Jun 10, 2013 by

          On Saturday night, I was walking downtown with Olivia when three guys bolted in front of us, forcing us to either stop or side step into the street. As we came to a halt, they asked us our names. Olivia responded with ease. As usual, I paused, trying to decide which name to give. Since I was with Olivia, I introduced myself as Maria, after what always feels like the most awkward silence of life.

          Questions continued with them asking us where we’re from. When we named the suburb that we live in, one of the guys responded with a smirk and a cocky, “How do you like the big city?” Strike 1: I find it insanely irritating when people refer to Toronto as “the city” or “the big city.” Anyone who thinks of Toronto in this light clearly hasn’t travelled too far outside of it. Furthermore, I currently live a short, 20-minute drive from Toronto. I’m close enough to downtown that I can make out the skyline from my balcony. I’m in Toronto fairly often because I have easy access to it. I also grew up in a suburb of Toronto, so “the city” is nothing special to me. Toronto is simply somewhere to go for something to do. Therefore, I am not impressed by people who think they’re hot shit because they’ve graced “the big city” with their presence for a night. I also don’t entertain big shots who live downtown, and emphasize that they’re from “the city” whenever they can squeeze it into conversation. I get it. They live there. They think they have the right to mock suburbia – even though most of them are originally from the suburbs. I am so glad I grew out of my I-love-Toronto-so-much-that-I-want-to-live-at-Front-and-Spadina-so-I-can-walk-to-clubs stage before I had the resources to put my money where my mouth was.

          Needless to say, I was definitely giving off a please-let-me-out-of-this-conversation-soon vibe, as these guys proceeded to tell us where they’re from. Surprise, surprise, they live in another suburb of Toronto. So they were visiting “the big city” themselves. I never would have guessed (eye roll). Strike 2.

          Both thoroughly annoyed by this point, Olivia and I tried to hint that we wanted to be on our way. Our body language wasn’t loud enough, so I lied that we were heading home. We did not want any stragglers as we walked. While making our escape, one of the guys called me back, obviously hoping to get my number. Crap. I was not in the mood to feel guilty. This closeted suburban guy had already struck out with his “big city” comment. He pulled out his phone a little prematurely before popping the question. He was nervous. Strike 3. I know that sounds harsh, but I like confident guys. It’s true what they say about people knowing whether or not they’re attracted to someone within seconds. I was not interested.

          However, he was nice in his approach. Having told him that Olivia and I had tried (without succeeding) to catch some food trucks at an event at Fort York that night, he mentioned that he likes food trucks too and suggested that we seek some out. Smart guy, playing off my interests. Too bad I had already made up my mind that he wasn’t my type.  Even so, I’m always open to making new friends, so I gave him my number. I love food truck hunting! Why not befriend people in the process?

          Unfortunately for him, he didn’t even make it to the friend zone. He texted me today, asking if I got back to my “little town” okay on Saturday night. Strike 4. Baseball doesn’t even allow four strikes, so I feel that I was generous enough, having given him my number. He will not be receiving a text back.

          Anyway, despite the fact that this guy did not peak my interest as either a potential date or friend prospect, the situation posed an important lesson: I can meet people anywhere! Olivia and I didn’t have a destination that night. We did nothing more than walk the entire time that we were out, meaning that I attracted a guy simply by being outside. Albeit not a guy I was in to, the point is that I obtained the right kind of attention from a person who wanted to go on a legitimate date that I would have actually liked (had he been appealing), and I was fully covered in a white, long sleeved sweater and tan pants. No shirt skirts required. Potential dates and friends are within reach. I just need to continue venturing outside of my apartment as often as I have been in order to meet them. This brief encounter helped me to realize that I’ve been taking another positive action toward dating without realizing it just by literally getting out there.

Happiness Tip: Leave your home!

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