Come Winter

I've come to anticipate many things over winter months; bad weather, stodgy food, hibernation, Christmas (obviously) and men. Yes, men. Every year I smugly prepare myself for the barrage of phone calls from old flames and past conquests creeping out of the woodwork, not to mention the sporadic appearances of 'ex texts', most specifically ones that are so arrogantly blasé. I'm sure many girls will know what I'm on about here when I use the word desperate. A last ditch message from an ex-lover that looks as if it's a round robin, sent to his whole phone book. I recently received a text from a random number (I'll call him Mr. X) saying:

             "One of my new year's resolutions is to finish off what we about it? ; )" 

After ignoring it for days, I received a follow up message saying:

             "Soooo...can I get an encore, do ya want more?! ; )"

Speechless. I'd previously wiped this man's name and number from my phone book, evidently for good reason if he's coming out with lines like that. Just because it's a new year, a fresh start and it's chilly outside you want me to come round and 'warm you up' because you're bored, cold and lonely? Perhaps for many men it's the familiarity, the security of knowing that in fact some girls would succumb to their offensively brazen, desultory requests. Alternatively, maybe it's just plain disrespect and laziness; reluctant to put effort into cultivating a sexual bond with a new lover, men would rather take their chances with an old admirer whose sexual preferences they know inside out. Don't get me wrong,  some men get into contact with an ex for genuine reasons, earnestly proclaiming they've been a fool, realised the error of their ways, and found there's no other girl out there for them, they just needed the space to see it. Call me acerbic but that kind of sincerity doesn't cut it either; any man that dumps a girl to only realise how much he misses her is a ponse. I'd rather be with a guy who knows he's lucky to have me the first time round...not the second and not like Mr. X.

Gladly, it seems my opinion is shared by other women. Over a catch up with my best friend last week, she mentioned that she was horrified by a message from a past fling who had contacted her after months of avoidance.

             "Hey hun, fancy coming round mine later? You can stay over if you want... ; ) x "

Let me clarify, he hadn't talked to her for months, ignored her after they'd split and had previously made every effort to cut her out his life. His first words should have been "sorry for being a dick" or at the very least "how are you?" but alas, this man lacked any morals or self-respect. Honestly, you just have to laugh at some of the ludicrous attempts to re-kindle love *ahem* sex, but saying that, it's also highly insulting. Why? Contacting us on a whim with a cockily hopeful sexual invitation, men either expect women to respond with a desperately resounding "YES!", or they assume that the woman in question hasn't moved on and is sitting at home a la Bridget Jones. Wrong assumption; big mistake.

The solidifying factor that makes me believe such attempts are insincere is the reoccurring pattern. Every winter, every Christmas, every new year, every time it's cold outside- *kaboom!* 'surprise' contact. Messages that are so transparent, they may as well read:

"Hey you, I'm bored, cold, lonely, lazy and after some sex with someone familiar. I have no respect for you, so I thought I'd go ahead and ask."

I'd almost prefer the honesty; at least I know what I'm dealing with. A prick.

Ladies, if you're wondering whether his attempts to contact you again are genuine and you're tempted to re-cycle your men to keep your loins warm during the winter months, ask yourself this question: Come summer will you be hearing from him, or will his commitment towards you vanish like Harry Houdini and be replaced with an insatiable lust for clubbing, debauchery and multiple women? Just look for the pattern and use your common sense.

New Year's Resolutions

I hate to be pessimistic (especially as this is my first post of the new year) but call me a pragmatist. Who, if anyone has ever successfully stuck to their new year's resolutions (NYR's) or has not given up on them? Let me paint a real picture; it's January the 1st and everyone starts the year positive, hoping the year will be better than the last. A clean slate, a fresh start, but what's actually changed except the date? Clean slate? Fresh start, eh? It's your life! It's continual, it's linear, you're not a blackboard, your previous experiences are not chalk and your hopeful reformations do not represent a board-wiper. You can't wipe out your past, rectify the present and manipulate the future, so why do people (myself included) insist on attempting huge changes to their lifestyle or relationships due to the importance of a certain date? Why wait until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to reform your old bad habits?

Let's take quitting smoking for example. Surely if you wanted to quit that desperately you'd wake up on any given day and slap your nicotine patch on; there's no time like the present, no delay. Does the date (1st January) offer us the psychological security that we will succeed? Who says an individual only has the willpower to quit on a particular day?

Over the years my NYR's have become less fanciful and more realistic. If you'd of asked me what my resolutions were 3-5 years ago I would've relayed a long list of multiple improvements; quit smoking, stop drinking, get along with my mother (like that will ever happen). Now, a little older, a little wiser and a tad more stoic, I've downsized the mammoth, near-impossible tasks of the past and have resigned myself  to rectifying minor changes in my lifestyle and personality. My 2012 NYR's: 1. Go out clubbing more. 2. Be more patient and accommodating. To learn patience is a tough enough challenge for me to propitiously master without bearing the burden of another task. I really don't need to dwell on my ever-expanding 'to-do' list of personal adjustments and get myself into a mental fracas over everything negative in my life; one step at a time.

But some people don't like  'one step at a time'. Some people believe multi-tasking is the way forward and what better way to do that then through their NYR's. Earlier this week after arriving at the gym for my usual frantic, post-Christmas workout I was astounded to find just how packed it was; full of over-weight, slovenly hopefuls with good intentions to lose weight. It always interests me to see people's dedication and persistence in dropping pounds...or to see how fast they quit. Ah- my extraneous views! Anyway, at the gym I came across one man in particular whose NYR's were astronomically diverse, evidently suffering from the classic case of wanting to do everything at once. Engaging in a brief conversation he proudly told me (half way through his 5kg set of reps) that his NYR's were to lose 21 pounds, stop smoking, cut down on drinking and become a chef. A chef. That's after he told me he'd previously gone from being a general practician to a policeman. Talk about taking on the world; obviously this man doesn't believe in baby steps. Although I remained perplexed, all sincere credit to him for trying because I would never now entertain the thought of making such instantly drastic changes.

And to a lesser degree, the mentality behind this man's desire to change immediately is an example of the reasoning behind a typically impatient person; to prove that you can succeed in whatever you do against all odds. Upon asking one of my male friends what his NYR was earlier this week, he flagrantly replied "to keep my todger in my pants". I could only muster a disbelieving laugh because sadly (and correctly) I had little faith in his proposal. My accuracy was brought to light on the 5th of January when he messaged to tell me "Oops..looks like I just broke my NYR already." Sad to say I told you so. He'd set himself  a task too prodigious for his character and had no real regret about his lack of effort.

And this is precisely my issue: if people are able to break their NYR's so easily because  they don't take them seriously, then why place such a high emphasis on creating them year in year out? Surely if  you intrinsically believe you do not have the willpower to succeed in making changes then why bother? I'm not saying that people shouldn't look for self-improvement but perhaps make one or two small changes, keep at them and take them seriously instead of concocting ludicrously major alterations which they don't really care to stick to. It defeats the point of a NYR.