Love & Marriage

(Technically I failed to post yesterday. If I hadn’t been at a birthday party, you would have got the below).

You can have two posts today instead.

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Image via Unsplash

I’m writing this on the train to Kent and am wondering how today’s topic popped into my head.

Then I remember I’m feeling a little sappy as I’m carried further and further away from my one true love. A night apart is nothing of course but next week we’ll be separated from Monday to Thursday while he’s in Ireland ‘on business’ and that’s harder to take.

(He is actually on business so I’m not sure why I used the inverted commas. Are they even inverted commas? What’s an inverted comma again?) ūüėĪ

I’m trying to not be a baby about my alone time. I’m making plans and not just hibernating in my pants. I’m actually loving the feeling of not having¬†to accommodate someone else for a while but I miss having someone to go home to, and the hot body beside me.

(Another aside, whenever I deign to write anything positive about my marriage on Facebook I get the ‘Smug married’ comments and it drives me nuts.¬†So if you think I sound smug, that’s your problem. Believe me I’ve done enough time to now be allowed to wax lyrical about how lucky I am, sue me).

I love being married. I never thought I would get married to anyone. There was never a picture of a white dress, a ring or a handsome man in my mind’s eye.

We discussed the idea of it in my last relationship which is inevitable I suppose after six years together. The feeling was very much that I wanted it (although raising the question of whether we should is very different to actually wanting it) and he would one day reluctantly go through with it, if I was good.

(He was a fucking dick head).

He’d been married before and was very down on the whole institution of marriage, as if he’d only just escaped the confines of an actual institution. Having met his lovely ex-wife (and remained on great terms), it was hard to see why he was so hard done by but there it is.¬†I hated the way he spoke about marriage and knew I would never do it with him. Who needed to be spoken about the way he spoke about his ex? No thank you very much.

My meander towards happiness changed course thank fuck and lead me to be sitting in this seat on this train, looking back on my former views on marriage vs. my reality.

I married¬†my favourite person in the world and it’s been so much fun. We don’t have a flashy life but I love it, I’d recommend it to anyone if that’s what they want to do. And this guy is proud to be my husband, honestly he’ll tell anyone.

I love belonging to someone else, being someone’s old woman. I am mine but it’s nice to know there’s another human being invested in me, hopefully for life. It feels nice and makes me feel strong.

I thought that was worth paying tribute to today.

How YOU doing? ‚̧

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5 Years

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Today is my five year wedding anniversary (or should be if my queued post has done its thang correctly).

I don’t talk about¬†marriage or my husband that much because honestly, there’s not much to say. I’m really happy and he’s a prince amoung men. But I keep seeing a lot of “The Secret to my long marriage is…” articles recently and it’s got me to thinking (Carrie Bradshaw voice):

Is there a secret? And do I know it?

I don’t know if¬†there is a secret. I think you’re lucky or you’re not. I think you can never guarantee that things will stay the same and that even the most fairy tale of loves can bend and break under enough pressure.

Loving someone long term is fucking hard work, just as it’s hard to love yourself all the time. Or maybe you do love¬†most of¬†the time but the like isn’t always there. You just have to work on it as best you can. Sometimes the like turns to dislike, and sometimes one person will¬†change and leave the other behind.

You can’t predict is what I’m saying but you can enjoy it¬†and you can nurture it too. I think an important one for me is to be aware of the times I¬†might be taking my lovely partner¬†for granted. He¬†is so nice to me that I sometimes get too used to it and flounce about the flat like Marie Antoinette and in the end that’s a dangerous place to be. Next I’ll be demanding peeled grapes whilst I recline against a wall of satin pillows.

So, I don’t think there’s a secret. I do think you have to be able to accept that nobody’s perfect, try not to go to bed too angry, and where possible have a breather from one another. Having time to miss someone does wonders I find.

I’m no marriage expert (not that anyone’s asking). Maybe in another five years I’ll have more to impart.¬†But I am in love with the same person after seven years and still get butterflies when we kiss.

My husband has the nicest arse on the planet, makes me laugh like nobody else because he’s so goofy and I’d take a goddamn bullet for him.

I think that’s pretty good going ‚̧

Smalentine’s Day

il_570xN.877963078_h5peI’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I may have mentioned it before.

In fact, I’ve spent a fair amount of this week whinging about how much I hate the commercialism, the pressure and the girl in the street who can’t even carry the huge bunch of red roses her boyfriend got her.

Evidence yet again that I’ve let Valentine’s get to me and I don’t know why I let it. I mean firstly, isn’t a whole day dedicated to sweet loving my very life blood? I freaking love LOVE, man.

And I am still in love, after all these years. Yet neither of us are VD celebrators (again, the holiday not the STD) so when I drop hints about things I don’t need or even want (flowers/jewellery/a basket full of kittens in pink neckties), my S.O. rightly ignores me.

He knows I’m being irrational, manipulated by a fat flying baby and we don’t have the money for big gifts anyway. Even if we did, wouldn’t we both prefer food? I’m happy and content as I am, Saint Fucking Valenpants, so back the hell off.

That said, I had a mini-huff a few evenings ago over our complete lack of romantic plans this weekend – only to be met a moment later with a new email notification. Ticket confirmation for Deadpool on Sunday. For 2, premier seats.

Burgers for lunch, gelato afterwards.

Proof romance is not dead, not even sleeping. Proof that love¬†still has a pulse¬†and doesn’t need its own day in the sun¬†(but sometimes that can be nice, I guess). Valentine’s always does one thing I can’t deny: it serves to make me think about love in all its forms.

Big, flashy and completely O.T.T. versus Everyday loving.

Neither is the right way and they’re not mutually exclusive, obvs¬†– you can chose any kind whenever you like. But I like the kind¬†that sends the love of my life into town on a Saturday to pick up a package because he knows I hate crowds. When it’s raining.

The kind that delivers a cup of tea every now and again without asking. My favourite is the kind that orders Deadpool tickets and helps me sneak Burger King into the theatre too.

I’m going to stop being so down on the whole thing from now on because it’s not so bad. If I don’t like it, I can buy my own chocolates and jewellery.

Plus, Valentine’s spawned Woman Appreciation Day, AKA Galentine’s and that’s just the best. My princess Tatty bought me flowers and candy to cheer me up, and I sent cards to my local babes (and mum). Not going to lie that it feels good to spread love (and one day I might organise myself to go internationally).

Let’s face it, our girls are the important ones really.¬†They’re the ones who listen to us¬†moan 24/7, talk to us¬†about contouring and help us¬†sort ourselves¬†out when we’re¬†having yet another crisis of confidence.

Love is a broad thing, man. And this post is practically Belgian, so full of waffle it is.

What are your Valentine’s plans? Do you celebrate, do you hate it like I do or do you have your own cool tradition? ‚̧

I Used To Love Him: Michael Jackson (AKA Teenage Idol)

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“Hey spider, you’ve got a Michael Jackson stuck to your butt…”

Who did you idolise as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end? Via The Daily Post (January 11th 2016)

Justin Bieber? How young do you think I am?! (*Fluffs hair*).

It’s been quite a pressured week, so I’m taking time out to do a blog prompt because sometimes I like to seek inspiration rather than think for myself, alright? So sue me.

Obviously this week we very suddenly and shockingly lost a true legend in the shape of Bowie, and the world is still reeling. I haven’t seen this much widespread grief since Diana (or the person I’m about to wax lyrical about) and it’s incredibly sad.

It’s¬†made me think on and off about heroes growing up, personal influences and how they mould us as young people and how we carry them into adulthood, like pretty, shiny talismans (men?).

I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson from a very early age. Like OBSESSED. Every video, album, film starring my boy – I was all over it. My Mum made me a ‘Bad’ birthday cake and there were MJ themed parties. I even convinced the girl next door, who was terribly uncool and ate only oranges and peanut butter, that I was named after my hero.

“Michael can be a girl’s name too, you know” is what I’d haughtily respond when she questioned me. I wish my name had been Michael to be honest but alas, my parents were not major fans themselves nor mind readers.

I would lie in bed at night with my Walkman plugged in, lip syncing the Vincent Price bit at the end of Thriller to myself. I knew all the words to Liberian Girl.

Man in the Mirror actually did make me look inside myself and ponder if I really needed to change. I decided the answer was no, I was only ten and perfect as far as I could see. 

Alas, my hero did some heinous things that caused his shine¬†to¬†all but extinguish. I won’t rehash those things here, nor will I deny them because I believe the accusations are true. There’s no defense and no amount of love for a former idol, who carried you through the awkward years into adulthood, that can excuse what he’s done.

My hero was messed up and then he messed up very badly. I think even before he died I’d forced myself to move on because good people don’t hurt the vulnerable, they don’t hurt anybody, even if they themselves seem vulnerable and childlike.

My ultimate hero wasn’t going to be a bad man even if he was Michael Jackson, King of my Heart. The first man I ever loved who wasn’t my father.

I can’t remember how I processed all that but I must of because by the time¬†he died I was very sad but accepting. It had seemed only a matter of time, judging by his frail outward appearance and rumours of drug abuse. And again, how could I forgive him?

I still feel sad for the loss and that I’ve never felt the way I did about him since, about anyone.¬†No more idols for me.

Actors and Musicians I like very much, sure but nobody I’ll ever pretend to be named after.

‚̧

Four Years

IMG_20141016_181058Four years ago, on a freakishly sunny day, I got married.

Corny as it sounds, the man who stood before me that day, was the greatest person I had ever met. He still is, despite the passing of time; the mild bickering, the shoes in the kitchen, the money woes that every person has, the bad Schwarzenegger impressions and my hot temper.

People always say that being married doesn’t make you feel any different but I would disagree. I don’t think it’s always necessary, certainly not for every relationship or person, but for me it’s been grounding. I needed security and to know without a shadow of a doubt that I belonged somewhere, if not to somebody.

This would have come without the silver ring I wear upon my finger, but I wanted to be married, wanted to give everything I am to this person, and to my relationship. I’ve never regretted it.

The other night we actually lay in bed and talked about risk in relationships. Of how things could have turned out so differently for us, if there’d been no chemistry. When we met, I lived in Canada and he spent a lot of money flying out to visit. Three months afterwards, I said goodbye to a good job and all my friends, and went home to Brighton. That’s a leap of faith right there friends, with lashings of risk.

Again, no regrets.IMG_20150407_133439 (1)

So, today we’re celebrating our fourth year of marriage. Wedded bliss sounds trite but every day is a happy one, even when we’re stressed or miserable. Even when we’re tired. Even when I’ve just woken up from a nap and am the bitch from hell.

How are we celebrating? Matin√©e¬†of Avengers 2 and a hot dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Boring is as Boring Does

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Big Bird says Partay!

I’ve never really worried about how my friends perceive me. I mean, of course I care as much as the next person what people think, but I always figure if we’re friends then they think I’m awesome, and vice versa.

Sometimes though you get a flash of how someone¬†sees you and it isn’t always flattering. This is when I start to assess what I’m doing anywhere near¬†people who think I’m boring. That’s¬†how they make me feel, anyway.

But what is exciting? Is it someone who knows who they are, who can articulate and laugh at themselves, or is it someone who’s up all hours, shagging and dancing and flirting and shitting fucking rainbows? Isn’t there room for both, and everything in between?

It would be remiss of me to pretend I don’t sometimes feel old, that being married, though the greatest adventure¬†I’ve¬†ever had, means I’m not dancing on tables and swilling Tequila from hot men’s arm pit crevices anymore. But then I remember I was never really that person.

Maybe for a brief while, when all nighters and Speed were de rigour, then gay clubs and head injuries obtained from drag queen’s handbags. But I left it behind because in the end, I’ve done it. My quality time with friends is now a little quieter and a lot more enjoyable as far as I’m concerned. It rarely means padding home barefoot at 5 am, although it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility (hello work’s Christmas do).

But does that make me a boring shit?

I’m not a party girl. I like a nice meal and a good old catch up, I like talking and reading and films. I like to be able to hear what the other person is saying because I like to listen. ¬†It would never occur to me to bombard anyone with intricate tales of every little thing I’ve been doing.

Do they need to know that I love Netflix, am obsessed with walking through Brighton looking at graffiti; that when I have time off I just want to be left alone? That if I really like you I’ll be there, but I don’t play well in big groups, where I don’t know anybody. Should I apologise that I haven’t been to Croatia this year, or anywhere for a while, that I don’t eat at the right restaurants or drink the best gin?

I suppose this post is cryptic in some¬†ways, that I should just have the balls to come out and confront. But I don’t want to, man. I’m cool with who I am, and the people who matter know who I am too.¬†Maybe it’s friend trimming time, the season to take¬†stock of what I’ve got and move on from the ones that don’t think I’m cool¬†enough.

Anyway, here’s to my boring life, the one I choose and the one I love. Here’s to the people who understand me and share it with me. Here’s to the ones who think I’m fascinating and fun, no matter what.

Here’s to me!

Mama

It’s show your ma you love her day here in the UK and I do, I do love my ma. She is an absolute peach.

But before I Iaunch into an ode to my dear old mother (she’s not old, she’s only, like, 66), I think it’s only fair to take a moment to think about those who can’t be with us today. Days like this are all well and good but there are people out there who have lost their parents, some recently and it’s understandably hard to keep cheerful on occasions like this. Believe me.

So, to all the mums that can’t be here with us, I’m thinking of you too; all those left behind and you, my Nana.

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Photo credit: Imagining the City

Back to Penny M, the greatest lady in my life. Everything I know today and every good quality I have, I learnt/inherited from my mother. If I am anything at all, I am my mother’s daughter and I wouldn’t change that for the world, because it’s blimming awesome. Here are just a few reasons I adore my mum:

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Photo credit: Claudia Rose Carter
  • She very, very smart and has a thoughtful answer for everything, which I admire. I like clever¬†but I love subtle intelligence that doesn’t feel the need to announce itself loudly and arrogantly.
  • My mother¬†reads more than anyone I know and this is where I got my passion for the written word. I started reading mature titles early on because I had access to them and Mum never tried to stop me reading them, which is amazing.
  • When I was 18, Mum bought me my own TV for my bedroom and it was here I started to watch amazing films late into the night, thus cementing my adoration for some of the greatest ever film makers. And horror. Lots and lots of horror. Thanks ma!
  • When she swears, I die. It’s the most hilaire.¬†But she’ll still slaps me around the head if I use a really bad word, even though¬†I’m 37 years old!
  • I can talk to her about absolutely anything.
  • Whenever I am going through a shitty time, she’s right there telling me that it’s all good material for ‘the book’. This is the book she truly believes I have in me, even though I’m not so sure. She also doesn’t judge me as hard as I judge myself, and tells me I’m just as brilliant as other people who have actually done things like further education, great careers, etc.
  • My mum understands me and even though sometimes it shoves my nose out of joint, when I go back and really think about what she’s said, it’s normally spot on.
  • Sometimes she calls me or sends me something when I most need it, and I don’t understand how she just knows.
  • She did shots at my brother’s wedding (below), the first time I have ever witnessed that. Plus, later on she was getting low with some of the bridesmaids on the dance floor, which was amuh-az-ing!
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Photo credit: Imagining the City

My mother, the legend. I love you Mum, more than ever and forever.¬†Happy Mother’s Day!

All photographs from Madeleine and Tim’s Whitstable Wedding, December 2014, by Imagining the City and Claudia Rose Carter.