Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Desperately Seeking Speed Dating (with a Jam Motif)

Ages and ages ago, on the Life Itself Board, the lovely Mr Bestworst wanted me to write about, ahem, "speed dating with a jam motif" - righto, let's see what we got...

Desperately Seeking Speed Dating (with a Jam Motif)

As I detailed before, I’m not the world’s best dater. I’ve only once got on the right side of the great “benny/sultry” divide, and that resulted in marriage and children, so I guess I only needed to get it right once. My first kiss (by kiss, I mean pash of course, not catch and kiss) was when I was 14, with a boy called Cameron, who was a sensational committed kisser. Like most Australians, this happened when I was on a fort in the middle of a park, and the mood was ruined by a 7 year old on a pink bike who said “ooooh, lovers” in that classic kid way. Still fair play to Cameron who kept going through the potential embarrassment and kissed with great authority right until the end.

Feeling quite womanly after being pashed (even though Cameron and I were never truly meant to be together, as I liked Girlfriend and he liked Nirvana) I felt the need to try and set my other friends up with boyfriends. This was my gift back to the community that I was part of, and I got quite scientific about it. This was, keep in mind ,1992, long before anyone had coined the phrase “speed dating”, that most difficult of social situations where you get 15 minutes with each person in the room before someone blows a whistle and you move on. My friend Jacx went to a speed dating evening once and the person she liked the best was the one she had the best argument with. I offered her five dollars for each time she could get the conversation onto aardvarks, and she pocketed a good thirty bucks. However, I digress.

I’ve said before I had a clearly defined role at my school, to be a bridge between the social classes, and it was in that role that I noticed that Katrina, the girl that sat behind me, a definite A class girl who hung around at the bitchy table, had the hots for cute but dumb social grade C boy Benjamin, who liked throwing Push Pops at kids, and who had interesting theories on the influence of interstate teams in the Australian Rules Football league. It was clear to me that they were meant to be together, and could possibly, one day, if things went well, pash on the top of the fort in the same way that Cameron and I did. Luckily, I had the perfect solution, the fortune telling game.

In Grade 8, nothing swept through our school like the fortune telling game. Not even the brief 80s Adidas tracksuit revival caught on like the fortune telling game. It involved 6 categories, including 6 people you knew (3 good, 3 bad) and numbers. Through a secret code (that I won’t divulge here) an item in each category was crossed off until, say, one person was left on your “boys” list and that was who you would marry, the numbers column was how many kids you would have etc. It got to the point you couldn’t move for hearing someone yelling “I’m not marrying HIM!” as if your fate was set in stone. I can’t remember who was the first person to engage us with this game, but they should have patented it, as 5 or 6 people began to claim it as their invention. I did realise that the more we played this game, the more likely it was we could find an easy way to ensure that Katrina and Benjamin could be together, without either of them losing their social standings.

“Benjamin did that game today,” I said one day in Science, quite idly.

“Really?” said Katrina, fiddling idly with a bunsen burner.

“Yeah, he’s going to marry YOU apparently,” I said, fixing a pair of Biggles-esque safety goggles to my head.

She smiled, then nearly set herself on fire leaning to close to the bunsen burner. I took the opportunity to sidle up to Benjamin, who in my mind had a pencil up his nose, but that was probably Mark Leaman, our school benny.

“Katrina did that test you know,” I said, for the boys called it “the test” and the girls called it “the game”, as we began to grow apart, and our differences became more pronounced.

“Sweet” he said. “Who’d she marry?”

“You!” I said, poking him in the chest.

I walked back to Katrina, and nodded. I paused crucially, and then kept the repartee going.

“Benjamin got Nirvana as his favourite band” I said, squeezing an eye dropper full of some green thing into a vat of blue things (science was not my thing).

“NO WAY” she said, betraying her A grade status with a flash of over excitement.

As you can imagine, and I won’t keep going, I did this for the best part of an hour, until both parties were convinced that they were soulmates and would live forever. It was speed dating with someone in the middle, with lies and spin and a little bit of ego stroking in between. I don’t know why I was so worried, but I really felt it my duty to set these two up. And I had things going totally my way, until the very last minute of Science class, when Amber Bennett stuck her big mitts into the situation.

“I hear you like BEN” said Amber, rolling her eyes.

“What would you know idiot? I hear there’s a chocolate frog in the bin for you to eat” I said (the full story of Amber Bennett’s social decline should really be told one day).

“BEN likes JAM SANDWICHES and he eats them like a pig!” I rolled my eyes in horror, for I had forgotten all about his poor personal eating habits, not just with Jam sandwiches, but milkshakes, pies and chips. Jam sandwiches were the worst though, as he’d wolf them down hungrily, and have big sticky jam marks all over his face, sometimes for the whole day. There was no way, NO way, an A grade super bitch was going to go out with someone with those eating habits. I sighed, and went back to mixing my toxins, when Katrina put her hands on her hips and looked Amber right in the eye.

“I LIKE JAM SANDWICHES” she said, fiercely. “It said so on THE GAME!”

I made a little “shoo” motion with my fingers in the direction of Amber, and she toddled off crestfallen. I smiled my happiest smile, and sure enough, within an hour, the school had a new super couple, brought together by the surreal combination of jam sandwiches, an imported game, my supreme and speedy matchmaking skills, and mutual “cor, I wouldn’t mind snogging that” flying out of whack hormones. It was a combination that no one, certainly not Amber Bennett, could stop. It had taken on a life of it’s own, and it was a rolling boulder no one could get out of the way of. It was, quite simply, meant to be.

Of course, 1 year later, Katrina got pregnant to Ben, but that, as they say in the classics, was not something I was claiming credit for. I’m all about the innocent…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I heart that muchly.



6:05 AM  
Blogger sjusju said...

my goodness is that TRUE!!

well hang out a sign and call your self the matchmaker!

year 9 ... pregnant... yikes!

I'm sorry I've been so inattentive - this is great!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Christopher Trottier said...

This has to me one of the more bizarre blogs I've seen today.

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