SiL: The Senior Señior Moment

This particular story is one that I am particularly proud of – I’m not even going to lie about it.

When my boss asked if I wanted to go to a posh work event with my line manager in her place, I was definitely going to say yes. Particularly if it was an event at one of the most renowned and expensive hotels on London’s Park Lane, involved a 3 course dinner, free alcohol, post ball gowns and a dance. It was this type of event.

grosvenorMy line manager (let’s call her Lily) and I finished work slightly early so that we could get glammed up and in a taxi in time for the champagne reception. The event itself was being hosted by one of the agencies our organisation works with – because we spend a lot of money with them year-on-year they invite us to sit at their table. It’s really a celebration of the work that happens across the country to help young people, but it’s nice to get involved as someone in the national office.

This year our new account manager, Andy, extended the invitation to Lily and I. I’d never met Andy before, but he welcomed us with a warm handshake and showed us to our seats. He was a good looking man (can you see where this is going yet – I know, terrible aren’t I), slightly older than I would be interested in. And genuinely I wasn’t interested until the wine started flowing.

When we arrived at our table, I saw that Lily was seated next to a nice lady from another charity, and I next to Andy. I am not the best at making small talk, and as someone who works in advertising he certainly was. So a few bottles of wine later at the table, some enigmatic conversation about the travesty that is Brexit, I had relaxed a little and was beginning to feel much more comfortable. The topic of cooking came up, and I mentioned that I enjoy it but when you are cooking for one it’s not as fun. Subtle hint. To which he replies he knows the feeling, Tupperware dish is a saviour. We are both unattached.

With a slight turn of his chair as the entertainment comes on the stage, I found my leg suddenly no longer alone. He had made a very obvious move, silver foxto no one at the table but me, and he wasn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. Quite frankly I didn’t mind either. Even when I found out he was in his late 40s! The prospect of an older man was one that I suddenly found quite attractive. Never before had I considered venturing past 26, and now I’m flirting with a man 20 years their senior.

Wine after wine gets put on the company expense as our table disbands and moves to the dance floor. Lily is having a great time and dancing with us both, all the while noticing what is happening. As Andy goes to the bar for another round, she tells me to go for it, and shorty after an invitation back to his house is put out there. This is really happening. Man, I really do feel like a woman right now.

So we drink up, get in a taxi and travel 40 minutes to North London. Kissing him in the taxi is surprisingly nice. I’m kissing a man only slightly younger than my parents, and not hating it. (I would also like to point out here, that he is a good looking man for his age. I don’t want you getting any wrong ideas here – I still am extremely shallow).

Andy lives in a family home. A real family home, which immediately puts me on edge. Tell me he isn’t married. Is he divorced? Am I about to do something soul shatteringly terrible without realising? What can you do in this situation other than confront it?

He promises me he is in fact, no longer married, and no I am not doing anything awful. He promises me 3 times, at my request. I’m drunk. I am miles away from home. No-one else at that table, who all know him, said anything or tried to stop us. This has to be ok right? Don’t worry folks, I checked the next day. I didn’t wreck any homes – thank the Lord.

goslingwhoSo anyway, back to the sex. We move upstairs, into the bedroom and actually it’s surprisingly fun. I mean, I do throw us off the bed a couple of times in my drunken state, but he finds me funny and let’s face it, we are both winning here. We end up having, not exciting but quite nice, sex twice and he falls asleep. Unable to rest I go downstairs, make myself a cup of tea and watch his TV until the early hours.

In the morning I sneak back into his bed, and we ‘wake up together’. Then it hits me. He is old enough to be my father. Made even more visible to me when he rests his spectacles on the end of his nose and opens up the newspaper next to his bed. He genuinely looks his age now, if not more, and I am suddenly aware that I am in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to wear but stilettos and a ball gown, on a Saturday morning. I am doing the walk of shame on a Saturday morning, through central London, with 3 train changes, in a ball gown. Isn’t life great.

I don’t regret that night one bit. In fact, as I said earlier, I am quite proud of it. I bagged an attractive older man, he bagged a 26 year old and both of us had a great time. We have both won!

Of course, no one can know at work, but hey a cheeky little secret can sometimes be fun.

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Must-see-Movie: Get Out

Get Out was not a film that I was planning on scheduling into my cinema hit-list but I am so glad I did see it.

I’d heard from a few people that this film was definitely worth a watch – it seemed to have also gotten good reviews online – IMDB gave it an 8.2. With an evening available and a limitless cinema pass how could I not?

I’d gone not really knowing anything about the storyline, so was watching the film with a fresh mind and open conscious. As a psychology grad I have to say there are particular Get Out 2aspects of the storyline (references to hypnosis and neuroscience) that were farfetched. But, if you view it as a thriller (and let’s face it, science in movies doesn’t always make sense – it would be boring if it did) you’ll enjoy the direction it takes.

It is so easy to warm to our leading actor, Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris Washington, and I found myself even warming to his on screen girlfriend Allison Williams (Rose Armitage). I find her character in Girls annoying, but didn’t get caught up in it whilst watching this. The relationship they have throughout the film leaves you feeling hopeful for Washington’s future and keeps you going throughout all his hardships.

Throw in a creepy brother, a hauntingly uncomfortable community and a Get out 3hilarious best friend, and you’ve got yourself a great movie. There were people sitting by me in the screen who were gasping, shouting profanities and cheering as the story plays out. Yes – shouting and cheering in a British cinema – can you believe it!

If you’ve got an open mind, an interest in culture and enjoy a good thriller then I would definitely recommend this film.

 

Must -see-Movie: Split

This is a film that I wanted to see in the movies a for a long time, and for some reason it took me a long time to get round to it. I suppose it must have been because of the Oscar nominations. Anyway, I finally got to see it and I have two words for you: Cult Classic.

I was so excited the whole way through the film, gripped in the story and wanting to scream at the screen. James McAvoy does a spectacular job at depicting multiple personalities. The way he switches demeanor so smoothly is impressive; he is able to make slight changes in his face and before he even speaks you know which personality you are meeting.

split 2Having watched this with my friends, it was clear afterwards that McAvoy’s performance was one that would be remembered. He was able to draw you in with his character Hedwig, put you on edge with Patricia and warm you with Barry.

As far as thrillers go, i honestly think this should be a classic. One of the first things I said when the film ended was ‘why aren’t people making a bigger deal about this film?’. The way the storyline of Casey’s upbringing was sliced into McAvoy’s journey kept you guessing until the perfect end (in my humble opinion) plays out.

I would very much recommend seeing this film.

 

Must-see-Movie: La La Land

Award season is upon us and I for one am incredibly excited – it is one of my favourite times of year. So tonight I was obviously going to go see La La Land on its UK release date.

There has been a lot of hype around this film, with a lot of mysterious trailers gracing our screens for months. Tiny snippets of what has been deemed to be one of the most anticipated romances of the year. Standing out from the crowd with its colourful costumes, Hollywood sets and wonderful pairing in Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone La La la-la-land-dancingLand has been nominated for an astounding amount of awards already this year. Oh and did I mention it is a musical?

I for one don’t mind a musical. It is not my genre of choice by any means, in fact I always enter them with a hint of skepticism surrounding my potential enjoyment of the next 2-3 hours (sometimes more!). So naturally I asked myself within 5 minutes of this film – what is this all about? I don’t understand the hype. Can I really sit here through all this singing? Give it another 5 minutes an you’ll be hooked. I promise you.

Watching the story of Seb (Gosling), a failing jazz musician with a dream of opening his own bar, and Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress getting lost in the sea of hopefuls in Los Angeles, play out on the screen truly enthralled me. I found myself smiling from the depths of my heart, truely smiling, at their continual meetings. I melted as their love story progressed. And I cried for them, and with la-la-land-featured-image-gosling-stonethem, as their dreams play out before you. Anyone who has ever had a dream for their life, truly romanticized their career, can’t not ride this rollercoaster with them. The reality of their stories is both heart fluttering and soul destroying. I’m not going to lie, I left the cinema with a heavy heart wondering where my life will go.

The soundtrack to this musical is charming and unique. I’ve never heard anything like it. The way it is weaved into their lives is almost magical. I think there was just the right amount of singing to speaking for the musical to work in a way that will entice a broad audience. I have concerns for some criticism that might face Gosling as a singer, but for me it was fine. The chemistry the two had, and the way they moved in time and form together stole the show and my complete attention. I genuinely did not care one bit that there were 3 people in front of me talking throughout, that is how lost i was in this film.

Don’t miss out on this beauty, and make sure you see it on the big screen.

 

 

I Think, Therefore I Nag: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy to Avoid in Relationships

A friend of mine has recently gotten into a new relationship. She is almost 4 months in now and things seem to be going well. She says she has managed to bat back those creeping thoughts about his ex, his past sexual encounters and negative self-deprecating thoughts that chip away at us when we start to care about someone. “What if I’m not enough?” “What if someone better comes along and he leaves?” But the thing that interested me the most about our conversation was the sentence:

“I don’t want to become that nagging girlfriend. You know when you find yourself complaining to him about what he does that bit too much.”

It got me thinking, why do we have this stereotype of being the nagging wives and nagging girlfriends? Where did it come from? And are we destined, against our better judgement, to become this? I can honestly say that in every relationship I have been in, I have caught naggingmyself nagging. Even in times when it perhaps wasn’t even necessary. That one little thing (or in some cases more than one) has been niggling away at me until I can’t keep in in any more.

But what is the difference between a complaint, a criticism and a nag? If we are complaining we are expressing an annoyance over something, we are not happy about it. If we are criticising we are pointing out faults or passing judgement on something. So is nagging not a constant form of complaining driven by the desire to criticise? And who wants to be that person? Yet we do it.

I’m not convinced any amount of research will pin down the origins of the ‘nagging wife’ stereotype. Perhaps it is merely the difference in vocal behaviours between men and women, and if we were equals in sharing our thoughts we would be equals in voicing our complaints. But from a psychology point of view answering the question of our destiny to become the one thing my friend has been worrying about is more fun. At least, I would like to muse. Immediately the concept of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy came to mind. An “I think I am, therefore I am” effect.

mertonIn the late 40s a gentleman named Robert Merton coined the term Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. He described it as the ‘false definition of a situation evoking a new behaviour, which makes the originally false conception come true’. If we apply this to our current situation, I see it as an “I think I am nagging, therefore I am a nag” manifestation.  But the false definition here (or perhaps not) is the initial belief of the nagging behaviour occurring. Simply voicing our displeasure for a behaviour does not mean we are nagging someone. Especially in the early stages of a relationship – this is a pinnacle part of learning how to be around and with one another. We must be careful not to fall into this cognitive trap.

Similarly, for the more neurotic of us, what if we haven’t started voicing what we don’t like about our partner’s behaviours yet, because we are afraid that if we do we might become the dreaded nag. By merely opening that door in our minds of this possibility are we beginning to condition ourselves to the concept that we are able to become this person. We are very suggestible, humans. Someone tells us we will like something, we open ourselves to the idea of it. Classic example: you have never noticed Tom at work before, but someone tells you he fancies you – suddenly you notice Tom. We have opened our minds to him. Therefore if we tell ourselves it is possible to become the person we want to avoid, have we planted that seed to one day grow? And when it does we have our self-fulfilling prophecy. Because after all we can’t falsify everything we think can we?

So what do we do about this? My advice is to think about what you are worried of doing, or becoming and ask yourself how realistic is this really? Can I think of examples of times when I have done the thing I am concerned about, and how often is this? Does this apply to more aspects of my life? If I have nagged previous boyfriends, do I nag my friends? No. So I know I am not a nag by nature, therefore perhaps I am not actually a nagging girlfriend, but my insecurities about becoming so are making me falsely believe I am, which is in consequence hard to change – nobody likes cognitive dissonance. Thus when I want to complain about something, I ask myself is it really important for me to say this and what will it mean if I do.

 

 

Must-see-Movie: Why Him?

This evening I went to see Why Him? at the cinema, and here is why you should go and see this film.

My intentions tonight were to watch something light-hearted, that might make me laugh – it’s definitely not a given anymore; something has to be very funny (or immature funny) to make me burst at the seams. Whilst this film to me is not a laugh-a-minute kind of film it surely had me cackling away in the dark. With Bryan Cranston playing Stephanie’s dad, a traditionally small town successful business man from a loving and tight-knit whyhimtattoofamily, and James Franco playing the nightmare boyfriend Laird, a multi-millionnaire games designer, this is a millennial-meets-dad meet the parents kind of movie. It didn’t shock me to see that Ben Stiller was involved in the making of it as it had that comically desperate Meet the Parents feel about it.

There are laughs to be had as Laird goes way over the top in a bid to try to impress his girlfriend’s parents, and frustratingly familiar circumstances where Ned comes into contact with not only new and unnecessarily confusing technology but the young minds who make their money from it. Megan Mullally plays the role of Ned’s wife Barb brilliantly and in standard format adopts the more liberal and open-minded parental role getting involved in Laird’s eccentric lifestyle.

Why see this movie? It is heart warming, funny and just generally quite comforting in its familiarity. Definitely worth a watch.

Must-see-Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A long-awaited prequel to the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been on the top of my watch list for a while now. I can remember seeing the trailer for the first time in the cinema and getting a rush of heated excitement and spine tingling chills simultaneously.

As a Harry Potter fan I was waiting in anticipation to see how close the cinematography and atmospheric feel the movie would have been to the other films. I couldn’t wait to see what magical creatures JK and the team had brough to life, and I’m not afraid to say that I have quite the crush on Eddie Redmayne too. So as you can imagine I didn’t waste much time in going to see this film.redmayne-1

As usual I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll be very careful with writing this post, but the Harry Potter charm was definitely there. Set in 1920’s New York this movie had the most charming feel to it. From the somewhat magical yet in-period costume choices to the soundtrack I was taken aback by the bewitching ambience of the movie almost immediately.

The casting was on-point as Redmayne once again played the slightly awkward, yet alluring male lead on an agenda to save his creatures. With some large Hollywood appearances mixed in with some lesser known British up-and-coming (no doubt future treasures) there was something for everyone.

What struck me most about the film was the progressive differences between the magical community and muggle world in this film (or NoMag world as the American wizards call it.) For the period in which the film is set there is notably some extremely distinctive progression in the magical word in New York in some ways yet completely backwards in others (as Redmayne’s character points out not long after landing in NY). Comparing this to the way the world was looking in real 1920’s England and America it is definitely a think piece. The President of the magical world in New York is not only black but a woman, yet marriage between wizards and NoMages is strictly illegal.

niflerAs for the creatures, I was pleasantly surprised by the imaginative solutions and the way they were portrayed on-screen. Particularly notice Redmayne’s performance with the Erumpent, heartfelt and comedic. And who doesn’t love a couple of cute critters taking centre stage; meet the Nifler and Bowtruckle.bowtruckle

I can definitely say that i have been charmed by JK once more.