Well as promised, I’m back to share my ill-advised adventures with all of you guys. It was a pretty fun week all things considered.
First, let me preface this by pointing out that I live in Canada. For our purposes this means that people here are both very polite and very laissez-faire (also French – I know, I don’t get how all these elements come together either…) Live and let live might as well be our national motto.
Taking this into consideration, it was no surprise that public transit and walking the dog got me a couple of mildly intrigued stares and an occasional smile, but was mostly uneventful. It should also be noted that I have done some pretty crazy things to my hair throughout the years so I didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable or weird walking around with an ahoge which may have rendered the overall effect much more casual and in turn less remarkable.
The cashier at my grocery store, which was an older lady, did stare at me rather intensely but she refrained from actually saying anything. I tried to prompt her with what I thought was a friendly smile but since I generally do my best to discourage people from talking to me (I am a bad Canadian), I’m not too skilled at the smiling thing so it may have had the opposite effect.
On Tuesday I went for after work drinks with a handful of friends I have known for a few years, and a few people I was meeting for the first time. I got instant chiding and a whole bunch of There’s Something About Mary jokes. I laughed them off and everything died down pretty quickly. Maybe it’s my imagination or maybe it’s just a coincidence but the two new guys did seem super comfortable talking to me which is not usually the case. Normally, if I don’t start the conversation, it takes a few meetings or a third-party to initiate it, but this time both seemed very at ease with just chatting about random subjects as if we’d known each other for a long time. This was fantastic! I’m tempted to try this again to see if I can recreate the results because I loved the chill vibe. On the flip side, no one at all hit one me. This isn’t uncommon but I would like to blame it on my hair, so just humour me, ok!
The next day I had dinner with my mom (who is also a bad Canadian) and she kindly pointed out that I looked like an idiot. I smiled. Sadly, this could also be a coincidence as this is a pretty standard greeting from my mom. She asked me point-blank about the hair a few times and I said stuff like “I wanted to try something new” and “Don’t you think it’s cute?”. She sweetly said that I really didn’t need any extra help if I wanted to look like a moron but let it go. We had a “pleasant” conversation. Before you call child services, please consider that 1) despite the way I talk, act and think, I am sadly not exactly a child and b) our sarcastic jibes is how we show love… Surprisingly, by the end of the evening it seemed like the ahoge had grown on her and she told me that she did in fact think it was pretty cute and she may style her hair similarly. Since she has about an inch of hair on her head, I’m not sure how she’ll pull it off but if she does you guys will know about it!
Finally, last night was date night. I picked a Thursday, that way if things went horribly wrong I could use the old – need to get up early for work tomorrow excuse… Now I had been out with this person a few times and if I’m being completely honest, I was still a little on the fence. Let’s just say there were pros AND cons. When we first met up to go to the restaurant together, I could tell the poor kid was working super hard to figure out what to say/do/think. I could almost smell that hamster wheel burning. Initially, the conversation remained restricted to exclusively safe non-subjects:
- Great weather we’re having.
- Yeah not too hot.
- And it’s not that humid. I can stand hot but it’s the humidity that kills you…
When you live on the banks of a great river like the St-Lawrence, you will have this conversation approximately 7 times a day, every single day of the 2 and half months of summer. We went on to tepid exchanges on the local sports team and their ability to score a goal/point/unit. Let me tell you, I was pretty psyched so far!
Finally, my unfortunate companion broke down and I got a “so…what’s with the hair?” I said basically, I wanted to try something new, I thought it was funny. Do you like it? I know it was a little mean of me to ask. If I had just left it as “I was going for a sight gag” it probably would have been easier on everyone. I was subjected to a slightly too long, extremely dubious stare and no response. The conversation drifted to work. I’m fortunate in that my job is varied enough that I can usually fill the silences with something new to say on that subject, even though it may not exactly be fascinating to anyone but me. I could tell that the hair was still an issue. The conversation was curt and a little awkward. It was very much an elephant in the room situation. Eventually, my date gave up and decided on a direct approach. You know it’s a shame to ruin your pretty looks like that? (Ruin??- really?? A strand of hair is enough to **ruin** me) Maybe you should go for a more traditional hairstyle for this type of situation (I liked the use of the word situation here – I also thought it was a situation) I hope you’re going to fix this next time (Fix???…Next time???…) The rest of the dinner was more silent. We went back to non-subjects. I made some random observations and got one or two word responses. By desert I had pretty much realized that if a strand of hair was such an issue, the fragile little thing would never survive me so I had some fun. I spent the rest of the evening making outrageously inappropriate jokes and passionately debating ridiculous things like could we weaponize butterflies! Long story short, we’re getting married in a month!
To sum it up, the week was largely uneventful. If I lived somewhere where the general attitude was maybe a little less tolerant or were there wasn’t so much very visible diversity, I might have gotten a bit more of a reaction out of people. The experiment did however allow me to make a quick and definite choice about my dating life. Also I felt sillier. What I mean is that I didn’t feel the need to sound smart in front of others cause I figured that ship had sailed anyways and this allowed me to just be my goofy self which was both comfortable for me and I think more enjoyable for others, with a few notable exceptions. All in all, I would consider this week a success, so I’m going to do another one!
Experiment 2: Next week I propose combining two tropes. It’s getting real in here!
Having Insane Names For Sports Tricks: “Every anime character that’s even moderately well-established in a high school sport seems to have their own names for each special sports trick.”
and Calling My Moves: “If you can do something more impressive than just throw a punch, your attack(s) must have an equally impressive name. More than that, you have to call it out as you launch the attack.”
I’m going to do this by finding some ridiculously epic names for my workout staples (i.e. calling sit ups: merciless venter folds) and I will call them out when I work out both at home and at the gym. I will work out for at least an hour every day and I will go to a basic but very popular gym and a fancy gym full of trainers. If you have any name suggestions – send them my way!