I was on Campus all day on Thursday. I had a few tutorials to attend to, and 3 hours in the laboratory where we learned, among other things, how to lay out a body and stick it in a body bag if one of our patients bites the dust. It had taken me 45 mins to find a park. I will never understand why people with Degrees and experience who know about things like building universities, will design a university where 10,000+ students will attend and then make parking for like, 100 cars. Did they not realise that nobody roller-blades anymore? That nearly 90% of Australians own a car? That you can’t park up trees, you can’t park up in the air, or in the University buildings themselves, and so it might be a good idea to set aside a plot of land bigger than my backyard to keep all these vehicles while the owners are inside the buildings trying to get an education?
So I had to resort to the ‘Carpark stalk’ You know the one i’m talking about. You have a class starting in 10 minutes, the car park is full, and some rogue students have even resorted to parking on the yellow lines (a $100 fine) just so they can get to class. Imagine its athletics day at the track too, so your odds of getting a park are so slim that you consider just going home. But option B is to become a carpark creep. There are other cars lurking around, engine purring as the car rolls, rolls, rolls around and around and around, and you are all eyeing each other up. Sooner or later, SOMEONE has to emerge from a building and start walking towards their car somewhere in this car park… but which car will it be? And which of us creeps are going to get it?
You never know where to situate your car in the stake out. Near the entrance of the carpark? That way you will be the first to see someone coming who might be leaving with their car soon! Yes, true enough, but if they happened to have parked down the back of the car-park, then the creep in the blue Honda is going to get it, because he’s staking out down the back. Its all about strategy. Everyone has their own method. I chose to hide out about 3/4 of the way into the carpark, so I was mostly towards the back, but still had view of the entrance. Blue Honda was idling at back left corner. Hmmm, smart move Honda, but if anyone from the whole right side leaves, I have you blocked, and you miss out on the park. Haha, obviously a rookie. Probably a first year.
Next thing you know, there is movement from all the other creep cars. It seems the drivers have spotted something, and have gone from slouching back in the drivers seat, to hugging the steering wheel. White Knuckles. Whats going on? What did you see that I didn’t see? Is someone coming?
There she is. Asian girl with backpack. She has left the medical sciences building and has just passed through the entrance of the car park. She is holding something in her left hand. Could be keys. Everyone in the creep cars starts to get restless. All eyes on asian backpack girl. The creep in the Subaru has started tailing her at about 2Ks and hour. Every single one of her movements are analyzed. She’s veering left, is she just trying to walk in the shade? Or is her car parked over in the back left corner? In which case Honda creep would get the park. The other thing in the back left corner however, is the walkway leading to the main road, which leads up to several side roads, where a lot of students park. This is why I never park down the back left. You risk losing too many potentials down that walk way. I suspect that Asian backpack girl is going to do just that. Reason number one is, she is wearing her backpack straps on both shoulders. This tells me she is in for the long haul. As a veteran car park creep, I know that when a student has both backpack straps on, they aren’t just making a short walk from the nearby building to the car park. They’re car is most likely several blocks away. Also, I have seen something the other creeps haven’t yet. Those ‘keys’ in her hand, are not keys. Its half a bounty bar. At this stage, if the person does not have keys in hand, its pretty much an 80% that they aren’t going to be moving a car.
I’m right. Asian backpack girl notices that 2 creeps, one in a Honda, and one in a Subaru are watching her every move and are tailing about 3 meters behind her and quickly scurries past all the cars in the back left corner and heads down the walkway. Creeps in both tailing cars hit steering wheel with palms and look around to see if anyone else noticed them tailing Asian girl and then losing the game. I saw it. I saw it you inexperienced car park creeps. I choose to stay in my position, 3/4 of the way back. I start to get a feeling in my waters that a park is about to become available to me, and sure enough a short little indian man comes hurrying through the car park, but not from the entrance! He comes from the side He must have come from the athletics track. Because of this, Creep in both the Honda and the Subaru don’t see him enter. 3/4’s of the way back see? I’m telling you, I know what i’m doing. Short indian man has all the signs of a soon-to-be-departing driver: He’s walking with purpose, like he knows where he is going, He has a backpack, like Asian backpack girl, but he has only one strap slung over his shoulder. And he is fishing around in his pants for something. Keys.
Because of my patience, my expertise and my instincts, I got a park in only 45 mins, and managed to only be an hour and a half late for my tutorial. Thats about when I got in a real bad effing mood.
I have been struggling to stay focused at uni this semester. I’m just over half way through the degree and I think I have hit that place where so many friends warned me about: Year 2, semester 2, where you just get a bit… over it. So there I am, sitting in class realising that I managed to make it with a whole 10 minutes left to go of a 2 hour class, and i’m all pissed off and I have a bad attitude. After class, we have an hour before our 3 hour lab session. During the break, I take a seat with some friends where the topic of my 1000 single days comes up and I am asked ‘So… Hows it all going?’
I realised then, that it has actually been a pretty long time since I just gave you all a good, old fashioned update on how I am actually going with this whole no dating, no kissing, no sex, no boys thing.
So, with that completely unrelated-to-anything-ever intro, I’ll let you know how i’m going.
The question I get asked the most is usually asked a little bit like this ‘omigaaawsh, how are you handling it all without the SEX‘ (the word sex is always spoken in a hush, with a look of deep, deep concern on the face of the speaker to match)
Alright, so lets get this one out of the way first. When someone asks me whether I am just DYING to get laid yet, for me, its like someone asking ‘OMIGAAAWASH don’t you just WISH you had a helicopter!?!?’ I kind of just shrug my shoulders at it, having not really thought about that much at all and say ‘I dunno…kind of…I guess’
It’s just not something I go around every day thinking about. Is that weird? Should I go see someone about that? Should I be afraid that I am actually bottling it all up, like angry people do, and one day i’m just going to snap and you’ll see me running naked up the nearest freeway with twitchy eyes and wild hair trying to chase men in work vehicles, biting at their wheels like a dog? Is this where this is going?
I do have coping mechanisms. Before I started this 30 day self assault body challenge, it was white wine. I had already given up the cigarettes, which I felt was quite heroic as giving up sex and cigarettes on the same day for me was like ‘well heck, what am I going to do all day?’ So I started drinking white wine, and that made me happy.
I also have a good friend who agreed when this all began, to let me know whenever she had had sex, and to give me a quick de-brief on how it was, so I can live vicariously though her. The messages go something like this:
-Just so you know, I just had sex – OH GREAT, HOW WAS IT? -It was AM-A-ZING. Crazy drunk sex. We’ll probably have sex again in a minute – OK, FANTASTIC. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW – You’re welcome, lets catch up soon, love you – YES, LETS DO THAT, LOVE YOU TOO.
My other coping mechanism is that I vacuum the house. ALL. THE. TIME. Its like, since giving up sex, I have the cleanest floor in Australia. You could eat off my floor. If I see even a single crumb, I pull out the vacuum cleaner, because vacuuming the floor…is like sex… in a way….?
No, to be honest, it really hasn’t bothered me. I have decided i’m a virgin anyway, and virgins don’t even think about sex. But if you do hear stories about some lunatic waving her naked fanny all over the freeway and biting at the wheels of passing cars, it will probably be me, going out of my mind. Until then, assume i’m doing ok in that respect, but thank you for your concern.
Secondly, am I getting lonely yet? The honest answer to that is no. I have said before that thus far, I have not experienced loneliness. I do think this is quite interesting, as I thought that by the time I got a few months in, the reality of the road ahead of me would settle in and I would become a little bit daunted. Perhaps i’m just not far enough in? But do you think that loneliness is inevitable? Or perhaps it is possible to get from day 1 to day 1000 and not sink into the throes of loneliness?
The reason that I believe I have not experienced loneliness thus far can be put down to a few things. Firstly, I am too fricken busy for loneliness right now. When you raise 2 young boys and a teenage girl on your own while studying a full time degree and writing a blog, while working out like crazy every day due to ‘Operation Banging Body’, when you get a knock at the door, and you open it, and there is loneliness standing there with his bags packed, ready to move in, you just have to shrug your shoulders, apologize, explain there is simply no room, and close the door.
Secondly, I have said it before, but my friends and my family. I really do believe that I may just have the most incredible network of friends, and a more remarkable family than anyone could hope for. They all support me in this crazy thing I am doing of course, and just as I would never have begun writing if not for them, nor had the courage to begin this journey, I would not have the strength to finish it if they were not such a huge part of my life. I am often told by my nearest and dearest, that they are noticing I am changing. I am becoming strong. That I seem more at peace. That there is not only a happiness in my face, but a joy coming from inside me somewhere.
When you receive feedback like that from people you know tell it like it is, it is a huge deal. I have spent the last few years being told ‘Whats happening to you Ness, you’re changing…. you seem so sad.’ One friend told me not too long ago that my eyes didn’t have any life in them anymore. How hard is it to hear things like that? Its devastating. How is it to hear that they believe you are coming back to life? Rising up from a close call, a near death experience? Its wonderful, and I need to hear it.
Finally, just as getting to know a person who you have just met, inside out may take a lifetime, getting to know who I am, especially after neglecting to do so up until this point means I have a lot of catching up to do, and loneliness will not translate from a mere word into an experience for as long as I am making an acquaintance with myself. I have begun by learning the real ABCs of Vanessa. For the first time in my life, I actually have a favorite colour (Hot Pink) and I have finally come out of the musical closet and embraced the fact I love filthy rap music, (my itunes is sounding a lot more ‘gansta’ these days) And the whole ‘Banging body’ thing came about because I had enough time to think and realise that I am honestly just a much happier person when I am thin and after a few years of trying to jump on the whole ‘love your post-baby body’ bandwagon, I have just had to throw my hands up in the air and say ‘you know what, I hated my post-baby body. I want a banging body, and despite all the bumper stickers that tell me I should feel beautiful no matter how fat my arse is, I want to be thin’ And that is a bit of a big deal to admit, because people hate it when other people say things like that, but after getting acquainted with myself, I realised that was where my happy place was, and just accepted it.
I have been asked out a few times, which has been awkward. I am 28 years old and I still don’t know how to handle being asked out with any social grace at all. After saying I am flattered but i’m not interested, some men have become a little more persistent. ( I have never understood how some people can do this. If I had the balls to walk up to someone and just ask them right out, and they said no, I would back away hoping the ground would swallow me whole. I wouldn’t try and try and try again! But there was this one guy in particular that really took the cake. So this is how it goes:
Im out one night with a good friend. Its been a great day, i’m in a great mood and we’re at a great gig. At some point into the evening, my friend and I start chatting to some bloke and his mates. You know, being friendly and discussing something or other. I get into some conversation with short hair guy and it becomes apparent that he is trying to sound like an impressive man-beast and starts talking about how brave he is (i’m not kidding) and what a stud he is. At this point, I realise he is getting flirty, and being only a few days into my singledom at that point, I decided to shut it down straight away. Short hair guy doesn’t like this, and decides to step it up a notch. ‘Did you know I just go out of Prison’ he says. ‘Yeah, spent 6 months inside for attacking a man who hit this chick in a nightclub’
Wow. What a hero.
I was getting really bored with him at this stage and wanted to dance so I moved away from his crowd to look for my friend. Short hair guy follows me, pulls me by the arm and asks me to go home with him ‘To be honest, i’m just not interested. Don’t be offended, its just that I’ve decided to be single for a few years’. He stares at me and raises his eyebrows with a look on his face that says ‘Ohhh, hard nut to crack aye?’ Then you can see he’s thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Now, if you have just found out that the girl you’re sweet on has just committed the next few years of her life to being single, and she seems pretty sure of it all, but you want to take her home anyway, you have to really try and come up with a pretty spectacular offer to try and temp her out of her commitment, and so short hair guy winds himself up and I kid you not this is what came out of his mouth, word for word: ‘Babe, if you come home with me tonight, I promise you, that tomorrow we can spoon on the couch and watch TV all day‘
Oh my goodness! Really? So you’re telling me, that if I give up on this big life decision i’ve just made, and go home with you right now, that tomorrow, we can close the curtains to block out the sunny day outside, and then spoon on your couch all day and watch Judge Judy? Oh, i’m SOLD! I’m all yours!’
I mean. Honestly.
I replied to him with this ‘You know, I keep a blog, its called onethousandsingledays and I write about my experiences and my life. One day, i’m going to write about you, because that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard’
And then I walked out.
That kind of thing has happened a few times in the last few months, but that little pearl was definitely my favorite. It’s amusing though, makes for a good story.
I think that sums it up. If you are wanting to know: I’m ok. I really am. Its going well. My favorite part of the day is when I wake up, grab a coffee and then sit down to read all your messages. The connection i’m building with my readers has been by far one of the most exciting things to come out of this, and the way you write of your own stories and your own experiences, or just encourage me in mine has been more than just motivating, its been a genuine blessing. I love you all for that, and I do need it, so thank you, and keep it coming.
I’m going to go paint my nails hot pink and listen to Tupac now.