Do Not Disturb

Public transit. Those two words evoke many feelings in people: environmentalism, claustrophobia, convenience, or frustration to name a mere few. For me, the extremely late drivers license bloomer, they’ve been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I navigate the subways with ease (except the west end, there be dragons), know how to time my transfers (apps are key), and where the prime seats are (if I told you, you’d be sitting in them when I got on the bus). One thing I haven’t mastered however, is the art of looking unapproachable.

Half the time, it’s my own fault. I people watch and smile. When I get asked for the time or if they could sit beside me, I respond politely. I also don’t really know how to give off the “don’t talk to me signals” or alter my high pitched squak into a threatening growl. It gives the crazy, lonely, drunk, or oddly sociable people a wide open attack.

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One time, an old grandmother decided to talk my ear off in Chinatown. I not only had a hard time understanding her accent, but the friend I was with was so good at disengaging the conversation that I didn’t know how I was still talking to this lady! She proceeded to give us life and career advice the next 20 minutes. Another time while I was in London, England a dude who started up a conversation even offered to solicit me at the beginning. I don’t know if I should be flattered or disgusted. (It was the latter, come on dude).

But a few weeks ago, my awkwardness got me into another yeesh situation. I was out with my friends downtown but not really feeling the whole social/drinking thing that night. I said adios early and hopped on the subway to trek it back east. I just wanted to listen to my music, zone out and not have to do the friendly thing. Apparently I was not giving off that vibe.

A dude giving off major Bruno Mars vibes (not in a good way but in a fedora way) shuffles over to me. He’s young, but seems pretty harmless. He taps me on the shoulder to strike up a conversation. I take my headphones out, inwardly sigh and turn to him.

Bruno then proceeds to tell me how he’s in university, drives a motorcycle and is a cool musician (he actually described himself as cool). I sense the fact he’s trying to pick me up so I mention that even though I look 18, I’m actually 10 years older. Normally that deters the youngins. No way dude, I think Bruno is having some Mrs Robinson fantasies.

I’m not a piece of meat, Bruno!

So I try a different approach, I say I’m heading home to my “boyfriends” house. This normally really gets dudes off your tail. Bruno doesn’t skip a beat (what is his end game?!) and keeps chatting.

He asks me where I’m headed and I tell him I’m transferring at the next station (which I’m not). Conveniently, he is as well. Man, I thought I would escape this conversation that way. He tells me all about how he lives in the east and whatnot. Once we transfer onto that subway, I lie and say I have to get off in a few more stops and go north, thinking I can shake him off my trail and then double back. This is a lot of strategy at 1am.

When I tell him I’m transferring again, his story matches mine. What the what?! This kid is like a conversation leech! I couldn’t believe all my plans had backfired and should probably resign myself to my fate of being chopped up and put into jars in his fridge.
frustrated animated GIF

Finally, I reach my “stop” and quickly excuse myself before any exchange of numbers or Facebook details could occur. Sidenote: one time I was in a similar situation at a library where I ended up telling a guy I didn’t have a phone number because I didn’t have a phone. I ended up never seeing Bruno Mars Motorcycle Cool Dude again.

Looking back, maybe I should take this all as a super compliment. This guy was clearly a friendly soul just wanting a shared experience on the subway. Why was I so bitchy about it? I think it all comes down to timing, gentlemen. Never, try to pick up at girl at last call on the subway. If she’s alone it is because: a). She’d tired and just wants to get home b). She got turned down and just wants to get home c). She wants to listen to her music, maybe eat a burrito and get HOME. Pick up at the bar, not whole holding onto one.

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I’m yellin “Tinder”

The online dating world is the epitome of yeesh to me. Now, I know many friends of mine who have developed lasting, solid relationships through these sites so I mean no disrespect to their success. For me though? Not as successful. My standards are super high and I tend to only get creepy messages from people.

ImageI go for the free sites because I’m not really dying for a boyfriend (I don’t need to be matched or lava-lifed, I just want to get back into dating). So I enter POF and I’m cautious, I’m picky. I ignore most messages and the guys I actually meet I feel more of a kinship friendly vibe than anything else. So what to do?

Enter: Tinder.
Or rather: Enter girls night with my non-single girlfriends who want to live vicariously through me. Add some wine, wifi and bam! I’ve downloaded and registered with Tinder.

For those that do not know, Tinder is a “dating” app that takes pictures of you (chosen by you from Facebook) and let’s you scroll through pictures of other people with the opportunity to “swipe right” (aka “you’re hot, I like your face”) or “swipe left” (aka “nice personalities need not apply”). If you swipe right on someone and they swipe right on you, you get a little Super Mario-esque heart that says “you’ve matched” and now have the opportunity to chat with them.

Sure, Tinder is super judgmental but you’ve gotta be a super-human to admit that looks really don’t matter. I believe that a lot of that initial spark and rambunctious butterflies you get when you have a new crush comes from physical attraction. Then it grows even more once you realize you’re compatible with them and has the potential to turn into the L word. Tinder, in my mind, is perfect. No more sketchy looking dudes messaging me first! As well, for a girl just getting back into the scene, there can be a lot of pressure with online dating. Majority of people want girlfriends and a lot of that initial “do they/don’t they” intrigue is missing. With this app though, I can just like people and leave it at that. If we match, it’s up to me to even reply or take it further!

After a week-long use of the app, I’ve developed my own basic screening process. Dudes, take note:

  • Selfies are dangerous territory. Opting for a fun, silly pose or hanging with friends is good. Mirror shots with your phone, not so much. Where are your friends to take pictures of you? …Are you a psycho murderer who has no friends?
  • Ab shots don’t do it for me. I’m intimidated and love dessert too much. Jersey Shore is so 2010.
  • Pics with your dogs rate highly for me. Pics with your cats make me think you’re too introverted and/or too hip for me.
  • A quote from Looking (HBO) is pretty spot on: “Instagram filters have ruined everything and I can’t tell if this guy is hot or not.”
  • Sunglasses are incredibly misleading! Almost every guy looks hot in sunglasses and then the next picture it’s like the beer goggles came off! Beware! Beware the ray bans!

Anyways, I’m having fun with my girlfriends, being totally judgmental biotches, when BAM! I see someone I know.

ImageWell what do I do?! Do I click “yes” because it’s rude for me not to? Or what if I do and they do too and then they think that we should go on a date? When really all I was doing was being nice? Do I mention it to them? What if they get offended if I didn’t click yes and then I’d have to justify the reasoning?! Why did my fun, carefree, no-strings attached Tinder experience suddenly get so complex! I thought I left my neurosis behind at the AppStore!

In the end, I kind of hid. I didn’t say yes or no and closed the app. Essentially running away from it. Now, I’m not as eager swiping through the pictures in case I run into the dude from my Gr 10 Bio class or a close friend. Then again, maybe I will run into that OTHER dude from my Gr 10 Bio class and I can live out my adolescent fantasies.

I invented Post-Its.

Along with many other part-time 20-somethings I know, I too am holding down two jobs. One is helping me achieve my career goal and the other is totally just for extra cash. I work on the weekends as a server at a banquet/wedding hall. It’s always been pretty easy and fun work full of unemployed hilarious actors, slightly egotistical bartenders, and an insider’s cynical view on the wedding industry. I’ve seen it all: bridezillas (moms of the grooms are often worse though), drunken guests (playing skip rope with the table linens), and the definite no-nos when it comes to speech giving (keep it short, avoid generalized marriage clichés and tell funny but appropriate anecdotes). But what happened to me one night was straight out of a sitcom.

I was doing coat check, a relatively easy position for a decent pay rate, when I see someone I know from my high school enter the queue. Now, in my two years working here, I’ve only come across people I knew twice. One time was pleasant (the dude was a dj) while the other was super awkward (she was a guest). When the guest saw me, she said “so I guess teaching isn’t going so well”. Yeeeeesh lady, just take your damn Slider already.

So with that prior experience in mind when I saw someone from my high school approach the coat check, I froze. Luckily, I was not recognized. Phew. However, the next person did. Along with a slightly judgmental gaze, she goes “wait, did you go to…” Yup, I did. She then proceeded to tell me about how the event here tonight was run by another alumnus and there were a whack load of other OACs running about here tonight.

When I was in high school, I graduated in Grade 12, the first year to do so. As a result, we never got to be the top dogs in the school and had to share graduation honours with the OACs (the 13th year). While I’ve gotten older, age differences amongst friends and relationships doesn’t matter, but when I was 17? Those 18 year olds were so mature and super cool. Now, a whole bunch of them were going to be here tonight. Hindsight: Anyone who does the “milk challenge” is NOT mature nor cool, unlike my teenage self thought.

 Person by person filed through the line to drop off their black coats (seriously Toronto, does everyone here wear black?). Some recognized me and said an awkward hi, some recognized me and said nothing (but they knew! They KNEW) and others had no idea who this little girl was who politely took their coat.

tumblr_mbcnc3vQaF1rurv44I’m just gonna hide now.

Some of the discussions that took place in that coatroom and what I wished I said back to them:

  • “You’re still so tiny!” (Yes, I am. Normally people don’t grow much past the age of 16)
  • “Is this your job?” (Yes, but I have a super rich boyfriend and I just really like coats)
  • “Wait, I know you! Did we go to University together?” “Yes.  Also high school” (and we used to be facebook friends, you nitwit)

I count my stars that at least I didn’t have to serve them food and make too much small talk while handing out chicken skewers. My interactions were limited to entrances and exits. And man, after the embarrassment of the entrances, I did not look forward to the exits. Little did I know, the exits would be the best part of the night.

Everyone gets drunk at charity fundraisers. A little less than those that would at a wedding, but there are still a large amount of people who pound a few back. So when they all started wobbling back: girls taking off their shoes and slurring their words, boys trying to be sly and obnoxiously hit on me, it was amazing. Suddenly, I felt in control. I had their coats. I was all powerful.

I handed them out, thanked them for coming and tottttally judged them like they judged me. That hot football player? Kinda has a beer gut now. The cliquey girls? Pretty sure I saw one of them go outside to throw up. I most likely won’t see any of them again and those that I did see that I liked, I can always chat to them on facebook. So see ya later, people of my past, I’ll enjoy counting my tips.

Damn you, John Hughes

You know what’s a horribly awkward experience that almost every person on the planet has experienced? Unrequited love. There’s a reason there are so many country songs and movies starring Molly Ringwald that address this. I’m not writing about the kind where the dude leads you on intentionally or you’re just completely delusional about the relationship. I mean the kind where you never really knew what could or will happen. Those “in-between”, ” maybe” boys. The kind that keeps you up at night when it’s way past the honourable mention of sleep and all you can do is fantasize about the what ifs.

“What if”…. Ugh, that’s a horrible, horrible phrase. I guess it has some historical/scientific purpose or else we would probably still be sitting in our caves doodling on walls and roasting s’mores and never have gone out exploring the world…. But when it comes to late night internal debates? Brutal.
Shy wave

We’ve all done the awkward wave.

I’ve had my fair share of unrequited loves. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m chicken shit (I am) or I like the idea more than the reality (most likely) or if I just really like putting myself through the drama (my dad once bought me a mug that said “drama queen” on it). Yet, I seem to continually find myself in these situations. I like guys that aren’t living in the same province as me, the guys who are engaged to I’m sure their lovely fiancées, the dude from high school I never got to go to prom with, the list goes on! Not to worry though, 90% of the time I don’t do jack and just keep on plodding on through life while sitting miserably by my computer screen while they post happy couple pictures on Facebook.

“Well, Twitch,” you may think, “you sound kinda pathetic instead of funny and I was promised some funny blog content! Get to the good stuff.” Alright, how about the boy I’ve liked since elementary school getting married and inviting yours truly as his only childhood friend to the wedding? It’s taking all I can NOT to turn into Julia Roberts from My Best Friend’s Wedding. Or finding out that someone you liked wanted to ask you out but you thought that train had sailed so you friend zoned his butt, only to learn years later that you’re the idiot and he was going to ask you out? That time when you liked someone younger but have no idea how to broach the subject without coming across as a Ms. Robinson? What about when a guy tells you he likes you but oh wait, he jumps on a plane shortly after? (this one has actually happened more than once)

A part of me loves it: the chase, the crush, the mystery. Another part of me hates it: the uncertainty, the self-doubt, the let down. I know the obvious answer to all my unrequited love stories to slap myself and make myself more available to the “here and now guys” rather than the “hopefully later guys”. I am learning to do that. It’s scary but I’ll get there. The world is full of less complicated relationships. Yet the hopeless romantic in me is still looking for that movie ending … And hopefully its one where i don’t die tragically in his arms, ditch ducky at the dance or end up twirling around a wedding with my gay best friend. Actually, come to think of it, the last one doesn’t sound that bad.

Hold onto your butts.

I don’t really know how to properly write the first entry of this blog. I can’t just jump right into the crux of my being but also not bore the readers with minute accounts of my day to day life. I need it to be witty and retrospective enough to warrant a repeat viewing or even the illustrious honour of a bookmark or follow!

I guess as any good narrative begins, I should probably introduce myself. The name is Twitch (or Twitchyq if you will), pleasure to meet you. I’m approaching the age where I should have figured out my shit, learned how to hem my own jeans, and not dissolve into a pit of giggles every time a paint can hits Marv in Home Alone. Alas, in my 28 years on this earth, I still haven’t quite mastered those things.

Some Things I *have*mastered:

  • Daily functions (I can sort my laundry AND tie my shoes)
  • Random memorization of seemingly unimportant information (just you wait, my line-to-line recitation of The Princess Bride or various softball cheers from middle school will one day come in handy)
  • The pass code to get past the really hard lava level in Aladdin on SNES and move onto the fun genie level
  • Knowing my passions and when I’m motivated, pursuing them

Things I should probably work on:

  • Treating people like I want to be treated BUT also not getting upset when they don’t do the same (the world’s an unfair place, yo)
  • Learning that being a vegetarian doesn’t just mean “eat more potatoes and put cheese on things to make them taste better”
  • Ruining movies/TV shows/Book endings by inadvertently giving obvious hints (I.e. “Oh man, that ending! So GOOD! Pay close attention to the part where he tells him he sees DEAD people!”) Side note: I didn’t actually say that but my sister claims I do this all the time
  • Turning my negative, awkward thoughts into something a bit more productive….

… Waazah! An idea sparks during lunch with some old friends. My buddy turns to me after I regale him with one of my stories. “Man!! Twitch, you should write a blog about the awkward, yeesh-filled but not totally soul crushing things that you experience. I’d totally read that and you can use the anonymity of the Internet to be as honest as you wants” (I may have paraphrased his more succinct “you should write a blog”). Well, after many drinks and the realization that I am self-involved enough to devote a blog to my inner ramblings, here we are.

In this blog, I will take you through some of the misadventures of a 5 ft somebody. I was debating if I should go with a “20s somebody” instead of “5 ft but I figured, hey I’ve identified more with being the precocious kid in the front row of school photos long before being a 20-something. I hope to write about funny / borderline pathetic events in my life with an attempt at humour alongside them. The heavy stuff? Personal tragedies, dogs dying or the ending of Lost? That’ll be channelled elsewhere. So sit back, curl up, shavasana or whatever and enjoy the ride.

Oh, and I promise: the second, third, twentieth post… Those will be much easier to get through.  At least, for mine and the rest of the ‘net’s sanity, let’s hope so.