Kindred spirits

When most people declare a new friend a kindred spirit they mean they’re the kind of people they could go to weird glittery festivals with, and whilst I’m sure I could drag my new friends to glittery festivals, thats not quite what I mean.

If the title of this blog, and my multiple rants, haven’t yet tipped you off I’m a sarcastic, bitchy student, who’s too poor and too fed up with life to properly express any form of optimism, or hope, or positivity. At least not on the internet. And I’ll tell you what, these people are my people. Biting. Sarcastic. Funny. Sweet. Brilliant.

Kindred spirits. Lets hope they stay that way.

Be kind to each other, make friends, find kindred spirits,

Yours

TheSarcastic Blogger.

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On the topic of toxic masculinity

Toxic masculinity. If you talk to any of my friends they’ll tell you its something that gets me going. I might be a sarcastic bitch, but I’m also very empathetic, a little bit glitter obsessed, fond of fruity drinks, a lover of poetry, children and animals, and more than capable of laying down a verbal smackdown on anyone who suggests boys can’t be all those thing too; its something I pride myself on. My ability to own my own femininity and my own emotions, and to show kindness to others is something I’m proud of, and to think that men are prevented and shunned for presenting or having or enjoying any of those supposedly feminine traits/things is not only extremely disrespectful, it is frankly ridiculous. And here’s some facts to prove I’m right:

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. Fact.

Suicide is indeed the biggest killer in men under 50 in this country, wanna know why?…

Men are less likely to seek mental health treatment than women. Fact.

Yet another fact. Likely stemming from the emasculation associated with mental health care and the general and well established belief (perpetuated by pop culture and arseholes) that having emotions, feelings, issues and being neurologically atypical is some how inherently feminine, or at least not masculine. I imagine this issue is exacerbated by the fact that men have been shown to be less likely to seek medical attention generally than women. Don’t believe me? When was the last time your dad/ brother/ grandpa/uncle/ male friend went to the doctors? Even when he knew he was sick? Exactly. Still don’t believe me? Hit up google. It’s the truth.

Now this is probably the time to stress that I am not discussing masculinity in the sense of ones own masculine traits or indeed in any form of personal expression, or how someone feels etc. I’m talking about masculinity in the sense of societally encouraged, constructed and reinforced ideals that mandate the way in which people are allowed to behave and/or express their own gender. Onto more facts:

Men are encouraged to present a multitude of emotions through violence from a young age as a way to assert their own masculinity, thus reinforcing ideas of men as violent abusers. Fact.

Again, if you don’t believe me hit up google, you can read about it. The notion that men are naturally violent or more likely to be abusers is founded in the way we teach boys to express themselves, through anger. I’d go into more detail about it but I don’t know enough to comment with conviction, so take my word and read into it yourself if you want to know more.

Male victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, are not only less likely to come forward, they are less likely to see their abuser prosecuted. Fact.

Hardly surprising is it? Pretty heart breaking that. From a statistical point of view men are more prolific abusers, but they’re also less likely to see their abusers brought to justice, particularly if that abuser is a woman. Now women can abuse other women, and men can abuse other men, and non-binary folk can be abused and be abusers in much the same way, but the fact of the matter is, when people can’t come forward, when they can’t be honest about what they’ve suffered, and when they can’t see the people who have hurt them punished, they don’t heal in the same way. Rape culture and the way we deal with assault is already a massive problem, the way the system is geared against victims is fucking atrocious and, in short, toxic masculinity isn’t making anything any better.

In march of THIS YEAR there were only 18 refuges nationally that help male victims of domestic violence. Fact.

Does this need explanation? I don’t think so. Men need help too, anyone who think otherwise can fuck right off.

Toxic masculinity encourages homophobia. Fact.

No. Explanation. Needed.

So there we go. Those are my facts. Do I have more? Yes. Could I go one? For pages. Am I going to? No. These are some of the facts that shock me, the ones that remind me why this is a topic so close to my heart. Why I need to be there for my male friends in a more active emotional way, you see my female friends will simply tell me, my male friends beat about the bush. Keep an eye out peeps, your boys aren’t always happy, be vigilant, be loving, be there for them. They deserve it.

Be kind to each other.

Yours,

TheSarcastic Blogger

 

To A Woman I Have Never Met

Hello

Usually I make a point of starting all correspondence with “Dear…” but you are not now, nor will you ever be, dear to me. So much so that I cannot bring myself to write it.

You will never read this, in fact I very much doubt even your daughter will read it. But that is not why I am writing it.

My anger, neigh my disgust at you is such that I cannot let it be contained within me, for fear that it has the power to poison my blood. How dare you speak to your own child like that? How dare you leave her in pieces and abandon her to pick them up herself? How do you wake up in the morning, look at a child that tries so hard, that struggles so much and that loves so deeply and turn your back on her?

Perhaps you don’t.

But it is the only way I can rationalise your behaviour, that you simply do not care, or worse yet they you honesty harbour malice towards your own daughter. I have not lived in your house, I cannot attest to her treatment of you, nor can I say that I have witnessed your treatment of her. But I can say that I have spent hours worrying desperately about a person you destroy in SECONDS. I can tell you that whilst you move on, whilst you start new arguments and cause fresh heartache I am replaying the last conversation of that sort in my mind and hoping that I said the right thing. I stopped tears, or provided warmth in the winter of your relationship.

I cannot say that I have witnessed one of your arguments, but I have witnessed the fall out, I have seen the aftermath and walked in the shadow of your destruction. I am in a position to dislike you.

To a woman I have never met, you make me sick beyond words, you pain me beyond pain, and I dislike you not only in my conscious mind, but in my soul.

To a woman I have never met, I am not a mother, but one day I hope to be one and I can only pray that my children will never feel as your children feel.

To a woman I have never met, it is entirely possible that I one day will meet you, and I will smile my sales assistant smile and trot out my customer voice and be polite and gracious and the cookie cutter bright-young-girl I have been my entire life and you will not know that inside I am seething.

To a woman I have never met, she is better than you in every way. You don’t know that yet, but let me tell you, to everyone else is it is glaringly obvious.

To a woman I have never met, I am truly sorry you cannot see her worth, because I do, and others do, and we are blinded daily by her light, we are amazed endlessly by her intelligence, and we are left breathless by her endearing charm and effortless wit.

To a woman I have never met, I dislike you, but perhaps I pity you more.

Regards

 

Group chats

This week I’ve been thinking about group chats, why you ask? Well, because I spend wayyyy too much of my life on them not to think about group chats. But first, some background…

It all started about two years ago…

[Cue dreamy wiggly music]

I was added entirely without warning to a group chat full of strangers who proceeded to verbally abuse me at the behest of someone who I looked upon not only as a friend, but as family. Someone who was in my mind almost above reproach because I loved them like I loved my own self. Unfortunately for me, family meant very little to them. The result, I spent literally months building up to the point when I could have my phone on all day without having sudden bouts of anxiety, where I could receive a message without being on the verge of a panic attack. I got there. Eventually. It took me a long while, and even now I’m not 100% when it comes to social media (group chats in particular), so how is it I spend a solid 70% of my time on one?

The answer:

Bugger knows.

But I manage it. I think they’ve become such an ingrained part of how we communicate, with their own entirely separate rules of etiquette and socialisation, that to disassociate myself would leave me entirely out in the cold. That’s not to say they always go to plan though. This week I’ve been thinking about group chats, because they’ve gone tits up.

Incident One:

Incident one happened mid week when my friend (mostly friend? kinda friend?) of about seven years accused another one of our friends of taking drugs. In town. With maybe-friends boyfriend. What??? And worse yet she did it on the group chat???? Not a direct message????? Pretty sure it was for attention but hey, what do I know? The result was this particularly dramatic series of messages between me and another member of the group chat about events on the group chat:

I’m still flabbergasted about this! What on earth led this person to openly accuse someone we both know not just of taking drugs, but of doing drugs with her own boyfriend? What would have led her to that situation? And worse yet, after she’d done this, she kept telling the girl she’d accused to “Chill”. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? You can’t cause an argument and then try to end it, that’s not how it works!

Incident number one is a perfect example of how things can go from 0-100 really quickly on group chats, and more importantly of how people can use them to show others up or gain attention they want. Everyone likes a bit of attention here and there, but group chats allow a certain level of immediate gratification, you can ask for attention and support and receive without delay, most of the time thats pretty good, sometimes it goes a bit wonky. Now I’m as bad as anyone else when it comes to this (you think I write a personal blog just for the joy of writing? Getting attention has to come in there somewhere right?) but I think I’m in a position to say that this individual was doing nothing but seeking attention, and furthermore seeking to stain the name of one of my closest friends. Incident number one is a brilliant example of the issues I have with group chats.

Incident Two:

Ok, so after all that stress incident number two is actually a lot funnier and lighter. Long story short I accidentally added one of my Uni mates to a group chat of all my girl friends planning a coffee morning and bitching about maybe-friend. This poor bloke found himself in the somewhat turbulent waters of all female friendship. Whoops?

Luckily he’s a pretty chill dude and the whole incident was as funny as it was embarrassing. In other news, I shouldn’t be allowed to use social media, because I’m a mess.

What are your thoughts on group chats?

Let me know

Yours

TheSarcastic Blogger

Terrible by omission

Last week I did something I will regret for the rest of my life, or at the very least for the next few years. I did something I told myself I would never, ever do. I compromised my own beliefs, my own integrity, in order to prevent an argument. I allowed ignorance to reign, in order to safeguard the way I am viewed by the perpetrators of the ignorance.

It’s not hard to see my own privilege, I’m aware of it, as far as I can be, but sometimes I am more aware of it than others. This week I made the decision not to say something when I saw an issue, and I shouldn’t have, and the guilt and distress I feel about it is something I struggle to put into words. This week I became aware of my own privilege in a very corporeal way, because I simply chose not to say something. It was a decision I could make. I saw something happen, something I disagreed with, and all I had to do was choose not to say something.

Now the fact was that my not saying anything didn’t prevent this moron from getting something of a verbal lashing. The guy she was ignorant towards (about?) was more than capable of delivering it himself. In fact if anything my guilt about this matter is entirely selfish and frankly ridiculous. This guy is 18 years old, well spoken and more than capable of telling ignorant, racially insensitive people to do one. He doesn’t need a silly white girl to do it for him. And yet here I am, a whole 72 hours later, desperately trying to rationalise my own decision.

And the fact is, if I had done this (or rather not done it) purely because he was on it, he was sorting his own issues and educating people by himself, I don’t think I would feel bad. I have total faith that this guy can handle himself, and had things gotten out of hand I would have happily weighed in on his side. But that’s not why I kept quiet. I kept mum because the thought of starting a confrontation, particularly one over social media which is something I struggle with, made me feel deeply, deeply anxious. Because my own discomfort got in the way of my social views.

Worse yet, I did this because the people I was talking to were ones I would have to be with next year, and them not liking me ( or rather the notion of them not liking me) fills me with dread. I compromised my views, my stance on issues, my social thoughts and feelings, just so that I didn’t upset a load of randoms who may or may not grow to dislike me regardless.

So to the gentleman who stood up for himself,

I should have said something

I’m sorry

With love

TheSarcastic Blogger

To those who are rude in shops

This afternoon a woman came into the shop I work in. This was not the first time I had served her, I couldn’t have erased the ugly scowl of her mouth if I wanted to, the high pitched whine of her voice clung to my mind, a thin spiderweb of memory. I do not know this woman’s name, but for the sake of narrative we will call her bitchface.

Now bitchface was unhappy, why I hear you ask? Are you not an attentive and jovial worker? Oh but I am, it was not my attitude- nor that of my colleagues- that left this woman bitter (more bitter than she typically is at any rate.) No. She was pissed because we were busy, and as such couldn’t fill a balloon. Cue huffy bitchy shouty shit.

Now that you understand the stimulus for this piece, let me move onto the main body of my post.

WHY IN ALL HECK ARE YOU BEING RUDE TO AN 18 YEAR OLD SHOP ASSISTANT??????

SERIOUSLY.

What does it achieve?? That’s my question, to those who are rude in shops, what the hell does it achieve? If anything I am now less inclined to help you than I was before. Well done. You’ve pissed me off, you want that thing on the shelf? Jump for it.

This woman throws a mini bitchfit, tells me its ridiculous and storms out of the shop mumbling to herself under her breath. News flash bitchface: THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU. I am serious. Grow the hell up, you’re old enough to be my mother and you’re being rude to me? How would you feel if your kid came home and told you some dumbass was rude to them at work? More importantly, the fact that you didn’t possess the presence of mind to pre-order your shitty balloons is not my issue, I spend all day taking orders for people, in person, over the phone, for now, for later, for months away. It’s actually my job. And seeing as these people bothered their arses to ring up and pay for something days or weeks in advance kinda means they get to have their shit done before you. If you have an issue with that then you can ring up and PLACE YOUR OWN BLOODY ORDER.

Jesus wept, what is the world coming to? The basic courtesy that so many people the generation before us expect, they do not seem capable of giving. I wouldn’t even consider treating someone the way so many middle-aged, fully grown, adult people (with cars and mortgages and everything) treat me, yet for some reason they see someone my age and decide what? I deserve less respect than them? On what basis? You have successfully fucked me over financially, educationally and socially and I’ve not even been an adult for a month yet! Why in God’s good name should I be showing you respect?

Now that’s not to say I’m going to start treating customers and/or anyone over the age of 30 like crap, (for one thing as someone younger than 30 I can apparently recognise that treating people with common courtesy should be something everyone does just for shits and giggles) but it does mean that I recognise that the political decisions of the generations before us have a major impact on my life, and the lives of everyone I know. It means I recognise that whilst common courtesy is something I offer everyone, I don’t owe them anything more than that.

So, to those who are rude in shops…

Fuck you.

Lots of love

TheSarcastic Blogger

 

 

 

Presents

Last week I bought my friend a present. It wasn’t her birthday, nor was it an unusual Early July religious festival you’ve never heard off, I simply saw something I thought she’d like and I bought it. (She did like it, in case any of you were wondering.)

Now is it just me, or is it seriously strange that we reserve gifts for such big annual events as birthdays and Christmas? I’m not saying we should buy each other stuff all the time, I don’t know about you lot but as a soon-to-be-student I don’t have the funds, but I do think its odd that sometimes we’ll see things and think “Oh, wow, my friend would really love that” and then we don’t get it, because we don’t have an excuse to.

So I’ve decided to bugger excuses, my excuse for buying my friends things: they’re awesome, they’re absolutely lovely people, and they put up with my terrible sense of humour.

Now that’s not to say that I’m going to be off buying designer gear and cars for my best mates (as I’ve said I don’t have the funds) but what it does mean is that the next time I’m out and I see something I know one of them would like, as long as I can afford to do so, I’m going to buy, why not?

I spend way too much cash on things I have absolutely no need for, it’s a problem I’m working on, I might as well spend some cash on the important people in my life.

Be kind to each other guys,

Yours

TheSarcastic Blogger

 

Bad at friends

Bad at friends. That’s a pretty out there title, no? I considered calling it other things, but hey, why beat around the bush? I am bad at friends.

I ummed and ahhhed about posting this for a while, because what you’re about to read is entirely true, but in being so it has the power to upset some of the most wonderful people in my life, and so with that in mind, I’m going to start with a letter to them.

_______________________

To my friends, or at least to the ones reading this

I’m ok, really I am. You haven’t done anything wrong I promise, this is just how I am, and its no ones fault except maybe mine. So don’t worry. You’re wonderful and I love you to the moon and back, I really, really do. You have done nothing but support me, and without your love and time and effort I would not only be much more miserable, I would be a very different person. I’m not writing this to upset you, or anyone else, I’m writing this because that’s what you do on a blog, you talk about how you feel and what you’re doing. I’m also writing this because keeping it inside is exhausting, and there’s a certain level of anonymity provided by an unpopular blog.

Yours with more love than you know

E. x

______________________

I suppose I should kick the main body of this off with something of an explanation; I was bullied, for a long time, most of my life actually. Its not something I keep quiet about, I’m not ashamed of having been a victim of cruel people, everyone at some point or another in their life will be victimised by someone. But I often keep quiet about the result of that bullying, a bad habit I’m sure I share with a lot of other victims of bullying. You see I wasn’t bullied by some mean blonde with a seemingly random vendetta against me like in a bad American teen movie (well, actually I kinda was but that was a long time ago and its not really relevant.) I think if I had been my life might actually have been a tad easier. No, I was bullied by friends. People I trusted to the point that even when it started, even when I was so miserable and broken and hurting it felt like I could hardly breathe some days, I did not for a second consider the situation to be what it was; bullying. I was scared, so deeply petrified of the idea of making new friends that I put up with it, time and time again, repeatedly finding myself in the same situation, no matter how many times I seemed to leave toxic people behind. Part of it was that when the people you trust, and in most cases love, start to treat you like you’re worthless, when the people who assure you that they love you treat you like they don’t, then you don’t believe yourself loveable. I spent so much of my life trying to convince myself that I was loved by people I wasn’t, so much of it trying to fabricate emotion that simply wasn’t there, that I struggle to notice when genuine feeling is there.

In short…

I am bad at friends.

I struggle to make them, I struggle to keep them. I fight endless silent battles with myself every time I pick up my phone to reply to messages, worried that I’ll say the wrong thing and push them away. Another battle with myself every time I want to tell them something or invite them somewhere, constantly concerned that I’m boring or intrusive or pushy. I yoyo between worrying I’m suffocating them, and then they’ll hate me, to worrying I’m ignoring them, and then they’ll hate me. I live, day in and day out, with an obnoxiously loud voice at the back of my head reminding me there is every possibility that these lovely, wonderful, intelligent, brilliant people are just too polite to tell me they don’t like me. Every time I leave the room I worry they’re talking about me, every time we say goodbye I worry they’re thankful I’m gone. Frankly, it sucks. And its tiring. And I know, logically, that there is very little chance they dislike me, but tell that to the voice.

It’s a difficult place to be, and it makes day to day interaction pretty hard sometimes, but I like to think that I hide it well.

Now this is all pretty personal, even for an unpopular blog, but I do have my reasons. I’m writing this because I need it to be out there, because keeping stuff like this in is painful and exhausting. I’m writing this because maybe one day someone who feels the same way will come across it and know they are not alone, and because I want those people to know that one day they will find friends (like mine) who love them, genuinely, and who will light up their lives. Because one day they will realise, in a stunning wonderful flash of joy, that they have the power to light up those friends’ lives too. And that’s a pretty fab feeling.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Feel free to comment if you’d like to.

All the best

TheSarcastic Blogger

 

 

Godiva

IMG_1781

Godiva festival Coventry, or as Lucy Spraggan called it Go-Diva. I don’t know how many of you went this year, but if you didn’t you should have, cause it rocked.

Now I’m not really a music-y person, that’s not saying I don’t like music (quite the opposite actually) I’m just not very good at remembering artists, or lyrics, or song titles, nor am I particularly good at finding artists, or songs, or song lyrics. The result being, as I’m sure my friends noticed today, that I’m pretty clueless at festivals. But it was still wicked.

Maybe it was the company, because frankly my friends are awesome, or it could’ve been the euphoria of seeing an alpaca (yes I did just say alpaca) but regardless this festival was brill.

Opened by a variety of fairly unknown acts, the first of which we saw in full was Bad Finger (the lesser known sister group of Malcontented Wrist), Godiva may have been off to a shaky start, but Lucy Spraggan quickly remedied the situation. Reminding everyone present just why she was so popular on the X-Factor, Spraggan sang crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser, funny, cheerful and tuneful she was the highlight of this festival for me and I’m sure many others.

Spraggan was followed by the famous yet infamous Kate Nash. Playing a number of her hits (none of which I knew) she didn’t go down quite as well, that is until she pulled out the absolute banger that is Dickhead, followed not long after by her most popular song Foundation. Nash was definitely high energy, not just dancing but appearing to do pilates at one point (sorry to nick your joke there Ells) she was clearly her own biggest fan, something she later encouraged all the festival-goers to be. Nash’s politics and brilliantly feministic message was the highlight of her set in my opinion, but I’ll definitely be looking into her music in the future.

The headliner of this festival was The Darkness, famous for a number of absolute classics including I Believe In A Thing Called Love, they brilliantly finished of this free festival. Not only nostalgic for many, The Darkness drew in first time listeners as well, embodying the energy and joy of 2000s rock.

Overall, I really could not have asked for a better day, I will definitely be looking into going again next year, and I suggest you do too.

TheSarcastic Blogger

P.s. Many thanks to my fabulously beautiful friend for be-glittering me, you rock!

Boys

Not too long ago a friend asked me why I only want boys, one day hopefully, and I tried to explain. I tried to cram the wide disappointment that I felt as a woman in this world into sentences, and I couldn’t. I tried to explain that the thought of raising boys, even just one, that could understand that disappointment and want to do something about it felt to me like something massive. That raising boys who could cry in public, and wear lipstick or skirts or glitter if they wanted to felt like an achievement. That raising boys who had favourite flowers as well as favourite sports teams felt, to me, like something magical.

Now one day, I’m sure, I’ll write a post about my raging feminist views and general societal discontent. I’ll probably write a post about poisonous masculinity and reel off facts on male suicide rate, and male health, and male heartache. But today I’m simply asking you to share this dream of mine. Go forth and raise boys who are supported. Raise feminine boys, and masculine boys, and boys who go to the doctor because they’re sick, even if they are boys. Raise boys who are a boys, but never put up with boys will be boys as an excuse for anything. Raise boys that respect girls, and boys that respect boys, and boys that respect any and all other genders. Raise boys who respect themselves and others. Raise boys that are religious and boys that don’t give a toss about a higher power. Raise boys that are political and boys that are not. Raise bookish boys, and sporty boys, and artsy boys. Raise musicians, and doctors, and nurses, and teachers, and race car drivers, and bakers, and artists.

Raise happy boys, as far as you can.

And people, on the same note, support the men in your lives. Ask them how they’re doing, how they’re really doing. Help them and support them where you can, and before they ask. Ask them what their favourite flower is and buy a bunch, play their favourite song and dance with them, read their favourite book, watch their favourite movie, let them steal your hoodie. Call them out on their stress, on their self destruction, intervene when you have to. Don’t take anyones crap, and don’t let anyone give them crap either. Buy them a present ( if you can) because you can. Appreciate that society treats us like shit but, at least in some respects, its not treating them much better.

Be kind to each other guys.

TheSarcastic Blogger