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.

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2.9 Heart on my sleeve, happiness in my eyes, tears streaming down my face.

There were Revlon rivers running down my face, the tube screamed to a stop and on I got. I’d been dumped. He didn’t want to be with me. Rinse, repeat and wash away the tears. Emotions hey – What a drip-dry bitch. Why can’t I harden up like the rest of you quinoa munching, cross-fitting the tears away teaspoons of concrete?

I’m emotional with a terabyte of WYSIWYG (What You see Is What You Get). Ok let’s put the computer geek in me away. When I’m happy, gosh darn I’m happy – my iPhone knows it, the people on the tram know it, Words with Friends knows it, everyone knows it. It’s there, all over my face. SMILE.

But when I’m sad or upset, unfortunately all the same goes. I find it pretty hard to hide emotions. I blubber into tears with a side of chin wobble and bloodshot eyes – the whole shebang. Would I like to NOT look like this? Of freaking course I would. Do you know how stupid it feels to cry in-front of colleagues or housemates? Trying to hold in tears is like trying to hold in that 8th tequila shot you shouldn’t have had before you got in that Luna Park taxi from Vom-city-hell. It just wants out.

At least I have the crying, moaning, weeping, sobbing, variety of emotional vomit. As opposed to the angry kind (the angry kind scares me). And I’m not talking customer service angry – I write a pencil-snapping-middle-finger-giving complaint letter like no other. No-one likes a cold burger. Don’t get me started on my complaint letters. Grilled Burgers needed the feedback OK.

The last time I cried in front of my parents was when my Grandmother died. I didn’t want to leave Perth that day and go back to Melbourne – the moment I had to get in the car the tears came with a shoulder shaking avalanche that was impossible to stop. I didn’t want to leave my parents. I hadn’t cried like that in front of them since I was a child. And at first I felt incredibly awkward and like a total dickhead. Then I realised these are my parents! and if I’m going to be that vulnerable and unleashing with emotion better to have it out with them than on that QANTAS flight scaring the entire of row of O, M and G.

I’ve always thought people who can’t have a good cry or put up an emotional wall are totally missing out. Go on, get on the emotional tear-train and let it all out. No-one’s drowned from a bucket of tears… yet.

Over the years my friends have found ways to deal with crying me and these coping mechanisms are still in play ten years on, first boyfriend – bless his ‘long black’ socks: Coffee, coffee, coffee. It works – somehow it stops the Lorenza tears. Then there’s Michelle – she has a sympathetic (cough) way of pointing out there’s no need to cry over anything – ever – no, really – ever. “Your hard-drive died? Buy a new one”. “You’re housemate is shit? Kick them out, tell them your sister is moving in”. This girl has a no tears, carved out of concrete solution for everything, well everything that a teary Lorenza can’t deal with on a Monday morning at least. And well the rest just suggest fruit, of the grape variety, you know the fermented type, that fixes everything from four minutes to four hours till why the fragile head did I fill that last glass.

So I’m a crier. So what? I’d prefer a crier any day to someone who calmly walks away, frothing at the mouth plotting to destroy me. I wear my heart on my sleeve, happiness in my eyes and tears streaming down my face and if I could have my emotional genetics or environment handed down to me again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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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.

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2.0 Hey I didn’t meet you and this is crazy, but here’s my number and call me maybe?

“Dave likes you, he said to give you his number.” Me: ”Who’s Dave?” Now most of you probably think I’m being a vacant cow and can’t remember which guy I was talking to last night. But I’m not. I never even spoke to him, a quick stalk through Facebook drew short straws on all whiskey-sour-accounts. Moo.

This Dave guy liked the look of me last night and thought the best approach would be to ignore me and ‘phone-a-friend’. Well played Who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-Dave – I hope that’s your ‘final answer’ for a flat white with one when it’s just you, me and that overzealous Melbourne barista.

So ‘let’s ask the audience’ – I’ve been told I’m unapproachable, gosh knows why?! I smile at everything, seriously everything. I’ll smile at a good looking pole. So maybe this was the ’50/50 chance’ case – well buy some shots in the form of courage son. Wouldn’t he like to hear my voice? My outrageous laugh? Or see if I had a bung eye?! (swear it only happens when I’m drunk). I get a bit miffed when guys take an interest because they like what they see as opposed to having a chat and seeing what makes me tick. I’m not a pretty thing for your arm – that’s called a watch. Tick tock, you see what I did there?

We’re attracted by looks – well derr. And don’t get me wrong, I need physical attraction too – no-one likes to bump uglies with ugly. But we’ve all heard the saying looks fade; hair falls out, wrinkles settle in and boobs sag. (I hear the  fake ones too!). Well by silicon-or-saline-sure you’d better hope that attraction keeps you going an ugly-long-time.

I’ve been out with guys I was only physically attracted to – it didn’t get past the hmm-he-doesn’t-find-me-funny-first-minute. If physical attraction is all you’ve got, that’s about as useless as a g-string on a Kardashian’s ass – lost in seconds. Unless you’re only looking for a one night affair – then carry on Kimbo.

For me it comes down to personality – if I like that, then I like them. Give me a good personality any day over a male-version-Miranda-Kerr. So, stop thinking I’m shallow as a six pack and introduce yourself Dave. Because you never know, you may walk away thinking… ‘Hey I just met her and she’s bat-shit crazy.’

 

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0.5 The parents set you up and it ended in pash-rape. Awkward.

That’s right: “pash-rape” – forceful kiss usually with one party not up for or expecting it. My parents set me up with a family friend “Oohh they’ve got a son in Melbourne” And I thought why not? Me being morbidly un-married, miserable and sick of meeting meatheads in bars… Mazel tov!

He was good looking, conversation O-K, similar work field and background, a variety of wanky cocktails later and it’s pash-rape time. Whoa, slow down, I hadn’t even given him a hint of touch-on-the-leg-interested. Sure I laughed at his bad jokes, flung my hair around and batted my Loreal lashes – that’s just what girls do. I pushed him away and said “Err no, I don’t want to do this”. Which clearly sounded like to him ‘More please! Insert tongue here’.

More attempted tonsil hockey and I abruptly said it was time for me to go. He then suggested coming home with me because – oh wait for it, “It would be easier to get a cab from my house.” Seriously, who does this guy usually date… Blondes? I got myself on the tram quick smart, sans the pash-maker, found a seat and one stop later was an iPod out, headphones in, please-don’t-stare-at-me mess of tears.

What’s a girl to think? Obviously I was dressed like a slut and asking for it. I sat on the couch streaming tears while my male housemate assured me over and over my dress was fine and so were those 100% black I-can’t-even-see if-you’ve-shaved-your-legs-stockings. Clearly the problem wasn’t what I was wearing.

Side note: we can wear whatever the hell we want without ‘asking for it’. You know when you’re feeling fantastic you want to wear bright clothes and show off your pins – you’ve lunged enough in BodyPump for them, why not?! You’ll expect a few more looks and attention, but that’s why you’ve dressed like that. Give me a hormonal, fat day and it’s muted navy’s and black all the way hoping you’ll fade into the Melbourne-we-don’t-do-colour-here background.

So what was the deal with this guy, has he never had a girl say no? Has he been reading too many self-help-dating-just-go-for-it-mate books? Does he really think it’s O-K to maul a family friends daughter? Last time I checked it’s 2013 not Pride and Prejudice, men don’t have a right to that no matter how friendly your folks are, so back off Mr Surprise Mouth Banger.

The following Sunday was Skype call with the parentals – Uh oh. I told Dad the quick version and finished with not being too happy about it – Dad acknowledged it all with the calm of closing a business deal. I’d hate to think what was actually going through his head. I asked him to not tell Mum – worried she’d call the parents and abuse the beejubus out of them or worse, their son. But a little part of me also wanted her too.

I haven’t been set up by the parents again. Thanks Mum and Dad. Don’t know if they’re too scared after the bad experience or the word’s out: the Doyle daughter doesn’t put out.

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