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Archive for the ‘Whinging’ 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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This blog post started off  with the title ‘An Open Letter To My Cold Sore’ but honestly, that fucker doesn’t deserve its own open letter.

It’s been the Worst House Guest Ever. It arrived unannounced, trashed my face (and my reputation as a Great Beauty – yeah, yeah, don’t laugh) and it then proceeded to overstay its welcome by, like, FOREVER.

For a while there, my only hope was that it would eventually grow so large it would become the size of a small African nation and proclaim its independence from me.

As it was, it quite possibly became the first human lesion visible from outer space. Most certainly, it arrived in a room a good thirty seconds before the rest of my body did. Small children would burst into tears when I – or rather ‘it’ – approached them. Some adults thought I was an extra from the film ‘Alien’ being attacked by a face-hugger. And I thoroughly expected Wes Craven to contact me in the hope my cold sore could be the New Face of Freddy Kruger.

I found myself having to warn friends in advance of meeting them.

“I have a cold sore,” I told them. “Do not talk about the cold sore, do not look at the cold sore and, most certainly, do not address the cold sore directly.”

I was worried that if they gave the cold sore too much attention, it would develop a human-like personality and end up with its own reality TV show by the end of the week. Like the Kardashians.

And every time it looked like it was on the mend, it would make a sudden comeback. Like Aussie Rocker Legend™ Johnny Farnham (although nowhere near as embarrassing).

And when it finally DID  start to go away, it felt like the boyfriend that nobody ever liked but never told you they didn’t like him until after you’d broken up. Everyone who’d said things like ‘Oh, you can hardly see it!’ or “What cold sore?” at the height of my cold sore’s power, finally admitted, once it had slowly diminished into the west like some Elvin Queen on a boat, “Yeah, that was a big one” or “Man, that shit was like Cold Sore-zilla!”.

Listen, there is one good thing you can say about my cold sore and that is this:   it made me come in from the cold and write this blog post. Even if it was kinda hard to see past the cold sore while I wrote it.

Photobucket

Pass me the Zovirax, please.

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Here’s my secret: I’ve gone all Zumba.

Yes, according to all the marketing, I’ve “ditched the workout and joined the party!!!” with my dear friend KT. We’re both investing in our cardiovascular health by shimmying and rotating our hips, like, A LOT and listening to a peppy instructor in a Zumba-branded headband shout “AWESOME!!!!” at us, like, A LOT a lot.

I kind of like it.

Last week, we even ensnared our friend Mistress M into our web of zumba-ness and after the class, the three of us congratulated ourselves on being so aerobically-virtuous.

“It’s also good because it means we have an alcohol-free night!” KT exclaimed.

Mistress M looked crushed.

“Oh, that kind of ruins my next suggestion…” she said.

I almost didn’t hear her because our instructor’s “AWESOME!!!!” was still ringing in my ears, but I was quick to step in.

“I think it’s in everyone’s interest that we hear Mistress M’s suggestion,” I said, boldly.

CUT TO: us counter-balancing our Good Cardiovascular Works by inflicting serious damage on our kidneys.

Yes, it was what I call a KABO (a Key Alcoholic Beverage Opportunity). And somewhat surprisingly, it wasn’t the only KABO I’ve encountered in recent days.

You see, KT got an invitation to the premiere of a film one of her friends was in and she invited me to go with her.  The day before the premiere, we made the mistake of watching the trailer on YouTube. It was less than three minutes long and just watching the first thirty seconds almost brought on a KABO then and there. I mean, there is awful and then there is AWFUL (please note capitalisation).

Having already RSVPed and told her friend we were going, KT and I were left no option but to talk strategy for the evening. We would A) be seen mingling outside the cinema; B) take seats with a clear path to the exit; and C) escape at the earliest opportunity, the ‘elbow nudge’ being our signal that we’d had enough.

Which is what we did. AND THEN KT’S HUSBAND’S BOSS SAT NEXT TO US. It was the equivalent of the school principal sitting next to you at a three-hour school concert where your kid’s act was up first and you were planning to spend the rest of the three hours at the pub down the road. Before the opening credits had even finished, I was already nudging KT so hard that I’d worn a whole in her sleeve and yet we both knew we couldn’t leave because KT’S HUSBAND’S BOSS WAS SITTING NEXT TO US.

After half an hour of X-TREME AWFULness (again: note capitalisation), we turned to look at each other. Instinctively we knew what we had to do. We had no choice. No choice at all. I did my best “get down low and go, go, go!” and just got the hell out of there, with KT close behind. And we didn’t stop running until we got to the nearest bar, where we promptly KABOed ourselves back to mental health…

Now, speaking of mental health, you may be interested to know that, thanks to outsourcing the plastering, my kitchen now looks like this:

However, our flat packed kitchen (the choosing of which was, for me, akin to root canal treatment) still looks like this:

Now, that in itself doesn’t bring on the KABO. Oh, no. Not at all.

It’s this: my husband, thrilled by the beautiful job the plasterers had done, came up with the brilliant idea of moving our kitchen table into that nook and moving the oven and fridge over to the other wall.

“After all, it’s not too late to return the flat-packed kitchen to Ikea and start again,” he said.

It was like a neon sign lit up above his head that said KABO! However, since it was well before midday, I opted to give him the death stare instead. He has subsequently turned to stone and now I have nobody to unflat-pack my kitchen… and I feel a Category Seven KABO coming on.

Anyone care to join me? What’s that? You will??

AWESOME!!!!

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On my gravestone, it’s going to read ‘It was the puppy that did it’.

Fuck the Andrex puppy. Roxy the puppy shows us how it's done.

After that, the gravestone might actually then go onto mention the $100 my husband spent on a second hand wetsuit only to have the zip break the very first time he went out in it. For the record, my friend KT ended up having to cut him out of it while I stood by trying to block my ears to the deafening sound of a hundred dollars going up in flames less than two weeks before Christmas.

The Alcatraz of the wetsuit world.

And then, shortly after that, there might be something about these boxes, which appeared unbidden and without explanation, and pulled up a chair in the house’s main thoroughfare. And stayed there.

Make yourself at home, you cardboard bitches

Oh, and there probably would be something about how the festival of consumerism just wore me down in the end, not more so than when I discovered that Barbie and Stephanie Meyer had rogered each other senseless and put the following in my local supermarket for the rather reasonable price of $20 per doll:

The photo is blurry because my hands were shaking in fear that such things exist in this world.

And then maybe – just maybe – there might be some small mention in very small print about how I basically ate and drank myself to death that Christmas.

Best served with half a litre of gluhwein and at least four shots of vodka.

And then at the very bottom it will say “But really, it was the puppy that did it.”

No, really.

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The other day, I posted the following on facebook:

I’m on a school excursion at the zoo. It’s about to piss down. Let’s hope someone’s built an ark…

Turns out nobody had built an ark. Nor had anybody thought of taking The Pixie’s raincoat out of her lunch bag, instead of leaving it behind in the designated lunch-eating area. Nor had anyone even bother checking that the raincoat Tiddles McGee was wearing was actually a raincoat and not, say, just a windbreaker pretending to be a raincoat which offered as much water-resistance as a single sheet of tissue paper. And most certainly, nobody thought of taking any change of dry clothes, unless you count the one lone sock stuffed at the bottom of my handbag, which you probably wouldn’t unless you were a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

So when the rain came – and it came when we were in the middle of a wide open space with no shelter in sight, of course  – The Pixie ended up wearing my rain coat and I got completely and utterly drenched. (For future reference, here’s a recipe for instant skankiness: wear a brown bra and a lightweight and light-coloured cotton shirt and just add water. Yes, it’s really that simple.)

Of course, I still hadn’t cottoned onto the fact Tiddles was clad in tissue paper until we finally reached shelter and I found him curled in the fetal position in the stroller, sobbing. Yes, I definitely felt I was in the running for ‘Mother Of The Year’ at that point – as well as being eligible for entry in the sparsely-attended and never-televised Over 40s division of a wet t-shirt competition.

Drenched and shivering, Tiddles and I cut our losses and trudged back to the car. Our plans of having an overpriced lunch in the zoo cafe having been washed away like so much dignity, our only option was to go through a drive-thru of some description on the way home.

At the drive-thru, I felt the decent thing to do was to offer the drive-thru attendant an explanation to why I was looking like the creature from the black lagoon and/or why my bra was making such an effort to say “HELLO!” through my shirt. Also, it must be said I just generally have the urge to share my recent experiences with total strangers – this blog being the most sterling example of this.

But the attendant barely even looked at me. And as I went to say “We were just…”, she was already onto the next order on her headset.

Same happened at the food pickup point. The young gentleman merely handed me my food with a ‘Have A Nice Day’ and I drove away, feeling completely invisible. Oh, and still wet.

Shuh! I bet they would have noticed me if I’d gone through the drive-thru in an ark.

But then again… (walks off muttering about the youth of today, etc).

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“Road Trip” is one of those terms that once filled my head with images of bikini clad girls in a convertible jeep being mooned by a station wagon full of frat boys chugging beer.

Now, it just fills me with a sense of dread. Well, a different kind of dread, not being one to favour bikini tops or college boys’ arses.

Last Friday, I set off on a 900km trip to Sydney with my three kids, my husband and my mother. Since we couldn’t, in all good conscience, put everyone in NASA-issue diapers and drive the whole thing straight,we chose to do it over Two Big Days.

The road trip started optimistically enough. Every time we saw a sign mentioning our destination, my mother would shout “Woo hoo!” and my husband would shout “Spring Break!” and the kids would echo it. That was for the first hundred kilometres. After that the adults fell into a deep pit of depression. The distance felt so great that any sign reminding us of how far there was to go felt like an affront to our very persons.

That night in our stopover accommodation, the adults  turned to alcohol and the children threw mini-soaps at each other until they passed out asleep.

It wasn’t until the final 100km on the second day that the mood became hopeful again. The ‘Woo Hoos!’ and the ‘Spring Breaks’ returned. I was on my way to a two hour hair appointment in central Sydney without the children. Things were looking up.

But then I made two fateful errors.

Since my hair appointment was at 2PM, we only had time for a ‘drive thru’ lunch – yes, I’d become the kind of person to put my hair before my children’s nutritional needs. But then, if you had the kind of three-toned regrowth that I was sporting, you probably would have done the same.

At 11:30am, we approached a McDonalds.

“It’s too early for lunch. We’ll go through the next road services!” I said to my husband.

After all, I had read there were now more McDonald’s along the Hume Highway than there were towns. Why wouldn’t there be another McDonalds in 50km just when and where I needed it?

Mistake Number One.

And then I made my second mistake. I turned to my husband and whispered: “You know, the kids have been great on this trip!”

Look, I honestly don’t know what had gotten into me. I mean, we all know that, as parents, we’re allowed to think these things but that we should never – EVER – say them out loud. It only gives karma an excuse to bitch-slap us.

Turns out my casual remark to my husband was Tiddles McGee’s cue to kinghit his sister and for all hell to break loose in the back seat, shit itself and then rub my nose in it. You see, we went on to drive for almost an hour and a half (with the kids hysterically screaming) without a single Fast Food outlet in sight. An hour at a half. At 110km per hour. That’s over a 150km of food-free hell.

In desperation, we turned off the highway only to find ourselves driving through an industrial wasteland. Meanwhile, the air temperature outside suddenly rose ten degrees  and I started wishing I had worn a bikini top after all and, moreover, I started thinking that chucking a brown eye out the window might just be the best way of showing Sydney what I thought of it and its lack of roadside services.

But then, finally, after ten minutes of driving off the highway, there they were: the Golden Arches of Salvation. All I can say is trans fat has never tasted so sweet – but then, that may have something to do with the sugar they put in the burger buns…

________________________________________________

FOR THE RECORD:

  • I made my hairdressing appointment on time and got to sit around with foils on my head looking like a “Tin Rasta” for the first time in my life. My hair now looks fabulous (Thanks to my sister, Belle).
  • The McDonalds logo will forever more look like a big yellow bottom pointing at the sky and saying “Back in your face, Karma!”
  • We still have the 900km return journey home to look forward to.

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The other day I found myself star-jumping off the wagon, wearing heels and a fascinator that made me look half-bird, half-showgirl. Yes, folks, it was another day at the races for this party girl.

For the record, I had a great afternoon, which is pretty much guaranteed when you’re with eight friends, all dressed up to the nines, drinking champagne with a straw and even winning some money on the horses. (At one point, I won $7.60. Yes, $7.60. I swaggered up to the TAB counter and announced “I’m a winner, baby! Let the one dollar coins roll…..”)

There was only one disappointment. A minor thing, really, but in my slightly drunken state, it became the sole focus of my very being. You see,  there didn’t seem to be any Rich Gentleman willing to buy us rounds of drinks.

When I confided my disappointment to one friend, she was appalled. “What? Are you willing to put out or something? Drinks from gentleman of any financial status come at a price.”

“Of course I’m not willing to ‘put out’,” I replied. “Nobody would have to ‘put out’. These gentlemen will buy us alcohol for the pure pleasure of watching a group of beautiful, well-dressed women get really really piss-faced and then fall over their own high heels trying to dance the Macarena for no good reason at all. What other reward could they possibly need?”

I might have continued, except I dropped my betting slips, and, in bending down to retrieve it, got the man in the seat in front of me  square in the eye with my fascinator.

“Sorry! So sorry!” I said, before throwing in a hasty “Are-you-rich?”

Apparently he wasn’t rich. At least that’s what he said before he took himself off to sick bay with his eye injury.

Anyway, I decided the group-thing was cramping my style so I took to standing at the bar by myself. If I smiled at a Rich Gentleman and he smiled back, surely that would get me a drink? Of course, I couldn’t just smile at everyone at the bar, in case I got picked up for soliciting in the Members’ Area. But then again, I couldn’t exactly tell who was rich and who wasn’t. I mean, I wouldn’t know an expensive suit unless it walked over and bought me a bottle of Moet.

So I made the Mild-Mannered Lawyer come stand with me. She’s a lawyer, after all. Money is her second language! I was explaining my strategy when a group of young men nearby started hooting and high-fiving each other. One of them had obviously enjoyed a sizable win so if they weren’t rich before, they were now.

“Quick!” I said to the Mild-Mannered Lawyer. “If we go stand near them, when one of them shouts ‘Drinks are on me!’, we can be part of their round.”

The Mild-Mannered Lawyer refused to go with me, so I walked over and stood awkwardly nearby but they barely noticed me, even though I was wearing half a bird on my head.

On my way back to the MML, I saw another pair of nice young gentlemen. “Excuse me but are you rich?” I asked, as politely as I could for a drunken woman twice their age.

“No,” they said, somewhat nervously, stepping back slightly. Their mothers had obviously put them on High-Cougar-Alert.

Anyway, I ask you all: what is the point of getting all dressed up if rich men aren’t going to buy you drinks? Shuh! Next time I go to the races (and there will be a next time, right, MML?), I am pre-ordering some Rich Gentleman via RSVP. Look out for me there. I’ll be the half-bird half-showgirl who states she’s looking for “Free Drinks Only’. Classy.

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