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Young & Married

A space where beauty, life, and love collide.

Respect the Retailers

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!

Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la la la la la la!

Troll the innocent retail worker, Fa la la la la la la la!

It’s that time of year again, and for everyone who doesn’t work in retail or hospitality, it’s bloody stressful. After all, it’s not easy getting the holidays off work, going to Christmas parties, and spending hours hanging out at the shops.

It’s a hard life.

Now, let’s take a minute to think about those people who don’t have time to do their Christmas shopping, work longer than usual hours, and don’t get to spend nearly as much time with their families as they may like.

These people, and yes, they’re people too, not just some robot behind the counter who is hell bent on serving you, have lives too. Most importantly, they also have feelings. So, for all of you who get way too caught up in your own lives over the holiday period and forget about those hardworking individuals behind the counter, I have a few things I would like to remind you of.

  1. Please and thank you are part of the English language for a reason.
  2. Minimum wage is not enough to make your bad attitude tolerable.
  3. Verbal, or even physical, abuse is not an acceptable way to communicate.
  4. Your kids are not at day care, and as such, no retail worker is responsible for their care or wellbeing, and they certainly aren’t responsible for disciplining them when they decide to run a muck in a shop – that’s when you, as the parent, are supposed to intervene.
  5. If you’re told that an item is sold out, the Eftpos machine has frozen, or that a worker will be with you in a minute, trust that they are telling you the truth. They do not have ten arms, and cannot be in multiple places at once.

Most of all, please remember that retail and hospitality workers are people too, and that you should treat them with the same level of respect you would a doctor or fire fighter, after all, without them, how would you manage to get all of your shopping done?

 

 

There’s No Place Like Home

When I was younger, I loved the city. I loved the hustle and bustle, the successful-looking adults running around busily, and the rich history and culture that lines the streets. I wanted nothing more than to be one of those people clad in black that always look like they have someplace important to be.

Then I grew up.

The city is busy, crowded, has an increasingly high rate of homelessness and poverty, and everything is completely overpriced – I just can’t stomach paying $15 for smashed avo on toast!

I completely understand that the city has a lot to offer when it comes to attaining a career, after all, urban areas have way more job opportunities than rural ones, but when it comes to setting up house, a cramped apartment on an inner city street just doesn’t cut it – at least not for me.

My husband and I recently purchased our first house. Both of us grew up in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne’s east, so moving a little further out wasn’t so far-fetched. So, we purchased our first home in a newly developed area that borders on suburbia and country, and I love it!

Our housing estate is quiet, the air is fresh, and you travel about a kilometre in any direction and you hit paddocks or bush. It’s beautiful, relaxing, and the perfect place to start a family. But I’ve quickly found myself wanting more.

I want to lie in an open field and stare up at the night sky and actually see stars. I want t raise kids who spend their time playing in the dirt, not in front of a television, and I want a yard that my dog can run around in without running out of space.

Is this too much to ask for?

My only dilemma is work. If I move to a rural town where the entire population knows each other, where would I work?

This is why I love the concept of outer-suburb development, as there are so many places in Victoria where you can soak up the benefits of the country, while enjoying all of the comforts of suburbia.

Honestly, I hadn’t put too much thought into where I lived, after all, if it was with my husband it doesn’t really matter where we are. But after some other areas of my life got more stressful, I quickly began to realise that my one source of solace was that feeling of relief I get when I pull off the freeway each night and see the beautiful treetops and rolling hills that I have come to love.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I couldn’t care less if my actual house is big and extravagant, small and cosy, or an absolute dump. What I really want is a place to escape, relax and call home.

 

Family Feuds

Being born on Christmas day is never going to be easy, but when your very birth is reason for your big sister to hate you, you know you’ve gotten off to a rocky start. Sure, I get it, waking up on Christmas morning to your parents not being there, only to be dragged to the hospital to see your parents doting over some red-faced newborn that resembles a shriveled up pumpkin more than an actual human being, sucks. But she was only five, surely she would get over it, or better yet, forget it entirely. Oh how easy life would have been if I was born into a family with fish-sized memories, instead, I was created by a band of memory-soaking bandits.

We all have the tendency to hold grudges, which, sadly, is a habit I inherited. If you’re wondering why I’m starting out with a rant about my brilliant grudge-holding abilities, it’s because my inability to forgive and forget is essentially the basis of every bit of drama I’ve encountered (and attracted/caused) my entire life. So, who do I have to thank for my epic grudge-holding abilities? Honestly, only myself.

My sister and I have barely spoken in months, and I have spent the better part of 2016 blaming her for it. But was our whole fight really her fault?

Let me start at the beginning. My sister can be very critical, and she enjoys making jokes at other people’s expense, and while this can be amusing at times, it can also be insanely frustrating. After 23-years of putting up with her attempt at humour I finally hit my wits-end.

She went into my husband’s bookstore when he was pretty swamped. Joked that he wasn’t really in charge, picked on numerous other aspects of his personality and store, and did so in front of his new staff members. Not surprisingly, my husband got a little ticked off by this, which resulted in me being bombarded by a stream of ticked-off messages saying he hates my family.

This, obviously, is not ideal.

Acting rashly, I then proceeded to message her to make it very clear that what she did was wrong. Well, I’m sure you can imagine what happened next…

Hence, the months of not talking. Well, with Christmas on the horizon, I’m feeling a little reflective, and I now understand why she was so mad at me. I acted quickly and irrationally, and accused her of doing something wrong, when she was really just doing her best to be nice. Sure, her nice isn’t exactly an all-encompassing meaning of the word, but she was still doing her best.

Maybe if our relationship hadn’t of gotten of to such a rocky, un-Christmassy start we wouldn’t always be tip-toeing around each other. But, alas, shit happens.

What’s done is done, I have apologised, but there isn’t much more I can do about a long-passed fight. All I can say is, she’s one of the only sisters I have, and no matter what, even when we’re fighting, she’ll always be there for me. Because that’s what sisters do – they’re there for you no mater what. So, despite everything, as much as I wished for a brother or someone nicer when I was a kid – I wouldn’t ever want a different sister.

The Dirty Truth About Your Wedding Night

I’m about to single-handedly shatter the hopes of engaged women everywhere. For this, I am truly sorry.

Your earth-shattering, spine-tingling, deeply satisfying wedding night is a myth concocted by Hollywood to sell movie tickets.

There, I said it!

While this may not be the case for everyone – some newlyweds will certainly have the sex-filled evening they have come to expect – the rest of us will need to take precautions or lower our expectations.

Too much will be drank, heels that make your feet feel like they’ve walked a marathon will be wore, in laws will be sweet talked, very little food (fuel) will be consumed, and exhaustion will set in – both mentally and physically.

By the time your new husband carries – or drags – you over the threshold of your honeymoon suite, the sight of the bed will only arouse your mind for the excitement of sleep.

Sex? Pfft, who wants sex when sleep could be had?

A hot bath followed by a sorry ass attempt at intercourse will likely ensue, but beware; your sex drive will probably want the night off.

I’m not trying to shatter anyone’s hopes and dreams or say that my own exhausting wedding experience is what’s in store for everyone – I’m merely trying to prepare you for the possibility that your favourite ROMCOM has set you up for failure.

In the midst of planning your wedding you may forget your period is due for a visit, you may over estimate your alcohol tolerance or be too busy mingling to refuel at dinner. You may have had a killer first dance to the detriment of your energy levels and spent so much time posing for photos that your jaw feels like it’s frozen in place. You may even have fallen victim to your Great Aunt’s long-winded stories that continue well after the reception has ended, and put you half to sleep.

The fact is weddings are overwhelming. They’re exciting, life-changing and romantic, but above all, they’re exhausting. There’s no shame in waiting until morning or the following night to consummate your marriage, in fact, if you’re not up to it on your wedding night, being patient is probably the best course of action.

You have your whole life to get dirty with your husband. You want to have happy memories of your wedding night – not nightmarish visions of throwing up or falling asleep halfway through.

 

 

What Is Success?

Someone recently asked me what my greatest achievement at work has been. I stumbled through my response as best I could speaking about how much I’ve learnt, my promotion blah blah blah – but do these achievements automatically make me a success?

Everybody learns. Whether it’s a toddler taking their first steps, a teenager acing their way through year ten math, or an adult learning how to handle their in laws. But as a natural part of life, can I really define my ability to learn as a personal or professional accomplishment? It’s certainly something I’m proud of, however, it isn’t going to get me jumping around with joy.

My promotion, although exciting, also isn’t what gets me up in the morning.

So, what the hell does? Is it the bare necessity of needing to wake up every morning to eat, crap, sleep, repeat? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no. Maybe it’s to feed and walk the dog and make sure the cat has clean litter. Once again, these are things I need to do, and the necessity is part of the reason I get up each morning – after all I’m an adult now – but it’s not going to make or break me.

After much deliberation – and an entire box of Maltesers – I came up with an answer – me!

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous, but just hear me out. My life as a whole, my perspective of the world, my love for the simple and exciting things in life and my thirst for knowledge are what get’s me out of bed – it’s also what I consider my biggest success.

I’m happy with the person I’ve become. I can sleep soundly at night because I’m living the life I’ve always wanted. It may not be glamorous, but it’s full. It’s filled with love, laughter, and pretty much every clichéd sentiment you can think of. Some people would find this boring, but leading a Hallmark kind of life is fine by me!

So, the way I see it we each make our own success. Whether it’s a career achievement, money or family – there’s no wrong answer. If you feel fulfilled, chances are you’ve found some semblance of success.

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

Like most things in life, when you get engaged everybody has an opinion. All of a sudden, your friends and family think they’re Dr Phil and that their ‘expert’ advice is the only thing that will help you navigate the murky waters of a life-long commitment.

Someone needs to smack them across the head and yell: ‘YOU’RE NOT HELPING!’

What all of these amateur advice columnists need to realise is – despite good intentions – they’re leaving out all of the important stuff and focusing on the mediocre bullshit. From how to react when you realise you’re more of a mother than a wife to what to do when your husband crashes the car, I like to think that my – often rocky, sometimes golden – marriage has taught me a thing or two – or three – about what to expect when you get married.

One part wife, two parts caretaker

Mix a cup of wifely duties with two cups of motherly duties, add a heap of frustration and a dash of confusion and you’ll have all the ingredients for an unsuspecting newlywed.

When you think of marriage, you envisage romantic dinners, long sex-filled nights, and a partnership of sorts, and while all of these things are part of the package, dirty washing, cluelessness and cleaning up vomit is also brought to the table.

Your new husband – especially if he had a particularly hands-on mother – will need some taking care of; he may even need a little help finding his way to full-fledged adulthood. I don’t mean this in an insulting, derogatory way; I only mean that many husbands – especially if they’re young – may need a helping hand.

You’ll quickly discover if his mother taught him how to clean a toilet or if he knows what to do when the power goes out. As well as guiding him through everyday household stuff, you’ll find yourself holding his hand when it comes to social occasions. If his brother is having a baby, don’t expect him to know he needs to buy a gift, and when it’s his Grandma’s birthday; don’t expect him to remember to call. His mum used to remind him of these things – or do them for him – and now she has passed the torch to you.

If this doesn’t suit you, tackle it early on. There’s no use fuming over it until you eventually explode.

When disaster strikes

A month ago my husband smashed my car. When he called, I was worried. I instantly thought, oh my god, is he alright?! Once his and the other drivers safety was confirmed, I thought shit, my car (especially since we only had third party cover – damn those hefty insurance premiums).

I wanted to get mad, I wanted to yell, I wanted to say – you bloody moron! But I bit my tongue. He didn’t do it on purpose. How can I get mad at him for an accident? It’s not like he looked at the back of the ute he hit and thought; ‘hey, I feel like ramming you up the ass for no apparent reason.’

Getting mad won’t solve anything. Calling the insurance company, digging up some cash and coming up with a plan, however, will. At the end of the day it’s just money – a marriage is much more important!

When temptation is around every corner

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly lost the use of your eyes. Having a ring on your finger also doesn’t mean you won’t find other people physically attractive. You will still check people out and on occasion, you will think what if? But, at the end of the day, you’ll still go home to your husband because you chose him over that cute guy at the gym for a reason – he’s your life partner, not just a nice piece of ass.

When you get married, you’re bound to find a million surprises – both good and bad. Everyone goes through this, how you react is what sets you apart.

 

 

The Baby Debate

Anyone who has ever walked down the aisle – whether you’re 20 or 30 – has come to hate small talk with distant relatives and acquaintances. Why? Because the minute you’re married everyone wants to know when you’ll be having kids.

If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of babies will make you grind your teeth together. I love kids, my husband loves kids, and starting a family is definitely a long-term goal for us – but I’m only 23!!

Every so often, however, when I have a nice moment with my nephew or see a picture of a particularly cute nursery I start second guessing my firm stance on popping out some kids.

Author Colin Falconer has created a little test that quickly identifies if you’re ready to plunge into adulthood – dirty nappies, temper tantrums, and all!

Sounds simple enough, take the test and find out if parenthood is in the cards. Well, maybe not! If you can make it through this test without freaking out, then congratulations it’s time to get down to business! If you’re like me, however, and couldn’t decide whether you wanted to laugh or cry the ‘are we ready’ talk should be reserved for a later date.

Enjoy!

Test 1: Preparation

Women: To prepare for pregnancy

  1.  Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
  2.   Leave it there.
  3.   After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.

Men: To prepare for children

  1.   Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
  2.   Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
  3.   Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

Test 2: Knowledge

Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

Test 3: Nights

To discover how the nights will feel:

  1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4 – 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
  2.    At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
  3.    Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
  4.    Set the alarm for 3am.
  5.  As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
  6.  Go to bed at 2.45am.
  7.   Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
  8.   Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
  9.   Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
  10. Make breakfast.

Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

Test 4: Dressing Small Children

  1.  Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
  2.    Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hangout.

Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

Test 5: Cars

  1.  Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door wagon.
  2.    Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
  3.   Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
  4.   Take a box of chocolate biscuits; mash them into the back seat.
  5.   Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Test 6: Going for a walk

  1.   Wait.
  2.    Go out the front door.
  3.    Come back in again.
  4.    Go out.
  5.    Come back in again.
  6.    Go out again.
  7.    Walk down the front path.
  8.    Walk back up it.
  9.    Walk down it again.
  10.  Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes
  11. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
  12. Retrace your steps.
  13. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
  14. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Test 7: Conversations with children

Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

Test 8: Grocery Shopping

  1.  Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
  2.    Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
  3.   Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Test 9: Feeding a 1 year-old

  1.  Hollow out a melon
  2.   Make a small hole in the side
  3.   Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
  4.   Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an aeroplane.
  5.   Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
  6.   Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.

Test 10: TV

  1.   Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.
  2.   Watch nothing else on television for at least 5 years.

Test 11: Mess

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:

  1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains
  2.   Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
  3.   Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
  4.   Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor and proceed with step 5.
  5.   Drag randomly items from one room to another room and leave them there.

Test 12: Long Trips with Toddlers

  1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mummy’ repeatedly. Important Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mummy. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
  2.   Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.

You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Test 13: Conversations

  1.  Start talking to an adult of your choice.
  2.   Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mummy tape listed above.

You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Test 14: Getting ready for work

  1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
  2.   Put on your finest work attire.
  3.   Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it
  4.   Stir
  5.   Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt
  6.   Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture
  7.   Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel
  8.   Do not change (you have no time).
  9.   Go directly to work

You are now ready to have children. ENJOY!!

 

Getting A Puppy Has Changed My Life!

Ever since I moved out of home I’ve wanted to get a puppy.

When I was growing up my family had a gorgeous Pomeranian, who I absolutely adored! But, when I was 13 she went missing. My sister did bring home another dog, Leo, – a Labrador – but it was never the same. As much as I loved Leo, I never formed that inseparable bond with him, as that special relationship was reserved for him and my sister.

Four years ago, my then boyfriend and I moved into our first home together. The property was only small and had no back yard though, so unfortunately we still couldn’t get a puppy. After a lot of nagging, however, my boyfriend convinced me to get a kitten. One of my sisters’ friends was a breeder and she found us a gorgeous little fur ball who quickly became my boyfriend’s best friend. We both adored him, of course, but I once again missed out on that special bond between owner and pet.

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Finally, three months ago – after getting settled in our brand new three-bedroom house – we finally got a puppy! We welcomed into our home the cutest beagle puppy I have ever seen! As big Star Wars fans, and because the little devil likes to chew anything he can get his little paws on, we named him Chewie – short for Chewbacca.

The first day I spent with him was a nightmare! He made this high-pitched whining noise all day, weed everywhere and would not stand/sit more than an inch away from me! How I didn’t squish him with my man-size feat is beyond me!

By time my now husband came home from work; I was stressed to the max and reduced to tears! I’m not going to lie, for about the first two-weeks I would have given anything to give him back to the breeders – caring for a puppy is bloody hard work!

Sure, people warned me, but my naivety got the better of me and I delved in head first, without being clear on what it was I was getting myself in to.

Then, one day everything changed. We took him for a walk off his lead and ran side-by-side with me the whole time. When I looked down at him all I could see was love and happiness in his eyes – my heart melted! I became so overwhelmed with emotion I was choking back tears as we walked back home.

Somewhere along the line – without me realising – I formed an unbreakable bond with my puppy. I look forward to going home to him each night, and feel unreasonably guilty when I leave him home alone. He’s still a little devil, and is only semi-toilet trained, but we’re getting there!

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More than anything, I love the companionship he gives me. Even though we don’t have kids, my husband and I both feel like we already have a little family because of our pets.

3 Months Ago I Woke Up A Different Person

Three months ago I moved into my new house. After a full year of planning and waiting my husband and I were finally in our new home, and I was so happy.

About a week later I woke up and didn’t feel like myself. It felt like a chunk of me was missing, almost as though my personality had undergone a major software update as I slept.

My bubbly mood dissipated, my always-present smile became forced, and I found myself getting over emotional over the most ridiculous things. When I was alone, I would cry. When I was with people, I got angry. When I was at work, I turned into a robot, and when I was at the gym I would vent an unhealthy amount of frustration on the weight machines, much to the detriment of my always aching muscles.

But why?

I’ve completed my degree, found myself a decent entry-level job, brought a house, and I am happily married with a cat and a puppy. At 23-years-old I should be pretty damn happy with myself. But I’m not.

Somewhere along the line my face froze in a sombre look, while I’m continuously stifling a yawn – almost every 0.2 seconds – as I sit and helplessly watch the clock tick by. There’s always one thing playing on the back of my mind, what’s wrong with me? Further to that, when will I start to feel like me again?

I went to the doctors, but there was nothing wrong with me. I’m in perfect physical health. I was told to go see a therapist, and that it’s not unusual for people to experience some emotional turmoil during periods of change. But for the life of me, I couldn’t stomach the thought of going in and letting all of my personal issues flow out, while sitting face-to-face with a stranger. That’s why I write, I’m nothing more than a name behind my words. Despite the public nature of my work, I still remain largely anonymous.

The days, weeks, even months started to tick by and I was growing more and more agitated.

Then, one day, as suddenly as the change hit me, I realised why I felt this way. The doctor was right, so much had changed in my life in such a small amount of time, and I realised, as much as I thought I was making the right choices a large part of me was protesting – I was in the process of chucking a mammoth, child-like tantrum. But the hissy fit was entirely out of my hands.

I was powerless to keep my mood from its rapid downwards spiral, and I still am.

I got engaged at 18, moved out at 19, married at 20, and signed a home loan at 22. But part of me wishes I stayed at home, travelled, and drank and partied with my friends more. Instead, I set out to live the life of an old married person.

The part of me that’s gone missing is the part of me that wants more. The part of me that has been bursting to get out, have a one night stand, sleep on an overnight train in Europe and go into work hangover has split from me leaving the empty shell of a life I’m living that I don’t want.

I finally got my answer, but I was still lost. I soon found myself in a perpetual state of indecision. Do I start fresh, treading on the heart of my wonderful husband in the process? Do I keep doing what I’m doing, even if it means sacrificing a chunk of my own happiness? Or do I reach for the stars and grab it all.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea where I will be in 6 months, but surprisingly that doesn’t bother me.

I feel better knowing where I went wrong, so at the very least, before I make a major life decision, like having a baby, I know I need to step back and focus on myself a little more. I definitely will not be making any major life decisions in the near future and I will certainly be kicking back with a bottle of wine and my friends on a Saturday night, rather than hitting the gym and curling up in bed alone.

It’s time I lived the life of a twenty-something and left the adulting to the real adults –who are well and truly ready for the commitment.

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