Sweetbeep and Other Words I’m Inventing

new words

Lately I’ve been excited and curious about the idea of word creation. Oh shut up please. I’m well aware this is yet another dorky pursuit in my nerdy existence.

In particular, I’m absolutely fascinated by a few ideas:

I love that cultures have created words for objects, thoughts, feelings and actions that are needed. I love that the Inuit people have over a thousand words for snow. Like many of you, I too, am obsessed with the Danish word hygge and creating a sense of comfort and warmth in my home. On reading one the linked articles above I learnt the word ilunga from the unfamiliar language of Tshiluba means “being ready to forgive a first time, tolerate a second time, but never a third time”.

Discovering words like these feels like finding treasure to me. And of course, being the narcissist I am, it has occurred to me that I too could create my own words for things that exist but are yet to be named. Obviously, I need you all to get on board (all 27 of you) and spread the new lexicon. How amazing would it be to see your own word in the Oxford Dictionary of 2020?!

So here are my new words and definitions:

Sweetbeep: (noun) The sensation one experiences when receiving a text message from someone for whom one has feelings of excitement or attraction

Clungecringe: (noun) The discomfort and anxiety one experiences on viewing an ill-fitting playsuit

Heelspiralling: (verb) Drunkenly, stupidly and unsuccessfully negotiating a ‘going out after’ scenario with reluctant friends whilst leaving a venue

Beverfusion: (noun) Not knowing what to order from the drinks menu

Travidence: (noun) The false and unfounded appearance of knowing what one is doing and where one is going in a foreign country or city (see previous post for more detailed information)

Menopausopay: (collective noun) A group of city women on a weekend away, stalking the homeware shops in a gentrified, adorable country town (Side note: A menopausopay can usually be identified by the utterance of, “Ooh, that looks cute! Can we just have a quick look in here?”)

Sheshame: (noun) The feeling of guilt a woman experiences immediately after bitching about another woman’s appearance.

Caffineedy: (adjective) Used to describe one who desperately hopes to establish a relationship of mutual admiration and respect with their ambivalent, bored-looking barista.

Pharmastalk: (verb) To look through another’s bathroom vanity, particularly in the hope or dread of finding revealing conditions worthy of an episode of Embarrassing Bodies.

Pharmaflage: (verb) To hide all evidence of medical treatments in one’s bathroom vanity which may reveal conditions worthy of an episode of Embarrassing Bodies.

Rantrush(noun) The physical feeling one gets when on a impassioned roll; reflecting deep self-love and an unfounded belief that one’s words will inspire responses in the listener akin to the battle scene in Braveheart.

So there you have it. Please feel free to leave your own suggestions for new vocabulary in the comments. I feel strongly that the creation of language shouldn’t be left to millenials. So far, from what I can tell, all they’ve managed to contibute is versing (“Who are we versing this weekend, Coach?”), bling, jeggings and totes. I feel strongly that those over thirty with a bit of life experience can do better.







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The Curse of the Extrovert

I come from a long line of extroverts – on both sides. My people are the kind they make sitcoms about. When I tell newcomers that I’m potentially not the loudest, brashest member of my family, they don’t believe me. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be a close second.

So it has been astonishing for me in my adult years to learn about the introversion phenomenon. I thought all people liked people. I thought all people wanted to be surrounded by as many people as possible, for as long as possible. I have never once convincingly said to another person, “No…I think I’ll stay in. I just need some me time.” If I have said that to you I apologise for lying. I either had a better offer or you may have been giving me the shits. If the latter was true, I would have messaged you about fifteen minutes later with, “What are you up to?”

I don’t just like people. I need people. As much as possible. This is my curse. The curse of the extrovert.

Recently, I read the biographies of two women whom I absolutely adore. Em Rusciano and Amy Schumer. Say what you will about their inappropriateness, brashness, offensiveness. I absolutely love how ‘out there’ they are. Unapologetically feminist and brutally real, they show vulnerability and bravery few possess. They say what almost all women are thinking and what too many are afraid to say. I love that. But what drew me to these two women in the first place was what I saw of myself in each of them. I too, am inappropriate, brash and offensive – often without trying to be. But here is the shock. Both of these women identify as introverts. What?!? Yep. They put it all out there on the stage/page/airwaves, and then retreat into a personal, private cocoon of self-love and peace for days on end.


Can you see how my brashness comes back to bite me in the arse? When the person I just ‘hilariously’ offended doesn’t want to do dinner later I’m seriously inconvenienced.

I do see how this reads as incredibly self-obsessed and needy. But my extroversion isn’t just driven by loneliness. (Although living in a new city is testing me on that front.) It’s driven by an absolute fascination with people and what they say, think and do. Contrary to what I had once thought, I do have a hobby: People. If only People had a hobby too: Me.

Finally, is it just me or is extroversion seriously uncool at the moment? I feel like the definition of extroversion seems to come down to “someone who constantly wants to be the centre of attention” and therefore, a bit of an arsehole. Because let’s not pretend that makes extroverts sound like what we can also be: fun, interesting, energising, loyal, entertaining and insightful. We’ve spent a long time in the presence and company of others and are often best suited to be the person sitting at table 13 – the weirdos table that nobody else can handle. We know how to get old Uncle Terry away from his ex-wife Jen who’s about to glass him with the short end of her gin and tonic. We’re not scared to be the first dickhead on the dance floor. We’ll be the first loser to raise their hand at the workshop when it’s time for a volunteer to do the role play you’re all dreading. And let’s be honest. Sometimes, the silence is just really fucking awkward. I honestly don’t believe that you introverts are happy sitting in it either. So let us just take care of that too. “Did I tell you about the time I flipped a supermarket trolley on myself in Woolworths?”extrovert-1

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New City, No Idea


Yesterday I found myself doing a bloody hook turn. I’d managed to avoid it since arriving in Melbourne but realised it was either do the hook turn or end up back over the Yarra. Snailing it down Collins Street looking for an alternative, I forced myself to quickly take in how other more adventurous drivers were negotiating this mysterious Melbourne-only traffic phenomenon. In the space of 1.5 minutes, I gathered enough knowledge and courage to phone my friend, plant myself in the left hand lane and scream down the phone at her, “I’M DOING A BLOODY HOOK TURN!!! SHIT SHIT SHIIIIIITTTTT!” I also managed to explain to her that since I was picking her up from Southern Cross Station, it was all her fault.

You’d be excused for thinking that I’d been living under a rock for the entirety of my adult existence.

It seems that I really hate being the new kid. Over the years, when finding myself in a new city, I’ve relied on my dramatic skills to create an air of casual composure. The goal is for others to assume I am well-accustomed to my environment because, god forbid, I might look awkward. Yes, hello. Too late. Apparently everything about me screams awkward. I’m yet to pass effortlessly through a turnstile or a revolving door.


So, I’ve joined the kind of gym that inner city living demands. I can walk there (I drive of course). Most members are models – both gay and straight. The women wear their hair in the top knot style that reminds viewers that when released, the hair will flow in barrel curls across one’s shoulders.

The outfits. Can we just talk briefly about active wear?? I’m not going to go down the well worn path of its overuse. But since when is going to exercise an opportunity for bold, bloody fashion statements? I’m half tempted to rock up in a g-string leotard, leg warmers and Reebok high tops – but I’m scared it would actually catch on. Again.

It’s the kind of gym that is frequented by people who name the days of the week by body parts. Leg day. Arm day. I feel like we could skip that and just name them using phrases like Guilt Day, Fat Day, Pre-menstrual Day and I’m Paid in Advance So I May As Well Go Day.

I’ve done Pilates in Singapore for three years now and I used to consider myself a lazy intermediate. This is defined as having full awareness of how Pilates generally works, knowing how to set up the machine, not falling off the machine and finally, by being able to attempt something that is terrifyingly (and accurately) known as the Russian Splits.

But now that I’m in a Melbourne gym with all of these Bellas and Michaelas and Brookes, every ounce of skill and confidence has left me. I can’t seem to set up the machine without asking for help. Nobody smiles at anyone and nobody, absolutely nobody, asks questions. The instructor is miked because of course there are 30 or so reformer machines in the room and she doesn’t want to have to yell. I feel like I missed the part where I’m supposed to be enjoying it. It is truly the most intimidating part of my week. And I think it’s because I’m new. I just hate not knowing how to do stuff. I hate looking clueless. I’m ashamed of my own ignorance.


Love the tram. It’s right outside my door and has me in the city in ten quick minutes. But every time I board one, I’m phone in hand attempting to work out connections, places, routes and times. I’m basically living app to app here. With all of this going on, I don’t need to be stressing about how to warn the driver I need to get off.

Two weeks ago I was on my way to visit some friends. Two trams. One simple connection. Much fluster. I found myself in a deep and meaningful comparison of Melbourne and Sydney with a concerned looking meth user who seemed to take pity on my lack of composure. Disappointingly though he didn’t seem to think it necessary to stop me from pushing the emergency button instead of pulling the cord to alert the driver of my need to disembark. Fortunately the emergency button did indeed get the driver’s attention and with eyes rolling and much sighing, he let me off the tram.

So it seems I’m destined to be a bit of a dork for a while. I think the phrase someone used the other day was ‘not yet established’. I’m not yet established in my new city. Apart from wearing a lot of black and ankle boots, I’m not sure what else I can do until my establishment is final. Perhaps I’ll grow a beard and wear a leather apron to serve my guests coffee. That seems to be a thing.




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You Are a Sociopath

That’s a big word, isn’t it. Sociopath. Not particularly long, often overused, rolls off the tongue so easily. I’m almost hesitant to use it to describe you, not because it’s inaccurate, but because some part of you will be flattered by the magnitude of its implications. But it is the truth. Whilst you claim to have a conscience, you disregard it. Whilst you feign empathy, you have none.

My first impression was right. You are evil. Self-obsessed. Disgusting. As the truths about your pathological history continue to come to light, a visceral sense of revulsion grows within me. You make me want to vomit. If I could, I would. I am in the process of erasing every part of you from my existence.

I do want to thank you, however. Thank you. Thank you for making hating you so easy. I hate you. But I give it three weeks. Normally soon after a break up, people stop hating and start grieving. I do plan on letting the hate go. But from there on in, I invite ambivalence about you, into my life. I disregard you. You are sub-human. Not even an animal would behave as you have behaved. They haven’t got the organisational skills.

What a sad and pathetic life you live. There is nothing to it. It’s air and lies and perversion. And no amount of war-induced trauma explains it. You are sick to your core and there is no excuse. You do love, though. You so boldly and wholly adore one person. You love one of the few unlovable people on this earth, you.

I could list the things you have done and the lies you have told and the many people you have fucked over below but frankly I have better things to do with my time. Only you can know the completely ridiculous melodrama of your self-indulgent existence. You’d probably even defend it.

When I heard everything, I began to wonder how you got up in the morning and went about your day so calmly knowing that a bomb could implode your life at any second. But then that would take a conscience. That would take acknowledgement that your choices are beyond degenerate.

Everyone I love, hates you. Many people want to physically hurt you. If you come within a mile of me, they will. If you consider replying to this, they will. You don’t get to reply. Your words are worth nothing and you no longer exist in my life.

To my family, friends and other readers: I apologise for my lost humour. It will return soon, I hope. In the meantime, thank you for bearing witness to my words.

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When even your date thinks it’s too soon

Ah, Tinder. How I’ve missed thee. The little rise of excitement when a match notification appears, the glorious guilt free window shopping style swipery, even handing it over to a friend to take charge. I love how excited the marrieds get when they land their first match under my name. They shriek like they’re at the local RSL and have just called Bingo. I love Tinder. I love it all.


Except that I hate it.


My relationship ended less than a month ago and naturally, now that I’m single again, I figured the best way to recover would be to create a profile of a sexually liberated, carefree, cougar siren on Tinder and relaunch my romantic career.


If you know me at all you’d probably not be in the least bit surprised. I’ve never once done things in halves. My onwards and upwards attitude has contributed to some of my poorer life decisions and 0utcomes. Who can forget the time I decided after 3 wines that my widow’s peak was probably best removed? Oh and what about that lunch time I volunteered to be hypnotised at the uni bar? Apparently having a suggestible personality makes one a prime candidate for hypnosis and hilarity. All that enthusiastic character work sent my 1994 bodysuit into a meltdown.


So today I went on my first “free-as-a-bird” date. My profile had read as follows:


“Basically seeking power rebound. Someone better looking than me, younger than me, and generally out of my league.” I might have added some other bits and pieces to widen the net…


Witty, yes? Self-deprecating? Tick.


Enter handsome, charming man.


I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the company of one of those incredibly self-assured types?  So self-assured that you feel a bit like you might have loo paper hanging from you somewhere unknown while in their presence? That was Mr D. Having survived the initial small-talk section of the date, he got straight down to business.


“So what do you want?”


“Sorry, what?”


“How is your power rebound working out? Are you still committed to that?”


So there it was. I’d been called on it. Having told my story (he asked), it became fairly apparent that I might have been all talk. And he gently, kindly, called me out on it. “You’re still way to hurt to be dating anyone. And if you don’t want something casual, you shouldn’t feel like you should.”


But here is where it gets disappointing. Despite my current state of dysfunction I really liked this guy. Good looking. Razor sharp intelligence. Curious about me. Disarming level of confidence yet seemingly without arrogance. Sense of humour. But he had responded to my profile because of what I had written. Something casual, easy, non-committal. And now there we were. At crossed purposes.


You might think I’d be upset at this. I’m disappointed, yes. But also reflective. As he pointed out, there is no shame in saying what you really want. I already knew I wouldn’t be able to pull off casual with this guy. And probably not with anyone else either. Because I’m not casual about anything I do.


And so I’m grateful for this opportunity. This shitty app. This awkward first meeting with a complete stranger. A few things came to light. My heart is still broken and apparently it’s written all over my face. I can’t plug the hole with casual encounters. But I can at least be honest with myself. I don’t do sex without connection anymore. No judgement of anyone else. I just brings me no joy.


So how did the date end? With a hug and best wishes and a reflective walk home. But bloody hell…he was smokin hot, ladies and gays.


Now…where’s my phone? I think I just heard a ding.

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Funny Scene from an Unfunny Story



Act One: Scene Three

Miss A finds herself reeling after discovering her boyfriend of two years is married and still living with his wife. Joined at home by her parents and brother she attempts to unpack the events that led up to this shocking news. Glancing over at the now depressing Christmas tree, Miss A notices the gift she bought for the arsehole, lying at its base. 

Miss A (to brother): Want to come with me to take that bloody gift back? I spent 500 bucks on a bloody camera and I want the money.

Brother: Sure. Do you have the receipt?

Miss A: Of course not.

Brother: Can you print a bank statement?

Miss A: Yep

Cut to scene at major electronics and music store of the black and yellow kind. Post Christmas sale madness ensues. Bogans, geeks and poor gift selectors fight for space in the sensory overloaded environment. Miss A and Brother queue for 20 minutes. Brother is impatient and protective of his emotionally unstable sister. Miss A finds relief in the mundanity of this small exercise and relaxes into it. Eventually Miss A and her brother make it to the service counter…

Affable Punk: Hey guys! In what way can I assist you today?

Miss A: I’d like to return this camera that I bought for my boyfriend of two years whom it seems was married the entire time.

Affable Punk: Fuck! I HATE these ones! Duuuddddeee…that’s shhhiiiiitttttt…. Are you ok? I mean. You aren’t. But…dude.. Right. Ok. Do you happen to have a receipt? Oh. Bank statements. Yep. Cool. Ok so I’m going to have to get a manager ok? Are you sure you’re ok? I feel like I should offer you a mint or something…

Miss A: Do I need a mint?

Affable Punk: Nahhh…but I just felt like I should, you know, offer you something.

(Affable punk grabs store microphone and makes announcement)

Affable Punk: Can I please have a store manager to the service desk please? (Looks up at Miss A’s pale, shrivelled face)…ASAP please.

Insert lengthy discussion over return with helpful Hipster Manager. No return possible on this day but paperwork arranged and plan in place. Re-enter Affable Punk.

Affable Punk: Ok, guys. So…are you sorted? Cool. Yep. So…I don’t know if this is helpful or not but this morning I woke up and up until now I was having like the shittest day ever. I had some home stuff happening and some relationship stuff happening. I even cried earlier. But now…I really feel like my situation isn’t so bad. Because…you have it so much worse than me.

Miss A: Dude. That is brutal. And unhelpful. For me.

Affable Punk: Yeahhhhh…as I was saying it, I thought that might be true.


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The True Truth

The True Truth: An open letter to a coward


Two days ago you wrote me a letter entitled, “The Truth”. In it you outlined the process whereby you fictionalised two years of my life and justified the ways in which you chose not to mention that you were indeed still married to your wife and indeed still living together in the home you have shared for many years. You called it The Truth. But I would like to take this opportunity to correct you.


Here is “The True Truth”.


You are a liar. You chose lying every morning when you woke. Every single morning. Because you are also selfish. You wanted me and you knew I wouldn’t want you if I knew the truth. You’re right. I told you so many times that I loved you. But here it is. I take it back. I didn’t love you. I loved Fake You. He was a really good man. You are not a good man.


You let me believe in our future. Do you remember when we planned a wedding together over the phone? I remember. Do you remember that we did that without being engaged? I remember. And now I know why.


The truth is that I began to believe that I would have a wonderful life with you. Because we planned it all. Together. You let me believe that we would be living together in a place we had chosen together and that we would travel the world together and we would one day live near the water and be close to my family because you loved them. And all of that was a lie. One week before I moved to Melbourne you decided to finally tell ‘The Truth’. And let us be clear about that. You only did it because there was no way out. If I had moved to Sydney you would have continued the lie.


You lied to me. You lied to my friends. You lied to my family. You befriended those closest to me. You used me to create yourself a social life. You took advantage of those I love. You attended my brother’s wedding and took advantage of every generosity and kindness offered.


The truth is I defended you to those who doubted your story. There were some who did. Of course all the little pieces of truth are finally falling into my mind like confetti. My name in your phone was a word in another language. Your wife’s calling to discuss your son. Never once meeting a member of your family. Writing these examples, I’m tempted towards shame and embarrassment. But I will not let you have that.


As I only loved Fake You, you own not a single memory of this love. Because it was a wonderful, strong, brave love. I loved you with every patient, forgiving, trustful cell in my body. I gave you every part of my soul, my body, my brain and my privacy. But that was Fake You. Real You gets nothing. You can pretend that I loved you. You can pretend that you were “allowed” to be the real you as you have told me. But you weren’t.


I am raging against you. You stole from me. You made me complicit in your deception without my knowledge and consent.


Thank you for your cowardice. Because any time I am tempted to love Real You, I will remember that I don’t. I can’t. And I have nothing but the worst emotion left for you – pity.


You told me so many times that you loved to read my writing and nagged me to write more. Funny, I felt I had nothing to write. I believed myself content. Happy. In love. There was an ‘us’. I was not just a ‘me’. And it was wonderful. But it was a lie.


So now I write.


And here is the good news:


While I pity you, I withhold this pity from myself. With every fibre of my being I will not allow myself to want you back. While you have destroyed the picture of my future I had built, I will build another one which excludes you.


I am strong. I am wilful. I am determined. I will come back from this like I come back from every hurdle in my life. Because I have everything that counts; love, support, friendship and truth. I will continue to believe in love because it came from within me and can come from within me again. I am alone in only one sense of the word and as hard as that will be, it will teach me how to love myself enough again. I am not bitter, I am resolute. I am not as broken as I initially believed. All the working parts remain.


Hear me now. You have taken nothing from me. Repair yourself if you can. You lying son of a bitch.


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