2.7 Over-protective friend or you fool he likes you!

I walked out of Barons Court station with a disgusto cold having left work early when I looked up and saw Matt. “MATT! MATT!!” I shouted. Matt was a good friend from uni that I hadn’t spotted since Melbourne was now standing right in front of me top side of the world 7,893,289,213 miles away from the land of Kangaroos.

After a few, “What the hell are you doing here? Which visa? Work… Uh huhs and I have a cold I’m not usually this puffy faced and ugly” we switched numbers and said, yeah, of course we’d hang out.

I was longing to go to Fabric (a famous club in London that plays Drum & Bass), having wanted to since I was 19, and no-one, absolutely no-one, would go with me. Matt, being from Perth and understanding D&B, was totally keen – but he warned drinks at Farbic were expensive so we needed to pre-load.

Saturday approached, Smirnoff was on sale and we got stuck into a bottle at my house before we tubed it up to Farringdon station and in we went. It was smaller and dingier than I expected, but nonetheless it was Fabric and we were in  (albeit 12 years past my wanted-to-go-date but I was super excited about it without any air of cool).

We got drinks and danced to Andy C, while with me wearing a tiny black dress teamed with some throwaway shoes (never, ever wear shoes you want to see again to Fabric) I was attracting attention from the male variety. Matt started to get a bit of a shitty/annoyed/grumpy/not dancing/just glaring type vibe going on. Until 14 more vodkas, toilet trips and dudes trying to chat to me later he lost his shit at me and said he was leaving. After a few minutes trying to shout over music and appease him I let him go with, “That’s fine, you leave but can I have my cloak room ticket please?” He replied with, “I can’t remember which tickets was yours.” And he turned around and lost himself in the crowd. RIGHTO. Cheers mate. Huge club in London, on my own, drunk, it’s 2 degrees outside, and now I have no coat. So I got another drink and kept on dancing – The music was incredible and I’d figure out what to do later. Alcohol – it really does make all your worries go away. And no I wasn’t paying 5 million pounds for a cab home – this is London, we wait till the tube starts again to get home around here.

And then, about 2.5 hours later at 4AM, Matt appeared in front of me again – in a creepy horror movie standing there glaring way. He seemed quite simmered down and said (again) he wanted to go. I smiled and said cool – let’s go get in the 400+ coming-down-off-pills-people line and wait for our jackets. He handed me ‘my’ ticket without a second glace. Hmm I’m putting two and two together now – the vodka’s starting to wear off.

We got to the Tube station and I expected him to get his line home until he came out with, “Oh but I left my house keys at your house…”  Me: “Erm, why?” Blank stares all round. Left his keys at my house – Oh how convenient. I was not happy about this. Sure enough we get home he finds his keys and he tries it on.

Oh, I hear you all – you think I’m playing this boy like a vodka-violin and he’s just so lost and confused right now. And I’ve been him giving the wrong signals all night? Believe me when I say I wasn’t. If I was smiling like a puppy dog about his keys being left at my house or paying attention to him all night rather than every tall man at Fabric then sure that’s green-lights-go for any guy. But when you’re friends and they’ve got some warped idea because you’re in Lundun it’s hookup time it makes me really mad. (This a wasn’t first-time occurrence with an Aussie-fella-friend since being top side of the hemispheres.) Do I strike off every guy friend that gives me a flirty look or touches my arm a bit too much when we’re drunk? It sucks when you have a good guy friend that’s suffering the fresh-off-the-boat, thinking-with-his-pants syndrome that never reared its kangaroo head in the land of Aus.

If a guy is good enough friends with you and got some guts of his own, he might want to broach the subject prior to all the misunderstood above. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone? Guess that’s really laying your heart of cards out of the table and not too many of them are up for all that.

I spotted Matt a year later walking down Clapham high street while I was dressed as a playboy bunny en-route to The Church – not actual church, but that revolting bar Aussies go to to drink beer, flash and throw up on each other. I only did one of those. He waved and shouted hello I shouted back, “Hiiiii” and gave a bunny ear flick back and hopped away.

(2084)

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.

(1247)

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.’

 

(589)

1.9 Excuse me Ma’am you‘re only allowed five pieces of emotional baggage.

When you’ve been single as long as someone like me, you begin to collect an EasyJet size amount of emotional baggage. It’s the high heels and snow jackets poking out the sides and refusing to squeeze in that become excuses and reasons for relationships ending before they’ve even begun or making these men and often myself lost in the transit of love.

1. First off – guys that are smaller than me. I can’t cope. I went out with a guy exactly height, I’m pretty sure I developed an eating disorder, an affliction to heels and hunched back within minutes. As I was staring at our legs on the couch watching tele one afternoon I realized my calves were in fact longer than his and I felt like an oversized-oaf-woman and this would have to end.

2. Most people think I’m weird. Correction – a lot of men think I’m weird – especially the ones I date. I don’t want to tell you just how many men have said to me on the first, third or fifth date “You’re weird” because I know that most of you know that I’m not. There’s a hundred other words out there to describe me and I don’t want to be with someone who thinks I’m odd.

3. After the third date you never hear from them again. I thought this stuff only happened in movies and books or to other people, not me. I watched guys smile, laugh and perfect their game right into my ‘This guy’s perfect!’ stupid heart, to then drop off the face of the Northern hemisphere earth. I think I’m a pretty good judge of Disney character but apparently I’m more of a stupid Snow White eating poisoned apples than I thought.

4. What are we exactly: Are we dating? Are we exclusive? Are we boyfriend, girlfriend? How am I supposed to introduce you at a party? It’s enough to make me want to bury my head in a pillow and wake up single again or arrange married. I’ve changed my Facebook relationship status to only change it back two weeks later when we broke up. It’s confusing, it’s nerve racking, no-one wants to jump in first and you’d better hope you’re synchronised swimming on these thoughts or one of you is going to look like a speedo wearing idiot.

5. I’m terrified of ever living with a boyfriend again. I’ve tried and tested this Martha Stewart business and entered with sharing couches and finances aplomb. It quickly turned into a cleaning and monetary debt of squabbles and separate beds and I had to ask myself “Seriously is this it?!” Martha Stewart, my baked bottom. It became a burnt batch of cookies that blackened my heart and baking tray forever.

So cross check those worry doors for taking off, watch the love safety jacket demonstration and don’t worry about it all too much. As they tell me when you meet the right one you won’t need that oxygen mask that drops down from above.

(1017)

1.7 Calm down it’s coffee not commitment.

I ran into a long term ex at the gym we were like “Coffee yeah?!”. Set a time and a place then I received an abrupt “Sorry, can’t do – the girlfriend’s not happy about it. Hope you understand.” And to be completely flipping-heck-it’s-only-coffee-honest – No, I did not. So, coffee with the ex: Yay or nay? Seems to be a topic people have pretty strong feelings about once I started asking around and voicing my mocha-latte-annoyance out loud.

Now I’m not meaning any kind of ex – not that one night that turned into three or the boy at school who pulled your pigtails or called you crater face (It was a measles scar meany). I mean an ex of the long term variety – someone you’ve done the hard slog with; some tears, fights and period pain and you’ve taught each other a few things along the leave-him-alone-he’s-in-his-man-cave way.

So clearly – I don’t have a problem with it. When I was twenty sure, I put on a brave face at my current squeeze meeting the ex for afternoon tea. I was secretly a little worried but wouldn’t dare have ordered him around with “No! you can’t see her.” That’s like asking the weather in Melbourne to stay fine with a light breeze – it will schizophrenically change on you and rain down broken GHD’s from above.

I’m the sort of person who really doesn’t like to be told who they can and can’t see – it’s a direct violation of trust that person has for me and I find it abhorrently controlling. If someone told me to not see a particular person – you can bet your Instagram-Fourquare-Where’s-my-iPhone-mobile app I’ll accidently bump into them on Collins street and have time for lunchtime sushi. You think I’m sneaky, sneaky? Well it’s pretty basic psychology isn’t it – “I had surgery for a wrist ganglion once. Oh, do NOT Google image search that…”

Any woman who screams and stomps their crazy-girlfriend-high-heels at their boy saying ‘Hi’ to an ex may have some deeper emotional issues, being it; trust, control or their need to have things their stiletto-heeled own way. You can’t control your partner. The quicker you learn that and the more freedom you give – the more trust you will gain.

If you’ve had a partner for a few years – chances are you know their family, pets, neighbours and drug dealers. You were closely knitted into their life. So when you break up – yes, you lose all that – but you don’t stop caring or wondering about those people you spent years not listening to and nodding at parties, waving to and swimming in their pool or expanding their nose candy client list. So I like to email, message or communicate in some way or another with long term ex’s every now and then to check in with how the family, nutjobs and those jail sentences are going.

It’s nice to stay in contact and it’s normal and nice to care. I’m not saying update your ex on every IKEA purchase and pre-honeymoon Asia injection in your butt. But that there is nothing wrong with a catch up on the little things and little people you would have shared in your time together. And also to see you’re both happy and OK. If you’ve invested that much time in someone at one point in your life then surely they’re worth that cup of overpriced Melbourne coffee?

(9911)