Twenty-something.

it’s a date.

Is it really?

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Image courtesy of We Heart It.

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” 

― Baudelaire. 

I’m trying to decipher this and, well, I’m just not sure. Perhaps you’d be so kind as to help me?

If so, let me recreate the scene for you…

****

We’re friends. Just friends. Vague friends with some mutual friends.

And we decide to go out one night because I owe him a drink. Inconsequential, n’est-ce pas?

My tutorial finishes in the early evening and I bring some extra makeup with me in a vain attempt to freshen up the foundation that’s starting to slip down my cheeks. I have no idea why I ever bought a pinky-burgundy-brown eye-shadow palette. Pink on your eyes, Alex? Good lord.

untitledIs it a coincidence that it’s called “Blushed Wines”?

I get the off the bus and walk the last 200 metres. This is the time for multi-tasking as I reach to unravel my bun whilst crossing the road. I glance a figure I recognise out of the corner of my eye, but I am trying to play it cool so I pretend to not notice. But he notices me and we greet each other in the middle of the road, whilst still striding towards our meeting point.

We cross the road and descend into a bar that is rimmed with impersonal opulence with a dash of Pre-Raphaelite charm on the side. Cocktails. We order cocktails under the dim lighting and we discuss the world. The minute mingle smoothly and I find myself laughing and enjoying this more than I anticipated.

One drink turns into two. Two drinks turns into three. Three drinks turns into dinner.

Our brisk heels tap their way down George Street. Darling George has seen a fair bit of my antics life over the years. We turn down a lifeless alleyway, cos that’s where all the cool bars can be found.

Now we’re drinking wine. We share a bottle at our table for two, because it’s economical and because tomorrow can wait.

I’m too busy enjoying my dinner and the company to notice that we may look like a couple. Anyway, we’re just friends.

****

The following week something is niggling in the back of my mind, but I Can’t. Put. My. Finger. On. It.

So, I keep on mulling.

Mulling. Mull. Mulled wine. Wine. Wine!

A + B = C, right?

Therefore, someone who is a lovely person + great company + intelligent + amusing + rather good looking = unexpected attraction.

Wait. What?!? Are you serious?!

****

Let’s do a quick recap: two friends go out for a drink… which turns into multiple drinks and dinner. They have a good time. And then one of them wonders whether they are attracted to the other. But they’re friends.

Now, as I said, I needed your help. See, I have a conundrum:

Was that a date?

Alex x 

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the most random date of my life: a DIY guide.

A blind date of sorts…

blind-date
Perhaps it would’ve gone better if I had worn that paper bag, after all…

Once upon a time, about a year ago, I went on the most random date of my life thus far.

Please note that “most random” does not denote “worst”. Oh, no, munchkins – that one is in a whole league of its own.

Well, it all started with a regular night. I was catching the bus home and as I may or may not have had a beverage or three I had a little snooze on the bus. Yes, I know.  Not a good thing to do. Yes, I know. And then I suddenly realised that it was my stop, so I bounded off the bus. Then I was rummaging in my bag after getting into a taxi when I realised that I. Could. Not. Find. My. Phone.

OHHHHHHMYYYYGODDDDDDD. GAHHHHHH!!! WHERE IS IT?! HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE?!?!?!

Yeah, I played it cool.

However, I did have a fairly good brainwave when I got home: I’ll call my phone! And so I did just that. A twenty-something male answered to a bombardment of “Hi! Do you have my phone?!”

In between my audible exhalations of relief, this kind gent told me his number and address and said that I could pick it up from his place the next day. Thus, he found himself subsequently bombarded by “OMG! Thank you! Thank you! You’re the BEST!!” multiple times. Enthusiasm in the early hours of the morning is the best type of enthusiasm, right? 

Because I am a devious rascal I went off to bed thinking that I could potentially wrangle a date of sorts out of the situation. My plan: asking if I could buy him a drink as a way of thanking him when I went and collected the phone. Genius!

However, as it so happened, he was heading out of town the next afternoon. So, in the morning he found my Dad’s number in my phone, called him and coordinated for my Dad to collect the phone – which he kindly did – because I was still recovering asleep.

My plans were thwarted. Gahhhh. However, I did casually ask my Dad about what the guy had been like and he got a good review… So, seeing as I still had his number written upon our whiteboard I dropped him a line, again thanking him for his help in getting my phone back to me. My precious. We texted back and forth for a bit before I asked him if I could buy him a drink as a way of saying thank you. He happily agreed and he rocked up at mine that Friday night.

SO. Let’s do a quick recap of what’s happened thus far: a guy on a bus at 2am picked up my phone after I left it on my seat. He returned it to me via my Dad. Oh, and also, I’ve never seen this guy in my whole entire life and I know absolutely nothing about him (apart from the fact that he isn’t the phone-stealing type). No biggie. Yeah, I wasn’t stressing at all.

I walk up to the top of my driveway on Friday night and there’s a guy leaning against his car. I’m not really into cars, but it was more of the “I like cars. I am a man. Be impressed by my wheels” variety than the “this is the oldest, cheapest thing I could find” or the “yeah, it’s my parents'” type. Whatevs. I don’t really care about which car people drive.

We say hi, give each other a kiss on the cheek and get into his car. Yep. That’s right. I’m now in a stranger’s car. Isn’t this exactly what I was taught NOT to do?! God, Alex. Anyway. We drive down to a local beach surrounded by bars and restaurants where we have dinner from some pop-up night food markets. All is going pretty well.

ImageLet’s not lie: I was totally wishing for a Matthew Le Nevez doppleganger. Dreams = unfulfilled. (Photo: Tina Smigielski)

We chat and he is a nice guy and a pretty interesting and intelligent person… but within half an hour I think we both know that we’re not attracted to each other (which is ideal on a date, isn’t it?) After eating we decide to go for a walk cos that’s the kind of thing that people do on dates, right? Within the first 100 metres we bump into two of his friends… which was mildly awkward considering the fact that I’m pretty sure that between us four we were thinking:
“Is this actually a date?”
“Who must they think that I am?”
“He didn’t tell me about her…
“This is not what it looks like.”
“Who is she?”
“When is this going to end?” 

Needless to say that I was pretty relieved when we got back to this walk of ours.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I go for a walk on a date, it normally means that it’s a ‘Walk’ aka a romantic stroll with the opportunity purpose of canoodling.* Right? However, this walk was not of the ‘Walk’ variety due to a) the aforementioned lack of attraction and b) that he was power walking and thus, I was power walking too… which was probably due to a).

For those of you who know me in real life you may know that I have a tendency to walk fast as my default – this comes from a youth spent running late and trying to make up for this fact by walking faster. Thankfully, my punctuality has improved, but the fast walking has stuck. Except this guy’s fast walking was taking things to a whole new level.

But this wasn’t any old random fast walk. Oh, no. It was a random fast walk in Brand. New. Heels. If you’re not someone who wears heels this equates to the regular breaking in new shoe pain multiplied by a lot.

http---static.theiconic.com.au-p-windsor-smith-1142-67748-1The shoes in question.

And this wasn’t any old random fast walk in brand new heels. It was a FOUR KILOMETRE fast walk in brand new heels. I kid you not. It really was. (I measured it on Google Maps and everything). Perhaps he was trying to kill time… So, after four kilometres I thought it would be a great time for a drink. Yes, pleaseeeeee!

But then it got even better, because I found out that he didn’t drink. Yes, that’s right: He. Doesn’t. Drink.

Look, I have nothing against people who don’t drink, but it just really isn’t conducive to dating me because a) I enjoy a drink, b) I will be hoping that you enjoy a drink too and c) it makes dating me a heck of a lot easier – just trust me on this.

This was not the revelation I needed, but I still wanted to be able to thank him for his kindness in returning my phone to me, so we ended up at Max Brenner per his request where he ate a chocolate fondant and we bumped into more of his friends (aka Well, This is Slightly Awkward: Round Two).

Afterwards he dropped me home where we sat at the top of my driveway listening to music in the car. It seemed appropriate to just sit in the car for a bit as a way of making up for our mutual lack of attraction or something. It was like we were going through the motions of “this is what we know we’re meant to do on a date”. But instead of locking lips we blared Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ song, “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us”.

As it turned out my date knew every single word, which was quite impressive seeing as it was quite new at the time.

I got out of the car after a while, thanking him and saying goodnight, subconsciously taking the song with me in my head. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would end up loving it… to the extent that to this day I can still sing the entire song start to finish, word for word.

So, I guess there are some small, bizarre perks of going on a date with a complete stranger whom you didn’t really meet on a bus after all – especially if you’re like me and you have a soft spot for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Alex x

* I can’t believe I just used that word.

#socialmediafails: part one

Realising that I’ve let social media warp simple things like saying “please” and “thank you”.

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I’m going to take what I think is a fairly safe bet and guess that you, my darling reader, are pretty good with that whole social media thing. Right? And thus, I’m going to assume that you know a fair bit about social media and its continual impact upon communication and so many other related spheres of our 21st century lives. Blah blah blah. For the love of peanuts, tell me something new!

Well, despite having read plenty of articles on the subject and having spent many hours doing utterly arduous first-hand research in the field, there have still been times when I’ve been surprised by just how much social media had affected my relationships.

An example?

Well, I can think back to a time during the age of social media when I went out of my way to make my friend’s day. Good lord, I busted a gut. I spent quite a bit of cash. Hours were spent planning it. There were tears just getting my arse there. And I’m glad to say that I think I made her pretty happy.

And do you know what I wanted (and expected) in return? A social media shout out. Yes, that’s right: I wanted her to thank me publicly by posting a photo, tweeting or writing an update about what I’d done – which is f-ed up on so many levels that it is giving me mild brain damage. How the hell did I get to the stage where I not only wanted, yet also expected social media glorification in return for what I’ve done? How did it get to the stage where this would be my first response if a friend had done the same for me?

One source of influence which pops to mind are the handful of fashion bloggers I follow on Instagram. Perhaps you follow some too? If so, you’ll notice that when they are gifted another gorgeous skincare collection/bunch of flowers/handbag they make sure to post beautiful images of said gift whilst ensuring to tag the gift-giver, thus directing their followers to the company’s activities, as a way of thanking them.

A particular example of someone who does this on a regular basis is Margaret Zhang: a chick who goes to the same uni and me… and, whom at the ripe old age of 20, also happens to be a prominent fashion blogger (the type that gets to attend New York and London fashion weeks). And yes, I do sometimes feel like a bit of an underachiever when I see what she’s just posted. 

An aside in regards to Miss Zhang: in some ways I find it funny that I enjoy her work so much, seeing as my taste is so very different to hers – but I always enjoy seeing how she pairs really interesting pieces and I guess observing someone else’s style develop from a distance has a beauty of its own… In addition to this, I love the way she writes – it’s always a beautiful combination of irreverence, substance, depth and a sort of lyricism.

Ok. Margaret tangent over. We were talking about social media shout outs.

Here are some photos she has posted over the past couple of weeks:

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You’re smart enough to figure out which Insta and description correspond with each other:
A belated Valentine’s Day shout out to her bf. #cupcakes.
A shout out to Tommy Hilfiger for her pre-show flowers and trench coat. #asyoudo
A shout out to her friend who sent her roses.
A shout out to the hotel booking site (and subsequent hotel) used during her stay in London. #LFW

Firstly, how come I don’t get showered with flowers and cupcakes and trench coats?? Hmm?? Answers, people!

Secondly, perhaps seeing posts like these from various sources multiple times a week could help explain my shockingly entitled mindset. See, I’ve allowed this to become my normal…

But the thing is that for Margaret, this is part of her work as a fashion blogger as every time she gives a company or brand a shout out it’s generating them the positive publicity they desire. What’s more, my guess is that some of these brands pay her to post these shout outs as part of their PR strategy and if not, it’s her way of her reimbursing them for their free products.

Except, Alex, you are not a fashion blogger who is being showered in free shoes. Although I obviously wouldn’t complain if that was the case. Duh. No, instead I am me. The thank yous I give and receive are not driving a potential 124,000+ people to my website with a single post.

Fashion blogging aside, most importantly I’ve realised that in this process I lost all perspective. Rather than making my friend’s day, what I was doing for her became an opportunity for me to look good in the eyes of others. If I remember correctly, that’s the opposite of what gift-giving is about – it should be about the other person and not myself and what I can gain from it.

What’s more, now that I’ve thought more about this particular instance, it has become increasingly clear to me that, it was I who should’ve been thanking her, not her thanking me.

So, to my lovely friend, it may be belated, but I hope you had a great day. Thank you for letting me share it with you and, in doing so, for making my day. Thank you for making my soul blossom.

Alex x

PDAs: the single promises and the loved-up amnesia.

A love-hate relationship with PDAs and how they highlight my double standards.

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How was your Valentine’s Day? It has a special way of bringing out the best and worst in us, wouldn’t you agree?

We make someone feel special (or atone for our mistakes) with sugar, red-petaled plants and new lingerie. We hurl profanities at anyone who reminds you of your distaste for the day. We buy expensive cards. We crave what we want, but don’t have. We remember that we are pretty damn lucky. We sulk at our desks when seemingly every other colleagues receives a ribbon-tied delivery. We do stupidly cheesy things which we wouldn’t dare do any other day of the year.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, isn’t it?

Personally, what I was most confronted by this Valentine’s Day was my Facebook newsfeed.

Now, as many of you may know I am a self-confessed cheese. Quite simply, I love all things cheesy and cute. Yes, it’s fairly terrible – I’m well aware. Despite this, the amount of love-themed paraphernalia plastered all over Facebook over Valentine’s Day was beyond my limits. Seemingly every man, woman, guinea-pig and brand I had ever liked had to chip in their pink coloured five cents. My eyes felt violated by the sheer amount of hearts and roses on my screen to the point where I actually found it repulsive.

Yes, that’s right: the girl who loves all things cheesy became the Grinch of Valentine’s Day simply from scanning social media. That, darlings, is what we call “the power of love”. 

Well, unfortunately for me I realised earlier this year that this isn’t the only area where I have some fairly prominent double standards…

See, whenever I’m even vaguely loved up I am not only into the guy, I’m also seriously into the PDAs. All of that dopamine released into my system means that I totally forget about the fact that I am even in public… let alone the fact that my fellow civilians didn’t ask to witness my public displays of affection… but I forget all of this because I’m far too intoxicated. Or “Drunk in Love” as Bey and Jay-Z would say.

Bus? Boat? Plane? Train? The bus stop? The traffic lights? The park? The communal table at that bar?

Nothing is sacred, cherubs. And for that I apologise. Sincerely. I really do… but when I’m in the moment, I feel like I’m in a rom com or an iconic moment like this…

doisneau_kiss (1) Robert Doisneau, 1950, Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville, 1950.

But when it’s someone else’s PDA I turn into a combination of two Manhattan brunettes: Marnie and Blair…

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Uhh… Yeah… So… somewhat hypocritical. Look, I’m sorry. I really am. And to the passersby that I have inflicted my own PDAs upon in the past? Yeah, I’m sorry to you all, too… but the thing is, is that I only remember to say sorry when I’m single and I see a couple making out from the corner of my eye.

Look, I’m not that bitter. I would actually deny being bitter at all. I am very happy for people that are madly into each other to the extent that the world feels off balance and as though it’s melting. Evidently, I kind of adore PDAs – but only on the condition that I am a participant. PDAs are not a spectator sport.

As I said, double standards.

I’ve been trying to understand what it is about (other peoples’) PDAs which bothers me and I think I have reduced it down to this: I feel a twinge of jealousy. No, not the coolest thing to admit, is it? There are two people who are both really attracted to each other. Two people who probably still have that nervousness and anxiety of the beginning of a relationship. Everything’s new and fresh, brimming with a whirlwind of lust and potential.

Or perhaps I’m reading too much into things and they’re just two drunk strangers.

Either way, who am I to resent someone else getting a taste of that intoxicating dopamine?

Alex x

the dictionary according to Alex.

My friend eliminated one word from my vocabulary and it changed my love life. Completely.

Raspberry-MochatiniI can’t exactly remember what that cocktail looked like. All I know is that it tasted good.

This post comes typed to you from Downtown Vancouver to the sound of my favourite ear-gasm: London Grammar.

I recently spent quite a bit of time one-on-one with a close friend  (and by ‘quite a bit of time’ I’m referring to the ‘together 24/7′ variety). It was a bit more than we’re used to, but it was great – especially as we didn’t end up at each others’ throats. Always a bonus. 

Anyway. During our time together she laughed and noted that I use quite a lot of bizarre expressions on a regular basis. Of course she already knew this about me, but she commented that she hadn’t realised quite how often I used these Alex-isms.

Yes, it’s true. I use lots of weird phrases. Regularly. ‘All the time’ kind of regularly.

Let’s see. We have:
“Ready spaghetti!”
“Cool beans”
“Cool bananas” (feeling the food vibe yet?)
“Amigo” (or “amiga” depending on the person’s gender)
“For the love of peanuts”
“Honey bee” (for my darling canine, anyone under the age of seven or a close girlfriend)
“Boom!”
“Fandango”
“Shebang”
“Negatory, ghost rider”
“Roger that”
“Non-sober”
“B!#chcake”
“Zing!”
“Dingus”

I’m fairly oblivious as to how often I use these words. Put it this way: apparently I wasn’t paying much attention in primary school and I subsequently left some gaping holes in my vocabulary where some more eloquent phrases should reside. Yes, that makes a lot of sense.

Now, a few months ago I was sipping on a cocktail with my good friend. In fact, he had kindly let me have his cocktail and he took mine cos mine was kinda gross and his tasted like chocolate, but he liked my weird one. Whatever! I was unpacking my most recent quandaries (gentleman-related quandaries, obviously) to him. Suddenly, mid-conversation he turned to look at me and said, “Alex. Can I give you my unsolicited advice?”
“Of course”, I nodded eagerly. I’ll take any good advice I can get my grubby mitts on.
“Firstly, for the love of god, never use the word ‘singledom’ ever again,” he gasped. “You’re not… you’re… your being single is not who you are,” he reasoned. He paused, exhaling with exasperation. “Secondly, that guy?… Meh,” he said as he gave me the biggest, most non-committal, truly ambivalent shrug I’ve ever witnessed.
“Huh?”
“Put it this way: if he’s not being emotionally honest now, how can you ever expect him to be emotionally honest with you in the future?”
(He’s got a good brain upon his shoulders, this one.)

And you know what? He had been far more insightful in those few minutes that I had been in a long, long while. I couldn’t see that I was letting my relationship status govern how I saw everything else in my life and how I saw myself. And hearing that from him did, in fact, change my perspective. For if I was indeed defining myself by my (long-term) lack of a long-term romantic relationship, then who was I without this identifier? ‘Hi! I’m Alex and I specialise in singledom’ had to become, ‘Hi! I’m Alex’. And that had to become enough.

What my friend reminded me in those few words was that I am a whole entity just as I am, rather than a four fifths hoping and waiting to be made whole.

Oh, and what he said about that emotionally dishonest guy? Hit the nail on the head there, too. Yep. Twice within two minutes.

So, since then I have been quite conscious as to the words which tumble out of my mouth. Specifically, I’ve been correcting myself as I get out of my subconscious habit of using the word ‘singledom’. Initially, it was a little hard (and it was surprising when I realised just how often I was using the S word), but now it’s fine.

Anyway. I’ve added a new word to my jargon to fill the void which ‘singledom’ left: “Babetown” – a word reserved for the description of the most physically delectable of the human species and a word which I’m using with fervour.

Mmmm. Babetown. Mmm chocolate cocktails.

Alex x

is that a challenge?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
– N. Mandela.

Although I do forget it sometimes, it is a well-established fact in my life that I relish a challenge.

My brother, whom I fondly refer to as The Sibling, is the comedian of our family. One of ‘his’ lines from a few years ago is, without a doubt, “IS THAT A CHALLENGE?!” delivered with a mock booming voice (which isn’t that hard for him considering how low his voice is). So, “Is that a challenge?!” definitely has a special (and random) place within our family’s vernacular.

I digress.

Now, you may or may not remember that a few posts ago I mentioned that I had some Contentment items on my 2014 Bucket List. You may be asking, “How can you make contentment an item you can tick off a Bucket List, Alex?”. To which I would respond,
“You are a smart cookie and, in short, you can’t.”
Then you give me that cute confused look that you do oh, so well.

See, rather than creating something to do this year, I’ve come up with something to not do.

It all began a few weeks ago when I was chatting with a close girlfriend of mine. She’s someone who listens to me ramble about my latest love life, man drama, sagas various and their accompanying stress on a pretty regular basis. i.e. she’s a gem and a patient gem at that. We were discussing Tinder (naturally) as we were crossing Oxford Street at Taylor Square when she shared her recent observations of my love life and I. It went down something like this:

Her: “I don’t think you’ve been very happy.”
Me: “Oh?”
Her: “Yeah. You were really happy being single and now you’re not.”
Me: “Hmm. I think you may have a point… When do you think it started? Post-Hot Muso?”
Her: “No. I think it was just before him.”
Me: “So, around the time I started using Tinder?”
Her: …
Me: “This could explain a lot…”, as I hit my head against a myriad of light bulbs which had suddenly been illuminated.

It took me a bit of time to unravel exactly why Tinder, aka Ego Stroke In The Palm of Your Hand, had actually turned someone who was very happily going about her life with a big dollop of contentment into someone who was (even more) preoccupied with her love life (than usual)… and someone who suddenly found it very dissatisfying.

Here’s my hypothesis: I found Tinder disappointing. See, if you’re inundated with a myriad of ‘matches’ then it’s reasonable to think, “Hey! There’s actually a fairly solid chance that something could actually come of this Tinder thing!”, right? Well, anyway, that was my subconscious logic. And then for nothing (positive) to really come of Tinder I was left feeling… well, disappointed. No, actually ‘disappointed’ isn’t the right word. It made me feel like a less valuable version of myself, because I reasoned that if nothing came to fruition for me on Tinder for god’s sake then what kind of hope did I have in the Real World?

So, during my experience of Tinder I basically went from:

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to

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and then

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to

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to

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and then finally

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Tinder didn’t make me feel good about myself. The Ego Stroke high lasts for about 5 seconds – just in the way that you can have a mega sugar high and then crash after a slurpee. Tinder is my crappy sugar – no real sustenance or nourishment. I started Tinder in a place of contentment and what did I get from it? A big fat wad of discontentment. Brilllliant.

Once I had FINALLY come to this realisation, I knew that going back on Tinder wouldn’t make the discontentment go away. So, I decided when I was writing my Bucket List for this year that my challenge would be to go for a year without any form of online dating. Tinder. RSVP. OkCupid. eHarmony. Zoosk. Elite Singles. Seeking Arrangement. Be2. Ashley Madison. Match. ALL. OF. THEM.*

That’s right, chipmunks: three hundred and sixty-five days sans online dating. Of any kind.

IS THAT A CHALLENGE?! 

Uhh. Yes, it is. Also, how the hell will you survive, Alex?!

My internal protests lasted for about twenty eight seconds, because as soon as I committed myself to it, I was surprised to realise that I felt tangibly more peaceful. I exhaled deeply. I hadn’t even realised how shallow my breathing had been – it had been that long. Bizarrely enough, I think I found the knowledge that there would be no online dating rather comforting.

Of course, I do genuinely wonder if I’ll meet anyone interesting this year, but I do find it encouraging to remind myself that all of our parents and older family friends met each other without the help of RSVP and eHarmony. It’s also reassuring to know that I do have a track record of meeting people in somewhat bizarre places (if you can consider that reassuring?)

It’s been tempting to log back in over the past nearly four weeks, but so far I haven’t gone back to the dark side… and the vast majority of the time I think I really like it this way. I can feel the contentment I’ve missed so badly slowly, drowsily waking up from its anesthetic.

And anyway, there’s the chance that when I’m spending less time looking down at my smartphone screen I’ll be able to make eye-contact with more gents in real life…

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…. and perhaps one of them will bear some resemblance to Dan Humphrey.
Alex x

* I would like to assure you that I did not have an account for each of these. (Or did I?) No, Alex, you didn’t.

prosecco.

An open letter.
From: my feeling-sorry-for-myself-this-morning self.
To: my beverage-consuming self last night.

Good morning, peach.

Hey. 

So. Let’s chat.

Must we?

Yes. Definitely.

Wait. Which Alex is which? 

I’m not sure. I guess it feels like I’m going to be the school principal and you’re going to be the recalcitrant, rebellious student. Is that ok?

Yeah, whatever. Let’s just get this over with.

Now, Alex –

My brain hurts.

I was talking. Do you mind not interrupting?

(Glares.)

And there’s no need to glare at me, thanks.

(Continues glaring.) 

Yeah, so about your brain hurting. Perhaps, just perhaps, you need to rethink your approach to house parties.

Uhh. Why??

Well, we could start with that ‘brain-hurting’ thing you mentioned. The one where it feels like you’re slowly spinning in dizzy circles.

(Raises eyebrow haughtily) Mmmhmm? Well, perhaps it was worth it, thank you very much, you killjoy.

Note your use of the word ‘perhaps’. Ok, if not the head, how about the nauseated stomach?

Nothing that Vita-Weats and green tea couldn’t fix.* 

Or you could have had something a bit more interesting for breakfast.

Whatever.

Ok. How about the fact that your clothes are covered in dog hair?

I love that gorgeous canine, ok? And he’s old and he isn’t going to be around forever, so I think that he and I have established that it’s ok for me to use him as a pillow when I stumble in at 3am. The clothes? Yeah, I’ll have to pick each hair out one by one, but that dog pillow is worth it.

You don’t have anything better to do with your time than to pick each individual dog hair off your clothes? Wow. You’re fun.

Shut up, you. You evidently have nothing better to do with your time than to berate me.

Touché… but how about your suede heels?

Ok. I do concede that I will, from now on, avoid wearing suede heels to house parties. Thankfully, they are black and thus, they shall be relatively easy to clean.

You don’t say. They’d be beyond help if they were beige.

God forbid. I’m not that much of an idiot, thanks.

Good luck with the green stain on them, by the way.

I have no idea what this is. Actually, I think it could be an avocado dip… which I didn’t even eat. Let’s move on. Anything else you want to add from up there on your high horse?

Oh, yes, actually.

FFS.

Shame about your gorgeous bracelet smashing.

Yeah, actually it is. Do you have to remind me of the fact that I’m going to have to get it repaired RIGHT now?

Did you find all of the beads?

I think so. It wasn’t even my fault. Well, ok. I kind of tripped. Well, I thought that I could steady myself on the (closed) door behind me. But, as it turns out, it was open. And then my poor bracelet took the impact. I think I may have landed on it. 

(Raises eyebrow) Not your fault? Right. Yeah. Totally.

(Crosses arms across her chest.) Well, it wasn’t deliberate.

Ok. And how about have to pay for a taxi ALLL the way home because catching a bus was going to be too much like hard work for your non-sober self?

Yes, not ideal considering my current financial state. Thanks for the reminder, you cow. But it’s just $50. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either. It’s better to get home safely and to hurt the bank account than to not get home safely in the name of saving some money.

Oh, aren’t you virtuous. Well, look out world: Alex is the fountain of all wisdom.

At least I’m not as infuriating as you.

At least I’m not a bad friend.

Ouch.

But it’s true, isn’t it?

This is really unnecessary.

Oh, but I think it is, in fact, very necessary.

(Silence.)

You really hurt her, you know. She may not be one to wear her emotions on her sleeve (or her face like you do), but that doesn’t mean that what you did didn’t hurt her. Because it did. And you really went too far.
Poor form, Alex. Poor form.

(No rebuttal.)

What the hell were you thinking, Alex? Sometimes you act like your relationship means so little to you.

That is not true. I love her to pieces.

Well, act like it, dammit!

I’m really sorry.

Don’t say that to me. Say it to her.

Ok.

One last thing.

Oh, shut up.

I promise it’ll be the last thing I say.

(Sighs with exasperation.) What? What now??

See you next weekend?

(Raises her hand, clenching the first, second, fourth and fifth digits.)

Alex x

* As an aside: I do wish that my anti-nausea remedy was more interesting, but Vita-Weats it is.

an accidental protégé.

“I guess you didn’t care and I guess I liked that.”
– T. Swizzle

At a house party last weekend I realised that, although I regularly bemoan the state of my love life, I actually actively seek out drama. I do, don’t I? Ok. That was a rhetorical question, thanks.

So, I was chatting to a lovely chick whom I had just met at this house party. During the conversation she asked me about my love life. My response? “Tumultuous as ever… in fact, I think I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that my love life is tumultuous. Yes, I think I actually like it being like this.”

I don’t know whether that’s more of a light bulb or face palm moment. Either way I think it calls for just a little despair.

In fact, I think my love life sometimes feels as turbulent as that of our favourite blonde American twenty-something over-achieving girl-next-door pop sensation. That’s Taylor Swift, not Miley, by the way. This is not a good thing.

Take, for example, a recent gent whom I knew was Not A Good Idea. But what happened? Oh, we let some drama unfurl itself. Add some 80s music in the background and people in the bar legitimately giving us looks as we danced like the idiots that we have proven ourselves to be.

And then I called him to clarify that we were never ever going to get back together in any capacity. Like, ever. Taylor, you truly are an inspiration. But no response… which served for me getting over the whole debacle very swiftly (Oh, Alex) and it proved that ending things before they got any messier was a good move.

I, of course, could have avoided all of this drama by saying no to begin with. Cos let’s not kid ourselves, I knew he was trouble when he walked in. So, shame on me.

Ok. Enough Taylor, Alex. Enough! Sorry. That’s ok. Just don’t do it again, ok? Sad face.

In the meantime, I have decided that as I shall realistically be single for another year or so, I may as well relish it rather than try to fight it. I am only 22, after all. And everything will be alright as long as we keep dancing like we’re 22, right?

Wait. What??!  I said to stop the Taylor Swift references!!!!

Sorry.

But now that I think about it, Taylor Swift’s infiltration into my brain could explain, at least in part, the tumultuous state of the love life, couldn’t it? That was a rhetorical question, too. Perhaps that blonde American twenty-something over-achieving girl-next-door pop sensation isn’t such a good role model after all..

Alex x

Taylor-Swift_2399926a

She may be a terrible love life role model, but at least she can rock a red lip.

same same, but different.

“Kiss me, Ketut!”
– Rhonda.

For those darling readers who are not lucky enough to call Australia home (unbiased as ever, Alex), then you may have missed out on a series of ads by insurance company, AAMI. This absolute gem of a marketing campaign centres on Rhonda (your average safe driver) and Ketut (her Indonesian holiday-fling-turned-beau). If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching the ads yet, please skedaddle over to YouTube. Stat. They’re better than this blog post. Go on! I’ll wait here whilst you watch.

See. I told you they were good. 

Anyway. In the most recent installment of Rhonda and Ketut’s blossoming relationship Rhonda attends her high school reunion. She graduated in 1991. What a great year: Rhonda graduated from Year 12, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and I entered the world. Good stuff all round. It’s not all about you, Alex. 

Now, as you may vaguely remember, a few weeks ago I was stressing about my own high school reunion. (You can get up to speed here.) So, how did it go?? And more importantly, how did it measure up in comparison to Rhonda’s?? Well, cuddly koalas, I should fill you in on the remainder of the lead up before diving into The Reunion, itself.

Refresher: when we last left off I was freaking out a bit.  Just slightly. The pressure! The expectations! What the expletive have I actually done with the past five years of my life! I don’t have anything to boast about! GAHHH.

Fun times.

Ironically enough, I stressed myself out so much about it in the lead-up that by the time it came to the week of the reunion I couldn’t have cared less about it. Oh, Alex. 

Ok, the preamble is over. Now, let’s get cracking and may the best high school reunion attendee win. Not sure what the prize is yet.

1. The Grand Entrance:

Rhonda: Our slightly jittery heroine tottered into her reunion to greet her BFF, Kate. Excitement ensued. Rhonda was quite glammed up, wearing a shimmery gunmetal dress with some peeptoe d’Orsay pumps of the same colour (her “brake-foot bling”) and hair curled to perfection. (PS, Rhonda: hair extensions??)

rhonda02 One day I will learn how to curl my hair like Rhonda.

Alex: Although I was chilled out about the reunion I still ended up running around like a headless chicken on the actual afternoon/evening due to a series of crazy logistics. In summary: I arrived a fashionably flustered 57 minutes into the two hour shindig.. and after talking to a handful of people, I made a bee-line for the bar. Priorities. My get up consisted of jeans, a top and some much-loved (read: old) heels. Plus the non-event of my semi-air-dried, already-going-flat hair. Woot. I’ve always been fairly hopeless at anything hair-related that extends beyond washing and brushing said mane.

Winner Round 1: Rhonda. (For the GHD mastery and brake-foot bling.)

2. The People You Would Rather Forget and Never See Again:

Look, I would love to make a Mean Girls reference right about now, but I think I’ve maxed out on my quota for October already. Apologies.

Rhonda: The poor thing had to encounter not one, but two b!tchcakes* in the form of Kylie and Danni. (Minogue reference much, AAMI?) Some people really don’t get over their school days, do they? And I guess this was what my reunion worst nightmare consisted of (with a touch less melodrama).. prof-ladies1B!tchcake No. 1 and No. 2 at your service!

Alex: I am delighted to report back that I, well, actually really enjoyed the reunion after all. Zing! Although the catching up was generally kept to a superficial level (“So, what are you up to these days?” being the predictable catchphrase of the evening), it was really lovely to see people. Everyone seemed really happy to be there and it felt surprisingly warm and genuine. In addition to this I didn’t encounter any b!tchcakes! (This could partly be due to the lack of b!tchcakes present.. from a grade which had very few to begin with..) And interestingly enough, the vast majority of people are still at uni and yet to get big kid jobs, too. See, you really didn’t have anything to worry about, you fruitcake.

Winner Round 2: Me! (For the lack of b!tchcakes.)

3. The Gents:
Ahh, the gents. It wouldn’t really be an Alex blog post without at least one reference to the comedy of errors that is my love life, would it?

Rhonda: OMG. Drama, peeps! Well, firstly Kylie and Danni make a gibe at Ketut suggesting that he’s “kaput”. Naww. Poor, Rhonda. But before Rhonda’s eyes well up over her absent Indonesian cocktail connoisseur Trent Toogood (aka The School Hottie, 1991) sidles on up to our safe driving heroine. Leaning in for a peck on the cheek, Rhonda slips, smearing lipstick all over her cheek, but Trent just grins as he wipes it off before leading her to the dance floor. #smitten.  

Then! The ad finishes with Ketut arriving at the reunion, bouquet in arm, to meet an empty school hall strewn with ripped streamers and empty disposable cups being tended to by a middle-aged cleaner. NOOO!! KETUT!!!!!!!!!!

838482-11b6728a-2c8e-11e3-8800-e6347622c0aaThe High School Hottie or the hot Balinese Loveboat. Tough choice, Rhonda.

Alex: Well, although my night panned out somewhat differently to Rhonda’s I still got my fair dose of drama. Unwanted drama, mind you. I really would have been quite fine without it.

So, after we were ushered off school property we all decided to continue on at a local bar. Fun and alcohol all round. What on earth could go wrong? In short, a guy who I had only recently met was texting me during the evening. (NB: A different guy to Hot Muso, for those who’ve read some of my recent posts.) And being non-sober I was a dingus enough to disclose my location to him. He wanted to meet up, but I didn’t want to see him, so I declined his invitation to rendez-vous later on. But some gents think that ‘No’ is a special chick code word for ‘Yes! Please! I WANT YOU! NOW!’ So, guess whose face I spotted over my friend’s shoulder 15 minutes later? Oh, yes, I did. Expletive! Oh, my expletive lord! What the expletive hell am I meant to do?!?! 

Cue: squealing in the bathroom with my close friend. Well, I was squealing and she was just smiling with a raised eyebrow whilst laughing and shaking her head in a ‘you-really-are-a-special-case’ kinda way.

Thankfully, I was able to successfully get rid of the rather persistent rapscallion with some moral support from some friends. Thanks, guys. You know who you are. As it turns out he ended up being quite a creep (read: it eventually got to the stage where I politely told him I was extremely close to dropping the police a line). Phew. Close shave.

Winner Round 3: Rhonda, hands down. (Because two comparably great gents vying for you is far better than one really dodgy one.)

AAMI_ketutRhonda
Rhonda and Ketut in better times: “You look so hot today, Rhonda – like a sunrise” – Ketut. 

Despite the fact that Rhonda came away as the winner of the three rounds and I came away from my reunion with a stalker-in-the-making (bless!), I actually think that I had a far better reunion experience than our favourite safe driver.

My reunion was infinitely better than I had anticipated – and not just because I had anticipated the worst, nor just because of the novelty of free alcohol on school property (although we all know that that was what sealed the deal for me). No, rather, I was surprised by just how enjoyable it was to catch up with my old school friends and teachers, so much so that I wouldn’t have minded arriving a bit earlier after all.. What made this all even better was how refreshingly judgement-free the evening was.

So, basically that was a convoluted way of saying that I was a bit of an idiot and I should probably not stress out about hypotheticals going forward, right? Hmm.

Thus, I’m surprised to say it, but I’m actually kinda looking forward to our 10 year reunion. I’m sure there will be marriages, kids, mortgages and actual careers to talk about by that time. Until then, I’ll just continue to keep my eye out for someone who likes wearing turbans and is happy to deliver me cocktails whilst I bask on the beach in Bali. Should be a cinch.

Alex x

PS: #TeamTrent or #TeamKetut?

* Yeah, I made that one up all by myself. So proud.

trick or treat?

It’s that time of year again. And no, I’m not referring to Mole Day (which is today, in case you’re wondering. Not that I actually know what Mole Day is. I didn’t actually read that Wiki link). What was I saying again? Oh, yes. It’s nearly HALLOWEEN, you ghoulish gherkin!

As a kid I wasn’t ever allowed to participate in any Halloween-related activities. No scary costumes, trick-or-treating or sugar highs for the Alex or her Sibling. Oh, no, sirree. I’ve been brought up in a Christian family and my parents didn’t want to support Halloween because of its ‘evil undertones’. (As an aside, they don’t have a problem with people just using it as an excuse to dress up.) Although I understood where they were coming from I always felt really left out and embarrassed about not being allowed to join in all of the fun with my friends. Perhaps this is part of the reason why I have become such an enthusiastic Halloween-celebrator now that I’m in my twenties. In addition to this, I have loved dressing up and mucking around with makeup since my infancy. I love that sh!t. I’m like a pig in mud. So, Halloween (and frankly any dress-up party) is stupendously exciting for me.

Except Halloween can be tough for us chicks because every year come October we encounter a dilemma: scary or sexy? A DEEP, PHILOSOPHICAL QUANDARY. I think the default for most of my girlfriends and I is the latter.. mainly because no-one wants to have a Cady Herron moment. Also, just thinking out loud, how did dressing up as a sexy (insert any profession or animal or character) end up being associated with Halloween? Hmm. Anyway.

In times like these, it’s best to turn to the timeless fountain of wisdom which any respectable young lady knows to consult: Mean Girls. Duh.

Exhibit A: Regina and the art of the Playboy Bunny costume.

Exhibit B: Cady and a lesson in how not to do Halloween.

meangirls

tumblr_ltvzuzBxFk1qjr8uwo1_500 

In previous years I went down the ‘cute costume which isn’t even vaguely scary’ route. And now to introduce the most versatile, foolproof costume in my wardrobe (Drum roll):

 Image
“I’m a mouse. Duh!” – Karen Smith, Mean Girls.

Despite it’s aforementioned versatility, this year I have decided that I am going to gently buck my trend and try to do something a little scarier, whilst still hopefully looking vaguely attractive.. Enter: the dark angel costume.

ImageSimilar to what I plan to sport come Saturday – except less Angel Face and a bit more Black Swan.

I think I have the costume ready to go, which just leaves the makeup – which, in the case of Halloween, I think is actually the harder of the two. How does one look scary and, well, Halloween-ey without oozing blood left, right and centre? Then we have the practicalities to negotiate: what happens if you happen to be in the company of some gorgeous gent at your Halloween party of choice and perhaps he’d quite like to kiss you (and you’d quite like to kiss him). However! you’re both a bit hesitant about your amazing, intricate Day of the Dead face paint getting a bit.. ahh.. smushed. Buzzz kill. Shame.
See why I said it was a dilemma? Now, because I am a makeup junkie, I have decided to see this as an exciting little challenge for myself. Yeah, ok, so maybe I was procrastinating a tad. This is a judgement-free zone, right?

Here’s what I came up with:

Image  
My Sibling literally jumped when he saw me.

Beauty note for those interested (if you think makeup is boring as batsh!t, please skip this paragraph): 

Face: I made my face lighter by mixing some white face paint with my foundation. Alternatively, you could use a foundation colour lighter than your skin tone. Remember to mix some of the face paint into your concealer, too.
Eyes: I began with a lilac eyeshadow base and then built the intensity by blending a darker purple, a dark charcoal and then a matte black into the eye socket crease as well as bringing a little bit of the colour down to the lower lash line. Blend. Then I lined both the top and bottom lash lines with some basic black eyeliner and used it to create a small cat-eye. Then mascara as per usual. I smudged a bit of the purple and charcoal eyeshadows lightly under my eyes to create that ‘I haven’t slept in years!’ look I’ve always wanted. It was a tad messy, but oh well – I think it kinda works. Lastly, I defined my brows, making them a bit darker than usual.
Cheeks: I used the the excess black eyeshadow on my eyeshadow brush to contour my cheekbones. Blenddddd.
Lips: I used a super dark lipstick and then ramped it up by adding some of the charcoal eyeshadow on the outer edges of my lips – to create added depth and volume.  Alternatively, you could put on the lipstick and then blot it off if you’d prefer a less intense look (which I’ll probably opt to do). Blah, blah, blah woman.

Ok, beauty rant over, cherubs!

If in doubt in regards to the whole Halloween thing, I guess we can always just refer back to Mean Girls:

Exhibit C: No caption necessary.

Im-a-mouse-duh

Happy trick or treating!

Alex x

An editorial aside in regards to the first Mean Girls image: Although it featured in that gif, I’d like to clarify that I’m not in favour of using the word ‘slut’ – mainly because I don’t think that slut-shaming is particularly helpful for any of us. Okay. I’ve dismantled from my high horse. Ax