Becky says things about … being a rubbish woman

Firstly, I’m going to neatly gloss over the fact I haven’t blogged in nearly two months by using Stickman’s yoga skills as a distraction.

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Thanks, Sticky. You’re a pal.

Sublime listeners, I am rubbish at being a woman. There are so many things that society expects of women that are simply beyond my capabilities as a human being with boobs.

I cannot style my hair. I think I have the wrong type of hair. I think my hair is broken. I am forever gazing enviously at women with whimsical corkscrew curls, with sleek businesslike ‘up-dos’, with fringes that sit happily at their allocated angle, with pins and clips and grips that create veritable fountains of  coiffured abandon – whilst I sit under the humdrum melancholy of a frizzy ponytail.

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I have tried, Listener. I have followed YouTube videos to the letter, I have bought contraptions and equipment more reminiscent of open heart surgery than a casual grooming session; I have come dangerously close to breaking my neck as I contort my body in front of the mirror to achieve what bottles and tubes call INSANE VOLUME or GRAVITY-DEFYING BOUNCE (a scientific paradox, I’m sure you’ll agree, as to ‘bounce’ surely means an inevitable descent after an initial ascent, thereby succumbing to gravity and not defying it in the least) – and all to no avail.

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Just the other day I bought THERMO ROLLERS, determined to acquire a carefree-wavy-mermaid look. I followed all the instructions. After 20 minutes of looking foolish in front of myself, I unravelled the rollers in quiet anticipation of the twirled glory to come, and achieved the following:

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I am also rubbish at nails. I don’t understand how women can keep their nails looking so lovely. I can’t operate nail files, I can’t afford constant manicures, and stick-on nails are surely for the under 18s or the over 80s. I yearn to be able to drum my talons on a desktop, or drape my hand elegantly over my neck to show off my sleek red manicure. My nails look like a hobo’s teeth. Ragged, torn, unkempt finger teeth. This is not a good look.

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And what of contouring? That peculiar, Cosmopolitan-induced concept of facial contouring. Drawing lines on your face to make it look more 3d than it already is, to give you a smaller nose or a more defined jawline or a less spatially-consuming forehead? Those girls on YouTube casually flick orange bronzer all over their mug and before I can say ‘Oh gosh, someone should tell her she’s put on way too much and she looks like someone’s tried to draw a map of the North Circular on her face’, she does something flicky and brushy with an enormous brush and she is transformed into a flawless, beauty-pageant superstar. I am filled with confidence at how easy it all is, and attempt to do the same, with the following result:

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I forget to moisturise. I would love to be that girl who lovingly swathes her limbs with creamy goodness morning and night, and slips about the world like an oiled nymph, un-plagued by the dreaded freckling of dry skin on tights or the raw, chapped knuckles of a cruel winter. And, on the next level, I would love to remember to exfoliate. I want to buy a loofah and use it, instead of have it mock me from its untouched position in the bathroom cabinet, a devilish symbol of my failure to remove my billions of dead skin cells and reveal the nubile smoothness underneath. I want a life that is not tormented by that silent, watching loofah.

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I can’t darn. I have never mended a piece of clothing. I cannot thread a needle. I have tripped over a thousand over-long hemlines, I have trailed them in the mud and crud and hoisted them up like a rebellious princess on the way home from a forbidden rave, and I have endured all this without ever once thinking ‘Maybe I should learn to darn’. I fear my clumsiness and general cack-handedness would render the exercise disproportionately dramatic.

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Clumsiness is another foible. I am the most inelegant, elephantine lummox to ever walk the earth. I cannot do anything delicately. The simple act of raising a water bottle to my lips to quench my thirst is done with such vigour, such carelessness, that 11 times out of 10 it results in a terrible over-spill situation which, when I am talking to my boss, or trying to impress a dude, or surrounded by live electrical equipment, can be somewhat trying.

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I make more noise performing everyday tasks than a herd of obese T-Rex rushing to the opening of a new fast-food diplodocus restaurant. Cupboard doors bang, Tupperware clatters to the ground, bins tip over, windows break, mirrors shatter, roofing slates explode, children cry. I get so caught up in the whirlwind of my hulking ineptitude that I actually wonder why things are crashing to the ground. If I stopped clodhopping around for one second, I’d realise that the wasteland of devastation around me was actually caused by the fact that I am a hopelessly maladroit bint.

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I have never cleaned my oven, flowers perish in my presence, I do not own an iron, I drink lager from the bottle instead of a delicate G&T by the tumbler, I never dry between my fingers after washing my hands, I obsessively watch Man VS Food instead of The Great British Bake Off, I forget my eyebrows exist, I sneeze like a walrus farting, I leave socks lying around, I don’t know my bra size, I hate ponies and gerbils, I would rather shove my face in a ribeye steak than nibble daintily on a lightly-fried hake fillet, and I have never mastered lipliner.

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I’d ask to come back as a bloke and see if I do any better, but I fear that looking after an extremely delicate and vulnerable appendage 24 hours a day would be too much to handle. As it were.

 

Becky says things about … 8 rubbish things about being a woman

After having a particularly bad day recently, which was mostly the result of being a woman, I thought I’d make a list of sweeping generalisations on rubbish things about us girls. I normally really enjoy it, but, let’s face it, there are some pretty godawful things about being the pink stickwoman.

1. Menstruation

It’s obvious, it’s cliched, it’s an easy point, but it’s also diabolically and barbarically undignified. Yes we bleed for five days and don’t die – that’s pretty cool – but it’s not cool when you’re standing in a public toilet trying to hold up your Maxi dress to prevent it trailing in someone else’s wee with one hand, and dealing with the results of menstruation with the other hand. (I’ve said too much.)

2. Hormones

I’m sure the blokes will agree on this one. Hormones turn us into raging lunatics, weeping puddles, or exploding volcanoes of fury. Whichever one, it’s a nightmare. Imagine this, men, if you will: you are buying carrots. The carrots are normal orange carrots. You are perfectly fine with these carrots. You are content to coexist in a world with carrots. You are just putting the carrots into your basket, when, suddenly and without warning, a black cloud of doom descends upon you and you realise instantly that everything in the world is

shit.

I mean seriously shit. There’s-no-way-out-and-we’re-stuck-in-this-devilish-hellhole-forever-and-why-doesn’t-everything-just-die shit. You’re standing in a supermarket and you’ve realised that actually you’d like to kill yourself. And as for the carrots – well. Carrots are

shit.

3. Handbags

Backache, neckache, shoulderache. Losing them, getting them stolen, never finding anything in them. If ever someone was going to erect a statue to represent Woman, it would be of a woman rummaging in her handbag with her keys in her mouth, trying to find that thing that she knows is in there but she’ll be buggered if she can find it. The hole in the handbag lining is the bane of our lives. It makes us accuse our nearest and dearest of theft and pillage, after which we realise that all our worldly goods are simply languishing in a fluffy dusty darkness.

This morning I found inside the lining of my handbag: my new lipgloss, for which I’d spent a whole 20 minutes searching my bedroom, my hayfever nose spray, two packets of chewing gum, my iPod, blusher brush, a tampon, one pound, my Cafe Nero’s loyalty card, three car alarms and a small child. It’s just a nightmare. 

4. Money

Do you realise how much more money us women spend than men? We have to buy the monthly lady equipment, as well as razors, waxers, hair removal lotions, lotions to make hair softer, longer, shorter. Hair gel, hair spray, hair serum, hair mousse, hair de-frizzer. Hair calmer-downer, hair bigger-upper. Then there’s make up – but not just your mascara, lipstick, eyeshadow, blusher, oh no – that is the tip of the iceberg, my male friends – what about the primer, concealer, illuminator, highlighter, foundation, pressed powder, loose powder, mousse powder, talcum powder? And then we have to take it all off. Remover, cleanser, toner, face wash, face mask, face scrub, body wash, body buff, body-why-don’t-you-just-burn-your-money-in-a-huge-bonfire.

And what do blokes have to buy? A razor. A single, paltry, wretched little razor. Maybe a spot of hair gel. Bit of deodorant. Big deal.

So we may look nice but WE CAN’T AFFORD TO EAT.

5. Rubbish Presents

It’s almost guaranteed that once a woman reaches a certain age, the only things she will receive for Christmas and birthdays and any other occasion in which gift-giving is appropriate, are soap and candles. ‘Smellies’. Those baskets of ripped tissue paper in which delicate vials of lavender face cream and rosewater body lotion snuggle smugly, or giant, unnecessary where-the-hell-am-I-going-to-put-this candles, that stare at us brashly, knowing that what we really wanted was Commando on DVD and a fuck-off bottle of gin.

6. General Maintenance

Dammit, we women were born with hair, and, due to the fact that evolution hasn’t twigged that neither we nor society actually want most of this hair, we spend a lot of our precious lives trying to get the hell rid of it. Yes, we get things waxed. A lot. Do you think we enjoy it? Do you think we relish in the fact that a lot of people make a lot of money out of removing our unsightly bodily fibers? Do you think we look forward to having a scary Russian woman called Olga tell us to put on a paper thong and stick our legs in the air, and then go at our delicate ladyparts like a crazed rottweiler with a load of hot wax?

Evolution needs to get off its hairy bum and catch up.

7. Worrying

Whether we have kids, high powered jobs, a lot of cats, elderly relatives, or just us, we worry. About everything. In just seven seconds we can worry about whether we shut the fridge door properly and whether we’re going to die alone and ravaged by regret. Buying the right sort of peas, sending an email, looking too garish, not looking garish enough, saying something in a slightly different tone to the tone we intended to say it in, death, illness, childbirth, no childbirth, money, parents, the state of the driveway, the state of the country, chocolate, spots, public transport, other people’s eating habits, our eating habits, hips, bums, bloating, whether that picture of the Cornish coast should have gone above the mantelpiece instead of in the hall, etc etc etc etc it literally never ends.

8. Thinking

Closely followed by worrying, is thinking. Yes, we admit it: we think too much. Blokes, I understand. I understand why you do that baffled face when we’ve said something like ‘I’ve been thinking about that thing you said the other day about needing to repaint the shed? Well, I know that you really meant I need to lose weight.’ I can’t explain the train of thought that takes us from A to B (or very often F, J, and sometimes even P), but it makes perfect sense to us.

 

So, men, next time you think ‘Wow, being a woman must be so great, they get all the best clothes and they’ve got smaller feet,’ think again my friends. Think again.