AMONG all the dud dates and absolute disasters, it’s prudent every now and then to focus on the good things, and given tomorrow is Father’s Day in Australia, I’m reminded of all the good men in my life. Those who have shaped and supported me (a little like a wonder bra), who tell me when I’m talking rubbish (which is often) and who love me regardless.
And so, I present my Top Ten Men (in no particular order):
1. Nelluloid- my second oldest male friend, we met in Year 9 maths where we shared with each other what little we knew about sex. Which was nothing. I knew even less about maths. Nelluloid is frustrating, always late, and a shocking communicator once he leaves your sight. He is also the first person I’d call if I were ever locked in a prison and needed bail, if someone close to me died, or a relationship ends. He would give me the shirt off his back and has been known to wear one or two items of my clothing in public on occasion.
2. Mr Man – another of my oldest male friends, we met while working as journalists in a newsroom. We share a love of travel, although we’ve never travelled together, and an intense dislike to working for a living. We communicate daily on several pressing points, such as whether green is the new black. We share a dream of marrying an incredibly older rich man who promptly dies and leaves us his fortune. Mr Man says he will sleep with anyone for $1 million, so Rupert Murdoch, if you are reading this, I can arrange a meeting. My price tag is slightly higher.
3. Thorn – we met at work 10 years ago, firmly became great mates and even better mates the day they sacked our entire team. We share a love of dodgy pubs, cheap pub grub and bad boys. In his spare time Thorn is a show girl, and I am a show off. We share a love of words and a common dream to one day write a best-selling novel that doesn’t involve wizards or whips.
4. Tacky – Twas Tacky who suggested I write this piece, so I figure he should make it into the Top Ten. Tacky and I met only a few years back and clicked. Unlike most Americans, Tacky is softly-spoken and doesn’t think the United States is the centre of the universe. He is, however, likely to tell me when I’m being a fool, which is often, and appreciated. Anyone married to Mrs Tacker can’t be all that bad.
5. Howie – my first love and oldest male friend. We met in Grade One at our country Queensland primary school. Howie was the first, and still one of the few men, who had the courage to ask me to dance. He was blond and shy and cute. We lost touch over the years but recently caught up again. He hasn’t changed. Howie says I talk much more than he remembers from back in the 1970s.
6. Honourable mentions: Surfie; Dan; Chris; Herde; Jimmy; Jimmy; Denny; RyanAir; Jamie; Brenton; Bruce; Ash; Jake; Franzipani; Gerry; Tommy; Mr May; Dicky; Larder, Timmy, Bryan (and apologies to anyone I’ve forgotten)
7. The man of my dreams (or Hugh Jackman)- according to Michael Buble, I just haven’t met you yet. When I do, I’m sure you will make the Top Ten.
8. My great, great grandfather Christian – you left Europe on a three-month boat journey (yes, I’m a boat person), with your wife back in the 1860s to avoid religious persecution and to build a better life for your family. Five generations later here I am, living in the Lucky Country. Thank you for imbuing in me a sense of adventure and wonderment at the world.
9. My grandfather, James – You may have died 20 years ago, but I love that you introduced me to the great Australian poets. How you would recite Lawson and Paterson to our young ears, with a twinkle in your Irish eyes. How you used to line up seven glasses of softdrink for your seven grandchildren and ensure we each received an equal amount of the fizzy stuff.
10. My father – We have a complex relationship which I have never quite mastered. You are a strong disciplinarian, a perfectionist and a critic. You are also the man who sent his family on holidays to the beach every Christmas while you worked to keep us going. We never went without food or shelter. Happy Father’s Day.