Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't Call Me Dory and Other Lessons

1Things people have found out about me in the last week.

11) Don't call me Dory

The meeting was into its third hour. A figure slumped at the front table, pen in one hand, head in the other, catatonic. Only her eyes were flitting about the room showed signs of life - the only discernible movement that came from her as the rabble went on about her. She was incapable of speaking, incapable of moving, past contributing, past thought. Exhaustion had enveloped her in the hour before. What was tiring her more was the knowledge that this committee meeting, the one that happened every three months, had to be attended every three months .
“And maybe Dory can look into it.” A member of the committee piped up.
“And what do you say to that, Dory?”

Nobody but my family and a few people who’ve known me for more than thirty-five years call me Dory.

“Who’s Dory?” I asked. It was the first thing I’d said all night, after giving my obligatory report at the start of the meeting.
“You, of course,” retorted the committee member.
“My name is Pandora, thank you. And I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to commit to what you’re asking me to do.”
“But you don’t have a family and you live close by, Dory,” replied the committee member, unaware that her life could end in minutes if she kept up this line.
“I’m sorry , firstly my name is Pandora. I answer to that, or Panda or Pand. I don’t respond to being called Dory unless you are my mother – which you are not.” The voice could have smashed concrete.
“Oh, but you can do this job you don't have commitments.” She piped in brightly.
“No. Just because I am a spinster of this parish, without a fellow or bairns does not make me available to do every shit kicking job about the place, and I find it extremely presumptuous that you expect me to do these jobs.”
“Oh. Then who will get this menial task to do?” she asked.
“Why you – they who smelt it, dealt it.” I piped back. “I’ll just put that I the minutes, shant I.”
Neither of us said anything else for the rest of the meeting.

Moral of the event – never mess with a tired, grumpy Pandora. It's not worth it.

And never call her Dory – ever.

2) Just Because...

I’ve had variations of the same conversation with a number of friends over the last few months. Only the intensity and the depth of the conversation differ. I had it again on the weekend while sitting looking at a view of the Opera House over lunch.

It’s getting a little tiring, though it’s nice that my friends care.
“So, how’s your love life?”
“I don’t know. Men don’t find me attractive? I haven’t met anybody I want to go out with? Nobody decent isn’t around the place? I’m not in a space to connect with a man at the moment. Take your choice. Use all the reasons. I don't have a bloke. Deal with it.”
“But you’re lovely, you should have somebody special in your life.”
“Who says I should? Maow Maow loves me, can’t he do? He loves me so much he kisses my nose at 4 am when he comes to stay – oh, sorry, that’s him wanting breakfast. And he's a cat.  Shouldn’t confuse that with love.”
“But you deserve somebody who makes you feel special in your life.”
“I think you’re confusing happiness with being shacked up. I’m pretty content for the most part. I’ve never had a long term partner – and I’m okay with that. If somebody comes about, then so be it. “
The friend looks confused.
“But you’re lovely, and you deserve to have somebody.”
“Yes, I’m lovely, and deserving, and gorgeous, and funny and lots of good things. Doesn’t automatically mean I need a man in my life. I can kill my own spiders at a push. I have a step-ladder to get things off of high shelves. I can open my own jars. I can drive myself about. What else to you need a man for?"
“You’re being glib.”
“I’m being a realist.”
“Well, why don’t you have a fella?”
“Umm, because there isn’t a shop where I can buy one of the class and calibre I desire. It’s not like paper. If I want quality paper I go down Degraves Street to the Florentine paper shop. If I want a notepad I go to the supermarket. I can’t buy one.”
“You’re being glib again.”
“You mistake glibness with an acceptance of reality. Besides, a good proportion of my mates who have blokes are miserable and want to kill them most of the time. I don't want that."

They left me alone for a few minutes. This conversation always goes like this.

“So what are you doing about getting a fellow?”

Here we go again.

“I’m not doing anything other than being open to offers, not that there are any coming.”
“But why not try the internet.”
“Bad history with internet dating. I tend to meet psychos. Next.”
“Well, where else can you find one?”
“It goes back to my first question. Why do I need one?”
They sit back and consider this.
“Well, what do you do for sex.”
“Nothing. Used to going without. It’s not mandatory to get laid. It’s not like eating and drinking, though the need feels like it sometimes. Celibacy doesn't kill you.”
“Oh. But what about children. You want to have children don’t you.”

Oh dear, here we go. Reproductive ambivalence is a viewpoint as contentious as euthanasia or the death penalty.

“Umm, I don’t think I do. Besides, I’d make a crap mother.”
“No you wouldn’t.”
“Yes I would – but this is moot. No fella, no kids.”
“You could go it alone. Do a turkey baster job.”
“I think I would prefer to have every hair on my head plucked out of my head with a pair of rusty tweezers than have a child on my own.”
“You’re adamant about this one.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”

The moral of the events – you have your life, I have mine. You do what you choose. I choose what I choose. And never the twain shall meet. I respect your choices, please respect mine. Even if my views aren’t the same as those of everybody else.

Other odd events of the week.

My current project manager calls me “Boss”. Isn’t that like an oxymoron or something?

Walking up Queen Street on my way home, a man on a bike shouts out my name and waves at me as I go past. The man on the bike cuts a pretty good figure in lycra. I have no idea who this person is. I ask my facebook friends who this person may be. The random act of friendliness made my day. The fact that a cute, unidentified man shouts my name out made it even better. He texted me this afternoon to ask why I was walking up Queen Street this mystery cute cyclist. Danger Dood from Bastard Bank. Bummer. Married with children – and Danger Dood. Still made my day.

My hotel in Sydney was brilliant. Allowed me to watch televising from the bathtub. Very cool.
Running with a hangover is not particularly fun. Running on a sunny day in Sydney and forgetting to put on sunscreen. Stupid. Feeling you have justification for a couple of McDonald’s hash browns after the run. Misguided – but I still had a good day. 

And the moral of these lessons?

None really. Happiness is where you find it. A smile and a wave, something silly, a McDonalds hash brown with tomato sauce after a run.

It's the little things that make you happy. Concentrate on them and the rest will follow.


Kath said...

One thing I've learned not to do is ask someone 'How's your love life?'

I hated it when smug gits asked me (because, let's face it, it's always the loved-up ones who ask) and decided then and there that if people have love life-related news, they'll share it if and when they want to.

Little things DO mean a lot - waving to The Fratman every morning and noting that he now even gives Milly a pat when he sees her; a coffee handed to me every day by LC; seeing Sapphire throw her head back and laugh when we drive to school; clean sheets on the bed.

Jackie K said...

You tell 'em.
How presumptuous on all counts.
Love the way others suggest ways you can find someone as if it's about going shopping. Just doesn't work like that does it!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

How's your ...

ERM ...

By the way, Dor ...

ERM ...

Just joking :0)

I will never refer to you as Pandy or Dory and I definitely WILL NEVER ask a woman about her love life (simply because I have made that mistake before and I still bear the scars).




P.S. I don't like being called Manky ...