“Nobody’s Jugs Are Bigger Than Annette’s”

So here’s a fun fact: nobody’s jugs were bigger than Annette’s.

grease

I had no idea.  I’ve spent the last 30 years thinking it was, “Nobody’s jugs are bigger than HER NETS.”  I can’t find a clip so you can hear the similarity for yourself.  I did, however, find the original trailor and I include it here as my gift to you.

I’ve spent years (YEARS!) lying awake at night, wondering, as a woman (for that is what I am), what are my nets?  Are they my nets?  Is that my net?  What’s a net?

I’m pretty sure my subconscious mind thought “nets” was referring to bras – the word implies a degree of anti-gravitational support.  But I couldn’t understand why the t-birds would be so excited about the possibility of bras being bigger than boobs?  Wasn’t Kenickie a man about town?  Surely the outer casing, if you will, is always going to be bigger than what it’s holding?  It’s just not that exciting.

But it’s all a moot (what a great word) point, because this whole time it was “Annette” not “her nets.”  I wonder if such complications are an everyday thing for women called Annette.

On a sidenote, when Rizzo sang Sandra Dee, one of the lines was, “Would you pull that crap with Annette?”  Jeez, Grease people, we get it – Annette was the word (did you see what I did there?).

OK I know this is sad but it’s also educational:  I googled Annette because I really am that tragic.  They are referring to a real person, her name was Annette Joanne Funicello.   The scriptwriters used references to this1950s celeb to dupe audiences into thinking the film was NOT made in 1978.  She looked like this:

annette

Yep. Nobody’s jugs were bigger than Annette’s.

I just wish I’d figured this all out sooner.  I realised Kenny and Dolly weren’t singing “I live in this street” when I was about ten.  That was handy as I was living on a farm and the two types of music were country and western.  To misquote Kenny and Dolly was social death.

kenny dolly

“I live in this street, that is what we are…”

For a short while, I thought Sade’s Smooth Operator was a telephone operator.  I had certainly worked this little chestnut out by my late teens, so that’s OK.

operator

He’s very, very smooth.

Of course it’s not just me.  I have a great friend, Nic – she’s the one who paid a fortune for her pet mouse to have an anaesthetic so the vet could fix his permanent erection.  When Huey Lewis sang about the power of love, she didn’t get it.  She thought he was singing about his beloved car, his Powerola.  She just thought he really, really loved his car.

OK so it’s not just Nic and I, everyone reading this has stuffed the words up at some point. What did you get wrong?

Themed, Styled & Spotless

As every modern Mummy worth her Himalayan salt will tell you, kids’ birthday parties are about one thing: the styling.

Yes, our kids’ birthdays are the perfect chance to show everyone how stylish and creative we are.  My daughter is having her sixth birthday party this weekend.  It will absolutely look like this, and sure, I’ll style my kids’ friends if I have to:

party 2

Or this….  who knew kids could be so clean!

party 3Seriously, when did we decide kids’ parties have to look so pretty?  This is a recent thing, yes?  It actually suits some people, for some, any kind of decorating is effortless and they absolutely love it.  I suspect this isn’t the case for most of us.

It’s easy to get caught up in it all. Last year, I did the “Look!  I’ve put pink drinks into mini milk bottles, each one personalised with a stylish name tag attached with ribbon and served with stripey paper straws!”  thing.  I was quite chuffed as it looked great, although really, my daughter would have been just as thrilled with a chewed paper cup that said “Wayne.”

I didn’t even get a photo for Facebook!  What WAS the point?

I don’t go crazy, but I do love having birthday parties for the kids.  Turning another year older is a huge reason to celebrate, and really, they’re not little for long so bring on the fairy bread (how good is it??).

So this time each year, I’m in party planning mode.  I use the word “planning” very loosely.  Basically I go online for ideas, find all these pretty things look too hard and ignore them.  I end up throwing the same party as last year, with a different looking (but not tasting) cake.  The kids like it so far, it works for me, so it’s fine.  But if you haven’t already, just take a look at some of the other parties out there.

Just… wow.

wowI am seriously impressed and slightly envious – I honestly wish I had such talent.  And if I could, I’m pretty certain I would.  It’s all so pretty!

But I’m also leaning towards, “Come on people, let’s cut this shit out” because there’s already enough to do without full event styling for six year old children.  I’d hate my kids to expect this level of perfection for their birthday parties because they will never, ever get it from me.

At my little boy’s first birthday party, he didn’t stop eating and how he still managed to breathe, I’ll never know.  I thought it was really cute. “Oh look!  He’s eating the equivalent of the family Mazda!  Bless!!”  This was a mistake.  It was his first time eating both cake and chocolate – eldest child, obviously – and he ate so much, so quickly, that he puked highly decorated chocolate cupcake everywhere.  With hindsight, it really was skilled, precision puking and it wasn’t my finest parenting moment.

Anyway, while I’m genuinely impressed with other people’s efforts, I’m really pleased a setup like this didn’t get covered in kiddy spew:

party 5Come on, fess up, how much work goes into your kids’ parties?

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Thanks Netmums!!

A Challenge You Won’t Regret

Here’s a little challenge for you that I can 100% promise will make you feel really good.

It’s not new, in fact you might have already done it.  Or maybe you heard about it but didn’t actually do it.

Ben-Stiller-Do-It-Starsky-and-HutchI heard about it at work recently.

I work for a children’s charity, and we are very into all things positive.  Positive psychology pretty much underpins everything we do, and if I was to tell you more about my work, you’d get why.

But I won’t.  Instead, I’ll tell you that during a session on positivity, we were challenged to do this really awesome thing.

Here it is.  If every single person reading this did it, all three of you including my mum, there would be just a bit more happiness in the world.  And we all know that happiness is wonderfully infectious.

This is what you have to do

Think of someone who means a lot to you. They need to have had a positive impact on your life in some way.  Maybe they inspired you to do something good, they might have helped you, made you laugh… it could be anything. They might have showed you how to juggle chicken livers and you’ve been enjoying it ever since.

Now, write them a letter.  Write from the heart; it has to be truthful.  Don’t worry about the grammar, your handwriting or letter writing etiquette, none of that matters.  Go crazy – use bullet points if you need to!  Woah – a letter without proper punctuation – it’s insane!

You are writing down why this person means so much to you.  What is it about them that you like or love so much?  Why do they matter so much to you?

Go on, off you go, I’ll be here when you get back.

Later…

Ah you’re back. All done?  Good.  (I will soooooo know if you haven’t done it. Like the time I found my daughters name written with her sparkly texta, in her writing, on her bedroom wall. She said she didn’t do it but I am just so intuitive, I knew it was her.  Sixth sense and all that.)

You know where this is going, don’t you?  Because the fun / scary part is coming up.

Now you have to go to that person and read them your letter.  You HAVE to.  I have officially challenged you and sure, you might not know me from Jack, but a challenge is a challenge.  Don’t overthink it.  Just do it.

Ben-Stiller-Do-It-Starsky-and-HutchIf you skip this crucial step, what was the point of your letter?  It’s a letter full of stuff you already knew.  You could have been doing something else in those five minutes, like learning another language or how to fly a light aircraft.

Does the thought of reading this out to that person make you feel a bit silly?  I understand.  I am certain none of my friends have ever said, “Wow, Rachel is so in tune with her feelings and doesn’t she love to share them?”  It’s just not me.  Maybe it’s not you either, but I still think you should do this.  You might make someone’s day – or year.   I can promise you that afterwards, you will feel happy.  Pure, real, sparkling happy.

A  woman from work read her letter to the mother of her best friend from childhood.  She called her, explained what was going on and read the letter aloud.  Far from feeling silly, she said it was amazing and it was really cool hearing her describe it.

I wrote to my husband and the words came easily.   I folded my piece of paper up, shoved it in my bag thinking that was that – and then I was told I had to read it aloud to him.  I felt a bit awkward about it.  Like I said, normally, this wouldn’t be my kind of thing.

I waited for the right moment.  About a week later, realising this whole “right moment” thing is a big fat joke, as it always is, I decided the time had come.  Too bad it was 11pm and he was fast asleep.  I woke him up, and he is always supremely cheerful when I do that, and explained, “There was this thing at work…”

I read him my letter and I’m so glad I did.

I promise you’ll be glad you did too. And if it doesn’t then you can absolutely blame me.

How did you go?

Pants on a Platform

This morning I got dressed for work, only to find my dress a bit tight.

I just looked a bit lumpy.  You know what I mean, it looks like your fat is making a break for it.  Now I own a slip that I’ve never worn before, in fact I’ve never worn a slip ever, so I took my dress off and popped the slip on.

Things were good.  The slip is tight, flesh coloured and hardly pretty.  But it contained the excess me, like a hard-working sausage casing, so I threw the dress over the top and left the house.

My dress was looking better.  Smoother.  All was well.  I felt pretty sophisticated wearing a slip, I have to say, like I’d joined a secret club.  I exchanged knowing glances with other women my age, although with hindsight I was just staring at strangers with my mouth open.

Walking to the station, something wasn’t right. My slip, possibly because it was on the tight side of small, was wriggling skywards.  I reached under my dress, exposing more thigh than I’d have liked, to yank it down.  But where was it?  It had disappeared.   I started to doubt myself.  Did I even put the slip on?  Am I still asleep?  Oh shit, that’d be bad.  What if I turn into one of those sleepwalkers who rack up huge credit card bills from unknowingly internet shopping?

shock

Anyway, I kept walking, feeling less sophisticated.  I could now feel that my slip had risen right up to my chest.  It was all bunchy.

I pulled my dress up, thinking I’d quickly find my slip and yank it down.  It took ages, seriously, and I realised with horror that in my haste I’d hoisted my dress waaaaaaay too high.  It was higher than my pants.  And they weren’t nice pants either, they were tiny (not in a good way), flesh coloured and nearly worn right through on account of them being made when I was in my twenties.  How the hell did I do that??  Shit.

monkey 1

Did I mention it was peak hour and there were people everywhere?  OK so it’s the North Shore of Sydney so hardly a huge crowd, but still, it feels like a crowd when your dodgy pants and cellulite are on show.  Shit again.

People, bless em, were turning away out of politeness.  School kids were laughing. I desperately tried to bring all my clothes back to where they belonged.  But I kid you not, my hands, which are normally pretty adept at, you know, grabbing things, just could not make contact with my clothes.  I didn’t know rising panic turned your fingers into pencils.  I threw my bag on the ground, its contents spilling everywhere.  Normally people help by picking things up, but remember they were all trying to pretend not to see me.  Except for the schoolkids who wouldn’t help you anyway.

monkey 2

Very aware that my revealing, threadbare pants and my gut were on full show to a train station of people, a miracle happened.  All that mad scrambling meant I soon (but not soon enough) managed to pull both the slip and the dress right down.  Yay!!  I could go back to feeling sophisticated - I had dark sunglasses and everything!

I started hurrying to the other end of the platform, where I could start afresh with a new crowd of commuters.

I took a few steps and tripped over absolutely fucking nothing, straight onto a really short person with alarming hair who broke my fall.  “Oh no!  That woman I was pretending not to laugh at, the one with a penchant for public nudity and old pants, just lurched onto my alarming hair.”

monkey 3Anyway, I eventually caught my train.  I closed my eyes for what was meant to be a few minutes, and when I opened them, I’d missed my station by three stops.

Was your morning better than mine?  Comment below!

Lessons from a 20 Year School Reunion

Last night we had our 20 year school reunion.

And I loved every minute.

I know a blog post with bitching and drama would make better reading.  I know a “how I dropped 3 dress sizes to look hot for my reunion” would get more clicks.  If you’re expecting a “I finally got to show THEM” moment from me then I’m sure to disappoint.

I was a boarder for 7 years at a girls school.  The other boarders in my year felt like family, you had a ready-made group that you were always a part of.  We were all different but we came together and it just worked.  Sure there were times when you felt on the outer, and one of the joys of adulthood is the realisation that everyone else felt that at some stage too.  Too bad that never occurred to you at the time.

Last night 50 girls from our year came together and we had a ball;  I can’t stop thinking about it today.  No-one has changed, it really struck me that people had grown into stronger versions of themselves.  So the outrageous girls are now even more outrageous women,  the serene girls are the very epitome of calm,  the glam girls have taken glam to new heights and I’m sure the smart girls are super clever women but I really didn’t get to test that one out (“Quick!  Define pi!”).  Everyone was just fantastic to talk to.   And can I just say that looking around the room, we scrubbed up pretty well too.

I didn’t notice any obsession with what people are doing with their lives.  We’re at different stages, each doing our thing and hopefully doing it happily.  I didn’t hear any hurried justifications, you know the kind, the “I’m-a-SAHM-but-I’ll-use-my-law-degree-soon” sort of thing.  Everyone I spoke to seemed content, happy and confident with what they are doing and genuinely happy for everyone else too.  Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m reading too much into it but I’m really thinking there is something pretty bloody awesome about being in your late 30s.  You’ve got it sorted, your shit is together and it really doesn’t matter what others think of you.

Whether you’ve got kids or not, single or settled, working, at home, in the city, in the country, shaking things up or plodding along… either way, that’s what you’re doing.  Hopefully you enjoy it.  And when someone asks, you tell them with no care what they’ll think.  And the best bit, the absolutely most amazing part, is that that person you are talking to gets it.  They can see you’re happy and they are genuinely happy for you.  And I just love it.

So to the class of 1994, and to women in our late 30s everywhere – you are awesome.  Excuse my language but you fucking rock.  Keep on keeping on, do it proudly and be happy for each other.  You deserve it.

So here is a group shot, not the sharpest but you get the idea.  I’m in front in the red dress.  If I look like I have a carrot up my arse, it’s because I decided against the Nancy Ganz pants and I’m trying to suck in so my stomach isn’t front and centre of the photo.  I know I’ve just implied such things are trivial in your late 30s, but still, a semi-flattering photo is still a woman’s prerogative.  Too bad it doesn’t always work out.

reunion

I hope you love(d) your school reunion too!

The 5 Day Juice Diet & Me

It seems that everyone at work has done some kind of detox.  There’s the group cleanse where hopefully you don’t have to hear about other people’s “eliminations”, juice diets of varying degrees and so on.

detox

One workmate was telling me about this a-maaaaaaaz-ing five day juice fasting detox she did.  “I’ve never taken drugs in my life,” she trilled, “but Day 3 of my detox was so amazing, I know what they must feel like!”

Helen explained that she was planning on doing another one, and that she had extra supplements left over from the last time she did it.  She offered them to me.  So I did the obvious thing –   I hastily agreed to do this with her, without giving any thought to what I was actually getting myself into.

She kindly gave me all the supplements, with labels like “Shine!” and “Cleanse!”

She handed me a list of recipes and instructions for the week.  I thanked her, read through it, and in what can only be described as the most blatant case of unawareness I have ever experienced, I was looking forward to it.  I gushed to my husband about how healthy I was about to become.  He rolled his eyes and said something about me being a bitch when I’m hungry (in my defence, I’m rarely hungry thanks to pre-emptive eating).

I wrote out my shopping list and my husband, what a gem, offered to do the shopping for me.  He probably just wanted a break.  Sure he missed a few things off the list (“Did you get my cacao nibs?” “Are you fucking serious??”), but any man who goes out to buy chai seeds and goji berries for his woman is awesome.  (On a sidenote, I do take serious issue with this whole superfood thing.  Kale is a perfectly nice, leafy veg – and that’s it.  Quinoa is a filler – that’s it.  Let’s not get overexcited people.)

Monday was Day 1 and  I started the day by following the instructions perfectly.  As soon as I woke up, I made a drink of warm water, juice from half a lemon, sevia “to taste” (I think not) and supplement that smelled of dogshit.  I drank it and nearly threw up.

I followed it up with my supposed breakfast smoothie.  This was made with almond milk, berries, soaked chia seeds, another supplement which could have been dried bile and coconut oil.

I couldn’t drink it.  I mean I physically could not ingest this sludge.

After gagging my way through a quarter of it and chucking the rest away, it was time to take the kids to school.  When I came home I was pretty hungry, so I checked out what I’d be making for my morning “snack” – using the word very loosely there.

It was to be another juice with lemon, two more supplements that actually want to kill you they are that nasty, stevia and Himalayan rock salt – which I didn’t have on account of my husband refusing to buy it on principle.

And that’s when it occurred to me.

Food makes me happy.  I love it.  And if I was to die the following day, my last day on earth would have been spent drinking this shit.

So I made myself an egg on toast, had a cup of tea – and felt great.   That night as I had my hot chocolate before bed and lamented by lack of willpower, my husband suggested I was still detoxing, just supplementing the juices with my regular food.  And ignoring the juices.  And supplements.  I like the sound of that.

To those of you that can actually do a five day juice fasting detox, I think you’re amazing.  Really, I do.  How on earth you managed to get past the first three hours is beyond me.

Fluffy Friends

I turned down her offer of showing me how to feel for our guinea pig’s testicles.

I’ll have a good feel around the bottom of my gross, cavernous bag trying fruitlessly to find the source of all the stickiness. I’ll do a “lady check” of my boobs because we all know prevention is better than a cure.  If I’m feeling really brave, I’ll have a feel in and around the couch – it’s a world of discovery in there – I’ve found coins from countries I’m certain someone is just making up.

Do I want to fossick around a guinea pig’s bits searching for their gonads?  I think I might say no.

You see, I decided it was time for a pet.  “Kids need pets,” I told my husband as if I knew what I was talking about, “It’s how they learn responsibility.”  So we went to the pet shop, and brought home Rosie Fluffy McTuffy.

rosie

I swear I bought her for the kids.  And yes, I know it’s a rodent.  But I was smitten.  And I decided that Rosie needed a friend.  So I bought Josephina.

Josephina

My daughter wanted to call her Love-Hat.  I wish I had thought of that.  But our son didn’t like it, so Josephina it is.

Everything was fine.  We had two female guinea pigs for my children to ignore while I cleaned up after them.  And then everything changed.

“There’s another one!” My daughter was pointing to a third, very tiny guinea pig that looked very much like a little Rosie, who was now remarkably slim.  In fact Rosie was now taking post-birth selfies wearing skinny jeans and making all the other guinea pig mummies feel like shit.

Our pets had, as my daughter put it, “hatched” a baby boy.  My son named it after himself, Sam.  As you do.  It turns out Rosie, the cavy vixen, was pregnant in the pet shop.  I now know that when you go to a pet shop and ask for a female guinea pig who is definitely not pregnant, the staff will fart in your general direction and laugh behind your back.

After some research and a call to the vet’s, I booked the baby in for the snip. When it was 4 weeks old, the time had come.

After spending much of my day off waiting at the vet’s, they had bad news.  Sam the guinea pig’s balls hadn’t yet made an appearance – so no snippy snippy.  The vet offered to show me how to check this for myself, instead I’ll just take him back in another couple of weeks and hope that in the meantime he doesn’t shag his mother. This prompted my husband to write the following Facebook post:

angry

The best part were the comments that came afterwards.

One friend paid the same amount for steroid cream for her mouse with a skin condition.

Someone else’s cat was on dialysis for so long, they had to cancel their holiday.

Then there’s my friend Nic.  Ages ago she paid $85 to have her pet mouse, Bevan, which she bought for $2.95, temporarily anaesthetised.  Bevan, who is named after the YTT stud (Aussies of a certain era will get it), had to have a very cute little gas mask so that his permanent erection could be comfortably placed back into its sheath, only for it to re-emerge within a couple of hours.

So I am feeling less silly about paying nearly $200 to give Sam (the guinea pig, not my son), the snip.

What ridiculous things have you done for your pet?