So, yesterday was the birthday of one of my best friends from school, Sarah, and unfortunately we couldn't celebrate with her in the style of days gone-by, because she's currently living in Manchester. Anyway, during our lengthy phone-call y'day we started taking a stroll down memory lane and Sarah reminded me of how ... well, "unwise" she used to be with money. This is a girl who, when she received the first instalment of her student loan, run up and down the corridors of her college halls, clapping her hands and squealing "Free money!" Although admittedly it's nothing compared to the time Kerry spent 10 minutes sheltering inside the Swarovski store from a storm and felt so bad for not buying anything that she emerged with a pink heart-shaped necklace.
The high point of Sarah's early expenditure related disasters - which she once tried to pass off to her family as being an administrative error by the bank - came at the end of her first time at university, when she purchased a £600 pair of Christian Dior sunglasses. In the middle of December. She only bought them because the girl in the shop told her they were limited edition and the very last pair anywhere on the island of Ireland. Not just in Northern Ireland, but the entire geographical chunk. Sarah immediately panicked, took this as a sign from God and handed over the £600. (Next week, four more pairs were in that same shop.) To date, Sarah has worn these sunglasses twice. And announced on the second occasion that the pink lenses were too delightful to actually keep the sun out of her eyes. Not long after Diorgate, she spent £500 on a high quality handbag, which she told us was an investment because of the excellent craftmanship on the leather, before announcing two weeks later that it was too heavy to carry and was now purely for decoration.
Also, less Dior-related: something that has seriously annoyed me on Facebook/Twitter recently. Anyone who has read Popular will know that I am never going to be getting an award for being Mr. Politically Correct 2k11. I think mean humour is the height of hilarity, but there's a line between bitchy and bullying. I don't know at what stage people started finding things funny just because they use some low-end slur. It really irritates me when people think it's appropriate to post statuses with the word "faggot," "paki," "fenian," "hun" or anything else like that. What you laugh about in private is totally your own business, but what you put on a public social networking site is mine and everybody else's who you're friends with. It's extremely unlikely that your 700+ friends will all have the same sense of humour. And - newsflash, most people aren't very funny and if you use words like that, you belong with the cast of Deliverance not in clogging up my feed on FB or Twitter.
Worst of all, last night when I read one of these oh-so-witty FB verbal spasms, I got to thinking about some poor 15 year-old kid struggling with an identity crisis who sees the word "faggot" and all the "likes" and the thumbs up for it on FB and therefore reaches the conclusion that there's nothing worse in this life than being gay. Don't be a good person, don't be smart, don't be ambitious, don't be an upstanding citizen - just don't be gay and you're doing fine! I think it's awful that this sends out a message that being gay automatically makes you somehow less than a full human being and your entire life is going to be lived as a punchline for some moron's sense of intellectually-underdeveloped humour. I mean, is it really worth making someone feel that way just for the sake of your stupid status? I don't think so, moron. And at what point should anyone have to feel that their religion or race makes them a target of public mockery? Never. It's just rude and unprofessional to post things that might be taken as legitimately offensive on Facebook, Myspace, Bebo or Twitter, unless you have a tiny pool of friends who all share your sense of, let's call it, humour. I don't know what happened to being witty and clever; when did this kind of nonsense becoming "ironic","cool" and funny?
Anyway, rant over and I'm back to the gym to try and undo some of the damage done by Christmas. My sister Ashleigh and I got each other as Secret Santas this year and both pooled resources to give each other the world's largest collection of Jesus/Santa-themed chocolates. We wrapped them up in one giant parcel and put it under the tree with a note saying, "To Ashleigh & Gareth, We love your work. Happy Christmas from your Number 1 fans - Gareth & Ashleigh xx." We have a healthy relationship with narcissism in my family.
My trainer Allan has suggested I keep a food diary now that I'm serious about like getting back on track with the gym. Unfortunately, I haven't read anything more depressing than this food diary since The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Honestly, it's like reading the schedule for feeding time at the zoo! Seriously. I eat like a rugby player and exercise like a debutante. This is where it all went wrong.
Still, "good" to see it all written down and I actually do feel so much better about myself when I'm regularly gymming. New year's resolution was not to become a better person (practically perfect to be honest, as it is), but just to keep up gym schedule. Seems better to be realistic, rather than say something stupid like be nice or give up drinking.
Anyone else have any new year's resolutions they've managed to keep by the end of January?