Part 52: Melissa Joan Hart

My mate Tom always tells me I never got over the nineties. He says it with a shake of the head and emphasis on the word ‘nineties’ as if I’m a right saddo just because I sometimes like to stay in and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Youtube instead of going out, flirting with strong-backed boys, drinking cocktails and dancing to pop-tunes.

He might have a point somewhere in his layered, weary derision, but he’s wrong about the nineties. I have no desire to turn the clock back.

The nineties were shit for me. Bitchy, backstabbing teenage school mates, no source of income other than sporadic parental gifts of a fiver, acne, a sun-in damaged barnet, a wardrobe full of polyester ‘gipsy’ tops off Woolwich market and even less luck with the boys than what I have now. These were not my glory days.

Listen Tommy: I’ve got a confession. If you must know darl, the only thing about the nineties I never got over was Melissa Joan Hart.

I’m obsessed with her. I’m not just writing this for laffs – I actually do have a problem, beyond the fish porn.

It struck me that this was an issue – that I had gone from normal post-teen fan to crazy grown stalker-bitch – a few weeks ago, when I visited the parental home and got my gay brothers to compile a Melly J pop-quiz for me while I went out and had my nails done (‘and make sure it’s really hard…I don’t want easy questions’).

When I returned, all ghetto hot with my red nails did, I aced the quiz answering fifteen out of sixteen questions correctly. GET IN! (Don’t pity me readers, if you had any idea of the level of difficulty of some of those questions you’d be hand forging me a medal out of your melted down jewellery right now).

I can’t tell you what it is about Melly (is it weird that I call her that, in my head?) that does it for me. It’s not a sexual thing – I know that much (although I recently downloaded her new show off of Netflix and there’s a scene where she does the splits which did offer momentary arousal).

There’s obviously the wholesome all American-ness of the woman. That blonde hair, doe eyed, almost-perfect teeth thing. Plus, when I was a pre-teen I would have given anything to grow up and be Clarissa. You don’t get over things like that.

When you’re a Melly J fan you quickly realise she has done it all. In the conventional sense. Childhood fame, just enough controversy in her early twenties to appear interesting, but not enough to inflict long-term psychological damage, married an extremely handsome, apparently faithful rock star, two bubbas and one on the way. Holiday home in Lake Tahoe.

Why isn’t this my life? Is God having a laugh, or was I a very, very bad girl in a past existence?

As is usual for us stalker types, my ardour for Melly has been undercut with a certain amount of resentment. Little jets of bile when I think of her and realise that she’s got a lot of what I ain’t (money, hot husbands, baby childs, multiple homes of a quality blingin’ enough to feature on MTV’s Cribs).

Of course, I’ve needed to control all this bitterness so that I don’t come across as a right nut-case and jeopardise my career and friendships. And so, utilising a technique I was taught by a therapist, I changed my thought patterns and decided that Melissa Joan Hart is a reason to be single.

Here’s why:

Melissa has, as I’ve pointed out above, done it all, if we’re thinking conventionally. There’s not really much point in treading the whole wholesome mother path now – you’ll only ever be a shadow of the wholesome mother Mel has managed to be.

This is liberating because now: fuck it.

There’s no point in flirting with rock-stars, getting married, having babies, buying homes. It’s unoriginal. I’m attempting a life less ordinary, a road less travelled (if you’ll forgive the banal clichés). Tonight readers, I’m going to try to begin that life less ordinary with the means currently available to me: cheap white rum, ice, the complete Harry Potter series, and the Olympic opening ceremony. Wish me luck darlinks.x

Part 51: Lies

‘I haven’t told a lie since 1997’ – that’s my catchphrase (no, really, I swear), parroted indignantly when anyone accuses me of telling an untruth. It is intended to convey the longevity, and therefore the rigour, of my honesty to friends, taxidrivers, and would-be lovers.

It’s a lie, obviously.

I’m like everyone else, I lie all the time – it’s impossible not to; as Ricky Gervais proved in tedious detail when he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Invention of Lying, the worst film that’s ever been made. Still, there is a shred of truth to my self-promoting strapline, which is that since the Big Lie of 2002 (I don’t want to talk about it, it’s too raw) I’ve limited myself to little white lies that save friends’ feelings. You know, the ‘no, that dress is in no way a hideous, frumpy, nightmare that makes you look like a cartoon hippo dressed in my Nan’s old curtains’ variety – and metaphor/hyperbole. I.e. I don’t literally mean it when I write that little mices have been crawling about in my memory cables, or that I can only get off to fish porn (I hope that doesn’t come as too much of a blow to any ex-lovers who read my last post, did a sigh of relief, and stopped blaming themselves for past failure to get me writhing ecstatically with uninhibited sex pleasure. In case you finally let yourself off the hook, I want to make it absolutely clear: I consider that lack-lustre outcome in the bedroom was totally your fault). Other types of lie – especially the dark, self-serving ones – are Bad News.

Anyway, as I’ve definitely mentioned before, I listen to a fair amount of gangsta rap, and one of the wiser bits of advice it’s learned me is this: ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game’. I take this truism on board and apply it’s tautologous logic to most situations in my life; I find it gives what might otherwise be described as doormat weakness a ghetto edge. Thus, despite my own commitment to almost-total honesty, I don’t hate the liars per se, I hate (you guessed it) the lies.

I mean, it’s not really the liars’ fault, even though they are often right knob-ends, that the existence of lies makes human relationships of all kinds, at all stages, a fraught battleground, where trust and insecurity rage at each other with sawn off shotties and flick-knives, vying for supremacy of the soul. Lies, you see, mean that anything anyone tells you, at any time, may not be true – or at least entirely true. This isn’t the liars’ fault. The liar cannot be blamed, for the existence of the lie means that, even if the liars were telling the truth, you could never be sure. The liars’ utterances, like anyone else’s, might be total bullshit, or might not. There is no way of knowing.

Depressing innit? Although, if you wanna look on the bright side, it means that that other bit of rap wisdom: ‘never trust nobody’, is now applicable to all circumstances, even ones where you’re not selling crack. Hurrah!

I don’t mean to sound like a bitter, paranoid old hag here – although I do realise I’m doing a well good job of sounding very much like one (and I just took about 18 pictures of myself, with a flash, on the iPhone, and it turns out I’m looking like one as well. I’m sure that frown lines this deep are not meant to occur in one’s 20s. Maybe it’s the drink). But, trust: are you having an actual laugh?

When one is not romantically involved, lies, on a day-to-day basis, have less power to inflict crippling, organ-scalding pain. For the singleton, unfolding a lie that you once believed true makes you think one of two things: what a prick! Or: ha! I knew Rachel Stevens didn’t really eye him up that time in Whole Foods. It’s water off a duck’s back. Romance though, makes lying personal.

I totally forgot all this until recently, when I thought about, maybe, doing something romantic (stop it! Don’t judge me! Those self-portraits on my iPhone have just confirmed that I have exited the prime of life, and I need to get some sexy time in before a casual acquaintance refers to me as a spinster and my libido is totally slaughtered. Seriously, it’s going to happen) with a person who shall remain unnamed and neutral so that you can create an image of a rippled, sneering, alpha-male type cad in your mind’s-eye, and I won’t have to disappoint by revealing the blandness of my real-life romantic choices. Whatever, the crux of the story is that this person cancelled our romantic liaison with an excuse that sounded contrite and genuine. But how could I be sure? I couldn’t, obvs. Maybe he had a sudden recollection of my face and was reminded of the alarming damage those deepening frown-lines have done to my beauty; perhaps he read that last post where I said I get turned on by fish porn and changed his mind. Who could blame him? Not me. Which is why, rather than letting it slide, as I would in any other situation in which a near-stranger offered me a plausible story to explain an unexpected turn of events, I took it a little bit personally. Which affected my self-esteem.

And then I realised the total fag, which is that, at least until you ‘get to know’ someone (and even after that), everything that comes out of their mouth, or with the increasingly virtual communication systems we now utilise, through their fingers and down a wire, could be false. THEY MIGHT HURT YOU. God, human beings need massive reserves of bravery to cope with this shit. Or wine. Yes, wine is also good – although, I don’t recommend drinking too much, unless you’re up for getting dumped because of those premature wrinkles. Or you really wanna stay single.

Part 50: Erotica (specifically, Japanese ukiyo-e erotica, but that comes later)

In the week or so that I’ve been away (soz for my virtual absence babes, but I do have a job and last week it struck me that if I didn’t do some proper job-related work my boss might notice; which would leave me without money to buy food, heat, shelter and other assorted tedious but essential-for-staying-alive type items that fat-eyed rich people sell for a profit in the cruel contemporary world*. I’m sure you understand) I have had time to ponder things. And the things I’ve been pondering have, in tune with the spirit of the times, been rather sexual in nature (I’m not gonna go too x-rated here, but I should probably put in a warning: I will be discussing fish porn – but not until the 11th paragraph – brace yourself).

As you may well be aware, if you don’t live huddled beneath a massive rock with your eye sockets and earlobes plugged with dirt, there’s been a recent hoo-ha about a trilogy of raunchy novels, the first of which is called Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now, I’m not going to offer a review of the trilogy here. Largely because I haven’t read any of the books and don’t intend to. But also because there’re already far too many bloggers offering witty and hilarious opinion pieces on this literary phenomenon. You don’t need another, trust. Suffice to say: some people think it’s poorly written, misogynistic shite; some other people think it’s the next best thing to getting properly fucked and find themselves aroused to the point of orgasm by reading the words on the book’s pages. Anyway, I bring it up here only because all this talk about female fantasy has coincided with me pondering my own sexuality. And when I say pondering what I actually mean is worrying obsessively.

I’m not sure I’m normal.

Seriously. I think I might be broken, sexually.

Here’s why:

Other, ‘normal’ people get aroused by conventional human interaction. These normal people, or so they tell me, find that sometimes when conversing with an acquaintance or a stranger – at a party say or a work training seminar – a shudder of lust will run through their body alerting them to the fact that they want to engage in sexual relations with said stranger or acquaintance. This used to happen to me so I know the normal people aren’t lying – but… listen – it feels a bit like coming out to say this, so I need your support readers *takes deep breath*: it has been a very long time indeed since the sight of a stranger (or an acquaintance) made me all feel alert, aroused and available. I’m talking years rather than months here. Don’t judge me will you (at least not ‘til the fish bit)?

Of course, as regular visitors to the blog will know, the fact of being unconventional doesn’t usually bother me very much per se. Except this time it does, because I remember that sexual attraction used to be fun. It was thrilling and the potential of it occurring at any given moment made leaving the house a worthwhile pursuit, rather than a fag that involves getting dressed and engaging in interactions that will make me feel one or a combination of the following emotions: bored, stressed, irritated, empty inside.

Until I began to examine my sexuality in more detail I had put this lack of desire for other people down to getting older and wiser. I assumed that my sexual palate becoming honed would inevitably result in a more selective libido. However, there’s a difference between being selective and totally failing to feel a basic, animal instinct. Plus, at 6.40am the other morning I was woken by a text message from an old school friend who is currently having a fling with some bloke she met at work; the message alerted me to the fact that other women of my age and experience do still have sexual feelings. In the interests of humour I’ve posted the contents of the text message below.

“That guy showered in front of me last night…Katie OMG he is sooo hot!! It’s the most erotic live image I have seen EVER! He could be a calendar model!”

The other thing that’s been worrying me a large amount re: my sexual desire, is the fact that certain erotica do still get me off. Those black and white photos of a PVC clad leg with the foot in a stiletto that I saw at an art gallery a while back, the scent of cologne and cigarettes on the wind. But not what my friend would call ‘live’ images. Apart from one. The most disturbing erotic image of all time. Namely, the tail of my goldfish caught in an undulating motion as it turned in its tank.

Yes, you did understand that last sentence correctly. The most aroused I’ve been in the past two years was in my office watching my three-inch pet fish hunt for food in murky water. I don’t know what this says about me, but it can’t be anything good. Or so I thought, until yesterday afternoon.

I had kept the fish thing a bit quiet, for obvious reasons. Telling only 150 or so of my closest friends via a facebook status update around the time it happened. And then, idly flicking through twitter, I came across a link to this. A Wikipedia entry detailing the erotic ukiyo-e Japanese woodcarving ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’. In which the wife gets orally pleasured by a massive octopus while the octopus’s son plays with her boobies.

Hot right?

I can’t possibly describe the relief I felt in words. Though if I were to have a go I’d probably compare my shame to the air in a balloon and the viewing of the woodcarving to a pin that burst the balloon and allowed the shame to escape and dissolve into the atmosphere. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE! People have been fantasizing about fish for millennia; I am part of a long tradition of slightly messed up, sensuous fish-lovers! There’s nothing wrong with me!

I’m not saying I want to get pleasured by an octopus, before anyone calls the RSPCA. But I am relieved to find that whatever is left of my desire is still human. I know that lust exists; that it does still burn there inside my body. And, as a bonus, there’s a great big archive of online fish porn that I can use to indulge my fantasies, guilt free, until such a time as I am ready to have sex with humans again. For this Japanese erotica, I am thankful.

And, in case you thought I was being totally self-indulgent, I have considered my readers here. Now that you know about fish porn there’s another reason to be single. Everyone’s a winner.

*And on this theme, I’ve decided to cut back on blogging for a bit so that I can write my thesis and hopefully someday graduate as a Dr and become one of the fat-eyed rich people myself. Thus I will now be posting here only once weekly. How will you cope? That’s not really my concern, but you could indulge in some re-heated lols by searching through my archives (ooh-er!).