5.0 Twelve months, 50 blogs and 39148 bottles of wine.

Well I finally did it. I started a blog. I posted my ranting, my crazy, my dating, my tears, my ups and my breakup downs for exactly the last 12 months. It’s almost poetic I started this blog on March 27th 2013 and I’m making this meaningful last post; 50 blogs, 1 break up and more likely 76 bottles of red wine later on March 27th again.

Yes, you read it right – I’ve decided to bring my blog to an almost end. Because as much as I love doing it – I love sewing just that little bit more.

We’ve had our tantrums, I’ve been hurled abuse. I’ve had long lost friends I barely remember what they look like message me out of the blue to say how much they enjoyed reading my blog and what disaster they’d been dating of late. Which was the one thing I wasn’t really expecting and have really appreciated the most.

A huge thank you to my editors – Ben, Michelle and Frawls. And of course to Dan for hosting and spending the $16 to get me online after my 2nd bottle of break up red.

As I write this there has been a total of 39,148 reads and 11,801 unique user clicks. Something I never thought imaginable. Some people out there must have really boring jobs.

Thanks to Google analytics – the strangest country award goes to: Yemen… actually no make that… Kyrgyzstan. I know having a travel writer boyfriend who reads from Fiji to Timbuktu must surely push the numbers up – but he hasn’t read my blog from 90 countries in the last 11 months unless he’s actually Superman and I haven’t spotted any Lycra beneath his suits just yet.

Before Google took away the power of search term visibility the funniest thing someone typed into Google that bought them to my blog was “Gucci long black socks.” What the latte-hell?

Coming in at the highest hit rate most likely as it was published on Elephant Journal was:
1.8 Date a girl who can sew.
5634 post views.
Elephant Journal publication: Date a girl who can sew.
(Their post stats: 3912 views. 155 Facebook shares.)

Second place goes to:

3068 post views.

And third place:

2962 post views.

Thank you for all your loyal readership and I promise it’s not goodbye forever. I’ve just got bigger projects to begin and a fashion label to launch (fingers crossed).

Feel free to write in any relationship or dating questions and I promise to write a public blog response. internationalsmorgasbord@gmail.com

And yes – there most likely… definitely… will be a book.

x
Lorenza

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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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4.1 I could never date a guy who…

A guy who thinks baked beans on toast makes an acceptable brunch. No Melbourne-freaking-way. Brunch requires pancetta and egg poaching, and a guy who doesn’t get this will probably take on everything else in life with lackluster imagination. Think I’m being ridiculous? You can tell a lot about a guy by what he wants to eat, and by that I mean.. umm nevermind.

A guy who can’t iron a shirt, change a light bulb, put together a table – you know what I mean. It’s cute the first frowny half smile he gives when he’s running late for work and looking at the iron board like it’s a giant-sized tampon. But the effect wears off after a few mornings of sidelining hair washing for his wrinkles of lazy cotton.

A guy who wears a salmon pink polo shirt to the pub and thinks the ladies will love it. It’s not ‘salmon’ buddy – It’s a shade of Barbie pink left out of the fridge that’s gone bad. Stop it Ken, your T-shirt-with-matching-convertible choice is drunk, go home.

A guy who freaks out and won’t deal with you when you’re sick. Whether you’re a snot fest, a Bali belly or that 28-day punch in the ovaries. You need someone who’s going to take the good with the bad and realise when he’s coming down with the man flu he’ll get the same chicken soup and Vicks vapour rubs in return.

A guy who’s obsessed with his body and what he’s putting in it. If he needs it cooked in organic butter with grain-fed baby lamb and broccoli grown in his fairy godmother’s garden with pesticide-free unicorn dust, then he can get it himself. Ease up on the heath nut spread and eat some preservatives and red colouring – you might be a lot more fun.

A guy who’s not into his family at all. We’re all allowed to have a personality clash with a sibling or crazy cousin. But if he’s dissing his Dad and calling kids ‘little shits’ – unless they’ve stomped on his foot and run away – then he might need some mummy issues therapy before starting anything with me.

A guy who doesn’t eat salami or pasta. Get out of my kitchen and don’t let the pasta maker hit you on the way out. If you can’t roll gnocchi off a fork and take the heat of spicy salami on a stick, then you’re not going to understand my passion and crazy for fettuccine and deli bacon goods. I suggest you date a girl who comes in the colour beige.

A guy who won’t sing karaoke, or drink wine out of a bottle on the street – whaaat? – or do 14 Jager shots and dance on a podium at Spice Market. You want a guy who’s not scared to act like an idiot and not be worried what everyone thinks. If he’s not going to let his perfectly coiffed hair down every Friday night then he’s only going to be embarrassed by Beyonce-singing me.

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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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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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