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.

(1474)

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.

(1014)

2.6 Be careful – friends, they’re everywhere.

My Dad always told me, “You’ll never make as good friends as you did when you were in high school.” Well, I beg to differ Dad. At high school I was the weird, Triple j loving, dying my hair black, can everyone leave me alone please, what-everyone-was-before-emo teen who wasn’t exactly rolling high in the friend stakes.

I grew up in the country and moved to the big smoke – cough, Perth – at 17 and I had to make new friends. It was a make or break-wine-bottles-on-your-own type thing and I ended up at a male-dominated tertiary college with the strangest smattering of dudes and dudey-type girls who wore corduroy pants for friends. Never mind that, country kids work with what they’ve got.

Then came the Melbourne shift – paging Teknoscape (our all important Perth dance music discussion forum) and any other drum and bass brave soul who’d made the move from Perth. Luckily through those drunk chats at Heat nightclub I’d found at least one girlfriend to do tequila shots with and lose in Brown Alley. (No really, there is a Brown Alley in this city – no innuendos there.) Then came a break-up in a city where I knew no one and it was my colleagues who stepped up. Well, I forced them to be my friendlings and listen to my West Coast whinging: “Where the hell do I buy Redken in this city? And what is the point of hook turns besides a t-bone car crash? And we call them lacky bands and placky bags and it’s polony not devon! You Melbourne morons.” Just kidding muffin-top-Melbourne, and I love your fluoro green tram handles.

So I’d made a nice little niche of friends in Melbourne and what did I do? I threw them all out the tram window to live to a city I’d never been to. Go Team London. I lived with, worked with, shared copious Tim tam tears with and patted drunk hair with some of my now closest and most amazing friends in that miserable, grey excuse for such a fantastic city.

Sarah and poor Gordon were all too familiar with me still in last night’s dress and sms-ing them while screaming down the three flights of London sharehouse stairs to tell them about my night and boys and desire for greasy bacon. I would never have bumped into these guys twice living in Aus but living under our same fox-intruding, fake-rat-hiding, bottles-of-wine-consuming, Hutch roof, these friendships were made to last. (Yes, the housemate in the loft was really called Hutch)

I have friends, and I’m on the outskirts of girls who have known their friends since high school, and sometimes I am zapped with a teenie bit of jealousy when I see their matching necklaces and them being bridesmaid after bridesmaid at all their weddings and wonder… What would that really be like? I’ve never had the option and telling me that my only friends have to be the ones from high school is like telling me I can only have the iPhone3 for the rest of my life. No.

I love the friends I’ve met and made since leaving high school – the array of backgrounds, the crazy, and the countries they come from and the fact we get along better than a Facebook and a stalk makes me glad I didn’t take Dad’s words to be final. But to those I met in my Beeverloop-shirt-wearing days, I love that we can catch up 17 years on and pretend that vomiting in your backyard after the school ball never happened.

(1246)

2.1 Get on that horse – the speed dating horse of course.

Speed dating: I’m no stranger to these nights, don’t mind a bit of socialising, banter, wine, and hey we’re all here for the same thing: to meet someone. I still can’t bring myself to online date. All that lurking through photos and personal stuff – that’s what Facebook’s for. But speed dating and instant interaction – yes please. Thirty seconds into meeting someone I’m pretty sure as to whether I want to share my Calippo with them or throw one at them.

Some things to note for speed dating: girls if you dress well – you’ll do well. And drink, goodness gracious me drink. I couldn’t do this sober if you paid me. But not rolling round on the floor drunk – you’ll be so confused repeating yourself to 16+ men by the end of the night, you won’t know if the one with the bad shoes put a rohy in your drink or you’ve started repeating things like the crazy cat lady you always thought you’d be.

Let’s start with some of the questions I’ve been asked or things said to me. “Have you got kids?” Standard. “Do you use torrents?” Cute, geeky! “Are you a ring-in?” Err what? “You know a girl who’s been paid to be here, because you’re attractive and make the company look good”. I laughed a lot and assured him I wasn’t – but thanks for the compliment. He then asked why I wasn’t writing anything down (their names etc) to which I grinned and replied “Oh I’ve got a reallllllly good memory”. He looked confused as I felt. I was still staring down at my silver dress thinking ‘Escort’?! it’s Calvin Klein!’

Next up a mouse (maybe a rat) ran across the floor of the venue. I wasn’t sure if this was a staged prop so men could leap up to prove their manliness. Though English boys? Ha! Yeah right. Anyway nope, turns out the pubs in London just really are that grotty.

And the themes at some of these nights. Gah. I attended a ‘Lock and Key’ party in London, where the girls are given a lock to put around their neck, and the guys a key. So you have nervous men approaching liquored up women asking “May I insert my key… in your lock?” Oh the hilarity. After my lock fit a cheery little Indian man’s key he asked how I felt about living in India. Whoa slow down there little locksmith, just because the key fits, doesn’t mean we’re getting married.

My guy friends say the girls they meet at speed dating are always way hotter than any girl they’d approach when out trying to pick up. Well that’s great for them isn’t it. Meanwhile the girls are stuck with Mr.White-Dinner-Suit who wants to settle down now. As in NOW, do you hear me? Church or beach wedding? I’ve got the printers for invites on speed dial. Or Mr Wandering-Wanker with his copy of Lonely Planet banging on about his trip to Tanzania working with endangered Orangutans. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

I’ll stop right now complaining about the men at speed dating as I met my best guy friend at one of these events and not a Calippo thrown to date. So get on that horse, the speed dating horse of course and you might the man of your dreams. Or Mr Ed.

 

(12999)

0.6 I know your face from somewhere… Is it Facebook?

“She’s high maintenance” he said. I chocked back a laugh. He was talking about me. “That guy is dissing you behind your back constantly” said the Canadian. I was on a group tour – Shut up. It was Eastern Europe, not taking my pretty face there on it’s own. There was a guy on tour who’d taken to bagging me out loudly to the others. He looked painfully familiar but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. He was a bit glarey – which I mistook for starey – well you know, like I said, pretty face.

It all started to click into TopDeck Tetris place when I thought – hmm he’s being not so nice and I’ve barely spoken to him, so obviously; we’ve met before and he’s jilted for some reason. Or he’s doing the equivalent of pulling on my pig-tails when he likes me, guys are weird. A quick sweep through my Facebook friends and BAM! Found him. That’s right, that 2for1-Pina-may-aswell-be-clam-chowder cocktail bar in Fulham.

So I did what any Polish-vodka-inebriated-traveling Aussie would do. I pulled up his Facebook page on my phone, showed him and said “Thiz yeww?”. Him: “Yeah, that’s me” Sneaky little thing, he was masquerading under a different surname, lucky I’m good with faces. So cat’s out of the bag now and we have a bit of a stare off – well as best I can do with my Polski-drunk eye. Backstory: We met at a pub through some friends, he FB friend-ed me, he was a bit too FB chatty so I removed him. Fast forward eight months – he’s on my ten day Eastern Europe tour and bitching about me. Oh freaking, awesome.

Facebook: we’ve all removed someone and then run into them (haven’t we?) Thing is they’ll never say “Hey, how’s things going? Why did you remove me on Facebook?” *penetrative stare*. If I was four sails to the wind I most likely, actually, totally, would. With a laugh and an awkward stare, then laugh, then stare some more. Then re-friend request them while waiting in line for the bathroom followed by horror flashbacks at 11AM the next morning with no recollection of doing so. Because it’s fun to make people feel uncomfortable when they’ve publicly, yet silently said “I don’t want you seeing my Eggs Benedict at Café Poshsticks this morning”.

The problem with social media faux pas is we have no idea what’s a social etiquette nuh-uh. It’s all very new. We don’t have parental stories of “She un-subscribed from my timeline and that’s how I met your Mother”. There’s no three-day friend request rule. He can request on the first date and you kind of have to accept because he’s paying for your drinks. And well if he doesn’t (but you a drink) there’s nothing more satisfying than block or remove.

Clearly people don’t know how to react when they’ve been removed on the Facebooks and faced with the Polski-vodka-reality of having to see that person every day for the next ten of them, he called me high-maintenance!? Odd insult I thought. He went with any amount of personality slaying he could, knowing how competitive it is for ‘cool’ & ‘likability’ along with ‘shagability’ on these tours.

Anyway, back to me again and being high-maintenance – I’ve heard this once or twice before and I beg to differ. I’ll share dorm rooms, I’ll drink goon, I’ll have a luke warm shower and not complain… much. As long as I can get makeup on with my compact mirror and My iPod is charged I’m pretty damn happy. Just because I’ve got a Samsonite suitcase and wear red jeans doesn’t mean I’m high maintenance when it comes to travel. Cough.

So you want to hear how it ends? No we didn’t rekindle our FB friendship and by the end of the tour, no-one wanted to sit near the whiny, little, bitch. Him, not me. After ten days of Eastern European binge drinking: there’s hairs on chests, vodka-cemented friendships and high-maintenance girls that cannot wait, to get a mineral oxygen scrub facial.

(525)