wasting my precious time along a path that someone else has trodden along and gleened an extra insight into. Learning by association is a key life lesson. Also to be discerning is another one!
I always knew I wanted to be happy in whatever it is I chose to do. My challenge? At 17/18 I had no clue how I was going to fill in the gaps. I started by considering what it was I liked to do? Then began to explore, how I was going to make a career from it. Blimey I was 17 years old and people had already started to ask me where I saw myself in 10 years?! On holiday in The Bahamas, how did I know?! I’ve listed below the majority of my jobs along the way (my point is to illustrate I had no clear vision for my career path at the outset but as I began, I started to experience likes and dislikes and my work placements almost became like a filtering process until I finally lunged into opportunities I absolutely started to love more than loathe. My jobs listed are in no particlar order, (distinctly like my thought process):
Kennel maid responsible for looking after dogs and cats. I loved the people and animals part but the pooh collection and being regularly nipped at confirmed I yearned for a little more glamour in my roles.
Working on a production line packing Vanish liquid into bottles. This paid great money and I was able to buy pretty much anything I fancied aged 17 ish. It also made me realize how lucky I would be to do any other job than work on a production line packing liquid into bottles. This became my worst-case scenario job as I became almost mechanical in my thoughts and actions and I also learnt there was more to life than money alone. It was not for me.
Waitress. I worked in a restaurant in Alderley Edge and still site this role as one of my all time favourites. I loved the people, getting all dolled up for work, the theatre of my supreme work performance bringing in greater tips and the constant banter. The smarter I worked the more tips I made. I love this concept and realized from this experience I like flexibility in a role.
Sandwich maker. I made sandwiches for the local businessmen and this is how I became interested in commerce. I remember one man talking about how he made his millions by importing watermelons! I also loved the theatre of standing behind a counter and creating delicious food for interesting customers. Everyone is happy and excited when they come into a sandwich shop and it was amazing to be part of such a positive environment.
Shop assistant Oasis. I didn’t love the bitchiness that I sadly experienced but loved the broad experiences this company offered me as part of my training. I also realized I am classic kind of girl and that fashion makes me look frumpy. Aurevoir tutu tulle skirt! Plus I felt like a caged animal working in a shop from week to week and again my thoughts became almost mechanical. It made me realize I like a bit of spice and variety in my day.
Consumer marketing for Kodak and Timberland, Body Shop and Marks and Spencer, I dreamed, a marketing role would be glam and sexy, sadly only the advertising related parts were and marketing covers a much broader remit. I also recognized, I enjoy working as part of a smaller term vs. within a bureaucratic type of environment. But to this point I am so lucky to have cut my teeth and to have been drilled by a blue chip FMCG market leading company who trained me in the practice of their rigid systems and processes.
Relocating bankers into London from around the world. I loved the autonomy this role brought me. I was responsible for creating my own schedules with clients and adored the flexibility this offered me. My clients were fabulously rich spirited individuals who shared their hectic life stories with me and I thrived on this interaction. The money was dire but I realized the importance of starting from the bottom within an environment you can learn from and one you’ll enjoy and thrive within. My money came later through my happiness and resultant linked successes.
Relocating families from the UK around the world. This was my first TV role and the move from doing my real job to then recreating it on screen was incredible. I was adamant the realness of my role would remain alive but sadly TV people want things done in different ways and this dissonance compromised my integrity, which saw me having to step down from this wonderful prime time show. I learnt that fame and glamour and money sometimes come at a price; loss of integrity, a route I will choose to never tread along.
Refurbishing homes and properties. I loved meeting the people and seeing inside some of the worlds most important, beautiful homes. My challenge; I was never commercial enough to make interiors a sound business for me. I want my clients to love love each and every piece that goes into their home and sadly this did not make commercial sense as takes up too much time and clients don’t want to pay huge fees, they want stuff for their homes. Sometime you have to sell the dream to the client and I learnt I’m a crap sales person and the importance of a complementary business partner.
Hosting events, awards ceremonies and seminars. Boy do I love this part of my job. I get to glam up, be the centre of attention and it be perfectly acceptable. Then to see the smiles on the winners and finalist’s faces when they are presented an award is one of my most precious memorable moments. What other situation or scenario would offer me this?
A receptionist for Ferrari formula 1 design and development, I was able to glam up, had little responsibility, was amazing at the job, plus it paid handsomely. It was a summer job so I knew my end was in sight and intended to make the most of the experience. During my lunch hours I made pals with the designers and they shared with me their designs for the next hottest F1 cars. I love cars so this and meeting Schumacher was a dream job come true for me. Once again I realized I needed to work in an environment that allowed me to get out and about.
Virgin airhostess. Someone told me I could never get the job and my ego explained I must prove them wrong. I got it. I was enticed by the glamour and travel opportunities but simultaneously was offered a TV role so this was one of my prolific sliding doors moments: Flying or TV – I chose the later.
Some people are clear and concise what their career path will be, I thrive on variety and post uni realized that while earning a great salary is important, the thing to really float my boat is people. I need to learn from great people and I yearned to be in a job that would provide me with this opportunity. What do you like doing in a work environment? Also make a detailed list of what would be your worst nightmare jobs and consider why.
How difficult is it to get into television?
Well what do you think? Any sexy of the moment job, you’re going to be against competition. Is same with all things in life, imagine the waiting list of girls wanting to date Mark Wright from TOWIE fame. Or to use the adjective in the question, some may find it ‘difficult’ to date him. Whoever posed this question is already ahead of their game, smart cookie. They’ve identified it’s a competitive market; many many people want to work in this industry.
Decision 1: shall we focus and reminisce and discuss all these other eejits who want our sexy job
Decision 2: let’s shake our ass and go get the job/the man/the car! Where there’s a will there’s a way!
I did a retail marketing degree at Uni and was a pretty solid student. My tutors wanted me to take the plum internships at Aldi, Sainsbury’s or M&S. I had different ideas. I love fashion and glamour and wanted to work, not for a food retailer but for a fashion retailer. So with much noise from my tutors and folks (to which I nodded, grinned and duly ignored the lot of them), I took myself off to London’s Bond Street. I had discovered through my research that this road housed all the prolific fashion designers and I was a woman on a mission for a job. I walked the length and breadth of the street, buzzing each and every one of the fancy gold gilded intercoms and requesting to see the manager please. I then asked for the name of the person to whom I should speak, regarding a work placement. I was greeted with much bemusement, which did nothing but confirm I must succeed in my mission. Many of the store managers thought me bananas and bear in mind 20 years ago I was a chunkier version of myself, donning a curly mop like barnet, had limited fashion prowess, no experience and was not sporting the latest fashion. But I knew I didn’t want to market fruit and veg at Sainsbury’s so my decision was always a clear cut one; I wanted to be happy surrounded by the glamorous smell of size zero and six inch stilettos! Anyway, long story short, both Phyllis Walters who PR Versace and Timberland offered me a year’s work placement. My first work conundrum: Did I take 8,000 pounds pa and work in fashion PR or 10,000 pounds pa and work in consumer marketing? Two completely different opportunities. One working for a brand and the other working for an agency. One working as a marketer and the other working within a section of the marketing remit. It was a sliding doors moment for me. I had begun to create opportunities for myself through being proactive and getting off my butt and placing that vanilla ice-cream right back into the freezer. Which opportunity would you have chosen and why?
Holy Trinity is an international school. Can Melissa Porter tell us about the month she spent in South America?
I had just been dumped and found my fat ass back on my settee with that ice-cream nightmare scenario happening again! My career was flying high in the direction I wanted but my love life was stalling and I wanted to gain some perspective. I was feeling sorry for myself, woe is me, life is tough, TV is difficult, what about my student debt, I’m so fat, wawawawa, stop right there and put a sock in it: Looser! You get the picture? It happens to us all, right?
So I had a think about what makes me happy and came up with the following: children, sunshine and heat. Travel, different cultures, interesting people and learning and having fun. I also wanted to volunteer as had been given so many opportunities by some many kind people I figured it was pay back time. I’m a bit of a scardy cat so wanted to go overseas within a placement I felt was structured and safe and stumbled across an organization called Cross Cultural solutions. I think I wrote all those adjectives into google and the CCS brand popped up. So I packed my bag, again to much noise from my family and friends (to which I smiled and nodded and once again duly ignored) and off I went. This month has to be one of my most enriching, rewarding experiences of my life. I volunteered to help with orphans and each day would play and laugh and sing and dance with them. Picking the spikes from off the rose stems and placing them on our noses like we were rhinos! Underneath the blistering heat of the Peruvian sunshine, with no sun protection to shield their precious skin, these little angels would end up teaching me what it is that makes a soul truly happy! It was a humbling month for me. I worked in the Ayaucho jail with kids born to mothers who had been sentenced because of drug trafficking, attempting to poison their kids and many more gruesome sorry tales. Some of the happiest children I ever met; bar none.
Is Melissa Porter planning to become a writer?
Is a lot of fun to write. For some reason I am able to articulate myself in a much more concise manner vs. verbally. I liken writing to road rage. I gain confidence to express myself when seated behind the smokescreen of my computer. Sometimes expressing myself in ways I would be too timid to offer up in public. It’s also very cathartic for me and sometimes I forget how many people are reading about my feelings as for some reason writing seems like a much more private and personal domain than TV. I am planning to write much more. I’m thinking a column in a daily tabloid newspaper and a book. Decisions.
What are the three most important values in life?
I have only one; to love. Doesn’t everything stem from this one value? Kindness is a by-product of love as is loyalty, honesty and integrity. They are all chips from off the love block and if only we would all approach life via this one singular value. There’d be a whole lot less fighting and war. Amen!
Hope your path to whatever your dream may be is fun filled and good times are had by you! Crack on with some good decision-making!
Once upon a very recent time ago in a dizzy deluded dot com world near to you, a little girl loved a similar sized boy. On one particularly peculiar day, she decided to look into his eyes and wistfully whispered the wish filled words; I love you, straight into his waxy white ear hole.
It’s complicated, he simply replied.
The little girl was confused by his response. Complicated? She asked rhetorically. The most complicated aspect of her languid life was an unfinished rubic cube and her seedy sleuth like attempts to log onto her ex’s facebook page. WTF does complicated mean?
Sadly this soppy sorry story doesn’t have a happy ending, in any sense of the phrase. The little boy refused to expand on his two-word banquet and thus provided no further food for thought. The mentally malnourished girl and verbally constipated boy never did meet again. She was (very temporarily) miserable. And despite kicking the a*se out of their minimalist dialogue, (being female she could never let anything go) she was and to this day still is, unsuccessful in her quest to receive conclusive cubic zirconia evidence what Mr complicato meant by his words. And he? No one ever saw him again to hear his cock and bull style-complicated version of the truth. Legend has it, he became so misdirected by his convoluted road map of complicatedness, dead end lie filled lifestyle and sharp 3-point turn stories, all his friends and family (4 in total) pulled the proverbial handbrake on him. He then was sat on, squashed and swallowed up by a sinister silver and black slimy snake called Simpleton seeker. Then regurgitated as Tom Cruise and his infamous Oprah/sofa/Katie Holmes/Banarama moment. The end – almost.
The moral of this story ladies; if he announces it as being complicated, when in the context of a singletons relationship discussion, this is Russian for RUN. Leg it ladies.
Now I’m done. Again. Well almost.
And so back to reality my cheeky chops children. Here goes my magically revealing master class of what question or statement warrants, an it’s complicated reply. And all because… the lady loves Milk Tray, plus I overheard a conversation in the park today that inspired todays blog. So let’s all get down, dirty and complicated:
Roman Abramovich has a shadow boat armed with ex FBI/CIA agents and won’t permit any staff on his other personal boat, who speak or understand Russian. That’s seriously complicated business going down.
The patients in ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ have complicated brains.
To understand why Kerry Katona generates so much media attention is complicated to comprehend.
Getting a dongle to work or transferring data between an old Blackberry to a new one is an excruciatingly complicated process. For me.
And onto describing a relationship as complicated. How would you describe your relationship? Surely not complicated. Please. Anything underpinned by love should be pure and simple. Or am I also being slowly influenced by our new Lauren and Mark era of ‘fake reality TV’ fantasyland? Love and relationships ARE the fragrance and foundation of our lives not drama and deception. Or has my fascination with any film featuring Hugh Grant and a wedding dress, thwarted my perception of reality? No! I will not be derailed. Maybe the couple in the park weren’t in love, hence his reply to her. Perhaps he already had a girlfriend/wife and complicated was referring to his raunchy desire for threesomes. Or the man may have been emotionally afraid of the woman and he was scared of getting involved as his cat would become jealous and the neighbours disgruntled thus causing nationwide economic unrest? Do I need to read ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ again?!
All I know is the park lady has two options, as did the little girl in my story. To stay or to go, following the males complicated revelation. If they choose to stay, it’s complicated may mean the recipient (her) taking a back seat in their journey of love and life. Whatever the reason for the complication may continue to always be a priority, unless the instigator (he) of these two words, decides otherwise. Who wants a back seat in the journey of love and life? Come on ladies! Not me! We deserve a front row, VIP all singing and dancing bejewelled seat. Simply because we are worth it! Life is exciting and imagine sharing it with someone who feels the same! Disclaimer alert: (obvious symptom of my ex US life.) For any man who has the gooneys to admit his life is complicated, but here’s the kicker, he still wants you to be a part of it and to work things out, with you and he at the helm, god damn it; enjoy ladies! Stay with him. I love him for being so hetrosexually honest. Who says life is a bed of roses, Mills and Boon is fiction! BOOM. Enjoy your complicated life, with the man you love. How exciting for both of you!
And if the girl’s take a view and decide to go, to leave him and to turn their back on the one with a complicated something, the park lady and little girl suddenly find themselves in a newly created position: to be able to receive exactly what they deserve. The CEO of It All.
Second disclaimer. Hey, just to be clear married folk reading this. I’m not suggesting for any of you with stress filled and tricky lives that one may occasionally reference as being complicated, to throw forth and fling your rock of a ring out the wide-open window. No of course not! Marriages may and invariably are complicated beasts. This blog is not about you. Jerry Springer and Maury Povich offer some great advice for you bunch of married folk. My blog discussion is aimed at anyone dating, the singletons amongst us, generally referred to, as the unattached nation who may occasionally come face to face with a big bad ugly complicated one. Be he married, a liar or whatever his complicated scenario may be.
Loving someone generally leaves ourselves feeling very vulnerable and exposed, to all the wonderful things being in love may bring to us. Kindness, empathy, understanding and sharing to name but a few. Maybe, the man in the park or the similar sized boy in my story were afraid they would be unable to control the feelings being in love brings about and their openness would leave them feeling scared and vulnerable, maybe out of control. Could they be feeling these emotions and translating them into a complication? Who knows hey? Only they I guess. But the only way I could ever imagine describing my relationship as complicated is if deception and deceit were introduced. I attest complications to situations I have to endure, to which I am unable to apply logic or have limited understanding and control over. Cue my dongle.
And to that inconclusive end, I would like to dedicate this blog to the single love of my lovely little simple life, my son Pierce Alexander. ‘..Darling boy, if you ever utter the words, it’s complicated, to a woman, (unless you’re describing her lingerie or helping her achieve multiple orgasms) Barnardos, here you come my boy. I love you forever.’
Did you ice ball me 25 years ago? Twat. If I may momentarily refresh your mushy pea sized memory, I was the nerdy shy geek with afro style hair and bushy eyebrows to match. Think a blend of Erykah Badu and Eugene Levy and you get the picture loud and in HDTV crystal clearness. But it was only by default I achieved this silver plated spoon in mouth look. Assisted by my parents insistence, I sport the comprehensive school’s non-compulsory uniform and coupled with my year round glow, I majestically managed to fit this Lord Fauntleroy esq. description and to stick out, like an Ivy league educated person would at a TOWIE press junket. To perfection. Cheers all involved.
So with my shyness confused by the other kids as aloofness and my year round glow achieved by my being afflicted with psoriasis since the age of twelve, Spotty, aka moi, became the victim of ice balling amongst my other angst’s. These annoyances continued until my folks, aka Super Ted, promptly extracted me from the aforementioned school and replanted me elsewhere. Amen and onwards.
With this chapter of my life well and truly buried like Katie Price’s career may well soon be if she continues getting remarried, those same, now prehistoric tears, once again welled up in my eyes when I recently read the comments written about Kim Kardashian who discovered she also has psoriasis.
And it was these brutal, harsh, unsympathetic and insensitive comments that inspired this blog. So grab yourself a beverage and allow it to quench any preconceptions. Bring frothy forth your open mindedness and let’s begin. First up with my exploration of all things Kardashian and the revelation, I now have something in common with this marketing goddess, aside from derriere size. Check.
I enjoy watching and reading about Kim Kardashian. She’s my most accessible form of escapism, post Pierce and is my quintessential wallpaper style TV show. Ideal background noise. Cutsie Kim, heads up the obnoxiously glamorous lifestyle of this loving family and let’s face it, for 95% of us, our only chance of ever leading a similar life will be via osmosis, through our TV sets. While she or her life may not float your boat, the undeniable facts are she’s gorgeous, rich, happily engaged to a man who seems to adore her enough to want to spend the rest of their life together and surrounded by a loving family. You go girl! But is, you go girl, your first thought?
My instinct is to the contrary. If we tear back the truth layers of our personal millefeuille why do we prefer the underdog? Those we feel we have a competitive advantage over in some form or another, be it looks,intellect, finances or career position. There I said it. Why is it some of us seem to buzz from others misery, problems and dramas. I’ve run a test with some of my acquaintances and watched them glaze over as I share my cup half full lifestyle and the minute I pepper it with some tragedy or misery they visibly perk up. Note to these people: that’ll be why you don’t get a call back. Big Brother and TOWIE are ratings winners as we can relate to these individuals featured. Their lumps, bumps, issues and dramas are palatable to the majority of us. We look in our mirrors at home and can empathise. Why? Because we’re better god damn it. Our conversations are more sensible, our responses more intelligent, our lives more organised. Init.
God we’re so pious. But relax in your slacks, t’is difficult being so perfect and superior, but by golly, we managed to achieve it vs. the TOWIE, BB lot. We get them and by jove, we’re even better than them. Times infinitum. Or are we?
So in stark contrast, how does the posh TOWIE fare with you? The dream team from E4’s show, Made in Chelsea. How does watching this lot make you feel? Do you regularly tune in to watch these gorgeous, glossy gazelle types swanning around on yachts and yawning while the rest of us are frantically multi tasking and making ends meet? Judging by poor and sliding viewing figures, I’d propose we’re not loving this lot so much. Cretins. Is this how you might describe them? The financially and visually elite, not worthy of my attention, energy and most definitely not empathy. Although scratch that surly sentiment, surely Shirley a shrapnel of jealousy may be extended in their direction? Can we offer and spare the jealousy emotion from us lesser mortals to them?
I am sensing your discomfort and have deviated so far from my Kim Kardashian and psoriasis point I have nearly lost the complete sense of this piece. But phew, my ugly, poor, depressed cleaner walked in and now after chatting with him I feel re energised enough to regroup my tawhid thoughts.
This is my point, I hope: The world is a blend of Spotty’s, Super Ted’s and a melting pot of other character types, yet essentially we’re all cut from the same cloth. So some of us are polyester and others a cashmere blend. So what. Noone but ourselves truly know where we’ve come from and where we’re going and on that basis we make judgements and opinions about people that are merely perceptions, illusions, versions of our own reality.
At school, these two kids assumed I was rich, stuck up and ugly so decided to bully me. They couldn’t have been further from my truth. I once dated a chef who commented I was out of his league besides him being super successful, handsome and really quite a sweet, kind man. Quite hilarious had he gotten to know me and realised his perceptions of my life are contrary to it’s reality. You see our DNA structures are all pretty similar, strip us back and we each have the same pieces of kit to keep us alive. (Heart, lungs, and brains). The other bells and whistles (appearance, cash, objects) these are mere by products of our life and existence and don’t (well shouldn’t, unless you’re a narcissist impostor and I’ll save that for another blog) define us as humans, yet we continue to compartmentalize and judge and form opinions on the stuff that really doesn’t matter.
It is our hearts that shape and define us as humans. ABCD as simple as that, no pie charts required to illustrate this point. And even if we don’t have our own heart in place and use a borrowed one, each and everyone of us have one and are blessed.
Remember, even the glossy Kim Kardashian uses the lavatory in the same way you and I do. Hers may be a gold plated loo seat and fragranced with the essences from a long lost tribe from Outer Mongolia, but I guarantee If she was shouted at or criticised unfairly, the tears that may flow, will be made from the same fluid you and I would produce.
Regardless of perceived class, colour, creed, intellect, visual, social and economic status we are one of the same.
So please give the poor, rich, gorgeous and euphorically happy girl a break about her psoriasis. She’s permitted to feel the same range of emotions as you and I do. And deserves the same level of empathy. Unless I was the only one missing the memo listing life’s problems in order of importance and related sympathy/support quotas depending on your perceived social/economic and visual status. Bleugh.
And finally, I want to extend some thanks and gratitude. To those two little ice balling dweebs at my original senior school who have given me the courage to believe one of my most important life lessons: that the opinions of the Super Ted’s in my life, is the only one that truly counts and the rest of you just create a lot of noise! Dismissed.
For my many complexities, the simple constant in my life is I say it as it is. I live by a simple rule; to respond honestly and from my heart and I ask for this in return from my small group of nearest and dearest. So, ‘you look like a prostitute’ was a perfectly acceptable retort from my pal when I questioned her if my dress was revealing too much cleavage. On her suggestion, I duly added to my ensemble, an over the shoulder boulder holder style camouflage. Her candidness is noted and always greatly appreciated.
So today’s question of the day, how many of us really want to hear someone else’s truth or opinion? And are there more acceptable doses of this honesty drug available to be dispensed before a cyanide effect occurs? Kaboom!
I love hearing other people’s perception of what they believe to be the truth and their subsequent opinions, in fact it’s a necessity in my life, as I get confused with yes equals no but maybe type people. If you can teach me something, then I want to hear from you. And frankly I love chattering so much, I’ll probably listen to you even if you have Muppet like opinions, but forgive me if I choose not to hear you. (I now need to illustrate my point by diluting it with some Aqua Seltzer like clarity.)
You all know I hold a special place in my heart for The Donald and I admire his brazen business sense. But his flaxen mop of heavily lacquered comb overedness does little for me other than bring me out in a fit of giggles. Would I ask him for hair advice? Negative, although commercially I’m thinking a Trump hair academy would fill a gap in the fancy dress market. Nor would I ask any of the cast from TOWIE to edit the grammar in this blog. ‘..Ay great innit like…’ The former I may ask about his business prowess and the later I’m thinking fake tans, promiscuity, lack of integrity and compulsion to be famous whilst being devoid of any evident talent. (Although hats off to the lot of you, I love your shows.) My point being, different folks offer more relevant opinions than others. Innit.
Now here’s my conundrum. Must I extend poetic licence in certain situations to avoid peeing on another’s bonfire or am I permitted to say what I feel when asked a direct question?
If you’ve the motivation, have a think about this situation? My friends dress looked like my son has haphazardly splattered paint all over it via his peachy little bottom. In fact scratch innocent Pierce from the equation, if Donald Trump’s Boeing 757 rolled over my foot and I then decided to toe paint, imagine the scene. Not some designer’s finest creation. ‘Do you like it?’ she asked gleefully ‘..I’m wearing it tonight..’ I responded genuinely, ‘..Err no. But you always look beautiful whatever you wear, so you’ll look great.’ And I meant it from the bottom of my TKMaxx styled heart. Yet her face dropped like a premier league footballer’s boxer shorts infront of his less significant other half and I immediately sensed I’d offended. Ugh.
To say I was confused is to describe the hunch back of Notre Dam as visually rewarding. So here’s my first lightbulb moment: If I call you, I want to speak and probably chew the fat with you. If I text or email I want to get to the point and keep in touch. If I ask you a question, please give me your answer. Black, white, yes, no and I’ve bought this ethos through to my newly complicated life. Yet it seemed my lovely friend has been taking lessons from the original Mrs. yes but no but, maybe Vicky Pollard. Essentially she was asking me a hypothetical question, a question not requiring an answer. She was looking for validation and reassurance vs. my opinion, hence the disappointment when I delivered my Judge Judy style opinion. Such complexity confuses the hell out of me. Why not ask me for reassurance and validation and I’ll happily deliver it in bucket loads?! Truth and honesty is simplest yes but no but maybe?! Onwards.
With my patience firmly back in tact and my love for my friend always available I continue this exploration of others opinions and start to think about George Clooney, the official God of men. Sorry women. I love George’s honesty. He’s put it out there, his bottom line. No marriage or babies, this is his truth/opinion/deal, he will not settle for anything less which I’m assuming in this instance, less would be a legally binding contract and a couple of ankle biters. Sorry, Elisabetha and your article about wanting babies and a family, but the writings on his wall in Lake Como and if you struggle with understanding his American words, use Babel fish. Parlez Anglaise?! The man has a live $40k bet with Michelle Phfeiffer and Nicole Kidman, he won’t marry or have cooing Clooney babies. (Hey did anyone read the footnotes about men?) I don’t like to think of any other human, animal or goddess suffering, but surely she’s a dose of self-inflicted delusion? George spelt out his needs and wants, loud and proud, yet still Miss Hottiebottotie ends up in tears. Do you think Elisabetha needs to appreciate others also have an opinion and it aint just her way or she’ll be out on the proverbial highway? Second lightbulb moment (particularly for any Elisabetha types): Everyone has their own personal dream and quit with the controlling behaviour. Way too complicated.
So isn’t the moral of, my way too long winded, terribly convoluted tale: If we’re honest and genuine with our opinions and feelings, life will become a whole lot simpler. (Unless you date an Elisabetha) What do you want? What do I want? A simple starting point scholars. Less heartache, more laughter and joy! Bring it on in beach bucket loads. Although judging by the recent images in the Mail, where Elisabetha is pictured propelling her being from offa Sunseeker yacht into the aqua marine coloured Med. and into the arms and lips of her devilishly handsome ex. She appears to be getting over it and it seems is much more comfortable about George’s honest opinion’s. Sweet.
And now I’ll close with a KISS to you from me. But mine involves no tongues, hot ex’s or super yachts, just a short message:
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Did you know swans are of the few creatures, proactive in their decision to choose a mate for life? They strive for monogonomy and it seems even a feathered bird with a brain the size of a ping-pong ball knows which side their Hovis is buttered and could teach our British footie players a thing or six about playing home vs. away games. But it’s not just football players who are busy getting jiggy. In the UK we have the BBC’s Andrew Marr, in the US there’s TV gold, Kelsey Grammer and in the French corner we have esteemed business man, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, all revealed to have cheated on their respective partners.
So on a more positive note my quest is to understand how to avoid being partnered with this type of eejit and today’s blog is inspired by the notion of monogamy. Being sexually faithful, to one person only. Generally, something the majority of us strive for unless you’re a swinger, polygamist, footballer, ex governor, head of the IMF or chimpanzee.
I’m fascinated why certain demographics of aforementioned eejits are unable to keep it in their pants and remain faithful? And why does it appear more acceptable for men to spread the love than their female counterparts? Interestingly, Anthea Turner is still described as a home wrecker following her affair over a decade ago, (or is this how they describe her husband Grant’s latest property venture?) whereas Beckham, amongst certain groups, assumes an almost stud like credibility following his alleged dalliances. Is modern day society regressing and permitting it to be more socially acceptable to play away if you are born a man? Kind of primeval wouldn’t you say.
It’s also interesting how the notion of being faithful is subject to interpretation. In my book, if you’re in a committed relationship and engage in coital activities with another, this is cheating, it’s wrong! Maybe we’re struggling with the term, ‘in a committed relationship’? Pray, let me clarify; one where both parties have agreed to forsake all others and love, cherish, honour and respect each other. I am referring to the verbal deal we make as consenting adults, created by two individuals with or without the constitution of marriage as a prevailing factor. To commit to being in a relationship together. Capiche?
But what about the morality issue, surrounding separated, married types who have walked out on their marriages, who are legally separated and actively pursuing a divorce, yet over time have moved on emotionally and physically? Technically this is adulterous behaviour as the extra curricular affairs are being conducted within the confines of a ‘relationship’; a marriage? But arguably these are no longer ‘committed’ relationships as one party has decided to move on. Peeps, I’ll let you take this one up with God. But let’s all just take a moment and spare a thought for those poor adulterous separated American’s, whose legal system is so convoluted, open to interpretation and lengthy, if they had waited for a divorce to be granted before physically/emotionally moving on, their privates may become fossilized. (Note to American separated inconsolable wives: fossils are prehistoric and therefore of value, be sure to include his privates on your financial affidavit.) Adjourned!
So none the wiser in my quest to understand how to spot a faithful chap, I move on and question, where’s it all going Peter Tong?* Within a relationship, what is the defining moment to cause one of the parties to stray? Maybe the term ‘in a committed relationship’ is subject to interpretation and differs between the genders? I wonder. I once was invited on a date with a gorgeous, seemingly charming, intelligent New Yorker. My instincts kicked in at dinner when he struggled to muster up a palatable conversation. My indicator this guy was unhappily married with kids. So are you married I questioned in my most nonchalant of ways? Separated he answered. Now slightly irked this guy had taken up a precious evening of mine I decided to pull out the stops as wasn’t buying his story. Separated I repeated back to him through clenched teeth. Are you having a physical relationship with your partner/ do you live with her/ are you committed to creating a future with her and planning on eventually becoming reunited? He looked at me as if I were having an out of body experience. I promptly ordered the cheque and excused myself from this lothario’s tasting menu.
I don’t have to be Inspector Clouseau to know this man was living at home, unhappily within the confines of a sexless relationship. His nagging wife, I’m assuming understood there were relationship problems, perhaps sex was off the table for them, but Mr NY had decided to seek relief elsewhere before doing the right thing and either committing to mending their relationship with kindness and love or to proactively and honestly breaking the bond by announcing its end. Note to Mr NY: had we begun a relationship as you had suggested, we would be cheating, unfaithful, NOT being monogamous. All wrong. Sprechen sie Deutsch!
So for all readers, with the exception of US lawyers and politicians around the world, the definition of being monogamous should now be crystal clear.
For those still confused by the concept, I suggest asking your partner if you’re permitted to have sex with anyone other than them. If they a/scream b/look at you with utter disbelief saying nothing or c/faint, that’ll be a big fat super sized no. N O for the hard of hearing (and footballers.) I’m going to write it phonetically for Giggs; NOOHHHH
Which dovetails me nicely to my next question about the type of person who cheats. In the UK, footballers seem to be the philanderers of the moment and every day it seems a new affair is being written about. So what’s the deal with this most sharing of all men, the footballer? Does being fit, having a big ego, wealthy beyond sensibility and intellectually challenged automically defer this demographic to a life of philandering? Abbey Clancy, the gal dating Peter Crouch, seems lovely hosting ITV’s This Morning amongst many other successful projects she turns her delicately manicured, heavily carated hand to. As a former lingerie model, saying she is visually rewarding, is as accurate as describing Kirstie Alley as looking bloated, Abbey is a stunner. She earns her own cash and her name has yet to appear on the ‘guest list’ at The Priory hospital. On paper she seems like the perfect girl/partner, but who knows what the reality is behind closed doors. So what’s the deal with Crouch and the moose look-alike he allegedly slept with whilst dating Abbey? Are Ms Rocky’s (moose) values and morals more in tune with Master Bullwinkle (Crouch)? Do they connect on an emotional and spiritual level in a way him and Abbey could never? I wonder if my suggested rational for his behaviour is non sequitur to Crouch and he simply cheated as a means to having sex? Crouch chose to return, with his communal appendage, to his loyal fiancée Abbey and I’m hoping that whatever was broken, causing him to stray, has now been firmly sellotaped back together. Including the vase I hope Abbey lamped him with.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was also recently caught with his pants down, literally. So how does his character differ from the stereotypical footballer? Well Arnie’s fit – check,ego’d to the hilt, richer than many small countries – check check, but here’s the difference, as the ex Govenor of California he must be intellectually endowed. Which disproves my theory about only dumb men cheating. Well only slightly. Talk about muddying your own doorstep. Maria will ensure this Terminator gets to eat his infamous words, ‘..I’ll be back…’ Because once she’s finished with him, I’ll bet no one will want ever want to see anything other than his back. But what was Schwarzenegger’s motivation? Why choose his housekeeper to have sex with? It’s not as if he can’t afford the bus fare to enjoy a night out in town or even in another town where he’s less likely to be caught out.
So in a 360degree turn I’m right back at the animal kingdom and turning to them for inspiration and my final Jerry Springer style thought. Wondering whether their selection of monogamous creatures can teach us a thing or two about relationships? I’d like to believe that like wolves and eagles, swans are all a bunch of new romantics, committed to developing life long bonds and riding together through life’s ups and downs in harmony with each other. Being loving and respectful of each other despite the challenges, temptations and inevitable complexities life may present.
Of course Mills and Boon don’t edit real life sadly and I’m starting to question whether this birds choice to remain exclusive is one ‘Big Fat Gypsy Swan Lie.’ Perhaps there are swans in a duck pond near you slapping super injunctions and gagging orders on hot drakes aka Giggs style or else they’ve been police escorted to a safe duck house, Strauss -Khan style. Can you imagine this Far Side esq scene! But sadly I need to interrupt this make believe moment to deliver a devastating truth I just unearthed via Google: Experts have told of their surprise after witnessing a rare “divorce” between a pair of swans at a Gloucestershire wildfowl sanctuary. The Bewick’s swans have returned to winter at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge – but both have brought new partners.
Sadly it seems, even the beautiful tale of a swan’s eternal love is no longer sacred.
* For any American’s reading this, Pete Tong is rhyming slang, semi intelligent British humour (super semi). Pete Tong = wrong. Oh that’s Easter bunny! Get it? = Funny.
The medical profession refers to me as a geriatric mother, I’m socially accepted as being middle aged and chronologically approaching the big 40. So it was with a certain amount of bemusement, I overheard a Victoria Beckham size sliver of conversation while at a delightful dinner with several of our friends recently.
‘… She’s so young, she’s 30..’
I momentarily revelled in her words (I’m 38 1/6th thank you Oil of Olay!) and then Boom! registered the cynicism, so obviously not intended as the compliment I had lapped it up as. But see there’s a fundamental problem with overhearing a conversation, they’re tricky to contextualise without knowing the before and after. So I roller dex’d through our table chat and pondered over what we’d all been sharing; laughing raucously, drinking like we were dehydrated, I’d just discussed the details about my Brazilian blow dry. Our friend has misheard me and expressed his excitement at my Brazilian bikini wax. Same country, more painful process. And then the conversation degenerated. Now I may never come to know Camille Grammer, sorry, our dinner guest’s motivation for discussing my age but I don’t have to be Mystic Meg to draw a conclusion. She either thinks of me as terribly childish (I hope so), wants to know where I buy my moisturiser (I don’t think so) or she’s ageist (I know so).
So today’s blog is inspired by age and the preoccupation women seem to share with the inevitable multidimensional process we have very little control over, unless your name is Demi Moore. Why are some women so excessively concerned by age that it drives us to become jealous, fearful and envious of youth? Boo!
Question: When you see a younger woman what do you think? A/ Nothing B/ Absolutely nothing or C/ The Bitch is going to steal my husband, job and record collection? You may laugh, but around the world it seems there are many C boxes being ticked. Walk down the Avenue here in Greenwich CT and you will note the female youths sporting army issue riot shields while their more senior counterparts assume sniper style positions. From high up vantage points, way above L’Escale, (the cougar hang out of choice) they single out the young ones and cause general annoyance. Like an itch or bad rash, they share notes on being insecure, washed up and generally being so self indulgent they forget they once enjoyed a youth. But hey, some people are so self-important they think they deserve a birthday twice. Fox news and the Daily Mail both recently reported how women over the age of 50 felt they were becoming the invisible generation. They are probably correct. If I’m faced with a whingeing moaning mini, then I would imagine them invisible too.
Consider this point for a moment, could it possibly be our attitudes that are aging us vs. the physiology of our actual years? Moaners, I have no time for; fun, interesting people, of any age, welcome. I happen to pay little attention to a person’s age, (unless you happen to be breaking the law I might add). I’m currently most concerned about the size of your and my ass (I just had a baby so give me a break) and what I’m going to eat for dinner. My babysitter is 15, my friend’s age’s range between 23–73, my partner is 53 and I have a mental age that is progressively degenerating. You enrich my life? Welcome to my team. All the people in my life were chosen for their personalities, characters, values and morals. I view age merely as a number serving no other purpose, almost like a brand that has been cleverly marketed. It offers individuals, who aren’t intelligent/capable of making their own choice, to be spoon-fed a plateful of judgements and preconceptions. If you are the kind of person who purchases a Burberry or Hilfiger branded item of clothing, purely for the personality and image you feel it creates for you, one day, you may too be diagnosed as an age discriminating candidate. If instead you make your selection based on the cut, quality and fit of the piece, I’d bet you a squirt of my friends Botox, you’re the type of person who cares little about a person’s age and more about their personality.
Are you still with me?
(For any old farts reading this, please press the grannies nose at the top of the screen and the audio will begin and the words will become larger)
Let’s start with my babysitter who is 15, she’s a juvenile, surely not responsible enough to look after my most precious little boy? Then there’s my partner aged 53, with a 14-year age gap, some may question whether we’re at different life stages: him being an old fart. My babysitter is CPR trained, has the nature of Mother Teresa and proactive character of Mark Zuckerberg. My partners goal in life is to work smart, have fun and to be happy, we share exactly the same sentiment and our babies arrival was most definitely not sponsored by Viagra.
Camille Grammer from my new favourite TV show; The Housewives of Beverly Hills, is age preoccupied and I’m betting would answer C in my survey. She believes she was traded in for a younger model. I beg to differ. The ex Playboy model with a recently accrued settlement of $50m following the demise of her 12 year marriage believes her husband, Kelsey traded her in for youth. She made the statement 3 hours after emerging from hair and makeup, clothed head to toe in designer apparel and donning sufficient jewellery to make the Bank of England look cheap.
Fact: Kelsey’s fiancee, Kayte, is several years younger than Camille, so technically she’s correct, but in my opinion, aesthetically, his fiancee is not as visually rewarding as the first lady of the Hills and her body doesn’t score as many points as the super toned Camille’s. So my question. Did Kelsey really leave Camille for a newer, improved model or has he made a serious faus pas and ended up with a lemon? With 2/3 of the aforementioned points in Camille’s favour it begs the question of what does Kelsey see in Kayte? On paper it would appear the only thing Kayte has in her favour is her youth. But really, is age something that creates a sizzle between us or is it our energy, personality and positive attitude that makes us truly attractive as individuals? Maybe Kayte is more down to earth, more giving, less materialistic and more loving? Could I be psychic and onto something?
One of my favourite Camille quotes refers to Kelsey’s desire to live in NYC while he works on Broadway (to pay for their lifestyle as he is the sole breadwinner). His motivation is the commute from NYC to LA would be too tiring for him and would she mind uprooting to be supportive for only a short amount of time? Camille is filmed walking around the 3500 sq ft apartment he chose and is overheard referring to it as too small for her needs. Keep it real girl, too small, for what? All your playmates to come over from the Mansion. What do you need for a family of four, oh and staff of sixteen? Buckingham Palace? Camille may be so overly preoccupied by Kayte’s age; she failed to consider she might have been traded in for a more grounded woman with a genuine personality and a more positive, less cynical outlook than her own. Let’s consider for a moment what we know about Kayte Walsh, Kelsey’s fiancée. She does seem to have vivaciousness about her, a magnetic energy, and a positivism that certainly makes me want to pull up a chair and have a chat. She smiles with her eyes, a sign of sincerity.
Camille on the other hand: she likened herself to Jesus. I made my point.
So for any old bags out there that are concerned about the whippersnappers in your life, I have a suggestion:
Crack a smile, get out of the way of yourself, life is fun. Come join my riot shield and me in L’Escale for a lemonade. We all, just may have fun together.
* Wikipedia def. of bastard – A child whose birth lacks legal legitimacy—that is, one born to a woman and a man who are not legally married to one another
Picture the scene, I’m eight months pregnant, happily shuffling along our local beach and despite now looking like Roseanne Barr, life is pretty good. Until my peaceful solitude and sense of humour is abruptly interrupted: ‘You’re pregnant! But you’re not married to her!?’ exclaimed the Janet Street Porter wannabe to my partner. Excellent, the day I feel vulnerable and look like I’ve eaten the occupants of a small village, now I’m faced with a George Bush esq. diplomat.
My euphoria for this glorious day momentarily shattered, my mind frenetically wandered. How do I respond to her opinion? I hadn’t received the congratulatory statement most dignified people would extend, warranting a well versed, thank you. No siree, her comment had made my blood boil and also a little sad. So how to react? Would I tongue lash her with some of my verbal wizardry or kill her with kindness and smile whilst seething behind my clenched pearly whites? Too late, apparently my open-mouthed look of disbelief did the trick and off she scooted on her (very sturdy) broomstick. Miaow.
So back to my version of the simple life; I am in love with my partner and about to give birth to a beautiful bouncing baby boy but according to Mrs. Gobby from Greenwich, I am living in sin as our union is devoid of legal approval. Her evident belief/judgment is baby equals marriage, or I’m guessing her preference would be the reverse. My belief and preference is twofold: wedding plans were never on my radar with my beloved and my baby will be born from and into love. Baby born then equals crash diet, Spanx pants and flat paediatric approved shoes. Oh what to do? (Note I’m being ironic about the shoes – will never happen. Am channelling MILF thoughts pronto.)
Although this whole symbiotic debate is interesting, it is getting me thinking, is marriage and babies mutually exclusive just like Ebony and Ivory or Simon and Garfunkel?
What if we’re blissfully happy being unmarried and content with our soon-to-be blended family scenario? Does this make our son or us, a lesser being? What would change if we cement our love and commitment to each other via a legally binding ceremony? Well for a starter my son would loose his derogatory title and Mrs. Gobby would feel happier. But is this what life in the 21st century boils down to? A requirement to conform or to become legally ‘branded’ to be accepted by society? My partner and I love each other, we share common values and want the same things from life but does our mutual decision to abstain from the nuptials catapult our son into bastard territory and us into alien playing fields?! Weird protective maternal thoughts are suddenly swirling through my swollen head, imagine if the town folk of Greenwich unite and instruct an Iranian style, semi buried, rotten tomato hurling session at us?! On second thoughts this is ridiculous and unlikely and I need to get a grip of my imagination. Best to focus on reality, the local ladies prefer lipo vs. any physical exertion besides shopping. But they could instruct their help to carry out the deed – STOP!
Phew, my family are safe for the moment, imagination back in check.
But wait just a mini minute, I refer to my partner and unborn child, as my family. But without the State’s legal approval and intervention e.g. a wedding, am I technically permitted to class him and my son, (who will take my partners surname), as ‘my family?’ Was Mrs Gobby onto something?
This chance encounter in the park, coupled with my beliefs have made me realise that the camps are divided when it comes to having babies either within or outside of the realms of matrimony. To wed or not to wed seems to be the question and I’m in the mood for exploring motivations to tying the knot.
So today’s blog is inspired by my following thought: what motivates some of us to marry and some of us to not?
Lets begin with he and me first. Between us we have three t-shirts, I have been married and I extracted myself. My partner chose to do it twice. Let’s do the maths here: I suck, he sucks even more. But this isn’t something I want to discuss with a woman in the park possessing the ambitions of Gisele Buchan in championing her opinions of widespread breast-feeding.
I spent my childhood dreaming of my magical white wedding; falling in love with the tall dark and handsome stranger who would whisk me through a fairytale romance followed by his dreamy proposal, the blingtastic ring, figure hugging couture designer dress and lily white shoes to match, the doves, creamy snow white layers of ganache filled cake and topped off with the honeymoon in the Maldives. Wawawa. I’d envisioned the whole nine yards. Be honest ladies, as young girls haven’t we all shared similar thoughts? Fast-forward a decade of wedding fantasising and with his visa about to expire we rationalised marriage as our best option. Cue the ring, sorry no spare cash. Fancy dress? Try pre- owned. Delicious cake surely? Nope, instead a tier purchased via Costco, Asda and Tesco were all piled high. My father was so adamant I wouldn’t attend my debacle of a wedding he purposely got us lost in the Aylesbury countryside. In a bid to ‘do the right thing’ he then paid an AA roadside delivery van to guide us to the chapel as Dad’s amnesia ensued. Our engagement proposal was hilarious. Despite my ex husband being a great guy (for someone else) we arrived at my family home, announced our news and the last I remember of the evening was my father chasing him out while simultaneously explaining the definition of castration. Obviously, aged twenty way too young, I ignored their advice. So I accepted their contribution of $7,000 to cover the costs, suffered several panic attacks, created a reception in a barn that pigs had been kicked out of the morning before, organised a wedding feast of Dominos pizza and Cornettos, looked like a white blancmange and dressed my bridesmaids in black. This should all have been a sign. Boom.
Honestly, he was a superb guy but I had been indoctrinated with the belief that marriage and babies needed to happen asap e.g. post puberty. Cue the nuptials. Sadly our long term goals and common values were glossed over to the eventual inevitable demise of our relationship. 5-4-3-2-1 and cue the divorce.
So I made a decision I could never guarantee forever again, as I’m only confident of now. Marriage became of lesser and lesser importance to me the older I became. I committed myself to only being part of a partnership with a man who was as committed to making us work, on a daily basis, as I am. He needed to make me laugh, to be able to laugh at himself, to have a strong work ethic and to be powerful in his decision making process and in the way he handled me. (You know I have an opinion or three!) I wanted kind, loyal, faithful and someone who loved family. And finally someone who loved me for me and wouldn’t try to change or mould me and vice versa. Just for each of us to support each other in being the best we can be. Can you believe it, I got all this, minus my request he be 6ft 3’’ to accommodate my shoe fetish.
I once included cash on my relationship wish list. Some of my suitors were incredibly wealthy and would fly me via their private jets to dine in exotic locations all around the world. Woohoo. But when the monies gone, as we all are familiar with in our current economic climate, what are the nuts and the bolts of this man really like? Is he positive and proactive? Does he have a strong and healthy work ethic that will see him survive against the elements or would I come home to find his ego in hand and him focusing on licking his kitty cat wounds and talking about the past? Is cash on your would be suitors wish list? Then let’s all get honest with each other, right out there in the open and get a pre-nup. organised so everyone’s on the same page.
And what about security? Don’t marriage and security go together like ying and yang? The minute you say I do, your partner will financially, emotionally and spiritually look after you till death do you part? Right? Phew, what a relief, no more money worries or wandering eyes post marriage and they will be supportive of all your good or not so great decisions/moods/actions until D-day – hoorah! Oy vey. Is interesting how the number of divorces, amidst our present recession, have reached record levels. I wonder how these couples vows read: for richer or (replace poorer with even richer), in sickness (scratch that – I only do colds, forget the flu) and A1 tip top condition health. Hhmmmm.
Now let’s consider looks and physical attributes. Tall, dark, handsome: cue George Clooney, but the poor handsome devil obviously comes with his fair share of commitment issues. Next! Ok, Mel Gibson, yikes he’s a pathological narcist. Purlease. I once fell in amore with a Daniel Craig look a like. Delicious, but sadly possessing the emotional intelligence Robocop would have been proud of. Next! Prontamento!
So I’ll finish with something that made me laugh out loud in hysterics featured on a show I adore called Bridezillas. The soon to be bride had alienated her future hubby by categorically banning him from providing any input into her wedding plans, (fair) demanded her bridesmaids refrain from eating (ever) and caused the wedding planner to consider alternative career opportunities (reasonable). This delusional, soon to be bride had become completely oblivious to her original reasons for marrying her partner and was focusing only on the wedding day. Or had she? For some, a wedding’s focus is all about the day and the ceremony. How many of us loose sight of our pure original reason we decided to commit ourselves to another for the rest of our lives and until deaths do us part?
So let the following choice words from a bride to her bridesmaids resonate in our minds as we commit in whatever way we choose, to our future partners, lest we ever dare to loose the plot and forget why we are actually making this choice in our life.
‘..Now, I’d imagined you looking all sexy like the grape soda bottle shapes in your purple bridesmaid dresses.’ And then she grows horns and froth starts trickling from her mouth, ‘but instead you all look like swollen, wrinkled fat purple prunes!..’ She then begins to cry.
Keeping it real.
I did learn one thing from this car crash TV show, that a party is always fun and my partner and I will one day celebrate our blessed union with our beautiful baby boy surrounded by all those we love, with the loudest, most fun party ever.
And I have a message for Mrs Gobby: You’re NFI!*
*Worldwide def. of NFI – not f***ing invited
Italians are bonkers, absolutely stark raving mad the lot of them. Fruit loop esq. Now, dare to share this sentiment with an Italian and it will be accepted as a generous compliment and received with smiles and rapturous appreciation. Offer the same view towards a Brit and in fact most other nationalities, you’ll likely be flattened, out cold on the floor and down for the count. Finito la musica or sparko as we so eloquently put it up North.
Why? Well because Italians are thick-skinned and unique, a colourfully controversial and complex law to their own who generally posses a steely sense of self belief and inflated self-worth and I love the whole damn penne pasta fuelled lot. Forza Italia! Yes, this is an island famed for making tomato pie (aka pizza) fashionable, who believe all their women are hotties, (even their Priests’ are big fans of the youths) and feel responsible for producing one of the, if not the worlds best (groomed) football team. Yet, amusingly enough are equally proud and entertained by what the rest of the world would, frankly, be ashamed by. Consider the unethical business escapades and extra marital dalliances of their controversial Prime Minster; Berlusconi. By many, considered a national hero and much celebrated celebrity. And what about the elusive Mafiosi, the inspiration behind many Hollywood movies and best-selling books. And for the country that built an economy around the Siesta they are rather aptly, originators of their ingenious A-Z of tax evasion. Bellisimio!
A fun-loving, obliviously hypocritical nation, whom I affectionately call, family.
My mother thinks my father is deluded. He’s first generation Sicilian and if I were to show him the picture at the top of this page, he’d enquire where he could buy such a delightful appendage. I’m not joking. Let me paint a clearer picture for you, we’re talking about a man who ignored the fact his wife is Jewish, which via the female bloodline makes me a member by default, baptised me Catholic and to add insult to injury, insisted I was schooled in a Church of England establishment as the uniforms were ‘..So cute..’ to coin his words. ‘My darling…’ my father would purr to me in his thick accent, ‘you’re Italian.’ The inadequate explanation received when questioning my convoluted religious direction. I gave up querying my origins and became subservient aged twelve.
This is the man, who at the grand old ‘mature’ age of sixty-eight, escaped from hospital on day three of his scheduled seven-day stint following a full knee replacement, using his long-suffering, oblivious, wife as an accomplice. He’s now banned from Wythenshawe hospital – for life and terribly proud of it. It’s a delightfully inspiring, Tiramisu flavoured story in fact. Upon waking, post op, dad already decided the medical team, assigned to assist with his rehabilitation, were conspiring to prolong his recovery by sedating him via a prescribed concoction of tablets and infecting him with E coli riddled hospital food. This seed of fantasy was sown after reading his Bible of choice; the well-informed Star newspaper, who allegedly reported a similar ‘incident’ in Outer Mongolia to three alien transgender FBI informers. So of course, the natural conclusion was, the same would happen to him.
Dad’s escape was incredibly well thought through for a man who has always claimed he arrived into the UK on a banana boat wearing odd sized shoes. I blame his choice of newspaper. His first failed escape attempt, a mere two hours post op, saw the doctor insist he now cooperate with full hospital bed rest for the entire week. Not to be out foxed, dad embarked on a fast track recuperation regime between 3 and 4 am while ‘normal’ patients were fast asleep. On day three at 4am, an SOS call was made to my mother, explaining how the night shift had discharged him and she needed to hot foot it over immediately. Quite why she believed him, I’m at a loss to understand, but they left the hospital in the dead of the night in a swirl of Chanel Allure aftershave, his choice of hospital sanitizer. Never to be seen again, fortunately for the hospital staff.
I once had a momentary lapse of concentration and dated an Italian, it was the longest recorded hour in my personal history. He claimed to have a disease, was his response when I asked why he felt compelled to eye up every single woman who passed within a kilometre of our table. Red card you Latino bandito.
But one of my favourite Italian stories originates from a wonderful Neapolitan hairdresser who styled my hair for an event I hosted at the House of Commons in London. His response to my question about what to wear was absolutely dead pan and serious, ‘Suspenders and fishnets Melissa, oh and a really really tight, short skirt.’
Made in Italy. You can only love them.
What do you think makes something or someone stylish and does having access to Donald Trump sized pots of cash mean an automatic right of passage?
I’m moved to write today’s ‘style infused’ blog, as am sat in the hairdresser with my mandatory copy of the ever aspirational Hello magazine, open at the first of a lavish seventeen page spread about the ‘stylish and glamorous’ lives of Mr Donald and Mrs Melanie Trump. Now, although I am and will always remain deeply in love with Mr Trump, (any man who can confidently don a Ginger comb over and possess the ability to take the proverbial P out of himself makes me go weak at the knees all day long), I am reticent to denigrate this great man. So it was a picture of his carefully crafted wife Melanie, that made me laugh out loud, particularly when I read the accompanying headline; The stylish and elegant Melanie Trump at home.
First picture the scene; the pouting Melanie is poised, perilously on 6 inch sexy Louboutins, donning a temporary Chanel tattoo and burgeoning under the weight of her feather weight silk clutch bag and 12 carat wedding ring ensemble. Obviously I’m being facetious. The copy continued to reveal the room she was photographed in was accessed via solid brass doors, please, aren’t these exclusively the domain of the Bank of England!? But the piece de resistance was the complete picture that unfolded as I cast my eyes across the full glory of this wondrously aspirational double page visual treat. While Melanie, pouted and thrusted forth in her gold-plated Metropolis aka The penthouse in Trump towers, her poor assistant is depicting buckling under the weight of, no less than, 5 of Melanie’s Louis Vuitton suitcases. Help the poor man Principessa Trump!
To be stylish would be to offer assistance, or at least show willing, throw the man a bone! It is pure cartoon and a Hello triumph, but an aside to the magazine: I must contend your proclamations these images reveal glamour and style. This is ego fuelled excessive vulgarity and cruelty to assistants at it’s best. Fact. Style and glamour are not at the fore front of my suggested words to describe this platinum coated lifestyle. Instead I would suggest; Tacky Slouvaki , as we elegantly put it up North.
So enough about the Trumps who will remain my fantasy cartoon character of choice, my next stop is to explore what I consider to be stylish. The exquisitely beautifully coiffured Grace Kelly and the elfin always immaculate Audrey Hepburn are at the top of my most stylish people list, the stream lined sexiness of a graphite grey Aston Martin or a tub of creamy premium quality Baileys Hagen Daaz ice-cream are included in most stylish products. For me, elegance, glamour and sophistication are all synonymous with simplicity, from the way something is presented visually, to how a person communicates and behaves. Or is it? Is my opinion a reflection of general consensus about this subject or am I sailing solo?
So in a bid to offer a balanced view and for the avoidance of any stylish doubt, here’s a list of seemingly desirable items, actions and theories that I deem as sophisticated and elegant as Kerry Katona in her former Iceland adverts: Vertu mobiles, Lamborghini, diamante encrusted anything, public displays of anything other than love, happiness and goodwill, excess, clutter and loss of control including screaming like a banshee. I have worked with clients who requested 4000 sq ft entrance hallways be included as part of their plans. Why I hear you gasp, or is it just me in shock?! Platinum plated skirting boards, you think I jest. I can go on; diamond encrusted swimming pool bases, I’ve seen couples airing their dirty laundry within the parameters of my dance box, I’ve been on dates with men adorning pink velvet ill-fitting jackets simply because they’re labelled with some designer name or another. These are not stylish, but then..there are Americans.
I’ve always dreamt about living and working in America, and 2010 saw this come true. For me it’s always been the land of opportunity and as someone working in the entertainment business, I adore the prospect of glamour that our British television seems to lack in comparison. I’m currently residing part-time in the achingly glamorous Greenwich Connecticut, (this is how the Town’s official website describes itself). Their sentiment seems to spill over to its residents and to paint a more complete colourful picture, the Hollywood movie with Nicole Kidman; Stepford Wives was based on the inhabitants of a neighbouring area. Perhaps these town folk believe money and excess equate to style? Or could it be dysfunction epitomised. I’ve heard a local interior designer’s, behind closed doors, mission statement is equally vulgar: it’s not done until it’s over done! Oh please, were you deprived of love as a child, in which case I extend my sympathy, to your clients?!
Excess is not stylish, keep it simple. Chintz, clutter, froo and frills are symptomatic with confusion and reek of forced pomp and ostentation. Even the local tradesmen are jumping on the vulgar bandwagon and it seems quotes are based on property values and perceived client bank balances vs. fair day rates.
Food shopping is also work in progress for me and sadly no longer the elegant experience I sought via Cheshire and London’s glorious Farmers markets. I understand America was built around excess, convenience and speed but Stew Leonard’s is a sight to behold. The customer, of this popular Connecticut based food retailer, is greeted by a life-sized cow that is relentless. Yes Daisy the cow I remember I need milk, your presence and vocal cords are over bearing. Moo, moo, I hear you! Ok, your second Moo reminded me about the yogurt, but now put a sock in it! I’m approaching the meat counter and am starting to think cruel thoughts. Also walking goose step around the IKEA style floor plan does not cut it. I understand your plan, to chaperone me round every nook and cranny of your establishment and force feed me products, but I want to choose where I walk to and what I look at. All this control and illuminated foot high price banners with robotic giant-sized produce and synthesised smells and noises feels tres un sophisticated.
So fellow style fans, Cash does absolutely not equal class, and being the spore of a superficial, image preoccupied Italian family and having worked as an interior designer with clients including the rich, famous and generally deluded; I can categorically conclude that to define this word is as clear-cut as Berlusconi’s political strategy. I am just saying.