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.

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The Hunger Games

I’m supposed to be on a diet at the moment, so I’ve been eating mostly steamed confusion and rage.

I’ve been hungry. Which is good when you’re playing the hunger games. Except – so hungry I just ate a whole box of Jatz crackers. Not quite as bad as a whole bag of lollies or a whole block of chocolate; a feat that I have accomplished before, but still gluttonish all the same. My Jatz moment was proof that I have not yet mastered the game of going hungry.

I’m just not at one with that starving feeling. Especially when it’s self imposed.  My stomach tells my brain, “Pfft! Whatevs, you’re the boss, you’ve been awesome all day – just eat it.”  And then my brain goes “Ooookkaaay!” And then I go into a carb-induced high and forget to stop eating.

And now this! Jatz guilt. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because Summer is coming and everyone knows what that means. BUSHFIRE SEASON, and also bikini season. THEY ARE BOTH MURDEROUS!

And if you want to avoid DYING OF REMORSE in the swimsuit fitting rooms because you don’t look like this:

Because when I sit like this, twisting my ribs sideways… It is a sight to behold!

…then you’ll have to DIE every time you feel like a piece of chocolate chunk cheesecake. Or a salted caramel macaroon. Or wedge of gorgonzola dolce with spiced pear paste. Or chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars. And WHEN DID PEOPLE USE SO MANY ADJECTIVES FOR FOOD.

And so we start the hunger games. There are no set rules. We make our own rules according to our own previous successes or failures at losing weight. Some play by skipping breakfast or lunch. Some eat all meals but tiny bird-like portions. Some replace meals. Some skip carbs. Some refrain from sugars. Others from meat and dairy.  Some sadly, forget it’s a game and do get very sick. **

Think I’m being ridiculous? Irresponsible even – for suggesting that I won’t enjoy Summer unless I’m a socially acceptable size 8-10? I’m not. This is the world we live in and the generation in which we live. We – the women who are subjected to the judgement of all who pass us by when our cottage cheese knees are showing.

Like it or not, our generation are the dieters, the binge eaters, and the ‘must always watch what we’re putting in’ generation. Blame it on magazines, the media, the fluctuations and constant body makeovers of the Kardashian sisters, or just Victoria Beckham. Either way, we’ve all been grabbing our stomachs to see how much flesh we can get a hold of since we were teenagers, and at that point we vow to lose those extra kilos “in time for Summer.” We start playing the hunger games.

It’s a game I started playing a week ago, and today I betrayed myself…. seduced by a salty cracker. And then, the entire box of salty crackers. I feel so dirty. I’m such a snack-food slapper.

If you have never played the hunger games, lucky you! You probably have testicles. Or – you’re on the verge of womanhood and this is a new and exciting game you’ve been dying to play since you were 11.  So, like I said – you make the rules – but here are some suggestions that will help you WIN.

1. Check your measurements: We’re the measured sex, measured by waistlines and scales and flat stomachs, and by how many meals we have to skip to be a size 6-8. We’re judged by our ability to go hungry, and then celebrated in large measures. If you don’t measure up – keep on measuring.

3. Supplements: These help to suppress appetite and prevent actual eating. Choose from pills, shakes, or powders. These sometimes have a double effect, because according to advertising, if we have success with these products and lose centimetres, we’ll never lower our eyebrows again.

4. Count: If you’re good at math, you will excel at the hunger games. Otherwise there’s an App you can download that does it for you.  (When is Apple changing its name to Bacon? ‘Oh no, I just dropped my Bacon iPhone. It’s totally fried now.’)

The app can tell you: There are 100 calories in a piece of bread. You burn 100 calories running 1 kilometer. ONE! For fun, you can work that out as a decimal. Because losing weight is SIMPLE! It’s just MATHS.

Counting will also help you with portion sizes. Today you may enjoy 3 litres of water, 250gm of cooked brown rice, 2 cups of cooked spinach, 5-7 almonds, 1 nanogram of camembert and I piece of paper you drew a chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream sundae on.

5. Exercise: A seasoned player will tell you that exercise helps you win The Hunger Games. It burns centimeters and melts fat. Running is apparently superior because fresh air? Once when I lived in Melbourne I ran a 15 km ‘mini’ marathon. The morning after, I woke up and my body filed for divorce.

You should probably know however, the alternative to fresh air is sweaty camel toe and techno pop.

6. Food: If you absolutely MUST eat, here are the guidelines. Do you know what quinoa is? Take a good look at it because you and that quinoa are going to really get to know each other. Boil some quinoa, add lemon zest because butter and salt are the devil. You may wish to add some raw, tasteless greens and other bland tasting barley-lentil nightmares.

Do not assume a vegetable is safe. I once ordered something called, “Winter vegetables roasted in duck fat.” Pumpkin never tasted so sublime. Food to avoid? Anything that makes your panties drop. Say goodbye to the euphoria of prawns in garlic butter arriving at the table sizzling hot. Deprivation is the key. Order a hot water and lemon you big fattie!

7. Pretend to be Foreign: Asians eat rice from two little wooden sticks and fish for themselves. Italians have 16 espressos all day before they eat one bowl of pasta. The French smoke 38 cigarettes, drink champagne and then eat a mouthful of baguette. Indians walk everywhere and eat curry, or as I like to call it – laxatives. In South America they eat well, but when you spend that mucht time jiggling your booty in a sequined g-string, you burn it off. These are ridiculous stereotypes but we eat like lunatics and drink liquid carbs.

8. Don’t listen to celebrities or Jenny Craig. This one is important because both celebrities and Jenny Craig tell lies. Lies such as: “Oh I just eat what I want… I have good genetics, I eat in moderation but have a sweet tooth, I love my curves..” And this one, “Before Jenny, I never thought I’d eat cheesecakes again.” Jenny Craig is the dark lord of diets. She is an insane, mystical being convincing us that cheesecake is ok. In fact, anyone that goes on TV or in magazines sprucing their before and after techniques should be made to show us thier lipo scars.

Now, if you were paying attention, you’ll notice in my list of guidelines, there was no number 2.  That’s because when you starve yourself – number 2’s are hard to come by. Please keep your constipated face at home.

That’s about it. Good luck. Let the games begin. May the forks NOT be with you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The Hunger Games is prohibited for players that have just been dumped.  To those of you with a broken heart…. Ladies – this is your time to shine. To hell with calories. You better have some of that new Philadelphia Cadbury’s chocolate frosting on hand in your fridge for this kind of occasion. You’re entitled to down whatever your sad little heart desires because you’re going to wear tracky-dacks and cry your mascara off anyway. Eat on darl’.

Interestingly, statistics show in a survey I just made up, that those playing The Hunger Games are more miserable than those who just got dumped.

** This blog is supposed to be silly, hence the idea that going without food is a game, not a way of life! I would NEVER endorse starving oneself – and would urge anyone reading this with an eating disorder to seek help and stop wasting your time and emotions on food. Being a particular size does not make you happy. Sharing happiness makes you happy and I can tell you now, starving yourself is only making people around you severely worried and unhappy. So chin up – go buy yourself a Happy Meal.

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.

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.

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.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…

 

WARNING:  This is a post about breasts and contains various terms that describe the female chest region. Should you be offended by such words as titty… you may wish to log off Cyclone Cindy now. However – if you have breasts, or know someone that does, or once drank from a pair yourself… you might find this post informative, slightly amusing, and most of all preposterous.

~~~

Once when I was about 13, I ate some dodgy Chinese and came out covered in hives. They were itchy and sore. I remember telling my big brother and his friend that night (almost in tears as I scratched) “Look, I’m covered in lumps – I have lumps”

To which my brother’s friend who I also had a MASSIVE crush on replied whilst looking directly at my chest, “Cundy, You don’t hiv inee lumps.. not yit!”

He was from New Zealand, and I was devastated. It was the first time I became aware of my breasts. Or at that time – lack of.

Oh, if he could see my lovely lady lumps now!

Actually they’re not lumps. They’re Twin Peaks. Big jugs of milk. They should probably have their own postcode. I have no idea what they weigh but every morning when I’m pulling the girls out of my eyes, I wonder… you know?

And as I sit here, typing…

One handed…

One of those jug-o-nauts is hooked up to an apparatus that is pulsing and buzzing with a low electrical hum which is extracting milk. Human milk. The technical term is called ‘expressing’ but I call it ‘juicing the boobs.’

I am a jersey cow.  With nips of steel.  A fem-bot.

It’s not uncommon for women to try expressing breast milk after having a baby for various reasons. For me it’s about comfort and control. Sticking a baby’s mouth on your titty ‘correctly’ involves more technique than a Grand Jeté en Avant** and if you don’t get the technique right, you end up with blisters, blood, and toe curling, teeth clenching pain every time they get on board for a drink.

And – even if you get the technique right; you still have no idea how much the baby is drinking… so how do you know if afterwards, when they’re crying – they’re still hungry, or they have wind, or even just feel like a ‘comfort suck??’

Anyway so here I am, having the milk sucked out of my left booz from a big round plastic pressurised cup, wishing there was an easier way to nourish my child with the antibodies that breast milk contains. So much dairy goodness in fact, that when my new baby got conjunctivitis at only a few days old, the midwives told me to ‘squirt some breast milk into his eye.’

I apologise now for the imagery, but it totally worked! His eye was cleared up within hours.

BUT…

Knowing how beneficial breast milk is to babies and how the ingredient it contains: immunoglobulin IgA, which can cure infections and fight disease can’t be reproduced synthetically…

What if you can’t.
Or don’t.
Or won’t.

My first baby was breastfed for 8 months and I’m proud of that. Probably because it WAS hard and I persevered.

I currently have a five week old. This time it’s much harder.

Maddy and Mo (despite their size) aren’t making enough milk to feed him and so 5 days ago, I started replacing a few feeds with formula. And I feel like the devil. I feel neglectful and mean and selfish and cruel, and that I must be the most incapable mother alive.

Which makes me wonder… Why is there such a social stigma on women who formula feed?

Why do women who breast feed think they’re better? Why are they all “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like, it’s better than yours. Damn right it’s better than yours.”

Why do women who can’t breast feed feel like failures. Why do the midwives push ‘breast is best’ on every new mother?

WHY DO I feel like I’m doing my baby boy a disservice, when in actual fact, I’m probably doing him MORE of a disservice by being a run-down, psychotic, emotionally unstable wreck – which is what I am when I breastfeed and express.

Because instead of sitting here with this ridiculous apparatus attached to me, I COULD be sleeping. Or at least typing faster.

I WANT to breastfeed, but I’m so frickin’ annoyed that I hate it so much. I HATE IT!

HATE HATE HATE. And just typing that makes me feel nasty, and about as maternal as Courtney Love. If Miranda can do it why can’t I? And with red lipstick on for that matter? I mean look at her? Bitch! I want to go to her house and burn her at the stake!

So anyway, left with this dilemma combined with a physical inability to make enough milk at the moment, I decided to conduct various tests.

TEST 1 – THE TASTSE TEST

Sample A: Karricare formula.
Powdered milk gone sour? Something they give you in Thailand to go in your coffee?

Sample B:  Breastmilk.  Mine.
(BOOM! Cindy tasted her own milk. I swallow my own snot too sometimes when I have a cold and don’t have a tissue on me, so comparatively, I don’t think this information is totally shocking.)
It tasted like Skim Milk that had had about half a kilo of sugar mixed in. Actually it was more like sugar syrup.

Test Results: If eating sugar is fun, go right ahead and call them fun bags. Boobies are the clear winner here.
Breasts 1: Formula: 0

TEST 2 – THE TITTY TEST
The test goes as follows:

Stand in front of a mirror and strip to the waist.
Take a pencil.

Stick the pencil under the breast. Lower the breast over the pencil.
If the pencil falls to the floor, go ahead – continue to nourish your child with boob milk, and celebrate by going bra-less and sticking your nipples to the wind.
But if that pencil stays for a fraction of a second, there has already been remarkable damage. DO NOT even go to the fridge without MAJOR support, and do what you can now to reverse the damage by discontinuing all suction to the area. Unless you want to wind up with sandbags in the wind; Two old socks with a couple of golf balls someone stuffed inside.

Test results: Let’s just say pencil case not required.
Breasts 1: Formula 1

TEST 3 – THE SLEEP TEST
There’s an argument for and against over which babies sleep better, breast fed or formula fed. Incidentally, whoever coined the phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ to imply ‘good sleep’ should be punched in the face and forecd to spend a night at my house.

So – This morning I breast fed (direct from the source to make it fair) and the kid fell asleep mid feed. I have no idea how much he drank, but would assume that at the time he was full. I pulled him off, put him in bed, and he slept for half an hour, then woke up. I put him back to sleep again later, fighting him off my chest, where he slept for an hour.

Later I gave him 120mls of formula. He stayed awake for an hour and slept for 3.

Test results: Babies sleep better on a full stomach. I know his tummy was full after formula. Have no idea how much boob milk he drank – so assuming he fell asleep because he was in a state of bliss.
Breasts 1: Formula 2

TEST 4 – THE TIME TEST
Free time with 2 children. Forget about it. So of course the faster they drink, the better. This is about seeing which ‘feed’ takes longer.

Breast feed: 45 minutes. No idea how much he drank. Process complete when he comes off or falls alseep.

Formula feed: 120 mls took 12 minutes. Then had to wash and rinse bottles which took 10 minutes.

Test results: When your baby is just ‘comfort sucking’ on a bottle, you can tell because the milk level stays the same. But when they do it on your boob, you have no idea, so they spend longer on your boob sucking nothing than they do on a bottle.
Breasts 1: Formula 3

 

no time to feed yourself hey Salma?

 

 

TEST 5 – THE GOODNESS TEST
Got all this from Wikipedia.Not sure how reliable that is but anyway…

  • The exact chemical properties of breast milk are not fully understood.
  • A mother’s breast milk changes in response to the feeding habits of her baby and over time, thus adjusting to the infant’s individual growth and development.
  • Breast milk includes the mothers’ antibodies that help the babies avoid or fight off infections and give their immature immune systems the benefit of their mothers’ immune system that has many years of experience with the germs common in their environments.
  • Use of infant formula is cited in numerous health risks. Studies have found infants in developed countries who consume formula are at increased risk for non-specific gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), eczema, necrotizing enterocolitis and autism when compared to infants who are breastfed
  • It has been discovered that iron supplementation in baby formula is linked to lowered I.Q. and other neuro-developmental delays

Test results: Umm, why do they call it breast milk? These girls are carrying liquid gold!
Breasts 2: Formula 3

  

Back to being aged 13… I was flat and my bra was for show. My boobs were a novelty and I had no idea of their potential or ability.

By the time I was in my 20’s I discovered that shaking my milk makers DID bring all the boys to the yard. I learnt that my rack was actually a secret source of power over men, and that having the right kind of boobs can result in social and economic gain.

Then comes a time when you actually make milk with your milk makers and shaking them just hurts your eyes. You understand why Anna Nicole Smith took drugs for her back pain. Your breasts stop being sexual, although they’re still powerful. They take on a life of their own, obligated to another human being for nourishment which is a huge responsibility. It’s a job. My boobs should be getting paid for this.

Yes my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And I SHOULD charge! But they’re so massive that the boys in the yard go “Whoa!”

UPDATE: Bugger it. I’m putting this damn contraption in the bin. Gonna down a couple of cans of Red Bull or some other energy drink loaded with life-giving goodness, and take myself off to buy some cute little B-cup bras.

** A ballet step. A big leap forward whereby the dancer throws the foot forward, like a grand battement, at 90 degrees. The height of the jump depends on the strength of the thrust and the length of the jump depends on the strong push-off. The dancer strives to stay in the air to show a a definitely expressed attitude or arabesque.

The baby blues.

Okay, so I had a boy… But you know what? Forget blue!

Or pink…  Or any one specific ‘baby colour’ because I just realised something…

Those first few weeks after having a new baby, it’s like the whole damn rainbow. Wait – no worse. Probably more like Monet’s paint palette. If you’re not familiar with Monet’s works let me show you. Up close they’re a big old mess.

There are so many shades of emotion after a baby that like a Monet painting, sometimes you’re not sure what you’re actually looking at, and you have to take a step back to see the picture, and figure out what the hell you’re actually feeling.

If the baby blues are those times when you’re feeling low, possibly helpless and overwhelmed… What colour do you call it when you get the urge to take a long leisurely stroll in the nearest patch of quicksand?

Yeah I’ve had the baby blues. Dark blue, light blue, bruised and broken blue… and my favourite – Italian soccer jersey blue – because that’s a shade that takes me to an entirely different colour.

Hullo Fabio...

But it doesn’t seem right to feel sad when you have just experienced the miracle of life, an opportunity so many woman and couples long for and struggle with. Surely I should be nothing but grateful and swooning over my new bundle. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the emotions of a new mother are more complex than Wikileaks.

So – here’s my list of colours. My baby rainbow of emotions, thanks to my new baby boy.

RED – LOVE

  • I love that he’s mine.
  • I LOVE my doctor. He looks a little bit like that fat kid Ralph from the Simpsons, but I adore him and he is my hero!
  • I love that my 2 year old daughter of her own accord went up to him, kissed him, and said ‘I YUV YOU!’
  • I love that when I kiss his forehead, it’s like I’ve cast this magical spell over him and he can’t help but close his eyes
  • I love staring at his facial expressions on a full stomach.
  • I love his little sounds and gurgles.
  • I love that he grabs hold of my fingers, even if it is a reflex.

ORANGE – CONFUSION & UNCERTAINTY

  • I’m confused that baby’s are able to poo more than once a day. It’s a liquid diet!!  What’s with all the mustard-brown stuff? Am I eating too much Nutella?
  • I’m confused about sleep.  SIDS and whatever – but he’s spent 9 months curled up like a ball. You know – the ‘foetal position??’ Why does anyone think he’d be happy flat on his back suddenly? And how do you make a baby understand dark means night. Which means I’d like you to sleep THEN for 6 hours straight, not at 2pm in the afternoon.
  •  I’m confused about my weight. I gained 10kg’s. Baby weighed almost 4. I also lost the placenta, the cord, the extra fluid and blood… SO – Why the frickin’ frickety frick do the scales show that I’ve only lost a total of 3kg’s??? HUH???? Can milk-filled fun bags really weight that much?
  • I’m confused and actually flabbergasted by Libra Fleur. Why do they feel it necessary to include a panel of “ODD SPOTS” on the back of their sanitary items. You know, like when you open a bottle of Toohey’s New and there’s some piece of utterly useless information that you can share with the mates you’re drinking with, because drinking beer is a social activity and such tid-bits are considered fun conversation. But on the back of a  Maternity Pad?? “Wow, Barbie is 25cm tall. Since I’m here on the toilet ALONE, I’ll have to bank that one for future conversations.”  Incidentally, not that I have a whole lot of time for reading such crap when there’s so much other stuff to do with a new baby, but I’m also confused by the TYPE of crap they choose to print. “The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.” WRONG!  I haven’t slept in a week and a half Libra Fleur! Or this: “Female elephants produce only one offspring every five years.” Well they’re bloody smarter than we give them credit for.
  • I’m confused that my husband while mostly supportive; thinks that saying “I’ll be home around ten…” means it’s perfectly acceptable to walk in the door at midnight.
  • I’m confused as to why anyone would want to be a midwife. There’s far too much ‘inserting’ going on with that career. I mean I’m happy to insert a jpeg into photoshop document… but the word takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a midwife. Props to them.
  • I’m confused by the Adam Sandler film I saw last night, but that may or may not have anything to do with my new baby. 

 YELLOW – HAPPINESS

  • I’m happy to be alive after an intense labour.
  • I’m happy to live in a country where there are medical professionals, safe streets, and maternity wards with queen sized beds.
  • I’m happy to have a husband who tries the best he can to be supportive even though his job is demanding and stressful.
  • I’m happy to have a boy and a girl, now that my career in child bearing is officially over.
  • I’m happy that I get to experience motherhood, and co-captain what I hope will be one kick arse team.
  • I’m happy that I can now say with complete disregard to what anyone else thinks…. My name is Cindy, and I’m a control freak!
  • I’m happy that Cadbury Crème eggs are for sale in store at the same time I happen to be stuck mostly at home with a new baby and not much to do. If this is not a sign from the universe telling me to go for it, I don’t know what is. Incidentally – check the colours out on a crème egg wrapper: red, yellow and purple. Love. Happiness. And Frustration that it will essentially make me fatter.

 GREEN – ENVY & JEALOUSY

  • I’m jealous of anyone currently shimmying their bony ass into some exquisitely sexy lingerie.
  • I’m jealous of anyone going to see Black Swan at the cinema.
  • I’m jealous of women who LOVE breast feeding. Kind of. I think.
  • I’m jealous of any 23 year old girls currently getting tizzied up for a night out on the dance floor. Actually, to you I say this: Give it all you’ve got, shake that booty, pump it, pump it nice and hard… because one day your arse won’t be sitting so high, your jugs will be getting ogled at for something other than sexual gratification and eye-shadow will be something you used to remember wearing.
  • I’m jealous of all men. You’ll never truly know. Lucky you.
  • I’m jealous of anyone who has their mojo back 2 days after giving birth. You know – those yummy mummy types who hit the pavement running without so much as an “ooh, that kind of hurt.. I want to go home now, and look in the fridge.”
  • I’m jealous of anyone who gets to play opposite Ryan Reynolds as a love interest. That has nothing to do with having a baby, but I thought I’d throw that one in there because it’s something I think about a lot.

 BLUE – SADNESS

  • I’m sad that I currently have a wound resembling Heath Ledger’s mouth as ‘The Joker’ in Batman Returns’ right across my stomach.
  • I’m sad, and am grieving over the possible permanent loss of my obliques
  • I was sad every night in hospital when I had to say goodbye to my 2 year old when I just wanted to leave with her.
  • I’m sad that my labour made my doctor worry so much, and that the midwife who was there has to have counselling
  • I’m sad that my own family aren’t closer, and that most won’t get to see him til he’s nearly one.
  • I’m sad when I think that my daughter might feel neglected and unloved by me when I show the baby too much attention.
  • I’m sad when I think about babies who are still born or sick or injured; or mothers who die without getting to watch their babies grow; or women who for whatever reason can’t have babies.

 INDIGO (purple) – FRUSTRATION

  • I’m frustrated that he annihilated my nipples in the first 3 days. No more titty for you little guy! Actually I’m frustrated and perplexed my own internal argument for and against this ‘natural’ violation of my pink bits.
  • I’m frustrated that I feel weak, impotent and out of control.
  • I’m frustrated that I’m sleepy and can’t afford a live in nanny, cleaner, driver, and chef.
  • I’m frustrated that shopping is now a team sport with other players on the field to consider.
  • I’m frustrated that I still look 6 months pregnant, can’t wear all my clothes, have kankles AND my fingernails are all breaking.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t leave the house because 2 children, stormy weather and who knows how many stitches don’t mix.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t make him burp, so the belly bubble becomes a fart – and that usually means screaming. Aaarrgh!

VIOLET – CALM & IN CONTROL

  • I feel calm and in control when both rugrats are asleep.
  • I’m calm with an open jar of Nutella and a spoon on my lap.
  • I feel in control now that I have mastered the delicate art of cleaning poop off and around testicles. Just think of a ball sac: It’s wrinkly and little bits of poo get caught in the crevices… And you’re doing it one handed because the other hand is holding the feet out of the mess. It’s a tricky feat but I’m proud to say mission accomplished! Also – add to that I have an almost 2 week old boy and have not been pissed on yet. Totally in control y’all.
  • I’m calm when I’m sitting here typing. It’s the best feeling in the world writing down stuff that although nobody may read, or may read and skip and say to themselves…. Geez that girl waffles… makes me feel better. And it’s far more effective than venting to my husband who doesn’t always get it.
  • I feel in control when I’m shopping. Even if it’s just for groceries. It’s funny because whenever I’m anywhere near any kind of shop – I’m actually TOTALLY out of control, but it doesn’t feel like that – especially when the baby is asleep and the 2 year old is being compliant.
  • I’m calm when it’s just me and the little guy, having our own little conversation – him staring up and me, no doubt thinking I have got to be the most beautiful, gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Me thinking he is definitely the most beautiful, gorgeous baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • I feel in control when there is silence.  Sound waves of nothingness making their way to my ears. Oh what rapture fills my bosom!  It’s as if I turned off the sound on the remote that controls every noise in the universe.

Of course not every new mother has these feelings. I’m intense, sentimental and passionate. And maybe a bit of a drama queen…. so for me – the new baby thing is a little bit of a chore, so in-between some lovely cuddles and precious moments…. basically I’m mothering a beautiful, sweet, innocent, precious little slug. 

Bring on the 6 month old!

My looming date with my obstetrician.

Last Friday night I was sure I was experiencing the early signs of labour. I’d been feeling tight uncomfortable squeezes on my tummy that felt like contractions. It turns out that’s also what happens when you eat a ginormous bowl of creamy pasta covered in cheese followed by practically half a chocolate pavlova loaded with whipped cream and berries.

I was officially due on Friday, so I was thinking there was a possibility. And I was ready. My bag had been packed and I had spent all of the previous week preparing (as you do) for the arrival of my new baby.

Wait.

Back the pram up and let me re-phrase that….

I have spent the last week preparing for a date with my obstetrician.

You know when you have a hot date or special occasion with someone and you make sure every last part of you is groomed and plucked and primed? That’s me right now.

This last week I’ve been waxed, coloured, filed, cut, scrubbed, polished, and painted. I’m like a frickin used car for sale. I’ve even gone out and purchased new scented body washes, moisturisers, oils and knickers… highly anxious that physically – I might not be ready in time for this date.

So yes, my doctor and I have been seeing each other for about 7 months. Just lately we’ve really hit it off. Our time together and our conversations have been much more intense.  I can see that he’s really starting to care from all the questions he’s been asking me. But last week when I was with him, the last thing he said to me was: Well, I’ll see you whenever!

Huh? Noooo! We always make a time. Oh. It’s because…. Riiiight!

This thing we have going is winding down. He only plans on seeing me a couple more times and then it will all be over and he’ll be out of my life forever. But like all relationships, he won’t officially end it until he’s seen me at my absolute worst.

On our next date, he will see me in a way he’s not yet seen me. I know because I’ve been on this kind of date with an obstetrician before.  He will look at me in ways I’ve never been looked at before. He has a tendency to bring out the worst in women, turning them into ferocious scruffy beasts. So if this is how it will end…..

Shouldn’t I at least TRY to be looking my best?

I realise not every girl feels this way before she’s about to give birth. Some women don’t see the same doctor for the duration of their pregnancy and therefore, have not formed close trusting bonds of respect and admiration. Many are overwhelmed with the excitement of their pending arrival.

I’m not. I’ve done it before and I know what’s coming and it‘s not pretty.

Labour is often long, arduous and painful. It’s actually nothing like a real date. It’s uncomfortable, it’s unpleasant, and the only ‘action’ you get at the end of it is a baby biting down with its gums and quite possibly ruining forever sucking your boobies.

Essentially, child birth is icky, mucky, bloody, sweaty, pukey, and primeval. It’s ugly and it’s wild. So wouldn’t spending time and money on ‘getting pretty’ be considered a waste?

Probably but here’s my theory in romantic prose:

(WARNING: Not only is this ridiculous, it’s quite graphic in places – just like most child birth stories)

It’s early evening and the sunset outside is resembling that night on the Maldives where the sky took my breath away. Too bad I’m indoors. The midwives, the obstetrician… they have all been and gone countless times. All of them with the sole intention of taking a look beneath the velvet folds. Thank goodness I am lady-scaped.

But this time is different.

The looks have gone from interested in what they see, to intensely focussed gazes. Except for my husband who looks intrigued, excited and mildy entertained.

My legs are spread eagle, my hands are gripping the sides of the hospital bed. My teeth are clenched. My hair is a matt of sweaty bedraggled wisps framing my face, which is now screwed up so tightly that every wrinkle and imperfection is exposed. And there’s a good chance the veins are popping out of my entire body.

Did I mention, I’m wearing a sexy pale blue and white pin-striped backless number?

I pause for a moment with thoughts of tenacity before pressing my lips together. At that precise moment he; my obstetrician, readjusts his spectacles and quickly glances sideways.

He notices my perfectly manicured feet; my smooth slightly tanned moisturised legs. The expression he wears is unmistakably synonymous with enough time to pour a glass of what little he had left of the bottle of 1958 Glen Garioch.

Pleasantly surprised, his eyes glance upwards towards mine, but only to tell me to push.

Finally, after procuring what everyone is calling a head, I take a long, slow purposeful breath. He acknowledges the peppermint scent with a smile, and sees that despite the messy flock of golden chestnut locks, my hair is shiny, healthy and beautiful. I attempt to smile back; as much as one can when in this state – my white bleach enhanced smile.

Then in what only takes a moment, his eyes wander to my face with intrigue. Is that mascara? He wonders…. Her eyes are totally popping! True. I had made sure the mono-brow had been made obsolete, and had taken great care to at least open my eyes up with a little black water-resistant Lancome magic.

There was still work to do. With an oddly peaceful demeanor now, my hands grasp my kneecaps ready for the end. As I do, the midwives exchange expressions that I can only assume are loaded with respect. They have noticed the French polished gems on the end of my hands and know I’m hardcore.

The intensity (and my disheveled appearance) worsens until the moment another human being enters the room. No, not from the door. The voices in the room are filled with relief and acclamation, but my obstetricians face is nowhere to be seen. Then he turns to me, needle and thread in one bloodied glove, hemorrhoid cream in the other.  This is not how I envisaged our date ending!

And then – it’s over. The room; once filled with coaxing adulation is now quiet. He’s gone now.

My obstetrician has vanished. And so has my dignity! How could either still be present after what had just happened?

But my hands and feet and face remained in top form. My legs are still silky smooth. A quick wipe of the brow followed by a much rehearsed maneuver of the hair and I would be once again perfectly coiffed and presentable.

Plus – the pants I was about to put on were superbly stylish yet comfortable.

‘Ahhh well,’ I think to myself…  ‘it would never have worked out anyway.’

There’s a Baby-Boy-Bun in my oven. Try making THAT on MasterChef!

Perhaps you’ve heard me mention, but I’m pregnant. With child. A masculine child. While nurturing a male son within one’s womb is not at all uncommon, it is for me. My only experience with pregnancy and motherhood so far has been to bear the fruit of my loins with a feminine child. A girl. Feminine fruits. Like strawberries and peaches and pears. Goddess fruits.

I don’t know what kind of masculine fruit my loins are currently bearing. Bananas? Pineapples? Maybe my new son will come out wearing a Hawaiian shirt?

Here’s my issue. And before you start referring me to your shrink, please understand that I KNOW these thoughts aren’t normal. I KNOW it makes me a sure fire candidate for Freudian studies and his theory of ‘Penis Envy,’ and I KNOW it will pass the second that I hold my little baby boy in my arms, upon which time he will no doubt slip into my heart – where my issue will cease to exist.

However – I am utterly grossed out by the fact that within me now, INSIDE my stomach floating around in there… is a penis. And a ball sac. Even typing it is making me freak out a bit.

It might sound peculiar, given that OBVIOUSLY for a baby of ANY gender to be inside my stomach right now, there had to have been both a penis and a ball sac’s participation. But please understand this is something I associate to a man. Imagine giving birth to a baby boy with a five o’clock shadow. For me it’s the same thing.   

I am actually thrilled to be having a boy. I already have a girl and so although it means parting with some precious pink pieces; it’s nice to have one of each.

Like tiramisu one day and chocolate brownie the next. I would never NOT love another piece of tiramisu, but fudge brownie is something different. A whole new experience. Even if the tiramisu tasted different because it was made with a different recipe, it’s still tiramisu. Chocolate brownie has different ingredients and involves different methods of preparation. Different baking requirements.

And that is true. This time around the bun in the oven has required VERY different preparation.

I’d like to say that for me – making this baby boy has been like attempting to make polenta crusted spatchcock with a green olive, fennel and parsley salsa, followed by twice cooked sticky fig pudding with homemade nougat gelato.

It’s exhausting, messy, tiresome, and throughout the process which seems to take FOREVER, you’re so starving, you end up scoffing a packet of Violet Crumbles instead.

I won’t get too scientific on you all, but there have been studies that prove there are genuine differences in the X and Y chromosomes and their effect on the pregnant mother. 

And while we’re on the subject of science, how about this for added pressure? It’s not enough that I can’t eat King Island double cream brie, or freshly shucked oysters with sea salt and lime, or sashimi, or McDonalds Oreo McFlurrys… or a million other delicious things….

I also need to steer clear of the chemicals phthalates and Bisphenol A, found commonly in plastic products, drinking water, cosmetics and household dust.

Why? Oh because exposure to both chemicals during pregnancy can result in changes to your baby boy’s genitals; like un-descended testicles and smaller penises.  And I sooo don’t want to be responsible for that!

I mean if they have to be inside of me growing – at least let them be decent and normal. Making a penis is strange enough already without having to think about the possibility that the one I’m making is deformed.

So anyway, like I said this is surely not normal thinking. I’m positive I have issues, but know that once he’s out, I will adore him and my ONLY issues will be cleaning poo off all the appendages and avoiding wee in my face. Oh, and shopping for blue stuff.

Let me leave you with a poem I grew up with which happened to traumatise me beyond repair until I turned 12. The author of this was clearly a very bitter and twisted animal/man hater who had a penchant for nutmeg and cinnamon type things. Like fruit mince pies.

What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails and puppy dogs tails.
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice.

I really, really love my hair!

When hair is in the shower drain, it’s revolting. When hair is in your feta-cheese-and-marinated-pumpkin panini, it’s downright vomitous. When hair is on your bikini-line, it’s been a while between boyfriends. But when hair is YOUR OWN HEAD, it’s NON-STOP FOLLICULAR DRAMA. If you’re a girl, that is.

Guys seem not to care, unless they’re bald, in which case any reference to hair is usually HILARIOUS to everyone else, and secretly sad for them. Particularly when it’s their partner asking them to look again at the pillow case and see all the hairs that fell out over night.

Welcome, coiffure comrades to the Cyclone Cindy post inspired by Britney Spears, Willow Smith, The Little Mermaid, Sesame Street, and a $50,000 defamation law suit, where we learn to love our hair.

Not too many people can openly and proudly announce: I love my hair. Except for Shane Warne. I have complained about my hair for most of my life. And in my adult years, I have attempted to hide the REAL Cindy Hair. The hair that -yes. Looks as though I just walked in from the centre of a cyclone.

My everyday hair

But I’m tired of tying my hair back in a fashion that makes me look as though I’m about to leap onto a gently moonlit stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Or start casually, yet oh so sophisticatingly side-step with guitar in hand to a Robert Palmer song. The slick-back-bun days are over. As is the Alice in Wonderland (Oh, I’m just wearing this headband to cover the grey roots) look… which I totally rock when my hair is really straight, by the way. Which isn’t very often.

Yep, I am over the days of hiding behind my unruly locks. I will embrace the frizz by nurturing each and every wiry strand with the humidity and heat in which I dwell. I will shun the blow dryer and the GHD. (Which incidentally stands for Girls Hates Dreadlocks.)

Instead I’ll start experimenting with a little product and a lot of self love. I will embrace more of the brave hearted lion, and less of Dorothy’s perfect pigtails. And I’ve based this decision on decades of personal research. Good hair days. Bad hair days. Hair trends and hair philosophies. Celebrity hair. Cartoon hair. Puppet Hair. And hair that costs a fortune.

Let’s start with Celebrity Hair and Britney Spears.

She has inspired me on so many levels. Mainly for one reason though. SHE DOESN’T CARE. She’s one of the world’s richest entertainers, and yet you often see her with her hair floppily tied back in an un-kept ponytail. She shuns people like Ken Paves and secretly laughs behind Jennifer Aniston’s perfectly manicured locks. “What a waste,” chuckles Britney to herself. “That money could be spent on new Ugg boots.” She even went so far as to get rid of it. ALL of it. A woman who can shave her head for no other reason than to tell the world… “You wanna piece of me? Here – have some blonde hair and black roots!” is a champion in my opinion.

Willow Smith

Daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett, this somewhat talented and spoilt confident little nine year old felt so strongly about wearing her hair how she wants, she recorded a song all about it. Sony have yet to release it, but I saw a sneak peak and she’s whippin’ that hair all over the place. It’s wild and wonderful. The song is called Whip It, and she really can. Probably not what any mother of a nine year old girl wants to hear, but Rihanna: Eat your heart out.

The Little Mermaid

The first ranga Disney Princes sure has gorgeous hair right? I would trade colours to have that kind of hair. And that’s my point. Loving your hair is not just about the style. The follicular fate with which one is born goes much deeper than style alone. Colour is what people notice and I happen to believe that gingers get a rough deal. There are plenty of beautiful red heads. Ok, so my daughter is one of them, but I sincerely love it. And I love being told by at least 3 strangers a day what beautiful hair she has. Because it is. And she does. And thank goodness for Ariel.

Sesame Street

No words required here. Instead I will show you a clip I watched. Remarkable how a puppet can explain better than anyone the simple concept of loving what you have and using it.

 

My defamation lawsuit.

I’ve been hesitant to ever mention this as the published word, but I am going to be very careful here. Some years ago prior to my wedding, I decided it was best to grow out most of the layers in my hair in order to have hair options for my wedding day. I wasn’t sure what dress I would end up wearing and if I had chosen a turtle neck dress, the hair would have HAD to be up. I didn’t but… a girl can never be too prepared for such things.

Following my wedding and honey moon I moved to Darwin. A hot humid town with a tropical climate. Weary of the frizz factor I asked the hairdresser for some layering around the face, but nothing too short as my curly hair gets worse in the wet. I’ll spare the graphic details, but I walked out with a mullet. Like the posh spice hair style that was popular a few years back, but with a long piece hanging down the back beneath it all.

Tragic is an understatement. My new husband who rarely comments let alone notices my hair, pulled a face that said it all. So after 2 emails and about 5 phone calls to the salon later, and not even an attempt to make contact with me to apologise or rectify the appalling haircut… I actually did nothing.

I went to Sydney where my old hairdresser said, “WHO did this to you?” and proceeded to fix it by chopping it all off at my shoulders. Then I fell pregnant and happy hormones and the wonders of prenatal vitamins took hold. My hair grew fast and I forgot all about it.

THEN – one day after the baby was born, and I was feeling particularly depressed with whole concept of expressing milk and my newfound Dairy Farmers membership and feeling very much like a Jersey Cow, I remembered the feeling of loss. Hair loss. Un-natural hair loss. (At least baldness happens gradually). So I did what any self respecting 35 year old woman would do, and started a group on facebook.

Hello trouble!

Word got around and before you know it, my NEW hairdresser was telling ME about this girl who got sued for publishing that she had been BUTCHERED. Haha. That was me. And then the scissors dropped.

If only I’d seen the Sesame Street clip sooner. I had been very attached to my Versace hair. (I prefer the term Versace to Nanny Fine). Instead I took what small amount of vengeance I could muster in such a situation and screwed up worse than my hairdresser did.

Now I look back at those shorter hair days and think it looks ok. Even pretty good here. (Shame about those Christmas bauble earrings). In fact most days I think my hair looks pretty good, provided it’s been washed less than 2 weeks ago.  So I’m going to say it now even though I don’t fully believe it yet. But I really, really love my hair!

I cut myself shaving… and my legs look FAAAABULOUS!

 

Okay so we’ve vajazzled our va-jay-jays, bejazzled our butt cracks (yep, failed to post on that one but yes – you can), and apparently (not to be sexist) men can now ‘penazzle’ – which is something I just NEVER want to see. I mean has any bloke yet to be penazzled? Because I would like to meet the brave soul willing to make sparkling history for all mankind…

bajazzled butt cracks

Actually it seems that lately, wherever there’s flesh, what the heck – BLING IT ON!

Because now fashion designer Cynthia Rowley has designed bling for boo-boo’s. She worked closely with Johnson and Johnson to create the sparkly bandaids for charity. Well kind of charity. $1 from proceeds (they cost $10 a tin) actually go to ‘Design Ignites Change,’  an organisation engaging high school and college students with design and architecture specific to social issues in local communities.

Regardless of the purpose behind these… I want some.

I’ll admit I thought the leather look bandaids were a bit erch…  Unless you’re cutting your wrists, in my opinion they would look out of place. Who wants leather look patches on their ankles or fingers or knees?  Same goes for the Louis Vuitton bandaids – Oh Yes. I’m super rich and successful because look! My Bandaids are designer! And then you’ve got your Twilight Eclipse brand of bandaids, for those annoying times when your vampire boyfriend can’t keep his teeth to himself!

 

But the Dress Up Bandaids would look good on any body part. But there’s a good chance you’re thinking right now, Why bother – who cares about bandaids?

Maybe I’m clumsy but I tend to require the use of a bandaid often. Whether it’s for a blister from wearing heels, paper cuts, cutting up onion cuts, shaving cuts, etc… I do use them. But they’re ugly.

You know clear bandaids, the ones you supposedly can’t see? They’re very visible. And the skin-tone ones never match your skin exactly. It was once even said that bandaids were racist because they were all made for Caucasian skin tones. Bandaid makers corrected that and made an array of shades, which I’m guessing are still way off.

There is the common belief that it’s best to let a wound ‘dry out’ in order to heal. But cuts and scrapes can become contaminated with dirt and germs. Bandaids protect the wound from water, dirt, other nasties that can cause infection, thereby helping to promote faster healing.

So now that we know bandaids are actually useful, unless they’re floating randomly in a swimming pool, or inside your chicken and avocado sandwich – in which case they’re just revolting, wouldn’t you rather wear bandaids that feature designs like strips of sequins, gold chains, lace and sparkling jewels? Like these?

HURT COUTURE – yes indeed!
So tell me…. What do you think of these?

Mean Girls (Darwin Life Magazine)

(As seen in August 2010 Darwin Life Magazine)

It was comedian Chris Rock who said: Women would rule the world if they didn’t hate each other! Funny? Unfortunately though, it’s true!

We’ve all spent time in the bitch arena. I’m guilty of spending actual years in that arena. Not proud of that – but you know why? Aside from PMS (some guys think this is just an excuse to be horrible, but to them I say – You try having a blood nose every single month… you’d be snarky too!) But we are also mean and bitchy sometimes because being a bitch can sometimes actually be fun.

Not a very PC thing to say but true. If it wasn’t fun, there would be no bitches, and then what would Akon or Eminem or Dr Dre sing about?  Plus, we LOVE bitches.  Just think Alexis Carrington in Dynasty, Amanda Woodward in Melrose Place, Blair in Gossip Girl and Sue Sylvester in Glee.

         

         

So Darwin’s social season is almost done for 2010. Have you been a Mean Girl?

I usually make verbal observations like:

  • That girl didn’t apply her makeup – she snorted it!
  • Oh look, mutton dressed as hooker!
  • Who applied her fake tan – Pro Hart?
  • Her head looks like a footy after a Grand Final!
  • I’m not usually fluent in skank, but that girl’s boobies are saying, Look at me!
  • She spent $75 on a Brazilian wax and is dying to show it off!

But I’ve decided that for these comments; I need a stiletto rammed firmly up my butt.

Because last month I overheard some young girls call another little girl nasty names. At the time I thought how in a few years, these little pigtailed princesses will morph into eye-rolling, gossiping, ostracising, sarcastic, dismissive, cliquish, embroiled in classic school style bitchery of adolescent female social politics – bitches.

Then a few days later I overheard a woman in a clothing store explaining that she wasn’t attending Ladies Day because of Mean Girls, saying she’d rather wait until Cup Day where judging eyes weren’t burning a hole in her hatinator.

Unfortunately, I know of women who would rather sit in a bath full of cockroaches than enter a Ladies Day marquee. Are there really that many whoreses on track? So I’m left wondering: Are women doomed to be bitches forever?

I turned to Google for answers. I clicked on a link titled Nasty Bitches. HUGE mistake. Because by bitch; I did NOT mean ‘semi naked college skank being $2 whore in front of camera-man.’  Ugh! I need to scrub my retinas with oven cleaner after that.

I eventually got answers. Apparently girls bitch because we have superior social intelligence but worry about rejection. We’ve learnt that society judges us harshly, so we make a pre-emptive strike and get our own judgments in first, attempting to maintain our position in the hierarchy of prettiness and popularity.

Fortunately, there are women who aren’t horrible.  But to those seasoned players like myself, I say drop your wordy weapons of mass reduction; (it only makes you less than you are). And to victims of the Mean Girl, I say put up your bitch shield, and remember that Life’s a Bitch! And guess what? Life actually has many sons as well!

Does my bum look big in these runners?

I have a big bum. It’s not one of those freaky ‘Kim Kardashian Out-Of-Proportion With The Rest Of My Body’ bums. No. Because my thighs are fairly chunky too.  But I am one of those girls who was delighted when J-Lo became Sexiest Woman Alive, and then Beyonce. Because somehow it validated my booty. It was bigger than I wanted, but that was ok, because big butts were the new black.

                   

Over the last decade, the Ladies of the Big Bottom Brigade have been revelling in their additional centimetres, singing in perfect unison to the tune of “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”

But to be honest, it had seemed to me that lately, bottoms of presence were becoming a dying trend. That over accentuated arses were losing appeal and that despite girls like Kim K, girls like Megan Fox were dominating  the ‘Sexiest Women’ lists meaning… big bums were not just out there, they were out!

So when I saw this ad for Nike, I won’t lie. I did a little happy dance. Maybe if you’re one of those wiry, slender little coat hanger types with a butt that resembles 2 perfectly formed little hamburger patties rather than 2 big Christmas hams…. Then this ad will do nothing for you.

 

In advertising terms, this ad is seriously good. Not just because girls like me go, “Oh, that’s cool… they’re not using a typical woman with a body like a marathon runner in their ads. She’s normal like me….”

The brilliance goes way beyond that.  Because often girls like me are a bit self conscious at the gym. We want to go but feel like we don’t really belong. We want to put on our runners and go for a brisk walk/jog/run/walk/jog/pant pant pant… walk, but we feel like we’re not fit enough, and it probably won’t do anything anyway, and what if someone is behind me and can see my but jiggle.

This ad makes me relate. And once I relate, I feel like I can be that girl. Exercise like that girl. And to be that Nike ad girl, I need the Nike shoes.

And butts aren’t the only thing… They’ve done versions for legs, knees, hips and shoulders that go as follows:

LEGS
My legs
were once two hairy sticks
that weren’t very good at jump rope
but by the time I reached the age of algebra
they had come into their own
and now in spin class
they are revered
envied for their strength
Honoured for tier beauty
hairless for the most part
except that place the razor misses
just behind the ankles.
Just do it.



THIGHS
I have
thunder thighs
and that’s a compliment
because they are strong
and toned
and muscular
and though they are unwelcome
in the petite section
they are cheered on in marathons
fifty years from now
I’ll bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs
and then I’ll go out for a run.
Just do it

(See I don’t know about you – if you’re a girl that is…. But the copy in that thunder thigh ad gives me goose bumps. It makes me so proud that when I go shopping for knee length boots I can’t find any that will actually zip up because my calves are so huge… Because if I’m honest, I know a lot of the bulk in my calves is strength. And as much as I will always crave legs like Jen A… It’s still all good.)

KNEES
my knees
are tomboys
they get bruised and cut
every time I play soccer
I’m proud of them and
wear my dresses short
my mother worries
I will never marry
with knees like that
but I know
there’s someone out there
that will say to me
I love you
and I love your knees
I want the four of us
to grow old together.
Just do it

 

SHOULDERS
My shoulders
aren’t dainty
or proportional to my hips
some say they are like a man’s
I say leave men out of it
they are mine
I made them in 
a swimming pool
then I went to yoga
and made my arms.
Just do it

 

HIPS
my hips
return to puberty
when I’m in dance class
music affects them like hormones
making them crazy
and spontaneous
and optimistic
and prone to drama
and I don’t understand them
and sometimes they
don’t understand themselves
when the music stops
they’re still charged
don’t touch me
sparks will fly.
Just do it

So I think they’ve covered pretty much every insecurity known to women and their body parts. And this is why the ads should work.

I wish more products aimed at women would be this good. Because most of us are realistic. Exercise won’t give you Jennifer Aniston’s legs if it’s not in your DNA. Nike aren’t trying to seduce us with false hopes and unrealistic expectations. (Wear our runners and look like this.) The ads appeal to us because we relate.

Now can the creative mind who designed these ads please go and speak to the people at Pantene Hair products. Because seriously… AS IF!

Chicks who kick butt!

There was quite the brew-ha-ha in the media this morning (and on Q&A on ABC last night) about the fact that Julia Gillard, our new PM is a woman. There were discussions about her suitability as a role model, given that she lives defacto with her partner and has no children, and also whether the fact that she is female will determine the polls come election time.

Our new Prime Minister is a woman. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does! The whole discussion got me thinking about female role models.  Who decides what makes an appropriate role model.  What attributes must a woman possess to be deemed role model material. In a way, although I disagree politically on many issues with Julia, I think she is a good role model for young girls. I mean, she keeps her clothes on which is a change…

The discussions in the media this morning were in response to a column written, saying that Julia may give young girls the impression that it’s ok to live with their partner, if they ultimately wish to be married and have children.

Here are some excerpts from Bettina Arndt’s column today in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Shacking up is hard to do: Why Gillard may be leery of the Lodge

Living as a de facto with her partner may suit Julia Gillard, but does that make her a good role model for others? …….

It’s fine for Gillard – a 48-year-old woman – to live with her bloke. Yet as a popular role model for women, her lifestyle choice may influence other women into making big mistakes about their lives…..

Cohabitation produces two groups of losers among women and children. Most women want to have children – Gillard is an exception – and some miss out after wasting their primary reproductive years in a succession of live-in relationships that look hopeful but go nowhere, leaving them childless and partnerless as they hit 40.

It’s the women who end up stranded when they spend years in a succession of de facto relationships waiting for Mr Not Ready or Mr Maybe to make up his mind……

If Gillard chooses to play house in the Lodge, this choice sends a strong message to the huge numbers of women who rightly admire her and seek to follow her example. A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

I think this journo is utterly discrediting the intelligence of many young women. Julia is a role model not because of her personal relationship choices. She is a role model because of her abilities, her talents, and her ambition to occupy Australia’s top job.  Girls know that. Don’t they?

The glass ceiling may not be broken, but it’s certainly cracked, and it’s been done by women LONG before Julia’s time. Many of whom have chosen marriage and children, and career. It can be done, and it astounds me that a journalist in 2010 is suggesting that if Julia Gillard were married with children, she may not be where she is now.

We are inundated with images of women in the media and through popular culture. Women who millions of young girls look up to and aspire to be like. Women who are shown to us as having little substance, some talent, but most importantly – bucket loads of beauty.

It scares me to think how many girls look to Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus as role models. Or heroines like Bella from Twilight. Talented and beautiful they may be – but what do they represent?

My main role model growing up was Madonna. She kind of lost me at her Sex book, but prior to that I saw a woman who wanted to rule the world, a woman who grew up motherless, used her ambition and determination and limited talent, and turned it into an enterprise.  In retrospect, I see that she changed women’s sexuality. Using male sub-culture, she created a woman who was sex object and sex subject at the same time, allowing women to feel more powerful and in charge of their own sexuality.

I also looked up to Princess Diana. Mainly I just liked watching her in all those outfits and hats. But also she was graceful, dignified, and charitable.

Now I admire a different kind of woman altogether, but this morning as I thought about role models, and how refreshing it is to see a woman with clothes on being celebrated in the media for her achievements, I reflected on some other female role models in pop culture.  Women/girls whose sexuality or beauty comes second to their excellence, and their ability to kick butt.

I’ve made a list, because as you may have worked out by now, I love making lists.

               

  • Princess Fiona from Shrek

She chose to sacrifice her fairy-tale looks for love, challenging our cartoon cut-out Cinderella-style expectations of a princess who lives Happily Ever After. She’s a romantic at heart, but determined, strong, spirited and seriously awesome.

  • Beatrix Kiddo / The Black Mumba from Kill Bill

She abandons her life as a hired assassin when she realises she’s pregnant with Bill’s (head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) child, denying him the right of fatherhood, in order to protect her unborn child. This action provokes the attacks on her leaving her in a coma. Upon waking from her 4 year sleep, she makes calculated plans to get revenge, proving that one lone woman can be more powerful and possess more testicular fortitude than some of the world’s baddest bad guys.

  • Anne Shirley

Am I the only one who remembers Anne of Green Gables? Her fiery, red-haired temperament and academic excellence, combined with her accident prone good intentions and drama queen tendencies intrigued boy-about-town Gilbert Blythe. But she would not be wooed by his tall, dark and handsome looks. Literature was her passion. Bold was her middle name. And she would sacrifice even love to follow her dreams, although love was eventually hers.

  • Hermione Granger

Here’s a girl with back bone. She’s a mud-blood in a wizard’s world, but that doesn’t get her down.  She’s studious, hard working, and knows her spells better than anyone so rather than copping it on the chin, she wields her wand at those who would bring her down and zaps them into subjects of pity. She’s courageous, loyal and undaunted by some of the underworld’s nastiest creatures.  I like her.

 

So there’s my list. In a world of botoxed, buxom, bootilicious beauties…. It’s nice to know there are some who can still be ultra-cool and clever without getting all their gear off.  No, Ms Gillard wasn’t on the list. She may be a role model for some which is great – but not for me personally. Not to say I’m not backing the carrot tops. There’s 2 out of 4 on my list that are red heads.

So who would make your list?

I have NOTHING to wear.

Dear Wardrobe,
We need to talk. I think I’m going to have to break up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry. I’ve changed. Thanks for the memories; the good times, the tragic ones, oh, and the sparkles.
Love, Cindy

Are you Ensemble-y challenged? Do you ever stand in front of your wardrobe looking at the rows and rows and piles of clothes and say to yourself, I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!?”  Do you wish you could dial 000 and select ‘Fashion Emergency,’ and instead of an ambulance, a big truck full of clothes and shoes and accessories would reverse into your driveway to save your wardrobe dilemma?  I do, every time I have to go out. ‘Out’ out. Not just out to the shops.

I’ve always been a fairly conservative dresser, opting for classic pieces and block colours rather than full-on fashion fads and prints. However as fashion has come and gone, I’ve had those seasons that I tend to hold on tightly to. Like pointy shoes.  Am I the only one that still has pointy shoes? I don’t wear them, haven’t for years – but they’re still in such good nick, they’re almost too presh to chuck.

I’ve decided I face this common dilemma due to 3 main reasons:

  1. I really have changed. Some of those clothes just aren’t ‘me’ anymore.
  2. Because of the way I currently organise my wardrobe…. By colour.
  3. Because I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time of purchase.

So I’m going to break this down, and HOPE that my husband reads this eventually and understands why I need to go shopping for new clothes. He can’t comprehend how with all those clothes in there, I have a mini breakdown when I’m dressing to go out.

NUMBER 1 – I’ve changed.

To clarify what I mean by this: See this item.

It’s a backless SABA dress I bought in 2004. It also crosses over in the front, and those cross over bits aren’t stitched together. I bought it when I was going to the solarium 3-4 times a week. I had a tan. Now, the dress matches my skin. I also bought it before I had a baby, which means my inner thigh areas were free of spider veins. Since this dress is backless, you really need to go braless. (I so don’t feel comfortable doing the whole show your bra strap thing that Carrie from Sex and the City does). So – braless in a silk dress means you have to have exceptionally pert boobies. Check. Oh wait, actually – no. Sometimes I forget and look down and remember that after breastfeeding a baby for 8 months, my tay-tays now resemble 2 fairly small sandbags.

(I know right? I sound SUPER attractive!)

The dress is not the only item in my wardrobe that I would never be seen dead in. (Incidentally – what WOULD you wear to your own funeral. I’m thinking that when I get old I need to shop for that, and then include that info in my will…)

There are a pile of clothing items that I just can’t rock anymore. Polka dot string bikini. Floral mini dress.  Mulit-coloured belt with red sparkly strawberry buckle, (actually anything bearing little pieces of fruit), short shorts, short denim vests, anything that requires Hollywood tape, corset tops, anything see through, anything sequined. Etc… etc… etc… 

    

You see, when your lifestyle changes – your clothing requirements change. I don’t go out for dinner 4 times a week anymore. I don’t go dancing. I don’t go to launch nights and industry cocktail parties. I don’t work with corporate types anymore and I don’t have to attend big events that I organise. I’m lucky to get to a movie. So all my pretty, sparkly, glamorous gear just sits there in my cupboard, wasting away.

I find the clothes that I feel ‘at home’ in are those that are a little more conservative, and comfortable. Clothes that look good with flat shoes, clothes that allow me do a squat so I can pick up my daughter with my bag over my shoulder, keys in my hand while carrying 4 bags of shopping. That’s my life now. Boring? A little some days, so it’s only natural that my outfits are too.

Capri-length pants and jeans, and knee length shorts and skirts are practically my uniform, with fitted T’s. Yep. That’s me.

 I realise leggings would totally suit my lifestyle – but really, you’ve got to wear tops that are long enough to …… how do I say this ….. graze the vadge? Most of mine are hip length.

NUMBER 2 – Wardrobe Organisation

Currently my clothing is arranged by colour. I started doing this because I realised I’d be getting ready for work and think to myself, I need that red top. I’d look inside, pull out something red and discover it was not the top I was after. I’d repeat that a few times, til I found the top I wanted.  I figured if the clothes were colour coded, it would simply be a matter of referring to the red pile, and leafing through the selection. No rummaging required.

Here are some pics of my colour coded wardrobe

This worked really well for a long time.  Now I don’t care what colour shirt I wear. I care if it has a sleeve that won’t show my ‘in-need-of-a-wax’ underarms. I need a shirt that won’t show any food if my daughter decided to share at mealtime, I need a top that doesn’t need ironing because it’s a hot day and I’m in a hurry, I need a top that goes with these shoes, because these shoes are most comfortable….

SO what happens is some of my clothes get forgotten. There are some really great tops that I forget I own because they are sitting in a sea of tops the same colour. Whatever is closest to the top of the pile that will suit – is what I choose. The stuff at the top is the stuff that just got washed, because I wore it last week. Which means I keep repeating the same outfits.

This is why despite having many options in there – I wear the same 6 items all the time. Meanwhile, the poor dejected clothes at the bottom of the pile often don’t see the light of day for months on end.

NUMBER 3 – What was I thinking?

Depending on what mood I’m in when I shop, determines what I come home with. The best way to explain this is to show you some items I’ve purchased, and what was happening to me at the time.

I went shopping after watching SATC2 last week.

Given that the characters in that movie were dressed highly inappropriately for what they were doing… (yes, let me just slip on this Vintage Dior while I ice cupcakes, let me just wear an enormously huge balloon skirt to shop at a silk market….) The characters also looked as though they had raided the local fancy dress costume shop.

However, that didn’t stop me from watching the movie and yearning to have that kind of glamour and Middle Eastern inspired colours and styles in my wardrobe. So I was browsing through the shops last week, just looking of course, when… Oooh! Sparkles! Jewells! And I purchased these – hoping to fanci-fy myself up a bit.

 I may never wear this. Tag still on.

Other times I shop for a specific occasion, and because I’m desperate – walk away with something I don’t really love, or doesn’t even fit properly, so I wear it that one time, (or not at all) and next time I’m going out, remember that I didn’t actually love it and decide I can’t wear that because, well ech! Like this:

 

Above was worn once. Doesn’t fit. The red dress was purchased for races, but I changed my mind.

Then there’s the times you’re shopping and you’re in the change rooms and your child is in her pram and she’s emptying water all over the change room floor, and she’s whinging because really – she’s BORED out of her mind… and you just want to try her stuff on, and make a purchase so you can get out of there. So you make uncalculated decisions and walk away with items like this:

 I’ve never worn this.

Then there’s the time you’re overseas and you’ve got your Thailand Goggles firmly fastened. You’re having a whirlwind romance with Bargain Shopping, and you fall in love at first sight with some little treasure like this:

Finally – there’s the times you have the luxury of shopping child free – you’ve just been at the Day Spa and had an amazing facial, you’re feeling beautiful, and you feel like you want to heighten that mood totally, further indulging yourself because what the heck? You SO deserve it. So you wander into a shop feeling so free and alive, and you have a lovely little chat with the sales lady, and she’s so nice isn’t she? And you end up walking out with something like this:

Still has the tag on it. How old am I?

Meanwhile there is a HUGE pile of clothes I’m hoping to get rid of. There are at least 6 items that have never been worn. There are at least 10 items that cost over $250. There are at least 20 items with a designer label: Wayne Cooper, Alannah Hill, Morissey, Guess, Ralph Lauren, even Dolce & Gabanna.

What’s that you say? Bin them, or bag them up and dump them in the Salvo bin?

CHUCK OFF! That would be such a chucking waste!

I can’t be bothered with e-Bay. It’s hard enough doing this at the computer every day without having to check buyer’s bids every 10 minutes….

I wish I could do what Becky Bloomwood did in Confessions of a Shopaholic movie, and hire a big hall, and get all my stuff that is pretty and lovely, and sell it off – jumbo sale style.

Except that at the end, after Becky has sold everything except for that green scarf, and she auctions it off? Well I don’t have a green scarf.

I would auction off My Signature Jacket.

An item of clothing I haven’t worn since 1998. It’s Trent Nathan, and it cost me (back in 1995) $550. The sales lady had told me that Trent Nathan had purchased a whole lot of stuff off Chanel, and that the buttons on this jacket were actually designed by Chanel. I had it on layby for weeks and I should mention it was The Summer of Citrus Tones. Orange was the new black ok? I wore it for the first time to a 21st. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 4 years, and it was still messy. I had been invited to his sister-in-law’s party, and I was told the invitation still stood despite the breakup.

I needed to look amazing. I needed to look confident and happy. Like a girl who was getting on with her life and was full of bright prospects. It was perfect and on the way home my ex begged to kiss me goodbye. My head said yes. The jacket said no. The jacket had spoken.

Do you see why I cannot throw/give this away??

What about now?  

PLEASE NOTE: This photo was taken 15 mintues ago – SANS makeup. Anyway, I think I could still totally rock this and am convinced it’s going to come back in fashion with a FURY! 

And so, as I edit my wardrobe, and assess what new items I should buy and ACTUALLY wear I wonder how it will look in 20 years time, when my children are grown up and moved out, I’m back to eating out 4 times a week, but in other parts of the world where I’m currently travelling.

Do you think I’ll still need this?

Good grief, I hope not.