Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Cocktail Hour - Mae West

Born Mary Jane West she was an actress, playwright, singer and screenwriter known for her bawdy double entendres and long career in Vaudeville.  Mae was an open supporter of gay rights and was once sentenced to 10 days in prison for ‘corrupting the morals of the youth’.  A true Diva, she refused to wear the prison issue knickers and wore her own silk panties while serving time.  Mae dined with the warden and his wife and was given 2 days off her sentence for good behaviour.  Ms West thrived on giving the censors hives and a lot of her work was banned, most notably her play entitled ‘The Drag’ which dealt with homosexuality and which she called one of her comedy-drama’s of life.  Although Mae was an early supporter of the women’s liberation movement, she was not a feminist and was dubbed the ‘queen of camp’.  Unapologetically outrageous, Mae loved men and had many boyfriends in her lifetime.  Although Mae was married a couple of times she once remarked that ‘marriage is a great institution, I’m just not ready for an institution yet’.  A tiny woman at only 5ft tall she was a real spitfire who lived by her own rules and when the management of her apartment building objected to her African-American lover - boxer Gorilla Jones - visiting her, she solved the problem by buying the building.  She lived in the penthouse apartment with her last lover who was 30 years her junior and cared for her until her death at the age of 87.  

Mae had a couple of interesting effects on pop culture.  Her lips were immortalised in one of the most popular objects of the surrealist movement – The Mae West Lips Sofa created by Salvador Dali in 1938 and during World War II life vests were dubbed ‘Mae Wests’, partly as rhyming slang and partly because they resembled her torso when inflated.

Although Mae was often labelled a good time girl and a brazen hussy she was not much of a drinker and her home bar was stocked with her favourite ice cream sodas.  When she did have a drink she insisted it was Champagne – as befits any sex symbol worth her salt... I'm using my top 3 Champagne cocktails – my personal preference is either Bollinger or Veuve Clicquot but sparkling wine will do in a pinch.  Please don’t call it Champagne though, that’s sacrilege!  As with any Champagne cocktail, pour the other ingredients into the glass first then top with Champagne.  Don’t stir as it will cause a mess, besides – the bubbles do it for you.

Blushing Bride

This beautiful blush coloured cocktail is perfect for toasting a newlywed couple.  It’s also very easy to make and serve to a large party.

1 tot peach schnapps
1 tot grenadine
Pour into a flute and top up with Champagne


The Mimosa is a delightful and simple cocktail that is perfect for a lazy brunch.  You can vary the recipe a little by adding a splash of grenadine or a little cognac.

½ tot triple sec
1 ½ tots fresh orange juice
Pour into a flute, top with Champagne and garnish with an orange slice.

Fruity Champagne Punch

Few things are more festive than a nice Champagne punch.  It would be fine to substitute a good Cava or Prosecco in this case.  You can also be less rigid on the amounts used here and just go by your own personal taste.

1 ½ cups chilled Champagne
1 ½ cups chilled lemonade
3 tots chilled vodka
3 tots Malibu coconut liqueur
1 lime, thinly sliced
100 g frozen raspberries
½ cup fresh granadilla pulp
Combine all the ingredients in a large jug, add ice cubes and serve.

‘When I’m good I’m very good but when I’m bad, I’m better’
~ Mae West 
(August 17, 1893 - November 22, 1980)

Cheers Bitches!

GeeGee Curtained x

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Soundtrack Of My Life

*Self indulgent post alert!!*... and also because I am still on weekend brain and procrastinating! Mondays are bleh.

The other day my son came to me and asked me to make him a list of songs that I feel everyone should have in their collection because he wants to 'download them for posterity' hehehehe He also wanted to know which songs inspired me through my life... Pondering this I have noticed that each different chapter of my life had more than one anthem but instead of putting ALLLLLL of them down I will do my best to only choose one. It's going to be pretty tough methinks but my son will get the entire list of songs I think are epic. Songs by artists like Rodriguez, Cat Stevens, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Guns 'n Roses, Lenny Kravitz, Led Zeppelin...

The first one absolutely has to be 'I Can See Clearly Now' by Johnny Nash. My late gran told me that I would walk around the garden singing it to myself when I was about 3 years old and to this day I get a feeling of comfort mixed with a touch of melancholy whenever I hear it. 

In primary school I started doing modern dancing. It was very popular in the late 70's/early 80's! I loved every single thing about it. Every. Single. Thing. Besides, I was way too much of a tomboy to even think of doing ballet like most other little girls. One of the dances we were taught was the epic one from  the movie Flashdance, 'What a Feeling' and every time I hear it I wish I could still do it. I would probably break a hip now if I attempted it hahaha #AgingSucks At the time I also used to go ice skating at our local rink in town once or twice a week and whenever they played it I would try and emulate the bits from the video. It's a miracle I never broke a limb. 

I met Hubs in high school when I was 13 and he was 15 and about a year or so later the movie 'Highlander' came out. We went to watch it and I was completely bowled away by the soundtrack! I'm sure I heard Queen before then but that soundtrack made me an instant fan for life. 'Princes of The Universe' was unlike anything I had heard before and Freddie Mercury became a god in my eyes. 

In high school I was the poster child for "Rebel without a clue" (naturally I blame Hubs, I was a straight A student until I met him, one of those nerds who would get a badge every term) and spent far more time than I should have at our local night club, Jacqueline's. I was way too young to be there but Hubs and I never got stopped at the door, so technically it's on them right? They had an afternoon session on Saturdays for 'teenyboppers' but I wouldn't be caught dead there! I mean really, you couldn't even buy beer. It was around that time Madonna released her first album and I was hooked! The movie 'Desperately Seeking Susan' came out and that's when my inner dufus got wings. 'Into the Groove' was my song back then. I would spend hours getting my look just right before heading to the club, copied the dance, everything. But the absolute worst *cringe* moment thinking back was that I would also turn the hand dryer in the bathroom upside down to dry my hair and underarms like she did in the movie. All the while thinking I was super cool! #TeenageFails

When Hubs was dispatched to the Angolan border just after we got married he told me on his first pass home that the very first night he arrived there he was lying on top of the barracks roof with his parabat buddies passing a blunt around and they had a tape deck up there with them. He says that almost at the exact time 'No Woman No Cry' by Bob Marley started playing mortars started flying above them in the night sky and every time he hears it he gets catapulted back in time to that moment. I can't even begin to imagine what a mind fuck that must have been for a 19 year old boy from the suburbs! As a 16 year old bride it made a huge impression on me and that's why I chose it for this particular chapter. The almost 2 years I was alone while my husband did his duty to God and Country. 

Shortly after Hubs got back from the army we moved into our first flat. It was a block away from Pretoria Central Station and the area was a bit erm... dodgy. nasty, trashy, dirty, slummy, urban. It's faaaar worse now but back then it was more entertaining to hang over the balcony watching the people than watching telly. We were young, very young, and having that sort of freedom we really didn't pay much mind to those who were horrified at where we chose to live. It's not like we had a budget for much better though, our only furniture when we first moved in was a mattress on the floor and 2 fold up garden chairs. What made it very convenient was the fact that the local weed dealer plied his trade on the corner so scoring was no problem. What? I've never been secretive about the fact that I used to smoke enough weed to make Bob Marley proud! Anyway, I seriously digress. One night in said flat we had a bunch of friends over and we all got stoned out of our minds. 'Purple Rain' by Prince started playing and I was so stoned and just so into it that it honestly felt like I was right there on the stage with him. It was awesome. 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant and I spent the next almost 9 months having nightmares about my baby being born with an extra limb or something. Apart from an attempt that ended with me hitting my head on the edge of the toilet seat a few years ago the night that was playing was the last time I got stoned but I have always loved that song. I loved it so much that I used to play it to my pregnant belly every day. My son can't stand it though so go figure! Maybe I overdid it hahahaha When I was about 4 months pregnant Hubs slipped in a hobo's pee on the stairs and that was it. We moved right away! Childhood was officially over. 

Flash forward a couple of years to when Hubs and I were both working full time jobs and with a toddler and all the responsibility that comes with taking care of your own selves life could be a bit on the dismal side sometimes. Especially when one had to be up at 5am every morning to go to a job you absolutely hated! Most of our friends were still living it up without a care in the world while pretending to study on their parents' dime and since neither of us was born with a silver spoon and since we didn't have anything remotely resembling a safety net we had no choice. I don't know if it was the moon or what but some days the drudgery of it all really got to me and I had a few go-to songs that I would play before my day started. To help me sack the fuck up! There are quite a few but this one was the best of all, P.M. Dawn 'Gotta Be Movin' Up'. I STILL play this sometimes because quitting is not an option. Ever! 

When I told Hubs about it he told me that he would play 'Bat Out of Hell' by Meatloaf in the car on the way to work every morning to pump him up for the day. Funny thing is that we both had songs to boost us but never discussed it until recently. Maybe we both thought that we each had enough on our own plates to deal with so we decided to self motivate in our own way :) #Love 

When our son was 5 years old we were both earning very good salaries but living past each other because of brutal work hours so we decided it wasn't worth it and we relocated to Cape Town. We packed our kid and whatever possessions we could fit into the car and left. It was the best thing we could ever have done. Terrifying but liberating at the same time. We literally started over. Our first place there was a tiny furnished garden flat in Glencairn and life was beautifully simple. I discovered my inner hippy and my days were spent combing the beach with my son and watching the sun set over the ocean every night while Hubs and I either drank wine or Irish Coffee. Weekends were spent visiting the local library, nearby parks and also hunting for mussels at Misty Cliffs which we would braai in the garden on Saturday nights. At the time Hubs was working for a start-up company who were supplying wine on tap machines to local bars and restaurants so we had a constant supply of red wine and ice cold white wine on tap. The flatlet didn't come with a telly but it had a stereo and we played a LOT of Scrabble. We were poor yet rich, if you get my drift. My son says that when he thinks of those laid back days he thinks of Crash Test Dummies because I would play it often and his favourite song from back then is 'God Shuffled His Feet'. So, a no brainer then that this is the song I choose for that particular chapter.

When our son was about 10 years old Hubs got an opportunity to work in Barcelona and history repeated itself when we packed what we could take on the plane and left. I always laughed at myself when I would play this very late at night when I was rather well lubricated *ahem* and get all emotional and shit about South Africa. In retrospect I suppose that despite it being one of the best adventures of my life I felt a bit isolated and that had a lot to do with not being able to do much more than order a beer in Spanish at first! So... 'Africa' by Toto most definitely has to be on this list.

A few months after we got back from Spain my beloved Gran died and I was broken. She was everything to me that a mother should be and more and to this day there are still times when I reach for my phone to call her. I remember her telling me when 'Holy Mother' by Pavarotti and Eric Clapton came out how much it reminded her of her own late mother and now it reminds me of her. I took a boom box to her funeral and insisted they play this loud! It's seriously one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and just like Oumie with her mother, the part where they sing about hands always gets  me... 

About 10 years after we got back I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and this song was my anthem for months before I knew what was going on with me. Let's just say that I completely embraced my craziness and when I first heard 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley it promptly became my anthem. Now? It's a reminder that I'm one tough bitch! 

After my operation I was stuck on the sofa for months, safely tucked into a hazy bubble of morphine and codeine based painkillers and I honestly can't think of a better song than 'Afternoons and Coffeespoons' by Crash Test Dummies to commemorate that particular chapter. I was so far removed from my surroundings and thinking back now I don't know how I didn't really go insane. I also had bleeding on the brain and being rushed to hospital at 4am wasn't exactly what I would chalk up as a fun time. I guess that's also why I love this video, I think it's hilarious! #DarkHumour

Hubs eventually suggested I start a blog. That's when GeeGee was born and I gave my inner Drag Queen wings, especially after I loaded a whole lot of Disco songs onto my iPod and discovered 'I Love The Nightlife' by Alicia Bridges. To this day it's still the one song that I am absolutely incapable of sitting still through. The boa's have to come out! Thankfully Hubs is used to my antics so if I've embarrassed him he's been gracious enough not to say anything about it. 

Right, there are a ton of other songs and I don't know yet which one will remind me of this chapter of my life but I guess by the time this chapter is done only my son will be the recipient of it. Hopefully by then I will also have a better answer than "the 80's were a very innocent time" (insert halo caption over my head when I said that) when he asks me again one day what wisdom I can impart having lived through so many decades *cough* Cheeky little shit! 

Live well, love much, laugh often and always remember to dance!
GeeGee xxx

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Because #tbt Dear Constant Headache

Someone asked me the other day to repost this piece that I wrote a few years ago on my old blog because it apparently helped them to deal with something similar. So I thought why not? I found it very cathartic at the time. Sort of like taking control of my fear and anxiety about having another shotgun headache that will more than likely kill me... I don't know why PTSD counseling isn't offered to people who stare death in the face medically, it really does change one. At the time of my diagnosis I joined a couple of online forums because I thought it may help me but they only ended up making me even more anxious and paranoid so I unsubscribed. Since I wrote this my constant headache isn't constant anymore, I only have the odd episode when I have too much pressure building in my head and I have no more anxiety or fear, even though I have been avoiding my annual MRI which is now about 5 years overdue hahaha. One doesn't always have control over the shitty things that life throws your way but you DO have control over how you deal with it. I know this post may offend piss many people off but if it helps even one person then it's worth it. So, here goes... #tbt !
Live well, love much, laugh often and always remember to dance!
GeeGee xx

Dear Constant Headache,
We started doing this fucked up little dance almost 5 years ago and I ignored you for months. You obviously had no idea how good I am at sailing on that river called denial which is probably why you decided to drop me like a sack of shit when I was in the shower 4 years ago with that lovely shotgun headache. Fine, so I lay there like a drowned rat for ages until the cold water woke me up and I finally dragged my wet ass to my bed, popped 6 Myprodol’s and went on with my day. There was no way in hell I was going to be found with my nekkid ass out for all to see which is why you didn’t kill me, even though you were supposed to. When they found the tumour it finally explained why my constant companion Irene was around, especially when I was having a few toots and we could entertain ourselves for hours on end. She was a crazy bitch but I loved her. Irene, rest her soul, ended her days in a medical incinerator and I was left with a very sexy titanium plate to remind me that she existed.

R.I.P. Irene
Fuck Alone Knows - 28.08.2008

When you didn’t manage to kill me outright, you did your best to make me have a melt-down by having me diagnosed while Hubs was away on a business trip to the UK. On the plus side, once I got over the shock I was quite relieved that I wasn’t losing my mind. For months I’d felt like the song ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley was playing softly in the background while I went about my day. Waking up spooning my Doberman in his bed with no idea how I got there, going shopping and coming home empty handed having left all the packages gawd only knows where, driving over my own handbag and freaking out when someone picked it up and followed me to return it... the list goes on and on. People thought I was mad when I insisted on getting completely plastered with a few close friends before I went to hospital, but the way I saw it I was about to iron my wings and wanted to have one for the road. What a party that was!! We had so many liquid cocaine shooters our pee was blue for 2 days...

Many things are preserved in alcohol - dignity is not one of them! 

 It’s also the only time I wore all my diamond and sapphire jewellery that I still haven’t been at a fancy enough occasion to wear. So I was wearing jeans and a hoodie at the time, so fucken what. Can’t see anything wrong with that... Was I supposed to curl up in a little ball and have a pity party? Sorry!! That’s not in my nature... Hell, I even got annoyed at other people feeling sorry for me. If I’m going to buy the farm I’m going to do it with grace and I’ll be fucked if my son remembers me as a wet snivelling snot nosed heap of fear. The hardest part was being wheeled into that elevator to surgery like a lamb to slaughter and being convinced it’s the last time I’d be laying eyes on my boys. I felt like my heart was being ripped into pieces but there was no way in hell I was going to show it and I gave my husband and son a smile because that’s how I wanted them to remember me. Nobody was more surprised than I was when I woke up in ICU – even the doctor couldn’t believe that I came out of a medically induced coma but I did. Because I was being bed-bathed. With a cake of Lux soap! And one of those blue disposable kitchen cloths... ‘Nuff said!

The Bride of Frankenstein

Ok, so I survived and I don’t think you liked that very much so you decided to make me a codeine addict. Almost 9 months sitting on the sofa looking like a drooling Bride of Frankenstein with my shaved head and another 2 years of being lost in a lovely bubble of prescription drugs. You knew I wouldn’t go to rehab but you didn’t count on me going cold turkey, did you? 4 months of wanting to crawl out of my own skin but I made it. Then 3 months ago you woke me up in the middle of the night and I thought the time had finally come, the Grim Reaper was in town. What worried me the most was that I had Bridget Jones comfy knickers on (what? who sleeps in a bloody g-string??) and I hadn’t had a wax or a pedicure. Death? Nah, not so much.

Breakfast, Lunch and Supper of Champions...

I’ve bumped my head so many times you can serve soup in the dent it’s created but what’s a spaz like me to do? Walk around with a helmet on all day? My neurosurgeon said I’m never allowed to do contact sports again and the look on his face when I asked him if rough sex counts was priceless! I couldn’t resist, the poor man... Serves him right really – I mean, do I look like the type of person who does Sport?? Oh, and that fugly snow hat I have to wear in bed in the winter to keep my plate from giving me brain freeze? I’ve learnt to ROCK it you motherfucker! As far as the titanium plate itself is concerned, it's become a party trick with my son's metal detector, always good for a giggle to hear the 'shoowoong' sound it makes when we're pissed!

I know the ‘kill shot’ can come any day, any time BUT I’ve made my peace, so do your worst... Just make sure it’s fast. I’m NOT going back for more surgery. NEVER again. That’s why I’m almost a year overdue on my annual MRI, I mean what’s the point? I already got rid of everything I don’t want people to find when I’m dead, I’ve planned my memorial (my boys know who’s banned and that the pyramid of shot glasses on top of my ashes better reach the Rabbit Hole ceiling), I’ve learnt what’s important in life and I’m content.

What every Diva needs in hospital

You’ve taught me a lot Constant Headache, and I thank you for it. I know the ‘pain scale’ better than I should. A constant 3 out of 10? Bitch puuuhleeze! Is that all you got? After experiencing the loveliness called bleeding on the brain that’s nothing! You taught me that I’m tough, that I can feel like I’m bleeding from my eyeballs and still won’t give up but most importantly – you’ve put a built-in blood pressure monitor in my head which has helped me get rid of the dead weight in my life. The assholes that drained me and never gave anything back, not even loyalty, and even though it’s been hard it’s been worth it! A lot of people think I’ve become a complete bitch from hell but I couldn’t give a flying fuck through a rolling doughnut to be honest. If I’m going to die tonight or tomorrow I’m sure as hell not wasting any more time on fucktards and users. So what if I happen to be related to some of them? I’ll explain myself when I get to the pearly gates. If I go downstairs instead? They better have vodka there... and Drag Queens... and poker games, that’s all I’m saying.... And you know what? Irene might have gone up in a ball of flames but GeeGee was born out of the ashes like a motherfucking Phoenix and she’s growing on me.

So fuck you Dear Constant Headache. You're not getting the better of me, no matter how hard you try. I'm done with pills and I'm done with you. 


I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly [radio version]
probably [album version]

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that's my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy

Uh, uh

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

On being a baby lesbian

So, for those of you that don’t know, I’m thoroughly a 90’s kid. Born in 1990 on the dot, I’m starting to feel the fossilisation as I approach my 26th revolution around the fireball we call the Sun. Even so, I still have a lot of growing up to do. For one, I’m still sponging off my parents, but I’m trying very hard not to be a NEET.

Anyway, I have always felt this weird schism within myself regarding my age. On one hand, I feel so much older than other 20-somethings, but on the other I feel like I missed out on a lot and I’m still that awkward kid trying to figure out what to do with her rapidly pubescing body.

When I was a teenager, I was kind of a prude. A lot of that was to do with the fact that I was scared shitless of other people, and there’s not much room for experimentation with anything when you spend 8 hours a day at school and the rest locked in your room listening to Blondie and Alanis Morissette (or System of a Down when I was angry). I got drunk for the first time when I was 18, and my friend’s mom made me drink one of those big bottles of that god-awfully sweet Four Cousins rosé. My experimentation with sex involved me writing some very unrealistic naughty stories on a site I wasn’t even close to old enough to be on, legally speaking. So I was pretty much stuck in some kind of limbo some people would consider very boring until university.

That’s not to say I went completely wild like some of my friends did when they hit first year, but for once in my life I started to settle into my own skin and stopped being such a fucking stick-in-the-mud. By that time I’d just realised I’m clearly not a heterosexual – something that had been in the back of my mind since I was about 15 and couldn’t stop thinking about kissing my one friend, but was made real to me in the months leading up to Orientation Week (heh) like a very hard slap in the face when I found myself watching Imagine Me & You (Lena Headey – woof!). Most of my first year was spent pining over this girl in my English class who I eventually took on a pseudo-date only to find out she was completely straight when she kind of freaked out when she realised what I was up to. I got a few more mixed signals from her, but ultimately I avoided her after that.

When I was 21, my one friend, who has been openly gay from the time she was like 14 years old, let me join her at a gay bar she wanted to go to. It was the first time I’d (properly) set foot in a club, gay or not. I got very drunk. I was sitting chatting to my friend who messaged to check up on me as he knew it was my first club experience, when this woman came up to me and handed me her BBM pin on a scrap of paper, telling me to use it or don’t use it, before disappearing again into the ether. Long story short, she’s now my girlfriend and we’ve been together for nearly four years.

Yes, I was already 21 when I had my first kiss, when I first slept with someone, when I started my first relationship. Some people, including the wife (well, she will be my wife soon enough) tell me I’m very lucky that I haven’t ever had my heart broken and that I found my soulmate (if you believe in that – I do) right off the bat. I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything, but sometimes I wish I had been more normal when I was younger.

I still wish I was normal today, but hell – if it hasn’t happened by now it never fucking will so I may as well stop deluding myself.

I feel like I’ve been thrown in the deep end sometimes – the sex alone is confusing. How the hell am I supposed to know what I’m doing if the most intimate I’ve ever been with someone before was asking them if I could borrow their pencil and then accidentally chewing on it because I was daydreaming?

I still have a long ways to go in both the relating and the relations departments but luckily I’m a quick learner. And boy, am I learning! Luckily I have a great teacher, as well as the internet to tell me all about the myriad of things I didn’t know before. Like how much of a dork I am.

Case in point – I’m very, very curious about a vibrator – a specific vibrator, actually. It’s called the Vesper. I nearly squealed when I saw it, because I think it’s really fucking cool. Like, I need one. It is a vibrator disguised as a pendant necklace. The wife laughed hard when I first showed her pictures and didn’t see the cool factor at all. I felt a bit embarrassed, but I’m still determined to get one just so I can wear it and never show it to anyone. I probably won’t use it for anything except a subtle-ish statement to myself,  though (“I’m not a mormon”...I should have that engraved on it!), as I’m still very shy when it comes to sex and I’ve only seen vibrators before at Sexpo, and not even up close. Apparently I’m still very out of the loop when it comes to this trend of being “sexually liberated”, but hey, give me a break. I’m still only a baby lesbian!

I may be behind in a lot of ways, but I’ll say it again – the only real bummer about the way my life turned out is that I didn’t meet my girlfriend a lot sooner...

...and that I’m nearly 26 and I giggle at vibrators online and watch cooking shows obsessively instead of focussing on my academia and career because sometimes my brain just wants me to be a teenager again.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Not quite Kim Kardashians ass

I've written about Hubs before when I was a columnist for the Modern L and back then what sparked the post was all the shockhorror messages I received from readers about a certain picture of us I posted in the #throwbackthursday section. Being as obstreperous as I am obviously I posted it as a profile picture on my Facebook recently. Obviously.

This time I got a few inboxes from fb 'friends' who thought they had the 'right' to tell me off about our lack of respect. Jaysuswept, I can't even. The blatant cheek of that blows my mind. I'm undecided if it's stupidity or arrogance that gives strangers the impression that it's ok to be so fucking judgmental and preachy so maybe it's a combination of the two. I'm not writing this because I give a fuck about what people think but because I love this story so much I can tell it 2000 times and enjoy it every time. With relish and glee! It may not have broken the internet like Kim Kardashian's ass but there has been a shitload of lashback, and I love it! So here goes... 

Hubs and I got married in 1988 and fought tooth and nail to get permission. I was 16 and he was 19 so I guess we were rather fortunate to get away with it but when it comes to me, I can ‘outstubborn’ a donkey. I blatantly refused to attend school and announced that they may as well sign the papers so that I could get a job and become a contributing member of society. Many family members thought it was a shotgun wedding and I’m happy to say we disappointed the hell out of the gossipmongers when our son only came along in 1990. One family member didn’t attend because “they don’t waste time going to weddings of marriages that won’t last” (#inyourface #fuckyouverymuch #28yearslater). The reason we got married was because Hubs was doing his National Service at the time and his army pay would double (from R200 to R400 a month lololol) and the added bonus was that I would be emancipated from my parents. On our wedding day my father-in-law brought the woman who was the cause of his marriage disintegrating along and it completely spoiled the day for my late mother-in-law – it was her only son’s wedding day and what was meant to be a special day was completely ruined for her. We were furious at the cheek and blatant disrespect, especially considering the fact that they weren’t divorced yet and we vowed to get revenge for the humiliation my mother-in-law suffered by her husband parading his mistress in all our faces. At least everyone could see just how common the she-devil was when she put a cigarette out in her cake. Oh, and our wedding gift from them and the only contribution my father-in-law made towards the wedding? A miniature bottle of J.C. Le Roux sparkling wine with 2 champagne glasses which was a corporate gift from the company she worked for. Luckily for them we were so tired and hungover from the night before that we both almost passed out in the church while the minister was rambling on so we didn’t have the energy to start a fight.

3 days after we were married Hubs was dispatched to Oshakati on the Angolan border to do his ‘job’ in the Special Forces (fuck me, he was sex on legs in that uniform!) and our only contact was via letters and the odd phone call. Flash forward about 8 months and father-in-law and the she-devil announce they are getting married. I wasn't invited and Hubs would have been perfectly fine not attending but father-in-law went to great lengths to arrange a special pass for Hubs so he had no choice, not that I was complaining about finally seeing him again and getting my much needed dose of man! A HUGE deal was made out of the impending nuptials; dresses and suits were tailor-made, the church was decorated to the nines with great big floral arrangements, a limo bedecked in miles of ribbon was hired to take the blushing bride to the church… Such a fat broo-ha-ha that there were relatives and friends flying in from all across the globe… You get the picture. Maybe it's just me but how very fucking pathetic, ridiculous, laughable...   

Hubs told me that I had better come with him, especially since I was his wife now and who was I to refuse? Noddafuck were we going to waste money better spent on a good jol (or several) on an evening dress and a suit so Hubs and I decided to wear the kind of clothes we were usually seen in at our favourite haunts at the time; Jacqueline’s Discotheque, Nightshift, Pig & Whistle and Club Equusite (a local gay club we would frequent, which may explain the gay rumours that were flying around back then). The family all congregated at their house first and watching the wedding video afterwards it gave us much pleasure to see the bride spotting us on her way to the limo, she went pale and shouted “Oh my GOD!” We couldn’t hear the rest because the cameraman had panned to what she was looking at and it was me getting out of our car.

We took our sweet time getting to the church and waited until we saw the bridal limo pull up outside before we went in. The church was packed to the rafters with wedding guests and we sauntered down the aisle as slowly as we could while adding a bit of a strut to our walk, right up to the front pew - just to make extra sure everyone got a very good look at us. When the wedding march started and the she-devil came down the aisle with her bridal flotilla in tow the gasps and whispers were still echoing through the church. REEE-SULT! There is also not a single picture with us in it that she doesn’t have a thunderous look on her face *cackle* At some point during the evenings’ reception Hubs’ favourite aunt who had flown in from the USA reached up and grabbed him by the collar from her tiny height of 4ft5 and raged “How DARE you disrespect your father like this?” Instead of bursting her bubble by telling her exactly why, we decided our point had been more than made and we headed off to one of our haunts which I mentioned above and partied until the sun came up. Hell, we didn’t even have to go home and change! We reminisced about it again the other day and decided that in retrospect we are not sorry; in fact, we would do it again, without a doubt! Hubs also pointed out that the balloons behind the she-devil's head look very much like a giant blue dildo. Quite fitting really, especially considering what a giant twunt she was.

We are very used to being gossiped about and often have a good chuckle about the incredibly imaginative and highly entertaining stories that invariably filter back to us and if we ever gave a damn about what other people think or choose to believe we would hardly have a moment’s peace, so we don’t. It never ceases to amaze me though that people tend to jump on a bandwagon without knowing the truth behind things, which is why I cleared this particular little issue up. That and the fact that it’s one of my favourite stories, hands down! When my late mother-in-law heard about what we had done she was thrilled, especially at knowing how her son and his wife had stood up for her, albeit in a very passive aggressive way. She never got enough of asking us to describe it all in detail hehehe 

Hubs dedicated this song to me years ago and I can't think of a better song to end this post off with. 

Live well, love much, laugh often and always remember to dance!
GeeGee x

Monday, 14 March 2016

Pay it Forward - Dignity Dreams

I met Daniella Argento on FB a couple of months ago and the more we communicate the more I like her. There are 2 reasons I asked Dani if I could share this post; firstly because even though I have met many trans people I have never really felt comfortable asking questions to help me understand the trans community and the daily challenges they face because one always worries that the questions will be stupid insulting arbitrary. Dani has answered all my questions with absolute grace and I feel a lot more educated now. I have become an avid follower of her blog and I feel it's important for anyone who is trans or cisgender as well as those who love and support them to head on over to Daniella's Ramblings  and/or find her on Twitter: @DaniArgTG Daniella writes with compassion as well as a healthy dose of humour, which is right up my alley.  The second reason is because I am a big believer in charity and this particular charity is one that resonates. Thank you again to Daniella for allowing me to use her piece.

Live well, love much, laugh often and always remember to dance!
GeeGee x

Living the Dream, Dignity Assured
By Daniella Argento
I came across an amazing charity about a year ago. The charity is called Dignity Dreams and they do amazing work for underprivileged girls and women in South Africa. The charity recently turned three years old and we went to their birthday party. I will tell you all about it, but first a bit about Dignity Dreams.
As you may know South Africa has one of the worst Gini coefficients in the world and we have very real issues with poverty in South Africa. Many girls (and women) simply have no access to sanitary pads and therefore miss days of school and work every month. This ensures that they do not excel at school, fall behind their peers (entrenching inequality) and that women earn less and lack job security. Some people are unable to afford underwear let alone disposable sanitary pads. Here is where Dignity Dreams comes in.
Founded by the amazing Sandra Millar, Dignity Dreams believes that 'entering womanhood should be a time of joy and celebration – not a time of shame. No Girl should have to use newspaper, socks, rags,or simply miss school during her menstrual cycle.' Dignity Dreams also believes in empowering women through skills development and economic activity. They have therefore set up an amazing programme whereby women are trained to make washable and reusable pads which are then bought by donors and then distributed to needy children. Each pack comes with a few sets of pads and panties ensuring that there is always one in use, one being laundered and one ready for use. This sets up a wonderful system of training, entrepreneurship and positive results for the beneficiaries. It also ensures that manufacturing resources meet the needs of people in an efficient manner with little wastage, ensuring efficiency through out the value chain.
Each set is actually really cheap at just R150 (less than US$10) per pack so if you want to do some good in the world please feel free to donate to Dignity Dreams. Details can be found on their webpage. Or you can get details from the image below:

I am fortunate enough to know one of the Dignity Dreams board members, Sharon Gordon. She knows that we are always on the lookout for different, safe and accepting places to go and she also knows (I think) that I am a firm believer in what Dignity Dreams stands for. She therefore invited me to Dignity Dreams' third birthday party. I discussed with my wife and she said that it would be great to attend. She is also a big fan of Dignity Dreams and we were eager to support them. We also thought it would be good to let the rest of the transgender community know that there was a group of people who were very supportive and accepting of us (people do not usually invite you to their events if they do not want you there and I know Sharon is very supportive of our community) so I publicised the event as I could through my social media networks*. Sadly, only one other friend (Jenny Elwood) could make it on the night but we did not let that deter us.
The party was billed as a 'pub nite' and was held at a venue called Journeys. we had never been there before so were a little unsure of how to dress. I decided that it would be best to dress down a little and not be too glam so I went with my red butterfly blouse, black skater girl skirt and black platforms. My wife went with a black mini, stilettos and  a black blouse. I did wonder exactly who was the tranny in the relationship!

Sadly I only realised the label shining through the skirt when we were already at the venue... Oh well you live and learn.
We set off for the venue a little early as we were unsure of exactly how long it would take to get there. As it turned out we arrived about twenty minutes early. But Sandra and a few of her fellow board members were already there. They were very friendly and welcomed us and invited us to join them straight away. Sandra made sure we had no problems with the reception (we had pre-paid for our tickets) and generally ensured we felt at ease. All the people at the party thus far were women and we were chatting away asking about each other and it felt really good to be accepted as one of the girls. One of the women quickly ascertained that she and my wife had attended the same high school (though not at the same time) and they had a good laugh about some of the teachers they recalled.
I was glad I had gone with the outfit I had chosen. Most of the other guests were casually dressed and the venue was very nice, but a touch on the informal side.
By now, some more guests had arrived but we frankly felt very comfortable sitting and talking to our new acquaintances. I honestly cannot say whether I was 'passing'  or not, but frankly I did not care. A man came up to our table and asked how we were, if we needed anything etc. He was very charming and helpful. He addressed us as 'ladies' and I truly could not fault his behaviour: he did not misgender, he was polite and seemed genuinely concerned for our well being. A real gentleman. I later ascertained that he was the drummer in the band that was performing that  night. He also serves on the board of Dignity Dreams.
After some more chatting we decided we should go inside to the main venue as we did not want Jenny to not be able to find us. We found a table as far away from the speakers as possible and we had a few drinks. Jenny arrived and we had some time to catch up on events since we had last seen her. We then ordered some food. Jenny and my wife had the chicken nuggets, I had the chicken schnitzel. It was very good and plentiful (I could not finish mine).
Then the entertainment started. The band is called 60 Shades of Grey and they were rather good. They specialise in doing cover versions of music from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s but they did throw in a few of their own songs as well (I think). The women we met on arrival turned out to be the party animals of the evening. They were on the dance floor very quickly and it wasn't long before I joined them. The venue was good but it was very hot and dancing made me 'glow'. We took regular breaks to replenish liquids and we also strolled outside for a bit as well to cool down. Jenny was quite the hit on the dance floor and we seemed to help keep the party going.
After the raffle and lucky dip prizes were dished out (yours truly won a compact disc, yes we still have those down here), we decided to leave as the music was tending towards slow songs and we simply feel unsure about public displays of affection when out we are out and I am dressed. It is actually quite ironic, in gay clubs we feel awkward because well, at our core we are a heterosexual couple and showing affection in a gay club may not go down well with some people who may feel that we are invading their 'safe' place. At 'straight' or vanilla events we are similarly anxious as the sight of two women slow dancing could be badly received and this may not be alleviated by knowing that one of them is a transgender woman. Please note, I am not saying that we would have been unwelcome dancing together, but this is just not something we want to test. We tend to prefer to err on the side of caution and generally believe that it is better to be more rather than less discrete. It is interesting that a lot of people who are not 'straight' feel this way. My good Twitter friend Darren Marples recently polled his followers. He asked 'as a member of the #lgbt family do you feel comfortable holding hands in public?' More than half (52%) of the respondents replied that they in fact do not feel comfortable holding hands in public. It is really quite sad that so many people feel unable to publicly express their affection (in even this very innocuous way) for their loved ones. We are fortunate in that most of the time holding hands, hugging etc in public is no problem for us, but this incident really opened our eyes to this issue. This link provides some interesting insight into this issue if you are interested in reading more. It would be nice if it were possible to just be yourself and people accepted you for who you were regardless of time and place, but we all know that no such Utopia truly exists.
Anyway we had a lovely time and really enjoyed the party. True, we did not win the handbag in the raffle (a travesty of justice if ever there was one), but we had a lovely time meeting new people, catching up with our friend and dancing to some lovely tunes. Please consider supporting Dignity Dreams, they do amazing work keeping girls in school and making a real difference in the fight against inequality in one of the world's most unequal societies. Also, if you need a band for a function consider 60 Shades of Grey. They are good musicians, entertaining, engaging and funny.
*All Gauteng based transgender people reading this, mark the date for next year. This was a very fun evening out and I firmly believe we need to get out and about in safe environments where we can destigmatise 'being transgender'. So many people are terribly uneducated about us. They seem to think that we are either all drag queens or the fetishistic crossdresser (not that there is anything wrong with either categorisation), but the truth is more varied and people revert to the stereotype in the absence of information. By getting out, meeting people and actually talking to them we spread the word of who we really are, show the world some truth and make being transgender increasingly 'normal'. Here endeth the lesson.