My nickname used to have ‘hotpants’ in it. Yep. When I was young, and lithe, and erm, in possession of a variety of hotpants, I was called ‘hotpants’. Kinda obvious, eh? But those days are LONG OVER. I’ve not hotpanted for years. The sight of my extraordinary arse encased in a scrap of tight fabric has not been on the agenda for many a year now. I’ve basically convinced myself that I do not deserve to wear hotpants any more, cos a) I’m too old and b) I’m too fat. I know. Shocking, innit.
What’s EVEN MORE shocking is that today I went out clothes shopping and BOUGHT A PAIR OF HOTPANTS.
Yes! That’s right. I have LAUGHED in the face of age and SHAT ALL OVER my body insecurities and thought FARK IT TO HELL, I’m going to buy some hotpants and just farking WEAR THEM. Wahoo!
But it was not an easy journey, oh no. I had to try on loads before I found a pair I was comfortable with.
These ones were great, but what you can’t see is that the button isn’t done up. That’s right. I could not get my belly into these bad boys. And the next size up was not available. DAMN.
So I went to a different shop and, for a LAUGH, tried on these spangly ones:
…which kind of fitted weirdly and the sequins itched. Abandon shop!
On to the next one. I was totes determined to find a pair of farking hotpants I liked now. Single-minded. Rabid, almost. Which can only account for me trying on these ones:
…which are made out of PLEATHER. Yes. YES. You heard. PLASTIC LEATHER. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I’ve not ever wanted to wear anything LESS in my life, yet I willingly tried these on. Like a crazylegs person. Can’t really tell from the photo, but they were well sweaty and squeaky. And didn’t fit amazingly well. So they went back on the shelf, and I nipped off to another shop…
…where I tried these:
These denim ones were INCREDIBLY small and tight. Like denim knickers. They almost disappeared up my rectum. I liked the wash and colour but oh my days, they were practically indecent. I’d need to be inebriated, or stoned, or being blackmailed, to be out in public in them.
Luckily, I had also picked up this pair:
Now these I liked. A lot. And the jumper (which I bought. It’s sparkly. I like sparkles. I need sparkles in my life). They fitted, were kind of loose and casual – like me, innit, fnarr – and were a nice colour. BUT. BUUUUT. They’re very summery, y’know? And, erm, it’s not really summer any more. So as much as I’d like to look like I’m swanning around the Riviera on a balmy day, that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. I wept a bit as I put them back. My fervour was dampened. I was starting to despair. I prayed to the hotpants gods. Would I ever find the hotpants to bring back my hotpanting glory days?
Hoopla! The LAST pair I tried. These ones:
High-waisted, dark stretch denim. The farking saviour. I bought ‘em.
Apologies for a post which is essentially just a load of photos of me wearing hotpants. But I figure if I tell y’all I bought them, I’d HAVE to wear them. Out, in public. At some point.
And it’s a confidence boost, y’know? I will probably wear these hotpants with control knickers and tights that go up to my boobs, but at least I’ll be WEARING them.
What do you wear to give you some confidence? What makes you feel sassy and shmexual? And do I look shit?
Hot, innit. I know it’s hot cos there are women in bikinis in the sandpit at the park. I think they’re supposed to be mothers, but they’re in bikinis. They don’t seem to have any body fat. One of them scolds a child about taking their clothes off: ‘You can’t just take your clothes off in the park!’ Erm. Hello? You’re in a FARKING BIKINI!
I am not in a bikini. I am wearing a cardigan, and a top and a skirt. If I was in a bikini, I’d have to walk around holding my stomach in. Which is difficult if I want to breathe, ever. I would also have to hold my thighs, hips and arse in. And I’m not sure my lungs have that sort of capacity.
My point is, I am wearing clothes, yet I am not hot. When it gets hot, there is NO EARTHLY NEED to wear a bikini to the park. You can keep cool by just wearing REGULAR CLOTHES. You can keep cool by sitting in the shade, rather than the sandpit, where all the dads hang out, moodily waiting to have a go on the mini-digger when the kids are bored of it. Putting on a bikini and sitting in the place where the dads hang out in the park is basically saying, ‘I am available for sex, but we’re not likely to have it right now so stop arsing around on that digger and come and properly flirt with me while our respective children throw sand at each other’.
Or is it just cos I’m single that I’m noticing these games more?
I asked you to imagine me naked t’other day. Sorry about that. Seems I might have distracted some of you from important tasks, like work, and deep-sea diving, and Antarctic exploration. What a tease!
Well, I’ve been giving my naked form a lot of thought myself. Writing about how nervous I’d feel getting naked in front of a potential paramour made me question exactly what it was I was worried about. And some of the responses I had in my cosy comments receptacle confirmed my suspicions: if you’re naked in front of a man who is keen to woo you, he probably don’t give two hoots what you look like, innit.
So. People. In a bid to strengthen some sort of latent self-confidence even further, I’m going to publish some pictures of me. Naked. I took them this morning. In my bedroom. On my bed. Just after I’d showered. With my phone camera. It was quite empowering. I’m surprised at how unrevolted I feel by the results. I don’t look like a bag of mouldy ham with stretchmarks, which is how I’d thought I’d look.
SURE – there ARE stretchmarks. And wobbly bits. And flabby bits. Hello! I’ve given birth, I rarely exercise and I eat boxfuls of chocolate macaroons. OF COURSE my body is not going to look like the media-peddled airbrushed perfection you see in magazines and on TV. But my body is OK. It’s all right. It’ll do. And hopefully, if I can learn to appreciate it a bit more, then I’ll stop posting ‘morbidly introspective’ (thank you JallieDaddy) posts about how fat and ugly I feel. EVERYONE’S A WINNER!
Note: I asked a few people whether doing this was brave or stupid. The answer: both. So I’ve limited myself to showing body parts in a mostly abstract way and used a black and white filter on my phone camera. I don’t want to entirely ruin your Antarctic expedition.
Oh and family members may want to look away now.
*takes a bow* *puts on robe* *exits stage left in haste*
You’ve been living in my wrists for a long time now. I think it’s time for you to fark right off and leave me alone. I’ve had enough. The ache is driving me slightly NUTS and INSANE.
What’s the deal with you guys? What the fark ARE you? Why are you so farking LUMPY? In my head, you are little balls of malignant SHIT that have taken up residence in my wrist-space and every now and again, decide to throb and wriggle a bit and send shooting pains up my arms. You bastards.
Why BOTH wrists? WHY? One I could handle. The left wrist – FINE. I don’t use my left arm a lot. I could probably manage with just the right one being operative. But no. You have infiltrated my left and my right wrists. Which makes some tasks EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. For example: picking up Moo, lifting my giant bottle of gin, and grooming my unicorn. All VERY CUMBERSOME with two FARKING LUMPS OF GRANITE in my wrists.
A doctor’s advice? ‘Well, we could simply hit them with a bible. That should sort them out’.
Say what now?
HIT THEM WITH A BIBLE? A medical professional has advised me to hit my ganglions with a bible? A holy book of Jeezus and shit? And this will ‘sort them out’? Is that SCIENCE?
Oh ganglions. You farking wrist-lumps. I hate you. Go take residence in someone else’s bones.
Imagine me naked. No, go on. Do it. Usually I’d discourage such activity before we’d even met, let alone before I’ve even acknowledged your cyber-existence by stalking you on Twitter for a bit. Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope. It’ll be easier for those of you that HAVE met me. Or harder.
So yeah, do it – think about me – and now DE-CLOTHE ME.
Woohoo! There we go! Whaddya reckon? *does a jiggly dance*
Not bad, eh? I’ve still got all my limbs. No extra ones. Everything in the right place. No major surprises. Nothing that would look out anomalous. Some bits of naked me are actually quite nice. Do you like that bit? Why thank you, I’ve had that for years, it is pretty, mais non?
OK you perverts, put my clothes back on. That was easy. That was farking EASY. If only taking off my clothes and being utterly naked in front of someone was that farking easy in real life.
I got used to it while married. You do, I guess. Someone else gets to know your naked form intimately, there are no expectations, no shame or embarrassment.
But someone new? Someone hitherto interested in you, albeit a clothed you, who may possibly see you naked? Vulnerable? In all your fleshy glory?
No, really. FARK.
Suddenly I am uber-aware of all my naked shortcomings. The network of stretchmarks across my torso. The smattering of moles*. The crinkled bellyness of my post-natal frontage. The dimpled softness of my thighs. All the bits I don’t particularly like, and can usually cover with clothes, suddenly brought out into the open. Shivering and timid. Unsure of their surroundings. Nervous of scrutiny.
I think we all know how bodily insecure I am. I am aware I bang on about my extraordinary arse, but that’s mostly bravado. If anything, my arse is extraordinarily lumpen. I fear people seeing it naked, mostly cos there’d be a general outcry and possibly some sort of national disaster declaration. Klaxons would go off. Underground bunkers would be sought out. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that people would be raising money to help the victims of my arse-quake. C’est catastrophique.
No, seriously, stop imagining me naked now. You’ll not eat again today. Instead, tell me, short of a body transplant (I’m assuming Beyonce is a donor? Or Heidi Klum?) how can I knock this battered bag of bumpy bits into shape? Exercise, diet, blah blah blah. Or is it mind over matter? Should I just not care…?
And do men get like this?
*if you join them all up – a la dot-to-dot – you get a line drawing of Westminster Abbey. True story
Sugar. The white stuff. The devilish, dastardly, bastard sweet white stuff. I can’t get enough. I love it. I’m addicted. I knock it back in shots. I smoke it in roll-ups. I inject it straight into my veins. I’m hooked up to an IV of the stuff right now. I rub it on my teeth to get that sugary hit. I even snorted it once, but that melted my septum and now my face has collapsed.
I exaggerate. But yeah. Sugar. Farking evil buggering shite. Where did it come from? Is there such thing as a sugar tree? A sugar bush? Actually, sugar bush would make a good stripper’s name. Sweet and hairy. Sticky and tickling. I’m rambling. I’m rambling in a nonsensical manner cos I’ve had some sugar contained within some biscuits and it’s befuddling my brain cells. This is what sugar is doing to me: it makes me talk arse. It rots my already fragile and decaying teeth. It makes my skin so sensitive that if I am scratched my flesh goes all red and warm and bumpy, like I have the Red Warm Bumpy Plague or something. It clunges up my scalp and makes it go all flaky and weird. It makes me use words like ‘clunges’ which aren’t real but kind of are. Sugar is nefarious.
‘Give it up!’ I hear you cry. ‘Just cut sugar out of your diet! It’s really easy to do that. And you’ll feel so much better. Your skin will unclunge itself.’
Yeah yeah, smart-arses. ‘Unclunge’ is so not a word. And, seriously? Sugar. What the actual fark? It’s in EVERYTHING. Even bread. And bread is savoury. I swear I saw sugar listed on the ingredients of some hummus. Bastard hummus makers. It would not be a simple thing to remove sugar from my diet. My diet consists of: biscuits, bread, chocolate, and fruit. Except for the fruit. Which is SUGAR anyway, just a fancy form of it with a scientific name. Wait – WAIT A FARKING MINUTE – is there sugar in GIN??
People who don’t eat sugar are weirdos anyway. They are usually the ones who don’t let their kids eat cake, or play with toys made out of plastic. But maybe they have a point. Maybe they know something we don’t – maybe the sugarless freaks will smugly inherit the earth, and live in yurts and wear hessian robes, while all the sugar addicts dissolve into a gargantuan puddle of sticky viscous flesh. I am getting slightly paranoid now. This is also a side-effect of sugar consumption.
OK so I need to cut down on the sugar. I need motivation. Determination. Self-control. And for someone to remove all the sugary stuff left in the house before I hoover it all up through my nose like a desperate starving addicted sugar-obsessed hobo.
My nutritional health is in the balance. How can I cut the crap?
And – seriously – is there sugar in gin? Cos I am in real trouble if there is. *frets*
Man alive, I need a drink.
I need some farking alcohol. But I’ve never been a big drinker. I’m a lightweight. A cheap date. And I have anecdotes. Many anecdotes, mainly about me drinking cider and passing out in gardens. No details now, only broad strokes: drinking strawberry 20/20 (remember that? TOXIC SLUDGE) at house parties when I was fifteen *cough cough* I mean, mahahaha, eighteen, of course. Drinking red wine at a student party and falling asleep on a windowsill, before waking up the next day and vomiting my stomach lining into a bucket (I don’t drink red wine now). I’ve also yelled at birds at 3am, snorted vodka jelly and threatened to eat a jogger, all whilst under the influence of the alcohol.
White wine will do. I could so with some white wine right now. A goblet of golden grape juice. Or gin. Lemme have some gin. I am itching for it. I haven’t eaten anything yet so I know a drink of something alcoholic would be a really bad idea, but somehow it’s more appealing than anything else I have in my fridge. Even – and I can’t believe I’m saying this, it’s like I’m betraying my entire beliefs system – I even crave a gin and tonic more than some Seriously Strong spreadable cheddar on a cracker. What the actual fark?
Jeezus, I’m slowly morphing into Father Jack.
Why do I feel like I need it so much? I’ve not been that enamoured of alcohol before. I drink on a night out. I sometimes drink with dinner. Not every day, not even every week. Occasionally. Yet recently, it’s been where my thoughts turn to once Moo is in bed. That’s bad, right?
Maybe it’s been a tough day. Maybe I just need to relax. Maybe my stresses and worries are making me yearn for happier, freer times, when a drink or two will loosen you up and make you shake imaginary maracas to the twisting beats of Cuban music. Oh right, that was at the weekend. Good times. So much changes in a matter of hours. Emotions on a knife-edge. A farking rollercoaster of changes that totally derail you in the blink of an eye.
Plenty of parents find solace in a bottle. I think I’m missing a trick. How much do folk actually drink?
What should I do? Pour or ignore?
Lemme tell you about my first period.
No, DON’T run away. There is a point to this. And actually, it’s not my very first period, it’s probably the second or third. Maybe fourth. Anyway, one of the early ones. The first one was awesome in comparison to the ones that followed. A mere dribble. A whisper of blood. ‘I’ve got my period,’ I thought proudly to myself, ‘I am going to the shops right now to buy some tampons! At last, I am becoming a WOMAN. Just like the girls do in Judy Blume books.’
In the next few months I decided I didn’t want to be a WOMAN any more. I farking CURSED Judy farking Blume. Periods were nothing like in her books. They were HELL. Hell on toast with spiky bits in. At one point, I was lying on the bathroom floor, screaming and sobbing with pain and dragging myself up to vomit in the bath. Whilst bleeding everywhere. I missed days of school each month. My own mother would look at me askance. ‘It can’t be that bad,’ she said, clearly using her own experience of giving birth five times to knock my meagre period cramps into the stratosphere. To me, looking back, that level of pain is not normal. But as a 14 year-old, it just seemed like something I had to put up with. To be a WOMAN. For fark’s sake.
Anyway, I went to the doctor and he put me on the Pill. I had to describe my periods to him. ‘Are you sexually active?’ he asked. He was probably bored. Another dramatic teenager, he most likely thought. ‘I’ve not even kissed a boy,’ I sobbed, and then added hopefully, ‘yet..’ because I didn’t want to totally write myself off, despite not having discovered eyebrow tweezers or Impulse body spray at that point, and he was quite an attractive doctor as well. But I guess a spotty teenager who has just been talking about copious amounts of menstrual blood leaking through her pyjama bottoms was not his type, cos I left with a prescription for the Pill and not a lot else.
The Pill. THE PILL. I was fourteen and ON THE PILL. Like a deviant. Like a super-slutty, uber-sex-mad whore child, who shagged everything in sight and who also had a latent sense of responsibility. I told my best friend about it in hushed tones.
‘Oh my GAWD,’ she shrieked. ‘Are you having THE SEX??’
I took on an expression of pained exasperation. ‘No, actually no,’ I sighed, ‘it’s for my periods.’
‘Why do you need it for your periods?’
‘Because they’re so, like, massively painful and really really heavy.’
‘Are they? Wow. Mine aren’t.’
Yeah WELL. Turns out I’m a medical mystery or whatever. I know there’s a proper name for heavy periods but cos not every one is like that for me, apparently I don’t have that. It’s just my cunt being a bastard.
So I was on THE PILL, on and off, through the years, and having some of The Sex, until I hit my early thirties and thought I might have to have a baby at some point. Which I did. And have done. And now… maybe I want to go back on the Pill again?
My periods, as my Twitter followers will know, are a PAIN IN THE VULVA. I am on one right now. I am sitting here, BLEEEEDING at you. There are little sanitary towel corpses in my bathroom bin. I farking hate it. Heavy, bloated, painful, aching, cramping, flooding, sticky, smelly farking periods. All those years I was on the Pill? Bliss. Mere whispers again. No pain. My skin even cleared up. And – AND – I could carry on a packet and MISS A PERIOD IF I WANTED TO. Farking GENIUS.
(I read somewhere that they – they being the man scientists in the 1960s wot invented the Pill – could’ve invented a Pill that women could take all the time and not have a period ever. They only did one for a 28 day cycle cos they thought us women would WANT to have a ‘period’. Yeah. Right. Cunts)
So – the Pill – should I? Should I blitz my body with hormonal bombs once more? When I came off it for the baby-making it took a loooong while before my cycle regulated again. And it’s not like I’ll be having The Sex any time soon. Should I just grin and bear it? All part of being a WOMAN?
Or what other period-calming devices are there?
I wonder if that doctor is still around? *buys Impulse body spray*
Thank FARK I have a girl baby.
Sure, I’m going to have to have the ‘periods’ talk with her, but her dad’s a biology teacher so I reckon he’s got that covered (will be better than me screaming ‘You’re CURSED! CURSED TO BLEEEEED from THY WOMB!’ at her when she turns thirteen or something anyway). And OBVIOUSLY I’ll warn her off boys. And tell her not to smoke or do drugs. And, er, keep away from unicorns, innit.
But generally, it’s OK. I’ve got it covered.
Out with two friends for dinner last night, the subject turned to our children, as it invariably does. They have boy babies. Boy babies who are getting to that age where they are discovering and playing with their – ahem – junk. And by ‘discovering and playing with’, I mean ‘touching until it becomes obviously tumescent and then touching it some more and then DEAR GAWD if he touches it ANY MORE it will DROP OFF’. One friend described how her son particularly delights in violating the rubber duck at bath-time. Oh how we did laugh. But I laughed hardest.
Surely I won’t have to have this talk with Moo? She doesn’t have a penis. I checked. I’d have seen it when changing her nappy, I’m sure. She has nothing to ‘play’ with. Nothing to, er, engorge in an obvious and showy manner. And when she reaches teenagerdom no sudden explosions of love custard to contend with at all hours of the day.
I am not denigrating the self-love. I applaud it wholeheartedly. But babies? Really? REALLY? They know not what they do! It can be terribly embarrassing in public (‘Your dog is humping my leg’ ‘Oh sorry, no, that’s my baby’ ‘Right, that’s OK then. Carry on’) but they are INNOCENT. We just have to quietly and discreetly prevent them from getting themselves off. Innit.
When I worked as a TA in a primary school there was a little boy who liked to grind up against tables. And chairs. And toy boxes. And the bench in the playground. You get the idea. At first I was a bit startled by how, um, vigorous he was. ‘Is he doing what I think he’s doing?’ I asked the teacher. ‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘just ignore him. Don’t draw attention to it.’ But it was hard to ignore when all the other children are sitting down nicely and he’s making sweet love to a table. Eventually we couldn’t ignore it and resorted to removing him from whatever he was being attentive to, even if this meant moving him around the entire classroom several times during class. In the end, his family moved to Australia. So I imagine he’s harassing some kangaroos now.
That’s an extreme example of an over-amorous young boy. I’m sure 99% of children don’t do this. And maybe I’m being presumptuous when I say that I won’t have that problem with Moo. Girls can grind, too, right?
And where do we draw the line in between being groovy and OK with our bodies and their sexual functions, and over-sexualising young children before they’ve even entered puberty? I want Moo to be able to talk to me and her father about the ‘squeamish’ stuff, if she needs to. But do I really want to be having a conversation about masturbation with her while she’s still a child?
Moo is 16 months old. I know I’m worrying about stuff that I don’t need to worry about yet. But out of interest – those of you with older children – have you had to deal with anything similar?
Oh and I’m totally expecting y’all to share your wanking anecdotes now, thank you.
*waits patiently by comments box*
Hello, boobs. *waves to boobs*
OK, what is up with you, boobs?
I thought I knew you two. I thought we were pals. I didn’t realise that things were open to negotiation. What is this changing size business? Do you know how expensive bras are? I can’t be buying new ones every few months, and the cheap ones are just, er, cheap. And make you look all squished and crumpled. Like a couple of old socks at the bottom of the washing basket.
So when you shrink a bit, and my bras get all gaping and slack, how do you think this makes me feel? A bit rubbish, that’s what. I like being a C cup. Don’t make me be a B cup. Don’t downgrade me. I’ve been an A for most of my life, then being preggo was great cos FINALLY, you were BOOBS – hubba hubba, jiggle jiggle, hoopla – now… what?
The golden age of 36C is coming to an end? The reign of B cup is nigh? B cup, the snivelly, try-hard cousin of C? Like a usurping pair of comedy kings, all droop and rogue hairs, and one slightly bigger than the other, FFS?
I almost can’t face going to get measured, boobs. I know I should. I know I should visit the magic lady in the hallowed rooms at the back of M&S, where all she has to do is lay her knowing gaze upon me and whisper in sepulchral tones about adjusting straps and ‘scooping the breast into the cup’, before pronouncing into the ether my size with all the ceremony of a bosomy eulogy, and thrusting some matronly contraptions into my arms while I stare lingeringly at the frothy, lacy underwear just beyond my reach… I know this is the journey – the exquisite quest – I will have to make again soon.
All too soon! I like my current size, boobs. I like you as you are. Why do you have to change? And I know you have, don’t try to deny it. You no longer fill the cups. Especially you, right boob. You seem to be cowering before your boisterous lefty sister. C’mon! Stand up for yourself! I still love you! Yeah, I know neither of you has seen much action recently, but I try my best – I give you both a squeeze now and then, and tweak the nipples. I know you like that. Should I do that more often? It can get a bit awkward, especially if we’re in public. The elderly gentleman in the post office seemed quite startled when I gave you both a good grope the other day.
Boobs. Hey, boobs. It’s all good. It’s all gravy. I know there’s life in you yet. I know you and me have some good times ahead. So don’t give up on me now, boobs. Just stay bouncy, stay squidgy, and don’t head south any time soon, yeah? I’d prefer you to hover round the chest area. I’ve grown attached to you there.
Oh, and, uh, I might get you one of them Wonderbra things. As a treat. For me AND for you.
Sound cool? Good. Gooooood.
*pats boobs reassuringly*
This is where I should post a photo of my boobs, right?
*drops camera in cleavage* *tries to retrieve it* *gets hand bitten off by guard dogs*