Monday, October 24, 2011
"Why can't you empty the bins when they are full?" I ask.
"Why can't you tell me when the bins are full?" Boyfriend replies.
"How can you not tell when the bins are full?" I say raising my voice slightly.
"I can't be an expert on everything," Boyfriend counters.
"If you're resorting to putting rubbish on top of the bin. Then it's full," I yell.
"Sometimes my hands are too full. I can't open the bins," Boyfriend says.
I give him the 'look'. "You don't need hands to open the lid. That's why there's a foot pedal!"
"Well...why can't you empty the bins then?"
"It's not my job!" I yell waving the broom in my hands around like a mad woman.
"Since when is it my job?"
"Since I nominated you on the list."
"What list?" Boyfriend yells.
I point to the list on the fridge. Boyfriend glances at it briefly. It is his turn to give me the 'look'.
"I do most of the chores around here," I say.
Boyfriend huffs and roll his eyes. Before he can say anything else, I decide to make a quick exit lest I give in temptation and resort to violence. I sit on the porch steps and sulk instead.
A few minutes later Boyfriend follows me outside.
"Watcha doin'?" he asks contritely giving me a slight nudge with his foot.
I glare at him. "Sitting alone listening to silence," I mutter. For emphasis I use the broom handle to push him away.
Boyfriend tempts fate and my patience. He hands me a folded piece of paper before walking away whistling, rubbish bags in hand. I unfold the paper. It is my list. On it Boyfriend has written 'I AGREE TO DO ALL THE CHORES ASKED OF ME'.
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Friday, October 21, 2011
"Relax babe, everything will be okay," Boyfriend tells me reaching for my hand.
"Easy for you to say. Your parents are normal."
Boyfriend laughs. "How bad could they be?"
Eight hours later we arrive at my parents house. Boyfriend heads for the front door.
"No, not that way," I tell him. "Everyone will be in the backyard."
I open the back gate.
"Dad, what are doing?" I yell.
"Trimming the tree," Dad replies.
"It's not your tree. It's the neighbour's."
"It's in my backyard."
"One small branch only! You've practically cut their peach tree down," I yell.
"I'm pruning it," Dad says calmly watching me jump up and down.
"What's all that fuss," Mum yells from the kitchen window.
I huff and throw my hands up in the air in defeat. I turn to the kitchen window. Dad acknowledges Boyfriend's presence with a nod and resumes his pruning.
"Goodness. We weren't expecting you so early. Are you hungry?" Mum shouts back from somewhere in the house. A few seconds later she is in the backyard. She gives me a brief hug. She sees Dad.
"What on earth are you doing?" she asks Dad.
Dad grunts in reply.
Mum grabs the hose and turns it on Dad.
"Hey!" he shouts.
"Go inside and get cleaned up. The kids will all be here soon."
Without missing a beat Mum turns to Boyfriend and gives him a hug.
"Welcome to the family," she says.
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Monday, October 17, 2011
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Boyfriend asks for a status report, "Am I going to have to turn soon?"
I look at the map. I turn it upside down. I trace random streets with my finger.
"Um, what road are we on?"
Boyfriend huffs in exasperation. He glances quickly at the map in my hands. He points to a road on the map.
"We are here," he says redirecting my finger.
Ten minutes later, we are lost.
"Let's just turn down the street and pull over," I tell Boyfriend.
"Just tell me how close we are to Main Road."
"I don't know how close we are," I say through gritted teeth.
"Look on the map," Boyfriend huffs.
"I don't know where we are on the map," I yell.
A few minutes later Boyfriend pulls into a service station. He takes the map from my hands. He looks it over for a few seconds before handing it back to me.
"We're actually not that far from our destination," he tells me. "I'm going to get something to drink. Do you want anything?" he asks getting out of the car.
"No thanks," I say sulkily.
Boyfriend walks into the store. I sit in the car. I huff at the window. My warm breath fogs up a little patch on the window. With my finger I draw Boyfriend. Next to him I draw the dog house. YOU ARE HERE. I write above it.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011
Boyfriend, Dog and I move to Adelaide. It is afternoon. We decide to take Dog for a walk around the neighbourhood. Dog is very excited. He sniffs and marks his territory every few metres. He pulls on his leash and drags us forward. I wonder who is walking whom.
We walk around the block, then cross the road to explore another street. Dog sniffs and wees. I am amazed at how much wee the little bugger can produce. We come to a house with a low front fence. Dog sniffs and wees. The Alsatian inside the house takes umbrage at this and barks aggressively. Boyfriend and I try to lead Dog away. Dog ignores us. He continues to sniff the fence. Alsatian crashes through the front door of the house and races to the fence. For a brief moment I think the Alsation will leap over the fence and attack Dog. Alsation stops at the gate and barks aggresively at Dog. Dog lifts his leg and wees on the Alsatian’s head. Dog is proud of himself. Boyfriend and I are mortified. He moves on to the next house.
Friday, October 14, 2011
"Hi," I say. "What's up?"
"I'm getting a transfer. Work is sending me to Melbourne. Guess what buddy. We're going to be neighbours again."
Just when I thought life was getting back to normal.
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Friday, October 7, 2011
"Stop," Boyfriend warns pointing ahead of him. "Don't move."
My eyes follow where he is pointing. It is a red belly black snake. I start to panic. I ignore his warning and start to run. The snake follows me. I look for a tree to climb. I'm out of luck. We're in scrubland.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
"I've got something for you," Boyfriend calls from the hallway. He walks into the lounge and hands me a postal tube. Dog eyes the package wistfully. I open the parcel and pull out a piece of paper. It is my university degree. I hold it up for Boyfriend and Dog to see. Dog sniffs the degree.
"Let's take a photo and send it to your parents."
"To prove that I that I really did graduate." I add.
Dog tries to lick the piece of paper. I hold it out of his reach.
"You didn't give them a chance to go to your graduation," Boyfriend says.
"I didn't even go."
"You should have. I would have liked to have gone. After all, it did take you ten years to even commit to one darn course."
I give Boyfriend the 'look'. Dog gives Boyfriend a look. Boyfriend gives Dog a pat. Dog is temporarily appeased.
"You are so anti-establishment," Boyfriend says.
I inspect the degree. I wave it around. It flutters through the air. Dog's eyes follow it's movements. His tail thumps on the the ground. He starts to drool.
"It's kind of flimsy isn't it?" I say.
Boyfriend raises his eyebrows.
"I mean, the piece of paper it is printed on. I was expecting something..." I pause, searching for the right words.
"...more substantial. It's kind of anti-climatic."
I roll my degree and re-pack it in the tube and walk to the bedroom. Dog follows me into the room. I place the tube on the bedside table. I walk back to the kitchen. In the bedroom Dog thumps around noisily. He is trying to get our attention. We ignore him.
"What do you want for dinner?" I ask, opening cupboard doors.
"Why don't I take you out to celebrate instead?"
"Okay," I reply eagerly. Any excuse to get out of cooking.
Dog re-enters the kitchen, dragging the tube with him. Gaining our full attention at last, he promptly sits down and begins to chew enthusiastically. Four years of jumping hurdles, clashing with lecturers, fudging lab results and not to mention the stress of deadlines and exams, now reduced to a dog toy.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
"There's a dead lizard in your driveway. It's really ugly and it's got no legs," Housemate informs us as he enters the house.
Boyfriend raises his eyebrows. We all go outside to investigate.
"That's not a lizard you idiot. It's a snake," Boyfriend tells him.
"Oh," Housemate says sheepishly. Then adds, "well the rabbits around here look like mutants."
Boyfriend raises his eyebrows again.
"They've got massive legs like they're on steroids. And their ears are really big and long," Housemate continues.
"That's because they're not rabbits, they're hares."
In winter it snows. On the second day, Boyfriend comes home from work. He finds Housemate in his room, curtains drawn, heater on full blast.
"It's been really cold," Housemate says.
"That's because it's been snowing for two days," Boyfriend informs him.
"Yeah right," Housemate laughs.
"I'm not kidding. Haven't you gone outside at all or even looked outside your window?" Boyfriend asks, parting the curtains.
"Holy shit!" Housemate says. "My car's all covered in snow."
Sunday, October 2, 2011
"Tonight I want some time to myself," he informs me.
"Okay. You going to play WoW again?" I ask.
"Yeah, I need to relax."
I raise my eyebrows in response.
"Is that why you scream at the computer all the time?"
"It's how I relax," he says poking his tongue out. "I really need some 'me' time," he adds.
"You know you could have gone to the doctor's yourself."
"I wanted to spend some time with you today."
I raise my eyebrows again. Sometimes I wonder if we're speaking the same language.
The waiter returns with our order. I look down at the hot chocolate placed in front of me and wonder what possessed me to order it. I take a cautious sip and push the mug towards Boyfriend. Boyfriend is not impressed.
"You know you don't like hot chocolate. Why do you keep on ordering it?"
"I felt like it," I reply. "One of these days I'll finish one."
"One of these days, you'll realise it's a hopeless cause," Boyfriend mutters.
"They're always too sweet or too milky," I say in my defence.
"That's how they're supposed to be. It's HOT CHOCOLATE," Boyfriend says.
Boyfriend sighs and passes me his cup of tea. I take a sip and smile beautifically up at him.
"We work well as a team," I say.
"Go team," he mutters, taking a sip of hot chocolate.
"It may or may not look like mug. If you're lucky it'll have a handle. If not, then it'll be a mug posing as a bowl."
"You can take it to work," I add.
Boyfriend looks pointedly at the pre-school-like construction of a 'bowl' sitting on the dining table. I had made it a few weeks previously in pottery class.
A week later I'm regretting my announcement. My attempts at throwing a 'giant' mug had resulted in two vases and three unrecognisable shapes. I decide that my talents may be in moulding instead. I choose a suitable mould. Half an hour later, I realise that moulding isn't my thing. But I persevere and manage to churn one out by the end of the night.
Another week passes. There is now a tiny crack at the bottom of the handle-less mug. I ignore it and wish for the best. I decide that it needs a special touch. Something that shouts 'remember me?'. I dip my hands in the jade green underglaze and wrap it around the mug, leaving two large imprints.
"That's a great idea," one of the other students tell me.
"It's a present for my boyfriend," I say. "This way he'll always have me around him." I chuckle wickedly.
Two more weeks pass and the mug is finally finished. Except now the crack has become a small hole. Undeterred I bring it home and present it to Boyfriend.
"How am I supposed to drink from it," he asks, inspecting the hole.
"You don't. It's not a mug," I inform him. "It's a plant pot."
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Boyfriend is sitting transfixed in front of the t.v. Every now and then he lets out a laugh, beating his thighs in hilarity . I interrupt him mid laugh.
“I just called the hospital and they said I should come in asap, my water's broken”.
“What? But I’m not ready,” Boyfriend yelps before leaping into the action. “I’m not ready,” he continually mutters as he rushes around the house trying to get organised.
“When did this all happen?” he yells from deep inside the wardrobe.
“Oh, about 6 this morning.”
“What? But it’s 10.30 now! Why didn’t you tell me?”
I activate my selective hearing and say instead, “Don’t forget to feed the animals. I’m just going to hang out the laundry.”
Half an hour later, we both pile into the car. As we leave we see some of his staff working beside the road. Boyfriend stops the car and calls out the window, “Kate!”
“I’m having a baby,” I remind him. “Now is not the time to stop and have a chat.”
He waves to his crew, “The baby is coming.”
I give him ‘the look’, which he conveniently ignores. He starts to whistle. I reign in my violent impulses, after all we’re having a baby. There WILL be plenty of opportunities later on.
We’re sitting in the assessment room. “I’m hungry. Can you run down to the cafe and get me something,” I ask Boyfriend.
Boyfriend looks at me.
“What? I’m going to need fuel to push out the baby.”
“Okay, what do you want?”
“Are you sure?” Boyfriend gives me the look again.
“Yep, anything. I’m so hungry I can chew my own arse at the moment.”
Fifteen minutes later he comes back and hands me a meat pie. I take a bite. I remember now that I hate meat pies. Boyfriend is watching me. I drown it in tomato sauce and take another bite. I hunt around for more sauce. I find another packet hidden at the bottom of the paper bag. I kill the thing with more sauce. Boyfriend is still watching me. I smile at him. The midwife comes in. I put the pie down and happily submit to being poked and prodded for the next half hour. We move to the labour ward.
Six hours later and still nothing. Boyfriend is downstairs waiting for his pizza delivery. He reappears , pizza box in hand. “Do you want some?”
“No thanks,” I reply.
“Are you sure, its Mediterranean lamb, yum yum.”
“Here we go again,” I mutter, as another wave of contraction sweeps over me.
“You okay babe?”
“Yeah.” I inhale sharply.
Boyfriend inhales the rest of the pizza.
It’s 11 pm. The obstetrician comes in. She pokes and prods me. “I think we need to look at the possibility of a caesarean section,” she tells us. “We can try for another two hours, but I honestly don’t think you’ll progress any further.”
I look at Boyfriend. He squeezes my hand. “It’s up to you babe,” he tells me gently.
I turn to the doctor, “Okay.”
At twenty past midnight, we finally meet our new daughter. She is gorgeous. I say a quick goodbye as they wheel me into the Recovery Ward. Forty-five minutes later I’m reunited with my new family. I finally get to hold her. We snuggle together in bed. Exhausted, Boyfriend bunkers down on the floor beside us.
An hour later it starts. At first I’m confused. What is that horrible smell? I turn to Boyfriend. He is fast asleep with a smile on his face. He lets out another loud fart. The smile gets wider. I recognise the smell now, its Boyfriend’s fart with a Mediterranean lamb pizza twist. I try not to inhale....too much.
It’s morning, and the stink is still in the air. I call out to Boyfriend. He farts in response. Half an hour later the midwife walks in. She pauses briefly and sniffs the air. We wake Boyfriend. They both help turn me. The smell is stronger. I cannot look the midwife in the eye. Boyfriend is still smiling. The midwife pauses and sniffs the air again. She walks out, leaving the curtain pulled back and the door wide open.
"Happy birthday! Look what I got you," Boyfriend exclaims, waving the unwrapped pan around. "It was on sale," he adds, oblivious to my 'I can't believe you got me a frying pan for my birthday' look.
"Uh...thanks," I say packing the pan away.
"Don't put it away yet, we can use it tonight."
"You mean, I can use it tonight to cook you something." My sarcasm falls on deaf ears.
"Yeah, I got some salmon steaks to celebrate."
I picture a big fat dent in the shape of a frying pan on Boyfriend's head. I pack the pan away, just in case I give in to the temptation to use Boyfriend's head as batting practice. I count to 10 slowly, before saying, "It's my birthday, why don't you cook me something instead."
Boyfriend finally realises that I'm not as enamoured with the non-stick frying pan as he is, "It's a fantastic pan. You never have to scrub ever again!"
I give him 'the look'.
"Okay, I'll take you out to dinner instead," he grumbles.
A few months later for his 26th birthday I inform Boyfriend that his present was a pair of binoculars.
"Where is it?" he asks.
"I haven't bought it yet."
"I've been busy."
"But you work only a few doors down from the store."
"Okay, you'll get them next week," I promise.
Months passed. Boyfriend waited.
"Guess what!" Boyfriend shouts from the doorway one afternoon.
"What?" I reply.
"Happy birthday to me," Boyfriend sings, entering the room with a pair of binoculars hanging from his neck.
I giggle guiltily. I had forgotten about his birthday present.
"Okay, let's not go overboard this time," Boyfriend suggests.
"No problems, I just need some stock up on food for my lunches," I reply reaching for a shopping basket.
I check my mental shopping list and head straight for the items I need. Boyfriend disappears. I find him half an hour later intently studying the label on a packet of cramp bark.
"I should get this," Boyfriend tells me.
"What about the magnesium powder your chiro gave you."
"I keep on forgetting to take it."
I raise my eyebrows. Boyfriend snickers, "Okay, I'll put it back."
Boyfriend mysteriously disappears again. Twenty minutes later, we meet at the check out line. Boyfriend has swapped his shopping basket for a trolley. I raise an eyebrow.
"It's not my fault. You left me unsupervised," he says defensively.
The eyebrow moves another inch higher.
"Okay, I'll put this one back,' Boyfriend says reluctantly reaching in the trolley for the packet of 100's and 1000's.
"Here, take this with you," I say handing him a box.
"Not the garden light. It's for the garden gnome."
"We don't have a garden gnome."
"We do now," Boyfriend announces excitedly.
I give him the 'look'.
"And you can return the butter as well," I say quickly scanning the items in the trolley.
"But we're out of butter."
"No we're not, we have two tubs at home. The Anson's left a full tub when they came to stay."
"But this is different, it's organic butter"
"Anyway, you're not supposed to be eating butter...or cheese...or bacon," I say removing the items from the trolley.
"You never let me have any fun," Boyfriend whinges.
"It's not my fault you have high cholesterol."
"I knew this would happen. I was good, I walked away from the chocolate section."
"So is that a bag of carrots I see disguised as a bag of violet crumbles?"
Boyfriend snickers guiltily, "That's different. It's for work."
I mentally count to ten before asking, "How is that diff -"
"Shh," Boyfriend says, placing a finger over my mouth. "You're so much prettier when you don't talk."
I poke him in the stomach.
Ten minutes later and $203.05 poorer, we head back to the car.
"Not bad," Boyfriend says.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"We spent $100 less than the last time. Next time we'll do even better."
I laugh, "Next time, I'm leaving you at home."
"How was the marine mammal workshop?" I ask Boyfriend.
"It was great. I missed you though," he replies, reaching for my hand.
"That's so sweet. I misssed you too," I say blowing him a kiss.
"I thought about you, but there was this pretty chick in the group. So I didn't think about you for long," he adds laughing. I flick a pea at him. It misses and lands in front of Dog. Dog wakes up and sniffs the pea. Dog hates peas. He resumes snoring.
"You really need to buy me a ring," Boyfriend informs me.
"Why?" I ask.
"I'm surrounded by all these women who want a piece of me. I'm in high demand you know."
It's my turn to laugh.
"I'm serious. You're marrying a very handsome man. I've got to let these women know that I'm spoken for."
I laugh even harder.
Boyfriend turns to Dog, "I think she loves me," he says.
There’s a trick to this, I think to myself, as I re-read the instructions for the third time. There must be something here that'll tell you how not to pee all over your hand. I give up on trying to find what is clearly not there. I’m a scientist, surely I can figure this out. Unfortunately I don’t, but a few minutes later the magic words appear, PREGNANT.
I sit on the toilet seat, stunned. This is what we’ve been dreaming of for the past year. So why am I so scared? Oh crap, I think to myself. I've only just got the new promotion at work. How am I going to break the news to my boss?
I take a deep breath and give myself a mental shake. I’m going to be a mother. I smile at this thought. I'm still grinning like a nut, when the phone rings.
"Hey babe, I just got off the phone with Marcus from the car dealership. I'm going to test drive the car this afternoon, do you want to come?"
Darn I'd forgotten about Boyfriend's obsession with buying a new car.
"Um...the new car might have to wait. We're going to have a baby."
There's silence on the other end of the phone. Then Boyfriend starts to giggle like a teenager.
Somehow we manage small talk before he hangs up.
A few seconds later the phone rings again. “I wasn’t dreaming was I, you did say you were pregnant?”
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"Let's go bushwalking," Boyfriend says.
"Okay," I mumble in reply, not taking my eyes off the t.v.
In an unusual spurt of energy Boyfriend gets up and showers, while I lounge about.
"Are you ready?" Boyfriend asks 15 minutes later.
"I will be soon," I reply, not budging from my seat.
"Come on, hurry up!" Boyfriend calls from the dining room.
"Well have you packed the water bottles?" I say as I throw on some clothes.
Ten minutes later I ask, "So what's happening with the water?"
"It's coming! Where are the bottles?" Boyfriend asks, not having moved an inch from where he'd been standing.
I point to the bottle sitting on the table to his left, "Oh look, it's a candle disguised as a bottle."
Boyfriend gives me 'the look'. "I guess you want me to fill it up with water now." He says sarcastically, walking to the fridge. He opens the door, stares, then walks away. "We're out of juice. Can you put it on the list?"
I add it to the list, "Anything else you need?"
"There's a box on top of the cupboard," I say.
"Then why isn't it in the bin?" I ask in dismay.
Boyfriend laughs guiltily, "It was easier than throwing it into the bin."
I give him 'the look'. "The bin would have been closer."
Boyfriend snickers even louder.
In the car, Boyfriend gives me his hourly update on the temperature, "I can't believe how hot it is. It's only 28 °C but it feels much hotter."
We arrive at Forest Island. It's stinking hot and I'm covered from head to toe in my anti-leech combat gear. For added insurance, I spray myself with tropical strength bug repellent. Five minutes into the walk, the battery on my camera dies. Without the constant activity of photo taking, my mind is free to analyse the likelihood of a leech attack. I mentally list all the places on my body that a leech can latch on to. I feel exposed and vulnerable. I start to sulk. Boyfriend decides to climb down the ravine to take a closer look at the creek. I calculate the chances of a leech attack. I don't like the odds. I sulk even further. Boyfriend forces me to follow him. So I do, protesting all the way down. It's a beautiful spot, but I am ever vigilant of leeches. I keep my eyes wide open. I am not deceived by the creek's beauty.
We follow the creek until we can no longer do so without getting wet. Boyfriend decides it's time to head back to the track. Our climb is impeded by a patch of stinging nettles. This is not a problem for me, after all I'm covered from head to toe. Boyfriend is wearing shorts. I suggest he places some palm fronds down.
"Good idea," he says. Unfortunately he slips. The buggers get him. He is in pain. We march on. He trips over a loose rock, and twists his ankle. We march on.
An hour later, we return to the car. Boyfriend has a hankering for banana bread. He asks me if I feel like stopping in Bundeena for coffee.
"No, I'm all sweaty and yukky," I reply.
He doesn't tell me he really wants to stop in Bundeena, until right before the turn off. With five cars trailing closely behind us, he says, "I really feel like banana bread."
"If you really wanted to stop at the cafe, you could have just said so," I reply.
Without slowing down, Boyfriend takes the turn-off. I hold on for dear life, Boyfriend's camera bag falls to the floor. He turns to me and says, "What? The other cars were right up my arse. I couldn't slow down."
Our stomachs full with banana bread, we decide to stop off at Crystal Waters. Boyfriend discovers that his stunt driving has broken his very expensive camera lens. Now it's his turn to sulk.
"This is what you can get me for Christmas," I tell them.
"You hate the cold," Boyfriend likes to inform me.
"No I don't."
"Yes you do, every winter you whinge about how cold it is and you refuse to go anywhere."
"This will be different."
"It'll be different."
He laughs, "You can't even stand the winter here, and it rarely drops below 10 °C. You wouldn't survive an Alaskan winter."
I ignore Boyfriend. I stomp into the bedroom. I grab a cardigan from my wardrobe. Boyfriend follows me.
"It's a balmy 25 degrees outside," he informs me (Boyfriend likes to tell me the temperature).
"So I'm cold."
He laughs again.
"I have tropical genes," I tell him imperiously.
He laughs even harder. I imagine a big fat "ex" scrawled on Boyfriend's forehead.
It is 38 °C, another unbearably hot Christmas Eve. I can't move. I'm glued to the leather lounge, held tentatively in place by my sweat. Boyfriend walks into the lounge.
"Here," he says handing me a package.
"For me!" I exclaim, slipping out of my ennui. I hastily tear at the wrapper. Boyfriend has given me a beanie, woollen gloves and a scarf.
He laughs at my unimpessed expression, "Read the card."
I open the card and read,"Let's have a winter wedding in Ireland."