Romantic rights

On the way back from Masterton, while passing through Upper Hutt, I spied one of the Tui “Yeah right” billboards, It mentioned something about a 35-year-old woman. “Hey,” I thought. “I am a 35-year-old woman. Perhaps this is relevant to my interests.”

I didn’t want to have to go back to Upper Hutt to check out the billboard in full, but thankfully Tui have a Twitter account where all the latest billboard slogans are tooted. It was there I found this:

Single woman, 35 y/o, attractive, great personality, with no issues. Yeah Right.

As soon as I read it I felt tears spring to my eyes. “Aue,” I wailed. “I am single, 35 years old, not conventionally attractive, with a rubbish personality, and many many issues! How will I ever find a Tui-drinking partner in the 18-35 demographic?”

After spending the entire day in bed eating supermarket pick ‘n’ mix sweeties and watching season five of “Sex and the City” on my VCR, I slowly came to my senses.

I realised that pretty much all my friends who are “single” (worst concept ever) and over the age of 30 do have issues. But this is what makes them who they are. We can’t all be ironed out into flawless robots of perfection. Sometimes it’s nice to be a little bit messed up, to have that grit in your oyster.

Maybe there are Tui-drinkers who see that billboard and nod sagely, “Bro, that happened to me. She was a hot older woman, but she turned out to be a nutter.”

That Tui billboard exists in a different universe to me. I don’t have to worry about what Tui-drinkers in the 18-35 demographic think of me as a single 35-year-old woman, because I just don’t play that game.

Flex appeal

Today at the Mind Control Cult I discovered that I’m too attached to my possessions. The charismatic cult leader sang “My Funny Valentine”. I discovered my vision.

Doesn’t that just sound fruity? Like, really, really fruity? It is, but in a good way.

I saw “The Hours” today. I was trying to work out why Nicole Kidman looked so very frumpy – it’s because she has a false nose on. She was good in this film because she wasn’t being “Nicole Kidman: Sexy flame-haired sex bomb serious actress”. She was being Virginia Woolfe. It’s a fairly heavy movie, there’s lots of emotions, but in the end everything works out in a satisfactory way. It’s a sad ending, but not a tragic one. There’s death, but it’s more about life than death.

I’m so excited because the Breeders show is tomorrow. I’ve had two dreams over the last few weeks involving seeing the Breeders play. I’m not expecting it to be like a religious experience, I’m not going to be worshipping at the Alter of the Kim and the Kelley, I just want to have a good time.

Oh yeah, speaking of drinking beer. A few months ago I was in Sydney having dinner with a cool guy in a nice Italian restaurant overlooking Darling Harbour (yeah, that happens all the time) and the waiter comes over and asks if we want to order drinks. The guy orders a Boags and asked me if I’d like some wine. Oh no, kind sir. I would like some of that finest Tasmanian lager. I slept alone that night.

Ordering Beer

I was sitting in a cafe in Hamilton. While I was waiting for my order I glanced over at the fridge chilling the cafe’s selection of alcoholic beverages. On the couple of shelves of beer I spotted Waikato, Steinlager, Lion Red, Heineken, DB Export and Lion Ice. Then I realised that I didn’t even have my glasses on to read the names – I had identified those beers by the design of their labels.

Logo politics aside, this made me feel happy. Not in a pisshead kind of way, but after spending three months in Australia, it was nice to be on familiar terms with beer.

Over in Melbourne I’d find myself in really horrible situations involving the ordering of beer.

Person: Do you want a beer?
Me: Ok, that’d be good.
Person: What do you want?
Me: Um… I don’t know. What have they got?
Person: [Rattles off a list of beer names that mean very little to me]
Me: Um… what are you having?
Person: I’m going to be having a Red Bull and vodka.
Me: Ok. Um. Maybe I’ll have one of those too.

As well as not being familiar with the flavour of all these new beers, I also didn’t know about the other stuff that goes along with beer. For example, I know that a certain type of person drinks Waikato, and a different type of person drinks Export. But what type of person would I been seen as if I was drinking VB? Would I be celebrated or shunned if I was spotted with a Carlton cold in my hand?

Even if I’d selected a beer, there was still the matter of size. When I’d only been in Melbourne for a couple of weeks, I was walking past a pub that had a sign advertising, “Pie, Chips, Pot. $10.” I did a double-take – what sort of liberal drug laws did Victoria have? It turned out that a pot is a standard size of glass that beer is available in.

If this wasn’t traumatic enough, names for sizes of beer differed from state-to-state. In New South Wales I had to contend with the schooner, the middy and the pony. I was discussing this with some people from South Australia (another state, another set of sizes) and I mentioned that in New Zealand a handle of beer can be ordered. They all laughed like this was the most absurd thing they had ever heard. Well, ok, but I’d feel like a bit of a girly wuss ordering a my-little-pony of beer.

All the different beer types were driving me crazy. I wanted to live in the simple world of the movie bar, where “a beer” could be ordered and the bar tender would pour a glass of beer without asking what type or size I wanted.

But I eventually managed to do it. In a pub in Newcastle I went up to the bar and said with much pride and excitement, “a schooner of VB, thanks mate.”