Monday, October 24, 2011

Godmother: An Open Letter to My Pregnant Sister

Dear Jill,

So, you're pregnant. In many ways, this feels like an unspeakable betrayal on your part.  Me and you have always been like "Fuck babies!" "Yeah, fuck babies!" and for you to turn around and just LIKE GET PREGNANT, WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING ME FIRST - well, that's just not on, is it?

But I'll forgive you. This time. In the meantime, I want you to think about an issue that's far more pressing: Godmothers. Yes, I know you're an atheist, and you won't even want your womb gremlin to be cross-dressed and presented to an audience of lapsed Catholics as a priest half-heartedly tries to drown it, but that's not the matter at hand here: the matter is Godmothers.



Yes, I know you have friends. Friends who, bizarrely, enjoy the company of infants. You probably think that this makes them worthy Godmother candidates. FYI: It doesn't. Here's something they don't tell you: people who like babies, more often then not, end up having babies. And if your baby's Godmother already HAS a baby, then why would she be interested in yours? She wouldn't be, that's what. She'd be way too interested in her own womb gremlin to care about when yours' first birthday is.

I'm not saying I'm going to care that much about Gremlor's first birthday either. I'm not even going to promise I'll remember what month it is. But I still think I should be Gremlor's Godmother. Here's why.

After you have your baby, the majority of the people in your life will no longer see you as the chimney-smoking, mojito-making, X-Files obsessing, Hugh Laurie-fantasizing, paranoid wreck you delightfully are. You'll just be a mother. I will never do this. I will never treat you differently just because you made a new human being using only the spare parts inside of you.


  • I will reassure you that it is in NO WAY tacky to smoke during labour.
  • I will never imply that your child's happiness is somehow more important than yours.
  • If you feel too guilty about slapping your child, I will gladly slap it for you. This way all negative association will be directly foisted onto me, and you can continue being the peacekeeping earth mother you will no doubt take a stab at being.
  • On the occasions that you are far too fucked-up tired to go, I will attend parent-teacher meetings and pretend to be you.
  • I will buy you rum and fags for your child's birthday. I will buy your child Ritalin.
  • When your child becomes a teenager, and it inevitably runs away from home, I will gladly book it a hotel.
  • When you feel like a negligent mother, I will remind you that our mother was once reported to a radio talk show for doing the macarena while driving.
  • I will still call you about my financial problems, and you will still be pissed off with me for only calling you when I have financial problems.
  • You can still hate my romantic decisions. I will not use your motherhood and marriagehood as an excuse for you hating them. I will not claim that you have somehow 'lost perspective'. My romantic decisions will still be as crap as they always were.



Love, always,

Caroline

P.S. This contract becomes null and void in the event you name your child after any major TV character. I met a ginger baby called "Brie" yesterday.





Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I Suck At Fashion (An Anti-Fashion Fashion Blog) (FASHION)

Every now and then I catch my reflection in the blade I am almost certainly harming myself with, and I burst into tears. Who is this person glaring back at me? What happened to all that youth and charming naivety that once shone from within her? And more importantly, why does she dress like a homeless lesbian?

Ridiculous hyperbole aside, sometimes I find it truly alarming when I think about how hard fashion is for me. Especially when it really, really shouldn't be. For one thing, it's not like I'm an amputee. My body is, by everyday society's discerning, completely normal. AVERAGE. I've spoken about my inability to shop before, but I always thought this fault lay with me rather then with Topshop. I've changed my mind. It IS Topshop's fault, in the same way it is also the fault of H&M, River Island, Forever 21, Primark, Next and everywhere else I can occasionally afford to go to if I don't eat.

Problem #1: Breasts

I know this has been the elephant in the blog for some time now, but in case anyone wasn't quite aware: I have breasts. It's one of those things that occasionally comes with being female, and I'm told that when I'm ready to harness my impeccable gene pool onto another human life, they'll come in handy. Until then, they are absolutely useless, particularly if you're trying to find a decent dress. Let's get all fashiony for a minute and look at this dress that Topshop are currently doing.


OOOOH LOOK AT THE PRETTY DRESS. Now before the fashion bloggers start soiling themselves with words like "Yester-year!" and "MAD MEN!" there is one problem with this. Actually there's two. And they're both called "tits". Namely, where are mine supposed to go? I know for a fact that if I were ever to try this dress on, it would crush my boobs so far into my body they'd come out through my back. Yeah. Think about that for a moment.

As anyone above a 32B will know, dresses that come up to your collar are horridly unflattering. They make your boobs look huge, and not in a cool way. More in a "I've been lactating recently" way.

Problem # 2: Legs


Ok, so boobs are a problem. But what about Legs? Everyone likes legs, right? Sure, legs are cool. Unfortunately, they are yet another perfectly fine part of the human anatomy that the high street has utterly ruined.

(Courtesy of poorlydressed.wordpress.com. Read: THIS IS NOT ME.)

I'm 5"8. While that's not gargantuan, it's not short either, and it presents a lot of problems. For one, men are terrified of me. Well, they are in the intense fan fictions I write about my own life, anyway.  For two, clothes shops have apparently decided that the average height of a full-grown woman is 5"2. This means that what constitutes as a flirty mini-skirt on a short woman becomes a Slut Napkin on my tartily tall body. I find this horribly unfair. Why should I have to look outlandish just because I don't need a step ladder to get to the high shelf?

Problem #3: Legs, Pt. 2 - The Re-Leggening


Shoes. Shoes, in my opinion, can piss off.

I'm already tall. I don't need to be that much taller. So why, Shoe Retailers, do you need me to be? Look, I'm not a total lesbian. Something like this, for example, I can handle.


Aww. Look how good that is. I want to mother that shoe, it's so effing cute.
This, on the other hand, is terrifying.


Everything about this makes me wants to die. I look at this shoe, and I can already see myself wandering the streets bairfoot at 2.30 in the morning carrying them, trying to convince McDonalds to give me the food they would otherwise be throwing out. This shoe epitomizes sadness, and it's everywhere.


Problem #4: Exit Strategy


But CAROLINE, I hear you bleat, these are just going out/getting drunk clothes you speak of. What about everyday wear? Well, I'm getting to that. Let's talk about something. Jumpers.

What do these jumpers have in common? Well for one thing, they're adorable. I'm particularly a fan of the polar bear one. For another thing, they are very difficult to get OUT of.
Jumpers have been very "in" for the last couple of winters. The rule seems to be the more wintery the animal on your jumper is, the hipper you are. I have an absolutely bitchin' Snoopy jumper that is the envy of many. The thing that bothers me about this though, is that once your jumper is on, there's not much you can do about it. Once you're inside, taking off the jumper is virtually impossible, unless you feel like exposing your stomach to a room full of strangers. Which sucks, considering temperatures change a lot. You could have been very happy with your jumper outside, but now your inside, and the jumper is no longer necessary. What to do? I'll tell you what to do.

HOODIES. Hoodies are incredible. With hoodies you can adjust to your necessary temperature with the flick of a zip. You can even take it off without being utterly indecent. Imagine, a world where you're not being choked to death by itchy wool and ironic reindeer. That's a world I'm interested in living in.


Monday, October 10, 2011

the illustrated hum

Sometimes people ask me about the image in my blog header, and when they do, I tell them this story: On my 21st birthday, there was one person who was drunker then I was. That person's name is Chris. He looks like this:
 
 
You see now why I needed someone to draw something for me.
 
 
Chris was so drunk, in fact, that he vomited all over my kitchen floor. I'm told he did some other, equally embarrassing things, but unfortunately I was passed out on the floor of my parent's spare room, so I don't know what these things were.
 
Chris felt bad about throwing up on my kitchen floor (he shouldn't have, because honestly, it took the heat off me for a while) so as a gift, he drew me the header for my blog. I fell in love with it quite instantly. I vowed never to change it, unless Chris came up with something beter.
 
Chris later teamed up with my dear friend Emmet, who looks like this:
 
 
Please know this was well-intentioned
 
Together, Chris and Emmet began to make and review comics. (I like to think that my party was at least partially responsible for this.) Recently, they started a website for comics. It is a very good website. Well, it looks good. I find it hard to judge the content because I have an ongoing feud with comics. It's mostly because I'm jealous that when a brunette goes to a costume party, she gets to be the kick-ass Wonder Woman, while blondes are stuck with the lame-ass Super Girl. I mean, come on. Not cool.
 
 
 
Anyway, if you like comics - and chances are, you do, given how much time you spend of the internet - you should check out their webiste. It's called Cosmic Treadmill, and you can find it at the similarily titled http://www.cosmictreadmill.co.uk/. I don't usually plug my friend's projects, but I think it's about time I thanked Chris for his wonderful drawing, and Emmet for the complete Gilmore Girls he gave me. Emmet, you are my complete Gilmore Girl.
 
 

This Is Why We Don't Hang Out

A lot of the conversations I have with my favourite girl friends are based on the collection of data about other girls.That probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. There's no use denying it: 'bitch' is far more fun as a verb then as a noun, and everybody is guilty of it. I bitch, you bitch, she/he bitches, we bitch, they bitch. It's hardly even a swear word anymore.

To our credit though, our bitching isn't really bitching: it's cataloguing. Our discussion is based on a particular type of girl, and she crops up in everyone's life in a myriad of different ways. She's not a bitch in the traditional sense: she doesn't necessarily try to score your boyfriend, endanger you professionally or borrow your shoes and stretch the shit out of them. She doesn't even get drunk and call you a skank. All of that is forgivable. This girl is toxic in a different kind of way, and I guarantee you've come across her. This is an open letter to "that girl", everywhere.

The likelihood of you being friends with someone should not depend on their gender.

Girls who don't like girls. We've all met them. The interesting thing about these girls is they tend to be very thinly veiled girly-girls masquerading as some kind of 21st century tomboy. They wear mascara, but not foundation. They have a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas poster. They pretend to laugh at Amy Winehouse jokes. But most of all, they proudly proclaim that they don't "get along" with girls. "All my friends are boys", they proclaim smugly.


Look sweetie. I appreciate that you have a lot of friends who are boys. In this female empowering world where one can buy a Nutri-Grain bar and the morning-after pill in the same shop, I think it's safe to say that having dude friends is pretty standard. But let me clear something up: If you can't manage to get along with half the world's population, you're doing something wrong. I don't know what it is, but you're doing it wrong.
My inclination to hang out with you is in direct proportion to how many photographs exist of you hanging out by yourself.

I can't tell you the amount of times I've declined a girl on facebook because I noticed how many pictures she had on her profile of her, hanging out, alone. One photograph is experimentation: two is creativity. Six is madness. An entire album is beyond redemption. There's generally some soft lighting, some eyeliner and a caption reading "So bored!!!!! So I took some photographs of myself."



Dude, read something.

Ironic signs about what a bitch you are doesn't convince me that you're not a bitch.


Oh, please.

Do not include me in your Relationship Theatre.

I'm friends with quite a few couples, all of whom I love dearly. Some of them have been together for years, and I look at them in quietly concealed awe, wishing I had the maturity to stick it out with someone to the same extent. And then there are other couples.



These people either exist on my social or Facebook outer circle, and seem to be intent on proving to the world how legitimate they are as a couple. Public declarations of love and/or giggling, puppyish hate. "Lucas you are such an asshole!!! DONT EVEN KNOW WHY I PUT UP WITH IT!!XX"

This is bad in an online context, but far worse in a social capacity.My friend Tash coined the term 'Relationship Theatre' when her housemates would refer to eachother loudly as "boy" and "girl" (as in "Change the channel, BOY." "No you do it, GIRL.") and encourage others to do likewise.

It's cool, don't ask me how my day was.

I know I listened to you talk about your boyfriend's lower back sprain for sixteen minutes, but it's fine, nothing interesting happened to me today anyway.



Your interest in vintage clothing does not give you a 'vintage' personality.



A trick boring people have come up with to disguise their utter dullness is to adopt vintage culture in a big way. You hear vintage and you think Biba, Mary Quant and Pucci. You shop vintage and you get moth-eaten polka-dot for forty quid.

I'm not condemning all vintage-wearers here: I know a lot of people who are interested in vintage clothing, and fare extremely well with hunting down good pieces at great prices. But far too many people I meet seem to think that paying far too much money for an average dress makes you a more interesting person. Fondling their hemline preciously, they'll generally make a lisping speech about who their style inspiration of the day is.

HINT: it's generally Audrey Hepburn.

If you come to me with a problem, I will listen to it. If that problem is "I think all my male friends fancy me", then I will tell you to go fuck yourself.

Fairly self-explanatory, really.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grown-Ups

In Ireland, it's kind of understood that living in a state of perpetual adolescence is the done thing. It's a wonderful world to inhabit: you move out when your 26, realize what you want to do with your life at 29 and finally get around to joining that band/writing that screenplay/forming that cult when you're about 31. In the meantime, you've had a couple of kids, travelled Asia and instigated the early stages of liver failure. For so many blessed individuals, Ireland is a very damp, slightly racist Neverland. You can be forty and still giggle at the idea of buying a TV license.

Maybe that's why London is such a shock to the system. When I left Ireland two months ago, I was pretty assured that I was hot shit. MATURE hot shit. I had started a BLOG. I had written SOME SONGS. I ONCE PAYED A BILL. I was a grown-up. In a world of Peter Pans, I was the proverbial Wendy: I had copped myself on and gotten out of Neverland.



Or so I thought.

In two months, London has taken my naive notion of adulthood and whacked it over the nose with a newspaper. Everyone has the face of Dakota Fanning and the mind of Donald Trump. Days at the Best For Film offices could be spent quietly whimpering in awe as John (22) and Tash (24) managed to be young, nice people AND run a successful film website. Like ADULTS. It's not just them, though. Everyone I meet seems to have their lives suspiciously on track. Now that I've started working on a film set, this trend is getting particularly alarming. One minute they're complaining about the raisins in biscuits, the next they're conference calling Irvine Welsh. You think I'm being arbitrary, don't you? Well, I'm not. Because this happened today.





I've started monitoring the habits of my friend and beloved slumlord Danny, another successful adult. His movements prove suspicious. Every evening he comes home to me sitting on the floor of his room eating hummus, and then affably submits himself to an evening of Cost Cutter wine and Don't Tell The Bride. Something doesn't quite add up. How is Danny a succesful video journalist-producer-editor-thing by day, and an utter flake (like me) by night?

Things finally begin to make sense when Danny comes home from work one day visibly stressed. Handing him a cracker to dip in some hummus, I ask what is up.

"They want to take out my wank." he sighs

"Oh, right. Wait, what?"

"My latest video. It's about football games."

"Oh...kay."

"There's a part where I edit together all the players' sound effects to make it sound like it's me having a wank."

"That's hilarious."

"I know. And the censors don't want to pass it."

"Wankers."

"I know."

Danny doesn't want to give up on his wank joke. He goes in to work the next morning, and he fights tooth and nail for it. I soon realize that he isn't fighting because he thinks the joke is particularly funny, or because he feels that popular media doesn't talk about wanks enough. Hes fighting for it because he knows in his gut that it will work. Hes frustrated that his bosses don't see the universal benefit of the wank joke. The joke is his baby, and a rejection of it is in turn a rejection of him. He comes home from work the next day with a bottle of the slightly-more-expensive wine and a look of self-satisfaction. "It's in." I cheer. "I never want to say the word 'wank' ever again," he says, and I agree.

While Wankgate was occuring, I felt like I was learning some very vague but very important lesson about being a grown-up. It's not just a case of believing yourself - every eight year old with a Miley Cyrus CD believes in themselves - it's about respecting yourself. Respecting yourself so much that you're willing to make yourself look like an utter twat and say "wank" a lot, because you know you're on to a good thing.

If you're wondering how many times the word 'wank' appeared in this blog, it's eight.



If you're interested in the results of Wankgate, click here.