Dating male research assistants Vers 1


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…


Work wrangling women: Why they’re wonderful

I work in a team of three other women. Don’t cringe! They are amazing. Together we put out two newspapers each week, including multiple editions for one. How we achieve that, week in week out, with the ordinary, various and constant challenges we each face in our personal lives, never fails to baffle or impress me. Or make me laugh.
With an independent 18-year-old daughter who has already left home and a 15-year-old daughter still at home but who no longer needs me as she did in bygone hours, nay weeks, my life in comparison to theirs, is a bit dull, which is just the way I like it thankyou very much. If you forget the fact that until just weeks ago I was travelling 50 minutes to and from work (and school) in peak hour traffic to sleep in a suburb I rarely saw in the light of day. A month ago I, my remaining daughter and our two dogs, moved house to be 30 minutes closer to our daily pursuits. Enough said about that challenge. We are just starting to feel normal again.
I have also spent time, because I’m obviously a glutton for punishment, trading my car in, and like the awesome grown up I now obviously am, I have a brand spanker (to me) in my new carport. A roller door will arrive in less than two weeks, along with a rapid dip in savings.
But let me share the amusing life challenges being faced by my co-workers. One has a two-year-old and a shift-working husband and a welping pedigree bitch and is required to jam her work into just three days, including after hours meetings.
Another is going through an emotional divorce after less than a year’s marriage. She has moved house four times in the past year and has a tenacious case of chronic insomnia.
My third team member returned to fulltime work a year ago and has two primary school aged children with the usual sporting commitments, a mother who lives in-house and when not recovering from surgery, is an amazing hands-on granny, and a husband who travels every other week for work.
Together they have embarked on an ambitious renovation of their 70s home and the all-important kitchen and bathroom refurbs took place while the man of the house was overseas for two weeks and granny was unable to drive, lift, cook or care for kids. Days of fast food, frazzled nerves, a roving grazing mouse, no hot water and brick-dust covered belongings teamed with a cracker of a flu don’t even tell the half of it.
Most weeks I shake my head with pride at just how good the publications we put out are, with consistently top quality, crafted articles that require the kind of intelligent research and grasp I’m always pleasantly surprised and relieved to know our taxed brains can achieve. All while having our well-deserved cake and eating it distractedly, too.


It’s a word that takes some getting used to when you hit your 40s – you know it’s that misty, rocky landscape over the horizon and although it looms larger every year despite encroaching myopia, you persistently backpedal which can look slightly clumsy and undignified when you’re on a one-way street with signs that scream ‘Wrong Way Turn Back’.
Making the journey even more perilous, is the fact I’m still riding my penny-farthing, balancing high on that big solo wheel, five years after falling off my tandem cycle – well, I temporarily lost balance after an unscheduled dismount by the other rider in favour of a bike 15 years his junior.
But that’s old news now. And there it is again, that word, old…the fact it rhymes with mould doesn’t help.
But I have a sneaking suspicion I may already be too old for some things. Rubbish! I hear you gasp – so, you’re in denial too!
Short skirts. I never was a huge fan, they are so restrictive to freedom of movement. But now I feel as though onlookers may think I fancy myself as a leg of butterflied lamb as opposed to a gently spiced lamb curry, if my skirt is too far above the (slightly sagging) knee.
Blonde hair. There is an unfortunate Japanese phrase (which escapes me right now) that means you look good from behind, but the reality is disappointing when you turn around. I’m not as blonde as I naturally once was, but am acutely aware blonde is the favoured hue of the greying. I have visions I may look as though I’m wearing one of those mole-ridden, pointy-nosed witch masks on the opposite side of my hirsute head.
A sports car. It’s so cliché, even for women, to be seen driving ‘topless’ and in their middle years – it harks of a desperation when I know it’s just the joy of finally being able to afford one and loving the feel of the wind in your thinning hair.
Chewing and/or bubble gum. It looks bad enough when teens masticate monotonously, but apparently it’s good for dental health, unless your fangs are acrylic.
Café canoodling. Young couples in Paris are admired but maturing folk enthusiastically resurrecting the joy of a good long pash in public risk appalled stares, if not tomatoes.
Wearing a bikini. The Germans have the right idea, bare it all regardless of age and size. And I’m still wearing my black bikini on relatively unpopulated beaches but it’s just a matter of time before my full piece rules the waves.
I’ll check in with a few additions in weeks to come, when I remember what they are;)

Hello cruel world!

Monday, January 13, 2014

HELLO world! Aaaah, the blank page. It’s been whiter than white since Jan 10, 2012 – that’s basically two years! Talk about writer’s block.

So. I had this grand idea to start a blog, focussing on life following the disintegration of my 23-year relationship, with two daughters in tow – that was two years ago, and three years after the offending development. Not a depressing offering by any means, just the oft-times ironic, sardonic and mostly platonic (mis) adventures in my strange new world of solo womanhood coupled with the added attraction of parenting.

It is now five years since my family broke apart and we are still separated – and shall happily remain in eternity – but have formed as new girl-power entity where the loss of partner and father, while sad, we have happily adjusted to. Even though it did feel as though that would never, ever happen. Take heart, time and finding your inner macho girl, provides an excellent spawning ground for new coping skills and practical talents. I still insist on wearing my rose-coloured glasses though;)

Self-indulgent? Probably. I’ve been perpetually writing blogs in my mind – I write for a living – and will post some oldies that I did manage to scratch out a couple of years ago, and hopefully be committed enough to regularly update my musings – life as a 40-something not-so-newly separated mother of two daughters has been an interesting roller coaster ride. Welcome aboard – bring a sick bag.