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Archive for January, 2011

I’ll be frank with you. Turning up at a live music gig with my friend The Fabulous Miss Jones to see my very first Childhood Crush play felt a little bit like going to my school reunion with a supermodel.

Before the gig, I left a message on my Childhood Crush’s facebook wall saying:

“If I don’t get to talk to you tonight, can you pretend that the tall leggy blonde you saw in the audience was me? Thanks.”

When I told my husband about my misgivings, I thoroughly expected he would give me a little pep talk about how I’d impress the Childhood Crush with my sparkling wit and personality. Instead, he said “You should wear a dress that shows off your breasts.”

So I did. I mean, there’s something about revisiting the flames of your past that makes you want to look your Absolute Best – even if it’s just your breasts looking their Absolute Best.

Sadly, I once saw a Former Love in a food court in the city. I instantly knew it was him – after all, the bastard had broken my heart. He, in turn, looked over at me with some uncertainty. You see, it was shortly after the birth of The Pixie and I was the bloated shadow of my former self. So I kept my head down and thanked the Lord that I had used my ‘Starbucks Name’ when ordering my Boost juice.

[An aside: for those of you who are unaware of the Starbucks Name concept, it’s an easy-to-grasp pseudonym adopted by those poor souls endowed with Eastern European names with complex spelling who don’t want to be shouting “NO, NO! THAT’S ‘M’ FOR MOTHER!” over the din of a food court. ]

So when my Starbucks Name was called and it clearly wasn’t my name, the Former Love obviously decided it wasn’t me and went back to his conversation with his colleague. And I was able to waddle home to my suburban lair, Boost juice in hand.

Of course, ever since I became sohotrightnow, I have not seen him. Not once. The universe must hate me.

Anyway, back at the live gig, my Childhood Crush was very handsome and charming and gave The Fabulous Miss Jones, me and my breasts equal attention and I went home with that reassuring feeling that I’d had excellent taste in men at the age of 13. Result.

But here’s the thing… I also went home perilously late and extremely very drunk (another good reason not to go places with The Fabulous Miss Jones: neither of us have ‘Moderate’ as our middle name) and woke early in the morning fully dressed on the couch.

Except, I wasn’t fully dressed.

As I tried to drift back to sleep, I became suddenly – and terrifyingly – aware of the fact I wasn’t wearing any underpants. And, not being one to go commando for no good reason, I knew for certain I had started the evening wearing underpants…

When I got up later, I started looking for them. I looked everywhere: the laundry baskets, the bin, the fridge (yes, the fridge), under the couch, in the toilet. But they were nowhere to be seen. I even rang The Fabulously Hungover Miss Jones to ask her if she knew where they were. She denied all knowledge.

When my husband got home from work, we casually chatted about our days for a while before I tentatively raised the question of my underpants.

“Oh, yes. I found them with your handbag on the back table,” he said. “I put them in the washing machine because I didn’t think your father [our current house guest] needed to see them.”

Which at least explained their whereabouts… but not why they had been taken off or, indeed, when they had been taken off…

Listen, whatever happened, I’d like it to be stated for the record that it wasn’t me. It was someone who looked a helluva lot like me but had my Starbucks Name. Yeah, that’s it.

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I ask you… what kind of person wants to come and do house evaluation at eight o’clock in the morning? And indeed, what kind of person makes arrangements for someone to come and do a house evaluation at eight o’clock in the morning?

Our bank and my so-called husband is who.

Problem was that the morning in question I’d been woken early by the kids and the puppy and had found myself in a restless mood. It was the kind of mood that, in the past, would have inspired me to turn a bruise into the face of Jesus Christ with a magic marker .

So when the valuation guy turned up and turned out to be quite cute, I started flirting with him, even though I was wearing tracksuit pants and hadn’t brushed my hair, let alone looked in a mirror for about five days. It’s the school holidays, people. Get over it.

“I took a bullet for the team,” I informed my husband later. “My reckoning was that if I flirted enough, the valuer would realise that any house that had me in it would be worth substantially more.”

I’m not sure $50 counts as being ‘substantially more’,” my husband replied, somewhat grumpily.

I knew I’d hit a sore point. He knows how hard I work at making everyone I meet like me and – ten years after the fact – still tells everyone about the time I temped in an office for three weeks and how they bought me a card and a cake on my birthday. Although, the last time he brought up this anecdote, I realised that due to the time of year I’d been in that office, it couldn’t possibly have been my birthday.

“It wasn’t a birthday cake, actually!” I told him. “It was only a card and cake because I was leaving…”

“… after only three weeks,” he replied dolefully. “Yeah, that makes me feel much better.”

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that the evaluation came in on Friday and was $20,000 less than my husband had predicted.

“It must have been the tracksuit pants,” I said, somewhat disappointed in myself. “I should have frocked up… at eight o’clock in the frickin’ morning. Shit, you should have scheduled it for eight o’clock in the evening, and then I could have been wearing a cocktail dress, full make up and heels.”

“You don’t even wear full make up and heels for me!” he cried.

“Only because you seem to think I’m only worth $50!” I sulked.

Honestly, there’ll have to be more than $50 on the table for me to put on full make-up. I mean, the last time I let KT put mascara on me, it was a deeply confusing experience for me.

“Has it clumped?” I had asked, trying to sound like I understood the perils of mascara application.

“No,” she’d replied. “Why?”

“There’s this black thing I can see above my eye.”

“Uh, that’s your eyelashes, darling,” KT had gently told me.

Who wants to walk around any more aware of their eyelashes than they absolutely need to be? Shuh!

Of course, like many women who don’t wear makeup, I like to think it’s because I don’t need it. Yeah, right. Look, I’m only listening to what my husband once told me.

“You’re naturally beautiful,” he had said – not because it’s at all true but because it’s in his contract to do so. Of course he’d then added: “Imagine how beautiful you’d be if you wore makeup!”

He’s now no doubt imagining how much our house would be worth, too…

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You’ve got to hand it to Tiddles McGee. When The Pixie and her little friends recently declared her room to be GIRLS ONLY, he did what any male would do.  He put a pillow case over his head, and patiently sat outside the closed door, hoping to “surprise” them.

Eventually, The Pixie opened the door.

“We all know it’s you, [Tiddles]!” she said, with scarily well-honed teen-style exasperation for a six year old. “Look, you can come in but only if you pretend to be a dog.”

“WOOF!” Tiddles piped up immediately with great enthusiasm.

“Aw, look everyone!!! It’s a really cute puppy!!” The Pixie exclaimed tenderly, as she led her brother, crawling on his hands and knees into the GIRLS ONLY zone – like a whipped cur.

The Pixie, herself, is prone to the odd bit of role play – “odd” being the operative word here. Her latest thing is that she likes to play ‘Robots’ with her friend Little Miss E.

They go around asking questions about the world such as “What is that?” and “Why are you putting it in your mouth and chewing it?” and then even “And what does ‘chewing’ mean?”. I, personally, am waiting for the “What does ‘What does that mean’ mean?” question, at which point I think my head will completely explode.

One day, I found The Pixie completely distraught because Little Miss E had told another little girl a special secret.

“What was the secret?” I asked.

“I can’t tell you,” she said, sadly.

“You can tell me anything…” I told her. “Anything!”

“Okay, I’ll whisper it in your ear,” she said and leaning into me, whispered: “I’m a robot.

“Oh!” I said. “You know, you guys were playing that game and she  might have thought it was just part of the game.”

“It’s not a game,” The Pixie replied solemnly. “I really am a robot.”

“Oh, okay,” I said, unsure of how to react to this rather surprising news. “Uh… how long have you known?”

“I’ve known since I was a baby,” she said simply, before adding reassuringly: “But it’s okay, Mummy! I’m happy being a robot.”

“Well, I love you whether you are a robot or a real girl or some kind of mutant cyborg,” I told her and gave her a big hug. She felt like a real girl, but apparently that’s because her metal bones are covered with soft rubber. Nice.

Anyway, it turns out that having a robot for a daughter is not without its benefits.  For one thing, I’ve discovered there’s a switch to the side of her head which I can turn to get her to sleep. I wish I’d known about that when she was a baby.

Also, apparently I never have to worry about her being lonely.

“Do you know who will be with me until I’m very very old?” she asked my husband. “Little Miss E! She will always be by my side!”

Since this revelation, further intelligence has come in that her friend Little Miss E is a robot, too, and that there is a giant robot spaceship above the clouds which will take them both away when they are “all growned up”. Apparently, Little Miss E’s dad – my Facebook Friend – is guaranteed a place on the spaceship because he’s a cyborg, a fact that quite possibly came as somewhat of a surprise for him.

Now, I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m really hoping to prove my own cyborg credentials and secure a place on that robot spaceship. What with all the flooding and bushfires ’round these parts in recent times, it’d be good to know there was an exit strategy when the shit really goes down…

________________________

Just for the record, I asked The Pixie if I could blog about her being a robot. She nodded sagely and said “But only if you tell everyone that it’s real.”

It’s real.

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When I was 21, my family doctor asked to bring in a urine sample for my next appointment.

The morning of the appointment, I duly filled up a large vegemite jar and brought it into the surgery, where I sat, awkwardly, in the waiting room, desperately wishing I’d brought along a bag.

When my doctor was ready to see me, I quickly thrust the jar into his hands.

“Good effort, [NDM]!” he said, encouragingly. “But, actually, I only really needed *this much*.”

And he indicated with his fingers an amount of liquid that would probably get a itsy-bitsy-faerie slightly tipsy, but certainly not so drunk she wouldn’t be able to drive home.

What can I say? I always like to exceed expectations.

So too, my husband – or so it turns out. You see, he’s been feeling poorly over the Christmas break and his doctor ended up giving him a specimen jar the size of a small keg to collect his ‘stools’ for three days in a row.

Now, how he went about harvesting his own faeces, he thankfully kept entirely to himself – although he always returned from the task looking a mere shadow of his former self.

“You didn’t fill the jar, did you?” I couldn’t help but ask on the third day, after he’d delivered the samples to the pathologists.

“Oh, no, not at all,” he said. “I only did *this much*.”

And he used both hands to indicate how much.

I shuddered. I mean, I love my husband and all, but I didn’t really need to know that.

Anyway, it turns out I had other shit to deal with.

Later that day, I was at the park with The Pixie and she suddenly announced she needed to do a wee. There being no public toilets within striking distance, I was left with no option than to attempt the Bush Wee.

Now, anyone who has ever attempted the Bush Wee with a little girl knows it generally has a 3.6 degree of difficulty and the only way you can do it without getting wee on her shoes, your shoes and the shoes of anyone standing within a twenty metre radius  is by removing all her clothing and lowering her into position using a hydraulic crane winch.

Having found a bush large enough to conceal us, I took off her undies, trousers, socks and shoes and put them at a safe splash-free distance and then stood back, waiting for the deluge to hit.

But it didn’t.

Instead, the Pixie suddenly started shouting “Ouch! Ouch! OUCH!”  and then thoroughly surprised us both by letting a poo the size of a small loaf  fall to the ground.

“OH SHIT!” I exclaimed. It was one of those occasions when swearing in front of my child seemed entirely appropriate.

Anyhoo, I’ll spare you the details of the clean up, but suffice to say, they involved bottled water and (if you’ll excuse the expression) a shit load of tissues and only left me feeling  frazzled *this much*…

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2011 came with the promise of toast and coffee.

You see, I had a ‘sleepover’ at my friend Mistress M’s house on New Year’s Eve, having decided to leave my three children and sick husband at home and go to a real grown-up party with her instead.

Some grown-up party that turned out to be. For one thing, I spent a long time talking to someone called Nigel who actually turned out to be called Marshall. That kind of shit is confusing. I also ended up ripping a peek-a-boo panel up the side seam of my favourite dress by dancing to The Violent Femmes. And at another point, I found myself being offered another place to stay the night.

“[The Sculptor] has put toast and coffee on the table. What’s your offer?” I said.

“Uh, experimental sex?” was the response, which earned the man in question thirty-seven minutes on the naughty spot from his wife, one minute for each year of his life. Too right.

Anyway, come the next morning, The Sculptor stayed in bed while Mistress M got up to make the coffee. According to Mistress M, he had asked her to get up and make coffee and made no mention of toast at all.

I marched down the hallway to outside their bedroom.

“WHERE’S MY FUCKING TOAST?” I roared. “There were promises made which are NOT BEING HONOURED HERE.”

“Um…. Mistress M told me to stay in bed,” was his meek response.

I have to say that I felt for the guy to a certain extent. We had all been up until 4:30am (according to my facebook status on New Year’s Day, I’d been merely making sure “it really was 2011 and not some lame-arse extension of 2010″) and we may (or may not) have been drinking excessive amounts until said time.

And yes, there have been plenty of times I, too, have gone to promise the kids that I’d do something “tomorrow” without first mentally adding the words “when I’m hungover like a bastard” – something that generally acts as a reminder not to enter verbal contracts of any kind. You know it makes sense.

Still, for better or worse, promises had been made. And, as I always say, you have to start the year as you mean to continue – and if that meant I intend to harass hungover men into serving me hand and foot all year, then so be it.

Luckily, it only took a few minutes to shame The Sculptor to get up and make me toast and, for the record, it was the best goddamn toast I had eaten that year so far. Fact.

And so another year has begun all over the globe, with or without toast and coffee for some. And this year, 2011, will see some differences here at ‘Not Drowning, Mothering’. I have Plans. Capital P Plans.

I hereby formally announce my intention to cut down my three-posts-a-week habit to one post a week for the foreseeable future. You see, I’m going to try and write a book.

Yes, a book.

Now, I should stress here that I’m not promising anything to anyone here. I don’t want people shouting at me “WHERE’S THE FUCKING BOOK??” at the end of this year. I’m just giving myself a chance to try to write. That’s all.

However, I might just try bully that Sculptor into bringing fresh coffee and toast to my house every morning while I try to write it… Yeah, there’s a Plan right there.

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