Bridesmaids

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been to see the film ‘Bridesmaids’ twice. I enjoyed it equally both times – even though the audience the second time was abysmal, barely laughing or making their presence felt at all. I guess it’s what you could call ‘heartwarming’ (though that’s not a word I particularly like). And I realised that the reason I liked this movie so much, despite some ‘icky’ bits, is that it’s real. It’s a (romantic) comedy that’s not just about the jokes and the laughs and the happy end. It’s actually about realistic people, who are going through or have been through rough times, but who ultimately come out of it in a better place – or at any rate, on the road to that better place. They’re people, not caricatures. Yes, they’re exaggerated a bit – they have to be, for it to be a film – but at the end of the day they’re still recognizable. Rhodes, the policeman who desperately tries to be funny and never really gets there, who is sweet and caring but who also gets frustrated when his efforts go unnoticed. Lillian, the bride-to-be who gets swept up by the glamorous lifestyle of the boss’ wife. My personal favourite has got to be Megan, such an unconventional and refreshing character to see in a film – she’s big, she’s quirky, she tackles life with the utmost optimism and is not afraid of herself. In any other film, Megan would probably be a lesbian. But here, she’s unashamedly sexual, and it’s incredible to see. Some of her actions are quite cringeworthy, but not any more so than Annie’s when she throws herself at the womanizing Ted, who clearly doesn’t want anything other than casual sex.

That’s the thing about this movie. It shows one of the most frank depictions of sex that I know. Annie and Ted disagree over what to do, they switch positions a lot; Rita complains about the sex in her marriage, and candidly tells the girls she wants “balls in her face {on the bachelorette party}… to give her something to fantasise about for the rest of her life”; we even see mouselike Becca starting to come to terms with the fact that she does want sex, even if her husband doesn’t, and perhaps she should stand up for this. We need more films with this kind of attitude to sex. [Of course, it’s always described as ‘woman-oriented’ or ‘female-driven’, implying it’s aimed solely at a female audience, which I think is wrong; I’m positive that men would enjoy it just as much. Perhaps for different reasons, but they’d enjoy it nonetheless.] I hope people watch it and realise that it’s ok to be sexual, and that sexuality is unique to everyone. It’s not a film about sex, but it does have something to say on that topic, and kudos to the writers and producers for saying it.

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Reflecting

I’ve been back in the UK for the last 3 weeks (not for good, I’m heading back to Greece for the summer in a few hours), and I’ve developed an annoying habit. Whenever anyone asks me how the last year has been, my immediate answer is “interesting”. It’s like I can’t think of any other way to sum it up. And it’s not untrue: it HAS been interesting, getting to know the country as an adult, seeing quite how different things operate over there, etc etc. But if I’m being honest, when I tell people it’s been “interesting”, what I actually mean is that it’s been depressing and fascinating and awesome and infuriating; I’ve had fun, learnt to be independent, developed some self-confidence, but also been horrendously down, become less flexible; I’ve seen and experienced some amazing things, been to gigs and talks by myself, rediscovered my creativity in ways I wouldn’t have imagined with the kids, but also had to deal with less pleasant aspects of life and had to face the reality of being a young woman pretty much alone in a huge city. I’ve been happy, sad, excited, lonely, jealous of my friends back in England, angry at myself and others. It’s been a rollercoaster, thrilling yet stomach-churning; and a relief to reach the end in one piece. I don’t regret taking the year, but I DO regret not taking advantage of it fully. Not much I can do about it now though. I’ll just do my best to learn my lesson 🙂

Crisis

I feel like my country, the country I was born in and have spent the larger portion of my life in, the country I have got to know so much more intimately this last year, is imploding, falling in on itself, and its people can’t see the wood for the trees. Strikes help noone; protests and demonstrations help noone. Lashing out at the police or journalists or those people desperately trying to put things to rights, to get Greece back on her feet, is not a solution. We should be gritting our teeth collectively and doing our best to get on with things. We should be working together, not fighting with each other. I just wish people were less short-sighted.

That being said, the rest of the world needs to chip in too. There is a lot wrong with Greece, with her people, but that doesn’t mean that they should just be left to drown. From a purely human perspective, we owe it to people in need to lend them a hand. And if people elsewhere put a little more thought into it, they would realise that it’s in their own interests to help Greece out. Because, frankly, bailing Greece out is vastly cheaper than the potential economic catastrophe that could ensue if they’re allowed to go down. It would have pretty far-reaching consequences. And that’s the last thing the world needs right now, surely? As far as I’m concerned, it just makes sense to try and prevent that. But I suppose some people can’t see beyond here and now, and all that matters is that their money is in their little paws.

Pause

Every so often, my brain has a habit of stopping dead in its tracks and marvelling at the world, at how far humans have come, everything we’ve achieved up until now. It’s a pretty incredible thought (even if I do feel rather like a 5-year-old in the way that it affects me so profoundly). I can’t help it, there are just so many awe-inspiring things in the world, that humans have helped create.

And then again, there are times that I blink and get such a clear view of the big picture, of the state the world’s in, that I can’t help but get down. We have something so precious, and we’re letting it fall to pieces. I just wish people would wake up and DO something. We’re pretty close to boiling point and the situation’s starting to get critical.*

The sad thing is, I don’t think human nature can change that much; at least, not enough to do what needs to be done.

 

*I want to clarify something: I am not an eco-warrior. I do believe that everyone should try to be greener, recycle, use less energy etc, but there is so much more that the world needs in order to keep going and to keep prospering; not just physically, by cutting down on waste or whatever, but also socially, culturally, economically, politically. It’s like we’re sinking into quicksand – we need to distribute the weight evenly in order to pull ourselves out of it.

Explaining

I figure I should perhaps do a little explaining about the name I gave to this blog. I went through a whole lot of alternatives which were already taken, before settling for Vita Mellita. Now, I say ‘settling’, but really I’m quite happy with it. I know a lot of my friends would find it quite ironic though, partly because I am notoriously not a fan of the Romans, so choosing a Latin phrase really makes sense, and also I’m not referred to as Winnie the Pooh for nothing. For my own part I do also realise that there is some irony as well in the idea of a ‘honeyed life’, particularly related to my own life – I gladly admit that I go through my fair share of mood swings, if not more so than most do, and life often seems sour to me when it doesn’t have much reason to. But I’m working on it 🙂

 

The phrase itself is taken from a graffito on a wall in Pompeii:

Amantes ut apes vita mellita exigunt. {Lovers, like bees, live a honeyed life.}

Jake put it in the first letter he ever sent me, when we were only friends. And I somehow convinced myself that there was nothing to it (especially because at the time, the opposite would have complicated matters hugely – more on this at another time). I live in the hope that next time I’ll recognise the delusional tendencies earlier.

…If It Ain’t Got That Swing

When I was younger I had a terrible time meeting people, because I always dreaded having to answer the question ‘So, what music do you like?’ I was terrified of having my musical taste judged and people forming an opinion of me because I mentioned a certain band or artist. I remember having to try to second-guess what sort of music THAT person was into and attempting to mention things that they might like too or that might impress them. I desperately wanted to appear cool or niche in my music taste, perhaps partly because I was definitely lacking in this in other areas. I remember someone asking me which my favourite song was of a band I claimed to like that I hadn’t really listened to, and being stumped for a reply.

‘Well, um… I don’t think I could say really, they’re just all so GOOD.’ *speedy subject change*

At some point, though, I’m not sure exactly when, I got over this. I’m not afraid to let people know quite how wide-ranging the music I like is: when the ‘what music do you listen to?’ question comes up, it’s always very difficult to answer now. I tend to resort to listing genres and turning the question on the other person. ‘Oh, loads of different things… Rock, folk, metal… Name some stuff  YOU listen to and I’ll tell you if I like it.’

When I first got talking to my now Significant Other (I guess he needs a name… He did ask to be referred to as ‘Pygmy Marmoset’, but I think I’ll go with Jake instead :P), it was our shared love of pretty obscure music that brought us together and kept us talking well into the early hours. And that’s still the case – music is part of the glue that holds us together, and one of the funnest things that we do together, be it discovering new artists to suggest to each other or going to gigs. Music always has such a deep impact on me, and I genuinely couldn’t imagine my life without it. I know I’m not alone in this, that music is a pretty universal phenomenon, but I like to think that musical taste is like snowflakes or fingerprints: there are no two out there that are identical. I’m just lucky enough to have found one so similar to mine.

The Big Bang

Where to start? The basics, I suppose. I’m Calypso (not really, but go with it :P), I’m 21, and a literature student in the UK. I’m half-Greek and half-British, and I’m just coming to the end of my Year Abroad in Greece. I like music, I like poetry, I like reading and writing and cooking and travelling and dancing, I like sex, I like my friends, and I *really* like my Boy.

To be honest, I’ve been meaning to set this up for about a year now, originally intending to write mostly about my experiences here in Athens, but with one thing and another I’m only just getting round to it. My dual nationality makes for some interesting dichotomies in my character – I have elements of the so-called Mediterranean temper, I get angry easily, but at the same time I’m shy and don’t like to ruffle anyone’s feathers, so I often don’t speak out. But there are some things that just need saying. So where better than the Internet! I haven’t planned where this blog is going to go, I don’t even know that I’ll be inclined to post all the time, but I guess time will show 🙂 So here’s to birth and new beginnings, and let’s see where things will lead.