Ignorance is bliss

Posted July 4th, 2007 by Penny Wise

I can't believe it! I got trolley perved by a pipsqueak today! There I was in Mr Patel's, minding my own business as I stood behind another mother and her two children. I started loading up my few purchases on the counter - two heads of broccoli, a parsnip and a bottle of orange juice and a few seconds later a loud voice piped up 'Ergh! That lady's got yukky stuff Mum! I'd NEVER eat that' and wrinkled his nose up at me in disgust. I just smiled benignly and carried on with my shop but after his little outburst I couldn't resist peering over and seeing what his mum had bought. On spotting nothing more than a frozen cheese and bacon pizza and two large bags of potato chips being stuffed into plastic bags it took all my strength not to come back at him with 'Yeah? Well at least I can COOK! At least I don't feed my kids CRAP!' but I figured it would be kind of lost on someone who didn't look a day over five years old. I briefly toyed with defending myself by pointing out the tub of ice cream I had still to get out of my trolley to him, but reminded myself I certainly didn't need to justify my purchases to this little ratbag.

It still made me really peeved though, that someone even this small was judging what I was buying. It probably didn't help that Mr Patel had given me a hard time a few days before about buying 'poor people's milk'. “Why don't you buy Anchor milk?” he asked, as I reached for a bottle of Pam's. I pointed out that for years Noel and I had thousands of free litres of Anchor milk on a daily basis when we were dairy farming and now we had to buy our milk, we were not going to buy the most expensive one on the market just so we could drink the same brand. 'Pam's is perfectly good enough for us thank you!' I smiled, as he rolled his eyes – then just to completely ruin any scrap of faith he had left in me, I turned around and grabbed three loaves of 'poor people's bread' too!

I guess it's just been 'one of those weeks' all round, really. Last Thursday I couldn't believe it when I woke up and found I was ill with the flu AGAIN! By Monday I could take it no longer and went to the doctor, who gave me another lot of antibiotics to clear up the throat infection that the last lot didn't. I knew it was futile to even bother going really, but I was just so sick of being sick! So I threw another $20 over the doctor's counter and in another really smart move I went to Mr Patel's and bought no less than FIVE women's gossip magazines. I was feeling so sorry for myself I just wanted to curl up for the afternoon and indulge in a little celebrity escapism. Pah – what a joke that turned out to be. Do you know how long it took to read each one from cover to cover? Not even an hour, to read all of them! It turned out to be an even bigger waste of money than I knew it was in the first place. I know, I know – what a Sad Sally!

One of the things which upset me most about being ill again was that I had been doing so well with the Pride Challenge but it all but went out the window for a few days as I spent close to four days hanging out in my penguin pyjamas, sporting a facial expression Frank Gallagher would have been proud of. However, the spirit was willing, even if the flesh was weak and I couldn't wait to get back into Proud Penny mode again as soon as I was better, so I spent a rainy afternoon sorting out my make-up box. I couldn't remember the last time I had seen the bottom of it and everything was taken out and meticulously cleaned in anticipation of wearing them all again. I can't even remember the last time I bought any make-up but I'm sure the last time I did it was when I lived in our previous house, which was over four years ago. I knew I still had a bit lying around but what I didn't count on was unearthing no less than 17 lipsticks, 18 eyeshadows, six lipglosses and two concealer sticks – among all the usual mascara, foundation and so on. Of course they were all in near-perfect condition, having hardly been worn. Most of them were Revlon brand and as I cleaned them all I wondered more than once what on earth had possessed me to buy half of them – partly because the colours were dreadful and in some cases bizarre but mainly because I obviously hadn't needed them in the first place. Then I remembered – Halle Berry – the face of Revlon. She always looked so stunning modelling the new shades for every season in those Sad Sally magazines I always used to read that I couldn't wait to rush out and get my hands on the same shade of lipstick, eyeshadow or whatever. Exactly the reason why these big cosmetic houses pay celebrities megabucks to wear their products, so mugs like me will fall for their advertising!

Suffice to say, I won't have to buy any make-up again for a VERY long time but I'm looking forward to trying out all my 'new' goodies again! I also found some other long-forgotten freebies while decluttering under the stairs the next day. I unearthed some boxes full of stuff I had planned to sell on eBay months before – unwanted gifts mainly but found upon rediscovering them again that they were just what I needed for my Pride Challenge! At the start of my Challenge I laid down three ground rules for myself:

1. Not to leave the house without make-up on

2. To wear perfume every day (I don't have to buy any of that for a long time either)

3. To finish off my outfit with some sort of accessory every day – a pretty scarf, pendant or bangle, or whatever.

So I was delighted to open a box and find no less than four pretty scarves, a French manicure set and two paraffin hand treatments! I had been going to sell them once upon a time but I figured they were worth more to me now than the pittance I would no doubt get selling them online. I even found an expensive English Lavender body spray which wasn't really my cup of tea but on remembering a Vault hint which mentioned using unwanted perfume sprays as long lasting air fresheners in the toilet, so that's where it now proudly sits and works a treat too!

Liam is still doing a stirling job with the cooking and recently made us all Sophie Gray's Spaghetti and Meatballs (it's from her latest cookbook but if you don't have it you can find it on her Destitute Gourmet website at the moment – it's delicious!) I think he's doing his best at the moment to earn brownie points for our trip away to Taupo at the weekend. Typical isn't it – here we are taking the kids to the mountain to see snow for the first time and what happens? They've closed the skifields because the rain has melted all the snow! Grrr – I should know by now never to actually plan anything if I want anything to go to plan. We're determined to have a ball whatever happens though and it will certainly be a welcome break from sitting inside listening to the rain hammering the roof.

It will be a blessing to get the kids away from the TV too, after the faux pas I made the other day! The boys are huge fans of WWE wrestling and asked me to record an episode for them a couple of days ago as it was on past their bedtime. I just pressed 'record' and let it run and yesterday morning when they got up, they asked if they could put it on. All was blissfully quiet for an hour or so, until all hell let loose. From the next room Noel and I could hear 'EWWWW!' every few seconds, followed by hysterical laughter before another 'EWWWW!' This went on for a few more minutes until we could bear it no longer and went to investigate. The wrestling had finished and I had inadvertently taped the next programme which followed – 'The World's Best Nude Beaches'. The boys were absolutely falling about at the site of grown men and women taking part in the Nude Olympics (which incidentally take place in Australia!), and Nude Volleyball, to name a few. The one which took Liam's interest most of all however, was the nude wedding. Apart from the fact he found the spectacle rather revolting, he did point out that it would be a very good option for a Simple Saver. 'Imagine how much money they must have saved on wedding outfits Mum!' Now all I have to do is delete the show when they're not looking!

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