Market Days 2012 Wrap Up: The Adventures of Strange Encounters

As the summer comes to a close, we celebrate one last time through the two-day festival that is North Halsted’s Market Days. As Chi-Town’s second largest gay festival outside of the Pride Parade, this event brings a host of different members of our community out of the woodwork. It’s no surprise, then, that you’ll probably run into several people from your past. It’s important to know how to navigate through these treacherous waters of strange acquaintances. These are a few common tales, and lessons to be learned, from the deep gay streets of Halsted.

Tale I- The Ex

Given your own story’s past you may run into many of these creatures or very few (we don’t judge). It’s always important to be quick on your feet or tongue in this situation. Depending on how the relationship ended this could be a friendly run in or one you’ll need a stiffer drink for. Regardless of the status, here are some key points: if eye contact is made always smile, come dressed to impress, and if you do converse keep the topics short, sweet and positive. Have an excuse ready, just in case. Need another drink? Missing a band? Having an out is the key to sanity, here.

Tale II- The girl you slept with

Now these creatures are a different breed then your ex. While every story is different, the girl you had a relationship with will spark a different chord than the girl you just dated casually. You’ll need quick reflexes and a strong wit about you when you come across this. DO go over and say hello. If Elton John can sing at a Rush Limbaugh wedding, you can play nice too. Don’t hover too long when speaking with her, she’ll most likely be there with someone. Drama doesn’t look good on anybody but a drag queen. If she’s there with her boyfriend however, smile (smirk), shake hands and laugh a little inside.

Tale III – The Girl you ran into Sunday that you didn’t text back Saturday

Grab ‘hold of the sails girls, because it’s about to get bumpy. This encounter will bring you into some troubled waters. You can either avoid this beast, or tackle them head on. Remember, just because you look down or avert your gaze, doesn’t mean you’re invisible. Try to look busy, that way you’ll be less likely to be approached. If conversation is started, again try and keep it short. The best play is having a fellow ship mate see your distress and come rescue you. A simple nod or facial expression usually does the trick. If you’re not that lucky however, don’t panic and try not to lie.

Finally, if you see someone that you know ended bitterly, (friend, relationship, or casual fling) do not go and feel obligated to make awkward small talk. There are too many people, too many beer tents, and too many hot women distracting you for this to end any way but horrid. Don’t start pointing and whispering with your friends. It’s fine, not everyone gets along; don’t matter matters worse. That insanely attractive woman behind you is watching…and taking notes. Maturity is always going to be a better selling point for you than a screaming match next to the t-shirt tent.

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About Lizzy

Lizzy is a lifelong motivator and a transplant to the Chicagoland area. She moved around quite a bit when she was younger, but has been happily calling this city home for the better half of a decade. She works as a personal trainer and youth performance coach. Her life’s passion is helping others achieve their goals. When she’s not coaching you can find her on the path training for an ultramarathon or landing tackles on the rugby pitch. She also volunteers weekly for a non-profit company helping adults with long term care disabilities. Lizzy is nationally certified in personal fitness as well as sports performance. Her enthusiasm and energy can’t help but be contagious. Helping make the site more well rounded, Lizzy is going to infuse us all all with a new sense of health and wonder. She is super excited to lend her unique voice to The L Stop and help people get excited about fitness!


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