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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4.3 Ten things you don’t know about me.

1. I like to iron. No like I realllllly like to iron. Preferably with a phone to my ear and a glass of wine elbow distance away. I don’t know how people could possibly hate such a laborious yet fulfilling task. Nothing enters that wardrobe with a wrinkle on my watch. Watch the settings for polyester versus pinot though – I’ve had a few disasters with that.

2. I’m an insanely jealous person. That triples when it comes to boyfriends and girls with really long hair. “Why is she commenting on his Instagram and putting kisses (xx’s) on his pics? Hrumpf!” All the way to, “Why is that girl’s hair SO long?! Is she fertilizing it with double-tap likes?” I hear this jealous rage comes with the star-sign territory of Leo but I call that lion shit. Girls with long hair were put on this planet to even out the psycho jealousy I have for my boyfriend.

3. I have 57 dresses. Ladies, trousers are for men. Dresses make life more fun. You can eat a huge meal in a dress, you can twirl around in a dress and you can scream as the wind blows your full pleated skirt around your ears. If you look fat in jeans then don’t wear them. If a tree falls in a forest and no-one sees it then… Get my dressy drift?

4. I used to only be able to write when I was drunk. It was the only time I felt confident enough to story tell and it poured out to the brim. Then I’d hit send and fill everyone’s inbox with intoxicated Lorenza. Each morning was like that chest clutching awakening of what-guy-did-I-make-out-with-last-night regret. Except there it was, hungover in bold, just salivating to be clicked.

5. I like running. A lot. I like to think I’m chasing the guys in front of me when I run. Seriously you should try it. Unless you’re a guy – then I suggest chasing women, although they run pretty slow. And hanging behind them to check out their butts is a bit weird but I see it happening a lot. So… Just do it.

6. I don’t know how many men I’ve dated. I’d say it’s on the hundreds. Hey, I said DATED. I don’t think I’m the type who could date the same person all my life. That would be like being told I could only eat chocolate ice cream for the rest of my life and that would mean missing out on mouth-orgasm-worthy salted caramel for all of eternity. Salty sweet tears of please no.

7. I vomited on a tram at 7pm wearing corporate work attire. Did someone say open bar and the age-of-binge-drinking? I’ll never forget the worried look on people’s faces trying to help me as I rushed out and coloured the Crown Casino pavement cheap shiraz red. The jacket came up just fine for when I sold it on Ebay. Wash everything you buy second hand, kids. And with some bleach.

8. Nearly every day I think about my long-term ex-boyfriends. Well maybe not January 1st when I was moaning on the couch and could only stomach 7/11 Slurpees all day. Priorities, people. Anyway it’s not like I consciously think about them, it’s just when they run past me on the Tan, or I contemplate living with a boy again and feel complete house cleaning fear.

9. I used to have a cat and it died. So now when people make jokes about me being a crazy cat lady – I just tell them that. I’d suggest any single female in their 30s to 40s do this as well. Tell people your cat died – not that you killed a cat. I once killed a cat but that’s a totally different story.

10. When I fall in love. I fall hard. I don’t know anyone else who becomes as obsessed, infatuated and in love as I do. I don’t know how I wipe up the emotional mess every time it doesn’t work out and get so excited about the next round of heartbreak to come. If only I looked after my heart the same way I looked after my iPhone. It would have less cracks and a protective covering to hold the pieces of my heart as it smashes to the pavement. Better to have been loved, unloved and dumped again than live in fear of being alone.

11. I like lists and happy endings and I’m really, really bad at maths. (379)

4.1 I could never date a guy who…

A guy who thinks baked beans on toast makes an acceptable brunch. No Melbourne-freaking-way. Brunch requires pancetta and egg poaching, and a guy who doesn’t get this will probably take on everything else in life with lackluster imagination. Think I’m being ridiculous? You can tell a lot about a guy by what he wants to eat, and by that I mean.. umm nevermind.

A guy who can’t iron a shirt, change a light bulb, put together a table – you know what I mean. It’s cute the first frowny half smile he gives when he’s running late for work and looking at the iron board like it’s a giant-sized tampon. But the effect wears off after a few mornings of sidelining hair washing for his wrinkles of lazy cotton.

A guy who wears a salmon pink polo shirt to the pub and thinks the ladies will love it. It’s not ‘salmon’ buddy – It’s a shade of Barbie pink left out of the fridge that’s gone bad. Stop it Ken, your T-shirt-with-matching-convertible choice is drunk, go home.

A guy who freaks out and won’t deal with you when you’re sick. Whether you’re a snot fest, a Bali belly or that 28-day punch in the ovaries. You need someone who’s going to take the good with the bad and realise when he’s coming down with the man flu he’ll get the same chicken soup and Vicks vapour rubs in return.

A guy who’s obsessed with his body and what he’s putting in it. If he needs it cooked in organic butter with grain-fed baby lamb and broccoli grown in his fairy godmother’s garden with pesticide-free unicorn dust, then he can get it himself. Ease up on the heath nut spread and eat some preservatives and red colouring – you might be a lot more fun.

A guy who’s not into his family at all. We’re all allowed to have a personality clash with a sibling or crazy cousin. But if he’s dissing his Dad and calling kids ‘little shits’ – unless they’ve stomped on his foot and run away – then he might need some mummy issues therapy before starting anything with me.

A guy who doesn’t eat salami or pasta. Get out of my kitchen and don’t let the pasta maker hit you on the way out. If you can’t roll gnocchi off a fork and take the heat of spicy salami on a stick, then you’re not going to understand my passion and crazy for fettuccine and deli bacon goods. I suggest you date a girl who comes in the colour beige.

A guy who won’t sing karaoke, or drink wine out of a bottle on the street – whaaat? – or do 14 Jager shots and dance on a podium at Spice Market. You want a guy who’s not scared to act like an idiot and not be worried what everyone thinks. If he’s not going to let his perfectly coiffed hair down every Friday night then he’s only going to be embarrassed by Beyonce-singing me. (801)

3.2 Eighteen and never been kissed.

My first kiss was a guy called Ian – and I’m not sure it was even consensual. I was 18. Gasp! I know, a little old for a first kiss.

It wasn’t from lack of trying – actually cut that – I didn’t try at all! I was scared out of my Hard Yakka emo pants and besides isn’t the boy supposed to kiss the girl? I guess I never got close enough to let someone kiss me because there were a few obstacles along the way. That all-girls boarding school for a start then my parents not letting me go to parties once I was an-actively-alcohol-seeking-teenager then there was that one guy who kissed my cheek when I suddenly turned my head and THEN I got that super short lesbian hair cut straight out of high school – which at least gives me at least another 10 months of un-kissability. So lets blame – timing, head turns and Sinead O’Connor hair styles for 18 and never been kissed.

So back to Ian – I was at a friend’s university campus, the two of us getting drunk on passion pop and screeching at each other like 18-year-olds do when, “LORENZA”S NEVER BEEN KISSED” rang out loud and high-pitched. There was one (I repeat ONE) older guy there – ‘Ian’, I think – who was like 28 or 30, I cant remember, but certainly a decade senior to us with a shaved head (so cool, although now I realise probably because it was receding), tight black jeans and some large silver piercings (ears – calm down). He leapt up from the table and took me in his stride and rammed his tongue in my mouth so fast I didn’t really have time to run. To be honest it was a pretty good first kiss compared to some of the other abhorrent tongues I’ve had slithered in over the years.

Maybe because of this first-time, no-seat-belts-on experience I much prefer the slow, slow anticipation of a kiss – it’s so much more exciting knowing that you’re going to kiss and just waiting on tender-heart-hooks for it to happen. Is he staring at my lips? Is he leaning in?! Is he… No, he’s looking at the beers on tap. Hmmm. I waited four months to kiss my first boyfriend and by then I was about to explode. Well we were only friends, right? Friends who hung out every day and night and spent every other second texting each other. Made it all the more special though – I had a post-pash buzz for days.

Kissing is kind of gross though isn’t it? I wouldn’t let most people touch or taste my food, except a family member or boyfriend. I’m just funny about things like that. But when I think about the boys and men I’ve let touch the inside of my mouth, I’m kind of really yucked out. No you can’t touch my ice-cream, but here’s my mouth, go to tonsil-town. Gross things aside it’s also a lovely, intimate thing to do with someone you really like. And there’s the whole liking them so much thing that you don’t care about sharing germs, colds, garlic breath and finding out really how sharp each other’s teeth are. Wait, am I doing it wrong?

I had this weird patch of kissing (what?) where my tongue would get almost a stitch in it – like when you cross your legs for too long and they feel uncomfortable. I guess it was almost like pins and needles, but imagine that just in the center of your tongue. I should probably see someone about that. But the thing is – it stopped. Probably because I found the right person to kiss. You see I’d built up this theory that my tongue knew someone wasn’t right for me and gave me this stitchy feeling on purpose, like a stop-it-you’re-kissing-a-douche-o-meter. You all think I’m crazy but I’m sticking with my pink, wet instinct on this.

Probably the meanest kissing thing I’ve done (yeah that’s totally a thing) is kiss a guy then give him a score of four out of 10 for one of the worst ranking kisses of my life. Out loud. In the street. Where I’m sure other people heard. I’d call and apologise but he lives in London somewhere and I can’t remember his name, or face, or anything about him really. It’s not called Sauvignon Blank for nothing.

I guess I should really thank Ian for setting the kissing bar so high even if he was taking advantage of a sweet little innocent 18-year-old like me. At least I’ll always have a good first kiss story to tell. So make sure you cherish all those first kisses whether they’re groin-breaking or gross, because you never know which one could be your last. (I mean like before you get married… not die – sheesh!) (1165)

2.8 I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days.

I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days and no we’re not doing some new-wave couples therapy – Cripes! It’s only been 3 months, 25 days, 12 hours and 3 minutes. It’s just that he’s in Africa.

So that means no emails, no texts, no Whatsapp, no Twitter, no Instagram, no nothing. In fact the only bullet point listed under the ‘communication’ tab on the website of his accommodation was “satellite phone in emergency” and I’m thinking sending your girlfriend an emoticon of an eggplant doesn’t really count as an emergency (not that he’d ever send that).

This is the only bad thing about dating a travel writer. (No really, that’s it) This is the longest we’ve not had contact since the four months before we even met. It sucks. I’m not going to lie, yesterday I was moping around like an emo-riffic teenager. Little Miss Hrumpf at everything. Of course I want my coffee black, salad if it comes in black too thanks. Today is better, I’m busying myself with powerpoints, work and what-not and that’s what Wednesday’s are for right?

In what situation these days do we ever have to go ten days without some form of communication though? Sure Dad goes on fishing trips for five days and I know some of you have husbands that work on the mines and all that catching up on “Australia’s Next Top Model” and re-arranging his sock drawer is fun for the first fourteen seconds. But you still have that option to call at the end of the day or on your lunch break if you really need to know where that hammer is. Which you shouldn’t have to do anyway – as you’re a woman and finding things you’re not supposed to is easier than CIA child’s play.

I’ve got ways to deal with the impending nine more days of staring at my phone waiting for it to breathe life in the form of text from another latitude of this world: There’s that $200 worth of fabric I bought at Lincraft to make a skirting-start on, there’s that thing you do Monday to Friday called work, there’s that Tan track I live right near to run around. But after all that sewing, working and running all I want to do is send or receive a message to or from the boyfriend and I can’t! Hrumpf.

This makes me worry how addicted I’ve become to my phone, or to the communication or to social media – or to the whole she-twitter-book-bang? I’ve really cut back my Facebook usage since being back in Australia – I can see my friends at lunch, hear about their hangovers and see their new haircuts in person. And I don’t need to be posting 14,000 pics of myself because a) I’m not travelling so it’s not very exciting and b) I’m not posting pics of bars in Melbourne – that’s boring (and secret). It’s more fun to laugh at people from Sydney trying to find them. (Yes down that alley and through the nondescript door) So maybe my love-stalk-affair with Facebook really has worn off.

I keep reading articles saying to get off Facebook because it’s making you jealous, fat and miserable with your life. Oh Facebook-effing-please. I feel like that walking around on my lunch break and not just from eating $15 worth of sushi because goddamn I missed it so much the last two we-don’t-have-sushi-years-in-London. There’s enough skinny, well dressed, made up to high-heeled heaven women wondering the streets to make me feel frumpy without Facebook enough.

So when it comes to all this jealousy and cursing the skinny people who are meant to be your 648 ‘friends’ on Facebook, clearly I’m a little weird because seeing ‘friends’ on sailboats in Croatia and climbing mountains in Switzerland spurred me on as I was never much the traveller and seeing these pretty pictures on Facebook gave me a kick up the get-out-there-and-do-it-yourself-butt. Though I can’t really say all those babies on my news-feed are doing the same thing for me… yet.

So I’m down to eight point five days now of zero boyfriend communication and I’m keeping busy with insta-whatsapp-tweeting-the-crap out of every friend-and-thing-I-have. As I figure while my boyfriend can’t Instagram photos of what he’s eating, someone’s got to pick up the pancake slack. Till then I’ll telepathically tell him I miss him and to hurry up and use that satellite phone for an emoticon emergency. (945)