5 things that make me feel slightly less like I’m about to have a mental breakdown

I am all over the place. Some days I am luvin lyf 2k17, and others I open a Wagon Wheel slightly too vigorously, it drops on the floor, and tears prickle my eyes. There is literally no in between.

The last couple of months have been first world difficult. I left the career I dedicated my early twenties to. Plus everyone is betrothed, while I’m 95% sure the last guy I dated ended it because I fell asleep while we were watching Angels & Demons (which, in my defence, is boring AF). So yes, this #survivor is expecting her slot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show very soon.

Being an adult is a lot trickier than I thought it would be, but there are a few things that make me feel (deluded or otherwise) like I ever-so-slightly have my shit together:

  • Joining the gym for the 6786th time when there is not a chance in bollocks I will actually go

Snapchat smallestAs I enter my direct debit details on the Pure Gym website, I feel a sense of elation. This is it. I am going to rid myself of the belly fat that peers over my jeans like a meerkat checking for predators. I am going to be scouted for Britain’s Next Top Model.  I am going to have a sculpture of my insanely toned abs installed in the National Art Gallery.

Then it rains. Or I come on my period. Or I leave work five minutes later than usual. And I end up paying £18.99 a month for Pure Gym to send me guilt-trip texts reminding me that I haven’t hauled my lazy ass to the gym for 27 years. “Just fuck off,” I mumble, swiping off the message with my pizza-greased fingers, “I’ll go tomorrow.” *

*This is a lie. 

  • Ordering stuff I can’t afford off the internet

There are seven words that send a shiver of delight down my spine. A thrill so electric I can barely contain myself.

 “There’s a parcel for you in reception.”

God, I love it. The anticipation whilst flouncing down the stairs, the cradling the package to my chest like a little baby, the grand reveal once I’ve scuttled into my bedroom. Granted, nine times out of ten it is absolute tat and being sent back, but still.

  • Being smooth

There is nothing relaxing about having hair ripped from your skin. Let’s just get that straight. But there is also nothing relaxing about being late for work because all of your pants are in the wash and you don’t have tights thick enough to conceal your hairy legs. So a monthly wax is an excellent, if rather expensive, investment. Plus to put a few myths to rest: it does NOT take off your skin, it does NOT grow back thicker, you DO have to peel apart your ass cheeks like Moses and the Red Sea if you want your bum doing as well.

  • Netflix binges

I’m not talking a li’l Pretty Little Liars marathon; I’m talking a sunlight-what-is-that-dear-God-I-stink odyssey. I never feel as enlightened as when I have spent all weekend cocooned in my duvet, forfeiting exercise and basic hygiene to broaden my mind with documentaries about death row prisoners and people who are addicted to eating bubble wrap.

  • Writing

I am an emotional clam. But just because I don’t always say much, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot going on in my head. Ultimately, all of that drivel needs an outlet. So welcome to my blog.

10 guys you will meet on Plenty of Fish

As a journalist, I come into contact with all kinds of people. Nice people, interesting people, people who call me at 3am and ask me to pay the interest on their Wonga loan. So when I first joined Plenty of Fish, there was definitely a morbid curiosity as to who I would end up speaking to.

SPOILER: I deleted it after a month because I was absolutely deluged with weirdos.

But in between, I spoke to some really nice guys and even met up with a few. From my short-lived foray into online dating, I think I have a rough idea of the kind of men out there. So I have compiled an advisory list of the 10 guys you will meet on Plenty of Fish:

1) Guys who are one more ‘Sorry, I have a boyfriend’ away from becoming serial killers

These guys have been cheated on. They have been rejected. They have been conned and swindled and left a shrivelled prune of the man they used to be, and good Lord, do they want to tell you about it. Every time you try and initiate a conversation, they will spin a tale of woe. You will end up wanting to shake them and tell them the reason they’re not getting laid is not because women are evil, but because they suck the life out of you like a Dementor and they need to stop being whiny.

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2) Guys who seem to have learned how to speak to girls from an 18th century manual

‘Good evening, Madame,’ these guys type. ‘Might I interest you in an evening exchange of intellectual rigour?’ Eh? You will squint at your phone while you’re trying to simultaneously cook dinner and bid on something on eBay. Wot u chat bout. I get the impression these guys are trying to mark themselves out from the ‘Hey how r u’ tribe, but after a long day at work, I just want someone to tell me I’m pretty and offer to take me out for dinner.

3) Guys who say: ‘Don’t message me if…’

Don’t message me if you’re not interested in meeting up. Don’t message me if you’re only interested in my wallet. Don’t message me if you want a baby daddy. Don’t message me if you look nothing like your pictures, these guys will seethe in their profiles. Well excuuuuuuuuuuse me, Mr BanterNFootie_87.

4) Guys who are douchebags but you kind of dig it

Maybe they told you they’re a fireman. Maybe they’re a bit older than you. Maybe they live in a remote cabin in the woods where they could either a) show you a good time or b) kill you and then taunt the local police force with letters and bits of your skin. But either way, when they make some sultry suggestions, a tiny part of you considers it.

5) Guys who are so nice that you end up messaging them purely because you’d feel abusive if you didn’t

These guys are so lovely, so thoughtful and kind. They think up intelligent conversation starters that they have personalised from your profile just for you. They ask you how your day has been. They ask about your ambitions. They want to know you as a person, rather than as a vagina with arms and legs. But there’s just no party in your pants*. You message them back not because you want to, but because not doing so would be like punching a puppy in the throat. Eventually emailing 16 people you don’t fancy becomes too arduous and you disappear into the shadows, knowing you are a terrible person and this is why you will die alone.

6) Guys who send you well-intended but decidedly odd first messages

Like this guy. I get it. I put in my profile that I like hairy chests. I see what he was trying to do. I feel you, SingleGuy1986. But it was just a smidgen too far with the ‘you can walk on it if you like’. And a second guy who pointed out I was older than him also cracked a joke about me shaving my fanny a few messages later. But when I met him in an EXTREMELY PUBLIC PLACE, he was lovely. Some guys just have no idea how to text.

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7) Guys who message you 187653 times if you don’t reply within five minutes

I am super ignorant. I can go for two weeks without speaking to my family. So when some randy little s0-and-so triple-texts me because I haven’t responded immediately, it gets right on my tits. But a lot of guys seem to think it is their God-given right to get a swift response, and if they don’t get one pronto they succumb to a complete breakdown and send a squirrel emoji.

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8) Guys who have one thing on their minds…as long as you live within an 18-mile radius

This was the one thing I was expecting when I joined PoF. And I received a lorra lorra explicit messages. Personal fave: the guy who called me a cunt after I said no to meeting up with him half-way for sex since he couldn’t be bothered driving for 18 miles. Read my post on this here.

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9) Guys you’re not interested in, but they have a really cute cat

These guys don’t float your boat, but OH MY GOD they have a cat. As you message, you begin to plot ways in which you can nudge them out of the picture and hook up with the cat instead. “Maybe I should meet the cat by itself the first time,” you suggest casually. “You know, just to be on the safe side.”

10) Guys whose profiles are so terrible that you feel it is your duty as a fellow human being to help them out

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* ©Nicola Moors 2016

8 gross things about house-sharing

In this climate, sharing a house with others is a necessity. Especially if your climate is one in which you are: a) chronically single, b) poorly paid and c) addicted to ASOS.

But now that statistically 96.8% of everyone I know is settled down and starting to buy their own home, the novelty of house-sharing is wearing decidedly thin.

So here is a list of eight gross things about sharing a house in your 20s:

1) You can’t have a pet
I grew up with five cats, so to suddenly have none is fairly harrowing. If I see a cat on the street, I can barely contain myself and toddle after it like a fat kid chasing an ice-cream van. My neighbourhood cats are probably sick of me. They probably have a Facebook group where they warn other cats about me. After three years of being kitty-free, I have finally cracked. A few weeks ago, I typed ‘can you rent a cat’ into Google. And the answer is no, no you fucking can’t you crazy cat lady.

2) You have to sign a six-month contract
Your flat is covered in mould? Tough luck, you signed a six-month contract. Your flat has a recurring mouse infestation? Tough luck, you signed a six-month contract. Your flat is haunted by the ghost of King Henry VIII? Tough luck, you signed a six-month contract.

3) You have to live with other people
And sometimes these people are crazy. Sometimes they put cereal down the toilet. Sometimes they bring strange men with eyepatches home. Sometimes they wander around at 3am whistling to themselves. Sometimes they turn off the freezer so your food spoils. Sometimes they watch Harry Potter every single day, to the point where you know ‘doo doo doo doo dooooo doo doo doo’ will be the soundtrack if you ever end up in Hell.

4) Every time someone uploads a smug picture of their house on Facebook, you will do a little cry
Why (sob) can’t I (sob) buy loads of tat (sob) from Home Bargains (sob) with someone who loves (sob) me?.

5) You will become disproportionately resentful when your flatmates don’t do their chores in their allocated time
“Oh cool, you finish work early in the afternoon? Then WHY are you preparing a ten-course banquet five seconds before you know I’m coming home and need to cook my dinner?” you will snarl, before running to your room and slamming the door, crippled with hunger. Only you deffo won’t do this and will just sit politely on your bed starving to death until the coast is clear.

6) You can hear e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g
Whether it’s them flossing their teeth, turning the page of their book, or slagging you off to their boyfriend, you will hear it all. You will become a mystical entity, no sound too small or intimate for your eardrums. Your life will never be the same.

7) Everyone will inevitably have very different levels of personal hygiene
Things I am fairly laid back about: taking the bins out until they’re completely full, washing-up being left overnight, people not immediately moving their ironing. Things I am not so laid back about: raw meat dripped all over the kitchen, period stuff left in the bathroom, people saying “I use my own shower mat, so I don’t have to do any of the cleaning.” U wot mate.

8) You have to act like a normal human being most of the time
If my flatmate goes away for the weekend, I lie in bed naked, covered in crumbs, like a flabby little prawn toast. No clean clothes? No problemo. Want five slices of pizza and half a can of cold baked beans for breakfast? Treat yourself, Charlotte. But when she is here I have to do loads of gross stuff, like use cutlery and get dressed and not repeat adverts back in an opera voice. Ugh.

It’s OK if your 20s haven’t gone to plan
kid

So young. So full of hope.

Being 26 is a curious thing. And by curious, I mean bewildering, soul-destroying and occasionally absolutely terrifying. It’s a ‘nothing’ age. You’re neither young nor old. You’re like an awkward fringe you can’t quite grow out.

When I was younger, I thought that people in their twenties were adults, they had their shit together, they were O-L-D. But now I realise that they weren’t old at all. They were like me. A child trapped in an adult’s body, squeaking desperately for someone to come and rescue them.

Over time, I have learnt that life isn’t like one of those Goosebumps books where you can sneakily flick to the alternative endings and pick the one where you don’t get eaten by a mutant sponge. It’s scary and unpredictable, and you just have to roll with it.

So here is a list of 7 things I thought I would have going for me in my mid-20s that I seriously, seriously don’t:

1.I thought I would be married with at least one kid by now.

I used to think that people who were still single in their late twenties had some kind of icky, gross malady that prevented suitors from wanting to put a ring on it. But sometimes relationships just don’t pan out the way you hope they will. And sometimes it’s for the best. Plus I am definitely not ready for offspring. I had to hold a baby at a wedding last month and I hated every second of it.  Between trying to look maternal, all I could think was ‘why won’t it blink?’ and ‘why does it not cry when people pick it up by its armpits when I cry if I catch my bingo wing on a door frame?’

2. I thought I would be a sex goddess by now.

I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. It’s like trying to assemble an IKEA wardrobe. WHERE DOES THIS BIT GO? WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS WEIRD LITTLE LEFTOVER THING?! My predicament is not helped by frantically reading bizarre sex tips in women’s magazines. Instead, I am left with further performance anxiety after discovering that I can’t quite pull off rubbing cocoa beans over my lover’s scrotum while in the Grab Your Coat You’ve Pulled a Cheeky Flamenco position.

3. I thought I would understand bills and general life crap by now.

I do not understand bills and general life crap.

4. I thought I would be a stunnah by now.

The one thing I clung to when I was a teenager and my hair was greasy and I had no boobs and developed a moustache was that one day I would be peng. One day, puberty would wave her magic wand, release me from this sarcophagus of 4-out-of-10-ness and rebirth me as a beautiful butterfly. But if anything, I am grosser now than ever. I have fat in places I didn’t even know you could have fat. I am spottier. I am hairier. I am scalier. I am basically turning into an armadillo.

5. I thought I would be on the property ladder by now. 

One of the many perks of being a journalist is that I earn way below the average graduate salary. Like if the graduate salary was a bus, I would be running after it panting. If the graduate salary was Leonardo DiCaprio, I would be being restrained by a security guard after trying to stroke its face. If the graduate salary was a Snitch, I would be chasing it on a mop. So unless I immediately marry a Russian oil tycoon, I shan’t be owning my own house anytime soon.

6. I thought I would stop getting ID’d by now.

When I got the A Level results I needed to get into university but couldn’t celebrate with my two friends at Ko-Ko’s in Rochdale town centre because I didn’t have ID and had the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid, I was fuming. “You will pay for this,” I vowed, as thunderstorms cracked in the midnight sky. I considered writing to Parliament. I considered a dirty protest. I considered launching my own charity to help other victims. But now, it’s the opposite. As I inch closer to 30, looking young is a compliment. In fact, I am offended if people don’t ID me. “Wait, don’t you want to verify my age?” I want to cry indignantly. “Don’t you think I’m too young-looking to be purchasing this alcoholic beverage?” I reach into my bag. “I have ID. Check my ID. Please,” I beg, before slamming my driving licence, passport, birth certificate and 22-week ultrasound scan onto the counter.

7. I thought I would have outgrown my ‘awkward phase’ by now.

Chink chink. The sound of glass tinkling, a champagne cork popping. Laughter. Schmoozing. Another glamorous cocktail party organised by yours truly. So, this one didn’t pan out. Mainly because I don’t live in the 1980s, but also because I am still super awkward.

10 realities of buying makeup

I have enough makeup to host a West End production of Les Misérables. Expensive stuff, cheap stuff, stuff I got free in a magazine, stuff so old it should probably be carbon dated and displayed in the Natural History Museum. Do I understand what to do with any of it? Absolutely not. But I enjoy buying it, carefully organising it into categories and then admiring it as it sits there untouched, virginal, for months on end because I barely have time to put my knickers on before fleeing to work in the morning, let alone strobe, bake and highlight my face.

That being said, buying makeup can be an emotionally draining affair. Thus I have compiled a list of ten harsh realities of a cosmetics spree:

1) Shop assistants who sneer at you in disgust because you don’t know how to contour your eyelashes.

2) The fact that I don’t know how to contour my eyelashes.

3) The inescapable feeling that you don’t belong and are being judged for your shit eyeliner as you peruse the Bobbi Brown section at House of Fraser. Collection 2000 always had your back.

4) Losing the will to live whilst trying to fathom the difference between inexplicably titled foundation shades like ‘Iridescent Porcelain VII’, ‘Boom Boom White Girl’ and ‘Unicorn Smile’, knowing full well they will all just be ‘Orange’ once you go outside in the sun.

5) Going mental like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and cramming your basket full of goodies you neither want nor need because they’re on the 3-for-2 offer at Boots and therefore essentially free. MOLE PRIMER? HOW HAVE I LIVED WITHOUT THIS?! RED MASCARA? COME AT ME, BRO! Then getting to the till and having to pay £867 because you are too ashamed to put stuff back.

6) Watching people apply lipstick testers to their ACTUAL LIPS and not being able to slap it out of their hands and tell them how disgusting they are without being arrested.

7) When makeup has makeup on the outside of the makeup.

8) Being concerned that you can’t justify paying £53 for an eyeshadow palette in weird dead people colours because some beauty guru you stalk on Instagram says it’s super-wicked and now everyone has one and it comes up on your Facebook feed as a suggested post and you don’t understand how Facebook knows and you can’t escape the palette it’s everywhere the palette will never leave the palette is haunting you the palette is now on your face.

9) Being torn between not actually wanting a third item for the 3-for-2 offer at Boots and knowing the third item is free and wanting your money’s worth, and therefore panic-choosing something and being bitterly disappointed with your decision for the rest of your natural life. Damn you, Revlon bronzer circa 2003.

10) Purposely buying something that looks absolutely sensational on friends/bloggers/random strangers in the post office and thinking you’ve found the magical elixir that will bring all the boys to the yard but it just looks like a bag of crap when you apply it to your own face.