Whether you’re a hip hop dancing lawyer, 9-5 cubicle slave, vegan celebrity, swanky retail clerk, stick-and-poke tattoo apprentice, over-caffeinated blogger, social worker or cat owner of twelve, we’re all losing our cool about the same things in Toronto and here’s why:
1. We have nightmares about pigeons attacking us
They fly in our nightmares. Pigeons are the sketchy drug dealers of the city. They’re everywhere, on every street corner, at every party, hanging out in our nightmares. Waiting to attack. Pigeons have swag. Attitude. They’re dirty little thugs. Hopping around with sass and sidewalk diseases like scurvy or gonorrhea. I physically walk around pigeons now. They intimidate me and they scare you, too. Don’t fuck with them.
2. We have a filthy addiction to Uber
A friend-of-friend of mine takes an Uber to work every day like a spoiled brat with her father’s stolen credit card. I get it. She doesn’t want to wait five hours to ride a few stops eastbound. We, the city folk, collectively know that from 7 a.m.-9:45 a.m., commuters ride the rocket as if it were a pre-teen suburban house party blaring Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty.” So it’s not entirely shocking that she’d rather Uber to work than face pound into the armpit of a stinky punk with dreadlocks. And it’s not just her either: everyone has an unhealthy addiction to Uber. We whisper promo-codes like heroes handing out toilet paper to the desperate girl in the washroom stall next to us. Uber is our word-of-mouth luxury dial between strangers who need to get places fast in the city. It’s officially listed in my diary as #5 in Toronto’s filthiest addictions list: next to baby laxative cocaine, five-hour Queen West brunching, McDonald’s hash browns and over-priced cocktails we can’t afford but buy anyways because TGIF.
3. We all have a love-hate relationship with umbrellas
Look, I hate to be the lady who goes on a rant about umbrellas, but I’m seriously fed up and know deep-down-inside that other people in Toronto are devoting hours of their counselling sessions complaining about umbrellas. Firstly, all umbrellas turn inside-out with even the slightest baby breath of wind. It gives me anxiety. I struggle to push it back in, then a sharp umbrella rib bursts outwards; only to turn my $1 weave protector into a weapon of mass destruction. Oh, and then there are the jerks who insist on owning umbrellas the size of two College Street sidewalks. Big enough to protect the entire cast of TLC’s Sister Wives. Everyone must acrobatically maneuver around them to avoid being brutally stabbed in the eye socket. When we’re not dodging gigantic umbrellas or cursing the wind like an evil demon, we’re jousting normal size umbrellas like medieval knights towards one another. Maybe if everyone had more spatial awareness with standard-size umbrellas, Toronto would be a better place with less eye patches and bad hair days.
4. We have too much anxiety
I’m not kidding around. Most people I know are on some sort of prescription anxiety medication. It’s not even a Toronto-specific thing. It’s a living-in-the-city-trying-to-figure-out-happiness thing. We read books. Stress out about work. Feel lonely. Don’t sleep. Have sex with the wrong people. It’s a summertime sangria of modern anxiety and we’re all day drunk off it. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re swallowing Adderall or Valium to overcome public anxiety with a dozy-dose of confidence. You name it, someone standing next to you is on it: Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, donuts, espresso, Coca-Cola, sweetener. We’re all fucked.
5. We’re OBSESSED with complaining about the weather
Freezing. Cold. Snowy. Miserable. Sad. Rainy. Gross out. Winter. Sunny. Patio weather. Praise. Sun tan. Burned. Sweaty. Too hot. Humid. Chilly. Relaxing. Beautiful. Brisk. Perfect. Warm. Nice. Windy. Foggy. Fresh. Thunder. Sweet. Loud. Calming. Destructive. Gentle. Relaxing. Sunny. Happy. Awesome. It’s about time. Can you believe it? Spring is here. Summer is here. Fall is here. Winter is here. Too hot. Too cold. Too warm. Too windy. Too weather. Weather. Weather. Weather.
6. We worry about an obnoxious name-dropper who knows way too many people
They know (or have had oral sex with) every person in the city. They’re friends with all the bartenders, owners and semi-successful people in Toronto. They regularly go to the Soho House, hang out with K-os on the weekends and have second-hand sex via Blood Orange, Solange or Drake. We love them, loathe them, and admire them for inviting the entire scatterbrain party to their house after the after-hours. Regardless, everyone struggles to upkeep a healthy relationship with these people because they’re addicted to name-dropping and you really don’t care that they sat five tables down from Phife Dawg at The Beaconsfield. We sincerely care about them but don’t really understand them.
7. We complain about young people because we’re getting old and that’s what old people do
I’m 24 and I do it too. Young people are stupid. They’re obnoxious. Loud. Don’t really know what they’re talking about. Trying too hard. Not trying hard enough. Smell weird. A part of it might come from envy. We “elders” don’t understand them, so we call them “kids” and leisurely laugh to withhold an invisible hierarchy defined by sneaker fashion (Stan Smiths), friends-of-friends (bar owners) and drink choice (not PBR). Young people remind us of the insecurity we all felt when we first moved to the city. The over-anxious cackle at the bar. The beaming pair of fluorescent pants brighter than a highlighter. The eagerness to get drunk. The overkill of the words “like,” “fuck,” “omg,” and “shut up.” They are the mismatched, leopard-print living reminders of Toronto’s youth. We don’t get them and we don’t want to. Instead, we collectively make fun of them because that’s what we do best.
8. We’re a bunch of pot heads struggling to keep it a secret
By the time you make a name for yourself in the city, you realize that you can’t flaunt the ganja socks like you used to in University. You’re surrounded by interns, conversations that require semi-effort conscious thinking and colleagues who might think poorly of you if you admit that you passed out after eating a weed cookie your neighbour gave you as an early birthday gift last night. Behind closed doors, many of us are eating full tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Rocky Road and swapping stories about the cool girl in Kensington who sells “the good stuff.” We struggle to find ways to meet other stoners without outing ourselves as recreational pot heads. So we drop subtle hints, waiting for other stoners to pick it up so we can leave the party early to smoke a joint and watch the Food Network.
9. We all had sex with the same person and now we’re upset about it
Toronto is the size of a dime bag. If you’re a social human being and consider yourself a “regular” at the same bars along Dundas, Queen and Ossington, the chances of sleeping with the same person as your best friend are extremely high. It’s like double-dipping guacamole at a group dinner (and just as awkward). In Iceland, because it’s the size of a jean jacket pocket, a similar problem happened. Everyone in Iceland accidentally had sex with their relatives and people were really upset about it. To solve the incest problem, Iceland created an “Incest Prevention Alarm,” which brings me back to Toronto’s slutty dude issue: can someone please invent a “This dirt bag fucked ten of your friends alarm” app? I smell a good Kickstarter. Any takers?