Over the weekend a friend of mine (and I can say ‘friend’ cause we’ve known each other over 25 years, so yes, there is an affection there) tried to set me up, once again. Given she’s now decided to breed her efforts have gone from ‘just go chat to him Lou, feel out the situation, see if you like him’ to ‘his parole officer assured me he goes to his drug testing and sex addict therapy sessions like clock work every week, and who says you can’t find a consistent man these days…I mean if you ask me, we’ve just given up looking, I mean he’s never committed aggravated assault and I reckon that shows gentlemanly restraint– eh Lou?’
This new man, well she’d been on about him for over a year, but when she opened this time with ‘come on Lou, he’s like family’ even she knew she’d have to try harder.
‘He works in television’ she declared ‘or as you refer to it Lou – the ‘talkie box’.
Ah, well just lube me up, tied me down, spank the engine and let’s get started!
Unfortunately for this poor guy, let alone me, this wasn’t the first time my friend had tried to get us to both ‘feel out the situation.’
At an engagement party a few months earlier, and herself newly married, she was on a mission ‘to sort me out’ insisting that to do so ‘would right all the wrongs in the world.’
I poured myself another glass of wine out of the box and wondered out loud if my body weight, coupled with my teetering heels could support any sort of rope like device I could fashion together out of napkins and then loop over one of the rafters looming over me without my neck snapping before I lost consciousness and the pain went away. Helping herself to the last cashew nut without even offering to me first, I could tell I was trying her patience.
‘So, you see anyone, or anything that takes your fancy Lou?’
Surveying the sea of industry t-shirts, frosted man hair tips and calls of ‘let’s go to Revolver after this’ I quickly surmised the only thing I ‘liked’ were the well lit exit signs highlighting the two escape points at the bar/corporate function centre that evening.
‘Um, I quite like those things wrapped in pastry with the spinach and potato in it – what do your people call them again?’
‘Ooh, exotic…is that African?’
‘Don’t be a dick Lou.’
I fingered at my luke warm pasty and knew that without any tomato sauce on hand; I was a fool to have thought I could enjoy it on its own merits.
‘What about him?’ she pointed to a guy wearing a vest.
‘It’s because he’s wearing a vest isn’t it?’
‘He’s your type’
‘I don’t have a type’
‘Yes you do, especially if you call guys that don’t actually turn out to like you a type.’
‘I hate you.’
‘Hey, don’t blame the soldier who drops the truth bomb, blame the….’ She stumbled.
‘Yep, blame who?’ I pointedly asked.
‘..Dunno, but you get my point.’
‘No I don’t’
‘And anyway, he might be gay.’
‘You’re trying to set me up with a gay man?’
‘Would it matter if I was, not like you haven’t tried to climb that mountain before…?’
‘I mean he wears vests Lou, come on, that’s hot, he knows how to use buttons, even you’ve got to admit Lou that takes skill.’
And so like a dog who wants a bone, or to bone something (I should’ve Googled this analogy but I couldn’t be arsed) she continued, unrelentingly to try and get me interested in the guy who wore vests and had a flare for buttons and so imagine months later, standing together at mutual friends sons christening, when she was able to reveal he worked in television – I mean, I’m still amazed she didn’t come on the spot, but in hindsight it was lucky for all in attendance she didn’t, I’d run out of handy wipes only hours earlier.
I stared at her now pregnant belly and realised to blame the parasitic appendage growing inside her for this vendetta she seemed determined to fulfil was probably irrational and to be honest I’m pretty sure an unborn foetus would be rather reluctant to throw in it’s two cents about my personal life given it had yet to fully form fingernails or genitals for that matter – it clearly had no right to an opinion.
‘It’s great he works in television, really good for him.’
‘Is it because you don’t own a television Lou, is that why you’re not even giving him a chance?’
‘No, that has nothing to do with it.’
‘You’re so narrow minded Lou. I bet if he worked in books you’d be all over him.’
‘Yeah, you know me and guys who know their way around a dictionary.’
‘Don’t be crass Lou, we’re in church.’
‘Yeah, you’re right, shouldn’t we be more focused on the baptism right now then say getting me sorted?’
The priest glared at me as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. To be honest I don’t do church, let alone religion and each and every time one of my friends insist on getting married or indulging in some church based activity I feel a growing resentment festering inside me which will probably give me cancer and then I’ll question my faith and return to the fold – damn those Catholics and their insidious forward planning.
‘Now, everyone feel free to come forward and anoint this child with your touch and welcome him into the house of the Lord and show him that you can guide him through his spiritual life.’ The priest motioned towards us. My friend stood up to go and give this kid a kick start/ head kick in life and waited for me to stand.
‘I’m not doing it, I’ll be damned if I’m going to be any child’s go-to-guy.’ I stated.
‘Wow, first its guys in TV and now a baby, you’re unbelievable – is there anyone you will do Lou?’
‘Sure there is, just not a baby or people that work in television, yep colour me selective.’
‘I’ve got hand sanitiser on me if that’s the problem.’
‘Well why didn’t you mention earlier you had that social lubricator on hand?’
‘Don’t be like that Lou, I’ve got the message – I’m going to stop interfering, you quite clearly don’t want to be helped.’
‘Oh come on, don’t be like that, get me lathered up and let’s go touch us some babies.’ I remarked sarcastically, in hindsight, a little too loudly…
Now, not to go into too much detail but did you know how rare it is to suffer second degree burns from Holy Water? It’s probably rarer still that the priest sprayed the Holy Water on me himself in an attempt to out some supposed ‘spirits’ and to keep me away from one of God’s children.
After the service he apologised as I scratched at the blisters now glistening across my cleavage and police took witness statements and my friend explained to him and the irate parents of the newly christened child that perhaps she was partly to blame for my ill-timed and even I can admit, highly inappropriate outburst but come on, she went on, I’d rebuked the chance to form a meaningful relationship with a guy that worked in television, yes television and liked more of a challenge then the average zipper could offer!
The priest looked at me and then spoke, clearly, making sure his message was heard ‘How old are you Louise?’
‘Um, I don’t really know what that has to do with anything.’
‘She’s 30’ my friend offered up.
‘Well then, I think this is a lot of fuss about nothing, and I’m sure God would agree with me but being 30 and all you’re probably already barren aren’t you Lou and you know what they say – if you can’t fertilise the lawn you might as well just pull it up and fill it with concrete and whack a hills hoist in the middle of it.’
…well at least someone was on my side J