Disgrace, Princess of Monaco

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Nice Panorama

Traveling is both an agony and the ecstasy. Everything is a pain in the arse until you get to your destination, and once you get there – everything is rainbows and unicorns. Last week I set off to explore Cote D’Azur. I desperately needed a break on my own – an escape to a fantasy land where every step has a potential to grow into adventure of a life time. Being a francophile as much as I am there was no need to wreck my brain about which destination to go for.

Early on Wednesday morning, I kissed the moody London goodbye and jumped on a plane to Nice. Only a short sleep later, I woke up to the most beautiful dream I ever seen. Recent weeks in London weren’t the best weeks I had since arriving in UK ten years ago. With the impeding gloom and doom of brexit which was progressively getting worse with each news headline, it was effectively completed with perpetual rain which was affecting me on the emotional level. This trip was so overdue,聽I was ready to run away.

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C么te d’Azur

Mediterranean air instantly brought me back to life. I craved for nothing else than to stretch out on the beach and forget about everything that burdened me over the past six months. Like a new born baby, I baptised myself in the Mediterranean sea, smeared some sun lotion and reborn as a pilgrim on the journey for inner peace and fulfilment. I had six days of freedom and I was going to use them to the max potential.

Like any brit tourist who hasn’t seen the sun for the past 100 years, I was doomed to get coup de soleil within first 3 days of my beach session. I also granted myself a permission to do two things which I rarely allow myself in London 聽– smoke and drink to an excess which came naturally in Nice since smoking and drinking wine even in AM hours was a conventional thing to do. Long walks around the city, the promenade, the train journeys along cote d’Azur 聽were soothing.No wonder this region was favourited by worlds elite and royalty over the decades. It’s picturesque landscapes and vast horizons became synonymous with happiness and good life. It has a certain quality of indulgence, a permission to celebrate each day as a gift, rather than living in struggle hoping for the better times ahead. Living in a moment has never been easier, better yet, it was inescapable.

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Monaco, C么te d’Azur

Of course, I was aware of my budget and I could not deny the fact that in order to live the life of fairy tale which is so beautifully advertised on instagram, you must be wealthy. Wealth is another synonym of cote d’Azur. It’s hard to be oblivious of it because it’s stares you directly in the face where ever you go. Luxurious hotels, cars, yachts, designer shops, restaurants, fancy dames with pampered pooches, villas with private swimming pools – all makes a fantastic parallel universe which is equally attainable and lightyears away for ordinary human beings. Yet I have never been to a place which would motivate me more to pursue the good life, to follow my dreams and to make cardinal life changes. And I wasn’t the only one.

There are always two sides of the coin. I was always susceptible to harsh truth which I still greeted with pragmatism. While I was feeling completely free and independent enjoying this trip alone, I had to endurea certain level of abuse which was totally underserved on my part. Not many people will relate to this because majority of people don’t travel alone, but I felt constantly subjected to a judgement which only a young woman can be subjected to on the occasion. I discovered that people in Cote d’Azur have a rather savage perspective on female travellers, especially if they arrive unaccompanied. In my case, I was constantly seen as a prostitute which was at first infuriating to the point I wanted to hide in my room just so I don’t have to explain another man I don’t wish to have his home address or pretend I didn’t hear how group of guys just called me une pute. Must say, you do get used to it after a while.

While I never had to face this type of judgement while living in London since the concept of the prostitute can only be applied to women in west end night clubs, a guy I met in Nice explained to me that south of France, especially places like Monaco and Cannes, is a magnet for women looking to gnaw the piece of that cosmic wealth accumulated in the region. C’est terrible after dark. Meeting a wealthy man is an aspiration for many women and while the cinderella phenomenon was possible few decades ago before dating apps came into place, now it’s so rare, it’s practically impossible. However it doesn’t stop flocks of young Eastern European women from traveling to Monaco looking for a better life.

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Streets of Monaco, C么te d’Azur

This realisation repealed me from even entertaining the idea of meeting the prince charming with a yacht on this holiday. Even if I could compete with model looking 聽courtesans, I would be seen too unsophisticated in my appearance and attitude, leave alone my hostility towards this exchange economy. What I saw instead, under the veneer of endless luxury and sophistication, lies rotting culture of exploitation and objectification. I stayed walking around Monaco until the dusk and left right before, once I again I was subjected to further abuse.

Cote d’Azur still puts me in a dream like state. If you choose to close your eyes on everything what happens in the privacy of luxury apartments, you will witness the beauty of the landscape, joyful holiday makers, and never-ending celebration of life which is so appealing to people around the world. I came back refreshed and full of ambition which I never had before. I am not the one to demonise the wealth, it’s not the money that’s bad, it’s what you can do with it. Princess, Grace of Monaco is a wonderful story indeed which is still being seen as the greatest cinderella story there ever was, but in the changing world we must look for new stories. Stories where women are able of creating their own fairy tales by creating a dream life for themselves without having to sacrifice their ambition or dignity. Until next time, C么te d’Azur! Merci and 脿 bient么t!

A NOTE:

This post 聽was written day before tragic events in Nice this Thursday so please don’t treat it as insensitive. I was still deeply in my holiday mode when I heard the news. I am experiencing immense sadness and regret for all the lives lost. The fact that was walking down the promenade des Anglais only two days ago was the closest I have ever been to a tragedy. Every one I met on this trip are safe and sound. #prayfortheworld

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Disgrace, Princess of Monaco

The Parisian Sensuality

e8357271cd0cc6adfbea61ce1caea9ffAfter yet another long break,聽I am back with a new post about Paris. So yes, I am obsessed with this city! Paris is the city of my dreams and I take it in with all it’s poverty and flamboyance, arrogance and sensuality, and let’s just throw in a dash sleaziness for the good measure.

Couple of weekends ago my friends and I, yet again, jumped on the train and traveled to the city of love. We had 4 fabulous days ahead of us, full of great events and lots and lots of wine. Although I have been making little Paris trips every few months, I never really experienced Parisian night life. 聽Except may be that one time when I tried to go home with a Belgian equivalent of Spartacus, which happened to be a total fiasco on my part as he decided not to get involved in a聽dysfunctional m茅nage 脿 trois with me and my friend, calling it the act respect to my male friend as opposed to blinding rejection. Anyway, new year – new me. This time I finally got to go out in a chat friendly environment where I felt my french was strong enough to introduce myself at the very least.

7433e3597a6294b9d124a2fa99a18fb8Saturday night was the opening of the club night season at the l’ Opera Garner restaurant La Boumette. Hello glam of my life! The event itself was organised through a french version of the meet up. To this day I still don’t know whether we walked into a mingling event or was it a pure coincidence we were mobbed by four parisian guys within minutes. The event was held sur le ciel du Paris in a fashionable L’Opera area.

Parisian events are slightly different to London. You still have your mixture of rich arabs and their blond bombshells girlfriends, but you also get creme de la creme of the parisian style front runners who look like they have just stepped down from聽the Montblanc ad campaign – perfectly groomed, sleek looking and of course, the look wouldn’t be complete without vintage tortoise shell frames. They all look equally nonchalant and self aware at the same time, which was incredibly pretentious聽and sexy.聽Perhaps parisian social scene hasn’t moved far from 19th century Dandyism which has always put image ahead of morals, the scene inspired聽Baudelaire himself.

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Of course, I didn’t get to meet any of these classy guys that night. As it usually happens, there was another type of men who prefer to overcompensate their absence of creativity聽with pushy enthusiasm and sleazy confidence which cannot be combated with anything except for a change of location. Efficient yet very impractical. These guys don’t wait around bombarding you with subtle hints, they go straight in for the kill, latching onto any possible flare of interest or mere politeness to spark the proverbial flame of passion. It was like a romancing the stone on my part. Despite my best efforts of assuming the role of cock block聽in vain hope I may have a chance to have a great night with the girls, I lost the battle to the latter group.

Despite all that drama, what is refreshing about parisian men, however, is you can have a pretty decent conversation, which can be both a fun banter and an existential debate. I got relatively lucky with one of guys at the party. Ryan was a half french half Arabic blue eyed blond hair mec who had quality flirting skills, who also聽introduced himself as a stripper for Chippendale. It wasn’t hard to believe because he certainly had the body for it. After 10 minutes of conversation and vivid x rated fantasies (taking聽place exclusively in my head!), he finally announced he works in marketing which left me both aroused and furious, but I didn’t mind to be played like this at all. As the night was getting busier, I found myself talking to new men who were all equally interested in me. If it wasn’t the dating event after all, 聽I would definitely say, in Paris, we were more popular than a kebab place on Saturday night. I was on fire! Trailblazing across the room, feeling fabulous. All a gal need to shine is a guys attention.

This may as f6a8641fcb42540d6881c9669306699cwell be a parisian thing. And just as other parisian things I like, I like the straight forwardness and confidence which parisian guys have. British guys may have a great sense of humor (which is a truly great advantage), but when it comes to making a move, it’s usually so subtle, almost like a metaphorical dog whistle perceived only by a certain type of women, if any at all.

Parisian sensuality felt like a breath of fresh air. In a modern world, plagued by extreme feminism, seduction has become closeted聽part of romantic interaction to the point where men decided to skip it all together. Of course, french guys don’t linger too long on platonic chit chat either and they don’t call if french banter after all.聽It wasn’t really my intention to meet anyone that night because I only had 2 days left in Paris and I wanted to spend them wandering the streets, drinking wine and daydreaming about how one day I book my one way ticket to Paris.

 

 

The Parisian Sensuality

The Time I Went to a Model Party

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Last night I was invited to attend my very first model party so without much thinking I donned the highest heels I could find in my possession (which elevated me just high enough to put me face to face with a commercial model) and ventured out to explore the world of glam. To my enormous surprise (and relief) I enjoyed it, courtesy of free drinks and a glam goodie bag which consisted of everything a conscientious model needs – an energy ball, some healthy suspiciously tasting beverage, notepad, pen (you know… to write down castings n’all) and of course – portable mobile phone charger, which actually was the only thing I used.

Anyway, I approached the subject of model world carefully. Attending parties and events is becoming about gaining writing material, and although, at some point in the night I was carried away a little bit while having my photo taken by a man with a big camera, I was on a constant alert trying not to miss any scandalous detail of the night but for a change I decided not to make travesty out of literally everything,  I chose to keep my childish curiosity present as much as humanly possible.

What is model industry about anyway? Apart from rich man’s petting zoo, it’s also a business and for the first time instead of seeing models as pure gorgeous creatures, now I also see them as money making machines which too have their expiry date and for some of them, it is way less than Macbook warranty. Unfortunately, if you look past the glam and thigh gap,  behind the allure of velvet skin and pouty lips, all you will uncover is bunch business people trying to make money. Model industry is grossing over $900m in revenue each year and the demand for it continues to grow. It’s under constant media scrutiny and despite being seen as a glamorous industry, it’s ruthless and exploitative, causing more damage than meets the eye. But I’ll stop here because I’ve done my piece of criticism in my earlier posts. Lets just enjoy the harmless experience of the party and, of course, beauty.
london picYou can’t deny, it’s a fascinating world out there. Couple of hours of being surrounded by the best looking people in the city is like a luxury balm to our sore, excel-spreadsheet tired eyes. The party was hosted at the high end London hotel. The setting of course was spectacular, beautiful London skyline basking in the rich velvet purple and pink sunset, funky music, delicious cocktails – in short an environment where anyone with some charisma points could be somebody. It provides you with an uncanny validation, as if the the proximity to the lavishness itself pushes you through some magical wormhole to the world devoid of world hunger, ISIS, global warming, drug cartels, or Donald Trump. Instead you can enjoy the perks of the party world where cocktails are free and people are happy. However I wonder whether this festive feeling lasts beyond couple of weekends?

Being a model is not just about the looks – you tell them miss Tyra Banks, who taught me nothing about model world apart from it’s a vile jungle where you are either loudmouth fierce bitch or a quirky quiet girl who sits in the corner trying to avoid the drama. Regardless of your social skills and proverbial personality (a word which Tyra Banks used to cover up the complete lack of intellectual activity on behalf of certain contestants) high cheekbones always trump sweet nature or science degree. As I sat in the hotel lobby observing who’s arriving, I experienced some unknown, mind boggling symptom resembling twisted D茅j脿 vu. All arriving girls wore black, all had lovely long dark hair and they all looked the same. It’s as if Christian Grey opened his own model agency where all women look liked like Anna Steele. Was there some dress code which I didn’t know about, but even so, I’d have to travel back in time, 15 years to be precise to fit the scene.

We aren’t talking Victoria Secret here, where models are literally made out of sugar and spice and everything nice, whose trained, post child birth bodies would put my three-times-a-week gym bod (sounds a lot better than it actually is) to biblical shame. We are talking 17 (let’s hope at least) year old girls, hardly anywhere near full development, flocking to the bar to be admired (in the best case) or objectified (in the worst). Still, they carry this uncanny sense of demureness and innocence, which I scattered away so carelessly over the years.

Suddenly the quote: I felt like I was wearing patchouli in a room full of Chanel (Sex And the City) began echoing in my mind reminding me that for a brief moment I forgot who I was and what I came here for.  The daze of the party feeling was dispersing in the air along with the guests leaving the scene. Magic has left the building.  It was beginning to turn into an average club night with it’s lingering red-eyed guest looking for trouble. I grabbed my goodie bag and saw myself out. To answer to my  earlier posed question, the festive feeling not only doesn’t  last for couple of weekends, it wears out the moment the bar stops serving free drinks. But still, like every new addict, I’m looking forward to my next fix.

 

 

 

The Time I Went to a Model Party

Keeping it real in Manchester

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My jaw literally dropped open this morning as I realised it has been 21 days since my last blog post. 21 days is like a very short month (or a very long one when you had spent all your wages in the first week) and I can hardly come up with an excuse. Although I have an excuse, but it’s embarrassing to admit that I haven’t had a date or even remotely an invitation to go out since my last dangerous liaison with Houdini. However yesterday I was stopped by a scruffy punk guy in Manchester who thought I look very eastern european and that’s why he decided to chase me down the street and talk to me. Sometimes I look back at my stories and wonder why did I follow dating rabbit hole and didn’t stick with politically charged content for my blog?

Anyway, Manchester. I wouldn’t necessarily say “eastern european style” exists by definition, meaning we don’t walk the streets wearing traditional folk attire, but I’d say eastern european style differs from from say, London fashion (to be put lightly). Still, somehow, wearing gym bunny trainers made me stand out form the crowd. As I walked the crowded shopping alley of Manchester, I couldn’t help but notice how well groomed and glammed up everyone is. Not surprising, I was in the northern capital after all. May be it’s because they don’t spend as much time in public transport trying to get from point A to point B, but rather, use their time to make them cheekbones highlighted. I, on the other hand, woke up at 5.30 am, spent 2.5h on the train, hardly wore any make up and shamelessly paraded my gym outfit (once you get into sweat pants, it’s hard to get out) and I’m not the person who can pull the sexy gym look.

I can’t do that.

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I recently remembered an article I read somewhere, as it turns out it was Daily Mail  (don’t judge me) but the headline summarised my suspicion

“The make-up of Britain: Northern women like to slap it on while Southern girls prefer the 鈥榥atural look鈥 (with the exception of Essex)”

 

Being a guy in Manchester must be tough. Despite being flattered by the sudden interest in my appearance on the street, I still wonder, was it because I didn’t look threatening for a guy to approach me and there wouldn’t be any particular sense  of regret in the event of rejection? And, on the other hand, if I were wearing 5inch heels, 3 layers of make up, shimmering in the sunlight like Edward Cullen and having donned my Sunday best, would he still walk up to speak to me? And it’s not the first time, contrary to my  adopted belief, I get chatted up more often on the street when I look washed out. If I actually ever listened to my intuition, I’d say i discovered a secret to meeting guys – avoid meeting them.

I’d say i discovered a secret to meeting guys – avoid meeting them.

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In How to be a Parisian book, written by four sulky Parisian femme fatales, according to film producer, journalist, a model, and an actress – true Parisian girl always needs to be ready (meaning clean waxed, wear makeup and have spare pair of heels in her bag) because you never know where the night may take you. That’s all very empowering… You know, like a superwoman,  one moment you are insignificant human being wearing glasses, and the next, you are you seductive ass kicking Glamazon. I’m already feeling 5inches taller just by picturing it. Fortunately for me, I usually know my night will take me home, to my own bed where I can be as ugly as I want without running the risk of being labeled as “hairy marry”. I wouldn’t completely disregard the Parisian advice, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, or however the saying goes.

The moral of the story, the more you sweat it, the less likely you are going to succeed. Eastern european style or no style, heels or no heels, doesn’t matter, as long as you are enjoying yourself. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway, you can’t win! have a great Sunday!

 

Keeping it real in Manchester

The Earthly Comedy

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I thought I would break away from writing about dating and once again write about the absence of it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Recently I came across an Instagram account which was solely dedicated to celebration of being a single woman in her late 20s. It’s a satyrical mash of very tongue in cheek and sometimes crude and brutally honest memes, precisely depicting the grotesque reality of single girl’s life including such delightful routines as full body shave, staying in with your BFFs, celebrating phallic symbology, and of course – a great abundance of wine. Kind of what聽Bridget Jones was to women in 90s, howling to All By My Self in her pyjamas with a bottle of Shiraz on Saturday night.

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@daddyissues_

I got to thinking that may be people are taking relationships (or shall I say the absence of it) tad bit to seriously. Humour is much cheaper alternative to therapy and there is no better therapy than reversal therapy, which is why I could relate to this Instagram account. While Bridget Jones was educating women of the 90s that being a 30 year old ditzy woman who wears鈥mini skirts when they don鈥檛 have the legs for it鈥 (Kristin Scott Thomas)聽is OK, it took the pressure off the pursuit of perfection, we are only humans and聽effectively it made us laugh, even though, it was a laugh through the tears. If you do it long enough, it can become a very valuable life mantra. The only way to stop oneself from wallowing and dying of a chronically broken heart is to laugh at it. Wouldn’t you agree? Not that I spend my days obsessing about being single, but I recognise the blunt fact that聽sometimes it makes more sense to be in a couple, both emotionally and financially, when you are in your 30s. It also means you can get laid on a regular basis at the very least.

It isn’t the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh – I really think that requires spirit.
It’s the kind of character that I am going to develop. I am going to pretend that all life is just a game which I must play as skillfully and fairly as I can. If I lose, I am going to shrug my shoulders and laugh – also if I win.鈥
鈥 Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs

What is even more important, the number of people who can relate this this mantra. With solid 3 million followers on Instagram, laughing at yourself pays good cash. Bachelorettes are the new generation of women who fully embrace their sexuality and freedom to make bad decisions without the fear of being accused of unlady like behaviour, 聽however sometimes, I think, it projects an unhealthy message. Being a bachelorette in film and media is all about embracing male traits such as excessive drinking, promiscuity, objectification of the opposite sex, public urination, and generally antisocial behaviour. In short, turning a desperate situation into hopeless. May be it’s funny but I struggle to grasp a connection between comedy and idiocy. Real bachelorette doesn’t need to deal with hollywood style hangovers, health issues and of course, lets not forget unplanned pregnancy. 聽I may be going back to my victorian school of good manners, but lets just say, keeping within limits is still a better judgement call. Laugh may not be panacea for a broken heart or loneliness, however, it can certainly take the pressure of being imperfect creatures we are.

The Earthly Comedy

Gone In 60 Seconds

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Back in January, I found myself sitting in the cafe in a vain hope to聽cure my hangover with a litre of coffee and medium sized bowl of French fries. I was traveling solo to Paris for my birthday again. It was rainy聽Sunday morning and nothing was wrong about it. This year I spent my birthday in a rented AirBnb apartment聽hugging a bottle of champagne and listening to chansons.聽Getting old is a聽traumatic experience and that’s precisely why I celebrated聽my last birthday as a 20 something by hiding from the world in the attic in Pigalle. I could, on the other hand, stay in London and get drunk in the bar but I’ve been doing it through out my early 20s. It got old, just as me.

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It wasn’t entirely my choice to spend my birthday solo in the foreign country. Sometimes the force of circumstance can make you reconsider your plans, especially when聽they clash with other peoples plans.One thing I learned to appreciate with age however is optimism. Instead of mourning the last year of my twenties, I chose to venture out on my own and see what surprises the universe will throw at me.聽Any thing could happen.聽Who knows, Paris is a city of love.

I was supposed to catch a train back to London the same night. I love Paris and leaving it feels like leaving a warm bed on cold Monday mornings, however I am always intrigued by a possibility of a random romantic rendez-vous with a destiny in a form of a handsome single guy. That serendipitous moment when you realise that your entire life could transform forever, simply because, you were at the right place at the right time for a change. Like on that one night when I met a finance guy on the train from Camden to Waterloo. We were both drunk and he offered me a french fry from the box he found on the seat next to me, it was hardly romantic, yet I appreciated the momentum and remained appreciative until聽he stood me up on the third date. My life didn’t transform, yet I had one less frog to kiss.

f52d897a60419fa2568432e0b5756368On my way back to London, against all odds, I聽learned that I was sat next to rather handsome guy in his early 30s. He was half french half English and residing between Paris and London. I had to pinch myself. The whole encounter was exciting. We developed fondness of each other within seconds. It was a match made in heaven. Ten minutes into the journey we found out we both like same books, unfulfilled love stories, existentialism and festivals. Twenty minutes into the journey, we were drinking champagne and toasting to my birthday.

The rest of the journey was filled with deep meaningful conversations. Instead of feeling like the first date it felt like we’ve known each other for years. All this time however, I had a nagging thought which sounded pretty standard –聽this all seems to good to be true.聽I tried really hard to shake it off. To be fair, it’s not that all women are crazy and paranoid, usually it’s symptomatic of their past dating experiences, not their personality. And while everyone around me is slowly transitioning into the coupled up life, I couldn’t help but hope that may be it’s my time, may be, for once I will be able to come to a party and stop being looked at like I ‘m after literally everyone’s boyfriends, because, apparently, so many single women are…..

So there it was. After 2 months of casual dating聽something happened. The romantic french guy I met on Eurostar disappeared into the ether. Of course, in my mind, there could be only two reasons – either he died or lost his phone. Neither of these聽theories聽proved to be true. He’s well and sound, still glued to his phone and I still got no validation聽explaining 2 weeks of silence. Naturally, it’s not the first time a guy pulls Houdini on me, I already know that any attempt to get any closure聽would be in vain.聽I 聽may never be able to explain such mercurial change of his heart, neither聽I know how to be聽noble or wise about it so I went ahead and wrote this whole experience off as cosmic聽fuck up. Moving on dot com.

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Note: A month later a doomed text message came though and against the general opinion it carried no sign of remorse, regret or explanation of the unprecedented absence, instead it carried a nonchalant tone and a candid invitation for “Netflix and chill” or to be even more precise “Mubi and chill” because he is a classy guy, just like his actions. Of course, being as classy as I am聽myself, 聽I used this god sent聽opportunity to invite him to piss off (in a much classier choice of words of course) and get my much needed closure, which in an ideal scenario would have followed by a hand gesture. Since emoticon version of the hand gesture wasn’t robust enough to my liking, I decided not to spoil my revenge fantasy and left it to his imagination. Also, against the popular opinion, I also decided not to follow up and left it for better of for worse. The shift in power itself聽was a validation worth thousand word anyway. I can now put this tragic story to bed and look forward to my next trip to Paris in May!聽

Gone In 60 Seconds

The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character

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Writing about dating when, in fact, you haven鈥檛 met anyone in a while can be a very tedious task. However, when you eventually meet somebody of interest, special attention must be paid. If you really like the person it鈥檚 even more exciting. If you know you like the person for all the wrong reasons, expect a blog post. Normally I would write about the negative aspect of the experience, i.e. bitter lessons, eye opening realizations and cautionary tale confirmations etc. This time it’s not an exception, even though I kind of wish it was.

THE EVENT

Couple of weekends ago my friend and I decided to take a time tunnel and treat ourselves to a night of classical salon performance and poetry. As it turned out, 19th century Parisian salon experience was just as dramatic as Hollyoaks. Despite the unusualness of the event, I was very touched by the beautiful classical piano pieces and delicateness of the violinist鈥檚 performance. Slowly my mind carried me into the time when sensuality was so delicately hidden, even an accidental touch of hand could send your heart racing through the roof.

THE POEM聽

Charles Baudelaire

The Vampire’s Metamorphoses

The woman meanwhile, twisting like a snake聽
On hot coals and kneading her breasts against the steel聽
Of her corset, from her mouth red as strawberries聽
Let flow these words impregnated with musk:
鈥 “I, I have moist lips, and I know the art聽
Of losing old Conscience in the depths of a bed.聽
I dry all tears on my triumphant breasts聽
And make old men laugh with the laughter of children.聽
I replace, for him who sees me nude, without veils,聽
The moon, the sun, the stars and the heavens!聽
I am, my dear scholar, so learned in pleasure聽
That when I smother a man in my fearful arms,聽
Or when, timid and licentious, frail and robust,聽
I yield my bosom to biting kisses聽
On those two soft cushions which swoon with emotion,聽
The powerless angels would damn themselves for me!”

When she had sucked out all the marrow from my bones聽
And I languidly turned toward her聽
To give back an amorous kiss, I saw no more聽
Than a wine-skin with gluey sides, all full of pus!聽
Frozen with terror, I closed both my eyes,聽
And when I opened them to the bright light,聽
At my side, instead of the robust manikin聽
Who seemed to have laid in a store of blood,聽
There quivered confusedly a heap of old bones,聽
Which of themselves gave forth the cry of a weather-cock聽
Or of a sign on the end of an iron rod聽
That the wind swings to and fro on a winter night.

鈥 William Aggeler,聽The Flowers of Evil聽(Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

THE HEART

In the middle of the show, I spied with my little eye, a very handsome chevalier impersonating my every fantasy: good manners, eloquent speech, period dressing and ability to recite Baudelaire. Of course,聽I was well aware I am lusting after a fictional character, yet, I couldn鈥檛 help but gasping for air under my imaginary corset. Long after he finished his poem reading, I came to my senses and realized the only rational thing to do was to leave the venue before I was unwillingly and against my better judgement drawn into a conversation with Mr. Rake. But of course, leaving the party early is not my style so I went out on a limb, looking for trouble.

THE RAKE

The Rake is an expert of seducing. For anyone interested, The Rake comes from a book by Robert Greene, called聽The Art Of Seduction. He loves the idea of the women, he鈥檚 extremely charming, he has a 鈥渄evil may care鈥 attitude towards life, he never apologises, and is extremely persistent. To put the rake in the modern world contexts means to depict a male which every woman fantasizes about and fears with the same intensity. Mr. Rake is聽a prevalent breed of men who identify themselves as the modern age romantic martyrs looking for love which they are unable to sustain because their life is too tragic to share it with another human being. This explained my overpowering gravitational pull towards this guy. On some subconscious level I picked up a rampant vibe 聽of unavailability and all he had to do was to give me couple of dirty looks before I let my imagination floating light years away.

THE DATE

I was excited and infuriated at the same time. Despite my very modern and mature attitude towards dating and partner selection, I was still drawn by the allure of the romanticism of the 19th century. I am hopeless romantic. After being the only single cat amongst coupled up pigeons for literally 聽years , I decided it would be a great idea to be seduced by Mr. Rake, have few glasses of wine, get to know this flamboyant character, and have a snog if the date doesn’t go too terribly. Of course I went on a date with him. To my surprise, my Shakespearean Romeo wasn鈥檛 delicate in displaying affection, soon enough he moved on from serenading to whispering sexual innuendos with a subtle hint of upgrading this date to a more intimate level. Speaking of dangerous liaisons. Under normal circumstances I would suggest of his inappropriateness and cut the date short, but provided my circumstances, I brushed it off as part of his character. The things good looking men get away with right? 聽After few glasses of wine who the hell cares anymore, the Rake, Shakespeare, Mr. Darcy 鈥 the man can recite Baudelaire. Fourth hundredth time lucky…

THE OUTCOME

Unfavourable. After 3 weeks of intensely fulfilling conversations on the Facebook, without even the hint of meeting again,聽I recognised myself as a victim of my self fulfilling prophecy. To my surprise, I wasn’t surprised. I made two errors in judgement. First of them was thinking that getting involved with a jobless actor who lives with his mother was actually a good idea, second, giving him proverbial space to avoid being labeled as needy. Anyone who is rational enough would say that 3 weeks of space giving is like trying to order a drink after the last order which was half an hour ago. I would say, it’s symptomatic of my disastrous dating experience as well as my infantile romanticism which evidently in the 21st century is just as good as writing a letter to Santa. I was put off classical music and victorian poetry for next couple of months.聽I recovered from it swiftly, thankfully, without any significant bruises to my ego. Next time I see a handsome actor wearing a waistcoat and a shirt with a high stiff collar reciting Baudelaire, I’ll know what to do.

 

 

 

The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character