It is now officially 3 years to the day that I started writing “The Problematic World of Lou” – quite fitting given how things have been panning out for me over the last week or so. It’s no big leap to say that when it comes to many of my stories that I reference my life, events, people I meet, conversations I would rather not have had or currently be having and when a friend of mine was recently pushed to give my blog a genre for an article they were writing they summed it up as ‘a series of vignettes about how some people (namely Lou) just attract the inappropriateness of humanity and we the reader delight in it because it’s not us.’ I did point out to him that as far as I was aware a complete sentence basically further cementing the often at times crap encounters of my life was not in fact a definition of genre but more an opinion. He threw something back at me along the lines of this is why things always cock up for me because of my limited understanding of the MTV generation and then asked why I’d insisted on wearing flat shoes to the photo shoot coinciding with the article as there really was no need to exacerbate my shortness, it could very well make the readers uneasy what with me being photographed so close to the ground and everything.
The thing is regardless of whatever impression my stories or shows give I’m actually a rather private person (ok, granted, after a couple of bottles of wine I’ve been known to hear myself say “shoosh, yep, don’t tell anyone but I watch Criminal Intent with the volume down cause Vincent Dinofrio’s the only porn I’ll ever need…shoosh, oh no…I think I just lost my shoe…again”).
When I was about 21 my oldest friend went as far to say that when it came to my personal life I could’ve been with someone for 25 years and have two kids and yet still refer to them when questioned as ‘oh that’s just someone I’m seeing for now, it’s early days, I don’t really want to get into it.’ I thought that whatever my friend was waxing lyrical about was complete bullshit though granted at the time I was living with a guy and still found it hard to refer to him as anything other then ‘the guy that pays the other bit of rent. – but I wasn’t going to let her revel in such a poorly achieved victory.
Years later a boyfriend of mine confirmed this aversion I had to revealing anything about my personal life when he told me that it had taken me nearly a year to stop referring to him in public as ‘a friend of a friend.’ Ok, so perhaps I had a problem, but I was in my early twenties and as far I was concerned other people’s lives were far more interesting and back then and to be honest even now I’m a big believer in never actually admitting something is real or happening because that’s roughly about the time that you come home to find your partner sitting in your studio apartment that you’ve rented together, that same flat you pay for out of your joint checking account only to find him crying into the mail because you just received a joint invite address to the both of you to attend a friends BBQ and he’s now concerned that people might think our relationship was more than that of friends, which tragically after being together for about 2 years was news to you.
But even at that point, experiencing that slightly surreal situation I was still hell bent on not writing or documenting anything about my life. I’d write plays about modern celebrity and the inherent loneliness of coming to terms with a lack of talent, I’d write comedy sketches for socially and politically skewed comedy programs about the indigenous community and we’d call them subversive, short stories about beds that could fly (yes, all very Freudian), films about a brother and sister hustler team and a guy getting sexually abused at a party – basically anything not to write or put any of myself out there for people to see, criticise or judge – because it’s much easier to argue justice for a fictional character to be captain of the netball team cause sure she might be short and not nearly as zippy as the rest of her long limbed counterparts but she has a passion for the game and that should count for something eh? Eh? (note: please don’t get the impression that my time in the Sandringham Starlets moulded me into who I am today – I was crap and even with my tenacity they decided to let the retarded girl from the care centre take court before me, but to be honest her hand-eye coordination was masterful and in hindsight her promotion over me was well deserved).
It wasn’t until just before I moved to Melbourne 3 years ago that I started writing about myself. The blog came about as a result of a bad break-up that saw my social skills take a dive along with basic hygiene (in short I suffered from a chronic bout of embarrassment that seemed only to be remedied with 3 solid months of going to the pub down the road everyday and drinking till I passed out only to wake up near a gutter with a cheeseburger nearby, eating it and then passing out again) – I realised at that point that if this was where my embarrassment led to that maybe writing about what was going on might be therapeutic but I really need to reiterate that it was not to be confused with “painting therapy” which I think is at best an indulgent and completely uninformed use of expression (let’s just say I had a bad experience when I painted something in pink and my therapist said it probably meant I was allergic to wheat or perhaps frigid – quite clearly only one of those things is true).
I was walking to dinner with a new friend the other night and I told him about a project I was getting involved in – he niggled me a bit about it being somewhat based in truth because that’s all I ever wrote about. It didn’t matter that the part wasn’t written by me and was set in a 1930’s war bunker, there was nothing funny about that – no it was much more entertaining to assume that my realm of creativity possibility was only limited to ideas based on myself. When I went to respond to his generalisation he encouraged me to walk faster and with nothing pertinent to say back to him I distracted myself with this new task he has lay before me. He then remarked that this would probably end up in my blog and at the time I honestly thought it wouldn’t – it was a moment that lacked drama, context, and narrative purpose. Of course now, given the post-modern inference of this blog entry it seems perfectly at home, (much like me inside my two dooners and the DVD box set of Peep Show) and that idea that because I’ve now put my life on stage and online that everyone I meet, every conversation I have must become fodder for a story….is complete and utter rubbish – there are many day-to-day humiliations I don’t need people to know about, like how yesterday I sat having dinner with a friend while we all had a go at putting “Quickie condoms” (yes, they’ve invented condoms that go on quick – apparently there was a gap in the market) on our thumbs and then mine got caught because I broke the quick release trigger and got lubricant all over my new shoes…
…Ok, so maybe next week I’ll try less of the self-referential stuff, just as soon as I find something to wipe my hands on.
Hi – just a quick note – I wanted to say thanks for all of you for being such avid readers. Without you writing this blog would be like putting make-up and a pretty dress on and just sitting in front of my mirror occasionally touching myself and pretending it’s someone else. Thank you.