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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Mother

How do you feel safe when the person you are supposed to trust the most, you trust the least?

How do you love yourself when the one person who is meant to love you unconditionally, can’t?

How do you cope when the person you share your secrets and fears with, tells others?

How do you feel when you discover that not every child is thrashed for stealing hundreds and thousands from the cooking cupboard?

How do you feel when you see hatred in her eyes?

How do you feel when you try to explain to those around you that you have chosen to separate yourself from her?

How do you explain to your children that you chose not to have her in your life?

How do you cope with the loss and grief that you feel, still?

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.

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 Interview

 

(Source: gamerboat.com via Caroline on Pinterest)

Tomorrow I have a job interview.

I haven’t had an interview this century in 12 years!

After 5 straight rejection letters the prospect of a face to face interview has thrown me.

I’ve been sussed out on the phone, twice.

“Our client wants to see some examples of your work”

“Oh”

Silence.

My confidence dips. They have seen my resume, but clearly they want to know what the fuck I’ve been doing for the past 12 years.

After watching the boys setting up an execution centre for their teddies this afternoon,  I am not sure I want to take them to the interview as evidence.

The past 12 years have been filled with feeding, clothing, soothing, cuddling, organising, negotiating, ambulance-riding, medicating, toilet training, and puke clearing. With little recognition from my employers.

“But, mum, you haven’t got a job” . “Daddy has a job”.

Thanks guys!

I thought I’d ask my current employers about my strengths.

Cheeky Monkey has already said that I am the “Best wiper ever”, but has expanded his list to include: cricket batting, running and making Anzac biscuits.

Boy Wonder said shouting and making things fun. Oh.

I think they cancel each other out.

Back in the day I was lucky. With the last job I travelled to Paris and Florence. It was an exciting time. I thought I’d miss it, but I didn’t.

Now I do want something more. I want to feel passionate and excited about something more than Skylanders and Lego. ( I am a consummate actress)

The trouble is I’ve forgotten what I’m good at. I think the time has come to find out.

Wish me luck!

(FYI the job will not entail selling babies, just to be clear)

Play Nice!

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Oh Yes, Tammy, I hear you!

I’m not talking about unequal pay, tits in family newspapers, or arseholes making it unsafe for women to walk the streets at night.

I’m talking about the unrelenting bile that some members of my sex think it’s ok to project over their peers.

Yesterday one of my friends went to watch her daughter complete in a sporting event. She overheard one of the other mum’s declaring,  “I don’t like that mum in the mini skirt”.

My friend was the mum in the mini-skirt and had never spoken to the woman making the comment. Ever.

What the hell*? (*you know what I really said, yes?)

A few years ago, I was a little on the heavy side. Ok I was fat. I thought I was happy.

The Saint wasn’t complaining, but one day as I was pegging out my jeans next to the The Saint’s which were half the size, I decided I didn’t like it any more. I wanted to be healthier.

Please note, I did not wake up thinking “I’m going to get skinny, make the rest of you feel bad and steal your partners”.

However, the reaction I got from some women as I began to lose weight made me think I was wearing a t-shirt bearing that very statement.

Women I considered friends were openly looking me up and down in the playground, asking “How much weight have you lost NOW?”,  barely concealing their disdain.

My favourite comment came from another woman in my social group “You don’t want to lose too much weight at your age you know, because it will go off your face and that’s not good as you get older”.

Gob.smacked.

If you ask any woman around you, on any given day of the week, she will have similar stories. Of judgement, scorn, bitchiness and unreasonable dislike received from the so-called “sisterhood”.

Is this behaviour hard-wired into us? Are we biologically programmed to compete against all other females in the pack in our quest to find a dude with A grade sperm? If so, you can have him.

It’s the 21st century. We can have babies by ourselves if we want. The competition for the eligible caveman is over.

So Ladies, I asking telling you to stop. Pour a bloody gin and get over yourselves.

Let’s not make it any harder to be a woman than it already is.