The Rub

Life This is something I've been meaning to write for some weeks but a new post from Robyn has sort of given me a reason to get around to it. Aaah. Hmmm. Well. There are certain subjects I don't cover on the weblog which aren't in the The Rules but which for some reason I just never mention. I've never been sure why. Some of it is to do with the readership, which I think generally tips towards the feminine, but otherwise because I'm not sure if it's the done thing. I think the writing here has a tone and I don't want to lower that tone. But since I want to respond to Robyn I feel the need to go there, so here we are. The taboos for no reason list:

(1) Swearing. I always think long and hard about bad language on here. I only ever include the 'f' word if its entirely necessary, as in part of a quote or emphasise a point for a certain effect. Otherwise its gratuitous and I hope I'm cleverer than that.

(2) The Weather. Even when I'm at my most desperate for subject matter I don't talk about clouds. For one thing I also have an international readership so if I talk about how cold it is outside, someone in Melbourne (for example) is looking out at the sun. I have talked about the rain if it leads onto something else, or I'm again making a point. But what's the point in small talking?

(3) Kvetch. I don't make it a habit to bitch and moan about things. We all the know the world doesn't work to some degree but letting off steam online in something like this isn't going to help anyone. Again unless its about something usually my own inadequacies (see a few paragraphs down from here). And finally ...

(4) Girls. For some reason this never happens here. Well not never. There was a something a few weeks ago about Nicole Kidman on movie posters but apart from that I don't tend to write about this or that girl or whatever. And here the rub. It doesn't appear to be something other webloggers in what you could call my sub-genre have an issue with. Most of my regular reads mention the opposite sex on a regular basis, sometimes with clean pictures. And you know what it is?
(a) Blackeyes Dennis Potter's tv series Blackeyes. From many years ago. I was very young when I saw it (not my parents fault) and I have only a few memories, but most of them seemed to be of the man saying some not very nice things about women.

(b) I'm 19 years old and at my Student Hall formal. For various reasons its not been a very good night (I'll write the whole story some time) and I'm hiding in a toilet cubicle pretending just so that I can get away from an increasingly bad situation. As I sit there looking at the deep blue door I hear two people come in and use the urinal. One is talking about his girlfriend, the other someone he's been chatting up. At no stage during their conversation do they mention the girl's names. Instead we have 'the woman', 'blonde #1', 'blonde #2', 'her' and some bits and pieces which I won't bore you with.
I just don't want to find myself being in the position of fulfilling my promise as a hormonal testosterone fuelled alpha-male hell bent on the objectification of women, at least not on the weblog. I have an idea of myself and how I want to project that idea and I want that to be fairly/very feminist. So I feel like if I decide to write about some girl I saw working somewhere or met somewhere else and through into the mix all the reasons I like her that it would be wrong in someway -- a step too far. Which is silly. Really. I have those feelings. I communicate those feelings to friends in the real space so why not share them with my friends in cyberspace?

So the line is drawn here. I'm relaxing, taking a few breaths and breaking a few taboos. Not about the swearing or the weather. But. I kvetched a lot last night about the horrible signage in Cardiff and it felt great to get that off my chest. Next step. I'm going to do three things.

(1) Here is number 42 in my 100 things about me ...
"someone with a personality. not a sheep, someone who speaks her mind. unpredictable but rational. willing to go out on a limb, be spontaneous, but responsible. someone interested in the world, who like me wants to discover the possibilites and how everything works. someone funny without being purile, spritual without banging on about religion all the time. who doesn't mind making an idiot of themselves if the outcome is pure."
I've always let that hang there. I wrote it during a webchat with someone and as it scrolled up the page I was amazed at how I'd captured things. And also how it doesn't mention appearance.

(2) I've been in love many times. Some have got married, some I don't know what happened to them, some are other stories for other times. My Julie Delpy, the girl I fell in love with on a train was called Andrea (I think). Much like Jessie in Before Sunset I've written about her on this weblog. That post is here. Unlike Jessie I didn't talk about how I really felt. This was one of the few occasion were in the about fifty minutes of the train journey I met someone who I could utterly communicate with and simply wanted to know for the rest of my life. She talked about the problems she was having in her own family with her own relatives and as you can see it made me think about my own situation (the post is fairly self-contained anyway). It all got pretty intense to be honest and whether it was because I was there being some random who she could confide or something else I'll never know. But I can still see her in the back of my mind now, the English Rose with the long dark blonde hair, home knitted cardigan and water bottle. I wanted to write all that back then but something stopped me, so here it is now. There have been other occasions when I've wanted to embelish, but I've picked that example fairly randomly. To finish the story, I actually bumped into her again in Manchester the following Christmas outside the town hall. I found out she hadn't ended up moving to Liverpool at all but somewhere else away from everything. But we swapped telephone numbers. And I rang her but it felt wrong. It didn't fit anymore. As someone said on a tv drama this week, the timing was wrong.

(3) And back to this. Who my Movie Girlfriends are/were ...

- Laura Fraser
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Minnie Driver
- Parminder Nagra
- Alyson Hannigan
- Kate Winslet
- Elizabeth Shue (in Adventures In Babysitting)
- Franke Potente
- Julie Christie
- Kate Nelligan (in BBC Shakespeare's Measure for Measure)

[Plus there are the givens, Julia Roberts, Carrie Fisher and Meg Ryan. But surely everyone'd pick those?]

See that wasn't too difficult. And now relax. Please feel free to link with the phrase 'Stuart comes to terms with his sexuality (thank goodness)'


  1. Gosh, who knew that a foul-mouthed, kvetching, unspiritual sexual objectifier like me could provoke such introspection?! Good post :)

  2. I think Laura Fraser would be my tv girlfriend, but only in Lip Service because she's gay there and completely nuerotic, which I quite like!