Libertine in Dreams

life in e-motion

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Relax, Renate. Relax.

I’ve been away from the office for almost two weeks now.

At one of the busiest times too (General Elections around the corner).

Oh I didn’t want to take time off. I was forced to.

You see, I’m one of those stubborn people who will keep going because ‘mind over matter’ and as long as the heart is willing then everything else should follow suit. i.e. I refuse to accept that I am merely a sack of human frailty and ought to take care of myself instead of pretending I’m a robot.

Two weeks ago we had the Samoa National Kidney Foundation team in to our office to give everyone a health check. The basics like cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure tests. I was rushing around as usual and forgot about it so I went later than everyone. I took my folder of work to do while I sat and waited to be tested. Work has been hectic and I have to take advantage of any spare moments to clear off my To Do List.

I take the first test, Diabetes.

This one makes me nervous and I wait for the gentleman testing me to drop the bomb. I’m SURE I have diabetes. It’s in my family and I know my way around insulin and the sugar pills.

So there I am, trying to joke with the man testing me but inside I’m an utter wreck. I’m expecting to hear 18 or 20.

“5.3, that’s good”

I’m gobsmacked. I don’t have a sweettooth, but neither did my Dad and he succumbed to diabetes. A feeling of elation brings me back from the darkness. I’m beaming away and boasting to my colleagues who are waiting for their checks.

I’m told to collect my own urine and await the next test.

I do it. I realise I haven’t used the bathroom all day because I’ve not drunk any water nor have I eaten. I then remember that the first pee of the morning is optimal for pregnancy tests. Not sure why that popped in to my head, but it’s there, and I eventually begin to daydream about my children and passing on my superior, non-diabetic genes to them.

I return with my jar of yellow fluid. The gentleman testing it tells me I have elevated levels of something or other. I don’t understand him and for a moment I take stupid pride in being uniquely elevated. It’s then explained to me that I have high cholesterol.

Great. My love of butter and cheese is coming back to haunt me (I’m someone who zaps a chunk of cheese in the microwave and eats it with a fork).

I am taken to the next test for blood pressure.

I’ve always had low blood pressure. Even during the years I was a heavy smoker. The doctors could never explain it, and I was told several times that it was too low.

Not this time.

This time the machine shows a reading that raises the eyebrows of the lady working the machine.

She shakes her head and resets the machine.

“Is that high?” I ask.
“Yes it’s a bit high” she says, rather kindly.

Now they want to take a reading with me standing up.

They try and fail six more times. I ask her what’s happening and she said the machine can’t read my blood pressure.

It’s so fucking high the machine can’t zero in on it.

After a few more attempts, she eventually tells me to go sit in a corner and try to relax.

At this point I am anything BUT relaxed. I’m starting to freak out a little bit. When did this high blood pressure creep in? When did my body go from invincible youth to the aches and pains of middle-agedom? When did I get OLD?? I can’t remember the transition, and I sure as hell don’t appreciate the change.

I sit and ponder my mortality and sink deeper and deeper in to despair. Is my life over?

Will I now meet the same fate as my father? I didn’t have as much fun in life as he did so now I’m getting angry. It probably doesn’t help the blood pressure but I can’t help myself – must blame him one last time for something.

After twenty minutes, I go back and the machine still doesn’t take a reading. Three times we try. No luck.

At this point I’ve written my own eulogy, and make the silent decision to do whatever I want with whomever I want because I probably only have 30 days to live. Obviously.

I try to clear my mind and relax while she keeps trying. Eventually I hear her say she’s got it. And now it’s even higher than before.


I now move to the line that takes me to the Doctor who will explain all the tests. I use this opportunity to go through my folder of stuff to do and manage to clear a few items off the list.

I get to the doctor and he basically tells me I should be having a stroke with my blood pressure readings. I sit there numbly and dumbly while he explains what to do and the next steps.

And they are to go to another doctor and get some pills so I can stay alive long enough to change my lifestlye.


I start to cry because…. I don’t know. I feel like life is a sham and stressing over work and responsibilities is truly a waste of anyone’s life.

I start to ask myself why. Why? Why care so much about my job and making people happy? Why care so much to do a good job and make the effort to be honest and go the extra mile for the benefit of someone else. Why? What am I doing this for? It is literally killing me to be this way.

So after my teary moment with the doctor I exeunt stage right and go straight to my office to stare out the window.

Existential-deep-thoughts-mode activated.

Co-workers come in and try to talk to me but at this point I’m in la la land. I just can’t worry anymore.

All the stress and drama and scheming and backstabbing of recent weeks and months has taken a physical toll on me and I can’t take it anymore.
I go home early (4pm).

The next morning I go to another doctor and he confirms it all. He prescribes me some pills (yuck, I loathe) and says I need to calm the fuck down.

I go and take more blood tests and buy my pills from the hospital (it’s very efficient and cool in there. Props to MOH for a smooth operation). Despite the usual hiccup of the blood test taking forever because of my shy veins, it was a stress-free undertaking and I was back at work by mid-morning.

By the time I got there the whole office was looking at me with pity. They all knew about my situation.

Just great. It felt like that scene in Dead Man Walking where the guy is a dead man walking.

I don’t like to show weakness so I was most unhappy that my colleagues knew I was one burst blood vessel away from a floral funeral arrangement from them all. But if it means they might understand the results of their actions and the load of work facing management (because they think it’s a walk in the goddamned park) then maybe I can accept some of their pity. For the team.

After the quiet shuffling outside my door was too much, I decided to talk to them and everyone had the same advice for me – find a husband.

“He will share your stress and you won’t suffer as much.”

These people have less white hair than me so maybe there’s something in this ridiculousness.
Five years ago I would have screamed bloody murder at such a suggestion. But 2016 Renate is seriously considering the wisdom behind such words.

I mean, maybe they’re right.

When I was coupled up, it was nice to have someone to rant to and be a cry baby to.

Not forgetting the magical nocturnal and sometimes diurnal de-stressing techniques of couples.

That helped. A LOT.

So instead of dismissing their comments as simplistic nonsense, I dismissed it as unrealistic nonsense because I don’t know where one would even go to get a husband. Is there a market? Can I buy one?

I decided to take some time off and my boss agreed with me. He even hugged me. Yikes.

So now it’s been two weeks of eating, sleeping and pleasure-seeking activities.

Honestly, I’m bored AF. But I am enjoying the down time because I don’t think I’ll have another break until Christmas.

Unless there’s a new government after elections… I’d probably be out of a job so there’ll be plenty of time to relax and tend to my garden of weeds.

If I’ve learnt anything in the past months and weeks, ignoring your mental health is a recipe for a major health disaster.

I absolutely MUST take time out every week for “me” activities and relaxation. I need to find ways to decompress. I have to socialise. I have to try new things. I have to leave my house more often!

I have to give myself some room to breathe.

Basically, I have to learn to let things go from time to time.
If you know me, you’ll know this is a big ask for me.

So anyway, that’s my tale for today.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, I urge you to step away from it all for a short while.

Your responsibilities will always be there.

Your family will still be there when you return.

The work will always remain.

You are not the only person who can do anything.
Take care of yourself first and you can take care of everything else after.

A huge thank you to the team at SNKF who provided a great service to our office and caught a few of us who were on the brink of disaster. Your work is truly appreciated.

If anyone out there wants to get a health check, please contact the Samoa National Kidney Foundation and have yourself tested for these common lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

So now all I have to do is find myself a husband… 😉


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Psst, I’m back

Major revamp of the blog underway.

Clearing out all the clutter from years gone by, and making way for some grown-up constructive writing.

So the plan is to try to write a little something every day, about whatever it is I find interesting.  Seems simple enough, except it’s actually quite difficult to pin down something to write about e v e r y  s i n g l e  day.
I usually work in bursts of inspiration and will churn out pages and pages in a very short period of time.  Then revert back to dormancy for the next 7 months.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, that means that no, my way is NOT conducive to keeping the writing mojo alive.

So I’d like to try this day-by-day, bit-by-bit approach.

Are you ready?

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How attractive are you to men?

Having just read this delightful little number on I thought I might make a few notes, to personalize it somewhat.

This is from Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts: A Time-Honoured Guide to the Perfect Party.


1. Do you bring the names of other men into the conversation to give yourself a sought-after appearance? 
Don’t. This may give a man a sense of inferiority — he is uncomfortable with you, and soon drifts away to someone else. It may make him wonder how much talking you do about him.
Subtext here is – put your ho flag down for 5 goddamn minutes.
If you have to sing your own praises then you’re not really that sought after.
There’s nothing sexier than someone who doesn’t make a big fuss over themselves.

2.  Do you wear clothes that make you a little more up-to-the-minute than the other women in your set?
Good — provided your taste is reliable and that the clothes suit you. Men may rant about the “crazy hat” but they swell with pride when their lady companions arouse admiring stares.
This is true from the Man’s perspective, although..don’t ever forget that clothes DO NOT make the person.
If you are beautiful on the inside, your inner radiance will take the centre stage. And not your faded tshirt or hand-me-down dress. The same goes for those who only buy expensive clothes because they feel it heightens their social status. If you are ugly on the inside, no collection of MENA or Tav dresses is going to fix the shadow that follows you. Smile bitch. It won’t kill you.
Don’t be afraid to wear whatever the hell you want to wear.
On a personal note, I wear whatever fits me, whatever my lovely cousins gift me, and buy whatever I can afford. My style is Roseanne Barr meets Elizabeth Taylor. A retired Liz Taylor, but still!!

3.  If you are asked to get another girl for a foursome, do you pick one obviously less attractive than you are?
You are unwise to do so. Get the most glamorous girl you know, and both men will be pleased.
Oh Esquire. How times have changed the popular meaning of words. (Ok getting my head out of the gutter now).
In this fertilisation race we are on from puberty, it is smart for a girl to employ all her wiles to ensnare a partner worthy of eggsploitation. Why should she make her goal that much more unattainable by inviting along a prettier and smarter rival? (Ps, a real rival is both pretty AND smart. Not one or the other because that’s not much competition when you really think about it. Please think about it).
Ok, ok, so the “right” answer here would be to take someone who would be the right fit for the second gentleman. If your own beauty and brains are not appreciated by someone in this foursome, then you probably need to find a new crew for that evening stroll. Or quit being a pimp.

4. Do you make a point of building up other women, even those you dislike, in discussing them with a man?
This is sound practice. But don’t put it on so thick that it sounds like a line.
If you are self-aware enough to know you can do this, then do it. If you aren’t, then you should probably steer clear of these kinds of discussions (here’s how you can find out – think of someone you HATE. Now list 5 positive aspects about that person. If you can’t, then you do not pass go here..move on to #5).

5. Do men marvel at your capacity for holding liquor?
A great mistake: it gives you a fast reputation and runs into money — the man’s money — besides.
I agree, but for another reason: no one should ever be proud of being able to drink a tank of booze and remain amongst the living. What exactly are you proud of? Your ability to destroy your liver/kidneys faster than anyone else? Well congratulations. You win impaired vision, poor decision-making and memory loss. The plus side is that if you make it out of your 20s and decide that you no longer feel excited about getting sozzled and possibly getting carried to your car every weekend, you’re probably going to be ok. Probably.
On a personal note, holding one’s liquor is not a quality I value in anyone and especially my mate. His ability to bring me to orgasm means more.

6. How many comfortable chairs are there in your living room?
At least two, I hope. No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax and he can’t if either of you sits bolt upright.
So this is why a love story never starts in a church pew.
Carseats are rather comfortable. Oh my how times have changed.

7. Do you keep men interested by hinting that later — not tonight — you’ll be really demonstrative?
This is a low trick and one that a surprising number of men see through at once. If you kiss a man, it should be for your own pleasure and not to reward him.
Again with the change in context and use of language. I suppose in 1950 this would have only ever meant a kiss, but modern times would suggest that this is a promise of a circle jerk or standup69 farewell.
Although I have to point out that I absolutely agree with the sentiment that a kiss should be for my own pleasure and not a reward for him. Very good advice.

8.  Do you make things easier for a man by suggesting that he climb into a car first, if he’s driving, or by asking him not to stand up when you come into the room?
This is an error — men know that they are supposed to show these signs of consideration to a girl and they respect her more if she takes them as a matter of course.
I don’t make it easier but I absolutely adore it when he opens my door for me. It makes me all warm and fuzzy and rather receptive to other suggestions from him, like “Let’s go for a walk up Palisi. We need to exercise”.
I also open doors for people and let them through first. Because I am not a rude dickhead who just pushes past people to get to the other side.

9. Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he’s good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent?
Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise.
Agreed. They fucking love it.

10. Do you knit when you are having a cozy, fireside evening with a man?
For some reason, men hate to see a woman doing anything with her hands when talking to her. Undivided attention is best.
Because men are babies. Nothing short of a teat will shut them up.

11. Do you either play bridge or dance really well?
If not, take steps to correct this at once. You’re better off if you do both well, but one talent is mandatory.
Twerking does not apply. Unless you want the rest of your life to be a series of twerking performances at family weddings and reunions. I suggest you learn a siva Samoa.
Or learn to play bingo. Acceptable in almost all, if not all, mainstream religions and nothing says God-fearing womanly purity than gathering weekly at the viper’s pit and gambling for Jesus.

12. Are you so beautifully groomed that you make an average man feel like a lout when he takes you out?
Fine. Men are extremely critical of any imperfection in a girl’s neatness. If he feels like a lout once, the average escort will take pains to be better-dressed himself the next time.
Completely agree. Don’t ever drop your standards to make him feel comfortable and if he is critical of your appearance, or tries to tell you how to dress, then he really isn’t happy with you just as you are. You are something wonderful.

13. Do you, when you have first met a really attractive man, clinch your future acquaintance by some polite variation of “Come up and see me sometime”?
It often helps out on the occasions when the man is too shy to make the first advance himself.
Just make sure he’s not currently sharing a bed with another woman, especially if it’s his wife. A really attractive man is usually being clinched by multiple other advanced variables.

14. Do you keep your friendships warm by chatty calls to your men friends at their offices?
This is fatal.
Until the jealousy gene is eliminated, this is fatal.

15.  Do you use artificial conversation gambits like “What movie would you choose if you had to see it every week for a year?” to start talk with a shy dinner partner?
A very good plan — someone has to start the conversation and a question like this can keep it rolling for quite awhile.
Thinking of a conversation as a gambit should be left to investigative journalists. Just be yourself – if that means you’re an asshole, then so be it. But make sure you smile. Men love it when you smile.

16. Do you save yourself wear and tear by not troubling to entertain men bores?
A grave mistake. Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.
This is called Friend-Zoning. Please don’t be a prick-tease. Be nice and what not, but don’t lead someone on or use them to get to their hot friend. Only fucktards do that. How would you feel if your crush used you to get through to your best friend or sister? Sucky feeling aaye.

17. Do you suffer from indecision when ordering dinner or drinks in a restaurant with a man?
This maddens them — learn to make up your mind rapidly.
Take your time. Order what you want. Chances are, the meal will be the highlight of the night if he is going to get mad at you for trying to figure out what you want to eat. Besides, you will be so hungry after starving yourself all day to look nice for your date. Fuck it. You deserve a good meal.


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A Delicious Mango

When your stomach tightens,
Your pelvis aches
Eager skin sighs, and sweat breaks

No other thought to crowd your head
His presence, an arresting salve
For the world’s folly
Kept at bay,

His hands, his body
You’re lost little girl, You’re lost

To be sure, put the birds to flight
And return from lustful plains

Love is a many coloured bruise
Eventually you will regain your sight.

October 2012