Friday, 9 June 2017

The Mother Of All Eff-Ups.

Well, it's been four years since I last posted, and I'm thinking I'll change the name of this blog to M.J. Moore: Walking Disaster. I say that like I'm trying to be funny but my situation is actually anything but. I turned forty-five six days ago, and as you read this I'm putting supermarket bags full of crap onto the front porch of the unit that, until three days ago, I was renting.

Two days after my birthday, I sat in a courtroom and listened as a judge approved an order of possession for this place, due to months worth of unpaid rent. Our local emergency housing office found a place for my son and I at a boarding house, so we're not going to be sleeping in the street, which is a plus, kind of. My son is an introvert with Asperger Syndrome and depression so for him, being forced to share a bathroom with complete strangers is going to be like living Inside a sitcom from Hell. There's fifty votes for suckiest mother of the year.

An even bigger kick to the cahones for the poor kid is that we can't taske the dog with us, so he's going to have to say goodbye today to his best friend of ten years. I was lucky enough to have had my Facebook plea for someone to take care of Pepe answered by a friend of mine, who lives near a beach and has a yard where he can harrass seagulls all day, so I slept a little better last night knowing he was going to a loving home, but that's no consolation to a devastated young man.

There's five hundred votes.

I bet you'd like to know how I got us into this fucked-up mess, wouldn't you? Stop me if you've heard this: an idiot lets her mother buy a phone for her and her son, then proceeds to rack up thousands of dollars in bills, AFTER quitting the reasonably well paying job that was keeping a roof over her little family's heads with the expectation of walking into another job only to find that wasn't going to happen. Way to set an example for your newly adult son, Mel.

Five thousand votes.

Oh, I almost forgot! Another casualty of the train wreck that is the Mel Express is my mother. She lived through a situation like this with my father, the class A fuck-up whom everybody (including her) predicted I would turn out like, and is currently curled up in a ball on her couch awaiting delivery of the aforementioned crap on the pirch over which I have granted her custody for the next fuck knows how long. She also wins the bonus prize of a truck load of misplaced guilt for not being allowed to put us up for awhile (she lives in government housing, and everybody knows what happens when you fuck over the government).

My son has taken the biggest hit by far here, though, being forced to deal with the fallout of my shit on top of his own problems has left him wanting to do nothing but sleep, and just describing the sight of a six foot tall eighteen year old curled up under a quilt with his beanie wedged precariously on his skull doesn't begin to accurately paint what a soul-crushing picture that is.

Five million votes. It's a fucking landslide. Wave your poop-brown banners high, folks. Yay me.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Changing lanes

Hey everybody.  This is going to be a short post, because there isn't a whole lot left to say.  I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog for the past two years; it's been fun, and even a little bit cathartic, for me to be able to share with you all my opinions and observations on love and life in general.  But sometimes, it's easier to wax glibly about life than it is to live it, and a recent read through my post timeline showed me that I was guilty of doing exactly that.  It also made it crystal clear to me that the only time my particular journey gains any momentum is when it's going downhill and believe it or not, I find it much less confronting (and therefore less scary) to intentionally sabotage myself (i.e by settling for someone who is committed to someone else and therefore expects nothing from me), than I do to look inside myself, and fix what needs fixing.  I think one of the main reasons I do this is to protect people from me.  I can't even contemplate the notion of letting myself fall in love with someone good for me because I know that I will eventually hurt them in some way.  Despite years of urging from friends and loved ones, it has taken until this very moment for it to dawn on me that I am an incredibly destructive person - to myself and to others, therefore I am going to stop blogging about it and actually take steps to turn my life around.  I am going to see my doctor tomorrow, and follow whatever recommendation she gives me as far as further professional help.  I may start the blog again sometime in the future, but for now I can't make promises because I need to take things one day at a time.  I want to thank all of my loyal readers, some of whom are very dear friends of mine, for sticking with me for this long, and to my closest friends, I will keep you updated via chat/Facebook/email, etc on how things are going if you'd like.  Love to you all.   :-)  

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Self portrait

Well, I won't start this post by formally acknowledging the fact that I haven't posted in months...over a year...oh hell, a really fucking long time, because that would be stating the obvious. Suffice to say, I'm really sorry that I abandoned my readers and subscribers the way I did and, despite a false start last year, I intend to keep Disasters In Dating running for a long time yet. Now, on with the show...

 They say that mistakes are there to be learned from, and it is a mantra that I try to pass on to my son as often as I can because, at the age of fourteen and a half, he has entered that wondrous time of life where a shitload of mistakes will inevitably be made. Most will be minor errors in judgement that, while earth-shatteringly significant at a time when your entire existence seems to hinge upon popularity (it is a perception I am doing my best to break, I assure you), will loom about as large as a dying sparrow's fart in a hurricane when he's forty. Then there are the big ones, the colossal cock-ups that have long lasting and far reaching ramifications which, fingers crossed, I'm confident G won't be making anytime soon because he is neither a) chronically neglected nor b) an ego-maniacal bully or a blind sheep. He has his little crises of conscience, and has even admitted to me that he might 'experiment' one day, (oh shit). But 'Not with drugs,' (oh, bless), but for the most part, he is turning out to be the wonderful human being I always knew he was. Lucky for me, he has a fully functioning moral compass, (thank you, G's Dad), but still accepts everybody equally and without judgement (that one's down to me, *self high five*). Long story short, while his year twelve year book probably won't contain pictures of him kicking the winning goal in the inter-school footy final, I'm certain his class portrait won't be used twenty years from now as a before shot in a Sixty Minutes story.

 Most people wait until their adult lives to make mistakes that will haunt their daily existence. G won't be one of those people, but that won't be because I've been such an impeccable example. On the contrary; I have made quite a few errors in the last twelve years or so that no amount of mashing on the delete key is going to erase. Some of them he knows about, some he doesn't - and for good reason. The most serious of these was a "relationship" with a guy that I, for some unfathomable reason, never quite seemed to get over. I wrote three posts about it, (What I left on the ocean floor; Re-gifting the ruby slippers; and Two exes, no waiting). My long term readers will remember these posts, and will have undoubtedly noticed by now that they have been deleted. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I recently started seeing him again, and because he was there for me recently when I needed him, I didn't want to take the risk of him reading the posts and being embarrassed by them. No, you are not being at all harsh if you are sitting there calling me insane. Please feel free to screen-print my picture from Google Images and scrawl several more harsh but nonetheless accurate derogatory names on it in red marker. The second reason I deleted these posts was that, despite any personal aspirations I might have to the contrary I am, for the most part, full of shit. I thought that I was displaying some sort of artistic and moral (there's that word again) integrity by removing the posts in which I oh-so-eloquently waxed on about the self-loathing and emptiness that accompanied being involved with a married man in a relationship that never really existed above the waist.

 Yes, I suffer from depression, but I'm old enough now to know that it is not an excuse for deliberately perpetrating an act this heinous. What am I getting out of it? Attention, affection, the ego boost that comes from the fact that someone can look at my non-mint-condition body and say how beautiful it is. I can assure you, I find all that as incredibly wet and pathetic as you do. I won't make the argument that because I'm not actually cheating on anyone, I'm only half as culpable as he is. That would be like saying that taking someone to a box factory, handing them a lighter and a can of turpentine and letting them decide what to do with them makes one person less of an arsonist. Whatever Aaron gets out of this thing we have, good or bad, isn't for me to contemplate. As I said, he was there for me recently when I had a crisis (my landlord refused to fix my central heating and my radiator broke, so rather than see my child and I spend the winter huddling together in front of the TV under a quilt, Aaron went out and bought us a brand new heater). Considering the risk he was taking, this was an incredibly selfless act.

 He is not a bad person.

 That would be me.

 My definition of a bad person? Someone who continually displays selfish, self-indulgent, feel-good-at-all-costs behaviour without regard for any damage that might be done, because their needs are more important than anyone else's. For Christ's sake, I sent my son to his Dad's last Friday night so Aaron and I could have a dirty weekend while his wife was away. I put shagging my non-boyfriend ABOVE spending time with my own child! Not that I told G that. What I told him was that I went to a birthday party with some friends from high school. A child's self-image is largely dependent upon his image of his parents. My portrait has been censored with a rather large black sticker.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I'm not one to complain, but...

I always swore I would never be a whinger, (for those not acquainted with Aussie/British slang, a 'whinger' -win-j-er - is a person who complains incessantly), but my behaviour of late has brought about the terrifying realisation that I am, indeed, metamorphosing into a member of that very sub-species.  After some introspection, i.e eating chocolate and muttering expletives under my breath, I understood that there was nothing wrong with me - it was the world at large that had the problem.  People like me wouldn't feel the need to complain if there wasn't so VERY much to complain about.  Honestly, if I were to sit here and list all of the irksome, repugnant, truly baffling things about society today, I would suffer the mother of all R.S.I attacks, so I have culled my objections down to a workable top five, along with some remedies I have devised for dealing with the stress associated with them, which will in turn alleviate the need for all that pointless whinging.

PEOPLE WHO DON'T LISTEN  You know the type, they grouse about their self-inflicted injuries for hours on end, turning your eardrums and, consequently your brain, into mince, and when they finally take a breather and you dare to talk about your day for all of three minutes, you get the feeling you're talking into a wind tunnel.  My solution?  Tell your friend that it bothers you.  If their behaviour continues regardless HANG UP THE FUCKING PHONE!

ELECTRONIC RAGE  You've just spent two hours waiting for a three minute You Tube video to load, only to have it freeze at the beginning of your favourite song, locking Lady Ga Ga's face in a permanent expression of horrified ecstasy.  You're mid-way through a zombie marathon when your planet-sized flat screen has a conniption fit, transforming the post-apocalyptic world into a Tetris game.  Your iPod, in an apparent act of divine cyber-intervention, won't accept that Nickel Back album torrent you stole.  My solution?  READ A FUCKING BOOK!!!!!                

REALITY TELEVISION  Big Brother; The Bachelor/ette; Jersey Shore; Big Fat Gypsy Weddings - the plethora of vapid, plastic, manipulative, incomprehensible-without-subtitles drivel that makes up about ninety per-cent of network programming these days is enough to do any person's head in, any person with an IQ above forty anyway; (in the interests of transparency I am compelled to admit that I recently found myself swept up in the awe-inspiring pus harvest that is Big Brother Australia.  My defense for this is that there was at least one contestant this year who was intelligent, kind, and honest - i.e. didn't belong there - needless to say, she didn't win, and I won't be watching again.  Mental crisis over).  This genre raises a lot of questions.  Why work when you can score $250,000 for being an arsehole?  Why are grown women clambering over each other to win the affections of a complete stranger to whom they wouldn't ordinarily give the time of day?  Why - oh why - are inebriated Oompa Loompa's with That Girl hair and Himbos with more weight in their boxer's than their brains given lucrative contracts they can't even read?  I'll tell you why - because about ten years ago, network executives went out on a fact-finding mission and discovered that Chavs/Bogans/insert apt trashy nickname here liked making dicks of themselves and, more importantly, liked watching themselves make dicks of themselves.  Correlate that with the small percentage of them that read and you have a guaranteed formula for ratings success.  My solution?  DON'T FUCKING WATCH!!!! 

UNGRATEFUL CHILDREN  With their laptops, iPads, and multiple video game consoles keeping them entertained for hours on end, kids should reasonably be expected to appreciate the sacrifices mum and/or dad make for them, right?  I mean, when we were kids, we were lucky to have a T.V. in our room, and were overjoyed to walk down the street listening to the same WHAM! album over and over again on our Walkmans, such was the dazzling array of manufactured amusement options available to us.  Sadly, despite the thousands of dollars a year most parents spend to show their kids how much they love them, the adorable little urchins just can't seem to reciprocate, and don't understand why their parents insist on interrupting face-time with, like, conversation and stuff.  Yes, brothers and sisters, it is heartbreaking, and I say this from experience.  My solution?  BE A PARENT AND STOP BUYING THEM SHIT!!!! 

MEAN/BITCHY/SELFISH/DISHONEST/CRUEL PEOPLE  The remorseless behaviour of people is something that has bugged me since childhood, and I have struggled to cope with it until very recently.  My solution to dealing with the soul-sucking, parasitic, oblivious twats of the world?  EITHER DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, OR SHUT THE HELL UP, LEST YOU BECOME ONE OF THEM!!!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

If that don't take the cake!

I had a rather interesting conversation today - one sided though it was.  I meet my mum every Thursday for lunch, and I always like to have something with me to read while I wait for her.  Today, I happened to be reading a cooking magazine.  A woman of 'advanced years' was walking by when she must've noticed the cover, and made a rather asinine comment:

'I didn't know women still read cooking magazines!  Don't you have a life?'

Naturally, I took umbrage to this and responded, I think, quite politely under the circumstances:

'Yes - and mine's just beginning.'

The retort had the desired effect, i.e. she went on her way, but I was still perplexed about what she had said for a while afterwards.  To begin with, I didn't realise it was only women who were interested in cooking - someone had better inform Gordon Ramsay if that is indeed the case - I'm certain he'd be reluctant to put his testicles on the butcher's block for cleaving, attached to them as he is.  Additionally, although I don't enjoy surfing, horse riding, para-gliding, or rock climbing, politics put me to sleep, and I have more friends on Facebook than I do in the flesh, I object to the insinuation that I don't have a life.  Believe it or not, I do consider myself a feminist, but my definition of the word apparently differs to the amateur social commentator I met today.  To me, feminism is primarily about freedom of choice.  I think women should be free to play football, to hang-glide, to participate in politics, and any number of other pursuits that were considered male domain not so long ago.  I also think that a woman should be just as entitled to sew, cook, knit, etc, if she wants to without judgemental life-Nanny's making them feel ashamed.  To boil it down to basics, do whatever the hell interests you, because life's too short to be bogged down by others expectations.

*Must remember to bake that woman a special cake.  Where does one pick up Ipecac these days?          


Sunday, 18 November 2012


I know it's been a while, and I've a hell of a cheek just breezing back into your lives like the prodigal daughter returning to the fold upon hearing the news that Mum's started talking to the plants but still knows how to cut a cheque.  I can assure you that I am back for good; (not my favourite Take That song, but Prey doesn't fit the theme I'm going for here.  Once my personal life is in such dire straits that I feel the need to beg a deity to pimp me out, Ill use it).  If you'll forgive me a small digression, I have an announcement to make.  While the title will remain the same, so as not to alienate my phenomenally loyal readers, I'm changing the theme of the blog ever so slightly.  Make no mistake, I'll still be offering my observations on dating past thirty and contemplating the deep mysteries of life, (i.e. bitching about Internet dating sites and asking rhetorical questions like 'Why does this dress make me look like an overstuffed Kranski when it looked so gorgeous on my twin Lily Allen'),  but I'll be broadening my subject matter so as not to do what I did last time and run out of stuff to say.

And with that odyssey of a preamble over, cop a brain-full of the following.

I sometimes get the feeling that time isn't so much marching on as it's dancing Gangnam-Style across my face in steel-capped soccer cleats, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I sometimes wish I'd been born a decade later so that I'd be young enough to sit on Zac Effron's knee instead of the other way round, but that doesn't mean that I hate being forty.  Although I have amassed a collection of complexion preservation products that would make Cleopatra dig her nails into the wood of her sarcophagus, I'm not interested in turning back the clock.  Believe it or not, fellow quadregenarians, there are perks to being born before Mark Wahlberg dropped his pants for any reason other than to go potty.  Today I shall list but five.  Feel free to post me your own.

1. People not only tolerate embarrassing behaviour - they expect it.  Remember how mortified you and your best friend were at your first parent/teacher night, when your mum's voices bounced off the auditorium walls as they giggled enthusiastically about your maths teacher's cute rear end?  (Or was that just me?).  Guess what?  I've discovered that the hormone-enriched fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.  Another mum and I were chatting while waiting to receive our kid's third term reports when a teacher passed by who was, to grossly understate it, very aesthetically gifted, and we remarked on it - rather more audibly than we'd intended.  Inexplicably, the teacher in question merely smiled and kept walking, as seemingly unaffected by the hungry eyes burning into the back of him as my maths teacher Mr Kenny was in 1985.

Coincidentally, that was also the closest I ever came to passing that subject.

2.  No one cares what music you listen to.  Trends come and go, and tastes change with every generation, but the youth of today are still bound by the same unwritten rules of maintaining positive public perception as we were at their age.  Publicly declaring your love for a 'Naff' t.v. show, or a song that came out more than a week ago is still akin to being seen in Sesame Street pyjamas, (a fashion faux pas declared null and void once one hits their thirties, according to Bra's 'N' Things online catalogue), but when you turn forty, it works the other way.  Next time you're using public transportation, take a sneaky peak at a young person's iPod when they're scrolling through their playlists, then compare it to your own.  While the dub beats or wrist-slashing emo ballads that make up your fellow passenger's iTunes library seem perfectly in character for them, for us, owning a Nano filled exclusively with My Chemical Romance or Skrillex tunes would probably be cause for brief-wetting laughter, if not downright suspicion.  My mini pink space Walkman boasts playlists like Arse-kicking Alternative, Hot Dance, and Rock Chicks (and yes, I do realise that makes me sound like a seventies DJ - shut up).            

3. You don't, I repeat DON'T, have to look perfect.  This is something my brain has managed to absorb only recently.  If you have a job, a marriage/relationship, a family, or any combination thereof, it's a bonus when you get any free time, so why on Earth would you want to spend it standing before a mirror, obsessing about how huge your arse has gotten lately, or wondering how long it will take to burn off that Tim Tam you took from the packet you have stashed away in the back of your wardrobe like contraband at a Turkish prison?  As long as you're healthy, you don't find yourself clutching your chest when you walk, and you can leave the house without the aid of a crane or a winch, who gives a rat's if you go on the odd choccy binge?  And as for those of us in the Southern hemisphere who have three months of beach weather coming up - the sarong was invented for a reason.

4.  We know how to use Social Networking to network...socially.  The whole point of sites like Facebook is to connect with old friends and make new ones through conversation.  This seems to have escaped the younger generation (oh god, did I SERIOUSLY just use that phrase?).  We wouldn't walk down the street screaming 'LIKE ME!  LIKE ME!'  It's even less likely that we'd respond to a friend's long but hilarious anecdote with a toneless 'LOL,' and if another friend shared some fantastic news with us, we wouldn't dream of ignoring them completely out of sheer laziness, then expect them to go off like a frog in a sock when we reveal our own Earth-shattering revelation.  The only explanation I have for this is that if we wanted to talk to a friend when we were their age we had to, you know, TALK TO THEM!  If you can't carry on a friendly, co-operative conversation in real life, how the hell are you going to type one?  

5.  Sex is WAY better.  It is a biological fact that women hit their sexual peek around now, and I could go into a big, scientific explanation as to why that is, but I honestly wouldn't be able to understand it myself, all I can say is that the genius who came up with the theory that women lose interest in sex with their partners as they get older completely fudged his findings.  It's also worth noting that his research was conducted several decades before the invention of X-Box and the Internet.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Chat-Up

Just over a month ago, I announced that I was going to go out and have the mother of all celebrations for my fortieth birthday.  For a number of reasons, some of which were beyond my control, the shindig didn't eventuate, and my best mate has been at me to reschedule ever since.  Well, thanks to her incessant pleading/nagging/threats of bodily harm, I finally gave in.  Next Saturday, we are hitting the Irish pubs of Melbourne for a night of Bailey's, Boys and Bad Karaoke - but my chronic shyness has had a major resurgence of late, and is threatening to put the kibosh on all but two of these activities.  Fortunately, my best mate is the most stubborn, bull-headed woman in the universe, and will have none of my refusals or excuses this time around.  She told me that my inability to initiate conversation with men, (while sober), could be solved by the implementation of a time-honoured practice that has been used the world over since social interaction began all those years ago - you know, before women waxed their legs.

The icebreaker.

'All you need is a really great line, delivered in just the right way.  Men do it all the time.  It can't be that hard.'

So sayeth the tall, gorgeous, blue-eyed Rachel McAdams lookalike who has never had to approach a man in her life.  Still, a conversation starter might not be a bad idea, and I think I've come up with a good one: I'm going to tell them about the blog!

It might sound crazy to try to capture the attention of potential suitors by telling them that if we do decide to take things further, thousands of other people will be reading all about it.  Well, not ALL of it - I'm not      angling for an HBO series.  I do have to wonder about the types of men this approach would attract.  I mean, do I really want to share physical space with a guy who would read my blog the following week, eagerly searching for a mention of himself like he was trying out for a football team?  (And yes, I do know what that analogy suggests - shut up).  Some guys would understandably be put off by it, particularly if they had never actually read the blog.  For all they know, it could be a performance review, (something I would NEVER partake in, unless I was assessing my own talents, or lack thereof).  Everyone I've told about this, which no doubt now includes you, thinks it's insane and, you know what I say to that?

Thank you.

Why?  Because it's a compliment.  It takes bravery to put ones self out there and do the crazy thing, and if you guys think that much of me, then I must be a lot gutsier than I thought I was.

Or just crazy.

Time will tell.  

*Note:  I just realised that the phrase 'Take things further' may be misconstrued as code for 'Engage in non-committal carnal festivities.'  This was not my intention.  At least at the time of writing.          

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Plan B

Before I get to the gist of this post, let me just make one thing perfectly clear: I adore my son.  He is the most wonderful, loving. funny, challenging, maddening, surprising human being on Earth.  I couldn't replace him any more than I could grow a third ear, but I can't deny that the thought of having a second child appeals to me quite a bit...a lot...okay, I want to be a Mum again - there, I said it.  I would prefer to conceive the natural way - the fun way - and at forty I think, (I hope), I've enough good child-baring years left in me to allow sufficient time to find a guy whose genes I'd like to pass on.  Truth be told, I'm not all that fussy when it comes to qualities I look for - apart from brains, rapier wit, cheek, strength, sensitivity, creativity, nice eyes, great listening skills, a working knowledge of vowels and consonants and a pathological hatred of reality TV.  I'm about eighty-five per cent positive that I'll find this guy in the next couple of years, but a friend of mine, (who shall remain nameless lest she should have to kill me slowly), has already decided upon a plan b just in case fate decides to womb block her.

She has taken out private health insurance that covers her for assisted pregnancy, and has started researching sperm donation.  It's all she's been talking about for months and it was during one of these conversations that she told me I should look into it as well.  I think it's a bit pessimistic for her to be allowing for eternal spinsterhood at the age of thirty-two but I Googled it anyway, merely for analytical purposes you understand, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found...mostly.

There are two options for women who wish to 'receive' (*immature snicker*) donor sperm in this country; shop direct or go on Se-Bay (Ha!  See what I did there?).  Both options cost about the same (on average $400.00-$600.00), but two things stood out to me about the latter.  The first was that the sites I looked at felt eerily similar to dating sites - a long time bug bear of mine, as everyone knows.  Each guy gave a detailed description of his physical attributes, his occupation, and his relationship status, but if you wanted to see what your potential Baby Daddies looked like, you'd have to pay to gain access to his pictures.  The going rate is anywhere from $100.00-$200.00, and bear in mind that's before you proceed to the checkout.  When you do decide upon a candidate, it isn't just a matter of typing in your MasterCard digits and pressing ship - there are more decisions to be made!  If you want a 'Clean' sample, you will need to shell out around $600.00, whereas if you're content with an 'unclean' sample, you'll receive a $200.00 discount.  What bothers me about this is that the sites don't elaborate on what they mean by Clean or Unclean.  Given that we live in the real world, I'm going to go ahead and assume that they don't mean untested, leading me to conclude that the vessel containing the precious essence is delivered to your door as is - from stable to table, as it were. 

Will someone out there with expertise in this arena please tell me I'm wrong about this?

All in all, apart from the aforementioned concerns, I have no objection whatsoever to self insemination - on the contrary; I think it's a fantastic idea, and am glad I live in a world where people don't have to take their love with them when they die.  I still think my friend is prematurely conceding (pun intended), but as for myself, it's starting to sound like an attractive idea if I'm still alone in a year or so.  Does anyone else have any thoughts about it?  

Until my next post, I'll just be sitting here on the couch in scuba gear, bracing myself for the tidal wave of opinions.               

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Striking a blow for freedom.

Readers, I am about to do the unthinkable and blog angry.  Today, I went on that most dreaded of weekly excursions – the grocery shopping trip with my mother.  The reason I dread it is that, despite the sheer athleticism with which I dart about from shop to shop, ensuring she has everything she needs, I will invariably say or do something to incur her wrath.  Today was no exception.  A couple of friends of mine offered to give us a lift there and I accepted, rather than hire a cab to and from as we usually do, making three stops up and back.  My mother was fine with this.  Enraptured, in fact.  Then, at seven thirty this morning, I got a phone call from her, asking what time we were coming for her.  When I told her ten, she became rather terse (as she tends to do when things don’t go EXACTLY her way), stating that friends she meets for coffee might not be there by then.  I explained that this was highly unlikely, seeing as they don’t usually arrive until ten thirty, and she only lives five minutes from the shopping centre.  Unsatisfied and unplacated, she abruptly terminated the call.  Soon after our arrival there, went to work on my son, dredging up a transgression he inadvertently committed three weeks ago. To the uninitiated, this probably doesn’t sound like cause for stress, much less fodder for a blog about the joys and horrors of dating over thirty, but if you’ll bear with me I will endeavour to explain.

Being the only child of a divorcee, and a none-too-well one at that, I have been the centre of my mother’s universe my entire life.  Sounds like a great gig, huh?  Lavished with attention, up to my armpits in presents every birthday and Christmas.  Well, all that is true, but I’ve found that life is a series of transactions – what you receive today has to be paid for tomorrow.  Those presents I got as a kid were wonderful, but memories of the countless hours I spent making god-awful concoctions with my Barbie Perfume Factory tend to lose their lustre when my mother laments the fact that she spent $29.95 on it every time I happen to disagree with her on something.  These occasions are also used as currency when she says or does something spiteful and hurtful, like, for example, the time she called me an idiot in front of her friends, (‘Well, you got me the wrong deodorant.  I gave you a great life when you were a kid, didn’t I?), and the time she called me a whore when I happened to mention a past relationship I have blogged about numerous times, (You’re just a whore, like your father.  You can’t help it.  I shouldn’t have bought you everything, maybe then you wouldn’t be so selfish). 

These are actual examples of her logic, I kid you not. 

As for all that attention, you try enjoying eight hours a day of it.  Yes, you read right.  Eight hours is the figure I’ve arrived upon by adding up the number and duration of phone calls I get from her every day, (I was in remedial maths for four of my five years of high school, so that is an estimation, but it’s a pretty damned close one).  I received one such call on Tuesday afternoon, during which she accused me of putting my son (yes, my son) before her by not visiting her as much during the school holidays, (I’m there three mornings a week usually).  She then mused that she could lay dead in her unit for days and no one would know, just because I had to give ‘that kid’ a good time, (the same kid she called the c-word this afternoon).

As my regular readers will know, I have been putting off finding love for several reasons. 

The woman I described in the last three paragraphs is one of those reasons.
Up until today, I have placated, cajoled, and cow-towed to her.  I have put all other persons (including myself) after her because, as circumstance would have it, I am the only person she has in this world to count on.  In other words, I have allowed guilt and manipulation to run me like a mass media corporation, and let my own happiness suffer as a result.  Well, dear readers, Mad Mel TV will from this day forward be operating more like ABC1 than Fox.  Today, I let my mother know in no uncertain terms that things needed to change if she wanted me in her life.  She declined, (I’ll spare you the rant by which she communicated this), bemoaning the fact that I don’t care about her and would prefer she die.  This would usually be the part where I would crumble, gather my handbag and my kid and rush over to her house to apologise. 

Not today.

Today, I simply said ‘That’s not true, Mum.  I love you, and I’ll be here if you need me, but not until you change,’ and hung up.

I know it sounds mean, and I’m sure some of you think I’m a terrible person, but this confrontation has been a long time coming.  I would NEVER be able to love myself, and consequently allow someone else to love me, if I hadn’t had it now.  Sure, I feel like the worlds biggest shit-heal at the moment, and will undoubtedly have trouble sleeping tonight, but I think that at the age of forty, I’m entitled to put my foot down, don’t you?  

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Train of thought.

While en route home with my son from Comic Con last Sunday, I overheard a conversation in which I was eager to participate.  However, as the train in which we were travelling operated on a notorious South East Melbourne line, and the people conversing were typical of the passengers who travel on said line, judging by their language and demeanour, I decided that there was a time and a place for honesty.  What follows is an abridged transcript of this conversation, and what would have been my response had I not grown so accustomed to sporting my own teeth.

SKINNY BLONDE IN EMINEM SHIRT:  Brie was goin’ mental the other night; Sam (whom I’m assuming is her partner) really had to belt her arse in the end.  That quietened her down.
EQUALLY SKINNY BRUNETTE/BLONDE IN FAUX ADIDAS SHIRT:  I’ll bet it did. That’s all they’re good for; beltin’ ‘em and makin’ ‘em.
S.B.I.E.S:   I could make ‘em myself, but I can’t handle ‘em on my own.  I reckon if kids came out perfect, we wouldn’t need guys.
E.S.B/B.I.F.A.S:  Yeah, but what about the fun bit?
S.B.I.E.S:  That’s what vibrators are for.


Irrespective of the irrefutably fabulous advancements made in reproduction and sex toy manufacturing over the last thirty years or so, I could not disagree more with either of these ‘ladies’ sad assessment of the male species, not that I feel sorry for any ‘man’ who corporally disciplines a little girl.  The reason that the tone of their conversation disturbed me so much is that it sounded eerily like conversations I overheard in my youth – conversations in which the gender roles were reversed.  How would any self-respecting woman react to two twenty-something guys waxing lyrical on the singular nature of women’s existence, (in laymen’s terms, asserting the fact that women are only good for ‘one thing’)?  With anger, I suspect, and rightly so.  Why then is it now okay for women to view men in a similarly utilitarian way?  I wish I could say that this was the first such conversation I had been privy to, but sadly it wasn’t.  I can only assume that these women were either taught to think this way, or that their opinions were forged by bitter experience.  Either way, it’s pretty damned sad.

My mother holds a similar opinion of men, for reasons I’ve gone into in another post, but I never subscribed to it.  I couldn’t let myself.  I can only imagine what life would be like if women were indoctrinated from childhood to seek out a partner according to his procreative and disciplinary capabilities alone.  Sure, there might be a lot less single forty year-olds in the world, (moi, for example), but I can guarantee you we would not be any happier.  Although I don’t necessarily need one, as such, I think the world would be a rather cold place without men, and my belief in human nature assures me that the majority of guys feel the same way about us. 

They do in my world, anyway.