Bye Felicia.

Earlier this week I joined a Facebook group for women over 50, hoping I’d maybe have some stimulating conversation and possibly meeting up for drinks or whatever with a couple of them who live in Manchester. Within 24 hours I’d had a message from admin because I’d upset someone with a comment I’d made to them, so I realised that yet again, this group was not for me. Someone had posted asking where there any good men left at our age? So I replied that in my experience of dating them that yes there are, but there are different problems dating older guys so I gave a quick summary.

Doris from the stone age didn’t like it.

She then posted her own post saying that someone was “men-bashing” and as she herself had been married to Burt for 100 years I was talking bollocks. Bring it on Doris, bring it on. I applaud women who have been married forever as I’m sure that a lot of hard work has gone into that but for a lot of us life has turned out to be a bit different for whatever reason and let’s not forget nobody gets married to get divorced, or expect to be widowed. So Doris got a blistering reply and obviously then reported me after deleting her post and that was that. But that’s ok because I have joined these sort of groups before and it always turns out the same, because a lot of the women seem to be retired some of them seem to have a lot of time on their hands and sit on Facebook all day. Every single day is the same.

“Morning everyone, it’s cold here in Bristol”.

“Morning Claire, it’s cold here in Edinburgh but I’ve got the kettle on.”

“Oooh are you having biscuits?” says Gladys in Kent.

“On my third cuppa already” replies Sue in Portsmouth.

And then there will be at least a hundred other women replying saying something very similar.

Can you see my problem? I have eyes, windows and a tv to watch the weather forecast. I can see for myself what the weather is like as I set out for work, I don’t need a running commentary about tea, biscuits and the state of the garden. But it’s not just that, there will be posts about “What were your favourite sweets as a child?” or “Does anyone remember what their school uniform was like?”  I appreciate that for a lot of women these groups are great, a way of communicating and maybe making a couple of new friends but unfortunately it’s not for me. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hard being this fabulous.

Bye Felicia.

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Rumour Has It.

Women are good at a many things but one of the things that they are really really good at is bringing other women down, especially if they see that you’re doing well. Forget the sisterhood, all bets are off if you dare to try to stand out from the rest of the flock for whatever reason, as this is when you find out who the wolves in sheep’s clothing are. The post that went viral of Kerry Whittaker, the Asda checkout girl who was slated by other women for wearing make up reminded me again of how nasty some women are.

When I first started blogging and posting on Twitter I was anonymous, only a few people knew who I was and one of them was happy to retweet any blogs I posted as I obviously wasn’t a threat to her at the time. I’d been really supportive of any of the things she’d been doing which included a couple of TV appearances on her part, a blog she was also doing, and generally just trying to be a good friend. This changed when I got on First Dates. By now I’d realised that there was no point being anonymous as the guys I date have only just discovered Facebook never mind Twitter so I was quite safe that none of them would read it. It was now time for me to have the support but unfortunately she was too busy to watch First Dates, and also the retweets of my blog suddenly stopped and not long after all contact stopped.

But she wasn’t the only one.

I went into work the next day and more than one woman dropped her eyes as she walked past me rather than say “Hello” so I knew they’d seen it. The same women who I’d been laughing and joking with the day before but obviously overnight I’d grown two heads. Then there was the friend who didn’t get back to me at all after watching the episode until three weeks later as she’d been “too busy” and  another woman I know didn’t speak to me for six months. Then there was the one who had a conversation with everyone else who had watched it but didn’t mention it to me at all. The men on the other hand were great, they wanted to know all about it and asked loads of questions which I was more than happy to answer (unless it was someone who never ever spoke to me usually so don’t start now). So, as well as two heads I’m guilty of other things. Apparently.

Rumour has it that I ‘ve changed. Well I damn well hope so as life changes all the time which means you have to change with it. It’s called evolving. When someone says that about you it usually means that you are doing something they don’t like.

Rumour has it that I think I’m all that as I wear full make up every day and it usually comes from women the same age who don’t make the effort. Listen love, try saying that to Joan Collins.

Rumour has it that at my age I shouldn’t be on dating sites for god’s sake I should just give up and get a cat, stop chasing men and accept growing old gracefully. The irony in this is that the women who say this are usually married or in a relationship.

Rumour has it that I love myself as I’ve been on TV. Of course I do, I’m Jacqui Wright bitches.

Sometimes things happen in life that changes everything. That happened to me five years ago when I ended up in a place I wasn’t supposed to be so I had to make the best of it. This included starting to date again which led to so many other things as we all know and now some people don’t like it. I don’t remember seeing many of you there when life wasn’t so good though but that’s ok.

But the funny thing is that some of these women who’ve had to plenty to say, been unsupportive, ignored me for whatever reason, will declare that they are my best friend or say that we work together/went to school together or stood at the same bus stop for five minutes if they ever met anyone who said they knew me. Women are always so quick to knock other women down and some of the worst are always bitter middle aged women, but that’s a whole other post.

True story.

 

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In A Parallel Universe.

People like to think they have people sussed, usually according to age and lifestyle, personally I would like to read that stone where the law is set as to where you should be in various stages of life, but especially when you get to my age. Age brings life experience and sometimes things happen that change everything, so I have learned not to plan too far in advance while trying to steer things in the right direction. Without going into too much detail I’m living a life that I never expected, but I also appreciate that other women my age would have sleepless nights if they found themselves in my position, whereas I’m just trying to roll with the punches.

I know that if certain things hadn’t happened I would have been living a different life, not necessarily a better one, just a different one.

Maybe I would be married to the same man for 30 years, living in the same house we bought when we had two small children. Hopefully the mortgage was paid off and we were enjoying the high life after working hard for years, possibly cashing in a couple of pensions to pay for our many cruises.

Maybe we would be with the same circle of friends that we met on a regular basis, with trips to London, Barcelona, and a holiday at someone’s villa in Spain, while not forgetting the many weddings, christenings and family parties that we were all invited to.

Maybe I’m semi-retired, still working at the same job at the same place that I’ve worked at for over 25 years, but because I only do a couple of days a week , it means I can help out at the local charity shop and can join a few committees making my community a safer/better place to live.

Maybe I’m still married but unhappy, as it’s difficult to leave when you’ve built a life together over a number of years. Some people are reluctant to give up the trappings of what they consider to be a successful life

But I don’t live that life. I work full time, don’t own my own home and live with my gay housemate in a vibrant city where there’s lots going on. I work in a place that has enabled me to meet some interesting people, and I know if I was living my alternative life we wouldn’t have met. I do things now (when I have the time) that would not have been possible at one time and have to say I’m loving it, take that as you will and if someone had told me 5 years ago that this is where I’d be I would never have believed it.

But I will say this.

As a middle aged woman we are generally ignored and expected to exist rather than live no matter which life we lead, we’re on everyone’s peripheral vision but actually not seen which means we would make exceptional spies, private detectives or shoplifters. We have no opinion worth listening to, know nothing, and are generally treated as a bit of a nuisance but obviously we know better. In the grand scheme of things I’d rather be me, right here, right now and while most (usually younger) people think older people have no valid input, not only have we got the t-shirt but it’s probably been wrapped around someone’s neck but think on. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be me some day and who said older women should be (not even) seen and not heard? Sod that.

 

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It’s Just a Little Crush.

I’ve not had a date in a while, although I’ve been having lots of conversations with wannabe Mr Wright’s I’ve not been on an actual date. Not to worry, I don’t think I’m missing much seeing as how they don’t even seem to remember my name anyway (Goddess to you) but what was even more worrying is the fact that I haven’t had a crush to lust after for a long long time, until recently.

I’d forgotten that feeling, catching sight of someone who you absolutely focus all your fantasies on, where you catch your breath and mentally run a mirror check over yourself hoping that your hair/make up and clothes are spot on. Maybe move a little closer to where he is but trying not to make it obvious even though you’ve probably gone beetroot and your heart is racing, and you’re concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other so you don’t trip up. He probably won’t even notice you but that’s ok, he’ll be paying attention to the woman who he’s with but if you’re lucky you might catch his eye and get a smile from him, and that’s enough.

Like I said, it’s been a while.

Where I work there are a lot of customers in and out every day, but a while ago I noticed a gorgeous guy in his late thirties who was just my type, tall dark and handsome. I say my type but in fact there has only been one guy who fits that description in any relationship that I’ve ever  had so what does that say? This man is gorgeous, and sometimes (if he’s lucky) I might spot where he is in the store and ask him does he need any help to find anything? And while Mother Nature has played that cruel trick by making us feel younger than we actually are, I don’t think he’d appreciate a woman who’s old enough to be his mother drooling all over him. But then again, he’ll never know.

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Domestic Abuse Isn’t Always Physical.

As Oscar Pistorious has at last been found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp it brings up the issue of domestic violence but believe it or not, a lot of the time, an abusive partner doesn’t even have to lay a finger on you. Coercive control is very soon to be classed as an actual offence which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, so let’s see how many misogynistic guys get away with the vile way they treat their girlfriends/wives/partners who they say they love.

When you meet someone and you find that you’ve got things in common, you’re getting on, loving the whole thing of spending time with them and all the rest of it, you’re not really looking for things to spoil it. Also your new guy isn’t going to show his true colours straight away as you’d probably run for the hills. No, you’ll get little glimpses at first but nothing really major, nothing to get you thinking that something is wrong, but it will definitely be something that you feel uncomfortable with but you’ll make excuses for him because this guy really LIKES you. In fact, he likes you that much he wants to spend all his spare time with you, and while he can’t tell you not to go out with your friends, he starts to make it plain that he doesn’t like it. He’s also not keen on any of your friends to be honest, and might even try to cause some sort of arguement between you and them, making it easier to isolate you from them. Will he have any female friends himself? Probably not.

Once your relationship is established you will see some changes in the way he talks to you, mainly negative remarks, about your job, friends, family, dress sense, how you have your hair, make up, and always adding that no one else will want you if, god forbid, he ever left you. If you’ve actually moved in together you’re in big trouble. He now has you exactly where he wants you but the problem is, you become confused because although you know what he’s doing is wrong, there is actually no violence. There are threats of withdrawing love, affection, and of him actually leaving you if you don’t comply to what he wants but it’s difficult to think you might actually be in an abusive relationship with no actual violence involved.

Don’t be fooled.

If he’s jealous of every male friend you have and wants you to cut all ties with them, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re thinking of how to break the news to him that there’s a girl’s night out planned and knowing he’ll kick off, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If he’s slagging off all his ex-girlfriends/partners  and doesn’t have a nice word to say about any of them, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re having to account how you’re spending your money (when you’re working) you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re having to explain to family members that once again you and your lovely partner won’t be attending the wedding/christening/funeral you’re in an abusive relationship.

If he’s constantly bringing you down with negative comments about yourself, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’ve started to walk on eggshells around him and watching what you say so he doesn’t get angry, you’re in an abusive relationship.

I could go on but you get the picture.

If your partner is saying that he loves you while making you feel worthless, he doesn’t even like you for god’s sake. The very things that attracted him in the first place will be the things that he’ll want you to change.

This doesn’t apply to most men thankfully, just a few who don’t actually like women, and hopefully you’ll never have the misfortune to meet one of them but if in doubt, wise words from Caitlin Moran.

“Never love someone whom you think you need to mend, or makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls, they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear, and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart.”

 

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