Spratt Says: Single vs. Relationship

Spratt SaysYou know that feeling? When you’re single you want to be in a relationship and when you’re in a relationship you want to be single.

But which is better?

I’ve decided to assemble a list of the pros and cons of being in a relationship to see if I can come up with a definitive answer.

 

Relationship pros:

  • Extra birthday presents
  • Extra Christmas presents
  • Parents stop pestering you about “finding a nice girl”
  • No pressure to pull on a night out
  • Split the costs of meals

Relationship cons:

  • Having to buy extra birthday presents
  • Having to buy extra Christmas presents
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Confined from seeing your friends whenever you want
  • Can’t pull on nights out anymore
  • Less space and duvet cover in bed
  • Parents start pestering about marriage and children
  • Double dates

I really struggled to come up with the pros of a relationship and judging by this list it’s clear to see that I’m happy being single – but these are just my opinions.

Some of you probably enjoy spending time with that special someone on Valentine’s Day, and enjoy cuddles with no bed cover, a dead arm and a face full of hair.

Maybe I’m just a narcissist, maybe it’s because I’m still young but in my opinion there’s just too much pressure on us to find that special someone and end up rushing in to meaningless relationships that move too fast.

25 things…

As I mentioned in a previous post, on April 3 I will be 25 years old. This feels like some form of milestone and it’s clear that I’m no longer as young as I think – in other words, it’s time I realised I need to grow up.

So, here are my 25 (grown up) things I plan to do/aim to achieve from the age of 25 onwards (in no particular order):

1. Open a savings account

Savings

I’ve been working for a good few years now, but I haven’t saved a single penny – I want to have savings and a sense of stability, so 20% of my wages will be going into a separate account every month. Plus you never know what a rainy day may bring.

2. Start taking care of myself

Taking care

I used to think ‘we’re only here once, live how you want’ – and although I still stand by that to some extent – I’ve come to realise you need to look after what you have or you won’t be here for very long. So, it’s plenty of water, healthy eating and exercise, plus lots of moisturiser and sleep.

3. Improve my posture

Posture

Years of dancing and gymnastics should mean I have a good posture, but instead I pretty much have a spine shaped like the letter ‘J’. Sitting for a long time straight-backed is a nightmare, but improving posture is supposed to do wonders, so I’ll give it a go and attempt to sit like a lady instead of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

4. Buy my own house

Home

After renting a flat last year, I really want my own property that is just mine. A home that I can paint how I like, a garden I can potter around in, and somewhere where Denver and I can chill. Nothing too big or too fancy, although the ultimate dream is a little secluded cottage surrounded by wild flowers.

5. Start a record collection

Record collection

Watching films like High Fidelity and listening to the likes of Fleetwood Mac and The Velvet Underground  have made me desperate to start my own record collection. I love the idea of cataloguing, framing and playing them – vinyl is the only way to listen to that kind of music.

6. Write a book

Write a book

My friends have been telling me for quite some time now that I should write a book – I’d love to, but finding the story seems to escape me every time I sit down to write. I have the first two chapters of about four books all saved on my computer. One day I will just sit and write whatever it is that’s circling around my brain – we’ll see.

7. Take up yoga

Yoga

I’ve played around with yoga, I like that it isn’t a strenuous form of exercise and it did sort my back troubles out. I always find that people who do yoga really have their shit together, and I want to be one of those people. That and I’d just like to be really flexible again.

8. Read all the books on my list

Reading

There are a stack of books sat in a box in the spare room that I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. When I was younger I could read a book in a week, nowadays it takes me about two months. I’d love to get back into the reading swing of things and plough through that stack.

9. Watch everything on my list

Films & TV

Films and TV series are something that I build my life around (sad but true). I finally joined the 21st century and got Netflix, which means I now have 205 things I want/need to watch. This includes Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Silver Linings Playbook.

10. Plan and take a road trip across America

Route 66

When sitting in the office is taking its toll, I drift off into my little daydream about driving down Route 66 in a cherry red pickup truck. The windows are down, sunglasses are on, Denver’s on the passenger seat with his head out of the window and we’re listening to American rock power ballads. The fantasy will become a reality.

11. Move to Scotland (with a stop off in Yorkshire)

Iona

For some reason, I’ve had it in my head that I’d eventually like to wind up in Scotland – I think it’s the secluded beauty that I like the idea of. Where in Scotland, I’n not quite sure – Iona maybe. There’s also a slight fascination with Yorkshire thanks to the picturesque scenery and Wuthering Heights-style romanticism.

12. See the Northern Lights

Northern Lights

I think everyone should experience something like this and I hope that I will get to visit Norway and see the wonder that is the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis if you prefer). There was a sighting over various parts of the UK recently, but I had no such luck. Boo.

13. Sleep under the stars

Sleep under the stars

This kind of ties in with number 10 – filing the back of the pickup truck with pillows and blankets, and just spending the night under the stars. I’m not particularly bothered if there’s a man beside me – that part I can take or leave really – but that freedom of gazing up at the sky before drifting off to sleep would be amazing.

14. Go to New York at Christmas

New York

New York is the number one destination on my ‘places to visit’ list, but only at Christmas time. I want to ice skate at Central Park, go to Serendipity III for ice cream and stay over until NYE so I can see the ball drop in Times Square. Plus there’s the guaranteed snow and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – eek!

15. Fall in love

Love

Honestly, I’ve thrown this one in because I feel I have to, as I’m genuinely not overly interested in love. I don’t really think it is a real thing – merely a fantasy and a combination of hormones. But, until something or someone proves me wrong, my motto is: walk away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without.

16. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

St. Patrick's Day

Visiting Ireland is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but I think the Irish in me would only love to go during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Again, the beauty of the place is a big draw-in and I imagine standing on the Giant’s Causeway would be nothing short of majestic. That and all the Guinness.

17. Own my dream car

1967 Chevy Impala

I have two dream cars – a 1963 Mercury Comet and a 1967 Chevy Impala – both of which would be in black with cream leather interiors. Of course, the cherry red pickup truck is also on the list, but if I could own any car it would be one of those two. In reality, a Seat Ibiza in gunmetal grey would suffice…

18. Buy a pair of Louboutins

Louboutins

Shoes are my weakness – I own around 100 pairs and although I don’t quite have Carrie Bradshaw’s budget, I will one day own my very own pair of red-soled beauties. If I ever get married, I’d hire any old dress, and instead splash the cash on a ridiculously sparkly, ridiculously high pair of Louboutins.

19. Learn to run

Run

That sounds like one of the more stupid things I’ve come out with, but I genuinely cannot run. At all. For any length of time. People always seem to go for a run when they need to escape from everyday life – I walk, which I find very relaxing, but it would be nice to master running.

20. Land my dream job

Ambition

I was recently informed that I seem to have a severe lack of ambition, and when I thought about it, I realised that was true. Working in a terrible, stressful job to working in my current, fun job has left me wanting to stay as I am – happy but without a career. I need to man up, get back my ambition and get the job I’ve always wanted.

21. Learn to cook (dinner party-style)

Dinner party

Until last year I’d never cooked a single meal (apparently soup and bacon sandwiches don’t count), but after living on my own and cooking my tea every night, I’d really like to learn how to cook properly. By that I mean, not just sticking various things into the oven – pure dinner party-style cooking. Gulp.

22. Lay off the straighteners

Hair

Nearly everyday for ten years I have brutally clamped my hair between a pair of super hot GHDs and I know it isn’t good. The problem is that I have horrifically bushy, thick hair – but I will take time out from the straighteners and give my mop a much-needed break.

23. Rescue a dog

Rescue dogs

Having Denver is one of the best things ever – but in a few years’ time, I’d love to go to an animal shelter and rescue a dog. There are so many abandoned pups that I imagine I’ll end up buying lots of land and having all the dogs. Like all of them. Every single one.

24. Take the momma to Canada

Canada

Momma Keeling has always wanted to go to Canada – why? We don’t know, I’m not entirely sure she really knows why. But I have said I would take her for her 60th birthday as a thank you for being Momma Keeling – unfortunately I only have three years to save for this…

25. Buy my dad a Jaguar E-Type

E-Type Jaguar

Big Les loves his cars and has rattled on about an E-Type for as long as I can remember. A few Christmases ago I bought him a keyring with his dream car on and I know he’d absolutely love to own one. He is batting on though so I need to get my arse in gear(!) and get saving.

There you have it – my plans and aims for the age of 25 onwards.

– love Stef x

What I would say to my 15-year-old self

This post was prompted by a few things; I found the diary I kept in the last year of school, along with my leaver’s book. They both make for some rather compelling reads, and if I were brave enough I would have quoted them directly. Maybe one day I will. Maybe I’ll save them for the book…

then and nowBut in light of that, and if I had a DeLorean, here is what I would say to the teenage me.

First, stop over-tweezing those brows, you look ridiculous and it’s only going to get worse.

A lot will happen in the next ten years of your life, so embrace the good and go with your gut. You will scare yourself when you realise how right you are in the end…

Right now there’s lots of fun and mischief to be had, friends to love and boys to meet – and girl you do like them male types!

Make the most of the innocent fun, when you grow up you will realise it’s not all fun and games, and some of your friends are hurting, in ways you would never have thought. Just know that no matter how guilty you feel, even when you are older, there are just some things that are out of your power, but also know that justice will be done.

Stop dating your friend’s brother and his friends. It’s weird.

Make the most of the fun you have, and the people around you. You will never be so full of life like what you are right now. The personalities of those around you are nothing short of brilliant – these people are the future, and it may not seem it right now, but you lot really are the last of the ‘normal’ teenagers.

You will learn that boys and girls can never be “just friends” so save yourself the heartache of losing a mate, find a different boy, ANY boy, just don’t ruin it with THAT boy. He will be the best friend you will have ever had, and I’m telling you now, nearly ten years later, you are perfect strangers.

Forget the hours you used to spend talking on the phone running up endless phone bills, there will be these magic phones called iphones, you can video call for free and everything!

Listen to your head, even when your heart tells you otherwise, because well, she wasn’t really your friend and you lose touch after school anyway. You will get fat one day, and you’re right about that boy – you were kept secret for a reason.

Don’t be mean to that guy you spent so long crushing on, he really doesn’t deserve it.

Stop being so naive, open our eyes and really see what’s going on.

Make the most of the parties, the pointless conversations, and the going out ‘just because’. Do things because you want to and because you can – don’t let anyone bring you down, life is far too short and moving all too quickly.

Stop making lists and life plans, your story isn’t in your hands, and most of the time, you feel like a spectator anyway.

Life won’t always be one big party, but know that sometimes, you’ll feel like you will never have friends like those you had when you were 15.

You haven’t wasted your life, just be the best you can be. You’ll survive – I promise!

– love Carla, aged 24 and 3/4 x

The female perspective: Can men and women ever be just friends?

Spratt Says recently threw down the male gauntlet on the million dollar question – can men and women ever be just friends?

Although I cannot and would not attempt to say that my opinion speaks for the whole of womankind, I can give my sole, female perspective.

So, can men and women ever be just friends?

Unfortunately it would seem not. But it’s not as clear-cut as that – I think there are at least five types of male/female friendships:

1. The ‘unrequited love’ – two friends of the opposite sex who spend most of the time together and get on like a house on fire. They’ve probably known each other for a long time, but one of them harbours feelings for the other that are unknown (and always will be) and unreciprocated (more than likely) – think Dawson’s Creek/Pretty in Pink. Nothing can crack this friendship, until one of them gets a significant other that isn’t the friend.

2. The ‘never in the sober light of day’ – not really best friends, but friends nonetheless. This is usually a straight-forward, logical friendship where blunt advice is given, arguments can be had, but they’ve always got each others’ backs. There’s no physical attraction whatsoever even though they get on and know each other pretty well – until they both get absolutely smashed one night and the thought makes a fleeting appearance.

Can men and women be friends

3. The ‘flanter friendship’ – this friendship is based on ‘flanter’ – flirty banter. There’s an attraction and a LOT of flirting with severe immoral undertones, but it’s harmless. They wouldn’t, in theory, turn down the opportunity to have one night of no-strings sex, but in reality, the idea of it rather than the actual doing it is preferred. The flanter friendship, if maintained, can become a solid friendship – but the flirting will always be present.

4. The ‘should be something more’ – the worst of the male/female friendships. These two get on brilliantly, spend time together and joke about taking their friendship to the next level. Others will tell them they are perfect for each other, but the friendship is comfortable as it is. Until it’s not and something happens. Think Some Kind of Wonderful with a 50-50 on the ending – something happens and it’s great, or something happens and it was the biggest mistake ever made.

5. The ‘soulmates’ – the slow-burner of opposite sex friendships. They start out as either each other’s crush or initially dislike each other. They become friends and said friendship blossoms into a BFF situation before they realise they are, in fact, a perfect match – your When Harry Met Sally if you will. Marriage, babies and happily ever after all round.

Although this doesn’t exactly give a definitive answer to the question, to me, men and women can be friends, but never ‘just friends’ – there will always be feelings or thoughts or flirting.

What I do know, is that once you and your friend cross that line, you can never go back. So before you do, make sure it’s worth the risk, because nothing is worse than losing and missing your friend.

– love Stef x

Too many rom-coms, not enough reality…

As an only child I spent a lot of time mastering the art of amusing myself – when I wasn’t out playing with friends, I was absorbing myself in books, films and TV series.

Although it formed a pretty vivid imagination which helped me to become a writer, it also loosened my grip on reality – to the point where a male friend told me only last week:

“You’ve seen way too many rom-coms. You need to realise that life isn’t actually like that.”

Of course he was absolutely right (not that I would ever tell him that), but it got me thinking…

Carla used the amazing Easy A quote in Fittie Friday, and that is exactly how I feel about life – so much so that that particular quote has been my bio on Facebook for a very long time:

“I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I want to ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey.

“I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me.

“Just once I want my life to be like an 80s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life.”

But this fantastical expectation of life, as I am slowly starting to accept, is not realistic. And that this, more importantly, is never going to happen:

 

It’s a sad realisation that the stories I’d immersed myself in growing up have distorted my views on life.

Pacey is not going to buy me a wall, Seth is not going to stand on a coffee cart and declare his love for me, Dan is not going to start a blog just so he can talk to me, and Noah ain’t gonna build a house for me – Goddammit!

But, in saying all of this, I have hope. There is a great romance just waiting to happen, it might not be Hollywood-style, but if it includes Penn Badgley I’m sure that’ll do nicely…

– love Stef x

Girl Crushes

A couple of weeks ago, Spratt Says detailed what he believed to be the ‘ideal woman’ – and it got me thinking about how women see the perfect woman.

So, here are my girl crushes – so called because I’d like to be/look like/act like/be as funny as any of these women, and if I was a man, I’d well…you know…

Girl Crush 1

Anna Kendrick: She’s hilarious, her tweets are brilliant and she can sing.

Cheryl Cole: I’ve hearted The Cheryl for more than ten years and will probably do so forever.

Emma Stone: Again, the girl is a hoot. And she told Ryan Gosling he looked like he’d been Photoshopped.

Jaime King: One of my first girl crushes, simply stunning and amazing in Hart of Dixie.

Julianne Hough: She can sing, she can dance, she’s gorgeous… I’d hate her if I didn’t want to be her.

Girl Crush 2

Katie Holmes: I’m still waiting for the day that I grow up to be Joey Potter (and bag myself a Pacey).

Mila Kunis: Stunningly beautiful and unbelievably funny, Macaulay Caulkin was definitely punching above his weight.

Rachel Bilson: Ahh Summer Roberts – everyone was a Marissa girl, but I was a Summer (and a Seth).

Teresa Palmer: She’s in my favourite film ever (Take Me Home Tonight) and taught me about ‘Boob Power.’

Zooey Deschanel: I agree with Spratt – she’s funny, quirky and beautiful. ‘Nuff said.

So while my taste in men leaves a lot to be desired, I think my taste in women is a lot more socially acceptable (not sure what this says about me…)

– love Stef x

Meet Denver

For around about 18 years there has been only one thing I wanted – a dog.

And, on Boxing Day, I finally got my wish.

So, I’d like to introduce you all to Denver. My eight-week-old yellow Labrador puppy.

He came home on January 11 and has settled straight in in his new home – as for me, I’m completely in love and quite possibly the happiest pig on the farm 🙂

Denver

– love Stef x

Do You Think I’m Sexy? Well, no…

It is often said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and while my taste in men does lead many to believe that my eye clearly has a cataract, I’m starting to think it’s actually everyone else who has the dodgy taste.

Why? I hear you ask. Two words:

Benedict. Cumberbatch.

Benedict Cumberbatch

I just don’t get it – and I’m all about harbouring eclectic-looking crushes. But this, even for me, is a step too far.

His slightly strange face keeps cropping up in Sexiest Male lists, most of the time even taking the crown, and I’m just utterly confused by it.

Maybe it’s because I’m one of the only people in the world who hasn’t watched Sherlock (or anything that he’s actually been in)…I’m not sure, I assume he must be extremely cool, smooth and charming?

I’ve put up with a lot of grief about my somewhat acquired definition of what an ‘attractive’ man is, with one friend recently saying: ‘Don’t take it personally but your taste in men is hilarious.’

And yes, I put my hands up and admit, at times, it can be dodgy.

Tall, short, fat, thin, old, young, married (joke), dark haired, fair haired or bald – if there’s something about a man that I like, then they’re attractive regardless of a general consensus.

But, in this instance, it’s my turn to mock.

The world has gone a little off-piste with its 2013 Sexiest Male winner.

Although in fairness, I would rather see Cumberbatch hold the number one spot than the likes of David Beckham or Robert Pattinson. Yes, I went there…

– love Stef x

A Not So Happy New Year…

I’m not a fan of New Year.

I hate the idea of reflecting on the events of the last 12 months, knowing that at exactly midnight it’s time to do it all over again.

Call me a cynic, hell call me a slight manic depressive, either way as each bong of Big Ben chimes, a little part of me cringes at a memory from the past year while the rest of me fears what the next one may bring.

Plus I always start each new year fat and ill (cheers Christmas)…

I’m really not all doom and gloom though – after January 1st I’m actually quite chirpy (depending on who you ask).

But my main gripe with good ol’ NYE is that, like most things, it’s always extremely underwhelming.

For example, wildly average destinations and hotspots suddenly start charging for services which are normally their only selling point.

Everyone rushes around in chaotic panic because they’re unsure of their plans and unless you booked the said destinations/hotspots in October, you ain’t going nowhere.

Girls get dolled up only to freeze to death or spend the night looking like drowned rats because taking a coat is a no-no. It’s also still December – rain/snow is a given.

2014

Once out and about for the night (if you’re lucky/organised enough to get this far), there’s the time to reminisce about things that have happened (usually nothing) and the things that could happen (again, usually nothing).

All everyone can agree on is that they’ll attempt to get fit/lose weight, give up a habit, better themselves in some way, shape or form, and refrain from doing stupid things.

Yet as we know, these extravagant statements will last for roughly 24hrs, before a pie is consumed, a fag is lit, a religion is lost and an inappropriate email/text is sent (yes, all me).

Maybe I’m just a miserable person. Or maybe it’s because I know I’ve wasted another year of my dwindling youth achieving very little.

I’ve fallen in love, and then nine months later, fallen out of love. I’ve moved out of my parents house, before promptly moving back into my parents house.

I’ve started a new job and welcomed the accompanying ‘desk-chair arse’ ailment with it. I bought more clothes and shoes than I will ever need, and I’ve blurred a few lines when it comes to friendships with those of the opposite sex.

I’ve laughed and cried, flirted and floundered, all the while maintaining a ‘friendship’ that is less than admirable in its nature (and responsible for all of those aforementioned actions).

But most of all, I’ve spent a year waiting for an epiphany that is never going to come. As the countdown begins, leading us into 2014, I’ll be anticipating The O.C. moment that is unlikely to materialise.

So I’ll leave you with the actual The O.C. moment, and despite this post somewhat negating it, I do wish you all (and myself, fingers crossed) a very happy New Year.

– love Stef x