Workplace ‘Banter’

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There was little old me making a cup of tea in the office kitchen. Another terrible Tuesday morning which was just about to get worse.

A new lawyer had just joined my team. He was pretty good looking in a ‘best-of-the-office’ kind of way. He sidled up to me and some other colleagues and hit me with this:

‘You know there are two types of people in this world. To demonstrate – if the world was Argos there are those that are the front of house, customer facing people. Then there are the people that would be in the back of the stock room, away from everyone. You would be the latter.’

In fact not a day went by when he didn’t mention my gender (apparently I wouldn’t like anything he watched because of his bad taste I was a girl) and at one office party decided to explain, in great depth, how bodies are cremated. To a colleague who’s mum had just died.

Another colleague actually informed my secretary who was about to get married, how men only care about two things on their wedding day. Whether the dress is white and how much cleavage is on show.

But hey – I mean it’s all just banter isn’t it?

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Queer Data 

Ours is undoubtedly an age of easily accessible one night liasions with yourself. It is now often noted than more than ever women are turning their hand to this late night activity as much as men.

Whilst many write articles on the moral dilemma of porn, the emancipation of females and the perils of the Internet – I want to discuss a fairly recent phenomenon which has occurred amongst my friends. They are seriously questioning their sexuality. When faced with Porn Hub’s multitude of categories and fetishes; they are clicking on lesbian and they are not alone. Drunken taxi rides began to become worried confessionals, so I started to do some digging.

When discussing this amongst my male friends it suddenly seemed to make sense. When men watch heterosexual porn they claimed, they imagine themselves as that male. So perhaps when women see other women have sex because it is less focused on penetrative sex, they far more aptly place themselves in either of the roles?  This theory ends when you ask about male-male sex watched by women. Actually women are watching male-male videos more than men. They also watch ‘hardcore’ and ‘rough’ categories more than men – so penetration doesn’t seem to scare us.

Sexuality can not be constrained into categories and I realise constructing theories from Porn Hub alone (http://www.pornhub.com/insights/what-women-want) and confessions of friends is limited; but sexual trends are happening independently of interaction, that is talking to each other and therefore influencing each other, in my social group and beyond. It’s influence from media may play a part in this, but ultimately in the dark depths of our room we listen less to perceived trends and more to the inner fantasies and curiosities we bury. By Porn Hub’s demographics – if you searched an average woman’s (who watches porn) internet history, the impression you would get is that they were homosexual.

How does this reflect on the individuals’ sexuality? Do we consciously restrict ourselves in reality from the things we find sexually attractive? I have no straight answer.

Things I have learnt during my twenties (List 2): 

1) Having a relatively small amount of money is preferable. Having lots of money is not. More money = more time spent worrying about money. 

2) Don’t go to a musical theatre karaoke night – you will think you’re really awesome at it and your not. Also beware the Anne Hathaway impressions – it was terrible the first time. 

3) Healthy eating does really work and will make me look good: but I just love marmite on toast and carbs in general. However deliciously Ella is a phoney – who the fuck can buy 1000 mejool dates and avocados and not suffer from some sort of bankruptcy/natural sugar crack addiction. 

4) Don’t accidentally encourage someone to get engaged without thinking of the consequences (ie that they actually get engaged). Then again marvel at how your advice is actually listened to and then quickly distance yourself/take all the glory.

5) If you dress all in black and start getting called the ‘rogue nun’ by family and friends – congratulations. 

6) If your friend starts dating a 40 year old man who may or may not have served some time – let it go. It’s great gossip material (so with that embrace your inner bitch). 

7) Every single 17 year old boy I know (my brother’s friends – steady on…) actually really wants a stable, loving relationship. Let’s destroy those stereotypes people – teenagers are human too. 

Happy holidays 

The decision to embark on a family holiday is one that when younger, is out of your hands. Sitting for three days in a car to get there is also out of your hands. When you reach your twenties however, despite how hard you fight it, the decision is now (at least partially) yours. The ritual patterns of our lives which become comforting to partake in have fundamentally changed. We are adults with our own fully formed personality and conciounsness. 

My family decided to embark on a holiday three months after my father died of a brain tumour. We consciously and purposefully chose to spend a concentrated amount of time together, in another country, mainly eating and drinking. Surely undercurrents of frustration and sadness were always going to attend, packaged in idle threats and snappy churlishness. The empty chair at a tapas bar, trying to lay the table for five – the constant reminder that we didn’t know how to behave as a four. A team member down, competing grief and a life time of patterns cannot be masked with copious amounts of liquor. 

#FOMO

The ‘fear of missing out’ used to apply in my life, to those parties I couldn’t attend because my granny was having her sixty-something birthday (I was a bitch). Or when I wanted to go clubbing and a bald headed 24 year old driving licence didn’t cut the mustard. As I have reached my twenties it has morphed to become something far more philosophical. FOMO now is the fear of missing out by making the wrong choices. It is about future events I will miss because I’ve decided to a) get married at 22 because some girl at school did and maybe that’s what everyone is doing now b) decided to say no to all respected professions in the vain hope I’ll do something slightly edgier c) do nothing because this dilemma fundamentally stunts me (the irony). When you have fabulous relatives who swan around being arty models it is hard to get carried away into thinking you genuinely could be like them and that it’s moreover something you want. I have to convince myself over again that everyone has real-life-FOMO and to get over it. Artsy models have the same dilemma but then perhaps it’s not FOMO at all, perhaps it’s FOMO’s better known bedfellow – the familiar jealously. 

A twenty year old’s quote book (not my own)

– I genuinely got confused between where my life ended and Friends began.
– why would you build the castle so close to the motorway?
– I thought ‘lmnop’ was a letter.
– …. guilty knitting, guilty knitting.
– I was 13 and my breasts were just developing.
– If I took naked pictures one day it would be little old me, then I would be Kim Kardashian.
– Do cows get tired in the summer because it’s light for so long?
– You never realise how warm your urine is until it runs down your leg.
– I don’t want to call him my boyfriend because he’s like 90.
– If you had really long hair, I would brush it for you.
– I know shit about shit.
– You’ve dealt with it this far I’ll deal with it next far.
– I just had a flash forward premonition of me throwing up in a taxi.
– I feel like there gonna be a world event.. I mean not necessarily a bad one… but I’m apprehensive.

Things I have learnt during my twenties (List 1):

– LFTW = No not London Fashion Week with a typo, this is living for the weekends. When you actually have a 9-5 job this struggle is real. But drinking in the week is also totally necessary.

– My dad passed away a month ago from a two and a half year ‘battle’ (as people like to call it) with cancer. A brain tumour to be specific and at age 53. So the second thing I have learnt isthat unfortunately I have one thing in common with Kim Kardashian and that the people you love most are not infallible and you will miss them unbearably.

– If you work in a golf club where the members are 90% rich, bald men, a bar job is not a real job. They are also allowed to remind you of this at every opportunity, whilst standing in front of people for whom the job is a ‘real’ job. But apparently trading in intangible debt is totally worth everyone’s time.

– Book clubs are totally awesome. They involve meeting up with friends, totally rinsing each others choices and drinking. What a brilliant idea.#croptogoalz

– This is apparently the best you are ever going to look. This worries me as I can not for the life of me remember when I last saw my hip bones or thought ‘hey – I am definitely going to wear that sequin crop top tonight’.  With fellow twenty years olds including Candice (pictured) this is doubly worrying.

To be continued….