Do you have a story from your life that is just a bit too bizarre for people to believe? A story that includes a friend or two, that when it comes up, they shake their heads and say, “Ohhhh, yeah. I remember that.” A story that, to an outsider, may be somewhat un-interesting, but perhaps in some little way shaped the direction of your life? Here is mine…
When I was 19, I was dating my now ex-husband, still had a friend or two I hung out with, and was not yet a jaded, disenchanted bitch. I was living in my first apartment, and learning the ins and outs of relationships, and of life.
One day, my friend Carebear called me up and told me of a grand idea she had come up with. It was to be her 20th birthday, and she had decided that she and I must make a journey to the frozen land of Canada to go drink. (Because the legal drinking age is 19 there). At that time, I had not yet become the raging alcoholic that I now am- in fact, I distinctly remember reaming my ex out for having stashed his Bloody Mary ingredients in my kitchen cupboard. Anyhoo, since Canada is only a 4 hour drive, I said, “Wooo! Road trip!”, though I made it quite clear that I would not be imbibing any spirits once we reached our destination. Carebear responded with, “Good. You can be the DD.” And so our planning began.
Because it has been many years since I took a geography class, and I tend to live in my own world where places move inadvertantly, I cannot tell you to which province we went; it was whichever one is directly above Minnesota. Anyway, Carebear was at the helm of her Buick LaSabre and I ran the map. We finally arrived in Canada unscathed, schmoozing our way through customs without a hitch, at around 11 P.M. We found ourselves in a little armpit of a town known as Fort Francis. (I say armpit because the town sports a paper mill, which lent it it’s lovely bean-burrito fart smell) We located a hotel, booked a room for the night, (while exclaiming how cheap everything was in Canada) re-applied our glittery going-out makeup, and proceeded to cruise town looking for a drinking establishment.
After a half hour of unsuccessful searching, Carebear happened to see two men stumbling along the side of the road. “We should ask THEM where a bar is!” She exclaimed, already pulling over behind them.
“They could be rapists! You don’t know what kind of people are in Canada!” I replied in horror.
“Oh, whatever. It’s already 11:30. We aren’t even going to get to drink if we don’t ask them. Hey!” She had rolled down her window and yelled at the dudes to get their attention.
The two guys sauntered up to the car, drunkily, and the cuter of the two popped his head through my open window, leering at me, which caused me to hunker down in my seat. “Helloooo, pretty ladies. What can we do for YOU?” He slurred.
Carebear took control. “We were looking for a bar. It’s my birthday, and we drove up from Minnesota to drink.”
The guy leaning in her window smiled goofily. “OOH! It’s her birthday! Well, we will show you ladies a good time.” As though transmitting thoughts through their liquor breath, the two guys immediately hopped in the back seat. Carebear and I looked at each other and shrugged. Off we went.
When we arrived at the bar, the guys asked what we would like to drink. Being the non-lush that I was at the time, I ordered a Diet Pepsi, and the cuter of the two, Dan, proclaimed, “You don’t drink?! Wow. You’re different.” (So I’ve heard) Carebear proceeded to get plowed on gin-and-tonics, while flirting with Dan’s friend who’s name was Sam.
After Dan had whispered to Carebear that he thought I was cute, she presented him with one of my senior pictures (it was only 6 months after I graduated) and wrote my phone number on the back. She informed him, “She has a boyfriend, but he’s a tool, and you’re cuter.” I tried a desperate attempt to retain said photo, reprimanding Carebear for giving my number away to a strange man. She laughed.
After bar close, I assumed my post as Designated Driver, asking where I could drop our Canadians off. Carebear, in her drunken state cried, “They’re coming up to our room! Duh.” Alrighty then. I didn’t really know how to respond to that, so I just drove.
When we got back to the room, Dan and I decided to head on down to the lobby, since Carebear and Sam seemed intent on having naked fun time. We spent 3 hours drinking coffee and talking, and then returned to the room, assuming that any sexual activity would have been completed by then. Sadly, it had not yet begun. I lay down on the other bed, and Dan asked if I would mind if he lay down beside me. I thought fleetingly of my boyfriend back in America and then decided that lying next to another man was not committing any cardinal sin. Dan and I spent the whole rest of the night talking, while trying to tune out the drunken sex that was going on in the next bed. When the morning sun began shining through the window, Dan whispered, “I know this is really weird, but I think I love you, Sparkle.”
Sidenote: Ok, I realize that was probably a line, but at the time, I was a dumb kid, ok? I realized he was probably lying, but at the same time, I AM kinda awesome. Maybe one night with me IS all it takes…
“Oh, ummm, ok, I don’t know what to say to that.” I was immediately nervous and got up. After rolling Carebear and Sam outta bed, we went for breakfast.
We had originally planned on only staying one night, but Carebear had had such a lovely time with what’s-his-name, (no, she never DID remember his name) and I had had good conversation with Dan, so we stayed another night. The two drunkies again got smashed and tussled in the bed next to us (Oh, the joys of hearing, “Oops, sorry. I didn’t mean that to happen. I’ll get a towel”) And Dan and I talked again, though there were a few attempts made to get his hands into my drawers. We left the next morning with good will, and Dan once again proclaiming his surprising love for me.
Carebear never again talked to Sam, but at the time, she was dating a Marine who was based in California, and she eventually told him what had happened in Canada. They spent many many hours on the phone in heated conversations, breaking up and getting back together. When they were together, and mention of Canada (such as Clearly Canadian, Labatt Blue, or Shania Twain) would induce the Marine to uttering, “Fuckin’ Canada” in an ominous way. After 9/11, he signed up to go overseas, and in the end, they ended their relationship. Whether it was Canada’s fault, we will never know.
As far as me and Dan goes: we exchanged phone calls back and forth, (because Carebear gave him my number) the entire time while Dan proclaiming what a “perfect woman” I was and how he had “never met someone like me”. After a fateful weekend when I tried to give my boyfriend my virginity and he refused (WTF?!), I took me and my rejected twat back to Canada for another weekend sans Carebear. But that’s a story for another time.
Needless to say, when we arrived back from Canada, my boyfriend(ex-hubby) was irate that we had gone in the first place, especially when I told him we had picked up two guys. Though I assured him no hanky-panky had taken place in my nether regions, he felt betrayed, and hated Carebear ever after. Perhaps that was the beginning of my relationship’s end, but every time me and Carebear think about it, we just shake our heads and say, “Ohhhh, Canada….”