Tag Archives: origin

Origins #20

12 Jul

After breaking up with me, Rene had promptly decided that giving me a smack on the arse was the appropriate course of action to take. After I wrestled with her trying to kiss her, she’d told me, “Don’t make this hard.” and I, more confused than ever was now sitting in the passenger seat of her little BMW as we trundled back from our non-date.

I had thought the situation was pretty straight forward until Rene had smacked me on the arse. I had thought she was just not attracted to me anymore for whatever reason, and while I thought that was a shitty thing to deal with, it was something I’d seen happen before, and something I could deal with.

When Rene smacked me on the arse and giggled her head off while I wrestled with her to kiss her, I had gotten a very, very different impression. It appeared that Rene was still very much attracted to me, and that she might possibly have been genuine about the ‘bad timing’ stuff. I had of course thought that was all a bunch of bullshit she’d been spouting because she didn’t know how to tell me she wasn’t interested, but it seemed remotely plausible after the surprise smack on the arse.

Small talk: Take 1

Anyway, her little BMW rolled on as we both peered out at the nearly empty streets. Not wanting to “Make this hard” and also wanting to avoid the awkward silence we’d been sitting in for the past minute or two, I tried to find a benign topic to fill the time discussing.

You must have worked really hard to afford this car. It’s amazing. The leather seats, all the technology, you must have been very proud to have earned it.

Ah… actually… it’s a company car. I didn’t pay anything for it.

Rene looked somewhat embarrassed upon providing the details.

Strike 1! But that was an interesting thing to learn. I’d been under the impression that Rene had worked hard to afford that car. I had seen her working at Tim Everlong’s businesses so long that I assumed she had made good money and bought it for herself as a reward. That little fact lodged in my head in just the same way as watching Rene choose not to wait for the pedestrians earlier in the night.

Small talk: Take 2

Does Laura know where you are tonight?

God NO! She thinks I’m out with friends! I had to lie to her! I NEVER lie to her!

Special circumstances, I guess.

Y’know, she asked me about you…

What about?

She asked me what you looked like under your clothes. She asked “Is he really fit? Is he cut?”

This was a revelation to me. Learning that Laura had wondered how I look naked had put a massive smile on my face, conversely, it had also stressed me the fuck out! Laura wasn’t supposed to know that anything happened between Rene and I. The momentary glow of flattery was quickly overrun by concern about dealing with Laura’s knowledge of events.

What? Wait! Why would she ask…? Hang on! Did you tell her that we…

No, no, no, no, nothing like that! When she asked I said “How would I know?” and she let it go. I hate lying to her. I tell her EVERYTHING. It’s going to kill me to keep this from her. You can’t tell anyone. Please, don’t tell anyone about this, ok?

“Thank fuck for that”, I thought to myself. At least Laura didn’t know anything. At least that was something.

Of course, Laura. I promised, I won’t tell anyone, and I won’t.

Rene was upset. “Dammit, I just called her by her sister’s name, didn’t I?”, I realised.

Sorry. You know I know your name, Rene. You know I know who you are. I just slipped because we were just talking about Laura, that’s all. Nothing more than that.

We’ll have to find a new Flash developer

Jesus, what a night.

That’s ok, but don’t do it again or we’ll have to find a new Flash developer.

Rene laughed at her own “joke” and I did that stupid thing where you automatically laugh when someone else is laughing. Then I registered what Rene had actually just said.

Wait! What?!

I’m only joking! haha! Oh my God the look on your face was priceless!

Oh. Right. Good one.

I mumbled the words, far from impressed with Rene’s joke.

The scenario itself was stressful enough without adding the anguish of contemplating Rene turning on me and getting me fired, which apparently was an option available to her. I hadn’t really considered that possibility. I had been worried about her father or her sister being upset with me and firing me, but I hadn’t considered that Rene could say the word and have me removed. Great.

I felt like a blind man in a minefield. Rene noticed that I didn’t take the joke very well.

You’re really cute when you’re angry.

Whatever.

Oh, don’t be like that, I was joking. But you are really cute.

She looked at me like we hadn’t just been through some weird sort of break up barely 20 minutes earlier. She was looking at me like she was properly interested in me. I don’t know exactly how to explain it but I knew she was into me and I knew she wanted something to happen between me and her.

You’re beautiful.

Rene blushed. I reached over and put my hand on her thigh. Her brow raised in surprise.

Don’t. Don’t make this hard. We can’t.

Yeah, you’ve said that. You’ve said all of that, but I still get the vibe that we’re going to get together.

Rene looked me in the eye and gave me a confirming, flirtatious smile.

I know.

Nearly 5 years have passed and I still remember that smile like she’s right in front of me. It’s carved into my memory. I can’t forget it, no matter how much I want to. Rene’s smile amplified the words she’d spoken. That smile said, “You’re right, and we both know it.”

It made no damned sense to come so close and then just turn and walk away before we’d given it a shot, especially when there was no denying we were interested in each other. I didn’t know what the hell else there was to do and I figured if Rene would just let it into her head that I was genuinely interested, she might not be so resistant to the idea of us spending some time together.

You’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. You’re smart. You’re sexy. You’re not perfect, and you know it, and that only makes you more interesting. You’re an extraordinary person.

Yeah, I’m cringing pretty hard at that memory, but that’s what I said.

Rene had gone quiet. She was nearly crying again. She was shivering in her leather seat as she gripped tight onto that luxurious black leather steering wheel with its white stitching. She ushered out words as if she wanted to hold onto them at the same time as forcing them out.

That’s… the… That’s… the nicest… thing… anyone… has ever… said… to me.

I mean it, Rene.

Back to the bell tower

_belltower

This place, except, y’know, it was night time.

I’m not sure why we ended up back near the Bell Tower. It would have been shorter to go a different way. Whatever the reason, we were now traversing the same street on which I’d run into my friend Chico earlier that night. To my left was the venue at which Powderfinger, my favourite band, had played one of their last ever shows. A few stragglers were still milling around the mostly empty city streets.

The traffic light ahead had turned amber. Rene’s elegant and practical company car slowed to a stop as light turned red.

There was still music playing at the park to my left as the last of the punters wandered out. It had been annoying me that I hadn’t tried to kiss Rene when we were having our talk at the beach, even though I’d been overfull with that tasty burger. I was annoyed that it seemed like Rene wanted something to happen and was talking herself out of it.

Rene looked especially beautiful there in the wash of the orange and white street lights. She was looking straight at me, almost like she was daring me to do something. The words “Do it” rang out through my head. My internal monologue shouted, “IT’S NOW OR NEVER.”

I hadn’t yet decided to go but found I was already leaning in. I was going to kiss her, right there in front of the Bell Tower where this whole ridiculous evening had started.

Next time…

I’ll tell you how leaning in to kiss Rene played out.

Origins #8

1 Feb

We ditched the trolly out the front of my apartment building and laughed our way up the stairs to my shitty little apartment. Y’know, I’m a bit harsh on my place. It’s a very small two bedroom unit thing but it does sit above the others and has a nice enough view over the city of Perth.

Rene and I spilled in through the door, both reasonably drunk and a quite knackered from the walk. Pushing the shopping trolly laden with one boss’s daughter aboard for a few blocks had taken the wind out of my sails for the time being.

Shots fired!

And what’s the smartest thing for a guy to do once he’s got his somewhat drunk boss’s daughter in his apartment? Why, offer her a drink of course!

I assumed Rene would ask for a water or cool drink or something. “You should make me a cocktail!”, was her actual response. I don’t know where she thought I was hiding the cocktail bar. I just laughed and told her it’d have to be a cocktail shooter. Making mixed drinks is just one more thing I know bugger all about, but when I was 18 I did learn to layer drinks in a shot glass, so I got to work on that.

Shot cocktail collection: Red and Blue Tequila

Like this but wayyyyy less classy

Changing it up

The reason we were at my place, as far as I was concerned, was for me to get changed so we could head off to humiliate ourselves at the nearest karaoke bar. With that in mind I told Rene I’d go get changed out of my work uniform into something more appropriate for drunkenly screaming into a microphone in front of bewildered strangers. I changed into a half decent looking shirt and a pair of jeans and switched my sneakers for some shoes nice enough to get me past the ridiculous footwear expectations at the bars in Perth.

I was all prettied up and ready to go but Rene had other ideas.

“You haven’t showed me around your place yet”, she explained. So I gave her the grand tour or the loungeroom/kitchen, the balcony and the second bedroom, which had my weights bench set up in it. This caught Rene’s interest and she decided she wanted to have a crack at bench-pressing what I had on the bar. To my surprise, she actually managed to get the bar back up mostly on her own. She wanted to go for another but I warned her I was probably too drunk to spot her properly, and that we should quit that particular endeavor as winners.

Instead of leaving the room though, she hopped up on the weights bench and leaned up against the window looking out at the view. It struck me how that was the most ridiculous way you could go about seeing the view. I mean, you don’t need to be on your knees on a weights bench with your arse pushed back to get a look at the view. Yes, I did appreciate the view I was getting in that scenario, but I still wasn’t planning on any shenanigans of that nature.

Bullshit! You were after something!

Yep. I’d be lying to say I wasn’t hoping for something to happen that night. What I was hoping for was that Rene would cut the bullshit and let me know she was actually interested. I figured once we’d both admitted that we were into each other, we could figure out if it was worth doing anything about. I was hoping for words, rather than actions, because actions are what would get me in trouble. Words were risky but a lot safer.

I wasn’t so keen to admit I was into Rene. I don’t think I’d really even considered if I was into her or not. I had so much more contact with her sister Laura, and I’d caught myself becoming interested in her but I’d always shut it down because she had a boyfriend. With Rene, I had a crush going for her but I’d never thought about anything beyond that because she wasn’t around as much and because I didn’t really understand what she was after, and I thought she was out of my league anyway. I couldn’t tell what she was really after, and I wasn’t going to get carried away overthinking a bit of flirtation here and there.

There was also the issue that, if I was going to be stupid enough to have a go with either of the Everlong sisters, I would have to choose carefully because I was certain that trying with one meant blowing my chances with the other. I didn’t realistically think I had a chance with either of them, but y’know how it is… when you daydream about possibilities you still like to keep your options open.

But there I was with Rene in my place, both of us fairly drunk and she was throwing some seriously flirting my way.

Better call Laura

Whenever things seemed to be calming down for a second, Rene would demand we have another drink, so I kept making those goofy layered shots and we kept knocking them back. They were full of vodka and advocate and whatever else I could find. They weren’t tasty, but Rene was pretty keen to keep the alcohol flowing.

I was in two minds as to how to deal with the situation I was in. Heading out to the city meant taking my boss’s daughter out on the town when she was already acting a bit over the top, but staying at my place meant potentially doing something that might jeopardize my job. I thought it was a safer bet to head out for karaoke, so I suggested it. Rene told me she’d rather hang out at my place for a while, that maybe we’d go later but we should watch a movie or something in the meantime while she rested up from the walk to my place.

Rene and Laura were very tight-knit sisters, so Rene decided she’d better let her older sister know where she was. That seemed pretty reasonable to me at the time but I quickly realised that having the family who own and manage the company I work for talking about the fact that the youngest daughter was at my place, and sounding a bit drunk, might not be a greatest thing for me.

I’m not a wise man when I’ve been drinking, or ever really, so the best solution I could come up with was to find a humourous interruption to make it obvious that nothing dodgey was happening. A flicker of stupidity ran through my head and I grabbed my guitar, interrupting the phone call with a magnificent rendition of “Burn for you” by John Farnham.

I chose that particular song because it had come up in conversation with Laura earlier in the day, in the same conversation where we ended up talking about letting people know if you want kids or not.

John Farnham

John Farnham was a hugely popular singer in Australia. I bring him up because he happens to play a weirdly significant role in the overall story. If you want to learn more about him, check out his wikipedia page but suffice to say, he was massively popular in Australia, especially throughout the 80s and early 90s and the Everlong family and I, and pretty much everyone else, were all adoring fans of the guy. That fandom will come into things later on.

Anyway, in the conversation I’d had with Laura earlier in the day, I mentioned that I loved the song Burn For You and she told she thought it was Farnsy’s most boring song, so when I chose to interrupt Rene’s conversation with Laura by playing that specific song, I was being a cheeky bugger. I was playing a song I knew she found annoying and thought was a great way to imply that everyone at my place still had our clothes on and we were just having fun being silly.

The backfire

Rene finished up the call with her sister, put her phone away, and suddenly burst into tears. At the exact same time, I felt my phone vibrate like I’d just gotten about 10 text messages. I ignored the texts for the time being and squished up next to Rene to ask her what was going on. As it happens, the lyrical content of the song Burn For You is all about a guy who’s desperately in love with a woman, Rene had completely misinterpreted my choice to play that specific song to Laura at that point in time.

Through her tears Rene said, “You like Laura don’t you?”
“What to do you mean? What are you talking about?”, I said.
“You’re interested in her. You don’t like me, do you?”, she said.
“Where’s this coming from? She’s got a boyfriend!”, I asked her.
“Yeah she’s got a boyfriend and you still like her more. Why do you like her more than me? What does she have that I don’t have?”, Rene sobbed.

By this point I’d wrapped an arm around Rene in an effort to console her. My other hand was on her knee. She sat there on my couch with her knees up in front of her, her head down, tears rolling down her face. I’d done my best to ignore it but I did have a crush on her and had done for a long time. There I was trying to console this girl who I liked as she cried because she thought I wasn’t interested in her. This same girl had made it clear earlier that night that she wants people to treat her like a normal girl and forget that she’s my boss’s daughter. I was stuck with the choice of either telling her that I’d liked her for a long time, or leaving her to cry in front of me in my own place.

Rene stopped talking but continued to cry. I leaned in and kissed her. She kissed me back. It was one of the most intense kisses I’ve ever been a part of. I remember the slight taste of salt on her lips from the tears. I remember that the way she kissed me back reassured me that I hadn’t made the wrong choice.

 

Crazy bitch tip: If you spend all your time concealing your intentions, don’t expect people to trust you.

Origins #5

2 Jan

I’d just turned 31 and was settling back into life after a big holiday.

Life wasn’t exactly what I’d expected but I thought I was in a fairly good situation given where I’d started. I’ll tell you more about why having a decent job and a shitty little apartment counted as doing pretty well to me when I explain how I grew up, but that can wait for now. Anyway, I’d just hit 31 and started thinking about where my life was at. I’d also just hooked up with an attractive woman who was 9 years older than me and fallen into a friends-with-benefits relationship with her.

Cougar town

It was pretty cruisy. I don’t think we ever even went out for a meal together. Angelica would come around to my place late-night, 2 or 3 times a week. We’d have some fun and that was that. I don’t think either of us were under any illusions that it would go anywhere. From a sexual experience perspective, it was perfect for me. Angelica was experienced enough to know what she was doing and adult enough to not be self-conscious. I was experienced enough to keep up, but I still learned a few new things along the way as well.

I wish there were more women in the world like Angelica.

Gus oozes on

Back on the work front, I was just trying to weather the idiot storm until something or someone brought some change to the situation.

Gus, the project manager who had loaded so much stress on my shoulders in the previous year continued to do a poor job as a manager. We thought Gus was being pressured by Tim Everlong to get our division to be more productive. The impression Gus gave us was that our division was hanging in the balance, potentially ready to be shut down, so we had to work like crazy for a little while (already over a year) to make sure we all kept our jobs.

Unfortunately for those of us who worked below him, we didn’t realise what Gus was really up to.

One of the methods Gus would use to ‘inspire’ us was pinning a printed out image of a flounder (that’s right, the fish) to the desk of whoever he decided had been floundering. Floundering in this case was meant to suggest that you weren’t doing enough work. So you’d come into work, already dejected just to have to be there, and after days of bashing your head against a brick wall in an effort to achieve some ridiculous, pointless, and often impossible work request and discover that fucking printed picture of a flounder on your desk. I don’t think I’m easily affected by things like that but when you’re already stressed and frustrated, copping an insult on your desk for everyone else to see is a pretty gut-wrenching thing. I certainly didn’t like it, but it hit other staff even harder. One lady started speaking very, very loudly about how offensive it was and I’m certain that I saw more than one other staff member cry as a result of seeing that flounder on their desk.

Seriously! Who does this shit? How is that supposed to positively improve an already declining office morale?

Unqualified

I remember going into Gus’ office one time and catching him listening to project management podcasts. I thought he was listening to them to keep himself up-to-date but he proceeds to tell me that he doesn’t have any project management qualifications, and he’s trying to catch up on that.

That explained a few things.

Actually, that explained a lot. An incompetent manager is a very dangerous thing, but Gus wasn’t just incompetent, he was controlling and manipulative. I didn’t realise that at the time because he was so bad at his job. I just thought he was incapable of managing things well. I wish I’d been paying more attention to him and had picked up the fact that he had a little plan of his own that he was slowly implementing.

Time marches on

Work was shit but I was going out for heaps of dinners and innumerable drinking sessions and that was a great way to help me stop thinking about how shit work had become. Angelica was making regular visits at the time as well and what we were getting up to was another good way to just be in the moment.

At the back of my mind, it had dawned on me that I should start thinking a bit more about where I want to be in life, and what I need to do to work towards that. While everything I was doing outside of work was fun, it was temporary. Aside from some happy memories there was nothing left of it afterwards. I think that’s what your 20s is for, and because I’d spent my 20s running my own business, I missed out on a lot of that. I guess I was trying to catch up a bit but it was mostly just a way to distract myself from the difficulties I’d been dealing with at work.

I know it sounds like I’m bitching about the job I had. The job was only shit because of Gus. I really loved working with my colleagues. I loved that I could walk to work from my place and I loved that I got paid a good wage. It really was just how terrible a job Gus was doing that was making the job so unbearable.

A little ray of sunshine

One little ray of light in my workday was chatting with Laura Everlong in the morning everyday. I didn’t know exactly what was happening but I felt like we were becoming closer. There was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I knew she was being more open with me. I was getting the vibe that Laura wasn’t with her boyfriend anymore, even though she mentioned him often.

It’s difficult to convert that vibe into words. I just knew there was something changing there, and I liked it. I liked Laura a lot. I was pretty good at not allowing myself to get too much of a crush on her but I admired her and thought of her as a rare mix of soft, elegant, strong, and beautiful.

Messages start coming

At the same time, I started receiving text messages from Rene Everlong. I didn’t give her my phone number, so that was a bit interesting in itself, but they were tame little messages so I didn’t think too much of it. She’d tell me how she’s training for a fun-run, or that she saw me crossing at some traffic lights, or whatever.

Whenever a message came through from her, I’d smile and think “She’s such a goofball”. I liked her and I liked that she was messaging me but I didn’t want any trouble so I was always only cautiously courteous in my replies. Rene had also taken to emailing me at my work email address. The emails were getting longer and more friendly as the weeks went by after the work party.

Between the emails, text messages and random facebook stuff I was probably talking to Rene 4 or 5 times a week. On top of that, she’d often stop by at my office building for a chat because she worked so close by and her sister ran our office. Looking back, it’s easy to see there was an escalation of communication between Rene and me. The messages were increasingly friendly and personal. They were coming through more and more often. There were little hints about times and places of where she’d be and what she’d be doing.

Even with all the communication, I still had it in my head that if Rene wanted to go out with me, she could ask, otherwise, nothing was going to happen.

What I wanted at that time

Turning 31 had made me think about things and the most important insight that came out of that was that I didn’t want to waste my time. I was having fun with Angelica and I was having fun in my social life but I was also conscious that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life just drifting around.

I’d always known deep down inside that everything would work out. I’d always had a confidence that I can’t really explain. I just knew I would get what I wanted. After turning 30 and realising that things hadn’t yet panned out however, doubt had started to creep in.

Doubt is an extraordinarily dangerous thing. I’ve always been a ‘go with the flow’ sort of guy but that little bit of doubt had pushed me to decided I better start making things happen. I figured that if I didn’t start pushing for the things I wanted, I might never get them. I was still confident I’d get what I wanted out of life, but I was trying to take on board the sentiment that you don’t get what you want unless you make things happen for yourself.

What making things happen meant to me by that point was finding a nice girl who I had a real connection with, and have some fun going out to dinners and shows with her. To me the long term wasn’t so important, I figured being with a girl who I was really into was the most important part and I could figure the rest of it out later.

I had enough money rolling in that I could afford to show someone a good time and still cover my mortgage, and I wanted to share my time with someone in a more intimate way than what had been happening with Angelica. As fun as that was, I was after an emotional connection.

Passing thoughts

I wasn’t hung up on any of this stuff. It was there in the back of my mind but I wasn’t thinking about it very much. I was more focused on getting by and trying to enjoy life. I still assumed things would work out if I just play it smart and do what I should do.

Despite feeling a bit doubtful about some things, I was feeling very confident about others. I was managing to find ingenious solutions to the ridiculous bullshit Gus was asking for. I was getting a lot of interest from women too, and not just women I knew. Women were flirting with me everywhere I went and I was feeling very, very confident as a result.

I guess the fact that I’d lost 20kg in the previous 2 years was helping, and all the positive attention I’d been getting had given me a bit of a swagger in my step. All I needed to do was to get the situation with Gus sorted out, find a cool girl, and life would be glorious.

And along came September

I mentioned how everything was escalating with Rene. It wasn’t just with her. It was with Laura, with work, with my social life, my self-reflection, it was everything. My whole life was ramping up towards something.

And that leads me to September 2010, the month my boss’s daughter stayed the night at my place. I’ll tell you about that next time.

Crazy bitch tip: Think about what other people are going through before you dump your crazy shit on them and expect them to solve it all for you.

Origins #3

3 Dec

So, to continue on from origins #2… after all that stress I was really looking forward to Europe.

If you’ve never been to Europe and the opportunity comes up, go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go.

An international escape

I’d always dreamed of seeing Italy and France and Germany and all the other amazingly beautiful locations in Europe. The reason I decided on Europe specifically was that I’d already been to America in 2006, to Britain in 2008 (with a brief taste of Paris) and had realised that I didn’t want to die without seeing Venice, so I decided I’d better go there next.

It's difficult to be stressed out in Venice

It’s difficult to be stressed out in Venice.

I wanted to get the best bang for my buck that I could, so I’d jumped onto a Contiki tour. A Contiki tours is basically a big party that happens to take place on a bus as it travels through some of the most beautiful destinations on Planet Earth. Contiki’s are a right of passage for Australians. If I remember correctly, well over half of the tour group were Aussies and everyone was ready to go off like a frog in a sock.

What the hell does any of this have to do with the boss’s daughter?

Absolutely nothing. That’s sort of the point. I didn’t think about either of my boss’s daughters the entire time I was away. I barely thought about work at all, and when I did it, it was not in a good way. After the first week, work, and everything else to do with ‘home’ was a long forgotten past that was completely drowned out by the fun I was having every day.

Misadventures in alcohol

I had a lot of fun with a lot of cool people in a lot of beautiful places, but I drank too much on my Contiki tour. I wasn’t alone. One guy drank so much beer he get a yeast infection in his armpits from literally sweating beer all day everyday. There were many mornings where the whole bus was echoing the words “I’m never drinking again” but by lunchtime we were all looking for pubs.

I was on that tour for 28 days and I reckon I was completely sober for maybe 4 of them. I lose my inhibitions when I drink, and that can be an issue. Sometimes I forget what happened when I was drinking, and wake up certain I’ve offended everyone and that I’m the worst human to have ever lived. This tends to take the fun out of waking up with a beautiful woman.

I tend to have no problem making friends in tightly packed social environments like a tour bus, and it’s not like I was a pariah on this Contiki, but I was struggling more than usual. I wasn’t connecting with people as much and I didn’t realise it at the time but I was just too stressed out to be my normal social self, and all that alcohol was only making matters worse. Even though I wasn’t thinking about work, all the stress related to it had burrowed into me so deeply that I was still physically stressed even when I wasn’t thinking about it, but I had no idea that’s what was going on.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I honestly had the trip of a lifetime and made some really good friends, but I drank way too much and acted like a goose sometimes. Turns out I drank so much that when I came back, I started getting withdrawals. So… alcoholism is a thing and apparently can hit you within just 6 weeks of heavy drinking. I don’t recommend it.

You can’t go home again

You can’t just spend 6 summery weeks with awesome people, doing whatever the hell you want as you drunkenly wander through Europe’s most beautiful cities, and then slot back into a never-ending winter while working in a dreary little office for an angry little troll. It just doesn’t work!

All that living reminds you that there’s a whole fucking world out there to enjoy. And all that socialising reminds you that there are actually people in the world who know how to have fun! Do you remember what it’s like to have fun!

These are dangerous things to be reminded of when you’re having a tough time at work. These thoughts were in direct contrast with the project manager who wanted me to be his obedient little slave. I had pretty much forgotten about stress by the time I’d returned, and then this little tick was trying to suck all the life back out of me again. There are some people who just shouldn’t exist, and to my mind, Gus the project manager is one of them.

More to come

Obviously I didn’t tell you all that for no reason. It will become more apparent as we go on, I promise. The most important parts are that I didn’t think about Rene Everlong at all while I was away and that the stress from my job had gotten so bad that it was still impacting me even when I was running amok through Europe, even though I hadn’t realised that at the time.

Catch ya next time in Origins #4

Crazy bitch tip: If you want to get all your craziness and bitchiness out in a non-stop party, a Contiki is great way to go about it because everyone is so blotto they’ll barely even notice.

 

 

Origins #2

18 Nov

Now where was I?

Oh that’s right… I was telling you about that time I consumed so much absinthe that I nearly died.

So yeah, that was a direct result of my boss’s daughter having spent the night in my bed about two weeks prior.

I know, I know. You don’t sleep with your boss’s daughter.

The thing is, I’m not the sort of guy you need to tell that to. I’m really, really, really, really careful about stuff like that.

I do my level best not to hook up with anyone if it’s going to make things weird and there’s a damned good reason behind that. I hate drama. I absolutely hate it. I avoid drama like it’s the plague and if I can see that a situation might lead to some drama down the line, I’ll stop it in its tracks.

With that said, I have slept with coworkers in the past. But I’ve been cautious about it and completely up front about the situation, so it’s never turned out awkward. If it looks like things are getting weird, I just get together with the girl and we talk it out. Half an hour later any awkwardness that was creeping in has been resolved and we all get to carry on with our lives drama free.

I’ve applied the same approach to “friends with benefits” arrangements too and it’s served me well. It’s so straight forward to me, you just be honest and up front and talk everything through. If one side is after something serious and the other is just after some fun, then it can’t happen because shit will get awkward. If we’re both on the same page though, we get to have some fun and nobody has to worry about any of the bullshit that can come about when the two parties are confused.

I hate drama. I hate secrets. I hate people’s feelings being hurt unnecessarily. So I do what I can to avoid those things.

So how did my boss’s daughter end up in my bed?

Yeah, about that…

The job

It’s not wise for me to use real names here, so we’ll call the business Everlong and we’ll call my boss’s daughter Rene. I met Rene when I started a new job way back in February 2008. I’d been freelancing since 2003 but in 2008 I worked with a client who pissed me off so badly, I decided to quit freelancing altogether just to make sure I never had to deal with them again. Let’s call that client The Department of Infuriation.

So I found a job with Everlong and it was fantastic. The people were unbelievably nice and my pay there was well above market rate. I thought I’d stumbled into a little heaven on earth.

The Boss: Tim Everlong

Rene’s father, Tim, the owner of the company, was really welcoming. He was the sort of guy I always wanted to become: successful, financially comfortable and with a lovely family.

Best of all, though… I didn’t have to deal with clients anymore!

Boss’s daughter #1: Laura Everlong

Tim’s other daughter, Laura, was the manager of the building I worked at. Just like everyone else involved in the whole Everlong operation, she was lovely. Laura was quite the stunningly attractive young woman too and I reckon every guy in the office had a crush on her. You could hardly blame them. Picture dealing with someone like this every day at work…

Picture Laura like this.

Picture Laura like this. Demure, elegant, classy, refined, and downright gorgeous.

Boss’s daughter #2: Rene Everlong

I think I met Rene at the first work function we had. Unlike her sister Laura, Rene is the sort of girl who makes sure you notice her. Where Laura is elegant and classy, Rene is brash and flirtatious. I had a girlfriend at the time who I’d been with for several years, so while I noticed Rene, I wasn’t even remotely thinking about the possibility of anything happen with her.

Like I said though, Rene likes people to know she’s there, and even though I was sitting there with my girlfriend I couldn’t help but get an eyeful of Rene’s physique. It’s not like I was trying to, it’s just that as a straight male you don’t really have a choice in the matter.

This pic is in the ballpark of what we were dealing with…

Picture Rene like this. Flirtatious, overt, attention-demanding and downright sexy.

Picture Rene like this. Flirtatious, overt, attention-demanding, a little bit inappropriate, and above all… sexy.

As the days go by

I’d go into Laura’s office every morning to say hi and we’d end up chatting for ages. I’d say we became pretty good friends, though there was always a clearly defined boundary between boss and employee, I still got away with teasing her and making cheeky remarks when other staff members definitely could not. Laura had a boyfriend, so there was never any concern about anything inappropriate happening. I think we’d both have laughed if anyone ever suggested that we were flirting because it was such a completely benign interaction.

With Rene however, it was a different story. From the outset there were plenty of moments in which it seemed like she was flirting with me, but she knew I had a girlfriend and I knew she was the boss’s daughter, so I was certain I was misinterpreting. It’s funny though, I never once had the same confusion with her sister.

Anyway, Rene was very attractive and the daughter of a millionaire, so I automatically assumed she had a boyfriend. I effectively ignored and dismissed anything that could have been taken as flirtation as friendliness or Rene having a playful personality.

Break up

But then I broke up with my girlfriend. I’d been with my her about 6 years by that point. I remember quite clearly that we broke up January 1st, 2009. New year’s day came in with a crash that year.

I wasn’t massively upset that we’d broken up. It was time for us both to move on. I was the one who effectively called it off, but it was still a big thing to end a 6 year relationship. There’s a whole other story about how things went pear-shaped with that particular ex after we broke up, but I’ll leave that for another time.

Anyway, word got around that I’d broken up with my girlfriend, and suddenly Rene is around the office a lot more. She starts coming over to my desk seemingly at random and talking to me for an hour at a time. I was still under the impression that she had a boyfriend, and she was the boss’s daughter anyway, so I continued to believe this was all just part of the friendly way of the Everlong family. I really never thought anything of it.

I remember thinking how nice Rene was to be so friendly and attentive to me when she often didn’t even need to be at the office. She didn’t work there, after all, she worked at Tim Everlong’s other business way up in the hills, miles and miles away.

Crushing

All this overt friendliness went on for quite some time and somewhere in the middle of it, Laura mentioned that Rene was single and had been for a while. After I found that out, I started to pay more attention to what Rene was doing. It started to register that she might well be flirting with me.

I’d developed a bit of a crush on Rene by this point but like I said earlier, I hate drama, so I had no intention of doing anything about it. Even if Rene was single and actually was interested, I figured she’d be on the hunt for a good looking, wealthy young man closer to her own age. I certainly wasn’t wealthy, I was 7 years older than, and more important that any of that, she was my boss’s daughter and I’d was more interested in keeping this great job than bringing unnecessary drama into my life.

If anything, I was trying to avoid encouraging her. I made sure not to drink at work functions and tried to be as non-flirtatious as possible. Unfortunately though, I have a very cheeky, playful nature, so I don’t know how well I did on that front. I secretly looked forward to the cheeky back and forths I’d have with Rene and I expect that my crush on her did show through despite my best efforts to avoid that.

To be quite honest, I’d also developed a crush on her sister, Laura. This, despite the fact that I knew full well she had a boyfriend. Laura is the sort of girl I always dreamed of being with. She has the rare attribute of elegance, which I find inordinately attractive. As with Rene though, I had no intention of doing anything about it, not only because she was my boss’s daughter, but on top of that she had a boyfriend.

The same line of thinking went for Laura anyway. Even if she happened to end up single, I would have thought her to be well out of my league.

I don’t know who I liked more.

Let me clarify something. When I say I had a crush on both these young women, that’s all I mean. A lot of my colleagues mentioned the same sort of affection for these girls. Frankly, I think it’s just nature. If you’re around attractive members of the gender you’re attracted to, you’re going to end up attracted to them.

If I was around Rene, I found myself attracted to her. When I was around Laura, I was attracted to her. I didn’t stay nights dreaming about sharing a life with either of them. I didn’t even think about them unless they were right there in front of me.

Not to mention, I thought both of these girls were way out of my league. I grew up dirt poor, never got to go to uni and think of myself as pretty average looking. These two girls are the daughters of a millionaire, studied at the best universities around and were absolutely bloody gorgeous. I didn’t see anything coming of my crushes. I just found them both attractive. To me it was a bit like having a crush on a movie starlet, you know nothing’s ever going to happen but that doesn’t change the fact that you like the idea of it.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

I had a crush on Jennifer Love Hewitt too, and thought the chances of anything happening with any of these girls were all about the same.

 

Increased activity

Rene added me on Facebook. Then she started occasionally messaging me, liking my posts, and all that bullshit.

The group of us at Everlong were very social and not long after Rene added me on Facebook, we all went out to dinner. Rene made a point of sitting next to me and chatting with me all night. There were plenty of times I could have sworn she wanted me to lean in and kiss her right there in front of everyone. I was still trying to avoid allowing anything to happen but I was also becoming more and more interested in her.

After breaking up with my ex, I bought a shitty little apartment very near the Everlong building. It was the first and only property I’ve ever owned, and it came with a mortgage which I could handle, but wasn’t particularly comfortable with. Getting my own place was a big deal for me and Rene and I had been talking and joking about it all night at dinner.

After dinner I got up and said goodbye to everyone  but somehow completely missed Rene, so when I got home I sent through a quick message on Facebook to say that it was nice chatting with her.

That Facebook message conversation carried on a fair while. By this point I was pretty sure she was into me and I was sure she was trying to get me to ask her out. Even though I didn’t want any drama, I was struggling with how attracted I was to her, and I’ll cop some drama for something that’s really worthwhile.

Still, I had to tread with caution, so instead of asking her out, I mentioned that it sucked that I didn’t have many friends in the area, knowing full well she lived relatively near by. I wasn’t expecting her to ask me out but I was expecting some sort of remotely positive response. I guess I was testing the waters to see if she would mention that she knows the area and knows a lot of people around there. I was definitely not expecting the conversation to come to a screeching halt, but that’s what happened.

I re-read what I’d said. It was remotely obvious the direction I was going, but there was nothing inappropriate and I’d left her heaps of room to easily to sidestep it if that wasn’t what she was after, but she just flat-out didn’t reply. I received nothing. Bubkus. Zilch. Nada. No response at all.

Done

After about a week with no response I took the silence as an unnecessarily impolite rejection. I remember thinking “well, fuck her, then” and deciding not to waste any time talk to her any more. Like I said earlier, I like things straight-up and clear and lief has enough drama and bullshit of it’s own, so I decided I’d just find another girl.

And that’s what I did. I pretty much completely forgot Rene existed and was out and about seeing different girls and having quite a bit of fun in the process. It’s actually fair to say I was probably having too much fun. I was with a lot of girls in that period of time and none of them were anything other than fuck buddies, really.

I would have been open to more, but I just wasn’t finding that connection I was after and my philosophy is, so long as nobody is getting emotionally hurt, a bit casual sex is a great way to pass some time.

But wait… there’s more

Months later we had another work function. This was one of the big ones with all the staff from both buildings. Rene was there as expected and I avoided her, but she kept coming to sit wherever I was sitting. I’d move away and she’d find me and sit right down beside me and try and get a conversation going.

I was pissed off at her but I figured I shouldn’t be an outright arsehole about it, so I started talking with her politely. Before long we were back to our old cheeky back and forths again and yet again I was sure she was looking at me with that “kiss me” look. With that sort of interaction, I figured I had just misread her lack of response. At the end of the day, it was a facebook message, and who really gives a fuck about Facebook messages?

Still, it was a pretty shitty thing that I was trying to get something happening and she left me hanging. I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t want to go through that bullshit again, so I decided, if she wants to go out with me, she can ask me out. That way I can’t get in any trouble because I’m not the one being the aggressor.

From that point on, that’s how I played it. I allowed myself to have a crush on her but I wasn’t thinking about her aside from when I’d see her. When she was around I didn’t hide the fact that I was attracted to her but I didn’t ask her out or push for anything in that direction.

Heaven got dark

Remember how I said Everlong was a little slice of heaven on earth? Well, it was when I started but that all changed when they brought in a new project manager for my team. This guy… let’s call him Gus, turned out to be an absolute sociopath. I didn’t realise that at the time though.

I didn’t understand that what he was doing was slowly trying to break my spirit, and the spirit of everyone else in the team. I didn’t recognise that he wasn’t interested in us doing a good job. I didn’t recognise that he was only interested in making himself look good to the owner of the company, so that Tim would give him more power and control over us, and eventually more of the company.

If you want to get a picture of Gus going in your head, think of Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad…

Yep, he’s just like the guy with the box cutter, minus the murder (as far as I know, though it wouldn’t surprise me).

I also didn’t realise there is a name for what Gus was doing. It’s called workplace bullying and harassment. See, Gus would assign me impossible tasks and then complain that I hadn’t done them well enough. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I hate falling short of what I’ve been assigned, so sometimes I’d actually manage to achieve the ridiculous things he’d demand, but even when I did, there was no thanks, no credit, no reward. There was just another impossible task lumped on me to achieve.

In addition to that, Gus would make little snide and underhanded remarks. He’d say things like “maybe we need a better developer” after I’d spent a month coming in before everyone else and finishing hours later than I was paid to just to complete some batshit concept he wanted implemented, despite it being obvious to anyone with half a clue how business actually works that it was a bad choice in the first place.

Don’t forget, I was a freelancer for several years. I knew how to run a business and I knew which ideas were worth implementing and which weren’t. Let me tell ya, Gus had no friggin idea what he was doing. He’d manipulated his way into a position of power and he was loving watching us all squirm as he slowly grabbed for more and more control. He’d managed to get our original manager demoted and ostracised. He’d also managed to drive a wedge between the staff at the two buildings, resulting in internal bickering where there’d been very little beforehand.

The impact

After a year of that I was starting to crack. Again, I didn’t realise it at the time, but Gus was doing a lot of the same shit that my stepfather had done to me while I was growing up. It’s horrible. It makes you feel like you’re worthless.

The difference between Gust and my stepfather was, I could always get away from my stepfather or just flat out ignore him, but Gus had control over my income, and by having control over my income, he also had the ability to cut off my ability to pay off my mortgage. Yeah, I know all about unfair dismissal laws but I also knew the bank wouldn’t give two shits about why the money stopped coming in, and that shitty little apartment was all I had. It was so early on in the repayments too, that I wouldn’t have made any money from appreciation and the market was quiet at the time, so I was worried I’d potentially make a loss if I did have to sell up.

After a year of that sort of stress, I was in serious need of a holiday and I scheduled a trip to Europe. Yes, you’re right to think I’d have been better off putting that money in the bank and looking for another job, but when you’ve been under intense stress and pressure for at least a year, logic starts to fail you, and you start to look for ways to ease the never ending discomfort you’re experiencing.

I guess I was so stressed out with all this shit that I completely forgotten Rene existed. I hadn’t been in touch with her for ages but the day I was about to fly out, she sent through this sweet little message wishing me a really fun trip and telling me that she was looking forward to hearing about my adventures when I got back. I thought it was nice but she was the last thing on my mind.

That’s enough for now…

Alrighty… that’s enough for now. I’ll get back to this in Origins #3 when I’ll continue to explain how my boss’s daughter ended up in my bed.

Crazy bitch tip: Be honest with people. It simplifies things.

Origins #1

11 Oct

About 4 years and two weeks ago I experienced something that completely blew my mind, and to be totally honest, derailed my life for a few years. That experience, in combination with an inconceivable number of other unusual experiences afterwards, left me so bewildered with the actions of the women and girls I’d been dealing with that I came to the conclusion that the world needed a website dedicated to providing instructions about how not to be a crazy bitch.

I know it was¬†about 4 years and two weeks ago because Australia’s most famous motor race, The Bathurst 1000, is on tomorrow.

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Bathurst starts at a decent time over in New South Wales, about 10am, but Perth is 3 hours behind and that means I have to be up early on a Sunday if I want to watch every minute. I DO want to watch every minute! I don’t follow a lot of sports but Bathurst is one event that I really enjoy, so I usually go to bed early and try to have all my supplies ready for the day ahead. I usually even get up extra early, like 5am, to watch all the pre-race stuff. It’s a special occasion for me. I get a kick out of the whole event!

4 years ago though, Bathurst didn’t work out too well for me. I remember it all too well.

I had planned ahead and bought my vegemite, meat pies, tomato sauce and a six pack of beer but I didn’t eat anything at all throughout the day and I sure as hell didn’t drink any of that beer.

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Nope, Bathurst 2010 involved a lot of me crawling to the bathroom, vomiting, crawling into the shower, crawling back to the floor beside my bed, trying to climb up the kitchen counter enough that I could get myself some water, and generally trying not to die.

Why was I in this miserable state on one of my favourite days of the year?

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Because I drank my share of Absinthe at a party the night before. I also drank everyone else’s share of Absinthe. I suspect I drank Australia’s share of Absinthe that night. Let me tell you something, that little green fairy ain’t kidding around. Looking back, I should have gone to hospital because I’m certain I had alcohol poisoning.

But it’s why I drank all that Absinthe that relates to the start of How Not To Be A Crazy Bitch. See, about two weeks before Bathurst 2010, my boss’s daughter stayed the night at my place. More on that in the next instalment.

Crazy bitch tip: Your father’s employees are not toys.

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