Polished Enough?

People express themselves in a myriad of ways every single day. And I don’t just mean their thoughts or how they feel, they express who they are. We are constantly putting ourselves out there through the clothes we wear, and how we do our hair and make up. Even the accessories we do (or don’t) pile on say something about us.

It’s more than that, though. How we present ourselves doesn’t just express how we feel about ourselves, it also says how we feel about the people we’re with and the environment we’re in.

If I go for lunch with you with my glasses on, no jewellery, and my curly hair in a bun, you can be sure as hell I don’t give a flying fuck what you think I look like. If you see me like that, but then think, ‘Oh, but I see you with lipstick and contacts and really big earrings, too‘, that’s not to impress you. Sorry.

I always tend to look like a little bit of a mess, but I kind of like that. I think it’s an honest reflection of who I am; a little bit of a mess. I’m also always super casual, because that’s what I’m like, too. My most worn clothes are leggings and shorts – how much more laid back can you be? I have a (probably too) casual outlook on life and my clothes express that for me a lot of the time.

I see women on the street who look so chic and put together, and I want to be them. Their outfits look clean and tailored, and I think that that’s how their lives must be. I think they must have a perfect job and a perfect flat and perfect partner and social circle; I think that their lives must be as clean and put together as their outfits.

Obviously they’re probably not, but that’s what they put out there. That’s how they’re marketing themselves. That’s what they’re telling the world that they are.

Should I be telling the world that I’m something different?

I started thinking about this the other night when I painted my nails alternate bright pink and orange. When I was sitting there waiting for them to dry in front of Love Actually (in June!!), I thought to myself, ‘Am I too old for this kind of look?

FUCK THAT.

Nail polish is hands down my favourite way to express myself. It’s the only capacity in which I am at all artistic and take the time to create something fun and pretty. And there are just so many colours!!

Why wouldn’t you want who you are right there on the tips of your fingers for the world to see?

Maybe bright pink and orange nails are a little bit childish, but maybe it’s okay to go for something young and fun. I mean, why not? IT’S SUMMER.

I know very few girls who don’t paint their nails, or stick to neutral shades. Like, I understand sometimes you have to be work appropriate, but fun colours are just more…fun, for lack of a better word. I also understand being seasonally appropriate, and now that it’s summer, there’s no excuse not to whack out the neons and the pastels (fucking great with a tan).

I literally have a bucket full of nail polish. Literally. I have no other storage options available to me right now. But my point is, I have so much that I’ve been on a buying ban for about a year now. CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL THE AMAZING COLOURS I DON’T HAVE??? I walk into Boots and it literally hurts a little bit when I don’t leave with a new polish. I don’t even care how shallow that sounds. I fucking love it. It’s like a drug, though. Some of you will understand, and some of you will think that it’s ridiculous. If you feel like four different shades of lilac is excessive, then you know what side of the line you’re on. FYI, it’s not; it’s totally fucking necessary.

At the end of the day, I know that people are going to notice that I’ve not brushed my hair before they notice that I’ve drawn a tree on my nails. At the end of the day, though, I really don’t care. I spend most of everyday seeing my nails, I don’t spend it looking in the mirror at my hair or face. At the end of the day, how I choose to present myself is for me.

And just for fun, here are some of my fave summery patterns that I’ve done. I’m totally cack handed, so if I can manage these, so can you!

wpid-imag0380.jpg       wpid-imag0333.jpg         wpid-imag0202.jpg       wpid-img_20140221_182126.jpg         wpid-img_20140314_152317.jpg      wpid-img_20140408_122853.jpgHow do you like to express yourself? Are you a nail polish junkie? Leave me your fave colour!

 

Some words from a nanny

When I first met my kid, I was 21 and he was 5. Naturally, we hit it off instantly because we basically had the same mental age. Now, I am 23 and he is about to turn 7. We don’t see each other much since I stopped looking after him, but our relationship hasn’t changed one bit. I’m his favourite and everybody knows it.

His previous nanny had been with him since he was a baby; he was basically a part of their family. I was so nervous to fill his shoes. Kids had always taken to me pretty easily, but how was I supposed to compete with someone who had been such a huge part of his life? On my first day, I went to get him from summer camp and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Where’s Mark? Is Mark not picking me up anymore?‘ My heart broke for him.

I never had a nanny growing up. My mum went back to work part-time when I was born and then stopped altogether when my younger sister came along. Because she wanted to. She wanted to spend time with us and look after us when we were little. And I won’t lie, I would ideally do the same. But I know that this isn’t a luxury that all mothers can afford. I know that I may not be able to. And I know that some mothers just don’t want to. It’s a personal choice and it’s a parent’s prerogative to decide what’s best for their family and for their child.

If you have a good nanny, and you’re a good parent, you have nothing to worry about. Your kid will be surrounded by love and learn how to love. It’s an instinct to grow attached to people who care about us, and who we depend on. For children, this is even stronger. I was with my kid for three months before I left to do my Masters, and he loved me. He loved me because I cared for him. I cared for him in the deepest sense of the word. It wasn’t just a job. His dependence on me was beyond my making him dinner and helping him cross the road. I was a shadow mother, which is what a good nanny should be.

If your child doesn’t love their nanny, hire someone else. If your child loves their nanny more than they love you, that’s not the nanny’s fault; you’re doing something wrong. If they wake up in the night from a bad dream and ask for their nanny, you’re doing something wrong. Make time for your kid before your kid doesn’t have time for you.

I would say that the best time to do this is bedtime. Bedtime is my favourite time of the day. I am magic at it. Tucking my kid in and reading him a story, or making one up, and watching him drift off to sleep is the most satisfying thing. How much of a challenge he was during the day becomes irrelevant. He reverts back to the sweet, loving boy I so deeply cherish. I would be devastated if bedtime was taken away from me, but I think it’s important for a parent to do. I understand that this isn’t always possible. I get that sometimes it’s not possible to be back home for bedtime to tuck your kids in. But if you do make it in time, and your kid asks you to read them a story, don’t say no. I know you’re tired. I know you may still have work to do. I know you haven’t had dinner and you need to clean the kitchen before you catch up on emails and finish writing overdue thank you notes for you kid’s birthday party a month ago. But it’s 10 minutes, and it makes a world of difference to them. Believe me, I am more than happy to do it; I’m like the freaking sandman. But they would much rather it’s you.

I’m a great nanny. My kid loves me. He also loves the guy who came before me and he loves the girl who took my place. He’s a kid that has a lot of love to give, and I know that’s through having nannies. Growing up with different adults outside of his immediate family has shaped him into the weird and wonderful boy that he is today. He’s taken parts of all of us and we’ve all nurtured different things in him that we think are special. He is amazing, and I will forever be proud to have played a little part in that.

He’s a kid. He doesn’t listen and he cries and he throws water at me at bathtime. He tries my patience and he gives me attitude. But he is excited every time he sees me. He runs and jumps into my arms every time, without fail. I would never have thought that loving a stranger’s child would come so naturally. Like I said, I was only with him for three months, but we were family. On my last night, I was putting him to bed when he wrapped himself around me and said, ‘Why do you have to leave me? No one else has anyone leaving them‘. It broke my heart.

If you’d have told me three months earlier when I was picking him up from summer camp, that this little boy would love me as much as he loved the last guy, I wouldn’t have believed you. For a split second my cynical heart thought maybe this little boy is just fickle with his love, maybe he just loves whoever holds his backpack so he can ride his scooter really fast. My cynical heart trivialised this little boys feelings because I was heart broken and didn’t want to believe that he was, too. Imagine being that young and growing so attached to people, and then having to watch them leave.

I’ve only seen him a handful of times since I left, and every time I do, I am amazed at how much he has grown and at the boy he is turning into. When I left, he could barely sound out words; I saw him a couple of months later and he was stumbling through full sentences. My heart literally swelled and I had the biggest smile on my face listening to him read. He is smart and kind and funny and weird and loving and I am so proud of him.

I looked after him for a few days this week as his new nanny was ill, and it was just like old times. He is just as naughty, but just as loving. His new nanny, Emma, has been with him a lot longer than I was, so I imagined I had been replaced in his affections, and fairly so. However, when I put him to bed on the last night, I wasn’t sure when I would see him again, so I asked. When I told him that I wouldn’t be there the next day, he said, ‘I think you should come back tomorrow, and on Friday, instead of Emma. And then pick me up for the rest of my life‘. I melted. I kissed him on the forehead and made up a story about a boy who lived in a coconut. He was asleep before I finished, but I watched him for another five minutes. And then I left.

Sometimes it hurts to love another person’s child.

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”

A few months ago, Angelle posted a lovely piece called ‘Why I Write‘. Reading the post and all the comments that followed it, it was so nice to see all these people that had the same kinds of feelings and motivations as me, people that I could really relate to, as it was never something I ever talked about with friends. I sometimes feel like, even if you’re not very good at it, writing is this really visceral thing, and that if it’s in you – and I mean really in you – you have no choice but to do it. It’s somehow both the most cathartic and exasperating thing you can do. It’s almost masochistic. But, really, would you have it any other way?

I have been writing since the moment I learnt how. Reading and writing were literally my favourite things to do as a child. Sure, a bit of colouring was nice for those rare moments where I wanted to switch off my mind, because, let’s be honest, what do you really get out of colouring? Maybe I was just bitter because I couldn’t draw for shit, but that ish was for babies; I was a grown up because I had all the words. I clearly didn’t subscribe to this ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ idea, because, you know what else is worth a thousand words? Yep, a thousand words. I didn’t understand why almost no one else in my class found it as exciting as I did. With age, I have obviously come to understand that there’s more than this one creative outlet, but when I was a kid, it genuinely baffled me why anyone would want to do anything else.

I started with writing about writing. I had a little Hello Kitty notebook that was full of Mr Men and Little Miss book reviews, because fuck reviewing Biff, Chip, and Kipper. I would rehash the plot, and then use up to three ‘describing words’ to illustrate how I really felt about it. My mum was the only person who would read them, after I badgered her to, but I was okay with that. Everyone knew how the books went, I just felt like my opinion was worth being recorded. Some things never change, eh?

Writing about writing quickly turned into writing about everything after I watched Harriet The Spy. Yes, I watched the movie before I read the book – I was, like, six or seven years old, I didn’t even know there was a book. Let’s just take a minute to remember how awesome both were, though, shall we? It spoke to me on every level I had. It was the first time I realised that writing was something I could do. I could have my own words, not just write about other people’s. In the movie, Harriet says, ‘I want to learn everything I can, and I write down everything I see. Golly says if I want to be a writer someday, I better start now, and that is why I am a spy.’ So, naturally, I became a spy, too. So, off I went with one of my little Hello Kitty notebooks (we’d given them out in party bags and had shit loads spare) and I wrote down everything I saw. I was never without that notebook. I would sit on the stairs and listen to my parents’ conversations, scribbling down anything I thought I could later use as ammunition against them. I would sit in my classes and watch all the other kids; I’d write down which ones were picking their noses and sticking the evidence under their desks, who was talking to who about what, who was getting in trouble for using an ink eraser – you know, all that really important stuff. Luckily, unlike Harriet, I never got caught.

Then, through school and through reading more, I caught the fiction bug. It was fucking glorious. Nothing had ever felt so right in my little life. Like most kids, I had a crazy imagination and, up until then, I had channelled it into playtime. Not to brag or anything, but the games I started for my group of friends would turn into whole class shindigs within two lunchtimes. I was that good. So, once I understood how to turn all the thoughts in my mind into something tangible, so that I could truly share them with other people, I was all over it. I wrote short stories, I wrote plays, and I wrote fucking poetry. We all had a poetry phase, didn’t we? My house is full of shit like this:

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Let’s just take a minute to appreciate that I thought my play was worth £19.99

It started with stories about princesses and the like, but, as I got older, everything got a little bit more sinister. When I was in Year 6 I wrote a story about a woman being skinned alive and her killer using her intestines as a skipping rope. My parents may have been a little too liberal with the remote. It got to the point where someone would always die in whatever I was writing. I really couldn’t tell you why, though. In retrospect, I think maybe I thought that if I broached the subject of death, my writing would feel more ‘grown up’. I hated my voice. Everything I wrote felt like a child had written it. I wanted to write something that I would want to read, but that just wasn’t what I was producing. When I was 14, my English teacher, a woman I really admired, told me that I was writing about things that I was too young to understand, and that my content and voice were too mature. It was exactly what I wanted to hear, but in a negative light. I was too young to properly understand what she was saying, and even though I really looked up to her, I basically ignored all her advice and carried on with what I was doing.

Then, when I was at a new school with a new English teacher that didn’t know me, and the time came to do our creative writing coursework for our GCSEs, I was hella nervous. I tried to tone it all down a bit, I mean, someone obviously died at the end, but the rest of it was very hopeful. I handed it in and was pretty sure I’d done alright, but when everyone was getting their pieces back, I didn’t get one. Instead, she told me to wait and see her after class. I was scared shitless. I thought I had failed the whole thing. I thought I was going to bring shame on my ancestors. Who fails English?! It was the longest lesson of my entire life. Eventually, it ended and I went up to talk to her about why she had kept my paper. It turned out that I had gotten full marks and she wanted to question me about it because she thought I had plagiarised my whole story. She asked me where I got the idea for it, where I got the ideas for the names of the characters and why I was making pop culture references that were fifty years before my time. It was so surreal. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted. I knew that, ultimately, she was praising me, but I didn’t believe her because I still hated my voice so much.

You know that feeling where everything you put to paper is just disgusting and you don’t know why you bother? I had that. All. The. Time. I couldn’t catch a break. So, instead of pushing through, I slowly started to give up. Then I went to university and writing became about essays and free time became about being drunk. I completely stopped writing for me. I told myself I was too busy to write stories, but, in reality, I had shit loads of time. I could’ve written a bloody novel. I’d just fucked up my priorities and confused being drunk with being happy.

I started up this blog after all my schooling was done, because as soon as my thesis was written, I missed writing. There was nothing left that I had to write. I’m not brave enough to share my fiction, but I wanted to put something out there. I wanted to find my voice and I wanted to share it. I’m not the most vocal person in real life, I don’t know how to express my feelings or show what I’m thinking, but I know how to do this. Maybe not very well, I don’t know, you can decide that. But, honestly, it’s the best decision I’ve made. I started writing fiction again, and it’s the only thing in my life right now that makes me really happy. I still fucking hate my voice, but it makes me really happy, and that’s all we really want, isn’t it?

Angelle asked, so I figure I should, too – why do you write?

Revlon Colorburst Balms

So, I know this is a little different, but I’ve really been enjoying these so thought I’d talk about them a little bit! After all, who doesn’t love lip products?

When the Clinique Chubby Sticks came out a few years ago, I was obsessed. I was only just getting into make up and they were such a lovely transition product to get me to put something other than Carmex on my lips. They were moisturising and wearable and I loved them. But they were hella pricey. So when I say I loved them, I mean it more like I loved the ones that my mum bought in the fairly neutral and dull shades that she wanted.

Now, thank the Lord, every ‘drugstore’ brand has it’s own take on the Chubby Stick, and I seem to have landed on the Revlon version.

Retailing at £7.99, they’re a good 10 quid cheaper than the originals and they seem to be on par quality wise. Throw in a fairly similar colour range and I think we’re on to a winner!

Now, to you employed people with money, £7.99 may not seem like it’s breaking the bank, but I’m poor and also needed mascara so picked up two colours in one of those Boots 2 for 3 deals.

 

First up we have one of the Matte Balms in ‘Showy’. I had been looking for a bright pink for a while, and after swatching a shit load of different Barbie and bubblegum shades across the brands, I landed on this one. In the tube, to me at least, it looks fairly scary. Pink hasn’t ever really been my ‘thing’, so I was tentative about going for something so bold, but, hey, who doesn’t love a bold statement?

Anyway, it turns out I had nothing to be afraid of. The colour is surprising wearable and wonderfully pigmented. As I have naturally darker lips, I’ve not always found that pinks give enough colour pay-off to show up on them, so was thrilled when this was clearly there after one application. The colour is buildable, so you can make it brighter than I have, but I think this is a lovely way to wear it.

I find the finish to be more velvety than matte, but I much prefer that than having a super matte finish where it’s drying on the lips. Obviously, this isn’t the most moisturising formula ever, but slap on a decent lip balm before and you’ll be fine. It applies smoothly and evenly, and you need basically no skill whatsoever to get it looking good.

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Next up we have one of the Balm Stains in ‘Crush’. I don’t know about you, but I bloody love a good lip stain. My mum’s Benefit Benetint – back when it was in an actual little lip balm pot – was probably the first beauty product I ever stole from her. Stains are great because they’re so low maintenance. They’re like the fuck buddies of lip products. They’re hassle free and guarantee results.

‘Crush’ is pretty much your run of the mill berry shade. But it is super buildable. Again, I tend to wear a light wash, but I have built it to a much deeper and shinier colour, and it eventually fades to a lighter ‘your lips but better’ stain. I would definitely say that this is an everyday colour. It’s inoffensive, it adds something a little interesting to your face, and it’s never going to clash with your outfit. Sure, it’s not the most exciting colour, but it’s a staple.

This is a much more hydrating formula and finishes with a definite sheen. It fades evenly to stain your lips so that you’re not left without any colour on, and doesn’t dry them out in the process. I 100% recommend it!

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Have you tried these out yet? What’s your favourite thing to wear on your lips at the moment?

 

Getting It On Gracelessly

Sex scenes in movies are always so perfect. Their clothes come off perfectly. They fit together perfectly. They change positions perfectly. Even the sounds to come out of their perfectly agape mouths are perfect.

Fucking bullshit.

Sex never happens like that. Everyone knows that leggings and skinny jeans are a bitch to get off. Someone always gets kicked in the head when switching positions, and someone’s always making a face  or saying something stupid that makes you want to smother them with a pillow.

Sometimes things just go wrong during sex. Sometimes it’s horrendous, sometimes it’s awkward, sometimes it’s kind of hilarious, and sometimes it’s just a sweaty amalgamation of the three. We’re only human, after all.

Here are some situations you just have to laugh through..

When a guy notices that your boobs are different sizes. So, I’m aware that most women have slightly different breast sizes, and that that’s completely normal, but I feel like mine are noticeably asymmetrical. As you always tend to be your own worst critic, I thought – even though the gap in my bra was real – maybe I was overplaying the difference in my mind, and just left it. It was never really something I thought about when getting naked with someone else, either, as no one ever mentioned it. Until they did. One night in my final year of university, I went home with this fucking moronic ginger boy who had had a thing for me for, like, a year. Things happened as they usually do. I later found out he may have been a virgin; this didn’t surprise me. The kid acted like I was the pot of gold at the end of his fucking rainbow. In reality, I’m more like a plastic cup full of pennies, so ginger virgin definitely made sense. Anyway, as I just lay there letting him do what he wanted until an appropriate amount of time had passed so that I could kick him out, he cupped both my boobs in his hands and said, ‘They’re different sizes. This one’s bigger; this one’s my favourite.‘ WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?! There was nothing to do but laugh and agree and try to change the conversation. It didn’t happen again until a month or so ago when the Tinder Ginger did basically the exact same thing. I have come to the conclusion that gingers see boobs so rarely that they really fucking pay attention.

When you vom on a guy’s dick. This is mortifying, but fucking hilarious in retrospect. It’s my favourite story that I just never tell because I was so drunk it’s like it happened in a dream, and so I never remember it. Now listen, when I say ‘so drunk’, I don’t mean ‘can’t walk in my heels and offering blowjobs for McDonald’s’ kind of drunk. I mean it was definitely taking advantage of my state to go home with me. However, because we knew each other well, no one really thought anything of it even though they knew we shouldn’t have been shagging. Long story short, I think I passed out in the middle of proceedings, and when I came to, he was sitting on my torso, moving his cock towards my mouth. What a fucking gentleman. My memory fades out here, but from what I can gather, being the drunk slut I was, I gladly opened my big mouth and welcomed him in. Big mistake. The next thing I know, he’s wiping me down with a towel and I’m standing there saying, ‘Well that’s never happened before.‘ I wish I remembered actually being sick because it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever done – if you don’t agree, by the way, you really have no business being here – but I think my brain at the time classified it as traumatic and instantly blocked it out. In reality, it must have been a combination of the angle and the fact that I was too drunk to even have a raisin pass down my throat, but I like to think that my body just knew that the whole situation was wrong and decided to violently reject him.

When a guy refuses to go down on you. I have never had to ask for head before in my life. That’s not to say that it’s happened during every sexual encounter, but I’ve never felt like it definitely needed to be added to the roster enough to warrant asking for it. Additionally, I’m not much of a talker. You’re not going to get any verbal feedback from me no matter how much you ask for it. So, when this boy had his head between my thighs one night and JUST WASN’T DOING IT, I was so frustrated that when he asked, ‘What can I do?‘ I so meekly replied, ‘Can you put your mouth on it?‘ I die a little inside just thinking about it. So, when he looked up at me and said no, I just didn’t know what to do. I felt so awkward and exposed that my automatic response was to close my legs, forgetting that his head was still there. I think he thought I was trying to force feed him. Awkward. When I text Emily about it the next day, she told me that her friend yelled at a bloke who had refused to do it until he felt so bad that he just did it anyway – I like to think I handled it better than that, at least.

When a guy refuses to let you go down on him. I don’t tend to wait to be asked; I just do it. I’m kind like that. And I just so happen to be excellent at it so why not show off the skill set?  So, when this kid stopped me RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE, and said he ‘wasn’t feeling it‘, I was devastated. That may seem melodramatic, but it hit my confidence so hard that the first thing I did the next morning was text my friend saying, ‘Want a blozza? I got stopped mid-suck and feel inadequate‘. Obviously he did, and we ended up shagging later that night. I, however, did not feel the slightest bit better about myself even though I got the reaction that I wanted. The next time I saw the initial guy, though, he asked for head and loved it. And all was right with the world.

When you laugh in someone’s mouth. The first time I got with W, we were lying on his bed watching movies. They were my choices, so I think I was significantly more into them than he was; he talked the whole way through The Big Lebowski, and decided that Megamind was the perfect time to keep trying to get it on. I’ve seen both a shit tonne of times so basically know exactly what’s going on at any given moment and can anticipate what’s to come. So, there we were making out during this delightful children’s movie when my favourite line comes up – ‘Ollo‘. Because Megamind can’t say ‘hello‘. I burst out laughing in his mouth. Yes, I’m about 5 years old. He literally jumped away from me to the other side of the bed, whilst I carried on laughing. This was the second time we’d met. I think I semi-apologised, but more just explained that it was a fucking hilarious line. He edged towards me and said, ‘Don’t do that again. That was so awkward.’ 11 months later and it’s still my favourite memory with him.

Have you experienced any of these situations? What awkward things have you encountered during sexy times?

The Men That May Have Been

As I’ve said before, I’m definitely one to jump on the bandwagon. After seeing posts by The Shit Show That Is My Life and Emily over at Incurably Curious on the ones that got away, I got to thinking about any fellas that I may have let slip through my fingers.

At first I drew a total blank, because, let’s face it – if the opportunity’s there, I’m probably gonna take it. However, after thinking about it for two weeks, I came to the conclusion that men generally get away because I never know if I actually want them or not. So, this is more the men that I was unsure about or too much of a pussy to go for..

The Dimpled Aryan

There was a boy in my year at primary school who all the girls fancied; he was blonde with blue eyes and looked like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. We were the only two kids in our class with dimples, so we were obviously soulmates – except for the fact that I couldn’t stand him. In a class of 30, it’s hard not to know who everyone is, but everyone knew who this boy was. He was incredibly athletic and it was obvious that he would grow to be a good looking man – he just wasn’t that bright. I, on the other hand, was awkwardly tall for my age, kind of a lone wolf, and in all the ‘advanced’ sets that got to go out to the hut to be taught by the Headmistress. We were very different, but we used to hang out because he lived next door to my sister’s best friend and I wanted to hang out with his big sister. I was in awe of her. She was a ridiculously pretty ballerina with long blonde hair – basically like a human Barbie to me – and I just wanted to be her. The blue eyed boy was my in.

When we were in Year One, I was at his house and we were playing in the garden whilst my sister was next door with her friend. One thing lead to another and.. Just kidding. He did show me his willy, though. It was supposed to be an ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ type situation, but obviously I pussied out/was mortified by the whole idea. Then, before I knew it, our whole year was talking about how he and I were naked on the trampoline together. Six year olds love a good sex scandal.

Although the kid never flashed me again, this general kind of fuckery carried on for the next five years. When my Year 6 teacher decided that we’d no longer be seated according to our ability, guess who I ended up next to. This was also the year that I started to fill that elusive ‘tall, chubby Asian’ niche and started to wear glasses, and the year that he started to wear gel in his hair and, I kid you not, developed a six pack. We were very different, yet he still sang Nelly’s Hot In Herre to me every day. As much as I enjoyed being told to take off all my clothes on a daily basis, it just wasn’t happening.

Naturally, he did grow to be a good looking man – but he is also a massive chav now. Oh, and his sister? She looks like an extra from The Only Way Is Essex. No, thank you.

The Jew

I can’t tell you how this gangly 6’4″ man child entered through the peripheries of our friendship group, but I can tell you I was deeply unhappy about it. We clashed like Jay-Z and Solange in a New York elevator. It took over a year of outright hostility from me before we came to realise that it was less a case of us clashing, and more a case of us being ridiculously similar. Somehow, through the sheer fact that we were both massive The Big Lebowski fans and had an unparalleled love of Firefly (were huge geeks, basically), we fell into a really weird friendship that was constantly misread.

Our friendship really took off when I started my first year of University. We would talk every day and when I came home drunk we would either Skype or talk on the phone. In retrospect, I can see why it looked like something may have been going on, but, at the time, I was livid that people would even think it. And not just that they would think it, but that they would think it and openly discuss it. Constantly.

I won’t lie – there were a few incidents that lead people to this conclusion. Like that New Year’s he took off my bra and hung it on a lamppost. Or that time he got in the car with the boys and drove two hours in the middle of the night to see me. Although I was incredibly naive back then, I still think I was right when I would say over and over again that it was just friendly. But, having the emotional awareness of a dildo, I started to get really fucking confused by everything that everyone around me was saying. I didn’t understand my feelings, or anyone else’s – so maybe they were right when they told me what we felt?

Anyway, it all blew up one messy, messy night in Brighton where I was running around the streets with no shoes on and racing head first into glass windows. He wasn’t there, but our mutual bestie was. I remember absolutely nothing from the night, but from what I’m told, he alluded to the fact that The Jew liked me, and I apparently let on that I may have felt similarly.

I call bullshit on the whole thing, though. Our fucking meddling friends fucked with my mind. I’ll admit it, it was kind of a pseudo-sexual relationship, but it was SO innocent. Obviously nothing ever happened. He got a crazy whore girlfriend and we drifted apart. I can’t tell you how glad I am, though, because he is dull as fuck and super weird now. Oh well.

The Seminar Leader

He was my first year ‘Foundations of Human Culture’ seminar leader and, despite the Jesus sandals he would wear, I really fancied him. I loved him from our first class when he asked who had watched Dexter that week and we had a five minute chat about it. I loved him even more when I realised how smart he was and how passionate about anthropology he seemed to be. There’s literally nothing more sexy than listening to a man who really knows what he’s talking about. His intelligence was captivating and he was young and fun – he was so perfect to me.

The upside of this compulsory module that I had no interest in was that we got to go on a trip to a wildlife park so that we could study the non-human primates. Basically, it was a day off to go look at monkeys. As it was fairly near the start of the year, I hadn’t really made any friends on my course – I’m not kidding when I say I’m shy and awkward. So, there I was, wandering around the park by myself, struggling with my worksheet and spilling coffee on my clothes when my knight in Jesus sandals sidled up beside me and asked if I needed any help. It was awesome. He was like my own personal David Attenborough. We walked around for hours and I mainly listened to him talk about intellectual things and it was magical.

There were literally so many private places that we could have snuck off to, but I was not always the brave and daring sexual opportunist I am today, so, nothing happened. I don’t think I even flirted, to be honest. The day came to an end and we got on the coach to take us back to campus. Two months later, he failed me on my first paper. What a cunt.

The Travelling Welshman

I have an uncle who lives in Berlin; the Welshman is one of his best friends. When I first met him, I must have been around 16 or 17 years old and I found him fascinating. He was old, and too short for me, but he was so interesting and kind that I would just hang on his every word. He was a craftsman – so naturally that was just sexy in and of itself – and he would work in Berlin for periods of time to save up some cash, then sub-let his apartment and go travelling for months at a time. I was young and he was the first person I’d met who was so travelled and the inner anthropologist in me found his extensive cultural knowledge to be mesmerising. But, alas, he had a girlfriend.

When I was 19, however, he did not. We (myself, my sister and uncle, the Welshie and a few other Berliners) had decided to hit the bars where they lived in Prenzlauer Berg (my uncle was nowhere near trendy enough to live here), and, as always seems to be the case in Berlin, things escalated and we ended up in a club, drinking and dancing inappropriately. The Welshman and I found ourselves in a separate room, flirting outrageously and grinding up on each other. It got to the point where our faces were millimetres apart before we simultaneously realised that it was an awful idea and just backed away from each other without a word. I think he thought my uncle would kill him if he ever found out, and I just didn’t want to get with an old dude.

A year or so later I lost my virginity on a yoga mat in his apartment, but that’s another story for another time.

Why Snapchat Is Your Enemy

If you still don’t know what Snapchat is by now, there is probably no hope for you. Snapchat is an app available on phones and tablets (Android and iOS) that allows you to send pictures and short videos that will ‘self-destruct’ after a set number of seconds. In addition, you can also add captions and draw on the snap you have taken, meaning you can get as creative as you want with it. Unsurprisingly, Snapchat’s key demographic is young people, or ‘youths’ as I like to call them (I’m actually about 80 years old) and if you show me someone between the age of 14 and 24 who doesn’t have it, I will be genuinely surprised. Then I’ll call them lame because Snapchat is fucking awesome. Misleading title, eh?

The prevailing reason for why I am such a Snapchat lover is pretty simple; I just really enjoy making weird faces. If there’s anything you’ll come away with from spending a few hours with me, it’s these two little things: I make a lot of faces and I make a lot of noises. As they are generally weird and unattractive, I’d rather not have concrete evidence of them in the forms of pictures and voice notes for people to mock me with – I have already provided them with an abundance of ammunition. So, enter Snapchat – the perfect medium to allow me to express myself whenever and where ever I want. Just last night I sent out a little video of me singing the Oreo chant from Wreck-It Ralph, because, why not? I won’t lie, it wasn’t well received, but, whatever, my friends are lame.

I know what you’re thinking. Awesome, right?

Of course, you always run the risk of someone taking a screenshot of whatever you have sent them, but, as you can see, I tend to keep it pretty PG so have nothing to worry about. Snapchat, or ‘Snatchchat’ as the cool kids call it, quickly took off as the ‘safe’ way to send dirty pictures. But, as we all know, due to that pesky screenshot function, there’s a solid chance your half naked selfie will end up on a poorly named Facebook page. Being the respectable and graceful young woman that I am, I don’t send dirty Snapchats. Whether this is because my mama taught me better than that, or because I’d rather not scare boys away with my abundance of jiggle straight off the bat, we’ll never know. If it’s something you’re into, though, good for you. Just don’t send me a picture of your dick. I don’t want that.

So, obvious screenshot issues aside, why is Snapchat your enemy? Why would I even suggest such a notion when I’m clearly all over it like Pooh Bear on a jar of honey? Could I have used a more innocent simile? Do you believe that I just Googled simile to make sure I had the right word? So. Many. Questions.

#1  Snapchat makes you forget that there are boundaries you shouldn’t cross. It makes you feel like you’re Bradley Cooper in that movie where he keeps popping pills. It makes you feel like the answer to everything is the same as the answer to the last question in the Mathlete competition in Mean Girls. But I have news for you; you are not limitless. The limit does exist. Just because you sent a picture of your balls for two seconds and then it disappeared, it doesn’t make it okay. Just because you sent a picture of you in your bra to a boy you know has a girlfriend, but then it disappeared, it doesn’t mean you’re not a homewrecker.

#2  You can’t see what you’ve sent once you’ve sent it. For the casual alcoholics amongst us, this is a real issue. I can’t tell you how many Snapchats I’ve drunkenly sent, which means I can’t tell you what they’re of or what they say. It’s entirely likely I have sent a couple of dirty ones, because, let’s be honest, I’m neither respectable nor graceful, but I genuinely have no idea whether I have or not. It’s pretty clear what the problem with this is; just because you were drunk and woke up having forgotten that you sent anything inappropriate, it’s more than likely that the recipient of said Snapchat wasn’t and didn’t. Subsequently, this can go one of two ways; it’ll have either piqued their interest and you may get laid out of it, or they’ll feel embarrassed for you and your relationship will never be the same again. But you were drunk, right? So it didn’t count? And it disappeared? So it’s like it never happened? NO. You dumb slut.

#3  Snapchat is not a loophole. Again, no more of this ‘it disappeared so it doesn’t count‘ malarkey. I won’t lie, I’m more guilty than Oscar Pistorious when it comes to this. I know it’s easy to think that a Snapchat conversation is harmless and you’re not actually engaging with someone you shouldn’t be, but you’re wrong. It 100% counts and you 100% won’t feel good about it. Cutting a person out of your life means cutting them off on Snapchat, too. Dramatic, but true.

#4  Snapchat Bestfriends. One of Snapchat’s fun little features is that it shows who your three ‘best friends’ are, ie, the three people you Snapchat the most. As my real life best friend found out recently, people (especially girls) actually look at who these best friends are. The girl that he is currently seeing looked at his Snapchat best friends, saw that she was one of them, and asked who the other two girls were. One is a girl he slept with whilst seeing her, and the other is his ex-girlfriend of a bajillion years that he never stops talking about and is still in love with. Awkward. Although I don’t have a problem with this feature, I don’t at all understand it. Whatsapp doesn’t inform all your contacts who you talk to the most, why does Snapchat? Bizarre.

Are you a Snapchat lover or hater? Have you had any mishaps with the app?