A Love Story: Are You Being Served?

As I’ve mentioned before, growing up our household relied on antenna television. When my school friends were talking about All That and Are You Afraid of the Dark I was thinking about Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances and (recently) Fawlty Towers (to be discussed at a later date!). PBS was the one channel I was thankful for, because when The Simpsons wasn’t on I was relieved to know I could turn to channel 34 for travel, food, and history at any time of the day.

Are You Being Served? was a staple in our household. The raunchy British humor was easy for us. The show ran for a saucy 13 years from 1972-1985. I wasn’t born until ’86, but I never realized I was watching re-runs of a Brit comedy. The humor seemed fresh and edgy to me.

(In case you don’t know) The show was about a fictional store, Grace Brothers, and the sales associates that worked there.

Mrs. Slocombe’s “pussy” jokes not only made us giggle, but it provided downright inappropriate lines to repeat.

Mrs. Slocombe

Mrs. Slocombe

Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy

As a small child I idolized Mrs. Slocombe. Her love of cats, her colorful personality (and literally her hair), her career as a sales associate, and of course the fashion. I wanted to be just like Mrs. Slocombe, and now that I look back I realize wanting to be an old woman is a little strange for a child.

Mr. Humphries

Mr. Humphries’s Gay Moments

Mr. Humphries was the gayest man on television that I can recall, for not being outspokenly gay. Sure there were signs, innuendos, and cheekiness, but I don’t recall any episode outrightly mentioning him being gay. Mr. Humphries was the gay friend I always wanted. He was fashion-forward, hilarious, and oh that smile!

Miss. Brahms

The beautiful, cockney-accented Miss. Brahms. She was young, beautiful, and very sarcastic. Just as I thought Ms. Yvonne from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was gorgeous, I thought Miss. Brahms was a vision of beauty.

Captain Peacock

The Grace Brothers department store was managed by Mr. Peacock, his role was the quintessential curmudgeon who never laughed at the antics of his employees. I had a strong love/hate relationship with Captain Peacock, mostly because I hated the bags under his eyes.

Mr. Lucas

Mr. Lucas was a womanizer, a playboy, a major HOTTIE! Arguably the original The Office’s “Jim” of his time, playing the role of the handsome, funny, prankster guy. Sure, he wasn’t loved by his workers, but he was loved by 8-year-old me.

There are notably other characters that made this show wonderful, but the ones I listed meant the most to me. I still find myself tuning into Are You Being Served? and laughing at the silly jokes. For an affordable $67.99 I could make the series mine.

How about you? Did you LOVE or HATE Are You Being Served?

Firsts: Drugs and Felons

I was a good kid growing up. I didn’t want to do anything which I couldn’t brag about to my parents. That meant no drinking, random sex, drugs, hoodlum friends, or staying out late. I went to parties my friends had, involving copious amounts of Faygo pop and cheese balls. I never complained. The life-in-the-fast-lane teenager years never enticed me.

In my young adult life I decided I would try things to be certain I never wanted to do them. I tried pot on three occasions, all of which left me feeling unsatisfied. I thought to myself “Why the hell do people do this? I don’t feel anything. God, I love Doritos.” My third and final time came in the form of cookies. A perfectly fine cookie was ruined with the skunk-like taste. I decided that would be my last adventure with “drugs.” I don’t need to try cocaine to know I’m not going to like it.

The pot cookies I tried didn't look half this good.

What about dating? Now I know dating doesn’t always have to turn out badly. Plenty of my friends are tied down to really terrific people, who I am really happy for. But in my case dating has ALWAYS turned out badly. How do people (my friends) meet such great people, people who want to take them out on dates and stay in a committed relationship with them? How does this happen? I dated a real winner for two years, who took me out probably 4 times. He was an asshole with a very shady criminal past. I was intrigued someone who experienced life to the fullest (breaking laws- SEXY!) wanted anything to do with me. I developed a crush on the guy, which then took a hold of my critical thinking skills. I didn’t think about the repercussions of dating a capital L loser. Listen up ladies: If you date a felon then you have to get home before 10 p.m., you can’t drink, AND you have to swallow your dignity. It is NOT worth it. I thought I loved the bastard. LOVED. What the hell was I thinking? About a year in of saying I love you I got a call from Mr. Lawbreaker himself telling me he cheated on me. I cried. A lot. I couldn’t understand what I could have done to ruin the “perfect” relationship.

About a week of feeling depressed I got another call from Mr. Lawbreaker asking to see me. I strongly advise all women to turn down a proposal to meet up from an ex. They want sex. And only sex. I went over with the idea he was going to beg me to give him a second chance. Nope. That didn’t happen at all. The scumbag wanted to try being friends with benefits. He pointed out that clearly we were no good in a relationship but the sex was always great. (The sex was TERRIBLE.)  How can a hurt and vulnerable girl argue with logic like that? Slowly I slipped under his spell of sweet nothings being whispered in my ear. I took him back, which meant sneaking around for a couple months. I’m going to a friends house really meant I’m going to my ex’s place to play the game “Fuck with Jayne’s emotions.” We continued living in limbo for another YEAR. I have no one to blame but myself. For awhile I thought about what could have been, what could I have done differently? DO NOT play those mind games with yourself. I made a bad decision and nothing else. On my first date with Mr. Lawbreaker (which I PAID FOR!!!) he told me he was a “life ruiner.” I should have taken those first-date words as a sign to run, but I didn’t. I thought I could change him… I couldn’t.

I know this is a common theme women are guilty of doing, thinking they can change men. It can’t be done. Sure, you can convince a dude to style his hair differently, wear cardigans, and bath on a regular basis. But you cannot change his person. Guys will honestly tell women who they are, whether it is a “bad guy” or “not reliable.” As a woman I can say in confidence women will choose not to hear these things. Or we think “Oh, he’s just being hard on himself.” A man will lay down the law on what he is, wants, and is willing to do.

I do have hope to someday be in a functional relationship, one where the man is excited to see me. Until then…

A Review: I Don’t Care About Your Band

About a month ago I went out to dinner with my number one gal pal Kerry. I needed a friend to confide in about a situation I got myself into; I found myself suddenly taking on the role of a “friend with benefits” with a new friend. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about this new role so I needed my girl to talk me down off a ledge. The ledge being my leap from dignity. I asked questions such as:

“Am I making a huge mistake?”

“Can two people really be friends with benefits, without one getting hurt?”

“Do you think this is something I am capable of doing?”

“Are you judging me?”

Kerry offered me great insight on the situation. I felt relieved she didn’t think less of me, and she actually made me laugh about my panic. If there is ever one friend I need in a panicked-like situation it’s Kerry. She has the ability to make even my most heinous moments seem silly after discussion, which for that I am grateful.

I often get wrapped up in my little world, over analyzing each detail, worrying about what I must seem like from the outside.

After much discussion of “what ifs” with Kerry she made a recommendation of a book I should read. I had no idea how much this book would mean to me until I finished. The book: I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner.

I Don't Care about Your Band- Julie Klausner

Kerry has never steered me wrong when it has come to books, her talent of knowing exactly what I will like still amazes me after 8 years.

Like Klausner, my dating life has been a mismatch of losers, making my want to find love grow stronger after each mistake. Klausner’s book was not an advice column or a self-help book for dating. Her book was, for me, a great pool of laughs and comfort. I found comfort in knowing there is someone else out there that suffered through bad sex, bad dates, and bad guys in general, too. Take for example this quote that actually led to me putting the book down in disbelief on how similar we are.

“There are ladies who hook up instead of date because those are the crumbs to feast on when they are starving. Women who feel awful because they knew a guy was bad news, but got involved anyway, then got attached, and now they feel terrible not just because biology kicked in– “I had an orgasm and I like him now!”– but because they feel bad for feeling bad. Like it wasn’t enough just to feel bad because he didn’t call you after his dick was inside you. Now you have to feel bad because you’re not allowed to feel bad.”

Amen sister! I am feasting on crumbs because I crave attention and intimacy. I feel bad for feeling bad for the situation I have gotten myself into, knowing very well what the situation was/is.

“You stop confiding in people when they ask why you’re upset, because you don’t want to enter a debate on a side you can’t defend. You feel like you were wrong taking a chance on a guy you should’ve known couldn’t give you what you wanted, and in a way, you feel you deserved what you got.”

When I first started getting together with my friend he clearly stated what the situation was. Friends only. Nothing more. Nothing less. Well I thought that was something I could handle so I got involved. Now I am getting what I deserve.

“You didn’t follow the rules and you failed to act like a hooker who just shrugs and moves on to the next conquest, like those are the only two things a girl can do.”

No, I’m not a hooker. I do not receive pay for services rendered, nor do I get treated to lavish dinners and spontaneous friendly phone calls. That is not the situation. Mine is tricky, where trying to be devoid of any emotion is making looking in the mirror every day difficult. I deserve so much more, but I should be able to shrug is off, right?

Klausner writes chapter after chapter of the men she has been sexually or emotionally involved with. Each story is funnier than the last, and sometimes confusing and heart breaking. I provided you with only a sample of what Klausner addressed in her book. I HIGHLY recommend the book to any woman who has had a tragic dating experience, needs a good laugh, and doesn’t want to feel alone. After reading I Don’t Care About Your Band I found solace in knowing I am not alone.

Oh, in case you were wondering, will I continue to see my friend? Yes. At this point the experience is providing me with terrific commentary.

Piercing the Darkness: Leave a Note

Today I took part in something that gave me instant gratification even though I will never see the end result.

Facebook is a big part of my life. Most people aren’t willing to admit a social network is a “big part” of their life. Sure, they may pretend they are only part of the network to keep in contact with friends and family. Who are those people kidding? We use Facebook to stalk and brag. I am not above the creepiness of Facebook. I check out the people I went to high school with, AND I brag about not  being pregnant/married/living in the town we grew up in. I am convinced there was something in the water that my graduating class drank; everyone is either married, pregnant, or has kids. Good for them? I don’t share similar interests with the people I once considered a good choice for my Red Rover team.

Sometimes Facebook events mean something to me. You know the groups. The ones that have over 50,000 attendees, such as the Post Rapture Looting event, which I was wildly proud to be a part of. I don’t know who starts these events but if the mood strikes me then I will join. Why not? I strongly believe some folks take the purpose of Facebook too seriously. Well, a few weeks ago a friend sent me an event request titled Piercing the Darkness: Leave a Note. At the time I was in a dark place. I was making foolish decisions, behaving like a child. The Facebook group struck a chord with me and I joined. January 17th rolled around and I honestly completely forgot about the group. It wasn’t until 8 p.m. did I realize I had some unfinished business. I grabbed some of my favorite paper and wrote a note of love and encouragement to leave in a stairwell for a complete stranger who may just really need it. I folded the note in four, opened the stairwell door in my apartment building, and threw it down the flight of stairs. As I watched the note fall I imagined the difference I may have just made in someones life.

My message read: “You are a wonderful human being. Continue to be a very special person.”

When I leave to go back home to my parents tomorrow I will take the elevator instead of the stairs. Sometimes not knowing is better.

Introduction!

As a child I was nervous for the first day of school for several reasons.

  1. I would miss my mom too much
  2. School lunches are gross
  3. MATH!
  4. My new shoes hurt my feet
  5. INTRODUCTIONS.

I fully understand the purpose of first-day introductions, but once I reached college I was TIRED of saying my name, major, fun fact, and hobbies. Does the jock in back corner really care I am a communication major, enjoys watching Meet Me in St. Louis, and has three cats? No. The answer is no. He doesn’t. At all. Do the two roommates who joined the class together, later resenting each other, care that I love winter and broke my leg when I was two. Not at all. But the professor beams in delight for coming up with a completely unique exercise of “Make the students feel inadequate for NOT seeing Snooki in a bar over the summer: TOP THAT!” I dreaded the first day of class in college. The introduction exercises became increasingly worse towards the end considering I knew everyone in the major at that point.

Now that I am graduated from college you would think I would despise introductions. ‘Fraid not. How else am I supposed to tell you, a brand new “class”, about who I am?

*stands up and clears throat*

My name is Jayne. I graduated with my bachelors in Communication in December. I have three cats that live with my folks. I come from a family of a mom and dad, three brothers, and a sister. My middle-class upbringing has made me a well-rounded individual. BULL. I have a skewed opinion on life, which makes for good commentary. If I were well-rounded then this blog would be titled “She’s got a good sense of what life is about.” I have no idea what life is about. I’m learning, okay?

Maybe you are wondering where the title of my blog came from. Or maybe you figured it out. Dreams In Which is the first three words of one of my favorite lines in a song sung by Gary Jules, originally Tears for Fears, Mad World. “Dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” Pretty morbid. But I promise the song is so much worse. It’s incredibly sad but beautifully real.

In retrospect I hope this blog provided fun commentary on life. Maybe I will post pictures of my cats. Maybe I will post about a dream I had. Maybe I will talk about a movie or book. Hell, maybe my dating life will come into the mix. This is a blog of random and I can’t wait to get started. I hope you stick around.