Baggage Allowance


I had to think about whether this was an age related post or not. I usually date men who are older than me. Not by choice, but I tend to liken to relating to somebody who can hold a conversation or can show some interest than what is playing on the screen at the time or who else is in the room. Then for the past several weeks of 2012 Winter, I have had younger men propose to me for some time for a drink, to which I laughed off with close friends, till they asked, “why not?” “Take it as a compliment”- what, that I look young for them?, a private nuisance of my own, that I am fully aware women spend millions on the beauty industry to reverse aging, and here I am on a one-woman mission hide my youthful appearance to be taken seriously. No. They couldn’t possibly be serious? I had thought about it for a few nights, and I’m in a position where I have no desire to rush down the aisle, or to be tied down in desperation to not be alone. I am merely enjoying my own company and anything extra should be the cherry to enjoy things together. “It doesn’t have to be anything serious” as they were saying…

After an exchange of details, and few messages, it becomes very clear in a alarmingly manner, how one moment it is all niceties  and then these young chaps, seem to dump their problems onto you, or it feels the tap has been turned on fully to me, sharing their needs and how they have miserably gone wrong before. Gosh if that isn’t a turnoff for any possible date, what would be? I am a listener its been told, a very good one.

I wanted first drinks to be jolly, fun and light hearted, not have the night turn into a Dear Deidre evening and the chance of some young man downing his sorrows with his head on the cocktail table next to me. I could imagine neighboring city types glancing over wondering who brought in the sobbing child into this establishment, with my face going red.

Thing is I can read in to their problems. Not only what they were sharing with me, but in the way they were acting, the usual not replying and their way of speaking, revealed more than a Jerry Springer show to me. I understood them. They had been hurt by some young crush or long relationship during their years of term time trying to prepare themselves for adult life. Now where was that degree and course about how to handle What To Do When Life Sucks?

Nothing can prepare you for breakups, what to do with the items your ex has left at your place, or how you will be welling when you find your ex’s tee-shirt in the laundry from when you had that perfect summer together. No. Nothing can get you ready, mind or heart. Your friends can support you. A rebound will comfort your ego for 24hours. But nothing can erase the memories or closeness you shared. My friends frequently ask how I do it so easily. Well, not that I am proud of the “Ice Queen” moniker, I simply learn to accept things as they are. This applies to everything in life. Of course I have great expectation and aspirations, dreams and goals. But I also know when to accept, adapt to move on. You have to. Else you will wake up from a tear soaked pillow realising that the world hasn’t stopped and that life does go on. Time is that funny thing and saying it to a younger person, will not help, as what time have they possibly earned at such a young age? It not as straight forward as 4days and 2 hours to get over that ex. No, along with it, does come the lump in the throat and sharp pain in the chest, but you then have the experience, when you look at it in daylight, realising that it weren’t meant to be. That these pains you feel, is what makes you.

Baggage is what you gain and pick up. Bags of experience. But what you mustn’t do, is take them into your new person’s home. Yes you may bring them in from the cold into the warm and new hallway, but perhaps try putting them down a bit. You may feel your shoulders a bit lighter and you’re freer to move about a bit and explore new thoughts and feelings. Its that coaxing, without pressure, as some people feel the need to hold securely what they knew, how familiar things were, at the same time, you just have to be patient, everyone has a rucksack, some may have an extra holdall, or packed long term, but eventually, they will accumulate, you cannot hold more than your two arms carry. So whoever you find next, to reassure you, to make you feel safe and most of all, happy, you will slowly find no reason to not let go. 

I’ve seen horribly helplessly from the side where I am passing over the new cube of tissues to my male friends, how females have broken up with them repeatedly for not remembering what she likes on the menu. Thing is it happens on both sides, when they bring up, that their exes knew what they liked. Ouch.

But does baggage allowance dependent on the age of the aircraft carrier? You’d think that the older you are, the more bags you pick up. Some baggage includes children’s school bags and some even nappy satchels. Some may be some high maintenance LV travel trunks or legal divorce briefcases. Baggage is baggage. Yet from comparison of the recent younger men’s 18-30’s flight, not that they were young as that, but you get the metaphor, it seems that with age, you prefer to travel light, you prefer to make the most of each trip, only carrying what essentials you need. You become less materialistic, and valuing what is important in life, which folds as neatly and flat as a subway map into your blazer pocket.

I now ask, would I still go out with these younger men? Is it really all that it cracks up to be? Are they really as fun as I had been promised? I’m obviously not vouching for all younger men in the population. But a handful in such short space of time, surely not. All having some sort of need to offload to me.  If so, could they perhaps check it in in the cloakroom on the way in? Maybe I shouldn’t be as patient and understanding to listen to them pour their hearts. Oh gosh, i just thought of something as I think type this. Maybe its not them, but what they have experienced could be their previous partners weren’t able to listen to their needs.  Hmm. As I reflect this new discovery of thought, the reverse for them to be with an older woman. What would I offer? Someone who knows what they want in life, who is much calmer (than them it seems), who has her own income, is decisive and I guess overall, just knows herself and is happy in her own skin.

Everyone has baggage. I just have to decide whether I am in for the longer haul of checking in larger luggage items, helping and understanding, or whether its a quick stopover and less security checks of what is actually inside the case. The fact I care, but at the same time understand its one of life’s learning curves, surely I am patient enough to be a friend than ban any dodgy looking cases. As 2013 has started great catching up with many friends, I just ask for a smoother flight and no distractions, stresses or turbulence  So along with others, bring your baggage, but make sure you remember pick it back up and next time to pack much much less like a weekend size bag or man bag for the first meet. Remember first dates, no removal boxes…  you’re not moving in.

SITC

– xx –

More fish… in the wood work


So I’m one of those whom stay in touch with everyone including exes. Who has the time to make enemies I say.  I discovered someone was attracted to me over Christmas. I hadn’t gotten to know Beanie because we were surrounded by others but he had taken my number to offer me a lift home. After exchanges of messages, he reveals how he feels since meeting me, of he couldn’t stop thinking about me over the busy festive period. I asked if he was involved, and he said sadly yes, he had just started seeing someone for a few dates and didn’t feel what he had hoped with her. He retracted his answer to go for a drink originally, with both of us understanding. I’m not one to want to ruin anything between two people and I offered best wishes for him. I didn’t even know if i liked him yet, but because we would be around each other again next Christmas, I wanted to clear the air and offered I held no resentment and would be still friends.

Then only days ago, on Friday I heard from Beanie Man. He apologised for the delay and he was in town. He had had a few drinks. My mind raced as to why now, why was he contacting me. He no longer was with her. Understood. He hadn’t been able to get me out of his mind.

I was to have a busy weekend. 2013 has been a great start. I had made big decisions in 2012 to take on smaller projects, so I could have more time for me, for my friends and people around me that matter. I have a strong base of friends, but I felt I was always in a rush dashing from one event to the next, that 2013, already I feel a difference, a breath of fresh air catching up with people I haven’t spoken in years and meeting new halves and I’ve yet the challenge of meeting new babies in addition. So i hadn’t had any chance to think if I had thought of Beanie Man or even where I was to be. I made my mind 2013 will be more of a Yes year. I am not on a race to find “The One” as they say. So why not enjoy myself.

“I don’t know how to speak to women, that’s why I’m single” Beanie Man claimed to me. Whoa. How did the conversation between us get so deep already? I must admit, he wasn’t that great at hearing how he sounds. He was one of the younger ones (which I will no doubt have that as one of my posts) but were younger men on a different level of only thinking about themselves? By just that single statement, it somehow stayed in my mind. One minute we are messaging each other, then we are being adult by letting each other get on with your own life, and now he is back in contact. What is it he wants? More to the point, do I still want to know? I guess that statement sticks in my mind, as to why do most younger men feel the need to mention

“I’m not looking for anything serious as I’ve just broken up from a four year relationship” says Grad, after having asked me out for drinks before Christmas.

It’s as if by saying such bold statements, they have built a fence around so that nothing in the slightest was to happen. In my mind, all i can think of is “Hell yeah. Who’s buying first round?” Are relationship issues on men’s minds more than we assume?

I had met Tyler at an Photography exhibition late Autumn last year. He was very kind, a gent. We had hooked up, but I never heard from him again. That is till two days ago over the weekend. So in the space of couple of months, I have had people who I haven’t heard in months, and out of the blue, want to contact me. The only similarities I have between them is they are younger. Tyler contacted me with a what I’d admit to as quite a good apology for his lame action as he didn’t know how to approach me, yet he knew his silence was not at all classy. This was his attempt at correcting such fault that he was aware of. I’ll post more about Tyler, but he wants to talk to me, at the same time, he is saying “I don’t want to lead you on like some dickhead”, “Fun is fun” and in the same breathe he is wanting to be friends and see where we go, being not a fan of casualness. I replied in a swooping message which made him chuckle, that I wasn’t asking him to get married. He laughed saying he just weren’t used to such directness. It hit home for him, that in no way had I suggested commitment, but only a drink and how his New Years was.

How is it young men today are carrying so much baggage so early on?

Beanie’s personality reminds me of one of my exes. The need to state where he is and what it will be, is his way of controlling so he won’t get hurt or be where he doesn’t. I’ve encouraged Grad to get out there, go travel, go meet people. He can’t be wanting to see me, at the same time open up that he has just left a four year relationship. That’s got baggage written all over it. Then we have Tyler. Him wanting to calmly meet me, wants to know me, but doesn’t want to draw sign any papers.

So i have a few possible dates lined up. As Single girl coming back out to play in 2013, I have a strange sense of being in control. I can choose if I want to go on these dates. I can choose what dates as to what an when. After all, it is just a drink. A meeting, face to face, see how we get on. Enjoy several hours together with company. As i clear more diary space for life, it’s important, as dates, more than or just as friends, the people you choose to spend those hours with, should end result make you smile. Laugh even. My perspective is to take it a day at a time. If things weren’t meant to happen, then you never know, timing may not be right and there’s plenty of fish in the wood work….

SITC

– xx –

Single. (Not) scared


Last week I heard my friend’s younger brother in law, moan about his birthday was coming. He had posted clearly he was dreading his birthday. I replied asking what the matter was, thinking it was maybe the age. Instead he said he had broken up and he was dreading being single on his birthday. He hates it. I reassured him surely if the breakup was for the right reasons, he should be out celebrating anyway he wants with his new freedom? He could have a mad one and not worry about only couplely things, non? It seemed not. I saw others had replied that his problem was that he falls for anyone within the first hour of meeting them. I remembered how he had once long ago, at the mutual engagement party asked for my number. To me he’s like my little brother, part of the family now.

I thought about how people tend not to want to be single for birthdays, Christmas, or New Years. Valentines day is next month, that I can understand, as commercially, shops and the media do certainly kill any sign of romance left on that day.

I later wondered why were people so worried about being alone on calendar occasions? Is it just London perhaps. New York embraces singletons.

Whether he was with someone or not, it would still be Christmas, or Easter. I may not be a fan of Christmas, but I certainly love New Years! I don’t need to be with someone. This year at midnight, i chose to grab old time friends and go have a good time. Coincidentally  they had recently all broken up, with various halves, but we all had one of the best nights, dancing away and laughing at how cheesy it was. At midnight, we all shouted the countdown and we all gave each other hugs, kisses and within the next second, midnight was gone and it was now 2013. I looked around and wondered how could you ever want to be worried about being alone? There are so many people out there enjoying themselves and having fun. Even when you are with someone, the pressure to do something couplely on those days applies pressure on relationships. Today I asked decided to check on my litte brother and ask how his birthday went. He really appreciated my asking and he replied he had one of the best nights, his brothers and mates all got together and they all went out. I was happy to hear him sound so happy and laughing with him thinking of the night. When you are single, people make the effort for you yourself as an individual. How much more fabulous is that.

I know many female friends who complain about the lack of men, or who are conscious about their biological clock but it seems men are just as much in desire for company to make them feel worthy.

SITC

– xx –

Man-Sized about things


 

“Man-Flu” when the whole world, and headline news has the prime time coverage of how “my legs will drop off if I try to make myself a cup of tea on my own” and “my forehead is over a hundred degrees”. Please.

I’ve been figuring out how often or frequent I should blog. One moment I have too many amusing tales to share, then the other hand, is deciding what would have that same reaction in cold text than in that moment itself. Apologies for I’ve been caught with the Winter bug myself and only resurfaced yesterday. Unlike Man-Flu, I tend to seek solace. I need to be left alone. Period.

I’ve always been practical minded. There’s no point moaning about your pains or problems when they aren’t a professional in medicine to assist in a solution. I tend to find my tracksuit joggers and layer up with sweatshirts and comfortable tees. Hair tied in ponytail and just get on to making batches of vegetable soup, fruit at hand and just try to get through the period as quick and painless as possible. I will always have fresh air breezing in, as I believe that in a heated room, you will only trap germs and worse yet create the perfect breeding ground for them as a new tenant.

This is where being a bachorlette is ideal. Why would I want my other half see me looking like this? I don’t wear much makeup anyway, so I have no face to hide. But the point being, I need to veg out under my blanket and just be in peace. Head pounding, I don’t need to be asked “How are you feeling?” or “Do you need anything?” every ten seconds, and this would be coming from considerate partners. Can you imagine if I had children to tend to, extra mouths to cook and feed, “where’s my clean shirt?” and “why are we out of milk?”

My immune system is awful. Always has been. This had started from the moment last week, and I know exactly when. I was on the train when this gentleman decided to be rude and cough completely in my face The-Green-Mile stylee. Thanks. My worse habit is my insomnia, I’ve had it all my life as far as I remember, from having an overactive mind. It’s always thinking, pondering, solving, ticking away. Pretty harmless, as I lead an active and alert life. It’s only a problem when situations like early flights or when I need to shut my body down to repair from being poorly. Being single when poorly is great, as I don’t have to worry about whether my constant blowing my pink nose will keep him awake at night, or whether he can hear my louder breathing, as you’re either blowing out to breathe, or if you stop doing that, you have to leave your mouth open before suffocating yourself at night. Which I’m sure if I had someone next to me, the pillow may be the weapon of choice in several hours. No i definitely raise to vote being single when you are unwell is perfect. No worries about leaving my crumpled Kleenex Balsam tissues next to me.

But one of the sweetest things was when few friends of mine decided to surprise me by dropping off a Care Package! How sweet! It had Orange Jaffa cakes, Orange Juice, packets of more Kleenex Balsam, mini Kipling’s for sugar energy and Lucozade aka my savior when I’m unwell. I had to post this, thanking them for their kindness. It’s the thought that counts. So now, my head is clearer from being days of being fuzzy, showered, redone my nails with a slick of clear varnish, hair washed, and out of the joggers and sweatshirt, and feeling ready to take on the world. Day two of feeling more alive, okay I still have this odd Mariella Frostrop vocal chords as if I have had a carton of Menthol cancer sticks all day. So who needs another half around, when I can get well by myself. Or when you have Jaffa cakes delivered, and oh.. did I mention, I have a new date next week. Recovery perfect timing…

SITC

– xx –

Mr and Mrs. Facebook


Single. Engaged. Married. Separated. Divorced. Where is “Started to see someone”, or “Not looking right now” How about “Single father and difficult to date?” I’ve lost count the number of times people tease is that your new man? Or who’s the new fella. Why do we feel the need to have a title of what level you are at? It shouldn’t become a race or comparison with others, and if it were a race, who says everyone is aiming to be Married status?

I’ve had a friend who went on one date, and during it had changed their relationship status as “In a Relationship” before the dinner was over.

I have a rule where I will not have anyone I am intimately involved on any of social networks, especially Facebook. I remain friends with my exes and all is great. Though it does not go to say that everyone has that fortune, and there will also be the exe’s new half. Or your current beau. It digs up photographs of the past and questions such as who they are, do they look happier back then, where was I in that photo, or the comparison thought of do I resemble or look better than he or she? Whether you are a couple that is open to each other, with nothing to hide, there will always be niggling thoughts at the back of your mind, that starts to create that little green monster in everyone. You need to feel secure or have the knowledge that you are first in his life.

This has happened to myself, where I have seen people, and they build arguments based on an innocent picture taken when everyone is having a great time at a party or seated at a dinner party. “Who’s that with his  arm around you?”, “That guy is definitely trying it on, look how sleazy he is” eeer.. that is my fitness instructor? or my cousins uncle? I cannot have anyone that is feeling like that and more so, saying unpleasant untrue things about people that matter to me over some small jealousy for the need to have control and be possessive  Who that person is when we go out who smiled at me for holding the door, or why do i have to be friends with him. I did the reassuring thing, but arguments after arguments over nothing, can be draining and watching what you wear for the sake of preventing that “look” on the way out on a night with the girls, was simply not for me. He had to go. Another one bites the dust.

A friend of mine The Ref had broken up with his ex, The Gem. The Ref and The Gem had parted mutually. She wasn’t for him. They were constantly bickering, on and off like a lighthouse light in the storms. When they finally parted, you’d think The Ref would be able to move on. He had thought it was nice to remain friends afterwards and keep her on Facebook. Big mistake. The Gem began trawling through The Ref’s pictures knowing what he would be up to on an hourly basis, now that she was no longer seeing him. It was as if a monster had taken over her. She would message and then go through The Ref’s’ friend’s Facebook pages and girlfriend’s timelines and updates, and then get on the phone accusing who these females were and then end up shouting and then in tears. This was not good. This was not healthy. Looking out for our friend, we had to tell The Ref, he had to not remain friends with her on Facebook. She was beginning to lose sight of reality and needs to start afresh. If she can’t do it on her own, we highlighted that she may need his help. Last time our group caught up with The Ref, he informs us that The Gem one day all of a sudden just removed herself from his Facebook. Two years later. Good for her.

So for me. My Facebook is ex free and i can be myself, smile whomever, share whatever shots, put up any status updates I want, and best of all, I keep my status and private life just that, private.

SITC

– xx –

Before you nothing else matters. Nothing.


Im not a stranger to having friends by either gender, good friends I mean. Following on from wedding theme, I tend to notice, the looks you get from your newly married good friend (who happens to be male)’s new partner when he tells her he’s just going down the pub with a few friends. I’ve lost sight of many good friends, who aren’t allowed or best not to “just meet up with friends”. Sad I know. I simply have to accept that it’s not me, but a lack of security and trust between them.

This one incident intrigues many of us who had formed a particular close knit gang for many years, spent evenings playing games, travelled abroad together, and celebrated crazy birthdays and family occasions together. We all basically grew up like the Wonder Years gang. We began to recently notice in the past year or so, is we began to see less of him. More worryingly so was when one of our friends was instructed by the wife

“that we don’t talk about certain holidays”, because this was before her arrival into our friend’s life.

She is a sweetheart and stunningly attractive. Yet to her (lets call her Miss Green), and our group, we are not to bring up anything pre-Green. No memories, no laughs, no stories. She doesnt want to feel left out I suspect. But there are many things that have happened pre-Green. For instance, the beautiful wedding of our other friends, the hilarious school days when we used to run riots in the science labs, or when we each bought our first cars, pushing it the limits as The Stig, the evolution of friendships and relationships are built from memories, and history. To her these things do not exist. It’s a shame I say. Yes there may be skeletons you are not ready to face, but you cannot erase your half’s past, just because you were not in it.

I say embrace every little thing you learn about your girlfriend or husband. That is the best bit, as you get to know them a bit better. Them wanting to share means that they trust you and want you to be part of their life. Everything that has happened, has happened. You cannot keep the worlds pre-Green and post-Green apart as much as you’d like control. You may not understand the school jokes, but get to know them, as you would only be bottling and suffocating the richness and personality of what makes them unique and special to you, and it will be you the one who isn’t sharing or understanding the jokes and be standing alone.

SITC

– xx –

The Wedding Guest + 1


Received fabulous news from another happy couple, messaging she has had a proposal on New Years Eve and she is still stunned. I love it. I love it when genuine couples get it together. I’m not saying not all couple aren’t genuine  but from where I am standing, I often listen to upset female friends and unhappy male friends, who are stuck with their gold bands around their finger. I often wonder why they don’t seek help, talk to each other about it, and do something about it. I see it as two lives made unhappy and staying together for the sake of a child, or because of the negative connotation of being single. A child would benefit much greater from two happy parents and as long as there is a strong supportive network, that bestows real love for them, then that is a family for them.

In the post I also opened a “Save The Date” invitation. Wonderful news. It states “Invitations to follow”. It’s on the first week of 2013 and I wonder if there will be more weddings than last year. My +1, who I call “Arm Candy” is abroad for the past few months. He would be back by the “date”. Then again, am I thinking, by then I could very well bring someone special along. Me and Arm Candy know our friendship and rules, and nothing more. Whereas if I brought a guest, a +1. I don’t want him to go home thinking the relationship is in leaps and bounds already.

At the same time, my friend’s wedding photographs will be a milestone, a memory for grandchildren and generations to come, when they look at that and ask who that is next to me.

No. I think it would be best if I save the wedding funds of the happy married couples and not let them waste it on a may-not-be-long-term-man. The bride to be is German. I wonder if the wedding will be here or overseas. I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traditions of occasions  such colour, outfits and rituals, when you see the whole family come together.

I love how creative friends have been with each of their invites. Each making their new status as a couple to be. Maybe I should have saved them all. That’s when I wonder how little girls have built their “dream wedding box”. Full of cutouts, sketches, and wishes for how their big day will be. For me, I wonder how is that possible when you don’t even know who you will end up with? And what about those who have married 2-3 times already. Should you have a “2nd dream wedding box” ready?

For me, it adds up. Accommodation, travel, outfit, wedding gift, if you want to get hair done, shoes etc. You can’t be seen clashing with the bridesmaids or the colours of mother-in-law! I once overheard in the ladies at one, where they felt they had seen it all, and they could name where the bride had got her table accessories from. No matter how personal you try to make your big day, in the long run, you try to give the impression everything is spotless and of fresh petals. I love weddings of the joy it brings to tearful parents watching their son or daughter joining another family. I’ve seen the stresses between friendships and relationships as the preparations come together. I won’t go into that today. But just remember how you felt when you had that special moment, of being proposed and just the two of you, agreeing to be theirs – so forget extra flowers at the head table, or who to bring, your wonderful friends wanting to be together – that is what weddings should be about.

SITC

– xx –