Coffee and a biscuit was the only way to console me. I’d just found out I was decidedly average.
‘What have I told you about reading?’ my friend remarked as she took what was left of my biscuit – I’d never really liked her but no one else was answering their phone.
‘You can’t ban me from reading, you don’t have the power.’
‘No, you’re right’ she mused ‘but I know people who do and just knowing that is enough for me and Lou, right now it should be more than enough for you.’
I admired a crumb, but given I’d recently found my long misplaced dignity I refrained from stealing it from her saucer.
The problem was that earlier that morning I’d stumbled across an article about how the average woman was 163cm tall – with figures that specific and no doubt well researched from this local Melbourne tabloid paper, I was mortified, suddenly in just one sentence I had become common and I was having none of it.
‘I’m just surprised you didn’t know sooner’ was all my friend could muster in the way of support ‘like I remember when my mother first saw you she remarked that you were rather average and she didn’t know what all the fuss was about.’
‘I’m talking about my height.’
‘Height, measure of attractiveness, past 25 Lou it’s all pretty much the same thing – looking at you is like having bad vision; it all just blurs together.’
I fingered my shot gun concealed in my hand bag but reminded myself that there is a time and a place for spontaneous acts of violence and Madame Brussels on a Friday afternoon, well it just wouldn’t’ be proper, what with all those lovely gentlemen walking around in their little knee high socks…
The thing is though, I’d spent most of my life wanting to be average – average height, average weight, average looks and just as I’d started to come to terms with the fact that my search for average was merely a pipe dream only ever achieved by people who entered radio contests advertised on commercial radio networks, I’d discovered that they were my people and suddenly my fear of ending up with a guy who read FHM and farted medley’s of national anthems was a lot closer to reality then it had ever been before.
‘You and your issue with farting Lou; it’s a phobia that will one day cripple you Lou. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that you’re intolerance of farter’s will send you to an early grave.’
‘I think that’s a slight exaggeration.’
‘I don’t, I heard the stories from Edinburgh, you think people don’t talk Lou, well they talk, we all talk…to each other.’
‘I gathered that was your inference.’
‘Don’t shove your Masters degree in my face Lou, that’s just low.’
‘I was just saying I knew what you were getting at and just for your information my reluctance to engage in a game of fart tennis in bed with another comic does not mean I’ll just up and die.’
‘Oh you won’t up and die, you’ll probably get something debilitating and soul destroying like MS or Parkinson’s.’
‘Thanks for that. I feel a lot better about everything.’
‘But hey it took your mind off being average right?’
We both laughed – yes, yes it had taken my mind off it cause nothings funnier than MS – she went to the bathroom and I found myself leaving without saying good bye – sure it was a nasty habit I was developing of late but I was loathed to break it – hey I don’t smoke, so allow me this one vice…
As I stepped into the Melbourne CBD I realised I could further exacerbate my averageness by just glancing around at all the other women in Melbourne of average height, with dark brown hair, flat shoes, black opaque stockings and Crumpler’s –f**k if you had a type and it was short smudgy dark looking girls then Melbourne was an unsupervised kids playground and you could be the pedo.
‘I don’t know what you’re complaining about’ my man friend said to me as I picked out a new nail polish in the bargain basement of Myer and bitched about my lack of cost cut options.
He watched me and I could see in his eyes how glad he was that he was gay and we weren’t dating anymore.
‘No one can make peach work Lou, not even you’ and he put my suggestion back in the bin and started steering me out of the store.
‘I’m not complaining, it’s just I’m not even short now, I’m just average and everyone else is a giant – this is what happened when they got rid of the small popcorn option at the movies and everything started at medium, it just became complete and utter chaos.’
‘Are you comparing yourself to pop corn again? It thought we agreed you wouldn’t do that anymore.’
‘Yeah, sorry, I forget’
‘That’s cool Lou’ he forgave me as he ruffled my hair.
‘No product today Lou?’
‘I was in a rush’
‘I think you should demand to stay the night, cause I mean if they been in –‘
‘- fuck off.’
‘Anyway angry girl you weren’t very average last night –what did the caption read? Oh that’s right ‘Tit-Tastic’.
‘Can you please not bring that up?’
‘If I did everything you told me Lou then I wouldn’t be gay now would I?’
‘Well done on over simplifying your sexual orientation.’
‘I had to tell mum something.’
‘Oh I’m pretty sure she figured it out when she worked in and saw you on your knees with what’s his name wearing double denim‘
‘-shut the f**k up.’
‘Oh it’s not so funny when the shoes on the other foot are it?’
‘My sex life isn’t funny Lou, it’s private and personal and sacred, whereas yours is…’ He started laughing…and laughing…
‘Stop that, stop laughing, people are starting to look.’
He wiped the tears away from his eyes
‘Christ I needed that laugh, thanks Lou, I love that we’re friends.’
I couldn’t even hit him; it would be considered a hate crime.
‘Anyway before you started in on your sex life…’
‘I didn’t bring it up, you did.’
‘That’s it blame the gay Lou.’
‘Last night you were well above average.’
I’d attended the opening night of a show about breasts that two of my friends were in. I sat in the back so as not to be called as a volunteer but luckily for me there were plenty of women over 40 more than willing to get them out and so I sat back to watch a comfortable evening of booby manipulation – that was until they decided to do an audience survey.
‘Ok ladies’ my friend called out to the hen’s night filled audience.
‘I think before we start the show we need to get a feeling to what you girls are packing, so can we have all the A cups give us a show of hands!’
A couple of men in the audience shot their hands up and hi-fived each other in a show of solidarity.
‘And now the b’s’
A few more hands shot up, I noticed my companion for the evening looking at hers.’
‘Depends on the time of month she muttered…’
‘And the C’s!’
Half the room went ballistic and my friend conceding defeat shot her hand up.
‘and of course ladies of the D variety.’
What appeared to be the remainder of women in the audience who put their hands up in a victory celebration and the men took note and that was when the guy sitting next to me commented that I hadn’t put my hand up yet.
‘They haven’t called me out yet.’
‘Oh’ he sheepishly hi-fived his mate.
‘And do we have any E’s out there?’
…oh my god, how much longer could this go on…and I watched as one woman excitably jumped up to show the world her lack of averageness.
‘..and surely we don’t have any F’s in the audience tonight?’ my friend continued as the guy next to me had now started staring at me as if that act alone would make me jump up and throw my jacket off.
And then that bit of the show came to end, but this didn’t stop the guy next to me from raising the fact I didn’t put my hand up. The look on my face was enough to tell him never to breathe air again and so he stopped, well he just started drinking…same thing.
As we left the night I ran into some other friends of mine outside the toilet who were talking about the collective breast size call to arms. They had pretty much all been in the C range like boasty women are.
‘How’d you go Lou?’
‘I don’t do audience participation’
‘She’s just upset they didn’t call her size out.’
‘It’s not that odd, there are lots of girls bigger than an F out there.’
‘What? People with frontal growths and tumours- like those people that find out they’ve been growing their twin on themselves.’
‘They’re not a growth.’
‘But I bet they grow!’ I watched as my two friends hi-fived each other over the party pies.
‘It’s just you don’t look that big up there.’
‘She wears a lot of black.’
‘But surely.. ..like what would a guy do with them that big…surely no one needs that much.’
I noticed the red carpet camera looming past us…
‘Let’s not do this tonight’ I insisted as I tried to find where the sandwich guy had gone.
‘Oh come on; let us have a quick look.’
…and like looking at that one puppy you saved from drowning I gave in…and took off my jacket and someone took a photo, yep a large flash went off.
‘Oh my god, please don’t print that’ I screamed.
‘Don’t worry lovely, probably won’t, lots of tits here tonight and well our readers want average but that said you’re the right height so, hey just to be on the safe side how do I spell your name – is that with a D or two Ds’
He laughed and so did everyone else and I watched and realised that I was average, that this was an average night for me – now if I could just find someone to throw up in my cleavage I could tick all of life’s boxes.