Sex and Relationships
The Single Girl: A party for two
I am The Single Girl, and this is my column. Every week you’ll find another warts and all story from my dating life. Learn more about me here or just carry on reading!
On Thursday night of this week I found myself at the kind of party I have spent the majority of my late twenties consciously and fairly successfully avoiding.
One of those trying-so-hard-to-be-debaucherous Fitzroy house parties, that have secretly taken weeks of planning, but which attempt to come off as hedonistically spontaneous.
You’ll have been to one of these parties I’m sure — you can tell if you’re at one because at some point you’ll come across four beautiful hipster girls sharing a bath tub. Seriously, it’s a thing.
“The party doth protest too much, methinks,” I said to Davo, concluding my rant as to the party’s inauthenticity.
“I didn’t realise you were such a party purist,” he said, imparting one of his signature moments of cutting insight, on which our friendship is largely founded.
He was, of course, completely right: The kind of person who appraises a party’s authenticity, and decides on that basis whether they’re going to have a good time or not is surely a massive cock. And I didn’t want to be a cock.
“I’ve just dropped a Gary,” said Clem, arriving in the kitchen where we were holed up. Gary being an alarming piece of cockney rhyming slang Clem picked up during two life-changing months of partying in East London in 2009. For those still wondering: Gary Ablett = tablet (seemingly there was a soccer player called Gary Ablett too).
“Want one?” said Clem politely knowing we’d decline. Davo and I, after a short period of tepid, cautious experimentation, grew out of IPDs (illegal party drugs – our own acronym) in 2008.
“I’ll stick to the hard stuff thanks, Oyster Bay,” I said unsheathing my Sauv Blanc from its paper bag.
We meandered through the house, past innumerable top knots, a cadre of bickering social media strategists, and a million impromptu Instagram photoshoots, looking for Davo’s workmate Robbie who so kindly proffered us the invite to his soiree (okay, I agree, that was judgmental and uncool).
“Dr Robbie Livingstone I presume,” I said on finding Robbie in the practise room (don’t ask) at the back of the garden — happy for my little joke to be mine alone.
“Huh?” said Robbie, typically suave as ever.
“It means she’s been looking for you for ages,” said a breezy, heavily-set young chap, sat on a drum stool cross-legged.
“Mate, the party’s out there,” said the latterly arriving Davo.
“All Clara’s mates are out there mate, they’re shit mate, they’re so shit, I can’t even handle them, later mate, later yeah?” said Robbie pleadingly.
“Okay, okay,” said Davo, taking a seat on the arm of the practise room (they’re in a band, an awful, awful band) sofa.
The room was thick with smoke and beautiful girls having delicate one-on-one conversations underneath the big conversation the boys were having about a band called Fuzz.
I wedged myself on the arm behind Davo and soon found myself ensconced in a quite thrilling Economist article about the Central Bank of India appointing a new governor.
“I get the feeling that isn’t the first Economist article you’ve read at a party,” said the boy who’d got my Dr Livingstone reference, leaning over from his stool.
“There is more to life than just partying,” I said, noting my inappropriate aggression, where did that come from? I thought — though from his face he looked unfazed. I suddenly realised I was nervous. Why am I nervous!?
“Quite right, I’m a devotee of the Economist’s podcasts actually,” he said.
BE. STILL. MY. QUIVERING. VAJAYJAY.
It seems I’d been labouring under the illusion that my itemised list of turn-ons — e.g., broad shoulders, Scottish accents, proficiency in conversational French — was an exhaustive compendium. I was wrong.
“Sorry, I’m The Single Girl,” I said, offering a hand. (I obviously didn’t call myself that. I gave him my real name for pity’s sake!)
“Charlie,” he said, shaking it firmly. “I’ll get you a drink,”
“Sauv Blanc, I was in the kitchen when you were before,” he said, understanding and apparently happy to make the tacit admission of having noticed me.
Allow me, however incautiously, to admit something I daren’t interrogate about myself: I love being noticed when I’m not trying to be noticed.
Charlie arrived back with a proper wine glass, having clearly jettisoned my tragic plastic cup.
I won’t bore you with the topics of our conversation (for those who must know: Other good podcasts, the tragic decline of the publishing industry, online advertising models, the future of online advertising models, our jobs, our dream jobs, the history of kissing, the notion of us kissing… a frank appraisal of our kissing) but it was 3am before I realised the room was empty, and before I realised I still didn’t want to leave.
Beyond the bedsheet-covered doors the party sounded fun, but I’d have no sooner left the practise room than if it was the Palace of Versailles.
“Is this the bit when you make some polite excuses and disappear forever?” he said.
“Absolutely not, this is the bit when you suggest a date for next week, which we agree now, before my friends find me, and whisk me, unwillingly, away.”
“Well the Melbourne Writers’ Festival is on…”
Take me here, take me right now.
“…The line-up this year is really poor…”
It is poor this year! It is!
“…but I’m sure we could find something interesting.”
“You’re on,” I said, thumbing my details into his phone.
Davo found me fifteen minutes later, being taught, a little drunkenly, the opening drum fill from Listen to the Music by The Doobie Brothers.
We Ubered home, Davo crashing on my sofa, Clem besides me in the bed.
How was the party? I honestly don’t know. But I had an amazing time.