TFBC: The Colleague

Girls just want to have fun.
When I worked at Vintage Cellars, that’s basically all I did.
The most fun part was meeting *Joel.

Slingin’ liquor was hands-down the best excuse for a ‘job’ I have ever had. Surrounded by a myriad of crazy cats, the days of flew by. We played Jamie XX at full volume, threw Moët like Frisbees, and made out in the cool room. All of the banter, all of the tasting wine… none of the stock rotation. The Italian restaurant next door made us dinner each night, and we were out the door by 9pm – often with a buzz, ready to party. It was an early twenties dream.

Joel painfully cultivated the ‘Architecture Student’ starter-pack – forever toting a Long Mac and Port Royal pouch, in his drop-crotch pants and shaved-sides topknot. He complained about his Masters ad nauseam, but clearly loved how all the ‘late studio nights’ added to his tortured affectation.  I cringed, such an entitled hipster! But what can I say; I just can’t help but love a wanker. Also he was hot. The 5’7” height wasn’t lanktastic for me, but he had a confident swagger I couldn’t resist. Sparks flew.

We were a slow burn; 10 months of deliberately rostering each other on together, but nothing more. Joel had a girlfriend, and like I said with Greg, I have a No Home-Wrecking rule. Then came the infamous work Christmas party… and by that time, Joel was single. Game on. Like magnets, we hooked up in the hallway, then had sex in the bathroom of our manager’s house. I also potentially kissed another co-worker that night, classic. Look, we were wasted on Perrier-Jouët, and it had devolved into a pool party. Hansons are slippery when wet.

So began the lustiest, most sexually-charged summer. Apologies to residents along the Applecross foreshore… or should I say you’re welcome? Live theatre from the comfort of your mansions. But seriously, Joel and I were such good employees! I was literally always replenishing the cool room fridge and he was always happy to help out in there. What a team player. Soon enough, Joel moved in with me. He got kicked out of his place, I needed a housemate. It was convenient, yes. But it was also love.

Joel Madden was soulmate status. I will – unfortunately – always love him. The only thing I can really fault him for: he used my puppy on his Bumble profile after we broke up. Indefensible – no one profits off Hank’s cuteness but me thanks! Because this is a fuckboy blog and not an emo manifesto however, I’ll just highlight some ridiculous moments from our three years together:

#1: Hook, Line & Sinker
One night Joel and I went to a pop-up bar on top of the Freo Myer building. At the time I had a nose ring, and he had his septum pierced (of course). During a particularly vigorous make-out, we literally became hooked together. Flesh tore, panic ensued. Someone was going to lose a nose. It was going to be an ambulance call. There were so many photos taken by onlookers. I am dying at the memory of some random girl having to negotiate the unhooking. Such flapping, idiotic guppies.

#2: Keepin’ It In The Family
We were Sunday-seshing with Joel’s aunt and uncle at The Como. They were the ‘cool’ family members, and it quickly became clear that they were in the mood for more than a casual pint. I hadn’t even worn makeup, intending it to be a quick pop-in… but hey, once you’ve got the taste anything goes. We decided to get lively, and headed back to our place for a living-room dance floor. The night peaked with me and Joel’s 50 year old aunty full on snogging. Wasn’t cheating, wasn’t incest… definitely wasn’t great.

#3: New York, I Love You
Near the end of our love-span, Joel and I went to America. We camped in Big Sur, kicked it in Crown Heights and celebrated Independence Day on Venice Beach. So many activities! One afternoon though, we rejected the tourist FOMO feeling and just posted up at Jimmy’s Corner. After draining the dive bar of its Bud Light supply, all I recall is being booted from a comedy club to the jeers of “fucking Aussies!”, kissing up against a Brownstone, then eating so much jerk chicken we thought we might die. Power couple.

Joel and I don’t talk any more; it was a rough break-up. Months of listening to ‘I Remember’ by AlunaGeorge on repeat… such indulgent self-flagellation. Like any life-changing experience though, I learned a lot – and the easy way out never led me anywhere. It seems my serious relationships always reach about the three-year mark, and then I freak out. They want to get married; I want to get rowdy. I self-sabotage and break it off – better to leave, than to get left. I know I’m doing it, but so far I can’t overcome the failure complex. How’s that for self-aware insanity?

It’s my Fuckgirl Finisher: they want to settle down, and I don’t know if I ever will, or even can.
One of these days maybe I’ll give in to loving. At the moment I’m having too much fun.
Joel might be a Madden brother… but Hansons definitely prefer the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

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