Alice Shaw

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

No, I Don’t Want to Sleep with your Husband

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 at 4:09 am

I have never considered myself much of a vamp or seductress.  On the days I am not racing through drop off and tearing off to work, late as always, I schlep up to the school in jeans and a t-shirt, jumper and boots in the winter, thongs in the summer.  I barely register anyone else around me, as I sort once again through lost property in search of a long lost school jumper and question my daughter, once again, on why she needs to bring every one of her books to school, making her bag so heavy I can barely lift it.  So this is my least sexy time.  My hair is brushed, my teeth are clean and that is about it.

 So what is it about me that prompts certain school mums to assume that I want to have sex with their husbands?  I dread to think that it is merely my single mother status that sends them scurrying about, grabbing their husband’s arms with vice like grips, and even literally turning their backs to me.  I am not even kidding.  This has actually happened to me. 

 I recently attended at a picnic to farewell one of my child’s class mates.  I’ve never liked the mother, she’s always been decidedly unfriendly and I’m pretty sure my kid has hardly ever played with her kid.  My kid just wanted to hang out with her friends on a weekend.  So I gritted my teeth and along I went.  In a big baggy cardigan and no makeup, I sat on my own picnic rug and said hello politely to each new arrival, but not once did I bend over and seductively wave my somewhat ample derriere in the face of an unsuspecting husband.  I waited for the various snacks to be passed around and refrained from leaning over any nearby husband to brush my buxom bosom against his innocently placed arm.  I just sat there!  And yet, even though I tried to have conversations with those around me, the husbands acted really strangely and I am pretty sure it wasn’t due to any broccoli in teeth type situation.  I think it’s because their wives were giving me (and them) the hairy eyeball every time I so much as glanced in the direction of any bloke there.

 I’m sorry they’re so insecure in their marriages that they assume their husbands will stray.  I’m sorry that being in the proximity of a divorced woman scares them so much they assume my siren song will be so seductive that their husbands will be powerless against it.  I understand feeling a little insecure from time to time but newsflash, divorce isn’t catching, it won’t rub off me onto you!

 So here’s the thing.  I don’t sleep with other women’s husbands or partners.  I don’t want to.  Most of the time they are not very attractive and a lot of them are either arrogant, or stupid, or both.  But the main reason I don’t want to sleep with their husbands?  Because they’re already married!  Just because I am single, does not mean I have every man in my sights and I am definitely not interested in a man who would cheat on his wife.  Okay?

 My suggestion for any woman who panics like this?  Maybe have a chat with your guy about how you are feeling.  Perhaps even consider some couples counselling. And maybe strike up a conversation with me sometime.  You will see how completely non-predatory I am and you may even make a new friend.  Seems to me like you might need one.

Desperate Measures

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

What is it that Mick Fox actually wants?  He purports to be protesting against Community Services (DoCs) but he doesn’t say why.  He states that all children have the right to a loving mother and a loving father, and he’s right, but he doesn’t say why he felt he had to bring the Harbour Bridge to a standstill in order to get this message across.  He talks about his “situation” but he doesn’t actually say what his situation is.  In his interview with 60 Minutes tonight he stated that his actions would definitely get him closer to his children.  The children the court has banned him from contacting, based on his actions last Friday. 

 Mick speaks passionately about broken families and he is clearly distressed over the end of his marriage and that he is apparently not being given access to his children.  But what is he actually trying to achieve? 

 There were many people who supported Mick.  “Good on ya mate” did the rounds and many people spoke out about how hard it is for dads who don’t get a “fair go”.  But what do we know about Mick?  He apparently served in the military but the Australian Defence Force has not confirmed this.  He is apparently a witness to a murder which involved bikie gang connections and the house that he owned, recently burned to the ground with his ex-wife and one child inside.  This is pretty much all we know.  Apart from the odd friend who called into various media outlets to confirm Mick’s “good bloke” status, we don’t know anything.

 We don’t know why his marriage ended and why he isn’t getting access to his kids.  We don’t know whether there is Community Services involvement, and if there is, we don’t know why.  Did Mick call Community Services believing his children were in danger or did his ex wife call them, concerned about Mick?  We don’t know why he took to the Harbour Bridge, leaving a threatening note in his truck, to further his cause.  There are always two sides to any story and yet there has been complete silence from the other side involved.  Sometimes, this silence speaks volumes.

 Whilst he may have become a hero for some, speaking out in desperation for the children he is now legally restrained from seeing, I would argue that there is something deeper going on.  Mick seems to absolutely believe he did the right thing, he seems to believe his protest will change the lives of children, his or someone else’s.  Sadly for Mick, he seems to completely lack insight into the fact that the only change he has made, is to his detriment.

 I support peaceful protest, I believe in the rights of children.  But I do not believe that pulling a dangerous stunt, disrupting a city, endangering the lives of people on the bridge and making threats, is a constructive use of a person’s time.  Letters to editors, protests on line, engaging advocates, fighting the legal system – these may be arduous tasks but they are a safer, less threatening way to get your message cross.

Love Thy Neighbour

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2011 at 1:01 am

I have been really lucky throughout my adulthood, to have had very good luck with neighbours.  I’ve had the ones I’ve become close friends with, I’ve had friendly and quiet neighbours and I’ve had neighbours who look after the cat and take in the mail whilst I’ve been on holidays.

I currently have a wonderfully supportive neighbour on one side, with kids similar ages to mine, and an obsession with magazines which means my obsession won’t send me broke just yet.  But on the other side I’ve had a succession of fright stories over the years.  I always make an effort to welcome them to the street, introduce myself, and offer the proverbial “cup of sugar” should they ever need it.  I am yet to have a handsome, single man move in but I live in hope! 

First I had the Irish backpackers who’s favourite word was “feck”.  Everything was “feckin'” this and “feckin'” that and “would you feck off” and it got old very quickly.  Especially at 5am.  I once swooned at an Irish accent.  Believe me when I tell you that “Harriet the Horrible” ended all that!  The late night parties, the grass that grew so high it began to climb over the fence, the endless smoking and shouting.  For the life of me I cannot understand why they rented in outer suburbia.  I mean, isn’t that why we have Bondi?

Next I had Ms Social Climber and her boyfriend, then fiance, then husband, Dr Fabulous.  Ms Social Climber became Mrs “my husband’s a doctor” in a clearly goal oriented attack which saw her married and with child within a year of living here.  Dr Fabulous was okay but he seemed to have a faint look of distaste whenever I saw him.  When I invited them over for drinks with some friends of mine, Ms SC swiftly took over the conversation and peppered it with racist remarks about her time living in Redfern.  This did not go down well with me or my other guests.  She was obviously very keen to have children herself and decided that she would practice with mine .  Without my permission.  I quickly put an end to that.  Eventually we barely said hello in the street but she would suddenly become my best friend again if she had something to brag about.  Huge engagement ring, lavish wedding to doctor, buying great big McMansion somewhere posh.   I was relieved one Saturday morning to see a huge moving truck parked in front of their house.

My current neighbour is in a very similar situation to me, except she’s fantastically more glamorous than I am, being South American and gorgeous.  We speak from time to time but it’s clear she isn’t into being friends with neighbours.  And boy is she noisy!  The first night she moved in, her boyfriend stayed over and they were clearly celebrating the move.  Loudly.  And more than once.  This is not something I want to listen to.  The next morning when they were enjoying a post coital breakfast on the balcony I introduced myself and made references to the thinness of the walls – and the fact that we share a bedroom wall….

Alas this has all fallen on deaf ears.. and they aren’t mine unfortunately.  I’ve been woken by screaming fights, door slamming that has actually rattled my windows and of course, the inevitable making up.   I have no voyeuristic intentions but I suppose I can say I am impressed by their stamina.

I’m not perfect I’ll concede that point.  I sometimes don’t mow the lawn for weeks and the children and I have become adept at communicating by shouting from one end of the house to the other.  But I will take your bin in if you want me to and if you need that cup of sugar, you need only come over and knock on my door.