I thought it was about the peanut butter …………..

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So I interview candidates.

I am one of those non-people-persons who seems to have stumbled into making a living that requires me to be a real people’s person all day.

Interview days are particularly difficult.  It is like all my energy is being pulled ripped out of me.  By the end of the day I am not literally weeping, I am actually weeping.

I am quite low on candidate numbers so I have booked three interview days per week from January through to March.  I may need to go and relook at that, as I realised today that I might not survive.

I am incredibly patient with candidates — at the end of the day I need to get the best out of her.  I spend valuable time with her to be able to get to a point where she is a candidate I can present to a client and at the same time  I try to give her some tips and suggestions and maybe see if she can see a situation from another angle.

I have had a lot of really bizarre interviews in my time, and I tend to forget them within 24 hours and not let them bother me again.  I usually do not talk about my clients or my candidates with anyone — it’s my work stuff.

Today I experienced a truly magic moment of epic proportion.

It might be that I am severely sleep deprived – insomnia has been kicking my arse all over the show for the last 4 – 6 weeks and I am really not coping during the day.  I have had medicated sleep for the the last 5 years so I know how this goes, and my medication is usually and has been just right.

But for reasons of many — right now my brain is fighting me.  The result is I struggle to fall asleep and my sleep is broken.  When the morning comes, I am pretty much broken.  Every morning.

So back to the interview — I go into a lot of detail with candidates.  I am patient.   I offer guidance, a little hug if they need it. I am Mother Theresa but with better hair, and jeans.

The candidate today is talking about why she resigned.  Candidates often go into wild detail, and run all over the show when in actual fact the reason they resigned is often a fairly simple one.  If you are able to cut through all the noise and get to it.

I have huge amounts of respect for the candidates I work with — I let them tell their story, I offer advise and encouragement.  I do a lot more than just interview.

This candidate is lamenting the fact that her previous employer only supplied bread and peanut butter spread for lunch every day.

{keep in mind I am sleep deprived, I am hopped up on caffeine and ritalin and my people skills got left at the school kerb this morning —- I am one step away from flying over the cuckoos nest myself at this point — I have murder on my mind and that was because I have been awake since 06h10 ….}

I nod and she just goes on and on about this peanut butter thing.  I am trying to identify with her as the victim.

I explain I hate peanut butter. Like intensely.

Then in a very gentle tone I explain the onus does not rest on the employer to supply lunch.  If an employer supplied bread, tea, coffee and a spread — then great.

It’s been given to you — they do not actually have to supply it.

There is a perception that an employer must supply lunch and thus an expectation, but the reality is that it is not a right.The issue I am having is that not only is she expecting lunch, but she is unhappy with lunch —- and I am trying to understand the situation.

Listen I have heard stories from candidates about employers that really make your jaw slacken —– and usually your facial features are arranged in a WTF?  So in this I am not trying to vilify anyone, I am trying to understand the situation — the actual situation — and then understand where her dissatisfaction crept in.

I explained I have never worked a job where they gave me lunch.  I told her that my first job was at a bakery — the irony was at lunch time we had to go the bakery next door and buy a pie, because the bakery we worked at was not interested in our shit, and they were not going to give us a roll.

She is still muttering about her peanut butter.

This peanut butter issue clearly goes deep.

I am nodding, and making all the coo’ing sounds and what ever else you need to do in a hostage negotiation process.

Then I think, okay let’s move this on.  Let’s find out what the solution would have been instead of say, resigning from that job, because you lost your shit about there only being peanut butter on the menu.

I ask her, okay, what did you expect your employer to supply you for lunch —- she is still muttering about peanut butter — so I say it again with a bit more force — what would you expect your employer to supply you for lunch?

I make eye contact with her, I lean in.  I nod and smile in an encouraging manner.

I show her my compassion for her peanut butter issue —- I encourage her to just tell me what it is that her employer should have given her.  Which might have prevented her from resigning, and now being unemployed.

I sit there and wait for her to build up the courage to impart this secret to me — this yearning she has carried.  This feeling that life has not treated her well, that somehow her employer was not doing right by her.

She looks at me — I can see we are about to have a break through moment …..

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

I am tingling a little –  this conversation has gone on for a very long time, I am heavily invested at this point

 

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…………………..

 

………………… “polony” ………….fucking polony

 

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…………………..

 

She wanted her employer to give her polony and not peanut butter. So she resigned.  Over polony.

 

I can’t —– I actually can’t.  And you think your job offers you opportunities to grow into a stronger person. Mine is “Postcards from the Edge” material.

 

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You know that exact moment in the day when you sit there, reflect on your life, the choices you have made, and the series of decisions that has brought you to this moment and you go ………………… polony ………….fucking polony …. my job is about polony.

 

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…………………..

How I don’t kill more people I will never know.  I deserve an award some days.  Not today.  But some days.

 

 

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When did parents become such arseholes?

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I have written a few blogs about this, but have not posted them.  I get distracted when the squirrel walks past.

I am starting to become aware that when a person has a child — through what ever route — somehow there is this perception that somehow they are terribly special.  And their off spring is the most special in the universe.

Like not special-class special, but more “the Chosen One” special.

I drop Connor off at his school in the mornings – he is at Fairmont High School.

I have only good things to say about the school.

I drive him to school. Because he refuses to walk.  I have tried to press him on the issue, then he starts using phrases like child abuse ….. and quoting the Childline number. I drop him at school and watch him walk through the school gate.

Once he is through the gate he is someone else’s problem.  That people, is how parenting works.

You can imagine — if you can’t — try —big school, lots of kids. Most cars are dropping one child off — at most two, so there are a lot of cars moving through the gates from 06h45 – 07h50.  It’s controlled chaos basically.

The school has various drop off points.  You can drop your child off at one of the side gates, and the result is it reduces the congestion with everyone trying to enter the school.

Makes sense.  It’s a really good system.  Very easy to understand and follow.

At every drop off point there are red lines – clear red lines – so you know not to park OR STOP your car there.  If you do it creates a situation where other cars cannot pass or see you or what ever.  It’s a red line.  IT’S A CLEAR RED LINE.

I don’t care if you only need a minute.  It isn’t going to take a minute -it never does.  More importantly when did your minute get more important than my minute??

Basic basic stuff.  Red means no.  When you see any other colours you can do anything you want to.When you see red with regards to road and traffic,  it means no or stop. Or pull over we are going to be doing a breathalyzer.

Dropping off is simple.  You drive up.  Pull up close to the kerb where there is no red line.

Stop your car, put it in neutral, kick your offspring out the car.

He fumbles in the boot for his bag. He finally gets his shit together and as he walks past the passenger window he says something like “Bye mom” and every now and then I will scream out something like “I love you so much my boy — have a really lovely lovely day —- mommy loves you!!”

You know, anything to embarrass him.  I like to keep it fresh so he never really knows what is coming. I like the fear in his eyes each morning.

I don’t do it every day — I save it for holidays and high days.

Anyway, yesterday — I drive up.  (this happens almost every day, I am only blogging about it now, because though the diarrhea post I have is funnier, I am not going to put it up — I am trying to hold on to my dignity though it is a losing battle)

It’s a single road – so one lane up, one lane down, and the road has a right angle bend in it.

There is endless places you can drop your kid off without parking/stopping on the red line.

Sure, it means your butter ball might have to walk 20 meters, but you know I think they will live.  These are high school kids, not infants — I think we can trust them to walk 20 meters without starting a meth lab, joining a cult or getting a tattoo.

I shit you not.  One person in the up lane is parked/stopped on the red line whilst they are dropping off their overlord-and-master.  Then there is another person in the down lane dropping off their own saviour-of-the-world, also parked/stopped on the red line.

The result is no one.  NO. FUCKING. ONE. who is parked in the right place can go anywhere.

I am sitting in the middle of the road, whilst I am watching these shallow DNA pool swimmers dropping off their lucky sperm.  Of course because they are kids (the ones going to the school not driving) they always take long, or drop something or what ever.

This is what kids do.

There the rest of us sit, and watch these two mother (literally) fuckers back up the entire road.  In both directions.  You know, because they just need a minute.

I try my very best to be patient with people, but fek me — even I have my limits.

I could totally understand if the drop off point was so congested you had to park 200km away.

Totally, got your back.  Then you can put your stupid car anywhere.  But no, there is actually a great deal of road without red lines.  That is where the rest of us, with our the fruit or fruits of our loins/babies from various daddies/princes of Maine are stopping — if you looked up long enough from your self absorbed existence and noticed you might notice the mild irritation on our faces.

I know it is very hard to actually absorb your effect on other people when you are sitting next to the prince/princess/the chosen one.  I get it — all that closeness to greatness can be a bit blinding.

Granted the PLEASE ONLY STOP HERE spots are not 20cm from the gate you want your little angel to walk through.  I think they have legs for something or legs that work. Again, if you kid is in a wheel chair or in a full body brace I might go … okay maybe let’s let this one slide —- but then use the main gate, that has special parking parking for special people.

All these fuck-wits have to do is drive maybe 20 – 30 meters, and they could park/stop and the kids could get out, and we would not have to be involved in their dim little lives.

But no — “fuck that” they thought.

We will just put our cars right over here and now you, and you, and you, and especially you, can watch whilst our off spring gets out the car, unpacks their shit, drops their hockey/polo/beat a child to death stick — and then —- still has a chat with mom and dad….. at about this point I am losing touch with sanity.

Whilst we all sit here in contemplative silence thinking about ways to beat you to death with the wheel jack, or what ever we can find in our car on short notice.

I swear I was sitting there saying things that made Lil’ Wayne blush.  He eventually stopped singing on the CD and said “yo-yo-yo bitch, yo man, yo man… coming down a bit hard on the fucks … just be chill like…..” (it’s my story I can tell it anyway I feel it happened — prove it didn’t happen that way I dare you)

When these things happen you always think you are alone in the universe.

This is happening to you and obviously everyone else is fine with it.

I was really saying some fairly unkind things.

I had violence and rage running at full tilt.  This does not happen once — there is never one prick in the school having an emergency morning. There are dozens of them, all self entitled and assuming you can just sit back and wait whilst they ignore the rules and basically fuck up your day whilst you have to watch them be the fuck ups they woke up to be.

I aim my anger and rage mainly at the parent.  At a certain point I start to go for the child.

If the parent/adult person is this stupid then my guess is there is going to be something inherited there.  We —- yes we, this is a village issue people—- need to consider flushing out the DNA pool.  As a group, to at least delay the low IQ apocalypse, or at the very least save some water.

In all of this, I had so much time to take in the scenery and all of that shit — well because I am sitting there waiting for Prince William to get himself organised and all.

I looked in my rear view mirror and there was a mom who had dropped her kid off NOT ON THE FUCKING RED LINE.  She was going off, like OFF. Proper.  Which made my going-off look like I had maybe dropped a spot of Nutella on my almost black jean pant, and it was a slight inconvenience as I dabbed it with my wet wipe.

This mom person was dressed for work, all neat and proper and she was going off like a lunatic.  I think she was in Stage 5 of the use of the middle finger. I actually didn’t realise that fingers could do that —  I couldn’t read her lips but I am almost sure she was using the word po#s there with reckless abandon.

I stopped ranting to watch her.  She was that impressive.  Even in the rear view mirror.

I do wish you and I could have spent more time together.  I felt we were kindred spirits there for a little while.  I heart you, who ever you are.

Finally these two fuckers drop their “reason for living off” move their respective cars and drive away.  Allowing the rest of us to get on with our lives.

Yesterday like every day, I shrug it off and do not think about it again.  Because what am I going to do? Change direction and follow them, and when they park their car go along and key the side of the car …. I mean I could.  I could plan my mornings that way.

I have more flexibility on a Monday and a Friday, so lets just see how the week pans out.

I am trying to look at this and think that maybe someone else will take charge here.  Get out of their car with a baseball bat and take care of one of these annoying vehicles.  Taking a few swings at their front lights or their side mirrors.  I can’t describe the joy that thought gives me.

My money is on the mom behind me yesterday.  Chick, who ever you are, I am backing you in this episode of Mad Moms!!  I will be your alibi if you need one.

This morning I am dropping Connor off –  same thing I parked in the area without the red line.  Child gets out of car with necessary luggage.  Walks the required 12 steps and is in the school gate.  Easy.

I accelerate, as you do. To move to the part of the road where I can drive.  Away.  To work.

But no – because some fucker mother (see what I did there?) has decided that the red line is a good place to sort of park/stop — that the rules do not apply to her and her liebchen.

She has actually beaten the odds and done red line and sort of middle of the road park/stop (it is not a very wide road).  In one move she has fucked it up for everyone.

Close enough to the corner that the folks behind her have to sit and stare at her as well.

She isn’t even in a huge SUV.  She is in a Paleo (or what ever) fucking smurf car — like how the fuck do you manage to take up so much space with that??

How is it possible?  She beat the odds,.  This stupid cow peaked in areas that I did not realise were even a competition to peak in.

Of course her fucking gifted daughter dropped something and then needed to leopard crawl under the car to get it.  No worries we will just sit here as we watch our lives slip away from us.  Be late for fucking everything because you didn’t use a condom 15 or 16 years a go!!!

I didn’t even curse this morning (yes I realise how unlikely that sounds — I think I had used up all up my fucks and fuck-me’s yesterday).   I really just sat there with that look of amazement on my face and doing that thing.

That thing where you put your hands on the steering wheel, lift them up in awe with your palms still resting on the steering wheel, so you are sort of doing controlled jazz hands. Then you put the fingers down, grip the steering wheel so your knuckles go white — and keep repeating this movement as long as what ever is happening in front of you continues.

It’s the WTF sign with a steering wheel.

I am sure If this happens at all schools — because Fairmont High School surely cannot have the most clueless parents.  They appear like such nice people when they are not in their cars.

Parents cannot be this self absorbed they do not notice they are impacting on the rest of the world, in their aim to do what ever they need to do for their offspring —- because their shit for brains is more important than mine.

Surely other schools have these parents too.

I do not have a solution.  I have some more swear words though.

If YOU are a parent — if you are one of THESE parents at Fairmont High — then stop being an arsehole.

This is not an AA meeting.  You do not need to introduce yourself and tell us you are an arsehole, and when your last arsehole action was.

We have watched you on the red line, because we can’t go anywhere.  We know you are an arsehole.

BECAUSE YOU ARE PARKED/STOPPED ON THE FUCKING RED LINE even if it was only for a freaking minute!!!

We are asking you to recognise you are being an arsehole. Maybe if you admit it, seek some assistance and just don’t park or stop on the goddamn red line, then, well we can all be lekker again.

Just don’t be that MOFO ARSEHOLE who puts their time ahead of all of ours.  Then blocks us in so we have to sit and stare at you — you do know your car has glass? We can see you, your stupid face and all that.

Don’t be a parking arsehole at school (we can deal with retail spaces another day)  — it’s not cool and it’s not lekker.  Just stop it. For the love of all things good.

Choose not to be an arsehole today.  Come on, we are actually rooting for you to not be an arsehole — be a sunflower or a fucking rainbow, but not an arsehole.

Madame Zingara’s …. the wonder, the sheer wonder will make the child in you laugh ….

It’s one of those things I have always been meaning to go to, and for a variety of reasons just never got to.

On Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to be invited to Madame Zingara’s.  {this post is very delayed so my Tuesday is a good month ago ….. but anyway}

Last week I phoned my friend Thelma who is a MZ veteran and asked her: “what do I need to know — I don’t want to arrive and then go *facepalm* I wish I had known XYZ…”

Thelma said it was incredible and I was going to have the best time.  I should wear black, not worry too much about dressing up and visit the “shop” at Madame Zingara’s and I could buy what ever I wanted to jazz up my outfit.

She also advised there was face painting and again gasped that I was going to have such a good time.

I followed her advise to the letter.

My partner Wayne arranged that we had a chaffeur to drive us home at the end of the evening, so that little matter of drinking (and driving) was not going to be an issue.

The only “minor hitch” was when I received a message from him at 16h30 saying we should leave at 17h30.   Of the day of Madame Zingara’s.

I am not a lass that needs extensive time to get ready – I can be showered, throw some makeup on, clothing and what ever and be out the door in say 20 minutes.

At 16h30 I was not even fetching kids yet – the short of it was that at 17h17 I was still in the car trying to get home.  At this point I was doing that slow quick degeneration into that screaming, ranting, freaking out person who needs to get home and at the same time travel back in time if there was going to be any chance of me making it on time.

I was late – we left at 18h00 – I only got home after 17h30 – so bathed, dressed, makeup sort of loosely thrown in the general direction of my face and then rushed out the door.  I think when I arrived I looked a little frazzled and demented …. and my pupils had contracted into small points of black ……

Madame Zingara have set up tent on the Grand Parade in Cape Town {tent not seen in this picture}.

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We arrived, got parking really close to the door, which was a godsend as I had managed to wear the prettiest but most uncomfortable pair of shoes in my wardrobe.  You know the pair where your left foot is so comfortable it keeps telling you it is in heaven, whilst your right foot is trying to understand why you have folded it into the Lotus foot position used extensive in China for several centuries.

I kind of limped to the door and then fell in — there is always a step that I don’t see.

From the moment we arrived, I knew this was going to be jaw dropping.  And it was.

The person who greeted me at the door like we were old friends was the smallest “little person” I have ever seen.  He was smiling and jolly, in an extravagant suit with the biggest afro I have ever seen on anyone, bar none.   That gave me a fairly good suggestion that this was not going to be a normal evening.

It is like the circus.  But for adults.

I stumbled around with my lower jaw sort of hanging about, whilst my eyes were flying around the interior.  I cannot actually describe it sufficiently well to do it justice.  I took some photographs, but I look at them now and keep going “no, but it’s not like this it is just so much more….”

It is as if everyone — all the staff — are part of this stage performance and remain in character throughout the event.  Even though they are not on stage, they help to create this sense of fantasy and splendor.

There were various bar areas, the furniture and the drapery were all heavy textured and mainly velvet to the touch.  The tent is like a huge magic area where you are dropped into this fantasy world where everyone is a cast member in one way or another.

No detail was left unattended – every area is a feast for the eyes and if you are in anyway into fantasy, and being carried away to another world, then this is the place for you.  Things are hidden away so you keep discovering them.

My friend had been correct about the MZ shop – and what I thought was without a doubt the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen were the hats.  Not the standard top hat and others that you could buy, but the ones that were supplied by The Little Hattery in Cape Town.

I saw a hat that had the DieselPunk theme to it and you know when you see something, and it doesn’t matter if they are going to charge you three mortgage installments, you just must have it.

These hats were that.

The store had masks, and feather boas and for some unknown reason a plastic pig that made a real sounding pig snort when you compressed it.

I am very disappointed I did not buy that pig.  It’s the kind of thing you would keep on your desk, your friends would covet it, and every time you pressed him and he made that pig snort you would smile.

Other than that minor disappointment – the evening was beyond splendid.

Our table was right in front – we could not have had better seats if we actually sat on stage.  We were served by a waiter dressed as a penguin.

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I am not sure of the last time when I have been so entirely happy.

Bob our Penguin waiter (seen above) served us, and he was without a doubt exceptional.  He was familiar and professional, and again just added to everything that was going on.  They had a good wine list and there was some great wine on offer.

Bob told us the tent seats 650 people.  That is huge – the kitchen managed to supply food out at a good pace.  You cannot believe when you are looking at it that this is a tent …. defies the imagination.

We had three choices for starters, and 5 choices for main.  I had a salad that made my toes (only in my left foot) curl and a lamb shank that was melt in the mouth.

I forgot to eat my dessert —- I didn’t even touch it, there was just so much going on at that point that I could not take the time to look down long enough to spoon dessert in {I realise how unlikely that sounds …… its dessert ……. make time …….}

The show was without knowing the right words to use the most incredible thing I have ever seen.  The acts were clever and funny and again, you were filled with this sense of childlike wonder.

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{this photograph was taken from our table —- it’s a bit shaky partly because this guy was heading straight for our table —— and I was trying to hold the camera and save the wine}

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There were people lavishly attired that would move around the room – for no other reason than to create points of interest.  At no point were you ever left to just sit there and go “okay so when it something starting”  there was always something going on.  Granted I was not always sure exactly what was happening …. but there was always something to draw your eye to.

At one point a line of 8 – 10 people dressed as what I thought might be intricate desk lamps came along and walked through the room whilst we were eating.

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I have no idea what they were doing — they were just being desk lamps and then they exited the room and we never saw them again.

A huge rabbit — like the card rabbits from Alice in Wonderland came walking through.  You know as you do.  He was perfectly the way you would imagine a giant rabbit that had just stepped out of Alice in Wonderland to appear.  He was THAT rabbit.

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I do realise that at the point in the evening when you are seeing 1.8 metre rabbits walking around is normally when you need to ring for your taxi, but it was that sort of evening.

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A large rabbit was just a a rabbit — he walked around a bit, then disappeared.

The show was on the stage, but all the staff seemed to be playing a part in keeping this wild and fantastic world alive for us their guests.

I went to the bathroom at one point — it was freezing outside — there was a guy painted gold, pretty much naked other than his roman skirt, boots and helmet just standing there.  It was really cold — this guy had a nipple stand you could scratch paint off a car with.  He was just standing there on a pedestal, as people were sneaking out for a cigarette or going to the bathroom.

Even your trip to the bathroom kept you in the same frame of mind so that when you got back to the table, you were still all wide eyed and blinking a great deal saying things like “did you just see that….”

The entire evening was easily one of the best evenings I have ever attended.  There was nothing I would change, or make better.

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{That is our wine and wine holder in the foreground of the picture —– that is how close we were to the stage}

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Oooohhh I forgot, as we entered there were these glamourous waitresses with “free drinks” – I tend to like to choose my drinks so tend to avoid these suprise mixes, but they looked so interesting and were like mini slush puppies.

Then I had one – six later I was telling everyone that these were the best things I have ever had.  Strangers were being told that this was the best drink I had ever had.

I asked the bartender and he said it was vodka, triple sec, lime, grape juice and I think there was something else, which I can’t recall.  They had then put them in ice like you would a slush puppy.

And gave you a little black straw.  Excuse me whilst I lose my last shred of self control.

Like everything else, no detail was left unattended to.

The night was glorious.  Something that will remain with me for years to come.

I do miss the pig I left behind though.  I think he misses me too.

Well done Madame Zingara – the cast, the staff and especially Penguin Bob our waiter was brilliant.

We loved the evening, loved every part of the show — both the one on the stage, and the one that was happening in every inch of the tent.

Also a real round of applause to the face painters — they paint your face in 5 minutes (less probably) — you sit there and think “what finished already” and then he holds up a mirror and you are ….. how the hell did that get there so quickly.  Just more gorgeousness.  They were incredible!

Madame Zingara — sell a kidney, go, go, go —–get tickets —— it is like every strange and wonderful thing you have ever thought of being in one giant lavish gorgeous tent.

And there are penguins as waiters.

{this is not a sponsored post – we bought tickets and paid for everything on the evening — if you discount the free slush puppy vodka numbers, those we did not pay for ….. and I lost count of how many I actually had which may explain why I can’t recall all the ingredients ….. if you happen to know what they are, please let me know, I need to add them to my daily diet immediately}

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Do you remember where you were this day in 1997?

Born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash after trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris ………

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I am not sure if other people remember historic moments and where they were and what they were doing.

Kennith and I were up in Bloemfontein for a dog show.  Dog shows normally start at 08h00, which means you are up before 06h00, to pack, walk the dog, and get to the ground before 07h00.

I was walking our Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Willy (Int Ch and SA Ch Timanlee Wicked Willy of Anfield) on this grass patch.  It was cold, not freezing, and Willy had just taken off to run after birds.  The fact that he is a white dog, and running through mud was not lost on me.

I was sprinting — I am sure it looked like running in slow motion, but to me it felt like I was travelling at the speed of light — I heard Kennith calling me from the guest house — I could not hear him, but based on his volume I took it the entire guest house was now awake.

He ran out to tell me that they had just reported on the news that Diana, Princess of Wales had died.  We sat and watched the footage on Sunday morning, 31 August 1997.

Our friend, who we were sharing the room with, Tim, woke up and saw the news.  Tim being Tim commented that he was deeply saddened as he always felt he had a chance with Diana.

I guess we all cope with sadness in different ways.

The day at the dog show was busy as they are — but people were still talking about Princess Diana and her death.  Initially there was not a lot of information, but tons of speculation.

We returned to Cape Town later the same day and the week that followed could only be described as the collective world crying.

I recall watching it on television and basically sitting there sobbing — not the pretty kind where a tear falls out of the edge of your eye and runs down your cheek in a designer line.  No, mine was more snot bubbles and retching with tears.  Your nose red and raw ….. your eye looking much like sheep’s vaginas.  You know that look.

Every day it got worse, as I still was not finished crying from the day before —- and it seemed everyone was crying.  Life just came to a stand still — you were either talking about her, her death, her boys and the flowers outside the palace or you were crying in unison.

There was telephonic coverage across Sky, the BBC and CNN 24 hours a day -and it just did not stop being sad.

The funeral on the 6 September 1997 was a full day of crying.   Her brother’s eulogy made everyone cry the little bit of salt and liquid they may have held in their body.  Elton John’s tribute was literally the final straw ….. if you were not already hysterical with the pain of it all, then that sent you off into the oblivion.

No matter what you may think of feel about her actions – she was a mother, and she left her two children without her love and protection.  I still find thinking about her and how she died left an almost permanent impression on me.

It is hard to grasp that was 18 years ago.

And this woman touched us all in such a profound manner.

diana2

 

diana3

I went to a strip club …… and I haven’t ridden a donkey before either #justsaying

I have never been to a strip club.  I have also never had an STD nor have I ridden a donkey.

I figured as we were going into things I had not done, we would cover a few.  Jump in at any point and let me know stuff you have not done.

I sometimes get an idea into my head that usually starts with me saying things like “come on, lets go to XYZ, it’ll be fun …. you will see ……….”

It is seldom is fun, even I realise that 15 minutes in, but I hang in there when quitters quit.  Me being a winner and all.

Saturday night, I decided I needed to go to a strip club. Not a strip club where boys strip.  But a girl one.  I was quite sober when I came up with this idea.

Listen if that is what you do for fun, a hobby or for a living, then all the power to you.

I am happy you have found something that makes you happy and you get paid to do it.  Personally I cannot watch a man strip. There is something fundamentally wrong with a guy trying to make sexy eye contact and take his black socks off at the same time.

It might just be me, but when I watch a guy stripping —- and it is not like this happens a lot —– I start to feel embarrassed for him.

I realise that this reeks of sexism and double standards, but boys need to be either dressed or undressed and avoid the gyrating to music with a heavy bass in between, and pants that rip off on the sides with the aid of velcro.  If you cannot rip your pants off on your own, then don’t fucking rip them off. climb out of them one leg at a time like the rest of us.

Again if that is your thing —– good for you.  It’s not my thing.

But I have moved away from my story.  Tangents and stuff.

I wanted to go a strip club – the standard kind where woman strip.  I also did not feel like driving into Cape Town to Mavericks, and felt I wanted to start off slowly/more sleazy and aim to something in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Yes, I do realise the level of errors in that set of decision making.

Possibly my codeine ingestion was too high that day.  Possibly I needed a bigger glass of wine and a lie down, but I managed to convince someone ELSE that this was a good idea and off we went.

In his defence he kept telling me repeatedly, and louder that this was NOT a good idea.

Even on the drive up there, there was nothing but bad energy about this place.  Without naming names, it had the word Goose as part of it’s signage.  And a large goose on it’s sign.

The warning signs were white and about two meters high with a FUCKING GOOSE in it.  I think the goose might have had a bow tie on …. but some of the details got a bit hazy due to the sheer amount of information coming in at this point.

You know when things go bad, and someone says, did you see any signs before?  The answer here is “yes officer…”

I figured, well we have sunk this low, let’s just go in.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

And in we went.

Saturday night – if there were 12 clients there were a lot.  I didn’t do a formal head count.

I think there were 5 girls whose job it was to dance, take their clothing off and make us feel welcome.

I knew when I looked at the wine list that we should leave — or at least disinfect our hands,.  I wanted to make this evening work.   I wanted to experience the entire strip club thing.

How bad could this be??  Right?

I ordered wine —- I knew it was going to be bad, the wine list was really terrible.  I drink almost anything, so for me to hesitate over a wine list because I was trying to pick the best of the worst must give you an idea how “skeptical” this experience was going to be.

I asked if I could take a photograph of the wine list (as evidence in case I went to ER and had to have my stomach pumped). The waitress looked at me as if I had just asked her if I could sell her child on Gumtree.  She genuinely looked scared.  And told me NO in that hushed whisper only used my kidnapped children and that little boy in Sixth Sense when he says “I see dead people………”

I was asking for a photograph of the wine list, not a vaginal swab.  But.  Okay, so no photographs ….. packs phone/camera into bag.

The first performer appears on stage.  Now when I think of a strip show this is sort of what I had in mind ……

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flashdance

It appears not only was I aiming a little high —– I really had no idea, but Hollywood has been lying to us —- yes, you heard it here, first.  I had moved into the world of delusional at a pace that made my head spin.

What I saw was a woman who might have been a foreign national who looked like she was dancing to get her passport returned.  And she still had three months ahead of her.

There was no clever outfit — there was just hooker heels, a really bad dress (China Town bad dress) and very small panties …. I could see them through the dress.

This is not because I have great vision, the dress was a lot less than more.  And again, you would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to think of this as sexy.

You know when someone is going through the routine and it is about as sexy as “Everyone Loves Raymond” …… imagine “Everyone Loves Raymond” as a strip show (with the mom), then you would pretty much have it.

It was sadly disappointing.  I think for the both of us (her and I).

One bottle of wine in.  I thought I would solve the problem and suggest let’s have another (bottle of wine) to just see if this is going to get better.  It didn’t.  The wine nor the show.

There were two table dances going on not too far from us.  The girls wore tiny tiny strings of panties.  I know it is a strip club I understand where this is going.

The problem is that when it went there. I had to look away.  Not because I was offended by their sexuality or the fact that this was starting to look at feel like a gynecological exam, but with no hands, it was just awful.  I have had pap smears that sort of looked more pleasurable.

I felt sorry for the women dancing …. this was Saturday night, busiest night of the week ….. and they were sitting at the table next to us chatting to each other, because there were just no clients.

If I was on stage stripping, I would be a little offended that someone left the rugby game on repeat on the big screen television.  Let’s weigh up girl on stage stripping, or watching rugby game on repeat and mute.

At a certain point I started to watch the rugby game.

It was hellishly bad.  {not the rugby game, that wasn’t too bad}

My hopes and dreams of entering this over sexualised world where there is good music, clever dance routine and enough sexual tension to make your eyes bleed, was a bit of a let down.

I believe Mavericks is meant to be far better.  Next stop on my “things to do on evenings when you do not have the kids” but I might need some time so my corneas can heal.

The things I do for you my readers in the name of investigative journalism.  Good grief!!

Trolls and idiots ….. especially the ones named Hank …..

I have been blogging for several years.

I have been on social media for several more.

I am used to the usual on-line bullying, trolls arriving and basically taking a shit on your door step in a brown paper bag and generally say things that are painful and hurtful.

5 years ago I had what can only be described as a breakdown. I had various other things happening in my life that I was not coping with.

There were 3 “social media” things that had happened in quick succession.

One I caused using poor judgement at work, one I happened to just be standing there and got caught in the fall out of a non related incident, and one had nothing to do with me but it felt like it was aimed at me.

People hiding behind “usernames” and “gmail” addresses and the like, get terribly brave and feel very little in the way of any real interest in you as a person, the subject and the damage they do.

They sweep in under the cover of darkness, cause chaos, step away like arsonists and watch the building burn, without taking any responsibility because “I just commented ……” – they want the building to burn, for no other reason than they have one match and in many cases know how to get a fire going.  Quickly.

I admit to saying stupid things sometimes – both in life and in the land of O’s and I’s.

I do hope that I learn from my errors, and when possible I apologise.  I accept we are all jerks given the right circumstances – and that given a few hours or days to reflect we realise that.  In time one hopes to be less of an arsehole than you are today, and each day get a bit less arsehole’ish.

That was 5 years ago – I have moved on a great deal from then.  I am not totally immune to trolls and people who are idiots, but their effect on me is less and they no longer consume me.

I realise it is their shit, and not mine, and I do not have to take it on board.

I realise they are trolls.  I realise their opinions, like arseholes, are things we are all entitled to one (sorry I know it is an old jab, but there we go) – before I would believe what they said, now I do tend to shrug it off for the most part.

They/Trolls/The Hanks in the world do not know me.

They have a perception of me, and their assumptions are just that — assumptions without much in the way of fact.  {if you read this blog and assume everything here is fact, then I have a bridge for sale I would like to talk to you about}

Yesterday a gentleman named Hank left a comment and it vexed me.

Not because he commented, not because he sounded like a ball-less turd with no sense of humour and an unholy obsession with the speed of cakes flying around on the N1.  He used ONE post from my blog to make a judgement about me and my parenting style.  (even if he read all 1030 or how many ever there are, that still does not mean he knows me.)

Again Hank, I actually do not give a flying fuck about your opinion.

The blog post in question for the most part made it obvious who has children and is coping with similiar stuff, versus people who do not have children and think because they have testes and possibly access to ovaries this makes them experts on parenting.

But none of that matters.

What matters for me — is that YOU — who does not know me and who told me you do not read my blog – attacked my children.

Listen Hank, I am not quite sure of which corner of the shit heap that is this universe you crawled out from under, but there are many things you can do or say to a blogger/mom.

Insult me, accuse me of making bad judgments,  not understand why the odd cake needs to be launched from a moving vehicle, and not grasp what it is like to fight with children over pieces of plastic.

I accept all of that from you with an open mind and to a large degree a bit of a shrug and a “ah well…. he is probably a bit of a c&nt”

Hank, I am on board with that.

If you want to be the biggest c&nty c*nt there is, then I support you in that.  I am there for you mate, right behind you.  I will wear “Hank is a C&nt” lapel pin if you need me to.

The part where you lost my respect (not that you ever had it, but I thought I would throw it in just so I appear classy and stylish) and you really stepped over the imaginary line that exists in the world, is the part where you deemed it was okay to comment about my children and who they are in this world.

You get that part – MY CHILDREN!!

Did you have CRACK for breakfast yesterday???

I wrote a very emotional post last night and posted it earlier, and decided to put it on “password protect” – if you know me, contact me and I will send you the password.  I don’t think it is for general consumption.

I agree it is way to much venom to put straight out there and takes away from the fact that a fellow named Hank felt it was okay — O-FUCKING-KAY —– to come out and attack my children and refer to them as delinquents – potential delinquents.

Hank, I dare you – I dare you to come and find me in public and say that to my face.

I actually dare you, seeing as you appear to have balls as big as burgers, to walk up to any mom in Pick ‘n Pay or any other retailer and offer her advise, criticism and then insult her children whilst she is doing the best she can, in the best way she can.

You know nothing about what it is like to be a parent and cope —- even if you are a parent, parenting your children or child, does not make you an expert on some one else’s – no more than owning a car makes you a motoring journalist expert.

Last night I was at Pick ‘n Pay buying the odds and ends, my kids were at home.  I watched a frazzled mom with two toddlers in her trolley going ape shit — like totally ape shit.  She looked like she had just fought the gladiators, and then for shits and giggles had gone to pull the hair off a tiger’s arse on a dare.

This woman was exhausted and one “whine” way from a full fledged breakdown.

Her kids were screaming.  Mental because she only had one #stikeez – she had clearly miscalculated and her bill was less than R300.00 so she got one #stikeez.

I got it. I stood there with my wagon of groceries and I wanted to go over to her and rub her shoulders, maybe play with her hair in a soothing manner  and say “fuck I hope they go to sleep early” – but I didn’t.

I also did not judge her and I did not pull any low blows — because I get it.  I fucking get it.  I have been there, and most of the readers on this blog have been there – we fucking live there. Your kids screaming like banshees whilst everyone else’s children appear so well behaved it makes you want to throw up.

Instead Hank you hide behind your work, email address (troll error 101 —- are you a virgin at this, or do you usually leave your work IP details behind for bloggers to find you?) and give me parenting advise.

Insult me, insult my children, and for good measure insult the people who have read this blog and commented.  Are you actually really and truly that much of a does??  I am overwhelmed by you.  By the sheer level of does you have managed to squeeze into one shitty comment.

My children have been through a divorce, a death and several life changing events in the last two years.  My kids are fucking awesome kids.  I commented about that in the earlier post and here is what I added there:

Like super FUCKING stars.

My son attended an eisteddfod this week and scored really well, even though he only had two days to prepare.  He donates his time when he can to causes that are close to his heart.  You understand he is 13 – he is 13 and volunteers.

What the fuck do you do when you are not lambasting bloggers?

My second daughter is stellar at Mathematics and might even one day get a job at Discovery Health (see what I did there) as a statistician. She is kind, loving and does not have a mean bone in her body.  She has friends who adore her.  She is kind, patient and will hug anyone who stand still long enough.  She can recite the periodic table — she is 10.

My other daughter is a fire cracker – she is bright, clever, fucking funny and I adore every inch of her.  She sleeps with me at night and drapes her chubby hand over my shoulder so that she lies close to me – she has slept with me since her father and I got divorced – kids sometimes need a bit of extra time and the close touch of a parent.

You understand right?

She is loved and adored.  She thinks our Nannies daughter is her sister —- I have not corrected her.  Why should I?

{does this in any way sound like maladjusted delinquent children?}

Hank – after today I will not give you another thought.  Though when I do, the fact that your name rhymes with Wank and your mom called you that, will make me smile a little childishly.

I do hope that even if you hate this blog, detest my tone and use of language and think my children are maladjusted little so-and-so’s you keep in mind, fuck with a blogger, go ahead, do that, in general we have skins that are fairly thick — but fuck with a mom’s children and you my friend make yourself out to be the biggest arsehole there is, and what ever else you might do or say is null and void.

I do hope that one day if you have the great fortune to become a parent, someone comes over to you, insults you, your wife, your child and your parenting style. To your face.

I do hope this happens to you, and you can reflect then as I hope you are now, that you my dear sir, are an arsehole of a proportion that I cannot even begin to fathom.

I do hope you never read this blog again.

I do hope that you live a long’ish life, but if you happened to die in a cake accident, I might not be too cut up about it.

My three kids and I are going to go off and skip down the hills singing that song “The Hills are alive with Music” —- I do hope you go and fuck yourself.

Yes, I said it.  But it is because I care.

I can’t poop if someone is near me and they know/think I might be pooping ….

I am physically unable to poop if someone is nearby.

That someone could be anyone.

I used to be at boarding school – I did not go to the toilet from Monday through to Friday – because you have these large rooms of toilets and showers, and there is just no way you are in there alone.

I used to try to wake up at 3am, but true as nuts I would be terrified someone would walk in, so totally unable to go.

By Friday I was bleeding from my eyeballs!

I still cannot go to the bathroom, if there is someone in my home, or if I am in someone’s home, or in a public bathroom.

I will literally be crying, knowing that if I took too deep a breath I would shit in my pants — but still I would hold out, I just cannot go.

This picture is exactly what happens when I go to a public bathroom, and that is just to wee.

 

waiting to poop

 

A few months ago, I was at a very dodgy bar.  It really was past the point of where dodgy was dodgy – what ever is the word to be used for “most dodgy”.  Any the who, at a certain point I had an overriding urge to urinate.

The type where if you do not go NOW you will actually just pee in your pants.

I was standing outside the one stall bathroom for women – past hopping from foot to foot – to the point where I was pleading to be permitted to use the bathroom.  I think I might have already been making nail scratches in the door and begging in a very high pitched voice.

Eventually the cubicle door opens and said girl looks at me and says “you really sound desperate” to which I reply “yes, I am going to pee in my pants ….. right now …… please I really need to use the bathroom”

She opens the door wider, and I notice she is not making any movements to leave the cubicle, whilst I use the facilities.

Normally this would be awkward beyond awkard, and I would stand there and mumble.

But this night was not one of those, this was, if I do not pee now, I am going to be pee’ing in my pants.  And no matter how dodgy this bar was or is, a girl peeing in her pants is not going to be overlooked, as just another low point of the evening.

I decide to just shelve my issue with pee’ing/shitting in front of someone.

I have no idea why she was still in the cubicle, with me.  On the upside the cubicle was considerably big, so it was not like we were pressed against each other.  We could have served snacks and invited a few other people to join in.  I was part the point of delving into the mystery of what exactly was going on here.

I had about a liter of urine that needed to be removed from my body immediately – else my jeans were going to become a large in efficient sponge.

Dropped pants, sat on the commode, and felt that relief you do when urine is not being poured into your pants.

I could barely speak for the joy and relief.  Bliss is a word I would throw around here.

At some point, once the initial pressure had subsided it gave me time to take in my surroundings, and notice that this girl was still in the cubicle with me.

When you need to pee, you really start to bring your standards down quite a few notches.

I looked around at her, she was behind me, I smiled, and said “thanks so much” — and she said “not a problem” and then continued to snort cocaine off the cistern.

I knew that this was not normal.  I felt she could look at my lilly white arse whilst she was snorting off the cistern.  I am not sure which part of this I found more disturbing.  I was sort of thankful I had decent underwear on.  I think it is a girl thing.

I also knew I had flashed my ass, and all the other bits to a stranger I had never met, and who appeared to be making very different life choices from me.  At the time.

I however still had about 340 ml of urine to get out – so I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

And so this strange “friendship” was formed.  I finished what I needed to do, wiped, flushed, washed my hands, thanked her again for her generosity of letting me into the cubicle, and wished her a good night further.

Okay so that ranked as one of my stranger experiences of that particular week.

I don’t like making plans …..

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I am here to warn you almost all the clichés are true ……

We received the confirmation that Isabelle was accepted into the pre-primary school we had applied to, for next year.

In 5 months time, my wee girl will be in Grade R — I usually am not very sentimental over these things, but the fact that my little baby girl will be in Grade R next year, and then I will blink and she will be standing in her school uniform in Grade 1, does make my breath catch a little bit in my throat.

I know the old cliche of it all passes so quickly, and not to wish your child’s baby years away.  But damn, it is exactly like that.

Isabelle is still my baby – even though she is a bit of a thug, and can throw a punch like no one’s business.  But she is still my baby, who cuddles up next to me, and puts her head on my shoulder as she sucks her thumbs and rubs here “doggie.”

By the time Isabelle is in Grade 1, Georgia will be in Grade 4 – which puts her in the senior phase of her school.  Her uniform changes from a tracksuit to the formal school uniform.  I can’t imagine her Wednesday (where they) legs in a dress, and black school shoes.

Connor will be in Grade 7, and be starting his high school career.

It is all a bit much actually.  Where the hell does it all go?

It feels like a very short time ago when I was breastfeeding Connor.

It feels like a blink since I arrived home from hospital with Georgia, the surprise girl I did not expect.

It feels like this morning when I was sitting rocking Isabelle, and rocking her, because she was not sleeping and I thought that this dear beautiful girl was going to be the death of me.

I am here to warn you that all the clichés, every last kitchy one of them, every annoying little thing that strange people say, whilst you roll your eyes is true.

Except the one about you having heartburn and your child having a lot of hair.

And the one about if your baby stands early your child will have bandy legs.

That is all total bull shit, but the other stuff is mostly true … it does go by in a blink of an eye, and it does make you feel a bit lost and forlorn that they no longer need you as much.

Baby Connor – 10 December 2001

 

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Georgia born – 20 June 2005

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Isabelle born – 10 June 2009


Isabelle-Born

I sniff puppies …. yes that is what I like to do …..

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I am not sure how many pleasures should be guilty pleasures.

My problem with guilt is that when it starts to be the uninvited passenger to your pleasure. It eventually stops being the co-driver and takes the driver’s seat, leaving you to slink away feeling shamed, and embarrassed for every thinking about doing anything delightful.

 

What do I enjoy ……

 

1.  Lying in a bath on a Saturday afternoon, sipping my chilled wine and reading my book.  With no kids kicking the door down, no dog hanging over the side of the bath trying to drink the water, and no cat trying to lie behind my head.  Quiet. Peace.  Wine.  Warmth.  A good book that I do not feel guilty that its pages warp.

 

2.  The Kardashians.  I actually dislike the Kardashians.  I do not understand what their point is on the earth.  I cannot stand hearing them speak, and watching the family do what ever it is that the Kardashians do.  I really detest them.  But this does not stop me flipping through a magazine and being captivated by anything printed, photographed or written about the Kardashians. If it has Kim’s arse in it, then I am even more interested.  I can’t explain it.  I love to hate them.

 

3.  Buying a pizza that I can throw in the oven, opening a bottle of Viognier, grabbing my warm fuzzy blanket, putting the gas heater on and picking up the remote.  That moment when I settle into the couch and realise I am alone, and it is just me, the 30 000 kilojoules of pizza, the clink of ice in my glass, and my press-press-pressing the remote control buttons.  Pure happiness. Pure happiness right there.

 

4.  The smell of puppies.  I love the smell of puppies.  I am not sure what it is.  It is a bit of the milky smell, it is that warmth like a jersey left in the sun.  I love to sniff puppies. Yes, people I am a puppy sniffer.

 

5.  Fresh bread, straight out of the oven, with a dollop of butter, that melts as you try to pick it up — and drips on your shirt as you try to maneuver the bread into your pie hole.    Knowing the entire time that this will set of a spate of IBS that you will be crying about in about an hour …. but there are still 59 minutes to enjoy this moment of true bliss.

 

I could go on —- I am very embarrassed about my Kardashian obsession — I think I would be more accepting of me if I just picked old chewing gum off from the underside of desks and re-chewed those.

Parents – how they get it right, and how they get it so very wrong …..

I have always been critical over my parents and their ability to parent.

I have written some scathing blog posts in the past.

At the time, that was how I felt.

This blog is where I put my thoughts, my ramblings and sometimes my emotional spews.

I know I can go back and delete, block or amend the many blog posts that I do not necessarily agree with anymore. Or the ones that I do not feel the same about at the moment … I could.  I prefer not to.

One of the things I like about blogging, is that it gives me the luxury to go back and read my thoughts.  To see how I felt about something.  And compare that to how I think and feel about something now.

To recapture my emotions in a slice of time.  To see my view point then.  And compare it to now.  That is a rare gift, and blogging allows that.

My parents should never have married.  If they did not have sex, that would actually have been great too.

Then there would have been no pregnancy, and  no p (more…)

Friends with benefits …. and friends with wisdom …..

 

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{The blogger topic for day 10: is The best advice I ever received/ heard …. I may well be behind a day or so….}

Throughout this year I have been blessed to know that I have friends who stand by me.

Offer me support, allow me to sleep on their couch, and who keep me focused on the things that are good, and ways to keep me happy.  Sometimes they just supply good wine, and a ear to listen, and that is often enough to make everything all better.

Divorce, no matter how well it is managed, is still a pretty kak process to go through.

No matter how much the two of you try to appear adult, and to deal with each other in a respectful manner, you can’t help feeling that your life is in a state of free fall.  You are trying to desperately grab onto tufts of grass as you slide down the slipper cliff face into who knows what.

I have tried my utmost to be upbeat, and brave and not lose my sense of humour.  I tell everyone I am fine, and I seem to be coping.  Some days I am a bit side swiped and I struggle to get my head around where things have brought me, and I am petrified of what the future offers.

I do try my utmost not to wallow in my pity, shame, sadness and embarrassment.  I am embarrassed that I could not make this relationship work.  That I failed, and that my failure is so public.

I know in time I will have a different outlook.   I do feel a fair degree of shame, embarrassment and a sense of failure that I could not make this relationship work, and retain Kennith as my partner.

He divorced me, this was not a mutual decision, so I have been divorced from.  I know it is just semantics, but it does not soften the fact that I was rejected.  I was left.

Possibly for something better, possibly for nothing, possibly for the possibility of something better.  Or what ever else.

It still hurts.   It goes right to the core of my psyche, that I am not good enough.

Back to my good friends — I have had friends who have remained in my corner, who have let me vent, who have offered me their couches to sleep on, and who have sent me messages of support, given me hugs, and just been there for me.

No judgement.  Allowing me to speak, offering guidance and support and not insisting I take their advise.

The one piece of advise I think of on a regular basis  was given to me by Karen and it rings true for most things:  “If everyone could put their shit in a brown paper bag, and throw it up in the air, everyone would rather catch their own shit, than have to catch someone else’s.”

I am ad-libbing there, but the gist is that your shit is your shit.

It is easier than having to deal with anyone else’s shit.  And when you really sit down with someone you realise that they have far more in quantity and in complicated-shit than you could ever imagine.  So rather hold onto your shit bag, and keep it as your own — everyone else’s shit is going to smell worse, and probably make you gag.

That piece of advise, or that sentiment has sat with me for some time.

I often want to pull on a hessian bag and push charcoal through my hair and weep at the state of my life, but I think of the bags of shit and I am thankful that my shit is actually not that bad in comparison to others.

In no way am I minimizing my pain, or my experience, but I am owning my shit.  At least my shit is familiar.

 

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I am also a fan of the old adage: “don’t shit where you eat!!”  Wise words those.

 

 

 

 

 

I love … I like … I dislike …

I love Chenin Blanc.

I like Sauvignon Blanc.

I dislike red wine.

 

I love HELVETICA.

I like Calibri.

I dislike Comic Sans.

 

I love bold.

I like italics.

I dislike bold italics and underline used together.

 

I love rooibos tea.

I like earl grey tea.

I dislike peppermint tea.

 

I love citrus fruit.

I like apples.

I dislike guavas.

 

I love Jimmy Carr.

I like Stephen Wright.

I really dislike Leon Schuster.

 

I love the smell of jasmine and lavendar.

I like the smell of crushed grass.

I dislike the smell of dog shit on my shoe.

 

I love the smell of a puppy.

I like the smell of my dog’s feet.

I dislike the smell when my dogs’ farts.

 

I love Game of Thrones.

I like Fargo.

I dislike Nashville.

 

I love Depeche Mode.

I like Katie Perry.

I dislike Mariah Carey.

 

I love finding shoes that fit me.

I like finding shirts that fit me.

I dislike finding maternity wear that fits me.

 

I love the fact that I look better than I think I do.

I like the fact that I think I am actually not as socially awkward as I constantly tell myself I am.

I dislike the fact that I am my own worst and most critical critic.

 

I love that moment when you are struggling to recall a word, and then it just pops into your head out of no where. Usually at an unrelated time.

I like that moment when you incorrectly pronounce a word, and no one notices, so it gives you a chance to say it again before someone corrects you.

I dislike that moment when you realise that someone is not listening to you when you are talking.

 

I love the smell of bacon in the morning.

I like the smell of coffee brewing in the morning.

I dislike the smell of dog pee in the morning.

 

I love being with people who make me laugh, and who are genuinely interesting.

I like being with people who have their own level of crazy.

I dislike being with people who have body hygiene issues.

 

I love that moment as you are about to go to sleep next to someone and both of you just relax into each other.

I like that moment as you are about to go to sleep when you remember that tomorrow is Monday.  And Monday is a public holiday, which you had forgotten about until just then.

I dislike that moment as you are about to go to sleep when you hear the bathroom door banging.  You know it is just going to carry on banging, until you get out of bed and go and close it.

 

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You never really know someone …. and other snap judgements

 

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Blogging is a funny old thing to do isn’t it?

You sit and write about your life, then have total strangers pop over and have a read.

Those total strangers leave comments, some times those comments are more “character building” than others.

And you meet those “strangers” — and in some cases you become friends, and in others you issue a restraining order.

I read other bloggers work – granted not as regularly as I used to.

I used to trawl around and discover bloggers.  Then spend 4 – 6 hours reading their blogs from the first post to the last.  It was like reading a novel, filled with happiness, heart ache, tears, joy, love and loss ….. quite beautiful to behold.

Bloggers and what they blog have changed my life significantly.

I have learnt so many life lessons through other people’s accounts of their lives.  Of what they have shared. Of what they have been brave enough to put out there for me to read.

I have laughed and cried over people and their joy and pain, who I will never meet.

For those few hours, whilst I read their blogs, I felt an affinity, a closeness with them, that resonated with me somewhere in my heart, or soul, or brain.

The problem with blogs, is that you actually are given snap shots in to a blogger’s world or life.  You do not actually know them.

Sure, you have an idea of who they are.  Possibly you get a sense of how they may react if you threw cold water on them, but you do not really know them.

Blogging, like anything creative is sometimes about a persona that is created.  Sometimes you write and it is with a particular slant, or a way of expressing yourself.  But is not actually who you are.  Not totally.

My blog gives glimpses of who I am.

I talk about how I feel at a particular time — it may be filled with emotion and raw honesty, because it is how I feel at that exact moment in time.

I have no issue with writing posts that I know I will disagree with in 10 days time.  Or where in 6 months I may have a totally different view on that subject.

How I feel on a day, and how I am able to express that thought and emotion is dependent on many factors.

What I write here is not the everything of me.  This is not a summary of who I am, this is not a “quick tool” to get to know me – a cheat sheet as it were.

To say that you know me absolutely based on the last four years of my writing, would be inaccurate.  Hasty.  Flawed.

I am glad – thrilled – that people read my blog.

Even though I have slowly become the world’s worst blogger —  I am madly excited that people cheer me on when I have had a shit day or am going through a bit of a disaster.   I often feel such a sense of joy when people send me private emails and leave messages on this blog.

In some cases people want to give me a hug when I am feeling bad —-  I think as a reader, and even as a blogger, it is good to make the realization that reading someone’s blog, does not make you know them.

This blog is not my life — it is portions that I choose to share with you.  But it is not the total sum of me.

I am all these things on this blog, and a thousand other things.  In some cases I am more, in others I am less.

I share a great deal.

I write on my blog, to large degree, like I am in real life.  There are parts of who I really am represented here, but there are many aspects to me that I keep to myself.  Those parts I share with people who know me, who really know me.  And parts I never share, because they are mine alone.

Please don’t think you know me just because you’ve read my blog.

 

 

 

How mother’s day goes …

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Struggling to fit into the Living and Loving Mommy mould …..

This is the third part of a few parts.  What you can surmise from this is my inability to plan.  

The first part is here, the second part is here and the third part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story” – alternately you can just skip those and read only this bit:

…………………….

I started blogging not because I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

I wanted to understand what was flying around in my head.

None of it felt normal.  None of it felt right.  I know people say that motherhood is difficult and and and …. my issue was that it was not difficult it was bloody impossible.

I kept looking for the escape clause.  It was as if I was acting a part, and I just could not “get into character.”

The only workable option was to find a way to put it down.  There was something cathartic about putting it down on paper/on a blog as then it was not knocking around in my head.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down, and recorded for my children to come and read later.  But because I wanted to understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head is too busy and too chaotic most of the time, for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

Then I stopped writing.

As usual I had a picture in my head of how it was going to go and then when I struggled to put the reality into the picture or visa versa then I just stopped.  I could not continue.

In January 2010 I went out to dinner with a friend’s husband – he mentioned that he read my blog.

I was a bit surprised, as at that point I thought I wrote the blog, and some guy with his dog who lived in Parow were reading it. Just the three of us.

I was not writing thinking anyone was reading.  I was writing because I needed to write.

Mike (the friend’s husband) said that Anita (his wife) had struggled with post partum depression with both of her pregnancies and he never really understood what she was going through – until he read my blog.

He realised the pain, the confusion and what she was feeling because I could write it down.

He understood.  He got it.  He wished he had known that before when she needed his support the most.  But he just did not understand.

Mike said “Keep writing your blog, no one else is saying what you are saying, and there are people out there who it will help” ……

I didn’t believe him, but it did give me renewed energy to return to my blog and start writing again.

I wrote about everything, and I decide to write like I talk, and not worry about whether someone as reading it, but just that I was saying what I thought —-

I wrote passionately and sometimes in a deranged frenzy.  If I thought about it, then I wrote about it.

This post was about how I struggled to fit in with Mother and Baby Groups.

  I hate Mommy and Baby Groups – Part 1

I realize this rant is totally out of context, but I belong to a few women-with-baby forums and when I read through some of the threads I start to get a dull ache in my bum area.

For some reason this morning I recalled how much I loathed mommy and baby groups.

There is so much pressure to join one with your new little mushroom.

As soon as you get out of hospital and are able to take more than five steps, you start figuring out which group you are going to join.  You call the group leader and it all sounds so wonderful .

They are generally really really happy bubbly people.  Usually at this point I start to get uneasy – I am deeply suspicious of happy shiny people – I like my people a little bruised, a little dirty, a lot pessimistic.

You get your little bundle ready – dressed in their best clothes – you have already starting to buy into this under current of competition that exists at these things.

You don’t even realize you are doing it, but there you go.  You are so proud of your little Joshua/Sarah and can’t wait to get to the group, because your little one is going to be the best kid there – you know this.

In the car with your safety seat, getting the pram, the nappy bag and your bag in, buckled up, sort of figuring out where to go – because usually it is in a suburb off a side street that you really don’t know.

In your area, but you are not so sure, so odds are you take a few wrong turns, drive at 20km/hour to try to figure out street signs and basically get yourself lost.

You finally get there and it is usually a house in suburbia that has been revamped by a mommy with one or more likely two kids, who is using her love of kids to work from home, so there is a garage converted and lots of TreeHouse themed cushions and curtains.

You get all your kit unloaded.

By now you are a little flustered as you are late, and you have had to park about 500 metres away as all the more eager moms got there before you.  So you drag all your stuff all the way there.

By the time you get there and go through the alternate entrance, which usually is a narrow gate that your huge gi-normous pram does not quite fit in through the door, so there you are fighting the good fight, and starting to sweat a little, because odds you have over dressed, because you have not been out of the house by yourself for 6 weeks.

The weather has changed since you were last outdoors, and the only clothes that fit you are from the wrong season.

You sort of fall inside the sliding door.

To be greeted by a sea of usually attractive moms wearing their Sunday best and all their Joshuas and Sarahs are on little mats or cushions and everyone is so damn happy.

You, of course, have worked up a bit of a sweat, your Joshua or Sarah is a little cranky as you have transferred baby from safety seat, to pram, and now have to get baby out of pram as pram does not fit into room, so you are trying to juggle baby, your bag, the nappy bag, snug and safe and what is left of your composure.

The far-too-friendly leader of this little ensemble, comes over to greet you and refers to you usually as Mommy <well, it is tricky referring to everyone by name, so Mommy sort of makes it easy, and because you are a new Mommy, it kind of makes you smile that you have a new important title>.

You find a space and try to settle down.

At some point you are trying to assess the mood of the room, and then you start realizing that these moms are generally over achievers – like really over achievers.

When you are trying to find 10 minutes to read or sleep, while you are forcing junior to take a nap, more for your benefit than for theirs, these moms are busy reading Baby’s First Words or doing some sort of Baby Gym with their babies.

Damn, you are clearly behind with your baby’s development as you look down and your little imp is quietly gurgling and dribbling on his chin.

The leader takes her seat in the front centre, with her “baby doll” and everyone smiles and the excitement is tangible.  Everyone beings introducing them selves.

You start practicing a bit in your mind how you are going to introduce yourself and show off your offspring as you really only have about 4 seconds for introductions and really want to get bang for your buck here.

At the same time you are trying to remember names and baby names and ages …. and the reality is that you can barely remember your own.  So your turn comes around and all you can muster up is

“Hi I’m Celeste, and this is er…. Connor….. and he is ……hmmm….. his 4 months old.”  And the spot light moves away from you.

Then the real show begins  …….

 

I wrote subsequent posts about my issues with Mother and Baby Groups.

Expressing how I really felt about things, and showing people that I was not finding this motherhood malarkey easy, was so much easier than hiding it from people and saying “oh yes, everything is fine” — it was far easier.

I think the part that I found amazing and incredible, is that I realised I was not the only person crying in the bathroom at 2am.

I felt so alone, but I realised there was sea of moms out there, who felt the same.

Crying knowing you are not the only one does not make it easier, but somehow does make it less lonely.

Somehow.

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Looking back over a few years of Reluctant Mom ….. a quick stroll, not a delayed walk

I have been blogging under the name Reluctant Mom since AUGUST 21, 2009.  It’s been a while, I thought I would reflect on a few things.  I know that there are many readers who have known me for all the years, whilst there are new blog followers who have recently joined.

So allow me a few posts to look back over the years and the journey that brought me here.  I will not delay you too long.

I had my third child in June 2009.

It was a planned pregnancy.

I was prepared – I had two children already.  I wanted this baby to be the one where I got it all right.

Baby one and two, I put down to learning exercises.

But Baby Three was going to be the one where I got it all right.  All of the stuff I got so wrong before, I was going to have sorted

I was hardly surprised at how this worked.  I knew all about post natal depression, cracked and bleeding nipples.

I knew what being tired really meant.

I read it all, I knew it all.  {thumbs nose at the What to Expect books, because I have this taped ….. ha ha ha ….}

I went in to this with a bit of a swagger in my step, and a glint in my eye.  Because I was so damn sure of myself.

My third child was the gorgeous blue eyed, blonde haired girl that I had dreamt about.

Planned c-section, everything went as one would expect.  Nothing bad.

Other than the usual being cut up on the operating table, with someone up to their elbows in your abdomen.  But other than that, sort of a normal day out in the delivery ward at Medi Clinic.

In my dreams my daughter Isabelle slept with that serene expression on her face as only a newborn baby can.  And that little bit of milk caught on her rosebud lips, to convey the sense that she was well fed and content.

That is how I pictured it in my dreams.  No doubt fuelled by every image I had ever seen in Living and Loving.

Reality I am afraid was very different.

This was my third c-section, and it appeared to get more painful with each one.

No doubt due to the fact that I was older, fatter and they had to cut out huge hunks of scar tissue from the earlier c-sections.

I had my daughter on the Wednesday. Kennith collected me from the Panorama Medi-Clinic on Saturday morning at 10h00.

Then he told me at about 15h00 just as I was suckling my three day old child, that we were expected at dinner that evening and I should get myself ready.

After checking that he was not trying to play a practical joke on me/really fucking serious – I realised that he was being quite serious.

I tried to indicate with the huge cut in my uterus and my blood soaked sanitary pads that I was in no state to sit around a dinner table with 5 other couples.

His rationale was that I had done this twice before, and really what was the big deal.

And so the rapid drop into madness began.

To be continued ……

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Kennith moved out today ….

donotgoToday was easily one of the most difficult days of my life.

Kennith moved out today.

Tomorrow will be the first day that I wake up without him as part of my every day life, which has been a constant for nearly 20 years.

I realised today that I have not fully absorbed the “emotional” side of this process.

I have been so busy with the logistics.

How we will divvy up the house.

What happens with the children and what happens financially for the children that I have not really “sat” with the emotional fall out.

I am really good at ticking off the blocks, making lists, and ensuring that things get done in an organised efficient manner.

I am not always so good at dealing with the “emotional stuff” – I avoid it and defer it until it all hits me in one giant mother of a smack against the side of my head.

I have been so focused on the “details” that I have not had a chance to really take this process IN.

I have had two instances where I sobbed.  Where I cried like a lunatic.

The one I sat in my car and I cried with snot bubbles and that silent scream that you do when you are on the edge of insanity.

Then I stopped crying because I have shit to do, and stuff to get sorted.  I do not have the time to lie in a heap on the floor with a pack of Kleenex.

I have the odd tear, and sniffle, but I have not had a cry.

I chew it back.  I nod and say “I am fine” ….. I just do not have the time.  I am afraid and I barely have the energy to hold my shit together.

I am too afraid that if I start crying that I will not be able to stop.  Ever.

And then the world will come to an end.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a new psychologist.

I think it is time to meet a new man.  Sit on the couch and have a good all-fall-down.  Then pay him as I leave for listening to my problems.  Sounds almost like a date, just no possibility of a split bill.

I “feel” like I am “okay” but I have learnt a long time ago that actually that I am pretty awesome at constructing and maintaining facades of sanity.  If you need someone who puts a “chin up” on anything, please contact me – I have it so taped, I could give classes.

I realise I need to get a good psychologist in my corner — because at some point this is all going to crack.  Going to break.

And then all the king’s horses and men will not be able to put this Humpty Dumpty together again.

Today is not a fun day.

My guess is that tomorrow is not going to be any better.

I wanted to say “any fucking better” but then I decided I should really try to stop saying “fuck” “fucking” or “for fuck sake” so fucking much.  Then I decided, well fuck that.

Pick ‘n Pay’s response to the alleged abduction at a Pick ‘n Pay store

Pick n Pay’s first priority is always for our customers and their safety, and we take all incidents very seriously. Thankfully the child is safe and was already back with her mother when our store staff were first alerted.

We have cooperatedfully with the police, including providing a detailed statement and sharing our CCTV footage.

We have also met the mother again since the incident to express our sympathy and support, and explain the actions we have taken.

Our understanding is that, having investigated the evidence including our CCTV footage, the police believe that this was not an attempt at kidnap and that there is no case for taking further action.

There have been many reactions to the incident at the Pick ‘n Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg.  Some a bit alarming, some a bit concerning about the sanity in the blog-o-sphere.

I think the key issue here is that the issue is not that the specific retailer is to blame.  It is a “sense/feeling” that the incident was not handled well, and more importantly this could have happened to any of us.

You.  Me.  Anyone.

I am sure that if this had occurred in another retailer they may have dealt with it in the equally fumbling, less than ideal manner, but the reality is we will never know.  This happened, and this store dealt with it this way.

I am glad that Margo has brought this to attention – not to shame Pick ‘n Pay but to remind us how quickly things go wrong, even when you are picking lettuce up at your local retailer.

I sincerely hope that we have all learnt something from this incident.

I have three kids, and the reality is when I am shopping I cannot actually hold on to all of them, nor hold their hands no  matter how goof my best intentions are.

If you have shopped with children you will understand what I mean.

I often shop with my two youngest, and as much as I want to tell you I hold their hands the entire time.   I need to queue to purchase items and am distracted as I order at the delicatessen or the bakery.  And again cannot look at my kids as the assistant hands over the order.

I have to put groceries and kids in the car – and then I need to do something with the trolley – how do you expect me to keep all of these within eye sight?

It just is not possible.  No matter how vigilant you are.

I do not expect retailers to be responsible for my kids – but I do expect them to have a procedure in place when something occurs and listen to me if something has happened to my child.

No they are not the police.  But listen to me if I am indicating a problem, and take the time and energy to call the police so that they in turn can interview the suspects, and be able to handle the situation on the spot.

I sneaked in to a drive-in movie when I was about 11. They called the police.  I think the entry cost was R1.50.  The police came out and scared the shit out of me.

Point being, sure it is not your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on the planet, but if there is something that smells a bit iffy call the police, or some form of authority and allow the time to investigate, take statements – then step back.

When my kid were smaller and in the habit of throwing almighty thrombies at retail stores, I would leave them thrashing and screaming and just walk away – I would remain in ear shot so I could still hear them losing their shit in the aisle, I just would move on.

Clearly I would rethink that as a course of action.

Margo I hope you will heal from this – I cannot imagine nightmares you have.

I “almost” slammed my child’s hand in the car door when he was an infant. I didn’t.  I still think about it nearly every day and imagine the damage it could have caused.  My infant is now a 12 year old man-boy.  I still think about that day when ever he gets into my car and I close the car door.

Moms/parents worry.  Moms freak out if kids are out of their line of sight.

I hope we all have taken something positive from this experience.

Except Leon and Chuck. They have been total dicks!!!

{I think it is fine to be total dicks, but then be a dick who has no problem exposing who you are, and where we can contact you.  Be a man use your this-is-me-and-I-stand-by-my-statements-made-on-line.  Hiding behind a shite email address makes you double the dick — and a total shit head at the same time — other wise, good luck with that}

Original post and comments can be read at:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/abducting-babies-in-trolleys-at-pick-n-pay/

The one about the Nanny and the Delivery Man …. and the scam

I have a Nanny/Housekeeper who works for me.  She told me this story last week.

We were expecting a pest control company to stop by the house and do the spray thing to get rid of ants, fleas, and other unwelcome house guests.

{On a side note, if you are looking for an excellent pest control company in Cape Town, contact Rod Bendix Environmental Care on  021 555 3788 or 082 823 0247 – I have used them for years and they are brilliant.}

I leave the house and tell Priv about the pest control company and they will stop by later that day.  I am out for the day in various meetings, so I will not be able to pick up my phone until after 16h00.

A bit later in the morning guys arrive at the front gate, buzz and ask to be let in.

Priv asks for what.  They explain they are here to install a security system.

Priv explains she does not have permission to let them in.

They start to create a scene and explain they have a receipt.  The job has been paid for and they must do it today, or they are going to go and not come back, and it will be all her fault.

They are really pushy and confident and start to get quite harassed with her, and her inability to see reason.

Priv goes down to the gate, and does not open the gate, so she can see what they have with them –  they are insisting they have a paid and signed receipt, and instructions to be at our home.

The guys start really making a fuss, and waving around a piece of paper in front of her with our details on it and insisting we have paid for the alarm system, and her not letting them in will have all sorts of repercussions.

It is on their booking sheet, and if they do not get in now to install it, then she will need to realise that she will get into trouble.  They are really putting pressure on her to let them in – and being all “we are in a rush, stop monkeying around woman” sort of tone with her.

Priv recalls an article she has read in the recent neighbourhood newspaper, about how people steal your mail, and then use the details on envelopes to create a “receipt.”

They use this to gain access to property via the domestic who usually is swayed by the “official looking document.”

Priv takes one look at this situation and goes: “Well I don’t understand why you need to install an alarm when we have one, and it is working, and it is on.”  She starts asking their names and says she will call the owners to check with them.

The guys carry on insisting, and Priv INSISTS  she will call the owners, and reaches for her phone.

The guys then start to back track and question what the house number is — and they start to make a scene that they have got the wrong house and and  ….. eventually they leave.

We did not get a call from a company about installing anything, that we have paid for.  Nor did these guys pop along to a neighbour as they had made a mistake with the street number.  Our road is so short you can see the top of the road from our house, and our house is the house at the end – so had they made an error, they would have driven to a neighbour.

Priv is a hero for reading the neighbourhood paper, and sticking to the rule of not letting ANYONE in, no matter whom, if she does not have our express permission.

Maybe this incident has been repeating itself at other homes –  maybe these guys are getting access into houses with this simple but effective scam.

It makes sense to tell the person at home about this SCAM, so they are aware of anyone arriving with a delivery/collection or installation and they appear to have the correct documents.

Stealing your mail seems a really easy way to set this one up so that it looks very authentic.

I can’t imagine (I can, but I choose not to) what could have happened had these guys gained access to our property.  Hells bells, too traumatic to think about.

Be safe people, be safe!