Be My Valentine?

I feel a pang of disappointment every Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a boyfriend and I don’t have a secret admirer (although I’m open to the latter), so it baffles me that I have any expectations in the first place.

Am I expecting a Barbour Shop Quartet outside my room doing a mash up of Love Story and More Than Words? Or the delivery of an enormous teddy bear? It’s bizarre and implausible with neither pre-game nor any previous success. Although, in grade 10, I was sent NINE roses. I’m just sayin’. I can’t help it that I’m popular.

Valentine’s Day is really not something to get worked up about. Being alone and drunk on the 14th is much more exciting than following a trail of rose petals (that shrivel up into brown mush and require picking up the next day after their 3-second aesthetic appeal) that leads to (an impractically sized) teddy bear (that doesn’t fit in your room) and heart-shaped chocolates (that usually have some gross coconut gloop on the inside) (I’m not bitter).

If, however, you’re still a little sad about being single, then this is the blog post for you. This is for those of you who don’t have plans for today and seek the advice of someone wise and experienced in the world of romance. We’ll call it a set of guidelines because, if internalised efficiently, this could lead to you having plans next year.

  1. Mark your territory

The key to the metaphorical lock of your love interest’s heart can be found in public displays of your adoration, even if you’re not officially together.

Ladies, listen up: boys really like it when you force them to take selfies with you and they’re thrilled by heart-infested captions.

You need to remember: love can only be accurately displayed if it’s accompanied with hearts, stars and the word “bae”.

Just don’t forget the hearts. The red ones. Not the green or purple. Definitely not the yellow. This is important.

Statuses on public forums proclaiming your love are the most effective way of proving yourself and are a foolproof way to keep your man loyal. Not only do his friends get to share in your happiness, but also the man-hunting home-wreckers out there! You need to mark your territory. So, guuurl, you pee on the tree that is your love.

  1. Photoshop your love into existence

If you find that your man is somewhat resistant to your affection, you need to photoshop your way into his life. Take pictures of him and his ex (or even his current girlfriend), preferably one in which they’re holding hands or looking intimate, and literally place your face on top of hers. There’s a twofold effect here: 1. You literally cover her up 2. You metaphorically erase her from his life. There’s also a great website called babymaker.com where you submit photos of you and your partner, and they merge them to make a creepy-looking baby. They even dress your lil rascal in a bandana. I would suggest printing a few copies and giving them to him, as a subtle but poignant display of your potential.

Zac Efron-20120910-217
I love you, Bae <3
  1. Develop a personal relationship with his mother

The only person that will never be quite as obsessed with a boy as you, is his mother. Don’t see her as a threat – you know what they say about enemies. You need to befriend his mother and talk to her on a regular basis. You have a mutual interest and believe me – she enjoys talking about her little boy as much as you do. Use her to get information about ex’s, to get yourself in her good books and most importantly, to find out about any hereditary stuff that may not be visible in your bae yet. Next thing you know, your kid has a receding hairline and your love dwindles from resentment. That would be a serious waste of spadework and a downright shame.

  1. Celebrate non-official anniversaries (and get angry when they don’t remember them)

The secret to life: boys love surprises. The secret to relationships: boys love making a landmark of everything you do together. So, the surest way to secure a man? Surprise them regularly with events. For instance, every so often, buy them a “happy 4 days and 12 minutes” card. Or buy him a “the first time I made you pancakes” choccie. But never lose sight of the fact that you’re an independent women, so when they forget your Panniversary, you need to get angry and cry. On that note, don’t forget that boys really like it when you cry because it shows that you’re an emotional creature – they find solace in being able to talk reason into you. Spring a sob onto him whenever you’re feeling like he’s losing interest. Then call his mom and talk about how he made you feel. She will hopefully crap on him on your behalf also.

With all this said, I can’t imagine I need to go on. After just those four pearls of wisdom, you’re probably already batting the fellas off by the busload. If not, keep trying and crying and always, always take a selfie when you’re finished. Good luck for next Valentine’s Day – you’re in good steed. And if it doesn’t work out, remember: at least you’re not dating Oscar.

Chivalry is Dead (YAY!)

The phrase “chivalry is dead” should be as matter of fact as “people eat to survive”. Instead, it’s spoken with a sigh, a shrug, a similarly dismayed tone to how someone might say: “my hamster is dead”.

Why do people say this as if it’s a bad thing, and not a natural product of gender equality and mutual respect? Of course chivalry is dead – it’s 2015! “Chivalry” is the medieval knightly system that governs the actions of a knight by a religious, moral and social code specifically relating to how he treats a woman. Chivalry is dead because the era it belonged to is dead, too.

Obviously, I’m not under the misguided impression that people are referencing the knightly connotations when they use the phrase. If they were talking about a decline in manners, maybe, or a loss of respect within society then I would have no problem. But “chivalry” is not synonymous to “manners”, because manners are admirable in everyone, not just in men, and manners are not limited by the medieval outline of what it means to respect someone.

Someone shared a photo the other day that read: “Real men still open doors and real women still make sandwiches”. Woah, woah, woah, Denise. Really? “Real” men? All I can think about when I read this is Pinocchio dancing around chirping: “I’m a real boy!” To be fair, I’ve never met a fake man so I’m no expert as to whether this is an accurate description of the real ones, but this reductive, one-sided hogwash needs to stop.

I’m not saying don’t open doors for people. I’m not saying don’t offer someone a coat if they’re cold. I’m not saying host a lunch party and make the guests make their own sandwiches. Too many people have said to me that they don’t believe in feminism and it’s because they don’t understand it. Feminism and equality is not about treating women well, it’s about treating everyone well. Because women and men are equal.

Just because it has a “fem” in it doesn’t mean it isn’t something everyone should be.

Do things for someone you respect or wish to show affection towards, not “because they’re a woman” or as a way of confirming your masculinity. Being a “real man” should be characterised by your treatment of everyone, not just women and certainly not in exchange for a toasted cheese.

It’s this idea that “that’s just the way it is”, that lacks explanation or reasoning, that causes people to say things like: “chivalry is dead”. Let’s say good riddance to “chivalry” and adopt a notion of mutual respect.

My mom has been telling my brother since the day he worked out how to argue that: “You can’t hit girls”. Boys I speak to about it say they wouldn’t even hit a girl if she hit him first, or if she wanted to fight. I was talking to my brother about it today to work out exactly what that phrase means. Unfortunately, and I think this is the case with a lot of people, the answer to “Why can’t you hit girls?” isn’t “because that’s abusive”, “because violence is never the answer” or even “because assault is illegal”, but rather:

“because they’re girls, Meg. You can’t hit girls”.

You know what – if the only way to stop a man from hitting a woman is to claim it’s an unwritten rule that needs neither explanation nor intention, then write it in stone because obviously it’s unacceptable behaviour. I’d just prefer it if men weren’t hitting women because it’s wrong, not because it’s the rule.

A few basics: Hitting people is wrong. You can’t hit girls. And you can’t hit boys either. And you can’t hit dogs and you can’t hit yourself. Because violence is an insufficient way of dealing with your problems. Self-defence, of course, is an exception and not what I’m talking about today. Violence should be avoided wherever possible.

This goes out to everyone:

Don’t do things because it’s “the rule” when engaging with women. Do them because you understand why that “rule” is there. Real people respect one another. Real people don’t hit one another. Don’t be a real man, or a real woman, and don’t mourn the death of chivalry. Embrace feminism and promote the end of actions justified by gender. Be a real person.

I Love My Laundry

Have you ever felt immobilized by your craving for a glass of wine? Or a cup of good coffee? But you feel like you couldn’t possibly, because you have so much laundry to do? And, because of the nature of your highly demanding laundry schedule, don’t have time to enjoy the finer things in life, like some art? And are you so distracted by this combination of desires due to a subtle craving for some Dim Sum? No? Never? Neither had I, until I became aware of the existence of “I Love My Laundry”.

Continue reading I Love My Laundry

Date Night

I’ve not been on a date since I was 16, where it hardly counted because my chronic fear of boys left me mute for the evening. I also had braces. It’s possible that this dry-spell is because I wake up 10 minutes before I need to be somewhere and only wear make-up when it’s strictly necessary. But I think (… I hope) there must be more to it. Nowadays, especially amongst young adults, it’s very rare that people go on dates if they’re not in a relationship (when, of course, it stops counting as the kind of date I’m talking about). I blame modern society and specifically: Online Dating, the “Hook Up” Culture and Relationship-o-phobia.

Continue reading Date Night

The Bucket Ultimatum

Has your conscience got you down? Do you feel like you should be donating to charity? Have you been wondering if there is an alternative to doing such? Well, has social media got the solution for you! If you don’t want to donate to charity, all you need to do is dump a bucket of ice water on your head and you’re off the hook. It’s THAT EASY. One more time: The choice is yours – donate or be drenched. Terms and conditions apply. Continue reading The Bucket Ultimatum

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