Telly’s fading light

We used to have a thing.

Me and the Telly.

We would meet every night, around 8.30 to bask in each other’s light until, satisfied with my daily bout of visual stimulation, my ‘just resting’ eyelids would dampen my consciousness into a helpless, exhausted slumber on the family micro suede lounge.

My Telly would watch over me, whispering sweet god knows what into my shell like (the one not crushed into pins and needles upon the lumpy cushion), standing guard until I’d finally manage to remotely kill it and drag my pop-culture drugged body and brain to my waiting bed.

This went on for a couple of years. I would hang out to give in to this always waiting nightly companion, to indulge its silliness or seriousness; it never stood me up…unless there was a power blackout and candles became my fairweather friends.

Granted, sometimes Telly was a bit boring and repetitive, but I forgave it and pushed through those times with gritty determination not to lose our connection, sealed with my inevitable petite mort.

Telly was my daily release from the stresses of full time work, accommodating the needs of growing children, keeping my mind off emotionally draining personal issues. Until…

Telly began to appear jaundiced, less interesting, untrying, no longer addressing my fickle changing needs. I’d seen and heard it all before, the predictable one-liners, ulterior motives, self-serving messaging and imagery. Our connection was waning.

And my head was eventually turned by another more soothing, dependable suitor.

My Bed.

Pimped with new linen, soft lighting, a plethora of bedside novels, my Bed and I began a torrid affair that continues to this day.

Some mornings I can barely drag myself away from my Bed and the hollow I’ve made in the very fabric of its soul. We eat together, read together and sleep together, often enjoying an afternoon delight I could never dream of experiencing with Telly.

Occasionally I flirt with Telly, and although I sometimes hanker for those old days, I know the magic’s all but….gone, like the pinprick of light in the centre of the screen when “there’s no more Telly, it’s time to go to bed, as Neil from the Young Ones was want to moan.

We know each other intimately, embracing each other’s faults and lumps, celebrating them no less! Bed doesn’t try to sell me new PJs to replace my old faves, instead becoming my bed clothes without complaint or jibe.

We even have our own song…Gonna live while I’m alive, and sleep with my Bed.

Thanks for the inspiration Jon Bon Jovi.original-philips-television-ad-retro-tv-1960s

 

Howling with a heavy brogue

IF a man indulges in casual sexism in an unintelligible accent, is he really being an ignorant oaf?

Or consider this.

If a woman doesn’t realise she is the butt of a man’s casual sexism, does it mean she’s no longer a feminist?

Hard hitting questions, all.

This post is a confusing one for me to write – so I’ll just tell it as it happened, because, it was an amusing blip in my otherwise ordinary day.

It was a Monday. I’d happily survived another one and was walking post-work from the train station to where I park the car – about a five minute walk; I’ve convinced myself if I don’t have time for formal exercise on any given day, at least I walked briskly for 10 minutes. And used the stairs instead of the lift. And only had two chocolates at 3pm with a cup of tea.

Deep in aimless, western society thought…what should I make for dinner, damn I forgot to book the dogs in for a groom, again, that champagne on Saturday was really nice, what brand was it…I was pulled from my mental meanderings by a rogueish brogue.

Well. I didn’t know that’s what it was until my mind had caught up with the situation – someone was talking to me, or attempting to.

As I turned my head toward the train station access road beside me, I noted a white 4WD ute had slowed to walking pace and a male driver, dressed in hi-viz, was talking out his open window. Probably to me. Because there was nobody else around.

My thoughts began to speed up, I checked my surroundings wondering if he was slowing to give me a warning about some sort of nearby danger, maybe someone was nicking my car, but how would he know which car was mine, and why do we suddenly think these weird sorts of things?

There was only one thing to do.

“I beg your pardon,” I genuinely asked, looking for clarification of the impending danger.

“Yaprollydoneffennohowotyearrrr,” came the repetitive, slur-ry reply.

Now, I know the helpful grinning man was repeating his statement so I could better understand it, but it sounded just the same, only slightly slower.

As my brain worked overtime to decipher it, and matching it with his boofhead smile, I instinctively realised bodily danger was not imminent. Besides, there was a fence and a car between him and me.

And then it clicked.

“You probably don’t even know how hot you are,” was the helpful offering of life advice, in a thick Irish brogue.

And what was my brilliant reply?

“Okey doke.”

Brilliant! A wordsmith without the wherewithall to wield them.

Well, what was I supposed to say? And what was it all supposed to mean?

But, back to my first question – was this harmless gent a sexist oaf?

No. I think he thought he was giving me a compliment. Because, it’s a looong walk from the train station to the deserted car park and I don’t know how much more silence I could have endured without a reassuring ‘compliment’ from a stranger. Withdrawals already!

We women need reassuring that we are hot, don’t we. I will refrain from making a dad-joke about the weather at this point. (Ooops, was I being sexist then? Sorry dad.)

Was I being an anti-feminist by not calling him out as a sexist or in fact, not realising that’s probably what he was being? It only became clearer when watching this week’s hooha following Chris Gayle’s clumsy and inappropriate flirtation with TV sports reporter Mel McLaughlin. I’m a bit slow on the uptake some days.

I say inappropriate because it’s not nice to show someone up in public for your own entertainment. If a romantic relationship did eventuate from this shallow televised attempt, expect more of the same top quality respect for your feelings. Privately and publicly.

But, unsurprisingly, I digress.

In a nutshell, I was momentarily confused. I didn’t feel like a victim, because I don’t think our Irish friend set out to make me feel that way. I think Chris Gayle distinctively did. Ms McLaughlin certainly didn’t appear as a slaughtered lamb.

So, I am not an anti-feminist for just ‘shaking my head’ at the thoughtless things some men will do to communicate to a woman that they think they’re a bit of alright. I don’t think I needed to take any stronger action…I think my ‘okey doke’ will have convinced him beyond doubt of his stupid, sexist actions…pfffffttt!

But, seriously guys, what do you want us women to do when you offer an uninvited impression of our attractiveness? Scale the fence between us, clamber through your open window and plant sloppy, thankful kisses all over your dusty, stubble-pocked face, then use a hanky to wipe the spittle away and remind you to put your dirty work clothes in the laundry basket and not on the bedroom floor?

No. Well, behave then.

On another aside, we women don’t publicly voice our impressions of men’s physical appeal because from the moment we are born little girls are conditioned to behave politely and be sensitive to the feelings of others. It’s as simple as that. Or is it?

Blokes, it’s time to be awesome role models for the little men in your lives. It can’t just be mum’s job any more.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Picture: Norbert Rosing/Getty Images

 

 

My lunch date with Bachie: A report

I HAD lunch with Bachie the other day. Yes, the ‘Bachelor’, Perth’s own ‘dirty street pie’ Blake Garvey!

He didn’t know it, is all.

The funny (peculiar, not ha ha) thing about our lunch was that I was on another date. But he was to! Arriving at our location with a mate – true love Louise nowhere to be seen.

Wearing a baseball cap, mirror sunglasses, a crisp blue singlet and boardies (I didn’t get to see if his sandgroper feet were clad in those awful surfer joe thongs), he wedged his broad shoulders decisively through the front door towards me, lips closed in a very familiar way…before heading straight outside to a balcony table.

It was then I realised who I had been staring at. And it wasn’t my date!

But I digress…

Meet Danny the Irishman. I know I only posted a few days ago and that I’m skipping ahead several weeks from my last victim, and I will return there before long dedicated groupies, but I feel I must capitalise on my celebrity spotting while people still ‘care’ (factor nil and falling) about the Bachelor (capitalisation due to noun-ishness).

I would care about my own bachelors, if they would let me, that is. While handsome and healthy, this very serious Northern Ireland gent was described by ‘the agency’ as having golf as his passion. Clearly a love of birdies would be an extension of this utter abandon, but alas, not this rare albatross.

As the afternoon wore on, I could see him checking his watch and the stronger the Freo Doctor blew, the more agitated he seemed.

I jokingly asked him if our meeting meant he’d had to miss out on a round of golf, to which he replied how frustrating it was to drive so far from his southern golf course home when there were plenty of closer establishments that would allow him adequate time to also indulge his sporting obsession.

To be fair, we had a nice chat, although we seemed to have a different sense of humour, ie he didn’t have one. Maybe it was nerves. Or putter withdrawal.

And unlike the stereotypical Irishman in my mind’s eye, he didn’t sing, play an instrument, or do the jig. He did however enjoy a pint of Rogers. I stuck to my Japanese green tea.

Anyway, he was very businesslike, shaking my hand at our departure, as if the former Irish golf national competitor, actually did have something much more important and passionate to do.

I felt like a bit of a dodo (completely rare!), but happy to return to my own familiar green, complete with its own bogeys.        

 

Dating male research assistants: Part II

HAVE I learnt anything more about myself or blokes since I last posted about the research project that is my love life?

Of course I have! It’s still sinking in though… so don’t ask me to make too much sense of it all. Yet.

I’ll begin by recapping – the South African rugby player I met for coffee had suffered one too many knocks to the personality zone of his brain while the Gallic gent had ingested far too much garlic in the preceding 12 hours, perhaps thinking I would suck him dry like a vampire.

Sure that I would soon stumble upon a ‘normal’ handsome yet interesting man, I embarked on my third date, with a couple of weeks in between to recoup.

The upmarket location was nice – hopefully that meant my date wouldn’t complain about the coffee. Pommy Dave was already sitting at our table when I arrived. And he turned out to be an easygoing guy with a GSOH, but coffee was not on his menu.

Despite having been out late to a concert with friends and waking with a hangover about an hour before our meeting, he decided a glass of white would go down a treat. I love a glass of bubbly or two but had made a deal with myself not to be that glass of bubbly while conducting this all important research. So I stuck with my green tea.

Dave had no problems in the conversation department. His first topic was how he had treated himself by recently buying a VW convertible. I was clearly supposed to be impressed, so I enthused over what I actually feel is an ugly little midget of a car with barely enough room to fit one let alone two kerbside junk collection chairs in the boot. Good on him though!

He had great teeth, like a good racehorse, nice skin, like a L’Oreal ad, and big blue eyes, a bit like Snugglepot, but I could detect an air of judgement about him. Not necessarily of me, but of people in general. Nothing overt, just a sense from a man who essentially worked as a freelance toe-cutter.   

We discussed daughters – we both have them – and jobs – we both had those, too – and I was really enjoying our banter when it was time for me to leave in time to pick up one of my offspring from her part time job. My, how time flies when you’re having fun…90-minutes had already elapsed.

As we stood up to go to the counter I realised my new friend was at least 10cm shorter than me (and I was wearing flat sandals) with a rotund beer belly poking out from beneath his deceiving black t-shirt.

It made the car seem a very sensible choice. I know I sound like a spoilt middleclass snob but I don’t want to have to encourage a man to look after his own health – he should already be aware of that at our age, right? This info was something I definitely provided to the agency when outlining my list of desirables. I don’t need another pet to train or cater to. I want a friend I am insanely attracted to and who is crazily enamoured with me, who wants to do some of the things I want to do for several long and happy years. Yes, I know. I’m possibly asking too much. Is that unrealistic? After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

But, part of another afternoon spent with a nice fellow human being of the opposite gender; at least my confidence talking to men in something other than a work-like mode was slowly developing.

And that is what I was beginning to learn. To have confidence in myself and my ability to hold a conversation that wasn’t a) about my children, b) about my work, or c) just a succession of ungodly jokes normally shared with my cackling coven.

The only men I really meet are in a formal, professional capacity which means I just want to make the necessary connection and then move on – white, middle-class, married, conservative-voting men are not usually of sustained interest to me. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong…naaahhhhh.

Dating male research assistants Vers 1

B&Wimages

The power of love is a curious thing,
Make a one (wo)man weep,
Make another (wo)man sing – Huey Lewis (and The News)

I AM conducting an experiment. And I am the gullible guinea pig.
While no animals are being undeservedly harmed it does involve some unsuspecting assistants.
I call it an experiment because although this was not the intention when I began this “journey” (god, I hate this use of that word, but it seems so appropriate, despite the lack of destination) it is rapidly deteriorating into little more than research.
Some research assistants are given financial reward for their precious time and generosity, in this case the only reward is my one-off company (lucky them…) and perhaps the opportunity to discover the same as I – is there such a thing as being too fussy when looking for a potential life partner?
As I edge closer to the second half of my fourth decade (see how I artfully dodge stating my actual age while maintaining my habitual need to tell the truth) I decided to test the theory that there is someone for everyone, given that my previous 25-year effort was in fact, delusional.
I decided if that was ‘it’ something is seriously wrong – see, I can be optimistic!
So after realising what a sham online dating sites, and their ‘dates’ (appropriate word use), are, I glibly and gullibly coughed up a rather large amount of money to what can only be described as a dating agency. Turns out, I’ve probably done this solely for your reading pleasure! How cathartic for all of us.
I’m not feeling robbed – far from it. I said to myself, if this gets me closer to someone who ‘gets’ me and the feeling is mutual, great, but if it doesn’t, at least I tried and can now strike it off the list and continue my lifelong love affair with, me. And chocolate. And chairs. And sleep. And books. And live theatre. And Europe. And my priceless friends and fam.
Long story short, I’ll introduce you to each of my ‘research assistants’ and explain why we aren’t suited – Names have obviously been changed, but the general ambience is authentic.
Grant, the South African –
A strapping rugby union player with a personality only slightly duller than a football boot’s faded leather.
My initial thought was ‘oh my gosh, is this the calibre of man this dating agency has on its books!’ Then we began talking.
Firstly, the accent grated, but I was sure I could get past that if this handsome specimen could hold his own in a conversation.
Alas, despite being a successful businessman who moved his family from one nation to another, hence starting a new life, his was a banal existence and to make matters worse, a sense of humour could not be detected, signalling the sure but steady death of this barely begun bleep.
But death came swiftly after I probed him for experiences of how he managed to fit in to the West Australian way of life and culture after leaving South Africa.
He regaled me with a tale of he, his wife and children’s first visit to a Perth café and the baffling abundance of coffee choices he faced when he ventured up to order at the counter – his expectation of table service having been disappointed.
Upon returning to the table after ordering the mysteriously named flat whites, he told his wife in no uncertain terms that he would not be doing that (ordering coffee at a café counter) again because “it was her job”.
That was his first mistake.
His later statement, uttered almost secretly, that central Africa would do well if a bomb landed in the general area, was terminal.
This bleeding heart feminist left shaking her head (on the inside).
Jean-Paul, the Frenchman –
Oh, yes, internationally themed dates are so my thing! I love France, can’t resist the language, nation, food, art, music, architecture, fashion blah blah blah. This should be fascinating, I thought.
This FiFo was already anxious to the extreme as said dating agency had mixed up our meeting time, so calming him down was my first duty, after the obligatory double cheek kiss – maybe a little too familiar for a first date…
My next was to listen intently for the next 1.5 hours as he talked about himself ad nauseam while I dodged exuberant puffs of halitostic (yes, I just invented a new word) spittle as he ‘educated’ me about the benefits of being a property mogul, buying property north of the river as opposed to the down-heel south, why he hated his family and refused to communicate with them, how much money he earns working away and how bad the coffee was at the chosen café.
He did not ask me one single question, clearly having no interest in me, or what made me tick, at all.
I patienly observed his side show and began looking for ways to discretely beg my leave. I offered to pay for our coffees, it was the least I could do after making him both wait and cancel an appointment with his property agent due to my unfortunate tardiness.
After finally extracting myself from our table he followed me to the cash register where fopishly thinking he had me hooked, giggled and tickled my ribs with his poky fingers as if I was some come-hitherly dressed beer wench. How ironic that I had to experience the purported arrogance of the French on home soil despite travelling to the Gallic nation more than once.

I just shook my head, on the outside, as I sped walked (yes, that’s a thing) back to my ever-loving car.

I can tell you are fascinated by my first two research assistants but this has been such an outpouring of raw emotion, I must rest. Stay tuned for my next instalment…