Thursday, 18 December 2014

The journey to enlightenment.

I'm sure most of you have seen 'He's just not that into you'. If you're a girl you probably watched it because of Bradley Cooper. If you're a guy, on the other hand, you probably watched it because of a girl. The thing is that women like to complicate their lives. Overthinking is in our nature. As much as our brother, fathers, partners and colleagues cannot understand us, the thing is that we DO NOT understand ourselves either. But shhh... That's meant to be a secret!

When it comes to dating we cannot help but put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Will he like me? Will he like my hair? Do I look fat in these trousers? Do my earrings match my top? Have I got lipstick marks on my teeth? Should I wear high heels? Are jeans too casual? What if he doesn't like my nail varnish? Will he notice the spot on my chin? Will he ask about my natural hair colour? Now, dear ladies, I'm about to reveal another secret: HE DOES NOT CARE. PERIOD.

Ask your boyfriend whether he remembers what were you wearing on your first date. If he does, that's great. But he probably won't. And that's ok too. Whilst you remember every detail of his appearance and what he had for starters, he did not pay attention. All he was interested in was YOU. Not the packaging. Just your company. Simple. He didn't rush home just to look you up on Facebook and send screen shots to his best mates desperately seeking approval and thinking whether your future children will be pretty enough. He did not analyse your friends list or an eight-years-long profile picture history. He just went to sleep.

And how do I know all that? Let me tell you. I might save you all the overthinking for the next few months, if not years. One Friday night/early morning I was coming back from a party in London. On the last train back you normally get a lot of drunks, football fans, blokes dressed up as women and some odd people that do not fit into any category whatsoever. I sat down casually opposite a bloke around my age and next to a couple of older ladies. On the other side of the train there was an elderly couple and two girls coming back from a party as well. Everyone seemed to be minding their own business. Until a certain conversation took place.

The bloke opposite and I started having a chat about how Berocca makes you feel like you've not had a drink the night before. Random. Then he told me all about his travels, parents, his job that he was proud of and the last girlfriend and how he is scared of commitment because of the events in this relationship. The fellow passengers started leaning in casually awaiting further confessions. For the last 12 months I have heard no end of how blokes were 'not ready for a relationship'. My questions was: why on Earth do you date then? Just go for good old one night stands! But then the bloke opposite me answered my question that seemed to be unanswerable.

'I like everything about dating a girl. I like her company. But I do not want to introduce her to my parents'

BOOM! He has given me the answer that would've saved me hours of thinking 'maybe there's something wrong with me?'. Hallelujah! He had no idea how meaningful this was. There's nothing wrong with us, ladies. They just don't want to introduce us to their parents. End of. If things go nowhere (as they do) they do not have to explain to anyone what happened to the cute girl with glasses. They don't have to avoid the answer to 'so what are your plans for the summer?'. They don't have to bring you to the Sunday dinners and cousin's weddings.

Thank you man on the train. Your meaningless confession has brought me relief. As a representative of the female part of the issue, I feel so much better now about all the failed dates, drunk-texting, numerous missed calls at 2am and ignored friends requests. If you're guilty of these crimes, of course.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

'I'm not that kind of guy'

How many times have you heard that? Gazillion. If not more. It's really hard out there for single girls who still believe in love. Yes, we do exist. We refuse to accept the 'everyday reality'. We want more. We want to be swept off our feet, dazzled and mesmerised. We want to be spoilt and adored. Fought for. But you know what... We don't want that every Saturday night. Well we do. But not from a different guy every Saturday night.

The thing is that it always starts the same. You are charming, cute, sweet, funny, witty. We have  a great time, maybe even kiss. Things go the way they go and then boom. Silence. You say you want to meet up in the week but, all of a sudden, you're just too busy. The lack of initiative is killing us so we end up asking you out (idiots!) and then we get a positive response. Ok, we think. Men and women are meant to be equal. That's cool, right? But then the day arrives and you get a 'I was actually seeing someone when we met' text.

I admit that I am not a native speaker of English. As you probably have realised by now. However, the question 'how come you're single?' is giving someone an opportunity to say 'actually I am not', am I right? The answer you normally get from a witty man mentioned before is 'I am too picky', which, I guess, is meant to make us feel even more special. Pathetic. But it works.

It's all good, new, fresh and blah blah. Then the inevitable text kes an appearance so you never meet again. And the more pathetic part about it is that it is normally followed by 'I feel guilty now. I am not the kind of guy who would be seeing two women at the same time'. What a load of rubbish. You that emoji on your iPhone called  a smiling pile of poop (yes, that is its actual name)? It's the first thing that comes to my mind. Of course you're not. You're just the kind of guy that would sleep with two women at the same time. That's oh-so-different, right?

I couldn't help but wonder. Is there anything wrong with me? And at first I think 'no, I am actually perfect'. I come from a good home, I am educated, I have a mortgage, an interesting job, I speak a couple of languages, I am intelligent, I can dance, I am a fantastic cook, I work out and I even lift weights! I am lost. It's time to get the big guns out: when in doubt, watch SATC. It always has an answer to your most nerve-wrecking dilemmas. Remember the episode when Carrie goes to see a shrink? Exactly. Do you know what is wrong with me? I go for the wrong men.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A tight(s) story.

imagine via LOVE magazine

The big declaration of autumn has happened last Tuesday in my world. The unlucky women living far enough from the equator for the temperatures in their worlds to fall below 18 degrees Celsius are brutally forced to cover their legs up with the least sexy and empowering item in their chest of drawers - tights. They come in different colours (from nude to sheer black), sizes (from looking like rat tails to whale's intestines) and shapes (or intending to make you look like a perfect hourglass shape, usually unsuccessfully). Nevertheless, we hate them all equal.

Is it not funny how naked we feel in spite of having them on? I have a big mirror in my bedroom that is functioning as my daily oracle judging whether nude goes with bottle green and whether loafers are not looking too manly for a pleated skirt. And I clearly do not mind facing the oracle wearing nothing but my birthday suit. But for heaven's sake... There is absolutely no way will I ever look at myself wearing tights only. Be it sheer nude or opaque black. Never ever (like ever, as Taylor would sing). I have that mental image of what my underwear looks like when trapped in a pair of sheer tights. Whether I'm wearing a pair of Topshop's Sponge Bob hipsters or a sexy silky Stella McCartney number. My female body parts and their surroundings look like an ugly fat burglar. End of.

Going back to the idea of still feeling naked when wearing tights... What are they? Are they underwear? Are they an item of clothing? They seem to kind of sit uncomfortably in-between the two... They live in my chest of drawers next to bras I never wear but they are also worn 'on show' which kind of makes them belong to the her majesty the wardrobe herself. They look like sad sagging emptied sausages (not to use rude comparisons) ready to be disposed of. Whether they are new or worn they look used. How come? Also, they are ever-so-unpredictable! You may have a pair that you've been wearing for weeks, washed a few times and they are still fine. The next day you put a brand new shiny M&S pair on and bang! They catch as soon as you sit at your desk in the office. For the next 8 hours (plus lunch) your humiliated self feels the urgent need to explain to everyone that looks at your legs what happened and why you are not trying to look like Madonna in the 90's at all.

Without a doubt, they do us a favour. They can cover up a few bruises after the Saturday night's wild dance ending up in bumping into a table full of drinks. They can make our legs look like they have recently been kissed by Spanish sun rays. They can even hide the fact that a razor has not been anywhere close to our legs for at least half a moon phase. However, there must be many tights-hating women on this planet who provided us with alternatives. Here comes the business opportunity for all the in-the-office spray tan tents, Sally Hansen spray-on tights, leg oils and other shimmering moisturisers promising to prolong our tan for the price of smelling like burnt chicken skin. In Britain we are lucky if we get to use them more than twice a year but they are out there for us.

Now I'm about to raise an extremely controversial issue. How come that it is socially unacceptable to have bare legs in a work environment? The reason for my outrage on this matter is the fact that, believe it or not, my contract with my employer actually states that I am not to be seen at work wearing a skirt that ends anywhere sooner than 8cm above my knee (I wish they were that specific when it comes to pay checks) and with no tights! Now the first part is clearly about good taste but the second??? How dare they limit my freedom when it comes to revealing the softness of my skin I spend years of my life caring for? Waxing, scrubbing, drinking 2 litres of water a day, eating avocados. It all counts yet has to be hidden behind the restraining layer of Lycra.

Tights. Whether they come expensive or cheap, Primark or designer (where does Carine Roitfeld get hers from?), it could not matter less. We hate them. We hide them. We are ashamed putting them on and normally they are the first item we take off. But as a spices we have learnt to tolerate them over the last half a century. As much as they are an every-day necessity they also remain a mystery to at least the opposite sex. Proof? Ask your man to buy you a pair when he pops out to get a case of Rioja which is on offer at Sainsbury's. I bet he's never heard of 'denier' and thinks it's some kind of a wild animal between a deer and a badger.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The sock story.

image via Kinfolk

My palms still smell of the expensive paper that they print Kinfolk on. As I'm heading towards the end of the imperfect issue 13, one column made me think more than the previous ones. I have to say that I was rather surprised that this particular column was not grilling the matters of emotional choices, the secret to perfect fill pastry or a controversial fine art comment but... socks. Yes, the dent tube-like piece of cotton that we (tend to) wear on our feet.

They day I discovered that the simple solution to avoid chasing missing socks would be to make all of them black or white, I felt like the smartest person on this planet. I thought I tricked a magician or caught a policeman speeding. The satisfaction was unreal. This worked for a long time for me actually. I still bought only the two colours of socks, popping into H&M on a regular basis to replace the ones that decided to go off-colour by means of rubbing onto the inside of leather shoes or staying on my feet in rather messy places and cleaning other people's floors. I was sure I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Until one Christmas that is.

Just in case you ever wondered, I'm female. Yes, I can join into a conversation about football, yet I still do not scratch my crotch in most inappropriate office situations. That is exactly why I was shocked, to say the least, when I unwrapped one of the little boxes screaming my name from under the Tree. Inside I found nothing but socks. Isn't it just men that should get socks for Christmases/birthdays/father's days? Clearly, I was considered to be a person that lacks sock in her life. I can sort of appreciate that. But what stroke me most was the form the came in. They were... colourful!

The person who was pretending to be Father Christmas knew me very well at the time. I am pretty sure that we met soon after my invention of monochrome sock drawer. Why would they choose to ignore it? Why would they choose to make me come out of my comfort zone? And, most importantly, why would they expose me to the potential drama of losing one of the two of a kind? Socks, as Kinfolk's John Stanley points out, are like marriages nowadays. 'Frequently ending in divorce'. Dear secret Santa. I've been a good girl this year that has been through enough drama as it is. Please do not add to it. Us, introverts, do everything to make our lives less complicated. Do not bring socks into it.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The art of getting excited.

Is it just me or are we all looking forward to autumn now? No, I haven't been on proper summery holiday yet (brace yourself Barcelona). Yes, I do have a slight tan which i regularly top up sitting in my back garden/running/playing tennis (you can tell what I've been up to by the shape of 'the white bits'). No, I haven't had enough cherries, strawberries and watermelon yet. I normally tend to eat so much of them it only makes sense that they are not available during the winter time. Yes, I have already started thinking about what I'm going to wear this A/W season.

British Vogue revealed today that Victoria Beckham (my all time guru) is being fettered on the cover of the August issue. Wow. How brilliant! I mean, isn't she just what fashion is about? As much as I look forward to seeing my always happy postman (the man wears shorts 365 days a year) so that I can spend hours feeding my eyes with shots of Victoria, I am also counting down the minutes to flick through... the adverts.

Say what you like, but I love the art of advertising fashion. When the new season comes along I get as excited about the content of the magazine itself as I do about the art of revealing whether it will be socially acceptable to wear black leather with tan leather. Whether Anja Rubik will rock khaki green jumpers. Whether Joan Small will pull of winter version of colour blocking. Whether Cara Delavigne will yet again take us to the magic world of Mulberry handbags.

One may say that getting excited is childish. Nothing like it. Being able to say that you're passionate about something, be it football, fashion or porcelain figurines, is not as common as we think. Let's all stand up and say to ourselves: do it with passion or don't do it at all! Let's all get excited. I don't know how Victoria could stay quiet about her next Vogue cover for so long...

images stolen form the Internet