Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Narrow Escape From Finger Amputation.

There are few things in this life I hate.  Sandwich bread not made by Albany is one of them.  Particularly in Winter when the butter is harder and thus more difficult to spread, so that a slice after attempted slathering with butter and syrup takes on the look of a crab's bus ticket.  This, evidently, is not the look I find myself longing to achieve for The Daughter's pre-considered healthy lunchbox.  My fear is, of course, that The Daughter will turn her nose up at said sandwiches and not that the Nosy Parker Teacher will tut-tut me over lunchbox preparations.  (On that note, I look forward to The Daughter being taught by a slightly less perfect real human - one who doesn't suffer apoplectic fits over forgotten homework notebooks... "I must urge you, Miss Liner, to ensure that the book is in The Daughter's bag every day.  Consider it Our Communication Bible.". Really?  A Communication Bible?  Where does this woman think this shit up?  It's like she lies in bed in her hambone frilled nightie, a quirky little title comes into her head, she gets so excited to the point of - I suppose what normal people would do is touch themselves inappropriately - allowing herself seven extra crochet stitches.)

I also dislike, intensely, toilet rolls that do not unravel with ease.  On Sunday The Daughter suffered an injury of such monumental gravity - how we escaped a full-blown finger amputation remains a mystery to me.  She was paging through a colouring-in book in a restaurant when an errant page had the audacity to give her a paper cut.

The Daughter: (screeching such that the entire busy mid-morning trade of the breakfast restaurant came to an unpredicted stand-still) It's bleeeeeeeeeding!  Real blood!  Owwwwwwwww!

After assessing the situation and noting that while there was indeed blood, the fact that a single drop had not yet been formed led me to conclude that the risk of The Daughter bleeding out over my breakfast-in-pita (very soft eggs) was unlikely.

The Pant:  Oh dear (munch munch).  Stick it in your (wipe mouth lazily with serviette) mouth.  That'll make it (pulling cheeks downwards to release bits of bacon and cheese from cheek-gum cavity) all better.

TD:  It's bleeeeeeeeding, Mom! (Raising volume to a level I feared may alert the police) I can't put it in my mouth.  There'll be blood in my mouth.

TP: (Now aware of on-lookers shaking their heads and doing that tongue-behind-front-teeth click that the Zulu language indicates with a 'c') Oh darling!  Might it require amputation?

TD:  (Puzzled now, no tears). What's ampitashin?

TP:  You're supposed to be crying.

TD:  Oh ja! (Wail. Screech. Feel faint from blood loss) Blooooooood!  Real!

I got the cue from The Incubator's right eyeball which, when she disapproves of anything, has the ability to grow a fine layer of cactus-like prickles while simultaneously extending on a barbed pole to millimetres from my general face.  The hairy eyeball, we call it.

The Pant:  Right, shall we go to the bathroom, Precious?

I ushered The Daughter into a room which, by design it appears, has the primary function of amplifying sound.

TP:  Let's run it under cold water.

TD: (Fresh wail - deafening) Noooooo!

TP:  Toilet paper?

The Daughter, too consumed by injury, simply nodded her ascent to my proposal.

And that's when it happened: The Pant vs (fucking irritating) Toilet Roll.

Wail.  Note brand spanking new roll of cheap possibly-pre-used single ply toilet paper.  Scream.  Attempt at undoing super-effing-glued toilet paper end from roll unsuccessful.  Screech.  Tear at perforated square.  Sob sob.  Pull.  Bawl.  Remove piece so insignificant would be useless in wiping anything larger than an ant's bottom.  Fresh wail.  Attempt again.  Screech.  Remove slightly smaller piece.  Scream (The Self, not The Daughter).  Repeat action several thousand times until I held in my hand enough confetti to celebrate an 80's nuptial.  Cry.  Notice blood has formed scab.  Sob.  Until a whole square was released, wrapped tightly around The Daughter's finger.  Hug.  Kiss.  Return to table.  Finish chilled breakfast-in-pita.

Toilet roll - 1.  The Pant - 0.

Monday, May 30, 2011


The parents are renovating their house.  I know this not because The Incubator decided to ring me up and say, "Hello Dear, just thought you may be interested to know, but we're doing alterations to the kitchen area."  No, indeed, that would be far too much of a friendly conversation for us to have.  Our conversations follow a pattern of something similar to this:

The Incubator:  Hi Pant.

The Pant:  Hi Mom, how are you?

TI:  Been so busy.  I worked all the way until 9 o'clock this morning and then I had to do some shopping.  How's The Daughter?

TP:  She's fine thanks.

TI:  Anyway, listen darl, I've got The Beautician here for a glass of wine.  Can't chat.  Bye.

She hasn't yet started ending conversations with "byeeeee", but now with their house renovations under way, I think that particular salutation is undoubtedly in the post.

The reason I know about said renovations, of course, is because I succumbed to the incessant pleas to, "Please bring The Daughter to visit her darling Cranpa," and, "Just come for the night - The Beautician is away and I need someone to have a glass of wine with." 

And so after having been pushed and prodded and punched over size 4 girls' dresses and tights and long sleeve shirts at The Naartjie sale, I packed The Daughter in faithful Wanda, and made the hour's trek to the homestead.

Had I known, of course, that The Homestead was now a construction site with a temperature not dissimilar to the one in Alaska, I would have stayed snug in our abode with Darling Cat and even more Darling Daughter.  Also, if I'd used my head and remembered that the route of The Comrade's Marathon is almost the exact route between the house of self and the homestead, I would have poured myself an extra large glass of port and settled on the couch in front of television.

When we arrived, there was no rush to the outdoors to greet us.  In fact, the greeting we received was so icy, that I wondered whether it was worth my while even getting out the car.

The Pant:  (laden down with bags and half sleeping child):  Don't worry!  I'm fine!!!  Don't need any help!

The Incubator:  (calling from the "kitchen"):  Oh good. 

TP:  Good?  Good what?  Good that I'm here?  Good that I don't need any help?  Good that you don't need to have the mundane "how are you" conversation?

TI:  Hmmmmmmmm???

The Daughter:  I need the toilet.

TP (evil smirk):  Tell Granny you want her to take you.

TD:  But I want you, Mommy.

TP:  Right.  (under breath) Bugger.

The Daughter entered the kitchen first.  Greeted the grandmother.  And turned around to witness the lack of walls and cupboards and other items that one generally associates with the inside of a house.

The Daughter:  What the...

The Incubator:  You are your mother's daughter.

The self then entered and assessed that lack of homeliness.

The Pant:  What the....

The Incubator:  You are your daughter's mother.

TP:  How observant of you.

TI:  Air kiss, air kiss.

TP:  Thanks for the affection.

TI:  Lovely to see you.

TP:  Liar.

TI:  What do you think?

TP:  I think you invited The Daughter and I to spend a night in the middle of a construction site with the heating of a deep freeze.

TI:  Wine?

TP:  Abso-bloody-lutely.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Changing My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh

It would appear that Harold Camping got it wrong.  For those of you who've been away at that crochet convention in middle earth, Harold Camping is the guy who predicted that the world would end on 21 May.  Because (and you'll love this) of gay pride!  Look I don't mean to point out the obvious but, Darling, with a name like Camping, I wouldn't pick on The Gays.  The irony, I daresay, was not lost on any of us.

So in the run up to D-Day, My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Caress My Inner Thigh and I got a touch sketchy.  I mean, he was part and parcel of the reason for the destruction of the world as we know it what with his blind commitment to dabbling in (and I quote him) "this faggotry".  And with such a twisted view of the world, I knew I'd have a few questions to answer.  What with choosing to head my own household as a single mother.  And the mothering I've done!  (It's embarrassing) The Daughter hasn't yet learned to shell peas.

And so I spent the majority of last week dedicated to the attempt to straighten My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Caress My Inner Thigh out.  A selfish pursuit, you might term it, given that I found myself, with The End approaching, in desperate need of a husband.

Our banter went something along the lines of:

My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh: How can you function without a man in the house to guide you, correct you, and firmly chastise you for poor grooming and short-sightedness?

The Pant:  Indeed.  I beseech you, leave the Gay Way and come keep me in check.

MFEHWHLTNDTACMT:  It's long overdue - this faggotry is not proper for one so blessed with a penis.

TP:  It's a sin.

MFEHWHLTNDTACMT:  It is.  But I am afraid my commitment to this alternative way of life is as unwavering as yours is to cake.

TP:  But it's not right.  Not when you're so lucky to have been born with phallus.

MFEHWHLTNDTACMT:  I agree.  Will you cure me?  Time is running out.

And so I, with the help of The BF, Other Close Friend and Carlos, began my fervent mission in saving My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh from an eternity of despair.

I took the visual approach.  I thought if he witnessed enough images of sauciness, he may give in to my wily ways.  But I'm a prude, so I had to use my imagination.  The first image you see before you will be my stomach.  I swear.

And still he remains committed to his lover.  And not to me.  I can't imagine why.

But I guess that's okay.  Because Harold Camping made just a small error in his calculation.  And I've still got until October to change him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Return of The Leopard Mum.

Sometimes - and I am not bragging here; or maybe I am - The Daughter knocks the breath out of my lungs.  I suppose, if we are to look at the lungs on a purely physical level, their capacity is somewhat diminished by lack of exercise.  And smoking.  And really enjoying the taste of foods that are comprised mainly of carbs and fats.  And not the good kind.  But rather the good bad kind.

Yup, I was never much of an athlete.  In fact, if I'm to be entirely honest with myself, the fittest I've ever been was when I was pregnant with The Daughter.  So afraid was I of gaining weight (I know, it's ludicrous) that I spent the majority of the nine months of my pregnancy in a pool or at the gym "trimming down".  Honestly, I was so fit by the time the little angel decided to make an appearance, that my body decided a two hour labour was all it needed to get the sprog out there.  And I still gained a whopping 20 kgs.

But that's all gone downhill.  Not for lack of trying, though.  Well, it is because of a lack of trying that I've stopped exercising.  Though I do say to The BF all the time, "I really do need to tone up," while tugging at fleshy bits of stomach and back fat.

But The Daughter - as I was saying - does surprise me sometimes.  And she makes me so proud that I'm sure this pride is possibly nauseating for those who have to bear witness to it.

It was Sports' Day the other day.

The Pant:  Do you really want to go to sports' day, my love?  Why don't you and I lie in bed for an extra hour, have a late brekkie out and tell each other that we love each repeatedly?

The Daughter:  No, Mom.  I want to go to sports' day.

TP:  Ah... but your running shoes are at Granny's.  Can't do sports' day in pumps.  Or Uggs.

TD:  I'll do it barefoot.

TP:  You'll do no such thing.  No daughter of mine does anything barefoot, do you understand me?

And no sooner was I on the phone to The Incubator.

TP:  The Daughter insists on participating in sports' day.

The Incubator:  Lord Almighty.  What is wrong with the child?  Why don't you just sleep in a little extra and go out for a big fried brekkie together?

TP:  I've suggested it.  But she's having none of it.  And I need you to come watch because you've got her running shoes.

TI:  Oh Lord.  Why?  I'm in bed.  Can't she just do it barefoot?

TP:   Absolutely not.  No daughter of mine does anything barefoot.

TI:  You do know you sound like me?

TP:  Oh crikey.  Please bring the running shoes and a large dose of rat poison.

TI:  I'm not that bad am I?

TP:  Can you bring a plate of eats?

TI:  Yes.

TP:  Then you're not that bad.

So, a little while later, I had The Daughter warming up prior to said sports' day.  I say, "I had The Daughter warming up," - but that's not strictly true.  I was sitting ever-so-quietly on an exceptionally small chair (what is it with going to Pre-Primary schools?  I get worse knee to head injuries than I have ever received doing far more dirty things) day dreaming about my up-coming leave.  And it's not that I'm not interested in The Daughter.  I am.  I love her.  But I just can't get excited about sport.

Or so I thought.

She took her marks.  She got set.  She went.  And she picked up wooden blocks and put them into a tin pail with such alacrity that she cruised across the finish line with minutes to spare.

TP:  (nudging seedy looking father next to me)  That's my girl.

Seedy Looking Man:  Congratulations.

TP:  I know!  She's amazing, isn't she?

SLM:  She is four.

TP:  I know.  And she won.  She must definitely be an athlete.  Should probably start procrastinating about getting her into American universities now.  Did you see how she creamed the other kids?

SLM:  What?  Like my daughter?

TP:  Oh.  Which one is yours?

SLM:  That one.  Crossing the line now.

TP: Oh.  Well, I'm sure you can train her.

And that's the trait of the leopard mum right there: proud as punch and puts absolutely no pressure (because of laziness) into forcing child to achieve greatness.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by my luck.  The raddest little chick in the whole world.  And she's my daughter.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Who Needs Enemies?

So I went out for dinner with The BF and Other Close Friend on Friday night. The BF and I used to do this regularly. And then life just seemed to get in the way. Besides which, we got into the habit of eating together every night that the notion of going out for a special dinner just kind of got filed away. Along with our days of being able to go six consecutive days of eating only cake and not gaining any weight. Ah, those were the days.

It was a little bit like a date. Except the closest I came to a boobie grope was from Other Close Friend.

Other Close Friend: Pant, your boobs are looking amazing. When did they get so big?

I will admit to you, because you won't tell anyone (will you?) that I've witnessed a distinct breast growth over the last couple of months. And while I take pleasure in men no longer looking at my face while they address me (The Husband's Friend even commented on boobs, something in the vein of, "You have put on weight ... on your boobs"), I kind of miss my uber flat-chestedness. For starters, I could wear any top I wanted to. And go out dancing. And not wake up with a chest ache I remember experiencing when I was jersey cow to The Daughter. But I shan't complain. I mean, for real, I'm not sure a man has commented on my lips or eyes (or any other feature above my chest) for the past two months.

The Pant: To be honest, Other Close Friend, they may be bigger,

OCF: Are you-

TP: No. I'm not. Don't even go there.

OCF: But why are they SO big?

TP: Well, if you must know, Other Close Friend, it's a new bra.

OCF: No. Way.

TP: Yup.

OCF: They look like grown-up's boobs.

TP: I know!

OCF: But surely a bra can't do all of that?

TP: It can. This thing is so padded it's like a fat suit for tits.

OCF: Let me feel.

I paused for thought. And then leant forward, the right breast leading.

Other Close Friend prodded and caressed in my general breast area for a good minute or two.

OTC: It feels just like a boob.

TP: What does?

OTC: Your boob.

TP: You were actually touching it?

OTC: Yes.

TP: Oh! Couldn't feel a thing.

What I hadn't noticed during this grope fest was Sexy Sexy Man dining with his parentals. I later learned that he spent the majority of his meal blushing a violent ruby at the public display of, well, affectionish.

Luckily though, I have my friends to ensure that if Sexy Sexy Man wasn't judging me enough, they made sure to drive my embarrassment home. While I was out having a ciggie, they sent via the waitress a hand written note with my number to said man.

Ah, who needs enemies, when your friends are quite capable of making a tit of you?

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Election Day Memoir.

If you got the "Hello Mr/Mrs ... (Say voter's surname) my name is ... (Say own name) calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick (don't judge). This is just a courtesy call to remind you that today is election day and that your nearest polling station is open until 7pm" phone call on Wednesday, it was probably me.

If I'd answered said call from self, I may have responded in manner of, "Do you think, dear, that I am a total arsehole? Because I woke up this morning and didn't get up, on a day when I ordinarily would have had to. You know, what with work and all. But I thank you for thinking that I may be living under a stone. Such a compliment."

(If I'd gone on with the script, whilst talking to myself, I would have had myself booked.)

So when a cheap Samsung was thrust into my hand at 630 (a-effing-m), I envisaged the worst: angry public holiday drunkards disillusioned by poor service delivery (yes, I learnt about that yesterday) telling me to get knotted. It's not that I'm a meek push-over who needs constant backing up. It is, in fact, that my personality is an entity of quite a contrary nature. It likes to challenge. This could, I foresaw, pose problems. Given that I was also raised by a mother whose vocabulary was seriously influenced by a seven-year career in politics. (I will never forget being a fresh-faced fourteen-year old private school snob and overhearing my mother having a telephone conversation - or telecon as she buzzworded at the time - with a colleague. She had heard some god-awful news to which she exclaimed, "Fuck me gently" - each syllable perfectly enunciated. My posse was not yet au fair with expletives. Although, we had started experimenting with them. Four-lettered words were just not a common currency in our schoolgirl banter. One friend was so poor in this department that she couldn't quite grasp the concept that the past tense of 'shit' is 'shat'. She used to say things like, "My mom shitted all over me last night.". And I was more concerned about her grammatical error than the fact that her mother had actually defecated onto her. Which, if you think about it, is pretty damn siff. But I digress...)

Yup, I was worried: Me + my often unsavoury diction + rude people = recipe for fucking disaster.

And said disaster started pretty early on.

The Incubator: (pointing) That's your team leader.

The Pant: My WHAT?

TI: Your t-

TP: I heard what you said. Let's just not make matters any worse by giving him any kind of title, okay? I am not led. I am illeadable, okay?

At which point Team Leader, glanced across at me, and began violently tapping at his watch.

The Pant: Oh pick a hand pal, and go fu-

The Incubator: (with both hands covering my mouth, so that I was now looking like someone who'd partaken in a chubby bunny contest) Not yet, Pant. Keep it cool.

Not much later, did the first list of twenty confirmed voters come through. Team Leader became seriously light in the loafers with excitement. It was as though his sphincter had retracted on itself and was placing an arousing amount of pressure on his prostate. He skipped through the office, employing an hysterical tone, yelping, "They've voted. They've voted."

Ah, a truly spectacular sight.

And then I made my eleven thousandth call.

The Pant: Hello Mr/Mrs ... (Say voter's surname) my name is ... (Say own name) calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick. This is just a courtesy ca-

Rude Man: This is the fourth call I've received this week. And if I hear from you lot again, I will be voting for someone else.

TP: Ah, so you've never travelled beyond the borders of Howick, then?

RM: Pardon?

TP: (speaking slowly as though conversing with one whose first language is not English) Have. You. Ever. Been. To. Cape. Town?

RM: I have. And I don't like your tone, girly.

(If Rude Man hadn't pissed me off already, he had to add the "girly" - Cock. Sucker.)

TP: Excuse me?

RM: I don't like your tone. Girly.

TP: Alright, listen to me, you close-minded bigotted fuckstick. If you have been to Cape Town, you will know that voting for The DA will provide you, in this area, effective service delivery. Which will increase the value of your house. So go and vote. Now.

RM: I like your conviction.

TP: I don't give a fuck what you like or ... Oh! Thank you.

RM: (chuckle chuckle).

TP: Thank you Mr (say voter's surname). We appreciate your support. Enjoy the rest of your day off.

But my finest, finest, finest moment of the day was when I telephoned Mrs Govender.

The Pant: Hello Mr/Mrs Govender, my name is Panty Liner calling from The DA campaign offices in Howick. This is just a courtesy call to remind you that today is election day and that your nearest polling station is open until 7pm

Mrs Govender: There are two Mrs Govenders here.

TP: Oh, I'm looking for (check voting sheet) Queen Elizabeth Govender (I shit you not.)

Mrs G: Oh, Queenie. No, she's still at work.

TP: Are you Mrs Princess Maryanne Govender?

Mrs G: Yes, call me Prinny.

TP: Ooooo. K. Prinny, have you managed to get to a polling station today?

Mrs G: Yes, doll. And I voted for yourll.

TP: Thank you. And do you know if Queen Eliza-

Mrs G: Queenie.

TP. I beg yours - Queenie, has she managed to cast her vote?

Mrs G: No, but my husband will vaii that side after she finish work. Place one cross again for yourll.

TP: Thank you, Prince-

Mrs G: Prinny.

TP: Prinny.

Ah, South Africa. I love you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Conversations With The Incubator.

I had this conversation with The Incubator last night.

The Incubator:  Hi darling, how are you?  (That's weird, she never calls me 'darling'.  Must have realised that I am, after all, her favourite daughter.)

The Pant:  I'm okay thanks, Mom.  How are you?

TI:  Good.  Good.

TP:  Cool.  What you been up to?

TI:  Just been to book club (ah, the 'darling' bit makes sense.  The loved-up drunk phase.  I know it all too well.  Wait.  Does that mean my mom is dop n dialling me?  Weird.)

TP:  Oh nice.  Have a good time?  Pick up any nice books?

TI:  Pardon?

TP:  Pick up any nice books?

TI:  I'm sorry, I don't understand.

TP:  You were at book club.

TI:  Yes?

TP:  Did you pick up any nice books?

TI:  Huh?

TP:  Never mind.  Listen, Mom, I'm swamped with work.  I really must dash.

TI:  Okay, darling.  But before you do....

TP:  Yes?

TI:  What are you doing on voting day?

TP:  I'm still registered to vote in your area.  So I'll probably drive up some time on Wednesday morning.  But please don't try and get me to stay.  I've got a shitload of work to get through.

TI:  Oooooo.  There might be a small problem with that.

TP:  No, honestly.  As much as I'd like to sit on the verandah with you and drink wine until the tears spill, I really can't.

TI:  Do you have any idea how much I love you?

TP:  Yes.  I do.  I am also a mother.  I understand that mother/child love all too well.

TI:  Well, just as long as you know that I love you as much as you love The Daughter.

TP:  You can't possibly.  I remember what I was like as a teenager.

TI:  So do I.  And I still love you that much.

TP:  You're not going to launch into the "It's okay to be single" saga now, are you?

TI:  Not unless you want me to.

TP:  No thanks.  And thanks for all the love, Mom.  But I really have to go.

TI: (desperation in voice) Please will you stay on Wednesday?

TP:  Ah, Mom.

TI:  Please.

TP:  Don't do this to me.

TI:  Please.

TP:  Okay.

TI:  You're a wonderful child.

TP:  But no wine.

TI:  No wine, I promise.

TP:  Why do you want me to stay?

TI:  I love having you around.

TP:  Really?

TI:  Ja.  Can you stay tomorrow night too?

TP:  I really can't.  I know what it will be like on the eve of a public holiday.  You'll have The Beautician around and the wine will flow and the next thing you know, we'll be discussing gynaecological disorders until Dad, redder than beetroot, skulks off to bed to say the rosary 25 times.

TI:  Oh, Lord, no.  I can't drink with The Beautician the night before voting day.

TP:  It's okay, Mom.  You should be sober enough to vote by the mid-morning, if you're worried about all that "legally binding" stuff.

TI:  No, I've got to be at the polling station at 630.

TP:  Good Lord in Heaven, why?  Although, let me say this: don't even think of waking me up.

TI:  But I have to.

TP:  Why would you want to?  You know what I'm like at that ungodly hour.

TI:  It's just that I... um... had a wee lapse in judgment.

TP:  Yes?

TI:  Promise you won't be cross?

TP:  No.

TI:  I can't tell you unless you won't be cross.

TP:  Which one of my belongings have you indefinitely leant to one of your "friends"?  Please say it's not The Daughter.

(She gave my most beautiful winter coat away three seasons ago to a friend going to London.  A "friend" upon whom she has never clapped eyes again.  And my entire collection of cookbooks including a recently imported copy of Annabel Karmel because, "The Daughter and you don't look like you eat." But her most recent giveaway has to be her finest: The Daughter's hand-crafted wooden sleigh bed.  Unused.  I swear.  Brand spanking new. To a "friend".  Which has not been returned.)

TI:  I haven't given anything of yours away.

TP:  Are you sure?

TI:  Except, I may have leant a carguard your copy of Thoughts In A Makeshift Mortuary but I'll buy you a new one.

TP:  It's.  Out.  Of.  Print.  Mother.

TI:  How was I to know?

TP:  Look I've got to go-

TI:  I'll get it back.

TP:  You won't.  Anything else?

TI:  Yes.

TP:  What?

TI:  Promise you won't be cross?

TP:  No.

TI:  Then I can't tell you.

TP:  Just tell me.

TI:  I can't.

TP:  Tell me.

TI:  Promise you won't be cross?

TP:  Okay.  Fine.  I promise.

TI:  (long pause, probably digging deep for courage) I've offered your help to The DA on voting day.  You'll be volunteer working from 630 until 8.

TP: am?

TI:  pm.

TP:  You did WHAT?

TI:  They really need you.

TP:  Yes.  And I'll be giving them my vote.

TI:  Think of it is as serving your community.

TP:  It's not my effing community.

TI:  It's mine.

TP:  And so?

TI:  Don't you want the value of my house to go up?

TP:  Barbed question.  Refuse to answer.  I'm speechless.

TI:  I knew you'd help your old mom out.

TP:  Do I have a choice?

TI:  No.

TP:  Have another call coming through.  I'll call you back.  We're not done discussing this.

TI:  Oh, that's probably your team leader.  Arranging Wednesday with you.  I gave him your number.

TP:  My team WHAT? You gave him my WHAT?

TI:  Bye, darling.  Love you.


How does that saying go?  Is it 'Fuck my life'?  Yes.  I think it fits perfectly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Will Work For Cake.

I was asked to do some external work the other day. Writing work. (And this excited me endlessly because if I was doing some writing for someone else, and it was not one of their third year English essays, this task, ultimately, made me A Writer and not just A Jotter Down Of Rude Words And Mundane Memories. You can imagine my excitement. I was wooping around the show like a raver whose favourite track is booming out of a wall full of fuck-you speakers in a dance club.)

Ah, but then. There was the small issue of remuneration. It's not like I am in the position to say, "For my last project, I charged fifty bucks a word." Because my last project was a mother's day card for The Incubator. And I charged her (in a round about way) a whole lot more than fifty bucks a word. (I am a bit disappointed with the work I did on that card, though. If my memory serves me correctly, I did not squeeze a single tear from her eyeball.  Fail.  Epic.)
So I decided to go with the "I'll do it for the love of writing" route.

Needer of Writing: Absolutely not.

The Pant: Seriously, consider it some experience and exposure for me.

NOW (I like that.): No, I insist. I must give you something.

TP: Okay. It's winter, I'll work for cake.

NOW: Pardon?

TP: No! Not that type of cake! You can send a chocolate cake round to my work so I can share it with my friends. But a big enough one so The Daughter and I can have a cake picnic too.

NOW: I'm not paying you in cake.

TP: But, and I'm going to say this at the risk of sounding like a horny 18 year-old boy: I love cake. More than any other baked good. Cake makes me happy. It makes me feel happy on the inside and rounder on the outside.

NOW: Fine. How about I book you and a friend a spot for high tea at The Oyster Box?

TP: Ooooo! Say it again.

NOW: High tea at The Oyster Box.

TP: Oooooo! Say it ag-

NOW: I'm not saying it again.

TP: (Curbing my excitement, attempting to sound professional): Sounds like a fair deal. Book for Saturday. Many thanks. Pleasure working with you.

No sooner had I ended the conversation with Needer of Writing was I on the phone to The BF:

The Pant: Get your fat clothes ready! We're eating cake on Saturday!

The BF: What are you going on about?

(I relayed the conversation with NOW. In a typical manner of he said and then I said  and then he said and then I said and then he said.)

The BF: Oooo! I'm wearing stretchy pants.

The Pant: Me too. Can I borrow one of Carlos's shirts?

TBF: Big time. Good idea.

Ah, we're a classy act, are The BF and I.

So we arrived at The Oyster Box (read Colonialism At Its Finest) dressed in Carlos's kit. And were greeted by an uber-friendly man who, judging by his sheer girth, consumes the entire leftover high tea daily as quality control. (Part of his job description, I imagine. Those Oyster Box folk aim to please.)

Man: Can I get you ladies some tea?

The BF: Hell no. We haven't eaten since last night to make space for some cake, honey. Ain't no way we going to spoil it by no tea.

Man: (addressing me): And for you, Ma'am?

(Under normal circumstances I would have requested the gentleman to call me 'Ma'am' again. But this Man, I could tell, could not have handled encouragement. In his head, he'd already eaten my kit off and was now devouring my rump in a most unsavoury manner.)

The Pant: Didn't you hear the lady? She said, "Hell no." Now get us some cake!

Man: Would you like me to take you on a tour of the buffet? You know, get you better acquainted with "the cake".

TP: You know what, Man? You do not sound dissimilar to my ex-boyfriend.

Man: I beg your pardon?

TP: Yup - he was always telling me, "Get to know your cake a little better, Pant." Said it would help him. I didn't quite get it. When presented with cake, he wasn't afraid to tuck in. Might be the death of him one day, I fear.

TBF: You're talking about baked goods, right?

TP: Huh?

Man: Ooooooookay. Would you follow me.

TP: Let's get this show on the road. This chit-chat is making me ravenous.

By the time he finished walking us around the voluminous offerings, The BF and I were so famished that we'd have settled for a mouldy slice of uncooked pig's liver. Lucky we didn't have to.

And so we began our feast. Cupcakes and three tiered chocolate mousse jizz-in-your-rods radness. The most glorious chilli bites and cheeses I've ever had the pleasure of treating the inside of my mouth to. Vegetarian sushi. Home-made hummus and tiramisalata. Chocolate cake. Chocolate eclairs. Coffee eclairs. Coconut ice. Scones. (Attempt at ladylike belch unsuccessful.). Mini creme brulee. Mini brownies. Sweet potato samoosas. Teeny weeny pita breads. (Did not care regarding ladylikeness at all. Belch audible throughout entire hotel.). One more plate of cheeses. Just two more chilli bites. Okay. Enough. No wait. Just one more creme brulee. Done. Not yet. Must end on a savoury note. Vegetarian pate on mini crustinis with peppadews. Done. Oooo! Forgot to try hazlenut praline do-nuts. Done. Oops. Forgot, must end on savoury note. Salmon sandwich. Done. Wait. Cannot have high tea without cucumber sandwich. Unbelievably royal. Done. Belch. But I haven't had any black forest cake. Or those little shooter glasses filled with a fancy sounding stuff. Bugger.

So after we'd phoned an American company to pimp our ride with steel undercarriage reinforcements, The BF and I rolled to the car.

And while I looked at myself in the mirror before last night's shower and actually said to my reflection, "I am so not getting naked with you," I am happy. Fat but happy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Not To Work.

You know, with all good things in life, must come bad. Like a bottle of wine is a glorious thing. Until it finishes. And your skinny white jeans may rock your entire world to its very core. Until your maid gets hold of them. Because then they become baggy off-cream rods with flecks of dirty grey. And my job, another case in point, is truly a magnificent one. Can I hear you all say, "10 weeks leave a year" please? To which I respond, "Ah, but you forget! My salary! And of course, exams."

We're in the pre-exam space at the moment - kind of like a community of sitting ducks. Except the only way to deal with exam marking (the first wave of which floods my humble abode imminently) is to have all the non-exam stuff marked prior to aforementioned exam marking arrives. Easy, no?

Oh contraire, little ones. Because the pre-exam marking is the tough stuff. And it coincides with the setting of papers and typing and retyping them until your fingers bleed from their individual pads. (I'd always far preferred other methods for rubbing away one's fingertips.) Plus the teaching of young minds cannot cease. Neither can the parenting of small humans. Or the desire to sit around the dinner table with The BF.

In fact, the desire to do all of the above (bar, of course, the marking) increases threefold. The parenting that's been going down in The Liner Household, or Chateaux de Liner as it has been fondly dubbed, has been happening with such fervent commitment, that I've even got The Daughter saying things like, "Mom, let's sit down and communicate" and, "Don't you think candle light in the dark makes such an interesting effect on the walls?" (She also said, as she woke up this morning, "Mom, you're special but I love you very much." I resisted the urge to lean forward and clip her on the ear. I decided, rather, that she just had a bad case of Conjunction Confusion and had intended to say 'and' instead of 'but'. But to make sure, I whipped out the black board and delivered a two hour lesson on appropriate conjunctions and conjuctive phrases this afternoon. She's currently bandying around words like 'notwithstanding' and 'consequently' with the ease of very few adults.)

It's true: I am the Princess of Procrastination. So because I had a small forest in paper to mark the other night, do you know what I did? I invited The BF down. And boy oh boy, did I prolong the visit.

The initiating bbm read: Dinner in 5.

And after she arrived, some three minutes later and began digging in the cutlery drawer for knives and forks, I quipped...

The Pant: What are you doing?

The BF: Getting things ready for dinner.

TP: Why?

TBF: Because you said dinner in 5.

TP: Oh. About that. What I meant was "dinner in an hour and five."

TBF: Oh, okay. Thought it was a little early to eat - I'll just pop back upstairs and finish wh-

TP: Noooooooo! (I dropped to the floor and held tight around her ankles.) Don't leave me!!

TBF: Oh, fuck! You've heard from him again, haven't you?

TP: (confused, but still with her ankles in a vice grip and my nose dangerously close to the opening of her left sheepskin slipper) Who?

TBF: Barry? Has he called? Wait, no - has he emailed?

TP: Who?

TBF: Whatshisface?
TP: Oh, God, no.

TBF: Oooo! Was it Hot Mama's Beef Pot?

TP: Who?

TBF: Sexy Sexy Mindgames.

TP: Yes, but that's not the reason. I mean, we did have a little text conversation but that's not why-

TBF: Don't stop there. I want details. Tell me everything.

The BF was, at this stage, sallivating.

TP: Tea?

So, upon The BF's instruction, we sat down for a quick cup of tea to talk about Sexy Sexy Mindgames, then she'd pop back home, finish what she'd been doing, I'd roll out the pastry and finish off the pie (I know, I've even abbreviated Domestic Goddess to 'DG' when I am required to initial things.). Then she'd come back for dinner and we wouldn't have wine.

The Pant: Please can you get your drill out this weekend - I really want to hang that cross of mine.

The BF: Who's going to do the drilling?

TP: Me.

TBF: No, you're not.

TP: Why?

TBF: Because you're a girl.

TP: Oh, so now I can't drill?

TBF: Yes.

TP: So what am I supposed to do? Wait for Carlos to get back? You know I'm only as committed to hanging this cross as the amount of work I have. And this week I have tons.

TBF: I don't care. You're not drilling.

TP: So who's going to do it for me?

TBF: Um... Sexy Sexy Mindgames?

TP: How can I? Port? (Not wine, therefore no rules broken.)

TBF: Yes please.

(Glug glug glug sip sip sip sip sip.)

TP: What? Am I supposed to phone him and say (miming holding phone - although whoever talks into a pinkie and listens through a thumb is a bit of an arsehole), "Hi Sexy Sexy Mindgames-"

TBF: Make the voice huskier.

TP: (dropping an octave or six) "Would you mind coming over? I've got a wall - it needs drilling."

(Giggle giggle)

TBF: No, say, "Sexy Sexy Mindgames. I really need your help. Please could you pop round and drill-"

TP: Me?

(Giggle giggle giggle)

TBF:  Or how about say, "Hi Sexy Sexy Mindgames, my back's against the wall-"

TP:  "And I'd like you to be up against me?"

(Giggle giggle giggle.)

Oh, how we killed the 'drill' sexual innuendo. And that bottle of port.

But not the marking.

(And if you must know, the cross remains leaning against the wall. And not a drill in sight.)

Dear God, Much Love And Thanks, The Pant.

I've been a complaining sodding whore for the last couple of days, have I not?  And so, in an attempt to redeem myself from whenst you have shelved my whingey self, I have decided to have an upbeat banter today.  In prayer form.  Sometimes we ought to be thankful, I feel.

So, here goes...

Dear God,

While I was a little upset with You about the creation of the bus the other day, I realised that perhaps You had not intended real humans to travel therein, and so I am thankful to You for buses, particularly because, as a result of this particular creation, You have housed my internet imposter gran (GrannyPants) and her digitally challenged husband.  But could You kindly put warnings on buses as You continue to create interesting hippie homes, that humans should not, in fact, go inside them whilst they are attempting to move through streets.  I'd be awfully thankful if You could.

And thanks must go to You for Your invention of the padded bra.  That was a real cracker - well done.  And I'm most impressed by this creation because they are a two-fold life-saver.  On/in the one hand, they certainly do save a flat-chested Mary, like me, a particular amount of face.  Of course, when the bra comes off, the viewer of the wares within the bra might gasp something along the lines of, "What the?  Are you a?  Where'd they go?"  But I'm okay with that.  You know I prefer them when they're drunk anyway.  Or at least I keep telling myself that.  So cheers for the instant extra two cups.  They go a long way.  (PS Could You start making wine bottles the same way?  Like each bottle comes with an extra two glasses.  You of all, um, people? - well, you were once a person - deities?, yup, deities should know how much I like an extra tipple or two.  So I'll be expecting that on the shelves next time I hit the bottle store, right?)

But also, Your creation there has saved my face more times than I'd like to admit.  You know, what with Your decision to turn summer off, I'm left with a nipeel speel so intense that I've carved holes in most of my sleeping tops.  I'm thankful for the small nipples that You gave me, but You know, I've learned to handle the bad with the good, and my nipple stand is something like smuggling a collection of needles.  Let's just say, that when the temperature drops below 30, my nipples get straight to the point.  But You made the padded bra, God, and so now, when I remember to wear a bra, people right up in my face won't be able to check the temperature off my chest.  Good one.

Also, a huge kudos to You on choosing Durban as my hometown.  Although I whinge every morning when I step out of bed something in manner of, "Colder than a witch's teet.  It's effing unbearable.  It must be sub-20!" I know that You chose Durban for me, because there are no other places in South Africa where I can tan mid-winter.  You rock.  Seriously. 

Also, God, thanks muchly for taking Larry away from me.  In the olden days of puffy eyes and anti-depressants, I was probably praying something in the vein of, "Pleeeeeease (sob sob) give him baaaaack!" but I've come to see Your logic in that decision.  Fine logic it was too.  You know I remember the winter that I spent in Jo'burg being his house bitch (well, of course You do, You know everything so You know what's in my mind), well the lack of warmth there really did render me a nasty person.  And as a result of Your decision to set us on different paths, I no longer have to consider enduring another Jo'burg winter.  So, God, I have finally come to see Your light.  Give Larry to a girl who can handle the cold.  Send me a hotter man (please) both in his preference for temperature and in looks.  Thanks.

While we're on the subject of Larry, God, I must just request that You stop sending him to me in brief dreams, like You did last night.  But I thank You for keeping me chaste in said dream.  At least this morning, I woke up without any Catholic guilt.  Or send me those dreams, but could You replace Larry's face with New Sexy Sexy Man who seems to be playing Sexy Sexy Mindgames with my head? You already sent me his body.

And as always, thank You for The Daughter.  And for her profound change in me. And for The Father, The Incubator, The Husband, The Brother, The Sil, The Nephew, The Niece, The BF, Carlos and My Future Ex Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh. And keep them safe.  Please.

Much love to You, God.  You really do rock.

The Pant.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where Words Will Not Suffice.

Sometimes, although I find this happens seldom, I have to admit that words alone are unable to aptly express certain events or sights.  Oh yes.  Sometimes only a picture will suffice.  Or several pictures, as it happens.

So yesterday I found myself accompanying a bunch of teens on a sporting outing.  We rode there by bus - the large kind - and without thinking, I chose the front seat that looks directly out of the wide-view windscreen.  Error.  Of gravest proportion.  Look, I don't want to get into details, but it's fair to say that my rectum was contracting with such vigour and out of such fear that when I alit, there were definite munch marks in the seat.

But it is the destination to where we travelled that had me gaping at the mouth.

Upon arrival this sign was proudly on display:

For those of you who are lacking in the Afrikaans language, the sign reads "Your One Stop School".  And I have just a wee problem with this sign.  What is the target audience of said advertisement?  Is it parents of children of the school-going age?  Because, if so, I would hasten to think that anyone would consider an establishment of education based on its convenience.

The sights that greeted my as I ventured into said school, had me reeling.  At one stage, I clutched onto a banister with with hand around throat.  It was because of this:

Now I am most sensitive when it comes to a) bad hair days and b) difficult hair.  My own hair a case in point.  But this, I fear, is tantamount to child abuse.  Surely the parents of said child should not be allowed to bludgeon their child's hair with garden shears regardless of how much they dislike her?  It's criminal, is what it is.  There are unsuspecting public outside of the house, people.  Please.

If that was not bad enough, I found myself on the side of a field, just slightly behind this number:

Can you understand why I was confused as to whether I was actually in South African and not in a Walmart in the deepest south.  That is a man in his wife/girlfriend/sister's shirt.  In public!

After sending said photographs to The BF, the following interchange of texts ensued:

The BF:  Is that male or female?

The Pant:  To be honest I'm not entirely sure.

TBF:  Mother trucker.

TP:  Pal, this is a real experience.

TBF:  That's no lie.

TP:  I'm worried that my child (who was with me) might absorb this trashiness by osmosis.

TBF:  Don't let her breathe.

And so she didn't breathe.  And I've decided to start saving.  The Daughter is going to the same school Kate Middleton went to.  Finish and klaar.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meet Pat, The (Ex) Snob.

I'm a snob. There, it's out. I probably can't afford to be one, but, I am.

There are just some items on which one can't compromise. Tomato sauce is one. And mayonnaise. And meat. And cherry tomatoes. And perfume. And face wash and moisturiser. And Vanish. And tampons (I cannot get my head around using a cheaper alternative brand in such an intimate, um, space). And tea, coffee, body wash, deodorant, foundation, mascara, eye shadows and soap. Oh, and those built-in support vests from Woolies. Cannot live without them. Must buy two a month. Have even included them in my budget between Ridiculously Overpriced (But Says On The Pack That It's The Best You Can Give Your Cat) Cat Food and (Crikey Effing Moses! It's Not Like We House A Mechanised Production Line) Electricity. Oh, and butter. I'm a real butter girl.

And so as part of the Mother's Day celebration, The Daughter and I joined The Incubator and The Father on a rugby outing. In, no less, The Father's box. When I tweeted that I was currently sitting in my father's doos sipping wine, I received a barrage of replies along the lines "Too much information" and "if your dad has a doos does that make your mom a dyke?"

(It must just be mentioned that Mother's Day is my most favourite of all the days in the year. I suppose that's because it is the label 'mother' of which I'm most proud. I love the little chick that bestowed that name upon me. Flat out. And also, my mother (The Incubator, for those of you confused) is really the grooviest of all the mothers.)

So there I found myself, in a rugby stadium amongst a bevy of teenage girls wearing shorter shorts than some of the knickers I own, with very little clue about how the game actually works. That's not strictly true. I understand sport. I even learned to shout "Rock On" when someone mishandled the ball and it bounced forward. (Impressive, no?)

But being in a box (I feel awkward just saying that) is all kinds of rad. For starters, my tipples were served in glass. And I didn't have to buy a six-pack per half which I normally have to do when I accompany The Brother on such outings. Also, I didn't have to eat an oil-coated wors roll - the type which satisfies only when one has consumed vast numbers of tequilas. Which, of course, one wouldn't do when one is taking one's daughter on an outing.

But the best part about box-side rugby viewing is the little railing that separates the inner circle from the commoner. It's almost like I was Kate Middleton, separated from the adoring fans but close enough to wave. I say 'separate' but that too is not strictly true: A man who found the sheer expanse of his body could not fit the seat for which he'd parted with hard-earned cash thought it would be far wiser to sit on the stairs just next to me, with only a fine whisp of metal betwixt us.

Man On Stairs: I'm Alfie, pleased to meet you.

I leaned across, arm stretched forwards to have my hand completely swallowed by his giant mit.

The Pant: Pleased to meet you.

My initial response to Alfie was one of removed disdain. I avoided eye contact and tried to involve myself in as many conversations with people on my side of the railing as possible. But the thing with rugby is everyone actually watches rugby. And they are thus less than keen to discuss anything that is not-rugby related. Besides which, when The Pant has a glass of wine in the gullet, she becomes far friendlier.

After the official sinking of the second Castle Lite, I clicked my fingers and Manuel (I'm not sure that this was his name, but let's go with it) arrived with a glass (not plastic!!) of the finest red. At which point the liquor took over, and my efforts to appear snobbish by having good posture and not saying 'fuck' flew out the window.

The Pant: Ok, so Alfie, we're friends, right?

Alfie: Yes, Pat, we are.

The Pant: (over screams of "what the fuuuuck are you doing, Ref?") It's Pant.

Alfie: Yes. Pat. We're mates.

TP: Well, could you quietly, so that nobody can hear you at all. And promise you won't laugh, could you tell me who the (hushed whisper) Sharks are?

Not only did Alfie point out that the team I've been told to support was the guys in black, but he also gave me a little run down on how everything works.

The Pant: Okay, so when the guys in black have the ball I must woop-woop loudly and shout their number? Like, "Go 17 you beauuuuuuuuty"? And then I must air punch several times and shout "hooo hooo hooo" like Julia Roberts did when she was at the polo in Pretty Woman?

Alfie: Yes, that's right.

The Pant: And when the other guys have the ball I must shout things like, "Bliksem him!" and "Moer him, ekse"?

Alfie: You've got it.

The Pant: And then sometimes I should randomly shout, "Get your eyes tested you fucking wanker ref"?

Alfie: Yes, that will do.

TP: And also sometimes I should scream "Rock on!"?

Alfie: Knock on.

TP: That's what I said.

As the game coasted towards a close, Alfie and I moved from the hi-5 to those few (special) times when I kissed his large cheek with such vigour that all eight of his chins wobbled with ecstatic delight. We were so tight by the final whistle that I considered baring my "cleavage" and allowed him to motorboat me.

TP: One more thing, Alfie. Before you go...

He gazed at me with that soft-eyed look of deep love, while taking both my hands in his.

Alfie: Yes, Pat, what is it?

TP: That guy in the black. Number 10 jersey. What's his name?

Alfie: Oh him? That's Patrick Lambie. Only 20 years ol-

Before Alfie could finish his sentence, I'd picked up The Daughter and raced down to the field in lustful pursuit of the little hottie-hot pants. I was panting with the mouth of a tired dog.  Classy.
And, so, I've realised that being a snob just doesn't fit in with rugby. And so next time around, I intention to drink draught out of a plastic cup and eat a wors roll. Probably on the steps, next to my Alfie.  But in the meantime, I'm just going to sip ever so quietly on my Sri Lankan tea.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Ballerina (Male, Cat.)

I have, in spite of my persistent jokes over the past four and a bit years, created a child in image and likeness of me.

Yesterday morning, like most mornings, was a hassle to get out the door.  I'm seldom punctual, but for work, I like to be on time so I can sit with my friends and recount funny stories over tea and ciggies and the word 'fuck'.  So come 6.45 am, I am usually waiting outside the door loaded up like a carthorse yelling for The Daughter.  Yesterday morning was no different.

I looked like an escapee from Burundi: I had, on one hip, a box of marking that weighs more than The Daughter herself.  Precariously balancing thereon was The Daughter's school bag (termed 'the Jo'burg bag' because it has wheels - bought with the intention of her ferrying it to and from the car - although, to date, I do not remember said intention coming to fruition.)  Dangling off various other body parts were a) The Daughter's lunch bag, b) The Daughter's juice bottle, c) The Daughter's ballet bag, d) the shared overnight bag (because I had a late day of debating and being cultural that The Incubator was begged into assistance), e) my own lunch bag (and I'm fond of lunch, so not a light container) and, for good measure, f) the handbag.

I am a mother.  My handbag holds an immense amount of useless stuff.  On any given day you might find within it an old toothbrush, toys, half eaten Fizzers, a single shoe (the partner of which is hidden in the depths of domestic hell, with my vintage pearl brooch), probably my vintage pearl brooch, a screwdriver, 8 Spur sweets and a computer/Kindle/cellphone/iPod charger.  With adapter.  Oh and a spare pair of little knickers.  And socks.

And so I stood outside, looking somewhat like one of those African buses with a plethora of livestock in make-shift cages atop, tapping my foot and yelling:

The Pant:  The Daughter!  Please hurry!  Mom's going to be late.

The Daughter:  I'm coming!!!  I'm just teaching Cat how to do ballet.

(Cat is a long-suffering one.  She adores him.  And so she tires him with her endless play.  Cat is sometimes a baby in a pram, sometimes a human in a dress, sometimes a ballerina.  She tires him so much, in fact, that the other night he vomitted on The BF's dining room table.  I tried to suggest it might have been her cat, but she saw the look in The Daughter's eyes, the beads of sweat formed on her brow and knew that it could have only been our Cat.)

TP:  You can teach him to do ballet after school.  Hurry!

TD:  But Mom!  He's nearly got it.  He's almost on his tippy toes.

I peered into the house, and there, true to her word, was Cat strectched out like warm sucked fizzer, on the tippiest of his claws with a face of dissatisfied resignation.

TP:  Leave him!  He doesn't want to learn ballet now.  You can teach him after school.  But I'm going to be late.

TD:  Just five more minutes.  He's nearly got-

TP:  (stern tone) NO!  Outside now.

And then it happened.  She turned into me.

TD:  Uuuuuurrgghh, Mom.  You. Are. Driving. Me. To. Drink.

TP: (suppressing a giggle)  I'm sorry but you're making me late.  Now leave Cat and hurry up.

TD:  What did you say to me?  Is that the way you should be speaking to your daughter?

This parenting thing is a strange, um, cat. It's like looking in a shrinking mirror.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Other Mom. My New Friend.

It's rare to find a mom on my page.  Most of the women who have children are just too mommyfied.  And while I'm convinced they too secretly are eternally grateful when their children go to bed so they can uncork a bottle of the finest (and sometimes cheapest), they're the kind who profess to making homemade muesli and cooking meals from scratch.  They're so effing perfect they probably make the fucking broccoli themselves.

I make things from scratch.  Sometimes (and by 'sometimes', I mean 'towards the end of the month when the bank account is sitting lower than Britney Spears's jeans').  But most of the time, I scratch at the cardboard surrounding our meals.  And then I pierce the plastic film with a fork several times and place it in the microwave oven.  (I call it a microwave oven because the 'oven' part makes it sound more domesticated.)
Often, in our house, you'll hear me saying, "I did not slave over a room-temperatured microwave for one and a half minutes so you can turn your nose up at the food those Woolies chefs have prepared.  And that food was prepared with money in mind!"

But I've found a mom who's just like me.  Not exactly - she's got a husband (who's six years younger than her - give. Me. Some. Of. That) - but she's got two kids so I figure the adult to child ratio is pretty much square.  Our daughters are the same age.  Their names even rhyme - so if mine is The Daughter, let's call hers Teleporter.

We met at swimming lessons.

Other Mom:  Such a fucking tantrum on the way here.  Didn't want to swim.  Hates getting her hair wet.

The Pant: (in awe) You say 'fuck'?

OM:  Oh fuck!  You're one of those fucking perfect mothers who remembers to pack lunches every day for their children, are you?

TP: (I needed to impress.  But am awfully bad at lying.). Well, I do remember to pack her lunch.

She gave me that one-eyebrow-raised look.  You know, like I was fridge goop.

TP:  But I often forget her homework book.  And.  And.  And.  And I seldom cook anything from scratch.

OM:  (she was now eyeballing me in the same way I eyeball children who tell me the dog ate their homework.). Oh really?  Prove it.  What's for dinner tonight?

I could not, at this stage, admit that I'd been organised to take out in the morning, individually wrapped and frozen pre-cooked bolognaise sauces so that all I had to do was cook some spaghetti.

TP:  Totally having take-away.  TOTALLY.  Like, big style.

OM:  You're lying.

TP:  I'm so not.  Seriously.  Cooking - yuck.  Take-aways, rad.

I also couldn't tell her that I'm currently on a It's-Almost-Winter-And-So-I-Need-To-Lose-A-Little-Weight-To-Give-Me-More-Room Healthy Eating Plan.

TP:  No, sireeeee.  Having deep fried fish and chips.  Big style.

OM:  And what are you going to be drinking with that?

I also couldn't tell her that I'm trying to save my liver and kidneys from death, and so have given up week day drinking.

TP:  Beer?

OM: (with an almost visible air of skepticism)  For real?

TP:  Promise.

(I felt like I was in high school again and being interviewed for a position in the cool group.)

OM:  Fine.  Take a photo and send it to me.  But in the mean time, let me tell you how I need to be on two different prescription meds to deal with the whingeing of my kids.

And so, last night, I sat outside - it's still blooming balmy here in Durban - with my favourite of all the take-away meals - fish & chips - and an ice-cold beer.  And it was rad.

Other Mom - 1.  Diet Thingy - 0.

And the cool thing about Other Mom is, I've realised, I'm just as good as those perfect moms out there.  Sheesh, I love my child (too much), and I care for her.  Hell, I even make her lunch every day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 'By Mistake' Steek.

We've all heard those infamous lies:

1) I didn't mean to,

2) It's not my fault,

3) I was drunk

and 4) It happened by mistake.

And we've heard the responses, either seething from our own lips or as bullets that are shot at us with such venom it's a miracle some of us are still standing (except for me, of course. I've never been cheated on. Or at least, I'm not aware of ever having been cheated on. And I don't cheat. Because infidelity is just not kiff):


2) Whose fault is it, then, that you decided to take her home and tie her into a human pretzel?

3) You're often drunk around me. Does that mean you didn't mean all those things you did to me? LAST NIGHT?

and 4). A mistake? A mistake? A MISTAKE? What? Like you accidentally tripped and fell? Landing with your penis in her vagina? REPEATEDLY?

To be quite honest, if I'd ever been cheated on (and known about it), I might've been more venomous in my attack. Something along the lines of, "So, what you're trying to tell me is there is another woman walking around WITHOUT post-orgasmic glow? Because of you, you weaselly little shit-faced dicksplash."

And for the most part, I've considered those excuses of unfaithful arseholes with a healthy dose of contempt. Until yesterday. Because, I've learnt, sometimes we have no control over whether or not a prick finds itself below one's panty line. We just don't.

It's Winter, right? (Well, in most parts of the country - here in Durban it was a balmy 28.). And I'm not taking any chances with the health of The Daughter or the self. I just don't have the energy to deal with sickness. So I found myself in the queue at Clicks charging up my medical aid with a lorry load of vitamins and immune boosters and fatigue fighters. I, as I've said before, really like this kind of shopping spree - it makes me feel responsible, without having to part with any cash.

The Pant: You're going to have to charge those two to me and those two to The Daughter. Medical aid gets a bit sticky about who gets what vitamins.

Pharmacist: You know I can't charge that wax to medical aid?

TP: I know. But they really should be a bit more flexible about things like wax. It's vital for gynaecological cleanliness.

Pharmacist: Ohhhhhhhhhhhkay.

TP: What about this face mask?

Pharmacist: No, sorry.

TP: Tampons?

Pharmacist: No.

TP: Deodorant?

Pharmacist: No.

TP: Really? A healthy armpit is a sign of a healthy human, in my book. Ummmmm... What about vitamin B injections?

Pharmacist: I'll have to check about that.

TP: Oooooo! What about toothpaste?

Pharmacist: No.

TP: No way! Halitosis is a sickness! Easily preventable! They really should allow-

Pharmacist: Do you have an actual script?

TP: What do you mean? Like, am I in a play?

Pharmacist: From a doctor?

TP: Oh, no.

Pharmacist: So this (very large arm gesture) will be all?

TP: Yes. Thank you.

Pharmacist: Can I put it in two bags?

TP: Oh no! Don't worry. I know we look like sisters, but she's actually my daughter. And so we live together. One bag will be fine.

Pharmacist: (her irritation, by now, clearly visible) I don't have a bag big enough.

TP: Right. Two bags are just fine.

Pharmacist: Okay Mrs ... (peering at the metre long bill) Miss Liner. Could you come with me?

TP: (Shit! Should not have asked about the toothpaste. She's clearly going to detain me for attempted medical aid fraud. Bugger. Ah, and those people behind me are probably swearing at me too.) Of ... course.

Pharmacist: This is the nursing sister. She'll sort you out.

TP: Huh?

Pharmacist: Your vitamin B injection? That you ordered? She'll administer it for you.

TP: Oh, right. About that. I was just testing the-

Sister: (yanking up my dress and pulling my tights and knickers down to my ankles, while pushing the back of my head forward with one hand) Lean forward please.

TP: But we've only just met. Shouldn't we get to know each other be-

Sister: It'll only sting a litt-

TP: Oh, Mother of God. FUUUUUCK ME IN MY OLD BOOTS. You got a nerve! I'm limp! I'll never walk again.

Sister: Will that be all?

TP: Yes, it will be all (belligerently pulling my tights up). Unless you would like to dart me in a more serious nerve. How about my spinal column? Render me completely immobile for the rest of my natural life.

And so, with heavy bags, I limped out of Clicks, and I couldn't help thinking to myself that, actually, sometimes we can get steeked by mistake. What that woman did to me, was not my fault. I made a mistake. I didn't mean to. Oh God, if only I'd been drunk.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Digging For Diamonds.

I have, by my most faithful belief, been leant a truly magnificent child. It is she, alone, who confirms my faith in God because she is, in the true sense of the word, awesome. Flat out. In every aspect of her little being. She is kind and courteous. Loving and caring. She has a sense of humour to rival the majority of adults with whom I'm forced to interact. She's witty. She has not one mean bone in her body. And, generally, she listens to her Mom.


The other day I found our humble abode devoid of a single tea bag. I like tea. A lot. So when the tea is finished, I am in my car quicker than grease lightening. And I'm in a tea-selling store in whatever attire I happen to find myself when the disaster strikes. On said day, I was possibly looking my least fine.

I've been on exceptionally long leave, again, and so have spent much of my time in "home kit". "Home kit" is very similar in concept to the period panties: Old - so much so that fabric and elastic are worn away so that the efficacy of any garment functions purely on a lottery-type gamble. Baggy, because figure hugging clothing allows one to witness the new pregnant-looking (not being, I might add) stomach made possible by the Easter Bunny. And fugly - because kit this comfy could only have been made in the mid-90's and been worn pretty much every day since.

And not a drop of make-up. Not one teeny tiny smidgen. Not even left over eye make-up from the evening previous.

Anyway, I was looking like a right poor white. And so was The Daughter. (She likes playing dress-up - which translates into: the-teaming-of-highly-unflattering-and-slightly-too-short-garments-in-an-extremely-mismatched-fashion-to-piss-my-mother-off.) We would not have looked out of place at Walmart.

And because we looked so scruffy, I chose (of course) to go to possibly the hoitty-toittiest Woolies in Durban. Obviously.

So there I was, trying to be obscure. I adopted the slouched shoulder posture of many a street-dwelling bag lady, and tried with earnest commitment to hide my face amongst packaged yoghurts or individually sealed baked goods when a hottie hot pants walked past. I'd forbidden The Daughter from in-store conversation - we're not always aware of how loud our voices can be and so I didn't want to take any chances of possibly drawing attention to ourselves.

All was going well. Apart from sniggering teenage girls, I thought we'd achieved shop-side anonymity better than had been expected. And the operative word is thought.

I was in the (insanely, effing) long queue, immersed in a You magazine (ahem, only to hide the face), when a woman behind me started giggling. I lowered the magazine sufficient to allow my shifty eyes to soak in the object from which this woman derived such pleasure. And then I saw her: The Daughter, with her finger stuck so far up one nostril that only the elbow on the same arm was visible.

The Pant: (in an urgent hushed tone) Stop it!

The Daughter: (in a less hushed tone) What?

TP: (more urgent, as hushed) Stop picking your nose. It's disgusting.

TD: (louder now) But I've got a snolly and it's bothering me.

TP: (with a tone I thought might scare the bejesus out of her) Stop. It. Now. Do that at home. It's revolting.

TD: (with a volume I thought was only possible with the lubrication of several thousand tequilas) But I'm not going to eat it!

It's fair to say that at that moment, The Daughter was indeed lucky that a) I love her and b) she's so many different types of kiff. Because if she'd been a friend, she'd have been ceremoniously de-friended.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Take A Dip In Nuclear Waste, Why Don't You?

So in my post-Royal Wedding glee, I invited the girls around for a spot more wine, a chinwag about the glorious Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen creation and an earnest discussion on whether we thought that perhaps, as a result of Sarah Burton's affiliation with McQueen, maybe, please, if anyone cares enough, they would relaunch his fragrance, Kingdom.  It is my scent.  I love it.  And have sent people all over the world in pursuit of it.

The Cousin Friend arrived with very puffy eyes.  Given my current state of slipping in and out of love with my phantom ex, I do have a soft spot for puffy-eyed girls whose hearts are in tatters because of geeky ex-boyfriends who make it their sole mission to continue to hurt the people they supposedly once loved.  She was a screaming mess.  And I'm not sure Kate & William's nuptials made her feel any better.

The Pant:  What's wrong The Cousin Friend?  Has that fucker been in contact with you again?

(It has taken me a while to learn this, but contact is no good for anybody post break up.  It does not aid in the moving on.  Contact should be reserved for when The Ex decides he's actually not a giant vagina, and would like to apologise like a man.  You know, accept that they were wrong and beg for their lovely girlfriends back.  I am led to believe by a) William and Kate, b) most romantic comedies and c) an irritatingly large number of successful marriages that this can, in real life, happen.)

The Cousin Friend:  Not directly, no.

(Ah, the indirect contact.  It's my worst kind.  The kind where The Ex tells someone very close to The Broken Hearted One something in the full knowledge that said news will, lickity-split, make it back to The Broken Hearted One.)

The Pant:  Oh crap.  What did he say and to whom did he say it?  (I actually speak like that - I find ending sentences on prepositions effing unrefined.)

TCF: (choking on her own tears)  My brother.  He told my brother that he has random sex with random girls whores three times a week.

Well, at this point, I was unable to suppress the violent hilarity that manifested in tear-streaming guffaws.

TP:  You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me?  That is the funniest thing I've ever heard.  The Ex?  Getting laid?  More than once in a year?  I can't.  Stop.  Please.  Why do you look so sad after such a hilarious joke?

TCF:  It's not a joke.  That's what I was told.

TP:  Now I'm sniffing out a real problem.  And that problem lies between your earballs.  You actually believe this?

TCF:  Why would he say it if it wasn't true?

Now I'm not a master on the mind of the man.  But I was well prepared to offer my two cents worth.

TP:  Alright.  Desperate dickheads call for desperate measures.  Gin or wine?

TCF:  Gin, please.

TP:  And that, my friend, is the wrong answer.  Gin is reserved for truly sad situations.  Like P.S. I Love You or when the wine runs out or when a pet dies.  Not for a total wankstick who is trying to break your heart from afar.

After the wine was poured, we relocated to, what I like to call, The Bitching Boudoir.  I am wont to sit on the steps leading out into my garden, with cushions under bum and candles.  I find one thinks more clearly in this setting.  And it usually ends in a Stair Villus.  The greatest thing.

TP:  Okay.  Now tell me why you think it's true.

TCF:  Because why else would he say it?

And then I detailed every possible answer to her query:

1)  Because he is a giant cocksucker and the only way he can get at you, after hearing that your life is moving along at quite a pleasant pace, is by making up ridiculous stories that are (definitely) not true.

2)  Because he is such a turd that one 40-year old divorcee in a Stormers rugby jersey whose face was planted in a platter of over-fried pub snacks gave him the eye.  Well, he thought is was 'the eye'.  It wasn't.  She was just coming out of her coma and perusing her surroundings.  And considering she'd caught sight of him, she figured she was in hell.

3) Because, since your departure from his life, he has become nothing but a lonely bar fly who gets so hammered ON HIS OWN that he is existing entirely in his own reality in which he thinks (but it isn't really true) that he's some kind of a middle-aged stud muffin.

4)  And if it is true.  Why does he want to share that with anyone, let alone a member of your family?  It reeks of stupidity.  "Hey, everyone, look at me.  I've got crabs and the drop!" Can someone please tell me what is remotely attractive about a walking VD?  Or, even worse still, "I have absolutely no respect for your sister and so I thought I'd let her own family members know that I prefer shagging with payment than being with someone, of your kind, who really cared about me."

5)  Because he wants to hurt you.

And it's number five, I dont' really get.  Hasn't he hurt her enough?  It's almost as though all the weight loss, and the depleted reserves of self-esteem was not enough of a high for the prick. Was it not enough that he dashed all her dreams - you know, the shattered ones of white frothy dresses and french chantilly lace of which Kate and William only served to remind her further?  Was it not enough that he didn't even have enough guts to talk to her?

And so, today's lesson (because literature teaches us things) is that some men just like to be cocks.  Except they hide behind this sensitive persona that pretends to love, and care, and want what's best for one.  But some men are liars.  I'd personally appreciate it if all those men could all go take a group skinny-dip in a giant vat of nuclear waste.

So to you, pal, who thought that your indirect contact was going to earn you a call, or an email or an sms, I have only this to say: go pick a hand.  Oh, wait.  You're probably ambidextrous by now.