Monday, 29 September 2014

Dear 16 year old me



It's me. You. As in you, in seven years time: a wiser, more confident, definitely-not-any-taller version. Hullo. Happy birthday! As I am you, I know that tonight you will be having your very first house party. You will consume about 4 WKDs and end up attempting to feed Mini Cheddars to a camcorder and weeping profusely because you missed Christmas, even though you didn't miss Christmas. You may also possibly do a wee in an alleyway. Tonight, too, will be the first and last time you ever wear fishnets. You know why? Because they are aesthetic suicide. You're going to feel really, really shit and humiliated come dawn. It won't set the calibre for the rest of your youth, I promise. We will just pretend it never happened.

This next pocket of seven years will be bursting with things that will surprise, inspire and change you. There are some things however, that I'd like you to know now, just to make the journey ahead that little bit easier.

If you take just one crucial piece of advice from this letter, please let it be this. You are not old, and you do not know everything. Yes, you are on the verge of leaving school and will be going to the prom in a real, 'actual limousine with da bois.. OMG', (please stop talking like that), yes, your upper torso seems to have expanded into a mass of ample bosom (that doesn't mean excess mammary spillage is a good look though...), and yes, you're going to do pretty bloody well in your GCSEs, but in the grand scheme of things, you know only a tiny speck of dust upon an entire grand spectrum of information. Over the next seven years, you'll realise that learning is so much more satisfying when it doesn't end with a grade on a piece of paper. Learn as much as you can about everything that you can. Books are tonic for the idle mind; continue to immerse yourself in them. Appreciate creativity and literature and music and science and technology and religion and history and people and places. Appreciate everything, even the lesson on 'breeds of gulls' which may well be told to you by a half pissed, bearded old man on a train. If you never speak of it again, at least you will know which birdie is most likely to steal your tuna sandwich.

Please stop giving yourself that Lady-Sovereign-esque, scalp-chafing ponytail that sticks out of your head like a misplaced penis. It will get it's very own mention in the yearbook, and seven years on, you will still be mocked for it by all of your remaining school friends.

Keep your dignity when your heart gets broken. I can absolutely promise you that desperate, unsolicited, drunken text messages are never worth the humiliation. I can also absolutely promise you that although there will be times where you feel as if that one person has completely obliterated your one chance of heart-shaped happiness, you will move on. You'll eat a lot of pizza and you'll have a little cry and in a moment of rage you might even envisage yourself knocking them over with a tractor, but you will always move on; you're human, that's what humans do.

Love has a habit of fucking people up, but if you're drowning in the details of someone, it's always a risk worth taking. Just make sure they're kind. I fear that kindness is a dying art. Treasure those who champion it. (Also, show your Grandma a picture of every potential suitor and trust her instincts. She seems to have mastered the art of being right about these kind of things.)

Stop drinking blue alcohol in the park. It never ends well. Stay in and eat broccoli instead. Broccoli is awesome.

Keep writing. Don't listen to all of those people who will tell you to pursue a 'proper' career path. Always remember that whatever happens, and whatever you're getting paid to do, you are a writer through pursuit, not profession. You are a writer because you write. It will always be the greatest love of your life; honour it. And guess what? Your creative career will take off, eventually. From 2011 onwards, the Internet will become your literary playground. You'll have an audience. You'll write about life and genitals and the bizarreness of human beings, and people will actually read it. A French man will even tell you that you're the best thing to happen to the planet since Dr Who. Effectively, you'll also write yourself into a job that you love. Those soul destroying days behind the pizza counter at Asda will feel like a million years ago. Just don't accept that 'Transatlantic Agony Aunt' gig for the e-magazine in New York... That shit will get far too weird.

Fear is futile. Your hair looks terrible blonde. You're always going to be rubbish at looking interested when you're not. People you expect to live forever aren't going to live forever. Dinosaur onesies are totally okay. You're going to get a B in Art even though you are absolutely terrible at Art and everyone is expecting you to fail. (I know! That will remain perpetually funny.) Expand your horizons. Honesty is always the best policy, even when it feels like it's not. You'll always be your own worst critic. Wear heels that are comfortable; the intoxicated, stumbling goat look does you no favours.

Make the most of your blistering naiveity. These are the last few months of a beautiful pocket in time during which you are not fully aware of what the world is capable of. Don't waste it fretting about the size of your thighs.

Yours,


You



Monday, 22 September 2014

Things that people say about love/dating that are untrue, inaccurate or rubbish



'I'll be the one who can make him commit.' We've all got ourselves caught up in dating Mr 'LADZ-ON-TOOOOOUUUUR, playaaaaaaaa!' at least once in our lives. They're not necessarily our usual type, or the kind of person we want to take home to our Grandma, or even the kind of person we could ever fall in love with. They do, after all, pride themselves on their supposedly massive genitalia and shout 'bantz!' far more than should be legal, but sometimes, they've got the charm, they've got the shit jokes, and they've got a compliment for every occasion. These kind of men are easy to like and often fun to be around, albeit in a very temporary and superficial kind of way. It's an appealing fantasy that we can be 'special' enough and brilliant enough to take Mr 'YES- BONE HER MAAATE!', cleanse him of his STIs, and sprout him a halo. Here's the deal; we can't. We are still special and brilliant. He is just living his life aboard the Genital Express, stopping briefly at every station before hurtling off to the next one. It's a bit like the London Underground... Germy. And disappointing. And absolutely never worth jumping onto. Move on; I dare you.

'I just don't know what I want.' If you're involved with someone, and you're at a point of potential progression with them but you just 'don't know' what you want, the chances are that you probably don't want it. Your confusion itself is implicit of that, and of course, it is your right and your privilege as a complex human being to be completely bewildered and overwhelmed by any such situation. Just don't get that person all muddled up in your brainspace. Your decision has clearly already been made within the depths of your subconsciousness. You really don't need to kiss them another 400 times/make them fall in love with you before you confirm it. Thanks.

'Deep inside, there's a really, really, nice person!' Yawwwwwwn. It is a terrible side effect of optimism to believe that every human being has the ability to be marvellous and kind and emotionally capable of reaching their highest potential. Guilty as charged. I've hung onto relationships, or to my own feelings for unworthy people because I've loved the idea of what I thought they could be, whilst failing to accept that they are, and will eternally remain: a) an asshole,  b) completely uninterested, or c) an asshole. Some people are just, well, perpetually awful. Take that knowledge and run with it. Or away from it. Run away from it. And by it, I mean the person who is only nice within the glittering shackles of your fantasy.

Everybody deserves a second chance. He slept with your best friend? He punched a llama when you went to the zoo? He got drunk and came back with a tattoo declaring 'LUV U 4EVA (insert-your-name-here)'. Nope. No second chances. Some things are unforgivable. 

'Date a checklist and you can't go wrong.' If you or I were to list every quality we think we would want in a potential partner, I can guarantee that we will have met so many people who have ticked all of those boxes and will have felt nothing. When two people do develop feelings for each other, there's a rare, invisible magnetism that I think is rather magical. Those sciencey folk might tell me that it's to do with hormones and chemical reactions and my fertilisation preferences (I promise never to write a sex manual), but I prefer to think of it as something raw and beautiful and totally inexplicable, something far greater than a just a selection of appealing characteristics and the right amount of facial hair. Don't settle for a checklist; settle for somebody who you couldn't engineer on paper, somebody who's all over your mind when you're awake at 3am, somebody who completely captivates you beyond your own personal comprehension. It's one of the most enchanting feelings in the entire world. (Perhaps even as good as sneezing.) Shall we get our violins out now? 

'Here's some advice for you, play hard to get!/Treat them mean, keep them keen!' Unless you are 12, or are championing a grave lack of intelligence, there is no valid excuse to be doing any of this. You don't have to confess your undying love for someone and thrust yourself upon them after five minutes, but being upfront about the way you feel and actually being a a bit keen is a positive thing. Let people know that you're interested. Ask them what they're doing tonight. Tell them that you want to take them out for some overpriced wine and a chinwag. Give them a cuddle. It will get you a lot further and make you a lot happier than ignoring them for a week over some ridiculous idea that it makes you look 'cooler.' Treat them keen... Keep them... keen? It's easy-peasy-let's-be-lovely-squeezy. Preach it.

'The couples who argue the most are the ones who love each other the most.' Call me old fashioned, but since when did train wreck relationships become so glamorous? Since when did slanging matches, crying, and stomping out the room like a furious toddler become a worthy way to spend a Thursday evening? Granted, it's inevitable that human beings in close proximity are going to get on each other's nerves every now and again. Niggles can escalate and everybody disagrees from time to time, but, the way I see it, the couples who love each other the most are those who find themselves arguing over the littlest the least. You know why? Because they're too busy enjoying each other's company/being happy/fornicating/chinwagging/sharing biscuits. (Insert/delete activities associated with joy as appropriate.)

'The right person will complete you.' Newsflash. Nobody on this earth is going to 'complete' you. You are already a complete person, all complete there with your organs and your thoughts and your ideas and your dreams and your hairy toes. And if you don't think you are, there are probably a few inner gremlins that you need to tame. Expecting another imperfect human to be the staple component of your happiness and existence is never going to end well. 

'I just can't be on my own!' You can. You do not need to fill your heart or your bed with a mediocre human being as part of a strange, flawed attempt to validate your own self worth. You are the only person who can sort that shit. Relish the opportunity to be thoroughly selfish from time to time, and whether you're single or not, always nurture the most important relationship that you will ever encounter, your relationship with you. Be your own best friend. Laugh at your own jokes. Learn stuff and do stuff that you want to do and do it for you. Treat yourself to bacon and brie sandwiches for dinner. Go on lone, rainbow chasing adventures upon your unicorn. Be kind to your reflection. Grope your own breasts. Do nude cartwheels and declare your own perpetual brilliance and revel in your oneness. Please and thank you. (That got a bit weird, but I enjoyed it, and I smiled and I thought 'you are so much fun to be around Kathy B', and in turn I accidentally proved my own point. You're welcome.)

Have you heard people say things about love/dating that are untrue, inaccurate or rubbish? Tweet me your thoughts: @kathyb5710

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Dear Granny B,



I'm six years old. As was our weekly tradition; it's a Saturday night and I'm staying at yours. My hair, which, by the way, is circa 3ft long, has been tied into one of your trademark messy, fuzzy plaits, curled gently across my shoulder as I lay there in the dark. There's a storm outside, and as it picks up and the thunder starts roaring across the black, sinister sky and the rain starts hammering on the window, you potter in with your cup of tea and your packet of TUC crackers, wrapped up in your ivory, floral nightgown, and you sit on the chair at the end of my bed, crumbs falling into your lap. You didn't say anything. You just sat, eating those crackers. I didn't stay awake for much longer, because having you there was always enough, but, even in those brief, sleepy moments of mine, I remember thinking how lucky I was to have a Grandma who would happily sit up until 3am if it meant I didn't have to. I also remember thinking you were the ultimate criminal for eating crackers after you'd brushed your teeth.

I'm eighteen years old. We're sat next to each other at Tommy's funeral. You've just lost the man you've loved and squabbled with for over fifty years. The most integral part of your life has come to its end and I know you're heartbroken. You're holding my hand as the poem I wrote for him is being read out. Your bottom lip is shaking and your eyes are laced with tears. Not a single one of them fell. I look at you and I know you're holding it together for me. You whispered how beautiful my words were and how proud you were of me. I bought you a Baileys at the wake and we said goodbye to him together. I never would have made it through that day without you.

I'm twenty one years old. You've made the spontaneous decision that you need to get a boyfriend so you've got someone around who can help you with the hoovering. We're sat at the dining table on my laptop, and we've loaded up 'Plenty of Fish.' You can barely navigate a Nokia 3310, let alone an entire website, so I wasn't too sure how many folk of your generation would be clued up on internet dating. 600+ results later; I don't think you've ever been more thrilled that I was wrong. We cry-laughed at 74 year old Londoner Terry and his explicitly written desires for a young, curvy, Asian babe, and then we cry-laughed some more at topless Peter from Gloucestershire, whose questionable camera angles had made him look like a cross between a wild yeti, and my left thumb. Once we caught our breath, you asked if we could look at the under 25s instead. You never did get your date, but it never really mattered. Topless Peter took pride of place on the cover of your birthday card that year and we laughed about it all over again.

In March 2013, 5 months after we struggled to find you a boyfriend on the Internet, you got diagnosed with bowel cancer. For the first time in my life, I experienced days where I just couldn't find a bright side or a silver lining, or some great, philosophical reasoning as to why this might be happening. Those positive things that I cling onto when things are shit were just completely non-existent; there was nothing positive about seeing you, this sharp, funny, vibrant woman laying helpless and confused in a hospital bed. There was nothing positive about the idea that my entire world was going to be cruelly and suddenly stripped of your presence. You weren't having any of it. You made it your mission to see me as a bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding that coming August. You promised me you'd be there.

You underwent major surgery to remove the cancer and ultimately to save your life. I spent evening after evening sat with you at the hospital, chinwagging about the ways of the world, mutually lusting over that Aussie anaesthetist, and generally feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the universe for letting you live. In hindsight; yes, your cancer was an awful experience, but it was also one that brought us together in a way that I could never have envisaged. I learnt so much from you during that time. I learnt so much about your life and your beliefs and your innate courage and your penchant for dishy young men with kind eyes and scattered facial hair....Familiar, I know. I learnt that it's okay not to be okay, and that I can still function as a human and be there for other people even when I'm tempted to break into a Havisham-style sob every five minutes. I discovered a new sadness that makes me treasure happiness even more-so. And of course, I learnt that hospital doughnuts are surprisingly addictive. You ordered one whenever they were on the menu and sneaked it into my hands every single time.

I've spent so much of my life with you and I've adored every second of it. I can't remember a time when you haven't supported me, except perhaps for that moment I cracked open the third bottle of wine on Christmas Day. You've shared with me your silly witticisms and you've let me drag you to the pantomime every year, and you've asked for every last tiny detail when I've been on a date. 'Ooooh look, isn't he lovely?I think he might be the one Kath!' You've bought me slippers every winter and you've been the first person on the phone whenever anything noteworthy has happened. You've believed in me when I haven't believed in myself. You've loved me so fiercely and so purely, and it is a love I'll carry with me always.

I look at you and I know that heroism isn't about having a superpower, or being utterly fearless, or having cheese-grater abs. It isn't about living an insane fictional lifestyle or getting viral media coverage (I know you don't know what that means), or possessing the expert skill of kissing whilst upside down. (Your arthritic knees would never allow it anyway.) It's not even about prancing around in a fancy costume or swishing through the street in a cape. Nope, perhaps the truest of heroes are those who walk among us: those who throw goodwill around like confetti, those whose hearts are made of the finest gold, those who are extraordinary just by existing and make us feel extraordinary with just one kind glance. Perhaps the most worthy heroes are those who can inspire us to be so much better without ever thinking it or telling us that we need to be. That's you Granny dearest. And every last pinch of love that I have within me is yours. I'll never forget your face when you saw me as a bridesmaid.

If I'm anything like you are when I'm silver-haired and wrinkly, I'll know that it's been a life well lived.

Yours always,

Kath x


Next Sunday, I'll be dressing up as my dear old Granny B and walking 10k at St Wilfrid's Hospice's first ever Hero Walk. If you've got a spare fiver and want to make a difference to this incredible charity and the community it serves, you can sponsor me right here


Monday, 1 September 2014

The curse of social media silence


The internet is my creative playground. If you're reading this, the internet may well be your creative playground too. Hello. Good day to you. There's something quite extraordinary about this place.

The problem, however, with the extraordinary, vast, creative playground of the internet, is that sometimes it feels as if you're existing on the outskirts, skipping and waving and shouting 'helloooooo, I'm hereeeeee, come and play with me!' but to little avail. It's not difficult, particularly within the blogosphere, or when you're trying to establish a presence on social media, to feel as if you're waffling on to an audience of one: yourself. I'm a firm believer that talking to yourself is a total marvel during a Thursday morning hoover, or when you're in the shower contemplating life philosophies, or even when you're just in an overtly enthusiastic 'I LOVE LIFE' mood and feel the need to declare to oneself how much fun it is to have breasts that exist and swing and bounce and how wonderful it is to dwell beneath a sky full of wispy clouds and sunshine and magpies. But, when you have a message to share, a message that you fully believe to be important or witty or captivating or inspiring, talking to yourself doesn't quite have the same appeal.

It's easy to invest a substantial amount of time in creating something. It might be an idea that your curious mind conjured up weeks ago. You became pregnant with that idea. You made plans for it and fed it and grew it. You delivered that baby straight from the depths of your love canal and you fell in love with it. You nurtured it, you crafted it, you spent hours perfecting it and preparing it for the world, and then you put your baby out into the virtual sphere. And....Erm, nothing. No tangible response. Your nan phoned you up to tell you that she loved it, but you can't help but feel that's her obligation. In less than 24 hours, these words that you put together can go from being a literary explosion of near ingenuity and lasting sentiment, tonic for the idle mind, perhaps, to being the shittiest idea you ever had. That born and bred wordsmith within you: the fiercely passionate writer who is definitely going to do some good in the world, is suddenly scratching at an empty page with a half-chewed pen that doesn't work. You turn into a disheartened, frustrated failure, who vows instead to spend the rest of time drinking gin and eating crisps and 'NEVER writing again'.

As creatives, I think the craving for acknowledgement and appreciation is inevitable. Although we can see traffic and statistics, the desire to connect with others on a personal level is intrinsic to our human nature. If we made someone else in this world think, or if we inspired somebody to do a naked cartwheel, or even if we just made someone chuckle and splutter into their Cornflakes, we want them to tell us about it. We need that validation that actually, yes, our efforts were worth every second and we're alright at what we do, and there's reason to keep doing it. Ultimately, the approval from people we've never met is where the magic's at, and social media is the perfect platform upon which to deliver and receive it. Social media silence, therefore, when you've put so much of yourself into something, is one of the biggest curses of modern day creativity. It sucks. A lot.

Let me tell you something about social media silence and the flawed theory that it breeds. So, nobody tweeted? Nobody commented. Nobody sent you an email about it. It's easy to assume in that case that your work was absolutely bloody pointless and that nobody is interested in your particular brand of creativity, even though it's your most loyal passion, that one, all-encompassing thing that saves you from mediocrity and keeps you in love with living. Nobody cares. It's an assumption that I've made many times. It's an assumption that you've made many times.

It's a complete and utter illusion. I promise.

The number one rule of creativity is that you do it for you. Everything that you create has a purpose in serving yourself. You took an idea out of your head and turned it into something that cleared your mind and made you less insane. Good for you. That shit is never a waste of time, regardless of whether you feel it has an audience, which, irrefutably, it does.

Take a moment to think about the way that you personally consume creative content online. How often do you favourite a piece or return religiously to a particular blog or read or watch something and think 'THAT WAS SO AWESOME'? All the time. How often do you actually go and credit the creator or share their work or tweet them your praise or email them to tell them how ridiculously in awe of their talent you are? Probably not so much.

Just because your post doesn't go viral, or because nobody tells you that they enjoyed it, it doesn't mean that nobody's enjoyed it. I absolutely guarantee that there is somebody out there who cherishes every single word that you write and adores your little, virtual world. Even if you have only one reader that you're aware of, that one reader might be absolutely gutted if you ever decided to stop creating. You might bring light to that one reader's day where nothing else can. And if you know from your traffic that you have a somewhat established audience who just don't interact much, it's ignorant to assume that they are less inspired or less grateful because of that. You are making a difference. There's always an audience for creativity, even if they're not as present as you'd like them to be.

And so I guess the moral of this is to embrace what you do. Don't even toy with the idea of giving up on your craft. Be conscious of the fact that somebody, somewhere, perhaps without the preface of a Twitter handle or bloglovin' account, has fallen in love with your creative consciousness. Perhaps we should all be a little more optimistic and believe in ourselves the way that our returning audience believes in us, and perhaps we should all make a little more effort to not always be the silent consumer.

Go and let someone know that you love what they do; I dare you. And go and bloody do a naked cartwheel to celebrate. (Don't forget to tell me all about it.)















Monday, 18 August 2014

'Make your life spectacular, I know I did'




There are human beings like me, who can spend 2 hours creating what essentially is a shitty joke about a farm animal that nobody will ever laugh at, and then there are human beings like Robin Williams, whose innate charm and wit and irresistible, inherent madness bursts out of their souls like sunbeams; people who possess a degree of effortless, magical, manic ingenuity, an inexplicable energy that cannot be taught nor manufactured. Unfortunately, being Robin Williams and being all of these things did not make Robin Williams immune to the explicit reality of the human experience, and it is this cultural acceptance, coupled with the tragic circumstances that engineered his untimely death, that have shone a light upon the fragility of our own psyche.

In those final moments, it did not matter that Robin Williams had the love and admiration of his family and an adoring fan-base worldwide. It did not matter that he had carved himself an incredible career: that he was the master of the one-liner, of mimicry, of hilarity, that he was wealthy, that he had exercised his talent and achieved all of these fantastic things that many modern creatives aspire to; that he had magnificently entertained people across the world. It did not matter that he had been generous or kind or that he had thousands of people who would have thrown their arms around him and begged him not to do it. The only thing, I imagine, that mattered in those moments, was his escape from his own manic facade: the crippling pain, the all-encompassing sadness that was suddenly entirely unbearable. It seems a terrible injustice that one man can be enough for the entire world when the entire world cannot be enough for that one man. Robin Williams taught us all that laughter is the best medicine, but unfortunately, it did little to appease his pain at the end.

Robin's tragic death serves as a heavy, solemn reminder that there is an ineradicable, chronic delicacy rooted within us. The human condition is incredibly delicate: love,  fame, accolade, wit, vibrancy of character; none of it immortalises people nor protects people from dismal narratives. In the aftermath of tragedies such as this, it's so important that we extract that knowledge and strap it to us and use it to live our own lives better: to be considerate and lovely, to be vigilant, to be mindful of the inevitable struggle of others, to realise that actually, yes, we're all a little fucked up and maybe always a little bit on the verge of self-destruction and we're all fundamentally alone, but ultimately it is this commonality that binds us together.

Although his demons proved too much for him in the end, Robin Williams is still an example of human resilience in the face of grave adversity. Mental health issues are not a side effect of naivety nor adolescence nor a pessimistic nature; mental health issues are a side effect of being alive, their ferocity variant from person to person. These were issues that Robin fought for many years of his life, and yet still, he achieved everything that he did. He experienced love and family and children and he lit the world up even when his own was dark and through that, he has left an incredible legacy. There is a great deal of hope to be taken from that.

The damning reality is that we are never going to be able to stop people from killing themselves, but perhaps through striving to accept that nothing in life is permanent, we can more-so appreciate the sacrality of our own preservation. We need to realise that happiness, in its purest and loveliest form: happiness that entirely dismantles any negative thought, happiness that feels insane and infinite, only ever comes to us temporarily. Where life itself is fleeting, those moments are even more evanescent. Wrap yourselves up in those moments of euphoria and hold onto them for as long as you can. Embrace the finest pleasures of being human; enjoy the awesome people around you, fall in love, make a difference, fuel your little spark of madness. Do all of those things with the consciousness that the world owes you none of it and enjoy the sense of great privilege that this bestows. Equally, for as long as we're alive, the prospect of change breeds hope. In Robin's own poignant words, 'suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.' 'No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.' Use them to do good.

'In the end, none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish and think of me.'






Sunday, 3 August 2014

A letter to the friend who died before his time



Dear Zac/Mr Zacharia Dingle,

When I was 16, I received a phone-call that changed life as I knew it. I can still hear those 4, choked up words as if I heard them this morning. 'It's Zac... He's died.' I can still hear some of the friends I love the most dissolving into tears in the background.

You were one of the friends that I grew up with. You feature in half-crumpled primary school class photos, grinning straight into the lens a few rows behind me. You strike the same pose in lots of the secondary school photos too. You were always there, that gorgeous, broad smile a constant presence in my life, interchanging between the background and foreground as the years passed by. You were one of those people who had become an intrinsic human feature of my existence, one of those people who was always meant to be around.

I remember those long, summer evenings that we'd spend sitting up by the garages on the street that I still live in, revelling in the delirium of sun and youth and puberty, sharing silly jokes and pointless conversations about boobs and making weird noises at each other. I remember how unimpressed you were when we ordered happy meals at McDonalds and realised that the mini Barbie doll I got with mine wasn't wearing any knickers. I can still see the comedy, horrified expression on your face when you held her above your head and subtly averted your gaze upwards. I laughed so much at your jovial rant that I spent the duration of the meal spluttering chips in all directions.

I remember all those times waiting outside Media Studies in the last years of school. If you weren't picking me up and spinning me around until I was screaming at you to put me down, you were squeezing my cheeks, whispering funny, crude little things to me. When we had a fire drill in the middle of winter, you wrapped me up in your cardigan, only to come over and ask if you could have it back 10 minutes later. 'I'm freezing my knackers off here!' It was the thought that counted Zac. And the thought always counted with you.

You were easily the most popular person in our year at school, completely adored by every single person who crossed your path. When our English teacher read the closing line of 'Animal Farm' in year 9, you stood up, enthusiastically said, 'that was beautiful, Miss', and initiated a whole class round of applause. You were full of laughter and hope and ambition and opportunity, full of a certain rare and inexplicable charm that could light up an entire room and put everyone in it in the palm of your hand. You were a born entertainer, a history maker, a young, creative, quirky, brilliant man with a heart of the finest gold. You were all of these extraordinary things, and you were 3 days off of the birthday you were so excited about. People aren't supposed to die fresh out of secondary school, but youespecially, weren't supposed to die fresh out of secondary school.

On this day 6 years ago, the world stopped making sense. We were cruelly welcomed to the explicit reality of the human experience, and we were hideously unprepared. We didn't know what to do, or how to cope, or if we'd ever feel truly happy again. We knew nothing except that you were suddenly gone and that life would never be the same again. Hundreds of people came together for your funeral. We laughed and cried and clung to each other and made jokes that you were probably about to walk in from some spontaneous, exotic holiday and wonder what all the fuss was about.

It's more of a sedated wound these days, but every so often, it opens and surges with the same astounding pain: the mammoth sense of loss and anxiety, the crippling sadness that you were so young and so wonderful and so screwed over by the universe, the anger of that terrible injustice. I still cry for you from time to time, especially on days like today. I'm also under no illusion that the insane disbelief and grief that I felt was minimal compared to that of your best friends, your family, your parents, those people who loved you even more than I did. I cry for them too. I guess the greatest misfortune of living is that love cannot and does not immortalise people.

It's now been 6 years since you died, and with every year, time has carried us further away from who we were back then. Even though we're all now in our early 20s, you'll always be 15. I often wonder what you would be like now. Would you still be sporting the bounciest, sheepiest mop of hair in Eastbourne? Would you have achieved some of those big, creative dreams of yours? Would I still bump into you along the street to find that you'd spent your entire day shopping for hula skirts? 'What do you think of this one? I love the swish.'

We'll never get the answers to those questions, but even though you're not around, you're still around, somehow. You're there whenever I hear 'A Long December' by Counting Crows or see a bright red cardigan hanging in the window of a mens' shop. You're present in some of the decisions that I make, your loss a fervent reminder of the fragility of life and the sacrality of people and opportunity and the profound importance of pursuing the things that make us happy. The best we can do to honour people like you is to live fully and passionately and well, to never shy away from loving other people, to embrace life with the same zest and gratitude that you did and to laugh as hard as possible as often as we can.

I know now that we can be happy even though you died, and we have no reason to feel guilty for that. Perhaps it's a different kind of happy, but it's a happy that can still consume us during life's best moments. It's a happy that can still feel infinite. It's a Zachary James Whitington kind of happy. And that's all you'd have ever wanted for us. It was an innate and incredible privilege to have known you.


I'm sorry that my doll wasn't wearing any knickers.


Sleep tight buddy. I'll love you always.


Katharia x











Sunday, 13 July 2014

9 people you should delete on Facebook

(*Image sourced from and credited to someecards.com*)

That person you've always wanted to punch in the face. I'm not doubting that you're a lovely person (of course you're a lovely person, you lovely person, you), but even if you are the loveliest human being who has ever walked the earth, you are not immune to the idiosyncratic curses of social existence. There is somebody in this world for whom you have a perpetual desire to punch in the face. Who is it? Is it your weird, pops-to-the-shops-at-5am-to-buy-onions neighbour? Is it that friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who you met briefly for 5 seconds before deciding you'd rather sit on a cactus than ever converse with them again? Whoever it may be, there's every chance you've befriended them on Facebook to satisfy your unwarranted curiosity. You'd never actually punch them in the face, but you do think about it, a lot, and you sometimes slam cutlery on the table and huff about 'HOW ANNOYING' that person is, especially when their latest 'literally, they are doing my head in' selfie pops up your newsfeed. Delete them; I dare you.

The oversharer. Social media culture may well have influenced our attitudes toward discretion, however we do still have the opportunity to govern just how much we put out there. We don't have to shamelessly declare to the virtual world that we 'just had the most painful bikini wax eva, I'll be red raw for days! LOL!' or that we're, 'literally, sooooo angry rite now!!!!!!!!!! Tom just said someone else's name while we were having sex, literally WTF!!! Why are men so shit? So gutted right now ;(', or that we're 'just popping to the shops lol', 'just putting a load of washing in, same old lol', or 'just eating a ham sandwich lol.' 'Just deleting you because your unsolicited, boring updates are making me want to kill myself, lol.'

The guy who just commented on a Facebook photo you were tagged in in 2007. He may have made the transition from half witty message tennis on an online dating site to let's-get-each-other-on-Facebook-so-we-can-stalk-the-shit-out-of-each-other, or he may have added you on the basis of your mutual friends. Either way, he's just liked a pouty, freshly-turned-18 'LUV MA GALZ, GETTIN' ON IT, haven't yet learnt how not to dress like a massive slut' photographic cataclysm that you were tagged in 7 years ago. Oh hello, excessive mammary spillage and cheap, why-is-it-blue?! alcohol consumption; good day to you. As if his rifling through 1500 photos to find that one wasn't bad enough, he's commented saying 'propa gorgie hun, i would ;) xxx.' Get your trainers out; it's time to run for the virtual hills.

The serial complainer. One short scroll through your newsfeed is all you need to do to know that this cantankerous soul is having the WORST WEEK of their lives EVER. (Every week.) Their oven broke, they couldn't get a seat on the bus, their dog chewed their favourite pair of undies, 'the traffic is soooooo bad', Tesco ran out of cream crackers, they're disappointed with the English weather, they're too fat to get into that dress, too tired to deal with life today, and far too pissed off with Margaret from the post office. Their life is one giant 'FML'; the sharing of their daily gripes a window into their absolutely, positively horrendous misfortune. Can we ban these people from the Internet? Please?

That girl/guy who loves her/his 'PERFECT boyfriend/girlfriend sooooooo much foreva and eva!! Can't wait for the rest of our lives baby, mwah xxxxxxxx.' There's no quicker way to cheapen one of the most extraordinary components of the human experience than to urgently bare the grammatically incorrect desires of your bursting heart to a completely unmoved audience. Love is beautiful, I get that, but in its most raw, remarkable state, that beauty is bred from the frantic whispers between the sheets; the inclusivity, the sharing of laughter and toast and genitals, the spontaneous, creative declarations of affection between THE TWO OF YOU that don't require the approval of Brenda from Harlow, who you think you might have worked with 4 years ago at Pizza Express. You're going to drag 400 of us into this shit because you can't find a more creative way to express your feelings? Really?! 

The chronic inviter. Come and milk some cows on my non-existent farm. Click here if you want to read 25 facts about me! Come and play candy crush. Sign my petition that is absolutely going to change the world. Like this cause. Come to my awesome party. I'm Jesse McCartney, which 'I-can't-actually-sing-but-a-bunch-of-14-year-olds-fancied-me-10-years-ago' star are you? Which American president would you be best suited to for a coffee date? Which hors d'oeuvre are you? I'm an onion ring, HAHA. Come and like my page. It will change your life. Goodbye.

That girl you met drunk in the bar toilets in 2009. In the pre-Internet days, you would have lost contact with this girl almost instantaneously, but of course, Facebook allowed you to cement the gin-fuelled discovery of your unrivalled best friendship. You shared life stories that night, swapped vagina-related witticisms, and told each other that 'your ass looks AH-MAZING in that dress! Seriously! And those booooooobs, I would kill for boobs like that!' You lent her a hairbrush. She lent you some bronzer. You passed some toilet paper to her under the cubicle divider. You loved each other within 5 minutes. Guess what? You haven't spoken to each other since. It's time to accept that it's over.

Your one night stand from 2 years ago. You well and truly carpe'd that diem, and though you didn't initially regret the 5 minutes of mediocre intercourse that you shared with this handsome stranger, it's now become apparent that your fantasy idea of him was much better than, erm, the actual him. Unfortunately, Mr 'there-was-just-something-about-him,-I've-got-to-add-him-on-Facebook!' keeps posting vile Grandma jokes and photos of his cat in the tumble dryer. His virtual presence has initiated your shame and is doing little to appease it. Without Facebook, you'd never have known that this handsome stranger was in fact the creepiest person you've ever met. Congratulations. Remove him from your friends list; your dignity will thank you.

Jack Matthews. Who the devil is Jack Matthews?! Seriously though, do you even know who that guy is?


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

10 signs that you need to quit your job right now

(*Image sourced from and credited to someecards.com*)


You are really, really, really rubbish at it. If any of you have a Grandma like mine, you will have heard the phrase 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again' on countless occasions. Unfortunately, such sentiment isn't always applicable to the reality of living as an actual human. You may well try, try, and try again, and you may well still be really, really, really rubbish. Welcome to the human experience. Being really, really, really rubbish is never much fun. Save yourself; I dare you.

You've started putting gin in your porridge. Pre 8am alcoholism has become a habitual remedy to relieve the pain of your obliterated soul. By 9am, you're just about ready to stand beneath the bleak and dismal cloud of disappointment that will haunt you until your shift is over. You might even embrace the benefits of your temporary delirium and cartwheel all the way there, slurring 'happy fwiiiiidaaaaaaaay!', even though it's Tuesday, and you haven't been certain of happiness since you won the school obstacle race in 1999.

You have serious job envy. You want everyone else's job but your own. As your fellow employed chums share stories about their 'AH-mazing', 'rewarding' and 'quite fun, actually!' jobs, you sit there, weeping on the inside, wondering when you might be able to offer the same exaggerated enthusiasm. If you did exaggerate, your job would be mild torture at best. Even your Uncle Margaret's job has newfound seductive qualities. Your Uncle Margaret taste tests duck embryos and fried tarantulas. Who fancies a pre-breakdown snack?

You avoid staff rooms like the plague. You can't think of anything worse than making small talk about 'the bloody English weather, shame we can't solve that with a flow process, ha ha' and listening to 'geeeeeeeeeeeeezA!' Gary's daily 'GUESS WHO'S GETTING SOME GASH THIS WEEKEND!' newsflash, which is always accompanied by a weird, celebratory fist pump. Not you buddy; not you. Your colleagues are the most irritating, insane, ridiculous human beings you have ever encountered. You find it near-impossible to offer pleasantries to the coworkers you never really liked, and so you spend your lunch breaks sat at your desk, alone, staring at the wall whilst you eat a bacon sandwich, cursing the spectrum of human creation.

You
don't look like you anymore. You've put on 10 mighty stone since you started this job; 10 stone of 'well, there's nothing better to do' custard creams and those 'if-he-says-gash-one-more-time-I'm-going-to-punch-him' bacon sandwiches. You have dull, grey hairs sprouting from your miserable scalp. You have premature wrinkles and persistent sweat patches. And as if you weren't already unattractive enough, you recently had to fight off your Grandma as she tried to deposit her speckled bananas into the bags beneath your eyes. 'I'm sexy and I know it,' said you, never.

Work life is so boring that you've started fantasising about mundane events. Your fantasies used to be fully reflective of your intrinsic, sexual desires. Every fantasy, at least, had the commonality of minimal clothing and somebody really, really, really attractive. Nowadays, you find that a warm crest of arousal presents itself at even the idle thought of going to the dentist about your receding gumlines. 'Let's get it on......to a toothbrush to reverse this periodontal damage'. Marvin Gaye would be ashamed of you.

Your excuses for being late/having time off are becoming ridiculous. This morning, you were late because you got chased by an eager unicorn who was keen to tell you all about rainbows and debate the existence of Father Christmas. Yesterday, you couldn't come in because you ducked into your wardrobe to pull out an old pair of clogs and ended up lost in Narnia. Your Granddad has died 12 times in 3 years. You have weaved an intricate web of lies, deceit and lunacy. You are bonkers. Your job has made you bonkers. Get out of there before the biscuity llamas thrust upon you their 2-year subscription to whacky-wooky-waheeeeey club.

You are under-appreciated/undervalued. For whatever reason, your manager thinks you are severely incapable of doing anything other than, erm, the shit jobs. Your job description consists of scrubbing cracked toilet seats with a decade-old toothbrush, sealing second-hand envelopes, and trying not to kill anyone. Your manager also calls you Steveo, even though your name badge, in hideous mauve ink, clearly reads 'ROSIE', and you have a vagina.

You are getting urges to do inappropriate things in meetings. You've become explicitly aware of the bizarreness of these mundane, superficial constructions of reality during which human beings try to adhere to the realms of formality and pretend that this lengthy, monotone speech about something completely disengaging is 'YARS, very engaging.'  If you hear 2 more managerial metaphors, you'll be taking your clothes off and performing a sole rendition of the Macarena. Call it a day. Your dignity will thank you.

You've started saying things like 'it's one of those days, 'FML', and 'I can't wait to get out of there'. In fact, you've not only started saying them, you say them all the time. You don't say anything else. You are an unconscious prisoner of your own hatred, constantly rattling on about the one thing that you can't stand talking about. You haven't had a proper conversation since last July. FYL, indeed.


Friday, 6 June 2014

Real life wizards


How many people did you come across today? How many people did you speak to? How many people crossed your mind, even if just for a cursory moment?

People. Our lives revolve around them; our friends, our family, the people we discuss the solar system and periods with in the office, the strangers we pass and smile at in the street, the crazy, drunk folk who become our 'best friends evaaaaaaaahhh' when they lend us a hairbrush in grubby toilets at 2am, the people who make our lives complete, the people we aspire to be like, the people we're engineered to love and the people we grow to love throughout the course of our existence. Yup, people are pretty bloody important, and for the most of us, will have become an integral part of our human experience.

I like people, I think we've established that. There are however, a certain breed of people who I am particularly fond of, and it is these beautiful, bizarre creatures who I would like to celebrate today, everyday in fact. Would you like to celebrate them too? You would?! Let's do it. Let's take our knickers off and do a cartwheel and feel our aliveness and privilege swishing around our chubby thighs. Let's revel in the perpetual brilliance of the real life wizards.

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley aren't real, I feel you. I'm never going to get my Hogwarts letter. (Can we just take a moment whilst I weep about that? Moment. I'm taking it.) But despite the obvious reality shift between Hogwarts, and erm, not Hogwarts, I'm certain that there are wizards within this world, walking, fleshy, animated wizards; human beings, just like us, and yet so remarkably unlike us all at once. I'm positive that as you read this your visual consciousness will fill your assiduous mind with the faces of your very own real life wizards. If I'm wrong, you can borrow my unicorn.

These people aren't necessarily people that we're in love with or having ravenous intercourse with. Whilst of course they could be those people, real life wizardry can extend to those we're not romantically involved with at all. Real life wizards are just people, people who to others might be a smiling stranger on the street, people to us who become nothing less than extraordinary as their cascade of raw and awesome magic paints our lives in the hues of our favourite colours. Mine are teal and orange and pink, thank you very much. What are yours?

The ironic thing about these people is that we were perfectly content before we knew that they existed. We never sat, swishing a tumbler of gin, desperately wishing that we could stumble across somebody with their face and their muted scouse accent and the same A-Z of qualities. We never missed the presence of this fine stranger or invented them in our idle mind on a mediocre Thursday. And yet, as soon as they were there, as soon as we felt the ardor of their presence, we sat, swishing a tumbler of gin, wondering how we were ever truly happy until they were a part of our lives.

These people, the real life wizards; they vivify everything. When we're around them, we laugh a little harder, we think a little deeper, we pursue our dreams that little more fiercely, we cartwheel with more enthusiasm, we confront our fears, we go for walks at midnight and stare out at the sea and think, 'YES! This is MY LIFE! I am and I can and I will...(insert further bursts of unwavering optimism and exclamation marks here)'. When these people are around us, they inspire us to be so much better, without ever thinking it or telling us that we need to be.

We're not stupid. We know that our wizards aren't immune to irreparable flaws; they entertain as many inner gremlins as the rest of us. They might be stubborn or crude or tell shit jokes or eat all of our cheese. They might take certain things too seriously or other things not seriously enough at all. We might look at them and envisage that they could easily be the most annoying bloody person that we've ever stumbled across. But they're not. They never will be. We're not blind to their shortcomings, but somehow, each flaw of theirs becomes a trail of spirited discovery, a joining of dots on their imperfectly perfect, grubby souls. Everything they think and say and do matters, and yet doesn't really matter at all, because we'll remain entirely captivated by them, eternally overcome by a bizarre and rare and precious and inconspicuous magnetism. It's never been as incredible to be human than when they're stood right next to us.

All too often, these people don't inhabit our lives for the eternity that we hope for. They come, spiralling out of nowhere, they inject their colour and wit and wisdom and they wave their metaphorical wand and wear out their terrible jokes and they fuck things up in the best possible way. And then they go, and life goes on, and we're still happy; we're happy because we met them; we're happy because our soul's been stripped and muddled and thrown back together; we're happy because we experienced this furious connection of hearts and minds and souls (and genitals, sometimes); we're happy because they're alive and we're alive and that's always worth celebrating. We're left with beautiful ruins, and not much cheese, and we feel an innate sense of gratitude to the universe because of it.

Call it fate, luck, or an erratic sequence of absolute, blind inconsequence. Whatever it is, even without capes and 'wingardium leviosa' and flying unicorns, it's magic. These people are wizards, the very best kind. Sorry Harry.



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Tinder, chubby thumbs, & the concept of attraction


Last month, I downloaded Tinder. Those of you who have also used the app will be all too familiar with the 'no, no, no, hell no, no, no, ooooh, hello...' confab that accompanies a Tinder browse. For the less acquainted, Tinder has arguably become the most popular virtual matchmaker on the market, thriving on the promise that 'it's how people meet. It's like real life, but better.' Tinder pulls information from your Facebook (not so handy when you've been on Facebook since 2008 and have liked all sorts of erm, embarrassing shit), and presents you with potential matches based on your gender/age selection, location, mutual friends, and shared interests (oh, you like 'mooing at cows' too?! Moovellous.)

The formula is easy-peasy-finger-swipe-squeezy. If you're interested/intrigued/feeling a twitch in your genitals, you swipe right, and if you're not, you swipe left, catapulting anybody you so wish to into the virtual black hole of inconspicuous rejection. Two right swipes create a match, and once matched you can sit on the toilet and send messages to each other such as a casual 'hey Kathy, what's up!', or a hilarious 'how much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice! HELLOO!', or even an infinitely arousing and perfectly punctuated 'hi hun id love to put my dick in u u up for sum fun?' Yes please. Absolutely. U up for a personality transplant?

There are perks to Tinder. It appeals to the immediacy of 21st century living and sits seductively within our extraordinarily busy, technology centric lives. It provides cracking entertainment on a soul-destroying, mediocre Thursday in the office. The set up of the app filters creeps more-so than its online counterparts. And similarly to every other Internet dating initiative in this world, there are non-creepy, innately kind, witty, intelligent, 'not-going-to-take-my-clothes-off-until-at-least-date-seven' people using it, who are suddenly more socially browsable and accessible than ever, and absolutely free tomorrow night. (There's also a certain level of juvenile satisfaction to be taken from left swiping your ex.) I understand why everybody's skipping on the Tinder playground, I'm just not too sure that I like it.

Whilst the Tinderati keep telling me that the app's ultimate thumb workout is a microcosm of real life, there's a fundamental difference. Attraction, righteous attraction, is not bred from a static aesthetic. Granted, we can look at a photo of a total stranger and proclaim within a single, devilish second that we 'soooo would', but attraction as a concept is thoroughly undermined in the virtual world. In actual life form, we are not static. We do not carefully manipulate our presentation to the same degree. We are laughing and socialising and moaning and saying things and doing cartwheels and scratching our balls and seeing and knowing and doing and being. We are existing in our physical entirety, present and alive and animated, and it is this whole presence that determines our appeal to others. To put it simply, if you clock a handsome stranger in a bar and then realise that he's ordering WKDs and slamming his fists on the table, cracking jokes about f*cking his best mate's Grandmahe's probably not going to seem so desirable. He'll get a right swipe on Tinder though. The complexity of attraction and science and human cognition does not cease to exist just because Tinder ignores it.

And whatever happened to the charms of chance and spontaneity and 'accidentally walking into people', anyway? Whatever happened to a bloody good, half-romantic story? No matter how advanced technology may have become, we can't engineer the inexplicable.The magic of serendipity and unforeseen connection is never going to be recreated on a cracked screen, fighting against a migraine and 10% battery. I've spoken to a couple of guys on Tinder who genuinely seemed pretty awesome, but I found myself completely uninitiated after a couple of hours simply because it all just felt a bit too immediate, a bit too compromising of a worthy mutual experience. I'm not asking for the world-changing plot-line of a timeless, classic novel (that would almost be as cringey as my 2008 Facebook likes), but I do now know for certain that I really don't want to 'meet' a man in a virtual setting; a setting where I'm further delaying the reveal of his inevitable flaws and his potential desire to sleep with his best mate's nan. I'm also sick of swiping when I should be wiping. (Still up for sum fun, hun? )

Welcome back, chubby thumbs. I missed you.


Monday, 19 May 2014

How to be a bloody good friend

(Here's me being a pro friend.)

I often wonder how on earth I have any chums. I do, after all, ask way too many questions, laugh uncontrollably at my own jokes before I've even said them, and regularly rave about the fascinating development of my dog's genitalia. I even text photos of it to my nearest and dearest for my own juvenile entertainment. Somehow, despite my various shortcomings, I have been fortunate enough to stumble across other strangely wired humans on this planet who seem to enjoy my company. Hurray! Yup, according to the great delight and hilarity that it wraps around my daily existence, friendship is one of the innate pleasures of being alive. Do you have friends too? Let's talk about it. Let's celebrate it! Let's make sure we're honouring our fortune and being the best friend that we could possibly be.

Here's how to be a bloody good friend. You're welcome, world.

Remember that your friends are only human. (Unless they are dogs.) I think as humans it is important to accept and appreciate that we are all irreparably flawed. In other words, we are shit; the lot of us. Don't all panic at once, for many of us are also brilliant and funny and inspiring and marvellous and all kinds of fantastic, but it is inherent to our nature as such creatures to f*ck up every now and again. Don't form any kind of relationship under the expectation that it is always going to be rainbows and unicorns and kiss laden text messages. In the words of my idol-chum John Green, 'you don't get a say in whether you get hurt in this world, but you do get to choose who hurts you.' Be happy with your choices.

Be funny. Laughing so hard that you almost do an uncontrolled, enthusiastic wee on the carpet is one of the best feelings ever. Everybody needs a friend who can bring them such joy. Be funny, I dare you. Be the Bantersaurus-Rex from Banterbury. Fasten your seatbelt aboard the bantastic banter bus... Banter. Bant. ('BANT-AAAAAAH mate!') And if you're not the world's most natural local comedian; fall over, poke yourself in the eye, or humilliate yourself in public. Those are my party tricks.

Be there. If your pal is sobbing down the phone to you having some kind of epic, soul-destroying crisis, there should be no debate involved in the order of your priorities. Those hilarious videos of gymnast squirrels will still be there in the virtual domain once you've done your listening/sympathetic patting duties. Wake me up, before you go, go. GO. 

Listen to them. This ties in closely with being there during an epic, soul-destroying crisis, but be sure to listen to your chums during jollier times too. Granted, you may have heard the 'we have the same favourite film, O-M-G, are we soulmates or whaaaat?!!' story hundreds of times, and you might not share their Dyson hoover fetish, but it is these strange/irritating quirks that complete the characters whom we have chosen to love. Probably. We listen to them talk shit. They listen to us talk shit. That is the fundamental rule of brilliant companionship.

Always give back the things that you borrow. Sharing is caring, I feel you, but do give back any prized possessions that your pals have been kind enough to lend you. If you don't, you are at significant risk of being disowned, particularly if you are my friend and you have borrowed my ukelele. I find that the best time to return your friends' things is when you've broken them, spilt last night's chicken gravy all over them, or bought yourself an upgrade. (Unless you are my friend and you have borrowed my ukelele.) High five.

Have brain sex. Those deep, poignant conversations during which somebody reveals a certain depth or layer that you'd never previously had the pleasure of seeing or knowing are the conversations that cement everlasting friendships. Preach it. Get your snorkel out and appreciate your chums to the depths of their beautiful, bizarre, grubby souls.

Don't kiss them/sleep with them/confess your undying love for them unless you really, genuinely have mutual feelings for each other. Brain sex is one thing. Actual sex is entirely another. Want to know how to destroy a perfectly good friendship? Easy-peasy-genital-squeezy.  You might play it cool and decide it's 'HAHA-hilaaaaaarious and not awkward AT ALL', but once those lips/reproductive organs have introduced themselves, things will never be the same again.You will find yourself hiding/weeping behind the banana stand when you clock them across the aisle in Tesco. That is no way to live your life. You heard it here first.

Cuddle them. Get your oxytocin out. Squeeze them at every given opportunity. Thrust your chest/breast upon theirs and treasure them with your physical entirety. (Don't squeeze them so hard that they throw up/turn purple though; that could be counter-productive. And don't do this with exposed genitals, please and thank you. I'm watching you.)

Don't kiss/sleep with/confess your undying love for their boyfriend/girlfriend/mum/dad. Unless you've had a lot of brain sex and you are both immune to the woes of crazy humiliation, no friendship will survive any such drama. 'One time, I had this chum, and she slept with my dad and became my step-mum, and we never shared Wendsleydale at 2am or played 'the David gameagain. I'm so thrilled for them!' said no-one, ever.

Be honest. Whoever said that honesty is the best policy deserves a pat on the back and some free crumpets. Honesty is a fantastic and endearing quality, and in the long term, your friends will thank you for it. The moral of this story? If they look like a farm animal in that new dress of theirs, tell them. And if you're not brave enough to tell them directly, make disgruntled pig noises at them or throw them some hay. Oink.

Never turn up looking sexier than they do. This is another of my party tricks. Deliberate. Absolutely deliberate. You're welcome.


Are you a bloody good friend? How do you do it?



*The David Game is a game that I invented with my best friend. It is awesome. When I choose to share it with the world, your life may never be the same again.

Sharing is caring.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Visits