Tag Archives: not entirely serious life coaching

Which Twitter A-levels pundit should you aspire to date?

It’s A-level results day on 18 August, which means a lot of people who maybe once years ago sat some exam have a great deal of opinions, bons mots and tales of struggle and survival to share with… well, each other. No teens are really watching are they? Who knows?

But which one of these educational experts or university of life graduates would make the best boyfriend? Let’s see!

“Don’t worry about it. I didn’t get any A-levels and look at me now!”
Look at him now! Jeremy Clarkson sipping champagne in St Tropez and trying not to assault anybody! Richard Branson, a zillionaire who still looks like Santa left under the grill too long! Simon Cowell, still has no idea about jeans. None of them got A-levels! Not a one!

What do they all have in common? They have lots of money and live a perfectly decent lifestyle. And yet.

Hand on heart could you ever truly say you wanted to be them? Or shag them? Ending up being sewn into your dad-jeans every day with a hairstyle that a magician couldn’t fix, let alone a barber, is the best advert I can think of for retaking those A-levels over and over again until you’re in your mid-fifties.

Date rating: 2/10. 4 if you really, really like Talksport, cava and collapsing into a heap of cholesterol on your 61st birthday.

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“Just follow your dreams!”
Following your dreams is actually harder than it looks, because some people dream about being an astronaut or being able to walk through walls. Following your dreams does take hard work, yes, and usually, I’m afraid, rather a lot of self-confidence and MONEY. Got none of that? Um, well, maybe see if there’s a Marilyn Monroe quote out there to help you along.

Men who tell you to follow your dreams have usually achieved theirs – which is great – but they’re only really happy for you to follow yours if a) it does not in some way interrupt the express ride to their own achievements and b) you are funding this yourself. Oh, and c) they don’t have to talk to you about them.

Date rating: 6/10. Think of all the fridge magnets he’ll buy you at Christmas.

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“Let me tell you about my victory over adversity.”
You think you’ve had it hard? He’s had it harder, you know. There may well be some Venn diagram overlap with the “Follow your dreams” guy, but this one will have tales of grit and hardship.

There are some odds to be overcome, a struggle to be had and – because every boring story told down the pub needs a hero – a huge, exaggerated victory.

Yet he makes it sound so easy! That’s because he has left out the four years he spent working at CarpetRight, crying in the stockroom.

Date rating: 5/10. Hours of fun to be had saying “Axminster” at random intervals.

“It’s not the end of the world.”
Says the media darling tweeting only to the clique he’s worked with, or met networking, or wants to meet, or might find useful, or screwed, or wants to screw, or wants to write for, or wants to write for him, or… you get the general idea.

Failing A-levels is not the end of the world to him because he is 34 and editing out double-spacing or hyphens that think they’re en-dashes in agency copy. Now that is the end of the world.

Date rating: 3/10. That should read a 4, but he hasn’t spotted the typo.

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“I just, you know, got my A-levels, went to uni, got on with it and that’s it, really.”
What? No humblebrag? No Hollywood ending? This can’t be happening.

People who ‘just get on with it’ are myths – the unicorns of social media. If you find one, hang on for dear life.

Date rating: 7/10. Perhaps you could ‘adapt’ their story into something more exciting when you’ve finished tweeting your own. It’s what your followers would have wanted.

 

“I can’t believe I got my A-level results 17 years ago.”
Should you maybe not be thinking about something else, then? Maybe time to let go. Men who are amazed at the concept and passage of time tend to be dull over-thinkers, endlessly pondering their own mortality and forgetting to take the rubbish out.

Date rating: 4/10. They tend to be poor sleepers, worrying for hours at a time about something they said in 1984.

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“Teenagers don’t care about your advice anyway; they are not reading your feed. You are 100.”
Every kingdom needs a ruler and when it comes to Twitter’s echelons of superiority, this arch commentator thinks he’s it.

He will compose his snide, wryly amusing tweets and press “Tweet” with a maniacal flourish, like Dorothy Parker ordering another round of absinthe for the Algonquin Round Table.

The trouble with kings is that they are never fully in control. And they never look up. But if they did, they would see that the sky is not the very top after all; there is… more!

Date rating: 7/10. At least in his own small bubble, he’s top of the heap. You might enjoy the odd bask in his glory when he passes 8 retweets and texts you excitedly about it.

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“Everyone moaning about people talking down to teenagers who don’t care about your advice anyway – you are the lamest of them all.”
Kings give way to emperors and here’s our Lord and Master, who has recently become the sole heir of Twitter in its entirety thanks to a few strategic deaths or social media hires. His plinth is the highest of them all (as far as he knows) and this meta-God can only shake his head in disappointment as we all fall into the same trap we do every year when A-level results come out.

“They just don’t get it,” he cries out into the wilderness, from the tallest window of the uppermost floor of his lonely palace. “They… they are just as bad. They’re worse. You’re all terrible.”

Date rating: 9/10. He’s the one. He knows it all. And if you’re lucky, his head might burst and then Twitter will all be yours.

“I am going to write a blog about things people say about A-levels on Twitter.”
No. I’m stopping now. Don’t fuck this guy.

More like this:
What your man’s favourite Spice Girl says about him
21 people you should never kiss at festivals
25 men you should never date this summer
33 things your date will worry about while waiting for you to turn up

Image: Flickr

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27 achievable New Year’s resolutions for 2016

On New Year’s Eve, as 2015 gasped and groped it’s way to its very own fag-end, I read a fairly comprehensive list of potential New Year’s resolutions for twenty-somethings to take up that would help them stave off a quarter-life crisis.

There were actually quite a lot of nice things to do on there, but what struck me is that, at 40, I’ve done pretty much NONE of them. Some of them I’ll very likely never do either. I mean, run into the sea fully clothed? That wouldn’t do my osteoarthritis any favours and I have to confess: I can’t swim.

While these resolutions were all well and good, they were pretty aspirational, and I’m all out of hope. I don’t really make resolutions – failure terrifies me so I try to avoid setting myself up for it – so I prefer to keep any I do make on the attainable side.

If you fancy getting to end of your twenties, or thirties, or forties – or even the end of 2016, whichever comes sooner – and having a 50% hit rate, maybe some of these suggestions could go on your list…  Continue reading 27 achievable New Year’s resolutions for 2016

Why you should never date the Christmas Refusenik

“I don’t do Christmas,” he will say, his face pinched with misery. Quite a statement, and one loaded with meaning.

To him, Santa is just an anagram of Satan and nothing more. You can deal with this, though, you tell yourself. You can make him adore the festive period – everybody says they hate it, but love it really. You can play him Winter Wonderland over and over. Maybe hang some jingling bells off your privates. And so your denial continues.

But as the nights draw in and the Christmas lights start twinkling, you’ll realise when someone says they don’t “do Christmas”, sometimes they mean it. He’ll tell you he’s not “doing presents or Christmas parties” – Christmas Refuseniks spend a lot of time telling you what they’re NOT doing.

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He’ll wince at tuneless Christmas carolling and hiss and tut when he receives a Christmas card from another poor soul who thinks they can rehabilitate Santa’s Little Detractor. He’ll use your Phil Spector Christmas album as a coaster and – horror upon horror – delete all your copies of Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas Is You from your iTunes.

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Continue reading Why you should never date the Christmas Refusenik

11 guaranteed ways to destroy your relationship

The thing with many relationships is they have a certain shelf life, don’t they? When you’re in them, and know you need to be out of them, it can actually be difficult to move things along to their natural end.

Sure, you don’t want to be with this person any more, but it’s not like you want to kill them. What you need is a catalyst, that spark to ignite the fireworks that will send your relationship bye-bye, to that great love nest in the sky.

So if you’re eager to move on to the next stage of your relationship – jealously scouring their Facebook for new loves, bitching about your ex on WhatsApp and crying whenever you hear a Celine Dion – take your pick from this list of guaranteed relationship destroyers.

1. Put together a wardrobe from Ikea
There’s an old cliché that going to Ikea itself can cause catastrophic rows between couples, but if you can’t handle a three-hour schlep round a furniture shop without tearing each other’s heads off, you’re basic or whatever. Nobody argues in Ikea any more. It is the bootcut of argument-starters. Over.

What you really need is to buy, arrange delivery of and attempt to build, the hugest wardrobe you can find in Ikea. Tell yourself that you’re “dead handy” and “it will be fun, our little project” all you want – by the time you’re on to the second door you’ll be wielding drills and tearing the joint apart screaming at each other about how bad the sex is. Continue reading 11 guaranteed ways to destroy your relationship

We need to make room for some light negativity

Despite trolling, misery-lit and the best efforts of rolling news, we actually live in very positive times.

For every one person on social media demanding refugees are flayed alive in the town square, there are 20 posting inspirational quotes or GIFs of puppies and kittens tumbling over each other in glee.

We are encouraged to be ‘up’, to root for each other, to be positive and inspire others, to believe in our own talents, and nobody but the biggest sociopath would ever want to be, or be around, a hater 24/7.

But what of the rest of us somewhere in between, the no-man’s land between frothing rage and wide-eyed enthusiasm? Whither the attention for the snarky, the whingers and the nitpickers who aren’t quite sure where they fit into this new world of extremes?

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“Follow your dreams!” say millionaires. “Do what you love!” squeak minor aristocrats who lunch on privilege and have never seen a red bill or worried about a bus fare. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told money isn’t everything from someone who has nothing but.

The trouble with following your dreams and doing what you love is it comes with prerequisites. Confidence. Security. Financial backing. And an actual idea of what you want to do in the first place. Continue reading We need to make room for some light negativity

17 things more annoying than selfie sticks

I don’t mind selfie sticks. I think they get a bad rap. It’s so drearily predictable people would moan about them, too, isn’t it? I heard someone the other day say that selfie sticks were “end of civilisation as we know it”. Not the refugee crisis, or war, or transphobia or Hollyoaks, but selfie sticks.

Even Brooklyn Beckham – whose every word I hang on, believe me – has come out against them in his iconic guide to Instagram that had my eyes rolling so hard they played the tune to his mum’s opus Not Such An Innocent Girl.

Why we can’t get our heads round the fact people want to take photos that include themselves is a mystery to me. It’s a stick. It’s no different from a delay-timer on a camera or using a tripod. Why shouldn’t you be in your own photos? Nobody else is going to take pictures of you.

Last week I went to a social gathering and was asked if I could take a group shot. I had to stand on a chair to get everyone in. I looked and felt stupid, and everyone could see up my T-shirt. And then someone arrived with a selfie stick and everybody had loads of fun posing and frolicking with people they’ve never shared a photo with before.

We devote a lot of energy to moaning about selfie sticks and the people who use them, and we need to divert this passion somewhere else. There are so many more deserving recipients of our ire and derision.

Here are just a few:

1. Loud people on coke
We’ve all sat in a bar at the next table to those awful, loud people on coke. They think they are hilarious, that they’re being oh-so-sneaky trundling off to the bogs every two minutes. Most of us have probably even been those people.

Congratulations on being ripped off and a big well done on your substandard class A drugs and bravo for becoming even more boring than you were before you rammed that glorious 75% glucose crap up your nose. Please pipe down. And stop saying “beerage”.

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What your man’s favourite Spice Girl says about him

There are lots of standard questions you should ask on a first date. “Where did you grow up?” “What do you do for a living?” “Do you mind if I just escape through the fire exit once I feel I’ve had enough?”

But the question few ever ask, but they really should, sounds the simplest question of all but is in fact a very complex psychological test that will tell you all you need to know about the hapless fool sitting opposite you. No, it’s not “lemon or lime in a gin and tonic?” – although that is a good one – it’s “Who’s your favourite Spice Girl?”

And with the fab five rumoured to be returning for a reunion tour for their 20th anniversary – actually, make that four; Posh has said no thanks – there’s never been a better time to wheel it out.

Posh – Victoria Beckham
VB is the go-to Spice for quite a few guys, I have noticed. Of all the quintet, she has the biggest contemporary profile. Married to chiselled, doodle-filled football hero David Beckham, mother to four children who will be cluttering up magazine covers way into our dotage and, bizarrely, supreme ruler of a fashion empire that anyone who remembers those cheap New Look black dresses she sported in the ‘90s can’t quite get their head around, Victoria is the full package.

“Oh I think she’s fabulous!” they cry. Yes they really are talking about the woman who has barely smiled for the best part of two decades and sat on a throne on her wedding day. “She has a great sense of humour,” they will trill, perhaps in reference to the Beckhams’ array of his and hers outfits the pair would wear before they had that serious rebranding and headed for Hollywood.

And here’s the problem with the date whose favourite Spice Girl is Posh: they think they are a brand. Victoria’s aspirational lifestyle and unashamed devotion to glam has influenced many a civilian in trying to “luxe” up their life, running up huge credit card bills just so they can have an A-lister experience.

VB fans don’t smile, don’t open car doors and roll their eyes whenever a camera comes out – unless it’s their own and they’re photographing their pornstar martinis for Instagram.

Victoria has it all, and they want a bit of it too. The nearest they may get to it is sporting a pair of knickers from David’s H&M pants range, but they don’t care – they know their moment will come.

Whether they’ll hang on to you while they wait for it is quite another matter.

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