The Universe Keeping It Real.

I would like to think that by now, my up and down relationship with The Universe has been well documented. I have often commented on how, in those rare moments of sheer contentment and self-satisfaction, I seem to have an uncanny ability to do something incredibly silly. You know, like fall over in public and bleed in my stockings. 

One recent example of this was on a jaunt to a night club where, in the critical 'pull' moment, when the chosen young man was expressing his adoration in that shocked sort of way they sometimes do – a bit of glass got into my shoe and I bled all over the dance floor. I then had to drag the poor fellow along on a quest to retrieve a band aid from the bar staff. A quest, I might add, which was surprisingly difficult to fulfil. So much for grace, poise and feminine mystique. Sure I was a hottie, but I was a hottie who would not rest until she had received appropriate incident management from the publicans. Dammit.

Oh, and lets not forget my recent 'first day of work' moment, when striding towards my bus in my snazzy 'first day of work' outfit, I promptly fell over in the middle of Adelaide Street. I'd slipped in the wet. In my thongs. My mother later assured me that it was okay, because at least I had high heels in my handbag. She would've hated the idea of me falling over in public without high heels being involved. (How could I tell her about the time I fell down a flight of stairs at a pub and broke my wrist wearing Converses?)

Now, there are those who might say that I'm just clumsy, but I like to think of these moments as "The Universe Keeping It Real". Little reminders of my own humanity and general level of dorkiness. They're The Universe's little way of making sure I never get too big for my boots. Which is fine, I just wish it didn't leave quite so many bruises.

But imagine my surprise when discussing the 'first day of work' incident with my family, and they all piped up with their own little Universe Keeping It Real stories. There was my mother, who when walking towards her place of work feeling all sassy and fashionable had one of her stay-up stockings fall down. She then had to drop everything and pull it up in the middle of the carpark. In front of a school boy. 

And then there was my little brother, who when attempting to be all 15 and oh-so-nonchalant on the bus, proceeds to get his bag stuck in the seats and then have his Go Card fly out of his wallet when he tried to swipe off. And then I remembered that that sort of thing used to happen to me on the bus all the time. In fact, it still does.

That's when I realised – it's a family thing. 

We're all nerds with occasional shots at being cool, but never quite pulling it off thanks to some kind of innate (and possibly genetic) ability to always appear a bit silly. I guess at least we can comfort each other and laugh at ourselves. Because that's all you can do when you have foolish moments in public, pick yourself up, have a bit of a smile, and move on. Afterall, it's just the Universe Keeping It Real.

The Erect-A-Meter

The oddities of the relationship between my father and I has been well documented. Although I think we reached a milestone recently when he casually asked me if I would like an 'Erection Meter'. My eyes lit up like Christmas and I replied with a fervent "Yes!". Now, for some strange reason when I tell people how the Erection Meter came to be in my possession they look somewhat horrified. "Your father gave it to you?", "Yeah, of course!" I reply, like it is the most natural thing in the world for a twenty-something woman to be gifted an Erection Meter from her father.

You see, what makes this a milestone moment is that I was the only person in my father's life that he felt comfortable sharing the hilarity of this 'clinical aide' with. And I think that's awesome. It highlights our shared understanding, sense of humour and a level of comfort that only a lifetime of medical conversations over the dinner table can lend. So with that said, let me tell you about the Erection Meter, or, as my father likes to call it the "Erect-A-Meter".

Firstly, I should comment that it was significantly less offensive than anticipated, which perhaps reveals more about me than the company that produced it. That company of course, is Pfizer, the big-pharma that bought us Viagra. My father is GP by trade, and for years has consequently been courted by drug companies attempting to harness his prescribing power. Dinners, lunches, conferences, free pens, medical charts, umbrellas and post-it notes have all been gifted to him in an effort to buy his prescription preference. And like most doctors, my father has taken the freebies and prescribed what he felt was the most effective medications regardless of what is printed on the pens and post-it notes. 

Sadly, this gravy-train of freebies is coming to an end as the Australian government seeks to wipe out this sort of bribery. As a social worker I believe this to be a positive thing, but as the daughter of doctors I feel completely devastated. Some of the best biros and notepads I have ever owned were branded with Zyprexa and Stilnox. So not only is the Erect-A-Meter an amusing party-favour, it also represents the end of an era of drug company freebies in the life of one Miss Anne.

From what I can gather, the Erect-A-Meter presents the patient with four 'panels' of varying 'rigidities' which are each assigned a type from 1 to 4. The types are:

  1. Larger, but not hard.
  2. Hard, but not hard enough for penetration.
  3. Hard enough for penetration, but not completely hard.
  4. Completely hard and fully rigid.

My father made the following comment when he gave it to me – "It's completely useless clinically. What Australian male is going to admit to anything but a 4?"

Erectameter

(The Erect-A-Meter, as modelled by myself in the guise of Vince Noir)

I must confess that now I own an Erect-A-Meter I am a little unsure of what to do with it. As if I wasn't already a scary prospect to the male species, I now own something I could conceivably use to judge them where they're most vulnerable. I like to think that I would never use this object to judge a man, but the phrase "he was definitely a 4" has already found its way into conversations with some of the female friends I have shown it to. I have also had more than one female friend comment that they could "definitely work with a 2" and that they felt Pfizer's assumption that it was 'not hard enough' to be unfair. To add to my confusion, my most recent presentation of the Erect-A-Meter to the public (my housewarming), the men were equally, if not more fascinated by it than the women were.

Clearly I must keep it as a party piece. But where do I keep it? On a shelf? On public display? Under my bed? In my goodie drawer?? I feel as if a sacred object has been trusted to me and I am overwhelmed by my responsibility to protect the world from its potential evils. Or perhaps I am overreacting and should just put it in a cupboard. Either way, can you believe that such a thing even exists?? That, is the funniest thing of all.

Sex and Tupperware.

I recently commented via Tweet that the first piece of paper I have written my new address on was a Tupperware order form. It was quite fitting really, especially considering that I had just expressed to my housemate that the only thing I am really precious about is my Tupperware. 

Tupperware has been a hot topic of conversation in my office of late. And not in your typical 'versatile solution for modern living' kind of way. It all began when one of my adorable co-workers uttered the following piece of wisdom . . . 

"Tupperware is what you have when you're not having sex".

Myself and a fellow single lady and Tupperware admirer took a deep breath, made eye contact across the room, and with our heads in our hands replied "it's true, it's true". 

I have to confess that this comment has fundamentally altered my perception of my relationship with Tupperware. All of those gasps and squeals I emit when browsing through the latest catalogues. The loving satisfaction I feel as I portion up my lunches for the week. The sense of power I feel when crushing garlic. These are all disturbingly comparable to emotions and reactions I would be experiencing if I were having sex.

When I mentioned this theory to another single lady friend she paused and then commented "I have a shitload of Tupperware". Another friend has commented that unlike men, Tupperware has a lifetime guarantee and will not warp, break or discolour the way a man may. I should point out that this was the same friend who when perusing the latest Tupperware catalogue together I was reminded of being eleven years old and sneaking a peak the Joy of Sex with friends. 

Now I am sure there must be plenty of women out there who have regular sex as well as an impressive collection of Tupperware, but I have to ask – was it bought when you were in the passionate throes of a new relationship, or when you were single or had settled into a sexual routine?

All of this discussion of sex and Tupperware has prompted the following question – when will Tupperware branch out into the adult market? The consensus has been that it is only a matter of time, they do toiletries now. Now that will be one piece of Tupperware I will be very precious about.

Tupperware

Gyms. They’re Weird.

I have said it before and I will say it again, gyms are
fundamentally weird places. I shudder to think what Goffman or Foucalt
would have to say about them. There are many things that make the gym weird,
the Personal Trainers, the Body Beautifuls, the strange slogans and incessant
advertising, a room full of people running on the spot staring at television
screens. The list goes on and on. But today I will talk about some of the gym’s
weirder inhabitants: the Body Beautifuls. You know the ones.

The women are young with make up, free flowing ponytails and
very short shorts. I am willing to
concede the makeup, because if I actually wore makeup to work it is
unlikely I would think to take it off before working out. But it would get messy
once I started. This is not a problem for the female BBs as they do not seem
prone to sweating. Nor are they prone to love handles, cellulite or unmanageable
hair. I am becoming increasingly convinced they are a bread of aliens trying to
bring down humanity by contributing to fellow gym-goers feelings of discomfort
and dismay at their own flabby(er) bodies. The men don’t seem to sweat much
either. The just look all hot and muscly and unattainable. Except for the really bulky ones who just look like aliens, lending further support to
my Theory. (Although, another theory suggests that they exist purely for our
amusement, but that feels unkind).

For the BBs working out isn’t so much about fitness but
about putting yourself on display. It’s like a courtship ritual gone wrong. Wrong
because the normal people (i.e. me) can only watch, occasionally drool and keep
their arousal respectfully to themselves (the gym is one place where
I am glad I am not a man, perhaps that’s why so many of them wear loose fitting
shorts?). Courtship certainly takes place, and it is a strange thing to watch. It’s
a bit like watching man peacocks try to impress lady peacocks. Except at the
gym, everyone behaves like the man peacock.

‘Jealous?’ I hear you mumble with a raised eyebrow. Not
really. The BBs are far removed from anyone I have experienced in real life,
and it is hard to be jealous of something so completely unrelatable. And when I check out men in the gym (and believe me, I do) the ones I usually
like the look of are a little bit scruffier, or a bit skinnier, or have
glasses. You know, they look like real people (or are just really, really dirty hot). I would like to think
the real people extend the same courtesy to me, but I’m not so sure. I look
pretty whacked when I work out. 

Worst. Massage. Ever.

While spending last week in Cairns with the Divine Miss M I was treated to a number of new and interesting experiences. Beaches, gorges, markets, women wearing live snakes and oh, the eye candy. There was, however one blight on my time there, the $15 Chinese Massage at the Cairns Night Markets. I do not know what was worse – the fact that this was the only time I was touched by a man all week, or that I paid for it.

I have never, ever, been touched by someone so wholly disconnected from what the human body enjoys. It was worse than the worst kiss and the worst shag I have ever had. 

He was all fingers. Poking into my back, shoulders, neck and head with no sense of rhythm and confusing levels of intensity. And his were pointy, pointy fingers. He poked his way down my spine and I rose sharply off the table with a yelp of pain. I told him not to do that and 15 seconds later, like an inconsiderate lover, he did it again. I lay on the table feeling a mixture of horror and hysteria. I was terrified at having to spend another minute subjected to him.

You see, if this sort of thing happens with a lover you can at least anticipate and contribute towards their swift orgasm, hastily bringing the whole shambles to a halt. It is a little different when it is a young man from China you have a contract with and he calls you "lady" in a highly irritated fashion. 

When he was done with all of his poking and prodding, he smacked me up.

The whole thing was like having someone try and pleasure you whilst referring to an anatomy textbook and paying no attention to your verbal and non-verbal cues. Absolutely. Awful.

Cairns on the other hand, is glorious.

Parental Transference.

I recently posted a text message conversation between my mother and I on My Bits (and Bobs). This conversation sparked great amusement in my eyes and a certain degree of shock amongst my co-workers. You see, my parents are doctors and for years I have lived with their assuming the worst of their delightful, mostly sweet and innocent daughter. This has been expressed in a number of ways, the most famous being the incident in which I discovered that they had put me specifically on a libido depressing version of the pill around the time I started going to parties. They told me it was for acne and it worked a treat, but when I went off the pill when I was 19, boy, I was I in for a surprise.  One of my colleagues recently commented that all of my parent's vicarious trauma from their decades of practicing medicine must all be very neatly transferred to me, their eldest and only daughter. And you know what, I think she was right.

Now, frequent or occasional readers of this blog will know about my recent skin and hormone issues. Last night as I ventured down to the parental section of the house to forage for food, I bumped into my father. He took one look at my face and declared it perioral dermatitis (and if that's not a condition that will attract men, I don't know what will). So what does this mean? No face creams. No make-up. No sunscreen. I damn near fell over. Thrice! To my questions of "but, but, but, but???" my father commented that I should invest in a nice big hat. That I was just the kind of girl that would look good in a large hat. To which I replied that I do not like to wear hats as they mess up my hair.

In the onslaught of this new 'way of life', I was fortunate enough to scam a script for some antibiotics. This is a pretty big deal for dad as he does not usually prescribe to me. Something around not wanting to be responsible for giving me any medications that may kill me. Or something. As he wrote the script he commented that it would render the pill ineffective, which I blew off with the sweeping statement "bah, I'm not on the pill right now anyways". He sort of mumbled to himself and kept writing the script.

Well, you can imagine my surprise (and also my complete lack of it) this morning when I got out of the shower and spied the following on my bathroom floor . . . 

The pamphlet.

Yes. That's right. Funny, shocking, and so my father. He'd slipped it under my door. When I confronted him around the issue this evening he claimed that he had slipped it under the door two or three days ago because he thought I would be interested, as a social worker. Ha! Although, in his defense it was quite an informative pamphlet and I will be taking it to work for information sharing. But he can protest all he wants – this is not the first piece of sexual health literature that has mysteriously found its way into my life in the last ten years. But then, my life is filled with these amusing tales of parental paranoia. I just thought I might be getting to the age where it lifted a little. Apparently not.

So.

I feel that my dislike of guitars, or more particularly people serenading me with guitars, is well known. I do not think I really need to elaborate on this any further.

So. You can imagine my reaction when cruising a well-known dating website recently and stumbling upon a profile that not only held a picture of a young man playing the guitar but also contained the statement "I can teach u to play the guitar".

I will tell you my reaction. I vomited in my mouth a little, and laughed. Out loud. For 30 seconds. The real tragedy of the moment was that I had no one to share it with. So I will share it with you, Internet. Because it was one of the cheesiest things I have seen this year. 

Indeed, these online dating profiles provide ample cheese. It is a strange world where everyone presents what they think the opposite sex wants to hear. From the men it is all about travel, cuddling on the couch, 'wining and dining', the beach; and from the women it is all about 'having a good time'. If I did not know a number of people who have experienced Internet dating success I would write the whole thing off immediately. I mean, how can anyone meet anyone when there is just so much bullshit to wade through?

For now I shall continue to wade. As I said to someone earlier today – it is just another arm out there in the world. It can't hurt, right?