Review : Table 19 – The Movie That Tried To Cover Everything and Failed Miserably

 

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Have you ever been to a wedding where you basically know you aren’t wanted? Maybe you are  the bride’s socially awkward cousin and although you haven’t seen each other since you were 12 she was just forced into inviting you because her Olds are footing the bill for this whole charade? Or perhaps you are the business contact of the groom’s father and he has just invited you along in attempt to hook up his broke-ass loser of a son with a job at your firm? You could be one of those singletons who really would have rather spent your Saturday night at home with a DVD, glass of wine and a tube of Ben and Jerry’s but your Mum insisted you go witness a random family friend’s nuptials in the hopes that you might meet an eligible bachelor? Just face it! You are a reject! Nothing more than a B-List loser! And this is what the movie Table 19 is all about.

It’s the story of those rejects – 6 people ‘invited’ to a wedding where the bride and groom only reluctantly sent out the invites in the hopes that these people would either RSVP no or the postman would somehow conveniently lose those all-important bits of expensive paper. First there is Eloise, the main character, who it turns out was actually first in line to be Maid of Honour but was then forced to ‘drop out’ after being dumped by the bride’s brother. Then there is a couple who were Facebook friends with the groom’s father – they only seem to have come along to air their own marital issues out in public. Then you have Jo, the bride’s childhood nanny, the random kid whose parents forced him to come along thinking that after a few drinks perhaps some cougar may help their son lose his v-card. Finally there is Walter, some distant relative who is out on parole and invited along because he did some dodgy dealings and took the flack for the bride’s father.

So from that little run down of the oddballs sharing the reject table you’d be inclined to think that this make’s for a great RomCom, right? Wrong! While it could have potentially been a great little story it failed because it tried to literally cover every relationship/life issue – everything from choosing whether or not to have a baby, contemplating life when you’ve been diagnosed with the Big C, married couples having affairs (and getting back together because better the devil you know and all) to advice on picking up girls and why people always end up hooking up at weddings.  There is a little side story about a very hot wedding crasher who turns out to be …. the groom from another wedding being held in the building (plot twist!).

There are some funny moments in the movie, one which involves a cake being smashed but in the end because it tries to cover so much the audience fails to connect with any of the characters and all in all it’s a bit of a disappointing movie. It’s a shame because if they’d kept things simple it could have been something that a lot of people related to. I mean everyone who’s organised a wedding will probably know all about the fine art of perfecting a guest list and table plan. And I’m sure most of us have been to at least one wedding where we’ve felt like we should have known better than to pitch. Anyway, don’t bother watching it. Honestly, there are better things to do with your life.

So Rinsers, have you ever been to a wedding where you should have known better than to attend? Were you able to make the best out of your time at the reject table or was the experience one you’d rather forget? Share your stories in the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#MeToo: Sexual Harassment and Assault Awareness

quietYesterday I saw women all over my Facebook sharing #metoo. The idea was to raise awareness about sexual harassment and sexual assault in that way. Perhaps if all women in someone’s Facebook feed shared the hashtag, it would make people realize how widespread the problem is?

The problem is indeed massive. Of course, there are levels to which women are touched by it. However, the fact is that ALL women experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault. Rape, verbal or physical sexual coercion, unwanted touch, predatory looks, comments on your appearance, “jokes”, aggression because you rejected someone – all these are just elements of the world where women are objectified. When women aren’t treated like people but like sexual objects, men believe they can do whatever they want with them: comment on, evaluate, touch or use at will for their own sexual pleasure.

Most women experience a garden variety of sexual harassment. Catcalling is honestly just a daily experience to which I never know how to react. As I work from home for instance, I like to go for a cycle or a walk during lunch. The problem is that the nearby construction workers take their break then. I can’t go past one not to be catcalled and neither can any other woman who’s on her own. Why do men do it then? Probably because they can. It’s certainly not to actually get anything out of it:

Catcalling makes me a mixture of angry and ashamed. I want to react or do something but mostly I’m scared. Perhaps if I reacted to a guy who’s on his own I could get him to think about his behavior but a group would mock me or perhaps become aggressive towards me. I’ve gone out a few times preparing myself to say something next time I’m spoken to and I’ve always chickened out. Now, I try to go out before or after they’re gone. I’ve lost, I’ve altered my behavior. That’s just catcalling. Being a woman, however, means a lot of fear in general. You’re scared of being raped too. You may second guess a guy’s intentions when he invited you for a cup of coffee to his house. You walk faster when it’s late and men feel like a threat. Sometimes someone gives you a predatory look and you feel that if circumstances were different he would hurt you but after all it’s not like anything really bad has ever happened to you, right? Are we supposed to count ourselves lucky because we haven’t been raped, though? Men don’t count themselves lucky because no one chopped their arm off or they didn’t get murdered, do they? Of course, it’s much more probable for a woman to get raped than to any of this to happen to a man. The point is that every time a woman feels threatened, she feels like this not because she’s crazy but because something could happen.

Something should be done to make people understand the problem. Will #metoo do it? I doubt it. It feels like preaching to the choir. The women who shared the hashtag in my feed are all lefties and that’s who likes on my own status came from. I haven’t seen any negative reactions but I haven’t seen any positive reactions either from anyone outside of my circle of expectations. I’m sure some people thought about some women’s statuses “she should only be so lucky that someone harasses her” but in the age of social media finger pointing they knew better than to share such views on Facebook. Perhaps the hashtag is not so successful in achieving its goal but that doesn’t mean it has no use at all.

As much as people may not change their mind because of this social media campaign, it has become a voice of female solidarity. We are all ashamed of our experiences with sexual harassment and we often feel guilty. It’s something we don’t talk about because often if we looked for sympathy after we are harassed we just found more sexism, even in women. When I was slapped on my bum by a stranger in Paris a friend of mine who was walking with me replied to my outrage: “Chill, it’s not like he’s taken away your virginity or something”. When I was maybe 10 a drunk guest house manager stopped me on my way from the communal toilet back to my room. He started hugging me and making inappropriate advances. Then I saw a ray of hope walking down the stairs: a female friend. She ran away when she saw us, though. I eventually managed to escape and then was shaken and outraged that she didn’t help me. She just said it wouldn’t have happened if I was wearing long pajama pants like she did. These are of course just illustrative examples not the entirety of my experience. All women experience sexual harassment and certainly they all experiences negative reactions to trying to speak up. The bigger the trauma, the more shame there is associated with it and the more potential there is for a negative reaction for speaking up from both men and women. Yesterday, however, some women had the courage to talk about unimaginably horrible events such as rape when they were still children, gang rape or sexual abuse in family. It is sad and it is so depressing that such things happen but maybe by talking about it, we’re making even more people share their experiences. In taking the shame away from the victims, we can finally move to focus on the perpetrators. It’s NEVER the victim’s fault.

Today a new hashtag is trending: #iwill to express what will we do to help to improve the situation. Can we really do something? What do you do? Any thoughts on #metoo, Dear Reader? Do you think it can truly help spread awareness? Feel free to share your #metoo stories in the comments. 

The ‘Pull A Pig’ Prank – Why You Need a Thick Skin to Play the Dating Game

 

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We live in a cruel cruel world. It seems the Age of Tinder people are becoming more and more superficial by the day. Lets be honest…how much can you tell about a person a couple of profile pictures? What’s to say that smoking hot guy with the six pack isn’t a serial killer? Nothing. Yet, he’s more likely to be swiped right than the chubby dude with a pleasant smile, standing in front of a fancy BMW (that’s most likely not his!). See, superficial. I told you! None of us is above all this fakery. Who can honestly tell me that they haven’t spent considerable time perfecting their selfie face to get that angle just right to catch the attention of some computer geek trawling an internet dating site (or in the case of those no longer playing the dating game just a few more likes on Instagram).

All things considered, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then when you hear sad stories about mean things that people do to one another under the guise of ‘dating’. The latest tale to hide the headlines and go viral  is that of the ‘pull a pig’ prank. For those of you don’t know this is the (MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS) story of 24 year old girl, Sophie Stevenson, who met a Dutch dude, Jesse Mateman, while on holiday in Barcelona. According to the chick, they had an intense holiday romance (he on the other hand describes it as a one night stand) and carried on communicating when they returned to their respective countries. After a bit of back and forth, they arranged for Sophie to travel to Amsterdam for a romantic reunion. But it wasn’t to be. When she arrived there was no sign of Jesse. Turns out she had been stood up and after a few hours received a text (displayed above) saying she’d ‘been pigged’. Basically, it was all an elaborate joke whereby guys challenge each other to get a date with a woman they see as overweight or unattractive simply to ridicule her and get some kudos from their mates.

Naturally, feeling humiliated by the whole stunt Sophie decided to take action and took to the media (well, one of those rubbish UK morning TV shows that only unemployed people without a life get to watch) to share her ordeal with the world  and hold Jesse accountable. Not taking these accusations lightly, the Dutchman sought legal assistance and plans to hold Sophie liable for any damages he suffers a result of her accusations. Furthermore, a crowd funding page has also been set up to help the girl recover the funds she’d spent travelling to Amsterdam. Oh my!

Dear god! Is it just me or have things just got totally out of hand? I mean, sure, I feel sorry for the girl. Being called a fat pig is never nice but seriously aren’t there bigger problems in the world. I was called morbidly obese but you don’t see me doing TV interviews about it! The truth is the world can be a mean and horrible place. People are ‘braver’ than ever before when it comes to telling you what they really think. People feel free to lose their filter when they are hiding behind a smartphone or computer screen. Believe me, I’ve had guys comment on my gummy smile, my wild curly hair and even accuse me of misleading them by putting up pretty pictures on dating profile which wasn’t a true representation of myself. Of course, it’s normal to feel offended by such comments but I don’t believe we need to dwell on it and blow things out of all proportion (the dude is no better here – getting lawyers involved, really?)

But this story is not unique and quite frankly didn’t need to go viral.  The world is a horrid place and while there is no doubt bullying and name calling is wrong but do we really need to go such lengths for ‘justice’ or in some cases is it better just to brush it off and carry on with our lives.  There is a time and place to stick up for yourself and times to look pitifully at the guy who called you names and remind yourself that he’ll probably never amount to much. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Alternatively, turn the scenario on its head and make the best out of a bad situation. She was left stranded in Amsterdam not a South African township surely you could take the opportunity to explore a great European city (or sample THOSE brownies!).

Either way, I don’t think there is any need to publicize what was essentially a private interaction between people. While calling people pigs is certainly not nice, it isn’t a criminal act either. If you ask me, this is just an example of the Jeremy Kyle effect (if you haven’t heard of the show it’s like a UK version of Jerry Springer – a reminder of everything bad about Britain and a big part of why I left my homeland). Why the hell do people need to shout about their divorce, cheating spouse or the fact that don’t know who their baby daddy is on TV? And what’s more why is the public so fascinated by this trash? It’s hardly news worthy (the BBC really need to up it’s game!).

Anyway, let me stop my middle class rant just there. Look, I’m not saying people shouldn’t stand up for themselves. But the truth is that anyone that interacts with other humans is bound to have their feelings hurt at one point or another. Whether it’s in the school play ground or while you are roaming the Tinderverse not everyone you cross paths with will be a sweetheart. You need to develop a thick skin and pick your battles (imagine taking action against every guy that ever offended you). Calling someone morbidly obese isn’t cool but maybe instead of feeling like a victim you should just ask the lad if they have what it takes (matric certificate would be a start) to become a professional dietitian and tell you such a thing legitimately. Not everything needs to go to court (or trash TV). Sometimes it really just a case of sticks and stones.  It is also important to be self-reflective and see what you could have done differently – perhaps next time get the guy to do the travelling or have him pay for half the ticket? I have limited sympathy for people who do silly things like send nudes and sexts and then start crying when those things are plastered all over the internet.  Yes, relationships are about trust but you shouldn’t need to drop your standards and be totally naive about human nature either. We’ve all been humiliated by mean guys/girls it’s part of the sad reality of life. And on the flipside, most of us have probably done some not-so-nice things in our day too (e.g. trying to prolong an encounter with a mummy’s boy just so you could potentially have a date for a wedding!) but we all live and learn. With time hopefully we all get more mature and stop with such childish activities.

Ugh maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. I guess there are some realizations which just come with age and experience. So over to you dear Rinsers, do you think this chick was right to go on TV and shame the Dutch prankster? Or do you think this school yard mudslinging gone to far? Is she nothing more than a woman scorned? And are there times when we have to take accountability for being too naive and falling for the wrong people? Do you think you need to have a thick skin to date these days and has anything similar happened to you? Share in the comments below.

 

 

Review: Atypical

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Yes, yes, I know it seems that I’m obsessed with Netflix. I just can’t help myself! They have all these great series available…

“Atypical” is a story of an 18 year old Sam (Keir Gilchrist) who’s a teenager with autism (not an autistic teenager, as you’ll learn). The time comes for both him and his highly athletic sister, Casey to enter the world of dating. Their parents aren’t particularly happy about their children growing up, as it’s usually the case. The situation is particularly difficult for the stay-at-home mom, Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who all of a sudden after years of taking excessive care of her son has to redefine herself.

The show is a nice mixture of comedy and drama. The characters are relatable and we do feel for most of them. I’m not a specialist in autism but I think the series does a good job at explaining the disorder. It’s also interesting to see how a family deals with such a difficult situation. The parents aren’t overly idealised. They do struggle with the upbringing of a child with autism and they occasionally forget that they have two kids and not one. The story is very convincing but there’s something off with the mother character. That she’s overprotective is understandable but I was less empathic towards her crazy control issues (constantly asking her daughter to keep her door open?) and narcissism. I really wanted to throw something at the TV numerous times because of her but my husband told me not to and I’m an obedient wife.

Fortunately, the focus of the series is on Sam. He’s in a normal school and is seemingly copin. That doesn’t mean that other teenagers don’t make fun of him. It is horrible to laugh at someone just because the way they are but it’s also what people in high school do. The stuff he does is sometimes funny by “normal” standards and people will laugh. We allegedly live in the world of diversity and acceptance but it’s just appearances. Whenever something is different from our immediate comfort zone we ask other the question “Why?”. “Atypical” makes us see that for Sam the why is his disorder that neither him nor his family completely understands. He certainly should have a shot at things every human being wants such as a relationship, a job or friends. At the same time the world won’t change for someone who’s atypical. Like every one of us he’ll have to find his way to navigate his life in the imperfect world.

I’m looking forward to the season two of the series! I really would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a bit of lighter entertainment. The series is very short as it consists only of 8 half an hour long episodes. Giving it a try isn’t much of a commitment and it’s really worth your time!

 

The Balancing Act: Rethinking Romanticism

rethinking romanticismI’ve recently experienced horrible responses offline to me expressing somewhat pragmatic views on dating. Perhaps it’s because romanticism is not only strongly incorporated in our culture but also traditionally opposed to reason. In other words, for many, you can be either a romantic or a cold, calculating person. As humans, however, we can rarely make a successful decision based on our heart’s desires or on reason only. The balancing act requires that we make decisions taking both into account.

Do you know this feeling when you meet someone and you just immediately feel this special connection? When you feel drawn to them and start to behave like a little girl around them, trying to impress them? Romanticism would have you believe that this is a feeling you should follow and even if it will put you in difficult situations, eventually it’ll lead you to this beautiful place called happily ever after. Well, no. The feeling I’ve described is attraction and has to do with lust. There’s nothing romantic in the fact that your body is urging you to have sex with someone. Attraction doesn’t care for your self-worth or well-being. It wants you to make babies. Sometimes it chooses people who are good for you, sometimes it doesn’t. This is precisely while following the “connection” on its own isn’t a good idea.

Now, if you actually follow this feeling you may end up in an even bigger trap set by your body, called being in love. Perhaps, it’s another mechanism that’s aimed for partners to be together for the first crucial years of the baby’s existence or to make you guys have a few babies. Maybe the reason why the initial feeling  disappears after 1 or 2 years is because the more babies we have with more partners, the better from the evolutionary point of view? Who knows. I really think, however, that there are  evolutionary reasons behind falling in love and it’s not only my theory. The author of “The Roads Less Travelled” shares similar views in his excellent chapter about the difference between being in love and actual love. The whole point is that as humans we can make better choices than basing such a big decision as a choice of a partner on an initial liking only. In fact, we should make better choices because we want more than just butterflies for a little bit and then misery with a partner who doesn’t understands us, who bores us or with whom we constantly fight (or all of the above). Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to say “no” when you’re feeling attracted to someone but be honest with yourself and stop glorifying it.

Of course, the romantics came with other ridiculous ideas to protect their promotion of following your “heart” = your loins (probably because of the consequences that often follow such choices). They’ll try to tell you that suffering is a virtue. This, yet again, is a harmful belief. Suffering is just something that happens to human beings, but sometimes we can avoid it and when we can, we should. No one is better, because they suffered more. Yes, there is something to say about using suffering to build resilience and learn that you will survive no matter what but that happens naturally when we’re teenagers. Causing yourself unnecessary suffering is silly. Where do you think the glorification of women who went or want to got through childbirth without epidural (with the consequent shaming of those who opt for it or even worse for a Cesarean section) is coming from? From the same way of thinking, trying to teach us that suffering is noble. According to these beliefs if you’re having a difficult start of a relationship it’s just a trial and you must persist through the difficulties to find a happy ending. How many romantic comedies having this pattern you can enumerate? Fiction is just fiction, though. Among other things, it’s also meant to make these dreams come true on the screen, which wouldn’t in real life.

Romanticism in its praise of strong feelings also promotes an idealized vision of dysfunctional relationships. It isn’t only about fair maidens being conquered by seemingly bad boys, who change the moment they meet the One. Following your heart is also supposed to mean crazy passion, mixed with even crazier fights. Break-ups and make-ups, alcohol, drugs. All of those are romanticized in mainstream cinema and books. Misfits can also be perfect matches, as if two broken people could actually create anything healthy and lasting. Being sensitive and emotional is one thing and not having your shit together is another. Praise of the latter was a great excuse for the exuberant hedonism of romantics such as Lord Byron, who had one love affair after another with representatives of both sexes. Of course, he was only following his heart! 😉 Modern romanticism just incorporated the old ideas and started to make blockbusters by reusing them.

Does this mean that we should ignore completely what our heart tells us? Of course not. Being in love is a great thing but it doesn’t mean that we have to follow it blindly. After the initial butterflies fly away, love can replace them. It’s love, however, that should be treated as a romantic thing that is. Commitment to one another, mutual support and stability are the things that should be valued as they are the ones that will lead people to the place, when at the age of 80, they still hold hands. Blindly following the in-love high will maybe also get you there but chances are you’re rather end up staying with someone you don’t like that much for eternity just because you had kids and you don’t want to put them through the trauma of divorce. Trust, safety and intellectual understanding are things that many people need and there’s nothing wrong with wanting them. If we’re in lust, I mean in love, with someone who we can’t count on and who’s in general unpredictable, eventually it will wear us off.

The reason why I always underline the need for certain pragmatism at the initial stages of dating is because it’s much easier to say “no” to a stoner broke ass wanna be rockstar on date one than to turn around when our pink glasses of in-loveness are already glorifying everything our partner does, not allowing constructive criticism. Even though it’s never too late to break up, some people, if they’ve gone too far, will decide to keep going. If you know you have such tendencies, use your reason too. When it shouts that you should run for the hills, do it. Don’t believe the mainstream culture that’s telling you that you have to go with the initial feeling of “connection”. We’re humans not animals, we can stop ourselves. We have brains and we can make better choices to to be in not only lusting but also lasting relationships.

Any words of wisdom, Dear Reader? Do you always follow your “heart”? Or do you add a little bit of reason to your dating choices?

 

 

 

#EnglishRosiee and the Maasai Warriors – Some Food for Thought from Deepest Darkest Africa

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Let me start by offering my deepest to apologies for being a bit AWOL recently. In part this absence from the blogosphere was simply due to a severe case of writers block as a result of being removed from the Tinderverse and subsequently not having as much to bitch and moan about. In addition to this I was also away exploring other parts of deepest darkest Africa with limited internet connectivity. And this dear Rinsers leads me to the topic of today’s blog post …

Spending two weeks in Kenya where lions (and tigers and bears and of course the elusive Kenyan unicorn) really do roam free was certainly a magical experience and even though I’m heartbroken to be back in humdrum I am pleased to say that I managed to collect a lot of blog matter for all of y’all! On my travels I witnessed a lot of weird and wonderful things, the most exciting of which were lions having passionate sex while jeep loads of pervy safari junkies aka voyeurs looked on in awe. But enough from the animal kingdom for now (I shot some lion porn if any of our more animal inclined readers is interested!). Aside from the safari’ing, I also visited a Maasai village where we got to check out a bit of tribal life. Learning how these folks kill lions to demonstrate manhood (poor kitties!), start fires with nothing more than some sharp sticks and can jump higher than most of us could ever dream off (just to get a discounted price on a bride) was interesting and all but what I though was most relevant for the purposes of this blog was how the Maasai people view relationships,etc.

Forgive me for what may come across as a bit of reductionist account of what is a probably quite a complicated subject matter and something that people have slaved for years writing PhD theses on but my comments are based solely on my observations (and me just generally speaking out loud) and with really, really limited internet I don’t really have the chance do more detailed research/fact-checking. Anyway here are some things that my interactions with the Maasai warriors got me thinking about.

Monogamy vs Polygamy

So as is the case in quite a few cultures these Maasai guys tend to be polygamous. The one that was showing us around had two wives (neither of which was his favourite!) but he said he knew of cases where a Maasai had ten wives. Apparently, there really is no limit to how many wives they can have just as long as they are capable of providing for all of them (and subsequently the multiple kids that they are sure to produce) sufficiently.  (Guess it’s not that different from our beloved chavs back in my homeland except they just tend to knock up multiple women and get the state to foot the bill)

While polygamy is pretty much an alien concept to a girl who grew up reading too many fairy tales and since developed slight feminist leanings, there are people (even so-called progressive liberal types) who claim that such a system has it’s advantages over monogamy. Hmm…I’m not convinced. Perhaps it’s the only child in me that doesn’t like sharing my toys (read: boys) but I really don’t see how it can work on anything but a superficial level. Sure, for the Maasai people there are certain benefits such as a division of labour (one wife goes out to trade things while the another one stays home to take care of their collective kids!) but surely jealously and competition are common human emotions/behaviours that transcend cultures. I just can’t deal.

That said, it’s really probably not all that different than phenomena going on closer to home – threesomes? Open relationships? Philandering scumbags? At least the Maasai ladies know what they are in for, right?

A Woman’s Worth 

In Maasai culture before a man can get married, it is standard to for him to give his future wife’s family ten cows, essentially putting a price on her head. As I mentioned before, if a dude is particularly athletic and can jump really high then the number of cows he is required to exchange for his chick can be reduced down.

As a hopeless romantic (see even Tinder couldn’t take away my sparkle and turn me into a jaded old hag) who believes love makes the world go round this type of dowry system where even an elderly man can buy a girl young enough to be his great granddaughter as long as he can get his hands on those all important cows does make me pewk in my mouth A LOT !

But then again things could be worse, at least these women have some worth (calculated in cows), the dowry system still in operation in parts of the Indian sub-continent see the chick’s family literally paying men to take the daughters off their hands. Again, I just can’t deal.

Should we just keep our noses out of other people’s business?

Finally, as we are all well aware we live in an increasingly globalised world where we are all more likely to be exposed to different people and cultures (I mean, a few centuries ago I very much doubt that the heir to a Maasai empire would be chatting up a Brit girl and telling her that he’d like to be monogomous for her, now would he? True story!) Living in more connected world is great in many ways because it opens our minds to new perspectives/ideas. But on the other hand, it could also lead the erosion of different cultures as well and perhaps that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Our guide told us that there are something like 42 different tribes in Kenya but the Maasai are pretty much the only ones that have managed to keep their culture intact. But even with them as they become more educated (in the conventional sense) more of them end up leaving their tribes. It’s kinda of sad, I guess.

Then there we are (in many ways not so different from our colonial ancestors) wandering into their villages and getting all judgey about the way they do things. A younger, more idealistic/naive version of myself would have probably spent days ranting about women’s rights after my encounters but I’m starting to see things a little differently in my old age. Sure, I would like to think I’m worth more than 10 cows (although my Dad would probably trade me for a dog and a free gelato) but maybe other women are OK with being treated like a commodity? Maybe they have bigger problems to deal with? Perhaps they look at as mindlessly swiping away on Tinder and pity our existence? Either way, I don’t think any of us should be judging and commenting. Whichever perspective you look at things from things on both sides are going to change eventually but it should only happen when people are ready to make the changes themselves rather than because of external interference.

Anyway, enough from me lets in the comments below Rinsers. What are your thoughts of polygamy vs monogomy? Do you think dowry systems are archaic and should be abolished from this world? And do you think we should even be commenting on the way other people do things? Go wild like the lions in the comments below. 

This was #englishrosiee reporting for #rinsebeforeuse! Good night!

Review : Everything, Everything – An Epic Tale of Forbidden ‘Love’ and Life on House Arrest

Everything, Everything

I rarely find time to watch movies these days. But when you stuck on a a long-ass flight there is often no better way to kill time. So this weekend, despite being severely sleep-deprived, I caught up on some popular entertainment…Actually, it was just a lame excuse to indulge in a soppy teenage romance movie.

Everything, Everything is the story about a 18-year-old girl, Maddy, who suffers from some hectic immunodeficiency condition which basically means she is allergic to everything which means she is confined to living within the four walls of her rather swanky but somewhat futuristic house (a bit far-fetched I know!). To top it all off, thanks to her prison-like living situation she doesn’t have much actual contact with humans apart from her mother, her nurse and the nurse’s daughter (she does have access to the internet though so I guess that counts as human contact by some people’s standards). A bit of bleak situation, hey?

Well…things to get interesting in Maddy’s life when a she starts to make contact, via longing gazes through the window and iPhone conversation, with her new neighbour, Olly.  Because of the bond that these two kids form, Maddy is eventually forced to question her rather unconventional living arrangement. Her crush/love for the sickeningly-sweet boy next door gives her a reason to get her head out of her books (pretty much her only escape from the house arrest situation) and develop a curiosity about the outside world (the type of curiosity that somehow makes it possible for a girl who has never worked a day in her life to obtain her own credit card and book a holiday for her and her man to Hawaii – naughty, naughty!).

Maybe, I’m just getting cynical in my old age, but to be honest the story is just a little too simplistic. But I guess it’s sort of suitable for the type of kids that are yet to have any experience with complex real-world human relationships. There is a bit of  a (slightly sick) twist involving an somewhat unhinged mother at the end but I think even the teenyboppers should be able to see it coming. On a positive note, it’s not a terrible to movie to watch when you are sleep-deprived. It doesn’t require too much brain work. And I guess there are some relevant threads in the story e.g. why people need to get out into the world, have their hearts broken and generally have a few life experiences if they are going to grow up to be well-adjusted, functioning human beings. That said, I know people who haven’t been held prisoner and still they are 30-something virgins. Go figure.

Watch the movie. Don’t watch the movie. It’s not mindblowingly revolutionary nor is it particularly offensive. It’s essentially a children’s movie but then again so is the Lion King and that’s actually probably more true to life. If you are at a loose end, I guess it’s slightly more entertaining than twidling your thumbs or watching paint dry.

OK, over to y’all. Have you seen the Everything, Everything? What were your thought’s on the film? What lengths should parents be willing to go to protect their kids from the ever-present dangers of the outside world? And nowadays with everything the internet provides for us, is there really any need to leave the house and physically meet people? I mean, is it really that different from all the internet dating? Some questions for you to ponder dear Rinsers. 

 

 

Appreciation, Gratitude and How Not To Be a D**k

gratitudeWe want to have a happy relationship, vibrant social life, a satisfying career and who knows what else. As much as I agree that these are important goals and we should always try to better ourselves, sometimes in the pursuit of achievements we develop certain entitlement and forget to be appreciative and grateful for what we already have.

I’m assuming you can relate to the constant feeling of necessity and obligation. “I have to”… get this paperwork sorted, meet a deadline, meet up with a friend, go to a networking event, see this play, oh and spend quality time with my partner! We rush through our lives, turning into things we should be enjoying into tasks to be ticked of the list. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a powerful drive indeed! I don’t know how you deal with it but I often end up pushing myself so much that my mood is really bad and I perform the scheduled tasks half-heartedly, not getting out of them what I should. The feeling of being worn out doesn’t leave much space for gratitude and appreciation.

An overscheduled life naturally creates entitlement. If we wake up at 6 and need to be at the gym at 6.30 to come back home and have a quick breakfast to then go to work and stay there till 6 and make it to a social event by 6:30, we put a lot of pressure on life for sorting everything out for us perfectly. There’s no time to spill coffee all over our clothes or to have a flat tire. This isn’t to say that we should always account for such events but life sometimes does work out in different ways that we have planned it to. It’s not a conspiracy against us, it’s just a reality we should accept. Apart from the events related with objects that can cause unpredictable changes (hole in the last pair of stockings, an alarm clock that didn’t go off, an accident on the road, which caused traffic), there are also living creatures that may have plans different to ours. It’s not our dog’s fault that he got sick on a day of our important interview, for instance. And yet, we tend to get upset with both inanimate and animate objects. Why does it always happen to me??? Oh, the horrible world in which not everything happens as I planned it to!!! Raging at the world and other people who end up not complying with our ideal plans is honestly being a d*ck. Sure, it’s natural but it’s just not a healthy way of dealing with life. It causes us higher stress levels and prejudices others against us as negative people.

There’s another way of dealing with life, though. I heard Tony Robbins on Time Ferris’s podcast, not long ago, saying something to the extent: If you stop seeing life with a lense of entitlement and look at it with gratitude, you’ll immediately get a new life. In other words, there’s a way of looking at everything differently, regardless of the circumstances. I can choose to get bent out of shape this one time when I end up having a day when things just weren’t working out smoothly or I could appreciate the days when they do. We just expect that everything will work out the way we’d like to but honestly we’re extremely lucky when it happens. If we think about the probability of things going wrong, we truly are fortunate most of the time. So many other people in the world don’t have what we have and we just always want more and more and more. Life does get better if we become appreciative and there’s plenty of research on gratitude to prove that. There are also many ways to start this journey: from enumerating three good things that happened to you every day, through giving people thank you notes to contributing your little bit towards a good cause.

My final thought for today is that we keep going about our lives as if our existence was of utmost importance. We think that if we don’t do this or that, some horrible consequences will occur. That our company won’t survive without us or who knows what will happen if we miss a social event. Then sooner or later we get some sort of limitation from life to remind us that it’s really not all that serious. I remember when on day on my super busy schedule I broke my foot when walking to the gym, still in my probation period with a company. I ended up working at home one day and taking off the second one for a prolonged visit at the hospital. I had the most horrible scenarios in my head. How will I get to work? Will I manage to work through the pain? How will I do anything as a temporary cripple? My then boyfriend was going on a business trip the day after I broke my leg and we were moving in together a few days later. #englishrosiee crashed her car in an accident so couldn’t help me with chauffeuring, she also broke my bed just after I had my accident. Everything seemed to be going wrong! For the first few days, I couldn’t even make myself tea, because the pain was too much to put any weight on the foot and try to prepare something on crutches… And yet, I did survive the six weeks necessary for a fracture to heal. I repaired the bed, I managed to get to work, we moved in together. This period of my life was definitely far from amazing and I was quite sad most of the time, not being able to socialize properly or exercise. At the same time, I really appreciated having a partner who took care of me. The foot did get better eventually and after not even two months I had a more or less functional leg I could enjoy. There are people in the world who’ve never had that…

To sum up, it’s not life’s or anyone’s responsibility to behave in agreement with our plans. It’s a blessing when it happens and we should appreciate that, rather than rage when things go wrong. Perhaps, it is a blessing in disguise when things collapse occasionally, as it serves as a reminder, that we treat everything more seriously than adequate. Besides, if life never surprised us, what’d be the point of it at all?

Are you an appreciative person, Dear Rinser? Maybe you’re a horrible moaner? Glass always half full or half empty?