People. UGH.

I’ve realised something about myself over the last few days – I really don’t like people. (Sorry.) Everyone has been irritating me lately, and I mean everyone. People really are the worst.

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Maybe it’s just because I’m considered “a nice person”, but I often feel like people take advantage of this, and I’m sick of it. To quote Gwen Stefani: “I’ve had it up to here.”

I don’t want to go off on a “poor me” tangent, but I feel like I always go out of my way to be accommodating to others, and very rarely is it reciprocated. I’m sure everyone feels like this at some stage.

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Which is why I’m going to spend the rest of my weekend on the couch in my pyjamas, watching cat videos and looking at pictures of cute donuts. (Seriously, have you ever seen anything cuter?!) You do you, I’ll do me.

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ADORABLE.

This is fine, because I genuinely love my own company. (I’m awesome, so it’s hard not to. And if you haven’t met me, I feel bad for you. But please don’t introduce yourself, because – let’s be real – you’ll probably just disappoint me and piss me off, too.)

Why do I feel like this right now? No real reason… Except for a few little encounters that have all accumulated, leading to my current state of being.

Here are five reasons people suck…

1. They Talk

Sometimes people just talk for the sake of talking (yes, I can be guilty of this too), and the shit that comes out of their mouth is not safe for public consumption.

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2. They Smell

Some people do. They smell really bad. Have you ever been trapped under a man’s armpit during a peak-hour commute on a train? I have.

3. Too Much Effort

Any relationship should be a two-way street, and more often than not, I feel like the designated driver on a one-way road. (This is not just a metaphor – I regularly do end up being the designated driver.) In short: too hard basket.

4. They’re Annoying

I don’t know if it’s intentional, but some people just really know which buttons to push. It’s like, “Well done. You’ve successfully pissed me off. Here’s a shit trophy.”

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5. They’re Selfish

This one really grates… While it’s important to put yourself first, if you’re taking advantage of others to do so – whether you’re using them emotionally or constantly expecting favours – you’re a really shitty person. Be more considerate of others. It’s as simple as that.

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Current blog post aside, I am a generally happy and outgoing person, and as a result, I feel like I have a tendency to attract a lot of people who – maybe without even realising it – are draining. (A psychic once told me this, so it must be true.) It’s like people somehow expect my positive energy to rub off on them, making them feel better about themselves. But if I’m being honest, this often leaves me feeling used, exhausted and stranded in the middle of the ocean like Claire Danes… (Yes, I know this doesn’t make sense, but there’s a GIF.)

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I don’t think there’s anything exceptional about me or the way I’m feeling right now. I’m sure many have felt like this before and many will feel like this after me, too. But in a world where people are constantly looking out for themselves, I hope this serves as a reminder to be a little kinder and more considerate of the people around you. Particularly the people you love.

Ask someone how they are and really listen when they answer, or offer to do something to help someone out. Most importantly, make time for people! (After recently undergoing shoulder surgery, it was a real eye opener to see who made time for me…) We’re all busy. Kindness doesn’t cost anything, but its effects are priceless.

Remember, the world has a greater population than just you – we’re all in this thing together.

The End… Or Is It?

I won’t lie – I had an extremely sheltered upbringing. Maybe even more sheltered than I realised… This may come as a shock to some of you, because I’m so worldly now.

In 2009, while on holiday in Hawaii with my friend, Sarah, I made myself comfortable on my bed with a big ice cream cone (cookie dough, in case you’re wondering) and settled in to watch Turner & Hooch – a childhood favourite. In case you’ve never seen the film (shame on you), it stars Tom Hanks as an uptight police officer who adopts a drooling but adorable dog named Hooch. Anyway, everything was going great until the film neared the end and – SPOILER ALERT – Hooch got shot. I had no recollection of the film ever ending like this. Then it got worse – SPOILER ALERT – Hooch died! I was shell-shocked – I even threw out the rest of my ice cream. And then it occurred to me – my parents always used to stop the film right before anything bad happened to Hooch. “That’s all,” they used to tell me.

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If you’d been in the movies with me when I saw Bambi, you’d understand their reasoning for this. I can still remember it. I was about four years old and my mum had taken me to the movies for the very first time. Bambi’s mother is shot dead in the opening scene of the film. Horrified, I crawled onto my mother’s lap and proceeded to sob hysterically for the rest of the film. I’m sure it was a great day out for everyone involved.

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During a recent night out with some friends, I proceeded to tell them the Turner & Hooch story, much to their amusement. “So you never saw the scene at the end of The Sound of Music where the von Trapps march over the mountain and are shot dead by the Nazis,” my friend, Andree deadpanned. “No, I never saw that,” I shot back.

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It made me wonder how many other film endings my parents had deprived me of…

Free Willy

Alternate ending: Just moments after being released back into the ocean, a Japanese whaling ship pulls up and, well, you know…

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Clueless

Alternate ending: The film cuts to a year later. Cher’s dad and Josh are doing time in prison for fraud and embezzlement. Cher is now forced to work as a stripper to make ends meet. In The Valley.

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Mary Poppins

Alternate ending: As she floats away, Mary’s magical umbrella hits a flock of pigeons, sending her crashing back down to the ground. The Banks family run over to help, but there’s little that can be done. Mary looks up into the distraught faces of Jane and Michael and softly whispers, “Tell Bert I…” before taking her last breath. Given that Bert’s house burned down later that same day, it’s believed she was trying to say, “Tell Bert I left the stove on.”

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One Direction: This Is Us

Alternate ending: Zayn leaves and the band breaks up. Oh. Wait…

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Alternate ending: After almost half a dozen children die in his chocolate factory, Willy Wonka is led away by the police in handcuffs. It turns out he’s a serial killer, and unsuspecting Charlie was about to become his next victim. The Oompa Loompas are his slaves/accomplices.

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Twilight

Alternate ending: Love doesn’t conquer all. Unable to fight his vampire instincts any longer, Edward kills Bella. Because that’s just what vampires do, kids, even when you pour some glitter on them.

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Grease

Alternate ending: After taking off in their flying car, Danny and Sandy have a mid-air collision with the flying car from Harry Potter, leaving them all fighting for their lives in hospital.

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The Wizard of Oz

Alternate ending: It’s a trap! After luring Dorothy and her friends to the Emerald City, the Wizard abducts them and keeps them chained up in his dungeon. They can’t escape, no matter how hard Dorothy clicks her heels.

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Sleeping Beauty

Alternate ending: It’s not a curse. Prince Phillip – a serial rapist – has slipped Princess Aurora a roofie, and the misunderstood dragon is simply trying to keep him away in a desperate attempt to protect her.

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Forrest Gump

Alternate ending: In what is possibly the saddest ending ever, Forrest sits on the bench waiting for his son to come home. But he never does, and Forrest waits forever.

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Like Mother, Unlike Daughter…

Being Mother’s Day (Cue the chorus of: “Shit! I forgot! Are the shops still open?” Answer: “No, Dad.”), I thought, what better a time to let Mum know how much she means to me than today? Yep, I’m original like that. Also, I just really want Mum to finally confirm what I’ve long suspected: I’m her favourite daughter (behind the cat, of course).

One of the first things people always comment to me after they’ve met my mother is how beautiful she is. While there’s no denying she’s a stunner (Dad is really punching above his weight here…), I truly believe her beauty stems from the inside out. She’s like a real-life Snow White and she really is one of the best people I know.

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This is what she’s taught me over the years…

Kindness

She really will do anything for anyone. Last year, while on holiday in San Francisco together, a homeless teen stood shivering on the street wearing just a T-shirt one cold winter night. He was holding a sign that read, “Jacket stolen. Please help.” While the hordes walked past him, Mum stopped, tears in her eyes and said, “That poor kid. I’m going to buy him a jacket.” She walked over to him, asked him his size, and then went into H&M and bought him a winter jacket. Then she slipped a $5 note into the pocket and handed it over to him. How many other people do you know who would do this?

Yes, it turned out to be a scam, because the next night, that same kid was back on the street wearing just a T-shirt and holding his sign. “Don’t tell me someone stole his jacket again?” Mum asked incredulously (that’s how pure-hearted she is). “No, Mum,” I told her, as I narrowed my eyes and shook my head at the guilty-looking kid. “He’s a con artist.” I wanted to punch that kid for taking advantage of my kind-hearted mother, but Mum did what she thought was right, and I know she’d do it all over again.

Generosity

See above. All I’m going to say about this one is there’s a reason why no less than six charities call every single night asking for my parents. I’ve never met two people who are more giving of themselves. All you have to do is ask, and they will open their hearts and their wallets (Dad somewhat reluctantly). In return, I’ve tried to teach them that not everyone is deserving of their generosity, but it’s a work in progress…

Sensitivity

My mum is one of the most sensitive people you could ever meet. She tears up on an almost daily basis – sometimes multiple times… It’s frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of an argument – you have nowhere to go except to back down, otherwise you risk looking like a cold-hearted bitch. Meanwhile, doctors have told me my tear ducts are blocked (true story). I’m really not a sensitive person. I have a tendency to tell it like it is, and I generally let criticism roll right off my back. It’s a pretty great way to live. I just don’t give a f***, basically. Mum has taught me to be a little bit more gentle and considerate of others. Just because I don’t get hurt so easily doesn’t mean others are the same. I probably would’ve been a monster without her.

Style

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the style-savvy queen I am today… There was a time – a long time ago – where shopping was my idea of torture. My wardrobe basically consisted of flannel shirts from the boys department in Target. (They were comfortable, okay?) Mum has always taken pride in her appearance, and she has the walk-in wardrobe to prove it. When I was a kid, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper even ran a profile on her shopping habits! So the next time Mum tells me to shop less, she should remember that she really only has herself to blame, because we all know I didn’t get this from Dad. He’s still wearing shoes from the 1970’s (not in an ironic way, either), and thinks spots and stripes make the perfect combo.

Friendship

I’m lucky enough to be able to say Mum is one of my very best friends. I know I can go to her with anything, and she’ll always be there for me. She’s everything a best friend should be, and she’s taught me how to be a good friend in return. I’m sure we get on each other’s nerves sometimes, but it always passes. As I’ve gotten older, I think of her less as an authority figure in my life and more as a peer, which might be why people often confuse us for sisters or friends. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact she’s drinking from the fountain of youth…

Love

Not a day has passed when Mum hasn’t made me feel loved. She’s openly affectionate and raw with her emotions, and I’ve always found it incredibly brave to be able to put yourself out there so honestly and vulnerably. I’ve always found affection to be awkward – it just doesn’t come naturally to me – and my idea of telling someone “I love you” is saying, “You’re alright, I guess.”

So, Mum… You’re alright, I guess.

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Meet Mena…

Mena** is a friend and former colleague. She’s kind of like a unicorn. You can tell people about her, but no one will ever believe she’s real.

One thing is certain though – once you’ve met Mena, you’ll never forget her. She’s the sort of person who makes you stand guard as she rifles through piles of garbage, looking for hidden gems. She’s a cautionary tale told by firefighters of what not to do in an evacuation. She shamelessly steals rolls of toilet paper from public bathrooms. And while you’re frantically sprinting across the road, trying to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic, Mena is taking her sweet time, yelling at the cars to “f***ing stop”.

But they’re just some of her good qualities. She also happens to be fiercely loyal, feisty, protective, generous and big-hearted. (Although she’ll never admit it.) She’s also one of the funniest people you could ever meet. (That she does admit to. Frequently.)

I can honestly say I have never met anyone like Mena, and I doubt I ever will. I sat next to her for almost five years at work, which means I had a front row seat to her daily words of wit and wisdom. Some of her one-liners were so good, I’d make a record of them for the history books. (She never knew this. I don’t think…) I’m almost certain people in the future will study her.

Anyway, enough from me – I think it’s time you all met Mena…

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Mena on light bulbs…

“It’s like my mum says, ‘Never change a light bulb in front of a man, because you’ll be changing light bulbs forever.’ I take the same approach to my work.”

Mena on her Eastern European roots…

“They are so f***ing shit at life! I cannot explain how shit at life Eastern Europeans are. I like to think I’ve escaped the Eastern European traits, but it still takes me two days to do my dishes, and trust me, that is a Polack gene.”

Mena on self-perception…

“I don’t want to be the fat, kooky, funny girl. It’s a fine line between being fat and kooky and that chick off The Drew Carey Show.”

Mena on the power of determination…

“I got it for free! I shook the vending machine. I have the force of a German shot-putter!”

Mena’s long-term employment plan…

“They can’t fire me! I’ll tie myself to the front of the building.”

Also…

“Please don’t fire me! I’ll have to do porn!”

Mena on thinking practically…

“If I was given a dying wish, I’d ask for a million dollars… And more life.”

Mena on Channing Tatum…

“I don’t understand. How has he been allowed to do anything other than be a bouncer?”

Mena on dealing with a break up…

“You get your shit before you dump them, and if you’re really mad, you get some of their shit, too.”

Mena on, er, Mena…

“Mena does what Mena wants, and if Mena wants to have a quiet night at home, Mena doesn’t give a f*** about your party!”

Mena on loving her job…

“I feel like I’m being raped in this place.”

Mena on romance…

“The movie Misery is my template for a happy relationship.”

Mena on getting shit done…

“Have you ever seen the maintenance man in here before? No. That’s because I called him. I get shit done.”

Mena on winning awards…

“I’m sick of the Oscars! They give people awards for doing their jobs okay. I do my job okay. I got here at 9am today, where’s my f***ing Oscar?!”

Mena on beauty…

“I hate it when beauticians ask me if I’d like my lip waxed. No, I don’t want my lip waxed! What are you insinuating?”

Mena’s plans for power…

“I want to join the Illuminati. How do you get in? Is it through Scientology? I’m going to Google it.”

Mena on home living…

“I have polished floorboards – I can’t live next door to criminals!”

Mena on racism…

“I’m racist against stupid people, and Miranda Kerr is the worst.”

Mena on having a social conscience…

“All of these do-good hippies… Tell it to your iPhone and the people who died making it!”

Mena on death…

“Well, you’ve got to meet your maker sometime.”

Mena on exercise…

“I get a stretchmark every time I walk five metres.”

Mena on being well-connected…

“Jesus is my co-pilot.”

Mena on being a woman of the future…

“I’m too progressive for you. I’ll give you my ideas in six months when you’re ready for them.”

Mena on picking up…

“Do you know what I say to men who tell me I’m creepy? ‘Shut up and drink your Rohypnol.’”

Mena on Cory Monteith’s tragic death…

“Grief has made Lea Michele hotter.”

Mena on athletic prowess…

“You can run really fast. Congratulations… Run from a tiger.”

Mena on Lorde…

“Lorde reminds me of the women you see milling around government-funded art galleries in the inner city. I won’t live to see it, but her chances of haunting a run-down country house and writing poems about her cats are roughly 99 percent.”

Mena on free entertainment…

“I call it dinner and a show whenever I lean out my window to watch the drunks on the street fight while I’m eating a cracker.”

Mena on setting realistic goals…

“Parents should stop telling kids they can be anything they want. ‘Ooh, you’re going to be the President!’ No, you’re not. This is what’s wrong with Gen Y.”

Mena on not being allowed to shine…

“I have toned it down. There’s much less laughter, but what can I say?”

Mena on tackling her to-do list…

“Yep, I’ll do it right after I slit my wrists.”

Mena on public transport…

“I’m not catching the bus! The bus is for the masses. I’m too dainty and delicate to catch the bus.”

Mena on finding balance…

“In order for someone to be happy, someone else has to be very, very sad. For instance, I’m happy when I find a bargain jumper, but some kid in a sweatshop is very, very sad he had to make it for me.”

Mena on family gatherings…

“Everyone wants to be the drunk aunty at Christmas. No one wants to be the stressed out mum, running around, making all the food. The drunk aunty just sits in the corner and upsets everybody, then goes home.”

Mena on having dreams…

“Okay, today I sourced a video of Harry Styles eating a banana. That’s what I’ve done with my life today.”

Mena on dating…

“You should never go on dates. You will get raped. Statistically speaking, the chances are high.”

Mena on Lena Dunham…

“If you say Lena Dunham three times in a mirror, you’ll get stabbed by Lorde.”

Mena on the horrors of lint…

“I’m covered in crap! I look like the universe threw up on me.”

Mena on having idols…

“Shirley Temple taught me everything I know about teeth filing.”

Mena on keeping in touch…

“I have to call my mother, because yesterday I went to Woolworths for 10 minutes and she thought I was dead. My dad started riding his bike over to my house for proof of life.”

Mena on Polack customs…

“Pickling is a natural thing for Polacks. My sister pickled beautifully on her first try.”

Mena on family…

“I went to IKEA with my family on the weekend, which is why I needed to take two Xanax.”

And finally…

“If you listen to me, you can never go wrong. I’m like a f***ing genius.”

 

**Name has been changed to protect the not-so innocent.