What Would Laura Do? Actually apologise

And not just because it’s been an age since my last post (but sorry about that too – can I blame work, Christmas, New Year, life? Anyway I’m SORRY). But because apologising – in a real, heartfelt way, when you have genuinely done something wrong – is the only way to get somewhere towards righting that wrong, understand it, learn from it and (hopefully) avoid doing it again.

SO CAN SOMEONE PLS MENTION THIS TO THE CELEBRITIES?

The latest A-list non-apologist is Beyoncé, who has responded to criticism over her use of audio from the NASA Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster in track XO by saying that the song was recorded “with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you.” And that “the songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten”. 

Did they really Beyoncé? Or did they just tactlessly slap a sample of an incredibly harrowing moment where seven people were killed into a generic pop song that’s vaguely about making the most of your relationship with zero regard for those affected? If this was done “in tribute”  then why didn’t they inform the families affected first or better still get their APPROVAL (the widow of the shuttle’s commander Dick Scobee, June Scobee Rodgers has issued a statement saying how “disappointed” they are, and that “the moment used in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends”)? Or make a donation or give a portion of the song proceeds to those families? And really, how does a poorly-written, cliché packed song about “appreciating every minute you have” help people who have lost someone to heal? What if they didn’t make the most of their time together? What if they’d had a row that day or just hadn’t been getting on for a good while? Or what if listening to you warbling “Baby love me lights out” or “I love you like XO” isn’t exactly the universal grief-banishing salve we’ve all been waiting for? What about simply saying ‘I’m sorry’? ‘I fucked up’. ‘It was incredibly thoughtless and actually I now feel like a total dick.’ Or something along those lines.

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Probably in no way actually sorry

Of course, Beyoncé isn’t alone in the world of celebrity non-apologists. There’s Shia LaBoeuf who, after plagiarising content for a short film project, issued a plagiarised half-apology (before eventually admitting ‘I fucked up’). Justin Timberlake – whose response to revelations about the ‘joke’ video of homeless people a friend made for his wedding, essentially stressed ‘it wasn’t me’, it wasn’t intended to be “distasteful” and, even worse, was “kind of funny” (it really wasn’t). Even Lance Armstrong, who after years of aggressive denials, finally had to admit cheating his way through seven Tour De France wins, buried his tightlipped apology amongst copious justifications, excuses and blame-shifting in his ‘confessional’ interview with Oprah. And while in some circumstances there may be shades of grey in terms of responsibility, awareness and culpability that we can (and do) debate till the cows come home (or the celebs actually issue any real apology) – how about a starting point of I’M GENUINELY SORRY TO HAVE OFFENDED ANYONE, then perhaps a small exploration of how/why the mistake was made, before a big fat resounding I’M SORRY AGAIN BECAUSE WHETHER I MEANT TO OFFEND ANYONE OR NOT I DID AND THAT IS A BAD THING.

?????

Whether it’s down to being advised by their ‘people’ against apologising and not having the character to go ahead anyway, being too stupid or uninformed to understand the nuances of their behaviour, or so arrogant that they can’t accept they’ve done anything wrong (or, um, all of the above), this shift from ‘I’m sorry’ to the conditional ‘I’m sorry if you were offended…’ or a complete refusal to admit any wrongdoing is a troubling one, and reminded me of an incident a friend told me about as we winged (slowly wheeled) our way to Peterborough on the National Express (TOO MUCH GLAMOUR). At the coach station a teenage girl had bumped into her, and instantly said ‘I’m sorry’ – only for her mum to reprimand her display of good manners with: ‘You don’t have to apologise to everyone!’

!!!!!!!!! 

Something has gone very wrong. So Beyoncé – could you just woman up here? We promise to forgive you for it.

(Laura One)

 

 

 

 

What Would Laura Do/Not Do)? Two things…

The first would be take a blog hiatus due to general stress. Yes, things got a bit pressured in Lauratown (population: Lauras) and pressured does not an amusing blog post make. Well not at the time anyway. I’m not ruling out coming back to this whole unfortunate period at some point in the future and being all kinds of entertaining about it.

BUT! The good news is that the stress is over. Well of course it’s not actually over, but things are at least more manageable and that means it’s time to move onto point two…

What Laura Wouldn’t Do: Ever, EVER have a ‘single table’ at her wedding

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Well, actually I don’t. I mean you might be thinking “What the hell’s a single table Laura?” In which case I’d explain that it’s a table at a wedding full of single people. So that’s that dealt with. But BEYOND THAT, you’re probably (possibly) thinking “C’mon Laura, what’s wrong with a single table? We’re all single. Stick us together in a completely casual, ‘What, it’s total chance that we’re all single, but while we’re at it, let’s get unsingle’ way, and let us spend the rest of the night flirt-snogging into the early hours.”

And of course I’m not against that per se.

But when it comes to Sarah Beeny’s single table – I have to draw a line. Because Beeny, in a shameless publicity drive for her dating website MySingleFriend.com has launched a sister site called MySingleTable.com. And it’s THE WORST IDEA EVER. If you don’t believe me, have a look. Go on. And then come back and get annoyed with me.

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Let’s start with this. “Weddings are the perfect place to matchmake your single friends that might not have met otherwise without you bringing them together.” Right. So we’re all single. We’re in an enclosed space. Booze is flowing. You think we don’t have a handle on this? No? Okay, let’s continue. “But every single person knows what it’s like to be sat to Great Aunt Edna when there’s hotties on the other table.” For a start – poor Great Aunt Edna! Like, maybe Great Aunt Edna is amazing company? And maybe us single people don’t spend every second of our lives slavering over ‘hotties’ (ugh to that word) and actually enjoy speaking to old ladies about their probably very interesting lives? Then there’s this patronising smugness: “So seat your single guests at the same table and subtly play matchmaker while you celebrate the best day of your life.” Yes Beeny. A table made entirely of single people. Genius in it’s whisper-like subtlety.

And those aren’t the only nuggets of wisdom the ‘dating guru’ has to share. She goes on to suggest that you “Get your singles unique goody bags – with old school sweets, lipgloss for the girls and miniature whiskey for the guys.” So what can happen? We all get high on sugar, then the men drunkenly egg us on while we apply lip gloss suggestively? It’s like the worst seduction idea in the history of actual time. She also suggests leaving a disposable camera on the table (standard wedding practice surely), a lottery ticket for everyone (WTF?) and setting them the task of sharing their funniest moment with the bride and groom (pressure much?). “Whoever has the best story wins a bottle of champagne!” Well how about EVERYONE gets a bottle of champagne AND WATCH THE HOOK UPS ROLL.

And don’t think we’re done here. Having ghettoised the singles, forced them to play weird sex games, and confused them with a random Lotto purchase, Beeny then encourages the bride and groom to “spread the love” by giving them a free month’s subscription to MySingleFriend. Because they are horrendous desperate single people who must be cured of this disgusting affliction IMMEDIATELY. Don’t worry about their embarrassment/discomfort/basic self esteem. JUST GET THEM DATING.

GNYAAAAAARRRRRRRRGHSARAHBEENY.

Right, I’m feeling a lot better for getting that off my chest, so I’m definitely going to be back more often.

What do you think of MySingleTable.SHIT? Tweet me @WWLTweet

(Laura One)

 

 

What Would Laura Do? Struggle massively with winter

If there is anything that is going to make returning from a long weekend in beautiful, rambling Venice even less pleasant, it’s coming back to ACTUAL WINTER as I seem to have done. To the extent that I’m writing this at the station in full winter coat, cardigan and tights (um, and some other stuff, otherwise WEIRD) while slightly despairing at life. I mean fundamentally how? And perhaps more philosophically why?

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WTF?

Anyway, deep questions aside, it’s clear that winter (or at least the onset) is a reality, and so all that remains is to flesh out a series of coping strategies in a bid to cheer myself up and avert the urge to jump on a return flight to Venice (it’s nice, but not sure there’s much scope there for an English-speaking-only lady journo). THUS:

By new winter clothes
The return to items with gussets will be made all the more bearable when you can cover them up with some exciting new purchases. Plus I’m pretty sure these count as ‘basic survival essentials’ rather than ‘extraneous fashion nonsense’

Embrace hibernation
If you were an animal right now you’d be searching out some nice leaves and feathers, and finding somewhere dry, warm and most importantly PITCH BLACK to knock out the zeds for the next few months. And there’s no reason we can’t follow their excellent lead. Invest in a triple tog duvet, electric blanket, and range of box sets. Friends: I’ll see you in April.

Book a holiday
IMMEEDS. Normally I’d head to Egypt for some ‘winter sun’ (ugh to that phrase) but not sure it’s so great there right now. Anywhere with temps on the decent side and no obvious civil war issues though, are a GOER.

Have a bath
The second you drag your sorry, shivering self through the door. I’ve been known to eat a full dinner in mine.

Buy a sleeping bag suit

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No further explanation required.

Moot moving the office abroad
As I did yesterday. A fruitless but at least momentarily soothing tactic.

Carry a hottie
BRACKETS HOT WATER BOTTLE. Leaving the house is far easier when you have one of these tucked into your coat. It’s actually the only way to get to the gym in winter (still don’t get to the gym in winter).

Book the week before Christmas off now
Then spend the next three months perfecting your jaunty wave as you leave everyone else to deal with the pre-hols rush.

Drink mulled whatever
Yes, it might be a bit like drinking pot pourri, but warm + drunk > cold + sober

Do not, whatever you do, read the crying baby elephant story.
IT’S JUST TOO SAD.

(Laura One)

What are your winter coping strategies? Tweet us @WWLauraTweet

What Would Laura Do? Love Miley Cyrus

We’re not even going to apologise for it. Here are five reasons why:

1) Far from hypersexualising an entire generation, she’s pretty much a one-woman abstinence machine. Because flailing your (weirdly grey) tongue around and touching yourself with a giant foam finger: NOT SEXY. And should teen girls rush to copy her, they’re actually less likely to attract male attention. Unless it’s of the professional medical variety.

2) She’s made shit-to-average dancers worldwide feel ENTIRELY AWESOME. Strutting around with your arms in the air – got it. Banging your head and clapping your hands – yep, on that. Randomly kicking your leg in the air – uh huh, nailed it. It’s like she got me to drink the contents of the VMA bar then choreograph her whole routine. In a booze-coma.

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Strap-on teddy bears just out of shot

3) She totally stole Gaga’s limelight/publicity/oxygen. Even the Smith Family Shockface LG had fully earned by titting around in a G-string was wrongly attributed to Miley. *Gaga shakes fist at sky, fires entire Haus of Gaga staff for failing to come up with Foam Finger Frottage*

4) She’s single-handedly eradicated hangover shame FOREVER. Stage-danced with your top off? Vomited on a bouncer? Lapdanced your actual boss? Just watch a few Miley VMA gifs and you’ll feel a million per cent better about yourself.

5) This year’s Halloween outfit is SORTED. But you might want to buy your ginormo prosthetic tongue now. Avoid the rush.

(Laura One)

Have you got love for Miley? Tweet us @WWLauraTweet

What’s Laura bored of? Li-Lo’s recovery strategy

What would Oprah do? Maybe that’s what we should be asking ourselves henceforth. It’s working out well for Lohan, after all.

Since completing her sixth rehab stint last month then baring her soul to the talk show queen, who’s basically Yoda but with expensive handbags, she hasn’t been off her face or arrested once. Also, she’s looking less dead in the face and getting offered loads if TV and film roles and stuff.

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“I’m my own worst enemy,” Lohan told Oprah

So will Li-Lo stay on the rails and stick to her vow to Opes to ‘do whatever it takes’ to remain that way? Watch this space. And when I say ‘this space’, I mean the eight-part documentary that she’s becoming the focus of on her new bestie’s network, which will follow her road to recovery.

A reality TV show?! That makes TOTAL SENSE, Linz. I mean, as if you’re going to tiptoe back down that slippery path of self-destruction when there’s a camera in your face. Can’t think of ANYONE that’s happened to *starts cough* Katona, Britney, Kenickie from Grease etc etc  *ends cough*. And those TV execs are psyched about what great television you staying on the wagon and living a harmless, drama-free existence is going to make, for sure.

Oh, maybe she’ll succeed. She’s taking all the right steps. Opening up. Acknowledging she’s her ‘own worst enemy’. Confessing she’s a booze junkie. Coming clean about the cocaine she’s dabbled in ten to fifteen times.

Um… TEN TO FIFTEEN TIMES? Hahahahaha hahaha hahahaha haaaa.

Sorry, LL, don’t mean to laugh. It might have been marginally more believable if you hadn’t sat there with the same doe-eyed sincerity a few months ago while swearing blind to Piers Morgan that you’d only taken it four times in your life. Shortly before you insisted you’ve ‘never really been a big drinker’. And also, if there wasn’t about four thousand pictures of you on google images with white stuff caked around your nostrils.

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Li-Lo circa 2010

Don’t get me wrong. I could not give two fifths of a shit how many times Lindsay has taken coke. Just don’t keep telling us you’re going to tell us the truth and then blatantly LIE. It’s so pointless and yawnsome.

Just say nothing.

If you don’t want to be upfront about it, then don’t. Just get out of rehab, give up your vices and stop being a douche… IN PRIVATE.

Which I actually do think is what Oprah would do.

(Laura Two)

What Would Laura Do? Get engaged at 20

Yes, I know this sounds on the Bynes end of the mental spectrum (soz Bynes, get well soon). But when I read about Zayn and Perrie’s engagement this week I wasn’t all ‘Oh IDIOTS’, but ‘Ah that’s cute’ and actually ‘Why the hell not?’ Because as a 30-something who has never been engaged, not once, not even a little bit (WTF?) – I don’t think age necessarily has a whole lot to do with getting it right.

When I was 20 *casts mind back to the dim and distant past* I was on the cusp of meeting my best boyfriend ever – um, let’s call him Zayn. He was tall (super tall), hot (had actually modelled!), intelligent (had law degree) and fun (we had a lot of this). We fell massively in love, spent every day together and at the one year stage he suggested getting engaged (he was going abroad to work – plans he’d made before we met). I said we were too young, we split, met other people, and despite a couple of near-miss reunions (think One Day without the super-sad ending) never quite managed to make it work. And even now – and some ace boyfriends later – I still look back and think ‘Probably had it right back then’. Which would have made things a LOT easier relationship-wise.

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“I mew”

The thing I didn’t realise was, the older you get, the harder it is to settle down. You’re less instinctive, more guarded, and with every relationship, carry a tiny bit more baggage around with you. With every year, you get more – not less – fussy about what you want and who you’re looking for. While you understand relationships more, you’re far less likely to take a ‘Fuck it’ approach – and with being overly measured, can risk missing out on something that’s actually brilliant.

Of course, there’s every chance that Zayn and Perrie won’t work out. They’re apart a lot, they’re both super busy, and there was that whole sleeping with a waitress business (allegedly etc). NOT IDEAL. And if it doesn’t – along with the whole horrendousness of their first big break-up *casts mind back to dim and distant past, shudders* , there will also be a load of unhelpful people saying ‘I told you so’. ANNOYING. But I still think it’s worth an excitingly loved-up shot.

As for me, I’m going to apply some of their impulsiveness to my own relationships. And if it goes wrong, at least I’ve got the years of hard-earned break-up experience to deal with it.

(Laura One)

Would you get engaged at 20? Tweet me @WWLauraTweet

What Would Laura Do? Wear a grill at 55

Okay, so in saying that, it’s probably quite unlikely that I will actually wear a grill (/grillz – not sure how the grammar works here) at 55. For a start, they’re fairly expensive, and my fashion-spending hierarchy pretty much goes:

1) Pretty dresses
2) Pretty skirts
3) Investment bags
4) Heeled ankle boots
5) Tweed-based jackets

1,000,000) Grill(z)

But that is much more down to my budget and generally not being a multi-millionairess global superstar, than anything to do with being too old for them. As has been levelled at Madge this week.

She first stepped out with them at a French music festival she attended with her boyfriend Ibrahim. A few Instagram pics followed, before she was papped with them in again at her 55th birthday party (where she was dressed as a skirtless Marie Antoinette). Since then – and despite the predictable ‘desperate’ and ‘ridiculous’ comments they attracted – they’ve barely left her mouth. Which must make it quite difficult when it comes to eating macrobiotic salad.

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I LOVE this dude

Apart from the fact that we’re not exactly in normal rules territory – she’s Madonna FFS – I kind of think that at 55, if you want to wear grillz then you should go for it. It’s a bit like how it’s totally fine for old ladies to be incredibly rude because THEY’VE EARNED IT. Not that I’m saying Madonna is an old lady. She’s 55. But if she did want to wear grillz as an actual pensioner that would be fine too. It might even be easier denture-wise.

That said, I do have a problem with the rest of Madonna’s styling. I mean grillz with a T-shirt and jeans = cool. Grillz with a polka dot tea dress and white crochet cardigan = SO VERY WRONG. It’s like wearing a twin set with a nose ring. Which will probably be Madonna’s next look.

:/

(Laura One)

Would you wear grillz at 55? Tweet us @WWLauraTweet