Women over 40

andy-rooney-300Just stumbled across this on Facebook (thanks Kendall). This is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40:

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it’s usually more interesting.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one. You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Here’s an update for you…………….

Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realise it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Andy Rooney is a very intelligent man! Pity he is no longer with us.

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10 things every woman should know

stretchmarks1. Everyone has rolls when they bend over.

2. When someone tells you that you’re beautiful, believe them. They aren’t lying.

3. Sometimes we all wake up with breath that could kill a goat.

4. For every woman unhappy with her stretch marks is another woman who wishes she had them.

5. You should definitely have more confidence. And if you saw yourself the way others see you, you would.

6. Don’t look for a man to save you. Be able to save yourself.

7. It’s okay to not love every part of your body….but you should.

8. We all have that one friend who seems to have it all together. That woman with the seemingly perfect life. Well, you might be that woman to someone else.

9. You should be a priority. Not an option, a last resort, or a backup plan.

10. You’re a woman. That alone makes you pretty damn remarkable.

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Packing it all in

suitcase1I write to you from the land of the Kiwis, the home of the All Blacks and bottlers of the finest Sauvignon Blanc. Where chips are “chups”, sex is “sux” and lots of fun things “hair-pen” (happen…)

New Zealand.

It’s a bit of a mini-break. My husband had a few meetings in Wellington and I had a few dollars spare on my credit card.  Win win – for him, for me and for Westpac.

Wellington has more bars and restaurants per head of population than anywhere else in the world. It also has more shoe shops. Walk down Lambton Quay, which is the shopping equivalent of the Queen Street Mall or Orchid Avenue in the 1980s, and you’ll get sore feet from walking in and out of shoe shops.

The only smart thing to do of course is to have a nice sit down on one of the comfy chairs in the shoe shop. And while you’re there, it would be silly not to try on a few pairs. Wasteful, really.

I know I’m not alone in saying that I love to travel. Hell I get excited at an overnight stay in the country to attend a wedding. By country, I mean Ipswich. I try not to go too far west of Kenmore.

What I’m not good at is the packing part. I’m not good at working out what I’m going to wear for the next few days or weeks and getting it all into a suitcase.

Sure I check ahead to see what the weather is going to be like. I see what functions and events we will be going to. I ask my husband to tell me what the baggage weight limit is on the plane.

Then I pretty much open my wardrobe and throw its entire contents into as many suitcases as required.

In the second Sex And The City movie, Carrie gets on the Abu Dhabi-bound flight wearing a hat so enormous it needed its own boarding pass. That hat is never seen nor heard from again. Yes yes I know it’s a movie but she sent a very clear signal that packing doesn’t need to measured or sensible.

What I tend to overlook is that for the most part, I’m travelling to places that have shops and credit card facilities and ATMs etc. If I forget something crucial – a particular lipstick in a fetching shade of rose pink or a pair of black tights – there’s always more at the shops.

The bigger problem is that I don’t leave room for any holiday shopping. That normally requires the purchase of an additional bag. And quite often the purchase of additional baggage allowance.

Travelling by car, whilst devoid of the whole international immigration clearance and duty free shopping fun, means that there’s no real limit on bags.

And it means I become delusional.

Say I’m going to the Gold Coast for a week. I get it into my head that I’m going to be all Mother Nature and Mrs Home Maker and cook a few recipes that are on my cooking wish list. This requires the packing of the wok, my knives, my mortar and pestle and goodness knows how many other kitchen gadgets.

Reality being that we eat out pretty much for three meals a day.

Once I was determined to embrace a healthy outlook and packed my juicer and all manner of vegetables. The juicer never left the boot of my car and the vegies went the way of the compost bin.

About 10 years ago, I was in Singapore with one of my best friends, enjoying this Asian hub’s sights, sounds and tastes. There was lots of fun things to buy, especially in the newly emerging electronics sphere. When it was time to come home, I couldn’t for the life of me get my bag shut.

In desperation, I held my bag firm while my friend bodily dove from one of the twin beds to the other where my case lay gaping, attempting to use the force of body weight to shut it. It is possible we may have been drinking when we came up with this Herculean idea. It didn’t work. I had to buy another bag.

Another time, in Europe, I was at a check-in counter in Slovakia being told that the baggage limit was 15kg or face horrendous fines.

I got the weight of my case to the prescribed limit, but only through wearing three jackets, draping two pairs of boots about my neck, throwing out my shampoo, conditioner and body lotion, and dragging two carry-on bags.

This trip is only a week but I think I’m doing ok. The test of course will be at the Qantas counter on Monday.

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Self-confidence tips

Tip #1 – Make Decisions
• Think outside the square to make decisions
• Reflect on what outcome you want and show discipline achieving them

Tip #2 – Set Goals 
• Remember your reasons why [Read more…]

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Working the network

Last night, I was at a function to launch the next edition of a business magazine. It was a mixed crowd, borderline eclectic (possibly because one punter was determined to stay hunched over in his black overcoat and another punter wore red tartan trousers with matching scarf and driving gloves).

The industry types were just as eclectic, from funeral planners and home-based marketing businesses to travel agents, pilates instructors and business advisors. We collectively clutched our copy of the mag, a handful of business cards and the requisite glass of bubbles.

Now, I have a headstart on the majority of the other punters because I write a regular column for this particular tome. So, in networking terms, this is like going directly to GO and claiming $200. I could confidently walk up to groups and say, “Hi, I’m Bron, I write the customer service column,” and straight away we had an opening for a conversation.

I mean, there’s always the risk they’ll turn to me and say, “So you’re the one who writes that crap?” but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Like wearing heels to a garden wedding, opening a third bottle of wine or voting for Abbott.

Being in business for myself and working from home means networking functions are a necessity. Sometimes they are the sole reason I change out of my pajamas that day.

But the more I go to, the more I see such a stark difference in the way people – men and women alike – go about networking.

Without creating a spoiler alert, you need to know that this blog is not about male-bashing or the like. Quite the contrary. I think men are adorable. Especially when they take out the rubbish and put air in my tyres (thank you Alan). I even thought one of them was so spectacular that I married him for a long while. And I’ve now got another one who is even more spectacular so I reckon I’ll marry him too.

OK, now that’s cleared up, I’ll tell you what happened at this function. And I have to tell you, none of this is made up. Like some of my other blogs are prone to be…

I’m standing in a group of women, I think there were four including me. We were chatting, and it doesn’t matter whether we were chatting about the school pick up run or the fallout from the federal budget, we were chatting.

Then in bursts a male, business card brandished, with the stellar opening line, “G’day there girls, I think it’s about time I got around to telling you lot about my business.”

What a charmer. I bet he takes the dishes out of the sink before he pees in it. We may have two ears and one mouth but this fellow definitely doesn’t use them in that order. He was in the baby boomer category, is that relevant?

I couldn’t stomach such arrogance, so politely nodded my farewell and went in search of a champagne refill and a new group.

I’d been selected to give a short welcome address to the group at the start of the function, so en route to the bar, I was waylaid by another business card brandishing fellow who complimented me on my speech (which was lovely). In the next breath he asked if he could share my client data base because he was convinced that his wealth creation strategy would be needed by them all (which was not lovely).

Parched, I lurched stiletto first into the next group I spied. This was quaintly mixed – two boys and with the advent of me, two girls. The boys were trying to outdo each other in terms of football knowledge, Amex card colours and, I am sure, penis girth.

I’d clearly picked the wrong group to join. I don’t have a penis.

I quickly assessed my combatants and subtlely winked at my co-conspirator. We drifted off to the bar, claimed a refill, complimented each others shoes/earrings/eyeshadow application technique, and gave a précis of our business in 25 words or less. We chatted about working while raising kids and propping up husbands. We spoke about corporate raiders, live beef exports, the commonalities in our work and Lady Gaga. Swapped business cards and agreed to keep in touch. A brief air kiss and we diverged.

Shouldering my bag with a view to making a speedy exit, I heard the words, “Bron, can I have a word with you before you go?” A charming man, in a pastel shirt and rimless glasses, offered me his business card and a coffee meeting to put forward his idea to leverage our separate business skills with joint clients. Brilliant idea, brilliant concept and brilliantly conveyed. The only thing that was different from the lady I just previously met is that we shook hands instead of sharing an air kiss. Oh, and we didn’t talk about eyeshadow. I would have been mildly worried if we did.

I was nearly out the door, when one last woman waved a cheery hand and thrust me her business card. I quickly scanned it and learnt she was a personal stylist. It made me think she had a target market with this down-trodden crowd who mostly looked like they had dressed in the dark without the benefit of a mirror. Or deodorant.

“Give me a call,” she cooed in some faux French accent, whilst noticeably eyeing my outfit. “I can have your wardrobe sorted in a day so you never have to go out looking like this again.”

I had to look down at my clothes to assure myself I hadn’t accidently left my pajamas on. Oh blimey, I thought, do I look that bad? Either way, insults are not a great way to drum up business lady!

And had she seen Ms Red Tartan Trousers yet?

I like to do business with people, not companies. If I need a particular service – be it a document printed, a legal opinion, or my nails painted – I like to deal with a person I like. A person I can relate to, feel comfy with and even enjoy a laugh. Nudge nudge wink wink etc.

It doesn’t matter a jot to me if your printing firm won a major national award, or your legal company is currently putting the defence strategy together for Ricky Nixon, or even if your beauty salon does Miranda Kerr’s nails. If you don’t warm to me, I freeze you out.

Even if I’m wearing pajamas!

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What women want

#1 Foreplay. It is not a privilege, it is a birthright.

#2 If you take us out to a fancy restaurant, don’t try and steer us away from the lobster.

#3 Less carry on about our power and sanctity as being lifegivers, and let’s get some reliable and affordable childcare.

#4 Equal work for equal pay. Look around you guys. Look at, say, Kevin, the brain-dead tosser in the cubicle next to you. You could shake Kevin because he is such a slack and worthless idiot. Now imagine making 30% less than Kevin.

#5 This one is very important. When you’re having sex with us, don’t ask “Who’s your daddy?” Even as a joke. It’s not funny.

#6 And while we’re on the subject of sex, don’t ask us if we’ve come. You’re a big boy Clouseau, you should be able to tell.

#7 A law passed that makes it compulsory for all over-the-hill rockstars to have women their own age in their videos.

#8 When our mouths move, pay attention. Words could be coming out. Words are kind of important.

#9 Don’t tell us how to merge and we won’t tell you how to ask for directions.

#10 When we catch you cheating on us, and we cut your dick off in your sleep, take it like a man.

So there you have it – we want equal pay, fair treatment, respect, patience, and a genuine effort at understanding who we really are.

And if that’s too much, how about a diamond the size of your head?

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The reality of fairy tales

Perhaps Cinderella had it right all along. To secure your handsome prince, you need – in this order – one mean step mother, two ugly step sisters, a fabulous pair of shoes and a party invite. Stage an intervention, dance like Ginger Rogers, flirt outrageously with the queen’s son and pretend to lose a shoe.

Oh, and have an affinity for pumpkins.The curious part in all this is that Cinderella knew nary a thing about her prince. Would he relegate her to the role of football wife each weekend? Would he always open the door for her, or did he only do it that one time to impress her? Did he fart in bed and clip his toenails when watching tv? Would he have a teeny tiny willy with absolutely no idea how to use it?

Yet, there she was, blithely happy to marry him; happy to clamber up behind him on his white steed and ride off into the stereotypical sunset. Interesting how happy endings always seem to occur at twilight. Unlike ones I’m more accustomed to which seem more likely to occur at 2am when the bar is calling last drinks.

We know they lived happily ever after. It says so in the book. It doesn’t say that they had to go live with his mother while they saved for a home. Or that they ended up with three kids under four and were too exhausted at the end of the day to say hello to each other, much less share a kiss and a pony ride.

So perhaps we should stop berating Cinderella for not being pro-feminism; for not dating more; for not getting herself a decent education, taking out a mortgage and developing a network of friends.

She went to a party. She had a few drinks and met a bloke. He looked all right. He had a bit of money and a nice house. He clearly understood the close relationship women have with their shoes as he was so keen to make sure she got her missing one back.

So why doesn’t the Cinderella theory work for me? Am I really just searching for a good looking bloke to cart me off on his horse or equivalent? What if I didn’t like the suburb his castle was in? What if I preferred he go out to work each day to give me some peace instead of sitting in his counting house counting out his money and getting under my feet?

You see, he could be a prince, but if he’s shorter than me, he doesn’t get looked up, much less a look in. He could be a millionaire, but if he’s got a million issues from his first marriage that he hasn’t addressed, all the money in the world won’t make me stay. He could be the heir to Microsoft Systems but if his systems in bed are either micro or soft, he won’t be doing any point and click with me.

How much of myself am I prepared to abandon to secure a relationship? And does that amount rise with each passing year? Is the set of goal posts that I once firmly concreted into the ground now being excavated so I can move them?

Or should I go to more parties with a pumpkin under my arm and the strap loose on my sandals?

Snow White didn’t have it so bad either. Living in a house with seven gays would mean that you could talk at length about your “issues” and your “feelings” to an attentive audience. There would always be home-made pesto and a decent wedge of brie in the fridge. You could drink chardonnay all the time and not have to pretend it was a sav blanc.

The toilet seat would be down, the dishes washed up and you would never need to worry about your house-mates trying to cop a quick feel.

And then, just when you think you’ve done your dash and there’s no hope whatsoever left, some spunk of a bloke pops along, wakes you up with a dirty big pash in front of all your friends and there it is.

If I lived with seven adorable gays, I’d never want to leave. One of my very best friends is gay and I never want him to leave. We holiday together, shop together, cook together. He very patiently listens to me rave on for extended periods of time. Once I did it while we flew all the way to Singapore. He just kept ordering more red whilst simultaneously nodding and saying “yes sweetie, of course you’re right”. It’s fabulous.

Oh, and I’d never go near an apple again.

So does that mean relationships aren’t all they’re cracked up to be? When the theory is deconstructed, is it really trying to tell us to find more peace, contentment, happiness within ourselves first?

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl “Will you marry me?” The girl said “no thank you.”

Instead, the girl went shopping, dancing, had a great job, drank expensive wine, always had a clean house, cooked only when she felt like it, made her own decisions, never argued, read many books, didn’t get fat, travelled the world, took many lovers, didn’t save money, and had all the hot water to herself.

She went to the theatre, talked for hours with her girlfriends, laughed often, never watched sports, always looked fabulous and didn’t own any of that scratchy lace underwear that gets stuck up your arse.

And she lived happily ever after.

The end.

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When breast is not always best

In a woman’s life there are a few word couplings guaranteed to strike fear into her heart and mind; that cause her to rethink priorities and spend several long hours consumed with disbelief, fear, regret and anger. Let me try a few on for size for you.

Credit card (“surely I didn’t spend so much?!”) Root canal (“It’s really going to hurt, isn’t it”) Hang over (“why did I drink all that champagne?”) It’s over (“I can’t believe that creep broke up with me when I did so much for him!”)

Or this one. Breast cancer.

Cancer is not particular about how it selects its victims. There’s no protocol sheet or democratic voting system. It doesn’t base its assessment on looks, age, wealth or how well you did in your Year 12 English exam. It pops on a blindfold, spins itself around and whoever it next touches it shrieks “you’re it” and that’s it. You’re it.

A few years ago, I had this persistent ache under my left arm, near the side of my breast. Not so bad that I needed analgesics, but bad enough that it caused concern. Of course I ignored it. Of course I said nary a word to anyone. And of course I worried and allowed my over active imagination to run riot.

I performed breast examinations almost hourly and each time drew the same conclusion – what exactly is a breast supposed to feel like? I mean, I’ve never felt another woman’s breast, only my own, so I’ve nothing to compare it to. I had no idea how my breasts were meant to feel on a good day let alone a bad one.

Dear God, please forward breast manual at your earliest convenience.

I asked a few males what breasts feel like and felt like an idiot when they replied “they feel great”. Doh.

It was nothing more than my fervent wish to avoid leaving my daughter motherless that led me to my doctor. She informed me that the pain under my arm was no more than muscular.

Then she went on to say that she was more concerned, however, about a small lump that was no where near the offending ache, and that it should be “checked out”.

Hello Wesley Breast Clinic. Attire – unflattering wrap-around gown which conveniently comes in four sizes; large, larger, huge and tent. As much tea as you can drink and more magazines than bad outfits at the Oscars.

A mammogram is not an inspirational experience. Why not just lie down on the freeway and let cars drive over my breasts. Surely that would be more comfortable. I would not have thought it was physically possible to squash a breast to the thickness of a slice of bread. How wrong I can be.

It wasn’t so much this constant squashing, and getting my boobs handled by a stranger and flopping them on to cold x-ray trays. It was more the insensitive design element of the machine. There’s literally nowhere to put the rest of your body while your breast is being contorted. This machine puts your boob in a vice-like grip and it’s up to you to put your body in some form of a holding pattern while the x-ray is taken. My face was jammed up against hard perspex casing, my arms were draped on sharp corners of the machine, I’m naked from the waist up and the door to the room is open.

Hello, I’m in hell.

Did a man design this? Who’s designing the machine that checks testicles for cancer? I want to be part of that creative team.

I also had to have a biopsy. “Oh it’s a very simple procedure,” the medical attendant assured me. I’m still trying to figure out how inserting a six inch needle directly into my breast is simple, but clearly that’s how it’s viewed. And I got to pay for the privilege. They even accepted Visa.

Fortunately the upshot was a cancer-free result. Just some sort of fatty tissue mass sort of thing. Whatever that is. All I knew was that there was no cancer.

The thing is, fabulous women like Kylie Minogue and Olivia NJ can fall prey to the lecherous destroying tentacles of cancer. So what are the odds for average women like you and me who day to day go about doing our jobs, raising our kids, loving our men and paying back our credit cards?

Statistics say one in eight women will get breast cancer. If you have seven girlfriends who are cancer-free, go to the doctor now.

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