Stylised Monologue

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Daphne And The Deadly Chavs. (defrosted and reheated)

A year or so ago I was asked by a friend to write a story for his blog. I recently saw my old housemate and while reminiscing about the good old days of too much afternoon champagne and not much sensibility (lets pretend any of this has changed...) it dawned on me that I haven't shared it on this Blog. 
So, voila reheated and ready for you, my first ever encounter with British criminals.


Most people who don’t know me, try to place my accent. American? Irish? Do I hear… Liverpool? No, no you don’t, get your ears cleaned and never talk to me again. My accent is a hybrid actually, I had an Australian teacher, a love for American TV, British music idols, many English friends and a Greek family and upbringing. Before we start with my story, let me clarify this, I now understand the British culture, I have adapted. I can’t stop myself from saying please and thank you like my life depends on it (and while it’s all the rage here, in Greece waiters think I have OCD), I put milk in my tea and I almost accept that the one and only thing y’all eat EVERYTIME there’s any sort of an occasion is a roast dinner.

Rewind six years, however, and none of this made sense to me. My accent was as Greek as it gets, my skin had a hint of the Mediterranean (as in tanned not hairy, thank you very much) and my knowledge of all things British could be entirely summarized in the sentence: ‘you like fish and chips and to get drrrrrrrrrunk, no?’. Adding insult to injury, I lived in the tiny posh slash chavtastic slash brilliant town (or maybe city because of some cathedral rule?) of Winchester in a house of four and a half residents, three and a half of which had not socialized with many foreign people before. One housemate actually, although good natured, never quite grasped that I was human. She referred to me as ‘The Greek’, described me to others as ‘a Greek’ and pretty much pictured me as a cat with a Greek flag print on my fur. When, in the summer, she came to Greece (to make sure it wasn’t an imaginary country, perhaps) she literally ate exclusively chips and bread for two whole weeks. She then died of constipation. No, sorry, she didn’t, that was a terrible joke.

The story I was asked to tell is about Chavs. As I mentioned, Winchester can be quite chavy, especially the parts of it students can afford to chill at. And what to you looks like a chav, to the untrained Greek eye is just a guy who must go to the gym a lot and is in dire need of a dental hygiene lecture and a shampoo bottle. So, when my half a housemate, Will, came into our house terrified one evening because ‘chavs’ had bullied him, I was baffled to say the least. Will looked at me like the ignorant token foreigner I was. ‘Do you not know about Chavs?’ ‘No’ I said, semi-ashamed. At this point, Hayley butted into our conversation ‘they’re the people with the traksuits and the big earrings’. Oh yeah, I had seen them. ‘They are horrible’ Will and Hayley chanted in unison (not really, but it would have been entertaining). They looked at me in the eyes and laid the horrific facts out. ‘They will shout things at you’. ‘Never look at them’.  ‘Especially not if they talk to you’. ‘And never EVER talk back to them’. ‘ESPECIALLY with your accent’. ‘They steal and spit’. ‘They killed a man outside Tescos the other day because he told them to be quiet’. It suddenly all made sense… they don’t go to the gym a lot, they wear tracksuits to run faster and the rotten teeth are from all the spitting and OH MY GOD their hair is dirty because they don’t have time to wash it in between murders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fast forward two chav induced nightmare filled days, Hayley offers to give me a lift to the one stop. The little drive goes smoothly. We listen to two verses of a song and the beginning of a bad Fearne Cotton joke and we’re there. The glorious one stop. I get out of the car, unaware of what is to come. Take two steps. Then I see them. Trainers, tracksuits, bad teeth, bulldog, shit hair. My internal monologue goes into overdrive. ‘don’t look at them, don’t look at them, not with your accent, not with your accent, wait… they can’t SEE my accent, shhhh just don’t look, just do…’ ‘MISS?! MISS?!’ I hear a voice through two brown broken teeth. ‘shit, shit, shit, SHIT, I’m going to be the man at tescos’. Despite trying not to, I look up. They are actually talking to me. I can see the headlines ‘Chavs murder foreign girl after she rolled her ‘r’s at them’. They look as threatening as I expected. Short, angry. I turn around and look at Hayley with terror! Hayley is unphazed, she probably hasn’t noticed THE CHAVS, I think. I run towards the car keeping my composure. They talk to me again ‘Miss, Miss will you...’ That’s it, their voices trigger my street wise defense mechanism, unable to control it, a scream escapes my vocal chords ‘CRIMINALS!! THE CRIMINALS SPOKE TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’. I get in the car shaking. Hayley looks at me like blankly.  I expect her to share my panic and drive away in full speed. Instead, she takes a moment to realize what has just happened and wets herself ‘you absolute moron!! They are eight year old kids in tracksuits, walking their dog’.

The above picture was taken approximately 15minutes after the terrifying incident. October 2006.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Stylized Guide to Breaking Up.

I don't mean to be a cynic but I have little faith in relationships. Basically, they always seems to go a bit like this.

Breaking up sucks. Simply and to the point, here's a list of things I'd rather be subjected to:

- Eating my body weight in apples (I'm allergic to apples)
- Have a Richard Gere film Marathon (I hate Richard Gere) 
- Ouzo induced hangovers (The absolute worst)
- The full body itchiness you get after pulling all-nighters
- Being stark naked in public (but maybe not on fat days)
- Sinusitis 
- Maths... (I took it too far, give me a break up over maths any time!)

Now, I think that all break ups fall under the rather large umbrella of 'awkward, unpleasant, painful social situation'. I have personally experienced two spectrums of the above collection of undesired feelings. In the few break ups I have experienced in my life, I have been either awkward, unpleasant and painful but in a way, a relief

(what a visual representation of emotional relief looks like in my head)

or awkwardly, unpleasantly, painfully devastated. 

I'm going to come out and say it, I got dumped A LOT when I was in school. I'm not entirely sure what the reason was but I have a hunch it had something to do with the fact that I would get intimidated by beautiful boys and therefore not really talk to them for the entire duration of our 1-3 month long relationships. This kind of happened twice, one was a summer fling that commenced in the summer of 2003 during the ever so promising night of the August full moon (stuff right out of a shit chick flick can take a toll on the unprotected teenage heart), once the summer was over and before our tans had even had the chance to fade, the guy just stopped talking to me altogether (the lack of proper ending, I'm pretty sure, TECHNICALLY, still makes us a couple, so this is an apology to all of my boyfriends of the past 10 years for unknowingly two timing you, sorry guys!).

The next guy to dump me, genuinely had every right to. He intimidated me to the extent of muteness like no other. We used to go out and just sit opposite each other. He would sip on his abundant in milk coffee while I would order...nothing! He'd ask me to list my hobbies to which I'd just...giggle! But the absolute worst was our phone conversation. He'd ring me every night because that's what boyfriends did and we'd listen to each others silence for a cold sweat inducing 15 minutes before exchanging awkward I love you's and hanging up. Said relationship lasted a record breaking three months which at the time saw me ecstatically happy and blindly oblivious to the disaster to come. 'We have nothing in common' he said on the phone and even though I was pretty sure we both loved the Doors and Rolling Stones, in retrospect I think he meant the ability to use the power of speech to form a conversation. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement. I went cliche extreme, singing 'love of my life' more times than Freddie Mercury ever did, crying myself to sleep and rebounding with someone I did not care for one bit. Ahhh to be a teenager.

Last time I got dumped I had left my teens behind for a good two and a half years. A short lived relationship ended with an inbox facebook message that amongst other gems, included the phrase "I need to focus on my dissertation". In retrospect it's hilarious. At the time, I MAY have said that I was going to go to his house with placards listing the reasons our connection was not to be lost. My friends supportively took the piss out of me and all I did to keep us together was tell my friends that I would. Instead, I  ate a few too many soft king biscuits whilst replying to his message like I did not care one bit that he no longer saw a future together. (It was a hard task but one I feel I carried through with success).

How to cope with devastating break ups:

1) Find friends who have also been recently dumped.

At the time that this picture was taken, high on heartbreak delirium, my friend Natasha would greet everyone with the phrase 'Hello, we've just broken up....not with each other). And by everyone, I mean EVERYONE.

2) Don't eat your feelings.

Meeting your ex whilst being twice the size you were throughout your relationship is definitely more traumatic than the meeting itself.

3) DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT send a million and three texts with varying emotions. 

- Daphne Economou  10:30 

Hey! I hope you're well, I've missed talking to you :( xx

- Daphne Economou 11:01

WHY ARE YOU NOT REPLYING? This is so fucking typical of you, I'm so much better of without you. TWAT!

- Daphne Economou 11:30

I need my stuff back. I am moving on and I don't want to still have stuff lingering in your flat.

- Daphne Economou 12:00

Why is this happening to us? :(

- Daphne Economou 13:00

OMG remember our first date? how hilarious was that thing that you did? hahahahah xx

- Daphne Economou 14:00


4) Don't listen to 'your' song on repeat, don't watch rom coms, don't reminisce whilst looking at pictures and more importantly, don't go wearing their old boxers shorts that have been left in your flat. (I may have been there, I am not proud)

5) DO get drunk. NOT responsibly. BUT maybe hand your phone to your friends so that you dont drunk dial too much.

6) DO rebound. AND then show your rebound this blog post so that they know how to handle the fact that they meant nada to you! SORRY rebound.


Then, there are the 'better' break ups. You've loved each other but you've had one too many arguments and you've had enough.

When you've shared your life with someone you sort of mesh into one person, letting go of that unity is hard. But worry not, here's a few things you can do to make things better.

1) Spend time with friends that are hilarious.

2. Eat (more than) your feelings

3) Cherish the good memories.

4) And finally, forget the bad ones. (Like the time you dressed up as a cow on a bus and it was NOT appreciated.)


To end this post here's a list of cliche phrases you might hear a lot during this time. (possibly the worst aspect of the break up) 

- You're better off
- Keep your chin up
- She/he didn't deserve you
- It's going to get better
- This too, shall pass.
- Keep calm and carry on (punch the person who tells you this, you've got my permission)
- The best is yet to come....!