Turns out there’s a whole lot of stuff you have to think about when planning a wedding. Where will old people sit? Do we invite people we don’t like? Who am I marrying? Should we get a Mariachi band?
The J-man and I have set a date. We’re committing ourselves to a foreverness of fighting over whether to watch Entourage or The Wire on March 13, 2010. I quite like that we have chosen the 13th, because it’s a big ol’ feck you to spooky-wooky wedding tradition. Up yours superstition. I wonder if I’ll be saying the same thing when the venue slides into the ocean mid-vows.
Anyway, we’re starting to think about how we want to do this thing. We don’t have too many disagreements. So far the most unsettling thing is listening to other people’s advice. I got a copy of a book called Tying the Knot Without Doing Your Block by the comedian Terri Psiakis and decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a go. There were a lot of bum jokes and some fun and awesome tips. There was also a part about what to do when you get the wee bum on your wedding day, which was clearly written with me in mind.
But a lot of it made me feel a little unsettled. I don’t want a traditional wedding dress; I don’t care about hair and make-up tests; I was thinking I’d just wear flat shoes ‘cos J-man is a short-arse; I don’t want to have to ask people to say nice things about us; I don’t have/want bridesmaids and, oh my god, I have never even heard of a ‘bridal lounge’. Even when I scoff at these things to cynical friends, “Ha! Hair and make-up tests, who are these crazy women!” they kind of look at me suspiciously out of the corner of their eyes as if they’re imagining me walking up the aisle with blue eyeshadow up to my drawn-on eyebrows.
So I started kind of freaking out and just repeating to Sir J “SIMPLE, CLASSY”. “Good night Poor Stevie,” he’d say. “SIMPLE, CLASSY” “How was your day Poor Stevie?” “SIMPLE, CLASSY”, “What should we call our first baby?” “SIMPLE, CLASSY”. After a while he said I was becoming a bridezilla in my attempts not to be a bridezilla.
But this is all I want: An awesome day that reflects who we are, surrounded by the people we love, with a whole lot of good food, music and booze. Plus a big stripper pole in the middle of the dancefloor so I can show my grandma what life has taught me. Seriously, is that so hard?
J-man and I had a lazy Sunday lunch in the sunshine with a group of his high school friends. These are boys who playfully tease him about his tight jeans, his tartan scarf and his colourful collection of American Apparel shirts.
During the conversation, which covered topics including music downloads, hangovers, cars and babes, J-man busts out two crackers which will forever remain filed in the “favourite all-time quotes” section of my brain.
First: (Mostly unrelated to the conversation) “I did a delicates wash the other day. Thirty minutes!” This was met by whole round of manly snorts and chortles.
Second: (Wrapping said tartan scarf around his shoulders) “Oh, I feel like Helen Garner!” Mostly I laughed about that. If only the dudes knew who Helen Garner was.
I’m sure when J-man reads this post he’ll get defensive and say there’s nothing more I can do to destroy his manliness. But it’s his boyish enthusiasm for just about everything – from washing cycles and baking to music and technology – that makes me love him hardcore.
The attraction of physical exercise has always been a bit of mystery to me. Why run when you can leisurely stroll? Why do sit ups when you can just sit? Why use a giant pole to fling yourself over another giant pole when you can hang out?
But recently I have rediscovered the joy of basketball. Joy, you ask? Yes, joy. For when I was in high school I played two seasons of basketball with some friends who were equally as uncoordinated as me and we had a frickin’ blast. Mostly I guess it was the things other than basketball that made those times awesome. The retro mixed candy sold at the canteen, the semi see-through shirts, the older male dreamy referees and the wooden seats outside where we would talk about said boys.
The J-man and I have been shooting hoops at a park across the road from our block of flats. That’s all we really do, just shoot hoops, run a little and commentate like it’s the NBA. After only a couple of sessions it’s also provided some fun interaction with the human race, which I’m not totally used to as most of my time is spent at home watching Masterchef and admiring Matt Preston’s cravats. My favourite is Pauline.
Yesterday as we walked to the park with our freshly pumped up ball, J-man started doing a bunch of tricks like bouncing it between his legs and pretending to shoot, all the while completely unaware a group of roughed-up council workers were watching him. As they walked past us they all chuckled and tried to take the ball, making the ol’ J blush like a lady.
Today I hooped it solo (do you think that’s how they would say it on the street?) At one point, as I’ve grown used to, I totally missed the shot. Like way off. Even over the sound of Tegan and Sara – my equivalent of Eye of the Tiger – blasting on my iPod, I heard an old man who had seen everything yell out to me.
He came over and said: “Have you ever watched the champions play?” Stupidly thinking he was referring to a team, I said: “No.” So this old fella took the ball from me, put his wrinkly fingers on its surface and demonstrated how to give it a little spin. “Have a go,” he said. So I did and in the ball went with a satisfying swish.
And without saying a word, he walked away.
I’m bidding for this on eBay.
I love searching for ‘vintage dress’ on eBay. About 17,348 items come up and only about one-tenth of those are truly vintage and about one-tenth of those one-tenths are actually cool. But it’s the trawling that’s just so satisfying, just like in a real life op-shop in the real life world.
I would love to wear this little baby to my engagement party, which is in exactly a week. I could be cutting it seriously fine, but I want to look good. And this strikes me as one of those dresses that could be awesomed up even more with a dash of red lipstick, some heels and some mildly teased hair. At this point it kind of looks like I’ll be wearing jeans that need constant pulling up in order to prevent peep shows and a shirt that says ‘walkman’. Gah!
Now that I’m a member of the beige, frowning army of lemmings known as the employed, I pine for my university days. I think I made the most of them – I drank enough beer to cultivate my own little wobbly gut, I met my beloved man friend, I learnt things, I slept more than I care to say. I also once let off fireworks in a paddock behind my dormitory before painting my face army-style and carrying a giant log around campus just because I could. I remember the sheer relief I felt every Sunday afternoon upon finishing work behind a checkout. Yep, my working “week” was over and there was nothing ahead of me except five days of blue skies, half-burnt Sargent’s Pies and trivia Tuesdays. Dudes, that was the shiz.
A couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I decided to return to the scene of several crimes, but this time do it in style. Without a student budget the possibilities were endless. Bottles of wine! Sirloin steaks! Clean underpants! Warm jackets! Cocktails! Antiques shopping! Buying narcotics from teenage mums!
So here’s a little trip down memory lane:
This is the fringe and eyes of my friend Tegan as she drove out of our driveway and onto the freeway of…freedom. It should be noted that not only is Tegan incredibly stylish and smart but she’s a kick-ass driver. Which is a relief because even I get sick of driving with me and my white knuckles.
One of the first things we wanted to see when we arrived was the street I remembered as being action-packed. Everything that happened happened right here. Clearly I was so focussed on getting to the amazing French patisserie down the end of the road that I didn’t realise I was living in a city abandoned in the year 80BC.
I found this graffiti a little ironic. Because in my experience of ghetto life, those who draw devils on public property are unlikely to be in school themselves. Alanis Morrisette was going to include that insight in her hit song but it didn’t quite fit.
After exploring the town we had our long-awaited Sirloin steaks at a classy restaurant we could only dream about as students. As it turned out the waiter was distracted, my steak was over-cooked and there was nothing on the damned menu served with gold leaf.
Then, much to the joy of those in our company, the J-man and I wanted to revisit the seedy corner of a beer garden where we first kissed. It was exactly like it is in this picture, with him sitting daintily on my lap and me stealing his innocence right out from under him. It later emerged he made out with two other girls on the same fateful eve. Ah well, gotta take ’em for a test drive.
Later we hit the dancefloor at a pub where the DJ clearly had no sense of fun. You do not, I repeat do not, put weird house beats clumsily over a perfectly dance-worthy Pink – sorry P!nk – song. This photo makes me smile because I spent two whole years mesmerised by my friend Bron’s ability to shake her bootay. For real, this girl can dance.
The next day, some of us having taken a puke for old time’s sake, we went up to uni to remember on-campus life with all its perverted dormies, gastro bugs, conjunctivitis and nudie runs. In true student style, tea bags were stuck on the wall next to us, obviously having been thrown in a moment of reckless spontaneity. Two of us had to wee and it was nice going in to the heated bathrooms with the familiar smear of post-adolescent boy poop stuck to the bowl. We did get caught by the residential advisor who, after some convincing, let us stay so we could relieve ourselves.
And, our final stop, the first student house I lived in. There are many tales to tell from the year I spent living here with my sister, her boyfriend my friend Liam. I’ll just give you snippets. Junkie fights across the road. Beer on the deck. Vines growing up the interior walls. Epic CD listening nights. Broken fridge. Halloween movie marathons. Mice plague. Treats from the corner store. Oven with dodgy thermostat. Over-the-top Jesus decorations. Hallway for a bedroom. Village Fair champagne breakfast.
Take me home.