Monthly Archives: February 2009

What kind of gym person are you?!

“How come you’ve never joined a gym before?” the beautiful and well proportioned Siobhan asked before showing me how to use the equipment.  I explained that whenever I had visited a gym before (admittedly only twice before) the staff and gym users had seemed like posing idiots. She wasn’t impressed, “So what are your gym goals?” she continued? I hadn’t really thought that far ahead, so I said I wanted to use the pool and learn how to use the gym equipment. I also wanted to meet hot women, but I didn’t say this of course.

So, 6 weeks later and after an embarrassing mishap with the cross-trainer (long story) I am now officially a ‘gym person’ and as an avid people watcher, in a non-stalker way, I have been fascinated by the different types of people who go to the gym and the non-verbal communication that takes place.  

Despite my comment above about wanting to meet hot women, I do actually go to the gym to get fit and to work out, but there seems to be a reasonable number of people who go for whom fitness is not high on their priority list for being there.  The first give away to these people is that they don’t look hot, sweaty or tired out. Annoyingly some people do still manage to look quite elegant whilst working out, but everyone has to sweat and look tired don’t they? Are they robots?!

There are some that just don’t try hard at all and I wonder why they even bother going?  I’ve even noticed some perfectly able women who go to my gym who just walk on the treadmill and do nothing else. If they want to walk, there is a perfectly nice and beautiful common nearby, but yet they prefer to walk on the spot looking at a TV screen?!  

Many seem to be quite competitive, mostly men, and subtly look at what weight the other person is lifting or at what speed and difficulty setting they are using. I’m very guilty of the latter, especially on the cross-trainer, and feel very happy when I’m going faster and at a harder level than the next person.

It’s in the swimming pool that a lot of people annoy me as it is not a big pool and so for everyone to get use of it you need to be courteous and respectful of others. There are some people who are blatantly rude, not staying in their lane and generally act as if they are the only person in the pool. I do, however, enjoy the hydro-pool/jaquzzi although do worry about what some people do with their hands when the bubbles are going. I also seem to have swimming shorts that trap the bubbles inside which makes me float and if I force the air out it seems as though I’ve done a large fart!

So, what kind of gym person are you? It seems I’m the kind of gym person who is generally courteous, yet quite irritable and competitive who needs a new pair of swimming shorts.

Jake McMillan

How low do you go?!

Okay here’s the thing, I’m 33 years of age and met this lovely French lady (let’s call her ‘V’) who has agreed to meet me for a date BUT she’s only 20 years old. My friends are divided as to whether I am too old for her or not. She doesn’t know how old I am and several friends suggest strongly I should lie about this. She is going back to France in a couple of months anyway, we’re both adults and it is likely only ever going to be a bit of fun, so what’s the harm?

If 20 years old is too young for me, then what is the lowest age that is acceptable for me? Does it not depend on the person rather than just the age? For example, I have one female friend well into her 30s who is far less emotionally mature than women I know in their early 20s. If V is mature and is happy with the situation, then what is the problem?

Apparently they say, whoever ‘they’ are, that the rule for adults on how low you can go is that you halve your age and add 7. Therefore, at 33, the lowest age I could date is 23.

Friends say that if you want anything long term then it is doomed if there is too much of an age gap. However, there are lots of examples where this isn’t the case. Jonathan Ross is 10 years older than his wife Jane and first started dating her when she was 16. Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13 year old (he was 22) and Michael Douglas is 25 years older than Catherine Zeta Jones. Some people seem to really be against such large age gaps, particularly when the woman is the older party, but then others say when it comes to love, age means nothing.

Will I lie about my age though? Yes, I probably will and have already thought to say 27, but to a 20 year old this is still quite old. Anyone over 25 is old at that age! The reason I expect I will lie is not because I want to deliberately or maliciously deceive her, but because I expect that even if she does like me then there is a chance she will think 33 is just too old.

However, a lie is a lie and if I say I am 27 then I am not giving her the free choice to decide for herself. My flatmate went out with a much older guy when she was 20 and he was 36. They had been going out months before he told her his true age and although she was very shocked they stayed together for a couple of years.

So, I am not pushing for the date to happen and have left the ball in her court as she has my number and needs to contact me to confirm arrangements, but will definitely go if she calls. However, am not sure whether to lie or just maybe avoid the subject completely???

Jake McMillan

No Sex on the First Date?!

I know I’m going to really upset both men and women by saying this, but if a woman wants to have a relationship with a guy then she should not have sex with him on the first night. I’m not religious in any way and firmly believe in the equality of the sexes, but I think there is still an inequality when it comes to sex and I am sorry to say that men are completely to blame.

Even in the 21st century, rightly or wrongly, men will still judge a woman for going all the way on a first date, even if they are the ones pushing for it to happen. I’m sure lots of men would say they disagree, but even the most liberal man will consciously or subconsciously think less of a woman for doing the humpity bumpity on the first encounter.

It does all depend on the situation and if the woman is just seeking fun then there is no harm at all, but if seeking fun but also kind of hoping this could be something special, then a man, even the good ones, will be less likely to view the woman as a long term potential if she is all too ready for a game of bury the sausage.

This is, of course, completely unfair as it seems okay for men to be proud of their sexual conquests and promiscuity whereas women are judged as being sluts for acting in the same way as it is not ‘lady’ like. I’ve even found myself occasionally judging or feeling disappointed in female friends for getting up to sexy shenanigans with guys they had just met that night, but yet if it was a male friend I would think he’s done well. I’m sure I am not the only guy to think like that.

So ‘ladies’, men are rubbish (I think you knew this already) and have double standards in this area, but don’t let us stop you having your deserved fun. However, if it’s a guy that you think might be a long term potential, then maybe wait a little bit just to be on the safe side. The character Doris from TV’s ‘Gavin & Stacey’ perhaps said it best when advising Stacey on how far to go on the first date, “A kiss, a cuddle, a cheeky finger… just don’t go selling him the whole farm”.

Jake McMillan

2009 is the Year of the Beard!

2009 is the year of the Beard, sorry Chinese folk, it’s not the Ox and sorry Brad Pitt, it ain’t the year of the moustache either! It’s all about the beard this year chaps as it seems many of us have spontaneously decided to adorn our faces with manly bristles. I don’t know if it was just to keep our faces warm in the cold weather, but I met up with some pals shortly after the New Year and nearly all of us had grown beards! I made the decision to keep mine and think others should do so too.

(not me)beard

Women seem to love the rugged and earthy look that facial hair gives us men. Two female friends who were commenting on my new facial addition both separately quoted a study they had heard of that said women are attracted to different guys at different stages of their lady cycle. When at the most reproductive stage they are most attracted to masculine-looking guys with beards and muscles but like less masculine looking men when the painters are in.

I have been genuinely surprised and very flattered by the number of nice comments I have received from both women and men about my beard. Now this could be just that they are pleased it covers up my face, but I am reassured that it is the beard that people like and think is cool. Even the cantankerous caretaker of my building said it was nice and made me look like I was into the arts?!

Beard growth is a new experience to me as I have never gone past the 6 or 7 days of growth previously as it always gets itchy, but if you can get through that having a beard is surprisingly good. I initially felt rather scruffy but I splurged and purchased a beard trimmer (only £13) and you can maintain a dapper beard with only one trim per week.

So I am now officially a pogonophile (lover of beards) and think beards are great. They have so many advantages: women love them when they are at their ‘happy time’ and don’t want to be near them at their ‘non-happy time’; you instantly look intelligent when you stroke your beard; they only take two minutes of maintenance per week and like Mr Twit you can keep food in them for a tasty snack later in the day!

Jake McMillan

Where is your RSVP?

Is it just me, or is everyone just too damn busy? Do you remember a time when you arranged your weekend on a Friday night? It’s probably just that I am old (or maybe it’s just my friends are old?), but I now have to arrange a drink with a close buddy weeks in advance. Well, I’ve been trying to organise a party with only, wait for it, two weeks’ notice. They said it could not be done.

Spontaneity has disappeared as our lives are now so full with meeting up with friends, weddings, parties (30th birthdays, stag nights, house-warmings, leaving dos), client drinks, quiz nights etc. Actually, that all sounds quite fun, so what am I moaning about? And just how many more rhetorical questions are there going to be? (Only two more.)

Organising this party has made me feel like I’m in Challenge Anneka, except that I am not wearing a bright jump suit (I don’t have the cleavage thankfully). I have been calling in favours, twisting people’s arms, sending out texts and Facebook messages, and using all the sneaky, devious tricks I know to get my friends to show up at the party.

However, I’m resigned to the fact that a significant proportion of my close friends will not be able to make it, and many have already said that they cannot be there.

Now, it could be that I am very unpopular (probably a good theory), but I am offering a great venue, free booze, food and music. Because everyone has such busy lives now, I am having to persuade people to come along, to change their plans, to bring their friends. I even have a secret superhero theme and a prize for the best superpower. Cool, huh?

OK, maybe it’s not that cool, but it sounds fun to me. I’d be interested in a party like that.

I accept that people’s lives are quite busy and they have a lot of commitments. Even I’m quite busy and have had to turn down a few friends recently – but I did at least have the decency to turn them down.

It seems to be accepted now that not RSVP-ing is OK. A kind person has generously offered to entertain you for the evening, so isn’t it a simple common courtesy to respond to them?

By the way, if you’ve not got the email, then you’re not invited!

Jake McMillan

Related Posts:
The Unwritten Rules of Modern Communication
The 24hrs Rule
How Often do You Say Sorry?
Women Hog the Hug!

London Underground Etiquette

Some people mistakenly believe they are sitting comfortably on the London Underground, but in actual fact they are in a war-zone, with hundreds of silent battles in progress where even millimetres of territory are fought for. Why are so many people on the tube so inconsiderate?!

Even though they may be little acts of consideration, they are significant and important to us. For example, take arm rests (one of my personal bug bears), these are to be shared between TWO people and not to be monopolised by one person. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need a manual to figure this out, it is just good manners.

Then there are those men who must have elephant-sized testicles as the insist on sitting with their legs spread as wide as they can and don’t seem to care that they are taking up more space than they have been allotted or that they are touching the person next to them? I know there is not a massive amount of space, but in a big city of millions of people surely we have to be considerate to each other?

I am sure you will have experienced a crowded platform, the doors open, lots of people get off and then the first person gets on the carriage and just stops, instantly forgetting the 80 people behind also waiting to get on?! Or those people who try to get on whilst others are getting off. If we are not careful we will end up with the Paris model where it is accepted to just push each other out of the way getting on and off the train. This is hardly what I think is acceptable behaviour for modern civilised society!

Don’t get the impression I am a perfect tube gentleman, I am guilty, like we all have done, of forgetting my surroundings. I have been so absorbed in my pocket PC and ipod that I have not noticed someone needing a seat more than me. The person sitting next to me then offered their seat which is when I looked up to see 8 or so faces looking at me disapprovingly.

I have also been one of those annoying people with a big rucksack who has no awareness of bumping into others. My girlfriend once had to point out I was bumping into a man sitting down and being quite an apologetic person I swung round to say sorry and took out the woman sitting on the other side!

We all seem to, and I am not sure if there is actually a rule against this, collectively frown upon those eating fast food on the underground. What about those people with the worst earphones in the world? Or those who reach behind two people to grab one of those free newspapers?

None of us are perfect, but surely we can do better at showing a bit more consideration to our fellow 7 million Londoners. And if we do
fall short from time to time, not to bite the head off someone who kindly and politely points out an indiscretion. I promise I won’t bite your head off, but I still might accidentally hit you with a ruck sack.

Jake McMillan

What a load of crap!

Huge apologies in advance for the trivial nature of this posting, especially with all the serious problems the world is facing at the moment, but I would like to bring to your attention a new form of profiling based on how you wipe your bottom! I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous, but did you realise that how you buff your behind is different to other people and that your method could reveal something about your personality?

Toilet Paper

This revelation in differing posterior polishing methods occurred whilst out drinking with an Australian lady. From nowhere she asked me, “Do you scrunch or fold?” I had absolutely no idea what she meant. She explained that people either folded the toilet paper or scrunched it before applying it to their dirty derriere.

After some polling and the setting up of a Facebook group, I discovered this was true with nearly a 50:50 split amongst friends and colleagues. The neat, sensible and more cautious tended to (not always) be Folders and the lazy and carefree tended to be Scrunchers. Both argue that their method achieves better access and is a softer feel. However, Scrunchers suggest their method is quicker, more efficient and keeps their hands further from the ‘danger zone’, whereas Folders believe Scrunchers are not able to clean as thoroughly.

Another drunken party, this time with no Australians present, but with a large proportion who had been there(!), revealed that there is another division of people: those who stand and those who sit during a crevice cleansing sessionSitters lean to one side to gain access whereas Standers actually get up off the seat to sanitize their sphincter. Standers think sitting and leaning is weird and cannot achieve good access, whereas Sitters think standing will lead to extra mess from squishing!

There seems to be no correlation between those who sit or stand with those who prefer to fold or scrunch. Therefore, we all fit into one of the following 4 profiles:

  • Folder-Sitter: You seem an open and fun person, but are also quite private and guarded
  • Folder-Stander: You are tidy and neat, but also quite practical and like to do things your way;
  • Scruncher-Stander: You have a healthy perspective on life and have a good balance of work, play and friendships as well;
  • Scruncher-Sitter: You are a lazy so and so, but are actually quite happy with life and a great friend and companion.

So which are you?

Jake McMillan

Further Info:
Do you Scrunch or Fold? (A blog dedicated to the debate)