a The Transit Lounge: The Pact

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Monday, May 29

The Pact

We all know what a 'marriage' pact is. One of those deals you make with a great friend of the opposite sex that goes along the lines of "When we both have reached X number of years in age, if neither of us are married, we will get hitched to each other."

Such pacts are usually made during times of heartbreak, when trying to comfort each other. Let me clarify that further. During times of heartbreak, when trying to comfort each other with copious amounts of alcohol.

I myself agreed to such a pact when I was a mere 19 years old, and living on the uni campus in Townsville. The mate in question was Ben, a fellow Melburnian who was studying the same course as me and whose room was opposite mine in the dorms. I wasn't really suffering from any heartbreak at the time, I had broken up with my boyfriend as soon as I got to Townsville (very brusquely over the phone after I had lost the sayonara gift he had given me on the ocean floor somewhere between Great Keppel Island and Rockhampton) and was fairly happy being single. From what I remember Ben hadn't had any heartbreak either, although he had broken a few hearts in some very eyebrow raising ways in a very short time. His preference to stay cold in a hammock during a camping trip to Alligator Creek, rather than sleep next to his girlfriend in a tent is one example that comes to mind.

Ben is a year younger than me, therefore at that time was a very youthful 18 years of age. And so the magical age of 25 was set in stone, not only because 25 seemed like a good age to be married by, but also because it felt like a lifetime away in which time I was confident I'd be married to a rockstar or celebrity of some sort, swimming with dolphins in the Carribbean applying my marine biology logic on acquiring the perfect tan.

Judging by the age we set not only did we not give ourselves enough time to find our respective life partners, we also underestimated the wisdom John Lennon imparted on us all those years ago about life being what happens when you are busy making plans. You can assume all you want about whatever you want, it doesn't necessarily mean it is going to be, something I wan't aware of then which is rather ironic since I now feel that my life is one huge example of that.

Back to the story at hand. Ben was - and still is - a great friend of mine. A good-looking guy who possesses all the qualities I would want in a potential man-bride. Well at least now he does, but back then the bottle a day of JD habit he proudly kept up was kinda worrisome, especially when his liver did actually pack up on him for a while, and no wonder too. But that and other things we laugh at now aside, - he has certainly grown up into a decent, hard working man who has retained his mischevous streak.

It is amazing we have stayed not only friends, but good friends considering, apart from the first 6 months of knowing each other when we both lived in Townsville, our friendship has always been maintained over a distance, firstly due to us residing in different states, followed by different countries. Ben made the effort to visit me when I was in hospital all those years ago with some sort of Ross River Fever/Diabetic/Asthmatic amalgamated disease, only he could have known how upset I was not to be returning to Townsville, especially since we were supposed to return together. Whenever geography has permitted, we always catch up - though face-to-face contact is sparse, thanks to MSN and email we are always in each others lives.

I remember approaching my 25th birthday, which happened to be my first birthday in Japan, I received a cheeky reminder from Ben via email as to our pact. To which I responded that we still had almost another year unti he turned 25. I think as his 25th drew close, we both thought it best to extend the matrimonious age to 30.

Not that either of us will ever push to put the pact in action, but it is something we do laugh about every now and then. Though distance has always been a factor in our friendship, he still remains one the closest people to my heart and will always be in my life, even when we are eventually married - to other people that is.

(I felt like writing this after reading a fiction book during whilst being in Cairns called Deranged Marriage by Faith Bleasdale, about such a pact being enforced)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i remember correctly it was a bottle of Johnny Walker a day not JD hahah!... and god only knows how many ciggies!!!!

i had completely forgotten about that crazy camping trip.... we were only 1 finger away from ridding this world of her forever!

12:43 pm

Anonymous sheree said...

oops that was me....

1:55 pm

Blogger Miss Riz said...

hahahaha - and the trips to Paluma with Ben driving when he clearly couldn't...

i also have this vision from the Alligator Creek weekend of Wes huddled off into the corner of the tarpolin cooking away on his cooker determined not to share any of it...that tarp was never the same.

6:16 pm

Blogger Steph said...

I made a drunken pact like that about two years ago, myself and my male friend picked 30 as a good age to do the marriage of convenience thing, but now....errrr...I'm hoping he forgets or gets himself a girlfriend. STAT!

10:09 pm

Anonymous Ben said...

So i finally get to have my say! I remember those days with a smile on my face. The experience of being a young adult away from home could be daunting for anyone. But with friends like Liz, Sheree and Potman (that name is due to the fact that his surname is Potaminakis, not what your thinking!) who could complain. We had some great times and those that i do remember through a drunken haze always make me laugh.

Just to clear a few things up. Yes, i did have my fair share of Johnny Walker, yes i did smoke more then a chimny, yes my liver really did decieded to go on holiday and left me to fend for myself. But just so we know, we where all very much the same... after all, we are now friends for life! I wasn't the only heart-breaker in the group, i wasn't the only person who consumed too much alcohol and im sure im not the only one who did something that seemed good at the time.

There are many wild and wonderful things that we shared together during the six months that Lizzy shared with us up North... most of which is best kept to ourselves.

Lizzy and i where always going to be great friends, after all, when you put two Melbournians together in a "city" like Townsville they are always going to be drawn together for the simple fact that they posses such qualities like class, culture and fashion sense.... something that Nth Qld really does lack.

The friends that i made during my time up north will always be close to me.

Im so proud of you Liz, jet setting around the world chasing your dreams and from what i have read, doing quite well. I only wish that your dreams didn't take you so far from us, because as you know, there is nothing more in life that i enjoy then sitting back having deep and meaningfuls with you.

As for the pact, well... 30 seems sometime away, but so did 25!

9:34 am

Blogger Gitte said...

All together everyone - awwwww. How sweet, nearly brought a tear to my eye. Nearly.

11:58 am

Blogger Miss Riz said...

It's difficult to cry hungover isn't it? Like you are totally dehydrated and can't spare a drop of water, not even for a parting goodbye. I understand. Almost.

12:36 pm

Blogger Gitte said...

Yu-huh. Sure you understand. Remember when I left Osaka after your birthday...and last year? Should we try for three in a row? My plane is leaving in the evening this time so we gotta have HUUGE night.

6:07 pm

Blogger Miss Riz said...

AND your plane is leaving on a sunday so i am pretty sure having a big night won't be a problem. Being home before Sunday night probably will be though. We gunna get u on da African Jooce.

PS Sheree, Ben....remember our trip to Airlie??? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

8:57 am

Anonymous Ben said...

What i do remember from that trip to Airlie is limited. But i do remember everyone going to sleep except me and Potman.

I also remember that my bag got tied to the rafters and someone took my matress. The wooden slats of a bunk bed aren't too comfortable when you get home late at night and fall into bed.

I also remember sheree telling me where to go when i said she better put my matress back or im going to jump into her bed. Needless to say, my matress was returned very quickly.

The last thing i remember is Potman looking like death walking the next morning!

3:51 pm

Blogger Miss Riz said...

yes i recall being behind that escapade of putting your bag and mattress on top of the rafters. that's right potman was soooooooo sick. so was his driving. i will never get in a car with him behind the wheel again.

5:35 pm


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