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The Public Ineffectual

For entertainment purposes only.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Abort! Abort! Abort!

Oblivia, at the gym, having finished her warm up on the treadmill, settles in to do some stretches and ab work on her mat. She is surrounded by other gym-bods who do the same, in their own time, in their own way.

Some guy (known as Guy, hereafter) has Oblivia in the crosshairs and takes his first strike: he makes eye contact and says, "hi". Oblivia returns with a "hi". Both return to their self-involved mat work.

Guy asks, "Where are you from?". Oblivia puts on her i'm receptive face but before she can respond, he blurts out "Toronto!", in a pre-emptive strike. Oblivia returns with a volley: "Well, no...(smiles)....Actually, I'm from Australia."

Guy: Oh yeah? My brother-in-law is from New Zealand but he lives here now. What are you doing here in Montreal?
Oblivia: I'm a student.
Guy: What are you studying?
Guy: Med!
Oblivia: No, no...(smiles)...Communications.
Guy: Oh yeah....WELL, I WON'T KEEP YOU FROM YOUR WORKOUT....(re-starts up his ab workout with religious fervour and some minutes later, leaves the area with a sheepish "nice to meet you")

Dear reader, what the hell just happened here? Somewhere above, this guy hit the big red button labeled "EJECT" to jet-propel himself into the ether and deployed the parachute for a safe, soft landing.

I have three theories:
1. Communications students are (excuse the Seinfeld-ism) "un-date-able" - unlike Med students from Toronto, perhaps.
2. He thought Oblivia was trying to blow him off by giving nonsense answers like "Australia" and the reconaissance mission was slow in bringing the analysis back.
3. He thought I was an undergrad.

Any more theories?

Update!!!! Crouchingturbo, Oblivia's sister, says, "There are many 'good readers' out there - meaning good at reading people's reactions, guys included. And if they feel defensive attitude, they will go away before they can get rejected. You can be very defensive." This had occurred to me but I forgot to write it down, so:

4. Oblivia's missile defense shield works much better than some other country-that-shall-remain-nameless.


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll agree with crouchingturbo (Hi L!) on this one. He probably picked up a defensive attitude since he was speaking before getting a response. Or alternatively he determined that if you are a communications student that you probably are able to read through his moves and would be too much of a challenge. :)


At 8:21 PM, Blogger cow said...

just for the record. Agreed With Oblivia's sista.

Why you haven't seen it, because you don't know yourself in your behaviour. But don't change. :)
If someone breaches the shield... hmmhmm it means that he might be worthwhile, except if your goal was the opposite and wanted him very badly... :D

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Oblivia said...


I don't think I was being defensive - maybe all the looking him directly in the eyes scared him.

If you think about the questions for a second, they're not particularly original. Perhaps my "jaded-ness" is coming through...I think I paused a couple of times because the question like "Where are you from?" is often not as straighforward as it seems.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Michel said...

Did you touch your hair while responding?
Apparently, subliminally, this is supposed to be an "inviting" movement.
Use it next time and see what happens.


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