5$ Shawarma & Other Ways To Sell Your Soul
Last night (I am well aware that last night was Monday) my voice teacher, let’s call her Elizabeth, and I went down to Zaphods to watch local rock bands play to an intimate and interesting crowd. Let’s face it; anyone who goes out drinking on a Monday night in Ottawa has to be interesting; and by interesting I mean weird. Anyways on our way down the Market we passed by Marroush’s Shawarma shop; right on the corner of Rideau and Dalhousie. Elizabeth turned to me as the smell of chicken and spices filled our nostrils and asked me if I knew the Marroush’s on Elgin Street, formerly the Sens Mile, and their infamous ‘book’.
Of course, being close to 24 and nowhere near a cougar, I said no. I haven’t been to the bars down Elgin Street since I turned 20. For those of you who don’t live in Ottawa, the bars closer to the police station on Elgin Street tend to be dominated by first year undergrads with a collective age of 19 and a collective maturity level of an angry-emo 13 year old. Sure, if I was a guy looking for an easy lay; it would be heaven on earth. But, as a 23 year old stubborn independent workaholic with a penchant for 4 inch stilettos who takes less and less crap on a daily basis; it sure as hell doesn’t sound like a good time.
But I digress; Elizabeth went on to inform me that the Marroush’s on Elgin Street has a ‘book’ complied from all the late late nights on Elgin of girls who were so drunk that they performed fellatio in exchange for a free shawarma.
Let me say that again, just in case you missed it like I did: there is a book FULL of pictures of drunk girls performing oral sex in exchange for a 5$ shawarma.
I looked at Elizabeth in pure unadulterated shock. I mean… if I was ever I drunk, and I mean that drunk, as in that drunk girl who can’t stop saying ‘I’m soooo drunk!’ … you’d have to take me to the fucking hospital; I wouldn’t even be able to stand, let alone … well, you know. And for a nasty 5$ shawarma that truthfully costs those men pennies on the dollar?
To think that those girls, thinking that they are exercising their new found liberation, allowed themselves to be taken advantage of in exchange for …. Well, for nothing. And to have photographic evidence of probably the stupidest thing they’ve done in their young lives?
After hearing and digesting such a story, I got to thinking about the generation after me, the 18-19 year olds who are just starting to embrace the young adult culture with an all-too trusting mind. I mean, they’re growing up with Sex and the City on TBS instead of good old HBO, with raunchy movies and Girls Gone Wild as guidelines on acceptable ways to behave. Ok, perhaps acceptable is the wrong term, but it could still provide a misconception to young women that it’s what ‘everyone’ is doing, and if you’re not following suit you’re a prude.
It’s one thing to make out or hook up with someone… Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of hook ups, embarrassing moments and forgotten/secret lovers… but there is a line between being on the prowl and being the prey. I think Marroush’s book is a perfect example that although it’s 2008, women are still the prey, no matter how we act or convince ourselves that we’re not.
So how do we avoid this? How do we start to pull back from the rauch culture we’ve created? Simple: look to the past. There’s a famous quote that refers to looking back at history to prevent future mistakes, and while in Chapters this Sunday with my mom and dad, I found the perfect example of how the future generation can be molded back into ladies in the truest sense of the word. The book is called “What Would Audrey Do?” and I think it’s my new motto for my 20-something summer (a summer where I neither get engaged, nor pregnant, nor buy a condo).
I just hope that the girls in Marroush’s book can get a new start (let’s face it: after something like that no start can be fresh or clean) in their journey towards lady-ship… with WWAD in the back of their heads.