This delightfully bleak illustration of modern life, marriage and middle age is from London-based illustrator and animator Steve Cutts. Take a look at many more wonderful images on his website.
Happy Monday everybody!
32 million email addresses were revealed during the Ashley Madison information dump.
That’s a lot of cheaters.
As a single woman, I’m not here to gloat. (Although wouldn’t that be the easiest thing in the world right now?).
No, what this sorry episode says to me is this: “What are our relationship expectations these days?”
I know that my issues are with trust. Because of my past experiences, I don’t know how I will ever believe anything a man says to me. Least of all, “I love you”.
Clearly, even the ones you think you can trust, you can’t.
Your marriage/relationship may be the happiest, bestest, most wonderfulest thing since bread was not just sliced but transformed into a grilled cheese sandwich, and yet still, your partner might be cheating on you.
Should we hate them for that? Hate ourselves?
Or maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and say, “Relationships are not monogomous. They never have been and they never will be.”
The traditional model of marriage and exclusivity is not the one that most people seem to adhere to these days. We need to unlearn that these are the traits that make a relationship work.
Should the new fairytale go something like this: “Yeah, sure kid, you’ll meet the man of your dreams. Or at least you think he is but he will fall far short of your expectations, most likely cheat on you and lie to your face but still, he might be a good man. If he sticks around to pay the bills, share some responsibility and bring up the kids, then you’ve got a good one. You will live happyish ever after and you know what, you’ll be luckier than most.”
I’ve said it before, we deserve the best but we expect too much. Or at least, I know I did.
And the times when I consistently compromised were the times I was left lonely, confused and frustrated.
But maybe that’s because the narrative that is beaten into us about romance, love and marriage has become redundant. Feminism started it and the internet has finished it off entirely. Leave the romance to novels.
So yes, marry your partner and buy into the dream but don’t hate him or her when they start drinking Ashley’s Kool Aid.
Their fairytale has another ending – and so does yours. That doesn’t make it worse, that just makes it different.
And 32 million other people have already figured that out.
…everything you wear to bed is movie merchandise.
The usual ageist/sexist comments as Madonna turns another year older (cos it’s fun right, being snarky about what a dried up bitch she is, and posting photos of her looking older than she was 30 years ago).
Cheap shots. Worse. Boring, cheap shots.
Gary Oldman (56), Prince (57), James Spader (54), Kevin Costner (59) Ice T (57), Stanley Tucci (53), George Clooney (53) and Steve Carell (53),who shares Madonna’s exact birth date on August 16th.
I’m looking but I can’t find anywhere near the vitriol that Madonna seems to inspire, directed at any of these men, who are also all in their fifties. You’re telling me that James Spader looks as good as he did 30 years ago? That Stanley Tucci looks ONLY 53? That Clooney is still as sexy as he was in Out of Sight?
Here’s a couple of facts (a good place to start). Madonna was a nobody from Bay City, Michigan, and through sheer hard work, creativity, talent and good luck has been famous for 30 years, and is worth $520m. She’s sold more records than any woman in history.
Everything she has done in 30 years, you can see in every female pop performer today. The art works that decorate Lady Gaga, Katy Perry’s cartoon outfits, the overt sexuality of Nicki Minaj/Miley/Rihanna, the choreography of Beyonce, the clarion calls of sisterhood from Taylor Swift and whatever it is that Miley Cyrus is doing these days.
I don’t know her as a person. I have never worked with her, for her or been in the same room as her (Wembley Stadium doesn’t count) but I know this, whatever you think of her music or her art, Madonna’s work ethic is impressive. She’s driven and determined. If she was a male CEO of an international corporation we’d all be falling at her feet in awe. But she’s a woman. So we call her a dried up old bitch instead.
She’s still on good terms with the fathers of her children. She recently joined Guy Ritchie to sing Happy Birthday to Rocco who turned 15 last week. She is still friends with Lourdes’ dad, Carlos Leon and by all accounts Lourdes appears to be a level-headed teenager who is studying at college. So a good mum.
Madonna’s biggest crime is that she still believes in her sexuality. And apparently, even in 2015, women over a certain age are NOT ALLOWED TO DO THIS.
What is that certain age? 25? 35? 40?
When does a woman stop being attractive?
And if Madonna singing pop songs or projecting a sexual image offends you, look away and switch off.
I’m not worshipping at her altar. The gold teeth are hideous, Tidal is ridiculous and that on-stage snog with Aubrey Graham (sorry, Drake) was something I’ll never unsee. Maybe she is in denial about her age? I wouldn’t blame her living under that microscope but she continues to push boundaries and she’s been doing that since Like a Virgin. Deal with it.
It’s a pity that a woman who is so successful is not allowed to age. I’m not going to use the word ‘gracefully’ because that means nothing now in a world where men are on the whole neither particularly gentlemanly, respectful or gracious.
If anything, attitudes towards women have got worse. You only need to look at the conversation around Caitlyn Jenner to see that. It’s amazing how the dialogue changed so dramatically overnight. An Olympic athlete is now little more than a fuckable or non-fuckable clothes horse – but that’s another blog.
And I can hear your arguments already. Madonna sells sexuality. Pop music is for young people. She’s not relevant.
Yeah, well neither are you probably. Madonna will go on being Madonna until the day she drops. Although she’s pretty good at getting back up again, so expect a long wait.
Until then, 58, 59 and then – HORROR OF HORRORS – Madonna at 60!
Doesn’t it make you feel old? Yes? Well maybe she’s the person who can give everyone who is ageing (that’s the entire human race, then) the hope that just because you were born before the internet, doesn’t mean you’re already dead. Or worse, unattractive. Or worse worse, sexless.
So Happy 57th Birthday Madonna. Never change.
You may not be “ever-youthful” but you are true to yourself, and not many people can say that about themselves after 57 years.
Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter
As this blog’s ‘spinsteration’ (although I know technically she wasn’t as she’d been married before to ‘that other bloke’), I feel I cannot let this pass without some kind of comment.
The conversation around Jen in the last ten years – since ‘that other bloke’ – has been woeful, tragic and embarrassing. I’m not talking about Jennifer but the press. Last week, the day after she secretly married her angular beau a London paper called her ‘lovelorn’.
ON THE DAY OF HER WEDDING.
This about a woman who is a multi-millionaire, who has dated consistently hot guys since her divorce and has been engaged for three years.
But still, the world wanted to write Jennifer a different story. Over and over.
She was desperate. She was lonely. She was sad.
No. She wasn’t.
I’m not saying she didn’t have moments of any of the above but she is a human so I think that’s allowed.
Jennifer Aniston is a success story. I’ve always championed her cause because the negative dialogue around her is as much of a fairy tale as the life we are told is lived by her former husband and his actress wife and their many kids.
Fairy tales are just that. Made up stories that push an agenda (Brothers Grimm for president!).
Why the media have always felt it their right to cast a successful woman as such a loser is beyond me. And what does that say for the rest of us who are actually on our own and not multi-millionaires?
Why, said Mama Bear, “I don’t know how you can possibly get out of bed in the morning, you’re so pathetic. And probably lovelorn.”
We don’t need to feel sorry for Jennifer Aniston and we never have.
“Jen’s baby heart-ache!”
“Jen and Justin’s shocking no-way-back rows!”
“Jen’s ageing nightmare – she sleeps in a vat of engine grease to stop her skin wrinkling!”
Whatever, it’ll be ridiculous, risible and redundant.
This blog celebrates women. But make no mistake fellow spinnys, we are not living in an enlightened age.
Women are scrutinised more than ever. Women are put down, bullied and ignored every day. Single women who have never married and have no kids have all that times a thousand.
Women are still not allowed to be who they really are.
We may live our lives but the narrative that runs alongside it, is stuck in the dark ages.
So congratulations Jen and Justin.
And the rest of us – carry on doing what you’re doing because you’re doing great.
Life is cyclical, life is tricky and life is unexpected.
That’s why we need to support each other as we navigate our way forwards and upwards.
And that why it’s good to have friends. Oh hold on…
Photo credits: Friends still from NBC Universal Media