Calum McSwiggan

Posts Tagged ‘break ups’

Drawing Blood

In Gay, Love on December 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

Blood Donation

‘Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood.’

 – Friedrich Nietzsche

We’re not having sex for a year, I said to my boyfriend as I read about the changes to the law preventing gay men from donating blood. It now allowed gay men to donate providing they hadn’t had penetrative sex with another man for a full 365 days. I was clearly joking, there was no way I was going to sacrifice a full year of intimacy with my partner in exchange for the right to donate blood, no matter how passionately I felt about it.

It was the principle of it all, I’d adamantly fought against this law in my own small way since I first discovered the ban. I’d always been told that gay men weren’t allowed to donate blood but always shrugged it off as a rumour that couldn’t possibly be true. So when I was rejected as a donor in my first year of University, my blood began to boil at the mere fact that it wasn’t wanted. My best friend kindly offered to donate on my behalf but it wasn’t enough to satiate this growing desire. I wasn’t prepared to let this quietly slip by, I had to speak out.

I got into heated debates with the National Blood Service; I publicly spat angry spoken word about the injustice; and was nominated an award for an article that challenged the controversial law. And because of all of this, this victory seems somewhat bitter-sweet. It’s a step in the right direction but this new law is just as discriminatory as the last. Sex is one of the most basic vices of human nature and giving somebody the right to donate in exchange for the right to have sex is a bit like giving somebody the right to wear jeans providing they don’t eat. The outcome is simple: nobody’s going to be wearing jeans.

When the law was originally put in place, I agree that it was the right thing to do, the AIDS virus broke out into the gay community and until we learned more about it putting precautions in place was the responsible thing to do. However, a few years down the line when we began to learn more about it, the law should have been repealed and not stayed stagnant for all this time. This new law has been designed to satiate both the homosexuals and the homophobes, but that isn’t what a law should be about. A law should never be about trying to please two opposing parties, it should be about affording everybody equal rights regardless of whether that upsets closed-minded-Bob who just can’t stand it when people wear jeans.

However, it just so happens that as of December 1st, for the first time in my life, I am legally allowed to donate blood. I didn’t realise at the time but when I told my partner that we wouldn’t be having sex for a year, I was speaking fortuitously. We broke up a few weeks later leaving me involuntarily celibate for the months that followed, but amongst all of the emotional baggage that comes along with the end of a relationship, it never really occurred to me that this might be my opportunity to abstain for a year, it just sort of happened.

A strong believer of the three date rule, I fooled around with Americans, Germans and Irishmen, but never staying in one place long enough to go on three dates, I didn’t do anything that would result in resetting my one year ban. And so I’ve wound up here, one year down the line, legally allowed to donate blood. It’s like I’ve suddenly been released from prison on probation, one slip up and it’s right back to square one. Suddenly temptation is overwhelming, I always want what I can’t have, and it would be so easy to pick up the proverbial baseball bat and steal the proverbial Mercedes.

If this law doesn’t take another step forward this could be the only opportunity I ever have to legally donate blood and that isn’t something I should discard just because Claus invites me for a game of swing ball. It would be a waste to throw away this opportunity and so I’m actively abstaining from sex until I have donated that pint of blood I’ve so badly wanted to give.

Donating could be tricky, though, although my sexuality won’t affect my chances to donate blood, my nationality will. Due to the risk of mad cow disease, UK nationals aren’t allowed to donate here in Spain, and so it will be a costly flight back to England to afford myself this luxury.

So why go to all this effort? Why abstain from sex, why spend money, why kick up all this fuss? The answer is simple. I know that when that blood finally leaves my veins that it’s going to be the most incredible high of my life, and knowing that I’ve finally been afforded the right to give life will be better than any sexual encounter could ever be.

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

In Eat, Love on November 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

And you said be still my love, open up your heart, and let the light shine in.’

– Colin Hay

The room hushed and the candles flickered in the dim evening light, my closest friends eagerly leaned forwards as they listened to my boyfriend deliver my birthday speech- and then everybody fell silent as he got down on one knee, clicked open a ring box, and asked me to marry him.

The hardest experience of my life came a few months later when it all came toppling down on top of us, six years of building a life together were shattered in one instant. I had to give up the job I adored, the home I cherished, and the man I loved all in one heartbeat. And so not knowing what else to do, I wrapped myself up inside a tiny silk cocoon, told myself it was okay to let my heart decide how to fill my days, and I left.

I travelled and searched for a new home– rediscovering love, exploring my inner landscape, undergoing my own personal metamorphosis. Everything went so smoothly, each day falling effortlessly into the next, mending my broken heart, and giving me a new vitality for life. Each new story was another protective layer in my shell, and each new experience helped me transform that little bit more.

But although I was living some of the best experiences of my life, I knew that this lifestyle had no permanence, never staying in one place for more than two weeks wasn’t practical, and I couldn’t keep perpetuating it forever. Like all good things, it would eventually come to an end.

And it needed to. I was developing a new curiosity for love, desperate to explore romance that doesn’t end in me disappearing on a train; anxious to jump back on the coat-tails of my career and start the climb to the top; and eager to find myself that home that I craved- but I couldn’t do any of that unless I resolved to stay in one place.

It was something I fought hard against, I didn’t want this country-hopping adventure to end, and so when that hurricane hit New York and abruptly forced my trip into a halt, I knew that it was a sign. I was left without money, without plans, and without a place to stay. A huge part of me felt like I was at the beginning, like it had all been a waste of time, but there was a confident voice rising up inside of me, telling me that this was it- now was the time to start rebuilding my life.

So for the first time in six months I finally stopped running. I booked a flight to Spain and set up shop in my parents’ guest bedroom, I took in my surroundings, and asked myself what was the next step. The answer came hard and fast, it was time to hatch a dream I’d been harbouring for as long as I could remember, but this dream required something in abundance, something that I didn’t have, that thing they say makes the world go round. Money, money, money. My savings were obliterated, my bank account emptied, I didn’t have a penny to my name.

I’d already signed a contract for a not-very-well-paid job in an Austrian ski-resort, but I no longer wanted to take it. I knew I couldn’t keep accepting less-than-minimum-wage-jobs just because they give me the opportunity to travel- it was conflicting with everything I really wanted. Love, a home, and a career.

And so I took my best friend’s advice and I stopped kicking and screaming, I kept the Austrian job in reserve, and let everything just happen. And then like magic everything fell into place on the evening of Thanksgiving. It was exactly a year since my heart had been broken, and that dull-ache that had always lived inside of me was everything but gone; I’d found home in breaking bread with my family; and new creative projects began piling up faster than I could realise them. And then like clockwork, as I finished my slice of pumpkin pie, I was offered a new job. A job that would fund my dreams, the ticket to my next adventure, the start of something big.

This was all just a stepping stone to realising my dreams, but I could already feel myself breaking free of that protective cocoon I once built for myself. It took me a year, but I was finally not only healed, but transformed. When I woke the following morning I was free, and when I climbed out into the warm morning sun I could feel my wings fluttering gratefully.

I had speculated that there was a reason for that hurricane, a reason for cancelling my trip, a reason for my being here, but I never thought I’d find the answer so fast. They say that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a hurricane halfway around the world, but it’s obvious to me now, my truth is just the opposite.

The Broken City of Dreams

In Eat, Love on November 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

New York City
 ‘That’s the thing about a human life- there’s no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.’

– Elizabeth Gilbert

The violent images of Hurricane Sandy tearing through New York flashed up on the television screen behind me as I sat on the floor reading through my insurance policy. I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and tried not to feel too sorry for myself, I may have been facing losing all of the savings I’d poured into a trip around America, but people on the other side of the world were being evacuated, losing their homes, and in some extreme cases, even losing their lives.

I had to remind myself that every single part of my journey so far has been seamless; everything has fallen into place so neatly that it’s as if everything has been pre-destined. I feel like I’ve spent the last six months falling through the days and the months, following breadcrumbs that have lead me to each destination, never second-guessing myself and just going with each opportunity that has presented itself. It was the roll of a dice that determined my trip to Ibiza, pointing blindly at a map that decided my journey to Frankfurt, and a job that I don’t remember applying for that landed me in Switzerland.

And during this decision-less lifestyle, there have been many times when I’ve questioned whether or not I was on the right path, I kicked and screamed when my ­ex-fiancé decided to kick me out of his life and shack up with a ginger, I threw all of my toys out of the pram when my scholarship to study abroad was retracted, and I slammed all the doors in a flying rage when I didn’t get a job that I had so sorely wanted- but in hindsight I can see why all of these things happened, and how all of these things lead to where I am today.

If I had stayed with my ex I would have never chased a boy to Berlin, if I had been granted a scholarship to study abroad I would have never fallen in love with the locals in Frascati, and if I’d gotten the job I’d originally wanted, I would have never danced on the tables at Oktoberfest.

I realise now that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and exactly where I was always going to be- I was never going to be flying over the Grand Canyon today, I was always going to be watching Spanish children argue in the street whilst writing this very blog post, everything is exactly as it should be.

And so instead of mourning all of the wonderful adventures I had planned, instead I choose to reflect on them with fondness, be content in the fact that these dreams were very nearly part of my reality, and think of them as warm memories rather than shattered dreams.

I remember the time that my friends and I celebrated Halloween in New York, crawling the streets of the city, doused in fake blood and sparkling with glitter, frightening children, and howling at the moon; I remember the time I marvelled at the majesty of Niagara Falls, feeling the cool spray across my face, and reflecting on everything that was good and true in my life; I remember the time I fell in love with the Nevada Desert, tasting the soft lips of a stranger and awe-gazing at the glittery sea of Vegas lights; and I remember devouring a divine Thanksgiving dinner, and then heading out on the open road, our bellies filled and our hearts soaring with happiness as we took a road trip down to Miami.

Perhaps if I had lived these dreams they wouldn’t have been as perfectly shaped as they are in my imagination, perhaps I would have got too drunk to remember Halloween in New York, perhaps Niagara Falls would have been so unbearably over-crowded that I would have left in frustration, perhaps there would have been no mysterious stranger to lock lips with in Las Vegas, and perhaps we’d have to cancel our road trip to Miami because of the food poisoning we got from the turkey.

But the most important thing to remember is that although I may have missed out on one adventure, it leaves a hole in my life, an empty void, a door to the uncharted- and who knows, maybe one day I will turn to one of my close friends and say, Hey, remember that time that Hurricane ruined my trip to America? That was the best thing that ever happened to me.

A Stranger in My Own Home

In Gay, Love on October 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

Eclipse

‘Clinging to me, like the last breath you would breathe, you were like home to me, I don’t recognise this street.’

– Ellie Goulding

I stepped off the train and breathed in my hometown, I was glad to be back, excited to walk old walks, and high on the thought of seeing old friends, but from the very first moment, I knew that something wasn’t quite right. I could feel a pair of eyes watching me, stalking me through the station, and following me as I wound back through the streets I’d once escaped from.

But every time I turned around and sought them out, there was nothing, so I carelessly shrugged them off and settled back into the warmth of the place that I once called my home. I awkwardly lingered at first, a stranger in my own home, except it wasn’t my home anymore, it hadn’t been for quite some time.

Things had changed, new pictures hung on the wall, new furniture filled the room, and new trinkets cluttered the mantle. When you disappear you kind of expect life to stand still behind you, but it doesn’t, you move on, and life moves on with you. It was obvious that like me, my ex had built a new life for himself, and the only thing left of the love we once shared were two silver rings sat next to a picture of a loving couple posing for their engagement. I once knew one of those boys as myself, but he was a stranger to me now, I didn’t recognise him anymore.

I smiled at the photo, placed one of the cold metal bands between my fingers, and let everything it stood for wash over me, a memory that once haunted my every waking dream, a memory that once corrupted me, a memory I thought I was now strong enough to face.

It was all too easy to fall back into the life I once knew, to have dinner with the boy who was once my world, to indulge in the things that once constituted my day-to-day life. I fell so hard into old habits that I very nearly forgot the new life I’d made for myself. I indulged in false luxuries, wrapped myself in the warmth of a familiar hug, and cherished the companionship of old friends, but deep down inside I could feel this inexplicable deep hollow ache that was slowly but surely consuming me.

The thing about a broken home is that no matter how far it has fallen into disrepair, it will always feel like home, and with my new found longing, I was happy to give myself over to it, I welcomed each new day with a smile, and very nearly forgot about the pain and suffering that once drove me to the brink of madness. I lay down in the comforting rubble of my former life, and turned a blind eye to the demons that crawled the streets, the phantoms that haunted my dreams, and the slow consuming agony that was building up inside me.

And amongst all of this, every now and then, I caught a glimpse of him- out of the corner of my eye, in the sparkle of a rogue reflection, or merged amongst the crowds in the streets. He was following me, and I let him slink closer and closer each day. He watched me from the adjacent street, stood outside my window, waited outside my door, and finally climbed into bed with me. I let him lie beside me, I let his warm fingers caress my body, soothe my pain, pull me in close, and adorn me with a false sense of hope, I let him do all of this.

But after only a few days the feeling began to go sour, as this dark creature held me in his embrace and slowly slid his fingers around my throat, the warmth I felt began to turn into a crippling loneliness. And like an eclipse on my soul, familiar nightmares began to resurface, forgotten arguments burst back into reality, and I began reliving feelings I thought I’d shut out for good. I tried to scream but his cold fingers were already suffocating me, throttling me, drowning me in dark unknown waters.

I gasped and spluttered and pleaded with him, but he already had me in his grip, and the only thing I could do was face him. I desperately stared into his empty ocean blue eyes, and for the first time, I recognised him for who he was, and realised it was me who was the stranger, not him.

It was the boy from the engagement photo, the boy I’d once seen in the mirror, the dark shadow of my former self, and all this time he’d been trying to tell me something, and all this time I’d refused to listen. I caressed his skin, examined the pain in every wrinkle, and let my eyes fall upon his blackened frozen lips. He struggled to find the words, and with all the effort of a thousand dying men, he spoke to me for the first time, and he told me to run.

And so I threw off his hands, clambered away from him, pulled myself from the comforting rubble, and once again embraced the dazzling sunlight. As I looked at the heartbroken glaze over his eyes, I reminded myself of the adventures behind me, and the adventures yet to come, told him that he wasn’t the person I wanted to be anymore, and allowed myself to draw a sharp underline to this life.

And just like that he returned to his photo, smiling sweetly and innocently, a permanent reminder of both the good memories and the bad. It may be even harder to say goodbye this time, but I know now more than ever, that although I can pass through for a few days, catch up with old friends, and appreciate the things that once made me ridiculously happy, I can never, ever, go back. 

Open Your Eyes

In Eat, Love on September 5, 2012 at 5:26 am

‘You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus’

– Mark Twain

I watched the Russian boy’s hands intently as he shuffled and reshuffled the deck of cards, he was only seventeen but his hands were coarse and weathered like those of a man who’d spend his whole life in hard labour, and as the moonlight shone in through the window, lighting my students’ faces in the dark bedroom, I noticed that all of them were smiling, all of them except for the Russian.

Each time he dealt the cards, we were setting ourselves up for defeat. His poker face was indisputably perfect, the cold vacant stare that was ever-present in his eyes was unreadable, and I don’t think I ever saw him smile. He was a friendly enough kid but his stony gaze unnerved me, every time he misbehaved and I faced the challenge of disciplining him, my legs would quake and my hands would tremble. At 6’5 he towered over me, and his muscular build terrified me. He had the power to pick me up and crush me in one of those enormous battered hands, but instead he just looked at me blankly, as if he didn’t have the capacity to feel.

It was that same placid look I was greeted with as I was dozing off on the night train from Vienna to Prague. A heavily drunken Russian man forced open the door to my compartment, filled the room with the rotten stench of stale alcohol and cigarettes, and then slumped down opposite.

His presence unnerved me; I clung to my backpack and tightly closed my eyes but I could still feel his cold placid eyes examining me, I pushed my headphones into my ears to drown out the unearthly silence but his presence was deafening. I was petrified to fall asleep before this man who filled my body with unease, but my eyes were heavy and my body groaned with fatigue, and before long my body gave in to temptation and I quietly slipped into a dream.

I only awoke when the train jolted noisily and I was thrown from my seat some twenty, thirty, forty-five minutes later, and when I looked around the small compartment I found myself very much alone. The music had stopped dead in my ears, and as I ran my fingers along my headphones, I realised that my iPhone was gone.

My heart thumped, goosebumps appeared on my arms, and an unpleasant icy warmth swept over me as I realised what had happened. I quickly reached for my backpack to find that it too had been stolen. My passport, my wallet, my rail-pass, my laptop, my camera– gone, it was all gone. A wallowing despair fell over me, and not knowing what else to do, I slumped back down into my chair and looked out into the abyss.

It was the gently touch of a coarse hand on my neck that pulled me to my senses. I jolted awake to find the Russian’s cold eyes fixed on me in the dark. I didn’t mean to wake you, he whispered apologetically. I looked at him puzzled, and sat upright, knocking his jacket to the floor. You were shivering, he continued, picking the jacket back up and handing it to me. Thanks, I answered slowly and unsurely, reaching for my belongings in the darkness to make sure they hadn’t actually been stolen. So where are you headed?

And just like that I opened up the flood gates, he told me stories about his journey across Asia and through Europe, how he and his girlfriend had travelled together until their break up in Vienna, how he had gone and got stinking drunk to try to numb the heartbreak, and how he’d given up and was taking the first train back to Moscow. As he shared his story his eyes were still blank and without feeling but our tiny compartment was filled with emotion. I looked deep into his meaningless stare, the same stare exhibited in the eyes of my student, the same gaze that I’d seen in the mirror so many times- they weren’t the eyes of a Russian, they were the eyes of heartbreak. I was angry at myself for misjudging him so flippantly and so as an attempt to make amends I pulled out the beer my friends had given me for the road, and shared it with him in the darkness. And when he was finished telling me the tales of his adventure, I started telling him mine.

I told him about all the people I’d met who’d inspired me, and about the generosity of all those who’d given me a place to sleep, and although his eyes remained untouched something brought a smile to his unmoving lips. A small contagious smile that quickly spread into innocuous laughter- my friend, he told me, you’re on the wrong train. We were headed straight for Moscow, and without an entry visa I would be tossed off the train at the border. In a blind panic I completely forgot about my new friend, and not knowing which city, or even which country, I was in, I dashed off the train and left him behind in the darkness.

Ever since that moment I’ve felt his cold eerie eyes watching over me, and my only regret is that I never took the time to give him my thanks, to tell him how much our brief encounter opened my eyes, and to tell him that although I couldn’t mend his broken heart, I truly understood.

Giving Up On The Magic

In Eat, Love on June 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Fontana Di Trevi

‘A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it’

– John Steinbeck

As I listened to the serene sound of the gentle trickling waters of the fountain, I gazed in at all of the gleaming coins and considered all the wishes that had been made upon them, and how so many of them would never come true.

Jack’s girlfriend would probably never stop cheating on him; world peace would never be realised for Cynthia; Doris would never win the lottery; and Mark’s penis would never be eight inches- I was staring into a well of un-kept promises, a well of broken dreams, a well of lies and heartbreak.

 And amongst those many broken wishes was my own. A year ago I tossed a coin into the Fontana Di Trevi and made a wish. The lore of the fountain promises that doing so ensures your return, and although it had kept its word and I’d wound up back there, it had completely forgotten about my wish.

I had wished for a long and happy life with my fiancé, and since he had jilted me for a ginger late last year, my faith in the fountain was all but lost. I could feel the optimistic positive person inside of me being washed away in the waters, the child-like naivety that helps me believe that the world is a wonderful place was drowning, and my belief in a greater power was swirling down the drain.

Almost heartbroken at the thought of all of those un-kept promises, I left the fountain without throwing in another coin, and swore that I’d never come back.

It wasn’t until an insightful friend reassured me that my wish could still come true, that I was dragged out of this coma of pessimism. I could still live a long and happy life with my fiancé, I just hadn’t chosen the right one yet. Driving my ex into the arms of a ginger may have been the first step in the fountain’s masterful plan.

And maybe I was wrong about the other wishes too, maybe Jack’s girlfriend would decide to be faithful, maybe Cynthia would witness world-wide peace, maybe Doris would win the lottery, and maybe she’d use her winnings to pay for Mark’s penis enlargement surgery.

I quickly came to regret not throwing another coin into the fountain; I had discarded an opportunity for happiness, and now I was unlikely to ever return. When I later discovered that the proceeds are all donated to an AIDS charity, a cause I have recently become extremely passionate about, I felt like it was The Universe kicking me up the arse and telling me to stop being a dick.

It’s a wondrous thing when things happen at precisely the right time, and this really was one of those moments. It helped me to remember that, although I am not religious, I am a deeply spiritual person, and I would be doing myself an enormous disservice if I ever stopped believing in the magic of the fountain.

P.S. I Love You

In Eat, Gay, Love on May 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

Gay Love

‘Don’t be afraid to love again. Open your heart and follow where it leads you, and remember, shoot for the moon.

P.S, I will always love you’

– Cecelia Ahern

This time last year I was getting ready to depart for Italy to teach English to kids- my ex-boyfriend had only just proposed to me though, and I felt incredibly bad about leaving him behind. To remedy this guilt I decided to pretend I was in a movie.

I took up a pretend gun, fashioned myself some outfits that resembled those from Miss Congeniality, and ran around my flat diving behind the sofa and yelling Sandra Bullock quotes- and before I knew it, I’d completely forgotten what was bothering me.

And then I made the mistake of sitting down to watch P.S. I Love You.

Usually I’m not a fan of chick-flicks or rom-coms, but I couldn’t even get through the opening scenes without blubbing hysterically into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. The premise is that an attractive Irish man, played by Scottish Gerard Butler- I don’t know why they did that either– is dying of a terminal illness, and so he leaves his wife letters and gifts that come to her from beyond the grave.

I was so inspired that I decided that’s what I wanted my life to be like, except for the dying part, and so I quickly got to work. I went out and bought a copy of P.S. I Love You and hid it in the bedroom with instructions of what to do.

I hid gifts and letters around the house; I celotaped cinema tickets to the back of a picture of New York, instructing him to look behind the city of dreams; I left bottles of champagne for him and his family; I had delicious goodness delivered to the door; and I spent the first hour of every day I was gone writing a letter with further instructions, telling him how much I missed him, and ending every one with P.S. I Love You.

Now that my ex has run off with a ginger, though, this year I’m not going to have anyone to write to- and that’s quite a sad thought- but then I remembered somebody once explaining to me that love is like a drug, when it’s taken away from us we start to get withdrawal symptoms, and that’s why heartaches hurts so much. We don’t necessarily miss the person we’ve lost, but we miss having somebody to love.

So, in light of this, I’ve decided that whenever I’m lonely or want to tell somebody about my adventures, I’ll write to my future husband- and even though I haven’t met him yet, and probably won’t for many many years, I’ll tell him that I miss him.

Maybe I’ll give him the letters one day, or maybe I’ll cringe in embarrassment, deny their existence, and put them through the shredder.

Or maybe I just won’t write them at all, and spend those lonely moments in Italy getting drunk on Spritz. 

Yes, that’s probably what I’ll do.

Why I Hate Gingers

In Love on May 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

Topless boy Hot ginger

‘The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love’

– Kristina McMorris 

As part of my Out4Marriage video, I briefly talked about my past relationship and how it left me broken hearted, but I didn’t go into any kind of depth. When my ex-fiancé left me, like everyone in the history of everything, I went a bit mental. Screaming into a pillow and breaking things came as standard- I’d fall to pieces over silly things like OH MY GOD HOW ARE WE GOING TO SPLIT THE TESCO CLUB-CARD POINTS? and had emotional breakdowns every couple of minutes.

We all do some insane things when we have our heart broken into a thousand tiny pieces; some of us go crazy after a one night stand, even. My bout of crazy, however, was pretty unique- I developed a hatred for ginger people. When your partner leaves you after almost six years and is going out with a ginger person TWO DAYS later, hating every ginger person on the face of the earth is the only natural solution.

I declared that I hated Ed Sheran, despite the fact that I had an iPod full of his music a few months prior; I almost smashed a TV when I watched Harry Potter and the entire Weasley family were all on screen at once, and then burst into carnal laughter in the scene where Fred Weasley dies; I very nearly threw my drink into the face of my very close ginger friend over dinner; and I quite possibly sabotaged a job interview just because the interviewer was a red-head.

‘And what qualities do you find least attractive in a person?’ she asked me.
GINGER HAIR, I thought through gritted teeth.

This hatred started to bleed into my work, too. Whilst transcribing lectures if a ginger person put up their hand to speak, I would just omit everything they said- I mean, it can’t be of any value if a ginger person said it, right?

I only managed to get over this hatred when I remembered how unbelievably attractive a ginger man can be. I was walking down the street one Sunday afternoon and spotted one of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen. He had flawlessly styled red hair, the most perfect smile and dimples you’d ever seen, and a body to die for; I immediately wanted to take him home to mama. I imagined that as soon as gay marriage was legalised that we’d rush off to the church and get married, we’d adopt red-headed children, and we’d live happily ever after in our gingerbread house.

THAT WAS UNTIL HIS REAL WIFE AND REAL REDHEADED CHILDREN APPEARED AND MY HATRED WAS ONLY AMPLFIED.

And that is why I hate gingers.

(But not really)