“Funny Girl” at the Fugard Theatre

funny-girl-posterAnother theatre night for #englishrosiee and I meant watching a new musical at the Fugard Theatre “Funny Girl”. You probably heard of the film version of the story, which made Barbra Streisand famous (ja, it’s THAT old). I didn’t see it and didn’t really know anything about the play before we went to see it. Having said that, I expected the best from the Fugard, which after all rarely disappoints.

The plot is quite interesting and unfortunately still not outdated. Fanny (Ashleigh Harvey) is a girl with a beautiful voice and not so beautiful face. She dreams of a career in theatre but is discouraged to pursue it by her family. Her nearest and dearest are trying to convince her that the most important advantage of a woman is her beauty and this is what people go to see when paying for a performance. Despite discouragement Fanny keeps believing in herself and in her comedic skills. Her stubbornness gets her where she wants to be but that’s only the beginning of the story. Soon after her career takes off she meets a very handsome but rather unreliable man, Nick (Clyde Berning). Will Fanny be forced to choose between her two loves, Nick and the theatre? Will she be successful in her pursuit of happiness? You’ll certainly find out if you manage to catch the musical at the Fugard Theatre in the next two weeks. If you’re not in Cape Town you can always watch the movie.

The plot is certainly a big asset of the play as it’s very involving. The character of Fanny is amiable and we do want her to succeed in all imaginable ways. At the same time we’re all a bit suspicious of Nick and whether he’s any good for her. I’m sure that a lot of ladies in the audience caught themselves remembering the “dangerous” men in their own lives during the play. The actors are really well suited for their roles and there’s a good acting chemistry between them. As much as we know there’s perhaps a much better suitor for Fanny in her surrounding, we do want her and Nick to work out against our better judgment.

The acting of everyone in the show is remarkable, but even more importantly they sing and dance very well. Ms Harvey has a very strong voice which makes the walls tremble. She’s also very funny with her exaggerated facial expressions. Her partner’s voice is perhaps not as great as hers but more than enough for the role. I must say I enjoyed the sensual way in which he talks much more than his singing. This is not to say there’s anything to complain about the latter. The music is really good but the songs are not as catchy as in other musicals. I didn’t leave the theatre humming anything in particular.

The scenography was well prepared but not panty dropping. One should also mention the impressive costumes which are almost exact copies of what the stars wore in the movie (I checked a YouTube video after the show).

To sum up, everything in the musical gets from either 4 out of 5 or 5 stars with the average of 4,5/5. If you have the time to watch it and a spare 300 rand (some tickets are cheaper but that’s what you pay for an uninterrupted view) do yourself a favor and go have some fun watching “Funny Lady”.

Have you seen the movie, Dear Rinser? Perhaps you’re a Capetonian who has seen the play? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Review : The Lover by Harold Pinter @ The Alexander Upstairs

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Last night #zlotybaby and I decided to be a bit a cultured for our #rinsebeforeuse date night and catch a show at The Alexander Upstairs. With a title like ‘The Lover’ we figured it was a show that would pique the interest of all our lovely Rinsers.

The Lover written by Harold Pinter tells the story of a standard middle class couple, Sarah and Richard, living a pretty ‘decent’ life in the suburbs.  At first glance, it looks like married life for these two has become pretty stale.  Richard is a respectable banker who spends his days dealing with balance sheets and entertaining overseas clients while Sarah is a typical desperate housewife – doing Pilates, flirting with the milk man and generally twiddling her thumbs all day. It seems her only real purpose in life is to have dinner on the table for her hubby when he gets home from a hard day in the office.

Clearly this couple recognise a need to spice up their relationship somewhat as they come to an agreement whereby Richard promises not to return home from work before 6pm allowing his wife to have mad, passionate sex with her lover who she entertains after lunch a few times a week. Meanwhile he visits his mistress/prostitute – so you know, all is even Stevens in this open relationship of theirs.

Well, that’s until their worlds collide as the couple discuss the four of them meet to indulge in more strange role playing games. Eventually conflict ensues…and I have to stop there because I don’t want to give away the twist in the tale.  So, if you want to get to the bottom you’ll have to take yourself out for the evening and visit the Alexander Upstairs this week.

The tickets are a steal at just R100 each but you’ll need to be speedy as they are selling fast and it’s only on till Thursday.  It’s a great performance and seeing as it is only an hour long it is even suitable for those with low attention spans (take those Tinder boys!). The acting by Sjaka S.Septembir and Caroline Midgley is excellent and the show contains quite a few good LOL moments so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Beyond the giggles though, the story also raises some important questions about the monotony of married life, the ‘difficulties’ faced by kept women and the extent to which we need to be open-minded when it comes to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

OK, Dear Rinsers…If you’ve seen this version of The Lover let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, feel free to share stories about your lovers, favourite prostitutes and the lengths you’d be willing to go to keep things interesting. We are all friends here and sharing is caring! 

5 Irritating Questions People Ask You After You Get Married

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When you get married to the person you love you’re happy. However, during your happily ever after you encounter people who ask too many questions and you’re still happy, albeit occasionally irritated. Let me share 5 questions I’m often asked, which I find annoying.

1. Where is your husband?

Going to a networking event on your own? Or perhaps just having a dinner out with a friend? Be prepared to have someone ask you “Where is your husband?”. I did hear versions of this question before, when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend but I hear it more often since we got married. I could also bet then there’s a sprinkle of sexism in it and when my husband is out in similar circumstances no one asks him “Where is your wife?” I don’t know why people assume once you get married you spend 100% of your time together. It’s not healthy. What’s healthy is spending most of your time together, at the same time not neglecting your friends and your interests. A happy and healthy partner is a fulfilled individual not a person glued to their spouse.

2. When are you going to have children?

We visited my family in Poland recently and of course a lot of people inquired about our reproductive goals. Friends are usually more tactful but some acquaintances would also pry. There are numerous reasons why this question sucks. For starters: am I asking you about your sex life? NO. You should realize that a question about procreation is a question about someone’s sex life that doesn’t become all of a sudden public just because the person is married. Another fact is some people can’t have children and they consider it a personal tragedy. They probably don’t want to talk about it and by prying you may cause pain and discomfort. Last but not least, many people may just not want to have children yet. Others don’t want them at all and some don’t want to have biological offspring. I’d say that the rule is: if you don’t know the answer, you’re probably not close enough with the couple to know. What does it have to do with you anyway, when/whether they’ll have children?

3. How’s married life?

!!!!! How’s single life? How’s a life of a boyfriend and girlfriend? How’s a life of someone who clearly doesn’t know how to make small talk? Married life is like any other life. Yes, getting married is nice and if you marry the right person life’s awesome. Nevertheless, if you married the right person you relationship before marriage was great too (the reason why you got married, huh?). Perhaps it’s a conversation starter, but to be honest I have more to say to “How have you been?” because then I can talk about my work, our plans for the future and so on. What the hell are you supposed to answer to “How’s married life?”?

  • “Sex’s still great, thanks!”
  • “It’s true women DO pick up on weight after getting married!”
  • “Life is so much better after we no longer live in sin”

… It’s just a stupid question. Just don’t.

4. What’s your name now?

I did elaborate on the married name dilemma before. Legally you have three options: Keep your name, take your husband’s name, make it double trouble. Don’t assume a woman has to change her name or that not changing it means anything about the relationship. There are million of great reasons to keep your maiden name and the main of them is that it means less paperwork. Once you get married you’ll see for yourself. I don’t know many married women who have not regretted their decision of altering their surname. You can’t imagine how much paperwork, for instance, is involved in case of an international marriage. Changing your name on your social media profiles is the best way to avoid any questions about it (unless of course you’ve decided to keep your old name, then people will just keep prying).

5. Are things any different now?

Of all the questions enumerated this one irritates me the least. I’ve asked people about it myself and I understand it’s a genuine one. People are simply curious. Having said that, it’s just tiring to give everyone a reply to it so I’ll just write it here and will be asking people to visit the blog if they’d like to know my thoughts. I think that even today marriage is a commitment and it does mean something for people who decide to be together “for better and worse”. All the “we’re a team now” and “you can count on me” during a relationship of course mean a lot but when two people decide to make such promises publicly it’s a big deal. At the same time, just saying that gets you a lot of aggression on the side of those that are in a long-term relationships without marriage so I don’t really know a) where the aggression is coming from if marriage truly DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING and b) why they’re asking. Single girls or those still in short-term/medium-term relationships are usually nicer in such conversations.

What are your thoughts, Rinsers? Have you asked similar questions? Or perhaps you’ve been irritated by being asked yourself? Any additions to the list?

“Cushioning” and When to Delete Dating Apps

appsHave you heard about cushioning? Nihil novum sub sole (there is nothing new under the sun)! This “new” trend is nothing else but the old school keeping your options open. In this particular variation, a person is in a relationship but at the same time they keep using their dating apps, chatting and flirting with other people, just in case a break-up happens.

The trend has to do with online dating changing the way in which people commit. Back in the days it was pretty straightforward. You met someone, you stopped seeing other people and voilà, you were in a relationship! Some people would still keep seeing other people, regardless of their relationship status, but those would be call cheats. These days it’s more complicated than that. Would you call someone who keeps their dating app on their phone a cheat? Is it only wrong if they actually end up meeting up with someone in real life or is there something iffy about just checking out the app?

I guess I’ve always been rather prudish about these things. If you’re single do what you want, but if you’re in a relationship commit. Sure, it’s not the worst thing to get some experience but even so, you should give it an honest try. Otherwise, perhaps staying at home and reading a book or hanging out with your girlfriends are better ways to spend time. If you’re on the receiving end, I’d say that if a guys tells you “he’s still on Tinder and checks what’s happening there from time to time” you’re most probably a backpocket girl. Perhaps you call it a relationship but when people are halfheartedly involved, they won’t blink to leave you when something better comes their way or if you just become boring/annoying for them.

What it means for dating apps is: if you feel like you want to keep chatting to people on dating apps, you’re just wasting your time and the time of the other person. Especially once you established you’re dating, it isn’t fair to keep looking around. Swiping on Tinder or using okcupid, isn’t any different than flirting with someone at the bar or giving people your number when asked for it on the street. I’m not saying delete the app immediately but to cease using it is a good idea if you feel you like someone. It’s just an honest thing to do and surely you’d prefer the other person to treat you in the same way. Once you know where you’re standing and that you have a BF/GF you’re happy with, you can get rid of your profiles altogether and hopefully you’ll never have to set them up again.

What do you think, Rinsers? Is keeping your dating apps going as bad as real life flirting? Have you ever kept your options open in this way? What do you think about those that do?

Double Standards: Ageism in Dating

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Perhaps you’re not too familiar with the world of politics. If that’s true, let me give you a quick update about the country of baguettes, cheese and wine (= France): they have a new president. Emmanuel Macron won the elections but he’s considered slightly controversial due to his marriage. His wife is 24 years his senior and used to teach at his school. I will not comment on the appropriateness or lack thereof of relationships between students and teachers. Perhaps she’s a bad apple among the educators, but it’s not the main source of controversy and mockery. The main reason is the new First Lady’s age.

Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine you should know because of the famous shooting that took place in the magazine’s headquarters. Recently published a cartoon of the new French president with his pregnant wife with a caption “He’ll do miracles”. It’s so funny, you see, because Macron’s wife is 64 years old and therefore most probably can’t get pregnant. That the cartoon is in poor taste is undeniable. However, it also brings our attention to a much bigger issue, which is double standards when it comes to an age difference between partners.

A 20 year age gap isn’t a novelty. We all know middle aged men going through a life crisis who decide to exchange their aging wife for a bimbo half of their age. We also know the women that are simply into older men. This is a worldwide phenomenon and so is the acceptance of the fact that it’s okay for a man to date someone who’s much younger than him. If the situation is reversed it causes outrage. Demi Moore’s relationship with Ashton Kutcher was criticized in a way, particular for her gender. After all she’s a cougar on a prowl, a female who deserves nothing but pity and contempt and don’t we all know that the boy didn’t love her anyway, but just wanted their money? At the same time no one used similar accusations against her ex husband Bruce Willis, who also dated a much younger woman.

This brings us to the underlying issue which is the fact that the qualities that are valued in men are different than those valued in women. Even in modern times a woman’s beauty, freshness and fertility are considered to be her biggest assets. These qualities fade with time which is the reason why women are believed to have an expiry date and those above the age of thirty are often referred to as being “over the hill”. This is because, unlike men, women have limited time to reproduce. Doctors started to move the “safe motherhood” boarder to 40 but it is arguable. Because of this reason especially the men who want to have children go for younger partners and as unfair as it may seen, it’s also understandable. The real problem is, however, putting females beauty above her other assets. A friend shared a cartoon on Facebook recently, saying that a reversed version of “Beauty and the Beast” would never happen, because no one tells a man to date a woman just because she’s nice. Unfortunately, this is true.

Perhaps aging is a process that treats men slightly better than women, but no one will tell me that they prefer 70 year old Harrisson Ford to the younger version of the same man. And yet, older men rarely have trouble with finding a second partner when children are no longer the case. Women do. This is because a man is cherished for his kindness, his wisdom and last but not least his financial situation and back in the days it was a male privilege coming with age. Women were therefore just getting older and less desirable. These days, however, with a woman’s age comes a career, financial security and wisdom. The problem is that the world didn’t catch up with this change and still values women for what was traditionally considered to be their assets.

If a young woman can be impressed by a father like qualities in a man, a man shouldn’t be judged for similar longings. Dating an older partner has its challenges, but men shouldn’t be in addition judged for their choice of an older partner. The women in such situations shouldn’t be judged either, after all who doesn’t like a young piece of meat? 😉

Tell me what you think, Rinsers! Set your keyboards on fire with how fast you type!

 

Fake tits and c*cks – do premarital customs have to be iffy?

bachelorSo you’re getting married, right? Well, done and welcome to the adult world where people prefer to go to bed before 10 PM, suffer from a hangover the next day after two glasses of wine and have a number of couple responsibilities (plus sex and cuddles on tap and a person in your life who doesn’t have a choice but to listen to ALL your complaints about life – let’s not forget about the advantages ;)). Before that happens you’re supposed to have the time of your life at your bachelor/bachelorette party… which brings me to the topic of today’s post. Do you really have to be sucking on a penis shaped ice lolly or visit a strip club? Nope! That’s your bloody party.

I have written before about conforming to the expectations of others. During you bachelor/bachelorette party it’s as important as ever, to make it about what you want. In other words, if the expectation of you as a man is to go to strip club and stare at fake tits you may decide you actually don’t find such objectification of a female body entertaining and you’re quite happy with the pair of boobs that’s soon to be yours happily ever after. In this case you should express such sentiment to you stag party organizers rather than just do whatever they want you too. Chances are, if you choose your friends in a way that actually matches your personality, you won’t even have to explain such things to them. If on the other hand, you have tons of insecurities and you have to prove to everyone that you’re a REAL man by staring at women who have no choice but to earn a living in this humiliating manner, then be my guest. Join everyone else I judge in my little black book called “Why Humans Make No Sense”.

Needless to say that expressing their preferences would be also advised for ladies. Somehow I doubt that all the ladies I’ve seen in my Facebook feed licking penis shaped objects was really having as much fun as the picture would suggest. Of course, we all have different ideas about fun and if you think that you pretending publicly you’re having sex with a chair is #bestmoment than I’m sure your bridesmaids can organize that. If not there’s a whole range of fun things you can do with your bridesmaids other than show your skills in giving blow jobs during the day that’s meant to be about female bonding (I think?). Alternatively, you may decide that the old school gender separation isn’t what you stand for and you want to have a mixed party for both of you. I had both – a separate hen/stag and a mixed party towards the end of the evening.

One thing one shouldn’t (and probably couldn’t) avoid in terms of being disgusting on a hen/stag night is drinking. Having far too many drinks will remind you why you strive for moderation in your everyday life and that you’re not 18 anymore (and if you are then run to the hills NOW, you have some life to experience before getting married!). Besides, there’s something about having too much alcohol with people you like and know that ends up with having fond memories about the event afterwards. That is, of course, after sobering up, puking and healing the post-alcohol pain of existence. Being silly and out of control is something we should do from time to time to shake up our routines.

To sum up, if you find rather disgusting bachelorette/bachelor party customs entertaining then indulge in them. However, if it’s not your vibe don’t force yourself to drink tequila shots of bartenders in Beefcakes or of strippers at Maverick’s. This night is about you and I do feel like showing people that you know what sex is about, before you get married, these days isn’t really necessary. Perhaps such customs come from the days when people (mostly women, let’s be honest) were still untouched. I’d google it but no one pays me for writing this blog so if you’re interested, just do it yourself.

So Dear Rinsers, what is your opinion about the modern premarital customs? Do people really enjoy all fake penises and breasts? Is it maybe just for show? Tell me what you think in the comments section. 

 

 

 

Save Yourself! – The Dudes in Distress

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There is loaded belief that deep down most women like the idea of being ‘rescued’. Apparently, this is why so many of us chicks have a thing for men in uniform (and there I was thinking that the whole point was to get the firefighter out of the uniform). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: GENDER ROLES ARE CHANGING!!!. It’s no longer just the damsels in distress that want a knight in shining armour to come along and save them when they find themselves stranded on De Waal Drive with a flat tyre one wet and windy morning (truth be told I could have saved myself but I didn’t want to get my hands dirty or arrive at work all sweaty and horrible, so I hailed a man to do the job for me!). We now live in a world where people are finally admitting that women can be real-life heroines (although, they pretty much always have been) who can not only be expected to take care of themselves (and in some cases the children spawned by men not willing to take responsibility) but who are also often relied on to save their poor male counterparts.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m at a stage in my life where I’m totally over this romantic idea of anyone, be it the guy or girl, needing to be ‘saved’ by a relationship.  There are certain ideas which should strictly belong in the world of fairy tales. Sure, being told by a partner that they’d probably still be drinking themselves stupid if Tinder hadn’t bought the two of you together can be endearing to a certain extent but even someone with half a brain should be able to read between the lines – translation : you are dating someone with alcoholic tendencies, if not an addictive personality. RUN. Spending many a night having to discuss ways in which your new partner might consolidate his stupidly self-inflicted debt is also not a topic of conversation upon which a solid partnership should be based.

Of course, it is nice to feel needed but seriously, if that is a determining factor in why the relationship exists it doesn’t bode well for the future. And yes, it’s basic human nature to want to take care of others, especially those we are romantically involved with but dating someone who feels the need to overshare and burden you with their problems from the get-go isn’t really a great prospect in terms of happily ever after.  I speak from experience when I say that once you start ‘saving’ people from their problems you do nothing more than open your incredibly capable self up for manipulation. These problem men (and women) are unlikely to have just one issue so chances are you are setting yourself up for life of heroism (and all the associated drama).

As much as we’d all like to think that love can conquer all, it can’t. Don’t get involved with someone convincing yourself that ‘One Day’ their love for you will force them to change. If a 40-something year old guy can’t hold down a job for more than 2 weeks, don’t kid yourself into believing that once you give him screaming rugrats he will find the motivation to earn some big bucks. A person who won’t take accountability for their mistakes instead choosing to blame everyone else and their dog is unlikely to break-free of their victim mentality anytime soon, in fact you’ll soon be added to the long-list of bad, bad, women who didn’t love him enough.

While you can’t change the people you date, if you find that you continue to attract damsels/dudes in distress time and time again there is one thing you can do to break this cycle. You can change yourself by critically looking at your savior complex and understanding that it is as toxic to a relationship as a deadbeat partner.  Remember that while two parties may bring different strengths and weaknesses to a relationship, a healthy partnership tends to be formed by two people who are capable of standing on their own two feet but who instead want to stand together, rather than one person’s main motivation being a need to be in a relationship in order for support/survival. Look, I’m not saying one should dump the a guy who has stood by them through thick and thing the moment he gets retrenched. A partnership is all about overcoming challenges together. But learn to spot red flags and go into any potential romance with those beautiful eyes wide open.

Now over to you dear Rinsers. Have you ever dated a dude/damsel in distress? Did it end happily ever after or did you just get tired of having to perform heroic feats? Do you have any tips for people who find they have a saviour complex? Comments in the bit below !!