Archive for July, 2007

One of my addictions!

It’s amazing how easily we come to rely on technology and don’t really notice how much we take it for granted until it’s no longer there. I got an email from Best Friend today; she had been silent all weekend, which had been odd. She had been looking after 5 children and so I had been expecting desperate texts from her, yet…nothing. When I got into work there was an email saying that the little people had dropped her mobile into the washing up water, so now she had no mobile and, worse, no numbers!! We are in the process of sorting all of it out, but she admits to feeling lost without her phone.

I find it hard to manage without my mobile and hate not being able to contact people. It’s not as though I’m always getting calls or texts, but as soon as I find I’m not in signal range I get all panicky. I’m the same with the internet and emails. I have several email accounts at home, my main one that friends use and then other ones connected to various things on the web. On the rare occasions I can’t get online to check my mail I feel a bit odd and as if something is missing. But there are times that I thing it’s getting out of hand. The one day I stopped and thought was when I left the house carrying my laptop, checking I’d got both mobiles (my own and the work one) and turning my ipod on! As much as I love technology even I thought it was a bit too much.

Is there anyone under the age of 25 who remembers the old word processors, passing notes in class at school instead of texting, receiving a hand written letter from a friend, address books you have to write in and seeing an old fashioned dial landline that wasn’t a statement of retro chic!

As much as I sometimes think it’s all a bit too much, I can’t stop myself from eyeing up the latest mobile, feeling awe at how much they can cram into such a small thing and wanting the next, more advanced shiny new toy. I love the ping that says I have mail, the beep of a text coming through and the little lights winking at me when I turn the computer on.

Anyone else for Technoholics Anonymous…


Two things a girl should love?

When will I learn not to subject myself to the shopping centre on a Saturday? Each time I say I will not go back on a Saturday, but then I do! After work today I went up to get Mr Playmate’s birthday present. Though there were the same things to annoy me as last time I found new things to get irate about, and I didn’t even have a hangover! Other people, they drive me mad. Now, I know that many people like to wander around a shopping centre on the weekend, window shopping, meeting friends and generally enjoying themselves, but, oh my god!, why they hell can’t they get out of the way!

There I was, trying to end the hideous experience as quickly as possible but kept being thwarted by groups of people taking their own sweet time. What’s really selfish is that a large group will spread out across the whole of the walkway, you can’t get past them! Is this some new form of torture? Are they paid by someone to do this, maybe by a large retailer, forcing people to slow down and look at their shops? Surely that many people cannot be so unaware of others, they must hear the sighs and pleas from the people trapped behind them, and yet they do not move. I really think that shopping centres should install a dual carriageway system, just like on the roads. That way, you could have the slow lane for people who want to amble around, as if they were at a gallery experiencing great works of art, the Sunday Drivers of the shopping world so to speak. That would leave the fast lane for the formula one shopper’s, who know what they want and where to get it and are not going to tolerate being inched around some never ending system of tinny music and bad lighting. I wonder who I need to propose that to?

In other news, Poetry Man has sent me the biggest bouquet of flowers I have ever seen, they fill two vases! He says that they are a thank you for supporting him over the last few weeks. The problem is that they are just too over the top. He is lonely and has had an emotional crisis (unrequited love, never easy!) that he has been talking to me about. He never mentions friends, so I think I might be his only one. Poetry Man is a sensitive soul, goes for long walks, writes poetry and generally tortures his soul with life angst. It also appears that he’s into over the top gestures! A thank you to a friend (especially not a close friend) is not an expensive bunch of flowers. Stupidly I told Mr Playmate about this, who is taking great delight in taking the piss out of me constantly. What makes this worse is that this is the first bouquet anyone has ever sent to me. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful and look lovely in my lounge, but my first bouquet is from Poetry Man, not the way I wanted it to be!

From cyber to reality.

I think most of us would agree that the internet is basically a good thing. Yes, there are some negative sides to it, but its part of our everyday life. For me, one of the best things is being able to keep in touch with friends I don’t see very often and also for making new friends; usually those in other places that I would never get the chance to talk to in real life. And that’s the thing; the web connects so many people together, so what if you decide that you are going to meet someone from the internet in real life?

I’ve met two people that I originally met on the internet, both were certainly interesting experiences! Enter Mr Chickens and Charm and Mr Takeaway Tears. Mr C and C was a charming, older man who seduced me in real life with pet chickens and home cooking. After talking to him for a while online, I agreed to meet him. He turned out to be very different from his online alter ego, but I was attracted to who I met and ended up having a brief and intense affair, with some of the best sex I’ve ever had. It’s not something I regret at all and have some very fond memories; even now chickens always make me smile.

Mr TT was a very different experience. We met during my short lived dalliance with the world of internet dating. We had been exchanging messages for a few weeks, had spoken on the phone and got on. Our conversations had got more heated and it was clear what we both wanted to happen when we met. He came up to see me for a weekend and off I went to meet him, horny and full of expectations. Yet again, I met a very different person. Instead of the tall, long haired, sexy bloke in all the photos I had seen, I was greeted by the exact opposite. We went for a coffee, where he started to tell me that he felt he was stringing me along as he was still in love with his ex. I wasn’t that concerned by this. On seeing him in reality, I’m afraid that I was instantly turned off and was now wondering what I could do with him. I had decided that even though I was no longer interested, it didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. Throughout the day he regaled me with stories about ex Mrs TT, getting more and more upset, whilst I alternated between trying to both comfort and entertain him. The night ended with us in his hotel room, him sobbing over a Chinese takeaway, my friends only laughing at my ‘rescue me’ texts, whilst I fantasised about escaping through the window rather than swinging from the chandelier!

And that’s the thing about the internet. It gives us a space to be who we want to be, act how we want to act and become our alter ego’s. It also allows us to escape from our own reality and enter someone else’s. Unfortunately, two different realities rarely mix well. I don’t know if I will ever meet anyone from the internet in real life again. If I do, I’ll keep in mind that I don’t really know who’s on the other end of the modem.

On the record.

Funny thing this blogging lark. There are millions of blogs out there, whatever you can think of someone, somewhere has blogged about it. Some people use their blog to keep in touch with friends and family, others blog for anyone who cares to read and then there are those who choose to keep their blog private. It doesn’t seem to matter why or how we do it, we all seem to want to record our thoughts. I guess in some ways, blogging is the same as keeping a diary or writing letters to people, it’s a form of communication and a way of preserving ourselves, saying, we were here.

I used to blog a few years ago. I tended to use it as place to try and sort things out in my head. I guess it was a form of therapy for me, but I didn’t keep it up. I’m not sure why I started up again this time; it’s certainly a different style. Now I seem to blog about things I see or just put down my opinions about things. I don’t really mind if anyone else is reading it, though it would be nice if they were.

I didn’t write an entry last night, I was so tired when I got in from work, but I kept thinking about it in bed and realised that I missed writing something. It would appear that blogging can be an addictive thing. I’m not sure what I’m addicted to, it’s only been just over a week since I started, but I definitely felt funny not having posted an entry. Maybe it’s the basic human need to be heard and have our thoughts considered important.

Just good friends?

I think it was in Harry met Sally that there was the classic line of “men and women can’t be friends, sex always gets in the way.”. So, is this true? I have a few male friends, some closer than others. With the majority of them, sleeping with them would not even cross my mind, it’s never arisen (so to speak!) and I really can’t see a situation where it would. Sure, with a couple of them, we flirt, but it genuinely means nothing. One is happily married and with the other it’s only when we’re both drunk, in neither of these cases does it mean anything at all, apart from a bit of fun. I know both their partners and it’s not an issue.

But there is one. We’re quite close and often see each other just on our own, we do go out in a group too but our friendship is mainly conducted on a one to one basis. Our friendship has evolved into one based on talking about sex and porn and flirting outrageously with each other. Every time we meet there is a lot of sexual innuendo, initiated on both sides. This is the same whether we are alone or in a group. We are very touchy feely with each other and invade each others space a lot. To be honest I think this has just become a habit between us, one that neither of us think that much about and just act as we always do.

Maybe that’s the thing. For the majority of time, sex will not get between male and female friends, certainly nothing beyond innocent flirting. But maybe, every now and again, you become friends with someone of the opposite sex where sex will be an issue between you, acted on or not, unspoken or not. I certainly hold my male friends close to me. Where else can you get an endless supply of a variety of males for different occasions, some protect you, some can act as dates and others can do your DIY.

Two worlds colliding?

How many different sides to you do you have? And do any of them conflict with the other ones? I appear to have two main ones – my work self and non-work self. Though the two do overlap everyday, there are distinct differences between them and they often feel like they conflict with each other.

I work in mental health and spend my working days listening to people and advocating the benefits of establishing routine, not drinking excessively, remaining drug free and preaching the importance of mundane things such as budgeting, eating well, getting enough sleep and so on. To my clients, I am a confident, fair, sorted ‘grown up’ who leads a ‘good’ life. This is not the reality. In my personal life, I lead quite a chaotic existence. I drink far too much, rarely have food in the house, run out of money way before payday and generally get through the day by moving from one addiction to the other.

Don’t get me wrong, in some ways I am responsible, my rent and bills are always paid, I won’t do anything that would seriously compromise either my work or my beliefs but I seem to live a life of a teenager. I’m sure part of this is because I only really have to think of myself each day, I have no kids and I’m single, so I can essentially please myself.

So how do you know which is real? Is it the one that you are the majority of the time? In some ways I am paid to be how I am work and a lot of the time it feels like an act and I often feel hypocritical. I am the same in some ways, no matter what situation I’m in, but that’s more around my sense of humour and my general morals and personal ethics. How do you balance two very different sides to you? And what happens if the two worlds collide?

It’s not a shameful thing.

Loud and proud about your love for it? Guilty pleasure? Or complete turn off? Yep, I’m talking about porn! I love porn and use it on a regular basis, either alone or when I’m with a partner. I don’t want to go into the whole exploitation of women thing (maybe another day, but for the record, I don’t believe that it is exploitative in the majority of cases), I’m more interested in the enjoyment in it and some of the taboo around it.

It seems to be much easier for blokes to admit they like porn. They talk about it with their mates and I’ve had male friends that have watched it together (not in a sexual way, I’m not sure what it’s about – maybe a strange male bonding ritual?). In some ways porn seems to be a rite of passage. I don’t know many people who haven’t seen ‘Debbie Does Dallas’, or found their Dad’s or older brothers stash of porn mags.

Two of my friends know that I use porn – my best mate (female) and a male friend. Oddly, I’m much more open about it with the bloke (we exchange links and have quite a few conversations about it!). I don’t know if this is because it stills seems like a very male orientated pleasure. Hopefully this will change. Anna Span is Britain’s first female porn director, making more female friendly porn. And that’s the good thing about porn, there is something for everyone, whether you want hard or soft or what ever your turn on is, there will be a film about it.

I know several male friends who use porn but their girlfriends either don’t know, or they don’t want to share it with them. This seems to be because the girlfriend either thinks their bloke shouldn’t be doing it and views it as a form of cheating (I’m really not sure how that works, don’t they masturbate or ever fantasise about anyone else? It’s NOT cheating!), or they end up comparing themselves to the female star, assuming this is what their partner finds attractive (yes, of course they do, but they are with you and understand the difference between reality and fantasy, blokes are much more visual than women, who tend to go for a whole package). Sharing porn with your partner can be fantastic and a major turn on. And to be honest, I would have thought the blokes should have been more worried considering the stamina (and size!) of some male porn stars.

So if you haven’t tried porn yet and you’re curious, then give a mainstream film like 9 songs or 9 and ½ weeks a try, then go from there. You never know, you might even like it.