Monday, 30 January 2012

Christina Aguilera's Period.

You've probably heard about this by now. If not here are the simple facts:

1. Christina Aguilera was giving a tribute at Etta James' funeral
2. Something ran down her leg which she tried to wipe away
3. It looks like it could be period blood, though it could be something else like wet fake tan streaks.

I'm going to stick with the option which has caused the most comment because it is the more culturally taboo choice of explanation. I don't need to tell you what that is. If that is what happened, what are the first words that spring to mind? Disgusting? Careless? Sickening? Highly embarrassing? If so, at least for the first three words, it isn't Christina that is any of those three things.

I've seen comments like she should have been more prepared, how could she let that happen and on one particularly repulsive blog which you can see here, it questions whether she was high or in possession of her faculties. And so I got annoyed. I got annoyed that people I consider to be at least a little intelligent decided that what may or may not have happened was something to be poked fun at, labelled as repulsive and as an object of ridicule and deep shame. And then I realised...if that had happened to any woman in a public place, the same kind of reaction would have happened whether out loud or in heads.

As a normally functioning woman I have periods. And sometimes, they aren't very reliable in their behaviour. Myself and most of the women and girls I know can recall a time when they have leaked or had a mishap, and have even witnessed some. Even to admit or say that is something that is deemed highly embarrassing.When did it become such an awful, shameful thing? Something that if seen, whether that be through tampons falling out of a bag all the way through to a leak, is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a woman?

Here's the thing. Women have periods. Every month in fact. Get over it. Sometimes, though they usually go unnoticed or unmentioned to our peers, especially our male peers, they get noticed. Get over it. It's not something to giggle about as if a naughty word has been said or looked upon in utter's a normal part of what it is to be a woman and be able to bear children, men especially, but women too - who should really understand. In the 480 or so periods that we have in our lives we shouldn't have to be constantly worrying about whether someone will see or guess that we are bleeding and if we see someone else we shouldn't be shocked.

We shouldn't have to feel like if a mishap were to happen we would feel mortified and unable to show our faces. I'm not saying periods are pretty. In fact I can't say I love mine like some women can...they can be pretty awful. Tampons fail. Pads leak. Periods can start unexpectedly and become irregular. You may see a bit of menstrual blood once in your life, gentlemen, or someone else's, ladies. Deal with it. Periods are nothing to be ashamed and no-one should be made to feel cripplingly ashamed by a mishap or an indicator that they are, in fact, 'on'.

Back to Christina and the alleged blood drips down her leg. For her at least, some things are bigger than a period that is-shock horror- slightly visible. She carried on. She did what she had to do. Obviously no women wants her period to drip down her leg in the view of millions of people, but she sang instead of cowering away. Yes she wiped her leg, but if you were so very disgusted by what happened would you want it on the floor and/or in her shoe too? She didn't dirty the carpet with a massive volume of blood, and it could easily have been wiped away by a tissue when she had access to one. Two tiny drops of blood and today's culture recoils in disgust and ridicule. Oh dear.

Monday, 12 December 2011


This was written in September last year. It's more true now, so I'm posting it again.

I want to stand.

To replace reaction with action

To move without trigger, my fuse already lit

I want to stop knowing things

And start knowing something

My present likes the drifting

But my future creaks and rots

I want to stand

I want to make absurd, ridiculous promises

And keep them

And make you amazing, like I should be

I want to feel what you feel

And take up arms for it

Your Protector

I want to stand

I want to tell you I'm worth more than what you see

I want to tell myself I'm worth more than what I see

I want to tell you you're worth more than what I see

I want to know most things have more value than I could ever imagine

Stop sampling imitations of real things

And eat them whole

And then lick the sugar off my lips

And then bake them in my oven

And give them away, anonymously

In little scarlet parcels

I want to dance on the wind, not drift on the breeze

Be amazing enough that you want all of me

Be beautiful enough that I want all of you

But what I want and what I do are so separate

That all I can do is sit down

And think about how separate they are

And so I'm sitting on my dreams, carried by the ebb and flow of familiarity

Thinking the aimless wandering is who I am, what I need, what you need

That I'm finding myself,

When really, I'm getting even more lost

When really, I just need to stand.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Two Significant Discoveries

Today, I made two significant discoveries.

1. Sometimes I really, really hate shopping. In fact most of the time. But I don't realize until I'm there.

I was talking to myself, almost delirious with frustration and pain on Oxford Street today. Looking around the forest of clothes, I realized I liked and wanted to wear nothing around me. It was all awful. And if on the off-chance it wasn't, it either was at second glance, or was only just ambling towards sort-of-okay. So it struck me. I don't actually like shopping. Sure, the nice clothes when they are actually found and it's satisfying, but the process is soul-numbing and peppered with tourist's elbows especially in Central London. The thing is, I get excited about going shopping, like I think it will be different from almost every single time I have developed a black mood whilst trudging out of American Apparel. It didn't even start well. I was taking some dungarees ( I know, shut up, they're cool) back to a shop in Camden, as they had not fit. Now I HATE changing rooms. I just generally can't be arsed, especially in the winter months, to peel off the layers, so I didn't try them on when I purchased them, and when I did, they stayed put before my bum. So here I was, taking them back, asking for an exchange, blah. I still really want dungarees ( I know, shut up, they're cool) so I get all available dungarees off the rail, and muster enough courage to try them on. Long story short, they did not fit. None of them. All 5. And they weren't even close. Anguish, fire and a blanket of despondence all entered my life together, holding hands. Another long story short, the shop didn't do refunds. So I traipsed around all the awful clothes contemplating how awful they were, mumbling to myself how awful they were, my face betraying how awful they were in the hope something would take my fancy. I settled for a massive recycled denim bag ( which was actually pretty nice, can't lie ) And an AWFUL ring, just to get it up to £30. I'm looking at the ring now. It wasn't worth a tenner. It's crap :(

And it carried on that way for a while through Topshop, Zara, Mango and Bershka along with a multitude of Vintage Shops, my persona getting stormier, the day getting colder, and my spirit getting droopier. I was thirsty too that didn't help, so I went to Starbucks which I thought was above Next, but was actually above New Look, adding to my urge to start the tears. I began to wonder as my mind idle floated over the state of my afternoon how I has still managed to spend around £100. I hastily tried to pry my mind away and stop the imminent onslaught of further agony. And here Discover Two occured.

2. All of the above doesn't matter, well it does a bit, but not in the Grand Scheme Of Things.

As I was standing, impatiently waiting for my Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie, heart weighty, eyelids weighty, I happened upon a Comments Book. You know, where people write their thoughts about how truly amazing the Latte and the service they just had were. Turned first page. Blank. Turned second page. Oh, Blank. Turned again, anticipating blank- but, ho! No! And this is what it read, paraphrased because I can't remember word for word.

'Hi! Thank you so much for the coffee here! We have just been evacuated from Cairo, where we weren't able to get stuff like this recently!'

And that was it. Boom. And I felt a little bit like a dick.


(I am going to change my shopping strategy though)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Oyster Card

I have oyster-card neurosis. For those of you non-Londoners who may jump to the logical conclusion that I have problems related to a card that acquires points when you purchase shelled sea-food, your conclusion is incorrect. The Oyster Card is a nifty piece of plastic that allows you to travel around the capital and its outskirts at a lower rate and with the clever pro that you can simply top it up pay-as-you-go or buy season tickets. I have a student one, gets me a third off season tickets. Happy days. But back to my problem. A problem shared is a problem halved.

I always think I will lose it, like it has a mind of its own and will surreptiously creep away from me as I glance over the Evening Standard, so I take many measures to make sure it can never be lost. I am so very, very paranoid about it that sometimes, I hold the card tightly in my hand, glancing down at it every few minutes just to check it hasn’t morphed into my student ID or another card of some variety. If it is in my pockets I frantically re-assess its whereabouts from time to time along my journey, and when finally get my fingers round it, mind and body in nervous turmoil, all my fears disappear and the world is bright and okay again. I feel a pang of sheer distilled fear when I am nearing my stop on the tube, if the card is not in the first place I look I assume I could have lost it and start a near cavity search. And so sometimes I keep it in my glove (which I like, because when going through barriers or getting on a bus, it makes me feel like I have the Force), that way my hand can always feel the hard, reassuring smoothness of the plastic and I don’t have to have a heart attack every time I move.

So some soul answer this. Why have I, of all people, lost it for the third time this year? Why, as the heavy weight of realization quickly settled in my stomach and the rain smiled as it ruined my suede shoes did it not just appear after my rigorous system of checking my person, so I could be free of the awful sick feeling that had arrived. Why me? After my nerves are already tied in all kinds of knots, why does the world have to hit me hard of the nose with the one thing I spend hours trying to prevent?

Sods Law, Sods Law.

I’ll get over it. I guess I have to be more careful…

Saturday, 5 February 2011

I have another Blog

As of today, I have another Blog.

It's like a creative outlet I guess, whereas this is just an outlook on the world I inhabit. Well, actually so is tearsoverspiltmilk. I should have thought about what I was going to type before I typed this, really.

So, um, tearsoverspiltmilk is also an outlook on the world and all the spheres that word encompasses, just in a different sense to courageattheteaparty...More poemsy, artsy, prosey? Just go look if you want, there's a post up already.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Like a G6

I'm going to post this on the Facebook later. I think that when one feels like a G6 it is worthy for the blog also though. Even if the G-like feeling was momentary and not everlasting.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Hand Cream.

Today, it was statistically the most depressing day of the year and the weather lived up to that. I should have gone to the library, but didn't. And lost my oyster for 3 hours. I had to go to work because I couldn't get cover, when I could have been at the theatre, salsa dancing or at the Barbican Cinema. The tube was severely delayed on all three lines I had the choice of using. So I was late for the shift I did't want to be at anyway. Sad times meant a sad face. Then I used this cream that said on the tube that it 'smelled life a fragrant flower garden after it has rained'. It actually did. All the nasties of my day got cancelled out. It really is the small things.