Hubris.co.nz

An online journal since 1998

In which Good Friday is good

Kelly and I cleaned the house today – to the level of vacuuming UNDER the sofa pillows and rotating them, and while I was vacuuming I was dancing to Salt’n Pepa, so not only do I have the feeling of productivity, I also have the exhaustion of exercise, and I just feel so GOOD. This euphoria is similar to that of when your antidepressants first start kicking in and your showers and coffees feel like orgasms for a week, and it is pretty great. It has been a long time coming. I have not felt this good, well, all year maybe?

Last Friday I was at Emma’s birthday party when I got a text from the ex telling me that she was seeing someone – and it was her ex boyfriend. They got back together three weeks after we broke up. Suffice to say, I cried and cried and cried. I felt destroyed. It sucked. But Good Tom and Hilary held me and stroked my hair and that helped.

And work has been unbelievably busy and hard and I have not being doing my best, and that frustrates me, but the really busy time is over, and I know it will get better from here. Hopefully.

Kelly is back from Auckland now and just having her around is amazing. The cats love her. We talk shit, and make each other feel supported. It’s great.

The other night I went to a rally at parliament to counteract an anti-gay-marriage prayer vigil. There were sequins and rainbows and laughter, and I have never sung “Going to the chapel” so much. At one stage we were singing “Lean on me” and I’ve never really liked that song, but I was there with Emma and Simon who’ve been taking me swimming, and Kelly who always has my back, and Beth who is a new friend but who called me as soon as she saw my tweets about the ex angst, and I just felt so supported and lucky, and I got a little teary. There are still dreadful people saying dreadful things about the bill, but I am hopeful it will pass.  And that’s a great thing.

Last night I went out with Beth to Hummingbird and I wrote it up for the Wellingtonista, and for the first time this year, I felt like myself again. I wasn’t some broken girl, still in love with her ex girlfriend, crippled with doubt about how all her friends hate her now and a total failure at her job, I was just Jo Hubris, teller of filthy stories, wine drinker and vague flirt. And that felt amazing.

So I will share with you a ridiculous story, because I have many. The other week at Jo’s goodbye party, I got a little drunk (no, really?) and I saw a guy who I’ve had a mini crush on for a while, in that I see him around occasionally and have thought he might be a good person to get to know better, and so I texted him so see if maybe he wanted to go for a drink sometime. He said he was game, and so somehow, because it was 2am and because I was very drunk, and because well, work has been all consuming lately, I thought it might be a good idea to take him on an adventure. That’s right, without warning him, I took him to children’s theatre. I mean, yes, it was a really great play. But honestly, who promises someone margaritas and then does that? Hashtag #foreveralone. But that’s okay, because I have a clean house and some good friends, old and new.

In which the passive becomes aggressive

I imagine (in fact I know from experience) that if you are a close friend of mine and you break up with someone, I will be on your case day and night checking in on you, possibly to the point where you’ll be like “I get that you’re worried about me, but I will be okay by myself from here on in”. Well, yeah, that’s how I feel like I would be. Your mileage may vary, of course. Heather did once say to me though that I set my expectations way too high because I expect others to give me as much as I give them and that’s never going to happen.

I have always thought that it was a good idea to treat others the way you expect to be treated. Oh fuck all this passive aggressive stuff, I have really felt let down by a lot of people since S and I broke up.

Not all of them, obviously. A couple have really shone and have the dampened shoulders from me crying on them to prove it. I had lovely notes and chocolate from a workishmate I didn’t even realise was following me. I’ve had sorrow expressed by a number of twitter people who had delighted in seeing me so very happy while I was in a relationship. But from the people I count on from a day to day basis? Well, Good Tom (while I sobbed onto his crotch as he hugged me very awkwardly as I was i in a low Cape Cod chair and his lovely girlfriend Hilary looked on) was like “maybe people don’t know how destroyed you are? After all, your house doesn’t seem that untidy and I don’t feel like I have to confiscate all the painkillers in the house”. So yes, even two years ago (what was I even doing two years ago that he would have been more worried about me then?) I might have been more alarming. It makes me kind of angry now because I feel like I am falling to pieces, but I still have to pay rent, and I still have to get work done. Work is what gets me through the day and it is really hard right now.

And then there’s the motherfucking Herald on Sunday. Here is part one, here is part two, and now here’s a screenshot.

I hate the HoS

Seeing yourself like that is fucking horrific. Yes, the married man was a big thing, like four years ago, yes, getting raped was a lifechanger as well (much to the discomfort of people who don’t like it being mentioned, because OHMIGOD, icky), but “even tying someone up during sex” was, in context, part of how I got over being raped. It wasn’t a Big Deal any more than using a vibrator on someone, letting them come over your tits or sticking a finger in their ass is a headline. Kelly was like “I only skimread the article, but it seems like they left out the parts of your journal that make you fundamentally you, like the parties and the joy and I can only hope she was right. I wish I hadn’t agreed to be interviewed because I was hardly able to express myself at a drive-thru (in my pajamas, thanks!) let alone to someone in a five minute chat.

Although of course it is a Herald on Sunday headline, so what do you expect? Oh yeah, there was this fucking shit:

Fuck you, Herald on Sunday readers

I really fucking hope that it was someone looking for solace in a similar experience, but I suspect it was some cheap voyeur  in which case oh, just die in a fire.

We already know how this ends

We broke up. It seems inevitable now. Those naive discussions back in June about how maybe a casual something would be nice were incredibly naive. So was my inevitable thinking about the future and about whose sperm we could borrow if we wanted to have babies together. She doesn’t see herself with me in twenty years, and that’s that.

Of course, it’s not just like that, the clean break, the smooth cut, the shaking of hands and saying “jolly good show old chap, well cheerio”. It was three hours of wailing and bawling and crying and half a pack of serviettes used to wipe noses, snot everywhere, choking on tears, grasping at each other, trying to make bargains with the universe that there might not even be a twenty years from now anyway, and couldn’t we just be together now and let the future us deal with all this fucking pain?

It is a strange thing, breaking up as a grown up. You will know that my only other experiences were when Thomas left me for Jo, and all I could feel was rage, and emptiness, and I couldn’t stop throwing up and I couldn’t eat, and wanted to kill myself except that right when I wondered if I could hang myself from a tree with the threadbare cardigan I was wearing, a random cat showed up and cuddled up to me. That was all rage. And I suppose there was when the married man and I decided we would stop, once and for all, and so I surrounded myself with coverage of Obama’s inauguration, and I tried to focus on other things, but mostly I just hated myself for ever starting it in the first place. This is different. I would not trade the past six months for anything, not even the horror of yesterday and the long, long, long goodbye.

We didn’t fight. Our first disagreement was our breakup. I am not left in any doubt that she loved me, that I was desirable, that I was a significant part of her life, that I will be missed. It is really fucking hard, but I get it. I don’t hate her, or resent her or anything. I love her, and I miss her, and I wish her well. I know she’ll find happiness (hopefully not too soon though), and that I’ll find happiness (ditto), and one day we’ll be friends again and that will be awesome. But for now though, I will be really glad that work is crazy busy, and I will rely on my darling friends to keep my time occupied, and I will gulp sleeping pills before bedtime as if I’m premenstrual every day, and I’ll cuddle my cats, and I might cry. A lot. And be angry about stupid things like how I won’t get to see the underwear I bought her for Xmas, and how she won’t peel potatoes with the peeler she bought me and how we broke up six days before our six-month anniversary. And then I’ll cry some more. But I’ll be okay.

Living the smug life

I am going to catch you up on my life. But first, I am going to talk to you about Firmoo glasses, who emailed me waaay back in July offering me free glasses in exchange for blogging about them. Go ahead, click that link, because free glasses are awesome. What I like about Firmoo is that you can search by size, which is helpful if you have the BIGGEST HEAD IN THE WORLD, like I do. I particularly like the ones I got.

blurry picture of my new glasses

The picture is blurry because my skin is really really shit right now, and also because I am lazy. So yes, next time you go to an optometrist, make sure you get your prescription to go. Buying glasses online is fun especially if you upload a picture of yourself in zombie makeup to try the frames onto virtually.

Right, moving on from the world of corporate shilling. My life lately (apart from this week) has become the stuff of smug coupledom that I always used to hate about other people. We have emoji pictures for each other and there are few things I like as much as spending a Saturday morning in bed with her and Florence and Sebastian and coffee and the paper. #sogross. If you’re not already following me on Instagram, you should, because I’ve been eating some amazing things lately, like this Silere merino lamb degustation. I like that all the trillions of hours I have spent writing on the internet have meant that I’ve finally got a stage where I get invited to fun things and occasionally get stuff. My finances are so way out of control right now with stupid rent and car fixings and Xmas and still needing to save for Florence’s dental work, ugh.

Apart from that, what else? I have had a bad week this week, with a lot of work-related stress (I made what I think is a pretty big mistake that other people say is to be expected given that I’m new at this), and if I still got periods I would have mine right now, and also I ran out of lexapro in my handbag and consequently forgot to take any for a couple of days, and and and and. And with the work Xmas party coming up, I am excited, but it is making me remember what happened two years ago (tl:dr – party in my mouth no one was invited to), and also Timehop Abe has reminded me that four years ago today I embarked on a fucking stupid affair with the married man that kinda crushed me for a couple of years.  December, why you so dumb?

All that said though, I know my stresses and my triggers, and essentially, I love my job, I just need a holiday! I’m going away with Brendan and Craig and Kim and Laura and McQuilly and Sarah-Rose and Tim (Kate & Jason are going to be in Europe) at New Year’s to a house in the country with lots of bedrooms and an outdoor pizza oven and a spa pool and I cannot fricking wait. Sadly the girlfriend won’t be there (the perils of planning out your life before you meet someone) but I imagine there may be some disgusting emoji during that time period anyway. And much reading of Jillian Cooper books.

What else have I been up to lately? Watching crappy reality TV shows. Obsessing over the cheese scones at Nikau. Listening to ‘Wicked Game’ by The Weeknd pretty much non-stop. I’m going to Cat Power in February, because we could get seats, yay. I fell down the stairs at Sarah Rose’s a month or so ago and my ankle has been gammy ever since. I think that’s pretty much it, eh. I’m coming to terms with the fact that there are very unlikely to be any crazy adventures any time soon in my life. But there will be lots of quality time with the people I love the best, and that’s enough for me.

Pussies and so forth

I have a girlfriend. I say this not because I am bragging (although she is smokin’ hot and lovely), but more because last week a bill towards Marriage Equality passed its first reading in parliament 80 to 40. It was a tremendous day full of emotions that Sarah Rose has written about. I posted this on Facebook:

I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who don’t judge me for anything, they just love and support me. I know not everyone is that lucky. I got to march today with some of the people I love the most, in a really lovely environment with some beautiful speeches, and then tonight I was so happy to see that New Zealand is moving towards marriage equality. I have a fuckload of privilege, and I will do my best to use it to help others.

To sit eating five kinds of ice cream (Laura is testing recipes for her cookbook) with ten other people all glued to a laptop watching parliament TV (hooked up to the stereo so we could still hear it over the names I was yelling at John Hayes saying he was voting against it “for his conservative electorate” – the same electorate that elected transgender Georgina Beyer for two terms) and getting tearful over the happy result was a very special experience indeed.

Frankly, my life has been full of special experiences lately. Keith tweeted yesterday “ I am really really liking Enjoying-Work-Jo. It’s nice to see her again!” and I replied that it’s really nice for me to see her too. Yes, I have a new job, and it’s really hard work and there is so much to learn, but it is glorious. My workmates are all super friendly people who love Parks & Recreation and who start at 9am or later, and they’re passionate about what they do, and I am a manager. Awww yeah. I’m even learning to make spreadsheets add up correctly.

It has been Wellington on a Plate season so I have eaten a lot. Reviews are posted over at The Wellingtonista.

I have been endevoring to touch every animal in Wellington. I had a cheetah encounter at the zoo and they purr very very loudly.

I was also invited to a meercat encounter which I will write up on the ‘ista soon. And a woman with the last name Minges sent me a lelo! Hurrah!

On the cat front, I had five foster cats who have all found homes now. And this cat started hanging out at my house and so I put ads up everywhere and talked to the SPCA a lot about bringing her in but they were reluctant to accept that there are stray cats in Mt Victoria, and she needed love so much, and was so hungry, and slept on my bed and fought less and less with Sebastian, so I have now adopted her. Her name is Florence.

picture of a snoozing cat

I suspect what you’re most interested in is the part where I said I had a girlfriend. She is a pretty private person (she’s not even on Twitter! What is this I don’t even), so I will just say we’ve been seeing each other for about a month and a half, officially, and I like her.

And here is a bonus video of the typical sort of carry-on my friends and I get up on drunken Saturdays.

I’ll try to update more frequently okay?

2011 in review

These are the questions that I answer every year. You can view last year’s here.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

  • Worked for a not-for-profit
  • Went to an Asian country that wasn’t Japan
  • A whole bunch of sex-related stuff that I won’t go into detail about here
  • Made bread by hand that rose!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

According to last year’s post, my resolution was:

“As for my resolution this year, it’s pretty simple. I resolve not to sleep with any more workmates, married people or close friends. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. I also stole Jason‘s resolution to read more books, and there are things I’d like to do, like walk to/from work at least half the time, and take lunch to work at least two times a week, and restrict buying coffee to twice a week at the maximum. But those aren’t such strict resolutions, if you know what I mean. Actually, I have set myself a 11 in ’11 challenge with a whole bunch of stuff I’d like to do.

I didn’t sleep with any more workmates! Congratulations to me! The results of my 11in11 are also tallied up on that page – I did pretty well at it.

For 2012, I set myself some 12in12 challenges. I also resolved to renew my driver’s license, like my job, only sleep with people who like me, and shoot a gun.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one particularly close to me, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

I went to Thailand with Karen, and we also spent eight hours in Sydney.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Once again, exactly what I said last year: “I’ll say it again – a relationship with someone who shouts it from the rooftops that they are in love with me.”

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 8 –  I started my amazing temporary job at the not-for-profit after being made redundant from SilverStripe. Also December 18, for the reasons detailed in this entry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting through unemployment without losing my mind, and ending up doing a really great job for an organisation that I really cared about, where I felt like I made a difference.

Also, getting over the date rape. And fostering cats was really rewarding despite the heartaches.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I had finally started to not give the married man much thought at all, and was going on with my life and was able to hope that he had a happy life, when a bunch of stuff happened, and he sent me accusing emails, and fucked things up further with a friend of mine, and now I have the rage back. And I know that I’m not nearly as entitled to the rage as his wife is, but arrrgh. It bubbles up inside me and the fact that I am still so angry after three years, well, argh. It’s a failure on my part, because while he’s the pathological liar, I’m the crazy one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a long-lingering cough that was pretty shit, and took a lot of sick days from my new job because it’s a sick building. I don’t have any STDs though, hurray!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPhone, early in the year, which luckily was largely subsidised by my work.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Kim, who is always logical and calm and non-judgemental. My other princesses. The staff and volunteers at the Wellington SPCA. Everyone who adopted my foster cats. Kason for the Parks & Recreation birthday dinner they made me. Rosie for the amazing cleaning she does for me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My old boss who took away all my access rights and responsibilities because I made a spelling mistake. The people who voted in National again. All the people who made Slutwalk necessary. People who thought that others knowing I’d slept with them was OMG THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD EVER. Everyone who continues to hang out with anyone I don’t like, because I don’t understand why they’re not shunned and driven out of town.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Same as last year – booze, debt servicing, and living by myself. Also, Webstock ticket, unemployment, dentistry and a really expensive trip to Thailand.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The trip to Thailand, #GGG (GossipGirl and Gin and Girls), our amazing New Year’s at Raumati, some really really amazing sex I had, cats, and ummm I think that’s about it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Two songs – ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black, cos Kirsten and I played it every Friday at SilverStripe, as part of our “Bad Music Fridays” which were a lot of fun, and also, ‘Someone like you’ by Adele, because I used to come home drunk and play it over and over again and think that if my two exs would just listen to that song, they’d understand everything. But of course they wouldn’t.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

I am fatter, probably happier and poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d done more physical moving. I can feel my body atrophying. I do so love to dance, I wanna do that more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasting even one second thinking about the married man. Letting my old boss get to me. Dry-retching thinking about the date rape. Spending money without realising I was going to be laid off.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

As per tradition, I spent the morning with Tom and Keith, eating croissants and drinking very boozy lemonade, and then I strolled down to BAMJI’s, for Family Xmas. I was rather drunk, and my mother told me to stop swearing, which made me swear more. We watched DVDs of our old super8 family movies, and it was lovely.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I probably messaged Kim the most, and spent a lot of time online chatting to Jo. No phone calls.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Nope. Had a good crush though.

23. How many one-night stands?

If we’re only defining it as at night, and for one night only, then two and a half. If we include nooners, then that’s another three, I guess. And some others who I saw more than once. I had a busy little beaver. I also went on dates (ACTUAL DATES!) with three people, two of whom I’d already slept with.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

PARKS AND RECREATION! So glad I got all my friends into it (to the point where Kate and Jason made me an amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing Parks and Rec themed birthday dinner. It was so good I cried and they were like O_o). Also continued to love It’s Always Sunny, enjoyed Gossip Girl in the context of GGG, Revenge was the most perfect trash ever, and Homeland was like woah.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yeah probably. Also disappointed in a number of people, but it’s been really freeing to just decide that oh yeah, they’re not actually worth bothering about.

26. What was the best book you read?

I’m going to say Rivals by Jilly Cooper, which was exquisite trash and perfect for #Raumatirumble. I loved having Laura quote lines of it at me about people’s bushes.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have continued to be more about individual songs than actual whole albums, so I don’t think I can claim any discoveries.

28. What did you want and get?

An iPhone, some new jobs after I got laid off, and laid.

29. What did you want and not get?

To stay in a job for a year, to have a relationship and to get out of debt.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw one movie at the cinema, and that was Hanna, in Sydney. I fell asleep during a chase scene. But as far as movies I saw for the first time, I fucking LOVED Cabaret.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 and celebrated with a full-on birthday week. On my actual birthday, I drove to Martinborough with Tom and Heather, where I’d rented a nice house with a spa pool. Some of my workmates and Keith came up, and we got very very very drunk. I also had the amazing Parks & Rec meal cooked for me by Kate & Jason, and also a big dinner at Namastey, and afterwards I went to Mermaids with Tom and Rachel and got a lapdance. Awww yeah.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not getting laid off – or getting to stay at the not-for-profit instead of it just being temporary.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

I don’t think I had any style actually.

34. What kept you sane?

The Lovehawks, Princess Camp and Twitter. Also, Jo’s support during my career struggles. <3

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

James Deen (NSFW)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The general election. Ugh.

37. Who did you miss?

I got to a point where if I didn’t see my princesses at least twice a week I missed the fuck out of them.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Laura, without a doubt. I also met some other awesome new people via Twitter.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Fuck the haters. You don’t have to put up with that shit. Oh also: it’s really easy to find really good sex – as long as you don’t want good conversation as well.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I’M A MOTHERFUCKING MONSTER!”

#raumatirumble

Sometime around September last year I started desperately searching the internet for a house we could rent for New Year’s Eve, as the beloved bach in Waiterere had been sold. Astonishingly, I managed to find one – in Raumati. It had six bedrooms, three bathrooms and was across the road from the beach. And we got it! And so, #raumatirumble was born. You can read Laura’s shorter description with more crying here, or read on.

Obviously everyone who’d been at Waiterere had to return. That was me, Kim & Brendan (KRENDAN SMASH!), Jason & Kate (Kason) and Stacey and Mike, who met and became Macey on that fateful occasion. But we’d also folded in Laura Hungry and Tim (Lim) into our social group, like whipped cream into a coulis. Notice a reoccuring theme? Oh yeah, me amongst a whole bunch of couples. So it was time to find myself a summer boyfriend. I thought there was potential, and there had been a really nice first date, but a second never eventuated. Also we found out that the other Laura (Lozza) was going to be around, and we wanted her with us. Yay Summer Boyfriend!

So emails went around about what we needed to take with us, and we decided to each put in $50 for food, and cases of wine were ordered, and ginger and rhubarb syrups brewed, and limoncello soaked and bottled (well, the bits that Bad Tom didn’t accidently add to our already alcoholic lemonade on Xmas Day anyway). And then the weather reports were read and it was rainy mcrainstorms ahead. Boo, you whore. So I packed some socks as well as three pairs of togs, and hit up the Sallies shop in Newtown for four trashy novels (and a stack more saucers for the #plateproject while I was at it).

Finally December 30 rolled around, after a couple of very long days of anticipation. Rachel came over to catsit, and after about a thousand trips, I managed to get my car all loaded up with food, wine, chilly bin, paddling pool, fancy clothes and all. I collected Kim and Lozza in the rain, and we were off, cranking up our themesong (we run this town, after all) and other Rihanna choones along the way, talking about how major Nicki Maraj is, and loading up on vegetables on our way (avocados at 69 cents and strawberries $1.50 a punnet? Oh hell yes!). We got somewhat lost in Raumati but eventually with our three iphones combined, we managed to make our way to the house, and unload.

Kason and KRENDAN had already secured themselves upstairs rooms, so I headed downstairs. Summer Boyfriend and I took separate bedrooms because I snore, but figured we could do it on the ping pong table upstairs so I could show off some new tricks while I was at it (for serious: I was at Family Planning the other week getting a full range of STD checks (my Xmas present to myself: being assured I am clean. Treat yo’self!) and the nurse was like “your vagina muscles are so strong you should learn some ping pong ball tricks!” because I kept popping out the speculum. Why do I always get the interesting health professionals?). I pushed the beds in my room together none the less, because I am not very practiced at sleeping in a single bed and did not want to injure myself. Also downstairs were Macey, and the biggest room of all was saved for Lim. Seriously, that bitch was like, huuuuuuuuuuge. Which came in very handy later…

Too many details, right? When Lim got there, we held a summit and worked out an approximate meal schedule, and dispatched the menfolk off to the supermarket in the root ute (in this scenario, Lozza counted as a man, on account of being my summer boyfriend). Meanwhile, us ladies drank wine and called ourselves the Real Housewives of Raumati. I was wearing a caftan, after all.
Our 3G connection was weak, but our love was strong. I rang up the property owner to question why there was no TV when there had been one in the pictures, and scoffed at him for saying “there are Sky connections if you brought your own decoder” because what good would that be without a screen to watch it on? He rang back a little later and then I rang him from a telecom phone with better coverage, and he promised to send one over the next day. Victory!

To my extreme delight, Laura had brought along a couple of Babysitters Club books, and so we made Tim give us a dramatic reading about the truth about Stacey and her diabetus (captured on Instagram by Jason here). It was raining but the wine and rhubarb ginger gimlets were warming, and it wasn’t actually cold, so I went for a swim with some of the boys. The beach was beautiful even in the grey, and easily accessed by some steps. The hot shower afterwards was good, especially since I didn’t have to wait for anyone else to finish first.

My wrists were sore from all the wanking pre-holiday chopping and cooking and scrubbing so I assumed the position of Team Leader instead of cook, and we got two huge pans of glorious mac’n cheese in the oven. Cooking teams are great! We spent the evening most pleasantly, stuffing our faces, drinking wine and talking shit. Good times.

The next morning I woke up to a good deal of excitement upstairs. Santa had just dropped off a brand new 42 inch plasma screen, and the menfolk were scrambling around to assemble it while others played barista with Lim’s coffee machine. There were fried potatos and toast and eggs for everyone but me, and once the kitchen was cleaned, the boys (and Stacey) went to the rec room to play Settlers of Catan loudly, while the girls made mimosas, watched The Mighty Boosh (we even had our own Milky Joe), and painted our nails with OPI’s Rainbow Connection and other delights. I even have a picture of it, including glittery cakeballs made by Laura.


So important! So shiny!

Cider was drunk and the weather cleared up a little bit, so we got our ocean swim on, my summer boyfriend squealing away. It was cold, but we all had a lovely splish splash, and when we got back to the house, after hot showers and putting PJs on, I busied myself making fried cheese sandwiches for people. Mike’s friend arrived around that time and didn’t bother to introduce himself to the other room of people. In his defense, Mike didn’t introduce us either. So we drank some more cider and did some prep for our fancy dinner. I made bread rolls! The dough rised! And rised! And then it rose again after I balled it up! SUCH AN ACHIEVMENT! Then Laura brandished pipe cleaners at us, so it was time to get our cat ears on. Stacey did mine for me, and I got my fancy duds on:

me as a cat

Turns out my Summer Boyfriend gives great pussy too:

My tweet at the time said we should be on the cover of Cat Fancier magazine, because WE ARE FANCIER THAN CATS. We are major. More catting followed, and we also decided to give the boys cat head dresses. Not all of them were keen on having their toenails painted though.

After arguing backwards and forwards about whether we could fit the outdoor table into the dining space as well, we ended up setting up the ping pong table for dinner, which worked very well for the eleven of us. There was lamb and beef from the bbq, amazing potato gratin, my rolls (and rolls and rolls. Get it? I’m fat), and then because we suddenly realised there were two vegetarians, we also made a carrot salad and asparagus very hastily. And we sat down and ate and ate, and talked about what our resolutions for the year had been, and if we’d kept him. I had resolved not to sleep with any more close friends, workmates or married people. I didn’t sleep with any workmates in 2011, woo! (Or did I?) And I resolved to shoot a gun in 2012. After dinner we broke out the limoncello that I had made for dessert, and started singing songs from Community, which may have been a little disturbing for those who were not familiar with it. Mike’s friend revealed that he voted National, which made everyone uneasy. There was some dancing, and at midnight I put down my glass of Glen Coco Juice, and warned my Summer Boyfriend I was going to dip her and kiss her, which I did. As a good hostess, I thought it would only be fair enough to kiss Mike’s friend too, because everyone should have a good time. And then there was more crazy dancing, some wacky waving arms to ‘Wuthering Heights’ of course, which I hope someone will post the video of. Cigars were smoked on the deck with whiskey, and I felt very manly. More drinking was done, and I showed more hospitality, painting the friend’s toenails and introducing him to the delights of the Arcade Fire and gave him a place to sleep. Because I am a good host, okay?

On New Year’s Day, we got to go to Wendy’s for lunch, huzzah! And then we watched Mean Girls and started drinking again, and the sun came out, and the ocean was a lovely place to swim off a hangover and feel bad in. That evening we watched Point Break as Jason made us pizza after pizza, and once again we resolved to shoot a sequel, starting with Patrick Swayze washing up on Raumati Beach. I think Kate is going to play Gary Busey.We played Articulate with some amazing calls like me “Someone who talks to the dead” and someone else yelling “…. Necrophile!”.

The next day was glooooooooooriously sunny. After fantastic breakfast triple pikelets, there were many card games outside in the shade, much devouring of Rivals by Jilly Cooper which is so fantastically trashy and also happens to be Laura’s favourite book so she constantly receited lines at me about people’s bushes. Very major. More cider was purchased, along with some other treats, and more swimming was done. There was still almost no cellphone coverage, so we heard that people were angry with Libra Tampons for transphobia, but couldn’t watch the ad. So we drank more and bbqed a feast. Later, a commitee was sent downstairs to Lim’s room to build us a blanket fort. Holy fucking crap. I thought last year’s was spectactular, but this was astonishing. Four clothes racks provided central support, and there were mattresses and pillows galore, as well as a chilly bin and a stereo so we could party in there. Here’s a picture taken by my Summer Boyfriend. Naturally the first game inside a blanket for is Marry, Fuck Kill, and as Mean Girls was fresh in our minds, it stirred up some hefty debate. Most everyone would marry Karen, but there was a lot of argument about who was richer – Regina, or Gretchen. Obviously it’s Gretchen, because her dad like, invented toaster strudel. Plus I think Gretchen would work much harder in bed because she wants people to like her, and Regina would just lie back. But if you fucked Regina, there’s a good possibility that Amy Poehler might walk in on you, which would be great. INTENSE DISCUSSION! Someone has a video of it which they might post. Of course, we also played I Have Never too, and I discovered that the past six months of my life result in me getting raaaaaaaaaaaaaather drunk during that game. Then there was some wailing to Adele, and a great big hangover the next day.

Macey had to leave us, but we consoled ourselves with the saddest sight in the world ever – Jason playing paddle tennis by himself on the beach. I had the best swim ever, and then sent the day alternating between sun and shade and wet and dry. Monkey butlers even brought me G&Ts. And I very nearly won at cards after making Tim shift into the paddling pool with me. Yes there was an ‘f’ in that, thanks. And then some kittens came to visit, as snapped by Laura in front of the paddling pool!

I feel like I am failing to capture this magical holiday and have no way to describe all the injokes and the number of times I sang “YOU’RE WELCOME, YOU’RE WELCOME FOR EVERYTHING” like Pierce, and the number of times I told people I loved them as Laura ate golden syrup off her knife or Lozza wrote “I LOVE LAMP” on the beach. There was lots of laughter and also enough quiet time, the house was plenty big enough for us all, and the bad weather over the first couple of days didn’t matter. We ate and drank like kings, and didn’t even spend all that much money on it. On our last night we watched slide shows of the pictures and videos people had taken, looking back already. I was very very sad to leave the next morning, but super happy to come home to Sebastian.

So that was my New Year’s. How was yours?

In which I get date-raped

A year ago, I went to a party, got drunk, and when a guy I didn’t really know asked me to take him home, I said yes. We went home, had consensual sex, and eventually went to sleep. In the morning, he woke up, asked me if I was awake, climbed on top of my chest, pinning me to the bed, and shoved his cock down my throat. He grasped my head so tight that I could hardly move it, and I was gagging so much that my mouth filled with vomit, and he just thrust harder and harder. I could hardly breathe, and the rest of me was frozen from the shock. I did not want this. I couldn’t stop it, all I could do was hope that he’d finish quickly and release me. So I lay there, choking and wondering if I had asked for it, if this was what I deserved for everyone that I’d ever slept with, for presuming that I could bring home someone and still be safe, and when he climbed off, he lay beside me as if nothing had happened and to stop myself from crying I curled into him like it was something I had wanted to happen.

I need to be very clear here – at no point did I say no. I didn’t have a chance to. But at no point did I say yes either. When he had me pinned down, if I had been able to move at all, I could have tried to push him off – but I was terrified that if I tried, he still might not stop, and that would turn it into a whole different situation. I had friends in the next room, and while it was one thing for them to have to hear me having good sex, I didn’t want them to hear me having bad sex. And I was in shock, believing that this was what I’d been asking for. He stayed in my bed for a while after that, dragging my hands down to his cock repeatedly, continuing to touch me. I opted for a “I’m trying to sleep” approach, sliding across the bed, too hot to hide under the covers but just hoping that he’d leave, which he did eventually, sheepishly mumbling goodbye as he stumbled out.

I spent the rest of the day pretending like nothing had happened, apologising to my friends who were staying for all the noise, and making jokes about how fucked up my hair was. “He was clearly right-handed” said my friend as she took a photo of my hair from the back. Turns out that a guy continuingly shoving your head down to his dick and then later pinning you down makes it pretty hard to comb your hair out afterwards.

Insert joke about sex hair here and pretend to laugh about it. (That’s not the first time I’ve posted that image on Hubris. The first time I described the guy as “kind of pushy”. Back in January I was still determined not to talk about it or to acknowledge it really. But y’know what? No.)

On the Sunday afterwards, I went to Xmas Dinner with the Lovehawks, and I told them the story, trying to frame it in a “hey, isn’t this funny, ha ha, oh you should have seen my hair, hilariousness” kind of way, because I’m one of those douchebags who uses humour to deal with things that they’re not okay with.  But of course they saw through my false bravado, and were like “You know, that sounds kind of rapey”. And there it was. There was the word that I’d not wanted to use. For months I would cling to the ‘y’ on the end there, before my counselor asked me how else I would define sex without consent. But I am skipping ahead of myself.

The next day someone asked me in that nudge nudge wink wink kind of way how my Friday was, and told me everyone knew what I’d been up to. That made me sick to my stomach and I couldn’t stop crying, so I rushed home to hide, which made for a really awkward conversation with my manager, who was really concerned about me but I didn’t want to tell him what was going on. I was supposed to be having lunch with Iva who I hadn’t seen in years, so she came over instead, and my first introduction to her boyfriend was for him to hear me talking about what had happened, trying to be calm. After they left I was still shaken, and another friend came over to see if I was okay. She held me while I cried some more, and then helped me compose an email to the guy telling him that what he did was not okay.

“I think it’s important to let you know that I was uncomfortable with some of the things that happened on Friday night. I’m not sure what you’ll do with this information, but you need to know that it left me feeling more than a little upset. I had a lot of fun before we went to sleep, but that doesn’t mean it was okay for you to wake me up by forcing your dick into my mouth again. I didn’t say no at the time, because I was pinned down, but I didn’t say yes either. And that’s not okay.”

I held off on sending it for a couple of hours while I thought about it, wondering if I should escalate the situation or not, or if I should just accept that sluts like me eventually get what they deserve, and I should just fucking deal with it. And I knew that thinking like that made me a bad feminist, and the fact that I lacked the fortitude to stop it happening when it happened made me a bad feminist, and that thinking there was such a thing as a bad feminist also made me a bad feminist. Eventually I pushed the send button though, after tracking down a non-work email address for him.

I went out to dinner that night with Kate Benton who I hadn’t seen in years, and it should have been amazing because that’s when I found out she and Rob were engaged. Instead I could hardly open my mouth, I was spacey and shaken, terrified thinking about what the response to my email would be. And also, I was feeling dreadful for having sent it. It would have been a hell of  a thing to receive. I felt awful for the way that I was with Kate and Rob and Jess, that I was too wrapped up in my own shit to celebrate properly with them, or be responsive in any way, and I didn’t want to talk about my own life at all, which until then had been going pretty great. And so I got home to his reply. He was shocked, apologetic, and thought he had behaved like a dog. I cried some more, and wasn’t sure how to respond. I ended up getting my ex boyfriend to help me with my wording. For someone who works in communication, it was particularly frustrating to find myself so short of words to express myself.

I decided that unlike the time that I was assaulted when I was 14, this would not be something I felt the need to bottle up and keep secret, so I spoke about it openly with my friends when I felt it was appropriate. That was a hell of a learning experience. One girl said “Oh, if you’d done self-defense courses, you’d have been able to push him off”. Oh, is that so? Cos what I really needed was another way to think about what I had done wrong. Thank you so much! That was the tipping point with her, and she was gone from the people I cared about. When I told another friend, she asked me how much I’d had to drink and went back to talking about her work. I switched off then too. I was reminded of a friend who when I’d told back in 2006 that a taxi driver had tried to grab me in his cab was like “well, were you flirting with him?”. No, and even if I had been, that still wasn’t okay. Others tried to move off the subject as soon as possible. My silence was their comfort. I found myself wondering if some of the uneasiness some of my male friends displayed was due to them questioning if they’d ever done a similar thing and hadn’t realised it. I think that I made jokes about it also was disconcerting for some, but that’s the way I process and handle. At times I felt guilty for talking about something that was hard for people to hear, but I didn’t know what else to do. I found myself telling people I didn’t really know about it, because I needed somewhere to put it. I couldn’t keep it inside.

Outside of the mostly safe place with my friends, when I had to have interactions with him, my body would tense up, and I’d spend time dry retching afterwards. My work suffered and I got in trouble for making stupid mistakes. I thought about leaving but reminded myself that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I started reading his twitter feed, stalking like a crazy person, looking for any sign of remorse or an indication that he wasn’t having an easier time of it. I drank more and laughed louder when he was around.  There was a lot of arguments on the internet at the time about Julian Assange, and a lot of people who I thought I respected going off onto CIA plots, and talking about how sex without a condom doesn’t mean rape, and every single thing I read about it made me feel worse, and like I had less credibility. And I was terrified thinking about the next time I slept with someone, wondering whether or not i’d be able to handle it, if I’d freak out, and if I’d ever be able to enjoy giving blow jobs again.

As it happened, I ended up getting drunk and going home with a female friend of mine, who said she wanted to give me a safe experience to help me move past it. For the most part, it was lovely, and positive. But I still couldn’t get over it. And strangely, I started worrying about him as well. I doubted that he had the same kind of amazingly caring friends that I had who would sleep with him to help him work through it. I didn’t know if he’d told anyone at all. And I wondered if he thought it was just an “oops, my bad!” situation that could be easily overcome, that hadn’t had any lasting damage. I wished that I’d said more in my initial email to him, but wasn’t sure if it was fair to bring it up again. I ended up messaging him at 4 in the morning asking if he wanted to go get a coffee sometime and have a chat. “I’d rather we just talked on email” came the reply. I felt shut down, and angry. I was trying to be good about this but I was not okay. So I went to see my counselor again.

I hadn’t seen her in over a year, and so I felt a little defeated going back, although I know I can go see her any time I need maintenance. So I cried in her office and we had intense discussion about semantics. As always, she suggested that I examine myself the way that I would a friend, because I am too hard on myself. If I heard about someone pinning one of my friends down and forcing their cock down their throat, how would I feel? I’d feel like fucking killing them. She suggested that I might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when I told her about having an anxiety attack in the dentist’s chair as I was held down and stuff done to my mouth by the dental hygienist. I failed to articulate to her that I know that he didn’t mean to have sex with me against my will, but because I didn’t consent that’s exactly what happened. She said that I was being too nice to him, that I shouldn’t be so worried about his comfort because he clearly hadn’t been worried about mine, and that I was well within my rights to send him another email, if I thought it would help me.

I asked if you wanted to go get coffee, with the intention that we’d talk about, like, music, or movies, or pop culture, or pretty much anything at all that was just casual conversation and nothingness, but I didn’t explain that properly. I said I wanted to “normalise”. What I meant is that I wanted it to be different from how it is right now when every time I have to be in the same room with you, I tense up and I get panicky. I know you didn’t set out to violate me, and that you are sorry that I felt that way, but the truth is that I’m not over it, and I’m not okay.

I struggled with whether to tell you this or not, because I wasn’t sure if it would help me at all, but the not talking about it isn’t working, and I need that to change. I’m sure that you were shocked when I emailed you to tell you how unokay I was about being pinned down, but did it have an impact on you beyond that at all? Like, did you even give it a second thought ? Did it make you question the way you live your life? Worry about how you will deal with people in the future? Stir up a whole fucking bunch of assault trauma that happened in the past that you thought you’d dealt with? Because that’s what’s happened to me.

And yes, it’s been a couple of months, and no, I am still not over this. And I don’t know what to do about it. I do want to normalise, I want to be comfortable around you. I hate that I can’t offer a solution, that all I am presenting is a problem. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done about it but time. I know we weren’t really friends before we slept together, and I don’t expect that we’ll ever become so, but I hope you understand why I need to say these things instead of being bottled up and seething with useless rage. I don’t have the solution now, and I don’t know when I will, and while I’ve tried to express or at least sumarise everything that I’m feeling right now, there’ll probably be new emotions later that I haven’t dealt with. Like I said, I don’t know how you feel about this – or if you’ve even thought about it lately, but I’d really like to know – do you have any ideas on how I (and you) could feel better about what happened?

His reply was really good, and considered. He asked me a couple of questions which were totally okay to ask, and we agreed that time would be the best way to heal, and I said that I was going to move on. Rather than focus on what had happened, I tried to make plans for the future. When I finally got a chance to talk to the married man about it – the only person I’ve ever slept with in which every single thing I did I absolutely wanted to do, rather than feeling a sense of obligation or whatever – once he was done offering to get his friends to beat the shit out of the guy, he made the good suggestion that the next time I slept with someone, I should tie them up in order to feel more comfortable. That’s exactly what I did when I met a guy from OKCupid and took him home. I explained that I didn’t like having hands on my head while I was sucking cock, and that actually, I’d like to tie him up.  Success!

I went to Slutwalk, in the dress I was wearing the night of the party, and was interviewed by Radio New Zealand about it. I thought the march was great but had to leave during the speeches because they were too much. Mad props to Jason and Kate for being there.

Time passed and the memory faded somewhat. Eventually the guy was leaving for greener pastures, and since people were talking about him, it made me remember everything again which was really hard, although I wished him well. In the speeches, someone referenced the party, and everyone turned and looked at me and laughed. I was the punchline of a joke that actually wasn’t funny at all, and so I am super glad that Kelly was around for me to bawl and bawl and bawl onto. That shook me for days.

Time has helped a lot though. What’s also been incredibly healing was finding a dom and experiencing what consensual submissive sex is actually like. Discussing your limits beforehand and knowing you can change your mind at any time, and having someone be absolutely aware of how you are feeling while ostensibly treating you like a wet hole is really liberating. You’re actually in charge the whole time. I appreciate that this isn’t the solution for everybody, but it’s nice to know that rough sex doesn’t actually have to be the kind that leaves you traumatised for a year.

So what do we take away from all of this? Because it has to be a learning experience, right?

I guess most importantly, there is nothing as sexy as enthusiastic consent. Don’t ever presume anything in bed. Make sure your partner is really into it. And you or your partner can withdraw consent at any time.

If your friend tells you about a negative experience they’ve had, make sure you listen to them. Don’t judge them, or suggest other ways that they should have coped. They did whatever they needed to do in order to get through the experience at the time. Believe me – they’ve already worked over all the alternatives in their mind a thousand times. However they need to talk about it or act out afterwards is up to them.

And I hope that you never have something similar happen to you, but if you do, you need to remember that no matter what, it wasn’t your fault, and that there are many amazing people you can talk to about it. If your “friends” make you feel bad about it, find someone better to help you deal with it. Time helps a lot. It’s not a magic fixall though, and I’m still kinda choked up as I finish this off, but at least it’s done now.

A pictorial tale of things I have had in my mouth in the past months

1. The Queen Mother.

The Queen Mum

Really, this was actually just a teaspoon during High Tea at Martha’s Pantry for Kim’s birthday.

2. A bunch of dicks and tits

cookies

cookies

I made cookies for Maddest and Baddest.

3. A cake shaped like a donut

Donut cake

There was a Simpsons-themed pigout session at Lim’s (that’s Laura and Tim).

4. Pulled pork burger (not pictured)

Pulled pork for life

I got a little bit over-excited by the pulled pork burger at Monterey and expressed my love on the table.

5. Mussels and other amazing Malaysian food

mussels

Because of my work for Malaysia Kitchen, I got to go to lunch with a munch of food bloggers and Chef Wan, who is apparently very famous, and is also very entertaining.

6. Fancypants canapes as part of a progressive dinner

To celebrate the return of Theresa, the Mount Victoria Society had a progressive dinner. There were whores devours at mine, a BBQ at Anna Jane’s, and then amazing dessert’s at Chiara’s. Good times and no taxis needed!

6. An assortment of amazing treats including Rhubarb Gimlets for GGG

treats

Every couple of weeks, Kim, Kate, Laura, Willow and I get together to drink gin and watch Gossip Girl. Normally Blair and Chuck are the ones we like, but we’re okay with Blumphrey, actually.

7. Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab at Kura in Auckland

I have crabs

Work meetings in Auckland had the additional bonus of meaning I could have dinner with Heather&Ben, Peter and Russell. Needless to say, I gave them crabs. And they loved it.

Soothing balm

Because I am exhausted and broke and broken, all I have done tonight is lie on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I watched the Vampire Diaries and now I’m watching Hell on Wheels. I didn’t watch the debate on TV. #IWASATTHEROYALWEDDING.

I found out that Posie got adopted, but that the family who were going to adopt Milo aren’t going to now.

I discovered a use for my crate full of records using them to tie to the door handle of the spare room so that Milo can’t keep escaping and running around everywhere all night long. I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

Instead of hanging out with my girls, today I sent text messages to two guys I’m sleeping with, one guy I want to sleep with, and one guy that I used to sleep with. I did not, however, go for the easy solution of shutting my brain off through fucking, so that’s something.

I ate pasta with asparagus, feta and salami, drizzled with expensive olive oil, but I didn’t do the dishes.

I read the annual report belonging to my current organisation, but had to pass on doing the final proofreading of the annual report I did for my last job because I’ll be in Induction all day tomorrow and won’t have a lunchbreak.

I don’t have a lot to say today because I am exhausted and have rubbed tiger balm into my very soul pretty much, but I wanted to keep up with this thing of updating every day. I hope it was worth it to you.

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