Thursday, December 24, 2009
Despite a love/hate relationship with Twitter, it comes in handy.
One blustery February evening, I decided to go to a house party with a few of my friends. I had to be talked into it because of the 16 friends I went with, only one of us had a connection to the host (and it was just a mutual friend). Rolling up to a house 16 deep without knowing anyone is a bit intrusive, in my opinion.
Anyway. We go, we drink (water for me, as I was driving back to my apartment that night), we be merry. We see a few people we knew; one of which is a guy that I will refer to as Frenchy. Because he is French. Not just having french ancestry, I mean that he was born and raised in France and was an exchange student at our University and speaks mostly in French. (For future reference, oui, je parle courament le francais.) Frenchy...is creepy. He looks like a meerket and has beady eyes that seem to judge and follow you everywhere. In addition, when you speak to him, he often whispers (for no reason) and darts his eyes around rather than look at you. Very off-putting. As it happens, he very rarely talks to me one-on-one because he 1) hates Americans, and 2) thinks we have a language barrier. I've never told him otherwise about 1, nor have I corrected him on 2.
Now, my entire group of friends shares the feeling about Frenchy -- to the point that we have developed a sign of distress for when he engages one of us in conversation. Two quick tugs on an earlobe means "I am not enjoying this interaction and desire to promptly be removed from it with your assistance, if you please" (more or less) and should result in rescue.
Standing outside on the patio, happily having a laugh with four of my friends, I feel a tap on my arm. Turning, I see a very drunk Frenchy. "Hello," I say to him cautiously.
"Can we talk?" he asks softly.
"I...what?" Before I can do anything else, he grabs my arm and pulls me away from the group to a dark corner of the patio.
Alarm bells. Ear tugging ensues.
"I'm so sad," he tells me, one arm around my shoulders. "My girlfriend was going to come visite-moi, mais she didn't!" Had I not been so freaked out - or tugging my ear so much - I probably would have found his french-english hybrid amusing. But I did not.
He continues, telling details about their relationship and how he misses her and how it was weird doing long-distance and how he cheats on her because he feels as though he's alone.
TUG TUG TUG.
Somehow it has melded into how he feels misjudged and how Americans don't understand the French and how France knows what is right and if Americans just fucking listened we wouldn't be so screwed up in life.
FUCKING TUG TUG TUG TUG.
I try to get away from his grasp, I push slightly against his chest, I try anything to seem engaged while pulling away. And when I slightly turn my head, all I see are my friends standing there, staring at me, eyes wide. One of them takes a picture.
Bastards. You will RUE this day*.
Having not been listening to him, I am completely taken by surprise when he throws both his arms around my shoulders and pulls me in for an uncomfortably tight hug. Giving up any attempt at being polite, I jam my hands into his chest, struggling to push away. Heart failure as I feel one of his hands snake up through my hair and hold the back of my head. "I'm just so lonely," he whispers into my ear.
And then it happens: hope. My phone starts to buzz loudly in my back pocket.
"What is that?" he asks, loosening his grip.
"OH MY GOD A TEXT I HAVE TO CHECK IT LET ME GO!" I yell, shoving him away.
"A text?" he asks.
"Yes, my friend is having a bad night and she needs me," I lie quickly. I flash him my phone screen so he can see the new message, but none of the content.
"That sounds important. Ok," he concedes, walking away.
When I finally check my phone, I see that it was Twitter, alerting me to a friend's new tweet.
When I went back to my friends and inquired as to why no one rescued me, all of them laughed and said they wanted to see what was going to happen.
And that, my friends, is why Twitter is useful: because it will save you when 16 asshole friends won't.
*they rued it. i put Frenchy on an invite list to one of my friend's parties i wasn't able to attend. i'm told he went and stuck with them all night, hitting on 5 of the girls and 2 of the guys. they were all angry at me for about a week, but it. was. worth. it.