Having breakfast with Trin after boxing today, my common, mucky roots came out on show.
As refined as I try and make myself, the fact that I hail from Myponga, South Australia, went to a terrible high school and I''m a bit of a bogan at times comes and bites me on the bum occasionally.
Here is me, coffee and wine snob, love my literary books, watch foreign films, like to discuss ideas and thoughts, trying to improve my life. I like going to nice restaurants. I know where to source the best macarons in Melbourne, great wineries around the place, little treasures of goodness all over the place. I'm great and knowing what is good to see and what not to see. I like to think of myself as fairly erudite in my tastes.
But there are times, when the friends I'm with want to desert me and never see me again. They don't see this trait as endearing at all.
Trin and I order breakfast. Sitting in a swanky Burwood cafe, the food looks amazing. The coffee certainly smells good. We're both a picture of sweaty happiness after the 90 minute boxing class - but we're sure we don't smell too bad. The hand sanitizer has removed most of the smell of the boxing gloves and focus pads from the grunty boy boxing gym we go to in Ferntree Gully for this once a month class. The gym is really a trumped up shed with a lot of leather and the lingering smell of sweat and testosterone (with a bit of old vomit thrown in for good measure). It's brilliant.
Trin places her order.
Then I place mine. And Trin's nose crinkles in disgust.
What is wrong with my standard mug of skinny cappucino. And and omelette, with tomatoes and basil and asparagus with sourdough toast? It wasn't that which Trin objected to.
It was the tomato sauce I asked for with it.
She berated the waiter for not being horrified at my request.
"Yo've travelled the world.You can talk about opera and politics and psychology. You like foreign cinema! I'm appauled!" remarked Trin. I thought she was going to walk out on me.
"Yes, I am reasonably refined. But I drink beer and I have a thing for the gobstoppers you get out of the gumball machines at the supermarket, and I do occasionally chew gum (but that's normally to level my ears on planes and never Juicy Fruit) and I can't eat my eggs without tomato sauce - and lots of it. If that makes me a bogan, so be it."
"You heathen!" I'm not sure if her ridicule was laced with horror or not.
"I have bogan roots. I have tomato sauce on barbequed meat and eggs. Deal with it."
Trin's nose remained wrinkles.
"Look, if it makes it any better, I have the same thing with the girls at meditation. We go to this great cafe in Caulfield. I order poached eggs on multigrain toast with a side of spinach and smoked salmon with tomato sauce."
"Smoked Salmon and tomato sauce. Eww." The colour was leaving her face.
"Yummy. But the girls at meditation have exactly the same reaction and I've been doing ordering the same thing for years." Which is true, but they now look at my eggs and sauce foible as an bizarre genetic failure.
It's just one of those lingering weird habits. Eggs or any sort - poached, boiled, scrambled, fried - quiche - needs tomato sauce in my opinion. I don't care if people don't agree with me. I just like them that way."
"Do you have any other strange food foibles?" Trin asked, still aghast as I tipped a small ramekin of sauce over my breakfast when it arrived.
"Not really. I like fairy bread. Though I rarely eat it, I sort of enjoy fresh white bread (though I berate my family as it's all they have at home). I love baked beans - but only Heinz ones. Bliss is a sausage in bread from the Bunnings barbeque. I do drink Jim Beam and Jack Daniels and Bundy Rum - but only when out with certain people - and normally in South Australia late at night. I have danced around a handbag at an Essex disco. I love romantic comedies and animated films. And if I could do it more often, I'd be happy to live on fish and chips from the Greek chippy round the corner."
"You really can be common."
"Yep - and I'm very proud of this. Especially being unabashed about my eggs with tomato sauce."
Wait til she finds out that when I'm back at Myponga I drive my stepdad's ute about the place...