We Don't Need No Education

I feel that I could lecture indefinitely on the injustices of the education system in England if I really got going. And Student Finance for that matter. I also can't think of anything worse than parroting what is common knowledge; poor or non-existent careers advice, class dichotomies, a rigid and outdated curriculum.
It’s the time of year when school children, and in particular, college students stress about impending examinations. Phrases such as “your whole life depends on these grades” are casually tossed into conversation, amidst the angst and nerves permeating revision classes. There is also, annoyingly, an abundance of self-righteous articles bestowing advice to worried parents detailing how they should help their teenagers prepare.
At high school I was an undeniable geek. I worked hard and would hope my head is filled with things other than fanciful daydreams; but I also took the teachers’ word as inevitably possessing some grain of truth and rationality, given their authority.
So upon the arrival of A-levels, it is hoped that you have developed a strong independent work ethic. Yet I feel that too many students are afraid to embrace independent thought and define their own individuality for fear of being perceived as rebelling against the system. Furthermore, I think the schooling system actively supresses individuality and creativity.
I used to spend three hours a day on the bus travelling to and from a college further along the Norfolk coastline than I was technically permitted to attend. It was a great college with a true bohemian vibe. Half my day would be spent beavering on the sewing machines in the textiles workshop; the afternoons shimmered by in the summer heat as I hung out of the bay windows of my English classroom reading the classics. More than often I would simply chat to my fantastically unconventional English teacher, who would shake his head passionately and urge me to rise against the establishment, silver earrings jangling and huge feet kitted in Doc Martins with purple laces. 
Of course it wasn't that rosy. My attendance averaged about fifty per cent. I had daily altercations with my tutor, head of year, and in particular, my scary history teacher (there’s always one). Why? Because I refused to be in college when I could work so much more efficiently on my own. If I wasn’t sat at my desk at home, I’d most definitely be found skiving lessons sat in the library or out on the lawn. I really do object to time-wasting in educational institutions. Of course it’s not acceptable to routinely skive lessons. But if you feel that you can utilise and manage your time more productively than people organising it for you, I do wish that teenagers would do it.
I was told that I was going to fail. I would never get a university place. My head of year begged me not to take four A-levels. And I was blissfully oblivious to insults. 
The day one collect's A-level results is a rite of passage; a defining moment in a young person’s life that heralds your adventures into the big, wide world. My English Literature teacher once said to me that “There’s nothing that can match the feeling of opening your A-level results, getting what you wanted and knowing that you worked for it”. Forever late, I was the last person in the year to collect them. And I’ve never been more proud than when I stood in the shade of the beech tree on the tennis lawns, on a baking August afternoon and saw, in tiny black print, in a uniform column, four A-stars.
Now I’m in my first year at university, all sense of order really has flown away just like those flighty teenage years; as to be expected. I work until six or seven o’clock in the morning and sleep until the afternoon. The other day my Mum rang and bossily insisted I listen back to a Radio Four documentary about exam advice. Before I could interject and say that a) I don’t need any advice and b) I loathe self-righteous, self-help gurus; in classic, airy lucidity, Mum declared:
“This silly woman rang in worrying that her daughter studied until eleven at night. Well she’s in for a reality shock! I mean look at you working ‘till the early hours. I hope she gets used to seeing her daughter with huge black bags under her eyes. They just don’t live in the real world do they chrissie?!”
Anyway. What I really mean to say is that you should stand by your work patterns; nobody can tell you what is best for you. Don't let others inhibit your sense of 'self' and ability to succeed.
I hope I will be able to write a blog post sometime soon, though I have two very difficult exams to revise (I mean start learning stuff) for in a couple of weeks.  This week I inconveniently decided to get conjunctivitis which meant I couldn’t really see for a few days, let alone work. On the plus side, following in the vein of free-spirited academic timetabling, I got to dance with my university ‘FUSION’ Dance Troupe once more at a charity gala; our last performance of the academic year. Even though my mother threatened to come up to London personally and pin me down in bed in the hope of a speedy recovery. It's times like these I can just hear her intoning “You can’t tell them at that age”.

The blog title is taken from Pink Floyd’s classic hit ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ from the album ‘The Wall’ which protests against the rigidity of British schooling.

On Self-Love, Primadonnas and Being Kinda Difficult

I suppose the tides of my musical loyalties began to turn at the start of 2012. Incidentally, it was also the time when I decided to self-love.

After a string of disastrous rendezvous with increasingly dysfunctional and elusive men over the past few months, and in the midst of January exam week, I had a mini breakdown. My relationship with the latest unscrupulous suitor, a builder with an advanced commitment complex was in tatters and I found myself, once again, lying on my bedroom floor, sobbing away to the sound-track of Careless Whisper.
My best friend Tom dropped by bestowing tea and sympathy and announced, in a dramatic, sepulchral whisper that he’d discovered an anthem chronicling my life.  Tom’s music is suicidally depressing and I anticipated that before long my status as a tragic love pariah was to be confirmed by the tormented wailings of some painfully alternative teenager.
But I was wrong. As I lay sprawled and incapacitated, my resident DJ for the broken-hearted played me Lana Del Rey’s latest offering “This Is What Makes Us Girls”. I eyed Tom suspiciously as Lana lamented her best friend that swayed in the wind, high heels in her hands, “mascara running down her little bambi eyes”; nothing if not an unwelcome and untimely moment of lucidity and further awkward confirmation of my physical and emotional  disintegration. But as I processed the message of the song; that the ability to feel such great emotion is what makes us human; and that we needn’t persecute ourselves over it, I felt considerably better. I began to celebrate being single.

One month later, glamorous fashionistas suddenly materialised on the pavements as we trudged along the Strand to uni. Of course it was London Fashion Week. I was still recovering from the shock of our new compulsory modules necessitating that I read Old English and the Bible to really absorb the artistic visions occurring around me. Needless to say, they hadn’t escaped Tom’s radar.
I’m not talking about the fashion. During another one of our habitual all-nighters ploughing through set texts, Tom took advantage of my temporary stupor as I was slumped on my desk to load the Burberry A/W catwalk show from LFW on my laptop. I admit I was a little bewildered why he was showing me the footage; but all made sense as I listened to the music serenading the models stalking the catwalk, evaporating skyward through the great glass greenhouse style building; the hauntingly beautiful tones of Joan Armatrading and Rae Morris (an up and coming singer-songwriter from Blackpool). And then, Tom’s star attraction, a Marina and the Diamonds track from her first album The Family Jewels entitled ‘Numb’. The song is intricately woven with orchestral strata, choir harmonies and of course, Marina’s soaring vocals that fluctuate like the hills and valleys of her Welsh birthplace.

Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Autumn Winter 2012 Show

“You’re hooked aren’t you?!” Tom crowed victoriously.

For anyone that isn’t familiar, Marina and the Diamonds are a British band fronted by Marina Lambrini Diamandis, a half-Welsh, half-Greek singer-songwriter. The Diamonds are not her backing musicians however, rather her devoted fans.
Of course I nonchalantly shrugged and changed the subject. Or rather changed the music back to my beloved Nineties Club Classics. There is nothing more vexing than having to admit that music you previously denounced as painful you know will become your secret delight.
Then, Saturday afternoon, as I’m sat trekking through Beowulf, I receive an enraged facebook message from Tom, who is currently marooned in the wilds of rural Somerset for Easter holidays. It was entirely in caps locks, and fumed something about how he hated his life and how Marina and the Diamonds were launching the new album ‘Electra Heart’ at G-A-Y Heaven that very evening.

I did tell him not to go home.
It was already half-past five. I panicked, thinking I would not be able to go because everyone was home for Easter and there was no way I could go masquerading through London to the biggest gay club in the city on my own. Luckily, an old college friend Louie, who is studying at a different university nearby was still in London and agreed to come along with me. 

Things are never quite as simple as you anticipate. The website stated that to gain entry to the club and see the band perform you needed to acquire a wristband from the sister club G-A-Y Bar in Soho. As my geography is quite poor and we neglected to properly check a map before we left, it took a while darting past raucous pub dwellers and eccentric characters before we managed to locate the bar, get a wristband and then meander back through the streets to Charing Cross, where Heaven is nestled down a side street.
Thank goodness we were early and there was no queue. We were able to waltz straight into the club. On the other hand we looked ludicrously keen. It had only just gone half past ten and Marina wasn’t due to perform until one o’clock on the main stage. A few solitary characters were shuffling in the mainstream pop floor. There was more life, and thankfully, more people upstairs where all the old Nineties classics are blasted out in an unashamed celebration of times past. The time soon passed with Usher, Britney and Christina for company.
At midnight we went back downstairs to the main dance floor which was by now filling up fast. I decided to bag my place at the front of the stage fast so I could film Marina singing. I stood, propped up on the edge of the stage for an hour and ten minutes with my lukewarm beer. But it was worth it.
At ten past one, the stage was prepped and all excess alcohol mopped up. The press photographers were ushered over to either side of the stage, the musicians took their places, and the owner of Heaven came on to announce that whilst Marina had cancelled all her scheduled performances that week due to a throat infection, she had bravely battled on to launch her new album-and that we should all lend our fullest support. He needn’t have asked. Legions of die-hard 'diamonds' had turned out; the crowd glittering in their spangled lycra a little more than usual. Some guy kept needlessly yelling in my ear “MARRY ME MARINA”.

As the eerie electric keyboard notes of ‘Homewrecker’ perforated the hum of the crowd, Marina slowly emerged out of the clouds of dissipating mist. There is absolutely no denying she looked amazing; regal and simultaneously satirical in a spectacular pink pseudo wedding dress (holographic lame bodice with buoyant frothy net skirts, pink suede platforms and a flowing flower embroidered veil.)  A wry smile playing upon her candy coloured lips, and in her characteristic detached musing that opens the song, Marina drifted centre stage playing the wide-eyed bride.

“Every boyfriend is the one
Until otherwise proven
The good are never easy
The easy never good
And loving never happens like you think it really should

Deception and perfection are wonderful traits
One will breed love
the other hate
you'll find me in the lonely hearts
under 'I'm after a brand new start”

The impact of the immense visual and auditory sensuousness was almost a bit too much for my fatigued brain. Thoughts and phrases were already flying through my head like paper aeroplanes. I'm sure I wasn't the only one looking wide-eyed. Before I could digest her beauty or singing, she abruptly metamorphosed into a defiant, vivacious seductress, flirtatiously winking and blowing kisses to the crowd as she sang to the thumping chorus.
I was busy trying to decide her possible style inspirations;  a mosaic of retro glamour, cartoon humour, American fifties prom queen. Essence of Madonna, Marilyn and Marie Antoinette laced her peroxide curls and heavily mascara’d lashes like gossamer strands. In my strange mind, I found myself likening her to those wonderful marzipan pieces of fruit crystallised in sugar that you buy for fruitcakes. She did look good enough to eat, in my defence.
 Apparently the inspiration for ‘Electra Heart’ was the corrupt American society and an “ode to dysfunctional love”. Marina didn’t want to be perceived as victim of heartbreak; rather she candidly critiques the unconventional side of female nature; some might argue the imperfections. Of wanting to be desired; wanting success and fame. Maybe I was a little intoxicated by the jamboree, but I only saw a generous sprinkling of female empowerment and independence as she hollered “I don’t belong to anyone”.

Marina really gave you no ammunition to suggest her vocal chords were under strain as she smoothly moved into the infectious ballad “I Am Not A Robot”, a song from her first album The Family Jewels, which flickers between the vulnerability and insecurity of someone wishing to fulfil their dreams, and an audacious  alter-ego who is on that ruthless pursuit. As you can imagine, pretty soon she tore the veil from her curls.
The next song ‘Oh No!’ showcased Marina’s capricious stage presence, with devilish poses, balletic port de bras and cartoonish looks of surprise. So too was ‘Hollywood”’ as she provocatively belted “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America”.

Marina's launch closed with ‘Primadonna’, the first single released from her new album. Distinctive acoustic guitar chords, heady New Wave pop and the mercurial capacities of Marina’s voice show why she is more than just another ideological pop singer. On a personal level, the complexities of character that people find hard to fathom in my character seem to be echoed in her music; the hunger and ambition for success juxtaposed with those inescapable moments of fragility.
This is the real deception that Marina sings about. Not the deceptive 'tendency' of females playing mind games in relationships. The deception of seeing merely a pink, fluffy masquerade publicising what a turbulent ride love can take you on. This is Marina teasing her audience; challenging you to discern the layers of meaning permeating her music and lyrics. Guess correctly and you too can become one of her ‘diamonds’; surpassing the fickle materialistic desires of humanity and so too surpassing fickle perceptions of her music. Perhaps the difficulties Marina finds in breaking the mainstream pop market is because people have underestimated the value of a catchy rhythm and an intelligent artist. But listen to one of her songs on repeat and you notice new idiosyncrasies hidden in the folds of that you never cared to notice before. I actually believe it is the many facets of her personality that confuse the public slightly; and perhaps her honesty about her intentions to get to the top too. Personally I find that refreshing.
I like to think I identify with Marina because she’s not afraid to talk about her past; or make light of it. She actively participates in building a caricature of her inner self. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. She can philosophise about female nature in a way that isn't philosophical at all. I’m the first one to make fun of myself and my mistakes; who wants to hear about someone whose life is so inconceivably rosy that it makes you feel bad for being such a misfit? Maybe that’s why when a delightfully intoxicated fellow in G-A-Y grabbed my hand for an impromptu Argentine tango and hurled me round like a rag doll  I just went with it.

After surviving the fight to buy one of her new ‘Primadonna’ singles from reception and waiting in the seemingly endless queue of fans winding through the V.I.P entrance, I eventually got to climb the steps to where Marina was perched at a little table; a bunch of 'Sharpie' marker pens on one side and a very apathetic looking owner of Heaven on the other. Ironically, she had made a little paper sign propped up on two water bottles that apologised for not being able to speak, as she thought she had ruptured a vocal chord. Ironic because it is reportedly Marina’s nightmare to be perceived as a vacuous doll; and after belting out her hits about empowerment and human hang-ups, she sat with twinkling eyes and fluttering lashes like a mute prom queen; a divinely beautiful one at that.  She duly signed my CD with my name, her signature and a love heart. And then she was spirited away in a swish of net skirts and a flick of her blonde ringlets. The sound of Rihanna and Lady Gaga ate away at the last beats of alternative pop and the energy dissipated like curls of mist.

A random guy tapped me on the shoulder, thrusting another copy of a signed Marina CD into my hands.

“Here, do you want this? I don’t even know who she is”.

I happily agreed, disappeared before he could change his mind, and quietly hoped that it would not be too long before that man realised he had made a mistake. 

Primrose Daydreams

Around Eastertime years ago in the heart of the North Norfolk countryside, the spring sunshine would glimmer pleasant warmth upon that classic English perennial; the primrose. This was a time when wildflowers carpeted the rural landscape like a floral patchwork quilt. Families of primroses assembled round tree trunks in coppice woodland or freckled damp meadows.  

On a somewhat overcast day in London, my fellow flatmates of 103C have dispersed like seeds in the wind, back to the Rhine, the Welsh valleys or similar. I, however, am alone in my room, surrounded by a legion of formidable library books. Paradise Lost and a yellowing copy of Beowulf from the fifties lie abandoned as I endeavour to decipher meaning in old English lyrics. Outside on the street a youth speeds past with ‘Soldier Boy’ thumping out of the speakers.

Before wishing us a Happy Easter my tutors casually bestowed five essays to complete in two weeks. I am frantically typing as well as worrying about sitting two exams on Early Modern and Classical and Biblical literature a week later-yes Biblical. Tears, tantrums and copious cups of tea have already been spent fighting through the Book of Psalms. Needless to say, with the demanding workload, I decided not to go home for Easter festivities as I know my work will lie neglected.

Halfway through note-taking on Ars Moriendi, The Art of Dying (cheerful I know) the phone rings. It’s Mum. I have to answer otherwise she’ll leave five voicemail messages before instructing the security guards of halls to conduct a personal search and rescue mission.

‘Hello darling!’, Mum twinkles down the line, ‘just calling to see how you’re doing’.

The secret is to never bemoan the workload, or actually, moan in general. Usually I measure the mood of the voice on the line; if it’s relentlessly chirpy, like today, I just say I’m fine. It’s so much easier. Mum was blessed with the amazing ability of not appearing as if she’s listening to a word you say, ruthlessly ploughing over you with anecdotes of Yorkshire pudding success stories and babysitting triumphs. In fact, she skilfully files every scrap of information she hears; any deviation from cheery optimism and she can craftily use it as ammunition the next time I fall ill and then declare 'well that’s because you didn’t take those multivitamins I sent you in the jiffy bag last Friday'.

‘Mum’, I warned, ‘I’m in the middle of writing an essay’, as I displace a pile of papers with my elbow that cascade off the top of my desk and mutinously drift about on the hideous nylon carpet. 

Of course that was selectively filtered out.

‘Anyway darling, I was just remembering how you used to make a Garden of Gethsemane for the Chuch display every year when you were little! Do you remember?’

I pause, fountain pen hovering above the lyric “with the precious river that runneth from his womb”, caught on the one hand between impulsively decoding Mum’s possible motivations for this trip down memory lane, and mulling over the nostalgic memories flooding my mind on the other.

Every year, the children in our village would be asked produce their own interpretation of a Garden of Gethsemane. The garden is located by the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where it is said that Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before his crucifixion. In Greek, ‘Gethsemane’ means ‘olive press’, and the garden in Jerusalem today is filled with gnarled olive trees standing proudly like war veterans; adorned with silvery green foliage that glint like medals upon the lapel and clusters of white blossom.

Armed with little fruit baskets, my sister Annabelle and I would go questing into the woodland for mats of velvety emerald moss, fragments of lichen covered bark and ferns that nod their heads in the slight spring breeze. These forest riches would beautify the little paper maché cave I made with newspaper and that special concoction of flour and water. The cave would be positioned on an old cake board, decorated with greenery and perfected with a tiny gravel path winding through the garden up to the cave entrance. I can’t remember ever using plastercine, reels of sellotape or ready-made craft materials that children seem to require nowadays. We weren’t the obsessive ‘living off the land’ type or bohemian children of nature; our happiness was found in being instinctively artistic and making our own entertainment.

Those memories never leave you. Of course I hadn’t forgotten. I thought we were on track for a nice reflective conversation.

Cheerfully bludgeoning through my reverie , Mum swiftly progressed onto asking whether I was going to nip out and get myself a chicken, turkey or something equally as ridiculous to roast on Easter Sunday.
‘You’ll never be able to do any decent work if you don’t feed yourself properly, next thing you’ll be having fainting fits, remember all the trouble we had with you at school?’ she chastised. I rolled my eyed and looked over at my sixteen-pack of brioche rolls from Lidl that I’ve steadily been working my way through all afternoon.

The time for mother-daughter chit-chat had unsurprisingly expired. My woefully incomplete essay sat winking at me and I was losing the fight with my instinctive urge to run and glug caffeine. Mercifully, Mum announced that she couldn’t stay on the line (in standard subverted Mum-logic) and promised she would ring to check how I was tomorrow morning, probably at the unsavoury hour at 6am or similar.

There are times when we all wish everything were simpler. When we find ourselves wistfully reminiscing about those carefree childhood days. When we long to drop whatever we’re doing and bask in the spring sunshine just because we feel like it.

The photograph above is my two year old self doing just that. Staring intently into the face of a wild primrose hoping to unlock some worldly knowledge. I know I won’t be unearthing a woody glade stitched with these little effervescent beauties tomorrow. But I can always sit on the square of lawn at the back of our apartments to satisfy my countryside homesickness. There’s always ways and means if we look hard enough. It might make reading medieval literature a little easier.

Happy Easter.

Beauty School Dropout

Hardly a day passes when I don't read something related to the struggle of the modern day woman to balance her lifestyle. Today, hidden in some dusty corner on an old USB, I came across a piece I wrote some time ago deliberating this quandary. Whilst I am not a wife, or a mother, I have witnessed the problems that women face nowadays, and thought I would share this piece, just as a humorous reminder that  whilst we all possess many admirable, individual qualities, we don't need to try and be superhuman. Speaking as (I fear) an eternally unorganised young lady who finds it problematic balancing essays and blog writing, I have huge admiration for the working woman. I hope you enjoy the piece!

The days when sugar-coated fifties’ housewives seemed content to bathe in the joys of domestic proficiency and weekly Tupperware parties now seems a comical remnant in the historical tapestry of the female lifestyle. Society is happy to believe they perished in the wilderness of time long ago, alongside hostess trolleys and conical bras.

 But are women of the modern day really significantly liberated than from times past? Are we unfairly bridled with too much responsibility? We can laugh at the so-called captivity of the fifties’ lady bridled by a floral pinny but are we really the free spirits we humour ourselves to be? More importantly, what is the role of the modern woman?

Role One: Career Woman

Revolutionary though it may have been for a domestic deity of the fifties to sample the newfound follies of secretarial work, modern women are all too aware of the pressures in society of holding down a respectable profession. The Intelligent Woman’s Guide To Good Taste, by Susan Chitty, published in 1958 purports that it is “perfectly respectable to be an unskilled worker”, and startingly that the “least important thing about a job is being good at it.”

Sadly, this wishful thinking is rendered well and truly redundant in a world where qualifications, company training courses, and a comprehensive knowledge of technical jargon are all adversities we must overcome in the minefield that is being a professional. Women are all too aware of the impending electric bill and the new school clothes you have to buy the kids weekly as their growth spurts pull your purse strings.

But household expenses and children aren’t the only reason careers seem to be a big priority for the modern woman. We take pride in the fact that we are intellectual equals to men, and can match them with our degrees as well as with our pay packets. We don’t want to be confined to the kitchen where the extent of our mental capacity stretches to perfecting ‘coq au vin’. Climbing the career ladder through hard work and proficiency in our jobs equates to a huge sense of personal fulfilment and satisfaction, something that in my opinion, reaching competence in cuisine just can’t rival.

Role Two: Doting Wife

One choice phrase from “Housekeeping Monthly” in 1955 states that women should “Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return”.

Nowadays the absurdity of living in a shadow of subservience to men and cooking soufflés make us cackle at the fifties housewife life. Some champion the antics of the spontaneous Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, whom Austen created to challenge conventions of feminity and sexual inequality, influenced of course, by the renowned Mary Wollstonecraft. But back in the day, what to cook for their spouse’s evening meal was a genuine concern for most women.

Even though the modern day wife may be up to her nylon clad-neck in the stresses of work and her unruly brood of kids, some women might like to fulfil their husband’s hopes of looking perfectly groomed, cooking a meal from scratch and vacuuming a little from time to time. Sometimes it is a fight to fit those things into our quotidian lives.

But reality dictates that that spreadsheets and parents evenings take priority over trying a little fifties wifely finesse. One could argue that women are repressed as much in the
modern day by the pressure to be a super spouse, hold down a high-powered career and nurture the children as we were in the fifties.

 There’s nothing wrong with taking pleasure in baking a resplendent blancmange for our husband’s if that’s what takes our fancy. Similarly, bequeathing the domestic chores over to our husband is fine if we want to mow the lawn. What women are witnessing in the modern day is a disproportionate amount of responsibilities being shouldered because of the culture of the “super-mum”. If duties are shared equally between husband and wife, even I might be tempted in the future to embrace my inner domestic goddess and take flight with the feather duster.

I cannot say that I would don a prom dress and pearls though. Regretfully, my old faithful jogging bottoms and pineapple style ponytail style cannot compete with the polish and grace of the fifties lady. I am a self-confessed Beauty School Dropout; when at home, at least.

Role Three: Super Mum

Many a time I’ve witnessed a beleaguered mother’s anguish as she informs the other mothers’ at the school gates that her multiple talents do not encompass whipping up an angel costume for the nativity play with one night’s notice.

In between juggling a career and expectations of performing household chores, women also have to nurture their offspring so as to ensure they become well educated, responsible, rounded citizens.

Simple? Not so. My mother had five children and I can honestly say I have no idea how she had time to check whether we had our P.E kits, packed lunches and our slip of parental consent saying we could go on Friday’s trip to the activity centre; let alone run her own business at the same time.

The 1950’s “Housekeeping Monthly” has an epigrammatically short reference to one’s wide-eyed brood, in the context of appeasing The Husband. “Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and face, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part”.

And finally…That elusive work/life balance

So we’ve established that the squeaky clean fifties housewife belongs to a bygone era. But before we all lose ourselves in a celebration of empowered femininity, the modern women should take a step back and review her life before we all fall prey to the womanly neologisms that society has spawned. Essentially, it doesn’t really matter what principles we adopt in our lifestyles. But we also must remind ourselves (and others) that sadly, women do not spontaneously mutate into a tentacled power house every time there’s a spot of multi-tasking to be done. It’s all about equality. In my opinion, relationships should be based on mutual support and compromise for both sexes if those mercurial temptresses, sanity and reality, condescend to stay around.