By TONIA ZEMEK
Every Monday night I go over to my Aunty’s to catch up with a few politicians, one or two journos and a bunch of strangers. They do most of the talking and I just listen. I’m the Karate Kid to their Mr Miyagi. So, grasshoppers, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. It’s ok to fix your hair and make-up in public
Before Q and A gets underway, our guests make no secret of the preening and primping that’s needed to make them look their best. Tony Jones is trying to get a word in but someone from make-up’s dusting his jacket. To his left a hair stylist is taking a GST (make that GHD) to Tanya Plibersek. The opening credits are about to roll but Joe Hildebrand’s collar’s still being adjusted and Richo’s jacket isn’t on yet.
It’s carefully controlled chaos because quicker than you can say opening graphics and title track, our guests are ready for their close ups.
So why in the name of two-party-preferred can’t I be more liberal with my make-up? In the office I pop my kit under my wing and scurry to the bathroom as if I’m about to undertake some covert operation requiring stealth and torchlight. Pre-party, I’m parked and applying mascara with a palm size compact mirror lest someone see me being so vain.
Q and A, I hear your open make-up policy and I vow to try and be more like you. To take a brush to my hair in full view of my colleagues. To apply lippy at the supermarket. I’ll dare to brazenly adjust my collar and cuff in rush hour. I will stop the boats (make that coats).
2. You can invite all your friends to one dinner party
Sometimes I wonder how Q and A can throw so many big fish in to one pond.
Pollies from opposing parties sit beside feminists and actors. Journos rub shoulders with miners while visiting dignitaries chat with folk from Thargomindah.
Meanwhile I’m too scared to host a dinner party. Clare from accounts will have nothing in common with my next door neighbour who will undoubtedly come to blows with my old school friend. I couldn’t possibly have my teetotaling walking buddy in the same room as my boozy bud. Don’t even contemplate mixing the vegans with the carnivores.