Radio Interview Transcription
Jon Lewis: I’m gonna keep talking until I find my piece of paper. I found it! My guest knows what I’m talking about. It’s a fine early Thursday morning. We’ll answer our anagram teaser in just a moment. But there’s a new novel that’s come along. It’s entitled Never Look Desperate. I love that, I love that title.
I just think it probably says it all, really. And we are joined by a Melbourne based lecturer, teacher, and on this occasion also author as well, Rachel Matthews. Good morning, Rachel.
Rachel Mathews: Good morning, John. Thank you for having me.
Jon Lewis: It’s a pleasure, Rachel. I love the title. Tell us a little bit about the book, Never Look Desperate.
Rachel Mathews: Well, the title is ironic, John, in the sense that sort of through my own experience of being midlife and dating again after a long time, and from talking to people from all walks of life about their experiences, I started to realise that it’s really tough for a lot of people when they perhaps come out of a long marriage or relationship and have to sort of start again.
And in fact, in Australia, we have over four and a half million single people over 40. And which to me seems like a lot. And, so I was also really curious about, what these experiences were like for people because there’s so many challenges in terms of dealing with, new technology and in regards to the dating app, ages and so forth.
Jon Lewis: Well, I guess also all of our chat up lines would be about 20 years old as well.
Rachel Mathews: Well, that’s right. I mean, a lot of people say, I used to write my phone number on a beer coaster if I met someone in a pub and, have to leave a message on an old answering machine and hope for the best, or even go back to the pub the next week and just hope that they’re there.
And, and so it was a completely different world.
Jon Lewis: Well, I could imagine it would be, so somehow you managed to condense all of this into the new book, but you’ve also made it funny as well. And I could imagine a lot of the scenarios would just lead themselves to that way.
Rachel Mathews: Well, yes, I mean, someone asked me once, this is a dating revenge book, and I said, oh, that would be really, that would be really twisted and wrong.
Of course not. But and I’m sure your listeners can sort of relate to some of the scenarios that we can land ourselves in some people describe online dating as sort of like being, preparing for a job interview where you don’t even know if you want the job a lot of the time.
Jon Lewis: That’s a great point.
Rachel Mathews: Yeah. And I, I always, I, I have used humour before in my other novels as a Also tackling really difficult subject matter, I think it’s a great way of opening it up and also just to remind all of us that we’re all vulnerable and it’s, it’s better to actually be honest and kind of be I won’t use the word desperate because I’m using that in an ironic sense.
We’re told to never look desperate. It’s part of that terrible Kardashian kind of very artificial world that we’re in now. And I think it’s much better for us to say, call it out and say, this is absurd. We’re all the same, really.
Jon Lewis: I get the feeling Rachel, as I work my way through your lovely book, Never Look Desperate, that we’re also learning from this as well.
It’s kind of like a casual training manual, do you think that’s fair to say?
Rachel Mathews: Oh, I love that. Can I use that? Yeah, please do. Look, I, yeah. The three main characters Bernard, Min, and Goldie are They don’t fit with what society often tells us we should be or, in terms of how we should live, and that’s what I really love about them, and I guess they represent that very human, very real and very vulnerable kind of, position, I guess, in context of saying, look, I just want to live my life my way.
And yet, I also want to be connected, and I also want to be understood. And and I think that’s what is universally the same for all of us. And I’ve also met people who are dating, much later in life, and there’s terrible stereotypes about what that actually means. That intimacy doesn’t stop at all.
It’s, and that, intimacy on all levels, I guess I’m referring to.
Jon Lewis: And as we move forward into the years, so we’re jumping decades from when they first felt it had romance to now when they’re trying it again, what about the old oldy worldy ways? Are car doors opened in your book?
Rachel Mathews: Oh. Well, I mean, I think respect and it’s a sort of a a basic kind of native.
You know of being respectful, that people talk about look even if in this situation I’m, not the one for you or for that person if they could just treat me decently [00:05:00] and I think I think the problem with the online kind of shopping we’ll call it is it there’s such a high turnover that you know, some people have said to me look I feel as though i’m just like a pair of shoes on amazon, I could just say I could be any pair of shoes and I, and I feel treated that way rather than a human being.
So I think it’s important for all of us just to remember that even though we can’t see the person at the end of that act, That that they still are deserving of some kind of respect and empathy as well.
Jon Lewis: Yeah, I love that. Empathy, respect, a little bit of love in there. I like it. Beautifully put Rachel, I look forward to making it all the way through the book and I appreciate your time this morning. Good on you.
Rachel Mathews: Thank you, John. And yeah, thanks for your time.
Jon Lewis: It’s a pleasure. Rachel Matthews. The book is entitled Never Look Desperate. It is a bit, it’s an ironic title. It’s a comedy set in Melbourne and I think you might enjoy it.