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