Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Once upon a time or what happened to the happy endings

In a world where you can have everything, possessing exactly that became of huge importance. Traveling, working or studying abroad, owning a car, an apartment, fancy gadgets...
If you’re not happy with someone for 5 minutes, there’s no time to lose, for life is short - we’ve all heard rumors about it. Surely, you are obliged by natural law to be joyful all the time, so you ditch the person and move on. Been there, done that (I guess I can check that off my bucket list). Seriously? Sadly, yes.

That is not very mature, you might think and I will have to agree, though reluctantly. I couldn’t help myself but think more about the topic, and so I started to wonder what had happened to “till death do us part” or “and they lived happily ever after”? 

Where did all our happy endings go?!?!

Meet Storybrook... Place where happily ever after lost its way

According to the new TV series I’ve started to follow, Once upon a time, the Evil Queen with origins from the Show White, enchanted all storybook characters with a vicious magical spell and prevented them from having their happy endings. She forced them to lead boring lives in our time. Desperate, dull and most importantly era with no optimism. If you look at the statistics, the plot is not that far from the truth. Rising numbers of divorces and separations speak for itself. Being in a relationship with only one person till the rest of your life? It does sound like a buzz killer. You can’t eat potato every day, right? 
This time I started a quest, a wicked search of a perfect long-lasting ever so faithful couple that would prove me wrong. I am still a bit vague on the criteria of an immaculate duo, but it’s in my genes to recognize flawless brand. I’ve listed all my friends, their friends, Facebook friends, my acquaintances, colleagues and... I found them! 
She was a business woman gone Martha Stewart (without the prison part), he was a doctor without borders and by the age of thirty they had 3 children, a downtown apartment and a big house by the sea.


Yeah, right... Just kidding.
I had to create a bit of suspense, otherwise a narrative story wouldn’t be a very good one. 
Perfection... The person who invented it had to be a very old, difficult to handle, miserable character. Perfection is not interesting and most of all it is very changeable depending from whom are you talking to. Regarding this subject I dare to say that happy endings do exist, but are versatile. Even if you are planning a life with one and only (wo)man, interesting future can be ahead of you (some parents do give a great example).
So, perhaps you can eat a potato every day... All you need is a touch of imagination in form of seasoning (potato and rosemary blend really well). 
Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and the rest of the Once upon a time team certainly new the secret recipe.
P.S. Hopefully the topic wasn’t misleading... It’s relatively obvious I didn’t have in mind Thai massages.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hormones going crazy or how no one is immune to a springtime lobotomy

This year’s spring started a bit early. Nothing to complain about, actually... We were freshly introduced to this big yellow ball in the sky (where I come from foggy days are kind of traditional, so we tend to forget what the sun really looks like) and the rising temperatures allowed us to uncover some skin. Suddenly I am loving these tan lines we can choose from: biker’s, farmer’s, tennis... 
As I was walking my sister’s dog, who is naturally going all crazy due to hormonal cocktails released in the air by the other dogs, I started to wonder about human hormones that make us go cuckoo. The spring version of them, of course. Honestly, it seems that not only flowers, trees and dogs are affected by the sun, but also men and women. No matter how hard you try to be sober, eventually you give in. 
Sometimes I like to look on things from a scientific point of view, so I would say this is one of many proofs confirming our animalistic nature. Apparently we feel the influence of the hormones, but can we smell them? I suppose that’s a bit too strong word for it. Perhaps just sense them? Taking into account generalized change in behavioral pattern, I’d say yes. And, how are we actually affected?
The age of innocence or how to switch in a successful way
A few years ago an acquaintance of mine felt eager to discuss a thrilling secret about a progress in her love life. She caught us a bit off guard while sharing that exact piece of information since it turned out that her boyfriend was not involved in the mentioned development. She was having an affair. And, as if the situation wasn’t complicated enough, the other person was her... khm, superior.The following events were, I guess, pretty movie-like. Hiding in the bushes (ok, much more sophisticated version of “the bushes” happened in the reality, however, I think I can allow myself some writing imagination), midnight calls, in middle of the night visits, sex in public places... I got your attention now, huh?
You’d be probably surprised to know, that eventually she had left her boyfriend and know she’s coupling with the other guy. I am not sure if he remained her superior, but truthfully, who cares. I only wonder if the pattern will repeat again - for, you know, this was not a first time for her... leaving a boyfriend for another man.
Lots of pride, but no prejudice
One other sort of a friend has had a boyfriend for years. Years. I’ve been always wondering - in a negative way - how did they find each other... Honestly, in my eyes, they were the most boring couple that has ever existed. No imagination. No fun. No spark. No nothing. She was having monastery appearance all the time, as for him, words cannot describe such dullness, so I won’t even try. Surprise of all surprises, as it turned out, a nun she never was... she pulled that particular look off very well.
Once upon a time in a springtime, of course, we have attended a party together. Lost of drinks, lots of talking and lots of secret-sharing. She “slipped” a few details about her relationship. Quite boastfully she announced her tiny little affairs then and there. Pride? Yes. Prejudice? No.
So, what’s the lesson in it? Frankly, I have no idea. Perhaps the best thing to do is to shut your chatty mouth and live your life. Even if it’s springtime.
A dear friend of mine lost his dog due to old age. This post has been written in his memory. Gizmo, you are highly missed*

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kiss and tell or who’s the real gossip girl

Though it’s not the most flattering and mind opening daily activity, I humbly confess to read or flirt with one, sometimes two gossip web pages. It’s shameful, childish and utterly... neccessary. Somehow it feels good to read that one celebrity had a nervous break down, ex-miss of something put extra fat in her body (no, I don’t mean she is on the heavier side, but her lips suddenly look as if a bad allergy reaction to strawberries occurred) and a painful split up is on the verge of going public (Brangelina perhaps? Sorry, I still cannot get over the Pitt-Aniston divorce). But how about the real life? Or horror of all horrors if the hot topic is one of us?
Some people could probably make a living out of gossiping. Broadcasting juicy news live makes radio a complete amateur compared to their developed business. Like any other trade it takes years to mature the gossiping talent to the borders of perfection. However, don’t be fooled by the gender and don’t believe stereotypes... “Some people” in my mind are suprisingly men.

The art of keeping a secret or natural shortcomings

Living in a small city has its privileges. Walking distances, windy bicycle rides from the east to the west, knowing one another... The latter can be tricky, though.
I have a friend who by the time of the ongoing incident happened to be a heureuse single lady, living in a no-strings-attached way. Why not, you may ask yourself. The only thing she wanted to do is to get the most out of her fabulous solo life.
Meeting new (not) interesting men was on daily menu. You cannot judge a book by its cover, I suppose, so she didn’t. Although his behavior didn’t speak in his favor (pick up lines obviously worked the way they should), she gave the romance a go. After a few brief encounters the joyride ended. No harm done. For both partners in crime. Until...
Details from between the sheets were clearly presented to the almost whole male population of the city. What’s there to add? The man has simply bad manners. She didn’t go around spreading the word about his equipment, did she? And speaking of it... Us, closer girlfriends, do know a small secret. Hm. Unfortunate wording. I admit, I am getting mean here and because physical shortcomings are not a laughing matter, I’ll rephrase this into a more diplomatic sentence. The man could wear short pants. Really really short pants. Hot pants.
I can’t decide which of the following is more awkward. Being town’s gossip about sleeping around (and words being good at it come right along) or having modest tools. I will allow you to give the final judgement.
The lesson between the lines is hopefully clear. Never kiss and tell. Because you can’t know when and how it will come around. Inevitably and faithfully. As a boomerang. Reading page six gossip is perhaps less dangerous and harmful...
P.S. I confess, Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf are my favorites. Nevertheless, Gossip girl is a drama series, not a real life. On the other hand... they probably get the ideas from us. Nonfictional people.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Decisions decisions or splitting the bill - a new etiquette of courtship

We live in a time where there are some difficulties with decisions. From the most simple ones, such as “Should I buy another pair of shoes?” to the most complicated occuring as a rule in the morning: “What to wear?!?” I am sure the answer to the first question is logical... (YES!) As for the other... it’s a bit trickier.
I would really like to present a certain issue. Or, better yet, let us be positively oriented and call it a challenge. So much better. I am sure some employers would love me. Seeing challenges instead of problems. Now, back to the topic... 
Since we live in capitalism it would be so unfair to shut our eyes wide about the popular phrase cruising the world about some ladies: gold digging whore. My sincere appologies for the strong language. The phrase spread the wings over the globe so much, that a not-meant-to-be-harmful coffee that I am not paying for, became an enemy. So, where is the line?

Should we expect of a man to take care of the bill?

If in France, yes. Or so I heard - from my French teacher. According to him women in France don’t even leave the house with a wallet. Supposedly it’s normal for French men to take care of the finance while going out. I’ve never experienced that. While being in France, of course. Perhaps I went to Paris with a wrong crowd. They were obviously not French.

Acting coy

Some men like to think their bank account displays a 7-digit number and bumping into one of them on the street always results in many drinks paid by the imaginary millionaire. I play along. And never grab my wallet. If he wants to keep appearances, so let it be. I usually end up being drunk, you?

50 - 50 option

An acquaintance of mine used to date men that were quite well off. And they were more than willing to contribute for her atributes. With gifts, dinners and all the things that come along with playing a sugar daddy role. Until she met someone. Someone she actually liked. Spending time on the seaside is something you usually do with a boyfriend and so they did. He took care of the money issue without exceptions. Heavenly, I would dare to say. 
You have probably heard of the following saying, no, I am 100% you have: there’s no such a thing as free lunch. And while talking about percentage, I might also mention that the settlement arrived. On the last day. On a sheet of paper. With listed expenses. From a previous week. Split up. Half-half. 50%-50%.
She had no idea this little vacation was a down payment for the bill that was yet to come. She paid for it. Fair and square.

Taking turns

The topic speaks for itself. My turn, your turn, my turn, your turn... This pattern mostly works with my lady friends. Not for all, of course. Some can’t remember their turn. Ever.

Depending from initiator

I like to follow this simple rule: if on a date (or just a coffee), and the invitation was my idea, I would like to pay for a drink, food, whatever. However, the final result depends from the person on the other side. It can be 50-50 or zero for me. Sometimes I might “argue”, knowing that I will not have any success. For some men are gentlemen. No matter what.

Photography was taken by a good friend of mine while waiting for another friend to arrive and grab a coffee. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pick up lines tutorial or how Harry wouldn’t have met Sally if he had said the wrong things

A lesson about appropriate approach

“Do you shave or wax?”

No, it’s not a line taken from a beautician’s salon. It’s a real life tragedy which occured in a pretty known club where I live. My good friend was involved in a bizarre conversation that ended abruptly. I sincerely hope I do NOT need to explain why. Nevertheless, just in case...
Most women like straightforward men. Nothing wrong with knowing what or who your target is, and the scope you want to achieve. The strategy in-between you and the desired object is, however, crucial for success. Now, back to “shaving/waxing situation”. Really, there is so little to discuss about that particular happening. If nothing else, we - that is me, my friend in question and the others - had a really good laugh, when she told us about the unfortunate wording the guy used. On the other hand, some ladies can be pretty aggressive... You might even get physically attacked! 
Let me summarize this story with daring question: Is your goal to be a laughing target or punching bag?

“All men want only one thing...”

Yes, and all women know what that thing is. At least the smart ones.
This exceptional conversation started on a pleasant night downtown one capital city. Strangely, the man pronouncing funky opening line was handsome, so my astonishment was even bigger. When he mentioned “the one thing”, he made a pause. Not only he started this from the beginning doomed conversation, but he also expected me to finish the sentence. Seriously? Sadly, yes. Where I come from we have a suitable saying. It does not translate really well, but I’ll make an effort: only filthy swine has filthy thoughts. Hopefully you have understood the message.

The other or the bright side

I always like to conclude with optimism and luckily there have been some good pick up line examples in my résumé.
Once upon a time, when I was phoning on the corner in front of a bar, emmiting the obvious signals of waiting for someone, a guy approached me. He said: “Sorry I kept you waiting.” Though I was in the middle of the conversation, my mind felt intrigued.
I still think this was one of the best pick up lines in the history of all pick up lines. The fact that the guy was missing a front tooth will probably ruin the impression, but I felt the urge to explain why the line didn’t work. In addition to a fact, that I had a boyfriend.

Imagination on the loose

With my co-workers from the previous job interesting chitchats were on the daily menu. Inventing - or better yet - talking about pick up lines took place on one sunny day in the office. I will never forget this smart yet witty pick up line we talked about...
Boy: How much does a mammoth weight?
Girl: Dunno.
Boy: Enough to break the ice.
Girl (laughing)
This imaginary story has a lot of presumptions, such as: if in a foreign country, a girl should speak English. Also, she has to reply, that that scientific data is not in her knowledge.
The fact is that real life situations can be tricky. For this particular reason we eventually forgive and start to laugh. Besides, women can be silly too. But that is already another story... Involving a pick up line such as: “Did you fart?” Perhaps I’ll explain this certain matter some other time. I have no intentions of making us feel silly. Yet :)
P.S. Old-fashioned “Would you like to grab a coffee?” might work. Plain and simple. No agenda (or so it seems). Coffee can be just a coffee... but also something more.

Pictures sources: