May 10th, 2013
“Hi I’m Olive (*Hiiiiiii Oliveeeeee*) and my fun fact is I um…I uh likeeee…. (WHAT THE FUCK JUST SAY SOMETHING YOU FOOL)…bananas?”
I’d like to tell you this story isn’t true. In fact, I’d love to tell you that this never happened to me at all. But alas, there I was at my Panera Bread orientation at the ripe age of 16, reading the rule book of being a “Bread Savvy Cashier” and participating in our force-fed ice breaker activity when I told my boss and fellow carb bakers that THE MOST FUN FACT about me that they ABSOLUTELY HAD TO KNOW was that I indeed…liked bananas.
I made no friends that day.
And I was reviving this unfortunate memory from the tomb of shame with Penny recently when our conversation inadvertently turned into worthwhile banter about the woes, stress and absurdity that revolves around the breaking of the fucking ice. You know, those uncomfy activities where you chant your favorite color and sometimes end up blindfolded and accidentally groping your future cubicle mate.
Where do you find these assholes?
College orientation? YUP.
Work orientations? YOU GOT IT
Alcoholics anonymous? I’M NOT SURE BUT I’M PRETTY SURE THIS HAPPENS.
And we got to realizing that sure, these bad sons of bitches were created to make shit less awkward and yeah, I don’t know a goddamn thing about Chuck chillin on the plastic chair on the opposite side of the room.
But what, I ask you, is more uncomfortable and useless than giving complete strangers an FYI that your fave color is fuchsia and your animal of choice is a Belgian manatee? NOT FUCKING MUCH. Because quite frankly,
But yet, they remain. These verbal questionnaires that in one HOT INSTANT can make you panic and say the word “bananas” and feel like the single least interesting person in the entire world. And suddenly everyone in the room is staring at you like
FUCK YOU BANANAS.
Now it’s been a solid ten seconds and you’re staring into space and looking semi-autistic at best.
But hey, we’ve all been there. (please say yes) And chances are, we’ll be there again. Which is why Penny and I created a list. So you too can break the ice LIKE A BOSS. (or recently admitted alcoholic) And you too won’t suffer a sudden loss of dignity and pride to a pack of strangers named Chuck.
Penny and Olive Present:
5 Absolute DON’TS Of Breaking The Ice
…Let’s break this the fuck down. (Pun intended) There you are, placed in a goddamn semi-circle and some trick named Tracy is all like “ALRIGHTY GANG. LET’S PUNT THIS BEACH BALL FILLED WITH RANDOM QUESTIONS AT EACH OTHER’S FACES AND REVEAL PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT OURSELVES THAT IS NO DOUBT GOING TO MAKE YOU SWEAT BULLETS AND GIVE YOU ANXIOUS SHITS AND CLAMMY, CLAMMY HANDS LEADING UP TO YOUR TURN!” (…Might have paraphrased this…)
THROW ME TO A PACK OF WOLVES, WHY DON’T YOU TRACY.
OK. Fine. FINE. fine. I’ll go.
Yeah, I don’t even really know where to fucking start here. But shit. I know where NOT to start.
1. Absolutely NO over sharing.
Do not. I repeat DO NOT show strangers a ten-minute long video of your cat Pickles playing with a laser pointer.
Or your latest tattoo:
Or any batshit habits that should most definitely remain unshared
2. Anything that requires follow-up demonstration
Let’s take this classic mistake for example:
“….and my fun fact is: even though everyone SAYS it’s supposed to be impossible, I actually CAN lick my elbow!!”
Welcome to regret city.
Take my word for it fellow hood rats. People will always, ALWAYS. ASK YOU. TO. DEMONSTRATE.
And then you’ll end up looking like FOOL.
And you’ll live in everyone’s first impression memory box with a lasting impression that looks like this:
Play the keyboard, you say?
Take lessons for years, you say?
“WELL WHAT A COINCIDENCE” barks Tracy. “WE’VE GOT A BABY GRAND IN THE FAR CORNER OF THE ROOM”
Yup. That just happened.
And suddenly you find yourself in the corner of the room playing a one-handed “Mary Had A Little Fucking Lamb Chop” like this:
3) Avoid mentioning significant others ALTOGETHER.
“But, why?” You say.
“I love my boyfriend!” You say.
“He’s my world!” You say.
“We actually just went on a really romantic weekend trip together and he…”
Stop right there.
Because this is exactly what I’m talking about.
Ohh, relationship people. Gotta love em. Really, you do.
But let’s be real: Give those motherfuckers an inch and before you know it, BAM! You’re knee-deep into the emotional rollercoaster that was their first date. (because, you know, they “talked” for like a month and a half before actually making it official, and…)
Do you know who gives even LESS shits than your friends who actually are nice to you and PRETEND to give shits about your relationship? People like Chuck, that’s who.
They, in fact, probably give NO shits.
Except for Tracy. She might give a couple.
But wait. THERE’S MORE.
4) NO PHOTO EVIDENCE
iPhones can wreak more reputational havoc than one might think. (And shockingly, it’s NOT because texting on it all day long makes you look like a bitch.) Read on:
Similar to the dangers of drunk-texting, the human race tends to fall quite frequently into the horrifically bad habit of PROVING EVERYTHING WITH PHOTO EVIDENCE.
…but not after sifting through sixteen pages of facebook albums to get to what they’re looking for, first.
Note the following introductory conversation:
Person A: “So… a little about myself? Hmm… Okay, Well, I actually JUST came back from a vacation to the Bahamas!”
Person B: “Wow, that’s great! You know, I’ve only ever been—”
Person A: “WAIT. Actually, you know what?? … I actually have some photos right here! Here, just CHECK THIS SHIT OUT. Totes beautiful, right?! (*proceeds to scroll through entire album of instagram photos*): No FUCKING filter!”
Better believe I’ll be half-looking at your pictures with a “I couldn’t give a rats ass” look like this:
Like, don’t get me wrong… I’m real happy you got to jam out with your clam out, lady, but I just.. I reallyyy don’t need you to show me your personal archive of photo documentation to prove it.
5. Watch your eyeballs.
Sure when I’m in the comfort of my own home, pulling my leggings up to my boobs, side pony to the fucking side and cheetos within a 3 inch radius away from my body at all times while I Facebook stalk the SHIT out of families, friends, and complete strangers, CAN’T NOBODY SEE ME.
…In person? Shit gets real. Ain’t NOTHING worse than getting caught staring at someone straight up. I can attest to that.
I will always remember one time (unfortunately this is a completely true story) in high school, on the first day of my junior year English class, there was this lad who happened to be seated
across from me
(such an uncomfortable seating arrangement, it’s like WHERE ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO LOOK. THIS IS A FUCKING TRAP.), whom I had never seen before. And I just remembered thinking, BY THE BEARD OF ZEUS, he’s the prettiest motherfucker I’ve EVER seen.
And before you even think it, NO- this was not in a “oohh heee her lololol he’s so cute I have a crush on his face” kind of way. This was like in an ACTUAL, I could NOT stop staring at him because he LITERALLY looked so much like a beautiful, delicate, fucking FLOWERY GIRL kind of way. (naturally)
To this day, his shiny, sandy-blonde, shoulder-length hair AND SPARKLING BABY BLUES are burned into my brain as a testament to the sheer confusion and adoration I experienced that day.
But, I digress.
So I literally could not stop staring at him that entire class period.And sure, to be fair, I am about as subtle as a rifle at a froyo shop, but still. Nothing could have prepared me for when he walked right up to me and CALLED ME OUT ON IT IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CLASS as the bell rang.
“… is there like, a reason you’ve been staring at me for the past 90 minutes?” (oh yeah. It was block scheduling, too. Full monty.)
And then, of course, I denied it. Because who the FUCK is going to admit to that?
My point here? You don’t recover from shit like that. You just don’t. Watch your eyeballs, people.Watch your FUCKING eyeballs.
My point is, EVERYONE hates ice breakers. (Except for Tracy, but fuck Tracy)
But these lingering, traditional sonsofbitches aren’t peacing out any day soon. So take these pointers with a grain of salt and shot of whiskey for guaranteed badassery one beach balled question at a goddamn time. So in the end? You can walk out the fucking room looking like this: