My Life As A Beanbag, or Aussie-In-Aspic. (A Lipoedema Survivor’s Tale)

I was fifteen when my bum arrived, so it seemed to me.

I’d always had one, of course, but I hadn’t needed to pay much attention to it because it had generally behaved well and according to the expected standard of most bottoms, keeping itself covered modestly by Australian 70s playing-under-the-sprinkler standards and not suffering as much punishment at the large square red flat hands of my irascible Mother as other kids seemed to cop from their Mums, sometimes aided by belts or wooden spoons, so I hadn’t felt much need to question it.

I definitely knew it was there, obviously.  It had been a thing to sit on unquestionably for over a decade. It had recently become an attraction for pinching, curious, groping fingers of high school boys unfettered by the childhood bonding they shared with my female classmates. I had been a new arrival from a regional primary school and my adolescent breasts and small waist, naivete & habitual lack of peers may as well have tattooed “Fresh Meat” on my forehead for the school corridor Lotharios to read.

The girls narrowed their eyes, wrote publicly of their dislike for me in circulated autograph “friendship” books & assumed I liked the boys’ attention.  I learned to.

Bums always possessed a strong comic element, of course.

Just the word “bum” was enough to attract tongue-clucking censorship in our home with the suggestion that “bottom” or even “derriere” might be slightly more appropriate term. Backside & arse were generally only expressed in highs or lows of temper or hilarity.

I’ve never seen either of my parents’ nude bottoms & a surprise comedic appearance by one on our black & white TV would inspire reddened faces and mutters of “That’s a bit much” ….although curiously, the recounting of the recounting by an aged Uncle of a daffodil substituted for a thermometer in a Carry On film was always accompanied by belly clutching tear-welling hilarity.

Now my own bottom was behaving strangely.

Whipped Cream, Toothpicks & Air

The other day I saw for sale in our local supermarket “Whipped Cream” in a plastic tub for Two Euros.

We monkeys have nearly destroyed the planet with plastic bags & wrappers because we are too lazy to slice our own bread or grate our own cheese. People buy coleslaw washed in chlorine, teeming with listeria & bagged in plastic because supermarket advertising tells us no-one has time for chopping cabbage. (Also because wrapping everything in plastic means more barcodes, more automated checkouts, less staff, less wages and to Hell with corporate responsibility) Now we’re so lazy we would rather buy “Whipped Cream” with chemicals added than buy cream and whip it ourselves without the chemicals.

It made me think of that moment when the Douglas Adams character sees instructions written on a toothpick packet and decides to retreat to his outdoor hermitage because humanity’s descent into idiocy has become inevitable.

So, I bought the cream. (I was curious. Plus, all containers are recyclable. Thanks, EU.)

Then on weekend we were driving along and I was regaling long suffering husband The Fenian with the “whipped cream in a tub is my personal toothpick existential crisis moment” story when we pulled in to put air in the front tyre.

The service station air compressor was now coin-operated. Two euros. For AIR.

This was my husband’s personal toothpick existential crisis moment.

With a small difference. We have our own compressor in the boot. It was hauled out and used right there on the forecourt blocking the air & water stands by an enraged Irishman.

Anarchy in minutiae, but asserting personal power as consumers is a macro-Resistance.

It’s the little things.

Yeah, because there aren’t enough middle-aged white women bloggers….

I’m a dreadful procrastinator. I learned it from my mother, who was hemming my bridesmaids’ gowns while the photographer took pictures of me in my wedding dress.  Once she found, in a suitcase under the bed, a dress she had cut out and pinned together for me back in 1973. She’d moved house four times since then, taking the suitcase with her.  She finally stitched it together and it looked lovely – on my three year old daughter.

Better late than never.

I’m unpacking some baggage too, I guess, before it weighs me down and follows me around.  I should have done that years ago….