celibacy, life, love, men, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

Gifts that you give to me…

… no one knows

In one episode of Friends, Rachel admits she always swaps the gifts she received for something she really likes. And this upsets a little bit Ross, who realised his gifts to her also had the same fate. Recently, one of my friends told me she received a gift from her man that she didn’t like, and that she was embarrassed with it because she didn’t want to tell him his present sucks.“He wanted to offer me some fine lingerie, but he chose a horrible model, which isn’t my size at all en plus. He said I would look super hot in it, and though I know I could change the gift because of the size, I know I couldn’t change the model otherwise he would be disappointed” she said. I asked her what was the problem apart from the size, since except her and her man, no one else could see her gift. And she explained to me, a little embarrassed, that she wanted something else from her man. “I wanted to go and visit New York instead” she said.

The principle of a gift is that you give something to someone he/she didn’t except to receive, and is based purely on the mere principle of giving. One of my friends says that we tend to forget this principle, and focused instead on the gifts we expect to receive. “In this case, it can’t be considered as a gift anymore” she told me.

She’s right, but we also have the right to dislike the gift we receive. And in this case, what do you do?

I asked around me about people’s reactions, and this is what I got.

I put everything I don’t like in a box hidden in my basement, and forget about it, until things start to accumulate and I don’t have room to store anymore. In this case, I just throw away the very old stuffs” O., 34, said.

It depends who’s offering me a gift. If it’s someone I don’t have particular bonds with, I will try to give it away. If it comes from my family or my man, it’s another story. Generally, depending on the gifts, I will try to use them. Otherwise, I forgot about it”P.,34, said.

If I don’t like it, either I try to give it away to someone who really needs it, or sell it on ebay” U., 29, said.

I’m honest, and very straightforward with those who give me a present. If I don’t like it, I just tell about it. Generally, people who know me try to know what I like before buying anything, because they know how I will react”M., 35, said.

So, what do you if you receive a gift you don’t like?

I don’t know, I haven’t received a gift I don’t like. But maybe it’s because, two weeks before each important events, I just say out loud what I want to receive to everyone. And people generally understand the message”I., 45, said.

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broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Stand by me

One of my colleagues, who’s also a friend, is hitting a rough patch in his marriage right now. His wife suffered the trauma of a miscarriage one year ago, and felt the need to adjust some little things in her life. Unfortunately for my colleague, she has also put her marriage under questioning. He told me that since this drama happened in their life, she has been constantly criticizing what he was doing. “Nothing I do is good enough for her anymore” he complained to me. “She even said to me recently that she couldn’t stand my parents, although it’s been fourteen years we’ve been married now“, he added. “I don’t feel supported anymore”he said.

I just hope for him they can work out what’s remaining of their marriage.  Yet, I’m not that optimistic for my colleague right now. Even if we become more and more independent in our life, there are certain things we do appreciate to feel from our partner: their support, for instance. If your partner is constantly despising what you’re doing, instead of encouraging you, I don’t think the relationship will last. Life can be difficult, and it’s good to know you can count on your partner to help you forget your worries.  This has to be mutual, of course.

When I worked as banker, I received once a woman who just got divorced from her husband, and she told me a little bit about her divorce. She said that she couldn’t stand the sight of her spouse anymore, because he had turned into a selfish individual. “He wasn’t like that when we were younger, but he progressively changed and only thought about himself. I felt I was a burden for him, because he kept on telling so. He also criticized me constantly, saying I was a bad driver, and that I shouldn’t waste my time at writing stupidities. Now, you can’t imagine how I felt relieved to be rid of him. I wrote my book, it has sold well, I’m more in peace with myself. This has cost me my marriage, but I had no choice. It may sound selfish to you, but remember that my ex-husband didn’t leave me many options” she said.

When the pieces don’t fit anymore, is it worth fighting for a lost cause? I’m not sure. When I see how unhappy is my colleague right now, I would love to tell him that he shouldn’t hang so much on a broken relationship. Yet, I know that he doesn’t consider at all a divorce, because marriage is sacred to him. Or maybe he should tell (if he hasn’t done it yet) how he feels to his wife, and that he needs to feel supported by her.

So, do you need to feel supported in your relationship?

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life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

You’re beautiful

Once, I went to lunch with one of my friends, and she told me she didn’t find herself pretty enough, that’s why she felt obliged to wear sophisticated clothes. “I don’t feel comfortable enough to go out with just some pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, I’m not pretty enough to handle it” she said. Then, she told me that the most offending sentence a man could tell her is that she’s not pretty. She’s smart, and has a strong personality, but yet, this little detail is poisoning her.

When I was in high school, and talking with my girlfriends about the little things in life, this topic appeared in our conversation, and most of my friends said they would prefer to be told they’re stupid rather than ugly. I found it weird, because I thought (and still think) the contrary. Yet, many years later, I realised, as I grow old, that I do appreciate when a man tells me I’m beautiful. But it depends who’s saying that, and on what circumstances. The choice of words is also important: beautiful, charming, luminescent,… everything that sounds as if you were heaven sent, in fact. Don’t’ s are: good, fit,… everything that just reminds you you’re a body. Most of my friends agree with this. And most of them told me they liked when this compliment sounds genuine. If it’s someone insincere saying it, it doesn’t have the same effect.

Why is it important to feel beautiful and to be told so? I asked around me, and people replied this.

It just comforts me when I’m feeling down. It’s shallow, I know, but it feels so good” L., 34, said.

I don’t know. I guess I want to prove myself I’m still desirable and attractive” R., 35, said.

Because it’s the easiest compliment you can receive. Beauty catches the eye, and the reaction is immediate to it. Intelligence and personality are much more complicated to judge. And these aren’t consensual” P.,36, said.

Even if I don’t care, there are times when I need to be told so. Just because I’m getting old, and that it becomes challenging to hear that when you pass a certain age” U., 45, said.

It’s my last resort before I yield to cosmetic surgery” T., 40, said.

And who can say that to you?

Anyone, as long as it’s sincere”J., 35, said

The man I love, or the man I fancy” H., 34, said.

The men that count in my life” Y., 47, said.

My friends, my family, my husband” P., 38, said.

So, do you appreciate when someone tells you you’re beautiful? And what are the words you don’t like to hear about yourself?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Such a shame

In some countries, women (teenagers) still don’t have the choice of their husband. Their future spouse is just imposed to them by their family, so that the family’s honor is preserved. Not being married or married to a man the family disapproved is considered as an humiliation for the family.

In my country, only some communities still have that mentality. For the rest, women are free to choose any men they want to marry. Yet, I’ve heard around me some testimonies saying the contrary. When you belong to a certain social class, your parents expect you to make a good marriage, and they won’t appreciate if you pick someone who’s out of their league. When I was younger, one of my roommates dated a guy she was madly in love with, but her parents were clearly against this union. She told me her mom asked her to dump him because he wasn’t eligible enough for the family. Since she didn’t want to disappoint her family, she behaved to her mother and dumped him.

S., another woman I knew told me her parents asked her to find a MD. There were a lot of MDs in her family, so another one would be more than welcomed in that little circle. S. wasn’t smart enough to pursue any study (as she said), so her mother urged her to choose the right husband for her. She said that she was considered as the shame of the family because of her stupidity, and that she could redeem herself by marrying the right guy for her family. I don’t know if she managed to reach her goal.

C., 31, is the sole child of her family, who’s been running one of the biggest family businesses in our country. She told me her parents expected her to find a man able to run the family business, as they had no successor for it. C. studied in a complete different area than her family business, and couldn’t take over this function. In fact, C. had no choice. During family dinners, everyone kept on telling her that the faith of their business laid in her hands. And like S., C. didn’t want to disappoint her parents, so she tried to find a man eligible for them.

P., didn’t have that kind of pressure, but she told me that her mom wouldn’t approve if she married a much older man than her. “She would also be pissed if I stole a man already married to someone else” she said.

Depending on how influent your family is and the bond you have with them, you can face pressure coming from your parents to choose a man who’s suitable for them. Virginia Woolf wrote : “Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword. On one side of that sword, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct.’But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, ‘all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course”. I think it’s summarize the best every woman’s choice when it comes to find the man they will marry.

So, have you ever faced pressure coming from your family to pick a certain type of partner?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The outsider


In September, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will release her third album. This one has been made without the help of her sidekick who was responsible for her first success in singing. In fact, Louis Bertignac and the First Lady of France don’t speak to each other since she started to date N.S., because he’s allergic to N.S. It’s a bit sad to lose a friend like that because of the man you love. In this case, I guess Louis Bertignac couldn’t stand exchanging his views with his former friend’s husband during a dinner at the Elysee with all of Carla’s friends. When you hate someone, you try to avoid him/her. And if one of your best friends falls in love with the object of your hatred, you just consider it as a treason.

I asked around me if people would forgive/accept their friend’s choice in love if their object of affection was someone they hated. And this is what they told me.

I do believe this kind of choice can ruin a friendship. Personally, I would fear my friend will change and become more like her partner. Besides, if I can’t stand my friend ‘s partner, I will have a hard time seeing them together for a dinner or just for a drink. I’m not hypocrite, and I can’t fake my feelings when I hate someone, so I couldn’t simulate just being polite with my friend’s partner during a dinner, and  it will be a real pain in the ass to stand him throughout a whole evening, just to please my friend. So my answer is no” U., 34, said.

I would try to understand my friend’s motivations for falling in love with someone I hate. Maybe my hatred isn’t justified at all, and if my friend really loves him, I think I will respect her choice. But I know it will be hard to accept him”K., 32, said.

It depends on how I hate my friend’s partner. But I admit that if my friend chose a true douchebag who can only say stupid things all the time, I will try to avoid to see him, and  it can have some aftermaths on our friendship” J., 31, said.

Why would my friend pick someone I hate? I believe that if we are friends, it’s because we share some common points” O., 30, said.

Well, only fools don’t change their mind. Unfortunately for our friends, we can change our mind on some people we dislike at first, and this is how we can alienate our friends. Personally, I don’t mind if my friend’s happy with him/her and if he/she treats my friend with respect. But if it’s not the case, it will give me a good reason to dislike my friend’s partner.

So, what would you do in a situation like that?

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broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

All on drugs

Many years ago, when I was studying in College, one of our professors read us a short story called the subversive love. It said that because of love, some brilliant students tail off and ruin their promising future. Back then, it made me laugh, especially since I knew that my professor, who was over 50 at the time, was still living with his mom.

Recently, I read this article written by Lucy Kellaway, saying that being in love is like being on drugs. Scientists have proven that when we fall in love, our brain release the same chemical as if we took cocaine. In the beginning of the week, I had a strange conversation on the phone with one of my professional contacts, and I had to refer it to my boss because he mentioned a potential scoop for our newspaper. My boss was a little bit surprised by the conversation I had with him, and he told me that since he knows him, he has never acted like that with anyone and he just joked my contact was taking cocaine since he endorsed his new function. This got me a little bit thinking…

How can a man, who’s very cultivated, brilliant, witty, funny, … can act so irrational with an ordinary girl? Maybe he should just do some due diligence with her, to notice that she’s simply not for him, and that also, this relationship would only bring trouble in both of their lives. I couldn’t help relating this to what our professor told us back in College, and to Lucy Kellaway’s article.

Love can make us do silly things. Some people just need drama in their love life to make it work, and yield to the irrational of love. I thought only young people yielded to that feeling. Apparently, I was wrong.

So, have you ever lost your head for someone? And did you feel you were on drugs when you were in love?

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

Please don’t touch

Last week, when I finished my work and headed to my car in the parking lot of my building, rain was pouring heavily and it didn’t seem to end. I had to cross the whole parking to fetch my car, and the ground was flooded. One of my male colleagues proposed to me to carry me to my car on his back, and I refused. So, when I reached my car, I was completely soaked, and my shoes were filled with water.

Later in the evening, I told this story to my friends, and one of them agreed with me on my refusal. “I don’t want another man to touch me if it’s not my man” she said. “And yes, I do find it inappropriate if a man proposes me to carry me on his back, except my man. It wouldn’t be fair to him” she said. Another friend of mine didn’t see where was the problem, but she’s still single. “And even if I wasn’t single, I would let another man carry me on his back. What’s wrong with it?” she asked.

Well, with the opposite sex, you never know about their intention. So, it’s best to remain careful. A hand can be so easily put on your strategic place in a situation like that, and it can get a little bit out of hand. Three years ago, I fell accidentally on another journalist and we both hit the floor, me on him. When I tried to stand up, I noticed he was having an erection and was blushing heavily. I never saw him again afterwards, and I’m glad I didn’t. Besides, I don’t like when men tried to get too close (physically speaking) to me, to the point where there are just inches separating you from their face.

And a real gentleman would never put you in an uncomfortable situation like that.

So, would you let any man/woman touch you if he/she’s not yours?

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