Friday, 28 December 2012

Birthday Eve

I hope you had a good Christmas.

Mine was quite nice, thanks for asking.

On to more important matters.

HAPPY MY BIRTHDAY EVE!

Tomorrow (the 29th) is my birthday. My twenty-fifth birthday.

I will be spending the day being sober, single and depressed. Just like last year.

Not much else as changed either, so - to save myself some time - I'd like to direct you to the thing I wrote for my twenty-fourth. Here it is.

Rather upsettingly, everything still applies.

Anyway, as we're quickly leaving the small portion of the year where I am allowed to make wishlists - having been cursed with such a ridiculous birth date - I have decided to make the most of it. And also to assist those of you who have yet to buy me a present.

*fanfare*

Things I Would Like For My Birthday:

1. A baby sloth.

2. To be a guest on Dr Phil.

3. An otter enclosure in the garden.

4. A spider-proof house.

5. A 'The Wesley Crushers' tshirt.

6. A platypus or a hedgehog.

7. Longer hair.

8. Self-actualisation.

9. My own sitcom.

10. All the Maltesers.

Yes.

I will wait eagerly by the door, dear readers.

x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Any Last Words?

This could well be the last thing I ever write. How depressing.

Today, according to the Mayans (or, more accurately, people who have chosen to misinterpret the Mayans) is THE ACTUAL BLOODY APOCALYPSE.

Brilliant.

Given that the world could start exploding at any moment, you'd expect me to be out getting drunk or eating something that the myfitnesspal app would disapprove of, wouldn't you? But no.

Due to the possibility of impending death, this evening I found myself involved in a discussion about the things that would haunt me in my final moments - the things I never got to do. Some people had places they wanted to visit or foreign beers they wanted to drink, but I couldn't let myself off that lightly.

After a horrendously honest conversation (mostly one-sided, and not in the way that I enjoy) earlier this week, I have been more than a little bit preoccupied with the amount of emotional damage I go around causing.

While said conversation succeeded in punching a hole through my chest, it also brought up some other stuff.

Ancient stuff.

Sigh.

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was as warm and bright as I am cold and disapproving. Such was the contrast between us, in fact, that people often expressed surprise that we were so close. But we saw it another way. Together, we were like one properly functioning person.

Although we'd been friends since we were eleven, we got really close when we were fifteen. Her boyfriend was in a metal band and, together, we discovered how much nicer that kind of music sounds when you've had a few drinks. When offered a place at a prestigious Sixth Form a year or so later, I turned it down so that I wouldn't have to miss her for five days a week for the next two years. And as I looked at universities, knowing that she wasn't coming with me, I kept my options within commuting distance.

We were, to the chagrin of our respective boyfriends and other less high-ranking friends, planning a lovely little future together.

But then, right before we took our final exams, we had an argument. A stupid one, really.

We both said some stuff. I said more, because THAT IS JUST WHAT I DO. And then we just didn't talk anymore.

It was as sudden as it sounds, I'm afraid.

Shortly after, I went off to university and made friends with people who were entirely too much like me, and she got a good job and found people who - even from my jealous and agonised perspective - were just a much better fit for her.

I have never directly apologised for what happened between us (and neither has she, by the way) but I should have - regardless of how little that would have achieved.

Apologising, I thought, would have merely been a way of inflicting myself on her for that little bit longer. She was better off without me, so - considering that I thought we could never possibly go back to how we were - why not have a clean break? What difference would an apology make?

(Here we have an epiphany. It may not seem like one, given that I am told that this is just COMMON SENSE to most people, but I have honestly never considered that my walking away was anything but a good deed.)

That apology, however awkward or laboured or fruitless, would have told her that she meant something to me. That, despite everything that I'd said and done, I wanted her to be as okay as she could be, whether or not it meant that she forgave me.

I should have apologised.

We should have made up.

You know what else should have happened? We should have grown old together.

BUT THAT'S A BIT TOO SAD TO THINK ABOUT TODAY.

So, if you are reading this - and I hope that you are - I'm sorry. And I miss you.

And, also, good luck with the apocalypse.

x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Different Fights

"He's still friends with his ex-girlfriend on facebook. He won't delete her! We've been arguing about this for two days. LOOK AT HER!"

Earlier this evening I received a string of frantic messages, followed by an even more frantic phone call, from a psychotic friend we'll call A. Her boyfriend of just under a year, as you can probably gather from the statement above, is currently steadfast in his refusal to unfriend his ex-girlfriend on facebook.

While I understand that this is a big deal to my fellow Crazy Bitch, there, I'm going to surprise the ENTIRE INTERNET by saying that I'm not actually taking her side on this one. (See disclaimer.)

DISCLAIMER: Please note that I don't advocate this kind of behaviour, despite understanding it completely. I don't think people need to pretend that the past hasn't happened, and I don't think that communication should stop when people break up. I also don't think facebook matters. But whatever.

I went and had a look at this girl. She is the kind of ex-girlfriend we all dread, I'm afraid. Even I - someone who can spot flaws in a fresh manicure at twenty paces - cannot fault her aesthetic appeal.

And as I looked up from her facebook page to the tear-stained face of my closest confidante, taking note of the false eyelashes now clinging to one of her smudged eyebrows, I felt a massive tug of sympathy.

I get it. Of course I do. We all do.

That said, it might come as a bit of a shock for you to find out that I don't set much store by the previous relationships of people that I'm dating. My jealousy tends to focus itself upon the people that might replace me, not the ones who have gone before and who can no longer be deemed a threat.

And that's largely the situation here. This ex-girlfriend has moved on, just as A's boyfriend has, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that there is anything more between them than an innocent link on a social networking site.

But try telling A that.

I imagine that a few of you have been in this situation. I certainly have, just not for several years and certainly not while playing the part of Crazy Bitch.

Still, I can guarantee that this exchange took place at some point:

"We don't even talk!"
"If you don't talk, then why do you need her as a friend on facebook?"
"She added me. I was just being polite!"
"Do you still fancy her?"
"We don't even talk!"

Ad infinitum.

As this is my blog, I should probably tell you that I would, at this point, recommend that you concede while reserving the right to bring the whole thing back up whenever it suits you in the future. But for now I'd be done.

A, however, hasn't spoken to her boyfriend about anything else for two days.

The key thing here is that they are fighting about entirely different things.

Right now, he is under the impression that this is simply about the facebook thing. He thinks that A is trying to control him, and he's not going to let that happen. He, I imagine, probably thinks that the whole thing would stop if he just unfriended his ex. And, after a day or so more of this, he probably will do as he's been asked in an attempt to return things to normal. BUT IT WON'T HELP.

To A, this is about more than facebook. By dragging this out, her boyfriend has assisted her in perpetuating the belief that she is not enough for him. That, in the past year, she has not made enough of an impact on him for this other girl to pale into insignificance. His repetition of the phrase 'but I'm not with her anymore, I'm with you' has not had the desired comforting effect, but has actually convinced her that, given the chance, he would be with this girl again. Effectively, in two days, A has managed to convince herself that the whole relationship has been a pointless endeavour because she hasn't managed to match up to the standards that she perceives as having been set by the ex-girlfriend.

What HE wants is for her to stop being a Crazy Bitch and making a big deal out of nothing. What SHE wants is for him to understand that this is horribly important and that she's feeling insecure and unwanted.

Do you see? Two different fights.

Now, learning to deal with a Crazy Bitch is much easier than stopping your significant other from being one. Here is what I would suggest:

That cyclical conversation that we discussed? Avoid it at all costs. The reason you aren't deleting this person is not out of love for them, and probably not even out of loyalty, but more than likely out of a strong desire to remain out from 'under the thumb' for as long as possible. Tell her that. You'll still have an argument, but it will be an entirely different one.

DO NOT DISMISS HER FEELINGS. Nothing is more likely to make a Crazy Bitch dig her heels in than someone telling her that she's over-reacting. Feelings are always valid, whether you understand them or not.

My final recommendation - and this probably applies to most Crazy Bitch situations - is to TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Because, on a personal note, wouldn't it have been easier to hear all that from her instead of reading it here? And wouldn't it have saved us all about five hours?

Don't both come crying to me for free therapy, I've got stuff to do.

x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Scars

Idiot and I have been speaking again.

A few weeks ago, for the first time in over two years, he got in touch via a comment on this blog - a blog, mind you, that he was the catalyst for.

I wish I could think of a better word for the outcome of this experience than 'closure', but I can't.

Speaking to him again has not only made me realise that I have completely moved on but also that I probably moved on quite a long time ago without really noticing.

I'm not writing this to prove a point to him or, indeed, anyone else. I'm writing this because, although the above is true, it does not erase or even lessen the memory of the heartbreak and hopelessness I felt when he disappeared.

Allow me to elaborate.

Stepping Out, Gil Elvgren

When we broke up, I was left in pieces. I was under the impression that this boy - the first I had loved - was the only one that would ever mean so much to me. While I wasn't foolish enough to think that I would never love again, I was haunted by the overwhelming feeling that anyone else would be second best.

(I had visions of myself, in fact, sitting on a park bench decades later - looking suspiciously like my old history teacher - being clawed at by What Ifs and Maybes, as a faceless husband sat beside me in a tweed suit. Clear as day, it was.)

Having never felt so strongly for someone, I had given all of myself to this one boy. I had allowed myself to fall so completely that little else mattered but his happiness. My entire world, for those two years, was focused on him.

And then it was over. He didn't die, so I couldn't grieve. We didn't go out in flames, so I couldn't be angry. He simply stopped caring, and all I had left then was a screaming sadness that refused to let me rest.

(Here comes the important part. If you are reading this with a broken heart, now is the time to pay attention.)

But over the course of two years worth of healing, I have discovered three absolutes.

1. Time, with all the will in the world, will only move forward.

Dwelling on the past will not send you back there, it will merely make catching up all the harder.

Knowing this will not stop you from doing it, so just try to keep it to a minimum.

2. A wound that does not kill you will heal.

Scars change the way you are, the way you act, the way you think. They change what you hide and what you reveal. They change who you trust and what that means to you.

But, given time, they fade. I promise.

3. Love is infinite.

You have as much or as little of it as you are prepared to give and that will never stop being true.

Even when the pieces of your heart feel too small to be glued back together.

x

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tricks of the Trade

For a Crazy Bitch, there’s nothing more frustrating than failing to get the reaction you feel you deserve.

Perhaps you’ve realised that the object of your affections is less interested than he used to be. Perhaps he’s looking elsewhere. Perhaps you haven’t quite turned him into the pathetic love-struck wreck you had been hoping for. Perhaps, DEEP DOWN, you both know that he really can do much better than you.

If this is the case, I invite you to follow our step-by-step programme:

Crazy Bitch 101: Make Him Suffer

Let’s imagine that you've taken issue with him.

There doesn't need to be a reason.

Step 1: Vague Sorrow
The crucial detail here is that you don’t tell him what he’s done – possibly because he hasn't actually done anything at all. It would be much too simple and would allow him to offer a solution of some sort. You don’t want that just yet.

Sometimes an extended bout of this is enough to trick him into apologising for things he may or may not have done. And, of course, TO TEACH HIM A LESSON.

If not, we move on.

Step 2: (Seemingly) Uncontrollable Rage
His lack of reaction to your Vague Sorrow is only proof that he simply doesn't care about you. This makes you angry, of course, so you must express this to him.

Don’t hold back.

Be sure to bring up everything he has ever done wrong, as well as systematically poking at every single insecurity that he has ever revealed to you.

If he gets angry at you, you may want to go back to Step 1.

If he gets upset, you are in a perfect position to progress successfully to Step 3.

Step 3: Dramatic Exit
Leave the room. Log off the internet. Turn off your phone.

By the time you return – be that in an hour or in a day – he will be so destroyed by your absence from his life that he will do whatever it takes to make things right. Regardless of the fact that he still isn’t entirely sure what was wrong in the first place.

Used too often, however, this method will start to fail. It will take him longer and longer to miss you, and you will have to go further in our step-by-step process to get the same effect.

Step 4: (Seemingly) Blissful Happiness
This stage will demonstrate to him that you are fine without him. He will start to regret his (possibly imagined) actions, and you will be moving on with your life in such a way that it makes him ache for you.

This step works particularly well if you manage to ensnare a hapless young man to assist you in making him jealous. Photos of romantic encounters and overly affectionate messages on social networking sites are a MUST.

Those among you who have a particular penchant for causing suffering and heartache might want to take the time to send some of these tokens of your new love directly to the person in question. Changing your contact details frequently will ensure that you aren’t breaking any of the communication rules that you have set for yourself.

Step 5: Goodbye Forever
As we discussed, it may be that your constant disappearing acts are starting to lose their effect on his mental state. At this point, you must show him that you mean business.

Delete, block and private will become your best friends during this stage.

Disappearing from his life completely and without explanation will surely do the trick. You may choose to leave him a scathing message, detailing his failings as a man and, indeed, as a human, but we leave this entirely up to you.

What we’re doing here is robbing him of an imagined future. It is highly likely at this point that he misses you so much that he has forgotten what a despicable pain you are, and so he will feel a great deal of sorrow as he looks towards a life without you.

Once again, however, there are only so many times that you can use the ‘Goodbye, Forever!” line without it becoming clear that you are so horrifically manipulative .

It may be time to bring in the big guns. 

Step 6: I Know Something You Don’t Know
This is as effective as you are willing to make it.

Does he seem to be getting on with his life? Has he perhaps found someone else? Or, at the very least, found some peace? NOT ON YOUR WATCH.

Start an argument. Completely out of the blue. Helpful topics include ‘you’re so pathetic’, ‘I’m better off without you’ and, the ever-popular, ‘I’m in love with someone else’.

At the point in the discussion where you start to lose control – because of him having the NERVE to develop a backbone during your absence – you should leave. BUT NOT BEFORE SAYING SOMETHING THAT WILL DESTROY HIM. Popular choices from our regular users have included such CLASSICS as ‘I’m pregnant’, ‘I slept with your best friend’ and, a real favourite, ‘I had something really IMPORTANT to tell you, but now I’m not going to.’

Now when you leave, he will be stuck with a fresh batch of uncertainty and insecurity.

Return to Step 5 and repeat as required.

At this point, he’ll be in such a state that he’s sure to forgive everything you’ve done JUST TO MAKE IT STOP.

Good Luck.

x

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

History Repeating

I haven't been entirely honest with you.

If you've been around for long enough, you'll be aware of two significant relationships that have been crucial in the development of my current batch of neuroses. But between Idiot and Stretch, there was someone equally as significant.

So significant, in fact, that I haven't been able to talk about him until now.

Of all the boys I have ever loved and lost, he is the one that I often think about seeking out again. Not to reconcile, as such, but to apologise. Because I owe him an apology. And a lot more than that.

For several months, I allowed him to think that there was a chance for us. I always knew that there wasn't.

Desperate for some kind of relief from the aftermath of my relationship with Idiot, I would alternate between spending every waking hour speaking to this boy and inexplicably declaring that I never wanted to see him again.

I was addicted to the reaction I provoked.

When I was making him believe that I loved him, I even started to believe it myself. I would spend hours on the phone with him, listening to his stories and soothing his anxieties. I'd lie in his arms and trace the scars on his arms, promising that I'd never let him do anything like that again. I'd go out of my way to be the person I knew he deserved.

Sooner or later, I always grew bored of his unwavering affection and adoration. There were arguments, of course, but I don't recall him ever starting them or even participating in them particularly forcefully. A good quality, you might have thought. And yet I craved the drama of my previous relationship. I missed the fighting, the shouting, the making up.

So I'd leave. Usually for a reason I imagined or withheld.

I'd go offline, ignore his texts, find someone else.

But I always went back.

During my longest disappearance, unbeknownst to me, his anxiety became so severe that he had to leave work for a while. He spent his days writing songs about me, getting some of them onto compilation albums in the hope that I'd hear them and come back sooner. He rang a radio station once, so I hear, and got his song played there. He never stopped texting or emailing. The hope that I might come back was all-consuming, and it broke him.

Had he not crashed his car in a fit of desperation, I might have carried on for longer.

Last night, in a late-night conversation, I was reminded of the boy I've never mentioned, of how I almost destroyed him, because I have found myself in a similar situation once again.

So today I cut off all contact with the boy I've been stringing along. And I'm not going back.

x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How To Handle A Break-Up

(From someone who knows.)

Most relationships do not end suddenly. There’s usually a gradual decline in affections. Sometimes even a reciprocated abhorrence.

A mutual relationship termination is much more common than one that comes out of the blue, hitting one of the pair full in the stomach and leaving them crouching in the gutter while their heartless ex larks about town with a gaggle of cheap hussies.

But I’ve never had one of the good break-ups.

No, no. It may surprise you to learn that I have had my hopes and dreams destroyed by unexpected words, and that I have been responsible for a significant amount of destruction myself. I’ve seen heartbreak from both sides of the wall, and today I share some of my acquired wisdom with you, dear readers.

Granted, this is essentially a list of what-not-to-do, but that’s because I’ve never quite mastered the art of accepting romantic defeat graciously and I haven’t encountered anyone who has.

Note: Do as I say, not as I do.

DO NOT BEG. This never works and will probably be the reason you cringe your way towards a dramatic pencil-through-the-eye-socket suicide when the whole thing has blown over.

DO NOT CREEP. Stalking is a no-no. Even if it’s online. It doesn’t help.

DO NOT CRAWL. If, while begging and creeping, you think you have discovered the very reason that your poor little heart has been torn from your chest, you may be tempted to inform your former paramour that you are willing to change whatever it is that they find so repellent. You both know you won’t change. This won’t work either.

DO NOT HARASS. One or two unanswered text messages per day is quite enough. Put your phone in a locked drawer and swallow the key.

DO NOT THREATEN. Threats of suicide, self-harm, violence and other slightly less terrifying forms of terrorism designed to frighten your newly-estranged partner into rekindling your romance are unacceptable.

DO NOT REBOUND. Sleeping with some poor sap who has no idea how much of a douche you are will not only fail to make you feel better, but will probably add feelings of guilt and/or disgust to your growing list of ills.

DO NOT CRY ABOUT IT ON TWITTER. You’ll lose followers, friends and whatever is left of your dignity.

DO NOT PUT YOUR FEELINGS IN A BLOG. As with twitter, this will extinguish any tiny embers of hope that remain.

DO NOT RESORT TO NAME-CALLING. Pretending that you never had feelings for this person, or attempting to cast doubt upon their character, will ensure that your former lover feels that their actions were justified and perhaps make them wonder what they ever saw in you in the first place.

DO NOT REVEAL THE FULL EXTENT OF YOUR MENTAL COLLAPSE TO THE WORLD. By all means, fall into a heap of pyjamas, blankets and old photographs when you are shielded from the judgemental eyes of the cold cruel world, but do try to project an image of physical and spiritual wellbeing when you’re out in public. Bumping into someone in the chocolate aisle of Tesco, wearing stained jogging bottoms and last week’s mascara will do nothing for your self-esteem.

Essentially, dignity is your friend.

Remain calm, console yourself with the fact that they’ll never find anyone better than you and eat just enough chocolate to make the whole thing feel like a hazy dream.

You’re welcome.

x

Monday, 27 August 2012

We're Done Here

First of all, I’M SORRY.

I realise that those of you who’ve been forced to witness the incessant live-tweeting of my recent communications with Doughnut are probably tearing your hair out at this point, and the advice that many of you gave – despite being ignored with a certain amount of gusto – is very much appreciated.

Block him, delete him, ignore him, stop replying… blah blah blah.

I KNOW.

It all SOUNDS lovely and simple.

But I'm nothing if not stubborn.

Before I lay all the blame at his door, allow me to insert a disclaimer:

I am not without flaws. 

I’m not under the impression that I am the easiest person in the world to deal with, nor am I denying that I have said some atrocious things on more than one occasion.

HOWEVER, I think enough of myself to know that I don’t deserve to deal with name-calling, harassment and online abuse because I made the mistake of getting involved with someone unsuitable for all of five minutes.

I don’t really have the time or patience to detail everything that has gone wrong here. I’ve got nails to paint and reports to write, after all. What I will say, however, is that I have had enough.

Despite unfollowing me a CONSIDERABLE amount of time ago, Doughnut – as recent evidence suggests – still spends a worrying amount of time lurking on my twitter feed. The unfortunate consequence of this is that I receive an unpleasant message or two whenever I write something that may vaguely concern him or that does not sit well with his opinion of what I should be doing.

The point of this blog post, as short and poorly written as it is, is merely to publicly draw a line underneath this whole horrid business with a vow to never mention him again.

I don’t want to second guess everything I say on twitter. I don’t want to have to justify who I spend my time with, and where I might spend that time with them. I especially don’t want to feel sick every time I get a facebook message, just in case I’m in trouble again.

Sigh.

Naturally, he thinks I’m in the wrong here. That I’m out to ruin his life or make him miserable. Or that it’s me who’s having trouble letting go.

I can’t do anything about that.

I’m done defending myself against someone who will not be reasoned with.

As far as I’m concerned, if his ego needs the world to think that he is the poor long-suffering victim, then FINE.

x

EDIT (20/03/2014): I was just running around fixing some formatting and it hit me that people reading this for the first time or maybe out of order may get a little confused. So, SPOILER ALERT, Doughnut and I made up. Everybody is still as ill-equipped as they were, just in a much more cohesive and enjoyable fashion. With that in mind, I'm not going to delete anything because the bad bits helped get to the good bits.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Problem

Doughnut made the following comment a few weeks ago, during an argument.

“I felt sorry for you when I read your blog. I thought ‘how could one person be so unlucky?’ But now I know that it’s YOU. You’re the problem!”

This, while cruel and unnecessary, is an interesting point.

Am I the problem?

Maybe.

I’m horrendously hard work. The die-hard romantic and impulsive part of me comes along with a chronic sensitivity that can render me impossible to deal with at the best of times. I spend hours rehearsing relationship-conversations in my head, and when they don’t go the way I expected, I feel like I’m being ambushed. With little reason, I often feel like I’m being ignored, or that I’m being mocked. Sometimes I overthink myself into such a state that I am muted by my own stupid emotions. When I’m separated from someone I like, or even love, I miss them with such ferocity that my bones ache. I have an unfailing ability to look past the flaws of others and concentrate my attention on my own. I’m paranoid, I’m jealous and I’m insecure.

Oh yeah. And I use twitter as a weapon.

But Stretch, Beard and Doughnut weren't and aren't exactly bastions of emotional stability either.

Of course they liked me, and one of them even fell in love with me, but there was a barrier there with all of them that meant that someone like me was too much hassle. They were all holding on to something awful that meant I was too much of a risk. I never saw the danger in that – with any of them – until it was too late and my unfortunate little heart had been broken.

I thought I could fix them. I thought that I would be enough to heal whatever damage had been done before.

And there lies the actual problem.

You can’t fix people.

x

EDIT (20/03/2014): I was just running around fixing some formatting and it hit me that people reading this for the first time or maybe out of order may get a little confused. So, SPOILER ALERT, Doughnut and I made up. Everybody is still as ill-equipped as they were, just in a much more cohesive and enjoyable fashion. With that in mind, I'm not going to delete anything because the bad bits helped get to the good bits.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Last Boy Who Upset Me

This blog curses relationships.

So I’m not even going to MENTION my current situation other than to say that things are fine.

Let’s leave it at that and not start giving anyone a nickname that will ultimately doom whatever it is we’ve got going on.

Instead, I think we should have a word about the last boy that I declared feelings for on here.

Doughnut, we've called him. (Reasons withheld.)

As first dates go, ours was good.

The rest of the relationship – or whatever it was – was not as easy. We fought almost constantly and we made each other miserable. But even now, weeks after our relationship crumbled into disrepair, I am still driven wildly jealous by the mere thought of him moving on.

Frankly, I thought he was amazing and there was a lot about him that I admired. Even as someone with a propensity to fall hard and fast, I can honestly say that I have rarely been so quickly overwhelmed by someone before.

Sigh.

On our second date, referencing an excellent blog post that I once wrote, he asked me what I was going to change to impress him. Foolishly thinking that I was enough for him, I answered “I don’t need to change anything!” His reaction was nothing less than stone-cold disappointment. He expected, I think, that I would be bending over backwards to remain in his favour and that’s essentially what our problem was.

I wouldn’t tiptoe around his issues any more than he would tiptoe around mine, and he didn’t like that. He wanted more from me than he would have ever freely given. He wanted someone who would fit nicely into his life without disrupting it or making things complicated.

It was never going to work.

Sad.

But I’m mostly ok now.

x

EDIT (20/03/2014): I was just running around fixing some formatting and it hit me that people reading this for the first time or maybe out of order may get a little confused. So, SPOILER ALERT, Doughnut and I made up. Everybody is still as ill-equipped as they were, just in a much more cohesive and enjoyable fashion. With that in mind, I'm not going to delete anything because the bad bits helped get to the good bits.

Monday, 9 July 2012

What A Diamond Once Did

Idiot and I had been going out for about six months.

Three months earlier, we had suffered through a conversation (and subsequent hell-raising argument) about the fact that his ex-girlfriend was expecting his baby.

That bit of our relationship had been smoothed over by a sob-story about how he didn’t want to be like his own pathetic excuse for a father, which ultimately ended up with me not only standing by him, but actively encouraging him to be involved with the pregnancy and his hag of an ex-girlfriend.

I know.

We were lying in bed one morning, at the six-month-ish point of our relationship, when he turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way, I’ve asked my hag of an ex-girlfriend to move in with me.”

Only he didn’t call her a hag. He used her name. SAME DIFFERENCE, IF YOU ASK ME.

“But don’t worry.” He continued. “She won’t be moving in ‘til the baby’s a few months old.”

Now, I don’t exactly remember what happened next, because the mother of all red mists descended upon me. But, basically, I think I got upset.

“Well,” I concluded, when the red mist had started to fade, “We’ve got three or four months left of this relationship, so enjoy it while you can.”

BOOM.

Because I knew, you see, that once she’d moved in, that was it for me. I would no longer be the centre of his universe. He wouldn’t be the weekend dad that I’d sort of almost convinced myself I was ok with. He’d be a proper dad. And they’d be a family. And I’d be the girlfriend he occasionally made time for.

The next few weeks were filled entirely with arguments. I cried my pathetic little eyes out. We used to spend four or five hours on the phone EVERY SINGLE DAY, just running over different scenarios – him offering a million different compromises to keep me around. I was determined that, once she moved in, that was it for us.

But I still loved him.

Sometimes I wanted to hear everything about the baby – I tried to convince myself that I could support him when it came down to it – but as soon as he said his ex-girlfriend’s name, I felt sick. That wasn’t going to work.

We tried not telling me anything. That also worked for a bit. Turns out though, that when I am left to my own devices, I will make up stuff to be upset about.

A couple of months later, I gave up.

The baby had been born – which, by the way, he neglected to mention until the thing was ten days old – and I realised I couldn’t win. There was no way for me to win. Not without him hating me, anyway. I deleted his number, I turned off my phone and I left it that way.

Two days later, things started arriving. Flowers, at first. Then shoes. A purse. And, finally, a diamond necklace.

As you know, we were together for two years, all told.

A couple of months before we broke up, I found out that he was sleeping with his ex-girlfriend. They were engaged at the time, so I suppose she wasn’t really his ex at all.

Looking back, I could have avoided all that.

I blame that diamond a bit.

x

Monday, 25 June 2012

A Fairly Laboured Metaphor

When I go to work in the morning, I have two options.

I can get the Number 7 bus, or I can get the Number 18.

The Number 7 is direct. It takes less than ten minutes, the stops are few and far between and it gets me into town with more than enough time to spare.

The Number 18 takes about twenty minutes. It stops every five seconds, travels through quite an unpleasant area and makes me late almost every single day.

I always choose to get the Number 18. Always.

 The Last Stand (Fare Lady), Gil Elvgren

There are two boys.

One is interested. He’s more than willing to enter into an actual grown-up relationship. With him, I know that things would be easy and straightforward. And he’s lovely. He really is.

The other one doesn’t know what he wants. He knows he doesn’t want me to go away, but he doesn’t know why. We argue on a daily basis. He is so far away from being ready for a relationship that it would probably be quicker to grow a boyfriend and wait for him to reach legal age.

Like I said, I’m always going to choose the Number 18.

x

Friday, 15 June 2012

Emotional Troublemaker

Been a while, hasn’t it?

I like a boy.

Oh, I know. We’ve heard it all before. It’s usually swiftly followed by news of heartbreak, and somehow I’m always surprised by it.

A winning formula. No wonder you keep coming back.

Anyway, this one is my favourite ever. Let’s ignore everything I’ve ever said about boys before. I like this one the most.

Unfortunately, I am insane and I’m going to kill our relationship.

This Doesn't Seem To Keep The Chap From My Lips, Gil Elvgren

My problem, readers, is that I sabotage every conversation we have.

I don’t know how you go about ruining your own relationships, but my way is particularly stupid. I like to get upset about things that haven’t happened yet.

You know, like if my potential boyfriend doesn’t have the psychic ability necessary to GUARANTEE that we’ll be happy together forever and ever, I just assume that he has already planned our break-up in an elaborate and humiliating way.

That kind of thing.

It's complicated. I am a many-layered woman.

Not unexpectedly, considering that I do tend to believe my own neuroses, I become quite upset about whatever paranoid notion I’ve focused my attention on, eventually becoming so unbearable that whoever is in the line of emotional fire has no choice but to join in with the entirely fabricated argument that I am having with them.

It’s nonsense.

And I don’t just do it once. Oh no.

Crazy. Bitch.

To his credit, Doughnut (because that’s what we’re calling him here, twitter in-joke fans) hasn’t once (with any real conviction) tried to rid himself of me after these ridiculous episodes. In fact, he’s nothing but sweet and understanding.

A complete fool, if we’re honest. I’d run if I were him. I almost judge him for not running.

As someone wonderful put it on twitter this morning, “if there is a problem, I think it’s the end of the world, and if there isn’t a problem, I make one.”

Are you nodding right now?

Then you’re a Crazy Bitch too.

x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mixed Messages

A terrible thing happened to me today.

Ever since this terrible thing happened, I have been confined to the foetal position, cringing and praying for death.

Dramatic? Yes. Justified? ABSOLUTELY.

This is yet another story of my complete and utter BEFUDDLEMENT when it comes to boys.

The boy in question, though, is not another unsuitable specimen that I have fallen in love with against all my better judgement. No, no. He is merely a friend of mine.

Although we were quite close at university, we have grown apart considerably since we graduated. There are several reasons for it, of course - life is quite complicated, as you probably know. But I think the main reason is that we lost our geographical connection.

At university, you see, I was heavily ridiculed for my Blackburn accent. I sound exactly like everyone’s worst idea of a Northern Person, and it does not go unnoticed. Luckily, this boy was from Burnley, and that made me feel much better about things.

(If you’re not from Up Here, you won’t know this, but Blackburn people consider themselves superior to Burnley people. We're twenty minutes apart, but we treat them like a different species.)

So one evening, in a crowded bar, we were drawn to each other. He to me because I was cute and I sounded like home. Me to he because he had a tattoo and I could make fun of the way he said ‘chair’.

But, like I said, we lost touch. He moved off to London or something and got a job with the BBC, I remained Up Here and started a blog.

Our story for today actually begins a couple of weeks ago, when he started texting me out of the blue. It was quite nice. We caught up in the normal fashion and discussed jobs, family, relationships, my hair - the usual.

Then, today, when he briefly mentioned that he was back in the area and that he had an entire week of freedom to catch up with some friends, I literally said what any normal human being would say when told such a thing. Here it is:

IF YOU'VE GOT A WEEK OFF, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME TO BLACKBURN AND WE'LL GO FOR A DRINK.


Does that seem fine to you? Yeah, I thought so too. But, in boy-language, it seems that I have basically proposed marriage. He replied:

AW BABE, I'D LOVE TO BUT I'M REALLY ENJOYING JUST CHATTING TO YOU AND I DON'T WANT TO RUIN IT XXX

And then:

SORRY I JUST DON'T THINK OF YOU LIKE THAT. I THINK WE SHOULD JUST BE FRIENDS XXX

Well. There you go.

He thinks I like him in That Way.

And, yes, the situation has probably been helped along by the fact that I did not deny it. I felt, at that point, that any protestation by me could only have been read as an attempt to retain some kind of dignity after he had just stomped on my fragile little heart, so what I actually said was this:

OH, DEFINITELY.

What I wanted to say was this:

JESUS. DEFINITELY JUST FRIENDS. IN FACT, THE THOUGHT OF BEING MORE THAN FRIENDS ACTUALLY MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE BIT SICK. REMEMBER WHEN YOU TRIED TO KISS ME IN SECOND YEAR? WELL, SOMETIMES I HAVE UNPLEASANT FLASHBACKS.

Utterly humiliating. I have cringed so much while relaying this to you that I may actually have developed a permanent twitch.

x

Monday, 30 April 2012

Actually Fine

It’s been a while. I hope you’re well.

I’m fine. As usual.

Unlike the last time that I told you I was fine, this time I really am.

That’s not to say I’m completely stable or anything - and I imagine that I will only ever achieve such a state of being with the assistance of heavy-duty medication - but I’m not upset about that boy anymore.

So that’s good.

Actually though, now that we’ve brought it up, I am beginning to wonder whether I was ever really upset about him in the first place.

I think I’ve just had too much time on my hands, to be honest.

It’s genuinely terrifying to spend as much time with yourself as I do. Especially when you are already a bit unbalanced.

The first week or so away from university was tolerable. Even enjoyable. I was probably talking to the dog a bit too much, and I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen, but I was managing to limp through life. After that, though, things got a bit dull and I quickly discovered that there is only so much weight you can put on before all the joy is removed from comfort eating.

In situations like this, most of you will have no idea what kind of ridiculous memories your brain is capable of dredging up just to entertain itself for an afternoon. You might think that you know exactly what I'm talking about, but wait until you've spent four weeks alone with absolutely no purpose.Your brain saves up some extra special stuff for times like that, let me tell you.

I got upset by a shoe yesterday. A SHOE.

It was on the floor, I tripped over it. Then my brain got involved to ensure that I was provided with enough devastating romance-based memories – most of which were only vaguely attached to said shoe - to render me damn-near inconsolable for several hours.

You can blame that on the depression if you like, but it’s definitely being exacerbated by cabin fever.

x

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I'm Fine

So, you know the score by now.

I fall for someone, they’re interested for a while, and then something better comes along. Sometimes it's more complicated than that, but why quibble?

I’m alright though. I was upset at first. Hysterical, you might say. But now I’m just a bit bored of it. Bored of the constant sinking feeling, the hole in my chest and that mild panic that sets in whenever I accidentally think about him.

I should probably make a point of saying that we were never actually officially a thing.

If you ask me, I think the lack of communication is what killed it. If you ask him, it was my absolute inability to believe a single word that anyone says to me.

He’s got this new girlfriend now. She’s not what you'd expect. Not quite as pretty, not quite as clever, but somehow a much better fit.

And I’m fine with it.

Fine.

I’m not stupid enough to wait around and hope she turns out to be awful, although the thought has crossed my mind more than once. But, logic aside, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s with the wrong girl.

Whatever. This appalling excuse for a blog post was just to update you all on the little ray of hope that we all had back there.

And to tell you that I’m fine.

Because I am.

I’m fine.

x

Friday, 13 April 2012

Falling

My mother met with an accident today. Rather brilliantly, while speaking to a workman, she pointed skyward, lost her balance and proceeded to fall backwards into the garden from the top of our front steps.

(She has injured her arm and various other body parts. I’m sure she’d love to tell you about it, but I am bored to tears with it all.)

We have, essentially, put this ridiculous fall down to the magical, mysterious powers of Friday the 13th.

ACute Injury, Gil Elvgren

Despite having a pleasant day myself, with no injuries thus far, this incident has brought to mind all of the best falls that I have suffered. You will soon see that I have inherited my balance from my mother, so there has been no shortage of such events.

Therefore, good people, in celebration of Friday the 13th, and of having enough bad luck to live as though every day has such superstitious significance, I have compiled a list of the best five falls I have ever had (in chronological order).

*a tense silence descends*

5. When I was fifteen, while flipping my hair about in the wind and attempting to look alluring and mysterious in the direction of a boy, I lost my footing on the edge of the school field and rolled down a sizeable hill. In fact, such was the size of the hill that, by the time I had managed to roll all the way to the bottom, the entire school had managed to gather themselves at the top of it to stare down at me.

4. In college I decided that I was in love with a boy called Tom. One thing led to another, and those things led to a situation that saw me leaning through a window, giving him a quick snog before his teacher came back into the classroom. Inexplicably, during the snog, I fell backwards – no idea how or, indeed, why – and his lips were so fully locked on mine that poor Tom was dragged halfway through the aforementioned window and left dangling as his ridiculous girlfriend lay on the floor dying of shame.

3. In my third year of university, I braved arctic weather conditions to go and procure some chocolate milkshake from the shop. Halfway across the square, I slipped HARD and hurt my buttock-area SO MUCH that I couldn’t stand up. I sat there being helpless for a while and then managed to gather the inner-strength necessary to crawl my way to the shop. I don’t know how many witnesses there were.

2. In the same year, and not long after, I made the mistake of going back to the very same shop, in the very same weather conditions, and slipped AGAIN. This time, though, I slipped on the stairs. This was much nicer because, even though I have never been bruised so badly IN MY LIFE, sitting crying on some stairs is a bit less embarrassing than sitting crying in the middle of Alexandra Square.

1. Quite recently, perhaps a couple of months ago, I was doing a jog. I had decided, against all my better judgement, to Get Fit. (You are probably aware that I am currently less fit that I was when I started that life plan, so it obviously worked VERY WELL.) During my jog my knee started to feel a bit funny. About twenty minutes in, it felt SO funny that I knew I was going to fall over. I knew it. Instead of stopping, which you would think was the natural thing to do in such a situation, I soldiered on. Several moments later, as I was being jogged past by a good percentage of the football team, my body and my brain had a disagreement. My body, in pain as it was, decided to stop. My brain, as vain as it is, decided to keep running and look sexy about it. Confused, I attempted to do BOTH THINGS. Long story short, I took out two footballers and lost several layers of skin from the palms of my hands.

Pro Jogging Tip: Stay upright, always.

x

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Laura Does Love

There’s a boy.

It would be stupid, given that I talk about him on twitter almost CONSTANTLY, to pretend that I'm not PROPERLY FOND of him. Even considering that I have constructed my entire adult life around my propensity to fall hard and fast, he has managed to get under my skin far more quickly than I expected.

He doesn’t like me though. He says he does, but I can’t see it. It seems like it can’t possibly be true. He’s too interesting and clever and funny and all of that other stuff that girls have on their list of requirements. And he’s handsome. Did I mention that? And in a band.

I am aware, of course, that I could also be considered interesting and clever and funny, and that I probably tick a few boxes on his list too. Also, I look quite nice in a dress. HOWEVER, all of that good stuff is almost entirely overshadowed by the fact that I am frightfully unbalanced. He says it’s okay, BUT I DON’T BELIEVE HIM.

Unfortunately for all concerned, I have never been in an almost-relationship before where there is so little day-to-day contact. I’m used to unrelenting text messages and demands for attention and, as much as I have complained about these things in the past, they make me feel wanted and – I don’t know – secure or something.

It’s nice to know that someone is thinking about you. Or that they want to involve you in their life. Especially if, like me, you are inclined to believe the exact opposite.

(A few of you will be agreeing with me at this point. That’s because I haven’t reached the bit where I am unreasonable and an idiot.)

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to be a grown-up and address this little issue with him. His (understandable) response was that, if I wanted to speak to him, I could ALWAYS text him and he would ALWAYS get back to me as soon as he could.

The reason that this will not happen is that I live my life labouring under the belief that I am just an inconvenience to everyone. If I ask someone to go somewhere with me, I feel like I’m taking them away from something more important. If I tag along to a group-outing, I feel like I’m ruining everyone’s day. If I become someone’s girlfriend, I feel like I am keeping them from finding someone who isn’t a high-maintenance psychopath. I can’t help it. I’m wired up wrong. And text messaging is the same way. If I text him – especially knowing that he’s promised that he’ll always reply – I feel like I am forcing him to speak to me.

I just can’t do it. I realise that I am being awful, but I just can't.

Of course I told him that. But he said that maybe he has similar issues. Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of rejection either. Maybe it would just be nice to know that I was thinking about him sometimes too.

Maybe.

Daniel, though – user of twitter, (occasional) writer of blogs, love of my life – said a brilliant thing when I told him this. And, like everything that wonderful young man says, I think it’s probably best to listen to it.

“In that case,” he said, “you should give him attention as well and look after each other.”

x

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Tale Of Bravery

I have a well-documented fear of spiders.

For the last ten years - AT LEAST - I have partaken in a bedtime ritual of spider-checking, just in case one of the horrible sods has managed to get into my pillowcase, and I routinely suffer from debilitating spider-related nightmares.

But despite my constant declarations of hatred, the eight-legged community has still not seen fit to stay away from me. At home, as a result of this, I am rescued from spiders on quite a regular basis. At university, however, I must fend for myself.

Today, at 4.30am, after another night of ill-advised internet-stalking, my spider-senses went into overdrive. Without even lifting my head, I knew that there was a spider on my ceiling. I KNEW. I also knew that it hadn’t been there for very long, because my peripheral vision is second-to-none when it comes to spiders.

I don’t mind telling you that I had absolutely no idea what to do.

Now, when I say I have a fear of spiders, I really do mean it. I don’t mean that I just dislike them. I am genuinely frightened of them. My entire body, at the mere suggestion of spidery activity, goes into meltdown. My heart rate elevates, I tremble, I get sweaty palms, and my emotions cease to be under my control.

So, as you can imagine, when this thing appeared on my ceiling at such an ungodly hour, my life flashed before my eyes.

After a perfectly reasonable amount of panicking, I realised that I would have to get myself out of this situation. It would be several hours until any of my flatmates were out of bed and, even if one of them did wake up, I would be required to leave the room to go and get them. As all arachnophobes know, YOU NEVER LEAVE THE SPIDER UNATTENDED. If you do leave it, even for a moment, the spider will undoubtedly disappear, and you’ll spend the rest of your life twitching and sobbing in a mental facility. Someone must always be looking at the spider. Remember what The Doctor said: “Blink and you’re dead.”

I don’t know how long I stared at that spider for. My twitter timeline tells me that it was for at least an hour. I imagine it was longer. You see, it takes a very long time to build up the courage to face your biggest fear. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to give me enough credit for what I did next.

(Anyone associated with Animal Rights may want to leave at this point.)

My laura-kills-a-spider-kit consisted of the following items: a long-handled broom, kitchen roll, sunglasses, a coat, gloves, tightly-laced Converse low-tops, knee-socks and extra-strength hairspray.

I buttoned every button on that coat, put on my gloves and pulled my socks up as high as they would go. I cut off a great deal of the circulation to my toes by lacing my shoes up so very well, and I could barely see because of my giant Gucci sunglasses. All of these things, as I am sure you have guessed, were to avoid any contact at all with the spider or any of its spidery-materials.

And then the war came.

I wrapped masses of kitchen roll around the end of my broom - you remember, of course, that the spider was on the ceiling - and climbed on to my chair, maintaining a safe distance between myself and the spider. (All of my preparation would have been for nought if I’d been foolish enough to position myself in the Drop Zone. My mother did not raise an idiot.)

And then I initiated chemical warfare. I sprayed the spider with hairspray until it curled into a ball, and then smushed it with the kitchen roll.

The battle was won.

*applause, applause, graceful exit*

x

Monday, 12 March 2012

Ten More Stupid Things

Remember in January when I did that post (inspired by the incomparable Vanessa of Nightmares & Boners) about stuff I’d done to impress boys? No? Well, go and read it. I’ll still be here when you get back.

What I didn’t say in that post was that I had a really difficult time narrowing my list down to just ten.

So, in the interest of (almost) full disclosure, here are Ten More Stupid Things that I’ve done to try and get someone to go out with me. Or, in some cases, to convince them to continue going out with me.

*unnecessarily dramatic pause*

10. Dyed my hair pink. (Quite recent. I won’t lie. Obviously I have learned nothing.)

9. Pierced my lip.

8. Pretended to be a political activist, ultimately attending some protests that I didn’t entirely understand or agree with.

7. Became a vegetarian, despite previously surviving exclusively on variations of chicken in breadcrumbs.

6. Started smoking.

5. Became vegan, despite an utter dislike for most vegetables.

4. Cut my boob-length hair into a bob because I didn’t look edgy enough. (A waste of time, obviously, because it would take a lot more than a haircut to make me look anything approaching edgy.)

3. Went on a five mile hike in the Lake District on an empty stomach, wearing improper footwear and a full face of makeup. (By the end of it, I was a limping, melty-faced mess.)

2. Memorised the entire history of ska music.

1. Spent three weeks worth of my food budget on stuff for a romantic picnic, effectively disregarding my own wellbeing so that he would think I was whimsical and adorable. Sorry about that, feminism.

x

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Starving Fat Girl

Evening. Sorry to interrupt your weekend, but I’ve got a serious thing to share with you.

Let’s not tart around with this - I’ve recently been cautiously diagnosed with ‘depression’ and an ‘eating disorder’. I know, right? Who knew fat people could have proper eating disorders? Mental.

The depression thing was, probably, quite obvious to everyone on the internet (particularly on twitter). I am notoriously unstable. Just this week, I have had three honest-to-goodness emotional breakdowns for reasons relating entirely to my physical appearance. Uncalled for.

That sort of leads me on to the next bit. This bloody eating disorder. There was talk of this eating disorder well before Christmas, but I just didn’t feel like telling people. It is embarrassing to have an eating disorder and have nothing to show for it. When you walk into a room proclaiming “I hate myself and deny my body of nutrients”, you want to be thin, surely. Otherwise, who the christ is going to believe you?

Anyway, someone did believe me, and it seems that I am in the grips of ED-NOS, or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Before you all run off to google, let me explain.

What it basically means is that I can’t even do an eating disorder properly. I do everything, but not quite enough of it. I’m not being sick enough for Bulimia, I don’t restrict for long enough to be considered Anorexic and I’m not eating enough to have Binge Eating Disorder.

Technically though, I am mostly Bulimic. I’ve been this way since the first year of college (circa 2004). It got heavy during my second year of university (circa 2008), which many of you will fondly recall as “that year when Laura lost all that weight and looked really actually gorgeous”.

On my Bulimic days, I make myself sick six or seven times every day. Is it more glamorous to say I ‘purge’? Maybe. I never have just one Bulimic day though. It usually goes on for weeks at a time. I usually lose a little bit of weight – enough for people to notice and say I look pretty.

Next are the Anorexic days, which I am currently right in the swing of. I eat under 400 calories a day. I get headaches, I feel dizzy, I can’t sleep, I can’t think straight – it only lasts for a couple of weeks at a time though. This time it is being helped along by the fact that I can’t actually afford to eat. So far, I’ve lost 18lbs in three weeks. Everyone keeps saying how lovely I look.

On my Binge Eating days, which usually follow the Anorexic ones, I turn into a bottomless pit. I eat until it physically hurts. All the weight – and some extra – that I’ve lost during my other episodes comes back then. People stop saying I look pretty.

And then it starts again.

Unpleasant, wouldn’t you say? Try living with it.

Now that I’m on my way to a proper and official diagnosis that will, I’m told, give me some treatment options, I feel like I can talk about it. It’s a really shit thing to have to deal with on your own, and if anyone is going through something similar, I’d be super-interested to talk to you - leave me a comment or email me on auralerb@gmail.com.

Normal service will resume in the next blog. Thanks for reading.

x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Clean Sweep

I cleaned my room last night.

Certainly not very exciting and, given that I live in a room the size of a prison cell, it should have taken half an hour at most.

HOWEVER, it has occurred to me that I am incapable of just ‘keeping on top of things’. I have friends who just give their own rooms a quick clean every now and again, or maybe open the window once in a while to blow all the dust away. That works for them. I, on the other hand, have limited skills when it comes to making life easy for myself.

What I do – with most things in life, but particularly with cleaning – is ignore it. It’s just nicer that way. I can go for weeks on end just ignoring the piles of clothes, the discarded notebooks and the Creme Egg wrappers, and pretend that things are fine.

Sometimes though, I snap.

I snapped last night.

I started out as a woman just wanting to be able to see her carpet. I could have achieved this via a quick tidy. That, as I'm sure you have guessed, would have been much too simple. Therefore I decided that, while I was cleaning, I might as well clean ALL THE THINGS.

I began to 'sort things out'.

Five and a half hours later, I was on my hands and knees in a pile of t-shirts and SERIOUSLY questioning my mental health. That was nothing, though, compared to what my flatmates must have been thinking when I got the (very noisy) hoover out at 1.45am and proceeded to give my room (and our shared corridor) a once over.

It is safe to say that my room is now as clean as it’s ever going to be. My back may never recover, I smell strongly of bleach and I have a carpet burn on my knee, BUT AT LEAST MY ROOM IS CLEAN.

If I had more energy, I would probably garner some kind of life lesson from this.

x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Men Who Are Dogs

I am quickly losing patience with my own poor judgement when it comes to men.

We all remember that date that I had last week. Personally, I thought it was a bit soon after the ridiculous (mostly self-induced) trauma of my last foray into romance, but everyone else seemed to be quite sure that it was a Good Idea.

It went well, as we know. He told me a story about a dead pet and I basically fell in love with him. He was a bit dull, and had never watched Are You Being Served?, but I liked him regardless. That’s what I do, you see. I either dislike someone intensely or adore them immediately.

Anyway, we’d been in almost constant contact since the date, and he’d been to see me a couple of times (if you follow me on twitter, you are aware that this is because I legitimately can’t afford to leave the flat). I'm aware that I'm probably skipping over some interesting information here, but aside from one or two questionable comments from him, everything had just been rather nice.

Cut to last night.

Foolishly, I had never checked his facebook account. I realise that this is a first step for most people when embarking on a new relationship, but I just have no patience for it. If you don’t have twitter or a blog, I'm just not bothered. My friends were VERY bothered though, so I eventually relented and told them his surname.

Well.

Basically, he has a girlfriend.

In a skype meeting that will probably go down in history, I was informed in no uncertain terms that the boy in question was listed as ‘In A Relationship’. It was a big moment. There were gasps.

One of two things had happened. Either I had unknowingly entered into a relationship with him, or he was already in a relationship with someone else.

So I sent him a text:

I AM WELL AWARE THAT IT’S 3AM, BUT WOULD YOU MIND TELLING ME WHY YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE SAYS THAT YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP?

And he said:

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT TOMORROW XX

He waited for me outside my lecture today, and apologised for not telling me earlier. His girlfriend is, apparently (AND I QUOTE) “boring and normal”, and they’re going through a (QUOTING AGAIN) “dry patch”.

I stopped short of pointing out that he too was quite boring and tried not to take offence regarding the implication that I was in some way abnormal, and merely informed him that I would not be used in such a manner.

I won’t be seeing him again.

x

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Men And Their Dogs

I had a date yesterday. It went well.

I say 'well', but that may be slightly misleading. I embarrassed myself on a number of occasions, talked him through the musical numbers in Burlesque and, at one point, interrupted a story that he was telling me so that I could change my mother’s amazon account password (something that APPARENTLY she was incapable of doing).

But, I mean, I didn’t set anything on fire and nobody cried. A success in anyone's book.

Obviously this was just a first date. I don’t anticipate entering into a Great Romance in the near future, so why do you even need to know about this nameless young man? I’ll tell you why. Because he told me a story about his dead dog.

Wait. I’m going somewhere with this.

The date had been pleasant enough – I was charming in my wonderfully awkward way and he was handsome enough that I didn’t really care about what he was saying – but the turning point came when he asked me if I had any pets. Yes, I said, a dog.

Oh, he said, I love dogs. I used to have one but it died a few months ago.

That’s sad, I said, What happened?

And he proceeded to tell me a devastating tale of a dog that was blind in one eye and crippled with stomach cancer.

ROMANTIC.

Actually, it was a little bit romantic, in the weirdest way possible.

By the end of the story, I was in the palm of his hand. I would have married him there and then if he’d asked me, let me tell you.

HOWEVER, it has very suddenly occurred to me that this was not the first time I have been seduced by a story about an unfortunate pet. In the first few days of our relationship, Idiot told me about his beloved mutt and it’s tragic death at the hands of some sort of bone-thing. Fringe had a photo of a dead cat in his wallet. Even Stretch, for all his faults, had managed to show a modicum of emotion when telling me about giving his dog up when he sold his house.

So, basically, my question is this: is Tell-A-Sad-Pet-Story an actual thing?

And am I the only one being taken in by it?

x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Why It Is Actually A Good Thing To Have A Crazy Bitch As Your Girlfriend

It has occurred to me that, during this annoyingly drawn-out emotional crisis, I have not been advertising myself very well to any potential suitors. The sheer magnitude of my grief and sorrow may have alerted some (previously) interested parties to the fact that I am a headcase of the highest order. This is especially true now that we have all come to realise that the person I was so upset about is, in fact, a [something I’m not allowed to say on the blog in case my mother reads it] who doesn’t believe in free speech* or in, you know, being a decent person.

The Verdict Was "Wow", Gil Elvgren

Anyway, I have compiled a list of the top three reasons as to Why It Is Actually A Good Thing To Have A Crazy Bitch As Your Girlfriend. Most of you will need no convincing, but I thought I’d make sure we were all on the same page.

1. Two/Three/A Million For The Price Of One
Far be it from me to generalise the entire heterosexual-male population, but I am under the impression that a large majority of you get a bit restless in a relationship and often seek solace in the arms of women who are not your girlfriend.
Well, men-who-are-like-that, why not invest in a Crazy Bitch? It’s like a million girlfriends in one handy, woman-shaped package.
You will literally never know who you are coming home to. One day, you’ll be greeted by the loving, cake-making, pinny-wearing dream-wife you’ve always wanted and, the next, you’ll walk through the door and narrowly avoid losing an eye as you dodge a flying fork that has been sent towards your head because you didn’t answer that text at lunch time.
Exciting.

2. Excellent Emotional Communication
Oh, those ‘normal’ women might be all nice and understanding when you make a mistake, but do you ever really know where you stand? Of course not. They keep everything bottled up. It’s unhealthy, is what it is.
That doesn’t happen with a Crazy Bitch. One way or another, you will be made VERY AWARE of her feelings regarding every little thing you do.
Helpful.

3. Transferable Skills
In today’s job market, you may find yourself a bit caught out when you’re filling out the old Curriculum Vitae, there. Not much work experience? Not many transferable skills? Well look no further!
Managing a Crazy Bitch will provide you with a wide range of skills that will impress any company looking to recruit. Dispute Resolution? You’ll pick that up fairly quickly. Complaints Management? Ditto. Speaking a foreign language? There’s nothing more foreign than the language she’ll be directing at you, sonny-jim.
You'll be at the top of the corporate ladder in no time.

There. Argue with that if you can. Crazy Bitches are a catch.

x

*Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed that a blog post has gone missing. I mentioned no names and said nothing disparaging, but I was effectively threatened and told to remove it from my blog. I’m also never allowed to write about Stretch again, because apparently that giant, grown-up man has got a bee in his bonnet about being portrayed as a [something I’m not allowed to say on the blog in case my mother reads it]. YOU’LL NEVER BE MENTIONED AGAIN, PET, ALRIGHT?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hi, Can We Be Friends Yet?

Dear Stretch,

It has been approximately three weeks since you decided that I wasn’t worth your time. And that’s ok. It really is. Unfortunately, I really liked you – even before the mess of falling in love and not being quite up to your standards.

When you decided that we shouldn't speak anymore, I did quite well for the first few days. It was almost a relief to know that I didn’t need to check my phone, because – as you told me - you’d “spoken to some friends” and they had agreed that it was best for you to stay away from the little crazy lady.

After those first few days though, the silence really set in. I was an absolute nightmare. I wasn’t leaving the house, I wasn’t eating properly and I couldn’t sleep. I still can’t sleep, in fact, and I’m not a massive fan of leaving the house. Also, if I’m being really honest, the eating thing may never go away. I’m not exactly blaming you for all of these things, because I was cripplingly unstable before I met you, but I think you should take SOME responsibility.

Really, I'm still angry with you. I think that what you've done is nothing short of cowardly. By refusing to speak to me, you have ensured that you don't have to deal with any of the aftermath of this break-up or whatever, and have left me to cope with it.

Also, lest we forget, I never even wanted to get involved with you. I made an excellent case against it, as I’m sure you remember, but you ignored everything I said and pursued me regardless. You may recall saying things like " I love you" and "I want to build a life with you". You know, that kind of sleazy, manipulative bollocks that unfortunate-looking little whelps like me will fall for in a heartbeat.

But then you got bored. Or met someone else. I’m not entirely sure which one came first.

The thing is, in spite of all that, I can’t allow you to simply disappear. It took a lot of effort – much more than you realise – for me to allow you into my life, and it would be awful to let all of that personal growth go to waste.

I realise that the prospect of spending the rest of your life with a girl who – by anyone’s standards – should be under the care of a full psychiatric team could possibly have frightened you off a bit, but I can assure you that being friends would be quite different. At the very least, it would ease my inner-monologue a little bit and stop me stalking your twitter page, obsessing over conversations between you and your new girlfriend.

If you ever had any respect for me AT ALL, you’ll be the one who sends the first message. We said we’d be friends and it’s about time you started acting like you care.

Love Always,

Laura
x

Update (23.02.2012): I take it all back. Let's not bother.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Valentine’s Day, 2009.

Idiot and I had not been together for very long as of February 2009. It had been approximately four months since I had allowed him to start calling me his girlfriend and so he was still quite keen to impress me. Thusly, I anticipated an excellent February 14th.

BUT WAIT.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that things in my life tend to go the most wrong when I am least expecting them to. It’s just a thing that the universe and I have got going on - as long as I sit around being utterly miserable, my life stays on a fairly even keel. It is literally only when I am HAPPY OR SOMETHING that the universe remembers where I am and starts throwing things at me.

Our story begins with the deadline for my final-year Psychology dissertation, which just happened to fall on February 14th. I had been given an entire year to do this 10,000 word monstrosity, so of course we can assume that I had it finished well in advance… Hang on. NO WE CAN’T, because we are all well aware that I would rather slit my own throat than do an essay a single moment before it is necessary. Therefore, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I was awake for four nights in a row, prior to Valentine’s Day, averaging 2500 words per twenty-four hours.

It was awful.

My lovely, thoughtful boyfriend*, when the 14th arrived, was only partially aware of the stress I had been under during the last week. (In those first few months I was still pretending to be well-adjusted, so I hid quite a significant amount of my personality from him.) Therefore he thought that I would appreciate his arrival at 7am, his arms laden with presents and a lovely breakfast, and had thought nothing of driving the two-hour journey from his home in Leicester to my flat in Lancaster at such an ungodly hour.

Romantic, no?

Needless to say, at 7am - after four days without sleep and with over 1500 words still to write - I was ready to curl up and die. But I didn’t. What I actually did was eat my breakfast, open some presents, and fall asleep on his lap for four hours. VERY CLEVER. Luckily, he had the sense to make me call my professor while I was cutting off the circulation to his lower half, and my deadline was extended.

The day continued in a similar way, if I’m honest. I would wake up, eat whatever favourite food Idiot had been out to buy for me, open another present, and fall back to sleep. It was nice. I think he liked it too. I imagine that having such peace and quiet in my presence was a wonderful change for him.

When I finally did wake up properly, ready to enjoy my happiness, the universe realised what was happening. Almost immediately, it responded by zapping Idiot’s mother with a potentially life-threatening brain-thing.

I KNOW.

I kid you not, less than half an hour after I had regained full consciousness, Idiot got a phonecall from his brother declaring that their mother had been taken into hospital because her brain was bleeding.
(She had previously had a coil in it or something. It was a big deal. The brain is definitely not something you want to discover is bleeding.)

Anyway, being two hours away from home, he didn’t have time to hang around and wait to see if it was actually life-threatening.

So he left me.

On Valentine’s Day.**

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the only Valentine’s Day I have ever (almost) spent with a boy.

x

*I did not know, at this point, that he was a lying bastard.
**I understand that it is important to visit Mothers in hospital. BUT I also reserve the right to be annoyed by any and all things that ruin my happiness.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Change The Record

For three weeks now, I have been annoying the world with my sad little sighs and my reluctance to get dressed. I’m not eating properly, I’m not sleeping properly, and I can’t even turn on the television without risking a genuine emotional breakdown.

I am almost ashamed of myself, truth be told. I have never been this affected by anything or anyone in my entire life. While I’m not exactly your traditional Independent Woman, I’ve always assumed that I had it in me to deal with stuff like this.

But I’ve been staring at my phone for several hours now.

Picking it up. Putting it back down. Moving it nearer to the window, just in case the signal is better. Moving it back, just in case the signal is worse. Picking it up. Putting it back down. Writing a text message. Deleting it. Re-writing it with the intention of making myself sound more balanced. Deleting it again, because one text message isn’t going to undo three weeks of psychotic behaviour…

You know. That kind of thing. All day.

Because today is the first day, since we met, that Stretch hasn’t been in touch.

And I hate it.

Normal service will resume next week. I apologise for being such an incessant bore.
x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Keep In Touch

When you’re developing a relationship with someone new, you have a wonderful opportunity to set the tone for the entire thing. If you do this properly it could well be the making of it.

Being foolish, however, can lead to all sorts of problems.

You will remember, I imagine, that boy who broke my heart a couple of blog posts ago. For the purposes of this thing, we will refer to him as Stretch. He was (and still is, because I am yet to attack him with anything) remarkably tall, and that is as good a reason as any for a nickname.

At the beginning of our relationship, which wasn’t a particularly long time ago, the communication between the two of us was CONSTANT. Usually, I am not a massively texty person. I have friends who I have known for years who have never received a single text message from me, and others who have only received one when I’ve needed a favour. Quite frankly, I can usually do without the hassle.

This was obviously different, but I suppose most new couples text like that, don’t they? Non-stop. Smiling and giggling away at their phones. You’ve seen them at train stations and stuff, I’m sure. Takes a lot of effort not to push them off the platform, doesn’t it?

ANYWAY, since we broke up, I had sort of been expecting our texting style to change. I thought we might text less, at least, and perhaps distance ourselves a bit. That didn’t happen. In fact, for the most part, nothing has changed.
Well, that’s not true. Once or twice a day I have a breakdown and tell him I never want to speak to him again, but other than that we’re still pretty much the same as we’ve always been.
Or we were. Until this weekend.

(I would like to direct you to the first paragraph of this blog. It is a very wise thing that I’ve said there. Very wise. It applies directly to what I am about to say.)

For the past couple of days, the communication between us has been fairly minimal. In all honesty, I haven’t been handling it well. There’s a little voice in my head telling me I’m overreacting and that he is a single man now – perfectly entitled to his own life and to talk to (or ignore!) whoever he likes.
BUT ACTUALLY if that’s how he wanted things to be, he could have instigated that at the point of our break-up. He had the opportunity to completely rewrite the rules of our relationship, but he chose not to.

I am of the opinion that you can’t text someone constantly for weeks on end, and then reasonably expect them to sit back and accept that you just can’t be bothered anymore. You can’t expect them to assume that everything’s ok and to leave you to it without some sort of explanation.

If you have demonstrated to someone that you will never let a text message go unanswered, and then go off-radar for so long that the poor unstable sod (read: me) sends you twelve messages in a row – only for you to IGNORE THEM COMPLETELY - I don’t think that’s ok.

I will not be made to sit here and feel like an abandoned little psychopath because someone got a better offer. And I won’t be told that I can’t be upset about it, because I can. And I am.

x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Ten Stupid Things

The other day, Vanessa of Nightmares & Boners posted Ten Stupid Things I’ve Done To Try And Get Someone To Go Out With Me. I thought it was delightful.

So, in the interest of cheering myself up a bit, here are the Ten Stupid Things that I've done to try and get someone to go out with me.

*pause for effect*

10. Pretended I had a more exotic surname.

9. Dyed my hair dark brown, because the object of my affections had once vaguely referred to a celebrity he fancied and she just happened to be a brunette.

8. Read a book about Samurai Swords.

7. Watched the Saw films. Or tried to. There was a thing involving an eyeball and a spoon that nearly made me pass out. I had to admit defeat at that point.

6. Bought a leather jacket and developed an attitude problem, because I noticed that the object of my affections was listening to The Distillers.

5. Pretended to be four years older than I was.

4. Did a Psychology degree.

3. Spent three days eating basically nothing so that I would look thinner when the object of my affections came to see me. Two hours after he arrived, I fainted quite dramatically and chipped one of my front teeth.

2. Pretended I had met someone else to provoke furious jealousy.

1. Pretended that I liked salmon, so as to appear more sophisticated and worldly. As it turns out, you cannot force yourself to swallow something that you find so repellent - especially without chewing it - because of a little thing called a gag reflex. Who knew?

x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It's Not You, It's Me

I imagine that, by now, you’ve all read my last thing. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t bother. Depressing is not the word.

I thought I’d better explain it a bit. I wasn’t going to, because I thought it was fine to just write about it and then go back to being miserable and broken-hearted all by myself. However, it seems that people are actually interested, so here we are again.

I don’t want to talk about the relationship, because that’s too sad. And I don’t want to talk about how long it lasted, because it wasn’t long enough. In fact, I don’t particularly want to go into any detail at all, but I can at least tell you why it ended.

*sighs dramatically*

He ‘isn’t ready ’. His ‘head is all messed up after his last relationship’. He ‘doesn’t want to hurt me’. BASICALLY, ‘IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME’.

*screams forever*

Aside from being disgustingly upset, which I think we all gathered from the last thing I wrote, I am angrier than I think I’ve ever been. I'm angry with him, I'm angry with myself, I'm angry with EVERYONE ELSE.

We all know what ‘I’m not ready for a relationship’ means. It means, ‘I’m not ready for a relationship WITH YOU’. If you didn’t know that, I’m sorry, but it’s true and you need to be prepared.

If you are of the Crazy Bitch persuasion, as I am, you will come across this phrase once or twice a year. Probably.

Now, I don’t know how your Crazy Bitchiness manifests itself, but mine isn’t particularly unusual. I test people, I deliberately cause arguments, and I can switch from cute-and-cuddly to fire-breathing-bitch-face in a matter of moments. Usually for NO REAL REASON.

The thing is, though, there’s only so far you can push someone before they either push back or walk away.

And that’s what happened. I was mental for the duration of our relationship and he realised what he was getting himself into.

What a load of wank.

x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

One Year On

Exactly one year ago today, I wrote my first real blog post and what was arguably the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. I told you all about the most important and devastating relationship that I’d ever had with a boy, and I told you how heartbroken it left me.

When I wrote it, if I’m honest, I was still getting over said relationship. Part of me actually thought there might be a chance that it could be resolved. I had vague imaginings of him turning up one day, flowers in hand, offering to start again. Part of me wanted that more than anything.

That part of me has finally, after a year and a half, become so small that I barely even notice it anymore.

I don’t know when it happened, really. All I know is that, one day, I woke up and realised that my heart wasn’t actually broken anymore.

The universe, it seems, wasn’t happy about that.

Mere DAYS after deciding that it might be time to meet someone else, I actually bloody did.

And I fell for him far more quickly than I would have ever thought possible.

In fact, I probably loved him immediately. It sounds ridiculous – especially because I told very few people about him, anticipating this very outcome – but it was a case of love-at-first-sight, if ever there was one.

It didn’t really hit me, though, until I was in his flat for the first time not very long ago.

Those of you who have experienced the pleasure of my company will undoubtedly be aware of my shameful habit of cluttering places up immediately upon arrival. I carry an enormous amount of paraphernalia with me, always prepared for the most ridiculous of emergencies, and I have no qualms about where I scatter it.
Upon entering his flat, for instance, I went straight into the bedroom to rid myself of the giant bag I was carrying. At the same time, I tossed my cardigan thoughtlessly onto the bed. Strange thing to mention, I’m sure you’ll agree, but wait!

A few hours later, after he had gone to sleep, I wandered towards his bookshelf in the living room. I had a notion that I could read one of the more impressive-looking books during the night (because, as you may know, I struggle to sleep during appropriate hours) and then stun him with my cultural knowledge over breakfast.
On my way to put my plan into action, however, I passed my cardigan – no longer on the bed, it was now hung on the back of a door, next to his jacket.

If I hadn’t already been completely besotted with him, that would have done it. I can’t properly explain why. Perhaps it was because he had hung it there, and I felt a little bit looked after. Or maybe it was the way my cardigan looked so small and feminine next to his jacket. Or maybe, and most upsettingly, it was because it looked so normal, as though it was supposed to be there, and that’s exactly how I felt when I was with him.

I didn’t stay in the living room for long after that. I missed him. I – cynic, scoffer, non-believer – was pining for someone who was only a room away from me. So I got back into bed with him, and ACTUALLY WATCHED HIM SLEEP. Love, it seems, is all about clich├ęs.

But, yesterday, things ended for good.

You don’t need to know anything else just yet.

Except that, for nine whole days of the New Year, I thought things were ok.

Happy Anniversary, me.

x