Celebrate Your Girlfronds Please

Recently my sister-in-law gave birth for the first time, and I was accordingly introduced to the world of judgement that mothers have placed on them in every single aspect of motherhood – from how you decide to deliver, to how you choose to feed, sleep, clothe and entertain your baby. My poor sis-in-law (let’s just call her “Lisa”) was not only sleep-deprived and new to parenting, she was also having to expend energy worrying about what she was doing, due to the myriad of conflicting and judgmental advice flying around the internet, hospital and anywhere that mothers with 2c may lurk. Luckily she has a great bunch of friends who were real and assuring with her about their experiences, but not every new mother gets to have the kind of support network that “Lisa” has.

I was feeling pretty aghast at the bullshit that new mothers get judged on when it also hit me: the judgement starts far before motherhood. As women, our very choice as to whether or not to have children is judged and held up for public opinion at every turn. And it sucks to say this, but the perpetrators are often other women.
As a single 31 year old female, I have been constantly encouraged “not to worry – for I will meet someone to have children with soon!” I’m really pissed off about this. Why? Because literally everyone who knows me should know me well enough to know that I have stated since I was ca. 12 years old that I did not have any maternal instincts. Many people would patronisingly tell me that I would change my mind when I was older – and this is still happening to this very day.

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To be fair, it would be a very lucky baby.

I am so incredibly fucking insulted by this, in ways that I can’t even express.
Who the hell are people to insinuate that I don’t have intelligent agency on my own decisions?
What the actual fuck is wrong with wanting to be childfree?
We don’t live in an age of marginalised population – far from it. We could do with a heck of a lot less people on this planet, and I’m more than happy to refrain from adding to the current population clusterfuck that is pillaging all of our natural resources. Not to mention that I’d much rather take my $250,000 and my free time and spend it on travel, 3D art gadgets, designer furniture, low-purity Australian-grade cocaine, bibles and literally anything other than raising a child.
I have considered telling people that I have some kind of horrible illness that prevents me from having children, just to make them think twice about the invasively judgmental words that come out of their mouths – but in doing that, I would be further perpetuating the notion that women who don’t have children are only that way because they medically can’t. And I’m not even going to waste my breath talking about the injustice of safe abortions not being free and available to every woman on this planet.

So why, in 2016, are women that choose not to have children still considered inherently faulty and suspicious? I promise you; we’re not. (I’ll tell you what actually is suspicious though; chicken nibbles. The ratio of labour-intensive “nibbling” to projected meat payload is a grim travesty indeed. Who is making money from this betrayal? Who is laughing all the way to the bank at your fervent insistence that the nibbling is worth it? We’ll discuss this issue in depth another time.)
I’m finding that the reason feminism still has a long way to go is because there is too much goddamn in-house bickering.
TLDR: Live and let live. Before you go around judging what other people are doing, try shutting the hell up and living your own life. To the womenfolk out there, you are doing a sound job – whether you have kids, don’t have kids, go travelling without your kid, are out of work, don’t breastfeed, co-sleep, go back to uni, work a lame job to get by, work a high pressure job, put your child in daycare, or watch Buzzy Bee in your PJs with (or without) a baby all day. We only get one life and very few people on this planet are incapable of deciding their own way to navigate it. You’re all great, you’re all wonderful and we all have so much exciting stuff ahead of us. Is it not the biggest waste of our beautiful minds to focus so intently on irrelevant shit!? We’re better than that. Call your girlfrans and tell them how rad they are.

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See what we can accomplish when we lift each other up? We could wear pineapples on our heads and everything.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drunk Me Is The Poor Man’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Today I decided that I was going to give up drinking – for real (this is not a drill).

Anyone who knows me, the eternal party girl, will be aware that this is going to be a pretty massive change of pace for me. Although I’ve tried to cut down a few times in the past, placing certain limitations on myself (“never at home alone/only once a week/only classy booze that doesn’t come in a cardboard box”), I’ve failed spectacularly every time. Why? Because I have zero willpower and poor self-negotiation skills – so I have to do it cold turkey, or it’s just not going to happen at all. Drinking is a really difficult thing for me to give up, considering I am a product of Dunedin and thus grew up with a comfortable acclimatisation to the binge-drinking normality of teen and student life here. And as a party-loving adult who is child-free, I have never really had a good enough reason to be responsible or stop drinking – not to mention it’s fun as fuck, and I don’t have a problem!

Do I?

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Well, yeah actually – I totally do. Over the last couple of years I have been drinking by myself at home all the time because “why not?” – and frankly, “why not?” isn’t a good enough reason to drink (or do many things, for that matter). I started with the notion that I could get some decent artwork done after a few drinks, which always resulted in me being completely hammered, whilst my easel sat in the corner collecting dust. Alcohol lends me no productivity or creative motivation whatsoever, and it’s immature and futile to keep pretending it does. I can’t even fool myself into thinking that alcohol is a way to unwind or relax at the end of a stressful or busy day, because I am hands-down the least stressed and/or busy person that I know.

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You might remember me from such movies as “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die” and “Gladys The Groovy Mule.”

My sister and I recently started using the MyFitnessPal app, and it’s opened my eyes to exactly how much of my energy consumption is solely alcohol, or junk food consumed due to drinking. On days that I don’t drink, I struggle to even eat two thirds of my daily energy needs. On days that I drink, however, the alcohol puts me over by almost double, and on days after drinking I eat nothing but junk – no wonder my weight shot up when I started flatting and drinking beer by the crate! Drinking also saps all motivation or energy to do other things, so many past endeavours have ended up on the backburner while I continued to prioritise getting fucked up. These days however, I have lofty concrete goals that I want to achieve, and being drunk all the time is not going to make those things happen – especially considering they are of the academic and fitness variety. Simply put; I can no longer coast through life being drunk all the time when the expectations I am placing on myself are far more complex than “shower, get dressed and get to your easy job selling dildos”.

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(…. as satisfying as that was).

Thankfully I’ve always been a fairly happy drunk, so my alcohol consumption hasn’t resulted in any estrangement of friends or family, but I’m sure that it hasn’t done me any favours, either – I routinely arrive at family events already pissed, and I’m pretty sure nobody expects much better from me after so many years of being like this. I’ve also come to the realisation that I lack self confidence so badly, that in order to go on dates with dudes, I have to be almost legless before I even meet up with them (let alone doing anything else with them). How is that any way to be a human? The lame truth is that I have way more stuff to deal with before I can really be with anybody, and continuing to drink is not going to solve those issues for me. I guess the major thing that worries me is that without alcohol, I’ll have to actually be my sober self all the time, which may result in withdrawing from social situations due to a fear that people won’t like me, and (sob) never getting laid again.

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Much like the wearer of this ensemble, who is almost definitely an “up the bum no babies, love” type operator.

As I started writing this blog post, I did a shout-out on Facebook asking others who have ever given up drinking to give me their insights on why and how they did it, and suddenly all sorts of cray bitches came out of the woodwork – people I didn’t even know were sober! Sobriety (something that I had always assumed was reserved for only the cripplingly religious and the painstakingly boring) as it turns out, has become increasingly common in my peer group. Many of these people had decided to give up for health reasons, to improve fitness, or to just undo many years of increased alcohol tolerance. Due to the binge-drinking culture of the 90s-00s, we were all coming of age at a time where a bottle of Kristov vodka split between two fourteen year old girls was as commonplace as an expired condom in a boy racer’s wallet.
A number of mates have quit drinking for reasons similar to me – they realised that they were unable to stop at one drink, or hid behind being drunk, and decided that this probably meant they had a problem. Some had given up after seeing the adverse effects drinking was having on loved ones (ie turning them into total cunts), while others were trying to increase fertility/had gotten pregnant. But mainly, most of us just got sick of being the poor man’s version of ourselves, much like when Dante’s Peak just casually decided to cast Jeremy Foley in the Joseph Gordon-Levitt role, thinking we wouldn’t notice.
But we did notice.

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EVERYONE NOTICED.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt or not, I am overdue to sort my shit out – and what better place to do it than Dunedin, where the clubs are full of 17 year olds, the drugs are non-existent/awful quality sold at an astronomical mark-up, and the parties for 31 year olds are scarce? Henceforth, I can be found at the library, in my bedroom, or at the library, and in all cases, sober. If you see me, don’t offer me a drink. Cheers.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxxoxo

Valuable Lessons From My Mum

Let’s begin this with a shout out to Lynne, who gave birth to me at age 27. The story of my birth is as thus: I was actually planned (whereas apparently my older brother was, to put it politely, “unexpected”). Mum and Dad were living in a big rambling 2-storey brick house in Mornington, given to them by Dad’s parents, because back then, houses cost 6 shillings and a tuppence or some shit. It was the last night of summer in that big old draughty house when Mum felt the familiar feeling of having pissed herself – evidence that Chelleshockk was on the way into this world. Dad went downstairs to get the car out of the garage, while Mum took it upon herself to walk down the concrete flight of stairs to meet the car, with me in her tummy and a barely 2 year-old Brad in her arms.
Because it was Dunedin in the 1980s, of course Mum fell down those harsh concrete stairs and landed on her tummy, while Brad went sprawling out of her arms onto the concrete below. Dad got her straight to Queen Mary hospital (which was the maternity joint back in those days) and Mum was rushed straight into the scanner to check that I was going to be okay. It’s always been a joke between myself and my parents that I was, indeed, dropped on my head as a baby.
Mum would often say that when she turned up to the hospital, her and Dad were given some Looks because she was preggo as fuck and both her and Brad were all scraped up and bleeding!
I was born ca. 6am the very next day – as Dunedin welcomed in the first Autumn of 1985, Chelleshockk was also thrust upon this once-safe, sleepy little town.

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I’ve always loved my bikkies.

The point of this post is not to tell long winyarnin’ tales of my birth, it’s just that I’m really drunk and I like to write tales of wist and detail when I’m all fucked up. The original point of this post is to share with you some of the best advice that I have ever received from my beautiful mother, Lynette Anne Fitzgerald (nee Askerud). The idea came to me about 20 minutes ago while drunk in the shower washing my face, so here it is:

1. “Your face starts at your hairline and ends at your boobs, so when you cleanse/tone/moisturise, you should be covering that entire region.” When I was 12 years old, I was given a Johnson&Johnson Clean & Clear skincare pack (cleanser, toner and moisturiser) at Christmas and I have kept up some semblance of that routine ever since (except that I never take my makeup off before bed because I’m often too fucked up to bother).

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Which is how a 30 year old ends up with this skin. #humblebrag.

2. “Girls can do anything that boys can do (except pee standing up)!”
Well I beg to differ on the “peeing standing up” thing Lynne, but otherwise, I’m happy about this advice.

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LOL, back when I used to embrace being olive-skinned.

3. “We don’t care how well you do as long as you always try your best.” While I’m sure literally every decent parent has at one point said this to their kids, it’s nonetheless an important and popular turn-of-phrase for a reason. Unfortunately for me, I was actually capable of great things if I tried my best, and I quit doing that after intermediate school – so I can understand my mum’s disappointment when I didn’t “apply myself” in high school. However, her advice has stuck with me and I have adapted it to align with my current ideals – if you do your best and your intentions come from a good place, then nothing and nobody can ever truly diss you with reason. Remember that; it’s a great code of conduct to live by.

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What a Betty!

4. “You’ve gotta put your body on the line for the ball.”
Mum played soccer and also coached my older brother’s junior league soccer teams. I ended up playing soccer in my high school years, even though I was straight, and I always remember my mum coaching both my brother and I in the backyard with our soccer skills. Lynne was really adamant that you need to put your body on the line for the ball as a goalkeeper (Brad was the goalie for Otago and I was also goalie for some of my soccer years) because she knew the score. This translates to anything in life really, and echoes some of the common ideas floating around: If you want something bad enough, you put everything on the line to achieve it. No pain, no gain. A small sacrifice for a large goal is worth it, etc. Good shit, cheers Mum!

5. “Save Every Cent”.
OK, while she didn’t actually say this exact line, saving money was definitely Mum’s bae. Thank god it was, though, otherwise Brad and I would never have been given all the opportunities to play any sports we wanted, nor been taken on multiple incredible family holidays! So although saving is boring, I can’t fault Mum for wandering around Pak’n’Save with a pencil stub and grocery list, carefully adding up all the items in the cart to ensure she remained within her budget. Although I didn’t learn the lesson of budgeting until much later in life, Mum was the one who laid the foundations of this incredibly valuable mindset for me!

6. “Thou shalt lift every weight and wear all the white eyeshadow that thou can get thy hands on”.

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Goes without saying, really.

Cheers for everything Mum!
Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxox

 

 

……. Adulting?

Recently I started freaking out that maybe I was missing out on some vital parts of being a capable adult, and I initiated a mission to find out what those were so that I could feel like I was “doing it right” and whatnot.
I purchased for myself a book entitled “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” by Kelly Williams Brown. 15791144

This book left me confused because I am either all over it (Step 256: Don’t put tacos in your purse), or am never going to be all over it (Step 140: Make your social media presence as bland as possible). I decided that I would write about what I personally do as a bare minimum to being an adult, which is pretty much how I skate by, a.k.a. fooling people into thinking that you are more “together” than you actually are.

  • Keep your house looking tidy and clean. Note the keyword here, “looking”. If your shit is all put away nicely and you have done the dishes and wiped the counters, then congratulations – people will assume you are a clean and tidy motherfucker.
  • Do laundry at least once a week. When you are bumming around home, just wear the same maxi dress/pyjama pants all the time so that less of your shit needs to be washed all the time.
  • Learn how to make one dish that is kind of impressive. If you’re smart you can get away with something that involves more food prep than actual cooking, because fuck watching an oven all day when you could be getting slowly toasted while listening to Sugababes and Spice Girls. My go-to is Thai beef salad, it’s light, easy and pretty much only involves lots of vege chopping and 3 mins of steak cooking.

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    It was also the meatiest “salad” I could find.

  • If you’re a female and want to appear “well-groomed”, find 2 go-to shades of lipstick – one for everyday/work wear and one for going out. Get a nice pair of sunglasses that match everything and don’t look like they came from Kuta. Brush your hair daily. Congratulations, you are now polished as fuck. Enjoy your afternoon at Matisse.

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    I’ll see you there!

  • If you’re a dude, STOP WEARING FUCKING SNEANS (running shoes with jeans). No elaboration on this is necessary and if you don’t understand why, then welcome to a lifetime of never getting laid and not understanding why.

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    Vaginas become glaciers when accosted by sneans.

  • Do your best to stay out of debt, and if you are in debt, do your best to get out of there quickly. Ideally the only debts you want to be dealing with are the unavoidable ones like a student loan or mortgage. Being in debt is literally just you throwing a third of your money down the drain because “interest rates”.
  • Stop using your parents as an ATM, you are now an adult and should not be relying on them for a damn thing. In fact, you should now be in a situation where you can do a little something for them. Pay for the meal next time you go out. It’s a small gesture but it really cements that relationship as a mature one where you are no longer a child that needs managing.
  • Try to have some savings – even if it’s only like $10 a week, after a year this can come in handy for small emergencies like busted car tyres or dental issues.
  • Stop gossiping and bitching about friends. What sort of a shit cunt are you? Think about this seriously. You only get one life, don’t be a judgmental person that expects other people to live their lives according to your set of values/expectations. Just live and let live and if you are constantly bitching about friends, then take a long hard look at your inner happiness (or lack thereof) in the mirror.
  • Keep a folder full of nice greeting cards for all sorts of occasions, so that if you want to make someone’s day a little bit nicer , or have an unexpected event to attend, you have something good up your sleeve. I’ve been hoarding cards for years and I love giving them to people.

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    This design gets a lot of mileage.

  • Get a diary! Not like a diary where you write about wishing your tits would grow or your first period would happen, but one of those “daily planner” diaries. I recommend 1 page per day. Even if you don’t have much of a “schedule” to keep, this serves as an awesome “to-do” list and social planner. Diaries help you not be that shit flaky friend that “never remembers” social occasions.
  • Stop flaking or “forgetting” social events. People go to a lot of effort to host parties and whatnot, and if you RSVP “maybe” when you have been given heaps of notice or just don’t show up, or bail with “sickness” an hour beforehand then this is just rude. Also, your excuse is definitely obvious and thinly-veiled and the host knows this. You ain’t foolin’ nobody! If you know you won’t go, just say no from the get-go! Simple. This is something that I’ve really had to work on myself – I’m a terrible flaker.
  • Disregard all the above. Your life = your rules. As if I have the right to tell anybody else how to be a successful adult!!

Love, Chelle – who is really not much of an adult at all!

 

Socially Terrible Yet Probably Quite Effective Parenting Tips From Someone That Hasn’t Got Any Kids.

1. If your child doesn’t want to go to bed, instead of telling them that it’s bedtime and they have to go to bed “because I said so”, why not give them a full explanation of why they need to go to bed? Explain calmly and scientifically how the human body works and how it needs sleep to function. Not only will they respond to being spoken to like a real person, but you’ll probably bore the little fucker to sleep at the same time. Win/Win.

Billions and billions of sleep.

Billions and billions of sleep.

2. If your child can’t stop wetting the bed, cut some MDMA into their night-time milk. Not only will they love you soooooo much, they won’t be able to piss for hours, due to the fact that MDMA releases anti-diuretic hormone! Side effects may include request for Barney night light to be replaced with a strobe. Everybody’s happy, though.

Other side effects may include bush doofing and meth-induced "spirituality" at said doof.

Other side effects may include bush doofing and meth-induced “spirituality” at said doof.

3. Tantrums in public can be solved with a barking collar, thought you may want to hide it under a scarf so that nobody glares at your “tough love” approach to parenting.

Happy as Larry.

Happy as Larry.

4. If your child is concerned about monsters under the bed, I would suggest that you make some hollow papier mache monsters and place them under the bed, so that you can encourage your child to beat the piss out of them, and then whenever they check under their bed, all they will see from then on are some pathetic mangled pieces of shit, that they laid the old 1-2 on back in the day. This will boost their confidence no end.

5. If your child won’t eat their dinner, don’t make them. A hungry child will eventually eat whatever you give it, and the odd skipped meal is nothing in comparison to the agonising hours of trying to force-feed a child that probably isn’t hungry. I’m sure they don’t expend that much energy sitting in a carseat or a pram all day, so it won’t kill them to miss a few dinners. Let the child listen to their bodies and eat when they are hungry – or let them graze at a bowl of food when they feel like it, like a cat.

Like so.

6. If you don’t want your child eating McDonald’s or getting sucked into the marketing traps that McDonald’s set for children, show them Stephen King’s It and explain that Ronald McDonald is actually Pennywise The Clown. Let them know that if they eat McDonald’s more than X(insert your preference here) times per year, Ronald McDonald, a.k.a. Pennywise, will come out of their Happy Meal and drag them down into the drains forevermore.

Imagine Tim Curry in your Happy Meal.

Imagine Tim Curry in your Happy Meal.

7. If your child is having trouble with bullies at school and the usual resolution avenues are providing no results, give them a fiddy of weed to plant in said bully’s desk, and tell them to complain to a teacher that the bully tried to sell them drugs. That oughta get the little jerk expelled.

Welp! Good luck with your parenting, I hope my surefire tips will help many a frazzled parent out there in this fast-paced 90s world.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxox