Thursday, June 30, 2011
I recently attended an event that is every 14-year-old’s wet dream come true, and this particular 29-year-old’s hell on earth.
I’ll start from the beginning.
I recently joined Twitter. The reason it took me so long to jump on this particular cyber bandwagon isn’t because I’m a technological mongoloid or old and uncool* (*more on this later). It’s because I really don’t need another fucking way to waste my pathetic life away online. Facebook already allows me to stalk friends and enemies alike. Email allows me to intimately communicate with the 3 people I don’t want to murder in this world. This Blog allows me to...something.
From what I know so far about Twitter, all that it brings to the table is the unsolicited knowledge that Jessica “Just ate a vegan burrito!!!” (@burritoboyz #yummy) or that Jason is “@American Apparel and just bought the new soft grey #gayshirt, LOLZ!!” Really? You’re broadcasting this, you self involved anal beads? Do the world a favour and shove your iPhone 4 up your sex crack.
Still, because I am a hypocrite, I eventually succumbed to the extreme power of the FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out”, in case you’re reading this and you’re over 30). I refer you to the case of the time where I didn’t miss out (No Fomo) thanks to the magical world of Twitter: I was chillin in Williamsburg, minding my business, when my favourite NYC ho - let’s call her “C Paterson.” No, that’s too obvious. How about “Clare P”. Yes. Anyway, Clare P texted me: “Kanye! Brooklyn Bowl! Now!! It’s all over Twitter!” I immediately hauled my shit to said locale just in time to witness Yeezy’s surprise performance (!!) in front of 400 people (!!!). This was when I reluctantly accepted that Twitter might not be such a yeast infection after all.
So here we are. I now have a sassy online persona with an ampersand in front of my name. #sigh.
When I first joined, I had no idea what the terrifying-future-world I was doing. I remember mashing the keypad with my palm, screaming commands at the screen, and swearing like a fuckin’ trucker as I tried to decipher these new and foreign symbols. I finally had to beg my friend @Shosh for assistance. Luckily she took pity on me and advised, in her gentle way: “Just follow everyone I follow, you idiot!!” I now follow the likes of The Globe and Mail, Heidi Montag, Pitchfork, 70 random people I’ve never met, and H&M, to list a few winners.
As any new member will attest, Twitter sucks you in hard and fast, like an amateur blowj. By day two, I was already checking my feed every 11 seconds or so. One morning during this early courtship phase, my good friends over at Hennes & Mauritz were announcing a giveaway: “First 4 people to come to the H&M at the Eaton Centre @YongeAndDundas win 2 free wristbands to the Much Music Video Awards this Sunday!!” I work one block away from this particular H&M. Still, I thought “meh, so many gross rat kids are probably already lined up - no way I’m rushing over to fight those shitty little twats.”
About 10 minutes later, there were at least 5 new posts from H&M saying that no one had yet to claim the coveted prize. In that moment, all I could think of was my sweet, innocent (she wasn’t) 14-year-old cousin, whom I affectionately refer to as Rat-Chicken (RC). She would kill to go to this show. I would forever be the Worst Big Cousin Ever if I missed this opportunity out of sheer laziness! Cock!
Before I could ask myself “Who the eff is Selena Gomez?” I was on my bike, furiously dodging cars and pot holes along Yonge Street until I reached my destinaysh, panting and sweating in the 30 (year old) degree heat (the one day of the month it was summer!). There is NOWHERE on the corner of Yonge & Dundas to park one’s bike, so I wheeled the old rust bucket right into the store, much to the disdain of the overweight security guard and almost into the shins of the peppy H&M Tweet Team.
“Please...” I panted, red-faced and gasping for air. The two young PR agents looked at me with mixed feelings of disgust and fear as I held out my hands like a homeless guy and begged: “Tickets... please....twitter... give them to me...”
“Oh, um......are YOU here for the tickets to the MMVAs?” one of them cheerily giggled at me, implying that this was awkward, since I clearly wasn’t 15.
“Obviously,” was the least insulting reply I could manage.
“O-M-G! You’re the last one to get them! Excitinnnggg! Do you mind if we take a Twitpic of you?” I had no idea what the chode this meant, but consented with the slightest nod of my head as I snatched the bright orange wristbands from their well-manicured claws.
I’ll skip the part where I broke the news to @RC over the phone that I was taking her as my guest, for free, to the #MMVAs. Needless to say, I’m the #BestBigCousinEver.
Fast forward to Sunday, the day of the show. I should quickly mention that the day before was my best friend’s Big Fat Croatian Wedding (number 2 of 9!) in London, Ontario. I was one of the bridesmaids, so obviously started drinking mimosas at 7:30 am and continued hitting the homemade hooch till 2:30 am. I also ate an extra-large pizza to my face at the end of the night (I’m a lactard, so that’s great), and had to wake up early to attend a father’s day brunch. When I arrived back in Toronto on Sunday evening, just 30 minutes before I had to be at Queen & John, I was more hungover than @Haymitch (#HungerGames) and more exhausted than @AnthonyWeiner’s PR team.
With no time to spare, I rushed through my front door, threw some gum and cash into a purse (don’t call it that) and hopped into my aunt’s waiting minivan to be driven into the fire. I noted that RC was sporting jeans, a tank top, a hoodie, sneakers, and about 16 bracelets. “She looks so cute and young” I thought as I gazed adoringly at her en route to the show. I, on the other hand, was wearing my new short silk black dress (#whure). I felt pretty dressed up compared to little RC, but I was going to be attending the after party with my boyfriend (@HotDogGarbage) who was nominated for hip hop video of the year (wooh!) so I wanted to look the part. (#ShadKwasrobbed)
As the minivan neared Queen & Spadina, I started to notice signs that, in retrospect, painted a clear and chilling vision of things to come. Girls with “JUSTIN I LOVE YOU!!!” painted across their faces, necks, arms and bee-stings. Boys with baggy pants that barely concealed their non existent treasure trails, pushing each other and laughing. Pink, green and blue hair extensions everywhere. Homemade signs featuring “musicians” I have never before seen or heard of.
Suddenly, I felt more anxious than a 12-year-old with his first raging boner in class: “Am I too....old? to go to the MMVAs?” I took a deep breath. “No, surely not,” I reassured myself. “These are just the kids who are too young to attend - all the older people are definitely inside...” (they weren’t).
During my final moments in the safety of the minivan, I quickly glanced at myself in the rear view mirror. Big mistake. For the first time, I noticed the lines on my forehead and around the corners of my mouth. My skin looked pale and cadaverous in comparison to RC’s cherubic complexion. My thighs, mercilessly exposed by my scant hemline, were a flesh-coloured canvas of cottage cheese. My knees were saggy; my hair thin and brittle, and my once sparkling eyes camouflaged in Steve Buscemi bags. And I was en route to a pop concert with humans half my age.
Oh my God, I’m old.
Just as I was about to jerk the wheel of the Dodge Caravan and order my aunt to drive me straight back to my house (where I could quickly end my life while I had an ounce of youth left in my rotting corpse), RC was pulling me by the hand onto Queen Street, shrieking with excitement and bounding into the underage crowd.
As we waited in line to get in to the area in front of the main stage, police officers barked at us to raise our arms high into the air to show our wristbands. When we were finally herded through the gates, the good people @VitaminWater were waiting inside to shove drinks into our hands. “Well, that’s nice,” I thought.
Here’s how the next 5 hours went down:
6:30 pm: Inside the gates. RC and I are among the first 100 people here, even though our tickets said we HAD to be inside by 6:30 pm. Super.
6:35 pm: I look around and realize that there is not a single person in a 300-teenager-radius that is over the age of 16. Everyone but me is wearing jeans, a tank top, a hoodie, sneakers and 16 bracelets.
6:45 pm: It dawns on me that I will be here for another 4.5 hours, and there’s nowhere to pee, so I better not drink this #VitaminWater. Every other dick-eating kid has the same thought, and drops their full, open, neon-coloured drink to the ground. Within 10 minutes, at least 11 tweens have spilled on me and my silk dress without remorse. I want to say something, but I am outnumbered and I fear them. Have you ever been in an enclosed space with 750 teenagers? It’s like being the only sheep at a wolf convention, except all the wolves are also drunk, horny and stupid.
7:15 pm: I’m fucking sweating. So is every other acne-ridden bag of scrotes in this wretched stink pit. It smells like unwashed balls, used jock straps, #CoolWater, Doritos breath, McDonald’s farts, Old (Yonge) Spice, and sweaty pads (these girls are too young to take a tampon, let’s be real).
7:30 pm: Teens start loudly comparing stories about their weekends. They speak almost exclusively in acronyms, with the words “gay” and “like” thrown in for good measure. #FMITFTITWDOML
7:45 pm (show still starts at 9): The walking pre-pubes are becoming restless. The initial high has worn off, and suddenly all one thousand of them are becoming aware that we still have an hour and a half to go before the show. I know that death is near.
8:00 pm: Finally, someone takes pity on us. One of the VJs (Gary Blazer or something) comes out on stage to entertain the crowd. He’s wearing jeans, a white shirt, black tie and suit jacket. My first reaction is “who is this OLD guy!?” before I realize that he’s my age. Fuck me. He claps and sings along like a monkey to song after song, which the good people @MuchMusic have started blaring, presumably to get the audience excited / stop them from destroying downtown Toronto.
I vaguely recognize the first song that is played thanks to my recent stint in #LasVegas. “Who is this?” I whisper to RC. “Duh, @LMFAO!” she says. Yes, there is group called “LMFAO”.
The next song is by @Ke$ha, according to RC (had to ask again), followed by 7 other songs I’ve never heard before. The young bastards know every word to every song, and I know none. Luckily, almost every song has fewer than 10 words, so I’m able to pick up the lyrics after one chorus. I chant “shots! shots! shots-shots-shots-shots!” with the rest of them. I sing “Never felt-like-felt-like-this before.... oh oh oh oh oh oh oh ohhh-oh!” to fit in, fist pumps and all. For a few songs, I actually start to have fun, feeding off the energy of these hyper little accidents. #condomfail
8:30 pm: Not surprisingly, the kids have lost interest in the music. It’s been half an hour, after all. Within seconds, all hell breaks loose.
I spend the next 15 minutes yelling at every teenager I can see. I snatch cigarettes out of mouths, stop #VitaminWaters from being flung into the crowd, break up makeout sessions. I’m shaking with rage. These kids! These dirty, disrespectful kids!
8:45 pm: I start silently weeping out of exhaustion, rage, withdrawal, heat stroke and the realization that I am no longer young. I begin to negotiate with God to please just make it stop - send me a sign that I will get through this alive...
8:55 pm: A figure appears behind a billowing curtain on stage, with giant shoulder pads and a cropped wig. A hush falls over the crowd, followed by audible gasps and finally chanting, quiet at first, then so loud I have to turn my hearing aid down:
“GaGA! GaGA! GaGA!”
For the first time in the past 3 hours, I don’t feel old or out of place. I belt along with the rest of the crowd: “There ain’t no reason you and me should be alone, toNIIIGHT, yah baby! ToNIIIIGHT YAH BABY!” I am conscious for the first time since I arrived in this death trap that I’m only 4 rows from the stage, so close I can almost touch Gaga’s 6-inch platforms and I can count every strand of blue hair on her merkin. Suddenly I’m 15 again, screaming with tears streaming down my face, jumping up and down yelling my favourite singer’s name until my voice is hoarse.
I’ll skip the part about how none of the other performances compared to @Gaga’s, how I lost hearing in my left ear when @JustinBieber made his surprise appearance, and how the after party was full of overly made up try-hard dildos. When RC got home at the end of the night, she texted me: “U R the Best Big Cousin Ever! I had soooooo much fun! I love you!” (#heartmelt) Maybe some kids aren’t so bad after all.
But God help anyone under the age of 19 who ever crosses my path again. I will pop your head off like a fucking #BarbieDoll.