Monday, September 08, 2008

On frogs, on being fat; on being a judgemental hag mother and on the 8th of the 9th, 98

One of those mish mash posts...

Yesterday morning, I went to the back door to discover an absolutely petrified frog clinging to it.

Strange place for a frog, thought I, as we do have a cat and that would be about the perfect spot for him to taunt it - a bad habit that our cat has developed out of being a sadistic creature of his genetics. Grasshoppers, crickets, lizards and frogs' only hope once spied is if the humans of the house are on their saviour game.

I then opened the door and discovered our "indoors at night" cat outdoors and very interested in being back indoors, mainly by virtue of the fact that that is where he had chased the frog last.

But the frog was lucky. I had a plastic bucket close at hand, 'Salina had a sheet of paper and so we scooped and saved the frog to deposit in the back yard.

Eddie is cute and a creature of hunting, but he is quite dim so couldn't work out what had happened to the frog.

'Salina and I were patting ourselves on our backs when we heard the distictive sounds of a frog screaming. Now, once you know this sound you can't mistake it.

Eddie, 'Salina and I sprang to attention and ran to the back windows - to discover the frog we had saved in the beak of a kookaburra - who stopped the screaming with a few judicious taps on the branch.

I almost got philosophical about the parallels of that frog's morning and life in general when I pulled myself up for being a melodramatic drama queen (yes, even I notice that tendency).

I mean, the frog had had a crap day. Nothing to read into it.

I don't know if you realise this, but I am what is euphamistically regarded as "comfortably covered".

I am not fat as in the "oh my goodness, I need surgery" field - more in the mellower "gee, when I thought I was fat in my 20s I was really skinny compared to now" sort of fat.

V is really good at wading through the me feeling fat minefield.

I think that he has either read a secret manifesto on it OR he has had training (I don't know where from - I have met his ex and she is a "so skinny you can feel her vertebra" type of woman).

Anyhow, If I ever pull out the "I am fat" moans he gives me the reassuring "if you are unhappy I will support you in every endeavour but I love you happy" spiel. Sweet.

Then he makes going fishing moves and if it is a hormonal related fat frump I am in I can read that as him saying loudly and clearly that he feels I need more low fat alternatives in my diet (but then during hormonal related fat frumps I can get p!issed off at any move so noone can win) but if it is just a general fat frump I can understand the move and wish parts of me could go fishing with him - heck, especially the bits that would serve better as bait!

Anyhow, how does this relate?

Yesterday, we also had an unwitting playdate for 'Salina as a friend had a night out and was feeling "delicate" so rather than have her son entertain himself for a glorious Sunday we invited him over to ours.

One of the main drawcards in coming to our place for him is the fact that I cook - and I let him help. (One of the main drawcards in having him come to our place is my innate martyrdom complex, no doubt. There are parts of my inner psyche I chose not to explore).

So, anyhow, at the end of the afternoon after I had cleaned the kitchen for the 20th time (I exaggerate - but there was the "things soaking from last night" clean up, the "pikelets to keep 'Salina amused and let V have a sleep in for father's day" clean up, the "oh I might cook quiche because we need to use some garden stuff and it would be nice for lunch" clean up, the "chocolate chip cookies to fill the tin, send off with V while he works away and amuse the excess child" clean up and the "I had better put a stew on with the mystery meat we found in the freezer" clean up - so 5 times) (okay, so I am food obsessed - there are worse things)...

As I said, finally we cycled back to their place to deposit said child and his container of cookies.

My friend had her neighbour and son over for a beer. The neighbour is nice enough. However, if you were to do a spectrum of types of mothers, she would be right up at the other end from me - and she would no doubt say the same about me.

But we are nice and civil and polite to each other there are so many things here that I have struck out so please just understand I have an overwheling judgemental "it seems we end up with the children we deserve" diatribe going through my mind like a soundtrack when we meet - not that she would notice because, of the things she notices, how her child behaves does not appear to be one of them chatting about life and how much was drunk last night and what men were pashed, the universe and whether texting was a positive or negative aspect on making hook ups and everything my goodness I was over that lifestyle in my 20s and I lived it pretty hard then but hello we are all over 35 now.

She is very beautiful. Her son also inherited her looks.

Anyhow (miaow), as I was leaving, my friend thanked me for the biscuits and said to her neighbour how I always came bearing food gifts and how great it was and how I was always cooking great stuff.

"Yes" drawled the neighbour, looking me up and down "you can tell."

Nice to see I wasn't the only b!tch with subversive thoughts on the veranda! Still working out whether the frog and I were somehow connected!

I was putting together my "to do" list this morning, and suddenly it hit me - the date.

This day ten years ago, I fell in love.

The man I fell in love with fell in love with me also - it was a whole heap of falling and a plethora of love - my friends even complained of the quagmire of love that surrounded us, ten years ago.

His accent was rich, his words so softly spoken, his thoughts and moods deep and profound. He played guitar for me and wooed. I wrote words for him and sang our love songs to the world.

Now, as you may (or may not) know, the man I fell in love with all those years ago is not the man I am in love with today - not because he became a different man but because, really, it is a different man.

Its funny, but for all the vivid painting of minor dramas in my life I tend to do here, there are bits that are merely allusions.

P. was not my only ex - he just happened to be the one I came closest to sharing swathes of my life with. (Ah yes, it seems that there are more than 2 men who can find a fat generous woman attractive).

I once counted up the boys and men with whom I have dallied emotional or other waters with - and yes, footwear did have to be removed.

Unfortunate that it was a large number and it is every woman's dream that she find her perfect match the first time around.

Fortunate it was a large number because I would SERIOUSLY question myself being attracted to a man that held all the romantic (and not so romantic) life lessons I had to learn in life.

Some of them were great lessons in life and some of them were great big lessons in life.

As is the sychronicity in life (and blogworld), a moment after I realised the date this morning, I read (through the click on a link on someones comments box random act) Mommy Needs 5 Minutes talking about the love she would never forget - oh joy, I never thought all the mistakes that I had made in my life when I was making them would end up to haunt me not only through lack of judgement at the time, but lack of preparation for my daughter!

Just so long as she never falls for the veranda b!tches pretty boy son, I like to think I would be the sort of mum she could always rely on (as I do with mine).


Debby said...

What?!!! Tim's ex moved to Australia!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!! Yippee!!!!! Hurrah!!!! Er. *cough* ah. *clears throat* I'm sorry. That was a perfectly awful thing to say.

Isn't awful though, how one bitchy awful comment puts a real spoiler on your day? Don't let her. Just say sweetly, "Do you always get so catty when your shortcomings are highlighted?"

PS You are that sort of mum.

Anonymous said...

You know, I contemplated just today how I have learned from each man in my life and what I have learned not only about men but about me as well. Just discussed this with a very good friend of mine earlier today. We discussed this because of things that I wasn't proud of from this weekend. She said "Kari, what did he teach you?" ummmm I said then I really thought about it. He did teach me something at the very least and for that I'm thankful.

I may not be proud of the many men that have been in and out of my life but I can say I have learned from them.

Thank you for giving me some more food for thought on the subject.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Jeanie, how on earth did you hold it together without saying something perfectly nasty (and justified) back? The woman clearly has no class. Maybe you should ask her if she's taking her OPD meds the way she should.

The subject of men before my husband is a rarely visited subject in my life (at least out loud). I have a few fond memories I like to visit, the cause for the occasional random smiles, and small jokes with myself, but they belong to me exclusively. My husband and sons are of the mind that I began when they came along and I don't have the heart to correct them. Meanwhile the memories make great fodder for characters in stories.

BB said...

Ah the old verandah bitch... you gotta have 'em in your life to remind you how fabulous you really are (and NICE!). Nothing sadder than a woman who is stuck 20 years ago and thinks OTHERS have a problem...

Having actually known the men of whom you speak, I can honestly say that you have the cream of the crop RIGHT NOW. Savour...


PS The best revenge is always LIVING WELL. And writing a biting blog post!!

The Brave said...

Oh how I have missed your posts. Love this mish mash one. Poor froggy! I see you are getting set for your wedding - how exciting. Have fun with it.

Pencil Writer said...

Jeanie, I have a theory about catty comments and the producers of said comments: I think those individuals are really jealous--they just lack the mental resources to realize they're jealous. In the end, it'll all come back to haunt them, so you just go on being the lovely, kind person that you are and smile that enigmatic smile that I'm sure you stock, and let the joke be on them!

How many people are privileged to have a good neighbor to cook them goodies, anyway?

Jen at Semantically driven said...

What a bitchy comment, but I'm sure you're a lot happier than her, and a much better cook. Go girl.

jeanie said...

lol - knowing that I too was a veranda bitch (although I held my tongue) all comments must be viewed askance here!!!

Thanks Deb. I do hope the "that sort of mum" I am isn't always so judgemental.

Kari - the most important thing, I think, is to learn the lesson and not have to repeat it too often...

Mary - lol on your kids thinking your world dawned when they arrived. Its true of my own parents, of course.

Bush Babe - ah yes, it pays to keep close friends around through your history to give the right cheers when you do learn and move forward.

Brave - yay to see you back!!!!!! Very excited by that.

PW - I used to have a theory that when you feel judged, you tend to be the most judgemental - which is sort of the same thing.

Jen - thanks.

Tracey said...

Oh poor froggie...
Mouth here still agape at Verandah Bitch. I've always wondered what the best comeback to someone like that would be... Making a bitchy remark back just takes you down to their satisfying as it might be. What could you say? (What did you say?)

[And how have you made your blogger comments go into this format?]

I'm Julie said...

OH Jeanie!!! What a post! What a story.

I have just spent the better part of my morning reading all the links to the history of your story. What a life you have led! So glad you have found such happiness now, and you write so beautifully and honestly about it.

As for Veranda Bitch - I really, really, REALLY hope she never gets to try any of your delicious baked goods again. In fact, make up a nice batch of your best biscuits, wave them in front of her, and say, "Ohh, you being such a health nut, I'm sure you wouldn't want me to tempt you with these. I'd better give them all to the neighbor!"

Now... let's pour ourselves a cuppa tea and eat some chocolate together and have a good laugh. Some people don't know kindness, and it's their loss. As for me, I'll take the biscuits, the laughter with my girlfriends, and the "comfortably covered" body! (Or as I always call myself, "upholstered" !!!)

Anonymous said...

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