Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Lose a Girl in 3 hours, Over Dinner.

On the odd occasion that i do get the chance to talk with women, i tend to try to mask my flaws by attempting to be interesting and fun. However, there are some instances at which I can only look back on and laugh at the way my attempts at forging a romantic connection are rendered futile by my brilliant talent of squeezing every drop of embarrassment out of any daily human activity.

We had arranged to meet in the early evening at the restaurant of her choice; a fairly romantic Italian restaurant in the downtown core of the least romantic city in the Western Hemisphere : Hamilton, Ontario.

The streets were busy and jam-packed full of people. But the street-noise evaporated into silence in the restaurant, which was devoid of all human life except for a few of the wait staff, whose delight at seeing me enter the doors was plain to see. It was the perfect setting for a good getting-to-know-you date.

The evening started off very well, too. The conversation was flowing and we shared jokes about the fact that there appeared to be rap music coming from her purse. I suggested she had kidnapped 90's rap icon Coolio to provide thug ambiance for the occasion. She suggested i learn about rappers from this century. My disturbing lack of knowledge on the subject of rap music aside, i thought i was making a pretty good impression. She certainly was impressing me. The food was pretty spectacular and we both agreed that we would be coming back again. "We should set that up, how does tomorrow sound?" i offered, jokingly. "Who said it would be together?" she replied.

As the conversation continued apace, i noticed she was looking at me pretty intently. I feel i have a fairly good understanding of body language and so i took this as a sign that she was genuinely interested in what i was saying. She seemed transfixed, unable to glance away for a mere second. So it came as a shock when, as the evening wore on, the mood changed almost entirely. While the conversation was still fairly rapid, she started to lament how cruel fate was that it had decided we should meet right when she had so much school work to do in the coming weeks ahead.

I have been given the brush off many times before. So much so that most of my sweaters are worn down to fine pieces of thread, and so i knew what this sudden outburst implied - "you've done something tonight that would make even the mere prospect of a second encounter with you completely unthinkable."

I continued to try to revive the ailing date and even provoked a few laughs from her. But as the evening drew to a close i could tell there was a negative mood. After paying the bill, I walked her to her car, and on the way we talked further about her family and her schoolwork as we waded in and out of the heavy street traffic in downtown Hamilton. We arrived at her car, where after a hug and a "I'm sure we'll talk again soon" later i was headed back home, confused about the strange turn of events. This haze of confusion lasted until about 30 seconds after my arrival at home.

As i took off my shoes, i caught a glance of myself in the hallway mirror. Out of the corner of my eye i could see something wasn't quite right. So i stopped, one shoe still dangling from my ankle for a closer inspection. They say looks are subjective but whomever they are did not witness what i saw that night. Had i not been present during my date that evening, i would have assumed that i had eaten my meal out of some sort of trough reserved for farm animals. It looked as if i had strategically applied pasta sauce across my lips and left cheek (how it got on my cheek is a mystery to this very day) in order to attract pasta-based primates. As i smiled at my shocking facial appearance, i made another disturbing discovery. I had started my own mini gardening collection in my mouth, as all manner of vegetation lay clinging to almost every little gap between my teeth.

It's been almost a week now since the date. I called her two days after to leave a message and joked about being involved in the first human trial for the new pasta-based foundation and basically apologizing profusely for my poor eating habits. It's been 5 days now. She's not calling back, is she?

Still single, ladies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Magical Powers of a Supposed Writer

It appears that all my friends and family have birthdays in the brief period from January 5th to January 12th. So, as a consequence of my ill-chosen friendships and family associations i have had little time to do anything other than celebrate birthdays and write embarrasingly predictable notes in cards. "You're 25!", went one. "When i was 20, we didn't have cards", went another.

So, apologies for the lack of blogging recently. My brother, sister and four friends have now been assigned new birthdates. Fear not, January 2011 will be clear for blogging. However, do not hope to see any hilarious blogging on May 5th,2010. I will have six birthdays to celebrate.

There's this weird expectation people have of you when you call yourself a writer, as i do, because Immigrant/Cancer Society volunteer provokes too many questions. As a writer, you're expected to be able to spell all manner of words on command. And it's not just spelling. If you, as a writer cannot define words such as "reqiuem" or "cronyism" you will be forever denounced as a fraud; a huckster, seeking to profit from a lie. There's also an expectation of creativity when it comes to cards. There's nothing quite as a sad as someone on Christmas eve slaving over a selection of "Happy Norwegian Christmas!" cards (due to my late card purchasing antics) trying to figure out something clever and heartfelt to write, so as to confirm their professional status.

This pressure exerts itself in other ways too i've found. A former girlfriend would insist that due to my self-announced title i should be able to make up a story with no preparation. "But aren't you a writer?" she would say as tears well up in her eyes; confused and tormented by my insistence that this supposed writer did not inherit this particular magic power from his writing forefathers.

I often wonder if this is true of other professions. Are watchmakers lambasted when they cannot answer automatically tell you the time? "What!? The sun is right there! Tell me now! Use your powers!".

For now, i am going to go wash my "i'm a writer" cape-fitted onesie and work on my storytelling abilities.

Anyone else been through something similiar due to their chosen profession?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello 2010, Welcome to Planet Earth

After the wars, global financial meltdowns and celebrity deaths, 2009 has finally decided it's time to hand over the apocalypse countdown clock to 2010. I, for one, couldn't be more pleased. 2010 sort of feels like the song you hear on the radio after a Celine Dion song. You're just so glad the terror is over that you're willing to buy that band's entire collection on vinyl, CD and cassette. If it weren't for the eerie lack of natural disasters i would have to put 2009 right up there as the worst year on record. So, i can safely predict that as long as we don't all spiral into a swirling vortex (or any sort of vortex, really) 2010 will be a better year. Actually, even if we do..

And 2010 is already off to a good start - I spent the last few hours of 2009 at stranger's house partying with people i don't know, drinking clear liquids and playing beer pong as is customary at that time of the year. Deciding it was better to stay indoors for the night than test ourselves on the highway against the effect of alcohol, we camped out in a friend's basement.

I awoke to the feeling of something licking the side of my face. Laying with my eyes closed for a few nervy moments, i was hopeful that i would see an animal or at the very least someone i could physically remove from my immediate surroundings when i opened my eyes to 2010.

Fortunately, this 10lb canine was no match for me in my hungover state and i immediately carried her over to my friend's bed so she could find a more understanding host. Whether you take this small tale as a sign that 2010 will be a warmer more pleasent and welcoming year than its predecessor, or a sign that i should stop drinking and passing out on blankets cleared reserved for animals is yours to decide. For now -

Happy New Year & Best of Luck to You All in 2010.