Help, I’m Allergic To Being a Girl!

Today’s post has been written by my lovely twitter buddy, Sophie.

Clothes shopping makes me break out in a rash. Change rooms that make me want to run, run for my life to escape the bleak lighting that heralds the demise of my thighs. 18-year-old shopkeepers that blandly ask “is there anything I can help you with?” then toss hideously inappropriate selections over the door. Teeny tiny, weeny peeny options that make you feel like the big girl.

Worse still, clambering about trying to get the foul garment off, they open the door slightly prematurely, and your bottom protrudes from the knickers that used to fit before you had 4 children. Then, as you regain composure, re-dress and slightly haughtily exit the change room, the 18 year olds eyes sparkle with knowing : “Hah-hahh, your bum doesn’t fit in your un-deeees”. No sale.

In one of my infrequent quests to be golden and glamorous, I went for a spray tan one day. Why do they make you stand there so long before they come into the room?! Nude save for the ill-fitted paper g-string, there is too much time to look. Look at the boobs that have slid downwards, look at the thighs that have lost their elasticity, look at the upper arms that have added a flap to the undersides of themselves as if in preparation for flight.

So just before you do take flight, in comes the 18-year-old with her gun (it may as well be) to spray a little confidence all over you. So at that juncture, as the golden hues of stinky liquid fill the booth, you do actually begin to feel better. Until the final assault……………she asks “did you want me to do underneath your bottom?” Slightly paler, you weakly offer a deflated, whispered “yes”.

The thought of a girls lunch makes me quiver in my boots! I regress into a monosyllabic mess as I try to navigate my way through conversations that invariably lead to the mobiles being whipped out to show picture after picture of little Popsy. “Oh, her arm is in a different position in that photo, how divine!” come the shrieks. Rash appearing.

A networking event? Oh dear. I start with confidently registering my interest (bravely behind a computer) but then as the days go by, I start a little routine. It really is bad timing. I don’t actually have a business card. And what exactly IS it that I do? And sorry? You need me to stare admiringly at your business card and think of an impromptu, witty, erudite comment to keep this conversation going? And by the way, your avatar seems to be fifteen years old. Ah. Can’t make it. Weeping rash.

And so it seems ladies and gentlemen, that I am allergic to all the things I should be genetically predisposed to. As a remedial tactic, I have invested in a cream that makes me believe that my name is Tom (boy) – when I apply the cream, I don’t need to tan up for an event, I adopt a knock about humour that relaxes me and everyone else, I make people remember me rather than a card and I shop online………oh and glare at 18-year-old girls (but possibly not for the same reasons as Tom).

You can follow Sophie on Twitter @BIG4Bellarine

Popping My Blogging Conference Cherry (ProBlogger 2012)

My blogging conference cherry has been popped.

It was terrifying.

Fortunately, I had stalked asked Carli if I could get a lift with her, so I didn’t have to arrive on my own. Bloggers who attended on their own, how brave are you?

In some ways, it felt a little like high school with the various ‘tribes’. There were the popular girls, the business types, the techies, the arty crafty people, all bursting with creativity and passion.

I was alone in the ‘numpty* blogger’ tribe.

Plenty of other people will give the round-up of what we learnt, but what you really want to know is…

Did I mess up?

Hell yes. Here are my top five.

1. Lunging at Kerry Sackville for a pash when all she wanted to do was shake my hand.

2. Introducing a well-known blogger to someone else I had just met, and getting their blog name wrong

3. Spitting marshmallow over the nice person who drove me in that morning. Sorry Carli.

4. During small talk over refreshments with a member of the ‘blogeratti’, showing them my best seal impression, to illustrate how I burp if I drink coke.

5. At the cocktail party, drunkenly trying to explain to a group of women why I was wearing a moustache.

You knew I wouldn’t let you down. Right?

The conference itself was one of the most well organised I have ever attended (and I’ve been to some doozies). The energy bouncing around the room while the speakers shared their stories was electrifying. They were all so generous with their advice, willing everyone in the room to pursue their ideas with passion.

The twitter-folk I met were fabulous, especially Michaela, Grace, Norlin, DonnaSophie and Belinda.

And the cocktail party was awesome. I need my own photo booth. Seriously.

Much of the conference focused on making money from your blog. As my blog started as a way for me to write and to get rid of some of my sad feelings, I’m not sure I could monetize it if I tried! Apart from gin, I’m not sure which brands would want to work with me!

That aside, a little spark was ignited.

Meeting new people like Amanda, Lincoln, Jane and Kimberley who were all so complimentary, made me realise that I do have lots to offer in terms of my business acumen and other skills.

This says it all for me:

Returning home I began making plans.

Who knows where they are going, but I’m following them.

What changes have you experienced or made for yourself recently?

*definition: Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.

Notes To My 16 year old Self.

Yesterday I came across this photograph…

(YEEGADS!)

Inspired by this Dear Me – A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self I wondered what  I would say to the girl in this picture.

  1. Darling, a pair of tweezers would be a great investment right now.
  2.  Horizontal stripes? Brave.
  3. Permed hair really isn’t you.
  4. Don’t let any boy put you down for being funny or tall. They are intimidated by you. And they are dicks.
  5. Lisa Hayward* who made you feel shit all those times at school, will one day turn around and tell you she envies your life. (Yes, I promise, this will actually happen)
  6. That guy you obsessed over and who embarrassed you in front of your friends at the disco, is now a balding, overweight git (probably).
  7. Don’t let anyone talk you out of doing Psychology at Uni. PLEASE.
  8. Sex gets better with age (I am not lying).
  9. You will meet the perfect man. He may not be the man you dreamt of, but he will be perfect for you. He will make you laugh every.bloody.day. He will adore you. Even when you are being a bitch.
  10. Her not loving you is not your fault. Don’t let it define you.
  11. Getting pissed at a work do is NEVER a good idea.
  12. You will get married and have children (she doth protest too much). You will do everything in your power to ensure history does not repeat itself.
  13. Giving birth feels like you are pushing out a sack of spuds. It fucking hurts, but you will be amazing.
  14. You will face more heartache and challenges than one person should ever have to go through, but you won’t believe how strong you can be.
  15. Eating what you like, when you like, and not putting on weight will not last forever. Trust me.
  16. Don’t worry about what people think about you. Seriously. This is a problem.
  17. Blue and green should never be seen without a colour in between.
  18. Try not to wear your heart on your sleeve ALL THE TIME. There are some fuckers out there who like to stomp on it.
  19. Grab every opportunity with both hands and don’t bloody let go.
  20. Be strong, be brave, be fearless. BE HAPPY.

*name changed to protect the biatch.

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

So cute!

He looks cute, doesn’t he? (the rabbit, not Cheeky Monkey, who is TOTALLY cute).

His name is Billy and he was CM’s surprise 8th birthday present. He arrived with his brother, Night, who was Boy Wonder’s surprise 11th birthday present.

Billy was a lot smaller than his brother and brought out the maternal instinct in all of us. Aaahhh, we thought.

Until this:

BunnyLove

“Look Mum, Night is giving Billy a piggy back”.

“Um, oh, yes. ” EEEEEKKKK!!!

The Saint panicked.

“Check they are definitely two males” he yelled down the phone “We don’t want any bloody babies!” (we don’t? oh yes, of course we don’t – sigh).So that was how I came to know what a rabbit’s penis looks like (a string of pink spaghetti since you ask).

The boys (helpfully assisted by Boy Wonder’s sex education classes in the UK) soon cottoned on to what Billy was actually trying to do.

I hoped it was a phase.

I called the pet shop where we bought the bunnies. “It’s a domination thing, it will pass.” the owner said.

That was a month ago.

Not an hour goes by without a bored looking Night being mounted by his younger, smaller brother.Billy has the stamina of yes, a duracell bunny, and is so over excited he doesn’t even care which way round Night is.

(One morning Night was sporting a fetching ‘Something About Mary’ quiff. Ew.)

Spring has sprung and all that, but my kids are not watching any more bunny porn. Especially incestuous bunny porn.

TS and I stood over the cage one morning discussing  the possibility of getting Billy ‘done’.

The boys asked what ‘done’ was. In my best nonchalant voice I explained it as a small operation that would mean Billy would stop what he was doing.

Both boys stared at me in horror.

“YOU’RE GOING TO CUT HIS WILLY OFF?” they screamed.

For extra drama they had unconsciously moved their hands to cover their own precious jewels.

“Er, no.” I replied, looking to the The Saint for help, who by now had gone pale. I tried to explain but the words wouldn’t come.

It’s clearly a sensitive subject in the House of Trouser.

So, dear readers, bunny balls. Should they stay or should they go?

Hairy Trauma

The ’70s. The decade taste forgot.

I haven’t given you the full story of my traumatic childhood (maybe I never will) but this photo  and the one above give you a flavour.

Let’s gloss over the crochet skirt I am wearing (full length with MATCHING shawl – jealous much?) and look at my hair.

Sweet Jesus.

My mother happened upon a magazine article entitled “Save money butcher cut your child’s hair”.

I should point out that before this happened I had very straight, blonde, shoulder length hair. It was nice in a bland, little girl kind of way.

Bitch

Mother thought differently and decided to give it a whirl.

Step 1. Pull all child’s hair into a hair elastic (none to hand so she  improvised with an elastic band – ouch) to form a pony tail on top of child’s head.

Step 2. Wrap cardboard (I kid you not) around hair until pony tail is vertical.

Step 3. Cut straight across any hair falling out of the top of the  cardboard.

Step 4. Remove cardboard

Step 5. Comfort hysterical child (or not, in my mother’s case)

I think this haircut was the first time my mother’s feelings for me were truly revealed.

Please I beg of you, do NOT try this method on your own children.

 

Birthday Girl.

I am the one on the left.

Today is my birthday. I am 21*

The picture above is just a small insight into my traumatic childhood. Yes the monkey is real.

Anyway, birthday, shmirthday. It’s just another day really, isn’t it?

Except if you have two over-excited boys who are bursting to tell you what they’ve got you:

“I’ll give you a clue”, says Cheeky Boy “It’s not Lego”.

Boy Wonder is a more direct (Aspie that he is) “Um, do you like sparkly books that you can write all your notes in?”

Um, I’d better say yes to that one, eh?

The Saint, bless him, bought me a ticket for Pro Blogger Training Event in Melbourne next month. VERY EXCITING!

So that’s my gifts out of the way.

How am I feeling about being 21*?

Birthdays have scared me more as I have got older. (Me no like ageing).

Two months ago I would have told you I was terrified about being 21*, but recently those feelings have changed.

For the first time, in a long time I am excited about life and what is coming next.

So Cheers! and remember to have a gin for me tonight!

*AGAIN.

How do you feel about your birthday? Like ’em or loathe ’em?

The MOFO

I am a ‘sweary Mary’.  I try not to swear around my children. I definitely do not swear AT my children (well, hardly ever).

Nevertheless, my children have heard me swear. Try not swearing when stepping on Lego with bare feet.

In adult company I often drop the f- bomb. If I am VERY cross drunk about the patriarchy I have been known to break out the c-bomb. It’s not big and it’s not clever. It’s just lazy. Secretly though, I do love a good swear.

Picture this peaceful Sunday scene. I am with my boys in the back garden. We are washing the rabbits (as you do). They are singing and humming some tunes.

“Motherfucker” sings Cheeky Boy.

WTF?

Motherfucker isn’t one of my swear words.

I quiz CB. He looks at me blankly. Both boys say sweetly “But it’s in the song”. “Which song?” I shrill.

“The Nicky Minaj one”.

Forgive me while I drag my soap box into the arena.

Oh Nicky Minaj. The one I describe to Boy Wonder as “Highly Inappropriate”. (I sound quite headmistressy when I say it.) If you haven’t heard of her, she performed that charming song You Stupid Hoe.

She isn’t the only one I have a problem with. Rhianna, Katy Perry, Gaga, they all use language and imagery that I think is inappropriate for my children.

Here’s little old me trying to instill some respect for women into my boys, only for them to be bombarded with words and images from female singers that make me blush.

I am all for “girl power” and sticking it the “The Man”, but can they put some clothes on and tone down the language?

Yes, I know I sound like someone’s mum.

P.S. we have a taken steps to block unsuitable material from Youtube. Have you had to do  the same?

What Would Madonna Do?

I should start by saying that I don’t think I’m THAT vain.

I get my hair done.

I shave my legs.

I pluck my eyebrows.

I moisturise, but I am not obsessed with my wrinkles, and can’t be arsed to fork out a huge amount of money on anti-aging creams.

I try not to leave the house without make-up on. Mainly out of courtesy to the local community who are easily scared.

I’m reasonably low maintenance. I mean, who isn’t post-children?

However, as I get older there are certain things creeping into my regime that I hadn’t bargained for.

I now pluck a grey hair from my brow.

I cover the grey lash with extra mascara, or get it tinted in summer.

I de-fuzz the Tom Selleck tash which my peri-menopausal hormones have bequeathed me.

But yesterday, the first day of September, the 1st day of spring, I discovered my first grey hair. And it wasn’t on my head.

Oh.dear.lord. I was not prepared for this.

When I told The Saint he smirked and kindly proffered “Well, you might as well shave it all off now”. Mmm, NOT HELPING.

Once I had recovered my breathing. I thought about the future. Getting old, gracefully. Or NOT. What would Madonna do?

I envisage her having a “vagina styler” who suggests tints or merkins.

Sadly, I have no funds for such a person in my entourage.

Or maybe she is smooth and hairless? I have a huge fear of Brazilians – waxing, not the people – so this is not an option for me.

Then I was reminded of this fabulous poem by Jenny Joseph Warning

And now, I know exactly what I shall do when the grey takes over down there.

The House of Trouser

B.C. (before children) I had no experience of living with little boys. I grew up with sisters and step sisters and as my mother lurched from one doomed relationship to another, often there was no male in the house at all. Our family was small, so no cousins or nephews either.

Now I find myself as the lone female in a house full of men. I adore them, really, I do, but am I allowed to say I find them disgusting too?

I thank my lucky stars that we have two toilets, because I am not sure I could survive with one.

Their toilet habits leave much to be desired. The door is often left wide open so all and sundry can hear their strains. Cheeky Monkey begs me to wipe. “But mum you are the best wiper”. Gee, thanks, must add that to my resume.

With the foot in a can boot I have resorted to using ‘their’ loo in the night. Oh. dear. me. “I must  remember to put the light on next time” I said to myself as I sat down on the seat covered in wee.

The Saint is responsible for the cleanliness of  ‘their’ loo. His sense of smell must be withering with age, as a few nights later, I tried again (I still didn’t put the light on).

Within seconds my eyes were smarting. The smell of ammonia/vinegar was overwhelming.

I rushed back to bed, exclaiming to The Saint. “Really?” “I hadn’t noticed” he replied.

Yikes.