Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I have a lazy eye. Yes it’s not enough that I am a lazy person, I have to have individually lazy parts. My parents first noticed it wandering when I was a baby and I had my first pair of specs by eighteen months old. The first week I got them mum made everyone else in the family wear sunglasses so I didn’t feel different. Although I probably would have been right to feel different. The glasses styles of the 80’s coupled with my no-fuss bowl cut hairdo left me looking like a cross between Roy Orbison and Elton John. I was so young my Mum had to tie them onto my head with a piece of wool so I didn’t lose them in the sandpit.

NOTE: Yes the photo above is actually me…

Despite my appearance I got through my bespectacled childhood relatively unscathed. Except for the odd incident like when a ball hit me in the face during sport or a big boy called me four-eyes and made me cry. That was until I reached fourteen. Having just been fitted with braces I developed a Paul-Pfeiffer-from-the-wonder-years complex. I was acutely aware that I was now one of those braces AND glasses kids and this did not bode well for me socially. Around that time my glasses accidently broke and I miraculously found I got by fine without them. All the years of constant spec-wearing in childhood had largely corrected my vision.

Paul Pfeiffer

All was dandy until my mid-twenties when I started working full-time at a publishing company. I soon learned that office work kills a lot more than just your spirit, it also kills your eyesight. I had to work in front of a computer for eight hours every day. They recommend to protect your eyesight in these situations that you look away from the screen at something far away every ten to fifteen minutes. However I worked in a cubicle and the only way I could access distance was to turn right around in my chair and stare at a patch of wall behind me. Unfortunately there was a co-worker who I didn’t know very well sitting right in front of that bit of wall and things got rather awkward. I had to stop this practise before they complained to human resources about my creepy behaviour.


By the time I left my eyesight had decreased by about half and got steadily worse over the next couple of years until I could no longer see a metre in front of me. I kept trying to get by without glasses. At the bus stop I became one of those annoying people that asks other commuters when the next bus is coming, rather than just looking at the timetable. Whenever people I knew saw me on the street I would just frown and keep walking. When I went out I would always wait for people to say hello to me first. All because I couldn’t see! I was a modern day Ms Magoo.

Finally I bit the bullet and went to get glasses. Even though I am a ‘sophisticated’ lady of twenty-eight the old schoolyard mentality came flooding back. I don’t want to be a four-eyes. Glasses just didn’t go with my outfits! But now I had another option. Contact lenses.

I sat down for my contact lesson brimming with the enthusiasm of the ignorant. Pfffft stupid lesson this will be a piece of cake, just bung em on my eyeballs I thought.

I was wrong. Oh so very wrong. The thing about contacts is you have to have your eyes open to put them in. The thing about eyes is when you put stuff near them they close involuntarily. This is the conundrum. The nice young optician sat across from me all smiles and enthusiasm and encouragement.

“Ok so you hold your top eyelid like so, then pull the bottom one down like this and then pop the contact in.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

“Never mind just pick it up. Hooold your eye like this. Put it on the very tip of your finger. And pop it in.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

“That’s ok it takes everyone a few goes. Now just pop it in.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

“Yep ok make sure your finger’s not too wet.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I started off very polite and upbeat. “Oh golly gosh silly me I seem to have dropped it. Never mind. One more go and I’ll have it.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I began to feel the pressure.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

Meanwhile a small child that looked pretty much like me circa 1986 (see above) had been plonked in the waiting area about a metre and a half from where I was sitting. And boy could she stare. Fascinated by my constant attempts and failures she stared unflinchingly at me through her coke-bottle lenses like I was santa doing the hula.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I began to feel the rage welling.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I laughed nervously.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

“That kid’s staring at me” I whispered.

“Mmm haha yep ok now pick it up and try again” said perky optician.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I began to lose my cool. “Jesus does anyone ever just give up and go home?” I asked.

“No, no everyone gets it eventually.” Cooed upbeat optician girl.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.

I wanted to cry. No wait that will make my eyeballs too lubricated. Don’t cry you halfwit. Just stick it in! The more determined I got the less it helped. I began launching my finger at my face like a javelin, hoping that if I did it quick enough I could get it in before my eye closed. After about 20 minutes perky optician girl ran out of helpful tips and began reeling off lacklustre encouraging phrases.

“You can do it…. Almost had it that time…. Keep trying.”

Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail. Contact. Eyeball. Blink. Fail.


Finally she called over the optometrist and after another ten minutes of trying he finally got them in for me. Then with much ado we had to get them out again. I have always hated not being able to do things so by the time I left I felt like a complete failure. Lots of people I know wear them. Some of them are not even very smart why can’t I do it?

I was sent home with about fifty disposable lenses that I now feel obligated to wear because I paid for them. They sit on my shelf and taunt me daily. I have had them a month and only attempted to wear them a few times. Those who live with me know when I am trying to get them in because of the yelling, swearing and door kicking that can be heard throughout the house. But I will persevere. I will learn to get those bastards in even if I blind myself trying. The price of not looking like Roy Orbison is a high one.




Valentine’s Day


Well it’s that time of the year again, the day that polarizes the community like no other, Valentine’s Day. Or as I like to call it ‘Couple’s Gloating Day’. Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of celebrating love but why is it only couple love that we celebrate? This whole day is designed to make anyone not in a relationship feel like the last kid picked for the tee-ball team.
Whether in a relationship or not, I have never been very good at Valentine’s Day. My first ever Valentine was written on the back of a flattened out ciggie packet. This was to colour my experience of Valentine’s Day for years to come.
I had my first Valentine’s Day in a serious relationship when I was 18. My then-boyfriend and I were in different states, and, knowing he was about as romantic as Athlete’s foot, I rang him a week before to remind him. I warned him of the dangers of forgetting me and, bless him, he took my threats seriously. Sure enough on Valentine’s Day a dozen red roses arrived. Unfortunately I had forgotten it was Valentine’s Day. I was awoken from a particularly nasty hangover by the sound of my dog going mental at the front gate. I dragged myself out of bed, ran outside, threw the dog in the house and angrily opened the gate.
“Um…I think these are for….you?” the flower delivery man said, looking at me like I had just crawled out of a drain. I caught sight of myself in the reflection of the window. I did look like I had just crawled out of a drain. My hair had gathered into some sort of demented flock-of-seagulls-bouffant-gone-wrong. I had bags under my eyes the size of dinner plates and a streak of miscellaneous food down my shirt. The delivery man kept looking behind me, as if expecting the rightful owner of the flowers to emerge from the house and pry them from my undeserving grasp. I quickly thanked him, grabbed the flowers and ran inside to hide my shame/face. The flowers themselves were completely overshadowed by the delivery man’s judgement.
 After many more disappointing/uneventful/downright depressing Valentine’s Days, this year I have found myself in the most stable, loving, and dare I say romantic relationship I’ve had for years. So perhaps this year will be the year that saves Valentine’s Day for me?
Alas no. My beloved has been sent 300km away for work.  His boss offered to give him the day off but only one, which would mean spending six hours each way on a bus to come home and spend twelve hours with me. No one loves anyone that much. If Romeo had been given that option I’m sure he would have said ‘parting is such sweet sorrow that I will see you in a week because I’ll be fucked if I’m spending twelve hours on regional public transport’. And besides, he has just happened to breakout in an all over allergic rash and I have just happened to break out in the worst acne of my adult life just in time for today. If he did make the journey back our night together would probably resemble some sort of romantic version of connect the dots rather than a Hollywood movie.
So alas another lonely Valentine’s Day for me. When not in a relationship I have spent Valentine’s Day looking around at all the loved up couples feeling like my life was missing something. When I have been in a relationship I have spent Valentine’s Day wondering why it didn’t look like the hallmark card moment I imagined in my head.
So today am I going to sit around feeling sorry for myself because I’m not at a fancy restaurant? Hell no. Not this year. This year I’m going to thank my lucky stars that I have found a great man who is working his arse off 300km away so we can have a better life. I guess my point is, whether you’re in a relationship or single, spending the day focusing on what other people have and what you don’t have is a futile exercise. Today you should embrace the people and things you love, whether that’s in a romantic relationship or not.  If you have found that special someone then cherish them. If not then grab your single pals and go and have a pint. For you this can be I-don’t-have-to share-the doona day. Or I’m-free-to-do-what-I-want-any-old-time day. Or that-great-first-kiss-with-someone-new-could-be-just-around-the-corner day.  Just embrace love in all its forms with all its lumps and bumps and imperfections. It’s never going to look like ‘Titanic’ anyway. And thank fuck because that movie sucked.

Procrastinator of the Year

“The fatal flaw in procrastination is the expectation that tomorrow I will be less of a fundamentally lazy person than I was today” …Me

Soooooooo anyone who has read this blog before might have noticed that I have not posted anything for a year. A whole year. You might be wondering what have I been doing in that time. Did I lose my arms in an accident and it has taken me a year to whittle new ones from a piece of wood using my feet?  Or perhaps I had amnesia like Harold from neighbours and was lost at sea only to return a year later with the inexplicable ability to play the tuba. Or perhaps I landed some high-flying dream job that takes up all my time and leaves me with just 15 minutes to do air-punching affirmations in the mirror before rolling into bed.
Alas the reason is none of the above. I have been procrastinating. It started as a mini self-rebellion after the last blog. I really should write another one I really should right another one .NO! I’m going to eat this pie instead. You see writing would be constructive and exercise my brain. Eating an entire pie would make me feel sick and fat. Well that’s a no-brainer. I’ll go with the pie!
I don’t know where this tradition of self sabotage comes from. Probably from my ingrained need to rebel. When I was a child the only things my Mum would categorically never let me have were bubblegum and Coke. When I was about eight a family friend gave me a fiver that my mum said I could spend as I wish. I went straight around to the shop and bought two litres of coke and ten packets of bubblegum. I didn’t even like it that much but it tasted like freedom.
But now I’m a ‘grown-up’ and absolutely the master of my own destiny there is no one to rebel against….except myself and all the things that I know are good for me.
Procrastination is not just about doing things that are fun. It’s about doing ANYTHING except the thing that you are meant to be doing. And the more pseudo-productive the better. I have always hated and been very, very bad at Maths. One time in University instead of doing the assignment on media analysis that I was actually interested in I picked up my high school algebra textbook and did three chapters. I very much doubt I ever did that while in high school. Why, why, why do I do this?
Even now I have stopped writing to go and write ‘greetings from the kitchen’ on my housemate’s facebook wall . I am procrastinating from my blog on procrastinating. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a lot to answer for. He is the ultimate enabler for procrastinators. He is to procrastinators what Pablo Escobar was to coke addicts. As if stalking exes to see if they look happy and bitches from school to see if they’re fat wasn’t enough. Now we have the timeline. We’re now expected to enter every bloody event in our mundane lives into our facebook timeline. If not you have a timeline like mine where it appears that I was born and then straight after attended a beer festival. That’s not far off really.
So how does one discipline ones self? I don’t have my mum here to pry the pie out of my hands like she did the coke and bubblegum all those years ago. I could ground myself but my house is full of DVD’s and booze so that’s not much of a punishment. Maybe I could write “I will be a productive member of society” over and over again on a blackboard. But I don’t have a blackboard. I could send myself to bed without any dinner but I know where I keep the cookie jar. Yep once you hit adulthood rebelling is about as satisfying as a lettuce sandwich. Perhaps it’s time to let go of that inkling I have always had that I’m not a proper grown-up but just a big kid playing dress up. Maybe I should just grow the hell up..or maybe I should eat this pie….

Googled Wisdom

There is a Real Estate Agent near my home that I have to walk past everyday and I hate them. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone. It is safe bet to hate Real Estate Agents. They are a soulless evil money-grubbing profession who have served me nothing other than frustration and annoyance in my life. Every day they insist on putting a new motivational saying on the sandwich board outside their office. Every time I walk past I have the overwhelming urge to kick it down. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Is it because the quotes themselves are so old, tired and lame? Freshly googled by some blonde 18 year old receptionist whose experience of life extends to playboy seat covers and the best brand of hair straightener.

“There is no such thing as failure. Just early attempts at success.”
This is a lie. I am certain that my attempt at a home Brazilian wax was nothing but pure unadulterated failure. It seemed like an incredibly clever and thrifty idea to begin with but after I glued my lady-parts to the bathroom floor with hot wax it began to seem not so great after all. There was nothing about this experience that led me anywhere near success.

“Complaing is a devastating disease” (I assume they mean complaining).

No fucknut AIDS is devastating disease. Illiteracy while not a disease is also devastating. Particularly when it makes your clients realise they have put their million dollar properties in the hands of utter morons. Complaining on the other hand is a natural reaction to being wronged. When you raise my rent $50 a week in one hit with a weeks’ notice it is my god given right to complain. Are we meant to just eat the fly in our soup and say ‘Thank you Sir may I have another?” There are many, many circumstances where it is completely legitimate, nay essential, to complain.
“Doing less than you can is the beginning of erosion”.

I’m pretty sure I could eat two pizzas if I applied myself. By choosing to eat only half am I setting myself up for some sort of downward spiral? Why do we always have to push ourselves? Sure there are times when you should strive to achieve but I am a great believer that there are also times when sitting on your arse eating chip crumbs off your chest is equally as good for the soul. Also unless my geography teacher lied to me I am pretty sure erosion is caused by wind and loose soil, not by underachievement.

One day I will kick it down. One day I will have one of those days where everything goes wrong and I hate the world and Grand Master Flash’s “don’t’” will be swirling around in my head and I will come across a sign telling me that ‘happiness is where I find it but rarely where I seek it’ and I will kick that motherfucker down.


I am now, at 26 years old (yes please direct your shame-wagging finger in my direction) learning to drive.  My official excuse is I don’t drive because I am an environmental crusader, preferring to use my god given gift of legs rather than a gas-guzzling-global-warming-causing car. This is part of it. Not driving renders my ecological footprint quite impressive. I like to whip it out at parties and let people ooh and aaahh about how awesome and aware I am. This, unfortunately ,  is only part of the reason.

The unofficial and much less publicised reason is I’m absolutely terrified. It’s not so much the driving but the other cars filled with fist-waving jerks that concern me. When the road is empty I glide along seamlessly switching gears like the Stig on Top Gear.  However, as soon as I am surrounded by other motorists something happens to my brain. Suddenly driving DOES NOT COMPUTE. Clutch.. brake..which one? .. which gear? ..I thought I was in second.. aahh …help..bunny hop.. rev..PANIC..stall..
I used to think the purpose of L plates was so other drivers knew to go easy on you. L for lenient. This is a lie. The purpose of L plates is to publicly humiliate new drivers. It lets the other drivers on the road know to laugh, jeer, beep and manically speed up and overtake you in a dangerous manner. One guy beeped me because of a two second delay in taking off at the lights.
What is it about human nature that makes once pleasant people turn into jerks upon entering a vehicle? You would never behave like that without one. Can you imagine yelling “FUCK YOU STUPID OLD BAG GET OUT OF MY WAY” at a slow old lady who walked in front of you on the street? I think not. Being at the helm of a big hunk of metal with wheels does something to our brains which eliminates all human decency and that is why I’m afraid of driving.
Perhaps this is why my instructor was such a ‘character’. Here’s something I think all middle aged men need to know. Jokes involving sexual innuendo do not ingratiate you to young women. It does not make you seem young and hip. It makes you seem like a dirty old man.

When I asked driving related questions he would respond with comments like ‘whatever turns you on’ or ‘whatever gets you off’.  Hmmmm.  He called the point where the clutch and accelerator engage the ‘rubbing point’ which resulted in chants of ‘rub rub rub’, anytime we went around corners or took off at the lights. He also bestowed upon me the nickname ‘bub’ and its various manifestations ‘bubby’, ‘bubba’etc. This would be weird from someone I know well, let alone a driving instructor I had known for all of thirty minutes.
I know what you’re thinking. “I would never stand for that. If someone called me bubba and made seedy jokes I’d be all like ‘Step off man, put your manners back in your pocket’”. You’d think that wouldn’t you? But I didn’t. I just laughed. Granted there wasn’t much conviction to the laugh but I laughed all the same.  And why did I laugh? Because the only thing that scares me more than driving is the awkward silence that follows a non-laughed-at joke from a stranger. By not laughing you are basically telling the other person you are offended and unimpressed. I would laugh at a joke about my dead grandmother before I would sit through one of those awkward silences. I suddenly realised that this was the reason people like that existed. They keep making their seedy, sexist, racist jokes quite comfortably without any awareness of how offensive they are because people always laugh!
 I wish there was some way I could just say “I am neither amused nor offended. Let’s move on.” In fact I think I am going to put that onto a T-shirt.
After white-knuckling it through three manual lessons with him I decided to be a giant piker and go for my automatic license instead. I asked my instructor if he could recommend a good auto instructor in my area.
“Just don’t go with ****** Driving School. It’s full of blacks” he said.
“Ok then, thanks.” I said smiling sweetly and got out of the car.
Next time I’ll say something. Next time…