“If you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it at all”.
I never did subscribe to that chain of thought and I can’t understand why others do. The idea that it’s a good thing to tell someone why they bother you to their face completelybaffles me. Why? Because I believe in being ‘two faced’ and I’m going to tell you why, for once, to your face.
But first I will openly admit that I am two faced: I AM TWO FACED. And not only am I TWO FACED, but I am TWO FACED and proud.
If someone bothers me, I’d rather have a good old moan about it with someone who is NOT the person involved. I think it is important to get things off your chest and process your thoughts through verbalising them. After all, how is it helpful to go through this process in front of the person you feel negatively about? Especially when often, our thoughts are confused and mixed in with our own personal shit? I can’t think of a better reason to go behind someone’s back. There, I can at least sort through my shit in a non-confrontational environment and avoid hurting someone in the process.
And this process is referred to as being two faced because you are essentially talking about someone behind their back. It mustn’t be confused with bullying; there is clearly a difference between venting your frustrations and being unkind or malicious towards another person.
What we need to remember is that everybody has unique thoughts and feelings about pretty much everything. Only, we’re often too polite to admit that we have both positive and negative feelings towards the people we care about and choose to spend time with. Often, the simple act of being close to someone results in strong negative feelings. This is completely normal; a part of testing the boundaries of your relationship and something we only do when we are comfortable with a person.
An acquaintance of mine once proudly stated: “sometimes I’ve caused an argument when I’ve been honest but I’d still rather say it to the persons face then vent behind their back”. Note ‘acquaintance’ - they were a friend until they said this.
When you say it to a persons face you invariably hurt their feelings and cause them upset, self doubt and often anger. You also run the risk of saying that one unforgivable thing that can ruin a friendship.
Asking someone to change an inherent personality or behavioural trait because it bothers you, is selfish.
We should accept people as they are. Embrace our differences. Appreciate that what one person isn’t, another person is. No one is perfect. Not in everyones eyes.
Despite this, there is an army of chavs and non-chavs alike parading around, shoving their “I’ll be frank and honest with you, even if it upsets you” T Shirts in your face, as though it’s something to be proud of. To me, this kind of attitude is one that belongs to aggressive (unhappy) confrontational people who thrive on drama.
We aren’t hard wired to get along with everyone. Until recently, I desperately wanted to be liked by all and went to some strange lengths to gain all round approval from every Tom, Dick and Harry. And then I hit 30. It is a cliche but hitting 30 did coincide with gaining some self esteem and clarity. For one, I’m not embarrassed about my once secret passion for Neil Diamond and second, I don’t mind if people find me annoying. Of course it upsets me a little if someone’s face contorts at the mere sight of me but I don’t sulk about it and I won’t go out of my way to flatter them into friendship.
I don’t want to know if I upset or annoy you. At the risk of sounding like a chavette, I know myself. It’s fine to dislike me. And I will dislike you for disliking me. After all, why like someone who doesn’t like you? What’s to like about that person? Those of you that are in my life are in my life because I like you. Yes, you might annoy me from time to time but I accept you for who you are.
Be a coward. Be two faced. Sort out your own feelings. Don’t push your negativity onto someone else. It is NOT COOL to ‘say it’ to anyones face. It is unkind, mean and a selfish act designed only to offload your frustrations.
“I’m to the point where I don’t even care nomo, anybody got a problem with me, holla upfront! I’m tired of always being humble...”
What do you think?
I first cruised several years ago on The Regal Chocolatean. I found the whole experience to be so horrendous, I vowed never to cruise again. However, I must have forgotten the true hell of that first cruise because I am once again sat in sealed plastic box listening to the loud whir of air conditioning on a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. All aboard the Prince Albert! Home for 7 days whilst Irish and I create and run Rock n’ Sole; The Prince Albert Guests Choir.
Irish and I have been very excited about our paid holiday as aside from working a five hour week, we haven’t seen each other for quite a while and will have plenty of time to catch up. I even purchased a new wash bag for the occasion, complete with new toothbrush. I forgot how nice it is to use a new toothbrush with neatly aligned bristles that weren’t splayed in every direction but the direction they should be.
On the day of our arrival, it took 11 hours to reach our destination; 2 by car, 2 in an airport lounge, 3 by plane, 2.5 by car, 30 minutes by car ferry and 60 minutes by tender boat. We were starving when we boarded the cruise ship - despite having already eaten 3 breakfasts - and immediately located the buffet.
On my first cruise aboard The Regal Chocolatean, I had been taken aback - and scared - by the all-singing all-dancing crew who quite literally tap-danced us into our staterooms.
Each day on The Regal involved a long discussion between myself and one of the guests about the latest animal shape our towels had been folded into that morning and how amazing the house band had - not - been the evening beforehand. Ladies were not allowed to wear trousers on formal day and the 24 hour buffet was filled with fat, sweaty, loud Americans who did nothing but eat at the 24 hour buffet. And the only time I didn’t feel sea sick was when I was lying down or in the swimming pool. I spent two weeks lying down in my plastic cell ordering the only thing I could stomach - ready salted crisps - on room service.
On The Prince Albert there is thankfully no sea sickness and it is Irish and I who are the greedy fuckers. Pecking at the 24 hour buffet each time we pass, we pile up our two (or three) plates as high as we can at mealtimes. Despite it being an ‘all you can eat’ buffet, I still line my salad bowl with cucumber so I can add an extra layer of coleslaw to the top. “We aren’t in Pizza Hut Emilie”, said Irish as I lined my salad bowl at lunch today. “I am Northern”, I replied.
The guests on board are fairly slimline on the whole. Not at all greedy. And quite classy. But they do complain. Today was a formal wear day and I strode into the restaurant in my beautiful ethnic cotton dungarees. I put heels on for the occasion, completely unaware this outfit was not formal enough. Thankfully men are stupid. The male manager who had the power to turn me away did not do so because, like my boyfriend he thought my dungarees were a dress. Handy that. According to Irish, I did get a few looks from fellow diners but I didn’t notice. And anyway, there’s more to life than the pair of cotton dungarees someone else is wearing. And if it really bothers you, you deserve a slap. I had nice makeup, hair and shoes on and looked very smart actually. But this is one of the things I hate about cruising; how pretentious it all is.
I also hate how all of the predominantly white guests openly gawp at the only mixed race couple.
I have only two goals for this cruise, aside from keeping my sanity. The first is to eat as much as I like, and eat what I like, but visit the gym at least once per day so I don’t feel guilty about eating as much as I like and eating what I like. The second - and most important goal - is to not gain weight. And this is a long shot considering the amount of food I’ve already consumed. It’s only day two.
And this is a luxurious jail.
As I descended the escalator that cold Saturday afternoon in January, I looked at the mirrored wall opposite and perused my fellow elevator-ees. I’m always eager for new literary inspiration; the heavily mono-browed women behind me inspired an interesting character description in the novel I’m working on, and the guy a few people down was rather cute. And as I continued to scan the descending single-file cue, I noticed a very busty women and said to my friend ‘Classy’, “that woman has massive tits…definitely bigger than mine”.
“Which woman?” Classy asked, not believing it could be possible.
“That one!” I almost yelled as I rudely pointed to the mirrored wall.
I realised that the woman I was pointing at had long wavy blonde hair; she was wearing a gray jacket from the mens section in Primark and she was pointing back at me.
“Oh my God”… I said to Classy. “My tits are so large, I don’t even recognise myself!” And we got off the escalator and walked to the car.
“I’m a walking tit” I said, and started to sulk.
After my rude awakening, I sulked all the way home and thought about my breasts for the remainder of the day.
Blonde moment aside, they do feel like they are a ‘normal’ size. But, I am unfortunately brought back down to earth by the lewd comments of men in bars, the jealous admiration of female friends and the boyfriends who can’t stop groping them. Having owned them since I was 18 - when they literally sprouted from a B to a GG cup overnight - of course they feel normal to me; after all, I have been wearing them for 12 years.
Despite my acquired sense of normalcy, I have a strange relationship with my fun bags. I’ve always secretly longed for their former C cup glory; when they weren’t so big I’d knock people out by doing a simple little titty shake on the dance floor.
I’ve become an artist at covering up my knockers. A good round necked T shirt can do wonders for cutting the ‘visual’ size of a breast in half.
I know it’s poncy to take a picture of oneself in a toilet mirror, but this is purely to emphasise my tit-slimming-artistry. They don’t look that big? No? It’s cos I got SKILLZ!! And I’m wearing a properly fitted bra.
I just can’t stand women whose breasts hang out of their bra because they are scared of wearing the correct size. It’s only a number! And what is attractive about a women whose excess breast tissue spills out at the sides and over the top of her bra? An ill-fitting bra often creates 6 ‘mini’ breasts that wobble around all over the place, aka ‘6 tit syndrome’.
Until 2002, my friend Poppy openly claimed she was a 34C (she also used to boast about her ‘satellite dish nipples’). I fear her declaration of 34C-dom was indeed a self-cajoling effort to believe this was actually true. When she started displaying the symptoms of ‘8 tit syndrome’, I begged her to go to bravissimo for a proper bra fitting. She finally followed my advice and was both shocked and happy at the outcome. She was shocked to be declared a 32G - which for a woman, is almost as bad as finally weighing yourself after putting it off for months, only to find you are a stone heavier than you thought. But, she felt ecstatic as she would finally enjoy full breast support and all the wonders it can bring. Poppy has never looked back; her parents even buy her bravissimo vouchers for Christmas.
In the past, when I’ve gone to bed with boyfriends for the first time they’ve made an assortment of comments:
“They are much bigger than I thought!”
“Where did THEY come from?”
“Wow, you weren’t exaggerating when you said they were big!” (I like to warn them before I unveil).
“They’re amazing/huge/scary/like jelly-on-a-plate!” (Thanks Dave M).
I’m a con-artist in that way. Because of my fabulous tit-slimming-artistry, they think they’re getting a good handful when in reality they’re getting a fucking huge handful. And when I meet their best mate ‘Jon’ for the first time, I always spot him sneaking a glance at my tits.
I’ve poured pints on the crotches of men who have said, “look at the tits on that” and I have been ‘removed’ from pubs for doing so. I have argued with women who think my tits are fake and have even let them feel me up for proof. The man in my local Indian used to stare so ardently that once I moved my face to his line of vision. He hasn’t stared since. And, I used to pray my love sacks would never surpass my mothers mammoth feeders. I think we’re about even.
Only a couple of weeks ago my friend ‘Thumbassalina’ came to stay. For a laugh she put her head in one cup of my bra and I put my head in the other. My bra was too big for both of our heads; an oversized bonnet if you will. And this made me sad.
My tits do have plus points though. They are very handy for keeping stuff in. I don’t need a handbag on nights out because everything fits; money, house keys, lipstick, mascara. I can even hide my mobile phone down there and no one notices. And, at the end of the night when I get ready for bed, it’s not uncommon to find a stray £10 note. Bonus!
And so, I have a love-hate relationship with my lady humps.
Don’t be fooled by this photo. You might look and think, “they’re not that big”. Well my friend, this is only the very tip of the titty-iceberg. They extend at least another 4 inches to the side, sit under my armpit, prevent me from amply resting my arms by my side and extend down by at least half a foot.
The summer of 2004 was one of those extremely hot and humid summers I’ll probably boast about to my Grandchildren: “I remember the summer of 2004…” I’ll reminisce, with a cock-eyed smile on my wrinkly face. “I bought the coolest lilac fan from Stoke Newington High Street. Ooh…it were hot”.
But I doubt I’ll tell them the real reason I remember that summer….
On a particularly humid Monday in July, I was in a transit van approaching the Blackwall Tunnel in East London.
I was accompanied by a bassist and a saxophone player after an afternoon jazz gig at the Royal Opera House. We had enjoyed a nice lunch - avocado salad and spicy wedges - following our two hour set. And we were feeling pretty smug; a Monday lunchtime gig is a rare thing for the humble jazz musician.
As we entered the Blackwall Tunnel, the traffic predictably ground to a halt. And as the traffic predictably ground to that painful halt, my stomach started churning and a bead of perspiration trickled down my sticky forehead. I let out a sneaky fart hoping it would be all that was required for immediate relief. As a torrent of trumps started escaping my booty - each hotter and wetter than it’s predecessor - I realised I was wrong and became aware of a real risk: should I continue fart, would I follow through?
“I really need the loo”, I said to Pete.
“It looks like we’re going to be here for a while”, was his unsatisfactory reply.
“Can’t we try and pull over somewhere?” I pleaded.
“Where?” he queried. “We’re practically in the tunnel”.
“Ok…. I’ll try and hold it in. But as soon as we’re out, I have to go to the loo”.
I lent forward a little, hoping my stomach pain would ease but after another 30 minutes of standstill traffic, my stomach had bloated to twice it’s usual size.
“I think I’m going to shit myself!”
“What?” Pete asked, in shock.
Pete and I had only been boyfriend and girlfriend for a month or so. David - his best mate and saxophonist - was chuckling away quietly. It doesn’t take men long to realise that although I look angelic, I do actually fart and shit like the rest of them.
“Why don’t you go in my lunchbox?” David helpfully suggested, taking his sandwiches out and passing it to me. It was a pretty thing; his childhood lunchbox, as he had informed me at a previous gig. I didn’t WANT to shit in it, but I couldn’t refuse his kind offer.
“I’m going to have to!” I replied. “I can’t wait. I feel ill. We could be here for hours right?”
“You’re not going to go in front of us are you?” asked Pete.
“Only if it turns you on!” I replied; the joke wasted on Pete who by now was wondering what the hell he saw in me.
“Don’t worry. I’ll go in the back”.
I got out of the van, opened the rear sliding door and went inside. It was pitch black, had no windows and I had to navigate over and amongst Pete’s vast amount of PA equipment.
“Tell me if you start moving!” I yelled. “I don’t want to shit on your gear!”
I did my business, all the while worrying about the lunchbox; is it big enough? Oh fuck, it’s almost at the brim… God, this stinks… what will they think of me? etc etc… But in the end, I felt quite proud of my watery brown mush. It only JUST fit. I put the lid on, wrapped the box in several plastic bags, clambered out of the van and climbed back into the front.
“I feel so much better. Thank God for that!” I said with a smile on my sweaty face.
“Well it fucking stinks”, chorused Dave and Pete simultaneously.
“I’m sorry. When you have to go, you have to go” I replied.
It was at this point that the gridlock finally lifted and we steadily made our way to Pete’s place in North London.
When we got out of the van I took the lunch box over to Pete’s bin.
“You aren’t throwing it away?” David asked and ran over to grab the lunchbox off me.
“Do you really think you could wash this and put food in it again?” I replied.
”Er…. yes” said David, in an obvious way; as though I was a complete dunce for suggesting such a thing.
“Do you think that’s normal Pete?” I asked.
“Well, it is over 12 years old”, he replied.
I passed the lunchbox to David, shit included. If he wanted it, he could empty and wash it himself.
A few months later I was at a gig with David. When it was lunchtime, he took his apple and sandwich out of the pretty childhood lunchbox. “The dirty bastard”, I thought.