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Archive for December, 2008

Two bloggers. Two different hemispheres. One vision (largely impaired by too much clutter, dirt and booze). Exposed for all the world to see as Housekeepers Of Ill-Repute, Proprietresses of Dubious Maternal Instinct and Woefully Neglectful Wives.

Here they are, flashing their dirty bits in the first of three simultaneous postings. Click here to read the sister post

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A lot of people say to me “How exactly did the idea for this ‘simulpost’ with the Bearded Iris come about?”. Well, I reply, it all started with Iris writing to me about a photo she’d taken of a “booger” one of her children had thoughtfully placed upon one of her walls, out of harm’s reach or perhaps as a snack for later. I thought to myself: I like the cut of this lady’s gib. Most people would have just wiped the booger off but no, ol’ Iris had to take a photo of it. And it got me thinking about what kind of photos I could take around my own home… 

In this age of open-plan living and antimicrobial hand wipes in a convenient purse-sized pack, there’s a lot of pressure on us housewives to live the Ikea Dream. And I’m sick and tired of pretending that I’m any good at this housekeeping lark and that having kitchen surfaces that I can see my reflection in is important to me. My home may be a pigsty but it’s a place full of love and laughter where nobody is ever told to stop busting a move in the loungeroom in case they scratch the new parquetry flooring or where scrubbing the bathtub is more important than sitting down with my children to read a book and have a hug. 

So here Iris and I both are, chucking a Jamie Lee Curtis: doing the housekeeping equivalent of showing our flabby bits to the world to make  a million women sigh with relief that their house is nowhere near as filthy as ours and maybe one or two others feel like they’re not alone in letting the housework get just a little bit on top of them. The subsequent photo essays are our gifts to the world on this day, the first day of the New Year, which is all about turning over new leaves and (perhaps) finding out once and for all what really lurks beneath the oven. If you’re that way inclined, that is – I personally am happy to leave it another year.

Some might call us brave. Most will call us slovenly. But here it is: the Awful Truth – in colour!

 

OUR EXTENDED FAMILY       

In a recent school exercise, Mr Justice completed the sentence “The people in my family are…” with the following list:

MUM, DAD, [PIXIE], [TIDDLES], MY CAT, MY SPIDERS AND MY IGUANA. 

And he then drew this little picture…

familyportrait

Exhibit A: Check out Mummy's club foot!

It doesn’t take a genius to deduct from Mr Justice’s family portrait that we have a small spider problem in our house, but here’s a photo just to underline the point: 

cobwebs

Exhibit B: Web-tastic!

And for the record, I chose this particular spiderweb to photograph not because it was the biggest or the best but because I liked the perilously-placed skewers a-top of the cupboard so that anyone trying to clear those cobwebs might find themselves in a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style trap. Take that, spider slayers!

STORAGE CRISIS

Here’s a small example of how things get stored in our house:

storage

Exhibit C: Ikea, eat your heart out!

I have often thought I’d be the perfect candidate for that TV show “My Life on the Lawn” except there ain’t no lawn big enough in these here parts to hold my junk. Not even the lawns of the White House could handle it. No, truly.

THE SMUDGE ZONE

Right through my house there is a designated “smudge zone” at toddler height where Jam Hands have left their Dreadful Mark over the last three years. As my children have grown taller, the height of the smudge zone has increased – hell, consider it a kind of organic growth chart…  

smudgezone

Exhibit D: It's almost Monet-esque in its dappled beauty

And why restrict the smudge zone to just walls and doorways: check out this pane of glass on the door separating our kitchen from the front of the house…

smudgeglasses

Exhibit E: Looking at the world through smudge-covered glass

I should add that the freakiest thing about looking at this photo is that I have the added layer of smudge on my computer screen… and then the further layer of smudge on my glasses… not to mention the blear of sleeplessness over my eyes… Layer upon layer upon layer, just like a Sara Lee danish, except not nearly half as edible. 

WALL ART

Behold the wall next to Mr Justice’s bed!

wallofmysteries

Exhibit F: The Wall of Mysteries

It’s hard to tell from this distance, but I suspect a lot of those marks present a veritable smorgasbord of human excretia. But I wouldn’t get up too close if I were you – and I, as me, certainly haven’t. Quite clearly. 

And then there’s the burning question about what jolly japes an unattended toddler armed with a box of Crayolas might get up to. Well, my children have kindly answered that one for us:

wallmural

Exhibit G: My budding Michaelangelos (as in the artist and not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)

I love this photo because you can see the line where the book shelves used to be before I got sick to death of picking up all the books off the floor every day. Ah, good times. 

WHAT LIES BENEATH

Every now and then I get the washing up and the laundry done in time to do one of the “extra” cleaning chores, such as wiping down the cupboards or dusting the mantel piece or maybe even the vacuuming. And then once in a blue moon, I do something stupid like remove the “Dust Baffle” at the bottom of the fridge…

whatliesbeneath

Exhibit H: Where fridge magnets crawl off to die...

Or think to finally hang up the sodden bathmat and find this on its underbelly:

bathmat

Exhibit I: Leave all bathmats unturned...

Yes, that really is what was underneath my bathmat. Obviously my hope here is that eventually the bathmat will grow its own legs and turn itself in at the nearest washing machine.  You see, there’s method in my slovenliness. 

And on that lovely note, here ends the photo essay. 

Of course, I’ve done this whole “flashing of our dirty bits” post with The Bearded Iris entirely on trust. I’m hoping that she’s not going to show me up by posting photos of neatly folded, freshly-laundered colour-coded towels in her linen cupboard claiming it’s a total mess because someone’s accidentally put one of the bath towels in with the beach towels. Or, worse still, this whole simultaneous post thing was part of some Department of Community Services international sting operation to get me to provide photographic evidence for their files. I wouldn’t put it past those tricksy DoCS officers. 

So, just in case I’m going it alone here, I’m inviting everyone to send in photos of their secret housekeeping shames to notdrowningmother@gmail.com – all photographic material received will be treated with the strictest confidence and the anonymity of the sender preserved. Unless of course you cross me  – in which case I’m going to expose your slipshod arse for All the World to see (if, that is, you consider “all the world” to be my readership-of-three, which I personally do). I’ll be waiting by my inbox, people… 

In the meantime, I’d like to wish all three of you a Happy New Year – may 2009 be a good one for one and all.

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When my neighbour rang me yesterday to ask me if we were still coming around for drinks that afternoon, I wasn’t lying to her when I replied “Yes… Yes, we are.”  Had she asked me “Have you remembered that we’re having drinks this afternoon?”, however, my answer would have had to have been “No.”  The truth was that I had completely and utterly forgotten about our engagement.  

Well, actually that in itself is a lie. There was one (very small) part of my brain that knew we were having drinks with our neighbours on the 30th. Another part of my brain knew that the 30th was a Tuesday. And then yet another part of my brain maintained the illusion that  we had absolutely nothing planned on Tuesday. But was there any communication at all between those parts of the brain? No, sir, there was not. I expect that my brain must be modeling itself on the Australian Public Service these days.

Of course it wasn’t always this bad. I used to have a mind that was so sharp it could cut through diamond – or at least through butternut pumpkin. But those days have long gone, aided by lack of sleep, lack of mental stimulation and that rumoured 25% of brain capacity you lose with each successive pregnancy (which must leave me running at 25% capacity). These-a-days I can successfully maintain two separate sets of plans for the same time on the same date for days, working steadily towards both until pow! my two worlds finally collide and I realise that “Oh! This Saturday is also this Saturday…” But that moments where the neurons finally start firing is like I’ve been woken from a dream by having a bucket of cold water thrown over my head or worked out who Keyser Söze really was at the end of “The Usual Suspects” or at the very least discovered what that awful smell at the back of the fridge actually is. And then I’m left having to sort out some problem like being expected to be in two different places at the same time or – in yesterday’s case – having to pull a platter of hors d’oeuvres out of my arse (probably not the best metaphor there, NDM) using nothing but the scraps in my vegie crisper.

In the middle of it all, Mzzzz E rang for a chat. “Why can’t I just say ‘I forgot!’ and absolve myself of all responsibility for bringing shmancy snacks?” I moaned to her. And then: “If I can tie a carrot in a knot does that mean it’s past its use-by-date?”

Mzzzz E no doubt could hear the mounting hysteria in my voice, especially once I started trying to zest a lemon while still talking to her on the phone. She promptly said her goodbyes before I did something stupid again, like try to slice a knife with my hand (and no, I didn’t get that the wrong way around: I really am that stupid in the kitchen – see “Up in Arms” for proof) and I got on with my Extreme-Creativity-Under-Duress thing, but with two hands and my full(ish) attention (the kids were spending more quality time with the TV and only occasionally calling for drinks and elaborate snack plates).

So when I casually sauntered over to my neighbours’ house with the children, jug of premixed Flirtini and platter of delights at the appointed time, no-one would have guessed what the previous hour had held. However, had they seen the state I’d left my kitchen in, they might have had more of a clue. But of course, when I arrived at my neighbours’ house, I blurted out the truth – not so much in the interests of full disclosure, but so that they could admire my platter of Thai Salad Cucumber Cups for the Miracle that they truly were. And whatsmore, I didn’t even have to resort to using that Smelly Thing at the Back of the Fridge to make them which meant they were edible to boot. Which was nice.

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My friend KT recently had the Wardrobe Dilemma of a Life Time – one that I, myself, had been through just the previous year. It all came down to the selection of one outfit – a process that was vastly more important than choosing what we wore to the Year 12 Ball, to our university graduations, or even to our own weddings. You see, I’m talking about the task of choosing what to wear to a 20-year school reunion. You want to look attractive but not desperate. Youthful but not like someone who is clinging to their youth. Affluent but not flashy. Fashionable but not tragic. It’s a fine line to tread, especially when you’re lugging about all that emotional baggage left over from your high school years…

But listen, once you’ve chosen your outfit, the rest is relatively easy. No, really it is. Of course there’s still some residue fear – even after 20 years – that someone might call you a Pizza Face and give you a chinese burn but at least you feel like you’ll defend yourself better than just hiding behind your ridiculously long fringe and wanting to die. At least you hope you will.  

My reunion ended up being a low-key affair: perhaps 30 people (of a class of 200?) trekked along to the same pub where we all were underage drinkers another life time ago. (An aside: don’t you just love those signs in bottle shops that warn “If you look less than 30 years of age, we reserve the right to ask for ID”. I always say to the guy behind the counter “Go on, make my day. Ask me. ASK ME!” and he gets slightly fearful and pushes the panic button for security to clear me away. Such larks!)

It’s interesting how a school reunion can end up being as much about who doesn’t turn up as who did. On the list of notable absentees: the guy who bullied me for a whole year in Maths and Science basically because I dared to do better than him and be a girl;  the girl who went on to become an Actress of Some Note on Australian TV, who dissed me six years ago in the lobby of a hotel (KT – who was at the same school but one year below me – was kind enough to remind me that this same girl wore a dog collar to the Year 11 Ball – KT, I will always love you for that); and the guy who repeatedly broke my heart in a push-pull relationship because he was too embarrassed to let his friends know he liked an acne-ridden psycho-bitch. Ah, highschool. The best years of our lives? I think not. At least I hope the hell not. 

The people who did turn up represented a broad selection of the various “groups” that made up our year – and I was pretty much pleased to see every single one of them. Luckily, the reunion format is a bit like speed-dating – you only really get two minutes with each person and never have to get into the nitty gritty questions like “Why have you become so fat?” or “What happened to your hair?” or “You were going to make something of yourself – what the hell happened?”. I had the rather dubious honour of being the only person who had flown interstate to attend – something my good friend AK made a point of telling everyone we spoke to. But listen, there were “other reasons” for my trip, actually… and hell, so what if I flew for four hours just because I’m curious! It’s the novelist in me, okay? And no, I haven’t actually ever published anything or even written anything for 6 years… Phew, our two minutes is up… Next!

In any case, the room was pretty much united by the appearance of a good old-fashioned Mystery Guest – every reunion needs one! In our case, it was a guy with dreadlocks looking cool in that “I’m dating a 20-year-old and my mother still does my laundry” kind of way and the night’s burning question became not “What ever happened to…” but  “Who the fuck is that?”. It turns out not a single one of us in the room could remember him and when questioned closely, he was a bit evasive about who his friends were. I started to think he was some kind of serial school reunion attender researching his next novel called “My Year of Reunions”and was seriously considering if I should go up to him and pretend we’d gone out for two years and say stuff like “How could you forget that you took my virginity at the Year 10 River Rock, you bastard” just so I could get my own chapter in the book. However, it’s fortunate that I decided against this course of action in the end, because it turned out he wasn’t an undercover novelist at all, he was just confused. Whether it was due to an excess of drugs or all that bongo playing had addled his perception of time, he was in the year below ours and had just come to his reunion one year too early. And in which case, I really couldn’t be sure that I hadn’t had sex with him at the Year 10 River Rock (she says as if anyone had actually wanted to have sex with her at highschool).

Anyway, I was glad I went to my school reunion – though many people (my husband included) said they would rather eat their own hands than attend theirs. Nobody called me names. Nobody stood in a corner giggling and pointing at me (at least not obviously). And even if they did, I wouldn’t have cared (much). Because the real gift my reunion gave me was the realisation that I was actually in a pretty happy place with myself, even if that place was about a million trillion (zillion!) miles from where the 17 year old me thought she’d be by now. And that’s something worth traveling interstate for, now isn’t it.

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Ho, friggin’ ho.

It’s interesting how the last of the Spirit of Christmas evaporates roughly the same time as the last of the Christmas booze. One might even think they were directly related to each other – at least when it comes to the adults, I hasten to add. The children certainly don’t need stimulants of any kind to get all hyped up for Christmas, although the presence of sugar in almost everything they eat during that jolly time certainly helps. 

Because my Eastern European heritage dictates we do our big meal (and our big drinking) on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day itself ends up being a bit of a wet fart. Except for my kids at least, it’s a wet fart with substantial follow-through: presents. And, let’s face it, for kids it’s All About The Presents. For the adults in my house, it’s a bit about the Presents, but only as something to occupy the children while we recover from the night before. 

I must say I didn’t choose the presents too well this year. That last-minute cheap-as-chips Spiderman convertible car that I bought at the local markets for Tiddles’s stocking is a prime example of why you should always Try Before You Buy. 

spider_car

When fully armed with batteries, this car drives around and around  in circles, occasionally stopping to open its doors and fold back its roof, all somewhat surprisingly to the strains of the Vengaboys’ song “Kiss (when the sun don’t shine)”.  Except I’m beginning to suspect his latest choice of car and music,  these days Spidey might like to only kiss where the sun don’t shine. It’s just a hunch. 

Anyways, it turns out the thing is Indestructable – as my sister Princess A pointed out, with barely-disguised horror-slash-wonder in her voice, it must be made of the same materials that the Terminators are made of. You cut off a wheel and it keeps going, round and round, up and down, “Kiss kiss kiss when the sun don’t shine woah-oh-oh, woah-oh-oh.” With a bit of luck, the SQMY batteries (the branding of which looks spookily like SONY from a distance) that it came with will run out soon and prove to be irreplaceable. 

And then there was the Pixie’s “Disney Princess Karoaoke Headset”. For one thing: look at the headset.

karaoke

That spectacularly bejewelled headband is so incredibly inflexible and so damn small that even Tiddles McGee (aged 2) can’t put it without screaming like someone in a Scorceses film with his head in a vice. I’ve noted that there is no actual photograph of a child wearing it on the box because that would probably contravene Geneva Convention guidelines about using torture devices during peace time, especially involving minors. And as for the “18 All-Time Favourite Melodies” that the Princess Karoake Headset boasts? I’m thinking, maybe “Head on the Door” by The Cure or  “Unfinished Sympathy” by Massive Attack, or even my karaoke speciality “Wind beneath my wings” (I kid you not) – but no. We’re talking tinny Hammond Organ versions of “This Old Man” and “Three Blind Mice” and all played so fast that even rapper emcee Twista, with his 11.2 syllables-per-second delivery, would struggle to fit in the lyrics. All in all, a dud present. 

In despair, I turned to the onerous yet relatively quiet task of constructing the Star Wars Lego V19 Torrent Fighter with Mr Justice. Check out STEP ONE in the accompanying visual instructions:

lego_warning

Huh? Are they trying to warn us off trying to plant the lego in the lawn? Or is that supposed to be a warning not to have shag pile carpet in this current climate of polished floorboards? Yes, okay, okay, I get it. You’re not supposed to put the lego on the floor. But don’t the makers of Lego realise that ALL lego ends up painfully underfoot at some point or another and that some pissy little diagram ain’t gonna adequately cover their fat-cat arses from the Class Action I’m going to file when I finally work out what exactly a Class Action is and what I have to do to file one (it’s on my To Do List, people, along with “Lose that Baby weight”, “Tidy the House” and “Get a Good Night’s Sleep”).  

Anyway, consider this scene: I’m almost having a nervous breakdown trying to work out if the next piece in the instructions is dark grey or black and the Pixie’s sitting at the same table, eating a middle-of-the-day bowl of cereal using the world’s smallest ‘dolly spoon’ and slurping her milk. Now, this would annoy me under normal circumstances, but under “starwars lego circumstances”, it threatens to push me over the edge all together and while I’m trying to get her to use another spoon, Mr Justice manages to tip an entire tub of our carefully pre-sorted lego onto the floor, resulting in me groveling on my hands and knees frantically collecting every last precious tiny piece – because if we lose just one piece the whole Torrent Fighter simply will not hold and of course with The Pixie still slurpin’ away with that spoon of hers all the while. And it’s at that moment that Tiddles McGee appears to lose it before I do and starts running around the house shouting “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” – or at least that’s what I think he’s shouting until, thankfully, he uses the internationally-recognised hand signal for “duck” and I realise that he’s trying to say “Quack”. And phew! Crisis averted: it turns out I’m not such a bad parent after all, if only one who is “hungover like a bastard” and disinclined to find out why her youngest child has suddenly decided to be a duck. 

Anyway, one of my readers – a certain “naptimewriting” – asked for rants to rival those rabid monkey blogs and I hope I’ve delivered – I do so aim to please. Now if you’ll now excuse me, I’m off to try and work out how to improve my Technorati rankings before those rabid monkeys get there first.

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Dear Readers, 

Here in Australia, it’s already Christmas Day. One of the few benefits of living in the arse end of the world is that we get to open our presents first and I’m about to go and help my children unwrap their body weight’s worth in toys.  But before I do, I have a few Christmas goodies for those of you who are still managing to log onto my humble blog amidst the Christmas Mayhem (all three of you). Look upon it as thanks for helping me be ranked  1,420,615th on the Technorati blog list. That’s quite some achievement, eh?

No, seriously, that really is my Technorati ranking. There are blogs written by robots, rabid monkeys and small chunks of cheese that have a higher ranking. But what that stupid ranking doesn’t reflect is the sheer calibre of the blog’s readership.

So here’s the really serious bit: I’m actually very grateful to anyone who has ever stopped by my blog, however briefly. Returning to writing has been the biggest gift that 2008 has given me and I certainly couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and support of… (gesturing widely, with tears in eyes)… All Of You. 

So here are my gifts to you all. The first is a Christmas story that the six year old Mr Justice wrote yesterday – yes, he of the “extreme enthusiasm and creativity when story writing” (see “An Assembly to Remember“). I’ve kept the original spelling and punctuation to further enhance the reading pleasure. 

Christmas Avencher

One Chrismas night a man went fishing, but when he got to the jety, he saw a tente-cool come out of the water. So he ran home. On the way he met a rinkely person, his name was Yoda. Then 10 Hyena-droids atacked Yoda. Then he chopped there heads off. But 7 escaped. 

Isn’t that just a lovely little Christmas fable? I think there’s a little something in that for everyone. 

And then there are these three little photos – which some of you have been desperate to see ever since my post “Gin and Bear It“. And for the rest of you who have no idea what this is all about, then let’s just look upon this little photo essay as a timely reminder of the Dangers of Excess… as both the subject and the photographer now know all too well. 

And so, from Not Drowning Central, I wish one and all a very merry Christmas indeed. 

The NDM

 

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Just last weekend I got the closest I’ll ever get to feeling truly Divine.

I had just finished having breakfast at my favourite cafe when I was offered a complimentary glass of eggnog – with or without the alcohol. A good shot of brandy might have helped with the Christmas shopping I had ahead of me (that and a bottle-of-vodka chaser) but, alas, because I’m still on my P plates and thus have to have a zero blood alcohol when behind the wheel (possibly a good thing), I opted for the non-alcho version. The waiter passed my order to the drinks waiter who looked me over at me and said, registering the order, “A virgin”. Well, it had been a long time since anyone called me that and I have to admit that I felt almost flattered.  

Five minutes later, when I went to pay the bill, the owner noted that I had asked for the big breakfast without eggs – the last time I had done that in his cafe was when I was in the early stages of pregnancy of Tiddles McGee. “You’re not… are you?” he asked, somewhat incredulously (I mean, the man has seen me wrangling the children I already have and probably would like to think I know my limits. For the record, I do know my limits and it was definitely one child).

Anyway, there I was, being called a virgin AND accused of being pregnant all within five minutes. Now I know EXACTLY how the Virgin Mary felt,  though I expect old Mary didn’t get herself offered a complimentary glass of eggnog or have to face the Christmas Open Shopping Season at the local Kmart.  In any case, it certainly got me thinking about how, for most people, Christmas has become all about Jesus and/or Santa (my friend Miss A’s son actually asked her the other day “Which came first? Santa or Jesus?”) and how Mary’s role in it all gets a tad overlooked (at least by the non-Catholic world). 

I mean there she was, married and a virgin (what went wrong with their wedding night, I ask? I’m thinking Ian McEwans “On Chesil Beach”, aren’t you?) and heavily pregnant (Joseph must have been a Very Understanding Man). She then ends up giving birth without any medical support in somebody’s back shed, surrounded by animals and, while she’s still recovering and no doubt trying to establish breastfeeding and all, she’s got these three Foreign Guys rocking up. And not to seem ungrateful or anything for the gifts they bore, but you’d think they might have brought something a little more practical like some baby clothes, a bumper pack of Huggies or a bottle of nice fizz to wet the baby’s head. Still, that’s men for you. And then there’s that whole steep learning curve of the First Time Mum, which is hard enough as it is without the whole added pressure of knowing your baby is the Son of God. It was a tall order and, by all accounts (whether you think those accounts are pure fictition or not), she seems to have risen to the occasion.

So this Christmas, I’m going to make it All About Mary. Or rather, All About All Mothers throughout the world and throughout time, without whom quite possibly none of us would be able to tie our shoelaces or find a matching pair of clean socks or remember to rug up warm because it’s cold outside or to stop making That Noise on the recorder, So Help Us All.

And without whom, none of us would be here. Full stop. Think about it: if there hadn’t been a long chain of women stretching back through history all having to go through the agonising process of childbirth in a whole manner of  different ways and locations, I wouldn’t be writing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it. As someone who knows what labour and a c/section feels like, it’s a sobering thought – although only momentarily. Pass us another glass, dears – it’s Christmas time, after all!

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Facebook sooooo wants me to cheat on my husband. Following my “Facebook Thinks I’m a Big Fat Loser” post, a new guy has been moved into my area to be the designated “local single”. 
single
I’m wondering if he’s totally replaced the other guy or if they’re both sharing a bachelor pad round these parts and hanging out at “Eat Street” of a Monday evening, throwing cold chips at the passing junkies, or buying up big on Meths at the Aldi. Which would just make me want to meet them all the more. 

Sadly, though, Jenna Simon seems to have moved on from her (e)-crush on me and she hasn’t visited my Facebook profile for a while. But the little minx is certainly putting herself about out there because I’ve had no less than 40 hits on my blog from people trying to find out if they’re the only (e)-crush in Jenna’s life. Alas, boys, it would appear she’s merely the product of some marketing guy’s imagination. Either that, or she’s just a total slut. Which ever way you look at it, that girl’s Trouble. 

Of course the real upside to Jenna’s exodus is that it’s made room for a new banner ad campaign, which has posed some very interesting questions, if in an overly-familiar way (by addressing me and my facebook friends by name). For example:

“[NDM], are you still relying on [W] to set you up?”

Well, since I haven’t seen W in the flesh for over 18 years and she lives on a different continent from me PLUS the fact I was still happily married last time I checked, thank you very much, I think the answer is an unequivocal “No”. 

And then there’s: 

“[NDM], are you luckier in love than [X]?”

Which is sort of like pitting me against my friends, like it’s some kind of “Love-Off”.  If it absolutely must come to that, then let’s see… I pretty much spent my 20s without any Formal Relationship To Speak Of followed by almost 9 years of happy marriage. [X] had two long-term relationships in her 20s and is currently involved with an excessively wealthy married man who lives in another state but flies in to see her regularly bearing expensive gifts.

Hmmmm, okay. That’s +10 points for each long-term relationship, +25 points for each “expensive gift”,  -30 point for the “married man” part and perhaps -1 point for every interstate flight he makes to see her – you know, carbon footprint and all. As for me, that’s  -80 points for my “Lost Years” (-10 each year), +10 points for every happy year of marriage, although arguably, after the first seven years each subsequent year might only be worth +5 points… Look, I’ll leave the maths up to someone else to do because some new information on my burgeoning love life has just come in over the wire…

Two of my friends now want to kiss me (On. The. Lips.), a secret love in [my home town] has sent me 7 crush messages, and four of my friends are IDIOTS (please note the capitalisation). Presumably two of those friends were deemed IDIOTS for wanting to kiss me. Not such a smart thing considering the stronghold that viral illness has had on our house in recent weeks. 

In any case, it’s certainly good to know that if my marriage goes awry that I won’t have to repeat those Lost Years: there’s obviously a Whole Lotta Lovin’ out there to be had for the NDM.  Although, having said this, one friend recently told me how she had joined an online match-making service that used sophisticated psychometric testing as part of its complex matching process. Another friend, upon hearing this, had exclaimed “Don’t do it!” and had practically run from the room screaming. As it turned out, virtually everyone this Other Friend knew had signed up with this particular site, including her ex-husband and her best friend, who were subsequently matched up by the site even though they absolutely hate each other in real life… So much for scientifically-based personality profiling. Maybe this internet lark isn’t something to be relied on after all and I should take my chances when and where I’m offered them? Come back Jenna Simon, I’ve changed my mind!

We could be so happy together

If only I hadn't spurned her advances...

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