Awkward things.

Business Plan

hire man

I’m thinking of a new business venture. Basically you hire a man, but not like that, nothing untoward, don’t worry.

You hire a man, and he brings you chocolate and whispers the sweetest of nothings in your ear. This man will tell you how beautiful you are, how funny, how clever. He will plan surprise picnics, buy you books and take you to the theatre. He will leave you love notes to find around the house. He will hold your hand. He will cuddle in bed and watch trash TV. He will love America’s Next Top Model as much as you do, and The Great British Bake Off, and snort Pepsi out of his nose at Gogglebox. You will secretly worry that he’s developed strong feelings for Joey Essex, but you will understand.

He will roll his eyes every time you mention that girl who clearly hates you. He will point out the fact that she owns a pair of Crocs, and how that means that she obviously has no taste in anything. He will have every quality that you loved in your exes and none of the downsides. He will be punctual, kind, generous and easy-going, but just jealous enough to make you feel like he cares. He will be funny but have a deep hatred of puns. He will kidnap you for spontaneous trips to the beach, avec vintage picnic basket and cosy blanket. He will understand the importance of ambience and stash a supply of candles in his car. He will have a car and he will drive said car like a sensible human being who has no wish to die imminently.

He will not be overly neat, but he will know what a shower is and use it frequently. His hobbies will include chopping up firewood, reading Shakespeare and listening to you complain whilst soothing you with bubble baths and all the wine. He will have hair that straddles the line between Nazi skinhead and deadbeat hippy. He will have an obvious stomach because he appreciates food. He will cook with enthusiasm and clean up the inevitable mess. He will want to feed you and he will love your body, every last bulge and wobble of it. He will stroke you and grab you and tell you which bit of skin is his favourite. He will constantly change his mind about that.

He will not get angry or back you into corners. He will not point out your flaws. He will not smirk when he realises he’s upset you. He will not belittle your hobbies or complain about your friends. He will not shut you in or break you down. He will not demand more than you can give him. He will be content to be with you and only you. He will see your broken parts and will work with you to glue them back together, but only if you want to. He will know that even though you’re broken, you’re whole. He will want you as you are, because that is good enough.

Basically you hire a man. There is no searching, no waiting, no wanting, no hurting. There are no broken hearts or black eyes, no what-ifs or if-onlys. There is no by-the-time-I’m-thirty, no settling, no panic. There is no body clock, no soul-mate, no fairy-tale. There are no crushes, no affairs, no divorces. There is only supply and demand, to love and be loved in return. For a fee.

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7 Things I’d Rather be Doing than Work


For those of you who don’t know me, I have been working a lot this week. Well, this fortnight. We’re talking nine days in a row of being in charge of stuff that I don’t particularly care about, but it would be inconvenient to get fired from. The sort of job that makes you feel like an under-appreciated genius. The sort of job that makes you want to scream and cry and punch pillows until they scream and cry. Possibly a bit like your job. If so, I feel your pain. Maybe we should hang out and complain and self-destruct and down drinks that stink of nail varnish remover and give our pillows a rest.

For those of you that do know me, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m under a lot of pressure right now. Also I plead unconditional friendship, which means that I get to smear snot on your shoulder and whine about a million things that you care about even less than I do. So ha.

Anyway, whilst muttering under my breath*, I decided to list the myriad things I’d rather be doing than my job right now. I came up with five hundred and forty-four things, but decided to stop at seven, because I’m nice like that. Also I will have to go to work again. &%UYRBKI@L)K^&%^T!!!**

So here are my seven other choices, and if anyone is offering these activities with payment, hit me up. Seriously. Anybody?

  • Being Asked What I’ve Been Up To.

This is a major pet peeve of mine. People will only ask me what I’ve been up to under the following circumstances: If I have done nothing but binge watch Sherlock in my pyjamas all weekend whilst downing multipacks of crisps, in which case, I don’t want to incriminate myself; if my brain has decided to vacate its premises for the day, in which case I’m too busy figuring out how to breathe to list my activities; or if the person asking the question has done something stupidly incredible over the weekend, like skydiving with baby tigers, whilst teaching African children English and winning the lottery and giving all the money to a circus full of disabled orphans, which they helped to set up in the first place, since they have the ability to juggle twenty copies of Ulysses and unicycle to France at the same time, whilst showing off their bikini body and eating five cinnamon-maple-pecan-pumpkin cronuts. From the moon. Somehow. Gosh, I hate those people.

  • Drowning.

Ok, not actually, totally one hundred percent drowning. But drowning a little bit. Enough to get me wet and panicked and breathless. Enough to encourage some sort of life-saving, red-short situation. Not sea water though, pool water is traumatic enough. And the life guard needs to be bearded. And he needs to have a really deep, soothing voice to woo me back to consciousness with. And if he wears Davidoff Cool Water man perfume, that would also be helpful. In the resuscitation part, I mean. And I need to be approximately fifty-six pounds lighter, with black hair and blue eyes and a pre-existing relationship with my rescuer. I’m thinking unrequited love. I’m thinking the Maldives. I’m thinking Michael Fassbender and Megan Fox. I’m thinking an Oscar-winning will-they-won’t-they tropical drama, with a twist. I’m thinking maybe I got a bit distracted…

  • Getting a Smear Test.

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally I cannot think of anything more fun than having a stranger fiddle around with my lady garden. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I don’t know them that makes it such a wonderful experience, or maybe it’s the fact that they’re sticking a cold, metal instrument inside my body. Perhaps it’s the fact that by having the test in the first place, I am that much closer to receiving terrible news. Whatever the reason, there is nothing more enjoyable than a smear test. After all, you can’t spell fun without vagina. Oh wait… Nope. That was all sarcasm and I forgot my sign. And can someone please explain to me why they don’t hire attractive men to carry out the test? Surely it’s our basic human right. I have to pay for sanitary products, so I deserve to have Benedict Cumberbatch probing my cave of wonders. I pay my taxes, damn it.

  • Making Awkward Small Talk With an Ex-Boyfriend (and his New Girlfriend, Kelly Brook).

How I hate the fact that my exes continue to exist after I’m done dating them. All right, this isn’t strictly true, since I’ve stayed friends with a few of them. But the other ones, why don’t they just stop it already? Why are they even here? Who invited them? It’s bad enough seeing them in the street, (unless they got a really bad haircut, took some terrible style advice,***** and get struck by lightning at the moment you deign to give them a single glance) but having to actually stop and behave as if you still care about their mother from hell or their educational advancements is too much to handle. And then, THEN they rock up to the party with a super babe on their arm, and of course they’re intent on rubbing it (read: her bigger boobs) in your face, which you totally don’t blame them for, because you’ve been planning on introducing them to your boyfriend, Vin Diesel, for weeks. But then Vin was busy saving the world or something, and now not only do you hate everyone in the world, ever, you’ve also figured out that by the time you can afford a boob job, you’ll need the money for a face to match. Great.

  • Having an Ethical Debate.

Ok, if you’re reading this and you happen to be Christian or Muslim, vegan or vegetarian, tee-total or peace, love and all the drugs, pro-life or pro-choice, (basically if you happen to be a living, breathing, thinking human being) then you will know this feeling. You’re chatting along to someone, usually a stranger, usually someone you’re trying to impress, and it comes up; the dreaded subject. And then you get the look. And then the questions. “So do you believe in dinosaurs? Where do you get your protein? What do you DO?! But what if-“ Stop it. Just stop it, please. Can’t we just go back to me pretending to like the same music as you, and you studiously ignoring my weirdness? We were friends five minutes ago and now we want to murder each other before we both go insane. Literally. And would someone please show me this desert island with this one freaking bunny, because I’m sure he’s very lonely and would like to be rescued. Thanks.

  • Doing Someone Else’s Job.

Is it just me, or is everyone else’s job better than mine? I find myself fantasising about trash collection and wading through sewers on a regular basis. How awesome would it be to just turn up to work, lug around/swim through/mop up/whatever some smelly stuff and then go home to bathe, put on pjs and watch daytime TV? Ok, besides the bad TV that sounds like living the dream to me. Or answering telephones and stapling things. I could do that. I have so many unutilized skills in my repertoire, that maybe it’s time for a change. I could unintentionally set fire to things. I could spill things in a really impressive fashion. I could insult people accidentally. I could fall up stairs. I could cook far too much food for one person and proceed to cover every surface available with it, as if my brain is trying to undo my massive portions. Here chair, have some stir fry! Oh, priceless first edition, you look famished, try this Spaghetti Bolognese! Actually it’s a wonder that I even have a job at all…

  • Chatting to Someone Whose Relative has Died.

Death. There’s nothing  like it to scramble up every thought in your head and make you cross the street. We all die, we know we will, but being reminded of it sucks so hard that we tend to avoid it at all costs. It’s like a survival mechanism, except it doesn’t guarantee your survival and turns you into the worst person in the world, ever. I never know what to say. No-one knows what to say. What do you say? “They’re dead, that’s sad. I didn’t actually know them, but now I’m contemplating my own mortality. Boy is that depressing, so thanks a lot for that. There there.” And don’t even get me started on “I’m sorry”. Why are you sorry? Are you a murderer? Did you murder him? Should I be phoning the police right now? Because I totally will. I am in shock and grief and all the feelings, so don’t screw around with me, or I swear to God… That’s how the conversations usually go. Much better than work.

So if anyone fancies paying me to do anything other than what I get paid to do already, that would be lovely, thank you. Please be advised that if it is disgusting, degrading or dehumanising, Michael Fassbender must be on hand, for reasons.



*Actually, the muttering has evolved to fits of curse-riddled shrieking

**This is what happens when my face hits the keyboard. Although I added the exclamation marks, because this situation really calls for them… !!!***

***Adding exclamation marks may, in fact, be more soothing than smacking pillows until their puffy, white guts burst out!!!!!****

****Ok, this has gone too far now. I do apologise.

*****Crocs with socks. Yep.

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