The Reality of Living with Your Partner

‘Why do you seem incapable of picking up the towel after your shower?’ I bend down and grab a damp towel from the floor of our bathroom, wincing as a pain shoots up my spine. I feel angry. I bunch up the towel and fling it across the landing, feeling tears spring in my eyes. This is stupid I tell myself, frantically running the back of my hand across my face. It’s just a towel. …..even if you spent all of your day off meticulously cleaning the entire house. I’m tired. I’m tired and sore from a long day at work and I don’t want to be picking up towels for other people.
My boyfriend doesn’t respond. He is in his office, working hard on his doctoral thesis and probably tutting at my nagging. He is tired too. I notice that his clothes are strewn across the landing and I feel like screaming. My mind goes back ten years, to our first night living together.

We had just come from the Irish version of prom. We were moving into a small house in Cork city, with two other people, to attend university together. We lay on a tiny single bed, in a grotty room, giddy and in love. We had looked forward to this moment for two years. We had lived hundreds of kilometres apart and now, finally, we would never be apart again. My head lay on his chest, and I listened to his heart beat. It was slow. He played with my hair.
‘I love you.’
‘I love you too.’
It felt simple. It was simple.
‘What do you think this will be like?’ he asked.
‘Perfect,’ I answered, without needing to think about it. ‘It will be perfect.’

And for a while, it came pretty close. Even though we had separate rooms, we couldn’t stand spending a night apart. We went to college and we watched TV with our roommates in the evening. We were young and in love and that seemed to be enough.

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After a year, we moved to a different house, alone for the first time in our lives. Like any couple, we argued. We argued about who’s turn it was to do the dishes, who should make dinner and whether to turn the heating on or not (I get cold easily, Jack does not). Sometimes these arguments descended into bitter fighting. Although we have never once in our twelve years together gone to sleep while still arguing, we have had some terrible verbal fights that neither of us are proud of.

After living together for a few years, I felt disillusioned. This hadn’t been part of the plan. When did Belle or Snow White have to worry about rent or bills or whether their other halves picked up their underwear off the floor? Of course I knew that life isn’t a fairytale, but I didn’t realise just how monotonous and frustrating living with the supposed love of your life could become. And I hated myself for feeling like that. I knew I loved Jack. I knew someday I wanted to marry him. I also knew that not living with him would feel infinitely worse for me. But knowing all of this didn’t stop the arguments.

And we still argue. We still argue over the dishes, the dinner, the heating. Jack leaves his clothes and towels strewn about and I inevitably end up picking them up for him. I leave food lying about in the kitchen and he ends up putting it back in the cupboards. Some days, we get angry and frustrated with one another and we talk it out. We’ve become much better at communicating with one another without the need for pettiness or passive aggressiveness. I’ve come to accept that this is what a real relationship is like. Most days, we are wonderful together. We laugh, we give each other space, we are affectionate and considerate. Some days we argue. Some days, we are selfish and irritable. I’ve learned that this is normal. We argue because we care. When we stop arguing, we stop caring.

Living with someone is tough. That’s something you don’t learn from Disney movies or romance novels. You are allowing someone to see you in a way that nobody outside your immediate family ever really has. I have flaws; I can be demanding, I’m overly-sensitive and I’m needy. I can also be ridiculously irrational. *cough* Like when we fight and I tell him to get out and then two second later, I’m all:

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*cough*

Jack has seen and dealt with these unattractive qualities first-hand. He has been patient, loving and kind to me. Although we’re not perfect, we seem to be right for each other. We fit. I would take a million arguments if it means that I’m lucky enough to have found the right person. It’s not always a bed of roses, but when it is, it makes everything else worthwhile:

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So living with Jack has been challenging. There are some days where I honestly have wanted to scream at him until I’m hoarse. Then there are days when I’ve come home from work, dejected and stressed, and all that I’ve needed is a cuddle and a cup of tea. I don’t even need to ask and Jack will fetch me a blanket and a hot water bottle and order me to lie on the sofa. We have our challenges, but we face them together. We haven’t idealised the future; we know that it will be tough at times. We will have to work together and to make compromises. We will fight, and we will hurt each other, but we will always come back and say we’re sorry.

This post has been partly inspired by one of my favourite poems by the wonderful Adrienne Rich called Living in Sin. The poem deals with the reality of living with a partner, as opposed to the idealised version we are often presented with in fiction. Have a read:

She had thought the studio would keep itself;
no dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears,
a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
stalking the picturesque amusing mouse
had risen at his urging.
Not that at five each separate stair would writhe
under the milkman’s tramp; that morning light
so coldly would delineate the scraps
of last night’s cheese and three sepulchral bottles;
that on the kitchen shelf among the saucers
a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own—
envoy from some village in the moldings . . .
Meanwhile, he, with a yawn,
sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror,
rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes;
while she, jeered by the minor demons,
pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found
a towel to dust the table-top,
and let the coffee-pot boil over on the stove.
By evening she was back in love again,
though not so wholly but throughout the night
she woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
like a relentless milkman up the stairs.

If anyone has some tips on how not to murder your partner, leave them in the comments!

My Boyfriend is as weird as I am

For anyone who thinks I’m weird (hello!) my boyfriend, Jack, is at least 73% weirder than me. This just happened:

Jack walks into the living room while I’m watching TV, and I don’t look at him but I can feel that he wants me to look at him. He walks past me a few times and clears his throat.

He’s wearing a medium length black coat and a scarf. Jack isn’t really the scarf wearing type, particularly in mild weather, so he looks different than normal. I have to say, he looks very handsome and fashionable in his coat and scarf. The thing is, I can tell he is self conscious. He’s the sort of guy who doubts his fashion choices and who needs reassurance. He also overthinks everything.

He clears his throat again.

“What do you think?”
“Lovely.”
“Really?”
“Yeah…but what have you got it on for now? We aren’t going anywhere tonight.”
“Yeah…erm, I might go for a walk just…around.”

Now reader, this might seem perfectly normal but Jack and I never walk anywhere from our home. You see, we live a few kilometres from a forest park, so we always drive there for our walks instead. Hence, Jack going for a walk alone at night from our house is not a regular occurrence.

“Erm, why would you do that?” I ask.
The thing is, I already know the answer. Jack knows he looks handsome in his coat and much like a child who gets a new Ironman tshirt, he wants to show it off.

“I’m just…bored.”

There’s a silence.

“Does my coat really look nice?” he asks again, adjusting the sleeves. Before I can answer, he asks another question: “Do you think it’s too early in the year to wear a coat?”

Since I’m watching one of the last episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I’m not really paying adequate attention to Jack. I just shrug.

“It’s just…I don’t wanna go out wearing a coat if I look like a douche.”

“Mmm.”

“Maybe we could watch the news? If the reporters are wearing coats and scarves then maybe I can too?”

“I’m not changing the channel, love.”

“Right. Will ya just check the temperature there on your phone?”

I reluctantly check, silently worrying that my weirdness is contagious and I have seriously infected Jack.

“It’s thirteen degrees.”

“That’s cold, right?”

“I’d say it’s more…mild.”

“Ah, damn it.”

And then all I see is Jack flouncing out of the room, dramatically ripping off his coat. He still hasn’t come back downstairs.

He’s adorable.

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He looked a little like this, except it wasn’t a duffel coat…and he’s not a cat.

This is the kind of relationship we have…part deux

Yesterday, I bought myself a lot of some chocolate. Not just any chocolate mind you, Galaxy chocolate. Galaxy is so fancy and tasty that before I eat it, I pour it a glass of wine and light some candles. You can’t just scoff this chocolate, you have to be nice to it.

I decided to save it for Saturday night, where I was going to sit femininely cross legged and eat each square one by one, all sexy like. LOL, joke, this was totally the plan:

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Instead, something terrible happened. Now readers, I must prepare you. You won’t want to see chocolate like this but it’s necessary for my story. I got up in the morning and found my chocolate like this:

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Turns out, Jack had decided that it was far too much for one person and had taken half of it. I can’t describe the feeling of betrayal that swept through me. I decided to deal with the thievery in the only way I know how: sending Jack a barrage of angry owl memes.

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http://cheezburger.com/6426246400

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Naturally, I expected Jack to be terrified. You know, because…angry owls. Instead, he sent me this:

“This is what I’m imagining you doing right now Jane”:

Asshat.

A Tour Through My Very Weird Camera Roll

Happy weekend everyone! LETS GO CRAAAAZY AND DO SHOTS! Haha, not really, let’s wear onesies and watch Finding Nemo.

So today Jack needed to send a text from my phone. I left the room to do important Jane stuff (eat marshmallows and line dance with my cat). When I came in, Jack looked confused.
“What’s up?” I asked, taking my phone back.
“Um, nothing”, he replied, eyeing me suspiciously.
“What?” I prodded. It was obvious something was bothering him.
“Your camera roll on your phone…is…really weird.”
“What else would you expect?” I asked, laughing. He’s right, by the way. It’s insane. Let’s take a look at some of my pictures, shall we?

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There this photo of a dog that I don’t own because cute dogs are to me what supermodels are to teenage boys.

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I’m not even gonna feel bad about this, it’s gold.

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Ditto.

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I like to intermittently send this to my friends when they text me gossip.

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And this if for when they insult me. Sorry not sorry.

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You’re probably sensing a theme here. And yes, there are dozens more of these. Seriously, if I’m ever hacked, this is 97% of my camera roll.

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I also like to photograph the back of my head…for art. And research.

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There’s an estimated 6000 pictures of my cat asleep. She’s majestic.

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I love Steven Seagal.

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Here’s a woman I don’t know!

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Escargot, aw haw haw!

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Messi looks like Eric Bana, yes?

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I send this to Jack because he is smarter than me.

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I’m sure there’s a good reason I have a picture of Emily Dickinson in my phone…

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WHY WOULD SOMEONE HAVE THIS IN THEIR CAR??!!!

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I gave Jack a makeover.

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My cat decided she wanted a bath….

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…and that she wanted to wear a turban.

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There were some pretty pictures…

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…and some pictures of Kevin’s Mom from Home Alone.

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My guinea pig taking selfies…

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…and a hitch-hiking sheep.

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The time I realised my cat is also Spider-Man.

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WINDMILL FTW!

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*Snigger*

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Apparently there was an instance where I needed a picture of the scary nun from The Magdalene Sisters and Emilio from Dangerous Minds. Perhaps I was writing very very weird fan fiction.

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This donkey confused me. Is it Rastafarian?

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I got sunburnt and looked like the Swiss flag.

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I probably had this picture for a very good reason but I cannot remember what that reason was.

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There are 36 pictures of my own teeth. I can only assume I was drunk when this happened. Very, very drunk.

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There are several face-swap pictures of Jack and I. Disturbing. Very disturbing.

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Yes. That is frogspawn.

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More Beyonce.

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My cat sure knew how to chill.

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I bought my guinea pigs a swing and they’re all Little House On The Prairie.

That’s only the ones that are safe for here. Most were of me hugging strangers and climbing lampposts. There were 3 photos of me eating hotdogs and no that is not a euphemism, I was actually eating hotdogs.
If you like, why don’t you show us some of your camera roll? Is it as random as mine?

How To Out-Creep A Creep

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a weirdo magnet. Ladies, I’ve a feeling I’m not alone here. You all know the deal: you go to a bar with your girls, you wanna get drunk and cry-sing Don’t Stop Believing but there’s a guy who wants to get all up in your junk (I don’t know what that means but it sounds intrusive). You politely tell him you’re not interested. He doesn’t budge. You politely tell him you’re a lesbian. Nope, homeboy is still grinding all up on you. That’s when you need to break out the big guns. One of these lines and you’re free to vomit as much rainbow coloured tequila as your heart/liver desires…or end up in prison, whichever.

1. It’s funny, when one boyfriend is cut up with a machete, Satan sends you another one!

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2. Ooh, don’t get so close there sailor! Doctors don’t know what I have but it’s definitely contagious.

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3. I can’t believe you’re dancing with me. This is exactly what my cat said would happen.

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4. Sorry, I just cut one. *sniffs air* I don’t remember having chilli.

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5. If I could make a boyfriend out of dough, I’d make you…but I can’t. Trust me, I tried.

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6. I’m sorry, I can’t listen to this song with you. Mom doesn’t allow me to listen to rap.

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7. Your shirt is cool. I sewed my dog the same one. He wears it for all our business meetings.

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8. Thanks. I have all of my own hair. And all of my own teeth. Plus these extras that I carry around in my pocket.

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9. *While dancing* “If ya got numerous STDs put ya hands in the ay-arrrre!”

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10. I’m just trying to forget my jealous ex-boyfriend, “Stabby-Pete”.

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P.S. I got some good test results today that rule out anything serious so brewskis all round!

Cupid or Cats is one year old today*

This blog is one year old today! I just want to say a massive thank you and give an awkward arm punch to all of my wonderful followers, commenters and likers for sharing this weird and wacky journey with me.

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I decided that for my blogaversary, I would do a blog Q&A, with myself…because, well you already know weird is how I roll.

Hey Jane.

Hey, Janey. Wait, am I Jane or Janey?

It doesn’t matter. Man, you’re annoying sometimes.

Ditto, bitch.

Well, we’d better get started. Why did you begin blogging?

It was actually my boyfriend’s idea. I was always either ranting or making silly jokes, and he felt that a receptive audience would be a lot better than just him and our cat. My cat thinks I’m s**t, by the way.
Anyway, I was going through a tough time and I thought it would be a great way of expressing myself.

Does your blog have a niche or a theme? Because it seems random as hell.

Originally, I had intended it to be a relationship blog but then my brain got in the way (wearing a bikini and being all distracting) and was like “no Jane, talk about farts, talk about owls…” so yeah, that idea quickly went out the window (along with my dignity).
Now, I just write whatever makes me smile. Essentially, I just want blogging to make me happy. I’m selfish like that.

You’re a teacher. Why don’t you blog about that?

Occasionally, I’ll mention it. It is a big part of who I am, but this was intended as an escape from all of that. I love my job, I do. And I try to be fun in class and have a laugh with my students, but obviously I have to be professional. Here I can just be whatever I want, including a ballerina. *does awkward arabesque*
I know that if I had a proper niche, I would have more followers but I never began this to gain thousands of followers; I did this for stress release.

Why the name Cupid or Cats?

I don’t know. I really don’t. It just came into my head. I think it was because, like I said, it was supposed to be a relationship blog. And I thought I want people in relationships (who’ve been hit by Cupid’s arrow) and single people (erm, I don’t know what to say without offending anyone so here’s a picture of a happy kitten:)

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…to read my blog. By the way, I once had, like, five cats so what do I know?
And anyway, if I keep blowing foghorns in my boyfriend’s ears, this is what will happen to me:

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Smooth Jane. Really smooth. So, be honest, what do you like best and
least about blogging?

Best: The people. Really.
I have met funny, kind, intelligent, insightful, loving, cheeky and generally BRILLIANT people here. It’s great, because we are all united in our desire to say something relevant and to listen to others.
I can’t really believe how nice anyone is. Or how engaged people are. We have lots of fun on here.

Worst: Ugh. That’s tough. Sometimes I read blogs that are just amazing and I know I’ll never measure up. But then I look at owl memes and I feel okay.
Also, keeping up with all the blogs I follow can be difficult and I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t value what they do. I try my best. I get a little paranoid that people will think I’m a selfish blogger, but really I make as best an attempt as I can to catch up with all of you. I reply to virtually every single comment I receive because I appreciate them so much. And also, because they’re always great and make me smile.
Something happened lately that has upset me a little, but I’m not going to discuss it here (sorry). It just made me realise that there definitely are downsides to this blogging malarkey.
But the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

How do most people find your blog?

Through Google searches about farting. No joke.

That’s weird. So, how does your boyfriend feel about all of this?

He doesn’t really care either way because he’s so busy with his PhD. He does like what I write whenever he happens to read my posts, though.
Sometimes he even laughs.

Does anyone else know about your blog?

Yes, I drunkenly confessed to a friend but I doubt she reads it much. She’s cool though, I trust her and I don’t mind her reading it at all.
I also think I told my best friend but she didn’t really say anything at all.
There is no way I would tell anyone else, though. My family would not be impressed (they’re great, but very private) and I would be really paranoid I’ve written something negative about someone that would cause offense, so I won’t be sharing this blog with anyone else in my personal life.

Why the picture of yourself then?

I think the chances of someone that I know stumbling across my blog are very small. I probably will change it, but I’m lazy.
I like that my readers can put a face to my blog, even if I do look super-bitchy in my gravatar. M to the e-ow.

What do you think is wrong with your blog?

Nothing, of course.

Jane, stop being an ass.

Okay, I was kidding. I thought you of all people would know that.
I have no grand plan or scheme, I don’t edit my posts, I write exclusively on my phone, I post too much…okay, now everyone is just going to unfollow me. Thanks, Jane. (Little do they know, every time someone unfollows me, a dolphin cries.)

So Jane, how’s your Mom heh heh heh…

What are you talking about? She’s your Mom too, smartass.

Oh yeah. That’s embarrassing. . So what do you think the future holds for your blog?

I don’t know. I want to tidy it up a little and maybe include some features.
If I ever get to 1000 followers, and that’s a big if, I’m going to do something really really special. It’ll probably be a while before that happens but let’s just say, it going to involve me, wine, maybe some karaoke and a camera. Oh yeah.

That should class up the place a bit Jane..

Natch.

So, that’s a whole year guys. Here’s to a whole bunch more.

*Technically, it’s tomorrow. But the idea was born on the fifth and….look over there…*runs*

Not the post I had intended, but…

So I had this post all written up and ready to go. And it disappeared.
It was about independence, there was pictures of BeyoncĂ© and sea otters and me singing (with words…trust me, you would have sung along). AND IT’S GONE.

Needless to say, I was pissed. While my posts aren’t exactly top quality (you know I write them on my phone, while intermittently playing Candy Crush, drinking coffee/wine and throwing papers at my cat) and I won’t exactly be winning Pulitzer Prizes anytime soon (but wouldn’t that be SO COOL?!), I still love this blog and I love writing up my weird and random posts. Perhaps it’s revenge for being so blasĂ© about it all. Boo, WordPress, boo.

So instead, I’ve just decided to throw together some of the thoughts that have run through my head today and maybe you can tell me what you’ve been thinking about and then we can have internet cake? Got it? Good.

1. I did a Luis Suarez impression for Jack but he thought I was impersonating Bette Midler. Typical.

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2. Jack handed me a giant bread roll filled with chicken while I was watching TV and I was holding it like I imagine Hamlet held Yorick’s skull, wondering whether the 45 minutes on the cross trainer would be worth it, because carbs.
One of my former students happened to walk past my window, with a look of “why the hell is she staring at her food like that…oh yeah, because she’s weird.”

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3. Girls really can be crazy. I met a guy in a bar about a month ago who was also a teacher. He happens to be a friend of a friend. We talked about our jobs, and I talked to him about my boyfriend. Literally, all we did was talk about our work (he’s also an English and history teacher).
Our mutual friend called me today to tell me that his girlfriend had been watching us and went insane and they had a massive fight that lasted weeks. I felt bad for about ten seconds, and then realised that it was completely innocent and she’s just cray cray. Maybe I should stop wearing hoochie lipstick?

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Apparently these are the lips that will ruin your life…

4. I am one step closer to becoming BFFs with Chris O’ Dowd because my boyfriend and his Dad are friendly (they’re even Facebook friends). I keep asking when it will become acceptable to show up at their house with a six pack and apple pie.

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SOOOOONNNN

5. I love my nieces. I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of money on them today and now I’m poor, but hey, who needs clothes? AMIRIGHT?

6. Jack thought “polo necks” were actually called “polar necks” and I realised that kinda makes sense.

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7. We have a drink in Ireland called Cidona and it’s amazing.

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I want it on me.

8. My other friend rang me wanting to know if she could put up pictures from a few years back of me on Facebook. I’m pole dancing upside down.
So no.
She did send me this picture, taken when I was 18 on her brick phone (it was huuuuge). Don’t I look like a moody cow? And I really miss that Rolling Stones top.

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9. Squirrels are basically land beavers. Swans are basically posh ducks.

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Look at him there, the snob.

10. I had to get my driving licence renewed and the guy processing my application thought I was crazy. After I got my picture taken (it was the WORST picture of me taken EVER. In fact, it might just be the worst picture taken EVER) all I could think of was this pic:

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I literally burst out laughing in the guy’s face. And I couldn’t stop. I just couldn’t. He looked really confused.

So that was my day today.
Tell me about yours!

P.S. Here’s the picture of the sea otters because I love you guys.

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My boyfriend is also weird

“Oh dear God, what’s that?!”

“Hmm?”

“Hon, there’s something…THERE’S SOMETHING CRAWLING ON MY FRICKIN’ AAAARRRM!”

“Eh?”

“THERE’S SOMETHING FLYING ABOVE MY HEEEAAADD!”

“It’s just a moth, Jane. I saw it before I turned off the light.”

“A moth? What if he, I don’t know, hatches eggs in my hair? Or falls into my mouth?”

“What if he hatches eggs? There’s so much wrong with that sentence I don’t know where to start.”

“I’m serious Jack. I won’t be able to
sleep now. What if he is crawling on the ceiling and falls on me? Eurgh, I can hear him flapping around the room.”

“Hey, you remember the moths they took out of the corpses in The Silence of the Lambs?

“Really Jack? REALLY? That’s what your going to talk about? Why aren’t you defending my honour against this blatant home invasion?”

“Just do what you do with the spiders.”

“Scream uncontrollably and run through the nearest window?”

“No. You give him a name to make him less scary.”

“Huh. That’s not a bad idea. But what do you call a moth?”

“You obviously call a moth Ti-MOTH-y. Timothy. Get it? Hahaha.
Man, I’m funny…Jane?….Jane?”

“Sorry, I’m kind of in awe of you right now.”

This Happened in Bed Last Night…

According to Jack…

He wakes up to find me tossing and turning. I’m murmuring and it sounds like I’m distressed.

“Love…” He shakes me but I just grunt in reply. “Love…” He tries again. This time I stir, and look at him, wild-eyed.

“Eh?” I grunt.

“Are you okay?”

“I…I was just wondering…if… ducks have necks.” I’m slurring my words a little, and rubbing my eyes. Then, as quickly as I had woken up, I fall back on my pillow and slip into an instantaneous sleep.

I have no recollection of this event whatsoever.

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