Well. I must say. I was not expecting to post again so soon. In fact, when I started this new blog, I quickly lost momentum. I became doubtful, fearful, that I would find enough material in my day to day life worthy of writing about; interesting enough to write about.
Of course. Beautifully. Thankfully. There is.
I just exited the subway after my first date after a two-and-a-half-year relationship. It was one of the new subways, where you can see all the way down the train, where the metal chair frames and hold posts are still shiney and seemingly septic (of course they’re not), and the computer-generated, automated voice announcing each stop can be heard echoing in near unison throughout the very long, singular subway car.
In front of me walked two young men and two young women, a bit drunk, back from some event or other, in good spirits. They took the escalator, I took the stairs. Then one of the guys said to me, quite randomly: Can I get a high five? I turned around and whole-heartedly gave him a strong high five with a big smile to boot. Then I continued up the stairs, happy to have been part of this little exchange that I would like to, rightly or wrongly, label as very lovely and perfectly Canadian.
Then, as I ascended the staircase faster than the group was ascending the escalator, I heard the same young man say: Can I get a hug? He was exploring how far he could push his luck, it would seem. I prentended to not hear and continued on my way. One of the girls in their company told him, good-naturedly, to shut up and appreciate that I had high-fived him. Yes. What she said.
Anyhoo. This reminds me of a nice, little story.
I had a crush on This Boy at some point in my twenties. The details of the crush, like my twenties, are a bit of a blur. But this one particular event during the crush is indelible.
We had had an overnight date the night before. In the morning we went for breakfast. The alcohol-induced bliss of the night before was settling, and after we’d eaten, I was eager to go back to his place, get my stuff, and be on my way.
Our walk back to his house coincided with the city’s morning commute to work. The nine-to-fivers. You know the ones. Robots. Assemble. Activate!
As we were passing a bus stop where, perhaps, a dozen or so people were waiting for the bus, This Boy, addressing this small crowd, implored sporadically, emphatically: Who’s gonna give me a high five? Wide eyeballs revealed themselves. Stunned silences spoke volumes. Translation. No response. He proceeded.
« C’MON! WHO’S GOING TO GIVE ME A HIGH FIVE? »
Then, quiet and unexpected, a nervous girl’s voice piped up: « I will! »
Then her little hand sprung up and This Boy high-fived her. Can I tell you? That was more than ten years ago and I immediately loved that girl and still do today and I am sure I will never forget this little story, that lovely moment.
I wonder if it was a bit awkward there at the bus stop after she did that. It was already quiet, of course. But now it would be a full-on her-against-them silence. Maybe she felt foolish. Maybe they « gave her a look. » Maybe she felt proud to be the different one. Maybe some or one of them had wished they’d been spontaneous and brave like her. Either way, her nervous, innocent, beautiful little « I will! » was incredibly refreshing, smile-inducing (then and now), and the saving grace of that otherwise unremarkable date.
Want to know how to say « High five! » in French? « TAPE CINQ! »
Anyway. I recommend trying it. Randomly high five people when you’re slightly intoxicated. Not everyone is a robot after all. And it’s a really nice moment when someone just…high fives you back. 🙂