Worlds Best Parent. Ever. Full Stop.

I have to admit I was riding high, thinking I was the best new mum in the world when I went to my second maternal health check. Sure we didn’t have it all figured out, but from where I stood, we were smashing it –  bub was still alive, we were yet to drop him (on a very hard surface) and I’d started vacuuming our carpet at least once a month in anticipation that he might, you know, one day crawl and the last thing I wanted was him choking on the remnants of a truffle flavoured potato crisp from our earlier, decadent child-free days. There was no hiding it, we were nailing this parenting shit.

So you can imagine my surprise when I met Kathleen. My new maternal health nurse, complete with a nifty fanny pack around her waist because she liked to keep everything she needed close to her as she wasn’t a fan ‘of reaching for things.’

As was usual I’d gone to this ‘not mandatory but strongly advised’ appointment with our sex trophies’ co-creator, his father, which doesn’t seem so odd until I point out that it would have been just as useful to bring a potted plant along, given Kathleen chose not to even acknowledge his existence.

‘These appointments aren’t for the father’ she pointed out. ‘There to see how your son is developing both emotionally and physically with you as a mother.’

‘Detrimentally’ I joked. She did not laugh. Kathleen never laughed.

‘The thing is’ I pointed out ‘Kathleen, I can call you Kathleen right? Both JK and I are around all our son all the time. We’ve both taken time off, together, to be with him and I think it’s important to –

‘- it says here you had a c-section’

‘Um, yep – but as I was saying, it’s important we acknowledge the father-’

‘If that’s the case you shouldn’t be sitting like that…with your legs crossed.’

‘Crossed? It’s fine.’ I said ‘my physio said it’s fine.’

‘Oh well, feel free to take someone else’s advice, that’s your choice pet, but I’m saying I don’t think it’ a good idea.’

‘My doctor also said it was ok.’

‘Well if your doctor said it was ok, and they are a doctor and I’m just a -’

‘Nurse?’

‘Huh! Maternal Health Specialist Nurse deary –

‘ – it wasn’t meant to insult you’

‘ – no insult was taken. If you want to believe your doctor that’s your call but if I were you and I’d had a c-section I wouldn’t sit like that, not if I wanted to have another child in the future, just saying.’

I kept my legs crossed in silent protest. Her eyes flaring up, my defiance noted.

‘Are you breastfeeding?’

‘Yes’

Exclusively?

‘No. He’s been combination fed since he was born.’

‘Was there a reason?’

‘He was early. It should all be written there. We did discuss this last time we came in.’

She sighed, rubbing her temple as if the fate of every child rested on her shoulders.

‘Louise, is telling me your child’s health history an inconvenience to you, because please let me know if it is and I’ll take some time now to read up on him?’

I crossed my legs a little further.

She continued.

‘So you bottle feed?’

‘Yep, about once a day. It’s good, it allows JK to be part of  the feeding process and lets me get a little sleep.’

‘Formula?’

Yes.

‘Hmmm,’ she scribbled something down for effect.

‘And what’s the reason for that?’

‘Like I said, I get a little sleep, JK can bond –

‘- well it is your choice. Sleep is very important…’

I couldn’t hold back.

‘But?’

‘It’s just if I was you and I could breastfeed, well the literature says to breastfeed exclusively, but that’s just me, and the literature.’

‘I’m not very literary,’ I said ‘I’ll continue to give him a bottle then.’

And then to my astonishment, she mumbled under her breath ‘You do what you want, don’t mind me. I’m just the maternal health specialist.’

I turned to my pot-plant for support but he was focused on distracting our sex trophy from his mother’s demise.

‘Ok’ Kathleen jumped up.

‘Lets get him undressed and weighed.’

JK stood up, starting to get bub ready, when Kathleen turned to me.

‘I’d like to see the mother get him ready’

‘I’m assuming I’m the mother in this scenario’ I sparked back.

She did not smile.

‘I’ll let you get on with it then.’

The colour drained from my face. JK was the master of getting bub’s t-shirts off quickly without squashing his head. I was not. My strong suit up until this point had been keeping bub alive with my boobs, but even that seemed to hold no sway at this point in time.

Fumbling as I got him undressed, under the vengeful eye of Kathleen I suddenly became concerned that as his jumper stuck around his head, and his little arms flailed about that I might lose custody of him just for being a bad baby un-dresser. I wasn’t smashing this parenting thing. I’d deluded myself. Maybe he was better off being raised by a woman who didn’t cross her legs?

Finally, his little head came free and he smiled as if to say ‘I only lost a little oxygen mum.’

I nodded my thanks back.

‘Turn him over’ barked Kathleen.

‘Now I have to tell you…Baby is dry’ she said.

Finally, I smiled. Something I got right. ‘Yeah, I dried him after his bath this morning. I was pretty thorough -’

‘ – no, I mean his skin is too dry. Do you moisturise?’

‘Um yes, daily.’

‘It should be forty times a day!’ (*slight exaggeration in the retelling but you get the idea…)

‘Ok’

‘And what do you use?’

‘Mineral oil – just like we were told’

‘No! Edible oils only’

And that’s when I cracked it.

‘Really? Because last time we were here- ’

‘ – Yes we!’ JK shouted out. Thanks, babe…

‘We were told there was new research and edible oils could lead to skin conditions when he’s older’

‘Then you were told the wrong information.’

‘By two of your colleagues, the other midwife-’

‘We are not midwives. We are maternal health specialists and we’re here to help you be better parents. You need to listen to me for the sake of your son. You need to know I have his best interests at heart before you continue to have a go at me.’

My hands curled up in anger.

‘Me, have a go at you? You’ve done nothing but make me feel like a barely adequate parent, no, a barely adequate human being since I’ve been here and -’

I stopped. Suddenly Kathleen’s face distorted. Her tongue recoiling back into her face with horror as urine sprayed out at her care of my son’s well aiming and meaning penis.

Squad goals.

And then just like that, any concerns I had about being a bad mum have washed away. He’d done me proud. He’d done every mother and or father being told they’re doing a bad job proud. He was my hero.

And so without finishing the appointment we grabbed our naked, still peeing son and left.

JK making a point to say we would be making a formal complaint against Kathleen because he was concerned she would upset other parents, what with her fanny-pack full of judgement. I watched him go to bat for me, I couldn’t help but smile as urine continued to run down my leg and into my shoe because we’d left the spare nappy at home…that wasn’t important right now. Being righteous parents was.

Continue Reading

I love you, just not what you’re into.

Since we nearly broke up a few months into our relationship after I told my Lord of The Rings loving boyfriend (JK) that ‘I didn’t care for fantasy’ I’ve made a concerted effort to champion his interests while remaining detached and uninvolved. Like he’s really into historic drama TV shows – Vikings and Hell on Wheels type stuff. Sometimes he even insists we watch them together so I try and make a game of it, guessing how far into an episode I’ll see a woman’s breast, or her rape or perhaps her sale to a wealthy landowner.

He’s also really into reading books about dogs, which is cool, if that’s your sort of thing but he thinks I should read them as well so I can get a better understanding of our staffy. But I’m not sure how much reading is going to solve the issue that our dog, who is so in love with JK, will one day kill me in my sleep, proceed to make a Lou suit out of my skin and resume her rightful place on the pillow beside him.

Anyone in a relationship will admit it’s hard to like all the things your partner does, well unless you’re these guys…

matching_couple_0

 

 

 

 

 

…and while it’s great to share interests and be introduced to new ones, there comes a time, let’s say past 30 where you just think ‘fuck it’. I mean most of us spend our 20s pretending to like things we don’t in order to get laid or not die alone, so why, as I head into my late 30s should I continue the charade? After all, don’t all of us die alone?

This leads me to where my preamble has been heading – gardening. Yep, gardening.  My boyfriend is really into gardening. He loves it. He’d be a gnome if he could be, complete with short man syndrome and pointy little hat, but alas he is 6’1 and refuses to wear a waistcoat, even though I think it would be totally cute, but whatevs.

Myself, I’m not into gardening.  Never have been and at 36 unless I’m struck by a bolt of lightening and wake up from a coma as a totally different person I never will.  Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good garden as much as the next person, some of my best friends garden but I’m more of an applauder than a performer when it comes to a good mulch or a well watered vegie patch. I love that in my yard I have a slew of burgeoning red cabbages, spring onions I can always count on, sprigs of thyme perfect for soup and even a passionfruit tree. I love that there are pots of flowers all over my house, mainly all gifts I’ve received over the years from JK, and only alive due to his efforts, though my ongoing disinterest in their welfare has made it touch and go on occasion.

But what I love most of all – I’m not responsible for any of it.

And so it was, that on Melbourne Cup Day, I found myself dressed in flannel and a 80s vintage jumpsuit, reading instructions on the side of a bag of fertiliser that assured me it would not burn my eyes, playing gardening assistant to JK, or apprentice as he liked to say. We were planting tomatoes because that’s what you do on Melbourne Cup Day, that and kill horses for sport.

He had requested my company. Said it would be fun. It would be my job to hand him things, fill buckets with things and control the afternoons music selection. One of those things I did with great abandon, the other two, I did somewhat half assed. To be fair he had offered me a way out earlier in the day, suggesting he fix up the hammock so I could read but I was tired of being cast of the bad witch from Wicked in our relationship, so I insisted on helping. My ego thwarting me once more.

We gardened for what seemed like days, no months. Winters came and went, summers were cruel, the springs a welcome break from the intense labor that came with handing JK a watering can at varying intervals and clipping off bits of twine to secure the vegetation. It was exhausting, soul destroying. I think I lost a piece of myself that day…

I was about to give up, walk away, perhaps get lost on the way back to civilisation and Foxtel on Demand and starve to death in our driveway when JK suddenly turned around, smiled, running a well calloused hand through his beard. ‘Thanks for today’ he said ‘I know you don’t like gardening, but I really like getting to spend time with you. It’s been nice.’

With such crippling accusations levelled at my feet I realised he was right. I do not like gardening, that day being no exception, but there is something I like more – spending time with JK, watching him do something he enjoys, so I smiled back in a way that communicated ‘I love spending time with you too, but no, we’re not watching The Hobbit after this.’
There’s only so few compromises I was willing to make that day.

Continue Reading

I’ve dated a Trans Person. A lot of us have.

‘….our identity is a sum of our parts, not just one part in particular.’

I’m not Trans. I can’t speak to that experience. So I won’t. What I will speak with is the experience of someone who was once in a relationship with a Trans Man. Some people know about this, some people don’t. I always felt uncomfortable talking about my experience, thinking that in doing so I was revealing something that wasn’t mine to do, so much so that when I did a show about this particular relationship back in 2009 I didn’t mention it. I was really into prop comedy at the time anyway. I argued it wasn’t important to the story. I argued with my director, my script editor. I told them it wasn’t my story to tell. And you know what? In all honestly I didn’t want to distract from the show.  I didn’t want the audience to spend any of their time trying to figure ‘it’ out.  Trying to figure out what that made me? Oh and the much more common concern – watching the audience try to figure out how we did ‘it’.

Does that sound crude?  Abso-fucking-lutely it does. And sadly it was a question I got asked all too often.

No one ever thought they were being offensive or intrusive when they asked how we had sex and my grimaced smile didn’t really send home the message that it wasn’t an appropriate question to ask – the sort that revealed more about the ignorance of the asker then the answerer. I thought by not answering their questions  that that would say, albeit silently, that their questions were inappropriate. Like when they asked ‘have they had the surgery?’ or when they said ‘it’s amazing, they pass so well. You’d think they were a real man’ or my favourite ‘I could always tell.’  I’d tell them finally to shut up, that it was their ignorance and lack of education talking, but I was loathed to discuss it further as I still believed that just because I’d dated a Trans Man, that didn’t give me the right to discuss it.

But now that I’m older and as an LGBTQI ally and advocate I believe it is visibility and experience that is our strongest assets in this community. Putting aside the Bruce Jenner media spectacle we’ve seen in recent weeks, sharing our experiences, even if they are fleeting is important. It doesn’t mean you’re telling someone else’s story, it means your telling only part of your story. So yes, I dated a Trans Man.

As friends, we were great. As lovers, we were fun, tempestuous, fiery, belligerent and miserable – the perfect 20something relationship.  During my time with him, aside from the constant teary eyed break-ups and passionate reunions I never really thought about what being with him made me. People who knew us just thought it was great we’d gotten together, finally. Only when I started telling some close family and friends that didn’t know about him I was asked ‘are you gay?’ I would always answer ‘No, I date a man because I’m straight’ but I knew what they meant. They needed to make sense of it, as open minded as they were. If I was gay it would make sense. It would explain all the Indigo Girls albums and my fondness for the film ‘But I’m a Cheerleader.’ What didn’t make sense was that for all intents and purposes I was in a straight relationship and my boyfriend could be an asshole just like everyone else’s. On the odd occasion his transition  would come up during our time together he used it to try and empathise with me, like when I was complaining of period pains and he tried to empathise and I threw his trainers out the window…

I won’t write about his journey in this post. I still believe that’s his to tell. What I will say is he was an activist and friend to many in the trans community and it was hard not to be in awe of what he had overcome to be the person he really was. And whilst my relationship with him didn’t make me gay, it did make me more aware, more liberal and more importantly, did in some way contribute to the person I am today. But that’s what all relationships should do. The good, the bad – they teach us something about ourselves.

After we broke up and I started dating again, I would sometimes disclose details of my past relationship with him and be met with a mix of curiosity and utter transphobia –  ‘oh so now you’re with a real man’. This comment uttered by more than one but less than a few. Those relationships would last the length of a short breath.

I saw this short documentary once, where a Trans Warrior went around asking people on the street questions about what it meant to be a man. Questions like ‘If you were in a car crash and you lost your cock would that make you less of a man?’ In all of these ‘if you lost your cock’ questions the answer was always the same ‘having a penis didn’t make you a man’.  The interviewers intention was clear – our identity is a sum of our parts, not just one part in particular.

I realised while reading some of the reporting surrounded Bruce Jenner’s recent admission as well as  watching TV shows like Orange is New Black and Transparent –   that while it is important we continue to see trans visibility increase in our society, that it is also important that those of us who have been in relationships with Trans People not fall silent on it. By letting people know that being a relationship with a Trans Person was part of your story it can help lessen the stigma and at times offensive curiosity surrounding the community. It can show young people struggling with transition that they will love, live and have tempestuous and at time shitty relationships just like the rest of us. It might just show them that it does get better. It sure showed me that.

Continue Reading

You’re a bad girl Lou, bad girl…now pick up your shoe and go!

Exiting the David Jones food court use to be one of my greatest thrills (understand, I spend most of my day typing words into an inanimate object that fails to engage me in any sort of conversation and no, it’s a not a boy – BAM!) and it was upon making this exit that I ran into a guy called Gareth (yep, let’s call him that cause it’s his real name :))

He was a guy I’d met through friends about 18 months back when I relocated to Melbourne. We got on, he was cute, had brown hair and made me laugh and so we agreed to go and have a drink together. Nothing too formal, just a casual get to know you better inner city drink.

 

But as luck would have it I needed to fly to Sydney that weekend, so we rescheduled – he then had a sudden deadline, we rescheduled. He rang me for that drink; I was going to London for a week but would call when I got back. I did, but he was relocating to New York indefinitely. It was just one of those things…and yet, now here he was standing before me in his cords and tussled hair, maybe it was fate, him catching me just as I was in the middle of gorging on DJ’s fresh baked cookies.

 

‘Hello’ I smiled as we enviably crossed paths.

‘Oh hi’ he smiled back.

‘You’re back!’ I proclaimed.

‘I’m back’ he too proclaimed!

‘Wow’ I surmised.

‘You look great’ he observed.

‘So do you’ I offered back.

‘What have you been up to?’ he enquired.

‘Oh you know the usual…deadlines and stuff.’ I surrended.

‘Yep, don’t I know it’ he casually laughed back.

‘Yeah’ I nodded.

 

And then silence befell us both.

 

‘So maybe we should catch up for that drink?’ I coyishly asked.

 

Pause.

 

‘I don’t think so.’ He said.

 

(Note to self: this is why you don’t ask people out Lou, you see what happens! Sure, you might be a sure thing Lou, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is – BAD GIRL! BAD GIRL!)

 

‘Oh ok then…’ the words stumbled out of my mouth, as some random biscuit crumbs escaped down my cleavage; a once sexy calling card now functioning as a tragic catchment area.

 

As I started to schlep away my shoe decided to fall off (don’t look back Lou, keep walking, you don’t need that shoe, you’re a one shoe kinda gal, just keep walking…you’re almost out of site…) and then came a tap on my shoulder.

 

It was Gareth – I means how many times did I have to run into that guy today!!!!!!!!!

 

‘You? What do you want?’

‘I wanted to ask you a question?’ he asserted.

‘Yeah, sure whatever…’ I mumbled back.

‘Why would you want to have a drink with a guy that obviously can’t stand the site of?’

‘What?’

‘Well you kept cancelling, and I’m not great with hints but I get there…eventually.’

‘So did you! You cancelled all the time!’

‘I had things come up – you told me you understood Lou.’

‘I had things come up too.’

‘Writing a blog is not a ‘thing’.

‘Yeah, well writing for the…. what it is you wrote for?’

‘The New Yorker Louise.’

‘Yeah, well writing for the New Yorker is not a thing either.’

‘I’ll think you find it is Lou’

“I know you are, but what am I?’

‘What?’

‘Nothing – Belle Jour made money from her blog.’

‘The prostitute?’

‘Yeah, but she was high end.’

‘You’re not high end are you Lou, you have stumpy legs.’

‘Don’t you think I know that!’?

 

I turned to walk away…’Hey not so fast lady, you didn’t answer my question.’

‘I liked you – I wanted that drink and now I’m back in Melbourne, I can’t say much more than that.’ I spat out, now wishing I’d picked up my other shoe.

‘And you’re committed to Melbourne now?’

‘Yes’ I replied

 

Now as soon as I said that word I should’ve frozen time, stepped out and gone and got a tattoo in my forehead that read: ‘everything I say from this point in will sound desperate.’

 

‘I was only asking you out for a drink’ – translated as ‘I’d drink petrol to be with you.’

‘So, are you seeing anyone right now?’ – translated as  ‘I’m fertile, there’s an alley round back, lets go make babies – HI FIVE!’

‘I’m staying with my parents’ – translated as ‘It’s a been a while….’

 

So you can imagine it came as quite a shock to young Gareth after he leaned in and whispered in my ear ‘Ok, I’ll give you another chance’  -that my response might be ‘thanks, but no thanks.’

 

‘I knew it!’ he exclaimed! ‘You never liked me and you know how I know? You never even tried to track me down on Facebook!’

‘What? – I didn’t even know your surname!’

‘LIAR!’

‘What is your trauma?’

‘Oh I know all about you Ms Sanz – your comedy, your lesbian group for comics, you’re little blog…and yet you know nothing about me.’

‘Oh believe me Gareth I’m learning a lot right now.’

‘I kept waiting for your friendship request, but nothing…day after day, month after month…’

‘You’re kidding me…you could’ve requested me you know, Facebook is a two way street.’

‘You’d like that wouldn’t you Lou, some guy crawling to you. Back to you.’

‘Back to me? We were never together.’

‘Well that’s news to me Lou.’

 

(Note to self: buy that house in the country and begin a life of solitude, buy a pug, call him Ned – he will be the only companion you never need.)

 

‘Listen Gareth I was only suggesting we have a drink to be polite, I’m actually seeing someone right now…sure it’s new and every – ‘

‘LIAR!!!! LOU! LIAR!’

 

‘Ok, I’m going to go…’

 

‘What you fail to realise Lou is I read your blogs, your little stories. I know the truth.’

 

I walked away, his voice fading into the distance…so you read my blogs to you Gareth? Well I hoped you enjoyed this one!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Apparently I’m not a primary colour kinda girl…

 

Not to long ago I went on a date with someone. Things looked promising that is until he asked me what my favourite colour was; when I responded ‘red’ rather then smile with the knowing that comes with sitting opposite me complete with red lipstick and nails, he merely got out a notepad and pen and said ‘you’ll have to pick another one, that’s already taken’.

 

‘Already taken?’ I asked quizzically ‘ are we playing a game?’

‘No, it’s just I like to colour code everyone in my life and red just happens to be taken’ He waited, pen poised for my next suggestion.

‘Ok, well I’ve always quite liked green’ and in an awkward attempt to flirt, as I leaned across the table and traced my red nails over his hand ‘I especially like green on dark haired boys.’

Pulling his hand away to flick through his notepad he let out a gentle sigh ‘nup, sorry – gone’.

I slumped back into my seat and closed my legs. ‘Ok fine, why don’t you tell me what’s available and I’ll be that’.

As he took the last piece of bread in the basket, he chewed silently for a moment and then with his mouth still full remarked ‘well, there’s lilac or mahogany brown’.

Now, I don’t know about any other ladies out there but the idea of being assigned a colour usually relegated to the 1990’s or a Harvey Norman catalogue wasn’t really what I had in mind, surely I was good enough to claim a primary colour? I mean we were on a date, he could’ve just lied, but as was the case with most men I’d been meeting of late, this one had a flare for the truth.

‘I don’t want to be a catalogue colour’ I mumbled, tearing at my drink coaster.

‘I don’t really think you’re in a position to choose Lou – I mean did you honestly think you’d risen to the ranks of being allocated a primary colour?’

I said nothing, as my eyes scoured the restaurant for a bar tender.

He smiled to himself as he shut his notepad ‘oh, you did – you thought you were better then mahogany brown – oh how cute. That’s why I like you Lou you always dream big but end up getting woken right before the end.’

I contemplated emptying the ash tray of beer liquid that had somehow found a home there when he placed his hand over mine.

‘If it makes you feel any better, most of the woman I date get  a little upset about the colour code thing.’

‘Most of the woman?’

Like an impending sex offender he grabbed my hand harder and looked into my eyes.

‘That’s kinda what got this whole colour coded thing started’.

I pulled away and began fingering my pasta.

‘So this whole colour coding thing is a new thing?’

‘Yep, it’s the only way I know to tell all you girls apart’.

Ok – so it’s now at this point that most people ask ‘where the fuck do you meet these guys Lou?’ And it is at this point in my life that I say ‘I choose not to answer that, just leave me alone – life is a journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

‘Tell us apart!?!’ I yelled – the whole restaurant turned.

‘Hey, lower your voice Lou’

‘Sorry’…I mumbled…

‘That’s ok, apology accepted’ He looked around the restaurant, most people had returned to their meals.

‘Tell us apart?’ I whispered harshly ‘have you ever thought of just looking at our faces, it’s generally how people tell people apart.’

‘Conventionally yes, but when you’re seeing more then one girl at once it can get confusing’

‘you’re seeing someone else?’

‘I’m a player Lou, you know that.’

‘No I didn’t – you failed to mention it between the whole – I’ve never met anyone like you bullshit you were peddling’

‘Ok Lou, now you’re just being petulant’

I drained the last of my wine.

‘So, who is she? This ‘other’ girl?’

‘It wouldn’t be ethical of me to name names’

‘This isn’t a war crimes tribunal’ I spat out.

‘Fine, but if I tell you we’re splitting cheesecake for desert – deal?’

I pondered it a moment – the cheese cake did look good….very good….

‘Deal.’

‘The other girl is the colour red’

I was quiet for a moment. The funny thing is I would of been fine had she been beige or bisque – but red – my colour!

‘That’s funny’ I said ‘Cause you’re about to see red’

And with that I poked him in the eye with my desert fork. No cheesecake for me.

 

 

Continue Reading

Friends you never wanted to have – example 1

The smell of freshly urinated grass first thing in the morning can’t truly be described by anyone that hasn’t awoken on a bit of lawn, skirt riding up around their waist and the promise that this might be their last day on earth, but believe me I did not set out to finish up this way…

My friend Steve and I weren’t spending enough time together. He was insistent we meet up on the weekend and have a good chin wag, it was comments like that that had led me to push away from Steve, but like a cat trying to get a dead bird out of skirting boards he kept coming back. In hindsight I should never have encouraged my best friend Frannie to sleep with him, but he told me he was dying and I thought I’d do the guy a favour and so I introduced him to Frannie who after a recent pap smear scare was looking to rejoin the human race.

He wasn’t dying, not that he was lying. He’d stepped on a rusty nail earlier that day and had been lakse getting a tetnus injection and had been feeling a bit off all day. Frannie  had her suspicions ‘he didn’t shag like a dying man – he was more like the warm up guy on Wheel of Fortune; he worked on the theory I’d probably seen the show often enough to work it all out myself and he just occasionally yelled out encouraging vowel sounds’.

Frannie’s lack of interest in pursuing anything with Steve led her to give him my number and it turned out that when he wasn’t crying he was kinda alright to hang out with and when I say hang out with I mean a phone call once a year around Christmas generally when I’m about to go into a tunnel and my phone just drops out. So for whatever reason now he wanted a face to face. I agreed to meet him for dinner, drinks and food in a controlled environment with little chance of him bursting into tears or bringing his mother along.

‘I’m not eating chicken anymore’ He told me as the waiter took our order for two medium rare steaks. ‘Nothing off a carcass, it’s just so cruel.’

‘Not to burst your bubble Steve but steak much like the one you just ordered comes off a carcass’.

‘Common misconception Lou, it comes from the rump’

‘Which is part of the skeletal system, the carcass of the animal’

‘Granted its supported by the carcass, but it’s not entirely reliant on it, the rump doesn’t need the carcus to survive’

‘I think you’re thinking of squid’

‘And you Lou are refusing to think full stop’.

The problem was had Steve been an ex of mine, or an off cut of a night of pity then I’d have no trouble treating him with the contempt he deserved, but this was complicated. It was like meeting up with a friends ex-husband to distract him from the restraining order that had been served on him early that week with lots of ‘she told you she needed her space, this isn’t so much about you as it is her new husband that really thinks you can’t let go’ or my personal favourite ‘if you hadn’t slept with her mum there’s a good chance it would never have gotten to this’.

Our food arrived, my second bottle of wine decanted, his mineral water poured and we settled into round two for the night.

‘Why did you and I never hook up Lou. I see a lot of potential in you Lou.’

‘I was gay when I met you’

‘Guess it was just bad timing’

‘Yep’

‘You still gay?’

‘No, just turns out it was something I ate that night’

‘Funny you say that. I’ve met someone’

I nearly fell off my chair.

‘Do they know you’ve met them?’

‘Yes, she’d been on at me for ages to go out with her, it was pretty pathetic but what is it they say ‘give a girl a bone?’

‘You said that to her?’

‘No, I did that to her – gave her a bone…get it?’

I gulped at an empty glass, another drink was in order. I was breaking my latest rule – no drinking around others.

‘But then she got all weird’

‘She’d probably sobered up’

‘No, she doesn’t drink. It’s really very refreshing, you should try it sometime Lou’

‘There are lots of things I should do, but generally I do what I shouldn’t – point and case sitting here with you right now.’

‘Ouch – you’re just drunk’

‘Yes and I’m going to get going in a minute before my brain truly starts to grasp some of the things you’ve said tonight’

‘You’re just like my new girlfriend’

‘No I’m not, for starters I’m not a minor’

‘She’s 40 actually – older then me and you. A proper woman. She’s certified’.

‘They don’t hand out certificates’

‘They should and warning signs, I mean she got upset because I wouldn’t got down on her’.

My steak revisited my throat but I pushed it back down.

‘It’s just not natural Lou, like if I was gay fine, it’s part of the job description but I’m a guy, I mean help me out here Lou’

I slowly picked up my purse.

‘I don’t think we can be friends anymore Steve.’

‘Oh don’t tell me you like that stuff Lou…christ not you too..I’m starting to think it’s all women’.

‘Someone will stab you one day Steve, I’m just giving you a heads up on that’

‘Fine be that way, but I reckon you won’t find one guy who’s ok with doing that to a girl, well maybe a queer’

‘Frannie has chronic herpes Steve – enjoy’

And with that I left, and what I’d failed to realise was quite how drunk I was and at some point I passed out on what I believe was my way home…

….so waking up it took a few moments for my body to figure out where it had landed, where my brain in all it’s learned knowledge had decided I’d best be suited to bring in the new day. That place was my parents front lawn, complete with my father weeding in one corner and much to be horror, my mother languishing on a desk chair and prodding me a stick and yelling at her dog ‘Henry get away from your sister, put your leg down, down…oh honestly I’ve never seen Henry pee on someone so much – he must think you’re his girflfriend’



Continue Reading

Some say I rushed my first marriage…

My first marriage ended in disaster, but in hindsight I do suppose it was doomed from the start. I had to be tied up ‘bitch style’ to a tree by my peers and my husband was sticky taped to the playground slide. Our peers said our vows on our behalf. I think I cried throughout the entire ceremony, and I was still crying when my Grade 2 teacher found me still tied to the tree 3 hours later and remarked that no one liked an unhappy bride…I still plot her death to this very day…..

Sure, Andrew and I tried to make it work, but it was a volatile relationship from day one. I was abusive towards him; he barely paid me any attention, instead preferring to stick his finger up his nose, in his belly button and eventually his anus. Four days after our vows had been imposed upon us our marriage was annulled, after I tracked down the marriage ‘ringleader’ and threatened to scream rape in the tuckshop if he didn’t put a stop to this charade.

Friends would remark years later that I rushed into my second marriage; after all I was barely ten when I found myself seduced by the old institution once again. His name was Michael. We came highly recommended to each other by our best friend. Never mind that the idea of masturbating with shards of glass was more appealing then sharing oxygen with him – it was all set to go ahead and there was nothing I could do.

The ceremony was simple enough – under the swing set with a group of our closest friends. I did not cry this time; I had taken to drinking instead. It was my only release; for again I had a husband that paid me absolutely no attention. I knew he’d only married me to get closer to my best friend. I saw the sympathetic looks people gave me; I knew what they were saying – but really, who wanted to go into double-digits single? It was just not the done thing back in my day…

The police report said I purposely threw myself off the monkey bar set – to be honest, I don’t really remember the details. It was a Tuesday, I’d had a bit too much lemonade…I climbed to the top and then stood 6 feet high over the world and finally felt something, for the first time in ages – really felt something. I vaguely remember the other children daring my to jump, and maybe I did jump – but what I do know is that I hit that tanbark hard and survived with a broken nose and two black eyes and two days later my husband left me to pursue other activities – he wanted to spend more time with his horses.

Continue Reading