This is not the blog I was hoping to write ….

Parker, my French Bulldog managed to get out of our front gates Thursday before last.

I blame myself of course, but it was an accident.

I replay that if I had not chosen to wash them, and blow dry them, and then put them on the drive way to have a wee and a what ever else, so that they would stay clean and I could bring them back in to the house to sleep, then this would never have happened.

I kick myself I did not just take them to the groomers.

The gate had been acting a bit “broken” and had been repaired.  But repair guy needed to come back and to the final “gate is not broken.”  He didn’t.

My friend had offered to fix the gate – and I had said “no” because I did not want to be the person who is always having favours done for.  I knew “gate guy” had to just pop along and sort it out.  Would take him 15 minutes maximum,.

We were using a short chain to secure the gate, and you needed to hook the lock on the closest link of the chain to keep the gate firmly closed.

Any way due to a series of happenings, the gate was left wide enough for Parker to get through.

Dexter – my Boston Terrier – is such a skinny arse he can fit through all the security gates.  After dog washing I took a quick shower and I was trying to put warm things on to go and let them in.  I noticed Dexter hanging outside my sliding door gate, and he just had this “funny” look about him.

I was no worried, I just thought he was acting “odd” because he had just had a bath and been subjected to a hair dryer.  And now was being made to stand outside.  I could see the contempt written all over his face.

But there was something else.  Something about his look that made me wonder if Timmy might be down the well.

At that moment, I just got a funny vibe – how many times must Timmy fall down the fucking well?  I shot out the room and called for Parker.  He did not come when I called and I realised the front gate was ajar.

My friend Judith dropped everything and took off at a speed down the road calling for him.  Running in her jammies.  And screaming.

I went to check kids were being watched, got in my car and off I went to search for him.  Our suburb is not very big – we drove around.  The thing that stood out for me was that the neighbourhood dogs were not barking.

It was silence.

If I walk my dogs, each home’s dogs run out to swear and basically make obscene gestures to my dogs.  This is normal.

If my dog was walking around the ‘hood, the dogs would be barking.  They weren’t.

I consoled myself that he had probably walked into someone’s home, parked his bum securely on their couch and was getting the spot behind his right ear tickled in just the way he liked it, and he was snorting in appreciation.

I was concerned.  I was not beside myself with worry.

I firmly believed he was warm and comfortable and that the person who had him would take him to Panorama Veterinary Clinic in the morning, to be scanned.

I reasoned that they did not realise that the Vet was open 24/7 and would do it in the morning.

I managed to cancel my meetings and my interviews for the next day – there was only one I could not cancel.

I was sitting in the meeting and I saw the phone ring and it was Alana (Aidan and Alana had the sire and the dam of Parker’s) – there was a very fuddled few minutes of conversation where I believed that Parker was injured and he was at a vet.  And as I ran with this premise I realised the tone of Alana’s voice did not match the “happiness” of your dog being slight injured and just at the vet.

In my madness I could not hear what she was trying to tell me.  I kept thinking I needed to just pop along to Tygerberg Animal Hospital and fetch him – he was injured.  Not ideal.  But not that bad.  Right?

I just could not hear what she was trying to tell me.

Then the penny dropped.

It was a slow penny, but the drop was earth shattering for me.

I could not continue talking to her.

I had a candidate infront of me, that I needed to finish an interview for.  I tried my best to appear professional, and get it done, say thank you, and then burst into tears as I sat with my head on the table.  I might not be permitted to McDonalds again.

Lori,the breeder called, and I sobbed.  I felt like my little heart had been ripped out of my chest via my cornea.  Lori – remained sane – she said she would meet me at the vet.

I wanted to see Parker one last time.  I wanted to push my face against his fur and breath him in.  For the last time.

I wanted to call him my chunky little monkey and tell him how much I loved him.

I couldn’t.  He was in too bad a condition for me to see him.  Lori suggested I remember him for the way he was and not go through the trauma of seeing him now.

I understand he is “just” a dog.  I get it.  I get that he is not one of my children.  I understand all of that.  But for me he was one of my children.  In his snorty, affectionate manner and his big brown eyes that seemed to just understand me.

Parker was there when Kennith told me we were getting a divorce.  Parker was there when Kennith told me he was moving out.  Parker was there when I realised that Kennith had moved on and was dating.  Like not casual dating but boyfriend and girlfriend dating.

Parker was there to cuddle against me, listen to me sob and rest his big head against my chest.  He didn’t ask me to explain, he was happy to lie against me and when I looked like I was sobbing a bit harder, then he just moved in closer – usually until he was lying on my head or my chest.

In his eyes he knew my pain, and he knew that all I needed was a cuddle, a love and a little bit of snot from his big nose to drip on my hand.  He just knew.

I am bereft and I am still inconsolable.  I try to talk about Parker and then I burst into tears.

I know he is a dog, but he is not “just” a dog – he was Parker, my guy, my chubby chubbs, my guy.

 

{I do want to say thank you to all the people who shared the post about Parker being missing.  People I did not know or have never met made the effort to send me information about where to search and what to look for.

People I have never met phoned vets on my behalf, reposted my “lost dog” onto various pages on Facebook.  I received so many emails of support and encouragement from people, again, who I did not know.  People who understood and understand what it feels like to lose a dog.

I can’t thank everyone —- but if you are reading this, and you are one of those people who just see the distress in others and get involved to try to help, thank you.  No, not just thank you.  But thank YOU!}

 

Parker is gone.  He will not be coming home again.

 

Dexter stealing my heart on day 1

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Parker and his dad Yoda — Parker has his tongue sticking out.  Yoda is wondering who needs to pay to get out of this situation.

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Parker licking Isabelle to death ….. such a dangerous dog

 

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Parker doing what he does best ….. sleeping and snoring …..

 

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Dexter and Parker … who said that French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could not live together ?  Them’s wrong.

 

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When Kotex Pads and Blitz looked like a match made in heaven ……

I popped into Pick ‘n Pay Plattekloof Center recently, and wandered down the “outdoor” aisle, the one that looks very manly.  And makes you want to go home and start a fire.  Not necessarily in your fire place.

At the end of the aisle was the usual selection of Blitz/Fire Lighters, I can’t even remember what I was looking for to make me wander down this end of the store.

Maybe the shock of seeing such an interesting product juxtaposition rewired my brain and made for forget.  Its all possible.

I saw what can only be described as an “interesting” product placement  – or a “brilliant” product placement by Kotex pads.

I really like advertising/marketing that marries two unrelated ideas and makes them so brilliant that from that point on wards cannot “not” associate the two.

Mentos and Coca-Cola for instance.

Wine and …. more wine.

They pack so much wine in one aisle.  And so many varieties, sometimes you cannot just buy one, because then you look at the other bottle on the shelf and feel dreadfully sorry for it, so you buy it too and so it the chain of events continues until you start to make your way to an AA meeting.

Tip:  I do think you should place wine glasses in between the wine bottles – a “buy 6 of these bottles”, and get 6 lovely wine glasses at a discount or something.  I personally adore wine glasses.  They are second to books in my impulse purchase list.

Kotex, I put it to you — I think this might be an unbelievable placement strategy and I, for one, am hanging on with a large glass of wine, some popcorn, dying to hear the thinking here.

Or is it going to be a sad and rather painful “performance appraisal” meeting with one of your store marketers.

I really do hope it is the former.

{over to you Kotex Pads……}

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{I took the photograph, hence the slightly grim quality — there is no photoshopping going on here.}

#bringmydoghome

Interrupting the regular broadcast programme on this blog……… with this important announcement

I realise this has nothing directly to do with my blog – bu, but dog rhymes with blog, so really it is not that far a stretch.

Me = sitting and crying snot and tears.

I am sharing this – in the hope that by the end of the day I am no longer making snot bubbles and my dog is back home.

Parker, my French Bulldog got out of my front gate last night (18 June 2015) around 19h00.

We are situated in the Plattekloof/Parow/Northern Suburbs area of Cape Town.

Spent several hours looking for him.  I am under the impression he has just walked into someone’s home.  He is hang friendly and will make himself comfortable anywhere with anyone.

There were no dogs barking in our neighbourhood, and they always bark if someone is walking around and especially if a dog walks past their respective gate.  So based on this Magnum PI approach, I figure he is sitting in someone’s home sharing their couch and snoring.

I am beside myself with worry.  The word anguish does not even hint at it.

Parker, is a French Bulldog, he is micro chipped, a fully intact male, mainly white, with red/fawn markings on his face and a bit on his side.

Last seen in Plattekloof 2 {Parow,Northern Suburbs, Cape Town} area around 19h00 on the 18 June 2015.

If you know anyone who has picked him up, or someone in the area who could have seen him, or someone who just happens to have a new dog ……… please share this post — I can be reached on celeste@happyhelpers.co.za

Please help me #bringmydoghome

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When you realise that you are not the only parent struggling with this parenting malarkey ….

 

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In essence I started to blog because I felt alone.  In my head.

I believed – firmly – that I was the only person who thought like I did.

I believed I was the only person who was scared shitless of parenthood.

I believed I was the only parent fucking up on a regular (interpret as almost daily) basis.

All the moms I saw looked so happy, clean, shiny and sane.

They seemed to be able to make endless inane conversation, where I spluttered and usually said something that referred to a penis, vagina or squirrel …. and sometimes all three in one sentence.

People started to move away from me like they have just noticed someone on the other side of the room who is waving to them, and they need to go.

The group re-forms somewhere else in the room, whilst I am standing there wondering how the fuck I can fuck up so much.  Socially.

I recall at one of our couple therapy sessions I voiced my inability and hate (intense dislike — I might have said something like I fucking hate) of how I felt about the mommy clicks (is it clicks or cliques???) at school – and the worse mommy clicks at birthday parties.

How difficult it was for me to try to conform to these groups.  How absolutely humiliated I felt as I grovelled to try to get some attention from all the “in moms.”  It was like primary school again, but with more money and my hair in a slightly better state.

Dropping and collecting Connor at school was torture.   I knew I had to make conversation with the “in mommies” but I was so hideously bad at it.  I usually managed to alienate them in sets of three.  These women never travel alone, they have a possé/gang/homies with them at all the time.

I detested going to children’s birthday parties.

It meant about three hours of sitting and talking about shit.  Not shitting on people during sex. Or accidentally farting a wet one, when you thought it was going to be a sneaky silent one.

But actual shit.  Their children’s shit.

I am creative, in fact sometimes I think I have super hero powers in being a creative thinker, but I cannot chat about “shit” —– and why would I want to.

To add to the overall problem, these parties were usually sober affairs.  The moms sat around talking about the colour of shit and drank tea, whilst the three dads who came along stood around the braai (sans fire) drank beer and talked about “I have no idea.”

Kennith refused to go to kids parties.

He figured as I had a vagina and a uterus, I should just suck it up and go along – there was no way he was going.  He was born with a penis and some testosterone, which gave him the right to say “fuck it, I don’t do kids parties — but you can go…”

Vaginas and uteruses are truly miraculous devices.  How do they allow me to be more socially comfortable than him in a room full of vapid mothers talking about their off spring.  How?

Maybe my uterus does not work right, because being trapped in a room with moms is not dissimilar from being trapped in a room with blood sucking leeches.

These mom conversations are usually made of moms waiting for the speaker to take a breath so they can jump in with their story about their Johnny and/or Hannah and how/she clever he/she was by putting a turd right inside his/her potty.

Fuck me.  No really.  Fuck me.  Much better idea than having to listen to stories about shit.

The only time someone’s shit is a good story is if on your date, your date got diarrhea and pooped in their pants.  Well that is my best story, but I will leave it for another day.

I sat in one of our countless couple counselling sessions explaining – whilst on the verge of tears – that I experienced this social trauma and made to feel so much less than I was, EVERY TIME I collected my child from school.

Kids parties were more painful than spilling hot wax on my nether regions, and having the hair pulled out via the root.  I would happily endure a 5 hour wax session than 3o minutes of this Dante’s circle of hell Mommy shit.

Kennith was visibly shocked. He could not understand how I hated it all so much – clearly he had not been listening to me for the last 5 – 7 years.

I was shocked that he was shocked.  I was shocked that he thought I enjoyed this “mommy obligatory” shit. I was genuinely jealous that I did not live in his head where it was all sunshine and fucking rainbows and he did not have to deal with these mommy-gangs.

Anyway the point of this post is that I have felt and allowed myself for the greater part of my existence to feel a bit “a part” and “a bit not quite fitting in.”

The joy of blogging was realising that I was not alone in my craziness.

The last post I wrote and the comments reminded me again how many people out there have a strange off center way of looking at life.

It made me so very very happy.

I am so grateful for everyone who could look past the thigh length penis and point out the picture of the holy, the suspicious tissue, the strange pillow case and then have a chat about those things.

Where – where – where the hell were you when I was going through the hell of mom-and-baby groups and moms-only-birthday parties??

You and I should be in the corner with wine.  Where the fuck were you???Either way I am thrilled you are here now.  High five to all who have decided fuck it and give mommy-gangs a justified “fuck you…”

 

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This post contains explicit nudity …. the full frontal kind … you have been warned

The story starts in the land of WhatsApp, where all good stories start.

In this one I am sober.  It was the middle of the day (yes and I was sober) and I was working away like the industrious little worker bee I am.

I get this rather cryptic message – and it makes no sense.  It appears to be from a bloke named Patrick, and he is saying hi to his mate that he met in London, let’s call him Jeffrey.

I grasp I am not Jeffrey, unless that Bruce Jenner thing is contagious, but I play along.  I have a bit of time, and am looking for amusement and wish to sharpen my wit.

I answer the message and I make it clear that I am not in London. I was doing a quick up sell on Table Mountain and what ever else I could see out of my window.

On that particular day my wit was strong and I was actually being awfully funny.  This message banter went back and forth and it was all very knee slapping.

Patrick realised I was not Jeffrey, and then we had a general chat. He told me he was an Italian living in Ireland.  Excuse me as you peak my interest.  Right?

He sent me a photograph.  Totally unsolicited photograph.

Of himself – a selfie – but he was wearing a wife beater vest and shorts.  He was kneeling on his bed, and the reflection in the mirror showed some rather questionable flowery curtains, and a puke green sort of wall colouring.

Which was alarming as he had told me he was an interior designer …… maybe he is the blind kind.

He proceeded to send me several more pictures of himself, always in a vest, always “selfie” styled.  To be honest I had already cooled to this relationship on the first image of him in a vest.  I did not really need more to cool my ardour.

I have a rather violent aversion to vests.  And seeing men’s underarm hair whilst they are in a vest.  It is a bit sweaty and sort of stuck at strange angles to their arm pits.  Vests do nothing for me.

Actually that is a lie, it does manage to dry up my vagina almost instantaneously, and that alone is a sure sign that Patrick was not “my one.”

Once the initial few days of bantering had passed and I had used up all my comedy routine, there was really nothing to be done, but go our separate ways and try to forget ever “not meeting each other.”

Patrick would send me the odd WA message, and say things like “hi how are you doing” and then include an updated picture of himself in a vest.  I had the usual groin and groan reaction.

I replied less, because well we were done.  I had no more to get out of this relationship, nor give.

 {I want to warn you that if you sensitive to full frontal nudity, or if your name is Patrick, then I suggest you click away now}

I am sitting there quite innocently — minding my own business.  A lot of my work interactions are done on WA and the result is that messages pop up all day and I generally have my phone nearby during work hours.

There are a few things that I believe could have happened here:

1.  Patrick took a hit of pure heroine and thought this was a good idea.

2.  Patrick’s mother taught him that his body was beautiful and he should share it with anyone he barely knows.

3.  He had a new duvet cover he wanted to show me and this was the most interesting way he could work out to do that.

4.  This approach has worked for him in the past, and suddenly the entire conversation with Jeffrey is viewed in another light.

5.  Patrick knew it was my birthday coming up, and this is the only gift he could think that would keep on giving.

6.  I have nothing.

>>>>>>>>>>>  I am warning you that you are about to see an image that you will forever have burnt onto your retina ………….

>>>>>>>>>>> SAME WARNING BUT IN UPPER CASE AND BOLD JUST SO YOU KNOW I AM NOT PLAYING AROUND HERE

 

>>>>>>>>>>> You have had umpteenth warnings to click away, but you have chosen to follow this path …….  no crying about this later, no hair pulling and weeping ………… if you are going to act like a grown up then you need to also take responsibility for your decisions ……….

>>>>>>>>>>  no more warnings

>>>>>>>>>>  this shit just got real ………..

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Did you notice the floral curtains!!! ?  Yes, I know very distracting.

I did blur out his face, I really gave that several hours of thought.  As far as I know, and can testify the remainder of this image contains no photoshop.

I replied with a rather curt response along the lines of WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU SENDING ME NAKED PICTURES OF YOURSELF — PUT ON YOUR VEST YOU SICK FUCK!

Or some thing of that ilk.

I realised from this image that Patrick really was proud of his physic and wanted to show everyone.  Now I don’t know everyone, but I have shown this around at my local pub.  Not always to applause.

Considering how infatuated most men are by their penises, they do have a rather STRONG reaction when they see pictures of other men with their penises out.

Men are a strange bunch.

Crazy white men especially, but we have discussed this earlier.

I have this friend Francois who is so damn funny – so I sent this picture to him.  Francois being polite, commented on that even though he was struggling to keep his lunch down, he wanted to draw my attention to the dimensions of not-Patrick’s-curtains.

I commented that now that he mentioned it, there was a certain ……. impressiveness there, once I got over the shock of the floral curtains.

Francois, without missing a beat goes “soft mattress” which made me splutter with laughter.  That is why I will always adore Francois and continue to stalk him a non threatening manner.

Some key points:

1.  You knew there was going to be explicit nudity and continued to read this post, so for your burning  and bleeding corneas I have no sympathy from me.

2.  I don’t have Patrick’s number any more, so please do not contact me looking for it.

3.  If you are this Patrick, then cool – you have a little bit of fame over here in South Africa, yay for you.

4.  Am I the only one who is deeply disturbed by those curtains?

5.  I show this to a friend, and the first thing she does is comment how atrocious that bedside lamp is ……. same girl who as we watched 50 Shades of Grey kept swooning at the decor.  Love her!!

I attended a funeral today …..

It wasn’t someone I was close to.  I knew her more by association than I-sat-and-had-chats-with-her-over-large-glasses-of-wine.

She is the friend of Kennith’s sister – and I met her when she was 12 or 13 years old, and saw her on occasion and we were “hey how are you doing?” sort of passing acquaintances.

Jocelyn.  She was born in 1979.  To me that makes her practical a fetus in this life.  Me the old decrepit one, her the young one. I was born in 1972.

She died on the 25th of May 2015.

I attend funerals always as more of a comfort to the living than for the dead.  The dead have moved on.  They are no longer worried by what we breathing mortals are doing.

I have unclear beliefs regarding a God/god and an afterlife.  I am an agnostic, not because I believe so strongly in anything, or nothing, but because I am on the fence.  Trying to work out my belief system exhausted me to the point where I just decided to “park” it …..

This funeral was very different.  Here is a young woman, who died.  She should not be dead.

Her two young daughters buried their mother today.

I cried snot bubbles through the entire service.

I listened to Jocelyn’s mother give a eulogy. I don’t think there was anyone in that church that was not crying and reflecting on their own life, through out this process.

The thing I found alarming/admirable/incredible, was the candor of her family.

How they openly spoke about what killed her.  There was no embarrassment or shame.  No hiding behind “mixed phrases” and “candy coated shit.”  They owned the honesty.

It did not make anything less sad, less real, less of an awareness that Jocelyn was an incredible person who touched people around her in a way that was profound.  The people sitting in that church, the people talking about her was testimony to that.

There was heart-ache.  Honest, bone crushing heart ache.

I cried for her mother – wondering what it must be like to bury your child in the prime of her life.

I sobbed for her two daughters, wondering what it would be like to bury your mother before you are even out of primary school.

How that shapes who you are.  And how life can be a bit of a fucked up place.

The entire service was positive, and actually inspiring.

I am not really into religious ceremonies and find the platitudes and bible babble annoying.  Usually services are conducted by church members/leaders who hardly knew the person who has died but feels okay to stand and “chat” about them for 45 minutes in a general vague manner, often forgetting their name.

This family had a close relationship with this church, and the pastor.  You could hear the familiarity in everything said today. The truth.

I cried so much today that I am not sure how I managed to actually keep any liquids in – I look not dissimilar to an old haggard raisin right now.

I cried for Jocelyn, her daughters, her mother and a life ending.  Snatched away.  Too early.  Too violently.

I cried picturing our places being interchangeable.

If I knew that my reckless behaviour would make my children motherless, would it make me behave more responsibly?

If I knew that my behaviour would probably nearly kill my mother if she had to stand at my funeral, would the jerk of that thought make me change?

We all have our demons.  Sometimes they hunt us relentlessly. Sometimes we run to them with reckless abandon and try to live with them.  But demons are fuckers and they generally win.  They are patient like that.

Knowing all of this will I change my behaviour?

The fact that I cannot answer this with a resounding “yes” makes me cry still more huge tears.

I am actually shaking, not sure if it is the realisation, or the shock of the awareness or the lack or fluids

I am at Vida e caffé and openly sitting at my laptop having a snot bubble cry.  I like the way no one attempts to notice me.

Today was a severely harrowing day.

RIP Jocelyn.  Yeah, fuck life it is really run by fuckers.

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