Archive | December, 2010

Sheth Shack Garage Sale 2011.

28 Dec

Question: What is worst than having a garage sale at your house?

Answer: Having a garage sale when you are hungover.

My head screamed at me for the excessive consumption of frozen margaritas & tequila nights. My stomach screamed at me for consuming an entire bag of kettle chilli chips at 3:30am. My mum screamed at me for not getting out of bed and helping.

It was 6:45am. On a saturday morning. Already, the hardcore regular ‘garage sale hawks’ had started to crowd on our driveway. What was wrong with these people? Didn’t they have anything better to do? Didn’t they have enough junk of their own? Admittedly, there were a few ‘diamonds’ amongst the clothes, toys and nik naks. Notably:

1. A relatively new coffee machine, which my dad had accidently (but permanently) set to the spanish language.

2. My ‘study’ desk which I studied on for my entire school career (apologies for the inappropriate ‘engravings’…I was bored at the time)

3. A chalk-drawn self-potrait of my face (suprisingly, that went unsold).
In saying that, I had a lot of difficulty parting with things. secretly did gather a few objects that were for sale and put them back in the house. Memories started flooding back. The plasterfun house scultpture I had painted for my mum. The signed copy of my Bardot CD…..

I had envisioned a relaxing day, sipping on lemonade whilst watching people sift through our various objects.

Nope. It was hell. The sun belted down on me. I concentrated on re-hyrdateing and bribed my sister to buy me breakfast. I had to control my temper when the old lady from up the road, as she haggled for a box of books. Refusing to pay $1 then asking me to break $100 note for her. I also wanted to punch the boy next door as we demanded that I get the circa 1995 Nintendo gameboy to function.

It was exhausting attempting to fake smile and ethusiatically turn on my sales pitch (“yes! this old embroidered hankerchief definitely matches your handbag”…) when all  I wanted to do was crawl up in the dark.

By the end of the day nearly everything was gone. As they say, one persons trash is another persons treasure. However, I still dont understand, what possessed people to buy single earings, used salad servers and my dad’s ugly tracksuit pants.

Garage sales- a fascinating, cleansing domestic exercise. However, one word of advice: DO NOT do it hungover.



The demise of the mailbox.

15 Dec

Postman Pat you are fired. You too, Flat Stanley.

Recently, as I squeezed my hand through the mailbox fumbling for letters, I began thinking about mailboxes….. Nearly every house has one.

I believe they perform 2 functions:

1. To collect mail.

2. A place to display the house number.

More specifically, I began to ponder over the eventual demise of the mailbox. For most, the word ‘mailbox’, will immediately conjure up images of the icon or email contacts on your computer. Meanwhile, your mailbox sits out on your driveway. Unwanted. Uncared for. Unloved. As I started paying more attention to mailboxes & the display of house numbers, I began to realise how many shapes, sizes and colours actually existed. Each one unique and different. The fingerprint to one’s home. Some beautifully maintained. Others, worn down and broken. I began to wonder, if the mailbox acts as a symbolic representation of the house and inhabitants it belongs to.

Daily rituals involving rushing out to the mailbox with anticipation or licking the gum-flavoured stamp before popping a letter into the red postbox are now becoming redundant. With the rise of technology, receiving and sending physical mail has now become more of a disruption. Junk catalogues and bills are now replacing the carefully constructed love letters and postcards of the past. Instead, we compulsively ‘check our mail’ anywhere, anytime using our iphones, ipads and apple macs.

Questions arise: Will we have centralized mailboxes (like in many suburbs of America)? How will we display our house numbers?

Snail trails on the letters (it was only recently, i figured out snail mail was called that because of its speed to get places, not because they eat your mailbox -not all people have mailboxes full of snails) Don’t get me wrong, i’m all for saving trees & paper. I just believe that generations to come, will miss out on that sense of anticipation and the need for patience when waiting for something to arrive or be delivered. The demise of the mailbox, symbolizes the rise of immediacy as it permeates our everyday life.

Don’t get too cocky Mr Telephone booth….I think your heading down the same path…..

Let the hands do the talking…

1 Dec

My mum has always said you can tell the age of someone by their hands.

Bombarded with advertisements instructing us to dab the cream, sponge the serum or massage the gel…all promising to reverse the effects of aging and ‘wind back the years’.

Forget the multiple chins, cankles and canteen-lady arms….think prominent veins, knobbly knuckles and saggy skin, all located….on your hands.

Trust me. Preserve your hands or just wear gloves. Hands reveal all.

Marcel Marceau, Mickey Mouse and Michael Jackson knew.  The old ladies who wear white driving gloves know. Now, you know too.

* * *

At the age of 24 years, I am aware of what I will face in the short future-  memories of losing my first tooth, identifying my first ‘curly’ hair down there and recognising my shapely ‘hips’ will inevitably be replaced by memories of sighting my first gray hair, the need to use my high-waisted skirt as extra breast support and the realization that I can use my bum to sweep the floor behind me…I guess it ultimately comes down to  how we decide to acknowledge & react to these bodily changes.

Wrinkles and ageing is symbolic of experience, wisdom and life. I do admit that at this point in my life it is easy to make grand sweeping statements like this…and yes, maybe in 20 years I will resemble an ‘indian-fied’ Pamela Anderson…but for now I vow to age gracefully.

Face it or leave it. That is my opinion.