taking a girlfriend surfing ~ the manual ~ (1) meeting the parents
Meeting the Parents
They live in a house as big as yours and your neighbours both sides combined; the commercial jet flights that puncture every hour of your life are just pretty lights on the horizon here at the end of the drive, the long gravel drive, and somebody has kindly left the gates open, massive wrough iron gothic masterpieces that they are.
You are expected.
Now the general plan for the evening is to chuck a couple of towels, the wetsuit, a spare T-shirt, the old boardies, the girl and a few bits of fruit into the boot and tie down at least two boards on the roof. Board bags for bedrooms. The forecast is for solid perfection all weekend for the entire length of the east coast. (- and just kidding about the girl, she gets a front seat and a footwell)
The girl, we’ll call her Wendy, had all but invited herself when she first heard of the planned trip – and why not you asked yourself two nights ago at wherever the bar was, and just an hour after you met her. Alcohol does that to a fellow. God knows what she looks like tonight but a man is only as good as his word and surely this beautiful girl opening the door with all her long soft hair falling down the sides of her face and her deep brown eyes and her beauty beyond measure and treasure upon treasure clad in Chip & Pepper jeans and a Bench cashmere and wool hoodie is the sister – surely.
But she says Hi, and she plants a kiss on your cheek, then she looks over your shoulder at the two-door wreck you arrived in and now you remember the wink from the other night because she just did it again.
That’s how she got the nod. How it all comes flooding back!
Frank though is a little sauced, being Friday night, and that’s a Rich Bastard Mogul habit apparently. Frank is Wendy’s father, her mother is Doreen and she lives in the kitchen and her presence is apparently not required tonight. Frank has the one daughter and the pure ambience of the evening has yet to settle its radiant aura about his person.
Frank is Big In The City, he drinks Scotch whisky, eats alone every night and watches the NRL every weekend. Frank however is not happy with the weekend arrangement concerning his daughter Wendy and this broad shouldered oaf with his bludger’s suntan and unwashed hair. He’s thinking that this bloke couldn’t hold down a job in a slave-mine, and Doreen never looked at Frank that way either.
Frank measures wealth superficially – as if there is any other way – he’s a hair clothes and shoes man, and the oaf has too much of one and not enough of the other.
Frank also worries about the big brown barefeet on the Islimi Floral shagpile rug.
The oaf – that’s you – notices that Wendy is packed and ready for travel. Bag 1 for clothes, bag 2 for toilet articles and bag 3 for beachwear towels and hats. This not inconsiderable mound of matching luggage is stacked by the door and Frank is right up close now with his whisky fumes and eyes all redmazed up with broken capillaries and here you go once again wishing that just one day you and a couple of the Franks of the world might meet in the broken water where all men are equal.
It is now seven-thirty in the evening and the schedule is to leave immediately and cover the 950 k’s before dawn, point surf waits for no man – Wendy has already stowed her kit into the car and Frank is beginning to weave around a little just as the stars align in their heavenly traceways, and the transcendental mysticism of astral coincidence becomes evident.
His glass is empty, his dinner is ready, the game is about to commence. Frank’s trinity of want.
He goes, you leave, with Wendy.
– and five minutes into the trip she puts her hand on your thigh.
What to do?