Not up my water spout, you don’t.

I decided to sweep out the garage today, and hiding behind some boxes I found this happy little critter:

I was a wee bit excited because I’ve never seen a redback in the ‘wild’ before. I paid her due reverence then whacked her with my thong. Footwear, that is – I didn’t tear off my panties to brain a spider. I’m not generally a spider killer, but I know if I was ever bitten by a redback I’d  blithely assume it was a bullant or wasp, ignore the pain and keel over dead within hours. Mrs Spidey had to die so I could live.

Then I came across this fellow:

 
He wasn’t quite so happy. In fact I think he may have been on his last legs, so to speak. Being neither venemous nor strategically placed to crawl all over my face while I’m asleep, I let him be.

Even after 10 years, I’m still not entirely familiar with the dangers of natural Victoria. Kids in country Far North Queenland are well-versed in all things bitey, poisonous, hallucinogenic and painful in their environment. Green tree snakes won’t kill you, taipans will. Never touch a stinging tree. Always wash your hands after playing with cane toads. Cattle ticks are irritating but shellback ticks will mess you up. Cassowaries and wild pigs will gut you. Watch out for wait-a-while. Mango sap burns, always swim inside the stinger net and don’t eat the brown and yellow mushrooms that grow out of cow dung. And certainly don’t date the guy who blends them up and doses his morning coffee with them.

These things I know.

I don’t, however, know where redback spiders like to hang out. I’m still not 100% certain how to spot a white tail spider, a species which can apparently make your skin rot away with its venom. I had no idea what a stinging nettle looked like until I bare-handedly yanked one out of the garden a few months back.  I absentmindedly stumble through blackberry shrubs. It’s quite literally a whole new world of pain.  

And if anyone is wondering, this is what a stinging nettle looks like around these parts:

All the single ladies…

A quick public service announcement to all the happily paired up couples, on behalf of single people everywhere:

STOP HARRASSING US WITH YOUR STUPID, LAME MATCHMAKING ‘SKILLS’, OR I WILL CUT YOU.

“Oh, I really have to introduce you to my friend Vic!”

Really? Do Vic and I share a mutual appreciation for George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ series? Does he like cats and Corvettes and Cougar Town? Does he go crazy over independent lasses with vague penis-envy issues? No? He’s just single and hasn’t been disfigured in a wharf accident? Well of COURSE I’ll meet him, he sounds like a dream boat!

Last Saturday arvo I received a text from a married girlfriend: Hey lovely, the bbq’s still going and we have cheesecake! Come.

I’d previously declined the barbecue invitation in favour of lying in the sun with a hangover, but her message made me think “naww, she wants to see me! How nice!”

Not so.

Enter “Vic”. I’d met Vic briefly on a couple of prior occasions, most memorably at aforementioned friend’s wedding when he was gyrating, sweaty and shirtless, across the dancefloor. Two years later, Vic had casually asked my friend whether I was coming to the barbecue, at which point both our names suddenly became flagged in her head as SINGLE AND DESPERATE, launching her into Aggressive Date Aid Mode.

My friend pounced on me and levered me into place next to Vic on the couch. Glibly unsuspecting, I squished in next to him, let him cut me some cheesecake and accepted a couple of his Budweisers. I was perfectly comfortable until my friend dragged me into the kitchen and squeaked excitedly “do you like him?”, then launched into a Vic marketing tirade that would’ve put the Sham-Wow guy to shame.

I pointed out that he was in fact married during the sweaty-gyratey incident, which was a mere two years ago – what happened to the wife? Oh, they’ve been separated for two whole months now. And they have three kids. Ah, but he can play Incubus songs on the guitar!

Be still my beating heart.

She’s not the only perpetrator either – all my coupled up friends seem to think they’re doing a community service by setting me up with some freak or another with no redeeming features other than availability and a functional set of genitals.

Don’t get me wrong; when I’m not experiencing one of my phases of seething bitterness, suspicion and jaded cynicism, I rather enjoy dating and crushes and all that other shit. The problem is, many of my friends and colleagues seem to think I can’t possibly be content when there’s a gaping man-shaped hole in my life.

Really, people? Is there something wrong with me if I’m so damn happy with my life the way it is? I know being in a stable, mutually supportive relationship is something to appreciate and respect. So is having a pony, or a Bugatti Veyron. And I sure ain’t fretting because I don’t have a pony or 745kW supercar. Neither of which, I might add, makes you wax your vagina, ignores your text messages, leaves your toilet seat up or calls you nineteen times to find out where you are at 1.00am*.

That’s not to say that if a Paul Walker came marching down my driveway bearing a box of Whitman’s Samplers and a Roxette CD, I’d slam the door in his face. I’m just saying my life is perfectly complete without him and his cute little tushie. And I’m getting pretty bloody fed up with every man and his wife trying to tell me otherwise.

Screw you, society. I’m 28, I’m single, and I fucking well love it.

*Calm down, I know not all men are over-protective, cloying, philandering dickheads. Some of them are dead.