How to be a Hypochondriac in six easy lessons (and get what you want)

Being a hypochondriac has enormous beneficial uses as many women have already found. It will get you the right kind of attention from the man in your life. It will give you the much-needed rest you need from the housework and in the case of a good friend of mine it even gained her a nanny, Life as a woman, is not easy. We all know, having it all, means doing it all yourself. Now with Hypochondria becoming the most popular accessory, you too can have it all too just like the top celebrities without doing anything at all. Be like Lindsey Lohan whose weeping got her the comfort of tough women cons. Lessons. 1) Don’t underestimate the use of tears. They are a great stress reliever and probably all those headaches you get are due to stress because of all the things you have to do. Angelina Jolie and Hilary Clinton have used them to wonderful advantage. Easy to create with the use of an onion. Or, take a tip from Chris Brown and use tear inducing eye drops. A little more expensive but you should get the best you can when using hypochondria as an accessory It really is worth wearing that mascara you are so allergic to also. A few tears and you can put away the pots and pans, Your husband is sure to take you out to cheer you up. So he should after all you do. After one of those really tiring days, when you have filled the dishwasher and done the school run consider this as your treat. 2) Remember exercise is dangerous. If you insist on running then be aware if your knee hurts or your back hurts it is most likely you have slipped a cartilage or a disc. Be sure to hire a cleaner for three months and do not lift, not even an ironing board, or even an iron come to that. Be careful when lifting your arms as that could strain your back. Ask your husband to brush your hair when he gets home. He will be happy to have something to do after his boring day. Take painkillers four times a day and bed rest if needed. 3) Most severe, serious headaches come on at night, according to specialists. All physical activity should be avoided at these times. Your husband will understand that sex is out of the question. After all, this could be the start of a serious tumour and needs to be taken seriously. Take two aspirin and sleep for as long as possible. If this means all night and the following day, so be it. Your husband can sort out the children. If he is late for work, he will not be missed. It is important to understand your importance in the world and a tired woman is an unproductive one. 4) Any breast pain should be investigated properly. Often it may be due to the wrong size bra, but if you are a busy housewife and mother juggling a part-time job when can you find the time to buy a new one? Should you suffer from ‘Too tight bra syndrome’ do not lift your child/children as this will aggravate the pain. Hire a Nanny until your busy schedule allows you to get to the shops. Or make sure your husband leaves his credit card with you so you can shop for one online. Be sure to take pain killers every four hours and rest as much as possible. 5) Never forget Periods are an illness. They affect you profoundly both physically and mentally. You may notice your husband goes through something similar at the same time. This has now been diagnosed as ‘lack of brain activity syndrome’ and hits men once a month. Unlike women their lives are quite empty. Sitting at a desk, pushing a pen and checking emails can lead to ‘lack of brain activity syndrome’ very quickly. This leads the man to look for some activity during the month and this often coincides with your period. He will try very hard to arouse activity for himself and you will notice he uses you for this and may make comments which deflects the issue from himself. The comments often follow a pattern and he may use words like. ‘Is your period due?’ or ‘Is it that time of the month?’ He really means is it that time of the month for him, when he will be argumentative and then blame it on you. You must not forget that periods are an illness and that bedrest is needed when you are cramping. Again, you should not attempt anything too hazardous and housework is out of the question. A cleaner should be considered at all times. After all a slight pull to a stomach muscle could lead to a fibroid, I am told. 6) Celebrities have already seen the dangers of childbirth and use their hypochondria to its best advantage. Pregnancy causes stretch marks and can be unsightly and may even cause pain. You may also suffer from cracked nipples if you choose to breast feed. This is all detrimental to your health. Use your hypochondria here to explain the dangers to your husband and use a surrogate mother. For a few pounds you can get a good one these days and for just a little extra you can hire a nanny so you get the sleep you need to do all those other onerous jobs. Remember, you are special and your husband knows that.

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Treading on a penis

On Saturday I strolled into the Ann Summers shop in Oxford. Yes, I really did. I remember bumping into a bespectacled woman while browsing the vibrator section.
Don’t worry I am not going to go into a detailed description of the assortment of vibrators on sale. But the difference of ages in the women who were there was interesting. The youngest must have been 18 and the oldest (not me) had to have been the bespectacled woman, all of sixty, if not more. Of course, it is not the first time I have been into Ann Summers and thinking about it on the way home it reminded me of my first innocent Ann Summers party and the disastrous second one.
My first Ann Summers party was many years ago when the whole Ann Summers thing was something you whispered and giggled about. I went along with some trepidation. I had never even seen a vibrator and was quite nervous at the thought of ever even doing so. But, amazingly enough not even a glimmer of a vibrator was in sight. The whole party was about sexy lingerie. I came home feeling quite proud of the fact that I had attended an Ann Summers party and come home unscathed. When any of the women I worked with mentioned Ann Summers in hushed tones, I would say proudly, ‘Oh, I’ve been to an Ann Summers party and quite enjoyed it.’ So, when a few years later I was invited to another one and my friend’s-very innocent- eighteen-year-old daughter asked if she could come too, I said yes. After all, there would only be sexy lingerie there, I thought. Never presume in life, trust me on this one. We entered and the first things to greet us were little wound up penises running around the lounge floor. Somehow, my instinct told me this was not going to be anywhere near as similar as my previous experience. I looked to my friend who was very cleverly pretending not to notice the little penises, while I made concerted efforts not to step on them. The thought of a mangled penis, even made of plastic can make one squirm slightly. Glasses of wine were offered and boy did I need one having just spotted the various assortments of sex toys on the table. My sole aim now was to try and prevent any discomfort for my companion. I quickly realized this party had very little interest in lingerie unless you included pink fluffy handcuffs in that category. After being advised by my straight-laced friend that perhaps I should not be drinking considering I was driving us both home later, I shelved the wine. I waited with bated breath for what was to come next when the hostess asked us for quiet. After a brief introduction, she went on to tell us that we would now play ‘pass the parcel’ in an attempt to get to know each other and some of the Ann Summers goods. My heart sank. I smiled at my friend who shifted in her seat.
‘Ready girls?’
I wanted to scream no, and frantically tried to think of excuses to leave quickly. I could suddenly develop severe diarrhoea but the music started to blare and so began the passing of the parcel. Oh, horror of horrors. The first unwrapping produced the largest vibrator I had ever seen in fact I am sure my eyes watered at the sight. In case we needed a closer look it was passed around as the game continued. The music stopped and the parcel landed in my companions lap. I held my breath. In an instant she had thrown it into mine. Everyone began clapping for me to open it. Ah, at last some nice lingerie, a lovely black frilly bra. I read the forfeit. Oh, great. I had to stand up, clutch my breasts (such as they were) and sing ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’.
Strangely enough I was more embarrassed about singing out of tune than anything else. My friend looked relieved. Finally the game over, we had more fun with the walking penises and more vibrators were passed around until I became punch drunk on vibrators. Of course by this time a fair bit of wine had been consumed and some of the women began sharing their sex secrets. I discreetly moved the eighteen year old to a safer area. Others were crying into their wine and vibrators about how their husband’s didn’t care about their needs, while I tried to work out how to buy something without my friend knowing what it was. Then we had the fashion show where the lingerie came into its own. We were all encouraged to try on something and share. Sharing is bonding it seems. I sensed my friend was not keen to bond. I squeezed myself into a maid’s outfit much to her look of disgust. I was beginning to enjoy myself now even without the wine. But from her face I could see it was time to go. I raced through the book with her eyes on me and finally after handing in my order, I made some excuse and we left. We were silent in the car until we reached her house and as she climbed out I hesitantly asked.
‘Did you enjoy yourself?’
‘I just think it best if mum does not know.’ was her reply.
Driving home I remember thinking prim little madam! Finally I got home and my husband said,
‘Had a good time?’
‘Yes I trod on a penis, it was great fun.’
Now, thank goodness I don’t have to attend Ann Summers parties I can just stroll into the shop in Oxford and not have to worry about playing pass the parcel or being given disapproving looks. Wonderful

Lamb Hotpot

The holiday (part one)

So, finally here we are, ‘On our holiday’ as people tend to say. Although I am not sure how I can be ‘on’ a holiday. I can be having one, yes, but ‘on one’ sounds mildly odd to say the least.
Are they everything they are cracked up to be these holidays?
Well, frankly the first two days were so stressful, I needed a holiday to get over the holiday and I haven’t been here a week. But, already I digress.
We left in good spirits. That is a lie really. I left quite depressed actually, knowing my car would be repaired while I was away so it would pass the MOT and I already knew it would cost almost £800.
Early Saturday morning we packed everything into Andrew’s car and I drove my car to my stepson, so he could use it for the entire two weeks. We left a detailed note. You know the kind of thing, how to feed cat, where to put cat at night, where cat food was when to treat cat to milk, along with more boring cat details. I still worry we may go home to a house minus one cat. Another note reminding him to leave the keys in the car as the garage was to collect it on the Monday. I told my lovely, elderly neighbour my stepson would be there and she seemed relieved. We had everything organised-I thought!
The journey was long but Andrew fell madly in love with his car and constantly reiterated this fact.
‘I love this car, I just love it’ he enthused. ‘Can you believe we have done 350 miles on just 20 pounds of diesel?’
I attempt my best amazed look while deep down hating him and his ever efficient car while my useless one cannot even pass the MOT without a re-mortgage on the house.
We spend a lovely afternoon and the night with family at their Tree house home, which they proudly announce is featured in ‘Ideal Home’ magazine. I am dead impressed and buy a copy the next day. We hug, kiss goodbye and off we go. We are off to a wonderful place. It is an estate in fact, and there is a stalker to take us around. I am very excited. It sounds a bit like Blenheim palace, and we are to stay in East cottage next door to the Stalker. I check all the details on the way there and anxiety punches me in the stomach. The lodge sounds big, so big in fact that they add all kinds of links for caterers and bands that visions of loud parties every night start to haunt me. Oh no, I so need this break. I voice my fears and get a
‘You’re not in panic mode again are you?’ look from Andrew.
So I desist any further and keep them to myself. I feel grateful I have brought earplugs. I then tell myself the estate will be so large that we probably wont even hear the rich revellers. I calm down and enjoy the sights, which are truly beautiful and quite breath-taking. The whole journey took close on 15 hours so I am relieved we had an overnight stop.
Andrew tells me we are getting near. I grab the instructions, which are complicated to put it mildly. There are five pages of them. One, of course, dedicated to the catering and disco arrangements for the Lodge. The others giving full details of all the activities one can do on the estate. Example for a fee of £70 we can go deer stalking and the Stalker only asks for a tip of £50. £50! I spluttered as I gulped back some water when reading this and Andrew gives me a funny look. One day out on an estate could cost us £100 and it adds in small print they do not guarantee that you see anything, great. We can go fishing too, providing the revellers at the lodge have not gone off with the rowing boat .Oh well…
‘Congratulations, you have reached your destination,’ Tom Tom announces.
We are on a main road and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I strain my neck to see a building resembling Blenheim Palace. I am not obsessed with the place you understand, we just live near it. So I am fully qualified to spot a lodge when I see one. It is still very light, in fact I have learnt that darkness barely exists here in Scotland this time of year, and I clearly can see there is no said lodge anywhere in sight.
‘That is the problem with postcodes,’ Andrew says cheerfully. ‘I expect it is a lot further on so keep your eyes peeled.’
To study the map, we had quickly pulled into the driveway of an empty gothic style dilapidated house, which was very reminiscent of Mary Shelly’s novel. After a good look we decided to continue on a bit further although Andrew felt we were quite near. I should add at this point, even though it may seem irrelevant, but believe me later you will see it is not, that I am just a wee (note, accent slips in) bit pre menstrual.
So, we drive on until Andrew realises we must have missed it. I attempt to reassure him that is impossible. I know an estate when I see one. It has to be big. Our own cottage alone has two bedrooms, television, DVD player, and large kitchen with all mod cons, large lounge. He agrees and we continue on until we both accept we must have missed it. We turn around and head back.
‘Look out for the bend in the round and the concealed entrance sign,’ Andrew orders.
I keep my eyes peeled and then suddenly I see the sign.
‘There,’ I shout. ‘After the bend you turn left for the Lodge and right for our cottage.’
He turns left and we are sitting outside the dilapidated house again.
‘This is crazy, where is the place’ I say irritation building up along with the tears.
Then I see the sign ‘Glencarron Lodge’ What! Is this a joke? Where is the ‘Brideshead revisited’ drive? Come to that, where is the Lodge? Where are the revellers?
‘This is not it,’ I say disbelieving, ‘Where is the estate?’
‘No worries about parties here then,’ jokes Andrew.
Oh my god, if this is the Lodge, what does East Cottage look like?
I am now very close to tears and struggling to keep them at bay. Andrew takes the car slightly along the road and there is the sign for East cottage. A cottage on the main road! Oh this was not in the photos on the web page. We pull up outside what looks like a dilapidated farmhouse. Twenty years overdue for a coat of paint.
Andrew is trying to calm me down.
‘Let me just talk to the Stalker.’
‘No, I will talk to the damn Stalker,’ I retort in a pre menstrual tone,
Andrew sighs.
‘Let’s have a look inside and get unpacked,’ he responds in a reasonable tone.
A range rover suddenly zooms up the drive with great urgency. The worried driver opens his window and calls Andrew over.
‘There is a lamb with a broken leg in the lay by, are you the Shepherd?’.
‘Do I look like a shepherd?’
I begin to cry. The man drives off happily confident in the assurance the baby lamb will be taken care of post haste. I now am beside myself. I have a lamb stuck on the road, no stalker to be seen and I have not even seen inside the cottage.
‘What’s for dinner?’
I cry again.
‘Lamb hotpot’ I sob.

‘To be continued’