Conversation with my best friend prior to attending Brisbane’s latest fancy boutique beer house (or, actually, non-airconditioned warehouse-style inner-city distillery with wicker chairs in this case – but more on that later) led to the usual canvassing of potential outfits. So many things to consider – looking good, but, mainly, trying not to melt in Brisbane’s late-January humidity (and this before we knew about said lack of airconditioning).
“You’re going to wear jeans?” she asked in disbelief.
“Maybe. How muggy is it outside?”
“Too muggy for jeans?”
She considered. “Probably not.”
Arguments about levels of mugginess generally didn’t last long, the muggier the weather. Mainly because if it were really muggy, the level of lethargy it inflicted on Brisbane residents wasn’t conducive to pointless conflict. Pointless conflicts being something Queenslanders were otherwise very good at (I refer you to everything Bob Katter’s ever said).
“What are you going to wear?”
“I don’t know, Jessica. Nothing fits!”
“That’s because you’re in a couple. Your priority is eating. When you’re single, your priority is sleeping in the afternoon and drinking at night. That doesn’t exactly leave time to cook.”
“Oh, I know. Three years ago I was in a size 8!”
“Three years ago I was huge.”
“Yep, we’ve reversed. Dammit Jessica – we’re Kate and Leo!”
“Kate and Leo? Kate Winslet and Leo Di Caprio? Are you calling one of us a thrice-married divorcee with two kids by as many fathers and the other one – fat?”
Pause. “Yep, pretty much.”
Sounds about right.
She went on to explain that the analogy was so much more than that. It’s a classic exposition on reversal of fortunes. Back in the days of Titanic, Kate was a chubby, fresh-faced and guileless actress who was clearly hopelessly in love with suave, in-demand pretty-boy Leo (note: at this point not pulling at the thread that she was casting aspersions on what I insist is our completely platonic friendship – dammit, that’s exactly what Kate would’ve said!), who of course only saw her as a pommy hanger-on. Kate tried to prove to the world at large that she was not interested in Leo by getting married, which led to divorce, which led to re-marriage, which led to, um, re-divorce. All the while, she weasled another flick out of Leo with an equally tepid love scene.
Desperate, Kate. I mean, really. We all know a Kate and it’s usually an acquaintance who’s in love with her male best friend (not realising he’s plainly gay).
Then something rather strange happened. Kate, despite being a mother of two and past her Hollywood prime, started to look trim, taut and terrific. Maybe it was all the necking on Necker Island but she looked drop-dead stone-cold amazing. And then she won an Oscar. And then she rescued Richard Branson’s mother from a burning house. And then? Good god, she married an independently wealthy toyboy with the surname ‘Rocknroll’.
Well played, Kate. Seriously well played.
As for Leo? Well, despite some well-intentioned environmental campaigning (I think but who pays attention – does Leo ever talk or do anything?), Leo ballooned by about 30 kgs, which somehow had the odd effect of making his facial wrinkles more pronounced (known as the Oprah Effect in Retrograde) and he failed to find a lasting relationship, with either a woman, director or the voters in the Academy. Good South African accent though, and that counts for something.
In other words, the balance of power between these two (platonic!!!) besties had reversed unexpectedly via the sands of time.
“So, I’m Kate and you’re Leo now, is that right?” I asked my friend.
“Yes! I used to be thin and now I’m not and you are. Classic Kate and Leo reversal.”
“I think this is somehow a compliment. Although, Leo is still shagging Veronica’s Secret models and partying on a yacht, so…”
“I’m sure those models are contractually obligated.”
Probably. So back to the fancy Brisbane beer house thing, and all the plaid and beards going around – ok, it’s a thing for another time.