Making An Effort

My dad flew back to North America recently. It was P’s birthday a few days later. After 6-7 weeks of parental hovering, I was overdue for some fun. I mean, finally, a point where I wasn’t given the third degree on what I was doing, who I was going with, how long I was going to be, queries on why I wasn’t studying….

GOOD GOD I HAVE A PROFESSIONAL DEGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have tried to assert myself beforehand, saying that if I failed this second one, it was on me. After all, I’m paying for it. But my dad has this inexorable persistence. So that left me with one choice when Dad left: spend craploads of time at P’s. I think I overdosed a bit.

  • We went for Korean for birthday lunch.
  • Dinner with my workmates, then had waffles for dessert.
  • For P’s birthday dinner, everyone came over for some champagne and cheese. I know it’s usually wine, but it’s not my birthday. Besides, I got told off for nearly cutting the nose off the cheese. Oops. “Dragged up” was how P put it, teasingly. And then we went for some delicious French food. But I was so full by the main, I couldn’t finish the ratatouille. And this is odd for me. I usually eat everything bar garnish. Hello, I’ve said it before, what’s the point of running if you can’t eat what you want?
  • Sleeping over nearly the entire weekend.

Now with exams looming, I’m getting organised. It’s nose to the grindstone, it’s crunchtime, it’s go-time, it’s non-stop, it’s DEFCON-1.

The invitations to go for drinks, for dim sum, to hit the running track with a uni mate.. they’re still coming.

I’m realising there’s a certain wisdom to my dad’s strict discipline:

The cost involved is always greater than what you think it is.

Lunch is more than the 2 hours to order. It’s travel time, it’s parking, it’s attention elsewhere. Star Trek Into Darkness this Thursday with P and P’s best mate is going to be more than a 2.5 hour movie. I’m going to be thrilled, my senses heightened… how am I supposed to come down from that and get my game-face on for study? Could I study after? No. That’s why I’m going to see it later at night, then sleep.

I’ve calculated the number of hours I need just to finish my notes (never mind studying them!) and doing my readings. All of a sudden, there’s that much more impetus NOT to go to lunch with my frenemy. I’ll write about that another time.

My dad was right. Dammit, how does this always happen? I can do this, I can say no. They will be there for me after my exams. Delaying gratification! I’m doing better with time management though. I’ve scheduled study for each day for the next 7 weeks till exams are over. I’ve studied from 8 to 6 today, with breaks for lunch and dinner. That schedule still has room for me to have drinks in the city at 9 with uni mates. Don’t make that face, I’m staying for 1 hour and then to bed! Promise.

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One of the best birthdays

P wins major …. whatever we are… points. I’d like to apply one term, P probably wouldn’t, but that’s another conversation.

May I present the following textual exchange:

P: Ok. Asked around. Melbourne has a higher international profile. UWA has some good world class lecturers. My boss expressed the same concerns re UWA grads as me. That probably doesn’t help AT ALL 🙂

Me: Yeah not really. It’s alright, thanks for asking for me 🙂 how was your day?

P: So so. You sounds [sic] a bit down. You ok?

Me: Seriously, how do you pick this kind of thing up?!

Ok, I think my reply was fairly open to interpretation. How did P know I was stressed?! P rang straight away and let me talk it out. Even though I talked it out with Mum and Dad, and bitched about it to Bec from work, I’m relieved to have talked to P about it.

At least I found her blasted red book. I gave it back and apologised, and she demanded, “What about asking for my forgiveness??” I thought, “I don’t want anything from you. Especially not your forgiveness.” She must have forgotten how it works. You can’t demand it. Her forgiveness is a power play to have me grovel and I won’t do it. I wrote as much to Dad. I told him how much I didn’t want the Prius if that was the kind of strings attached to it. What a despicable person. I said to Dad last night, “I hope she doesn’t get me anything for my birthday because I would want to refuse it.” Thank goodness she hasn’t.

Anyway. Enough of her. Let’s finish on a positive note.

P is taking me to P’tite Ardoise Bistro for my birthday. It’s really expensive. And at the end of our call, P said, “Look, why don’t you come over tomorrow and sleep over after dinner?”

This was one of the biggest things that tore me up inside at the start when we first started seeing each other and messing around – I always initiated contact. Obviously there has been some texts to hang out and so on, but it’s nice to feel pursued and special. Which I do.

In stiff competition for the best present is when Dad rang up and said happy birthday this morning. My present was the bank draft for the exorbitant Full Fee Place made out to the University of Melbourne. I have to pay them back slowly after I finish. They’ve sacrificed so much for me.

I tried to avoid drawing attention to the fact that it was my birthday from work mates and everyone else. N let the cat out of the bag (what a shit dude haha), and Khils and Cat were so apologetic – exactly what I wanted to avoid: any fuss at all. But despite not having hundreds of facebook wall posts and texts, it’s been a good birthday.

PS. Guess what?? In our discussion of Melbourne vs UWA, P said,

“Obviously I want you here, but I do think Melbourne is the wiser choice.”

😀 squeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Hunt the Racist

teddy bear w/ ornament

Image by blahmni via Flickr

I went to a party last night. It was for a fashion designer. I didn’t really want to go, but the stack of lectures notes wasn’t very appealing to be perfectly honest.

I went with Nineteen, who I’ve known for three years now. Eleven and One-six-three are close friends of Nineteen. Before the party, I’d met each of them once: on the street (Eleven, introduced by Nineteen) and over a dinner (One-six-three).

I spent 3 hours that morning with Nineteen, who agonised over what to get the aforementioned designer and birthday girl, One-six-three. One-six-three emphatically did not want vouchers, jewellery, or fashion books. Nineteen and Eleven got earrings anyway. At the party, One-six-three opened them, declared them gorgeous, and put them straight on. Girls.

I went as a teddy-bear hunter. I borrowed a old-man vest and safari hat with a teddy bear strapped on it from Eleven, threw on a collared white shirt and tan slacks and off I went. Pretty swashbuckling, but I could’ve done with a toy rifle.

Where’s the racism in that?

Well. For you, reader, I’ve transcribed a couple of choice conversation tidbits.

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At Eleven’s house, when we went to borrow the items for me from Eleven:

Eleven: I’m going as an Indian.

Me: A what? … a Native American?

Eleven: Yeah, an Indian.

Me: haha… you can’t say that. It’s kind of racist.

Nineteen: Oh well, I had someone come up to me and say … (mumbles), “Fuck you, you dumb white bitch.”

Me: Who?

Nineteen: Some aboriginal guy.

Me: Oh.

Eleven: See, you can’t call me racist!

Later at the party:

Eleven: I went to [Country Town X] on a nursing placement and came back more racist than before I left.

And even later:

Eleven: ..and then he accused me of being a racist!

Brisbane-boyfriend (of One-six-three): That’s stupid. We’re all descended from Africans.

Me: I’m …not going to claim I’m African. My point is that you’re using politically incorrect terms when you said Eskimo and Indian.

Brisbane-boyfriend: Well, my point is that it’s their fault if they’re offended by what you said.

Eleven: It’s all about context.

Me: You can’t use the n-word in a context where they wouldn’t beat you up if you said it to their face.

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I don’t see where you get off thinking you’re that so much better than me because you think you’re “less racist” than me. A sense of entitlement and abuse of the health system and its funding is not ok, regardless of your skin colour.