Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Uncategorized

The Plainest Clarity


The problem with guys these days is they just don’t know how to throw a good picnic.

I wrote the line above as I shared A Pair and A Spare’s guide, “Five Rules for The Perfect Picnic” – the absolute idyll of outdoor occasions. I’d hoped to inspire (indirectly) a young boy’s valiant act of love; more likely, of course, I was warmed by my girlfriends’ agreement. Then, their wishes for picnics in parks and perfect men.


For the most part, I stand by my comment. However on second thought, there aren’t many girls out there buying brie for their crush either (it’s a really good cheese?).


In truth, we’re all a bit hypocritical. These days tears and ice cream will surface before the idea of telling another how we feel.

As my friend assured so wisely the other night, it could be so much easier. If we all had a bit more gumption, an equal “20 seconds of courage” that saw a family buy a zoo in that movie. Why, we’d have less criers on Valentine’s Day and perhaps tackle obesity too.

We’re not as much shy as we are just scared shitless of rejection. Controlling the risk is something at which we’ve become well adept. Our solution is to act stand-offish. We’d sooner appear cool and intimidating (an unintentional 2-for-1 deal) than nice and genuine. We play on the border, never to admit to someone we actually like them. That would be opening ourselves to vulnerability.

And sure, it’s fun at first. But it gets us bloody nowhere.

Nowadays, large, romantic gestures are undertaken as often as a step on the moon. Here on Earth, we are accustomed to taking each day as it comes. We struggle with even the small gestures. Then, spend our life complaining to the moon that we can’t seem to shift the weight. Yeah, we’re that friend.


Perhaps truth or dare will shake things up. This one works either way.

When was the last time you informed an unfamiliar guy/girl of your attraction? Without thought for the consequence, just purely to let it bask in the hemisphere?

I could ask myself the same question. The fact I can’t remember when, or if I have done so at all, is a bit of a shame.

And this from someone who isn’t even shy. In fact, those who know me well will assure the idea doesn’t overly phase me. Acting on spontaneity and flirting, why, you’ve just named two of my favourite pastimes. It just never does come to mind, does it? Nor in society is it very socially acceptable to approach someone, a stranger, to tell them we – without knowledge of who they are or where they come from – are attracted to their looks or their presence. That despite lacking a hand at young Leo Dicap (who does?), they aren’t doing half bad.

Perhaps, that we’re imagining a life together in a suburban apartment, or a french vineyard and it’s really looking quite nice. As are the kids, Mila and Jackson. They love the horses. So do we. Even though we ride because we’re posh, we’ve got that kind of relationship where we can laugh at ourselves, you know. Like, for example, we’d look at this photo and giggle because well, it’s a weird-looking horse, and what isn’t funny about that?

I’ll tell you what’s not funny. It’s that our lack of bravery might lead us to only a horse, and not someone to cackle at it’s features with. Or worse, someone that doesn’t even find it funny.


Back to picnics (you wanted more horses? me too), I wouldn’t change who I shared this one with. Several nights before Christmas, Tony and I headed down to enjoy a Carols on the Lawn service. It was a balmy and indulgent evening, a catch-up, a review of the year gone.

It reminded me of Geneva’s picnic. And too, that I shouldn’t have complained about having no beau to accompany me. I should have set up a blanket and lured him in with cheese.

I’m kidding, Michael Ealy rarely does make it through Auckland; that won’t work.

But what will, is continuing to share my positive thoughts. In the nature of Christmas, I’ll smile at more strangers, rather than absent-mindedly sending a stern face. I’ll tell the guy I find attractive, trusting his ego is seemingly well-positioned, of his favourable reality. We’ll see that this wall of pride – in anonymity or popularity – is broken.

And when a guy says, “I don’t think my girlfriend would approve of me dipping strawberries in chocolate dip and sipping on Rosé with you, but thanks”, I’ll know at least I tried. I shared some love to a stranger instead of bottling up something with the power to do a lot of good.

Undermined, I believe, is the influence of each one of our aura – not just towards those we know, but also those we impact briefly. Let’s make interaction – despite how fleeting – uplifting, honest and of all, an opportunity to love. With New Years approaching, and Valentine’s on it’s way, it’s never been a better time.

“How do you feel about a picnic for our first date?”

McKenzie xx

In our picnic, you’ll find: chocolate chip cookies, strawberries chilled in chocolate dipping sauce, kumara chips (salt and pepper flavour) and Lindaeur Rosé with freshly chopped strawberries.


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