My Fab Four 

Well hello there friends! I am just back from a fabulous break with my best friend and I feel equal parts exhausted and exhilarated. We ate, we laughed and of course, we drank. A little. Ahem. 

My eyes say ‘hello there sailor’ but my lips say ‘I was a little drunk when I did my makeup’

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been practicing acknowledging all the things I’m grateful for each evening and it really helps to remind me that I am lucky for a number of reasons. Today, I’m going to acknowledge four people who I feel very lucky to know. These gals bring me happiness and I am so grateful to have them in my life. So without further ado, here are four of my most lovely friends:

*I’m going to refer to them by their initials 

FB 

I have known F since we were both little girls knocking the shite out of each other. I don’t even know to put into words how much this girl means to me. We are both unashamedly weird, hyper and Simpsons-obsessed. We can make each other laugh by just looking at each other. She didn’t have the easiest of childhoods but she has never let this define her or obstruct her in any way. She approaches everything with positivity and enthusiasm. Her company makes me a better person and my life is made easier by having her along this journey with me. 

ROS 

I’ve also known R since I was a little girl. I have always looked at her like another sister. When I was a timid, shy child, she brought out the best in me. She was always there, championing me to be a stronger, confident person. She is wonderfully mischievous and even to this day, she brings out my inner messer. We have always been so bold in each other’s company. We couldn’t sit next to each other in primary school because we were just too naughty and we probably only graduated secondary school because we went to different ones. R is one of the best friends a girl could have in her life. She is always there for me. She doesn’t know how much her dedication to our friendship means to me. She helps me and guides me in so many ways. She is inspiring and wonderful and I adore her more than I can ever express. 

CQC 

C is a friend of F’s (try and keep up haha) that I met about eight (?) years ago. We are similar in many ways and I bonded with her instantly. She is intelligent, funny and kind. I really enjoy her company and we have the most interesting and random chats. She is the kind of person everyone needs in their life! I feel really lucky to have met her and I always look forward to seeing her. She is currently expecting a child and I couldn’t be more excited for her. She’s going to be an amazing mother. I haven’t seen her in a while and really miss her. Note to self: Next time you see her, smell her hair. 

KL 

I met K in primary school. Since then, we have been a big part of each other’s lives. She is such a strong, wonderful person and I admire so many things about her. Whenever we meet up, we’re like two kids again,  giggling and gossiping. She is just the best company. I love going out on night’s with her; she is the best fun. 

She became a mother this year and I swear her son is the most adorable baby everrrr. I am in awe of her strength and her resilience through difficult situations. I feel so lucky to know her and still be her friends after all these years and I know we have many wonderful years of friendship ahead of us. 

So there you have it, four women who inspire me and bless me with their friendship. Who do you feel grateful to know? 

Why I don’t want to be a ‘Girl Boss’ 

Chances are, if you’ve given your social media newsfeeds even a cursory glance over the last year, you’ll have noticed terms like ‘girl boss’, ‘boss babe’ and ‘boss bitch’ pop up from time to time. On the surface these expressions seem to describe a woman who is confident, successful and empowered by her feminity. One could intimate from these neologisms that they are clearly meant to be a positive expression; celebrating women and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. I don’t agree. I think these terms are problematic and quite honestly, a little silly. Let me explain why. 

When I was a child in the late ’80s/early ’90s in Ireland my general practioner was male. That, of course, is not unusual and his gender was never something I even thought about. After all, my mother was a nurse and going to the doctor was such a rarity, I barely knew his name. On one occasion however, I have a distinct memory of being brought to a different doctor. My parents seemed to be making quite a big deal of the fact that this was a different doctor (I assume my usual GP was on holidays) and chatted about it to me for the entire journey. 

So what was so special about this doctor? Well, she was a Lady Doctor. Yes, that’s what my parents actually called her. Not to make her seem more appealing to me, not to make her sound as if she was some kind of aristocratic and elegant doctor, but to distinguish her from the actual doctors (you know, the ones with penises). They made such a big deal of this that I was actually expecting her to have fairy wings and a wand. She did not. She was just like my other doctor, a scary person in a white coat poking me with needles and talking over my head to my mother. My parents seemed amazed by the fact that she seemed just as competent as her male counterpart. They couldn’t have been overly-impressed, however, as I was back with my male GP for my next visit, lamenting the fact that he didn’t have a cool prefix before his title. 

You must understand that my parents were born into and grew up in a society where it was highly unusual for women to have such high-status jobs. Doctors, barristers, judges, politicians, guards and principals were men. Women were cashiers, nurses, clerks and even teachers but they rarely held positions of authority. Until recently, the Irish language had a word to distinguish female police officers from their male counterparts (they were called a ‘Bean-Garda’* meaning ‘woman guard’). Many people still use this term, and not to cause offence, I might add. 

But times have changed. In most western societies, you will find female lawyers, doctors, judges, detectives, principals, politicians, CEOs and entrepreneurs. Of course, there is still progress to be made, but we have come a long way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who walked into an office and saw a female employer did not make assumptions or prejudge her abilities because of her gender? We shouldn’t have to differentiate ability based on someone’s gender. Whether you’re male or female, the only thing that should matter is whether you have the ability to do your job competently. 

Judge ability not gender. 

This is why terms like ‘girl boss’ are problematic. We should be aiming to normalise the idea of women in positions of authority instead of distinguishing them as an anomaly by using these terms. In an impressionable young girl’s mind, there should be no difference between a male or female boss. Both should be equally unremarkable. The word ‘boss’ should have no gender-specific connotations. A young child should see any kind of authoritative position as achieveable no matter what their gender. 

We must also consider the somewhat unflattering stereotype that these terms represent. Let’s face it, ‘boss bitch’ sounds at least vaguely aggressive. Why are females in positions of power often perceived or depicted as shrill, truculent, combative and quarrelsome? When a man is competitive in business, he is audacious and determined. When this applies to a woman, she is selfish and cold. I personally dislike the term ‘boss bitch’ because to me, it sounds arrogant and puerile. You wouldn’t use the term ‘boss-prick’ or some variant to describe a man in position of power (unless, you know, you really didn’t like your boss). It would be seen as a pejorative term. It would also be deemed superfluous, as there has never really been a trend of distinguishing male employers. 

I know it’s important to celebrate female empowerment. It’s important that we are aware of our progress as women. But expressions like ‘boss babe’ don’t propel us forward. They trivialise and devalue female empowerment. These are terms you would print on a slogan t-shirt or a wine glass. Let’s face it, a CEO of a company is unlikely to have ‘Boss Bitch’ written on the door to her office. These expressions seem to serve a decorative function; something you can post in a glitter font on Instagram to show how confident you are. But they don’t serve a real-world function. Let your ability do the talking, not some expression that only serves to depreciate your worth. 

*Pronounced ‘ban’ 

The Woman I am Not

“What did you do at the weekend Jane?”

I am surrounded by five women I work with, all eating kale salads or spreading avocado on crackers. I suddenly feel that my chicken and stuffing sandwich on white bread with a side of crisps looks embarrassingly out of place. I hesitate. Should I tell them that my boyfriend and I watched the 2000 WWF Royal Rumble while eating kebabs? Given that the majority of them probably spent their Saturday attending their bikram yoga classes, I choose to lie:

“Erm, I went on a cycle.” I had doubted that they would have been as enthused about The Rock’s victory that year as I had been. I sat there, frustrated with myself. Why lie? Was the truth really so embarrassing? I knew the issue I had wasn’t with the women surrounding me, it was with myself. Over the past few months, I had started to feel… abnormal. These women were everything I had envisaged I would be as a woman in my thirties: they knew the difference between a Malbec and a Merlot, they had children whom they took to ballet, they were all slim, fit and attractive and had an air of maturity about them that was slightly intimidating. Don’t get me wrong; they treated me very well. It wasn’t anything they consciously did that made me feel uncomfortable in their presence. I guess it was what they didn’t do.

Compared to them, I felt like a silly, immature little girl who would never have life figured out. I spend my free time playing PlayStation games, watching horror movies and rugby, eating Nutella out of a jar, teaching my cats The Macarena and sending decidedly ridiculous Snapchats to my friends. Maturity wasn’t the issue, however. Besides all evidence to the contrary, I am actually pretty mature….

Well, okay… I know when to be mature. So that wasn’t what bothered me. The issue was what these women represented to me. They represented an ideal of feminism I felt so alienated from. They reminded me that I was quite far away from being the graceful, high-heel wearing, hummus-eating, almond milk-drinking lady I had once envisioned I would magically become. They reminded me of the woman I am not; the woman I would never be.

I don’t bake. I don’t have children. I hold babies like I’m about to drop kick them for three points. I drink to get tipsy, not because I notice the citrus aroma in whatever white wine I’m drinking. I watch wrestling, reality TV and violent films. I don’t know how to sew. I can’t wear high heels. I don’t enjoy looking at photographs of babies, weddings or curtains. I DON’T KNOW WHAT A TRACKER MORTGAGE IS.

I get in touch with my inner glamour goddess every now and again, but sometimes I need to clean the dog crap in my garden Marilyn.

You’re probably thinking, so what? Aren’t all of the above antiquated stereotypes about women’s interests anyway? Perhaps. But it was difficult to sit amongst these women, day in, day out and not feel so uncomfortable in myself. Whether I liked it or not, these were their interests. Which, of course, they were entitled to. They weren’t the anomaly, I was. I know that I’m not better than these women, and they’re not better than me. I actually liked them very much and they showed me nothing but respect and kindness. It was just that I was so so different to them. But why?

I suppose I can’t really answer that. I know everyone is different, but I was like a black sheep in a sea of pink flamingos*. As time moved on, I begin to accept myself for who I am, and who I am not. Just like they’re not wrong for their personal tastes, I’m not wrong for mine. Okay, so I would prefer to see Stone Cold Steve Austin perform a stunner than look through a book of carpet samples. Each to their own, right? They might appear more traditionally feminine than I do, but so what? We’re all women. Our differences need to be celebrated. They nurture us. They teach us. I cannot be someone I’m not. Why would I force myself to eat avocado or learn how to sew when I just don’t want to. That doesn’t make me any less of a woman.

And what exactly is femininity anyway? It doesn’t necessarily mean pink stilettos and prosecco. I can look to all the wonderful qualities these women at work (and all the women in my life) possess. They are nurturing, they have empathy, they are sensitive and gentle. They are strong. And while I won’t be hitting up the nail salon with any of them anytime soon, I appreciate why they like the things they do. They make them feel happy. Just like Wrestlemania makes me feel happy. 

I do love being a woman. I also love a hell of a lot of random crap: makeup, Jurassic Park movies, owl ornaments, cats, UFC, poetry, flowers, anything involving Hannibal Lecter… I can be a woman and like all of these things. There’s no set of rules that we have to abide by. It’s not like you turn thirteen and have to level up to the next woman level by passing a cross-stitching exam.

Anyway, labels can confine us. They often present us with barriers and prevent our growth. In the traditional sense, no, I’m not very feminine. That’s okay, it would be a little stifling to be defined so easily. In today’s world, gender roles are not as clearly defined. We are being restricted by them less and less. I am as feminine as I am masculine in many ways. Except when it comes to dealing with spiders. Don’t come near me with that shit.

So yeah, I’m going to continue watching Storage Wars with my terribly chipped nail polish and my Seth Rogen donkey laugh. Sure, there isn’t going to be a Disney princess based on me (unless Disney suddenly envisage their princesses with terrible hand-eye coordination and a penchant for leggings) but did Snow White ever knee-slide across a floor while managing not to spill two pints of cider?

Didn’t think so.

*Gives you time to mentally picture that. Enjoy.

I’m Just Not That Into This Film

So, I’m sitting watching He’s Just Not That Into You and my blood is probably approaching a temperature that would melt titanium. The thing about me is I don’t really get offended by things easily. This, however (insert manic laugh) this film is a whole clusterf**k of offensive. Unless of course, you agree that virtually ALL women are insanely insecure, desperate, obsessed with marriage and commitment or they are trashy home wrecking slappers and deluded when it comes to reading “the signs”.

Take the character played by Ginnifer Goodwin. She’s the hopelessly pathetic and desperate first dater, oblivious to the signs that a never ending stream of guys are just not that into her. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s not like the stench of stalker and dead rabbit from all the bunnies she has boiled is off-putting.

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Babe, I just saw a girl’s name in your phone. Tell me this, who’s “Mom”?

I’m sure this character is supposed to be likeable but her constant cluelessness and delusional behaviour is just plain irritating. I don’t mean to cause offence to anyone here (because, let’s face it, we’ve all been the more heavily invested one in a relationship/fling) but it’s very hard to have sympathy for someone who just keeps making the same mistake. I know that the filmmakers were attempting to convey a “relatable” problem here. But instead, they have thrown together a lazy and stereotypical representation of women that is offensive and inaccurate. Of course, there are women like this but by making this character the primary focus of the film, you are suggesting that this is advice that most single women need or at least, can relate to. Why, oh why, do these ridiculous “chick flicks” always feature these needy and emotionally fragile women? Women, whose sole focus in life is to find a man and pin him down or use trickery to trap him into marriage.

There are numerous other characters in this ensemble cast led piece of crap. There’s Jennifer Anniston’s character who is pressuring her long-term partner to marry her. There’s Scarlett Johannson, who is having an affair with a married man. There’s Jennifer Connolly (wife of said married man), who, get this, blames herself for her husband’s affair and even though I’m pretty sure we’re also meant to like her, she comes across as very highly strung and intense, because we all know that women just can’t be cool.

Of course, men don’t come across as wholly angelic in this film either but at least they are portrayed as having a semblance of rationality. I’m also aware that this film is not exactly going to be studied in any university sociology courses any time soon. Perhaps I’m getting a little bit uptight (hey, maybe they could give me a part in a sequel) about what’s basically the film equivalent of candy floss. I just take issue with these stereotypes being promulgated, especially since this was also a book. A BOOK.

I would by no means refer to myself as a feminist, but this film just got my back up from start to finish. And yes, I watched it the whole way through because I was silently wishing Danny Trejo would burst in, wielding his machete and taking names in some sort of bizarre yet hilarious Hollywood crossover. It didn’t happen.

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I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who loved this film. And I’m not suggesting these women are crazy, but these women are crazy.

I’ve just realised that I have ranted about women in film before, but am I alone in thinking that women are horrendously misrepresented in mainstream media? Our fictional counterparts have so much more to give than being relegated to portraying simpering and insecure damsels in distress.

It’s okay to have man problems, it’s not okay to being solely defined by these problems.

Picture credits:
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More Awards..I’m gonna dress as a bear and hug you all

You guys. Right now I’m adulting hard; wearing a onesie and eating Coco Pops. I am in a damn good mood. I got two weeks holidays from school today, which I needed more than Justin Bieber needs a knee to the groin. I also have been the lucky (and very grateful) recipient of some more blogging awards this week, which makes me want to hug all of you, or failing that, we can just do this:

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Firstly, I want to give a big shout out to Amanda over at Insidethelifeofmoi who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I adore her blog and if you haven’t checked her out, then go now. She is brilliant and funny and…WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

Anyway, the next two bloggers I want to thank are Julie over at Random Musings From a Type-A Workaholic and Rob over at weight2lose2013 for both nominating me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.

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Julie is a wonderful blogger and has been so wonderful to read and comment on my blog. Julie, your support really means a lot and thank you for this award. If you haven’t seen Julie’s blog, then you need to check her out. She’s funny, entertaining and multi-talented.
Rob is another wonderful blogger that I want to thank. He is bags of fun (I was going to say “sacks of fun” but that sounds dirty) and besides blogging about weight loss, he also blogs about gardening, music and he shares some amazing recipes.

This is a really cool award. Whenever I write a post and people take the time to actually read it, it really means so much to me. I have some wonderful followers who are always so great to interact with me and I finally get to give these guys an award to show my gratitude, WOO! Sorry, too much caffeine.

The rules are simple. You thank the blogger who nominated you. You post the award on your blog. Nominate 14 bloggers who read your blog and let them know.

This is my way of thanking my readers. I will say, I get a little stressed out when compiling these lists because I always accidentally leave someone out. So I apologise to the person who
momentarily will be poking some Jane doll with needles in advance.

Here are my lovely nominees:
http://wordifull.com/
https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/
https://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com/
http://wellthathappened.me/
http://lisamacycoaching.com/
https://girlseule.wordpress.com/
http://deepbluesandseafoamgreens.wordpress.com/
https://aminnieblog.wordpress.com/
http://trentlewin.com
http://tropicalaffair.me/
http://echoesofthepen.com/
I’m also going to nominate Rob and Julie because I appreciate their interaction too.
I know not all of you do these award things so you don’t have to actually do anything, just know that I appreciate you 🙂

Again, if I have forgotten anyone, then it’s because I’m an idiot and my head hurts. Notice the way I didn’t even clean up the links, that’s right, I’M LAZY!

Think I’m finished? Not by a long shot sister. The wonderful Sarah has also nominated me for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

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I’m going to pick some of my favourite chicks here. I think I’m supposed to answer questions but this is turning into a thesis, so I’m just going to nominate some women I lurve-Females, assemble!

https://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com/
https://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com/
http://wellthathappened.me/
http://lisamacycoaching.com/
https://girlseule.wordpress.com/
http://deepbluesandseafoamgreens.wordpress.com/
https://aminnieblog.wordpress.com/
http://lovefromtara.com/
http://theshitshowthatismylife.com/
http://musingsfromaworkaholic.com
https://4theloveofsass.wordpress.com/
https://rawrren.wordpress.com/
http://tisfortea.wordpress.com
http://anxietyandoranges.wordpress.com

So there ya go ladies, enjoy 🙂

Phew, that was intense. Sorry the links look messy, but I *trails off with lame excuse*…Thanks to those who have nominated me and I’m going to go hibernate now.

Mean Girls: Nice Women Don’t Finish Last

I’m a nice person. It’s true. I’m not being arrogant when I say that; in fact, I think it’s fair to say that many people view kindness as a weakness.

Maybe I am too nice. I mean, I sometimes struggle to be honest with people because I’m afraid that they will construe my honesty for harshness. I do feel that I sometimes let people take advantage of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete push-over. I just loathe confrontation.

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If I have an opinion, I will state it. Similarly, if I feel someone is being unfairly treated, I will speak up. But it stresses me out beyond belief. I don’t particularly feel very enamoured with this aspect of my personality, but I would much prefer to be too nice than too mean.

I find it very difficult to deal with aggressive and domineering people. You know the type I’m talking about; the people who convince you that being aggressive “assertive” means passing critical comments or disagreeing with you over the most trivial of things. Or they’ll sometimes feel the need to offer you “advice” when it’s really just destructive criticism which serves to damage your self-esteem. I mean, haven’t some people heard of talking about you behind your back?

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I once had someone aggressive like that in my life. Not by choice, I would like to add, I’m not crazy. She was related to one of my best friends and was a self-titled “bitch.” She constantly referred to herself as such. I’m all for assertiveness and confidence, but she was poison.

She would constantly comment on my appearance: “Oh, Jane. You’re going with that?
“What did you do with your hair? It really doesn’t suit you.” She would also start random and unexpected arguments with myself and my friends. I don’t know how many times I had to explain her behaviour to people.

After a few years (yes years, I suppose I’m a glutton for punishment) of putting up with her, I approached her cousin and the friend who had introduced us. I had had enough. It was my birthday, and we were having a party. I’m no diva, but I suspected that I would be spending the night apologising to people for her behaviour and that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to remember my twenty first birthday.

When I brought up my concerns to my friend, she brushed me off with the usual excuse: “Oh, that’s just the way she is. She’s just a bitch.”

This time, I refused to accept that as an excuse for her behaviour. It’s not even an excuse really, is it?

So I took a deep breath and said:

Listen, Katie. I love you but I’m just not going to accept that flimsy excuse anymore. It’s rubbish to be honest. I have never done anything to deserve her completely unacceptable behaviour. I refuse to believe that this is “just the way she is.” The girl makes a constant and conscious effort to be a bitch, it is not inherent in her personality. It would be really simple for her to be nice every now and again, but she just refuses to demonstrate even basic kindness. I might not be as confident as she is, but I can hold my head up high and say that I have never set out to deliberately denigrate anyone in order to make myself feel better. I’m just not going to put up with her behaviour anymore.

(It may not have actually been as articulately worded as that at the time but it went something like that.)

Katie reluctantly agreed with me and said that she would have a word with her cousin before the party. Of course, it didn’t work and meany mcBitchface (I’ll try better at the ole nicknames next time) was worse than ever. She refused to go to the pub we were going to because it was “crap”, she hated my dress and she called one of my friends that she had never met a “retard.” Yes, a charming woman indeed.

I haven’t spoken to her in years. I have cut her out of my life entirely. The saddest part of it all is that I heard that she got married recently and none of her “friends” attended. Despite her and Katie being first cousins, they haven’t spoken in nearly two years now. From what I hear, she has alienated most of the people who ever cared about her. She spends most of her time making fun of people and dead celebrities (yes, really) on Facebook. I do feel some pity for her.

The whole point of this post is to point out that being nice might not always be productive but in the long term, neither is being a bitch. For years, that bossy and unpleasant girl had loyal followers who viewed her aggressiveness as something that demonstrated honour and strength. Now, she has become lonely and isolated by her choice to remain aggressive.

Maybe I could stand to be slightly more critical. I probably should send below par food back in a restaurant or admit when I don’t want to go to the cinema to watch an action film. There’s nothing wrong with being assertive when you are not intentionally setting out to offend someone. The problem arises when you confuse bitchiness with confidence. And this happens a lot. We are surrounded with films and TV shows where the message is clear: being a bitch pays off. If you go onto Facebook you’ll see provocative memes like this:

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Now, I’m all for female empowerment and all that. But to me, that is just plain aggressive and promotes bitchiness as some kind of badge of honour. What about this for a meme, eh?

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I always encourage my students to try and be confident and to express themselves in an assertive manner but I also remind them to always be respectful of other people’s feelings. While being a self-styled bitch might garner you some fearful respect in the short term, you will end up facing the consequences of your actions sooner or later.

What about you? Are you too passive? Or could you do with being more diplomatic? Or maybe you’ve struck the right balance between the two? If so, tell me your secret in the comments below!

15 THINGS I LEARNED FROM LIVING WITH A GUY

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Growing up, many of my closest friends were guys. This led me to erroneously assume that I knew what it would be like to live with one. Oho, was I wrong. Here are fifteen things I’ve learned from cohabiting with a real boy:

1. Men care about their appearance just as much as women. I once told Jack that a coat he had made him look like Paddington Bear. He never wore it again, even though I did mean it as a compliment. Who doesn’t love bears?

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2. Men will never, ever initiate cleaning the house. Yes, even if it resembles a landfill and there are seagulls living in your kitchen.

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3. If there’s left-over pizza crust and beer in the fridge, men do not understand the need to go grocery
shopping.

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4. When their man-cave workspace becomes messy, men will insist that “they have a system” and work best “in chaos”. Riiiight.

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5. When you insist on cleaning up, men will inevitable compare you to your mother.

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6. Watching reruns of ‘Cops’ is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an entire weekend if you’re a guy. Actually, I’m with you guys on this one, it’s amazing.

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7. The Playstation must never be turned off without the express permission of your man friend lest you ruin an important mission in GTA V.

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8. When a man does clean, it involves shoving things under any large pieces of furniture such as the bed/couch/armchairs. It also involves spraying insane and possibly hallucination-inducing amounts of Febreeze.

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9. Dorito sandwiches are a perfectly nutritious meal according to a man.

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10. In the absence of other males, men will tell you about their trips to the bathroom because, well, it’s apparently in our best interests to know these things.

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11. Men will never allow you to call a repair man because they will claim to be able to fix anything. RIP toaster, hairdryer, oven, cooker, sense of safety in my own home.

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12. Sniffing articles of clothing is a perfectly acceptable way to check if said clothing is good for another few days. According to Jack, it’s always good.

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13. Men need as much hoarded crap as possible to thrive. That collection of lollipop sticks? They’re gonna make a neat pencil holder someday. The broken lamp shade? What if the dog ever needs an improvised head cone? It all makes sense in their heads.

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14. Cooking? Pah, that’s a girl’a job. Barbecuing? Now there’s a man’s speciality. Grr, fire, grr, raw meat, grrrrr.

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15. A man will use your female products (moisturiser, cleansing wipes, body lotion) but you must never admit that you know this nor must you ever, under any circumstances, tell ANYONE. Oh, wait…crap. Sorry Jack, guess the Nivea day cream is out of the makeup bag.

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So there you have it. Any men that have become offended by this, well I’m sorry. Come join our ‘Cops’ marathon.

The best gift ideas since sliced bread

Feeling the pressure from trying to find your lady friend the perfect Christmas present? Well, you can put down the novelty reindeer antlers and Chris de Burgh CD. I’ve got your back. Here are some ideas so great that I probably should charge you guys actual money to read this. But I won’t cause I’m cool like that.

1. For the philosophical lady

You know what would be so original? Ditching material possessions and instead giving her a big ole box of nothing.
Is the box half full or half empty? Actually, it’s all empty. You’re welcome.

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2. For the maternal lady/hair aficionado

What says ‘I love and value you’ more than a doll covered in questionably proportioned ginger hair? Exactly. NOTHING.

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3. For the technophile

Anyone woman would be very very excited to receive one of these… A GENUINE DORA THE EXPLORER AQUAPET. For some reason, they were all sold out in my local store but I’m sure there’s plenty available online guys. Don’t panic.

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4. For the lady who’s afraid to touch her pussy

Sometimes I don’t actually like touching mine. But alas, all my feline related woes have been solved by this genius invention. There shall be jubilant pussies the world over. Huzzah!

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5. For the lady who just wants an intact banana, dammit!

I genuinely love this. Somehow I feel unworthy of such genius.

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6. For the fashionista

Now when’s she’s doing all your ironing, she’ll be wearing an expression of barely concealed resentment AND this t-shirt. Sweet.

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7. For the ‘cuddler’

Now she can complain that something else smells of stale cigarette smoke and disappointment.

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8. For the multi-tasker

Guys, help a gal out. Now she can serve you dinner and clean the floor at the same time. Or clear your snow-filled driveway. This baby is versatile.

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9. For the trend setter

If Sinead O’ Connor had worn one of these in her famous ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ video, I know I would have taken her more seriously. It comes with a hat *and* a hairpiece. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

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10. For the lady who is smoking. Literally.

You want a cigarette, you’re wearing mittens. We’ve all been there. You can’t take off your mittens because your fingers will literally fall off. You have to have a cigarette because you will brutally murder all of your colleagues otherwise. ‘WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?’ you ask? Well firstly, put me down. And then take a look at these bad boys. First there was the wheel. Then there was electricity. And now there’s the smoker-friendly mittens. Beautiful.

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So there are all my amazing ideas in all their ingenious glory. No, no, you don’t have to thank me. I live to serve you. In the words of Paul McCartney: ‘now go and get her’!

Ten things guys can’t do that girls can

1. Sulk

Although a woman sulking is as terrifying as a posse of clowns embroiled in a knife fight, there’s also something endearing and cute about it. When a man sulks, it just doesn’t suit him. It’s like trying to put a tux on Snoop Dogg.

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2. Use baby talk

Picture this scenario: You feel ill. Your boyfriend tucks you into bed, bends over you and says:
‘My poor widdle baby. Ooh, your so adorwable! Who wants a widdle cuddle? Who want their fwuffy bear?’

Terrifying.

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3. Handle jealousy

We women are complex creatures. When we are jealous, we either sulk (see above) or go bat-shit insane and par-boil your family pet. We like to wear our hearts on our sleeves with this one. Men, however, attempt a little more subtlety because pure unadulterated jealously on a man is often seen as a weakness. A man isn’t going to actually admit being threatened by another man. This clip by comedian Tommy Tiernan hilariously explains what I mean.
http://youtu.be/nWiM381KRJo

4. Pose for selfies

My Facebook newsfeed is inundated with selfies of my female friends (you know, just incase I forget what they look like) in all sorts of poses (duck, stripper, stripper-duck). However, my male friends know that a male selfie has a touch of ‘sex offender’ about it.

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5. Be seductive

There’s something about Jack (and many other guys) when he’s trying his best ‘come to bed eyes’ that’s more Milhouse van Houten than George Clooney. Then again, I once fell down the stairs in heels while trying my best femme fatale impression, so I can’t talk.

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6. Be physically affectionate with their friends

When I moved house recently, I spent the night before tearfully embracing my female friends. We held hands over wine and reminisced. We hugged goodbye with a kiss on the cheek and lots of sniffling into each other’s shoulders. Jack shook his best friend’s hand. He SHOOK HIS HAND. So I asked a few guys I know ‘when is it acceptable to be physically affectionate with a male friend?’ Their answer: If someone dies, or in a spontaneous moment of sporting success (which must never be discussed again).

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7. Gossip

I don’t like to come across as shallow or dishonest, but boy do I love a good gossip. It’s like picking at a scab (sorry); I know it’s wrong but it’s oh-so-satisfying. I have a friend from home who rings me once a week for our weekly catchup. My end of the conversation sounds like this:
‘Really? Did she? Oh my God! You know she’s totally lying though. Is she? Wow. He did WHAT? I heard he did it. That’s just what I heard…’
When I get off the phone, Jack knows I’m a veritable gold mine of gossip and I can see the overwhelming desire in him to hear it all. Then he remembers he’s a guy so will just ask ‘so, erm, any news?’ to which I will cruelly reply ‘nope.’ Fess up, Jack! You want to gossip. It’s fetch.

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8. Use sex as a weapon

We women shouldn’t, but often do, withhold sex to punish/get what we want. If men decided to do this, the human race would probably become extinct.

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9. Flirt to get what they want

Another wily tactic us women often resort to is flirting to get what we want. Diabolical. For example:
With the police- ‘Oh, I’m so sorry officer.’ *bats eyelids*
With bouncers- ‘Any chance we could skip the queue? Our short skirts barely cover our legs. Birr.’ *girlish giggle* etc etc.
If a guy were to try this, he’d end up in prison. Or hospital. Remember Ross from Friends attempt at flirting with a male cop?

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10. Go to the bathroom in groups

Us girls are like wolves, everything is done together. When we go to the bathroom together, we often don’t even pee. We go to talk about you. Yes guys, now you know.
If a man was to announce ‘I have to pee…. COME ON KEVIN!’ there would be quite the uncomfortable silence. In fact, men often make a concerted effort to avoid going to the bathroom at the same time in public places. What, with all the awkwardness and all.

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