Cheap wine (and a three-legged goat)

The warm buzz of whiskey has begun to creep through your veins. That song you always skip on your train trip to work has suddenly become your favourite song ever and you have to sing it. It’s time to share your amazing voice with the world.

We all know that moment: that drunk karaoke rockstar moment which finds us closing our eyes whilst belting out a chorus, or ripping out a downward elbow-thrust during power ballads and saying things like “Actually, Creed’s first album was kind of good” without the slightest trace of sarcasm.

Since approximately 3pm this afternoon, my neighbours have been sharing their drunk karaoke rockstar moments with those of us lucky enough to live nearby.

Girls have been shrieking and dirty dancing on the back porch, while the guys have been high fiving and daring each other to jump off various pieces of furniture. The more time that passes, the less coherent their shouting becomes, until finally, the talking stops entirely as Cold Chisel’s Cheap Wine comes waltzing through their tinny speakers and casts a spell across the yard.

With a power only to be found in the refrain of an Aussie Pub Rock Anthem, the drunk karaoke afternoon evolves into the drunk Sunday Evening Backyard Concert featuring Leftover Lunchtime Salmonella Sausages and Aerogard.

It was a loud and raucous evening where we neighbours were treated to a moving appearance by the Garth Brooks Appreciation Choir. A surprisingly welcome cameo by Savage Garden was unfortunately cut short due to interference by a Garth Brooks Appreciation Choir member who was in control of the iPod at the time.

Listening to them, there’s a part of me cringes on their behalf, recalling my own sense of shame when memories of my drunk singing would descend on me the following day and peck at my face with their sharp beaks of regret. The rest of me grins, fondly remembering my own spontaneous drunk Sundays and the freedom that ignoring all sense of responsibility instilled within me.

Mostly, it made me realise that this is probably just payback for the countless 4am drunk renditions of Jolene that I’ve put them through since we moved in here.

A warm grin adorns my face as I tidy up on my way to bed. A couple of short, but faraway years ago I was the one singing along with Eddie Vedder while someone vomited in the corner behind the shed.

I certainly don’t miss going to work hungover, but I do miss those drunk Spontaneous Sunday Evening Backyard Concerts featuring Leftover Lunchtime Salmonella Sausages.

Especially when they happened on a Tuesday.

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Driving me crazy

Most kids, on their sixteenth birthday are thrilled to get their Learners. Me? Not so much.

Like all teenagers, I was consumed by the fear of what other teenagers thought of me.
I would have driven, had it been in another town or on empty streets, but not in the small town I grew up in where everybody knew me, and would judge or laugh or simply see.

What a ridiculous concept – they were all doing the same thing I should have been doing and in a year’s time, they got their P’s while I grew smaller and smaller inside myself whenever the subject of driving came up.

How embarrassing, to be almost-30, back in that tiny hometown where there’s no such thing as public transport, catching taxis everywhere I need to go and hyperventilating about my next work appraisal, where my boss will remind me that 3 years after commencing my job, I still don’t have my licence – one of the selection criteria required to obtain that position.

My inability to drive has long been a source of anxiety and shame for me and I’ve essentially made it The Biggest Deal Ever.

At around 2pm today, I will be having my first driving lesson with a proper instructor.

My last driving lesson was 14 years ago, with my mother. I took corners at 60km/h and ended that lesson by driving into her garden.

Needless to say, I am pretty nervous today.

Until a couple of years ago, I felt this same kind of anxiety about everything – When I lived in cities I couldn’t catch a bus because I was terrified that the driver would ignore my request to stop, leaving me looking like an idiot to the rest of the passengers. Nor would I use an umbrella because I can’t ever get them closed again without having to wrestle it into submission.

I’m pleased to say that I am now a regular bus-catching umbrella aficionado, liberated from my insane fears by a healthy dose of positive self-esteem. I’m hoping that at around 3pm this afternoon, I’ll be able to add excited fledgling driver to that short list of accomplishments.

In the meantime though, I would possibly caution those people in my town to stay off the roads, (or out of gardens) just for today.

In which I clumsily introduce myself

Writing the first post on a new blog feels a little bit like going to a party where you don’t know any of the other guests.

You don’t really know what to say, you’re under pressure to avoid making a dick of yourself and, if you’re me, you just end up telling total strangers inappropriately intimate details about your life to fill the awkward silences that permeate the atmosphere when all the usual small talk has been exhausted.

That’s why it helps to be drunk. But not too drunk.

Unfortunately, this girl doesn’t do things by halves, so chances are that if you ever come across me in a social situation, I will introduce myself by telling you about that time my dad smacked me for pretending to be a dog and licking a man’s boots at our front door, and then, a few hours later, I’ll be forcing you to join me in a drunk interpretive dance routine to Cher’s Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.

It’s just how I roll. And also possibly why nobody will grant me the gift of children. Which I desperately want. And then, five minutes later, vow never to have at all in my life.

You see, the title of this blog Wary, Contrary and No Virgin Mary as well as rhyming in a delightful manner, also sums up my personality.

I love when that happens.

I am terrified of: decision making, the future, financial purchases, making appointments and, lately, the way the internet feels a lot like I’ve moved from a small town I know well to a giant city in another country where I don’t know the language or my way around and what’s with kids these days and their hip hop music?

On the flipside, the moment I finally make a decision, I will then do the opposite. My fear of financial purchases mostly pertains to getting my hair cut or buying new shoes; I can’t justify spending that money, but I have no problem buying scrapbooking supplies on eBay, even though I’ve never once done any scrapbooking.

It’s been a long time since I dropped my words onto the internet floor for strangers to stumble over but just lately I have noticed that my Incredibly Bad Habit of voicing my entire thought process aloud has begun to wear on my loved ones, cats included.

So here I am again, hoping that by throwing my thoughts at the internet, there won’t be quite as many left by the time I get back home to my family*.

*indicates a lie.