The Anti-Flirt Club

The Anti-Flirt Club

The Anti-Flirt Club

The Anti-Flirt Club was an American club that began in Washington, D.C., during the early 1920s. After being subjected to unwelcome attention from men in ‘automobiles and on street corners,’ a group of women, led by President Alice Reighly, formed the club to protect young girls and women from further embarrassment and discomfort. A list of rules were created and issued to all of the members:

1. Don’t flirt: those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure.

2. Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists—they don’t invite you in to save you a walk.

3. Don’t use your eyes for ogling—they were made for worthier purposes.

4. Don’t go out with men you don’t know—they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match.

5. Don’t wink—a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other.

6. Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers—save them for people you know.

7. Don’t annex all the men you can get—by flirting with many, you may lose out on the one.

8. Don’t fall for the slick, dandified cake eater—the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard.

9. Don’t let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers.

10. Don’t ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.

The ladies attempted to take this a step further, and launched an “Anti-Flirt” week, which began on March 4, 1923. Unfortunately, it was the first, and only since.

Some sound advice that made me smile and nod in agreement, which I believe is still extremely relevant nearly 100 years later.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page

Image source: Wikipedia


What’s Wrong With Being Right?

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”  Tolstoy

imageIt’s a long standing joke between my best friend and I that he likes to be right, to the point where on the very rare occasions where I have been able to prove him wrong I’ll make a big deal and laugh at him. This is all done in jest – I’ve known him since I was 19 years old and we have a good enough relationship to be able to say what we feel without fear of offending each other. We generally seem to share the same beliefs and moral code, so it’s rare that we totally disagree on a subject. However, does it mean that because we share these ideals we are ‘right’ in what we believe?

What I have discovered is that the issue of being ‘right’ in our opinions, however, can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Each person, and subsequently their minds, are unique, and this means that each individual has a different perception of the reality of a situation. Our minds are an interpretation of ourselves, our experiences and our surroundings.

I’ve always believed that I am quite open minded when listening to other’s opinions on lots of different subjects (often resulting in some interesting conversations) without judgement, but I stubbornly took a rather dogmatic approach to my own. To justify myself, I used the premise that I involuntarily felt the way I did about something or someone, and should be allowed the right to do so. Ultimately, regardless of others attempts to offer alternative perspectives on the situation, I thought I was right, and that was all that mattered.

Unfortunately, I frequently found that the beliefs that I continued to remain attached to were the negative ones that allowed me to approach certain situations in a state of anger and frustration. When I have been truly hurt, something inside me switches off emotionally and I’ve been a victim of my own mind (and consequently have played the victim) for a long time. I haven’t done it consciously, but upon reflection I think I may have almost been looking for justification and understanding from those around me about my feelings, and have been left with almost a sense of abandonment on occasion when I haven’t received it.

In general, I like my life. I have a good relationship with The Bloke and my mother, lots of good friends, a well paid job, nice colleagues, a cosy home and two cats. While money is a little tighter than it used to be, I don’t want for anything. I have been lucky to have experienced lots of wonderful things and visited places I used to only dream of as a child. I have nothing to complain about, yet, somehow, despite the many ways in which I attempted to adopt a different approach, my mindset was steadfast in the way I regarded certain situations to be. I was right, they were wrong.


A little while ago, I decided that being right is not important. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I don’t want to say what I think other people want to hear to pacify them and avoid lectures. I don’t wish to put on a smile and go through the motions just to put a brave face on it. While I cannot change what has happened, I want to be able to let go and move on. I don’t want to be right, I want to be happy.

As with any change, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I’m hoping that one small step at a time will lead me on the journey I wish to travel…

What about you? How have you moved on from things that have hurt you in the past?

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.


Things I Love About My Country #2: Inventions


I’ve teamed up with the lovely Steve Says to compile a set of comparison lists about why we love our countries. He’s Scottish, I’m English and even though we are both currently part of the United Kingdom we thought that it might be fun to see the differences between the two…

This week’s subject is inventions and their inventors. I had to be careful on this one – England has produced some of the greatest scientist in the history of the world – Sir Isaac Newton, Ernest Rutherford, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Stephen Hawking to name just a few, but these didn’t invent anything as such, they were able to discover and explain the universe around them.

1. The World Wide Web (not to be confused with the Internet): Created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents that can be accessed through the Internet. With a web browser it is possible to view web pages and navigate them using hyperlinks.


2. Christmas Cards: The first Christmas card was commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by John Calcott Horsely. There were 2,500 cards originally produced and sold for a shilling each.

3. DNA Fingerprinting: This was developed in the 1980’s by Sir Alec Jeffreys. Using this technique it was possible to identify a person based on their unique DNA profile in their genes. I still find it difficult to imagine a world without it – it is used throughout the criminal justice system, and where would talk show hosts be without it??


4. The Sandwich: Contrary to popular belief, English food is exciting, varied and tasty. However, of all the culinary creations that England has produced, the biggest contribution to gastronomy is the sandwich. While it is possible to trace sandwich-like food back to 18th Century Europe, it is named after the Earl of Sandwich, who was said to like meat being placed between two pieces of bread

5. The Smallpox Vaccine (the worlds first vaccination): introduced by Edward Jenner in 1798, the smallpox vaccine has been so successful that smallpox is considered to be virtually extinct from the planet, aside from remaining in a few laboratories. It is also thought to have some protection against the HIV virus.

6. Ice Hockey: Sorry Canada, but Ice Hockey was a version of field hockey that was created by British soldiers based in Canada.


7. Jet Engine: Ever flown to another country on an aeroplane? You’re welcome – the jet engine was created by Englishman Frank Whittle in 1928. The are lots of squabbles about who actually came up with original ideas, but the patent was awarded to him in 1932.

8. Mass – Produced Toothbrush: The English wrongly have a reputation for having bad teeth, but they were responsible for the first mass-produced toothbrush.

Stay tuned for the next instalment next Tuesday!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog


Nine Things We Don’t Owe Anybody

Nine things we don't owe anyone

I often see inspirational blog posts, memes and quotes that focus on the idea of teaching the younger generation about life. Lots of these appear to have the same message: nobody owes you anything. What you gain from life will be achieved by the hard work and effort that you put into it. While it isn’t strictly true (and I have seen and read countless examples of evidence to show that luck, being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people can sometimes play a part in success), I like the sentiment.

However, what doesn’t appear to be as widely discussed is what we don’t owe to anyone else. In life we surround ourselves with those that matter to us the most, and it often seems like these people have an opinion on what we do and how we do it, leading us to falsely believe that we owe them certain behaviours and justifications. In truth, here are the things that in fact we don’t owe anyone.

1. We don’t owe anyone a favour. It’s one of my biggest annoyances – wanting to help someone should come from kindness, not obligation.

2. We don’t owe apologies if they are not genuine. An apology given when we are not ready to move on will only temporarily heal the wounds – anger towards someone will usually resurface and will usually cause greater harm in the long term. Apologies should be given when the issue has been resolved in our own minds.

3. We don’t owe somebody a romantic relationship or friendship. It took me a long time to realise that these cannot be simply based around the ideas of familiarity and the fact that you may have known each other for a long time. People change, their priorities and outlook on life change and, as sad as it may seem, time spent with somebody who isn’t the person that you used to know is time that is wasted.


4. We don’t owe somebody our time just because they have requested it. This sounds incredibly harsh, and obviously doesn’t apply to the workplace (can you imagine the response you’d get if you said this to your boss?!) but in your personal life you don’t have to see or spend time with somebody if you don’t wish to. You don’t have to accept a date just because you have been asked. Similarly, if you have been on a date and have decided that you don’t wish to see the person again, you have every right to politely and gently let them down without feeling guilty and worrying about repercussions. If the person reacts in an hostile manner, you clearly made the right choice in the first place.

5. On a darker note, we don’t owe anyone a physical relationship. There are no circumstances  that can justify becoming involved physically with somebody if you don’t want to. They may be the nicest, sweetest person in the world and they may have helped you, consoled you, guided you and listened to you, but the answer is always the same. You don’t owe anyone a physical relationship at any time, for any reason.

6. We don’t owe anyone a new experience. My friends and I know each others likes and dislikes, and we don’t get offended when one of us responds with ‘it’s not really my thing, but thanks anyway!’  Of course, this doesn’t apply if a friend asks you to support them in something that they are doing personally – I’ve seen friends perform in comedy clubs, ice hockey matches and fashion shows – but you don’t have to attend events that your friends are ‘trying out’ if you know that it is something you aren’t going to be interested in.

image7. We don’t owe anyone ‘just one more…’ or ‘just try this…’ or ‘yes.’ One of my biggest annoyances is when I have decided that I have had enough to drink and there is always that one person who wants me to have just one more. I used to give in after several pleas and have another one just to shut them up, but now I politely decline until they give up. This doesn’t just apply to drinking – it can be in every aspect of life and covers both big or small issues (a rather silly memory that I have is being hassled for nearly two hours at a party to try food that I knew I wouldn’t like as I’ve had it before – I eventually gave in, tried it and hated it, and was then annoyed at both her and myself for allowing myself to be pressured into doing something, however trivial, that I didn’t want to do) – that one more anything shouldn’t have to be forced upon you and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do, especially if you know that you’ve had enough.

8. We don’t owe anyone the perfectly groomed version of ourselves. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the only opinion on the way that we look that should matter is our own. We shouldn’t have to dress in a certain way, wear the popular labels, be a certain size and present ourselves for the benefit of our friends and partners. At the weekends I spend my time make-up free and wearing hooded sweaters and jeans. Several of my friends are flawless and immaculate at all times. We have never explained ourselves for this, it is just accepted without question.

9. We don’t owe anyone our life story or our secrets. If you don’t want to talk about something personal, you don’t have to, even if a friend has asked. And, to be fair, a genuine friend would not push you to if you weren’t comfortable.

When it comes to life and relationships it is always important to be kind, supportive and genuine. Help others, be there for others, but do so because you want to, not because you feel that you owe them something. And when life requires an explanation, one that should be offered a little more is simply this, offered by the late, great Maya Angelou:

‘You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove’

What about you? Have you ever been made to feel that you ‘owe’ somebody?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page and give it a cheeky ‘like.’

Stephen Sutton: Lemonade and £1,000,000

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, when Stephen became extremely ill…

The last few days have been tough. If I am being honest, 2014 has been tough. I’ve been handed lemon after lemon. However, when life has handed me those lemons, instead of making lemonade, I have got into a rather self-destructive rut of letting the lemons rot on the sideboard whilst blogging about my hatred of them.

Yesterday, I was attempting to distract myself from thinking about the loss of my little friend by trawling about on the internet, hoping to be inspired. I didn’t have to look very far. What I found wasn’t just inspirational, it jumped out of the screen and smacked me in the face.

ImageStephen Sutton is a 19 year old from the UK, who is dying from terminal cancer. As I write, he is in hospital and still fighting.

When Stephen was diagnosed he created a bucket list and started to blog about his life and his adventures on Facebook, including crowd surfing, sky diving, hugging random members of the public, hugging an animal bigger than himself, having his face cast… Over a short space of time he gained a large following and set up a ‘Just Giving’ charity donation page for the Teenage Cancer Trust, in the hope of raising £10,000, spending the last few months of his life fund-raising. He reached his target, and on Tuesday the total stood at £579,000.

Stephen posted a final message on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

It’s a final thumbs up from me! I’ve done well to blag things as well as I have up till now, but unfortunately I think this is just one hurdle too far.

It’s a shame the end has come so suddenly- there’s so many people I haven’t got round to properly thank or say goodbye too. Apologies for that.

There was also so many exciting projects and things I didn’t get to see out. Hopefully some will continue and if you want to carry on the fundraising please do ( is the link to donate to).

All future updates on this page will probably be from a family member. I hopefully may have the energy to write a few tweets (@_StephensStory). I will continue fighting for as long as I can, and whatever happens next I want you all to know I am currently in a good place mentally and at ease with the situation.

That’s it from me. But life has been good. Very good.

Thank you to my mum and the rest of my family for everything. Thank you to my friends for being amazing. Thank you to my medical team for the hard work and effort they’ve continually they’ve put towards me. And thank you everyone else for sharing this wonderful journey with me.

I love you all x

Stephen had a final wish – that his charity page could reach £1,000,000. And the world listened and responded. As I write, the total stands at £1,612,000. Donations have flooded in from all over the world and thousand of pounds are being donated every minute. Comedian Jason Manford, who has supported Stephen throughout and who has spent the last few days tirelessly promoting the campaign on national and international media tweeted “He bloody did it.” Stephen’s response on Twitter was amazing:

“Wow. Just wow. Thank you all so much.”

Jason Manford has continued the fundraising, starting a #thumbsupforStephen, which has spurred the campaign on even further.

ImageAnd as an aside (which made me cry), on his bucket list at No.40 is

‘Get Tim Minchin’ to write a song for me.

Tim did just that, and emailed it across to his brother yesterday. I hope he liked it.

Stephen was handed lemons, a whole bag of them. And with them, he didn’t just make a bit of lemonade, he created gallons of it that he shared with millions of people around the world.

And if that doesn’t motivate you to get up and do something with your life, nothing will.

My love to you Stephen, you’re an inspiration to us all. Safe journey.

If you wish to donate to Stephen’s Just Giving page, simply click on this link

You can also follow his story on Twitter @_StephensStory and see his achievements on his Facebook page

Edit: Stephen passed away this morning, Wednesday 14th May. He has raised nearly £3,500,000. My love and thoughts go out to his friends and family. What an inspirational young man…


P and D – An Inspirational Story

As a teacher there are certain students who touch your life more than you could ever possibly realise. P and D are two such students.

Both were in some of my very first classes as a newly qualified teacher. P was quite shy and socially a little awkward, but she worked hard and was a high achiever despite dealing with the fact that her mother was dying from breast cancer. D was visually impaired but was often the saving grace in many lessons because of his positive attitude and high spirits, despite finding it difficult in a mainstream school. If I’m being honest, neither of them had an easy time at school from the other students – children can be incredibly cruel. However, they never let any harsh comments or criticism affect their self-confidence and their studies.

Over the years I watched these two grow and develop into wonderful young adults. D was an enthusiastic member of my performing arts and music classes, performing several times in front of his peers. I started teaching P the piano and she discovered that she was naturally musical.


In the year before I left the school, both had to deal with enormously cruel trials and tribulations of life. P’s mother passed away when P was just 15 years old and D was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 16. I visited D after he had started chemotherapy and was so proud of him for his ability to look on the positive side of things. P worked hard during her exams and did very well, continuing her studies into sixth form.

Over the last few years we’ve become close. I no longer teach either of them in school but we keep in toucImageh through texts and Facebook and I still teach P the piano occasionally, workload permitting. When I left the school, I told P that I would take her out for cocktails for her 18th birthday. P and I did the Race For Life together last year while D watched, being too ill to participate. D texts me a lot to let me know how he’s doing and I was delighted to see him on TV not long ago as part of a documentary about the NHS.

Earlier this year, The Bloke and I attended D’s 18th birthday party, which was packed with his family and friends. As promised, on P’s birthday a few weeks ago I took her and D for cocktails at my favourite restaurant, where we had a great time, particularly watching D consume his entire bodyweight in chicken wings and P attempting to balance in her fabulous but ridiculously high shoes.

They’re currently doing extremely well for themsleves. D has fought hard against his illness and is in remission. He starts college in a few weeks where he is planning to continue his performance studies and regularly holds fund-raising events to raise money for Cancer Research. P helps out at her church regularly, where her father is the vicar. She has passed her A-Levels and has been given an unconditional offer to her first choice university, where she will be studying theology. What strikes me most about both of them is how happy they are. Yes, they both have their down days, but they pick themselves back up again and make me laugh with their thoughts and musings on life.

These two young people are an inspiration. Both could easily have given up on their dreams and wallowed in self-pity. Both could have blamed everyone else for their adversities and become angry and bitter. Instead, they have grabbed life with both hands and made the absolute most of everything they possibly can.

Their stories and characters serve as superb role-models to the rest of us. On days where I am upset by things that are essentially insignificant in the big picture of life I am reminded that there are always others that are dealing with huge issues and still maintain positivity and goals.  I’m proud of them both and the fact that I’ve been able to be a little part of their journeys. I know that they’re going to continue to be wonderful members of society. They remind me why I do the job in the first place.

A Wonderful Wimbledon Weekend

This weekend has been fabulous. After a LONG week of shows in the evening, on top of a full teaching timetable and having to do both with a really nasty head cold, I hit Friday night with a feeling of utter exhaustion and relief that the weekend was here. I certainly made sure that I enjoyed myself: 


On Friday night I went to the pub with my friend NW for a well-deserved drink. Me and The Bloke then watched all our favourite TV shows that we’d missed over the week: Hart of Dixie, Big Bang Theory, The Apprentice, For The Love Of Dogs etc. 
I slept until 9.30 on Saturday morning. The Bloke brought me breakfast in bed and then went into town. My hayfever has been quite bad, so I walked to the chemist in glorious sunshine and got antihistamines. The rest of the afternoon was spent blogging and sleeping. 
The Bloke returned with my favourite ice-cream: Cookies and Cream Haagen Dazs I ate it whilst watching ‘OZ’, which I quite enjoyed. 
I slept in until 8.30am on Sunday morning. I made us breakfast, and then we went to watch Despicable Me 2 at the cinemas, which was hilarious. I love the minions.
We then had lunch at Frankie and Benny’s, joined NW at the pub again where we sat in the beer garden and listened to a live blues band and Formula 1 on the TV outside, returned home, put some washing out and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  
To add to it further, for the first time in 77 years, a Brit, Andy Murray, won Wimbledon. Like I felt pride for our Olympians in London last year, I’m feeling the same pride for him today. He thoroughly deserved it.
This is what weekends are made for. This level of sunshine and heat is rare in the UK and everybody was outside enjoying themselves. The only trouble is that it makes me less than enthusiastic about work tomorrow…