Thursday, March 5, 2009

budget advice for the barren

Another Outspoken Female is back on deck for another serve.

Been a bit quiet around here, hasn’t it.

As a woman without a family, I should have lots of time to pop out tri-weekly pithy posts for a blog, or four. Shouldn’t I? Well, life – children or not, has a habit of getting in the way.

Not that I don’t have a backlog of barren inspired rants.

Like, just last week when one of the many, older Italian women in my street managed to buttonhole me for a decent working over. She has lived half a dozen houses away from my for a decade now and we nod and say hello in passing but til now that has been about it. We found ourselves at the tram stop together and in halting English I got a full serve. Children? (No). Why do you have no children? You must have children! What does your husband do? (What husband, oh that man I live with? He’s a wannabe, unemployed artist).

I can be remarkably polite sometimes but it did put me on a slow simmer for the rest of the day. It’s like a stranger telling you that you should go on a diet, wearing orange doesn’t suit your complexion, that they can do great things with plastic surgery these days or you are really getting too old to get away with dying your hair that colour.

Not. Your. Business.

I pick up a magazine focused on ‘women’s issues’, for research purposes. Have you noticed how finance, computers, porn and sport are men’s issues but cooking, craft and budgeting are quarantined in the domain of the women’s section? I know everything old in new again but in 2009 this popular Australian rag is as fresh and innovative as something out of the ‘70’s. The cover features a young, thin, blond woman in a floaty dress frolicking through a paddock of impossibly placed flowers. The big feature is “your finances in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s and beyond”. I have not hit the “beyond” category yet but the one I chronologically fall into bears no resemblance to my life. I’m told this can be a very expensive time for a woman managing a home and growing family. Actually my family is shrinking. Cat number three died last week. She was a big, bouncy ball of fluff that scoffed more than her fair share of the feline food budget, as well as needing a squirt of those costly de-fleaing treatments every month.

I read about needing to get on top of my superannuation. I don’t have anywhere. Double fail. A house, yes, I am top of that. Much to my accountant’s initial disgust, as a self employed person I decided when I bought a home to put any saved money into the house instead of super. She has conceded over the years that an inner city property has been wiser than trusting it to the experts to gamble my future on a failing stock market.

One piece of advice these magazines dare not publish is that not having children can do wonderful things for your finances! No loss of earnings from extended maternity leave, reduced hours to fit in with the school days and the horrendous expenses of childcare, education, food and clothing – not my problem! Truly, my advice to a single woman in her early 30’s – bugger the babies, go for a modest mortgage and budget an overseas holiday every few years instead.

But hanging out at the tram stop, it’s just too hard to explain this to an elderly Italian woman with a stubbornly limited understanding of English.

And that magazine, I guess really is the domain for some ‘70’s housefrau dreaming of a frolic through a field of daffodils.

I think I’ll just stick to my own garden instead.


F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

can we forgive your Nonna neighbour though? If she got to Year 8 then I am Sophia Loren.
This mother of 3 (ages 40, 39, 36 ) agrees with everything else you said.
What a waste of time, money and effort my entire parenting was.
Apparently they are all Gen XYZers and they are not the only selfish self-centred shallow twits around)

I will be alone in the old folks home.

Anybody reading this - remain in control of your own life -
Do Not Breed.

Anonymous said...

Was it a Notebook magazine you were reading, by any chance? If so, I hear ya loud and clear. That shit is SO aimed toward slightly older stay at home mothers who think the entire world revolves around their home decorating decisions and what gourmet meal to feed their perfect family. Ick.

Another Outspoken Female said...

FG - I can understand that arrogance but it is still intrusive. Especially as my partners mother shares the same lineage and mind set.

Anon - well if the cap fits :) Mags all sealed up like a porno are most frustrating. Surely a sign that the best thing about it will be the pictures not the writing!

Bwca Brownie said...

Notebook is Homemaker Pronography.
there is a blog equivalent of Notebook's prissiness ..
'Rosie Gets Cosy' is a domestic goddess of the baking, sewing and sowing. V scary that RGC has about 900 linkees.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the posting, would like to recommend this site -
has some great offers to help you save money and cut down on expenses. You can browse advertisements by category which includes department and clothing stores, supermarkets & grocery and home improvements and furniture and other categories as well. Check it out you will not be disappointed.