At the homeopath today, Felix was asked “when are you the most happy or what would make you the happiest?”.

His reply, “not living with my mum and dad.” Incredulous, the homeopath prompted him again – and he replied exactly.the.same.

It cost me 90 bucks to hear this.

She assured me he must feel so safe and comfortable in his life to be able to say this.

I want it noted that it was said at FIVE and will be reminded as such when he is THIRTY and

My hand is up

Does almost peeing my pants reading your post make me eligible to attend? At this point in my life, I would seriously consider doing almost anything for $60.

Lets start a list. If 35-65 is a new demon-graphic that allows companies to blanket market adult nappies to, what else is there?

Bec, you could have unwittingly tapped into a whole new streamlined marketing coup – think of the savings for all those hard-done-by advertisers:
- adult nappies
- arthritis aids for kitchen utensils (is there one for the mini-tap on the cask?)

Urinary Incontinence for Fun and Profit

Once upon a time I used to get invited to market research for wine
coolers and chip packaging; then it was for baby care products, but NOW look what they send me!!!

It’s finally happened. I AM A CRONE.

Hello from Ekas Group Discussions and Select Opinion Leaders,

We are currently looking for women aged between 35 and 65 years, who
purchase incontinence products.
The groups are to be held either in the day 10.30am or evening at 6pm in
Sydney on Tues 12th and Wed 13th July and will last for 1.5 hours.

You will receive $60 for your participation.

Please feel free to pass this information to family or friends who may
be interested in participating in this group discussion project.

Please call Sally on 02 9976 7409 or reply to this email with your
daytime and evening phone contact numbers.

Thank you,
Maureen Howard
Ekas marketing research services.

NOTE: if you wish to Opt-out of our email market research system ,
simply reply to this email and specify OPTOUT in the subject line

Sadly, I confess I briefly considered pretending I bought incontinence products just to get the $60. Deciding that was too meretricious even for me, I instead fired off an email saying that as a 37 year old I was horrified to know there even was a demographic covering 35-65.

I don’t expect a reply, but I’m on a roll now so let’s examine this in a bit more detail.

Firstly, why 35-65? I can deal with 35-39, I will grit my teeth and tick a box for 35-45, but I see absolutely no reason to tolerate being lumped into the shallow end of a 30 year grouping like this. Could it be that urinary incontinence makes equals of us all? Sorry. I think not.

Incontinence in your 30s can either be the relatively healthy by-product of a recent bout of childbirth, spending so long getting your three children to use the public toilet in the shopping centre that the sound of running taps while number 1 washes her hands becomes unbearable while you’re still helping number 3 wipe his bottom, or, even healthier, being so pissed that you think you’re in the toilet with your pants down when in fact you’re in the ATM cubicle with an accident that you’ll endearingly think you can cover by jumping the bar and sitting in the overflow tray.

Incontinence in your 50s and 60s, however, is clearly the result of not enough yoga (refer to early Glamorouse posts) and too much tea. ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MARKETS.

And another thing – why stop at 65? Incontinence certainly won’t. Do they only want employed people who wet themselves? Well it doesn’t say so in the email, does it? Do they only want people with some hope of regaining muscular control before dotage really sets in? Given the chance that this group is being called to better market incontinence products to existing customers, that seems unlikely too. Although if the purpose of this group is to test out the efficiency of those weird egg shaped things they have in my doctor’s office that work like an exercise machine inside your fanny, it could be a very interesting focus group and I wonder if they sell the videos to fetishists?

Which brings me to my final point on this matter – which is that EVEN if I did use incontinence products – which I don’t, thanks to the divinely protective powers of the elective caesarean plus yoga, of course – and even if I were not grotesquely bent out of shape by being lumped into the 35-65 DEMON-GRAPHIC – I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS GO TO A FOCUS GROUP AND CHAT ABOUT MY ADULT NAPPIES FOR A LOUSY SIXTY BUCKS.

So there. I guess I do have some outrage left, after all.


My library books are always late, too

I’m so with you on the To Kill A Mockingbird, always linked with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in my mind, probably because of the crucial role of big, slow blokes in both. Or maybe just because they both feature birds in their titles. Also great movies for each, but not comparable to the impact of the books.

Grapes of Wrath and Cry the Beloved Country are also linked in my mind for their extraordinary structure and pathos. And unlike the above books, where the story lines are paramount, the films for Grapes and Wrath and Cry the Beloved Country could never come close to transmitting the power of Steinbeck’s or Paton’s prose.

For a rich childhood, I don’t think you can go past C.S. Lewis’ seven Narnia books, nor, at about 12 or 13, The Lord of the Rings.

The kids are waking up and my mind is starting to wander now, so I’m just thinking about books I’ve enjoyed and read over and over (like Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale) and books I’ve been obsessed with for a while (like anything by or about Rebecca West or VirginiaWoolf or even Karen Blixen in my late teens and early 20s earlyfeminismwassomuchbetterdressedthan70swomenslibbers phase). I still love Return of the Soldier and Night and Day and of course A Room of One’s Own (I wish!) – but don’t think I could go back to Seven Gothic Tales – maybe when I’m a grumphy old lady with time to wade through difficult prose…

One more addition in the Books The Made Me Wish I Could Write Like That list: William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive (and probably Idoru, too). Given that these days my brain just can’t deal with much more than speculative fiction, I still get a kick out of this description of Ratz the bartender, with his ex-Russian military issue metal arm, being described thus:
“His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it.”

Children are now demanding food, husband is providing, dirty looks are starting to come my way; the world has moved on since I started writing this and I need to move with it. Out, out of the library, and back to the kitchen…


Today is Library Day

Considering today is Library day, here are my thoughts on such things in terms of favourite books and/or authors of all time…well, as it stands this week:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
As even though I read Jane Eyre in primary school, this book opened my eyes to beautiful writing, a world of prejudice we still live in, and a display of relationships that were complex, deep and intensely moving. I still harbour dreams of calling our daughter Scout… if we ever had a daughter that is.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The form and structure just blew me away. Again, a benchmark book in terms of opening my eyes to remarkable writing, awesome themes and powerful narrative voices.
The Collector by John FowlesOh my goodness. I read this when I was in year 9 I think and it scared the living crap out of me. That and confirmed my love of all things dark and psychotic.

Anything – as in any of his books – by Chuck Palahnuik
But I particularly love Choke, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. This guy is a genius of contemporary fiction.

Anything by Tom Robbins
In particular Skinny Legs and All – he writes sentences that make you swoon, on ideas that make your head hurt. Again, just showed me a sophisticated writing style to strive for. He also said:

A “perfect” sentence, if there is such a thing, ought to be both vivid and mysterious, lucid and unpredictable. Whether it shakes out like a bedsheet or rumbles like a locomotive, its cadence ought to reverberate in the mind’s ear with an unavoidable rhythm. Whether its images are designed to kiss the reader or spit in the reader’s face, they must be fresh as new violets down by the hog creek, and they should be psychically charged. The sentence’s philosophical and psychological meaning ought to spread in ever-widening ripples, like an echo circle. And, ideally, when the subject meets the verb, the verb ought to yell out, “surprise!” I don’t know if I’ve ever written a perfect sentence. It doesn’t matter. It’s the pursuit of the perfect sentence that’s the reward.

Other books worthy of a mention that I can actually recall:
The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
The Lovely Bones – Anne Sebold
The Kelly Gang – Peter Carey

I am also LOVING Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – a guide to writing and life. Its quirky, funny and very good at keeping it real. I loike it, I loike it a lot.

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