Category Archives: Uncategorized

The rise of the bullyhags … they ain’t pretty and they know it

It’s quite astonishing the truths you can uncover when you’ve lived as an adult for a few years. Of course living as an adult doesn’t always equate to your age; my son for example oft displays more maturity in one word than I can eek out of my whole being.

No … living as an adult in my book is recognising life’s lessons for what they are, and not blithely taking the same route, making the same decisions and arriving at the same unsatisfactory conclusions. If it didn’t work out last time the chances are fairly high that it won’t next. Being “grown up about it” means walking away on occasion, taking a risk without being consumed with fear and seeing that the hurtful actions that others display towards you is actually testament to their own inner demons, not yours.

Surprisingly I’ve witnessed some pretty hostile behaviour towards me since my marriage broke down over three years ago, and it still leaves me scratching my head as to why that might be. What makes it even more baffling to my little brain is that it has for the most part come from other women who I’ve come to call (affectionately, you understand …) the bullyhags. Surprising, baffling …. sad and grossly disappointing. You kind of hope your own gender will be batting for you … supporting you through the good times and bad. And generally when times are bad they will support you, but there comes occasion when your day starts to brighten that a few seem intent on spoiling it.

The bullyhags will offer up a few choice sharp and sarcastic words, some deliberate attempts to freeze you out of conversations and relationships and display an underlying inference that moves are afoot to undermine your happiness.

I recall being bullied first time round by the very unrefined Susan Smith when I was thirteen because she’d heard on the grapevine that I had taken a liking to her beau, the even more unrefined Mark Firth. I should point out that I never use real names in this blog unless (I’ve just decided) they have at some point displayed the characteristics of pond life. In this case I deem my decision to name and shame wholly justified.

And so having my polo mints snatched on a daily basis because I had embarked on a crush that was the first of many unsavoury repetitions cast me in the role of the bullyhag’s future victim.

The only good thing about being intimidated in such a manner when you’re a child is that it’s done in a very obvious and visible way. Other children witness it and there can be no doubt as to what’s going on.

As an adult it can be a very different affair. It’s often done subtly, at close quarters and quite viciously. There’s often no warning nor is there an obvious reason why the perpetrator has selected you as their would-be prey. As I said … baffling.

I was a little girl who spent her entire childhood trying desperately to please and impress her father so it comes as a bit of a blow to think that there are people out there quite willing to take you down just because they don’t like the cut of your jib. And for no reason other than that.

Friends have said this is often the work of a jealous mind which always amuses me. Given that some offenders have been in secure relationships with no obvious problems financial or otherwise, I wonder how they think my life feels at 3am in the morning when I have tossed and turned in my bed wondering how my bills were going to get paid and what my future held. And I wonder how they think it feels when I look at my son and worry that I’m letting him down and not giving him the childhood he deserves. But then again, given that the bullyhags are adults I’m sure they take all that into consideration before they launch their subversive venomous attacks.

Put quite simply it appears the bullyhags like to select victims that they deem “getting a bit too big for their boots”, someone who may appear to be making progress and who just needs to be taught a lesson. I guess you only have to acknowledge the column inches in the newspapers given over to tales of woe, tragedy and torment to appreciate that bad news will outsell good any day of the week. We just don’t seem comfortable with the nice stuff. That seems for me to be one of the biggest tragedies of all.

Clearly because I’ve written a whole post dedicated to the bullyhags I’m admitting that I do get affected by it all .. but less so these days simply because I don’t have to wait for the bell to go at four o’clock to make my escape.

Inferiority is a state that’s much easier to fend off when you live your life as an adult.

Was that the bell?

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Filed under divorce, Life, love and the universe, Men, parenting, relationships, sex, Uncategorized, Women, Women in business

It has to mean something … otherwise it will be blogged, drawn and quartered.

I really have no idea where time goes … it seems only two days ago I was discussing with a friend how I felt I needed to leave this blog alone for a while due to the fact that I believed it was getting a tad repetitive and that I thought I was starting to sound like I had as much luck with men as the village spinster (although arguably my memoirs might make for better reading). In fact it has been over a month since I last posted.

So in effect I have done just that. I kicked off my heels, cracked open the gin and took a blogging holiday. And that has to all intents and purposes been fine, except for the fact that I’ve felt the urge to blog about a couple of incidents but couldn’t for two rather pertinent facts. The first is that I must now have one of the most public personal lives that doesn’t belong to a celebrity (of my own making, granted) and the second being that a friend informed me recently that my candid approach to recording my take on the opposite sex could have a detrimental effect on my search for a meaningful relationship.

And that, ladies and gentleman, has been the sum total of my month away from these blogging shores. I now know what I’m looking for.

A meaningful relationship. A relationship that means something. Not marriage. Not co-habitation even. It just needs to “mean” something.

People oft think I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet on the one hand and a ruthless user of men on the other. I never worked out how those two married up  but apparently it is possible; after three or four Babychams laughing at ridiculous jokes I can turn into the female Don Corleone of the dating world. I take no prisoners you see. All wrongdoers are exposed with a mere tap-tap-tap on my rather slinky Mac keyboard.

And so they should be! I’m not entirely sure that I’ve been specific about the criteria by which I judge my dating experiences in terms of suitability for “outing” them Debsy-style, but it’s really quite simple. Men that act like arses will have their arses exposed, and to clarify, “act like arses” means at some point they have treated me (and probably many like me) pretty shoddily.

I never use real names, but if they were to read the post, they would know to whom I’m referring. Job done.

My friend (of the candid approach comment) informed me that a man would need to have “balls of steel” to get into a relationship with me, knowing about this blog and my tendency to whip out an exposé quicker than you could say “second date”. For my part I found that a bit harsh ….. but then we always do see onlooker’s views through sterile binoculars don’t we? In essence I found his “balls of steel” comment quite funny … or was I merely pleased with the fact that I was starting to appear formidable in the dating arena? In retrospect I’m not sure either interpretation is desirable.

The unfortunate fact is that recording my experiences in this blog have become my way of laying them to rest. Every time someone has told me how funny they thought a particular entry about a disastrous date was, I’ve jumped up and down on the grave of the memory of said incident, knocked back an imaginary martini, thrown the glass at the wall and screamed “next!”

We all need to review, investigate, understand and conclude. My conclusions just happen to involve sharing my findings with about seven thousand others on Twitter and Facebook. What the heck’s formidable about that?

So. Meaningful. That’s the sum of it. And by meaningful, I mean just that.

Welcome back friend.

I was joking about the Babychams by the way.

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Filed under attraction, blogging, dating, Facebook, internet dating, Life, online dating, relationships, sex, Twitter, Uncategorized, Women

Don’t tell me to grow up … this is as far as I go

A little while ago I saw a discussion on TV about people’s mental age and after giving it the once over to ensure it wasn’t simply more garbage plumping out daytime TV, the thought crossed my mind that I could well have an explanation here for ongoing sillyness that those around me have to endure.

When I mentioned this to my father he too indicated in familial fashion that he thought it was rubbish, until I pointed out to him that my brother (who is three years my junior) in practice acts fifteen years older than me. At least.

My dear old dad had to concur that it was true; I am still a little girl (my words and not his, but I’m sure the thought ran through his head as he sighed in accepted resignation)

Only yesterday I visited my “older” brother and we took our offspring to the park. During the visit said bro shot me a glance that said he was mildly embarrassed when I got my swing to at least eight feet off the ground at it’s peak. The only thing my biological age has done is instilled a fear in me that now stops me trying to do the 360º.

And then this very morning my five year old boy caught me with my hand in the Maltesers bag at breakfast time. I smiled nervously at him explaining that it was OK for Mummies to have chocolate instead of weetabix, at which point he muttered … “Oh Mummy …. sort yourself out”

I have to say I found his middle-aged approach to my perceived weakness a tad worrying, until I realised that it could actually work well for the both of us. I’ve long since known that I need the voice of reason whispering in my ear on occasion, I just didn’t think it would be coming from a person quite so tiny.

Our teatime dancing sessions that more often than not involve gyrating to Girls Aloud have become legendary. I rarely can wait for the ice cream to have been devoured before I’m up shimmying to Can’t Speak French; we can now perform the cheeky wiggle with such panache that you’d think we’d choreographed it personally for Cheryl and co.

This is all standard parental practice you might think, until I admit to the fact that these dance frenzies take place all the time … even when I’m alone. I’m guessing I’m possibly around the nine year old mark, so perhaps I still have some jurisdiction over a five year old.

I think little Debsy only came out to play about two years after said son was born. I really was a proper grown up until then; you need to be in order to select the drugs you want in the labour ward.

So what drawbacks does this have in practice?

It can make me an incorrigible tease; I’ll push and push until I’m staring over the precipice mouthing “oooops ….”

And coming from a family of “adults” (save for my auntie who is around the same “age” as me), I frequently get cast as the “lost cause”. I do tend to find that dipping my head and flashing my eyes gets me out of most bothersome situations though, along with extra helpings of cake.

Of course, the grown up version of acceptable cheekiness is flirting. Oh, don’t we love that? Once you have the grown-up attributes to drive as fast as you want down the suggestive highway, it’s the most fun you can have that’s legal, calorie-free and non-taxable. And when you add a childish predisposition for high jinks it can add a propulsion that leaves standard interaction stalling on the start line.

Whatever the true reason is for my apparent refusal to grow up, you can be sure of one thing…

Tea will be late tonight due to last minute dress-rehearsals of “Love Machine” taking place in a dining room near you NOW …

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Filed under dating, flirting, Life, love and the universe, Men, parenting, relationships, Uncategorized, Women

A woman’s assets …. her fortune or her downfall?

A short while ago I touched on this subject in “Why women should wear lipstick ..”, but having had a tongue-in-cheek conversation earlier via Twitter with a friend concerning his visits to certain “establishments” in Prague, I felt it was time to give the hornet’s nest a shake once more.

For the benefit of my inter-continental cousins, some European cities have a reputation for clubs that feature attractive women, specialising in the artistic removal of of their clothes. Some clubs, I’m told, don’t even bother with the actual disrobing at all, they just go straight to the main course skipping the starter entirely. In any event, there is much female flesh on display and proportionate male cash is flashed in appreciation. Men flock from all corners of Europe to these cities and maintain that it is continental beer that is the lure of such destinations, but detailed documentaries on Sky have informed us that beer is but an additional benefit …

Over the years I have met women who have turned quite an impressive shade of purple when the subjects of strip clubs, lap dancing or porn have been discussed; they saw the subject as an affront to women and the source of discrimination against the fairer sex. I have to confess that during my earlier years I was one of those women. Why should I battle in my chosen profession to be regarded only for how good I looked in a pencil skirt by my male superiors?

Gradually I realised that raging against the subject didn’t make it go away …. the truth, girls, is this …. men like to look at women. Some even confess they can’t help it. It’s how they are wired. It matters not that the four-minute warning may have sounded, if there’s a bouncy cleavage on show, that’s where a man’s attention will be focused. It’s a biological fact and the sooner we girls accept it, the more relaxed we’ll be.

Now I’d imagine that some men may be applauding that sentiment, but not so fast …. I’m not done yet, gentlemen.

If men have an acknowledged weakness for the female form, then there is going to be a whole lot of exploitation going on. Take the artistic and tasteful flesh pots of Prague and the like … a woman moves her unclothed curves in front of a man in such a way that he reaches straight for his wallet and offers her the contents. Who’s being exploited? Market forces … where there’s a demand, Peter Stringfellow et al are seizing the opportunity.

So let’s move this on a stage …. some time ago a male friend told me that men like to communicate in a no-nonsense, black and white fashion. This is, by all acounts, why they get annoyed when women answer “nothing’ to the perennial favourite question “what’s the matter?”. You can see their point here, girls, can’t you?

So … let’s take the need for black and white communication and match it up to a man’s desires for all things fleshy and female.

Picture the scene, ladies …. your man is at work and you call him on his mobile.

“Hello?”

“Hello darling …. I just wanted to fill you in on this evening’s programme. You’ll be home around seven, yes? …

… Well, when you get home I’ll be wearing that dress you like … the one that is a little too low cut at the front? We’re going to then eat your favourite slow-roasted lamb for dinner and I’m going to rub my foot up and down your leg, I’m going to giggle like a school girl at your jokes and play with my hair suggestively..

…then for dessert, I’m going to sit on your lap and spoon-feed you with home-made chocolate mousse, licking my fingers in between … after which, we will disappear upstairs and do what nature intended us to do ….

When we’re finished darling, I’m going to explain why we need to book a holiday and I’d really, really like you to agree with me”

At what point do you think he’ll stop listening? It’s black and white. No tricks, no guessing games.

Of course there will be a few hard-bitten men out there spitting in anger at this rather obvious attempt to manipulate a man’s ‘weakness’, so in answer to those gents I would say this …..

You should have said no to the poison apple.

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Filed under Life, love and the universe, Men, relationships, sex, Uncategorized, Women

“A world without men” ….. but who would we dance with?

And so, finally the day has dawned. This week scientists revealed they’ve finally mastered the art of making human sperm from a single flake of skin; the announcement by “scientists at Newcastle University and the Northeast England Stem Cell Institute that they had created human sperm from embryonic stem cells” has naturally whipped up a bit of a storm for all sorts of valid ethical reasons.

I willingly admit that I’m as guilty  as the next girl of cracking all the ensuing jokes that come with this story (oops! there was another one ….) ….. “We may be able to make our own sperm, but can they mow the lawn?” ……. “Will manufactured sperm ring you the next day?” The story has such great  potential that it literally has grown it’s own tail and swum off in all sorts of directions.

Aside from all the obvious concerns that come with “baby-building” in the frightening mode of Professor Frankenstein, the most commonly discussed question I’ve come across is … what do women think to a world without men? Apparently we’re potentially weeks away from being able to buy a batch of human sperm at our local supermarket and it’s looking like your days could be numbered guys. 

So a world without men …. how would women really feel about that? Clearly from a procreational aspect if we can order in the ingredients now we literally could wave goodbye to the middle man … but Mother Nature is far cleverer than that, isn’t she? Yes girls, it’s time to admit it …. we do actually quite like men. OK. We like men a lot. 

What on this earth is more enjoyable that old metaphorical favourite … “the Dance”? You know the one I mean … the one where a man and a woman circle each other, eyes locked, intent on their next move and monitoring their partner’s response as they become enraptured and mesmerised by each other. In order to continue to populate the species Mother Nature ensured that we have an overwhelming and deep rooted fascination for the other that doesn’t evaporate at the onset of a tiff over the who should have control of the remote.

Yes guys, we women love “the Dance”, especially when we engage in our own unique rhythm. This must be true as I love the Dance more than ever now that I have my child. I have no plans to have any more children given the advancement of my years but I certainly intend to take a fair few more spins out on the floor. 

One slightly disturbing concern at this slightly Orwellian prospect is …. how do you protect men from unjust paternity lawsuits?

I make no secret of my love for Johnny Depp for example, but I am still the right side of sensible to the point that I wouldn’t go on the hunt for some of his house dust in the hope that I could create my own little long-haired gorgeous person. Quite frankly, anyone who could contemplate doing anything of that ilk is just missing the point of what fancying Johnny Depp is all about, and needs to revisit the scene in “Chocolat” where he tells Juliette Binoche that he will “come ’round sometime and get that squeak out of your door”. The Dance with Johnny Depp ….. you can forget your test tube, thanks very much.

So gentlemen, this girl’s verdict is that you are more than safe. Mother Nature created women to be very tolerant creatures …. we’re the ones that endure childbirth when all is said and done. And football, cricket and golf.

But you would be wise to remember one thing …. underestimate the power of a woman at your peril. Especially when she has a flake of your skin in her pocket.

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Filed under Life, love and the universe, Men, middle age, relationships, Uncategorized, Women

I’m breathless ….. but not in the way Madonna was.

My friends, I stand before you today a woman concerned, nay, alarmed at the gradual disappearance of punctuation from this glorious language of ours. It appears that the comma, colon and semi-colon have reached the endangered species list, and the full stop isn’t too far behind them. Add to this the growing epidemic that is “text speak” and we are, I fear, witnessing the destruction of the written word as we know it. This of course is great news for people who never fared well in their English lessons, but those of us who bathed and luxuriated in the formation of our prose are appalled.

I ask you to take up arms and annihilate this silent enemy that resides amongst us, thanks to text messaging and the social networking revolution. Do not succomb to it’s seductive ways! Clasp your thesaurus close to your breasts and scream “get thee behind me!” to the phenomenon that lulls you into laziness and, quite frankly, makes you look a bit of a nerd unless you happen to be sixteen.

The capitalisation of letters is getting scarcer by the day and increasingly abbreviated “text-speak” seems to be the preferred mode of written communication. I can’t quite work out if people have grown so languid that they can’t be bothered to reach for the shift key, or maybe it’s related to self-esteem …. as in “i am not worthy, i am not the big ‘I am’ ”

“LMAO what causes this tirade?” I hear you cry …. (I have to confess I am quite prone to LOL, and quite frequently LMAO, too  😉 )

Well, a few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a chap giving me a potted history of his relationships (and the chap concerned is divorced and in his mid-forties so let’s describe his history as “involved” … not unlike my own, in fact). The message in question measured fifteen centimetres on my screen so the fact that it was “involved” made it “lengthy”. 

At no point did said chap use a capital letter or any punctuation, nor did he pause to break his tale up into paragraphs. 

Consequently I believe I missed the detail of the last two significant relationships he’d endured through feeling compelled to speed to the end so that I could take a breath. I have to give him credit for the fact that he had skillfully injected pace into his story. I, on the other hand, felt like the oxygen had been mysteriously sucked out of my office.

When I mentioned some time ago to someone that good grammar and spelling were  of such important to me that I believed it made me incompatible with certain men, he replied “maybe you’d have better luck with men if you lowered your standards”. Once you see past the obvious hilarity of this statement the sad reality sets in that our standards are dropping so low that we will need to scoop them up out of the gutter at some point soon. If we can be bothered.

And if you use Twitter you are limited to one hundred and forty characters, so embarking on a roll about a particular subject isn’t an option. Don’t think of gathering pace and working up to a peak because ….. your text box will turn red to advise you that your Tweet is now a long-winded Twarble so you’d better cut it back. Consequently you see many brief messages like “ice cream, iPhone, iTweet” which are brief, punchy …. and totally banal. 

In conclusion, I suspect this all makes me quite anal …. but not in the way Madonna was. No wonder I’m single. LMAO.

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Filed under Life, Men, middle age, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Once upon a time …

I suspect I am like most singletons of a “certain age” who have all been in and out of more relationships than we would have liked. 

Looking back to when I was a little girl I would see my parent’s seemingly rock-solid marriage and believe that was what life had in store for me too. A white wedding in my twenties to a man my father approved of, two children (a girl and a boy, naturally) and a job that took second place to my husband’s successful and blossoming career. 

We would holiday twice a year (once in Europe, and then further afield), live in a large detached house in a desirable English suburb and the biggest problem I encountered would be how I managed to fit in three visits to the health club every week.

It hardly seems necessary to state that life rarely gives you what you think you’re going to get.  I suspect in my case that my staunch refusal to accept the status quo and to constantly be seeking my version of fulfilment is what initiated a very different journey for me. 

Writing it all down (whatever “it” happened to be at the time ..) has always been therapeutic for me. My last blog tended to centre on my then relationship with a man that refused to yield to my charms. Well, he did yield as I recall … quite a lot actually …  just not as completely as I hoped.

He maintained we would have never worked out as we were entirely different, which was certainly true. In my fanciful little head I convinced myself that our differences didn’t matter; to think I could have believed Miss Incurable Romantic and Mr Distant Cynic would ever have been an item for longer than three minutes seems ridiculous now, but it kept me entertained and it fed my blog (which is still live at http://www.gettingbackontop.blogspot.com/ )

So, when it comes to relationships, a measure of realism is needed methinks.

I always thought realism to be overrated.

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