Greasy Screens with Becky Lucas (Part 2)
In Australia, more and more women are choosing to live alone without a partner and pursue professions over having a family. This group of dedicated women order pizza and pasta to their front door and send group texts with their friends. These are their stories.
A quick recap: Becky, Jessie and Hannah went to a chicken shop and shit talked their friends Kat and Jacob who are getting married. Becky had a handsome plumber turn up at her house who vaguely implied that he would like to get a drink with her. In this installment, she’s roped Hannah and Jessie into coming out with her so she can prove to him that she is fun and loves life (this is a lie).
Jack the plumber has just left and he told me to text him where I am a bit later. This is all very exciting although what does he mean 'a bit later'? What an infuriatingly casual measurement of time, I don't know what a 'bit' of time is. Is it the same as when I tell my mum I'll call her back in 'a bit?' - as in three days? Urgh.
I've just been lying on the couch imagining myself prove someone wrong, but being really humble about it.
I should start getting ready. I haven't been 'out' for so long that I've really let myself go. The thought of grooming has sent me into a panic. Where to begin?
Just got out of the shower, good start… Now I’ll pluck my eyebrows.
Oh god, I just stumbled across a hair growing out of my lower chin and beginning of neck. I can't seem to grasp it and it's impossible to see because as I lift my chin up my vision is obscured.
I'm on the bus using my phone to check that my face looks normal. Part of me thinks dating is 75% about arranging your face and body into normal expressions and shapes within those first few moments of hanging out. Then once they like you it's time to slug out.
I spot Hannah and Jessie sitting at a table in the corner of the bar, I grab a beer. 'Hey guysssss, thanks so much for coming, I need it to look like we go out all the time and that it's not weird that I'm here okay? So if he does come here, maybe fabricate a story about us going out, and preferably a story where I come out victorious and prettier than everyone. Speaking of which, can you pluck that hair out of my chin for me Hannah?' 'Sure!' she replies and we walk into the bathroom. I tilt my head back and she gets it in one.
'Have you sent Jack a message telling him where you are?' asks Hannah as we both sit down again next to Jessie. 'No, I thought I would have a few drinks before I send a text, so I can get into a relaxed zone' I say, pulling out my phone. I begin lazily work shopping a few text possibilities. Jessie snatches my phone and starts typing a message. She's just written 'hey bro'. Hannah laughs 'omg send him that, that is sooo funny! I swear if a girl calls you bro they hate you'. I steal my phone back, Jessie's eyes go wide. My finger pushed up against the 'send' button and my very first text to Simon is just 'hey bro'.
'I'm sorry!' cries Jessie 'No it's fine, I wanted to die alone anyway so it's fine'…'I think you need to go on the offensive quickly' says Hannah. 'It's not really a big deal, just say 'hey, sorry, my friend took my phone and texted a bunch of people. Anyway, we're at the pub. What are you up to?' 'It's actually a perfect way to deflect what happened and to see what he's up to!' Says Jessie, who is obviously trying to do a bit of deflecting of her own.
Jessie continues, 'Listen, confidence is important, I went on a date with a guy a few weeks ago and he ordered a mocha! But he did it in such a cool way, he just ordered it, he didn't blink or try and mitigate it by making a self-deprecating joke. He just did it and it was really cool, just pure confidence. I pause to consider this for a bit before saying 'but you didn't go out with him again…' 'No of course not, he ordered a mocha, it was a total no-no, but the point is, his confidence meant I stayed for the entire date and didn't run away screaming which is what I would have done normally' says Jessie, staring at us seriously.
I wait a few seconds before deciding. 'ok I'll send it, I think you're both right, it's kind of funny. It shows him that I'm playful and more importantly it will let him know I'm out'.
‘Any response?’ Hannah asks timidly. 'No.'
I’ve had three white wines at this point and begin waving my glass at Jessie and Hannah, 'I feel like my relationship status is: a city that's been hit by a cyclone, except I don't want to rebuild, I just want to move to another town… where there’s a shopping centre and a pool where a kid drowned 15 years ago. It's too hard to rebuild a new town; you could be with a guy for 5 months. You've told him your best anecdotes, things are going well and then out of nowhere he'll use the word 'bull crap' and it's all over. I don't want to build a new relationship from scratch, I just want… hers' I say and point half-heartedly at a couple sitting across from us.
'OMG that's Kat and Jacob!' cries Hannah
'Great, well now I've pointed at them, we have to say hello'
'Looks like they're already coming over here' says Jessie
'Hi girls! How are you? I was just saying to Jacob the other day that I literally never hear from you! It's like you guys disappeared, I like, LITERALLY never see you at parties! It's like you guys literally died!' she laughs, trying to make her comment seem funny and not just bitchy.
'Congratulations on getting engaged, you guys are perfect for each other' Jessie says sweetly. 'Thank you! Oh my god, let's get a picture, Jacob can you take a picture of us girls?' We all awkwardly squish in together and Kat maniacally pulls different poses and kisses Hannah on the cheek for a couple of seconds too long so she can get the picture that makes it appear like she's having a good time.
My phone lights up and I launch myself at it. It's a message from my mobile provider asking me why I haven't paid my bill.
'Sorry, I'm waiting on a text. I came here to meet up with a guy and he's not writing back. Infuriating!' I say all of this frantically and almost immediately get annoyed with myself for trying to keep Kat amused with my sad little plight.
'If a guy doesn't text you back he isn't interested… No exceptions. I swear that's the best thing about being engaged, not having to deal with all of that stuff anymore' she says, confirming our suspicion that she might be one of the worst people in the world. ‘Anyway we better go. So good to see you girls! I'll tag you in the photo later! Come on Jacob'
We decide to leave and get some food to eat at home.
My phone lights up.
I go to wake up Jessie and Hannah who have both fallen asleep in front of the TV but I slip off the couch and in the scramble I look down and I've FaceTime'd him. Not only that but it's frozen. I'm watching him looking confused because not only have I facetime'd him, it's now just my face stuck in a bewildered expression. The phone is not reacting at all and isn't letting me hang up the call.
Well that's great.
To be continued…
Illustrations by Cyrus Bezyan.
This is the third in a series of written commissions for Comedy Central Australia. Over the next few months we will showcase pieces from some of Australia's best comedians and writers. Keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to our newsletter below to stay in the loop.
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