I suppose to a degree I’ve always been a fan of the unexpected. I shun away the mundane and like a child I walk into the unknown. This can be in any form, a drunken adventure, an unusual romance, or simply a visit to a town I’ve not been to before.
Unfortunately, the unknown hasn’t got much of a habit of following me and life can somewhat become an echo chamber of the same sentiments and questions that I get.
Some of these questions are far and few between, whereas I’ll find myself answering some of them on a weekly fucking basis.
Maybe you’re reading this as a life long friend, or family member and you know exactly what’s coming.
Perhaps you’re a new person in my life and this is simply something that you’re eventually going to be hearing me whine about constantly.
Or, perhaps you’ve no idea who I am, you’re just reading this because “why not” in which case kudos to you on that one.
SIX THINGS I GET A LOT.
This list will be formed in reverse, from least mentioned, to most…. Just an FYI
6: “Oh, your eye’s weird”
I have Heterochromia iridum. Basically, my right eye is half green, half brown. Split right in the middle like a little pie chart.
You can pretty much see it here.
On the odd occasion in which I can be bothered to maintain eye contact during a conversation, there is a…….psssssh, I dunno… One in ten chance that the person I’m talking to will notice this. Maybe reasonably more when I’m on a date or something.
Thing is, whilst it’s sometimes a rarity that the person in question will notice this, the reaction is almost 99% the same, every single time.
The person in question will be mid conversation, gazing into each others eyes. Suddenly, they’ll fade out of their conversation, into a second or twos silence. Shortly followed by.
“Oh, your eye’s weird!”
“Look at your eyeeeeee!”
“Oh….Yeah, one’s like halfy green, halfy brown, isn’t it?” I’ll reply both awkwardly, and casually.
“Oh, I never noticed it until now”
This is then followed by them coming in for a closer look at I explain that it’s got an official name in which I can never pronounce. Which let’s be honest, I can’t half the time.
DanFact: I’m relatively sure I nearly snogged a charity worker because of this, but that’s a blog entry for later.
5: “You’re really hard to read”
Full disclosure: I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.
Come this February, I will have been single for two whole years. In this time I have been on quite the slew of dates, developed some both wonderful, and woeful romances, and experiences.
You will be able to read about these in my Blog Series The Single Life Of Dan
Now, a lot of self discovery has been made in this series which we will go in depth with. However, a grand, scathing criticism I have had is that I’m nigh on impossible to read.
This surprises me, personally. If asked, I am quite the open book. Yet in more cases than one I’ve been accused of having a bit of a poker face.
I am going to post for you, an honest to god transcript of a conversation between myself and a past romance. I’ll let you make up your own mind if I was hard to read or not. (Names, obviously filtered because I’m hard to read, but not that much a dick).
Can I say something a bit blunt? I normally wouldn’t before saying but I’m trying this new thing called tact ?
You drive me nuts, and not in a good way (well…most of the time)
Well I apologise
I should have made you read the small print.
And what’s the small print?
I can be irritating 85% of the time
sweet about 5%
It’s not that at all!
the 10% is probably unfiltered sentences
I can’t get my footing with you, so to speak
I’ll think I have a read on you and then you completely cock up my evaluation of you. It’s unnerving and infuriating
Oh I apologise, it’s not the first time I’ve been told I’m hard to read! Even in friendship terms.
Honestly, a lot of the time it’s unintentional stupidity on my part
Well I’m normally pretty good at it which is even more infuriating. You don’t have to apologise you dolt!
The even more annoying thing is I know I’m an open book!
Ironically, I always thought I was myself
Well then I can’t read ?
Or the text is too small
Like now, I have no idea whether I’ve made you uncomfortable or not ?
Like I said I’m apparently oblivious to this, but I’m going to shut up and move onto the new entry because I’ll never get a bloody date again otherwise.
4: “What’s with your hair?”
In fairness to this one….My hair is all over the fucking place on more than one aspect. As of most of 2016 this was my hairstyle.
This, for probably a decade was what friends and family alike had been clamouring for.
Throughout, pretty much my entire life my hair has had three styles.
1: Short and sweet. Occasionally spiked casually.
2: Overgrown and out of fucking control (Currently sporting this look at time of writing)
3: Spiked up way too much.
This means, on a routine basis I’ll get the following quips and quotes…
“Woah, you need a haircut”
“What’s going on with your hair right now?”
“That’s some crazy hair”.
I know it’s wild, I know it’s ‘rogue’ and I know that it’s all over the place. BUT. It’s currently -2 degrees. I have a constant warm hat in the name of my hair protecting my scalp. It’s staying for now.
Once upon a time when it was spiked, a holy shit was it fucking spiked, blunder year picture coming up right now…..
Dunno why I’m holding a Waitrose pen to be fair.
I very routinely got
“Oh, you look like you’ve had a shock, hur, hur, hur”
“You should go out as Edward Scissorhands Hur hur hur”
For those who think that they’ve seen it at it’s worst here is a personal tour of my previous hairstyles, because they’ve been tragic, as best.
3: “Christ, you’re happy”
Other variants include “Bloody hell, you’re a chipper one” or occasionally “I’ll have whatever you’re having hyuck hyuck hyuck”.
I work retail. And as you can imagine a good nine times out of ten it’s nothing short of a fucking nightmare.
However, I am good. Like….Literally almost too good at putting on a really polite, chipper, chirpy, happy go lucky front. To the extent where it’s almost condescending.
This reflects when I serve people in work, to the extent where I pretty much abide by a default script of……
“WHOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo’s NEXT THEN PLEASE?! =D =D =D”
“EYA BUD/PAL! FANCY A BAG WITH THAT ONE?”
And so on. And then the script can go off topic to pleasant one off conversations, orrrrrrr I can completely and utterly make up a complete bullshit lie to relate to said customer (There will of course be blogs about said lies coming up in the future).
As a result of being the number one treasure in the public eye, this has gotten back to me in terms of acknowledgements, usually all in the same formatting of
“Bloody hell, you’re an ‘appy one”
to which I’ll 99% of the time reply with “Oh, that’s because I’m only about a minute into my shift, come back in an hour I’ll be grumpy! HAHAH” When I’ve literally been on the checkouts for about four and a half hours.
It’s not all bad, because my old work used to be located near all the clubs and pubs, which literally meant that when people saw “Happy shop guy” out they bought me a cunt load of shots and alcohol, so I was a pseudo celebrity just for pretending I didn’t fucking despise most people, and being good at it to boot.
2: Are you gay?
Boy howdy, do I get this one a fucking lot. And to be fair, I guess it isn’t their fault for assuming such things. For one.
I have a subtle little lisp, which seems to be quite a heavy gay stereotype for some mental reason.
I am flamboyant as fuck. From my mannerisms, my overuse of hand gesturing, and 90% of the time my posture. I was at a house party the other day explaining that most people thought I was indeed gay, when one girl pointed out that one hand was sassily on my hip, whilst the other hand was waving around as I explained said reasoning. Exhibit A I guess.
Some people actually straight up refuse to believe I’m straight, as they mentally prepare themselves for years for the news of me coming out the closet, some people have actually considered me a challenge within the gay community.
Other things that probably do not help the situation at hand would be my love of Disney, musicals, and really shit, cheesy 90’s pop ballads.
To see a man, in his twenties, in a pink shirt singing his little heart out to S Club 7 with a pitcher of Glitter-berry cocktails, then you can pretty much be forgiven for assuming such things, I guess.
Snapchats like this don’t help, I suppose.
Pretty much all the time when asked if I’m gay the response is always
“No, but literally everyone thinks I am” to which they’re probably justifying their thought with “Well, there’s no smoke without fire”.
On a night out, I had got talking to a girl as we shared a fluorescent green cocktail, she then looks into my pie chart eye, takes a sultry sip of her cocktail and asks says those magical three words
“Are you gay”
Upon informing her I was not, she asks her next question…….
1: Are you foreign?
I go into a pasty shop, hungry and hungover. My hair still a mess from the night before, but hey. That’s pretty much the entire point of my earlier list entry. I order a large steak pasty, and the woman serving as lovely as she is strikes up a conversation.
“So where’re you from then?”
“Oh, Plymouth, haha”
“No no, I meant originally”
“What about your parents”
“Plymouth too, well my dad’s from Liverpool originally”
“I’ll tell you what! Just in the interest of saving time. As far as I know, every family member is Plymouth way”
“I know, if it helps everyone thinks I’m foreign thought”
“Well yeah, I thought you were a Paki at first”
I eat my pasty, disdained that is was now a racist pasty.
You saw the hair pictures, I guess to a degree it’s safe to assume I look at best, of varying ethnicities, I suppose my accent doesn’t help which for some reason ranges quite a bit.
However, this means that on a bi-weekly basis I get some sort of misunderstanding about my country of origins. I have kept a list and I have indeed been mistaken for the following nationalities.
That last specific one wasn’t even a joke, someone possibly trying to boast their Geographical knowledge just asked if I was originally based there, to which my answer was a confused “………No”.
A lot of the interactions go very much the same was as the “Are you gay?” question, them, puzzled just bite the bullet and ask, I say no but make them feel better by painting them all with the same brush and saying I get it a lot. And we move on.
Sometimes, however it’s not quite a case of “Are you foreign?” as it is a much more…..angry approach.
Going back to entry 3 on the list. I painted a picture that every customer under the sun loves me.
This is not true, as many fucking hate me. Some with good reason, some with no reason other than my perceived nationality.
The bloke looks at me, skinhead, donning his best trackies for his supermarket trip to just buy a half ounce of Cutters choice. “Hate” tattooed on his knuckles but for some reason didn’t bother with “love” on the other hand.
With a lifelong football stadium ban, and quite the chip on his shoulder there’s a look of disdain in his eyes. The three cans of Special Brew he had for breakfast compelling him to say the next words to leave his mouth.
“So what’s wrong with your own country”
Here we fucking go.
I roll my eyes and act puzzled despite knowing how the interaction will go down.
“What’s that sorry?” the bloke now more angry that he has to repeat himself to a foreigner.
“Why don’t you just go home?”
“…….Because I’m at work and I don’t finish til 6”
He gets angry at that potential ‘Paki sass’.
“No I meant where you came from”
“You mean Plymouth? Where I’ve literally lived my whole life?”
“Yep, lived here all my life bud, parents too before you crack open that nutshell”
Then his entire demeanour will change
“Sorry mehhht, I thought you wuz an immigrant”
Then we’re torn really on trying to decipher if he was one of those racists who thought all brown-ish people were both stealing Englishmen jobs and benefits at the same time.
My racial tyranny isn’t limited to just work however, should I be in a kebab shop waiting for an order, I’ll most likely be asked what time “you” shut tonight.
Some people make quite the mistake in thinking I’m a really exotic European type and ask If I know anything about Salsa/jive dancing.
There’s actually far too many examples to list, 90% of the time thankfully it’s just a simple case of “Are you foreign”
“Oh, sorry you look it”.
As opposed to the whole racially abused thing! But, to be fair I haven’t really been around any UKIP rallies, so maybe I’ll pop over to the next one and see if I live to tell the tale.