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:
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.
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.
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-
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.
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-
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.
“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.