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marriage checklist – or, why a long engagement is a good thing.

This is a surfing site, basically, so that’s where the pillars are sunk – the foundations. Our roots are deep.


– are a beautiful thing and in the eyes and mouths of some, if it isn’t four dozen Sydney Finest on first sitting then you are not being true to yourself.

The Restaurant

It’s a training exercise for her so that all will be well for all those married years to come.  Because she has your ring. Your promise.

You are engaged.

So tonight you travel to an exceptional restaurant on the Harbour – by the Bridge, just a block from the Hotel. A warm summer evening, a light north-westerly and a hint of good whitewater around North Head from the hotel bedroom window.

The Menu

This is where the training kicks in.

You take the menu offered and go straight to entree / seafood / oysters – and you order four dozen before the waiter has shaken out the napkins.  He defers immediate service so you ask him again. Now he needs his little book, he wants to go away for a while.


So now you tell him. 4 Doz. Quick ! … and flick on the thousand yard stare.

The little woman sits open-mouthed, lost in admiration and a kind of repulsion. This is what lessons do.

The Service

He brings the oysters to the table and drops a little rattle on their delivery. Kitchen chatter payback. He smiles, retreats.

Two big plates, two doz per plate. Everybody make room!

Now comes the waiter again to see whether we are ready to order – She has still not opened her menu and you are only six oysters into the pile. Scoop, sip, suck, chew. He asks whether you have chosen from the menu. He is not a surfer …..

A surfer knows that from the first oyster to the last – regardless of the number destined – conversation is forbidden. Distraction is forbidden. Maybe a ‘ pass the pepper ‘ or ‘ pass the lemon ‘ passes muster but little else. Every surfer on the earth has a healed oyster rip on the bottom of his foot. This is why we eat them.

The Gentleman’s Way explained.

Perhaps the next time you take the Fiancee to dinner – and she has as much time to read the menu in quiet contemplation as you do to eat four dozen oysters – she may well tip the glass of Roederer in your direction, whilst so engaged.

If she has learnt the lesson well enough.

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oyster ‘paypack’ – never considered that notion – but reckon I will now – just as soon as I’m in a time zone.. where they’re freshly available…

    January 7, 2012
  2. I’ve been on a version of that engagement ride before, twice. Once, when in my mid- 20’s young and broke, trying to land a poon princess who was clearly playing this vapid game at a higher level than I’d ever care to; I followed the same script and was left with the same hollow self-loathing and leaden credit cards. In hindsight, if I’d treated her like shite with disinterest and a dismissive air she’d probably have chugged my seed under the white linen then and there.

    I’ve got money now; not a ton. It’s good to be doing what you love for a living, even in these dark days. I’m older Budweiser now; I’d have gotten a “call” shortly after she dismissively tossed my flowers and ring down, calling me away from the tiresome game that our life was going to be, and then I’d have blocked her 15 calls later.

    Nice guys finish last…with bad girls.
    Nice girls provide coitus harder… and better… for longer. And have nothing but love for their fathers and themselves.

    So get worthy women, dear readers; even the crazy ones like Jo Bryant; keep away from the princesses who never developed compassion, empathy and caring because for them those things are like hard labor and buying your own drinks at a bar: totally unnecessary.

    Stop feeding the cancer you horn-dogs; pick good girls.

    *end rant*

    January 7, 2012
    • So…BR…am I to take it that crary and all I am a worthy woman ??? Just checking, ’cause if that’s the case i’ll put this wonderful rant on my CV !!!

      Oh and “Nice girls provide coitus harder… and better… for longer. And have nothing but love for their fathers and themselves.”

      Oh yes we do !!!!

      January 11, 2012
  3. So much of this is a waste of time and money, in my humble opinion – the ring, the restaurant, the hotel, but those fresh oysters with salt from the sea, absolutely priceless.

    January 7, 2012
    • This is a fantasy site PK .. except for the oysters

      January 7, 2012
  4. Pete, I have long suspected the oysters are the true fantasy.

    January 8, 2012
    • This will make you feel bad PK, I’ve just come back from the Ballina co-op with oysters, prawns and snapper – all caught yesterday – to be eaten tonight as the sun goes down over cold beer, chilled chardonnay and a little local choof –

      wish you were here

      January 8, 2012
      • Pete, you win! I feel bad, but more than happy for you. Personally, I don’t think waiters and oysters go together, let alone table clothes, candle light etc. but that sinking sun and the little local choof . . .
        Raising my glass (of Lucky U IPA) to you and yes, wish I were there.
        Cheers and happy sunset, with some sand between the toes!

        January 8, 2012
  5. I don’t care how many you’ve trodden on – they are still too disgusting to eat…

    January 9, 2012
    • you know how some folks like to moderate their comments before they allow them to pop up ..

      you should know this Jo because our Moderation Board of retired Brain Surgeons, all 15 of them are, to a man, oyster eaters

      January 9, 2012
  6. only 15 – i would have thought there would be more – and oysters still make me want to vomit – as do those mussel thingees they eat here – eeeuuuwwwww

    January 9, 2012
    • Picture this Jo – a narrow bottle holding two dozen oysters – bargain at $15 nz – opened and up-ended so they slide down the gullet – they make a noise going down … like glissshhhz.
      More please

      January 9, 2012
      • What!!! You mean those little green treasures still come in the long skinny bottle? Here’s looking at you Pete!

        January 10, 2012
      • Eeeeuuuwwww – my mother used to do that – horrible, horrible memory. I have tried them – one had a piece of shell still attached and it got stuck in my teeth – I’ve never recovered….

        January 10, 2012
  7. Well, now we know why JB is here …. heh heh …. What’s your excuse PK? This isn’t Broadway you know.

    January 10, 2012
    • PK is here because it was a sin for my mother to deny my father his conjugal rights, birth control was verboten, my father was the only one using the rhythm method and he loved oysters! However, I have always suspected that I was adopted.

      January 12, 2012
  8. JB is here because the pill wasn’t around back in the old days…and the mother was a bit of a wanton woman.
    BTW…love the stylish new look Pete – very surferish – clean, free, nice…

    January 11, 2012
  9. Hippy #

    Jo, Pete chose oysters because they are bottom feeders…. a metaphor to the engagement process that he so thoroughly despises.

    What the young blokes need to spin inside their temporarily empty minds is that the marriage is the biggest contract they will ever sign and as dear old Blasphemy so eloquently opines, better pick your business partners VERY carefully.

    I agree with ms Bryant and avoid the shellfish slime for Stella Artois and Ono filet in a divine lemon dill burre blanc. No waiter necessary, I’ll grill it myself. Nothing like asparagus spears in balsamic glaze…

    January 11, 2012
    • Now see Hippy – that is proper food !!! I have my doubts about the engagement process…I had one of a few years and yet I still went ahead and married the loser…Blasphemy was right, but it goes as much for us sheilas as it does for the blokes.

      January 11, 2012
      • Hippy #

        @Jo… I see these things every day at work and my astute observation is, if the guy takes over 3 years to engage or if the engagement lasts over a year, it’s either a concession or a one of the participants is trapped.

        I read the kids body language that come in for consutations and they are so transparent once the ice is broken. It’s like a runaway train that was started so benignly, but becomes desperate once the conductors realize it’s a one way trip.

        I had celebrity gig where the wife was literally a prisoner in her home. It does go both ways, but everyone needs to realize that it is their life and a tough decision to part is sometimes cathartic. The prisoner can walk away.

        I’m dealing with a nutball for this weekend, so forgive my cynicism.

        January 12, 2012

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