Will they, won’t they? The best TV couples #1

By now it comes as no surprise to you that I prefer fantasy over reality, and although will they, won’t they couples in real life are exhausting, they make the best storylines in TV series.

Here are my favourites:

Joey & Pacey (Dawson’s Creek)

Series 3 and 4 of Dawson’s Creek are the best purely because of the Joey and Pacey plot – he bought her a wall, watched her while she slept (in a non-creepy way) and bought her chocolate after they actually slept together.

The writers of the show did write and film two endings when Dawson’s Creek reached its final season – and though it was always believed that Joey would end up with Dawson, we all got the finale we wanted.

Blair & Chuck (Gossip Girl)

Never have there been two characters more perfect for each other – the Blair and Chuck love story was full of twists, turns and scheming a-plenty – but despite princes, enough peonies to last a lifetime and a heartbreaking trade, it finally happened.

Three words, eight letters. One word, three letters.

Dan & Serena (Gossip Girl)

It had to be Dan and Serena – six series filled with so many on/off moments, but in the end all was revealed with Dan inventing Gossip Girl to make himself known to the girl of his dreams.

You’ve got the love Lonely Boy, xoxo.

Ross & Rachel (Friends)

The original will they, won’t they couple. There was closure, prom videos, being on a break and babies – Ross and Rachel were each other’s lobsters.

She got off the plane. Yay!

Tim & Dawn (The Office)

Just phenomenal. I was a little late to The Office party, but the Tim and Dawn story completely broke my heart. I’m glad I watched it all in one go as I don’t think I could’ve coped waiting each week.

This scene is sheer brilliance, enhanced by one of the greatest songs ever – Only YouHere’s to holding out for my own Tim.

– love Stef x

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Spratt Says: Wife Material

Spratt SaysAs I reach my mid-twenties it was inevitable that some of my closest friends would eventually grow up long before me; buy a house, have a baby, get married etc. and while I’m over the moon for these friends – despite cutting the best years of their lives short – on a personal level I could never take such a big leap so soon.

I have no intention, at least for the time being, to ever get married but due to the actions of some of the aforementioned friends it got me thinking about what sort of woman it would take to change my mind.

What would I consider the perfect wife material?

As easy as it would be to make a typically sexist “whoever makes a good sandwich” joke right now, I’d like to think I’m better than that, so I’ve put some thought in to it.

Back in 2010 scientists claimed to have found a mathematical formula for the perfect wife, which in a nutshell concluded that a bride should be five years younger than the groom, share the same cultural background and be the more the intelligent of the pair if a marriage is to succeed.

Now with the exception of intelligence, I’ve seen all of the above most mornings on Jeremy Kyle and it’s hard to believe they’re destined to live happily ever after despite the best efforts of Jezza and Graham, so I came to my own conclusion and that is that this survey is utter trollop.

The perfect wife I’d assume should be no different to what a woman would regard as the perfect husband. Marriage is essentially teamwork and therefore both man and wife should have a similar level of intelligence, same interests, equally domesticated and so on.

I don’t think it’s that complicated but it’s not something that is likely to ever interest me, although I understand why some do but who knows, maybe one day I’ll make a woman very happy… and probably miserable the rest of the time.

 

Love, relationships & dating: What I’ve learnt so far…

So it happened. I turned 25 and technically at my age and current romantic status, I’m somewhat classed as ‘on the shelf’ – oh goody.

Having said that, as a newly single person I’ve been thrown into the ‘Dating Game’ without really having any prior knowledge or experience – constantly being in relationships for nearly a decade leaves you slightly lacking on what is the social norm.

But, through my relationships and recent singledom I have so far learnt the following things:

1. Teenage relationships/first loves are generally psychotic

My first actual relationship was at age 17 with a lad I met on a summer’s day through mutual college friends. Hormones were rife, drama was daily and the easiest way to sum the year-long partnership up is simply, psychotic. One day said lad promptly disappeared without us having actually broken up – technically we’re still together, 8 years going strong.

2. Telling people you dated your boss gives the wrong impression

Even if you were only a Christmas temp, worked together for a mere eight weeks and were a couple for five years – despite all of these factors, people will immediately assume you’re that kind of girl…

3. Parents can get a little too involved

It’s always nice when your parents approve of your boyfriend, it makes life easier. My parents, however, got what I can only describe as ‘attached’ to a particular ex – so much so that even though we’d broken up, he remained living with us for a further five months. #Awkward.

4. Accidental homewrecking happens

That sounds worse than I intended, but bear with me. Both of my more recent exes were in relationships when I met them, and though I certainly didn’t have anything to do with either of them while they were with their respective partners, not everyone you meet will always be single.

Dating Game

5. Just do what feels right at the time

I’d known my last boyfriend for seven years before we finally got together. Two months into the relationship, I moved out of my parents house and into my own flat – with the boyfriend in tow. Everyone thought it was mental and far too fast, and maybe it was, but at the time it worked and we both wanted to – so why not? There isn’t a life blueprint we’re supposed to follow, so as far as I see it, do what you want.

6. Work and pleasure don’t mix

Ever. Unless you both know exactly what you a) want, and b) are doing, do not do it. Although you’re never really meant to regret anything in life (everything is a lesson, blah blah) we all make mistakes. But seeing said mistake everyday from 9 to 5 is not what you want.

7. Dating is not like Sex and the City…or any other TV show or film

There’s no closet filled with designer clothes that you get to model night after night, from one swanky bar to the next. There certainly isn’t an unlimited supply of Jimmy Choos or Louboutins and there most definitely isn’t a swarm of handsome Prince Charmings waiting to woo you.

8. Sitting in your pants eating Pringles and watching Netflix is frowned upon

When you’re in a relationship, staying in and watching telly is socially acceptable. When you’re single, it’s considered a little sad. Apparently I should be ‘putting myself out there’ and letting my friends who are in relationships live through me as I recount my dating escapades. But all I really want to do is sit in my pants of an evening, feast on Pringles and watch everything on my Netflix list.

9. Men and women can never be ‘just friends’

As demonstrated here. The naive amongst us will inevitably experience what is apparently known as a ‘classic smash and pie’ by someone you thought was a) a friend, and b) genuine. Pick yourself up, learn from it and above all, never let it happen again. Men are never in it for the friendship and the sooner you discover that, the easier (and shittier) the world becomes.

10. Be happy

The most important thing I’ve learnt in the last ten years is that you should always put your happiness first. I know that I deserve to be happy regardless of my romantic status. I was in a relationship and I was happy – as soon as I wasn’t and I knew it couldn’t be fixed, I got out of it. I’m single, and although I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m rolling with it. I’m not going to spend this time pining for Mr Right, I’m just going to be happy.

– love Stef x

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