When Are You Getting Married?

Hi my name is Ally, I’m 35, and I once described my vagina as being like Helmand Province because nobody wants to spend any time there. 

I’m at the stage of being single where people love to comment on it, like when my lovely young nephew said “When are you going to get married Aunty Owl? Because I’m getting married when I’m 26 and you’re way older than that”. 

My Stepmum gave me the advice that I need to “keep casting my bread on the water, because you never know when a duck will fancy a nibble” but sadly all I seem to attract is old shopping trollies and welly boots. 

It started with the knicker melter, so called because well I’m sure you can figure it out. I plucked up the courage to ask him for a drink and there we were in a grotty pub and I was giving it my best chat. Flirting, being interested, really pulling out my best moves, but then I realised he hadn’t asked me a single question. Not a one. Leaning over my wine glass and with a rather wanky flutter of my eyelashes I asked, 

“Is there anything you’d like to know about me?” 

I was NOT expecting his response, 

“No, I found out everything I needed to know on Google”.

GOOGLE. He then proceeded to give me a potted history of my entire family, and was most impressed by the fact my brother had won a bravery award… ten years previously. That shit was definitely not on the first page of results. Don’t get me wrong we all do it, but it’s not something you admit to. Like the time you almost wet yourself in Tesco or cried at Peppa Pig. 

Then like most people internet dating I got catfished. I’d been talking to this very tall chatty man online, we had loads in common and great banter so decided to go for a walk on the common and then a drink. Lovely stuff. There I was stood in the sunshine when I saw this chap walking up so I smiled because I am polite. Then I realised that this man was walking right at me and was in fact my date. This man who was 5’5” if he’d been wearing 6” heels and was wearing a suit he’d clearly borrowed from his Dad. He’d pushed the sleeves back on it and looked like a Don Johnson from junior Miami Vice. 

We went for a very awkward walk once round the lake, he tried to kiss me and I hightailed it out of there. Thankfully although it looked like I was on a date with a child he hadn’t lied about his age so I wasn’t going to end up on a register. However waving goodbye to Don Johnson waved in the era of sailing rather close to the appropriate age gap wind as I started my thirties. 

This began with ‘The One Direction Barman’, so called because he looked like he should be in a boyband but with the fetching addition of a porn star moustache. He was the barman in my local and after a few too many Darth Vader cocktails watching the rugby I ended up going home with him safe in the knowledge that I was never going to hear the end of it from my friends. Next morning making awkward small talk he said,

“I’d love to see you again” and I thought ‘well you ARE the barman in my local’ and then he continued,

“Why don’t you come out next week, it’s my birthday” I said I’d think about it while meaning that of course I wasn’t going to think about and then he dropped the clanger,

“It’s going to be a great night, you don’t turn 21 every day”. 

Reader, I left him. And yes, you bet I found a new local. 

It transpired that I had a bit of a ‘thing’ for bar staff, especially those who put my eye wateringly expensive G&T’s on my Dad’s tab. We agreed to go for a picnic in the Sussex countryside and spent a very nice afternoon wiling away the hours. As the sun started to set suddenly we were joined by a variety of cars and couples – he had the good grace to look embarrassed but I did also catch him giving me a look as if to enquire whether I would be up for a casual spot of dogging. 

I wasn’t. 

We headed to the pub and he mentioned that he had to be home by half ten. Having spent the afternoon together I didn’t take it as a bad sign although he did seem rather het up about it and then he said it, 

“She’ll kill me if I’m not home on time” 

Oh fan-fucking-tastic I was on a date with a married man. 

Yeah, she was really pissed off with my mock A-Level results so I’m on a curfew”. 

And these are just the ones who make it out of my inbox. There’s the karate kid who asks me a string of questions about martial arts, never deviating from the script. 

“Have you ever done karate?”

“Would you ever do ju-jitsu?”

“How high can you kick?”

“How hard can you kick?”

“Have you ever kicked anyone in the balls?”

One day curiosity got the better of me so I replied asking if he really thought his approach was going to work. My inbox pinged and I felt genuine excitement and getting an insight to his psyche but of course I was left unsatisfied,

“Would you wear a kendo outfit in the bedroom?”

There’s also ‘What The Fuck Chuck’ who always tracks me down and likes to ask if I knock loudly on doors with my ‘frankly massive hands’, and then there’s Chuck’s opposite number who says I have ‘incredibly dainty feminine hands’. So one large hand, one small hand, and I’m left feeling like Nemo flapping in circles round the dating pool. 

There’s the guy who wants to buy my old shoes as long as they’re ‘very worn’, the adult baby who wanted me to be his ‘new Mummy’, the adult baby who wanted to pay me to change his nappies, the man who wanted me for a visa, the man who said I reminded him of Xena Warrior Princess but with a bigger arse and the man who wanted to jizz on my glasses. 

It’s not just them though, I confess to being a bit of a nob when it comes to my romantic life. Over the years in the pursuit of love I’ve:

  • Posted a Big Mac meal to Guernsey. 
  • Learned the history of a shitty football team “just in case” and
  • Spent a summer in college hanging round a county town so I could “fancy seeing you here”. 

I also am afflicted by ‘the fear’. When you’ve kissed someone for the first time and you want to say something cool because even if you don’t want to kiss them again you want them to want to kiss you. 

In the past the fear has made me come out with such classics as “I’ve been waiting for that all week” on a first date, “woah! That was a lot of tongue” on a first date, and “mmmm garlic” on a first date. And I wonder why I don’t get to date two? 

The pièce de résistance though was on a date with a 6’10” adonis who unfortunately was in the running for title of the most boring man on the planet. He spent the entire night talking about quantitiative easing so I did what anyone in my position would do, I got white girl wasted on Chardonnay whilst thinking about quantitatively easing him out of his clothes. 

Outside of the restaurant we were waiting for a taxi when he took me into his arms and we had a movie worthy kiss. As we pulled apart though I was hit by the fear, I was gazing up into his beautiful blue eyes when it came hurtling out,

“Can I lick your teeth?” 

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Live From The Trenches

You spend ages picking your best photos that show you in the right light, you want to look your best, you want to appear approachable, and you want to show you have friends and a life that doesn’t just involve watching Netflix and talking to your cat.

Then you get a man who leads with this:

Sucks

 

The man with a mirror selfie who thinks he’s doing the right thing in telling you that you look ten years older than you actually are. I love the way he even points out that he’s not negging me to get into my pants, nope, he’s just that rude. But it’s not the worst thing to lead with, as this next chap shows…

Married

See, I’m so nice I even blurred out the name of the man who is trying to cheat on his wife and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I didn’t in fact reply with the below,

‘Oh blank! How very lovely that it is that you want to bang someone other than the woman you took vows with. I am SO flattered and not at all skeeved out by this’ 

Of course if you don’t have a wife to lead with, how’s about sending pages and pages of unrequested and terrible erotic literature? This isn’t even as ‘good’ as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, it’s more like ‘Ten Shades of WTF’.

IMG_5840

IMG_5841

IMG_5844

It went on for about twenty scrolls down and it was without doubt the most excruciatingly awful message I’d received. I deleted it without replying but then my inbox pinged again,

IMG_5859

Not only did he automatically assume he’d be meeting me, he assumed I’d pay for it because he was in fact a male escort touting for business. It may have been a while but I was am still not going to pay him for ‘his tongue passing along the reliefs of her intimacy, visiting each hem, every fold and folding up… in a sulky concert of groans’. Oh fuck no.

I’m also not interested in taking a slave (although I do need some pictures hung), being a slave, or making it with an invertebrate.

Slave

Master Likes

Octopus

Then there was this guy who clearly got lost on his way to a popular online shopping emporium. Although I dread to think what he was buying given his photo…

Amazon

 

*Sidles In Looking Shifty*

Hi there, hello there, *ahem* yeah sorry about that unscheduled break from your regular programming. I got into the ‘zone’ with my book manuscript and was spending every waking moment going over it line by line whilst simultaneously thinking it was alright actually and then wailing and wanting to scrap it and start again because it’s a massive pile of dung.

I also just didn’t feel like blogging because, well I don’t know why actually, although it’s probably something to do with yet another medication change. I’m a huge advocate of the NHS but it’s intensely frustrating to see a brand new Psychiatrist every time you go because it turns out they all have very different ideas of how you should be treated.

Regular programming will resume over the coming days, and maybe I’ll even stick to a schedule this time. Although don’t hold your breath…

 

A-Z: Essentials I Can’t Live Without

I’m not about to get all LeAnn Rimes on your asses because I could survive without these but it wouldn’t be as much fun. 

Front and centre it needs to be my friends because although you think you might have the greatest group of friends in the world I’m afraid you’re wrong. Of particular note are of course my Urban Family, the Urbs. My true blue ride or die homies who I would do anything for. From the outside looking in we probably look mental, but we’re a-okay with that. 

Ice cold water – I know, none of us could live without it but for someone who doesn’t drink hot drinks, rarely drinks fizzy drinks, and can’t drink fruit juice (because heartburn) my choices of drink are wine, gin, or water. And I don’t think my boss would be too chuffed with me being pissed out of my tiny mind in the office. I drink 3 litres a day without fail, sometimes more, and yes I whizz like a racehorse. 

Lip balm – because I get lipstick on my teeth and even though I drink water until I piss like Shergar I always have dry lips. I’d like to be chic and I’d like to be the elegant sort of woman who can sweep her hair into a chignon and slick on some perfect lippie without a mirror but… I’m not. The best I can do with my hair is bung it up with a chopstick, y’know like I’m Mandy Moore circa 2001 and I’m off to the Teen Choice Awards with a slip dress on over my stonewashed flared jeans. I always have a collection of lip products in my handbag which currently include 2 pots of the same lip balm, one of a different brand, and a blue lipstick. I’m not trying to channel Björk, it only looks blue but comes out a sheer berry hue in case you think I’ve gone mental.  

WhatsApp – with 23 chats on the go, some of which go back to 2015 it’s clear I’m a bit of a junkie. Of course the large proportion of the chats must NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. If I die, someone needs to go in and erase them before they go viral. 

My denim jacket and a pair of Converse – it sort of sums up my style that this is my go-to confidence outfit.  With a pair of Chucks on my feet and my ‘so cheap it was almost criminal’ denim jacket on my back I feel like I can take on the world. Plus sometimes I pop my collar and shove my hands in the pockets and I feel a little (very very little) like Sandy from Grease. 

Quiet time – if you know me in real life you know I’m gobby, can talk for England, and love relaying a story. But being ‘on’ also means I need time when I’m ‘off’. I sit and read, I nap, I walk by the water. I just ‘be’. 

Aaaaand fuck me that sounds wanky. 

Artwork – my ideal house has white walls that are crammed with art. Big art, small art, funny art, serious art, just art. I’m collecting it as I go to make a gallery wall in my living room and my style is, well it’s quirky. Tucked away I have a little collection of Anna Wintour cartoons building up ready to have an ‘Anna’ corner behind the door, and I have so many prints saved on Etsy I could open my own shop. 

My medications – I thought long and hard about putting this on here because recently I’ve proved to myself that I can live without anti-depressants (although I weep, I weep at the oddest things) however my other medication keeps me sane. Literally. We’re moving towards a place where we can be open and honest about mental health issues and so that’s what I’m doing. My tablets keep me upright and there’s no shame in that. 

What are your essentials? What do you keep around? 

Hello… Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Longtime readers will know I sometimes take little breaks from this whole shebang. I once tried to make a portmanteau of “blogging” and “holiday” and came up with “bloliday” which is quite possibly the worst word in the history of the universe.

Anyway, writing furiously and then taking my foot clean off the gas for a while is just what I do. This little mini break is a LOT shorter than the last which lasted a couple of years so you should all feel incredibly grateful. Feel free to kiss my feet. 

But where have I been? 

Well I’ve been being sick. A lot. 

It’s not a new thing and it’s terribly boring and if you’ve ever been out for a meal with me over the past ooh… four years (?) then I’m afraid to tell you I’ve been sick after it. 

As I said to my surgeon yesterday I have been sick in some fancy, and some weird, places. 

Royal Ascot – ✔️

Henley Regatta – ✔️

The Royal Suite of a posh hotel – ✔️

Into my own handbag – ✔️

All over myself whilst doing 60mph in my car – ✔️ 

Into a fruitbowl during the speeches at the wedding of some dear friends – ✔️

The list goes on. And on. And Ariston. 

It’s bloody boring and if I’d saved the money I’d spent on lovely meals out only to then horf it back up again I’d have my own private island right about now. 

So I finally got off my slack arse and contacted my wonderful surgeon, Mr S. I saw him yesterday and we came up with a plan. Sadly it involves yet more surgery but if it means I can start living normally again then I am here for that shit. 

In a twist of ‘isn’t the NHS simply brilliant’ fate my wonderfully talented brilliant bastard of a friend Adam has written a book about his six years hard labour at the coalface of it. You can buy it here and you really should. I read it in one emotional rollercoaster of a sitting, I laughed, I cried, I laughed while crying, and the ending gave me goosebumps and I had to have a little quiet sit to let it sink in. 

God bless the NHS. 

Throwback Thursday: Happy re-Birthday To Me!

Back to January 2009 today – and an entry marking six months since I went under the knife. What a six months it was!

6 months ago today I was sat on a hospital bed, all gowned up having just had 11 days of nothing but milk, waiting to go down for major life changing surgery.

So, let’s have a butchers at what’s changed since that fateful day –

In six months I have –
Lost 8 stone
Shrunk several dress sizes
Walked to and from work without dying on several occasions
Started going to the gym regularly (and enjoying it!)
Improved relationships with my family
Reclaimed the ‘F’ word
Started wearing colours
Gained the ability to laugh at myself (but without putting myself down)
Sung in front of my friends (!)
Planned out my career path
Written out a ‘to-do’ list
Dipped my toe in the dating pool and most crucially
Started to believe I’m not a horrible ugly useless troll and that I do actually have a future….

Strange Things Are Afoot At The Circle-K*

“NETS or WTF or OMG, XYZ, ABC, 123” I stood there looking seriously confused as the nice man in the shop bombarded me with acronyms. All I was trying to do was pay for a couple of items and here I was being expected to learn a whole new language.

“It’s a Visa. HSBC” I countered,

“But NETS?” he parried,

“I don’t know what NETS is, but it’s Visa” I plaintively waved it at the card machine.

“The machine is broken, NETS only” I was sweating my nuts off having walked in the muggy heat and now the man was doing the unthinkable and withholding my Cheetos and Sprite (such adventurous taste buds) He was on dangerous hanger rage territory after I had chickened out of buying anything at the Hawker Centre.

“Cash only, or NETS”

Cue terribly British embarrassment, “Oh err I’m terribly sorry I don’t have any cash on me and I’m still not sure what NETS is. Is there a cash machine near here?” (Oh God, another schlep in the heat)

“Cash… machine?” He looked ever so confused,

“Oh um, hole in the wall?” Nice one Al, if he didn’t know what a cash machine was he sure as shit wasn’t going to know that. His existing blank look deepened.

“Err, (by this stage I’m crimson and sweating profusely from embarrassment) ATM??” He looked relieved as I had finally stumbled across the magic acronym that we both understood.

“Which bank? UOB? OCBC?” yet again with the acronyms. He was obsessed.

“HSBC” I waved the card again,

“No, it won’t take HSBC. UOB, OCBC *insert another stream of yep, acronyms* only”

By this stage a crowd had gathered and were looking at me strangely, the sweaty British woman on the verge of tears because the nice man was withholding her carbs.

“Well, shall I try?” There was desperation starting to appear in my voice but he merely shrugged and pointed outside. Thankfully there was a cash machine, sorry ATM, directly outside the shop so I joined the back of the queue and tried to avoid looking at the nice man grinning at me and the other customers scowling at me out of the window.

Thankfully of course the ATM took the Visa after all it is widely accepted and HSBC is the World’s Local Bank and so I was able to shuffle back into the shop, slide some money across the counter and take my goodies away without bursting into tears. Winner winner no tears before dinner.

I consider myself to be fairly savvy, I’m resourceful and independent and yet I also now appear to cry at random intervals like some kind of Baby Annabel doll. I was welled up and biting the inside of my cheek pretty much the entire time I was in KU-Hell; I welled up when I couldn’t find the Cartoon Network on the telly (seriously, WTF?!); I welled up when the sun went behind the clouds and the pool got a bit chilly; and I welled up when I forgot my passport to get access to the compound where our office is and thought I was going to get shouted at.

I either need to man the fuck up, or invest in shares in Kleenex.

 

*7-Eleven