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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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.

 

 

#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. 

 

 

Review : #Actorslife @ The Alexander Upstairs

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Last night #zlotybaby and I had a date night. Scoffing down at Hokey Poke Bar and then heading to our old time favourite Alexander Bar for more wine and a bit of theatre.

#Actorslife is a one-woman show staring Estelle Terblanche as Christine, a woman in her 20s (we are not quite sure if she is 23, 25 or 27?!) who is trying to make it as an actress in a hugely competitive industry. Endlessly learning lines and trying to impress at auditions, Christine is a bit of a perfectionist who is trying her best to stand out from the crowd to the point that it seems to be causing her to breakdown a little. The play not only shows how the character deals with her career struggles but also the pressures she faces from all angles, from various people who are all intent on offering their expert opinions on her life and career.

Although, most of us probably don’t do anything quite as showbiz as acting, I think a lot of people can relate to the pain of trying to find your feet in the working world. If you are anything like me, you probably left university with aspirations of making the world a better place. But, as is the case in Christine’s story, reality has a way of slapping you straight in the face, bringing all those high hopes you once had tumbling to the ground and forcing you to downgrade your dreams somewhat (like when Christine starts to question how much nudity she’ll allow herself to partake in just to progress in the industry). It’s tough out there, hey?

I won’t give too much more away because I don’t want to ruin it for you. It’s a pretty complex theatrical piece and the acting is excellent. #Actorslife is sadly only doing a short run so is just on for another two nights, 9pm at the Alexander Upstairs. Tickets are very reasonably priced at just R85 (and you can make a saving and get your tickets for R70 by booking online)

 

Preemptive Strikes and What Ifs

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Rarely are relationships and other such romantic encounters ever smooth sailing. Sometimes things get off to a rocky start and you find yourself questioning whether this drama from the get-go is a sign of things to come. But even in the instances where things begin blissfully, there eventually comes a time when the honeymoon period comes to an end and you experience some sort of bump in the road that makes you wonder if this thing is really worth the stress. But no matter how much of over-thinker you and however good you are at spotting your patterns (and those of others) how easy is it walk away at the first sign of trouble, essentially launching a preemptive strike on the relationship and breaking it before it can break you? And if somehow you do have the willpower to learn from past mistakes and run away from potential drama, does that necessarily mean you are guaranteed happiness? Or will you just be left wondering what if?

20/20 hindsight is a wonderfully torturous thing. After a disastrous relationship ends and the dust has settled, it’s pretty easy to rewind your mind and spot all the warning signs that you had chosen to ignore. Perhaps it was the fact that on your very first date gut instinct told you that he reminded you of your ex? Maybe it was that your friends that tried to gently tell you that this guy wasn’t quite as into you as he should’ve been?  Or it could just be that it falls in line with your patterns from the past and no matter how much you beg the universe to send you a boring AF accountant type that could potentially bring some stability in your life, it always always sends you a smoking hot lothario? The fact is you’ll easy find a million and one different ways you could’ve done something better the moment you start your little historic analysis.

However, that over-analyzing always seems to forget that when it comes to matters of the heart, more-often-that-not logic goes out of the window and even the most intelligent of human beings find it hard to listen to their own clever minds. We forget sometimes that the heart (and the hormones) also have an important role to play when it comes to the relationships we want to pursue. It’s not necessarily that you are stupid or a glutton for punishment when it comes to the types of people you date but maybe that you are drawn to the one’s that keep you on your toes and give you those infamous butterflies. And the intangible aspects that make it difficult for some of us to change our ways.

Ugh but then again, maybe it’s just me. So let’s take a look at the flipside. What would happen if every time you saw a red flag you ran a mile? If every guy that shared a similarity with an ex of yours was ruled out at the get go ? Well, I personally don’t think you’d get all that far in life. I’ve met a handful of people that claim to have ‘learnt’ from their mistakes to such an extent that they’d never let history repeat itself. I once met a guy who constantly blew hot and cold…one minute telling me he was falling for and then frantically calling an uber the moment things started to heat up! I later learnt that this poor guy had ‘heart cancer’. No not a disease. But some sort of mental blockage caused by having his heart broken and being too frightened to get close to anyone in case they did the same thing. No offense taken. But I have to say it’s sad to see nice people constantly alone because they are scared to take risks and opt to focus on the potential negatives.

Where does this sort of cautious approach to love get you? From the experiences of those around me (I can’t speak from my own experience because to my own detriment I always follow the butterflies) I can tell you that launching preemptive strikes on potential budding romances doesn’t lead to much more than a sexless existence (true storiES!). And sure, you could say that sex doesn’t make the world go round (hmmm, I’d like to see you live through your own sex drought first!) but from what I’ve seen the mindset which involves erring on the side of caution and inevitably closing yourself of to the possibility of love also results in loneliness/bitterness. The other problem with walking away from something too soon is that, if you are anything like me, you’ll probably sit around wondering ‘what if’ for months/years to come.

At the end of the day, every relationship is going to have some stumbling blocks – some which cause the relationship to fail and others which can reasonably be overcome. It’s important to know when to admit defeat but its equally important to give things a fair shot. It’s not everyday that you meet someone who sparkles so when you do I personally think you need to see things through and that way if it does end miserably you won’t spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if?’, knowing that you put in your best efforts. If you opt to launch that preemptive strike and end things prematurely just to save yourself the heartache in the long-run, you’ll probably still end up a little bit heartbroken anyway because of the regrets.

Over to you do Rinsers. Have you ever launched a preemptive strike and ended a potential romance before it really got off the ground? Would you say such actions can save you from heartbreak or just leave you with a whole bunch of regrets? Share your stories in the comments below. 

Swift Justice – Why We Should All Follow Suit and Speak Out Against Dirty Perves

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Sure, her music may not be to everyone’s taste but Taylor Swift’s popularity sky-rocketed following her recent performance in the courtroom. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock let me enlighten you. It all started in 2013 when Taylor swift alleged that (the now ex) DJ David Mueller groped her during an event. In 2015, the man with wandering hands filed a lawsuit against the singer claiming that her false allegations had resulted in him losing his job. He attempted to sue her for $3 million (what a rinser!) as compensation for the damage she had done to his reputation and career. Instead of simply going to court and defending her side of the story, the absolute LEGEND that is Taylor Swift took things one step further and decided to counter sue this imbecile for $1. Clearly for her being an EMPLOYED millionaire it wasn’t about the money but as about being “an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”  In the end, the jury ruled in favour of Taylor Swift and found the DJ guilty of assault. As momentous as Taylor Swift’s court victory may be however one does have to wonder how much of a real impact it will have on the lives of everyday women or whether it is purely symbolic and something that’ll be forgotten a year from now?

There is no doubt that Taylor Swift did the right thing. Firstly, in not just brushing off the incident as ‘harmless butt grab’ and secondly for not letting him get away with having the audacity to take her to court over it (seriously, this guy was a shameless dumbass of note to think he even stood a chance when there was even photographic evidence of the moment!). However, the sad reality is that her experience really wasn’t all that unique. Most women have probably lost count of the time they’ve had a guys grope them in a club or cat call them in the street. While we all no full well that these guys have no right to say/do these things we do tend to somehow dismiss their actions as innocent or harmless.  It’s understandable that women get to a stage where these sorts of occurences happen so often that they just don’t have the energy to call the perpetrator out on it each and every time.  In addition, most of us don’t have the means, the time or the influence to a) get someone fired or b) fight expensive legal battles. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t have an important impact or that we should stay silent and let men think they can get away with such behavior.

Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, a friend and I were out for a pleasant evening run on Sea Point Promenade. We were innocently watching a stunning sunset and getting our daily dose of cardio when we suddenly had our vision VIOLATED by a local WANKER (literally) giving him self some self pleasure whilst runners happily bouncing along in their active wear. We were horrified to say the least. Normally, in such situations I would have displayed a bit of a shocked reaction and promptly carried on running (probably at a record breaking pace) while trying to erase the vulgar image from my weak mind. However, on this occasion, my (slightly unhinged) running buddy decided to take action – she stopped and started pointing at the perve and SCREAMING:   ‘Ewww! Dirty Wanker! Dirty Wanker!’. Egg’d on by her outburst I decided to join in and started chastising the guy, telling him that there were children around and yelling at him to do his dirty work in the comfort of his own home with the aid of his porn collection. Eventually, we had drawn so much attention to the situation that other people came by to see what the hell was going on. The WANKER went bright red with embarrassment  and frantically tried to cover up his precious man bits while his audience looked on in fits of laughter. Yes, it is in essence nothing more than funny story and I honestly don’t know whether it resulted in the dude changing his behaviour but there is part of me that would like to believe that he’d think twice before whipping out his little friend in public again! Of course, he could have just found another spot for his activities but think about how his embarrassment (and that of other perves) could be multiplied if people made a scene every time they saw something inappropriate happening?

The thing is this sort of reaction is rare (that chick really was a nutter). In most situations, we do just brush it off and move on without making a big deal of it. A guy grabs our ass in a club most girls will just give him a dirty look and move to the other side of the dance floor (where no doubt she’ll get hit on by another idiot!). Just last week I was walking down the road at lunchtime when a prisoner in a police vehicle tried to get my attention by telling me he wanted to have a one night stand with me. I did pause for a second and consider walking up to the van and telling this rancid fool that even if I had a penchant for FELONS I didn’t see how he logistically plan on getting lucky in his current incarcerated state. But alas, the moment passed and carried on walking (remember it was lunchtime and I was hungry!).

The fact is we rarely put people in their place when they say or do anything that violates our sensibilities or our personal space. We live in a society that tells us to turn the other cheek and if we called out every geezer that said/did something inappropriate we get dubbed as ‘drama queens’. In a weird way, this kind of mentality has made women feel embarrassed like somehow they are the problem and not the guy whose parents failed to teach him basic manners. And sure, the situation for relatively middle class women living in western societies is probably better than for those living elsewhere. For example, women in India recently took to posting selfies of themselves out partying past midnight with the hashtag #aintnocinderella after a government official  said that a woman chased in her car late at night by kidnappers should not have stayed out so late. But there is a similar principle at play here. If we stay keep turning the other cheek and letting minor indiscretions like cat-calling, gentle ass grabbing and wankers wanking go unnoticed we are basically legitimizing these things and saying that women who complain shouldn’t be walking on the street, going to the club or doing their daily cardio on Sea Point prom.

To conclude this ridiculously long rant, I’m not saying it’s easy to make a scene (be it in a courtroom or just by screaming in the street) and call guys out when they do something wrong but I do think we all need to take accountability. Yes, we can bitch and moan about not having the same resources to hand as the Taylor Swift’s of the world but she too made a bold move. There are plenty of other pretty celebrities who probably get groped by z-list guys but don’t make the effort to stand up for themselves because they don’t want the negative attention/embarrassment or don’t believe it’ll really make a difference. At the end of the day, it’s probably too soon to know whether the impact of Taylor Swift’s court victory will have an positive lasting effects but if even just a few women feel inspired not to let the ‘little’ things slide I do think collectively we can have a real impact on changing society’s attitudes on what is deemed acceptable behavior.

OK Rinsers, go wild in the comments below! Do you think Taylor Swift’s victory in the courtroom will have a positive impact for women in the long-term? How much do you think calling a guy out on his bad behaviour has an impact? Have you taken action against someone who has violated your space by saying/doing something inappropriate? Share your stories with us. 

 

 

 

My Way or the High Way : Do Ultimatums in Relationships Ever Work?

 

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When you’ve been single for quite some time, it’s easy to forget that being in a relationship can, at times, be hard. I won’t lie, the thought of yet another bleak Tinder date where I have to tell some dude what I do for a living and listen to him blabbing on about his list of credentials and have a phat brag about where he went to school, fills me with dread and makes me want to pewk in my mouth a little. Sure, being a single girl in the age of internet dating can be pretty grim but is being in a relationship really that much easier?

Of course, being in a good relationship is probably better than being an dating aficionado but even the best relationships aren’t hearts and flowers one hundred percent of the time. All relationships have tough times where its no longer just about dealing with your own feelings and desires but also about handling another human’s issues on top of your own. Compromise is an important part of any successful relationship and it is certainly helpful when it comes to overcoming the inevitable disagreements which plague all couples. However, there may also come a point with certain arguments where diplomacy is no longer an option and one or both parties reach a breaking point. Today, Dear Rinsers, I’ll be questioning the value of dishing out ultimatums and when, if ever, they can be used successfully to resolve a quarrel or whether they are simply a symptom of being a stubborn, spoiled brat that isn’t getting their own way.

Naturally, the things we argue differ from one couple to the next. There are those simple things that can cause tension such as who does the washing up or takes out the trash. In most cases as long as the two parties are reasonable these sorts of trivial issues can be ironed out over time as people learn to accommodate one another. On the other end of the spectrum you have more contentious issues, the sorts of things that can probably make or break a relationship. These can be big practical matters such as financials or major ideological/religious differences.

When you hit such a relationship roadblock and you’ve pretty much reached your breaking point, it’s tempting to issue an ultimatum basically telling your partner to sort their shit out or the relationship is over. It’s normal to feel that threatening to quit the relationship is better than placing that one day wager in the hopes that you significant other will eventually come around to your way of thinking. Before launching in with such a bold all-or-nothing move it is, however, wise to weigh up your options and the consequences.

Firstly, it’s important for you to establish in your mind what exactly you desire the end result of your actions to be. Of course, you are hoping the ultimatum will result in some dramatic change in your partner but have you considered what you’ll do if they simply shrug their shoulders and move on? If this is your attempt to save the relationship there are probably less risky strategies.

Secondly, consider your reasons for making such demands. Is the change/compromise you are asking your partner really in their best interests or could it be purely for your own benefit? If you for example you force them to give up what you consider to be toxic friendships or their backwater religion before they are ready they may end up with regrets and resent you for it. Think about the long-term damage this could potentially do to your relationship.

Finally, if like many people, you are actually giving in an ultimatum without any intention of truly leaving such empty threats will only serve to help you lose your negotiating power in the future. On the flipside, if you truly are at a point where you have the strength to walk away then maybe using an ultimatum isn’t even really necessary. Perhaps deep down you have this gut feeling that things aren’t working and you are only going through the motions for final confirmation.

To conclude, the aim should be to avoid getting to a point in a relationship where you feel the need to issue an ultimatum. Rather keep the lines of communication open from the get go. Sure, it is easy to tell you to establish your deal breakers from the start and stick to those but people do change and sometimes issues only reveal them further down the line when you are far to emotionally invested to brush things off so easily. Regardless, do try and find out where any potential significant other stands on issues that are important to you as early as possible. And if despite your best efforts you do find yourself at breaking point try to have a deep and meaningful conversation about things and possibly seek advice from trustworthy sources before doing anything drastic.

Good luck!

OK, My Beloved Rinsers. Give us some food for thought in the comments section. Have you ever been forced to issue an ultimatium to get what you wanted in a relationship? Or have you been receiving end of such a threat? Did anything good come of the ultimatum and did it result in the desired outcome? Go wild…

 

 

 

Review : The Meddler – A Movie About People With Too Much Time on their Hands

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Do you ever have those days in your life when you feel the need to cry for no real reason as such? No? OK, It’s just me then! So, I was having one such day after being debilitated by a spider bite and having not much drive to do anything but veg in front on the TV. Someone recommended watching the Zoo Keeper’s Wife – apparently its a good trigger for making a person cry. Sadly, it wasn’t available so I got a movie called the Meddler instead. From the blurb (and the cover) it looked like a fairly run of the mill chick flick which wouldn’t require too much mental strength but like never judge a DVD by its cover.

Despite the initial impression that the Meddler would be light and fluffy (which it was in many ways) it turned out to have a little bit more depth than I expected and a lot that I could relate to with going-ons/interactions in my own sad little life (remember I was trying to cry!).  The story centres of Marnie, played by Susan Sarandon, who in the aftermath of her beloved husband’s death finds herself at a bit of loose end. With no real direction or purpose in life she relocates from New Jersey to LA to be closer to her daughter, Lori, a successful (but still single) career woman. As expected, the constant questions, invasion of privacy and tonnes of unsolicited advice on how to find a man, force Lori to establish certain boundaries with her mother (eventually she is forced to relocate to get away from her!). Marnie, however, being an eternal optimist, is fairly thick-skinned and takes this rejection from her daughter on the chin and finds other avenues (read: adopts some new ‘children’) for her energies.

Having inherited lots of money and being a friendly sort of lady, Marnie doesn’t struggle to attract the attentions of a few weird and wonderful ‘black sheep’ types (who no doubt were rejected by their own mothers). With so much time on her hands, she gets to work organising (read: footing the bill) for a big fat lesbian wedding and playing chauffeur (and nattering the ear off) a young guy who works at the Apple iStore. Thankfully, but somewhat unrealistically, the strangers that Marnie chooses to help are appreciative of her efforts and not solely out to rinse and generally take advantage of her in her vulnerable, lonely, recently widowed state.

It’s a good movie and beyond the LOLs and romantic subplots, it’s actually a story about a lady trying to make the way in the world without the love of her life who has clearly been the focus for so long. I think it’s a story that lots of people can identify with and one which is likely to become part of many of our life stories at some point in time.

As I touched upon, Marnie’s story is a little idealistic in many ways. Firstly, as annoying as Marnie is to her daughter, she is truly a well-meaning ‘meddler’ and her ‘adopted’ kids are also decent enough not to take too much advantage of that.  Sadly, this is the reality for real-life ‘meddler’ types. Most get taken advantage of by pragmatic entitled individuals who are too lazy to sort themselves out and feel that the world is to blame for all their problems. Secondly, while many ‘meddlers’ mean well there are also another breed – one which innocent, young people need to be wary off.  These are sad, old people that never amounted to much in their own lives (eg 80 something angry ‘poets’ and the like) therefore are not simply trying to live vicariously through you but are jealous of your happiness and intent on ‘meddling’ in a way that could potentially destroy you. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you with these ones.

So Rinsers, have you seen The Meddler? What did you think? Have you ever experienced a ‘Meddler’ in real life? Were they off the well-meaning variety or just a sad, judgmental old person who has become bitter and twisted because they have nothing to show for millions of years on the planet and are now at a point in their lives where they can’t even get laid? And finally, do you think that real life Marnie’s leave themselves open for manipulation by the lazy, entitled millenial folk of today? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

 

Stepping Stones – Just a Matter of Perspective?

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Have you ever felt that your the guy/girl everyone dates before they meet the ‘one’? Are you the girl that finds a guy who is at a tough spot in his life, invests your time and energy helping him get his life on track and as soon as he does you find him moving on to bigger and better things and leaving you in his tracks?  Today, dear Rinsers, I’ll be talking about stepping stones – the people used by others to build them up and help them reach their goals – merely to be discarded once they’ve served their purpose. I’ll also be questioning how justified our perception of being a stepping stone really is or whether it is just part of a person’s broader victim mentality.

Most of us don’t marry the first person we date and that’s a good thing. It’s important to experience a few different (good and bad) relationships to figure out what it is we actually need in a partner. And as easy as it is to say you wish you’d never laid eyes on an ex in the aftermath of break-up, I find that in many cases we can look back and draw something positive from the experience. Perhaps it was an ex that encouraged you to pursue your dreams or gave you a reason to take your first international flight. Or maybe it was something simple like them being there too look after you when you were sick.  Some relationships help us develop our character in a positive way by pushing us to get out of comfort zone, become more confident or just help us think about someone other than ourselves. Given a bit of time and space, I think most of us can look back at an old relationship and see that both parties took something valuable away from it.

Of course, if you do an ‘innocent’ Facebook stalk (we are all guilty of it!) and find that your past five ‘problem’ ex boyfriends married the next chick that came along, it’s natural to feel a bit hard done by. After all you spent all those long nights giving pep talks, massaging egos and driving their lazy asses to job interviews only to have the ‘new improved’ version of the dude snapped up by some other chick. It is a bit irritating if nothing else.

But enough of the self-pity! Let’s try to solve this problem. Firstly, if it really is the case that you date ‘problem’ people just to ‘fix’ them and hand them over to the next girl that comes along, then maybe it you need to be a bit self-reflective. There are some of us out there that like solving problems to the extent that we seek out such projects. Maybe this is your pattern and you need to make a change instead of feeling like a stepping stone once the problem is out of your life.  Secondly, sure you feel you wasted a lot of time helping your partner but ask yourself whether the arrangement was truly one-sided or did you also benefit from being with them. Chances are it worked both ways (come on, even if all you got was sex!!)…so you really weren’t that much of stepping stone after all.

At the end of the day, I think it is all about intentions. If the other party got involved with you knowing full well that they had no intention of pursuing a future with you but only saw value in what you could help them achieve then its fair to say they led you on and used you as a stepping stone to get somewhere (or to someone) better. But if you both entered into the partnership with hopes that something good would come of it and in the end of the day that didn’t materialise, it’s a little unfair and immature to keep tabs of who did more to help the other in a relationship. Of course, there are some horrible social climber type people in the world that are motivated solely by self-interest but I still have a little faith in human nature.

Yes, it’s natural to feel a bit used and abused when a problem child whose been fixed up moves on without you but try not to beat yourself up about it and thinking of how you could have done things better. Investing time, effort and little bit of love into a relationship isn’t a crime and not something you should regret, holding back on the other hand and constantly worrying about the worst case scenario of you potentially being used as nothing more than a stepping stone, well that attitude isn’t really going to help you find happily every after now is it?

OK Rinsers. Have you ever felt like you are nothing but a stepping stone? Do you have regrets about putting your all into a relationship only to have it thrown back in your face further down the line? Or do you think its just a matter of perspective? Are people who consider themselves stepping stones just wallowing in self pity? And should this whole potentially becoming a stepping stone thing even feature when one considers how much effort they put into a relationship?  Talk in the comments below.