Adulting

When I was a little girl, I remember looking at the teenagers who lived in my street with awe and wonder. They just seemed so cool and so grown up! I wanted to be just like them.

One day, before the first day of school, my friend, Amie – who also lived in my street – and I were invited to take some photos with the big kids in their school uniforms before they went off to high school. It was like getting your photo taken with a celebrity!

That’s the way I used to look at grown ups back then – or people who I perceived as being “grown up”. This was also a time when I used to proudly tell people my age was “seven and three quarters”. Now I mumble, “33,” and hope no one hears me.

image1
As a kid, with my uncle Conn, aunt Fiona and friends (L-R) Johnny, Amie, Ben and me.

Being an adult just seemed so glamorous and appealing, and I thought I’d never catch up…

But I did – quicker than I ever thought I would – and let me tell you, being a grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Some days, the whole thing feels like one big, elaborate scam. I want a refund!

This is what people don’t tell you about being an adult… (Truth be told, it should really come with some sort of a handbook.)

1. You can kiss your friends goodbye…

One of the most devastating parts about being an adult is watching your friends and siblings get married. And it’s not because you want that for yourself. God, I wouldn’t wish marriage on my worst enemies! (Jokes.) It’s because your life is about to change FOREVER. The reality is, you’ll never be as close as you once were. Someone else has replaced you, and there’s even a marriage certificate to officiate it.

Watching them exchange vows is like watching someone bulldoze The House of Friendship (not the name of a Chinese restaurant, by the way), a house you’d built together. All of those things you used to do together – holidays, regular nights out with the girls – OVER. And no matter what they tell you, from here on out, you will forever be known as the third wheel.

giphy-12.gif

Then they’ll start having babies, and when that happens, whatever remained of The House of Friendship after it was demolished is basically set on fire. It will be like, “Okay, well it was nice knowing you… Enjoy the rest of your life.” Then you’ll quietly walk away, sobbing.

2. You won’t feel any different…

I used to think becoming a grown up came with its own ticker tape parade to signal this huge transition in your life. So I was bitterly disappointed when I got shit all.

When you’re a kid, you create this fantasy of what your life will look like when you’re an adult. But it’s just that – a fantasy. You don’t know shit! I’m definitely not the sophisticated, wise adult I thought I would be. And I definitely don’t have all the answers.

tumblr_n33z1w5VVo1s0my1wo1_250

The reality is, most days I still feel about 15 years old, and then I think about the fact I’m now in my 30’s and it terrifies me. Basically, nothing much has changed from when I was a kid – I just got older.

3. Responsibility is the adult equivalent of the Boogie Man…

I’m going to level with you, kids – responsibility sucks all the fun out of life. There’s bills to pay, taxes to worry about – even just going to the supermarket can feel like a chore! But unfortunately, it’s one of those non-negotiable parts of being an adult, and you’ll feel like your soul is slowly dying.

tumblr_msjo4sUTha1surga9o1_400.gif

I don’t know when it happens exactly, but one day you’re having a debrief with your friends about whatever fun party you all went to, and the next, they’re talking to you about their mortgage or the shade of lilac they want to paint their feature wall.

Whenever someone starts talking to me about property, I can feel my eyes glazing over, and I have to pinch myself to keep from falling asleep.

4. You’ll feel tired ALL THE TIME…

I can sleep for the rest of the year and I guarantee you, it will not be enough. I don’t know where my energy levels went and why they never came back, but I’m almost certain the word “adult” is Latin for “exhausted”.

I’m a night person, and even I find it difficult to stay awake past 9pm if I’m lying on the couch. It doesn’t even have to be my couch! I’m ashamed to say I’ve fallen asleep on many friends’ couches, too – sometimes mid-conversation. I don’t even remember the last time I saw the end of a movie…

giphy copy 2.gif

5. You’ll never stop wanting or needing your mum…

This is a fact – especially when you’re sick, sad or injured. Sometimes I just want to go and lie with my head on my mum’s lap like I did when I was a kid, but I’m 33 now, and it would be creepy.

My friend, Nat put it best when she was trying to comfort a little girl recently who was crying out for her mum: “You think I don’t want my mum? I want my mum every second of the day! But as you get older, society tells you it’s weird to talk about it!”

tumblr_inline_nslmmz775C1tssnfm_500.gif

6. Time starts speeding up…

Remember when you were a kid and you used to measure time in “sleeps”? If you were looking forward to something, it used to feel like it took forever for it to roll around…

Now, all you have to do is blink and it’s a new year. I often find myself asking, “What happened to my life?” and actually meaning it. How did I get to be so old?

anigif_enhanced-15399-1439853963-2

Enjoy your youth, kids, because it will be over before you know it.

7. On the plus side, FREEDOM…

One of the only good things about being an adult is that you don’t have anybody telling you what to do. You know, other than the police, your boss and maybe the government…

You can eat whatever you like, go wherever you like and do whatever you like when you get there. It’s called freedom and it tastes so good!

giphy.gif

8. Working sucks…

Let’s be honest here – nobody likes going to work. Even if you love what you do, can you honestly say it’s better than a holiday or eating chips on the couch? That’s what I thought.

b92adc10-2839-0133-4718-0a2ca390b447.gif

Unfortunately, most of us will find ourselves working five days a week with just a few weeks off each year. You’ll probably do this until you’re too old to really enjoy life anymore. And don’t even get me started on that whole work/life balance bullshit! That’s a nice idea.

Given the facts I have laid out in front of you, my advice is to find a job you love to at least make it bearable.

9. The money helps though…

While working may suck, having money definitely doesn’t.

Unfortunately, a lot of this money will be sucked up by bills and taxes (see three), but whatever money you do manage to save will help buy you freedom (see seven).

It’s like Johnny Depp once said: “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it.” I can’t afford a big ass yacht, but I think I know what he’s talking about.

peggy.gif

10. The first time someone refers to you as “lady” is terrifying…

Especially if you’re a man. Jokes aside though, I can still pinpoint exactly when and where this first happened – I was leaving a restaurant in Boston in 2011, and a father told his young son to “Look out for the lady.” After a quick look around, I realised he was talking about me.

It was horrifying! Up until that point, I’d only ever been referred to as “girl” or “young lady”. In that moment, my whole life flashed before my eyes.

anigif_enhanced-2295-1439690010-2.gif

11. Your appearance changes…

I first noticed lines forming around my eyes when I was 25. When I was 27, I found my first grey hair. At 30, I realised my clothes still fit me, but they just sat differently… And let me tell you, it doesn’t get any better from here on out.

giphy copy.gif

You may think the changes stop after puberty. LIES!

12. You have to work extra hard to maintain that childhood innocence…

I don’t think anybody should grow up. Not really, anyway… Life can beat you down sometimes, and let’s face it, none of us are getting out of here alive, so we may as well make the most of it, have all the fun we can, and laugh often.

The late and great Robin Williams once said: “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

200-4.gif

Always try to see the world through the simplicity of a child’s eyes and you’ll never be disappointed with life.

Advertisements

RIP Journalism

Journalism is dead. It’s over. We may as well just pack up our bags and go home. In fact, some of us already have.

The sad state of journalism at the moment is a conversation I’ve had with many friends in the industry in recent months, and unfortunately things only seem to be going from bad to worse.

magazine-covers-16-1.jpg

I started working in the media way back in 2004, at the tender age of 21. Before landing a job in the industry, I’d done lots of work experience and internships at magazines, newspapers and radio stations.

In my opinion, 2004 was the beginning of the end of the golden age for print journalism. (In hindsight, I really hope I didn’t have anything to do with its downfall… Surely not.)

When I first started, the industry was thriving, and as a result, it was every bit as vibrant – and even glamorous – as you thought it would be. Yes, we all worked incredibly hard, but there was almost a celebratory atmosphere in the industry back then… Everyone was happy and lively. You’d be out almost every weeknight, attending a launch party or premiere, and the freebies would flow in thick and fast. I was even flown to the USA for a press junket! That’s just unheard of now. Of course the perks were never why you did the job, but they were a part of the culture back when the industry was at its peak.

magazine-covers-15.jpg

Then the internet started to take off, just like they warned us it would while I was still at university. They told us print media would soon be a thing of the past, with newspapers the first to go, followed closely by magazines. Of course nobody believed them… We were all young and fearless, and we’d grown up in a world where magazines and newspapers were – and at that time, still were – as popular as ever. The idea that they would eventually cease to exist was simply inconceivable.

1822961-fixing-newspapers-misguided-approach-to-digital-ad-dollars-rotator

“Just wait,” warned our lecturer, Morris. “In 10 years time, print media will be dead.”

I can still remember rolling my eyes at my friend, Liz when he said it.

That was in 2004, and he was right ­– not only is print media dead, journalism is on its way out, too.

I was made redundant in April this year. It was the second magazine I’d worked on that had gone under. Many of my colleagues – some younger than me – were being made redundant for the third or fourth time in their relatively short careers.

Since April, more magazines have folded, more cuts have been made across the industry, and I’ve watched on helplessly as more of my talented friends and colleagues have lost their jobs. It’s been both devastating and infuriating to know we may never fully recover from this.

6277208708_7e6607d601_b.jpg

I’ve spent a long of time thinking about what the industry could have done to save print journalism – and there’s a lot. Some of it was unavoidable, sure – the internet has proven to be an unstoppable beast – but I think the media collectively was naïve as to just how much it would affect us.

For one, I don’t think anyone expected the internet would become as huge as it did at such an incredibly fast rate – it literally left us blindsided. No one could keep up with it. Even newspapers, where journalists work to daily deadlines, were no match to the immediacy of the internet. The invention of smartphones means people can now access a variety of content, anywhere at any time.

giphy-5.gif

Secondly, I think we were frustratingly slow to react. Even after the internet grew in popularity, there was always this attitude in the media that print journalism would be fine. People will always want magazines and newspapers, they told us. This unwillingness to adapt to the changing market proved to be fatal.

Of course, I don’t think the media can shoulder all the blame for the death of journalism – the public also has to take on some of the responsibility.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was the media’s job to inform, educate and entertain the public. We had a purpose! But with the impossibly fast pace of the internet, people’s attention spans grew shorter, too. They want their news now, and they want it delivered in a meme.

People have also become increasingly unwilling to pay for the news. I get it – there’s a lot of economic uncertainty right now. If you’re down to your last $5, are you going to buy milk and bread, or a magazine? Especially when you can find similar – if not the same – content online for free…

magazine-covers-10

I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to spend my weekends writing stories I’d made up in my head. Even if I wasn’t doing it for a living anymore, I’d still write – it’s a necessity for me. I’d known I would be a writer ever since I was nine years old. It’s always felt like something of a calling for me.

So it was really a no brainer when I graduated high school that I would become a journalist. People warned me of how hard the industry is to crack, but that only made me work harder and more determined to do it. I needed to prove to them – and above all, to myself – that I could.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies, and then went on to complete a Masters of Journalism (graduating with distinction!). In between studying, I fired off letters to every media outlet I could think of, asking them if I could come and do work experience at their offices. One of these work experience gigs turned into real work, and I landed a job as an editorial assistant while finishing my Masters. From there, I slowly and steadily worked my way up, happy to take my time honing my craft, while learning from the best. I’m still learning!

Then bloggers came along… Simply put, journalists don’t like bloggers. They’re a big part of the reason why journalism is in the state it’s in. In this day and age, anyone with internet access and an opinion is afforded a voice. On one hand, it’s a great thing, because I genuinely believe everyone has something to say. But on the other hand, journalists have spent years training up and working their asses off – often without even getting paid at first – just to be the best we can be. I feel like bloggers tend to trivialise what we do. It’s kind of like me claiming to be able to fix your toilet just because I have a plunger. Um, no… You need to call a plumber.

giphy-1.gif

Many bloggers are now even considered “celebrities”. I’ve heard stories of kids still in school earning $400,000 a year just off their YouTube channel! That doesn’t even compare to the $5.55 an hour I was earning at McDonald’s while in high school…

Just to show you how influential bloggers have become, there was an incident at Melbourne Fashion Week a few years ago where the fashion journalists were left reeling after the fashion bloggers were seated in the front row, relegating the media to the second and third rows. I know it may sound frivolous, but the front row (or “frow”) is prime real estate in the fashion community, and being pushed out of it in favour of some young upstarter – especially after you’ve spent years working to secure your place there – is a huge slap across the face.

103387232-20160213-5260-2035.600x400

Shortly after I graduated and started working, the journalism faculty at my university asked me to come back to give a talk to the then current students about what advice I would offer for breaking into the industry. I told them to study hard and work even harder. Don’t rely only on your degree. Yes, it will lay the foundation for you, but what you build on that is up to you. Go out there, do work experience, make contacts, work hard, expect little in return, and someday, opportunity will come knocking.

If I were giving the same talk today, I would tell students not to even bother getting a degree. Just start a blog and hope someone takes notice of you!

I know it’s a pessimistic outlook to have, but if I’m being completely honest, there’s not a whole lot to be optimistic about when it comes to the state of journalism and the media right now.

giphy-3.gif

giphy-2.gif

giphy-4.gif

Tinderella

As a chronically single woman now in her 30’s, I’d be lying if I said no one had ever suggested online dating to me. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? You know, aside from potentially being abducted and murdered… I feel like online dating has made things so much easier for misogynistic psychopaths – they don’t even need to go out looking for their victims anymore! They don’t even have to try! Well done, technology.

Aside from the very real threat of death, what are our real options here, people? Tinder? Seriously? I have a few friends who are on Tinder, and from what they’ve told me, it sounds like ground zero for assholes.

giphy-7.gif

One friend told me almost every guy’s profile picture is him shirtless and flexing. Occasionally she’ll come across a profile picture where the guy is shirtless and flexing next to his petite grandmother or a tiny, cute animal, but that’s probably just to show off how big his muscles are in comparison.

giphy-4

Another friend told me she’d been inundated with unwelcome dick pics. Here’s a tip for you, guys – unless a woman actually asks to see it, put it away. Psychologists have said guys who send dick pics around willy nilly (pardon the pun) are actually sexual predators who enjoy being able to intimidate and control their victims (in this case, women), by making them feel awkward and uncomfortable. In other words, it’s sexual assault. Think about it this way – if you were to meet a girl out at a bar, would you introduce yourself and then immediately get it out the next second? Probably not. And if you answered yes, what the hell is wrong with you?! Sicko.

In my friend’s case, she definitely did not ask to see it. Their conversation literally went like this:

Him: “Hi, gorgeous.”

Her: “Hi. How are you?”

Him: **DICK PIC**

“I didn’t want to see that!” my friend told me. “It made me feel sick.”

This is not okay, guys!

giphy-6.gif

Now call me traditional, but I’d like to be able to tell my grandkids a story of how I met their grandfather other than, “Oh my God! I had to sort through so many dick pics before I found your grandpa’s!”

Maybe I’ve seen too many Disney movies, but whatever happened to the good ol’ fashioned meet cute? You know, guy accidentally picks up girl’s suitcase at the airport. Guy goes home and realises he has the wrong suitcase based on the sheer volume of Sephora cosmetics inside. Guy then calls girl and arranges to meet her in a safe, public space to return the suitcase so the girl doesn’t end up chopped into pieces and put inside said suitcase (this is a very real fear of mine). Guy and girl arrange to meet at a coffee shop, where they end up spending hours talking about films and politics. Guy asks girl out on a proper date, because he thinks she’s awesome and wants to get to know her better, not just hook up with her. Guy and girl live happily ever after. The end.

giphy-3.gif

“Nobody talks to anyone anymore,” I told my friend. “You look around and everyone is so sad and lonely… You pay your bills online, you date online, you talk to your friends online. You don’t even have to talk to anyone when you checkout your groceries at the supermarket anymore!”

Last night, I grabbed my friend’s phone and started replying to some of her messages on Tinder – just because I’m an asshole like that.

giphy-2.gif

There was the fire fighter, so I fired off (sorry) a message to him: “Yo! Where’s the fire?” I was hoping he’d reply, “In my pants,” because then that would have given me the perfect opening to ask my next question, “Herpes?” He didn’t though.

Meh. Who needs an opportunity to respond with “Herpes?” EVERY message on Tinder should start out with “Herpes?”, followed by “Rapist?” STDs are on the rise, people, and there are a lot of creeps out there, too! You can never be too careful! Let’s just get everything out in the open.

giphy-8.gif

Another guy had a profile picture of himself naked in bed, reading a magazine, with a strategically placed bed sheet… “Oh my God! I read that magazine, too!” I wrote. Nothing. Huh.

There was another guy called Che. “Were you responsible for the uprising in Cuba?” I messaged him. More silence. Apparently a sense of humour is overrated on Tinder. Come on, people! Don’t call your kid “Che” unless you plan on instilling a sense of humour in him. Look at me – my parents named me after the Greek goddess of fertility/Dementors in Harry Potter and as a direct result, I’m hilarious.

Bored with the lack of personality on offer, I then decided to update my friend’s profile: “Amy Fisher has blocked me on Facebook. (Google her.) Once, three birds took a shit on me in one day.” (Both true facts about her, by the way.)

amy-fisher
Amy Fisher’s mugshot… And quite possibly her Tinder profile pic, too.

If I had a Tinder profile, it would read: “Please don’t rape/murder me.” Simple and to the point.

“Look,” said my friend, flicking through people’s Tinder profiles. “This is what’s out there…”

I looked on, horrified.

“Oh my God,” I mused. “I’m going to be single forever!”

“I thought you were going to say, ‘I’m going to be sick,’” said my friend.

“That too,” I replied.

giphy.gif

I’m a firm believer that there’s only so much we have control over in life. When we fall in love and who we fall in love with are beyond our control. While the chances of finding the love of your life on Tinder are low (from what I saw yesterday, anyway), stranger things have happened…

At the end of the day, all I want is a guy who gets my jokes and will eat cookie dough ice cream with me while watching Harry Potter movies. Is that too much to ask? In the meantime though, I’m happy to swipe left to Tinder.

giphy-5

The BAD-chelor

We need to talk about The Bachelor. Again.

I’d like to take this moment to offer a disclaimer of sorts. I’m only watching this show for work purposes, so I guess you could say I’m getting paid to watch it… (What’s your excuse?) Having said that, I really wanted to like it. I did. I figured if I was going to have to spend the next few weeks/months getting acquainted with Australia’s favourite polygamist Richie and the sister wives, I should at least give it a chance. But it’s really bad, you guys. And it only seems to be getting worse, starting with last night’s episode, which I watched this morning before my interview with [insert name of tonight’s eliminated sister wife]…

1. Can we please talk about all of these action/adventure dates the producers have arranged for Richie and his harem? (Those girls are all kidding themselves if they actually think Richie came up with these ideas.) I can think of very few girls – myself included – whose idea of a good time is chilling on what looks like the frame of a shipping container hanging precariously over a cliff. I don’t care how often they grit their teeth and tell Richie they’re “having a great time”, those girls are terrified. I guarantee there’s a basket of fresh undies just off camera. At this stage, it’s looking more like an episode of Who Dares Wins. Remember that show? Well, there’s a reason it went off the air…

I can’t believe he made that poor girl Rachael climb up a ship’s mast just so he could re-enact the “I’m flying” scene from Titanic. If that’s not abuse… Where’s an iceberg when you need one?

57b3c20f7cc22_rachtitanic_1br7gbm-1br7ggf
NOPE.

2. Then, just to play even more into his male fantasies, they introduced three intruders – all blonde, all eager to please – who each rode in on a quad bike, a motorcycle and a horse. Something tells me Richie was a Charlie’s Angels fan when he was a little boy… There’s only two places girls like that could have come from – a porn set or a lab. After hearing the one who talks like a chipmunk, I’m inclined to say porn set.

b4786091f4f794cf9fc620dca61f91b9
Soft porn…

3. Richie seemed just as eager to please them, embarrassingly telling the one who rode in on horseback that his dream is “to ride a horse, bare chest”. Shut up! That’s totally my dream, too! Ohmygod, we have so much in common!

a092b19ea1de4a27a90f06632a21ee02
Giddyup, Richie!

4. He then used the phrase “by jingo”. Ladies, if you ever hear a man utter the words “by jingo”, you break up with them. You break up with them right now! This is not a drill.

5. My mum pointed out that Alex was wearing a CAMILLA dress at the cocktail party, and I was like, “Well, duh. She went on a date at the CAMILLA store and got a ‘free’ dress! That girl has sold her soul to the devil! She’ll be wearing CAMILLA until the day she dies to repay her debts…”

6. Richie giving his whole, “I’m at that stage where I’m really ready to meet someone” speech. Well, no shit, Richie! Is that why you went on the show? How fascinating. Please, do tell me more…

7. Also Richie saying, “I really do like Steph. She’s got all the qualities I look for…” Let me guess – she’s one of the blonde ones, yeah?

8. When a girl says, “Don’t go breaking my heart,” the correct response is not, “Don’t break mine! Crikey!” You should in fact say, “I couldn’t if I tried.” Bonus points if you sing it.

9. Does Richie travel everywhere by helicopter now? Just asking, because I’m looking for a helicopter repairman for my chopper, and I’m wondering if he can recommend anyone? You know, given that he apparently owns one too now.

10. It was actually pretty good when the intruders arrived. All of the other sister wives looked like they wanted to smack a bitch, and then Georgia went all Lady Macbeth, which had me like, “Oooooh!”

57b3c210e5081_alexshocked_1br7gbm-1br7ggg
I feel you, Alex.

11. Megan’s bombshell that she was leaving the show was PRICELESS! The look on Richie’s face after he asked her, “Will you accept this rose?” and she was all like, “I can’t…” was possibly the best thing I have ever seen! I had to rewind and play it back several times over, and then pause it, just because I was cackling like the wicked witch that I am.

image1
I even took a photo, because some memories are worth keeping.

12. Then Richie was all like, “I was hoping you’d be patient with this whole process.” Ummm… What part of the process should she be patient with, Richie? The part where she sits in a house all day like a little lady, waiting for you to pick her out of the other 20 women on offer for a one-on-one date tailored to suit you? Or the part where she’s left hurt and humiliated when you don’t hand her a rose? I don’t know…

The Ron Guy

As you may have already guessed, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. And just in case you didn’t, I’ve literally just told you…

One thing that always annoyed me about the books and movies though is the fact Hermione ended up with Ron. I always felt like they were completely mismatched – and even if they had dated, it would never have gone the distance. I would have given them six months, max.

I felt especially vindicated/annoyed when JK Rowling backed me up on this theory during an interview with Emma Watson back in 2014.

“If I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that,” she said of her decision to pair Hermione with Ron. “It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.”

You had one job, JK! One job!

00fc35260728ea1d88dbf67415ac995e

Even Emma – Hermione herself – agreed.

“I think there are fans out there who know that too, and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy,” added Emma.

Well, of course he wouldn’t have made her happy! No offence to Ron – I love him as much as the next person. He adds a human element to the stories (even though he’s a wizard), and he definitely serves a purpose. He’s funny and he provides some light in what could have been an otherwise really dark series. But does anyone really believe Hermione would go on to marry this guy? This guy?!

giphy-9

I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and I’ve found the whole Ron/Hermione story arc particularly frustrating and infuriating. (The rest of it I’m enjoying, FYI.)

Firstly, Hermione is the Minister for Magic, while Ron… Well, he runs a joke shop. It’s kind of like Michelle Obama running a street lemonade stand while Barack Obama sits in the Oval Office. I love lemonade, but it’s not really on the same level as being PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Even Ron seemed disappointed with his life choices.

Secondly, Ron tells Hermione he wants to renew their vows because he was drunk at their first wedding and he can’t really remember it. Well, that’s pure romance right there! Uh, what? I can’t imagine any woman being okay with their husband being blind drunk on their wedding day, and definitely not Hermione! She’s better than that, she deserves better than that, and there’s no way she would ever settle for less than she deserves. Let’s face it, Ron is punching way above his weight here.

l-r_Ron_Weasley_(Paul_Thornley),_Hermione_Granger_(Noma_Dumezweni),_Rose_Granger-Weasley_(Cherrelle_Skeete)-large_trans++SFXWNnhoSSUDZbpG8a9LxGnpLNcb4JBmotpFYXdp7d8.jpg

Finally, in an alternate universe, Ron and Hermione never married. She therefore became mean and bitter, and went on to teach Defence Against the Arts at Hogwarts. The horror! Let’s get something straight here – Hermione is a fully formed character all on her own. She’s strong, smart and successful, and she don’t need no man. **SNAP** She never has, never will. It’s offensive that her life is portrayed as somehow less without Ron in it.

Having said all that, if Hermione were to end up in a long-term relationship with one of the other characters, it should have been Harry. In my opinion, it’s always been Harry.

Maybe it’s just because Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson are so close in real life, but I always felt like Harry and Hermione’s chemistry was off the charts… especially compared to, say, Ron and Hermione.

daniel-and-emma-daniel-radcliffe-and-emma-watson-17129246-500-451.jpg

Dan even admitted Emma is the only Harry Potter co-star he still keeps in contact with – surely that has to mean something.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 4.54.48 PM.png

“Emma and I text all the time, but Rupert [Grint] and I never text each other, we never see each other,” he admitted. “If I see him every six months or so, it’s a friendly, ‘Hello, how’s things with you?’ But that’s about it.”

daniel-radcliffe-emma-watson-harry-potter-Favim.com-198427

PLOT TWIST: In real life, Rupert is actually best friends with Tom Felton. Yep, Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy are BFFs. Now, that would have made a great story! Also, something everyone can relate to, amiright? Why didn’t you write about that, JK? Harry Potter and the Ex Best Friend. Ron ditches Harry and Hermione for Malfoy, who was really just misunderstood.

tumblr_m1owfk659G1qdm4v9o1_500.png

There’s no denying Dan and Emma – just like Harry and Hermione – share a special bond and a particularly cute friendship… Oh, what the hell – I’m going to go FULL fan girl for a minute. Here’s a few more pics of Dan and Emma being cute together…

SO.

daniel-radcliffe-emma-watson.jpg

DAMN.

emma-watson-daniel-radcliffe-dating-timeline.jpg

CUTE.

f91fe4420e34deca5f559325af6aa518

TOGETHER.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 2.14.40 PM

I mean, really… Ron who?

tumblr_m18yw8Eck61qdoyv4o1_500.png

There were even rumours they dated briefly while filming the Harry Potter franchise. I mean, you don’t need to be Professor Trelawney to see it…

9230b3d8c1329e4df7c904359b2a9b1d

In 2008, it was reported they spent Valentine’s Day together at a London pub.

“When people started to notice [them], she wrapped her scarf around her head so only her eyes were peeping out,” revealed a source. “Daniel found her new look hysterical… Throughout the night, he just kept giggling like a love-struck teen. [They] seemed totally absorbed in one another’s company.”

Dan-and-Emma-daniel-radcliffe-and-emma-watson-7417708-500-400.jpg

While Dan and Emma have never revealed if they ever actually did date, he did admit to having a huge crush on her while filming the first movie…

Dan-and-Emma-daniel-radcliffe-and-emma-watson-3272515-306-378.jpg

That’s not even mentioning how cute they were together on the set of Harry Potter when the cameras weren’t rolling…

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 1.42.11 PM.png

You could just imagine them tearing up the halls of Hogwarts together (which is totally a real place, by the way).

tumblr_morzcjhlpf1qjcyb2o1_500.jpg

Is that a wand in your pocket, or are you just happy to see her, Dan?

Harry-and-Hermione-Wallpaper-harry-and-hermione-25678449-1024-768.jpg

I’m almost certain Dan and Emma are crying here because they knew their characters should have gotten together but didn’t…

tumblr_meez0kge3m1qbnhuno6_r1_250.gif

I could do this all day – but I won’t, because what we really need to discuss is why Hermione should never have ended up with Ron, and why Harry was clearly the better option. Based on their couple names alone (Romione vs. Harmione), I would’ve chosen Harry. That’s totally what Harry and Hermione should name their first daughter, too – Harmione.

RON + HERMIONE

The argument against Ron…

1. They fight.

A lot. Ron and Hermione are constantly at each other’s throats, which would have undoubtedly made for an unhappy marriage.

200-2.gif

Even more disturbing, their fights often turned physical…

200 copy

2. Ron has a tendency to make Hermione cry.

Even if they had a thing when they were teens, eventually as adults, they would come to realise you’re not supposed to hurt the ones you love.

200-1 copy.gif

3. Ron was actually a bit of a bully towards Hermione when they first started at Hogwarts. Although they eventually became friends, he initially made her life a living hell.

And you don’t date your bully – you just don’t.

200-2 copy.gif

4. Simply put, Hermione is smarter than Ron.

200-19.gif

Consequently, she’d need someone who challenges her intellectually, and Ron doesn’t. Eventually, she’d come to resent him for it.

200-3.gif

5. And he’d come to resent her too, because although he eventually came to respect her brilliance, he was always jealous of her smarts…

200-10.gif

6. Even their sweeter moments feel awkward, forced and unnatural… They just don’t make any sense together!

Extra points to Gryffindor for Harry’s side-eye.

200-4.gif

7. He annoys her! This is not a recipe for romance – it’s a recipe for disaster.

Hermione is such a strong personality, Ron would spend the rest of his life trying to tread carefully around her so as not to upset her, and he’d be miserable doing it.

200-9

8. They bring out the worst in each other.

Individually, Ron and Hermione are great characters, but let’s face it, when they’re together, they’re the worst… Poor Harry often found himself in the middle of their melodramas.

200 copy.gif

9. They really don’t have all that much in common…

Aside from a mutual friendship with Harry, I could never even imagine these two being friends in real life!

200-4.gif

HARRY + HERMIONE

The argument for Harry…

1. They’re incredibly protective of each other. More than they ever are of Ron…

harry-hermione-best-couple-feature.jpg

Harry and Hermione always have each other’s backs – even when nobody else does. When Ron runs off while they’re hunting horcruxes (classic Ron), it’s Hermione who stays behind to help Harry – even though the task seems impossible and costly.

200.gif

They’re there for each other through thick and thin, and that’s what it takes to make a marriage work.

200-1.gif

2. They understand each other.

3114626harry-et-hermione-jpg.jpg

Maybe it’s because they both know what it’s like to grow up as outsiders and lose their families, but Harry and Hermione always seem to understand what the other one needs and are then able to provide it.

200-5.gif

3. That kiss!

Yes, I know it was just an illusion, but the kiss between Harry and Hermione was easily the steamiest one of the entire series. Just another example of how fans were ripped off when it came to a Harry and Hermione romance…

200-6.gif

4. They’re playful with each other.

200-7.gif

Hermione has a tendency to be super serious, and Harry literally has the weight of the magical world on his shoulders, so it’s always refreshing to see them relax and have fun together.

200-16.gif

5. They’re openly affectionate with each other.

giphy-4 copy.gif

There’s a real sweetness and tenderness to their bond.

200-8

6. Hermione genuinely cares about Harry.

200-12.gif

She knows he has a mammoth task ahead of him (you know, defeating Voldemort and all that), and she’s scared for the boy she loves… (Too far?)

200-11.gif

7. They’re sweet with each other.

giphy-6.gif

Remember that scene in the tent where Hermione was upset because of yet another thing Ron did?

giphy-1.gif

Harry wanted to make her happy, so he pulled her up to dance (even though he’s potentially the world’s worst dancer). They laughed, Hermione forgot all about Ron for a few minutes, and they even shared a – dare I say romantic – moment.

200-18.gif

8. She hugs him like she means it…

giphy-3.gif

There’s hugs, and then there’s Harmione hugs.

200-14.gif

9. People often assume they’re dating, and their love interests – including Ron – regularly get jealous of their special bond.

Clearly it’s because there’s something there…

May, Harry and Hermione.jpg

10. They keep each other in check.

giphy-7.gif

Both Harry and Hermione are regularly described as bright and brilliant. With everyone always telling them how special and awesome they are, they rely on one another to keep each other grounded.

giphy copy.gif

11. Hermione was willing to die for Harry. That’s right, die!

Realising Harry was about to face off against Voldemort – and the only way to defeat him would be to die himself – a distraught Hermione threw herself into Harry’s arms and volunteered to go with him.

giphy-1 copy.gif

This was all just moments after Ron – the supposed love of her life – had kissed her, mind you. Just sayin’…

giphy-3 copy.gif

12. They light up whenever they see each other – and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Face it, Harry and Hermione were rarely anything less than giddy whenever they saw each other. No wonder Ron was jealous all the time.

(Just pretend this is Hermione running down the aisle towards Harry on their wedding day…)

harryherman.gif

13. They’re best friends…

Harry-Hermione-harry-and-hermione-32140451-499-500.jpg

And as best friends, they’re ridiculously in tune with each other. They don’t even need to talk to know what the other one is thinking. Plus, we all know that all great relationships start with a strong friendship.

giphy-8.gif

14. They’re always supportive of each other.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 9.23.32 PM.png

Even when they may not agree or understand what the other is trying to do, there has always been a sense of mutual trust and respect between them.

Harry-y-hermione-harry-and-hermione-17302667-500-375.jpg

15. They’ve seen each other through some difficult times…

Harry has always been a shoulder for Hermione to cry on (usually after Ron said or did something to upset her). He wouldn’t judge or psychoanalyse her – he was just there.

tumblr_mg9as3Huoq1qgmq2vo1_500.png

JK Rowling may be a literary genius, but when it comes to Harry and Hermione, she made a mistake. She knows it, Emma Watson knows it and we know it, too. It’s obvious Harry and Hermione should have ended up together – they’re each other’s equals, and they just make sense. Plus, the hero always gets the girl.

giphy-10.gif

Olympic Squad Goals

I am the ultimate armchair Olympian – make that coach… Every time the Olympics roll around, I get really into the swimming, and then proceed to give commentary like I know what the hell is going on. (Even though I don’t.)

“They were too slow off the starting blocks!” “They have a really strong stroke going. Now they need to keep it up!” “They’d better pick up the pace if they want to beat Russia!” “Get us the gold or go home!”

Yep, I am the ultimate critic, and yet I know I could never do what they do.

london-olympics-day-1-swimming

I used to swim – definitely not at a competitive level – but I was on a squad in high school, so I like to think I have some idea of just how hard it is. The burning in your muscles, the physical and mental exhaustion, how every stroke and kick becomes more laborious the further you swim, the heat in your face, despite the fact you’re in an otherwise refreshing pool… But this is probably not even a quarter of what you’d feel if you were an elite athlete.

075981-australian-olympic-swimming-trials

I only learned how to swim when I was 12 years old. This was entirely due to a traumatic experience I had when I was seven. In second grade, my school decided everyone needed to attend swimming lessons, so once a week, we’d all climb onto a bus and go out to the local swimming pool. I dreaded it, mainly because I had a mean old lady called Lee as my teacher (I’m pretty sure she’s burning in hell right now). Lee’s approach to teaching swimming was last seen in Nazi Germany, probably where she once taught…

At my first class, I remember feeling overwhelmed just looking at the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Lee then ordered me into the water, and from there, well, things only went from bad to worse… Lesson one involved us treading water. My feet couldn’t reach the bottom of the pool, and I began to panic as my head started bobbing up and down in the water. As I struggled to keep my head above the surface, I started to swallow mouthfuls of water. In between choking and coughing, I started to cry. Lee looked at me coolly and screamed, “I don’t care if you throw up. You’re not getting out of this pool until you do it!” Eventually I did manage to tread water, making it back onto the bus just in time to go back to school, but the whole experience scarred me. It was another five years before I finally got back into the water.

hi-res-07c4a9ba4d1a6dc0a9708b89c96915fe_crop_north

Thankfully, my second swimming instructor, Jenny, was much kinder and more understanding. She was patient, calm and encouraging, and I discovered a real love for the sport, eventually working my way up into the squad. It’s a love I still have today (even if my shitty shoulder has been keeping me out of the pool more recently). For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than jumping into a pool and spending a good hour swimming up and down, staring at that black line, focusing only on my breathing and my stroke. I feel like it’s the only time my mind really stops.

c5IThfPJ

But I know I was never good enough to compete – even though my coach, Mike once told me, “If you really applied yourself, you could swim at the Olympics.” Lies, Mike! LIES! I’m almost certain he only told me this so I’d be more cooperative during training. It didn’t work.

Not helping the situation was the fact I used to train with my friends, Ethan and Sarah. Distraction was all around me.

Ethan and I both had younger siblings in the class before ours, so we’d kill time at the pool by singing songs, making each other laugh and hyping each other up. (A joy for everyone around us, I’m sure.)

One time, while swinging my goggles around like a cowgirl (Seriously, WTF, young Demeter?), I smacked myself in the face, and potentially broke my nose. (I’ve had a small bump on the bridge of my nose ever since.) I told Mike I didn’t think I’d be able to swim that day because of my injured nose. He just looked at me and told me to get in the water. Wearing goggles was excruciating, and I spent the whole class silently crying underwater as I swam laps. At the end of each lap, I’d have to stop and empty the tears from my goggles. I did it to myself though – literally…

Sometimes after training, our mums used to take us to McDonald’s for dinner. McDonald’s – the dinner of champions!

2016 Australian Swimming Grand Prix

Sarah and I used to use our warm up time on the kickboard as a chance to catch up on all the gossip from school that day. We’d share a lane and kick up and down, side-by-side, talking the whole time. Mike even nicknamed us Ethel and Esme, because we reminded him of two gossiping, slow-moving old ladies.

I remember during one training session, Sarah and Danielle – another girl in our squad, who also went to our school – both asked to go to the bathroom. They were gone a really long time, and I began to wonder if they were ever coming back. Eventually they returned, confessing to me that they’d been trying to escape through one of the windows in the locker room. I was impressed, amused and annoyed they didn’t ask me to go with them all at the same time.

611798-ian-thorpe.jpg

I eventually quit swimming when they changed our training time to the morning. I am not a morning person, and my parents would have to get me out of bed by coming into my room and pulling all the covers off me. That’s just sadistic. Once I was at the pool, the smell of chlorine in the early morning would make me feel nauseous. After squad, I’d have to quickly get dressed for school, pulling my stockings on over damp legs (I haven’t been able to wear stockings since – the PTSD flashbacks are real), and carrying my wet swimsuit around in my school bag all day.

Clearly, I was never destined for Olympic greatness…

Even if I was though, I’d be the worst Olympian the world has ever seen. Aside from the fact no one in the history of the world has ever used the word “athletic” to describe me, I’m super competitive. There’s a very high chance I’d throw a public tantrum if I lost, ripping up the winner’s flag and kicking over the podium. I’d also be too busy checking out the, er, “talent” on the other teams. (In case you’re wondering, I’ve narrowed down the hottest athletes to three nations – Italy, Brazil and Spain. You’re welcome.)

01

One person who did potentially have what it takes to turn pro was my friend, Cathie. Cath was an outstanding swimmer, having been training ever since she was two years old. Comparing me to Cathie in the pool would be like comparing Selena Gomez to Beyonce – we’re doing the same thing, sure, but not really at the same level.

Cath was in with the A-league. She even used to train with Ian Thorpe before he was “Ian Thorpe, Australia’s Greatest Swimmer”. (That’s his full name now – true story.) I remember her telling me that she went home from training one day and told her dad – a man who is incredibly hard to impress – all about this boy in her squad who was “really, really fast”. Her dad didn’t believe her, so at her next training session, he showed up with a stopwatch and proceeded to time a young Thorpie as he went about his business in the pool. His conclusion: “Yeah… He’s pretty fast.” Coming from Cath’s dad, that was the highest praise you could ever receive.

158506-ian-thorpe

So even though I may jump up and down, scream, and hurl abuse at the TV while watching the Olympics in my pyjamas, I actually have a lot of respect for what these athletes do. The sheer discipline, skill, focus, strength and raw talent it takes to be an Olympic athlete is a rare thing – that’s why they’re there competing, while us mere mortals are not. Win or lose, they should all be proud just to be a part of it. Of course, I’d be even prouder if they won us a medal occasionally, but you know…

Swimming - Men's 400m Freestyle Victory Ceremony

The Mickey Mouse Club

As some of you may or may not know, I am a huge Disney fan. Just the other day, my friend, Sylvia caught me in my Mickey Mouse pyjamas… and then proceeded to laugh. And laugh. Yes, I’m a 33-year-old woman who wears Mickey Mouse pyjamas, and I’m not ashamed!

I’ll often talk about my “happy place” – which is Disneyland, by the way, in case you haven’t already guessed – quite literally “The Happiest Place On Earth”. When I say I’m going to my happy place, it means I’m envisioning myself spinning around on the teacups and saucers, wearing Mouse ears, while chomping on a lukewarm cinnamon-coated churros. Or it means I’m literally going to my happy place. (Yes, AGAIN.)

IMG_9404
**HAPPY PLACE**

Seriously, don’t come between me and Disneyland. You do NOT mess with Disneyland! When I was over in LA in January last year with my mum, she hung up the phone with my sister, Patrice, who was back home in Sydney, and shot me a concerned look.

“I’m worried about your sister,” she told me. “She’s fighting with your dad…”

You picked the wrong day, family!

“No. No! I don’t want to hear about it. I am going to Disneyland today!” I shot back. “Nobody is going to ruin this for me! Don’t shit on Disneyland!”

DSC02691
All I want to do is ride the teacups in peace. Is that too much to ask?!

I was serious, too. There are no problems in Disneyland, only happiness. I would live there if I could. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle will do me just fine. Even Toon Town – I’m not picky. Disneyland is everything the world should be – fun, joyful and with giant rodents. (Okay, maybe not the rodents…)

P1020254
With my main man, Mickey Mouse.

I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve been to the original Disneyland in LA. Throw in a trip to Disneyland Paris and five days at Disneyworld in Florida too, the latter of which almost broke me… I love it! I love the pain!

I’ve even shed a tear or two as I’ve left the park at closing time, as Julie Andrews’ soothing voice sounded from the speakers, fireworks trumpeting my reluctant exit.

But as much as I love Disneyland and all the cheesy goodness it has to offer, it can also bring out the worst in people. God knows I haven’t hesitated to push over a toddler or two in my quest for a selfie with Buzz Lightyear.

P1110036.JPG
Look, I’m not proud of how I got this photo…

If I’m being honest, I probably get more excited about Disneyland now that I’m an adult than I did when I first went when I was 11 years old…

IMG_2047
My first trip to Disneyland – clearly I couldn’t contain my excitement.

Yes, sometimes the novelty of being forced to ride It’s a Small World for the fifth consecutive time by your mother (Disneyland, 1994) wears off … Because if there’s one thing more annoying than listening to “It’s a Small World” on repeat for 12 minutes, it’s listening to it on repeat in 40 different languages for 12 minutes times five. (Math was never my strength – sorry, Dad). We get it – the world is not that big!

P1020210.jpg
Here I go again…

So, without further ado, may I present to you the most annoying people you will encounter at Disneyland…

Kids

They’re just so small, and they’re everywhere! As I’m standing in line behind them, waiting for a photo with Goofy, I often think I should get priority, based solely on the fact I don’t shit in my pants. Also, they’re prone to throwing tantrums on the reg. You’re at The Happiest Place On Earth, kid! Cheer the f*** up.

P1110307.JPG
Making friends in Florida.

Parents With Kids

The only thing worse than kids is their parents, who feel like they’re entitled to a better overall Disneyland experience simply because they reproduced. Well done, you. To everyone else – good luck finding a vantage spot to watch the parade on Main Street in between the sea of prams. And when your obnoxious child starts screaming in the Tiki Room, please leave. I want to enjoy Mimi and the other birds without a chorus of tears.

P1020204
It wasn’t my first time. I just wanted the badge.

People In Electric Scooters

I don’t even know where to start with this one… Generally speaking, the people who ride around in electric scooters at Disneyland are not disabled, they’re just morbidly obese. And lazy. But they may be onto something… As I discovered at Disneyworld, these people infuriately get to jump the queue. After lining up for almost an hour for a ride, my sister and I were bumped from the front of a queue when a man in an electric scooter showed up with an entourage of about 15. Also, you haven’t felt pain until an overweight woman eating ice cream in an electric scooter runs over your left foot in Tomorrowland. I should know…

P1110258.jpg
It’s not like I rode around in it or anything.

Queue Jumpers

This was the worst in Paris. Why don’t Europeans know how to line up?! While queuing up for The Haunted Mansion, my family and I had to go four wide – outstretched arms and all – to prevent a young couple behind us from inching their way ahead of us. Our perseverance paid off, and the girl went back to her rightful place of squeezing her boyfriend’s zits as a way of distracting themselves from the long wait ahead. Not on my watch!

P1050404
Chatting up Captain Jack Sparrow in Paris.

Ride Advocates

I’m looking at you, Mum and Dad! I’m a wuss, okay? It doesn’t matter how hard you try and sell rollercoasters and rides that drop to me, I’m never going to want to go on them. Accept it. I’m happy to stand on flat land, playing on my phone, while waiting for you to return from whatever fresh hell of a ride you’ve just been on. Also, me not going with you often means you get to cut the line as a single person rider, so I’m actually doing you a favour. Everybody wins. Stop pressuring me!

Team T-Shirts

I’m just going to say it – Americans have a tendency to be cheesy. Which is exactly why I love them. But when they venture out as a group at Disneyland, they often like to wear matching T-shirts. I’m not sure why they do this, but I have a feeling it has something to do with cheerleading… I just imagine my family asking me to wear a matching T-shirt for a family outing – LOL. Maybe if I got to wear an “I’m With Stupid” T-shirt, otherwise… No. (Well, there was that time in ’94 – see above – but otherwise, NO WAY.)

DSC02672.JPG
No team T-shirts here!

Complainers

Yes, I understand that’s what I’m doing right now, but I’m only doing it on the internet. That doesn’t count. I believe it was Tom Hanks who said, “There’s no complaining at Disneyland!” Or something like that… Once again, you’re at The Happiest Place On Earth – what could you possibly have to complain about?! Does your Mickey Mouse waffle not have enough whipped cream on it? Was Minnie Mouse on her lunch break when you stopped by Toon Town? What’s the problem? Let me tell you something about Disneyland employees – they’re forced to wear hideous uniforms and smile 24/7. They don’t need to be listening to your whiny ass as well. Don’t they suffer enough?

My Dad

That’s right, my dad. When he’s not forcing you to ride the steamboat up and down the river (a riveting time for all), he’s either getting lost in a 50-metre radius or subtly pushing slow moving tourists out of the way with his protruding belly. You do not want to go to Disneyland with my dad. Trust me.

P1050415.jpg
Dad in action.