Shania Twain and the Australian Invasion

Written by Katie Tetz

Stampede confessions involving boys with accents

My last blog post ended with that handsome neighbor offering to buy me a coffee outside of Sunterra after I had been stood up.

What happened next was he took me for coffee and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Just kidding.

What actually happened next was that I said “No, it’s okay” which I immediately regretted as soon as I stepped into my elevator. I guess I had had a shitty enough day and wasn’t interested in a pity coffee. I just wanted to curl up on the couch and watch The Mindy Project.

My energy healer friend told me, “You need to learn how to be a better receiver”.

My roommate called me an idiot. “He lives in the LOFTS!? Those are expensive!!”

Coworkers shook their heads in disappointment.

I know!! I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I was being stubborn with the pact I had only moments ago made with the universe to stop dating for the rest of summer. But it’s okay because the next weekend the British Army was in town. And I was practicing being a better receiver.

Enter Stew. I actually don’t really like the British accent except for a select few people. My roommate, Bridget Jones, and my roommate’s handsome friend that she FaceTimes on a weekly basis. They are charming and intelligent. Most often I find the accent quite arrogant and snobby sounding.

So Stew’s accent wasn’t doing him any favors. But the drinks I had were working and I was trying to be a good receiver of his affection. I thought he was quite handsome but my coworker kept telling me, “He is NOT handsome Katie”.

I concluded that we must just have different types.

So my three friends, Stew, and the rest of the British Army ended up at Cowboys. I should grow up, I know. But it’s the only place I really like to dance. Or maybe I should just move to the South. I should also note that Stew and all of his friends were wearing literally the same thing. Blue jeans and baby blue checkered button ups. You couldn’t tell who was who.

Stew got real sloppy so I wandered off. There was a handsome guy in a striped sweater that caught my eye. I went up and said hello. Also British. Also sloppy drunk.

Then my roommate and I spotted a tall guy from across the room. She bet me ten dollars that he was also British. Even though this bar seemed to be bursting with the UK I was still skeptical. How could she possibly tell? He wasn’t wearing a checkered blue shirt.

But sure enough when I went up to speak to him I was greeted with the same accent. This one’s name was Robert. My roommate and Robert got talking as I wandered the crowd of British men in checkered shirts. Turns out Robert lived in the lofts across the street from our building.

Roommate: “Katie got asked out by a guy that lives in your building after she got stood up one night, but she was rude and said no.”

Robert: “No way! I’ve heard that story before. I know the guy!”

Robert may or may not have been pulling our leg. His friend who we all thought may have been the same guy who asked me out was supposedly from Australia but I’m pretty sure I would have remembered an Australian accent.

Remember, I wasn’t drunk at the time. I was hungry, pissed off, and dead sober.

I learned a few things about British men that night. They are very convincing; whether it’s to let them buy you a drink, kiss you, or convince you they know the guy you regret shutting down.

That night will forever be known as the British Invasion because of the three of us, we were at the very least kissed by one (or two) and there may or may not have been a few British men in my apartment that night.

So that was the British Invasion, but we’re not finished with Australia yet.

On Sunday, July 13th, a little after midnight, my phone kept buzzing. It was the last night of Stampede. Snoop-dog was playing in the Cowboys tent across the street and all I could hear were sirens-most of them headed towards the tent. I watched the fireworks from my balcony. Despite a bad case of FOMO I had convinced myself to stay in and drink a detox tea because Stampede 2014 took a serious toll on my body. I had enough stories and I had lost my voice; I couldn’t handle one more night.

Usually I watch the last set of thundering fireworks and feel like crying knowing that I have to wait three hundred and fifty five more days to do it all over again. But on this summer night I felt content and complete, besides the hoarse smoker cough. It had been a fun, eventful year full of questionable decisions and new memories.

So my phone was buzzing nonstop.

“Hey it’s the Bear from Cowboys” Of all the pretend cowboys this year by far my favorite was the man wearing a stuffed animal bear head. I spotted him on the dance floor and wanted nothing more than to two step with this adorable fuzzy bear with great biceps. I don’t know what his name is. He knows mine because I’m in his phone as “Katie She Likes Bears”

Then there was small town Ontario guy. In our drunken stupor he had said to me, “I haven’t had a kiss like that in a decade”. I wonder how many people think they’ve found love in that tent. We definitely thought we had. I smile at the blurry memory of it. It was like being eighteen and in love on the Cowboys dance floor all over again.

And then there’s Tom. It was the night of Shania Twain’s first show. A Wednesday. The plan was to have a few drinks at my condo, go see the concert, and be home at a respectable hour. I should know better. Those nights never, ever, turn out as such.

I almost want to skip to the part, seven hours later, where there’s three Australian men on my balcony.

We drank a few spiked Twisted Tea’s before heading over to Shania. Obviously, she was UNREAL. To the annoyance of the old people behind us we belted out her entire concert and even got to touch her hand.

“SHE LOOKED AT ME!!” was what I texted nearly my entire contact list.

The Twisted Tea’s had worn off but the buzz we had got from Shania wasn’t going anywhere so obviously we thought it was a good idea to head to one of the tents. “The night is young!” we screeched. My voice was already starting to go.

I saw him in the lineup. He had the jawline of a model, dark brown hair, and piercing come at me eyes. That’s the best way I can describe them. Way too good looking, so I looked away. My wimpy signature move.

Inside I was standing at a bar waiting for a drink when he turned around and grabbed at my nose. An odd yet slightly charming gesture. Up close I saw that he had a lip ring. Not sure how I felt about that, but then he spoke.

“You’re gorgeous.”

Shit, Australian.

“I saw you in line…” he continued.

He was thrilled to meet a born-and-raised Calgarian girl and his friends were just as excited to meet my friends. Before long we were in the middle of the dance floor singing the Canadian anthem with a bunch of good looking Aussies.

I would like to mention that I have never had a one night stand.

I never really felt the need to. Take the night of Stew and the British Invasion for example. I was satisfied with a few hours of flirting and kissing. To his frustration I insisted on walking home without him. I’ve done this many, many times.

Until Australia.

Usually in order for me to be attracted enough to someone to take them home I have to be somewhat emotionally invested.
I’ll give it four or five dates. I have to find you intriguing and intelligent.

Unless we’re on the Cowboys dance floor and you have an Australian accent and a lip ring that seems to serve the purpose of a “peacock effect.”

Yes I’ve read the book The Game. It’s genius.

It was nearing the end of the night and Tom kept tugging at my cut offs. I glanced at my friend Amanda and telecommunicated “Should I do this?” with my eyes. She nodded a definite yes.

Ten minutes later Tom, one of his friends, Amanda and I were drinking on my balcony watching the lights from the rides and the drunks stumble across Macleod Trail. It wasn’t long until my roommate walked through the door with a man behind her. I don’t remember his name, but he was also from Australia, yet not from the same Australian posse as Tom and the redhead on my balcony.

How she happened to find another Australian in that gigantic tent beats me. Obviously this night will be forever known as the Australian Invasion and yes we’ve already half-jokingly pondered what country will be next.

I’m not really sure if there’s a lesson in any of this. Perhaps this: If one is feeling frustrated with the lack of men in her life she should simply make a pact with the universe to stop dating and then prepare to be showered with a variety of men with accents.

Or maybe I was right in thinking that I was meant to stay single for another Calgary Stampede because of all the summers and tents I’ve romped around in, this has been the most memorable, and not just because Shania locked eyes with me.

I’ll be forever grateful to Dean Brody’s incredible kick off on Canada Day (I wish I could remember him singing Canadian Girls; I was really excited for that), my roommate who is the only friend I’ve ever had that can keep up with me, and to Cowboy’s serving chicken fingers & fries. And to Tom of course.

Alternative Shania Twain song titles for this blog:

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

Rock This Country

I’m Not in the Mood (To Say No)

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