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The dijonnaise question

20 May
A man dressed as ketchup and a woman dressed as mustard holding hands.

They must be in love.

There’s a point in every relationship that people later recognise as the beginning of the end. Sometimes it’s when you see that their friends are a bit douchey or that, try as you may, you will never, ever care about what they do for a living.

One of my relationships gave its last spattering breath when it heard me say “do you like dijonnaise? I mean, I know you like mayonnaise and mustard. But do you appreciate them in combination?” It was two fifths question, three fifths contraception.

The problem is, in most relationships, you know, the ones that end rapidly, there is a finite number of things you want to know about each other. At the start you have a surplus of interesting things to tell one another. Then there’s a limited supply of things worth knowing, until eventually  you enter a deficit and either start talking absolute bollocks or stop talking altogether. My innocent condiment inquiry was the last stop before total silence.

The more desperate you are to hold on, the more pointless your discourse becomes. Sensible people should recognise the deficit, accept it and move on. I am not one of those people. The result is usually months of two people slowly moving towards hatred, talking complete shit to each other out of sheer determination. If it goes on long enough your self loathing and resentment become strong enough to be worthy of mention and you just start shouting. This is to be avoided.

I’m a few months in to a relationship. Of sorts. A long distance one with someone I barely know. But the Internet is a wonderful thing and over the past twelve months we’ve been able to gleam morsels of information from each other. For instance, he speaks a reasonable amount of Spanish and broke his finger when he was six years old by accidentally jamming it in a door. Emersed in infatuation, I hunger for more details. I want to absorb his memories, thoughts and feelings by osmosis. But I’m also hesitant. If the dijonnaise question is ever to be asked I want to delay it as long as possible. I want to delay it until we’re senile and can just start over from the beginning.

I think that’s when I’ll know I’ve found true love. When the dijonnaise question never comes. When every question is met with, if not fascination, then at least a warm smile, a pat on the head and an inquiry about my preference for vegemite over peanut butter.

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The 12 stages of a long distance relationship

10 Dec
  1. Uh-oh
  2. This so romantic! I bet they make a movie about us!
  3. My  judgment has been clouded by Hollywood. I’m sorry I bothered you.
  4. OK, let’s do this.
  5. This is awesome. I feel wanted but I never have to shave my legs – it’s every woman’s dream!
  6. Wow, this sucks a little.
  7. I’m going to kiss all the boys!
  8. Abstinence will enhance my creativity. Just look at Charlotte Bronte or that monk who invented the sun dial.
  9. What with the wonders of modern technology it’s like you’re really here.
  10. I know – the lottery! Why didn’t I think of that before?
  11. This sucks a lot and will continue to do so.
  12. As states of being go, constant longing isn’t so bad. I mean, it’s better than despair or a bad rash.

A long time in politics

8 Dec

I dated Marcus for a week, from the Saturday we met to the Saturday morning I spent sitting on his balcony trying to delay the moment when I’d crush his spirit. Spirit crushing is something to which I should probably grow accustomed.

Thing is, I go for the quiet, understated gentleman. Really, if you have boyish features and tell me at a bar “I know I’ve only spoken a few words to you, but I have been listening intently and am now thinking dirty thoughts” then you’re basically my ideal man. My dad once told me that I’m destined to be murdered by my husband since it’s the quiet ones that always have the axes.

So I was chatting to Marcus, who at that point was not carrying an axe. He was saying a few words every so often but was otherwise just looking at me adoringly. When he did speak it was usually about left wing politics, indie music or food. He was good looking and interesting, yes, but that wasn’t why I was interested. I think what made me want to jump his bones was the fact that he was quite obviously scared of me.

Don’t let the fact that I spend all my time alone in my room on the Internet fool you, I’m actually a very self assured person. I also like to provoke people at parties which I guess gives me a brazenness that offers a welcome change from girls who don’t smack people. That, combined with a large bust and talent for hair flicking is all a bit much for a nerdy boy to handle. And, like a female hyena, I seek out the ones waiting at the back of the waterhole and then pounce on them while they’re drinking.

I told him straight up that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. Then for a week I acted like his girlfriend. I’ve never been good at the dating thing. I tend to just decide whether or not to marry them sometime after breakfast. By my standards I was going slow. So there were dinners, long nights and lazy mornings. Questions asked and jokes made. And Marcus,like all my hapless victims, was suckered into it.

I’m not sure how much he liked me, but he definitely liked the idea of me. He wanted the home cooked meals, the arguments over who puts the bins out, someone to sit next to at Christmas. I wanted all those things too, but with someone on the other side of the world. I watched him getting his hopes up, like I watch an egg rolling off a bench – regretfully but without going to too much effort to stop it. When, at the end of our second Saturday, he asked if he had a chance with me all I could do was apologise.

My friend tentatively raised the point that maybe, just maybe these boys were not the hapless victims I’d always portrayed them to be. Maybe they’re actually very capable young men who know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. Maybe they think they’re the hyena.

Look, that’s always a possibility, I replied, thinking it over. Maybe I just assume they’re terrified and vulnerable because, in a not completely healthy way, I’d rather be the hyena than the prey. Maybe I should give them and myself a little more credit.Or maybe I’ll just have to wait until I get my axe wielding politics geek and we can both sit, terrified and happy, well into old age.