A few days after I arrived back in Whitehorse in November 2008, I ran into Janine Aberson while grocery shopping with my mom.
She invited me to Aubyn Russell’s birthday party and I went. Aubyn and I weren’t particularly close at the time, despite being Grade 3 classmates in Takhini Elementary.
When I arrived, Georgia Sauve answered the door and I joined the birthday festivities. I met Georgia once previously, but I didn’t remember.
Funny Story. Ask her.
Despite my lack of Pictionary proficiency, G and A saw fit to keep me around.
I became a fixture — showing up for endurance-testing hikes, anger-inducing cross-crib games, and brunch. They enjoy my company most of the time, or are good at pretending to; currently they live two blocks away and they usually have leftovers.
So when I decided to join the revolution I knew they would come in handy. I’m speaking of the Drop-by Revolution; if you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, it’s in its infancy.
Our goal is to replace the stuffy, overly-formalized conventions of social interaction with a new paradigm — and by “new” I mean “old-fashioned, but worth resuscitating.”
As far as revolutions go, this one is easy to get behind. You don’t need a dogmatic political ideology or an AK-47. The only things you need are at least one friend, a mode of transportation (feet will often do) and a willingness to impose yourself on others.
All you have to do is pick a target (the aforementioned friend) and show up at his or her front door, expecting to be entertained.
No warning text. No phone call. No nothing.
Though it is not strictly considered essential equipment for a drop-by, a couple of beers in a bag are always well met.
Sure, naysayers will unimaginatively ask, “What if you show up at an awkward or embarrassing moment?”
There’s no way to get around it; this is a possibility. But having said that, there are a few things to keep in mind.
A drop-by is only awkward or embarrassing for you if you detect the vibe. So to avoid such social peccadilloes, remember the importance of picking targets that can fake enthusiasm upon your arrival — like G and A.
There is, however, another school of thought that denies awkwardness should be avoided in the first place. In fact, you add a new level of gamesmanship to the art of the drop-by if your goal is to cause, rather than avoid, awkward encounters.
Ten points if you interrupt sex.
With the modern proliferation of communication devices, and our tendency to use them excessively, the spontaneity of the drop-by feels like a relic of centuries gone by. But aren’t we losing something if we schedule all our socializing as rigidly as our dental appointments?
Members of the revolution suggest that we are losing our ability and/or desire to improvise — to go with the flow. So put on your sneakers, raise your bag of Pilsner and go disrupt somebody’s evening.
Trust me comrades; it’s for their own good.