M.I.T., Tummy Tucks, and Roger Federer: Why Joburg Expat Has Gone Silent

Dear Readers –

I realized this morning that it’s been almost three weeks since my latest blog post. Gulp! Since the inception of this blog in March 2010, I’ve never gone more than a week at most without publishing an article. If you’re a blogger, you will understand how anxiety-inducing a slowdown in posts can be.

If you’re NOT a blogger, you’re perhaps happy for the respite in assigned reading from Joburg Expat.

In any case, I thought I’d give you a quick update on what has kept me so busy lately that my beloved blog has taken a backseat. And I can tell you right now, it HASN’T been my new book.

College Applications

For the last two years our family has been sucked into the college application game. You’d think that it gets better with child #2 and a huge learning curve from child #1 who is now happily installed at college and away from home, but the particulars of child #2’s temperament (read: lazy!) don’t allow for a respite. I spend an inordinate amount of time reminding, begging, pleading, and cajoling, none of which seems to much move the needle in terms of progress with university applications. I cannot remember the last time I walked into my son’s room and didn’t nag about a) the not forthcoming college essay or b) about the clothes I had to climb over to get through the door before I could nag about the college essay. It might have been sometime in 2011. What time I don’t spend nagging, I spend fretting over the fact that everyone ELSE’s child has already applied at 5 universities, submitted 3 scholarship essays, and secured a NASA internship for next summer.

He has high aspirations, I’ll give him that. That’s where M.I.T. comes in, and their engineering program. But I say, you’ll never get into any school, not even community college, if you don’t actually submit the application!

One of America’s oldest universities. And no, it’s not M.I.T. but rather the one institution where Jabulani has actually managed to submit his application so far.

Maybe it will get better with children #3 and #4, because they show signs of being diligent and ambitious and blessed with foresight. In other words, they’re girls.

Speaking of girls, I absolutely loved a recent article that said studies had shown that if you wanted your daughter to be successful, you should nag the hell out of her. And that when she “rolls her eyes and says something like, ‘Arrrrggghhh, Mom, you’re so annoying,’ what she really means, deep down in her subconscious mind is: ‘Thank you for the helpful advice. I shall endeavor to act accordingly.'”


I’m not sure nagging has any effect on boys whatsoever. Other than strengthening their thick skin with another protective layer.

Plastic Surgery

No no no, before you even THINK it, I have NOT gone and gotten myself a pair of new clunkers. (I still have an iPhone 4s, people, that’s how un-hip I am; and if I HAVE a few thousand extra dollars, it’ll be a Mac Book Pro I’m getting, not new cleavage.)

And yet plastic surgery now occupies almost every waking hour of my day. One year ago, my husband and I purchased a company. Mainly so that we could finally settle in one place and stop moving while the kids are in high school. It is not your ordinary company, to be sure, but a plastic surgery practice specializing on – yes, it’s true! – liposuction, butt lifts, breast jobs, tummy tucks, and all manner of facial fillers and laser procedures. You can check out our website if you’re at all interested, and we’re also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Any new likes are welcome! But, more importantly, all those pages show you what I’ve been busy with – as the new self-anointed head of marketing – over the last year.

Talking about a change of style in my writing! I’ve transmogrified from chatty travelogues and observations on local culture to slick marketing-speak about how you, too, can feel great about your body if only you get the new LazerLift procedure.

One upside is that my Photoshop skills have markedly improved, after having to plow through at least 150 before and after pictures of tummies and breasts to improve on around terrible lighting and unflattering underwear.

Photoshopping Before and After pictures might not be my favorite pastime, but
I admit I’ve had great fun with our iStockphoto collection.

My Tennis Game

Aaaaah. Finally we’re getting to the fun stuff. You just can’t keep a Brentwood housewife away from her tennis, as evidenced here:

And when I’m not climbing fences to get to a tennis court, you might find me watching Roger Federer’s forehand in slow motion on YouTube. It’s mesmerizing. I can do that for hours.

So you see, this is what the Ivy League, Brazilian Butt Lifts, and the world’s greatest tennis player have in common. They conspire to keep Joburg Expat off the presses.

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