Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to.

You say potato. I say pomme de terre not because I speak French, but because I’m a bit pompous sometimes… but seriously!!!  What the hell has happened to chips?  By chips I mean the deep fried crispy variety, not the deep fried hot variety, and also – not the two dudes from the 80’s on motorbikes in aviator shades variety. Cause who knows WHAT ever happened to them… (What you just heard was the entire Y generation going ‘huh?)

Anyway, I ask because I was eating such potatoes on the couch today. It was SO IRONIC.  But it made me remember a time when potato chips consisted of 4 flavours: Salt and Vinegar, Barbecue, Plain and Chicken. They were crinkle-cut. Always crinkle cut.

Then someone got a little bit fancy on our junk food-fed asses, and invented ‘Cheese and Onion’

We totally welcomed this addition to the chip flavour family because quite frankly, we were all a bit over the original four flavours.

Obviously, after considerable market research, they discovered we LIKED to mix it up a bit when it comes to salty snacks and thus: bought out ‘Sour Cream and Chives.’

And we were happy with our two new flavours. Until…

Along came Kettle. With their rustic non crinkly bubbly chip, including flavours such as: Herb and Spice, Lamb and Rosemary, Honey Baked Ham, Sour Cream and Chilli….. They were delicious and it wasn’t long before the pioneer chip makes (Smith’s and Samboy) were expanding their portfolio to include similar flavours.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the brand managers panicked and thought it was best to flood the market with an assortment of unusual and diverse flavours. It’s the only explanation for Tomato Sauce flavoured chips. Then Smith’s launched their ‘thin cut’ range, a non-crinkle-cut chip.

I’m sorry, Tomato Sauce flavoured chips? Who buys those? I’ll tell you who buys those… Nobody that’s who!

Then you have your limited edition flavours. Like the time Australia hosted the Commonwealth games. I don’t know about you, but I was more than happy to see the end of ‘Australian Sausage Sizzle,’ ‘Lamb and Mint’ and ‘Bacon and Cheese’ flavours.

We’ve also been blessed over time with Ranch, Hickory Barbecue, Roast Beef and Mustard, and Big Red Meat Pie.

So anyway, Smith’s launched a spin-off gourmet brand of chip – Red Rock Deli: and that’s when things really got ridiculous.

Honey soy chicken, Greek Feta and Herb, Chicken Thyme and Lemon, Italian Tomato and Basil, Thai Chilli, Red Wine and Tuscan Herbs, Lime and Black Pepper, Roasted Garlic with Parmeggiano, and… 

wait for it….

Baslamic Vinegar and Sea salt.

Excuse me?

I’m sorry! I refuse to take it anymore. I will not be silenced by the fraudulent crims in the crispy deep fried potato industry. I’m not stupid. Au contraire mon frère.

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt and Salt and Vinegar….. are the SAME FRICKIN’ THING!

Seriously; potayto, potahto!

You see my carbohydrate palate is actually an insatiable, unsophisticated beast, but I will not be misled any longer.

Go right ahead – sit there stuffing your face with your ‘gourmet, meal-in-a-snack’ chip; but I’m here to tell you that the only place I want to taste Greek feta is with salad, or stuffed inside some excessively buttery Greek pastry. And I wonder: Do the Italians know you’re using their tomatoes?

Please take back your full bodied red wine with its bouquet of aromas. Take back your vintage cheddar with French Dijon mustard and Moroccan spices and duck red curry and hazelnut infused pumpkin puree on pan fried scallops….

Enough!

Please just give me a regular, potato chip snack. Crinkle cut or whatever… But please just make them salty ok?

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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

10 Things I Hate About…

I wish I was writing about a brilliant film based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of The Shrew” that starred a yet to be discovered Heath Ledger. It’s not. Because I loved that movie and I loved Heath Ledger. But to write about the movie, I would have to watch it again. I can’t do that anymore because the DVD got scratched and ten minutes into the movie the screen pixilates and eventually freezes. And I HATE it when that happens.!

This is a post about things I hate. People… stuff.

Things that happen on a daily basis, like pet hates. Except why are they called ‘pet’ hates?  Because last time I had a pet, I very much loved it and fed it daily in the hope that it would flourish and continue to bring me joy.

There is nothing I hate that I want to flourish. Nothing I hate that brings me joy. There is nothing I love that I also hate. Except Kyle Sandilands. And feeding hungry babies outside daylight hours. Love the baby. Hate waking up. Love it when he smiles. Hate is when he cries. Love buying him cute outfits. Hate changing his crap-filled nappy. You get the drift….

Perhaps I should’ve bought a doll. Obviously not one of those baby alive dolls that cry and poop. One that’s made of plastic whose eyes are permanently open and mouth is permanently closed.

Anyway so I’ve been using that word HATE quite frequently lately.  Ahhh yeah I know. Whatever! Strong word and all that…

But how else would you describe waiting in line at the post office to buy an express post envelope, with 2 children on board: one crying and the other pulling everything in sight off the shelf, while the guy in front of you has a mysteriously large pile of papers. I’m guessing he hasn’t heard of Bpay.  Why did you get behind him Cindy? Why are there not more people serving? I hate the post office. I hate that man. I hate that I can’t buy express post envelopes and stamps elsewhere.

I’m not a hateful person. Not normally. But lately it seems that my Cranky Pants are the outfit du jour and I really can’t be bothered taking them off because then I’d have to wash them and I’m not really keeping up with household duties at the moment.

Anyway, in order to vent, I thought I’d let you know some of my pet hates. Ten of them. Ten things I hate.

Maybe in a day or two, I can come back and tell you all some things I love (which I have done before here and here) or maybe even just things I’m super grateful for. Because there are plenty of those too.

1. Southern Cross Tattoos – Hands up. How many Japanese people reading this have a big red circle tattooed somewhere on their body? What’s that? Nobody? Right. Because that would make you a dick head. Misguided patriotism in my opinion. While I’m here, I’ll add that I hate it when you see people wearing the Aussie flag as a cape, and also – wouldn’t say hate, but really not fond of the Aussie flag either. Like Jerry Seinfeld once said; Britain at night time – you have the Australian flag.

2. Automated voice systems – I don’t think I’m alone in hating this one… You know when you ring some government department or phone or electricity company and you get that monotonous pre-recorded woman who eventually says to you:  “I’m not understanding what you’re saying. Please repeat your answer.” They obviously haven’t programmed the F bomb into their system, or she WOULD understand VERY MUCH what I was saying and go and get a human being for me to speak to.

3. Victoria Secret Models – Obviously I want ALL of them to contract a disease that makes them get cellulite, but more specifically the ones who are back on the catwalk a week after giving birth making the rest of us feel like big chunks of lard. I won’t mention names but Heidi, Miranda and Giselle – I hate you. Because it’s simply wrong that you make that type of declaration to the world. I know what you’re thinking as your hips are sashaying the crap out of each other on the catwalk…. “If I can – you can!” Pfft. Piss off and eat a Snickers Bar. Because I just did and it was delicious!

4. Collingwood Football Club  – I can’t really justify this one. Except to say I once worked for Craig Kelly and some days it felt like I had Collingwood shoved down my throat. Other than that, I think I just like the idea of agreeing with 90% of Australia on a single issue – which is that Collingwood SUCKS.

5. Geckos – I realise most people think they’re cute. And they are when you’re on a tropical holiday at some delicious 5 star luxury spa resort, and one just happens to be on the wall of the restaurant that overlooks turquoise waters. But I live with them. Well I try not to actually…But where I live they’re everywhere. So? Well once in the middle of a yoga class, when I was flat on my back doing some breathing technique that was suppose to take me to a higher place, there were 2 geckos fighting and barking at each other on the ceiling, right above me.   They ended up falling off the ceiling, onto my leg, whereupon landing, they slithered off in a frenzy. (Cue phobia here) And guess what? I WAS on a tropical holiday at a delicious 5 star luxury spa resort. Not cute.

So I now long for a world where all the walls are insecticided and the invading gecko army dies a tragic death and little girls are free to play in gardens under the shady palm trees without the repercussions of tiny slimy reptile alien grossness.

6. Fruit you can’t trust – I’ve been burned too many times man. Can we get some consistency here? I mean I love fruit, it mostly tastes nice, but sometimes fruit lets me down with being too ripe, too sweet, too sour, not ripe enough or bruised.  Fruit… you are delicious – but it is hard to tell whether you are going to be bad or not. You hide behind your skin – that’s right, I’m talking to you oranges, apples, bananas, avocados and watermelon.   Why can’t you be more like strawberries? They don’t try and deceive me. When they’re bad they show it. Time to get the message fruit. Because I hate that I can’t see your inside.

7. Traffic Light OCD – I’m referring to those people that constantly press the button to cross the road at the lights. Just the once will do. I understand that sometimes when you approach an intersection, and there are already several people waiting to cross, you can’t know for sure if any of those people have already pressed the button. I mean they probably did. But what if they didn’t. So to be sure, you press the button yourself. (Because who know HOW long you’ll be waiting if you nobody presses it!) Of course in this instance, the button gets pressed more than once. But people who go up and press it like 57 times are ridiculous right? Oh. Actually I do this sometimes myself when I’m in a hurry, but for some reason when other people do it I want to break their fingers off.

8. Sunglasses inside – You wanker! Anyway I’m of the opinion that if you have something of exquisite beauty, you don’t hide it, or cover it up purely to protect it from being damaged. This is the reason I rarely wear sunglasses … Especially not inside. So when I see you sporting shades indoors I presume you are blind, have been king hit, or have abnormally ugly eyes.  I’m not against sunnies altogether, but I must make an honourable mention to Alex Perry. Not because he wears them, because he doesn’t. But the fact that he’s decided his signature look is to have his sunglasses perched on his head like some kind of hair accessory.  Except that he has no hair so how does that work?

9. The Tea-towell Whip – There is nothing in all of modern life quite as annoying as this. The holler; the involuntary clutching of the buttocks; the mini jump forward; the pain; the pathetic attempt at revenge; the act of mercy on behalf of the bully where he tries to show you how to do it; the free shot at his arse he subsequently offers; the failure to make anything like a decent connection…The sad fact is, all it takes is a rolled-up tea-towel and a quick snap of the wrist. Maybe what I really hate is that I am useless at it. Did I mention I have brothers?

10. Washing – I sometimes wonder how much I spend on stain removers for clothes. The fabulous world of stain removal is relatively new to me.  Pumpkin, banana, vomit and poo never used to be an issue. But when you have kids you discover there are a kazillion substances that stain. I miss the days of chucking the entire load into the tub with a scoop of powder and walking away.  And while we’re discussing the washing: Tissue in pocket that goes into the machine… TRAUMA! He who sins had better be wearing sunscreen because he is going to HELL!

Woulda… Shoulda… Coulda…

WARNING: I realise a lot of my posts have warnings lately, but I have just been informed by my husband that this post makes me sound like a nut, and that my blog should be called Psycho Cindy. So – please (as per my about page) take these comments as entertainment…  a grain of salt and all that. I’m sure there are plenty of people who’ll agree with my husband, but there you go. It is what it is. My happy pregnant hormones have gone out the with the rubbish and I’m not getting much sleep so Miss Snarkety Snark is back bitchez. 

‘Che Dovrei Aver Detto’ is Italian for ‘What I Should’ve Said.’ Not that I speak fluent Italian, but I dated a Sicilian once and ever since then I pretend to know a lot about Italian things that I know nothing about at all.

This phrase, if pronounced correctly; sounds like something you’d hear some husky woman voice-over saying while watching the latest Armani collection on FTV. But it also happens to be the plight of Meg Ryan’s character in the movie You’ve Got Mail.

And – I do it all the time.

Some massive piece of useless $2 gutter scum will say or do something to me, and my response is ALWAYS so feeble, damn it!

Then, I drive/walk/run/shrink away and think to myself…. CRAP! You SHOULD have said…..

Actually, sometimes I spend hours having pretend conversations with somebody nasty – thinking of all the awesome, cutting things I could have come back with. The Last Word. The final phrase that would have left them devastated.

I guess it’s apparent to all now, that I am not one of those ‘turn the other cheek’ kind of girls. I am fully ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, revenge will be mine, I hope you choke’  kind of girl.

So you know how every now and then you come across people that are just so lovely, they couldn’t be nasty if they tried?  Those people that don’t have a mean bone in their body?

I am not one of those people.

I suspect that several of my bones are fully fledged bitches. I’m guessing my finger bones, (metacarpals), because they’re the ones that type insults and sarcasm right here on this blog. But, they’re also the ones that shake the most when I attempt to verbalise fury in the moment.

The thing with writing is – it gives you time to think of all the fierce come-backs that essentially leave you on top. But when somebody has been a major jerk to me, right at that moment – I’m usually so flabbergasted that someone can be so appallingly rude, that I just go, “Uh, ahh, pfft. Whatever.”

I wish I could be more like Sue Sylvester from Glee. She’s FANTASTIC in the moment. Cool, calm and BOOM! Insult.  Except that it’s people like her that I have trouble responding to.  It’s the Sue Sylvesters of the world I have no comeback for.  Instead, I leave the scene – shaking in rage, annoyed at my own impotence. I’m like Emma. I run away and hide in my office and cry, until I think to myself; I SHOULD have said….

That’s usually when the cyclone starts brewing. I become, unpredictable and erratic, and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with an abundance of terrific comebacks. DAMN!

Why do assholes always leave us speechless?

Look, whatever the reason I know I’m not alone. Because my inspiration for this subject came when one of my Facebook friends asked this very question.

So. Cyclone Cindy is here to lend a hand to those of you who – like me, are powerless mutes at a time when you most need NOT to be.  Here are some phrases to memorise next time some colossal jerk pisses you off or upsets you, or makes you want to cry or want to punch something.

The jerk on the plane: I know that I said sorry when I accidentally bumped the back of your seat, but it was an instinct and I didn’t mean it. Obviously you can’t afford business class so stop pretending you belong there. Please stow away your tray table and your pretentious attitude, or I will take that oversized newspaper and shove it so far down your throat you’ll be reading it with your brown eye.

The jerk friend:  I know you keep Vagisil in your top drawer, eat sweetened condensed milk with a spoon direct from the can, once had a sex dream about Justin Bieber, and have Shania Twain and Celine Dion on your iPod. Even though I’m not as bitchy as you are being right now; doesn’t mean I won’t tell our other friends these things. You’re still my bestie but seriously – let’s eat Sara Lee and watch The Notebook and we can talk about it.

The slow jerk in front of you in a line:  Just so you know, I was tapping my foot, rolling my eyes and sighing angrily because I had to wait for YOU. I had to physically refrain myself from tapping the back of your knee so you jolt forward, but then I concluded you’re either foreign or slow, and I don’t want to discriminate. Instead, I texted ‘kill me now’ to three of my friends.

The jerk roommate: I use your expensive shampoo. I pluck my ingrown hairs with your tweezers and don’t wash them. I use your milk and top it up with water so you don’t notice. I use your detergent, which reminds me… Asshole, clean your dishes!

The jerk kid: Santa isn’t real. Neither are fairies or the Easter bunny. Not even Bob The Builder can fix your stinky behaviour. Now go and find your mother and ask her what a Mongrel is. Can you say that? Mongrel?  Off you go!

Your jerk landlord: Fix my fricken’ plumbing TODAY please, damn it! Or I’ll… I’ll… I’ll find a hiding spot somewhere in the permanent fixtures for all my off cheese, and leave it there when I terminate my lease.

Your jerk boss: You are so unfair! Then again, so is your cottage cheese ass. Incidentally, you have a little crazy on your face. And yes, it’s been there all morning, and … was there during your meeting with ‘the big clients.’ But don’t worry, I overheard them in the lift saying how you can always count on demented circus monkeys to do what you tell them.  

The jerk that tried to steal your lover: Bitch please. Your thighs are the poster girls for Krispy Kremes. Okay so you’re a bikini model and your body is flawless.  So good in fact that I’d like to dip it in garlic aioli and take a bite. Because that’s what I like to do with prawns. Mmmmm…. Delicious bodies. Just a wasted shame about the head. I guess that’s what they were saying over at the airbrushing department of Ralph. Because your face looks like an extra from Toy Story 3. Weren’t you Mrs Potato Head? Now please move along before you vomit celebrity perfume all over me.

 

The jerk that broke your heart: If I could start fires with my mind, which I believe would be a useful skill to have; I would use it to set fire to a small part of your body so you could feel enough pain to know how I felt and to make you sorry. Actually, that was before. Now I just like to think about you contracting some nasty disease that makes your disco stick lose all power.

The jerk who cut you off in traffic then stuck his middle finger up at you: This one is hard because if you’re windows up and you’re far away then there’s not a lot you can say. Other than to blow a kiss, which aggravates them every time. Well you could blow a kiss, or if it’s a man – do what I do: Lick your lips all sexual like, and run your fingers down your chest. If it’s a man then you’ll absolutely kill him with confusion. Seriously. He’ll hate you but he’ll want to turn around and check you out in his rear view mirror until someone else on the road abuses him. And don’t worry! If he’s gay it still works because he’ll be fascinated. The same way we are fascinated by people with Tourettes Syndrome.

The jerk that is so pig-faced, so horrid so cruel, that ‘jerk’ is a compliment for them: Miiiiinchia! Che cazzo stai dicendo? Non mi rompere le palle. Vaffanculo a Lei, la sua moglie, e’ la sua madre. Lei e’ un cafone stronzo. Vada via in culo!

See? See there’s some Italian stuff I actually DO know!

Can anyone else think of any good ones? Or am I alone in my quest for vengeance?

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.

Charlie Sheen: a second letter I doubt I’ll be sending

Dear Charlie
(or should I be addressing  you as The Vatican Assassin??)

I already wrote to you back in April last year, and much of what I said then still applies, however now that you’ve awoken the sleeping giant of CRAZY, I have an overwhelming urge to tell you how we – the public are interpreting your incoherent ramblings. (Tom Cruise makes sense compared to you). But let me start by offering some well known, well researched advice…. Three words Chuck.

DRUGS ARE BAD.

Now that I think about it, most of the letters I write that ‘I doubt I’ll be sending,’ are admonishing celebrities such as you to LAY OFF THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE. You are SO NOT rock and roll. You are so NOT Hugh Heffner. You are so NOT a warlock and you DON’T have tiger blood.    Please close your mouth now.

You are a train wreck. Have been for a while. Except that while before your engine was partly damaged, your exterior was looking a bit worse for wear, and your electrical circuits were faulty… you somehow managed to stay on the track. But dude. You’ve rammed the train into an enormous ditch somewhere in bushland and there’s little chance of recovering any spare parts.

To make it clearer to you, here are some of your words of late with ABC News’ Andrea Canning in Los Angeles, followed by our interpretation of those words.

“I’m super-bitchin’and I don’t believe myself to be an addict.”
You’re a total addict. You’re in denial.

“[The drug I’m on is] called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
A million women; predominantly hookers, have both sampled and had in large doses some of ‘Charlie Sheen’ and I believe that although they may have no dignity, they still have their face.

“I’m underpaid right now. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitchin’, a total … rock star from Mars.”
Yes. You are EXTREMELY special. Not many people can boast that they got completely mocked by the hosts of both the Golden Globes AND the Oscars. Not many actors (except maybe the aforementioned Cruise) can dominate this much media interest from one interview. And yes. Although your father Martin is very much an earthling, and despite the cliché “Men are from Mars” you clearly have immortal powers because how else have you escaped prison?? Rock star? Find a guitar and start strumming because I’ve only ever seen you play piano.

“I’m sorry, man, but I’ve got magic. I’ve got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time—and this includes naps—I’m an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground.”
You’re sorry? Don’t apologise Charlie. Obviously you’ve been watching Platoon again. Haven’t you? Remember it was a CHARACTER. Just a character.  You were ACTING. It’s not REAL LIFE. Got it?

“There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.”
There’s a new train wreck in Hollywood. And he has delusions of grandeur.

Guys, it’s right there in the thing, duh! We work for the Pope, we murder people. We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be? What they’re not ready for is guys like you and I and Nails and all the other gnarly gnarlingtons in my life, that we are high priests, Vatican assassin warlocks. Boom. Print that, people. See where that goes.” 
Put the crack pipe down and step away from the whiskey.

In response to your  father’s suggestion that you need AA because addiction is a form of cancer:

“My conduct is bitchin’, my condition is perfect. OK, Pop — walk through a cancer ward right now and find any of those motherf***ers who look like me.”
You like that word bitchin’ a lot huh? Here’s a photo of you where you look pretty damn sick to me.

Explaining your new tattoo which says “Death From Above” across your chest, the slogan from your father’s film Apocalypse Now:

“It’s the banner from the death card that Kilgore [the Robert Duvall character] is throwing on his victims. But also falling from it is the apple from [poet Shel Silverstein‘s] ‘The Giving Tree.’ There’s my life. Deal with it. I’m not just my dad. I’m putting up the river to kill another part of me, which is Kurtz. I’m every character in between, save for that little weirdo with his guts strapped in, begging for water. That’s not me. But there are parts of me that are Dennis Hopper. ‘You have the right to kill me, but you do not have the right to judge me.’ Boom. That’s the whole movie. That’s life.”
The tattoo parlour should not be administering pain relief to customers who have been ‘banging seven gram rocks’ before arriving.

“Sean Penn was over at my house the other night and we had a few laughs.”
Sean Penn was over at your house the other night and you had a few lines.

On alcoholics anonymous:

It’s the work of sissies. The only thing I’m addicted to is winning. This bootleg cult, arrogantly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous, reports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math … another one of their mottoes is ‘Don’t be special, be one of us.’ Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you! I have a disease? Bulls**t! I cured it with my brain, with my mind. I cured it, I’m done … you don’t look like you’re having a lot of fun. I’m gonna hang out with these two smoking hotties and fly privately around the world. It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view.
Newsflash: You have a disease. You’ve tried curing it with your brain, but because your brain is mostly in the end of your penis, your self-imposed treatment has failed. In reference to the ‘two smoking hotties…’ No Charlie. Denise Richards was a smoking hottie. Brooke Mueller was up there. Those two bimbozettes were being toilet trained when you were sampling Heidi Fleiss’s finest. They are NOT hot. One of them is barely what I would call ‘attractive’ but hey, beauty is in the eye of the man beholding his crack goggles. They are gold digging naïve young skanks who are being flown privately around the world, who LOVE LOVE LOVE your money, and don’t mind opening up their legs to get their hands on some of yours.

There. Translation complete. For now. 

I can’t stress to you enough the importance of being sobre at this point. Oh… And silent.

I know you very recently opened a ‘twitter’ account.  Shut that thing down right now. Before you get any more bats**t crazy. Like what the hell is this picture about? And why did you put the caption “Winner 2012?” You’re being ironic right? 
 

It may be too late. I said to you before that we all love a bad boy with a high libido. But at no time did anybody say that they love a drug-infested porn-star junkie who has been watching too many sci-fi/war films.

Warlock? For real?  
Just stop. Thanks mate.

Regards,
Cindy

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.

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.’

Waving the Aussie flag….. Somewhere across your torso!

Australia Day has changed a bit since I was young and free. We’d rejoice by going down to the Perth foreshore and watching the sky light up while a local radio station did live simulcast with INXS, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue and ACDC.  I’m sure that plenty of Perth’s population continue to do just that. It’s a fun day that includes a picnic with friends overlooking a stunning horizon.

The difference is…  Back when I used to go, I wore what I wanted.

Over the last decade I’ve noticed a very interesting trend on Australia Day, and one which I believe started after the spike in patriotism during the Sydney 2000 Olympics…

Hmm. What to wear today…. I know…  A flag!

Yes that’s right. I’m talking about the hillbillies who cover their skin with temporary flag tattoos, not content with the massive Aussie flag-cape draped across their shoulders. Who do they think they are? Oz-Man? Here to save the country from foreigners or migrants; one Tooheys New at a time?

Or the flag wearing slappers who think wearing the Aussie flag around their boobies makes them look super patriotic. Hell Yeah it does, because look!  They’re wearing flag earrings, and red thongs to match the union jack, with their miniscule denim shorts that go right up their clacker separating the 2 sides of their brain; shorts that should probably stay in their wardrobe until they’ve spent 4 weeks with Tony Ferguson.

But not everyone has access to a flag. They’re the ones who rummage through their closet to find anything green and yellow. Not gold. Gold is a precious commodity. BRIGHT Yellow synthetic polyester fabric that if you ask me; should be reserved for emergency and road workers. Then for some reason they team it with a wig. At least they recognise they look like clowns.

Look I don’t have a problem with our flag. Or the Australian colours. I have cried watching that flag wave. I have had proud patriotic moments seeing my flag flap about in the warm breeze. The Sydney Olympics was one of those moments. Anzac Day is one of those moments. The time I was in a Thailand 7/11 and saw an Aussie flag that led me straight to the packs of Tim Tams and Cadbury chocolate was one of those moments….

And watching some of our athletes wear green aqua and gold yellow have been some of the most inspiring, capturing  and memorable experiences of my life. Like Cathy Freeman’s run at the Sydney Olympics. Or Tim Cahill’s goals in the World Cup. Or The Wallabies beating England… any time really.

Or Matt Shervington.

I’m not judging those who embrace Australia Day as a day to celebrate our incredible country. And it really is. You only have to look at the last few weeks following the flood disasters in Qld to realise what a generous, friendly, and supportive bunch we are.  Our nation is young, and we’ve been built tough.  We’re informed, we’re savvy and we don’t like taking crap from our own, or anyone else.

And our land, despite the erratic biatch she’s been lately, is remarkable.  Just ask Oprah.

So who wouldn’t want to get out there and celebrate and get smashed and have a barbie and eat lamingtons and adorn themselves in patriotic paraphernalia because we’re bloody A-strayan, and f**** oath mate, we’re proud of it!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived in 4 different states of this country, and each capital city seems to have their own way of celebrating Australia Day.

Perth as I already mentioned – was based around the evening fireworks with a game of cricket in the park and a picnic while we waited for the sun to set.

In Sydney, it was more of a day event and we would take the boat out and eat French cheese, crudités with hummus and Italian sausage, and watch all the other boats and people while floating along the harbour.

In Melbourne we did picnics provided it wasn’t raining.

And in Darwin? Well most people go the pub or have a barbecue at home while listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100, because it absolutely IS raining, and unless you want to “Picnic At Water-logged Rock” outdoors is no place to be.

And in every state, there is certainly flag presence. We see the flag being dragged across a perfect blue sky by a chopper, or watch the flags rise on either side of the Harbour Bridge, and we cheer. We might even break into a chorus of Waltzing Matilda, because we like to remember that in this country – you steal, you die!

BUT – the overbearing presence of flag-wear is to me a little disrespectful. Like blasphemy. Misguided nationalism. Using it as an excuse to everyone you come into contact with today that – “Yes, you’re celebrating, and you’re going to be very drunk and disorderly later, but it’s ok because I bear the Southern Cross” Or “Yes, you’re celebrating so you have every right to walk the streets being boisterous and disrespectful and a general pain in the arse because see that? That’s a wig. A green one!”

In Australia we are lucky to even have the option of “donning” the flag. The US Flag Laws and Regulations, states: “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery . . .”

In China wearing the flag is seen as form of major disrespect. And although Australian’s are much more laid back when it comes to matters of national patriotism; and banning the use of our flag for apparel might seem ridiculous and OTT, you have to recognise a greater level of respect for a flag that’s not made into string bikinis.

Vegemite wrestlers wearing the flag. Just.

I probably sound like an uptight, stuck up judgmental cow about now. Actually, when I was younger, I’d be the first one in there – looking for an excuse to ‘dress up for the occasion.’

But how we dress affects how we act, (I’m not even going to qualify this well know fact with research or stats. It’s proven ok?) And I don’t know why, but people who wear the Aussie flag on Australia Day act like big tools.

How about this: If you’re going to make or sell anything bearing the Australian flag, you attach a label that reads as follows:

WARNING: This item of clothing may cause the person wearing it to act like a complete yobbo, drink too much, be offensive and possibly get arrested.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Do not dry clean. Don’t bother. It’s probably covered in beer, piss and vomit and should be discarded immediately after use.

MADE IN CHINA

Merry Christmas. You’re dumped!

Hello and welcome to left field. Because the information I’m about to discuss came out of nowhere. Well not nowhere. Actually like a million news and gossip web sites. But it certainly did surprise me.

It’s Christmas time. You know… that special time of year when your days are supposed to be merry and bright. A time for decking the halls, celebrating Christmas cheer and giving joy to the world.  You have a lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, whatever. You’ve been wondering since early December what to get your loved one. Around the 10-14th of December, you have a fair idea, and embark on that bitch of a journey that we call Christmas Shopping.

It doesn’t occur to you to perhaps hold off. Because  say… you might break up. Because who breaks up right before a major holiday?

According to a Facebook study, most people actually do break up right before a holiday. And this week, celebrities have proved that Facebook studies are absolutely 100% on the money when it comes to predicting and analysing social trends.

In the last month, celebrity splits have included Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, Christina Aguilera and Whatshisname, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar, and (drum-roll… because this one actually made me gleefully happy for some delusional reason)… Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson.

Look I could analyse that last one for ages. Actually I could (and have been considering for some time) dedicate an entire post just to Ryan Reynolds: Sexiest Man Alive, future Hollywood royalty and man of my dreams. But what would I write? Other than I love Ryan Reynolds all over the page, along with my future signature: Cindy Reynolds.

                           

                      

(I know…thank me later!)

The truth with his breakup to Scar-Jo is: there was way too much sexy going on with those two. Bombshells should never hook up with Sex-Gods. It never works. The only way it does work, is if one or both parties let themselves go. And if you think I’m wrong… umm – Brad and Angie.

Interestingly as I write this, it is occurring to me that I too, have been dumped right before Christmas. AND – I myself have dumped a guy right before Christmas. Does it help me understand why it happens? No.

I reflect momentarily on my own festive splits.

Getting dumped at Christmas
Quite possibly the loveliest breakup ever. Also the saddest since I had decided I was going to marry him because not only did he tick every box, but he also knew who Gene Kelly was and at 26, I was learning that was very rare among spunky straight men under the age of 50. (I know… let’s not go there.)

We were going for a drive one Sunday afternoon in December. While driving, we both agreed we’d been a little snarky at each other and questioned why. He told me perhaps it was best we break up. I was hurt, a little shocked, but have never once felt bitterness towards him. I still went to his house on Christmas day with his family, we still exchanged gifts, and to this day I think he still refers to me as “a good woman with many fine qualities.”

Because I adored his family, we remained friends and in contact, and I wondered often if we’d ever get back together, but by the time Easter came around, we’d moved on.. Mainly because I’d met John who didn’t tick many boxes except the one labelled “Must make me swoon.”

Dumping at Christmas
Best move I ever made. This guy so had it coming, the mongrel. About the third week into November, after we had been seeing each other every day for the last 3 months…. And truly – having so much fun together… he told me that he was planning on marrying some chick in America. Oh. Um…. Where does this leave me? Does she know about this?

She did not. But apparently she had ticked every box for him and he had already decided he would marry her. (Hmm… sound familiar?)

The catch? Oh, he didn’t want to break up with me (although essentially he just bloody well did, didn’t he?) No he wanted to continue hanging out, making out, just as we had been doing. He wasn’t going to be seeing her for a year, so presumed we could continue the relationship.

Normally in this instance of course you would tell the guy to have a nice life and cut all contact.  The second catch? He was my downstairs neighbour. So I foolishly and against my better judgement kept seeing him. It was too easy. And seriously, he would come upstairs; knock on my door, and say, “Umm Hi. I can’t stop thinking about you.” So like an idiot, I presumed I could make him forget said girl in America, because actions speak louder than words, and he’s not exactly getting on a plane to see her any time soon. But he’s here at my door now!

This continued until I started a new job. On the 1st of December. My hours were insane and I had no time for him. By the 16th December, I was making out with a guy from my new work who was friendly, honest, cute and charming. I told my downstairs neighbour on Christmas Eve that I was seeing a guy at work. He begged to have me back, promising me the chick in the US was a pipe dream. I was real. For that compliment I told him his hair reminded me of steel wool and that it was too late.

The guy from work is now my husband.

Neither break up had anything to do with wanting it to be over in time for Christmas. It just happened to be December. But when you look at the Facebook stats, it’s quite incredible and perhaps subconsciously the breakups had everything to do with a desire to end the year without unwanted baggage.

Here is the graph which shows breakups times at their highest and lowest.

Relationship expert Terri Orbuch, a sociology professor who is also a marriage and family councillor believes breakups absolutely do happen more over the holidays saying, “Pretending that everything is great and being a couple in front of family and friends is not beneficial for you or your partner. It’s difficult pretending to be in love.”

When you’re dumped, you just want answers.  Like… “It’s not you. It’s me. Come to think of it, it’s not me either. It might actually be Santa.”

But when you’re a pop culture junkie who has just heard about a celebrity breakup, you want reasons.

Ryan and Scarlett are claiming the ‘distance is hard’ thing but as we now know, one of them needed to ugly up, and didn’t.

Christina is claiming things between her and her husband were really unhealthy and that she was torn breaking up with him. This is actually skank for: I met a guy on set of my movie and wanted him. I also want women. I want everyone. Because I’m dirty.

Vanessa and Zac are claiming their relationship could go no further and had been ending over time, but truthfully Zac hasn’t yet been able to take full advantage of his new found fame as an adult male and probably wants to scatter his seeds.

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker are splitting because he cheated. Although they note: irreconcilable differences… she actually found hundreds of sexting messages to some other girl. My question here is: Why do so many famous male athletes cheat? My answer would be: Roids. Too much testosterone to keep it contained.

Liz and Arun claim to have been split since last month, but in actual fact, Liz can’t resist the charms of a cashed up bogan with a full head of hair and an artificial smile.

What’s interesting to note from the Facebook study, is that many breakups occur at the start of Summer. It’s a well known fact that more men cheat in Summer than in Winter.

I wonder how much higher the peak on the graph would be in December if it was only conducted in countries that have Summer in December. 

Another interesting piece of info from the study was the day of the week when the most people go from “In a Relationship” to “Single.”  

It’s Mondays.

That’s less than 3 days away.

So if you haven’t already purchased your partner’s Christmas gift, you may want to hold off til Tuesday.

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.

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.