Monthly Archives: May 2007

Multitasking Emotions

Left screen, I’m going over the bach­e­lor par­ty footage. We’re recov­er­ing from a night of drink­ing over bacon and eggs in a high-cor­ner wide-angle shot. Right screen, I’m talk­ing to Aaron on Messenger.

Aaron: bro, you know I love you
Aaron: like for real
Aaron: no shit
Jeff: thanks man, i love you too
Aaron: no ‘you’re my bro’ shit
Aaron: the real deal

No ‘You’re my bro’ shit”, he says. Bro. The word we some­times use to remind each oth­er that we’re fam­i­ly. Nothing emas­cu­lates some like the “l” word, but we’re passed that.

you know I love you”. He was first to say it this time, and it cat­alyzes the tears down my face.

The video’s still play­ing. In it we’re ebul­lient, frat­er­niz­ing, and I can’t help but laugh along too.

I remem­ber anoth­er time, about three years ago, when I broke down after deal­ing with my mom and her incor­ri­gi­ble ways. I rolled a joint and smoked it as soon as I got off the phone. As the weed went to my brain, my mood evened out. I was numb to the pain but the tears did­n’t stop, like a phys­i­cal reflex.

What a strange feel­ing it was to be cry­ing and laugh­ing or stoned at the same time.

Life is the same way. It’s nev­er black and white, and there’s no absolute right or wrong. There are grey areas, points of pas­sion between plea­sure and pain.

Even cry­ing from joy is an enig­mat­ic micro­cosm of such an idea. I remem­ber doing so only one oth­er time, at the end of grade 7, dur­ing the final audi­tions for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Out of 10 schools, we were com­pet­ing to spend the sum­mer singing on stage with Donny Osmond. When they announced the name of our school we jumped out of our seats in cheer, but I could feel my face gri­mace from the emo­tion, tears fill­ing up my eyes. It’s as if you’re over­tak­en by sad­ness that you’ll nev­er feel as hap­py again.

Like yin and yang, one does­n’t exist with­out the oth­er, and often they exist at once.

Styles of Spring/Summer 2007

Tristan & America Get Their Groove Back

Thumbnail: America 1
Thumbnail: America 2
Thumbnail: America 3
Thumbnail: America 4

It appears that the heav­en­ly bod­ies have aligned against me in a cos­mic joke.

Let me explain. The trends at Tristan & America this sea­son are actu­al­ly sen­si­ble, and this is coin­cid­ing with the first time in my life that I’m in debt.

I used to shop at T&A years ago. With ribbed sweaters and sharp silk ties, they always had a clas­sic sense of fash­ion. Around 2002 the style turned into what I can only describe as urban cow­boy. Dress shirts were adorned with tas­seled fringes and pre-worn edges. Mannequins even had the Texan string tie. For the next four years they exper­i­ment­ed, what I’d con­sid­er a strong euphemism, with dif­fer­ent styles, until this sea­son.

The spring/summer col­lec­tion has gone back to it’s clas­sic roots, with a love­ly blend of earthy tones. I like to stay with neu­tral colours — though noth­ing pas­tel — because I don’t like my clothes to make bold state­ments. I pre­fer to hide my per­son­al­i­ty, what I’m think­ing, and let my actions speak for them­selves.

New clothes are def­i­nite­ly more of a want than a need, so it’s hard for me to jus­ti­fy going fur­ther into debt to add more to an already full clos­et.

Maybe I’ll wait until it goes on sale at the end of sum­mer. The prob­lem, espe­cial­ly at T&A, is that the small sizes dis­ap­pear with­in days.

The cos­mic gods, they’re laugh­ing at me.

Khaki Ressurection

The zip­per on my khakis jammed and prompt­ly died at a rather inop­por­tune time (well, I guess there’s nev­er real­ly an oppor­tune time for such a thing). When I brought them in to get fixed, I real­ized that I did­n’t have a back­up pair.

I only buy khakis at Randy River, the store with the wii­i­ide-legs that near­ly cov­er my foot with shoes off. Even the Dickies relaxed-fit work-wear series aren’t wide enough, and they’re too stiff for my taste. They also lack a dou­ble-rein­forced back leg cuff, which I like cause all my pants touch the ground.

The only prob­lem with R2 is that the small­est size they have for pants is 30. As I found out when get­ting mea­sured for the wed­ding, I’m actu­al­ly a 26 waist, but I pre­fer 28–29 max so I can wear them low on the hips. When they’re 30, I have to cinch up my belt because oth­er­wise they’re real­ly low.

This sea­son, the R2 khakis are all very dark with slight orange tones, and car­go pock­ets or frayed edges. Really not my style. At least I got my cur­rent pair back with­in a week. Hopefully they’ll sur­vive me until next sea­son.

Fall of the Ben cut

They dis­con­tin­ued the Ben wide-leg cut from Bluenotes. Instead, they’ve come out with a new Walker boot-cut. Off the shelf, the Walker cut real­ly reminds me of the flare they put on girls jeans back when I was in high-school, but I only say this cause I like to give Aaron a hard time about it. They look good on him, but he can pull off any­thing.

Bluenotes is the only place I buy jeans, and jeans are the only thing I buy at Bluenotes. It’s because of the Ben cut that I go there (and cer­tain­ly not their pop-cul­ture silk-screened shirts). When I found out they aren’t being made any­more, I had to buy the last three pairs on the rack — two 29s and a pair of 28s.

Oh Ben. You define me.

What will I do for jeans now when they all wear out? For the last cou­ple years I’ve done prep­py tops with skater bot­toms, but maybe my style will change by then.

A Crush

I met a girl across the sea
Her hair the gold that gold can be
Are you the teacher of the heart?
Yes, but not for thee

So I asked out Jenn.

I sup­pose it should­n’t come as a sur­prise; Jenn’s been — per­haps unwit­ting­ly — a source of quixot­ic inspi­ra­tion as of late.

It was some­thing I approached del­i­cate­ly, out of a sense of pro­pri­ety (if indeed, such a thing still exists), and the fact that Aaron and Karen are our close mutu­al friends. An avow­al of such a nature, han­dled incor­rect­ly, always has the poten­tial to be a cause of awk­ward­ness at par­ties.

Not that I was­n’t already awk­ward enough around her.

Jenn’s pres­ence alone would make me flus­tered. When I could speak, it would often be a flour­ish of non­sen­si­cal words. Something that’s humourous in hind­sight, but rather frus­trat­ing in the moment.

To be so affect­ed always took me by sur­prise.

I would tell myself, “This will pass. This is a phase, an infat­u­a­tion; time or luck will have me grow out of this.”

And it worked, for a while. I moved on, hav­ing con­vinced myself of such an idea, nev­er telling any­one how I felt. Then one day, I real­ized that I was only fool­ing myself. It became obvi­ous when I’d think of her in the lyrics of every song. I could­n’t pre­tend I did­n’t need to defend some part of myself from her. Until then, I nev­er believed in love at first sight. I did­n’t want to believe it. After all, how do you explain such an illog­i­cal, inef­fa­ble, irre­press­ible feel­ing? I grew, but not out of this, and in vain had I strug­gled.

She said no.

It’s fun­ny to think that with the wis­dom I’ve gained, the expe­ri­ences I’ve had, I can still be reduced to such an ado­les­cent emo­tion. I don’t think any­one, myself includ­ed, would have imag­ined this would hap­pen to me again, not at this age, not with what I’ve been through.

I just won­der now, when we’re both at Aaron and Karen’s wed­ding, after giv­ing me her polite dec­li­na­tion, whether I’ll still feel the same. Sometimes you think you’ve moved on. You think you’re over some­one, until you do some­thing as sim­ple as see them again and your heart stops. Love, attrac­tion, infat­u­a­tion, they’re nev­er so con­ven­tion­al as to be under­stood.

What a sil­ly thing a crush is.