Insta star Celeste unveils new book
Celeste Barber is an Australian comedian, writer and actor. In her latest book, Challenge Accepted!, she tells the story about how she met her #hothusband.
The One With #hothusband
I HAVE ONLY HAD THREE SERIOUS BOYFRIENDS in my life and I married one of them. I'm one of those annoying people who knew I was going to marry my husband as soon as I met him. #sorrynotsorry.
My first boyfriend was when I was in Year 7 and he was excellent. We were so into each other, we were the It Couple of the year (well, that's what I tell my husband if we have a fight and I'm trying to make him jealous; I'm pretty sure no one else in the school even knew we were together).
He was so passionate for a 13-year-old. He would sing all the lyrics of Boyz II Men's 'I Swear' and bought me Prince's single 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World'. He even wrote my sister a letter about how lucky she was to be related to me. He's only human. We planned our wedding: we would have all our family sitting on one side of the aisle and all our friends sitting on the other side, and as soon as the clock struck midnight we would ditch the family and hit the clubs with our mates, because we were crazy yet considerate.
I lost my virginity at 17 with my second serious boyfriend, who had as much hair on his back as he did his head. He was a footballer and a supersensitive soul. He would cry if we had a fight, and cry just as much if I told him I didn't like parsley. We were together for three emotional years but never planned our wedding.
I was the wing woman at school. The go-between.
Guy: Hey Barber, can you go and ask Karen if she wants to sit with me on the way to the bird sanctuary?
Me: I thought we were going to sit together, I've got a heap of new gags I'm working on.
Guy: Nah, not today, mate, I want to feel Karen up on the way.
Me: Sweet! I so didn't want to sit next to you on that dumb bus, anyway.
Guy: Oh, and ask her if she wants me to spit my gum out before we pash this time.
Me: Yep, of course I will ask her that, that seems like an awesome and considerate question. FYI, if I was pashing a guy like you, I would totally be fine with you doing whatever you want with your gum.
At first I was totally cool with this role. I knew my place, I knew my worth and I knew my sexual appeal, and I was very happy with all of it. Until I wasn't.
Me: Um, can you start getting someone else to ask her this stuff? I feel weird doing it.
Me: I don't know, maybe I don't want to be your go-between girl any more.
Guy: What are you talking about?
Me: Well …
Guy: You're not my go-between girl.
Guy: You're like a brother to me.
When guys started paying attention to me it was a whole other level.
It took a while. I like to wear people down over the years with my subtle sexuality. And anyway, going from average brother-type friend to pageant beauty overnight can only happen to one girl per school, and Kimberly Hardcastle was the queen on that throne. Seriously, she went home one day with her nondescript mousy brown hair and came back the next morning with platinum-blonde locks and a fringe that you could surf under, and her boobs did everything mine wouldn't, they pointed forward. It truly was an awakening for all of us. Well done, Kimberly.
If a guy was into me it wasn't an overnight thing. He wouldn't wake up one morning and think, 'S***, Celeste! Oh God, it's always been Celeste, she has been in front of me this whole time and I didn't even realise. Wow, the way her monobrow joins in an unintimidating way, the way her double cowlicks really accentuate her small mouth, this is everything I've wanted when taking a lover.' No, those weren't my teenage experiences.
This all changed when I met my husband. I went from Liz Lemon to Amber Rose in only ten short years.
I met #hothusband 15 years ago. I was 21, and working at Dick's Hotel in Balmain and living in Kings Cross.
I mainly did night shifts, but on this day I had decided to do the double shift. And thank God I did.
Api walked in around lunchtime and as soon as I saw him I couldn't take my eyes off him.
We looked at each other and smiled, and all the feelings that I experienced while watching Wild Things alone in my studio, I was feeling in that moment in that pub.
So it was on. I flirted with this Maori Adonis like it was my job and my rent was due.
Every time the staff had to collect empty beer glasses from the tables - a job people hated doing - I would put my hand up to do it. Any excuse to be close to him, flirt with him, brush up against him, prevent him from stumbling over, I'd take it.
Turns out I wasn't the only one wanting a piece of this hot magical unicorn.
I was 21 and had a fight on my hands, as there was a group of women a lot older than me, around 36, with my prey in their sights. One of them came up to me at the bar, ordered a vodka and said through clenched teeth: 'Step off, little one, this one's mine.' I felt bad for them: they were at an old workers' pub looking for husbands, and as soon as Api walked in it was hunting season and they were on heat. Weren't we all?
I usually get intimidated by people who are so much older than me, because getting old is hard, but these women didn't know what they were messing with. I was a horny 21-year-old with a Halle Berry haircut (the short one) who had been funny her whole life and never been sexually desired by a sexy man before, so they could just f*** right off. #feminism.
After the verbal warning from Denise, she and her friends Carol and Margo all went to town on him. There was gyrating, hair-flicking in his general direction and a lot of over-the-top laughing at his terrible slurred jokes. (I love my husband, but calm down ladies, he's hot, he's not Will Ferrell.)
But the romance wasn't lost: while he was playing up to the blue-rinse section's advances he made sure to involve me.
He came over to me and, while I gave him his 15th shot of vodka (on the house), he grabbed the tip jar. With a cheeky grin, he walked back over to the seniors set and announced in a loud voice to his audience: 'If you ladies give me $5 I'll lift my shirt up.' With that, $50 worth of $5 notes went flying into the tip jar. MY TIP JAR. He was getting ME tips. I don't care if he was getting me gonorrhoea, he winked at me as he lifted his shirt and I was caught hook, line and sinker.
This is an extract from Challenge Accepted! by Celeste Barber. Published by HarperCollins and now available in all good bookstores and online.