Gratuitous nudity. Thank you, Santa

Back to the eternal question: last Thursday, I met up with Emma for a drink. Was this a date? The word was never mentioned, and the meeting was arranged through an artful (if I do say so myself) though non-specific email. See, the last few times we’d run into each other, at social occasions, she’d followed up with notes expressing regret at not having a chance to talk because of the constraints of the social milieu. Finally I called her on her apologies and said if she wanted to get together for a more intimate chat, well, it was could be easily arranged…

We rendezvoused at the Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge (www.wedgewoodhotel.com/hotel/bacchus), a classic hotel bar in the sense that, on one hand, its decor and atmosphere make you feel you’ve stepped into the past (a dude at a piano, dark wood wainscoting) and on the other that you’re looking at the future (i.e., wine prices). The idea was to enjoy a quiet ambience but loudly chattering Christmas shoppers filled every nook and cranny. Between them and the piano man, who was stationed too close for comfort, the signal-to-noise ratio was out-of-balance, so we moved to Whine O’s (www.whineos.com). Ill-named and confusedly decorated (a painting of dogs playing poker and a faux animal skin were among the uneasy juxtapositions), the narrow, Granville Street room was slightly more conducive to conversation, at least until the DJ turned up the music.

So was it a date? I still don’t know. We did talk about relationships to a large extent, and covered such topics as how and when to stay friends with exes, and how difficult it is to find compatible prospects who also have their shit together (implying, of course, that we both do). Still, any evening that begins at a $14 per-glass-of-Merlot clip-joint and ends at a 50-cent doughnut stop (Tim Hortons) I consider a memorable one. (For the record, we stopped at the latter not for doughnuts but because I decided to finally buy a travel mug for my morning coffee, having finally resigned myself to the fact I’m probably not going to kick my caffeine habit anytime soon.)

The next night, Sally the film prof hosted a champagne party. It was my favourite kind of shindig—most of the men were gay, and therefore not interested in the women, most of whom were single. Unfortunately, I felt ill-suited to fully take advantage of the situation as I proved to be very allergic to Sally’s dog, Jasper, and spent half the night clearing my sinuses to the point where my frequent bathroom visits must have looked suspicious. However, I was determined to stick it out until the last drop of bubbly was consumed, and was rewarded for my stubborn-ness by the sight of some boob grabbing and a flash of completely gratuitous nudity. Thank you, S and especially T, for the thrill of the weekend.

*For those non-Canadians reading this, Tim Hortons is a chain of doughnut outlets popular in Canada (according to Wikipedia, as of July 1 the Great White North boasted of 2,733 Tim Hortons. There is also one Tim Hortons in Afghanistan, outside Kandahar).

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