Archive | December, 2009

Use what you have instead of buying more crap

17 Dec

I am slowly improving at this.

I’ve been resisting the urge to buy more and instead have been using up old sunscreen and moisturiser before I buy new stuff. Also Bob and I have also almost succeeded at using up all of the left overs in the freezer. It’s amazing how much easier life is when you do this.

Most of you are probably thinking, “yeah, and….” (In a typical Bob-ish fashion). It’s nothing amazing I know.
But I only just became aware of how I had been swept up in consumerism and really felt that I needed more food/products when actually the stuff I already have is perfectly fine.

A while ago Bob and I made a bit of a deal… after NYE we will make a commitment to stop buying stuff for our pantry until we absolutely need it. I reckon this will be a fun game. The rules are:

No buying any food products apart from:
– Eggs
– Fruit & Vegies
– Milk

I’m afraid if we don’t do this, the buckwheat flour and the out of date cans of baked beans may never get used. This great idea (of mine) may allow us to try new things and get creative or we may find that we just can’t think of many new ways to prepare burghal and be incredibly bored.

Either way we will clean some shit out of our fridge and pantry that desperately needs to shift. I’m betting that we will last about 3-4 weeks before we can’t take it anymore. I’m up for the challenge.

This is one of those things where I could get people to sponsor me or donate money or rally up people to get on the bandwagon or something… but I only just thought of it then so it’s pretty unlikely.

But if you do want to give it a try maybe we could see who lasts the longest.
Nah, wait that would never work because whoever wins had the most amount of shit in their cupboard to begin with (it would certainly be us). I really need to think things through before blurting things out.

Anyway we’ll let you know how we go.

I love stairs!

11 Dec

I really do.

Thankfully not everything on this blog is just me trying to figure my life out.

I encountered a stairwell recently that made me incredibly happy.

On a much smaller scale, it reminded me of Gawler Chambers. I realised that I miss the insides of pretty old buildings. There should be more of those in my life.

I love the toilets that go off the stairwell and the beautiful terazzo.

Once inside the toilets I did in fact have a little dilemma (sorry). Paper towel or electric dryer? You don’t always have the choice. But now I have one and I don’t know which way to choose.

I have since discovered that hand dryers are more environmentally friendly at the end of the day. Now you know.

In the blog tradition I should probably post a link to some factual information about this and explain how I found it and stuff.
But not today. Today I am all about breaking the rules.

Get Off Me Fucker

11 Dec

I don’t stand up for myself. Why not?

I think it’s partially because I don’t want to disturb the peace and create conflict (even though I’m a big believer in conflict being the solution to many problems – including fear of conflict). Or it could be that I scared I’ll say something I’ll regret.

The latter is probably more like it. When I’m in an awkward situation I tend to just say nothing because I’m scared that if I say anything it will be aggressive or emotional. So obviously I need a bit of practice because simply smiling and nodding is not good for me. It keeps me up at night thinking about things that I should have said or I end up asking people for advice because I have absolutely no idea how I should have appropriately dealt with it.

Here’s an example:

A while back I was at work and a rough looking client was waiting for a staff member in the foyer. As I walked past, he says in a gruff, loud voice “Gee! There’s some nice looking birds working here!”

!

There is one other client in the foyer as well as the receptionist who looks away. I give him one of those pissed off, girly, half-smiles (you know the one) and leave the room. By the time I’ve closed the door I am livid!! Not only at him but with myself too.

“What a jerk”, I think, and then “You can’t refer to women as ‘Birds’ here”, and then “Yuck, it is gross that he even looked at me and thought that”.

In retrospect I’ve thought all sorts of things about that incident. Somedays I think maybe it’s just better to take it as a compliment and laugh it off. Although most of the time I end up thinking about how I could have changed my reaction so he actually understood that I believe it was not appropriate.

For the record I am fully aware that it is not my duty or my place to be deciding what is and isn’t appropriate for someone else… so then what to do? A smartarse comment is really about the best thing I can come up with that doesn’t have me acting like a tantrum-chucking baby or a raging feminist.

Not that I have a problem with being a raging feminist but those sort of reactions (and the tantrum-chucking baby ones) tend to get the perpetrator thinking that they’ve ‘won’ because they’ve gotten a rise out of you – which is even better for them than having you take it as a compliment or give the half-smile.

So that leaves me with only one option. A comeback with humor (smartarse). In order to be able to serve one of these you really need to be quick-witted, not a skill that I have been graced with.

Here are just some that I came up with recently:
“I don’t see any birds around here”, “There’s also one, big pervert”, “If I’m a bird then what does that make you?”
Lame I know.

Now it’s your turn to give me some suggestions for a situation where I really couldn’t think of anything to say:

Recently I was teaching a class and I made reference to my husband in passing. An overly confident, extroverted and somewhat childish woman said “You’re too young to be married!”
I did my awkward smile-laugh but I wanted to say “Who are you to judge! You don’t even know how old I am.” But I knew that this would result in her asking me my age and then concluding that 26 was “too young” and not to mention be a bit of an emotional reaction…

Later she made some comments to me in private about the other facilitator being quite sexist and seemed happy that I’d agreed with her. It occurred to me that maybe she had latched onto me a bit. Maybe she thought I was cute or maybe she just gravitated towards me as the only other shortarse there! (It is nice to be able to look someone in the eyes without having to look up all the time).

THEN… the strangest thing happened, she was walking past me out to get a drink and she deliberately bumped into me and nudged her elbow into me. “How odd” I thought. She invaded the personal space barrier with a huge smile on her face. She was treating me like her little best friend in year 8 who she has stacks of personal jokes with, but only, we’re adults.. and I don’t get the joke.

I just did my awkward laugh again and let her get away with it. Had I known that she had given herself exclusive permission to use her best-buddy nudge on me whenever she wanted, I would have said something straight up to avoid any future bumps. Not that I would have known what to say anyway.

The next time I laughed nervously and then became quite agitated. Was she some kind of freak? Why me? It’s not like she was like this with everyone else so I could just excuse the behaviour.

The next day I was feeling icky. I didn’t want her near me. I avoided her. Cowardly I know. She gave me the first bump of the day. “Fuck Off!” I thought so loud I’m surprised it wasn’t audible. I felt powerless. Like it was too late to tell her that I thought this invasion of space was a little inappropriate. So I caved in, I got emotional. Not in a tantrum way. She had already walked away so I just gave her a confused/not impressed look.

As it turns out (as I learnt later on while looking in the mirror) my confused/not impressed look can be a little.. well confusing, or misleading if you know what I mean.
What a shitty situation.

A 40 year old woman, acting like she’s in high school and getting a little too close to her facilitator… and the only thing that she even knows about me is that I’m married!

It is possible that I could have just been reading into things and actually she was just a weirdo who eventually would get nudgie with everyone she meets. Either way I am still speechless.
Any ideas on what to say next time this happens?(I surely hope that it doesn’t).

By the way…. I’m over it 🙂