Life


I have a lovely friend whom we will call Marla, for the sake of this discussion.  Marla is just like us.  She is a smart, capable, attractive young woman with loads of potential and that mixture of confidence and nagging self-doubt particular to modern women in their twenties and thirties.  Marla has nice shoes that she keeps under her desk, a subscription to the Financial Times, and commutes daily and smartly to her city job at a respected bank.  With continued focus and effort, Marla is Going Places.  She also has a nice boyfriend she loves, but with whom she is not certain she sees a long-term future.  No matter; Marla is focused on her job and happy with her relaxed relationship.  She is living in the moment, and the moment is good.

And then.  Marla attends an important client event with a number of her colleagues, including several VPs.  The dinner goes very well, the drinks are flowing, the mood is giddy, and somehow, without prior intention, Marla goes back to a hotel with a Senior VP from her company.

“I didn’t mean to sleep with him,” she says.  “Even when we went back to the room, I thought we would have a drink or two and then I would leave.  We talked a little about his wife, as a matter of fact.  I never felt like he was trying to seduce me, or vice versa.  It was late, and I curled up in bed, and then…  Well.” (more…)

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Hiya People,

Last night I was talking to a friend who happened to mention that his wife has gained a bunch of weight and he’s not exactly thrilled about it.  In fact, it has become enough of an issue for him as to cause problems for him when it comes to sexing his wife.  We didn’t get into the specifics, but safe to say he’s less than enthused about banging her and he wanted to know how he could let her know that this was a problem.  And so I thought about it, for quite a while.  But I didn’t come up with any method that didn’t involve straight up telling her, “Babe, your ass is gettin’ too big.”  In the end I told him he’d have to indirectly shame her somehow, because women are usually the most critical on themselves especially when dealing with the size of our ass.

Now, save all your outrage over how he should love her and want her no matter what she looks like, mother of his children, blahblahblah.  That’s bullshit.  Loving someone in the long term sense has nothing to do with keeping your sex appeal, that’s a separate issue that needs to be tended to as part of the whole.  If anything, keeping yourself attractive to your partner is a vital component to staying together happily, in my opinion.  That and good head.  I wouldn’t expect my man/woman to still get hot in the pants for me if I was busting outta mine and that’s just the way it goes.  Staying together for a couple decades is hard enough without having to lie to your partner about their looks and what effect it has on your libido.

But, I would like to offer him some better advice if possible.  Thoughts?

Two weekends ago, I met a friend for late afternoon drinks at a bar across the road.  When I arrived, he’d been soaking up the sun and cider for a couple of hours already, and was sitting with a cheerful group of people I was invited to join.  This included:  Chester from Newcastle; Chester’s Swedish girlfriend, called Em; the bar’s owner, Dave, who is Irish; Dave’s Polish wife; my South African mate, Sean; and their friend, Gary, who is from Edinburgh.  I mention the hodgepodge of nationalities only because this is one of those things I love about London – Sean also lives with a Ghanaian, an Italian, and two Czech lodgers who were all presumably drinking pints in another patch of sun.

As I was a little bit late to the party, the conversation was relaxed and winding.  A popular topic, however, was what substances could be used to spike Gary’s drink without him noticing.  A range of fluids were suggested, with Gary’s enthusiastic participation.  This was mildly amusing, but a bit weird for a bunch of thirty-somethings to be talking about – with two PhDs amongst them, no less.  It was more the stuff of the fifth-grade cafeteria table.  Because four of the group were bartenders, the discussion covered what noxious liquids could be visually disguised in what ranges of seemingly innocuous beverages.  I finally had to pipe up and ask:  What exactly was the deal?

It turned out that one drunken night four months ago, Gary bumped his head getting into a taxi, and suffered a mild brain injury that had left him without a sense of taste or smell.  The loss of smell is called anosmia, but Gary’s principal complaint was that everything tasted of, well, nothing.  Although likely the hundredth time poor Gary was forced to tell the story, we all sat and contemplated this for a while.  (more…)

Very, very thankfully, I have had only two stalkerish episodes in my life, outside of the usual bad-breakup scenarios in which one party has a more difficult time moving on; in that scheme of things, I have been guilty of my own share of unwanted phone calls or emails for the subsequent week after The Bad Talk.  Fortunately, I can take take a hint, and believe that the one or two boyfriends I’ve had who have ended things against my wishes still regard me fondly (I base that on friendly, occasional Facebook hellos that indicate we are in good stead and happy with our mutually infrequent communication).  I wish them well, they wish me well, and there is no drama or involvement.

Yeah, so.  While I have pursued a few guys beyond the point where they displayed disinterest, I can say with honesty that I’ve never harassed anyone or caused them fear (to my knowledge; I am sort of paranoid about that now, but given the “Ice Queen” accusations more commonly thrown my way and my general unwillingness to destroy someone’s car or call their mother to tell them what shits they are, I’m pretty sure I haven’t crossed that obvious, glaring line).  Which is a good thing, as I just spent about four hours of my afternoon reading the entire contents of Psychotic Letters From Men, as fixated on this blog as I was watching the final seasons of The Wire.

I was glued to this site to the point that my live-in Boy Person was annoyed that I would not go out into the rare London sunshine for a walk or a drink, so obsessed was I with reading about Terrible Men and The Women Who Despise Them.  Why is this site so good?  A few reasons. (more…)

A week ago I had an appointment with the British Home Office in Croydon to upgrade my immigration status from a sponsored Work Permit to Tier 1 Visa as a Highly-Skilled Worker, for which I am newly qualified.  My reasons for this are two-fold:  for one, I am job-hunting, and this grants me the ability to work for any employer in any industry within the UK, rather than relying on new sponsorship within my current profession; secondly, although I still have over two years remaining on my Work Permit, I thought it best to get in there fast to take advantage of the recently relaxed requirements for Tier 1 qualification before the new Tory coalition government clamps down on immigration policy.  It means that I can continue to live and work in the UK without dependence on a company or a partner, which is a pretty sweet deal, even if it does cost £1095 for the privilege.

Like anyone would, I jumped at the opportunity to combine my passion for navigating bureaucratic red tape with the thrilling roller-coaster ride that is the uncertainty of employment and immigration status.  It’s like visiting the DMV, but with your livelihood on the line!  Already a “highly-strung” personage, I’ve found the experience to be nerve-wracking, especially on top of the dozen job interviews I’ve had over the last couple of months.  I feel like I’ve been living in an uneasy state of limbo and have been hopeful that at least settling this aspect of my existence here in London would bring some clarity.

Alas, it was not to be.  Here’s what’s happened so far. (more…)

Although I am not normally in the habit of paraphrasing Rita Rudner, I recently did so in an office card for a colleague’s wedding, noting that I was delighted he’d found that special person he wants to annoy for the rest of his life.  The present Boy Person and I are not nearly that far gone, but have taken great pleasure in irritating each other for the last couple of years; it’s all part of the loving foundation on which long-term relationships are based.  Whether we’re goosing each other in the stairwell, making hideous faces behind each others’ backs, or imploring one another to, please, really, just shut up, we’re never short of love or totally obnoxious behavior.

I don’t know why we find such mutual amusement in annoying each other – I don’t mean to the point of actual anger, but certainly irritation of the junior high variety.  My latest and greatest achievement is the bottle of nail biting solution I’ve brought home in an effort to curb his nasty habit.  He’s agreed to this treatment after two years of my pleas for hygiene and observations that the stubs on his fingertips look like ten little bald men, and so every other night, I get to coat his nails in highly flammable polish that tastes like a pure Everclear hangover.

And, oh, it is delightful to witness him absentmindedly snag a cuticle between his teeth, and hack like he’s coughing up a hairball.  The faces, the sputtering, the whingeing…  My enjoyment of the spectacle even surpasses the nearly-maternal pride I feel when he displays his half millimeter of nail growth (“Look!  White bits!  There are white bits on the ends!”).  Good job, baby.

You see, I also consider this just revenge, of a sort, due to an incident from early on in our relationship.  Allow me to set the scene of the crime.  (more…)

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Mm-hmh.  It’s one of YOU, I see you.  Bastards.

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