The ‘C’ word.

When the wind of travel hit my sails I learned to, as my darling brother would say, “chill the fuck out”  and just as I thought that I was managing to continue being a zen-er more go-with-the-flow type of person, I encountered another problem in my ever-deepening psyche. I am a Commitment-phobe.

Before I went to France I was Miss Commitment – I could be relied on to be where I had to be, to do what I had to do. I had my weeks, months, years (some facets, anyway), pretty well planned.

I’m not playing indoor netball this year because I can’t bear the thought of having people to rely on me to actually exude physical prowess, my flatmate wants to lock in a date for a drinks night and I’ve had to tell her that the end of May is too far away for me to confirm the date (she has, kindly, given me a next weekend deadline) and I no longer have a gym routine that is set in concrete like that of yesteryear. The things that I do do regularly, are only a text message away from being rescheduled. I am simply unable to agree to be at the same place at the same time frequently, with the exception of my classes and my job because I’m paying for one and being paid for the other.

In a world where the common complaint of women is that their man just ‘won’t commit’ I can finally sympathise with those poor bitched-about blokes. Yeah, commitment means stability, regularity, dependence. But at this age there is a feeling of impending doom associated with the fact that by commiting, you are not free to do what you want, you are not free to stay at home and watch TV and you certainly are not free to run away with the circus should it come to town and realise your innate talent for being a ringmaster.

Friend of the Blog: Hamish and Andy

What better way to start the segment than with two guys who are the closest thing I have to an obsession. Some girls like the Beebs, others 1D and some are still hoping for a member of Westlife to marry them. For me, it’s Australian radio duo Hamish and Andy. They are cool in a dorky way, funny in a clever way and have survived radio for seven years with record numbers of listeners. They’ve had regular stints on the now-extinct interview show, Rove, and done their own TV things.

In the summer of 2010-2011 I listened to every. Single. Podcast. That’s a couple of hundred. I still listen to each podcast as it’s been released and have been seen power walking and laughing at the same time at their ongoing hilarity. Stunts such as ‘Put-pocketing’, Pants-off Friday and the invention of the sport of ‘ghosting’ have put these two lads on the map. Their radio shows feature regular guests, such as Horgs’ Inventions and Hamish’s grandma, Moosie.

Hamish and Andy are best friends, and I would say, the best thing to come out of Australia since, well, maybe the only good thing to come out of Australia?

Cheers to Hamish and Andy. Let’s be friends.

 

It’s the vibe.

Law School is SO not like the movies (part 1)

Unlike my mother wishes, my life at law school does not at all represent Legally Blond, noone wears all pink nor are there girls with small dogs and fluffy pens, nor are there babes for that matter.

Anyway, Dad’s favourite movie is far and away The Castle the classic Aussie film about the family man whose land is about to be taken by the government in exchange for measly compensation and he just doesn’t want to give up the family home. Hilarity ensues, in a dead pan Australian way as Darryl Kerrigan and his family and neighbours fight for their homes.

There is a famous scene, where Dennis, the haphazard initial lawyer tries to invoke the famous decision of Mabo v Queensland (1992). The scene is below. Now I actually have to read Mabo this week. It is 217 pages long. But to save trees we get them two to an A4 page so the print is smaller. And we’re being assessed on it next week. I’ve always wanted to read this case because of my interest in indigenous rights and it’s fame from The Castle, now I’m not so sure.

 

 

Ex-clusion

Let’s face it, we’ve nearly all got them, we all like to pretend we don’t. I’m not talking about embarrassing parents or wobbly inner thighs. I’m talking about exes. These people who occupy a place that was once so important in our lives and so quickly become the last people we want to run into (especially when we’re not looking super hot).

I saw one of mine the other day (fortunately, I was wearing clean clothes and had a new haircut). He was (she sighs wistfully) my first love, the high school boyfriend (bless). Four things as to how things could’ve happened as he walked past MB, JA and I as we had lunch.

Scenario 1: We smile at each other, the knowing smile of two people who shared something special once, long ago and now wish each other the best on their new path in life.
Scenario 2: I say “Hi”, he says “Hi” (or vice versa, he could go first). Clean, simple recognition.
Scenario 3: We have a small chat about how we are and what we’re each up to these days, no longer than three minutes, I smile a lot, he smiles a lot, we both try to show the other how great our lives are.
Scenario 4: I chase after him down the street calling his name and we have a chat, I’ve got cute flushed cheeks and he asks me for a coffee, I decline, knowing that I’ve moved on and these things should be put to rest. He watches me as I walk away.

Regretfully, I did not play it that cool, do you know what really happened?

Nothing.

I saw him from a mile off and as he walked past I talked to JA, I don’t even know if he saw me, then I saw his back. Just like that.

We should be adult enough to acknowledge each other, right? But what if we’re not. I hope it’s because he didn’t see me, that way I won’t lose sleep over the fact that two people who were once so close could be strangers on the street.

Working Girls

Some of my school friends now have real jobs. I mean, jobs that are 9-5, Monday to Friday. It is scary. I go away for half a year, come home and suddenly I’m not friends with students, I’m friends with a Marketing Exec, teacher, marketer at Porsche and whatever interesting thing it is that MB does when she’s not on Facebook at work.

They have clients. They’re making money. They are in the adult world. Their ability to adapt to this strange place of four weeks holiday a year is pretty impressive.

They’ve got their degrees and they’re paying off their student loans. Wheras I am still racking up government debt in a house in Wellington (breakthrough: we have insulation this year) where I spend my days having lecturers voices wash over me and drowning in so much reading that I now have glasses. Oh the irony that I got rid of my nose piercing only to become even less bad-ass by getting glasses.

When I’m home for a mid-semester break (like the present time) I have to see them at weekends or evenings. The last time we could only see friends at weekends was when your bestie from primary went to the local high school and you entered the world of single-sex Catholic education (now that’s a story for another day. It’s not that it annoys me, I’m as proud as a new mum of my girls all grown up but it’s such a disruption to the routine whereby Tuesday was a perfectly acceptable time to have a sleepover.

There appears to be many benefits to this full time proper job thing, like money and job satisfaction and being able to go out to fancy restaurants and interesting co-workers who are older and more sophisticated. And actually feeling like you are getting somewhere in life! Considering that I have no clue what I’m going to do if I ever grow up and actually graduate, this unglamorous study thing is a societally acceptable way to spend my days.

Sharing is Caring.

Because I’m back in Auckland for mid-semester break I was around for bookclub (yes we have bookclub, it’s more of a culture club, which is more of a gossip club, but we like to call it bookclub because that way we sound intellectual when we have midweek dessert night). Last night, at Miss B’s house (she gets a title as she’s a teacher now), as well as Brad and Ange’s engagement and why pretty girls stick together, we discussed how strange other girls can be (a highly academic subject). For example, apparently some other groups of girl friends give each other privacy to get changed, go to the toilet at parties separately and don’t share deodorant. Apparently some other girl posses don’t wear slippers and sicko grey track pants to each others houses and don’t share clothes, even though the latter often means that you don’t know where your stuff ends up or whose got your new dress in their overflowing wardrobe.

Maybe it’s because we have been together for so long, we have navigated high school hallways and some have even graduated from uni. And have done EVERYTHING inbetween – the phases, the boyfriends, the school musicals, the detentions, the belief in invincibility. These are the same friends who let me dye my hair blond at 14, while I had braces and wore Teva sandels – I can’t figure out which part of that was the most cringey.

Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t some Babysitters Club who wear scrunchies and eat peanut butter cookies (ok, we do eat cookies) but our Catholic schooling taught us one thing, sharing. Sharing your food and your feelings, the goods and the bads, the books your reading and your new OPI nailpolish. Mates, they’re the stiffest drink you’ve got (I think I’ll copyright that). You’ll meet them, I’ve just got to think of suitable pseudonyms. Cheers.

In the Hood.

In the summer after high school my friends and I were lounging by the pool, the idea struck us – forget The Hills and Laguna Beach – we could have our own reality show and we had the perfect name: The Shore.

There is no aspect of the American dream that we, in the northern ‘burbs of Auckland do not have an equivalent for. Takapuna, where Mum and Dad happened to buy a run down house on an overgrown section and turn it into a piece of paradise (Mum actually said that she’s not leaving here unless she’s in a coffin), has a subculture of its own. None of this has been helped by a certain TV show that portrays an unrealistic North Shore life which farm girls from Te Puke seem to adore.

On a weekday morning, first thing it’s the blokes and young women on the bus or the ferry to the big city or those pretentious enough to drive over the harbour bridge at that time. Next we get the 8.30am school rush, and rush they do in their big SUVs with precious child in the back. Then the school rushers go home to do motherly jobs (I assume, they disappear anyhow). Making way for the real ‘housewives’ of Takapuna to emerge, the middle aged women who are going to coffee at one of the new organic cafés, post pilates. Embarassingly enough, Mum is part of this contingent, the pilates doing, café going one. No matter how many times I explain to her that having a scone and a trim flat white is putting on all the calories she’s just burned off, her and her friends continue this event. An unlikely redeeming factor about Mum’s pilates habits are her choice of clothing, while she prefers old t-shirts and some Warehouse leggings, far too many embrace Nike’s need to put hot pink and purple stripes on everything.

This branded obsession continues on our shores, it makes me sad. We have hardly any local bakeries anymore because of a not-to-be-named chain and if you’ve bought it from The Department Store there’s no arguing that it’s ‘in fashion’.

Come the weekend, everyone’s out being sporty and having brunch, not at the same time, obviously and the streets are filled with bikes, trikes, scooters, joggers and eggs Benedict.

Growing up, we were notorious for big house parties, drug using private school kids and having the best wharves to jump off.

It’s a place that always has a National party MP, our latest has her claim to fame as the ex-host of a gardening show, this is rather apt considering our last mayor became infamous for using the trees that line the main street as a loo. This was all exasperating until I realised that our biggest problems are dog regulations and roadworks, so she won’t be that busy anyway.

Mind you, what can you expect from a place where everyone is less than 10 minutes from a beach, the crime rate continues to drop (only 10,778 offences last year), house prices continue to rise and krill supplements (yes you read that correctly) are the next big thing? However, I love being back here on uni break and no, Mum for the last time, I’m not going to come with you to pilates!

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