What is so ‘shameful’ about being a Single Parent?

The wise say ‘You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink’. This could also roughly translate to ‘Society can try to pressure couples with a baby on the way to make a go for it ‘for the baby’s sake’, but if the couple are not good together and not meant to be, they will eventually part ways all the same’. Lengthier, but true.

I see it again and again, two people who would otherwise not continue dating past the third month, try to force themselves into continuing something against their will, heart and mind, just because one of them ‘got’ pregnant. Apart from the fact that it only takes only tiny little contraceptive to prevent this, WHY oh WHY cannot family, friends, and long-nosed push-over’s the world over realize that no matter how much you try to manipulate, stress, and bully someone into doing what is, according to you that is, ‘morally and socially acceptable’, this will not work, unless the two people in question are actually really in love in the first place? In which case, they would continue the relationship naturally, take the baby in their stride (though admittedly, this is not an easy thing to do even when a pregnancy is planned), and evolve as a healthy and normal couple without needing anyone’s pressure or solicitations.

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The worst case scenario is when the two people try to convince themselves that they actually do feel something more than a passing fancy, or a falling-in-lust period, something permanent – since the child is obviously permanent too. You’d think this would be better, as the two would actually be trying to go along – however what this leads to is usually a prolonged period of agony. Sometimes years pass by, the child starts to grow into a sentient being, and soon realizes that something at home is just not right. His parents are different from his friends’. They are not loving towards each other, hardly touch, hardly even speak civilly. In fact, when one is in a room, the other is most often to be found at the other end of the house, if s/he is at home at all. And this takes place if they both, or singly, have not decided to have one or more extra-marital affairs, which is still yet another kettle of fish. Most people seem to believe that all this takes place ‘for the sake of the child’ – really? Do you think a child growing up in this atmosphere of tense unhappiness would be happy himself/herself?

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Others are worried about social benefits, knowing there to be breaches and cases of fraud where people maintain that a child’s father is ‘unkown’, simply to gain a percentage of society’s hard earned cash. Yes, unfortunately it has been known for there to be people who took advantage of the social benefits offered, however does this make it right to put everyone into the same basket? Apart from that, the issue at hand concerns those couples who are forced into a relationship after the beginning of a pregnancy, not those who do not claim parentage.

Why not come out and say it? Single-parenthood, for many, seems to be a shameful smut on the family name, which is why most people simply tell their son/daughter to ‘shut up and take responsibility’. This does not mean ‘pay for your son’s upkeep and schooling and take care of him/her emotionally’, but ‘sacrifice your entire life making yourself and others believe that you love a partner whom you actually wouldn’t spend more than a few minutes with, precluding any chance of happiness with anyone else’. Is this fair? Is this practical? Is this tolerant, understanding and loving? Of course not, and yet, being subconsciously afraid of the stigma, people still do it. Probably I will have to start looking over my shoulder after this article is published – maybe someone will even proclaim that I’m a henchman (or in this case, henchwoman) of endless debaucheries and fornication. Simply put, this is how I see it.

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What on earth is wrong with being a single parent? Both parents could have contact with their child, without the need of forcing themselves into enduring years and years of wasted life ‘shared’ with someone who’s less important to them than their favourite pair of socks! There is nothing wrong with a single parent enjoying a healthy relationship with his/her child. Does anyone tell off widowers/widows who take care of their children alone after a loss? No! Everyone considers them to be heroes for being so brave, strong and efficient and tackling the upbringing of a child on their own. So, why isn’t the same measure used for ALL single parents? The issue, once more, has got to do with the sex-taboo prevalent in many societies. Why let an issue which is present mostly due to lack of sexual education and awareness cloud our judgement and influence the life of many people so negatively?

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We tiptoe around it, trying not to look, trying not to acknowledge this mentality which, unfortunately, is still here in this day and age. Isn’t it time we looked straight at it and tackled it heads-on?

—- A version of this blog article was published on the online magazine EVE here – http://www.eve.com.mt/2015/07/21/what-is-so-shameful-about-being-a-single-parent/

Where was I?

Allo?!… Allo?!… YES I’M STILL ALIVE!

Truly, I haven’t written anything on my blog in such a long time, and I am kind of ashamed of myself. The usual story applies – I was too busy! Ah but, you ask me, too busy doing what?

Well first of all, after me and my other half bought the town house (or maisonette actually), we started the job of refurbishing it. True – it was supposed to be ‘finished’ in Real Estate jargon – meaning that there were ‘perfectly good’ walls, a roof, a kitchen (which I must admit, is swell), and two bathrooms, and we could just move in with our furniture in a jiffy. Well, guess what? It actually wasn’t.

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First of all we had an electrician check out all the kaboodle. Needless to say, we found LOTS of stuff that needed doing and changing. Even had to dig into the walls in some places. Secondly, we got a plumber and checked out all of that too – after a while we realized that almost every piece of plumbing we would come into contact with on a daily basis, needed to be fixed too. The shower nozzle and the flushing in the main bathroom had to be changed, the ones in the ensuite had to be changed as well, as did a couple of taps. Last, but not least, last week the kitchen sink got blocked. When we changed the pipe and poured down some sink-clearing acid, this fell through the pipe, threatening to spill everywhere and corrode furniture. We managed to clean it, but for now we cannot use the kitchen sink at all, since the plumber is currently abroad… achhh it never ends.

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Electricity and plumbing aside, we hired an Irish guy to paint the whole house, because quite simply, it was terrible. Not only were the walls not sanded and so quite rough, but the people who lived there before us were, apparently, colourblind. Would you believe that each room in the house was painted a different colour? Each room represented a colour of the rainbow, I KID YOU NOT!

So, the stairs leading to the main entrance were blue, the living room was dark green, the kitchen was light green, the main bedroom was red, the second bedroom was pink, the third one was purple, the main corridor was a weird salmon colour, and the washroom on the roof was orange!!! It took us almost three weeks to get the darn colours out!!! Of course, we did not do the painting ourselves, since we have no experience in the field and while an experienced painter took 3 weeks, we’d probably have spent 3 months trying to figure it out… and it was difficult for the painter too! Some colours, like the orange, just wouldn’t come out! He had to paint the same washroom 6 times for it to disappear!!!

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In the meantime, although we were not the ones painting the place, we took time off from work, and when we actually did go to work, ferried ourselves straight to the new home afterwards. We already have some furniture (not to mention all my books) there, as well as a new 55″ T.V set already installed, and to be honest, though the painter seemed like a nice sort, we did not want to leave him alone with the stuff. Mostly though, we realize that certain workers/mice tend to take long ‘breaks’ when the cat is away… so, better safe than sorry.

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To cut a long (very long) story short, the paint-job is now finally done. We also ordered a lot of furniture, the main bedroom, and the parquet flooring, which should be delivered next week. Let’s see how that goes.

The most stress-inducing issue of them all however, is the Maltese mentality. Why? Because every time one needs some kind of works done, or some kind of service, even though one is offering money, one has to literally chase said manufacturer/furniture store/woodworker all over the place. You call him a million times  only for him to tell you to go talk to him in person, then when you actually do, he either tells you he does not provide that kind of work, or that he needs to come to your place to verify the measurements for a simple quotation. Later, he forgets he had an appointment and does not come, so you call him again. And again. When he finally comes, he’s late, takes the measurements, and tells you he will ‘let you know’ about the quote later. A couple of weeks go by and nothing. You send emails and call some more. Until finally he calls you back and tells you the store is on shut down for the summer months… OH FOR FU**’S SAKE! And this is not an isolated incident – it’s EVERYBODY!!

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How the hell can I not be irritated? So many setbacks just because people do not want to earn money and do their actual job!

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Anyways, yes – this is what I have been doing and where I have been. There is much work to do yet, but we are, very slowly, getting there. I had hoped we’d move in before leaving for our ten-day holiday to Wales in September, however at this point, I doubt it very much…

Still, I believe all of this will be worthwhile in the end. Our ‘Castle’ will be just the way we want it – a refuge, a haven, a dream-house – I can’t wait!

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Last Night, I was Abused. And it was Terrible.

It is terrifying, having your personal space violated. Feeling so helpless and powerless. Unable to do anything.

What’s worse, is knowing that you can be violated and abused again and again. Suddenly and without your consent.

This is what happened to me yesterday, and what, I am afraid, will happen again.

It was 11.30pm and I was reading in bed. My bedside table glowed over the page, as with the main character of my epic fantasy novel, I journeyed through a wasteland learning about love and magic. I was at peace. I was comfortable and felt loved and protected. My boyfriend was asleep next to me, snoring softly. His body heat a dear reminder of his boyish laugh and strong presence. I was happy.

Then, suddenly, everything was corrupted.

I saw something dark fluttering at the corner of my vision. At first I thought nothing of it, being engrossed in my book. The fluttering came again, and I faintly thought that a moth must have gotten in. Half a minute later, I chanced to look down… and I froze in terror.

It was an overwhelmingly large and violently red cockroach.

Hideous in its smug predatorial harvesting, it scurried towards my semi-naked cleavage, which was exposed over the bedsheets. I was petrified. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t scream.

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I must have made some small sound of fear however, because the cadaverous monster backtracked a bit, falling down to my stomach. With a low voice, chilling in its urgency, I called my boyfriend, waking him up. He jumped panicked, thinking there was a burglar or intruder who had gotten into the house.

It was worse. It was a rapist.

One definition of a rapist is someone who exerts power over you, in order to violate you against your will. That is how it felt. The hideous creature had invaded my personal space, had actually THE CHEEK to crawl on my skin, while I wasn’t even asleep!!! Who knew where it had come from? Who knew what else had or COULD happen during the night?! Had cockroaches been crawling and smearing their squinty legs all over my body while I had been asleep night after night?

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Feeling my partner shift in the bed, the being crawled down the bedsheet to the floor. I sprung out on the other side of the bed while my bf went after it, yet it disappeared. I was in a panic, hyperventilating and crying. We searched for the terrible beast but could not find it. I knew I couldn’t fall asleep in that bed again, not if we did not find it, and hardly after, since I knew I was not safe there.

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We shifted furniture and bags. We banged on the headboard and the wall. Finally, after 20 minutes, it crawled out.

My love, my dearest one, my soul mate, killed the vile thing. Squashed it under his foot like so much jell-o. Yet it was not enough.

For hours, I lay in terror. Imagining every itch was another disgusting thing squirreling its way towards me. Alternately banging on the headboard and scanning the room, trying to see if there was a blot, a patch of darker blackness, creeping towards me in the night.

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In the morning, I sprinkled cockroach powder everywhere. I do not know what I will find when I get home today, but I hope it’s a cemetery – a horrifying space full of decaying bloated bodies, thin curling legs pawing futilely at the air.

I hope they all die

Me – Invited as a Guest Speaker on a local Radio Program!

Yes! That is the surprise news of the day! Are you astonished? Me too!!

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This morning I received a private message from a local radio producer on Facebook. Apparently, he read some of my articles and liked the material, so he invited me as a guest speaker for his radio program this week. The one-hour long talk will be presided over by a presenter and various members of a panel, including a psychologist, a gynie, and various professionals… oh and me!

Thank all the gods, existent and non, that it is a radio program and not a T.V one. I guess if it were, I’d just decline as I’m too shy. As it is, I’m taking part, even though I kind of feel out of place since I’ve never done this kind of thing before. However I also feel flattered and pleased that someone like that wants to hear my opinion on the subject.

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Ah right – the subject. Well, I am NOT going to tell the world WHEN this program will air, nor on which local radio station. This is because the subject is sex – well an aspect of it, and I don’t think I want my work collegues, or my family, to come across me talking about this, as I do not feel comfortable with specifying facts. I have only told my partner and another couple of people, and I hope they will keep it to themselves. I may share more of the experience after the deed is done, since the whole thing will not be available online or even on request, however we shall see how it goes.

Another thing – the program will be aired LIVE. So wish me luck! I really hope I don’t stutter or anything. It WILL be a fun new experience though and I am really excited about it.

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I am aiming at giving generalised comments and not going into any personal details, but in the heat of the discussion… well, who knows?

So, fingers crossed and wish me luck!!

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I am not a COOL GIRL

“Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.” – Gillian Flynn

This is one of my favourite passages from ‘Gone Girl’ and one of the most revealing ones. Here again, is a case where those who have watched the movie but not read the book, will not understand at all. In the movie, we view the main character as a social psychopath because she goes ‘too far’ when exacting vengeance on her cheating husband, without knowing WHY. The novel explains it all. Especially to those girls, who like me, were never, never will be, and DO NOT WANT TO BE COOL.

In ‘Gone Girl’ Amy, from the very first date, tries to be the ‘cool girl’ – that kind of laid-back, hot-without-effort girl every guy wants to date. A poster child. A myth. She represses her feelings, represses herself every time there is something her husband does which she does not like or approve of, is always positive, even when she feels a mess, keeps her insecurities and internal turmoil locked away, and in reality tries to change and twist her character in order to please her partner. The problem is that she not only ends up unhappy and depressed, but that her partner doesn’t even ever know who she really is.

Well, I am not ‘cool girl’. Most definitely not. If you do something I don’t like, I will tell you. If I am pissed, I will tell you. I am weird, I am an introvert, I prefer books to most humans, and I am proud of that too. I am quirky and have strange habits you will never understand (though I appreciate you remembering them and making an effort to try). I am opinionated, loud, sulky, suffer from mood-swings. Sometimes I may go days without really wanting to talk about an issue, then out it will come in one big bang. Other times, I will chew off your ear for not using correct grammar, forget I have already told you something a thousand times, go on and on about the book I’m reading, give an impromptu lesson about some unpopular historical period, or just jump and hug you at inappropriate moments.

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No, I am not cool – but here’s the thing – I am honest. I am true. And I am yours and yours only. What you see is what you get. I am scuffled, scarred, marked. I have been broken, and patched myself back togather more than once. I have been hurt, and sometimes it shows. This is what makes my love and feelings even stronger – no I could not love just anyone. I find it very hard to trust and show someone what I am really like, especially when I’m at my most vulnerable. But I have no problem with appearing weak, naked, pale and limp with you. You are the one who sees me at my best, holds me at my worst, and enjoys all the time in between.

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No, I will never be cool. I do not even want to be cool. I am myself, that is who you love, and that is the reality. I do not put on masks with you, though I might when out ‘in real life’, especially since I do not condone or agree with most of the stupid populace out there. I am an intellectual elitist who realized early on in life that she cannot stomach most people, since most people are obtuse and stupid, and that is fine. I am someone who likes debate, is loud when talking about things close to her heart, passionate, hard-headed, yet open-minded and tolerant.

You know me. The real me. No – no ‘cool girl’ trying to be what others desire her to be here. Just me, holding your hand and kissing your shoulder while you sleep, knowing that you won’t even feel me, but doing it anyway, because I cannot be near you and not kiss you. Just me, playing with your curls and loving your clean smell right after you shower. Just me, getting lost in thoughts and dreams, jotting them down at 4am and then loosing the paper. Just me, re-arranging smarties by colour and drawing matching tattoos on napkins. Just me, putting my little treasures somewhere ‘for safe-keeping’ and then forgetting everything about them, and ‘re-discovering’ them months later. Just me, talking to cats in the street, and arguing with the T.V. Just me, re-arranging my socks, singing to anime songs, tipsy on Sangria waiting for you to come home.

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I do not know what brought this on, especially since I was so angry all of last night and this morning. Don’t ask why. Believe me, you don’t wanna know ;p

Why does a Penis get floppy during Sex?

Yesterday I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy with my bf (yes, I like Grey’s Anatomy – shoot me ;p), and one of the characters started dating an ex model, whom he liked a lot. This guy was known for being a bit of a Casanova, as well as for his sexual prowess, however when he came to do the deed with this girl – he flopped. Literally.

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The issue apparently was emotion-related. The guy was so used to having one-night stands and sport-sex, that when he tried doing it with someone whom he honestly cared about, he just couldn’t.

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And this got me thinking. Usually, most people tend to function better sexually when they do the act with someone they are in love with or at least feel SOMETHING about. That is the usual idea. On the other hand, this does not mean we never have good sex with people who are just random or whose main attraction is physical, and not emotional. I’m not saying that, however mostly we all agree that when there is emotional depth involved as well, the experience is better on many levels.

The guy in the series was aware of this… too much so in fact. He could take emotionless sexual intercourse, what he could not take was having feelings for someone else. The feelings coupled with the sexual attraction were just too much, and he was scared off. We might think of this situation as a fluke, but it really isn’t.

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Think about it – how many people do you know who are afraid of committing themselves emotionally? One night stands are easy. You meet someone in a bar, you hook up, you make out, you get sweaty and excited for a couple of hours, and then it’s over. The other person goes their own way, and you are free to continue your life as you usually do. Nothing has changed. You had an itch, and scratched it. That’s all.

When emotions are involved, it’s an entire kettle of fish. You know you could get hurt. You know that if that person rejects you, your disappointment will probably affect your self-esteem. You are investing time, moods, and feelings over someone who, no matter how you look at it, is a stranger, and are giving him/her power over you.

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That is what it actually boils down to. When you feel something for someone, you give them power over you. Sex is just sex. Feelings are something else.

Which is why, I guess, the guy from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ couldn’t get his dick up. Fear is a great lust deterrent. However without fear, without the threat of loosing something precious to us, without putting our heart and emotions on the line – would life be worth living?

I’m not saying that each time your partner’s penis is flaccid and can’t make it, that means he’s afraid of what he feels for you. He could be tired, sick, or plain not in the mood. However when you go out with someone new, and you are about to do it for the first time, if he can’t get it up… that’s something else.

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An Unconventional Saint Patrick’s – One Day Later!

Alright – I SUCCUMB!

I’ve been reading posts about St Paddy’s, its origins, and how people got shitfaced all through yesterday. I promised myself I wouldn’t post anything relevant on MY blog… but… here we go! lol

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When I was younger (that is, up to three/four years ago hehe), I used to take the day after Saint Paddy’s off. After all – it was impossible to wake up for work at 6am, when you got back home, drunk and disorderly, at 4.30am right? The 18th of March was usually spent asleep and/or vomiting repeatedly in a plastic bucket and/or nursing an enormous headache while trying to nibble at some salty crackers.

Fast forward to the new me – living in my own apartment, with a steady income, a steady relationship and a penchant for loooon looong holidays abroad (therefore needing all the accumulated time-off and vacation days I can spare), and I’m not doing that anymore… HOWEVER…

Seeing that in around a month and a half it’s my bf’s bday, and that I honestly didn’t know what to get him as a bday present, I had the absolutely fantastic idea of gifting him with a weekend break at a great hotel + spa we love and whose food is just awesome, and combine that with St Paddy’s! So, as of tonight, here we go!

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Quite an early surprise for someone whose bday is in May – true, HOWEVER due to other unforseen circumstances, we’ll be quite up to our ears in other stuff in May (more about this later on, as we’re keeping it kind of low-key for now), PLUS we really needed this break – sort of like the calm before the stress-storm hits.

Anyways, to get back to my original issue, since we did not celebrate St Paddy’s yesterday eve like the rest of the planet, as we had to wake up early this morning, we are going to celebrate it in grand style tonight in our hotel room after a luxurious Mediterranean all-you-can-eat buffet. Is there something better than getting drunk in bed with your boyfriend/best friend?

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YES

I just remembered one of the most GODDAMN AWFUL Horror Comedies everrrrr – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgjsTzwlU4

Gods, I just adore honest trailers. Anyways, I’m going to download this as soon as I get home, and WE ARE GONNA PLAY THE DRINKING GAME!!!

Oh boy, so looking forward to that ;p

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Then tomorrow, we can detoxify with another free-for-all buffet (this time, for breakfast), and go relax in the pool and jakuzzi for a couple of hours, before heading to the spa where I have booked us in for a couples’ massage… hmmm…

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Three Years – Changes in my Life and the House of Parliament… lol

Three years ago, the Maltese government started building a new House of Parliament in Valletta, our capital city. At the time, I used to work near this new construction and would walk past it twice almost every day. Three years seemed so far away during March 2012, and I used to wonder where I would be when the new House of Parliament was finished in 2015, and what would have changed in my life. It seemed a lifetime away.

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Well, here we are. The new Parliament building is finally ready and it will start being used later on this month. So much has changed in my life since the moment it started to be built! I am not even the same person any more! I look back and marvel at the fact that this has been the most productive, important and evolutionary part of my life, and it happened at the same time as this building was being constructed. I wonder if before I die, I will see its destruction as well.

Morbid thoughts aside, in March 2012 I was still a child. Now, I am an adult I guess, but still with a faerie look about me, if you know what I mean 🙂

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1. I fought my way to freedom and became independent – in other words, I left the parental jail (or ‘that hellhole’, if you prefer even more honesty), and finally started to live on my own.

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2. – I went up the career-ladder – I’ve earned two promotions during the past 3 years. Needless to say, my position at the moment is much better than it was, not to mention my salary.

3. – I found my soul-mate – In March 2012 I was dating someone else, a person who definitely was not my match in many things, and being also aware that we did not actually have a future togather, the relationship was quite pointless. Later on that year however, I met someone whom I was to really click with, and after two years and a half now, we are in the process of buying a place together too. THAT’s a nice jump right!?

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4. I got published! – Although I have not totally abandoned the mentality and fear that once a story/poem is out, your heart has lost it forever, at least now I am writing freelance for a local magazine, as well as for a Polish tourist website. So, no I have not published any books yet, but am slowly getting there… I hope!

5. Self-esteem – All these experiences have led me to become a stronger and more determined person. While before I was more conscious of what other people thought of me, and how society viewed me, I am very happy to say that today I literally could not give a damn. Of course, I appreciate the companionship, advice and thoughts of loved ones, but I am not so gullible, naive, and pliant as I once was. I carry myself proudly and am happy of who I am. And whoever does not like it, can bite me 😀

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Today I can vote…

Today I can own property. I have the right to decide whom to marry. I have the right to work and earn an income. I have the right to go to school. I have the right to take my own decisions. I have the right to be heard and to make a difference.

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It was not always like this.

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I wish to thanks all those women without whom this would not be possible. All those women whose struggles throughout the years have made it possible for me to be here, in my comfortable office, writing on my pc, earning a good wage, after having attended university, and looking forward to buying my own house soon.

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I would also like to send all my thoughts and love to all those women in other countries, in other cultures, who are still fighting their own struggle. Still being persecuted. Still living a nightmare. Just because of their gender.

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Yesterday was Women’s International Day.

If you don’t know why it is so important, please read my article published here, and think again http://www.eve.com.mt/2015/03/08/8th-march-international-womens-day-why-all-the-hatred/

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Women = You are a Blatant Disappointment!

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150226/local/fifty-shades-of-grey-breaking-local-records.557723

Really? Are most Maltese women as misguided and bereft of any kind of intimacy as all that? This novel/movie is wrong on so many levels that I really don’t know where to start. Let me at least try to scratch the surface:

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1. The writing is CRAP. As a book-lover and writer with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Masters in English Contemporary Literature, I can say this with professional and experienced detachment – it is TURDS ON TOAST, and that’s that.

2. It was originally written as a fan-fic of Twilight… which says it all. Love Twilight? Love soft-porn? Here you got a mixture of the two!

3. It’s not even real BDSM!! And believe me, I know what I’m saying! The novel is about a girl who doesn’t know her cunt from her ass, meeting a ‘pshycologically hurt’, not to mention inept, guy, who thinks he wants to play Master, while all he wants is a girlfriend without the title.

4. It wrongly promotes the idea that people who find BDSM kinky and titillating, like it because they are emotionally disturbed in some way. That they get excited by whips and leather because there is some big dark secret pointing towards neglect or violence in their childhood or youth = WRONG

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What does the fact that it is such a big success say about Maltese women and women in general??

1. These women know NOTHING about BDSM.

2. They know nothing about REAL RELATIONSHIPS, or the ups and downs one really encounters when trying to build something permanent with a partner.

3. They are starved for sex.

4. They haven’t got past the ‘I’m a 14-year old gushy gushy oh-so-innocent version of femininity just waiting to be plucked’ stage.

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5. They know nothing about literature, realistic plot-lines, characterization and they know NOTHING of the human psyche!

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Don’t like my summary? Bite me!

And yes I have obviously read the the book… tried to must be more like it. The cheesiness, and plain stupidity in every page made me want the vomit. Point being – I don’t write about or criticize something I know nothing about, which is why I made the effort. I wasted hours of my life and numbed my brain for THIS.

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Fortunately for the ‘author’ (for want of a better word) many people don’t need to numb their brains to accept and ‘love’ this story, since their consciousness seems to be naturally numb already.