Archive for May, 2010

I learnt the hard way when I was seventeen that “Tunisian Blonde” essentially meant “pink hair”. You’d think the ensuing weeks of walking around looking like Stephanie from Lazy Town might have put me off dying my hair for life, but alas, no.

Last weekend I found myself unexpectedly alone in the house for twenty hours and got a bit carried away. I had been the Walking Wall of Beige for so long now that it was time to be bold and to make a change. I went to the supermarket and purchased a packet of hair dye called “Bordeaux Chocolate Brown”, partly because the colour looked rich and lustrous, but mostly because it was on sale.

As I applied it to my head, the fact that “Bordeaux” was a region known more for its red wine than its chocolate began to worry me. It looked very, uh, purple. I grew deeply concerned that I was going to look like some kind of mid-life crisis Barney The Dinosaur. Result.

Nervously, I waited the requisite 30 minutes and rinsed it out. Wet, it didn’t look too bad. It certainly didn’t look purple. Maybe I wouldn’t look too bad after all?

After a while, however, I became concerned again. Surely my hair would have dried by now? I put my hand to my head and realised it was bone dry.

I rang KT. “I seem to have made a terrible mistake! I’ve put a colour through my hair and it’s come out black!”

“That sounds great!” KT enthused.

“No, it isn’t. It’s accentuated every single blemish and wrinkle on my face. I look like one of those old Italian women who can’t let go of their youth!” I wailed.

“All you need is some make up!” KT reassured me.

“Makeup??” I was horrified. The only time I had really worn makeup in the last twenty years was my wedding day and even then I had run screaming from the eye shadow. “Oh, god. What have I done…”

“Don’t worry, it’ll wash out. I mean, it wasn’t permanent, was it?” KT asked.

“I don’t know. I’ll check…” I said, grabbing the box. “OH. MY. SWEET. FUCK… It’s not only permanent but it’s “salon-tested fade-proof”. I mean, if it says it on the box it must be true. Oh god! The regrowth! I’ll have a beige-coloured skunk stripe along my part in a matter of weeks! WEEKS!”

I quickly did some calculations. That was pretty much perfect timing for my interstate trip to attend my friend GT’s 40th and meet [Famous Person]. That was great. Fucking great.

I rang my husband, who had taken the kids to Blinkton for the night.

“Um, I’m not sure you should leave me alone in the house again,” I said. “You could say the freedom has gone to my head… literally…”

And I confessed to the fact that I now officially looked like Liberace but without the diamontes and jewelery and how I now understood why he wore all that sparkly crap – it was to take the focus off his goddamn hair. And how, instead of enjoying my child-free time, I was just wandering from room to room and exclaiming “GAH!” every time I caught sight of my reflection.

My husband was philosophical.

“I’ll still love you,” he said. “In any case, I’ve got the hair clippers.”

I can see where all this is heading. If I cut all my hair off,  rather than looking like Sinead O’Connor or even Britney Spears mid-nervous breakdown, I’ll look like Jabba The Fucking Hutt. (*Sigh*).

It’s really hard to know which way to go with this.

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It’s recently come to my attention that I’m not being taken seriously as a writer and that my blog is being pigeon-holed as a “parenting blog”. To show that there’s more to me and my blog, I decided to have an up-close and personal chat with an inflatable doll dressed up as Brad Pitt.


NOT DROWNING MOTHER: Welcome, Inflatable Brad Pitt! It’s great to have you here today. Are you okay with that beard I’ve stuck on you? I couldn’t find any glue or sticky tape so I’ve used Wiggles bandaids. They seem to be holding so far but Jeff looks like he’s struggling a bit. Lazy git. (tries to readjust beard a bit).

Now, before we get started, would you like a drink? Tea or coffee? I’ve also got some cordial which the kids have deemed to be ‘bisgusting’, improbably called ‘Gubble Bum’. It sounds like euphemism for ‘arse licker’, if you ask me.

INFLATABLE BRAD PITT: (gives blank look)

NDM: Sorry, ‘bum’ is an Australian word for arse. You know, like your American word ‘fanny’ – although, arguably, a cordial called “Gobble Fanny” is even less appropriate… Anyway, what do you think of my new haircut? Do I look like the little dude from that 70s family show ‘Eight Is Enough’ or what?

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: Go on, say it. Although, I’m not sure I can take hair advice from a blow up sex doll with pubic hair stuck to its chin.

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: Don’t worry. I didn’t cut any especially or anything. It was from the plughole.

IBP: (beard falls off)

NDM: (mutters) Stupid Jeff… Anyway, Inflatable Brad, I’m really glad to see you’ve got all the inflatable versions of your kids here for the interview, along with their inflatable nannies. Sorry I didn’t have enough balloons to make them all. I actually had to blow up a couple of cask wine “space bags” for the twins. And before you go checking, I drank the wine first.

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: It wasn’t until I had to blow them all up that I really appreciated what a tribe you have there. Why, I’ve heard that even your nannies have nannies! Ha-ha-ha-ha. Seriously though, whenever you travel are you ever tempted to stage a flash-mob stunt at, say, the transit lounge in Singapore Changi airport?

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: You should try it – especially after a long flight and the kids have gone totally feral. Whenever my three kids all have a simultaneous meltdown in the supermarket, I just pretend it’s a Telstra-sponsored flash mob and video it with my mobile phone. You’d be surprised how much nicer people are about screaming children if they think they’re going to end up on YouTube.

ANYWAY, I know your PR person specifically told me not to ask any questions about your ex-wife but someone’s got to ask the tough questions. And that someone is me. Inflatable Brad: are you still friends with Jennifer Aniston on facebook or has she blocked you?

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: Answer the question, Brad! Your fans need to know!

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: I think you just nodded, but it might have been because Inflatable Maddox popped and caused you to fall forward a little. Whatever. I’ve heard a lot of people unfriended Jen when she got really into FarmVille there and kept sending out requests for people to feed her beaver or something stupid. I mean, who keeps beavers on a farm?

IBP: (blank look)

NDM: Yeah, I don’t know either. But what I will say is (hears sound of husband’s keys in the front door) it’s-been-great-having-you-here-today. (hurriedly stuffs Inflatable Brad under the bed and kicks all inflatable kids and nannies into the kids’ room).


Yep, that should do the job nicely. Very nicely indeed.

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One of the benefits of having small children is that you never have to worry about grooming yourself. Most mornings I leave the house looking not so much like I’d just rolled out of bed but that the bed had rolled over me and  vomited its breakfast all over me in the process. By the time I arrive at any evening event, I inevitably look like I’ve come straight from the Prom Night in Carrie – but, in my mind at least, I’m always forgiven and even celebrated for that small section of my left shoe not coated in child spit. I have small children, you know.

However, I know that I won’t get away with that excuse at my fashionista friend GT’s upcoming 40th, especially since I will be in a completely different state from my children. I’m going to have to lift my game, perhaps even brush my hair and put some lipstick on. I’m going to have to wear clothes not held together with velcro or safety pins, goddammit.

When we spoke on the phone the other night, GT didn’t help things by telling me who else was invited.

“Eek!” I said. “They all sound cool and interesting and well-dressed and I’m just, you know, a stay-at-home mum…”.

“Oh, but you’re not! You’re an internationally-acclaimed award-winning blogger!” GT said, kindly.

“Some award! I didn’t get a trophy or a certificate. All I’ve got to show for it is a stupid JPEG and even then, I had to make the JPEG myself!” I said. “Even if I print it out the JPEG and walked around saying ‘Oooh, look at me and my JPEG!’, it’s not really that impressive.”

I mean, honestly, there should have at least been a Special Occasion glow-in-the-dark winner’s sash that I could have worn beauty-queen style to such events, with a light-up crown and a matching sceptre with a hollowed out stem for holding vodka. And yes, I have thought about this a lot.

Anyway, GT probably knew I was going to start lamenting my lack of Bloggies-branded vodka-sceptre again and so swiftly changed the topic.

“Oh, and [Famous Person] will be there,” she mentioned, casually.

“[Famous Person]?” I squeaked.

“Yes, [Famous Person].”

“[Famous Person] will be there! Oh. My. God. [Famous Person]…” I said, before adding once more for good measure: “[Famous Person]!”

“We seem to be saying [Famous Person]’s name a lot here,” GT mentioned.

“And so we should! He’s [Famous Person] after all! Wow… Oh, I’m definitely bringing along some ‘Not Drowning, Mothering’ business cards now. And I’ll print out my JPEG and stick it on the back with sticky tape so that it looks like they’re laminated on and then I’ll give [Famous Person] one and he’ll instantly whip out his iPhone and become my fan on Facebook or ‘like’ me or whatever the hell it is that you do on facebook these days. Oh, GT! I’m so glad I invited myself to your 40th now!” I enthused.

Yes, I was excited. I knew that nobody would be talking about my mumsy-opshop-chic-zombie look at all at the party. In fact, I could wear whatever the hell I liked and it wouldn’t matter. Nobody would be looking at my clothes. Instead, they’d be all whispering to each other “Did you see that woman handing out business cards wrapped in sticky tape? Yes, the one wearing the home-made sash and the plastic crown, claiming the bottle of vodka she was carrying was a sceptre? She’s, like, so hot right now…”

Man, I’m totally going to wow that room.

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