Before I had children I kind of thought that essentially I knew what to expect in terms of how they would interact with me. Drawing on my own past experience of being a child. And I made that mistake of assuming that my experience was the normal experience, that my children would behave much as I did, and it would all be lovely. I hindsight, I don’t know why I had this expectation. It is not like I was ever unaware that I was an odd child, different to most of the others. But maybe it’s because you are a different person when you are at home than you are elsewhere. While it was clear that I was strange compared to the other kids at school, there was not really anything to indicate that at home, everyone else was not just as agreeable and unobtrusive as I was.

My children disagree with me all the time. They tell me so. They tell me exactly what they think of my choices, decisions and opinions and do not hold back in making me understand how very wrong I am. They ask the same question over and over and over in the hope that I might give a different answer this time. If I didn’t like what my mum said regarding any particular topic I would have probably just pouted and went to sulk with my face in a book. Or three. 

I wasn’t a perfect child but I never had to be nagged about doing my homework or brushing my teeth. I do recall some discussion about my tooth brushing technique which involved little pink tablets that highlighted all the bits you hadn’t done properly. Other than a few isolated things I was never really naughty. I think the main problem was that my bedroom wasn’t as tidy as my mum would have liked. And I got told to tidy it up and that I wasn’t allowed to read until it was done. So I did it.  Sometimes it did take me a while (because I got distracted by stuff as I was tidying it up.) My children.. bitch and moan and whine like you have asked them to remove a limb. And then bitch and moan and whine some more when whatever consequence they were warned about comes to pass. 

If I was told to do something then generally I would do it. Not always cheerily and efficiently, but I did do it. We have to ask, tell, order and threaten time and time again when we want someone to do something. I pretty much did as I was told and asked because I did not want to make people annoyed, angry or upset. The same desire to avoid causing conflict seems to be quite absent in my children.

I started this while I was waiting to pick them up from school. Now I am sitting ‘watching’ while they play in the pool. That’s not different. I liked to go in the pool after school too.

The other day Stephanie asked me if I could buy some fish fingers. 

“Yes, I suppose I could,” I told her. “But you will have to wait until the custard is all gone.”

“Ugh! That’s not fair!”


I am having to work extra hard this week to keep myself from slipping too far into the dark. It is really difficult sometimes to find things to be hopeful about. Aside from my own personal battles and worries, there are just times when the world at large seems to be lacking compassion and love. I would like to think that people can make positive changes in the world, but when you are already tired from your own struggles and the world is only showing it’s mean face, you have to wonder where you are supposed to look to find hope.

Australia has been found to be violating international standards regarding torture by the United Nations. It almost seems like it could be a parody headline or something, because last time I considered what my country stood for, it certainly wasn’t assholism and cruelty. People who claim to represent me are creating conditions where people that come to us for help are living in a state akin to a concentration camp. I don’t suppose that this should be a surprise to me, since they don’t even want to help people here who need it. Well, not until they have had 6 months to become truly desperate, anyway.

This morning I saw a news article about an advertisement that was shown last night during coverage of the Mardi Gras. Well, on some channels. SBS declined to show it. Good on them. I can’t believe that the ones who did didn’t find there to be a huge problem with the message it was giving. Primarily, that there should be no marriage equality because it would prevent children from having both a mother and a father, and of course everyone knows that all children who lack that grow up hugely disadvantaged in every way compared to the properly raised children whose right to a parent of each gender hasn’t been compromised. What about a child’s right to feel like their family is every bit as valid and important as any one of their friends’ families – no matter what shape it takes, one parent, two parents, three parents, grandparents or an aunt or uncle or even just an adult who loves you and wants the best for you? What about the children’s right to not have their family discriminated against by the government which is supposed to exist to support and protect everybody’s right to equality and fairness? What would you say to the child who comes home in tears after the other children have been cruel to them because their family is different and the other kids think it is ok to belittle these children because the law itself says that they are not equal to you, not deserving of the same respect and consideration you’d want for yourself? Marriage is nothing to do with parenthood in this day and age. Plenty of “mother AND father” families aren’t even married, either. Whatever, if that’s what they want. They got to make that choice for themselves. That’s all anyone wants and the minimum that everyone should have.

So, yeah. This is a bit of a downer of an entry but that is where I am at today. So, so disillusioned with the world. Struggling to not let that disillusionment overwhelm my limited ability to persevere.


Sometimes when I want to write an entry I start thinking about what has been in my head for the day and it seems like it is more of the same crazy and that becomes frustrating because I don’t want to be forever crazy. Sometimes I start to think that things are getting better and then I have a whole lot of Bad Head Days in a row and I’m floundering and wondering if I will ever find a way to be what I should be.

A Bad Head Day is kind of like a Bad Hair Day. Despite best efforts it is just so hard to make my thoughts and feelings not blow away and be a knotted mess. They squeeze at my throat and my chest and push heavily on the top of my tummy and make me feel so inadequate, useless, unable to be and do all the things I wish I could. Sometimes for me but mostly for Daniel or the kids. The problem is also that the two aspects of my illness feed into each other. Things make me anxious, scared, terrified and because of that fear I can’t just go about life like a normal person. Then my inability to be a normal person makes me feel depressed. Then I feel more worried that struggling with those feelings, I will be someone unfamiliar that Daniel or the children or my mum does not want to have to deal with. Then I feel more depressed at the thought of not being wanted or needed. Then it’s a fifty-fifty between whether I will be filled with fight or filled with the sense that I should just give up and let them be free from the burden of me. Or sometimes it is both because even when I feel the second way I hate that for them to be free of me, I would be free of them, and that would be worse than anything.

So anyway. Sometimes I don’t want to write the same things and I’d imagine that nobody really wants to read the same depressing shit all the time either. But I think my mum might be the only person who really reads this anyway and it’s not like anyone else is actually being forced to read it. And I feel that way about telling people or telling Daniel that I am having a bad moment or a bad week or a bad whatever. I know he already knows that I am crazy but him knowing and me calling attention to it are two different things. I don’t want to be his broken wife. I want to be his awesome wife. I don’t want him to work hard at his job all day and then have to deal with my failings when he comes home. I look forward to him getting home because I feel better when he is there and I can talk to him or do things with him or watch something with him or even just do something by myself while he is doing something else but sitting next to me. And I want him to be able to look forward to coming home for the same things. Talking about all the things I worry about and all the ways in which I feel pathetic and unworthy of being his wife and our children’s mother is not really fun times.

I didn’t realise when I was younger just how hard it could be to live in the world like this sometimes. I’ve always felt this way, inadequate, less, wrong. But it only affected me before. If something was too hard then it was ok to not do it. There was nothing I wanted to do so much that it was worth the internal seasick tornado to do it. Well, there was one thing. And I managed that mainly because the thought of not taking that chance and missing out on how amazing it would be with Daniel was more terrifying than the thought of doing it. But now when I have other people who rely on me I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to say no. Everytime they need something I feel unable to give it is a choice between making them angry or disappointed or somehow trying to do it and feeling the anxiety, the shivering self-consciousness, the fucking uselessness and trying to not let that show and keep it under control enough that I don’t need to spend an extended period hiding in a dark place afterwards. Sometimes I risk the angry people (and some of my family members have quite prodigious tempers) but usually it is the second option. Being Atlas. Wondering if one day it will be too heavy.

there’s not always a hidden message.

I always hated in school when we would study books and the teachers pushed you to “read between the lines” and figure out what the author is “really” trying to say, what message they are trying to impart. No one ever seemed interested in my hypothesis that maybe there wasn’t a message. Moth eaten blue curtains doesn’t necessarily have to be a representation of the protagonist’s emotional state.. it could just mean that they like the colour blue and are really shite at housework. Of course, I knew that that wasn’t the answer they were looking for so I was smart enough to never actually submit that. But I thought then, and I still think now, that stories don’t necessarily have to have a moral message or a life lesson as their purpose. It could be that the simple purpose of a story is to entertain, or amuse. The author might not want to convert you to a new way of thinking or cause you to have a big revelation. They might just want to give you something that is different from your own life that is a pleasant way to pass some time. Not everything has to be epic and meaningful.

I’m starting to get towards my point now, and it is this: I’m really sick of reading articles about how Fifty Shades of Grey (and by extension, Twilight) are terrible works that encourage people to be abusive and creepy. Maybe I read different books to everyone else (though I actually have read them, which is a step ahead of the countless people who are writing critiques of books they confess to not having bothered to read) but I kind of thought that if anything, they were giving the opposite message. There are some questionable behaviours depicted in those books, but nowhere does it saying that those are fine and normal. Edward and Christian know that they are “fifty shades of fucked up” and that their mindsets are not the way to a healthy relationship. But habits are called habits instead of whims because they’re hard to break. And it may be cliché, but Bella and Ana know that despite these failings there is a person there worth loving, worth giving a chance. By showing that trust they start to teach Edward and Christian to relinquish control and the need to control and move towards a more equitable relationship. It’s not like they are both perfect at the outset, though, either. They both learn about give and take and mutual respect. Ana happens to learn a little about “kinky fuckery”, too. Pain is so close to pleasure, and both Anastasia and a crap load of women around the world have learned that it can be exciting and arousing to explore to find out where the line between the two is.

How is teaching people that it’s ok to try new things and giving them the confidence to do it a bad thing? Especially when there are still people in the world who won’t get naked in front of their spouse, or women who don’t know what an orgasm or clitoris is.

It occurred to me, too, that perhaps the tagging of “Mommy Porn” that has been used to describe Fifty Shades and other works in the same burgeoning genre is perhaps part of why people are so keen to criticise it all. Everyone knows that these books are kinky and explicit. No one wants to think about their mother like that. Mothers are the no-go-zone, one just does not suggest that another person’s mother is anything other than the embodiment of pure and perfect. By calling it “Mommy Porn” and acknowledging that this new genre is both targeted at women and more than just a little bit risqué, it’s like one huge big “yo’ momma” insult. Yo momma likes to be blindfolded. Yo momma likes to be restrained. Yo momma likes to be spanked.

Supernatural screencap

If the pizzaman truly loves the babysitter…

And that is not cool, because there’s still a strong social perception that you don’t do kinky things with women you actually care for. It’s ok to do that shit to whores and sluts who don’t really matter, but you treat the woman you love better than that. This mindset has even affected me. There was one time that Daniel didn’t want to do something that I had suggested because he said it felt wrong. Disrespectful. Because he loves me. This is pretty big because I’m the vanilla loving, ain’t-broke-don’t-fix kind of person whereas he’s generally the one to come up with new ideas to try. If that thinking has entered the collective psyche so deeply that even someone as laid back as Daniel can be affected by it, that he could still feel that unease despite how well we communicate, what hope are there for other people still plagued by the weight of thinking that anything other than good old missionary (in the dark, of course) is not good enough for people they actually care about? It’s so backward. If you love and/or trust someone – which if you are choosing to make them your sexual partner, you should – then nothing you are both interested in should feel wrong.

And then, so what if your mother or sister or grandmother (for realz) likes “Mommy Porn?” If you know that she’s educated and confident enough to make informed and non-coerced choices about who she shares a bed (or Red Room) with, what does it matter if yo momma likes whips and chains? Be glad that she’s a happy and fulfilled modern woman rather than a repressed and depressed historical lady.

One final thought. If you don’t like a book or a movie – don’t read it, don’t watch it, don’t write about it and call attention to it. Bad publicity is still publicity.


some shit that has pissed me off lately: (because I am feeling particularly under the influence of hormones today – the angry, bitchy, everyone is stupid kind of hormones.)

1. Kristian telling me yesterday afternoon that his teacher said he should get a reading log book (this is a specific printed publication, not just a generic notebook to use for that purpose). I don’t know exactly who writes the booklists but surely the teachers are asked for input. If they want them to have a thing, THE THEY SHOULD WRITE IT ON THE BOOKLIST. You know, the booklist that I have spent the last 10 or so weeks ensuring is complete.

2. My washing machine is broken. And luckily it is still a few months inside the extended warranty we got. Last week I rang up, initially on Wednesday, to see about getting it fixed. Except that for who knows what reason somehow there is a difference invoice number to the invoice that I have and that must be the one that the shop forwarded to the warranty place so without that they could not find my washing machine in the system and therefore could not start arranging to fix it. So the lady there told me I had to ring the place where we bought the machine and ask for the other invoice number. But I needed a break after having done the one phone call so I got Daniel to ring the shop up when he got home but they were already closed. So then I had to do it the next day. And they gave me the number but even then the warranty place had some completely different info coming up for that and I was getting annoyed but the guy said that if he could still start the fixing process if I stated that I was definitely the owner of the machine while it was being recorded. So I did that and he said that the washing machine fixing company would call me within 24 hours to arrange when to come check it out. This was Thursday. Late Friday afternoon when I realised they hadn’t called I thought I better ring up before 5pm otherwise I would have to wait until Tuesday since it was a long weekend. Except .. turns out the fixing people are an 8-4 kind of office rather than a 9-5 so it was too late anyway. When I finally actually could talk to them yesterday, they claimed to have already texted me on the 22nd asking me to call them (which is not them calling me within 24 hours!) and the person told me they were very busy at the moment and no one could come til Monday. Fucking Monday. Do you know how FRICKING annoying it is to have to take washing to someone else’s house every time?

3. Leggings lady. She decided, after a conversation with her friends, to stop wearing leggings.

The conversation was about leggings and how when women wear them it creates a stronger attraction for a man to look at a woman’s body and may cause them to think lustful thoughts.

Fuck me, lustful thoughts. How scandalous. Three main problems I see with this. 1. Other people’s thoughts which are inside their own heads are not your responsibility. How they choose to act on those thoughts is not your responsibility either. Isn’t this the basis of that whole rape culture thing that is everywhere is the news right now? Not wearing something because it might make some dude feel a little bit horny is just reinforcing the message that it’s a woman’s responsibility to not be attractive rather than a guy’s responsibility to not be a douchewad. 2. Not all people necessarily find that look hot. Some people might prefer the looser, less ‘revealing’ type of pants or skirts as more attractive on a woman. What are you gonna do about them? 3. What about women who might like to look at your ass and think lustful thoughts? Why are they not a problem?

4. Spaghetti strap mystery lady

I sat her down and said, “Ella, we do not wear spaghetti-strap tank-tops without a sweater over them because we are so beautiful and they do not protect our incredible mystery. Mom does not wear them without something over them, and it’s not something you will be allowed to do, now or when you are older.” We chatted a bit more about it and she said, “Okay mom, I want to protect my mystery, so I’ll wear the sweater.”

First of all, spaghetti straps? They ruin your ‘mystery?’ Second, and this one is going to be shocking… but your daughter’s body is not a mystery. Unless she is one of the minuscule percent of people who are not outfitted with the typical complement of human body parts, it’s not a mystery what is under her shirt or between her legs. The lucky person who one day gets to see beneath her extremely modest attire is not going to be all ‘holy crap! boobs! was SO not expecting that!’ What is special and beautiful about her body is the way she lets herself and a person/people she cares about discover and practice the ways to touch, kiss and hold her that make her feel like melting and fire. NOT that she lets some people see her wear spaghetti straps and some not.
Also, have you ever heard of SKIN CANCER? If there’s any reason to be wearing full shoulder coverage, it’s so you don’t get sunburn and increase the risk of getting skin cancer! Forget about the fricking mystery.

5. Elections. Elections make me so fucking weary. And cynical. Ads are everywhere, shit talking about the other people and half the time talking so fast to fit their stuff into the short ad time that you can’t even understand them anyway. Or the posters in everyone’s front lawn with people’s mug shot on it and their name and party. Really, what is the point of them? Literally all it tells you about the candidate is what they look like. So are they gambling that you’ll think they’re better looking/more trustworthy/less dodgy looking than their competitors? Because that seems like a pretty stupid gamble for some of the people’s faces I’ve seen spammed around the neighbourhood. How about maybe your name and a key sentences telling me what you actually stand for? Oh.. wait. You can’t actually stand for anything because you aren’t actually there to represent the people that you are supposedly working for, you’re there to do what your party leader tells you. What it the point of “representational government” (there might be an actual term for this but I can’t google it right now) and compulsory suffrage if our votes don’t actually mean anything? If the people we elect can’t actually do what we want, then why are we electing them?
And afterwards I always end up wondering how people can vote for people who are part of a party that is being assholes about any number of things. How can they not care that people are deprived of rights or treated inhumanely or that their few opportunities are taken away from them? How can they think that all that other shit about business and mining and bla bla bla is more important than making a difference to people’s lives? Do rich conservative people sit in their rich conservative homes thinking, “Damnit, I really hate when those liberal minded people want to make my life so much harder by having absolutely no effect on it so that they can let a few unnatural freaks get married.” Or, “How dare those people who are poor have the audacity to have some bad luck and ask for help for a while so they can get back on track when they should have just worked harder and magically earned more so that they would be prepared when this happened. Why should I care about the little people of the ‘community’? If they aren’t fortunate, affluent and conservative like me then they just aren’t trying hard enough to not be dealt a crappy hand. The fact that I got to where I am has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fact that I was already born into a family that has never had to struggle. Completely irrelevant.”

6. Australia Post. These are the biggest bunch of wankers in the world. Self important, rule happy, rule inventing bureaucrats. Yesterday I had a parcel card and I signed the back of it and sent Stephanie over to the post office to get it. It said to take ID so she had her school ID card, which has her name and photo on it. They wouldn’t let her collect the parcel. Claimed that she was too young and that her ID had to have her address on it and the address had to match the parcel. First of all, the too young bit. NOWHERE on either the card or the website does it say anywhere that to collect a parcel a person has to be a certain age. I am reasonably sure they completely made that up themselves. Then, the address bit. WHERE exactly do they expect her to get a form of ID that has her address on it? Generally this is a person’s licence. (I can’t think of any other common photo ID that also has your address.) She obviously doesn’t have one of those. But also, there isn’t a rule that says you can only send someone to collect the parcel if they live with you. I collect stuff for my mum all the time and my address does not match hers. So at least half of that has to be untrue. The address does not have to match the parcel. Alright, fine, I cannot send my daughter to collect a parcel for me because she doesn’t have sufficient identification, that being ID with an address. But what about this: a month or two ago, she had a card in the mail for picking a parcel up. They would not let her collect her own mail that was addressed to her. Surely it breaks all sorts of rules about not interfering with mail delivery and people’s right to privacy if the post office is requiring anyone under 17 to bring another person to prove THEIR identity before they’ll let her have her mail.
Apart from all of that though.. we go in that post office ALL THE TIME. They must recognise us. And we have an uncommon, unpronounceable foreign name that about 5 other people in the whole of Queensland have. Her photo ID has the same name as my parcel, it’s fucking good odds that she is from the right house to be collecting the parcel.

and let

Old people are strange sometimes. They are polite and courteous and well mannered and helpful. And then they are really narrow minded and racist and intolerant and it blows my mind that they can really think that it is reasonable to be so dismissive and critical of people when the things that they dislike about various groups of people have actually no real effect on their own lives.

I wonder if they have ever made a choice that someone thought was wrong or disagreed with. How would they like it if they were told that they could not do that thing that they wanted because someone else, someone they don’t even know, doesn’t like that choice. I think they’d probably say it’s ridiculous, but they can’t see that what they are suggesting is exactly the same thing.

Immigrants should not be allowed to speak any language other than English when they are out in public. They shouldn’t have to listen to that and have to wonder if they are threatening us or something. Like, fucking seriously? If someone wants to threaten you they will probably make some effort to ensure that you know you’re being threatened. If they are speaking in a different language it is much more likely that they are saying you have ugly hair or that you smell or that they need to remember to get more bread.

And women should not be allowed to wear burquas. Because we don’t dress like that in Australia. What exactly is it that we dress like? ‘Cause I don’t remember ever getting an instruction manual on how to dress like an Aussie. Clearly a lot of other people have missed out on this manual as well, because I see people dressed in all sorts of styles and colours that do not all match in a single unified Australian way. So perhaps it’s the old people who need to change how they dress. Two thirds of the old people that prompted this little rant were not even born in Australia anyway, so they should have to change how they dress to match how I dress. I’m not an immigrant. Or maybe we all need to dress in a way more like the indigenous people dressed at the time of European colonisation. Because they probably thought the clothes the First Fleet bought with them were stupid and “not how we do it.”

People should also not be allowed to build mosques because some people are not a fan of that style of architecture and don’t want to have to see buildings like that. Apparently it does not apply to any other churches or anything that people might find objectionable, though. I myself am really not a fan of seeing buildings with depictions of a man who has been nailed to them, but since those are not mosques I suppose I will just have to put up with it.

No one should be allowed to Practise polygamy or polygyny or plural marriage or whatever else you want to call it because that is not the Australian way either. Oh, apart from it being a normal and accepted practise among many indigenous cultures. But they don’t really count, because they are just getting everything for free from the government which is what polygamous families do too. No one ever decides to live that way because they want to or because they like it – ’cause that would be silly – but you can make a lot of money off the government by taking advantage of the fact that legally only two of you will be considered to have a real, valid relationship.. screw the others. I suggested that committing welfare fraud and living in a poly or plural family are not necessarily analogous, but I was quickly corrected of this erroneous view. People who choose to live this way AND are able to fully support their families just do not exist.

They didn’t have time to get around to all the minorities during this conversation but it’s not like it’s hard to figure out what they would have to say about any other particular group. But I don’t understand how they can say these things and not expect that we can make the connection that if they don’t respect and think that those groups should be able to make their own choices then obviously they are going to feel that way about anyone else doing something differently, or “not Australianly.” And that it could be hurtful to people they care about to know that they truly think this way about people who are different.

I just want to whack them upside and yell “Get with the times! Learn new things!”

a collection

Just some little anecdotes I wanted to remember.

A while ago, Stephanie had to leave school early for some reason so I wrote a note for her to get the relevant pass. Later on she told me that the people in the office had asked her if I was in the military. “Um, what?” I said.
She had given them much the same response.
“Because she wrote ‘1300’ in the note instead of 1 o’clock,” the office people explained. Apparently civilians aren’t permitted to be accurate or unambiguous by using a time system where each time only happens once per day instead of twice.

A different time, Stephanie had the wrong socks for P.E. This is a serious problem because without the specific socks that have the proper yellow and green stripe, students just cannot be expected to perform at their best. So I had to write a note so she wouldn’t get a detention. Because I clearly take the issue of P.E. socks very seriously, my note said something like: “Stephanie does not have the correct socks today because the socks did not manage to get themselves to the washing machine over the weekend. They have been severely reprimanded. Soz.”
The office people questioned the authenticity of my note. Apparently proper grown ups don’t use words like ‘soz.’

Having a conversation with Stephanie one day and I said something which was a quote from a movie. She sighed and told me in annoyance, “Normal people don’t just go around quoting movies all the time!”

I laughed at her.

not forgetting..

I haven’t forgotten again. just doing lots of things. it was the school holidays so that kind of took a lot of my time. I have been using the time when I am waiting in the afternoons for Abigail and Kristian to come out of school to write these entries. (one might think that would be just a few minutes, but one would be wrong. it’s usually at least 15 or 20 minutes once you take into account how early you have to get to school to be able to get a decent park.)

the school holidays went quite smoothly overall. the first week we had a few things to do and the second week my mum was away (at the grands again) which I was kind of dreading since I would have no one to talk to. no one adult, that is. but we managed. we had wanted to try putting together my mum’s new pool during the holidays but for whatever reason we didn’t really get a chance to start until Thursday of the first week. then it turned out that the new one is quite a bit bigger than the old one so we couldn’t just put it on top of where the old one was. then it started looking like rain and we rushed to get all the sand moved and covered up before it got washed away. I didn’t feel brave enough to attempt doing anything on it with only myself and three small persons so we just left it alone. today is the first chance we have had to get back to it. my mum and I dismantled about half of the brick ‘retaining wall’ that surrounds the bed of sand that the pool sits on so that we can make it bigger. some of the bricks we could just pull out but some of them we had to whack at with a hammer and chisel to loosen the mortar holding them together. dora thought it was very interesting and sat a lot closer to the swinging hammer than she really should have but no one hit her. the chickens also decided to watch once they realised that sometimes when we move a brick, there are bugs under it which we will throw at them to swallow whole. (seriously, they do. I don’t know what the point of eating something is if you aren’t even gonna let it touch the inside of your mouth. beak. whatever.)

daniel started a new job last week. it is a lot (a LOT) closer to home and he finishes half an hour earlier than he did at the previous job so he is getting home a lot earlier now which is awesome. on Friday evening we went out to dinner with several other of his new colleagues and their other halves. (the email about the dinner said ‘partners‘ but you know I keep thinking the wrong thing when I hear that. turns out none of them are gay.)

This entry has been a casualty of blogus interruptus, which is an ancient Latin term meaning 'life got in the way.'

But. Now that I am uploading this later it seems like a good link into this article I read recently. Why I Refer to My Husband, My Romantic Partner, and My Life Companion as My Mate. The reason the author did that was because basically a lesbian friend of hers asked her to not say “my husband” until she (and everyone else) was legally able to say “my wife.” (There is a lot more amusing stuff in the article about the confusion all these different labels caused, you should read it.) So that’s a fair enough request I suppose but the reason that I found it interesting is because I have always been much more inclined to go the other way. I recall talking to one specific friend during school about it, about my mother’s wife.
“But they’re not really married…”
“Yes, they are,” I would say. “They had a wedding.”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t REAL…”

No, of course, it was all in my imagination.

My friend eventually agreed but I think that was more to humour me and shut me up than me actually having changed her mind. But even her choosing to stop arguing against my point is a step in the right direction.

they don’t care

The other afternoon, Abigail and I were going to the park and at the end of the road near our house, there were a group of children playing on the road. They were completely oblivious and didn’t get out of the way until the car was almost right up to them. (I was going plenty slow so I didn’t hit them.) As they took their time getting out of the way I made some rude comments about it being a road, for cars, and how they shouldn’t be there.
Abigail said, “They don’t care.”
And I said, “Well, their parents should!”
“That’s what I mean,” she said. “Their parents don’t care if they play on the road.”

I’ve had this anecdote related to me a couple of times. My dad was a police officer. Apparently if he ever pulled over families in cars and the children weren’t wearing seat belts, instead of just telling the adults off and fining them, he took a somewhat different approach, which was probably quite effective but also probably not very officially approved of.
It would begin with an enquiry to the family about whether or not these parents loved their children. Invariably they confirmed that of course they loved their children, only for him to then challenge the logic of parents who claim to love their children but in fact do not care enough to take the simple measure of making sure they wear their seatbelts so as to reduce the risk to them in case of an accident.
It’s not really an argument that you can come up with a good response to; and much more effective than simply issuing a fine is knowing that every time in the future that you allow your kids to go without a seatbelt, they are going to be thinking about the day that a police man – a trustworthy authority figure – told them that you didn’t love them enough to do something for them that could be the difference between life and death.

Perhaps those kids playing on the road just need a police person to come and ask their parents why they want their children to be hit by a car. Because surely if they didn’t want that to happen, they wouldn’t allow their children to use the road as a recreational facility.