Tag Archives: Canadians

Another Canadian Conundrum

26 Apr

I unintentionally spent Valentines Day and Easter in the same weird bar.  Valentines Day had been such a debacle that I should’ve just dyed some nice eggs at home instead of tempting fate at the same bar on Easter.  I was meeting “Quentin,” a Canadian man who I had canceled on once or twice before.  He had been persistent about rescheduling, so I figured why not celebrate the resurrection of Christ with this person?

It was pouring rain that night and we were both thoroughly soaked when we arrived.  He was shorter than he had claimed on his profile, skinny, with multi-colored loafers, light-wash jeans, and a soft black buzz cut.  He also had an assortment of colorful bangles hanging from his wrist which caught me off guard almost as much as his foul breath.  It didn’t smell like he had recently eaten an everything bagel with onion cream cheese (usually the case with OKCupid dates) but rather that something yucky was afoot in that esophagus of his.  As he ordered a beer and I prayed to the Easter gods that it would neutralize his breath, I noticed he was also missing at least one tooth.  It may have been more that one– it was kind of hard to tell because they were all pointing in different directions.  I asked where he worked and he said a Mediterranean restaurant just a few blocks from where I work in the Village.  I had never heard of it, but made the mistake of telling him the cross-streets of my store.

I tried to listen to what he was saying but it was difficult because a tiny man had hopped up onto a stool and started belting out Hansen covers on his acoustic guitar.  Quentin showed me pictures of tortoises, weeping willows, and other green phenomena that he had taken from magazines and told me how much he loved Mother Earth.  He then ordered some crab cakes and shared an emotional tale about his aboriginal ancestors from the First Nations.  I told him that a small slice of my family pie was Cherokee and he responded that he hates it when people tell him they are part Native American because Americans don’t understand what it means to have aboriginal ancestors!  OK, moving on.  The music was loud and I think I accidentally said yes when he asked if I had seen some Canadian canoe exhibit, because he ruminated on Canadian canoes for what felt like seven forevers.

Each time I tried to look away while Quentin was talking he would tap my arm to bring my attention back to his face, and if I dared add to the conversation he would interrupt me and negate whatever I was saying.  At one point I made a silly astrology remark and he said that astrology is for the mindless and he believes that the universe is more chaotic than that.  While he was explaining this theory he made dramatic sphere gestures with his hands, crunching them up into a ball and then exploding them out to land on my leg or hand.  If you are going to interrupt me and shoot down everything I say, why in the world would I want to hold your hand?

Quentin walked me to the train, making raucous Canadian complaints the whole way– “Why doesn’t anyone here use celsius?!  This is the only place in the world that doesn’t use celsius!”  He also kept attempting to link arms with me, which I ignored until he finally flat-out asked if I would link arms with him.  "No thanks” I said with a nervous laugh.  "Let’s go to another bar then.  There’s one right by the train.”  The bar he was referring to was actually five blocks in the wrong direction from the train– He couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes.  I said goodbye and he asked if he could have a hug.  "Oh sure.”  It was the least I could do.

Damn, this canoe-loving maniac knows where I work, I thought to myself as I escaped to the underground.  Sure enough, a couple days later I was standing around with my coworkers when a familiar tuft of black hair attached to a jarring amount of bracelets caught my eye outside the window.  It was Quentin (probably on his way to work) sneaking a not-so-subtle peak inside my store until our eyes met.  Let’s review:  OKCupid rule number three (right behind “don’t tickle anyones ivories on the first date” and “don’t tell anyone from OKCupid about my blog”) is "do not tell blind dates where I work.”  I have been pretty good about this rule ever since the Soup Can Man threatened on multiple occasions to visit my job.

I keep trying to give Canadian men another chance because all of my Canadian dates have been such disasters.  This one was no exception.  They all seem to really love wildlife, which is great… but they really really love jewelry which is problematic.  Nobody wants to hear the jingle jangle of a dangly bangle when they are trying to get intimate with a man.

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A Canadian Conundrum

26 Sep

As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, Canadian men flow freely throughout New York City– blending in among us.  Why, just the other night a few glasses of wine turned into a lengthy Canadian kiss on the steps of a spooky church as the clock struck five.

Another Canadian man, “Pepper,” recently sent me one of the most original messages I’ve gotten on OKCupid– a rap song that he wrote for me about body parts.  He explained that he writes educational rap songs for a living– mostly about biology.  He noted in his profile that when he isn’t rapping about molecules, he enjoys pickling eggs.  His “Six Things I Could Never Do Without” were six of his pickled eggs (or maybe I made that up)… and under “The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit” he wrote that peeling eggs was eerily relaxing for him (that was really on there).  Aside from his egg fetish, he was also well-known throughout Canada as an avid planter of trees.

Last week, Pepper invited me to attend a play with him at the New York Fringe Festival.  He wouldn’t tell me what we were seeing because he wanted to surprise me, but I figured out that it was a Shakespearean parody of “Pulp Fiction.”  I was looking forward to it because no one had taken me to a play on a blind date before.  Pepper already had 100 points for creativity.  We got a drink at the tiny bar in the SoHo Playhouse prior to the performance.  He knew everyone there and admitted that he had gotten free tickets because a rap show he had written had performed in that theatre a few months ago.  I told him that I can be a tough theatre critic and usually have a 75 minute play-watching limit.  He was surprised to hear that I used to do theatre, but hadn’t mentioned it in my profile.  As we made it to our seats and waited for the show to start, I gave Pepper the ol’ once-over.  He was older, with orange feathery hair, a small mouth, and a mischievous look in his eyes.

The play ended up being the perfect length… it was a little wordy at times, but otherwise well-written and acted.  After the show, Pepper suggested we get dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We shared a bowl of truffle mac and cheese and a big plate of overcooked clams.  He began to open up to me for the first time all night– he had initially been a little stand offish.  We talked about OKCupid, relationships, and how he’s done a lot of work in the bush.  Wait, come again?… I almost choked on a clam and he remembered that was not a term we use in America.  As we finished our meal, I assumed the date was ending but Pepper had other plans.  I thanked him for dinner and he said “My pleasure… you can buy my drinks at the next bar.”  Shit.  I had four dollars in my bank account until my paycheck went through later that night, probably sometime around 2 am.  It was currently midnight.  This is going to be a long two hours, I thought.  I walked as slowly as I could with him to a bar that I knew of in the West Village.  We drank and talked there for the next two hours while I repeatedly checked my balance on my phone.  How embarrassing.  He thought I was just bored, so we kept ordering rounds and he put his arm around me.  My speech was beginning to slur when my paycheck finally went through.  I paid the now $50 bill, hugged Pepper goodbye and leapt in a taxi before any funny business could transpire.  Thankfully my cab driver made great time, and was as funny as I was tipsy.  He told a story of unrequited love concerning another lady passenger who gave him “sexy eyes” but wouldn’t give him “her sex.”  He kept saying “Me?  I look like a potato.”

The moral of the story is:  Don’t go traipsing about the city with only four dollars in your bank account.  You never know when you might have to buy drinks for a Canadian.

99 Problems

24 Jun

As I descended the stairs to Fat Cat on Tuesday night, I had no idea what I was in for.  The full-figured 24-year-old Canadian I was meeting had chosen the venue, and my coworkers had warned me that I wasn’t going to like it.  They were right.

The place is a huge basement, with florescent lighting, pool and ping pong tables, darts, board games, and a slew of ratty couches.  It was packed with students and young professionals, and I was instantly transported to my college years in Missouri.  Except back then I was actually in someone’s basement, not a bar trying to look like someone’s basement.  I was afraid I would get bedbugs if I sat on any of the couches, so I waited for my date at one of the four lone barstools- feeling out of place without my messenger bag and ironic Salvation Army tee.  While I waited, a tiny man who looked like he had just hit puberty (and was wearing five shirts layered on top of one another) literally leap-frogged onto the barstool next to me and asked me if I came there often.  “No” I said a little too forcefully, simultaneously noticing the salsa band setting up in the corner.  Oh god.  I contemplated leaving as images of giant trouser gyration situations floated through my mind.

“Dennis” showed up and I reached my hand out for him to shake it, but he said “Oh, come on!” and pulled me in for a big hug.  He was wearing a shirt that wasn’t doing him any favors, a torn pair of stonewashed jeans, and a pair of two-foot-long sensible New Balances.  They were seriously the longest sneakers I ever did see.  I don’t remember why I had decided to meet him in person… probably because he was 6’3” and lately I’ve only been going out with men who are at least five inches taller than I am.  He had sent me a couple texts that week that just said “Hey you”, which seemed out of place coming from someone three years my junior.  I could tell he was a huge dweeb from his profile, but nothing could have prepared me for the next hour and a half.

Dennis bought us beers, took a large sip, swished it around in his mouth like mouthwash, and said “I’ll get the first round if you get rounds two, three, and four.”  I would soon find out that he wasn’t joking, as I ended up buying his next two beers.  We relocated to one of the couches, and I tried to figure out whether bugs were crawling on me or if it was just my leg hair blowing in the extreme wind gust generated by the industrial-strength fan.  He said “OK, now you have to tell me everything about yourself starting from the day you were born and don’t leave anything out, GO!”  I tried to give him a brief overview of my time here on Earth, but kept getting distracted by the queer faces he was making.  As I was talking, he kept turning his head away, then snapping it back to look at me with an open-mouth fascinated/surprised/insane look on his face.  Each time I would lose my train of thought due to his off-putting faces, he would histrionically tip his head to the side and in a loud, nauseating voice squeal “EEEELABORATE?!”  After awhile, I gave up and told him to talk about himself.

The tone of his voice sounded like Pete’s from “Mad Men” and he ended every sentence with a smack of the lips and an “Mmmhmm.”  He looked exactly like a cross between my high school choir teacher, a lava lamp, and Alf.  His job was something involving math, but no numbers… I stopped listening because the salsa band had begun to play and he had moved his leg onto mine in one fell swoop.  I jumped up and procured another round of beers.  When I returned, he again scooted himself close enough so that we were almost touching, and asked me about my theatre experience.  He shared that he had been involved in two plays during high school, one of which was “The Crucible.”  He had enjoyed being in “The Crucible” so much that he and his best friend would do poetry jams about it at their local coffee house.  He told me he didn’t know if I was prepared for his favorite line from their “Crucible”-inspired poetry because, to this day, he thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s ever heard.  I told him I was ready and he beamed and said “I got 99 problems but a WITCH ain’t one!” then proceeded to belly laugh for five minutes.  If someone informed me that a colossal meteorite was about to crash into Earth and kill us all, it would be funnier than that joke.

I guess at that point he had really warmed up to me, because he was on a roll with horrific jokes.  He made actor jokes, OKCupid jokes, jokes about how he had been wearing the same underwear for a week, and a boatload of jokes about being Jewish.  Each was about as funny as a concrete block.  One of his jokes revolved around the fact that he wasn’t brought up Jewish in a religious way– unless you count being raised on Mel Brooks movies.  I told him I have been obsessed with Madeline Kahn ever since I was a little kid, to which he responded “Who?”  I asked if he had ever happened upon movies like “Blazing Saddles”, “History of the World p.1”, or “Young Frankenstein” in his vast study of Mel Brooks films.

I went to the bathroom and when I returned, I lamented over how the ladies room was out of order, so I had to go in a stall next to a man peeing in a urinal.  Dennis scooted all the way over to my side of the couch, put his hand on my leg and said “Hey, if you want to see a penis, I’ll show you my penis.”  I told him to get back on his quadrant of the couch and stay there.  After that, I think he finally got the message that this was not going to go anywhere.  We left the bar and I walked five blocks out of my way so I wouldn’t have to take the train with him.

It’s not that I was mad I paid for his drinks… I just felt like someone should’ve paid me $20 to babysit him for 90 minutes.  Geez.  I still had four more blind dates to go this week and I was already exhausted.