Forbidden Fruit : Is Sharing Caring?

‘The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her’.

Bob Marley

I start this blog with a quote from one of the coolest men to have ever lived. Bob Marley was married, had 6 children 2 of which he adopted and another 6 from different women. Feminists everywhere will be disgusted at these facts and will be burning their bras in united protest. I watched a documentary recently about a Jamaican man who was married to the same woman for over 20 years and had 15 children not all of them by her. He’s got time! It all seemed very normal to him and his family but the trend on Twitter wasn’t so understanding.

This isn’t a Jamaica slamming blog, trust me when I say that many men have baby’s from other mothers; this way of life is not exclusive to Jamaicans. There are those who choose to hide it by ignoring their child completely or handing the mother a few quid so as not to rock the boat he is smoothly sailing on. For all those reading this hissing and man hating you do know that this kind of arrangement works and is acceptable for a lot of these women?

Once again we are back to preconceived ideas and the notion that anything other than 1 + 1 is outrageous and insensitive. We all know about Adam and Eve and the belief that God created them to live in paradise on earth; that was until he tested Adam and Eve was tricked too, eating a banana when she shouldn’t have done..tut tut! Like them you will probably choke on the forbidden fruit that you have taken a large bite from or you’ll get a granny smith thrown at you with force.

Women do have a choice and whilst some are honestly unaware of his fruity antics there are others who know exactly what they are getting into and accept it as their lot in life. Are they happy with sharing him though? We ask children to share from a young age as it teaches them how to give and be selfless so are we contradicting ourselves now by saying sharing a partner is out of the question? Well I don’t believe sharing is caring when it comes to this subject; a woman who knows her weight in fruit won’t put up with feeling like a gooseberry while he’s out popping cherries!

© Michelle Sotiriou 2013

Football Banter: Who Is The Greatest?

Yes,  I love football! I have done since I saw Liam Brady score a goal some players can only dream about firing in the back of the net and Alan Sunderlands’ hat-trick defeating the old enemy Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 in 1978. I was 7 years old and watching that match ignited my passion for the beautiful game and Arsenal Football Club. Did I look at other teams and wonder if I should switch? I had one wobble, Ricky Villa got me very confused with skills that blew me sideways and his compadre Ozzy Ardiles was just as amazing to watch. It was the Argentinian invasion I didn’t see coming but I remained a loyal ‘Gooner’ and just learned to appreciate how talented players from rival teams were.

One of the things I like most about football is the banter and opinions between fathers, females’ and football widows. Amongst the rolling of the eyes when their men are having a loud debate about who is the greatest, these women know a thing or two just by listening. Occasionally, one of them will throw a spanner in the works and silence the testosterone filled room. Just that very thing happened whilst the fathers’ at my nephews football club were discussing Brazil’s Pele and Argentina’s Maradona. One was adamant that Maradona was nothing short of ‘phenomenal’ and the other 8 strong were having none of it for them Pele was and still is the man.

So the proverbial spanner had touched down with a thud and it was me that threw it into the arena, well why not? I was busting a gut to say something so I thought what’s the worst that could happen. They might laugh, they might put me down or say “What do you know?” Then I thought, hang on for as many men that there are in the room there are women…back up!!!  So my moment came when they decided to draw breath for a second all I needed was the space to say one word, ‘Zidane’. Silence, you could have heard a pin drop. I felt quite empowered but then I thought, “Oh gawd, someone say something please”. Sometimes, it takes a lot to gain the respect of others and for a woman football is a tough stage to stand on and be heard. But they did hear me and I got the acceptance nod from all of them and the “Oh yeh, she has a point,” collective remark.

Our opinion on most subjects holds more weight if we have the knowledge to back it up. There is a chance that your peers will listen and will sometimes be surprised by the sense you make. If you are passionate about something learning more about it will be a pleasure and what’s more, your mind will soak it up like a sponge. The greatest is still a matter for continued debate for the fathers’ at the Arsenal Academy and I will be throwing in another name the next time when we discuss defenders. I’ll be doing what any good footballer does…forget that I might lose the ball or fall flat on my behind and just get stuck in!

© Michelle Sotiriou 2013

Look But Don’t Touch: The Modern Man?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that men don’t feel things the way women do. It’s just that we tend to display our emotions in dramatic fashion…floods of tears being top of the list. This means we care more? Not so. Men may appear aloof and cold when hurt but that’s a defense mechanism that comes naturally for a man. It’s in their nature, nothing wrong with something that comes naturally but we have difficulty in reminding ourselves that both sexes are made in very different ways.

Women are a lot more open to taking chances even when there is a niggling doubt about a relationship or liaison we are about to begin we go with it anyway. We are far more willing to trust the side of the person that is good. It isn’t always the case that we want to change a man but we are accepting of the traits that aren’t so endearing…no one’s perfect right. Usually if you see there is a heart and generosity (I don’t mean him spending money on you) you have found a firm base on which to start.

I have had interesting conversations with men and in particular those who have been through divorces (some more than once) the message is that they have had their fingers burnt emotionally and financially; because of this a meaningful relationship is not in their future plans. What a shame, everyone deserves that special someone, they or you may not think it now but I believe that it’s a basic human need for anything with a heartbeat and to fight it means going against your natural instincts.

So what’s the consequence? More women remain single, good women that men are missing out on and they know it. So what would these reluctant men rather do? Virtual flirting…Skype and now Tinder! Yes people, I know us girls like to chat but this takes on a whole new meaning. These men are thinking this is easy, have a chat with a virtual blonde or brunette on his terms; no swapping of telephone numbers, no chance of bumping into her in Tesco and the only way to speak to her is by firing up the laptop yourself…complete control. No way of getting hurt again…result!!

Oh fellas! I’m not knocking it I get it, I understand why; but you’re missing out on so much and what’s more so are we. There are many levels of the human touch and it is an integral part of our development starting with the day of our birth yet it seems to me that there is a lack of it now and this could be the root cause of all the suffering that goes on in our technological and ‘busy’ world today. Why avoid touch like it’s the new plague refusing its symptoms for fear it could lead you to an early grave?

Could the habitual avoidance of human touch be the reason for so many people living life the single way? I’m stunned at how fearful people are of even giving it a chance. Half don’t want the potential connotations that touch could potentially bring whilst the other half really don’t mind giving it a go and will gladly accept whatever follows; hoping for the best. So we are stuck, both sides so far removed from one another making any form of real connection virtually impossible.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2013

You Complete Me??

I have a very interesting accessory on my wrist which has become something of a mystery to my friends and family. A good friend of mine gave me a white ribbon which had been blessed at a church in Bahia Brazil. According to tradition, you must make a wish when the ribbon has been tied to your wrist and that wish will come true when the ribbon falls away. Well, that was two years ago and this ribbon which has now become an unrecognizable piece of rag is still attached to me; I can’t even remember what I wished for it’s that long ago!

Knowing me at that time it was probably a logical and simple wish like being happy. Not a big ask is it, yet it can be like reaching up for something  on a high shelf. You climb up on a chair for that teasing pot of smooth Peanut Butter and if you’re lucky the chair won’t wobble, but what happens if you go flying and have no choice but to acquire a taste for Marmite? Should you risk getting back up on that chair or find yourself the longest ladder you can find?

I hear so many people say that feeling complete will bring them the happiness that they crave for and that another person would make them feel complete. Really, I’m not convinced about laying the responsibility at the door of another as it implies that you can’t be whole if there is just you. In Greek Mythology the first humans were created with 4 arms, 4 legs, 4 eyes, 2 noses and 2 mouths.  Afraid of their power Zeus split them in half leaving them to find the other half of themselves…SOUL MATES.

I believe in soul mates and if one day you find your other half then that’s great but I reckon in the meantime meeting people who will compliment you  not complete you are far more special. Complete seems so final but finding people you get on with on a spiritual and intellectual level has so much more going for it and not forgetting humour; sharing jokes and banter is soul enhancing! There is so much emphasis on how we begin and where we want to end up that we become blind to the importance of the middle bit; it’s like eating a jam doughnut only to find that the raspberry filling is missing…empty and devoid of any real substance.

Who wants to feel like a doughnut?

© Michelle Sotiriou 2013