June 18, 2013

Voyages without Monsieur [Obligations Mutuelles Ep.7]

Oh what breathing space this week has given me. My mutual obligation madness syndrome (MOMS) was really getting to me. Something had to be done.
And with the help of my new associate Dr. Dolittle, I was able to exert my powers as a discriminating, sensible, swinging-voting, taxpaying, femme d'un certain âge – by getting myself “medically certified” for the week (and officially exempt from Centrelink's mutual obligatory).

Well done!
So between now and my next date with Monsieur and his boring baguettes, I’ve donned the unemploymentista’s quintessential apparel du jour (my onesie) and celebrated by upcycling Monsieur’s copious modules notes for reuse as garden compost.


That’s your taxes at work Australia.

And I am free at last to live as a normal unemploymentista and focus on the actual requirements of Centrelink’s Employment Pathway Plan (EPP). The contract stipulates that I earnestly apply for no less than 5 jobs a week.

And how nice it feels to be doing this, unhindered by the prospect of Monsieur breathing down my neck, with his unwanted un à un, and inferences about my “employment barriers”.  Anyway, I think if anyone has barriers: it’s you Monsieur?! (just quietly).

Looking back to the first mutual obligation session, I shudder when I think of how mesmerised I was, and continue to be, by your French intonations.

Who cared, if within fifteen minutes of that initial obligatory class, you blatantly said to we unemployables: "And do you all know why you are here? Why you have been unemployed for so long? It's because the Australian welfare system has made you lazeee!".

How so?! - Whatevs. And who are you anyway?  It had been love at first fright.

Anyway Monsieur, where are your manners? My mother always said: If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all!

I say tomato he says tomate

And what were your final words after last week's session, Monsieur, when we last locked eyes? I recall being so overjoyed to finally discover your first name was Remi (so typically French) that I couldn’t help calling you “Mister Remi”!  As you do.

And like a disturbed French Lady Bracknell, you shrieked: “Nobody calls me Mister!”  It was on the tip of my tongue to ever so gently reply: “Well is 'Monsieur' ok then?”  Or perhaps you prefer Master? Well I do.

I had to bite that tongue severely, and flee out into the street, to the nearest homewares store and sniff a half dozen vanilla candles, to stop myself from uttering that stupendously annoying noun ever again!

S'il vous plaît expliquer?

Men, the world over, regularly say that women, like tsunamis, are confusing, and unpredictable. Well Monsieur, last week you ma cherie, proved your gender to be no different.

I am after all, a carbon-datable woman of a certain age. I’ve travelled the globe and each and every supermarket aisle. My 2 Facebook followers know that I follow June Dally-Watkins (doyenne of Australian etiquette).

And I’ve done my time working in various high-end, and low-end, lunatic asylums (aka secondary schools), where it was protocol for the kiddies to refer to moi as Mrs. Carmen – even though there was no “Mr Carmen” (I could go on).

Anyway, hopefully Monsieur is over that little skirmish of several days ago, and is moving forward and onwards.

One's a onesie, one’s not

Meantime, with more me-time this week to explore my employment options, I’ve had a chance to really take in my immediate surroundings.

And while out cruising, I spotted in my street, another person walking out and proud, wearing a onesie. True. They're all the rage right now. Being amused by this, I did a slow drive by to check it out.

Actually it wasn’t a person wearing a onesie at all. It was what looked like a human size, headless ginger cat! What was going on in my neighbourhood? Closer inspection revealed an adult person in a cat-costume (minus the feline head). I digress.

More Bex please!

Maybe my MOMS is more serious than Dolittle’s earlier diagnosis?

Or – was there something more sinister, as I’ve been surmising all along? 

Was Monsieur (missing me already) and stalking me, disguised as a cat!? A headless cat? Should I nip it in the bud and call Dr. Dolittle?

What point are you trying to make Monsieur!?

However regarding Monsieur’s issues, they are his business. It's his life.

But being an animal lover, I will leave a bowl of kitty cat out for him; with the front porch light on - just in case.

Meantime, Kylie Minogue’s foot-tapping hit plays around and around in my subconscious:

I just can't get you out of my head, Monsieur Remi
No I just can't get you out of my head!”


Photo credit (Doctor) : flickr
Photo credit (Onesie) : flickr


  1. My dear Mrs Neutral, your French is impeccable. I suspect you and Monsieur are working through some past life issues -- perhaps from France. Around the late 1700s? Viva Le Revolution!!
    Thanks for another wonderful article. Cheers, Claire

  2. Nice onesie! And I like your canny reuse of Monsieur's lecture notes.