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.    

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Would you buy advice from this woman?

I recently received an email from the CEO of a site called  The gentleman said that he had read my blog, and thought that it would be a great fit for his site, which basically takes on bloggers to give readers advice in their particular area of expertise, most of which is actually great advice.  Apparently, from what I've been able to glean from others and by visiting the site itself, the 'experts' make themselves available via Skype, and readers/callers are charged a certain amount to have their questions answered.  I was initially thrilled at the thought that someone was impressed enough by my work to want to hire me, and PAY me, but then reservations started gnawing away at my fragile little mind, the first of which came in the form of a series of questions.  Since when am I an expert on dating?  Has this man actually READ the blog?  Doesn't he realise that the reason people keep coming back to it is to marvel and (I hope) laugh themselves stupid at my baffling ineptitude and lack of social skills?  The more I thought about it, me giving advice to the lonely and love-lorn would be like Charlie Sheen leading an Amish youth group.

Another concern was the thought of having to be available - on call, if you will, - anytime to chat on Skype.  I have toyed with the idea of Skyping to my readers, at my own discretion, but then some friends rightly pointed out that doing so might also lead to unwanted attention from people who weren't necessarily interested in the blog at all.  Add to that the prospect of being yanked away from any number of activities, some of which I've only just gotten back into (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and the idea was about as attractive as having my next pap smear streamed live on Vimeo.

My final, and greatest, worry was the money.  Utterly blissful as it would be to have a grocery budget high enough to not ever have to buy Z-grade vaccuum-packed minced meat again, I think that the guilt of taking someone's money in exchange for providing them with a guesstimate as to their romantic prospects would soon have me depositing my twenty dollar steak into the cylindrical bio-waste collection pail.

As flattered as I am that the blog has warranted such attention, I am going to have to decline the Wizpert offer, dear readers.  The laughter-derived aversion therapy both you and I get right here will just have to be enough for now.          

Monday, 25 June 2012

Back in the swing.

Dear readers; set down those hot beverages and brace yourselves: your humble narrator actually went on a date.  Well, technically a couple of them.  I set up a profile on yet another dating site, purely for the purpose of doing some research for a new post I was working on, (which I've since abandoned).  In the interests of full disclosure, I was completely upfront about what I was doing there, and even included a link to the blog.  Curiously, for all the discretion that forms part of the site's modus operandi, and asks for from its members, I garnered double the responses I usually get.  A lot of them were from guys who had followed the link and become readers (hey guys!), but I got quite a few other offers too, (most of which I can't mention in this forum due to their 'adult' nature).     

Anyone who was quick enough to have caught my last post before I deleted it, and I was so instantly unhappy with it you would need to have been, will know that I actually accepted one offer, (from someone single), and ended up having a lovely evening with a very intelligent and interesting guy who ended up staying the night, (and that is the most detail you are going to get lest this post turn into a cheap(er) Sex In The City rip-off.  I am still very much a single woman, but I will be removing my profile from the site shortly because, to use a horrible Hipster term, it isn't the 'organic' way to meet someone, but I'm not entirely sorry I did it.  I'm an unemployed,  forty year old single mother of a special needs child.  I have a psychologist on speed-dial, and if ever there was a movie made about my life, nobody short of Jessica Lange would be fit to play my mother.  These things put me very much at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of eligibility, but the point of this post is that I won't let that put me off getting back into the swing of things, because it doesn't scare me anymore.

Unlike some of the responses I got from the above-mentioned site.

Aint no way I'm blogging about those!  

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Happy birthday to me...

Well, the dreaded day is almost at hand.  My fourth decade on Earth begins on Monday and, despite previous assertions to the contrary, I have to admit that I still find it a tiny bit daunting.  No, daunting isn’t the right word exactly.  If I were to be entirely honest, succinct and to the point, sad is how I would describe it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every one of the last forty years has been a waste; I have a gorgeous, complicated nearly fourteen year-old son who reminds me of his father and myself in all the good ways.  I’ve grown into a woman who is above average in terms of creativity, insight, decency, fairness and affection, (if a little lacking in compromise, grace and knowing-when-to-shut-the-hell-up).  I’ve learned, with the benefit of hindsight, how to love others, what they will expect of me, what to expect of them, and what to expect of myself.  The unachieved ambition that is gnawing away at me is one that will undoubtedly piss off some of my regular readers, who are fed up with me going on about how fabulous it is to be single at my age, only to chuck the idea a couple of posts later.  Well dears, I am about to exceed your expectations.  While there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with being single in your late thirties/early forties, (a lot of you absolutely rock it, I must say), I for one am finally ready to admit that I am sick to bloody death of it. This upcoming milestone highlights the reason that I still spend my free Saturday nights watching Doctor Who (the David Tennant years) marathons and eating chocolate hazelnut spread from the jar, (other than there being something inexplicably heavenly about that combination): I’m terrified not to.

I’m nervous that there will be changes to my everyday life, but that doesn’t scare me.  I’m worried that my boy will be resentful of another man in my life, but that doesn’t scare me.  I’m anxious (and certain) that my mother will try to drive him away, but that doesn’t scare me (not anymore, anyway).  What I find so satin-soilingly petrifying is, ridiculous as this may sound, being a girl. 

Told you it might sound ridiculous.

The last guy I went out with never actually took me outside the house, unless it was to a naughty accessories store and prior to that, eons prior to that, I’d been living with the father of my child for four years, and prior to that I was never really the kind of girl who guys took out on real dates; (regular readers who haven’t clicked the big red x by now will know I’m not that girl anymore).  I’m not saying I want to don a little black dress and eat at a five star restaurant; I don’t own a little black dress, and figuring out the order of the cutlery alone would be enough to bring on a panic attack!  What I’m admitting to you now is that I honestly have no idea how to date.  I know how to make contact.  I know how to initiate ‘intimate contact.’  It’s all the stuff in between that paralyses me.  I want to be asked out; to look pretty in something other than my beloved hoodie-and-jeans ensemble; to sit and talk to someone over a couple of drinks; to have fun without worrying what I’m going to have to do to pay for my dinner later on.  (No, I’m not a hooker – it was a metaphor, people). 

Am I the only single woman in the world who feels this way?  Probably not, given the size of the place.  Does it feel that way?  Absolutely.  This isn’t me calling for a pity party, by the way, and to my Sydneysider friend who is planning on coming down here to Melbourne and have coffee and cupcakes with me – we are still on; it’s just me telling the truth.  I like to do that occasionally.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Guilty as charged.

Okay sports fans, the revelation I am about to make will irrevocably damage your perception of me, and quite possibly negate your belief in a benevolent god: I LOVE the Eurovision song contest.  To me, Eurovision is the progeny of New Faces and the Ed Sullivan show; the grandmother of American Idol; and the mother of all carny sideshows.  Whether it’s the singing, the costumes, the sets, or the cyclonic wind machine, I get caught up in the spectacle every year.  It’s one of my guiltiest pleasures.  I’m watching round two of the semi-finals right now, and the fact that I’m doing it alone to avoid having unfair and inaccurate aspersions cast upon my character, (dorky is as dorky does, people), has led me to ponder this: when it comes to guilty pleasures and love interests, what should we share, and what should we spare?  Personally, I think that as long as you’re sure the relationship isn’t already headed for the s-bend, anything short of being the proud owner of an extensive Dora the Explorer erotic fan fiction collection is acceptable; (seriously, anything but that).  Want to know some of my own embarrassing indulgences? 

I love watching STEEL MAGNOLIAS, (I’ve previously claimed that the only reason I own the DVD is to screen it for my mum on Mother’s Day.  I lied.  I happen to think it’s funny, effecting, and well-written; and who doesn’t love poking fun at Sally Field’s southern twang as she’s trying to coax Julia Roberts out of her seizure?  I adore Sally, but when she says ‘This was not bad at awal, this was not bad at awal,’ I honestly think I’d drive myself into a diabetic coma just to get her voice out of my head).  Oh, and I do not cry during the funeral scene, no matter what anyone tells you.  The My Pictures folder on my laptop contains a file of semi-naked pictures of David Tennant, (most of them stills from Secret Smile and Casanova), which I’ve also made into a screensaver.  I like to eat Nutella straight from the jar, and can usually polish one off in under an hour, (oddly enough, I do this while looking at the aforementioned David Tennant pics – read into that what you will).  I like to call the Hot Gossip line and put on a sexy voice, then pretend to get disconnected when the contact requests start rolling in.  Actually, I’d like to strike that one; I don’t feel guilty about it at all.  

Well, that’s a load of my mind, and publishing it here means that, when I do eventually find someone I love enough to want to share this stuff with, I can just email him the link and disappear for a few days. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Oh Mother...

When it comes to mortifying me so severely as to have me entertaining thoughts of matricide, my mother is the master.  My regular readers will know of her penchant for intervening in my love life, but for those new to this blog, you're in for a treat.  Late last Thursday afternoon, Mum and I shared a cab home from shopping and, as is her habit, she was soon machine gunning our driver with questions about his private life.  When her inquiry as to his marital status was responded to in the negative, she asked him how old he was.

'Twenty-eight,' he replied.
'Ooh!  My daughter's available, and she likes 'em young!'
'How old is your daughter?'
'Forty this year,' she turned to me, 'aren't you, love?'
'Gee; you don't look forty.'
'There you go, love!  Why don't you go out with him?  He's interested, aren't you?'
'Of course.'

Now, just to give everybody some perspective, I'll fill in a few details.  This driver didn't help us load our groceries into the boot of the cab, despite the fact that we had two full trolley loads, as you do for two households.  He was also rather cantankerous with my mother when she asked him to call another cab for an elderly lady who had been waiting over an hour.  He did not strike me as a friendly or accommodating fellow and I was therefore not interested in him romantically.  Fair enough, right?  Well, not according to my mother.

'Well, are you gonna go out with him?'
'Oh, I actually prefer to go out with guys closer to my own age.  I'm flattered though, thanks.'
'Since when do you not like younger blokes?' my mother exclaimed, 'God, you're fussy!'

The cab was silent for about sixty seconds after that and, judging by the way the driver was staring at the road ahead, I knew I had inadvertently offended him.

'Are you just not interested in Indian men?'

Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that I don't have a discriminatory bone in my body.  Not to mention the fact that my Stepfather, a man who has actually been my real father for all intents and purposes since I was seven years old, is Indian, so I can say without so much as a hint of hesitation that race was not a factor in my decision to reject the advances of the man who looked ready to turn headlong into oncoming traffic at that moment.  The simple truth of the matter was, I just didn't dig him.  Despite my assurances, the driver looked unconvinced as to my subscription to the Melting Pot Theory, and the cab ride was eerily silent once we dropped Mum off at her place.

But it all turned out okay in the end; my mother was later advised, in no uncertain terms that she was not my pimp and that I am perfectly capable of making my own romantic connections when I so desire, and she has promised not to interfere again.  I don't think there was any real harm done as far as the driver was concerned either...anyone can accidentally take their foot of the brake and let the car roll back while someone is unloading groceries from the trunk.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Plenty of fish in the sea, plenty of birds in the cage.

Plenty of fish in the sea.  Positive as I try to be, (snicker), I’ve always thought that old adage was complete, you should pardon my language, horse shit.  Nice as it is to imagine, the fact is that the odds are against everyone finding their perfect partner, but the hope nestled in the breast of this old cliché is what keeps dating site C.E.O’s in brie, bling and bubbly.  One such person has gone the extra mile in terms of exploiting, pardon me, ‘helping’ the love-lorn.  The extra Green Mile, that is.  Like your lovers assertive/brutal?  Want to meet a guy who will love your kids, (quite literally)?  Don’t mind taking the wheel when it comes to taking long romantic drives, (seeing as he’s not allowed behind it anymore because of his pesky little vehicular homicide conviction)?  Don’t mind long chats on the phone…or from behind plexi-glass? has the person for you!  Oh, and if you’re the kind of person who just loves surprises, you’re really in for a treat, because the site has a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy when it comes to the reasons behind the cuddly crim’s incarceration!  Yep, it’s a veritable grab bag; you could end up with a financial fraudster, (very handy come tax time), or an arsonist, (great way to offload that lemon rental property), or you could really hit the jackpot and wind up betrothed to a multi-murdering nightclub bouncer, (no more worries about the kids being bullied at school). 

The men folk haven’t been neglected here, either.  Judging by some of the online photos I’ve seen of some of the belles behind bars, prison is a veritable smorgasbord of bodacious babes just itching for you to pay them a congical visit.  Oh, but there is a slight hitch; if you want them to look exactly like their pic, you’ll need to smuggle in some mascara, lippy, and a manicure set on your next visit.  Don’t forget the nail file. 

But seriously, is there ANY market these money-hungry matchmakers won’t dip there taloned toes into?  The only advantage I can see with a site like this is that at least you know up front not to expect perfection…unless your last name is Cray, Williams, or Simpson.

*If you don’t know who I’m referencing in the last paragraph, Google it.  Probably shouldn’t have included that bit, but I couldn’t resist.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The People's (and Tom's) voice.

Move over, A Current Affair! Throw yourself under a bus, (I'm begging you), Today Tonight! To make up for my failure to post last week, I decided to go all out with this make-up post and conduct a vox populi, of sorts. Well, in this case the 'General Public' was the five single over thirty year-old's I managed to find at my local shopping centre who were willing to voice their opinions on dating with me. Just like a younger, less vitriolic Barbara Walters, I arrived at my chosen venue bright and early, material and sound recording device, (i.e. my rather battered pink iPod), at the ready. I practically had to beg to get anyone to open up but once they did, I hit them with the following five questions. Enjoy!

Tom, 37 - Because women are too bloody fussy! (You know Tom, maybe we are. Who says intelligence, character and a post secondary school level vocabulary are important in a life partner?)
Maria, 42 - Because there aren't any good men left and the ones that are are gay!
Melissa, 41 - I'm too fussy. And most of the good guys are gay.
Sheridan, 39 - Because my mother interrogates every guy I go out with and scares them off!
Helen, 41 - No good guys left. (I absolutely refuse to believe that.)

*Note to self: must track Sheridan down to discuss starting a support group.

Tom - Yeah. As long as she didn't expect me to be a father to them. Unless they were brats. (Oh Tom; I don't think any woman in her right mind would expect you to help raise her offspring.)
Maria - My family probably wouldn't like it, but I might. Depends how many!
Melissa - Not if they were teenagers; I can't handle teenagers. (Didn't have the heart to tell Melissa that baby's and toddlers do, god willing, eventually become teenagers).
Sheridan - I've got two of my own, so it wouldn't bother me.
Helen - Yeah. I love kids.

Tom - It's a bit of fun. I've been out with a few girls on one site. Nothing yet. Like I said, they're too fussy.
Maria - I'm always on dating sites. I've been out with a lot of guys through those. Most of them only want one thing, but sometimes you meet someone nice.
Melissa - Don't go on them! I went out on one date with a guy, and he kept calling me for months afterwards. I ignored his calls and didn't ring back but he wouldn't give up! (Might I suggest communicating your disinterest? It's a viable option unless you prefer sleeping with a baseball bat under your pillow).
Sheridan - They're okay as a last resort, but most of the people on those sites are just looking for sex. It smacks of desperation to me. (I second that emotion!)
Helen - I've used them a few times. You see some weirdos on there, but I've gotten a few free dinners out of them! (McDonald's or KFC?)

Tom - Gets a bit lonely sometimes. And I can't cook to save myself! (There we are, ladies; the way to Tom's heart is his stomach. Run down to your local TAFE college and sign up for cooking lessons, post haste!)
Maria - Your family thinks there's something wrong with you!
Melissa - It's hard to find guys who are available.
Sheridan - I don't think it is the worst thing in the world. I've had my kids, so I'm in no rush to get married and start a family. That's the reason most people our age are in such a rush to meet someone.
Helen - People think you're either a bitch or you're gay. (Is anyone else seeing a pattern here?)

Tom - No. I wish someone would, though. What are you doing on the weekend? (At this point, your humble reporter thanked Tom for his help, avoiding eye contact, and scanned the immediate area for security guards).
Maria - Once. Never again! My boss set me up with his cousin and he told me he was tall and good looking and when he showed up, he was shorter than me and had a beard! (There's a reason they call them 'Blind' dates.)
Melissa - Never. No thanks.
Sheridan - Quite a few times by my friends. They're hopeless at picking my type! (Sheridan then elaborated and said that, like me, she prefers her men to have souls and at least a double digit i.q.).

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Belly flopping into the shallow end of the gene pool.

I was recently fortunate enough to run into a reader whilst grocery shopping.  She was a lovely person who had loads of kind words to say about the blog, but she did point out that there was an aspect to being single over thirty that I hadn't covered, at least not in any real depth.  She confessed to me that she had all but given up hope on finding love, and that the only reason she had played the dating game as long she had was that she wanted kids.  She was very witty, not at all unattractive and obviously intelligent, so it astounded me that she was still stocking her shopping cart with microwave chicken parmigiana for one, and I told her so.  She thanked me for the compliment, then confessed that if she couldn't find someone suitable within the next six months, she was going to do what her mother, most of her social circle and, for some stupid reason our government, were vehemently opposed to and find a donor dad.

  I think anyone who takes this step is amazingly courageous.  More power to them, I say.  I myself am in no financial position to do it, nor would I particularly relish the idea of raising another child on my own, but the idea did spark some curiosity, so I went online to do some research.  The majority of websites I found were extremely helpful, offering up the pros and cons of making such a life changing decision, but as I'm so often reminded, the internet can be a bewidering place and I soon stumbled upon a site that had me spitting my hot chocolate across the room.  The object of my distaste was, low and behold, a dating site, and in terms of these things being a petrie dish for the most unsavoury social organisms, this one contaminated the laboratory.  The site is called and, as the name suggests, its motus opperandi is to find life partners for people whose physical perfection has thus far proven a hinderance.  Should this prove unsucessfull, good news!  Now all you blindingly attractive members of our society who are harbouring maternal or paternal urges don't have to worry about putrifying your genetic line by procreating with us lesser beings; has come up with a solution.  They now offer a 'virtual sperm and egg bank' for clients who perish the thought of siring less than dazzling proginy. 

  Now, if you don't possess the mandatory exterior qualities to gain membership, which is understandably determined by popular vote, have no fear!  The fertility forum is also open to those poor unfortunates who are aesthetically challenged and have avoided parenthood thus far for fear of passing on their horrific genetic liabilty.  The site creator was initially hesitant about allowing us non-members in to the forum, but soon realised that we might benefit from having a gorgeous limb grafted onto our family tree.    In a recent article on, he stated that:... 'everyone, including ugly people, would like to bring good looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish in our attractive gene pool.' 

Clearly, his beneovolence knows no bounds.

Am I wrong in assuming that most infertile or older singles would be over the moon just to have a child, regardless of whether or not he or she may be gorgeous?  Am I correct in this assumption, or just romantic and deluded?  You be the judge. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012


Being single over thirty is a real dichotomy for me.  Most of the time I love it; I've stated the various joys of being my own romantic boss addnauseum.  But being a red-blooded woman, I do get lonely and it's at these times I seem to come across every insanely happy couple in the south eastern area.  While shopping with my mother on Thursday, I had the privilege of crossing paths with a pair who taught me a valuable lesson about viewing things while wearing dusty pink spectacles.

Mum and I were having lunch in the food court, and I was returning to our table carrying a tray laden with coffee and pastries, walking slowly so as not to perform an impromptu caffeine christening on any of my fellow diners, when an elderly lady started chatting to me.  Her husband kissed her on the cheek, took her tray and placed it on their table before going off to talk to some friends of his, a group of elderly men-folk who congregated at the same table every week.  I couldn't help but envy the two of them just a little; they had stumbled upon that elusive thing called marital bliss, and had inexplicably managed to maintain it far longer than most.  While we were exchanging pleasantries, I realised she was a former neighbour of mine over a decade ago.  I rested my tray on her table for a few moments while we reminisced about how much my former neighbourhood had changed since I left, how much my 'baby' has sprouted since she saw him last, and so on.  Then I asked her to come over and say hi to my mum.  She was walking over to the table with me when a booming voice from behind us very nearly made me drop my tray.

'Sit back over there!'

Her husband was a hefty man of average male height, but was probably seven feet two in his own estimation.  The lady shuffled back to her table and sat down without protest, leaving your humble narrator gaping in astonishment.  The happy hubby then ordered her to stay while he got their lunches, and left with his held high, obviously secure in his own authority.  She shrugged and gestured her apologies, and I said 'That's okay,' although obviously it wasn't.  I've been a resident of this planet for almost four score years, and it took me until that moment to realise how naive I still am when it comes to my perception of coupledom.  Despite the countless disastrous relationships, communication meltdowns and infidelities I've been privy to in my own life and the lives of others, I still hold onto this romantic notion that, once a couple has been together for as long as the one being honoured in this post, they are blissfully happy and completely accepting of each other.  The truth is, it isn't that way for everybody.  That's not to say it can't happen, or that it doesn't; I think the real lesson I learned here was that a committed relationship isn't a cure-all.  Some people are arseholes, and always will be, even with the love of a wonderful person in their possession.  

Saturday, 14 April 2012


I love my city.  It plays host to an enormous variety of people.  So much so that I never feel out of place, no matter my mood or choice of attire.  The beauty of the city, as apposed to suburbia, is that no one stands out.  There are no cliques.  No ruling factions.  Just a blend of characters going about their business without fear of judgement from the taste police.  A visit to the city always leaves me rejuvenated and confident in my individuality.  Yesterday was just such an occasion.

Every year around this time, Melbourne plays host to a pop culture festival called Supernova.  Being a pop culture nut, and being mother to an anime nut, I would love to have gone, but unfortunately couldn't afford the tickets this year thanks to an inexplicably badly timed school camp.  Oh well, I thought, all my favourite super heroes and (hopefully) Will Wheaton will be there next year.  As it turned out, I didn't need to fork over forty dollars to see framed pictures of my favourite childhood comic book characters.  They were everywhere!  Well, technically, it was their deputised likenesses I saw ordering Happy Meals, scanning Miki cards (apparently, being charged with the well being of our citizens doesn't grant you free travel on public transport), and having a smoke on the steps of Flinders Street Station.  Nevertheless, it led me to wonder; why can't we be more like our heroes? 

Consider Wonder Woman, my childhood hero.  Not even born of this world, she has saved it far too many times to count.  She left her homeland behind to live among us and protect us and yet the thing people comment on more often than not is her, admittedly skimpy, costume.  I for one wish I possessed the courage to put all of my womanly assets on show.  I'd save a truckload of money at the butchers alone!  But aside from physical beauty, the most wonderful thing about her is that she also has a brain; and isn't afraid to use it.  She has forged battle plans to fight age old enemies from every possible realm of existence, making herself an integral part of what is largely a male dominated profession.  She'd never date beneath herself; can you imagine Wonder Woman having dinner with a guy who talked to her substantial bosom all night?  Even if you could, would you imagine him surviving the night with his manhood intact?  I thought not.  The Wonder-ful thing about her is that she wears her intelligence, her courage, her sensitivity and her personality like she wears her costume - loud and proud.  Wouldn't this world be a better place if we all did the same?            

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pretty Pictures

My best friend sent me an email yesterday that provided a much needed ray of sunshine on an otherwise (metaphorically) rainy day.  It was a list compiled by some magazine or another entitled: 'Hollywood's hottest 100 men,' and each name on the list was accompanied by an extremely savoury photograph.  Like any red-blooded woman, I scrolled (slowly) down the list and poured over every inch of each entrant's visage, finding myself more and more 'exhilarated' as the cursor on my laptop drew toward the bottom of the page, and it led me to wonder: does that make me a perv?

Consider this: were I a thirty-nine year-old man, ogling a list of Hollywood's hottest 100 women, and someone were to walk in on me just as drool was beginning to course its way down my chin, I'd wager that terms such as 'Pig' and 'Dirty old man' would be bandied about, depending on the sex and moral bent of the witness.  Yes, I agree that it sounds like I'm betraying the sisterhood by saying that we sometimes have double standards when it comes to issues of morality and taste.  I agree also that not all women are like this, and I certainly don't mean to paint every member of my awesome gender with the same brush, but I think most women will, if they're honest, admit to accusing a guy of being disgusting or creepy at one time or another, for doing nothing more than appreciating physical beauty. 

I know I have.

Yet, to my knowledge, no such derogatory terms exist for women indulging in the same harmless pass time. 

There are, however, unfortunate and equally degrading terms that people use to denigrate women who, for one reason or another, enjoy carnal festivities with successive partners.  Although the words 'Whore', 'Slut,' and 'Mole,' have never escaped my lips, they were used to describe me at one point in my life and, you know what?  It hurt, and needlessly so, because my accusers were wrong.  Just as I believe anyone who calls a man a pig for looking at pictures of gorgeous, half-naked actresses is wrong.  Men and women are very different, it's true, but what separates human beings from most other animals is that both genders in our species were born with desires, and although those wacky theologians might argue that those desires were put there for the purpose of procreation, the fact is that more often than not, we act on them because we want to, not because we have to. 

To put it more succinctly; lookin' at pictures of them there pretty people in their skivvies is fun.

I think that the desire to look upon beautiful - dare I say heavenly? - creatures is perfectly normal, no matter what your gender.  Doubling your standards halves your humanity. 



Monday, 9 April 2012

Ball's-out Barbie.

If you're a loser like me who follows these things, you will no doubt be aware that there are more single women over thirty in the world than there are men.  According to one statistic, unattached Aussie women outnumber the guys nine to one.  Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about that, without the aid of Chris Hemsworth, a time machine, state-of-the-art cloning technology and chloroform, but I think I do have a suggestion to help combat the depression that often occurs as a result of this discrepancy. 

Ladies, cast your minds back to your childhood, a time when nothing seemed impossible, thanks to one elegant, sophisticated, flaxen-haired woman. 


She has been a fashion designer, a doctor, a teacher, a veterinarian, a plastic surgeon (I kid you not, it was in 1973 - look it up), an army officer, an air force pilot, a marine, a policewoman, a fire fighter, a rock star, a scuba diver, the ambassador for world peace and even President of the United States, just to name a few.  What's more, she still managed to get married, and ride horses in her spare time, and those perfect, rock-hard bazooms always pointed dead ahead.  Barbie wasn't just a toy; she was an aspirational figure.  She was a beacon for shy, oppressed little girls everywhere who looked at their two pack a day, serapax-gobbling Mum's and thought: That won't be me.  I'm going to be just like Barbie.  Sweet, I grant you, but realistic?

Hell no!

Pure and untainted by the lure of monetary gain as I'm sure Barbie's employment counsellors at Mattel were, they clearly dropped the ball when it came to preparing her little disciples for the harsh realities they would later face.  Sadly, I was one of those disciples, and if I had the multi-tasking-maven herself here now, I would take her to task. 

Where is my dream house?  Where is my non-threatening, ever-present, perpetually-happy husband?  Just how many tiny Ford Pills do you have to chug every day to maintain that girlish figure?  If you truly want to enlighten and inspire your young fans, I suggest you give yourself a make-under.  Force down a plastic roast chicken or three, tell us the true nature of your relationship with Ken, seeing as there obviously can't be much going on after dark, given his little anatomical problem and love of fashion.  Show future generations of women the realities of post-war society and release a new line of likenesses.  Prozac Barbie; Over Twenty-Eights-Night Barbie; Blind Date Barbie (complete with pink bucket and mace); and Settle-For-Less Barbie are some that spring to mind.  Dreaming's fine, but little girls need to learn how to cope should they get past thirty and find themselves riding the bus alone as their friends rocket past in their hot pink convertibles with male model or muscular army lieutenant husbands arms draped over their shoulders. 

Barbie, Mattell, I urge you to address this appallingly neglected niche before it's too late, and another generation of women live out the rest of their lives in small rooms surrounded on all sides by baby pink satin padding.                          

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Shot Roast.

I recently had the pleasure of watching a celebrity roast.  In the old days, these events 'honoured' the creme de la creme of the entertainment world, putting show business royalty in the oven for an hour or so to baste in their own sweat and giggle nervously as friends and colleagues rattled off a litany of their mistakes and indiscretions with impeccable comic timing.  Given the state the world economy is in, it's no wonder that the choice of meat for these feasts has gone from prime rib to hamburger.  The celebrity on the menu the night I watched was none other than the tabloid crowd's drive-thru dish of choice, David Hassellhoff and you know what?  It was the best roast I've ever seen!  His life and 'career' being what it has been, the celebrity chefs turned the heat up to three hundred degrees without raising a sweat, and The Hoff didn't even burn, (although he couldn't get any browner, let's face it), spitting Crisco back at them with retorts that must have had aspiring stand-ups taking notes.  My romantic 'career' being what it has been, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if I was the one in the baking dish, and my friends and exes were the ones serving me up?  This is how I thought it would go...

Introduction - my best friend, Corrina.  I've known Mel since we were eleven and twelve years old, and I'm pleased to say her taste in men has improved since those early days; she doesn't fall in love with thirteen year-olds anymore...well, not thirteen in the chronological sense.  The list of her roasters this evening reads like the contents page on Don't Date  Her first boyfriend, Perry, is here.  They dated for a whole two weeks until she got out in the world and realised that Eu de Marlborough wasn't a brand of men's cologne.  Then of course there's her first real boyfriend, Aaron, who managed to squeeze us into his busy schedule between riding past Mel's house and pretending to be in love with his wife.  I'm pleased to see Ryan here.  He's the one who managed to stick with Mel the longest.  Five whole years!  I'd throw in the old standard 'you do less time for murder,' but in that scenario, it'd be kind of hard to pick the perp.  Anyway, I volunteered to be the M.C. tonight because, of all the people in this room, I can safely say I know Mel best of all.  I've seen her in just about any state you can imagine - happy, sad, angry, loving, bitter, regretful, exhilarated; and that was just on her thirtieth birthday.  Mel has a little condition I like to call I.M.P.D - Inebriated Multiple Personality Disorder.  When she's sober, she's a shy, virginal Sunday school teacher.  When she's tipsy, she's a hyperactive leprechaun on uppers.  When she's drunk, she's anybody's.  Oh, while we're on the subject, could we get someone to come over here and keep Mel away from the open bar?  Great.  Mel, everyone in this room loves you, well, most of them...okay, just the ones who haven't actually had to live with you for longer than twenty four hours, and we hope you will appreciate this roast in the spirit with which it was intended; good humour...especially seeing as we're recording it for screening at your intervention. 

First speaker - Perry Feldon.  I first met Mel at a venue she was to frequent on and off throughout the course of her early twenties; the unemployment office.  We bonded over mutual interests; we were both unemployed and desperate.  When she first got a job I was overjoyed; finally, we could eat dinner in a place where they actually gave you cutlery, and not the plastic kind.  But it wasn't long before she started to meet new people and when she asked to talk to me over lunch one day, I knew it was over before she said a word.  But it wasn't as though she severed ties with me completely; we would bump into each other every now and then at the train station when she was on her way to work and she was always friendly...she never failed to give me a smile before dashing into the ladies to hide.  I still held out hope though; she was a nice person, she'd soon realise that those guys in suits were phonies and come back to me...sure, she wasn't making eye contact with me these days, but that was just because of the sun glare in her mid winter.  Smitten as I was, I did bow out in the end.  It took me a while, but I finally got the message that she'd moved on.  That, and her mother threatened to castrate me if I came within a metre of her.

Second speaker - Aaron Smith.  I once read that the definition of insanity was to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.  There, in a nutshell, you have my relationship with Mel.  We first met at a club one Thursday night and I'll never forget what a vision she was; capering around on the dance floor, holding her fourth drink of the night and singing along to Peter Andre.  I drove her home that night and we quickly became inseparable.  Quite literally.  She clung to me like we were bonded together with invisible handcuffs.  Being a red-blooded twenty-five year old guy, I was taken aback by this so I ended things but, as Mel herself has documented in her blog, that was not the end of our association.  We got together quite a bit over the next few years until she had her little epiphany and broke up with me.  As the old saying goes, with progression comes change.  I thought that with the progression of her age and her waistline her standards might change but alas, things didn't pan out that way.  When you think about it, a moral compass is just like a Swiss army knife; it's easily adaptable and can be tucked away when you have no use for it.

Final speaker - Ryan Bunton.  Mel and I were actually set up on a blind date.  Of course, I mean a blind date in the traditional sense, not the colloquial, which from what I've been able to piece together from members of the audience describes her dating pattern prior to meeting me.  We lived together for a few years and I must admit, I had doubts about where our relationship was headed, but we managed to work things out and stick together for a while...sudden parenthood is a great adhesive.  Mel will tell you that I was difficult to live with and it's true, I was somewhat distant, but I wasn't like that all the time...Mel was a dab hand with the old bunji cord.  But you need individual interests to stay happy as a couple and we certainly had those.  I had dungeons and dragons, sport, and surfing for porn to psych myself up.  Mel had the baby, reading, and playing with the voodoo doll she made that time I said hi to a girl I went to school with.  The good thing about Mel is that she doesn't fit the stereotypical description of a woman in a long-term, co-habitual relationship.  She never lost interest in sex.  Never.  Not once.  Not even when I pretended to be asleep.  It's a good thing really; now I'm prepared should I ever be doused in honey and cornered by a bear.  All good things must come to an end and I did meet someone else one fateful weekend away with my football team, but Mel took it gracefully.  There wasn't any begging or crying or clinging to my leg as I walked out the front door.  She even took my announcement of our nuptials with amazing grace, despite my initial misgivings about telling her, and not once has she sought revenge...anyone can develop a spontaneous hernia on their wedding night.

Corrina's closing.  Mel, despite any ill feelings that may be circulating around this room tonight, I think I speak for everyone here when I say that you are a uniquely talented and courageous woman.  It takes balls to go out in public with your head held high, knowing where it's been.  And I'm positive that the social anxiety you're currently experiencing will pass and you'll be back to your effervescent old self.  Alcohol manufacturers have built an industry around it.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Happy first anniversary, PaperBlog!

I registered with PaperBlog back in November 2011, and it was the best decision I've made since deciding to air my soiled romantic linen on a blog in the first place.  True, I also promote Disasters In Dating on Facebook and Twitter, and they were instrumental in growing my audience in the beginning, but my views since joining PaperBlog have gone from the hundreds to the thousands, and that can not be mere coincidence.  I value PaperBlog both as a writer and a reader; one of the best things a blogger can do in terms of improving upon their own writing or just realising that what they do is not just their 'little hobby' is to read other blogs, and the list of writers on PaperBlog is phenomenally useful in both these respects.  Everything you can imagine is on the site, from personal blogs (like yours truly), to those offering advice, current affairs, comedy, fashion, political viewpoints, and beyond. 

Much as I love blogging, there are times when I feel as though I'm sending my thoughts into a vortex, despite the number of gorgeous, devoted readers that I clearly have, (clinical depression, what are you gonna do?).  It was during one of these times that PaperBlog chose me as their 'funny and frank blogger of the day' and, let me tell you, my meds kicked in a whole lot quicker that particular morning.  Sometimes, it takes a vote of confidence from their audience AND their peers before a writer finally snaps out of their rut and says 'You know what, I'm damn good at what I do, and now I have proof!' 

In short, PaperBlog is awesome, and I want to have it's babies.  Happy first anniversary, guys, and many more.  xx  

Friday, 30 March 2012

Soul food

Thanks to the wonders of modern pharmacology, and finally finding a doctor who seems to give a rats arse, I am managing my depression, and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the day.  These days, when I say that I like myself, I can honestly attest that I still mean it twenty-four hours later.  I know what I want from life, from myself and from the people around me, and that is immensely reassuring...except when it isn't.  I know I can't even consider resuming the search for 'The One,' (pardon my Meg Ryan moment there), until I'm at least eighty per cent healed, (I'm nothing if not a realist about it), but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.  This is going to sound uncharacteristically wistful coming from me, but I miss the comfort that sharing space with another human being can bring.  Despite my oft-discussed determination to live for myself first, I must admit that it would be really nice just to cook for someone again.  Relax; I'm not metamorphosizing into a fifties house-Frau, I just miss that gorgeous feeling that used to come over me whenever I did something nice for someone, just because I loved them.  That's not to say I don't feel some satisfaction whenever I do things for my son, but parental love is an altogether different animal and besides, it'd be nice to cook for someone who appreciates the effort that goes into a good hollandaise sauce, and doesn't turn his nose up at anything that isn't flat-packed and delivered.

Creating an appetising meal for someone, nourishing them body and soul, is as much an act of love as sharing your bed, your breath, or your blood.  Perhaps that's what I really miss; the notion that there is someone in the world whose existence I value to such a degree that the idea of sharing something of myself with them doesn't seem at all like a sacrifice.

And yes, it'd also be nice to have sex again while I still remember what goes where.     


Sunday, 25 March 2012


Before I begin this post I, your humble narrator, would like to apologise for the tardy nature of its submission.  Due to the unpredictable nature of thirty-six year old underground cabling, my home, along with ninety-seven others in our street, was hit with a major power outage that lasted until four o'clock this afternoon, and my son and I were forced to decamp to my mother's place until everything was put right again.  When it first happened, I planned to wait it out, and to prove my resilience, I took a bubble bath.  My toes had barely pierced the suds when my son bashed on the bathroom door to tell me that Nana had called my neighbour and wanted to speak to me urgently.  I changed and rushed over, all sorts of dire scenarios playing out in my head, only to have my mother make the following enquiry.

'So, are any of the sparkies cute?'  (For my non-Aussie readers, 'Sparky' is a colloquial Australian euphemism for an electrician).

My mother then went on to encourage me to go back outside and strike up a conversation with the, admittedly rather handsome looking, men.  I declined, given my attire; beguiling a combination as blue rosebud pyjamas, five-year-old faded pink robe and brown knee-high ug boots might be, my hair was damp and doused in conditioner, and the juiced-up psychiatric patient look hasn't been in since Jack Nicholson popularised it in 1975.  Undeterred, my mother then proceeded to give me a half-hour lecture on my unattractive habit of spitting in the face of opportunity whenever it comes knocking.  I then explained to her that, should any of these potential suitors not be phased by my appearance, the fact that my son was running around trying to coerce them into playing 'Murder in the dark' might be a bit of a turn-off.

'There's always a bloody excuse whenever I make a suggestion, isn't there?  You should be glad you've got a mother who cares enough to interfere.'

Which brought to mind another possible turn-off; one I didn't verbalise, for obvious reasons.         

Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's a set-up!

What I'm going to bring to your attention today is a global phenomenon that is perhaps the greatest personal threat we face as human beings.  It is a ritual that has been carried out on the willing and the captive since time immemorial and is insidious, pervasive and downright evil.  It is known colloquially as The Set-Up.

It is easy to spot the victims of this form of societal bullying; just follow the corpses of romantic ideals and friendships.  To illustrate my argument against matchmaking, and to drown out the cries of protest from those who fall in to the lucky five per cent of the population for whom it has been successful, let me provide you with some examples.

Last year, a friend of mine had just sent her boyfriend packing, quite literally; she even paid for his passage back to America, for a myriad of reasons.  After five years, his cheating, domineering ways had finally spurred her into action.  Not to mention the fact that he drained her of most of her savings.  She had begun to rebuild her life and her self-esteem was improving daily, and it was good to see her happy again.  Then one day, she said something so unconscionable it almost pains me to write it here. 

'He's a really funny guy, and very loyal.  He's thinking about coming back here in a few months, I reckon we should set something up; he'd be good for you.'

I doubt this needs explanation, but for the few readers who are still in the dark as to what my 'friend' was trying to facilitate, it is what I like to call the 'Match of convenience,' IE: if Love Rat and I were successfully matched, it would be wonderfully convenient for her.  I declined the invitation, very politely under the circumstances. 

A woman I once worked with was set up by her best friend in an arrangement I like to call the 'Broaden your horizons because I say so' set-up.  Armed with the knowledge that her friend favoured a particular physical type; tall, dark, and handsome; she then went about setting her up with a workmate of her husbands who was the complete physical opposite, citing that it would be good for her not to be so picky when it came to physical attractiveness.  Not only was the date unsuccessful, it also put a strain on the friendship that never really went away.  Still, it didn't end badly for all concerned; it turned out that the architect of the set-up had been harbouring a crush on her husband's friend for several years, and when he was sent by her husband to pick her up at the train station, he took her to his place.  A month later, it became their place.  

The final example I'd like to lay on you comes courtesy of a former neighbour of mine.  She was referred to by most of her family as 'Poor Thing,' in light of her limited romantic and vocational prospects (from their point of view).  To help her, and undoubtedly absolve herself of responsibility for her part in her daughter's misfortune, her mother set her up with a friend's son.  Stacey couldn't believe her luck; Richard was gorgeous, funny, and polite to an other-worldly degree.  He fit her criteria perfectly!  The two of them were married two years later and even had a daughter, so I guess you might say it was a successful set-up. 

Reserve judgement until the end of the story.

Within months of the wedding, cracks started appearing in their relationship.  Stacey ignored them, attributing Richard's moods to homesickness, seeing as, at thirty-one, this was his first time living away from home, and he was still acclimatising himself to living with someone with different habits and rituals than those of his father and stepmother.  Things did improve when Stacey discovered she was pregnant, but once the baby was born, life in her household returned to its familiar unsteady rhythm.  When she finally decided to question Richard about it, on the morning of their daughter's second birthday, he irritably confessed that he didn't love her, and that the only reason he was with her was because his father needed him out of the house so that he could leave his second wife with a clear conscience. 

Given the end result, I suppose you could call this a set-up of in-convenience. 

I'm not saying that all set-ups are doomed from their inception, I'm just saying that the next time a friend/loved one/well-meaning-sticky nose says they know someone who would be perfect for you, consider their motivations first, and never doubt your own instincts. 

Saturday, 10 March 2012


I decided back in December that this year was going to be my year; I was going to look after myself and get my life together before I shared it with anyone else.  I joined a reading challenge, started a vlog, and actually went out on a Saturday night for the first time in ages, all in an effort to increase my confidence so that I could love myself and make it easier for someone to love me.  And it worked...temporarily.  Every time I finished a book, I'd feel like my mind had been opened a little bit more.  I signed off each vlog post exhilarated and exhausted, thrilled that people would finally hear me sing.  I woke up the morning after my night out, happily hung over.  But within an hour of achieving each of these triumphs, I was in my kitchen, staring out the window wondering what the hell I was doing in a world in which I had no purpose.  I'd stand before that window for hours as a de-motivation tape played on an endless reel in my head.  You're a terrible mother.  You've screwed up your life and everyone else's.  You've made a fool of yourself.  Why were you born?

That tape had been playing since my early teens, and the volume gradually increased until two Wednesdays ago, when a conversation with my mother brought it to an ear-splitting level and I could take no more.  The resultant torrent of blubbering gibberish may have taken a year off my poor mother's life, but it also motivated her into making an appointment to do what I had been putting off for half of mine; seeking help.  I went to my doctor on Friday afternoon and am now finally treating the source of most of my problems.  I'd liken this treatment to cleaning a cut knee and putting Bettadine on it, rather than just slapping on a band aid; it stings, even makes me a little nauseous, but I can already feel the wound starting to heal.  It'll be a while before it scabs over, and when it does I'll more than likely want to pick at it occasionally, but the important thing for now is dressing it before infection sets in, and I think I've done that.  Depression is a very personal topic, some might even consider it taboo, but the reason I wrote about it in this post was because it shouldn't be.  If you're feeling torn apart, tell someone and start repairing yourself, don't smile and deny the fissure exists.