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Friday, October 20, 2006


I’m often accused of being anal. Not in the manner one might expect, given the subject matter I write about; rather, in the sense that I am a complete pedant. Give me a task – any task – and I will brainstorm, assess, plan, organise, prep, perform and deliver. It is in my nature to work this way; it was also how I earned my living in the film industry.

The job I had, was all about organisation: people depended on the department I worked for, to make sure things always ran smoothly. Our team was the primary source of contact for crew and actors on set: we had the information about what was happening, and where, and with whom. Even when filming was chaotic, we would know – or find – the answers to solve problems. There was never too much preparation you could do, to ensure that any, and every, eventuality was taken into account, and that situations got sorted. That was the challenge – to be able to do it amongst the mayhem of daily filming life; to be able to do it with only five hours sleep and during a 16 hour day, five to six times a week.

I have to say I loved it: it suited me. Not the long hours, or the lack of sleep (it doesn’t matter how much you get paid, you’re still fucking knackered all the time), but the thrill of being able to make something work, because you have put the time and energy into planning it. I always admired my bosses – their ability to multi-task, not to mention multi-think, was more than impressive. Watching them on set, dealing with five or ten different situations, people, demands, multiple walkie-talkies, whatever they were juggling, they did so, calmly, and with focus. And this was because prior to going on set, they had gone through every detail in focus, pedantically, to make sure they were prepared.

For me, dating and sex are often like this: planning and preparing like a military operation, trying to foresee all the variables in advance, to ensure things run smoothly. Of course, the basic things I do, are just normal preparation for most women when they hope they’re going to have sex:

  1. Putting a face-pack on
  2. Shaving (ranging from: armpits, legs, thighs and vulva to the arse. Plus other places I dare not mention)
  3. Washing and (deep) conditioning hair
  4. Scrubbing body (painfully) to remove (supposedly) dead skin
  5. Removing face-pack and crying because we have a fucking huge spot on our chin and we are in our thirties and for fucks’ sake, it’s supposed to only be teenagers who get zits, and now with this fucking red mound, this huge lump, he isn’t going to fancy us and we won’t be having any sex tonight
  6. Dabbing toothpaste on our chin to stem the growth of the ugly hormonal boil
  7. Moisturising skin from face to feet with scented cream/lotion
  8. Rubbing extra lotion into our breasts and groin area (figuring that if we pay special attention here, so might the bloke, with any luck)
  9. Deodorising our armpits (and, for some, our feet too: admit it!)
  10. Fixing hair into a sexy style
  11. Removing all hair pins because we now hate the style we previously fixed
  12. Spraying hairspray all over our barnet to try to prevent the mad frizz we have created
  13. Sitting on the loo, crying
  14. Painting toenails
  15. Painting the nails on our hands
  16. Putting on make-up (ranging from foundation, ‘spot concealer’, powder, some under-eye-brush thing that every woman seems to have, to get rid of dark rings (I’m not convinced, and certainly not for £25), ‘bronzer’, eye-shadow, eye-liner, mascara and other forms of paint, disguised as ‘beauty’ products that women just “cannot do without”).
  17. Sitting on the loo trying not to cry (we don’t want to smudge our make-up) when we discover our nails aren’t dry yet and we have to bloody redo them because they’re all streaky
  18. Finding sexy underwear set
  19. Trying not to cry (again) as we discover that the bra from the set no longer fits properly because we threw it in the laundry by mistake, and it is now totally misshapen from being in the washing machine
  20. Finding a different (not as nice) underwear set
  21. Doing the bra up on the tightest fitting to enhance our cleavage
  22. Slowly sliding chosen outfit on, without messing up hair or make-up
  23. Slipping some shoes, heels, or boots on
  24. Trying not to cry from the pain in our feet because NO HUMAN FOOT IS SHAPED LIKE A WOMAN’S SHOE
  25. Brushing our teeth
  26. Spraying breath freshener in our mouths
  27. Putting on lipstick, trying not to smudge it, or wear so much that our lips stick together
  28. Leaving the house, attempting not to trip up
  29. Trying not to cry because we realise that we’ve left our purse, phone, Oyster card (or worse, keys) inside the house
  30. Finally leaving to meet our date/potential shag
[And men wonder why we take so fucking long. Be thankful we make the effort]

So when it comes to the possibility of a shag, as well as doing all the above (and making sure I have a selection of condoms and lube on me), I like to make sure I have the rest of the evening, prior to the sex, planned as much as possible. This is because I am a bit of a control freak, as well as being completely anal about such things. Like, for example, arranging a date: if it was me who suggested meeting up, then I’ll have planned what we're going to do, where, when, how to get there, and will have printed out a map of the area, with a list of local bars, restaurants and late-night coffee places to go to afterwards. And I’ll provide all this to my date. I know, I’m probably very tedious, (not to mention odd), but with the potential of a shag at the end of the night, I like to have all my bases covered, so to speak.

Invariably, things can, and will, go wrong, eg. the sex won’t happen, but as long as I have attempted to prepare for any outcome, I feel more relaxed about whatever happens (though the let-down of no-sex, when hoped for, is never easy). This isn’t to say I’m never an impulsive girl – being fingered in an alleyway in Soho some months ago was a good case in point: being totally spontaneous and unplanned (and extremely enjoyable) – but overall, I feel more relaxed knowing that - as in my job on set - I have worked hard to ensure things run smoothly ‘on the day’.

Which is why last night surprised me so. Yes, it all went well, it ran as smooth as a good, wet, slick fuck, and everything was covered, recovered and re-fucking upholstered by me, prior to the event. But there was a big gap; a huge, gaping gap, that even with my annoying anal pedantry, I managed to overlook: pictures.

I did this one-off, huge, (for me) evening, possibly the biggest night of my life, and no-one was taking pictures of it on my behalf: I have no still photographs capturing the event. I forgot to ask someone to do it - I am a twat. Clearly I am not as good an organiser as I think I am: I don’t usually get caught with my pants down (easier to not wear any, I find).

Anyway, if anyone was at the book signing and took some snaps, I’d be very grateful if you could email me them – address is in the sidebar to the right. Thanks very much.

Guess this shows me that I need to learn to cover my arse a little more in the future… Speaking of which, regarding my supposed VPL last night: that was because I was wearing ‘magic pants’. Women know what I am talking about here. All women do. If you’re a bloke and you don’t know, I dare you to ask the nearest woman what they are. Don’t expect her to tell you the truth though: we women do have some pride you know – even me.

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