Often when one thinks of romance we conjure up images of young, nubile (look, maybe thatâ€™s just me and my penchant for being able to bounce things off walls) creatures, fornicating on a deserted beach at sunset, declaring a love that need not speak its name, unapologetically crushing the pink tinged roses heâ€™d bought her at the start of their dateâ€¦
To be honest though, after years of getting sand in my crutch and never been given flowers, when I think of romance itâ€™s slightly more evolved, having changed from whispers of sweet nothings to something more along the lines of that if Iâ€™ve been seeing a guy for a few months and I donâ€™t receive a phone call from a friend telling me heâ€™s been shagging someone else, well I burst into tears of happiness cause fuck me Iâ€™ve never felt so much joy.
However in recent weeks my idea of romance has evolved once again, itâ€™s more platonic by nature (and no, Iâ€™m not mounting objects on the wall and running at them). Whether this has been a result of getting better bed sheets or recent illnessâ€™s â€˜how many fluâ€™s can you get?â€™ itâ€™s growing where?â€™ and â€˜youâ€™re not pregnant like we first thought, itâ€™s an infectionâ€™, Iâ€™ve found myself seduced by the romance of being a shut in.
It started simply enough. Friends asking me to go and have a good time with them, sure it seemed like a nice idea but that would involved getting dressed into what I call my â€˜outsideâ€™ clothes and Iâ€™d only recently discovered the benefits of your ex leaving his crap at yours â€“ large over sized hooded jumpers. I needed to devote as much time as I could to this new found discovery. Of course I wasnâ€™t a complete social drop out; Iâ€™d always offer a solution to my friends:
â€˜Come around to mine and Iâ€™ll make us some dinner, we donâ€™t need to go out to have a good time.â€™
â€˜Will you be wearing pants?â€™
â€˜And what about that gingham smock thing?â€™
â€˜Iâ€™ll be wearing both; Iâ€™ve neither shaved my underarms or my legs.â€™
I did understand though why my friends started seeing other people when my dinner menu consisted of the one and only question â€˜baked beans or spaghettioâ€™s, and I donâ€™t have any bread, weâ€™ll just have to make do without bread right?â€™
My flat mates were as supportive as they could be with it all, but when one wandered in to see me reading my copy of Laura Bushes biography and fiddling with the oven whilst drinking my 10th cup of strong Yorkshire tea for the day and lamenting I couldnâ€™t find my anti-anxiety medication anywhere useful and mustâ€™ve left it in the shower, well he had to intervene cause â€˜Lou, you havenâ€™t showered in days, lets stop making shit up ok?â€™
I was sure I wasnâ€™t a complete lost cause; after all I had to leave the house to go to my local video store to continue my research on British police procedural dramas. What I was researching I didnâ€™t know quite yet. It had taken me about 30 seconds to admit to myself Iâ€™d so go Vincent Dâ€™Onofrio from Law & Order Criminal Intent, but the lead guy from Midsummer Murders, well it had been over 6 years and I still wasnâ€™t convinced, as such there was much work to be done.
The video store was easy enough; people go in there with top high ponytails and hooded jumpers all the time. I made my selection, including some DVDâ€™s of a show I was to be in, but when I got to the counter and the clerk informed me I was one over my Weekly Special limit I chose to put that DVD back â€“ really, I thought, I should buy it, you know support local industry the way it was supporting me â€“ the clerk seemed happy with my selection including the one I chose to put back.
â€˜Good choice putting that one back. If you asked me we stopped making people laugh when the Crocodile Hunter died.â€™
Arriving home shortly after I logged onto the internet and joined an online DVD rental store.
It was pointed out though at some point, even though I was literally living in my own filth trying to work to deadline that I might need deodorant or a leg razor, you know for â€˜special occasions.â€™
Trudging out in my smock and high tops I walked the 50 meters to my local shopping centre and found myself staring at the deodorant rack, armed with soy milk, veggie burgers, HP sauce and Oreos, debating whether a further spend of 38c was warranted given I wasnâ€™t loyal to any sort of particular brand. To this day I donâ€™t know the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant and Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™m too old to ask.
Now Iâ€™m not casting judgment on anyone that picks up in the toiletries aisle at a supermarket, but Iâ€™m not a huge fun of scoring anywhere near where they sell lubricant and indigestion tablets, because it would be too much like looking into a future relationship mirror. So imagine my surprise if you will when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I spun around to see a man wearing elastic wasted trousers â€“ enough said.
â€˜I know you from somewhereâ€™ he so eloquently observed.
My vanity got the better of me, Christ I was in a smock and trainers.
â€˜No, I donâ€™t think so.â€™
â€˜Yes, I saw you die at Vibe comedy one night. It was awful you were shit.â€™
â€˜Me I like jokes that rhyme.â€™
â€˜We all have a type.â€™
â€˜That we do, that we do.â€™
â€˜So buying deodorant, you donâ€™t smell that bad.â€™
â€˜I wear deodorant.â€™
â€˜Then why you buying more?â€™
â€˜Itâ€™s not like a never ending packet of Tim Tams.â€™
â€˜I donâ€™t understandâ€™.
â€¦and it was at that point I realized he quite possibly wasnâ€™t even 24, of course he wouldnâ€™t get the reference.
â€˜Look, um, if youâ€™re not doing anything would you like to come to Maccas with me? I have a voucher and a health care car, gets you a discountâ€™
He then noticed my soy milk and before I could answerâ€¦
â€˜..hey sorry, just saw the soy milk, but thatâ€™s cool, we both like vag.â€™
I went home and joined Woolworths Home Delivery and safe in the knowledge I wasnâ€™t leaving my house anytime soon, took off my pants.