Saturday, 28 May 2011

Fancy a game of Poker?

I have always been incredibly competitive, and I blame that on my Mum. You see the thing with my Mother Goose is that she doesn’t let anyone win, at any sport, card or board game. Now, normally when you see a Mother and her 2 children sat round playing Connect 4 or Snakes and Ladders, you wouldn’t normally hear the shouts of ‘YES! I won! LOSERS’ coming from the Mum. Well in my family thats exactly what it's like. I can even remember the time when I played tennis with my Mum, Brother and Granddad. I was about 10 and even then they didn’t take it easy on me. I was fully expected to defend myself from the rapid serves coming my way, even though my Mum played at club level, my Granddad used to teach tennis to kids and my brother was already over six foot at the age of 14. At that point in my life, being absolutely shocking at Tennis, taking into account the constant taunts I received from my Brother, and being the only ginger in a family of dark haired people, I actually found myself wondering whether I was adopted.

Now I am older, my Mum still finds any opportunity possible to beat me at something. So much so that any time she see’s an air hockey table, she is drawn to it like a magnet. Even at the cinema she doesn’t see anything wrong in dumping her bags down and challenging me to a game so she can ‘‘Whip your ass’’ as she puts it.

However, in the past year I have started to beat her at things. I will always remember the first time I ever won her at mini golf; her face was such a picture. At that historical moment she turned into the toddler from that Vic’s First Defense advert. Okay, maybe not quite as bad as that, but for the rest of the day she did look as if she was about to cry. Almost as bad as the time when as a family were playing Scrabble and my Mum had a smug grin on her face because she had got a double word score for the word ‘Private’. Next up was my Brother and all he did was add an ‘S’ to the end a got himself a triple word score. I thought her head was going to explode from the amount of ‘But..Er..You can’t...Eh?’ she was doing.

Her response when we asked her why she never let us win as kids is ‘I didn’t want a pair of kids that got into the real world and became mardy when they lost at anything. I’m just preparing you. Be grateful’. Oh she is such a babe.

On occasions that my Nana and Granddad used to look after us, they would buy us Chocolate coins and we used to play card games and bet on it with them. How underweight I was as a child might be due to the fact I always used to lose all of my Chocolate.

This morning I was feeling a little melancholy and decided to look through a scrap book I made when I was younger, and there it was, one of the wrappers from a chocolate coin. Next to the attached gold foil I had written something about how I never won my Brother at card games, but that I was fine with that because it made him happy.

Reading that made me realise that I have always been the same. I have always been a person who is happy as long as others are happy. Thats another thing I get from my Mum. I go to whatever lengths, get myself hurt, just as long as that person I care about is happy, so that I can walk away knowing they don’t think badly of me. I find myself sometimes sacrificing my own happiness or enjoyment so that others aren’t getting hurt. This has become apparent to me now, more than ever, especially when it comes to Love.

Our lives are like a game of Poker. There are times when we are lucky, and seem to have all the cards to get us exactly what we want in life. But there are also times in life when no matter how much you may try, you seem to keep losing until you have nothing left to give.

When you have all the right cards in life, it is easy to get carried away. We start to feel invincible, like there is nothing in this world that could knock you from your stool at the Poker table, and no matter how many people raise you more chips, you either match or raise them even more. It now comes to the showdown. What if that hand you were once so confident about, lets you down? All that was resting on something that you thought was safe, has now been lost. You walk away feeling like you have lost everything, the adrenaline that once engulfed your body has - along with your losing cards - been put back into the pack as well as the chips into someone else’s pile.

Perhaps, the hand isn’t that great. You find yourself sitting at the Poker table wondering whether this is a good idea. Yeah, maybe you have put a small amount of chips in, but they don’t matter, you could manage without them. Here you are, having to make a decision; do you cut your losses? Maybe your head tells you to walk away, after all it is the sensible thing to do, you know the hand you have been dealt won’t get you anything that is worth the effort. Yet, you hang on that little too long, and end up losing more than you would if you had listened to your head.

I’m afraid we are all addicts. No matter how bad things go with Life and Love, we always think the next time will be better. Perhaps it will be. I don’t know, at the moment I find myself losing the will to bet.

But you know what, if all else fails, go out with your best friends, dance like no one is watching and sing ‘Summer Nights’ really badly on Karaoke with the people so great, they don’t mind when your chips are down.

As it turns out, I am terrible at Poker, as well as Love, but play me at Tekken, and your going down. Oh, the irony.

Live. Laugh. Love

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

You can ask me the question now, Noel

 Okay, I just woke up from a really weird dream where I was a contestant on the Game show, Deal or No Deal. I have had this same dream a few times over the past couple of weeks and it basically follows the same kind of gist as the Channel 4 show. I always find myself at the beginning of the show where several names are being flashed up on screen, and every time my name gets picked. Cue clapping and a frantic excited reaction from myself, I am on Deal or No Deal after all! Noel goes through all the questions and asks me to confirm that I picked this box from random, to which I agree. Everything seems very normal - when I look in front of me there is my box, number 14 and the screen with all the money totals on it, from 1p to £250,000 and 21 other contestants. Behind me there are all of my friends in the audience. The little jingle plays and then Noel asks me to pick my first box, which I decide is going to be number 12. The box belongs to a woman called Dawn and she breaks the seal, and then lifts the lid. However, that's when it starts to get a little strange. Instead of seeing a flash of a red or a blue value of money, out pops one of my ex's. The audience ruptures into applause and I get the idea that he must be a low amount (and from what I remember from the relationship he wasn’t worth very much). Even after having this dream several times, I am still shocked when he steps out of the box and tells me everything I ever did wrong in the time we were together. Dawn then kicks him in the back, so that he falls to his knees and then proceeds to drag him by his foot out of the studio. Then, as if it were completely normal I get asked to pick my second box and I go for number 3. I don’t remember the man’s name but he opens the box. However, this time I am aware that another of my ex's will spring out and give me a lecture about how I was a terrible girlfriend. This particular box holds a Policeman I went out with for about two months over Christmas, but unlike the previous box, he just starts to sob and starts to beg for me to come back. I then give the contestant the nod and he kicks him in the back and pulls him off by his eyebrows (I’m guessing the eyebrows because I always plucked his eyebrows for him).

This continues and box after box opens revealing yet more boys I have ever flirted with, had a date with or full blown relationship. Some of the boys I don’t even know, which take up most of the red boxes, thus proving I have a terrible dating history, yet hopefully it is going to improve. One boy in particular is absolutely gorgeous yet he comes out the £50 box, so if I ever come across him, I know not to get involved.

One of the things that always seems to be the same are the things that these boys say I have done wrong. Pretty high on the list is the fact that I either never, or take ages to text back. You see the problem with me is that I get pre-occupied, not just when it comes to texting back but in everyday life. I always remember the time I went upstairs to my room, with the intention of tidying it, but half an hour later my Mum opened the door to find me drawing a face on a balloon. Another thing is that I am always pretty adamant that the relationship isn’t going to last very long. If all of your relationships to date had only lasted at most a month, I don’t think you would have much faith either. Both of these things I know about, and it didn’t take this 5th repetition of the dream to figure it out. Something that every boy said was that my immediate reaction to things getting a little hard is to finish it. I’m not going to try and deny this, I do. The way I see it is that we are young, and what is the point in staying in a relationship we are unhappy in? Plenty more better tasting fish in the Sea. (The irony is, is that I am allergic to fish)

One of the boys that jumped out, jack-in-a-box style was Lifeguard boy, who unsurprisingly came out of the £1 box, quite a lot more than he is worth in my opinion, but I suppose he had an alright face. Then there was Doll Face boy at 1p, and someone who I will call Actor boy who was £250. I got a particularly huge smile on my face from seeing these three being kicked in the back, probably more happiness than I should. But there was a boy that I felt a little sad at from seeing him in the higher amounts, because I knew that I shouldn’t have let him slip away.

Consistent with the TV game show, in between the groups of boxes I had phone calls from the banker offering me things like Cats and bottles of wine but I never accepted any of them. ‘Thank you Mr Banker that is very generous of you to offer me 3 Cats, but No deal’.

Then I get to my final two boxes; the one I chose at the start of the show number 14, and number 19. The amounts I have left are £250,000 and 10p, all or nothing, or in boy terms; Nicholas Hoult or Kerry Katona’s ex husband. The banker makes me a final offer and the chance to swap which I refuse. Noel reaches for the seal and tears it off. The audience is silent and it’s all intense. The box is opened... And I wake up! After all that, I wake up! This has happened every time, so I never have any chance to see what I end up with; my prince charming or a charming idiot.

What have I learnt from this dream? Ah well, that Noel Edmund’s shirts really are terrible, that I need to text people back quicker and that if a ex starts to list all the things that annoy them about you, kick them in the back.

Although this is completely unrealistic, and will only ever happen in my dreams - I hope, I don’t think I could cope seeing that many ex boyfriends within the space of forty-five minutes - it reasserted some of the things that are said in the film I was watching when I fell asleep. All of these ex boyfriends that came out of the boxes I have either got over or will have to sometime in the future. Getting over some of them wasn’t easy, and I can almost predict that there will be break ups in the future that won’t be pretty. Unfortunately it is just the way we are programmed as humans and I am also a firm believer in that you won’t know how good you have it until you have had it bad.

One of the problems with getting over someone is that it doesn't matter how many different new ‘looks’ you get or shopping sprees you go on, or the amount of bottles of Wine you drink with your best friends. The chances are you will still go to bed every night and find yourself going over every little moment in the relationship, trying to work out what you did wrong. At some point you may even convince yourself that he will come to his senses and turn up at your door or ring you up begging for forgiveness. When you are ready, you will find yourself in a new place, somewhere where the people will make you feel worthwhile and eventually your heart will start to heal, and you will wonder why you ever wasted that much time fixating on every little mistake. The pain will start to fade.

Basically, all of the 1p and 10p boys of this world, who will hurt you and may even break your heart are not what you end up with. I promise you, that you will always get your £250,000 in the end. You may not be able to see him yet, and you may lose out on those smaller amounts, but as soon as you have that final relationship, you will feel so rich, those previous amounts won’t even matter.

Live. Laugh. Love