Featured, Health and Wellbeing, My head

What not to say to a newly separated lady.

August 21, 2014


I got this.

If you follow me on Facebook you would have heard me mention that the neighbours are circling like gulls trying to ascertain WTF the new living arrangements at my gaff are.

If this is your first ever post, I’ll fill you in quickly – My marriage just ended and I’m doing a remarkable job of pretending it’s business as usual. I wear bright lipstick and stick a smile on my face and I drink a lot of wine.

This shituation is under control.

As I step out of my front gate I get swooped upon by curious suburban neighbourly types fishing for information to which I’m infuriatingly schtum.

My bestie suggested we build a man-sized mound of dirt in the back yard to really ‘fuck with them’. I personally thought that was pure gold. I could make it the new naughty corner and really look like the Mansons had moved in.

I explained the sitch to my direct neighbours because they’re home a lot. Now on my own in the house I thought having some neighbourhood watch was a sound plan. They’re a nice enough young fam bam. We say hi over the fence and it has real warmth but that warmth has not extended to backyard BBQS or key parties.

I’m good with that.

There is one particular Mrs Mangle nosey neighbour a few doors down whom I have avoided for about a year because I don’t dig her swag. Neighbourhood gossip ain’t my bag, and although pleasant enough, there’s not enough time for the peeps I’m crazy about let alone ones I’m lukewarm on.

So, the nice young Fam Bam was having a pretend picnic with their dinosaurs and teddies on a lovely rug in the gentle winter sun, and I stepped onto my back deck (which in awesome suburban style looks straight onto their greying knickers on the Hills Hoist), I gave them a ‘nice day for it’ salute and we all felt fuzzy for a moment and went about our business, until I heard my name being yelled across two gardens and a couple of fences by Mrs Mangle.

“Danieeeeeellle, where’s your husband? I haven’t seen him lately. Is he here? I saw him packing boxes into the car a couple of months ago.”

It was like a punch in the face to be honest. I could see the fam bam slowly sinking into the ground as they wish for invisibility and I did that thing where your tummy drops and your wee nearly squeezes out like silent tear from your urethra.

“He doesn’t live here anymore” I yelled back ” but perhaps over two fences and two gardens and a teddy bear’s picnic isn’t the best way to chat about it.”

And I stalked in, slamming the sliding door enough to shatter the glass into a million pieces – At least in my head I did. I really just politely closed it grumbling to myself because even though I never want to speak to her again I still want her to like me.

The other one I’m loving at the moment is “Wow, you have we very second weekend off from your kids. You’re so lucky.”

Yes, I am lucky. Because my marriage didn’t work out how we planned and I’m a single mum struggling to keep my shit together I get two days a fortnight to try and regain sanity. It’s awesomesauce. Everyone should have a crack at it.

In truth, the weekend thing is nice, but in an ideal world everything works out swell and you get a little ‘me’ time and family time is balanced  and everything is shiny and life is played to the ‘Family Ties’ theme song…..

“I bet we’ve been together for a million years, I bet we’ll be together for a million more…. sha la la laaa.”

*earworm alert – you’re welcome.

I’d also like to say if you have a distant acquaintance going through this, asking them about their financial status is actually rude. Asking me how I’m getting along financially is a little bit like asking me if my bowels are regular, and what’s the consistency.

Actually, you know, I’ll take the scat chat, please.

But I’m not immune to putting my foot in my mouth. No, sireeeee, Bob.

In fact, I’ve put my foot so far in my mouth on occasion, it was easier to remove it rectally than it was to cough that shit up, so I’m not judging anyone for their lack of tact….. however, if you’d care to express concern or curiosity buy me some goddamned $5 flowers and invite yourself over for a cup of tea.

Like I would do.

Or simply grab my hand, look me in the eye, and ask me,

“Are you cool? Can I do anything?”

I’ll say “yes, I’m cool”, and “no you can’t” so you’re off the hook but at least you weren’t a thoughtless dick.



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  • Reply Bunny Eats Design August 22, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Well, ARE your bowels regular? Are they chocolate crackles, ganache or pumpkin soup?

    Relationships are no one’s business. The Koala always said that relationship stuff should be between the two people involved. Not even Facebook has a right to know.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Some days I wonder if I’m a rabbit but other days it’s awesome.
      People are naturally curious creatures, some are just thoughtless too.
      That Koala is very wise.

      • Reply Bunny Eats Design August 22, 2014 at 10:07 am

        I hardly ever ask people (even close friends) about their personal lives. If they want to tell me, they’ll tell me.

  • Reply datingmumma August 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Oh snap, how did I miss this?! Its a tough gig, I bumped intimate my neighbour at the shops & she said “I’m so sorry I haven’t seen you around, I’ve been busy. You should pop over for a coffee.” Ah, honey, I don’t live next door to you anymore. *awkward*
    And if I have one more person tell me I should appreciate the “me time” I’ll likely tell them to go f**k themselves.
    Sounds like you’re doing the best you can. Worst comment I could make to you? At least you split up while you’re still hot! 😉 x

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 22, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Oops, yup, awkward. You must have snuck out in the night for them not to notice!

      Your horrible comment rocked. Thanks, mamma!

  • Reply Jody August 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

    You know I know them feels. *hugs*

  • Reply thehungrymum August 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

    oh, crud. Sorry to hear. Even more sorry that you have a Mrs Mangels-type getting all up in your biz. Wine is good. Toast for tea is fine. Crying perfectly acceptable. Hang in there.

  • Reply elementsathome August 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Your awesome, this post was awesome and as a child of a hard working single mumma, I know that my Mumma Bear was perfect in every way and even when she was losing her shit being on her own dealing with “people”…she was still just my awesome mum having a bad day. I didn’t know why and I didn’t care or understand how. I just knew she was my mum, a strong hard working woman who made rainbows cool and lunch money special. Those 2 little ones are the only people in your neighbourhood you have to keep it real for. Every one else is just filterless and awkward at these situations so flick their awkward dust off your shoulders and slam doors, swear and put bright lipstick on and do whatever you want with your $5 bucks coz you can. Mrs Mangles sounds like she needs Bouncer for company so her windows are not her friends.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      My, my, didn’t you just bring a tear to my eye? Thanks, babe. They were some beautiful words.

    • Reply Natalie August 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much for your reply about your mum.
      My husband left us in January and I haven’t recovered yet. I have mummy guilt daily and pray that my two little boys grow up with the same opinion of me that you have of your mum. You gave me hope. xxx

  • Reply EddieK August 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    This was my first read of your blog. A friend shared it on Facebook, and it really struck a chord with me. You see, my husband recently left me and our two girls. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I say that I put on my armour each day when I put my make up on….then I do a Shirley Hastings from Strictly Ballroom, and put my “happy face” on. Also…OMFG if someone asks me about my finances one more time, I’m going to blow a gasket.

  • Reply Toni @ Finding Myself Young August 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    I had the same crap when I separated from my ex-husband, although living in a townhouse complex the neighbours are naturally nosey because they’re so close. Ironically though I got a complaint about my dog being too noisy 3 weeks after he’d left (and taken the dog with him) so obviously some of them clearly weren’t that great at being nosey – although I have a feeling it was used as a segway to find out whether he was still living with me.

    The lady who lives next door to me and has done for 7 years still thinks my name is Tanya and used to confuse me and my best friend all the time when she was staying with me. Ironically shes pretty much the only neighbour I talk to on a regular basis so I really couldn’t care less what the others think of me.

    Just remember old people get old and eventually move to nursing homes so you won’t have to deal with her and if shes that much into gossip your situation will be old news in no time anyway 🙂

  • Reply mamagrace71 August 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Why do humans have to have such an ugly side, picking on someone’s shituation so they can feel better about their own?

    Big hugs, babe. Keep wearing that red lipstick and beautiful smile and remember for those moments you can’t be arsed, we’ve got your back xxx

  • Reply Fred Flintstone August 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I could relate to datingmamma’s comment, lol. I had a counselor ask me how old I was (I was 51 at the time) when I was trying to make the break from my husband. She kind of looked me up and down and said, ‘You’re not getting any younger’. I think I would have preferred the ‘at least you’re still hot’ comment lol.

  • Reply EssentiallyJess August 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    So I’ve been a slack blogger/facebook er lately because I had missed this.
    I’m sorry and I’m sending you icecream. Virtual ice cream cause it won’t make you fat but it’s good for your soul.
    Hope you’re doing ok. Xxx

  • Reply Zanni Arnot August 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    People really have no tact sometimes. I would definitely bring over $5 flowers…maybe even something a bit better than that. x

  • Reply larva225 August 26, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Dirt mound!! You simply must do it. (And I’m sorry for what your family is experiencing! Internet hugs from the States!)

  • Reply Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus) August 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

    This shit gets hard Dani. Let me know if you ever want to meet for coffee and I can not talk about the shit that gets hard xo

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