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The small thin girl, inside a bag of nerves, enters the performance space and looks at her audience. Its time she tells herself and becomes Marnie the character she embodies and goes straight into character skipping child like to centre stage.
She wears a flower print dress and is holding a bunch of artificial gerberas.
He loves me, he loves me not… (plucking petals from a flower)
I’m going on a date!
He’s a real man, and he’s single, and he’s straight, and he’s not a woman.
You see, ever since Toni…
Well, things just got a bit awkward.
It was our third date, and Toni and I were getting a bit hot under the collar, so to speak.
And, uh, when the time came to explore, well it wasn’t quite what I was expecting… I mean it wasn’t …you know… the bits I was hoping for.
I mean socially I was fine with it, but reproductively it was a bit of a cul-de-sac.
Now I just find it better to clear these things up early on in the relationship.
But that’s all in the past.
Along with Jared.
He was my last boyfriend.
We dated for two and a half years.
Until I found out.
I mean, in hindsight, there probably were clues.
But when you are in love that doesn’t worry you.
All you think about is him coming home and being with him, cleaning the blood off his clothes; all the stuff that makes you feel good.
You just accept the late nights and the long hours and the travelling away, because you’re in love, aren’t you?
I think everyone has a story like that.
He took me on this lovely picnic once, down near where they found that first girl.
I’ll never forget it.
He was so sweet, it was warm, and we lay under the willows and listened to the gurgling of the creek, and we sipped champagne.
He did say that that place was very special to him as well… though later I did find out why.
Apparently, he took a lot of girls there.
His arrest did put a bit of a dampener on the whole courting process.
Of course, you can imagine the media had a field day over the whole affair.
Called him the “Cleaver”, said he ate two people.
No, he didn’t.
He ate, a bit, of one of them.
And anyway, it all happened when he when he was a student, which is a time when we’re all experimenting with something, aren’t we?
He was just misunderstood.
My friends were not supportive in any way shape or form.
At the time, I was adamant about maintaining our relationship.
The way I looked at it was, life’s a journey, and sometimes we make a wrong turning.
As my mum always said, what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.
It’s actually quite amazing how far denial will take you.
My best friend at the time, Eunice Jacobs, said to me, Marnie she said, Marnie you are out of your mind, you are no bright spark on the dullest of days but you do not have to be Alfred Einstein to figure out that this guy is a real looney and you should not be within a bull’s roar of him.
Eunice did have a way with words.
But that is not what tonight is about.
Tonight is about a foxy lady letting her hair down and having a damn good time with her gentleman caller.
And who knows, if it all goes well, maybe we’ll have a little,
You know, a little game of hide the purple parsnip.
Oh! I’ve just gotten a textual message.
It’s from him!
Ooo! He says I better wear something cool cause I’m gonna sweat tonight!
Oh, his air conditioner’s broken.
So yeah, that’s probably good advice.
And so, I’ve had a few bad dates and yes, I have a lot of cats and it’s been a while since I’ve been out, with a man, or a human, and sometimes I call and leave a message for myself just so it looks like someone’s called and I go to bed at 8:30 and okay so I have a pair of shoes specifically for driving, but that doesn’t mean I’m desperate.
I think I’m ready to settle.
There just comes a time in every girl’s life when she realises she’s ready to give up her freewheeling bachelorette ways and settle into the monotonous and never-ending pleasantness that is marriage.
Because contrary to popular belief, there are not plenty of fish in the sea.
At least not ones that are interested in my bait, as it were.
Marnie bows enthusiastically to her audience and leaves the stage.