Monday, March 8, 2010

The Make-up Artist

This is also on my website 

Challenging experiences and mean people?  I've had my share. We all have.Sometimes we can hold grudges that last a lifetime, that eat away at us and cause us all sorts of grief and illness.
I spent my twenties charging from one challenging person to the next.
While I was never short of a dramatic story to tell my friends - my life was problematic and full of anxiety!
It is only now that I realise that I was the challenging person and the "horrible people" were actually my teachers disguised as ... well... disguised as some of the biggest A-holes I have ever met!
A friend recently asked me why it took me so long to learn the lessons I had to learn in my 20's and why I kept getting myself into tricky situations. Once upon a time I put it down to being unlucky, poor me, why me...
I see it differently now.
I've  done a complete turnaround from plotting evil revenge strategies (in my head) upon these people, to wanting to high five them for teaching me some great life lessons early on so I can get on with it now...
Part one : My Teachers - Behind the Make-up
I could hardly believe it when my Aunt let me take over the lease on her Bondi Beach apartment.
Directly opposite.
This was living the dream. Now all I had to do was find a flatmate or two.

View from my roof...

Easy right?
I placed an ad in the paper. For some reason I was flooded with couples wanting to move in.
Not exactly what I had in mind, but at the end of the day it came down to an Aussie couple and a couple of English backpackers who I thought mightn't stay for long, nor help me out with any furniture.
I let the Aussie couple move in.
She was over six foot tall with a slightly odd but striking look.  She seemed glamorous, friendly and intimidating all at once.
She told me she was a make-up artist, and that she liked my shoes.
Immediately I imagined nights hanging out at home learning how to achieve the  smoldering and smoky effect with my eyes.  She would teach me fashion and style tricks and I would meet loads of her cool friends.
He was a lot younger than her.
A graphic designer who had  featured in a upmarket beer ad in one of the men's mags.  He looked like a typical surfy type and was a little goofy, but somehow,  cool.
Having only been in Sydney a short while it felt like this couple epitomised the 'cool' of Bondi that I was eager to be part of.
Without asking any questions I told the couple they could move in.
"Fantastic!" she said "We can move in tomorrow"
I got up early the next day and started making room in the linen cupboard,  I swept the floor and even bought some lovely smelling oil burners.
After lighting up the oil burner I realised I needed some milk and I ducked down to the shops.
When I returned the oil burner had started burning out of hand. The wall was completely singed.  SHIT. I was trying to make things nice, not burn the place down!
In hindsight, I take this as a warning sign.
A few hours later the Makeup artist and the Graphic Designer arrived.
I didn't have to tell them to make themselves at home. They did. Rather quickly.
Within a few hours the lounge room was rearranged with artwork and beanbags, the bathroom was invaded by an army of cosmetics and  my answering machine message on the phone? Deleted and replaced.
It wasn't until I asked for the bond money and they told me it was in the freezer that the warning bells started to chime.
Who had I allowed to move into my apartment, no questions asked based purely on their knack with eyeliner and their 'groovy' credentials?
The glamorous persona's they had created so magically were quickly debunked. She worked at the make-up counter at Myer. He, was unemployed. Just skated and surfed all day - his magazine gig was about two years ago and it was a one-off.
Though I am not sure of it, he may have been dealing drugs for a living.
They had dinner parties and had friends over often. Many times I would be too intimidated to step out of my bedroom and so would stay in there all night.
Often they hadn't paid rent for weeks giving me some genuine story and then I would see them dining with friends in upmarket Bondi Restaurants while I was scraping it together to get to work because I was covering their rent.
This continued for a while. I was a timid little thing and intimidated by this manipulative couple.
One night just off the bus from work I noticed the two artists in a restaurant with friends. They saw me walk pass and waved me in. I was annoyed at this point because I had to borrow money from a friend to get the bus home and here they were dining out no expense spared.
I sat down and had a glass of water.
The Make-up Artist turned to me and said "Would you be a doll and run up and get me some cigs" as she handed me a $10 note.
I took her $10, left the restaurant and felt my entire body become enveloped in a hot rage. The way she patronised me, the way they sat there and ordered more bottles of wine - THEY OWE ME TWO MONTHS RENT!
The camels back snapped there and then.
I was being taken for one big nasty ride here and they knew exactly what they were doing...
to be continued


Paul C said...

This post reminds me of the quote:

When a man angers you, he conquers you. -Toni Morrison

Interesting plot development.

angelguided said...

I want to read the rest of it Sharni!!!! It sounds familiar to many of my life stories, but what doesn't break you does make you stronger, I suppose, and I agree, thses people are our best teachers. We draw to us the people that will help us learn the leasson we need most to learn. It takes a while to get over the initial, poor me syndrome and wanting revenge as you state, but hopefully the penny drops eventually, and we learn....! Or not and then someone else comes along where we are made to face ourselves again, and hopefully learn the lesson. Love it, can't wait for the next part :) xx

Aine Butler-Smith said...

I see a great plot twist coming...
I used to be a woe is me type as well and then I realized that it was my strength and courage that led me to these opportunities to use my strength and courage. Duh.