This time last year it’s not unreasonable to say the life I was living was pretty bloody stark. Devoid of any real purpose, I was bouncing from day to day, feeling like nobody understood me. That I was a misnomer. Lonely and stuck out in suburbia, my only real portal to the outside world was Facebook and that…well, in retrospect, that only really made things worse. Inane statuses updating me on an hourly basis about the bowel movements of the kid of this girl I used to sit next to in double maths (all of which were punctuated with a smiley-face emoticon (nobody get me started on emoticons )); LOLs for things that so did not deserve LOLs; photo after photo of an old media friend who’s now living the high life in Sydney, sipping mojitos with his unfeasibly HOT boyfriend and going to showbiz parties with Kylie – none of these things were good for any mind, especially one that had been left a bit fucked-over by no sleep, too much gin and a lingering concern over dicky pelvic floor muscles. I felt like an outsider. From posts about potty training; to wanky thumbs-up ‘likes’ for things that were neither funny nor interesting; to someone else’s carefree Antipodean lifestyle that only served to highlight how shit my existence of kettle descaling, arse wiping and Dairylea dunking was – this time last year, it’s fair to say, Facebook was bringing me down.
But then, out of the murky depths of despair shone a light. A glimmer of hope that slowly started to talk me round to thinking that maybe my anxieties about being different were unwarranted. That perhaps, just perhaps, an irrepressible potty-mouth, obsession with M&S cocktails in cans and, yes yes, a somewhat inappropriate fantasy about me and the boys from The Wanted AND One Direction stuck in a cable car over the Swiss Alps with only a Toblerone, bottle of brandy, and LOVE to keep us warm, were not solely exclusive to me.
That light, you good, good people of the internet, was Twitter.
Twitter. Gorgeous bloody Twitter. Having been dragged into a mad-ass suburban world with a vernacular peppered with phrases like ‘Pilates apparatus’, ‘engineered wood flooring’ and ‘charity barn dance’, Twitter was like a breath of fresh, sweary air. If the world of social networks was high school (go with me on this one) then Facebook was the goodie goodie superswot and Twitter was my fifth-form mate Erin Wilson. Erin Wilson snogged boys in the playground, had a ‘Set U Free’ tattoo as a tribute to the N-Trance song of the very same name and introduced me to the wonders of Sun-In and Silk Cut. Me being the girl who’d never put a foot wrong her whole school life, Erin Wilson was the much-needed naughty-but-nice in my life. She was the person who showed me that not everything had to be perfect and smell of fucking roses.
Fast forward ten years* and what Erin Wilson did for me then is exactly what the awesome people of Twitter do for me now. Twitter reassures me that not only is the way I think ok, it’s actually quite normal. Yes I swear. Yes, pretty much every Friday, from around 11am, I obsess over which Marks and Sparks ready-mixed tin of booze I’ll be buying for the train that evening. And no, I don’t have to talk with the twee kind of whimsy that some people think a woman in her mid-thirties with two kids, a Skoda estate and subscription to Good Food magazine should. All of the above? Perfectly acceptable. Because, you know what, girls are normal, and they’re bold and just because some out there obsess over the Boden catalogue as though it’s some kind of smiley-smiley, robo-woman guide to how ladies should dress (in pastel stripes. Vertical, obvs), behave (always laughing. At something in the distance, preferably) and live (in a beach hut), Twitter has shown me that it’s them who are in the minority. Real women do not fucking think like that. Real women swear, and find boys a decade younger than them fit. Real women are FUNNY. Now let me show you why…
About a week ago, following a drink with a friend, I tweeted this:
The response was a whole world of AWESOME. Replies that not only brought a smile to my tired little face, they actually made me laugh. As in proper LOLZ. And right now, here for you, are the highlights. For blogging purposes, I’ve tried to categorise them into The Food, The Med** and The Ugly***. Bitches, let’s DO THIS.
Don’t get me wrong, I like food. I love food. In the right circumstances, I’m like some kind of record-breaking, speed eater. Chuck a cheese counter my way and I’ll show you something quite, quite special. However, food in exchange for having just expelled an entire person from your muff? No, men, NO:
These responses fall largely into the category of ‘ways having a baby screws with your body’. Some are physical, some are emotional, all are way less fun than a Porsche. Broken biffs, colostomy bags and shattered dreams…sounds like the title of a Mike Leigh film, doesn’t it?
For ugly, read: ‘rubbish’. Really rubbish. And actually quite ungrateful: Hello darling. You didn’t get drunk for 9 months. In fact, you drove me around for 9 months while I got drunk. You developed cankles. You cried because your wedding ring got stuck on your water-retentive fingers. You committed numerous selfless acts to procreate a little piece of me, and for that I am truly grateful…now here, have this shit ‘gift’.
The following ladies? I implore you to siphon off some hard cash from your joint bank account, bob down to Selfridges and piss it up the wall on selfish tat purely for you. Go. GO!
So there you go. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is not some snooty rule book or smug ‘how to’ guide to life. It’s a conversation. A confession. A little reassuring, non-judgmental, honest bunch of people saying ‘we’re in the same boat too’. Right now, hanging out in my laptop or kicking back in my mobile, are my kind of people. I’m sorry it took so long, but I found you in the end.
*ok. Twenty. TWENTY. Yeesh, what are you, my birth certificate?
*** I know, it’s a terrible pun. Big sozzes for that.