Girl talk

Another week goes by, and Facebook informs me that ANOTHER friend is engaged. ANOTHER friend is pregnant.

Me? I’m still single. I’m still working on the job thing. I DID eat some pretty life-changing gelato last week… but still, it feels like I might be falling behind.

Fortunately, one of my new London friends has diagnosed my problem:

Apparently, I’m too girly.

Now, for those who don’t know me, here’s a brief rundown: I wear a dress every day. I wear pink shoes every day. My tights are covered in love hearts. I sleep under a floral doona. And the following items in my life are pink: my toothbrush, my hairbrush, my mobile phone, my iPad, my hair straightener, my drinking cup, my cutlery and my handbag.

Now I don’t want to brag, but having a signature colour is actually a GENIUS idea. People just buy you things all the time! In my life, I have been gifted countless pink things just because someone saw them and thought of me: bottles of pink nail polish, cute pink bags, pink measuring cups, a pink computer keyboard, a pink bin… my ex-boyfriend even gave me a pink car cleaning kit!

I know. I really should have dumped him.

ANYWAY, I’m a girly girl. And there shouldn’t be a problem with that, right? Doesn’t every man want a woman who will bake him a cake, while wearing a full circle skirt and pretty pink shoes? A woman who will keep the house full of pink flowers and her glass full of pink champagne? A woman who dresses, well, like a woman?

So the last time I went out with this new London friend, I dressed as I normally do. Vintage floral dress, patterned tights, pink lipstick, bag and sparkly pink shoes.

Thing is, Londoners aren’t so into dressing up.

For London girls out on a Friday night, it’s Casual City. They wear jeans. And flat shoes. And minimal makeup. They’re effortlessly cool.

In comparison, I look like some sort of Drag Queen Butterfly.

Or, according to my new friend, whispered in scandalous tones:

“You’re confusing the men. You look like you’re trying way too hard to prove you’re a girl. They all think you’re a LESBIAN.”

Ah. You win some, you lose some. Any ladies out there looking for a woman who can bake?

Advertisements

Almost famous

This week was a big one for my little blog.

I got ‘Freshly Pressed’.

It sounds kinda sexy, and indeed, it is. My post on my unsociable fear of pets was featured on the WordPress website, and brought hundreds of new readers over to My Chick Lit Life to have a look. And apart from the slightly depressing fact that it’s made all my other stats look puny and pathetic, it’s by far the best thing that’s happened for the blog.

The feedback has been hilarious. A lot of people have given me serious advice on how to correctly approach cats (apparently scratching under the chin is the secret to getting a cat purring. I will not be doing that). I’ve been confidently told my life will not be complete without a dog. I’ve been assured that ‘cat rabies’ are not a big problem in the UK. Guys, I didn’t even know cat rabies was a real thing. I thought I’d made it up! But now, I am legitimately afraid of cat rabies. THANKS A LOT.

In all seriousness though, it’s been really exciting. I’m thrilled that so many people have read at least one chapter of my chick lit adventure. I hope a few stick around.

And in a classic chick lit twist, all this online attention and excitement has come during a week when THE INTERNET HAS STOPPED WORKING. I’ve had to bask in my online glory over a 3G connection, huddled over my phone screen. Honestly, it’s like it’s 1993 in our little brown-brick house at the moment. We haven’t had a connection in more than a week. And we’re all starting to go a little mental.

I, for one, don’t know how much longer I can last. Right now I’m pretending to be the world’s oldest university student, just so I can use a lab computer at a friend’s workplace. And just being in here, I’m starting to feel like I have an assignment due and a pimple growing. It’s tense stuff.

Apparently, it’s getting fixed tomorrow. Cross your fingers for me and my internet connection, dear readers! And, in the meantime, THANK YOU for reading My Chick Lit Life.

The Chick List

One of the best things about writing this blog is the fact that I can read as much chick lit as I like.

Once upon a time, chick lit was my guilty pleasure. When book shopping, I’d always force myself to buy a ‘serious’ book. It was usually award-winning, and usually excellent, but guys, reading it was HARD WORK. The prose was always beautiful, but vague and convoluted. The characters were usually terrible people. The ending never satisfied. I was culturally enriched, but secretly more excited about the OTHER book I’d bought myself – the one with the beautiful pastel cover, featuring a picture of a shoe, or a handbag, or a dress. My reward read. Where the main character is flawed but lovely, the dialogue is current and witty, and while they’ll face some obstacles along the way, the main characters will always get a happy ending.

Now though, chick lit counts as research. If it’s not pink, I won’t even buy it. On the tube, I proudly hold my chick lit novels up for all to see (even though they have the most ATROCIOUS names – ‘Where Rainbows End‘? ‘The Brightest Star in the Sky‘? Come on, Marian Keyes!). If anyone asks, I can tell them I’m working!

And now, all the reading’s paid off. I’ve found some book-to-life-life inspiration!

Even from the title, I knew this book would be a good one – Lindsey Kelk’s ‘The Single Girl’s To-Do List‘. It’s a great read. Charming characters, gorgeous, muscly men, a painfully realistic break-up, and a journey of self-discovery. As the title suggests, the main character, Rachel, and her friends put together a ‘to-do’ list to help guide her through her newly single life. Scrawled on a napkin, Rachel’s list includes:

  • Get a makeover
  • Start an exercise regime
  • Bungee jump (or similar)
  • Find a date for Dad’s wedding
  • Get a tattoo
  • Write a letter to the ex
  • Buy something expensive and selfish
  • Travel somewhere new
  • Contact your first crush
  • Break the law

Frankly, I think a couple of these ideas are terrible. A tattoo? No way. Write a letter to your ex? Just move on! But the book did make me wonder if it might be that simple. Write a list of things to do, check them off, and find true love.

Strangely enough, before I left home, I did start a list of my own. I hadn’t looked at it in months, but inspired by the novel, I took a look at the quick list jotted down on my iPhone under, ‘London life list’. Here’s what it said:

  • Dye my hair red
  • Buy Doc Martens
  • Wear scarves
  • Learn to use my camera

Yes, it appears that three months ago, I had a secret longing to turn myself into some sort of moody, gothic artist. Where did that come from? I’m not even sure I like Doc Martens!

But you know what? I’m inspired. I’m putting the lists together. And I’m going to see them through. Here’s my very own Single Girl’s To-Do List. My Chick List.

  • Dye my hair red
  • Try a new (and preferably strange) type of exercise. Tai Chi, capoeira, handball, something like that
  • Take a photography course (and put some pictures on the blog)
  • Buy some Doc Martens. And wear them
  • Go speed dating
  • Buy something expensive and selfish
  • Take a trip on my own
  • Make pastry
  • Try tuna
  • Break the law

Some of these make me nervous. The thought of eating smelly fish is downright terrifying. Will the list make me a better person? Will it help me find true love? Or am I just setting myself up for a terrible new look?

…I’m calling the hairdresser right now.

Making a connection

It’s been too long since I last wrote… but that’s what happens when you don’t have an internet connection.

But I have an excuse – I moved house! Yes, this chick lit novel now has a setting. A brown brick semi-detached house on the top of a hill in north-west London. It’s too small and too far out of town but it’s got big windows and a big backyard and I already love it.

I’ve got flatmates, too. One of my best friends from Australia has already been here four years – she’s the wise Londoner guiding me through this crazy adventure. She organised the place – I’m living with her, her rock star English boyfriend, and HIS single best friend. I KNOW. THIS CHICK LIT NOVEL IS WRITING ITSELF.

So obviously, I’m going to end up with this guy, right? I mean, it’s so predictable. Even more predictable, because I really don’t think I will. You know how in the chick lit novel, the girl doesn’t really like the obvious guy, because she’s infatuated with Mr Wrong? And Mr Obvious is clearly pining for her throughout the novel, but the Chick doesn’t really notice how fabulous he is, until Mr Wrong breaks her heart and Mr Obvious is there for her?

Well, I haven’t found Mr Wrong yet. And I’m pretty sure my poor housemate isn’t pining for me. But if this really WAS a chick lit book, I’m pretty sure that’s how it would end. I’ll keep you posted.

But back to the internet thing. You will never know just how reliant you are on the internet, until you don’t have it. And when you’re living in a new house, in a new suburb, in a new city, in a new country, you need the internet more than ever. Especially when your phone is busted.

Since I arrived in England, my phone has been on the blitz. Things came to a head last week when my Mum texted me to ask if I could Skype. Homesick, and newly depressed about my lack of internet, I sent her a long, detailed message about how crap everything was. AND THEN IT DIDN’T SEND.

It’s funny, when you’re on edge, what little things set you off. Six days of internet cold turkey, and the fact that that simple text wouldn’t go through sent me over the edge. The iPhone was thrown. There was shouting. There were tears. In the midst of my hysterics, as I listed every little thing that was wrong with my life, including my uncomfortable pillow, the fact that I didn’t know what to have for lunch, and that my hair will never do what I want it to, I added, “AND I’ve been here a month and no one’s fallen in love with me!”

After the drama had passed, a list of priorities was made. Number one on the list was getting my phone sorted. Love, I thought, could wait at least one more day. So imagine my surprise one man offered both services later that very day.

Yes, I was cracked on to by the phone repair man.

Ring a ding ding!