Archive | August, 2010

Why I don’t negotiate and a spot of flooding

30 Aug

We picked up the new car last Saturday and most impressive of all, I drove it home all by myself, and didn’t cause any major traffic incidents! Awesome!

After signing on the dotted line and handing over the required bank cheque, Ry finally felt it safe enough to leave me in the company of the saleswoman. Within seconds, I ruined any chance of us getting another good deal from her.

Me: Well, this is the last weekend we have for ages where we could both come to pick up the car.

Her: *quizzical look and silence that I have a paranoid need to fill*

Me: Ry does shift work.

Her: Shift work? Really? *intense stare* That’s exciting, what’s he do?

Me: Oh he works at Nepean hospital.

Her: Reeeeeeaaaaaally? He a doctor?

Me: Yeah.

Her: *mental file open, add dollar sign, close file, and smile* Well make sure you come back when you need your next car now, won’t you.

Me: *….sh*t.*

This all took place in seconds – mere seconds – before I was even aware we were having a conversation. And this is exactly why I kept my mouth shut through much of the conversation that’s been going on for the past week or so. Because, given an opening, I’ll give my entire life history to a complete stranger without thinking anything of it.

Luckily, we’re not thinking about buying another car for at least another ten years because a) this purchase was traumatic enough and b) I am totally in love with my first ever set of wheels. It helps that the car is gorgeous, smells all nice and new, and has this nifty way of getting me to wherever I want to go without requiring me to write a detailed map and strategy of where I want to go that I then have to submit to the transport gods, who chuckle at my human frailness and ensure that only the most convoluted, time-consuming route will be an option.

Ah. Freedom.

Anyway, after taking The Boy out for a Sunday spin where I tried not to emasculate him with my driving prowess; we arrived home to The Flood of 2010. Not quite as bad as The Flood of 2008, where we had to rip up the entire bathroom and have it completely resealed in an effort to avoid any future floods, but close. There was water dripping through the kitchen light again, which makes me think that either the workmen who cleaned up The Flood of 2008 were a bit sloppy, or we have a major plumbing problem. Either way, we’re screwed.

So we did what any completely responsible 20-somethings would do. We turned off the mains and hoped that it would go away. Then we called a plumber, feigned ignorance, and hoped that he would make it go away. Then we thought about selling the house, quickly, but soon realised that we’d probably have to sort the whole plumbing problem out first since now whenever you turn a tap on the whole house shakes and emits this terribly painful moaning sound that goes on for ages, scares the hell out of guests when they flush, and probably has the neighbours wondering just when they should call the police.

After all that excitement – the car, the flood, the cleaning up after Milo because he’s decided using his litter tray in the laundry where all the weird noises comes from is now way too scary – I have a headache. Which I have convinced myself is actually due to my impending ovulation. Which is, in turn, making it very hard to sit still here at work when all I want to do is race home and make some babies. Because that’s what hormones and a steady relationship does to you. Makes you crazy.

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A lot of nothing

26 Aug

I’m in a funk. The Boy and I are walking on eggshells around each other after a rather pathetic argument over how to spell ‘a lot’. Ridiculous, I know. But when you live with someone who makes words their living, and that someone tells you ‘a lot’ is two words, not one, then it might be prudent to listen.

But for whatever reason The Boy insists on continuing to spell ‘a lot’ as one word. Sometimes he puts in two ‘l’s if he’s really trying to push my buttons. He claims that he’s not doing it to antagonise me and truly, I don’t really give a shit how he decides to portray himself, as long as he’s not deliberately trying to get a rise out of me.

Anyway, whatever. This argument – as with most arguments involving a female – has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I don’t even know what it’s about. I just feel flat. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m coming down from the honeymoon high. Maybe it’s because the damn cat kept me up all night last night acting adorable and chasing himself in the mirror. Maybe it’s because of any number of reasons that just pile up because I don’t want to say anything in case it looks like I’m unhappy when I’m not. Maybe it’s because sometimes shit just gets too hard to explain.

In an effort to escape my funk, I’m going out tonight with some lady friends to enjoy some of the world’s best dumplings* and an avocado juice. Sounds awful, I know, but don’t knock it til you try it. Hopefully after that, and a good couple of hours on the train reading my new book, I’ll be feeling a bit better. Let’s just hope The Boy feels the same.

*The restaurants claim, not mine. Though I have to say it’s probably true.

Another eventful week

24 Aug

So it’s been another eventful week in the Snaith household.

Our new member of the family, Milo, is settling in nicely and has just been microchipped and vaccinated. Apparently the sweet little bugger was purring on the vet’s table he’s that amiable. Bet he won’t be doing that when we take him back to get his balls chopped off.

Sure, I’m biased, but I think what we have here is one perfect little kitty. He’s a friendly little guy, a bit wary of new people at first, but quick to play or entertain himself climbing up Ry’s leg or flying through the blinds. All very cute while he’s under a kilo, but probably not so much as he gets bigger. Still, he is loved, and the only offspring we have at the moment so is enjoying the full effects of being the number one priority around the house for now!

To top off this picture of domesticity, we bought that new car I’ve been talking about. It’s pretty pimped out;  a black Holden Cruze with tinted windows and one of those Tom Tom navigators (thanks Alex and Clare!) that’s supposed to help me find my way home when I finally get up the courage to drive more than a block out of our neighbourhood.
While I’m thrilled about having a new car – I think I get to pick it up on Saturday – I was not so impressed about the whole buying-of-the-car process. Always quick to back the underdog, I’d gone in prepared to actually like car salesmen. I was sure that the prevailing stereotype was wrong and that these poor souls were battling uphill against a tide of occupational hatred. The Boy warned me otherwise, but since when do I ever listen to him.

The Boy was right.

Now, I’m sure we got the arse end of car salesmen when we met Joe*. Joe was a jerk right from the very start. He didn’t take us seriously, had that sleazy look of someone who was trying to rip you off, and then he tried to rip us off. And then, out of nowhere, he actually started yelling at us, telling us we were immoral, disloyal, and completely without ethics when we asked for his ‘best price’ – which turned out to be $600 more than what he quoted us over the phone. Following that little episode he kicked us out of his dealership, mid tantrum, and it was all I could do not to launch myself at him and slap the stupid, slime-ball smirk off his face.

Anyway, luckily for us we finally found a nice car salesperson – a lovely lady called Nenny – who got us the car we wanted, for the price we wanted, and was absolutely pleasant throughout the transaction (something I didn’t think would be too hard but apparently for the majority of car salesmen out there it’s almost impossible).

And in slightly related news, now that I have a car I find it highly amusing that a new study has just come out showing that driving does actually make you fat. Awesome. Because I totally need a helping hand down that path now that I’m trundling down that slipper slope towards my 30’s.

*His real name

All growed up

20 Aug

It just hit me this afternoon that I’m all grown up.

It’s been a pretty big year for me. I travelled the world with my beloved. I finished my degree and I graduated. I set up my own freelancing business and I started a new job. I got my driver’s licence. I got a kitten. And I married the man of my dreams. I didn’t move out of home, turn 30 or have a baby, but let me tell you those things aren’t too far around the corner either.

When you sit down and think about it, which I just did, it’s a hell of a lot to deal with in the space of 12 short months. And now it’s all over it feels like a lot. I’m tired. Bone tired. But also pretty impressed. If that’s what I can do in a year when I really set my mind to it, life sure is going to be pretty interesting.

Top five from the week that was

20 Aug

And the news from this week…

1. I’m not pregnant. Again. Didn’t think I was, but you know, hope never dies. As The Boy keeps reminding me though, this was the first month we’d really, really tried. Before? That was all just practice. Now we mean business.

2. Cloud nine is coming back down to Earth after the whole wedding and honeymoon hoopla. On the one hand, I’m glad. I like our ordinary life and I’m real happy to have it back. On the other, nothing matches the excitement of your own wedding. If only I could remember more of it. I’m sure some photos could jog my memory but I’ve been told it can be up to two months to see any of those. Please don’t let it be so!

3. The Boy and I have been suffering from one of those gross, lingering colds that brings with it snotty noses, watery eyes and a rather disturbing hacking cough that is no doubt driving my workmates insane. About the only thing that’s broken up the monotony of said cold is a bout of gastro. Always a highlight. Combine those two with getting your period when you wanted to be pregnant (or just getting your period, period) and you can imagine how I feel right now.

4. I got a kitten! We’ve called him Milo which is all very well and good while he’s small, but I fear when he gets bigger – and judging by the amount he eats he’s going to – he’s going to look more like a Bruce. Anyway, Milo is a tiny, beyond cute little Tabby with white socks. He’s in love with his reflection and is only just starting to purr, especially in the early mornings when I come downstairs and replenish his food bowl.

5. I’m getting a new car tomorrow! Now I can drive and all, I’m being rewarded with a car of my own to love and cherish and take me places. I’m still terrified of driving, especially by myself, but am over the moon about all the things I can do now I have my own set of wheels. Like drive to the markets early on Saturday (except for the traffic, I’m too scared to drive in it. Slight problem). Or like going on a road trip to the coast. Or any number of other fun things that I’ll do once I can drive without stopping in the middle of the road every time I see oncoming traffic.

A rather unmotivated weekend

16 Aug

Ahhh yes. The weekend. Oh glorious two days of adventure and freedom. Spring in the air, nothing to do, nowhere to go, nobody to see. The world yours to do with what you will.

Cue boredom. Or maybe not so much boredom as complete and utter lack of motivation.

The weekend past was the first weekend I’ve had to myself in, like, forever. I had nothing on my plate and my body quickly realised that since there was nothing pressing it had to do, the only thing it wanted to do was sleep. How utterly disappointing. I couldn’t even motivate my mind enough to blog and believe me, I tried. All it wanted to do was sit on the sofa with the white noise switched on while my poor, battered, highly un-pregnant body tried to recover from, what? Too many wine and cheese plates? Too much fun skiing? Being married? Because let me tell you, all of that has worked out fine and dandy and I couldn’t be happier, aside from the funk that Audrey Niffenger’s latest novel has plunged me into.

I did manage to bake a cake – oh banana cake, my old favourite! Come here, you – and make up a batch of quite nice chai tea, and watch the new Astro Boy movie, but that was about the extent of it. I even took a three-hour nap on Sunday and had dinner made for me by my new mother-in-law. And yet I still turn up to work today dog-tired for absolutely no reason.

Tonight, however, should prove interesting. It’s my first ever solo drive in a car. I’m going to be in a car, behind the wheel, on my own tonight which is terrifying enough for me let alone anyone brave (stupid) enough to be on the street. I’m really hoping I make it home OK. Partly because we all know that horrible things happen to newlyweds so I am rather tempting fate here by doing something even remotely dangerous, and partly because I hardly think trashing my new mother-in-law’s car is going to be a good start to my marriage either.

Handsome…and he can cook!

11 Aug

So I’m getting dinner made for me tonight. I’m hoping this is one of those that’ll-change-when-you-get-married things that people have been warning me about. Does this mean he’ll soon understand me even when I’m a pre-menstrual illogical and over-emotional mess? That he’ll remember to take the trash out and keep the toilet seat down? That I’ll come home one day and the house will look like we hired a housekeeper?

To be fair, The Boy is excellent at cooking dinner, and doing most of those other things (except the cleaning part… though I do have him making the bed now), since that’s largely what we’ve argued about when I’ve been a pre-menstrual illogical and over-emotional mess over the past few years. And who says negative reinforcement doesn’t work?

Anyway, I’m excited. Even more excited since I got a message with a picture of dinner in progress attached. It looks good. It looks like it involves leek and gnocchi. It looks like the kitchen will withstand the hurricane of chef Ryan. I tell you, the flirting of a married couple is so much sexier… photos of food sent to me at work? Yeah, baby.

The ski bunnies come home

11 Aug

Maybe not quite. But I did go skiing for the first time last week while we were honeymooning in New Zealand and I loved it. While I’m pretty sure I could be a contender at the next Winter Olympics, perhaps for some African nation – a small one that doesn’t get snow and is largely unheard of and unpopulated – the bruises up and down my legs seem to discredit my ability. But I had a blast and one thing for sure, The Boy certainly broadens my horizons. Scuba, skiing, eggplants, blue cheese – all new things that I would previously have balked at but now find particularly enjoyable.

Anyway, I’m back from said honeymoon which was more than delightful, and back at work with a raging cold that is threatening to infect the rest of my rather small office. Finally, a downside to my new and otherwise perfect job; if you happen to have a cold, and happen to drag it into the office, everyone knows who dunnit. There’s no blaming that new person in that cubicle by the back door – if you’re the only one sniffling then the next one to hang their head dejectedly at their office desk while trying to sniff back some sordid green stuff is going to have it in for you.

However, I can say that the process of getting this particular cold was exceptionally pleasant. I don’t care that I got it from making out with my new husband (husband!) on the ski slopes of Queenstown’s Coronet Peak. Nor do I care that I let it get worse while we were exploring the black sands at Gillespie’s beach, or gasping our way through a 90 minute hike in driving icy rains and tearing winds at Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers. And for those of you who are going to be all like ‘What? You went all that way and didn’t see Milford sound? Are you crazy?’; yes, yes we are crazy. Crazy enough to not get up at 4am for a 14 hour bus ride to see some mountains plunge into the sea while freezing our asses off but to rather stay in bed, cuddled up next to a wood fire, enjoying some serious snuggle time.

But couldn’t we have done that at home and saved a couple of thousand dollars? You bet. But then, I didn’t want to be the sucker organising room service.

And so we are married

1 Aug

Husband and wife. I have a husband. This is going to take some getting used to.

What I’m used to, is having a partner. A boyfriend. A significant other. Not a fiance, I never quite got used to that; I’m not one for fluffed up words and calling The Boy my fiance just seemed a bit awkward, like we were playing grown-ups. Husband, on the other hand, is definitely grown up. While part of me still feels like a gangly 16-year-old with way too much attitude and not enough of much else, some small part is pretty chuffed to have scored itself a husband. Way to go, kid. Who would have thought you’d ever see that fairy tale pan out?

As for the day itself, I don’t remember much. I remember being nervous. Waves of nausea. Shaking so badly that most of the time while standing at the altar I was trying to talk myself into remaining upright while worrying about The Boy who was, by this point, looking more pale, clammy and teary than I was. And then it was over. We were married. People were smiling. I had gracefully refrained from vomiting in the Church and had some vague notion of having accomplished something quite huge and life changing that only required me to stutter through a couple of words that were slowly read out to me. The Boy looked happy so it was time for smiles, more smiles, and an exhausting but exciting day of seeing everyone I loved in one place, at one time, ready to tell horribly embarrassing stories about me while I wasn’t looking.

Now, lolling about in the sunshine of my first day of marriage, I kind of wish I could do it all over again. Watching Ry standing there, waiting for me, with this look of incomprehensible pleasure and adoration on his face. It’s a special moment, for sure. Aside from those first two weeks when we were alive with the shock and surprise of living together some three years ago, I don’t expect I’ll get that look often. It’s not a bad thing, partly because that look would be exhausting day in day out, especially when my hair is a mess, I have a coldsore, or am in one of my moods where I like to sit and stew over some imaginary indifference until I have convinced myself that we need to talk. It’d be pretty hard to believe that anyone could adore those moments. But mostly it’s because it’s been instantly replaced by something even more comforting; that you-and-me smile we share every day.

So yes, I’m looking forward to marriage. It feels very same-same, but different. I guess that’s what happens when you live together beforehand. But hey, at least I know what to expect. When the toilet seat is left up after three years of co-habitation you tend to just shrug, smile, and remember to bring it up in some unrelated, future argument.