Would you like fries with that?

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When I finally moved in with Mr Posy, and his family moved in to a house across the road, my mother-in-law cried when we told her that we didn’t want her to clean our house, do our laundry, or cook for us every night. After much negotiation, Mr Posy finally got her to agree to bringing meals over only twice per week. I suspect she was concerned that he would starve, and any less was not going to fly with my MIL.

Most people that hear this tale lament over how nice it must be to have meals cooked for us a couple of times a week, and are usually quite taken aback that I am not equally as enthusiastic about it.

Let me take a guess at the amazing Greek dishes you’re envisioning Mr Posy’s mother cooks up for us… Delicious fresh salads, trays of Moussaka, Spanakopita, Dolmades, Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, Skordalia, hearty soups, grilled octopus/squid/calamari, Prassorizo, oven-baked lamb with potatoes?

I still remember that look of shock on Little Miss Moi’s face when I told her that this was not the cuisine that my MIL cooks up at all. My mother-in-law has a deep fryer, and as such, meals are usually of the battered-and-fried variety. Only, she cooks the meals up long before we arrive home from work, so one could imagine the mushy-plate-of-grease that greets us. I’m not a big lover of fried food at the best of times, let alone when it has been left sitting around for hours to go cold and soggy.

It took two years of my MIL sending over semi-weekly meals, but I finally gave in and ate a dinner that she cooked up.

Beef, I think of the roast variety, with fried rice.

It had been a long week at work, I was hungry and completely exhausted, and Mr Posy microwaved it for me. I don’t think I’ve ever put away a meal so fast in my life.

The dinner was tastier than your regular microwave-meal, and just what I needed at the time. A bit like a late-night-dirty-cheeseburger-run after a few too many wines, really.

Right Here, Right Now

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Life has been a wee bit crazy in the Posy household.

I’ve written maybe 100 posts in my head in the shower/car/toilet over the past couple of months, but none have made it on to the page/computer screen/blog/whatever.

Mr Posy has been working a lot, and my friends are largely unavailable; I’m lonely. I’m teary all the time. I dread people asking how I am – I fear I’ll end up in a puddle of tears at their feet. Sort of like Alex Mack.

I have a job interview on Friday. For the position I’ve been sitting in for the past nine months. Everybody keeps saying that I’m going to nail the interview, but I’m not feeling so confident. I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t win my job. Crawl under my doona and die of humiliation? I’ll cry, probably.

We had a cyclone. Only a small one. There was a lot of rain and wind, mostly, and a lot of trees were knocked down.

Cyclone carnage

We booked a short trip away. To Melbourne, for Niece’s Posy’s christening. Take Two. We were stuck in PosyTown because of the cyclone, and with the airport closed, we (and more importantly, the Godmother) couldn’t get to Melbourne until after the christening. So it was rescheduled. I need the break – I’m exhausted. Mr Posy made the mistake of telling the in-laws the hotel we had booked. Now they’ve booked there too. Is it pathetic if I ring the Park Hyatt, and ask to be on a completely different floor?

My in-laws want to build a granny flat in my backyard. It’s not happening, but it’s been stressful. They don’t understand why we don’t want them living in our backyard. They also can’t see how, when we move out, their living in the backyard will have a serious impact on our ability to attract tenants to rent our house. Our house was always going to be an investment property – and they always knew that. I wouldn’t want to live in a house/apartment where the owner lived next door, never mind in the backyard…

My mum is on the home stretch with chemo – she has one session to go, and then she’s done!

I had a birthday. I turned 26. It was a couple of months ago now, but it really was the best birthday ever.

Another Year Over

One of my favourite things about one year ending and another beginning are the Year-in-Review-esque posts that pop up on blogs around the interwebs.

So, in a similar fashion, I present my wrap-up of 2010 –

A Quarter of a Century

Whenever I’d go through a particularly rough patch when I was younger, I would tell myself that if I could just hold on until I was 25, things would somehow work out.

Twenty-five was this magical age whereby all things that haunted me would no longer hold me in their grip, and I would be okay.

I did hold on. I held on for dear life. I turned 25. And things were okay. Things worked out. I have far more good days than bad, now.

In less than a month I will turn 26. I can’t wait. I love birthdays, I always have – be they mine or somebody else’s. At what age am I supposed to stop getting excited over birthdays and start feeling depressed?

I moved in with my Mister

I finally moved out of the Family Nest (the granny flat my parents had built under their house to keep me at home longer…) and in with Mr Posy. Now we live across the street from my in-laws. It’s been quite the… adventure. You can read more about my move in My Life is a Sitcom.

Niece Posy

Niece Posy

I’m ashamed to admit that when we found out (not long after their wedding) that my BIL and SIL were expecting, I was fairly unmoved by the news. It wasn’t that I didn’t care; I just wasn’t overly interested, particularly as I wasn’t that close to my sister-in-law.

The morning I woke to find out I had a niece, I acted quite cool – but when I laid eyes on Niece Posy in the hospital that evening after work, my heart just melted. My BIL handed Niece Posy to me, and I felt as though I would cry. I never imagined that I could love a tiny being so much.

My SIL has been wonderful at including me in my niece’s life – when I visit, she’ll always take Niece Posy from whoever is holding her at the time, and plonk her in my lap, ensuring that I get plenty of cuddles. Niece Posy’s whole face lights up when she sees me – she has the most amazing smile, and a cuddle from her just makes my day.

I got a promotion

I am extremely lucky to have some amazing people who believe in me, possibly more than I actually believe in myself. I never imagined that I would be in such an amazing position at the age of twenty-five – and knowing that I had the support of some wonderful people really made all the difference when I took the scary step up the corporate ladder into Management in the middle of the year. I feel more confident in my position now, but every day is different, and I’m constantly learning. I have an amazing team, and I actually like going to work.

I finished a triathlon

Tri

I’d often said that I wanted to complete a triathlon, but I’m not sure that I ever really believed that I would. It may have only been a beginners (women only) triathlon, but I felt so proud when I crossed that finish line. … and I actually want to enter another.

The C-word

Finding out that my mum had breast cancer really came as quite a shock. It was a week before I even cried. This is another post for another day, however.

My boys lost the NRL Grand Final

32 – 8. Thirty-two to eight. My boys had a good first half, but they didn’t capitalise on their plays, and then the second half, well… Let’s not talk about that. I sat in the stadium watching on, my heart breaking with every point scored against my team.

I was surrounded by some truly wonderful people

You know who y’all are. At least, I hope you do. I love you, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

——————————————————————————————

In a nutshell, for me, 2010 was a year of growth.

I’ve come a long way, baby.

And so this is Christmas

I can hardly believe that Christmas is over for another year.

When I was little, I’d spend a great deal of the year wishing that Christmas would hurry up and arrive, and then when it finally did, the day would drag on after lunch when all the presents were open and everybody was napping – and I’d wish the day would end. Now, it astounds me how quickly Christmas comes and goes, and I wish that the year, and Christmas Day itself, would slow down.

This Christmas was the first year that Mr Posy and I were actually living together, and it was the first in a few years that we were actually in PosyTown for Christmas. The last couple of years we spent Christmas in Sunny Sydney, and the year before that we spent our Christmas in New York City. It was also the first year in many, many years that both Mr Posy’s and my family were all in PosyTown for Christmas.

It took me a little longer than usual to get into the Christmas Spirit this year, but by the time Christmas Eve rolled around, I had gorged on Christmas carols and candy canes and Marshmallow Santas and Magical Popping Elves. I was ready.

Christmas Eve was an early-mark from work, being pampered by my hairdresser, sneaky cocktails with a good friend, wrapping the last of the presents, and helping watching Mr Posy prepare Christmas Day desserts (Nigella’s Chocolate Mousse Cake, and Nigella’s Molten Chocolate Babycakes). I had intended to go to Midnight Mass, but I… fell asleep. Ahem.

I woke early on Christmas Day. Mr Posy woke even earlier than I did, and went to the Greek Church with his parents. I went to the pool and smashed out some laps. By 10am, Mr Posy and I were sitting down to Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Honeycomb Butter, coffee (love you, Nespresso), and Miracle on 34th Street. By 10.30 am, Mr Posy was begging to open presents.

Gifts, just begging to be unwrapped..

“It’s 10.30 am, why haven’t we opened presents yet? We’ve had breakfast, and we’re dressed! Can we open presents now?”

You’d think he was 10 years old again. I knew that in less than fifteen minutes, our presents would be open, the floor would be strewn with gift wrap, and that would be the end to the first part of the day. Our part of the day. I wanted to savour it.

But I also wanted to unwrap the verylargegift with my name on it.

Hello, lover.

I was particularly spoilt this year. Mr Posy Santa bought me a KitchenAid. In red (because everybody knows red goes faster). I suspect that Santa’s new love for cooking may have been the motive driving force behind my gift. I just love it! I also received a  lovely Hermès Twilly.

Soon after, it was time to visit Mr Posy’s family (who we all remember live across the road). Mr Posy’s sister-in-law had put on quite a feast. I monopolised Niece Posy for most of the afternoon – she’s six months old now, and when she smiles at me, my heart aches. She’s just beautiful. After a couple of cocktails, too much lamb, Mr Posy’s Chocolate Mousse Cake, and more presents, it was time to move on to the final instalment of the day – with my family.

Despite my mum being quite sick the past couple of months, she really outdid herself this Christmas. She made an amazing roast dinner, and she’d bought presents for everybody – including my brother’s two “orphan” workmates.

I bought Mum an Hermès scarf for Christmas, which she loved – especially as her hair started falling out a day or so prior (but not noticeably so).

Dinner was a little awkward, but it was always going to be this year. Mr Posy’s Molten Chocolate Babycakes went down a treat, although I was so stuffed that I managed to only eat half my serve.

As has become Christmas tradition for Mr Posy and me, the day ended with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. And I was sure I wouldn’t need to eat again for a week.

I cannot believe that today is New Year’s Eve-Eve.

Who ordered home delivery?

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Just as Detective Whatshisface was turning up to arrest Alf, the doorbell rang. Mr Posy was out buying mince and spices so we could make tacos.

“Of course,” I thought to myself, “The only episode I watch of Home & Away all year, and Mr Posy’s Ma arrives just as everything is about to hit the fan.”

“Mr Posy?” she called.

“Hi. Mr Posy isn’t home.”

“Not home?” She looked down at the plate of food she’d brought over.

“He’s at the shops.”

“Damn,” I silently cursed. “Mr Posy isn’t supposed to be out buying groceries – I’ve just dobbed myself in.”

“At the shops? Okay.” His Ma sat down at the hideous table setting on our front patio, a gift from hers truly.

Huh? I stood awkwardly at the door. What had just happened? Why was she sitting down? I was confused. Should I invite her in? I felt like I was being Punk’d. I started messaging Mr Posy – “SOS. Your Ma is sitting on the front patio. She brought food. She wouldn’t come inside.”

“Miss Po-sy?” she called out. “It’s okay. No Mr Posy? It’s okay. Here. Dinner.” She handed me the plate.

“Thank you,” I smiled sweetly.

“And lunch for Mr Posy.” Out of a nowhere, a bag of bread rolls materialised.

The Watermelon Saga

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It’s 9.09 pm. The house is all closed up. I’m settled in on the couch, watching yet another episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager (so is Mr Posy, but he wont admit that) when the doorbell rings.

It can only be one person. Mr Posy looks out the front window – “It’s Ma”. I mutter something about only seeing her half an hour earlier at the hospital, and can’t she see that the doors are closed and the lights are off?

“She’s holding a watermelon.”

Mr Posy unlocks the door, and in a swift manoeuvre while he’s picking up PosyDog to stop her from escaping, in barges MIL, not only carrying a watermelon, but also a new umbrella and a can of spray deodorant.

I sit steadfastly on the couch while she bangs around in the kitchen, opening and closing cupboards, checking the fridge and freezer (full) to make sure that I’m feeding her son adequately, and tsking over the unfolded laundry. I’m sure the bottle of Veuve in the fridge pleases her non-drinking self no end. I’m sure she’ll be even more pleased when I turn up at the hospital with said bottle of Fizz to pour down my tired, breastfeeding SIL’s throat to celebrate the arrival of Niece Posy.

“Kalinihta {ka-lee neek-tah}”, she says, hurrying past with an armful of plates and pots, which have somehow made it into my kitchen over the course of the week, courtesy of her coddling and food-pushing.

“Good night”, I reply, with a smile on my face, charming as always, silently cursing her supernatural ability to constantly interrupt during the most crucial points of my shows.

My Life is a Sitcom

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“Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.”
– Pete, Knocked Up

Mr Posy’s verygreekfamily live across the street. From us.

Late one night I was flicking through channels on the TV (something I rarely do – as we usually download from iTunes), eventually settling on Knocked Up. When I heard Pete compare marriage to a once-popular sitcom, I couldn’t help but laugh. Not about the marriage part, as Mr Posy and I are yet to tie the knot (we’re engaged, but living in sin – tsk, tsk), but because over the past six months I’ve often joked that if my life were a sitcom, it would be called Everybody Loves Mr Posy. But hopefully funnier. To everybody but me, at least.

About this time last year, Mr Posy’s parents sold us their house. That they had literally built with their own hands. My in-laws no longer needed such a large home – they wanted to downsize and move into a flat a few suburbs away, but they wanted to keep the house in the family. I was not too excited at the prospect at owning Mr Posy’s family home; I knew that there would be many problems, and that my in-laws would have trouble separating themselves from the idea that the house was no longer their own. However in the end, I had to admit defeat. It would be a means to an end – our golden ticket out of Posytown.

A few months later, and the in-laws still hadn’t moved out of the house – I was still living with my mum, refusing to move in with Mr Posy until his parents vacated the premises. Then, Mr Posy’s older brother moved from interstate with his wife, asking if they could crash at the house for just a few weeks. Fast-forward four months, and they were all still in the house. In MY house. That I still hadn’t moved in to. I was furious! It had been eight months since settlement – we were paying the mortgage (and I was also paying my parents a considerable amount in ‘rent’) – it was time for his family to move out.

My Posy rang me with “good news” a couple of days later – his Ma had found a place for my brother-in-law to rent. … And Mr Posy’s parents would move in with my BIL and his wife!

“Where is this new place?” I queried.
“Well,” Mr Posy replied, “It’s close.”
“How close?”
“Across-the-street-close.”

I was not particularly impressed that I would be able to wave to my in-laws from my front patio, but I was glad that I could finally move in with Mr Posy.

Before Mr Posy’s Ma moved out, she told him that we were to come to dinner each night. When Mr Posy told her that that would not be happening, she retorted that we were to come across the street to collect the dinner that she would make for us, and we could eat at it at our house. Failing that, we could give her a key so that she could come to our house to cook dinner each day while we were at work. When Mr Posy told her that we would be cooking our own dinner each night, she cried. She also cried when Mr Posy told her that, no, we would not be delivering our laundry for her to do, nor would we be giving her a key so that she could come and clean our house while we were at work.

The evening that I moved in, she was over at our place before I could even get out of the car, and about halfway through moving she informed Mr Posy (who translated for me) that we were tired, and demanded that we rest. The next evening she turned up on our doorstop in tears, insisting that Mr Posy take the meal she had cooked.

Perhaps when deciding on a pseudonym for my blog, I should have called myself “Debra”, and Mr Posy, “Raymond”.

The parallels between my life and that blasted sitcom are uncanny. But at least Everybody Loves Raymond only lasts 22 minutes.