Well, this week I’m off to a health retreat, because that’s definitely going to undo the block of mozzarella cheese I’m currently sitting here eating as though it’s an apple. It also brings me one step closer to my ultimate life goal, which I only found out was my ultimate life goal after reading a Harper’s Bazaar profile called “A Day In The Life Of Oprah”.
Ultimate life goal? Oprah’s life.
Let’s unpack this article, shall we?
“7:10 am : This morning, when I hit the blackout shades just after seven, the light was casting its golden glow over the green lawn, with the clouds and ocean in the distance. I watched three geese fly over the backyard and land in the pond. I hadn’t even had a sip of coffee, but it was already a perfect day.”
Oh, Oprah. What a morning you’ve had already. Am I the only one imagining Stedman up at the crack of dawn, wrangling the chosen geese, holding them under a tarp, sweaty and stressed, just waiting for the clock to tick over to 7:10am so that they land at exactly the right time each morning for the sole delight of Queen Oprah’s delicate oiyes? “RELEASE THE GEESE!”
“8:00 A.M. First thing in the morning, I brush my teeth and take the dogs out. There are five of them and everybody’s ready to get out, but I make them wait while I brush my teeth.”
I have to admit – I was surprised she cleans her own teeth. I thought she’d have an offical teeth brusher, like Prince Nazeem of Zamunda (the royal penis is clean your highness). Also, bloody impressive effort by her dogs, waiting to go outside until her oral hygiene routine is complete. Oprah waits for no man, nor canine bowel movement.
She then reads a card from her the 365 grateful truths box today’s one is: ‘Wealth is not measured in dollars and cents, but by the love we make, the laughter we enjoy, the meals we share, the dreams we experience, in the hopes we create.’ Which is fine if you’re a fucking millionaire. P.S. Forbes reported this year, Oprah is worth a casual 2.8 BILLION. So something is getting measured in dollars and cents!
“9:00 A.M. After my meditation, I work out for an hour. I do resistance flexibility, a low-impact strength-training program that involves two, sometimes three, people pushing against you as you push against them. I have stretchers come to my house to help me do it.
Let’s take a second to reflect on this flexibility regime. The stretchers come to her house and move her limbs for her. She’s so rich, she literally will not lift a finger. Three men pushing against her as she lies on the ground, gently moaning…. I’ve got a name for that sex tape. The Colour Purple…Headed Warrior…
Next, an international designer has a trunk show in her lounge room as she picks her favourite things in their upcoming range. It’s sort of like online shopping, but richer and with less fucks given. Then, lunch time. Oprah and Stedman “always try to eat lunch in the garden. We have a rule: If we cannot find it in our garden, then we cannot eat it. Today was an exception; we had fabulous crab cakes flown in from Pappas in Baltimore.” You reaaally blew up your own rule there, Winfrey. Screw the supermarket. If you can’t find it in your own garden, then get it flown in on a private jet. #environment.
After lunch, she takes care of business. “I personally sign all checks over 100 grand. Even on a perfect day, I want to do it. Having grown up poor, I can never completely turn over all my money matters to anyone else. It’s important for me to know how much the electricity bill is, to know what’s coming in, what’s going out.” Good on you, doll. I mean, anything worth under $99,999 is petty cash anyway, so don’t waste your time. (Also, is her electricity bill over $100k? Maybe the geese require extra heating.)
“My perfect evening involves sitting around the fire with family, reading a novel, and drinking herbal tea. I generally prefer reading a novel to watching a movie. I can go for weeks without turning on the TV.” Probs not a good PR move for someone with her own television network, but please, go on, doll. “In the evening, I have a bath before bed; it’s a ritual. I’m a bathing professional—I have different bubble baths, salts, beads, and oils. I was in Provence a couple of summers ago, and I got this pure lavender oil.”
The best part about this article is that she has just flat out said ‘FUCK IT. I’m rich and I’m better than all of you.’ She’s not even pretending to be an everyday woman. I wouldn’t either, I respect that. I’m an everyday woman, and I can tell you: it’s fucking shit some of the time.
For me now, a perfect day is not just one thing; it’s a series of small things. It’s the crisp air on your face when you open the door in the morning, the reflection of mountains and clouds in a crystal lake. It’s paying attention: What does the sky look like? Where’s the sun? When you’re walking down a path, how do your feet feel when they touch the grass? I know what people will say, “Well, Oprah, if I were you, I’d have a perfect day too.” But I’ve earned it: I’ve earned the ability to pay attention to every aspect and detail of the day. I have a great appreciation for the little things that add up to that big thing called a meaningful life.
You fucking have earned it, O. You lap that shit up. You snuggle your geese and your crab cakes tight, because you have worked your tits off for them.
Now I’m off to meditate and shit, because that’ll make up for the second doughnut I’m planning on having after the cheese is done.
It’s a new me, guys!
I’ve had some fairly eye-watering things written about me in my time. Once it was ‘reported’ that my life was so low, I was drinking wine at 4pm in my pyjamas – ignoring the fact that: a) when I’m not with child, that’s just a regular weekday activity, and b) it was a photo that I had shared on Instagram myself. Ground-breaking journalism, guys.
However. An article came out over the weekend that upset me so much, I need to put it into words.
I’m not going to link to the article as it was written by a woman I actually admire (which only compounds my disappointment) and I don’t want to send any ill will her way. I think her heart was in the right place and a lot of what she wrote was spot on. But she imposed her own theories onto my motivation for leaving my radio job, which were quite simply a complete load of bullshit. A quick perusal of this very blog would have given her all the facts she needed, but I fear that perhaps the facts may have gotten in the way of her already fixed narrative, so she didn’t bother.
The article was about how working mothers still don’t have enough support on the home and work fronts (agreed). As an example, she used me leaving my job, along with Jessica Rowe leaving Studio 10 and Maddi Wright leaving her job as a breakfast radio host.
“If working motherhood is too big an ask for polished pros like Jessica Rowe, Em Rusciano and Queensland breakfast host and former House Rules star Maddi Wright, who quit her job this week, then surely it raises the alarm that even after decades of employers talking about supporting mothers to come back to stimulating work, and stay, we are still failing women.”
Deep breaths, Em.
First of all, working motherhood is not ‘too big of an ask’ for me. I can’t speak for Jess or Maddi, but what the actual fuck? Sure it’s hard, but it’s also awesome. I LOVE that my daughters get to see me going after my professional dreams. I’ve always been completely transparent about my struggles and vulnerabilities in trying to find a balance between work and family life – I do that so that none of you are ever under the impression that I find it easy, because I don’t. But make no mistake: I’m not a victim here! My decision to leave was NOT a retreat, and I’m not quitting the role of ‘working mother’ by any stretch of the imagination. When I fell pregnant, it simply clarified what I actually wanted to focus on (making great shit for you lot to enjoy) which I wasn’t doing enough of because early morning radio made me a shell of a person.
“When three, enviably successful and vibrant working mothers with the kind of profiles many would kill for “throw it all away” for stay-at-home mothering, within the space of months, you’re left wondering what’s up.”
Throw it all away?! I have chosen to invest my time and money into my own business. I have a book coming out, a national tour, a podcast, a maternity line and a bajillion other projects in the works. I was just sick of making other people rich from my content. Why is it so hard to believe that I would leave a job in breakfast radio because I wanted to back my own shit in?! Is that such a stretch? Of course family played a part in my decision. I was sick of being tired all the time and as I’ve stated before: that job and I were no longer right for each other. I wasn’t doing what made me happy, and the breakfast radio environment brought out the worst in me.
Obviously it goes without saying that this is not an attack on stay-at-home mums. I’ve been you, I feel you, and I see you, sisters. Your job is tough, exhausting and under-appreciated. You deserve so much credit, and if you would prefer to be working but your work place isn’t supporting you enough, then I wish I could go and secretly poison each and every one of your bosses. But it wasn’t the case for me, so I feel like my name doesn’t belong in this article.
My husband asked me why I was so upset when the article was obviously written in support of me. I had to sit with that for 24 hours and this is where I landed: it felt like she was saying that leaving a high paying job in the media was some kind of a failure on my behalf. Like I was defined by that one role, and since I was no longer doing it, then I must be disappearing into oblivion. I’ve worked bloody hard over the past fifteen years, and despite commercial TV not wanting a bar of me, radio finding me hard to handle, the comedy world not accepting me and mainstream media wanting to find new and interesting ways to punish me for being a driven and ‘opinionated’ woman – I’ve pushed on and made my own magic. I don’t say that because I think I’m a hero, I say that because I want you all to know that nothing will stop this glittering, emotional, work-a-holic train wreck from doing what she loves! Look, she’ll be resting at the station for a bit come Jan 2019 when the prodigal son is born, but then she’ll be launching her new stand-up tour complete with breastfeeding-friendly leotard!
In conclusion: I didn’t feel defeated when I stepped away from my “enviable” job. I actually felt the exact opposite. I felt empowered and strong and like I was taking control of my life once more. Now excuse me while I go and do a million things.
Have a great week,
P.S We sold out of the Em Rusciano community pins in 24 hours! The first batch will be sent off today and we’re hoping to have more in stock next week. I’m touched that so many of you wanted to join my cult!
P.P.S If you’d like to know when my blog goes up, when new merch hits the site or when anything exciting is going on BEFORE ANYONE ELSE does, you can sign up to my pen-pal program here (it’s a mailing list guys but that sounds so corporate, just scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe.)
As some of you know, I’ve always dreamed of starting my own cult. Not a religious-y, wear orange-y, sacrifice a goat-y kind of operation. More like a ‘getting a huge group of like-minded humans together and having good times without judgement’ scenario.
“BUT EM! SHOULD I CHOOSE TO JOIN SAID CULT, HOW WILL I EVER POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY IF I SEE THEM OUT AND ABOUT?!”
Great question unknown person who has somehow managed to hack my website and contribute to this blog without my knowledge!
I’ve come up with the Em Rusciano Community Pins. They come in a pack of three, and you can pin them anywhere. Get them here.
The disco owl is our offical community mascot because: obviously. As your offical cult leader, my head gets a look-in, and my last name is really hard to spell, so the badge makes it much easier for you all to remember (on that note, feel free to wear it as your name badge at work, should you be required to wear one).
If you choose to place them upon your breast, bag, hat or scarf, then you are making a solemn vow to be on the look out for other community members, and if you see them, you must acknowledge them in some way. It could be a tip of your real or imaginary hat, a high-five, a wave, a non-creepy wink, an unexpected shower of glitter, whatever takes your fancy. Just do something that says: hey, you’re one of us.
Yours in leopard print,
How are you?
Me? I’m great, thanks for asking!
What was that? Am I tired and emotional? NO I AM NOT!
Do I feel jet-lagged, completely overwhlemed and like the world may swallow me whole at any time?! NO I DO NOT!
You guys you may have noticed that the words you’re reading are flying into your eyes at a greater speed than usual. Can you feel them zinging and flinging off your retinas, leaving a trail of glitter and joy as they dance and prance between the screen and your head? Yeah, I thought so!
Friday was my last day on air and I spent it eating nutella donuts at a brunch full of pregnant women, crying and receiving gifts, and most satisfyingly, having a VERY stern chat with those three women from The Bachelor who were rather unkind to… look let’s be honest, most of the other contestants. We had Cat, Aleisha and Romy in the studio first thing, and I think it’s safe to say that I came in at a ten and maintained that intensity all the way through! (You can watch the video here.)
A few of you have noticed that I unfollowed the radio show on Instagram (have you also looked into getting a life?! Jokes guys… but seriously… WHO DOES THAT?!). I told everyone on the team that I’d be doing it; I need to wean myself off that whole situation and completely detach my brain from radio mode, so I’m going cold turkey. Plus, in some respects, it’s kind of like watching your ex move on without you.
So this morning I woke up at 4am on the dot and went to get up. But as I swung my baby-filled body over my pregnancy pillow (which BTW looks like a giant material turd) the wondrous realisation hit that I didn’t have to drive to the radio station.
“Lay back down, Emy. You don’t have to get up,” my husband soothed. And indeed he was right, so I proceeded to sleep until the luxurious hour of 7am. Drunk on slumber, I got up and went in to wake up my daughters for school – yes, it was half an hour earlier than they usually get up, but it’s a new day and a new regime bitches! They were told to make their beds, put their washing out, and report to the kitchen for dishwasher and lunch making duties. They’ve been getting themselves ready for the past year and a half, which usually resulted in me coming home to a bomb site of breakfast dishes, dinner mess, unmade beds and crap everywhere.
If I am going to be able to work from home, I need to be able to do just that – not spend the first two hours of my day cleaning up their crap. Look, I admit they weren’t exactly fans of the new system, but real talk: they don’t have a fucking choice. Firstly, there’s a baby coming (guys did you know I’m pregnant?! I know I really should mention it more). Secondly, I have a shit tonne to get done before the end of the year, and finally, because this is a dictatorship plain and simple! Just call me Emelia Berlusconi – only with less prostitutes, super yachts, embezzlement, and total and utter corruption. (Silvio Berlusconi is the former Italian PM who pretended he believed in the democratic system but really didn’t. Instead, he indulged in a glam rock star lifestyle at the expense of his long-suffering wife and the Italian people for many years. My assistant Lucy said I had to explain who he is to you as she’d never heard of him, but I assure you all it’s a hilarious and accurate reference, and it’s her fault for being culturally void.)
Now I must away, as I am a working-from-home Mother-type, so there are naps to be had and books to avoid writing.
Oh, by-the-by, my community pins go on sale tonight. You can read more about them here, but I thought it would be a cool way for you all to connect IN REAL LIFE. I know guys, it’s a revolutionary thought!
Have a great day you sexy jerks, and we’ll chat soon.
Casual bombshell alert: This Friday will be my last day on air for 2dayFm Breakfast.
Before anyone gets into a flap, let me make it crystal clear that this is entirely my decision and not one I made lightly. I appreciate how lucky I am to be in a position to leave on my own terms. Usually in radio, you are not afforded such a luxury.
The truth is when I found out I was pregnant, I made my mind up on the spot that this year would be my last year of breakfast radio. I had intended to work through until December, but as my pregnancy is progressing I’m finding it increasingly harder to fulfil the requirements of my job. So after talking it through with my family, and my boss Gemma, it was decided that I should finish up.
I must admit typing that feels strange, but if I’m being completely honest, it also fills me with relief.
Relief that I will no longer have to get up at 4am.
Relief that I will no longer have to come up with my share of three hours worth of content every single day.
Relief that my kids won’t just remember me as being tired and grumpy when they grow up.
I want to spend the next few months focussing on my family, eating, sleeping, possibly wearing overalls and attempting to grow some veggies. But most importantly, I want to properly prepare for the arrival of my new human early next year.
So I want to start by thanking the team behind 2DayFM Breakfast.
Thank you for your support, thank you for your hard work, thank you for your understanding and thank you for your encouragement. It’s a special kind of glorious hell, those first hours of the day; it’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. Coming in each day was made easier by the producers being so supportive. We will always have that bond – we have become a lovely, dysfunctional family and know more about each other’s lives than we do about some of our closest friends. I also want to thank my co-hosts Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee for supporting my decision to leave, I wish them both all the best in their future endeavours and in Grant’s case: total TV domination.
My time at 2Day has been a mixed bag. I’d be flat out lying if I said any differently. It’s been heart-breaking, hilarious, soul-destroying, uplifting, disappointing and bloody hard a lot of the time. Thanks to radio I’ve learned so much about myself; it really puts a spotlight on your strengths and weaknesses like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. But the best thing to come out of it has been me rediscovering my sense of self. For a time I believed that being a strong, decisive and ambitious woman was something to hide. I must thank radio for reminding me that those are my greatest attributes, not my worst.
So what’s next?
Well, I plan on reacquainting myself with my family. I have recently signed on to write adult fiction with Harper Collins and I now owe them a book by April. I also have a line of maternity wear coming, and I’ve somehow tricked Kate Miller-Heidke into helping me write the music for my new stage show, which I’ll be touring at the end of next year. Kate wrote Muriel’s Wedding the Musical (and won a bloody Helpmann for it) so I felt my show was a natural fit for her genius.
I will also be starting a huge new podcast, and of course, there is the small business of giving birth!
I want to thank everyone who listened right from the Em Rusciano Radio Show days, however you consumed our show – be it podcast, Facebook videos or listening to us live, I appreciate it. I still marvel that people actively choose to let me into their lives for a small portion of their day. That’s my favourite part of this job, and I sometimes forget it’s even happening when I’m sitting in that small studio talking into a stick.
Thank you also to Gemma Fordham for believing in me, for supporting my decision to leave (even though it makes your life far more difficult for the foreseeable future) and most importantly, for being my friend and not just my boss.
Finally I want to thank my husband Scotty, my Mum and Dad and my kids Chella and Odie. You all allowed me to take this huge thing on. It has defined our lives for the past two years, and I could not have achieved all that I have without your love and support.
Think about the last time you genuinely felt rage.
White-knuckle, gut-churning, seething, stab-a-bitch anger. Now, like most women, you might have just silently mouthed to yourself ‘for fuck’s sake’ and then moved on, perhaps bottling up the anger and pushing it down, until it exploded in a wave of tears when your husband told you he’d lost the expensive maternity clothes you purchased online (because you’ve already put on 20kg and soon will just be sporting a fitted sheet with a head hole cut out) and all he needed to do was collect it from the post office and bring it home but instead he has a “black hole in his mind” when he tries to remember what he did with it. Just me? Anyway.
When women get angry, we often don’t express it. We joke about it, we lessen it, we lock it away. Or we eat and drink it with a cheese cracker dipped in red wine.
But imagine if, just once, you could let people know the depth of your anger. You could really let rip about how you were feeling, how deeply you were hating, in some kind of public meltdown of rage.
That kind of emotional release is rarely thought out well; it’s usually a bit blame-y and swear-y, bordering on a rant. If you get to the point of doing it, you haven’t really considered how much negativity YOU have contributed to the situation, you just wanted to yell and scream and call everyone a bunch of cunts.
Well, let me introduce you to Susan.
Susan let her rage out. And it’s so fucking beautiful, it’s hard to look away.
In a Facebook rant that was shared to Reddit, Susan started off by announcing with great sadness that her upcoming wedding will be cancelled, only four days out, and she will be leaving for South America for two months of ‘exploring my soul and ridding myself of toxic energy’. So don’t try calling Susan right now. She’s hugging monkeys in Guyana.
Then the rant begins in earnest.
“Before I begin this mini novel, I invite all of you (including the CUNTS who have ruined my marriage and life) to put yourselves in my shoes.”
Susan then goes on to tell her whole story. She had planned her dream ‘Kardashian’ wedding and asked all guests to pay a measly $1500 per head. She was horrified when most of them refused. So she handled everything really calmly by publicly calling them all cunts then leaving on a holiday.
So first and most obviously here, Susan is a tad unhinged. Okay, she’s flat out ba-nay-nay. She is most definitely the biggest cunt in her story full of cunt-calling.
But I kind of love her.
Don’t get me wrong, I am completely judging Susan every bit as much as you are. The actual genesis of her rage – asking everyone in her life to pay $1500 just for the privilege of attending her dream wedding, and then hating them all when they wouldn’t – is beyond ridiculous.
But she just scorched her own earth. She just threw a match at her whole life, and didn’t give a shit at what went up in flames. She is like Bruce Willis slowly walking away from an exploding truck without looking back (I don’t know what movie I’m referencing there. All of his movies? None of them? All of the ones where he’s not a ghost psychologist, at least.)
So even though I think Susan is off her rocker, the thing is, I get her. I can sit inside that level of rage with her. I’ve been that angry. In fact, I’m in awe of the bravery it would have taken for her to actually hit the share button on her outrageous rant. There is no coming back from what she wrote, no ‘oh sorry, that was just autocorrect’.
She’s out of her fucking mind… but she’s impressive. Imagine the cathartic relief she must have felt. The weight that tumbled off her shoulders as she shut her laptop and boarded the flight to Peru, ashes raining down behind her. She followed through. She set her rage free.
Female anger is finding it’s moment. Women are now starting to feel like they can speak up more about their grievances – from the big ones like equal opportunities, fair pay, domestic violence, housework expectations, to the more personal ones like wedding guests refusing to pay 1.5k for a shitty buffet dinner – women are giving themselves permission to get angry.
In the past, I’ve been called aggressive, unappealing, and scary, so I tried to ignore my anger as to make myself more palatable. But this year, with the uprise of women finally feeling safe to express their honest emotions, I’ve learned how to give myself permission to be pissed off.
Ladies, if you’re feeling like a shitstorm is brewing; I encourage you to get to know your anger. Acknowledge it, sit with it. Express it in a safe way. Wear it bravely when you feel it. But don’t bottle it up and don’t ignore it.
And probably don’t call all of your friends cunts on Facebook.
To my real Mother,
Firstly, happy 60th birthday.
Secondly, even though we’ve never met, your influence has permeated and directed my every move since I became aware that you were, in fact, my mum. When I saw you standing naked except for a pair of sky high stilettos and a cigarette dangling between your crimson lips on your Girlie show tour poster — the day I realised who you truly were – I knew that from afar, you would ensure my path in life, by setting a sterling example in your own.
Today I wish to thank you, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, for helping me to become the woman I am today.
Darling Mother, while there is no biological proof of our connection, in my heart I know that in 1978 you made a secret trip to Australia where you met and fell in love with a small, wiry, Italian guitarist named Vincenzo. You had a wild one night stand in a seedy motel room and then 9 months later gave birth to me in a public toilet.
Dad and I have never actually spoken about this, however I can tell by looking into his eyes that that’s EXACTLY what happened.
Mother Madonna, you were the first outspoken, short-haired, muscular Italian woman that I had ever encountered. You were just like me, only you touched your vagina in public way more than I did. You were fierce, unapologetic and didn’t give a f*** about what other people thought of you.
When I was 10-years-old you released Like A Prayer, and it resulted in me setting fire to the lounge room when I attempted to recreate your burning crucifix scene from the video clip. My other Mother was extremely upset with me but I knew that you would’ve approved of the green shag pile carpet being sacrificed for art.
As an 11-year-old, you were the reason I bonded with the AIDS patients at the infectious disease hospital my other Mother worked at. I would hang out with them in the hospice talking only of you. These glorious men of course believed me, and once I told them that you were my real Mother, they would immediately tell me how much we looked alike. See, Mother? We also share that in common; the gay community continue to lie to me, love me and hold my career up as well.
Now at 39, but still looking 29, I’m Australia’s Madonna. Don’t google it, just trust me.
Much like you, I have spent my career being told I am too everything. Too loud, too opinionated, too scary, too strong, too much. I was constantly told that who I was wasn’t right, that I needed to change in order for people to like me. That I was a diva and impossible to work with. I’ve hit rock bottom a few times, just like you, Mum.
But you’ve taught me how to reinvent myself. How to say ‘up yours’ to anyone who dared call you irrelevant. And now, in your 60th year, perhaps unbeknownst to you, you are pioneering how women are traditionally meant to age. I attended your Rebel Heart Tour, and saw you on stage at age 58 doing deep squats with aggressive pelvic thrusts to the beat. It made my knees ache watching (and I have reason to believe you were having your own fun with one of your 27 back-up dancers, you saucy minx). On Instagram I’ve seen you counting down every day to your 60th; you are completely embracing it, and it’s bloody amazing.
When I was a kid and my grandma was 60, she baked for the CWA and had a tight blue perm. I loved her like crazy, but I think your version of 60 is my true genetic calling. You’re not aging disgracefully, as people always joke, hurling comments like “It’s time to put it away love” and telling you to “dress your age”. But who decided that, at a certain point, women have to turn into Mrs Claus? Not you, long lost Mother. Not you.
So happy 60th, my Madonna mum.
Thank you for showing me that it is OK to be both a devoted Mother and on a podium drenched in glitter. That I can remain fiercely myself, and still raise impressive offspring. That women can be powerful, sexy and in control at every age.
Thank you for maintaining the rage you magnificent bitch. Here is to the next 60 years, and to our eventual emotional reunion.
Yours in loyalty, Lycra and love,
In this past week, I have done two interviews. I know, guys. Two whole interviews. I’m totes popular. One of them I did from home while wearing my pyjama bottoms and eating a packet of biscuits, and the other one involved a full photo shoot and stylist team, so I really covered all bases.
Both (female) interviewers asked me a question along the lines of: “You seem so busy, you’re hands on with your girls, you’re juggling life and a demanding job….. how do you do it all?”
Real talk: I don’t, not even close. I am the exact opposite of a successful juggler. I’m the drunk clown, with mascara streaming down her face, crying because she broke one of her eggs and the other two won’t put their fucking shoes on and get in the car… I don’t know how the fuck I managed to give off the impression to anyone that I am a woman who ‘does it all’ – I thought my vibe was the exact opposite. So you can imagine my horror when these two journalists went down that line of questioning.
So I wish to apologise to any of you that are under the impression that I am, in any way, handling my life. If I’m giving off the air of having my shit together, then you have been strongly mislead.
Some days I do. Some days I’m on top of the washing, a nutritious dinner is simmering on the stove, the kids are voluntarily doing their homework, the beds are made perfectly, and I’ve written a thesis on curing cancer in albino seals. (Okay, slight exaggeration. The beds are never made…)
And then other days, MOST days; my family are eating Weetbix for dinner, I’m wearing bathers for undies, and the girls will be lucky if they get peanut butter smeared on a credit card for lunch tomorrow.
I don’t ever want to give you the impression that I am doing it all, because I’m not. No one is. I have no interest in pretending to be that person. I don’t want you to ever look at me and think I’m some kind of expert domestic goddess. What I do want to do is inspire you to own your shit, encourage you to never duck your head, and empower you to stop apologising for things that aren’t your fault. I am the poster girl for imperfection and getting shit done. That’s it.
Let’s all agree to stop thinking that this ‘do it all’ concept is the ultimate goal. We’re just perpetuating the feeling of not being good enough. It makes women feel inadequate for having dirty dishes in the sink, or having kids who won’t do their homework, or for not having sex with their husbands in six months because they’re so bloody tired. Every time we read about some successful woman explaining how she has it all, it makes us feel like we’re failing.
I can honestly tell you that my life is a mess 95% of the time. I can also tell you I outsource stuff, and that’s okay. I’ve hired myself a wife. I have a lady who comes to my house twice a week and helps me to wife – she helps with the washing, she reminds me to pay invoices, she organises the girl’s uniforms, she makes sure there is food in the cupboard… I pay her to do all the things I just can’t physically fit in. I’m very grateful to be in the position where I can afford a housekeeper (grateful, but also with the knowledge that I worked my ass off to be in this position) but I also don’t want to take credit for her work – she keeps my house together, and I bloody love her for it.
So don’t worry if you ever feel like everyone else has their shit together more than you do. Because they don’t, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Stop focussing on what you haven’t done, and think about the shit that you did achieve. If you can get ONE win this week, that’s enough. Look for that one win, and hold on to it like gold dipped in diamonds.
Today I took the bins out. That will fucking do.
P.S. I’m going to be in Who magazine this Thursday, and I’m not telling you to inundate their social media with how wonderful it was to see me in their delightful magazine, but I’m not not telling you to do that either. Go out and immediately buy a copy. I know it seems retro, but do it.
As you may or may not have seen in my niche pregnancy Instagram announcement (involving my favourite indie film Little Miss Sunshine) I have a small human boy spawning in my guts! Obviously I wanted to go full out Beyoncé for the shoot but I don’t quite have her flower budget, underwater tolerance or ethereal flowing mane. So I had my drag queen pal whip me up a lewk with some of Spotlight’s finest lycra, then got my eldest child to take the photo in the glamorous location of my tiny ensuite bathroom, and TA-DA! My version of pregnant realness.
The good news is, my body is ready. Like a pair of comfortable pants that are saggy in the right places my body has collapsed back into pregnant mode with little to no coercing. All the stretch marks are pre-stretched and primed to take their rightful place back on top of my skin, in what can only be described as ‘an intricate and detailed roadmap of an elephant’s ear’. I’m also having the exact same cravings I had when I was pregnant 18 years ago. It’s like my womb is made of memory foam. The second it’s got a baby in it, BOOM. I’m knocking back entire mugs of hot chicken stock. Yep, that’s right. Straight up, fluorescent yellow chicken stock. I tell you what, it was hard to hide that one at work – I had to pretend I was drinking some kind of Chinese medicinal herbal tea. I’m also averaging four potatoes a week, minimum. Okay, fine. Four potatoes a day. An hour. Side note: EXCUSE ME SPUD BAR, why are you not open at 8am for pregnant women? I’m a busy working mum. I need me a morning spud, OKAY?! I’m now forced to drive to a Westfield food court like some kind of criminal (because who else shops at 9:15am guys?) sit in an oversized chair with my bacon spud balancing precariously on my lap and attempt to hide my face (which is covered in sour cream and tiny pieces of bacon).
Speaking of mornings, my morning sickness has been ba-nay-nay. ‘Morning’ sickness. Pfftt. Every-waking-second sickness. I’m always nauseous, yet always hungry. What even is that?! I’m craving hamburgers as I’m vomiting up breakfast. I want a bucket in one hand, and a meatball sub in the other. At any given moment, I’ve indigestion, stomach acid burn, nausea, extreme hunger, and chronic constipation. I’m like a human volcano (except constipated… and also constantly stuffing my volcano mouth with food… okay, this analogy has really fallen apart, you guys). But no one would dare to question the amount of food I’m currently ingesting, because if anyone should look at my 7am serving of porridge, muffins, meatballs and chicken stock, I am ready to stab them with my fork while screaming “IT’S FOR THE BABY. IT’S FOR THE BABYYYYYYY”
I’ve already put on eight kilos. At one of my appointments last week (ahhhhh, the appointments. I’d forgotten the joy of having an appointment with a different medical professional every 45 minutes) I was told I needed to be weighed. Um, that’s a hard no from me, Janet. I looked her in the eye and said ‘here’s an idea. How about we skip it?’. I was willing to offer her a bribe. I was willing to give her the damn baby. She said ‘It’s okay, you don’t have to look’, to which I replied ‘Yes, but you will know, and every time I see you, I will see the judgement in your eyes, Janet.’
On a more serious note, last night was the first night I’ve slept well since I found out I was pregnant. It was the first night I’ve breathed properly. I’ve been terrified to have any hope in this pregnancy in case I had another miscarriage – I have been so careful not to jinx it. I couldn’t bring myself to buy any maternity clothes (I’ve been doing my jeans up with a rubber band because I’m classy like that). I’ve not walked into any baby shops, I’ve held my breath when walking down the nappy aisle at IGA, and I’ve been terrified of going to sleep, in case I woke up in the middle of the night with blood on the sheets. So to the women who have gone back two, three, ten times, who have survived miscarriage after miscarriage, who have lived through this suspended state of terrifying tension more than once; you are absolute warriors. I take my hat off to you, particular to those who have written to me and told me about their experiences of multiple miscarriages and failed rounds of IVF. I am in awe of you. Your strength brings me to my knees, and I wish I could hug every one of you.
Until last night, I hadn’t let myself think of baby names, just in case. But last night, when my wonderful OB called me (on a Sunday, because he knew exactly how stressed I was about the test results, and wanted to tell me as soon as he could) we finally sat down as a family and talked about the baby that is on it’s way. We talked properly, without knocking on wood, without not getting our hopes up. My husband and daughters even starting tossing around baby names, thinking that they actually have a say in what I name the baby. Hahahahaha. Ha. Cute. No.
We talked about him (that’s right, it’s a BOY! My eldest daughter joked that he’ll have to ‘come out’ to me as being straight, should that be his sexual preference). I honestly don’t care if he wants to put his wang in pumpkins, as long as he is happy and healthy. I mean obviously we’ll have a chat about the pumpkin thing but you know, nothing too heavy. And for the first time, I’m letting myself get excited. I can’t wait to meet him, and place an unrealistic amount of expectations on him. I can’t wait to take him to musicals, and get pedicures together. I can’t wait to watch him play with his sisters, dominate in his chosen sport, foster his love of learning and cultivate his inevitable Disney obsession.
I can’t wait to screw him up in my own way, like all parents get to do.
I can’t wait. I’m pregnant, bitches. Thanks for all your love and messages, and for being so excited with me. Let’s do this.
Now excuse me while I go vomit into a burrito.
A very important wedding took place a couple months ago.
No, it was not Harry and Meghan’s wedding. I mean, sure, that was an essential social event for all of our calendars this year (shout out to Fergie in the one glove. HERO) but it was nothing, zilch, utter poppycock compared to the one I’m talking about.
My best friend Michael Lucas’s wedding, aka The Big Gay Wedding Of The Year.
There is so much I want to say about how wonderful this night was. First and foremost, because I finally got to plan my best friend’s wedding. Oh, you better believe I planned it. I was on my hands and knees at the Plaza Ballroom, scrubbing the d-floor until it shone for my rock n’ roll knee slide in my dance solo. And yes, I sang. Of course I sang. The whole room sang, when we did our scheduled group sing-along of Your Song. There was also a flash mob for the first dance of the newlyweds, and glow sticks, and rainbow cakes, and musical theatre stars in Wizard Of Oz costumes. Did I mention this was a gay wedding?
But most of all, it was special because I got to see my best friend marry the love of his life. That doesn’t happen every day. We weren’t even sure if it would happen in our lifetime, but thank fuck Australia came to their senses. My BFF got to marry his BF. And as the VIP of the entire wedding, I got to make a speech.
So here’s what I said. Make sure you picture me in a long, silver sequinned gown looking insanely hot and glamorous, because that is accurate. Here we go.
My name is Emy Rusciano, I have known Michael since we were 11 years old.
Before Michael met Adrian we spent most of our time re-enacting pivotal Disney princess movie scenes, marvelling at Tina Knowles’ ability to get the Destiny’s child girls to wear those God awful house of Dereon costumes, and discussing the state of my marriage. I dumped on him knowing that one day, I’d be able to repay the favour.
I imagined him coming to me, I’m of course by the pool, resplendent in a fuchsia velvet turban pulled so tight it negates the need for a 4th face lift.
Francois my hard bodied pool boy would bring us gin and Michael would pour his heart out about his lover’s various transgressions. So when he met Adrian and it started to get serious, I sat patiently waiting for the time that I could dispense some sage, martial wisdom..
I’m still waiting 10 years later…
Because Adrian and Michael NEVER fight, not ever.
It’s extremely nauseating and sweet all at once. They agree on most everything, they genuinely compromise when they don’t, and they actually like one another. They share a love of elaborate costumes, Adrian tolerates Michael’s novelty t-shirt collection and Michael pretends not to care about the amount of shoes Adrian has.
But. There has been “a” fight, and it involved Madonna being drunk at 4am, on stage at the forum, riding a tiny BMX, doing stand-up, dressed as a clown.
Let me take you there.
Rebel Heart tour, 2016. We’d waited 23 years for her return, Michael was of course signed up to the VIP Visa pre-sale and as soon as she was on sale he snapped up VIPPP, triple platinum, private pre-party, so close you could see the veins on Madge’s mighty biceps golden passes.
We planned elaborate costumes: I was Modern Day Madonna with a look inspired by Alessandro Michele for Gucci, think sexy gypsy matador. And Adrian and Michael had valiantly and selflessly agreed to dress as my hot Spanish bull backing dancers.
Then it was announced that she would also be performing an intimate, stripped back, acoustic show with only a limited number of tickets made available, and they were only for the true fans.
You literally had to prove your love for Madonna by posting a picture of you partaking in said love. Michael entered and also sent the details to both Adrain and I – I think with the hope we’d also enter. But look, we were both very busy, also we knew that Michael probably had it covered. He’s the details guy in our relationship, Adrian and I are just the fabulous Italians who rely on his extreme organisation.
Michael won 2 of the precious tickets.
So he was left with the choice no gay man should ever have to make.
HIs very own homosexual Sophie’s choice.
Real talk: I’ve not seen that movie, and I don’t actually know what Soph had to pick between, and I’m fairly sure I don’t ever want to know, but whatever it was, I can’t imagine was as bad as what Michael was facing.
On one hand: He had Best Friend who along side of him, had worshipped Madonna since a very young age, who re-enacted the Like A Prayer film clip in her lounge room causing a small fire to break out, and who had long held the belief that Madonna was her biological mother.
Or some Adrian-come-lately, who was his partner, love of his life blah blah blah…
Michael told me of his dilemma and I recall being extremely gracious about it. I think I said something along the lines of “I will never recover if you take Adrian and not me, I may set myself on fire”.
So you know… I was super low-key about it.
I’m told Michael then went back to Adrian and explained how he’d already told me I could go, that he was afraid for my emotional state should he not take me and he honestly didn’t know what to do…
To his credit, Adrian fell on his sword, and told Michael to take me.
Michael confided in me that even though he’d passed on the ticket, things were not great. Michael felt that he’d failed their first big relationship test.
For the first time ever they had a fight, triggered by the combination of Madonna and I.
Michael was determined for Adrian to be there, he couldn’t bear the idea of letting him down. So he managed to find another competition, one that involved writing about your love for Madonna. As you all know, that bitch can write y’all. So in the space of 24 hours he entered over 60 times, he created fake email accounts, and WON 6 more tickets.
So Adrian flew to Melbourne and we all attended that strange, sad, exhilarating 4am Madonna show together. Adrian was friendly when he saw me after the incident, he was kind even. I can guarantee you I would not’ve been anywhere near as gracious if the situation was reversed. But Adrian cares about the people Michael loves.
You see, Adrian and Michael are a real team, they are truly devoted to each other’s happiness and celebrate each others eccentricities which is why they work. Their relationship is effortless, fabulous and enduring.
I love how they love each other.
To Adrian, thank you for being a willing participant in your husband and mine’s antics. You have never once made me feel unwanted and have always been very generous in sharing Michael with me. Thank you for accepting that we’re a package deal and most importantly, thank you for loving my cherished friend the way he deserves to be loved.
To Michael, you look hot bitch. You look J-Lo at the met gala, you look Whitney pre-Bobby, you look Madge circa Vogue.
I can’t wait to legally start our lives together.
All my love,