Dating and Dickpics: Episode 11

At this point, I wonder if there will ever be a time where I stop writing D&D. I love writing it, but I would love to find…well, love.

I seem to have the worst luck when it comes to fuckboys. The guy I was making heart-eyes over in D&D 10? He was a complete fuckboy. I think he realised after the first date that sex was off the cards completely. He thought he could change my mind about it. For some reason, men seem to think that no matter how strong a woman’s convictions are, they are God’s gift to women and will change her mind somehow. No man is ever that amazing. Even if it was Idris Elba, it wouldn’t happen.

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Sorry Idris. I love you but no sexy time.

So I was back in the dating game once again and I found a man who made everything sound so promising. He wasn’t exactly my type but I’m a believer in giving most people a chance if I find we are compatible enough to get along. He actually met me when I was on a night out with my friends. I’d only told him in passing that I’d had a busy day planned but we’d be in a nightclub that evening if he wanted to join us and to my surprise, he turned up. He was courteous and polite. We spent almost an hour outside the nightclub just talking and getting to know each other. After, we exchanged numbers and texted every day until our first official date. That date went swimmingly well. As did our second date. By the end of our second date, I thought that this guy had potential.

But things are very rarely a fairytale, especially in my life.

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I was kind of rooting for him.

His true colours were revealed on my birthday, ironically. So for my birthday, I was betrayed and lied to. I have to say, I wouldn’t have coped with the aftermath without my amazing friends (you know who you are). I got over it in time, but I think that what hurt more was another betrayal that blindsided me; he quickly became an afterthought and collateral damage in the end.

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Party pooper.

Despite this, I am grateful for both the fuckboy and the I’ll Ruin Your Birthday guy too. They both taught me some lessons, which are:

  • No man is ever worth breaking a promise you made to yourself.
  • Talk is cheap.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • If a guy suddenly goes silent for more than a day, he’s not into you.
  • It’s easy to say you’re a feminist and believe in equality but your actions will always betray you.
  • Never stay with a man who thinks that talking to other men is a crime.
  • If someone lets you down at the last minute, you’re not their priority, so get rid of them.
  • You never really know someone’s true intentions until it’s too late.

Despite all this drama, I’m still feeling positive. I know I have the love and support of my friends and I couldn’t have picked myself back up without them. I love you guys.

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#SquadGoals

It’s not all doom and gloom though. I’ve decided that I really need to test men out when I date them and not take everything on face value because as I mentioned above, talk is cheap and it’s easy for men to tell you what you want to hear just to get in your pants or take advantage of you in other ways. Looking back, there were many things wrong with Party Pooper guy but I looked past them because he was just so kind and polite and I thought I could compromise. The fact is, I really can’t. I’m bad at compromising when it comes to love and although I used to think that was a flaw, I don’t think it is now. I know what I want and I won’t settle for less because…well, why should I? Why should anyone settle for less?

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Don’t compromise.

I’m excited to announce that I do have a date this coming weekend. I’m looking forward to it because the guy is miles apart from the guys I’ve dated recently. He’s intelligent and very interesting. Hopefully it all goes well and I don’t make a complete embarrassment of myself. But at the moment, I’m not reading much into it. A date is just that — getting together to find out more about each other. And if this doesn’t work out? Onto the next date.

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Bring it on!

 

Dear Fuckboy

Dear Fuckboy,

I really thought everything was going well. We’d been talking for well over a month and we had that spark that I’d been missing with everyone else I’d spoken to. I finally had the courage to put myself out there after so long; I’ve been bitten more times than I care to remember and I was so shy as a result. But you seemed worth it. The banter was great and your texts always made me smile. I remember being frightfully nervous just before our first date. I was panicking on the train to Covent Garden where we planned to meet.

Our date couldn’t have gone better. I remember, in between giggles and sips of cocktails, thinking ‘this is the best date I’ve been on’. You were exactly what you had promised you’d be: you were funny, charming and a good conversationalist. I went home that evening on cloud nine. We texted each other when we got home to see if we’d both reached safely and you told me you had a great time.

The next week was more of the same. We relayed sweet and silly texts to one another, both dreaming about our next date the following weekend.

Then something happened. Something happened and you never gave an explanation. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, believing that you’re ill or busy, so I let it slide. You had told me you were unwell previously so I texted to see if you were okay as I was worried. You told me you were fine and that I needn’t worry about you. So I didn’t.

Then I texted you the following day, asking how it was going as you were ill and presumably at work. I didn’t get a reply all day. After hours of overthinking (thanks to my anxiety, which you know I have), I decided to give in and ask if you if you were no longer interested in me, because that was how it was feeling considering you had been online and waved it around in my face, read my text and not replied. I somehow went to bed and fell asleep, with some false hope that you would’ve replied that morning. Pretty much everyone around me was saying that you’d lost interest because you don’t read someone’s texts and not reply for the whole day.

The next morning came. The only texts I had received were from my best friends. I texted you to tell you that I got it, it’s over, but you could’ve had the decency to tell me. You read that message and didn’t dignify it with a response.

For someone who is older than me, I have to applaud just how mature you behaved! Maturity is, after all, ignoring someone you asked to be your girlfriend the week before. Maturity is not clearly stating that you were no longer interested. Maturity is leading a woman on for over a month and then opting for radio silence.

You told me you were different. You begged me for a chance, for a date. You promised you were different from all the rest, that you meant what you said, that you would never lie. You promised that you’d never hurt me.

Really, you were exactly like the others. In fact, you were worse, because other fuckboys never lied to me like you did.

So goodbye, dear fuckboy. Thanks for diminishing my trust in men just that little bit more. Thanks for making me second-guess everything the next man who tries to date me says and does. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not worth someone’s time. Thanks for making me believe that finding a genuine, good man is just a myth.

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 10

I’ve been really busy lately, writing for The Tab on a fellowship that I won so I haven’t had a chance to write here. I was also on a fixed term contract at a company but that ended so I have my life back!  Now I’m back and you just know I had to write D&D Episode 10! I’ve got some absolute gems for you.

There’s obviously been the usual sexual harassment online. I wonder if that will ever stop. I doubt it. For some reason, some men seem to think that if you’re on a dating site or app, it’s fine to sexually harass and intimidate you. In fact, I even received sexual harassment on Twitter, of all places. Some bloke thought he had the God-given right to ask me invasive questions about my sex life. I’m just astounded that there are so many fuckboys. They’re literally everywhere! I don’t even know if I should give them the time of day on D&D. I do tend to hand out some sassy replies though. For example, one guy said he was searching for a woman who loved to be eaten out for ‘the main event’. So I said that I was searching for a man who didn’t spout sexually invasive shit in their messages. He wasn’t happy but he’d pissed me off by writing such foul garbage in the first place. If you piss me off, expect to be dealt a worse hand.

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Fuckboys EVERYWHERE

There was this guy I was texting. We met on Tinder and it seemed to be going well. Tinder is a notoriously rubbish app to use and it has loads of bugs in it so we weren’t always getting notifications when we replied to one another so we decided to swap numbers and take it from there. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. Anyone who knows me knows that I have anxiety and therefore taking phone calls with strangers is really stressful for me. I panic and get anxious so I avoid them at all costs. Of course, if it’s one of my best friends on the other end of the line, I feel comfortable as I have known and loved them for years (shoutout to all of you, you’re the real MVPs). This guy, whom I have never met in my life, thinks that it’s fine to call me up even though I’ve explained that I don’t like answering the phone and that I have anxiety. Anyone who knows what anxiety is, even if they don’t know all about it, knows that people with anxiety tend to have panic attacks. So he was prepared to give me a panic attack because he wanted to call me. Of course, all the alarm bells are ringing at this point. Anyway, he was adamant that he was going to get the bottom of what I was ‘hiding’ because clearly, having anxiety isn’t a good enough reason not to pick up the phone according to him. I said I wasn’t hiding anything and I didn’t think we should meet up because he was clearly paranoid and if he couldn’t accept something as simple as me having anxiety and not being able to speak to essentially a stranger on the phone, this was never going to work out. He cooled off for a bit and then apologised, hoping to win favour with me again. No fucking chance. I told him I was no longer interested, to which he responded that it was fine because…

Because he thought I was ‘born a man’, in his words, and I wasn’t a ‘proper woman’ (because this huge transphobe thinks transwomen are not ‘real women’…after that comment, he really had no fucking chance because I won’t date a transphobe).

So according to him, I wasn’t picking up the phone because I was a born a man. What the hell? That’s absurd. Safe to say I was just so fucking done at that point.

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REALLY?

I love my trans-sisters for sure and I will always stand up for the trans community, but I find it pretty weird that he couldn’t accept my anxiety as the reason that I couldn’t talk on the phone and thought that the clearly logical explanation was that I was a transwoman. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with being trans. Secondly…surely it’s just common decency to give the person the benefit of the doubt and believe what they’re saying is true? Finally, I’m glad I saw his true, transphobic colours because I don’t date assholes who think it’s acceptable to insult people based on their gender. (If anyone was actually wondering, which I highly doubt because my readers are inclusive and awesome, I’m not trans.)

Well, this fine-ass woman (me) actually bagged herself a date with a right fittie. We’d been talking for weeks and we finally went out last weekend. It was so much fun! He’s amazing. I really like him and he really likes me. He’s so handsome, funny and just so much fun to be around. Seriously, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day and when we said goodbye, I was genuinely sad to be going home. I bumped into a friend on the train home and she noted that I looked like I was high as a kite so I told her all about the date and how incredible he is. He’s so charming. Ugh, I sound like such a fangirl! It’s only been one date but it feels right. I feel like I can be myself around him and I’m really comfortable around him. He’s a great guy. I can’t wait to see him again (that’s happening tomorrow, actually). So maybe this is the beginning of the end of Dating & Dickpics!

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This is genuinely how I felt when I first saw him!

Wish me luck!

  • I’m super excited for tomorrow.
  • Nothing is as good as a gif picture.
  • The weather is lovely and I’d like it to stay like this until the end of summer.
  • I have to start planning my birthday party now that August is just days away and I have no idea where to go or what to do. I do know who I’m inviting though, so that’s one thing at least.
  • If anyone knows of any social media or writing jobs going, do let me know!

Cerazette vs Cerelle

I was 15 when I first started taking Cerazette. It was a countermeasure to having periods because I was anorexic at the time and my other 21-day pill was forcing me to have periods when I couldn’t really afford to, given my physical state. So my doctor prescribed me Cerazette in the hope that it would naturally stop me having periods via hormones.

Cerazette was quite honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. It stopped my periods and, even after I had recovered from anorexia and returned to a healthy weight, I never got them. Every three years I’d get what can only be described as a ‘mini-period’, which wasn’t a big deal at all. I’d just bleed a couple of tablespoons a day for around 3-4 days and it’d be over.

Despite this, I was looking into a hysterectomy as a long-term solution to not wanting periods or children. Although the pill is effective, there is always that risk and what’s the point of taking the risk when you know you don’t ever want children? I won’t go into the reasons why I don’t want kids here, but I have written about it before and will probably write about it at a later date.

All was going swimmingly well with Cerazette, until I went to fill my prescription and was told that Cerazette had been rebranded as Cerelle. I didn’t think anything of it and took my new prescription home.

Over the course of the following months, hell ensued. Cerelle was not a rebranding of Cerazette. As I said earlier, I started Cerazette when I was a teenager. I had no adverse effects to it. If anything, you’d expect that you would whilst you’re still going through puberty. But no, none of that happened when I was 15. It was happening when I was 22. Cerelle caused me to break out in what can only be described as acne for the first time in my life. I have always had flawless skin, perhaps the odd spot here and there when I get stressed. Now, at 22, my whole chin, nose and part of my cheeks were breaking out in spots every day. I couldn’t stop them. It was making me even more depressed and I was having to wear make up everyday to cover everything up. When the spots eventually did heal, they were discolouring and scarring my skin. Nothing had changed in my diet or skin routine. The only thing that had changed was my pill.

The side effects of Cerelle were horrendous. Not only did I have acne, but my skin was dull and sallow. I was also bleeding randomly and it was much heavier than the ‘mini-period’ that I was used to having every few years. The cramps were the worst. Working in media, I found that these side effects were knocking my confidence. I wanted to look my best at all times and my skin was going through breakout after breakout. I was just so ashamed of my skin and, as someone who had an eating disorder and still suffered from bouts of BDD, I knew this could become a slippery slope.

I went to my local GP and asked if I could be put back on Cerazette instead of Cerelle, because despite what I was told, they clearly aren’t the same thing. The nurse didn’t even need me to say anymore; I was previously going to tell her what effect it was having on my confidence, but showing her my blotchy chin sans cosmetics was enough. Whilst changing my prescription on the computer, she commented, ‘I don’t know why but so many people keep coming to me, saying that the Cerelle is giving them bad side effects that they never had on Cerazette’. After mere minutes, I was out of there with a prescription for my beloved Cerazette.

Finding Cerazette was another thing entirely. I had to go home and ring around several local pharmacies before finding one that kept Cerazette. When I went to pick it up from the pharmacy, the guy serving me told me that in a bid to try and force people to switch to Cerelle, a lot of pharmacies aren’t stocking it and typically in one area, only a couple will. He did advise that by law, they had to stock it because as long as it was still being prescribed, they couldn’t offer me an alternative and had to honour my Cerazette prescription. I left, armed with extra knowledge and my perfect pill.

Cerelle is actually cheaper for the NHS, which is why they’ve been told to force people on Cerazette to take it. It is not a rebranding. Although they contain the same compounds, there must be something that is done differently in the manufacturing of it because it really is not the same tablet at all. I mean, it can’t be. How can someone be perfectly fine on Cerazette during their most troublesome and unsettled years and then, when switched to something supposedly the ‘same’, have such a terrible reaction?

I’ve been taking Cerazette for the past week after the Cerelle debacle and already, my skin is clearing up. My skin is smoother, there have been no more breakouts of spots and my skin is now glowing and bright. Oh, no bleeding either.

In my personal opinion, I believe that Cerelle is just a sham. There is something fundamentally wrong with it and it’s frightful to think that in a bid to save money, the NHS have been ordered to switch thousands of people onto a pill which has a higher chance of giving them unbearable side effects. I’ve paid into the NHS and up until recently, it has always looked after me. But I think people know their bodies well enough to be able to decide what pill is right for them. A happy person is worth so much more than the saving they may have made by pushing Cerelle.

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 9

I can’t believe I haven’t written an installment of the prestigious Dating and Dickpics since February. I’m shocked at myself.

Since the chapter of my tragic love life, a lot has happened. There have been interesting developments in my career and I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

In my previous installment of D&D, I mentioned that I had a date with someone who propositioned me on Twitter. It was all very innocent as we’d had some banter about having disabilities and football. It all came about because of a show called The Undateables, which airs on Channel 4. As an avid social media user, I couldn’t resist tweeting whilst watching and supposedly, neither could he. Anyway, we seemed to get along so we followed each other on Twitter and pencilled in a date.

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I thought I’d get it…

Our first date was a laugh. We met up in Camden (my usual haunt) and had quite a few cocktails. By all accounts, we got on well. He wasn’t exactly what I was expecting (for one, I expected a deeper voice) but he seemed nice and intelligent. After our first date, we started texting non-stop and arranged another date, but this time nearby his university. I was intrigued because I’d actually applied to UCL for my undergraduate degree but decided to turn it down in favour of Exeter. That date also went swimmingly well. I was beginning to like him quite a bit. We spoke everyday and things were, by all accounts, going well.

Then things got weird, fast. He suddenly maintained a radio silence for a few days. I confronted him about it and told him that rather than playing games, it was just better if he was honest. My suspicions were confirmed: he was avidly trying to blank me. Why? Apparently I’m ‘too much’ and ‘too excitable’. He thought it was fine to be passionate about things, but not to the extent that I was. He didn’t get why the small things in life made me happy. Now, as someone with severe depression, if I didn’t hang on to these little things, I’d probably spend the majority of each day crying my eyes out.

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#depression #mentalhealth

I just couldn’t believe the audacity. You’re blaming me for being…myself? Getting excited about irrelevant stuff like Grey’s Anatomy, pugs and tattoos is just a part of who I am. I was thoroughly offended. When I’ve dated someone and it’s not worked out, it has never been because of my personality. 9/10 times, it’s been because I don’t want kids, or they’re just looking for a side chick. I’ve never had someone complain about what fundamentally makes up my personality.

Another thing I couldn’t quite fathom is why a grown ass man of 30 was trying to avoid me like a teenage boy than be honest and just tell me that he wasn’t interested. And to think the man was doing a Masters…he clearly needs a degree in courtesy more than anything.

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Since that, I haven’t dated much. I haven’t really had the time. I’ve either been working or trying to find work. I’m now working shifts, which makes dating a bit of a minefield. It does, however, mean that I’m more likely to see my best friends as they all work shifts too.

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I did start talking to a guy on a dating app. It seemed like it might go somewhere as we live in the same town, so meeting up wouldn’t be a problem. He seemed decent enough and I was willing to go out on a date with him.

I had just returned from London and received a formal job offer when I got a text from him saying that we should celebrate that very evening. I told him I couldn’t because I was exhausted from a long day and just wanted to stay at home with my mum and celebrate. He was bummed, but let it go. Then he began messaging me about meeting up the next day, which was a Saturday.

Here’s the thing. That Saturday was Eurovision. I haven’t missed a single Eurovision in my life and I wasn’t about to. I’m ever so slightly mad about Eurovision.

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Eurovision > every other day of the year.

So I told him I had pre-made plans and that I wasn’t going to rearrange my plans for a date. We could always do the following Friday as I wasn’t working and I’d be free all afternoon and evening. He wasn’t having it, though. He got all sulky and moody about the fact that I had plans and wasn’t prepared to drop them for someone who is essentially a stranger. He couldn’t get over it. He kept messaging me, saying how disappointed he was, how let down he felt. I was actually livid at this point. You are a stranger. I do not know you. What makes you think that my world revolves around you so much that I’m going to suddenly drop any plans I had just for you? Never mind the fact that he wanted to ‘stay out late’ with me, when I’d made it clear that I don’t like staying out past midnight (unless I’m with my best friends of course — I’m in safe company with them). It all sounded far too creepy for my liking, so I cut him loose. He hasn’t once tried to message me to apologise for his selfish behaviour and to be honest, I’m relieved he hasn’t because I’m sure that if he did apologise, he would somehow try and manipulate the situation for his own gain.

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Of course, I’ve had my dating app/website woes, but I will probably collate those into a Dating and Dickpics 9.5 as there are a lot. It’ll be a picture-heavy post.

  • Why do guys chase you and then go off the grid? This has happened with a suitor who I thought was genuinely interested. Perhaps not.
  • I like the concept of Bumble. It means that you can choose whether or not to talk to the guy you’ve matched with. However, when you do initiate conversation, why don’t they ever reply?
  • I’m fed up of every other man asking me what my ethnicity is. If you want to know, that just means you’re interested in fetishising me, not getting to know me.
  • ‘What that mouth do?’ ‘Lectures you on intersectional feminism.’
  • Everyone hot at my new workplace is either gay or taken.
  • Slowly but surely thinking life as a crazy cat lady would actually be a good future prospect and an increasingly likely one.
  • When is Tom Hiddleston going to just give in and marry me?
  • Coffee is bae.

Carousel

Sadly, another season of Grey’s Anatomy has finished. However, this gives us the chance to speculate for months on end, which is precisely what I’m going to do.

Recap

Initially, I was completely against Nathan. Owen didn’t like him and that was reason enough for me to hate him, mostly because Owen has proven himself to be a lovely guy (except for when he told Cristina that she ‘killed their baby’ and cheated on her). And when we discovered that he had been in a relationship with Owen’s sister, Megan, that was the final nail in the coffin. Owen isn’t without his portion of the blame for what happened to Megan, but it’s always easier to blame someone else. Anyway, Nathan was a no-no.

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But when Nathan and Meredith were talking in the car park and things were getting heated, I knew then that they should probably end up together. There’s undeniable chemistry between them. They get each other. They’ve both loved and lost. It makes sense. In Family Affair, the season finale, they share memories of their loved ones and it just seems like they could have a great relationship. I am however wary given Nathan’s track record of cheating.

Then there’s Maggie. I honestly want the best for her. She hasn’t had it easy, what with discovering that she’s the love child of Ellis Grey and Richard Webber. Then DeLuca couldn’t handle her P-O-W-E-R. She deserves happiness because she is the most optimistic character the show has ever seen. But she’s misguided. It’s quite obvious that Nathan harbours no romantic feelings for his boss. She’s seeing what she wants to see; it’s quite obvious to us as viewers that there’s no connection there (other than the box of bacon).

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We can’t talk about Meredith without talking about Alex. I absolutely adored their moment on the grass together, awaiting Amelia’s wedding. It was a Cristina/Meredith flashback. I honestly believe that Alex and Meredith are each other’s people. It was a heartwarming moment.

I honestly feel like Jo should’ve been honest with Alex. She managed to tell DeLuca but couldn’t tell the love of her life? Of course Alex will go crazy when he finds out, but that’s who he is. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Now, he thinks the worst of her. This could’ve all been prevented if she had just told him the truth about why she couldn’t get married the first time that he proposed. Alex has been hurt by every woman he has ever loved and now he just sees Jo as a deceitful cheater.

Amelia is one of my favourite characters. She’s so messed up, which makes her so much more real than the other characters. I’m just so happy that she went ahead and married Owen. I want them to be happy together. They want the same things, which is what was missing from Owen and Cristina’s relationship, so I hope they go the distance. I did shed a tear when Amelia broke down saying that Derek was supposed to walk her down the aisle. I just hope her supposed ‘curse’ doesn’t come true. She mentioned earlier in the season that all the men she has ever loved have died and I hope that doesn’t come true for Owen (or any future sons she may have with him).

CATERINA SCORSONE, KEVIN MCKIDD

Arizona made my heart melt this week. Her olive branch to Callie was incredible and again, I cried. I didn’t expect Callie to leave. I thought she would wake up, smell the coffee and stay in Seattle and eventually rekindle her love with Arizona. I do like the way that Callie left and I like how there is still scope for Sara Ramirez to return after she has taken a break. The best case scenario for me would be that Callie returns because she realises she doesn’t love Penny and is in fact in love with Arizona and always will be.

I am overjoyed for April and Jackson. They have a baby! I really hope this is the beginning of them getting back together. Japril gives me life. April was incredibly strong to go through a C-section sans anesthesia and Ben was actually a life-saver. I actually want the baby to be called Warren April Jackson. ‘Warren’ because Ben saved both the baby and April’s lives, ‘April’ because she went through hell and back for her baby.

Predictions

Nothing is ever easy in Grey’s Anatomy, so I suspect that Amelia and Owen will come across some problems in their relationship. I’m not sure what. I don’t want it to be that Amelia becomes addicted to something again because that’s too predictable. I personally would love to see Megan Hunt make a stunning return, which would seriously affect Owen and Nathan too. Amelia would have to be the one to support her husband, showing strength like no other. Nathan would have to confront his demons. I don’t think he’d go back to Megan. If he did, it would be a temporary thing like Derek and Addison where they both realise that they aren’t the same people and aren’t compatible anymore.

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Meredith will probably tell Amelia that she hooked up with Nathan. I’m not sure if Amelia will in turn tell Owen, but if she does, I expect a stern warning from the man who, although there are signs of reconciliation, still blames Nathan for Megan’s supposed death. Amelia will be able to take the moral high-ground against Meredith for once. Maggie is going to end up being the person who is hurt at the end of all of this. Unfortunately, there are no real romantic prospects in her life and she’s making something out of nothing when it comes to Nathan.

April and Jackson will grow closer together as they co-parent their newborn baby. They may reconciliate and decide to bury the hatchet and move on as a couple. They might even get remarried.

Ben and Miranda have patched over the issues they had so I would love to see a season in which Ben passes his boards with flying colours and makes Chief Bailey proud in the process. I would love for Miranda to have more screen time because Chief Bailey rocks!

Alex won’t believe Jo if and when she decides to tell him the truth because he’s just been hurt too many times. When he loves someone, he gives them everything and right now, he feels like she’s thrown it back in his face. It will take time, but they will work things out. I expect that Alex will say he will protect Jo, she’ll file for a divorce and her soon to be ex-husband will make an appearance.

Other thoughts:

  • If Megan were to return, Alyson Hannigan would do a stellar job of portraying her.
  • Michael Ealy would be brilliant as Jo’s ex-husband, but so would Kevin Alejandro. We don’t know his age or ethnicity, but either of those actors would do a stellar job.

The Memo

I’ve decided that when I can’t write articles, I’ll write updates and they shall be listed as ‘The Memo’…I mean, you’ve got to get the memo, right?

I haven’t had time to write anything creative recently. I haven’t had much time at all. I just started a new job which I’m enjoying, but the hours are long so after my shift, I basically come home and go to bed. However, my body is finally adjusting to the hours so I should be able to write more on my days off.

The job is certainly intriguing. I’ve almost finished my training too. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before! Exciting times.

Other than that, nothing else has been happening in my life. My love life is still terrible. I seem to get attention from all the kind of guys you really don’t want attention from. I’ll be writing another Dating and Dickpics as and when I get the chance. I actually started messaging someone who seemed promising, only for him to go into  full-on creep mode. Yes, I know I’m just teasing you with that information. Don’t worry. It won’t be long until I write up more D&D.

  • Recently, my days off have consisted of napping and Netflix i.e. heaven.
  • I need gym membership. Must sort that out in the next couple of weeks.
  • Diamonds aren’t this girl’s best friend; coffee is. Coffee has gotten me through so much. I love you, coffee.
  • I had a dream about Ramsay Bolton whilst I was napping the other day. Slightly disturbing, although I do love Iwan Rheon.
  • Grey’s Anatomy finished last week and now I have a figurative medical hole in my life. I’m tempted to write up my thoughts and such about the plots that they have introduced towards the end of the season and speculate what will happen next season.
  • I have about a million and one articles I need to write.
  • I really want to go out and do something. Any takers?

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This post is inspired by Buzzfeed’s Body Positivity Week; more specifically, this post by Dan Dalton.

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1.

I’m out shopping with my parents because they’ve booked a summer holiday. We’re in Primark. I’m 10, the youngest in my class. I’m excited for summer because it means a break away from school and I’m dreading starting secondary school in September. We’re trawling through the aisles of the shop and I become conscious of it for the first time because we walk straight past the children’s section and into the women’s section. Mum frames it as ‘well you’re all grown up now! So now you can wear proper clothes like mummy’ with her sweet smile. Later, at home, dad retorts ‘she’s bloody obese, she needs to diet. She’s so fat!’ I drag myself up the stairs into my room and cry.

2.

‘Can we keep it a secret?’ I’m 12 now and I have a boyfriend. It’s silly really. We sat next to each other in Maths and we discovered we had a lot in common. Whatever it is, I feel butterflies for the first time because someone likes me back. I agree to keeping it a secret and we sneak off here and there after school for a hug and a kiss. We spend all our time talking to each other. One day, all hell breaks loose and everyone in class finds out. He tries denying it until he’s red in the face. He simply says, ‘I’d have to be blind to go out with her, she’s a fat pig’.

3.

My depression was diagnosed at 14. I was tormented every day at school and it took its toll on my mental health. I started going to the gym and slimmed down a dress size. I looked better. I felt better. But I was still called fat. So I exercised more. I was 15 when I picked up a knee injury but I knew I had to keep losing weight because otherwise, the bullying would never stop. So I restricted what I ate. I did my Drama GCSE and my best friend lashed out at one of the perpetrators, saying that I was a size 8 now and I was smaller than the girl who was bullying me. She said, ‘fine then…she’s an anorexic rat’.

4.

I’ve started a new school for sixth form. It’s only across the road from my previous school, but it may as well be a million miles away. Everyone is so friendly. By now, I’m in the throes of anorexia. I’m deadly thin but whenever I catch my reflection and can bare to look at it before wanting to cry, I just see a beached whale. My thighs are huge. My tummy is still there, protruding as ever. The doctor diagnoses me with body dysmorphic disorder. I go shopping for a school skirt and the size 6 slips off my hips. I ask for a size 4 — a size zero — and the shop assistant looks mortified but politely informs me that I need to go to a specialist shop for that.

5.

I’m excelling at school. I’ve just sat my AS Levels and I’ve told myself I’ll beat the anorexia. I’m not stressed out and I’m in a better place, mentally. So I start eating, with the support of my mum. Then, tragedy strikes and I get the refeeding syndrome, so they hospitalise me, threatening to section me if I don’t go ‘willingly’. They don’t let me walk. I’m put in a wheelchair so that I don’t use up any energy. My weight plummets to 5 stone. I look like I’m about to die. Sure enough, the doctors say that the anorexia has eaten away everything in my body and that I only have two weeks before my heart fails.

6.

I’m not a quitter. Despite the death sentence, I make a full recovery. By the beginning of the next year, I reach a BMI of 18.5 and I’m officially discharged and cleared of anorexia. I start living life like the next teenager. There’s a glimmer of hope. I’m not at ease with this body that I call home just yet…but perhaps I will be.

7.

Years pass. I go to university and graduate. I make some terrible choices in my love life. I go on holiday, out with friends and see a bit more of the world. Before I know it, it’s been five years since I recovered from anorexia and 13 since my dad called me fat. It’s all still very real. It happened to me. I know it did. I can’t ever erase that. But I’m past it now. I adorn my body with metal and ink, expressing myself outwardly. I’m no longer ashamed. I’m no longer at war with my body. The skin I wear is all I have in this life. Nothing else is guaranteed. I don’t know what will happen to me in the future, but I’m at one with my body. After all, it’s the only home I’ll ever know.

Updates

I haven’t written in a while, for a number of reasons. Things will be improving soon though as I have a list of about a million and one articles that need to get written and published up here.

So here’s what’s been happening in my slightly tragic life.

  • I got a job which was perfect for me because I was basically writing and doing some tech stuff for a living. It looks like it hasn’t worked out as I just got put on gardening leave (not my decision, of course). I can’t say much, obviously (contracts and all that shizzle). But to sum it all up in one gif:
jon-snow-dead-1434365334

I feel a little betrayed

  • My dating life has gone from bad to worse. More about that soon (yes, there shall be another chapter of D&D released).
rs_500x255-160127120034-sass2

There’ll always be more D&D

  • Contemplating what to do with my life. I thought I had a plan and it was actually a realistic plan. I knew what I was going to do in the next five years. Get a property, move out and work hard. All of that went up in flames today (see point one). Right now I’m scratching my head a little bit. Part of me is contemplating studying again. I’m not sure how I’d manage to do it. I know that I’m in the right frame of mind to study now, whereas I wasn’t entirely when I actually did my undergraduate degree. It’s just funny how you’re expected to make a life-changing decision about what to study at university when you’re just a teenager. My life experiences during and since my undergraduate degree have made me a lot wiser and I know what I want now. I can’t say I did before.
sheldon

Ahh, academia

  • I think for now, at least in the short term, I’ll push on and see what’s in the job market. I’ll do some freelancing and copywriting. Maybe I’ll teach myself another language or something. I’m trying to turn a bad situation on its head and be positive, which is something I’ve not been able to do before when I’ve been disappointed and let down by someone.
When-Bailey-Tells-You-What-Like-Feel-Broken

The only definitive plan I have

Till the next time,

M.

Three Lions

Sunday 3rd April was a fairly average day. It was a fairly pleasant Sunday. However, for sport aficionados, it was anything but ordinary; it was the T20 World Cup Final. The final showdown was between England and West Indies. Spoiler alert: the Windies won, with Brathwaite smashing four sixes in the final over to send Windies to a romping victory and their second in four years.

I was heartbroken for my downtrodden England. At one point, it looked as though we may win and that lady luck was on our side. And then it all fell apart. Still, I was shocked we had even made it to the final as we’d had to face the unbeaten New Zealand in the semis, so I was proud of our achievement of second place.

Like many cricket fans, I watched the match whilst tweeting away, showing my unwavering support for my team. It seems that amongst the British Asian community on Twitter, I stood out like a sore thumb.

It’s something I’ve noticed over a number of years: British Asians will support literally anyone other than England. It’s also something I’ve taken extremely personally and, when I’ve spoken to my peers about it, it’s also seen me being met with bafflement and surprise.

Firstly, I should probably clear up why I support England (although you’d think it would be common sense). I am English. I was born and raised in England. England (and the UK) has given me everything. It has nursed me when I was born, it has cared for me when I was ill and it has given me money whilst I was a child. It has educated me and helped me build a bright future for myself. I owe everything in my life to England. I am Indian by heritage, but I am English. That’s why I support England in any and every sport. If England get knocked out, I don’t then go and support India in the cricket. My team is out. I’ll watch the rest of the tournament but I don’t switch sides.

So imagine how conflicted I feel when I hear my peers, all of whom are born and raised in England, support the land of their parents and not the land that has given said parents the opportunity to build a better life for them and their children. Yes, that’s it. British Asians overwhelmingly support India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over England.

I couldn’t wrap my head around it, so I decided to talk to some colleagues at my previous job who were around my age and definitely British born and bred. Likewise, they don’t understand my perspective. They can’t really explain to me why they refuse to support England. Their whole theory is that they identify as Asian first, British later. But I find that problematic in itself, especially when they say that they feel they have no need to be loyal or proud to be British. This country has indeed given their parents the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their kids, who have somehow reverted back to what their parents escaped. They have this unwavering loyalty to the land of their ancestors whilst simultaneously shitting on Britain from a great height.

Now I’m not saying that the British are perfect. My own father experienced racism when he moved to England in the 70s; he lived in East London and was the only turbaned person around the area of East Ham that he lived in. He saw EDL marches on the streets he frequented. He was a victim of casual racism. I know this. He’s resentful about the partition of India and the repercussions it had on his family. But if you asked him who he credits the life he has to, he would tell you without hesitation that he owes everything to England. We were discussing this at dinner a few weeks ago and he said, ‘It wasn’t my decision to come here, but I’m glad I did because I have a life that I could never have had in India because we were so poor. We had so much debt. I could never have paid it off if I’d stayed there. Now, I’ve paid off all the debts my family have, I can support them and I have a much better quality of life here.’ This, coming from a man who was born and raised in India. My dad spent the first 20 years of his life there. If anyone should have a shred of loyalty to an Asian country, it should be him. So why is it that the children of immigrants who have similar stories to my dad refuse to support England? Even my dad supports England.

I’m not trying to preach or convince anyone that they should/shouldn’t support one team over another. But I can’t understand why British Asians will vehemently support the land of their ancestors without even the slightest bit of acknowledgement to the land that has given them the best start in life. If they had been born in India, Pakistan etc., they wouldn’t have had even half of the opportunities that they have had because of the social welfare state that we have been raised on in Britain. They might not have even been able to get an education, considering you have to pay for school from a small age in India. What’s the crime in supporting England after your team has been knocked out? I’m sure the notion of supporting England from the get-go is too much for them, but why not support them after your team has left the competition?

One thing that is lacking from the British Asian community is pride in being British. A British passport commands respect and you can travel anywhere in the world without the any complications. A British passport opens doors to everywhere. A British passport means you have been raised with an education that many in the world envy. Being British means you have had more privileges than you would have had if you had been born and raised in India. Personally, I am extremely proud to be British; extremely proud to be English. I will always acknowledge my Indian heritage, but I am British, then Asian.