relationships

All posts tagged relationships

My ideal man

Published June 11, 2013 by crazyinpink

What I would like my ideal man to be like

A list by crazyinpink expressed through the medium of Benedict Cumberbatch

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1. My ideal man is sweet and understanding.

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2. He shares my values and beliefs.

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3.  He has passions and interests that make him unique and accepts my passions too.

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4. He has get-up-and-go and pursues what he’s after, whether it’s a particular career, a crazy ambition or, you know, world domination.

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5. He makes me laugh.

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6. My ideal man, of course, wants children.

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7. He can be serious when he needs to be.

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8. He can also be unbelievably goofy.

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9. He has his flaws but they’re overshadowed by everything else.

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10. He is caring and will always take care of me.

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Conference adventures

Published May 9, 2013 by crazyinpink

As a PhD student, the weeks blend into each other. I sink lower and lower behind piles of books I need to read and lists of sources I need to find grow longer. It is a strange thing, a PhD. You lose any concept of time passing. You only figure out it’s no longer term time when you venture into the library and there is a conspicuous absence of undergrads. There are no weekly duties like lectures, there are no monthly goals like essays, there is little face-to-face time with your supervisor or, indeed, any other human being if you’re not careful.

I don’t cope well without something to work towards. I know I have differentiation at the end of the summer but that’s months away.

So I set myself short-term goals. Within one month I wrote a 7000 word lit review, created a poster about my research and presented it with a little talk and wrote a paper for a conference. In hindsight, that was probably too much in such a short period of time.

Presenting my PhD research for the first time at a conference was scary. With all the setbacks, taking a month off for my op, organising my own conference, I felt I needed a push to get something down on paper. It forced me to do some research and think about it properly so it made sense. My title for the paper was the vaguest one I could think of so I could do anything with the paper within that vague area. The conference programme showed that mine was definitely the vaguest title. *proud*
I wrote the paper based on what I know so far. That’s not much, it must be said. I haven’t done that much archival research yet. But I was kind of pleased that at least I understand what I’ve done so far. I found it relatively pain-free to write the paper, though it ended up veering into the realm of intellectual history which I’ve never ventured into before. Intellectual history is concerned with ideas, how they filter through society and what motivates and cultivates these ideas into action. When I sent it to Best Friend to read over, he pointed out the intellectual history nature of it. I nervously asked if he thought it was okay. I didn’t want to embarrass myself talking about these big ideas if I couldn’t fully express them properly.

Paper written, we set off for the conference. Of course, both Best Friend and I were presenting at the conference since we can’t seem to do anything independently these days. We arrived a day early to do some sight-seeing. Early morning flights are not my friends and I was flailing by mid-afternoon even with all the random touristy things we were doing. On that day we visited a monument (up a stupidly steep hill), a graveyard, a castle (at the top of another hill), a cathedral and an art gallery. Not too shabby. Then we checked into our hotel and I had a nap while Best Friend practised his paper for the next day. We met up with another student from our uni for dinner and eventually, finally got to go to sleep.

The conference itself was grand. Only a nine to five affair, all postgrads so a sympathetic audience and only about thirty or so people. My paper went well and I got some really interesting questions that I was able to provide at least some kind of answers to.

My bladder, which is causing me problems at the mo, started to protest by the end of the afternoon and I ended up sitting awkwardly trying hard not to make it look like I was in pain from out-of-control bladder spasms. A lovely middle-aged man was talking to Best Friend beside me. He noticed my yellow ribbon I had pinned to my dress and asked me what it was for. I told him it was for endometriosis and then, seeing the blank look on his face, explained that it was an incurable medical condition which caused chronic pain. He asked if I knew someone who suffered from it and I said that I did. Best Friend was throwing me telepathic messages of ‘Please do not start talking about your ovaries.’ I was too uncomfortable to really keep the conversation going but at least he has heard of it now.

We wandered around the city, popping into the library (of course) and then back for dinner again. It was an intensely academic trip, even our dinners were spent with the two boys talking about history or theory (or football) and me absent-mindedly checking my phone or sipping juice, thinking longingly of sleep. But it was nice to have a little break from the routine for a few days.

Best Friend was on his best behaviour too. I was slightly anxious about us going away together again, especially since we couldn’t afford separate rooms. (Or, really, I couldn’t afford) But I needn’t have worried. He was a perfect gentleman and seemed to be looking out for me when he could tell I was getting sore or tired. He kept mentioning Bristol Boy as he isn’t entirely sure about what’s going on there. Neither am I really but Best Friend has a very basic understanding of relationships and in his head, I’m taken now so there are much clearer boundaries in our friendship than there were before. All in all, the trip went well, even though it did involve incredibly early mornings and a lot of walking.

But now…back to the books.

A Digital Fairytale – Part Two

Published December 6, 2012 by crazyinpink

Melody sat, trying to find the words to express this odd flirtationship she was in, but somehow failing.  Her tendency to turn everything into something funny usually worked well.  Her friends always expected gossip and amusing anecdotes about her escapades, usually involving a guy.  But this time, her story-telling was doing her a disservice.  She was giddy and excited about her romance with Edward and yet, scared of being taken in by someone she still hadn’t met.  Instead of being happy for her and encouraging her, the way she wanted them to, her friends seemed confused and assumed she couldn’t have any real feelings for this guy, it was just a bit of fun.  It had started like that.  But since that night they’d heard each other’s voices, her feelings had changed.

Talking on the phone made Ed seem more real.  She knew what he sounded like, the tone of his voice and how he laughed.  It brought all the texts and messages they had shared to life.  She longed to know him in real life, see if their virtual spark translated to reality. 

Edward wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  She knew that.  He was moody and insecure, needing constant reassurance that she still liked him.  Traits which might have put her off if they belonged to anyone else, but she was still drawn to him.  Still felt that stupid grin spread across her face when she read his latest message. Maybe because they were at a distance, they were being far more honest with each other than was usual.  For Melody at least. 

This honesty came across clearly when Edward confessed his dream of waking up every day next to her.  All he wanted in the world was Melody.  She didn’t quite know how to react to such admissions.  She was never one to initiate talks of feelings and found it difficult to express herself in such situations.  Edward, afraid that he had overstepped the mark, assumed he had scared her off when she didn’t reply straight away.  But she needed time to work out how she felt about him saying such lovely things.

She often needed to take time out from their intense communication, not only to process what was going on in this increasingly bizarre scenario, but also to live her life.  On more than one occasion she had to tell him that she couldn’t be glued to her phone all the time and reassure him that it didn’t mean she had gone off him in any way.

They were talking of visiting each other, Melody’s friends insisting she go to meet him with someone so she wasn’t alone.  She trusted Ed but knew that she had to be smart about this.  The trouble was finding someone willing to go to another country (albeit one only a quick flight away).  During the time she was thinking about this, Ed’s messages began to change slightly.  

He stopped sending hearts and his tone was slightly colder, as if he was pulling away.  Melody, not the best at negotiating relationships, asked him why. Ed had been thinking about the difficulties of a long-distance relationship and how tough it would be if they pursued it.  Melody had thought those thoughts too but had talked herself into the ‘wait and see’ school of thought. But Ed, the more pessimistic of the couple, couldn’t talk himself round.  He said they were kidding themselves that they could have something real.

Melody didn’t know how to feel.  She knew Ed was being rational and she, more than anyone else, appreciated rationality.  On the other hand, she felt a little heart-broken. She had shared a lot with him and had let herself fall head over heels for someone she had never met. Ed had fallen for her too, she knew he had. 

Agreeing to remain friends and text in a platonic, non-committal way, they continued to talk.  Both of them knowing their feelings were too strong to ignore…

 

The Sitcom that is my life

Published November 22, 2012 by crazyinpink

You probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told you what I’d been up to in the last few weeks.  When I tell various friends and amigos they give me that “You’re making this up, right?” look.  But I ain’t.  My life and the lives of those around me have just been so crazy lately that I’m thinking of writing a sitcom based on our experiences.

Here are a few of the subplots of late:

The One with Losing the Big V

A friend of mine sleeps with her boyfriend for the first time.  In fact, her first ever time.  This friend, Bella, decided earlier this year that she needed a man in her life, despite having survived the past 27 years pretty well without one.  Enter the dizzying world of online dating and the various catastrophes associated. A brief relationship ensued only to end after a month because the guy turned out to be a cowardly lion.  Cue depression and endless questioning.  Bella has anxiety issues and last year had a breakdown.  After a grieving period, she threw herself back into online dating, texting numerous guys simultaneously and generally behaving quite erratically.  We watched nervously, waiting to swoop in and rescue as she became glued to her phone, having combustive text arguments with a guy she hadn’t even met. Then, suddenly, one came along who wanted to be her boyfriend.  Things were obviously moving fast as a week after they first met, Bella asked me for tips on oral sex (no idea why she came to me as I have never partaken). But it was still a surprise plot twist when, meeting for our regular weekly coffee, she announced that she had slept with him.  And was not handling it well. At all.

The One with the Bisexual Boyfriend

As if the Bella storyline wasn’t enough, another friend had drama of her own when she returned from a holiday to discover that her boyfriend had multiple dating profiles on gay sites, actively looking for hook-ups.  Ellie had met her boyfriend through the choir that we both sing in.  He made it obvious one night at a concert that he was interested and relentlessly pursued her through facebook til she agreed to have coffee.  Soon enough they were facebook official.  Ellie wasn’t completely head over heels but figured that she would give him a chance.  He, on the other hand, was overly keen, lavishing presents for their one month anniversary and talking about hotels for wedding receptions. Ellie went away on holiday and decided that she just didn’t feel that way about him.  Before she could actually meet him to break up, a gay friend of hers admitted that he had found her boyfriend on a dating site. Not believing it, she looked for herself and found at least five different sites belonging to him with various degrees of detail and pictures of an inappropriate nature. Completely shocked, she turned to me.  I then had two women reeling from their love lives.

The One with the Office Politics

Sharing an office with your best friend might sound like a dream but in reality, it is anything but.  Settling in to life as a PhD student is tricky and it is only made more difficult when you share an office with someone as bewildering as my Best Friend. It has only been a month but we’ve already had our fair share of ups and downs.

Scene One: I get told off by Best Friend for not attending research seminars often enough and then get a second lecture by grumpy PhD guy who doesn’t like me.  I leave for the research seminar half an hour early although it is literally across the road.  BF questions this and I tell him that I need to get a seat in the back so I can fidget. “Don’t fidget then” I have to, those seats are so uncomfortable and hurt my back. “But your back seems fine now” Yes, but sitting in those chairs for an hour and a half will make it sore. “You’re so over-dramatic.  I think you just decide when to be sore so you can get out of things.” *exit scene before I punch him, followed by hour and a half seminar during which I say all of zero words to him*

Scene Two: I enter the office Monday morning after a meeting. I see BF has already been and left his stuff in. On my desk lies a paper bag with a post-it on top. It’s from BF. Inside the bag are two yummy buns from the bakery, something nice for me because I am always doing nice things for him. BF returns about an hour or so later, by which point I am sitting on the floor as it is more comfortable than my chair.  He chats away merrily, occasionally dropping on the floor himself to tell me things. After a while I get up and stretch, hands on my back.  BF is watching me and asks why I stand like that sometimes. When I explain that I stand like that (the way pregnant women stand supporting themselves) because it helps, he scoots over in his chair and starts rubbing my back.  He says that he has seen men on tv do this when their pregnant wives are in pain and asks does it help. I cannot even register if it does help as I can only think bout the fact that his hands are on my lower back, my very low back, dangerously close to my posterior. The rest of the day is filled with touchy-feely gestures, hand holding and hugs from him as I remain utterly bemused and start wondering if he’s done a Dr Jekyll-type experiment.

 

I could go on but I really need to practise my paper for the conference tomorrow. Oh yes, I still have to function as a normal PhD student in the midst of my drama-filled life.

No new storylines are allowed to happen until after this weekend.

A digital fairytale?

Published November 20, 2012 by crazyinpink

Once upon a time, there lived an relatively ordinary girl.  Her name was Melody and, although not blessed with the technology gene, she did have a soft spot for the world of Twitter.  She joined the twittersphere long before other people she knew in real life and became quite addicted to tweeting amusing comments, sharing her opinions on her favourite TV shows and posting pictures of new additions to her shoe collection.

One day, while watching a particular favourite crime show, Melody tweeted and retweeted lines from the show.  It amused her to feel like she was watching with a whole room full of people and their opinions rather than on her own, in her pyjamas.

One tweet was particularly funny and after retweeting it, Melody curiously looked through the rest of the user’s tweets and deeming them equally amusing, followed him.  Barely a minute had passed when the tweeter struck up a conversation with her, first about the show they were both watching but then turning into a general chat. Melody was flattered by the interest and attention and kept the conversation going until she went to bed.  Earlier that day, she had bumped into her crush and the experience had left her certainly feeling crushed herself.

The next morning, the mysterious tweeter of the night before began chatting once more.  He was called Edward and was the same age as Melody with similar interests and tastes.  She enjoyed talking to him and smiled when she heard the familiar ping of a new message. It wasn’t long until they switched to private messages, getting to know each other and asking questions.  Edward seemed so charming and sweet, saying that he was pleased Melody had retweeted him because he enjoyed talking to her.  He asked if they could be facebook friends and Melody agreed.  She was intrigued and wanted to know more about him.

Soon enough, Edward asked for her number.  It had been quite a while since a guy had asked for her number, Melody thought.  He began texting her every day, being equally cute, dorky and ridiculous in his messages.  She found herself confiding in him and being much more confident by text than she was in real life.

After a month of texting, Edward and Melody knew each other pretty well and decided that it was time for them to talk on the phone.  Both being quite shy, the conversation was hesitant at first but they quickly began talking like old friends.  Both of them were on facebook at the same time and, in the middle of telling Edward a story, Melody heard her laptop pop. Looking at her screen, she read a message from him saying how much he loved her voice.  She couldn’t help but grin at the cheesiness of it.  The phone call lasted an hour before they said goodbye.  It wasn’t really goodbye as Edward continued to send Melody facebook messages confessing how he felt about her.

Melody could hardly believe her eyes as Edward admitted that he was falling for her and wanted her to be his girlfriend.

Her tummy felt full of helium and also, kind of like she was on a rollercoaster.  She stared at the screen not knowing what to do.

She was torn for a number of reasons.  On one hand, she really liked Edward, loved talking to him every day and he was totally her type.  Had they met in real life, she was nearly sure she would have agreed to date him.  On the other hand, she didn’t want to be another story about being duped by someone on the internet.  She had to be smart and realise that until she met him, her feelings weren’t real.  She was falling for the idea of him and not the reality.  Equally, she knew that he was falling for the her that she wanted him to see.  There were things that they disagreed on, fundamental parts of life like what they believed.  Were those differences too great to be ignored because of some charming words and a cute personality?  These thoughts rushed through her head as she blinked, confuddled, at facebook.

Edward, as he did when saying something risky, tried to brush it off as a joke, something silly.  But Melody knew how he really felt.  She also knew how she felt in return.  In spite of everything, she knew she was crazy about him. There was just one problem…he lived in a different country.

Breaking down in public

Published October 10, 2012 by crazyinpink

People tell me I’m strong.  I like it when they do because it implies that they have an appreciation of what I have to deal with in my life.  I also don’t like it because it makes me feel like a fraud.  Sometimes I don’t feel like being strong.  Sometimes I break down and can’t see how my life will ever be what I dreamed it would.  I haven’t felt very strong lately.  There are a few reasons for this.

The Guy

I did a Brave Thing and asked out the guy I like thirteen days ago (now that I’m counting or anything) and he hasn’t replied.  Not only am I hurt and rejected but I also can’t help but feel a bit stupid.  I really thought he liked me and not in that way girls usually trick themselves into looking for ‘signs’ and hidden meanings.  We got on really well and he used to invite me out with his friends, tease me, help me, always took an interest.  I’m as guilty as anyone for over-analysing men (or ‘manalysing’ if you’d prefer) usually just for a bit of a laugh.  I’m not an OTT giggly girl who NEEDS to have a boyfriend in order for her life to have meaning.  I’m not even someone who is desperate to get married the older they get (although I know a lot of people like that).  If anything I’m hopelessly pragmatic when it comes to seriously considering a relationship.  I love flirting but actual relationships I take seriously.  And when I weighed up everything I knew about him, I thought I was making a good decision with this guy.  He can be quite shy and I thought I’d go for it since I no longer work with him and I won’t be seeing him any more.  But I got it wrong.  And now, ironically, I realise how much I like him and how I miss hanging out with him.

The Conference

Best Friend and I were asked to organise a conference to be hosted by our university next year.  This conference is held at a different university every year, I’ve been to the last three, Best Friend to the last two. We were advised to have a committee to help us.  Our committee met for the first time last week.  Aside from Best Friend, the rest are girls in their final year of PhD. Most of them are lovely and very helpful.  But one has already made it clear that she doesn’t like me.  I don’t know whether it’s because I’m ‘new’ and a first year in a position of authority, though I have the most experience.  It could be because I’m on such friendly terms with the staff and have contacts throughout the university.  There are few parts of uni where I have not worked at some stage over the last five years so I know a lot of people as our staff member on the committee was quick to point out.  It could just be because I am the complete opposite of her.  She is rich, I am poor. She is serious, I have a pink Little Miss notebook. She is married with her own house and grounds, I am a single girl who still lives at home.  Her attitude throughout our meeting made it clear that she thinks I am not someone worth listening to. It didn’t upset me really, more made me think ‘what have I got myself into?’ I have to work with these people for the next six months.  I’m only starting my PhD career, I don’t need enemies already.  That night I went out with my Toyboy and watched the latest Will Ferrell movie then had a McDonalds.  My mood was considerably improved after this.

The Concert

Saturday night was a big concert with my choir and orchestra.  I turned up to soundchecks raring to go but my good intentions quickly evaporated when I discovered that I was sitting in the far corner of the stage.  It was actually a separate stage a good foot lower than the rest, added on the end almost as an afterthought.  There were no lights or microphones and my two fellow sopranos and I were surrounded by altos. We couldn’t even hear the rest of the choir and could only occasionally see the conductor.  This isn’t a big deal except that this is always what happens at concerts.  The last three years my friend and I are always put into the back row at the end as if we’re distant relatives that no one wanted to invite to the family wedding so you seat them as far away as possible from everyone else.

Pain

The last week or so I have really struggled with my pain levels.  Sometimes it seems to operate in weird cycles, like for a while it’ll constantly wake me up in the middle of the night or just appear at a certain time in the day.  At the minute, it seems to crop up just after I’ve eaten. On Friday I had lunch with a friend and barely half an hour after I’d finished my pasta I was bent in double over the table with painful spasms. I was already a bit cheesed off at the concert on Saturday then I discovered that I couldn’t eat any of the tea provided for us.  It all contained fish, eggs or cheese.  My friend ate an egg and onion sandwich and found a bit of shell in it so quickly decided she wasn’t eating any more.  Her boyfriend was called on and arrived soon after with some chicken nuggets for us which we scoffed in a darkened room so we wouldn’t get caught.  In our usual pre-concert prayer meeting, I felt the familiar twinge of my ovaries deciding they were going to wreck havoc on my body.  I spent the twenty minutes before we went on stage alternatively hunched over and pacing, trying distraction techniques to help relax my muscles. The heat patch I slapped on in the interval did no good and by the time I came off stage I was wrecked.

I completely broke down in the dressing room and the tears started.  My friend quickly pulled me into a hug and let me cry onto her shoulder.  I don’t often cry in public so when I get teary it freaks people out.  I just felt so worthless.  I was exhausted and couldn’t keep up appearances any more.

Have you ever kept going even though you want to stop?  Fueled by the thought that everyone thinks you’re strong so you mustn’t let them down by showing a sign of weakness.  I just want to curl up and watch old episodes of Friends until I feel strong again.  Right now, I think I need to let myself feel weak for a little bit.

 

I get by with a little help from my friends

Published September 7, 2012 by crazyinpink

The last few days have been quite stressful.  I am still no closer to making a decision on what to do with the rest of my life.  Yes, I’m being melodramatic but my PhD will be my baby for three years and will determine my future career. It is a big and scary decision.  Yesterday morning I was leaning more towards PhD B until I had a meeting with my supervisor (and mentor).  Best Friend and I expected Supervisor to remain neutral and not try to influence my decision.  We were so wrong.  He immediately started expounding all the benefits for PhD A. Part of me thinks he just doesn’t want to lose me and wants me to stay at my home uni. But another, more rational part, knows that he has obviously been thinking about me and what is best for me.  He has always had my best interests at heart and I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without him.  

In fact, the last few days have shown me just how blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life who really care about me.  I just wanted to record my appreciation of them so that next time I’m feeling down I can look back on this and realise how awesome my friends are.  In no particular order (as they say on tv talent shows), here are some of the things I’d like to say to my amazing friends.

Toyboy

Thanks for going out with me on Tuesday night and making me laugh.  At times you are like a little ray of sunshine and you make me smile. Other times I want to slap you, especially when you vowed to find my mysterious blog.  I’m sorry I ever let it slip that I have one.  I know you probably spent ages trying to find it, I hope you haven’t but if you’re reading this now, GO AWAY! 😛

Best Friend

I’m so glad we are back to normal again after all the weird sexual tension earlier this year and the awkwardness that followed. You have been a really good friend lately and I really appreciate you trying to understand me.  Thank you for talking to me on the phone for hours trying to help me make this decision.  Thanks for not trying to sway me even though I know you don’t want me to leave you.  And thanks for all the odd emails and texts you’ve sent to try and cheer me up.

Fairy Godmother

You are my newest friend and yet I can’t imagine not having you in my life. You were so amazing about the whole Butter thing and continue to support me even when I’m not making any sense at all. Thank you for dropping what you were doing to visit me in work yesterday just cause I said I needed a hug.  Thanks for being there when I need you. 

Al

Even though our lives are completely separate now and you live in a different country, you still sense when something’s wrong.  I can never hide anything from you (do you know how annoying that is?) I was so glad when you popped up on facebook chat and let me moan to you for a while. 

Butter

I still don’t really know what’s going on between us but you seemed to sense that I just needed a friend yesterday.  It’s hard in work to get a private moment but I know that you were worried about me.  I had tried to hide the fact that I had been crying but you saw a tear track I had missed and wiped it away. You held my gaze and I knew that you wanted to make me better. When someone else appeared the moment was gone but you passed me a tissue and tried to make me smile. Thank you for being a friend to me even though you didn’t know what was going on. 

Church friends

Thank you for always being there when I need you.  I know we don’t hang out as much anymore since I stopped being a youth leader but you always have my back.  I can always ask you to pray for me without worrying that you’ll judge or question me.  You are such great listeners and I value all your prayers and words of encouragement. 

 

Basically, my friends are the bee’s knees.  I should really tell them that more often.