Butter Popcorn and Love, Actually


I’m at home today on a workday for reasons I won’t go into but fear not; I am alive (obviously – corpses can’t type; this is not the movies) and well (now).

I’ve been writing a lot about relationships in my book and some of the things that pop into my head are not suitable for the book because they are my opinions as opposed to my character’s opinions but then I remembered I have a blog!  I can write whatever spews forth from my brain here and you don’t have to pay to read it!  Hoorah!

It’s still so early in the year but so far, there’s a lot going on in loverville.  So basically, right, it just so happens that I’m going through a period where all of my friends (you didn’t think I was going to write about myself, did you?) are in relationships at various different levels and I am the current go-to person for advice.  (They are so deluded.)

My advice, to my credit, hardly ever has the word “Xanax” in it and almost always consists of the sentences, “get a bucket of butter popcorn and watch Love Actually,” and/or “I wish men had PMS; not the angry kind (lord knows they don’t need that), the ‘what-is-going-on-in-my-head-I-wanna-kill-myself-right-now’ kind”.  The last sentence isn’t as much advice as more of a “what if” scenario that I think could really help bridge the gap between men and women and bring our planets closer together.  Are you listening, God?  Just an idea.  No pressure.

I’ll just mention a couple of the said Friends-in-Relationships and start with the scariest case.  Friend No. 1 met a guy briefly and they hit it off.  Good start, right?  He happens to live in another country so they kept in contact via Skype.  They spoke every night and found out that they had the same interests, arts and literature, and he seemed kind and intelligent.  As a bonus, he’s pretty hot too.

When they met, the spark was there and everything and she thought this was too good to be true.  Turns out she was right; it was too good to be true.  The first sign came when he asked her to split the 8 bill at the café on their first date.  Not wanting to be old-fashioned or cliché, she agreed to a second date.  The kisses on the second date were good so she decided that maybe his financial antics were due to the fact that he’s not doing so well in that department and she thought that she was OK with the splitting of the bills.

The second blow was when he admitted he was in a cult (the details of which I’m not going to go into because I don’t fancy getting hunted down and sacrificed).  Again, she thought who was she to judge and so let it slide.  When he asked and then insisted on going back to her place (after making her pay for her own tea) she thought “if ‘judgy’ is a label I’m going to have to wear for turning this guy down, then so be it,” and kindly declined.  About 400 times.

He then, naturally, started crying hysterically and got out of the car while it was still moving in rush hour traffic, called her two minutes later claiming they belong together and that she should double back to pick him up.

Now, I feel like going on a rant about internet dating (yes, meeting him only once and then carrying on the next few dates via the net in my books is internet dating), but I won’t (no judgement).

My very brief advice to my friend was, “Xanax.  Not for you, for me.  Change your number, delete your Facebook, change your Skype address and maybe think about changing your name and home address.  Also, get a giant tub of butter popcorn and watch Love Actually.”

My friend didn’t get a tub of butter popcorn or watch Love Actually (which, incidentally, is the only known cure for those who have given up on love).  Instead she went running back into the arms of her ex who apparently, “is actually not so bad, after all”.  I tried explaining to her that her choices aren’t only spinach or Brussels sprouts.  She said, “one word: Cult.” That shut me up.

While Friend No. 1 is healing her wounds with ex-sex, Friend No. 2 is currently in a phase where she thinks she may be giving more in the relationship than her partner.  Now, this is a dangerous place to be because once you open that box, you start saying things like, “I already got you a glass of water three times this week and you have only got me water twice since the beginning of the year,” and “why do you have three out of the five dresser drawers and I only have two?  I think it’s only fair that the cat should get the fifth drawer.”

My advice to her was that if it feels right, then go for it.  Some of my friend’s other friends are judgemental, burning bra types (no judgement) who tell her that she is stupid to give more than he does and that she should demand the same consideration from her significant other, or else.  My question is, since when was demanding things from men considered a good strategy?  Are we doing this now?  Has is started working?  Also, are ultimatums back?

I think (and this is why I love blogging because I can write “I think” about 79 times in one page whereas I can’t do that in my book or in the writing other people pay me to do because I haven’t been asked to write for The Telegraph’s Personal Viewpoint… yet) that if it feels nice to get water for your lover then go get that water, bitch.  If you’ve been on top more times this month but you don’t mind, then why not?  If you’ve cooked more than he has this year and that’s meant not eating anymore of his burnt welsh rarebit, then throw that fist in the air and let them other hoes be jealous, yo (I don’t know why I gangstered up the last part of that paragraph; it just felt right and I went with it).

Gotta love my friends for knowing me yet still asking for my advice.  In case it’s not clear, I am in a very weird place right now (evidenced most recently by the fact that I just lifted my cat (who has not left me alone since I started writing this) in the air and begged her, “mummy needs to be left alone right now, please, leave me alone for five friggin’ minutes, OK?”).  I think watching New Year’s Eve and 500 Shades of Summer whilst high (or low?) on PMS hasn’t helped.  I’m about to start This is 40.  God help us.

That was my little bit of love and life for today.  Tune in for the next episode of “Things I Can’t Say In My Book”.

(pic found in google images)

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