It’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly

Date: 30 November. Summer is almost here.

Location: Melting a little, on the Naked For Satan rooftop terrace, Naked In The Sky.

I think boys must sometimes feel about girls the way I usually feel about orchids: ‘unique, pretty to have about the house — but persnickety and it’s sometimes just damn hard to understand what they really want’.

The lucky little guy living I my bathroom right now is Orchid No. 7. I’ve killed all of his predecessors so I don’t imagine he’s feeling great about his chances. A few months ago I had to hack off most of his leaves as they were dying from under-watering. Then I had to hack off some of his stems as they’d begun to rot from over-watering. He was left looking a touch like a zombie extra from Amercan Horror Story. But last week a little bud appeared, then another, then more. If I don’t kill the thing in the next few days I think I’ll get flowers. Has my black-thumb curse been lifted?

I tell you this for two reasons.

One, because the orchid threatening to bloom in my bathroom reminds me of a very good friend whom I can’t wait to see in London. We’re going to call her ‘Kennedy’, a name that is perfect for her on multiple levels. Kennedy and I used to work together — really, to be inseparable together at work, with offices next to one another, equally bad Shopbop binging tendencies, an obsession with Country Road spend and Saves, a passion for Kate Spade and matching snarky senses of humour. She’s now in the UK, working damn hard at the firm’s London office. However, a few years ago, in the weeks just after she had bought her first house (a darling little apartment in the lush quiet of Toorak that she’d decked out with more Missoni than any twentysomething should own), one frosty Melbourne night I went over for a drink. I brought an orchid as a housewarming present. With typical manicured manners she accepted it and, opening her balcony door, said ‘goodness, I hope it does better than the rest of them!’. On her balcony were no fewer than five black orchids, their precious tropical petals frozen to death in the cold Melbourne weather. So, I’m not the worst gardener out there.

Second, because if girls are to be boys cryptic, demanding, difficult orchids, what are boys to girls? Obviously, it depends on the girl. I’m searching for the right metaphor and getting absolutely nowhere.

Oh, and third: I’m a bit proud of my non-dead orchid and I’m bragging.




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