6. A Derby Date With Myself

Do you ever feel awkward going solo to events or restaurants or places where it is typical for people to go in pairs or even in packs? Do you think about everyone darting their little beady eyes at you, maybe grunting, snickering to their partners and friends, growling and drooling judgement, getting down low to the ground and circling you, ready to attack! Obviously because they mistake you for another species, or some rare breed of human, one they don`t understand, don`t want to understand, “the loner in the corner“, or just a lone alien specimen.

Do you imagine the very worst? And then stop yourself before you even get out the door, into your car, or onto public transit, and say: “well, actually if no one else can make it, maybe I`ll skip this one out… We can always go next time.“

I do this. And I think it`s bullshit.

Especially coming from someone who loves spending time alone…Everyone who knows me, knows that I go crazy without a little me-time. But usually my `me-time` is spent writing or reading or practicing violin in the privacy in my own home or in nature, in the woods, at the park, places and things that are `normal` to go and do alone.

But why should we be afraid to go out and do things or watch things we are interested in, or enjoy delicious food in a dim lighted romantic restaurant, alone. It`s not like you need someone else there to taste the food or drink the wine for you. Maybe pay the bill for you but…just kidding, (I may be pretty femme sometimes but I`ll pay my own way). But seriously, why not? Alone, you can close eyes and really enjoy each bite without having someone interrupt you and rip you away from another mouthgasm. Not every memory stitched into your mind needs to have a duplicate pattern on someone elses subconscious. Your memory, your day can be your day, just yours: a date with yourself.

Or maybe all of you single people do this already because you live off a healthy diet of independence and self-confidence. And us couples begin to binge on coexistence, on hanging out with your mate, always, or back in Canada, your bud 😉 and your friend. Or perhaps I shouldn`t generalize based on relationship status. I`m sure there are plenty of people who can leave their partner, or spouse or lovers at home and treat themself to dinner and a movie or lunch and a live theatre matinée or poetry slam or whatever tickles your fancy, floats your boat, munches your bunches nom nom nom- without a second thought…I envy you. But I also know that I am not alone in this petty little insecurity because society tends to tell us that it is weird, and wrong, and creepy, and sad, like, really sad, heartbreaking even, when people have no one to do things with. And lets face it, `choosing` to do things alone is usually presented as a myth, like, is it really a choice or is it just some sticky beige coverup for being a loner, for being friendless.

Screw that.

You know what I think is more depressing than being friendless, not knowing how to have fun by yourself. Cause we can surround ourselves by family and friends and lovers and acquaintances, but if we can`t even get ourselves off we can`t expect other people to do it for us- at least, not all the time, (I`m using that as a metaphor, but in the literal sense, masturbation is always a wise choice, then again, that`s coming from a proud sinner). But honestly, how do you expect other people to make you happy if you can`t make yourself happy and go out and do things that make you happy, alone? Don`t worry, I`m not putting you on the spot, I asked myself this too…

Yesterday I asked myself out on a date. I was little nervous because I wasn`t sure if I was going to get rejected, but…….. I said yes, phewww! I got ready, put on my sexy shoes, and got pretty for myself. And it went wonderfully.

I went to a double header roller derby bout, put on by The Victorian Roller Derby Leage and I bought myself two ciders and a hot dog.

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Best. date. ever.

Despite getting lost on the way there and having the tram driver tell me to get off and go the other direction when in fact I was going the right way to begin with… I made it eventually. Mind you, I was almost two hours late, but it was a five hour long event so I still got to see a lot of it. And one of the perks of dating yourself, no one was waiting for me, no one even knew I was coming, so I didn`t let anyone down.

And I cheered my ass off.

I saw the tail end of the first bout, but the full-on sweaty and heated second, a rematch of last seasons champions, the Rock Mobsters vs. the Dolls of Hazzard, and it blew my mind! I wasn`t a derby virgin, but I wasn`t far off, I`d only ever been to one Roller Derby match before when I was living in Vancouver! But this time, the difference was, I actually understood what was going on and how the scoring worked! Last time around I just cheered for the players with the coolest tights, or the ones I thought were hot, and I cheered whenever someone fell down… But once you understand what is happening, Roller Derby is quite possibly the coolest,  most exciting and vicious sport to watch.

And roller derby even has its own language, its own derby culture. It is fascinating…  I felt like an anthropologist going into to a foreign land to observe, to witness, scribbling notes frantically in my mind. The names… the derby names! They are fantastic. G-Banger got over twenty points in one jam, but Skate Bush set the record at thirty points in a single jam. I was rooting for Bush.

Afterwards on the bus, some guy asked me if my team won. I smiled and said, yeah. But really, I hadn’t been being monogamous in my cheering. I wasn’t tied down to either team. I was just cheering for whichever team was the underdog and it was such a close match that it kept changing. But in the end, I said yeah, I won. My team won.

Team-Me.

Because I went alone. It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t sad, it wasn’t pathetic…

It was awesomely epic.

I think I might ask myself to a second date, perhaps a little more intimate, more romantic…

Who am I kidding, what is more intimate than Roller Derby?

Yours Truly,

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Heidi J. Loos

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