I experienced my first walk out the other night at comedy festival. A young couple who seated themselves so far back, I thought for a moment they were trying to position themselves to also catch a glimpse of the other show in the next room, at the very least to experience the touch of faux velvet curtains adorning the makeshift theatre against the whites of their skin.
What amused me about it all was the timing. Having just knocked out a bit about a finger assault of the insertion variety, I could admit ‘ok, not everyone’s cup of tea’, but to walk out in the middle of my ode to seaQuest DSV’s Jonthathan Brandis, well that’s just rude – the man hung himself for crying out loud – I don’t expect laughs, but respect, at the very least I expect that and so does Jonathan.
But that’s the thing about walk out’s, they never live up to the expectation, well mine don’t anyway. I always sit there offended and then at an ill considered time like say if someone’s asking after the health of my mother, I storm out, realise how out of context me walking out would make no sense to the person I was trying to prove a passionate point with and then I have to come back into the room, let them know my mother is in fine health and yes, I know you also tried to sleep with my boyfriend last month, and that’s really inconsiderate given we all know your rash hasn’t quite cleared up yet – and then I leave the room again – the thing about the walk out is you have to commit to it.
Given my audience walk outs didn’t return that night, I take my hat off to them – I often worry about the lack of conviction in today’s youth, but they managed to reassure me somewhat that not all is lost.
There are a few of my own walkouts that still stick in my head.
1. Being dragged to see a NIDA first year graduate piece on movement and walking out. (yes, I know, it clearly doesn’t need anymore explanation)
2. Being dragged to a WAPPA musical theatre graduate showcase and walking out.
3. Finding out my mother was really my father one year at Christmas (ok, not true, but saying I walked out because I inadvertently ate fishing bait thinking it was shrimp and thus was made to sit at the children’s table as a result doesn’t have the same impact).
4. Being taken on a date where a guy superimposed his head over mine in a picture and presented it as ‘our future’.
5. Seeing ‘Scary Movie 3’ and having only myself to blame, walked out.
…and then of course there was my walkout of 2009. I’d been seeing this new guy. He seemed pleasant enough and when I say pleasant I mean he didn’t open up with ‘the divorce was hard for me and the kids’ or ‘my mum is just a great flat mate, you know what they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, or cut the umbilical cord’ and my favourite ‘I’m really looking for the one right now, but that might be one in a million and so if I have to sleep with a million women to find that one then it’s special when I finally find her, my only hope is she’s still working at Victoria’s Secret.’
We were hanging out with his friends (he was yet to meet mine, so that should give you a better understanding of where I saw this going) at a show I’d produced, in a bar full of my peers, sitting next to one of my friends when he decided the mood was right for a bit of a chat, oh to make it even more romantic, I’d just gone to kiss him and he pushed me away, nudging me back into the other people on the couch just enough so that they’re attention was now turned on us in that ‘they’re looking but not looking’ kinda way.
‘Um Lou, you know I like you and everything.’
‘But here’s the thing, when I look at you I really can’t see this being a relationship thing.’
‘It isn’t a relationship thing.’
‘But, and correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure you’re viewing it as a relationship thing.’
‘Let me correct you then….’
‘Ok Lou, no need to get worked up about this.’
‘I’m not worked up, but we’ve only gone out three times and I’ve never bought up a relationship.’
‘But you’re 30.’
‘Well it’s inevitable that eventually you’ll bring up the relationship thing, if not now then 7 months or a year from now if we were still going out.’
‘If we were still going out after a year then I’d argue that would be a relationship.’
‘And there in lies my point Lou – see to assume it’d be even close to a relationship after a year is a massive assumption and I can’t see myself in all honesty with someone who makes assumptions for the both of us.’
‘You’re an idiot.’
‘Alright, no need to get mean about this, but I’m breaking up with you and I think it best you hear it from me.’
‘You can’t break up with me if we weren’t really together yet.’
‘Can’t I Lou, can’t I?…you really need to stop being so hooked up about definitions.’
I took a deep breath and wondered to myself about whether or not I should take the door till home with me that night or come back tomorrow.
‘Hey Lou, look if it’s any consolation I still find you really hot and I’m still very attracted to you, like I could easily take you home tonight cause you make me very…, but the thing is when I’m seen out with you in public I find it awkward and uncomfortable for me – there I said it.’
‘And now I’m having to meet all your friends.’
‘I’ve not even introduced you to one of them.’
‘But I know who they are.’
‘Seeing them on TV does not mean you know them.’
‘Doesn’t it Lou? Doesn’t it?’
And so it was at this point I got up to walk out.
‘Where are you going?’ he asked.
‘Home.’ I grabbed my purse and suddenly my friend who’d been sitting next to me on the other side of the couch gently touched my arm.
‘Everything ok?’ he asked.
‘Yep, just think I got dumped by someone I wasn’t in a relationship with.’
‘I didn’t even know you two were seeing each other.’
‘My point exactly’ I bemoaned to him, catching my stride as I headed towards the door, but not before my ‘dumper’ pulled me to the side.
‘Listen Lou, there’s no need to make a scene by walking out, lets not make you leaving the last memory you and I have together.’
I thought about it for the moment, maybe I shouldn’t leave, it was a nice party after all, actually it was my party….and it really is at this point that a well timed slap and a solid exit would have served me well, or even throwing him out would have been a compromise, but hey, I’m always the first to admit I’m the architect of my own demise…
‘…it’s just’ he continued ‘there’s a girl here who I really like and she’s a fan of your blog and stuff and if she’s us arguing I think that might just sully my chances with her – what do you say?’
‘I say no.’
‘Christ, you just can’t move on can you Lou, just admit it’s over and the sooner you can get back to a normal life, one devoid of this heart ache our break up has caused you.’
‘What script are you reading from?’ I asked.
‘The script of life Lou, you should try it sometime.’
And it was only at the point did I walk out and I’m pretty sure he landed the other lady, so in hindsight I shouldn’t be so harsh on myself – it was very well timed.