Age gaps…how old is too old?

Ok so it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything new on here (sorry I’ve had work). How’s everyone that reads these things doing out there in the big wide world? Go on leave a comment,  I’ll be forever grateful and love you a little bit.  I want to know who you are and how you came to find me and what kind of stuff you’ve enjoyed reading.

So today is a day off for me and I’ve indulged in my guilty pleasure of watching Phillip Schofield on “This Morning” (don’t judge me), and an article they had on grooming and inappropriate relationships caught my attention. It started off with a story about a teacher that had ‘groomed” one of his female students into a relationship that lasted a number of years, this led to a number of people contacting the show to tell of similar stories that involved inappropriate relations or relationships with what appeared to be an older man.(The majority of them seemed to be women but I am well aware that there are men in the same situation).

Now in no way shape or form am I condoning grooming or pedophilia or anything of the kind,  far from it. It simply got me thinking how people view age gaps in relationships.  Personally I have no issue with it, there was thirty years between my parents and I’ve been brought up to see age as just a number, I’m a very open person and if I like someone I don’t see their age,  I see them.

My partner is nine years older than me (I’m twenty three and he thirty two) and apart from the occasional joke from friends (and myself) the age gap is completely accepted. Before writing this I asked him if he had know me when I was sixteen (and he twenty five) would he have still acted on any feelings he had for me knowing the difference in age…he said yes. Now I’m pretty sure if I was sixteen and seeing a twenty five year old there would have been some concern from some people despite everything being completely legal. Part of me finds the initial attraction to someone is their age. I don’t know why,  it just is. When I learnt my other half was nine years my senior it was a massive turn on,  and yes this was partially because of the issues surrounding age.

So where does this stigma of age come from? For the last few years  cases of grooming, pedophilia and the like has been prominent in the media all over the world, and whilst I know the people that do this are wrong it does make me question how “young” some of the victims truly are. (Before I get any hate for saying this, and yes I fully expect to get some, I would like to point out that I am not agreeing with pedophilia. It is wrong and those involved with it need help.) I am merely questioning the mental maturity of some people, you can get a fifteen/sixteen year old that’s far more mature than some twenty somethings. Because of this people now seem to be far more wary of any age difference in a relationship,  and anything over a couple of years is something that’s open to judgement.

Age is how long you’ve been in the world, not how old you are. One sixteen year old can be far more mature than another,  I’m using sixteen as an example because it’s the legal age of consent and makes it easier to get my point across. When I was sixteen I was fully aware of myself (my Mother says I completely skipped the anxty teenage years) and who I was as a person. If I had known my partner then I wouldn’t have had a second thought on acting on any feelings I had for him, as long as I was comfortable. 

Looking back at it any “crushes” I had were for older men and I found it very hard to date people my own age let alone younger by even a couple of months. Anyway,  going back to the woman on “This Morning” and her teacher, she was fourteen and he considerably older. (This again I am not condoning), but it got me thinking about the age gap. If I had been sixteen and found myself or someone else in her position of being “involved” with a teacher I wouldn’t have had an issue with it, you take away the profession and it’s down to the age gap again.
(I am fully aware that age wouldn’t have been the only concern in this situation,  a teacher is a position of trust that some abuse).

It doesn’t help when you can buy “naughty schoolgirl” outfits from Ann Summers or have “Back to School” themed nights out (which always consist of wearing your old school uniform in a ridiculously provocative way). It adds to the whole fantasy of being with someone you shouldn’t,  in this case teacher and student which in turn adds to idea of an older man being with a younger woman. (Again not condoning teacher/ student relations when it’s inappropriate). But things like this add to the stigma… as much as I enjoy dressing up when the situation arises. (Slightly hypercritical I know). 

As I said before my partner and I usually find ourselves on the end of playful jokes about the age difference and the fact I still look about sixteen (I’m twenty four next month), all of this is well and good when it’s among friends.  It’s the occasional sideways looks that people give when we’re out, especially if I’m wearing a pair of Converse and a Harry Potter tee shirt and he’s in his usual shirt and jumper. People judge.

I don’t mind it, it’s my partner that I feel for.  People see him with a considerably younger women (girl if I’m not wearing make-up) and automatically jump to the conclusion that it’s something dodgy when in reality its the most loving and genuine relationship you can get. When I asked him whether he still would have been with me when I was sixteen he said yes but also said he didn’t think it would have lasted,  as I still had growing up to do and things to experience.

Growing up?  What makes someone grown up?  There is no definitive answer to this,  personally I think it’s when you are in control of yourself, understand and except yourself for who you are.  All of these I was at sixteen, but the experience?  What experience?  Love, life? If I’d been in a relationship with him then I would have wanted to experience that with him too,  just as I do now. Isn’t that what a relationship is?

You should see a relationship as the two people involved, if they are right for one another it will work regardless of age, if you love them,  you love them. Yes people confuse lust for love all the time,  and it’s when people take advantage of this that the problem arises (being were grooming and pedophilia come into play.)

Two people can be happy together regardless of age,  as long as there is love and trust nothing else should matter. Age is just a number it shouldn’t define a person let alone a relationship. Yes some abuse younger people for their own purpose and that’s wrong,  but it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes an age gap shouldn’t matter.

Peace. 

Letter to a grieving alcoholic

My dearest friend,

All my life you have been the strongest person I have ever known, you have supported me in all I’ve done and held my hand when I couldn’t walk alone. When I’ve needed you you’ve been there without a second thought,  now all I ask of you is to let me do the same. The grief  and hurt of this has hit us all, there is no shame in grieving. 

I am here for you,  but for some reason you don’t want me to be. You still see me as a child that you must protect, you don’t have to. These last few years I have learnt to protect myself because I have had my own share of loss and death,  and am strong enough to take it. I am strong enough for both of us if you need me to be.

All I ask of you is that you try,  that you want look to the future and not let the past consume you. By all means drink if you need to but don’t promise me your going to stop and then expect me to carry you up the stairs because you can’t even see straight. Don’t make me feel guilty because I say you need help, help I cannot give you.

I can be there listen to your cries and tell you what you need to hear but if you want listen back then what’s the point?  Hearing you say “I only drink when you’re here” not only hurts but it’s spiteful as I know it’s not true.  How many times have I come home to find you drunk,  although you try to hide it. When you drink you turn into someone else, someone that I’ve come to recognise all to well and someone that I don’t like.

You put yourself and others in danger, you drink and drive,  walk around at night not knowing where you’re going.  You scare me. Constantly having my phone by my side when I’m out incase something happens,  it’s not fair. I don’t know what else to do, you won’t listen,  you won’t get help. Do you want me to just watch as you drink yourself in oblivion.

I understand you are grieving,  but grief is not an excuse to give up and give in. It’s like you enjoy having constant reminders everywhere,  shoes still in the kitchen, coats still hanging up, his clothes still in your wardrobe.  It’s been nearly a year and your not even trying to move on.  If I even suggest tidying them away you lose it with me and crack open a bottle. It’s not healthy.

I love you, but I can’t do this anymore.  I can’t sit and let you drown yourself in bottles of red every night,  sit and watch your grief take hold of you. I don’t know what you want me to do.  Tell me please.  If I can’t help you then please find someone who can.  I’m terrified of losing you, coming home to find you gone or worse, coming home not to find you.

Please, I don’t know what else I can do…

Peace.

Going for a run.

Ok so after the disappointment of being no closer to being comfortable in the high wasted denim shorts I somewhat upped my game this morning…I went for a run… (I’m not entirely sure run is the right description but we’ll go with it anyway). Yes,  a run.  Half eight in the morning I was up and in my trainers  thinking I look like something out of a sports advert (I’m the furthest thing in the world) braving the freezing winds and the danger of rain.

Now I’m lucky enough to have been born with a bum Beyoncé would be proud of and a chest that isn’t exactly subtle. All of this on a four foot something frame makes running more of a chore than it needs to be, after the five minute fiasco of strapping my boobs into the bright pink sports bra its the constant trial of desperately trying to keep my joggers up.

If you’ve seen “Friends” and the episode showing Phebe running….that’s me on a good day. Despite all this I do generally enjoy the whole experience (let’s face it it is an experience), it’s like at that time of the morning everyone is ridiculously friendly.  You cannot pass anyone without a “hello” or “good morning”, now don’t get me wrong this is all well and good but when you’ve just run two and a bit miles without hair and makeup the last thing you want is to look anyone in the face or see someone you know. 

Along with the failing joggers and the hurricane winds apparently I’m allergic to myself.  Within about ten minutes of setting my pace the niggling itching in my thighs and back starts. (I Googled it and it’s apparently my body releasing hystermine or something to that effect). Brilliant. This is why I stick to aerobics.

Just after half a mile on my route I pass over a bridge crossing a busy motorway,  this is fine on the journey out as I can sprint across that thing looking like a pro, it’s on the way back that it becomes an issue. Due to my own pride and vanity I feel like whenever I am upon this bridge I am obliged to look like I’m Paula Radcliffe to the constant traffic underneath, which is all well and good the first time I cross it, it’s the second time that hurts.

The second time is when I’m dripping in sweat (attractive I know) and barley able to walk anymore let alone run, but still I find myself having to fly across that bloody bridge like I feel nothing but joy. The upside of this is knowing that im only half a mile away from home (only…). Gliding across, glancing at the cars below (because their obviously looking) I’m passed by a group of cyclists and I get a sudden rush of loathing course through me. I have nothing against cyclists but when you’ve just run a fair distance and all you want is a green tea you can see where I’m coming from.  This loathing conjures up some untapped energy from somewhere inside me and in a moment I’m trying to subtlety keep up with the said bike riders,  it lasted all of about twelve steps.

Finally the crumpled mess I have turned into reaches home. Sweating,  out of breath and hair that looks like one massive dreadlock, I’m then greeted by the postman (brilliant) with a parcel (my ukulele…don’t worry there’s a post about this to come). Of all the times to come face to face with a complete stranger… But it’s done.  I have been for a run in order not to have an elusive pair of shorts I can never quite fit into.  Tomorrow I will do the same. I will be in those high wasted denim shorts by summer.

Peace.

Not being awkward…

Ok so I took a day off from writing yesterday just to have a bit of self centered me time and to try to and make myself look remotely like a woman again, all in preparation of spending the evening with my better half.  Unfortunately the day didn’t start that great as the bathroom scales told me that I was no closer to being comfortable in those high wasted denim shorts (if you read my first blog you’ll know what I’m on about). So that was a green tea for breakfast followed by a 45 minute work out with Davina Maccall… Then it was time to “de-yeti” myself, yes it’s the middle of winter and as much as a thin layer of fuzz on my legs would provide a wonderful insulator (as most women would agree) it doesn’t add to the whole seductive look I was going for. 

“De-yetied” it was time to tame the nest that seemed to be growing out of my head, shampoo,  conditioner then Herbal Essences “Tousel Me Softly” leave in conditioner. This thing is the only thing that seems to do what it’s supposed to and work with my curly hair rather than turn it into a greasy, frizzy mess (yes it’s possible to have both frizz and grease). Once the mane was under some form of control it was another green tea and time to sort the talons, whack on the red nail polish (Venus,  I think it’s called by Rimmel). This is going quite well so far in my attempt to look like a demure and sultry grown up (I’m 23 so I can say that), nails dry and the make-up on (a bit of eyeliner and smokey eyes) it’s time to chose the outfit.  Something casual but flirty (christ I sound like something out of a magazine), anyway a denim skirt and a lacy top. Done. 

Doing this is all well and good,  it’s my awkwardness that let’s me down.  I never realise if I’ve said or done something awkward. It’s something that I’ve gained a little control over in the last few years but occasionally I still drop the metaphorical awkward bombshell. Usually it’ll be me trying to be funny and failing (for those of you who know me will be well aware that I don’t do humour. At all.)

Anyway,  after a lovely evening over David (you should give his blog a read. Ablokecalleddave I think it’s called) and Charia’s (hope the out of date cosmopolitan didn’t come back to haunt you hun, also take a look at her beautiful business Hoobynoo World) which ended up with us all playing bowling on the wii it was time to put all my hard work into practice.

Jay (my other half) and I get home and I’m desperately trying to keep all my awkwardness to myself (no slip ups as of yet), trying to be the sultry temptress that I know I probably can be.  “It’s really blowing outside” he says to me ” It could get really blowy in here too…” I reply and wink,  I actually wink!  There it is,  there’s the line that will undo all my hard work of trying not to be an awkward mess. I just said it, I didn’t even think it! What normal person says something like that without thinking it first!  How I even have friends let alone a partner is beyond me!  “It could get really blowy in here too”. Seriously! 

There’s the three second silence, the silence of processing What’s just been said.  Thankfully I don’t usually realise when I’ve said something awkward,  not this time,  this time I know. Do I go with it?  Do I carry on like I haven’t said anything? … He’s laughing, he’s actually laughing!  I can breath a sigh of relief,  all my morning of preparation wasn’t for nothing.

I have found someone who finds my awkwardness acceptable,  which makes me feel quite comfortable with it.  I can’t promise myself that this feeling of comfort will last, when I start work again on Thursday the mixture of nerves and the want to impress will no doubt revive the awkward demon that dwells inside of me.

Peace

Being employed!

So for the beautiful people that have read my previous posts (I thank you) you will know that I was unemployed…. that is not the case anymore!  I have a job! I now work at Clarkes Shoes! 

Receiving a call for an interview the next day five minutes after signing on for the first time whilst sitting at a bus stop was, needless to say the highlight of my day. Considering I’d handed my CV there over three months ago (before it all went a bit wrong) I’d completely given up on that one. Anyway I had an interview and it was time to break out the heels and “LBD” (little black dress).

Half past two yesterday, I’m standing in Clarkes waiting to tell them why I want to work here, why I should get the job,  all the usual standard stuff… then it hits me… if I get this I’m going to have to be around other peoples feet. I can’t lie, this throws me a bit, the idea of having to possibly touch other peoples feet.

Luckily I didn’t have time to dwell on this as at that point it was time to go and impress, I then realise it’s a group interview.  I’m not used to this situation my competition will be sitting in the same room as me…Bring it!

I don’t think I realised how much crap I talk in interviews until yesterday, upon being asked how my best friend would describe me the reply of “A drunken mess” spilled out my mouth before my mind registered that I was in an interview.  (I genuinely thought I’d blown it at that point). At the question “So why do you want to work for us?” without a second thought I blurt out “Because I like shoes” followed by “I know it sounds cliché but I really do!” (How I’ve ever had a job I’ll never know).

This is where it all got a bit awkward,  they pulled out the CV they had for me (which really was out of date as I’d handed it in months ago as I’ve already said) and asked why I’d left my previous job at Monsoon and what had happened since (which im not going into as Select aren’t worth the time). This sparked the question “why hadn’t I handed in an up to date CV?” I explained it was ages ago that I had given it in and so on and so forth only for them to turn around and say they don’t keep CV’s on file and it was only given to them recently… I don’t understand how it got there but I’m pleased it did.

Amazingly despite the awkwardness of the CV and me telling them I was a drunken mess I was offered the position there and then.  I sign my contract on Thursday and start Friday,  and cannot wait to tell Alan my “work coach” Tuesday.  Bye bye signing on, hello employment.

Peace
 

Paranoia

So it’s half past two in the morning,  and I can’t sleep. Why? Because I have a million and one completely irrational thoughts screwing with the inside of my head. All of this set off because my other half starts his work placement in a few weeks and asked if I minded just staying over at the weekends…In my head that’s him trying to tell me in the nicest possible way that he doesn’t want to see me anymore and it’s over. 

My paranoia comes from a mixture of my own insecurities and one too many people “not wanting to hurt me”, so I’ve learnt to get in their first and call an end to things before they get to serious. Except things have got serious (I think) and suddenly the little voice in the back of my mind is whispering all the things I don’t want to hear…

“He’ll find someone else”, “your boring him”, you’re not pretty enough”, (my hang up on appearance is a whole other blog so I’m not going into that now). It gets to the point where I doubt everything and everyone, I’m conscious of everything I do and say and the world suddenly becomes a very dark place.

Then the scratching begins,  the constant picking of my head until it bleeds (probably me trying to tell the little voice to shut up). The truth is I like the pain, it’s almost a release when I draw blood, like a five second clarity of everything. It sends me into what I can only describe as a hypnotic state of mind where the pain is the only thing I can feel, its almost euphoric. 

I can’t imagine never not being paranoid in a relationship (probably why I don’t usually stick at them) this scares me because I know it’ll probably be the thing that breaks us. And I would only have myself to blame if it does. Yes I have my reasons why, I’ve been cheated on, used, hurt, but he is not them…

Christ I wish that little voice would shut up!

Peace

 

Internet Shopping for Aragorn…

So for those of you that read my first blog (many thanks to you if you did) you’ll know that one of my aims for this year is to stop buying things from the Internet simply to get a cheap thrill when they arrive. The delivery I’m expecting today doesn’t count….

The delivery I’m expecting today isn’t for myself,  it’s for the other man in my life,  my little man Aragorn. Now unfortunately I don’t have a miniature character from “The Lord of the Rings” tucked away in a draw that I can get out to play with when I’m bored,  what I have is a gorgeous Crested Gecko.

Aragorn is just over two years old and has recently been given a rather large, brand new vivarium. (My flat pack skills were put to test and I am relieved to say I came out on top form). But with a new home comes the need for new furnishings… hello Internet! 

As a crestie Aragorn has a love of climbing things whether it be a wall, his branches or my hair. He also needs a place to hide during the day and when he’s having a strop at something or on hunger strike (don’t get me started on his tantrums and strikes, he’s driven me to the point of insanity with worry).

All of this gave me a valid reason to go a tad wild on the “Seapets” website… various silk and prothstecic hanging leaves,  climbing branches,  a purple orchid. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the glowing mushrooms!  In my head I had now created “Pandora” from James Camerons film “Avatar” all because of some plastic glowing mushrooms. 

This was a week ago, and after an email telling me there was a delay with my order due to a back up after Christmas I finally received a message yesterday saying it was all despatched and on a next day delivery service. Unfortunately I have another appointment at said Job Centre (again if you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know about this) so I’m fully prepared to put a note on my door saying “PLEASE LEAVE DELIVERY IN THE SHED!”.That’s another cheap thrill in itself coming home to find it waiting for me… 

It’s now five to twelve and the postman has been and brought absolutely nothing,  I’m hoping it’s not been sent via Royal Mail. Every van that drives past there’s a glimmer of hope that evaporates as it carries on past… again this doesn’t count as pointless Internet shopping, it’s not for me.

So this is it for today,  I leave you with this image.  I am sitting staring out the living room window onto the main road,  guessing that the next van I see will be the one, jumping slightly if I hear a van door slide open somewhere that I can’t see. Waiting,  just waiting…

Peace.