Archive | April, 2014

Friends without benefits

21 Apr

Irish Two and I went to see The Lego Movie today. Then we went for Vietnamese food. Then we walked home in the rain.

It had all the makings of a perfect date, except we were doing it as friends.

At dinner I gave him career advice. He gave me relationship advice.

Since we became “just friends” I’ve been hoping for more. I’ve been hoping for benefits. Sexual ones, to be precise. I’ve seen the Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake movie. I’ve seen the identical movie with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. These both convinced me that a friend with benefits is a real asset. Though I’m not sure this was supposed to be my take on them.


Not even a kiss from Irish Two.

Did he never even find me attractive?

I know it’s probably better this way. This way we actually stand a chance of being friends. I stand a chance of moving on. But I do miss the sex. I miss feeling desirable.

Of course, there are other benefits. As long as we continue to watch movies and eat meals without any touching at all, I can neglect to shave my legs, and I needn’t worry about doing anything to my bikini line.

After all, nobody else is doing anything to it.

Trying to find happiness

20 Apr


I’m just back from a weekend in Edinburgh with friends and family, and I had a great time. My friend Sarah took me to a posh hotel for a cocktail tasting menu. I met a friend’s new baby. I hung out with my nephews. I ate a lot of chocolate. Good times all round.

When I’m in Edinburgh it’s always quite in-my-face, though, just how alone I am.

All my uni friends and my family have moved on to create lives for themselves complete with other halves and, now, babies too. The life I’ve created for myself mostly revolves around MTV and frozen yogurt. Which isn’t really the same. At all.

I had coffee with my friend Jennie this morning and was saying, as I so often say these days, it’s just hitting home that I might not meet someone and I’m going to have to deal with that.

It’s something I thought about on the train heading back to London. Which led to one of my all-too-regular-breaking-down-in-tears-without-even-realising-it incidents. Awkward.

All I have ever wanted is to meet someone who loves me, who I love back, and to have kids. It was my priority as a teenager looking ahead to an exciting future. It’s my priority as a thirty something looking back wondering where I went off in a different direction from my friends.

Doesn’t everyone deserve to have someone to spend their life with? I know I do. I’m such a nice person!

But I need to face it: it might not happen for me.

I may well be one of those women (and we all know a few of them) who it just doesn’t happen for. I’m not saying that all women need a relationship and kids to be fulfilled. But I do. I really do.

It dawned on me on the train that I have two choices. Either, I stay in this frame of mind – genuinely scared that I’m never going to meet someone, and so, so full of hope that I will. Or, I can make my peace with the fact that I just might not. That I might be on my own forever. That I might not ever have that special person who loves me the most. That I might not have kids.

I am really, really trying to get my head around this and feel good about it. It’s not enough to think, “I’ll be OK if I don’t meet someone.” That’s just surviving. I don’t want to go through life just surviving. I want to enjoy it. I want to think, “My life’s going to be f***ing fabulous, either way.”

So far, though, I just can’t get my head there. In fact, since I gave myself this ultimatum I haven’t stopped crying. I cannot make peace with the fact I might go through life alone. I can’t feel good about it. I can’t stand the thought of not having kids. I hate feeling like there must be something wrong with me and a reason why it just isn’t happening. And that I got so close, but wasn’t good enough.

I’m desperately trying to find happiness.

But I can’t.

Why I hate train companies. And my ex.

18 Apr


I’m on the train from London to Edinburgh to see my friends and family over the Easter break.

When I got back from New York yesterday there was a whole thing with my tickets for this journey. By “thing” I mean “incredibly upsetting, aggravating, enfuriating and downright f***ing stupid situation”.

Let me explain. Remember in January I had tonsillitis? Well I had a booking to go up to Edinburgh and have a weekend with my friends. I’d booked it back in November when feeling particularly sad about my life one day. £160 for the pleasure of five hours on a packed train, rattling up the East Coast.

Well, I felt so ill in January that I couldn’t travel. So I paid another £30 to change the tickets to Easter weekend. I was supposed to pick the original tickets up from a machine in the station, but since I wasn’t using them I did not. I got my new tickets emailed to me. Boom. Only three months to wait to use them.

So yesterday I printed off my tickets and realised that I also needed the originals. Jet lagged. Tired. Confused. But never mind, I went down to the station to get the original tickets.

Tickets no longer on the system.

I had several phone calls with East Coast Mainline. The answer to each one was this: your tickets no longer exist. You need to buy new tickets.


I finally got through to a nice man called Stefan who said to buy new tickets, then write and explain and they might (note “might”) refund one of the journeys.

I had no idea what to do. New tickets were an additional £250.

So I did what I always do when I need help or advice: I called my Dad.

And his advice was, “Life’s too short. Pay the extra money. Go and see your friends.”

I took a moment and a few deep breaths. Made my peace with the injustice. Flexed my AMEX. And booked new tickets. Angrily.

But I feel OK about it, you know.

I want to see my friends.

And I booked the original tickets because I felt sad. I was ill because I didn’t sleep for six months. I didn’t notice I needed the old tickets because I was ill. You see what has happened here.

It’s all his fault.

Well, his and East Coast Mainline’s.

New York

16 Apr

Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Drops In Second Quarter


I haven’t blogged because I’ve been working my paws off.


I also haven’t dissolved.

I’ve been in New York for five days. While I’ve hardly had time to eat or sleep let alone spend quality time in Sephora, I’ve also not had time to think too much about the ex. Or his summer here. When he decided that he’d never been in love with me. Sh**head.

As it happens, my walk from the hotel to my office goes right by a restaurant where we ate in the summer, on a hot July night when he seemed determined to pick arguments with me and act like an asshole. The ribs were delicious, mind you. Whenever I pass this restaurant, I do feel a little stab. But it’s a little stab of anger. Not sadness.

I think I find self esteem in my job. I find my inner Beyoncé. Although I’m writing copy and lecturing people on branding, not hitting the stage in tight-fitting lycra, it is kind of the same. Really. It’s my game face. It’s when I muster up every ounce of confidence and go go go. And there ain’t no space for feeling sh** about myself. There ain’t no space for a man who eats half a pizza before breaking my heart.

So there’s four hours til I head to the airport. Just time for a quick run to Victoria’s Secret and Sephora, and another iced coffee.

Maybe even time for a slice of pizza.


11 Apr


I’m allowing myself an hour of coffee and Teen Mom 3 before I do more work, before I leave for the airport, before I do more work, before I get on my flight to New York… to do more work.

It is unbelievable how connected I feel to the stories of these girls. OK, I don’t have a kid. And I’m not a fallen-from-grace cheerleader. But I’ve been let down by the person I thought loved me most. Sure, it was months ago now that it all culminated in the great pizza-eating, heart-breaking extravaganza of August 3rd, but it still hurts. And I think that’s OK, you know. I didn’t doubt that we were going to be together, get married, have babies. He constantly talked about these things. He did – not I. So as far as my head and my heart were concerned, I might as well already have that future because it was so, so real to me.

When I see the boys on this TV show act like such a**holes, it makes me mad. Falling out of love with people. Not knowing what they want. Needing space. Breaking up with the mother of their kid and then getting together with someone else three days later. But you kind of forgive them. Because they are 16 or 17-years-old. They’re just kids. They’re immature.

The question is whether they’re going to change as they get older, or whether it’s the fact they are men (or boys) that is the problem.

My ex was immature as f***. I was his first girlfriend (he was 30 when we met). Within weeks I was the “love of his life”, his “soul mate”, he had spent “his whole life looking for me”. At the time I liked hearing all these things. Now I know how the story ends, I think he was reckless and stupid and incredibly immature. How can you tell someone you are never going to leave them and then eat half a pizza and leave them? How can you then tell that person (me, I mean me) that they should feel lucky to have been in such an amazing relationship that was 99.9% perfect? The worst bit is, he thinks he is very mature – a sophisticated businessman/hipster. He is neither of these things. Well, he does business and stuff, but that’s about it.

For the sake of Mackenzie, Alex, Katie and Brianna (who is more beautiful than Halle Berry), I hope the men in their lives mature as time goes on. Because they’re stuck with these a**holes until those babies grow up. At least I’m free to try and find someone with a mental age of at least 25.

Scaredy cat

10 Apr


I have so much to talk to you lovely people about and so little time in which to do it.

For now I will tell you this: I am going to New York tomorrow.

And I’m scared.

I’m scared of how it’s going to make me feel. I know I’ll be washed over with memories of my time there with him. And the knowledge that, well, New York’s kind of where it all fell apart. For him, anyway. I was sat at home in Hackney being miserable, pining for him, crossing my paws that he still loved me.

My counsellor says that I will feel weird when I get there. Really weird. But that I must try and “meet the feeling” rather than let it “dissolve me”. Hmm. I think I have a tendency to dissolve these days. If “dissolving” means breaking down in tears every hour or so and forgetting that I have mascara streaked right across my face.

But it’s my business trip this time. Because I do sh** like that – flying across the Atlantic on business. People pay for me to do it. I’m just as important as him. I’m just as good at my job as him (OK, maybe not, but I’m definitely quite good at this particular aspect of it – presenting and stuff – it’s my favourite). And, hell, I’ll spend as long as I like browsing in Sephora, thank you very much.

I talk a good game, but I’m genuinely a little petrified that this trip is going to erode me further still.

I guess I’m just a massive scaredy cat.



A sad story about a fat rat

9 Apr


I saw a dead rat on the pavement tonight. Right in the middle of the pavement. No obvious cause of death. A well-fed little urchin with a shiny fur coat.

I was on my way to my counsellor, and feeling pretty sorry for myself since I had the most exhausting day and keep crying for no reason.

Well, it made me realise.

There’s always someone who’s had a worse day than me.

RIP, fatso. RIP.


8 Apr

Sometimes I think of you.

Sometimes I’m busy at work, or right in the middle of a conversation, or really relaxing and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, when my mind goes to you.

Sometimes I can manoeuvre my thoughts around you.

Sometimes I can’t.

Sometimes your memory wakes me at 5am. Or 3am.

Sometimes it stops me from getting to sleep in the first place.

Sometimes I’m really concentrating on a piece of copy, trying to meet a deadline, focusing on my clients, when you cross my mind and knock the air right out of me.

Sometimes I find tears running down my cheeks when I haven’t even noticed that I’ve started crying.

Sometimes I think the pain will never go away.


A life that’s good

7 Apr

If I ever have kids, I want to train them to be the next Lennon and Maisy.

If I ever have kids. This song pretty much sums up all I want out of life. And while I have a ridiculous DVD collection, all the Diet Coke and Aperol I ever want to drink, and many, many beautiful things that Topshop has made me, I don’t have any of the things that matter. Sad times.

Your life just changed

6 Apr


Goodness gracious. Weekends should really be at least three days long. This one has just flown by, and I really need to get organised for going to New York on Friday, but I feel very much not at all organised. Not one bit. Distressing, because life is about to get very busy for the next few weeks with work and trips and visiting friends.

It makes me think how different my life is from how it was last year at this time. And from how I thought it would be right now. And how I thought it would turn out in the future.

I’ve been talking to a new breakup buddy, which makes me think back a lot on the early days after the pizza of doom. The days when I actually wanted to die. I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but I did. I would never have done anything drastic or silly. But I wished to just not wake up in the morning. Tricky when you can’t get to sleep in the first place, mind you.

Anyway, the thing with break ups is that nobody has died. Your relationship has died. Or – as it can feel under certain circumstances – it’s been brutally murdered. I think one of the things I found hardest to deal with was the guilt. How could I feel so sad and cry so much and wish myself dead when the rest of my life was just fine and dandy? Shameful. Shame on me for feeling so sorry for myself over a boy. I still feel that way now.

But back in those early days one of my friends said something very true and very useful to me. When I was sobbing on her shoulder and hating myself for doing so, she told me, “It’s OK to feel this way. Your whole life just changed. Forever.”

She was right. There isn’t one aspect of my life that wasn’t affected by this. One conversation – one unexpected conversation – and everything got turned upside-down, back-to-front, rattled around and ruined. I’ve had to piece certain bits back together – finding my confidence again in my job, starting my new job without his support, making my peace with being the only one of my friends without someone, trying to reimagine myself in my own family as a single unit.

Hardest of all, I have to rethink my future. Because the future I thought I was going to have, and the future I wanted more than anything, is gone.

My whole life has changed. Forever.

You can’t underestimate how hard that is. But you can hope that one day you’ll realise it’s for the better.