Home' Nova National : July 2011 Contents 16
Why register with the state?
Why enlist in the legions of the respectable?
Why risk the whole apparatus of roles
and rules, of laws and liabilities?
“Why Marry At All?” –Marge Piercy
d been married before. It wasn’t
as if it was that great an experience
that I wished to repeat it.
Kinda sucked, really, once
the romance was done and the hard
stoneworks of living began. I wasn’t ready
for marriage. Too young, too insular,
big yearnings for the world. But, I did it
anyway, had the kids, divorced, did the sole
parent thing, the unsuccessful relationship
thing, washed up on the shores of
Divorced White Woman Seeks Someone,
Maybe, when the Moon is in the seventh
house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars.
After creeping up to many men and
plaintively asking, “Are you my partner?”
I gave it all away as a rum deal. Don’t get
me started on Internet dating, blind dates,
or dating at all. I’m not good at it. I wear
the wrong thing at the wrong time, eat
everyone’s dessert, don’t call for wine,
and wear ear plugs to night clubs. I read
New Scientist, NOVA and Spellcraft, not
Vogue, Cosmo,and Good Housekeeping. I
cast spells, not flirty looks.
My daughter will tell you how daggy
my shoes are.
Yet, like most people, I wanted that
special someone. But, if it wasn’t to be,
then I would set about living my life to the
full, and have interesting conversations
with the cats. I went overseas to San
Francisco, had a ball, and then went to
a science fiction convention. In no way
would you picture it as a hotbed of love,
sex, and pick ups. I’d given it all up for
Lent, provided Lent lasted 365 days per
I was having a conversation with a
woman about chocolate, on day three
of the convention. I mentioned that I
managed to get chocolate down my
cleavage, even when I wasn’t eating
chocolate, when I was wearing a high-
necked T shirt, and how could this
happen when I was busy volunteering
the first day of the convention, and was
not sure what the little squitty aliens
had against me that they had to beam
chocolate onto me, just for fun, to
annoy. The woman was listening agog,
and my words caught the attention of a
passing male SF fan. Tall, geeky, on his
way to somewhere else. “Chocolate” and
“cleavage” grabbed his ears and pulled
him into the conversation. We got chatting
and I thought, “Tall, geeky, but not my
type at all. Where, oh where, is the
lovely man I met yesterday?” Not that I
was planning to do much with either of
them. How wrong I was.
By the end of the convention, I was
infatuated with the nice man, and kinda
impatient with Geeky. Why couldn’t he
see I wasn’t that interested? Why did he
seek me out, follow me around, invite
me to ascend Pike’s Peak with him? Well,
yes, I went. I wasn’t about to knock back
a free sightseeing trip. We got along okay,
but that was it. He drove me to the airport
and said he wanted to see me again. Wait
wasn’t that one of the classic lines men
used, that I’d read about? They say that,
then leave the country so as not to follow
up, just to mess with women’s heads. Just
like He’s Just Not That Into You showed
me on the plane over from Australia.
Not that it mattered. I was about to
leave the country back to Oz. He was
about to leave the country back to Canada.
He could want to see me again all he
liked, but it was pretty far-fetched, mate.
I couldn’t see myself affording to go
overseas again any time soon. See ya
round like a rissole, son.
I went home, and pined for Nice Man,
and thought about him, and fantasised
and stifled the urge to do love spells to
draw him to me. Geek Man kept in touch
via email and my blog, and then Face-
book. There was no getting away from
© NOVA JULY 2011
Helen Patrice knows the value of ‘caretaking’ a relationship.
‘“Chocolate” and “cleavage” grabbed his ears and pulled
him into the conversation.’
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