We All Scream for Eye Cream

 I’ve written before on the blog about the staff at Sephora and the lift they have unwittingly provided when I have felt low or broke (or both) at varying times. Most recently I was trying to decide between various eye creams (which are please-give-me-a-whiff-of-oxygen expensive) but last a very long time and do provide a vital service. I also learned that even the tiny amount I was patting on with my ring finger (yes, I hang on their every word!) was excessive. As my Sephora counselor of the day laughed “Girl, you’ve been using enough there for four eyes!”

And so it came to pass that in order to make my decision easier, she spooned a button sized amount of the eye elixir into a tiny plastic sleeve for me to take home and sample. She also did not make me feel like I was down and out or an older woman who has to decide between make-up and you know, lentils for the week so I left the store, light and ready to begin afresh with my French eye cream that smelled very lightly of flowers. I was radiant. I was Chrissie Hynde. I was hopeful and happy. Continue reading

The Party Line

I remember reading in a psychology book, a simple but intriguing quiz in which one presents the following scenario to a friend:

You are at a party, everyone is chatting and enjoying some food and drink. For some reason, you are called away and leave the room.

What do you think that the guests are now saying about you?

I tossed this out to Frasier and Niles when they were hanging out having a beer with me in the kitchen one airless, summer evening. Niles really struggled and couldn’t come up with much. He questioned why they would be thinking anything at all and laughed that he didn’t much care anyway as he loped across to the fridge. Frasier, on the other hand, frowned and shrugged, shifting about in his chair; but when pressed, he admitted that he thought they would most likely be thinking: Hey, who brought THAT guy?

Which made us laugh. A lot.

For myself, I wondered if there might be a universal discussion as to how particularly unattractive I was.

SPOILER ALERT: Try it yourself before reading any further: what do YOU think these guests would be saying? Continue reading

To Blog or Not to Blog

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I haven’t been here for a while (hola, you ten faithful readers in Brazil who keep on visiting!) and I have no excuse, save the fact that my blogging mojo has been seriously depleted of late and I have devoted more time than I care to admit to feeling badly about my writing and being completely intimidated by other more polished blogs and writers who look edgy and are all geometric-hipster-haircuts and matte lip colour.

I’ve been writing on and off my whole life and certainly I have been published regularly in that short blasts of non-fiction/fiction here and there kind of way but it’s not really satisfying to me. It’s like making do with cheese and crackers and pretending it’s enough when actually, you are still starving; in fact, it’s like you are pretending you even like cheese and crackers in the first place.

I don’t know why short fiction has an inferiority complex but to me it does. I want the depth of a novel behind me, something I can point at and say, there, see that? I wrote that and there is my name and photo even if the same book is now wedged in the remainder bin … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Bodhisattvas!

 

 

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Last night we celebrated a double birthday dinner for my Best Friend in the World and my eldest, Frasier’s 24 years, a fact that fills me with such strong emotion that I am unsure how to carry it or how to process.

It’s such a cliché to hear so many mums lamenting throughout the years about how fast time goes and since this is one of the worst things that one can say to a new mother strung out on no sleep I can proudly say, that I have never said it myself – honestly – but the fact is? It’s the icy, shocking, can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-ME truth. One minute I was running down the street with a forgotten lunch bag or volunteering on a school bus trip, breathing in the heady smell of little-kids’-feet and strawberry Chapstick for two hours and now here I am surrounded by colleagues and a Significant Other who are all quoting gloomy economic forecasts, consulting charts and obsessing about retirement. How did I allow this passing of time to happen without holding on to key moments more tightly than I did? When am I ever going to be pretty now? Why do my ankles suddenly swell for no good reason, lending that camel-feet look to every outfit? Will I soon begin cultivating an interest in supportive underwear? When exactly is my writing career going to take off in earnest– and how long can I keep kidding myself that this is even a thing? I mean how pretentious to even try, my inner voices accuse darkly, pointing out the futility of this very blog, as a feeble exercise in self-absorption. Oh and why is it only about shaved or regular slice at the deli counter now, when it used to be about looking up from under my lashes at the swarthy and romance-cover-worthy butcher?

Now the butcher seems to be only eleven and wants me to hurry up, already, between the stone-roast ham or the Black Forest. Continue reading