Monday 3 August 2015

Barry Special is...a stress a holic

My name is Barry Special & I’m a ‘Stress a holic’!!

Whilst getting the hoards ready for school this morning I realised something about Barry.  Given his penchant for highly stressful situations, I have discovered that when he finds himself in the midst of a ‘well oiled machine’, that being our kitchen on any given weekday morning (minus the screaming & toast throwing!!), he cannot cope.  So, like many an addict before him, he feels compelled to inject a comment or allude to a scenario that, without doubt, projects said ‘well oiled machine’ into the stratosphere of chaos. 

Now, if it were just myself & our third born spawn, this would not present as a problem….because, he would most likely be told to “bugger off”, but, he always makes sure he projects these little nuggets of stress, chaos & mayhem around our first born spawn, who has inherited her father’s love of  panicking & catastrophizing & like him (& many who have come before her), begins the ‘dance of distress’ over not only completely normal stress free situations, but imaginary events that haven’t even happened yet, & most likely never will, because it’s all in their head.  When I point this out, it never goes down well, so I just go back to my friends, ham, cheese & vegemite & make a mental note to add an extra splash of vodka to my orange juice the following morning!!

Lucky for me I have been given the role of ‘police negotiator’ in our family & so, on any given day, have the job of talking these crack pots (love you!!) down from the ledge, or at least the ledge that they have created which is probably full of cracks & liable to crumble & fall at any given moment.  But not to worry, as I’ll be down below holding out the large cushiony thing you see in movies, to catch them when they fall.  I’m quite the multi tasker!! J

But what to do? 

Barry is easy to deal with…one steaming cup of sarcasm served alongside a warm slice of antagonism & he’s off & out the door!  First-born spawn however, is a different matter.  So I initially adopted the tried & true remedy of grossly exaggerating the possible outcomes of a scenario that only existed in her head.  For example when she was panicking about the possibility of there being a storm & heading for shelter (under the bed), I would chime in with, “yes, the cows will probably be blown away & our roof may well blow off (this worked until our neighbours roof actually did blow off, which really only made matters worse!).

The new tack I have taken does seem to be working & it goes a little like this, “if you keep panicking like this you’ll end up with wrinkles like me & look like an old softball mitt by the time you’re thirty”, (I say this whilst pointing to my face), & so far, so good, it seems to be working…& I’m off to get Botox injections!!

Barry, however, sad to say, has gone beyond the point of no return, & so I find myself regularly serving up those steaming mugs of sarcasm, with the occasional spoonful of cement & lament a time ‘BB’ (Before Barry), when breakfast was relaxing, I didn’t speak to kitchen appliances & no one threw toast, (although mum did throw a chicken once, but that’s for another time).

Ban the Botox

I have somehow hurt my bloody back & after blasting it with hot water in the shower this morning, in the vain hope that it would just miraculously get better, something occurred to me...maybe I'm getting old.  Can't be happening, especially since I don't believe in it!  So I dismissed the thought & went about my morning finding things to do in order to avoid the ironing.
Then, whilst attempting to load the dishwasher - in a stance that made me look like an old chook trying to squeeze out her daily egg (lest she get the chop!), the thought came back.  It would seem there's no way around it, maybe getting old isn't just up there with the tooth fairy (who I very much believed in until the ripe ole age of eleven...I think that's when the money dried up!).  
Anyway, it got me thinking about one very big fear I have (& have harbored for a good decade now), being that I bump into an old friend, or quell nightmare, ex boyfriend, & they don't recognize me, thanks to my bits & bobs rapidly heading south.  To be honest, when this fear first showed its ugly head I started showing my kids pictures of me in my 'younger days' (only an old person would use this expression...ugh), in a group & ask them to pick me I was in a line up for the ageing!  Thankfully they have always been able to pick far!
A couple of years ago, in order to halt my face from resembling the soft ball mitt it is rapidly becoming, I decided (after a not so subtle comment from the lady who (formerly) waxed my eyebrows), to try BOTOX, which flew in the face of all I believe in, (which mostly involves denial - not only effective, but free!).  So off I went armed with the ridiculous belief that I was to emerge ten years younger, & looking like Claudia Schiffer.  
The experience turned out to be a wonderful example of the difference between potential & reality.  
I potentially could have emerged as the first woman over 40 to appear in a Victoria's Secret catalogue, but in reality I left $400 lighter, with a very sore forehead; & to add insult to injury, no one bloody well noticed!
So a couple of months later, off I went again & like a MacDonald's junkie, I asked for them to 'super size me'.  My advice, never do this!  I emerged looking like a Basset hound & spent the next two months holding my eyebrows up every time I needed to read, or drive...or see anything.
So that's that, I grew my hair & can now put it up in a (little) ponytail & I pull that thing as tight as I can, & figure it must pull a couple of those babies back into place, & the rest can hide under my new fringe!  
I don't care what anyone says, forty is the new thirty, there is no such thing as getting old & anyone heard using the word cougar, should be shot on sight!
Think my back's feeling better now... :)

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Little Barry Special's Christmas Wish...

‘Little Barry Special’s Christmas Wish’  - 16th December, 2013

Dear Santa

I have been a very well behaved, hard working farmer this year & have just one thing I would like in my Santa stocking on Christmas morning…

A brand new wife!

Now I don’t mean to appear ungrateful, but my current one is really mean, disrespectful, pretty much over the hill & keeps writing stories about me.  I am even prepared to consider a trade-in to sweeten the deal.

My new wife should be very young & extremely hot, extraordinarily naïve & have a solid understanding of a woman’s place in the home, circa 1918.  She needs to be anally retentive when it comes to housework & never make fun of my sweeping...allow me to eat white bread (with every meal), & be ready & waiting at the door when I get home each night with a frosty Corona in one hand & chops & three veg in the other. 

I don’t particularly care where she comes from, as long as it’s not Victoria. 

She should have the IQ of a newt & never talk back, use sarcasm, roll her eyes, make obscene gestures behind my back or make fun of me.  In fact she doesn’t even have to speak English, as long as she laughs at my jokes, even though she may have heard them once or twice before (!), & understands the ‘international language’…of lurve!!

I would like her interests to include…vacuuming, ironing, cooking…for me, shooting parrots, taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn & watching me play hockey.

I would also be terribly grateful if she harboured an intense dislike for pets, especially Labradors, the Hawthorn Football team, Keith Urban & skiing.

She would never ever criticise my driving or make fun of my handyman skills & would rush to my defence should I make an uncharacteristic social faux pas, instead of just sitting back grinning, allowing me to dig an even bigger hole for myself. 

Under no circumstances would she ever refer to me as Mr Special or Barry & she would have no computer or typing skills, which may lead to unwanted story telling…in fact she should be illiterate!

She would bare me children that didn’t make mess, were cheap to maintain, never ate in the car, fight or speak unless spoken to…they could even be mute!

She should never use logic or reason should we ever have a disagreement, & park as far away from the supermarket as possible, so as not to sustain any dings on the car from run-away trolley’s or other car doors. 

Well, I think that’s about it Santa, as I said, I have been very good this year, & will be sure to have my stocking ready & waiting in anticipation of you feeling as sorry for me as I feel for myself!

Your friend

Little Peter Cowcher

From Barry, his mean wife & family of little (definitely not mute) Specials we wish

you all a safe, happy & wonderful

Festive Season & a healthy & prosperous New Year....

Mr Special Is...Barry Claus!!

Mr Special Is… ‘Barry Claus!’ 2nd December, 2013

In many a household at this time of the year, “ Tis the season to be jolly”, but for Barry & the household of, ‘Special’, we hear more “fa la la la laa’s”, than is really necessary, borderline uncouth & enough to make Santa glad that he lives at the other end of the earth, where he doesn’t have to hear about it…which is where I sometimes wish I lived!

Barry Claus, who, I suspect, would like to cancel Christmas altogether, simply because it interferes with a perfectly good work day, would be in a home for the ‘imaginarily insane’ if he were to actively embrace anything to do with Christmas that didn’t extend beyond eating yabbies & drinking beer.

I know I’m not alone…I can feel the collective nodding…

Curiously however, the Boxing Day test doesn’t seem to interfere with a perfectly good work day, so maybe instead of writing letters to Santa, we should all be encouraging our kids to send text messages to Warney…at least they’d receive an interesting, if not inappropriate, reply!

Please allow me to paint a brief Barry Claus ‘Ideal Christmas Scenario’ for you…

1.                  No living Christmas tree, they shed more than a dog….but if we HAVE to have a tree, I will go out into the woods & illegally chop one down (for free…free being the operative word!)
2.                  No parties, they just create work, are expensive & I haven’t got time.
3.                  No Christmas Carols, they are all lame…unless sung by Toto, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or me!
4.                  No fancy meal….we have yabbies, they are free…but I will somehow overlook the fact that they are being washed down by my ‘definitely-not-free’ Corona’s!
5.                  Christmas cards are a complete waste of time & money & should be banned
6.                  Absolutely no presents that require the use of an alan key, socket set or arrive in a flat pack…we once spent four hours on Christmas eve putting together a bike…& don’t ever mention the rabbit hutch!
7.                  If you REALLY feel the need to give a gift, wrapping it is a total waste of time – the bag it was given to you in IS the wrapping
8.                  Roast Turkey…really!  A tasteless, dry & overpriced Chicken on steroids…now Beef, that’s tasty &….again…free!!
9.                  Christmas afternoon should be spent….sleeping…
10.              & even though you’ve just spent a good part of the day asleep, be sure to get to bed early so as you are well rested & ready to sit in front of the tv all day watching cricket, eating yabbie sandwiches & complaining about the mess

Unfortunately for Mr Special his long suffering wife & children happen to love Christmas.   I come from a family that also loves Christmas & Barry nearly had a fit the first time he spent a Christmas with us all….for starters we had a real tree, that wasn’t stolen, ate a big extravagant lunch…which included turkey & ‘twas not a yabbie in sight!  Gave each other ‘wrapped’ presents, played Christmas carols, which I must admit were fairly horrendous…but that’s what you do & stayed awake all day.  I think he’s still getting over the experience!

So from all of us here in Barry Special’s world we wish you a very Merry Christmas, full of all the ‘Joys to the World’ & minimal ‘Fa la la la laa’s’…

Jen ox

Barry Special is - Mista Fashionista!!

Barry Special…Mista fashionista! 21 October, 2013

If the Twelfth Man was to do a spoof on Mr Special’s fashion favourites a la Richie Benaud styley, “the crème, the eggshell, the beige, the bone, the white, the off white”...Mr Special’s favourites would go down in history as the following...“the blue, the powder blue, the royal blue, the midnight blue & the 80’s chambray”, such is his penchant for ‘sporting the blues’… so much so that we can confidently quote the ‘Village People’, as he’s well & truly, “In the Navy!”
On a recent shopping ‘event’ in Perth, (‘tis an event as it’s something we both hate to do, & doing it together only makes the experience all the more arduous!), Mr Special was ‘let loose’ in Myer, $30 gift voucher in hand, & was on a mission to find a new article of clothing to add to his already ‘Imelda Marcos’ sized wardrobe.  Already being, ‘up to Pussy’s bow’, with our... ‘death by shopping’ experience, I decided to...accidentally, on purpose get lost & knowing that Mr Special would be fussing around for many an hour…went to visit the makeup counter on the next floor for some, ‘Botox in a bottle’!  Upon my return to the ‘Men’s section’, (Botox free, but sporting a very nice new perfume which differed remarkably to my usual scent of soap & sausage rolls!), I finally found Barry – after three goes up & down the escalator…us shorter types are often hard to find in big department stores, we tend to disappear behind the myriad of clothing racks, only adding to my dislike of clothes shopping – who had, draped over his forearms (as you may recall being one of his best assets!), a truckload of polo shirts in every colour of the rainbow, as long as that rainbow was blue…the powder blue, the royal blue…you get the picture...remember!!  After much persuasion &, many, “you’ve gotta be kidding me’s...”, ‘we’ decided on a very nice striped polo – navy & white….& being a ‘glass half full’ kinda gal, I saw it as a half a win!

Frugal Fashionista…

Often in family life, I feel we walk a fine line, & one particular line we seem to be constantly walking with Barry is that of, “At what point does frugal become feral?”…I ask you, pulling out old socks, jocks, pj’s & boxers from the bin (where I try to dispose of said items ‘gracefully’), to use as ‘rags’…Frugal or Feral?
I must admit that over the past ten years or so, I have purposefully hidden any bras destined for the bin, for fear of one day seeing them atop a cattle crate or auger, ’cause, “you can’t waste good wire!!”
The one time the ‘hiding of the smalls’, did back fire on me however, was a few year’s ago, when a trip to the tip was required, & unfortunately a pair of Barry’s, Homer Simpson boxer shorts, (which amazingly enough were not blue!), flew out of a rubbish bag on Carne Road on their way to the tip, (yes, I had hidden them…no elastic in the waist…not attractive!), ‘twas a mid-week tip run, & they landed smack bang, in the middle of the road – I saw them on my way home from town...giggled…& kept driving…& so did a certain neighbour…& much to Mr Special’s disgust…so did his mum!!  On his way home however…Barry stopped…picked them up & let it be said…was not happy!  Since then I have never disposed of another pair of Barry’s boxer shorts…so little elastic…so wrong… but I am a woman of my word!!

Fail Fashionista…

And so in closing…you may think me harsh…but please stay with me for one more minute while I recount last summer’s, ‘Dilemma of the Thong’…!

If you found, after a day spent with family at Rockingham beach, (the home of the ‘byo sofa & trolley on the sand’ on Australia Day), a pair of, perfectly good, sadly abandoned thongs…size 8, (as it turns out, just Barry’s size), lying in the sand…looking lonely & sad, would you:

a/ walk away, thinking…”papilloma, foot fungus…wrong”!

b/ “hmm…just my size, nothing wrong with pre-loved – potential find...hang on...the ball & chain is watching...might make it into the next Williams news...act disinterested & walk can always come back later”!   Or/

c/ “fabulous opportunity…free thongs…one man’s loss is another farmer’s gain” – pick them up & continue on your merry way, very proud of your latest find!

I leave you with this unfortunately very real quandary...Frugal...or just terribly Feral??