Happy as Larry – and Lonely as Hell. But That’s Okay! Okay??

Being Single Is Great – But There’s A Lonely Price

Single? Happy? Despite your awesome life, do you get lonely? Have you answered yes to all 3?

COME SIT BY ME. puts kettle on

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Ask J-Ro: A Nuptial No-No

I am head over heels about this guy and he is mad about me too, but he’s married!! What do I do, am I mad to pursue it?

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pic by Ken Coleman

You’re not mad, but you will be very, very unhappy. No good will come of this. But you’re smart, you don’t need anyone to tell you it’s not a good idea to hook up with a married man. So let’s step away from the moral quandary for a minute and look at the practical aspects.

Brutal truth: If he was as mad about you as he says, he would not be with his wife. Or at the very least he would be a stand-up man and not let anything happen with you until he has been honest with his wife (and kids if he has any) and started making arrangements to separate and sort out places to live, financial arrangements, custody agreements if needed, and a million other heartbreaking world-shattering things he would have to do out of respect for everybody involved, including you. Is he willing to do that? Because that’s what it would take for you guys as a couple to have any kind of chance out in the open.

Next thing you need to ask yourself: Is his time more valuable than yours? Because if you guys DO go down the road of getting involved while he’s still married, then the answer to that question is going to be yes, unfortunately. You’re the one who’ll be second fiddle to everything organised, lest his plans are uncovered and you both get found out. Fuck that. You’re NOBODY’S lesser priority.

Ultimately you want someone in your life with integrity, and who puts you first. You’re not just a distraction for a man looking to alleviate some boredom in a marriage that, let’s face it, could be getting a lot more attention on his part and thus be far more rewarding.

Nothing wrong with thinking a married friend is hot, and there may even be a bit of chemistry, but write it off as human & evolutionary responses and look forward to the real thing that isn’t hindered by life-long vows of faithfulness to someone else 🙂

PS: If they did it WITH you, they’ll do it TO you. You’ll never have a moment’s peace or trust ever again. Not worth it really is it?

Lastly; what would you tell a friend who came to you with this?

BEST OF LUCK! <3

Ask J-Ro: When To Quit

Hi Jen! I was just wondering is there a limit to how many times one can ask the same boy out and get rejected each time? I have asked the same boy for caffeine or alcohol based beverages three times and each time he has essentially declined. From a fellow height challenged beour. XXX

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pic by Ken Coleman

Hello Fellow Petite! This one hits fairly close to home, so this advice is as much for me as it is for you, so we’re in this together. I’m going to be brutally honest here – stop in the name of sanity. Once was enough. I speak as someone who has been there, done that, and ruined the friendship. You’re verging into self-harm territory if you go back there again.

If you think he’s giving you signals that he wants more, he’s more than likely just enjoying the flirty banter with someone safe; and who is safer to flirt with than somebody who has asked you out? Doesn’t mean it’s right though, but it does happen. Ego is a bit of a bastard really.

On the plus side, after three times getting flat-out rejected, you now know there is nothing you can possibly do to make him like you that way. So let that lighten the load. He’s just a guy. A nice guy, I’m sure…but just a guy. You got on in the world fabulously before you ever knew he existed, and you’ll live a fantastic life from now on after knowing him too.

Make some headspace for someone to try asking YOU out. You’ve done your bit for forward-thinking women and equality in the dating world by now. Let the fellas shit themselves for once. The ones who DO fancy you will get shit done!

Best of Luck! I’m off to get this entire message tattooed on my own forehead… 🙂

Trigger Warning: My Opinion on Why We Still Need Feminism In The West

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Look, I’m a humour-based writer by trade and by choice (At least I hope people find humour in most of it) but there are some things that never fail to make my soul burn with rage, like people who think feminism is not really needed in the West as much any more. OH PLEASE. All you need to do is follow the likes of @EverydaySexism to see we still have a long way to go.

But here’s a bit of a story from me. I’ve many more, but this one sticks in my mind above all else.

In addition to writing, I’m also a singer/songwriter who’s travelled around Europe and gigged a lot. When I’m not threatened with rape because I reject some gobshite’s advances IN THE MIDDLE OF ME SINGING A SONG (i.e doing my fucking job) in a Greek bar while the bar manager looks over and shrugs his shoulders and leaves me to defend myself (I’m 4ft 9), THEN maybe I’ll start to believe more in the changing global attitudes towards women.

This was in Europe guys, and not a million years ago either (Summer of ’99). I was lucky enough to be playing with a friend (also female) to a lovely mannerly bunch of Marines, who stepped up when I started screaming like a premenstrual banshee at the man who threatened and intimidated me, and threw that fuckmuppet out of the pub.

I just wanted to sing and entertain with my friend who was my music partner and my best friend, and we always felt safer gigging together. All I got in return from a punter was a lot of inappropriate touching. For a finish, after repeatedly telling him to either stop or ‘fuck the fuck off’ (I AM from Limerick after all), I then received a whispered genuine threat of sexual assault in my ear as I was singing a song.

The bar manager’s response? Get him more drink, it’ll calm him down. (In an unusual move, it didn’t.) A bunch of Marines who didn’t like would-be rapists brought him outside, along with a few well-placed kicks, which eventually calmed him down and did the job instead. God bless the Marines.

Nowadays, I gig in Ireland all the time, where it’s safer and the majority of men are gents. I play alone and have never felt safer. There’s a community of musicians that mind each other like family, and the bars are some of the safest and most fun places to be. I love gigging in Limerick. But if anyone goes on about feminism in a sneery way; like we don’t need some sort of consciousness to be raised in this side of the world, it just makes me sad. They’ve no fucking idea.

You don’t need live in the Middle East or Darkest Africa to experience fear just because of your gender. As long as there is some sort of mistreatment of somebody simply based on the fact that they’re a woman, I’m going to call myself a feminist, because that stuff is something I’m not okay with.

I’m also very lucky to know a lot of men around me who consider themselves feminists too. You’re all fantastic men, and I wish more would join your ranks and stop subscribing the old adage that being a feminist means hating men. How is that helpful in the move towards wanting respect for all human beings regardless of ANY difference between us??

Let’s take back the word Feminism and equate it with the words Equality and Love, and there you have it. A movement every decent human being can get behind.

That’s my two cents anyway.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

#yestoallwomen #YesToEquality #YesToUnity #YesToLove #MenAreFeministsTooYouKnow #MarinesRule

When Great Trees Fall

In the six months that have passed since my mom left this world, I’ve experienced some of the most drastic changes in my own life that I’ve ever witnessed, not least because I lived with her for six years beforehand. Once the rug is pulled from under you in every way, you realise you’re on your own. Your one true anchor in this world has cast off, and your only options are to sink or swim and find ways to cope and survive. You pick yourself up and try to move forward with this great big gaping hole in your chest that threatens to suffocate you and make you feel like you’ll never know happiness in any form ever again. But you have no choice, you’re still here. Wherever she is, she’s okay now. I’m left here without her, trying to make sense of this whole new dimension where part of me is forever absent, and a blank page entitled ‘Jen’s Life’ that I’m expected to fill in without her helping me or nagging me to get going.

So onwards I go, head up, marching on, saying yes to new things and really starting to enjoy the future I appear to be carving out for myself. Most nights while I’m sleeping, she pops in for a visit. She’s standing there, exactly as I knew her; she’s smiling, giving out to me and nagging me the way she used to, demanding ice-cream because I had eaten some that day and thought ‘Mam would have LOVED some of this.’ She can hear me, her deafness is gone, and we have great chats about what in the name of God I’m up to THIS week. At one point I was getting married (only in the dream, I can assure you) and I was standing there on the morning of it dressed in my gown and all that jazz. She stood there in front of the mirror with me and said “It’s not you, though, is it?” and I said “No, you’re right. I don’t want this at all.” Her reply was vintage Mammy Ronan. “Well, you know what to do then. Go make the calls.” Which I did. Metaphorically and physically. Life kicked off in many weird and wonderful ways after that. I had made a promise to her the night before we buried her, (well, one of many promises, but they’re between me and her) and it was that I would do my best to live an awesome happy life, and embrace any chances that came along which would make me happy. The act of making that promise alone kicked off something in the cosmos which I can’t explain – all I know is I haven’t had a minute’s peace in the last six months because I’ve been doing so many things and seeing so many people. I’m truly grateful. I don’t know where Mam is in general, but I know where she is most of the time where I’m concerned. Looking over my shoulder, making sure I keep my promise.

I found this poem by Maya Angelou, hence the title of this blog post. It’s about the significant loss the death of a parent leaves behind, and it hits home more than any words that I use ever could.

I love you Mom.

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Partners in crime until the very end.

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
“They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

                                                               Maya Angelou