On having chipped nail varnish and ALL the things..

I’m cycling along part of the Swedish coast and as usual, packing and getting ready to go was a series of small breakdowns and catastrophes, and as usual, I survived and got to the bus much later than intended but with enough time to be let on 😉 (They were running a little bit late, and then the bikes needed attaching to the bus.. Mine was the last up, and a lady arrived while they were hanging my bike on the hooks and thanked me for getting her the extra time she needed 🙂

“..her nail polish is always chipped,

but ooh-oooh she’s got that thang!”

Uncle Kracker

I’m not exactly sure what a thang is, but I’m assuming it’s a southern American thing.

I’m not exactly sure what I have either, but there’s a lot of it.

All the thangs :p
Hah! Look who’s still wearing the last remnants of nail varnish from weeks ago… (picture of the Malmö beach added later)

On being an awful partner

I currently have a friend over for a long weekend and I am becoming more and more aware that I am not cut out for a long-term female partnership..

How do I know?

I have no patience for conversations about frilly knickers, nail varnish, the best way to burn candles or which bread has the lowest glycemic index. (But I can sit for hours listening to people talk about the finer points of changing the blades on a thickness planer machine, despite never having seen one).

I am not very knowledgeable about yoga, stretching, running, or really any exercise in general.

I don’t care much about fashion, fabric, design, pattern, or clothes as long as I’m dressed and warm enough.

I have less than no idea about hairdryers. I don’t blow-dry my hair unless I absolutely have to. That happens maybe once a year, twice if I go to the hairdressers. I have a small hot-air-blowing device which I use on the rare occasions when I deem it necessary, and which packs into a small bag in a cupboard for the rest of the year. (Naja, that’s not quite true, it’s also pretty good at drying paint/woodstain if I’m too impatient to let things dry by themselves, so it does get to come out of the cupboard sometimes). It turns out it isn’t a proper hairdryer but rather a styling brush (and therefore not useful for drying one’s hair). Who knew?

I wouldn’t recognize an electric nail file if I tripped over it, nevermind know which way to hold it or how (or why) to use it. Or an electric callous grinder (see? no idea what they’re even supposed to be called). I don’t remember ever having or doing a pedicure, unless you count filing the pointy edges off my toenails when they break and threaten to make holes in my socks.

I am used to being the dithery party. I am used to getting lost in places I’ve been before. I am used to people complaining about how long it takes me to get ready to go anywhere. I am used to people getting stroppy about me leaving a trail of my things strewn across the house. I am used to people laughing at or not understanding my clothes (“so what is this thing anyway?!” – talking about a wrap around skirt).

I am not used to waiting for more than an hour to get into the bathroom in the morning.

I am not used to working round other people’s PMS.

I am not used to multiple (many many many) bottles of ‘body care’ potions appearing all over the house.

I am not used to getting home and being greeted by a wave of ‘girly smells’. Perfume and baby powder and shampoo and conditioner and body lotion and hand cream and whathaveyou each with a different (but strong) fragrance.

I can’t work up any excitement (at all) for an evening of ‘pampering’ if it involves anything other than massage. Start talking about mutual makeovers and I will bail.

I can’t deal with “What’s up?” “Nothing.” conversations.

I don’t understand freezing but simultaneously objecting to either finding another jumper or turning the radiators on.

I don’t understand why anyone would [regularly and willingly] eat nothing but salad for dinner and then get up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge and the breadbin.

When I get ill, I am more likely to have manflu and go to bed with honey-and-lemon and a hot water bottle (and maybe my laptop) than to try and keep up my manic schedule while sneezing, snuffling and coughing, at least for the worst couple of days.

I am not naturally a tidy person. I don’t think anyone could reasonably call me a neat-freak (:)) – I severely dislike washing up and doing housework – but finding cups in the bookcase and plates left on the coffeetable instead of at least in the vicinity of the sink has helped me develop a new sympathy for people who are.

Also. Hair. I used to laugh at a long-distant-ex-boyfriend for complaining about the “hairy woman-beast” inhabiting his space. I’m not going to take sides with him, but I can at least see that he might have had a point.

In short, I feel like I’m suddenly on the wrong side of all the bloke-whinges-about-girlfriend cartoons/sketches/blogposts and I’m not used to it. I’m not sure I even like being on the other side of the frustration.

Ok, so frustration is frustrating on both sides.. I’m just usually defensively frustrated, at the people trying to hurry me for example, but I could never really see where they were coming from. I used to get upset at people who weren’t understanding or able to listen or were obviously disinterested by what I was saying, people who wouldn’t cooperate with me and/or my way of working, people who were more concerned about reaching a destination than enjoying the journey..

I am slowly starting to understand some of the people who complained about me, as well as some of the actions of the people I complained about… and that’s worrying!

I’m not a particularly good hetero girlfriend, but it seems I would be an incredibly awful lesbian… 😉

***

NB: Against the impression I’m probably giving, I do like this lady 🙂 I’ve just previously only seen her in smaller doses (like for an afternoon) and never had her to stay..

On keys and quays

– or the risks of being too tidy –

I love DB’s mum. Apart from generally being an awesome lady, she’s DB’s mother, and responsible for 50% of his genes.

She’s one of the only people I know, who can cook and serve 10 people dinner without the kitchen looking any different to before she began.

She is always well made up, with perfectly manicured (and brightly coloured) fingernails and put-together (as opposed to thrown together) clothes, [moderately high heeled] shoes and accessories. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her go anywhere without her handbag.

She doesn’t forget birthdays or anniversaries. She buys presents months in advance and never runs out of stamps or petrol.

She is a fantastic hostess and can be relied upon to provide tea amd biscuits at a minute’s notice.

She goes to sports and keep fit sessions twice a week and has various training machines at home which she actually uses.

She has an immaculate house (except for the cellar which is full of her husband’s things) and she can’t stand mess. There are ever changing displays of pretty things on the tables and sideboards and more often than not fresh flowers arranged artistically in fancy vases.

If there were prizes for good housekeeping while still being elegant she would probably win them.
If I were to compete against her in any discipline known for being remotely feminine, I would lose. Not that I am the least bit competitive 😉 I also know when I’m out of my league and not to bother entering the competition….

However.

Yesterday I found an argument against organisation and neatness.

DB’s mum and dad drove independently to the boats house. They left one car there and drove to the Quay.

Several hours later, we’d eaten (or fed) everything edible and it had started to get cold. We took the boats to the boats house ready for the boat people to heave them out of the water and onto the trailers so we can bring them home some time next week.

Anyway, the plan was to all drive back to the Quay in DB’s Dad’s car, sort out ropes etc and drive home in our respective cars.

The reality was a little bit different.

DB’s Dad had put his keys on the nearest flat surface in DB’s Mum’s car. DB’s Mum thought they looked awfully out of place and ‘tidied them away’. Once tidied, they were not only out of sight but also out of mind. They parked, loaded the picnic onto the boat and set off to enjoy a day on the lakes…

DB’s Dad had to beg a lift back to the Quay off one of the boat people while we sat on the bank, tapping our feet and watching the sun go down.

image

The moral of the story? Sometimes it’s not such a bad thing to be a believer in  open plan storage. That or you should put your keys in your pocket instead of throwing them on the dashboard…

I suppose it depends on your point of view.

Ours was much improved by the gorgeous sunset 😉

On make-up shopping

– or shopping with Swimming-D –

I don’t wear make-up.

I was going to add ‘ever’ but that would be lying. I dabbled in it a lot, or rather dabbled in a lot of it, as a toddler, smearing lipstick over my forehead, cheeks and chin while my mother wasn’t looking*, and again as a teenager, for parties where I had to be a pirate or a goth. I’d even tried ‘normal’ make-up a couple of times, but it hadn’t been a hit – my boyfriend at the time said he preferred me without any – and I was too lazy to learn to do it properly and/or fast enough for it to be an integral part of my being. I decided at some point that it’s much better to be “naturally beautiful” [insert cheesy smile here] and banished all things make-up related from my vocabulary and thoughts.

Recently though, I was caught on camera wearing make-up at a wedding.

Apparently going to weddings not only calls for pretty dresses, it also calls for make-up. Even if you don’t wear any the rest of the time.

Swimming-D told me this.

She was at my house to help me choose a dress and shoes and jewellery (serious business this wedding lark I tell you!) and asked where my make-up was. When I finished searching through my [newly organised] bathroom cupboard and [not so organised] jewellery box and presented her with a mascara, a bottle of bright red nail varnish and a couple of eyeshadows, she was appalled. Even more so when she discovered that the mascara had dried up (probably years ago) and most of the eyeshadow had seen more solid days. She decided we were going shopping.

This wedding had better be worth it – I’ve already been dress shopping this year!

SD went home, more in despair than disgust, having arranged to meet up in town the next day.

I wore one of my other new dresses to go shopping in. SD had said I should wear it “just because”, instead of just on ‘special occasions’ so I did. I figured going shopping for make-up needs different attire than my usual plain T-shirt and floppy skirt. One obviously can’t go out in a posh(ish) dress without wearing matching shoes (obviously!), so I wore the sandals I’d bought with E last year and hadn’t worn properly since, and I left my hair down. I hardly ever leave my hair ‘open’ because it flops in my eyes, gets in my way, makes my neck sweat. In turn, these factors have a tendency to make me aggressive. I’d only just had it cut though, and both Swimming-D and my DB (= dear Boyfriend) had told me I had to leave it down for the wedding. So I was practising.

She only just recognised me when we met up in town. Her bf had no idea who I was until SD made a beeline for me and hugged me.. To be fair I’ve only ever met him a handful of times, and if he stood with his back to me outside a shop wearing an army uniform (as an example of something I can’t imagine him ever wearing) I almost definitely wouldn’t recognise him either.

It’s quite disturbing how much of an impression clothes make.

So anyway.

There we both were in town. Me dressed up in a dress and high-heeled sandals, SD in her usual ‘chic-but-not-too-chic’ going shopping clothes.

As we made our way through the crowds of milling-about-people towards the closest make-up shop, I felt like a small child being dragged somewhere it really doesn’t want to go, but knows it has no choice. I generally steer away from the sort of shop that sells make-up, feeling out of place among the thousands of scantily-clad, but thickly-masked ladies, but on this occasion I was a woman on a mission. Or at least WITH a woman on a mission. SD led me directly to mascara aisle. Okay, so the aisle wasn’t entirely devoted to mascara, but every shelf along the aisle had its own mascara section. Why they have to sort the shop out by brand and not by product I don’t know. It seems a silly idea. If they tried doing the same thing in a supermarket they might as well open a dozen smaller shops inside the main building, as well as a load of stalls for the companies too small to warrant a whole shop.

Apparently mascara-application is a science. Each manufacturer has a range of brushes and they’re accompanied by a variety of silly names.. volcano for example. I think I’d actually rather not look like a volcano, nor would I like one to go off in my face. But there we are. I don’t have a clue.

Once we decided Volcano Mascara was the one to go for, it was time to look at face powder. I’ve never been at all convinced it’s necessary, but even I could see it was sneaky stuff. You can make the bags-under-your-eyes blend into the rest of your face, so even though you look worse close up, from a distance no one can see you haven’t slept enough for the last 3 years.

We chose one that doubles up as foundation if you apply it wet. It hadn’t got nearly as interesting a name. Not even the colour was exciting. It appears my face is beige. Well isn’t that dandy?! I’ve always wanted to know I have a beige face.

Next we moved onto nail varnish. I’d brought my dress with me, so we colour matched. The best match was naturally on the shelf marked ‘expensive nail varnish’ (or numbers to that effect),

I added it to my basket, along with a white pearly one, and 2 different clear lacks. Yes, I suppose I got carried away, but nail varnish is something I know more about, and actually wore on a regular basis until I started school here and my mother gave them to my aupair daughter. Okay, I didn’t wear them plain, the way most people do, I wore multiple colours, or stripes, or spots, or flowers or anything else I could be bothered to paint with them. I didn’t ever go as far as getting them done professionally though.

SD dragged me away from the brochure telling the world how fantastically cool it is to wear a different colour on each finger (amen!) with the words, “ARGH! You’re going to a WEDDING…”

The finishing touch was provided by an ‘enhancing’ lipstick, supposed to amplify your original colour. SD was more taken with various shades of pink, but I was adamant.

I paid, and the contents of the barely lined mini-basket cost as much as, if not more than, a weekly grocery shop.

Next stop perfume.

ARGH.