Tuesday, June 13, 2006

You are Cordially Invited...

Then strangely, I received an invitation to my school reunion. Why strange? Because my school was in Johannesburg, South Africa and the location for the reunion was Sydney, Australia. Twenty minutes from my house. Even stranger, 800 people had registered to attend. An entire ghetto of South African Jews.

By ghetto I mean group of white middle class people called Kevin and Rolene.

The headmaster, a frightening man who once called me an anarchist, was flying over to attend the event. Being an anarchist, I’ve never been to a reunion before. In the life I had before I became a rampant procreator, I wrote an episode of TV about a reunion. One of the characters was reluctant to go to hers because it drudged up memories of her past as a teenage strumpet. Another was nervous to see the teacher she’d had an affair with. A third was anxious she’d be seen as a non-achieving loser when compared to her high school nemesis, a teen-queen who had fulfilled her promise of being the girl most likely. Yes, it was a tad soapy and yes it was based on my own teenage experiences (except I was a wannabe strumpet rather than a bona-fide one. I kept dating decent guys who refused to take advantage of me no matter how much I encouraged them). The experience of writing the episode convinced me that no good could come from revisiting one’s past at a school reunion. School ended sixteen years ago for me. In another continent, in another life. Why would I want to meet up with people who knew me in the eighties, when I thought big hair was, like, bodacious?

But, bugger me with a broomstick, I couldn’t get myself to throw out the invitation. I stuck it on the side of my fridge and thought of a hundred reasons not to go.

Reason number one: I am very fat now. Having twins is no excuse. I’ve put on more weight since they were born than I did the whole pregnancy. Seriously.
Why reason number one is silly: I was no bikini model at high school. The bonus of always having been tubby is that no one expects you to be thin. I’m portly. Large. Chunky. Was in high school. (Which, now that I think of it, is maybe why my dates were all so ‘decent’ when it came to nookie).

Reason number two: I’m tired. It’s cold. There’s a Big Brother eviction on TV. Please leave me alone.
I don’t need to point out the reason why number two is lame.

Reason number three. The real reason: I’m unemployed. I haven’t worked in a year and a half. Yes, I’ve had three children in that time but a more focussed person would have been able to knock out a great script or two on the side, wouldn’t they? At school people expected me to do great things. I was an achiever. I had endless potential. I was going to be a doctor, a lawyer, a lawyer who doctors things. I was definitely going to be a published novelist. What no-one, least of all myself, expected was that I’d become a fat housewife who sits at home changing endless nappies and reading “What to Expect when You’re Expecting”. Particularly when the book I should be reading is “What to Expect when your Life gets Sucked from You by Three Sweet yet Vampiric Entities who Spew and Shit on You but for Whom you’d Lie in Front of a Train”.

People constantly ask me when I’m going to get back to work. The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t even know what work I’m going back to. Every TV gig I’ve ever had is so totally full-on full-time full-load that I can’t imagine how I would balance that with three small kidlings. Who would look after them? Plus, I can’t remember what I care about anymore. I think I used to be passionate about social injustice. Either that or chicken casserole recipes. I forget which.

So the invitation stared at me. And I practiced telling people that what I “am” is a stay-at-home mom. And in a moment of abandon I dared myself to RSVP and pay for my ticket.

And just like that, I flung myself like a flubberous lemming into the sea of my past.

Stay tuned to find out if I drowned. . .

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Is this the real life?

Am writing this in the spare ten seconds I have between feeding, burping, settling, changing, playing then starting again. It's been relentless, to understate the point. We've lost our part-time nanny (she had to leave with no notice) so I've been doing it alone for a couple of weeks while desperately interviewing other nannies, a couple of whom let us down at the last minute. All very dull yet exhausting. So... would love to write more but just need to get this nanny fandango sorted, train a new person, get more than three hours sleep a night (I kid you not) stop wearing dirty tracksuit pants and catch my breath. Am hoping this will happen before 2007. If I haven't posted in a month, come in with industrial strength deodorant and fish me out of this mess!