Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I have trouble letting go of stuff, I can admit that. When a play I’ve been involved with ends; when a friend moves away; Joss Whedon’s Firefly. If one is in a situation in which one is comfortable, and then that situation changes, it can take a while to adjust. I think a lot of people can relate. But do you know what bugs me? What shits me up the wall, in fact? The Ex Boyfriend.

Oh yay, another blog about a failed relationship, woo! Yes, okay, it’s not very original, but I need to vent.

Why is it, that the most mundane and ordinary things make me think about The Ex Boyfriend? On my way home from work, I drive down a street that he and I walked down TWICE, and I always think of him. I get in the shower and as soon as the water hits, I think of him. Radiohead’s Lotus Flower comes on the radio (we listened to it together ONCE), I think of him. I walk down to the mailbox, see a red car (any red car), light some incense, hear a particular turn of phrase, I think of him. It’s been seven months since we split. Seven months!!! We don’t see each other at all. It’s kinda getting ridiculous. He wasn’t even a particularly good boyfriend, really. There were moments when he was actually quite horrible to me. But, there he is, in my head. All the time.

That’s the thing about change, though. I didn’t want the break up, but it’s what needed to happen. And I’ve noticed about myself that I rant and rave against change while it’s happening, but once I give it a chance to settle in, I see the benefits, and actually enjoy the “new” life that that change has implemented. Heartbreak seems to be different, though. The change of ending a relationship is often linked to feelings of loneliness, rejection, isolation, self-loathing, and a big chunk of despair. The stuff that comes after that is excellent (re-validation, self-acceptance, alone time, a new hair cut), but getting there can be a long, drawn-out process (it took me three years to get over an ex girlfriend from 8 years ago, and that was horrid). And every time it happens I say the same thing: “I know this feeling! It’s heartbreak. I don’t need to experience this again, I know what this is!” But there it is, that feeling of blurgh that sits in the chest and slowly advances outwards to infiltrate the nervous system, brain stem and outer extremities to leave me a quivering, red-faced, snotty mess.

Sappho the Cat. The cure for everything. Photography by Phoebe Taylor

Sappho the Cat. The cure for everything.
Photography by Phoebe Taylor

My friends patiently tell me that it takes time. Yes, I know that too! And half my problem is that my pride is dented: here is this person who didn’t deem me important enough to fight for, who dumped me even if in reality it was a mutually agreed separation, who seems to be getting over me right fine and proper, and I’m still thinking about him? I am hung up on him? Oh no. No no no no no, I am a strong, independent woman who needs no man – no anybody to feel validated as a human being! I am gorgeous and smart and talented and … and … when is he gonna come back? *Sob*

Urgh.

Look, I’m no longer angry. Neither am I crying myself to sleep anymore. Intellectually, I know it’s over and the “new” life post break-up is waiting for me, and it’s gonna be awesome. But my heart still aches a little, because it’s been bruised. There’s still the shadow of grief lingering in the back end of my psyche because I failed at something. There’s still that all-too-human desire to be connected with someone special that has been left unfulfilled. And all I can do, just like everyone else, is give it time.

Time. Hmmm. I might go watch Firefly again

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The Cruel Breast

Life has been dominated by breasts lately. A typo in my friend’s newly developed script (see the title above) has set off a plethora of tit jokes over the interwebs, and it has been most enjoyable. I got the girls out the other day (and by “out”, I mean tasteful cleavage, not rampant indecent exposure), which is a rare thing now. I was at my ex-mother-in-law’s Melbourne Cup do and I wore them as an accessory with my pretty blue dress. It caused quite a stir, I can tell you, the party being dominated by people in their 60s and over. One lovely woman asked me quite pointedly why I had them on such ostentatious display, and resisting the urge to claim I was doing a civic duty by giving the sexagenarian males something bouyant to look at, I said simply, “because I can.”

Which is entirely true. See, I work in a factory as a rent job when I’m not traipsing the boards, so I don’t get to dress up a whole lot. So, every now and then, I wear something low cut because I have fabulous boobs and it makes me feel awesome.  My theory is, if you get them out, they’re gonna be looked at. I’m okay with that. Blatant ogling and dickwadery from the lookers is never acceptable, but most people can control themselves and the odd admiring glance is entirely to be expected. I like to show off – I am a Sagittarian. I also like to be looked at occasionally, especially when I know I’m looking hot, ’cause most of the time I look fairly ordinary. And, quite frankly, I’m proud to have boobs, because boobs are awesome.

So, yeah. Because I can, lady.

Photography by Christopher Bryant

Tits McGee
Photography by Christopher Bryant


I admit I take “the girls” for granted. I find myself placing my hand on one of them – usually the right one – when I’m deep in thought, as if its presence is a comfort, or a conduit for recollective thought. My most recent ex-boyfriend said I had manipulative breasts, and used them to get him around to my way of thinking (and yes, it worked every time). I get excellent customer service in petrol stations and bottle shops when they’re out. And I fully intend to use them to provide nourishment to my offspring if I ever reproduce.

So, what happens if you don’t have any? My beautiful adopted sister is currently facing that dilemma. The onset of secondary breast cancer has put her in the position of having to decide whether to undergo radiation therapy, invasive surgery and regular mammograms for the rest of her life, or have a double mastectomy. To anyone else, it’s a no-brainer: no more breasts means no more cancer. But to my sister, it’s still the thought of no more breasts. Even when faced with one’s mortality, the thought of removing one’s breasts throws up a whole pile of questions about the definition of one’s own femininity, child-rearing, the fact that there will be no more breasts where there should be breasts. It’s a situation I don’t envy her for, and I certainly have no answers for her, or anyone else.

So, maybe we should waste no more time on pondering whether it’s tarty or tasteful to wear a push-up bra to the Melbourne Cup, and simply enjoy our breasts, cruel as they may sometimes be. I enjoy mine.