This Sunday the 8th March is International Women’s Day and as a woman and proud feminist I thought it needed a little acknowledgement here at MyPlaceOrYours. The day is a call for recognition of the achievements of women and celebration of women’s rights. But to also realise the gaps between women and equality, which we still face in society and around the world. It’s a day where the UN will assess where we need to go next and it’s time when we can all consider where the women in our lives stand.
When you’re a single girl living in the privileged world of London (and yes it is it’s own world) it’s quite easy to be a feminist. I rely on myself because I have to. I see myself as, as strong and capable, as any other and I value both the men and women in my life equally. I have no favourites.
But with International Women’s Day popping up on all my social media streams and between every other breath on the News of late, I have been forced to think about the women in my life. One in particular. And it made me realise that she may in actual fact be my boyfriend.
When you live with your best friend from university you walk a fine line between ‘we’re close’ and something resembling married life.
When I first moved to London I didn’t want to admit it but I felt a little lost. Lost and alone. I did the classic thing of moving in with strangers and I’m pretty sure soon after became that one odd person in the apartment. You know the one, and if you don’t know who it is, then it’s definitely you. The only person in the flat, who prefers to eat in their room to the company of Netflix, than risk social interaction.
I’d never even really wanted to live with her. I remember, her words not mine, wanting to keep the relationship ‘precious’. (Hey if that makes you gag, you’re in for a tough ride!)
I’d shared a place with a best friend before and the living arrangement had done nothing for the sanctuary of our BFF status. There is something about moving in with someone you love, to whom you’re not related, which makes you take them for granted.
Suddenly when you’re hanging out you become aware that you could be elsewhere, with other friends, if this wasn’t just so convenient. Then you begin to question if you’re there by choice at all. Living together, sadly, doesn’t always make for a closer friendship.
However this time around I was lucky, and now she’s my boyfriend…
1) She wakes me up in the mornings
Ok, so we’re not sharing a bed… yet. However if rent continues to increases in our fine capital city it’s something I imagine we’ll both be willing to look into.
But, because I mostly work from home my routine is always at risk of falling foul to laziness. Luckily I have a hardworking and early rising best friend flatmate who for the past couple of months has been knocking on my bedroom door and occasionally coming into my room to drag my lazy butt out of bed! She is a hero. And, about the only person in the world I wouldn’t punch in the mouth for doing this. If you know me you’ll know I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.
2) How’s your day dear?
I do a lot of my writing from home, hanging out around the flat while she goes to work in a more conventional sense. Translation, I do a lot of housework and a fair amount of pottering while she’s gone. The life of the accidental housewife can be a little lonesome, so around 11am whilst munching my way through a second breakfast and contemplating that run I’ve been planning for the last two weeks, I check in with the other half. It’s very much a ‘How’s your day going dear?’ conversation, nothing exciting but it keeps me ticking over and like many relationships it’s fallen into our disgustingly cute regime.
3) What are you doing about dinner?
This is a sentence, which gets banded around a lot on the weeknights. We luckily eat almost all the same foods, except I’m much more ok with killing and eating animals. But we occasionally combine our food shop. Nothing screams couple more than wandering around Sainsbury’s vowing to share your courgettes and arguing over whom finished off the last of the mayo.
We’ve also been stuck in an: ‘I owe you Oreos’ cycle since last December. I’m not sure who bought the first pack but every time they’re open one of us will fall over the edge of decent consumption and have to buy another pack for the other to start. And so the cycle goes on…
4) We’re both weird and we’re ok with it
Whether it’s asking her to blow on my legs when my Eczema is bad, or sneaking into her room to put fruit in her bed, on which I’ve drawn faces, just because. Or when we spend indecent amounts of time singing our conversations at each or talking in rhyme. Or the times when we randomly dance into each other’s bedrooms as a lead into asking an actual important question, such as; do these shoes go with this dress?
It’s often weird, but it’s never boring and it’s always acceptable.
5) I can tell her anything
She knows me and for some reason no matter what I tell her she still likes me. Whether it’s insane jealousy over a celebrity with flawless skin or someone we know with a great job. Or a hideous bitchy comment which I tell her after claiming: ‘God I could never tell anyone this but you!’ Or sometimes it’s just admitting I’m wrong.
She never judges me. She listens and understands and I know that at the end of it she’s the one that’s going to make me feel better about the most rubbish of days. She won’t tell me ‘I told you so’ and she won’t shake her head at my silly decisions. She’ll laugh at my bad jokes and she makes me feel like I give really good advice.
And she’s the only person I tell when I’ve had a really intense bikini wax! Because come on, an experience that white knuckle has to be shared with at least one other person!
So this 8th March my boyfriend and I are going out for lunch and celebrating being confident capable women. And not only that, but, the being allowed to be confident and capable women!
International Women’s Day is a great time to show your support and belief in equality for everyone. I’ll be donating to the charity Girls Not Brides, an organisation working globally, to stop forced marriages on girls, who are often too young to even understand, they deserve more than a life lived as a man’s property.
Log onto www.unwomen.org to find out what you can do. Because the women in your life are great and the people in our world should be equal.