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Archive for the ‘Venting’ Category

All the world’s a bumper sticker. At least that’s how it feels at the moment.

Recently, my husband and I were driving and we came to one of those intersections where all three lanes of traffic had no choice but to turn left. I put on my indicator and couldn’t help but notice the other cars who weren’t indicating.

“I hate it when cars don’t indicate,” I said. “It’s like they assume I know that they are just going to follow the road rules and turn left. For all I know, they could be intending to go straight – illegally, mind you… Where’s their sense of community? Their pride of being part of a left-turning group, all indicating their left-turningness together?”

“Does it make you angry?” my husband asked.

“No, it saddens me,” I said. “It makes me feel… alone.

“That’s very interesting,” he remarked. “I have often wondered what other people thought of my failure to indicate at intersections such as these.”

(By ‘often’, I think we can all assume my husband meant ‘I’m actually only thinking about this at this very moment since you happen to have raised it as a topic of conversation’. Still, I appreciated the fact he was feigning an interest.)

“Well, now you know,” I replied. “You make people like me sad.”

“And I expect you find it a bit of a turn off,” he observed.

“Yes. Yes, I do,” I mused although I should now stress that I wouldn’t necessarily be hot for someone simply because they DID indicate.

We then discussed a bumper sticker awareness program I could start. Some initial ideas included:

TURN ON (YOUR INDICATOR) AND TURN ON (ME).

TURN OFF YOUR TURN OFF AND TURN ON YOUR INDICATOR.

YOU TURN ME OFF WHEN YOU FAIL TO TURN ON: INDICATE.

or even

INDICATE, ARSE-CLOWN.

Interestingly enough, the other day when my youngest son took an unscheduled toilet break behind the park bench my husband and I were sitting on, my husband came up with his own bumper sticker awareness program for his MEP (Minimum Effort Parenting) style. The bumper sticker will apparently read:

IF YOU CAN’T SEE THEM, YOU’RE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM.

I argued that it probably should read “IF YOU CAN’T SEE THEM, YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH FOR THEM” but he thought that was too wordy.

Bumper sticker awareness programs? Yep, that’s what my life has come to. Somewhere along the way, somebody – quite possibly me – has obviously failed to indicate. Arse clown.

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Tomorrow marks my seventh week without a functioning oven. Yes, seven weeks. Let’s count ‘em, shall we? One… two… three… oh, god, that noise you just heard was my spirit stabbing itself with a serving fork.  Either that, or my spirit stabbing my husband with a serving fork.

Here’s what happened.

My oven broke. To get really technical about it, that thingy that you have to pull out to light the thing got pulled out for good. And since the oven door was the detachable sort (not in a good way) and the knobs fell off when you looked at them sharpishly, we decided to replace the whole thing.

Unfortunately we then had to wait two weeks for some money to come in so we could afford to replace it.

But come that happy day, we marched into our local white goods store to order Our Brand New Oven. But somewhere somehow, in the middle of the ordering process, my husband changed his mind and decided we needed to consider renovating the whole kitchen before committing to one model or another.

For the record, my ability to talk renovations doesn’t extend much past the three minute mark, after which I start to glaze over and think about the bottle of wine in the fridge. If the conversation, say, wanders onto the topic of splashbacks and cupboard door handles, I start to think about the vodka bottle in the freezer. And if you tried, for example, to get me into some kind of FLOOR EMPORIUM to look at and discuss lino and carpet samples, then please be prepared to see me there swigging from the wine bottle and drinking straight from that vodka bottle with a straw at the same time. Just sayin’.

ANYWAY so I didn’t actually have to discuss renovations with him, I agreed to let my husband invite our friend C, who designs kitchens for a living, to come over and talk about them with him instead.

Within ten minutes of C arriving, I realised this was what’s officially known as a Bad Idea.  C and my husband began running about excitedly together, talking about knocking down walls and digging a three foot deep trench down the side of the house. And in one of those horror movie moments, C’s wife – who was helping me out with that bottle of wine in the fridge –  turned to me and revealed she hadn’t had running water in her kitchen or bathroom for over two years due to her husband’s own renovation project. I mean, she may as well have told me she no longer had a soul and wanted to eat my offal on toast for breakfast, such was my terror.

After C and his family left, my husband found me sobbing into my wine glass about “just wanting a fucking oven that worked”.

Luckily, my husband is a sensitive man. He saw my pain and realised it was all too much for me. He reassured me we’d just buy a replacement oven. The renovations could wait a few more years…

And then he changed his mind. Again.

Oh, he bought a new oven, all right. A good one, too. One that I am happy with – or rather, would be happy with except that it has been sitting, all warm and cozy and wrapped in plastic, cardboard and polystyrene in our garage for over a week now… while my husband has taken to one of our kitchen walls with a crowbar.

This is my kitchen now.

Extra points for spotting the almost empty bottle of vodka

And no, I didn’t see that coming, either.

The fact of the matter is I’m writing this blog post in the lounge room with the fridge next to me. The contents of my entire spice rack are currently alongside my bed just waiting for someone to make a joke about ‘spicing things up’ in the bedroom. For the record: don’t make that joke. DO NOT MAKE THAT JOKE.

But I think Tiddles McGee, all of four years old, put it best. When my husband first started pulling out the cupboards, he reportedly said  “I’m telling mummy you’re destroying the kitchen! She will think you’ve turned evil!”

Now where was that second bottle of vodka…

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It’s not enough these days to simply have Harry Potter books, movies and merchandise. They have to be cross-bred with Lego so there’s Harry Potter Lego and then they get in bed with Nintendo so there can be a Harry Potter Lego Wii game. It’s like one big cross-promotional orgy.

And then there are the “brand extensions” where marketing people push brands in new (and often unexpected) directions.

Just the other day, when we were stuck in a Canberra motel with nothing but the Disney Channel for the kids to watch, we saw an ad for My Little Pony Mermaids. Yes, My Little Pony Mermaids. Apparently (according to the ad) whenever the My Little Ponies visit the sea, they magically turn into beautiful mermaids – or rather, pony mermaids. I mean, I was still getting over the Barbie film The Pixie made me watch, where the Barbie character found out she was half-human half-mermaid. What that actually meant in reproductive terms was disturbing enough, but a stallion getting it on with a trout’? That’s more ‘sick-as-fuck’ than “magical”, people.

“Who comes up with this sh…” I started to say, but then I saw the look of wonder on my daughter’s face. It was like that commercial had spoken directly to her soul.

“…imply fantashtic shtuff!” I concluded, brightly.

“Oh, I want a My Little Pony Mermaid Castle for my birthday, Mama,” The Pixie said. “Oh, please can I have one. Please??”

So I did what any parent would do. And no, I didn’t refuse to buy it. That’s what an ‘ethical’ or perhaps even ‘sane’ parent would do. Instead, I delegated the purchase of said My Little Pony Mermaid Castle to my father.

A few days later, my dad rang me from Target. He sounded in shock. A seasoned-father of three daughters, there was nothing in his nearly 40 years of parenting that had prepared him for the My Little Pony Mermaid range.

“There’s a My Little Mermaid Pony dolphin carriage here,” he said. “But no castle…”

Of course, there is a My Little Pony Dolphin Carriage, I thought to myself. Because if a mermaid pony wanted to get around under the sea, they’d totally make the dolphins their bitches rather than do any actual swimming themselves. You know it makes sense.

I considered for a moment letting him off the hook and telling him to get her the dolphin carriage but I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was the My Little Pony Mermaid Castle she wanted.

Sure enough, a few days later, my decision to bully my father into searching until he’d found the castle was vindicated. After her party, I asked The Pixie if she’d liked the presents she’d received.

“They’re great!” she said, and then her bottom lip started to tremble. “But I’m a little sad because… because… I didn’t get the present of my dreams!”

And she burst into tears.

“Nobody gave me the My Little Mermaid Pony Castle!” she wailed. “And… and… nobody gave me the Dora Mermaid that [Baby C] got for Christmas!”

Dora the Mermaid Explorer? Oh. My. Sweet. Fuck. Is there no end to this madness?

Apparently not.

 

Just waiting for Lego to come to the party...

 

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Darling Pixie: Happy 6th Birthday for yesterday. Remember, your mummy loves you so much that she bought you a Dora The Mermaid Explorer (after she worked out that it wasn’t a talking or singing toy, that is. Small mercies, people. SMALL MERCIES.)

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