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Friends, don’t you just love them?

February 22, 2010

Today, is the eight year anniversary of when I started University- eight years later and whilst there have been considerable breaks here and there and even a temporary delve into the world of the working, I am still at University studying. The lifestyle suits me and suits what I like to do in a day. Which is for the most part read books, drink coffee with friends and go to cheap screenings at the cinema, and on Fridays dance.

Being said anniversary it is also the eight year celebration of my making my first ever friend at University. Fortitude being on our side I happened to be in the tour group of one F. Belingham. Dispersed amongst our group was one right wing bigot, one lacrosse enthusiast, a smattering of un-memorables and one guy who introduced himself as “the strangest person you are ever likely to meet”. Because I was at University now and that is a hotbed of open mindedness I was determined to not let his dandruff and overcoat prove him right- and yet his behaviour did. He was and remains the weirdest person I have ever met.

Back to one F.Belingham. She and I nervously introduced ourselves. We shared information on where we went to high school (I perfected my rant about my school being in the bush near a small town approximately such and such a distance from Melbourne and that ‘no you would not have heard of it), we muttered our study scores and we established we were both under the legal drinking age in Australia. I like to think if we had the same conversation today one of us would have ‘ovaried-up’ and told the other how woefully dressed we were. But perhaps luckily we did not do so because now we can look and cringe at the photos and pat ourselves on the back for our remarkable improvement in fashion now days.

The week was set against the back drop of Sophie Ellis Bexter’s “murder on the dance floor.” As we singed up for those clubs and societies we knew we would never attend S.E Bexter played in the background. We, and S.E.B (her contribution was far more cryptic) debating what we thought we might major in. “Cultural Studies?” I like culture! “Cinema Studies?” I like cinema. I was in admiration of F. Belingham’s mobile phone and her gay friend- I had neither at that point, she seemed impossibly cosmopolitan and she went to school in the city! She has since divulged that she was in awe of my lack of braces at that time, and that I had seemingly been introduced to a hair straightener- her introdcuction was to come 2 years later which also correlates with the end of her being single- strange.

The absolute highlight of the week was our decision to circumvent liquor licensing laws in Australia by getting to the pub at 2pm- genius! They would not card us then and we could set around drinking until the other people came. I know, you are in awe of such a fool proof plan. We enacted it, and it did go flawlessly. We bullied some dental students, we made some friends in- wait for it- third year!! And we generally had a fun time, filled with the promise of the years to come. That was until I found F. B passed out on the floor, under the sink in the women’s bathroom.

I chose to ring her parents to have them pick her up. This was a throw back to one of the great idiosyncracies of my personality. I am a terrible mother goose and feel the need to act very sensibly when crisis hits. As it turns out her parents were rad and it was the best decision. And I learned valuable lessons, as a non-glasses wearer- of the need to remove contacts no matter how drunk before going to sleep.

I love this story because it built an unbreakable bond between me and F.B. Whilst we have never been the best of friends, we have always been in eachohter’s top ten.  I also am thankful because weeks later my father died. An experience that made going to Uni and being surrounded by all of that new  (people/ideas/clothing) less enchanting. FB was not the only friend I had made at that stage- I had also thankfully attended a debating competition in Adelaide and made  several of the best friends I have to this day (getting drunk in a bar called The Mars Bar in a city with strict Easter liquor licensing is a bond that can never be broken)- without these people around I think I would have quit. But the kindness of near strangers (who grew to be best friends) frequently stalls me. They barely knew me but the sent cards filled with perfect words and they ensured I not only got through that year but also enjoyed it immeasurably.

F.B and I went go-karting two weekends ago, we are not go-karting types of people but that it turns out is the best kind of people for go-karting. We will probably, I hope, go go-karting in 8 years time.

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