Tag Archives: exchange

Awkwardness is …

I have previously written the “Awkwardness is …” series in third person narration, which is  tiresome. I’m changing the format.

So back to the entry.

I live on the eighth floor of an apartment block. Walking down the stairs takes an age, especially when half asleep. Needless to say, I use the lift. The only thing is the lift is small. A journey shared with a perfect stranger is to get to know that person  intimately.

Yesterday morning, my oh so nice neighbour – with whom I have nothing in common – joined me in the lift for the third morning in a row. Sunday’s topic of conversation was the cold weather. Monday’s words were on the uselessness of storage heating. This morning’s exchange was different.

I was already in the lift when I heard his apartment door bang. His keys rattled. He hastened once he saw I held the door open.

“Morning,” he said in his usual cheerful manner. He flashed his good smile.

“Hi, again,” I said. It was 08.15 and I was not in the mood to talk.

He made some general chat. I looked up and cut across him.

“You’ve toothpaste on your face,” I said, pointing to my left cheek in an attempt to guide him.

“Really?” He rubbed his cheek vigorously. “Is it gone?”

“Yes, it is.”

It was only when spoke, I realised my observation may have been out of place. I was grateful when the elevator reached ground floor. I bolted from the confined space. I wished him good day and assessed the weirdness of commenting on a practical stranger having toothpaste on his cheek.

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EmBrace Campaign

On Saturday night, around two in morning in Four Flame Lane, I ducked and weaved through the crowd to gain access to the bar. While I waited for wanker-barman, a girl propped on a stool to my right caught my attention. She stared.

“Hi,” I said, acknowledging her gaze.

“You’re braces are so sexy,” she replied. I asked myself if this was an excuse to engage me in a conversation.

“Really? They are so bloody sore,” I replied in a depressive tone. I pulled down my lower lip to show her my lower-brace. “I got this bad boy last week. I can’t even chew at the moment”.

“It will be worth it in the end.”

“I keep telling myself this.” I forced a smile.

“I got mine taken off last month. Getting braces was the best thing I ever did. You won’t regret it”

“Show me!”

She smiled, pried her lips apart and flashed her recently acquired assets, turning her head from left to right.

“They’re really beautiful,” I complimented.

“Thanks,” she said, this time with a genuine smile.

“Have a great night!”

With a second smile, she turned and rejoined the conversation of her group.

It is no surprise Girl at the Bar noticed my braces as sharply as she did. Since embarking on my magical, wonderful trip down Orthodontistry Avenue, I see countless adult-brace-wearers every week. My “brace-dar” is more accurate than my gaydar. Even with atrocious eye-sight, I can spot an adult-brace-wearer at fifty feet. On an evening when I felt low, the exchange with Girl at the Bar perked me up, so much so I want to start the EmBrace Campaign. My EmBrace campaign is to encourage adult-brace-wearers to do just as the girl in Four Flame Lane did; give a little compliment to lift sagging spirits. I am going to do just this: When I spot an adult with braces – and it won’t be out of place for me to talk to them – I am going to ask about their treatment, how it is going and remind them that all this pain will be worth it in the end. A little encouragement is needed; while orthodontistry is a long and painful route, it is guaranteed to eventually leave you smiling.

Popping Your Sherry

My friend has been finding it hard to find a place to live over the last few weeks. He emailed today to inform me he has moved into a new place with two gay men. His house mates are in their mid to late thirties. Far be it for me to consider mid-thirties old, but my friend is more than ten years younger than his co-habitants. My mate is the type of guy that likes to head out on the piss on a Saturday night, bring back a gang of friends (and sometimes “randommers”) to share a can of Heineken over loud music. I cannot see this going to too well with settled professionals. I thought I should share my opinion:

“I don’t think you will be having too many people back to the house after a night out,” I wrote to him in an email.

“They seem OK. They said they have a fair few sessions themselves,” was his reply.

“You mean a cherry before bed counts as a session?”

“What do you mean by cherry?”

“I mean a glass of cherry. I don’t even want to think of what you misconstrued that for …”

“Do you mean a glass of sherry?”

“No, I mean a glass of cherry.”

“It’s spelt S-H-E-R-R-Y,” he responded within seconds.

I was confused. I Googled “glass of cherry”. I got some obscure matches. It was bloody obvious I’ve been spelling it wrong all my life. I cannot believe I always thought the fortified wine was spelt C-H-E-R-R-Y.

It’s moments like this one feels a little inadequate for the world.