That’s What You Do

When I was about 18 I had a boyfriend called David. He was a friend of my sister’s then husband and about five or six years older than me.

I was his first serious girlfriend and he was my first seriously boring boyfriend.

He was the sort of guy who did things because “that’s what you do”.

He moved out of home and into a shared house with others because “that’s what you do”.

Went overseas for six weeks holiday because “that’s what you do”.

Travelled with a friend around Australia because “that’s what you do”.

Changed from driving a gorgeous red, convertible MG to driving a blue UTE “because that’s what you do”. All his mates had UTES so he thought he might get one as well. Besides, having a UTE means you can carry stuff when you go camping. And we went camping with the others because “that’s what you do”.

He worked for the public service sector and had done so since he left school because “that’s what you do”.

He probably had a girlfriend because “that’s what you do”.

Every Sunday morning he liked to have bacon and eggs for breakfast because “that’s what you do” on a Sunday. One Sunday I invited him over to my house to have a bacon and egg breakfast. I was still living at home then.

I was the worst cook then. No lovely sunny side up eggs would be cooked by me. Broken egg yolks mixing in with the fatty bacon. And loads of it. Who cared what it looked like, in my mind if it tasted okay, then that was all that mattered. Never mind the burnt edges of the white of the eggs. That would match the burnt toast that I served up with it along with the burnt percolated coffee that was there to wash it down.

David was a polite boyfriend and kindly ate everything I dished up to him that morning because “that’s what you do”. I ate the unattractive dish as well (I knew it was going to come up later on anyway so was not fussed).

Not long after he said he had to get back home and as we stood at the front door saying goodbye he looked a bit pale. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he felt sick, perhaps he had eaten too much.

Naturally, all my sympathetic instincts came out and I poked him, with full force, in his stomach. Obviously I hit the panic button in the right spot because he suddenly leapt from the front porch with his hand over his mouth. He managed to get to the front fence before performing a spectacular projectile vomit all over the garden.

He apologised profusely as he ran to his car and drove off. I almost wet myself laughing because “that really is what you do” when someone vomits after eating your cooking.

In fact, I still laugh about it when I think of his face as I poked his stomach. I mean, I know it was unkind but I meant it in the funniest possible way. How was I to know that my cooking so disagreed with him.

Anyway, we went our separate way months later (I dumped him). There was nothing wrong with him, I was just young and he was hoping to get married to me and I was not interested at all. A few years later he got married to a girl and told my sister he was getting married because he was thirty years old and “that’s what you do” when you are thirty.

Around ten years ago he sold his house and moved to a more exclusive suburb. My father was at the auction and asked him why he was moving from such a lovely house and David told him he was moving because “that’s what you do”.

I wonder if he is still doing things because “that’s what you do”.


14 thoughts on “That’s What You Do

  1. Hey Chunky: Nice to see you back on board. Well, dear David, what can I say – he was programmed to run on one track. And that is fine for some – but I do wonder now and then if he understood the concept of doing things because it is nice to do them.


  2. Talk about The Great Escape, Linda! He had no imagination whatsoever. I came across a number of men like that in my youth. The type who always had conversations about their jobs, their cars etc. In bars, when I met guys like this, I could not stifle my disinterest or ennui. I’m surprised I didn’t just yawn in their faces.Your cooking must have been pretty heavy for him to have chucked it up like that. I’m sure he never forgot you after that.Humdrum doesn’t do it for me either.Kat


  3. I think he was simply afraid to do anything the spirit moved him to do. He was an automaton. Society had it’s grips on him. You sound WAY too free spirited to have been shackled to a guy like him. Good choice. The vomit story made me laugh my head off. Poor guy. Did he vomit because “thats what you do?” I wonder if his involuntary reactions to things highly upset his applecart, as they were outside the “norm”? This was a cute story. I do sort of feel sorry for David, I think. For anyone to be THAT concerned about what others think? To the point that you do nothing for personal pleasure, but because it is expected of you is worthy of pity in my estimation.


  4. Karen: Well, I have to confess, I did give him one very hard poke in the gut which would have brought up an apple, let alone a plate of greasy bacon and eggs. Sometimes, his very inertia would drive me to acts of spite to get a reaction (there, I have said it, I was mean to him on purpose).He was so unaware of what he might have wanted to do. Poor guy.


  5. Kat: Ha ha, the Great Escape for sure. Years ago I recall times when I would go to a party and be stuck with some guy who would talk non stop about his fishing trip (using a monotone voice as well). Once I fell asleep in a chair whilst being “chatted up” but a complete bore. Honestly, makes me rather glad I don’t have to meet anyone these days – all that prospective yawning.


  6. You gave me an excellent chuckle there – I could picture it so vividly. Bet it was hilarious.I puked up on my drama teacher’s shoes when I was at sixth form. It was entirely is fault. He had been on the curry and beer the night before and decided that it was ‘better out than in’. And my stomach agreed…I must admit, he wasn’t laughing, though!


  7. Topiary Cow: A ute is what would be a tray truck in US. Or a pick up truck?Baba: Hmmm, I am not sure if I can handle that thought – it’s a girl thing. Annie: Once my mother woke up from a night out and had spewed in both of her shoes (worn out that night) and not a drop was spilt. She had no recall of the event.


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