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

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Little White Lies

I have Bec from Bird with a Chip as my guest today:

Is it okay to say you are doing well, when you are not? How about that nothing is new, when life with a baby brings the unexpected every single day?

Does it matter who it is to, what it is about, or what the purpose might be? Or is it more about whether the lie is white, or grey, or black?

I don’t know.

But I do know that my truth is telling lies. Little white ones. Harmless. Trivial. Inconsequential. I’ve become quite accustomed to presenting a story to those around me. Creating an illusion. Crafting words with omission. To smooth things over. To avoid confrontation. To spare feelings. To dodge difficult conversations.

I’ve often heard it said that white lies are okay. Lies told to protect others. But protecting oneself through lies? That’s deceptive. Wrong. Harmful. Hurtful. And I agree, wholeheartedly.

But what of lying to yourself? Does it count as a white lie if you are both the storyteller and listener? Protecting yourself, from yourself? Is that wrong? Because here is another truth; that’s me. I do that sometimes too.

I’m not a Bird who always smiles. My life is often chaotic. Feelings of anxiety regularly invade my head space. This is my shade. But when there is light, there is laughter. Life is fun. And the sun is shining while I dance. Bending the truth helps get me through the shade and back into the light. And that’s my unvarnished truth on white lies.

I’m a lying liar. Am I the only one?

Bec, from Bird with a chip, is a newcomer to the blogosphere. As a self-confessed d.i.try-er, and lover of all things sweet, Bec writes about life as a new Mumma, with some decor and delicacies on the side

We need to talk about Pinterest

So lucky to have my friend Betty, guest blogging for me today!

This morning, when I should clearly have been doing something more productive, I was absent-mindedly browsing Pinterest, looking for pretty things.

I love Pinterest for this. It’s like an eternal, rolling lifestyle magazine, with none of the irritating text to obstruct your enjoyment. When I’m reading it, I become Julie Andrews in my head, wafting through great meadows of loveliness at the beginning of The Sound of Music, occasionally pausing to smile benevolently at some precious sight (a.k.a. pressing ‘like’).

Before long, I had clicked through a link to a recipe to make your own body butter, and thought, Ooooh. And then I took a brief look at a cute pixie hat for my little boy, and before I knew it I had dropped a fiver on the pattern.

And then I thought: what the hell are you doing?

Because, although I can knit, I am not a knitter. Yes, I have a knitting basket, but it’s basically a graveyard of unfinished projects, each one cruelly abandoned once I got bored. Currently, it contains three-quarters of a blue alpaca scarf, one solitary Fair Isle mitten and a baby jumper which is finished, but for the fact that I can’t be bothered to sew on the sleeves. (Actually, I started the jumper for a child who is now nearly two, but let’s not go there).

But now I’m starting a hat because Pinterest told me to. I have no time, but I am genuinely considering knitting a hat that I know I will not finish.

To the best of my knowledge, Pinterest is not yet sentient, so it’s not really to blame. But I do blame the inhabitants of Pinterest, just slightly.

Because Pinterest is the best of the web, but it’s also the worst. It’s a magnet for that particular breed of blogger whose sole aim is to bless the world with scenes from their utterly perfect life. You know the kind: angelic kids, whimsical interiors, healthy suppers and cod-philosophy that makes you think that they’re swallowing down a whole lot of things that they really want to say.

The problem with the internet is that it is not The Truth. It is a collection of thoughts from people who are trying to present themselves in a certain way. And I can’t speak for others, but I fall for it every time.

I flick through Pinterest and think, I really ought to be making my own bathroom-cleaner from baking soda and moss.

Maybe I should be hand-crafting Christmas decorations so that they can be family heirlooms.

I should be keeping little memory jars on the mantelpiece, so that we can empty them at New Year and talk about what a wonderful family we are.

And then, thankfully, I close my laptop with a shudder, and wonder how long it will take those women, with their perfect manicures and ideal homes, to realise that a perfect life isn’t the same as a good life.

And I gaze out of my window, wondering whether anyone would repin a picture of the rampant bind-weed that’s strangling my garden.

Probably not, on balance.

Betty Herbert is the author and blogger of The 52 Seductions (52seductions.com). She has just started a new blog called The Republic of Easy (republicofeasy.com).

The 52 Seductions is now available in paperback and Kindle

The Truth About Sundogs

Today I have the fabulous Michaela from FiveFrogsBlog as a guest on my blog.

Have you ever seen a Sundog?

Sundogs are temporary atmospheric phenomena caused by light refracting through ice crystals. They create the illusion of extra planetary bodies in the sky, usually on either side of the sun.

Sundogs have caused a lot of excitement through history. In less scientific times, they’ve been mistaken for extra planets, signs from God, or even alien visitations.

Sundogs don’t hold any meaning. In fact, without the truth of the sun, they don’t exist at all, despite being beautiful and mysterious. They distract and entice us, grab our attention and encourage our imagination to attribute meaning to their presence.

These Sundogs are all around us. It seems that the more information we have access to, the more opportunity there is for it to be refracted and bent to create a distracting side effect. They LOOK like the real issue, while not holding any substance.

In the Australian asylum seeker debate, attention is on legality of modes of travel, lack of safety, due process, terrorism. The truth – the shining star at the heart of the issue – is shared human existence and responsibility.

We talk about faith and belief. Where would humanity be without faith? Look how much good religion has done! We’re distracted by the desire to be seen to be good people, or moral people, or simply to belong. To look at others and feel we have something they don’t. We don’t bother to look at history. The truth at the heart of all these distractions is that religion got organised so it could control people. It was the original form of government, working hand-in-hand with rulers throughout the centuries, across the world.

In times of war, governments and media whip the populace up into a propaganda-filled frenzy of nationalistic fervour with lies and half-told truths. At their heart every international conflict has been about greed or hate; often both.

Global warming has caused world-wide debate, including everything from questioning whether it’s happening, what’s causing it, to the issue of humanity’s separation – or lack of it – from nature. The truth is we should pollute less and use fewer finite resources; the rest is distraction.

In this Attention Deficit Disorder age of mass information overload and spin, we need to look for the truth with extra care. We must stop being so tempted to react to shiny outrage-inducing side issues.

If we don’t, we risk constantly chasing after Sundogs, only to discover that, once close, they dissolve into so many drops of icy nothingness.

We need to remember to look at the truth, not its refraction.

Michaela’s blog is called Five Frogs on a Blog
You can also find her on twitter: @fivefrogsblog
or on Facebook
 
Michaela’s purpose in life is to make people think, and then squirt coffee out their nose. She is a Melbourne trainer, mother, blogger, idiot and polymath. Testing your pelvic floor muscles regularly (yours too, ladies).