Friday Game Night!

Sep 24, 2013 by

Rocking Jenga at Snakes & Lattes!

Rocking Jenga at Snakes & Lattes!

          The other night, my friend – the one who’s about to be published – picked me up around 9 pm and, as per usual, we began our evening with no plan. (By the way, he and I have now known each other for eight years. We just realized this last week, making us feel insanely old. We’re not too sure how so much time has passed since the day we met in Grade 11 Anthro, where this douche told me his email address was What a loser, right? I not-so-secretly love bringing that up.) Caught up in conversation, we drove down the Gardiner without a destination. Realizing that we didn’t know where we were going by the time the CN Tower was in sight, we exited at Spadina, assuming it was our best bet. I used his phone to Google directions to Snakes & Lattes, a board game cafe. We had been debating between this and a pop-up bar, eventually opting for a chill game night over drinks.           

          Once the car was parked, we walked down Bloor toward Snakes & Lattes while he told me about his brother’s August wedding.

          “How did your best man speech go?” I was curious, knowing he had been nervous about it.

          “Pretty good! I’m not even going to lie,” he cockily answered.

          “Give it to me! I want to hear it!” I said.

          He started, “A wise man once told me that a best man’s speech should only be as long as it takes for a man to make love to his wife.”

          I waited for him to continue.

          “I dropped the mic and walked off,” he said.

          Holding my stomach in laughter, I repeated, “You mic dropped? I love it! Tell me the rest!”

          When we were in high school, this guy studied drama. He’s got a talent for captivating an audience with humour. Needless to say, the speech was very funny – well, what I heard of it. He stopped partway.

          “Are you seriously going to make me say the whole thing?”

          “Of course!” I replied.

          He sighed.

          “You can’t get me halfway there and not finish!” I argued.

          “Whoa! What does that sound like?” he laughed.

          Realizing what I had just said, I matched his laughter. He delivered the rest of his hilarious speech. Evidently, my point was valid.

          Just as he finished, we arrived at Snakes & Lattes, where there was an hour wait for a table. We put our names down and proceeded to walk around the sketchy Annex. Coming up to Yogurty’s, we decided to go in. Thinking it was Menchie’s (those frozen yogurt places all look the same), which sells icy frozen yogurt that I don’t like, I wasn’t planning on buying any. Then, I saw my friend grab a paper cup the size of a tablespoon and fill it with a pump of yogurt. My eyes widened and my mouth dropped.

          “They have free samples?” I excitedly asked.

          “Yes!” he confirmed what I thought might have been a product of my imagination.

          My night was already made. He and I tried nearly every flavour along the wall, with chocolate peanut butter winning our top vote. I’m confident that we ate more in free samples than we eventually ended up buying. Being health conscious, I grabbed a cup to fill with French vanilla and roasted almond yogurts topped with fruit and nuts.

          “You’re getting some?” he said, surprised after I had talked it down when we first entered the place.

          “Yes! This yogurt is amazing!” I exclaimed, making him laugh.

          After eating our frozen yogurt and me thoroughly annoying him with my need to update my Facebook status using his phone, we walked back to Snakes & Lattes. It had been about an hour, but our table still wasn’t ready. My friend was not impressed. I am unbelievably impatient. Relative to this particular friend, I have the patience of a goddess.

          “I’m so over this,” he said. “I just wanted to have a chill night.”

          “We are! Come! Let’s go sit outside while we wait. It’s so nice out tonight!” I ironically encouraged before landing us in a ghetto doorway minutes prior to the onset of pouring rain.

          “Oh my God!” he responded to Toronto’s rain season (a.k.a. this summer) in irritation. “What are we going to do?”

          “Wait it out. My hair can’t take this weather. You wanted a chill night, right? Well, we’re in a doorway, completely dry in the pouring rain, just catching up on a beautiful night. Let’s stay here,” I suggested.

          He was down. We began playing his rendition of Guelph trivia night. I failed to answer every question but one.

          “What was Elton John’s top single?”

          “Oh! The one for Princess Diana!” I yelled, ecstatic to finally know something.

          “Yes, that’s what I said during Thursday trivia: Candle in the Wind! It’s right!” he announced.

          “Ah!” I shouted. “Yes! I finally got one!”

          “Well, not really. The answer is Candle in the Wind. You said, ‘The one for Princess Diana,’” he reminded, failing to kill my joy.

          “The thought was there! I knew what it was!” I defended, laughing.

          The rain continued to fall as he continued to quiz me on random facts that I couldn’t answer to save my life. It was obvious that the rain was not about to let up when we got a call from Snakes & Lattes to let us know that our table was ready.

          “Do you still want to go?” he asked.

          “Yeah, let’s do it,” I said.

          “Are we running it?”

          “Absolutely!” I exclaimed, already bent over to collect my hair into a precipitation protection plan (a bun). Popping back up, hair tied and purse shielding my bangs, I was ready to race the weather. “Okay, let’s do this!”

          We splashed through pools of water, my feet sliding within my flats, but my white shirt somehow maintaining its opaqueness. Arriving at Snakes & Lattes less than five minutes later, I pulled my hair down while my friend went to the front desk to let the staff know we were there.

          He turned back to me, pupils dilated. “Tree, what happened?”

          “My naturally curly hair just got rained on. On a scale of one to sex hair, how bad is it?”

          “Pretty bad,” he affirmed the expected.

          I fiercely combed my fingers through the wavy mess, trying to look less like a chick on a coffee break from the corner down the street.

          “Presentable?” I hoped.

          “Yeah, you’re good. Let’s check out the games.”

          With only two players, we were limited, so we stocked up on various versions of trivia and made up our own rules to manoeuvre through the boards, not wanting to read the instructions. We began with trivia on the ’90s, over-confident that we could kill it. In actuality, we knew nothing about the era that we grew up in. We moved on to Friends trivia, which I was awesome at. He didn’t know enough about the show to play. At this point, it was clear that Trivia for Dummies would have been the most appropriate choice. We knew nothing. Attempting a third round of trivia before giving up on smart-people games altogether, we grabbed Jenga – the original version. (To our disappointment, Truth or Dare Jenga wasn’t on the shelf.)

          “This is how I got my first blow job,” my friend shared, as we stacked the blocks.

          “Jenga? How?” I responded in shock.

          “We made our own version of Truth or Dare Jenga. We numbered the blocks, so my parents wouldn’t see, and we wrote down the dare that each number corresponded to on a piece of paper. One of them was to give a blow job.”

          Laughing harder than I had all night, I declared, “Jenga has just lost all of its innocence. How old were you?”

          “Grade 7 or 8,” he estimated.

          My mouth was agape. My laughter escalated.

          “Some girls be whores,” he smirked.

          We owned the game, creating the highest Jenga towers either of us had ever made in our minimally Jenga-involved lives. It was all fun and teamwork until one of us had to be the person to bring our masterpieces crashing to the floor, at which point our competitiveness kicked in. That person was me. Both times. We scrambled to pick up the pieces I had sent sliding across the tiles toward other people’s tables. We apologized to our game-playing neighbours through laughter, more than satisfied with our choice to mindlessly play with blocks over troublesome facts.

          By 1 am, we were on to Scattergories (his choice). As my friend explained how to play, I didn’t understand what was so great about it. That is, until the game began and I discovered how much fun it is! For competitors, we were very encouraging of each other’s answers, especially when it came to challenging letters, like f. We began negotiating points. For example, he let me have a point for my very general answer of “parts of a car” in response to “things that you replace” that start with p, because I let him have a point for some questionable answer of his that had made me laugh.

          After five rounds of Scattergories, we decided to call it a night. I was running on next to no sleep from Thursday’s baking all-nighter, and he was getting tired given the time. On our way back to the car through light rain, amongst conversation about oral reviews of academic theses, he admitted to liking the new Britney Spears song.

          “I haven’t heard it long enough before changing the radio station to have an opinion on it, but I am loving Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey right now,” I said.

          “How did I know? No joke, the first time I heard that song, I thought, this is such a Theresa song,” he said.

          “Yeah, I totes listened to it on repeat for an hour at work today.”

          As we drove home in bumper to bumper traffic due to the Gardiner being inconveniently closed, I caught myself thinking about my boyfriend expectations, which are continuously evolving. That night, I had an empty apartment that I probably could have exploited and a guy pending an answer from me about a date (I hope he took my silence as a no), but I chose to spend the evening with my friend from high school. I had a fabulous time, laughing the night away with a guy who has no intention of getting me in his backseat. That’s what I want of my future boyfriend, I thought. I want to feel as though it is not his goal to fuck me whenever I’m with him. I mean, of course, I want my boyfriend to want me. More importantly, though, I want him to enjoy the simplicity of hanging out and laughing with me, without having to kiss me and unclip my bra. (Although, that’s definitely hot. Don’t get me wrong.) As basic as it sounds, amongst others, the guy spectrum includes guy friends and sexual acquaintances. I want a guy that embodies the characteristics of both, but also melts my heart. I want my boyfriend to rock my headboard, be my friend outside of the bedroom, and deliver the perfect amount of romance. Dear Ted, is it because I don’t own a yellow umbrella?

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