The media bombards us with a torrent of information that the “youth of today” is dysfunctional, disrespectful, sex obsessed…
Yet the 19 year old man I met tonight is nothing short of a pure inspiration.
Respectful, thoughtful, devoted, kind, caring, loyal, understanding – I could keep going. Faced with a long separation from the woman he loves, this man is completely selfless and determined to make it work. The connection he has with this woman makes any future hardship worth it. He is not missing out on anything, he is gaining a soul mate.
All of this in the face of the inevitable pressure from his peers, reminding him that he is too young for such a commitment. I was faced with the same challenges when I moved in with my now almost husband at the tender age of 19. People generally don’t have faith that relationships at a young age will work, and constantly bombard us with the notion that committing to a relationship in your teens means that you are missing out on something. But, on what? Drunken, lonely nights out? Random sex? However, anyone in a successful, happy relationship knows that you don’t miss these things or yearn for them.
This man’s strength and belief in this relationship in the face of separation is Love. Pure Love. And it is why we live. This world tries to make us forget this and tells us that we can be happy and fulfilled in other ways, but Love, romantic or otherwise is what makes this ‘hard to navigate’ world go round and it is what actually matters when everything else is removed. The way this man speaks of this woman and his hopes and dreams for the future is so inspiring and pure that I am overwhelmed. This is the stuff dreams are made of, and I am proud and honoured to have met such a gentleman.
I have tried everything to reduce the stress of my imminent wedding and ensure that the day is about ‘us’ and not everyone else. Yet, I am increasingly aware that to others, this makes me ‘selfish’. Why is it, that to do something right for yourself and your partner and not with the aim of pleasing others is labelled as selfishness? In my opinion this is grossly unfair.
If we choose to use this word, then I believe that in life sometimes you have to be ‘selfish’. Too many people go through life doing things they don’t really want to do, or enduring situations they don’t really want to be in; instead of being honest and open and saying “actually, this isn’t right for me”.
The interesting thing is that when explaining our choice, many married people have said that they wish they had done the same thing. But at the time didn’t feel like they could. Why is this the case? It seems insane to me that couples the world over are spending thousands of pounds on a wedding day that they don’t really want. More than anything it makes me feel a little sad.
So, although our choice is not popular, I am comforted by the fact that we know it is right for us and a little proud that we are doing exactly what we want to do – long may it last.
So. This weekend was my hen weekend. An exciting moment in any woman’s life and it didn’t disappoint for me. It was a classy affair without an L plate in sight, but did inevitably involve a bar. It was at this bar (whilst on drink 1 and completely sober) that I found myself in a ‘flight or fight’ feminist situation and I chose to fight. My friends had struck up a conversation with some guys and one of these guys made a comment that just didn’t sit right with me. As a woman, as a human, I just didn’t feel comfortable with not only the words but the delivery (think pointed fingers with a tinge of aggression). I really considered whether to let it go and just put it down to immaturity, but then I changed my mind and decided to call him out and let him know that what he had said wasn’t ok with me. The reason for my post is that my reaction caused a real difference of opinion amongst my fellow female squad and it has given me some food for thought…
This guy whom we had known for all of 15 minutes, pointed his finger and looked me and my beautiful friends up and down before saying something along the lines of “I would have sex with all of you, with you, you, you and you.” Even as I am typing this it sounds minor and trivial but it really struck a nerve with me. Who is this guy to speak to me and my friends in this way, as though he was doing us some sort of favour – why is this ok and deemed acceptable? (for men to speak to women in this way.)
His expected and anticipated response was grateful giggling, embarrassment or some sort of affirmation. I am not by any stretch saying that there is never a place or a time for this kind of banter. But from a stranger, completely unprovoked or supported…I don’t believe it is ok.
It troubles me that this is seen as excusable and the ‘norm’ for our generation. We put it down to drunkeness, male stupidity; but I know plenty of men who would never dream of saying such things so thankfully it is not the ‘norm’ in my life. Surely as a 28 year old woman I should be free to frequent a bar without the concern that some loose lipped man isn’t going to disrepect me.
I really considered whether to respond and took some time before telling him (in as polite a way as possible) that he shouldn’t speak to women in that way, and I found it disrespectful. I feel confident in the validity of my feelings and I felt that it was necessary to tell this guy that what he had said was simply not ok with me. He made me feel like a piece of meat being leered at and why should I be made to feel like that – just because I am a woman?
The guy in question actually seemed to take on my point of view but I think more than anything he was surprised that I expressed my distaste. At the same time, some of my friends started to think that I was upset by what this guy had said, they thought I should just ignore him/be quiet/let it go, “why is she so upset, its normal banter”. But i dont accept that. I think it has become normal because we as women put up with this kind of crap all this too often and I am just not up for that.
Can city living change you? I have lived in London for just under 3 years and I know I am a different person from when I arrived here. Recently I have been thinking and speaking to alot of people about what makes us ‘londoners’ or ‘adopted londoners’ in my case, different. Is it because people here are more career hungry or care more about money and status than the rest of the country?
At a recent wedding with old friends, me and another ‘adopted London’ friend were talking about ‘eating clean and lean’ and ‘qunioa pizzas’….and our true Glaswegian friend turned to us and said “you two are turning into a couple of London arseholes – get back to Glasgow”.
So what is it that makes Londoners arseholes? Is there something about living in the capital that makes you (subconciously) feel superior?
I don’t have the answers, but what I do know is that I don’t want to be a London arsehole. I don’t want to lose sight of what is important in life – friends and family and fun. And I don’t want to become complacent in a city where it costs half of the UK’s daily minimum wage rate to get a taxi around the corner…
But at the same time, I love this city. I love that opportunity is endless. That if you have the drive to succeed, you can get there. I love the diversity, the culture, the constant buzz…
So all in all I think that perspective is key – my vow today is not to let this City change me for the worse. I will embrace and enjoy the best bits but work everyday not to turn into London arsehole (thanks Mark).
Hello and welcome to my blog. I decided to open up and share my thoughts. I don’t plan to follow a specific theme so my blog will be a little bit of what makes me mad and much more of what makes me happy. I hope you enjoy x