Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night…and other Meat Loaf lyrics

So I may have mentioned that I am working in retail lately…and that I loathe it.

I’m subtle, so you probably haven’t picked up on it really, but there it is. I am not the retail industries number one fan. I have a new-found respect for people who work in this industry full-time, people who have to deal with people every day. BRRRR. Worst. Take me back to the cold lonely office.

No no. I jest (somewhat) people aren’t all bad, and neither is retail. The 50% off discount is pretty sweet (oh wait, did I need to pay my rent this month with that money? Woopsies!) and on occasion, it has allowed for some pretty creative ideas to form in my mind (like… lets start a family band!) as all those mindless hours folding clothes and getting sizes, and scanning and bagging let my mind roam of the great plains of imagination.

And as I have mentioned… I occasionally get to interact with human beings that make me think that we’re not all bad (just some of us).

This week was insanely long, and yet surprisingly quick, if that is at all possible. I think it was because the Thanksgiving long weekend loomed, and I had a whole lot of hanging around looking cool to do. The store I work in had a big sale Thursday and Friday and I racked up 18 hours of standing at a cash register processing people’s purchases. I felt like a zombie and forgot how to even have a real conversation with people or how to make connections with them, because the line to check out was out the shop and around the corner. One of the girls spent hours just standing guard at the lines to make sure people didn’t just walk off with stuff.

But earlier in the week I had two very strange and yet special encounters with people. One was a deaf lady who wanted to buy a leather Jacket. I am an extremely good lip reader, so conversing face to face was not a problem with this customer, but difficulties arose when she went into the change room and wanted to try different things on. Usually we only need knock and hand things over. Not possible in this case. The woman was very nice, petite and short with a big sparkly ring on the 2nd last finger of her left hand. We also ran into difficulties as she spoke with the accent of someone that has clearly been deaf their entire life. The word medium bewildered the both of us for a good thirty seconds and I was definitely the more embarrassed.

But she found what she needed and she was happy. Off she went into the world…leaving a piece of herself with me to think and muse about.

Then the following day, a woman with dark glasses and a gorgeous black labrador came in. Well dressed, nicely groomed, I noticed her standing in the middle of the shop fingering a couple of things here and there. I finally approached her and asked if I could help her. She asked me if we still had any of the gray work pants with the blue stripe through them that we used to have in the window. This woman was completely blind.

Her beautiful black lab wagged his tail slowly and I scratched his nose, aware that you are not meant to really fuss over guide dogs as they are working. I then spent a very strange half an hour with this woman, trying to gage what she might like by asking questions (we no longer had any more of the gray pants with the blue stripe through them). When I asked her if she was after anything in particular she replied:

“No, I’m just looking around.”

She wasn’t trying to be funny (you’ll notice that when I asked if she was after anything in particular I studiously avoided the word “look” because there have been instances in my life where I have been extremely insensitive and said things I shouldn’t have in the wrong settings. Like the time in Year 9, the first year at my new school in Hong Kong, when a young boy in a wheelchair asked if he could race a friend of mine the distance of the oval, and as they began I screamed at the top of my lungs “RUN DAVID RUN!” much to the horror of my politically correct Year 9 friends who were obviously, even then, more sensitive than I will ever be.)

So I didn’t laugh. Which was good. And instead I brought her things, described them the best I could (for a writer and someone who uses a lot of words…my vocabulary is shit…and I suck at life) and basically helped her “Look around”. She was so lovely, and was very thankful. For me, it was a surreal experience that I have been processing since the start of the week.

So there it is.

Tiny, weird exceptions to the I hate retail mantra I have taken up.

Oh yeah, and happy Thanksgiving…and stuff

The hunt for New Roommates

I live in a really cool part of Toronto. Sandwiched between little Italy and little Portugal, close to Korea town (I eat pretty interesting take-away week to week). I love my apartment, in which I have the tiniest little room at the back of the house off the kitchen. I don’t mind my little room, I don’t really have much stuff in this city. I find that the less space I have, the less clutter and THINGS I acquire. So when both of my roommies told me they were moving out, I weighed up moving into one of the nicer rooms in our apartment.

My rent is the cheapest I have ever paid since I began paying rent. It costs me for one month, what it would cost me for 2 weeks in Sydney, and is a third of what I would pay for even a miniscule place in Hong Kong.

I decided with no guaranteed employment after camp in August, and with a bit of a road trip plan in the works for early September with Canadian Boyfriend, to stay where I was.

So now, lets discuss the hunt for new roommates.

Aside from the extremely stressful timing of this whole shenanigan-astic fiasco (what with me leaving for camp in a couple of weeks, and having a sublet) and just the general pain-in-the-assery associated with change, I was eager to tackle the task of finding two people to move into what is now my home.

I put out a ping online to friends and friends of friends. No bites. Bad timing. Lots of people looking for new digs for the start of September but alas July 1st, you were not the prettiest pig in the pageant. Its okay. Have a cookie.

And so I turned to that big aquarium of rare and bizarre creatures in the sky:

Craigslist (pronounced cray.g.z.list and not creg.s.list you North American foooooools)

And boy did I get a response!

I guess our rent is pretty reasonable for the area and the two rooms going are decent sized. I received 20+ emails in the first 3 hours. I was just happy that people were interested and I wasn’t going to have to scrape the barrel for people or die alone… wait…what?

I was pretty upfront about the place, what I’m like and the type of person I was after. I asked for people to tell me a little bit about themselves when they emailed me. The people who wrote “is the apartment still available?” or “I have interest. When I see the place?” and didn’t introduce themselves didn’t get an email with any further details.

But the ones who sounded normal, guys or girls, I was willing to give them the shot and show them around.

It just goes to show that anyone can represent themselves well on paper.

Where to begin, where to begin?

Perhaps with the guy that came first to look around. Tatoo sleeves, and insane scars all over his face from when he used to have 30+ piercings ABOVE the belt. Okay. Had a strange energy about him. Ex Cabinet maker, turned Paramedics student. I decided I better keep notes on all these people as I’d never remember them all. Beside his name I wrote “Nice. But kind of seems like that normal guy who would become a seriel killer.”

NEXT

Sweet, shy, Scottish guy who moved to Toronto around the same time I did. Cross eyed (me – extremely awkward and not sure where to focus when speaking to him – but no problem as he didn’t keep my eye for more than a second). Told waffling stories about things his grandfather said, or a random, completely out of context funny moments recalled, with no pretext or set up…

NEXT

Really nice, kind of dweeby guy who kind of reminded me of Howard from ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Works at Medieval times (a restaurant EXPERIENCE with live horses and jousting competitions, serving wenches tankards of ale…) as a trumpet player, studies music at University. Told me about his very shy, sweet girlfriend who might come and stay now and then. Yep fine no problem. This guy was looking like a winner… but just as we got up to go, his craigslist started to show.

“Oh there is one more thing” he begins, “I’m not sure if I should mention it…” he trails off.

Me: so friendly and encouraging, really think this guy is nice: “Go ahead. Be open, what is it?”

Him: “well… it’s not that my girlfriend and I have an open relationship really but…occassionally there would be a random person coming home with me.”

Me: (Is this guy telling me he kind of cheats on his girlfriend?) “Ok….

Him: “Oh! It’s not cheating… My girlfriend would be there too…”

Me: ……………………. uhm……………….

Him: “Not very often. But on Occasion. I thought I should mention it…”

Me: (TOTALLY Flustered) Right… okay so…. uhm just out of curiosity boys or…girls or… (WHY DID I ASK THAT?!)

Him: “Oh! Both! Sometimes at the same time rarely.”

He blushes. I blush.

Me: …………………………………… Thanks for coming to see the place. I’ll let you know.

There were others.

But nothing stood out like that exchange.

And I’m not against whatever it is he needs to do in the privacy of his bedroom. But… in our first meeting? In the first 30 minutes of getting to know the guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful he said it, because he was top three.

Thankfully, since then, I found two cool girls who are happy to move in.

brrrrrrr*SHUDDER*rrrrrrr

I dipped my toe in the craigslist pond, and lived to tell the tale.

We’ll see how this all works out.