GETTING MORE TALE #616:
None of My Exes Live in Texas (But One Lives in Thunder Bay)
“You’re going to meet a lot of girls here.” — The Boss, at The Record Store, summer 1994.
Here’s the sad fact of the matter. Even though it was promised to me like some kind of perk, I didn’t meet any girls at the Record Store.* That perk was as non-existent as 15 minute breaks.
Here’s another sad fact. I was absolutely pathetic at talking to girls. It’s too embarrassing to think about, but if I ever do psychiatric regression to recall all those painful memories, you could write a pretty hilarious comedy movie about my exploits back then. The working title would be The 20 Year Old Virgin. It would be something along the lines of Swingers but with a nerd as the lead character. A heavy metal sci-fi geek.
I just needed the times to catch up to me. When the internet became popular, the nerds became the kings. I was always better at talking when I have a chance to write and think about words. Email was perfect. Otherwise I used to get flustered and just flat-out say stupid things, usually trying to be funny. I began online dating in 2000. Trevor was always willing and able to help me out with advice, but regardless, the first couple years of online dating were epically awful. I can distinctly remember a Christmas card that Trevor gave me. It had a timeline illustrating the 13 “Crazy Exes” I’d accumulated so far.
“Hey, that one wasn’t crazy,” I protested as I pointed to one near the middle.
I can’t remember all the names. The detail I remember most is what city they lived in.
First was Waterloo, then came Hamilton #1. She was nice, Hamilton #1. She was originally from Prince Edward Island, and her cousin was Paul MacAusland of the rock band Haywire. I saw Haywire open for Helix in 1987. My first date with Hamilton #1 was actually record shopping. I bought two Devin Townsend Japanese imports. She got Paul McCartney’s double Tripping the Live Fantastic. She wasn’t the problem though, Hamilton was. I got severely lost on my way home and had (what I now know was) a panic attack.
Hamilton #2 came a bit later that year. She was better with directions, at least, so I didn’t get lost. She was into music too, but not anything particularly good. She liked…Britney. I’ll admit my interest in her was more physical than otherwise, but we did have an incredible first date. I remember telling Trevor that it was the best first date I’d ever had. The third one, not so much. She took me to her AA meeting. Obviously, that was no place for a date and I should have dropped her off and gone home.
Toronto was a repeat of the situation of Hamilton #1; panic attacks getting lost. That one was a Sloan fan, but she really turned me off when I saw that none of the discs were in their proper cases. Sloan At the Palais Royale had something else in it. The discs were scattered! But she was also a stage-5 clinger and the night I called her to say it wasn’t working out, she didn’t want to let it go. I turned my cell phone off because it was constantly ringing and I was going nuts. I went mini-golfing with some friends from the Record Store to clear my head. When I turned it back on, a friend prank called me pretending to be the ex! That eased the mood of the evening.
I really liked Kingston, and fortunately we’re friends. She was a musician and I even have a copy of her CD that I’ll review one day. My heart was heavy when she moved to Thunder Bay for school. I could do long distance but not that long. That wasn’t the end of the city of Thunder Bay though. The city taketh away, but the city also returneth: Thunder Bay Girl herself, subject of Record Store Tales Part 264: Garbage Removal Machine. She moved here from T-Bay and was into the metal. Motley Crue was her favourite. We’d hang out and watch music videos all night. I gave her a giant box of my old cassette tapes. But if Toronto was a stage-5 clinger, Thunder Bay was stage-6. I had to get out, and she justifiably hated me for it. But she hated me even more for bailing on her when she had to deliver a ferret to somebody. Attempting to be friends, I offered to drive her some place to drop off this ferret. I had to cancel because, as always, the Record Store was insane and I had to work. Having a life was very difficult at the Record Store and the ferret thing was not my fault. She didn’t care, and it was all she needed to hate me forever. She went home to Thunder Bay a little later; that’s why I like to say all my tapes are in a Thunder Bay landfill today.
I’m not innocent through all this of course; I’m sure some of these exes have their own stories. I’ll never claim to be blameless. I just like to tell my tales, because at the end of the day, you just gotta laugh. That’s how you ultimately get over shit. Laughter, and music.
Fortunately the last online lady I ever met was Brampton. Her real name is Jennifer, but today she just likes to be called Mrs. LeBrain.
*Confession time! There was one girl that worked at the Cambridge location that I liked, so I invited her out to dinner and then over for a movie. I was living with T-Rev at the time, who worked with her in Cambridge. Well I was so bored on our “date” (IT WAS NOT A DATE, TREVOR! IT WAS A HANG-OUT!) that I went to bed early and she hung out with Trev for the rest of the night! “Very awkward!” according to Trevor.