December 22, 2015

A practical guide to gift-giving

 

Gift Giving Guide

 

I’m so fed up with impractical and often expensive gift guides boasting jewellery, hats, wallets, sunglasses, clothing and home decor. Said items are extremely personal and unless you know the recipient really fucking intimately, chances are they aren’t going to like the gift. So don’t be an asshole and make it awkward for them, here are my top 10 practical, can’t-go-wrong gift ideas for christmases, birthdays, housewarmings and the like.

 

1. Beach Towels. This luxury item is the perfect gift for povo Gen X and Yers (like me!) Country Road have a selection of modern designs in various prints and colours to suit everyone’s taste.

 

2. Socks and Underwear. They’re expensive, they wear out and nobody likes spending their own money on either of the two, especially when there’s wine to be bought. A three-pack of their chosen brand, size and colour of underwear is likely set you back around $50. Sock-wise, Odd Pears and Happy Socks offer both minimal and not-so-minimal designs for work and play.

 

3. A Restaurant Voucher. Because food tastes better when it’s free. Send your friend or loved-one along to one of your favourite restaurants. Alternatively, keep an eye out for local community gatherings offering an intimate and memorable dining experience such as Shared Harvest (Brisbane), Garden Dinner Society (Brisbane) and 100 Mile Table pop-up dinners (Byron Bay).

 

4. ‘Who Gives A Crap’ Bundle. Moving house sucks diiick. Reward your recipient’s relocation efforts with a bundle of toilet paper, tissues and paper towel by the good folks at Who Gives A Crap. Not only is it a practical gift, but WGAC donates 50% of all profits to WaterAid to help build toilets in the developing world. Hero status ensues.

 

5. A Sodastream. I literally know no one who doesn’t like soda water.

 

6. A (Fucking Sick) Tea Towel. Ideal for the obligatory workplace secret santa tradition. Support local artists, check out The Club of Odd Volumes for a range of graphic designs starting at $25.

 

7. A Beauty Box Subscription. Who TF wouldn’t want a tonne of free beauty samples every month? A three-month Bellabox subscription will set you back $50. Alternatively, show new mamas what an awesome job they’re doing with a Mama Pack by the #mumlifeproject starting at $25.

 

8. Aesop/Lush. Because who can justify spending $100 p/litre on geranium leaf body cleanser for themselves?

 

9. A Tailored Hamper. Thoughtful, practical, edible. Depending on your recipient (and available local provisions), you may consider gifting the following: local craft beer, socks (see above), Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce (CHANGES LIVES), Noosa Chocolate Factory chocolate-coated-anything, ‘Black’ charcoal & seaweed lotion, Bee One Third neighbourhood honey, Buchi kombucha, Hurraw organic lip balm, a cook book etc.

 

10. Art. DISCLAIMER: Not to be bought unless you know the recipient really fucking well. I’m currently frothing hard over ‘The Margarita Print’ by Annie Everingham.

June 27, 2015

10 things that will destroy heterosexual marriage long before gay marriage will

 

1. Money. Financial strain from your 4bdr, 2bth mega house, “The Great Australian Dream”. Did I say dream? Oops. I meant debt. Lots of fucking debt.

 

2. The little things. Husband keeping you up at night with his incessant snoring? Jesus Christ, you’re five years into this hell of a marriage and you’re already sleeping in separate fucking bedrooms aren’t you?

 

3. Infidelity. You take advantage of the nights that Hubby “works late” by booking a private “PT session” in the comfort of your own bed. Fuck! I mean home! The comfort of your home. What!? It’s cardio.

 

4. Kids. If you aren’t prepared to go to ANY LENGTHS POSSIBLE (I’m talking laundry room between loads) to maintain some sad fucking degree of sexual intimacy with your SO (and I say intimacy VERY loosely), you’re fucked. Not literally of course. You’re the opposite of fucked. Boner alert: not you!

 

5. Mid-life crisis. Hubby wants a Harley (read: escape) and you’ve decided it’s time to get in touch with your ‘spiritual side’ (read: your life lacks meaning). You settle on a camper-van which satisfies neither of you. Congratulations! You both lose!

 

6. Fatigue and exhaustion. You both work insane hours to pay off the insane mortgage on your insane mega house. You seldom see one another, but you make sure that the time you DO spend together is quality time; like sitting silently in front of the TV together, buying throw cushions for the spare bedroom, and getting angry at one another for important things like dirty plates in the kitchen sink and, “I said Shiraz not Merlot you incompetent FUCK”.

 

7. Resentment. You were young and the world was your oyster. But instead of Rome and Italy and rampant sexual adventure laden with STIs and an experimental goth/drug phase, you instead settled for your high school sweetheart. You revelled in your brilliance as you locked that shit down unaware that 30 years later you’d be thinking of crafty-as-fuck ways to kill your SO. You don’t want them to suffer suffer. Maybe he could ‘overdose’ you think as you sip on your fourth glass of afternoon wine, buffing your crusty feet and cackling away at your shitty daytime television program.

 

8. Different ethics. You went along with the whole ‘organic lifestyle’ thing for a while; fuck, those yoga sessions weren’t half bad. I mean you didn’t get much out of it physically per say, but you definitely came to appreciate the downward dog technique… from the back of the room. You pervy fuck! Seriously though, you’re a bit fucking tired of pretending to enjoy ‘Buddha bowls’ and ‘welcoming the sunrise’ at 5am.

 

9. Not speaking each other’s language. You say potato. I say tomato. Your SO tells you “they’re fine” but they’re definitely NOT FINE and every so often they explode into some rage about that time you didn’t pick up your socks or that time you let your mother talk down to them… 5 YEARS AGO.

 

10. Nothing in common. You got married, bought a house, popped out some kids. You did everything ‘right’. Now the kids have left home, and one P&O cruise later you’re starting to realise you have absolutely nothing in common with your spouse, literally NOTHING. Better renovate the house or some shit. You could get the fuck out while you still can. But you won’t. Mediocrity is better than uncertainty you tell yourself.

 

Note: parody intended.

March 8, 2015

Feminism and marriage

 

Women and men alike across the globe continue to fight for gender equality, yet these very people – intentionally or not – continue to uphold and perpetuate the sexist, archaic social norms surrounding the ideals of marriage.

 

Despite the growing popularity and awareness of feminism, women still wait around, enthused and doe-eyed, for their male counterparts to ‘pop the question’. These women campaign for equal opportunities and respect in education and employment, yet the idea of proposing to their man is preposterous, farfetched and absolutely out of the question. Women who go after what they want in both love and life are labelled aggressive, while men who do the same are considered leaders.

 

Society has rigid standards of what it means to be a woman vs. what it means to be a man. Changing attitudes over the last few decades has seen a more equal share in the responsibilities and power between men and women in heterosexual relationships. Despite this, men and women continue to adhere to certain gender roles, clinging onto irrelevant and damaging ideals of femininity and masculinity.

 

In many Western cultures, it is tradition for the man to propose to the woman. It is also not uncommon for men to seek permission from a woman’s father before proposing to her. While many today consider this to be a thoughtful and romantic gesture, *cue girlfriends jumping up and down with glee*, others who value and practice equality may see it differently, as sexist and utterly disrespectful.

 

Women on their ‘big day’ dress in white – once a symbol of virginity – and are walked down the aisle by their fathers, who literally give them awaylike property – to another man. After the ceremony, the happy couple legalise their declaration of love which more often than not sees the woman (proudly might I add) take her husbands last name. She is now referred to as Mrs. Whateverhislastnameis and accepts her new identity – his wife.

 

Too often I see women defining themselves as “Future Mrs. Smith”, smug and chuffed about the fact that, “He liked it so he put a ring on it”. And too often I see, “This is why he’s marrying me”, as if it’s a woman’s role to prove her worth in order to be presented with a shiny rock to symbolise that she is no longer available to other men. Why are men expected to propose and why are women expected to take their husband’s last name? If you “like it”, you should feel equally entitled and justified to “put a ring on it” without concern for ‘emasculating your man’, or being labelled aggressive and bossy.

 

Women of the 21st century, understand that your worth is not bound up in your ability to be deemed wife-material. You are a fully fledged, three dimensional autonomous equal. You are capable and encouraged to make your own choices that serve your needs and wants, not those dictated to you by old-fashioned, outdated and irrelevant rituals that render you ‘less than’.

February 27, 2015

Why being Vegetarian absolutely defines me

 

A friend put it out there that “being vegetarian doesn’t define you”. I disagree.

 

People who forgo meat and dairy do so for a variety of reasons be it ethical, their health or the health of the environment. I disagree with the statement you’ve made and I’ll tell you why. I became vegetarian for ethical reasons, in the beginning, but as time lapsed and I became more and more educated on the topic, I realised it isn’t just about food. Vegetarians and vegans are a minority who represent the voiceless. Being in a minority (two actually – LGBT and Vegetarian) has opened my eyes to many other minorities and causes, for instance, ethical fashion, women’s rights, waste and landfill and asylum seekers. For me, it’s a way of life and it absolutely defines me. I’m always looking to better myself, to make better choices and to stand up for those who can’t themselves. Being vegetarian has in turn influenced my everyday choices and I believe, has made me a more empathetic, aware and open-minded individual. 

 

I agree that ‘guilting’ people isn’t perhaps the best way to go about influencing change, but it does get tiresome and it genuinely breaks my heart seeing people choose ignorance over knowledge. If you watch the documentaries and debates, read the books and watch the footage and you come to an informed and educated option whereby you’re able to justify eating meat – good on you. I have friends who have decided it’s morally and ethically sound to farm and hunt animals for food and would have no qualms doing so themselves. In saying that, they seldom eat meat and when they do, they choose LEGITIMATE free-range, holistic farmed animals. While I do not agree, I respect them for being aware and for making the more ethical some would say humane choice.

 

People who eat meat are quick to say, “I don’t judge you for not eating meat so you shouldn’t judge me for eating meat”. How can you possibly judge me for being vegetarian or vegan? Answer me that. What am I contributing to or engaging in that could be deemed ethically or morally unjustifiable?

 

People who eat meat are also quick to say, “well do you wear leather, are your cosmetics tested on animals, plants have feelings too you know”. All valid points, all worthy of discussion. Paradoxically, if someone is so concerned about the welfare of vegetables to use this as an argument against vegetarianism, this person should actually become a vegetarian. But surprise surprise, they never do. Alas, their argument and motives are disingenuous.

 

Everyone has a choice, there’s no doubt about it. Everyone but the animals, they don’t have a choice and that is why this is such an important discussion and moral decision we mustn’t make lightly – a decision that should be met with empathy, due care and sound knowledge.