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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

WHITE: Tragedies 

Dolly apologises for the absence but she has been rather glued to the telly, watching frightening and devastating shots and news updates of the tsunami tragedy. It feels all a bit wrong - almost guilty - to be doing anything else.

Normal posts and services shall be resumed soon once things are a bit more chipper. For now, it's back to the BBC and lots of prayers and thoughts for the tsunami victims. D xxx

PS: Many thanks to everyone who wrote to find out if Dolly was ok. She's very fine and was well touched by all the concern!

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Saturday, December 25, 2004

RED&GREEN: Festive cheer 

Ho ho ho and a merry christmas full for sparkle and coloured balls (ahem). Christmas has crept up rather quick this year. It was November... and then suddenly it was Christmas Eve.

And so, because of the sudden rush of time, Dolly has been rather preoccuped with last minute Christmas shopping - both for her loved ones, silly friends and of course, for herself. Santa stopped visiting a long time ago and since Dolly grew up, got more fussy and developed more peculiar, particular tastes, her parents have found themselves in more of a tizzy every year over buying presents. Eventually, they decided it would be easier to pass the buck, and let Dolly play both Santa, elf and recipient. So now Dolly buys her own presents, on behalf of her parents, wraps them up, puts them under the tree and opens it again (surprise!) on the day itself.

It works. Dolly's parents are relieved of the duties of traipsing aimlessly around shopping centres and being bothered by crowds; and Dolly gets the fine pick of the shopping lot. This year, she picked Kenneth Cole and is pleased indeed.

Of course, Christmas should really be about something more religious and substantial than the such blatant, exploitative consumerism and exchange of presents wrapped in shimmery bows... But Dolly was never a praying, chanting, church goer and is quite sure God and the heavenly angels would love for us to have fun while we're bound here on earth as mere mortals.* And anyway, any excuse to buy books on tiaras for gay friends and plush green toy elephants for your mother is a good enough excuse. So ho ho, bring on the festive cheer, my darlings, pour out another mug of mulled wine and be merry jerries.

Amen.

*Sacrilegeous, possibly! Don't let your born again Christian friends read this for then they shall all stop praying for Dolly's soul and she shall surely be condemned to hell. HAH!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

YELLOW: Ikea 

Some thing never fail to amuse. Like standing in the middle of Ikea and saying repeatedly, "Hallo. My name is Helga. I come from SVVEEEDEN!" in your most ridiculous Scandinavian accent.

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Monday, December 20, 2004

HOT RED: Frilly knickers 

Dolly wrote about knickers a long long time ago when she had just spent lots of money on new frilly pants and things. Then recently, she reorganised her knicker drawer, flung out half the contents and had a rethink about underwear.

She wrote long and lengthily before about the wonders of frilly, sexy numbers; the cheeky little secret of having so-sexy, lacy, nicely-embroidered underwear underneath. But, she'd like to 'eat her shorts' now, as it were, and point out a few things that are usually overlooked when talk of lingerie arises.

Frilly lacy bras, as seductive and come-hither as they are, can often be itchy or tickle in the wrong places. Also, uneven textures of lacy bras create unsightly lumps and bumps under clothes - and when wearing equally sexy, though sheer and super-smooth-nylony tops, lacy bras show through as a hundred tiny nipples or wrinkles scattered over your chest. Quite as undesirable as the bras themselves are desirable.

Secondly, sexy bras come in unusual, exotic sorts of colours which makes it difficult to match with anything other than its specific (and usually expensive) panty-counterpart. And even if it is just in black or white, the patterns on it mean that matching it to just any black or white pants will end up looking naff and incomplete. In any case, there are varying degrees of whites and blacks, which means that either the top or the bottom will look more faded than the other.

The ultra-sheer, super-skinny g-strings present the inconvenient problem of having to handwash on a regular basis because washing machines gnaw their way through the material and stretch it to an ungainly rag. Dolly recently rediscovered in her underwear drawer a most erotic number, held together at the sides only by skinny satin ribbons. It sounds exciting of course, and highly seductive, but is actually just a hassle to tie up and the sides end up looking crooked and all very wrong. When she retrieved it from the washing machine, the strings had knotted themselves into each other to form a giant balled mess and she had to spend another half an hour undoing them all...

At which point, Dolly sighed a big sigh of relief for her Bridget Jones' knickers for girls the world over can't deny that good old cottony undies are the way forward, and nothing is nicer than mooching around with boy-cut panties or a cotton thong and an old strappy vest. Something to let your bits breathe, you know, and be themselves.

So remember boys, that when your pretty little date is dressed to the nines in a lacy number, she might be suffering that slight itch of lacy material throughout dinner and shall have to bother with the pain of delicate handwashing the day after. And remember too, that the best way of showing your appreciation for underwear colour/pattern/trimming coordination, choice of lacy/satin material and the dainty prim that it encourages in posture is by taking it all off her, ravishing the nakedness for a few splendid evenings and then buying her a pack of five Marks and Spencers cotton bikini-cut pants for Christmas.

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Friday, December 17, 2004

PINK: Public displays of affection 

Dolly used to hate PDAs. When she was first with her boy, he even asked why she didn't seem to like being touchy in public. She found them irksome and irritating to everyone-else-who-has-to-watch and bear the cloying embarrassment being there. She still finds it annoying that when out in a social gathering, couples will nook themselves away into lands-of-their-own and kiss frantically to the exclusion of any social interaction with anyone else.

How antisocial, hmphs Dolly, and chooses the loud flouncing about that will mean flirting and playing with everyone else at the party.

There is a distinction though, between PDAs in front of strangers and PDAs in front of friends. Somehow, it seems easier to bear PDAs when they're strangers. Mad, passionate pashing in busstops and across Italian restaurants is tolerable. Loud sound effects and squishy noises, however, not acceptable. Not all of us need to oratory evidence of tongues swishing about in mouths, or lips smacking on faces. Dolly must confess that the occasional flamboyant, theatrical kiss on the lips while out walking in city streets in the twilight, Hollywood style, is fun. You see, there are other ways of 'displaying your affection' without ramming tongues down throats or making sucking noises. Spontaneous dancing on the pavements which end up with his arms wrapped around you as he tells you how lovely you are can be far more cossetting, sexy and lovable that crassly crossing the bases in public.

As for PDAs in front of friends: There is something almost insulting about couples huddling off to a corner in front of you to snoggle (snog+cuddle). Really, you think to yourself, are you that incapable of holding off the kisses for a few hours until you get your own room? Or is our company really that uninspiring as to inspire 'quiet time' with your other in public? If nothing else, PDAs when spending social time with other friends only signifies a sort of inability to function outside the couple-unit and makes you look ridiculous and dependent. Dolly does not like planting her lips all over her boy's face or having him plough his fingers through her hair when out with friends because of the simple fact that she likes keeping (and enjoying) her social life with friends separately from time spent with her boy. It's called, perhaps, having a(n independent) life. And over-zealous PDA whereever you are indicate that well, you don't.

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

BLACK: Errors? 

GoodNESS! What has Blogger been up to while Dolly has been away? If anyone of you were here recently and saw that awful blue rubbish that had found its way into her blog, rest assured it was none of her rubbish, and she has taken pains to get rid of it quickly quickly.

Dolly is exhausted from having to catch up on both work and gym sessions that she has quite badly neglected over the past three months. On the upside though, she now has three jobs going and feels rather the darling about town. At present she has her toes dipped comfortably in politics, property and lots of zen, with time to spare for pedicures.

Not all fun and roses though... Something shall always crop up and get under the skin when you're feeling most cosy. Yesterday, Dolly had the ill fate of meeting a most obnoxious girl on the same research team as her. S, let's call her, did a fancy-schmancily titled postgraduate degree in London, has been a lawyer with the UN, lived in Geneva, worked in London and is now on a 'sabbatical' back in KL - impressive of course, and Dolly thought all this interesting stuff, until she started with her airs and her pretentious way of talking down to anyone else who wasn't her shadow. "So what did you do in University?" she asked Dolly. When Dolly told her it was English Lit, she did the tiresome Malaysian disdainful,terribly-uninterested thing of "Oh", followed by "In Australia, was it?" in that bored, condescending tone that ridiculously pompous British-educated Malaysians with their illustions-of-grandeur like to use on anyone educated beyond the North Sea. She looked disappointed, almost irritated, when Dolly said she'd actually been in England too.

There was talk of looking through foreign-language newspaper archives such as French newspapers. The head of research was keen on the idea and asked if anyone read French. As it turned out, three out of four of them did, but S was most keen that everyone know that she did. "I speak French," she said, puffing out her chest and swirling her hair. "I lived in Geneva you see so I had to speak French there; and anyway when I was with the U.N., I had to learn it for many years." At which point, the rest of the team felt ill and felt the backs of their hands itching to slap her one. She then proceeded to point out, loudly and all-knowingly, the many grammar mistakes in the minutes of the last meeting, huffing and puffing as she did over how stupid the writer must be. "And he's supposed to be a lawyer," she said, as if speaking on behalf of all lawyers.

Do you think she'll read this, and realise how much Dolly dislikes her? Quite unlikely really; she must be off doing far more important things. Still, irritating people like her make for blog entries and shall make the rest of us better people for the exercising of Patience.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oh hang on.. maybe it was the sex that lost the calories???

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

WHITE: Shoes to walk in  

The gym, Dolly has decided, does not work. When she was going four times a week, sweating out a storm on her favourite stepper (second to the left) and exhausting her ankles in mid-air bodycombat kicks she never lost a single ounce. That adorable mini from Mango she bought long ago in hope that she would lost weight into it, still always remained just-snug.

When she was overseas with her boy, she tried to keep up the gymming but managed only about once a week and then not at all. The threadmills were soon replaced by eclairs full of cream and giant servings of dining out. She did, however, find herself walking rather a lot - down to the shops, around and around the shops, back home from the shops. It was never quite brisk walking; Dolly needs to stroll at a leisurely pace to enjoy the full effect of idling and being on holiday. Pavements are aplenty in other countries - a privilege we have yet to enjoy on Malaysian roads (who deals with this? Samy Vellu?) - so walking isn't a big hot dusty, tiresome dangerous affair like it is here. No snatch thefts that threaten your every step, no erratic wiras to leap away from as they come out of nowhere and skim the edges of your toes, no horrid humidity to make your armpits unpleasant.

The boy had offered to let Dolly drive his car, but she was afraid she might destroy it with her ungainly driving and bring the relationship to a close. So she walked everywhere instead. There were free buses in the city but they were slow sometimes, so Dolly even evaded public transport and took on the grand challenge to beat the buses by walking home. She was well pleased with herself.

When she got home, she stepped on her scales to discover that she'd lost three kilos and has since been complimented on the weight loss by surprised friends. So yes, perhaps ditch that RM175-a-month gy membership and live on eclairs and walking instead? Much more fun that way, and less a slave to evil machines.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

BLACK: Comments 

Dolly has got rid of her comments box, so if you want to say anything to her you'll have to email direct. Ooooh and Dolly loves emails!

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WHITE: Home 

Dolly is back in KL, huzzah! Already, she's managed to almost run her car into an old volvo, has her face swelled up in allergies, had her Chilli's burger fix and spent an exhausting Sunday battling the commoners down at Midvalley (don't those people have families to go home to on the weekends!). Jolly dolly.

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

BLACK: Dinner parties, cont. 

Well Dolly did splendidly at the dinner party, and didn't embarrass either herself or the boy. She didn't look as fabulous as she'd hoped (the boy told her at the last minute that it wasn't really that formal, so she didn't have the chance to wear her new sparkly top with silver bits) but made up for it by flashing bit charming smiles and doling out plenty of "pleased to meet yous" and firm handshakes. Dolly had to be on her best behaviour of course, which was difficult. None of that raucous laughter or flashing of knickers at friends, and whenver she spoke of her boy she had to refer to him by his proper name which she has never used for the two years they've been together. But the boy was adoring all night and was excited to introduce Dolly to his colleagues. They all shook her hand, smiled broadly and said "Ah yes! We've seen your picture" which of course, is hideous one of Dolly pulling a most atrociously cross face which the boy has chosen to stick up on his desk.

Dolly and the boy were stuck at the end of a long table - and being at the end usually mean that you have with few people to talk to. Well, they ended up sitting across the boy's manager and his wife, the lovely sort of couple that go sailing on the weekend. The question arose of course, as to what Dolly did; she decided not to be facetious or rude so answered truthfully about her research what's-it. It resulted in a very long, inescapable question and answer session about Malaysian multiculturialism, politics and, everybody's favourite, whether Anwar really should have been kicked out of power. Dolly, the most unsavvy of political girls stumbled along half heartedly, but she hopes that her MA has prepared her well for bullshitting and managed to get her past the inquisitive questions of the daintily-moustached man across her. The many blank looks she got after longwinded spiels of half-imagined information was probably a sign that he thought she was being mostly ridiculous and halfwitted.

Well, at some point Dolly found herself in that strange sort of state where you suddenly hear yourself talking as if you were standing outside of yourself. She heard herself yattering on about the New Economic Policy, the economic imbalance between the Malays and the Chinese in the 1960s and postcolonial angst and wondered what the hell she was really talking about. Eventually, she ran away to the toilet for respite and upon her return found her boy talking to another couple about miniature schnauzers and cats instead. Oh sweet reprieve!

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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

RED: Sexy boys and girls 

It seems to be a time for spotting the most eligible single people in the world. Dolly bought a girly rubbish magazine recently which featured one of those "20 most eligible bachelor" lists, and her boy has just got a new issue of a ladmag with a "20 sexiest girls-next-door" competition.

Dolly, being the sort of feminist she is, thinks these sorts of things quite hilarious and has many good giggles to herself as she flicks through pages of men or women posed pseudo-seriously against backdrops of rocks and splendidly fanned fake leaves. She wonders if these people are very pleased with themselves when the issue of the magazine is published and buy extra copies of it for their relatives and friends.

What did strike her most though was that although there are usually very many fabulous bodies, gorgeous men and beautiful girls, there is also always a mandatory scattering of the very average, or even worse, the rather ugly. As Dolly goes through the list of bachelors for the one she'd most like to "win a dream date with!", she comes across a few that make her wonder how anyone could possibly want him? or him with the huge paunch? or that 22year-old who looks 45? And as she flicks through the pages of sexy bikini-clad girls competing for votes from ladmag readers, she inevitably finds one or two so monstrous looking, and with such piqued caricatured features, that she almost feels relieved for not being in the list herself. This is not, she points out, a matter of personal choice - as the ugly-odd-ones-out that she has in mind as she writes this are indisputably unattractive.

And the whole thing, of course, makes for so many much silent chuckling when you realise that these poor darlings are probably incredibly chuffed with themselves that they've been picked as being among the country's most desirable/sexy/eligible. Posing seriously in beckoning, come-hither poses has the opposite effect when one is undesirable and not really that sexy. It makes them rather laughable instead. Bless them.

Dolly wonders, with that cynical flick so characteristic of arts students who read too much into things, if maybe the odd ugly one is put there just to give the rest of the average population some hope. Or perhaps she's just seeeeeeethingly jealous and bitter that, after all, she isn't one of those glossy girls in the glossy mags, chosen among hundreds of entries as this year's pick of the lot.* But you see, that's just ridiculous because she already knows she is without having to wait for votes from a magazine poll!

*Dolly must point out that she hasn't ever put herself up for any of these sorts of sexygirl competition things. She's read far too many ardent feminist 'male gaze/woman-as-object' theories to pose in a bikini without getting agitated by the psychology behind it (more Laura Mulvey another day). Also, she realises that her thighs probably wouldn't get her through the first round. hah!

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

BLACK... Tie and dinner parties 

Dolly is currently reading Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty which contains some of the best prose and satire she's ever read. It won the Booker this year (in case that matters to any of you who are book snobs) and is gorgeously erotic for every line that's written in its 501 pages. Not sure though, if it'll ever make it into Malaysian bookshops - it's all about boys buggering each other (very posh buggering though, if that makes a difference) which might not go down too well with our censorship boards.

Anyway, The Line of Beauty is full of dinner parties... Which got Dolly thinking about how fascinating they can be for its self-pompousness or how very dull they are for their predictable outcomes. Dolly's father can be a bit "bourgeois gentilhomme" (read Moliere, you ignorant lowlifes!) and likes to entertain with lavish dinner parties at which Dolly has to make an appearance and play genial hostess. She is asked all the usual questions, "Do you have a boyfriend?" "How did you lose weight?" and, most detestable of all "And what is it that you do now?"

Unless you're under 18, it is a given that at whatever social function you find yourself in, the question shall be asked. Always asked casually, as a by-the-by, but which you know, will allow whoever asked the question to form quick and determined impressions of you thereafter. Whatever it is you say - "I'm in PR" or "I run my own business in..." or "I'm doing my CA" - slots you into a mental category in your listener's mind and now they know all the important questions of interest to ask you.

Oh how dull. Dolly is going to her boy's office Christmas dinner this Friday and has been assured by the boy that the question will most definitely be asked. She thinks it will be boring to just say she's in research (which is the truth) or journalist (which she was) since everyone hates them, so has spent much time in the last few days concocting big untruths to impress with instead.

So she has plans declare proudly that she works in a farm where she sorts the poisonous mushrooms from the non-poisonous ones ("And I recently got a promotion, see. So now I head the team of mushroom-sorters"). Or, whinge endlessly to her listless neighbours about how she never made it as a porn star, but has, yay!, been hired recently as a full-time fluffer on Handjob Hunnies. Or say that she's only 16 and still in high school. And then go home to KL the day after and leave the boy to face the sniggers when he goes back to work on Monday.

If you think these unsuitable, Dolly is open to other suggestions.

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Monday, December 06, 2004

Sometimes a girl just wants to have her nipples licked!

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YELLOW: Potatoes 

While at the fruit market, Dolly and her boy bumped into a girl her boy knew. They exchanged pleasantries and then went their separate ways. Dolly had heard much about this girl - apparently half the city were in love with her. She was quite lovely, inoffensive, but Dolly is sure she knows many other girls who are much more attractive. What was it about her that boys found fascinating then, she asked her boy, to which he answered, "She scrubs up well, and has a nice temperament."

He is adorable for his little quips.

"Nice temperament? That sounds like a phrase you'd use to describe a dog," said a Dolly, rather amused. "'Scottish terriers are known for their nice and friendly temperament'".

"Yes," agreed the boy. "People would use that to describe their women in the old days. 'A good woman is known for her child-bearing hips and nice temperament'". Haha.

As for the more amusing phrase 'to scrub up well', well, "What on earth is that supposed to mean, really?" asked Dolly with a curious glint in her eye.

"Well, you know. Scrub up well: like, a girl who looks after herself and makes an effort to dress up well when she goes out."

Oh, that was it? wondered Dolly. She'd asked its meaning because she'd thought there'd be something more exciting behind it than just the explicit reference to washing well behind the ears and using soap, as if girls who used loofahs and pumice stones were more sought after.

She'd actually thought it quite an unpleasant sort of comment, even in its obscure complimentary intent. It conjured images of potatoes. Scrubbing, you know? sacks and sacks of them that need to be scrubbed by a poor scullery maid with chaffed fingers. It seemed odd to use such a gruff, horrid term to speak of pretty girls.

"Do you think I scrub up well then?" asked Dolly with an expectant look on her face.

"If you think it's such a horrid term, why would you want to know if it applies to you?" chuckled the boy.

In the end, he agreed that yes, she did (he didn't have much of a choice but to say that though, did he? poor boy) which should have made Dolly feel complimented, but really just made her feel like a polished spud.

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Sunday, December 05, 2004

WHITE: Washing the car 

Dolly's boy had to wash his car yesterday - it was filthy and you could barely tell it was supposed to be white. So Dolly thought she would be all darling and the ideal little girlfriend and help to sponge down wheels and bonnets. She put on an old summery dress (though, stupidly, it was cream coloured, and now has dirty black streaks down the front from all the grime of the car) and got keen with a hose and an old rag.

It was very exciting you see, as Dolly hasn't washed a car for a very long time - she's spoilt and lazy as you well know. They established a good little system where they took turns - one getting all sudsy with the sponges and the other rinsing. (It was very clever and efficient, thought Dolly) So, there were two hoses, but neither of them reached far enough so Dolly and the boy had to traipse back and forth to turn taps on and off, and then stretch them at absurd angles to catch soap suds off the corners of the car. This gave Dolly an excuse to accidentally-on-purpose spray the boy down with cold hosey water, at which he pulled a face and threw a soapey sponge at her head. It made them laugh hysterically like stupid children do when you put them anywhere with running water, and kept them giggling in bouts for the rest of the wash. Nothing like quality time with your beloved over a muddy, spotted car and a bucket of water.

There was hard work done on the interiors too with a supersucking vacuum, and nimble fingers to pick out bits of rubbish that had lodged themselves forever into the carpets. Then the boy decided he would clean the windows by rubbing a bar of soap over them and polishing with wads of newspaper. Dolly asked, "Why don't you just use a window cleaner?" which he seemed to think was the most ridiculous idea so she sighed at his stubbornness and got right in there with her own handful of soap flakes and elbow grease (and still thought the windows would have looked shinier with window cleaner).

Well the car was all beautiful after all that - it almost made the wrinkly waterlogged fingers and soggy trainers worth it. If the car had a face, like they do in cartoons, its headlight eyes would have been all bright and shiny again, and the bumper would have been tilted upwards in a smile. Dolly and the boy were very pleased with themselves, and for the car.

And then it bloody rained in the evening.

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Friday, December 03, 2004

PINK: Girly conversations 

Boys, if they aren't already, must be acutely aware that girls talk. About boys. A lot. (If they haven't already figured this out, then they are highly stupid beings and not worthy of a Dolly's attention).

The boy pointed out the other day that boys usually don't talk as much about their girlfriends. Dolly screeched in mock horror and said "What?! You don't talk about me consistently, all the time, to all who will listen?" and pretended to be appalled, which he just found silly and kissed her on the cheek.

Later, she felt a sigh of relief for the discretion that is practiced by discerning men. For if girly conversations are anything to go by, Dolly admits she would probably think it a bit disconcerting if boy was also having the same sorts of lengthy discussions she was having with her chums over tea and cake (double standards, she knows...)

Life is easier for the boys then, reckons Dolly. They love their girl, they know they love their girl, and there isn't a need to discuss endlessly about it. Girls on the other hand (not all surely, but most of the ones that Dolly knows), love their boy, know they love their boy, and therefore feel the need to talk about him whenever the occasion arises. And if one doesn't arise, they'll find a way to mention him anyway.

Sometimes, boys may worry over what might be said of them in girly talk though Dolly assures them that if they haven't done anything wrong then there isn't anything to worry about. Girls, though they talk among themselves about each other's boys, keep to the unspoken rule that conversations remain closed between them (well they should anyway. If not, dump her, the little blabbermouth!). And don't worry, they're not judging boys at any level - just trying to figure out their odd behaviour. Anyway they're far more interested in talking about how things affect them, than about the boys themselves.

Talk usually constitutes two things. One, the need to expound on his virtues, adorable habits and cluck lovingly over the things he does. And secondly, the need to dissect dissect, clarify clarify anything that may seem to be less than perfect. Girly conversations, when dealing with boys, often constitute an in-depth (over) analysis at some stage. Eavesdropping on a girly convo will almost inevitably sound something like,

"And then he said to me ____. And so I replied ____, so then he said _____. So I said back to him ______ and then he was like _____!!! So what does that mean?!"

Often, after a lengthy discussion, much consideration of the many possibility and meanings, deep theorising on general boy behaviour and reassurances aplenty, girls go home just as, if not more, confused and distressed. Occasionally, with much support from their girly friends, after exhausting the list of possible explanations for his behaviour and finding the most logical one, girls sigh contentedly over their lattes and go home, content that they now "understand their boys" a bit better.

The fact is that whether or not a solution is found, whether or not girls agree with each other, they will keep right on talking. It seems there is a need for constant dialogue which can vary from the extremes of shallow talk (shoes, facials, the best wax kits for your bikini line) or intense talk (how to deal with current dilemma of the boy's silent treatment or fighting parents). The more intellectual among then will also discuss Palestine, Jack Straw's stupid statement on telly the other day or Barthe's definition of differance).

The bottom line is that girls talk. All the time. But the paradox is that although what they are talking about is of the utmost importance to them at the time and although a great deal of their time is spent deciphering what other people have said or done to them, girly conversations in themselves are really mostly full of silliness, and nothing at all for boys to be worried about. Unless of course you've said something to upset her. Tee hee.

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SILVER: Piercings 

(this was written yesterday but Blogger was acting up again. grrr)

Hmmm Dolly went through a phase at university where she wanted to pierce various many bits of her face - eyebrow, nose, tongue, corner of her lip. She and a flatmate used to sit in their living room rolling up tiny balls of tin foil and pressing them against their faces to see what they would look like should they go in for the gunning.

Fortunately, and with some good sense, Dolly and her friend realised it was all a bit attention seeking, decided they were actually far too good for bits of metal and went back to being their beautiful selves, as they were. Also, they were rather put off by another mutual friend at uni who had so much metal on her face she would have been sucked into those giant magnetic fields - many through her ears, through her lip, her eyebrow, her nose, the bridge of her nose and even, on a particularly drunken night, a safety pin she decided to drive through the back her wrist. Everyone smiled politely as she showed it off the next morning and then quietly convulsed to themselves in horror.

As it is though, Dolly has a tiny pain threshold and is averse to any big needles piercing holes in any patch of skin. Worse still, she cannot understand the brave boys and girls who decide that the most sensitive of their nether regions would be better off with a piercing. Nipples, bad enough. But lower down makes apparently, for much blood and, you'd imagine, plenty of pain for a number of days. When the pain did wear off though, would it really make a different to sex lives? Dolly weighs up the odds and realises she'd much rather not take the risk to find out just yet. Ouch. She cried for long enough when she had her ears pierced, aged four, and could only be appeased by chocolate.

Oh well, perhaps there really is some sort of obscure beauty in pain? Dolly rather prefers not to be ornamented.

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