Tag Archives: Gavin and Stacey

You Are Not Sandra Dee (Thank Goodness)

rizzo5

Good morning and welcome to a brand new week!  How the devil are you?

First and foremost, I would like to apologise for the gaps inbetween my blog posts recently.  My work schedule has prevented me from writing every day, for which I can only apologise and offer you a compensatory biscuit.  That being said, I have decided that from now on I will only be posting on weekdays, mainly so that you can go about your weekend unpestered by my ramblings.  Sound good?  Marvellous.

Today’s blog post is about the sneaking suspicion most girls have about themselves, which is (brace yourselves, ladies) that we don’t actually want to be the heroine of a story.  Oh, sure, we want the romance and the struggle and the ultimate happy ending, but we want to be allowed to get there on our terms.  We want to know that we can succeed without the necessary caveat of being beautiful, or the genetic good luck to have incredibly long, climbable hair.  The women we most admire and aspire to are the funny best friends and the sarcastic sidekicks – the characters who get the best lines and the best results.

Female characters who have an amusing foible or a deplorable flaw are, in film, literature and television, much more empathetic to modern women than their swooning, seductive counterparts.  The heroines of stories are willed by the reader or viewer to get the prescribed happy ending, because that’s what we are programmed to expect: give us a pretty girl in a pickle and we are desperate for her to find her bliss.  But show us a character who is less impeachably perfect and more honestly human, and that’s who we want to be.  We want to be the girl on the sideline who manages to win just by being herself.

Wouldn’t you rather be a Rizzo than a Sandy?  Nessa wins over Stacey, outright.  And deep down, don’t you think it would be fun to be more of a Karen than a Grace?  Why do you think movie writers keep inventing ‘kooky friend’ characters, anyway?  Because they know that those are the women we actually relate to.

These female characters are not perfect, but they are perfectly believable, which is definitely more important.  They might be bitchy, crazy or even prone to singing at high school for no reason, but there are worse things they could do.  (Geddit?)  These women are actually doing us all a favour by reminding us that you don’t have to be blonde, adorable or star-crossed in order to get what you want – you can (and should) just be yourself.

And why wouldn’t you be yourself, while we’re at it?  You’re brilliant!

Have a miraculous Monday.

Anti-Bucket List

Hello lovely readers. Hope you’re all enjoying your Thursday so far.

As those of you who’ve read yesterday’s entry will know, fear has been on my mind recently.  Today I’ve been thinking more specifically about fear as an obstruction: what (if anything) are you too afraid to do?  What are the things that you could be persuaded to do under the right circumstances, and the things that you will never ever do, really, stop asking, seriously, it’s not going to happen?

There are all sorts of reasons not to do something; fear is just one example.  There are things that we know we’ll never do because the right time has passed, or because it won’t ever come.  Money, geography, domestic commitments, embarrassment, sheer disdain and laziness are a few other examples of reasons not to do something.  With those in mind, here are my Top 5 Things I Will Never Do:

1) Go skydiving

I’m a wuss, I know.  The silly thing is that I’m sure once I was falling from the sky (aaaaaaaah) the experience would be incredible, but it’s the build up to the jump that I know I wouldn’t be able to handle.  The same thing applies to bungee-jumping, white water rafting, etc.  A friend of mine went to a university where they had a skydiving society (yes, really.  It makes the winter sports society from my university look like a chess club), and he absolutely loved going skydiving on a regular basis.  I have very clear memories of standing open-mouthed and horrified, phone glued to my ear as he gleefully described his most recent jump.  He also spent a lot of time explaining in great detail how safe the whole thing was, but I remain to this day mildly terrified that he did it and utterly convinced that I never will.

2) Learn how to boil an egg

This isn’t a fear issue; this is basic incompetence on my part.  There will be friends and family members of mine reading this one thinking, “But I’m SURE I’ve taught Vicki how to boil an egg at LEAST once!” You are all absolutely correct.  I have been patiently and kindly taught by all of you how to boil an egg.  Thank you for your efforts; you have all failed.  I have a bizarre mental block about boiling eggs.  I can make Sunday roasts for a dozen people, or whip up luxury chocolate puddings at a moment’s notice; I can make a birthday cake with my eyes closed and my cheesy leek bake is second to none, but for some strange reason, the mystical art of egg-boiling eludes me.  It’s a good thing I prefer omelettes.

3) Compete in the Olympics

This one will not come as a surprise to anyone, but unless “Speed Coffee Consumption” or “Most Accurate Gavin and Stacey Quotation” becomes a recognised sport, I will never be involved in this most glorious competitive tradition.  Ah well.

4) Understand physics

OH MY GOD IT’S SO BORING AND I DON’T CARE.  I have a mild interest in the more complex workings of chemistry, biology, astronomy and other branches of science, but physics to me is just the most monotonous aspects of existence made difficult to understand. Boring AND difficult?  Ain’t nobody, as a wise woman once said, got time for that.

5) Play drinking games

At the grand old age of nearly 25, I am definitely too old to play Spin the Bottle, Ring of Fire or Never Ever Have I Ever.  (Let’s not even think about this neknomination nonsense; it’s not worth commenting on.)  During my first year at university, my house mates and I unanimously decided to ban sambuca from our house after a particularly gruelling session of Gas Chambers; if you don’t know what that game is, I’m not telling you.  It’s a hangover in a glass, and the world just doesn’t need it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a pint and a natter.  On several occasions I have been known to enjoy several pints and an increasingly nonsensical natter; but drinking games are the playing field of younger, brighter-eyed and less inhibited people than I.  That ship has, thank heavens, definitely sailed.

In a way, it’s encouraging to think that of the five things I am most adamant about never doing, only one of them is down to fear.  True, ignorance and stubbornness are among the other reasons, but still.  It feels good to look at my anti-bucket list and see that I’m more stupid than I am afraid.  I think.