Monday, March 26, 2012

A little bit about women and PMS

From the U.S National Library of Medicine,

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle.

The list of symptoms is about 20 point forms long and includes bloating, food cravings, headache, forgetfulness, mood swings, hostile or aggressive behaviour and even clumsiness. I am guilty as charged on all accounts and more. You might think it's unfair for a woman to use PMS as an excuse for every wrong that she makes during this time, but you know what PMS isn't exactly the excuse we want to use either.

So, the question is: How to deal with a woman during this tender time of the month?

Women at this point of time can be high-strung and worst of all, unreasonable. When she is in one of her moods, trying to reason with her is a bad idea - possibly one of the worst things you can think about doing. It might bruise your ego a bit (actually, it's best not to have such a big one anyway, for your own sake), but just admitting that she's right for awhile can make all the difference, especially towards how the rest of your day goes.

For me, I turn into quite a hungry cow and will have to be regularly fed, preferably at 1-hour intervals. This incessant hunger goes hand-in-hand with intense food cravings. My diet for the ten days leading up to my period consists of ridiculously high amounts of sugar and fat. When this happens, don't judge her as she reaches for her third chocolate bar. Instead, tell her she looks pretty even though she's put on period weight (YES there is such a thing! Or it could be water retention, either way who cares about technicalities! /fumes). In the past few days, I have craved for Skittles, carbonara, Nutella, orange juice, fried eggs, green tea, banana bread, vegetarian Peking duck etc., just to give you a vague idea of what to expect.

You will notice her getting bouts of self-doubt right around this time too. It's very unexplainable as to why this occurs, and most of the times this is uncalled for, but so is everything else about PMS. Medicine blames it on the level of hormones that changes as her body prepares to have a baby (basically) but this is yet to be proven as a fact. She will question the existence of her whole being but hopefully not to the morbid extent (If so, the Lifeline number to call is 13 11 14). She'll ask if you really love her or question why everyone else is happier than her etc. All you can do is to give her a big bear hug and let her know that she's the most important person in your life and that you'll do anything to make her happy. Also, she will constantly ask you if she looks fat in everything she wears. Correct answer: No.

Really, this is far from being an extensive list of PMS symptoms that a woman goes through each month. And even after this duration, the torture extends to when she's having her period. Cramps, backaches, lethargy... The best you can do is try to sympathise and be there for as much as she needs. The good news? After these two weeks, you get two weeks of chirpiness, do-anything-you-want-and-your-head-won't-get-bitten-off and you'll start to remember what she's like the first time you met her.

**Advice given is based on 10 years of experience in the PMS field, collected data and personal observations.

**Disclaimer: Not all of this will work on every woman. If you think your woman is the same, you better keep it to yourself because she'll ask you why you think she's not unique. If you find yourself in this sorry predicament, you're on your own, buddy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 things I've learnt working in an ice-creamery

Having worked in an ice-cream store that allows customers to mix crushed nuts, Mars Bars, gummy bears and a whole list of other lollies and chocolates for a little over two years now, I’d say I’ve become quite the ice-cream-mixing connoisseur. And with the surprising amount of strength you need to serve each customer – what with all the scooping and bashing and smashing and mixing we do – I will never again look down on an ice-cream scooper!

Here are 10 things I’ve learnt working in an ice-cream store:

1. There is never such a thing as too hot or too cold or too wet Sydney weather to have a triple scoop sundae with a generous serve of whipped cream, chocolate sauce and nuts.

2. Kids, however tiny, can eat surprisingly large amounts of ice-cream that sends them bouncing off the walls after. Hah, good luck with that, Mom and Dad!

3. If you want to go on a diet, STAY AWAY FROM THE SORBETS. Crazy high amounts of sugar to make up for the low fat content. Let’s just say you’ve been warned.

4. Nice old women often like telling their stories to anyone who’s willing to listen.

5. On the other hand, cranky old women (who buy ice-cream for their dogs ‘in a bigger cup please! And no, he doesn’t need a spoon!’) are the absolute worst. They will complain about everything in your store. Well, how’s about you send a complaint straight to the owner as I don’t have the power to change the prices. Or the cup sizes. Or how many Maltesers that goes into a serving, for the millionth time!

6. Babies’ reactions to their first ice-creams are the best! Think scrunched up, wrinkled noses and frowny faces as they attempt to understand the cold explosion that is going on in their itty-bitty mouths.

7. It doesn’t matter that the doors are closed and the ‘Open’ sign is switched over. Or if the rock is being cleaned and the ice-cream cabinet lights have been switched off. These things don’t necessarily mean that we’re closed, oh no. To some, it means banging on the windows and begging us to let them in for ‘just one more ice-cream!’ while offering $50 if we open the doors for them.

8. Ice-cream addiction doesn’t just stop even after 2 years. Oh no, it doesn’t.

9. There isn’t a maximum amount of mix-ins that a customer can get in an ice-cream. Kiddies with 8 different things? Why not. All you have to do is be able to cough up the $20 for your tub of ice-cream and you’re good to go.

10. Young Australian boys are very amusing. They’ll practice pick-up lines like ‘Are you a butterfly? ‘cos you sure look like one!’ on you that you just HAVE to laugh and put in a few extra gummy bears for trying. Gasp, maybe I’ve just been cheated into giving the sneaky twit extra mix-ins! Why, that little…!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Write, write, write

It feels as if I have finally run out of things to say here!

School has been getting the better of me I swear! But it's also very exciting in that this year, I'm not only aiming high (as with previous years) but I'm pulling out all stops to actually achieve these goals. One of these goals is to write more and better and what better way to do that than to enrol in a course which forces you to read and write every week!

My Creative Writing tutor told the class one day that it is very important to write, write, write. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, about something as mundane as the weather. And I think I'm going to try it! She suggests carrying a writing journal too, that you never know when you're going to come across an interesting character on the bus or see something that will go into your #AwesomeThings folder. I can testify that it's so true when it comes to finding random inspirations! You just never know when it's going to hit you!

So, here I am again! I'm building up a story for my creative writing workshop and I'm thinking that this blog will help me move it along. I'm so nervous about the workshop because this is when everyone reads your work and critiques your writing. My class had its first workshop just two days ago and I have to say, my classmates' got talent! Amazing writing and highly technical: Omniscient narrators and character developments and such!

2012 is about getting out of my comfort zone and doing things that will scare the heck out of me. I guess this workshop is one of them but it's going to be interesting because hopefully by the end of it, I will develop my skills as a writer and know where I stand in my writing! :)

I'll let you know if I come out alive.