5.0 Twelve months, 50 blogs and 39148 bottles of wine.

Well I finally did it. I started a blog. I posted my ranting, my crazy, my dating, my tears, my ups and my breakup downs for exactly the last 12 months. It’s almost poetic I started this blog on March 27th 2013 and I’m making this meaningful last post; 50 blogs, 1 break up and more likely 76 bottles of red wine later on March 27th again.

Yes, you read it right – I’ve decided to bring my blog to an almost end. Because as much as I love doing it – I love sewing just that little bit more.

We’ve had our tantrums, I’ve been hurled abuse. I’ve had long lost friends I barely remember what they look like message me out of the blue to say how much they enjoyed reading my blog and what disaster they’d been dating of late. Which was the one thing I wasn’t really expecting and have really appreciated the most.

A huge thank you to my editors – Ben, Michelle and Frawls. And of course to Dan for hosting and spending the $16 to get me online after my 2nd bottle of break up red.

As I write this there has been a total of 39,148 reads and 11,801 unique user clicks. Something I never thought imaginable. Some people out there must have really boring jobs.

Thanks to Google analytics – the strangest country award goes to: Yemen… actually no make that… Kyrgyzstan. I know having a travel writer boyfriend who reads from Fiji to Timbuktu must surely push the numbers up – but he hasn’t read my blog from 90 countries in the last 11 months unless he’s actually Superman and I haven’t spotted any Lycra beneath his suits just yet.

Before Google took away the power of search term visibility the funniest thing someone typed into Google that bought them to my blog was “Gucci long black socks.” What the latte-hell?

Coming in at the highest hit rate most likely as it was published on Elephant Journal was:
1.8 Date a girl who can sew.
5634 post views.
Elephant Journal publication: Date a girl who can sew.
(Their post stats: 3912 views. 155 Facebook shares.)

Second place goes to:

3068 post views.

And third place:

2962 post views.

Thank you for all your loyal readership and I promise it’s not goodbye forever. I’ve just got bigger projects to begin and a fashion label to launch (fingers crossed).

Feel free to write in any relationship or dating questions and I promise to write a public blog response. internationalsmorgasbord@gmail.com

And yes – there most likely… definitely… will be a book.

x
Lorenza

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4.8 Was I right to be angry at my boyfriend…?

I love reading Danny Katz’s column the ‘Modern Guru’ in the Good Weekend magazine. He’s humour and sarcasm is far superior to any of my blogger wit. But I thought I’d join him in writing a response to last Saturday’s dating question about angry girlfriends, engagements and boys:

Was I right to be angry at my boyfriend for avoiding his best friend’s engagement party for no good reason? Is this avoidance of such an important milestone in someone else’s life a bad sign for him and me?
C.L, Woden, ACT

Keep your tennis shorts on honey it sounds like love. It’s not a double fault – he’s just a boy.

My brother still calls Mum to ask if my birthday is the 16th or 17th of August every year. Because, a) He can’t remember but actually cares about not looking silly and calling on the wrong day; b) It’s post GFC – pens, memory and iPhones are expensive; and c) He’s a boy.

Remembering dates and getting themselves to female-driven Facebook photo tagging events like engagement parties to them are like cushion covers – not really necessary.

On your annoyance of missing his best mates engagement, I think you’re forgetting how many of the important nights he was there for. Surely his mate’s first alcoholic stomach mishap? Surely his team’s 2003 AFL win, and the very first time he felt fake boobs?

Maybe give him the advantage – after all he does the hard jobs like killing the spiders, emptying the bins and eventually getting down on one knee.

It’s almost match point – you haven’t got long to go now. (512)

4.7 Ten things girls don’t want to hear.

1. “Your boobs look weird.”
I’m sorry, what? Well your bits don’t exactly look like a Picasso themselves (hold that, yes they do – more so his later stuff though). No girl wants to hear her wobbly bits look weird, not quite right, or like puppy dog ears. Just say they look fantastic a lot and you’ll end up a much more satisfied man.

2. “I need some space.”
Any guy who asks a girl for some space should know 0.5 seconds later she’s going to turn into the neediest, scared-like-trying-to-throw-a-cat-in-the-bath feline you’ve ever seen. Hang out with your mates or in your man cave and just tell her you get no reception in there. Ride it out till you’re hungover and clingy enough to want her to look after you again.

3. “You look a little bloated.”
Do you have to deal with you body leaking for three days and some-women-have-murdered-and-not-gone-to-jail hormones? No. So buy us some chocolate ice-cream, give us cuddles and breath a sigh of relief you’ll never have to be pregnant and squeeze something out of somewhere that is usually meant for things that are a lot more fun.

4. “You’re so much like your Mum.”
If you’d told me this when I was a teenager I would have stomped my 10-hole cherry red Doc Martens and screamed how dare you. Though I notice it now in the neat way I have to fold my tea towels and the sudden abundant use of plastic bags. Cringe. Wait, maybe that’s an Italian thing? As long as I can send my kids to school with salami in their sandwiches… oh dear, it’s happening isn’t it?

5. “We don’t ship to Australia.”
Come on rest of world, we have Zara and Topshop yet you can’t find a post office and some stamps for the land of plentiful drop bears Australia? We’re paid far too much and like to buy silly expensive things so please pull your shipping together.

6. “Why are you worried about your career? You’re only going to get married and have kids.”
Ummm ok Mr 1940s. Heck, why even go to school really? Women just need to be able to read well enough to turn on the washing machine and count badly enough so they can’t figure out the credit card. Sigh.

7. “Didn’t you wear that dress before/ to another wedding/ years ago?”
I recycle and wear clothes like they’re going out of fashion, and that’s not a figure of speech – they actually are. I’m not a Kardashian or aspiring actress so my clothes don’t come in size free. If I fit into a dress that’s five years old and my metabolism bottomed out at 25 you’d think most people would know when to zip it.

8. “When are you getting engaged/ married/ moving in together?”
This is the question that keeps on giving – When you’re single it’s, “Why?” When you’re coupled it’s “when” and once you’re married it’s “Where’s the grandies?” I know people are asking to look interested in my life – but ask me where I got my handbag from, ask me how my drawing class is going, ask me if I like my job and if I’m doing what makes me happy. Don’t only ask about the male status of my life like it’s all I’m actually worth.

9. “Sorry, that’s the biggest size we have.”
You’re not really sorry though are you? You’re waiting for our heifer-like calves to exit your store immediately before we scare off any of the lactating skinny cows. Just lie and send us on a trip to Chadstone so we can at least expend 14 calories driving there to realise they don’t make above a size 2 – at least there’s a champagne bar and a KFC there for us to drown our plus-size woes.

10. “So are you still into cross-fit/ running/ cycling?” <stares at thighs>
Ahh you’ve noticed I’m not quite my svelte summer self of late? Yeah.. nah I didn’t run that marathon I signed up for, crossfit gave me a self confidence injury and work’s been Reeces Pieces busy. So please just give me a break – in fact a Kit Kat will do. (476)

4.6 The love story of Ed, Ted and Miss Italy.

This is a love story. Well, kind of a love story. Ok it’s not really a love story at all but it’s one of my favourite stories. It takes place in Western Australia in the 1970s, and it’s about two Aussie lads, Ed and Ted, and a young lady who was running for the title of the Miss Italy Quest.

Ed was dating the almost future Miss Italy. Well this was in Bunbury, not the real Italy. Ed hadn’t even left Australia yet. And this was long before they had bikinis and talent shows and any of that. I’m pretty sure this competition was based on looks and personality, and oh wow, this Miss Italy had stacks of that.

Miss Italy and her parents were holding a fundraiser-slash-BBQ at their house for her being in the competition, and Miss Italy had planned to be in Perth that day to fulfil some of her country’s duties, before returning back to Bunbury for the BBQ.

This was way before all the fancy freeways to “down south” and it took a good three hours to get from A to B (Perth to Bunbury). Having already made it to Perth, Miss Italy had a problem – her ride home had fallen through. A few phone calls later and a family friend’s son, Ted, jumped at the offer to spend three hours in a car with the almost future Miss Italy. (Despite the fact they were dating, Ed didn’t go and pick her up because he was in Bunbury and that trip would have taken six hours – for those of you terrible at maths.)

Miss Italy had met Ted before and wasn’t very happy about him driving her – he’d been a little over-friendly in the past and seemed to be treating this car favour as some sort of date. But she had no choice – she couldn’t miss her very own fundraiser. Now, due to the lack of phones and Whatsapp back then, Ed knew none of the above. All he knew was that the lovely girl he was dating turned up in a car with some other guy from Perth. Uh huh. After a quick heated explanation all was well, but Ed still wasn’t very happy about this intrusive Mr Ted.

The Italian BBQ was in full swing by the time Ed found Ted sitting at a table in the backyard (sans concrete – this one actually had grass) under the carefully constructed Italian hanging grape vines (as every Italian backyard must have). “This wine’s shit!” Ted loudly and rudely declared as he necked a tumbler of Guido’s (Yes, Miss Italy’s dad was seriously called Guido) lovingly potent, homemade red wine. “It’s like grape juice!”

“Oh yeah, it’s practically grape juice,” Ed agreed, while pouring Ted another glass and one for himself. Ed had drunk this stuff before and he knew it was certainly no grape juice, but there was no need for Ted to know that. So Ed took a seat next to Ted and they chatted a bit. A few minutes in and Ed knew he didn’t like this guy. He’d started throwing around distasteful comments about Miss Italy, the love of Ed’s life. But Ed just smiled, clenched his tumbler instead of his fist and continued to cheers and chug away the red with Ted. He couldn’t make a scene, after all.

Unbeknownst to Ted, however, while he chortled and threw his head back chugging more and more of the potent red, Ed was pouring every second one of his tumblers down the table leg. Ted was having such a grand time declaring his utter nonsense he didn’t notice a thing. A few hours later Ed poured yet another glass of strong red for Ted and made his excuse to leave and mingle.

It wasn’t long before a now very drunk Ted stood up and stumbled a bit, and then stumbled some more, and then there was an almighty crash as he fell onto the table, up-ending the wine, the glasses and absolutely everything the little red-and-white checkered table cloth could carry. (kidding, like they’d have a red and white checked tablecloth sheesh).

Ed came rushing to Ted’s aid along with everyone else. “Oh Ted! Ted! Oh geez are you ok?! What happened?!” Ted wasn’t making much sense, so with a bruised ego and head they carried him inside and put him into bed.

Poor old Ted. He ended up having to stay the night he was in such a state and had to re-live all those red wine memories once again with the family the next morning – including Miss Italy and a slightly smug Ed. That was the last they ever saw of Mr Ted.

Miss Italy and Ed, on the other hand, soon after got married and had three children. Their third was a daughter – me.

 

Photos of Mum in the Miss Italy Quest with her parents and my Dad – nawww.

Miss_Italy   Miss_Italy3Miss_Italy4   Miss_Italy2

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4.5 Eleven life lessons by Lorenza.

1. Don’t go out with guys who make you feel like crap or tell you you’re fat or won’t give you cuddles. Every girl deserves a guy who really wants to hold her hand, gets excited when he sees her, and when she’s PMS-ing off her tree and looking a little bloated he still squeezes her love handles like he’s found pockets of gold.

2. If you have really bad period pain and you’re finding everything a bit of a struggle, just tell people: “I’ve got my period.” (Or, “pyramid” as I prefer. Confuses the heck out of people who think your Mum told you the wrong word for it or that you suddenly have a lisp.) It gets very tiring pretending you have food poisoning while people ask you 6 zillion questions about what meat and condiments you’ve eaten for the last eight hours.

3. Eat good food. I mean healthy, wholesome, olive-oil-dripping-down-your-face good food. You don’t have to be thermo-mixing carbo, quinoa or cocoa to enjoy eating well. But put down the burger – it looks nothing like the picture – unless it’s 2am and you’ve got your burger-beer-goggles on. Put down the doughnuts – Krispy Kreme glazed really aren’t anything to write home to Perth about. (Oh poor Perthies I’m sure you’ll get one soon.) Put down the protein, lactose-heavy, milk-is-for-cows slimming-milkshakes and instead eat avocados, sour dour drenched in olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, barbequed lamb cutlets nom nom nom and all those juicy mangoes and summer fruit peaches in season right now. You’ll feel and look a lot better for it.

4. If you really want to spend an utter assload on money on something, be it travelling the world, a Mulberry hand bag, fourteen iPads or that perfect smile (teeth) you’ve always wanted – then Benjamin-flipping-Franklin do it. Or plenty-of-yellow-pineapples do it (for the Aussies). We’re only here for a good 80 years, and guys – well, you’re here even less. So go on that trip, splurge on that leather, make yourself sick with excitement and racked with guilt paying off that debt for the next few years. Least you’ll look fabulous and no-one can see your dirty debt. Except your bank manager and you don’t eat brunch with him darling.

5. Learn how to sew a fallen-off button, fix a fallen-down hem (without a stapler), iron a shirt (properly), and check your oil and water without having to call your dad or road side assist. You’ll look more professional for work, impress the guy or girl you’re dating and save a bucket load on blown up engines. Ladies I’m looking at you.

6. Don’t drink Redbull before you go to the gym, you won’t know whether to throw up or punch someone. On the topic of Redbull, don’t get drunk on vodka and that nonsense – you won’t sleep properly for days and it’s a dirty, dirty hangover, far dirtier than dexies (which are for kids with ADD, not brain-working-just-fine you, OK?).

7. If you’ve got a broken heart, ride it out. Don’t start something new to fill the void. Cry all the tears, write all your hate mail (then put it in the freezer or a drawer), because you’ll find it months later when you’re making vodka martinis and realise just how far you’ve come. Also delete their number out of your phone, write it down and throw it behind a full bookshelf. It will take a bottle of dessert wine and determination to get it back down and believe me you won’t. Note: top of bookshelf should have more wine.

8. Thank people. Out loud, with a note, with a silly card even if it’s months later or publicly at a wedding, awards night, online drum and bass forum <cough> even if you think they hate your guts. People appreciate it. And it makes them feel a bit warm and fuzzy for giving you a couch to sleep on, a boost in confidence or pushing you down the right path even if you hated them at the time for doing it and told them so.

9. Apologise. Yes apologise. If only I knew this when I was 16 and jokingly called a girl fat – instead of saying sorry I hid from her the rest of my school days and thought staying out of sight was the only way out. If only someone had taught me to waddle up and say “I’m sorry”. They’re a hard bunch of two words to get out – but will bring a lot of relief and happiness. Wait, that sounded like an advert for Metamucil. Eww.

10. Get a hobby, and no I don’t mean being someone’s girlfriend. Find something you like doing, whether that’s collecting chip packets, counting trains or growing your own tomatoes. Think you’re no good at something? No-one was born being able to write or sew. Learn something, practice something and you’ll realise you can enjoy a lot more than spreadsheets, Facebook and emails all day.

11. Take drugs – they won’t kill you like your parents said. Maybe not heroin though. I hear that shit’s addictive. (351)