Tag Archives: love

Trawling Tinder

8 Aug


I’ve never had a good experience on Tinder. And yet, like a woman trapped in a co-dependant union, I keep going back.

Because Tinder is fucking hilarious.

Pockets of humanity lurk on there and trawling Tinder freaks has become a perfectly acceptable way to spend my weekend.

He Gives Good Head

Take this guy:

img_0352

Check out what he’s holding. Doesn’t the image of a man with a decapitated goats head scream, “IT PUTS THE FUCKING LOTION IN THE BASKET!”?

Who’d make that their Tinder profile pic anyway? I mean, doesn’t that just get your goat?

I’m ‘kid’ding.

Can you see where this is ‘head’ing?

Ooh- maybe he’s trying to allude to giving good head?

This joke is old now. It’s time to put it out to pasture.

Pre-Battle Banter

Some men on Tinder are only after one thing.

TinderMan1: “So are we going to meet? What’s your address?”

CC: “We can meet, but I’m not giving you my address. How about a coffee?”

TinderMan1: “We know where coffee is going to end up, so just give me your address.”

This vexed me: Where, exactly, did this audacious prick believe that coffee was going to end up? Does coffee herald coitus? Not necessarily. Coffee can wind up in lots of places: a manic discussion on Jack Kerouac. A hilarious foam-on-the-upper-lip moment. Hell, I could be a stage five clinger that thinks espressos will mean babycinos.

CC: “You see, coffee is my he’s-not-an-axe-murderer-and-I-can-invite-him-into-my-house insurance policy :)”

TinderMan1: “Yeah. See, I work in the music industry and I can’t afford to buy every girl coffee.”

As this message was read, a thwack echoed across the city as the drawbridge to my lady-parts slammed shut.

CC: “What a shame: I’m a gold-digger and I’m not interested in poor men. Better luck next time.”

Luckily, the men on Tinder are a production line and Tinderman1 segued seamlessly into Tinderman2.

TinderMan2: “Where do I work? I work in banking and investments. So how about a vino sometime?”

When I didn’t expeditiously respond, he messaged again.

Tinderman2: “What, is working in finance a deal breaker? :P”

CC: “No. It’s not a deal breaker at all. In fact, it might even be fun to have a drink with someone devoid of a soul :D”

He blocked me after that. He wasn’t devoid of a soul, but apparently devoid of a sense of humor. My sardonic wit often combusts in the tinderbox. I was blocked by another fellow after I playfully said, “Don’t get too excited to meet me- I might yet be a convincing pre-op transsexual ;)”

Testing my Patients

I recently matched with a bearded bloke from Enmore whose profile spoke of ‘sustainability’, ‘craft beer’ and ‘meat trays’.

My, how I do love a hipster.

On our first interaction, The Beard gave me his Instagram handle and invited me to stalk him. I did. There was- amid jumpy iPhone footage of a plethora of live bands- a surprising number of posts dedicated to Shiner Bock beer. These were photographed in glistening, moist, pornographic glory. I counted eleven pictures of beer, but hardly any of him. There was more beer than beard on there.

I pulled out my phone and typed, “Saw your Instagram. Nice. I think my first question is: are you still sponsored by Shiner Bock?”

It was a whimsical bon mot that deserved, at the very least, an emoticon smiley. Instead I got a long, not really coherent explanation that was so convoluted, I wondered why he didn’t just type the word ‘no’ and save us both a lot of time.

We decided to meet for a drink at Newtown. I caught public transport in. Trains weren’t running due to trackwork, so I arrived ten minutes late, breathless and nervous. I scanned the crowd, my gaze finally settling on what I can only describe as a ‘demented lumberjack’. And he wasn’t okay.

Neither was I, actually.

Because who this bloke was in the Tinderverse and who he was in reality was somewhat incongruent.

The man from Tinder was bearded, smiling, slender. He wore Wayfarer sunglasses in one shot, clutched a bass guitar in another. He drank from a stein. He posed with a mischievous pug.

And the man trudging towards me? Well, he was the kind of overweight that usually has the adverb ‘morbidly’ attached to it. His soft, round midsection poked through a threadbare, black sloppy joe that was long ago washed to grey. It was, at least, clean. There were no obvious cum-stains or spag-bol remnants on it. His beanie, on the other hand, was coated in a powdery white substance that was, at best, cocaine and, at worst, dandruff. His face and eyes were completely flat- nary a flicker of emotion was spared for the jittery brunette before him.

And really, an expression would have been nice.

Because I’d only made a tiny bit of fucking effort in getting there.

I’d only spent an hour or so trying on outfits in my bedroom in a Tassie-Devil whirlwind of cotton. I’d only spent ninety fucking minutes battling rail buses, half of which was time spent in close proximity to a man with a facial tattoo who overused the word ‘cunt’. And then, when I changed buses at Strathfield station, there was only that tiny, little argument that I got into with the douche-bag in the hatchback; the guy who, after clocking my vintage army jacket and Doc Marten boots, decided that I was a Neo-Nazi. The dude that then began to trawl me in his car, chanting things like: “Where’s your Swastika, love? Adolf, hey? Seig Heils! Yeah! Nice boots Adolf!” through the open passenger window as I willfully ignored him for as long as I could.

‘As long as I could’ turned out to be ‘half a block’. I snapped after that and shouted- yes, shouted– “Go fuck yourself, you Peugeot-driving wanker!”

Not my finest moment. If I didn’t look like a scary skinhead before I started shouting at passing motorists with wild-eyed zeal, I certainly did after. Something clever and punchy like: “How dare you call me Adolf! Call me Eva. Or Miss Braun, you socialist swine,” would have been better.

Fucking l’esprit d’escalier.

Anyway, this bummed me out, because I thought that my carefully-chosen outfit said, ‘I’m stylish without trying too hard and my Heathers t-shirt says that I understand and embrace cult pop-culture references.’

But it didn’t. Apparently it just said two words: Master Race.

But, back to The Beard: when he greeted me, it was in a monotone, and he slurred his words.

Oh fuck, I thought. Is he drunk?

He leaned in for a kiss. I offered a cheek. He rested a paw uncomfortably close to another cheek. I pulled away. His hand lingered on my jeans like Velcro. He told me about his Sunday: a long walk with a friend that was hard because he got “munted” Saturday night, but a walk that he persevered with nonetheless because he’s “a fat bastard now”.

Then he asked where I wanted to go. We could go anywhere except The Townie. He’d been kicked out of The Townie last month- a feat that I, nor anyone who has ever set foot in The Townie, would think possible. But it was. The Beard’s version of events was: ‘I slur even when I’m not drunk.’ The bouncers was: ‘Even so, ten beers and a broken chair is inappropriate, and you have to leave.’

He asked if I’d eaten, the memory of his fat arse breaking a chair seemingly jogging him back to food. “Let’s go to Mary’s. You ever been there?”

I hadn’t.

He wiped his mouth. “I can’t believe you’ve never been to Mary’s,” he exclaimed in a flat voice.

We began walking up King street, taking a left turn down an alleyway. He led me through the darkness, deep into sex-crime central, before stopping at a place that had no signage, just a bare red bulb glowing above the door.

Oh Christ, I thought. He’s taking me to a brothel. Or a rape dungeon.

It wasn’t. In fact, Mary’s may be the only good thing to come out of that night. Mary’s is a dingy, heavy metal pub that serves fried chicken so consumable, I’m fairly certain it was a Breaking Bad, crystal-meth laced, Los Pollos Hermanos bird. They also serve a fried chicken dish named ‘Larry Bird’, which tickled me. Immensely.

He sat opposite me, studying me with open curiosity. “So how’m ah’doin?”

I put down my piece of chicken. “What?”

He wiped his mouth. “How am I doin’ on the date?”

I was taken aback and laughed. Loudly. “HAHAHAHAHA! That’s a…question. Isn’t it? Look at you asking…questions.”

“Is there like, any chance of,” he paused. “You know…”

Oh please God, don’t say it.

“Because I don’t go for casual stuff,” he continued. “Mostly. Like, I had a friend with benefits once, but that ended. It’s not me. There was one Tinder girl who took me home. That was weird because, like, she was tall and our feet touched during it. She left straight after it.”

I’d like to pause the story and assure you that I am absolutely not making this up. He absolutely said this to me, and as he spoke, I was absolutely conducting a mini-mental examination on the poor bastard: What the fuck is he talking about? That didn’t make sense. That was thought disordered as fuck. And I think he’s derailing. Is he derailing? No, he’s totally derailing. Is he a patient somewhere? I bet he’s a schizophrenic.

He wiped his mouth again. “You’re, like, big- for a chick, I mean- aren’t ya? You’ve gotta be five eight or…?”

Maybe I should ask if he takes Clozapine. The belly. The drool. Fuck! Okay, this is weird. I think I’m accidentally on a date with a fucking-

He considered me. “How do you usually go on Tinder dates? Like how do you do this?”

What the shit…? Oh no, he’s staring at you! Quick, say something now! Change the subject! Talk about  the chicken! Larry Bird! LARRY BIRD!

He left to use the bathroom. I took the opportunity to broadcast my woe on Facebook. When he returned, I casually brought up the uni assignment due that evening. I’d already done it- it was submitted earlier that afternoon, in between leg-day at the gym and my ‘yuck, I now smell like a diseased yak’ pre-date shower. I didn’t know that The Beard was going to be a living nightmare and I wanted to be free from responsibility if he wasn’t.

“So I have to leave. Right now.” Which is a shame, I tried to say with my eyes. But, you know, responsibility. Stuff.

“Have another beer.”

“I can’t.”

“I’ll drive you home.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that! To Hornsby!”

“It’s an easy drive.”

“No, it’s fine. Besides, you’ve been drinking.”

“Only four pints.”

In two hours. And I don’t want to die in a fiery car wreck. At least not before I erase my Google Chrome history. “Really, I’ll get the train.”

He walked me to the station, I glanced at the board and saw that a train- although not my train- was leaving in two minutes. “Two minutes! Nick of time. I’ve really got to run.”

He responded by grabbing me around the waist and grinding his crotch into my hip like a horny Doberman. He went in for the kiss and, again, I offered a cheek. He smelt like chicken. Craft beer. Plague. Peristalsis. Hormones. And desperation.

I boarded my train feeling fed-up. You can’t go on a bad date without it draining you of something. Even if you enter the evening with no expectations, you leave robbed of a little effervescence. I can usually see the funny side, and writing about it fortifies me, but there are times when I can’t help but wish I could go back to that heady period in my early-twenties when the world didn’t seem to be full of weirdos.

Wanting a little pick me up, I opened Tinder.

And found this guy.
img_0023His profile states- with a two-finger salute to the rules of grammar- that he is “the badboy you’re mothers warned you about”, he’s “the real 50 shades baby.”

He’s also a poet, because he goes on to claim that he’s “hung like an ox”,

“enjoys nibbling at your…”

“and making you scream with his…”

But only blows his load into socks.

Okay, so I made that last one up.

Tinder, hey?

Shit.

Kind-of, Almost Two Years Ago Today

11 Nov

Every year, on the anniversary of my divorce, I light scented candles, listen to Morrissey, cry, and play with myself.

That’s not true, silly. I just wanted a snappy opener. As boring as it is, I don’t indulge in any bizarre, ritualistic behaviour on D-Day; but ironically, for the last two years, I have found myself on the other side of the world, ensconced in a romantic entanglement of sorts.

It’s Groundhogian. Last year I was making a u-turn across Europe to meet a Kiwi in Amsterdam, this year I found myself with an overly affectionate Italian. Let’s call him Titto- as was his request if I ever spoke about him on the blog. And, fuck-me-gently-with-a-tent-pole, I really hope he doesn’t read this.

Because this is the story of how I fled Titto.

Fled sounds melodramatic. But ‘made a impulsive decision to leave one morning after things began to get particularly intense’ was too verbose.

When Titto and I first met, I was, embarassingly, wearing nothing but a Bonds wifebeater singlet and a pair of bright red, Wonder Woman underpants. Before he knew my name, he had seen more of me than most first dates do. Amazingly, despite being confronted with the sight of my big, white ass, he began to chat to me and, amazing-er-ly, we clicked.

Our travels plans differed- I was heading to Cuba and he was starting work in a hostel in Acapulco. We swapped Facebook contact details and kept in touch. A pocket of time appeared in the week after Day of the Dead. We could meet up again. He started to organise the details, seemingly spending hours on Google. Links were sent via email, clicking them furnished my screen with magnificent-looking beaches. ‘What do you think?’ he’d ask with an emoticon wink. Apparently, the only thing I had to do for our spare week together was show up and be adorable.

Plans changed when he had a fight with his boss and had to leave Acapulco immediately. He asked if I wanted to leave Day of the Dead before the main celebrations and travel to Guatemala with him. I did not. I was disappointed but I didn’t want to chase a dick down a rabbit hole, so I did what any normal girl would: I dealt with it. I booked a hostel at a nudist beach and figured that if we were meant to meet up again we would.

As fate would have it, we met again. Titto was unlike any man I had ever met. Aside from the affectionate, macho, chivalrous Italian blood that pumped through his veins, he was completely open with his feelings. It was a novelty. Australian men aren’t like that- being courted by an Aussie is a subliminal game of chess. You don’t listen to what they say, you watch what they do, you think three moves ahead, and you endeavour to entrap them in a checkmate.

Mwahaha.

The whole situation was fantastical. Surreal. Laying tangled in a hammock watching the sun set, eating fresh guavas for breakfast, long slow make-out sessions on the sand followed by hair-pulling nights beneath the mosquito netting as the waves crashed outside our cabin window. We hitchhiked. We held hands and strolled along the coastline. It was like a tampon commercial. It certainly wasn’t reality- no reality that I know, anyway. That’s the problem with holiday romances. They exist in a dream state, a realm where you are unfettered by the mundanities of life. As a result, they will never, ever last beyond the trip- believe me, I have tried. The only way it can work is if you choose to stay at the party forever- if you kiss the nuances of reality goodbye and live in the Wonderland of travel. Titto asked me to do this on our first night.

“Would you ever leave Sydney and stay in Mexico?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

I struggled to explain the relationship that I have with my loved ones without resorting to saccharine statements like ‘they are my heart’. I explained the deep bond we share, fortified by time, laughter and pain. “I can’t leave them,” I said finally. “I’d miss them.”

He didn’t agree and argued the point. “But friendships don’t last forever.”

“Neither do most relationships,” I fired back. “But my friends and family have been more of a constant presence in my life than any man has. They are always there for me and vice versa. I don’t want to leave them.”

“That’s sentimental.”

“Loyal.”

Besides, am I alone in thinking that this is a particularly intense question to throw at someone after twenty four hours together? Isn’t this the Holiday Romance equivalent of “How do you feel about getting married in Fiji” on a first date? Perhaps he was just harmlessly discussing the future and I am simply cementing myself as an emotionally retarded Fem-bot, but when said hypothetical future means that one of you has to give up everything well…no. Sorry, but that’s too Romeo and Juliet for me. Plus, I have shared more major life events with my Sydney comrades than I will with any man who comes into my life. Don’t make me choose between you and them. Just don’t. You won’t like the decision that I make.

And what happened to enjoying the moment in the moment without worrying where it’s heading? Why force it? If something is meant to happen, just let it happen. Yes, that statement crosses into the sticky realm of Fate and Destiny, but it’s my limited experience that no matter how much you want something, trying to mold life into your plans never works. One of the hardest things that any of us will have to do is let go of something we really want and trust that, in one way or another, it- or something better- will come to us. I don’t believe in pushing an agenda; partially because I am painfully aware of the type of female that does, and partially because I try to enjoy the show without peeking behind the curtain. If life has a plan different to the one that you have in your head it’s frustrating as hell, and there will be many nights that you pout into your pillow at the injustice of it all, but at least you won’t frighten said reality away. If you relinquish control, things you want may never come to you, but at least you know that you didn’t fuck them up- they were just never yours in the first place.

Says the emotionally retarded Fem-bot.

Actually, that whole fucking paragraph sounded like a tampon commercial.

Ergh.

Anyway, it was enough to vanquish my fragile emotions. With that conversation, hairline fissures began to appear in my rose-coloured lust goggles. ‘Affectionate’ became ‘Stifling’. ‘Macho’ became ‘Domineering’. And ‘Wow, he’s so open with his feelings’ became ‘Do we have to fucking talk about this again for the love of chocolate just shut up and stop acting like a god-damn woman’. My skin began to crawl. I became infected with Seeing The Future as well, and I didn’t like what I saw. It was suffocating. I was in a locked cage that he perpetually carried, periodically sticking his fingers through the bars for affection-attention?- the last lights of my freedom fading away as he carted me across Central America like a prized parrot.

I know. Poor, poor CC. She finds herself a devastatingly attractive man who appears to be crazy about her and she isn’t happy because it’s just too much. I should dry my tears on sex stained sheets in my fucking beach-side bungalow.

Relationships are delicate in the beginning.  You need rose-coloured glasses when you look at your beloved because you are often discovering all of their idiosyncrasies. The fluffy bubble of infatuation acts as a talisman of sorts. When you are in lust, the fact that they are chintsy, over-protective, or a nocturnal lip-smacker, doesn’t bother you; and you need that to progress beyond the first stage. You need absence, too. To miss them, to think about them. They have to exist in your dura mater as a fond memory for affection to grow. And this wasn’t happening. Titto was poisoning me with his presence. The ‘Leave Sydney’ conversation gave me an urge for space. When he didn’t give it to me, the urge became a compulsion to mentally point out every tiny shortcoming he had.

The decision to leave was a lightning bolt. My poker face is not my strong suit, and he knew that something was up. I politely asked him to leave me alone, which he did- albeit furtively glancing at me from the top of his laptop all morning. When even a silent gaze felt suffocating, I figured that getting breakfast in town by myself was a good idea. I knew that I had to snap myself out of my foul mood, so as I moodily stomped to the main street, I indulged in the sort of practical, reasonable self-talk that every chick does to stop herself emotionally overreacting to something.

And it didn’t work.

The more I thought about the situation, the worse it felt. Finally my brain snapped in a characteristic moment of CC impulsiveness: ‘Fuck this, I’m leaving. Today.

And I did. The hotel in Puerto Escondido was booked as the banana/chocolate crepes were shoved into my gob.

Sounds selfish? It felt awesome.

Freedom is a drug, man.

As is chocolate.

I dreaded telling him. With good cause. He reacted as every man does when their ego is bruised- he became a petulant child: “I knew it, I knew something was wrong. Why do you want to go? Why are you leaving me?” he whined.

What I hoped was gentle came out clichéd: “This isn’t you, dude. It’s me. You have to understand, I have been single for two years. I like my freedom, and to spend a consistent 48 hours with someone is too much. I want space.”

We argued. Why didn’t I go tonight? We could have dinner. Why did I have to leave him right now? Why?

I felt helpless. Cunty. To try and make an awkward situation less painful, I tried throwing money at it. That usually helps, right? “I’ll give you the money for the accommodation.”

He didn’t appreciate being turned into my low-budget rent-boy. “I don’t want the fucking accommodation.”

“I’m only trying to help.”

“I have no reason to stay here without you,” he said sulkily. “The only reason I came here was for you, and now you are leaving me.”

It was a cheap shot that didn’t register. I wanted to say ‘I’m a psych nurse, buddy, and I’ve been through a divorce, if you want to hurt my feelings, you have to try harder than that.

But I didn’t. I acted like an adult. “Well, you can have the money, anyway.” I rose to pack.

He followed. “When did you decide this? Why can’t you leave tomorrow?”

The more he talked, the more my resolve strengthened. I bid him farewell and waited for a taxi to the bus station.

“You really should take a collectivo, instead. It’s more economical.”

I glared at him.

He sighed. “Do what you want.”

In defiance, I paid for a private taxi to drive the hour to Puerto Escondido. From the backseat, with the wind of the highway relentlessly massaging my face, I worked on feeling horribly guilty about what I’d just done.

So, what’s the point of it all?  I’m sure there’s a lesson hiding in this, but what? That I’m emotionally unavailable? I have ridiculously high standards? That I’m just holding out for a six foot fireman who can bench press a fridge? Preferably one who volunteers at an abandoned kitten’s shelter in his spare time. Maybe I should just give up and buy some scented candles.

How about this for a lesson- no matter how many times you make my toes curl, if I begin to feel even the slightest bit trapped, I’ll run like a flock of seagulls?

Get it? “I raaaaannnn, I ran so far awaaaaaayyyy”?

No?

Come on!

Anyway, if nothing else, this experience has strengthened what matters, which means I’m probably Fem-bot Version 2.0. And while I can’t wrap it all up in a neat bow, I can give you a moral- You never chase a Y-chromosome down a rabbit hole.

You only ever chase a white rabbit with a pocket watch because he has the magic mushrooms.

Rusty Butter Knives and Baby Bunny Rabbits

1 Oct

I’ve been writing a lot about love lately. One post seems to jump off the back of the last. What started as 5000 semi-literate words on my computer has been cut and pasted into four rambling posts that probably sound like a maudlin episode of Growing Pains where questionable wisdom is imparted with a smug, yet knowing smirk. I’m fairly certain that my last three blog offerings have elicited jaw-clenching yawns so severe that circulation is being cut off to the lower half of people’s faces as they read.

Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about this crap again and I do apologise in advance. I’m leaving to backpack South America in seven days, so I’m sure the blog will pick back up into overly descriptive sex stories and loquacious anecdotes about the idiotic things that I find myself doing on a daily basis.

But until then, here’s a bunny rabbit.

Untitled

About a month ago, I connected with an old school friend on Facebook.

He accepted my friend-request and private-messaged me. I hadn’t seen him since high school, so I asked what had been happening in his life. He responded immediately:

“I’ve been hurt more than I can bear. Nearly every girl I’ve been with has cheated on me and I’ve had no luck with dating.”

It certainly set the tone for the conversation.

I gave a reply that I hoped was empathetic yet flippant. His reply was a five word bomb- “Can I tell you something?”- that ticked malevolently before exploding all over my computer screen in a rapid fire flurry of characters crudely moulded into badly spelt, overly emotive sentiments.

He had a crush on me in school but never told me. No, not just a crush, he was in love with me, something that, until this moment, I was blissfully unaware of. My fingers hovered awkwardly over the keyboard as I tried to find the kindest way of saying, “You are freaking me the fuck out and it’s probably best for everyone that you just shut up right now.” His messages continued, escalating to a level that kicked my bullshit radar into gear. He was saying insane things about his feelings, incredibly sweet things, but things that you don’t expect to hear on a windy Monday evening, where you are sitting at your computer in pyjamas with a blueberry facemask smeared on your dermis. He must be fucking with me, I thought. It had to be a joke. Ashton Kutcher was going to appear with a camera crew at any moment and call me a narcissistic bitch with a robust sense of self-esteem, and who wants to appear on Punkd! wearing only a mens business shirt and a Lush facemask? Even Miley Cyrus wears underwear on TV.

As I was pondering this, my phone chirped. It was him. He had pulled my number from Facebook, obviously believing that my online silence warranted communication on another medium. Another Facebook message arrived: “Did you get my text?” His five word bomb had erupted into a social media attack that quickly turned rogue. I was two messages away from hiding under my desk with my head between my knees like a well-fed Palestinian.

I texted my best friend from high school- who knew him- and briefly relayed the situation, saying ‘what the fuck do I do’ without explicitly saying it, knowing that she would take the excessive use of exclamation points as a sort of oestrogen-charged call to arms.

She agreed that it was odd and suggested that I block him. Removing someone from my friends list like a wart two hours after I have added them to it felt cruel, so I terminated the Facebook exchange with him and ignored his subsequent comments on my posts. Two weeks later he messaged again. I asked how he was. He lamented about the epic level of loneliness he felt. Unsure of what else to say, I suggested he get out there and try to meet women. Bad idea. Apparently no woman can measure up to his one true love that he met in high school. Again, the conversation was terminated and I’ve remained offline in Facebook chat, hiding like a fugitive ever since.

Now, I don’t want to make him sound like some gleaming toothed psychopath, an emotive fiend that slaveringly stalks my profile like a rabid Rottweiler because he’s not. He’s actually a very nice guy with a very big heart. He left his job to become a fulltime carer for his sick uncle. Not many people would do that, and when I asked about his reasons for putting his life on hold for a family member he was incredibly humble in his response. I have no problems roasting dickheadedness on this blog- nor do I have a problem with neologisms, it would appear- but I do have a problem with making arguably misguided men with good intentions sound like fuckwits. He’s not. I want to make that clear. He’s a lovely guy and if there is any justice in this world he will meet the lovely girl who he is so ardently yearning for and they will have ridiculously good looking babies that go on to solve world hunger and cure cancer.

But that girl ain’t me, and I’m hoping that my silence will be perceived as such. I’m also hoping that he doesn’t know about, or read, this blog.

So this completely true story is actually a clumsy springboard to talk about misusing the L word, which I want to rant about briefly because it’s my pet hate.

Unrequited love does not exist. You can’t love something that does not love you back. That’s not love. It’s lust mixed with rejection and sprinkled with the tiniest bit of obsession. Love is a bond between two people, not a knee-jerk reaction to a bruised ego. You can want something so badly that you will be able to talk yourself into believing that it must be love, but you are lying to yourself. You can really like someone; you can think to yourself, Wow, I have found a human being that seems to encompass everything that I have been looking for in a member of the opposite sex; and in extreme cases I suppose you could even say, Given the chance I could fall in love with them, but that’s not love. Not the real stuff, anyway. The concept of love is something that I tend to put on a pedestal, a pedestal so high my next boyfriend may well have to be ten feet tall, but Real Love fills you up with something warm and effervescent that makes you grin a lot. It’s fluffy and warm, it’s the widdle-bitty-baby-bunny-wabbit that you want to hug to death because it’s cuteness is simply too much for this planet.
baby_rabbit_by_selena15-d3dxvn2

Saying “I’ve loved you from afar for years…” is like comparing sadness to depression.

I was in Amsterdam last year and I went on an unintentional date with a fellow who told me, under the twinkling street lamps of Leidsestraat, that he was falling in love with me. I told him to piss off. Verbatim. I take this shit seriously. Love is not a word that I use lightly. When I do say the big L to a guy, they can be assured that I’m there, that it’s not emotional manipulation or entrapment because when I say it, I tend to fucking mean it.

And saying it can be hard. The word “Love” throws down a gauntlet in relationships. My ex-husband tried to tell me that he loved me after two weeks of us being almost constantly joined at the pelvis. It wasn’t love- we would grow to that stage later- but at that moment what he felt was just him being swept up in a reciprocated lust cloud by a girl who wasn’t a cunt or a nut-job. So when I saw his lips forming the words, I neatly cut him off by sticking my fingers in my ears and humming the theme to Fraggle Rock. Maybe my reaction sounds mean, but I wasn’t there yet, and I sensed that pinching his cheek and saying, ‘Of course you do, I’m adorable’ wouldn’t have gone down well. Serving love out to someone who doesn’t neatly lob it back across the court to you is the quickest way to create a schism in a relationship. Before you know it, it’s “30-love”.

My god, that was so clever I had to just pause and regather myself.

Here’s another bunny rabbit.

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Anyway, doubt creeps in, remorse, insecurity…why would you want to spoil the awesome first stage of a romance with that shit? Why not just keep your mouth shut and enjoy what you have as you have it? If you are starting to feel a tingle of love, why not hold on to it? Let it build. Love usually means a long haul, so you have all the time in the world with each other. Instead of a relationship exploding like an atom bomb then settling to gradual resentment after a few months, why not sit on some things, parcel them out, and make the experience last? Exchanging I love you’s isn’t just an expression of your feelings, it’s an acknowledgement that you are going to take things to another level together, and you have to be ready for the gamut of shit that it can lead to. I love you also means, “There are times that I want to stab you repeatedly in the chest with a rusty butter knife but I stop myself because I’d miss not having you around”.

There’s almost an art to gauging the appropriate time to do it. It’s like finding the right time to enter a rapidly revolving skipping rope. I find that it’s generally when you really want them to buy you an expensive piece of jewellery for no reason and they are being a little bit reluctant.

I’m kidding, obviously.

You say I love you when you can’t manipulate a man with blow-jobs anymore.

…or when you don’t want to wax your bikini line…

If you want to let yourself go and binge on McDonald’s it’s a handy way to get away with wearing stretchy pants to every outing.

I like to say it when you accidentally break something of his that you suspect has sentimental value.

If you are an ambitious young woman with a wealthy but foolish older man, nothing turns silver into sapphires quicker than “love”.

And, of course, it’s a fantastic way to cease the arguments that will ensue when he finds out you’ve been fucking his best friend.

But enough love crap for now. Here’s another bunny rabbit.

IMG_2094

Graded: F+

29 Sep

I worry that this is going to sound like a mediocre sociology essay. One that’s handed in a week past its due date. It has a coffee stain on the top left hand corner, and a stoner named Jeffro had to peel it off his backside the morning he woke up on the kitchen floor after a particularly messy frat party at Kappa Beta Alpha.

I’m going to talk about Free Spirits.

Without using the phrase “marching to the beat of our own drummer”.

However, I am going to bang on with tired, slightly forced analogies. There will be times when I sound breathtakingly arrogant. And, in my own awkward, hopefully adorable, cow-eyed, single girl way, I’m going to lay down a moderately convincing argument as to why you should try and date one of us because, as you may well know, ‘Free Spirit’ is actually an anagram of ‘girl who can be easily lured into bed with just a Jefferson Airplane record and half of an orange flavored Bacardi Breezer’.

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Then I’ll put my phone number at the bottom, click upload, and prepare to brave the swarms of eligible single men.

I’m practising my tinkling, flirtatious giggle right now, actually. It sounds like an oversized army boot smushing small, fluffy woodland creatures into shards of broken light bulbs.

The literature available on this topic seems to be split between two extremes. Girls who relate to a little too closely to Summer from 500 Days of Summer: “You can love a Free Spirit, but at the drop of a hat she will leave you for her next adventure, because she has only one true love- her independence” and men who write things such as: “How to tame a Free Spirit in ten steps or less: get her pregnant to trap her, and only tell her that she is beautiful twice a month to break down her confidence”. Wow. It’s little wonder that we apparently hold our freedom as our most prized possession. I wouldn’t want a man to “tame me” any more than I would want to emasculate or domesticate one myself. I’d argue that being with a Free Spirit has many benefits to the right person, but we aren’t for everyone.

If you ever find yourself in a relationship with one of us, you may discover that we are periodically tempestuous. Or maybe just tempestuous since, you know, it kind of suggests intervals of heightened passions. That was tautology, really. Slipping in “periodically” just stopped that sentence from reading: ‘We are high maintenance’. It’s probably true that we can be a bit…chaotic. We are a curious blend. Low maintenance enough to stay casual and malleable- and we have a ready laugh available for the foibles of the world around us- but we have high expectations and are all hopeless romantics with high ideals at heart. We aren’t a one dimensional Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Most of us are moderately complicated but ultimately worth the effort. You know that metaphor about the peaches at the top of the tree being juicier? Well, I posit that we are worth the climb. Most men don’t bother because there is plenty of low hanging fruit that can just be taken- and there are skanky peaches on the ground that are perfectly happy to be trodden on- but if you manage to clamber up that tree without breaking your neck, we will probably challenge, invigorate and inspire you; but for goodness’ sake, don’t think that we are going to storm into your dreary life and vomit rainbows everywhere.

We won’t judge you for your bank balance, but we will judge you for your character. We like to scratch the surface. There may be times that you feel that we are cracking open your cranium to peer inside. We speak our mind, so you will be free of emotional game playing, but we will probably remain enigmatic…unless you can find a girl with a blog verging on brutal honesty. We are ruled by intuition. You will never understand the choices we make. Half the time we don’t understand the choices we make. Just run with us, once you get used to impulsivity and infrequent bursts of insanity, it’s fun.

That sense of fearless adventure we hold transcribes to a sense of boldness in love. We tend to jump in wholeheartedly. Being experience junkies, we sense and feel things at the highest possible level. We can be intense, but we value freedom so we won’t ever smother you. The love of a Free Spirit is blindly loyal and occasionally selfish. Note I say blindly loyal- in nine out of ten cases, you can trust us when we fuck off to foreign lands alone. Most of us don’t travel to sample the local penis; we do it because the walls of reality have begun to close in, tightening around our neck like a noose. We have to periodically flit away to remind ourselves that we are still free. And alive. It’s my belief that we are all born free but life puts you in a cage. Most people don’t notice it but some of us are claustrophobic. Routine makes me suicidal. It’s why the concept of a nine-to-five job is intolerable to me. I need the novelty of the unknown or my feet start to drag.

To keep a Free Spirit happy, you just have to leave the door of the cage open. Let us wander and explore- with or without you- trust us, and we will return. At heart we are less like delicate butterflies and more like homing pigeons. I’d argue that someone who holds the childlike sense of wonder that keeps them scampering off into the great unknown with rose coloured glasses slightly askew would be a good catch. She would never try to box you in and she looks at her partner in the same way she looks at the world- with an unflinching appraisal of its flaws but completely accepting and loving of the same.

It’s not always easy for us. If men don’t try and tame us, they will often mistake our love of freedom for something else, something expendable. I’ve been told that I can’t act or talk the way that I do and expect to be treated like a lady. Because I am not secretly naming the unborn children of a man I meet, I can expect to be used and thrown away like a tissue. Ridiculous. It’s my experience thus far that most men aren’t secure enough to let us roam. Most men aren’t strong enough to sit with separation anxiety. Most men will try and turn you into a mother, a housewife. Most men won’t like hearing “I’m going to Myanmar for two weeks in November…” and most men will worry because they care. Most men can’t reconcile that wonderful protective instinct that they feel for a partner, and they will pop a collar and tag on you. Outside the bedroom. Precisely where you never want to wear one.

You will never impress a Free Spirit with diamonds, and spoiling us isn’t necessary. Personally, I don’t care if a man ever buys me flowers, but if he can consistently show me that he gives a shit through his actions, I’m happy. We aren’t materialistic but we are easily bored, so you will need to keep us engaged, amused, and constantly guessing. I don’t want to dredge up movie clichés to highlight my point, but there is a scene in the end of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the perennially Free Spirited Clementine says, “I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me.” I hate how that sounds. It’s blasé. Heartless. Flighty. Unfortunately there is an element of truth to it: we are capricious. Incredibly so. Our affections can be fragile, we are easy to frighten away and when we lose our emotional investment, it’s over. Many women can stay in a relationship after they have withdrawn emotionally. Convenience can keep them there. Comfort. Familiarity. Stability. We don’t value these things highly enough to stay in a situation that doesn’t work for us. The second that the embers begin to die, our feet start to itch.

I told you we can be selfish.

Despite the flippant literature I’ve read, most of us leave lost love with a heavy heart, and we will always remember the good times fondly, but at the core we are creatures that crave stimulation. This is why I suspect that many of us are cursed to have short lived affairs- something that bothers me if I’m truly honest with myself. The optimist in me believes that there may be hope- people grow, they mature, they slow down and their priorities change. Things that aren’t important to me as a thirty year old woman may hold dear importance to me in a decade. When I was twenty, I moved to another city by myself, where I knew nobody, to chase my dream of being a writer. I left my friends and my established life to venture off the page.

I would never do that now.

I toy with the idea, but my life is in Sydney. My family is here. My friends are here. And the bonds that tie me to this group of people have become more precious as I’ve aged. I wouldn’t leave my family any more than I would cut off my left arm. I’ve changed and grown in those ten years, some for the better and some for the worse. I’m happy that I had the balls to do it once, but as a thirty year old woman with a plethora of battle scars, I acknowledge that my loved ones are a source of oxygen. I need them. My priorities have shifted. So, maybe one day I will fall for a man who is just…enough. Someone who satiates that urge to run. Someone who excites me enough to keep me still. Because on some fundamental level, we all crave love, even those that never want to be tied down.

Henry Rollins has a beautiful thing that he has written about love, where he talks about keeping passion alive by augmenting it with absence. You can find it here. To me, it encompasses being with a Free Spirit. You will exist in a recurring state of missing them, remembering them, and burning for them, but you will never, ever get tired of them.

The Sasquatch Factor Part 2

20 Sep

I have found myself reading a considerable amount of literature on soulmates.

Before you roll your eyes: No, I don’t believe in them.

I look at soulmates like I look at Sasquatches. I would certainly like to live in a world where something like this

harrt (1)

exists, but logic and reason mean that they are relegated to the imaginary land of unicorns, dragons, and benevolent mining company executives.

What I have read is, disturbingly, often written by psychologists and doctors. And Elizabeth ‘Eat. Pray. Love.’ Gilbert. There’s a lot of nonsense that you have to wade through. Nonsense that is written by a person with a fucking PhD and is, therefore, presented as fact: “Ever met people who can finish each other’s sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, I call it a soulmate connection.” This particular gem left me shrieking at the computer screen. I mean, come on. What are your sources? Let me see your reference list. Are there double blind trials in place to prove such a thing? Is it beta tested?

I’ve quizzed people on their views on soulmates in a none-too-subtle manner. The interesting thing I found is that everybody who believes in them has found what they believe to be theirs. “I know they exist,” one of my female friends said to me, “because mine is right over there.” She indicated across the room and I gazed at her husband over by the bar. “Cool,” I responded. “Do you know if mine is around here somewhere, too?”

When I was 19, I’m fairly certain that I saw a ghost in the pub that I used to work in. Rumours long abounded that this place was haunted and late one night after the kitchen closed I saw…something. This did not stop me from having a fifteen minute conversation with my sister where I willfully argued that there is no possibility of an afterlife. Even if I see something with my own two eyes, my stubbornly rational, psych nurse brain will explain it all away. If I were a character-trope in a movie, I’d be the “Flat Earth Athiest”. The Agent Scully. Han Solo in A New Hope. Stan in It. I’d puff my cigarette and insist that it was nothing but a bunch of hocus pocus. Then I’d be taken by a gigantic monster, or impregnated by something not human, and my beliefs would be challenged just in time for me to turn over a new hope leaf and skip off into the sunset with a Sasquatch. So my skepticism could be as simple as: I don’t want to believe in some things because doing so doesn’t necessarily make life easier, and believing in them would say things about me that I’d consider to be “weak”. In other words, my soulmate is with God and men who spoon after one night stands right now.

Disillusionment usually lies at the heart of cynicism. When I was growing up, I watched a formative relationship devolve into an unhealthy one. Like a depressingly large number of unions, this one was skewed- one person fiercely loved another who did nothing but selfishly hurt them. I couldn’t understand it, and often said to The Hurtee, “Why don’t you just leave?” He would always reply, “I’ve tried, CC. I can’t be away from her. She is my soulmate. Despite all of her flaws, there is no other woman in this world that I want to be with.” For me, the concept of a soulmate was never one of freedom, but bondage. Soulmates opened you up to the possibility of emotional manipulation. Soulmates kept you in a place that you should have left long ago. I saw married couples who seemed to be in love but always suspected that their relationship was like rotten fruit, dysfunctional and fucked up at the core. Now I have seen enough to believe in Real Love, but I still retain my cynicism about forever.

Ironically, when I discovered my then-fiancée was having an affair, I went to The Hurtee. I sat at his kitchen table, swigging directly from a bottle of red wine, sobbing, cigarette clutched between shaking fingers. The mistress had just emailed me to dob on my fiancée, and the pages that detailed their sexual adventures in sickening detail were spread before us. I was heartbroken. He read the emails, put them down and looked me square in the eye. “Leave him,” he said to me. “He’s not good enough for you. Don’t marry him. You should take off- travel if you want to. I’ll lend you money. I’ll give you money, just don’t go back.”

I ignored his sage advice. A week of phone calls, love letters, surprise visits, and flowers from my ex wore me down and, after slapping him across the face three times, I moved back in with him.

As part of the shaky research I do for each blog post, I brought up the concept of soulmates to The Hurtee over coffee. Once again, he looked me square in the eye. “Your ex-husband wasn’t yours, you know.”

I nodded. “He appeared to be a Sasquatch, turns out he just had a hairy back.”

“You haven’t found yours yet,” he continued. “Don’t worry, you will. You might be 59 when you meet him, but everyone finds their soulmate, eventually.”

Aside from marvelling at the unclenching belief he has in these things after years of hurt, I do wonder where he gets his information from. Who makes these rules? Is there a Penguin’s Big Book of Life hardcover hiding in his room that he will bequeath to me one day with page 54, paragraph 3 highlighted:

“Every human, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, will meet one (1) soul partner during their lifetime. A soul partner is defined as…”

My experiences have put me staunchly against the notion of a conventional union. When I eventually find a man of my very own- assuming that I will ever find a human male who enjoys the shape of CC as much as the noises that she emits both on and offline- I can’t ever look at him as a Sasquatch. I don’t like the sound of “forever”. It makes me feel trapped. Hearing it makes my skin crawl. “Forever” actually means “Complacent”. Start believing in forever and before you know it, you are urinating with the bathroom door open and wearing an old pink flannel nightie to bed. Forever ruins the magic. Why would you want to spend the rest of your days with someone if you are just listless and resentful? I don’t want love to be an old chair that sits in the corner of the room, something that you are so used to seeing that you begin to throw your dirty jeans over it at the end of a long day at work. I don’t ever want the burn to give way to convenience and familiarity. Wouldn’t you rather risk something being short lived where every moment matters? Am I naive in thinking that once the flames die, the embers can remain?

My best friend is in love. Well, he’s probably not in love, and since he told me to stop being a pussy and put these posts up on the blog I daresay he’s going to read this and chastise me for telling porky pies about him. Let’s just say that he has met a lady who seems perfect for him and he is embroiled in that first stage, where you want to do nothing but text them, where you can’t stop thinking about them. I call it The Carpet Burn Stage, but that’s taking away from the lovely, cotton wool feeling you get when you are falling heavily into like. How he came to meet this woman amazes me. I won’t go into it but I will say that a seemingly unrelated chain of events over a short period of time has conspired to drop the perfect girl for him right in his lap. As with many things in life, the situation is less than ideal and, as with so many relationships entered into in your thirties, they have moderate amounts of baggage to bring along and wade through as they get to know each other, but from an outsider’s perspective, what they have found in each other seems pretty special. I’m not going to call this girl a Sasquatch- because she seems lovely and that’s terribly mean- but I am going to riff about the undeniable elements of fate that have brought them together. What if he made one choice that put him somewhere else, would they have never met? If something in the universe- even just chance- has put them next to each other at this particular time in their lives, does it mean something? Is it kismet? Where does fate end and free-will begin? Can you fuck up your fate? Is that free-will?

Maybe none of it means anything. Maybe it’s all just a chemical reaction in our brains, but there is a skirt-swishing pixie who lives within me that would really like to believe in something more. Not Sasquatches, but something huge, something real, a person that appears in your life and shakes you to your foundations. Someone who excites you, challenges you, and terrifies you in equal measures. Even the most hardened cynic would like to find one person whose level of damage is comparable to our own, maybe that’s the best that any of us can hope for. I like people’s scars- they intrigue me. We are the shaky sum of our experiences. Looking into the face of someone who has really loved and lost can be captivating. Their face becomes a storybook, and you want to pour a mug of cocoa and curl up in their arms to listen to them speak. They have been stripped of something, but gained something far more valuable along the way. They are fortified by pain. They are fascinating. Many of us wear armour to keep people out, but if you can get behind it, it can be terribly cosy and protective. Maybe “fate” is just putting two people with complementary wounds together on the same path at a time when they react against each other the most.

I have no idea, and until I can get my hands on the Penguin’s Big Book of Life hardcover, I’m left to blog and wonder.

The Sasquatch Factor Part 1

19 Sep

It’s difficult when an anonymous blog gets read by people who know you.

While I labour under the delusion that my writing can occasionally hit a level of refreshing candour, this blog has also contained the tongue-in-cheek phrase: “I have an enchanted pussy.” I cringe when people discover my writing. I have come dangerously close to ‘online diary’ in the past, and I have been told that no man who reads my inane ramblings is ever going to want to build a relationship with me because I sound like a neurotic lunatic who perpetually plays the victim. The person who said this was only being spiteful to try and hurt my feelings, but he infected me with a spell of writers block nonetheless. Indeed, I have written many things about the following subject, and they all exist in a folder on my computer titled NEVER TO BE PUT ON THE BLOG. After much thought, I’ve decided to post this and, rather than bleat about personas or censor my writing, I’m just going to man up and vomit something straight from the heart up onto the page.

Last year I wrote the following phrase “I don’t have my heart locked in an iron cage, waiting for Prince Charming with the right key.”

It sounds lovely. It sounds like I’m whimsical and hopeful; that I wear flip skirts and ballet flats, trilling through the streets in the sunshine, humming to myself, playfully tipping the hats of small children as I pass them and giving elderly couples in the street a knowing, yet slightly wistful gaze. It sounds like I frequently stare to the top left of the screen, wearing an open expression and a Mona Lisa smile. It’s manic pixie dream girl-ish. It’s something Zooey Deschanel would say.

Unfortunately, it’s bullshit.

The truth is that my emotions have been more repressed than the Christian Right.

I knew I was shutting down but I didn’t know what to do about it. I wrote “What the fuck is wrong with me?!” in my diary, underlined it three times, paused, scribbled it out, stabbed myself in the hand with a pen, drew blood, went to the Emergency room, and cried. Then I pushed a few perfectly lovely gentlemen away, got accused of acting as if “men don’t have emotions”, chugged four bottles of quality red wine, watched reruns of The Office, and clawed at the screen like a wounded panther when Tim and Dawn finally kissed.

Most of that isn’t true.

It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a friend, where I passionately argued that no man truly wants love, that things began to crystallise. I think my exact words were: “Women want love. Men want sex. Every now and then they get love via the sex, but they never set out to find it.”

He stared at me. “You think that men don’t want to be loved?”

“Of course not.”

It was a statement that hung in the air, pathetic, like an overweight trapeze artist. My friend, being my friend, didn’t push it.

Now, fast forward a few months to a coffee date with my ex-husband.

Meeting him for coffee seemed like a terribly adult thing to do. I could describe it by using words like “closure” and “the positive processing of negative emotions”. I figured that we would bond, heal old wounds, and set a bimonthly coffee date for the foreseeable future. It was nice to see him again. He looked completely different, as, arguably, did I. We drank organic espresso at my favourite hipster-alleyway cafe in Parramatta and I sat, slightly bewildered as my closure turned into his pissing contest. For three hours I was held captive for the one-man show entitled “My life is so much better now that CC has left me”.

It amazed me that we had become completely different people, with completely different priorities, who had taken completely different paths. One of us now works sixty hours a week, he is obsessed with money. And cocaine. He chain smokes, drinks a bottle of red wine each night, seems determined to snort the Bolivian economy up his nose, and has become a rave aficionado. The other has stopped doing drugs, barely touches alcohol, runs, meditates daily, and has quit her job to live a pauper’s life from a backpack for the better part of a year. I began to think of the thread that once held us together, a thread that started as strong as Mithril but slowly frayed to oblivion. I stared at him, looking for something, anything. A connection, a spark, a fucking clue that I had shared seven years of my life with this man, that this bodacious raver dude was once my favourite human being in the world.

I got nothing.

It’s pertinent to say now that the reason I had shut down emotionally was a reaction to the end of my First Big Love. We all know the one- the love you feel before you become a hardened, cynical thirty-something. The one that you can experience without baggage. The love where you can make impulsive decisions because you can’t conceive that you will ever be dumped headfirst into the sand. Because you haven’t been truly broken, you soar a little bit higher. I don’t believe in ‘soulmates’- which is something I will talk about in tedious detail in part two- but I did think that I had found the human to stand beside for the rest of my foreseeable future.

The coffee ended with him asking me what my plans for the weekend were. I answered truthfully, “I’m still trying to save money, so they’ll involve copious amounts of green tea, Dylan Moran stand up comedy, and a couch, or makeshift fort of some description. You?”

“I’m getting on the piss tonight. Then I’ve got a party Saturday night. And we are drinking in the city on Sunday.”

If he was trying to make me feel like a loser he certainly succeeded. We bid farewell. That evening, I got a phone call from a friend. My ex had binge rang everybody he knew, desperately trying to find someone to get drunk with, if not Friday night, then Saturday or, in a pinch, Sunday. “He’s had to take a second mortgage out on the house, you know,” she added conspiratorially. “So much cocaine…”

I was sad. After everything we had been through, all that we had seen of each other, I’d like to think that if there was anyone that he didn’t have to wear the mask around, it would be me. Apparently not. I don’t care if he is a fantastical, cocaine snorting, Tony Montana type or a homebody who spends his time laying on an old brown couch with a hyperactive Jack Russell stretched across his belly, but he obviously does. Maybe he can’t take the mask off. Maybe sadness has moulded it to his features permanently and he has really become an ageing, yuppie raver. The only thing I can take from the coffee is that he’s not happy. That insecurity has taken root in his brain and grown like a weed. This makes me sadder than I’m comfortable admitting. Life throws things in your path that can make you or break you. It’s what it does. Your two options are: climb or wallow. That’s it.

I now know that I have walls around my lil’ heart, walls that I wish were shorter but walls that are manageable, nonetheless. That’s all any of us can do with our issues- don’t delude ourselves about their existence and learn to get by with them as best we can.

That coffee date was unequivocal proof that he was never the guy for me. We were left to our own devices for a year and became completely incompatible with each other. I don’t know what that means, but I do know that I can now relax the fortress a little bit because he was never a Big Love, but a blip. A blip that probably should have ended when he had a three month affair with a coltish bartender who had the doe-eyed awkwardness of Bambi walking on ice, but instead limped and blipped on for another three years. Maybe this means that I don’t have to look at every man who crosses my path through a prism of “How are you going to fuck me over and take away my freedom?” Maybe this means that I can put on my flip skirt and swish through the streets, singing softly under my breath and smelling apples in the marketplace, red lips curved into a Mona Lisa smile.

Stranger than truth

4 Sep

I’ve swore off internet dating.

For the thirteenth time.

I wasn’t ecstatic at the thought of returning to Plenty of Fish, but a dry fortnight turned into a dry month that turned into dirty dreams about the cute butcher with shoulders like a Frigidaire and, since I was coming dangerously close to dry humping a random stranger, I sighed and dusted off my profile.

I started chatting to a guitarist in a punk band- continuing my almost comical weakness for creative types, something I blame entirely on my ex-boyfriend. He was a bass player. Who wrote poetry about me. I’d watch his fingers glide nimbly over the frets at his gigs and swoon like some puffed up, rubenesque Edie Sedgwick. It was heady. He ruined me.

Anyway, The Musician seemed nice at first. Funny, clever, bearded. We organised a date and worked on bonding through unbearably witty text exchanges. However, as is so often the case with men on dating sites, it got weird.

If I didn’t immediately reply to a text, he would message me again.

And again.

And again.

I’d reply. We’d chat. I’d stop.

My phone would chirp.

Again.

And

Again.

There are several things that you don’t want to find yourself doing before a first date. Flinging outfits around the room in a clichéd Hollywood montage is one, and saying “Oh, for fuck sake” in a slightly resigned tone when your phone beeps is another. One morning I woke up to this:

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He was into fish, alright? He worked in an aquarium store. No, I’m not making that up. Yes, it is ironic given that he was on Plenty of Fish and…whatever. Truth is sometimes stranger than…whatever. Let’s move forward.

We’d been chatting until late the night before and I needed a lame manatee meme at 8a.m. as much as I needed one at any time of the day, which is: not at all. I deleted the text and rolled over.

8:30 a.m. – Not a fan of manatee humor, huh?

8:40 a.m. – More of an Emperor Penguin girl?

10:03 a.m. – How’s your day?

11:15 a.m. – 

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11:17 a.m.

download

12:45 p.m – You sleep late, Cinderella

3:32 p.m. – How do you feel about anal bleaching?

Anal bleaching finally garnered a response, though perhaps not the one he was after. I told him that he’d manatee’d me to death. Oh, the hu-manatee. The date was cancelled and my Plenty of Fish account ignored for a few months.

A few weeks ago, I logged in to delete the account once and for all. My brief presence on the site was time enough for a Beneficial Friend from earlier to jump back on the hook. (Ha! See what I did there?) Long story short, I had an uncategorizable tryst with this fellow late last year. He cancelled a few dates and gave me a case of the crankies- which sounds suspiciously like an STD, but is actually the by-product of standing me up to do cocaine with a club-footed flight attendant, or stewardess, or whatever the politically correct term for those overly-coiffed sky whores is.

That part isn’t even true. Just funny.

The truth is that he jerked me around and I abruptly terminated our beneficial agreement, ignoring his subsequent text messages. After seeing me pop up on Plenty of Fish his beseeching texts resumed, escalated to a spot of friendly social media stalking, and, well, since a dry month had turned into a dry…um…anyway, let’s just say he wore me down to a nub and I agreed to see him again.

It wasn’t a date. It was an unclassifiable evening. I was simply a selfish girl using an equally selfish man for a mutually beneficial transaction. You might think that makes me a tramp. I wish I could care. I don’t indulge in casual sex nearly as often as this blog suggests. Too much of it can make you feel empty. It’s refilling a glass with fluid that slowly evaporates as a dry week turns into a dry month, but topping the glass up too often sends spidery cracks splintering down the sides. No amount of casual sex is worth the amazing feeling of waking up next to someone who gives you a look that says, ‘Golly, I’m glad that you exist and that you happen to be naked beside me at this point in time’. No amount of emotionless physicality is a trade for real chemistry with another person, and I would never relinquish that. My x-rated business transaction was little more than scratching an itch. I reasoned that instead of slowly fucking my way through the men of Sydney, I was recycling. It was ingenious. I was cutting the sleeves off an old shirt and pinning a gaudy brooch to it in the hopes that I could flog one more wear out of it.

At the beginning of the evening, I was waiting at the bar while he went to the bathroom. Upon returning, he slipped a hand in the back pocket of my jeans. “I saw this chick with a fantastic ass standing at the bar,” he murmured in my ear, “and I got a little buzz when I realised she was with me.” Ugh. Player. Still, it was nice that the squats I had been steadily doing at the gym were acknowledged, even though he was admitting to checking out other women on our unclassifiable-evening without expressly admitting it. Which is poor form. It’s the almost-dating equivalent of looking over the shoulder of the person that you are talking to at a party in case someone better is behind them. But, this wasn’t a date, so I let it slide. I made a flippant comment about how all men should worship my perfect derrière. Then I had to explain what a derrière was. Then I had to assure him that I wasn’t French. I think he was disappointed. Our drinks arrived, I took a swig and the evening whirled from Coogee to The Retro to, bafflingly, The Marble Bar where we drank overpriced vodkas and mocked the rich people around us.

The following morning his hand woke me up, and I can say with total certainty that a cold digit fumbling your private parts is a subpar alarm clock. I rolled over, giving a half-asleep snuffle that was hopefully adorable- but probably closer to the noise that a suckling piglet makes- and politely explained that, at 6.30 in the morning, the only horizontal action I’d engage in consensually was sleep. At daybreak, I usually wanted nothing stiffer than a double espresso inside me. I wasn’t actually human until the sun was up for a few hours. In fact, he wasn’t speaking to CC at the moment, he was dealing with CC’s representative, and she can be crabby when groped in the bleak light of dawn. We kissed and I rolled over, letting out another snuffle and burying my face in a pillow that smelt strangely metallic.

Two minutes later, the sheet lifted, tickling my back. I figured he was going to the toilet. The sheet hung, suspended in the air like a half pitched tent. I frowned into the pillow. What on earth is going on? There was a small moan, a guttural noise of (hopefully) delight, and, finally, a rhythmic squelching.

He was jerking off.

With my face now arranged in utter mortification, and buried in sheets that had the unmistakable odour of the rejected early morning advances of women past, I began to wonder what the etiquette for such a situation was. Did I lie perfectly still? Lift my rear end slightly to pose? Pop on some porn? Roll over to offer a hand?

Fuck that, I thought. I don’t like anyone enough to give them a mildly hungover handjob at dawn.

As the squelching sped up, I figured that the best thing to do would be to feign sleep and hope that he didn’t finish on my leg. I lay still, indulging in the sort of self talk that comes when you find yourself having front row seats to- and seemingly being the star of- a male masturbation fantasy. I reasoned that this was simply a gentlemanly gesture. He was rocking me to sleep. Like a lewd lullaby. He was holding the sheet up in the air in case I was too warm. Maybe it was an obscure compliment- maybe he was suggesting that I’m hot. It was pornographic praise. I did tell him to worship my ass, I thought to myself. Maybe he took me literally. Eventually- finally?- he finished. There was a slapping sound that I imagined was him somehow high fiving himself. He wiped himself on the sheet, rolled over, nuzzled my hair, pinched the roll of flesh on my belly and asked if I felt like pizza for breakfast.

You probably think that I’m lying. That I’ve graduated from embellishment to balls-out making shit up. I wish I was. I wish I had a normal undefinable evening with a normal uncategorizable man who woke me up by spooning me, or making me coffee, or telling me that I had enough crust to crumb a flathead around my eyes, rather than a fiend that jerks off over me while I pretend to sleep.

I was biting the insides of my cheeks, biting my tongue, biting a knuckle. Doing anything that I could to keep in the giggles that were threatening to erupt. I was shaking with the effort of not laughing. My representative was shrieking at me to get dressed and get the fuck out of the house.

I gathered my clothes and dressed in the hallway. His flatmate chose that moment to pad to the bathroom, and was confronted by a dishevelled, half-naked, rubenesque deer in the headlights. I grabbed my shoes, opened the door, tripped over my feet, and nearly broke a hip falling down the stairs. I regained my balance and threw my head back, letting out great shrieking cackles of laughter.

On the train home I messaged my friend.

“It’s never easy with you, is it?” he replied.

No. It’s probably not. But at least it’s entertaining.

The Definition of Insanity…

4 Jun

…is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

An incident recently happened, an incident that culminated in an email that is too hilarious not to post and poke fun of. This is what happens when you sexually reject an egomaniacal, arrogant, narcissistic, delusional depressive with a penchant for the theatrical. I received this from an ex-boyfriend that has been repeatedly pestering me for sex. I told him no on five separate occasions, got the shits, and finally emailed him and told him to leave me the fuck alone. He went crying to a mutual friend, received no sympathy, told said friend to “fuck off”, and then sent me this. I’ve added my own comments in bold.

No. That’s unfair. To say all that & expect me not to contact you again. [Translation: you touched a nerve with your last email] Please read this whole thing at least.

Then you’ll never hear from me again.

Yes, I am capable of realising when I act like a cunt, & I do have insight. In fact, I’m going to be more honest than I’ve ever been, & I might be a bit of a cunt now, because that last email you sent me was pretty cunty really. I hope I can chalk it up to you quitting smoking or something. [Oh, for goodness’ sake- and he says that he has ‘insight’? Why not just ask if I’m on the rag and throw a block of chocolate at me?] Besides what have I got to loose [pointing out grammatical errors would probably be petty] that I haven’t lost already?

Yes I wanted to fuck you, actually I wanted to go down on you for a good while. [his ‘good while’ equates to two minutes of real time] Make little explosions in your brain. [I think it’s about time that someone explained the female orgasm to this boy] I inadvertently attempted to manipulate you. I thought you might still have a spark for me somewhere [despite constantly hearing otherwise] I thought you might want to just throw caution to the wind, play with a little fire, get drunk and fuck & not worry about all the relationship shit. [Translation: ‘No’ doesn’t actually mean ‘no’. ‘No’ means ‘Get her drunk and try’] I guess I thought if I could get you into bed you might feel something for me again. That’s all. Your right. [grammar! …sorry] I don’t see you so much as a “friend”, as I do an “ex-girlfriend”. I’m not sure at which point the “ex-girl” part was cut out of the equation. I think that’s pretty crucial. The reality is we have a history, as much as you seem to want to forget all about it all. [Golly, I wonder why?]

It’s not like I planned it out, to wait ‘till you were “drunk & trapped”, hell, I felt drunk and trapped because I’m a man and I have instincts and desires [Translation: having a dick is a curse] and a passion for you that goes beyond the superficial, despite what you like to believe about me. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Love + Testicles = Sexual Desire. [Translation: Having a dick is a curse. A curse, I tell you!] Men and women are built differently. Deal with it. Actually, Testicles = Sexual Desire, [Translation: So there! It’s not my fault. It’s my dick’s fault] but Love helps when it comes to monogamy.

I didn’t accuse you of leading me on purposefully. I noticed elements of body language [Translation: I clutched at straws] from you that I took as purely bio-chemical reactions to someone who used to have sex with you on a regular basis, me, remember? I guess you wish you never did. That sucks. I think I was a bit average in bed back in those days, a little mechanical maybe. I guess my ego does want to conquer that particular mountain again. My dick’s bigger than back then you know? [How To Get Women 101: Tell them, in a none-too-subtle way, that your penis has magically grown] Ah, *chuckle*. What a charmer I am. Just like you. My grandmother says you’re not very ladylike you know. Firing those curse words at me. [But writing a lady an email with seven ‘cunts’ in it is perfectly acceptable] Sorry, but I have no one else to talk to now since Glen [a mutual friend] has sided with you, which is to be expected, I’m pretty sure he’s into you as much as I am. I just push through the facade. No wonder I’m so unpopular with the both of you. [Yes, your whimsical honesty is the only reason you are unpopular.]

I don’t believe you ever said “I don’t want to fuck you”, [then you, my friend, weren’t paying attention] at least not in those words [see previous point]. So your use of quotations there is spurious. [something tells me that he is proud of this use of ‘spurious’] You said you didn’t want to “use me”. You said you didn’t want to “hurt me”. You said you don’t want “a relationship”. But you never said you didn’t want to fuck me. That’s exactly what I was clarifying that night. & as soon as I did, gave it my best shot. I went back to watching the movie right? Didn’t press that issue at all [except for the four previous times the issue was pressed until it bled] once I understood where the boundaries were. Yeah, that’s actually what really happened [No. It wasn’t.]. Then you spent the night stewing, I spent my night bawling into my pillow so you wouldn’t hear me. Sure, that’s a fella with only one thing on his mind. You wouldn’t believe the amount of hours my sorry ass has spent crying over you in my life. [Translation: you need to feel really bad about the fact that you refuse to fuck me. Bitch. Prick tease. Lesbian!]

As far as “wasting an hour of your life guilting you”, that’s just arrogant. At first you thought I was calling you a slut, so I don’t know if that’s your conscience talking, [Translation: I wont call you a slut, but I will insinuate it because you are a bit of a slut] when I was actually saying the contrary. & I don’t know how sleeping with an ex-boyfriend would make you slut by anyone’s standards. It was only a waste of an hour for you, because only I got something out of it. That’s not very friendly of you. [Translation: Because it’s ALL. ABOUT. ME. How dare you take the focus off my needs and wants for a second?] A waste is when nobody gets nothing. [Says the boy who went to bed with a wet pillow and a dry willy] It would’ve been charitable of you to have that talk, [Charitable? Charitable. Am I The Patron Saint of Pity Sex?] if you didn’t carry on about it as if I pulled my cock out and stuck it in your face. That would equate to a lack of respect. [‘You never waved your cock in my face?’ Wow. What a prince. It’s good to see boundaries somewhere.]

I really don’t see how my wanting to be intimate with you, proves that I don’t enjoy your company. That is a fundamental flaw in your argument, you seem to think men don’t have emotions or something. Well this man does ok? A copious fucking amount actually. If you can’t tell that I’m a sensitive guy, maybe it’s because you’re insensitive to me. That sounds about right. [Translation: I just gave myself a Joygasm with how clever that sounded] Like I said, caring and sex aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s just a difficult thing for a man to compartmentalise, I think it’s definitely related to having fucked you in the past. At least I never fucked you over, (‘cept over the kitchen bench that time, that was awesome…) […then why do I have absolutely no recollection of it happening?] Am I being too facetious? I think it’s because I’ve upped my meds. Maybe you should try it? [Translation: any woman who doesn’t want to fuck me is crazy and therefore in need of medicating] It’s a chemical thing, the lust I mean. Tricky to get around with anything but sheer willpower [No. It’s not. You just put your grown up pants on and DEAL WITH IT as an ADULT] and a clear understanding of the lines you have set. Which involves talking about it, not having to pretend like I’m a eunuch. [I think that your inability to procreate would indeed be a blessing for the human race.]

“No interest in being your friend and no regard for you as a person.” Well that’s just false. I held you in high regard until you ripped me a new one. [Translation: Bad CC! That’s a very bad CC! You don’t bruise fragile egos!] I’ve spent the last 6 months telling you how much I care for you, respect your intelligence, your cultural learning, independence, attitude etc. [Translation: See? You’re more than just a walking, talking vagina] and how much I want to be there for you. Talk about a waste of time, [Translation: I’ve spent hours trying to prise your knees apart and I get nothing. Nothing. Not even a whiff. Lesbian.] but it’s alright when you’re getting your ego stroked right? Never mind I’ve been wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have an interest in being around you, but really it’s that added dilemma of making what my balls want strictly out of bounds. Castration anxiety. [‘Castration anxiety’? …shouldn’t it be ‘The Blue-Balled Blues’?] It’s an internal conflict. Have I made you laugh yet or are you still frowning at the screen? Whatever.

Alison? [His ex-girlfriend who he is casually fucking] You really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not as black and white as you want to make it. Her & I have an understanding, & I’ve spent plenty of time making sure she is alright. [I am assuming that this takes place in the three minutes that peel by before she is unceremoniously ejected from his bed: ‘Are you okay? Yes? Good. …Then why are you still here?’] I’ve had a lot of CALM conversations with her about it, which is a courtesy you no longer extend. [Gee, I wonder why?] I never led her on, I’ve been honest with her from the start that it was purely casual sex. I’ve never said anything nasty about her. Anything I’ve said to you, I’ve said to her face. [So you have said something nasty…] But you probably think that makes me a cunt. [Yep.] I think it makes me honest. Semantics really. I’ve basically done to her what you did to me back in the day, [Translation: you have the right to treat someone like shit if your heart was broken nine years ago] so it’s kind of funny that you’re getting angry at me about it and defending her, when you don’t know her from a bar of soap. [True. But you did say that she told you that she was in love with you and having casual sex with you was painful for her…] She’s made her feelings “abundantly clear”? Actually she has said she doesn’t know what she wants. [Translation: Therefore, I am free to exploit her] So I don’t know where you’re getting these facts from, except from your own aggravated overly-feminist delusions about what a lecherous villain of a man you think I am.

Is it because I licked your asshole that time? I thought that was a true show of commitment… (I’m just joking okay.) [A paragraph that was nearly edited for the sheer fact that reading it actually makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit.]

So, as you’ve told me twice [five times, actually], I won’t contact you again. After this. Third [Sixth] times a charm. If I pissed you off the other night, this email might well make you homicidal. [Translation: Have I pushed enough buttons for a response yet? Please? Anything- call me a cunt again, I don’t care…just…pay…attention to me!] Sorry. You really need to try & relax & calm down more, for the sake of your nursing at least, if you don’t want to become that cold-hearted, detached and angry [(Lesbian)] woman.

My idea is that true friends can be honest with each other. [Translation: Except when the honesty involves something I don’t particularly want to hear] In order for ex-partners to be friends there needs to be a level of emotional maturity which you’re not really giving me. I guess you could say the same about me. I’ve been working on it. But it requires a bit of give and take from both sides. [Translation: You give me eons of time to talk about my feelings like a hormonal teenage girl and I…take that time.]

You (& Glen) act like you being my friend is some kind of noble gesture on your part, but being around you for me, is like being run through an emotional meat-grinder. You left me. [(Bitch. Lesbian!)] So Ultimately, maybe I pushed things too far on purpose. I can’t cope with you keeping me at arms length constantly. [Translation: Let me fuck you. Please?] If you can’t understand or sympathise with that, then you’re not truly my friend. You’re the same victim-playing neurotic that you were back in the day. [How To Get Women 102: if you can’t harass her into bed you can always try to insult her, maybe it will break her confidence down low enough to fuck you] So I guess some things don’t change. I’m still the “self-centred narcissist” (I’m not sure how that syncs up with my anxiety disorder, maybe it’s a defence against the massive shame and self-doubt I’ve had in the intervening years since you dumped me? Not to mention the molestation & abandonment issues, there I go being the victim), and you’re still the feminist that is convinced I’m a bastard because I like sex, and have minimal notions of romance. I guess that makes me callous to a degree, (scars will do that). [AND I’M PLAYING THE VICTIM?!] I like sci-fi, not chick flicks y’know? [When all else fails, go with a stereotype.] I’ve tried, with the cooking you dinner and such. I’ve never figured out what you wanted in that regard. You never told me. You’ve always expected me to be a mindreader. [With some of the barbed comments that have flown through my head whilst in your company, I’m quietly thankful that you aren’t a mind reader.] Hell, I thought you hated the conventional notion of marriage as much as I did back then. Then look what happened. [Yeah, I got divorced. That’ll teach me.]

Actually, it’s not entirely me. You have a double-standard. You can’t carry on blogging about booty calls, writing about dripping vagina’s [Dripping vaginas?! When have I written about dripping vaginas?! Is my slutty, smutty alter ego updating my blog while I sleep?] & fat naked crazy women, getting into all kinds of extreme media, then turn around and expect a man to treat you as a sensitive romantic. [can somebody give this boy a dictionary with the words ‘persona’, ‘facade’ and ‘self defence mechanism’ highlighted, please?] You send the message that you’re just like one of the fellas, rough and tumble, up for it, bit of a tomboy, then when you get treated like that, [Ha! He admitted it!] you cry foul and pull out the feminist handbook. [Damn, I left my well-thumbed copy of Feminism for Dummies at his house…what on earth am I going to use to cock-block men with now?] You can’t have your cake and eat it too in that respect. If you have the right to be completely crude, then so do I, and any other man you’re with. If you want to be treated like a lady, than you have to act like one. Then I would do my best to be a gentleman and an old-fashioned romantic. That’s where the mixed messages come in for me. [Ah, I see. So you badgering me for a root like a piece of meat is all my fault. Okay, cool. Now I know. I will do my best to act like a demure Betty Draper in the future to stop anything like this happening again.] Maybe I was just raised differently. I always tried to do the right thing by you. Closed relationship? Open relationship? Casual Sex? Rough Sex?! (That never happened, not sure if you’re into that shit either, I’m not really). None of the above? Ok well shit. My bad. Maybe you should have never gotten with me in the first place. Because you’ve done a bang-up job of messing with my head ever since. [(you hideous, horrible, hard to bed lesbian wench)] I never needed any help with that.

It would be good if we could make something work, but, such is life. Maybe do some soul-searching yourself? I’ve admitted I’m fallible. [Have you? Where? All I read was justifications] Realise, that you have again spitefully attacked, & run away from, a guy who would actually do anything to make you happy. Including letting you go. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s real love. [is that what love is? Harassing someone, guilting them, manipulating them and, when all else fails, writing them an offensive and insulting email. Shit. I’ve been doing the whole “love” thing wrong, then.] I want you to be happy even if that means I’m out of the picture. Have a nice life CC. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to figure you out, & I’ll never forget you. [(Lesbian.)]

-Anthony

[Final Translation: You asked me to leave you alone but your words stuck in my head like little, emotion-filled bullets of unfairness; so I had to stew for twenty four hours, binge-read your blog, cry, jerk off, eat a pizza, self medicate with several hundred beers, then fire this email at you. I will leave you alone. However, I will also periodically stalk Chattering Cat and feel indignant if you ever dare to ride a pole that isn’t attached to me.]

I’m in two minds about this- the person who wrote this wants a reaction from me, so posting this could be playing right into his hands. The adult thing would be to smile, delete and block him from all forms of communication. But, that’s boring. And, he is so ridiculous in this email- puffed up with his own sense of grandiosity like some ridiculous, oversexed flamingo- that I have to shred him.

A bit of back story is required to put this in context. Anthony and I were together when I was 21. I left him. In a bad, immature, slightly bitchy way. I married someone else. It didn’t work out. Anthony contacted me again when I was first divorced, wanting to be friends. I agreed. He wanted to catch up with me, to talk about what transpired between us years ago, to clear the air. I agreed. He put the hard word on me to take him back. I told him that I was just out of a marriage and he had a girlfriend. He said that he would leave his girlfriend, Alison, for me. I politely said no. A few weeks later we caught up again. He put the hard word on me again. I said no, politely but firmly. A few weeks later he messaged me. He and Alison had just broken up, did I want to hang out with him? Sure, he was keeping a casual sex relationship up with her, but that didn’t matter…did I want to fuck him now? After this, there were two more times where he either rang or bailed me up and badgered me into giving him another shot. My patience wore thin. I wound up saying “I want to be friends but do not want to fuck you and that isn’t going to change”. His reply was a wounded, “…that’s harsh.” I went on to say that I was a patient woman, but constantly bringing this up was wearing my patience thin and if he wanted to be my friend he should accept my offer of friendship and nothing else. He agreed.

I did want to be his friend because I enjoyed his company and I was incredibly sympathetic to how he felt. I know the feeling- liking someone that you know you can’t have. Anybody who is friends with the opposite sex knows how that feels. It’s hard, it’s painful and it sucks but it can be done. You can acknowledge your feelings without acting on them. I have done it myself. Recently, in fact. So when he repeatedly brought up the possibility of us tumbling into bed together, I told myself to be patient, that it’s not easy to have feelings for a friend.

Friday night, I went over to his house. We had a few drinks and watched a movie. At 1am, when I was too drunk to drive myself home, he put the hard word on me again. Badly. Relentlessly. He told me that I was leading him on by hanging out with him. He insinuated that I was easy: he didn’t understand how I’d fuck all these other men but not him (what other men? I’d like to meet these imaginary fellas. I do hope that they are nice guys, I’d like to think my promiscuous alter-ego is with someone who treats her well). It got so bad that I remember thinking ‘I’m drunk, not drunk enough to kill someone if I got into my car and drove home…but I would certainly lose my licence if I got pulled over…Do I really need a licence?’ I told him no- again– went to bed and left early the next morning without saying goodbye. He sent me an angry text message. I ignored it. He rang me several times. I ignored him. He emailed me. I told him to stop contacting me. He put it back on me: ‘You are the one who rudely left without saying goodbye and haven’t bothered responding to me. I’m trying to see how I’m the bad guy?’ Suitably agitated, I let him have it. I told him that his behaviour was reprehensible, I called him a self-centred narcissist and asked him to stop contacting me because I now had zero interest in being his friend. He stewed, boiled over, and emailed.

And, after telling me that he would leave me alone, he contacted me on Twitter.

My Fellow F*** Ups

22 Nov

I periodically look ridiculous while travelling. I have spoken about weeing on train platforms, embarassing myself in Berlin, and eating butter.

I’m not a complete fuck up, I feel I should point that out. I’m running on equal parts awesome for this trip. But the stories where I bliss out, stay in beautiful places full of friendly people and have a fabulous time aren’t interesting. I could talk about staying in the middle of UNESCO World Heritage Old Town in Bern, by a river so clean you could see the rocks at the bottom of it, but I’d come off as smug. And boring. More boring…more smug? Anyway, those stories are the blogging equivalent of, ‘and then they lived happily ever after’. Naww.

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I’m delighted to realise that I am not the only fuck-up, and I have seen some spectacular offers from fellow travellers.
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The Merits of Executing Retarded People
There was the American I met in Berlin. He told me that he was from Texas with a look that suggested that I should be as impressed by this fact as he was. I’m sure he jerked off to Proud to be an American each night and wiped himself off with a confederate flag at the end.
I asked him where in Texas…Austin?
He laughed. “God, no. I’m from Dallas.”
“Oh, Austin’s cool though, isn’t it? The big live music scene…?”
“No. Well, yes, there’s that, but Austin’s a terrible place, full of liberal hippies.”
And with that statement, he was pigeonholed. “Ah, right.” I go back to my iPad.
“So,” he says, rubbing the door handle. “I was going to grab a drink in the bar later.”
“Oh, really? Good one.”
“If you want to join me…”
And talk about what? Guns? Executing retarded people? How homosexuality is illegal but beastiality is legal in Texas? “No, thanks. I think that I’m just going to do my washing.”
“When it’s done, I mean.”
“Yeah, I might just have a quiet night.” I give him a brief smile, then return to my iPad.
“It doesn’t have to be a late one.”
I raise my eyebrows, sigh internally, then look up. “I’m just really tired, from travelling all day…”
“Is your hair purple?” he interrupts.
“Nup.”
“Oh.” A pause. “It looks purple.”
“Must be the light in the laundry.”

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The Burjoy’s
In the Catacombs, I was behind two young female Americans who irritated me to no end. It wasn’t just the California girl accent, which I find intolerable- sorry, but it’s the ‘like, I mean, totally, oh my god, like, I know, right?!‘ Ugh. It sets my teeth on edge.
I stumbled along behind them as they nattered away about the origin of the bones. The one in the Cal-State hoodie said to her friend, “I mean, this was totally for the poor, there’s no way they’d put the burjoys in here.”
The Burjoy’s? Who, or what, are The Burjoy’s? Is that a French aristocracy I don’t know about? Was it Louis XIV’s cronies? The Burjoy’s sound like the family you don’t invite to the neighbourhood Christmas party because Mrs Burjoy drinks too many white wine spritzers and tells every about Mr Burjoy’s erectile dysfunction.
Of course, she meant the bourgeois. Aside from the fact she mispronounced it- and there is nothing sweeter than a know-it-all mispronouncing something- she was completely wrong. The audio guide would confirm that later. “Oh, wow, so they like, totally put middle class people in here. Ick.”

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The Lads
It’s been my experience that men from London can be breathtakingly arrogant. I met one recently, and when I told him what an arrogant son-of-a-bitch he was (yes, picking me up can be a punishing experience) he replied, “I know. But, come on. Look at me.”

In Munich I was lucky enough to hear a conversation where two lads from east London were trying to pick up two Italian girls.
“Are you French?”
“Italian.”
“Oh. Hola, Señorita, eh?”
“That’s Spanish.”
“Yeah I know,” he struggles briefly, fear evident in his eyes, but recovers the cockiness and plunges ahead, throwing a twig he has been busily shredding in his hand at one girl. “So, what are you doing later?”
“Nothing with you, hombre.”
“Call him a bendejo,” I yelled.

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Drop Bears, Mate
Finally, there was the crazy fellow on the Paris Metro doing ballet exercises. He was mid fifties, wearing bright blue tights, his blonde curls leaking from his red bandanna. He was trying to engage the people around him to no avail and, since crazy men are drawn to me like whores to clear heels, he targeted me. Since crazy is my bread and butter, I responded.
After chatting to him for a bit he was downgraded from ‘crazy’ to ‘eccentric’.
“Are you American?” he asked. *toe point*
“Australian.”
“Aha! Australia, mate! Americans, they…” He struggles for the word before miming spitting on the ground. *plie* “Australia, is good, oui?”
And, I just couldn’t help myself. “Yes, except it’s really dangerous there.”
“Dangerous?”
“Yeah, with all the drop bears.”
He frowned. I explained that drop bears are carnivorous marsupials that jump from the trees to attack you. He looked aghast.
“My grandad was killed by one…” Eyes downcast.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, he got off the train before I could tell him that we ride kangaroos to work. One of the bonuses of being in a country where few people speak your language is the ability to mess with them. I know, I’m awful.

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Getting Your Cheek Licked in Amsterdam

6 Nov

So…I met a guy.

I hadn’t intended to. I had just arrived in Amsterdam and was happily watching ridiculously attractive men speed past on bicycles. Gorgeous Dutch guys litter the streets there, like an Armani catalog has spilled onto the pavement. They are so good looking that they are actively intimidating. Many an hour would be lost spent biting my bottom lip with a goofy look on my face as they zoomed past like male models on wheels.

Anyway.

The fellow at the next table asks if he can join me. Of course. We start to chat. He’s a computer programmer, Turkish born but based in Germany. In Amsterdam on business. The conversation quickly plunges through surface chit-chat to become more in depth: media bias, corruption, WikiLeaks, protesting… He seems like an interesting guy- if not a bit intense- and he asks me to have a drink with him when I get to Germany. Lovely. We make the 21st century bonding move of becoming Facebook friends.

Two days later he contacts me. He is back in Amsterdam and would I care for a drink?

Here is where my occasional naïveté becomes painfully apparent. I have plenty of male friends, so it is nothing at all for me to meet someone for a drink, and I never assume that doing so constitutes a date. However, I may be an exception rather than a rule when it comes to being friends with the opposite sex. The majority of people would consider this a date. He certainly did. Even though he showed up slightly drunk.

Awkward.

He was the caricature of intoxicated- glasses askew, Heineken hidden in a coat pocket…a hiccup and some bubbles would have just completed the picture. He assured me that Germans drink beer like water, so giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he was just dehydrated.

He asked me if I was single, when I answered in the affirmative he demanded to know why.
I’m having a post divorce Eat. Pray. Love. moment. Although, hopefully, my experience is more Drink. Play. Shag.
“I just want to be single for a little while and travel.”

He asked me about Australia. I told him the stories that all Australians know, fascinating him in the process. He stopped me, mid sentence, to tell me that he thought I was cute and he loved listening to me talk.
Um, thank you.
-You’re very animated.
*awkward laugh* Thanks.
-And you have beautiful eyes.
Right, um, about the platypus…

Shortly after this he takes a deep breath, drains the rest of his wine in one swallow, interrupts me again, and asks to kiss me.

It was a change from the standard Aussie male who clubs the sheila over the head and drags her back to the cave for a root. Nonetheless, I agreed.

Now, I can tell everything I need to know from a kiss. All of my ex-anything’s have given me butterflies. When it comes to matters of the heart I am ruled by intuition, ovarian clangs and chemistry. There is no other way. I am intangibly picky. Capricious CC, if you will.

I lean in and give my Turkish friend a kiss.

And it was awful. Just awful. Stiff lipped. Cold. He sucked my tongue. Uh-huh. And he licked my cheek. Yes, he licked my cheek. Like a happy Labrador. I expected him to cock his leg and mark his territory.

He whispered that he could kiss me forever. At least it would be some practice. When his hand started climbing somewhere, I drained the rest of my wine in a gulp, and told him I had to leave.
-What?
Well I’m writing a blog post and I only took a quick break from it and I really want to get back and finish it.
-You write? He said with a dreamy expression.
Yes, so I’ll catch you later…
-Don’t be silly. Stay for one more wine.
No, I really have to get back.
-Just one more wine. I insist.
No, really.
-I’ll buy it, he said standing up.
I really can’t, I’m on a deadline.

Yes, I said that. A deadline. A fucking deadline. Like I’m Woodward or fucking Bernstein. I’m a terribly important blogger, you see. My site receives so much traffic, I have a responsibility to my tiny audience. I can’t keep them waiting.

In my defence, I was just reacting to the pushy bastard. I hate being bossed around by anyone. Especially- and I’m sorry to say this, guys- a man. Fuck that. So I stood up and dug my heels in like the stubborn old goat that I am.

Walking back, I make an off-the-cuff comment about wanting to see Belgium. He stops.
-Tomorrow I will take you.
I beg your pardon? “Uh, I wasn’t suggesting anything like that.”
He pulls me close. He will drive us there. The letters B and M are dropped, followed shortly by a W- as if to impress me.
“I can’t just drop everything and go to Belgium with you. I have paid for my hostel for the rest of the week.”
He tells me that money is no object. He will pay. For everything. And apparently he only stays in “nice” hotels.

Let me just set the scene: he’s walking me through the streets of Amsterdam, we have stopped on a bridge overlooking a canal, lights twinkling in the reflection of the water from the old style street lamps that litter Leidsestraat. There is a light drizzle, and our breath makes puffs in the air as we talk. He stops and looks at me, “CC, I think I’m in love with you.”

Now, I know I embellish a lot on this blog to make things funnier or more entertaining, but that moment is no embellishment. I promise. It actually happened. To me. Two weeks ago.

“Piss off,” I said, firing up. “You don’t love me. What’s my middle name? What’s my favourite colour? How do I take my coffee? You don’t know me, you definitely don’t love me, and it’s utter bullshit that you are telling me that you do.”

It was first time I have used the words ‘bullshit’ and ‘piss off’ in response to The L Word. With good cause, I believe. We had one drink. One. It was the travelling equivalent of a first date.

It was bittersweet, to be honest. If it happened with someone I had been seeing for a while and was getting serious about? Swoon. Total movie moment. It would pretty much guarantee them a daily b- never mind.

But this particular situation- and I say this with a grudging acknowledgement of the romance factor- was far too much, way too soon. It made my skin crawl. I wanted to leave with the urgency usually reserved for explosive diahorrea.

I didn’t want him to know exactly where my hostel was. However he wanted to walk me to my door because “some man may try and take you from me.”

Ugh.

I can look after myself perfectly well. I pride myself on a certain level of toughness and independence. I did, after all, meet this man in a foreign country that I had travelled to solo.

The following day he would message me, “Good morning :)”
Half an hour later, “Why aren’t you replying?”
Then, “Is everything okay?”
Ten minutes after that, “Have I done something wrong?”
And later that evening, “Why have you stopped talking to me? :(”

I deleted him from Facebook. The 21st century ‘you’ve pissed me off’ move.

I would later meet someone in Amsterdam, a Kiwi fellow. Normal. Yes, that’s a relative term, but he hit my level of normality. Funny as hell. And, he didn’t lick my cheek.

I wound up in Bruges after all. It’s the perfect city to share with someone. Drinking Belgium hot chocolate, strolling hand in hand down cobbled streets, huddling together for warmth during horse-drawn cart rides- textbook romance. I still had fun by myself. Once you have weathered the storms of tears and red wine, Single-Island isn’t so bad. I’m holding out for someone who gives me the feeling that can best be described as ‘drowning in happiness’, and I’m not settling for less.

Besides, there’s no way I could have agreed to his offer. I wouldn’t have spent a cent, but it would have cost far too much. I would have been transformed into a prostitute. A prostitute with purple hair that talks about platypii. A prostitute that takes the butterflies that she believes in so fiercely and squashes them to save money on a hotel room. Some things are worth more than a free trip the Belgium.

However, when I am 80, reflecting on my life with my nipples resting gently on my knees, I’ll look back on the memory fondly. I’ll remember being a young, idealistic lass on the streets of Amsterdam and I will smile.

If I don’t get lung cancer first.

Or get hit by a bus.

Which is a distinct possibility if I don’t start remembering that they drive on the other side of the road in Europe.

So guys, there’s a little lesson on how to pick the yuck trifecta: suck a tongue, come on strong, then act possessive and clingy. That’s proven to be the quickest way to repel women. Honestly, I’m surprised the sound of my knees slamming together wasn’t heard back in Sydney. Listen out for it next time.

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