I read an unbelievable story at the weekend in a magazine about a guy who had been dumped by his girlfriend, and had sued her - AND WON - for £6000 that he claimed he had spent on her during their relationship.
They didn't live together or have any children, they were just boyfriend and girlfriend. He got clingy, she backed off, they ended up finishing and she met someone else and was happy. He started emailing her saying how he'd done this and that for her and bought her this and that, and how he thought she should pay him back.
To get rid of him she casually emailed back "yes ok sure" - big mistake. This guy was a partner in a law firm and used her reply as evidence of an agreement to repay all costs - AND HE WON HIS CASE!!
The girl had to pay £3000 legal fees plus £6000 back to this guy, who obviously couldn't deal with being dumped, so used this a BIG revenge.
I was talking with my mate at the weekend and we both agreed that dating as a whole is shifting and changing SO much that soon you will need a written contract just to meet a guy for a drink in a bar!
"Hi how are you"
"Great thanks, good to meet you again"
"Here, I bought you some flowers"
"Oh I can't accept them just in case you sue me for the cost should I choose not to see you anymore. Can you just sign this contract that we will go 50/50 on all drinks costs tonight??"
My friend goes on a lot of internet dating sites and more and more she sees men who, in their profiles of "who do you want to meet", they are asking to meet ONLY financially independent women with their own property/car, who will be willing to split all date costs down the middle". She's talked about men who have been fleeced so many times by different women who date them for a few weeks, extract free posh meals, clothes and gifts from them, then walk off and leave them when the next cash cow comes along.
It's no wonder that more people are choosing to live alone, fewer people are getting married, fewer marriages are lasting, and more and more people are choosing to be independent, and just have a few flings here and there to satisfy their needs. It seems safer!! If you can be sued for just allowing a man to buy you a gift then what hope is there??? You can lose your house if you split with a partner, you can lose half your income to them - I mean is it worth it any more?
Don't be trapped by Dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become."
- Steve Jobs
Monday, December 31, 2007
I read an unbelievable story at the weekend in a magazine about a guy who had been dumped by his girlfriend, and had sued her - AND WON - for £6000 that he claimed he had spent on her during their relationship.
Social Services should get a kicking for allowing her to keep her son. I'm presuming they will be watching her closely and putting her on a full dietary re-education programme, not to mention telling her to be more disciplined with her son, who screams and whines and nags if he doesn't get the junk food he craves.
I see so many fat toddlers waddling along with their parents nowadays and I marvel at the apparent blindness of the parents. Surely they SEE their children are already overweight, they can't put it down to "puppy fat" and just presume it will "burn off" (how can it burn off when all they do is watch telly and play video games). Many of the parents are overweight themselves and don't even watch their own diets. Lots of babies today are bottle fed, to me a heinous crime, for a mother's milk is of the utmost importance for immune and nutritious reasons. Tests have proved that powdered-milk bottle fed babies have obesity problems as young kids.
14 stone Sam's mother has tried padlocking the kitchen door, but Sam "tears the house apart" looking for the key, throws tantrums, and screams until she gets her own way. She eats 500g bars of Galaxy on the way home and says "I know I'm addicted to it but it's so creamy and yummy that I can't stop eating it. I love it." She is a sugar-addicted Pot-Noodle eating addict, and I think this is the tip of the iceberg with so many kids in the UK today.
All her pocket money is spent on sweets - why her mum has simply stopped giving her pocket money I'll never know.....Why she still BUYS the junky food and puts it in the house, I'll never know. Just buy healthy stuff and don't have anything junky in the kitchen!! And more importantly, learn to deal with the tantrums and screaming of a spoiled child in the grips of sugar withdrawal. Seek medical help, go on a diet yourself and make your child join you, take her to a fat camp, do SOMETHING!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately the mum is probably only doing what she KNOWS - if HER parents fed her similar rubbish then she knows no better herself, and the bad eating habits get passed on through the generations. I used to fry everything in LARD and didn't know any better, until I found out otherwise.
I don't believe for one minute that these parents can claim utter ignorance as to what is good for their children. EVERYONE knows that fruit and veg are better than sugar and Pot Noodles, EVERYONE knows there are cookery classes, nutrition classes, and books to help you understand more about healthy eating and living. Connor's mum had previously complained that Social Services were to blame for her obese child, because "they didn't intervene earlier". Oh, and you DID???? Why is it always someone ELSE'S fault?????
Nothing is mentioned about whether these kids do any exercise, but I'm doubting it. The size of their mums I'm guessing they don't go for walks in the park or bike rides. Connor has already broken half a dozen bikes and a few chairs.
I dread what state this country is going to be in when I'm an old woman and may need the NHS and some medical care. I fear that by then, the NHS will have collapsed under the (literal) weight of fat people - today's fat toddlers - who will be plagued with medical problems all their lives, at what financial cost to the rest of us. I fully agree with the MP who, a while ago, said that overweight people who make no effort to LOSE weight, should not be prioritised for operations and healthcare. Maybe such a rule would force them to take some action.
Found this article on the Daily Mail website, never a truer word spoken.....
We exist in two different time zones. Men want to be happy right now, today, preferably in the company of a beautiful woman. Tomorrow can wait.
Women, on the other hand, are constantly concerned with the future, and with their prospects financially, emotionally and sexually.
The reason, I believe, is that we are fundamentally selfish beings, only really interested in ourselves.
Some people claim to be lovingly entwined with their partners. They're deluded or lying. I'm in my mid-30s and have met no such couple.
I've known couples of all races and ages, some of them in arranged marriages - all of them simmering with tension and dissonance. [Yes, same here]
I've never met a couple I've envied. I don't feel sad admitting this. I feel liberated. I no longer cling to the myth that relationships create happiness, and I don't feel guilty or alone when feeling dissatisfied in my marriage. [Exactly my sentiments!!]
Everyone else feels this, whether they admit it or not.
Men and women speak two different tongues. We can barely even get to know each other, let alone make each other happy.
Women are pathological worriers, especially the intelligent and successful ones.
I remember how, at university, the brightest girls were the most meticulous notetakers during lectures, while the boys slouched through them half-asleep.
Women can't trust their abilities and go with the flow. Even the most capable ones are riddled with doubts and desperate for security.
And that means security for the future: are they going to meet a nice man they can take home to meet their mother? Are they going to have a nice house with a conservatory at the back?
Women think and think about their lives, they plan and scheme and imagine how things might go with Mike or Sam or Joe. Who would be the best husband, the best father, the best lover? Which would have the best pension plan?
Meanwhile Mike and Sam and Joe are probably just thinking about whether the woman in question will sleep with them tonight, and who is going to win the Champions League this summer.
I remember when I proposed to my wife. We were lying in our hotel bed, on holiday in Thailand. We'd been living together for six months and my wife was now pestering me to find out where our relationship was 'going'.
I had no idea where we were 'going', and it was late and I was tired. I told her that if we were still together in a year's time I'd marry her. Then I went to sleep. Romantic, huh?
My answer was a reasonable response to her demands to know what the future held. It was rational to think that after we'd been together for 18 months that marriage was a logical continuation.
The topic wasn't discussed again for over a year, until I came across an envelope in her desk drawer.
It held the booking receipt for the country house she'd gone out on her own and hired for the wedding. Though I hadn't been informed of this, I wasn't upset. I had, after all, proposed to her. [My mum did this to my dad - when he was at sea in the Merchant Navy and after they'd been engaged for YEARS, she booked the church and sent him a letter saying he had to be there or it was over....he duly turned up!]
Women generally drive the direction of relationships, partly because most men are happy just to be laissez-faire, but also because women are natural control freaks, simply because they have an inbuilt paranoia that their lives are going to go horribly awry.
For example, no intelligent man spontaneously asks a woman to marry him. She will let him know well in advance via hints, leading questions and outright nagging that she wants to get hitched.
She might squeal with mock surprise when he offers that ring, but she'll have been nudging him to do it for months if not years.
One man I know proposed on one knee to his long-term girlfriend in their room at a country house hotel. Even as he began his spiel, she began shaking her head violently.
In the end, she had to tell him this was not the kind of place she'd always imagined would be the setting for her proposal. Only a windswept hillside would do. She, you see, had been planning for this moment in her mind for years. [OMG I can't believe the cheek of the daft bint....]
Similarly, men become fathers having never really thought about it. In my experience, they are often swayed by the desires of their partners.
Very few women get pregnant by accident; they generally know exactly what they're doing. The fathers I know have admitted to being crestfallen when a girlfriend first told them she was pregnant. It was a shock end to their independence they'd never properly contemplated.
But they feigned jubilation and made the usual offers of support.
It generally takes the arrival of an unplanned child for a man to start scrupulously practising safe sex.
One of the ironies of this gulf between the mindset and aspirations of the sexes is that a woman's cloying need for certainty often drives men to be unfaithful.
The oppressive intimacy they force onto a relationship - always wanting reassurance, and always wanting to know what he is thinking and feeling - has the effect of making him seek a cheap ego boost elsewhere.
Men cheat to re-establish their sense of independence, to carve themselves a brief space with someone else that doesn't involve their partner.
My own adulteries - which occurred a couple of years ago on a long trip abroad - were driven by the need to escape the overbearing intimacy of married life.
Women will hate me for doing this and not being coy when admitting it. But I know very few men who've been faithful to their partner. The only men I've discussed sex honestly with who've never strayed are both gay.
I'm not the greatest husband material going, but it hasn't cured my wife's compulsion to seek permanence with me. After she uncovered my misbehaviour we separated briefly, but got back together and decided to make a fresh start in a new house. I had nothing to contribute to the deposit and my wife arranged the mortgage, yet she insisted that I sign the deeds. I didn't feel remotely entitled to it and explicitly told her many times. But signing was her pre-condition for continuing our relationship.
I guess she felt it would be a clear sign of commitment from me, and also put me in debt to her morally. I, naturally, did not analyse this event in terms of a long-term emotional power struggle the way a woman would. I simply noted that my infidelities had resulted in making me the co-owner of a fourstorey Georgian town house.
Figure that out.
The only reason I can give for why my wife hangs onto me is sex. She fancies me. That's it. Within the emotional turmoil of the female mind is the primal force of sex. Though they waffle about their need for empathy and sensitivity, women are actually far more libidinous than men.
God created sex for them. He gave them a body that is one big erogenous zone, and a taste for myriad erotic nuances. Male sexuality is blunt and lumpen: no man is aroused by the thought of warm breath against his neck. [Beg to differ there....] But a woman's body is made for sex. The female orgasm makes the male climax seem a pathetic nonevent by comparison, and is proof that women enjoy sex far more than men do.
In my early and mid-20s, I had a series of liaisons with older women (one of which developed into the marriage I'm in now.
I was then penniless, and had no status and nothing noteworthy to say.
Yet accomplished and intelligent women in their 30s and 40s happily took me to bed. I knew then that women, like men, are driven by narrow, selfish agendas, be it the desire for security, money, or a healthy young body. Having sex with those women, I'd watch them lose themselves in the animal intensity of it, becoming oblivious to my presence. I was nothing. They said they liked me because I was 'sweet' and 'funny', but those qualities would have been meaningless if I wasn't up to scratch in the sack.
I recently had a frank chat with a female friend, and she admitted that women address a man's qualities as though they are scanning his CV with a view to employing him. Above all, they want a man who turns them on.
Failing that they settle (in descending order) for a man's money, his ability to entertain them, and his willingness to do the dishes.
Her words confirmed my belief that men and women are incapable of a genuine spiritual union. We're too dissimilar even to understand each other, let alone combine in harmony, so we just grasp what we can from our relationships.
That's why, when a woman does meet a man who flips her lid sexually, she isn't going to let him go. Men and women are held together by biology, not by love. Love isn't powerful enough to overcome the tremendous contradictions between us. Genetics isn't a recipe for happiness - but then our genes don't exist to make us happy. They exist to keep us alive.
So yes, I believe men and women do exist in different times zones in emotional terms. We find mutual satisfaction in sex, but that aside we must remain strangers.
Householders will have pay to take rubbish to the tip under the punitive new regime for refuse collection. The charges will be introduced to deter those who try to dodge the impact of strict rubbish quotas at home.
Families will be fined if they exceed a set amount of rubbish they leave outside for the dustman.
But if they try to avoid these charges by driving their domestic refuse to the tip, they will have to pay anyway.
Councils are already preparing to restrict the use of tips because the areas where fortnightly bin collections have been introduced have experienced heavy use and long queues.
A number of local authorities have installed cameras to monitor tips. These can read car number plates and show what kind of refuse householders are leaving.
I don't believe this. It's almost fucking Orwellian. Numberplate recognition at rubbish tips????? Spying on what rubbish we throw out? I read the other day that some areas will be given 5 BINS to sort their rubbish into. Who has room for 5 bloody bins??
Of COURSE there will be more queues at tips in areas where fortnightly collections are imposed. Your average family with 2/3 kids will get thru a lot of stuff each week. "Oh but you should recycle more!" we are told. But there are still no facilities for certain types of rubbish, eg clear hard plastic that is used to vacuum-wrap toys and electrical products.
The Government really has cottoned on that they can make shitloads of money in taxing us for our rubbish, all under the pretend-condern for "green environmental reasons". BULLSHIT. How much of the £ from these rubbish taxes will get invested in renewable energy sources? Probably none of it.
And people are still banging on about supermarket and carrier bags, and how they are going to "reduce usage within the next 5 years". For fucks sake, when I was at school about 23 years ago, The Body Shop introduced their biodegradable carrier bag, that you could bury in the garden and it would rot. So why, 23 YEARS LATER, haven't all shops gone over to this??? www.biobags.co.uk produce corn-starch based carrier bags that are just as strong as regular ones, but they are 100% compostable. They sell them in palettes of 50,000 bags, WHY AREN'T SUPERMARKETS BUYING THESE????? Then it won't matter about how many we use - they will all safely rot in a matter of weeks. The sheer ignorance astounds me.
And finally, I ask AGAIN - Why aren't companies and supermarkets being fined for excessively packaging their products? Easter Egg packaging, toy packaging, electrical goods packaging, computer peripherals packaging - they aren't being told to cut back at all? Why not? Why do WE, the already over-taxed public, have to pay fines for having to dispose of rubbish that is the fault of the companies who refuse to cut back? I'm guessing its because the companie stuff £££ into the coffers of the campaing funds, in return for being let off the hook.
So many times now when I buy products, the checkout girls automatically put them in a bag - even if it's just one tiny product, they will put it in a huge bag. A policy should be introduced where they should ALWAYS ask "do you want a bag for this". I always decline, and bring my own bags to use.Our council tax is rocketing, yet we are now being royally fucked over to get rid of our rubbish. Big Brother is in our bins, roll on the Two Minute Hate!!! I feel like a goddam cash machine that the Government just keeps coming back to and helping themselves.
Parents must allow their children to play outdoors - even if it means they get hurt, a safety campaigner has said.
Research published last week by the Children's Society suggested that too many parents are refusing to let their children play by themselves outside in case they are injured.
It found 43 per cent of adults think children should not be allowed out with their friends until they are 14 or over.
"When children spend time in the great outdoors, getting muddy, getting wet, getting stung by nettles, they learn important lessons - what hurts, what is slippery, what you can trip over or fall from. We need to try to break down the perceived safety barriers to playing outside.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Good grief - why is this being reported like it's a "new thing", as if kids have never played outdoors before?? And why oh why do parents lock their kids up and never let them play outside anymore? Fear of paedos? Fear of them scratching their finger? Fear of them being sued by another parent if little Johnny bumps into another kid whilst bike riding?
Not letting kids outside to play until they are 14 is ridiculous - unless they are showing tendencies for hanging around on street corners drinking DIamond White and hassling Old Mavis down the road, in which case yes - lock them up at home....
I was lucky enough to grow up in the country, we spent our childhood biking up the leafy lanes and mostly playing in next doors farmyard - climbing up huge piles of grain, swinging off gates, climbing haystacks, playing tennis in the main yard.....it was ace. We fell over, bumped our heads, scraped our knees, got dirty hands, ran around, bounced into eachother on our spacehoppers, and came home at tea time red-faced, sweaty and glowing, with dirty hands and scraped elbows. Mum patched us up and didn't say a word (she used to put butter on my head whever I bumped it - never understood that one!)
One time on a bike ride I lost my balance and toppled sideways into the biggest patch of nettles ever, my screams were so loud a lady in a nearby cottage came out and took us all into her kitchen and smothered me with Anthisan cream. Mum was greatful for her help and still didn't stop me from playing outside.
As a result of being "allowed to play in dirt" as a kiddie, I think that it's contributed greatly to a robust immune system that luckily means I'm rarely ill. Kids today are sealed into double glazed houses where they breathe Glade not fresh air, and numerous other chemicals used to freshen the sofa/the carpet/the dishwasher/the dog/their trainers. What's wrong with opening the window?? A plethora of anti-bacterial this, that, and the other makes sure that not a scrap of bacteria is left alive in the house, and as a result when kids are exposed to it, their bodies shit themselves and wonder what the fuck to do. Asthma in kids has rocketed as "playing out" has fallen by the wayside in favour of vegitating in front of the telly and turning into a lard-based Playstation freak.
I guess living in the city won't help, where the farmyards and country lanes don't exist, and there is traffic and dodgy people around every corner. Even designated play areas are now under scrutiny by the Health and Safety people and the councils, who are afraid of being sued if little Timmy falls off the slide and messes his hair up, heaven forbid. What can be done to encourage safe "outside playtime" in built-up areas I don't know.
But for sure, parents need to kick their kids out into the garden, let them run around, get stung by nettles, and get their hands dirty. And also stop being so aggressive towards anything that could injure their little darlings. If Timmy falls off the slide it's because he was being clumsy, not because the slide was designed wrongly, or the council didn't provide 24 hour supervision. If Katie pricks her finger while playing near brambles, she will learn to be more careful next time. Leave the (anti-bacterial) cotton wool at home..........
When her daughter fell under the spell of Disney's Princess brand, Peggy Orenstein was horrified. But now she wonders whether she, as an ardent feminist, is just as guilty of peddling outmoded fairytales
I finally came unhinged in the dentist's office where I'd taken my three-year-old daughter for her first appointment. Until then, I'd held my tongue. I'd smiled politely every time the man at the supermarket till greeted her with, 'Hi, Princess'; ignored the waitress at our local café who called the funny-face pancakes she ordered her 'princess meal'; made no comment when the lady at the chemist's said, 'I bet I know your favourite colour,' and handed her a pink balloon rather than letting her choose for herself. Maybe it was the dentist's cutie-cute inflection that got to me, but when she pointed to the chair and said, 'Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?' I lost it.
'Oh, for God's sake,' I snapped. 'Do you have a princess drill, too?' She stared at me as if I were an evil stepmother.
As a feminist mother, I have been taken by surprise by the princess craze and the girlie-girl culture that has risen around it. I watch my fellow mothers, women who once swore they'd never be dependent on a man, smile indulgently at daughters who insist on being called Snow White. I wonder if they'd concede so readily to sons who begged for combat fatigues and mock AK-47s.
Read the rest of this article HERE. It's brilliant . It also says that there is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs – who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty – are most likely to be depressed and least likely to use contraception. What's more, the 23 per cent decline in girls' participation in sports and other vigorous activity around the age of 13 has been linked to their sense that athletics is unfeminine.
I too have noticed the plethora of Princesses that are popping up smothered in Pink, wherever I look. And worryingly, a lot of them are in their late teens or early twenties . Toddler girls are swathed in pink by their mums, and given pink bicycles to ride and pink bedrooms and Princess quilt sets - they are surrounded by images of glossiness, pampered royalty, humongous castles, oodles of servants, and dashing knights who will rush to their rescue while they swoon with gratitude as he fixes their sink or their car. Will this make them grow up believing the whole Princess legend? God I hope not, if so they are in for a shock.
It doesn't help that our media seem to be glorifying the more mature "Princess girls" like the odious Nikki Graeme from last years UK Big Brother. Nikki "loved money" and "wanted to marry a footballer, and go shopping a lot". Because of her tiny frame and long blonde hair she was instantly nicknamed "Princess" in the house, and proceeded to act like the most spoiled little brat in the universe.
Then as a reward for her petulant behaviour and screaming strops, she was given her own TV show "Princess Nikki" where she was put into yukky situations and threw yet more screaming strops. Such a perfect role model for the next generation of girls. What sort of upbringing had she had that had given her the ultimate ambition to marry a footballer and shop lots?
This years Big Brother has given us two highly irritating twins Samantha and Amanda "Samanda" to be known from now on. To quote the excellent TV blog from columnist Grace Dent:
A lot of people claim that "kids today grow up so fast. There's no time for childhood". OK, some kids do. But then we've got this sinister breed of retarded-development 18-year-olds who behave like 11-year-olds. It's all squealing and "I like pink! Yes, pink!" and lollypops and frou-frou skirts from Mothercare and claiming to be useless and wanting to be a pwincess.
We've bred this new genre of post-post-feminists who play on acting vacuous and say women should never buy drinks and how their top film is Legally Blonde and Paris Hilton is "proper aspirational" and that they know that some big stwong man will look after them one day and make everything all right. Hint: he won't. Put your clothes on and bloody grow up.
Digital TV also aren't helping, with shows like "My Super Sweet Sixteen" and "Daddy's spoiled little girl", which show stupidly wealthy parents spoiling their whining offspring so much that the programme should come with a sick-bag warning. Our teens watch these programmes and dream of having wealth wealth and more wealth, so they too can have Puff Daddy rap at their birthday party, in front of hundreds of other kids who they don't know and aren't even friends with, but don't care cos all they want to do is show off.
Ambitions to be wealthy are fine - but you have to be prepared to work for it, which a lot of kids today clearly aren't. So they go seeking Big Brother instant fame, tawdry z-list tabloid sleaze, or a rich anybody. who will give them their dreams. A white knight?
By all means dress your little girl in pink and read her fairy stories - but don't drown her in them. Other colours are nice too, and other stories that may not necessarily have a happy ending. They need to learn from an early age that life isn't like the fairy tale books, and that you have to work hard if you want anything in this cold, harsh world. White knights don't exist.
And if you're dressing little Suzie in pink and reading her Princess tales, why aren't you letting little Timmy be a Prince? I get the feeling that any boy who started telling his mummy he wanted to be a Prince, and be pampered like a Prince, would be given a toy gun and told to go play pretend war at the bottom of the garden. Where is the Disney line of "Prince" tat and merchandise? A bit sexist isn't it? You can't have Princesses without Princes?
I don't think my mum ever smothered me in pink, nor once did she ever call me Princess. I think she *tried* the whole Pink thing, and ribbons and bows too - but even as a 4 year old, I simply refused to be girlie. My gran would make me gorgeous dresses covered in frills and bows, and I'd stand there in typical kiddie-sulk mode, frowning, arms crossed, saying "I won't wear it till you cut the bows off!" They bought me dolls but I'd leave them in a corner to gather dust, in favour of teddies and stuffed animals. I finally got into dolls when I discovered Sindy - and I liked her cos she had lots of cool stuff like cars and a horse and a camping set and a swimming pool.
I even went through a mad phase where I wanted a realistic baby doll. Mum was ecstatic...her and dad made me a lovely crib, she knitted clothes, and we went to jumble sales and looked for half-decent towelling baby-grows. That phase soon passed and I was back to the stuffed animals. Mum read us stories and fairy tales and we loved nursery rhymes, but somehow I never bought into the whole "happy ever after" thing, and I knew that they were just stories, and life wasn't really like that.
By the time I was 12, my bedroom wall was covered in posters of sports cars, horses, and arty Coke cans from Athena. I didn't realise mum was starting to worry about my sexuality as I showed no interest in boys, or anything remotely girly (she admitted this to me a year or so ago). Oh how she rejoiced the day she saw a small poster of Michael J Fox on my wall, the week after I'd been to see Back To The Future. But even if I had turned out to have tendencies towards the female sex, I would bloody well hope she'd still treat me like her daughter, and not strap me down and cover me in pink frilly stuff in the vain hope it would girlify me.
She knows I am cynical about marriage and men, and has never whinged about my non-marriage at 35, or no-grandkids for her. She's probably pleased to be honest, as it's less stress for her compared to if I was going through divorce after divorce and custody battle after custody battle.I do wonder what I'd be like if she had fed me the whole "Princess in Pink" dream - would I be on Big Brother now, in my frou-frou skirt, sucking a lollipop and talking about marrying some overpaid ugly midfielder?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
She talks of the parties and social gatherings she attends with her husband, and the constant questioning she faces (mostly hostile) about why they have made a conscious decision to not have any kids. She is frequently made to feel an outcast, a freak, an "unfeeling woman", a "selfish" woman, and one 'Yummy Mummy' even pulled her to one side and dared to suggest that "maybe you're with the wrong man if he doesn't make you want kids". She's been showered with the old lines "you'll change your mind", "how can any woman NOT want kids???", "well that's a result of today's selfish society" and other such gems. She questions the fact that parents are allowed to openly criticise her for NOT wanting kids, but if she turned the tables and said to these people "Oh my God, you have KIDS? Why? Why on earth would you do that???" then she'd be seen as a weirdo.
THIS IS SO TRUE!!!!! I'll be 36 in January and I'm still unmarried (through choice), and I absolutely do NOT want children. When I'm asked about this at gatherings I am now so used to the stereotypical responses that I'm past caring. I tell people I will die a happy Mad Old Rat Spinster, surrounded by my pets who will probably break out their cages and eat me once I've died and will be unable to feed them anymore. I tell them I won't be found until the smell permeates the neighbours' houses.
I also tell them that I will die happy and fulfilled, after travelling the world, seeing and doing what I want, having utter personal and financial freedom, and leaving not one penny in my bank account for the Government to take. What's wrong with wanting a life like that?
One woman said to me "you'll have such an empty life" to which I spontaneously snorted with laughter then immediately regretted it as she glared at me. My life is by no means empty, it's so bloody busy I wish there were more hours in the day!!!! Everything I do at the minute I enjoy, but it would all END if I had kids.
"Oh that's selfish" is the most popular response. But surely if I HAD a child I felt no maternal instinct for, nor a desire to nurture and care for and give up everything for...then that is MORE selfish. Having a child because of society's expectations of a woman and NOT because it's your heart's desire is THE most selfish act ever.
The worst comment I had was from a guy, who said "You're only talking like this because you've not found the right guy", and who assumed I was bitter and twisted, or a lesbian. I said that the Right Guy for me was one who shared my childfree views. WHY DOES NOBODY LISTEN when I tell them I have CHOSEN TO BE CHILDFREE? Is the stereotype of women and kids so deeply ingrained????
"But who will look after you in your old age??" people say, as if you should have a kid just so they'll care for you when you're old and decrepit. This isn't always guaranteed. Kids move away or emigrate, kids fall out with you, and kids may just stop caring and not give a stuff if you end up on the streets. Being looked after in your old age is NOT a reason to breed. As it is I will ensure I am financially sound to have the care I need but I hope to stay healthy enough to live a long and independent life. If something bad happens and I need special care then I hope by then that euthanasia is legalised. I will NOT live in a world where someone else has to wash and dress me, feed me and wipe my butt. That's not living.
There is a section that covers wifely jealousy of carefree and childfree couples and especially of childfree single women, who are immediately targeted as "a threat". Groups of mums and wives at parties gather together and glare at/ignore the "freak" couple who don't want kids and who don't react with glee when little Tommy spills ketchup on her Manolo Blahniks or sits on his Ray-Bans. Husbands are hurried away from the childfree singleton who has yet to develop stretch-marks or sagging breasts, who dresses nicely and who isn't worn down by the fatigue of chasing a toddler around the kitchen for 2 hours before the party. "She doesn't want kids!" "She's just after what she can get!" Women who don't want kids must be hard, unfeeling and uncaring, therefore they would not think twice of stealing someone else's man, right??? WRONG. And if they chat to your husband and he seems keen to chat back it's probably because it's nice for him to talk to a female about things OTHER than baby talk. And he's enjoying staring at your breasts.....ahem.......
(PS the section on "grown-up" parties/social gatherings and kids brought along to parties is also a hoot and a great read :D)
Nicki examines today's overpopulated world and the environmental impact of people having more and more kids. She questions families living on the poverty line who insist on churning out children, while the taxpayer (and childfree people) happily foot the bills, and nobody seems to step in and say "now hang on, you can barely look after yourself yet you are having MORE kids??" It is Satanic to question a "woman's right to a child" no matter how WRONG the situation may be or how inept/incapable/unsuited the prospective mother may be.
She points out that it's far easier in today's society to have a child - no matter what your personal or social situation - than to NOT have a child. She questions the plastic toys, the packaging that fills rubbish tips and never rots, the traffic hell caused by "School run mums", the insanity of parents spending ££££££ on their kids at Christmas and getting into massive debts because of their inability to say "NO" to the latest gadget, the increasing social problems, the fact that you can't smack or shout at your child in public now in case someone calls the Police or a Social Worker.
She talks about how neighbours with kids knock on her door if she has a noisy party, and tell her to turn the music down as "the kids are in bed", which she happily obliges and turns it down. But another time when screaming kids playing outside were disturbing her study, she was ostracised and ignored by all the other parents in the street after she dared open her door and ask the kids to "keep it down" as she was working. They even stopped putting Christmas cards through her door every year. Again she felt like some evil witch monster, because she'd not tolerated Other People's Kids.
One particular chapter that interested me was about working mums. To quote: "There'll never come a day when time off for an art class is accommodated as swiftly as time off for childcare, but it does seem unreasonable that while a mother is unquestioningly granted paid maternity leave perhaps two or three times in her career, a childfree person seeking an unpaid career break is invariably turned down. Many people would love the opportunity to take time out of a profession to study but, although this would benefit employers, it isn't considered worthy of compensation".
This is interesting to me and yes, the workplace does grant absolute flexibility to working parents...which is all fair and good....but at a time when I have reached a glass ceiling with Fuzzbutt, and would LOVE to discuss flexible working hours so I can develop my business....I fear that I will be met by a solid refusal from my workplace to accommodate this. Yet if I announced I was pregnant people would be falling over themselves to help me adjust my hours to suit. This is not fair!! Instead, I stay at work while other women go on maternity leave, and their jobs are stapled onto the back of mine to take on for no extra wages but for far more stress. Hang on, maybe I can have a pretend pregnancy....get one of those "fake" tummies to wear, play the whole act, then get paid leave for 10 months and finally develop my business. Genius! It seems to be the only way I will be able to do it.
Then today, the newspapers talk about David Cameron's tax break for couples bringing up children. An estimated 1.8million families would be up to £2,000 a year better off under the proposals, to be announced formally next week.
In America, parents can claim approx $1000 annual tax credit for each of their children, and Australia offers yearly payments for each child and a lump sum of $AU2000 on the birth of every new baby. UK parents get a £250 voucher to invest for each child, and they can also claim Working Tax Credit. Those who employ nannies can claim between £7000 and £10,000 per year to offset the cost. Pregnant women now get a £250 allowance "to spend on fruit & vegetables". Yeah right, like that money will go towards cabbage and broccoli.....
It seems that you get rewarded for having kids, but NOT rewarded for being single or choosing to be childfree. "Single supplements" apply to hotel rooms or package holidays, making the Singleton feel like another freak or outcast. Single people who have the balls to holiday alone are assumed to be "sad and lonely" and are forcibly taken under the wing by the Smug Couple or the family, who will then badger her as to when she will "find the right man" and have a family. Not a thought given to the fact the person may be happily independent and fiercely opposed to being pigeonholed. Are there holiday companies that cater for childfree couples? That insist NO KIDS ALLOWED, and go to venues/locations/hotels that will be noise-free and won't contain a "Plastic Princess Palace" filled with screaming toddlers? We live in a child-centred society, and to oppose that means to be criminalised and outcast. This should not be the case.
People CHOOSE to have kids, and people CHOOSE to not have kids. Why is one choice accepted and one demonised? Why are childfree people not rewarded for having LESS impact on the environment, which is now the priority for all the political parties (for now anyway). We don't do school runs - we buy less food and so generate less packaging waste, we don't buy plastic toys and nonbiodegradable nappies, we don't need benefits/childcare supplements from the State, and we don't take the Government tax breaks which you would THINK the Government would love us for! "Hey!! We PAY you taxes and don't take any back for our kids! YOU SHOULD LOVE US!!!"
One man interviewed for the book says:
"Reactions toward me are almost always negative, especially from those with children. I have now given up trying to explain my reasons for choosing to be childfree because it often provokes a hostile or aggressive reaction. I believe people with children find these issues challenging and react with guilt when their own selfishness is implied.
1) They assume that people are willing to tolerate noise/disturbance from their children (eg using supermarkets as playgrounds, or screaming constantly on a train)
2) parents appear unable or unwilling to understand or value people who have chosen to be childfree.
3) Women often complain about having children, even though contraception is now widely available. I am constantly told "Just wait - your turn will come", and all my comments and reasons outlined for not wanting children, are just swept away and disregarded. If I stick to my guns and say "no it won't, I DO NOT WANT CHILDREN, they look at me like I'm some sort of freak....I guess I don't help myself by saying "I prefer my pet ratties"....
4) There is a lack of positive parenting which is contributing to anti-social behaviour in our society. Children grow up expecting instant gratification.
5) Women at work openly discuss pregnancy, childbirth and the messier aspects of parenting that I don't find appealing or interesting to listen to. However if I dare look bored or not make understanding noises, again I'm met with hostility."
The same happens to me when a new mum brings her brood into work for all the other office girls to fawn over. If you don't fawn you feel like an uncaring harsh bitch, even though the sight of yet another Winston Churchill dipped in pink paint leaves me cold. Now if they'd brought in a puppy or a hamster or any baby animal, well I'd be gooey eyed and cooing like a mad thing. And then there are the endless tales of what little Chantelle did at Nursery, or how little Billy walked his first steps but then fell into a puddle. If you don't make the right noises or seem interested in these endless kiddie tales, you find that the mums stop talking to you about it and cold-shoulder you. Well I'm sorry but I'm just not into listening to kids talk....if I know someone isn't into rattie talk or Stormtrooping/SciFi talk, then I won't subject them to it. Simple as.
Shirley Conran, author of "Superwoman", says of parenthood: "You're signing yourself up for 24/7 guilt and anxiety and I wouldn't do it again. Everyone knows about the tantrums, the teenagers with loud stereos and inappropriate boyfriends or girlfriends, but nobody tells you how never-ending motherhood is and that's what I struggle with. They are always your children, even when they're adults and adult problems of depression, debt and failed relationships are bigger and scarier than those of a toddler who wets his bed or steals sweets in the supermarket. The responsibility of parenthood is overwhelming and incredibly stressful, and it's for life. Don't give up a pleasant life, for a life of unpaid drudgery. Your standard of living will drastically decline, and the kids take off as soon as they can, without a backward glance".
Jerry Steinburg, founder of "No Kidding! The International Social Group for Childfree People" says "I have been asked on radio talk-shows how I can say that I like kids but don't want any of my own. I always respond 'I like breasts but don't want a pair!'
Some people would view the book as a massive negativity campaign against kids, and may even view this blog as the same. I'm quite nervous posting it TBH, as people on my blog "friends" lists have kids....but in no way is this meant to offend them.
The book doesn't look at the positive aspects of having kids or being a parent, and the rewards that it CAN bring to people who want and enjoy their kids. That's not what it's about.....there are tons of OTHER books about the rewards of family life out there, this book is just trying to get across the author's frustrations of being childfree in a Child-Friendly society and world, and trying to communicate to parents that making the choice to be childfree is NOT a "freaky" choice, nor a selfish choice, but a decision to be respected and understood just as people automatically respect a woman's decision to HAVE kids.
It's Saturday morning now, I woke early and read a bit more of the book, which prompted me to get up and write this blog. The house is gorgeously still and quiet, as is the neighbourhood (kids not yet out of bed and fed sugary cereals). The day is mine to do as I please, as is my life. Ahhhh bliss...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
"There will be no Rolls Royce to replace the battered Fiat she has been borrowing from her sister since writing off her Seat Ibiza earlier this year. "I'd rather stick with the same car," she said. "I like driving a small car."
A shopping spree seems unlikely to make much of a dent in the money either. When Camelot staff took her to find a new outfit for yesterday's press conference, she chose a modest chocolate brown polka dot dress
from House of Fraser. "I'm not into designer stuff," she said."
OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE WOMAN why did you buy a lottery ticket???? I'm sick of reading about countless winners who sit there with their big fat cheque, and say "well I won't be givign up my job and I don't want a new house....." blah blah blah. Well give me the fecking money then, bints!!!!!!!
Is this a knee jerk reaction from suddenly going from poor to mega-wealthy?? Or are they just plain stupid? This latest winner will earn £40,000 A WEEK interest on her millions. She's giving lots to charity which is great, and is also giving her ex hubby a share, as they never got round to divorcing and have a very amicable relationship - so good on her for that. But ffs love buy yourself an Aston Martin and a nice posh house, or send me a cheque please!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
So a guy who pinched a reporters' bum as she was LIVE on national TV, has sparked a Police Investigation.
Critics are ranting how insensitive the guy was, due to the reporter talking about the devastating floods in the area when the incident happened. So now ££££ is being spent on a Police Investigation, miles of paperwork is being generated, and the reported has decided to not press charges.
I'm betting if, next time I'm down the pub or our clubbing, if some drunken twat pinches my bum and I got screaming to the Police, they will raise not one finger to "investigate" the incident, they will probably say I was "asking for it" or something. The media would label me "too sensitive" for complaining so vehemently about the incident.
If the reporter had been at Glastonbury reporting on the live music, and a drugged-up Glasto felt-hat wearing idiot had pinched her bum, I'm also betting not a word would have been said.
Meanwhile, the looters and water-robbers in the flooded areas continue to operate, and the Police have yet to catch a single person. Too busy with their bum-pinching paperwork I guess.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
If this is the case then why the fuck did they bother showing the amount on my statement, if technically, the money wasn't there? I'd ratheer it didn't appear until the CASH WAS THERE - FFS.
So I downloaded one of those letter templates and adapted it to suit my claim. All I want back is the £25, I will go to small claims court if I have to, it's the principle I'm fighting agsint. These bastards keep announcing ridiculous profits year after year, while us, "the Little People" pay thru the nose in charges. Research has shown that it costs £2 in admin fees to bounce a cheque. So the remaining £23 is pure profiteering and greed.
If every Cahoot customer closed their accounts and withdrew their money THEN where would the fuckers be??????
Friday, July 27, 2007
I read this news item today with an open mouth:
A mother who scolded her tantrum-throwing daughter in a shop was outraged to be visited at home by police who told her it was inappropriate to reprimand the girl in the light of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
Ruth Ball was at home when police officers knocked at her door and and ticked her off about the way she had chastised four-year-old Leigha.
The 24-year-old was told that the method she had used to reprimand Leigha was "inappropriate" in the light of Madeleine's disappearance from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal.
Ms Ball was at a newsagent in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, when Leigha started screaming after being refused sweets.
She swept her daughter out of the shop and put her in the car to calm down, standing a couple of feet away with her three-year-old son Jack.
A few minutes later she got into the car and drove the family home, thinking no more of it.
The following day a policeman visited her at her home in Luton to tell her off.
The officer said it was inadvisable to shout at her daughter and shut her in the car after what happened to missing Madeleine.
The mother has quite rightly defended herself and said
"I am trying to raise two decent human beings, even though I have been advised by the police to let them run riot, turn into thugs and help keep the prison population going when they're older.
"Kids learn young. If they learn now that kicking, hitting and screaming gets what they want, what are they going to do when they're adults?"
I can't believe that someone reported this woman to the Police, and secondly, the Police thought it appropriate to go round to her house and tell her off for discipling her child. And I'm sorry but WHAT THE FUCK has it to do with Madeleine McCann? "Don't tell your child off in case she gets abducted? Then you'll feel really bad, y'know??" Erm sorry but what is the connection?
Ruth had not left her child alone in an unlocked hotel room while she swanned off for Tapas and vino. Ruth was simply scolding a child who was chucking a fit when she was refused sweets.
I can't believe the McCann bandwagon is still rolling on. Cinema adverts about her disappearance have been pulled after complaints they scared small kids, and complaints that people going to the flicks didn't want to have to sit thru more Madeleine footage. Gerry McCann is now trawling the corridors of power in Washington as a self-appointed ambassador for missing kids, and also to "highlight the plight of his missing daughter".
They've seen the Pope, they've hogged national TV, they've been on talk shows and news interviews, every breath of their lives is reported in an attempt to keep their daughter's abduction in the headlines. "Cuddle cat farts!" "Gerry picks his nose!" what next??
We're all Madeleine-d out for goodness sake. And now we can't tell our kids off, "because of Madeleine".
I'm sorry but my sympathies ended when I found out they'd left three very young kids alone in a hotel room. And despite their good jobs and obvious wealth, they preferred to leave them unattended rather than pay a tenner for a babysitter. "Oh but we checked on them every 30 minutes" is not a good enough excuse in my book. It only takes a few seconds for a child to fall and injure themselves, climb out a window, eat or drink something dangerous, choke on something. It matters not one iota that they checked on them regularly or not. They should NOT have been left alone in the first place.
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Sun did a one page article featuring a close-up photo of a Vader helmet with a fag in his mouth, and various shots of Sandtroopers and the Police, with the usual captions about "being short for a Stormtrooper" and "not the droids we're looking for" (I was one of the Sandies in the shots, wooo!). The screaming headline was "TAR WARS" with a tagline about how "Movie fans light up the UK". In the centre page was an article on David Prowse and Mark Hamill who were meeting up again for the first time in 25 years at CE. Thankfully, the article was not as scathing or mocking as the "Tar Wars" spread.
Then we have the Daily Mail who sent a total non-Star Wars fan to CE, and naturally she wrote a sarcastic article politely calling us all freaks (read it here). Lines such as "And then there are the drooling fans, standing in queues with their carrier bags. The whole impression is of the world's wackiest refugee camp" help to paint a picture of nerdy negativity.
What do the paper expect from a reporter who'd rather be out having a manicure than being photographed with a bunch of Sith Lords? Where was the article written by a Sci Fi movie fan, to offer a balanced view to this daft cow's bias?
She failed to question what it is about Star Wars that has helped it survive for 30 years, surpass other bigger budget Scifi movies, and is now inducting a whole new younger generation of fans that will carry the mania into the future.
She poked fun at the costumers and Stormtroopers, people who spend the earth building their outfits, then use them to attend events that raise a considerable amount of money for Charities all over the world. The Medicinema stand alone raised £6000 on the CE weekend, a great achievement. Nothing was mentioned of the skills of the costumers, the seamstresses, the prop builders who make the outfits, or the guys who build life size mock-ups of the Death Star corridor or the Falcon walkway or the Tantive Hall corridor - awesome achievements that took hours of work and dedication. Nothing was mentioned of Artist's Alley, containing some brilliant artwork from world renowned Star Wars illustrators, or the graffiti competition with some stunning colourful creations.
She poked fun at the ageing actors, admittedly some of whome have had small careers since SW, but who are still heroes and icons in the fans eyes.
Fair enough, there are some SW fans who take it a bit too far and get rather scary with their Zeal. But that's a small percentage, and EVERY re-enactment group has it's nutjobs, NOT just SciFi people. So why do we always get held up for a public bashing?????
Out of all the fantastic sights and photos that were taken at CE, the only pics to be published in the UKs biggest tabloid were negative and mocking. I wish a thermal detonator was real, I'd sure as hell use one against the mass media.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
We got to the gates and people were waiting outside for the stars so we were gawped at as we got out of the Voyager with it's shaded windows. We got shown to a small changing room and briefed as to what was going to heppen - they wanted the Troopers to have a "fight" with the Entertainment Tonight presenters, who would be dressed as Solo and Leia. Mark was due to arrive at 0800.
We were taken into the studio to see where we'd be, there were wires all over the floor :shock: argh, I had visions of Troopers tripping over them on live TV but the lads didn't put a foot wrong Prime Minister GORDON BROWN was being interviewed with Kelly Holmes so we stood and watched, I coudln't believe I was in the same air space as the Prime Minister, and I also couldn't believe that security wasn't tighter. Our bags weren't searched or checked, we were allowed to go and stand around in the studio while he was live on air - if I'd been some sort of nutter I could have taken him out in front of the whole nation .
He came over afterwards and we shook his hand and I told him to "Please run the country better than Tony" to which he did the usual politician's smile and moved on. My mum said I should have "hit him and asked him about Grammar Schools"
We watched the presenters running through the Star Wars introduction with their lightsabres during the commercial break, then went back to our changing rooms just as Mark arrived. Andy called his name and we introduced ourselves as "your Stormtroopers for the morning" to which he looked indignant and said "Why wasn't I told about this?? Who's in charge here??!!!", we thought he was just fooling around but the we realised he was really pissed off. AAARGH!!!! Luckily Nick came over and took control, spoke to Mark like he was a naughty child and got him in his changing room to explain. I think he also saw our faces and told Mark that he'd probably scared the crap out of us with his outburst.
I was peeping out the door to see or hear anything and as Nick left the changing room, Mark came out too and straight over to us to apologise and say "sorry guys, misunderstanding" - we asked if we could see him after the interview and he said yes no problem, we were SO RELIEVED Turns out he thought they were going to dress him up in Trooper armour and he was NOT happy about it ....
We also got the chance to chat to Luke's young daughter who was blonde and very sweet. Imagine growing up at school and being able to say "yeah my dad;s Luke Skywalker"
We were taken back to the studio ready to do the live slot, and I got separated from the Troopers and told to sit on the GMTV sofa - yes THE GMTV sofa while the ET spot was filmed opposite. Tim and Andy disappeared to go get ready with Mark, then after the intro on they came with Mark "under arrest" and marched him to the sofa, it was ace.
Took lots of pics of the guys with various GMTV girls who all wanted pics, and we also got the presenters too, then there was Mark and we had him all to ourselves for about 10 mins while he signed stuff and chatted and posed for pics, he was dead nice and he talked about how he read about redheads being bullied and picked on in the papers and how unfair that was and what a nice colour my hair was he signed the guys shoulder bells and also a CE brochure for Richard who missed out on the troop (I never got to see him receive it )
Got great feedback from Nick who also apologised again for Mark's outburst and said that the morning had gone "brilliantly", so high fives all around and we're getting "GMTV Troopers" T-shirts done .
Here are some pics of the rehearsal not the live show.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I'm sure lots of the graduates will go on to illustrious careers - but many will fall by the wayside thanks to the oversubscribed graduate job market. We had an Economics Graduate working a £12k admin job at my last workplace, cos there was "nothing out there for her".
The air crackles with a sort of smug pride that just irritates me, as all parents look forward to talking to everyone about "my son - the one with the degree......", as if "getting a degree" is the passport to a fabulous life of success and wealth. Far from it.
Bah humbug! I'm just sitting here bored shitless as I want to get going to CE, the clock is ticking backwards, I've nowt to do here and everything to do at home - ARGH!