Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My horse is a knob

One of the men in my life is a nine year old thoroughbred gelding named Darcy. He is, as they say, A Character. He is stubborn, arrogant, dominant, argumentative, cheeky and occasionally aggressive. Luckily for him, he's also very good looking, a charmer, and sometimes very sweet, or else he'd make a fine stick of glue... 

Yesterday my beloved and I visited Darcy and my pony Gold, and instead of riding, we just led them out for some grass. A nice, peaceful wander through the countryside as the sun set, what bliss, right?

Not quite. 

Darcy was in A Mood. He got a bit excited, hooves were thrown around, and we had to have a bit of a discussion about manners and respect. He had a think and apologised, and we moved on to the grass. 

One of his paddock-mates was hanging at the fence looking sad and forlorn, so I tried picking handfuls of grass for him. 
Oh, special handpicked grass, thanks Mum! says Darcy, scoffing it repeatedly. 
I tried to push his obtuse bulk aside, and somehow he stepped on his leadrope, and his halter came off.

 The light of freedom sparked in his eyes. 

He slowly started walking away slowly, and I followed, so he accelerated. Exhilarated by the taste of sweet liberty, he galloped around, bucking, farting, snorting, doing his best impersonation of a Wild Stallion, circling and swooping past me. Filled with revolutionary zeal, he tried to herd Gold away from us, to join his uprising. Gold, older and more sensible, ignored him and kept eating. He has very firm priorities in life. 

Slightly crushed, but still defiant, Darcy retreated and started eating grass. Defiantly. 

We decided to put Gold back in the paddock. The sun had set, and light was fading fast. Gold happily ambled into the paddock. Darcy followed, but at a wild and independent distance. Time to bring out the big guns. I started chewing loudly on a delicious carrot. Gold also had a delicious carrot. Oh, how we were enjoying our carrots. 

I wandered over to Darcy, and asked if perhaps he'd like some delicious carrot? Why yes, he really would, thank you muchly. Could I put his halter back on? Of course you can Mum, no worries! Halter on, my sweet, innocent horse followed me placidly into the paddock. He stood amiably by the gate until we left, gentle eyes regarding me lovingly. 

What a dick.

Monday, April 8, 2013

In case of emergency...

...don't look to me for guidance.

We have an emergency evacuation drill at work tomorrow. My evil little mind overfloweth with ideas of how to make it more entertaining.

Ideas so far include:

- Pushing and shoving my way through the orderly queue for the doors, then bolting them shut once I'm outside. CONTAIN THE THREAT!!!

- Screaming WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! at high volume throughout the day. Not just during the drill.

- Looting the cafe.

- Throwing bins through the windows.

- Tipping a car over and setting it on fire. For ambience.

- Weaving a crown of twigs and leaves, donning it and proclaiming VIVE LA REVOLUTION!

- Lighting one or two small but smoke-heavy fires in the building, to more accurately recreate the conditions that might require an evacuation.

- Cornering people and muttering twitchily "It's not a drill! That's what they want you to think! The government is manipulating us all!"

- Sitting down and crying.

I remember a previous boss studiously ignoring the only other evacuation drill I've been in. She was too busy, apparently...

What would you do?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Musings from a funeral

I'll be fine.

I'm going to show respect for an old family friend, but I have no real emotional ties. She and my mother were good friends once; her son and my brother best friends at school. But time painlessly pulls people apart, and nostalgia is not the same as heartbreak.

I feel an imposter, that I lack the proper credentials to present myself as a mourner. I recognise almost no-one. I am awkward. I am wearing red shoes, and I feel inappropriate, trashy. My cleavage surges brazenly from my dress.

The cortege starts to make its way to the chapel. The slow pace annoys me. Surely we can be respectful without dawdling.

Chipper Funeral Directors so poorly named. Sombre Funeral Directors much more suitable.

God, the song playing in the chapel sounds like chirpy elevator music.

I'm going to hell, surely. Why can't I just think solemn thoughts?

And we're down to business.

The first speaker - is MC the right term at a funeral? - a family friend, gives a speech in memory of Denise. It is heartfelt, but he is not a great public speaker, he stumbles reading his lines often. I wish I didn't notice these things, but I've worked giving tours and presentations, I can't help it.

The son comes up to give his mother's eulogy. He is devastated. My cool distance begins to crumble. I sniffle. It is almost a relief to have human reactions.

The daughter's strength is amazing. Her happy memories make people smile and laugh. Among her recollections is that her mum always had a pair of red shoes. My shoes just became a tribute, and I'm glad.

Denise's husband speaks. He remembers his love of 37 years. He only crumbles at the end.
I realise that while I have no real grief for the deceased, the pain of others is heartbreaking. I want to cling to my mother and order her to never die.

My brother's face is sad and drawn. My big, cynical brother is deeply moved.

A slideshow of photos is shown, You Are So Beautiful plays.

We are invited to place a sprig of rosemary on the coffin, for remembrance. The song playing now is twee and irritating, it repeats as the mourners come forward. I resolve to plan my funeral music in advance.

And afterwards, I think that if you're not sure how to live your life, try to consider what people might say about you at your funeral. Make meaningful connections, be passionate about what you do. Love, and be loved. Be remembered.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sometimes it's hard, being a woman...

I'm not going to claim to speak from a shared totality of female experience here. I always feel a bit of an amateur when it comes to being a girl, so I don't know how much my experiences have in common with "real girls."

There are some things that really punch me in my womanhood. That's not a euphemism for vagina, just so you know. I just mean, stuff that makes me, as a girl, feel bad/sad/desperately inferior.

Maybe my biggest punch - being the heftiest girl in a group. I'm not exactly a fatty boombalada, but I do have perhaps an excess of feminine curves. In my friend group, I'm the biggest. I feel like a lumbering elephant in a room of graceful sprites. I can't borrow anyone's clothes. When we eat together, I feel like everyone is judging me for my gluttony. When I talk about exercise, I imagine them pityingly thinking how little good it's doing me. And I know it's all in my head - but that doesn't make me feel any better.
I volunteered at a burlesque event recently, and we were all dressed in 50's style dresses and petticoats. All the other adorable girls looked cute, ravishing and sexy. I felt ridiculous, bulging out of my dress like an overstuffed sausage.

Another woe - boobs. Unneccessarily large boobs. F cup jubblies, over-ripe hooters. I can see no good in these fleshy bags of bother. They sag, they sway, they bounce around painfully. They make all clothes look  frumpy or slutty. Like the look of those cute, girlish bras in the shops? Tough luck. Need to find an industrial strength sports bra to hold those puppies down? I'll need a specialty store and a generous bank balance.
Small breasted girls speak sadly of their own limited assets, and I glare at them, lost in seething envy. Them with their pretty bras and well-fitting clothes, them that can go bra-less when the outfit demands it. They probably don't carry a permanent indent on their shoulders from their bra-straps fighting a losing battle with gravity. They probably have space between their boobs and their belly buttons.

Make up. Why does it look so natural and perfect on everyone else? Why do I look like a drag queen?

Hair. I have a short crop of fine wisps, unstyleable, unstylish. I have to repress the urge to scalp girls with thick, flowing, princess locks.

Normal women wear heels all day. Some women dance in them. How come when I wear heels for two hours I'm crippled with pain, blistered and bruised and unable to walk?


There are a few consolations.

I got a warm glow watching a burlesque performer's cellulite jiggle at an event. I didn't think any less of her - but I felt a little better about me.

I sometimes look at pictures of "real" breasts on the internet. Real, lopsided, sagging, pendulous, huge nippled, tiny nippled, multi-nippled (!), imperfect breasts. Bless them all for existing.

I lift weights at the gym, and I enjoy my strength. It's not huge, I have so much room for improvement, but I'm proud of every kilo I lift, every kilo I add to my personal bests.

I am ashamed of being such a shallow creature. I am a vaguely intelligent woman with many talents, and I want to be judged on my character, not my appearance. But gods above, that doesn't mean I don't care how I look! As much as I respect people who really do rise above such fluff, I find myself unable to.

Being a girl is hard, y'all!