Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Ahh ladies, we’re a complicated breed. We really are. I don’t know what it is or why we do it, but it seems we often have wars going on with each other. As if the every day trials and tribulations of this roller coaster estrogen-fest we’re on isn’t hard enough, apparently, we feel the need to throw a few spanners around and complicate it for each other. Nowhere has this been more evident to me of late than with the mother vs non-mother divide. There are weird vibes man and I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about, but I’m here to see if we can’t all align our chakras and calm the hell down.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
My beloved Papa Bangs is a pretty incredible dude. When I was a kid, he used to come into my room before I went to sleep to scare away, in rather dramatic fashion, the monsters I believed lived under my bed. It feels like he’s done that all my life really. As I’ve gotten older, he’s given me the tools to scare away my own monsters. If I’m stressed or worried, Papa is always there with his own brand of calm reassurance. He’s taught me some pretty good lessons – some have taken me longer to learn than others but they are now an invaluable part of my life. Here’s my top five:
Thursday, March 5th, 2009
That is a question I struggle with every now and then. Having moved around so much, my compass is all the way off these days. I don’t know where home is and I have an urge to just keep moving and trying out other cities, countries, places. Yet I also crave stability and focus and furniture and you know, other shit that grown up people have.
So, when my dad recently threw out the suggestion, during a casual Skype conversation, that I move home, it sent me into a state of turmoil for a good half a day or so. It’s a tempting offer: move home, back in with the parents, work part time in the family business, spend the rest of my time writing, making tea and generally being fabulous.
I know, I know. What’s not to love about that? Rent free living and a guaranteed job? I should be jumping for joy, right? But I just don’t think I can muster another move across an ocean. Nevertheless, I thought it was only right that I give the offer fair and balanced consideration.
Living at home, enjoying mama’s cooking, no rent and getting to watch The Wire with my parents every day.
Being in your late twenties and still living with your parents. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful relationship with my ‘rents and love them to death, but I don’t want to be the female George Costanza.
The guaranteed job and being able to work part time – holla!
I would feel an enormous amount of pressure working for my parents. I know how much they put into that business and I don’t want to be the one to mess up the whole operation.
Being around my friends again.
As tough as it is not having your good girlfriends around you, sometimes when you don’t have that, you force yourself to meet new people more. Maybe if I was home, I’d take that circle of friends for granted.
Having quick and easy access to Topshop.
The subsequent debt that will ensue as a result of quick and easy access to Topshop.
People not thinking I’m Australian.
People telling me I have now developed a ‘north American twang’. You can’t win with this accent thing, I tell you.
Being able to wallow in all the inside jokes me and my brother have.
Sometimes the jokes seem even funnier to me via email/Facebook instant chat.
But essentially, when things aren’t going your way, you can’t always just pack up your shit and run home to your parents, however tempting that may be. My situation here may not be perfect, might actually be close to infuriating at times, but I have to tough it out and make it better. It’s on me to fix it. But does that mean that I can’t quit my job and go home for a few weeks for some TLC? Ahh, probably. Damn it, I just can’t catch a break!
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
This past Christmas, I decided to take a slightly different route with a gift for my parents. Traditionally, Papa always gets a book and Mama gets a watch. But as each year passed the watches were getting bigger and bigger on account of her not-so-great eyesight. At the rate it was going, next year, she’d be like Flava Flav with a big ass clock around her neck, so that had to stop.
Sunday, December 21st, 2008
Last Thursday morning, I arrived back in England at the ass crack of dawn. This is the first time I’ve been home in three years. I had a great weekend catching up with my family and trying to overcome my jetlag-induced coma. England has that same-only-different feel about it now. Some observations:
Growing up here for 18 years, I never really noticed, but England really is grey. It’s like a cloud of impending doom hangs over the place at all times. And fog. For weeks, my friends here had been telling me to pack warm, because it was so cold over here. Bitches, please, I live in Canada, you don’t know cold until you’ve stuck out a winter there. When I got here on Thursday it was 11 degrees celsius, which would be positively spring-like in Canada. I felt like throwing on a bikini and parading around town.
I lost my house
I’m going to preface this by saying that my parents have moved house since I was last here and I’m not familiar with the area they moved to. The following act of stupidity, is not necessarily a representation of my true self.
Thursday night, after dinner with my parents, my brother and I hit up a couple of bars. Around 11pm, my jetlag was kicking in pretty hardcore, so I decided to call it a night. I hopped in a cab and gave my parents address. We arrived and I got out of the cab. When the cab pulled away, I looked around and didn’t recognise anything. I looked at the sign again – I was definitely on the right street. I walked up and down the street a couple of times. It was dark, there were hardly any lights and I didn’t have my glasses on (pretty much a recipe for disaster). Plus, I hadn’t hooked myself up with a UK cell phone yet, so couldn’t call anyone.
After about 10 minutes, I started to get a bit panicky, thinking my parents had uprooted the whole bloody house while I had been out. I trekked up and down the street again and still could not figure out where the hell their house was (and this is not a long street). They live at number three. I saw that number four still had lights on, so I went to knock on their door for assistance. By this time it was about 11.25pm and the owner didn’t want to open the door. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to phrase my predicament, but I thought it not wise to say ‘I’m looking for my house,’ as men in white coats would surely arrive shortly after. From behind the closed door a lady asked if she could help me. ‘I’m terribly sorry to bother you this late,’ I say. ‘But I’m looking for number three.’ She tells me it’s across the street. I make my way back down her path, muttering to myself that this woman is a damn liar because I’ve already canvassed that side of the street a good fifteen times to no avail.
By this point, I am close to tears, thinking I’m going to have to rip off a piece of someone’s hedge and bed down in the street for the night. I figure I’ll just ask at another house. I go across the street, open the gate and make my way up the pathway. As I get closer to the door, I see a rather large number three on it.
Funny how houses are always in the same place you left them.
My parents have turned gangsta
After driving to various petrol stations to find me a sim card to put in a UK cell phone, I find one and as I get back in the car, my mother says ‘I feel like I’m on The Wire!’ Later, my dad gives me his old phone to put the sim card in and points out that ‘it’s the same model as Stringer Bell’s.’ I’m not entirely sure what’s happened since I’ve been away, but apparently, my parents think they live in Baltimore and work for Marlo Stanfield.
Ahh, it’s good to be home.
Monday, December 8th, 2008
Thursday, October 16th, 2008
I think, somewhere on earth, there are some pigs flying around and hell just froze over. Yesterday, I received an email from my brother. You may not understand how huge this is, but trust me, it is a landmark event in my life.
My big brother, whom I affectionately call ‘Our Kid’, is possibly the last person in the western hemisphere to join the final frontier of technology. For years, he shunned getting a cell phone. He preferred the ‘if people need me, they’ll find me’ approach. I personally feel that he should’ve been cutting me a cheque for my receptionist skills and taking his phone messages at home all those years.
He only got a computer last year when my parents pawned their crappy old one off on him. I’m not sure he’s even plugged it in yet. Now that he’s working in the family business, he has access to a computer daily at the office. He’s come a long way. He knows how to switch it on. And not only did he send me an email yesterday – it contained a link! When did he learn to do that?! It kind of blew my mind.
But my bruv’s refusal to keep up with modern technology is one of the many things I love about him. My life is almost ruled by my computer. I spend every spare second checking my Facebook, Myspace, blog, Stat Counter, other people’s blogs, emailing and doing it all over again. There reaches a point where you have to force yourself to go outside and take in the wonders of nature (or you know, just smog if you live in the city), or you’ll be held completely captive by your Mac. Meanwhile, Our Kid takes on the world with nothing but his iPod, a good book and a cup of coffee. If I could only tear myself away from my computer for a moment, I would try to be more like him.
Before he decided to get all in touch with the technology movement, Our Kid would write me letters and I would write back. You see, when you’re related to someone who doesn’t use email and you live in different countries, you kind of have no choice but to engage in penpallery. After my grandmother passed away, Our Kid was the only one I got letters from and he has a real knack with the written word (and spoken ones. Well, just words in general really – he’s got them on lock). Especially when I was living in Japan, Our Kid’s letters would brighten my days no end. So, I’m really hoping that just because he’s now down with the interweb, the penpallery doesn’t cease.
I’m not sure what’s next for him. He’s got an iPod, a cell phone and now he’s sending emails. Christ, the world as we know it has forever changed. All I know is if he ever gets a blue tooth headset, we’ve got a serious problem.
Friday, December 28th, 2007
- For your ability to make me laugh till I cry
- For your insistence on only shopping in charity shops
- For still managing to look a complete diva even though your entire outfit may only have cost £7.50 (incidentally, how the hell do you do that?)
- For your warm hands
- For your infectious laugh
- For all the times you wanted to bitch slap me, but hugged me instead
- For those six months before I went to Japan when all that mattered was Funday Friday (ahhhh, I miss Funday Friday!)
- For your chicken and bacon tetrazzini
- For your awesome culinary skills in general
- For always knowing the right thing to say
- For showing me what it is to be a lady
- For being a shining example of everything a mother should be
- For the way you always sing along to the radio a little bit off beat
- For always speaking your mind
- For never judging me
- For always encouraging Our Kid and I to be who we are
- For the frozen peas
- For ‘giving us the rope but never letting us hang ourselves’
- For your creativity
- For always putting the kettle on
- For your constant and unwavering support
- For having no idea how truly wonderful you are
For all these reasons and so many more, I love you.
When people tell me I’m my mother’s daughter, I hope you know how wide I smile.
Enjoy your day. I wish I could be there to enjoy it with you – next year I will be, I promise!
Until then, see this little fingernail……