So on Tuesday, my very good friend K emailed me to tell me that she had a ticket for a special Christmas concert featuring some of Canada’s best-loved performers on Wednesday night, but she couldn’t go. Did I want the ticket? she asked. I would! I typed. Then I hit send. And then I IMMEDIATELY regretted hitting send, because my brain had just shifted into overdrive, and was frantically grappling with things like a) where is it? b) how will I get there? C) MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE? If you know me at all, you know that doing things and being with people are not my strongest suit, and I had just flippantly agreed to a situation involving both of those. And there was no way of getting out of it, because she was very sad that she couldn’t go, but the fact that she could see me get enjoyment out of it eased the pain of not being able to go herself. Spoiler Alert: I DID go and I had a great time—one of my favourite Canadian bands, Billy Talent, performed–here’s a link to one of my favourite songs, WHICH they performed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAOnUF8t20w
I also know that a certain someone will be super-jealous that I saw Kim Mitchell play with Alex Lifeson of Rush, but that’s not the point. The actual point is that my blogger pal Aussa Lorens of Hacker Ninja Hooker Spy recently posted this:
“Remember when everyone was always talking about FOMO – Fear of Missing Out? Well, I’d like to introduce you to FOMO’s cool stoner cousin, FOBI: Fear of Being Invited.”
And I realized that I too suffer from this FOBI-A. The truth is, the only thing I fear missing out on is being wrapped up in a blanket, drinking wine and watching the latest episode of pretty much anything on Netflix. But I’ve been trying hard to overcome it—as you might remember, I summoned up my courage to meet Gary Numan, and in the same vein, I was determined to deal with this particular invitation.
It was a rough day to begin with because something had happened to the heating system at work, and it was also in overdrive, like maybe IT had been invited somewhere too, resulting in our entire office feeling like a sauna. Now, I am always f*cking freezing, so for ME to complain about being hot is unusual. We all took refuge in our Director’s office, which for some bizarre reason, was an icebox, and we complained bitterly about the heat. At this point, I noticed that my armpits felt unusual, and I couldn’t figure out why. At first, I thought I had maybe forgotten to put on deodorant that morning because, even though I don’t normally sweat, I don’t suffer under the delusion that I won’t smell without a healthy dose of cucumber-green tea antiperspirant. I once worked with someone who didn’t believe in deodorant:
Colleague: I never wear deodorant. It’s part of the devil’s toolkit.
Colleague: It’s totally unnecessary. I don’t smell.
Everyone (smiling tightly): OK then.
But I distinctly remembered applying a healthy dose of the devil’s stick that morning. Was I finally having a “hot flash”? I haven’t had one yet, although I THOUGHT I was getting them at night, but it was just my vegan roommate sneaking out at 3 in the morning to crank up the thermostat to 78 degrees (25 Celsius) because fruit won’t keep you warm in bed.
Anyway, putting aside the intense heat and the fact that I was, in actuality, sweating, I started polling my coworkers about the best way to get to the concert venue. I got the following responses:
1) “Take the subway and walk the rest of the way.” The rest of the way was over 3 kilometres, and it’s December in Canada, so HARD PASS.
2) “There’s an underground streetcar that will take you right to Exhibition Place.” There is no such thing, and now I am super-suspicious of the co-worker who told me this.
3) “Why don’t you just treat yourself to a cab?” In what possible universe is sitting in the back of an old, smelly car, paying a small fortune to a guy who finds the most circuitous route to travel 6.3 kilometres in order to wrack up the meter a TREAT? This NOT my idea of a ‘treat’, but I was seriously considering it as the only option until…
4) “Just call an Uber.”
Me: Uber? Bah.
Colleague 1: Seriously. Get an Uber. I use them all the time. It’s really easy.
Colleague 2: Yes, Uber is great.
Me: Well, how do I call this Uber of which you speak?
Colleague 1: Just download the app to your phone
Colleague 2: I’ll send you a promo code to get ten dollars off your first ride.
Then they showed me how to download the app, how to set up an account, and how to use it. I was pretty skeptical, but I planned carefully. I had to be at the concert venue by 7 pm, so I needed to leave by no later than 6:15, taking into account the possibility of traffic, which meant I needed to call the Uber at exactly 5:55 pm. This was my plan:
5:05: Reheat leftovers and eat dinner.
5:35: Get freshened up and change.
5:50: Brush teeth and use the bathroom.
5:55: Call the Uber.
5:56: Use the bathroom again (safety go), get coat, take elevator down to lobby and wait for Uber to arrive.
At exactly 5:55, I confirmed my Uber, and then went to the bathroom. I was sitting there, when PING—there was a notification on my phone that my driver had arrived and I was like “How the f*ck did he get here before I was even finished my safety go?!”
So I rushed down to the lobby—sure enough, there he was, and I knew it was him because the app had sent me his picture, the make and model of his car, his license number, a glamour shot of his wife, and the name of his kid’s soccer team. He was a recent immigrant from Georgia (the country) and was very nice. He got me to the theatre in record time, which would have been fantastic except that the concert didn’t start at 7, that was when the DOORS OPENED. I wasn’t the only one who was bamboozled by this, and there’s nothing like a straight and organized line of very annoyed Canadians, all politely asking the huge bouncer if we could please come in, and him apologizing that he couldn’t let us in, that he was sorry about how cold it was, and to please help ourselves to the roasted chestnuts and hot apple cider provided by the venue.
Then, to get back to my condo, I called another Uber, who was also there in under a minute (how do they do that?!) and he was also very nice. And also from Georgia. He got me back to my condo in enough time that I could still snuggle under the covers with a glass of wine and watch a little Netflix.
So, to sum up, I learned that:
1) I am capable of doing things and being with people.
2) Uber is great and their drivers are Eastern European…?
3) Hot flashes—if I ever get one—are unpleasant, and even the devil’s toolkit won’t save you.