Ageless Aging

Happy 3 year blogging anniversary to me!

Wow, life is really flying. Three years ago I was just another 31 year old work-manic single girl. Sure I had a great job that I loved, and an apartment that I bought (with my very own deposit!), but you always want the thing you don’t have.

Once upon a time I had this life plan that by the age of 30, I would have the three most important things I desired – Property, Promotion and Partner. Well, as Meatloaf so eloquently put it – ‘Two out of Three Ain’t Bad’.

Fast forward three years and my life is all the same and more. I’ve added another gorgeous cat to my life (still the crazy cat lady), I’ve continued to travel the world and I got my final P, the gorgeous Artist – boyfriend extraordinaire for the last two and a half years.

Older, wiser,  happier. Of course I am aware of the continually ticking clock of motherhood, and the well-meaning friends and family nagging us to ‘tie the knot’. But for now, life is good, no need to change lanes or gears yet.

So 34 now, pimples still, wrinkles too, a few sparkly greys, knees and ankles a bit creaky from years of sport, needing a lot more sleep, frantically managing my time and trying to fit everyone in!

I was told yesterday that I looked heaps younger than my brother, who is 3 years younger than me! Compliments are always a little pick me up when you feel a bit self conscious.

Age clearly is no indication of inner self, as I put on my orange bangles, paint my nails with glitter polish and ring my boyfriend so we can chat like giggly teenagers.

Liking, Loathing, Noticing…

Liking: Instagram and Pinterest. The artist in me loves the visual please you receive from little snaps and clicks and pins!

Loathing: Fallen off weight loss wagon, AGAIN. Clothes don’t fit, urgh. Must put down the corn chips (literally!) and grab a carrot!

Noticing: This body ain’t what it used to be. A ninety minute soiree on the soccer field leaves me creaking and wobbly like a soon to be nana.

Liking: Recent Shopping Sprees (Hello Jay Jays), Autumn accessories (Must read scarf tying tutorials) and all my fave fashion blogs – see side bar!

Loathing: Waiting for workmen who don’t come and don’t call. It’s almost like a flashback to bad dating circa 2005.

Noticing: New airlines and new deals and flight paths that are oh-so-cheap and barely do any advertising. Ha! They don’t need to at those prices, word of mouth is the best publicity they can get. Hello 2012/13 holidays. Air Asia, Tiger, Scoot airlines, I’m talking to you.

Beaver v. Sylvia the Florist

Here’s some writing from the Beaver vaults….

Ok, confession time, hands up if you are or once were a single girl who played innocent games when out at night  scouting for single men. Hands up high, you know you did! (just blame tequilas) I myself am guilty. Of course this was years ago as an inexperienced single-ite…

One of my favourite tricks, and a favourite of many of my single friends, was to invent a fake name and occupation to tell any interested suitors (usually the ones in which we aren’t so interested). Now I am sure there are single men out there who use this trick too, maybe to appear more attractive to women. Does the line ‘Hello, I’m a marine biologist who rescues dolphins’ sound familiar ladies?

Well my alias, my alter ego, my evil twin, my complete sham was none other than Sylvia the florist. She often lived in a suburb miles and miles away from whichever bar I was in, and very often on a Friday night she had to leave a soiree early to be at the flower market the next morning. ‘So, Sylvia, do you want to come back to my place?’  ‘Gee I’d love to (insert name here) but I have to be up at 4 am to go the flower markets, so I am about to head home!’

Ahhh, the good times Sylvia and I have had. It helped to have a name ready, as you didn’t want to be caught in a situation where your mind goes blank- ‘My name? Umm, my name is, umm…Sylvia!’ There have been the times where groups of girls have invented names for everyone, usually followed by a few hours of trying to remember what names we are using with which men, and what names my friends are using. Add alcohol to that mix and meeting fellas becomes very confusing.

Sometimes I was not Sylvia, I am any other name that pops into my head. But Sylvia was a favourite, and it became easier to remember her quirks  each night she came out. Only one time, did Sylvia left me down.  I was out on a Friday night (that soon became Saturday morning) with two single friends. Lucky for them, they had met single men and were holding deep alcohol-induced conversations. Unlucky for me, I was standing on my own, the designated driver. A man approached, and honed in on me as a last minute attempt, as the bar was closing in 20 minutes. I played my usual Slyvia card, and then realised I was losing the hand as the man declared he was from Holland and his family grew flowers. He asked me all sorts of intricate questions about poppy varieties, which I answered woefully. Even my ‘early morning – have to leave’ excuse backfired; it was already 4am.

So I learned a lesson, and will issue a warning to other single girls who use personas when meeting prospective partners. My two friends who accompanied me on the night of Sylvia’s shame, both went on to meet their future partners in the next month, minus their stage names.  Sometimes, it would seem, it is better to just be yourself!

A Beaver out of the River

Overjoyed to have a social event etched on the calendar, I was like a child counting down to Christmas, eagerly anticipating a big night out. It seemed like a fantastic idea, round up all the single people you know, instruct them to bring all the single friends that they know, and all meet at a trendy downtown bar on the same night! Email your names, the butterfly instructed, I will guarantee you’re on the guest list! Ooh, a guest list. Most of my social occasions do not involve a perky person parading a clipboard of society’s chosen ones. This was to be quite an event!

My anticipation was on overload at the prospect of all those single people mingling and tingling in the same place. Lead up hours were spent creating the perfect ‘downtown with a guest list’ outfit, with me desperately wanting to show that sipping elegant lime and lycee cocktails came naturally (unlucky for this little beaver, it doesn’t; I much prefer wolfing down pub grub, and when it comes to cocktails, the creamier and tackier the better).

Five single girls set off a few hours later, with all traces of ‘If you like pina coladas’ pushed to the back of my mind. After a swift drive downtown, some shifty parking and a sexy strut down the pavement, we arrived at single central! We maneuvered past the three clipboarded staff, into an uber-trendy bar. With eager faces we scanned the drinks and food options.

My eagerness wore off quickly. It was one of those moments when you realise you don’t actually belong amongst the lycee lime drinking, polenta crisp nibbling, designer thread wearing crowd. That you actually are a bit lower on the food chain, enjoying the potato wedges and strawberry daiquiris in your ‘this top was 10 bucks!’ outfit. But since I was already in guest list land I perched myself on a rotating pouffe and turned my attention to the hordes of singles.

And there they were! Loads of single people! Stylish, trendy, available and… female. All with expectant faces, surreptitiously staring at the door to appraise any male who entered. I felt a little hesitant to mingle with all these females, since I’d already come equipped with four of my own gal pals. Looking around I was confused. This was supposed to be a singles event, so where were all the males? Fashionably late? Turned away by the clipboarders? Possibly already whisked away from girls who were there early?

Or possibly, there are no males coming. It dawned on me that asking single girls to bring single friends doesn’t include bringing single men. Why? Because most of us single girls only know other single girls and if we knew single men we’d probably already be out dating them, or trying to date them, or have already dated them, thanks very much. So there was the sea of problems I was looking out on under the subdued mood lighting. More like a sea of single women. Or a subdued single women’s’ meeting. It was less like attending a singles meet and greet and more like attending a birthday party where you don’t really know the host.

So after one expensive exquisite cocktail, and a few glasses of water (and some disdainful looks from the waitress) my single friends and I made a hasty exit out to the hustle and bustle of an inner city street. Elegantly, we proceeded to move directly into the thrones of ragamuffins, and stand on the sidewalk guzzling cans of cola and munching on giant greasy pizza slices.

Full and content, I felt very much at home. Ooh who just saw those cute boys go into the pub?

There’s Snow Cones and Snow Dignity

“What flavour?”

” I’ll have orange.”

“What size?”  I know that this is a trick question. This was my sixth day in the USA and my first in sunny California. Usually when purchasing a snow cone/shaved ice concoction, I wouldn’t hesitate and head straight to the large.

“Medium,” I say smugly. I’m not falling for the Americanised sizing tricks. Well not again.

The pimply pizza boy puts in front of me a slice of greasy pizza, and what looks to be a large plastic dinner plate full of shaved ice (‘Platter’ might be a better word). That’s a medium! I breathe out slowly, extremely glad I didn’t purchase the extra large. It may have come in a wheelbarrow.

I try effortlessly to pick up and carry the pizza slice and my pasta bowl full of shaved ice. I do not succeed in looking effortless, and within 5 metres I already have fluoro-orange ice and pineapple dripping down my shirt.

Plonking myself down on some grass I decide to tackle my meal, my thoughts drifting to the napkins I had ignored back at the pizza shop.  It was one of those moments when I was glad to be backpacking alone. What a sight I was, legs splayed, sticky fingered, mouth open, and my mountain of shaved ice tumbling all over me, and the grass. I was so engrossed in trying to eat everything before the ice melted and the pizza cooled, that it wasn’t until the last minute that I noticed the young Afro-American dude hurtling towards me on a bike.

The wheels stopped at the edge of my feast.

“MOVE OVER BABY AND MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY!”

I look up. I blink. I am speechless, and have paused midway to mouth. What exactly does one say to that? (NB: I am not normally speechless. In fact I am never speechless. Good friends would say that I need to be speechless more often.  But at that comment, I was speechless.)

“What are you eating? What’s that?” He motions at the snow cone, which is now all over the ground.

“Shaved ice?” I say in a small voice. How embarrassing. My first experience with Californian men and I look like a contestant in an all-you-can-eat competition.

“Is it nice?” Clearly my appearance isn’t bothering him. This fact bothers me.

“Not really. You can have it if you like.” I don’t expect him to have it, but I had lost my appetite.  This happens a lot when I lose all sense and buy cheap takeaway meals.

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Yes.” Of course, this is a lie.

“Where is he?”

“Back in Australia.” Lies, lies, lies.

“Oh, shame, I was looking for a new girl,” he says disappointedly. He pauses reflectively, and I continue to blink at him. Finally he decides that this dinner date is over, and cycles off, with a few wheelies thrown in, no doubt to impress me.

I’m left in my pool of bad dining, and decide to bin the remaining kilograms of food and move on. I wander the boardwalk carefully, in case another eligible local decides to pull some moves.  The adventure had begun, welcome to Venice Beach!   (Note to self, no more American snow cones)

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer Holder

I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty lately. This may or may not be a result of watching too many True Beauty and Australia’s Next Top Model episodes. Women are known for obsessing over their looks, and these shows do not help. Websites like People of Walmart help a little. Oh ok, they help a lot. Nothing makes a girl feel better about their hair/weight/butt/age etc than seeing someone worse off than them. I call it the ‘Damn I’m Hot’ theory.

But to other beauty musings, we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve seen a couple and thought ‘How did he end up with her?’ You know the pair, gorgeous leggy blonde chick with the average bloke, or in many occasions, the less than average bloke. Statistically (based on some observations over a chicken caesar at lunch), ‘cute girl/not cute guy’ couples severely outnumber ‘cute guy/not cute girl ‘couples.

Why is that?  Men are more visual?  Women are suckers for the personality? Men can get the girl without trying too hard? Women love a fixer-upper?  The men used to be better looking earlier in the relationship? Women are afraid of good looking men? Men are judgemental when it comes to appearance? That dude is rich and the girl can shop away the pain? More and more girlfriends are looking hotter? Did Julius Caesar really invent a salad?

I would fear dating an extremely attractive male, as I feel my self esteem would not benefit from other girls staring, with that ‘what does he see in her’ face, not to mention thinking that every other female in the room is lusting over your man. Somehow I don’t think men analyse situations like this. They just sit there and think ‘Dang! My girlfriend is hot!’ Hence their power to date well above their average.

Now this doesn’t mean I don’t want an extremely attractive man, but I suppose it’s just fantasy. Sorry Zac Efron, I can only date you in my dreams. So please stop calling me.

Licence to date?

Today I saw a number plate with the word SEX (insert childish giggle here). In my state 999 people have SEX on their number plate, and possibly another 99, not to mention the heroes who pay a lot of money for plates like 22SEXY,  IAMSEX etc.

Casting the word plays aside, I wondered how many of the other 1098 SEX plate owners asked for it, and how many were lucky (or unlucky) enough to just obtain it when they bought a car?

Reminds me of finding someone to date. I have friends who are seeking out a partner, deliberately looking, asking around, using a plethora of dating services. Then there are the others who without any conscious effort have a good man literally land in their lap (NB: If you are a man and a good women lands in your lap, she’s a lap dancer. Time to leave the strip club.)

So do my friends who are repeatedly finding nothing of any value, being told that ‘that licence plate is taken’, have to just wait it out and hope that one of those desired manplates turns up in their life by fate? Maybe. It doesn’t look good then. Most people love to hang onto such a good find.

Could be worse I guess. You could end up driving STI 4U2…