A brief but still pretty long story of my sex addiction, and hopefully not temporary breakthrough.

Since I was a young teenager, I have been obsessed with sex. OBSESSED. I was always thinking about it and always talking about it. When I wasn’t talking about it, I was consciously holding myself back from talking about it because I didn’t want to bore people. Everywhere I went, I scanned the faces and bodies around me. Wondered who I’d like to fuck. What they’d be like in bed. I fantasized constantly. I masturbated constantly. I wasn’t attractive, so I didn’t have very much opportunity to live out my fantasies.

When I was 18 or 19, I started to come into my own. My confidence came from sex, from the brief high I got from a man’s desire to sleep with me, and from his approval of how passionate I was in bed, how willing to try things I might not really want to do.
I grew more confident. Flimsy confidence that plummeted every time a guy stopped calling, every time a careless remark reminded me I wasn’t really good looking. Sex was on my mind all the time. I slept with everyone who had a glint in their eye. I wasn’t good looking but I wasn’t ugly, and as I grew into a young adult I learnt how to make the most of my looks, and with sex constantly on my mind I exuded sex, and attracted more and more people. I wasn’t good looking but I was sexy.
It felt good, to have found my strength. It felt good, to be sexy, and although I couldn’t compete with the really pretty girls, when it came to sex I was in my element, and I got a certain satisfaction from the pretty girls’ boyfriends hitting on me.

But no one wanted to go out with me. Well, some did. Some fell for me, but they were the quiet, shy types. I had no interest in them. I was loud and bubbly, and I wanted the alpha males, not the “nice guys”. I didn’t really meet nice guys anyway. The ones who called themselves nice guys were usually shy, underconfident, geeky, and unattractive. They got drunk sometimes and the bitterness came out about all the assholes getting the girls. And then I’d think, it’s not because they’re assholes. You’re only as nice as you have to be, you’re only as much of an asshole as you can get away with. Woman aren’t prizes to be awarded to the most deserving. They are people who are just as shallow as you. While you’re complaining about the pretty girl going for the asshole, there’s a not so pretty girl like me bemoaning the fact that some other guy prefers a hotter, less nice girl, and when you set your sights on me, it’s as a plan b.
I chased men. I chased sexy, confident men. Fucked up men. Interesting men, I called them, until they tossed me aside or hurt me and then I called them losers and assholes.

I got a nice boyfriend. He loved me and for the first time I was treated well by a man. But he was quieter than me, and I was immature, and I needed someone to call me out on things, to calm me down, and he let me walk all over him. I did the walking, but I think I was far too young and selfish to respect someone who let me. I don’t regret the loss of the nice guy, because we weren’t right for each other, but I do regret being mean to him and not learning from him. We broke up, and I missed him terribly then, because he was for a while my best friend and my biggest supporter. But the sex was never right. He was less experienced than I was. Of course he was. But I didn’t know how to teach. I wasn’t entirely confident in bed, I just followed a male lead well. Because I was used to it. I was afraid to get on top, because I didn’t know what to do, how to move, what would feel good for him. It took me years to figure out just to do what felt good for me, and the rest would follow. I was embarrassed on top, I felt exposed. I didn’t know how to teach him, because all I had was muscle memory and he didn’t move me around the way I was used to. I thought I was great in bed, but I didn’t know how to be great in bed with him. We had sex drunk a lot at the start of our relationship and then less and less and less until we mostly just cuddled. I was sexually frustrated and masturbated whenever he got up earlier than me, whenever he slept earlier. 

I met an alpha male. He was unavailable. He didn’t want me, he just wanted to fuck me. He picked me up and flung me around with little regard for what I might want. And I played a game, for the first time, finally I had learnt to play the game. He fell in love with me, we fell in love, I was wonderfully happy, I had made him love me, a man who didn’t want a girlfriend tying him down. But it was under false pretenses. I showed him only my good sides, my agreeable, malleable sides. I didn’t show him anything I showed my previous boyfriend. I didn’t let him see the crazy, the weak, the emotional, the slob, the unhygienic, the bitchy, the lazy, the ugly, the fucked up, the sad, the jealous, the insecure.

When we married and settled down together, I relaxed. We both did. Slowly we got to know each other, too late. 

When we first met, the sex thrilled me. But it didn’t do it for me, really. I didn’t have orgasms. I wanted sex, constantly, and he obliged, and then some. But he didn’t try to make me cum, he just expected me to, from the pounding. I didn’t have many friends around me then, and those I did, weren’t very open about sex. So I didn’t know this was normal, that women don’t orgasm from being pounded. I thought it was my fault, and so did he. No other women had this problem with him, he said. 

It was a long time before I realised how many women women fake orgasms. I learnt I could orgasm if I masturbated while we had sex. But then he’d flip me over and I couldn’t do it from that position, so I faked orgasms. I faked orgasms while fake masturbating while he had sex with me. It was ridiculous. I started to resent him. He never went down on me. Once, on my birthday, extremely drunk, he tried to go down on me but it was so obviously a chore to him, I stopped him. He never tried again.

We gradually stopped having sex. I remembered my last relationship and it started to nag at me, that something was wrong with me, that I faked a sex drive for some reason, because I was starved of love, and when I got affection I didn’t want sex any more. It was me, it wasn’t my uninspired sexual partners. When we stopped having sex we put on weight. The fatter I got the less sexy I felt. The less sexy I felt the less I felt at all like having sex. I couldn’t fantasize about sex because it made me too unhappy to picture myself fat, being fucked, and it made me too unhappy to picture myself skinny, being fucked, because I wasn’t skinny. I masturbated when my husband slept beside me, and whenever he was out of the house. But I didn’t think of myself being fucked. I thought of him cheating on me with someone better looking and skinnier. It made me feel hurt but excited. And the fact that it was weird, and kind of fucked up to think about the man I loved fucking someone else, made it kinky and sexy.

I tried to initiate sex sometimes but my confidence was so low, because I was fat, because he didn’t want to fuck me, because his porn history was always right there when I checked my emails, and it was all big tit latinas, and not fat pasty women with small tits.

I left him. I had an empty apartment and no one to cuddle. I bought diet pills that gave me oily diarrhea. I ate big salads for dinner and bananas for lunch. I lost a stone in two or three months. I looked great. I fit into jeans I bought on sale, stubbornly, years ago, that I’d never managed to sit in. I took photos of myself in underwear, because I couldn’t believe I was slim, and I looked good, and I was happy, and my sex drive came back in force. 

Sex drive, or the desire to be witnessed, to be seen and approved of. And this is around the point where my blog started. If you go back to the very start, there’s a lot of bitching about people who annoy me, and I feel so young, reading it back, like shit, I can’t believe that’s just four years ago, or so. But that’s the point I was at. I had lost weight and I wanted to fuck, and it was all I thought about.

And then I went through a year of loneliness and sexual frustration in Italy, and then I came back to Ireland, and then I went to France, and then I went to Ireland again. And I decided to go back to university. 

And I spent a year partying and not writing, and making more friends than I’ve ever had, more close, real friends. And I’ve looked forward to college, more than I ever imagined I would. And I went through a stream… a torrent… a waterfall of men. 

I dipped my toe into the fetish community, because I was bored. I found the fetish community boring and cliquey. I had some fun, though. Learnt a few things about myself. I tried some interesting things. I met some people who, while annoyingly square about their kinkiness, at least put a lot of time and energy into both sides of the experience. People tried to make me cum. I gave them a few courtesy fake orgasms, because they made a good effort, and of course I can’t really orgasm without some intervention of my own. But then I let go, sometimes, and I found I could have orgasms, after all. I had the best sex of my life, by far. But it didn’t satisfy me. I still wanted sex, constantly, abundantly, until I was exhausted, and then I’d want more when I woke up, and more and more the more I had. 

I had an insane high from sex, even when I didn’t orgasm. And then I crashed, when it was gone. I was tired of fucking just anyone… my standard had been raised. Not for men, but for sex. I wanted the lickouts, the kink, the imagination, the spontaneity, the uninhibited quality of the fetish but without the crappy clichéd aesthetic, and the weirdly prevalent dominance and submission. Why so much bloody power exchange? Why did everyone expect that? I just wanted good, wild, interesting sex. I didn’t want to push my boundaries, I just wanted to keep things interesting. To treat bodies like climbing frames, to treat sex like a smorgasbord. I was too much of an anarchist to delve into anything properly, like bondage, power exchange, fetish, because the people who got there first had made up rules and etiquette and vocabulary that made me cringe, and lose respect for its blind followers. 

But I did have some great sex. But I didn’t WANT to just have sex. It was naturally unavoidable, that I would have lots of sex, all the time, because I had a drive, I needed it, I wanted it all the time. I wanted to meet someone lovely, caring, who would make me laugh and who would appreciate me, who I could have fun with, and cook for, and care about, and support, and then I wanted them to fuck me all night too. But where to meet this guy. I hadn’t met anyone in ages, I had never met anyone who really ticked all the boxes. There was no “one that got away.” All my boyfriends had in retrospect been awful. And all the men I’d overlooked… well, I probably didn’t remember them. But I wanted someone really special, for me. I had so many friends, and so much going on, and so much to look forward to, an actual life goal, too, that my confidence was growing, and not just from sex. But my foray into the kinky world had given me more sexual power, and now I knew I wasn’t sexually defunct, and I wanted more, and no longer could I kid myself that a quick casual fuck would satisfy my craving.

A couple of months ago I got fantastically drunk with a few friends and one of their acquaintances who turned out to be a kinky guy, and when he pulled out a bag of coke, and everyone else went home, we talked more and more about sex, and kink, and we trailed off back to my house, and I dressed up and let him tell me what to do, and I felt like a goddess, because he was so impressed by me, because I was such a strong woman, so clear about what I wanted, and so sure of myself, and yet I’d still go either way in the bedroom. And the next day I woke up and felt fine about it, he spent so much time going down on me, I couldn’t even count the orgasms or where one ended and the next began. I felt fine about it, not regretting drunk sex, as I have occasionally done. But I felt not just fine, I felt like I was too good, for this. Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes I do know what I want. I am sure of myself. Finally. I really am, I know my needs, my wants, I know my worth. Not that sex is a gift to hand to the worthy, but damn, why am I bending over backwards making it easy for people who have done nothing for me? I mean, yes, some of these people put a lot of work in with the orgasms. But mostly, they don’t. And I’m worth more than this. I want more, I don’t want to be this supposedly great woman and then just fucking any man who wants to and has a bit of confidence to ask. What a pity, what a millstone around my neck, this damn sex drive.

I imagined all I might achieve, if I freed up my mind, my energy, my drive, for other things. To work on myself, on my life, on getting me the real lasting things I wanted, not the instant gratification. The instant gratification that left me desolate, lonely, hollow, half the time. And the other half, left me attached to the object of my lust, falling in obsessive love for short bursts, thinking of nothing and no one but them until it burst and I went back to rudderless horniness. I wanted out, but I assumed I’d never be out, because I’d been like this since I was a teenager. It was how my brain had grown. Sex was the fulcrum. Sex was the monastery around which my brain had grown, sex was the old roads that couldn’t be widened any more, because the buildings were built there, sex was the reason everything was laid out as it was. Sex ran through my reasons for everything. I imagined ripping out the thing that had defined me for so long, and what would be left? Sex is who I am. By saying I was tired of meaningless sex… was I forgetting all the beautiful, meaningful sex and moments of passion I’d shared with men who, no, had not loved me, but they had, maybe, for a moment. I resided, just a piece of me, in the memories of so many men. All so different. I didn’t have a type. I had shared intimate, very intimate moments with men of all walks of life, of… well, not all ages, but a wide range anyway. I treasured the experiences. I had taken chances and opened up, and taken things, tiny things, from every man I’d given something to. Was that wrong, or harmful, or the very best part of me? Would I just be dulling myself, skimming the cream off the top because I couldn’t handle the ill effects? Was I just afraid I wouldn’t meet someone perfect, because I was slumming it? Wouldn’t the right person for me be slumming it too, waiting for the real thing? 

Ah. But there was a problem, I was forgetting it, the problem was I spent most of my time depressed from lack of sex, the rest of the time either high on sex or anticipating being high on sex. It was exhausting, draining, and it wasn’t making me happy. 

I googled sex addiction. I found a group in Dublin, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. I contacted them. Asked to attend a meeting. A man phoned me the next day, and gave me details of how to meet, because there was a pre-meeting first, to avoid revealing the location of the group to just anyone. I was going to attend. He sent me some pdf documents about the group.

I read a little and realised it was based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps, with the higher power step, where you have to admit there’s a higher power, or a god, and you can call it whatever you like but I’m not just an atheist, I’m totally anti-spiritual. I’m not going to sniff at what works for others, but in my personal opinion there’s not a whole lot of point in calling a psychological issue or condition or habit or addiction a “disease” and admitting you have no control over it. Maybe the point is to go to AA, or SLAA when you’ve tried everything alone, and come to the conclusion you have no control over it. But if you hope to get any help from a support group, which can’t give something up for you, what the hell use is admitting you have no control over it? I bristled at everything I read. I was still planning on going, because as righteous as I considered my opinions, I obviously wasn’t right at all, because I couldn’t stop myself from doing something what was frying me mentally, year after year, man after man.

But then the next day, typically, was a gorgeous day, and my friends were going to the river with a canoe, to drink gin and row and be reckless. So I called the sex addict man and wondered if he was attractive, and wondered if anyone at the meeting would be sexy, and I told him I wouldn’t make it today, and I would reschedule some time.

I never did.

Soon after I was horny and I thought who can I call, and I flicked through my phone book and saw name after name of people I’d slept with, people I could sleep with again, but nobody inspired any excitement, I just thought, yeah, I could… but why bother. Why slum it. Why give someone my time, my body, I felt like fucking, but I couldn’t bear to kiss anyone. I wanted to meet someone lovely, and sweet, and funny, and sexy. I didn’t want to suck a dick, much as I loved doing that, I just wanted someone to look at me and see everything, and I thought for the first time, really for the first time, something I’ve only ever heard or read with a patronising tone. 

I thought maybe I’m not letting anyone see the whole picture, because I keep shoving sex in their faces. I didn’t think “no one will respect me if I have sex with them straight away” or “maybe if I really like someone I should wait so I can see if he’s worthy of me” or “I should give it more value by withholding it”

I didn’t think women are different from men, and I should hide my sexuality. I just thought… I’m just LEAPING down their throats with sex. I’m expecting people to see I’m much more than that, but it’s all I’m really putting out there. I’m chasing men down and making the first move before I’ve given anyone a chance to see what they think. My friends don’t think I’m all about sex. I’m not all about sex. 

And I said, that’s it, I’m going to not have sex for a while. I’m going to take a break. I’m going to just… not give it up, exactly, because there’s nothing good on the horizon anyway, manwise. Just… I’m not going to go out looking for it. I’m not going to scan the party for a suitable penis carrier. I’m not going to fuck someone I don’t really feel like fucking just for the sake of it. I’m bored. I’m out.

That night, typically, I had sex. Very good sex, with a very nice, fun, attentive man, who made the first move because I didn’t give him any come on, and I left the next day thinking, that was great, that was better, and all because I didn’t try, and look how much better it felt. But how lousy I was at being celibate.

But THEN, I felt like everything I thought the day before, started to swirl around my head again. And settle into place. And I meant it, I felt like I wanted… to be free from sex for a while. And even though I had a dick in me a few hours earlier, I felt like I had snapped out of it. Like something clicked, I’d been going around on the same track for years, so long, all the time too bloody stubborn to accept that my own way of doing things that wasn’t making me happy, could possibly be the reason that I was unhappy in love and life and sex. I couldn’t, well, of course I couldn’t listen to anyone else. Their voices made the words sound accusatory. Their reasons for not fucking everything that moved, were kind of anti-feminist, anti-having any faith in men. Whenever I was told to hold off on sex, it was because men couldn’t respect a woman who was easy to bed, and because men wanted a nice girl, and because men had sex drives and women didn’t, and it made me angry, because that was all wrong. I’m not going to pretend I’ve had an epiphany, that I’ve changed my life forever, that I’ve got it all figured out.

The last time I had sex was nearly a month ago. Not that long a stretch, I’ve gone longer before, I swear. 

But the difference is… for the first time since I can remember, I haven’t been obsessing, I haven’t been scanning the people on the bus for faces I’d kiss, and I haven’t been flicking through my phonebook for names I’d revisit. 

And I haven’t felt empty of like I’ve lost my centre. Sex isn’t gone from me, but it’s not fast food, and I’m not looking for it. I got a message from the guy… oh, I don’t know if I ever wrote about him here. But I met a guy nearly a year ago online, and eight months ago we met and had amazing sex, and did some kinky stuff, and he lives in the UK so kept up a long distance thing, that sort of trailed off, but he was going to come back and we were going to meet, and man, that was great sex. And I liked his company, too. He was funny, and interesting. So of all the people to tempt me, someone I could definitely justify sleeping with as he’s not fast food sex and he’s not something bad for me, he’s pretty much as good as it gets. 

And he wrote to me and said he’s coming over this weekend, and I happen to be house sitting for a week and have a house to myself, and he could come over tomorrow and see me and we’d have all the privacy we could want. But I don’t want to. I have no interest. And this is pretty fucking big, for me.

So… I think I’ve made some serious headway towards something. I can’t do anything to hurry up my meeting someone great, but I think if I can fill up my life, with other things, with things that don’t just explode and fade to nothing, and be happy with myself like this, then I won’t need that person to show up so soon. And when I do meet someone wonderful and worthwhile, then I’ll be so much better placed to act and to let them see the things I want them to see. And maybe I’ll fuck them right away. And if they’re the right kind of person, that shouldn’t make any difference. But perhaps I’ll settle down by myself for a while, and see what happens. It’s not like I’m making some huge effort- perhaps I’m just going through a phase- but I really hope I’ve grown out of something that is rarely great for me. Being rampantly sexually active hasn’t all been bad. I’ve had LOTS OF FUN and fallen in love more times than I can count, and had great experiences and met great people in weird and wonderful ways. But the mental thing, more often than not, fucks with me, because I’m not unromantic, and I’m not able to separate sex from emotions. 

I feel pretty good, right now. Really good. So that’s probably more navel gazing than anyone wants to read, but I feel so hugely different lately, I just wanted to record it. Maybe if I go back to my old ways, it’ll serve to remind me how I felt, and put me back in this frame of mine. So for that alone, I’m hitting publish.

I just really hope this no sex thing doesn’t make me fat.

That’ll do, pig in the city.

My new apartment is cold. An old Georgian house, formerly some wealthy family’s town house, later divvied up into dingy flats by a seemingly retarded or psychotic contracter. My apartment is nice, bright, big, with windows that reveal autumn leaf covered branches. I’ve filled it with my things, put pictures on the walls and colours wherever I could. It feels wonderful to be home again, in the way I only can when it’s just me. No one else in my fridge using up the last eggs, no one else stinking out the bathroom, no one else knowing what time I get up at, or who I go down on.

But it’s cold. A previous tenant insulated the various draughts with sellotape. I peeled up a lot of the sellotape to clean the grime out, and because I thought it looked stupid. Now I find myself taping it all back up, but with gaffer tape this time.

But it’s still cold.

Around the corner and down the street, I have a guy. We used to know each other vaguely but only started talking a few months ago when I put up a new sexier profile photo. He’s good looking and funny and decent, and a good fuck, but he sounds and dresses a bit too… north Dublin for me to see in a more serious capacity. He lives a session-based life like the one I flirted with a few years ago. I say I flirted with that life but more truthfully I let it fuck me pretty hard and then ran away to a cleaner duller life in Italy. So we get along, we have a laugh, but it’s not something I want to go back to.

He lives in a flat out the back of his parents’ house. It’s handy, I call him at 2 or 3 or 4am when I’m coming home from a club and he’s usually awake and we talk briefly and then fuck until we fall asleep from exhaustion. There’s a clear understanding that neither of us want anything more, that both of us are sleeping with other people, and that neither of us is trying to impress the other. It’s purely selfish, both of us claiming to have sore backs to avoid being on top for very long. Kind of perfect for me right now to have all the sex without any more complication than the awful sneaking down the garden path the next day without his parents spotting me.

And it’s got to be good for me. I’m more relaxed, I’m presumably on the way to losing the few kilos I put on over the last few months of unemployment. When i go out with my friends I’m purely there with friends, not scanning for men or desperately trying to make something happen or stalking any hot barmen. Well, I’m still scanning for men. I can’t help it, I’m attracted to so many people… but the desperate edge is gone.

And lately I seem to be more attractive to men. I’ve been getting free drinks, free stamps into clubs, and all kinds of rules bent in my favour.  It can’t be my looks- I’m drinking a disturbing amount of alcohol and my skin looks tired and I have a scattering of spots on my forehead. It takes about an hour to get enough hot water for a shower so I’m not great on hygiene either. Also it’s so fucking cold in this apartment, the thought of having to be wet and naked with this amount of sodden hair down my back is enough to make me shrug and say what’s the point, sure I’m only going to get dirty again later. But something about me- perhaps the fact that I feel quite happy despite being broke and unemployed and cold and smelly- something is making people treat me nicer than ever.

Maybe I do look great? Nope, I look wrecked.

Today I went for an internet date. The more I do things that weird me out, the less anything seems weird.

A message from a guy, American on a holiday in Ireland… he suggested monday day drinking. I thought fuck it, maybe interesting. Met him and realised my interpretation of his profile picture was generous. Well, he wasn’t bad looking. But there wasn’t anything attractive to me. He just had a… face. Just a regular face. I guess if we had chemistry it would have rearranged itself into a sexier arrangement but we didn’t have chemistry.

At first we interrupted each other and drank beer. Talked with ill timing about travel, meeting people, cultural differences… I had to keep the conversation afloat and I did, because he was buying me beers.

But I wasn’t in the greatest form.

Mostly because I’m annoyed with myself.

Yeah, over the last few days I have acquired what I hope is a transient addiction to online gambling.

I know. I know. It’s the last thing I need in my life. But the ease of winning at roulette and hopping off before you lose again… it’s tempting. so tempting. The first time I played I wasn’t spending any money at all, just using a 5 euro deposit I made on a poker site 6 years ago. Free game, right? I played and won 30 euro. I should have taken the 30 euro and been very happy, but instead I bet it all and lost and then added another ten and another ten and another five and won ten and withdrew the ten out of good sense and decided to cut my losses and then found myself depositing and losing another five.

So ok, I haven’t made a very dramatic loss compared to the probably potential for online gamblers. I have lost what, 20 euro? 25? Whatever. But I’m so poor right now and I’m so annoyed with myself for pissing money away like that when I really, really need money.

So I was on this date and I was just thinking about how I wish I had money, and the American’s eyes kept flicking up and down, down to my tits which were not on show at all but obscured by a loose overshirt and a scarf. But they kept going there anyway, and as we drank more the conversation got better. When there was a lull we caught each other’s eyes and laughed, and although we both laughed, he asked me “what are you laughing at?” and I said “a funny joke I heard earlier.”

So here’s the joke.

What’s the difference between jam and marmalade?

You can’t marmalade your cock up someone’s ass.

 

Maybe you’ve heard that before.

Here’s my own appendix.

What’s the difference between relish and marmalade?

You can’t marmalade jamming your cock up someone’s ass.

 

I told the American my jokes and he laughed. He asked me a few times, what do you wanna do next? Go somewhere else or stay here? He mentioned his idiot friends were back at his hotel. I told him there was an electrician calling to my apartment today. But really, I had no interest sexually. Nice to talk to but nothing between us.

And then we went to a different bar and he told me he was going to the bathroom and a few minutes later as I called my fuckbuddy and didn’t get through, and then called him again, I noticed the gap between the two calls was about 15 minutes. The American had gone to the toilet and not come back. He had taken his bag with him which he hadn’t done on previous bathroom trips. Odd, huh.

I don’t mind too much because I didn’t like him either, but it’s pretty rude and I did put some effort into making the conversation work a bit.

Also I always feel a bit violated and used after puttng in the work with the conversation, sharing my stories and memories and my excellent joke that I came up with and now some fucker with no manners is probably telling everyone my joke and that’s what annoys me.

Conversely, I don’t feel that way about people I’ve slept with. Only the people I talk to.

 

Anyway. I’m just pissy because I gambled and lost money I desperately need. I’m an idiot.

Like I need more vices…

Ugh.

 

Well, that’s it for now.

I told everyone I was moving into the city so I could have some personal space to write and get my act together but here you go, I’m just fucking people and drinking every day and gambling.

I don’t know how I’ll get someone decent to think of me as girlfriend material….

 

I think I may call in to my neighbours, these two very sweet college students who have an apartment with a fireplace which may be warmer than mine. I wonder am I too drunk to talk to neighbours? Ahh, they’re students. It’s fine. It’s totally fine.

I’m just really damn cold.

Shoppin’, stalkin’, drinkin’ alone, and talkin’ ’bout religion. I’m an incorrigible woman

So, I know I do this every month and some of those months I write whole blog posts about it but:

It was just a period related fat week. I have not put on twenty pounds of belly fat, I have not conceived a baby oesophogaly, and my disgustingly sedentary lifestyle has not finally caught up with me. I have deflated again. OH period, you sly dog. I always fall for your hysterics, every time. Three days ago I was grabbin handfulls of loose flab and making “nyom nyom me hungry” noises and crying inside. Today I have pelvis bones again and if I suck it all in and stand with my bum thrust far back and my chest out, I can look in the mirror and think, damn girl, you fine. Except then I got too excited and tried on the Calvin Klein swimsuit. Ouch. That hurts, bro…

But so long as I stay away from the devil swimsuit, I can pretty much cope with my body this week.

The peep show will go on…

Even the weather is kind of back to normal. It’s a few degrees above 0 today. I feel so enthused by this balmy temperature, I may even achieve something later, like bring down the bins or wipe the kitchen counter. It feels like that kind of day. Productivity, hoy!

I have a collection of disgusting bins on my balcony saved up from the past week or two of snow. It was so cold outside, the bags are all frosty the microbes seem to be in suspended animation so it’s not like there’s a horrible smell coming from my apartment, giving neighbours the impression I have choked and lie decomposing in a puddle of whiskey and vomit.  There is a horrible smell in my kitchen but that’s just… well, I am going to look into that one of these days. I wonder if it’s possible for my floor to be so dirty, that it actually smells bad. It’s pretty dirty because my sweeping brush on the balcony was covered with snow. It’s melted now, I should really sweep the floor.

It’s such a relief, the cold abating. I was worried I would have to go to London next week and just… leave the apartment in this condition. Seriously it’s not like you think, it’s not JUST I’m lazy and keep pushing my responsibilities onto the plate of my future self, but it’s so cold in my kitchen. I get home from work hungry and grumpy, I enter the kitchen… I make some soup, chopping everything on plates with the good knife (I have to stop calling it the good knife now, those dinner plates have really fucked up the cutting edge..) because the counter is so dirty and gross… and I had to throw out the expensive wooden chopping board because it didn’t like the dishwasher and if you are gonna live in my kitchen, you have to learn to get along with the dishwasher.

So I make my soup, and while that is cooking nicely, I start to lose the feeling in my feet. I look for my slippers and find them in the bed. BAD GIRL wearing those filthy things in my bed. I put on my slippers, back into the kitchen. It is still too cold. What to do, what to do….. Hot whiskey. It’s really the only thing for it. I prepare a mug of hot whiskey and shuffle off to bed just to get my temperature up a bit. I sip my whiskey and feel waves of Irishness and contentment wash over me. O, to toast my pinkies by the fire… o, to graze the green pastures of home with my own herd…

I feel a bit misty eyed so I snuggle up under the duvet and watch some Seinfeld. This phase of obsessive Seinfeld watching has lasted a record 3 seasons so far and shows no signs of dwindling. I have also dipped back into playing Skyrim but it is too cold in reality to be hanging around a virtual winter wonderland.

After a while of horizontal relaxation I get up and check the soup…  mmm… wonderful. I put meat in my soup. Everything is better with meat. Or cheese. Meat, or cheese are the best foods in my lofty opinion. If you are lactose intollerant I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but the lactose aint one. Hit me! (piece of trivia for you: They used to call me the Rapmaster. I have had many nicknames over the years, for some reason or other they never catch on. Except for one… The Masturbator. That stuck, like moss on a stationary stone.)

Fix myself another hot whiskey and take a bowl of soup back with me to bed with a stack of bread  riddled with the shrapnel of frozen butter. Oh baby. And there ends my productivity for the evening. I drink more whiskey, watch more Seinfeld, and eat mandarins whose peel I fling overboard.

I can do no more… until it gets a bit warmer. Today is a start, a cheery step in the warm direction. I will do the bins today, definitely. The organisation and packing of all my disordered worldly goods, that can wait until we hit a modest 10 degrees maybe. But it is really happening. I am going to London next motherfucking WEEK. And I have nothing prepared. I am the worst, I know.

And I have altered my trajectory. I was going to London on a scouting mission. Just to check out the lay of the land… party a small bit. But lately I have become disillusioned with my foggy plans. I used to say “hang the expense, I don’t mind slumming it for a bit, it’s LONDON it will be amazing.” But now it looms on the horizon, the moment when I switch from imaginary personality that can cope with being broke… and me, the real person, actually having to go away and be poor and not have all my nice shiny things and spending money.

And reality-me is not on board. Reality me says, no dude, I just wanted the social life bit. I am not really willing to hang around paying that kind of rent and paying that much for transportation and not being able to afford olive oil and avocados, probably.

So we (me) are going to hop over to London purely for hedonistic purposes then head on to Dublin… I would give you a whole bunch of brilliant reasons why i should choose Dublin over England but mostly I think, if I’m honest, it comes down to: I’m chicken shit.

The things I am yeller about vary from “scary underground trains” to “not being able to afford avocados or enough privacy to be naked in my own home” and plenty in between. I have friends in London, but I also have friends in Dublin. Wherever I go, it’s gonna be OFF THE HOOK. I’m excited, very excited. I have probably just transferred by silly optimism from one city to the other, but meh. I know what I can get away with in Ireland. Sure, I haven’t lived there in over four years… not since the worldwide shitstorm mopefest downer buzzkill financial crisis….. but it’s still my city, I know her oh so well…. Although last time I was in Dublin, over New Year, I took four taxis in the space of 2 hours because I kept forgetting where things were and the distances and I got a bit lost. I mean I wasn’t lost. Not really… But I was a little bit lost, yes.

I’m not just going to move over next week, first I’m gonna hit London for a weekend or so because I am stubborn and refuse to miss out on any of my holiday time even when I need every cent or penny I have… But meh. That’s like, my personality. You can’t expect me to just change my personality. It’s all part of my rogueish charm.

So London, then straight to Dublin where I will immediately hunt for a shitty little apartment to rent. I will hopefully find one. I will return to Italy, ship my things, spend some guilty time with my sisters and then back to Ireland to move into my new life. YAAAAYYY. And then I will start looking for a new job. Any suggestions for a job that doesn’t involve me spending much time with other people? Or animals. Or children. I am not good with plants either.

The time is so tantalisingly close now. I have been wanting desperately to move out of this country since I started writing this blog, about a year ago. The whole time I have been relating my humdrum adventures, I have been utterly miserable in my situation. I have had happy moments (wink wink) but mostly I was just waiting out my sentence. If I had been more active in the waiting maybe i would have more money saved. But hey, it is what it is. I’ll learn.. well, today I bought some cashmere tights and a dress BUT IT WAS ON SALE, so no… it seems I never learn….

But the time of action is almost upon me. Very soon I am going to have to say goodbye to people, and I am going to lose some of my independence and luxury. Butt fuck it.I am going to gain a LIFE.

Last night, Andrea invited me out for a meal. No chicken feet this time. Ha ha ha. I turned red and muttered something about how I wasn’t a fan of those feet but I loved the snails…  Yum snails… Oh MFO, just shut up already. It’s over. They must have known I was faking it… I know I’m not convincing anyone when I tell the customers they look good in MC Hammer pants, and that lie doesn’t even involve overcoming the gag reflex.

But it was fine, we went for sushi. I love sushi. But I didn’t realise how little cash I had left… I put my money in the bank and I don’t remember the pin to that card.. I counted before leaving the house and found I had about 25 euros liquid assets. Shiiit (I have since remembered my pin) WHERE does the money go? This meal better be cheap. REAL cheap.

I didn’t know how to broach the subject without seeming like a total bum. I would need to be like, uh how much will this cost, and can I borrow like a tenner from you? But I didn’t want to borrow anything because she is very generous and I knew she would agree but then never let me pay her back.

So we were getting ready in her house, and I fiddled with the question in my mind for a while, eventually blurting  “how much…err.. more or less…” but she wouldn’t say, she just said, oh no I am treating you. And I’m like, no Andrea don’t be silly, but she insisted, “hey you are leaving in a week and I’m not gonna see you again…”

Aww. Man, of course I’m gonna see you again. I will come back to visit my family as often as I can, and you can come visit me. It will be fun!

She was like, “yeah, I know…” but she stuck to her guns. “I’m paying, I want to!”

So I argued for a while, the old polite grown up back and forth… don’t be silly, etc… but secretly I was relieved when she ended the discussion by firming her tone of voice the way my grandad does when he is on the verge of actually becoming annoyed if you don’t let him pay. I didn’t want her to pay for me but like, I couldn’t actually afford to pay for it all myself. So I backed down on the condition I paid for our taxi there and back and my money just stretched to that. The meal was gorgeous and it was a set menu so it wasn’t expensive and I didn’t feel like such a shit for letting her pay.

We ate a LOT. We scarfed down plate after plate of sushi and noodles and when we went to leave we realised we had been eating for 3 hours. It was a great meal. I realised since the night with the crazy food experiments, I am no longer phased by any of the foods i used to be squeamish about. Mushrooms… courgette… shellfish… polenta… broccoli… squid when it’s not deep fried in rings…. I had a lot of food hang ups. But now I’m just shovelling it all down the gullet, yum yum yum. Next time I’m in my mother’s house I am going to try a brussels sprout. (my childhood nemesis)

I also finally conquered the chopsticks. I mean, I was able to completely empty every plate of food that arrived without once resorting to using my hands or even dismantling a california roll in the soy sauce. I was able to eat noodles, although I did get a lot of sauce on my face and the uber stylish hipster dudes at the table next to me looked a tad repulsed. But I made it through the whole meal. I didn’t leave aside a single piece of mushroom or squid tentacle and I didn’t get my hands dirty. This is momentous for me. So after all, the chicken foot episode was a good experience. It has improved me. Do one thing every day that scares you, indeed.

I always do shit that scares me, like google my symptoms, but usually that just makes me lie in bed at 4am, sleepless with a lead weight in my heart, convinced not only that I have one life to life but that it’s about to come to an end because of cancer or HPV or that thing Stephen Hawking has. I lie for miserable hours and wonder whether as a nihilist I should not give a single shit about what happens to my remains and let my family bury me or cremate me or whatever floats their grieving boat, or whether as a non believer I shouldn’t be insulted with churchy stuff even if I won’t know. I usually lean indignantly to the latter and start drafting clear instructions to my family that my earthly remains do not go near a church or a cross or a priest and if I am cremated they are to bury my ashes somewhere and not just fling them in the air where someone is going to breathe them. And maybe plant a tree or something there so they can visit the tree, but not if they are going to make up any bullshit about me actually being the tree. I wouldn’t want my mother getting all freaky about some tree and talking to it and generally letting her grief drive her insane. I would prefer her to just bore people at parties talking about how great I was. Aw I really don’t want my mother to have to go through that. I’m glad I quit smoking, I just wish quitting was like, a get out of cancer free card. It should be.

Ideally, I would like to be buried in the bog somewhere without a coffin, so the bog juice can preserve me and make me into some cool person-jerky like the bog man they have in Trinity College in Dublin. And then when the people who want creationism taught in schools have bullied science back into the dark ages and future humans start to question where we came from, they can use my shrivelled up body as proof that modern humans and whatever kind of Morlocks are feeding on them, once evolved from homosapiens. That would be pretty awesome.  But I don’t think you are allowed just bury people in the bog.

Sometimes I really can’t sleep with all those thoughts so I give up trying and turn my computer back on. And watch tv or compose my eulogy, it is coming along nicely by the way, although it is hard not to sound preachy…  Usually the next morning I have come to terms with my mortality all over again and probably don’t think I have vagina cancer any more.

Anyway don’t google your symptoms. That is just bad scary. Pretty much everything is a symptom of cancer, just like pretty much every emotional state is a sign that you have too many thetans or whatever and need Scientology to sort you out.

Anyway. Not to get too sidetracked here, but it was a great meal and we had a really nice time. I was getting very excited about moving away.

Andrea was quiet, I jabbered on about the streets of Dublin that are paved with proper chunky chips and the summer evenings with the sea breeze and cider as the sun sets… Of going shopping and buying a “Small”, of not being the palest person in the posse… or at least, not by too much.

Then she said, “I can’t believe you are leaving. It’s so shit… Who will I go out with now?”

I was surprised, I guess it just didn’t occur to me that people other than my family would miss me at all. Then I saw she had tears in her eyes. What the? I have, all this time, been treating our friendship as a beneficial arrangement where I get to hang out with her, I get to have a friend, I get to go out and meet people, and drink, and in return she has, so far, tolerated my company. I never really got why she kept calling me up and asking me to go out. She has a lot more friends here, but she calls me up every weekend and we go out, and mostly it’s just the two of us plus eventual menfolks. But she’s much more sociable than me. She has other friends too, the Eastern European group we went drinking with before… the girls are fun. I always just presumed she was being polite inviting me out, or she didn’t have anything better to do… but suddenly last night it occured to me, that actually, what I have here is a proper friend. She actually LIKES my company. Why this was so unexpected… I don’t know. I guess I just spend so much time on my own, and I’m so used to the people I meet here kind of frowning on my antics… I had made several little attempts at friendship before Andrea and each time, I got too drunk, they got too boring, and it petered out from mutual disinterest. Every venture was an exercise in endurance. A game of friendship chicken.. who would give up first?

But Andrea is my actual friend. I managed to, out of all that self-flagellation and ridiculous drinking and terrible ranting and sluttyness and vomiting and being weird and yelling… I managed to make a good solid friend. I never make friends with girls. Never. My best friends are girls, but I don’t know where I picked them up. I certainly didn’t charm them with my personality. I guess they just got used to me and learnt to put up with the ranting and the talking through movies and the self-centredness and whatnot. It was so much easier to  make friends with people in school or college or when I had lots of coworkers. In those situations, there’s no pressure for you to be each other’s ideal friend, you just hang out sometimes and you have your job in common, or your teachers, and then if you get along well, gradually they overflow into your normal life.

Outside those big forced socialisation environments like school or work, you have to really like someone to see them again. You need to make the effort and put yourself out there.  It’s like dating, I presume, because I’m too easy to have ever actually been on a date. I never bothered with making friends in school. I would usually make one good friend and then I was happy, and that friend would just keep accumulating other friends, and then there was a group, and I automatically had all these friends to hang out with. I have no idea if these other extra friends actually liked me or not, because I certainly didn’t like every single one of them… But it was a pretty sweet set up. I got a social life while really only bothering to make one friend. I didn’t think like that at the time, I just realised now that’s how it seemed to go for me.

But somehow this time, without any outside help… merely on my own merits, I guess, somehow I made a good friend. Now don’t think I’m going all low-self-esteemy on you. I know I am a super person. I am the shizz, in a good way. I am the Alpha and the Omega, baby. There’s no doubt about my kickass personality here. It just surprises me when other people, these saps I share the earth with… also manage to see how wonderful I am. I mean, if other people like me the way I am, all hostile and grouchy and unhygenic and vulgar and vain… then what the FUCK is the point in this whole culture of being polite and nice and the terror of people knowing you pee in the shower and masturbate and pick your nose? (not simultaneously, that’s just gross)

Apparently, it seems I can totally get away with my behaviour… I mean sure I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but that is ok, I just need a couple of folks to hang out with and laugh at my jokes. Also if everyone liked me, who could I feel superior to? Exactly.

Ahhh.

I started to feel kind of terrible, admiring my newfound magnetism and popularity while Andrea’s eyes welled up.

This was long after they had taken away the wasabi, we were having dessert so it was definitely tears and not the insane amount of wasabi she stirs into her soy sauce. She’s actually going to miss me, imagine that. I’ll miss her too, I mean she’s my best friend here… my only friend I actually like… I know I’m a bit of a cunt when I talk about her, calling her a bitch for being pretty and all that… but I think she’s a lovely person, really. I just get drunk and feel ugly beside her, that’s all. But honestly I prefer having a friend that’s prettier than me than a friend that’s less pretty. I briefly made friends with a girl here who was a bit of a moose, and it wasn’t so much flattering as embarassing. It’s not like, by being the better looking of the two of us, I attracted hotter guys. I just attracted a lot more ugly ones. It’s a bit of a kick to the ego, having these men make a beeline for my companion and not see me next to her even though I am like a foot taller. (Well, I exaggerate.) But it’s not like I really WANT them. She deflects a lot of scrubs, which is actually good as my usual reaction is to either bring them home and regret it, or threaten to mace them for daring to look at my exposed buttocks. (A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fly, he’s also known as a bus stop)

Anyway, it was kind of sad but flattering to see Andrea all teary. It honestly didn’t occur to me before that anyone would ever miss me based on my crumby interactions here in Italy. I thought like, my family would miss me. I mean they’re my family, they love me…. But the fact that, all depressed and mopey and drunk as I am here in Italy, I have still managed to get someone to think that it will be worse when I’m not around… It’s a real surprise. And I am probably not going to miss her that much, really, after all. I will be losing a good girlfriend, but recuperating a plethora of other friends… My social life is gonna be so much better….

I don’t know what I would have done without Andrea, though. She has been my only real friend here. She has been pretty much all my social life. I have had other attempts, other trial friendships… but I always found myself craning my neck through the drivel conversation of my own group and coveting the laughing hooting party at the next table. Or any other table. I kept going out with these various dry shites, but it was a mechanical thing like eating crackers because you are hungry. You don’t wanna be hungry, so you eat, but you never want to socialise with their human equivalent. It’s a crappy crappy solution to a very important need…..

Most people when they move away from somewhere they lived for 3 years, have a leaving do. They go for a meal or have a party and invite all their friends… I have known people here who spent 6 months in this city, and had a 30 person sit down meal to mark their departure. I’ve spent 3.5 years here and what do I have to show for it?

Who would I invite? Andrea. My colleagues… All four of them. I don’t like the fifth girl, she’s a cunt. And even Gabrielle, my team mate and colleague, is really pissing me off lately. She’s so negative, she makes ME uncomfortable. She also recently came out with this speech about how vaccines cause autism and she would never get a vaccine against anything, and I was respectful but pointed out the eradication of polio but she just ranted and quoted anecdotal evidence that didn’t even make sense. Child got vaccine- child later was diagnosed as autistic. So the vaccine must have caused the autism. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, is it? Fucking ridiculous.

Sorry guys I just haven’t done a wash in ages so I had to wear my RANTY PANTS this morning.

Then there’s bum chum… eww. No.  Then there are all the aquaintances… my failed attempts at socialising. Moose face, she’s just a boring dick…. The Welsh girl I met once seemed promising… until she wanted to go home by 8pm because she had work in the morning. Eh, so did I. It was seriously like 7.30… We never met again…

The Scottish girl I met, who spoke far too quickly, barely breathing, I could hardly understand her… but she seemed nice, she came to visit me at work a few times and stayed for a long chat… I was excited, maybe we would be friends. I would love a girlfriend to talk English with… even if it required my undivided concentration to understand her speech. Then we became facebook friends. She started to appear on my news feed.

“Christina likes Church of the Anunnciation of the Saint of the Virgin’s status: “A woman went to the doctor asking for an abortion. He told her,why don’t you just kill your five year old son instead. She realised that it was true, an abortion is exactly the same as murdering your child.” And “if evolution is so true, then how come there are no talking rocks” and other similar pages, all these religious pages about priests delivering supposedly fatal arguments to Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin…

I can not be even slightly friends with someone like that. I might have so few friends, in part, because of my intollerance towards religion, but it’s a total dealbreaker for me.

All my friends differ from me in some area of belief. Be it homeopathy, astrology, accupuncture, the Mayan prophesy, ghosts or simply vitamin c as a cure for the cold… there is something to disagree about. I don’t believe in any of the above, it’s a passion of mine… looking things up and finding out if they are fact or fiction, or if there is any evidence for or against, or if it’s an old wive’s tale, where did it come from? I am interested in digging it up… I’m totally skeptical. I welcome the dismantling of my old ideas. Challenge me on anything, I take a deep pleasure (oh yeah) in learning that I have been wrong about something all this time. That, and looking skinny, is how I get my kicks. And I’m not really sure about many things, because so much of life is gray area… not astrology or homeopathy, though. Those are just pseudoscience. I’m definitely right about that.

But I don’t really judge people on those beliefs like I judge them on religious faith. Because none of us are naturally rational creatures. I’m not rational by nature, I just have a strong interest in sticking to the real, the solid, the provable. It’s a sliver of a difference, between myself and the people who believe in things. Where I have a gap in my knowledge, I am happier to leave it blank than to fill it with something arbitrary, but I am sure my brain is still riddled with placeholder myths.. Most people prefer to smooth it over with faith than to have an “I don’t know.” And I don’t think this makes them stupider than me or more ignorant… because in theory, we both lack the knowledge, we just attempt to deal with the hole differently-

I honestly don’t think that is stupid. It is, I believe (based on nothing) one of the reasons humans are so intelligent. Our brains are able to outperform computers because we are not constrained by logic and reason. We can leap, we can make educated guesses. We can presume. And if we couldn’t do that, we would be like Vulcans, and have horrible identical haircuts, or maybe we would be like monkeys, or if monkeys are a bad example then mongeese. Imagination, inventiveness… I have no qualms with those aspects of humanity. I don’t want to be a robot. The problem I have is not the filling of gaps with guesses, it’s that as the gaps close up and there is less space for fantasy left, people are so firm about their fillers that they wind up rejecting the real, knowable answers in favour of the previous best guess.

I’m aware that filling a gap with a god is just the same as filling a gap with astrology or homeopathy or angels or kinesiology. It is the same, irrational, no evidence, leap of faith. But although I wrinkle up my nose when my family or friends claim to be cured by arnica or worry about the horoscope’s warning… I don’t think my family or friends are idiots like I think religious people are idiots, I look at it like they just don’t have the same insistence on questioning absolutely everything. My teachers always said that, that I always had to question EVERYTHING. I wouldn’t believe the text books, or the teacher, about anything “just because it’s in the book”. I would first argue my own ignorantly formed opinion and then I would go home and look it up and 99% of the time go back the next day, knowing I was wrong, and just say nothing. But sometimes I was right, too, and then I would become the most insufferably little shit and my smugness would know no limits.

I don’t think that my skepticism about everything is necessarily right or good. I have been wrong and dogmatic in my own route to knoledge, just as much as any religious fanatic or Mayan prophesy believer.

But I don’t hold astrologists or pseudoscience enthusiasts to the same standards as I do the religious. Maybe it’s because if I don’t agree with astrology, nobody will think I am wicked. Nobody will try to force astrology on my kids, if I ever have them. Nobody will think I am immoral or untrustworthy if I say I don’t believe my personality traits are determined by the planets moving into certain areas of space. The holders of these beliefs are tolerant of my lack thereof, so while I wish they wouldn’t waste their money and cling to redundant ideas, I keep my opinions to myself usually unless I am drunk. And then, as you know, they come out in the worst way possible and I become rude and insulting and make up laws of physics and throw around words I don’t understand like thermodynamics.

I have lots of views about religion and stuff though. If you made it this far, let me tell you, I really have been so GOOD about keeping the rants off here. Seriously I am on my best behaviour. I have barely touched on my feelings about religion.

I don’t want to preach to anyone, honest, I just want to let you in on all my thoughts because it seems a bit superficial if all I do is talk about hot barman and my failed social life and my dirty house when all the time, there is a philosophical battle raging under my pasty white surface.

INCIDENTALLY, it seems that now I am in the home stretch, mere days away from phase one of my big move…

Hot barman has become particularly chatty. Damn it hot barman, it’s too late for us. We could have had something beautiful, but now I’m going…

I have to go now….. go… walk out the door…. just turn around now…

I won’t be back here any more.
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye not fucking me on the bar top?
you think I’d crumble
you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive
as long as i know how to love get jiggy with it
I know I will stay alive,

I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love poon tang to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive

Hey hey..

Anyway it’s Andrea’s birthday today but we are going out on Saturday to celebrate. So I wanted to get her a nice present, and I know she likes this cool expensive shop so I went to have a look in the sales there. They didn’t have much stuff left. I have a problem as you know with shopping, I am not very good at buying gifts for other people and not for myself. So I went in, scanned the room for Andrea gifts and there was nothing. Then I saw some nice dresses for myself that she wouldn’t like and I tried them on and they were pretty but I said no, no, bad girl. So I tried to reason with myself, I said you are only allowed buy that… it’s really flattering by the way… if you find Andrea a good present. But there wasn’t a whole lot. The sales are kind of petering out.

I was looking at this one dress thinking… it’s pretty cool… Andrea doesn’t wear dresses really, but I think she would like this. Maybe. i don’t fucknig know, I can’t pick clothes for another woman, it’s too personal. It’s like, either I pick something for her because it is exactly like something she has already, in which case… lame gift… or else I risk it and pick something she might not like. So I was humming and hawing and the saleswoman was hovering around suggesting expensive things and being a really good salesperson, making me feel all pressurised into buying. I caved and told her I was looking for a gift… she brings out this 7o euro scarf. Uh, pass. I reject the scarf but in doing so, furnish her with more details about what I am looking for and my budget. The next suggestion is harder to refuse. and the next. I panic and return to the dress I was looking at. The salesperson jumps in and begins cooing about the dress, it’s so nice, it’s so comfy, it’s so pretty, it’s so cool. Ugh. Fuck off.

But it works I get all flummoxed and stressed and feel like it’s all because of the pushy saleswoman so that’s hardly my fault.

I buy the dress for myself and the one for Andrea, because at least she can return it if it’s not her cup of tea. I will insist on this, I hope she doesn’t feel forced to like it. It’s her favorite shop though and I think it’s a cool dress, so… well anyway, I feel pretty ok about it. I hope it’s not too much… no. It’s ok. Man I am going to obsess about this now, I can feel it. I feel awful buying gifts for people, I hate it.

So I took the dress for Andrea in a gift bag and jammed the one for myself deep into my handbag.

I stopped at hot barman’s bar before going back to work.

Hot barman was working the till so I knocked back my coffee and then like the pathetic sap I am, I wavered by the checkout pretending to think about the sandwiches. I realised I hadn’t actually eaten anything so I pick up a sandwich and go to pay. Hot barman smiled that “oh great now I have to spend the rest of the day in this underwear” smile.

Ohhhh the face… he’s so cute. I usually don’t simultaneously think CUTE and SEXY but with hot barman I don’t know if I want to put my hand out and tousle the curls on his head or drag him out the back of the bar and have loud dirty clothes-on sex in an alley.

Or both.

He made some joke about me having both a coffee and a sandwich today. I didn’t get it but I was like “oh hee hee yeah,” and he goes, “have you still not had lunch yet?” because it was pretty late. I’m like, no, and I put on a really insipid facial expression and say “I had to get a present for my friend’s birthday so I am just grabbing a sandwich, I’ll eat it in work.”

He’s probably really impressed with how selfless I am, buying presents for everyone else while I starve.

He asks me about whether I can eat sandwiches at work, and is it pretty chilled out? I’m like, yeah, totally, tee hee hee…

Oh this smiling, dude… I am probably going to get a wrinkle later in life which can be clearly identified as the hot barman wrinkle. He makes me turn to chirpy mush. If only all men were this hot… I would be a really nice friendly person. Unfortunately if you smile at less attractive men they are inclined to talk to you and ask for your number and then get angry if you don’t want to dance. That’s Italy, anyway. I forget what it’s like outside Italy.

I chatter with hot barman. I stand there for like… five minutes.. exchanging pleasantries.

Then I’m getting into the guts of our nice conversation… have no idea what we talked about but like… it was a great conversation.

And then the other guy interrupts, the older barman who isn’t hot at all. He starts saying he saw me on the bus the other day, and was it me? And I’m like yeah, the 68, that would be me. And he started talking about how much traffic there is there now down by that street with the roadworks and the snow. Urgh.

Hot barman dwindles into the background.

But I talked to him loads today. And he was totally happy talking, he kept the conversation going when I was letting it die… and then, stupid other barman interrupts. Wanker. Foiled again!

Ah well, I get annoyed but really, what is going to happen in the time we are chatting? Absolutely nothing.

Step 1: Talk to hot barman while he serves me coffee.

Step 2: ? ? ? ?

Step 3: Ride him silly on the top of the bar.

 

Seriously, need some help figuring out step two. I don’t even know if it is possible.

A preface to when I really do give up smoking

I’m giving up smoking.

Sort of.

I’m not sure yet.


I gave up smoking last year, and it was marvellous.. for about two months. That was the longest I had ever gone without smoking since I started, and to be honest I did have the odd one here and there, and I didn’t have many social occasions with other smokers to tempt me. But I was very proud of my achievement, because it was an achievement.

I was very sure I wanted to give up, last time. I really didn’t want to smoke any more. I went from almost chain smoking to smug gum chewer (and none of that nicotine replacement crap) overnight. Let’s not pretend we’re nicotine junkies, people. We may be addicted to nicotine, but that’s not what makes me want a smoke. I know that about myself, and I’ll just presume everyone else is the same. Nicotine cravings may make me grouchy or jittery or whatever, but I can go without something I’m physically addicted to with great ease, as I proved recently when I quit caffeine. Tobacco is more than that. It’s a friend for your hand when it doesn’t know what to do at a party. It’s perfect for waiting for a bus, or when a friend you’re meeting is running late. It goes great with coffee and alcohol, and it makes you look between 14% and 37% cooler. It’s part of your day, whatever you do, and wherever you go, it goes with you. It’s not something you wait to do in company, like drinking, or something you only do alone, like masturbating. If you have extra time, you’re having a smoke. If you don’t have extra time, you’re interrupting activities and work to go for a smoke. It’s a lot to give up… but on the other hand, it’s a load of crap. It must be easy to quit. It’s a bizarre habit.

I would quit properly and forever if I hadn’t allowed myself to construct my adult life around cigarettes. Since I was a teenager, cigarettes have been one of  the ingredients necessary for complete relaxation. What I mean is, imagine it’s Saturday evening, you’re hung over as shit, and you can turn the hangover into a super happy fun time if certain conditions are met. For me, the conditions are these:

1. Junk food, so much that it will be too much, and there will be leftovers which can be enjoyed cold throughout the evening. Chinese food or dominos pizza are excellent choices. Cheesy or garlic fries are not, because they are delicious at first but don’t perform well in round two, the cold round.

2. Chocolate or chocolate ice cream.

3. Comfortable seat in view of the tv.

4. Cigarettes

5. Huge jug of water.

6. Beer if hung over. Wine if just having a slovenly night in.

7. Something craptacular to watch on tv.

8. Good company, or, if sick of company, solitude.

In the glorious event that all these conditions are met, bliss is the result. It is of course possible to overindulge in the food parts of this list, and bliss is then temporarily suspended, but that’s a rookie mistake. The point here is that cigarettes are intrinsic to my total relaxation. I can have everything arranged within reaching distance, a movie about to start that actually looks half decent, but there will still be a smoke shaped hole in my enjoyment of the evening.

Now, that’s a load of bullshit. But it’s true, too. Giving up smoking… is complicated. I don’t want to smoke. I don’t want to be a smoker. But I do want every single individual cigarette. The decision to quit isn’t a big decision you make an move on, it’s a million little decisions not to talk yourself into the smoke you’re considering at any given moment.

And it’s hard because it’s a long term decision. It’s like deciding to lost weight. Easy. It’s easy to make lists for yourself, and only buy food you’ve decided is allowed, and decide to go to the gym, and get a membership, and buy a new bicycle to ride to work every day, but it’s hard to stop yourself eating every piece of cheese you ever want to eat, all the time, and make yourself go and do unpleasant repetitive physical movements when you want to lie down with the internet…

And then the benefits are so long term… there’s a carrot and stick in the case of smokers, coaxing us to give up with promises of glowing skin and a sense of taste, as well as threats of cancer and wrinkles and poverty and death… but all those things are so far away. If only the benefits of quitting were here and now, I would so totally quit. I know I could, if I was motivated. And you might say, what could motivate you more than your health? But that’s not fair, because it’s not like I’m going to get the vaccine against cancer if I stop smoking. If there was some kind of instant reward for quitting, I would be done forever. I swear. It’s just the long term motivation that makes it so hard. In fact, lots of things would make me quit. Like, a hot guy.

If I met a hot guy that didn’t smoke, I wouldn’t smoke around him. My desire to appear attractive to someone I like is way stronger than any nervous habit. I don’t know would I quit outright, but if he made annoying comments on how bad cigarettes make me smell or something, and he was really really hot, maybe.

If some benevolent millionaire took a shine to me and decided to pay me 20 euro a day not to smoke again. And this would last always. And he would make sure I was regularly tested for nicotine so I couldn’t cheat. I would never smoke again. I know it’s not that much money, obviously I would prefer more, but that’s my cut off rate. Actually I lie. Anything over a fiver a day would pay for a nicer lunch, and would definitely be worth it. But more money would be awesome.

If quitting smoking would make me shed a pound every day, and then once I got to my perfect weight, which actually wouldn’t take long enough to break the habit properly, every cigarette I smoked would add 5 pounds.

If at the end of every week without smoking one cigarette, I got to make a wish.

If  as long as I didn’t smoke, my legs would magically not grow hairs.

Looking back over my list of instant motivators, I realised I am even shallower than I thought I was. This is sad. Can I add, for every day I don’t smoke, a child with a cleft palate gets a free operation? Or for as long as I’m not smoking, there won’t be any new cases of aids?