Sookie Stackhouse and other stereotypes

Single parenting again this week while husband flies off to Nigeria. Hopefully this week will go by without anyone barfing. A mother can only hope.

The father of my offspring gets angry and hurt when small children scream for Mummy. Quite often I wish the wheel would turn in the other direction. Or course, they wait until he is not here and then the tears fall like rain.

Small girl aged 5: “Daaaaa Deeeee! I want mah Daaaaa Deeee!”
Me: “Daddy is in Nigeria. I can get you out the bath or you can stay there until Friday when he gets back.”
Small girl aged 5: “I want mah Daaaaa Deeee!”
Me to Small boy aged 8: “You deal with it.”

The visit to Nigeria brought on an interesting conversation about national identity and stereotypes. Husband pointed out that you can’t judge a country of millions on the 2 000 odd drug dealers in Hillbrow. This is correct, but the world likes things in simple terms and it makes writing movie scripts much easier so:

Australians shag sheep.
South Africa is crime central and where you can get a good deal on offing your fiancé.
Germans are white supremacists.
Swedes have no sense of humour.
Russia and Italy are Mafia capitals.
Nigeria is made up of drug lords.
The English queue and can’t cook.
The French cook, but are obnoxious.
The Dutch have legal weed smokers.
America is a nation of consumerism, mild idiocy and Disney.

It doesn’t matter how much money International Marketing Councils spend on trying to change these perceptions there are there to stay. The greatest perceptual changes of national identity are made through cartoons and movies, not the news or CNN.

For example, when visiting America you can’t experience the national character by visiting Lady Liberty. It is the taste of a chilli dog, the carnival of a baseball game and fireworks on Independence Day. In England it is a footie match, a warm beer in a dark pub and a plate of bangers and mash.

I got in to very very hot water yesterday with Small boy aged 8’s teacher. The one person you should never piss off. I hope she hasn’t heard about the Army outfit or her opinion of me will sink even lower. So, last night small boy had to catch up a week’s worth of homework. It was so painful I felt like doing it for him. I deeply resent teachers who take out their irritation at the parents on their kids. Anyway, the reason I didn’t pick up the bloody homework was because we were all on a conference call on the great white telephone.

Arguably the worst part of the single parenting week (aside from the morning school run at tweet o’clock) is that I cannot take any painkillers for my back. They work like a charm, but they also remove me from this plane of existence for a few blessed hours. Hence, I cannot take them in case the house burns down and I am too comatose to rescue the cat. Which is why this morning’s desire to not pay any heed to the alarm clock led to a late awakening of the troops and a surprisingly well orchestrated campaign to get out the door. We even made it to school on time. Of course, as in any war, there are casualties. Today’s was the toaster, which lay down and died in the trenches amid heavy fire.

In response to this and a deep dislike of grocery shopping I went online to Pick n Pay and did my big shop. It took almost as long as going to the bloody supermarket, but with less stress and no anxiety attacks. Frozen food for some inexplicable reason reduces me to hysterical tears. The supermarket now knows me well enough to lead me to the coffee shop, ply me with sweet tea and finish my shopping for me. Weeping women in the frozen food aisle can be off-putting for other shoppers.

Must remember today:
Book wax – do not want to terrify surgeons
Manicure and pedicure – same reason
Sexy yet demure pyjamas – just because I will feel like hell is no reason to look like it
Hospital pre-admission forms
Bone density scan
Strawberry yoghurt

Damnation! I have work to do and I have finally managed to get into the Sookie Stackhouse chronicles. The name is just off-putting, Sookie? Yuck. Well, at least they aren’t vegan vampires like the last lot. To thine own self be true and all that. Vegan vamps just aren’t on.

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I write because I have to. It is a compulsion. I do it to vent, to laugh and to remember. I blog because it has been so long since I had to write with a pen that my hand would go into cramp if I tried to write a journal.

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