Tupper-fest 2011

Three months ago I couldn't get someone to sell me Tupperware to save my life. Now? Well to say that I am currently swimming in a vast sea of Tupperware would be an understatement. I feel sheepish, overwhelmed, excited, baffled and yet somehow content.

Basically, I feel like I've had an affair with Tupperware.

Some time ago I wrote about the relationship between sex and Tupperware after a co-worker quite famously proclaimed: "Tupperware is what you have when you're not having sex". And after having spent close to $800** on Tupperware in the last 2 months, I can safely say – yes. Yes it is. 

And can I just say, that while my ability to please in the boudoir is potentially questionable, my ability to get excited and share a love of Tupperware is undeniable. 

I could sell this shit. And I could sell it well. 

My affair with Tupperware culminated in a recent trip to a Tupperware sales meeting with my lovely rep Elizabeth. Not only, did I somehow manage to walk away with even more free Tupperware – I got a tour of the factory and a taste of what the company is all about. Okay, so the world of the Tupperware dealer is pretty intense, but do you know what I like about it? 

Anyone can do it. 

Young, old, male, (although mostly) female, single, married, pierced, tattooed – anyone. All you need is the ability to be friendly and a passion for the product.

I really, really like that. And it is nowhere near as scary as Amway. 

So is it the end of the affair? Hardly. Tupperware is the kind of lover that comes and goes, but always leaves you feeling content with a renewed vigour. You know, for portioning your meals and organising your fridge. 

What can I say? I'm nesty. And a Tupperware catalog is my porn.

———

**It could be worse. It could be like that weekend I accidentally spent $400 on vibrators. Although frankly it's hard to know which products have been the most useful. 

Digital Crushes.

When you read a lot of blogs, frequent a lot of social media platforms, and are a total nerd, you're bound to develop the odd digital crush. I'd say I develop one at least once a year. It's strange to think that upon reading someones blog, their status updates or tweets you can start to get an inkling that they may in fact be your digital soulmate. 

Alas, these illusions are often shattered, usually when your crush updates their profile picture to one that includes a partner. Or they blog about their partner and children. Or they live in a different country. 

Maybe it's because I'm a blogger/writer, but when I read people's words, experiences and thoughts and they're funny, smart and similar to my own, I start to get a little bit smitten. And oh, don't even get me started about what happens when the online flirting commences. 

I've never managed to progress a digital crush into the real world, which is probably a good thing. I guess it's just nice to know there are folk out there who could be compatible with you and know that they are real people – not just characters in tv shows (I <3 you Ted Mosby!). Despite being just as unattainable. 

Still, it is an interesting phenomenon of our digital age to see someone you've never met pop up in your feeds, sigh and think – they're the one! 

PS – Did I mention that Sleepless in Seattle is my fave romantic pic?

The Root’n’Run

Today, boys and girls, I am going to share with you one of the most heinous crimes known to woman: the Root'n'run. It's not quite up there with murder and adultery, but it's way worse than coveting things and worshiping false idols.

A Root'n'run is exactly what it sounds like. A gentleman calls upon a lady, takes very brief liberties with her and then fails to return the favour. Following this, he proceeds to wash his privates in her bathroom sink, whisper falsehoods about an emergency and then runs out the door leaving the lady wearing nought but her dressing gown.

The lady, amidst extreme frustration is then forced to 'finish the job'. But even this is of limited enjoyment due to the sheer indignation caused by the gentleman's rudeness and the realization that this, dear readers, is in fact his modus operandi.

No, he wasn't shy. No, he wasn't nervous. He was just plain rude.

And it forces a young lady to ask herself – is it really so much to ask that her casual gentleman callers not only leave her feeling satisfied, but do her the courtesy of avoiding embarrassingly ridiculous lies?

And that, dear friends is the crime of the Root'n'run.

When It Rains It Pours.

Oh Internets, it's been so long I hardly know where to start. With the hot Columbian who appeared at my door on a Sunday evening or with the ever so eager 21 year old former virgin? Yes, it's been one of those months. I've been run off my feet with work, trying desperately to create time for myself and yet somehow, men are everywhere.

Maybe it's a summer thing?

Clearly, Operation: Hold Out Until I Meet the Love of My Life hasn't been going well. Am I any closer to meeting a leading man? Well, I would like to think so. At least I've figured out that I definitely want one. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I'm very distractible and not good at waiting. I was always one of those kids hunting for Christmas presents and spending hours under the tree trying to guess what the they were. Delayed gratification is not something I do very well. 

And I confess I have been somewhat hesitant to share my recent exploits on this blog lest a potential suitor read it and become terrified/overly judgemental. But, as a friend reminded me recently,  I have to make a choice. A choice between possibly offending the potential love of my life, or offending my  small yet exceedingly loyal readership, who have come to depend upon the tales of my single lady shenanigans. 

The reality is that lately I have been totally preoccupied being a very busy and important career woman who contemplates the future. How a woman in her soon to be late-twenties, fighting for equal pay and other feminist-y and social justice-y things is ever meant to find the time for writing between all of her sewing, cooking and shagging, I will never know. But I shall continue to try.

Of course, none of these rambling excuses changes the fact that life has once again served one Miss Anne with a remarkable sort of man-flood. One that will no doubt dry straight back up the minute I hit 'publish' on this post (actually, a week after I began writing this, it already has).  But there is one little gem that cannot go unrecorded.

May the world know that during November 2010, a not-so-young Miss Anne had sex sober for the first time. And what a time it was. All thirty seconds of it. The gentleman's visit was so brief, I was not even sure I should record the event in my iPhone period tracker ap*. I did. And the little love heart that appears on that day to signify my experience of being "intimate" continues to mock me.

And as for all the potential loves of my life reading this feeling mildly horrified/judgemental, you should probably know that I'm not sorry. Why have a blog if it cannot be used to record one of the more ridiculous moments of casual sex known to man?

And as for my lovely 5 – 10 readers, I never stopped loving you. I'm sorry I've been gone for so long.

*Yes, that's right. I have a period tracker ap on my iPhone. I love it. It's like having a diary for my vagina. I can program in my moods, my food cravings, my acne levels. And! It's really, really cute – the background 'flowers' when I'm fertile.

My True Love? Must Love Fonts.

 So I've been getting a lot of advice lately. And considering that I have a great job and a great flat, the only thing that's really left for me to be getting advice about is relationships. I once casually commented to a friend that while I am good at many, many things, getting into a relationship is not one of them. And while at the time I think I was deflecting the ever prickly "How are you still single?" question, I actually think the statement is quite accurate. Heck, my ineptitude on this matter could easily be seen as a 'key theme' of this blog. But I have a bit of a problem. While people love dispensing advice on this issue, it tends to be very conflicting. Currently, the advice seems to be centred around the following themes:

  1. Hold out for the right guy, he'll come along
  2. Be less picky – get out there and just let someone (anyone!) into your life
  3. Just chill the frick out

Confused and vaguely irritated by all of this I decided to have a look at the Selection Criteria I developed a little over a year ago. Interestingly, it seems that the streams of advice I was receiving at the time were much the same as they are now. And I still concur with the realisation that lead me to develop them – that not having Selection Criteria can lead to some serious, unmitigated disasters. 

A lot has happened in a year and the lessons I've learnt have changed the criteria in some rather unexpected ways. There are some fundamental incompatibilities in the mix that I never even considered. Like a requiring a man to fit into latex-free condoms – they don't come in extra-large. Seriosuly. Who'd have thought something like that could ever be a problem? Turns out, it's pretty significant.**

So I've revised the Selection Criteria. The following is a list of qualities that I am looking for in a man in October, 2010. And before you get all high'n'mighty about me using this list to keep men away I would just like to comment that not only do I reserve the right to throw the Criteria out the window for someone I really like, but that I think you should be proud of me. I actually think there are less criteria than before.

And! I know that men like this exist, it's just they don't always meet SC6 -but they do help me keep the faith.

—————

SC1 – Demonstrated ability to empathise with others and respect difference. 

SC2 – Demonstrated ability to maintain a non-judgmental attitude towards others – including their partner in crime.

SC3 - Demonstrated capacity to maintain witty and articulate communications with partner in crime and key stakeholders.

SC4 – An understanding of basic design principles, including an appreciation of vintage art deco fonts. 

SC5 – An interest in or passion for a creative endeavour. Creative endeavours may include, but are not limited to writing, photography, art or web design.

SC6 – Must. Be. Single.

**While I have not included this as a specific criteria, I think it probably falls under SC 1 & 2. I need a lover who would be respectful and understanding of my oh-so-sensitive skin. Also, I think it would be a bit crass to have a selection criteria around penis size.

The West End.

So after months of dreaming and scheming I have finally done it. I put out a call to the Universe, and she replied by way of a friend with a spare room in the heart of West End. So here I sit, nestled in my bed in my tiny wee room a stones throw away from everything I could ever want, with my car living about 14 kilometres away. So it's really no surprise that the day after I moved in I fell over, sprained my ankle and couldn't walk anywhere. Kudos, Universe. Kudos.

Yes, despite a number of friends hanging shit on me for living in a 'trendy' area, I can safely assure you that I have not lost touch with my bumbling, dorkish self. Hell, if falling over in the middle of a main road outside my unit block the day after I moved here isn't a sign of my innate dagginess, I don't know what is. 

That, and the fact that earlier tonight I boozily commented that no, I wasn't a West Ender, I was just of a pretender. Yes. I actually said that. Pretty soon after exclaiming that any man I truly love must have at some point have driven a Volvo.

To back up this assertion of being a 'pretender' I should probably share my experience of waiting for a bus just after I moved to the area. I was having a chat to some of my fellow West Enders about their plans for the day and it turns out they were going to an environmental rally. I, on the other hand, was going to brunch.

Yes, I may just be one of those yuppies that the locals so despise. Crossed with some kind of heinous dork.

But, as my ankle heals and I start wandering a little further, I find myself falling rather in love with this quirky suburb. And, shock upon shock, I think I am entering a strange new period in my life. I have decided that only men I give a damn about are allowed into my boudoir. It is a sanctuary, albeit an incredibly cluttered one, but a sanctuary nonetheless. No assholes allowed!

It's a tough rule, but I intend on sticking to it.

So it's a new page, maybe even a new chapter in the life of lil' ol' me. I'm not quite sure how it will develop – but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Sober Speed Dating: Just Say No.

Dry July bought forth many challenges. Some I faced head on, while others not so much*. Sober speed dating was by far my biggest challenge and the most significant lesson learned? Some things require alcohol. Full stop.

I'm an energetic person. A person who I suspect is known for a certain degree of vivacity, wit, and a smattering of dorkishness. A classic extrovert, I absorb energy from interacting with people and think aloud – but that is another story. So as a general rule I put a fair bit of energy into my social interactions, but fortunately I get a lot in return.

Interactions with potential lovers get a little bit more energy than those with old friends. There's a lot of 'asserting yourself' that needs to take place, but in delicate non-overpowering ways (a skill I am clearly still mastering). So, I'm sure you can appreciate that interacting with fifteen 'potential' lovers in seven minute bursts on a Thursday night with nothing but lemonade and soda water to buoy your spirits is nothing short of exhausting.

Especially when the calibre of the men ain't that great. 

Now, I'm not saying I'm 'all that' (although I think we all know that I am), and certainly I was treated to many mid-conversational moments where there was a mutual understanding that there was nothing particularly mutual about us. At all. But as my charming co-conspiritator pointed out it's rather artificial when you're purposely trying to find things to like about about people just so you can date them. Friendship seems totally out of the question and perhaps that what makes it all so frustrating. 

Even the most interesting person I met, I wasn't interested in. He would've made a nice addition to my circle of acquaintances, but it doesn't work that way. 

Don't get me wrong – like many women when I meet a new man there is an internal decision made somewhere along the line about whether or not I would consider dating/sleeping with them. But it happens naturally, casually if you will. But when you're speed dating it's almost like you're trying to force feelings that wouldn't necessarily be there. And it's exhausting

It also didn't help that I no longer have a job that fits into a nice, easy 10-words-or-less box. And I did have one young fella start to look visibly nervous when I told him I was a social worker. Like I have nothing better to do in my spare time than diagnose people??? Although I did end up diagnosing him, just a little. But not because I was trying to!! Because sometimes people's anxieties, insecurities and issues are so blatantly obvious that they don't require much effort to figure out once you know the signs. 

Problem was, this ended up making me feel sad. On this particular night there were two suitors who clearly had some significant issues and it was these two suitors that the other women spoke about most viscously. "Wasn't he creepy?" "Like, oh my God don't let him know where you live!" "Did he tell you he lived in a van!? Urgh!". Listening to these statements in combination with sobriety and clinical insight was a deeply depressing experience. 

Where was the fun, happy-go-lucky amusing, blog inspiring speed dating experience I had anticipated? I mean, this wasn't just any speed dating – it was tall man speed dating! No men under 6ft allowed! (although we do think there should've been a measuring tape at the door – a couple of shorties totally snuck in)

The answer, of course, lay in my sobriety. Alcohol assists in keeping your energy levels high, it removes the strain of trying to explain your job to people over and over again, and it numbs some of your clinical insight allowing you not to feel sad and depressed when some of the participants are put down so harshly. In short, speed dating can only be done with alcohol.

Will I ever speed date again? Probably. Although it's going to take some time for me to raise the energy and excitement again.

Oh and the second learning: never speed date with an organisation connected to an online dating website. Just say no.

*The Golden Ticket I purchased in the final six hours of July a case in point.

The End of (online) Dating?

Recently, the following went down on Facebook ….

Status
Who is that guy? Well, Paul happens to be my father. And his comment? Did not immediately feel G-rated. It was! But for a moment there I felt worried that it wasn't.

My poor parents. Sometimes my singleness seems to utterly confound them. So much so that when I told my mother I was internet dating, she actually seemed relieved. I'm not sure how she's going to take it when I tell her that by and large, internet dating has proven completely fruitless and I'm getting ready to 'take a break'. Also that I recently made what I would consider the nerdiest book purchase in the world (my rationale being: "well, as a single woman who writes about her life, it's important that I understand the discourse to which I contribute. Plus, as a social worker, I can tax deduct it!").

The particular dating website I have been using – the serious 'you-pay-money-and-get-personality-tested' one has definitely an interesting experience. You see, on this site you don't just message people – you undergo a process of 'guided communication'. As ridiculous as it is, it actually kind of works. For example, there was the guy who asked me (in multiple choice format) how I felt about traditional gender roles. Never heard from him again. 

Or there was the guy who listed punctuality as a 'must have' characteristic of a potential partner. *cough*

My favourite was a guy who listed "cleanliness" as a 'must have' and "poor personal hygiene" as a 'can't stand'. As I sent my responses I glanced at the mountains of clothes on my floor, reflected on my most recent fridge magnet purchase ("we can't both look good – it's me or the house") and thought to myself – gee, he's probably not going to like me. And true to form as communication 'blossomed' and I mentioned that I didn't really like bush walking – I never heard from him again.

Which begs the question – do I really have to fake an interest in bushwalking just to get a man? Because I really don't want to.

Exasperated. Sigh.

Still, No Man June seems to be going well. I just had my first 100% man free weekend in like, forever. Instead of sex/kissing/flirting, I crafted. Perhaps I can replace men with sewing projects? 

As if my bulging wardrobe didn't have enough problems. Still, a good fabric stash, a bunch of thrifted patterns and a brand new battery operated device might just get me through the rest of the month.

Indeed, I might even find time to play a bit of Wii.

Men. WTF??

I have found myself in a 'funk' about men at the moment. Indeed, if I am completely honest with myself – I think I'm losing my faith in them. 

Why? Let me tell you why.

(The following is a collection of moments over the last month that have either happened to me, or to women of my acquaintance. And yes, it's a little bit ranty.)

The other day I was sitting on a bus and looked up to see the following ad:

Stiad 

All of a sudden, I got mad. Really mad. I would almost consider my rage illogical except that I think my reasoning is sound. But before I begin, let me say that I know STIs are currently spreading like wildfire, and I know that I can have Chlamydia and not even know. That is why I get an STI check whenever I have a pap smear. So who is this campaign targeting? I'll tell you who. Women. The website, the resources, the information – all clearly pitched at women. Which is all fine and dandy, but let me tell you about "No Condom Man"

No Condom Man is a common occurrence in our modern world. He is of 'normal' appearance and is therefore very difficult to spot. In fact, he only appears at the 'crucial moment'. That moment when you are on fire and you desperately want him, No Condom Man appears. "Oh baby, you're on birth control aren't you?" "I'm clean, aren't you?" "But it just feels so much better without one". These are his mantras. No Condom Man is an expert at making you feel bad for insisting, and even occasionally 'sneaks it in' before you can stop him. And once that happens? Well. It's easy to get carried away, because it does feel good. But guess who feels guilty afterwards? It certainly isn't No Condom Man.

And here's kicker. Even when you manage to persevere, and the condom comes out of your purse/bedside table – No Condom Man doesn't own any – guess what happens? The minute the latex touches his skin, he goes floppy. Does No Condom Man apologise? No. Because who's fault is it? The woman who insisted he use one. And who's the one left feeling frustrated and even a little bit guilty? You.

So tell me, where is the national ad campaign targeting No Condom Man? Why is it women have the responsibility of not only paying for birth and STI control, but for negotiating its use as well? When we talk about the personal being political, your encounters with No Condom Man are the perfect example. One person has the power to make the other feel uncomfortable, guilty and occasionally, disgusted with themselves. And I tell you what, the person with the power is usually a man. And why shouldn't it be? No one's tax dollars are being spent blaming him for STIs he could have and not even know about. 

And besides, it's perfectly okay for a man to put his dick wherever he chooses, unless he's in a relationship, right?

Which brings me to my next point. Men lie. 

Okay. That is a rash generalisation – women lie too. All the time. Lying is a people thing, not just a man thing. But until you have had sex with a man, who immediately blurts out afterwards that he's married, has a son and his wife is pregnant, it's hard not to generalise. Especially when it is mother's day weekend. And he asks you if you can have a 'casual thing'. And his wife is calling him as you kick him out the door.

And while you cannot feel bad about someone cheating on their wife with you when you didn't know they had a wife – this sort of thing does not make you feel particularly optimistic about men. Especially when you hear similar tales from other women. And men.

And so to my last point. Men are bastards.

After chasing you for weeks and finally pulling the moves on you, they go to the bathroom and never come back. They tell you you're amazing and then they never call. They leave before you wake up and they take your money. They let you down. 

And yet, despite all of this, we keep going back for more? WTF??

Last night I was told an old german saying – if you put all of the bad men in a bag and beat it with a stick, you'll always hit the right one. I like this saying, and it rather characterised the evening. May hasn't been a great month for me and mine. 

So what have these recent experiences taught me? I've discussed this at length, with a variety of close lady friends and after many words of wisdom, reassurances and curse words the general consensus is thus ….

It's time to revisit the selection criteria, and it is time to take a break.

So. I am officially declaring that June 2010 will be a man free zone. Or at least a sex free zone. Or perhaps a no sex with men I haven't met before zone. Or something like that.

Now, this isn't going to be easy. I am going to need all the help I can get. But it must be done. I cannot even begin to think up a list of formalised rules, and while logically 'no drinking' should be right up the top, this is not going to happen. Maybe in July … maybe.

So, dear Interwebs, I ask you to wish me luck, and keep me honest.

The Epiphany.

It came upon me when I was in the States, and has been growing steadily in my mind to form the full blown realisation that it now is. That's right peeps, the time has come – I am in the market for more than a one night stand.

Yes, after nearly a year of illicit liaisons, I've finally realised that one night is not enough. I'd like at least five. Minimum. Something, it would seem, that is surprisingly difficult to achieve in the absence of genuine affection. 

So, I've started internet dating. Although I'm probably not doing it as aggressively as I could be. I have rejected internet dating in the past for two reasons – 1) There is something overwhelmingly contrived and false about the process and 2) It brings out a rather ugly and judgemental side of me. You know, like when I'm house hunting and reject it based solely on the mould in the shower recess and the cracked brown tiles in the kitchen.

While these two significant issues are still glaringly obvious in my new 'quest', I am trying to overlook them for one big reason – convenience. I'm a busy woman. I barely have time to write scintillating stories on this blog for you, let alone take up a variety of new hobbies simply to meet men. And despite my recent change of jobs, I still remain firmly situated in the 'human services sector' – not a part of the world known for eligible heterosexual bachelors.

I would like to think that this medium of 'romance' would at least assure me that the men I encounter are single – thus avoiding the "Oh, I'm sort of married, and I have a son, oh and my wife is pregnant" post-coital bombshell. The thing is, I am learning that even that, is a false assumption. As an email from one particular gentleman on a free online dating service clearly indicates – married men use internet dating to cruise for extra-marital affairs. At least this particular gentleman was upfront about it, if that can make something horrible in any way better. 

So what's a busy, single lady to do?

The answer to that question has yet to make itself clear. Although, it does lend further weight to my enjoyment of younger men – a 22 year old is much less likely to have a pregnant wife at home. And yes, I do believe in fate and The Universe and all of that sort of thing – but finding someone you can stand to be around for more than one night is actually quite tricky, particularly when you are busy with a new and exciting career turning point. And don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoy the freedoms that come with being single, but the allure of regular sex with a touch of intimacy is strong. 

I am clearly at a turning point and I suspect I will be here for some time – because you know what The Universe is like, the second you start wanting something, the further away you are from obtaining it. I guess internet dating makes me feel like I'm at least putting in some sort of effort, and I'll hopefully get an interesting blog or two out of it. And look, there is something fundamentally hilarious about internet dating – between the truly hideous photos, the poorly phrased and ill-conceived profiles and the thoroughly awful usernames, one is guaranteed a good giggle of a Wednesday night. And while I am trying not to be a total bitch and become more accepting of poor spelling and grammar, I still have to say that the word "cum" as a substitute for "come" anywhere on a profile is an absolute deal breaker.

I would also like to point out, that if any of you were to consider using a popular, paid for online dating site – be prepared to feel devastated every time you login. The men on this site, are very rarely as beautiful as this one (who is now taken). 

Internetdating 

(hot people, no longer available for you to meet)

Okay, so maybe I am not taking this internet dating thing too seriously. But I'm trying to be open to it, which I guess is really the best I can do. And if the queasiness at the pit of my stomach when listening to women discuss their pregnancies is anything to go by, at least I can be sure that I'm not quite ready to settle down just yet. Which somehow, makes me feel a little better.