Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All I know is that whatever was in that mirror wasn't related to me genetically.

Pretty much everything I do is poorly thought out. Like my Brazilian. I am on the record about Brazilians already. I am also a hypocrite. That I was young and hot when a good, honest muff was ... a good, honest muff is a thing I am eternally grateful for, in a zeitgeisty way. I'm not sure what came over me, maybe it was one of those 12 days each year when ovulation sends signals out from my middle-aged reproductive organs to my middle-aged girl parts, signals that scream DO. IT (sex). NOW. Or else.

So there I was, frothing at the mouth, husband due home the following day, possessed by a succubus with a wont for hairlessness.

So here's the entire planning stage. I call exactly one friend who might know about such a thing and a font of rapid-fire knowledge she turns out to be. I am instructed to avoid beauty salons in middle-class neighbourhoods like the fucking plague. She says "Bogan chicks are the best, they don't judge you." So I'm thinking that, with my knees splayed and my bush offered up to the Gods of personal grooming, it would be nice to not be judged. I think my life probably depends on it. It is actually possible to die of shame. Bush shame.

So I find a salon as per instruction and my practitioner turns out to be a young woman whose teeth appear to be trying to escape from her skull. All of them. Independently. Pointing separate ways out of her mouth. Throughout the 'procedure' she calls me 'Hun.' I love her for this, until I think she might be taking the piss out of me and the reference is Post Attila, like in some sick way the reward for her plundering my nethers is getting to hear me scream about it.

At some stage I am instructed as to the different *hair-styles* that come under the broad label of Brazilian. This is too confusing. I hadn't planned for this. 'Landing Strips' and 'Triangles' are discussed and due to the fact that the whites of my eyes are probably freaking her out, she chooses to get on with The Procedure and ignore the gibbering wreck splayed on the table before her.

People in the next state heard my screams. My screams were measurable on a Richter Scale. Joan Sutherland (R.I.P.) couldn't have screamed the notes I screamed. Jesus. H. Motherfucking. Christ.

This is beauty?

At this point in proceedings I'd like to point out that I HAD TWO BABIES WITH ONLY FOUR PARACETAMOL FOR PAIN RELIEF (ie: 2 per kid). And that maybe my pain threshold was so severely crossed on both of those occasions that my willingness to endure ANY MORE PAIN is zero. Mano-a-mano ... this is cool between us, right? You understand, yeah?

Somewhere in the middle of the ordeal my practitioner has returned to the whole Triangle versus Landing Strip discussion wherein I have responded in tongues and told her her mother sucks cocks in hell, or something, because it wasn't until I got home that I discovered ... one side: Landing Strip, other side: Triangle. Close your eyes and take a moment to picture that. One side STRAIGHT, other side ISOSCELES TRIANGLE ANGLE.

And then she holds up a mirror and shows me what appears to be a Purple People Eater with a totally cockeyed hair-do. All I know is that whatever was in that mirror wasn't related to me genetically and if a sharp toothed baby alien had shot out of it and bitten my tits off I wouldn't have been surprised.

More screaming.

For this I paid forty-five bucks?

I will never, ever be ungrateful for any job I have held in the past or might hold in the future. Including motherhood.

All of this is small fry. Here is the Stay Up Late Telling Scary Stories part. I decide to tell my Mother about it (more of that poor planning mentioned earlier).

And she says ...

"Ooooh, I shaved mine off when I started seeing X and I felt like a LITTLE GIRL."

Condolences welcome.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Breastfeeding and the perilous descent of a pair of rectangular tits.

Found this old thing lying around, I drew it in 2001 when Bloss was 12 months old. Things have got a whole lot worse. It's like an old photo that you hated at the time and look at now and think, hey, I was hot!

I'm trying to drum up the courage to talk about that lopsided Brazillian. You'll have to beg me.

Does he look like a bitch?

Typography, as God intended it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue Fruit

Blue Fruit is coda in our family for spending money you don't have on something you don't need. Ideally Blue Fruit is just a beautiful thing, its sole purpose to be gazed upon.

This is how it happened. Circa 1966 (self: -1, sister: +1, pram bound) Mother takes us downtown to shop for groceries but instead spends the family's last money on un objet d'art, to whit, a ceramic blue-glazed bowl of fruit, made in Italy. It is breathtakingly beautiful and for a little while she forgets her husband is mostly at the pub, mostly staggering drunk on his return and prone to criticizing her cooking, like "What do you call this shit?".

So she gets home from town, leaves the infant in the pram downstairs, carts the toddler upstairs, scuttles back downstairs to retrieve the infant and shopping. Puts a load of cloth nappies in a bucket to soak, gets on with cooking a portion of the side of hogget that makes up the protein component in each of the three cooked meals the family eats daily. This is her life.

But this day she has the Blue Fruit and its magical power to transport her away. Later my Father will come home and shout that there is no beer in the fridge and no money left to buy beer.

Over the decades the anecdote becomes, from its retelling, smoothed over at the edges. It is an example of my Mother's eccentricity, a parable to illustrate the perils of spendthriftery. The punchline is her and I don't get it. To spend one's last dollar on something beautiful seems, to me, perfectly sane.

I fail to get it until the day I am informed by my husband that the family has just one hundred dollars left to last until pay-day (1 week hence) and as though compelled by DNA I spend ninety dollars on fabric which to this day remains unused. It was pretty fabric.

My Dad calls me that day and I explain the purchase and my increasing anxiety as to how to manage the rest of the week without money, he says ... "Blue Fruit!".

Roughly twelve years after the inaugural Blue Fruit purchase my Mother will leave my Father, marry another man, spend two months in intensive care after a serious car accident in which her second husband sustains a head injury and brain damage, she will study art and eventually muster the courage to exhibit her paintings, she will plant two gardens - each an acre in size, she will buy a pair of Rajasthani doors that will never be installed, occasionally she will tell her small, black Shih-Tzu/Maltese to fuck off - for licking his balls too loudly in her vicinity, sometimes she will have tufts of her hair dyed pink and purple. She will be loved fiercely by her grandchildren.

My Father will spend most of the next thirty years at the bottom of a bottle where, comfortably numbed, he doesn't have to think or feel too deeply. Somehow he sustains a quick wit and bare faced irreverence, the cause of every good and bad thing that ever happened to him. This is how he earns the deep affection of his grandchildren. He will miss my Mother every single day.

The Blue Fruit pictured above is a replica, the original long gone. A friend of mine found it in a junk shop and bought it for my birthday, it is the only gift I have ever received to leave me utterly speechless. Blue Fruit has become part of the language of our friendship.

My Dad was over the other day, he saw Blue Fruit MkII and said quietly, "I think I behaved appallingly."

For John and Sally, a little gift made of time and tears and memory.