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.

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4.4 Stranger danger – and the time I got into a taxi with a cowboy and a chicken.

“But I just paid $20 to get in here – I don’t want to leave yet!” I was waving my glass of tequila-glad-I-don’t-drink-those-anymore-sunrise as I whinged at my friend Michelle. Ok, so maybe we really had been there two hours already but the night was just beginning, my tequila sunrise was just setting and guys were falling for drunk girls like shooting stars. Fine, that’s an odd exaggeration. But you know when everyone wants to go home and you don’t? That’s called “being Lorenza”.

“Ok,” Michelle finally agreed, and then waved towards the smoking area. “But I’m going to get one of my guy friends out there to keep an eye on you.”

I spoke to my smoking-man chaperone, danced like I really didn’t know anyone there – that being the truth – and told loads of people I was a dolphin trainer or lawyer because really when you’re out, wearing black and drunk you’re never going to see these people again.

A few hours later I walked out and stared at Golden Arches opposite and thought mRmm-nom-yes. Upon my exit I realised my taxi dilemma, with all the other drunk cheeseburgers out there, this was going to be harder than I thought.

Two guys were standing near me – dress-up party, clearly. One looked like something of a cowboy with tassels and pointy leather shoes and the other I don’t know whether he was a chicken or a cow. He certainly wasn’t vegetarian looking as he pointed at my shoes and asked “Can I try those on?” “Of course you can!” I responded as he tottered back and forth in them whilst ToyStory Woody and I chatted and decided we were all going in the same direction so why not share a cab.

Now 32-year-old me who have scolded 27-year-old me for getting in a cab with complete-costumed-strangers. But if you’ve lived in inner city Melbourne you know you have to lie and tell cab drivers you’re heading to the airport or Maroondarough (I made that place up) if you want a cab any time past nothing good-happens-after- 2-o’clock. And well I realllllly didn’t want to walk home alone, because that’s unsafe and these guys seemed like way more fun.

Four cheeseburgers and five minutes of drunk bonding later, I’d decided to keep partying on at theirs. Yup. WHAT? Never mind sharing a cab. Look, there was some Diet Coke deliberation and a cab driver asking me silly things like “You’re not worried they’re gong to chop you up into little pieces? CHOP! CHOP!” I guess I’ve trusted my drunken intuition for a Long-Island-iced-tea time by now and haven’t ended up a bloody mary just yet.

The house was HUGE. There were more people to play with (housemates not fellow abductees) and they even made up a sofa bed for me in the lounge. We drank more vodka, cooked McCains chips in the oven (oh the delicate details I remember) and played Pictionary or poker or was it PacMan? Till dawn.

I arrived home the next afternoon roughly 15 hours since I’d last seen Michelle. Calling … “Sorry! My phone died and I just got home.”
“Right” she said and muffled her annoyance “Well, make sure you call your Dad.”

Me: “WHY?” Suddenly very worried she’d called my parents in distress.
“Because it’s Fathers Day!” she said, and hung up.

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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.

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3.8 In the name of the father, the son and the grown up conversations we need to have.

I’m sure there’s a lot of you out there are like me – skipping along in the blissful world of in-love without a flicker of grown up thoughts entering your mind. I mean I’m thirty TWO – No need to worry about babies or any of that business right now. But what if you have some strong beliefs in the way you want your children raised? If you don’t want them smacked? If you don’t want them baptised? If you don’t want them going to a public school? If you’re dating someone and you’re in your thirties and you want children – you should probably have some of these discussions now. Yes now. Not in five years when you realise you live on opposite-parental-polar sides of the world.

But you both like each other so much, so surely you’ll just agree on everything, right? You don’t want to be seven months pregnant, fighting about baptism and public schooling while your undelivered foetus can listen and keep score. By then those conversations might be a little too late. I’m not getting all Gandhi on you – I’m not the wise, well-thought-out one here. I’ve never thought about any of this stuff in my life, likely because I’ve never dated anyone and thought ‘Ooh I’d like to have half your DNA inside me to create something that can’t speak or do the dishes for the first seven years of its life.’

Realising some of these tough questions need to be answered, my first port of head-breaking call is my “nope, not baptised, I’m going to hell and why are you asking?” friends. A temple-tonne of my friends have been raised strict Catholic and I was aghast to hear the straight-down-the-baptism-barrel answers I was getting – clearly these guys had thought about it? Or hated something enough to know they didn’t want it all over again.

I had a Catholic upbringing and I haven’t come out the other ordained end hating on all things churchy and yes, I want my children baptised. But how far am I going to take that? Would I break up with someone over this? It’s a little odd how your brain, head and heart all start to feel a bit twisted about this. I’ve found someone who meets every requirement, ticks every boy box – but if we can’t agree on this, is that it? Should I start only dating men at local churches who won’t have 99% of the things I really want? Do *I* need to compromise a little more and take down my church-o-meter a notch?

If my partner was from a different religion (cripes don’t tell the parents) that had a very different baptism-esque ceremony would I dare let him bathe the child in it? Of course I would. Because isn’t this more about respecting each others’ own faiths, upbringings and finding that middle ground of compromise to raise your children on? I’d like to think so. So I need to get my partner across the line on this one too. “Shiraz wine please and all the kids baptised to go”.

I don’t think this is one conversation to be had and ended. No-one knows how you’re going to feel once you have a little version of your mixed selves sitting there and you need to decide what water and blessings you’re going to douse it with. But I do know I don’t want to be all wishy washy about it now and not stand up for what I want and years on simply hope my partner will want the same. I’m not stupid enough to think someone will forget or change their mind over years of wearing down. You’d have to have Jesus rocks in your head. (Jesus rocks aren’t a thing, I just made that up. I imagine they’d be heavy though and open doors at Easter time.)

So my basic baptismal thoughts for you are: keep on skipping, keep on being in love, but speak about these things and have these uncomfortable conversations now. Make sure you’re on the same psalm, Buddha belly or Bible page before you get those keys cut, open that joint bank account and spend a small fortune down the aisle to say, “I do”.

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3.7 The 10 nastiest things men have said to me.

1. “You’re only pretty when you smile.”
Doesn’t everyone look better when they smile? So many people walk around looking like they’ve smelt something bad, but do I tell them their face looks like that? No. So, smile – because right now someone thinks you’re ugly.

2. “You’re Italian, so you must be hairy.” 
Yeah and I’ve got a salami in my handbag too. No really I do. That’s as silly as saying. “Oh you’re a dude – you must think about beer and sex all day”. Hmmm. Anyway I’m not – please refer to point 5 below.

3. “You don’t have thin legs… You’ve got sturdy legs.” 
True, I’m no Elle Macpherson-elevator-legs but girls take this stuff to chubby-legs heart. Well except when I wore that mini skirt last week and those short shorts today. I’ll be getting my leg guns out as long as I can, thank you, because I heard there’s a cut-off age for bum shorts once you’ve had a baby – said Britney Spears never.

4. “Your eyes are really big. Actually they’re too big.” 
Well sorry I won the Anne Hathaway genetics lottery Mr Perfect – having big eyes isn’t really a bad quality to have. I can see things like douche bags a mile away and bat my lashes out of tram tickets, so shoo! Go find a smaller owl-eyed girl to play with. (I’ve also had, “You’ve got eyes like a cow” multiple times, but this one’s easily fixed with a “Mooo”.)

5. “Your hair’s a bit thin on top – you’d better watch that.” 
I’ve graced this tendril topic before on my blog. Yes, I have thin hair, and yes, I dye my hair dark so my scalp looks a little Edward Scissorhands. But chances are you’ll be receding sooner than you can say “40th birthday party” so give this little haired Lorenza a rest.

6. “You’re much prettier in photos” 
This fella’s second language being English I tried to help him out with, “Do you mean that I’m photogenic?” But apparently no, he was adamant it was photos I looked better in than real life. Well Photoshop me! I’ll take that as a compliment, only people’s names that end in “Victoria’s Secret” have that on their CV.

7. “She’s only here for today, so make no emotional investment in her.” 
Nothing to do with dating this time, it was a freelance placement in an office full of muscle-laden men. It didn’t stop there. When I asked where the bathroom was, they told me I could pee in the bushes. Ahh male dominated offices – not for faint-bladdered.

8. “You look well European, you can’t be Australian.” (Cockney accent necessary). 
Ahh the British. Yes, we’re all blonde-haired, blue-eyed Lara Bingles down here love! Even with the brown hair I still get to ride a Kangaroo to school, so nerr.

9. “I’m attracted to you and I want to have sex with you but I don’t want you as a girlfriend.” 
I’m sure the look on my face at this point was only one thing: Confusion. I mean how could anyone not want me as a girlfriend? I’m awesome! Jokes aside, if only every guy was this forthright and honest I would have saved an awful lot of tight dresses and time.

10. “Your nose looks a lot bigger when you part your hair in the middle.”
Just kidding, no man said that! My Mum said it when I was 17 and I’ve had a side fringe ever since.

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