Why Dating Drives Me Nuts.

I’m not very good at dating

This is for several reasons.

First of all, flirting does not come naturally to me.

For me, flirting is one of the most awkward and contradictory forms of communication that you can engage in as a human being – you are trying to play it incredibly cool whilst simultaneously caring intensely about what the other person thinks of you.

Under these conditions, my brain tends to short circuit and I normally end up with something that is the complete antithesis of cool spurting involuntarily from my mouth.

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I also spent a lot of my teenage years reading teen romance novels and watching period dramas and, as a result, my expectation of love is unrealistically high.

Although I feel I have matured a lot since my Twilight days, some part of me still expects a potential romantic partner to declare their feelings for me in an elaborate display of affection, something involving a series heartfelt handwritten letters or a moonlit guitar serenade.

Unfortunately, the language of love nowadays instead seems to consist mainly of a series of strategically constructed WhatsApp messages – I always feels like I’m playing a highly tactical game which normally ends with me lying awake at night, debating whether I should substitute an ‘X’ at the end of a message for a generic smiley face emoji to avoid coming on too strong.img_0625In addition to my general inability to engage in romantic communication, I also have quite a severe nut allergy which means that I have to be careful before I kiss anyone to make sure that they don’t have any traces of nuts in their mouth.

Needless to say, this doesn’t do much for creating an atmosphere of spontaneous romance.

img_0634In an ideal world, I guess it would be easiest if I could find someone who also has a nut allergy, partly because we would understand each other’s dietary needs, but mostly because I’ve been waiting for years for an opportunity to use the phrase:

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I honestly have no idea why I’m still single…

Overall, I don’t really mind being allergic to nuts that much.

I mean it kind of sucks that I can’t eat certain things, like Nutella for example, mostly because everyone’s always telling me how good Nutella is.

I was once seeing a guy and things were going quite well until we walked past a Crepe stand on a date and he asked if I wanted to share a Strawberry and Nutella crepe with him.

I told him that I couldn’t eat Nutella and he looked at me with an expression of raw shock and anguish, as if I’d just told him that one of my close relatives had died.
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As I was speaking, I saw it slowly dawn on him that he couldn’t eat Nutella in the afternoon and then get off with me in the evening – the two thing things couldn’t co-exist in the same reality and he would have to choose.

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To cut a long story short, he chose Nutella.

A few weeks later, one of my friends came to me upset because her boyfriend had left her for another girl.

This, of course, was awful and terrible thing to have happened but I found it hard to feel too much sympathy for her.

I mean, at least her ex left her for another sentient being…

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If You Look For It, I’ve Got A Sneaking Suspicion That Loo Roll Actually Is All Around…

One month into quarantine and self-isolation is really starting to get to me.

I know this because this weekend I found myself watching classic Christmas romcom ‘Love Actually’ in April.

You know you have too much time on your hands when you find yourself watching a young Thomas Brody-Sangster legging it across an airport whilst crying into a bowl of Doritos because you’ve got bugger all chance of finding yourself in an airport departure lounge for the foreseeable future.

I’m finding romcoms quite difficult to watch in general at the moment because they really drive home the fact that my own love life has taken a massive nosedive since lockdown started.

Finding true love is hard enough in regular life, let alone when your search has been somewhat impeded by the fact that you’re confined to your house 24/7 and spend the majority of your time in sweatpants and your old school leaver’s hoody from 2012 – needless to say, I’m not exactly exuding irresistible goddess vibes at the moment.

Times just aren’t as exciting as they used to be but I suppose we all have to remain mindful and make sure that we’re still appreciating the small things in life.

For instance, we currently have an adequate supply of loo roll in the house, something that would have seemed inconceivable this time last month.

After all, in the words of Hugh Grant, if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspiscion that loo roll actually is all around…

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I Think I Might Be A Modern Day Shakespeare…

Towards the beginning of the lockdown period, I read a few articles claiming that Shakespeare wrote the entirety of King Lear when he was in quarantine during an outbreak of plague.

At the time, I thought it would be fun to spend a bit of my own quarantine writing a blog post exploring how some of Shakespeare’s theatrical masterpieces would have been different if he’d composed them during the current Coronavirus lockdown.

Perhaps I was hoping that this period of self-isolation would inspire bard-like levels of productivity in me and that I would be rattling off blog posts at an unprecedented rate.

Unfortunately, it has taken me a grand total of three weeks to get round to writing this blog post and, while it is perhaps no longer as contextually relevant as it would have been back then, here are three of Shakespeare’s plays reimagined in a modern day context. 

RICHARD III

Richard III focuses (unsuprisingly) on Richard III, who wants to become King of England.

As the plot progress, Richard commits various acts of atrocity and decieit in order to eventually secure the throne for himself.

However, towards the end of the play, Richard is forced to revaluate his life priorities and the kingdom that was once so important to him suddenly becomes less significant than a simple horse.

In modern society, we have also had to reevaluate our priorities in the face of a national crisis.

In fact, if he existed nowadays, I reckon Richard would have also found himself worrying about things that were previously completely inconsequential, albeit in a slightly less dramatic, more mundane way.

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MACBETH

The plot of MacBeth is kickstarted by a meeting between the titular character and three witches, who act as a catalyst to steer MacBeth onto his path of murderess ambition,

Had the play been set in modern day Scotland, it’s likely that the witches plans to meet MacBeth on the heath would have been somewhat scuppered by social distancing regulations.

The opening scene of the play wouldn’t have had the same ominous, spooky effect if the witches had instead been forced to arrange a Skype call to discuss the logistics of bumping into MacBeth in the local park by timing their allotted exercise walk in coordination with his.

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That being said, even if the witches had been unable to meet with MacBeth, Lady MacBeth still would have probably ended up manically washing her hands, not to shield herself from all-consuming guilt, but to protect herself from an all-consuming desire to touch her face.

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ROMEO AND JULIET

In some ways, Romeo and Juliet already lived under a kind of lockdown scenario and, had they lived in 2020, I’m sure the Capulets and Montegues would have had absolutelty no problems remaining 6 feet apart from each other at all times.

However, it would be perhaps be slightly more difficult for the titular characters to replicate the same intensity of passion that made their love affair so iconic if they had been forced to conduct it over Instant Messenger.img_0525

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The Life Cycle of an Idea

If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while.

This is because, recently, I have been struggling to develop my ideas properly and have been finding it hard to transform them from concepts into fully finished projects.

Unfortunately, at the moment the majority of my ideas currently seem to be going through the following life cycle:

BIRTH

The arrival of a new idea is always an exciting occasion. Although I’m not quite sure exactly what the idea is, I’m looking forward to exploring it further. The idea is full of untapped potential and I am completely and utterly convinced that it is unique and special.

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CHILDHOOD

As my idea begins to grow and develop, I tend to get extremely invested in it and become convinced that it will grow into something brilliant. At this point, the idea is still very much in the conceptual phase – the possibilities of what I can do with it are limitless and I tend to be completely blind to its flaws.

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ADOLESCENCE

After a while, I start to flesh out the practicalities of transforming the idea from a concept into a fully fledged creative project. However, at this point, the idea tends to rebel. It starts to take on a life of its own and I no longer feel as though I have any influence over where it is heading. The idea has officially entered its awkward teenager years – it’s no longer 100% sure what it wants to be and working on it starts to fill me with an overwhelming sense of angst.

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ADULTHOOD

Occasionally, I manage to wrestle my idea into something that vaguely resembles a finished project. However, my expectations of the idea were so high in its infancy that the work that I have produced in reality doesn’t usually match up with the glory of my original vision. Having invested so much into the idealised vision of what the idea would become, this stage tends to be slightly disappointing.

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MIDDLE AGE

At this point, I tend to hit crisis point. I’m not satisfied with the idea as it is and start to question if I’ve taken it in the wrong direction. That being said, I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet so I tend to make one drastic, last ditch attempt to change the idea in the hope that this will help it reach its potential.

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RETIREMENT

Eventually, the idea decides that it is  time to stop working all together. I might put the to one side with the intention of coming back to it later, but on the rare occasion that I actually do revisit it,  I often get confused as to why I even though it was a good idea in the first place. The idea has officially reached the end of it’s lifecycle.
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I Should Not Be Allowed To Play Board Games…

I don’t really consider myself to be a competitive person.

In general, I would rather spend my energy cooperating with others, as opposed to trying to beat them.

However, there is one area of life which poses an exception to this rule – playing board games.

Nothing brings out the worst, most primal aspects of my personality quite like participating in a game of Monopoly, Cluedo or Kerplunk.

Logically, I am aware that getting overly competitive when playing board games is ridiculous.

I know, for example, that ‘The Game of Life’ is not as important as my actual life. However, when I am actually playing ‘The Game of Life’, the outcome of the game rapidly becomes the single most important thing in existence and I genuinely care more about the success of that teeny tiny little plastic human in their teeny tiny plastic car than I do about my actual human self.

This being said, most board games are specifically designed to encourage competitiveness. For example, the title of the game ‘Frustration’ is indicative of the fact that it is meant to induce a feeling of mild frustration in those who play it.

However, the phrase ‘mild frustration’ cannot do justice to the raw untamed rage that I experience when I am losing a board game.

It is as if all the competitiveness that I should be using in other areas of my life is stored up and released all in one go. All semblance of respectful and dignified adulthood crumbles and is replaced by an all-consuming desire to win, no matter the cost. 

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