Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Every once in a while we stumble upon a conversation that, even though it's not ours, captures our attention. Don't pretend you don't do it, because that would make me the only creep who loves mentally weighing in other people's convos.... plus we both know you're totally into it. Some people just talk too loud or discuss too interesting of topics to ignore, despite our best efforts. 

As with all of the social faux pas I write about, I have extensive experience in the art of eavesing. I say eavesing because there are many forms of the eaves. There is your standard eavesdropping, eaves-bombing, eaves-reading, eaves-texting, eaves-watching etc. - And I've done them all. 

Although I probably shouldn't broadcast my ample background eavesing on the internet, especially when the only people who read this know me... I feel you all benefit from my bloopers. With this post I hope to improve your ability to listen in on conversations in which you are not welcome, to become privy to the chitchat not meant for your ears and smoothly maneuver your way out of those sticky situations that inevitably follow a shoddily executed eaves-session. 

The trick is to not get caught whilst listening in. 

Some conversations are just too epic to pass up laughing out loud to though. Sometimes a good chuckle is well worth the discomfort of getting caught. 

Beyond the typical eavesdrop lay the even more awkward levels of eavesing... Most notably, the Eaves-bomb.

The Eaves-bomb occurs when you're lending an ear to someone else's discussion and decide to interject your opinion into their dialogue, despite that fact that you were not the one being spoken to .

The eaves-bomb is rarely intentional. It's almost always a result of heightened emotion and the inability to keep your mouth shut and your two cents to yourself. It starts simply with a harmless eavesdrop.

When you realize they're talking about something you have a vested interest in, you become more and more engaged in what they have to say. 

BOMB! You cut off a member of the actual conversation and interject with your own unique comments. 

You Immediately regret this decision. 

What you should have done is stuck to the silent eavesdrop, kept your lips sealed. Be excited in your seat and to yourself, you do not need to chime in with auxiliary details or added perspective. If in the off chance you do find yourself thrust into this predicament by your inability to stay tight lipped, know that it doesn't have to end horribly wrong. Modern technology has made playing off an eaves-bomb impossibly easy. 

Continuing beyond the realm of eavesdrops we find the less intense act of eaves-peeping. 

This is by far the easiest of the eaves; it involves peeping at the computer, phone or PDA in order to snoop in someone else's business.
The most common Eaves-peep is the text peep. 


But there's also the screen peep

And my personal favorite, the car DVD peep. 

The third Eavesey activity on the agenda is Eaves-reading.

Eaves-reading is the act of peering over the shoulder of someone in your proximity. You can eaves-read a book, a poster, a newspaper, a brochure, a love note, a term paper, an eviction notice or anything else printed on paper. This usually occurs when the reader draws attention to whatever they are reading, If some girl is dripping salty tears on her romance novel at the airport you're bound to be curious about that book. The same goes for laughter, head shaking, worried expressions, twitching and gagging. 

When the first giggle sneaks out, most onlookers try to ignore it. 

As the giggling increases, so does curiosity. This is the point at which you lean back and slightly towards the reader in an effort to better your angle without making it obvious that you're an eaveser. 

Usually it doesn't work. 

Fortunately, there are alternate angles to be tried. All you need is a good excuse. 

These don't always work either. 
By now the reaction is too much to handle, you HAVE to know what is causing this hilarious ruckus in your neighbor. 

Stealthy shifting is now the best option. 

Victory is often short lived however, only the fastest of readers actually pinpoint the literary culprit. 

I usually don't find the source in time.
Nor do I come off looking like a normal, non-creepy human after the ordeal. 

We have now come to my favorite genre of Eavesing; Eaves-lating. 

Eaves-lating is a combination of eavesdropping and translating at the same time. For those of you who speak two languages, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Eaves-lating events usually play out something like this: 

Two linguistically unique individuals are having an avid conversation in their language of choice, most often about the people around them. They are under the impression that they and only they understand their secret language, of course they are wrong. 

That's right. I just told her I liked her shoes. And she just said a bad word.

As fun as eavesing is, don't get carried away. Eavesdropping can be a dangerous game.
 Especially when you only catch an eaves-droplet and not a whole eaves-ersation. 

Please Eaves responsibly and Happy Listening! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Watch A Movie"

“What do you want to do tonight?”
“I dunno, I’m down for just about anything”
“let’s watch a movie”

Those are the four most confusing words in a non-committed dating scenario. There are so many opportunities that “movies” present for the budding crushees that, despite their reputation as the go-to easy choice, leave you with a headache from over mental exertion.

To illustrate, I have selected choice examples from my own awkward past.

 One winter night last January I was the only one home, horribly bored and talking to a boy. I mistakenly confessed the state of my dreary night to this friend and he suggested I come over, to “watch a movie”.

In my mind this boy, we’ll call him Trevor, was so far buried in the friend zone that he’d never dream of breaching the buddy barrier by busting a move. I expected nothing so I drove to his house to “watch a movie”.

The first sign of trouble came in location choice. Instead of choosing to “watch a movie” in the front room with all his roommates, who by the way had just popped in a DVD I had actually been wanting to see, he decided we’d watch something in his room where there was "more room"

I didn’t catch on.

Warning sign numero dos: he chose a chick flick. Chick flicks prey on female emotion. They extract all the lonely inside and slam it back in the form of guilt for not possessing the ability to mold a random stranger into the perfect Hollywood boyfriend. No girl can watch The Notebook or How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days without lusting for Mr. Right. Chances are, however, you’re not “watching a movie” with Mr. Right, so you settle for Mr. Right Now and end up canoodling for two hours before returning home still single and slightly sleazier than when your night started.

While I found the movie choice odd, I was just happy we weren’t watching one of the seventeen WWII documentaries lining his shelves and I, once again, did not catch on to Trevor’s schemes.
I started to get an inkling about Trevor's intentions when he pulled the first of his poorly conducted moves. He first attempted the hand inch. 

Normally the hand inch looks something like this:

Mutual satisfaction = Successful Hand inch. 

Trevor's Hand inch looked something like this:

A normal guy would have taken a hint and given up at this point, concentrated on the movie and talked to me much less in the future. 

Not Trevor. For better or worse, Trevor is a tenacious fellow. Instead of toning it back a notch, he progressed to a full fledged arm reach.  

When executed correctly the arm reach should resemble the following: 

The same result can be achieved via the pirate: 

 Trevor tried neither of these maneuvers. Instead he just squirmed his arm around my neck until it ended up behind me. 

I was not impressed. 

I improvised. 

He remained ignorant. 

I improvised with less genius this time. 

I spent the rest of the night as a contortionist, folding myself further down and scooting away from him with each adjustment. 

The next few days were spent with a crick in my back and very sore hamstrings, but I successfully evaded a potentially disastrous cuddle session and who knows what else. I wasn't looking for a cuddle buddy or any benefits from this friend, all I wanted was to be entertained for an hour or so and GO HOME! 

This experience led me to explore the cryptic meaning hidden beneath the phrase "watch a movie".
Sometime between the birth of movies and now someone discovered that the silver screen is a great excuse to get “close”. It used to just mean holding hands in the theatre but the world slid down the slutty slope and now movies are rarely used for anything more than a background while you romp around on the couch. 

I do not understand this phenomenon. 

The movie is distracting and the sound effects invite others in the house to join you. If the end goal is just to score why go through the charade of picking a DVD, discussing how great the film is going to be and waiting the appropriate time allotment before shoving your tongue down your date’s throat? Why can't we just advertise what we're selling instead of morphing movie night into make out bouts?
Obviously this isn’t always the case, but that's where the problem lies - it's not always the case. Nothing is ALWAYS the case. You can go into the situation expecting anything from two hours of cinematic artistry to two hours of jam packed action. This can only result in confusion and subsequent panic.  


Obviously the ambiguous connotation "watch a movie" carries is creating problems. I have a suggestion: If you want to actually watch the movie, make this clear. If you're only using the T.V. as a cover for your scandalous intentions, come out and say it. Save your poor date the confusion and clarify.

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