Sunday, 30 January 2011

Is age just a number?


This week I’ve had some interesting conversations with some of my girls. One conversation I keep having with people is about age gaps and how old is too old. It appears that at the moment it’s all about dating the older man, everyone I know of my age (20-21) is looking for men at least 3 or 4 years older and it made me wonder, what is it with age gaps? The small (about a year -5 years) and the significant (20 odd years in some cases).
I guess this is all down to personal preference and I in no way mean to upset anyone when writing my views, and I would love to hear yours.
After the conversation with the girls I decided to ask about ages gaps to the girls on the More! Facebook page their thoughts on dating older men.
 Emma Louise- I was in a relationship last summer with a guy 9 years older than me and was much better than anyone my own age cos women mature faster than men.
Louise McKeen- . At the end of the day we love each other so what should age matter
Emma Louise- I could meet someone older and fall for them, everyone’s different. It’s about the person more than the age
Becks Dawe: Long as you’re happy that’s all that matters
Rachel Ryan: I wouldn't go out with a guy who was loads older than me, 30's probably the oldest I'd go and even then that sounds old to me... I guess I just prefer guys roughly my own age.
Emma Jacques: personally I don't think age is that important unless it's too old like Hugh Hefner and the girls 22
It appears that everyone I got replies from had similar views. Some thought that although older was better there was a difference between an older man and a man being too old with ages of around 30-35 being where people drew the line.
The question of how old is too old is always going to be a hard one. Should it stop at 5 years older, 10 years, 20,30,40? Whose to say that you should stop at a certain number but then I guess there’s certain things society finds hard to accept.
I think for me I don’t really see an age gap as a problem although only in the terms of small age gaps. I would feel quite uncomfortable being with a guy that was a lot older than me, especially in terms of ages where it could be possible for him to be old enough to be my dad, I just personally don’t feel comfortable with it. Imagine going out and being asked whether that is your parent and then having to explain to the person that they are in fact your boyfriend. Plus to me it seems that there wouldn’t be all that much in common with someone from a different generation (I may be wrong but this is just my personal view)
I guess the point of everyone being different and age just being a number is a valid one but there are going to be instances when it becomes more difficult with much older men than there is with someone of a similar age and I guess this is maybe what puts me off. Who knows maybe I’ll meet a much older man who will change my views on this...we never know what the future holds.
Hugh Hefner (84) recently announced his engagement to Crystal Harris (24). To me this age gap is really extreme and I think the fact that he is 60 years her senior would make me uncomfortable. Not only is he old enough to be her father but he is also old enough to be her grandfather.

This got me thinking about other couples with age gaps in the celebrity world.
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas,  25 years her senior

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have an age gap of 22 years

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who have 11 years between them

Ronnie Wood (ex rolling stone) and Ekatarina Ivanova who have a massive gap of 41 years. (although not together anymore)

However it’s not only the celebrity men who are finding younger partners, the women are doing it too.
Mariah Carey is 12 years Nick Cannon’s senior.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have 15 years between them.

Sam Taylor Wood and Aaron Johnson have an age gap of 24 years.

This brings me onto the next part of age gaps, what about the older woman with a younger man?
It seems that dating younger men and being a “cougar” is becoming more popular. The toyboy is apparently back, with shows like Cougar Town showing that woman are also able to go out and grab younger men. I personally think to these women good on you, why if the men are doing it can’t the woman, what is so weird about women dating a younger man. I do however think that, although I applaud these women, I personally at currently couldn’t date a younger man. At the age of 20 any guy younger than me appears to lack maturity and it’s always in the back of my mind that these guys are the same age as my little brother.
Who knows however when I’m 30 maybe I will relish in the fact I could date a 20-something- I mean my stepdad is 11 years younger than my mum (although he doesn’t act it). I guess it’s always a confidence boost to know that even as an older woman you could have any guy you wanted. I asked some of the girls what they thought of dating younger men:
Sarah Mater- I don't go out with guys younger than me
Kira Cookson- I doubt I'd be with someone younger than me but I don't think age is big deal
Rachel Ryan: My bf is younger than me, but only 15 months so it's not a massive gap. Obviously then I have no problem with younger guys, but I probably wouldn't go any younger than 20 (I'm 23, bg is alomst 22)
Tanya Howard: I've been with younger guys before and I don't plan on going there again, they would ahve to be pretty fucking special to make that happen!
It seems the general consensus of people a certain age (normally early 20s) is that younger men aren’t an option. 18-22 year old men can be seen as not being mature enough for many women and it appears the only way we can get a guy on the same level is to go older...let’s just hope that it’s not Hugh Hefner older.
So as I said I don’t mean to offend or upset anyone with my views and I’m hoping that you ladies will give me some of your views. I guess I’ll keep looking for my mature older (but not old) man... and hope for the times when age is just a number

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Not another Dodgy Sequel....

With the mention of a Mean Girls 2 being released very soon, it got me thinking about the sequels I own in my DVD collection (both the Good and the bad) and I thought I’d give you some thoughts on them.
I must say firstly about Mean Girls 2, just from watching the trailer, I am extremely unimpressed. I will be giving it a watch, just so I can confirm my suspicions. At best it looks like a film that prepubescent girls will enjoy, at worst yet another dodgy remake. With actresses that are famous for children’s programmes such as Wizard of Waverly Place and Cory in The House and lacking the genius of Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan, I’m feeling that this is going to be lacking in any decent ratings and could possibly ruin the reputation of the original Mean Girls Film.

So Ladies here are my thoughts on the sequels in my DVD collection:
The Good
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde

Yet more genius from Reese Witherspoon as everyone’s favourite blonde. In short the film follows Elle’s journey from home to Washington on a campaign against animal testing and to free Bruiser (her dog)’s mum so that she can attend her wedding. The film combines the serious issues of animal testing and the problems faced by Elle with humour from the sorority girls and her hairdresser friend Paulette, not to mention the gay dogs. Whenever I have a down day I do put on this film to make me smile.
Shrek 2

As always with a sequel I was extremely sceptical of a sequel of a film which I usually enjoy. However Shrek 2 doesn’t disappoint. With the return of the old favourites, Shrek (Mike Myers), Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) as well as the new characters of Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) and The Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) this makes for a hilarious tale of a feature many of us have to face, meeting the in-laws. Admittedly this film is more suited to the young at heart however it has been known to melt even the hearts of stone.
The Bad
Grease 2

Whoever had the bright idea of creating a sequel to one of the most famous movies known to man needs shooting. Grease 2 simply doesn’t match up to the standards set by Grease 2. Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield just don’t have the same on-screen chemistry as John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and the storyline leaves much to be desired. The supporting cast also don’t match up to the original Pink Ladies and T Birds and the songs lack the catchiness of the original. If you haven’t already seen this film my advice would be don’t and keep to the original.
Shrek 3

Yes I am aware that Shrek 2 was in my good section however I cannot say the same about Shrek 3. The storyline failed to grab me and even the presence of the voice of Justin Timberlake didn’t excite me enough to not nearly fall asleep through watching it. It lacked the humour of the first two films and failed to keep me interested for more than 10 seconds at a time. I have yet to see Shrek 4 and so cannot pass judgment on this film; I hope however that it is better than the 3rd instalment of the films.
Return to Oz

Why someone decided almost 50 years after the original to attempt to try and make a sequel to this classic is beyond me. The storyline is pretty inconsistent, meant to be set 6 months after Dorothy visited Oz however the actress cast looks a lot younger than Judy Garland’s character. It can seem dark in places and I can’t say I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t recommend watching it with extremely young children as some of the characters, especially Mombie, who keeps a collection of heads in cupboards, can seem very dark. Maybe judged as a movie in its own right instead of a sequel this movie would seem better however as a sequel to one of my favourite movies of all time I don’t rate it. The first time Disney has let me down.
Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights

We’ve all been there, on drunken nights out serenading our friends with awful versions of the classic ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ and when I first watched the 2nd Dirty Dancing I was expecting the same magic I felt the first time I watched Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray in the original. This however fell short. Although the cameo from Patrick Swayze as the hotel dance instructor did brighten up a dull movie, I can’t say I enjoyed the rest of the film. Set in Cuba in the late 50s during a period of revolution, it tells the story of Katy who falls for a Cuban pool boy Javier, and defies her parents, and the other American guests to dance with him and fall in love. The actors in this film also lacked the chemistry that Swayze and Gray had in the first film and there wasn’t a moment that amazed me and got me on my feet dancing like many parts of Dirty Dancing did. Overall an ok film however a rubbish sequel.
Well you've heard my opinions, I'd love to hear yours, comment and let me know which sequels you rate, and which you hate.

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Laws of Attraction

There is something about the laws of attraction that puzzle me. You’re either attracted to the wrong person, or the person you are attracted to isn’t attracted to you. I was observing on my night out last night the comedy of attracting the other sex and it started me thinking what is the big fuss?
Having been single for 6 months, I now feel ready to start looking for a nice new man to entertain myself with, but in all honesty I don’t fancy all the dating games that occur, the chase and the playing hard to get...all takes time and effort that I don’t have.
So standing in a crowded club last night I observed a lot of different techniques that seemed to be going on. There were the guys stood by the bar just offering to buy girls a drink... now for me I’d be like I can buy my own thanks (unless  of course one of them was drop dead gorgeous in which case my rules would be out the window). They seemed to have limited success and I can’t say I was surprised.
Then there were what I call the predators, the guys that stand around the edge of the dance floor eyeing up girls and whispering comments to their mates. It kind of makes me feel like you’re in a cattle market and the men are deciding which is the best cut of beef or something like that. It always makes me feel uneasy having these men watch me... one for the fact its normally when I’m completely drunk making a tit of myself on the dance floor but also because who likes to have their every move watched by people they barely know.
Another personal peeve of mine when out are the men who try to catch your attention by grabbing. I always get really annoyed by the men who think just because you haven’t answered them they are able to grab your wrist or arm or hand to catch your attention and won’t let go until you agree to dance/have a drink/give them your number. I must admit I’m quite confident in myself and am able to turn round and stand firm until they let go of my arm but it does make you wonder what goes through their mind to make them think it’s acceptable to grab women.
Talking of grabbing, did anybody watch My Big Fat Gypsy wedding this week when they were talking about their “grabbing”. Now is it just me that thinks the fact that a guy will physically hurt a girl to get a kiss sound a bit like assault of some kind, and the fact that the girls were just like “well it happens.” I know if a guy ever did that to me I’d probably end up going “Essex” on his ass and hurting him in some very convenient areas.
The other kind of man I experienced last night was the creep. I can’t think of a better way to describe this guy than creep, he approached me and my friend whilst we were sat down and instead of saying anything just stared at us, no words just uncomfortable staring. When we asked if he wanted anything he shook his head and continued to stare. I must admit I’ll give him points for his persistence. He did end up coming over and staring a lot whilst we danced, went to the bar, and sat and chatted, however I did get to the point where I told him to go away, in not so polite terms and I questioned whether this guy honestly felt that this was an effective method of getting girls to talk to him, by staring to the point where people feel uncomfortable.
Saying that although there are all these types of men out there, there are the nice ones and I met a few last night. There were the professional basketball players who know my housemate (although ridiculously tall, it made me think maybe I need to find a basketball player or something to satisfy my criteria of only dating tall men...although 6’10 is a little bit excessive). There were also the nice ice hockey players and marines, who at worst were a nice bit of eye candy, and at best could be a good dance/kiss/date (as I’m sure my housemate will find out tonight). And then there are the nice guys you can just have a chat to at the bar, like Middlesbrough guy who was a little on the strange side.
So it appears that being back in the dating game means that I will have to put up with some of the techniques I’m not too keen on, and some of the awful chat up lines again, and I guess it’s true you have to kiss a few frogs to start with...I just hope nobody resorts to the “grabbing”

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else- Judy Garland


As the title says this blog is going to be The Blabberings of an Essex Girl (me) and I guess the most appropriate way to start would be to introduce myself to you.

Well my names Zoe and I came onto this earth in 19th July 1990.

I am from Essex, from a little place called Benfleet, although most people will know Southend on Sea (the place where they always venture on holiday to in Eastenders) which is where I end up telling people I'm from rather than having to explain where Benfleet is.
I am not however you're typical Essex girl- there's no dyed blonde hair, fake tan, heaps of make up or white stilettos. And before you ask no Essex is not anything like the Only Way is Essex. I despise that show so much that I refuse to watch it.

I study Law LLB at the University of Surrey and am in my final year. University changed me a lot as a person. I went as a naive 18 year old and grew up a lot over the last 3 years. Law however has now become the bane of my life and I think that I may have to take a step back and decide what it is I actually want to do with my life.

I am a real homebird and love my family to pieces. I’m the oldest child of 4 and have 2 younger sisters and one little brother (I say little brother but he is 18 and at least 2 inches taller than I am). I love my family dearly (even my littlest sister, who insisted every day over Christmas break of getting into bed with me and waking me up at 6am to give her my ipod touch to play games on) and think they have helped to shape me into the person I am today.
I work part time at Asda during the University Holidays, and as much as I love the bright lime green uniform I can’t say it’s the best place on Earth. I have met the most amazing bunch of people there, and if I hadn’t I think I would have gone insane before now, and it is because of the people that I do turn up there every day, well that and the fact that they pay me £6 something an hour for doing... probably not as much as I should do.
I have been thinking a lot about what 2011 holds for me and it’s quite scary what this year is going to consist of. Not only do I turn 21 in July, which means I’m considered an adult in almost all countries and therefore apparently have to start acting like one, but I also graduate from University the week before and become a graduate and have to get a full time job (Sounds way too grown up for my liking and therefore I plan to go travelling for a few months and see the world before I get too old or too stuck in the rat race called life to be able to do it). 2011 is also going to be a whole new me, I know everyone says this every year but I honestly believe that this year will be different. I plan to drop at least 1 dress size, become more confident in myself and also start living life to the full (after all life is not about the breaths that you take but the moments that take your breath away)
I can’t really think of what else you would want to know about little old me so before I end up waffling for a few pages about stuff that’s rather irrelevant I am going to leave you too it and start on my idea for blog post number 2 (once I’ve tidied my bedroom that is)
Lots of Love
Zoe