I learnt two things launching Arafura last week:
- Accepting and enjoying people’s kindness and support is so much more rewarding than resisting/being anxious/apologetic etc.
2. Women have strong opinions about types of potential mates, which I’ll come to shortly.
It all began when I visited one of Canberra’s hidden gems, the Beyond Q bookshop. It has books that beg you to buy them, a great range of ephemera, a bar, cafe, and is also an unexpectedly funky live music venue.
I asked Simon, one of the owners, if he’d be interested in selling my book. He was, (bless him) and he also encouraged me to have a book launch. I squirmed, I agonised, shook my head. No. “Do you want to be an unknown author forever?” he challenged. “You have to do these things. I’ll help you.”
And he did. Very generously. One dear girlfriend (and successful urban chicken owner I might add) volunteered to be (and was a wonderful) Mistress of Ceremonies. Click here to read Lee-Anne’s recent post, Hooked on Chooks, it’s not normal.
Whilst handing out the invitations, my inner shame gremlin whispered variations of “What makes you think you’re good enough?” and other boring and destructive thoughts not worth sharing here. But most people to whom I mentioned the launch seemed happy to come. On the night, many did, with good wishes and a sense of generosity and humour.
This is where I re-learnt my first lesson. Don’t be repetitively angsty about something people are trying to support you with. It’s counter productive, it’s boring and ultimately rude to them because it appears as if you’re not taking their kindness on board. In the end the Amazon Princess put her hands over her ears and said, “Enough! You’re just doing this for attention.” That shut me up. So I stopped apologising about me, that I should have edited Arafura one more time; and about inconveniencing people by asking them to the launch on a Thursday evening etc. I stopped resisting the positive energy that was coming my way. I was still nervous about a myriad of things, but I now see more what Brene Brown means about feelings of belonging, friendship and joy that come from taking emotional risks. See Brene’s Ted Talk in a previous post here.
Which brings me to my second discovery. Many women have strong opinions about types of potential mates for the long haul. Pro vs anti-Adam type opinions. As part of the book launch plan, another girlfriend and I had a ‘chat’ on the ‘podium’ about Adam. In a nutshell, here’s what HazMo’s Mama had to say with her usual provocative hilarity. (Let’s not allow a few facts about ovaries to get in the way of an amusing theory)
“It is a much discussed subject amongst dearest girlfriends – the notion of one’s “ovaries” type versus one’s “companion/husband” type. It sounds so simplistic when I write it down, and certainly it’s much more hilarious in real life…..but in a nutshell (and please, PLEASE let’s not get too technical or hung up on terms), our ovaries type is the type of man that hits us in the ovaries. A primal, hormonal attraction, electric, electrifying and probably (usually) entirely unsuitable but someone that you absolutely definitely would shag in a heartbeat. An attraction that is emotionally risky and absolutely, definitely fraught. Everyone has their own version of the type – the tortured poet/musician, bad-boy actor, the gentle hippy, tradesman, military man, fireman with a big hose….you get my drift.
This is compared to the “companion” type – people entirely suitable to husband and father-of-children duties. A man who may not have the electric-shock attraction but who you could absolutely go to bed with and wake up to every single morning for god-knows-how-long and still like and love. And you know, even want to shag. Love in the trenches of domesticity.
Oh, and I know that not all you good readers out there are women and I most certainly don’t wish to isolate you from the discussion. Said “ovaries vs companion” conversation has been repeated many times with my very own Aspiring Urban Farmer husband (and for the record, the companion type). He concurs, and tells me with slightly disdainful eye roll that actually, yes, men also consider this in making important choosing-life-companion decisions (though he would characterise it more succinctly as “women for when you are young and having fun and women for when you decide to make a life committment”)”.
As HazMo’s Mama and I encouraged discussion, some women spoke up in defence of Adam. They believed you could indulge in your passionate ovaries type and have an exciting long-term relationship, that Adam was ‘troubled’ not ‘trouble‘. Others thought he was a ‘tosser’, ‘damaged goods’, and not a good long-term prospect (although for some that has nothing to do with being a great shag). I suggested people can change – can’t the party animal from uni days end up a sensible, conservative father? Some women shook their heads, suspicious. Private discussions ensued afterwards about ovaries vs life companion choices. I think HazMo’s Mama pressed a button and got us thinking.
Fiction allows us to have some fun and fantasize about options and possibilities, to put ourselves in the shoes of Kat and be titillated by the attentions of unpredictable, handsome, Byronic heros. Whether or not they’re short or long term prospects is personal opinion. 🙂 I’ll put launch photos up on Facebook soon. My ‘photographer’ has uni exams and I won’t bother her now.
If you’re interested in judging Adam for yourself, I’m running a giveaway. The next ten people to buy Arafura as an ebook and leave a review on Amazon, and who contact me with their details, will receive a free autographed paper-copy, mailed anywhere. Click here to purchase Arafura.
Martina Taliano from HerCanberra kindly posted a Q&A on Arafura here (guess what type Martina goes for) 🙂
Have you made a companion vs ovaries choice?
Have you taken an emotional risk that paid off?
I’d be interested to know. 🙂