Friday, 26 May 2006

The life stages of porn enjoyment

I'm considering renaming this blog to 'mind fellatio'. Whaddayathink?

Tons of teenagers in search of porn would hit on this site and get pissed off at the wasted click.

Popcorn and porn... best at home
I don't know about you, but I think porn is mostly just one of those stages everyone has to go through.

Having mentioned wanting to be 16 again yesterday, I regress further.

When I was about 14, we used to hang out at my friend's house; her parents were massive yuppies (who later got declared bankrupt, I believe) and she had a whole floor to herself, with a bar (no alcohol though) and a an enormous corner sofa in front of which was a huge TV and a VCR.

We used to watch masses of German soft porn; RTL and Sat1 used to supply plenty after about 930 at night.

Sometimes films too.

Then the guys would whack off together and we girls would watch. They sometimes did that thing of cumming on a cracker and forcing the last guy to cum to eat it...

Actually now that I think of it, it's a wonder I'm not mentally scarred for life.

Then, when I was a little older, we had this hard core film called 'the Champion's Cup' which got passed on to each guy in our group on his 18th birthday.

I can only vaguely remember what was in it; I think it had to do about a very large black lady teaching a very ugly white man (why are men in porn always hideous, unless it's gay porn?) how to lick pussy. It was quite amusing but hardly arousing.

When my friend T turned 18, he had a huge party and the video tape got lost somewhere in his house. It was never seen again, but he was in a cold sweat for weeks lest his parents might find it wedged between two sofa pillows.

We girls didn't get the Champion's cup, we only got sex toys. I was given a chainmail g-string and my best friend got a purple double-ended dildo.

Funnily, we never used any of these things, and to this day I've only ever had sex with one of the guys.

In a strange way, the porn really bound us together to watch porn, and although we were all secretly turned on a little by watching "Robin Huge and his marry maidens" and the like, I think we liked it mainly as a dirty secret we shared.

When one of the guys got a girlfriend who came by as we were enjoying a Western-themed masterpiece and demanded we turn it off because it was 'disgusting', we all knew that would be it.

That was ten years ago, they are now married and he's barred from speaking to any of his friends.

Later in life I've had brushes with porn, I've dallied with web chats and a brief stint of nude photos and a video camera with my US ex (video thankfully wiped, but God knows where he has those negatives), but I've not properly watched porn for years and years.

Many men seem to think there are no girls who like porn, but I quite do, if it's quality stuff and not too ludicrous.

But without my friends there, taking the piss with hard-ons badly hidden behind sofa cushions, it's just not as fun.

Thursday, 25 May 2006

Early morning

I long to be 16 again.

It's 0445 in the morning.

Even though I'm inside, I can smell it.

The sky is a strange, pink vanilla colour and the clouds covering most of it are lilac, a reminder of the immense amounts of water that have washed down on England for the past half week.

I can smell the rain outside; it's washed off all the dust of late spring, and doesn't smell like summer rain normally does.

It makes me restless. The light outside turns all the colours brighter; the grass is greener.

I long to be awake at this time not because I get paid for it, but because my emotions for someone is so intense that I'm unable to leave their patio, because we both want to go skinny dipping in the black ocean, even though we're both tipsy and it's a bit unsafe.

I want to remove my clothing, except a white cotton bra and pants, lay it on the rock that's still dry from the hot sun the day before and dive in from a rock so high up that my head hurts as I hit the surface.

I want my friend to remain on the rocks, waiting for me to swim back, my nipples battling the see-through cotton and my panties clinging to my pubic hair.

And then I want him to avoid touching me on the way back to his house, sneak in to avoid waking someone, slip into his bed still damp, unpeeling my underwear and feeling his body respond.

Then I want to make love, the shy and awkward kind that you can't talk about the next day.

And then the sun should come up and shine in through the window, then the sky can be white and the clouds lilac, then it could rain.

And then I want to get dressed, putting my damp underwear in a grocery bag, and get the bus home, then walk up the drive and slip into bed while my parents are having breakfast.

Well, if nothing else, I'll get to slip into bed in a few hours.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Panic over

So, panic over after yesterday's smear test issue, at least pretty much...

J, who is usually a huge drama queen, has made me realise that I just have to wait until I hear back about the hospital appointment.

And thanks to all visitors, returning or otherwise, who expressed their support; it's really appreciated!

J and I built a bed today.

As my friend S said when she was helping me build a wardrobe the other day, building flat-pack furniture often leads to quarrels.

Between her and her boyfriend, the fights usually center around his lacking will to read building instructions (she once sent him back to IKEA to check what their bed was meant to look like, as he'd thrown out the instructions).

With J and I, it's of course the reverse, as he likes to look at the instructions for ten hours, then place all the different bits in strategic positions around the room before he starts. I prefer to just build and hope that all the bits are there.

Which I think says something about our outlook on life in general.

But we didn't argue about the bed building, which I guess is a good sign, isn't it?

Instead we had a go at each other simply because he's depressed and fed up, and I'm just fed up.

Then we had very hot make-up sex in our new (and very large) bed, and now I don't understand why we argued.

Anyway, I've been up all night and am longing to actually sleep in the same bed now...

Monday, 22 May 2006


I might have cancer.

I received a letter earlier on today, almost forgot rushing around at work, but now I can't stop thinking about it.

About smear tests from the NHS
"Your recent smear test showed abnormal cell results," it said, signed my GP (who I don't really get on with).

The letter said she's referred me to the local gynecology clinic, but when I called her office, they told me I haven't got a time yet.

Maybe she's just being careful, but I've read up on it, and usually you don't get referred unless the cell changes detected are "serious".

It's funny; I've never really considered my chances of getting cancer as very high. I don't smoke, eat healthily and intermittedly exercise.

I have only ever had unprotected sex with three people; two of them had never had unprotected sex with a woman before and the third was thorougly screened before intercourse. In other words, I don't really see where I'd have gotten the HP virus from if I do have it.

I guess it's not something you think about, really. It's not really dawned on me yet, and I am telling myself there is no need to panic until I know.

Most likely nothing is wrong, and even if something is, it's quite often just left to clear itself up.

When I read the letter, the first thing I though of was my mum. If I were to have to tell her I was seriously ill, I think it would kill her. She lives so far away, and she worries a lot about me, even when I'm healthy.

I'm her favourite, I know it, even though she never says it. Both of my siblings have been quite problematic, and I've always been the one she could rely on.

Strangely, if I was ill, it would almost feel as if I'd failed her.

And J.

He's not feeling very well at the moment; tonight I think all he managed was two episodes of the West Wing, and I'm imagining even that was a bit of an effort.

I don't see how he could support me, he can barely support himself most of the time.

I know that the next few days will be walking along a narrow ledge, occasionally falling off it, each time taking a little longer to climb up, until I know.

Nesting and chickens

First of all, can I just say £10 FOR TWO CHICKEN BREASTS?! ARRRGH!!!

Secondly though, can I just say thanks for all the great advice and encouragement on how to make a relationship last that I received in response to yesterday's post. It's really, really appreciated!

A picture of somewhat cheaper thighs of happy chickens
You should all be invited to our future wedding... When J gets his arse in gear, I mean. But then I'd have to tell you who I am. Oh, the blogger's dilemmas...

Back to the £10 slabs of meat. I mean, implants for my own breasts would probably be cheaper based on a minute-per-minute enjoyment price.

The ridiculousness happened like this.

I woke at about 1000 this morning as IKEA called to say they would make a delivery between 1100 and 1500.

I had invited my friend S over for lunch, but had no food in the house. The IKEA delivery combined with rain (pissing it down outside) and my clever leaving of the bike at work the night before made me decide to go to the local butcher instead of to the further away supermarket to get some chicken for a Caesar salad.

I have walked past this butcher, which loudly advertises its 'Real Meat' afiliation, a million times, but never been in.

I walked in. Three white, middle class people were manning the counter (this should have been my first alarm signal).

I said, could I have two chicken breasts, please.

Two minutes later I stood in my middle class, victorian cottages residential street again, £11.60 poorer (I also bought some breadsticks) and feeling mugged.

OK, so they're happy chickens. OK, so he actually carved them off a carcass as I was watching; they weren't plastic wrapped.

OK, so they ended up tasting really nice, with a real meat texture, not the rubbery flavour of Tesco value chicken.

Still, £10!! Am I stingy or is that ridiculous?! Is £10 really the price for happily free-range reared chicken?

Or is it just a yuppy ploy to make money off people who are too snobby to shop at Waitrose (I dread to think that such people actually exist).

If I had that much money to spend on food, should I not instead maybe donate some more to charity and save a few lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, where I'm sure even a Dutch battery-farmed chicken would price-wise be out of reach for many families?

Does the world really need chickens that are this happy?

And if I was that concerned with animal welfare, should I not stop eating meat altogether?

A brochure the butcher's felt compelled to give me explained that supermarket free range chickens are often kept indoors. My friend S, who is from the countryside (her mum keeps horses and everything) pointed out that chickens indeed like to be kept indoors at night time, due to this little animal called 'fox'.

I picked up my Tesco free range eggs, and they did indeed state that the chickens "were left free to roam outdoors in the daytime".

I'm completely put off going back there ever again. Does that make me a snob, an animal hater or a surly miser?

Judge for yourself by visiting the Real Meat website. It's a bit scary, but you can get an £5 voucher. And it amusingly describes the chicken breast (£11.40 for 400g) as "the most tenderest part of the chicken". Apparently they sued the Beeb once for libel; I would love to know the details of that...

To brighten up my day again, like birthday and Christmas at once, IKEA arrived at my doorstep on time (!) and dumped off a bed, a wardrobe and a dresser.

I had just had lunch with my friend S, J was at work and because the delivery men probably thought they were dealing with a hot lesbian couple (S is blonde and everything) they decided to carry all our stuff upstairs for us.

S and I then had a total blast building furniture, nothing gives satisfaction like banging on a piece of wood with a hammer!

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Keeping it alive

How do you keep a relationship alive?

So now we're living together. With lots of cuddles. Which is nice.

The reading corner I've made for myself (with IKEA furniture) in our new home
As the quote from Buffy goes, "This is how every day should begin, and end, and all the stuff in the middle."

But let's face it, living together is a real romance killer.

Suddenly you no longer have to make an effort to see the other person and they are exposed to all your unsightly non-shagging underwear.

Not to mention there's a million new things to argue about.

Sex is on tap; you can have it at any time, and anywhere, as you're no longer afraid of flatmates walking into the kitchen while you're bent over the kitchen sink, not exactly doing the dishes.

We can make each other orgasm in about 5 min flat.

But that's not the point.

What happened to hours of stealing glances at each other, thinking should we, shouldn't we, what happened to rock hard erections constricted by tight jeans, what happened to making that special effort to wax your legs just for going out to the cinema?

And we've only gone out for a year.

I realise that familiarity breeds boredom, but I don't want it to happen.

I don't want to wake up 20 years from now and realise that yes, I do love my husband, but we spend every single night in front of Newsnight, until one of us falls asleep, and then we go to bed and have sex with the lights off (if that).

What to do? I'm sure it's all about little things... or grand gestures.

Any advice received with thanks.

Saturday, 20 May 2006

J's Girlfriend Eurovision Extravaganza

The Eurovision Song Contest is apparently being exported to the US. What would that be like? A nation that panics at the sight of a woman's nipple during the Superbowl?

Well, if it happens, I will be right here watching it.

In line with my recent tradition of showing pictures of women in compromising positons, I bring you today the Croatian entry to the Eurovision.
For you uninitiated US visitors, I can explain that the Eurovision is an annual cheese-fest where each European country (of which there are now quite a lot) submit a musical entry which is performed live on stage in the country of last year's winner.

After 20-something usually awful songs, the audiences all over Europe get to vote for their favourites via SMS, and the scores from each country are read out at the end of the live show, counting up to a winner.


What happened to this grand institution of TV cheese? It used to be about 15 really bad songs sung by really ugly people, now it's over 20 songs sung by really naked people.

And, of course, now that I live in the UK, Terry Wogan ripping into Fearne Cotton. I can't stand him, ever since I saw him on Children in Need trying to feel up Katie Melua live on TV.

It is quite funny; I quite like torturing myself through the 20 songs, whilst J quite likes watching the vote.

The vote, of course, would be a grand introduction to the political alliances of Europe.

The Scandinavian countries generally all vote for each other. Norway always gives Sweden 12 points (the max), whilst Sweden never gives Norway the top score.

The Former Soviet Union countries all vote for each others, which generally puts them quite high up the list as there are so many of them.

Nobody votes for France or the UK as they not only have crap entries (France insists on singing in French) but have too many colonial skeletons in their closets.

The Eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia countries are too complex to get into.

Israel and Turkey inevitably have awful entries, so despite not having any real enemies in Europe, they never get any points.

And what is Israel doing in the Eurovision anyway? They're not even a European country!!?

So I am wondering how this would work in the US. Nobody would vote for California cause they're all jealous at it. And Texas would be frustrated about not being able to vote for itself.

Although in the end, there is usually one act which is just miles ahead of the others, because it has a smidgeon of originality or something.

[Stop press: FINLAND JUST WON!!]

Finland with their somewhat Satanic rock-inspired act.

See what those Finnish guys look like? Let that be a lesson, Croatia
I mean, even Greece (whose act looks oddly like a cross between Shakira, Madonna and Fearne Cotton) gave them 'douze points' (the French insist scores are read out in both French and English).

And they're not even a Nordic country.

But the intro part of the Finnish band's website reads 'Hellcome'.

They deserved it. Even Wogan agrees.

But that aside, I would just like to say that Bucksfizz and Gina G ruined the Eurovision. And then you gave us Gemini a few years ago. Britons, be ashamed of yourselves... Bring me back to the days of Abba. Please.

But enough now. Got to listen to the Finnish victor's encore. An ugly band playing quite gruesome music. Just the way I like my Eurovision. See you all next year.

Friday, 19 May 2006


There comes a time in every relationship when you find yourself at the steps of a serene, tall building with a long isle you have to walk down, at the end of which your social status and life situation will be forever changed. And there will be a sit-down meal included, surrounded by screaming kids and weird relatives.

Yes, I am of course talking about IKEA.
I apologise for my lack of cyrillic-reading proficiency, but apparently the Russians think IKEA is either sexually arousing or some kind of punishment of women...
Personally, I have always loved IKEA.

I grew up about a 10 min car ride from one, and although I can vaguely remember it opening up, I can't really remember any pre-IKEA days.

My parents own a Poang chair. I had a Billy bookcase in my room. I have built countless pieces of Robin bedroom furniture.

Although of course J and I have been to IKEA many times before together to furnish our respective apartments. But this was our first visit together, to furnish our shared home.

We bought an antique stained bed (antique stained from IKEA, yes, the irony is not lost on J's Gf), a mattress, a (Robin) dresser for J, a wardrobe for me, another large bookcase, a sieve, a smokey blue glass crockery set... and of course meatballs.

And as we were sitting in Brent Cross, with a beautiful view of highly pregnant Sikh women and Carribean rastafaris and hijab'ed Muslim women and Polish plummers rushing towards the building from the parking lot like ants towards a sugar-coated ant-hill, suddenly I felt very uncomfortable.

Suddenly I looked at all the SUVs outside and felt sick to my stomach, as if I was willingly worshipping at the golden calf of consumerism, which I usually try to avoid.

I went quiet. J asked me if something was wrong. I said no. He told me his new therapist isn't necessarily right for him, but that he's getting along really well with his GP.

I nodded. And felt a little ill.

Because not only was I consuming like crazy, and cheap, polluting ply-wood material furniture it was too (because proper pine is too expensive, even in IKEA), but I was consuming to store other things I have been consuming.

I have too many clothes so I need two wardrobes (!!). We have too many books and CDs, so we needed another shelf. And every day I read about AIDS orphans in Russia and raped women in Afghanistan and I do nothing.

On top of all this I was gripped by an unprecedented attack of commitment anxiety. When you buy a bed with someone and have a water meter installed (see, I am green and saving the planet in some ways), that's really It. You either stick it out or face an incredibly painful 'sharing our stuff' session at a future date in a Big Yellow Storage place of your choice.

I need to channel this anxiety and aggression into something useful.

I urge you all to join your nearest Freecycle network unless you already have. It's a contact network for people getting rid of unwanted stuff and people needing it. J and I are getting a hideous but completely useable dining table from someone there.

There, I did something good for humanity.

As for the aggression, well, the furniture is getting delivered on Monday. Give me a Philips screwdriver, a huge hammer and bring it on.

And the anxiety? I am hoping a good shag later can take care of that...

Monday, 15 May 2006

Turf War

Our House, but in my head it's still My House.

Maybe moving in together is all about territorialising.

OK, so I know it's
J has a lot of stuff. He's never lived away from England for more than a year, his mum loves him to bits and has a very large garage.

His slight OCD/depressive tendencies are also manifested in hoarding; he would literally keep stuff he hadn't read because he felt guilty about reading them.

And now J, and his OCD collection of Stuff, has come to live with Me.

This includes:
  • Every issue of a very bulky weekly sports magazine since 1987 (I joke you not)
  • Biographies on football players I've never even heard of and whose hair styles indicate that my ignorance is due to them being at the height of football fame before I was even considered by my parents
  • Numerous literary reference books (by a man who never, ever, finishes a work of fiction)
  • A gazillion classical music CDs
  • Three books about sports in the Soviet Union
  • At least three different magazines and fanzines that he never reads but still subscribes to out of sentimentality, dating back to mid-80s
  • Approximately 400 video tapes of current affairs programmes and romantic films

Which is fine by me, because we've got an extra bedroom which I've already dedicated to his stuff.

I don't like living spaces to be cluttered; I grew up in the earli 90s and am a firm believer in minimalism and things being kept out of sight.

He was beginning to put stuff away yesterday on the shelf that I built with my own two hands on Saturday; I was of course done unpacking about a week ago.

I don't own much stuff. I think stuff weighs you down. I've lived in a handful of different countries over the past ten years, and given away most of the things I accumulated each time I moved.

So although my literary and music collection only fills up about 1/3 of a small book shelf (and that's including my PlayStation games), it does actually mean that I get to keep 100% of my posessions in the 'shared' living areas...

Thinking about this and watching him lovingly sort his numerous fanzines into piles, I felt a bit guilty, as if I'm not really wanting to share the house with him.

Then again, I don't want 27 foreign-language dictionaries in the living room either, as I know who will be the one to dust them. My policy that only stuff you actually read, are intending to read or that other people frequently borrow should be on display.

But maybe I'll allow the presence of about 50 of the Liverpool FC videos or something. As a concession. Because that's how nice I am...

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Ill men and new therapists

Good news! My poor depressed boyfriend has a new therapist! Officially! And it's not me!

If you feel ill, take a pill...
He went to see this very nice woman nearby and she offered a choice of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic work and cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Which J happily went for "because it's the most economical option" and because we both agree that sitting around and feeling the pain doesn't really do much for him.

I am not expecting everything to be fixed overnight, but it's just heartbreaking to see someone you love constantly feeling sad, and I am hoping that with concrete goal setting and support he can start allowing himself to feel better.

Right. Now that I got the 'see, I'm a caring girlfriend' part out of the way, can I just say, men are such cowards when it comes to illness!

At the moment, for instance, J has a cold. And he's whining complaining 24-7 and eating paracetamol like it's going out of fashion.

OK, so he has a runny nose, slightly sore throat, sneezing and a congestion-related headache, but no temperature and it's not as if it's a proper flu or he can't swallow or anything.

To his credit he's doing quite well with the feeling ill-thing, so well that I've refrained from demanding sex as I usually would and am as a result unbearably horny and checking out every guy I pass on the way in to work and back.

But I don't get it. What is it with men that they have to lie down and feel sorry for themselves as soon as a little virus strikes them?

I know it's been said many times before, but I swear, if men had periods, then either a) something would have been invented to eradicate them with no side effects or b) the world would grind to a complete halt 1/4 of the time while they huddled next to the hot water bottle at home, living off ibuprofen.

My dad's the same. If I have a hangover, he's all "hero at night, hero in the morning" (meaning if you're drinking you have to be tough enough not to let on that you're in pain the next day)at me.

But if he's been out, he'll get up early, yes, but then crawl back into bed for a 'nap' at about 1130 in the morning, and any noise completely sets him off because "his head hurts".

Not to mention if he sees blood. Any kind of bleeding, even from a scratch, and he'll basically feel faint and be forced to leave the room.

Needless to say my mum had to shoulder most of the responsibility for first aid when we were kids. How embarrassing...

Maybe I feel annoyed about it because I'm secretly bitter about not allowing myself to complain when I feel ill.

I had no sick days at all through elementary school, and then there was only one single time when my mum had to pick me up in her car at 14 because my period pain was so bad my legs were literally buckling underneath me.

I hardly ever call in sick.

J, to his credit again, doesn't call in sick, but sometimes I think it's just because he knows more sympathy will be given in the office than at home when I'm really patient and chicken-soup making for about 2 days, then give up and tell him to stop whining.

Is this kind of cowardice something I can conspire with the CBT-psychologist to fix, or do I just have to resign myself to the fact that small headache = large complaints?

Friday, 12 May 2006

The end of the ice age?

Not to be mistaken for a reference to the eponymous animated masterpiece, of course.

No, I'm referring to the long-running nuclear standoff between me and J's mother.

Maybe just an ice cube compared to the world's iceberg of troubles, but a melting ice cube nonetheless
She served me pork on my first visit because she though I was Muslim, and that pretty much set the tone of communication between us.

Every advance I've made to be friendly has been brutally rebuffed, until now.

After talking to my friend on the phone about it, and being down in tears to J because I was so upset, I decided to reply to her latest curt email with a longish, friendly email pretending I hadn't heard what she'd said.

And wonder of all wonders, I got a friendly email back!

I'm amazed. Lost for words. Don't know what to say.

But it feels good. I feel kind of as if I've won a battle by being nice, in a very Polyanna-esque way.

She still naturally insists on having everything done on her territory (ie. at her house), but I figured that her friendly reply was a good step from giving me crap Christmas presents with the sales tags still blatantly on.

Otherwise, J and I are duly installing ourselves in the new house, so far things have gone more smoothly than I expected, possibly because he's been a bit under the weather this week and has let me do things my way for the most part. And the weather is good. And my friends are bringing gardening tools over tonight so I can whip the garden into shape. Live is not bad, people!

Have an excellent weekend, and may Liverpool win the FA cup final... Mostly for the sake of J's clinical depression, of course.

Monday, 8 May 2006

Home, sweet home!

In so many ways that this is either going to be a long post, or I'll have to split it over several days...

I just got back from the town where I grew up, it was one of the best weekends I've had in... I don't know how long.

I think people get smellier as they get older, but it was still great
My favourite band ever were playing, my cute ex had got me a ticket and we went to see it with our shared best friend from back then, his girlfriend and his brother with partner as well.

And they rocked! You know how, sometimes when you haven't seen a band in ages, you think they might be somewhat of a disappointment, but they weren't.

The town's tennis hall has never seen anything greater. Or as the singer of the band said twice during the evening, "Bjorn Borg never had this much fun." How true.

Afterwards, we had a few more drinks with one of my closest girlfriends who just happened to be in town for a job interview, it had gone ridiculously well, so there was much to celebrate.

We talked about the previous gig we went to with the same band, where they had to pause the concert to strap the speakers to the concrete pillars in the room to keep them from tipping over due to the floor bending under the weight of people jumping up and down.

My friend and I agreed that my ex (who is also her ex) is still gorgeous.

Then we got a cab home at 230 in the morning because we're now older and she had a flight at 0815 to get to work the next day.

There is something completely wonderful about people you've known for decades, where even if you don't see them for a whole year (which is the case with my ex), they still know you and it just feels comfortable to be around them. I wouldn't swap even one of them for a hundred new and exciting friendships.

Last night, my ex picked me up and took me to his 'new' flat (only new to me, he's been there for a year), rented a video I liked, bought me my favourite crisps, sweets and soda and we pigged out on the sofa. It's funny, his flat smells exactly like his parents' house used to, he must use the same detergents, or something.

View from my ex's flat; the big tanker or whatever is especially romantic
And I still love him. Not in the way I love J, as in I want to be with him, but I love him because he knows what crisps I like and always remembers what films actors have been in when it bugs me in the middle of films.

And because he trusts me completely with stories of unfortunate one-night stands, how he still misses his ex, and so on.

But mostly I just love him because it's so good to know that no matter what I do or say, no matter how many boyfriends I bring home who are rude or jealous or pure crazy, he'll always be there and buy me sweets and tell me that anyone who doesn't want me is an idiot (thereby including himself, as he was the one who dumped me).

And then he drove me home and kissed me on the cheek and promised me we'll see each other soon (which we probably won't).

J picked me up this morning at the airport and it was lovely to see him again as well. But sometimes when I say "home, sweet home" I don't think I really want to think about where I'm referring to.

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Rebuffed peace advance

OK, so I'm sometimes a bitch.

But mostly I'm nice. Yesterday, I decided to send J's infamous mother a conciliatory email with pictures of J from our easter vacation.

Why is this picture fitting?

a) Because I'm fighting the elements all on my own

b> Because it shows an icy climate
I sent her a bunch of links of pictures posted on the blog I maintain with my friends, along with a couple of paragraphs of "how are you", "hope you had a good Easter" and "I hope to see you soon" and other pleasantries.

What do I get back?

An email that said: Thank you very much.

And her initials.

I'm sorry, as I said I know I'm being bitchy, but I really do think that verges on a rude brush-off. She's retired and probably spends half her day online; how much would it really cost her to write "I hope you are well" or something?

It's just incredible. My brain can't understand how it's possible for someone to just decide like that not to like someone else.

Every time we haven't been in touch for a while, I kind of forget and approach her with this kind of casually friendly move, and each time it's brutally rebuffed. It's quite depressing.

Of course I also feel sorry for her because she must be quite an insecure and bitter individual to want to act that way, but when I know that she dislikes me mostly because I don't read 'intellectual' literature and I don't take an obsessive interest in opera and ballet, I really am lost for words.

Now, of course, I'm also feeling mildly paranoid about having sent her links to my blog, as it contains not few items ranting about her being rude to me (which she of course vehemently denies ever happening); despite it being in a foreign language her seeing it would, one could say, be mildly unfortunate.

Although I've now reinstalled a hitcounter so I can monitor any UK visitors... Did I mention the part about being a little paranoid?

So how can I make her like me? The only way I can see is to become a complete doormat and just let her be her condescending and snobby self towards me.

So far she's criticized the university I went to (not Oxbridge), my drinking habits (I don't drink enough), my touchiness (I took it quite personally when she said she thought J and I were completely incompatible), my cultural background (she's scared that I'll take J away from her and move home, which I fully intend to do) and my unculturedness (I listen to music with guitars and mostly read contemporary literary fiction rather than classics).

I know that she is like that to everyone, down to her poor pre-teen nieces, but I still can't get my head around how to cope with it.

I come from a non-confrontational family where everyone is largely prepared to make an effort to like everyone else, where the slogan has always been 'people are different but we're all equally valuable as human beings', and I'm afraid this is hampering my understanding of her attitude.

I've had many boyfriends and their parents have mostly loved me, so I know it's not me.

Any advice? Meanwhile, I think I'll reply to that email and say something else nice... Probably invite her over for dinner in our new home; maybe say my parents want to meet her when they come over to visit (my mum is already terrified of her).

I am obviously a bit of a masochist when it comes to in-laws.

Monday, 1 May 2006

By any other name

I crossed the road to unlock my bike last night after a restaurant visit and saw that someone had left a single red rose in the spokes.

Not an expensive one; the kind sold by street vendors from a bucket to drunken couples. It was still wrapped in its cellophane stapled together with a single staple.
...would smell as sweet
I had been out for a bite to eat with a few friends, and because it was on the way home from J's office where he was working late, he called me as he was leaving to ask if I wanted him to walk me home.

Now when J's feeling down, as is the case at the moment, he never usually feels like talking to people, especially not people he doesn't know.

Even at good times he gets quite nervous around groups of people; at parties you can usually find him in the garden trying to catch his breath.

So we arranged on the phone that he'd phone me when he was outside.

Unusually, thought, he made an extra effort when he got there, and actually came inside to talk to people before we left.

So when I came outside and saw the flower, I naturally assumed it was a sweet gesture from him.

I tucked the flower away in my bag and caught up with J, who had proceeded on foot down the street with another girl who was going in the same direction as us.

When she'd left, I asked him about the flower.

I didn't leave you a flower, he said, and by the genuine expression of pain on his face (ie. guilt for not having thought of doing that) I could tell he was being serious.

So the mystery remains... Who left the rose on the bike?

It's even a man's bike, which largely eliminates the idea of it being some kind of eccentric man going around making romantic gestures to strange women.

For some reason I can't imagine it was left there by a girl... But maybe I'm being sexist?

If you, the rose leaver, read this, then thanks. The rose is now happily sitting in a plastic bottle on top of my stereo.

Or, less encouragingly, do I have new stalker?

With J and I, things are still tough. We had a long talk yesterday which managed not to end with one of us in tears, but it's obvious to me that things can't go on like this without one of us (or both) losing the plot completely.

His GP told him to keep a diary for three weeks, but the wait list for therapy is 4-6 months. He'll probably go private instead. It's just a relief to know that something is being done.

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