Things to do before you turn 30: find ‘disposable’ Love?

[Disclaimer: Jess is a bitch who likes bitching, take it or leave it.]

No statistics have ever proven that Love should be found before the age of 30 – or 25 whatever the cultural environment dictates; nor that one should marry or have children before the age of 30. Yet people seem to obsess with settling down with someone before they turn a specific age, 30 being the most popular. It almost becomes a race between friends and acquaintances  – girls mostly, but guys too. She got engaged before I did; look at that rock on her finger; they got pregnant already!

What statistics seem to prove however is that each year half the number of people getting married, get divorced. There, I am also giving you the gilded version of the data, most sources would plainly say that 50% of marriages end in divorce each year. Not that by this interpretation this is any better, despite variation per country and per age group. This isn’t all: statistics also seem to demonstrate a higher divorce rate for those who marry in their twenties. All in all 10% of all marriages end in divorce within the first 5 years, with chances decreasing proportionally to the age of the bride and groom*.

Why is this so?

Quoting one of my best friends  with whom I often muse about what the future holds for spinsters like us: who says love should be found within the first third of your life? Love can come at any time in your life, it doesn’t necessarily materialize before you turn 30.

Now we may come across as women on the verge of desperation listening to their marriage clock ticking… It’s indeed not desperation. I would rather call it schadenfreude, the same that seem to show through when certain couples act like they know the secret of life an true love and don’t miss a chance to remind you – single woman – how you are ‘failing’ for not being a in relationship and preach you should find a  boyfriend to settle down and be happy with, like they are. Oh, and they hold hands and cuddle while they patronize you.

Only to realize short after that the flame of passion has extinguished and their perfect happy relationship isn’t so perfect after all. And on they go on a quest for the next disposable love. Short after could be a few weeks, or months, or even a few years of marriage (children included). No worries, I am in no hurry. When that day comes I’ll be the one looking at you with schadenfreude in my eyes.

Okay, forgive the hormonal driven spinster rant.

Why I am still single? The last thing I want to do is place the reason of my happiness on another person, lose my individual identity only to drown in an unhappy relationship solely for the sake of conforming to the rules of ‘normal’ society. Why are you in a relationship?

Thanks Sloane, exactly how I feel sometimes. Relax people, relax. _________________________________________________________________________________

[*no specific source, a result of a bit of googling]

The illusion of a secret admirer…

.. lasted only a few seconds!

I was reading one of my favourite section of the Metro Herald this morning on my bus journey to work – ‘Mailbox’, where emails, texts, twitter and facebook messages from readers are published.

I casually started reading the messages under “Yeh Big Ride – Strangers on a train.. or bus”..

To the dishy brunette (I think you used to be blonde?)..

Ahahah.. this could be me!

.. who always wears the cutest hats..

Oh, this could really be me!

and gets the train from Sutton every morning.

It’s me, it’s me! I get the bus from Suffolk every morning! Oh, wait…I get the BUS from SuFFoLK every morning.. : ( Bummer!!

IMG_1962

The evolution of the “Demoiselle en Détresse” Complex

You will have to admit that the French makes it sound like something cool – Demoiselle en Détresse. Being a Damsel in Distress is all but cool, though. A damsel is normally a passive, whining woman from the Middle Age whose sole purpose in life is to be rescued by her dashing hero. Iconography suggests damsels in distress would often happen to be [voluntarily or involuntarily] caught up in treacherous conditions: trapped in towers,  threatened by dragons, cursed by magic, tied to rocks or railroad tracks – until, here comes the knight errant, performing the most daring deeds in the name of the defenceless lady.

The helpless maidens of the past have been replaced by the resilient, competent women of today, who can live their lives and pursue a career. Knights in shining armours are no longer required.

Still, this ‘being rescued’ thing appeals to women, it must be encoded in their DNA. Even the most emancipated and fulfilled women show a tendency to fall for caring [male] individuals, who heal and make them feel good – preferably if not the least interested or attracted to them.

The infatuation is normally triggered by any situation where the woman feels exposed and the man gives her care. The Gynaecologist Crush Complex is what it is called today (what better metaphor, women ‘exposed’ – literally!).

The Gynaecologist Crush Complex

All the elements to fall prey to the infatuation combine in one of the most vulnerable yet voluntary moments in a woman’s life: wearing a white coat (let’s not forget the charm of the armour) your gyno accesses your most intimate parts, views them with so much [professional] interest, while holding vaginal discourse; you can tell him things you would never tell anyone else, his voice is calm and his hands are firm and warm. Your heart flutters and you feel excited like a schoolgirl. You get all dolled and trimmed up before seeing him, with the desire of pushing the boundaries. 

There are 95% chances that if you are are female you will blush at reading this, for you have had a crush on your gynaecologist too! If it’s not your gynaecologist, it is your doctor, your therapist, your teacher, your personal trainer.  Caring, nurturing and appealing individuals. It seems like natural to develop a very comfortable relationship and “fall in love”.

Unlike the knights in shining armour who regarded the saving of demoiselles in need as essential part of their raison d’être (French sounds so very learned!), today’s saviours have a pure professional interest in their patient. The Truth is, women don’t even know if the gyno/doctor/teacher/personal trainer they’re in love with is …gay.

And you, have you ever had a crush on your doctor/gyno/teacher/personal trainer/etc? Did it remain platonic?

Premature Marriage Commitment

A message to self and to my fellow spinsters : we are 30ish and we are still saying “When I get married..”. It is not even “if I get married”, it’s “when”.

Let’s face it, most women only want to get married. However, finding Mr Right is an interminable quest, so many girls would just turn any good-enough date into the ‘right’ one – as fast as possible (seize the day!). In women’s mind it pretty much goes like this:

“Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but I am already picturing out our wedding day and life together”.

Premature Marriage Commitment is to women between 25 and 40 what Premature Ejaculation is to teenage boys.

According to Wikipedia Premature Ejaculation is that condition in which a man ejaculates earlier than his partner would like him to. Now, by that definition, women suffer from Premature Marriage Commitment, that condition in which a woman commits to a marriage-track relationship way earlier than her partner (date would be a more appropriate term at this stage of the relationship) would like her to. 

If men manage to slow down as they age, women’s rapidity to commit to marriage gets faster and faster as they get oldAre narrow marriage-minded women scary?.

What are the causes of Premature Marriage Commitment?

Hundreds of years of programming to fear spinsterhood that feminism and modern women emancipation have not been able to erase.

During the happy first five years in their twenties, women live in the belief that there will always be quality men they want to marry and that they can save marriage for after they launch their career, only to wake up one day at the magical age of 30 and realize that their dating market power is on the decline (Ouch!!).

What are the signs of Premature Marriage Commitment?

~ You barely know her and you are instantly in a Facebook Relationship (or even better, she has deleted your Facebook profile, to create one of you two);

~ You tell her that you will call her the day after a date and she calls you as soon as you walk in your house after the date;

~ She is obsessed with your family;

~ She has her wedding day planned already, down to the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and flower arrangement.

How to prevent Premature Marriage Commitment?

You can’t. Any form of romantic attention is taken very seriously. Anything you say is translated into marriage-vocabulary in her mind, there is nothing you can say to her to make her think you don’t love her. Even if you stop being nice and amusing her, she will try even harder to prove how much you love her.

If you have met a narrow marriage-minded girl, you are trapped. Keep calm and say “I do”.

Girl solo travelling: the ultimate Valentine’s Day

Solo travelling is fabulousJess was in the City (the original and only one) this Valentine’s Day. Wow, the ultimate Valentine’s gift from a new boyfriend? Nope, Jess was in the City all by herself. And there, when she saw a heart-shaped balloon floating romantically over the New York skyline, her heart sunk…. aw….she realized…she does not miss a boyfriend at all.

This can actually be considered the ultimate way to spend the V-Day, Solo Travelling.

There are a number of advantages in being single, one being – being able to accept a last minute business trip to the Big Apple, without any explanation to be provided to anyone, or the risk of being grounded by a partner. So, it hadn’t exactly been planned as a Solo Valentine’s Trip, but it turned out to be an excellent way to celebrate loving myself.

Travelling can be a dreary or fabulous experience, much of it depends on the company. Now, I am a pretty awesome person. I am rather shy, but I am intelligent, practical and witty, an excellent travel companion. I get along with anyone, myself included. I have personally never found a person that was as companionable as I am. Solo travelling is an indulgent retreat for the inner self anyone should have the pleasure to experience, single or coupled ones. If you can’t stand your own and only company though, well, you are probably not as awesome as I am.

Are you now thinking I could never do that, does it mean I am not awesome?  Bad news, it does, but don’t despair, the essential skill of being alone can be learnt.

There are some processes you have to go through in order to discover the Art of Solitary XXX (be that travelling or anything else):

Overcome the fear of independence – Yes, my dears, independence. If you are afraid of feeling lonely when alone, the truth is you are scared of independence, of having to deal with everything on your own. Fear of the unknown? Fear of running out of things to do? Again, that is fear of independence. Let me tell you, you should try the thrill of independence. Travelling solo is an introspective journey, it’s great for the soul. For once you do not have to be sought after and included in activities by others to feel good. It’s you and your inner self, living a unique experience.

Overcome the fear of silence – Quiet is not scary per se, what is scary is the emphasis it puts on the small things that normally get lost in the daily hullabaloo, plus the emphasis it puts on your thought processes. Do your thoughts scare you? Nothing I can help you with, but you should remember that you are the master of your mind, use your thought processes to your advantage. Learn to deal with yourself, be your own entertainer (but don’t talk to yourself out loud, that is alarming!).

One of the downsides of solo travelling!

Deal with the social aspect of being alone – Contradictory as it may sound, when performing the Art of Solitary XXX (replace xxx with any kind of activity), you are not cast away from society. Surprisingly , aloneness makes people less closed off from others and more capable of empathy, in other words – better social animals*. How possible? It’s the power of solitariness, it strengthens your sense of identity (remember? I am awesome!) and frees you from the “group mind”, making you more open to socially engage with people, even those that are more distant from you. Once you reach solo contentment, you will emanate the attracting “constructive solitude” vibe. New social interactions will flow in naturally. And then, who knows, they may be even better than the ones you have been used to all your life.


* Read full article “The Power of Lonely” by Leon Neyfakh, The Boston Globe, March 6th 2011

The ‘prima ballerina’ friend

ColorspointeshoesgrishkoEvery corps de ballet would love to become a prima ballerina. Don’t ask me why French is used for the average dancer and Italian for the principal one, but I like it that Italian is used for the exceptional soloist (for the record, I am Italian..). The prima ballerina is prettier and more talented. She has the main role and all eyes are on her. What do you think the prima ballerina would do however, if one of the corps de ballet suddenly started to out-shine her? She would probably do away with her.

Many girls seem to have this ‘prima ballerina’ syndrome. They’re normally prettier than their fellow girls, they’re more popular and more talented – well, so they believe. If they ever felt threatened to be knocked off their pedestal by one of the ordinary girls, even for one second, they’d do away with them.

If it is true that prettiest girls are normally the envied ones, it is also true that being so pretty has a cost: insecurity, as everything depends on the looks, and the looks change, in you – they may fade, and in others – they may improve. It’s hardly ever the other way round if you start pretty.

Maintaining position number 1 in the beauty and brilliance contest is a hard job and it sometimes requires some tricks of the trade (aka: cheating). If a pack of girls is on a night out and the less beautiful girls are getting some attention while she isn’t, the place suddenly gets boring and the whole pack has to go somewhere else.  If there is a cute guy around, it’s a matter that falls under her unique competence. The idea that a cute guy may like one of the insignificant girls doesn’t even cross her mind, it’s unconceivable (he will probably look at her only, men are superficial pigs).  In the rare event of a cute guy actually throwing eyes at any of the ordinary girls, the prima ballerina would have to restore her prevailing role by gently discouraging the corp de ballet from taking any further step: he’s an idiot, he’s ridiculous, he’s a bad guy, have you not seen he’s gay? Just a piece of kind advice from a friend. She is normally so popular with guys that the corp de ballet would believe every word she says. Yet, if the cute guy persisted and anything romantic happened to the corp de ballet, well, it’s nothing really, what’s all this fuss about? It’s just a date. Uh, uh, boring.

On the occasion the newly formed couple are getting away for a romantic weekend, there is no way evidence can be ignored. Fighting her homicidal instinct, the prima ballerina knows she has to display some kind of happiness otherwise she will lose her entire ballet ensemble altogether. But how much happiness? The more the better, right? So let’s be very, very, very, very happy for you. I wish you two all the very bestest things in the world – may it rain all through the weekend.

If I can’t have it, then no one else should.

IMMIGRATION COUNSELLING REQUIRED: IRISH MEN (applicable to Anglo-Saxon Men in general..)

January 2012
This is definitely my most read blog-post! Thanks everyone for reading.  Many of my fellow (single) girl friends have confirmed that the below is applicable to Anglo-Saxon men in general, from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, therefore I have decided to add it to the title. Enjoy!
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Women offer sex in order to have a relationship

The picture represents the Irish claddagh, symbol of Love, Friendship and Loyalty.It seems to be the Irish way. I was struck and shocked by this statement from an Irish (male) friend.

Apparently if you are Irish you grow up in a small community, where everyone knows everyone. Women know what they want, pick the man they desire and offer him sex in order to have a relationship.

If you’re Italian you also most likely grow up in a small community where everyone knows everyone. The Italian way is slightly different though: women choose the man they want to have a relationship with and try to seduce him; he will have to work hard in order to take her into the bed.

Great, now I’m confused. Being in Ireland I have to learn how to deal with men from scratch, as if it hadn’t been hard enough so far. If I don’t offer men sex I might end up on the shelf. If I offer sex but I don’t belong to any Irish community, will I get a relationship in return?

Where are you from?

This is the first thing they ask you when you meet them. Your first name comes second. They certainly act in a slightly different way with girls from other countries.

Irish men have proven to have a real taste for foreign women, especially exotic brunettes with deep dark eyes (which I am not). Fair enough, you are always attracted to what you have been less exposed to; however, it is as if they were adjusting a woman’s rating according to her nationality – if not just the colour of her hair, eyes and complexion. So if a woman would score a 6 by her looks, you can add and extra point if she is dark skinned, another 1.5 points if she’s South American. This is probably why Irish women keep complaining their guys don’t find them attractive any more. I should probably worry as everyone keeps asking me if I am Irish (grrr!).

Slow motion

Ireland is a very calm country. Life flows in a quiet habitual way here. Irish courting rituals are no exception. An Irish guy fleeting glances at you over the room or flirting with you is, in most cases, harmless. Even when they have true interest, they don’t make a move for a very, very long time. It’s official founding:almost one in four men think that it is appropriate to become intimate in a relationship after four months.* So ladies don’t panic, it’s not that he doesn’t like you or that he is gay, he just likes to do it traditionally (slow).

Just 4% felt it was appropriate to become intimate immediately. The percentage would certainly peak if men were surveyed on a Saturday night**.

We all have flaws

It requires a certain amount of Guinness for the Irish to find the tongue required to speak with a woman they are attracted to. Until there is enough flowing in the blood stream, they don’t even know what to do when their glances are reciprocated.

Yet, even when things are getting in the right direction, it seems that there is no such thing as “dating” in Ireland. The way to get past the glances and flirtations is to make-out.

Wait a minute. Does this have anything to do with what my friend was stating – that women offer sex in order to have a relationship? And isn’t this in contradiction with what men said when surveyed – that it is appropriate to get intimate in a relationship after four months?

Hard to believe, the two things coexist.

Two are the possible scenarios in Ireland: in the majority of cases you would meet a guy that expects you to make out straight away (if you don’t, don’t expect him to date you, not even if he asked for your number); or you meet a more decent guy that will keep you waiting for a while.

If you are lucky enough to meet a guy of the latest type, he might still end up vanishing out of thin air (you can read my Abracadabra blog post to find out more).

Thus said ladies, after nearly 3 years I still don’t have a clue how things work here in Ireland, but I just came to the conclusion that…

…there are assholes of all nationalities!

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*source: Sexual habits of Irish menhttp://www.irishhealth.com

**source: Binge drinking is ‘the norm’ in Irelandhttp://www.irishhealth.com

The power of menstruation–aka: Women are crazy lunatics

“Are you having your period?” mood-swings1

Guys, do you really think that women can only freak out 5 days a month? Ah, ah, ah, you wish. It’s quite the opposite, your girlfriend can be her normal and loving self for about 5 days a month, the rest of the time she is a lunatic. It is called menstrual cycle for a reason: it is a cycle of 4 weeks (yep, if you can do the maths, 4 weeks makes a month); 4 long weeks when women are prey to hormonal changes.

First to come is the ovulatory phase. To help you guys, that is the first 2 weeks of the month (not to be confused with the calendar month or the lunar month). The ovulatory phase ends with the ovulation, the release of an egg. No, ovulating is not funny, why do you guys have to say that “you are ovulating!” when you are overexcited? That is when we are mostly emotional and irritable, we feel like crying, crying, crying. We cry for nothing, we freak out for nothing. Sound like fun for you? A little respect for the eggs we bear, please.

Then it is the turn of the menstrual phase, with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), preceding the so called ‘time of the month’ itself; they named it Syndrome, it’s a seriously and highly charged altered state. When a woman is in PMS mode, her hormones have a mind of their own and she is overwhelmed; it’s a roller coaster of emotions, irritability, anger, oversensitivity, sadness and mood swings. All accompanied by physical pain. We can blow up at anything. The worst symptoms of the egg-laying phase combine with the worst symptoms of the egg-expelling phase. Are you still thinking that your girlfriend can be cranky 5 days a month? We just go through different degrees of lunaticity. And it is not an excuse for every female to act like a witch with a capital B, as they say in AskMen.com; in fact you shouldn’t ask men, they don’t know what it feels like to be PMS-ing! Neither what it feels like to make eggs (or drop them). Sending a squadron in search of an egg is not quite as painful as making one.

‘Ovulation + PMS + period’ leave just a few days of freedom from hormones turmoil in the 4-week-cycle. A few days when we can be rational and placid. Unless you start drooling at some other girl’s @ss. In that case your girlfriend will fly off the handle and it’s just your fault.  She will start screaming at you and then she will start crying. You deny and that will make her even crazier. She will demand that you admit being guilty and that you apologize. Because for a moment you did think of sending your squadron in search of a new egg (and if you didn’t, you were about to anyway). It all comes back to the eggs in the end. It’s either our own eggs, or the other ones your squadrons are after. In either case, it’s the eggs that make us freak out!