This week I woke up dressed in a diabolical fashion, with unflattering lighting overhead and inedible food by my bed. No, it wasn’t Mother’s Day. When I walked into the main hospital building that morning, the first thing I noticed was the drab decor; so hideous that the caring lovelies working there had tried to patch up the dullness with bright paintings, but I could feel the bacteria and sadness in the walls.
But we do have incredible care. When I came to after my anaesthetic, I had the most lovely pregnant nurse and I couldn’t get over how grateful I felt that we have great health care in Australia. Everyone was so caring I shed a few tears, I felt blessed that this was my first thought. I looked around and noticed that the hospital staff represented every corner of the universe, Africa, Asia, alien, Australia, America, Pacific Islands, Europe and bogan. Despite the racial hatred pollies who’ve received very few votes are trying to stir up, Australians are a mixed bag of nationalities who want to work and live together in harmony without politicians telling us we can’t.
I had a general anaesthetic so I could have Botox injected into my bum muscle (I speak fluent doctor yeah) to try to repair nerve damage from an operation I had in April. I did ask but the doctor wouldn’t do a 2 for the price of 1 Botox deal on my arse and my face. Bloody Medicare. Before I went under, my colorectal surgeon told me to eat soft foods, when I awoke I was served beef so tough it could have been used by our defence forces. And the doctor wouldn’t let me go until my blood pressure and pulse rate went up so I sat in a chair scoffing non-hospital food until I was allowed to leave. I’m happy to be home. On my return, there was a two-stage political coup erupting to change our Prime Minister. Here comes the revolution: We’ve changed to a conservative god bothering white male from a mega-rich white male. Plus ca change. And now that the weekend is here, and our right-wing politicians have finished throwing tantrums and travelled away from the Canberra bubble, I’d like to help those boorish pale males think about something other than themselves, perhaps the nation’s healthcare, education, domestic violence, babies dying in detention centres or even a treaty with the people who were here first.
Politicians, I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you, but most of you are ego driven and need Commcar drivers to help you get to work at Parliament House because you couldn’t find the place by yourself. You are public servants, we voted for you to serve us, not to watch you cower before opinion polls, you spineless idiots. Walk into the hospital, STFU, listen and watch how a diverse group of people co-operate, learn how they carry on their jobs without petty squabbles, working as a team to achieve incredible outcomes for the good of all humanity. This may help as most of you couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. If you still don’t get it, be careful the door doesn’t hit your unBotoxed bums on the way out.
Aside from prescription medications, a home and a large cask of fruity leg-opener, here is your essential guide to the seven must-own style items for single mothers:
- A leopard cougar dress adds class to any event, including school canteen duties or my kid doesn’t deserve another detention meetings in the principal’s office
- A large slobbering pit bull wearing a choke collar is mandatory for surviving early weekend morning netball games courtside with only happily married power couples for company
- A timeless, barely-there I can’t pay the rent ripped t-shirt emblazoned with I am the patron saint of deadbeat males goes with just about anything and is perfect for last minute call ups to the school father’s day breakfast
- Flannie shirt and work boots, for that crucial menswear-inspired look to confuse the hell out of the parents who can’t guess which side of the sexual fence you’re sitting on at the school fete
- Add polish to your 3pm pick up look by combining a no-brainer plunging neckline with the quintessential single mother chunky snakeskin stiletto
- Sneakers found on the street outside charity shops lengthen your pay packet and mean you can run from your children when they embarrass you at the shops
- A basic toy boy dressed in suede or leather is the ultimate go-to handbag for school parent-teacher meetings, he will add instant sophistication
You are asleep at the wheel. Banker lawyers aren’t renowned for their innovation or empathy, but you have turned out to be our Clayton’s* Prime Minister, the one we have when we don’t really have a leader. You are surrounded by pseudo human career politicians and you have proved to be as much of a jerk as Abbott, just dressed in a better suit. Malcolm, you seemed to have potential, years ago you talked with great passion about Australia becoming a republic, the Australian people thought that you could have been a man of vision but instead, you bow to people whose ideas belong in the Dark Ages. 30 women have been murdered this year alone and the only thing that makes you angry is the company tax rate not being cut. You truly are our most disappointing Prime Minister.
You spoke of Australia’s success with resettling refugees using sportsman Allir Allir as an example. You forgot to mention the refugee children languishing in mouldy tents on Manus and Nauru and the dying man whose supporters had to fight in court for him to receive proper palliative care in a hospital. Allir Allir coming here from a refugee camp in Kenya had nothing to do with you. You cold fart unholy man.
You have no inspiring strategies on:
And Malcolm, you feel the need to constantly bash Bill Shorten, but you’re short on common sense, short on intelligent policies and short on compassion. What you need is a bunch of single mums in your cabinet; you’d get some great decisions made in record time (and under budget) and our country would perhaps be more inclined to give people in need a fair go (does this concept sound familiar?).
Your grandchildren won’t be proud of how your party decided to destroy what’s left of the Great Barrier Reef, how about you stand up and become a statesman? Because right now you look like you really don’t want the job. Malcolm, it is time to step up or crawl off to your dodgy tax haven in the Cayman Islands like the scaly, shifty old caiman you resemble.
*If you’re not familiar with this term, in the 1970s and 80s Clayton’s was advertised as ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink.’
Autumn winds make me extra allergic to the online world of success coaches with glow in the dark teeth, perky personal fitspo gurus with Instagram famous bodies and shiny women with trout pout lips on an endless loop on Youtube. A generation of children are growing up with mothers who’ve had so much Botox put into their faces that these women cannot express the full gamut of human emotion on their dials. These zombie women scare me but I can’t stop staring, wondering when the fillers will stop working.
Then I get scratchy when I hear the words mastery, motivation, personal best, inspire, disrupt. Show me the leaders in lethargy, excellent examples of ennui, successful sloths, wonderful worriers. These are my people. To mangle Kerouac: the only ones for me are the crazies, the Bukowski drunks, the shabby, the borderline criminals, the drop outs, the dribblers, those grungy, suffering, unshaven cats who get thrown out of the best parties, the ones who always yawn out loud, the rambling, boisterous messes who convey every sloppy human emotion on their cracking apart faces. These are the people who make me feel good about myself, as I hide away at home reading, not wanting to face the world or climb any ladders.
Growing up into a cranky old cat lady, I’m pondering the autumn and winter of my life with a countenance that moves. As I slip under the radar with a face that loses its sheen every day, I think I like my mangy self best.
My oldest childhood friend is about to turn 50 and realising I have elderly friends has made me think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Middle age can be about making time for personal growth and wondering what sort of human you want to become in the second half of your life. Once my kids have moved out of home, I want to inspire people, live well and have fun, so when I grow up, hopefully I’ll still be young enough to:
Care about my fellow humans like Sam Newman
Be open-hearted like Prune Macsween
Dance like Peter Garrett
Have the compassion of Miranda (Not Really) Devine
Pop pills like Ben Cousins
Manage my hair like Donald Trump
Tolerate people like Peter Dutton
Possess the humility of Malcolm Turnbull
Be open-minded like Andrew Blot
Be submissive like Eddie Maguire
Be as sexy as Bronwyn Bishop
What’s on your life goals bucket list?
We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour
Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer
I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw
I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids
Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity
You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far
I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live
I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection
Shakespeare described step parenting best:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom