Saturday, April 3, 2010

My husband pointed out to me last night that this is the first Easter weekend we've ever spent together. We've been a couple for 14 years so that's quite an achievement although there are a lot of couple things we've never done. He's never attended a 'chick flick' screening with me, because 1) He's an arsehole and 2) I hate them anyway. He won't even go to see movies he would like with me. He's a WWII nut, so every time one of those massive American propaganda films aimed at reminding us how heroic and noble war is, disguised as an historical document comes out I suggest we go. Every time he says, "It'll come to foxtel."

Nobody in this world loves foxtel more than I, but I also love a choc-top and a sneaky handy at the movies. Hand-hold I mean, do you mind? We are married.

My husband doesn't mow the lawn or pretend he's going to fix things around the house one day. My husband has a hire-a-hubby. His name's Clint.

My husband doesn't insist on driving when we go out together. When I was a kid my Dad always drove to places, then got drunk and told mum how to drive all the way home. My husband only learned to drive a couple of years ago, age 40, because I made him. When he drives somewhere he does it very slowly, praying for red lights so he can have a break and regroup. Then when he gets home he describes the entire trip to me detailing all the errors made by other drivers he encountered.

My husband won't come to a shopping centre with me and wait endlessly on the husband seats like my Great-Uncle Sid used to. He even carried Auntie Greta's bag. He had a heart-attack at the shops one day and died, still clutching a navy-blue tote. Bit of a downer in the end there, but t'riffic husband stylings up 'til then. Great-Uncle Robert made Auntie Muriel walk to the hospital after a miscarriage. Less of that thanks chief!

My husband and I don't go to relaxed suburban barbeques together. Last time we tried it he got pretty lose and dropped the C bomb before the snags had even hit the table. I thought one lady had a stroke right there and then. I didn't stick around to find out. I dragged him out to the car and sped away. Of course we rowed dangerously in the car so I pulled over and kicked him out. By my reckoning it should have taken him about half an hour to get home. I didn't reckon enough for drunkenness and it took him 3 hours. In my mind, I had him abducted and interfered with by that stage and had already explained as much to the police and several emergency ward receptionists.

We only have a hand full of friends we allow into our home. Frankly their entry is secured by the fact that their standards are lower than ours and they help us to feel a bit superior. Cheerio if you're reading!

Anyway, this is the first Easter weekend since 1994 that I haven't spent mooching around the Melbourne Town Hall and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Even during the 12 or so years we lived in Melbourne, I didn't make it home much over Easter. Work to do, work to admire, work to make me feel like a cheesy try-hard, people to bond with and over, drugs to take and mistakes to make. It's a heady whirl-wind for a young comedian, a deadly serious trade-fair for an intermediate comedian and a money-making machine for a superstar (male) comedian.

As I am none of the above, I've opted out. If you'd told me in '94 that I wouldn't feel part of the festival one day I'd have been devastated. Every dream I had in the world was anchored in belonging to that world, and I did, for a very long time. I wouldn't say it never made me happy, but it rarely made me feel good about myself. I don't think it does anyone. So much competition, so many ways to feel small, so many others to envy, so many hungry to cut you down. So here I am in Brisbane on Easter Sunday. Not hungover or anything else, not sweating on a review or jealous of someone else's, not spewing about not being invited to do something or being dropped form the telecast of something else. God it feels nice. I think I might have just retired.