Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Born This Way

I'm having a mid-life lie-down.

There's no crisis or anything. It's a half-time break, without the oranges. I figure if I'm going to make it to eighty (and that's just the average now, I could well go on for longer!) then a half-time lie down is entirely warranted.

And I quite like it actually.

I figure that I'll have to rejoin reality eventually, but for now Brad the Tradie and The BHG (adolescent who loves Better Homes & Gardens on telly) know me as Stay-at-Home. I am enjoying a variety of pleasurable daily activities, such as zesting limes, sleeping in and having conversations with my dogs, one of whom we've discovered is actually a Maltese Shitz-oodle (part poodle... who knew???) because I have actually had the time and inclination to take him to a vet for only the second time in his life.

When one takes a step off the hamster wheel, lots of interesting things happen.

Like... Parenting.  I do these fabulous gold-star parent things now, like researching plug-in heated throw rugs for the teenager's upcoming trip to the nation's capital. I bake muffins for afternoon tea and give them to the random adolescents that enter our house, along with glasses of milk (and lectures on calcium serves).  I now give a shit about Pythagoras homework and Science class and buying polyester stuffing for tomorrow's Textiles project. I drive the offspring to modelling class, piano class, surfing lessons, work, friends' houses and sometimes I don't even complain.

But I will NOT go to Parent Modelling Group.

I know it sounds harsh, but I just can't do it. BHG, aka 'The Model' was quite straight-faced when handing BtT and I the nasty blue information sheet last week. Brad the Tradie had us in fits as he pranced up the hallway 'doing catwalk' (better than me I must say, and I do think he would make a passably gorgeous trannie if he ever felt the pull). Obviously aimed at Stay-at-Homes like myself, these Parents-who-Care classes promise to be 'fun and sociable in a relaxed surrounding' whilst learning the life-altering skills of fashion show choreography, sequin sewing and nail art.

Part-guffawing, part-vomiting, I texted my VGF Organica with the dilemma. She wanted me to go just for social research purposes, but I just can't bring myself to enrol. You see, I generally collect The Model from class on Thursday arvos with a parcel of hot chips under my arm, dressed in leggings and a flannelette shirt. Last Thursday the teacher-model took five minutes to explain to me how compulsory the fifteen dollar 'neck scarf' is that I hadn't ordered and why I have to run out and buy a comb with a metal stick at the end (looks like a weapon to me) to make side-part braiding neater. Modelling is NOT my thing. I do NOT sew sequins over morning tea whilst debating whether 'the girls' should do a 'turn, turn, sashay' or just a 'turn, walk, pose, turn'. I suppose I should be pleased that we don't have to learn to administer Botox.
This whole modelling thing has been, wait for the pun, totally FASH-in-ating. A recent activity, the BHG has finally given in to public pressure to give modelling a go, given that she's a genetic freak. It might just stop people asking if she's good at basketball, just because she's tall and long-limbed. She can say, "No, I'm not a basketballer, I'm a MODEL. I was BORN THIS WAY."

Kids’ activities are fabulous aren’t they?

Growing up in the country my extra-curricular dossier consisted of sport and music. Netball, basketball, softball, cricket. Stuff that didn’t require a lot of equipment. Just a parent-coach and a rowdy bunch of kids hyped up on Cottee’s cordial and sherbet. It didn’t really matter if you weren’t any good, because there were always positions for those who sucked (seriously, ‘right outfield’? You may as well take a book…)
We’ve been doing ‘activities’ with the BHG forever. Well, it seems like it. There’s been:
·         Horseriding (she vomited a lot)
·         Little Athletics (not my favourite due to level of parent involvement required at 8am on a Saturday morning but watching the kids throw heavy objects was always a hoot)
·         Gymnastics (“Can I have a purple leotard?”)
·         Ice skating (my favourite – parents allowed to go shopping for two hours to avoid freezing to death)
·         Piano (bloody expensive)
·         Drama (more vomiting)
·         Years of swimming lessons (another favourite – parent coffee & cake area)
 But we have managed to avoid the Olympic selection and major injury that some parents (and their kids…but it’s not really about them is it?) endure. And all BHG has had to put up with is our moaning. Seriously, since when has weekends been about children and ‘their needs’? Saturday morning activities, Saturday afternoon birthday party, Sunday morning playdate, Sunday afternoon emergency homework projects… all meticulously photographically recorded so that we can bring up the topic of what wonderful parents we have been whenever need be.

Modelling school happens once a week where she learns exciting eye-rolling skills such as      how to look at the camera in a fashionably uninterested manner and how to protect her hair from heated styling devices. She finds the diva teens that attend a little intimidating and overwhelming. One such creature stayed with us last Thursday night and took ninety minutes to get ready for school the next day (compared to BHG's twenty minutes including dishwasher unstacking and breakfast) and told me that pasta makes you fat (but apparently ice-cream does not...)

We did a five hour day last Sunday to attend a catwalk competition where the sprog had a whole 45 seconds of walking glory. It was a little like an under-16's netball carnival, with the same teenage girl attitudes, but more spray tans, and less actual excitement. There's only so long you can stay interested when watching fifty girls trot one at a time to doof-doof music. (Actually, the girl that did the pole-dance routine at the end of the runway in thigh-high red boots caused a stir, but for the most part it was just reminiscent of a Target catalogue).

Fortunately one thing that modelling has taught our fearless teen is how very little she'd like to actually be one. "The other models are scary. Some of them don't even eat you know. Maybe I'll be a Zoologist.... I love animals. I was just born that way. "

Born This Way - Lady Gaga, 2011.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Once upon a time it was enough to take the whippersnipper to the Venus Butterfly before each swim season. THAT was considered grooming in the 80’s you know.

I miss the 80’s.

I had Brooke Shields eyebrows, which were considered quite glam. I used clear mascara to make them stay put whilst out dancing. Shaving one’s legs up to the knees was more than enough. Nothing in the manual about plucking facial hair. In fact, no one noticed facial hair under all those spiral perms. And a quick nick over with dad’s razor each November was all the ol’ Conch Shell desired. Swimmers weren’t as … high then. In fact, my mum wore one of those little swimskirt things. Now I realise why.

It just wasnt a big deal for women, or men. And I can’t remember when things in the grooming department got so damned serious! And technical! When did it all change? Was I awake at the time?

In exchange for a couple of hand-me-down school tops recently, a new Bogan friend of mine offered me a free wax. Seriously. Like… “Darl! Thanks for the clothes! Anytime you need a trim of the love rug or a full Brazilian, just come on over. I’ve got all the stuff!” Hmm. Including a general anaesthetic? A home Brazilian? Ahhhh, no thanks.

And then I come across…. Vajazzling.

Not only are we now ripping the lady fur off the bearded clam, we’re …. sparkling it. Taking to the silk igloo with the equivalent of a bedazzler. And not just in the ‘shake some glitter over the love glove’ kind of way. Actually ripping off the hair and sticking sparkly little crystals on the waxed whisker whacker. Patterns and what-not. The thought of associated daily practicalities make me cringe a little actually. God forbid how those with well-endowed pubes of middle eastern and Mediterranean descent are supposed to cope with the maintenance.
When did pubic regions start requiring art? Are they that starved for public attention? I’m all for freedom of grooming and all that. I think it’s great that we live in an age where women (and men) can glue crystals on their hoo-hah.
But it becomes my business if …

A) I feel societal pressure to chintz the cha-cha. Or...

B) My taxes are being paid to treat minor cuts and grazes in the ER caused by bedazzling injuries to otherwise healthy vajay-jays.

So far, I’m fine with Part A. Seems to still be OK not to vajazzle (thank goodness). But if anyone gives me a home-vajazzling kit when an aromatherapy candle would’ve sufficed, then look out. Or if I get invited to a vajazzling party. There’s just nothing wrong with a good old Tupperware do, with bikkies and a sweet chilli-philly. I'm not being pressured into buying love-heart Swarovski stencils for the honey pot, no matter how good the nibbles and party games are.

I haven’t heard much about vajazzling injuries draining our emergency services sector, but believe me, I’ll be keeping tabs on that. Whenever I (rarely) go to an ER, I like it to be fairly empty. I certainly don’t appreciate having to wait whilst bogans with unnecessary and stupidity-related injuries syphon my tax dollars and use up all the panadeine forte.

Oh. And …. C) Vajazzling becomes my business when it is featured in the mass media, particularly television. I watch quite a bit of telly, being newly unemployed and all (ooopps, I mean ‘a stay at home parent’….) and I’m partial to a predictable evening schedule Monday to Thursday. That new show, Winners and Losers (yes, the Bogan Aussie drama) has caught my attention with classy ice-sculptures and that tall chick who looks like a lesbian but really isn’t and is secretly in love with her business partner and everyone knows it except him (even her gay secretary knows…) and APPARENTLY there’s some mention of vajazzling on my new fifth-possibly-sixth-or-seventh favourite show this Tuesday. Really. So I AM affected by way of mass media cultural influence or … whatever. I am FORCED to learn about how to decorate the stench trench.
But I tell you what. It's not going to happen.

It'll take more than a short-run Aussie drama on channel 7 to get me to change my grooming habits. Nope, there'll be no sparkly Collingwood Magpie on my muff. No twinkling down in tuna town.

Do ya think I'm sexy? If I have to vajazzle in order to get a yes to that question, then frankly, I don't give a damn what you think!

Do You Think I'm Sexy? Rod Stewart, 1979

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Chapel of Love

Not since Charlene and Scott married on Neighbours has Brad the Tradie been less interested in a wedding.

Thank God The Royal Wedding (TRW or simply The Weddin') wasn't held on a day when Collingwood was playing Carlton or similar. I'm quite certain that the reason these things are held on a weekday is so that world sporting events don't suffer, but still, we did manage, through the magic of the International Dateline, to have Friday evening Weddin' coverage in Oz.

Yep, across the nation Bogans wore plastic tiaras, made cheese n cabanossi plates and cracked open a fresh box of Cardonnay. I was a bit slow on the uptake re TRW celebrations, but thank goodness for Facebook... I managed to get into the slipstream just in time (ie, before Woolies and the grog shop closed).

So, before Blossy tells you what she thinks.... Tell me... What did YOU think????

Yes, I thought as much. Everyone's got an opinion don't they? Funny how we all seem to develop opinions on stuff that doesn't matter, like royal weddings. Nothing like a frock and a handsome prince to get us all fired up. I have never had an actual conversation with the chick at the petrol station until Saturday morning when we gabbed at the photo on the front page of the newspaper and suddenly became the world experts on doiley dresses and flower girls (seriously... Would a coloured ribbon have killed them?) Is it that we like to see a commoner do good? Or that we know that really, any televised wedding will get us going all gooey. There wasn't much diff between the nuptials of Scott and Charlene and the Will-Kate was there?

Personally, I think Katie looked like a praying mantis covered in a lace doiley. A regal playing mantis of course. One that had been groomed within an inch of its skinny little life. And she's mute. The perfect royal. One that has glossy hair, likes horses and doesn't want a career of her own, but just to serve the people (a funny term, considering she's the one that gets served, and that by serving her people she ends up with loads of flowers and a wardrobe allowance.)

I think Australia needs royalty.

Prince Darren could meet Sharryn (from Garren) at the Liquid Lounge one Friday night... Or TAFE perhaps (much classier). yes. They meet across a crowded lecture theatre (who am I kidding... The lecture theatre isn't crowded as most of the students have chucked a sickie and will copy Sharryn's notes later). Darren just can't take his eyes off Sharryn's glorious mane of freshly permed and streaked hair (he need not know they're extensions bought with her Aunty Shirl's 21st gift voucher). Sharryn knows immediately that Darren is her prince. He winks at her and says, "How bout it?" and off they ride in his shiny, white Torana.... Naturally they get married (at the local park), he wears his best jeans and thinks he's the luckiest royal Bogan in the whole land. After a lovely Chinese buffet reception at the local golf club, Sharryn can't wait to quit her part-time job at the Woolies Deli, go on their honeymoon in Coffs Harbour and start having sprogs called Taylah, Kaylah and Josh-you-ah (let's hope Sharryn isn't barren!!) and alternate Christmas lunch between her parents, the in-laws and a cheap rental in Surfers Paradise.

On a different note, why is everyone saying the Queen looked like a canary? The poor old chook is 85 years old. What's she supposed to wear? Geez she's probably part blind and let's face it, she had to keep checking whether Prince Phil was asleep or dead (no one wants a Weekend at Bernies moment at a royal wedding...) And there's a limited range of colours that lend themselves to matching handbags and hats.

But enough about what I think....what did you think of the royal weddin'??? Which celebs did you like? Did you think Princess what's-it who used to be fat but isn't now's hat looked like she made it at pre-school and stapled it to her head? Reckon Phillipa looked pretty hot and snuck off for nookie with Harry behind the chocolate fountain??? Reckon the balcony pash was a bit lame, even for a couple of Poms? And do you reckon the yanks held off on killing Osama until a fashionable three days after the royal wedding so as mot to hog the headlines?

I asked Brad the Tradie which part he liked best. Predictable answer: "The bloody end!" Dressed up that red suit singing hymns and having the world look at his bald spot from seventy-five camera angles whilst his grandad is either asleep or dead in the front row, I reckon Prince William might agree.

Long live romance.


The chapel of Love, The Dixie Cups, 1964