A story about me and David Sedaris:

Years ago I went to see Davis Sedaris read his essays live (he was obviously amazing). At the time, I was about to embark on my own essay reading show. I waited in line for hours to get my copy of his book signed.

My manager, who was there too, repeatedly asked if I was going to tell him I was a comedian.

No.

He asked if I would tell him about my show. I said I would rather die in a slow, painful, glue-related death. No one wants to be that guy. “You know I do a bit of writing myself-”
*shoots self in the eyeball*

As the time passed my manager became more and more persistent and ran to a local Internet cafe to print up my essays to bring back to me.

My time with Mr Sedaris finally came. I was nervous. I was sweating; on my lip and behind my knees. He was everything you’d want him to be; polite and charming and warm and genial. He signed my book and complimented me on my knitting needle broach. I felt like the swooning daughter of Virginian property owner, fanning myself at his words, “Oh Mr Seadaris…”

Burnt up by a sense of loyalty as I walked away from his desk I turned back and said, “I’m so sorry to do this but I’m about to do my own essay reading show and my manager is with me and he went to print these off at an Internet cafe so I think I have to give them to you. You don’t have to read them. You can put them in your hotel bin when you get back.” He gave me a look I couldn’t read like I’d tried to teach a cockatoo a new word. He then asked if I could put my address on the top. I told him my email address was already there. He corrected me, “No, your home address.” I didn’t understand at the time, but you just do what David Sedaris asks you.

I walked away feeling elated. But not quite as elated as when I got home two or three months later, having forgotten about that interaction, and had a hand written post card from him waiting for me in the mail.

It’s one of my most prized possessions.

photo

PS I will post those essays here over the coming weeks.

T: @felicityward

F: Felicity Ward

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LAST WEEK IN AUSTRALIA

Warning: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF SARCASM

If you are allergic please refrain from reading this. If sarcasm makes direct contact with your eyes please see a doctor or terrorist as soon as possible.

Australia your news last week was haaaard reading. Every time I thought I’d surely read the most awful thing I could, something of a more horrific nature popped up in my feed. I had to watch Lea Salonga (the original voice of Jasmine from Aladdin) sing “A Whole New World” to break up the tone of the afternoon. There was also an animated picture of Jasmine next to her, so at least I saw one positive portrayal of someone of Middle Eastern appearance.

Because according to our government, and some very unbiased media outlets, most Muslims are not to be trusted. If they’re not all out there beheading someone, those pesky Muslim women are making our Prime Minister feel uncomfortable by not showing their faces. He finds Burqas “confronting.” HE’S MINISTER FOR WOMEN! HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE AS MANY WOMEN’S FACES AS HE LIKES, WHENEVER HE LIKES!

This is the Prime Minister who said:

“What the housewives of Australia need to understand-
(Housewives of Australia is not a TV show by the way)

“-as they do the ironing-“
(Oh hey 1952, I didn’t see you come in. Take a seat. I’ll just get my wife to iron you a cup of tea)

“-is that if they get it done commercially, it’s going to go up in price.”

He also said:

“While I think men and women are equal-“
(Whoah! From the makers of “I’m not racist but…”)

“-they’re also different. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that we have, say, an enormous number of women simply doing housework.”

Of course he finds the Burqa confronting. I mean, how are they going to find the iron wearing one of those things? And when they do, how are they going to be able to iron with all that excess material getting in the way of the ironing? Man, I’m surprised women have time to be an Islam with all that ironing to attend to.

You know what I find confronting? Crushed velvet. Capes. Goatees. Especially goatees. I don’t like Goatees. I don’t like what they represent (Heavy Metal) and I don’t like how they look (like a predatory 90s afterschool music teacher) The Goatee has spawned other more damaging facial hairstyles such as the “tickler” and the charmingly named “flavour saver.” Excuse me, I just have to dry wretch into an open lagoon.

So I’m sorry if you wear a goatee; I’m not into it. BUT! I have to deal with looking at a goatee because it’s not my business to tell other people what to wear. At the most I should have a conversation with goatee bearers about how they feel about wearing them. What it means to them. How can I be more tolerant of their choices, and if it’s any of my goddamned business asking in the first place.

Am I trying to draw comparison between a religious garment and a fashion statement, you ask? I don’t know if you’ve ever spoken to someone who listens to metal music, but it is definitely a religion. You’re always a metalhead, whether practicing or not.

This is dog whistle politics to silently condone a slide into outright national bigotry/racism. It’s amazing that Tone has been able to hide so much hatred under one little comment. He’s made his own Liberal Burqa, except he’s actually concealing something that is a matter of national safety. I’m sure that would make him proud and nauseated at the same time.

Somehow we have gone to war in Iraq, swept privacy laws away, raided innocent people’s houses and heard allegations of sexual abuse of asylum seekers in detention IN THE SPACE OF A WEEK and yet there is a national discussion about where Burqa wearers should sit in parliament house. The Coalition Government are turning into Today Tonight (Australian tabloid current affairs program). Every time they’d like you to ignore something quite important they run the “HOW SUPERMARKETS ARE RIPPING YOU OFF” story, but in the guise of “HEY REMEMBER TO BE SCARED OF MUSLIMS, ‘KAY?”

And let’s be real about two things:

  • There hasn’t been a recorded entry of someone wearing a burqa into the Australian parliament house yet.
  • They’re probably talking about a niqab.

When questioned about his decision to move the very dangerous women to behind a glass shield (where the visiting children are kept) Prime Minister Abbott then to had the gall to say “It’s hardly the most important issue facing our country right now.” Yes, Mr Prime Minister. It is hardly the most important thing so why make it a conversation in the first place? What you are doing is called Gaslighting. My sister used to do it. She’d get into an argument with me about something and then when I’d prove her wrong she’d say, “See, I told you. That’s what I was saying all along.” It would drive me insane. But I forgive her. You know why? Because she was six.

Where is our anger, Australia? Not outrage, but bloody anger! The only thing that gives me a skerrick of hope is how the NRL crowd reacted to a certain someone’s name being announced at the Grand Final (Youtube it – worth it).

Because while I sit here writing about Aladdin and Today Tonight, we are being stripped: Of rights and information and the ability to see each other as fellow human beings, rather than “others” who need to be policed by white people in the community. Maybe if we stand up and refuse to be stripped, they’ll put us behind a glass shield. And if that glass shield doesn’t provide protection, at least we will know what it feels like to be silenced together.

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t – @felicityward
fb – Felicity Ward

SAME CHICK, DIFFERENT DAY

Same Chick, Different DaY

On the homepage, of the particular online dating website I’m putting my rapidly declining Australian dollars into, is a small gallery of faces. Faces, like me, who are desperate to prove that they are the best. Faces that say “hey guys, I’m easy going and funny and just happened to have been snapped at my most beautiful, most relaxed moment – HOLLA!” It’s like a ‘best of’ for loneliness. I don’t know how you get on the homepage gallery, but then again I don’t know how to get the “Official” blue tick on twitter or how to part my hair properly. (I haven’t included that in my profile – am I actively lying?) But there is one lady who has figured it out. And I see her every time I log on.

She’s been there for two weeks. Every day I go to the website (don’t judge me! Writing can be boring), centre-stage is the same thousand mile stare looking back at me suggesting I’ve done something wrong with my face, by the fact that I am not on there.

Now I’m sure the word ‘jealousy’ is popping into people’s minds. Sure: she’s 24 and hasn’t had the onslaught of disappointment and intermittent insomnia that will eventually befall her with time. Actually, she looks like one of those people that says, “I don’t really get hangovers.” She has an avalanche of hair and she is bubbly. That’s how I would describe her picture: down-to-earth and bubbly. But it’s not her age or beauty that bothers me. It’s rules, goddammit!

There has to be some kind of system! Some kind of rotation!

Something I have included on my profile is that I’m more competitive than I’d like to admit. A simple example of this is that I had an ex-boyfriend one day spontaneously take me to a golf range. I was so excited. What a great idea! I used to hit golf balls with Dad as a kid in the park, so this would be a lovely stroll down memory lane. Well I took 3 swings down memory lane and realised I was actually on struggle street. Then I was the Mayor of This is Bullshit town. Then I quit politics all together and sat in the car. Granted, that was a long time ago, but I think the sentiment of that sporting tantrum still lingers within. So when I see ALL the faces on this wall change every couple of days, except for Pantene Penny I lose my cool, triple bogey style.

Side note: WHO NEEDS TO DO ONLINE DATING AT AGE 24? You’re still in your “I can drink my standards away” phase. I have no such luxury. When I leave a bar I am as sober as I was when I went in. There’s no “maybe I can see past the double dragon shirt. There’s no “he’s probably sweaty because he’s been dancing…with his mates…mime bumming them…while he’s wearing a nurse’s dress.” And certainly no, “I’ll worry about the fact that he’s doing a public dick hamburger in the morning.” I have to deal with everything then and there, so online dating places are for people like me.

You become almost accustomed to the people you like the most not looking at your profile back. You become hardened to it. It’s actually really good practice for walking the streets of London. You smile. They stare through you. Life imitating…life. But when someone gets a hold of a virtual step-ladder and they’re not letting the grogans have a borrow? Well that I just cannot abide. I don’t care how many chestnut farms it looks like your family owns.

So I want one of two things to change:

a)    that Martha Stewart goes back to her own page and bakes some humble pie there
or
b)   she reads this blog and helps a sister out.

Stand by for results.

YOU CAN TOTALLY SEE ME LIVE AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013. I MAY HAVE HAD A DATE BY THEN. BUT, LET’S FACE IT PROBABLY NOT.

FELICITY WARD. IRREGARDLESS
10PM – DAIRY ROOM (UP NEAR THE PURPLE COW, OFF BRISTO SQUARE)
BOOK HERE

 

 

OH NO! IT’S AN AVALANCHE!

Hello again,

Well it seems I’ve attracted some unwarranted attention. No, no, not from an avalanche of eligible bachelors that have been cast under my bewitching spell of arrogance and tracksuits. No Siree, Bob! I have been contacted by another site that thought I might be interested in, wait for it, A SUGAR DADDY. It is a dating website for, and I quote, “Rich Men and Hot Women.”

This single invitation has generated so many questions:

The obvious one: how did they know? No, I’m joking. I have never understood the Sugar Daddy concept. On top of the fact that I think IT’S GROSS, there is no amount of money that could buy me a partner. I’m not trying to be humble (that would be out of character).  Think about it: What if they had a whistling nostril? What if they said “Yeah, baby, yeah!” Austin Powers style, all the time? What if they used crystal deodorant?

I am currently writing this on the train and there is B.O. thinly veiled by the smell of crystal deodorant. And somehow, over time, it has only become stronger, not weaker, like some post-match soccer ghost is rubbing its armpit in my face. There is no amount of money that would make me tolerate that if I didn’t love the shit out of someone. We all have our faults, (sometimes I walk around with my eyes closed to see how long I can trust in my sense of balance) but I want to see past those flaws because I have sincere feelings for someone, then over time I can resent them because of familiarity and the fact that we’ve settled on eating dinner in front of the TV, not because THEY PAID FOR MY STUFF. And I’m no rich woman. I lick the inside of the yoghurt lid so as to get all of the value, but I earn enough so that I can be financially self-sufficient. I don’t want to be owned by someone, or have someone own my things. I worked hard to pay for my series of Spice Girls stickers and Beverly Hills 90210 badges, thank you very much. (That last one is a lie. They were a gift last year, from my mother. I’m 32. )

Second question: how does a sugar daddy work? Do they just buy you stuff or do you ask for specifics? It all seems so poorly thought out to me. Assuming they buy the stuff for you, what if they have terrible taste? Let’s paint a hideous stereotype:

There’s a sweaty, grossly overweight man with a comb-over, whitened/enlarged teeth, cosmic orange tan, strangling his way into some Speedos, ornamented with a lot, I mean A LOT of semi-precious stones and gold jewellery, and he is eating a 24 piece bucket of KFC chicken. No refresher towelettes. He is your sugar daddy, okay?*

Is this the man I want to have buy me things? I’ve never worn dangly earrings by the pool (my immune system closed over every piercing I’ve ever had) and I have no interest in being Vagazzled, but I feel like both of these things would be thrown my way in the first 2 weeks. How do you broach that conversation?

“Listen, Jerry, you’re a real swell dude, and I appreciate the gifts…ah you have some chicken grease on your face…anyway, as I was saying, I was wondering if we could tone back the gaud, and maybe focus on some more practical gifts?”

“You mean like a fish pedicure?”

“…I’m not sure we’re on the same page here.”

Third question: if you do request things, how does that take place? A weekly meeting? A shopping list? During sex? Oh god. Feral. I just had a spew. I’m sorry if you did too. I’m just saying, how do you ask for infomercial Box  Set of 101 Soft Rock Classics from a man that wears a blackhead strip to bed? It’s a tricky convo to initiate.

Lastly: the invitation said that all photos and profiles are censored and discerned by the website. And it actually states, you don’t have to be rich to join. That means you have to be hot to join. What if you’re not hot enough? What a blow to the old self-esteem. I’m not hot enough for a sugar daddy? I’m not hot enough for The Colonel and his 12 secret herbs and spices? Man, dating is hard enough, let alone realising that I’m not good enough for people I’m embarrassed for.

I’ll be interested to see if and more invites come flowing through. No doubt, I’ll keep you posted.

Peace out.

*I’m not saying that any one of these traits, or even this combo of traits is always disgusting and I apologise to anyone who looks like this or feels like they are being portrayed in a bad light because of their physical appearance. To be fair though, at least get a serviette.