Everyone has some particular habits.
Here’s another one of mine: how I eat cola gummies.
First, bite off the “bottle cap” to “open” the gummy. Then, holding it like a teeny little glass bottle (pinky out) nibble it from below, from the neck to the bottom. Like you are “drinking”.
For full, annoying effect, say “ahhh” after every single one.
There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.
You can break a man with hope.
Looking through some old photos from undergrad. This is the winter semester of my graduating year (2006). Pictured above is me and Steven during one of engineering’s big event weeks, middle is Kat and me after I got my iron ring, bottom is me and Ellen “running” a summer engineering student conference on sustainable engineering.
Undergrad was great. Normally, in arts programs, you don’t get to see the same people all the time, but professional faculties like Engineering are much more insular. Which means that you don’t lose people as easily.
Until you move to New York City, at least.
On her soul. On his back. In a life, on a bookshelf, atop shoulders.
Do things that leave a trace. Whether it is founding a thought that provokes a smile, the giving of a gift that is loved or the leaving of teeth marks that illuminate some temporal, sordid need.
Add to someone. Leave them better off than you found them. Even if it is practically imperceptible. Even if it is fleeting. Even if you have no reasonable expectation of reply. When you think about it, the evidence of your presence that you create in someone else’s life is nearly all you are.
Charm is getting people to say ‘yes’ without ever having to ask them a question.
We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time.
The varied retail experiences of Jeremy.
I worked at Sporting Life, an upscale sporting goods store in midtown Toronto. I sold footwear, and then later skis and ski boots.
I spent a long while at Gap (at Fairview Mall in uptown Toronto). Definitely my favourite retail job. Man did I abuse the discount. I left about the time that some corporate idiot decided neon peach fleece sweaters were all the rage.
Dealt in books, music and magazines at Indigo in downtown Toronto. That was also a great job and, if I weren’t paying for school, it would have been a great opportunity to abuse a discount.
My last retail job was at Bluenotes (at Toronto’s downtown Eaton Center mall). It’s a neat little denim and fashion store, albeit with a targeted demographic of 12-16.
I didn’t have actually have a techy job until part way through my undergrad degree.
The Most Suave I’ll Ever Be
When I was in undergrad, I used to work at the flagship Indigo Bookstore (think B&N, except stable) in downtown Toronto. The store was in proximity to many of the venues and fancier hotels used in the Toronto International Film Festival. Come September, our store saw many celebrity shoppers. At cash, I personally rang up Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones (wow she’s pretty) and, ugh, Sarah Jessica Parker. I also had Matthew Broderick remind me that I was still in uniform (a vest I hadn’t yet taken off) when I left work one night.
Point is that whenever a celeb came into the store, word travelled fast. One memory sticks out in particular. I was at the upper level cash when Robin Williams came in to buy something, but at the mezzanine level cash. So, naturally, I went to reshelve in fiction, just above that cash desk.
As I was meandering around the railing on the floor above, marveling at how hairy that man is, he looked up at me with a quizzical expression. Robin Williams called up to me. “Hey,” he said. “You look familiar!”
My response, delivered with no hesitation whatsoever: “Huh. That’s odd, because so do you!”
With that, ladies and gentlemen, I used up all the suaveness I might ever have. Honestly, the rest of the short conversation is a let-down, by comparison.
You wouldn’t mind sharing that drink with three pretty, twenty-something Asian women, would you?
I’m not sure, but it is entirely possible that all I’ve eaten today is an organic, locally-made* fruit roll-up and three chicken wings.
* this is Brooklyn, after all
“I was born with an enormous need for affection and a terrible need to give it.” - Audrey Hepburn