Bar Hopping

The music is loud and the champagne is overpriced. All the people are well dressed and there are too many of them. Some people have glow-sticks wrapped around their wrists- these people are part of a bar hopping Meetup group.

I hate standing around and drinking in pubs, but it’s one method of meeting men in Melbourne that I haven’t yet ticked off the list. Hence standing here, drinking $11.50 champagne, wearing a pink glow-stick and regretting wearing heels.

I meet man with spiky hair and a stunning jaw line called Brock. With a name like that he should be a bogan but he uses multisyllabic words so I follow him when he invites me over to the balcony. We talk shit. He’s only been overseas once. He went to Dubai. To go skydiving. Over a man made island shaped like a palm tree. For the weekend. Am I talking to some kind of millionaire? If I am, can he buy my next drink?

We look at the city skyline. “I feel like one of those girls in the dance movies,” I say, “When they move from the country to the big city to follow their dreams and they get overawed by all the tall buildings and bright lights. I’ve never been to a rooftop bar before.”

“Well,” Brock says, looking right at me, “I’ve never kissed anyone on a rooftop bar before.”

I giggle and blush and change the subject and curse the distance between our barstools. We talk shit for another 45 minutes, then I venture downstairs to the loo. On my return I find him talking to another girl, with designer clothes and blow-waved blonde hair. I leave him to it and bump into another glow-stick bearing babe.

After talking shit for all of two minutes it becomes clear we’re looking for different things.

“Sorry,” I say, “If I was looking for a fling, I’d have a fling with you.”

“If you were looking for a fling,” replies Glow-Stick Bearing Babe Number Two, “You’d already be in my bed by now.”

Who are these people? Where does all this bravado come from? Beer?

Babe Number Two has obviously done this several times before, so I ask his advice on how this whole picking up in a bar thing works.

“You’re an attractive woman,” he says, “Surely you should just stand there for five minutes and they’ll throw themselves at you. Let’s do an experiment. Stand here, alone, don’t play with your phone, and smile at anyone who looks at you.”

So I stand there. Nothing. Smiling welcomingly at anyone who glances my way. Nothing. I even twirl my hair a bit for added effect. Nothing. I cross my arms and push up my cleavage a bit. Nothing. After four and a half minutes a woman asks me if I’m waiting for someone and invites me to wait with her friends. I scan the room and see that Brock is tuning yet another chick. Is this a pretentious place, the wrong crowd or is there something I’m not doing right?

Babe Number Two comes over and hands me a glass of champagne, incredulous at my lack of success.

“Maybe you need to drink more?” he wonders, “Or wear short shorts? They’re pretty hot. Just show more leg, and more cleavage.”

I try to explain that I’m a classy lady so I’ll only show leg OR boobs, not both, but now that it’s clear I won’t sleep with him, Babe Number Two had lost interest in me. I’d lost interest in this roof top bar. My feet hurt. It was past midnight. I was hangry – so hungry I was getting a bit angry. The loud music had gotten louder and more terrible. On my way out I saw Brock with yet another bird, then while I was waiting for my tram I saw him walking with another.

I watched the dressed up and the drunks strut and stumble along Swanston Street. Were they all just chasing tail too? Does everyone essentially want the same thing? Is everyone playing this game except me?

Valentine’s Day

On February 14th 1995 I was trying to convince my primary schol friends that I’d done the right thing.

For reasons that I can’t recall, we all agreed I simply must break up with Lachlan O’Leary. They just didn’t agree with my timing. The day BEFORE Valentine’s Day? We all knew that he’d been shopping with his mum and purchased a VERY EXPENSIVE ceramic vase and a bunch of flowers that he was planning to give to me! For goodness sake, why couldn’t I just THINK OF THE VASE AND FLOWERS! The day before I told one of them to tell him it was over. It seemed cruel to hold his hand at recess for one more day just to get a vase and flowers. That vase and flowers would have only brought me guilt and shame.

On February 14th 2005 I was trying to concentrate on booking appointments and answering the phones.

My fellow receptionist and I had already spent a good half hour fawning over the dozen roses I’d just been delivered. Days before we’d bemoaned the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, declaring it all bullshit. But when those roses arrived, and they weren’t for the boss lady upstairs, but had my name on them, I smiled all day. I kept them for as long as I could, before drying them to make potpourri.

On February 14th 2013, I was running through Garema Place at night dressed in two hoodies under a long coat with jeans and joggers, trying to balance one bag and two drink trays full of McDonalds.

I was in Canberra for work with two of the kids and a nanna from Schmoebs. They’d scored free tickets to see a play at the last minute, so I rushed them to the theatre, took their hoodies and coats and reassured them I’d be back at intermission with some dinner. The closest McDonalds was out of Chocolate Frappes, so not wanting to disappoint my very tired and hungry charges, I ran a few blocks to the next one. All the restaurants I passed were full of couples, unusual for a Wednesday night in Canberra. Then I saw the roses and the couples…

I laughed at how ridiculous I must look. I laughed because I didn’t care how I looked. I wasn’t playing the same game, I wasn’t even in the same world as those couples. I loved my world, I was hanging out with two cool kids who’d met the Prime Minister the day before.

On February 14th, 2014, I’m sitting here under the Dome in the State Library of Victoria. This week I’ve been rejected twice. It hasn’t been all totally lovely in the big city. But back on the horse, eh? There’s plenty more fish in the sea, aren’t there? I’m a horse-riding fisher-woman, aren’t I? I’m going to canter along on that damned horse whilst casting my fishing rod out into a nearby river. Or I’ll sit on a horse on a fucken fishing trawler. So tonight, Dear Readers, it’s on with the blue dress! Out I venture, in my (seemingly) never-ending quest to find good dance floors and decent fellows!

Dance Dating: Method #4 of Meeting Men in Melbourne

Since moving to the city a few months ago I have done lots of interesting things, been interesting places and made interesting friends. For a while this method was unsuccessful in introducing me to many interesting suitors.

In the first few weeks I met balding journalists and sci-fi nerds at a writers group, sat next to drunk broad-shouldered men at a burlesque show and met a lot of sweaty middle aged women at Latino Jam. I probably danced with some free spirited hipster men at No Lights No Lycra, but it was too dark to see and I was in the zone anyway. I hung out in public libraries and strolled in parks. I joined beach volleyball and bushwalking groups, newbies in Melbourne networking, ‘Live Your Legend’ motivational groups and lunchtime meditation.

These are things I like to do anyway, and I really am having a very nice time doing them. I’m exploring my new city, having a holiday. I’m not purely doing these things to meet men, but….

In the back of my mind is a small voice, who generally pipes up gently when I’m getting dressed, that says “Maybe today’s the day.” When I’m dressed and where I need to be, I still do a little scan of the room for someone to catch my eye. When no one does, I’m not disappointed. I get on with writing, beach volleyballing, meditating.

There’s been one exception, one time I just wanted to leave. Dance Dating in Fitzroy. The premise seemed promising: dinner with a bunch of singles then a dance class, then a dance party. Dinner was a tasty and cheap tofu burger, and although there were no suitable suitors everyone was very lovely. However, when we got to the dance studio, I didn’t like the music, I couldn’t hear the teacher’s instructions, I was bored with the basic steps and got partnered with a bald guy. He told me I looked bored.

I looked in the mirror. I had my ‘Fuck Off Face.’ I perfected it on long train and plane journeys in Europe and between the desert and the city in Australia, so I wouldn’t get stuck talking to someone boring for ten hours. I’d rather be alone than in bad company. I’m not afraid of being alone, I like my own company and am my own friend. I still prefer solitude than shitty company, but I’m going to try and be less of a bitch about it in 2014. Live with a bit more grace.

When the bald guy selected another partner, I had to wait around for a male dance partner to become available and ask me to dance. Just when I was starting to feel like baby had been put in the corner, the dance teacher came over. “Come on,” he said, “Dance with me. I want to see you smile at least once tonight.” I cringed at my own transparency. He was a fantastic dancer, and I did smile, but my wing-woman (who I’d met at my writers group) and I left soon afterwards. Sitting around waiting to be asked to dance? Then passively be ‘lead’ around by your partner, who is probably twenty years older than you? Bugger that.

My wing-woman and I debriefed in a bar around the corner, which was chockablock full of babin’ hipsters. Now, I’m not a huge drinker, I’ve never been picked up or picked up in a bar, so I’m still learning how this game works. Do you just approach a group of guys and talk to them? Do you wait to be approached? Do you grind up against them on the dance floor? Do you just get so drunk you stumble into each others arms? I’m so out of the game. This became even more blindingly apparent a week later when I went to my first rooftop bar and nearly made out with a millionaire…

City | Country

 

I love city life.

 

I love the stimulation, the lights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the dancing, the people.

 

I love walking everywhere.

 

I love letting my hair out and feeling it bounce on my bare shoulders as I strut through the city in time with the music on my iPod, in heels and a denim jacket.

 

I love walking to the shops whenever I like.

 

I love drinking tap water and having cold showers on warm days. I love buying a ripe peach then eating it in Carlton Gardens. Especially when the low evening sun is streaming golden through the bright green leaves as wedding photos are taken, dance crews rehearse, hipsters picnic, ducks frolik and Slavik Pancake Festivals exist.

Carlton Gardens

I love getting the tram. I love crossing the road at Flinders Street Station. All those people, all in one place, all going somewhere. I feel part of the human race. I love being around different looking people. I love meeting people I’ve never seen around town before. I love getting to know them, becoming their wing-woman, their friend or their date. I love the nervous excitement of dating. I love that I have faces to put in my daydreams now.

I love walking to the gym and doing a Body Balance class. I love going to the cinema, the art gallery and the theatre. I love learning new dance styles, how to write, meditate and direct better.

I love that I can go to my cousin’s 6th birthday and my auntie’s 50th. I love that I can see my mum, dad, brother and grannie within a day of driving, whenever I like. I love seeing my friends’ faces, spending time and dancing with them.

I love dancing. With other people. On a dancefloor.

In the desert I only dance when my housemates are out and I’m washing up, or when I’m running at night. It takes a day in a plane to see anyone, maybe three times a year. In the desert I drove everywhere, except down to the beach in a thick layer of deet at high tide. In the desert I wore thongs, shorts, a tee shirt and ponytail every day and ate only microwaved Pitango. In the desert I saved up errands and drove 45 minutes to town to do one big grocery shop of unripe fruit and veggies every week.

I do love desert life.

I love the quiet calm of the country.

Beachville at dusk

I love the Spinifex gold in the desert dusk before the clouds explode with colour.

I love the clear blue water and white sand of the empty beaches.

I love doing meaningful work. I love being around the nannas and the kids. I love bumping into everyone I know all the time. I love reading books at night and watching tv with my housemate and getting excited if there is something else to do.

I love the contrasts, the challenges and most of all, the small miracles.

I love that I can live in both worlds.

Secret Smiles

Dear Readers,

If you’re following me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been a busy lass. But, I hear you ask, where are all the blog posts full stories of my recent outrageous dating adventures? Why, I hear you protest, are we reading stories about the guy you didn’t kiss 16 years ago, rather than stories about guy you kissed last night? I hear you asking…

 

I hear you, Dearest Readers (and Marvin), I hear you! I’m sorry! Let me justify myself in a numbered list, then briefly update you in dot point format.

Let me explain why I’m a bit behind:

1. I like to let things simmer. I usually wait a few days before posting anything I’ve written, to give me some time to reflect and make sure I’m not subjecting you to emotional vomit.

2. I like to write well. Something exciting may happen, but if I’m not happy with how I’ve turned my real life experiences in an easily digestible short narrative piece, I’ll re-write until it’s fit for your reading pleasure.

3. I like to let the men I’m writing about know that I’ve written about them. If I have some way of contacting them I’ll show them a draft and only post if they approve. Like this guy, who was flattered. If anonymity is the only way I can authentically tell the story, I disguise their identity, or if I can’t get in touch with them, like this guy. Therefore, I can’t really write about the guy I’ve just been on a date with, because then I’d have to show him my innermost feelings about that date, and thus jeopardize my chances of potential future dates.

4. This is my real life. While the whole point of this blog is to openly share my experiences, there are some things that are too special to share. I like smiling to myself sometimes. I am looking for love. At the end of the day, this is what I want more than better blog stats and this is why I’m in the city.

Speaking of sharing my experiences, here’s a dot point list of cool shit that’s happened, that will be potentially elaborated upon later:

  • After four glorious dates (with the same guy) which involved art galleries, ice creams in parks and dancing, I finally kissed the guy, only to be told that my “technique” was “interesting.”
  • A totally babin’ photographer took my photograph in a phone booth on Brunswick Street
  • I’ve entered a letterbox liaison with a lovely neighbour

Thank you for your patience Dear Readers. As every single reality tv show ever in the world says, it’s a journey, thanks for going on it with me. For your comments, likes, emails, getting excited with me, sharing my joy, my disappointments, my bewilderment and my learning. I am lucky to have such a virtual cheer squad to share my stories with!

In this spirit of gratitude, I want to give special thanks to a stranger.  A stranger who is one of you, Dear Readers. A lady (who I have never met) read this blog, thought of a single male friend of hers, thought of me, thought we should meet, contacted me and put us in touch. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that writing a blog about bad dates would actually GET me a date, or that the blind date would actually be good and end in an icecream flavoured small streetside kiss!

Yes, Dear Readers, the world is full of unexpectedly lovely surprises! Some of them I’m keeping for myself, but know that I am smiling to myself in the shops, on the tram and right now as I type these words.

Open, Vulnerable and Gracious

So, 2014, eh? Happy new you. I’m not one for resolutions, but I do like words.

Last year my word was ‘openness.’ I had put up walls that kept my colleagues at a distance. We lived, worked and sometimes socialised together. I wanted them to take me seriously in the office, to respect me, so I didn’t want them to see that I was a little crazy at home. I’m not crazy, I just sometimes have periods of anxiety and do things that seem perfectly justifiable to me, but might look slightly odd.

My housemate once stumbled to the bathroom at 3am, only to find me scrawling in my journal in front of an open fridge. I tried to explain that the fridge light was a softer ambience than the fluorescent kitchen light, and I had easy access to cold soymilk – the perfect snack. My housemate also happened to be my boss.

I broke down publicly once in September the previous year. One Friday I waited 45 minutes at the clinic only to be told the car that takes the samples to the city had already left, so I couldn’t do an STI test until Monday. Earlier that week I’d crashed my car into a kangaroo, I was homesick for Alice Springs, my Gran was sick and I was due to MC a film festival that evening. I called my boss in tears. She told me to go home, rest, that she’d take care of it. When we spoke later, all I could say was “Sometimes I get overwhelmed with feelings.” I left it at that.

I did not invite more kindness.

This isn’t a story about my journey to take control of my own mental health. This is about how I tried to be more open in 2013.

It took me until the year was nearly over. The big company boss was in town, to ask us all what we wanted to do with our lives. I drove him to the airport so that we could talk in the car. I struggled to articulate myself and got so frustrated that I cried in the airport car park. I clumsily verbalised my biggest fear for the first time. I was scared that my anxiety, my struggles to ‘be present in a moment’ would inhibit me from doing the kind of work I wanted to do – directing Forum Theatre. I was afraid to fail. Afraid even to start. Our next conversation was in the shade next to a lake. Still open, but this time, calmer and clearer.

9 years ago in an internet café in a tiny village in Sicily, I got an email with bad news from home. A stranger got me a glass of water, tissues and held me until I stopped crying. The next morning we went on a boat to an island. We parted ways and I have never seen him since.

People are basically kind. They want to care. By being vulnerable we give others an opportunity to care, to show their better nature. Tears aren’t always a burden, they can be a gift. They say, “Hey, I trust you, I’m letting you in. I’ve dropped the act, here is a real moment we can share. Here you go, here’s a precious little piece of me that no one else has seen.”

My word for this year is ‘grace.’

I want to be more gracious when things don’t go my way. I want to be more grateful when they do. I want to act elegantly, patiently, with everyone, especially people who I’ve hastily decided aren’t worth knowing.

Last week I went Dance Dating, and my balding dance partner told me I looked bored. I realised I have a ‘Fuck Off Face’ that I put on when I don’t want to encourage someone to continue talking to me, or even begin.

But that’s another story for another time…

This is the island we went to, a volcano called Stromboli. We climbed up to the top as the sun was setting, then it erupted next to us. We walked down in the moonlight next to a river of lava.

This is the island we went to, a volcano called Stromboli. We climbed up to the top as the sun was setting, then it erupted next to us. We walked down in the moonlight next to a river of lava.

A Letter To My 12 Year Old Self

Dear 12 Year Old Me,

It’s 1997. You’re in a composite Year 5/6 class with none other than Jacob Sparkes. Somehow you both did all the Year 6 work last year, so you spend most of your final year of primary school unsupervised in a back room, flirting with none other than Jacob Sparkes.

You have somehow risen to a mild level of popularity, yet ‘coolness’ continues to evade you. You are a House Captain, yet when there aren’t enough Spice Girls you always end up as the manager or the floor sweeper. You are Prime Minister in Class Parliament, but you’re cheated out of the lead role in the school musical. You stand in the chorus line watching Sarah Green as Beauty doing a measly job of holding hands with the Beast, played by none other than Jacob Sparkes.

You have boobs and pimples and hairy armpits. You’ll spend your whole life feeling you’re a little older than you are.

But today, little 12 Year Old Me, is the last primary school assembly you’ll ever attend. Afterwards, Mrs Press will tell you to “…come back and see me when you’re a famous actor.” She may have kicked you out of Christmas craft for flirting too loudly with none other than Jacob Sparkes but she means well.

Between the final assembly and the disco, he will chase you around the school like he always does. Sometimes you chase him. Sometimes he chases you. No one has ever got caught.

My dear little mildly popular, early developed, ambitious, un-cool 12 Year Old Me! Please, just let Jacob Sparkes catch you!

Who knows what he’ll do!

Maybe he’ll just stop running, stand there puffing and sweating with those blue eyes avoiding yours, shrug and walk away! Maybe he’ll just tell you “You’re it,” and run off! But maybe, just maybe he might just kiss you! A peck on the cheek! A pash full on the mouth! Don’t worry, no one ever really knows how to do that kind of thing. Everyone just makes it up. Maybe he’ll hold your nervous hand at the disco. Maybe he’ll take you to the movies at Tuggeranong Hyperdome. Maybe years later he’ll pash you in your first mosh pit, take you to uni gigs in his first car and teach you how to drink beer!

Who knows what he’ll do!

Maybe, years later, holding a microphone in front of your all gathered friends and extended families, he’ll recount almost half a lifetime of memories you’ve created together. Maybe, years later, he’ll hold your nervous hand as you lie on your back with weird goop and a cold metal thing on your belly as you look at a screen with a small head, small arms and small legs on it.

Who knows what he’ll do!

So just let him catch you, won’t you, little 12 Year Old Me?

Kind Regards,

Your Hopelessly Romantic Yet Very Single 28 Year Old Self

Speed Dating Part 2 (Meeting Melbourne Men)

When last we spoke, Dear Readers, I was wanting to high five the universe. I had just been speed dating, where the 16th guy I’d ‘dated’ that evening turned out to be a charming gentleman who I later pashed at the train station. We didn’t exchange numbers, assuming we’d both ticked each other on our score cards and would thus get an email from the speed dating mob containing each others details. The following morning I get an email from the speed dating mob that DOES NOT INCLUDE HIS DETAILS!

Thank you for attending our event, we hope you enjoyed your evening. We have already had a few relationships develop as well as our first wedding! Please keep in touch if this happens, as we love to hear about success stories. You had 10 guys tick ‘Yes’ to wanting to date you, with 2 matches with guys you ticked.

10 ticks makes me feel very chuffed and popular, but alas! No contact details for Guy Number 16, my platform pashing pal! There are three potential options here:

1) He didn’t tick me. He’s a lying douche.

2) Maybe I didn’t actually tick him. I’m a silly douche.

3) It’s an admin fail. The speed dating organizers are silly douches.

4) It’s a sign from the universe. I was meant to have a bit of a pash but nothing more with Number 16.

For some reason I find this all very hilarious. Ahhh, universe, you cheeky old bastard, you!

(To prove my point, as I type this in the library, my headphones accidentally unplug themselves from my laptop and the totally silent reading room is filled with a few bars of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.’ Good one, universe!)

Never one to leave it up to the universe, I immediately fire off an email to the speed dating peeps:

I think I have a success story already! Potentially…

I was pretty sure I ticked Number 16, did he tick me? Funny if we didn’t tick each other, as we kissed each other afterwards… Alas, we didn’t exchange numbers, assuming we’d get them through this process! Not sure what to do now, any advice would be much appreciated.

Thirty minutes later I receive the following response:

This is the second time Number 16 has come to our events and the second time we have had complaints against him. Our hosts were scared of him making a big scene but we had a guy not turn up so reluctantly they let him participate. He is banned and we removed him from our matches. I cannot say too much but it is for the best that you completely forget about him. 

Ever the empowered customer/hopeless romantic, and never one to leave it up to the universe, I respond:

I can’t forget him. We had such a lovely evening and he was the most lively, interesting gentleman there! I do have some complaints, although none are against him:

-You let a man participate who you had concerns about, thus potentially endangering the physical and emotional wellbeing of 19 vulnerable women

-Once letting this man in, you had no plans to ever pass his details on to anyone, thus knowingly leading on 19 women who, like me, may have finally felt they’d hit the jackpot and met a really great guy

-The food and drinks provided did not offer value for money, your name, phone number or ABN are nowhere to be found and the lack of GST charged seems a little dodgy. 

Bam! Take that! How’d you like a little tax fraud accusation with your feedback, eh? Three hours later I receive the following email:

We are closed until Feb 2014. Tickets for upcoming events can still be ordered and paid for online. Thank you.

I may have mentioned that I’m not one for leaving my fate in the hands of the universe, so I fired off one more email, this time to that daily free newspaper they hand out on the train. Dear Readers, I can now report that I am a published author, under the pseudonym ‘FutureGirlfriend’:

2013-12-11-651

Unfortunately I never catch the train, so I failed to read this publication every single day for the next fortnight, potentially I missed a reply from Guy Number 16 requesting a rendezvous. Judging from the other letters, perhaps all I need to do to meet men is just ride the rush hour trains with a recognisable haircut or a hotdog…

Meeting Melbourne Men Method 3: Speed Dating

I am wearing my blue dress and my red lipstick. I’m navigating Prahran’s streets in my one pair of high heels. In my reflection in a shop window I see my hair actually bouncing as I strut. It’s impossible not to strut in this blue dress.

When Nokia Maps fails me, I turn to the nearest friendly looking bystander, who happens to be a babin’ wavy black haired son of a gun. After confessing he can’t help, he says with a thick Italian accent, “Ahh bella, if you don’t find this bar, come and have a drink with me here, yeah?” Yeah! This night is off to a truly excellent start, and I haven’t even GOT to speed dating yet!

When I finally ascend the stairs to Mofo’s, I’m instantly impressed by the ambient lighting and attempted Arabian Nights décor. I like a good theme. I find the daggiest looking girl (always friendly) and we trade bad date stories and game plans for the 19 men we’re about to date. A tall bald man joins the conversation by revealing he’s a serial speed dater, this is his sixth time. “Last time I came I met my wife! Then she died so I’ve come back.” We starting making apologetic noises when he says “Just kidding! I never had a wife!” Silence follows and it’s bleeding obvious why even after meeting 95 women this guy is still single and back for more.

I write my name on a sticky label, am handed a score card, a pen and the number 19, explained the rules (don’t ask to look at the men’s score cards) then sent to the harem themed room, where my number is written on a small table near a cushion covered bed/couch thing.

The first man monologues for the entire four and a half of our allotted minutes together. A whistle blows and he moves on. Getting the second guy to talk is like drawing blood out of a stone and I’m glad when the whistle blows. The third guy plays his big draw card straight up: he works in events, so getting tickets to the Logies should be easy with him. When the whistle blows he doesn’t seem to want to leave, so I stand up and shake his hand to give him some visual cues. The fourth guy has just sold his farm and moved to Melbourne. I complain about the weather here in the city as opposed to the country, but he loves that ‘… it’s Lotto weather here, you just never know what you’re gunna get!’ After the eighth guy a bell rings and we’re herded into another room for our first ‘break.’

I hang out near the meager snack table, chowing down several felafels and bits of bread and dip. After another 6 dates the bell rings and this time we get one complimentary (although we’ve paid $48 already) glass of wine (not champagne).

After 15 dates I’m regretting writing my real name on my name tag. I normally don’t mind, but I end up having the same conversation about the pronunciation and heritage of my name 15 times. So I tell the 16th guy I don’t want to talk about my name, or what I do for work, or any of the same crap we’ve been spouting all night.

We proceed to have the greatest 4.5 minute date of the evening. We avoid all the cliché questions. As a result I know absolutely nothing about him, but he is confident, charismatic and hilarious and I tick ‘Date’ on my score card in the box next to Number 16.

After the speed dating event officially finishes a bunch of girls are fawning over Number 16. He’s clearly got a lot of ticks tonight. I leave with the gaggle of girls and Number 16 to a Japanese food place. It’s basically like The Bachelor, without the roses. After grabbing a bite, a few girls dwindle away and the rest of us head to a bar around the corner. After a drink, some more girls dwindle away until there’s me, three other girls and Number 16. We’re seated next to each other on a low couch. He offers to buy me a drink and when I say I want water, he drinks water too. That gets another tick from me. This song, which I happen to think is one of the most seductive songs ever, starts to play:

Two girls dwindle away (am I using dwindle correctly? Such a great word) and the other remaining girl offers to drive Number 16 and I to the nearest train station.

I’m pretty sure we are flirting, but I can’t be sure. So as we stroll to the platform I ask him, “Are we flirting right now? Is that what’s happening here?” Ye says yes and takes my hand. I giggle like the stupid giddy schoolgirl I seem to have turned into. “Did you put more lipstick on?” he asks. “Yeah, in the car. Why?” I reply. “I didn’t want to get it all over my face,” he manages to say without sounding like the complete arrogant douche that it sounds like. I wipe off my lipstick on the back of my hand and it’s on like Donkey Kong! Well, it’s on like something more romantic than Donkey Kong. Whatever, ladies and gentlemen IT IS ON! We’re pashing on the platform. It’s the platform of passion.

A train comes.

We get on it and keep making out. At various points during the making out I realize I’m making out and giggle. How great is making out?

We get to the city and walk through it holding hands. I look up at the tall buildings all lit up and feel like one of those country girls who move to the big city to follow their dreams in those lame dance movies that I love.

Holding hands. City lights. It’s all pretty bloody nice.

Before I get on my tram home we kiss again. We don’t bother exchanging numbers because my tram is coming and the speed dating people will pass our details on. On the tram my whole face is doing little grins. I get off at my stop and walk home, still smiling to myself, wanting to high five the universe.

To be continued…

Meeting Melbourne Men Method 2: Match Making

The brown leather couch should have been a warning.

There I was looking out of glass walls at the city from the 27th floor, in the poshest foyer I’ve ever waited in, thinking “Is this who I am? Am I executive enough to be here? Am I corporate enough for this couch? Am I really someone who is a client of a match making service?”

When booking the appointment with the exclusively labeled ‘Blue Label Life’ (initial consultation FREE!) I’d been asked to think about what I’m looking for in a man.

In the world of (remote desert area) online dating my only criteria has previously been: gender (male), age (26-36) and location (within 500 ks). This has led some excellent conversation and introduced me to a creepy pub manager, an  Italian Engineer with a 6 figure salary, a guy who brought his Mum to our first date and of course Motorbike Man. In the big city, I can probs be more selective, eh? 

I’ve thought about the kind of love I want, the kind of relationship I want to have but with what kind of man? What does he look like? What does he do? Who is this man?

Surely there’s gotta be LOLs. He must laugh at most of my jokes and be funny himself, with witty repartee being the main aim.

We don’t always have to agree, but we’ve gotta have something to yarn about. This’d be easier if he’s travelled a bit, done interesting jobs and studied something so he’s capable of critical thinking. We should share some core values like integrity, justice and creativity. He need not be a rockstar, but a dabbler in some form of art, even if it’s just on weekends.

He should dabble in other things too, have things that he’s passionate about. Board games, self-composting toilets, mountain biking, gardening, Hinduism, vegan weightlifting, sky diving, fish of the West Kimberley, I don’t care, as long as his excitement is catching.

He should be comfortable outdoors. Knowing how to light a fire and put up a tent is totally hawt.

Winning at life is also pretty attractive, but self awareness is hotter. I don’t wanna journey alone. I’m much more interested in peeps who know where they’re at, and even if they’re not totally clear on where they’re going, have some sense of moving forward. He should be pretty OK with who he is.

I’m also a sucker for charisma and confidence but above all else, he must dance, not necessarily very well, but with joy, and with me, often.

Let’s go back to the match making service waiting room on the 27th floor of this building:

2013-12-04-648

Not in the desert any more

A leggy blonde in a suit and heels invites me into a small office. “Just think of me as a really old friend,” she says, so we talk about my dream boyf. I start thinking that this chick really could be my friend, maybe she could really find me my ‘ideal life partner!’ She’s from the country, she gets me! She’s got a 92% success rate! She’ll do rigorous screening! She’s got a scientist adventurer client who writes songs who would be PERFECT for me! She’ll give me relationship advice and a photo shoot for my profile picture! She’ll save me from spending hours trawling through online profiles! She’ll select the good ones for me and talk me through each possibility!

45 minutes later, my new BFF gets down to business. I can get four ‘introductions’ for a bargain price of $2,500. That’s a cool $625 per date! Or six introductions and a personal stylist for an extra thousand. I tell her I’ll look at my budget and see if I can invest that much ‘in myself’ at this point in time. 

In the lift back down to planet earth, I remember I’ve booked into speed dating in a few days time. For $48 I’ll meet 19 men, which is an even cooler $2.50 per date. This seems like a much better investment. I’ve done speed dating in K-Hole once before, but maybe with more fish in a bigger pool it’ll be better.

Time to put that blue dress back on, which also has about a 92% success rate…