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, sourdough 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. (389)

4.0 Birthdays and breakups.

“Oh is it your birthday?” The excitable receptionist asked me before looking up and seeing my tear sodden, puffy red face. “No it’s not…” I half wailed and half sobbed at her. Highly doubt she’ll be asking that again before checking the tear-o-meter for someone collecting flowers from her reception desk.

She stared at me with her hands mid air clearly forgetting whatever she was doing – while I opened the card with a teensie bit of hope they were from him. Alas it was my friend Georgia (thank you Georgia) the flowers were so pink, girly, huge and beautiful it made me wail even more.

I carried the flowers back to the lift to head to level 4 and thought ‘Oh great now I have to face people at work asking who they’re from’. I sobbed that 4 seconds of lift ride, pulled my shit together best I could, hugged the humongous bunch of flowers to my chest and walked back in.

Break up’s really suck.*

I should really write a thank you note to everyone on my floor that day who had to endure my frequent sobbing, teary ranting and frequent trips to the toilet to wipe the long gone makeup from my face. A thank you to the ladies who hugged me – who for the most part I didn’t even know. I guess when you see a crying girl at work you think – Ohh breakup or a death. They’re not that much different though are they?

Since I’ve been living back in Melbourne (a year now) I’ve felt like trying to reconnect with all my friends has left me feeling a bit ‘patchy’. Let me explain – It’s like I’ve got friends all over the place and sometimes the ones I reallllllllly want to talk to are asleep in London or in important work meetings 5 minutes down the road.

I guess the loveliest thing to come from this break up is I realised I’ve got the most amazing, supportive network of friends that I hadn’t quite come full circle on and appreciated since being back home. There’s nothing patchy about them at all.

So thank you. You’re all amazing. From Chicago to Acton, from Bourke Street to Mt Lawley – a break up really shows you the friends from the trees. That totally made sense.

My housemates gave me red wine and reassurance and really let me wail and babble at them for hours. Thanks housemates. No-one could wish for more babaghanoush and giving from guys like you.

Breakups really do suck. But I’ve re-discovered my friends again to those who will listen and bitch with you at 2AM, to buying you the biggest packet of corn chips to go with red wine you’ve ever seen. To filling you with long blacks till the tears tame to a trickle, to giving you hugs like you want from your parents but they live too far away. To sending you messages once they figured out your cryptic Instagram hash-tags to telling you what you really need to hear more than anything is that ‘everything is going to be ok’.

 

*All things must have a happy ending though – we’re not broken up anymore. (1167)

3.9 Making out in Mayfair.

Mayfair – you know – that very expensive blue part of the monopoly board neighboring the pretty Park Lane and ‘GO’ (home) which is where the Community Chest and Chance cards hell Kelly and I should have been going. But no. We were a Friday night of speed dating done and a Covent-drunken-Garden dinner down, when Kelly decided to the fancy blue part of the board we go.

You only end up in that part of town when you’re 14 wines to the red because there’s a fat-flying-foie-gra chance you’d think you could afford it in your single, sober days of sucky life. As you walk past the stacks of red Ferraris you take a moment to pretend you could so have this Sloane Square style of life.

Kelly’s Ferrari owning friends are already in Whiskey Mist – Ya huh. Even the bar names here are fake as plastic houses – no Jack Daniels Spray to be had. My wobbling ankles and slurs of ‘mini cab’ weren’t deterring the massive bouncers for a second. Kelly drops a few names and we’re waved past the glaring hordes of simpletons while I glassy eyed stare back Kelly coat checks and leads us to her champagne-full-of-fancy-friends.

I happily ‘parked’ on a couch with my flailing limbs and unco arms and watch the dancing lights reflecting in the gigantic silver champagne buckets and fobb off the overly friendly cigarette stench of a man next to me. Eventually his nicotine advances became too much and I was forced to fumblingly find Kelly on the dancefloor. The ceiling was low enough for swaying me to hold onto the ceiling beams and close my eyes and enjoy the sweet smell of non nicotine and expensive London sweat and Chandon. Then a man enveloped the small of my back, the back of my head and pulled me into him and gave me the deepest, gentle yet forceful kiss of my not-30-yet life. I pulled back, stared up at this tall, handsome-hands-on crisp white shirted Englishman (I’m guessing here as his teeth looked just fine) and promptly pulled him straight back in.

It was stupidly fun making out in Mayfair with a guy I hadn’t even eye-banged yet his tongue was down my throat, his hands were around my silver Calvin Klein dress tight as a shrunken wool glove, and I just never wanted it to end. He was my new drunken support beam, it was amazing how quickly I started to sober up.

Soon enough we getting quite wall and tongue slamming-ly outrageous enough for Kelly to comment the next day “I’ve never seen people kiss like that except in the movies” or enough Merlot and Mumm in Mayfair as myself and a complete stranger proved that night.

Kelly’s friends at this point were silently screaming and loudly pointing in stupid awe and telling Kelly to make sure I was ok. Kelly quickly spotted and joined my make-out mans friends with the buckets of Verve and investment banking wins but not before taking a tonne of snaps to pull out for our children at dinner parties in 20 years time.

Kelly urged me to get his number as those night club lights turned from dark to hang-on-who-have-been-making-out–with dim. But I argued ‘No’. It was a Whiskey-Mist moment, it was a Mayfair make out, he was just another man on that monopoly board of life. (635)

3.5 Stop pulling my pigtails.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t let you leave the country,” the customs guy said as he looked up from my passport. My friend Kelly, who’d gone through before me, spun around in disbelief and alarm. I mean come ON! It was Friday, we’d just finished work and there were trains to catch to PARIS! I just stood there with a gaping mouth, eyes growing larger by the second when the guy suddenly smiled and said, “I can’t let you leave because… you’re too beautiful.”

OH PUL-LEASE. I grabbed back my passport, gave him a huge grin and walked through the gates. Kelly started screeching, “ONLY YOU! Only you! this sort of ridiculous stuff happens to!” My heart was still palpitating from thinking my visa had expired or I somehow had cocaine smeared on my face. Certainly not palpitating because a guy had been flirting with me at customs. Which brings me to thinking I’m pretty damn sure a customs officer threatening that is ILLEGAL. Not to mention: when a guy think he’s oh-so-funny-flirting with you like that, does it really make you stop and think, “Wow. I want to date that guy”? I can’t speak for every woman out there but it certainly doesn’t float my friend-for-life-boat.

Now these tales of men and their ridiculous attention-grabbing flirt-machine tactics aren’t just every now and then. It’s every Friday night, it’s every line at the bar, it’s every time you’re waiting for the bathroom and a charming one who’s had too many unleashes his flirt spanners stronger than you’re holding in that wanting to burst bubbly.

Last Friday night we had two boys, cough, men – whatever, they were certainly over the age of 25 – first get loudly in my and my friend’s Friday post-work-pinot-personal-space. We ignored them, gently pushed them away, smiled and continued chatting. Next up an arm tap asking for a lighter (we’re inside and no, we don’t smoke). Around 32 seconds later one flung himself through our conversation again, grabbed my friend’s hand and tried to get her to dance (this was a Melbourne bar! playing hiphop/jazz/cooler than Sydney bar music that you barely hear over the bar chatter). She causally rebuffed and I just glared and waited with gritted teeth and clenched wine fist for the next interruption to come.

Alas it came about three minutes later when they “EXCUSE ME LAAAAADIES” tapped our arms again and loudly told us, “GOODNIGHT!” They were going, but, “HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.” Slur. Stumble. At that point I got down on my knees and begged for his phone number or if he was wanted we could just head home right now because I could barely control my lusting rage for him. Well clearly that’s what he was hoping for.. right? Or was I reading his signals of flirtation all wrong? Well I didn’t really ask him that so I guess we’ll never know.

A few years ago I had a young gentleman repeatedly poke and knock my handbag in a very UN-crowded bar – until I turned around, looked him straight in the eye and said, “STOP POKING MY BAG.” He and his friend scurried away. Sure, the bar was empty with a ratio of 14 men glugging beers to 2 girls sipping chardy – I get it, you’re doing your darn best to get some attention – but hey, a smile and a hello goes an awful long way, and crazy enough it’s the most normal, successful and tactful approach to get a girl engaging back with you.

This is no new startling observation by me – I’m sure for a very long time women have wondered at guys’ pea-cocking techniques. Be it whistling, pinching bottoms or poking hand bags, I would love to know what shoots through a man’s head before their light bulb idea of ‘getting our attention’ enters their beer brain path and I dearly hope it isn’t something like “If I grab her ass she’ll totally want to marry me”. Well that’s how us girls think… about marriage, all the time. Isn’t it? That’s our one and only true goal in life. Tongue, cheek, calm down.

I get the whole pulling the pigtails because you like them thing but come on guys, you’re in your 30s, you’re not scared of women anymore and you know what their boobs feel like. So stamp their passport, let them get on the Eurostar and drink their champagne in Parisian peace. (3872)

3.3 Thirty things I’ve learned about Men.

1. If a man doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you. Stop staring at your phone, yes you gave him the right number.

2. It’s very hard to be friends with a man unless he’s an ex, your Dad, your brother or gay.

3. That man at work. Yup, he’s thought about having sex with you.

5. Men who say “They’re not sure about you yet…” Stop waiting for them, they’ll never be sure about you.

6. First 3 months? They’re dating girls other than you. Or certainly having sex with them.

7. The best man you know has probably cheated.

8. The most popular, well liked, charming one definitely has.

9. Meet a man on holiday? Please leave him on holiday. No good will come of it once you’re home.

10. Men do nice things for you when they like you.

11. Men will chase after you when they like you.

12. A man who likes you won’t be scared when you chase back.

13. Men fart. A lot. Seriously they’re just holding them in right now.

14. Men who wear Lycra and cycle seem to want to wax everything.

15. Laptops are what men watch porn with. Nom nom. Wash your hands after use.

16. If a man calls after 9pm he doesn’t see you as girlfriend material. Ever.

17. Men like long hair, they’re lying when they say your short hair-cut looks nice.

18. When you remove men off Facebook they seem to get really upset about it. They’ll even call you immature then stalk you on Linked-In.

19. Men who don’t call or message within a day of a sleepover have simply ticked you off their to-do list.

20. Men are happy to have grown up conversations. They’re not going to run to the man caves like we tend to think.

21. When your brother says you wear too much makeup… you probably do.

22. If a man you’re dating bangs on about how hot your friends are… dump him.

23. If a man is rude to you in front of your friends… dump him.

24. If a man ever hits you or knocks you down even if it’s an accident… tell your Dad.

25. Men can be and will be just as soppy and caring as girls.

26. Just tell a man what you want rather than dancing around the subject. It works much faster. I said FASTER.

27. Men think about you long after you’ve forgotten about them.

28. If a man books you a plane, train, or ferry ticket to see him. Keep a hold of him.

29. Most men aren’t freaked out by periods.

30. A man will wait for you. Whether it’s a date, to have a baby or when you just need longer to do your hair. (1389)