Friday, 22 March 2013

Hello, old friend.

I'm aware that I've said it before, but I'll say it forever if I have to: I believe in fate. I'm one of those people. I think that sometimes we are given a little helping hand when we need it most. I whole-heartedly believe that signs appear everywhere, strategically put in place to help us with difficult decisions, to suggest the path we should follow; be it whether or not we should go out to the SU one night, which career is best for us, whether we should give a friend another chance or get out while we still can...

It was fate that helped me with my decision to go to university. I got my results at college and freaked out ever so slightly because I'd fallen short of my offer by a few measly UCAS points... Of course the phone lines were jammed and the UCAS website was falling apart, but I persevered and called the university itself; "hello, I've just got my results and I'm not sure if I've qualified for my place or not..." I gave them my name and waited (im)patiently while they checked.
   "Ahh yes Grace, well actually your offer was changed to Unconditional yesterday! Congratulations, we definitely still want you!"
   The whole experience was terrifying, but it opened my eyes to the fact that I really, really wanted to go to university after all. I'd been cushioning myself for the inevitable fall for the whole summer, telling my family that I wasn't that fussed and if need be I'd just go straight into the working world, no big deal. My parents had been worried, obviously wanting the best for me; my friends were concerned and urging me to take things more seriously, but nothing had worked. Not until the day I thought I really definitely hadn't got in. It was the wake up call I needed. One of my many brushes with fate, and this was a big'un.

Fate is not, in my opinion, some hippy-shit cosmic script we have to abide by. It's merely a kind friend whispering in our ear. Sometimes it's subtle, like when you pick up your phone and in that very instant, that all-important person calls. Sometimes it's more obvious, for instance when you open your front door and it suddenly starts pouring with rain outside. And sometimes it's a little something just for you; like your favourite song being played at the exact right moment.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

"I like your dress."

Two moments, one dress. A comparison, a perspective, a realisation. 

He gently lifted me, separating us with such ease considering we had been so physically inseparable before, hands on hips and fingers on silk. I subtly rearranged myself as best I could, not wanting to cause any fuss or give the impression that I was over-thinking anything, while all the time I absolutely was; I slid down next to him in his narrow bed, the distastefully orange sheets were harsh on my eyes and his sleepy face oddly offered me no comfort. As he drifted closer to ‘afterwards’ oblivion, I lay with my eyes wide open and wondered at how many girls he’d had here before, and how many he’d have after me. Whose imprint was I rudely filling right now? A few names crossed my mind, at an agonizingly slow pace to ensure I didn't miss a single one; shutting my eyes didn't help, I just saw them written on my eyelids. The feeling of just being a number, of being utterly forgettable and meaningless to someone who means the world to you, it cuts like a razor on your wrist. I could be 7, I could be 102... I hope he keeps track. I know I do. There were so many things I wanted to say – what did this mean? Do we ignore it, carry on as normal, keep it a secret as usual? I certainly didn't want to forget it, even if he did. I turned to look at his peaceful face; of course, he had no trouble sleeping now. I’d be awake all night, wondering and wishing, while he’d be dreaming. Better not bother him any longer. I rose, pulled on my panties and headed for the door. I was closing my fingers around the handle, careful to keep quiet, when I heard him say: “I like your dress.”

I woke in his arms, the entire duvet wrapped around me while he lay uncovered. I’d somehow stolen all the bedclothes and pillows in the night, and he didn't mind. His subtle snoring didn't annoy me. My tendency to roll around and stretch out didn't bother him. Bliss. I kissed his bristly face. The taste of last night was still in the air between us, the earthquakes now harmless and the happy memories as intoxicating as the whiskey. I sit up slowly, in no rush to leave and feeling no shame in my skin. The feeling of warm satisfaction filled me up as I gazed out at the cold morning beyond the sanctuary of the bedroom. I shut my eyes, wanting this moment to be what I remember; good things can happen, I am not just a number, someone might just care... Gathering my clothes is an arduous task, the day ahead is painful in its inevitability. I’d like nothing more than to just stay here for almost-ever, please and thank you. I’d also like to wake up to the sound of a guitar and the smell of cigarette smoke, every day. It’s definitely coffee time. I’m pulling on my panties and slipping on last night’s clothes, when he looks at me, smiles and says: “I like your dress.”

Sunday, 17 March 2013

"Sugar's not as sweet as you."

Funny that I should write a post about crushes recently, and then experience the full force of one just a week or so later. I say 'the full force' and I mean the turbulent, exhilarating and electric feelings; the involuntary foot stamping, the fluttering butterflies and the ludicrously lurid levels of blushing; the silly words and cheesy phrases that somehow come out of our mouths, the excessive face-pulling (lip biting and tongue wagging, mostly), and the miming along to cringe-inducing songs ('baby, give me one more night')...

I'd mock this behaviour relentlessly if I weren't currently engaged in it. My foot is tapping away on the coffee table as I write, my stomach is bearing a shocking resemblance to the Changi Airport butterfly enclosure, and last night I believe I did the whole "stop it, you're making me blush!" thing, while simultaneously biting my bottom lip. I giggled when I was told the price of my drink was "this..." *single kiss on hand*, and I gushed away to one of my girlfriends about how happy and stupid I felt. Friends of friends were wishing me luck upon hearing that I was working up the courage to ask this fella out for coffee, and friends of the fella were making me earn Brownie points while chatting in the smoking area. Jack Daniels never tasted so sweet. Lipstick was constantly being re-applied. Freak-outs in the female toilets were frequent. Singing along to Blink-182's 'First Date' at the top of my lungs, and staying up until 4/5am, seemed totally justified.

I think I get it now. The 'acting silly because it's a crush' thing. I swear, I haven't felt that way since most likely high school - and of course back then love was unrequited and no crushes were reciprocated, so the feeling was almost brand new. I'm realising what I've been missing all this time, and if I'm honest, I could get used to this feeling.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

I Overthink Things: Chemistry.

I'm a massive believer in Chemistry; the kind between people. It exists. There are some people I'll always get on with, always feel that little spark with, and always feel better when they're around. I feel it when I'm talking to them; when I'm actually engaged in the conversation and coming back with quick, snappy responses rather than apathetic replies, when I'm being especially funny or witty because that's the effect this person has on me. When I don't want to stop talking to them, ever. When they turn around and say "you're really easy to talk to, wow" and I can tell they feel the same way. When we go for months or even years without speaking and it's still the same.

Chemistry doesn't have to be a romantic thing, either. It can be a friendly feeling, in fact I'd say that of all the people I think I have Chemistry with, only one is in a romantic sense. I see it in other people, too, and it's so perfect. I hope they realise what it means.

This was all sparked off by me seeing a photoset of Nick & Jess, my OTP, from New Girl. Now, they have Chemistry. It's very rare for onscreen Chemistry to work so well, and that's why I love watching them. That, and the fact that they make me laugh until no sound is coming out and I'm rocking back and forth clapping.
I can think of three, maybe four individuals that I have this kind of connection with. It's so rare and so special, I will never take it for granted and I only wish I felt this more often... Or is it the fact that it's rare that makes it so special?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

'Like Like' II - Gracie's Crush.

What do we call a crush, when we're twenty years old and touching a guy's arm affectionately when chatting to him at the SU? How about when we're twenty-five and blushing whenever that girl brushes past us in our office (and more importantly, why are we in an office?!)? Let's say we're thirty someday (don't fret, it happens to us all) and we're staring into someone's eyes and wishing, hoping, praying, they'll ask you out for a drink... What's that called? Surely by then we'd be too old for crushes.

Is there a cut-off point? Is there just a certain age we all hit when we suddenly start using 'grown-up' expressions and feeling more mature things; we start referring to our boy/girlfriends as our 'partners', and instead of getting butterflies we get anxieties about the future? 'Grown-up' terms such as being 'attracted to' someone can seem a little too scientific or anthropological for my liking.
   I like having crushes. I'd rather say 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' for as long as possible, but then again I can see how that can look rather immature as you get older. At twenty-something, I'll settle for being someone's 'other half', or even their 'better half'; that still sounds pretty cute, and hey, rather that than 'partner'!

Let's take a look at Friends here; Rachel admits to "being attracted to" sexy assistant Tag Jones (tbh Jenn, he's hotter in CSI:NY), and she even drops the C-word (crush, duh!) once or twice, as well as coming out with the usual crush-speak; "he is so pretty I wanna cry"; "I could just spread him on a cracker". We see this and laugh, because it's true! We all feel this way at one time or another. And it's lovely.
   This could escalate into a Ross-Rachel kinda crush; the schoolboy kissing her 'for some Chapstick' ("it was a dry day!"), nine years on asking her out on her would-be wedding night, getting her to babysit his monkey and then gushing to his friends over pizza about how "it's gonna happen". Someday it may even become love. But for now, it's a crush. Right, Joey?
   There are definitely varying levels of crushes; that's basically my point.

Personally, as an eternal teenager (definitely not turning twenty in five months), I think crushes should live on for as long as you feel them. Feel the feelings, the butterflies, the excitement, the motion sickness; whether you're sixteen or sixty, embrace your eternal teenager, the pierced and pink-haired pop-punk lover that stirs inside you when you see that one person walking towards you through a crowded room. If you're forty-seven, and someone can still make you blush and giggle like a seventeen year-old, that may be the most wonderful thing in the world. It's all you could ever want.

Therefore, crush moderately. Long crush doth so. Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. - Shakespeare (kind of).
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