You Lost WHAT On The Dance Floor?!

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When I was 16, you could give any of my friends a few drinks and oserve the Justin Beiber phenomenon; skinny, middle class white girls under the illusion they’re black rappers. This is why after a few shots, the dance floor will fill up with girls swaggering, twerking and flipping their hands around like they’ve just touched a hot iron.

I was one of these girls. My dancing looks like a giraffe having an epileptic fit. But because self awareness and drunkenness are inversely proportional, that never bothered me at the time.

But perhaps God decided he’d had enough of teenage girls. (I understand that feeling. I, at 19, am now thoroughly disgusted with decadence and frivolity of such youths. Wasn’t like that in my day….) Anyway, there was one evening when all of my girls turned up at a blokes house. He was a thoroughly underwhelming guy, made attractive by the ownership of a house without parents home.

Up we turned. We started to drink something sugary and pink – because that was sophisticated, darling –  and dance. 

Now earlier that day, I decided that if I were to name my boobs, they would be christened ‘Disappointing.’ So I adopted the full proof plan of stuffing them with cotton wool (tissue left conspicuous crinkle marks. Rookie mistake.)  After my DIY boob job, I felt much better. So full of confidence that I danced with even more than my usual enthusiasm. 

That was until my friend pointed out I’d lost a boob. In my spirited throwing-my-hands-in -the-air -like-i’m-drowning move my bra had hoiked up. And out had come my C cup filling. 

I swore that day that I was never gonna dance again. And if someone asked, it was because these guilty feet had got no rythm. As opposed to because I’d lost a boob on the dancefloor, ironically,  dancing to “my milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.” 

 

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You Know You’re An Immigrant When

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I’ve been in New Zealand for a long time now. So long in fact, that when they announced on my plane the other day that the police were boarding, my first thought was “oohhh. Someone’s been smuggling pine cones.” 

But sometimes I say something that shows that I’m an immigrant. Something that makes real Kiwis look at me like I’ve just said I have erotic dreams about their mother. 

I saw a sign for FCO. So I turned to my Kiwi friend and said “why do the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have a branch in the mall?”

My Kiwi friend looked at me with that mixture of surprise and disgust; they it reserve for English immigrants making references to NZ’s colonial past.

“Verity. That stands for Fishing Camping Outdoors. They’re a shop for people who go outside.” Then he smiled “not everything here belongs to England ya know.” 

That told me.

Why I love old people

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I don’t know why everyone wants to be young. I’m at the gym, and it’s the first time in my life I fully appreciate old people.

The gym itself is ok. Considering my chronic unfitness, i’m actually enjoying myself. I like buildings that embrace the “I can’t be bothered finishing this so I’ll just paint it grey, leave some strange corners and call it minimalist” look. I like the smell of panic as women try to out do each other on the treadmill. I like the self congratulating grunts of pain the guys make when they lift heavy shit up and down. Reassurance of their own success in life that they can shift 50 kgs of metal 30 cm. I like the way they try to fill it with things that stop you from hearing your body is screaming “stop! stop! I’ll never have a cronut again, just STOP!” 

But one thing I hate is the gym junkies. 

Why? I’m not jealous of them. Partly because they probably couldn’t spell the word jealous. Not because they bully me. They don’t talk to me. I don’t speak cross-trainer. So what is is that pisses me off? 

They stare at how much I sweat. And yes, I do look like a blue fin tuna swimming in a river when I run. I also go deathly white with red flushes which makes me look like a  radish in a food blender. And i’m ok with this. But gym junkies aren’t. They look at me, they look at the puddle i’m dripping into and they sniff and toss their hair. Their young, tanned, toned bodies are teflon coated. They don’t sweat. Sweating is for mortals.

But it’s ok. Because I have found the solution. This is why I like old people. When I train with them, they’re just nice, slightly crumpled and fond of bright lycra. They saw Vietnam, the great depression and cheese in a can. You think your sweat freaks them out?

I think as you get older you just give less of shit about what people think. And I just love their acceptance. Either that or they’re blind. 

Today I laughed because…

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Firstly, I found out the street where the PM of NZ has a holiday home, along with several other high flying, elegantly feathered birds, is called ‘Success Lane.’ I never knew town planners had a sense of humour.

Secondly, I watched a Katy Perry documentary that said that she cries at the emotional significance of her lyrics. I quite agree. “Let’s go all the way tonight” has the linguistic subtlety to make Shakespeare weep. 

Thirdly, I put henna in my hair. It looks like a swan got diarrhoea on my head, as my dad so elegantly put it. See the photo.

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This could only happen in New Zealand…and apparently Australia

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On my first night out in my new city Melbourne, I was going out with new friends, and enjoying the new feeling of anonymity.

Tonight I was in Melbourne. And in Melbourne, unlike Auckland, you don’t run into your Ex, your Ex’s new child bride and your chemistry teacher on one night.

Tonight, I wasn’t going to see anyone I knew. I wasn’t that girl who vomited over her crush on the school trip in year 10. I wasn’t the girl who could tell you the full names of every member of the Weasley family. I wasn’t someone who gets annoyed when people are promiscuous with commas in sentences.

I could be anyone! Someone cool! Fun! Interesting! 

And the first person I met that night, in one of these sticky, smoky places where a drink is the price of a nose job, was a prefect from my old school.

Not quite as anonymous as I’d hoped then… 

Boots of Shame: if I had a chance to go back…

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If I could go back and change time

When I was 16, I had an obsession with Alex Drake from Ashes to Ashes. She was just everything I wanted to be smart, sassy, sexy …She got to flirt with Gene Hunt and travel in time. Damn. Cool.

 Now because I was 16, I decided that the best way to become said sassy, scintialting woman would be to buy the cowboy boots she wore. Perhaps they would lend my awkward, acne prone and average person some sparkle. Then my neighbourhood crush, who I had obsessed over for three years, two months and 3 days, would finally notice me.

So I asked for them for my birthday. We were on holiday in England, and my Dad and Mum drove around for hours and hours trying to find boots. Hours of internet trawling, pavement crawling, random stranger harassing, and phone calling later, we found a shop.

The boots were beautiful, they were shiny and studded and would have given a hippo a sexy swagger. My parents bought them for me, and I was so happy that I hugged the box all the way back to New Zealand.

The day came. I was going around to my crush’s house for a swimming party. I wore the boots, and I knew this was it.

As I walked in, he came up to me and said “You wear cowboy boots? They’re so tacky.”

I spent that party in the corner cursing my parents, Alex Drake and my stupid, tacky boots. I put them in the cupboard and never wore them again. Every time my Dad asked why I didn’t wear them I made up some excuse. They made my feet hurt…they were broken…they just didn’t go.

It took some years for me to realise that the guy, his opinions, and his attention weren’t worth it. And that I absolutely loved my boots. By this time I was a bit older, and no matter how hard I squashed my feet in, my boots just didn’t fit any more.

My parents still mention them occasionally, and I still don’t know what to say.

This is what I would do over. If I could go back and tell myself that they are brilliant boots. Not just because they look hot. Not  just because they suit me. But because they are bought by parents who love me enough to drive all over the country for me. And who have never shouted at me for not wearing them.

I’d also tell her don’t just change because  a guy thinks you should. Your own style is powerful and beautiful – because it’s yours.