Since I was 18 I don’t think I’ve had to buy myself any perfume. And if I have, it’s because my budget allowed and I had an hour or so to kill in Duty Free.
Perfume has always been a gift from my boyfriend, lover or whoever I was dating. And my long-deceased dad.
I’m a Chanel girl through and through. Coco Chanel, No. 5, Coromandel, Allure – any of those will do.
I remember years ago an ex buying me something that wasn’t one of those four on a business trip because he liked the packaging on another box.
I was devastated when I opened it. I can’t remember the specific brand but it smelled like icky flowers, and I’m a musk & spice kinda gal. I handed it back. Politely, of course.
He held the open package in one hand, “What am I suppose to do with this?”
“Give it to your mum?” I replied.
“I think you’re being ungrateful,” he slimed.
“Don’t mess with a girl and her perfume,” I purred, as only a confident woman in her early thirties can. “You’ll live to regret it.”
We never had sex again (ok, maybe we did but the relationship didn’t last much longer).
Twitter followers of @hollywoodspinny will know that things have been financially very tough this year. Dates have been thin on the ground too (aka non existent).
And so, around three months ago, I ran out of perfume.
Much as I hate to admit it, I haven’t been able to afford to replace the one and only remaining bottled of Coco Chanel in my life.
And so every day, I pick up the empty bottle on my make-up table, look at it wistfully, and say to myself, “Spinny, how has it gotten to this stage. Where you have no man in your life to buy you any perfume, and worse – much worse – you’re so poor, you can’t replace it yourself?’
That empty perfume bottle has become a symbol of what I perceive as my failure as a career woman – or simply, a woman.
Because people, I do feel like I have failed. No matter what spin I put on it, right now, THIS MINUTE, I feel like I have failed.
If you can’t support yourself and you can’t find love, what exactly are you doing on this planet?
Ok, ok I know things are not black and white, more shades of grey and that horrible blue-grey that Mini Coopers seem to be painted these days, but thems the facts.
So today, Mum and I are wandering around the Beverly Center, and out of the blue (not the Mini Cooper blue) she says this, “I want to buy you a bottle of perfume. I’ve noticed that you don’t have any, only that one empty bottle, and I know how much you love wearing perfume, so let’s get you some.”
She looked at me. I think she was waiting for me to argue against it. But I didn’t. I couldn’t.
I was so touched by her observation, and her kindness.
We walked to Sephora, and I made a beeline for the Chanel display.
I picked up a bottle of No.5 and put it back because, you can’t wear No.5 during the day. It’s too heavy. And really, Coco Chanel is also a tad on the musky side but I love it, so I use it sparingly.
I selected a 1.2oz bottle of eau de parfum, and held it in my hands.
And then I burst into tears. Proper tears. Because it suddenly became clear that my mother has become the only person in my life who wants to buy me perfume.
She knows me well enough to know that it’s important to me.
“It’s just a little thing,” she said, her eyes welling up too.
But we both knew it’s wasn’t.
When we got home, I threw the empty bottle away.
Like a skewed spinster coronation, I reverentially placed the new bottle on my dresser.
And I cried again.
I’m not sure I believe in God but I sure believe in food.
My hips, my hips *sighs*
I’m a writer. I sit down all day.
If I move, it’s generally from the desk to the fridge. Inactivity is my middle name.
I lost 20lbs earlier this year and have put five back on from sheer WORK.
And by work, I mean not having enough time to exercise morning and night for at least five days a week.
I write, therefore I weigh.
That’s the sign of a true artist.
Oh universe, how could you do this to me?
Two hours after finally talking to hot neighbour, I get served notice on my apartment.
Do you not want me to see a penis again?
I mean it’s not such a bad thing but…wait, what?
That IS a bad thing.
Two nights ago – all windows open – I heard another near-ish neighbour having sex. The woman sounded like she was having the time of her life.
As I lay there on the sofa (mum’s currently in my bedroom), I thought to myself ‘I’d quite like to do that again someday’.
There’s something very odd about going for extended periods of time without sex.
Once you’re so far away from it, you can’t imagine ever doing it again.
Until you do, and then it’s like you’ve always been doing it.
(Love the phrase ‘doing it’).
I love sex. I say that because it seems that many of my friends confess they don’t (mostly the married ones to be honest).
But there’s a proviso. I like it with the right person, or at least a guy I fancy the pants off. Literally.
Mum passed the hot neighbour in the hallway the other day.
I said, ‘That’s him’.
To which she replied. ‘He’s too young for you’.
Which is correct. But his penis is just the right age, I think.
I have til October 14th to find out.
…you live in Hollywood and you’ve never been married.
I rarely repeat random comments but someone called Luanne, in Canada, posted this anecdote at the bottom of an article about Gwyneth Paltrow.
She’s not my favourite actress but if this story is true about her dad, then she’s just become a 1,000 times luckier in my head than I already thought she was.
“I may not like some things about her but I do envy her self worth which was instilled in her in part by her father. This is what she wrote, (in part) on her blog. My dad believed in one-on-one time with us, and sometimes that extended to a weekend away. We stayed at a great hotel and he said I could order whatever I wanted for breakfast (French fries). We went to the Pompidou museum, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre – the usual spots. It was pretty great. On the plane back to London he asked me if I knew why we had gone, just he and I, to Paris for the weekend. I said no, but I felt so lucky for the trip. He said, “I wanted you to see Paris for the first time with a man who would always love you, no matter what.” It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip like that but just knowing you’re loved like this would make anyone feel somewhat confident and maybe too much so in the eyes of many who never felt that kind of love.” Luanne, Canada.
It’s my sad duty to report that during my short Spinny hiatus I discovered a few unpalatable truths.
Most notably that many of my single, female friends are unhappy.
It’s not that I thought I was the only one, but over the long weekend, and given a few precious hours to spare, tears were shed, stories shared and realities acknowledged.
There is a world of hurt going on out there right now.
Men are sparse – sorry, GOOD men are sparse – and money is non-existent.
There is no security. No safety nets.
I would really like to sue the Eighties for false advertising.
(Sidenote: If you know of a lawyer who’d like to take on a case that would make Erin Brokovich’s boobs tumble out of her tee in terror, do let me know.)
I was told I would have it all. Worse, I expected it all.
So were my friends but dear, dear universe, politicians, warmongers, oil barons, financiers, feminists, and anyone else who had a hand in this mess, what are you going to do about it?
I’m fed up with the people I love (including myself) being let down by the disintegration of our lives and dreams.
And yet I am powerless.
Sure, I can weave a few concise sentences but like you, I’m one of the disenfranchised: a woman who has been let down by the opposite sex, the economy and global malaise.
It’s too much for little ole me to fix.
My inner spirit, and the world we live in need a reboot of Herculean proportions.
I like to think of myself as a fixer, and not a whinger. But I suppose that all we can do is support each other by being on the end of a phone/IM, giving up a night to share woes over wine, and offering a hug when the thought of being alone is too much to bear.
If this downward trend continues, our hurt will only escalate. I can see us having to build communes, pool our pennies and bed in for what might surely turn out to be the unprecedented story of a generation of females who have, for the first time in history, nothing to look forward to.
Unless of course, we re-wire our brains, lower our expectations of our careers, and seek nothing from our intimate relationships.
See you at the bottom of the barrel.
Pack your life-preserver.
There’s going to be a lot of tears.
PS: I promise to blog about something happier later this week but I really had to get this off my chest. I can’t bear to see my friends in so much pain. I share it with you because I value your opinions. Also, I know that some of your replies will tell me how blessed we are, how joyous life is, and how it’s what we make it. Yes, to some of that but can we get off the self-help soundbite conveyor belt and be honest. Life is good. But could – and should – be much much better. Or to put it another way, life shouldn’t be this hard – and we shouldn’t be punished for being single. I don’t care what you say, it is harder. It just is.
I wasn’t in a good space (as you may have gleaned from my updates), and didn’t want to analyze or commentate any further, while I sorted some things out.
Sometimes it’s good to not be inside your head for a while. I do a lot of thinking and frankly, I wonder where it’s got me?
I used to believe that I was the pithiest thing since sliced bread/CD walkmans/Gameboys/bluetooth/Gaga (pick your era), but now I just wish my brain would stop whirring for a while.
I’d quite like to be one of those annoying, boisterous, unaware types who bowl through life without a care in the world.
So I left the laptop at home, ignored Facebook and Twitter, turned my back on this alter ego and spent time with friends.
It did me the world of good but what I discovered during those three days also gave me food for thought.