Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daniel Giansiracusa, Carmit PCD and Simba, together at last

So my e-mail isn't exactly flowing with...well, e-mails obviously. If it was flowing with ham sandwiches, we'd have problems a technician couldn't fix. Apparently though (and my friends have sent me this a lot) another guy was stabbed on a bus in Canada, which is really freaking me out, as it was already my #1 fear in life when it happened the first time, never mind now it's happen again - even scarier than a night out in Smithton, even more frightenting than Michael Voss doing 1/2 an hour of stand up comedy at the Brownlow last night. Speaking of the Brownlow, if Hayley Moxon is reading, call me. Oh, sorry, speaking of the Brownlow, I honestly think how much effort you put into playing football should correlate to how hot your date it - Scott Pendlebury is the laziest man on earth, why does he get a hot date? It's otherwise a really dull day, although whenever I start typing, my brain gets distracted by side issues. I think this is my biggest problem with my writing, I can't always come up with a coherent thoughtful summation of what I'm trying to say, especially in longer novel type writing. Actually, that's noth the problem today, it's mostly just that I'm looking at Hayley Moxon pictures (call me) and trying to avoid being bailed up in conversation by girls who think they are all that when in fact they should really have a look at the size of the buttons on their coats - they are absolutely gigantic girl, and when did the duffle coat come back in vogue? Incidentally, I went for a wander while I was in the middle of typing to go and buy a sandwich, and I found the very definition of sales pressure - one shop, one thing to look for, and only me trying to look with three sales staff lurking around ready to pounce. I felt so uncomfortable I bottled and left without my item - still, there's three months to go until Xmas Dad...don't get stressed yet...

One thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is that if I do make 2009 the year I roll up my sleeves and start doing things for the community, I'm going to have to overcome my fear of other people. Now, this isn't "Oh my god, doing a speech is worse than DYING!" type deal, believe me, I can do speeches, but I am absolutely terrible at standing in a room when I don't know anyone, especially if I'm there early. I hate sitting in a pub on my own at a table, reading the Herald Sun like a Billy no mates. I'd rather circle the block than sit there on my own, I really would. I don't know where this discomfort has come from, but (abuse lit book here I come!) I blame my Mum. She always had us at every single party about four hours early, so I'd sit there, and it was always with some kid that I didn't know. Inevitably, the party host would assume kid + kid = fun and we'd just be so delighted to play and frolic, when kid + kid = trouble in most cases. One time, they cracked out the Uno cards and shoved me and this kid in a room below the stairs. One hour later we had to be pried off each other after a bitter dispute over whether a card was a 6 or a 9, but it could have been anything - we would have punched on regardless. It would have been far worse if we'd played Monopoly. Over time my discomfort in a room full of strangers has grown and grown - not just when I had to go and listen to the poetry of the demented goth fairy - but culminating in a disastrous and uncomfortable visit to an 80s party right in the middle of my friendless triangle of 99-01, where I completely freaked out having to stand awkwardly on the edge of the dance floor as a group of friends posed for photographs, and I fled in complete confusion down the road dressed in an op shop outfit that made me look like the lead singer of Flock of Seagulls. I can't rationally explain any of this, but I am far more confident when I get to enter a room with at least one person I know. At the very least, no one is going to yell after me as I get out of the party "Well, he ran..." (I wish someone had said that, but no one did, because the camera when everyone was taking the photos hadn't gone off and no one really noticed...I made my own joke in my head).

Now, about two years ago, I had to face this fear really head on. Due to a wedding commitment, which began in a cigar filled snooker club (the posh kind, not the kind where my old next neighbour used to see how many balls he could shove in peoples exhaust pipe), I ended up in a wedding party, due to my friendship with the groom. Now, I'm sure satirists and terrible stand up comedians have made some hilarious "where's the party getting married" material, so I'll spare you, but I was only in the wedding party because the wife didn't like the original choice, a shaven headed bikie who, like a lot of shaven headed bikies, was actually a fantastic bloke - or maybe they just thought my knowledge of individual Pussycat Dolls would break the conversational ice at slow moments. All week, I was dragged to parties, the groom would wander off, and there I was, stood in parties with strangers, unable to flee. I was also in the middle of some exceptional battles - one of them around dancing lessons, and when the brides Mum was asked for an opinion she said "my opinion is that your fucking bitching is giving me a headache" (and I chipped in with "So...one of the Pussycat Dolls is called Carmit" and she found it fascinating - I think she was hitting on me). Worse, brideside were exceptional snobs, and really didn't take to me. I didn't take to them, and was absolutely delighted when the snobs in the designer dresses all got absolutely hammered and simulated what you might see described in the paper as a "sex act" with a golf flag. Ah, alcohol. I can't really take the moral high ground, because I spent all of that week drunk myself, with what I would describe to a therapist as "anxiety issues" but which I would describe more honestly as "free bar issues". Those tequilas shouldn't come with cute novelty straws. I'm reliably assured that I endeared myself to the snobs and movers and shakers (not least of all because when they told me they had booked Guy Sebastians band, without Guy Sebastian, I said not unreasonably "thank Buckley for that") when they went to great trouble to introduce me to an AFL footballer, Daniel Giansiracusa. He plays for the Western Bulldogs, and since he didn't play for Collingwood, I wouldn't have been impressed sober, but I apparently said something akin to Officer Barbrady on South Park when he said "Well ya aint Fiona Apple, and if you aint Fiona Apple I don't give a rats ass" only with the words "Fiona Apple" replaced by "Nathan Buckley" and rats ass replaced with...let's just say, he hasn't called back. Considering how impressed they were with him being in attendance. and one of the snobs was sending him individual clothing items via her friend to show she was naked in the room waiting for him, it wasn't the best move for my popularity, but it gave me a crazy confidence. In answer to the question "Are you that guy who..." I not only was the guy who, I was proud to be the guy who (it's a shame chat moved onto "Aren't you the girl who" once the golf flag...)

After posing for roughly 617 photos, including some at an unbooked cafe where we stole the tables from real customers and some shirtless men threatened to tip beer on the "posh cunts", we ended up at the reception. As I sat at the top table eating expensive prawn cocktail and stridently not being cracked onto because I didn't play football, one of the stepdads of the bride came up to me, a big man with a big ruddy red face and a big smile, and he really didn't know me, and talked to me for basically half an hour. He was really self confident in himself and we had a fantastic chat about life and dignity and how much he hated everyone at the wedding except us and the price of prawn cocktails in the pre Rudd economy. And then he excused himself to go and get us some more beers, and my friend - who was also in the bridal party but who I hadn't seen much of because he was trying not to stab people with a pool cue - and I agreed that he was a fantastic bloke. As we discussed this, a very wise man called John came up to us and said "Are you serious? He's a fucking used car salesman! He's full of it! He's slimy and doing the rounds!" - and sure enough, as we looked, he was over at Daniel Giansiracusa, and probably telling him about the boring 1/2 an hour he just spent talking to the Tassie bogans. I didn't feel as passionately angry about this as John would have liked (he was most upset because they had chatted for a while with the man and then out of nowhere was given a business card). I thought, I try not to be cynical with people, I just thought he was a nice guy, now I had the other view. Most of all though I thought I could never be like that - I could never walk into a room with an agenda, mingle with bullshit, make the kind of small talk that politicians have to make - it's just not me. As I looked across the dance floor towards where he was, peering over a small glass of some kind of fifty dollar beer, I thought it was just his manner, and while John wanted us to go and take hostages, I thought quite openly that even though he would never return with the beers, and was probably calling us every name under the sun to "Gia", that he was actually more nervous and unconfident that I was, and was filling his alloted time with blustery conversation that went nowhere, the same I do with the Pussycat Dolls and half baked Collingwood theories. My thoughts on this subject were thus rudely interrupted by noticing that, to his partner, Daniel Giansiracusa was quite clearly looking at the politician, pointing, and making the universal wanker sign...somewhere, Simba was learning a valuable lesson about circles...

One of the other Pussycat Dolls was called Harmony - just in case reading this, I still need to fill in a few seconds silence...

3 comments:

Kris said...

I attended a Sydney wedding that featured as a friend of the groom the captain of the Manly league team, Steve Menzies. People were fawning over him, but I did managed to do the whole "If it ain't James Hird I don't care", which - let's face it - is far more appropriate that Nathen Buckley!

squib said...

This past winter and last winter as well, all the womenswear shops were stocking beautiful jumpers that were spoiled by MASSIVE Bozo the clown buttons. I'm talking 6cm diameter

When I'm sitting in public and say whoever I'm with goes to order something, I look at my watch every thrity seconds in order to look occupied. I even do it if I've forgotten my watch

Miles McClagan said...

I honestly couldn't pick a rugby league player out of a lineup, at least not since the glory days of Wally Lewis. Incidentally, James Hird might be making a come back, while all old Nath is doing is signing books at Book City (bless).

This girls buttons were giant, a black coat with giant purple buttons...hideous, like a charity badge. I do the same with the Herald Sun, I always make sure I'm reading it...it passes the nervous time!