Retail therapy and sunny skies

So today I was feeling kinda wrecked – I was out and about all day yesterday taking Mum to her GP and the chemist, then doing a fruit and veg shop in 25 minutes because I had to get to a GP for my own appointment for the compulsory biannual scrapage (I’m covering bases here – no breast cancer and here’s hoping no cervical either) then picking up Felix, then Oscar, then Jasper and breastfeeding a baby in there somewhere who was getting pretty darn cranky about being in a car seat all day long.

It was also my first Friday with the two littlies for a few weeks as my MIL has very graciously had Jasper for a few.

It would be a big fat lie if I didn’t say I was having a mild anxiety attack about it – that J wouldn’t go down for a sleep, the Toot-toot tantrums, that G might repeat his performance of last Friday and so on.

So I decided to bite the bullet and go to the Mighty Mall. Yes folks, it’s taken 8 weeks but I finally braved the MM on my own. I had to bite it pretty quickly as I knew I’d chicken out if I gave myself more than a milisecond.

I bought myself a kicky (and very cheap) pair of green flats from Target, two t-shirts and two pairs of shorts for Chef (for Father’s Day), (cheap) boardshorts for Oscar and Felix and a Thomas the effing Tank Engine hat for Jasper which was the only one there and without a price tag (I found the nearest similar one – a Bog the Builder one which was $17 which I thought was outrageous but considering I haven’t bought o.n.e. piece of clothing for Jasper since he was 6 months, such is the magnitude of handmedowns I have from friends for him I was willing to pay it – but the checkout chick said not to worry as there was a code on the tag, which she entered and low it came to cast me the princely sum of $4).

Then I was meeting up with J, who needed to find an outfit to wear to Icebergs tomorrow night. She’s a size 8. I caught my reflection in Portmans. Let it never be spoken of again.

But on the way to seeing her I bumped into two friends – the first who used to live next door to us when we lived in a flat and we only had Oscar. Our kids used to play and we’d just open our front doors and they’d just move between the two units. Life was so simple then. Even more broke than now in reality but you know, memories are like moonbeams. The other used to own her own restaurant with another woman and they parted ways when breeding began and being a chef and a mum is a pretty tough beat. She now occasionally works with Chef when he’s a ‘man’ down so to speak. Then, when we were in Portmans which I know I said was not to be spoken of again but has to be for this part of the story, I bumped into my GP. Who yesterday was down there scraping out my fanny and checking my piles. She was all very gracious but really, I know if I was her I’d be laughing long and hard on the inside about the appalling self-administered bikini defoliation I’d attempted beforehand. And of course about the ‘roids as well, as nothing beats a butt joke.

SO. After J was finished trying on clothing in sizes that might fit my ankles and bemoaning how frumpy she felt, she shouted me lunch. So all was forgiven. But I still only ordered a salad.

Still with me? Then it was on to Medicare. For those not in the land who call their fawcets taps, this is the place you go to get some money back from the Government for medical expenses you’ve incurred. For example, the government thinks a GP appointment should cost something like $28, but in Sydney at least you won’t find a GP appointment for under about $56. So you take your receipt to Medicare and they pay you the difference. I know, I don’t get it either, but they gave me some of the $192 I spent getting the boobs photographed so they could tell me the old workhorses are fine, just worn out. Oh, and there’s fatty tissue in my lymph nodes as well, as if the fat everywhere else on me wasn’t enough. It was like the time the obstetrician commented on just how much scar tissue I had ‘down there’ and that it resembled a war zone as she stitched me up after Jasper, as if I needed another area of my body to have a complex about, let alone a complex about my muff. I digress. To complicate matters, there are some things you claim at Medicare and some you claim with your private health insurer. I have never ever been into Medicare and not heard some old biddy say, ‘but they (as in her private health fund) told me I had to claim it with you (as in Medicare)’. Infact, if I didn’t hear it I think I’d feel short changed. So, I go in, they have a new fancy system of getting a ticket now, like at the RTA, rather than you all standing in a long snaking line looking bored, tired and increasingly irritable (cue multiple checking of the watch). I got my ticket – A039. I look up. They’re called A012. I didn’t leave because I needed the cash. They kinda catch you like that.

So after that I go into Satan’s Den JB Hi-Fi. I can not being to tell you how much I hate this shop. From the hideous yellow and black logo to the hand-written advertisements. To the complete assault on your body it carries out. I swear to God they are playing different music at eleventy gagillion decibels in every single aisle and not one of them is Beethoven. There are vast bins of bargain DVD box-sets of Buffy and Elvis movies. The fact such ‘bins’ exist makes me come over all hot and my neck itch. The only thing going for this place is the order they have on the shelves – by genre, by alphabet and so on. I like that. I try and find a quiet place with that but generally am jolted back to the reality of the hell I’m in by Christina Aguilera, Linkin Park or Korn. And I mutter under my breath why can’t they play something that is at least acoustic. I got a box set of a series on TV Chef always wants to watch but is always working when it’s on, another effing Thomas DVD (which caused the most God-almighty tantrum in Jasper as he wanted to watch it on the great plasma screen of his imagination immediately and to my amusement his crying stressed out the shop assistant even though I could feel my kidneys vibrating due to some wanker guy looking at sub-woofers for his widow-maker Subaru WRX) and, as payment for my efforts, the latest Pink CD. I listened to it on full bore, singing the occasional phrase I knew loud and clear, all the way home. Somehow I don’t imagine Pink’s target audience is a fat mother of four boys, but there you have it.

By then it was time to come home, off load, breastfeed and then back in the car to pick up the kids from school.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, tonight I used the potato ricer.

I know. I live completely and utterly on the edge.

Oh, and it was the most glorious day of sunshine and onshore breezes.

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