Sometimes Six Minutes is All You Need | A Chick Called Mick

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sometimes Six Minutes is All You Need

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 8:49 PM

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I met my friends.  My best friend will tell you that I stopped by her dorm room looking for her roommate, whom I sort of knew and was hoping to befriend.  But Anna wasn’t there, so I introduced myself to Christi.  Only, it turns out, we’d met before.  Oops!  When I was working a summer camp, a guy introduced himself to the group with this ice breaker: “My name is Christopher, and I had my first taste of synthetic maple syrup last night.”  I immediately thought: “I want to meet that guy.”  He turned out to be totally awesome.  Autumn used to be my boss.  When I first met her, she was wearing some wild blue eye shadow, and I thought, “I don’t know about this chick.”  But now, I adore her and her dramatic eye makeup.

 

I’m new-ish to the central Arkansas area, and I don’t feel like it’s home yet.  So, I’ve been trying to meet people.  There are problems right off the bat, and they’re mostly my fault.  First, most of the things I like to do are fairly solitary activities: movies, TV, reading, going to plays.  Second, I tend to be cautious when I meet new people.  While I have quirky stories about making friends because of syrup, there are others that end with me saying things like: “He said he was leaving town, and if he doesn’t do it—and I mean today—I’ll kill him!”  So, I tend to be a bit reserved in the early stages.

 

I’ve been trying to be more social in the last few weeks.  For reasons that escape me now, I tried speed dating.  To be perfectly fair, most of the guys were really nice but not my type.  I was relieved to get to my last six-minute “date.”  I introduced myself and gave some of the patter I’d worked out over the evening.  I mentioned that I used to teach English but decided to take a break from the classroom.  When I finished, the guy started off by saying, “Now, don’t get me wrong, but…” I smirked a little as he pointed out that teachers get summers off, and even when you taught, you still got days off during the school year.  I opened my mouth to speak, but he barreled on.  “Now, don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for teachers.  I think they don’t get paid enough, BUT…”  He probably could have saved his disclaimers.  I’m pretty sure I got him just right.

 

One of the odd things about teaching is that when I told people that was how I made a living, they took it as an invitation to tell me how much they hated school or about some terrible teacher that they once had who crushed their dreams or ruined their GPA.  Once, as I was writing a fairly large check for a gym membership, the salesman asked what I did for a living and then proceeded to tell me how much he hated English in school.  My pen froze in the middle of a zero, and I gave him a dirty look.  Like, I’m cutting a check here, dude.  Can we save the part where you talk about how you hate my profession?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, but...I haven’t paid you yet.

 

At the end of six minutes, my date and I were done, which I think suited everyone just fine.  My next brilliant plan for meeting people was to go to a public showing of Dr. Strangelove.  I like the movie, and I figured if other people who liked it showed up, I already have something in common with them.  If it’s a bust, then I see a good movie, return some books, and go home.  I thought I had nothing to lose, but I was still disappointed when the only other person there was a very sweet Southern lady old enough to be my grandmother.  We said hello, and after some small talk, I picked up a book I’d recently started.

 

“What are you reading?” she asked.

 

“It’s about a guy who’s a loser, and he decides he wants to not be a loser anymore.”

 

“Ah.  Is it funny?”

 

 “Yeah, it’s kind of funny.” 

 

“I think that’s good.  It’s easier to stick with a book when it’s funny,” she said.  I asked what she was reading, and it turned out she was working on a book about the Middle East.

 

“Is it funny?” I asked.  She stared at me blankly until I started to worry that not only was my little joke not amusing, but I had maybe offended her. 

 

When the movie started, it was still just the two of us (although there would be a grand total of 4 by the end).  Realizing it was shot in black and white, she said, “Oh, this is an old movie!”  So much for having something in common.

 

Finding my niche in a new town takes time, and sometimes I get impatient.  Still, I’ll keep trying because it has been pointed out to me that people aren’t going to pop by my apartment to introduce themselves and watch Project Runway with me.  And if someone did, well, that would be creepy and weird.  If you were thinking about doing that, please don’t.  I’m sure you’re very nice, but I will totally call the cops.

 


Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Ashley McKelvy

  • Can I have a Definition please?

    I meant to write this post days ago, but it's been one of those weeks where I just couldn't convince myself to do the things I should.  But I wanted to talk for just a minute about the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee that was on TV this week.  The first thing I want to say is that I am an abysmal speller (and don't think I didn't get a little help on the spelling of 'abysmal.')*  When I lived in Austin, I applied for some jobs with UT, and they required a spelling test.  I took the test twice and never scored high enough to apply for a secretarial position with the school.  So, I was never a viable spelling bee candidate.  But there's a documentary about students participating in the National Spelling Bee called Spellbound that I am in love with.  I'm actually watching it as I type this.
    • May 31, 2009
  • Grillin' time

    My parents called this morning and wanted to come up for a few hours to spend Memorial Day with me.  It was a nice surprise--although if I'd had a little more notice I would have vacuumed, but dirty carpet is what they get for giving me little advanced warning--because my parents are kind of awesome.Mom mentioned that they'd thought we might cook out, but since it was rainy and I don't own a grill, I didn't give much credence to that idea.  I was surprised, then, when my parents came up to my place carrying bags of groceries and a grill in a box.  A tiny grill.  One might even go so far as to call it cute, but the punishment for undermining the grill might mean one doesn't get to partake in the delicious charbroiled food cooked upon it.  So, I didn't call it cute.I let them in, and since it was close to lunchtime, Dad started prepping the food while Mom and I sat on the couch and got caught up on the latest news.  It took me a while to realize we weren't having hamburgers.  Or hot dogs.  We were having kabobs.Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with kabobs, it's just that it wasn't what I was expecting.  He got this idea and wanted to try it out, and that's the sometimes weird but often wonderful thing about my dad.  He and my mother live in the small town where I grew up, and I sometimes used to joke that it was a town that almost forcibly resists culture.  But sometimes major trends and fads make it all the way to our little corner of the state, and people like my dad find out about them.  Five years after I tried my first mojito, he heard about the drink and decided he'd like to try one.  He grew his own mint for the mojitos, and the thing you should know is that my father is a much better gardener than he is a bartender.  We had an abundance of mint, and the result was that he became very generous with it in order to prevent waste.  The first time he handed me a glass, I stared at the veritable forest floating amidst the liquid ingredients."Next, time, I don't want a salad at the bottom of my drink," I teased him.When the mint started to overrun the place, he put it in the iced tea as well, and insisted on calling it "mohi-tea."  Because while he is often a really, truly funny man, my father sometimes cannot resist the siren call of a cheesy joke.I like the fact that my father is curious and willing to try new things.  Sure, I wasn't thrilled when he commandeered a bottle of my wine to try his hand at French cooking, and we have actually had an argument about what truly makes a sandwich a panini, but generally I think it's an admirable quality.  It's one that I think I've inherited in small ways--I prefer to sample pop culture more than food, but I can be persuaded to try a new drink now and again.  The kabobs were good, even the slices of grilled pineapple that I pooh-poohed early on turned out to be delicious, and I was glad Dad decided to try something different.  I did have hot dogs for dinner, though.  You know, just to be patriotic and all.
    • May 25, 2009
  • Out With The Old? Not So Fast

    I am off today, and I am sitting at home in what, sadly, might be my favorite pair of jeans.  I say "sadly" because after close to five years of denim-y good times, they need to be retired.  They were a gift from someone who couldn't wear them for some reason, but they fit me perfectly.
    • May 22, 2009
  • More »
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation