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Jumping Ship

24 Apr

I feel obliged to create a blogging equivalent of a flashing diversion sign. I’ve moved home.

After six months of silence (except for all the time I kept saying ‘I really need to start writing again’) I’ve set up a new place to chat called Lucy Writes Stuff. Don’t worry, there will probably still be plenty of useless nonsense to feast upon- it’s just… well, at twenty-six years old I’m kinda milking this ‘graduate’ thing a bit. Still very much wayward though. No change there.

I apparently still get a fair few views on this. Probably cos of the SEO value of internet dating freaks. Ahh, we’ve had some good times.

COME FIND MY NEW BLOG!

Wayward Graduate, over and out.

Sleeping With The Fishes: The Horrors and Highlights of Internet Dating Pt1

23 Jul

I, Miss Lucy Anne Sanderson, am a serial internet dater. I’m really hoping that the reaction to that statement would be more of a ‘what, really? Why?!’ rather than a ‘Yeah, thought you’d probably have to.’ Contrary to popular narrow-minded belief, it is actually more socially acceptable to partake in this activity than ever before. The once ostracised figure in the pastime playground has finally been allowed in to play ball with the inner sanctum of normality, leaving poor old trainspotting and stamp collecting to get their heads flushed down the toilets at lunchtime. The other day my friend told me that she actually saw that happen in her old school. I always thought it only happened in the films but thinking about it happening to someone in real life is horrible- have you not seen what lives in there?

Yes, Willem Dafoe as a terrifying germ.

Anyway, I have been on and off the internet dating circuit for probably about two years now. I’ve dabbled with the classier brands like Match and eHarmony, but my most consistent place of choice is plentyoffish. It is free, but that comes at a potentially higher price of higher chaff:wheat ratio as well as having a large school of certain fish who are looking solely for ‘fun’ (I hope you appreciated my very subtle aquatic pun there.) Now, call me old fashioned, but I remember a time where ‘fun’ could refer to a game of Ker-Plunk or a boisterous round of Blind Man’s Bluff.  If you are considering internet dating for the first time, please do NOT under any circumstances be under the illusion that the pouting guy with his shirt off and iPhone held aloft in his picture is wanting to play tag when he asks if you’re up for some ‘fun lol’. He’s usually the guy with ‘I’m looking for a sexxi women’ as his headline. I’ve learnt that over-sexed men struggle with plurals on this site.

In fact, a high proportion of Plentyoffish is over-run with topless males. Sorry lads, I’m 90% sure that this trend doesn’t apply to the pictures of girls on there, but I’m fairly sure there’s a fair few who choose to wear very little on a daily basis. It does get to a point when you get a torso send you a message saying ‘great tits’, that you think to yourself  ‘should we just cut out the middle men and let our prospective chests get on with it?’

You may be quite surprised to learn that the above example of a boobs-related message is really quite tame in terms of lewd advances. Of course you get the overtly crude that make you gag. These surprises are like coming back from a fortnight’s holiday and discovering the freezer got switched off and it had chicken inside. Those messages aren’t befitting of repetition, just Google ‘bad porn scripts’ and you’ll get the gist. I have become quite fond of the hilariously awful ones.

Subject Line: “I’D LIKE TO…”

Message: “… kick your back doors in ;)”

Whether that was a suggestion of smut of a threat of burglary, I was really quite taken aback by that particular approach. Then of course there was:

Subject Line: “Hi”

Message: “You Remin me of a Toe.! Not because your Small & Cute.!
It’s because when Im Drunk I would bang you on the Coffee Table..lol”

Yeah, there’s not much I can say about that one. Especially because I’m kind of ashamed by the fact the grammatical errors possibly offended me more. The king of salacious messages was definitely the guy that mentioned KFC and wanton sex acts in the same sentence but I’m not going to sully my blog with that particular sentiment. Now, if I’ve got you thoroughly put off by this peculiar world you may be entirely horrified to hear that the aforementioned species are not, in fact, the worst thing about Plentyoffish. No, there is something much worse…

… To Be Continued.

CV is not an STI.

14 Jul

I can’t believe I’m about to say. Television- it lies. I’ve seen ‘Benefit Busters’. I thought unemployment was meant to be a riot; people seem to go out of their way to not have to go to work.  I saw a fella pretend that he was so far from being able bodied that he didn’t even have the strength to lift a pan to cook for himself, let alone go to work. The poor love was signed off and given loads of lovely free money, then he was subsequently snapped slinging a hefty bag of golf clubs into the back of his car like Jean Claude Van Damme dressed in Argyle patterned  Ping. To be fair, he didn’t lie. He wasn’t caught lifting pans.

I am officially unemployed for the first time in about four years. I have to say, I’m not a fan.It’s not really seen as the coolest way to live your life. Even my trusty thesaurus wanted to bring me down when he offered me the following synonyms to my current position.

Unemployment

'Down', 'idle', 'loafing'. Thanks a bunch thesaurus. I think I might have to object to 'on the bench' mind you... there's plenty of gents who do that professionally and seem to pocket tens of thousands a week. Pretty sure that ain't JSA.

I’ve been engaged in slave labour for the last three months…sorry, that’s ‘interning’ to the lay man. I finished this free trip through my dream job last week and am now left feeling a little dishevelled and bemused. It sort of reminds me of ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ if you’ve ever managed to sit through that pile of misguidedly hyped tosh. I got shoved in though the front door, entered a world of wild fancy and excitement (didn’t get a smooch from Johnny Depp, mind) then tumbled out the other side with the light of coherence snuffed from my eyes. The light is replaced by the glare of my glowing computer screen in my foiled attempts to job seek.

I do love the term job seeking. ‘To seek’ is a verb generally banished to the realms of old-age storytelling and wizardry, so much so that one may imagine that a conversation with the job centre might come out in wizened and wise riddles like Yoda ‘welcome workless wanderer, job it is you seek?’ Or perhaps some kind of spurious mantra a la ‘Field of Dreams’ with Kevin Costner. He was still quite dishy in that one. In reality, my first interaction with the Job Centre made me realise that us jobless layabouts have a soundtrack to our sorrow and it sounds something like this:

Bloody ‘Spring’. I was held listening to this cheerful piece on a loop for around twenty minutes, occasionally punctuated by a recorded lady pretty much saying, ‘look, not being funny but are you sure you don’t just want to fill the form in online? It’s probably like loads easier and to be honest our phone operators don’t really want to talk to you anyway.’ No, recorded lady. Like the great Magnus Magnusson, I’ve started so I’ll finish thank you very much. I guess the song choice was supposed to be inspiring, but if I had been living under my duvet for three weeks in a pit of despair after a redundancy I’m sure each stroke of the strings would feel like a knife in the heart. It’d probably only inspire to go out and punch butterflies or daffodils and eat lamb kebabs in front of new mother ewes.

My relief upon reaching a human voice was shortly lived. I was told my phone call would probably take something in the region of half an hour, but once all the fun questions like ‘name?’, ‘date of birth?’ and ‘address?’ (the JSA’ a/s/l?’) were out of the way I realised that I would be spending the next twenty seven minutes saying ‘no’ in a journey through how pitiful and potless my existence really is.

I’m sure this is a bit of a trick, because after the seventeenth time of saying ‘no’ she whipped a curveball in there. ‘Do you still want to claim for Job Seeker’s Allowance?’ I was pretty zoned out at this stage. It  reminded me of the warm hungover mornings in my history lecture theatre where I let my eyes stay open, but only by some magical force like a doll that only ‘goes to sleep’ when you lie her flat. I wondered what might have happened had I not snapped myself out of this hypnotic recital of negatives. If I said ‘no’ to that one would it have been like the first round of ‘Take Your Pick’ with Des O’Connor;  a gong would be struck, everyone would laugh at me and I’d be kicked out with no cash?

I do try to remain chipper. I’ve been taking my job seeking on the road and asking in shops and bars as well as holding out hope for a dream writing job to materialise. A friend on Facebook chat got confused by my lack of capitalisation when I told him I was spending the day ‘handing out cvs.’ He wondered if it was easily treatable. You end up feeling like an apologetically desperate door-to-door salesman, scampering up and extending the futile question ‘Erm, don’t suppose you have any vacancies?’  I even went into Subway and asked. They gave an enthusiastic ‘yes, we are looking for staff as it happens!’ but I almost felt myself trying to grip onto my CV in a tug-o-war against signing up to misery as I handed it over the stinking counter.

I am now starting to consider that my joblessness may be down to something different. I met up with one of my dearest, bestest friends in all the world and talked to her about my job hunting. I read her my CV and she nearly wet herself laughing. I would like to close by publishing the ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section of my Curriculum Vitae. I’ve handed this out around thirty times with the belief it’d make me sound interesting and memorable. In hindsight, it might sound a bit ridiculous.

Hobbies & Interests

I love independent cinema and going to museums and places with plenty of history. I’m happiest rummaging through the rails in charity shops, kicking massive piles of dry leaves, baking cakes and applying for TV quiz shows. I won ‘The Weakest Link’.

I am a live music glutton and go to a lot of gigs and have a keen interest in emerging artists, but have also been known to do housework while singing along to Barry White.

I keenly follow the Premier League and am a life-long Chelsea supporter; so living in Manchester for six years was tricky at times. I’m a Fantasy Football obsessive and beat the whole Rock Sound office in their mini league last season.

Yeah… I may never get employed.

But at least I don’t ‘enjoy films, music and socialising with my friends.’ I don’t even like my friends.

Dear Knobhead-On-The-Tube

11 Jun

The London Underground

He stood there in a Peter Storm windbreaker and jeans in the centre of the carriage with a clean McDonald’s paper cup. He had clearly gone and asked for an empty one rather than selflessly enjoying that Limited Edition Caramel Milkshake like Dumbledore did in the Horcrux Cave. That obviously wasn’t milkshake- although consuming things from McDonald’s has left me rolling around on the floor saying  ‘no, no, I’m dying’ too.  I missed the beginning of his spiel because I had plugged myself into my music as loud as I could without receiving condemning looks  from my fellow commuters, but I was quick to tug them out as soon as I noticed this relatively well groomed stranger was making a public speech of sorts.

The most widely accepted tone of someone appealing for change is one that sits somewhere between sincerity and politeness, sort of like that guy that has clutched the same copy of The Big Issue outside Manchester Academy for years. ‘Can you put a smile on a homeless person’s face?’ I would feel like a wretched human being saying that if I had a penny for every time he asked me that I could have bought him his own house by now, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s not actually officially employed by The Big Issue and I’ve seen him choose a luxurious Stagecoach bus into town over a haggard Magic Bus… when it would actually only take about ten minutes to walk. Yes, consider this a public outing.

But this chap on the tube didn’t go for this approach. He wasn’t even homeless. He was clean, smartly dressed, the backs of his ears and fingernails were probably cleaner than mine- but there’s no surprise there because I’m actually I bit of a hideous scruff. I still don’t understand when people recoil when I tell them I bite my toenails- I think it demonstrates my supple flexibility, and besides, it’s not as bad as that time I bit that fifty-pence-sized blister on the bottom of my foot. The first thing I noticed as I zoned in on this speech was this man’s tone. He was speaking with a sigh like someone who really couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps like a child that has been forced into attending a dance class cos his Mum really liked ‘Billy Elliot’ and but would much rather be having a kickabout instead.

‘…so BASICALLY (sigh of indignation) I just want some extra cash this week. I’m starting my job next week when no doubt I can look forward to looking as miserable as all of you, but you’re all already working so just please just give me what you can.’

He finished this oration on a sharp pitch with the firm, curt tone of the teacher you liked least at school. I then watched him make his way along with the cup held out indifferently behind him like a demanding relay baton of scorn. He then repeated his aggressive patter to the next section of commuters before getting to the end and turning to glare and snarl at everyone who had, unsurprisingly, not given him anything. So, the whole train essentially. He was just so flabbergastingly rude. It may have been because I’d been treated to a few beers on an empty tummy, but I like to think it was my fiery belief in right and wrong which motivated me to stand up and march down the length of the carriage to square up to him.

‘Excuse me, sir. But who do you think you are? What gives you the right to stand up here in front of all these people who have had a long week, most of them working for some faceless corporation that offers them a wage in return for being demoralised and trapped in a life of grey monotony and misery just so they can care for their families? What’s more, who are you to tell me I’m miserable and try and guilt me into giving you anything? You know nothing about me! I’ve been living off a paltry income for years on a wage that would average out to scrape in at just about national minimum, and I am currently working for absolutely nothing in order to pursue ambitions for a career that is notoriously hard to get into. The government won’t provide me with anything, I’m floundering at the bottom of my overdraft and have very little to do anything except work, sleep and have meals cooked by my Mum- but you know what? At least I’m not a **** like you.’

…of course, this didn’t actually happen.

I just stared at him for a bit before he got off the tube at Moorgate. To add insult to injury I have a feeling he may have misconstrued my ”smouldering angry’ eyes at ‘ooh baby take me now’ eyes. Sadly, I fear a strongly worded letter addressed to ‘Knobhead On The Tube, 1 Dickhead Avenue, Arsehole Park, PR1 CK’ would get very far so I’ve had to live out my hindsight fantasy here on the internet. It’s one of life’s cruellest twists- experiencing a situation that leaves you fuming then thinking of the most perfect comeback as you struggle to get to sleep that night.

Thankfully, I can say I didn’t have the same difficulties in airing my rage the night I had to watch a drunk boy decide to relieve himself (not in a sexy way) all over the seat on the train in front of me.

‘You dirty ****ing little *******. You’re never getting laid with that disgusting thing.’

Simple, but effective.