Sunday Mail South Australia column – The one about picking up chicks

I’m exhausted. Possibly because I’ve spent the past month trying to pick up women. I know. WEIRD. And Brad – my husband – has been completely unhelpful.

You see when I left Brisbane in January I also left behind a group of fabulous girlfriends.  My tribe, as I like to call them.  We understood each other. Had each other’s back. And could ring each other during Masterchef with a crisis and know our calls would not be screened. (Now that’s friendship).

But what I miss most are our nights out. Having Thai food, a few glasses of wine and hours of conversation with my closest female friends is to me what mainlining coke off a hooker’s stomach is to Charlie Sheen. Best. Time. Ever.

But then in February Brad, Ava and I moved to Adelaide and I’ve gone from having a tribe of gal pals to having, well, none.  Bummer dude.

And so Operation Nigel No Friends began.

My first strategy was to try turning Brad into a surrogate girlfriend. Annoyingly, Brad is apparently incapable of handling the sheer number of thoughts I have. Thoughts that I feel the need to share.  (When you’re a female and hanging out with your closest friends, there simply is no internal filter. If you think it, it comes out your mouth seconds later. Or even simultaneously.)  I began to notice Brad’s eyes glazing over when I tried to talk to him about whether or not he thinks Dannii Minogue and Chris Smith will have another child. Or if he thinks I should grow out my fringe. Or why Jennifer Anniston chooses such moronic film roles.  Or what the hell Pru Goward was thinking when she compared Jackie O to Michael Jackson.  Sometimes I’ve been talking for a full ten minutes before I’ve realised Brad has actually, err, left the room. Or is, you know, trying to stab himself in the eye with a fork.

So I’ve been left with little choice but to go out and recruit new friends.  Which is why I’ve spent the past month plastering on my cheeriest smile and skulking around playgrounds, libraries, cafes and my gym trying to pick up chicks.  And frankly, it’s  exhausting. It’s exhausting trying to look friendly but intelligent, able to have a laugh but sincere. And all without looking like a stalker.  You know things are desperate when you’ve started using your toddler as your wingman.  “Mummy will give you a biccie if you go and play with that little girl in the yellow hat,” I’ve whispered into Ava’s ear while giving her a gentle * cough * shove towards the playground.  The next thing you know and I’m sidling up to my target saying, “Oh, aren’t those two having fun together!”  This worked particularly well on one occasion … right up until Ava started licking the swing. And then decided to throw bark at the other child. (It happened once and I told her off immediately, I swear.)

But let’s say there’s no bark throwing. No licking of playground equipment and you do SOMEHOW get to first base  (the exchange of mobile number or email addresses). That first get together is like being on a first date. Do you just agree with everything the other woman says? (I am so with you on hating all those cooking shows on TV. You like The Kardashians? I like the Kardashians too!). Or do you demonstrate your interest in current affairs and your ability to have serious discussions? (So. Libya. Thoughts?).  Or do you do the equivalent of wearing trakky dacks and an old t-shirt and just be yourself? (My daughter knows every episode of Olivia The Pig off by heart and last night I fed her weetbix for dinner).

Decisions. Decisions.

I’m pleased to say I am slowly forming an Adelaide posse. Well, not a posse exactly. Okay, I have one friend and her name is Erica.  But so far, so good. For starters, we’ve already organised a girls night out.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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