“Hey, take a ride in a big yellow taxi – I’m not here to feed your insecurities!”
(~ Janet Jackson, “The Pleasure Principle”, back in the shoulder paded, bushy browed 80’s)
I love this song! In fact, as a kid, I used to enthusiastically dance to it together with a good guy friend who is now a good gay guy friend.
It’s been years since we innocently jumped up and down to Janet and although I often reminisce about those fun elementary school class parties, it was not until recent years that this particular sentence suddenly took on a whole new & much more serious meaning in my head.
See, I sometimes feel as though I have been running a ‘greasy spoon’ Diner for the better part of my adult life. A Diner that is somewhere far from any known highway, stuck in a location that is not really on the way to anywhere in particular. Everyone is welcome but usually its the rejects who end up eating there at 3 a.m.
The menu is wide, diverse and caters to the various palates. We offer “make your own meal” combos, free refills are poured time and time again into the same $0.99 cups of coffee and if you had the full-on mega $19.99 dinner, then dessert is on the house. We’re a greasy spooner & our motto has always been to give service (with a smile) from the heart, yet the $ tips over the years left much to be desired.
Bad ROI you say?! I couldn’t agree with you more!
To give my ramblings a bit more context; truth be told, I have always seemed to have more male friends than female friends. From a very young age boys were always around me almost too naturally. I was never a Tom-Boy girl… in fact, I was very much a girlie girl… at times maybe a bit too much so, but I always felt most alive and in my element around the boys.
In my teens, when boys started to get their pimples and girls started comparing A cups to B cups, hormones starting to run amok between the high-school corridors, that’s when things started to get a bit more complicated. Boys started to give me some heavy-duty tummy butterflies… I fell in love almost every other day with a different boy. Boys and girls were suddenly “growing-up” very differently, but together we all evolved into the same new world where new boundaries were set and a different and totally new game was to be played. I still wanted to be around boys (much, much more than ever!) but the new rules meant things would never be the same again, and so I found my solace in the “adjustment phase” of being a teenage Fag Hag, where the men around me were those boys who wanted to have breasts like mine rather than have my breasts.
I am sure Freud would be able to analyse this for hours. The bottom line is pretty simple, they had balls, they were the best girlfriends a girl could have and most importantly, I was never a threat to them nor, for that matter, were they ever a threat to me – au contraire my dear Watson… they adored me (and my wardrobe of course!)
Dont get me wrong, I like the company of girls very much (all within the normal platonic boundaries), I have girlfriends – a handful of which I will forever consider my true soul-sisters (and they are usually chicks who despite being super-feminine, actually have a tiny and very subtle bit of ‘dude-attitude’ about them). However, for some reason, many girls never quite knew how to “swallow” me – even those who believed they could chew me up and spit me out with minimum effort.
And so, moving between social & cultural scenes and from one age-group to the next, I found I wanted spend most of my time with the boys. And that’s exactly what happened.
One would have (probably quite logically) assumed that having spent so much time with boys, I would have been able to read them a bit better by now. Big mistake… Big!…. HUGE!
I have been playing with boys since I was 2 and dating them since I was 17, and as Charlotte says in Sex & The City: “I’m exhausted, where is he?!”.
Luckily, that last (and partially ‘desperate’ sounding) modus operandi hasn’t taken over the better part of me, nor has it caused me to foolishly settle-down & tie a knot with ‘Mr. Mediocre’. Though after reviewing the calibre of boys I have been with, I could probably say that mediocre is actually a compliment to most.
See, I realise today that the problem has been ME! (And as much as it’s “All about Me, Me, Me” for this Leo, this is one “Me” I could have done without).
I liked men (still do!), I was (and still am) open-minded, but more so, I went a bit OTT on the hopeless romantic dream for ‘4th of July’ style sparks. And so, I opened a Diner. Bex’s Diner. It was a 24/7 operation that opened its doors to pretty much anyone who wanted a piece of this emotional cake, with the hope of one day hosting its very own big & fabulous Independence Day Bash!
However, many of the diners used to stop by to briefly satisfy a craving whilst on the road to some place else. Most often than not, they would place their baggage under the diner-counter and forget it there before moving on to their next or final destination. At some point, the diner ran out of space in its back-room for all the baggage… and after a while, I got tired of working 24/7… I realised that I was catering to a clientele of retards, who needed their insecurities fed with dishes that were never really on the menu to begin with. I was in a frenzy of scrambled eggs and frankfurters and was drained out till my last drop of instant, free-refill coffee. I eventually became exhausted of time-wasters, tired of being an “Atlas” to the men who were not even really in my life, and quite frankly got bored with sisyphically attempting to shrink those who were not even remotely grand in any way, shape or form.
Freud, once again, I am sure you would have had a feast analysing all the ‘Accidental Tourists’ who made a stop at my Diner throughout the years. But I for one have reached a point where the greasy empty calories can no longer dictate the size of Jeans I am going to fit into.
And so, I have decided to take control & care of my own taste buds for a change and bring back the Pleasure Principle. I have decided to close Bex’s Diner for good and tear down the walls of that dump that was established (in good faith) on the back-road to hell.
As I walk away from the ruins, I don’t look back in anger, but rather look forward with the knowledge that the Gourmet Steak House on the main highway to a well-known destination is right around the corner. And that will be the place where I sink my teeth into some juicy pieces of…
(And to all you men currently in my life, whether as friends or ex-more-than-just-a-friend – please rest assured your name is not listed amongst the pages of “My Accidental Tourist Little Black Book”)
A sunny day on the island of Malta. I meet 3 friends for lunch and a catch up. All 3 are younger than me, they are 80’s babies. ‘Granny” L is 29 (or as she says in semi-horror “I am going to be 30 next year”), “Middle” C is 25 and Little Lew-Lew, the littlest of the bunch is only 24.
And then there is me, the old bag who was born in the mid 70’s.
Granny L starts talking about children’s TV shows, and with reference to one of them looks at me and asks “Do you remember…?! “
“Actually, you wouldn’t remember” she says. “You were not really a child anymore in the 80’s”.
We all laugh, I pretend to feel old and miserable. And in a way I am amused that despite being so ‘dusty’ , these ‘kids’ seem to enjoy my company.
Very young at heart, I feel that like a good bottle of red wine I am definitely improving with age. I love the opportunities the world we live in provides us with (if utilised peacefully), and am excited about how the rest of our stories may unfold in future as we move into the 2nd decade of the 21st century. Even if it means that I have to come to terms with letting go of the Dorian Gray in me.
Having said that, and although I was very young in the 70’s – something about that decade will always magically tantalize me.
Born in ’75, I grew up in North West London just a few minutes walk from The Beatles’ recording studio on Abbey Road. My Dad knew Paul… or should I say Sir Paul McCartney, he knew David Hockney, Sir John Gielgud, John Hurt, Jeanne Moreau, Alain Resnais and other truly great women and men of that time. Our house was, at times, doubling as a little red carpet for the Stars. From playwrights to actors, directors to musicians, painters to the less known intelligentsia, the colourful and crazy bohemian world of arts, drama, literature & culture all naturally blended together, filled our St. John’s Wood home with richness and lingered in its rooms even after the ‘parties’ were over.
I was very young during those years, and was obviously busy with the really important things in life such as spending most of my time discovering & defining the boundaries of my culinary experimentalism (my mother found me on many occasions sitting under the kitchen table eating raw unpeeled garlic or devouring table spoons of butter ‘au natural’) and I guess I was pretty oblivious to the genius calibre of people who surrounded me. However, as an uber-sensory beast, some of the vibes, the auras, the colours, the sounds, the ideas and the beating pulses still managed to filter into my mental DNA.
I was (what felt like) “ripped” away from my English roots in the early 80’s when I moved with my mother to the Middle East and probably, as a result, always looked back at 70’s London with much admiration and painful longing. The fashion, the music, the cinema & the arts of that decade always made this Alice (who was so far away from her Wonderland) curiouser and curiouser. But it wasnt until I was in my early 20’s when I went to the National Film Institute to watch Todd Haynes’ movie “The Velvet Goldmine”, that my real 70’s fascination kicked-in.
The movie was my first acquaintance with the brilliant Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but it was also the first time that the darker side of the 70’s and its ‘hard core’ Glam Rock really grabbed me. I was utterly hypnotised by the movie and the way in which it represented a side to the 70’s that was much less innocent than the one I knew as a garlic eating toddler.
The movie blasted me to the past. I don’t have too many crystal clear memories of my childhood in 70’s London but I do remember certain sensations, tastes, smells and sounds which, when I come across them as an adult, send my tummy into a totally hyperactive, wild and exploding feast of familiar excitement. However, part way through the movie, during the ballad of Maxwell Demon;
I suddenly had a very vivid memory of myself, at the age of 5 years old, peaking from my hiding spot (behind the sitting room sofa) at David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ music video on TV. I was petrified and disturbed by it, yet totally mesmerised, intrigued and drawn to it in a way that at the time I could not understand (true, it was already 1980, but still very much 70’s in its essence).
From that moment onwards, I started to piece bits of my 70’s “likes” together and realised I was very much a 70’s child. Fascinated with Bowie, addicted to Kate Bush, Engaged in a strange love affair with Pink Floyd, and melting with desire into Bryan Ferry’s smooth, warm and embracing voice.
I was twistedly excited, time after time, watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show (An American production but written by the British Richard O’Brien), so much so that my best ever Halloween night was the night I took on the persona of Magenta
(most people at the costume party thought I was a hotel maid… each with their own cultural influences/references I suppose), I fell off my chair laughing at the bizarre brilliance of the Pythons, I swam effortlessly in an underwater fantasy world with “The Water Babies”, and “Gay” seemed as natural to me as blue hair dye and ‘pussies’ were, thanks to “Are You Being Served”.
As my fascination for the 70’s became very much an integral part of me, and after a certain night of a Led-Zeppelin ‘high’ (and no, I don’t do drugs, but if I did I am certain that the night I lay on the floor staring at the ceiling and listening to Led Zep for 2 hours with my eyes closed would probably make any drug-induced ‘high’ pale in comparison!) I wondered what it would be like if I was an adult in the 70’s rather than a decade-unaware child.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have had the chance to experience the same kind of life style that the people from the above mentioned milieu have had (for better or for worse, with its highs and its lows).
I mean, when you think about it, during those years amazing things happened world-wide; the advocacy of world peace, environmentalist movements started to grow, the roles of women in society were profoundly altered, the gay movement made a huge step forward with the election of Harvey Milk for public office, and the bell-bottom trousers were introduced (sorry, but I have to admit, they are a brilliant fashion creation).
But above all these, it seems like there was something almost colorfully & modernly primal in that decade, something that didn’t exist in any other. It was a decade that was simultaneously androgynous and hermaphroditic, a decade of daring, experimentalism, glamour and rock. A decade with an air of change and openness to the new and the different, a decade of social, sexual, mental and creative revolution.
A decade that, if you close your eyes tightly and try to sense it, you might feel as though you are being hypnotised whilst psychedelically floating in a big sea of molasses wearing nothing but your birthday suit. A sea of recreational drugs, oozing with sexual “anything goes”, where men were glamorous and girls wore suits, minds drifted into space, whilst the bodies themselves were engaged in feasts of the flesh.
Dear friends, as you read this, I am curious to know what decade you would have liked your time tunnel to take you to if you were given just once chance to time-travel.
I love my today, I look forward to my tomorrow and I will forever cherish my yesterday. But the kid in me – who effortlessly, innocently and absent-mindedly breathed those 70’s into her lungs as if they were a cigarette between the yellow decaying teeth of a hard-core smoker – still seems to have some unfinished business with that decade. Unfinished business that I am not sure how to resolve… but equipped with a passionate imagination, I truly hope I will find a way (even if it means I have to go searching for my own Dr. Emmett Brown & Marty McFly!).
As for my younger friends, I adore you all, but you can make fun of this glorious old bag until you are blue in the face because I will, forever, have something that you never will. I will always have the 70’s.
Peace & Love
My Father was a famous persona in the UK Drama/TV/Film industry in the 60’s / 70’s (a.k.a ‘Celeb’ as we call’em nowadays).
He was the son of a Steam Train driver and a House Maid (yes, I could hardly qualify as suitable “29th April 2011” marriage material with that kind of working class blood pumping through my hyper veins!). He grew up in quite a shitty (to say the least) part of England but managed to get out of the Northern slums in the mid 20th Century and eventually end up in the Bohemian West End of the 60’s & 70’s where he worked from home as a Dramatist.
My father wrote for stage, TV & screen – and was in fact one of the pioneers, alongside Harold Pinter, to make a breakthrough in the world of drama, bringing the working class to the front of the stage by establishing what would become known as The Kitchen Sink Drama (yes, no longer just aristocracy on stage, bite me Mr. Wilde!)
Unfortunately, my Father passed away when I was very young and I never really had the privilege to get to know him, not just as a father, but as a man who was well-known for his talent, who had a sharp, interesting & worldly mind, incredible wit and no drinking skills what so ever. So I did the next best thing, I grew up with the idea of this incredible man – a man who, although no longer with me, I still wanted to make proud.
As a result, I developed a passion and curiosity for his world; Arts, Theatre, world cinema, TV, music, philosophy, psychology, culture, people, design – always exploring and never resting, not for one second. With time it meant that my stimuli threshold became higher and higher and I became a person who got excited by the unusual, by the eclectic, and by the small (yet grand) curiosities and wonders of existentialism…
So where am I heading with this you ask?!
Well, a few days ago I had an experience that blew my mind away.
That kind of stuff doesn’t happen often, especially not in the world we live in today.
A world where the Justin Biebers are stars; where Brittany’s fame sky-rockets due to a temporarily insane act of head shaving. A world where the Kardashian Family’s “pearls of wisdom” are dignified by television and viewed by masses world-wide…. a world where the lowest common denominator that appeals to The Big Brother viewers – against all odds – manages to stoop lower and lower from one season to the next.
In a world of ‘here today gone tomorrow’ getting excited over cheap plastic talent seems to be the norm. A norm, which I personally am unable to relate to and quite frankly, think is really kind of sad as it has a huge knock-on effect on how we end up living our lives and the directions in which our society and social skills are heading… (more on that in posts to come).
When it comes to Fame, I have “properly” brushed against ‘Celebs’ 3 times in my life… only one of them truly knocked my socks off. This is my story – these are my claims to fame:
1. “The Nanny Diaries“ (London, Primrose Hill, Summer 2005)
On one of the rare occasions when the sun came out to play, I grabbed an iPod & towel and headed off to Primrose Hill in order to get rid of the pasty complexion that shamelessly took over my mortified body during the grey cold London winter months.
I was minding my own business when I somehow managed to get caught in a Frisby excitement between two very small and rather ugly dogs who were running around my legs disrupting my Sun Goddess quality time.
Him: (to the dogs) “Porgy, Bess… come here”
Me: (to self) “Porgy?!, Bess?! – OK someone’s been creative here, my attention is officially grabbed”
He approaches me slowly, I can see his silhouette only, the sun is strong and my Pradas are black and thick. As he gets closer…
Him: “Hey there, I am really sorry about this, are the dogs bugging you?!”
Me: (to self) “You are Jude Law!”
Me: (to Jude) “Nah, they are adorable (to self: “not!”), I love dogs, don’t mind them at all”
We exchange a few sentences and have a little laugh, he apologises again and walks off.
Me: (to self) “Midget Nanny Shagger”
Conclusion: Subject is talented, but the Bex is not impressed.
2. “Denzel Who?!” (Manhattan, Hotel Roof Top Bar, Summer 2009)
A hot summer night in Manhattan. An ex-colleague who was trying to get into my pants thought I would be really impressed if he took me to this VIP hotel roof top bar. It was so hot and humid that night that I immediately agreed to go as I knew it was the one place in Manhattan where I was likely to catch a bit of a breeze.
Despite the poor bloke’s serious attempts to make me fall at his feet, I was far from being tremendously impressed and at some point decided to go ‘powder my (very bored) nose’. When I came out of the rest room a guy who was sitting in a group with a few other men started talking to me. The minute he picked up on my English accent he told me he used to work in a recording studio in London back in the 80’s with the likes of Houdini, Sade and some other musicians and at some point through the conversation he said:
Him: “And I bet you don’t get to sit next to Denzel every day….”
Me: “Denzel who?!”
Him: “Denzel Washington!!!”
Me: (with the tone of an original American hoochie mama) “I don’t see no Denzel Washington here!”.
Him: “He’s sitting right next to you, yo!”.
Sure enough, the man himself was next to me, a large track-suit and baseball cap masking his appearance. I chatted to him, and although I think he is a very talented actor, his persona left something to be desired and his glory faded into the hot & humid Manhattan night air.
Conclusion: The Bex is, still, un-star-struck.
3. “You’ve Been Fried“ (Israel, Ben Gurion International Airport, Winter 2011)
Once again schlepping my huge bags around an airport terminal, I curse the day god made me the world’s worst jet-setter.
I cannot pack to save my life. The more I travel, the more packing-challenged I become… it takes longer, its less smarter, its heavier, its clumsier and certainly manages to kick some of the fun out of the whole travelling experience.
I am queueing at check-in and talking to a colleague who is travelling with me.
Him: “what the HELL do you have in that bag”
Me: (taking out a fil-o-fax, a brolly, a make up kit, a purse, another purse, a 6 pack of mints and then some and a copy of Stephen Fry’s “Making History”, which is quite a thick paperback) “This is what the ‘HELL’ I have in this bag, I carry everything, I am THE Human Turtle!”.
And then the miracle happens… Lo and behold – I see the man himself, Stephen Fry, ahead of me in the queue!
I am not a morning person, it’s 5am and I am thinking to myself that I must be seriously hallucinating… how is that possible?! I must be punked, or maybe Fr(y)ied…?! where are the candid cameras?! But its him, it truly is Stephen Fry, and I just feel I have walked into the best scene of my life’s movie to date.
Stephen Fry is my favourite author, he is sharp, he is witty, he is quite simply larger than life, and being the literature freak that I am, he is truly what I would regard as a world-class genius (or “celeb” to make it more relatable to some…).
I go to Mr. Fry and ask him to sign my copy of his book.
His Geniusness Fry:” Who should I write this out to?”
Me: “Bex XXXX”
His Royal Highness of wit: “Bex XXXX?!”
Me: “Yes… perhaps you’re familiar with my father XXXX XXXX?”
Sir Stephen Queen of Queens: “You are kidding me?! XXXX XXXX’s Daughter?! He is one of my favourite Dramatists (naming some of his work as he continues)”
We chat (too) briefly, he asks me if I am on his flight to London, unfortunately I am off to the little Maltese pebble… This is where we part ways. I am shaking with excitement, I can’t believe the Man I utterly admire just told me he liked my Father’s work! I kick myself for not being on the same flight as I feel like I have just missed out on one of the most amazing opportunities I will ever have in my life to talk for just a few minutes more to one of the few men who truly rock my world. And so I go to gate C1… frustrated, but kinda totally high on life.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I respect most forms of art & entertainment even if, truth be told, I might not relate or understand them all. I am open-minded to different genres and god knows have on occasion been guilty myself of taking a liking to plastic pop-cult. However, I will not, for the life of me, ever be able to be in such awe of a 13-year-old whining Beiber with a nasty hair do, or of a bunch of American sisters who hardly share half a brain cell between them, or even of a ‘Denzel Who’ or a ‘Jude The Nanny Diaries Author’ as much as I am in awe of Stephen Fry and people of his calibre.
I never felt as honoured to be in the presence of a person as I was during those few moments at the airport. My Father, had he been alive today, would have been one of the people on this honour list, and its a shame that nowadays they dont make such great personas like they used to so much anymore.
So Dad, this one is for you – I wish I could have even just 1 short hour to talk to you as an adult, to be allowed inside that amazingly sharp and creative brain of yours. But for now… until the day we meet again over on the ‘happy side’, I will make do with my portion of utterly wonderful FRYs.
This one is dedicated to my fabulous soul-twin “Little L”…
“In a West End town in a dead-end world… East-End boys and West-End girls…” ~ Pet Shop Boys.
I am a true West-End girl. My mate N is an ‘East Ender’. And conceptually, the world our generation lives in, as well as the conflicts we go through, seem sometimes very much like a dead-end world.
I met N online. It has been years since I joined an online dating site and after only 24 hours on one of the new, more popular sites I was reminded why I was willing to give up on the ‘e-Chick of the Year’ award. However, amongst the sexually frustrated, the terribly bizarre and the plain assholes, there was N. We started off on the wrong foot, but soon enough got on the same wavelength and became good mates.
Oddly and perhaps luckily (but either way definitely establishing a pattern here) I have managed to meet 3 really great guys online. All with which I have developed good friendships that never took the romantic route despite much potential in the air (philosophy/psychology on that one in another post).
Anyway, it was a sunny day in London town and N & I decided to celebrate the rare event by having lunch in the West End. N ordered a juicy fat oozing burger (Yum!) and I ordered salad.
Knowing I am no stranger to culinary delights, N was quite surprised at my sad lunch choice and pulled a funny face. “What’s up with you today Bex?!” he asked.
“Nothing” I said, “Just having a fat day!”
N started laughing at me.
“WHAT?!” I asked, kind of annoyed, starving and jealous of his burger, which by that point seemed to be looking directly at me, screaming: “eat me, E-A-T MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”.
“You have no idea just how gorgeous you are, do ya?!” He said.
‘OK’ I thought to myself, keep talking buster, you just might schmooze your way outta this one if you’re lucky!
He went on; “You are one of the most amazing women I have ever met”.
Eh?! OK, gotta give it to him, the guy has read the latest edition of “How to Flatter Your Way Out of Male inappropriateness”. He certainly IS trying. But I must admit I was a bit confused, I mean – I don’t intend to sound pretentious, but yeah, as a girl – I sure can work it. However, if that’s what he really thinks about me…
I couldn’t help myself and blurted out; “Well if I really am THAT brilliant how come you never tried to hook up with me?!”
“Its pretty simple” N said quite matter of factly.
Oh yeah?! simple huh?! I was back to being annoyed again and just about ready to stuff the talking burger through his face.
“I simply don’t want to go out with a girl who I have to worry about constantly. Worry that other men would flirt with and try to make a move on just cos she’s wonderful. I like going for the safe. You are too much of a risk babes. Being sexy will work against ya, you know”.
I Suddenly found myself riding Tony & Doug’s Time Tunnel to a few years back when I was out with B, a guy I’d been dating for a few months. A group of us were at a gig and I was chatting away with a friend of a friend, a nice guy whom I’d just met. when suddenly, B pulled me up close to him (very atypically might I add) put his arm very obviously and tightly around my waist and joined the conversation. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I guess it did linger in the back of my mind. It wasnt till lunch with N and his very straight forward comment, that I realised I had been peed on.
Yes, you heard me right, I had been peed on, back at that gig a few years back, I had simply been peed on! I had been marked as territory, I was B’s, The primal mental penis has left the building and was now busy peeing on this fucking Monopoly house! B was simply scared that another guy would get the “Out Of Jail Free Card” and squat in his very own master-bedroom.
The rest of the afternoon with N was spent discussing boy stuff (gadgets, DIY, chicks passing by). I was kind of offended by his earlier comment and quite frankly could not wait to go back home & get into bed with a juicy take-out burger lying by my side.
Months later and I still dont really get this… my mates think I am sexy, funny and smart, yet they are too scared to seriously “pee on me”! I mean, not that I am a fan of golden showers but this is ridiculous.
All my gorgeous and single friends seem to suffer from urine-inducing-malfunction… we are good-looking, smart, funny, have great careers, we are YOUR dream (yes boys, I am talking to you!) and yet, you choose to settle for safe, unthreatening and *yawn…* (long pause whilst author takes 2 hour nap due to acute boredom).
Why should Women’s good looks and charms work against them?! we love shoes, but god knows we don’t want to be the old Women who end up living in them… alone…
Men, sorry to break it to you, there are no insurance policies when it comes to dating or relationships – and believe it or not, I have seen even the biggest fugly “safe” bitches riding off into the sunset, away from their “safe mode” men, and into the arms of the next Eastwood.
So get off those lazy yet unfortunately not so rare ‘B’ Sides of yours and enjoy us, click “like” on us, dare with us, let us be your juicy burger and not some safe boring salad.
And to my gorgeous lady friends (especially to you my fabulous ‘Little L’), those who are also confused by the same double standards set by men who want it safe but dream of it all… I have one thing to say to you ladies: you all hold your own Cinderella Crystal Shoe (which I seriously hope you don’t end up living in) and that, dear fabulous women, is a fact!
Dont beat yourself up over a guy who is so scared of taking a ‘risk’ – so much so that his palms go all sweaty… too sweaty to be able to really hold on to any crystal shoe without it slipping away from his hands…
Now all of you… without further ado, go out there and bite that burger! 😉
Born in Europe and raised on 2 different religions/traditions and in 2 very different countries/mentalities, I always felt most in my element on board a plane going somewhere…
The smell of airplane fuel combined with neroli scented wet-towels never failed to make me high, and ever since I can remember myself I have loved to travel, with every landing already planning my next destination.
According to the Facebook application of Travelbuddy.com I have managed to score a very pathetic 14% of jet-setters world domination… having said that…. my BA Miles think differently.
I have lived in three different countries and visited many. I worked as airline crew which made it cheaper for me as a 20+ year old student to satisfy my globe-trotting needs… much cheaper than it would have been for my fellow students to buy cigarettes or even a beer.
In my career I have worked across all continents travelling to many destinations for business, with my whole life packed in a Samsonite oyster.
I love the world, I love travelling, yet somehow, whenever I am away, I always end up missing Israel. I have a soft spot for this place which will always be a home to me and I am always excited to come back for a visit. That is… until I get to the airport to check-in for my flight.
I assume it’s no secret, Israelis don’t always work too hard to build a good reputation for themselves in the global arena or internally for that matter, and I am not even talking about the “Politics”. However, for the past several months I have been living in Malta, an Island which makes Israel look and feel as trendy and sophisticated as Manhattan. I have no way to describe Malta other than a beautiful yet odd little island, that is utterly provincial and stuck in a time warp… a very dusty, mouldy and humid time warp. An island which made me wonder why I felt such a rush to break free from Canaan.
It wasnt until my recent trip back, that it all made sense…
During the 2.5 hour charter flight to TLV, I was practically beaten up at 3am by an unknown Israeli passenger sitting across the aisle from me. Mr. Seat 12C must have been seriously concerned over my eating habits. So much so, that he felt it was his responsibility to wake me up from the pleasant artificially induced flight-coma I was in to point at my tray and say “Eat!” (“Eat” what I swear was 2 slices of foam with an orange coloured slice of plastic cheese glued in between. Yes, God forbid such airline culinary delight should go to waste). And so, I landed a bit grumpy in the land of all things holly.
However, after having been away for a while, I was determined to “feel the love” and promised myself I was not going to complain. About anything or anyone. Unfortunately, my stamina was short lived and I weakly & officially broke-down in just less than 24 hours thereafter… and this, my dear readers is why:
I was invited for coffee and a good chat by two dear friends I have not seen in ages. Keen to catch up on life, I eagerly booked a taxi for the 10 minute ride from my pad to theirs.
What followed in those 10 minutes was nothing short of a communication-spectacular…. the manifestation of the “in your face”-Israeli came alive in front of my eyes in the shape of a taxi driver.
I usually try to avoid talking to taxi drivers, somehow conversations always lead to them sharing their right-wing political ideas with me and to be honest, I could not be bothered less. But this time… somehow, I managed to get sucked into conversation.
It started innocently, talking about the weather (it was a very rainy night)… and somehow, without me realising, the driver managed to lead the conversation in a very odd direction. Feeling it was too late to retreat I decided to invent the answers to his inappropriate questions whilst waiting in anticipation to reach my destination.
As a person who probably can’t lie to save her life, I was surprised at how natural the lying came to me, I made up a pretend partner who I was debating on whether or not I should settle down with and had this whole relationship story going on… until my fable came back to bite me in the ass.
Taxi Driver: “so how old are you?”
Me: “35” (couldn’t lie there…)
Taxi Driver: “And your partner”
Me: “36” (believable enough!)
Taxi Driver: “Kids?”
Taxi Driver: “So, when are you getting married?”
Me: “He hasn’t popped the question yet”
Taxi Driver: “Well, in that case, a woman your age – you should just get yourself pregnant already, then he wont have a choice… I mean, you don’t use protection or birth control pills I assume – do you?!”
Taxi Driver: “I don’t mean to pry – but a pretty girl like you…you dont have any time to waste at your age…”
Me: (to self: this can’t really be happening!)
We finally reached the final destination, the ten minute drive cost me $15, and it was probably the best therapy I had in a while… it made me realise I love Israel to bits, but I love being away from it. I love Israelis – but I really don’t want to share my version of “The Personal Diaries of a Hyper-Sensitive Ovary” with them, nor with anyone else for that matter. I love their openness, but don’t want to co-write the Vagina Dialogues with a taxi driver… I love their honesty, but I don’t want to be forced to listen to the fact that at 35 years of age my eggs are only as good as the Omelette I can make of them. I want to live my life and enjoy my personal space without feeling like I would rather be at the gynecologist’s clinic having my annual smear test done.
I love you, tiny little country, you are always in my heart… but for the time being it has been decided, I shall continue to admire you from a distance…
A few years ago I had a fling with a brilliantly crazy musician/radio presenter. I arrived at his doorstep one night (Halloween) with my costume still on (Naughty Chamber Maid) and a couple of not so innocent hours later, after the costume was safely resting on the floor he drunkenly told me in the dark, in all earnestness, that he thought I had the grace of Queen Noor of Jordan.
A couple of years later, in a fetish club in Berlin (I was doing some sociological-anthropolgical research), a male friend who joined me, drunkenly told me I had the air of a Madonna-Whore about me.
Needless to say, at this stage I started to wonder whether I should be offended or complimented and over the past few years, on many occasions, I have tried to understand the true meaning behind those drunken slips of the tongue…
It struck me that Women today are stuck in a pseudo-gender-equality mental-limbo. True, we might all be verbally promoting gender equality at the work place. Feminist bra burning in the late 60’s has certainly provided us with the privilege to open our mouths more freely in the search of gender independence, legitimizing our drive to be successful, go into politics, become single-mother households, and challenge many Tarzan-dominated environments.
God knows our mothers and grandmothers fought hard to get us out of the kitchen and put us on Wall St. and in the White House – but have things really changed? when it comes to our passions, libidos and desires – are we really up there – looking men straight in the eye? and if so, are men looking straight back…. into our eyes that is, not our breasts?!
Being a single girl in her 30’s I sometimes wonder where the fine line between right and wrong really lies when it comes to what a woman wants in terms of “Dangerous” liaisons.
Clearly the need for intimacy and physical contact is something that we all desire and experience, and those of us who have passion for life, food and culture, often tend to have a healthy libidal appetite too and thus greater passion for experiences of the flesh, regardless of our gender.
Yet somehow – it’s still not really 100% ok for a girl, is it?!
For men it’s simple; as penetrators – the whole process is rather “external” and thus, it renders Male escapades totally legitimate. Men are not physically invaded which makes it easier to “wash the evidence off” physically, mentally and especially emotionally – the number of partners, the locations, the kinky desires, somehow end up always being perfectly legitimate and in fact tend to be perceived as positive reinforcement of masculinity – married or not, in a relationship or not, straight or bi – somehow, even though it may be frowned upon at times, it appears to be part of the Male gender’s DNA (Hey – we all still love Clinton!), i.e. – at the end of the day we can never truly blame them because “it was dead when they got there”!.
And us girls?! Men seem to want us to be their sweet black panthers, their naughty lovers, their sexy secrets… Men want it all – and at the same time paradoxically want us to still be Virgins.
Men want the purity…. they want to know there were no others before them, they want to be the ‘deflowerer’ of our dirty innocence, they want to be the subject of our desire in experiencing passion, lust and eroticism.
D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover was so ground-breakingly controversial, that it took years for the book to be properly published in the Western world.
The ideas and the language used in the book were a strict social taboo in the early 20th Century due to the Protagonist’s (Constance) realization that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also live with her body.
Although the book can now be found in most book stores (at least in the western world), is the female desire to live with her body truly and fully accepted as legitimate by society rather than rendering her easy/cheap/slut or whore?!
Dear boys, no matter how much marketing “Gender-Equality” gets, it seems you don’t want us to wear bras, not because we are equal – but purely because you want your mates to know your GF has killer tits that don’t need any strappy-support…. it gives you cult male status amongst your gender, or in other words, yes – you still havent quite evolved to a stage of realisation that allows you to accept female desires as equal to male desires without it posing some form of threat to your manhood.
As a growing teenager I was intrigued and fascinated by controversial literature such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Marquis de Sade’s Justine, Nabokov’s Lolita and De Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses, this same curiosity has led me to explore other passions in my life as an adult, such as art, culture, people, music & food – all which have made my life an extremely rich, colourful and exciting mosaic.
And so I can only say this; I am not a Virgin, but I am certainly no Slut either – I am simply a woman who is not ashamed to feel passion and desire and act on it, a woman who probably has bigger balls than most men she knows and is damn proud of it.
*Note – you may NOT use the content of this post as one of the ingredients when making a Cheese Toast sandwich… however tempting it may be….
“He loves me, He loves me not, He just wants to F*** me, He really cares about me….” ….So wonders Madonna as she childishly plucks petals off a flower in her documentary “Madonna: Truth or Dare” whilst attempting to figure out how Warren Beatty feels for her.
One of the petals will always end up being the truth, we never know which petal we will end up with – the question here really is….despite that, do we still dare?”
As we’ve all heard so many times in our lives, from friends, family, taxi drivers, Hallmark office mugs etc…. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Life is the now, it happens whilst we are busy making other plans, and the stock is limited – we only have one of those. Thus – we have to grab it by the balls/breasts (delete as appropriate) and do the best we can to smile, be happy, and love….
Oh LOVE – that amorphic/multimorphic word that we all know so well & yearn for, it makes our head light and our tummy fill with butterflies. It makes our legs feel like jelly and our heart go all mushy. It slaps this mahoosive grin on our face and makes our eyes glow that there is no mistaking – Cupid is awake, he’s had one too many energy bars for breakfast and he is in his PlayPen again doing what he does best.
LOVE, by it’s dictionary definition, can be “a many splendind things”. Yet in no dictionary have I found any reference to what we all, unfortunately, may experience de-facto alongside all the good stuff….
LOVE, which we fear so much sometimes to say out loud that we end up saying all the wrong things… LOVE that sometimes feels so overwhelming it makes us feel so nauseous & knotted or worse yet, scares us to near death…. LOVE that we “love” so much we sometimes hold onto too tightly and forget to let it breath….but worse of all, LOVE …that at one point or another we have all shed a tear over and realised that the heart muscle can go into some serious cramps over too…. just like our legs after a hard uphill run… where we feel we cant even stand upright anymore because every move is just so painful… where just like in sports – some are better equipped at dealing with than others… but no one is 100% immune to.
A very wise friend recently told me a very heart warming anecdote. One that I only really ever saw in the movies (always involving a size 34 super pretty Gal and a pearly teethed Guy with perfect hair and a 6 pack). However, this time it really happened to just a couple of normal regular folk.
The plot itself is quite irrelevant, it does of course involve a He, a She, and in this case a random BA flight that needed to be rescheduled and could not – but the bottom line of it all was that things happen for a reason… that destiny can knock on your door when you least expect it…. and that sometimes when Love lands on your lap – even if you dont yet know it, even if it freaks you out – you just need to be brave, suck it up stop resisting it and just dare…
And it’s not easy, and sometimes its scary, and sometimes – it can hurt like hell – but even with the difficulties and volatility, when the core is right, when its real….the reward is so amazing, it can really take your breath away.
So, my dear Saint Valentine , although Hallmark have probably made you filthy rich by now, I do hope you still stick to your original values, because the bottom line is… that on this 14th of February, I say: “I DARE!”.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
– Dedicated to a special and very wise friend, who told me this He/She/BA little story. A friend who I funnily enough met in a random kinda way. Dear “F” – may Cupid’s arrow find its way to you – be happy!