6 reasons why Christmas really is MAGIC. And one reason it’s sometimes confusing.

magic-christmas1

(As seen in December 2011 DarwinLife Magazine – EXTENDED REMIX)

Background: A few weeks prior to this going to print, Kim Kardashian announced her divorce after 70 whatever days. ..

You know those days when you wake up, and your hair already looks good, you find twenty dollars in your jeans pocket; you’ve lost three kilos overnight, and then you tongue-pash Leo DiCaprio while Ryan Reynolds waits his turn before proposing marriage? Well to me, waking up on Christmas morning is more magical than that. Except for the Ryan/Leo bit, because that’s not magic when you’re a blonde model-turned-actress. That’s a couple of months ago.

I don’t understand people who hate Christmas. What’s not to love about a holiday that includes over-indulging in eating, drinking and sleeping?  Yes I just filled my bowl for the third time with Brandy custard trifle, and then chased it with a giant bucket of fudge and 4 glasses of sparkling something-or-other. Yes there’s a chance I’ll be sick later but tomorrow’s a holiday. ANOTHER ONE!

And without sounding too materialistic; don’t forget presents. Because Christmas without presents is like Kate Moss without makeup. Or Shane Warne without Liz.

The magic of Christmas doesn’t end there. Here’s my list of Christmassy magic, all starting with S because S is the symbol for $ and Christmas isn’t cheap. Also, like everyone I recently pondered the stupidity that is Kim Kardashian, and thought about Kristmas at their house. They’ll have Kris Kringle, and eat kookies and kandy. And they’ll give each other their own kardashian kollection krap.

Kardashian

Sparkle: I love that Christmas is so shiny. The streets, the shops, and also when I’m outside in 99% humidity, my face! Everywhere you turn there’s sparkle and shine. Bells ringing and trees blinging. But please!  If I must listen to Jingle Bells, I’ll listen to the Frank Sinatra version. Not the Earrings-Hanging-Off-Your-Ears version.

Santa: I hope someone is paying Santa the big bucks, particularly given the awkward and potentially litigious practice of having children sit on his lap to ask for presents.  Santa is the master magician. The words, “I’ll tell Santa” can strike fear into even the baddest little brat. And the look on kid’s faces on Christmas morning is beyond magic. If you could harness the excitement from every 3-6 year old after Santa’s visit, the world’s energy crisis would be over.

SANTA

Come to think of it, Coke should pay him. They invented him!

Seafood: No explanation required. Unless you’re one of those freaks that doesn’t eat seafood in which case you don’t deserve Christmas!

Spreading cheer: I LOVE giving presents. Openly. Anonymously. Shopping for them. Wrapping them. All of it. For some reason, it makes me feel like I’M a magician. Like I’m George Clooney’s manhood bringing outcries of pleasure to every exploding star in every galaxy.

GIFTS

Sugar: Everyone has their own ‘dessert’ tradition, and I think that’s what makes Christmas so amazing. Any occasion that makes us and supermarkets focus so much attention on chocolate and custard and pie and fudge and cookies and pudding and ice-cream and lollies has GOT to be magic. Although, as made aware to me by authors of the awesome blog: Spend Less Nourish More; Forrero Rochers lost their magic in 2003. Enough with the merchandising like it’s ‘special.’ Stick it on the shelf with Kit Kats. Ta.

Siesta: This is mandatory on Christmas day because of two words: Food coma.

food-coma

 

And now for something equally magical but quite confusing….

Singing: Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE singing. Especially when I know the harmony and can sing like I’m one third of Destiny’s Child. Frankly? I’m surprised my career as an International Popstar is taking so long. Christmas Carols reserve a special place in my voice box.  Singing them is what I call Christmas Cheer. But when you stop and consider the words – well sometimes it’s confusing. And non-carolly type Christmas songs are WORSE!

So this first: Apparently (read it on internet so must be true), in the times of Yore or Good King Wenceslas when the words to a song were considered in bad taste (ie anything by L’il Kim) rather than sing tawdry verse in question, singers would replace dirty verse with: ‘fa la la la la’. Which makes me wonder about Deck The Halls. Because ‘Dawn we now our gay apparel??’ Nope. Don’t want to know.

Meanwhile, some other words / phrases that confuse me: Feast of Steven? Not familiar with it, although it sounds wonderful. Manger? Only ever heard the word in 2 songs. Ever. Actually, the alternative would be ‘Away in a food trough.’ It makes me think that the birth of Jesus has been highly romanticised and the nitty gritty details of that first Christmas night have been kept a secret. Who cut the umbilical cord? Did they save the placenta? And my biggest question of all…. SILENT NIGHT?  I mean this was pre-epidural times. And I can say with certainty they were not Scientologists. Whoever wrote Silent Night has never been in labour.

nativity by Julie Vivas

From the book ‘The Nativity’ illustrated by Julie Vivas. This is probably how Mary actually looked: Exhausted and like she’s still 4 months pregnant.

 

Another completely random song, “Do you hear what I hear.” In this song the wind is talking to a baby sheep. Maybe the sheep was Dinging and Donging Merrily on High.

Finally, I can’t fail to mention quite possibly the worst song ever written by man. And that’s saying a lot because most people reserve that title for Achy Breaky Heart. But Jingle Bell Rock can go and die in a chestnut-roasting fire. Any song that asks me to “mix and a-mingle to a jinglin’ beat” ceases to deserve a place in my Yuletide vernacular.

Jingle Bell Rock from the movie Mean Girls. I hope it goes without saying that I am equally uncomfortable with Sexy teenage dancers.

Jingle Bell Rock from the movie Mean Girls. I hope it goes without saying that I am equally uncomfortable with Sexy teenage dancers.

So anyway, to anyone that maintains they hate this time of year: Stop sulking. Submit to the magic and savour the season.

Syclone Sindy says.

Advertisements

Wet yet?

wet yet

This appeared in the January (this year) issue of DarwinLife Magazine, however having just noticed that Darwin had their hottest day in 36 years, I remembered what it was like and felt a little bit pathetic for complaining about Perth’s latest little spurt of mini-tropical-cyclone-style-humidity. It was nothing in comparison.

Darwin’s humidity is worse than any I’ve experienced in anyother tropical location, and I’ve been to a few. Essentially, don’t come back from Thailand or the Maldives or India or even Bali bitching about the humidity until you’ve spent 5 days in Darwin in the middle of the ‘build-up’or wet season without airconditioning.

And here is the article…

Of all human qualities my favourite has always been absorbent. But last month my air-conditioner broke and I discovered there’s no such thing. I spent 5 days without cold air. Do you know what that’s like? To experience that fear, then relief, then sadness when you realise the red-faced, slimy, corpse walking around your house is actually your reflection?

sweaty 1

I could have bathed a baby in my cleavage sweat. I spent the days waiting for new air-con in a haze of discomfort; the humidity molesting my skin. By day 4 my thunderpants had worn thin. I felt angry. Confused. Alone. I pondered evaporation for a little bit too long and scared myself.  I sat for HOURS, insufficiently refreshing drink in hand, wondering why laundry baskets have holes, how hammerhead sharks put mascara on and whether pandas get upset about their tattoos not showing, until I couldn’t move and had to cry.

I’m reasonably certain I’d gone ‘troppo.’ It confirmed my suspicion that the wet season was upon me and that humans were never supposed to inhabit Darwin. Because no matter how many wet seasons I endure, it never gets easier. Anyway, in case you’re new to Darwin, or visiting, or just feeling slightly deranged like me, here’s a wet season checklist.

sweaty 3

Appearance: Some girls glisten in humidity. I am not that girl. There’s nothing beautiful about me when I’m hot and wet.  I leave home looking delightfully fresh, but return looking like Maybe she’s born with a melting face, or maybe it’s a coagulating river of Maybelline.” My hair is what happens when you throw Benji the dog into a lake. I look like a Pro Hart painting, but I’m not alone. I’ve seen you. And like me, you sometimes smell like a BBQ truck.  Also, crotch/boob sweat is a THING right?

Melting

Melting much?

Power Bill: Running air-con isn’t cheap. Have you received December’s power bill yet? If it wasn’t that high, it’s because you caught a plane to somewhere else for half the month so shut up.

sweaty 5

Wet Season Media: You live in Darwin. Home of crocodiles, cyclones and UFOs. NONE of them consider you or your nice stuff. (Friendly aliens pending further evidence by local newspaper.)  They shouldn’t have to advertise that. Surely you heard of Cyclone Tracey! No relation to me FYI.  If you’re not prepared for the ‘wet’ you should get fined for being stupid.  And the ad warning me not to play in pipes and drains? Am I missing out on something on something here?

Then you have the headlines. Yep, NT News and their ‘3 c’s’ formula. Cyclones, Crocs and Conspiracy. FACT: Biggest selling paper of all time had a girl in a bikini with the headline “I THOUGHT I SAW A CROC.” I thought I saw Vladimir Putin once at my local shops but that never made the papers!!

nt news 2      croc_02

Outings: Last January I went to Darwin’s Hottest 7’s Rugby. All the teams were wearing the same MUD-coloured jersey. Every player’s face was splattered with, what looked like poo. Despite that it was awesome, but my point is: Outdoors and wet season don’t mix. Drive through town on a Sunday and you’ll notice one horse and some ghosts because everyone’s catching up INSIDE, in the sweet cold air. Except the people who’ve ‘gone troppo.’ They’re outside collecting other people’s garbage for fun, transporting their pigeons by foot, or sitting outside wondering what snakes do when they get itchy.

You know what? There are other signs it’s The Wet, but I just got distracted imagining what a cow’s bra would look like, and now I can’t breathe. I’m fairly certain this is how wars start. Wet? You bet!

Regrets? Yeah… make mine a double.

(An extended remix verison of Cyclone Cindy as seen in October 2011 issue of DarwinLife Magazine)

I used to sometimes wear red leather pants. I don’t know who deserves an apology more – cows or people… But honestly, if I had a dollar for every time I started my evening by putting on some leather pants and stilettos, moonwalked on a podium, snorted pepper, texted an ex – then made out with someone I totally should not have, and finished it off by eating something that essentially led me to investigate the floor of a room that had a toilet in it, I’d have three dollars and fifty cents worth of regret.

I wish I was one of those, “Sure I’ve done some stupid things but I put it down to experience…. Regrets? No, never!” kind of people. Because as Jennifer Aniston once said, “There are no regrets in life, just lessons.” Mind you, Jennifer Aniston probably also once said, “Hey Brad… put down the weed and come and read that script you got sent. This Mr & Mrs Smith screenplay  is fantastic. You should totally do it.”

And look how that turned out.

We’ve all done things we regret. I’ve certainly done some stupid things and… DOINK!  Forget experience and learning curves ok? I am NOT a better person for the silly things I’ve done that I regret. And neither is Charlie Sheen. Or the Australian Labour Party.  Here’s some more examples of regrets I have that DID NOT make me a better person:

Breaking up.– We’re all pillars of dignity when it comes to most things, but a good ole fashioned dumping can always turn you into an insane person. Once when this guy and I broke up, I wrote him a song because he thought I had a beautiful voice. Although… he also thought I looked like Catherine Zeta Jones so I’m kinda left questioning the accuracy of his senses.  So anyway in a bid to let him know I didn’t care, I wrote: The water underneath our bridge is a glass of no regret. I sent it to him. A few months later he told me he was engaged. I won’t go into details regarding my behaviour. Let’s just say Helen Mirren would not be pleased. And that glass of no regret? Tsunami.

Fashion choices. I’ve done the military look, the grunge look, the cowboy look, the rock chic look (enter leather pants) and blue eyeshadow. I’m not proud of who I sometimes dressed like (a moron), but I’m totally over that phase! What jumpsuit? I don’t know.

That kebab. Sure, this 24 hour take-away looks mildy dodgy and the lady serving looks like she just spent 30 minutes outside the chemist waiting for her prescription, but you’re hungry! However not all fast food is created equal and there’s a good chance your pancreas will say “To hell with it” and spurt it out your mouth, and you’ll spend the night in a sick sweat with visions of e-coli tomatoes dancing in your head.        

High School. I listened to a lot of George Michael. I talked WAY too much in class, signed my name on tests as Cindy Trent D’arby and was usually late. However, I was a good girl. And reasonably fun. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time basing my personality on everybody else’s. I wish I hadn’t worn my fringe teased so high. I wish I hadn’t been so scared of people named Alyssa Green. I wish I had just said ‘MY SELF-ESTEEM WON’T BE DICTATED by how many boys like me, or the fact that I’m not rich and famous like Madonna.’

Not telling him.  Of course I was nuts about him. Everyone knew it. Even after that Hey-This-Brief-Crazy-Fling-Was-Fun-While-It-Lasted ‘thing’ we did. I was pretending it was cool after we broke up. There were nights I stayed up listening to some crappy music, imagining us romping through fields together and hugging kittens on a cloud of rainbows. If I had that time again, I would let you know every time your laugh was the best thing I heard all day. How just being with you was awesome. You made me one cheesy piece of crap and you never knew.

Sun damage. I mean…. Solarium damage. Living through two Melbourne winters got me addicted. That bed was like cocaine to me. That brown bimbo at the counter was my dealer, and the accelerator cream she recommended was like lacing my crack with prescription drugs. Except instead of dying dubiously in my hotel room and getting a well publicised autopsy report that Entertainment Tonight filled a whole show with, I got freckles. And wrinkles. And this regret will probably be with me til I die, hopefully not from skin cancer. Presumably not from an overdose.


Treating your mum like a jerk. We all get into bad moods and take them out on people we love the most. But when we were sixteen a ‘curfew’ felt as though it was some Communist asshole imposition on us by the tyrants that are our parents. But my mother CONTORTED HER ORGANS to give me life and it was very painful. My mother is a very nice woman who doesn’t ever want bad things to happen to me, and tells me things for my own good. Yes I look like a tart in that skirt. And yes I should be careful. And yes, I should not put my elbows on the table like a caveman who suddenly had access to tables. She was right, she was right this whole time.

It’s interesting to note that Edith Piaf was addicted to opiate-based painkillers when she wrote “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.”  For the low-brow amongst you, that would be like Lady Gaga taking ecstacy before writing, “Just Dance.”   Also when Britney Spears sang “Ooops I did it again” I don’t think she seemed very sincere, and I doubt she meant that ‘oops’ part at all.  However I DO think she might now be sorry about all that red leather.

Look what I’m saying is that we all have regrets that fail to inspire self enlightenment – small and big. The eating an entire tub of Nutella kind – The paying money to see a Tom Cruise movie kind – The not serving Julia Roberts even if she’s dressed like a hooker kind… and then WOOPS!

Um… the kind where you have a car accident in someone else’s car because you were applying mascara while driving. And then… WOOPS! You accidentally have another car accident because you were taking off your stilettos while reversing because you could feel the heels getting damaged on the accelorator and brake pads. Actually he shouldn’t even have been parked there but whatever. Go ahead and make my regret a double.

And say what you want about learning curves and journeys, because not all mistakes lead to enrichment.  Regret is human nature and if we actually had a dollar for every time we did something stupid – the biggest idiots would be the richest. And we’ve all seen what happens when iditos get rich.  I’m looking at you Reality TV.

Mistakebook… Enough!

I’ve written about using Facebook in the past here but was asked by someone in Darwin to discuss ‘friend requests” and if you only accept people you really like. Which led me to my September 2011 column in DarwinLife Magazine

 

When a barman asks what you’d like, he means what DRINK you’d like. Trust me; it’ll save you an awkward conversation. Also, when a barista says “Sugar?” he means do you WANT some, not do you HAVE some. We all make mistakes. Life is tricky, and I nearly gave away my sugar.

So, what’s trickier than life? Facebook! A place where billions of people make mistakes, assumptions and comparisons every day, and some really do give away all their sugar. At first it seemed cool, maybe a bit addictive. But Facebook culture lends itself freely to voyeurism, judgement and oversharing.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to pick up chicks because, horny males: the mother of all invention. But it’s changed. Now it’s something you can use to tell 300 friends you’re in labour. Or in love. Or in-capable of emotion. Or in London getting fresh with Prince Harry.

Pfft! Whatever! In your dreams.  See? Tricky! Here are some more common Facebook mistakes.

Adding friends: Just because we once made out and it was hotter than Ryan Reynolds holding a bottle of absinthe and inviting me into a Jacuzzi full of Epsom salts, doesn’t mean I’m requesting your friendship so we can do it again. I only want to be your friend so I can stalk you when I can’t sleep.  Or… What? Nothing! Also, if it takes me more than a day to accept your request, I’m probably not that interested… but might accept later on not to be a rude cow, incase you know someone I actually like and tell them – I’m a rude cow. Either way! It’s not called Like-book.

Rejecting friend requests: Obviously you did something creepy that I can’t look past. Or you support Collingwood. It doesn’t make me a bitch, or you a loser. Que será, mi amor. Well that’s what I told myself when Matt Damon rejected me. It’s not Popularity-book.

Deleting friends: ‘Cleaning your profile’ as a reason for deleting friends is essentially saying, you’re rubbish, bugger off. I’ve only ever deleted one person, and that scheming worthless hack knew she had it coming. I think deleting people is mean. It’s a person! Not some shoes you don’t want anymore. Fickle-book, maybe.

Comments: When your self-esteem is directly proportional to the number of ‘likes’ or comments you get, you know it’s time to converse in the real world. Insecure-book?

Profile picture: If you’ve had some professional photos taken and you use that for your profile – you wanker! Oh wait, I do that. Well at least it’s me, not my: car, pet, tattoo, cleavage, feet, a celebrity, or taken in 1997.  It’s not Guess-who-book.

Groups: Be careful. You and your 5 members might offend someone; enough to sue for fifty grand. Joke? No. Ridiculous? Yes. Almost Defamation-book.

Games: I do not want to play Cityville, Castleville, Farmville, Annoyingville or something called Fruit Ninja Frenzy. I had one of those once and afterwards, I had the hiccups for days. However I think I could get into the game Howzat Cricket. I feel it’s the only sport that prioritises lunch.

Status updates: Life is NOT a dress rehearsal for your Facebook updates. Nobody wants to know what you’re doing every minute. Stop it!  Keep your clean house, your headache, your dry cuticles, your cheese sandwich, your hangover, your new oven or what’s inside it to yourself. Also… Kids are cute and hilarious. But they’re yours not mine, so keep the sleeping/eating/pooping routine in the family. It’s not called Mother-book.

The truth is Facebook is a brilliant way to keep in touch with all kinds of people from our lives – past and present.  It’s one of the best ways to vent, share ideas, gain support and actually – laugh at life.  It’s a great way to share photos so I can see if after you dumped me and got married your kids turned out ugly, and it’s invaluable for making contact. However; if we’re Facebook friends, and you are gulity of any of the above – consider this your written warning. I may not delete you, but I’ll ‘hide’ you. Probably forever, and you’ll never know. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg; it’s not called Nice-book.  Zuckers!

Act your age, mama.


As seen in August 2011 issue of DarwinLife Magazine

A Strange thing happened to me last month. I made appointments and kept them. I roasted a chicken. I wore eye-shadow, bought vitamins, and said words like “attenuate” and “malevolent.” I even exercised and read a whole non-fiction book, and I know it’s probably too early to tell without proper tests, but I think I might be coming down with a severe case of maturity.

Seriously – I’m like, one homemade organic muffin away from being Gwyneth Paltrow. I’d really appreciate it if someone could call a doctor or a barman as soon as possible. Unless… it’s permanent, which is unlikely. But also possible, since I’m nearly forty this month. Although I’m not sure what forty looks like anymore; or how it behaves.

Like, is it okay that I still laugh at farts? Because I bought this new anti-bloating yoghurt and was tootin’ like a toy train. And laughing. Because when is the sound of a kazoo not funny? Or a fart that sounds like it’s asking a slow question. I like those ones. Or less popular, those farts that sound like someone suddenly ripping through a large piece of corrugated cardboard. And the almost certain to be lethal farts, that sound like a German radio announcer waking up from a long nap.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, right! Maturity. So. Perhaps it’s time to cull some more activities. Like….

Party tricks: On a girl’s weekend recently, I was performing various dangerous activities to amuse the ladies. Like excessive overconsumption. And planking. And the ‘running man’ and ‘the worm’ and splits up the wall. Huh! Who knew? Oh. I also licked my plate.

Answering the phone with wassup biatch: It tells you everything you need to know about my crush on Zach Efron.

Biting my nails: Some days my nails are like snack food. I try manicures, I try creams, I try colour. But then I pick off the nail-polish like I’m Avril Lavigne getting rejected by Sk8tr Boi. My hands are so depressed! They probably talk about me whilst I sleep!

Squeezing pimples: My definition of gloom is going to pop a zit that has its own soul and emotions, and getting distracted by giant grey hairs. Or old-man nostril hairs. Shouldn’t all the grey hairs form an army of destruction and wipe out all the zits to become rulers of The Facial Pollutants? *sigh* I should probably just leave my face alone, and replace my toothbrush.

Getting scared: What if all the cheese died? Or chin hairs. Or geckos. Or what if I have a dumb kid. Or people can see where I scratch when I’m alone. Or Ludacris stops doing guest verses?

Incorrect pronunciation: Despite my love of words, there are some I can’t pronounce. Like ‘croissant.’ Apparently ‘cross-ont’ isn’t correct, and nobody understands me when I say ‘curvy piece of buttery wank.’ I should also learn the words to Khe Sanh, or stop belting it out every time it comes on.

I’ve just realised my list is endless. When am I going to: replace my toothbrush more often, SPF myself sit like a lady and not like a halfback that watches UFC, wear a white shirt without spilling my drink on it, stop crying at The Lion King, return phone calls, use eye cream, go to the dentist regularly, stop fantasizing about celebs.

Yeah, I should grow up, and write a will, and wear clothes that need ironing. And if this new found maturity IS here to stay, I’m really looking forward to finally showering correctly. Because according to advertising, when grown women wash their upper-bodies, they get orgasm face.

The reason for the season

(As seen in December 2010 issue of DarwinLife Magazine)

PREFACE: I wrote this for the mag last year – with a promise to repost in time for party-goers this year. I realise it’s too late for some, but for those of you celebrating tonight, consider this the desperate plea of someone who is not very fond of idiots at Christmas time and is moving states in 4 days and has taken precious time out from packing to tell you some important information.

I LOVE December. I love fruit-mince pies and chocolate-coated almonds. I love legitimate excuses to shop. I love decorating anything that doesn’t move. I love celebrating with family, and friends and I love that there are parties everywhere.

Parties. Hmmm.

For every aspect I love, there’s a down side. With all of December’s good time promises and parties, there are moments to embrace self restraint. Because when it comes to celebrating the silly season; just like relationships, credit cards, and tampons, there’s always strings attached.

The Christmas Party provides the perfect opportunity to lose your dignity. Or your wallet. Or your knickers.  Let this be a Cyclone Cindy Warning to you all.

DRESSING: Just because it’s hot, doesn’t mean you should wear an outfit that covers less than a towel. Wearing lots of necklaces doesn’t make it a fancy towel.  Wearing reindeer ears or a Santa hat doesn’t make it a cute towel.  And those sexy shoes you love, the ones you are certain love you back just as much –  will probably rip your foot skin off until it gets blistered, wet and red and you limp around like a deranged person. It will ruin your night, and possibly your ability to wear thongs for the entire wet season.

SWEARING: Even if; “How the f*** are ya?” is a common phrase around your workplace, the Christmas Party is not the time to impress your colleagues with the most ever swear words used in a sentence. Even if you are discussing your last power bill.

DRINKING: Firstly; the only people that really enjoy shooters are under-aged or still at uni. Remember the time you drank so much you projectile vomited your feelings and kidneys into the toilet while trying to read the poster on the back of the loo-door about safe sex, in order to pass time between wretches? Or when you peed in your pants and got lost? Or what about the time you got so smashed you vomited on the dance-floor then slipped in your own spew and landed with your skirt up over your head and your ass in the air? Try not to let this be the night you promise to give up drinking forever.

DANCING: Guys: when dancing, you may not be aware but you actually release a strong odour of cheap deodorant. Smelled from miles away, sometimes this musky gym scent attracts drunk women to your pelvic region, at which time they will rub their bottoms against it. This is not actually dancing. This is a precursor for making out. Making out in front of your boss is creepy. Especially if the girl is wearing a cute towel.

HOMEWARD BOUND: If you start sexting, taking photos with your tongue out, or telling the bouncer your sad life story, it’s time to go home. Go directly home. Do not collect $200 from the ATM and do not pass McDonalds.

Whatever December brings for you, remember that you can’t spell party without try, and you can’t spell season without ass. So try not to be an ass, and have a Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

My lovely lady lumps

(As seen in DarwinLife Magazine July issue)

I fancy myself a reasonably smart girl. I did well at uni, read online newspapers, can make a witty quip when necessary, and know how to pronounce foie gras correctly. But none of this means anything without a decent pair of tits.  Everyone, (especially Beyonce) knows that if you are female and want to rule the world you must first; always wear only your underpants and second; you must possess ample cleavage.

Most women have a strange relationship with their boobs, monitoring them and their behavior closely. I remember watching with confusion and amazement as my breasts grew in that weird pointy way at thirteen. My lumps were a novelty and I had no idea of their potential or ability.

By the time I was 21, I discovered that shaking my milk makers brought all the boys to the yard. I learnt that my lady lumps were a secret source of power over men, and that having the right kind of boobs could result in social and economic gain.

Then I breastfed two babies. They stopped being lady lumps and became two gargantuan bazoinkas with nips of steel. But then… they left. No goodbye. Not even that fake, “hey well I guess we’ll be seeing each other around.” They just buggered off leaving two sad little over-fried eggs. Alas, my fun bags are no longer fun.

The problem is – I have ACTUAL non-silicony breasts. I couldn’t go to ‘Bass in the Grass’ because I don’t have perky little breasts that look good in a boob tube. Instead, I have breasts that happen if National Geographic was like, a totally hot magazine.

And I’m terrified that before long they’ll be flopping around like cocker-spaniel ears. Or wake up one morning with breast knees. So when my husband said if I wanted to get a boob job, he’s ok with that, only if I want, because I’ve been lamenting my lack of lady lumps? Hmmm, the conundrum. Only if I want!

I don’t know… but MANY others do! No longer reserved for strippers and bikini models; breast enhancement is now mainstream, and not only for those with tea-bag titties. Young women with cute little apple pie breasts who’ve barely reached puberty are also getting the ‘job.’

I know. I see them. Because like any expensive purchase you make, you want to show them off. “Look what I bought,” you tell the world sticking your nipples to the wind. “Check out these puppies,” you mention in passing as they high-five your collarbone. Or my favourite: “Oooh, shots! Look dad, no hands!”

Most women consider breast implants the way men consider steroids.  Some demonise them out-right.  The rest are hesitant to judge because in the back of their mind they think maybe… someday, they’ll do it too! You know, not to be huge.  Just to feel better.

Sure, I could get a new set. But sometime around 2038 when we’re at an age where it’s no longer realistic to have such a pert and colossal bosom, maybe those who DID get it done will eye my breasts with wonder and remark at the way they fall. So casually, so gracefully…

…to my midriff.

Dry Season…. What the hell?

 

(As seen in Darwin Life Magazine – June 2011 issue)

Today I woke up, opened the windows, and shivered for about three seconds. Then I remembered that the dry season has arrived. Cool. I put on some jeans, vomited out sunshine rays, and went on with the knowledge that life in Darwin was about to get very entertaining. If you’re not sure what you should be doing in the dry – I’m here to tell you.

Grab your friends and do outside stuff on the grass:  Frankly, I want to be outside when it’s 6pm and there is a drink in my hand and tapas on a plate in front of me. When I’m sitting on the ground, it feels like there are ants crawling up my butthole. And no! I don’t want to go on a picnic. Making food is one thing. Asking me to carry it, along with my own plates and chairs is just rude. I can eat a perfectly good salad in a restaurant and not when midgies are going to eat me alive.

Go to Fannie Bay to see the whoreses on track:  For some females, the Darwin racing carnival is like a contagious virus known as Territory Scrubber. The symptoms are feathers, vadge grazers, and poorly applied fake tan. Whoreses also carry bottles of booze around in their hand like it’s an accessory. 

Rediscover you hair straightener: I tried to straighten my hair back in December because my hair is a suspected terrorist so I torture it by rubbing it with hot irons. Ages later, my hair was socially acceptable so I went outside. The second I closed my front door, the humid air bitch slapped me across the face, gave me a wedgie and stole all my lunch money. My ends curled up and the hair around my face frizzed out like I had my finger in a socket. My hair is a stupid idiot in the wet, but the dry makes all that straightening worthwhile.

Barbecues: Eat meat until you throw up.

Mindil Beach Markets:  Forget personal space. This is a fantastic spot to visit if you’re in the mood for a grope. I can’t count the number of times my boobs have walked into someone. Go right ahead and pinch that backpacker’s arse. They’ll turn around to see whodunit and get lost in a fragrant sea of meat smoke, BO and sunset.

Turn off your air conditioner:  Enjoy your power bill going down by $3000.

Finally, if you find yourself wondering if Al Qaeda has retaliated by dropping a mini Bogan-bomb on Darwin… No. This will be the sign that the V8’s are in town. Actually I love the V8’s because there’s always a slight chance that I might go deaf from the sound of the revving motors, and I’m like Indiana Jones; living on the edge of danger. While you’re there, deep throat an icy pole by accident, because there can only be one ‘Stig’ but anyone can be inappropriate.

Ahh yes, Darwin in the dry. Thank you. Because like reality cooking shows, Bangkok’s nightlife and the Kardashian sisters, I rely on you for extreme entertainment and there’s honestly nowhere I’d rather be.

 

Sorry. And that.

I’ve been crap, haven’t I! Inconsistent blogging with months between them. I know. I’m a bad blogger. If I was a dog you’d be rubbing my nose into my computer screen. So anyway I’m sorry.

Well, as sorry as a self-indulgent mother of 2 in serious need of sleep and a facial with a broken washing machine and broken spirit, and a surprisingly well-in-tact superiority complex can be, anyway.

Not sure that anybody really cares that much. It’s not like my blogging saves lives or helps anyone, other than people who have insomnia.

You know, you random strangers out there that are so bored and wanting to be entertained because despite like a hundred new free TV channels there’s still crap on TV, so you’ll google “nice stylish boys lonely feeling sad” or “hairy condom sex” or ”Jennifer Lopez butt” or “Ryan Reynolds testicle tuck” and sadly somehow (I’m not kidding) you’ll see a link leading you to this site and go: Oh, this should amuse me for about three and a half minutes….

To those of you – I’m especially sorry. Oh and ahhh…. Also to all the celebrities who google their own name and see my 2 cents. Sorry to you too. Not for my 2 cents. But because I have soooo much more to give and I haven’t been. And for THAT I’m sorry to myself.

The kind of sorry that could apologise to an entire generation if it wanted to. Just by getting a bunch of people on a hill somewhere in Canberra and saying – I’m sorry, really slowly into a microphone and then printing it on a T-shirt and in the sky with a plane and that.

The kind of sorry that could round-house kick karate chop your arse, if it could be bothered getting off the couch… what leotard? I don’t know.

But anyway, my sorry would be wearing a sweat band Rambo style. And a red leotard with Swarovski crystals stitched into the bodice. And Christian Louboutin Mouskito Pumps in Black and Red. Because my sorry is AWESOME.

Anyway the consistent folk over at DarwinLife Magazine have this thing called a monthly deadline. So despite my absence here, I will be updating soon with Cyclone columns that appeared in June and July issues.

But for now, well you know.

Girl on… Girl.

(As seen in May issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

This isn’t about the time I kissed a girl. Or jelly wrestling. Or Ellen DeGeneres.  Although… this is about girls I could ‘love or leave.’  I used to hate girls. All my mates were boys and I use the term mate loosely because I suspect half of them wanted to see my knickers. I’d say, “Oh, I just find I get along better with guys.”  

I soon realised that if I didn’t have at least 3 really good girlfriends I would wither away and die. I have them now, and flourish from knowing them.  Love them! Seeing them is like returning to the womb and I can’t imagine my life without them.

Yes I love lots of girls, but not ALL girls. Certain girls.

‘Girls night’ Girl: She’ll watch romantic comedies with you so you can stare at Cameron Diaz and feel indisputable amounts of jealousy. You both get teary eyed at the end of Love Actually; where Colin Firth is all ‘I learned a different language for you.’ It kills me every time but she doesn’t tell anyone. She just passes the tissues and breaks you off another row of chocolate. Later in the evening when you’re high on sugar and you have the soundtrack of your teenage years cranking, she’ll jump up in her PJ’s and do the running man to The Backstreet Boys, just to amuse you – even if she’s not wearing a bra.

‘Never diet’ Girl: She suggests you share a plate of nachos with extra sour cream, then some spring rolls and maybe a barrel of pork belly. Later, we’ll take a shower in chocolate ganache and that will be fantastic as well. Don’t even think about ordering salad. She’ll fry the lettuce and cover it with cheese sauce when you go to the loos.

‘Go-to’ Girl: The woman gives fantastic advice and is always ready with an update on that trailer-park skank that made life hell at your last job. You can call her at 3am when you’re crying out your right lung. She’ll listen, tell you you’re being ridiculous, make you laugh, but still totally get your tears. She’ll also use more than 3 words to honestly describe how your butt looks in those jeans.

‘Secret Nerd’ Girl: She’s the epitome of Geek Chic. She watches Discovery Channel and abstract comedy, has Enya on her iPod, idolises Tina Fey and can name every Member of Parliament. She  loves books. No. Literature! But she’ll happily discuss with you red carpet fashion disasters and the evolution of Brad Pitt’s face.

I risk sounding like Ginger Spice here, or just like a 9 year old, but girls rule! Meanwhile, there are certainly some girls I could leave, thanks.

‘Girl hater’ Girl: She’ll give you bitchy sideways glances in her chandelier earrings and ‘temptress pink’ lipstick. She tells vicious lies about other girls to her ‘mates’ to make herself seem like a goddess and she walks like she has sex fire under her feet.

‘Messy drunk’ Girl: She’ll drop perfectly good kebab in her lap, attract some random guy she can blast juices with in public view, then crowd the toilets vomiting up body glitter and her face.   At the end of the night you’ll see her, and her underpants, sitting on the curb contracting a bad case of crotch worms asking you for a cigarette.

‘Drama’ Girl: She’s the girl wearing unnecessary ruffles. Everyone has done her wrong. Including her push-up bra. If she’s not texting her ex, she’s ‘not speaking’ to you. Thank goodness. She probably touches herself to Edward from Twilight.

So, to the girls I love – thank you! And to the others? Woman Up! Pull the limited edition leopard print hair straightener out of your stuck up, spray tanned arse and stop pretending your drink got spiked.

Marrying ‘the one’

 

(As seen in April 2011 edition of DarwinLife Magazine  NB: This is actually the original version of my column before I changed it  – due to our TV sponsors.)

So there I was lounging on my lounge. Quite gracefully actually, considering the humidity and my penchant for sitting like a brickie. . .  Just eating a TimTam, trying to be all witty on Facebook, and all but ignoring the television.  Then I heard it…

John Travolta’s sexy voice singing that infectious tune…. “I got chiiiills…” I looked up hoping to see John in skin tight black doing pelvic thrusts. Instead I saw a bunch of over-groomed farmers and city girls in wedding dresses with cowboy hats and boots line-dancing; followed by Natalie Gruzlewski asking:  This time will every farmer find the one they want?

 

It was a promo for The Farmer Wants A Wife, and it got me all ba-jiggity with excitement. Then it made me wonder: Does any man really want a wife so much that he’d go on national telly, in what is an awkward attempt to hook-up?

Isn’t it true that the farmer just wants to make out with 3 girls in one week?

Whatever those bachelor-types who go on TV to find ‘the one’ are after: the truth is I relate. Watching women get all worked up about a guy… I get that. I’d get totally psycho obsessive when I was into somebody – especially if there were a bunch of other bitches after him. When the girls are with their farmer, you can practically smell the desperation wafting out of your flat-screen.  I inhale and nod knowingly… I wore that fragrance for years!

But women who use the word ‘fairytale’ whilst up to their knees in pig poo? Well, that just freaks me out.  Whatever the farmers are looking for, there’s no doubt that the city girls are looking for a husband. Not just a husband; but ‘the one!’

And this is why everyone loves The Little Mermaid. Prince William will be married this month, and nobody is overly excited or surprised about that. But when a 16 year old half-sushi redhead finds true love with a Prince as intelligent as his hairy, drooling dog… It’s ‘fate!’ Likewise, when a cattle farmer applies on-line with the nine network for a reality dating show falls for a 22 year old receptionist from the big smoke. And we love that word ‘fate’ as much as ‘destiny. ’

Walt Disney has some explaining to do because his movies are where we first learn about ‘finding the one’ and ‘happily ever after.’

Even Will and Kate’s pending nupitals which fit the formula of a real life fairy tale (Royal Prince falls for a common girl and whisks her away to his castle) was not ‘fate.’ If it was, it wouldn’t have taken 8 years, including one breakup. That’s the stuff of best friends and life-long partners….not FATE.

Disney’s fairy tales usually end with ‘true love’s kiss,’ which OF COURSE equates to happily ever after!  It makes little girls everywhere think that a pash guarantees a life-long commitment. Now there’s a scary thought. And what if he’s a bad kisser? My guess is that Aladdin had tabouleh breath. Actually, Aladdin is a thief! He cares more about his monkey than finding a shirt that covers his chest and he can’t support you because he gives all his bread away.  But Jasmine still wants to marry him. Because most girls eventually want to get married.

Sorry, did I say married?  I mean the expensive ceremony before the elaborate party where you dress like a meringue and slow dance to Van Morrison. 

I started out wanting to marry Greg Brady. In high school I fantasized about marrying George Michael because not only did my new-found maturity allow me to love stubble, he was the first man to tell me he wanted my sex. At university I felt that marriage was close at hand, and realised I had better start saving if I was going to have my ‘dream’ wedding worthy of a real-life Contessa including a live performance by Elton John.  By the time I entered the workforce and had had my heart destroyed repeatedly, I decided happiness was a dance floor with my name on it.

But despite the bitter years, and the ‘I’m so hot right now who needs a husband?’ years; the concept of marriage as the ultimate never eluded me. I had the dress, the flutist, the DJ who played We Are Family, the freshly shucked oysters, the ridiculously large cake, and… I even got to chuck my flowers at a bunch of women’s faces.

Did I marry the one I want? Of course not! I WANT Ryan Reynolds: sexiest man of the year.  And I secretly still want George Michael.  Wouldn’t mind having a crack at John Travolta either…

But I fell in love with and married my best friend. A champion who makes me laugh, challenges my intellect (which I HATE but LOVE also), knows how to make a good omelette, worships the quick sand I walk on and from time to time… I even get a magic carpet ride.

Which answers Natalie’s question. No. The farmers won’t find ‘the one they want,’ unless Jessica Alba is a contestant. But they might find love, friendship, some action, and a farm-hand to boot.

The Hopeful Romantic

As seen in February issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

I used to be a hopeless romantic. Funny how those two words get used together all the time, like if you’re romantic, then you have no hope.  If you ask me, romance by definition is all about hope.

Her: I hope he surprises me with dinner then a walk along a moonlit beach. I hope he kisses me and tells me he loves me. I hope he proposes with champagne, roses and a huge diamond.

Him: I hope those things aren’t chicken fillets. I hope she’s wearing sexy lingerie. I hope she puts out after watching 2 hours of shirtless Matthew McConaughey.

Once when I worked behind a cosmetic counter in a department store, my boyfriend had a different florist deliver a single red rose to me every half hour for my birthday. It made me look popular, admired and possibly like a bit of a slut.  Most importantly, it made me swoon.

I was twenty. I had no damn worries in life. All I hoped for back then were good times and being adored, so impractical romantic gestures were much appreciated.

As we age, and life hands us more stress and responsibility, the things we hope for change.

I no longer hope my husband will surprise me with flowers and a romantic dinner.  Now I just hope he WON’T surprise me with a stinky fart in bed: A fragrance that sometimes lasts longer than a vase full of roses.

With Valentine’s Day this month, romantic thoughts are on the minds of couples everywhere. Avoid being hopeless. True romance comes from knowing what your lover hopes for. Here’s what I NOW hope for and find romantic. I hope it helps.

TURN ME ON: Let me lie on the couch and watch my crappy shows WITHOUT PROTEST. Hand over the remote and supply me with a comfortable pair of tracky-dacks. If I start wilting like a plant, bring me ice-cream.

FEED ME: Don’t take me out to dinner to sip champagne and eat ‘tongue food,’ like oysters or strawberries. Bring me a ginormous plate of mixed cheese, or perhaps just a funnel that you can pour pancakes and maple syrup in.

CODDLE ME: Let me whine a lot. Allow me to bitch for five minutes when you bring home the wrong type of yoghurt. Pretend you think this is a legitimate problem. In fact ALL my problems are legitimate, including my throat ‘kind of hurts’ and ‘I need a facial.’

COMPLIMENT ME: You don’t need to tell me I’m beautiful. I mean, you CAN, but the real gesture is when you continue to like me when I’m in-between waxes.  So far in-between it looks like I have Cher in a headlock.  Also, double points if you still think I’m beautiful wearing skanky 3 year old cotton underpants with no elastic.

SHOWER ME: Buying jewelry or perfume is pointless because lets be honest, unless I wrote it down I’ll probably have to swap it. Use the money to hire a house cleaner.

SLEEP WITH ME: Give me personal space when I’m sleeping next to you. It’s not that I don’t want you there; it’s just that I enjoy sprawling my legs wherever the hell they want to go.

Clearly, all of the above is romance novel worthy stuff… right?

I’m not even joking. I can just see the cover of my book now… Buxom brunette reclined across a velvet chaise lounge in trackies. Remote in one hand, wedge of camembert in the other. And in the background, standing to attention in a loin cloth… would be Fabio.

Hands off Fabio! The remote is MINE!

Doing my ironing.

Dating Deal-breakers

 (As seen in November 2010 issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

Dating is a dirty business.  Despite not dating for ages due to marriage, I have some single friends out there who are reporting back from the frontline, so I’m actually armed with all sorts of fresh intelligence. Truthfully nothing’s changed much. It’s still awkward and exhilarating and nerve-wracking and exciting all at once. 

The purpose of a date is to establish chemistry.  Without that; the date and any future together is doomed, which is why on a first date alcohol is dangerous.  After a few drinks you have chemistry with EVERYONE. Like the waiter. And the policeman on horseback. And the horse. Everybody is witty and charming – especially you so it creates some confusing false starts with people who should never have made it past “Thanks, nice to meet you, goodbye.” 

Instead you make an empty promise to call, or worse – give your date a pity pash.

However what happens when you DO feel that connection, when there IS chemistry, but there’s a ‘BUT…’ 

What happens when there’s attraction, good conversation, and fun times, BUT she has dirty fingernails, or he has bad breath, or she abuses the waiter, or he starts playing air guitar at the table, or she has an annoying voice, or he shows you his tattoo. Of the Collingwood footy logo.

You know… what happens when you like them. Like, REALLY like them. But there’s something you just can’t get past.

We all have our own interpretation of what makes a prospective partner, a mental list of must-haves where we say to ourselves, “We may just have a deal.”  Likewise, we all have our unique list of turn offs.   Not the turn-offs you experience when you first meet the person. I’m talking about turn-offs that despite attraction; just keep getting in the way of a future. Or as I call them: The Dating Deal breakers.  

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, there are entire websites dedicated to the phenomenon. www.datingdealbreakers.com is my favourite. People log on and share their broken deals. Some are funny. Some made me want to cry and almost traumatized me beyond repair. Thankfully my experiences are mild in comparison.

Back in the day I dated plenty and came across various deal breakers.  Clearly anyone who belched in my face immediately after his last forkful of garlic chorizo was a goner. Same as the guy who continually referenced the waitress’s fun-bags. 

Sometimes it was just me being fussy. “He really likes basketball,” I would tell my friends. “Like A LOT.”
“What’s wrong with that?” they would say.
“The outfits: The baggy t-shirts. The below-knee length shorts. The backwards caps. The basketball boots worn at all times… even with jeans!”

Shallow? Yes. But most dating deal breakers are.

I once dated a guy who at the time adored me. He was tall and attractive, sporty but also studying to be an accountant, polite and friendly to everyone, funny, and he even dressed nicely. But his hands!!!! They were so feminine to me! Hairless, petite and clean hands that looked like the hands of a 10 year old boy.

I ended it. Only to move on to a Lebanese dentist (nice big strong manly but clean hands) who used to tuck his shirts into his pants WAY too much. And although it was he who dumped me, it probably wouldn’t have lasted – what with all that tucking!

Truthfully, sometimes my dates were well behaved, well groomed, well dressed and well… almost perfect.

So I created a ‘deal-breaker test’ whereby my date’s reaction would determine a pass or fail. It certainly made things interesting and often made my date cringe.

Yes, it was ridiculous. I became the Hey Hey It’s Saturday of dating.  But it really helped to weed out the keepers from the dregs.

If I liked where the date was going, I’d work in a little musical verse by Madonna.  If he gave me the ‘Where’s your straight jacket?’ look following my performance, it was a No Deal. But if he was amused, bewildered or entranced? It’s a yes from me.

I was pretty much mentally in love with the concept of Madonna as a dude sorter.

Of course there are deal breakers you WISH you could ignore. Like with John.

John was tall, charming and hotter than a tabasco fiasco. John was excellent company, intelligent, funny and brilliant at keeping a girl amused.  

John was 19. 

John, who was in kindy when I was starting university, never got to see my underpants.

John was the broken deal I’ll never forget…

A response to Manscaping. From an Army Poet.

So it seems one of my written works has inspired other written works from one of the country’s serving members of military. Words much cleverer and funnier than mine.  (Is cleverer a word?)

Back in July, I wrote my column for Darwin Life Magazine on Manscaping . It was an article inspired by the magazine’s Business Development Manager, who when I asked her what I should write about (I’m ALWAYS open to suggestions by the way…) mentioned the fact that everywhere she turned there were metrosexuals.

I closely studies metrosexuals for the next 2 weeks and realised yes – they were everywhere. I followed them in shopping centres to see what they purchased and where. I checked out their shoes, their clothing, and their personal grooming.

Then shazam! There it was – the common denominator. NONE of them had facial hair. Many of them had no chest hair. I can’t say whether they had trimmed the hedges at the base of the trunk because I thought it was best that I DIDN’T follow them into the men’s room. I mean, I’ve done it before, but only when the ladies room is full. And I always knock first!

Anyway… my observation was enough to inspire the column. 

Darwin is a town heavily populated with young males so I figured the column would be relevant. Interestingly, a whopping 15%  or more of the total population are members of the military, many of whom I  noted during my weeks of stalking  research, were extremely well groomed. And the few that I am friends with are super stylish when they’re not in their khakis. But I always have this sense that they are seriously macho-hero-Rambo-ready-to-annihilate-and-not-afraid-of-a-damn-thing type of guys.

Blood and guts? Open wounds? Puh! Just another day at the office.

So when this response to my Manscaping column came to me from someone signed ARMY POET I was a little surprised. Aren’t army types supposed to be tougher than this?

Here is the poem. It’s hilarious, and you have to read it like a limerick. (eg. There once was a man from Nantuckett).

Whilst considering the issue of hair
On backs, cracks…in fact anywhere
I looked down below
And thought “Yes, have a go!”
And decided on being quite bare.

To the bathroom, I raced for a razor
Will she like it? Perhaps it might phase her
Now as a bloke I must ask
With dangly bits to this task
Would it be any safer with laser?

But now is the time to be brave
Covered in foam I psyched up for the shave
Lathered in snow
Hey where’d my balls go?
Then a frightened willy gave me a wave.

My quad blade Gillette went berserk
Like a crazed shearer I tackled the work
Foam, blood and hair
Sprayed everywhere
And I shrugged off the pain with a smirk.

Blood dripped from my arse to the floor
My dick lost an inch maybe more
From a slit in my sac
I put a testicle back
No wonder my scrotum was sore!

And now I give blokes this advice
Before shaving your privates – think twice
Just let the girls with the bush
Decide on their tush
Cos being gelded aint nice!

Army Poet

Can I consider this fan mail? Do you think?

A room of one’s own – Blokes Only!

(NB: This is an extended version of the article appearing in the October issue of Darwin Life Magazine)

I’m talking about the man cave. The boy’s room. That designated area in the home for all things mannish. Whether it’s a tin shed, a study, or that spare room upstairs; the man cave is fast gaining popularity among today’s men.  In fact some people ‘unofficially’ plan the room when they’re building or buying a new house.

If you’re a female and you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about – I’m actually referring to those guys that have a special room of their own in the house or on the property to watch sports – or Jason Statham movies, to play pool, drink beer, and discuss their favourite thing about Jessica Alba and the best way to barbecue a rump steak. 

It provides a place for masculine reinvigoration and salvaging male ego. The activities inside are designed to help men rejuvenate, and reclaim their feelings of manhood. Where guys are free to smoke, yell at the TV, work-out, entertain mates, and you know… slay dragons if they want.

The bottom line is that it’s the man’s area, under his control.

The official term “man cave” seems to have come about only in recent years, but the idea is as old as man himself. Indeed, at one time men DID live in caves, which served as effective protection from the elements.

Perhaps the modern phenomena of man’s need to isolate himself in personal bliss and privacy is derived from this basic instinct – that of protecting himself from the elements. Modern day elements such as TV shows like Desperate Housewives. Music by Taylor Swift, or Michael Buble, and possibly more dangerous elements like nagging wives and screaming children.

Think about your dad. If he had a shed which he would retire to at some point before or after dinner – he had a man cave. Despite the fact that he was probably being productive, (unlike men’s rooms of today), it was still his zone. Your mum probably only ever went in there to tell him dinner was ready.  It was your dad who designed the shed and decided where to put stuff. Men don’t usually get this privilege inside the home, in many cases – not even their own bedroom. So it seems fair that guys might want an area at home where they have complete say-so.

I spoke to a well known Darwin bloke who wishes to remain anonymous. Probably because his man cave (known simply as ‘The Shed,’) is in his words – “kick-arse.” He tells me that his space is a work in progress.

The Shed, set on a 13 acre property is like nothing you’ve seen before.  There’s a big TV, monster stereo, air hockey, pool table, foosball, dart board, shooting game, Daytona game and pinball game.  The Shed also includes original pieces of furniture from well known Darwin drinking holes AND a WW2 (hollow) bomb. Just – cool STUFF.

‘Cool stuff’ seems to be a pre-requisite for a Man’s Cave. No longer satisfied with a shed full of tools, the man cave must now be decorated, and something the man can boast about and show off to his mates with. 

 

And just like men can’t speak shoe and think we’re crazy for wanting so many, most women don’t get the man’s room obsession.

The process whereby man fervently desires gadgets and toys for his room, and spends many months hunting down the best possible deal. When plasma/speaker/computer-game/leather recliner prey is finally sighted and killed at Harvey Norman, it’s dragged back to the cave by triumphant man who waits for ‘oooh-aaah’ accolades from woman. Woman gives large items in room disinterested glance and wanders off. Man proudly assembles his ‘cool stuff’ over the ensuing months, whereby he receives several high fives from his mates.

Quite possibly – the man cave is the new form of penis extension.

 

I ask my Darwin friend what any man considering creating his own space should start with.  Just to confirm my theory of cool stuff. “Loud music and a beer fridge,” he laughs, “but you’ve also got to have something you can stand around and do.”

Traditionally, man caves are designed to keep women and children out, but The Shed, he says, is “not a boys club, although girls tend to not stay too long.” 

He claims only part of it is about escaping to a man’s world. Hmmm…. Maybe.

But considering that man caves in various forms have been around for centuries, history dictates otherwise.

Consider some historical examples:

The man cave of Thomas Jefferson, was his entire house – which was actually a study full of books, paintings, and tools for writing.

Mark Twain who often spent the summer with his sister, needed somewhere to get some work done. Twain built himself a writing hut on her property where he was free from distractions, inspired by the setting, and could write in peace and quiet.

In addition to being a statesman, Winston Churchill was also a talented artist. He loved to paint so much that he built himself an art studio in his estate’s garden. When he felt the “Black Dog” of depression, he would retreat to his studio and keep the darkness away by painting.

After Theodore Roosevelt’s Dakota cattle business failed, he returned to New York and built a home in Oyster Bay.  There – he would go to relax, romp in the woods, and revitalize his man spirit. The crowning manly jewel of the house was his trophy room where he kept his collection of dead wild game.

 In even more ancient times we see proof. Elijah from the Bible also had one:

 1 Kings 19:9 – And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of  the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

From this it’s clear that Elijah was simply taking a break from it all, and he possibly responded to the Lord with, “Gee Lord, I was just relaxing in my man cave, sheesh!”

And so we see – the man cave or boy’s room is nothing new. But I think the reason it’s making a huge comeback – in a more commercial, decorated, 21st century kind of way… is this: In the old days, men were the head of the home. These days, it’s the woman who occupies the title of ‘Household CEO.’

 

We are the ones who tend to have final decisions on purchases for the home like cars or furniture. On holiday destinations, on schools for our children… almost everything.

 I can therefore understand why it might be prudent for the man to have his own space; A scented candle-free zone that represents who he is – where he can just, be.