The ‘Izma. I Got It.

I have a serious case of the ‘Izma.

The ‘Izma isn’t a rare tropical disease, nor is it the latest STD you’ve never heard of  (even if it was, having it would require having some of the “S” which sadly hasn’t happened in a while.) Besides, I’m pretty sure I’ve had the ‘Izma since birth. Luckily, I don’t have to suffer alone.

It’s no secret that I have a knack for attracting weirdos. However, if you think it’s an isolated talent/curse – think again. After careful observation I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘Izma is completely hereditary. So, what exactly is the ‘Izma? It’s a term my Mom and I coined to describe her side of the family’s innate ability to attract people – good, bad or otherwise.  Like it’s close cousin, “Charisma”, the ‘Izma draws people in to your circle – however, in this case it operates with the same level discrimination as a commercial tuna fishing boat, casting it’s net so wide it ends up killing 8 dolphins and taking down a small submarine in the process.

It’s likely because of the Izma that I’ve been flashed way more times than I’d like to admit.

If you’ve ever been the recipient of a creepy mix-tape, acquired a stalker, been subject to multiple exposed strange penises, been hit on by one of the original cast members of Degrassi High, had a sexually explicit conversation with your Barista or been involved in a scenario that resembles this, this or this – it’s likely you also suffer from a case of the ‘Izma.

The 'Izma - Like a Beacon of shining light to weirdos everywhere.

 According to my Mom, both my Grandma and Grandpa possessed the ‘Izma. In her heyday, my Grandma was often the recipient of inappropriate crushes from my Grandpa’s friends and business associates. Even when she was in her 60’s, there was a man who would repeatedly call the house professing his love for my grandma and begging her to leave my grandpa. My Mom remembers the time my Grandma finally told him off, in her typically firm but polite manner.

“Doug you need to get in touch with reality. You’re not in love with me. Please stop calling here.”

My Mom has also been the recipient of numerous flashings, bizarre romantic overtures and frequent encounters with weirdos. A few years ago, a local busker developed an aggressive infatuation with her.

(“Gurl, why you nah call me?”)

Although the situation eventually resolved itself – as Mr. Busker faded into the distance, you can still see my Mom tense up whenever she hears the sound of steel drums.

However, the ‘Izma is not restricted to interactions with the opposite sex. Before the concept of a “Bro-Mance” was even a thing, my Mom said that men from the neighbourhood would often knock on their door inquiring about my Grandpa’s whereabouts.

“Uh, is your Dad home?”

“I think so, why?”

“Um, no reason. I just wanted to see if he was home and what he was doing…like, if maybe he was working on something in the garage  that I could help with.”

During one fateful summer, our family business received just as many requests to build swimming pools, as it did anonymous nude photos.

vintage-illustration-romance

When left to fester, the 'Izma can easily get out of control.

I’m not sure why these things happen to us. Although I like to think my family is a good looking group, we’re not exactly the Brady Bunch. We have dark hair, blue eyes, lanky bodies and distinctly Slavic features – all signs of our Polish-German-Russian stock. It’s something else – possibly an innate welcoming friendliness that seems to shine like a Beacon to weirdos everywhere. (“Come talk to us. We’ll accept you…or at the very least, we won’t yell at you right away!”)

Well, you guys, with the arrival of my Birthday Month it seems as though my “Weirdo Beacon” is shining especially bright. Here are a few of the things that have happened during the past week:

1) I’ve been hit on by not one, but two different men over the age of 60. One encounter occurred while I was at one of my favourite shopping spots trying on a very reasonably priced vintage Ralph Lauren dress. I stepped out of the change-room to inspect the dress in the three way mirror when a white haired man (who was shopping with his 30-something daughter) said, “Damn. Maybe it’s just you…but you seriously need to buy that dress.” (UH, SERIOUSLY?)

2) While out running errands the other day, a frail man in his 80’s walked by me and said in a deep, throaty voice, “NICE. STUFF” (SHUDDER)

3) I was walking home from the gym when I heard a voice call from behind me.

“MISS? EXCUSE ME!”

I turned around to see a 19 or 20 year old guy with a very prominent neck tattoo, dressed in baggy jeans and a baseball cap.

“UM, I DON’T USUALLY DO THIS, BUT…I WANTED TO ASK YOU…OH SHIT. NEVER MIND.”

“Uh, Ok?”

I turned around and kept walking. A few seconds later,

“HEY! UM, MISS! I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU…”

“Buddy, just spit it out.”

“NO, WAIT I’M TOO SHY”

“I’m too old. I don’t have time for this.”

When I looked behind me, Junior Neck Tattoo had disappeared.

4) On Saturday night Courtney Love was playing an outdoor concert for Rifflandia. I didn’t have a ticket but decided to wander down to the venue to see if I could catch some of the concert. Not only could hear everything from just outside the venue (It was pretty amazing), I also learned that outdoor concerts and the ‘Izma are a dangerous mix. I was standing by the fence listening to Courtney sing all of my teenage favourites when a very drunk man with an annoying laugh (HA! HUH HUH! GO COURTNEY. FUCKING A! HUH HUH HERRR HUHHHH!)  approached me.

“You’re beautiful. HUH HAHA! HHAHA HUH HUH HUH. Are you married?”

“Uh yes. Definitely yes.”

“Lucky Man. WHOA! HAH HAH LOOK AT THAT HUH HUH HA HAAAA!”

As I started to inch away from him, he asked –

“Do you work out?”

“Um, yes?”

“You can tell just by looking at your jawline”

(HUH?)

Yes, friends – the men in this city are officially out of hiding – for better, but more likely for worse.

Apparently Venus is in Virgo this month, which means Virgo chicks like me are romantically supercharged. My friend told me that in order to find love I need to put out the vibe that I am open to new possibilities. I have been trying to tap into this however, it’s working a little too well this month. With the exception of a cute, ginger haired guy who wished me a “beautiful day” last week, all of my interactions with the opposite sex recently have been, well, kind of creepy.

Although possessing the ‘Izma makes for some great stories, I wish I could fine tune it to attract only the people I want to attract. I know I already got spoiled for my Birthday however, if I’m allowed one more Birthday wish this year – Universe, please send me someone who is kind, attractive and most importantly, age appropriate that I can flirt with. If they don’t wear aqua socks or have any neck tattoos, even better. Thanks in advance, signed, me.

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