Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Infidelity, Layla, Saskia Hampele, and Jealousy

1. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

Brad (Kip Gamblin) has been suspended from his teaching job. Although I think Brad is a good guy; I think he deserves the suspension. He looked through a student's confiscated phone and read their text message.

Brad's excuse is that the message upset the student, and Brad was concerned.

Well, this student is also the son of of one of Brad's enemies. Because of that, I'd say it was more about nosiness than concern. But even if it was concern, invading a student's privacy is inappropriate.

2. Enjoyed reading the 1YearOff's blogpost about Denmark, Western Australia. This is probably because there was mention of a chocolate factory, a toffee factory, kangaroos, and kookaburras. Totally my type of place!

3. Thought it was inappropriate for Lauren (Kate Kendall) and Brad to sit close together on the couch drinking wine while Brad's wife (Rebekah Elmaloglou) is out of the country.

Yes, I understand that Lauren meant for it to be a family thing, and they can't help that all of the kids are busy doing other things.

It's probably fine that they have dinner together. But did they have to move to the couch? That's a bit cozy.

4. Saw that now Lauren and Brad are sleeping on the couch together, kind of cuddling.

I know there are people who would think this is fine. It's all fine as long as lips don't touch, and there's no penis and/or vagina involvement. As long as there's no sex, it's totally okay.

Really. I'd rather find out my partner had a wild night of sex with a sex-worker, or someone he met at a bar; than learn he got close and cuddly with a good friend.

5. Intrigued by Sonya's (Eve Morey) storyline. She met with a mysterious woman. Toadie (Ryan Moloney) heard about it. He asked Sonya about her day, and she didn't mention the woman. Then later Toadie saw a text from the woman, and it seemed to be coming from a dating site.


I'm sure there's some kind of innocent and comical explanation.  I think, these days, Sonya and Toadie usually have the comic relief storylines.

6. Started to watch an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

I'm really getting into the show. I like the storylines.

7. Glad to see that Rachel (Jessica Marais) is still loving on Jake (James Stewart). She hasn't yet allowed his mother's (Mercia Deane-Johns) crazy bitchiness stop her.

8. Thought it was so touching that the Rafter family is so welcoming towards Dave's (Eric Thomson) birth mother (Gillian Jones).

Rachel gave up Dave when he was two-years-old, because of a grief-induced breakdown. Now they've found each other; and Dave's wife, kids, and daughter-in-laws are very eager to meet her.

It's lovely seeing them all talking and laughing together.

9. Saw that Gillian Jones was on Love My Way. I didn't remember her at first, but now I'm thinking she played Claudia Karvan's mother.

10. Realized that not all the family is ready to extend a warm welcome—including Dave.

Dave's son Ben (Hugh Sheridan) sympathizes with his father's ambivalence. Rachel stayed away from her son for forty years. Ben asks his grandfather (Michael Caton) if he can imagine staying away from his daughter that long.

11. Liked that YOUNG Rachel speaks up against Grace, Jake's mother.

Rachel reminds Grace that her sons are adults. Then she reminds Grace of when they first met. Grace spoke about limits and not having unrealistic goals. Rachel tells Grace what she's doing is stifling her kids.

I agree.

Yes. Sometimes kids get a bit unrealistic at times; and you have to gently sprinkle some realism into the picture. For example...let's say your child wants to jump out the window and fly to Neverland. But there's a difference between gentle guiding and stifling.

12. Disappointed in Jake. He gets mad at Rachel for speaking up against his mother, and defends his mother.

I don't think it's good to date a person who allows their parent to treat you horribly, and you're not allowed to defend yourself.

13. Hoped that I don't turn out to be a crazy bitch to the romantic partners that Jack brings home.

14. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

This one gives attention to Cabo (George Houvardas). His mother (Dina Panazzo) and an old friend (Sophie Katos) visit from Greece.

15. Related to scene between Layla (Rita Vandervis) and Sammy (Jessica McNamee).

Sammy accuses Layla of trying to make the moves on her husband Nathan (Angus McLaren). Layla assures her she's not interested in Nathan that way. She's just a lonely girl with relationship problems, and Nathan is the only friend she can turn to.

We had a houseguest that reminds me a bit of Layla. She was rejected by the object of her affection, and turned to Tim for both comfort and housing.  It seemed doubtful that she had romantic feelings towards Tim...because she was in love with someone else. It did seem, though, that she liked getting attention from Tim. There were long intense talks in the kitchen; bike rides together; duo shopping adventures;  a gift they bought together as a team, with a co-signed greeting card. One night, they sat side by side on the couch, watching a DVD and drinking wine. Another night they talked in the wee hours in the morning in a dimly lit room.

It wasn't a romantic relationship, but at times it kind of looked like one.

To the houseguest's defense, though. She did make attempts to be nice to me as well. She showed interest in my Australia-obsession. She watched McLeod's Daughters. She acted impressed about my fake Australian accent. And she even went as far as reading one of my novels. Since I easily succumb to flattery, I almost started liking her.

Sometimes I thought she was just a nice lonely girl who didn't understand boundaries. Other times, I thought she was a sly The-Hand-That-Rocks-the-Cradle type person.

I think I've usually see her as the latter. But I think seeing Lauren on Neighbours today is making me think maybe it was more the former.  I think Lauren acted very inappropriately. But she's not a sly, wicked bitch. I thinks she's quite loving and respectable. She's a great mother to her kids. She was a fairly decent wife. She's a good daughter. She tries to be a good friend and neighbour. It's just she's also a lonely woman who lost her husband, and maybe she still has some feelings for her next door neighbour.

16. Wondered about Layla. Is she a selfish, manipulative, bitch who'd love to break up a marriage? Or is she a sweet but troubled lonely girl who looks for attention in the wrong places?

17. Enjoyed the Welsh Girl in Australia's post about spiders.

I like spiders. I used to be very scared of them. I'm not sure what happened.

Maybe the Spiderman movie converted me. Should I give credit to Toby Maguire?

I remember, many years ago, going to a restaurant near the lake house with my parents. I couldn't relax because there were fat orb-weaving spiders above our heads spinning their webs. Now I walk out to the dock at night JUST so I can watch the spiders making their webs.

18. Wanted to say that I don't think all spiders are adorable. The huntsman variety give me the creeps. And I also don't like the scary Cave Spiders in Minecraft.

19. Liked the song played at the end of the Packed to the Rafters episode.

I think it might be Greek.

20. Found the song on YouTube. It's called "Turn on the Sun" and is sung by Nana Mouskouri.

It's a fun song.

21. Started to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

22. Thought Sammy was smart.

After she and Nathan have sex, Nathan confesses that Layla propositioned him. Sammy, at first, expresses anger and disgust with Layla. Then she puts two and two together. Layla offered Nathan sex. He said no, rushed home, and had sex with Sammy instead.

It could have been that Nathan feels nothing for Layla and wanted to get away—back into the arms of his wife.

But the show has given us Nathan's fantasies, and they involve having sex with Layla. So Sammy is smart to be suspicious.

If someone's partner shows zero, mild, or moderate sexual interest; then suddenly becomes a horny devil; I would say it's likely they're using their partner as a stand in for who they really want.

23. Remembered hearing that both an increase in sex and a reduction can be signs of infidelity.

My guess is a reduction probably signals that a secondary relationship is already happening. Your partner doesn't want to have sex with you, because it would feel like he's cheating on his new love. OR it could just be a matter of being exhausted.

If there's a sudden strong increase in sexual advances, I would guess there's a desire for an affair, but it's not happening yet. Your partner is using you for a substitute, and also trying to prove to themselves and you, that they're not only faithful, but attentive.

24. Liked the "These Boots are Made For Walking" cover played on Packed to the Rafters.

25. Found the Channel 7 Packed to the Rafters site. They list the music for each episode. That might be helpful!

The Boots cover is sung by Nick West. I can't find it on YouTube or Spotify.

26. Compelled to watch David Tennant and David Morrisey sing "These Boots are Made For Walking".  Blackpool is mesmerizing and addictive.

27. Disagreed with Sammy. She confronts Layla and tells her she wants to have sex with only one man her entire life, and this is what everyone should want.

I don't feel that's true.

I don't think it's bad to want an open relationship.

I think what's bad is to try to turn someone else's closed relationship into an open one.  That's rude, disrespectful, and selfish.  But if Layla finds a couple who have an open relationship; I see nothing wrong with her pursuing one...or both of them.

28. Confused about my feelings towards Sammy's outburst. She tells Nathan she's angry that he was tempted to have sex with Layla. He wants to quit his job, and she refuses to let him do that. She wants him to be the type of husband who can be around other women and not be attempted to cheat.

I feel she's being unfair. People can't help how they feel, and at least he's TRYING to behave.

On the other hand, I've been hurt and angry by someone's feelings even though they tried to behave in the proper way.

It's like I'm thinking, Yes, I know you're trying to do the right thing and trying to make me happy. But I don't want you to have to make an effort. I want it all to come naturally and effortlessly as it would for someone who felt the way I wanted them to feel.  

What Sammy wants is a man who's so overwhelmed with love that he doesn't feel things for other women.  I think a lot of us wish for that, but it probably rarely exists in reality. Well, it might happen at the beginning of a relationship, but as the years go by, I think most people are going to have eyes for others.

29. Started to watch part one of a Neighbours backstage video starring Saskia Hampele. I like her a lot. Or at least I like Georgia.

30. Thought that Saskia Hampele has a cute voice and accent.

31. Heard Hampele singing. I think she has a lovely voice. I know Georgia was supposed to be a singer, but then throat surgery ruined it all. I wonder why Neighbours did that. Did Hampele not want to sing anymore?  Maybe like her character, she developed a voice problem?

I guess it could all be the sake for a good storyline, but wouldn't it have bothered Hampele to know she couldn't showcase her voice on the show anymore? Though maybe she didn't want to?

32. Started watching part two of the backstage video.

33. Thought Saskia Hampele looked very pretty here. I like her outfit, hair, and make-up.

Well, she looked much better on the video, really.

This is making me think my ugliness might not be as strong as I have been believing. Someone can look fine in action; but the camera fails to capture their face in a good moment.

It's probably better to judge physical appearance with a video or face to face in real life. A photo can make someone look uglier than they are, or more attractive.

34. Thought about video, and the problem there is, it can reveal stuff about us we'd rather not know. For example, when I watch videos of myself, I see how I stand and walk awkwardly. Or I do this thing where I hold my hands over my stomach.

35. Watched a video where I have my hands in an awkward position. It's not pretty.

But more importantly...while watching the video, I saw this Healesville bird trainer guy.

He reminds me of Denis O'Hare from True Blood and American Horror Story—more so in the video than the screenshot.

36. Saw article that says Saskia Hampele is leaving Neighbours.

What the hell?

Is anyone going to stay on the show?

37. Saw that Hampele leaves the show in May!  That's the month I'm on now. Where the hell is Georgia going to go? Is Nick going to escape prison and kill her?

Or maybe Georgia's not leaving. Maybe she's going to go through a regeneration process.

38. Saw that I'm on the May 18 episode of Neighbours, and Hampele leaves the last week of May. That's very soon.

39. Saw from Hampele's Twitter that she has her own website. It's called Peachy Keen.

I think the name's kind of funny, because Hampele wore a peach-colored sweater in the the first backstage video. I didn't think it was a very good color on her.

Or maybe it was more salmon-colored?

40. Looked at the recipes on Hampele's site.  They're health food stuff. Hampele avoids refined sugars. But it looks like yummy, not-boring health food stuff.

In other words: the recipes involve chocolate. Well, at least three out of the four recipes do.

41. Started to read Hampele's blog post about Instagram. I can relate, because she talks about being addicted.  She says, When did instagram become so popular? Why is it so uncontrollably addictive to scroll through the endless images and double tap your seal of approval?

That was totally me for awhile. I then realized enough was enough. I signed out of my account, so I wouldn't keep checking it multiple times a day. Now I just look via my laptop for my blog posts. And I made a rule that I can check my own account once a season. I checked in the middle of June. I'll check again in September...if I can remember my password.

42. Saw that the rest of the post is Hampele speaking out against all the photo-editing that goes on in Instagram. People edit their photos to make themselves look better.

I had no idea!

Is that why I see all these people with beautiful selfies, and I look so ugly in comparison?

Hampele is pretty awesome.  On her blog, she shows before and after (editing) photos of herself. She posted the edited ones on Instagram, and she got more attention than usual.

To be honest, though, I don't see that much of a difference between the photos. She looks lovely in all of them.

I think you can take a pretty person and make them beautiful. I'm not sure you can take an ugly person, and make them beautiful.

Well...never mind. I've seen those celebrities-without-make-up photos.  I guess sometimes you can work miracles with make-up and photo editing.

43. Loved what Hampele said here: Because I am that awkward girl with the double chins in most my selfies. I have pimples and wrinkles and sun spots and thighs. And my favourite photos, the ones that need no filter or editing or alteration, are usually the ones where I am smiling and laughing with the people I love, not the ones I take on my lonesome when I’m trying to look like something I’m not.

I might have to add Hampele to my list of favorite Australians.

What's funny is, I worried I wouldn't like her as much as Georgia. And now I'm thinking I might like her even MORE than Georgia.

44. Thought that I might fall in love with Hampele as I read her post about society's obsession with a flat belly.

45. Started to read Hampele's third blog post.

I can relate to what she says here. I became inescapably aware that I, a woman and a feminist, am often too scared myself to join the conversation about inequality. I’m scared of being seen as too outspoken, too bossy, of being told my opinions are not welcome, of the negative connotations that the “F-Word” – feminism – seems to invoke.

I thought about this today. For some reason, I was thinking of how I personally like men to do some things for me, but I get annoyed by other things. For example: I would like a man to walk me home if it was late at night. I would think he's a jerk if he felt that wasn't necessary. But I don't like a man to open a car door for me. It makes me feel awkward and useless. I worry about being attacked at night, and appreciate the protection. But I can perfectly handle a car door, thank you very much

Anyway, though...I was imagining myself trying to tell people this. And I immediately pictured people rolling their eyes, calling me a feminist.

46. Saw that the feminism post is the first post in Hampele's blog.   It explains why she wanted to start the blog. Peachy Keen is a space to shed some of the niceties that we are fed everyday through magazines and mainstream media, and get to the real stuff. It’s about having the guts to say the things that make me nervous to say. Giving a voice to the things that so often go unsaid. An unfiltered playground where the good, the bad and the ugly are all on the table. Where nothing is off limits.

I really hope she keeps up with it. She's a great writer; and I like her opinions and spirit.

47. Thought more about the whole infidelity thing.

I once got romantic online with an email-pal. I tell myself I'm innocent by society's standards. There was no sex involved, so I'm still a faithful woman. Right?

Or wrong?

It's weird. I don't feel necessarily guilty about it. I can justify it by saying my marriage was having a bad patch.  It's more like I feel ashamed and tainted. I feel like I'm not living up to some kind of high standard. But I think it's more society's standard than my own.

48. Decided that I don't think it's evil or naughty to stray from our partner, whether it be in a sexual, romantic, or intense friendship kind of way.  But I do think it signals that there's a problem in our relationship, and in our lives.

I think when two people are happily in love together—there's much less need to seek attention elsewhere.

49. Realized that's not always the case. Some people might need/want love from more than one person.  Cleaver Greene from Rake is that way. He talks about how he continues to love the women  he was partnered with in the past.

Also, someone could be happy with their partner until something more exciting comes along.

50. Wondered, if Nathan and Sammy, on Packed to the Rafters, were okay until Layla came along.  I don't remember what happened between them on season one.

51. Thought about Lauren on Neighbours. I think she does have feelings for Brad; but I know she also loves her deceased husband.  The same goes for Brad. I think he loves Lauren and his wife.

52. Realized I'm using fictional characters as my only examples.

Oh well.

53. Thought about how jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity can be a part of any relationship, not just romantic ones. We can be jealous of our parent's other children; our grandparent's other grandchildren; our bosses other employees; our siblings other siblings; Our best friend's other friends, etc.

Why are romantic and sexual relationships the only relationship in which we're not told we need to share?

Well, no...even in romantic relationships, we're told to share. But more boundaries are expected and allowed.

People would probably be understanding if I said I didn't want my husband holding hands with a female friend at the movie. They would probably think I'm a bit nuts if I said I didn't want my email-friend Jen emailing other friends.

Why does society say we can have multiple children, grandparents, parents, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors, dogs, cats, grandchildren, pet crickets, students, fans, favorite celebrities, email-pals, etc. But we're only supposed to have one romantic/sexual partner, and we're supposed to stick with that one partner throughout life?