Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fantastic Plastic

When I was around four years old, Mum took me to see Dr Champion in Merrylands for some random vaccination.

I was so terrified of the kindly doctor and his looming syringe that he actually had to chase me around the surgery and had the nurse pin me down.

At that moment, my parents knew two things - their only child would never be an IV drug user and more importantly for their retirement plans, she would never be a doctor.

Since then, I have had a morbid fear of needles. I can't even watch them on TV. Writing about them is making me feel a bit weird. I hate Greys Anatomy and you know ER was ruined after George Clooney left.

I was ill last year with suspected appendicitis. I was admitted to a certain private hospital where I was required to give several blood samples. At one point, after tears, thrashing and several attempts by scared Filipino nurses to find a vein, the nurses gave up and called in a "special nurse".

This man, they told me, was called THE CANULATOR. And his specialty, I kid you not, was extracting blood from the recalcitrant.

The CANULATOR turns out to be a Lebanese man called Rabih. He walked into the room, unannounced and essentially jabbed a needle into my arm.

He left and they had blood. I was violated.It was brutal. He was a Canulation Mercenary.

When a woman turns 40, her thoughts turn to her looks. Whether it be people telling her how young she looks (yeah OK not so much) or bits that don't sit right anymore.

I have recently lost some weight naturally. I have a little bias against weightloss surgery, mostly because you can achieve the same results, without you know, having something that looks lie you can buy from the grabage bag aisle of the supermarket wrapped around your stomach.

But as a result of this steady weight loss, a couple of parts of my body aren't as tight as they should be - namely my arms.

No matter how many push ups or weights I do, they still flap in the breeze. I don't wear short sleeves. I am extremely self conscious of them.

I am a nearly 40 year old woman with an insecurity.

And then I saw a solution. On a show called Bridalplasty

And it made it all sound so simple. Check into a spa, get a little nip and tuck, have the fat sucked from my bingo wings. SUCKED. Like you know, a straw sucking a thickshake.

Then I just have to wear bandages and look like The Mummy for a couple weeks and I will be OK.

Now this is very appealing. VERY appealing. To the point where I have done some research and found several places in Thailand (and one place in Qatar where the doctor LOOKS like he has been watching too much Nip Tuck) that will do it and throw in a spa week.

And then...I realised...there were going to be needles involved. Maybe the CANULATOR does house calls?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shades of grey

I first dyed my hair at age 18. We'd just finished the HSC, we were feeling a little wild and myself and two girlfriends bought home dye kits at Merrylands K Mart and did the deed in the bathroom at Paula's house.

Over the years I have dyed, re-dyed, cut and blowdried at regular intervals.

I look at faded childhood photos and my hair looks a reddish brown. Other times it's darker. A couple of haircuts ago, I asked my stylist, RJ what he thought my original colour was.

He sighed. delved into my hair, pulled it apart at the hairline and made a revelation that would shake my world.

"Ma'am, I don't know how to say this. But you are more than 70 per cent grey."

At that point, the salon, which usually sounds like a Blue Light Disco circa 1979, went quiet.

It was as if the camera operator had zoomed in on my reaction, like on "Bold and the Beautiful", waiting for every twitch, quivering lips and doe eyes.

"RJ, seriously, you can't be right."

"Ma'am. It's true. Look," he said opening my side part like the San Andreas Fault...a gaping streak of silver a centimeter each side.

"It's like this all over, LOOK. NO LOOK."

He was right. It wasn't just silver. It was actually white. From the roots.

The following discussion was even more disturbing. I asked him what would happen if I stopped dying. See I had a vision of Meryl Streep in "Devil Wears Prada", or those cool ladies with silver grey hair.

"Ma'am. It would be more salt and pepper and would take at least six months. You would hate it. I would hate it. And people would stare."

This this was what it had come to. My hair had become a condiment.

I ordered him to mix that dye. The darker the better.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Won't somebody think of the children...

Kids love me. Fact.

Like cats, they sense the indifference.

Babies stare at me in fascination. Older children show me their Play Stations and beg me to watch them play the latest Angry Birds games.

But kids also terrify me. So do cats actually.

A couple of years ago one of my more transient neighbors had a cat. I remember one afternoon waking up from an afternoon nap on the couch to find the world's ugliest cat screeching at me from behind my glass balcony doors. this cat would terrorize me for months until one day it and its family disappeared.

Life has been so much better and less scary since.

As for kids, they terrify mainly because I think they have inbuilt bullshit meters. they can see through all your adult pretense, deep into your soul. They read your thoughts and KNOW that you are secretly scared to death of them. They are small adults with nothing to fear and they can drop their spaghetti bolognaise down their clothes and no one stares at them.

I want to be clear. I have dear friends whose children I adore and love spending time with voluntarily. This primarily because they get my fear and use it to their advantage. I talk to them like mini adults and that works for the short time I am with them.

I've only gone to a couple of psychics in my life. On all occasions i have been told that I would have "extreme difficulty" falling pregnant. One also said I would have a career change and become a fashion designer. Fat chance.

My eggs are drying up as I type. I know this because everyone tells me. And you know with all this talk about the "End of Days" and The Rapture (quite frankly any end of the world business involving a Blondie song can't be half bad)I've been having second thoughts. then again, that could be the gin talking.

It's no secret that I am 40 later this year. I am unmarried and childless. Every so often I go through period where I wonder what if...I had gotten pregnant younger. What if I adopted a Romanian orphan...what if...

When people ask why i have no children, I always say "Oh my god!I forgot to have children!". It's ironic my name is Rachel. in the Bible, Rachel (it's in Genesis people!) was called the "eternal mother".

I mean kids can be great. You don't need to make up excuses such as "doing research" when you want to go to WWE Wrestlemania Revenge Tour 2011. They will watch American Idol with you. And when they get past five years old they can make your Nespresso for you (because, unlike as was suggested in the ads, George Clooney DOES NOT come with every machine).

I guess in the age of IVF and modern scientific miracles, everything is possible. Many people seem to be talking to me about having children recently too. Like some kind of universal conspiracy. Then I started to freak out.

I looked up the cost of freezing my eggs the other day. It's actually cheaper than a Hermes Birkin handbag and there isn't a waiting list. I mean a girl needs options.

Then I saw the words INJECT...HORMONES....EXTRACTION and suddenly my second option of getting my arms lipo suctioned seems far less dramatic.

And you know, good arms are hard to come by....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And so it begins...again

I'm back, this time for a while.

A lot has happened since I last seriously posted. I lost two jobs and a stack of weight.

Actually, in order, I was spectacularly fired from a job I loved. Found a great new job then became a victim of the recession Qatar didn't really have. In the interim I gained weight, then lost it again.

I've travelled more. I have heard mass given in Aramaic in Syria. I stood staring at Lenin's embalmed corpse in Moscow. I had champagne in a fishing cottage in Oman. Stood in a secret Masonic Temple in London. Watched the sun set over the Nile.

I've learned it's not what you know but who you can count on in your network. That people value quality and vision over anything else. That Qatar is a pretty cool place.

It's not been the easiest two years, let alone seven months but not to get all sentimental, I believe that everything I have done in my life led me to this point.

I have the people who surround me to thank for that.

In recent times I've met interesting and influential people; rich people; shallow people; wildly and compellingly intelligent people who changed the way I think about things.

I've met people who used me for my connections and knowledge.

And people who, I can't imagine not ever being in my life.

I almost gave up and headed home to safety and a constant bacon supply many times. But the people in my life dragged me off the couch, made me put on clean clothes and head out to face the world.

Now I have my own business, doing pretty much what I had been doing for the past 19 years of my life. Just not answering to an Editor, a boss or anyone but myself and my amazing, eclectic and sometimes demanding clients.

So anyway, that's what I have been up to since the last time I blogged.

How about you?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm back and only slightly mad and a little dusty

...standby folks.

It's been two long years. But I am re-starting this blog.

Stranger things have me mostly.

Back in a bit