Girls. A good proportion of us I bet are over thinkers.
If only the male species had an insight into the conversations that my flat of all women has. I feel like they would learn a lot about this so called complex female mind that is such a mystery to them (they would also probably be surprised at how frequently the topic of sex comes up). Recently conversation has been directed towards early communication upon meeting someone new and how frustrating it can be.
The reason I am so happy hanging out by myself is because there is no one else to think about or factor in. The girls feel the same. Of course someone new always ends up coming along and ruining that peace and quiet. Nature doesn’t like order. It prefers disorder, chaos and a system with greater enthalpy.
There you are, minding your own business, totally content with yourself when some guy comes along and knocks you over. You meet by chance, hit it off and laugh a lot. You hang out some more. He texts you and you text him back at infrequent and frustrating intervals. Then out of totally legitimate and understandable reasoning he is unable to see you for a period of time. This is ok with you. You play it cool. You don’t want to come across as needy and clingy so you restrict yourself from overloading his inbox. You know he’s busy so you don’t expect an answer right away. Ten hours later you get a response and that’s that for the day. You have to keep telling yourself that he’s just too busy or doesn’t have anything of value to say to you.
This works for the first couple of days but then the doubt sets in. All that practice at not caring when your ex didn’t contact you for days at a time goes out the window. There is that small piece inside of you that panics. Why doesn’t he want to talk to me? Does he not like me anymore? Have I scared him off? Does he think I am too needy even though I have kept myself under control? Is he bored of me? Am I just some disposable play thing? Has he met someone with less jiggly thighs? This small piece, if not kept in check, grows rapidly. You ask your guy friends for reassurance. This tames the beast but only for a short few moments. You are left hanging for what seems like eons. It is torturous. It is this feeling that makes you wish you had never run into them in the first place and had just gone about your merry little life happy and alone.
For those of you with uteri, I bet you have felt this at least once. Apparently my brother sometimes thinks like this so if men reading this can relate, know that you are not alone. It is frustrating and all consuming. You’re distracted by it. You lose your appetite and you have an overall worrisome expression plastered all over your face for the duration that this torture takes place.
For those of you proudly sporting Y chromosomes you are probably thinking that girls are crazy. You are thinking that the dude was with his mates. He probably got drunk and lost track of his phone for the entire weekend. Chill man. You can’t text and use an X Box controller at the same time.
What on earth has happened in the social conditioning of men and women for this vast difference in courting rituals to develop? My girl logic dictates that if I like you I will want to talk to you at regular intervals. Why shouldn’t it be the same for guys? Why don’t they feel the same?
I consulted an expert, also known as my ex boyfriend, to shed some light on the matter. Ironically he replies more often these days than when we were together. We have good chats spanning a wide range of interesting topics of discussion, this being one of them.
Because we came to the conclusion that a lack of time was part of the problem, I shall save time by copying and pasting excerpts from our insightful and witty G chat conversation.
me: ok what were the usual reasons for you not replying back instantly?
Alex: Did I ever reply "instantly" I feel like that’s a misnomer.
me: Haha you did this afternoon
Alex: 98% of the time I wouldn’t reply instantly because I was doing something else other than standing in the kitchen waiting for toast to pop (like this afternoon)
me: I am clearly more interesting than toast. Good to know.
So the lack of time to reply is a big thing. Or perhaps not so much a lack of time but a lack of opportunity at the exact moment of receiving a message to respond. You might read the message, acknowledge the information and attempt to remind yourself to reply later. Sometimes you forget though. I know I do. Sorry Mum.
The next idea is that our over connected lives, especially during the working day often cause us to shut it all out after hours.
Alex: I spend all day ERRRRRR DAY on my phone - texting, calling, emailing, facebooking, generally networking because it is a HUGE part of my business. Which means I HATE doing any of these things for normal human interaction reasons
For those of you who are using social media and digital communication during your working day for work purposes, I bet you just want to switch it off as soon as you walk in the door. For these people, using this digital platform for personal communication can be a bit of a struggle, especially if they don’t want that person to be associated in their mind as something that gives them stress.
I also plain blank asked if he purposely made girls sweat and played this so called game of cat and mouse I got a very honest answer.
Alex: PLay the game?!!? Nahahaha. no way! I have no game at ALL. I think thats one of the reasons i get so confused by all this. I text back when I can, if i can.
Maybe this game is all just in our heads? With the exception of some downright douchebags of course, maybe males are in fact totally clueless to our angst?
Alex didn’t quite understand what went through a girl’s head when boys didn’t respond. I sent him the fourth paragraph with all the crazy questions that fly through our heads. He replied with this:
Then, like myself, Alex came to question the root of this self-doubt. We then got talking about that.
Where does this self doubt come from? Maybe because some girls feel like the guy has the upper hand which we then have to go on to ask why this is the case. When I like someone I tend to show it. In today’s world though we are taught by sources such as quality cinema, that we should play hard to get otherwise the male will lose interest. The age old thrill of the chase? We always want what we can’t have? A stream of over eager Tinder boys has confirmed this for me. This concept though still absolutely baffles my friends and I. We don't play this game. When a guy plays hard to get with us we find it immensely frustrating. It is somewhat attractive at first but eventually it pisses us off. It usually annoys us enough to put us off the guy altogether. Our time is way too precious for that shit.
But maybe we do have a fear of being undesirable and unwanted? It makes sense. It would explain all this self doubting and second guessing. This in itself is somewhat ridiculous. The idea that we are so consumed and preoccupied with someone (a man) liking or disliking us to an extent where it affects our mental wellbeing is appalling. I feel like we should be more preoccupied with whether or not we like or dislike who we are ourselves as people. The idea that we strive to have this nod of male approval is just archaic. I have come to the recent conclusion that I am damn well awesome and that if a guy refuses to see this he is by far the one missing out. I think we all need to keep this in mind when boys (because that’s what they are) start doing our heads in. I think this comes with age.
Clearly not taking my own medicine, I sought to distract myself from the lack of attention by baking my friend a birthday cake. Baking cakes also reminds me that I am good at baking cakes and makes me feel better about myself.
For when I feel like something a little lighter on the palate, I always whip out this trusty vanilla cake recipe. It is secretly a double cupcake recipe baked into two sandwich tins. I am currently mega into white chocolate buttercream which I feel goes wonderfully with the light vanilla sponge. For some unknown reason (I swear the sprinkles have magic powers) this cake stays moist and edible for days which also makes it the perfect cake to fill the tins with. The secret to lush icing is to make sure you really cream the butter BEFORE you start adding the icing sugar. When making a white chocolate buttercream, whip the ganache first then add in the butter. Whip the two together for well over five minutes until you get a mountain of glorious white icing. Then you can start slowly mixing in the icing sugar.
Vanilla Birthday Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf
Makes 2 x 20cm layers
80g butter, softened
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
White chocolate buttercream:
200g white eating chocolate, chopped
½ cup cream
4 cups icing sugar
A few splashes of milk or cream
smear of vanilla bean paste
Splash of food colouring
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees on bake. Line and grease two 20cm sandwich cake tins.
Mix together the butter and sugar until all the lumps have been broken down. Add in the flour and baking powder and continue to mix until a sandy consistency is reached.
Whisk the eggs, vanilla and milk together and slowly pour into the dry mixture while beating on a low setting. Beat until the batter is smooth.
Split evenly between the two cake tins and bake for 23-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the tins. Leave to cool completely before icing.
To make your icing, warm the cream in a small saucepan until just below a simmer. Tip in the white chocolate and stir until it is all melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until firm like peanut butter.
Beat the cooled ganache until it becomes light and voluminous. This will take a few minutes. Then add your vanilla and softened butter in cubes and continue to beat for over five minutes until the mixture has become super fluffy and light in colour. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time, making sure you beat well between each addition in order to incorporate the sugar. Towards the end you may want to add a splash of milk to help loosen things up. Colour your icing as you wish.
Take the fully cooled cakes and level them with a sharp serrated knife. Sandwich the cakes one on top of the other with a good spoonful of icing. Cover the cake in a crumb coat and leave to set in the fridge for half an hour.
Cover the cake in the rest of the icing and decorate with sprinkles.
Nick was very excited to be allowed to lick the icing bowl.