Monday, December 14, 2015

One Step Closer To Oz

Every once in a while, people wander into your life unexpectedly, sometimes momentarily, and manage to rejuvenate whatever flailing bits of neuroses that so often threaten to temper your joy. I have developed this wonderful group of friends through the Brit Meetup Site I went to for the first time a couple of years ago. We met when my good American friend and I went for a random pub quiz night and were placed with a group of people we had never met before. Magically, our combined powers culminated in us winning the quiz that night and since then our friendship has continued to grow. Over the last couple of months, I have started to host some of the Meetup nights and meet even more people, British and otherwise. So last Wednesday, when I hosted a mid-week pint for the second time on my own, I was expecting to have my friends there to support me and to meet a smattering of new partygoers. I was admittedly not expecting to meet a handsome stranger who would carry me off into fantasyland for the next few days.

It was one of those evenings that started very slowly and I didn't expect there to be too many attendees. For whatever reason, though, the guests came pouring in somewhere circa 9pm and I was making the rounds to welcome everyone and make sure no one was left on their own. That is just about when I happened to be near the entrance and three gentleman came walking through the door. I greeted the first two, introduced myself, then looked up to see an incredibly attractive looking man smiling down at me from his oh so great height of 6 foot 2. I was told after the fact that it appeared as if I had made a beeline for him, completely ignoring his friends, and essentially stalking my prey. This was of course not true. It was simply the magic of the cosmos that brought us together. Well, that and the fact that I seem to have some sort of Australian magnetic pull which attracts all Aussies around me at any given time, whether or not I have heard their accent in advance. 

After chatting for a few minutes, me trying desperately not to get swallowed whole by his sparkling eyes, I let him go on his merry way and continued to make my rounds. This of course included stopping by my American friend with a fervent plea to have her prevent me from associating with such an obviously dangerous figure. Knowing my flare for the dramatic (as well as my complete idiocy when it comes to making good decisions) she answered with a resounding no and I was left to decide on my own what to do with this mystery man. Happily, I was in hostess mode and so eventually made my way back to him and his crew, where I pretty much remained for the rest of the evening. After some preambling chit chat, it became clear that he and I were the real stars of the conversation, and were eventually left alone to vie for center stage.

While this scene played out, I was well aware that my group of friends (mostly guys) were always on the sidelines ready to play wingman (no thank you!) or mercilessly mock any and all absurdist behaviours. And yes, that would include any attempt at making out at the bar. So when the Australian suggested we do just that, my always less than modest soul surprisingly asked that we remove ourselves from public view for the cause. Some things are better off taking place behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, I had already learned a vast amount about this delightful being. He is from Perth, Australia, sometimes rescues joeys from the side of the road, has profound farming skills and could probably win the Hunger Games, has never read Harry Potter but saw all of the movies and could sufficiently quote magic spells when need be, and most importantly asked me if I was interested in going with him to the Moulin Rouge (not knowing that I refer to the Baz Luhrmann film as the movie that describes my soul)... If there was ever a debate about my American friend giving me good advice (which I am sure there was not), it officially ended here...

So yes, another Australian entered the spectacle that is my life and tried to jam on those ruby red slippers that only residents of Oz are truly allowed to tote. My current theory is that Australia might be the only place that could actually satisfy my penchant for everyday ridiculousness and that the cosmos is paving the way with a yellow brick road sprinkled in Aussie kisses... The next two days were certainly worthy of technicolor... 

To be continued...

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