A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Tom Cruise.

Dear Tom.

You’re weird. You know that, right? Like – you make most people cringe so hard their skull falls into their rib cage.

I could end my letter right there because I really just wanted to join the chorus of those calling you a total nutter so Hollywood will sit up, listen and realise we don’t like seeing you on or off the screen. But there’s a part of me that wants to reach out to you Tom. It’s mostly pity. Sad pathetic pity. The kind you have for someone who just got dumped – 4 days before a monumental birthday.

So anyway today news broke that your divorce to Katie Homes was settled. You’re back on the market! That was fast!  But listen… before you go looking for the next Mrs Cruise – I need to tell you some other stuff, and in order to appeal to your ginormous ego, I’ve decided to write this letter in a way you’ll feel comfortable reading.. There are 8 facts. Just like there are 8 ‘Dynamics’ of Scientology.

Please consider this a community service and also somewhat of an intervention, where an unknown middle-aged scrag with a keyboard gives you said facts; then offers you some highly unsolicited advice which I strongly suggest you take if you don’t want to lose everything but your rank in the church.

(Disclaimer: for the purpose of this letter, putting the word “FACT” in front of a statement is the same as putting George Michael in bed with a girl in the Careless Whisper film clip)

FACT 1:

You turned 50 last week so Happy Birthday I guess. Anyway, acting roles for men in their 50’s and beyond are usually drama or comedy roles – something you’ve proven to be average at.  Roles that George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Anthony Hopkins, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Colin Firth pretty much have in the bag.  They’re all Oscar winners by the way Tom. A recognition that has eluded you throughout your 30 year career, despite your box office success in the action genre.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re not totally dried up. Any parts calling for a creepy, arrogant jerk are yours. Or Jim Carey’s.  Also – now that you’re 50, you’re a lot less likely to snag a 26 year old. The Desperate For Popularity Boost Actresses are now flocking to Johnny Depp.

MY ADVICE: Quit acting, change careers. Become an agent or something. Change your name to Jerry and remember the good old days when you used to get nominated.

FACT 2:

Everyone is calling you Mission Impossible. Because get it? That’s a movie series you’ve been in. And now they’re making it an omen for your relationships. I notice you got paid 70 million back in 1996 to play the role of Ethan Hunt. Impressive. You’re currently filming a movie called Oblivion… Right? OBLIVION! Is this an omen for your career? They’re paying you a meagre 5 mill Tom. What happened? Even Vanilla Skye; possibly the worst film ever made for Hollywood paid you 20 million. Has it occurred to you and your people that you are no longer bankable, a fact that has nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your freaky psychotic ramblings?

MY ADVICE: SHUT UP!

FACT3:

Apparently you’re fairly high up in terms of rank within the Scientology religion. That’s fine. I don’t know where John Travolta or Will Smith sit within the ranks, but why are they seemingly more balanced than you? Given this, I find it irresponsible to blame your religious beliefs for your weirdness. It’s your OBSESSION with your beliefs, combined with your urge to CONTROL all those around you to partake in the tutti fruit that is scientology.  Obsessions are ok I guess… John Travolta is obsessed with planes. Will Smith is obsessed with making his children more famous than him. I’m obsessed with nice handbags and writing letters to people who will never read them. Whatever. The point is Tom… your obsessions are made up words. Xenu? Weird mate.

MY ADVICE:  Get a hobby that doesn’t include discussing time travel, aliens that exist in human bodies and ANYTHING that blows your mind.

FACT 4 :

In the last week, the media have pointed out something freakier than your front teeth before you had major dental reconstruction.  And that is this: ALL YOUR WIVES GOT DIVORCED AT AGE 33.  Well known celebrity examiner Perez Hilton delved into some numerology which Scientology is apparently in to. Whatever!  Something about the flight of the phoenix and being free. The point is, regardless of who is filing for divorce, women who marry you realise at age 33 that they’re miserable and want a successful career. And BOY do they succeed. Cher – Oscar winner. Nicole Kidman – Oscar winner. Penelope Cruz – Oscar winner. Mimi Rogers won nothing from the academy because she won the Worst Decision Ever Award for introducing Scientology to their future leader.

What you should know is that even if you get married again, I doubt this kooky phenomenon will happen again because of Fact 1. You’re too high maintenance now. Your stocks have plummeted and the only person young and silly enough to recreate the phenomenon is Lindsay Lohan.

MY ADVICE: Find someone older than you. I think Jodie Foster is available. You guys have LOADS in common.

FACT 5:

Some people are saying you’re the next star to be cursed after filming Rock of Ages. Ie. Katie Holmes filing for divorce with you, Russel Brandt split with Katy Perry, Mary J Blige’s charity went broke, Alec Baldwin got a stalker…. I truly believe this film IS cursed. They filmed you writhing around on stage with no shirt on. OF COURSE it’s cursed.

Shut up, that IS a fact.

MY ADVICE: None sorry. It’s too late now. They should have cast someone else.

FACT 6:

Dawson’s Creek: The Reunion movie would be filming now if you didn’t forbid Katie from taking part. For this alone, millions are mad at you.

MY ADVICE: You need to personally fund all production fees associated with this project, and speak to whoever you have to ensure this gets off the ground. Will Joey run back to Dawson’s tender dorky arms, or will she remain helplessly in love under Pacey’s charming spell? These are questions we want answered Tom. SOON.

FACT 7:

Secrets! I think you have a few. Like why’d you divorce Nicole? Did she cheat? Did you?  What’s in the pre-nup with you and Katie? What don’t you want us to know that might come out if you fought for custody? Why has this divorce been over so quickly? Why did she even divorce you? Was she afraid?  IS it true you scared the hell out of Penelope? How come Katie gets primary custody of YOUR child? You ARE Tom Cruise!!

Honestly Tom! You’ll happily tell a journo to put his manners back in or discuss KSW, LRH, orgs and fighting the good fight…….but you won’t tell us the name of your boyfriend.

MY ADVICE: Nobody cares Tom.  Open the closet door already.

FACT 8:

I feel it’s important to tell you something that is IN FACT a fact. You used to be hot. Like even now you’re not THAT ugly. But creepy and hot are non-cohesive traits. I remember going to the movie cinema as a 13 year old girl with my friend, and lining up for what seemed like 45 minutes because it actually was 45 minutes – to watch Top Gun. My friend Megan was 14 and we were there for one reason. YOU!!

Not Val Kilmer. Not the aeroplanes. Not even all those men in uniform. It was all for you. I remember watching you (Maverick) leaning over the sink in your Y-fronts and clenching your jaw tightly after Goose died, anguished over his death and the parallels to the premature death of your own father.  It was a special moment. Not just in the movie’s story line, but also in MY story line. Seeing your jaw ripple? Something happened. I knew I was becoming a woman.

MY ADVICE:  None. You’re not that man anymore. Sorry about that. Your fault though.

Regards

Cyclone Cindy

PS. You’ve completely ruined the whole sliding-into-a-room-in-your-socks-and-underwear-while-singing-into-a-brush thing for all of us.

PPS. I have this idea for an adventure movie based around a geriatric archaeologist called Emphysema Jones, who discovers treasures. Eventually. Interested?

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To future generations.

In a thousand years’ time, when they’re looking back at the remnants of our civilization, they’re going to say, “Wow their beer ads were awesome.”  Maybe they won’t even have beer ads by then, in which case I’d like future generations to know that the ads were also very misleading. Drinking beer does not bring on a plague of reindeer after dark. Furthermore, my tongue has never come out of my mouth to search out beer, and drinking beer DID NOT help me do the entire dance routine from the movie Flashdance.

I did that all on my own.

In fact, there are many more things that future generations should probably know. Here are just a few…

CELEBRITIES: Currently our pop stars are trying to shock us. It’s silly really –like  rocking up to an awards night in a side of beef to make… a STATEMENT!! Waste of a good BBQ if you ask me. Hopefully your pop stars are no longer attempting to shock.  If they are – holy shinoodle what are they DOING? Also, many celebrity ‘actors’ should never have made movies. If you are into classics, I would like to apologise now for Tom Cruise. He used to “act” before he got famous for facilitating the co-habitation of aliens and earthlings on Zenu. Also, sorry about Angelina Jolie. Hopefully she stopped making movies when the world realised staring at someone with your lips slightly parted while holding a rifle is not acting, but like watching a foetus attempt to change a tyre.

Speaking of movies…

REMAKES. Just don’t. I can assure you that a big breakfast without bacon is upsetting. Footloose without Bacon is a travesty.  I don’t know how many versions there are of Batman by now but trust me, that suit is on some kind of human growth hormone. Speaking of which, I also hope they stopped making The Hulk.  Hopefully they have not remade anything that starred Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly and if they did? I am deeply offended and perplexed for mankind.   The best James Bond was Roger Moore, NOT Zach Efron. And if they’re still making Sex and the City movies, I apologise. Those women used to be in their 30’s when it was slightly more appropriate to discuss your vagina.

CONSERVATION. I’m pretty sure that through the wonders of evolution, Chocolate trees and Cheese trees grow wildly. I hope you’re respecting this amazing wonder of nature and not being all greedy and picking the cheese before it is mature, because there’s a word for you people –  Cheddarphiles!  Please be considerate and go easy on the trees.  I’m sure you learnt in history class at school about the fish that used to live in the ocean.

MONEY. Don’t let money rule your life. Live each day. Don’t sit around being like ‘Oh man this day sucks because my iWatch7 broke and my High-speed 4D Wifi Smell-O-Vision is going too slowly!!’ They’re just ‘things’ that can’t hug you back. Unless there’s an app for that now…. Don’t get mad because you don’t have those expensive shoes that shoot fire and come with inbuilt massage pads that I’m counting on scientists to invent for us. Don’t want too much more than you have. Google Donald Trump; He lived big but died from bacteria that entered his brain shortly after a hair transplant.

LOVE. I don’t care if the divorce rate is 97% and the only living proof of romance is Gary Marshall movies starring Anne Hathaway. Love is worth having. Love can change your life and make you do things you never imagined. Love will keep you alive and warm the cockles. I’m not sure what cockles are but I think I’d prefer mine warm.  I hope you still get butterflies in your stomach when some idiot half-grins at you. I hope they still write love songs and that not all ‘slow jams’ are about getting it on. I hope you’ve experienced yearning and that there’s still heartbreak, because if you’ve never had a broken heart – how do you even know you’re alive?  I hope that romance doesn’t involve only texting and vampire novels, and while we’re on the subject of romance novels; I hope Mills and Boon are still printing the classics. Because this. Fries. My. Burger.

BE SMART. I hope you haven’t become full of yourselves, and you’re educated and live in a world where there are equal rights and positive role models. I hope you’ve elected good politicians and cured diseases. I hope that the world is better prepared for natural disasters and that a packet of cigarettes costs $59 but petrol is down to $1. I hope for Julia Gillard’s sake that carbon was proven to be directly responsible for global warming, and that the globe is, in fact warmer now, because I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just love being nice and cold.” I hope that publishing propaganda on the ‘harm done’ by Vaccinations and Immunisation is illegal. I hope the sitcom, Two and a Half Men is OVER.  But mostly, I hope you are all doing well at mathematics. Because there’s a good chance you’re thinking…  ‘Pfft. When will I ever need this in real life?’ but then… Lara Bingle and Kim Kardashian.

Hopefully you’ve never heard of either of them.

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!

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.

Happy Anniversary. Now please sign here, here and here.

Today I’ve been married for 4 years. Not that long. No itches so far either. Just as well, since I haven’t really had time to scratch myself. So anyway, last night in the shower I was reflecting on my career so far as a married woman. Wife. The Missus. Better half. Ball and Chain. Whatever. And I was thinking how some people, as a way of remembering their wedding day and celebrating their anniversary, choose to renew their vows.  Delightful.

We didn’t have any.

We had a few ‘wedding songs’ that we could sit and listen to. We have expensive photos we can look at. I have my ‘Dorothy’ shoes. ‘Spose I could have put them on and walked around all day to remember  the ‘feeling.’

 

I asked my husband if he regretted not writing or even choosing to recite vows to each other on our wedding day. He said, “I do.”

“You do regret it?” I asked surprised by his response, since he’s not sentimental AT ALL.

“I do.” He said.

“WOW. I thought you really didn’t want to worry about that..” I said now flummoxed.

“Noooo. I do. That was our vows to each other. When we said ‘I do’ that was our vows.”

Oh. He was right. The only time either of us opened our mouths during the ceremony was to say ‘I do.’ And to kiss at the end, although I recall that being a closed mouth deal. Also I cried. Silently, but my mouth would have opened for that.

We had decided while discussing the ceremony that we wanted it to be no more than 20 minutes. We didn’t want it to be a performance. We didn’t want to nervously recite words and emotions that we felt were for each other, and not for the 120 guests present.

I in no way judge those who do recite vows. In fact, since getting married, watching couples recite vows still makes me wonder if we missed out on something by NOT having or writing vows.

So anyway, I wondered last night… what we would possibly do on our 25th wedding anniversary to momentously mark the occasion. It’s 21 years away, but judging by the last 4 years, I reckon that will fly by.

Then I started thinking how neither of us have any idea of what the future holds. What if one of us becomes blind. What if one of us gets a boob job and lipo and botox and looks super hot and young. What if we go bankrupt or what if we have a gorgeous home and boat and it gets destroyed in a cyclone or flood or fire or bombed. Or what if we win lotto. (Not that we play).

When couples are writing their wedding vows, they do so with no knowledge of what the future will bring. The ups and downs of married life can literally throw you about. There are days I am so in love with my husband I cry at the depth of emotion and gratitude I have for him. Then there are days I hate his guts and want him to sprain his ankle. Just so he can feel frustrated and annoyed and also a little bit of pain.

So with all this in mind, I came to the conclusion that wedding vows don’t really do much but remind you of a time when your love was young and you celebrated by wearing the dress of your dreams and had an awesome party called ‘a wedding.’ A time that while lovely to remember, is no longer relevant to your every day life together.

 

Relevance. Now there’s a word that makes the point I’m about to make seem SO CRUCIAL. 

Why the hell do married couples not ‘renew the terms and conditions’ of the marriage. Vows are lovely and romantic no doubt. But they won’t see you through the next 12 months. Unlikely. That’s like 2 business partners reading their mission statement once a year as way of ensuring success. A nice gesture, but completely bloody useless.

This year (I decided this last night) I am going to write the terms and condition of our legal union. A wedding contract. What I will bring to the union and what is expected of me, and vice versa. What I will abide by despite us not agreeing on certain matters (eg. farting in bed) and what I will not (toenail clippings not disposed of immediately.) What I consider to be a breach of contract (any form of cheating) whereby the contract becomes futile and I take everything you own, including your testicles. Etcetera.

The contract will be renewed every year, and will be agreed upon by both parties and signed in the presence of a witness. It will also be based on the circumstances of that specific year and time. Last year for example, my contract would have included certain clauses pertaining to my pregnancy and mandatory foot rubs. This year I have 2 children and life just got super chaotic interesting. There are certainly parts of the contract that will involve both of them now.

 

For example.

That partner A (my husband) will take all reasonable steps to eliminate/reduce partner B (me) being committed to a mental home by: 

  1. Providing support in person between the hours of 7pm and 9pm, during which time both children will be fed, bathed and put to sleep. Following 9pm, should partner A be required to continue work pertaining to his employment, partner B will happily understand without bitching about his hours of work. In addition, partner A will understand that partner B only bitches because she doesn’t get to ‘finish work for the night’ and continues to work right up until the moment her head hits the pillow. Partner A will be required on *regular occasions, to praise partner B for her hard work and surprise her with gifts for her efforts. (regular being no less than once a month)
  2. Happily taking the rubbish out and destroying all creepy crawlies without the PETA-style lecture. In return for this partner B will provide sex. For real.
  3. Understanding that despite partner B complaining about the way in which partner A attempts to assist with household duties but does so incorrectly (ie. Failing to hang washing out in the manner and quality to which is expected), it is not because partner B does not appreciate it. Partner A must remember at all times that partner B is grateful for the attempted efforts and partner A must relentlessly strive to assist partner B in household duties in accordance with the techniques and systems in place.
  4. Providing funds with which partner B may continue to be healthy, happy and beautiful. Likewise for the children of partners A and B. Partner A will understand that although Partner B earns a small amount, it’s not enough!! Partner A will not lecture on spending within reason, and will instead give praise to partner B for her budgetary sacrifices. For example waxing her own legs.

See where I’m going with this?  Genius. That way when someone is in breach of the agreed terms of the marriage, there is a real, written contract that can be referred to and discussed without the emotions and fly-off-the-handle remarks. Instead, a civil discussion can be had regarding the details agreed upon. Both parties must admit when they’re in the wrong. It simplifies issues and expectations.

My husband doesn’t know yet. Like I said, today is our 4 year anniversary and he is still at work (it’s 10.50pm).  You can be sure there’ll be a clause on “celebrating special occasions” that will go something like…

Should either party be unable for any legitimate reason to be present for *special occasions, the partner that is MIA will be required to make up for it BIG TIME! The partner that was NOT MIA on the special occasion will determine HOW the partner that was missing will make up for it. Their decision is final and no further discussion will be entered in to once a request has been made.

*Special occasions to include anniversary, birthdays, Easter, weddings, funerals etc. Christmas day is not negotiable. Attendance is mandatory. 

Wedding pictures by Impact Images

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.

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.’

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…

Breaking up: Have the damn couch, but the friends are MINE!

Breaking up after a serious or long term relationship is always mucky. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee – it’s a crappy time, and no surprise that you feel like you’re up to your arse in MUCK.

Putting aside the ‘sad muck’ or the emotions of grievance, heartache and loss… (that is if you are actually feeling any of those emotions; as it seems there are plenty of breakups where one party is delighted and relieved to be outa’ there)… there is oh SO MUCH more MUCK that has to be dealt with.

There’s the money muck. Shared finances, shared property and other investments, who bought what, who had what BEFORE they entered the relationship… it’s all just a small portion of the muck. Thankfully there are third parties that can be hired to help you get through this muck. Like accountants and lawyers and underworld crime figures from Carlton, Victoria.

And actually now that I think about it… there are third parties that can help you through the sad muck as well. Like councillors and therapists and 1 litre bottles of Tanqueray 10 Gin… or in my case: slow jams by George Michael and Nutella.

But when it comes to separating the nitty gritty of your LIVES TOGETHER: the YEARS you spent as a couple, making and building friendships and pass times together…. There’s no legislation. There’s no third party. There are no set rules. And THAT is the biggest piece of mongrel-coated-muck you will encounter during the break-up period.

I went out with a guy for about 6 years. We were never married but it was assumed that we would be – by his family and all of ‘our’ friends. When I broke up with him the first time, I didn’t expect to lose my entire life. I didn’t know it meant I couldn’t go to our favourite restaurants anymore because that was his stomping ground – his territory. He was a regular there before he met me, and so I had to stay away.

I also found that I missed his family. They had become a second family to me but I felt that if my ex was to take me seriously, I had to avoid ‘hanging’ with the fam’ on weekends. Even if he wasn’t going to be there. Just wrong.

And then… there were the friends. Now this is where it gets really tricky. Obviously his family are his family. I couldn’t make a claim to them no matter how much I loved being around them. But many of the friends were OURS. So how do you know which friends you’re allowed access to, and which ones you should avoid out of respect. And if you’re a friend of a couple that have broken up (which I have also been), how do you know if it’s disloyal or unfair for you to be catching up.

The online Jerry Seinfeld dictionary (of which there are a few, and which I find to be bursting with useful terms), clearly states that Break-up By Association is what happens when a man and woman break up, and the man’s friends no longer associate with the woman. It’s a common phenom, but one that so many ‘friends’ keep getting wrong.

I’ve thought a lot about this over the last couple of days, and have broken it down to what I think is the ONLY fair and legitimate conclusion. Unfortunately, in most instances IT IS about PICKING SIDES. But that’s life.

You can’t vote for labour AND liberal at election time. You can’t have Optus AND Telstra as your network provider. You can’t work for Ford AND secretly drive a Holden. And if you do then you have no loyalty and you’ve probably backstabbed your way through life.

Anyone who thinks alternatively to my very thought out and well balanced point of view, can go suck it. Because karma’s a bitch, and if you’re not sucking it now, you will be later.

My theory concludes that there are 2 types of friends. Both types have a unique set of rules when it comes to remaining friends with your ex-partner after break ups.

Type 1: The long time (life-long) friends.

If you have had a friend since school, or uni, or your first job – and you’ve been friends with that person throughout various flings/lovers/relationships, then that friend is YOURS! No matter how much your partner loved them, or they loved him/her… too stinking bad! The fact is: they were your friend BEFORE you entered the relationship, and they SHOULD be your friend afterwards.

And yes, this means that your friend should likewise respect the fact that although they loved your partner, they should probably stop calling him/her to catch up for dinner.

You don’t see Brad Pitt and Courtney Cox chatting on the red carpet do you? And actually now that I think of it, you probably won’t see images like this one anymore either. You know why?

Because there are no catch ups with exes of long time friends. If you are the friend then obviously seeing them out and having a friendly chat for ten minutes is fine. I do also think there’s a brief cool off period following the break up where you are at liberty to sympathise/discuss with them the break up and express your deepest sadness that they are over. But the cool off period is brief.

Don’t go making long term plans. Inviting them to your house for a BBQ or away with you on holidays or to your birthday party is just plain RUDE! To you – I say your loyalty should remain to your lifelong friend. PICK A SIDE, not you’re a-hole.

There ARE exceptions to this rule. Just say your lifelong friend turns out to be a paedophile and goes to jail. Obviously his partner would be devastated, as would you. Being on their side is not only acceptable, but suggested.

Same goes for if your lifelong BFF was cheating on her partner… with your husband, or an entire NRL football team. Check yourself for herpes and say goodbye to that BFF forever.

Ie. When one person in the relationship has been a turd, as the friend you are completely justified to be friends with the non-turdy party – even if you’ve known them less time.

There’s also another exception which applies when you and your ex are still being friends and hanging out or sleeping together…without officially being together. I would also like to say “Hello stupid??” however everyone has their own unique way of breaking up, and in this instance, if you are the life-long friend, then remaining in contact with both parties is ok, since they are remaining in contact themselves.

Example 1: My husband has a lifelong friend who is a mate from school. He and his girlfriend had been together for 9 YEARS. I met this friend while he and his girlfriend were together. After 2 years of knowing them as a couple they broke up. His choice. She was heartbroken.

As a fellow female and former president of the “I’m A Lonely Loser Who Can’t Keep A Boyfriend Club,” I wanted so much to be there for her entirely. Despite the fact that he was going out to clubs, meeting new girls, moving on… he was also still seeing her as ‘friends’ on a regular basis and chatting almost daily. So when it came to deciding if we should invite BOTH of them to OUR wedding, we said yes. She was still very much part of our ‘social circle’ because her ex (my husband’s friend) kept her there.

Example 2: My previously mentioned ex boyfriend had made a friend just one month before meeting me. Over the course of our 6 year relationship, they became BEST mates. They travelled together, saw each other every weekend, and went to each other’s family gigs. The thing is, while they were bonding, so was I. His mate became like a brother to me.

After breaking up the first time, I will admit to calling him a few times. Mainly to see how my ex was going. After the second break up he moved to London to live and maybe on his birthday, I’d send him an email. Following the FINAL breakup, I discovered he and I were both going to be in the same town for New Year’s. We agreed to catch up. It was all a bit strange. The common denominator (my ex) was so far out of the picture that we found there wasn’t much to discuss.

Then my ex called him from Rome to wish him a Happy New Year. Awkward. THEN my ex put his fiancée on the phone to which his friend said, “Hello beautiful!” It was like a punch in the gut. That used to be me he would greet like that. Wow, did I feel like an intruder! Twenty minutes late I was in a cab on my way to anywhere else.

I realised it was wrong for me to want to catch up with my ex’s best mate. It was HIS mate, his friend, even though we’d known each other roughly the same amount of time. Since that night I have never seen him or spoken to him again. As it should be.

Type 2: The new friends.

This one is tricky. What about if the friend is someone you’ve met and befriended only since being a couple? As the new friend, in this instance it’s harder to choose sides because there were no loyalties or bonds of friendship prior to meeting the couple. As with lifelong friends, there are sometimes factors (like the turd factor) that help you decide. Other times I think it’s ok to stay in touch with both parties, but over time you will probably find yourself seeing more of or getting long better with only one of them.

Example. My husband and I met a couple who were engaged to be married. We caught up on a fairly regular basis and because of my work at the time; I found that I was also dealing with them separately for different events they were organising. We were invited to their wedding.

The day we were supposed to go to their place for a BBQ, we got a text from the female party telling us that the male party had come home at 6am and admitted he’d been cheating on her. He told her such things as “I can’t help it – I’m like the Ben Cousins of this town.”

That was 2 years ago, and while professionally, I was still required to speak to and be pleasant with both of them… Guess who my husband and I are still friends with, and guess who we think is an idiot?

So I think that should cover most break-up scenarios. Please comment and let me know if you are a friend of a recently split couple, and are still not sure who of the 2 friends you should avoid having dinner with this weekend. Not only will I direct your loyalty to where it should be, I think your scenario may add substantial research and evidence to my thesis on this very MUCKY and un-legislated aspect of breaking up.

And finally, if you are reading this from your iPhone while you have your feet up in Queensland for the week, or worse – you’re reading it from your ex-husbands best man’s computer while he and his family are away –because you’re house sitting for them… because you failed to understand simple break up protocol by continuing to stay in touch, and his mate failed to follow protocol because he’s a scum sucking jackass?

Well may you all live fatly ever after. And here is some more information for you, your ex-husband’s best mate, and his wife: The day will come when I WILL BE BURNING THAT TREE TO A CRISP AND SETTING THE ASHES FREE…. towards Kho Phangan in the gulf of the Thailand river – with all the floating dead pigs and cows and ferrel third world diseases.

Every 7 seconds….

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

How often do you think about sex? Constantly?  Or does it just….pop up…once in a while? One popular study urban myth suggests that men think about sex every seven seconds.

Seriously? Every seven seconds? How does THAT work! Particularly if say, you are the Leader of the Free World, or an International Tennis Sensation or actually… just trying to shave your face?

Comparatively of course, women think about it every seven days. But then again there are days when I think about the block of chocolate in the fridge every seven seconds, so I guess it’s possible.  Although with sex, you wouldn’t accomplish much besides staring into space with ‘wood.’

Tiger Wood? Yes Tiger would!

And if it’s every seven seconds, how long does each thought last? Surely not seven seconds.

And how was this seven second theory researched? Did they get a bunch of blokes into a room with pen and paper and say, “Please keep a tally of every time you think about sex?” 

And was Pamela Anderson conducting the survey? Because that may explain the theory. Every male participating in the study would be hoping she would strip down to her red swimsuit at any given moment.

I would like to have personally conducted that survey after giving birth, wearing a shapeless pair of tracky-dacks and a t-shirt with a trail of white sludge down my back from where the baby did one of those sneaky over-the-shoulder vomits. Because this would give us a more realistic result – yes?

Whatever the basis of the theory and no matter its validity – at least this gives us women the reason that men never really listen. How can they possibly hear, “Can you please pick up a carton of milk?” when they are deep in thought about burying their face into an entirely different milk source.

A more believable study recently conducted by Onepoll.com showed that men thought about sex thirteen times a day, in contrast to women – who think about it five times.  It also revealed that this is the case whether the subject is having a dry spell, or hitting the jackpot.

Five times still sounds generous to me.  Unless we’re talking about those times when a woman’s partner is asking her for sex, and she’s saying on five different occasions, ‘Seriously? Right now?”  Does that count as ‘thinking about sex’? Or maybe she’s saying ‘giddy-up’ five times a day and they’re dancing the horizontal mambo. Or the hippy-hippy shake. Or something.

Researchers also found that men think dinner and a massage get us women in the mood. Interesting, since Ryan Reynolds without his shirt on does the trick for me.   And apparently – women believe music and cooking get the man ready to ‘tap that.’  

Really?  Who ARE these women? They go to all the effort of arranging Barry White and roast beef?  Because usually me saying “Wanna see my boobs?”  is the only green  light required. 

Meanwhile, I wonder if that chocolate is still there…

Must love dogs. And horses. And romantic walks on the beach…

Sometimes I see something that is so astounding, and so full of insight, intelligence and sophistication that it resonates with me all day, affecting my world view and political stance at the deepest level, that I think perhaps my life might change because of it.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about those times when I see or hear or read something that astonishes me so much I have no words – just thoughts.  

But then – without much coaxing, my thoughts quickly became startlingly cohesive concepts, which soon arrange themselves into one or two theories that actually make me stop mid-stride, raise my eyebrows and go “Huh. Wow” until before you know it – many words later – I have written a blog entry.

Here is a media release I came across this morning which was sent to NSW media yesterday.

Tell me what you think of the person who might have written this, because I’m leaning towards FREAKING GENIUS.

 

And that was all.

Here go my theories…

  • Its Melbourne Cup week, and the author thought introducing horses to the mix would be not only relevant, but a good way to spark interest with the media in what might otherwise seem like an age old cliché. Yes. Dogs are man’s best friend. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But horses! Bet on the right one and you could win a bloody fortune. Oh, and they make good friends too.

  • Pertaining to the book ‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy…’ Hercules Morse who is apparently as big as a horse – would indeed make a fine friend for an actual horse. The author of the media release wants us to consider that perhaps larger dogs like Hercules Morse are better suited to play time at Mr Ed’s, than they are with dogs like Hairy Maclary. Or ‘Schnitzel Von Krum with the very low tum’ for that matter.

  • The author is in love with someone but it’s a messy relationship. He/She is tired of game playing and is actually writing in code, hoping to appeal to his/her lover in a way that might make them reconsider the union with a more simplistic approach. The woman in this scenario is a bitch. The man is a big man, with big gums and shiny hair and a really unbearable laugh.

What do you make of this?

DeRossi… DeGeneres… Is it DeBateable?

So I read today that Portia De Rossi has officially taken on the name of her husband wife, Ellen De Generes.  Bigpond.com news reported as follows:

Portia de Rossi has officially taken her partner Ellen Degeneres’ last name.  A Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner granted De Rossi’s request to take the last name of her partner during a closed hearing on Thursday. The actress will now legally be known as Portia Lee James DeGeneres.

The couple was married in August 2008. The 37-year-old Australian-born actress asked for the name change last month. Neither woman attended the hearing. They married during the five-month window in which gay marriage was legal in California.

What a DeBacle! I mean I’m sure they’re both DeLighted, but isn’t this DeCision of theirs a little DePressing? I don’t mean to be DeRogatory, Lesbian marriage is not exactly my DePartment, but I think this could be DeScribed as DeNial. Let’s not be DeLusional here; in this day and age MANY women are DeTermined to keep their own name. And why shouldn’t they?

It’s costly and annoying, which could be enough of a DeTerrant for some…  But there are those that find it DeSirable. Without the shared name they feel DeTached.  

Yet I’m wondering if this is the start of Portia’s DeMise? Did Ellen DeMand it? Was she DeFiant? And if so, why didn’t Portia DeCline? Is she that DeMure? Or is she so DeLeriously in love that she thinks it’s well DeServed.

Okay, enough of that. My spell check is going mental.   Let me now speak freely without the DePlorable use of the letters ‘De. ‘

Now I’m not gay, so perhaps someone who is can explain this to me while I continue to lift my jaw up off the floor. But…. Isn’t a lesbian relationship about 2 women being women who love women?  Isn’t the idea of patriarchal dominance one that might offend gay women?

 

Here are 2 ladies, successful in their own right, who were lucky enough to seize a brief moment in Californian history by legally marrying. And I get that traditionally with marriage; the woman will often take on the man’s name. ..  But aren’t the confines of traditional marriage something that gays are trying desperately to challenge? And change?

Isn’t it conservatives and traditionalists that are against the very idea of 2 women legally marrying?

Bowl me over with a marshmallow, but isn’t this name changing bizzo basically telling the world…. Portia is the woman… and Ellen is the MAN!!!???

I mean just look at what they wore on their wedding day and it’s fairly apparent that Ellen is in possession of slightly more masculine qualities. Actually I think I would have been more shocked to see Ellen wearing a dress than I was to hear they were getting hitched.

 

But again – someone explain this to me because I just don’t get it. WHY BOTHER?

Perhaps my personal resentment at changing my own name is what’s really hindering my understanding of this. If I could have kept my own name I would have. (I think). I say that like my husband is a controlling male chauvinist Nazi which he is not. But we did agree that I would do so prior to having children.

I love the idea of my children being connected in name to both him and me. And before we start listing all the other options available, like hyphenation and blending both names to create a new one… Forget it. I was not interested. I guess I’m traditional in some ways, and when it comes to family, I certainly am.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby I started the process and it was expensive and annoying and time consuming. But that isn’t what bothered me.

I have blogged before about the importance of names.  Your name (first and last) becomes your brand. It’s how people know you, how they remember you. Over a period of 33 years, my names are how I was recognised. To change part of that was perplexing. I didn’t want to change my signature. Nor the name that appeared on my business card. 

The fact is it didn’t matter because I wasn’t exactly going to be handing out business cards at Mother’s Group.. and I didn’t know it at the time, but most of the people that knew me before changing my name, either knew me well enough to not need a ‘name’ to recognise me by, or would eventually cease to be in my life once the baby came.

But hello? NOBODY in Hollywood changes their name because in LALA land, that is precisely how you get work. By becoming a brand, and having a recognisable name. For example:

  • Katie Cruise? No, Katie Holmes.
  • Angelina Pitt? No, Angelina Jolie.
  • Nicole Urban? No, Nicole Kidman.
  • Catherine Douglas. Who’s that? Ooohhh, you mean Zeta Jones!

 

Portia De Generes. Of course we all still know precisely who it is. But now she is (in my opinion) defining herself by her partner. She is telling the world, “When you think of me – think of Ellen.” Now isn’t that a no-no in Hollywood, or is it insignificant to the public because we do it anyway. Like Katie Holmes. She doesn’t need his sir name for all of us to think “that poor woman, being married to a schizo.”

I guess it’s not our business. It just surprised me and I found myself questioning the WHY.  (Sigh) For whatever reason, both Ellen and Portia seem like lovely people. 

 Perhaps it just DePends on the individual couple – Gay or not!  It’s for them to DeCide. Either way I am done DeLiberating over it.

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!