Tag Archives: rant

A Day in the Life of an Old Pervert.

Old men are often going to chat up younger women; that’s basically a fact of life. As a platinum blonde I tend to get this a lot, especially with men in the 60-70 age bracket who saunter into my work and stare at me. That stare with all it’s greasy connotations is a whole issue in itself and deserves special attention in a separate article, but today I’m going to share with you my experience on Thursday morning.

A bit of background on my job: I work as a retail assistant in a second-hand bookshop. I price stock, alphabetize, read, and have awkward conversations with sweaty customers. This Thursday, a man with grey hair, a startlingly red face and an over-hanging stomach waltzes in. I looked up from my book briefly and said, “Hellohowareyou?” This is known as the standard acknowledge-then-ignore tactic, which I use on all of my customers.

He replies with, “Oh…you know…crap. I’m an artist you see. But more importantly,” he leans on the counter, “how are you?” He stares me directly in the face. One eye twitches nervously.

“Oh yes I’m fine thanks. Just reading.”

“Mm yes. You’re quite cute.”

“…thank you.”

At this point I have to note something important: when you work in customer service you are obliged to be bubbly at all times, even if the customer is getting upset or is making a scene, or if he says something like that. There are other customer’s around and I don’t want to scare them off by swearing and yelling at some guy. He has only complimented me, after all.

“So, what type of artist are you?”

“Guess.” He whips out his iPhone and shows me stifled landscapes and charcoal nudes. I, of course, say that they’re lovely. But then…

“I’ve noticed you because you’ve got really great, short hair so I can see your neck and your big, beautiful eyes. I really like the way you stand and hold yourself.”

“Uhuh…”

He then starts going on and on about how some of the models he’s had have been shaved and how he prefers the “pubic region” shaved because there are beautiful lines and shadows – and all the while I’m standing there nodding wondering what he’s going on about, while hoping that the phone rings or somebody buys a book or SOMETHING!

Finally he asks me if I would model for him. After noting my “small breasts and nice, big hips” he says I would be a perfect model for him.

Now, I need to be honest here, because what are blogs for if not to tell the truth? I genuinely considered it. What was going through my head was, “Oh well you’re applying at schools and universities to do nude modelling and this really is quite similar and cash in hand is always nice although being naked in his house is a bit weird and what if he has a sex dungeon and what if all these past models of his are dead now and maybe you’re being too judgmental here because he might actually be genuine so think about it and stop being so prejudice against men but holy crap I can’t wait to tell the guys about this.”

He gave me his card, told me to contact him and left. I looked up his art online and although his drawings were technically good, they didn’t have any life in them. They were all too stiff. About 15 minutes later he came back, saying he was hanging around the shops waiting for his wife. I immediately thought: “I bet you don’t even have a wife.” He started telling me about his art and how people are asking for commissions and what not, and that when he draws nudes, he needs to take photos for future reference to perfect the piece. Alarm bells ringing yet?

That was the line for me (even though the line should have been crossed ages ago). I wasn’t totally happy with the idea of being arse-naked in this guy’s house, but apparently he’s going to take photos as well? He certainly didn’t tell me that with the first sales pitch. I can’t think of anything worse than having naked pictures of myself floating about this guy’s home. He was bloody pushy too: “So will ya do it?”

Finally I said, “Look: you’ve walked into my shop and straight up asked me to do nude modelling for you and you somehow think I’m not going to be creeped out by that?”

He said, “Well okay fair enough. But if you give me your phone number I can let you know when I’m in town next and we can have a proper chat?”

“No. Look. I’ll text you okay?” And with that, he left.

Only tonight have I managed to work up the courage to tell my parents what happened. They know that I’ve applied to do nude modelling for art classes and have no problem with it, but this is what my dad had to say about this dude:

“Send him a text on my phone. Tell him that you’re not interested, and that he’s not to contact you again. If he tries calling or anything then I’ll speak to him. I’ll tell him that no fucking means no and what does he fucking think he’s playing at, and that I know where he lives, what he does, I know every-fucking-thing about him. And if he tries anything else, I’ll take a fucking baseball bat to him.”

Point taken.

Here’s what I learnt:

1)   No, not all men are rapists or perverts or serial killers. But not all men can be trusted. People can’t be trusted, and I’m far too naïve to constantly try to see the good in people.

2)   There are gems like my dad, who care about me and want to protect me. But I can’t protect myself.

3)   I’m not safe. Although this guy never threatened me – the whole thing is kind of funny actually – there is nothing stopping him from waiting outside my work and following me to my car if he wants to.

4)   I need to be wary of old men who say that you’re cute and ask you to do nude modelling for them.

I just wish I didn’t feel so vulnerable all the time.

I’ll try to end on a lighter note: my dad was telling me that back in London, there was this rubbish-man who had an obsession with mum. He started off quite chatty and pleasant, then got creepy when she started seeing him everywhere, at the park, the bus stop etc. At one point he told her that she was the “sexiest woman in Walington.” Mum felt uneasy and told dad. One day, this bloke was two houses down collecting rubbish, and was walking up the garden path towards their house – note: he didn’t actually know mum lived there. My dad saw him, ran out his front door, jumped over two fences and pinned him against the wall by his throat. I don’t know exactly what he said to him, but mum never saw him lingering around her again.

As I closed their bedroom door I heard this and it made me smile.

Dad: “Am I your hero?”

Mum: “Of course.”

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The Mr. Darcy Syndrome: Where the Fuck is My Night-In-Shining-Armour?

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Oh my! Doesn’t that just make your toes curl? Or rather, doesn’t that make your stomach flip, and – like me – your eyes to roll sarcastically? Okay…that was a lie. I LOVE Pride and Prejudice, but I do think that watching this movie as a love-struck teenager certainly built my expectations of love, intimacy and relationships, a little too high. These expectations only went through the roof after watching Swayze classics like Dirty Dancing and Ghost:

“I love you Molly.”

(Silent, beautiful crying) “…ditto.”

Oh!

Stepping out into a world of hungry men, I was gob-smacked to find that not only were men my age (or older for that matter) not tall dark and handsome *, but they certainly don’t wear billowing white shirts which cling to their muscular chests when they gallantly dive in a pond (because they’re so complex?), nor do they shroud you with compliments and jaw-dropping, romantic words. And hello? Why don’t men keep chocolates and flowers on them at all times?

Because that’s a load of bollocks.

If anything, I’m still disappointed that men don’t tap dance and break out into song a la Gene Kelly (and Swayze), but that is clearly an unrealistic and ridiculous expectation. What I’m not particularly happy with is the awful amount of pressure men have on them, to do or say something romantic and heart-felt…spontaneously, during a sunset, while astride a white horse. The pressure must be immense for young men to woo a girl and say the “right” thing and to not step on any toes. Surely we’re not THAT pedantic? Well…

Since I can remember, every romantic movie I’ve ever watched has had the following conventions:

1)   A couple who start out hating each other, but end up falling madly in love.

2)   The girl must be neurotic, yet mysterious – oh, and look like a sexy librarian.

3)   The guy must be resistant yet goofy, with just the right amount of stubble.

First of all: if you meet someone and you instantly don’t get along with them on first sight, chances are you’re not going to get along with them after that. There have been the odd exceptions, but ultimately why would you bother?

Secondly, women who are neurotic and shy aren’t mysterious at all, considering within the first five minutes of meeting them they’ll end up telling you intimate details of their life, and that’s not endearing but rather embarrassing as hell.

And thirdly: men who are stubborn yet goofy and playful are usually the types of guy to get stroppy if you dare to pay for your own movie ticket, all the while wearing a Pokémon t-shirt.

Sounding romantic yet? Just wait…

With the rise of skewed versions of modern love, men are now demanded to be ancient, irresistible, fucking vampires as well! Apparently it wasn’t cheesy enough in the 80s (or was it the 90s?) to have Tom Cruise stutter out his line, “You…complete…me…” nowadays the leading man has to have a transcendent, cosmic, and (gag) spiritual connection with the leading lady. Dear Twilight: thanks for fucking everything up. Not only does Twilight perpetuate unrealistic fantasies on young teens of love and relationships, but it says to young girls out there that if you so happen to find “the one” make sure you do all you can to change who you are, never see your family or friends again AND attempt suicide if he dumps you. Because that’s…love? All the while one of the main points of conflict in that god-awful series is the fact that he might bonk her to death. Wow that’s so…yeah.

I don’t see why women can’t be romantic as well. How un-feminist of me, right? Well no. Feminism was founded on striving for equality, so why can’t women be romantic too? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing something nice for someone you love, whether that’s baking cupcakes, buying flowers of giving a gobby – the whole point is in the giving.

So yes, Hollywood might have messed up my perceptions and expectations of love, but to be honest, I much prefer the reality to the fantasy.

ALSO – If you’re in the mood for a realistic romantic movie that’s very un-Hollywood, check out Weekend. Brilliant film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714210/

*Boyfriend is the exception.

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Not Hearing the Pitter-Patter of Tiny Feet.

Don’t get me wrong; I love kids! They’re cute and pudgy and have darling-little-teacup-faces, but frankly, I don’t want any.

Firstly: I don’t understand why we’ve supposedly made leaps and bounds with our stretch for equality, yet women are still expected to have children. Apparently: one day – in my late 20s – a ‘motherly instinct’ will kick in and I will be in a dashing need for a child. I will stop whatever career changes and advancements I have made, and will insist upon popping out a little mini-me. I honestly don’t see this happening…

Babies are lovely, and can often bring lots of joy. On the other hand, they’re gross. They require 24-hour attention and every waking moment of your life has to be dedicated to your child. Your independent life as you know it is over. It’s not the sleepless nights or the nappy changes that bother me; it’s the knowledge that everything I have achieved up to that point will either cease to exist or slow down. I have a niece – she’s just turned one and is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. She makes me laugh and generates a loving, gooey feeling inside me; then again, I can only listen to The Wheels On The Bus so many times before I get an aneurism. At one point while playing with her, I wanted to sit down and relax for a moment, but when you have children those precious moments vanish right out the door. Along with your sanity. Continue reading

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Vegetarianism For The Lonely.

Last year around November, I was trolling through Collins bookstore in search of something decent and enriching to read. I had exhausted the fiction section, and casually wandered over to the non-fiction section, where I spotted a familiar name: Jonathon Safran Foer. The book I picked up was Eating Animals, and I wasn’t to know at this point, that this book would change my lifestyle completely. In short: the book is simply about where meat comes from or more specifically the facts about factory farming. It isn’t harsh, it doesn’t harass the reader nor does it make the reader feel guilty – it’s just the facts. What made me decide to buy this book, was a review on the back from South African author, J. M. Coetzee: “The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly…that anyone who, after reading Foer’s book, continues to consume the industry’s products must be without heart, or impervious to reason, or both.”

I saw this as a challenge, so the next day I went to my favourite café, bought an expensive pot chamomile tea, curled up on an old sofa and opened the first page. I cannot begin to describe to you the horrifying imagery that burst from the pages. I found myself at times completely consumed by the book, and at others times I had to put the book down. Foer had managed to gain first-hand experience in a factory farm, and the facts are astonishing. At times the book made me feel physically ill, and it was beginning to very quickly convince me to stop eating meat forever. One particular statement however, changed my mindset entirely: “Let’s describe the reality: that piece of meat came from an animal who, at best – and it’s precious few who get away with only this – was burned, mutilated, and killed for the sake of a few minutes of human pleasure. Does the pleasure justify the means?” Well, does it? For me, absolutely not. Continue reading

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