Chick Tick Three: Pulling focus

The year was 2011. My mental state was fragile. I was fresh in the throes of a break up, and while I’d never been skinnier, I was also prone to unexpected crying, incessant oversharing and occasional sleepwalking. It was rough.

There was a ball coming up. A ball I went to every year. And, in a decision which I’m sure was made just to TORTURE ME, The Ex decided he would go, too.

So.

I needed a dress. A dress that made me look HOT. That showed The Ex just what he was missing out on. A dress that took advantage of my food and sleep-deprived body. An, “eat that, bastard!” kinda dress.

In other words, probably NOT a dress I bought while drunk shopping.

I’ve told you a bit about drunk shopping before. Basically, you go out for breakfast with your best girlfriend, and have a couple of sneaky champagnes. THEN you go to your favourite store, and try on all the pretty dresses. You dance around a bit in said dresses. You might even pretend to be a fairy. And if you’re just tipsy enough, you put on a black, sparkly frock, decide you look amazing, slap down $300 on the counter, and stumble out of the store, boasting about your fashion genius, and sudden desire for hot chips.

Needless to say, I awoke the next morning in a cold sweat. Sober, and terrified. The shopping bag sat in the corner of my room, seeming to shine like a beacon. WHAT THE HELL had I bought?

I gingerly pulled the dress out.

And it was beautiful.

Well, thank God for that. “Good work, drunk Claire,” I thought to myself as I felt the tulle skirt, and admired the splash of silver and gold sequins. It was undoubtedly fun, but classy and a bit sexy at the same time. It showed off my legs and my collarbone, and my new, super skinny waist. It was truly gorgeous. I was beyond relieved. And a little bit excited. This dress was the one!

The next day I picked up a magazine. And saw this.

Bindi Irwin

Yep. Bindi Irwin. The daughter of the Crocodile Hunter. The then, 13 YEAR-OLD daughter of the late Steve Irwin. A girl named after a prickle. IN MY DRESS.

Now, if a celebrity has the same dress as you, you ideally want it to be someone classy, elegant, awesome. Someone you aspire to. Cate Blanchett perhaps. Gwyneth. Megan Gale. NOT A 13-YEAR-OLD ZOOKEEPER WHO HAS HER OWN KHAKI LINE.

I’m not going to lie. Come the night of the ball, “Claire vs Bindi, who wore it better” became a trending topic on Twitter.

So there I was.  Being compared to a C-grade celebrity teenager. Avoiding The Ex from the other side of the ballroom. Bemoaning the shortage of champagne (SERIOUSLY, IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR). Feeling generally miserable.

When I heard my name being called from the stage.

Looking back, I think the Universe was feeling sorry for me.

I’d won the raffle. And first prize was a camera. An awesome, expensive camera with a twisty lens, lots of buttons and serious hipster credential.

And you know what? If you’re having a super crappy night in an unfortunate dress, carrying a giant, free camera home does make you feel somewhat better.

WHICH IS A HELL OF A LOT OF BACKSTORY.

Here’s the point to all of this: I’ve ticked another task off The Chick List. This week, I learned to use that very camera.

I went on a photography course in East London. I learned words like ‘aperture’ and ‘depth of field’. I took photos of bread and boats.

And books.

London books

Most importantly, I learned something I have long suspected: I do not possess an artistic bone in my body.

But I can tell a hell of a story, right?

Technology’s a bitch

Twitter is playing matchmaker. And I don’t like it.

Every few weeks, Twitter sends me an email. The email suggests people I should follow, people that Twitter, in all its technological wisdom, thinks I have a lot in common with. That I would get along with. And you know who tops the list every single time?

My ex-boyfriend.

Yes, Twitter, I KNOW. We have a lot in common. We are friends with the same people. Our profile pics look good together. I certainly thought we were a good match, BEFORE HE BROKE UP WITH ME.

And you know what, Twitter? For months after we split up, I still had myself convinced he was the only man for me. It took a long, long time for me to get over it, to tell myself there might be someone else out there, better suited to me.

IT DOESN’T HELP IF YOU KEEP TELLING ME THERE’S NOT.

Twitter, why tell me this? If you’re so invested in us being together why don’t you bother HIM instead? Send him a memo. Hell, tweet him! Break the cold, hard truth to him, in 140 characters or less.

Idiot. You guys are a perfect match. Apologise, buy her many pink things and promise never to buy a dog. You’re welcome! #TwitterKnowsBest

And, it turns out it’s not just Twitter that’s playing back-to-the-future-matchmaker. I was complaining about the latest email to my housemate, when he told me about his experiment with internet dating. Turns out, of the thousands of women looking for love in London, the dating website hooked him up with not one, but TWO ex-girlfriends.

So what’s the deal? Is the internet REALLY unimaginative? Or have my housemate and I both missed out on the bona fide, technologically-proven person for us?

While you ponder that depressing thought, why not follow me on Twitter?