To save me from feeling a sad lonely loser on my actual birthday, we decided to combine with our girls Christmas get to together. For the first time since we all have known each other, which is going on for at least 4 or 5 years now, we will not be together at Christmas this year.
I’m heading to the homeland to meet my new niece.
WROS is also heading to the northern hemisphere for family time.
PRP is holidaying in Thailand with Frosty the Snowman and introducing him to her Mum. Eeeekkkk! He moves in this month too. Hurray for happy endings/beginnings.
Gym Bunny will be with her bro and Tennis Boy’s family.
And Ballerina Beauty is cooking for 10!
So seeing how it was my birthday, I chose the venue. I’d heard good things about the Meatball and Wine Bar for a few months now and was desperate to give it a go. Annoyingly they don’t take bookings as seems le mode in Melbourne these days. I rushed out of work to assess the score of how easy it would be to get a table for 5 on a Wednesday night but it seemed to be the most difficult question in the universe. Why can’t restaurant just use the simple booking system and make things easier for us all!
Anyway, the hostess was very polite and took my number promising to call in an hour with an update on waiting times. She dutifully kept me informed as we had a few school night drinks in GoGo bar underneath Chin Chin. I do love it in there. The barmen are friendly (and good-looking) which is such a rarity in the hipster hood that is laneway drinking.
We were seated by 7.30pm and were treated to so many choices. Choices between meat or cheese boards or both. Choices between meatballs or sliders. Choices between wine or beer. Choices between type of meatball, type of sauce and type of stuff you want to put the meatballs on. I opted for the pork, fennel and orange meatball in the tomato sauce on smashed potatoes. It was divine. We ordered a couple of salads for the table one again with orange, walnuts and fennel I could have easily eaten for the rest of my life and been happy.
The service was great, attentive, quick, accurate and friendly. Exactly what was required. I thought with the high turnover feel to non booking places, we’d feel rushed but we have a very relaxed couple of hours together. Enough time to eat, chat, swap presents, gossip, pull Christmas crackers, take the obligatory Facebook picture and pay up.
I shall definitely be visiting again and have been dreaming and those meatball and fennel salad ever since.
Last week I turned 37. Here’s a run down of the day.
$ spent on new hair = $99
$ spent on new makeup = $99
# of problems = it wasn’t 99 and a bitch wasn’t one. (pah, I’m hilarious! See what I did there…!)
# of new dresses purchased for birthday event = 1 (although 2 or 3 maybe slipped into the wardrobe as back ups)
# of pair of shoes worn = 2 (the wedges to flats strategy worked a treat. Wiser as well as older).
# of times I triple checked my appearance before leaving the flat to make sure I was at my hottest = a gazillion
# of times my heart jumped into my mouth at the prospect of bumping into Posh Boy = 6 or 7
# of times I nearly passed out with nerves as I went to meet PRP and Frosty the Snowman (her boyf) = 2
# of times I nearly passed out from severed circulation due to overzealous spanx = countless.
# of time my heart jumped into my mouth at the prospect of bumping into Posh Boy after I had finished my first glass of bubbles = 0
# of times I swept the crowd looking for Posh Boy = 0
# of glasses of bubbles consumed = unknown, maybe ask me how many bottles
# of bottles of bubbles consumed = I lost count after 3 (between 4 of us, although I have since been told we drank more than this). But I’d had a few ciders by then…
# of ciders drank = I think it’s fair to assume I was drinking a bottle every 30-45 mins.
# of sunburns = 0 – oh except for my poor head
# of branded parasols commandeered from the barman = at last count there were 5 under our table
# of branded wine glasses perfect for picnics commandeered and smuggled out quite discreetly in my beach canvas bag = 9. I blame Gym Bunny.
# of times since I’ve cursed Gym Bunny’s name and I play wine glass tetrus in my cupboard = countless
# of setting the world to rights conversations I had = 2. Poor Gym Bunny and WROS.
# of times I told my friends I loved them = I do believe the answer to this is in direct correlation to the number of bottles of bubbles consumed.
# of times I cursed wearing spanx = enough to never want to go there again.
# of times I unsuccessfully tried to get out of bed in the morning = 2
# of minutes it took to clean up the muesli I seemed to have thrown around the kitchen when I got home = 30 mins. I had to move very slowly.
# of minutes it took me to find my other shoe = 15 minutes. One was by the sofa the other was in the bath. Seems I washed my feet before I went to bed. I’m sensible like that.
That’s what turning 37 does to you.
Post break up there’s two things I really hate – apart from the obvious, usual shitness of the situation – that can be described as territory wars:
1) The division of friends
2) The division of geography
In the case of Posh Boy (and I promise I will stop writing about him soon!) the division of friends was pretty simple. We’d only been seeing each other 13 months so our friendship groups weren’t fully intertwined and so division fell back to the usual “I was friends with him/her first and that’s where my loyalties lie”. This is, of course, right and proper and fully expected. I got on well with Posh Boy’s mates and he did with mine, although I don’t feel he made as much of an effort with mine as I did with his – clearly due to him only ever thinking of our relationship as temporary. But a few things surprised me post break up, two of his friends stuck with me. OK we’re talking Facebook friendships but in all honesty most of our interactions sans Posh Boy we’re of the ‘liking’ and ‘commenting of status’ variety anyway. One of these friends deleted me around the time the new girlfriend came onto the scene, the two events not independent of each other but I like to think this friend did it more to protect me from the nauseating display of affection that I uncovered anyway through cyber stalking. The other friend is still with me and it’s not just in a passive way. She often comments on my wall and like pics, statuses etc as if nothing had happened. I like her all the more for it.
The other surprise was that Posh Boy tried to stay friends with WROS. Granted he didn’t really try very hard and it was in the first emotional stages and around her birthday. He emailed her to wish her a happy birthday and say he’d like to stay friends but understood if she didn’t want to. Of course WROS didn’t acknowledge the email let alone pander to his request but it surprises me how he even thought she might entertain the idea.
The last surprise was how much it hurt me to see pictures of them all at the races together. Of course the vomit inducing selfies of Posh Boy and gf were always gonna be a smack in the chops but pics of them all with her, looking happy and having fun was like I’d been dumped all over again. You could basically photoshop her out of the pics and me in and that was us all last spring. He’s taking her to all the events he took me to last year. Of course his friends were going to accept her into the fold just as warmly as they accepted me, but it still hurt. It’s like I’d swallowed a whole other layer of superficial bullshit along with his lies.
This ease of his reliving last year with a new gf has taken rise to my 2nd break up hatred; the division of geography. I am terrified of bumping into them. Together. Or him on his own. Or him with his friends. I’m just not ready and it tarnishes every day of my life in Melbourne at the moment. I know it’s irrational and I also know chances are slim even in a small city (in relative terms) such as Melbourne. We never crossed paths prior to our relationship, so why would the chances be higher now?
But knowledge is evil like that. I know where he hangs out. I know where is favourite bars are, his favourite date night restaurants, his coffee shop, his work and post work haunts. It’s like the map of Melbourne has been carved up into his turf and my turf. His turf would be Toorak, South Yarra and north of the CBD. Mine would be St Kilda, South Melbourne and south CBD. But the battle lines are never that clear cut.
Every day I cycle along Southbank to get to work. Every day I wonder whether I’ll bump into him going on one of his impromptu bike rides down to south wharf. On Friday I had to venture into his turf to pick up my passport. The immigration building is directly opposite his work place. I had to walk past his favourite bar, coffee shop and Friday lunchtime spot to get there and my heart was in my mouth the entire journey. I scanned the lunchtime crowds in trepidation of encountering him or his work colleagues and having to make awkward small talk, or even worse be ignored and deemed a stalker. I almost wanted to walk around with a sandwich board saying, ‘only here to pick up my passport, nothing to do with Posh Boy’.
I know it’s silly and I very much doubt he’s putting himself through the ringer when he ventures into my turf and indeed I bet it hasn’t even crossed his mind, but it’s torturing me. I know it’s just part of the ‘moving on’ thing and as soon as there’s another distraction in my life, I won’t think about it either but it’s the polo next weekend and we’re all going to celebrate my birthday. Well that and it’s what we do every year.
He is going to be there because his work had booked a corporate area for their Christmas party. No doubt she will be there too. They will be on the opposite side of the ground to me, but that’s not going to stop me scouring the crowds every five minutes for fear of bumping into him. I’ve also reserved a table at the pub afterwards. The pub we always go to. Chances are he will go to that pub too. I’d like to think he’d have the decency to realise this is my turf and he should find somewhere else, but I doubt he’s thinking like that. I don’t want to see him, or her but at the same time I do in a car-crash-TV kinda way. I don’t want him to see me. I don’t want her to see me. But then again I do in the hope he sees what he lost. I don’t expect him to ditch her on the spot and beg me to get back with him. Whilst that would be great and I’d relish the chance to turn him down, it’s just not going to happen.
The reality is, he’s too much of a coward to come over and talk to me. He’s probably forgotten I’ll even be there and/or that it’s my birthday. The reality is if I spend the day scouring the ground for him and his gf I’ll probably not see them and have a shit day or see them and have a shit day.
Or I can go with the intention I would have had, had I never met the bastard. To forget he’s going, forget about bumping into him, or her or his friends.To go and have a fun day out with my friends, get pissed, have a laugh and create some memories we’ll be talking about for years to come. Because if I do that, and he does see me, I won’t give a shit because I’m having too much fun and he’ll think ‘what an idiot I’ve been, she was so much fun’ and I’ll have won the territorial battle.
And Melbourne will be mine. Mwah ha ha ha ha!
I’ve certainly racked up a fair few in my time and whilst I understand you need to kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince, I’m already started to feel slightly jaded by the dating world. So in the run up to silly season with lots of normal life distractions to look forward to, I’m taking time out for a while. Recharge the jaded batteries.
The reason for this change in direction? The worst date of my life….and I’ve had some bad ones. Let’s recap:
#5: Lagging behind in 5th place we have the story of Chocolate Boy. Over-enthusiastic, mega keen or maybe just on a sugar high…permanently.
#4: Pipping Chocolate Boy to the post is the Toothless Nurse and that’s because I feel bad for teasing him about his teeth – or lack of – so have bumped him up the pecking order.
#3: Was the recent encounter with The Brazilian. In some cases, it’s hard to see why some people are single, in others, it’s very clear.
#2: Was a story I never finishing telling but was my 2nd date with this guy. I didn’t want to add insult and further injury to a very wounded soldier by recounting the sorry tale at the time. Following this date, I felt the guy showed promise and we kept in contact in a very 21st century way through twitter and WordsWithFriends. We agreed to meet up again for dinner and drinks in his ‘hood and again things seemed to be progressing well until, as if teamed with the stroke of midnight, he turned. We were both pretty tipsy by this stage of the night and he returned from his trip to the loo a completely different person. The launched into a drunken tirade about how he was planning to jump off the West Gate Bridge that weekend and life wasn’t worth living anymore. I was forced to switch mind sets from potential girlfriend to caring mother in the space of 30s and was frantically trying to sober up and work out what to do and say next. He was very messed up, bless him. It certainly killed the evening and I was faced with leaving him alone to do god knows what. I spent a good half an hour counseling him in the best way I could (basically telling his to seek professional help) and tell just one friend how he’s feeling. Then we parted ways. Only we had that awkward moment where we said our ‘goodbyes’ and then walked away – the same direction. Luckily I was saved by a passing cab and escaped into the night. I feel bad for the guy and feel bad about putting him in my worst dates list. But hell it was one hell of a shit date!
#1: What could possibly beat the Brazilian AND a potential suicide you may ask? Well let me tell you. What the biggest fear anyone has when they go on a blind date? What is the worst thing that could possibly go wrong? Being stuck with the most boring man in the world? No. Being stood up? No. Being rejected after little more than 5 mins? Oh yes!
So here’s what happened. Sporty Lawyer had contacted me shortly after The Brazilian on RSVP, we swapped a few emails but he was keen to meet up quickly and set up a date for Tuesday. He was a man of few words, communicating purely on practical, logistical matters which I put down to his lawyerly ways. There was plenty of time to get to know each other when we met in person. He set the date for 8pm which was somewhat annoying as it meant hanging around the city after work with not really enough time to head home and change. So instead I killed time at the gym. Date time approached and he said me a few messages asking what I was wearing, what he’d be wearing, double checking the venue etc etc. It struck me as a bit over-zealous but perhaps he was new to the world of online dating so I didn’t judge. I typically arrived about 10 mins early, bought a beer and found a seat. Most of Melbourne had also decided to take advantage of the warm evening sunshine and headed out for a few mid-week frothies so it was very busy. Just after 8pm, I was conscious of someone making a bee line for me. It was him. He greeted me, asked how I was, whether I wanted a beer and whether I wanted to switch to a table all in about 10 second. He looked pretty nervous and I tried to put him at ease by laughing about how busy it was, I was fine for beers but he should grab one allowing him a few minutes alone to gather himself. He went to the bar.
A few minutes passed. A few more minutes passed. I knew the beer line was busy so turned to see where he was. I couldn’t see him for the crowd and thought maybe he’d gone to the inside bar. When after 10 minutes he still hadn’t returned, I naturally turned to my phone to play around of Facebook and the like. There was a text message sent 3 minutes earlier:
“I just had a panic attack. Can’t go thru with it.”
Wow! A date that lasted 7 minutes. I’m really not THAT scary surely….poor guy. So I sat there, on a busy, beautiful spring evening on my own in a busy bar. Ditched. In hindsight my reaction was very self-indulgent but I guess I am still a little fragile from Posh Boy. I took his rejection personally and thought the whole panic attack thing a lie. I rang PRP and interrupted her dinner to make her talk me round and allow me to finish me beer. I was damned if I was going to be ditched and not finish my $13.50 pint! In hindsight, the poor guy was probably building up to this date all day. Got himself into such a tizz and there’s me thinking he’d taken one look at me thought “Hell no!” and scarpered. The fear in his eyes when he shook my hand ‘Hello’ tells me that wasn’t the case. This isn’t about me at all. There’s just a lot of fucked up people out there.
And that’s why I’m taking a dating break. I don’t need to be one of them.
I discovered this piece the other day and it’s the first piece of writing I’ve found that truly describes the loss of a loved one.
It’s simply beautiful.
Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.
It’s say percolating with me for the past few days and now I can honest say, hand on heart, I’m pleased I have these scars because it’s proof I’ve loved and that love was real.
So last Thursday I had a date. I was exceptionally nervous, but a little excited and very intrigued.
The guy in the limelight introduced himself as Australian/German/Brazilian which is an intriguing mix. I tried to show off with my German as we swapped emails but that fell somewhat flat when it turns out he doesn’t speak a word and I had to translate my email. His grandfather was German but hadn’t spoken a word of mother tongue since the end of the war. More intrigue and I couldn’t wait to hear the full story.
So I left the bike at home that day made a special effort, splashed on a bit of make-up – enough to make the girls at work raise an eyebrow – and my shimmy dress and headed to north of the river to jump back on the horse.
Typically I was a little early, but luckily he was earlier. He was waiting for me at the bar and aesthetically I was pleased to see he looked like his profile. First hurdle down. He hadn’t made an effort though. A hoodie and jeans. Like seriously dude, at least pretend you’re making an effort. It was a little disappointing to see he hadn’t approached the date with the same anticipation. As we ordered our drinks and exchanged pleasantries it became clear how he dealt with his nerves, by bellowing. I’m pretty sure the entire bar heard him as he bellowed at me across a rather small table. Things were taking a downward spinal.
I took control of the conversation to his heritage and asked him lots of family questions to which he answered at length, disowning his Brazilian background as just somewhere I was born, allowed his passport to lapsed and now he was a proud Australian. He still spoke Portuguese but didn’t see himself as Brazilian. Fair enough, every one is different, I thought as I explained that although I’ve just became Australian, deep down I’m still English and northern English at that. As Take That so thoughtfully sang back in the 90s, ‘Never forget where you come here from…’ (OK maybe I didn’t give him the Take That reference – I was still trying to make an impression).
Then the conversation swung in a direction which will go down in dating history – his starter for 10:
“I have no sympathy for these asylum seekers. They deserve everything they get. I had to pay $15,000 for my citizenship, I did it the hard way, temporary residency, perm residency then citizenship. They just pay $10,000 and we’re supposed to welcome them”
Stunned doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. I guess there are plenty of idiots like him, after all Tony Abbott was voted in as our Prime Minister but on a date! A first date! Wow! I tried to be as dignified as possible in my response even though I was boiling on the inside.
“Well I wouldn’t say their way is easy, they are risking their lives to find a better life. They must be facing a pretty desperate situation to risk their families like that…”
He interrupted me with cries of “what sort of idiot puts their family at risk like that?!”
“Well perhaps it’s the most hopeful option for their family…” There was just no talking to him, he ranted on and on for a good 5 minutes more with his racist nonsense. I was only 15 minutes into the date but suddenly I was looking for ways to wrap up.
I took a huge gulp of wine. He’d only taken a sip of his pint.
He seamlessly moved the conversation on to the next natural topic of first date conversations: Brazilians….as in the waxing trend.
He laughed about how funny he thought it was that all these girls voluntarily put themselves in pain – and it’s not even called a Brazilian in Brazil. Was I really having a first date filled with bigoted racist comments and a one-way conversation on the waxing of lady gardens? Oh lord. This was the worst date of my life.
I drained my wine and he noticed and asked if I was a big drinker. “I’ve been known to indulge but big nights are few and fair between these days. I can’t handle the hangovers anymore.”
Then I saw my escape route, “In fact you should be honored, I’m breaking my own rules by having a drink with you on a school night, so I’ll only have the one drink.”
“I bet with your heritage [Irish and Scottish] you’d be a big drinker.”
“Not anymore, although I can handle my drink….”
“I bet you can. You’re a big girl. I wouldn’t want to pick you up off the floor in the toilets, I’d need a wheelbarrow.”
The words echoed around the bar. I was stunned into silence. ARSEHOLE!
I remained dignified and polite as I waited for him to finish his drink and as soon as he had made noises about making my way back to St Kilda. It wasn’t even 7pm. I’d spent 45 mins with his tosser. 45 mins of my life I’ll never get back.
As we left the bar, he moved into my personal space as if he might go in for a kiss, I stepped aside admiring a feather which had been sent from the Gods to save me. Then my guardian angels sent the tram perfectly timed into my path and jumped aboard before he could finish saying “Goodbye”.
I could dwell on his comment on my size and weight. I could dwell on how it was the worst date ever to get me back into the game. I could even dwell on the hopelessness of there being nothing else in the pipeline. But if that’s all that’s out on the market. I’ll be happily single for ever more.
But I still do have hope. I’m not a size 10. If I was a size 10 I’d look odd, anorexic. I know because when I was 21, I was a size 10 and anorexic. Instead I’m on a the wrong size of 14 but the right size of 16. It might not be perfect or model-esque but as PRP purred as I tried on the dress I’m to wear for the polo in a couple of weeks, “Jessica Rabbit va-va-voom”
I’ll just wait for the right man to come along who will appreciate it
Always up for finding a new brunch favourite, especially after my most recent favourite has gone considerably downhill of late, I accepted a kind invitation from the proprietor of Third Wave Cafe to check out his new project. Following the success of his place in Port Melbourne, he decide to brave it out with the big boys of Chapel Street and opened 8 weeks ago.
I rocked up with PRP on a very wet and cold Saturday morning purposely at peak brunching hour. Tucked away on Cato St, it’s sheltered from all the hustle and bustle of Chapel and the overspilling, over-priced and often over-rated multitude of cafs. It was bigger than I expected, except unlike the Tardis, it looks larger on the outside than it is on the inside. Which is a good thing, it was nice a cosy and warm inside, something it doesn’t look like from the outside.
The menu is pretty extensive with something for everyone. There was almost too much choice as there was 2 or 3 dishes I wanted, or is that an excuse to go back? I plumbed for a ‘build your own breakfast’ with the highly acclaimed scrambled eggs, chorizo and smashed avocado. The scrambled eggs claim to be the fluffiest in Melbourne which is quite a boast. PRP was nursing a bit of a hangover after being entertained courtesy of emirates in the Birdcage the night before. She opted for the breakfast muffin.
The coffees arrived swiftly and my large skinny cap was marvelously large. I do hate a café who skimps on size however PRP wasn’t so lucky with her muffin. It did look meager in comparison to mine. I almost felt guilty as she was the one with the hangover and more in need of a good serve. But then again it was only $6.50 and there’s not many places in Melbourne, certainly not on Chapel you’d be able to brunch for under $10.
So the most important question: did the eggs live up to the hype. They were very light and fluffy and I’d agree that they are probably the fluffiest I’ve eaten in Melbourne. However, I’d almost say they were a little too light so whilst they met the claim I was left a little disappointed. Maybe I just like a bit more substance to my eggs. The smashed avo did make up for it though, with much minty freshness.
Third Wave is a little out of my way to become a firm local but PRP’s boyf lives very locally and she’s pledged to visit again soon. There’s definitely enough on the menu to get me back again even in my search for the perfect scrambled eggs continues…
Ha! Blast from the past n’est pas?
Good old Chimbawamba, remember when they poured a bucket of water over John Prescot at the Brits? Think it was the same year Jarvis wiggled his bum at Jacko. Ah the 90s. I think it was the year after that they banned booze at the Brits. Hilarious.
Anyway I digress…
Super Positivity Day started with a jolt as it turns out I’d slept through both my alarms and woke up at 8am! I chose another good dress, springtime sandles and even sloshed on a bit of make up.
As applied a touch of lippy, I even blew myself a kiss in the mirror and winked myself a good morning. Today was going to be a good day.
Remembering the rules, I smiled and made eye contact with everyone I met. Unfortunately though I live in St Kilda and as I was running about 10 mins after peak commuting time, the only people around were the smack heads and the homeless, piling into the 7/11 to get their $1 coffee while they waited for the pharmacy to open so they could get their methadone allowance. They weren’t really that appreciative of my smiley breeziness and instead shuffled away in distrust.
I got the tram because I was running so late plus I had a late meeting off site and didn’t know where I could safely park the bike. My office car park shuts at 6.30pm which is good in terms of getting me out of work at a decent time but bad for any ‘unusual circumstance’ happenings after work if I was to also cycle. Anyway I’m digressing again…
I tried to smile and make eye contact to my fellow commuters, possibly inject a bit of cheer into the doldrum routine but everyone was absorbed into the phones or books or newspapers. So I got out my book too. I was conscious of the man standing next to me reading my book over my shoulder. This is a pet hate of mine and usually when this happens I slam the book shut and spin round to catch them in the act. But today as much as it made every hair on my body bristle, I let him read. It is after all a very good book and why should I deny him exposure to it, just because he’s a cheap skate?
When I got off the tram, I made a point of thanking the tram driver. He looked at me very confused.
At the coffee shop, I was warmly welcomed “Good morning darling. Jumbo skinny cap?”
“Of course, why break a habit of a lifetime”
“Indeed…. there you go.”
“Thank you, have a lovely day.”
A simple exchange but my barista looked up and beamed when I wished him a good day as well as the usual thanks. I’d spread a bit of cheer result!
The day morphed into the usual routine but I had a big scary presentation at 10.30 to the new big scary boss while our current big boss goes on mat leave. My boss was in all of a tizz about our presentations, checking and double checking we were prepared (I wasn’t on both occasions!). She was clearly stressing herself out wanting to make a good impression and it return it was stressing us all out.
Turned out the new big scary boss isn’t that scary at all. In fact, he’s was very approachable, impressed, interested and very willing to leave us to it for the next 6 months with minimal disruption. Normally at these kind of shindigs, I do my bit and slop back to my desk, but today I loitered and praised a colleague on her recent campaign results. I asked new now not so scary boss whether he was staying in town for Cup day. I even asked departing boss about her impending pregnancy and we made jokes, possible jokes that could be interpreted as a little inappropriate but she was one foot out the door and I was being all cheery and sociable.
Later in the day, I called one of my agencies and thanked them for the work they’d done on a report for me. Just because. The account manager gushed with glee and then made inane small talk. I had to cut her off, there is a limit to my positivity.
As I left the office for my meeting a colleague commented how pretty I looked today. Apparently I was looking “very cool and pretty today” and I should “get out there and walk on the sunny side of the street” – not too sure what she meant by the 2nd bit but I did walk across town singing Van Morrison’s Bright Side of the Road in my head and did indeed cross over into the sunshine. Just because.
On the way home on the tram a Dad was struggling with his ever so cute son. I offered my seat – my random act of kindness – to which he refused. Damn that male stubborn pride, he was clearly not coping. So I played with the little boy all the way to his stop (Middle Park no less) entertaining him with my funny faces and peek-a-boos. I’m going to be the best auntie.
Tonight instead of watching my usual depressing news, I watched comedy and laughed out loud. The sound of my laugh made me start, it’s been a while since I’ve properly laughed. It went down a treat with my homemade healthy moosaka.
It was a good day, but I have to say forced positivity is hard work! Being grumpy and sad comes much more naturally to me