Marrying a divorcee

Ladies…take it from me…marrying a divorcee has its pit falls. You will be blindsided by pre-existing emotional and psychological damage without even realizing it. A divorcee is a complicated creature.

Spinsters have these grandiose notions of marriage. You look forward to the exciting journey of ‘togetherness’. You imagine you and your spouse encountering difficulties together, and holding hands through the newness of the union.

Now imagine a spinster marrying a divorcee who already gained his stripes. He already walked the walk and ended up with the t-shirt. All those grandiose ideas you had of holding hands goes out the window because your divorced spouse is sitting back pre-empting the pitfalls before you even have the chance to conjure their existence. Each time you stumble at the hurdle, he is not jumping them with you, he is off on the sidelines cheering you on: “You can do it hunny! And if you can’t then I totally understand!” How are you supposed to feel? Do you feel alone in the marriage? Do you feel duped? Do you feel like your dreams of ‘togetherness’ has manifested into a journey of ‘oneness’?

Yup! Welcome to my club…and it sucks!

For nearly two years of married life, my husband and I have spoken at length about these issues. We have dissected every detail and analyzed all the feelings. We have agreed on more than one occasion that a divorcee does come with past baggage. The divorcee  approaches the new marriage with a ‘know-it-all’ attitude. He is quick to get offended. He is quick to link current frustrations to past ones. He is quick to find similarities in both situations. He is constantly worried that the same cracks will appear. He is always looking for ways to ‘fix’ the relationship before any signs of distress manifest. All of these behaviors, and thought patterns, have a detrimental affect on the emotional and psychological fragility of the newly married spinster.

As unmarried women, we have no idea of what lies ahead. We are not aware that explosive situations between husband and wife can rear their ugly head. We are blinded by the romantic infatuation, we are completely smitten with our other half – the other half of your soul – the person who is meant to complete you in every way. We say our vows and make promises to each other that no matter what, we are both in this together, forever, no matter what. You look forward to waking up next to our best friend. The one who will have our back, who we trust. He is the one who will be our support. The one who will protect and provide. The one who pledges his unfaltering love on the basis that is me and him against the world. Then you realize you married a divorcee and all of those grandiose beliefs you are one big fucking illusion!

A divorced man can tell you he loves you. He can tell the world you are the only one for him. You will be the apple of his eye, and his heart has never seen such joy. But guess what?  None of what he SAYS, will stop his mind from THINKING about what ‘could be’. He can’t help watching silently like a thief in the night, waiting for signs…signs that it is going to fail. He can’t help what he thinks. He can’t help making comparisons, and seeing ghosts where none exist. A divorced man is scarred. He carries the weight of his demons on his back. He carries those demons into his new marriage, even when he knows he shouldn’t. He spots problems before they form. He conceives tragedy when none exist. He walks with a double edge sword, failing to understand why he is cutting himself. He  thinks he is being smart by protecting his already fragile heart. He tells himself he will not be the one to get hurt again! Little does he know that HE is his own worst enemy.

If he is his own worst enemy…then we cannot be the ones to blame for being active participants in a game we know nothing about. How are we to understand the rules of this game, when only one player has the instructions. How are we to build a NEW life together when the ruins of the old life still exist.

Additional Reading: https://www.marriage.com/advice/counseling/six-challenges-of-second-marriages/

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Happy Wife, Happy Life?

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Guess what fellow bloggers? Hubby and I had another LONG chat yesterday and we unearthed something quite valuable. What I have to say may not be a sentiment shared by most…but for us, it really shed some light on the grey area that has plagued me, and I am sure countless others like us.

We have all heard the saying Happy Wife, Happy Life… but what does it really mean? What makes the ‘wife’ happier than a cohabitating partner or a long term girlfriend/fiancé? What makes ‘life’ that much more special for the wife than anyone else who is in a committed, long-lasting relationship? Is it really a piece of paper that makes everything so gloriously ‘happy’? Is it the rings that make everything better than before? If that is the case, then why does a man feel so obligated to ensure that no matter what, even after the last wedding guest has left the building, he has to ensure his wife is always content? Why is the husband made to feel like it is his job to ensure his wife’s happiness? Shouldn’t she be gloriously ecstatic that she has the man of her dreams – forever! What could be happier than that??

Let me ask you this…Wonder if a woman wants more and expects more? Wonder if a woman feels let down by such an anticlimactic finale? Is ‘Marriage’ really the grand finale?

Think about it carefully… women spend copious amounts of time wooing, courting, doing the feminine dance of love to attract their mate. There is flirting, texting, calling, dating. There is playing hard to get, getting to know and falling in and out of love. There is disastrous relationships that end in tears and broken hearts, and one night stands that are drunken mistakes. There is a lot of dissecting of conversations and giggling in corners. Admit it ladies…we work DAMN hard to capture the hearts of the men. We spend hours seeking guidance from our friends and looking for approval from our mates. We oil, rub and powder our bodies with heavenly scents and ensure that there isn’t so much as a thread in the wrong place. We eye our competition with venom as we vie for the winning prize. On occasion we admit defeat and swear that we shall be back to win the crown, looking better and smelling nicer. We arrange meetings to deliberate strategy and game plans. We keep our eye on the prize and nothing gets in our way.

We work hard to land the guy we know will be our future. We have already envisioned the wedding dress and the honeymoon getaway. We are prepped for the moment that will change our lives forever – the prized possession. The winning trophy. The biggest win of them all. Marriage!

We know that marriage is the grand finale! It is where hopes and dreams go to live happily ever after. We want that. We have always wanted that. But why does it feel so final? “Is this it?” Now that I’m married, is this it? What happens next? Is there anything else to work towards? Is there anything else to look forward to? What happens now? Do I just ‘settle down’ in my role as ‘wife’. Am I to simply BE happy with my role and my life because this is what I longed for?

After spending all those years as a girlfriend, aspiring to take on the role as wife, have we put too high a price on a title that we truly know nothing about? And now that we are wives, are we ‘happy’ with the prize we have been spent our lives prepping for? Are we ok that our husbands feel it is their duty to make us happy? And by making us happy, even if they feel miserable, do we accept that it is all part of winning the most coveted prize?

As a girlfriend or long term partner we NEVER for one minute expect our men to make us happy! We were the ones constantly ensuring their happiness and their comfort. We would be the ones to go the extra mile and put in the extra effort. We would paste fake grins to our faces and pretend to love the same things as them. We would hide our reluctance to interact with their friends or partake in their idea of fun. As the girlfriend, we knew we had more to lose.

Are we more scared of ‘losing’ than we are of truly committing?

As the wife, the role is reversed. We walk around with our chests puffed out brandishing our shiny rings knowing that its the mans turn to work hard to keep us comfortable. The man better pretend he loves our family. He better smile graciously at the party surrounded by our friends. He better make us happy…because if he doesn’t, then he will be sorry (wink wink).

Does the triumph of ‘winning’ the prize eventually lose its shine? Do we become complacent with the finality of marriage?

I HATE HOMEWORK!!

 

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“I HATE HOMEWORK!!!”

That is NOT my kiddo shouting that from the rooftop…that’s me screaming it across the neighborhood as I run from the house in terror!

I hate who I become during homework sessions. I hate the wide eyed beast who stares back at me urging me to have a couple glasses of wine to numb the pain. I hate having bad thoughts about my child, the school and the teacher! I hate ripping my hair out in clumps because I can’t gouge out the eyes of my kid instead. I HATE HOMEWORK!!

Finland has the right idea – preserving the sanity of the parent, and the peace of the home environment, by ensuring no outside work infiltrates their airtight fortress. Why in heavens name can’t the rest of the world follow suit?? They would be doing a great service to mankind – and our children’s ears would be free from colourful curse words.

I am convinced my neighbors think I was born under the ass of a donkey . I clearly have no decorum. I do not respect myself, my child or my husband once I start cussing about the damn homework. I am like a tin of Pringles, once I pop, I just cant stop! By the way,   the neighbors are such lovely, quiet people. Never hear them or see them…except on the odd occasion when our paths cross as we head to our cars. Funnily enough, they never look overly thrilled to see me. Now that I think about it, the quick “hello” they give always looks like its done out of terror, and not because they are being “friendly”. Oh well!

My hubby thinks I cuss too much. I keep telling him that I have a lot of shit going on in my head because I am a woman, which means I get stressed very easily. What the hell does he want from me…I don’t ask him to do the homework, so he needs to cut me some frigging slack. My husband is concerned that my cussing is a sign that I am stressing too much. What he doesn’t understand is that my cussing IS my stress relief! A couple “Fucks” here and a couple “Shits” there (not literally obviously) is like breathing a sigh of relief. Cussing releases that ‘feel good’ drug, dopamine, and once all the cussing has been expelled, then you can light a cig and bask in the afterglow.

I am convinced the teachers are secretly out to get revenge on parents because they have to put up with our bratty kids all damn day. They sit around the staff room planning on ways to fuck us up. I am not sure why they have to be so evil, considering they get gifts on Teachers Day, Valentines, Christmas AND the last day of the school year! These teachers are spoilt rotten as far as I’m concerned. I have decided that the teachers ain’t getting shit from me this year! Then again…I am sure I could find a shitload of unfinished homework and wrap it up with a big bow. Hmmmm…

Don’t get it twisted, I know there will be unfinished work left over from school…but why the FUCK does it have to come home??? Why cant it stay at school where it belongs. The kid ain’t going anywhere and neither is the school. Homework doesn’t need to follow her home like a stray puppy! If the school could adopt a more family friendly approach to academics, I think my relationship with my neighbors wouldn’t be so strained. My kiddo would think I was super cool and my hubby would stop stressing about my over-usage of curse words.

With all of this homework and additional stress, when do kids find time to be just that…kids? When do they get to play and enjoy being outside instead of spending more hours concentrating on even more work? When do I get to enjoy being a mom? When do I enjoy spending time with my kid? I have my own work to do, but yet, I have to come home after a long day to do even more work. At which point in the evening do I get to de-stress and relax? And my hubby wonders why I fucking swear so damn much!

Cut the parents some slack, and understand that school life, just like work life, should be a separate entity from home life. Relationships can blossom and bloom in a more wholesome environment where outside stresses are no longer playing an integral role in the destruction of the family unit.

By the way, have you heard….

I HATE HOMEWORK!!!!

 

 

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Annoying habits or cute idiosyncrasies?

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Do not get it twisted…I love my husband dearly…however there is some real shit that just grinds my gears! I swear I silently curse him throughout the day for stupid shit that I find annoying, irritating or just overboard.

Remember I told you that we talk ALOT! Yeah, which means his poor brain has to process a ton load of shit. We know men cannot multitask to save their lives – but somehow my dearly beloved feels that he can do that and more! Men…you will never have the same skills as a woman and if you so much as even attempt it, you will fail epically…and piss us the hell off!

Hubby and I talk. We talk about our past, our previous relationships, growing up, our family, travelling, what makes us tick. We talk about our dreams and our ever evolving relationship. I am the strong silent type, so all this talking about “feelings” can really piss me off sometimes. Not to mention, that after I have spent hours discussing my family life and past, I will inevitably have to REPEAT everything AGAIN because he doesn’t remember a word I said a few weeks later! Why do men have brains like sieves!?

I consider myself a neat and organized person…on the outside. Don’t you dare open a draw or a cupboard because some random shit may just attack you. Hubby is the total opposite – contrary to what you would believe about men being nasty pigs. I don’t know why this would annoy me so much – but it does. I guess I’m so used to my organized mess, to actually be confronted with ‘order’ makes me think “anal retentiveness and OCD”. It is good to be neat and tidy and know where everything is without panicking that lizards and spiders and a few rabid rats might be lurking around – but its a completely different story if everything looks like Martha Brady moved in.

I know the shit that bothers me doesn’t bother other women and that’s cool – this aint a competition – this is my opinion and frankly, in my marriage, my opinion matters. LOL. Yeah fucking right! I’m spouting out my ass and relieved to have a forum within which to get my anal retentive issues out in the open…don’t judge me! LOL

My husband really is awesome – because even though he does shit that annoys me (without  realizing it), I can always count on him to fix crap in my car, around the house and generally take care of all the shit I just cant be bothered with. Its not a matter of I can’t do certain things…I simply choose not to because I am lazy as fuck!!

Listen, if I can’t even keep a simple blog then there has to be a lazy gene somewhere in my body which grew into a damn gremlin by the time I became a mom – my mantra is “I cant be bothered“.

Fuck! I just had another eureka moment…quite possibly my mantra (which has turned into a habitual routine) is affecting my sex life! Oh man….I gotta go….need to have a chat with hubby and dissect the meaning of this revelation!

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Do we change for “better or for worse” after marriage?

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Ok so after a year or so hiatus, here I am – finger at the keyboard getting ready to churn out invaluable lessons, insightful anecdotes and fun facts.
Guess what – who the fuck am I kidding! Really and truly! Do I honestly believe that I am some know-it-all who has all the answers about parenting or marriage, much less life…I don’t think so! I’m trying to figure this shit out like the rest of you!
Since I do NOT have the answers, what I will do is try to share some of my more interesting interactions with my husband and my kiddo, which will hopefully give you better insight into this crazy rollercoaster ride called “marriage and kids”.
Ok so a little background…I have been married 1 year 7 months 5 hours 25 minutes and 7 seconds…but who’s counting right?! WRONG! Of course, I am counting…why the hell wouldn’t I count! It feels like we have been married 15 years for God sake! Why does it feel so long? Because we have done enough talking to last us the rest of our fucking lives! I do not think any other couple has talked as much as we have about every damn thing! No stone has been left unturned in our home and only God knows what else we have to talk about – but somehow, we still find more shit to dissect and work on.
Who the hell knew that marriage could change the dynamics of a relationship in such a short space of time! We dated for precisely 1 year and 29 days before we were officially man and wife. By the way, we eloped! Yes…we left our kids behind and ran off into the sunset to get married. Thinking back, I am wondering if that was really the right thing to do…hmmm. That’s another topic for discussion at some point.
Anyway, back to the meat of the matter. Up until we got married we were crazy rabbits – if you get what I mean… wink, wink! We simply couldn’t keep our hands off each other. To be honest, even I was getting sick and tired of my wily ways, but somehow, I just couldn’t get enough. Some might say I was trying to “quench my thirst” and others might say I was head over heels in love with my new beau *BIG GRIN*.
I am not sure how or why everything changed but it did! As soon as that marriage document was signed and the last bit of champagne was drunk, my passion died with the glowing embers of that beachside bonfire.
Fellow wives, I ask you this… “why is it that after marriage, you lose your mojo or your willingness to participate in sexual relations with your husband?”
I know this is an age-old question men have been asking each other as they drown their sorrows (yet again) in their local bar. Each of them looks mournfully at the other knowing full well why they are each there – without saying a word. On occasion a phone is passed around as they each laugh uproariously at some video depicting a fellow man suffering the same way they are. Their laughter never incites conversation after. They simply silently return to their inner turmoil and idle banter.
Ladies, why do you think we “change”? Why do you think we no longer engage in the sexual antics that first enticed our beloved men?
My hubby and I have discussed this topic at great length – duh! And he admitted that it is not a topic that is discussed among his friends. It is simply a topic that is known and treated like a joke – “married men never have sex anymore”.
My hubby and I agreed that maybe it is because the pressure is now off. Once a woman has landed the ultimate prize, she no longer has to keep trying. She relaxes into her new title and forgets everything else that goes with it – “cook in the kitchen, a whore in the bedroom”. I ain’t too sure what other women’s reasoning is, but I sure as hell know mine…
I’ve put on weight. I don’t find myself as attractive as I was before. I am wearing my new size called “comfort weight” and no longer feeling sexy in my naked skin. I am tired – tired of talking so damn much! We dissect every little thing I feel emotionally drained afterwards. He sees me shaving my legs, smells my morning breath, and knows my most intimate habits (using the damn bathroom!). There is no more mystery. There is no more intrigue. There is no more “trying to make a good impression”. There is no more effort.
I know MOST women will launch into me and say, “but that is what is so great about getting married! No longer having to try to hard to impress anyone. Now you can be yourself – warts and all!

Guess what ladies…clearly that ain’t working for some of us because we are trying to hide those fucking warts with the lights off now! We have become the butt of bar jokes and our lack of sexual enthusiasm is being made fun of in comedy sketches circulating on cellphones around the world! Clearly this is an issue that is personal, but an epidemic at the same time. We all have our reasons why we change, but somehow, we are hardwired to REACT in the same way…don’t you think?
As I said, I’m not proclaiming that I have the answers, nor do I have solutions. What I do have is a whole lotta questions that will hopefully engage some inciteful responses, or cause the next WW3! Who the hell cares. Whatever happens I wanna shake this shit up! Welcome inside my head and my life ladies and gentlemen…it’s gonna be a WILD ride!

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Climbing back onto the horse.

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I’m total shit at blogging. Blogging requires some amount of dedication, and at least a topic to write about on a continual basis – I have neither!

So here I am totally stumped trying to figure out what to write considering I have exhausted my last topic which were my adventures as a holiday rep in Europe.

Everyone says I write well and I should consider writing a book, but considering I can’t even write a 200-word blog, I doubt I have much hope of writing a damn book at this rate.

I had a eureka moment last night while enjoying a rather luxurious shower – I was cursing my husband in my mind, and then it hit me…I should blog about marriage! Who doesn’t love reading about another women’s perspective on the woes of marriage. I know I love reading blogs about people who may or may not be in the same boat as me – sometimes it offers fresh perspective especially if it isn’t that self-righteous, sanctimonious shite! The type of self-righteousness that makes you feel inferior and the worse human being possible, much less the shittiest wife to ever walk the planet.

Let’s get real folks – we are all human and we have good days and bad days. We suffer from stress, over eating, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, acne, cellulite, belly fat, insecurity…just to name a few. Sometimes we really do suffer from consecutive headaches and yes dammit, some of us do bleed longer than 5 days. Cut us some slack for Christ sake – we aren’t robots nor are we blow up dolls who can be flung about in all directions…we might break something!

I think I might be on a roll here now that I have put finger to the keyboard – my cogs are whirring and I got a lotta shit to talk about. You can either stick around or not…whatever you decide is cool. Just know that if you choose to read what I have to say, it will be raw, honest and downright dirty.

Looking forward to getting back into the blogging saddle!

YEEHAAAAW!

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The Chronicles of a Rep in Ibiza and Charlie the cat

 

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View of Santa Eulalia from the apartment balcony

My favourite destination in all my years being a holiday rep was Ibiza!

Prior to going, my only image was of huge nightclubs, dancing til dawn , Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, Paris Hilton and tons of other celebs who frequented the island during the height of summer.

Ibiza is the one place that would be considered a reps dream destination! Who doesn’t want to drink and party until sun rise…or watch the world’s BEST sunset sipping sangria with hundreds and thousands of people from all over the world? Ibiza is pure heaven…and I recommend any newbie to consider a placement there at least once in their career.

All of that partying is truly wonderful…all of that sunset-watching is enjoyable…but there comes a point where all of that becomes monotonous and all you really prefer to do is rent a dvd and snuggle up with your cat….

As a rep you are definitely NOT allowed to have a pet in your accommodation. It is one of the rules that is clearly stipulated…right next to “No smoking” and “NO chewing gum” in uniform. But there are ways to get away with smoking in uniform, or chewing the odd gum or two…and strangely enough, there are ways to get around the whole “pet” thing too. *cue mischievous smile*.

During this particular season, I worked in Santa Eulalia in Ibiza and it was a great location that was a little bigger than a village, but smaller than a town. It was a mix of modern, contemporary and old. It had a great marina, cute little beach bars, fabulous restaurants from Thai to Italian, unique bars and overall, it had a wonderful feeling about it. Because there wasn’t anywhere for me to live that particular season, I had to share an apartment with the team leader in the area. For anyone who doesn’t already know this, the team leader accommodation is literally 1 step down from a manager’s accommodation…so yes…for the first time since becoming a rep, I was living in what most would call the “lap of luxury”. A 6th floor apartment overlooking the marina and the sea, within easy walking distance to all my hotels and amenities – and close enough to KFC/Pizza Hut so they could deliver!! Thats right people…KFC delivered!!! Talk about landing in paradise! My dreams had come true that season for sure – I got Ibiza as my placement (which, along with Cyprus, was damn hard to get), I got the area where I wanted to work…and as an added bonus, I got to live in a fabulously furnished apartment with a proper kitchen, comfy sofas, a TV and DVD player and the perfect view! Oh….and did I mention that the DVD rental store was 2 doors away from my apartment – right next to the little shop where my roomie and I bought all our snacks and drinks for our continual movie nights? Yeah…thats right people…I WAS IN HEAVEN!!!066

Finally having an accommodation that felt more like “home” instead of a prison cell, was certainly a refreshing change. But as anyone knows, a home never feels quite right without a pet. Do not get mistaken, I was definitely not going to go out of my way to break any rules by purchasing a pet…and I certainly was not actively looking for one under rocks and in bushes…but if one happened to stumble upon my path, I definitely wasn’t planning on thinking too hard or too long about calling it my own.

As luck would have it, this one fateful morning I headed to my usual duties in a hotel which had approximately 4 guests, and it was here that I simply sat and stared at the walls hoping and praying for the time to end. As I saw the time drawing to a close, I breathed a sigh of relief and quickly packed up and rushed out the entrance. Lo and behold, there he was! He was the sweetest, friendliest cat you could ever imagine. He was just sitting there, waiting for any random person to show him affection…so I obliged. Now of course, I did not immediately think about claiming him as my own since cats have absolutely no loyalty, and this cat probably wandered off because he was tired of his owners. I petted the little creature and I headed off in the direction of my next hotel – not giving it another thought.

After the usual afternoon siesta, I made my way back to the hotel where I had seen the cat – and as I walked up the stairs of the entrance there he was again. Just sitting there, looking all lonely and sad. I bid him hello, gave him a courteous rub on the head and walked into the hotel. My interest was piqued now…why was this cat hanging out at the entrance of this hotel that barely had any guests in it…especially any guests that would even give him the time of day. Strange I thought. And even stranger when I asked the reception staff if anyone knew who the cat belonged to and all of them said they didn’t know. Hmmmm.

Once my shift had ended I knew what I had to do…I was going to commit the ultimate sin…I was going to kidnap the cat! I knew that this was what I had to do…the cat was probably looking for a new owner…and I decided I was up for the task! I scooped the cat up, and since I didn’t have a box, I stuff the cat into my work bag…which was pretty tricky. The cat was very friendly on the ground…but funnily enough he did not take too kindly to being kidnapped and stuffed in a bag that was certainly not suited for catnapping purposes. Now this is where it got really tricky – the walk from that hotel to my apartment was a bit of a distance – about 20 mins to be exact. Try adding extra weight to that distance and having to fight with a wriggling bag and look normal in the process…that 20 minutes felt like hours! The other part of the plan I forgot to factor in was that I had to visit one more hotel before the end of my evening shift. YUP! A cat screaming from my bag, trying to act normal and praying to god that a manager didn’t decide to “pass by” had me on edge. I was obviously NOT about to finish my duties for the evening…instead I was headed back to the apartment with my furry captive and help him settle into his new home instead!

How I managed that 20 minute walk without appearing insane I am not sure…how I made it into my apartment building and in the elevator without encountering my neighbours I have no idea…and I have no clue what was going through my mind when I finally sat on the sofa and opened my bag to release my captive. All I knew is I was SUPER excited for my roommate to come home so that she could meet our new pet for the season!

Yeah…good question…how was I so sure how my roommate (my team leader, by the way) was going to feel about breaking the rules and having a cat…in an APARTMENT on the 6th floor?? Yeah…potato patato, tomato, tamato…who cared! What was there not to love about a purring ball of fluff!

Thankfully when my roommate returned home that evening she was so excited! We set about naming our new friend and eventually decided on Charlie. Charlie was our new pal and he accepted us as his new owners, friend and family. Charlie was a well trained apartment cat. He had no desire to run through the front door and make a bolt for the outside world. He was happy chilling on the sofa or perched precariously on the balcony ledge…which really made my stomach lurch. Even when the other reps came around, they were totally not bothered about Charlie either. It was as if Charlie was meant to be with us…and that was the routine of our summer season. 098

Now, the downside of any season is that it must come to an end…but before it does, certain things can occur:

  • Your roommate has an accident and the manager comes to visit
  • The owner of the apartment is selling it and must show potential buyers around

 

Ahh yes…the 2 most agonizing occasions, especially when one has broken the sacred commandment between rep and company, which of course means the company has broken that rule outlined by the owner of the property! I knew I was well and truly FUCKED! Now any sensible rep would probably have done the obvious…thank the cat for the happy memories and wonderful cuddles and then dump its ass on the street and hope that another kind soul finds it. Well, I did not do that…instead I bribed the cat with food and snacks and locked its ass in my wardrobe and prayed that it did not get frightened and start mewing. As my luck would have it, it started mewing and I started coughing! I think the owner of the apartment thought I was a frigging nutcase…or seriously ill…he did grab his potential buyer and bid a hasty retreat out of there before either of them caught my cooties.

Despite those 2 incidents, it was a happy occasion and Charlie was great comfort to me especially when my roommate had to return to Scotland for about a month and a half due to her illness. Charlie kept me company and for the first time as a rep abroad in a strange country, I finally felt like I was “home”. Saying goodbye to Charlie at the end of the season was VERY emotional, and my roommate and I made sure that he went to a good home. I still think about Charlie, and thanks to him, I will always remember my adventures in Ibiza. 068

 

Captains of change…where are you?

As I mentioned previously, there will be moments that I have a good old rant…usually because I witnessed something, read an article or engaged in a heated conversation, that made my blood boil. This blog this morning – (considering I haven’t been to bed and its 3am *face palm*) – was one of those Facebook statuses that attracted 0 attention. It fell as flat as a pancake and definitely didn’t spark any witty or insightful conversation. So…my wonderful blogging community, I share my rant with you all, and you can either agree or disagree…

Some sit at their high place and tell anyone who will listen that we are instigators for change. Lifestyle change, health change, mental change and even behavioural change. Some tell others that they are the catalyst for change, and through them, things will be done differently.
But when it boils down to it, everyone is a one track pony riding a
bandwagon that sounds and appears “trendy” in that particular moment. Every word uttered and every thought had within that moment, is pure air and full of false promise because they just like to hear the sound of their own voices. People talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk they falter and waiver, and with petrified looks, the “ums” and “aahs” are the only sounds you will ever hear them utter if you listen close enough.

I say this…get down from your high place, put on some gloves and don your boots, because the real change is physical, its dirty, its tiresome and its thankless. Don’t expect praise and to be exhaulted upon high… I am not a Jesus fanatic…but for the first time I get it…I get him. He was an ordinary man trying to make a change , trying to make a difference by himself. What thanks did he get? None! All the bandwagonists turned their back as soon as they realised hard work and effort was involved.
As a nation, as a society of people, who cry about making a difference and wanting to see change…stop talking!! Just start doing! This isn’t the Jesus era…you won’t get nailed to a cross for what you believe in. And you can guarantee once you start, there are others waiting for the natural born leader to make the first move.
Go on… Don’t just talk about change…be the change.

Namaste, fellow captains of real change.

Small town living trumps the big city perils

There I was back in my small town, living the small town dream where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. It sure did beat living in the big city and being approached by horrendously vile characters who wanted to do unscrupulous things…like paint me nude! Yuck! Lets just say I was pretty relieved to be back where I belonged…for now.

After my 5 day stint in London I was teased rotten by my friends. They thought I was dumb for even going in the first place – but what did they know – they had spent their entire lives in the small town living the small dream. Half of them hadn’t even been out of the United Kingdom, much less to London. At least I can say I tried it, and didn’t like it…for now I was going to find a job that I liked that didn’t call for me to pose nude or befriend gold riddled short men with minions as followers.

I was back in Smallsville for about 2 weeks when I found out that my boss at the nightclub was opening a tapas/wine bar. I could barely contain my excitement – because I knew that he would have to hire me – it would only make sense right? Yeah exactly, that’s what I thought – so I approached him with a positive attitude to ask about a job. He wasn’t very forthwith in responding. He nodded and smiled. I never did get confirmation that he would hire me for the role of bar supervisor – i just prayed. I guess I hoped he would assign that position to me considering I was one of his top bartenders. I knew then and there I would have to leave it up to Life. It was out of my hands. A month later I got the call to come by the bar and have a walk through and meet the new staff, and to sign my contract as supervisor! Woohoo! I was overjoyed! This was going to be THE job! The job that gave me the responsibility I craved; the job that allowed my personality to shine and the job that would allow me to finally move out of my dad’s house!

From the moment I started, I enjoyed every moment of that job. I met so many people from all walks of life and I had a whole new appreciation for long hours and sore feet. But it didn’t matter, because everyday was a laugh and we had a fantastic team who knew the value of hard work. We had our fair share of ‘situations’ from time to time though…which I guess kept us all on our toes. One night we were super quiet and we were going to lock up early but there was a couple finishing up their drinks. We left them alone until they were finished and then we were going to advise them we were closing. The bartender and I went into the kitchen to tidy up, and after about 10mins we heard really strange noises. Thinking that it was the coffee machine acting up, or the pinball machine doing something it shouldn’t, I darted back into the main area of the bar and the sight that confronted me was nothing short of pornographic. I won’t bore you with details, but let’s just say, to this day my eyes still feel sensitive. Thank goodness that those moments were certainly not common place – unless of course they occurred when I wasn’t on duty – but I am pleased to say there were no further incidents of that nature. We did however, have a horrific ‘accident’ (for want of a better word), which as the supervisor, I was gladly able to delegate responsibility to someone else (wink). One late afternoon, we were preparing for the evening customers to arrive. We were prepping the bar stations, shutting down the coffee machine, restocking the fridges, and checking and cleaning the bathrooms. Considering this was a Friday, you can imagine it was all hands on deck to ensure by 5pm everything was ready for the Friday after work crowd. By 4.30pm things were going great. Shift changeover had gone smoothly and we were eagerly anticipating the rowdy after work crowd to kick start the Friday nights fun. Just as the team and I were about to do a quick debrief, a young lady who had been quietly finishing up her coffee in the far corner of the bar approached us, as she was leaving, to let us know that the bathroom needed sorting out. I was a little taken aback, because I was the one to restock it and give both the male and female toilets a good clean. I was confused by her statement and I ran upstairs to have a look. WOW! Probably the only word I could use to describe the scene that I saw. I was so stunned I could barely move. Shock gave way to horror, and I just screamed as if my life depended on it. My scream scared my team, but I heard them racing up the stairs and they were shouting at me to make sure I was alive. As they came screeching to a halt and surveyed what my eyes could not process – the severity of what we were facing sank in, and so did the short amount of time within which to rectify it.

The entire team enjoying a little celebration together.

As the supervisor, I was not opposed to being the boss in that precise moment, and I walked away muttering that I was not going to be responsible for that mess – I had a bar to run. I know your imaginations have all started going wild, and you have created all kinds of scenes in your head – maybe you’ve even conjured up a dead body – whatever you imagined, multiply that by 1000, and maybe,  just maybe, you would have a basic gist of what we saw. But let me just finish by saying this – it was EVERYWHERE! My wonderful, sweet staff member pulled on those gloves like a true professional and in the nick of time she had scoured and buffed every nook and cranny – it was like the horror scene had never existed when she was finished. Needless to say, to show my gratitude, I let her go home early that night – but not until after the entire team and I had a great laugh about what had happened. That was our defining moment which unified us as friends and as a team. To this day, we still keep in touch with each other, and I know if, and when, our paths cross again, it will be like we were never apart.

How my wanderlust adventures began

never give upEveryone decides to travel for many reasons. But usually the main reasons are they are running away from something or someone. Sometimes they are running from bad relationships, bad debt and maybe just a bad life. Sometimes people travel because of genetics – their DNA is comprised of the travel bug. Whatever the reason, the eclectic hodge podge of persons that end up becoming friends thanks to their mutual interest and a similar lifestyle, makes for amazing memories and great stories.

My adventures started after living in the United Kingdom for 5 years. I was working two jobs – one was a typical 9-5 preparing personal pension plan annual reports, and my evening job was working behind the bar in a nightclub. I really hated my day job. It was so boring. It was so boring that I had the most sick days ever – so much so, I was summoned to head office in London to explain if there was something wrong with me. It was at that point that I knew I was not destined for a life behind a desk, behaving like a robot. Every other day I was being reprimanded for being too loud, laughing too raucously or talking too much.

I decided it was time to quit! Enough was enough. I wasn’t going to allow my personality to be beaten out of me. I would find a job that would allow my personality to shine…problem was…there was none! I had to move back in with my dad to try catch my feet in the meantime. While I was home I was still bartending at night just to keep me going, but I was actively job hunting on the internet. I applied to hotels in London, I applied to be cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic, I researched working in the US as a camp counselor, and I was even tempted to try my hand in a travel agency.

After a couple of weeks of actively trawling and emailing CV’s to no avail – I finally got a response! It was as an assistant concierge in a VERY affluent hotel London. The job requirements sounded pretty snazzy and it definitely suited my personality – I could talk, laugh and be personable and engaging – that was after all, the job of a concierge. My family was pretty thrilled that I found what was going to be my dream job. I would be in the heart of the city, meeting and greeting, schmoozing with the big wigs and generally having a blast as a 20 something young woman just starting out in life….one small problem though…where was I going to live?

In that instant of trying to figure out where I would live, my beautiful dream started to unravel. Something so simple as a roof over my head was quite a daunting idea. Where did I begin? How could I afford accommodation in London plus transportation costs and food ? Oh dear – it wasn’t looking very promising. Until my knight in shining armour swooped in and saved the day….ok, well he didn’t swoop in, he definitely wasn’t wearing armour…and he wasn’t a knight…he was my grandpa! He called to tell me that he had a friend who lived one commute on the tube train away from the hotel. It was a great location. I could lodge with his friend and pay her a little sum for a month until I found my feet and found somewhere of my own. This was it! My dream was back on! I started seeing myself touring museums, eating in trendy restaurants, meeting famous people and simply feeling like a Carrie Bradshaw out of ‘Sex and the City’. Heaven!

The day had finally arrived! I was going to become a real woman! I was going to live the dream in the city! When I turned up at my temporary new home I was thrilled. It felt like something out of Oliver Twist – and not the slum part where Oliver lived with Fagan – but where he lived with the kind old man who ended up being his grandfather. Oh yes! Talk about landing on my feet – great location, nice comfortable house – I could have gotten used to that lifestyle easily. It was certainly where I felt I belonged. As I lay in bed that night – I was excited about my first day – I knew was going to be just perfect!

I woke up the following morning bright and early to catch the 6am train. Luckily the train station was around the corner and the hotel was one stop away. It was all really convenient – I couldn’t have asked for anything better – or could I?

I was taken on a tour of the hotel, and shown the ropes as best as possible in a couple hours. Little did I realise I was about to thrown into the deep end…without a safety device. Until that moment, I had no idea that the bowels of a hotel was where it all happened.

Beneath the hotel it was a sea of passageways, exits and entry points, where hundreds of staff traversed on a minute by minute basis. It was a whirlwind of faces as news traveled that there was a ‘new kid on the block’, there was ‘fresh meat in the market’, or whatever term of reference was used. I will be honest, I felt very intimidated – I felt like I was the freak at the circus that everyone wanted to look at. I didn’t realise I could have felt so alone, lost and frightened. The first couple of hours were daunting – my immediate thoughts were – “if this is how I felt now, how was I going to get through the rest of the day, much less the first week?”

My first day was certainly eventful. I answered questions, booked reservations, delivered packages and newspapers to rooms , and I was sent on a mission to find stockings, insoles and some kind of perfume. I accompanied the concierge assistant manager – who I was shadowing – and he was quick to warn me that next day, I was on my own. As result, I was told to pay attention to the road signs, the landmarks, the stores and above all, I was to make special note of where the hotel was so I didn’t get lost. Now, if anyone knows London (which is similar to New York), every road looks the same, there are people, more people and cars. If you don’t keep your wits about you, you can go for a stroll and end up MILES and MILES away from where you really need to be. My first day was definitely filled with lots of movement. By the time I got home at 6pm, I was pooped…no trendy restaurant for me…a box of Kentucky Fried chicken and bed was as trendy as I could manage that night.

Day 2 and 3 took on a similar feel. Concierge I came to learn, is actually a nice term for a ‘slave’. A concierge does nothing except be at the beck and call of the guests 24/7. Concierge must have a permanent smile plastered to their face and they must always be at their station and paying full attention. They can’t be seen idly chatting to other members of staff. There were a ton of rules and regulations to adhere to, and even though I didn’t feel like my personality was being stifled – just yet – I was beginning to wonder if I had made the right career choice after all.

The hotel staff was comprised of a rainbow nation – there were Africans, Serbians, Russians, and tons of eastern Europeans. On this particular day however, day 4 to be exact, a pretty high profile guest needed a job done urgently – a job I thought was VERY simple, but turned out that no one volunteered for – either because they didn’t know how, or because they knew something I didn’t – either way, I volunteered.  Even though I had to stay 5 hours after my shift had ended to complete it, I got it done –  and I was given a tip of 100 pounds (US$145) – not bad I thought.

By day 5 I was starting to feel comfortable maneuvering through the underground passageways of the hotel, and had even made a few friends in various areas – from housekeeping to maintenance. I was definitely feeling more ‘at home’ – for want of another word. But day 5 was not going to start out as an ordinary day – and it sure wasn’t going to end like one – it was going to be the catalyst for change!

I woke at 5am as usual, to catch the 1st train to work. As I had said before, the hotel was only one stop away from where I was staying. Which is great, because there are same crazy whackos that seem to venture out at all sorts of hours – and the longer you are trapped on the train, the more opportunity they have to approach you. I guess this particular morning was just not my morning to escape the loonies. As I was sat on the train that fateful morning I was approached by a very friendly young man who told me I was very beautiful and if I had ever thought about modelling. I thought to myself this could be my big chance to be discovered by a model scout – I would become the next Naomi Campbell, or someone equally as fabulous. How wrong was I! This young man kept going on about the virtues of a beautiful woman and asking me if I would model for him – in my naive mind I thought he was probably a new up and coming designer, trying to proposition potential models to work for free – be broke my meandering mind when he  said – ‘I’m a student, and I am looking for models to paint… posing nude’.

Gasp! Shock! Horror! I think he saw the look on my face which was one of complete disgust because he laughed, and told me in a very assertive tone I shouldn’t look so shocked. Thank goodness my stop was next – I darted out of that train and ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. My day had got off to a rocky start but little did I know it was gonna take a turn for the worse.

I had finished work at a reasonable hour that day and after such a shocking start, I decided I was feeling very homesick and missing my friends. I had been in London 5 days and I hadn’t seen a museum, spotted a celebrity or had a drink in a fancy bar like the girls on ‘Sex and the City’. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself so I decided that I was going to pop into the internet cafe near the house and catch up with emails and hopefully if any of my friends were on instant messenger, I could have a little laugh and a giggle.

I was in this nice internet cafe for about an hour – I had sent emails and I was gossiping with my friend, and feeling much better than I did earlier. I started to notice that the noise level had intensified a little, and I looked up from my computer and scanned the area. There were a group of guys by the door and they were laughing and joking around, but their decibel level was a little on the high side, especially for a quiet internet cafe where heads are bent in concentration. I was a little annoyed that they didn’t have much consideration – until it happened….

I looked down for what seems like a split second and the next thing I knew, 25 guys had circled my little cubicle and they were leering at me. After what felt like an eternity, the crowd parted like the biblical reference to the Red Sea, and this short guy (not a midget), with gold chains hanging around his neck, gold bracelets around his wrists and gold rings on almost all his fingers, came and perched on the end of my table. He looked me straight in the eye – considering that wasn’t too difficult given his height – and asked me what a beautiful girl like me was hanging in a place like this. Please remember that while this gold-dripping-short-man had cornered me in my cubicle, this friends/bodyguards/minions were still surrounding us like a protective barrier. My first thought was I needed to escape, while my second thought was not to offend goldman in the process. I will admit, I turned on my charm and I used the timeless classic , “I’m sorry, I just need to pop to the bathroom real quick. I will be right back”. The only back he saw was mine, as I hightailed it out the door and ran as fast as my little legs could carry me (for the second time that day).

Lets just say that my time in London was short-lived. That night I called my dad and told him the city life wasn’t for me – I was a small town girl, with small demands. Who needed trendy restaurants and cool bars anyway.