I Am Sure She Will See Why We Are Laughing

Notebook, Desk, Work, Office, BusinessThere was a lot of upset in recent weeks or months about unkind / cruel comments the the media and social media have propagated about certain well known figures. But this post is not about that. I know from my own personal experience how unkind random strangers can be. It’s horrid.

But at times, there is some humour in what is said, and I don’t think anyone is being directly unkind about an individual. Take a huge name in the music industry. She has recently released a clothing line I believe. In addition, apparently she has been sending mobile wardrobes to other well known actors, musicians and the like containing a range of garments from the new range.

But here in England, this has met with some amusement. One of the largest supermarket chains in the country have a uniform which is not dissimilar from the new range. I have no idea the name of the range, and please don’t ask me to google it. However, I do my shopping at Sainsburys almost every week.

Anyway…lots of people have been showing me the very funny pictures of Beyonce photos doctored to make her look like she is working on the check-out in Sainsburys supermarket. I hope she is taking it in good humour. It’s not supposed to be cruel, I am sure. But it is giving Sainsbury’s staff and customers a giggle.

What makes me smile is the thought of a whole fleet of other celebrities jumping on the bandwagon and running around in maroon and orange looking like they are going to be late for their shift at Sainsburys.

While I would always condemn the kind of personal malicious comments that people direct towards other humans (celebrities or not), I laughed my socks off seeing the exchange on Twitter from some Sainsbury’s social media administrator who totally rocked the subject of celebrities choosing to don their uniform.

ceebsI was thinking about this recently. Is it a working class thing? Or a British thing? The opportunity to make fun of the whole concept of celebrities is hard to resist. I don’t like cruelty. But neither do I like individuals being treated like they are on some elevated platform to the rest of mankind.

Some of Jack’s “fans” are bizarre. I’m not sure what they are thinking when they make comments on his social media accounts. Fortunately, most of the comments are not unkind, but they are weird! It’s not balanced. I feel uncomfortable seeing what strangers want to say to him. There is a woman out there who makes it pretty clear she wants to have Jack’s babies. Anyway…that’s a subject for another post.

Beyonce can survive people being amused by the likeness of her fashion range to the Sainsburys staff uniforms. She’s a survivor!

 

Celebrate A Normal Life

nutso.jpgI find more and more the concept of celebrity culture is getting to me. The main reason is what happened to me because of Jack. In my opinion it is sheer madness. I guess some of these people might enjoy the warped amount of attention they receive. But I think it is indecent. I do not think people should be given attention to the point where it becomes worship or idolisation. There are people who live in my road who are in the media for various reasons. There are two neighbours who are in politics, one famous author, one journalist for a major newspaper here, a few who have been involved in acting or modelling, we have some who have made their money with very successful businesses, one in sports, and the biggest house here belongs to one of the biggest names in the music industry. But to me, they are just neighbours, fellow humans, and that is all they are ever going to be. I am going to treat them the same way as anyone else.

conveyor beltAnother reason I am wary of celebrities is that I hate the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Often along with fame, comes wealth and parties. Alcohol and drugs and easy sex are touted before you like the conveyor belt on the BBC entertainment show “The Generation Game”. I hate that. I avoid anywhere and anybody who I am aware of as “dodgy”. But there have been other situations that I thought would be safe, only because what I saw was unacceptable to me, I made a quick escape. I hate the thought of some of our “celebrity” neighbours being involved in some of the disgusting habits I mentioned above.

I also despise the waste of absurd amounts on money on things like a flashy party, or a private jet. One thing I respect about Jack is he feels exactly the same way. He is very much against drugs. He has befriended and helped a lot of young men in some of the rougher communities in London. He takes his responsibility to them very seriously. And Jack foregoes many opportunities to make more money through entertainment, because he is devoted to volunteering for charities. He has made more than enough money to last a lifetime already. He has lived simply for a number of years, so that he can be on the same level with other volunteers. He has amazing energy and charisma, so he is very popular. And I guess the way he has featured in the entertainment industry adds to his popularity. But he handles it well.

jt quoteThere is a feeling that I find has developed within me in recent years. I have started to feel infuriated by the invasion of the press, and “fans” or just everyday people into the lives of those considered “celebrities”. I do not like the idea that someone might have to be so security conscious that they cannot enjoy a “normal” life. The invasion into not just Jack’s, but my own privacy was shocking. I know that some celebrities seem to like the attention. But I find it hard to swallow.

finchlI see people around in London. I know I have seen them on television at some stage. I used to live surrounded by cast from EastEnders (a British soap opera). But I have never watched a single episode. So to me, they were just my neighbours. There were famous musicians and television personalities. There were footballers and popstars. I would never have known if it wasn’t for friends pointing them out. To me they were just neighbours. I have lived in various “posh” parts of London. I mentioned earlier that round the corner from me is one of the biggest names in the music industry. I saw him the other day, with his family. I liked seeing something assuredly normal. I said “Good morning”, as I passed and they returned the greeting. We often greet each other. We never have had a proper conversation. The house cost a ridiculous amount of money, which was all over the press at the time. More millions than the digits we have on our body.

normal fam.jpgTo me, they are fellow humans, members of my human family. I wish them a happy life. I do not think they deserve anything nearing worship. But I really I don’t like the idea that people would show an unhealthy amount of interest, and threaten their ability to enjoy a happy family life. In fact, I strangely feel defensive over their privacy.

I have a relative on the other side of London. This particular family member is very well off. They are the closest of my family members geographically. But I am closer emotionally to the members of my family who are more down-to-earth, modest and devoted to volunteering, than my family members who are amassing great things for themselves. But as with all my family, I keep in touch, and I trek over to see my relative. Like a lot of uber-wealthy people she has “problems” and “issues”. Several times over the last two years I have seen someone I thought I recognised, but I could not place her. I thought she was a model. It is only fairly recently that I realized who she is.

normal lifeI know next to nothing about her. I have liked a couple of her songs. But I am told she is massive (by which I mean her popularity and “net worth”, I don’t mean her height – she is fairly tall which is why I assumed she was a model). I don’t care. I just want her to have a normal life and to feel safe. My relative confirmed who she is and threw in some castaway tittle-tattle remarks. Those comments meant nothing to me. One of my friends revealed herself as a huge fan of this musician. I decided I wouldn’t say anything about her living (at least some of the time) in the same road as my relative. For some reason, I just feel defensive over her, the same way as I feel defensive about the guy who lives round the corner from me. She should be able to live a normal life without feeling her safety is threatened. And it’s all because of what happened with Jack. I do not like the idea of anyone threatening their safety or their ability to live a normal happy family life.

breakfastaIt is a wonderful gift to have family and friends who love you for you. Not because you are rich or famous or even particularly talented. It is wonderful to be able to walk in the woods with other Londoners and kick autumn leaves around. It is wonderful to go swimming down in the nearby lido on a blistering hot day. It is wonderful to nip into to a local artisan bakery, to sit chatting over a latte and a palmier, and then to leave with a paper bag containing a sourdough loaf, or pick up some beautiful flowers from the florists for your hallway. These are things that everyday “normal” Londoners are able to enjoy. I don’t see any point in spending millions of pounds on a property here, if you have to hideway, or wear disguises, and you can’t go out and enjoy these little highlights of living in the pretty pockets that London still holds.

normal life1.jpgI like my place, because it is so hidden away. People do not even know it is there. The double sets of gates and the hidden staircase hide it away from the word outside. I didn’t feel safe when I lived near Jack. My privacy was being invaded so much. But in my gorgeous little hideaway here, I have started to feel more secure and I have been able to enjoy London again. Now I roam these streets as one of the neighbours. I am that caramel blonde with the sunshine smile who always says hello when she passes. I am the neighbour who checks the neighbours’ wheelie bins when they are on holiday (because they are always away when it is refuse collection day!). I am the woman who, at the weekend,  is always first into the bakery at the end of the road, because they only ever stock one large dark sourdough on a Saturday and one on a Sunday (no large loaves Monday – Friday) and I like to freeze it in portions and use it defrost and eat it during the week. I am living a normal life after I was drastically separated from Jack – and I have to admit, it feels great!

I Dreamed A Dream

I don’t often remember my dreams. I am a heavy sleeper and most nights, I seem to close my eyes as soon as I rest my head on the pillow and then open then a few seconds later when my alarms are sounding. But I had a dream a few weeks ago that has played on my mind ever since. I was chatting to Cadie Mclendon, the creator of Cadie’s Corner after she recently published a post about a dream she had.

My brain trying to filter my thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences and translating them into a vision that made sense of what goes on inside of my mind and heart.

In my dream, I was pressured to accept a role in a live performance that would take place at a large theatre and would be filmed for television broadcast. I was reluctant, because although I have taken part in other performances, in this role I would be one of the main features of the show along with my male co-star.

But he wanted me to be in that role. The show was very important to him. He asked and asked again and again, until I finally agreed. He had led me to believe he wanted me to be part of a show that meant so much to him.

But then came the rehearsals.

The problems started during rehearsals. He was grumpy and difficult. He showed no enthusiasm. I was frantically trying to learn my lines and all of the stage directions. But when it came to the two of us rehearsing together, he would not make eye contact with me and delivered his lines in a monotone, matter-of-fact style, without any attempt to bring the lines to life and breath character into them.

I appealed to him. Right there I asked him to please put more effort into rehearsing. After all, this was his baby. He kept on making feeble excuses and claiming that it would be different on the night.

But when that night came, he was even more grumpy and awkward. I asked him what the problem was. His reaction was to grimace at me and blame me for making it difficult for him. Then just as the curtain was about to lift, he walked out. He called out that he was not going to do this. He glared at me and said: “You’re on your own Caramel!”

I had cameras pointing at me and thousands of spectators in the live audience staring at me. I was on my own to handle the opening part of the show which was designed for two people. How could I deliver the lines I had been memorizing with no one to reply with his own lines?

The level of embarrassment and awkwardness I felt was devastating. I was so mad that my co-star had begged me to take on the lead female role next to him and had now walked out and left me on stage in front of all those onlookers on my own.

So I had to be spontaneous. Somehow I managed to entertain the crowd enough to make them enjoy the show. I made them laugh. I sang and they seemed to be enjoying my performance. I just tried to throw myself into entertaining the crowds on my own, all the time hiding my angst about my co-star’s abandoning me.

It was truly the performance of a life-time. Inside I was bewildered, furious, outraged – but I hid it from all those thousands of onlookers. They sat there enjoying themselves and laughing and had no idea of my true feelings or what my co-star had done.

______________

Now you may have already guessed who I was dreaming about. Jack!

He chased me for months. Then when he moved in with me, he became grumpy and moody. He dragged me into the limelight, so that I was receiving unwanted attention and interest in my personal life from thousands including complete strangers. Cameras from people who never asked my permission shot photographs of me that I had no control over. And what did Jack do? He pulled out. He abandoned me to deal with the situation on my own. I think I did a pretty good job on the whole. I was always dignified and courteous no matter how invasive and offensive the attention became.

But boy did I have mixed feelings toward Jack after he thrust me up onto a stage in front of everyone and then refused to support me. He did not shoulder any responsibility.

Infuriating! Especially so as I still love him inside and out.

It’s not difficult to forgive a man you love so deeply. But while he remains so aloof and has not lifted a finger to ease the pain he initiated, it is impossible to forget.