I’m back in the bike shop, but only part-time. The other part is spent restocking the store, and a small portion of that is spent in the bike shop–but only to make my tea. I was in tea brewing mode when I noticed a BMX bike parked at the end of the racks and thought, “Interesting, we rarely work on these.”
And we won’t have to because right there and then, a guy entered the shop from the outside carrying a plate of pancakes and a fork in one hand, grabs the bike with his free hand, and walks right out without saying a word.
I glanced over at another mechanic standing at the other end of the room; he also looked at me to acknowledge that he’d seen what I’d just seen. For a few seconds, we processed the situation before we started laughing. (Note: Pancake guy had left his bike in our care so that he could “purchase a bike lock.”) As absurd as the moment was, it was also quintessentially Victoria.
Later that day, a customer entered the store wearing a crab shell mask. I don’t mean a fabric mask with a crab shell printed on it. I mean a literal crab shell. Dungeness crab, I think. A photo of this person exists, but I can’t go as far as to share it on here because I’m not twenty anymore and must be careful about sharing work-related stuff.
After the mouth-watering moment of seeing a plate of hot stacks, I found myself in the breakroom sitting on the opposite end of the couch from my friend Maggie, eating jujubes. I did some socially distanced complaining about how none of the new hires waved back to me when I said hello. IN CASE YOU FORGOT, MY HAIR IS NEON YELLOW. I AM A VERY NOTICEABLE PERSON. (They have reciprocated the waving since then.)
Many of you have music or background conversations to keep your mind occupied during menial tasks. I have only my thoughts! That may be why I’ve been finding this aspect of living on my own to be the most difficult: I used to have someone around who would patiently listen to a seemingly endless stream of non-sequiturs. I didn’t have to hold back because this was somebody who knew me thoroughly, unlike the new hires who must be tip-toed around as if they’re small, easily frightened animals. My aggressive waving probably wasn’t the best approach. I should have started with a subdued head nod or something.
Maggie and I have worked together for a year and a half: we’re over the light banter stage of our relationship. I told her about my challenges of living alone and how I was now resorting to talking with random people on Reddit when none of my friends are available to be texted. I could probably start to blog every day, but much of my thoughts are mere seeds that need to be planted and watered by another person before they bloom into something blog-worthy. Kind of like this XKCD comic about Wikipedia:
What started with a complaint about the new hires pretending not to notice me led to talking about Tinder. I like the concept of Tinder, but I don’t believe that it’s suitable for a small city like Victoria, particularly not if you’re someone who spends as much time Downtown as I do. There’s no way someone like me could sign up for Tinder and retain some semblance of anonymity, no matter which direction the guy swipes.
I acted out an imaginary scenario where some random guy recognizes me on the street for Maggie. My wild gesticulating attracted the curiosity of another person in the break room. I kindly explained to this guy what Maggie and I were discussing, and he told me that he used to have Tinder and has since had to deal with seeing three of the people with whom he’s gone on dates around Downtown. “It’s not good,” he admitted.
Not that I have gained local celebrity status yet, like Darth Fiddler or this gyroboarder who I am going to call Mr. Liquid Mercury:
So, Tinder is off the table. But it’s also been about eleven years since I’ve been single, so it’s probably best I get used to not having around-the-clock attention before I ruin the life of somebody new. By ruin, I mean enrich!
The other problem with Tinder and online dating sites was noted by Zoée when she shared with me how a friend of hers had restricted their potential matches to those who had at least a college education. Zoée, who is not college educated (neither am I) pointed out that if her friend held the same standards for friendships, that they’d have never become friends.
I hate the idea of potentially filtering out some amazing people because they didn’t fit my preferences. Years ago, I declared to a friend that I would not go for someone who was a hockey fan. Almost immediately after making that proclamation, I found myself in a six-year relationship with someone who got very spirited whenever the Montréal Canadiens were on tv. He wasn’t a hooligan, though, so it was fine.
Just because my last two partners didn’t turn into a forever companion doesn’t mean those relationships were a waste. I can handle a bit of hockey rabidity and a sub-college education.
Truthfully, I don’t know how modern online dating works. I’ve dated guys I met online, albeit through sites not explicitly made for dating, like LiveJournal or iam.Bmezine. And this was over a decade ago. As I am not actively looking to get into a new relationship, I can afford to be as specific as I want when finding that next person who is willing to listen to me sharing my most inane thoughts 24/7. My requirements are as follows:
- No Brians. I refuse to date a Brian. Not as the first, middle, nor last name, although I may give a pass if the name is Brian Brian Brian because I’m a lady with a sense of humour.
- Must look like either a young Gore Vidal or pre-death Wolfgang Güllich. But not a combination of both: I’ve seen what happens when a pug is crossed with a beagle.
- No rough, dry elbows. Supple elbow skin is mandatory.
- Needs to be into climbing and cycling, and be capable of doing both simultaneously.
- Can draw ET from memory.
- Can draw my childhood from memory.
- Must have a whimsical hobby: Eg. saltwater taffy making, flower pressing, paper boat racing, or butterfly catching.
- Wears an ascot? Yes please.
- Be an orphan so that I don’t have a new family to deal with.
- Finally, must be willing to clean the dead silverfish out of my bedroom light fixture weekly.
If this describes you to a T, COME OVER RIGHT NOW AND I WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD.