The Dating Game


*Sigh* what a crazy conundrum the world of perpetual first dates must be, a virtual nightmare, based more on style than substance.

I am left wondering as I read about the newest form of dating via the internet, the Tinder app, how people actually ever get into a real relationship these days, especially as there seems to be an endless list of dos and don’ts as far as ‘dating’ goes.

Don’t look as though you are being too forward or desperate, don’t dress too casual or too provocative, don’t say that, don’t be too friendly or familiar, don’t open the door for a woman, don’t smile too much, don’t drink too much, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Some dos and don’ts might make sense, but some, it’s a little anal retentive!  

I actually question whether dating even exists anymore anyway, as I don’t actually consider a drink with a stranger as a date, a string of intrusive and often rude questions as a date, divvying up the bill and quarrelling over who pays as a date.

My idea of Hell (well, one of my ideas of Hell in any case); stuck in a room full of strange people who obviously are surveying and rating or berating the flesh before them, making judgements and snide comments and either thinking solely with their crotch or their hearts like lovesick teens. Yuck!

I know people are just too busy to be people any more, too busy to interact and communicate and just be real instead of virtual, but come on, seriously? Another online dating thingy majig, another one to add to the hundreds, no, thousands already in cyberspace?!

Where has reality gone?

Where have all the real people gone?

Where has the real deal communication and interpersonal skills gone? Those skills everyone always claim to possess on a CV, but can’t produce as the goods in the real world!

Why is everything so virtual, scripted and has never ending sets of ridiculous rules attached?

I like you, you like me, great lets go for coffee, lunch, dinner, a walk in the park? How difficult is that? Just approach someone, just be genuine and interested and approach a person and speak!

No, now that would be too easy!

What is wrong with a simple approach and then just going with the flow thereafter?

Is it the fact we are now a society and culture that is so manipulated, and dominated by our hard-wired discrimination, and die-hard consumerism that we always have to have an agenda, a list of what must be? If a person falls short of our list of ‘must haves’ we are disappointed, devastated and turned off immediately. After all we deserve nothing short of perfect, even if we ourselves, by the very nature of humanity, are severely lacking in perfection. Yet, our other half must be perfection personified.  

We have to have the Stepford woman or man on our arm, because the person who farts, or speaks out of line or doesn’t wax their bits and bobs or won’t have sex on the 1st date or insists on being, well, anything we frown upon in this golden age of liberation (for both sexes), just isn’t good enough for our exacting standards and our little wonderful life plan. A life plan by the way, which will never come to fruition, especially if we insist on setting ourselves unrealistic and unobtainable goals, just like obtaining the perfect woman or man.

Now, I admit I’m not au fait with the dating scene. I am therefore no doubt naïve to all of this new-fangled approach to dating, but this means I have no qualms in seeing it all as being ridiculous and OTT.

I can’t help but pick holes with these new methods of dating and these rules of attack or engagement, or whatever! Frankly, I wouldn’t put up with the shit that the dating scene apparently requires its participants to go through to secure a date. I would actually rather pay for a date, literally, then sell myself short and pretend to be, well, whatever someone else wanted me to be! Sod that!

For me there is no fun in fake; telling lies to suit others ears just doesn’t turn me on. Such lies (pretending to always be some polished débutante and polite wonder goddess) would only just stack up trouble for any possible future with that ‘date’.  Why can’t we just go out and date and be ourselves. Say; “I am me and proud of it, and anyone who has a problem with that can just walk back out of the door they just came through, I won’t lose sleep”!

Don’t get me wrong, I can be the compromise queen and I accept flaws – relationships are give and take, it can’t all be one-sided ‘what will you do for me’ crap and nonsense. However, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice so much of me just to get a man that I am no longer me. What is the point in that?

If that is what you have to do to date, and be successful on the new dating scene then I would be single, though I hate that word. Single denotes somehow an air of not enough, dissatisfaction as though you need another person to be whole and validated. What utter *insert rude word here*.  

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is this; when did dating and all of this stuff become so complicated??? Who changed the ‘rules’ and why? What can anyone gain from feeling as though they are about to play a game of war, rather than have a connected, social human interaction, which should be interesting and fun?

I just want to ask one more thing; if you are currently dating, please try and date in the real world first (at least). You never know, it might actually be more fulfilling and worthwhile than sitting on a computer for hours completing silly, and irrelevant on-line compatibility questionnaires about how you take your coffee, ‘black or with milk’ – who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!        

    

Associated articles:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/28/feminist-dating-emma-jane-unsworth

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/23/tinder-shallowest-dating-app-ever

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/finding-cloud9/201305/10-dating-dos-and-donts-6-therapists

https://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/first-date-advice-12-dos-donts-every-girl-224100905.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/10262728/Dating-dos-and-donts-of-the-pick-up.html

 

 

Are We Born Equal?


Equality – what is it and do we have it?

In my opinion equality is the state of being equal; equal in status, rights, and opportunities.

Therefore I now ask, are we born equal?

My answer is a resounding no, we are not.

Why not, well; what are the significant factors relating to how we view or obtain equality? How do we decide whether there is a lack of equality in life and understand why it is lacking?

Money, background, status and connections are often what matters most and contributes to making you equal or unequal in life. These things, or lack of them, are often why we are treated as we are treated, differently.

This hegemony upon equality begets a dangerous attitude, because it makes any country stagnant. Therefore how can this promote equality?

Equality could after all be freedom. It could change everything.

Yet, in most countries it is almost as though to to be granted the key to equality, you have to suffer from cloned genes syndrome! Let me explain; it is same old type of person, and, actually the same old type of gene pool being rewarded with equality because of who they are, their background and so on (‘the old boys network’).

I therefore ask; how can anything change in the world of equality???

How can equality be granted to all when it is the same type of people who are always gaining power, and are always in charge of the world (and therefore decide who receives equality)?

These gatekeepers of equality have far too much to lose to actually want to change a thing, and make the world more equality driven.

I therefore feel nothing has really changed; it might as well still be like it was centuries ago when only the landed gentry had suffrage, as they are the ones who are really still in charge! They are the ones who can only really achieve equality in their life.

Anyway, I digress!!!

Other points to consider in the born equal argument is the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to grow up in a nurturing environment. Couple that with impoverished living, abusive families, or criminal homes, and the odds for equality diminish against a child born into a nurturing, healthy, high-income, loving family in a nice neighbourhood.

If you travel around the world this is inequality is magnified.

Other countries do not have advantages equal to those we take for granted. Our standard of living does not apply to every child born across the world, therefore, equality means nothing.

Equality is fundamentally flawed. We are not born equal and we do not have equal chances to succeed in life either.

What do ‘equal chances’ have to do with equality or success anyway?

Well, I’m not sure it has anything to do with it! We are not all created equal in our ability to achieve success, and therefore taking advantage of equal chances is not always possible. Every person has a unique set of strengths, which can aid in achieving the success they desire. Conversely, each person also has their own unique set of challenges that inhibit them in achieving such success. Therefore, equality has nothing to do with success or lack of it, and equal chances are random things!

I know I am being hard upon equal chance, but by its very definition it is odd.

Chance depends on many factors, which are often out of our hands to control, hence the chance. It is not certain. Therefore equal chances can be partially based upon, or rely upon, the equality of ideals and ideas that people hold about others and about life and so on. This is when equal chance often falls down. Consider the dreaded ethos of ‘not what you know, but who you know in life’ which helps propel you to succeed (I have covered this topic before)!!! Where are the equal chances then??

This ‘who you know vs what you know’ is the inequality of status and of chance. This very notion causes people to become unequal – one person uses their good fortune,equality and chance to help another they can affiliate with (someone who is similar to them in every-way). Therefore, in essence, they are ring-fencing the chance, equality and good fortune of success to the chosen few.

What then can change? Are there any options to make equality apply to everyone?

Perhaps ‘positive discrimination’?

God no! Positive discrimination is akin to ‘pity’ equality. Look at all female quotas (adopted in political elections and so on), which didn’t last and were not sustainable. These were actually a form of discrimination in my view; positive, well for me that is debatable especially as positive discrimination, per se is an oxymoron. If we need such things then obviously discrimination, and the reasons for it have not been addressed or fixed.

I think we need to look far deeper to address the born equal or equality in life, or equal chance myth.

For me we propose and declare equality to try and ease our own disconcerting feelings. Telling people everyone is born equal allows for there to be no need to address inequalities in life. If you deny inequality then you don’t accept people are unequal. Therefore, conveniently it is a persons own fault if they are not equal, and that has nothing to do with the fact they live in a floundering and discriminating society.

 

Individual responsibility – become equal and on your own terms. Yeah, in a society that blatantly makes that an impossible feat, good luck – catch 22 or what!

Equality is a nice theory, but it would be even nicer in practice (when it finally occurs in the world).

Until then, let us not fool ourselves – we are not born equal.

 

Once The Money Has Gone, Does The Love Run Out?


Yesterday I was talking to an old friend of mine, who was retelling how bad things have been recently for her. She has been somewhat distraught of late. Her financial situation has altered dramatically, causing her confusion and uncertainty, but the worst blow and most unexpected was the fact that the people she thought were her closet friends, weren’t.

Let me explain; my friend has always had money. She came from money and went on to have a good job, with money, and she had a good life, and a social life that comes with having such money. Now though, things aren’t what they were for my friend. In fact, her financial circumstances have been severely reduced, and now all she can share with her friends is friendship. 

Which is fine for me as her oldest friend, always has been. My old friend may have been wealthy, but that was not something I considered a relevant factor in our friendship. I always saw her as a kind, considerate and loving individual, who would help anyone and never think of being repaid for it. She is and always was a true friend. 

But, with her cash flow now disappeared, these ‘true friends’ have also. The ‘true friends’ who shared in her wealthy lifestyle, the ‘true friends’ who my oldest friend never before had to doubt or question, not until now. Now she can only give of herself and not of her wallet, these ‘true friends’ have gone. Her friendship was not what they wanted. 

So, the money has gone, and with it, for my friend, it seems that the love of friendship has gone also.

I therefore am left asking; is love, genuine love, so undervalued between people? Is all that glitters gold?

I am left wondering; is money the only thing worth sharing with others?

Money is the most materialistic base we can measure one another upon, I mean there are many others aren’t there, but money is for most people THE most important factor to measure people upon. Especially when it comes to relationships.

What do we value most in our relationships – is it what we do for others or what they do for us? How do we set up the parameters within our relationships – is it selfish or selfless? How do we decide what we will accept, demand, want, desire and need between ourselves – our expectations and no one else’s?

We all know the story, glamorous and beautiful young women dating a shrivelled up old man. The woman does this for LOVE?? Or does she do it because she likes the old man’s personality?? No, its for her DESIRE of that man. Or, is it merely for materialistic reasons, because that old man has MONEY?!

We sell ourself for cash everyday in every way, so why would selling love or friendship or interest or whatever else be any different, it isn’t. So, it isn’t a surprise to know there are people in the world who view money or materialism as the most important factor in their life. Although it is quite sad. 

Whether we are men & women, children & parents, families & friends, money or materialism makes our worlds rotate, balance evenly and keep afloat.

More specifically, relationships are bonds set up with or based upon what we can give to one another; incentives to make people love us, to please and appease.

Parents want their children to get good grades, succeed at football or play the flute, get good jobs and marry well. They are then proud to love their kids.

Children want a new bike, computer, iPhone, that holiday in Florida, their friends over for tea, the latest designer shoes. Then they tell you they love you. 

 

Partners want a bigger car, a house on a new estate, a holiday in the sun, they need promotions and relocations to here there and everywhere. Then they profess to love one another.

Friends want to go out, prosper, buy things they don’t need, drink, socialise have fun, forget themselves in some exotic far flung location and be young and fabulous on a beach with people they will never see again. Then they say they are friends. 

Relationships are materialistic in one way or another. 

 

So I suppose my main point, the point I have diverged a little from, is just this; can there be such a thing as unconditional love in these times of the mass materialism of relationships?

Is love, the real, undying, profound and all consuming variety a lie told to us as children, fresh from some fairy-tale or another?

I hope not, well, in fact I know it is not. I know love, and feel sorry for those who actually prefer materialism in its stead.  

Because, when the money or the materialism of relationships has gone, what else is left?? Maybe it is that dying concept formerly known as love!!! Yes, it is and who knew!!!! Without love the world is an empty place to be.

But, after all I have written here I won’t despair because of the lack of love in the world, and between people, well, not quite yet. I will keep hoping we don’t all become so mercenary that we choose to seek materialism over love. I will keep hoping we don’t become so blind and heartless that we close ourselves to the prospect of real love in all its forms. I will keep hoping we never forget that love is rarer and more precious than any booming bank account, any far flung holiday, any round of drinks in a posh hotel, any new car, any good grades, any fantastic job and wardrobe of designer clothes.  

Life’s Little Vultures


There are people out there who seem to thrive on wishing harm upon and doing harm to others. These people go out of their way to injure others, just because it lightens up their otherwise dull non-existence. 

I call these people life’s little vultures (little being the operative word; small things please small minds). 

Vultures seem to only ever want the worst for you, and for no other reason other than the fact you are you. They may hide behind their friendly smiles and an avid interest in you and your life, but in reality these people are your enemies; predators posing as house pets.

These people come in all shapes and sizes, or designations. Some are family members, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, and heaven forbid, your partner. 

Now, some might say these people are social psychopaths, but I disagree, and that makes their behaviour even more unforgivable.

They know full well what they are doing is wrong. They choose to act as they do, it is not merely their nature or nurture to blame. They know they are hurting others, but they enjoy hurting others just to see the effect and outcome their hate filled spite, and insidious jealousy will have. Yet, if the shoe was on their foot, they wouldn’t like it at all.

There is often no rhyme or reason for why they choose their victims, but as I have mentioned in various other posts, 99.9% of the time it is because they are jealous. Jealousy is the biggest compliment anyone can pay you (I’ve written about this before too), but it can also do significant damage.

The damage, is what these vultures want, like hungry wolves baying for blood.

I have experienced such people throughout my life, as I am sure you all have too. As I have grown older though, I have very little time for such fake and phony vultures, and usually can spot them a mile off. There is something about these type of people that just always remains visible. Regardless of how well they wear their friendly disguise, their mask does slip, if you know what to look for.

I have worked with, met and been friends with many, many people from all over the world. In that, perhaps I have more people experience than some, and this experience has taught me to watch myself, and keep my guard up whenever I meet someone new. Luckily, there are more nice people in the world, well, in my world (thankfully), than baddies. But, whenever I do encounter one of these baddies, one of these vultures, they are usually akin to The Wicked Witch of the East (that is the men and the women)! They are real deal nasty pieces of work, but nevertheless, something about their aura, essence, body language and eyes betrays them every time.

My most recent encounter with a vulture came in the guise of a young woman from the UK. We met via a meet-up group. Immediately I sensed she didn’t like me, which was inexplicable as we hadn’t even got passed the ‘hello, I’m…’ stage, but I knew. Her vibe was off.

Of course I ignored it, as after all it was a meet-up group, and I didn’t necessarily need to be bosom buddies with any one I met through such a group. So, the weeks progressed and I attended more of the same meet-ups this young woman was also at, and by the by she let her mask slip ever more. Unfortunately, I was her target, that was certainly made clear!

However, I didn’t lament as I am big enough, and bad enough to handle any would be vultures. I quickly and eloquently redirected her sharp little digs and of course, remained as pleasant as ever killing her with kindness. This really flummoxed her. I suppose she thought I’d be offended, crumble or avoid her, but, no, I continued to enjoy the meet-up groups, get along with everyone present, be involved with conversations and of course, enjoy laughing with others.

So, what was her problem?

 

Well, she wasn’t comfortable socially. She had claimed to be X and Y, and to have travelled and so on and so on, but this was all a lie. A lie I had caught her out on, on more than one occasion (not on purpose, may I add). Her obvious awkward actions and behaviour just gave her away as a fraud, none of what she said added up. She was not what she claimed to be. She lied to fit in, but I didn’t buy her lies.

Now I’m the sort of person who couldn’t care a less whether you are The Queen of Sheba or haven’t got a pot to pee in, so long as you are a nice person and don’t try to harm me or mine, but this young woman thought she could do just that. She was wrong; you bite me, and I bite back!!

Did she get the message?

Loud and clear! She now avoids me. Whenever I see her she ensures she sits as far away from me as possible, oh, such a shame! She keeps her head lowered and her voice also. Don’t get me wrong, we are polite enough to one another, ‘Hello, how are you?’ but that is as far as it goes. And that for me, is far enough!

Is there a moral to the tale?

Yes, don’t let any vulture fly about and peck at your head, clip its wings with a rather large and sharp pair of scissors! It works a treat every time!    

 

 

 

           

Enquiring Minds


I have some questions I want the answers to, in fact, I am demanding the answers to them!!!!

I am standing up and shouting; GIVE US THE ANSWERS!!!!!!

Some might suggest that answers won’t make any of us happier; well funnily enough I disagree! I want answers because I like reasons for things. I don’t wish to merely accept anything, not without a reason.

Surely we all deserve the answers to the questions that plague us about our lives? I mean, who are we if not the ones in charge of our lives, right?? Or, you would think we are the ones in charge in any case wouldn’t you?

So, all I want is to be enlightened, PLEASE, enlighten me!!

I am left wondering, have any of you out there ever asked why is it we just have to accept things in life? 

Might sound a tad on the depressing side, but sometimes it seems life is not on our side. Why? We don’t always know! AND we should!

So, I ask, and no doubt naively;

Why should we always have to smile in the face of adversity?

Why is it we are told things happen for a reason?

Why can’t we call the shots in our own lives?

Why is it that things are out of our hands?

Why are we at the mercy of others?

Why must it be a rough ride?

Why doesn’t happiness last?

Why must we keep hoping?

Why do black clouds follow all the time?

Why do we end up with the poop end of the stick?

Why must everything turn sour?

We are told we have to fight, to keep smiling, to keep our heads held up high, but what happens when you run out of strength? Fighting sucks, especially when all you want to do is just live a peaceful life!!

So, what are the answers?? Are there any??? Can any answers actually help us???

 

I wonder; if we can’t have the answers we need then where do our dreams, hopes and plans go to? What happens to them in the end? Do they merely dissolve? Is that something else we all have to just accept?!  

Perhaps, none of us have the skills we need to really bring anything in our life to its full realised potential, to fruition. Are we all destined to be blind fools veering from one misery to another?? Is that our fate???

I want answers.

I for one don’t feel OK with just living and not knowing WHY! When things happen, why do they happen and why can’t we know why? Where is it written that we should just lie back and accept and smile and pretend everything is going to be OK?

Has any one out there got any answers??

Enquiring minds want to know!! 

How Can We Teach British Values In School If We Are Afraid To Assert Them Ourselves?


Thanking Semi-Partisan Sam for this eloquent post, which I feel is highly relevant at the moment. What are British Values? It seems British people are uncertain, well, I for one know what my values are as a Welsh/British person! I would prefer to ask though, why are people so ashamed to be British? Why is embracing the history, culture and modernity of Britain seen as a joke or a racist thing to do? From what I can see most people view Britain as the place to be. Living in Madrid, I actually see more British flags adorning everything from phone cases to handbags than I do when I’m back in Britain! Britain has its issues, that is true, but then so too does every other country. For me, if you live in a country, you should have some pride for it, otherwise why live there!

Semi-Partisan Politics

British Values Twitter 3

Just what are British Values?

Well, apparently the concept is sufficiently fuzzy in the minds of some people that we all now need to take time to argue amongst ourselves and reach a common consensus while one of the biggest and most worrying educational scandals in recent years plays out unobserved.

In response to the ongoing scandal of Birmingham schools being compromised by activist governors to deliver covert Islamic religious teaching, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, made the slightly awkward if well-meant assertion that in future, all primary and secondary schools will be required to “promote British values”.

The Guardian reports:

Michael Gove, the education secretary, has seized on a finding byOfsted that a “culture of fear and intimidation” existed in someBirmingham schools by announcing that the government will require all 20,000 primary and secondary schools to “promote British values”.

These values will include the primacy of British civil and criminal law, religious tolerance…

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Council Tax! Wheres Your Money Going?


I want to thank Robin Hood Revival for posting this, and asking the question that I feel needs to be raised before the next General Election. It is a frustrating fact that Council Tax only ever increases, and have often wondered whether it would be fairer to only pay for the services we actually access. In my experience, the services my Council Tax support are substandard; the North Wales Police-force being one of them. What is especially annoying to me is that I continue to pay Council Tax for a house I no longer live in, in a country I no longer work for!!! I can’t receive a rebate, well, six months and that is it! Even though the house is now a rental property, as it is a void period in the tenancy, I still pay it! I am exempt from claiming benefits in the UK, accessing National Health provision, but still I have to pay my council tax!!! The UK is a country that grabs its law abiding citizens around the throat and squeezes very hard, unfortunately I am not savvy with how I can bend the rules and get something for nothing, if I could, I would no doubt thrive. Seems to me the more honest you are as a citizen in the UK, the more you are penalised, and of course, pick up the ‘tab’ for everyone else who doesn’t pay a penny into the pot! It infuriates me.

Robin Hood Revival

Why the Banks of course. Now you know why the Banker’s wear that expression, a smile.

£850,000,000,000: the official cost of bank bailout.

We have been asking that question for sometime now at RH.

  • It’s a fact  that council tax rises every year.
  • The pace of accelerating council tax rises have slowed under this government, however they continue to rise.
  • Tens of thousands of flats and houses are built every year.
  • The UK population increase has  gone off the Richter scale in the  last twenty years, it’s not surprising.
  • You have a continually increasing population, and continually increasing accommodation.
  • You can therefore assume that local councils continue to increase their revenues, council taxes.
  • Councils now have continually increasing revenues as more and more residents are paying council tax.
  • Why then are councils cutting services year after year to their tax payers? Stating lack of funds.

LGA press release 12 May…

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