a reflection: teenage mutant ninja turtles and what you look for in a life partner

As a young girl with a VHS player, I always fancied Donatello more than the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ve come to realise that it says a lot about what I look for in a man. On reflection I see, I have always been more attracted to a quiche man than to a cave man.

Leonardo wears a blue mask and a burden of responsibility like a prized possession to nurture. He’s career driven, focused, dedicated… but when is he coming home?

Raphael is a strongman. He has a forceful nature. Some might say he’s a dark and swarthy guy. He can sit alone at the bar, but not necessarily because he wants to.

The free-spirited comedian of the group is Michelangelo. He’s an adventurer. He’s eating pizza from the box and living in the now, dude.

As the engineer, inventor and wordsmith of the group, Donatello uses the power of his smarts. He doesn’t seek the limelight, but the limelight finds him for his less brash achievements.

While Michelangelo made David famous, it was Donatello that broke with tradition and pioneered nude sculpture. He showed us that it’s not all about men with muscles; that a young man can take down a giant just with intellect and a great sun hat.

Brains beats brawn in the eyes of this fair maiden. And so, on Donatello’s behalf because he wouldn’t say it himself, I believe the caption shall read, “So there!

Donatello's David


image: Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), David (1440)


kissing a boy in a tree

I have this thing, you know, one of those things, it’s like a fantasy but it could be a reality. I want to kiss a boy in a tree. I’m not totally deluded about it, in fact I’m very realistic about it, I’d be most happy if the boy was my husband.

But I’m afraid. Not afraid of climbing a tree. Nor kissing a boy, heck knows I’ve done enough of that to know that it’s not scary, especially with my own man. But I’m afraid of disappointment. In my mind it’s a magical event. It punctuates time.

I’d be less than satisfied if the branch was that little bit too thin and the moment was diminished by the presence of a nervous anxiety that you are seconds away from plummeting to the ground. Or, heaven forbid, our teeth bumped, like some of those first awkward kisses snatched on the jerk of public transport. That just wouldn’t do. But then, that’s no reason not to take action.

So there’s only one thing for it. I must peel my relaxed, zombie killing hero away from his seated pose in front of the screen, to climb a tree.

A short while later…

He wasn’t sure if it was really necessary at first. I wasn’t sure if it was the kissing he was finding unnecessary, the climbing of the tree, or just plain going outside that was the issue. Reluctantly he donned his gumboots and casually strode across the lawn to the climbing tree, with me frolicking behind.

“Ooh, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get up there” I observed on arrival, frozen in my step and suddenly confronted by the logistics of my reverie.

My paladin grabbed a nearby garden chair and I scrambled up the rough damp limbs. I perched on a branch while my dearest joined me with ease.

In the dark of late dusk we sat with legs dangling. Taking in the view, but only for a short while.

“I can see a star”, my zombie slayer observed.
“It’s quite high here isn’t it”, I mused, particularly as we had only ventured to the lowest sturdy branch.

My branch was hard and woody beneath me but I leaned in and I closed my eyes to the dappled lights of the house.

So it was the first time kissing my boy in a tree, and while not the impromptu whimsical experience that I had first envisioned, it was close to it, and it will not be the last time.

the kissing tree

the things I need a man for

My house is temporarily man-free. I’m realising that I need a man for the following household activities:

– Opening glass jars. However, I’m sure that those plastic contraptions that aid opening stuff would have cheaper running costs.

– Re-attaching the soft-close device on cupboard doors when they fall off. I seem to have absolutely no comprehension about how they attach – no mater how hard I push them. But somehow I managed to bump them off all the time. Then I don’t remember which doors do and which don’t. Since being on my own, the kitchen has become a game of banging door roulette. The longer I am man-free the more doors are banging. I can’t change my habit. I’ve become reliant on the soft-close device.

– Oiling door hinges. I guess I could do this. I just don’t want to do it wrong. There’s something about how powder is better than grease for this, or is it that grease is better than powder? Or doesn’t it matter at all? Instead I continue with my ritual of slowly and silently turning the handle, then wrenching the door open at blur speed to avoid the elongated squeak.

– Washing up… when will it end?! … Ok, so that’s not technically a need either, it’s more like a down on my knees beg for washing up mercy. I’m contemplating giving up eating.

… There seems to be a pattern emerging, perhaps if I live in a house without doors and eat out of a tin my problems would be solved… ?

– Not for mowing the lawn, putting fuel in the mower or even getting it out of the shed, but for starting the dang thing. I loath the way the mower humiliates me. I pull that cord 20 times as the mower splutters and stops, splutters and stops, splutters … There’s absolutely no way that I’m talking it in for a service. That would involve putting it in the car (the other man task of lawn mowing). And yes, I do have the choke on, thank you.

– For cleaning up kid pukes. I can do poo-nappies but I cannot do chuck. (Thankfully this hasn’t happened yet but kids are so volatile, I’m anxious about it already)

– And of course, to check under the bed.

Have I forgotten anything?

Roy Lichtenstein, Thinking of Him

image: Roy Lichtenstein, Thinking of him

so what if I can’t park the car

I recently got found out. My husband was in the car and I passed by a perfectly good and adequate parallel parking space. Now that he knows, I figure my secret is out and I can find solace in the world wide web.

So what if I can’t parallel park?! There’s heaps of other options. Perhaps not front door options, but options.

I was playing it casual at the time, I had an air of ‘I know we’re going for coffee and the cafe is right there, but I want to drive around the corner, I’m driving and that’s where we’re going, because I’m driving’. As we drove on past that perfectly good space, my loving man exclaimed, “oh my god, you can’t park the car there?!”

I’m not quite sure how it happened that I couldn’t park the car. Perhaps not living in the city has contributed. Whatever it is, I realise now that, to be a true modern woman, I need to conduct stealth parking practice raids, and put the power back into my 1 point 6.

parallel parking

the fickle fish and how life goes on

My goldfish just died. I started with two, then had one, now none.

I feel there is a level of dignity afforded to my fish when I let them die naturally in the comfort and security of their bowl. I watch and support it the best I can, with kind words and foody treats that float by untouched. The fish has swum til the very end. Albeit, side ways, upside down, and sometimes just floating with a twitch.

After some time, my strong and fearless man steps in to deal with the situation. The Cleaner comes in to clear away the evidence of the crime scene. The crime of a fish’s life gone haywire with clean water given at irregular intervals, and, the day the littlest gave the fish half a tin of food. In retrospect, it was a troubled life, one of excesses, the loss of a dear friend, solitude.

My heroic man clearly sees the other side of the fishbowl in this tale of woe. Unceremoniously, his hand dives into the now becoming murky water of the fishbowl to extract said fish. The slimy, not so squirmy little life is all but completely faded now. It has gone on to another place. A sacred place. A watery nirvana.

“Wha’do’ya want for dinner?” I call after him. “Whatever…” he calls back. There’s a sound of water rushing through a cistern. “Well, I guess we’ll just have spaghetti then”.

fish bowl overfeed

a step toward demise

does this make my bum look fab?

Maybe we should give the poor man a chance. I mean, we are all guilty of the “Does this make my bum look fat?” question at some time in our feminine lives. It could be mildy disguised by “Do you like these pants?” or hidden in the slightly loaded statement “They’re my new pants! …” but ultimately – it’s that question.

Why do we have to bring the poor man into it. He was just harmlessly doing his thing, wearing his jeans and some shirt that has a hole developing in the side. What does he really care? In fact, it almost shows how much he cares. I’m trying to make an effort here. It’s so easy for you, I mean geez, did you even brush your hair? – He’s collateral damage at this point – And how the heck do you get a hole there anyway?! I’m thinking who does he think he is, Yves Saint Laurent?!

He stumbles aimlessly, blinded by the frailty of his conviction. He can see the cracks* forming, “umm… well, you know, it’s just drinks…”

Like it being ‘just drinks’ makes the size of my bum in these pants inconsequential.

It’s a no win scenario.

So I propose a simple letter change: Fat / Fab. Love the question – and the response.

“Does this make my bum look fab?!” … “Hell yeah”