The Humble Aussie Bloke

Someone holding a ‘mofo shot’ from my sisters party.

Damn my late night habits that will never die. My lil bro will be so pissed if he knew I was still awake (its 3.45 currently). I’m sposed to be taking him to get a long overdue haircut, his last one he estimated was 10 months ago. The kids got hair down to his shoulders! Well anyway, I had a thought so I had to write it down.

A month or so ago my sis had her 21st. It was an awesome night, heaps of people there. Our main group of mates are a very friendly and welcoming bunch, so any drinks night we have always turns into a long houred rager, full of shots and drunken chit chat. We always make sure to include any new people, and something that ties us together as a crew is our fondness of roaming around from group to group, talking to as many people as possible. I’m probably the one who’s the most annoying with it, anytime we’re out anywhere I’ll talk to anyone in close range to me, I’m always dragging people into the festivities and making friends with weirdos and characters. I like to think of it as good PR work, but its really just my drunk big mouth doing its thing.

Well, this had a point. At my sister’s party my cousin brought along his girlfriend, she’s been out with us a few times and this night was just a testament to our successful welcoming of her over time. She felt so comfortable that when we brought out the guitars to have a bit of a muck around (as usually happens with our boys, who are all fond of playing) that she, well.. She kind of took over. As a drama student, she has a way of being quite over the top and is very animated. She’s also very talented musically, in both singing and playing guitar.

A few of the boys making a variation of the Tequila Slammer. Snort the salt, Slam the shot and Squeeze lemon in the eyes.

Another thing about our group is that while we are very mixed in nationality, we all mostly identify with the ‘Australian’ culture despite some of us being only second or first generation Aussies. We all drink beer, listen to similar music, like to have a laugh, love sport, can be smartasses, are straight forward and blunt, act ‘tough’.. You know, all the makings of a classic patriarchal Aussie ‘bloke’ – even us girls follow along with it in a feminine counterpart kinda way. The reason this comes into play is because my cousins girlfriend broke a very important rule, not by having talent, but by not being modest about the aforementioned talent.

She wasn’t shy, she was full of herself, she was showing off and it made us all uncomfortable. I left the room after her first song, knowing she was going into a full concert, so I missed a lot of the action. But everyone I’ve spoken to after, especially the males in our crew, all mentioned her performance and found it to be quite cringe worthy and lost a lot of respect for her. Which is kind of sad really, she’s a lovely girl but she’s a performer at heart and she loves the spotlight. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with that, if she has talent she has every right to show it off, its just that what she did sat uneasy with our own consciences because we find the lack of humbleness to be distasteful.

My older brother finally gets a chance to play.

I just think its interesting to note this little common notion at work within our culture. A ‘good bloke’ is never full of himself and works hard, he is talented but when commended he always downplays it. Thats just the way we’ve been brought up to think and I know my father is quite a strong example of that. I only found out last year that he is amongst the top ten of his profession in the world. I always knew he was good to some extent because he was always wanted for overseas trips and had reasonable job security, but I didn’t realise exactly how talented he actually was. Because he would never ever say it, not in a million years, he has a big issue with keeping it under wraps and its partially because of this ‘bloke’ shit.

He wanted us to be proud of him but he wouldn’t tell us even though its such an accomplishment. I don’t remember how we got it out of him, we might have even found out from a friend, but I’ll always remember the day I spoke to him about it. I told him that I was proud of him and that I thought he was amazing and that I know he’s very modest but that it was true and he should accept it, and it touched him so deeply that he shed a few tears. It shocked me to the core, I don’t think I’d ever actually seen him cry and it made me realise how much this ‘bloke’ character affects people. You won’t be surprised to learn that his father was the bloke of all blokes, always hard, tough and unfeeling, and I feel pretty lucky that my dad came from that influence and turned into the affectionate and loving person he is.

Dad made time for the footy while the party was going off outside. Looks like Mackie on the tv.

People’s characters are very complex and deep rooted in ideas and events that may have taken place in their lives decades ago, we’re all pretty traumatised in our own ways, we all suffer from someone else’s problems because of this trickle down effect and intricate weaving of beliefs. Its sad to see the ways that patriarchy has also affected men, I really feel for my dad for the shit he’s gone through and I can tell by seeing how my own mates act that he is just one of many.

I’m finally off to sleep (at 4.52am!) so good night and sweet dreams.

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6 Responses to “The Humble Aussie Bloke”

  1. raydixon Says:

    Nice tribute to your Dad LuLi, and very understanding for someone of your age. He sounds like a nice “bloke” too. Cheers.

  2. LuLi Says:

    Thanks Ray 🙂

  3. gullybogan Says:

    It’s that Tall Poppy thing, huh.

    It’s bizarre that we have this facet to our culture, especially since we are so ready to celebrate our national successes in things like sport.

    The real cringeworthy thing about your sister’s performance is what the boys had to say about it. How dare they ‘lose respect for her’!

    It reminds me of that quote:

    “Sing as if no one is listening, Dance as if no one is watching, Love as if you’ve never been hurt, Live as if you’ll die today, Dream as if you’ll live forever.”

  4. LuLi Says:

    Yeah, it was my cousins girlfriend but yeah it is a shame they feel that way. She really is a good kid she’s just a different kind of person than they’re used to. The good thing is though even if they said anything to her it would slide right off her back and she’d probably bite them back with something to cut them down to size too.

  5. clubwah Says:

    Don’t matter how tough dad’s are, the smallest show of affection of gratitude from their daughters can always be enough to encourage tears.

    I reckon that could be Joel Selwood, number 14, on the TV there.

  6. LuLi Says:

    You could be right you know, the 1 may just be obscured from vision. Nice work, Wah.

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