DTSFT Men’s Column #21 – Romantic Getaway

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Well, well, well, if it hasn’t been two years since we last spoke.

There’s been a sort of DTSFT hiatus, an extended one at that, while we all get the hell on with our lives and work and stuff – well, some of us. Me? I’m back to sitting on my albeit super-sweet behind and doing fuck all, all day. I mean, that’s not strictly true; I’ve been busy sifting through the thousands of emails, letters and texts (I don’t know how you got my mobile number, but it’s too late to do anything about it now, isn’t it?) sent to DTSFT HQ from men in need. In the two years that have passed since my last DTSFT Men’s Column, so much has happened, and not all good stuff. An anti-feminist party stood for parliament in 2015; a creepy, bum-fluff bearded man-child tried to organise a li’l rape rally; and Anthony Mackie starved to death.  It’s no coincidence that this all happened in my absence, and I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to women all over the world for my lack of attention, for not keeping men in check, for not responding to the mountains of correspondence from desperate men, just looking for a light in the darkness of their ignorance. It was my job, MY JOB, to make sure men knew how to respect women, and I was asleep at my desk. I apologise.  With that said, I’d like to crack on with my latest advice column. It seems apt that this column should return almost two years to the day since the last post, so I picked a letter that addressed the same topic as last time.  From Peter in Gravesend:

 

“Hi Helen,

I want to take my girlfriend on a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, but I’ve got no idea what to do.  Recently, she and I have been really getting into Breaking Bad, and I was thinking of taking her to a swanky hotel for some Netflix and chill, if you know what I mean… Do you have any advice or ideas other than this?”

 

Hi Peter.  Well, first of all, kudos to you for asking for my advice; people don’t realise how stupid and ignorant they really are until they hear my opinion. Some people are so embarrassed by their own stupidity that they disappear off the face of the earth and I never hear from them again, which is a shame.  Secondly, it’s a good thing you mentioned Breaking Bad, because as it happens ‘Netflix and chill’ is so 2015 – this year it’s all about ‘Hulu and arguing’, and I don’t want to see you and your girlfriend arguing, Peter, I just don’t, I can’t bear the thought of you two being unhappy, it just fucking tears me apart, man. Don’t let Hulu do this to you.

What both of you need to do, what everybody needs to do, is to just calm down. And what better way to calm down than with some delicious meth? This Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to go to some expensive, swanky hotel; just get her some of that crystal she’ll never lose interest in, and you’ll never have to worry about what to get her ever again.

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No need to thank me, Peter, I’m just doing my job.

 

@bythesheetstore

 

 

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DTSFT Men’s Column #20 – Valentine’s Day

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It’s that time of year again where people won’t shut the hell up about Valentine’s Day. Supermarkets get decked out in red and pink, adverts are all geared towards THAT SPECIAL DAY, and the internet explodes with updates, ‘listicles’ and blogs about whether we should care about Valentine’s Day or not. It’s easy for me, because I don’t care about anything, so when I see you and your beloved other halves flaunting your happiness all over social media, it doesn’t have any effect on me here in my emotional vacuum.  But that hasn’t stopped me from helping those of you who reach out to me in your time of need, and this week’s cry for help comes from Finn in Newcastle.

“Hi Helen,

I need help, I’ve been going out with this girl for two months and she’s lovely and all, but she’s been dropping mad hints on Facebook since the start of the month. She’s been liking certain pages and pictures of jewellery, retweeting stupid tweets from those ‘Just Girl Things’ twitter accounts, and pointing out flowers and chocolates in shop windows. I can’t handle it. I want to do something nice for Valentine’s Day just so she doesn’t stress out at me, but it has to be something small and not too serious. Any ideas?”

Finn, I’ll be honest with you.  A lot of ladies would see your attitude towards Valentine’s Day as a reflection of your attitude towards your girlfriend – too laid back, non-committal, lazy. To me, the fact that you feel like you need to do something for Valentine’s Day just to placate her says a lot. What about what YOU want, Finn? Are you going to just drop everything and organise your Friday night around going for some expensive meal just because your SELFISH girlfriend expects it? I think Valentine’s Day should be renamed ‘Meaningless-Occasion-Where-Men-Fork-Out-Stupid-Amounts-of-Cash-For-Stupid-Shit-That-Their-Girlfriends-Don’t-Need-But-Want-Because-They’re-Shiny-And-Society-Dictates-That-This-Must-Be-Done-Because-Of-The-Date Day’. I don’t know what’s going to be next, Finn, but I would bet that it involves you giving up everything you have, everything you LOVE, everything you’ve worked hard for all your life, just so that your girl can have her throw pillows and scented candles and stickers and weird floral head-dresses.

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Did you know, Finnikins, that at 9pm on Friday 14th, E4 are showing Beverly Hills Cop, ITV4 are showing Police Academy, and BBC Three are showing Enemy of the State? That’s enough of a dilemma in itself. I mean, which one are you going to choose?  You don’t need the extra stress of paying for an expensive meal and flowers when you’re already faced with a quandary such as this.  And two months is nothing, Finny. I’ve had longer relationships with ear-wax, but my sexual preference is not the subject here – the bottom line is this: you need a compromise. My suggestion is getting a takeaway and watching something on the TV, and then going out on a romantic midnight arson rampage. It’s the only logical thing to do.

Happy Valentine’s Day

If you’re anything like me you will have a hard time saying that title sincerely. Even if I try. There will always be a sarcastic twinge. I like to think that it’s because I’m not very romantic. Not that I’m bitter. Any more than usual that is.

So in the spirit of this super commercialised holiday I propose sharing some of our favourite ‘love’ songs. Favourite, for me, means songs that I can think of quickly. Not necessarily the best or any lifetime favourite songs. Just songs for the moment.

@sophiashillito

Ella Fitzgerald – The Man I Love

I adore this song. This should be a long lasting song. Fitzgerald is amazing and I like the “hope” in the lyrics.

Harry Connick, Jr. – It Had To Be You

I fell in love with this song after watching When Harry Met Sally… (1989). It is just perfect jazz and Connick, Jr. is great. The whole soundtrack is great really – all Connick, Jr. And that’s a great movie. Even if you are alone.

Kate Nash – The Nicest Thing

There is not much love for Nash among the other DTSFT girls (I don’t think). I completely understand but I do love this song. Everyone wants someone to know them so well without trying.

Stacey Kent – They All Laughed

Have an outlandish love? This song can make you believe that anything is possible! And who doesn’t need blind faith? I discovered this song via my Dad – he owns the album. I fell in love with it then (around 1998) and I still love it. It’s originally from Shall We Dance (1937) but I’ve never seen it! That’s going on my ‘to watch’ list.

@hmddriver

Luther Vandross – Wait For Love

You can’t discuss love songs without a little Luther.  Indisputably one of the greatest singers ever, this song just jumps out at me as my first choice.

Ennio Morricone – The Crisis

Okay, a slightly less obvious choice here as it’s an instrumental piece.  From the film ‘The Legend of 1900’, this song occurs a few times in the film, which is about a virtuosic pianist who has lived his entire life on a cruise liner.  The entire film is available on Youtube here.


Elton John – Someone Saved My Life Tonight

If you listen to the lyrics, there’s references to some miserable stuff, and the context of the song is probably not the most lovey dovey stuff, but this song featured on Elton’s ‘Love Song’ compilation album so it counts, damn it (like my reference to the song, there?).  One of a kind, and one of my favourite artists ever.

Donny Hathaway – A Song For You

I don’t need to explain this one. Just close your eyes for 5 and a half minutes, and listen.

@thatmissdeen

The Grass Roots – Midnight Confession 

Most folks might know this one from the Quentin Tarantino film ‘Jackie Brown’, and it’s an absolute tune. Most of all because I, and I’m guessing the DTSFT ladies and some of our readers, can relate to it. Essentially it is about being in love with someone but not being able to tell them (because they’re married – but that’s by the by). If you can’t relate – listen anyway. It’s a toe-tapper.

Jamiroquai – Falling

Acid jazz group Jamiroquai are one of my favourite groups ever and Falling is up there with my favourite songs of theirs. It’s a slowie, but there’s trumpets and it’s so damn sultry I can’t deal.

Ameriie – Every Time

Ameriie was at her peak at a time when R ‘n’ B was actually a proper genre of music in its own right and not just David Guetta shouting at everybody. Best listened to on a sunny afternoon, and if you’re missing someone right now; it’s perfect.

Common ft. Mary J Blige – Come Close

Like the song says at the start, this is a fly love song. Even if you don’t listen to it, watch the video. Ridiculously sweet.

@HanDee54

Heatwave – Always And Forever

Such a beautiful song, from the music, to the lyrics, to the angelic harmonies. Best played at a fairly low volume, just to get the ‘tenderness’ of it.

Anita Baker – Sweet Love

Anita Baker is the queen of love songs. I remember my mum having a cassette tape of hers that we always played in the car. I absolutely adore her voice and her lyrics are so romantic. This song is not only my favourite of hers, but also one of my favourite song ever, so much so that I would totally choose it as my ‘first dance’ song at my wedding, if and when it happens.

Check out her dancing in the video – even she’s feeling it!

Anita Baker – Caught Up In The Rapture

Just had to add this one too. She’s that good. And if you liked these two, check out some of her other hits: Rules (an anti-love song but still good), Giving You The Best That I Got and Good Enough.

George Michael – Heal The Pain

George Michael is one of my favourite artists (even if he has been an idiot lately). I love his voice and his lyrics are genius. This song has a different take on love: he sings about loving someone who is already with someone else who treats them badly (if that makes sense), but still, it’s simply divine.

And finally, missed out on a Valentine? Check these amazing ones out and realise that the amazing person who would get you the perfect card from this selection is just waiting. (Sorry, super soppy. It won’t happen again. Honestly, I feel a little ill writing that.)

Also, remember – Valentine’s goodies will be on sale tomorrow. Stock up on chocolate, flowers and wine. That’s reason enough for Valentine’s Day.