Of The Talk I Talk

World Cup

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Apparently I have an accent. Well, technically everybody has an accent, but evidently I do not sound like my native tongue. At least, periodically I don’t.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve been asked:

  • “Where are you from originally?”
  • “Excuse me, I just have to ask, what’s your accent?”
  • “You’re not from here are you?”
  • “Are you from the East Coast?”
  • “Are you from Canada?”
  • “Are you from (insert random state here)?”
  • Or my personal favorite (please read with a gangster vocal inflection to get the true effect), “Hey, where you from?!”

And every time my answer is a very simple:

  • “I’m from here.”

At which point, they give me a look of pure shock with a touch of skepticism. I’ve gotten quite skillful at handling strangers confusion by giving an elevator speech about how my entire family is from Minnesota and I go to Canada often – so I have fun hybrid accent.

All of which is true, however, most my family has lost their accent with the exception of their O’s since they moved to the Pacific Northwest. And I slip in and out of the Canadian accent depending on how tired/excited I am and how many O’s are in the words I am trying to speak. So basically, it’s my O’s that give me away. And while geographic location may influence my accent, it’s not what I attribute my apparent unique speech to.

Cause you see, my oldest brother also gets asked where he’s from all the time, but no one else in the family does. And the only thing that would connect us in a different way than the rest of the family, is that we both went on a mission trip with Teen Missions International (TMI – mission trip, abbreviated to TMI? There’s a childish joke in there somewhere) when we were each fifteen.

TMI sends out hundreds of young teenagers every summer to spread the word of Jesus, build buildings that probably aren’t structurally sound, and have something nice to put on their resume. These teenagers come from all over North America and are sent around the world. So for a solid three months I was surrounded by roughly six different accents. Naturally, the way I spoke began to shift, and the same can be said for my brother.

So that’s why I talk different – apparently.

I think I sound just as Washingtonian as everyone else around here, well, until I suddenly sound Canadian.

Of BFF’s

Lainie wearing a balloon hat

My roomie – rocking the first balloon hat I ever made.

Lainie is my roommate, bestie, and fellow dancer. We met as extra follows when we were part of a swing dance performance team. She made me mac-n-cheese. I made fun of her tiny excuse of a living room. And we’ve been friends ever since.

Lainie greatly enjoys trying to make me do things that I really should do, and I want to do, but require effort. Things like: start a vlog, stretch, make a choice for dinner, or write a blog post.

Which is why when she sarcastically stated, “You should write about me!”

I said, “Fine.”

You’re welcome Lainie, it’s officially time for your long overdue spotlight:

I’ve never met someone so determined to stay in a cozy corner of denial. Course, I understand, making effort sucks. It’s scary and undesirable – I too, avoid it as often as I can, especially in the romantic realm.

For Lainie knows as well as I – there is little more horrifying than confessing your feelings to someone who does not return them. That leads to awkward encounters, tears, and hours of bitching out your friends who pushed you in that direction in the first place. Denial is best, even if at times it’s a wee bit lonely.

Though I feel it’s important to stress her absolute hypocrisy. She has a tendency to call me out on my shit, quite often. Rather than being a polite friend who will let me sit in my preferred bubble of denial. It’s dreadfully annoying. So of course, I return the favor and call her out whenever necessary.

But still, I let her hang around.

For despite the fact that she throws pillows at me, lightly hits anyone who says something dumb or offensive, is convinced that billowy shirts make her skinny ass look fat, and watches that awful Once Upon a Time show. She’s still the first person I go to when I have a problem, am confused about life, or want cookies made.

After all, what more could you want in a best friend, than someone who makes a killer soup, is willing to watch Gilmore Girls for hours, and also finds puppets hilarious.

Plus, we have a pact: “Roomies till partners!”

So I couldn’t get rid of her even if I wanted to.

Of Storytime With Sarah

Flight of the Conchords

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There’s this thing that happens to me, a lot. Where people decide to tell me their entire life story upon exchanging initial hello’s. This fact has made the socially awkward humans latch onto me with remarkable skill.

For the most part, it’s fairly easy to evade the people who decide that now is the best possible time to tell me all about how they don’t have air conditioning in their truck and their pants are wet because they just went through a car wash (yeah … a car wash). But hey, the truck was free so maybe the heat’s not the end of the world. That swell story was told to me by a lady standing behind me at Rite Aid.

But when I’m in the work environment, there is no escape from these people (mostly men). I have to stand there and listen until work gets too busy to talk, or I get called away by another employee.

And while I’m certain that these stories were told to me with absolute confidence that I would hold my tongue, the reality is that I don’t know any of their names, so it’s about time these stories were published online where they can never be destroyed:

  • There was the guy who was in the midst of whining about how late women always are. And then decided that I’m obviously the world’s biggest sports fan. Proceeded to lift up his calf, roll up his pants, and show me his tattoo of the Yankee’s logo – which matched his hat.
  • There was the drunk guy who really wanted my phone number. Even though I said no, he chucked his phone at me. When I picked it up, I saw his calendar and said, “Man, I can’t give my phone number to someone who hands me their calendar screen!” He of course clumsily tried to fix it. “Nah man,” I said, “it’s too late.” He was drug away by his friend’s as he cried out my name until I was out of eyesight.
  • There’s a bunch of mother’s who decide that their rules are superior to the rules of the theater, so we should let their underage teenagers into a rated R movie. It’s pretty simple people. If you’re at least 17 – bring your id, or bring someone who’s 21 and over to sit and watch the damn movie with you. It’s not my fault you forgot your id, but I do enjoy watching you freak out about it and leave in a huff.
  • There was the guy who told me all about how he’s a Christian now and doesn’t want to hear any swearing.
  • There’s the nerdy high school boys who thought that my hair look like Princess Leia’s. I of course corrected them, because I did not have two buns on the side of my head. So they clarified that in that one scene, where she’s taken by Darth Vader on her own ship, she didn’t have her hair in the classic two buns. And that mine resembled it significantly.
  • There’s the lady who told me all about how she used to be a mistress to a married guy.
  • There’s this guy that frequently comes to watch children movies with coupons. Part way through the transaction he always says, “If I had my choice I’d watch something with lots of action in it.” – Even though those passes technically reflect only a dollar amount and could be used for a different movie than it’s promoting.
  • There was the guy who insisted that, “the difference between men who like men and men who like women is that men who like men don’t understand that men and women are different.”
  • There’s the little old lady who came to see Magic Mike and said, “I’m only watching it because I really like the soundtrack.”

Of Going Out Alone

Perks of Being a Wallflower - Alone Gif

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There’s a handful of activities where when people go by themselves the rest of the world assumes that they are lonely or have no friends. Such as shopping, movies, restaurants, sporting events, concerts, cruises, weddings, plays, etc.

I understand the fear of a social stigma. No one desires to be the awkward person standing around without anyone to keep them company. Forced to pretend that they’re having a really intense texting conversation, absolutely fascinated by the scenery, or looking around for their “friend” but they can’t seem to find them anywhere!

Personally, I like going to the movies by myself. After all, it’s not like you’re going to talk to each other during the film anyways.

I also enjoy shopping all on my own. Especially if I’m not looking for anything in particular. I don’t need someone to tell me if what I’m trying on looks good. I have a very strict policy of, “If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t buy it. If there’s any hesitation, don’t buy it.”

I don’t even mind going to a play/musical solo. If I want to see a show, but no one is able to go with me, I’m still going to see the show. Simple as that. I’m not going to let something like friends stand in the way of live theater. I’ll just bring my pocket-sized Sudoku book for intermission.

Now off course I prefer if someone is able to tag along. And there are plenty of places I would not want to go without a date or friend – if I had a choice. For everyone is bound to fall victim to feeling alone at some point. Except with shopping – I really do like to shop by myself.

 

Of Awkward Ex Encounters

Ex Couple

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Okay, so we all have ex’s. Or at least, most of us do.

  • With some, the relationship ended amicably and you remain close buds.
  • With others, the end was so dramatic that seeing their face still brings extreme sadness to your soul.
  • With a select few, there’s no emotional pull at all. Being around them is akin to standing in a room of strangers. Just this stranger, you happen to have been intimate with momentarily.
  • With most, one of you is more hurt than the other, more attached, more likely to sit there and pine over the thought of, “What if?” A very dangerous question, mind you.

Everyone has ex stories, and I would love to hear all of them. Seriously, post them in the comment section, I will read each and every tale of lost love. I don’t care if you wish to share a story from when you were together or after you parted – I just love a good story, Hell, I even love a bad story on occasion.

Here, I’ll go first:

Recently the only man I’ve ever dated contacted me. And I think it’s important to clarify that we broke up over two years ago. That we were not a happy couple. Also, that I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation.

Anyways …

The situation was the sort of predicament that everyone wants to avoid – a former lover declaring that they miss them and want them back. And then, to inform you that they can’t afford to eat because they call out of work in efforts to avoid you.

Seriously? Don’t blame me for your hunger. 

Little is more uncomfortable than having someone you’d rather not talk with, cry about you over the phone.

But I was very polite, making grand statements like, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do to make you feel better.”

Then I got a handful of text messages. Granted it’s not seventy messages in two days like a different situation of mine (but that’s a whole different story – if you want to hear it, please let me know).

The first basically said, “What if I stop picking my fingernails?” – Huh? I don’t remember that being a problem.

The second asked me to think about what I’d done. Said, “It was nice to hear your voice the way that I remember it,” and urged me to take a couple of days to get back to him with why we can’t be together – Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I think it’s VERY VERY obvious why I don’t want to date you again.

And the last accused me of rudely texting him in Spanish – I don’t even know Spanish. 

So there’s my most recent story. While my current dating life is quite stale, so much so that it’s borderline pathetic. It seems my past wanted to stir up the unwanted drama in my life.

Which is just … annoying.

Okay, now would you be so kind as to tell me a story?

Of Social Media

Social Media Cartoon

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I’m trying to work out this social media thing. For a long time I’ve been meaning to be more of an Internet whore and splatter the web with even more of my thoughts, but I’ve yet to do anything.

UNTIL NOW!

A few days ago I set up a Facebook page for Classy With a Twist (click here or on the sidebar). Ahem, if you’d be so kind, please go and “like” it – so that at the very least – I appear more popular than I actually am.

Then I set up a Twitter @ClassyTwist (click here or on the sidebar). This is a whole new territory for me, but I have always wanted a place to publicly store my every thought, whim, and what I had for lunch.

Through both these sites I’m hoping to be able to communicate with ya’ll in a more interactive way. Take suggestions, answer questions, inform people of any progress made with my side-project writing dreams, so on and so forth.

I’m still working on the VLOG aspect, but I’m pretty excited for what I have in mind. But I’ll post those details later.

So, yeah, let’s become best buds in the social media world. It’ll be like we’re hanging out – except, not really.

Social Media Fingernail Art

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Of “Drive Safe”

Road Sign.

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There are certain phrases we all say. Words that function like muscle memory. That are spoken without our brain having any choice in the discussion. So we say them, someone else says the appropriate words in response, and we continue on our way.

The phrase that I’ve been noticing the most, as of late, is drive safe.

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Okay, bye!”

Why do we say that? Do we honestly think that if we don’t tell them to drive safe that something horrid is going to happen to them? That they’ll be driving along and they’ll think to themselves, I wonder what would happen if I turned the steering wheel really fast – oh wait, I’m supposed to drive safe. That’s not very safe. Thanks friend.

The words are merely a filler, in the way that we ask acquaintances how they’re doing expecting to hear the response, “I’m fine.” Sometimes words are just that, things we say because it’s the cultural norm, it’s expected, and we don’t even realize we do it. So I’ve started saying different words:

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Damn, I was gonna drive ninety and backwards.”

Or

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive dangerously!”

“Haha …… okay?”

I always get an awkward chuckle in response, suddenly, I’m seen as incredibly witty. And for what? Breaking our prescribed script. Changing up the normal conversation. If we all switched around our dialogue then one day simply saying, “Okay, bye,” would be seen as bizarre.

But what I find the most fascinating is that my changed words have become my script – it’s an inescapable cycle of habit.

Road Sign Swerve

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Of Creepy Vs. Cute

Creepy girl

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Everyone has the potential for coming across as an all-star creeper. Trust me, I have the skills to creep your pants off if I desire – take that literally or figuratively, I don’t care. At the same time, all humans can come across absolutely adorable, cuteness oozing through all pores. So the next time you think, ugh s/he is so creepy, just remember that someone somewhere in the world thinks the exact same thing about you.

The real question is what makes a person or interaction creepy? To put it simply, I think it comes down to understanding a rapport. Are we friends? Are they attractive? Have I met them? Do I like them (romantic or platonic)? These are the questions that determine if the behavior is cute, creepy, or creepy-esque (an awkward, but awesome, friendship).

For any of you that are easily confused by social situations, if the answer to the question, have I met them? is no. Then don’t make a move other than to get to know them – for you will come across creepy unless you’re celebrity-level-attractive.

If the answer to all four questions is a heartfelt YES!!! Then any attempts at being creepy will fail. In order to succeed in making the other human uncomfortable you’ll have to put forth a lot of effort and catch your romantic interest off guard. Best to accept your fate and just be the delectable little dumpling that you are, for everything you do will have your partner thinking, awww. So relax, watch some gag worthy romantic comedies, snuggle whilst drinking tea, and proceed to melt into an adorable pile of goo.

In all other circumstances there’s a boundary. Defining the line of cute vs. creepy will require you to pay attention to your surroundings. The same behavior can trigger very different reactions if you’re lost in your head. I’ll give you an example:

I was saying goodbye to a girl I was kind of/sorta/almost seeing for a while and she put her hands in the pockets of my trench coat when we stood outside my car. We were standing in a middle-school slow dance pose chatting, when I paused for a moment, looked down, and said, “Hey, I sent a man away for putting his hand in my pocket.” To which she replied, “Yeah, but you like me.” We proceed to kiss goodbye and I drove away. It was all very simple and sweet, damn cute I’d say.

The man that I mentioned to her, trespassed into creepy territory. I was at a nightclub and I gave the bastard a chance by letting him dance with me. And to my surprise he was decent (for a club dancer) and he even bought me a drink.

I’d never had someone buy me a drink before, and I haven’t since. He continued hanging around me, which was fine, after all, I did let him dance with me and buy me alcohol. But then he put his hand in the pocket of my dress. Excuse me! Those are my pockets. Mine! Put your arm around my shoulder or waist, fine, but don’t put your hand in my pocket, mediocre looking man I’ve just met. I lifted his hand up and said, “You can’t just put your hand in my pocket.” And he said, “But I bought you a drink.” And I said “Yeah, and thank you. But you still can’t put your hand in my pocket.” Then he huffed and puffed away and eventually was groping on a super skanky chick. Creepy.

Ultimately the behavior was the same – hands in pockets – the difference was the rapport.

The final type of behavior in these situations is creepy-esque. Basically it’s taking what would be seen as creepy and blowing it up to satirical proportions. Be warned, not everyone has the personality or skill to pull this off. It really is a talent you’re born with, and can only be practiced on people who actually like you as a human being. Otherwise – you’ll have no friends.

I have some friendships that are founded on my being creepy-esque and them playing the straight card. I’ll hug them, whisper sweet nothings in their ear, and they’ll stand there like I just put a gun to their head. Everyone laughs, and we go on our merry ways. Other friends will dish the creepy-esque right back – quickly those friendships turn into a competitive, top that bitch, type of bond. And there are some people who I wouldn’t be anything but cute and socially polite for, why?, because I understand our rapport and they couldn’t handle the creepy side of my persona.

Are you/they being cute or creepy is a question that can easily be asked daily, both in romantic and platonic situations. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t understand the nature (and beauty for that matter) of various forms of friendships and bonds.

So are you cute or creepy? The answers gotta be, “Yes.”

Of “Natural” Yearnings

Love Equality

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Sometimes I’ve found that when people don’t share someone’s sexuality they respond with, “It’s just not natural.” Oye! Why is this still a statement in our society? I’ve come to the realization that those that respond with claims of it’s unnatural simply lack the ability to think outside the binary that they’ve lodged themselves into. For society loves to define people with binaries, and in terms of sexuality there’s only two options: gay or straight. With straight being the “better” of the two boxes. Thus, how could a human even consider making the gay choice? As if a choice was there to be made. Honestly, why would anyone choose the route of prejudice and oppression – that’s just nonsense. However, they can choose to cave into the pressures of their surroundings and deny who they are.

We have gotten better as a human race. Tolerance, acceptance, and equality is where we’re headed – some of us faster than others. Someone’s gaiety is no longer the great scandal it used to be, course, that might not be true depending on where you live. I’m fortunate to live in a liberal part of the country, where my gayness is accepted and not seen as a big ordeal to most people. I feel completely comfortable being who I am around my friends, a luxury that I’m aware not everyone has.

But there’s still people out there who would not be as accepting. Like the ignorant fellow who posted this picture to his blog with the caption declaring that nature demonstrates how homosexuality is not natural or fruitful (I’m paraphrasing):

Homophobic Cartoon

 

I saw this and immediately rolled my eyes. Seriously? You’re defining what’s natural with electronics? How are electronics natural? That makes about much sense as portraits of white Jesus, even though he lived in the Middle East, I guarantee he was not white. Or saying that peanut butter and chocolate are not compatible because they taste different. It’s silly.

For one, electronics are man-made. Two, going along with the plug-in example, I think it’s only fair to point out that there are other electronics that make EVERYTHING in that cartoon compatible – haven’t you ever ran out of outlets while setting up Christmas lights and had to find a way to make the ‘non-compatible’ plug ends work together? Hell, by this logic an extension cord is promoting polygamy.  A sexuality that I’m assuming anyone who agrees with the comic also finds unnatural.

But I still don’t feel the need to insult you. If the blogger who posted that happens to read this, I’m not trying to Internet bully you, your photo was simply the perfect illustration for something I’ve been meaning to write for several months. I think that you’re allowed to believe what you want to believe – I just wish that didn’t have to include insulting people who are different from you, I wish homophobia was a ghost story told around a campfire. I understand the mindset of those that find homosexuality unnatural, for I was raised to believe the same thing. It’s simple – you don’t understand it, and you were taught it was wrong – thus it must be so. If only life were that straightforward.

Here’s what I think about the word natural. Almost everyone is using it wrong. Take for instance polygamous relationships. I’m not polygamous, and I was talking to another non-polygamous friend about multiple partner relationships.

She stated, “It doesn’t seem natural, I can’t imagine being willing to share my boyfriend with someone else.”

I responded, “It’s not natural for you, that doesn’t make it an unnatural act. It’s just not meant for you. But for someone else, it’s completely natural and makes them happy. So natural in fact, that they can’t imagine living any other way. Just like any other sexuality. It’s not about what is and isn’t natural – it’s what natural for you.”

In my opinion, that’s where the heart of all these debates about what’s right and wrong, natural and unnatural, come from. People have a hard time understanding that unnatural for them does not mean unnatural for everyone. The world isn’t that black and white. There’s not two boxes. With one box being superior, and the other a bunch of lost souls, doomed to live a life of darkness and sorrow.

There’s actually no boxes at all – there are people – a wonderful and diverse crowd of fellow humans. We should embrace our differences. After all, God made us all in His image right? Maybe there’s more to God than what’s just in the Bible. Or maybe, we got His message confused. After all, the word of God was penned by man.

To quote The L Word, “If God hates us, then why are we all so sexy?”

Love is Love

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Of Bizarre Slang

Groovy

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Everyone uses slang, that’s not a shocking declaration. Whether it be the slang of the overall population (such as groovy back in the day), or unique to a small social circle (like my former roommate who referred to awesome things as filthy). Slang is everywhere. Which is fine, I have no ill feelings towards the use of slang, as it does say something about our culture that we won’t fully realize till what’s commonly said changes. And yes, I’m excited look back on movies and records to see how we’ve evolved verbally. But I do have issues with myself, more specifically, when I notice what I’m always saying.

Do you ever find yourself saying a particular word or phrase all the time? And no matter how much you would like to stop saying those words, you frequently catch yourself repeating them over and over until you annoy you? I have. And I must say, little is more frustrating than annoying yourself. At least when someone else is dumb, or is failing to articulate themselves properly, I have the option of walking away. I can’t walk away from me, unless I want to get belligerently drunk and blackout for a night – which, I have zero desire to do.

My whole life at some point I’ve notice my own personal slang, but by the time it changes I can’t remember what the hell it was. You’d think I’d be gleeful that those words were gone, but alas it is equally as annoying to not remember what they were. If for nothing else, reminiscing purposes. It’s like when a songs stuck in your head and then you suddenly forgot what it was. Or when one lyric is playing on repeat and you don’t know what the rest of the words are.

So for that reason, I can’t inform you of The Slang of Sarah’s Past. But I can tell you what I’m saying now: gracious and aiight.

Could there be two more diverse words to frequent my vocabulary? “Gracious,” is something a ninety-year-old lady says to herself whilst simultaneously gasping when seeing a scandalous sight, such as two gays kissing or a girl showing her ankles. “Aiight,” is what wannabe gangsters say when they agree, or are down with something, but they’re too lazy to use real words. By generation alone those two words do not belong together. Yet, my tongue has brought them together in bizarre harmony, often at the same time, “Gracious, that was crazy. Aiight, let’s go!”

I don’t know what my future slang will be, but I promise, whatever my brain settles on will inevitably annoy me – just like it always has.

Notice your own slang yet?