dating definitions, part three. 

Sometimes, what is better than a two parter is a three parter (though I’m doubting now that ‘parter’ is in fact an actual word, shame on me) or sometimes, its just a matter of having the right conversations with the right people. This is something I am grateful for, the women I am surrounded by in life, at work, serve as great blogspiration, especially when the conversation comes to dating, so with that, here is the third and final (maybe) in the dating definitions space:

The sequel: I know, I know, I just went on and on about how a three parter is better than a two parter shame on me. Sometimes however, the sequel is all you need, and can be even better than the original, but of course it is all a matter of perspective. The first time around the sun with said partner can be blissful or a total dud, making a go of it again, you are either Pollyanna or a sadist. Sequels often make for great stories, serving as urban legends for singles also contemplating a second go with an X, you know the kind, my friend has a friend who has a friend who went back with her X and it was great! They were engaged 3 months later, and living in the suburbs and pregnant within a year! This is like my worst nightmare realized. Suburbs, really?

The cling on: When I was living at the dorms in UVIC (Go Vikes!) we had a term for girls who seemed to attract questionable characters- swiffers. Though it wasn’t their fault – I think we have all been swiffers at one point, regardless of whether or not you might have frequented the boom boom room or legends (Victoria folks, you’re nodding right now aren’t you? Bless). The cling on gets picked up often by mistake and often disguised as something more promising, and before you know it you just want it to be over. So over. The next thing you know you’re changing your phone number, moving to a foreign country or faking an incurable disease.

The hibernator: This is a tricky one, because you likely met in a relatively social situation (not in his dodgy rental) but as time goes on, you’re just not going out. It’s always ‘lets  hang out here’, ‘I’m so tired’, I saw people all week’- all of which are UNTRUE. Why? well because from his instagram stories you know he basically hung out at home all week playing with his new DJ equipment and watching bad made for TV movies.  Exhausting.

The faux: ‘What are you talking about? We aren’t dating.’ Yet you spend every Saturday perusing St Lawrence Market for the dinner you are cooking together on Saturday night. He’s your plus one at weddings, and you might have just bought a condo together (for investment purposes only) but, god no, you’re not dating.

The bandaid: aka ‘I can’t be single, ever’- sometimes the saddest hook up of them all, you’re always going through a breakup, but in tadem you’re also in a new relationship, if that’s what you can call it. In reality, its a matter of slapping on a good old bandaid to mask what is actually going on with bachelor number one. No good can come of this, eventually you’ve got to rip it off, and god forbid he’s a cling on, make sure you’ve got that passport renewed for your impending move to Algeria.

There you have it folks, your dating definitions trilogy… thought I have to think this list is still not exhaustive, maybe the only thing better than a three parter is a four parter……

 

 

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the message.

I’ve been having crazy vivid dreams lately, so much so that Beau has been getting a run down every morning of my nightly psyche activity, and to go with it, a good laugh.

Life has been busy, like manic busy, resulting in the blog being put on the back burner. Despite texts, emails, facebook messages, cryptic snapchats, conversations over dinner and drinks, asking, pleading, negotiating to please get back to blog-ville it just hasn’t been feasible.

That was however, until last night. Last night I dreamt I was back in high school, but myself and everyone else well we were all the age we are today. Maybe the dream was timely given the recent celebration of another thirty something birthday,  or perhaps  subconsciously craving a simpler time, or maybe it was the fact we had to do cheer squats in Thursdays inferno pilates class (lets go Trojans!), or the whole thing was just a coincidence, regardless the intent was to give me a message.

The dream exactly, consisted of myself and my fellow Bowness high crew (go Trojans!), and you were all there, just for the record, like all of you, even tin man, and toto too. Somehow, the conversation shifted from standard lunch table small talk, to the blog, you all talked, and I listened. You had great ideas, you guys are gems. With that, I’ve got some groovy stuff coming down the pipe, and I will make the time put pen back to paper. So stay tuned…

guinness.

Bermuda had always been top of my travel bucket list, so hot on the heels of my move to Toronto I realized there was no better time than at that very present, just as the crispness started to hit the golden horseshoe to high tail it down to the little island in the South Atlantic.

Cultural quirks aside, Bermuda really is, for the record one of my absolute favourite places and spaces. And of course as any  little island that can – it is host to many fabulous bars – so Beau and I made it our mission to find an appropriate one (one bar, not one drink) for our first official cocktail hour, which for the record is really any hour when you are in vacay mode.

We settle in and our bartender, Robert, nearly the age of the plantation style resort we were staying at was quick to get us something refreshing, something local, because when in Rom… Bermuda I mean.

The bar starts to get busier as people start to wake up, or finish their morning golf round, one older gentleman saunters up to the bar to order a Guinness, Robert obliges with a ‘yes sir’ in his thick Bermudian accent, pours the beer, then takes the glass, places it on the back counter, turns around and gets to work on other drink orders. I being curious, give Beau a look, like is it one for me one for the bartender?, talk about work life balance.  Now, I am not a beer drinker, never have been, never will be, so this was a bit of shocker. I mean wasn’t the point to pour, serve and drink? We are on holidays for goodness sakes, give that man his drink, he looks thirsty! I must have looked like I was perplexed because Beau then took it upon himself to open up the gospel and educate this millennial on the proper way to pour a Guinness.

Beau explained that pouring a Guinness really was an art, a precise practice by experts in the field, you have to have the end goal in mind, and understand the prime state in which the beer should be consumed. You want something settled, a beautiful heavy mass of velvety goodness, rather than looking like you just shook your can of coke and poured it out of desperation. Apparently the best part was the pour, which of course got me thinking, it’s  just like the best part to a relationship, that delicious felling of falling in love.

And there you go, an Epiphany, on holiday day one. Normally I don’t get them until I’ve had plenty of sun. However, it dawned on me, that the Guinness experience was like a relationship,  you have to give it time to settle, to be at its optimal, you can’t just expect a relationship to be in a good place right away, nor can you force it, you have to let things evolve, or settle naturally.

There is a reason why that book “The Rules’ was a best seller, or cult classic (really all depends on your dating strategy) – but for those that loved it, we understood the value of playing hard to get, of not putting it all out on the table, to be like a carefully poured Guinness and sit on the back shelf to settle, to optimize before actually indulging. In a time where we can get absolutely anything we want in literally an instant, from Thai food delivered at 2am,  to your massage therapy reimbursement in a matter of minutes (yes, I am quite a practical person), isn’t it perhaps a novelty to have to wait for something? If the proper Guinness pouring was actually practiced and leveraged across other aspects of our life would we all not start to realize, eventually, that anything good worth experiencing is actually worth the wait.

they don’t call it a comeback.

If you were a teen in the 90’s, you are as we speak pulling out your Nike hoodie (bunny hug for those of you in a certain Canadian Province) and you, yes you my friend are going to have LL Cool J swagger all day long. You are coming back.You’re welcome.

The reinvention. The comeback. Most commonly spurred by a move to a new city (finding my groove nearly a year on, thank you very much), a new season (spring is bliss), Mercury in Retrograde finally saying adios (May 3 can’t come soon enough), a new month, or hell maybe it’s just you be true to your inner Gone with the Wind, you are your own version of Scarlett, standing in the blazes of Tara, because tomorrow is another day ‘insert strong hand gesture and longing gaze here’

Anyway, after a furry of wine dates and chats with my girlfriends over the past few weeks, I realized I had been privy to witnessing a heck of a lot of comebacks.  And they were remarkable, the women I have the privilege to work with, yoga with, socialize with, most of them were embracing change as a challenge they were ready to rock, they were game on for a metamorphic shift. The comebacks ranged from honouring suppressed talents, beating health scares, telling someone where to really go, to looking rejection in the face and not letting it phase them, with their eye on the prize climbing the career ladder.

These comebacks weren’t limited to the women in my life, probably one of the most powerful recent comebacks was from Beau’s dad. Having suffered a mini stroke, causing Beau and I to hightail it over to our hometown in a panic one weekend to suss out the damage. Day 1 of recovery was rough, it was a shocker, especially when put into perspective the strength in this man, he was a Royal Marine my friends, can we say bad ass? Day 2, the sparkle was back in his eyes, as was the Scottish charm, going so far as to give me a wink and comment on my ‘nice legs’ sounding just like Sean Connery. Bless him.

My point, comebacks are not limited to one demographic or another, and it doesn’t matter what your comeback is, the point is you embraced it. I was once told, that it is easier to do nothing that it is to do something. I thought that was the most terrible thing I had ever heard. Why would you want to do nothing? Seriously, what does doing nothing achieve other than laziness? As Rosa Luxemberg said, ‘those who do not move, never notice their chains’. So fist pump coming your way for the fact that you did something, you got up on the saddle, your threw away your training wheels and honoured those yucky feelings of uneasiness that come from a comeback.

As for me, I had been so busy, like manic busy learning the Toronto hustle (which, for the record is soooooo much different than the west coast hustle), my ‘free’ time was at a premium.  Then out of the blue, the fruits of my hustle were blooming and  just what I needed came my way. I had written a piece at work and my boss reached out with the ultimate comment ‘you are an amazing writer and storyteller’ so with that, I decided it was time for my own comeback. With that, and a long break , the blog is back bitches.

 

 

 

the 12 men of Toronto.

This time last year, Max, Sam and I had attended a somewhat forgettable 12 pubs of Christmas event. We quickly realized that most of the people and pubs were duds. We actually hightailed it to the last destination from memory, and tried to sweet talk the DJ to play nothing but Lady Gaga and Biebs. Anyway, my point is, the night out inspired last years 12 men of Vancouver list.

This year, things are obviously different. New city, new man, so when I was asked where my second annual list of men was (I didn’t know this was a blog requirement, but heck, ok!) I had to rely on my team of researchers, single ladies who are in the trenches of Tinder and the like, in the Toronto dating scene.

So without further ado, from what I could gather via texts, coffee catch up’s and wine time, here are 12 of the men you may just encounter on the dating scene in ‘the 6ix’

  1. Billy Bay Street. Oh Billy, the suits, the shoe collection, the swagger. Two of my girlfriends admitted they nearly ended up with severe whiplash at the corner of Bay and King this summer. Yes, ladies as promised you shall remain anonymous. Billy always looks good, he works hard at it, he actually works hard all the time, if you understand this, and if you’re frequenting Bay St. then you live and breathe this. Making Billy a perfect option for your personal Bay St.
  2. Peter Playboy. You know Peter St? It is like this sneaky little laneway, just like Peter. He is sort of like Billy Bay Streets naughty friend. Serial dater in several districts of the big smoke. Peter has a reputation everywhere from Little Portugal to the Beaches. Sorry to break it to you ladies, unless of course this is what you are after, if you are then please, have at it.
  3. Gary Go-Go. Aka the commuter. You live downtown, he.does.not. He is on the go at dawn and dusk, preferably on an express route, so it will be like dating Cinderella. The bell strikes 6:30pm and he is hightailing it to Union station. He is always on the Go (the train not the mindset), and don’t even think about seeing him on weekends, not when the Go has a modified schedule.
  4. Bobby Big 6ix. Toronto born and raised, Legit, ladies, Bobby is fast talking, no bull shit taken, can navigate the city blindfolded. Put your running shoes on, he moves fast and will expect you to keep up.
  5. Monsieur Montreal.  Toronto might be cool, but to him, it will never be Montreal cool. Brush up on your bilingualism babe, you are going to need it.
  6. Mike Muskoka. He may reside in the city, but reside is a very loose term. Any chance he gets he is at the cottage, wearing his cottage shirt, and when he isn’t there, all his stories will revolve around how he can’t wait to get back to the cottage. Great for a getaway, but if you are living in the city, you likely love the city. Keep him in your phone though, it will be hot and humid before you know it, and the cottage will be the prefect getaway.
  7. Eddie the Entertainer. He has tickets to every single TIFF event worth going to, he frequents the Ritz, before the latest show at the Mirvish. He is this close to having his own star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. The downside? Your dates will only be to shows. Great for expanding on your culture,  but not so much on expanding on your relationship with Eddie. You might actually begin to suspect that he takes you on these dates so he doesn’t have to engage in conversation.
  8. Jay Leaf. Sports, sports, and more sports. Jerseys dominate the wardrobe and the conversation. And it doesn’t stop. As soon as the Jays end their season, hockey starts, and if the Leafs aren’t showing up to the party, then you can distract yourself with Toronto FC or the Raptors.
  9. Lenny little mouse. Little mouse in the big city. So cute. Oh you just moved here? You miss your hometown? Oh and it is way better where you came from than it is here? That’s nice. Just move on my friend, move on.
  10. Willy Queen West. Queen West was named one of the coolest streets in the world by Vogue magazine, as a result the street attracts characters. You will spot Willy right away, part hipster, part artist, part bartender, part darkness, part curious. Darkness as in mood. Great if you’re in you’re 20’s, you are into pulling allnighters and listing to indie.
  11. Dougie Distillery. The Distillery District is insanely cool, on the opposite side of the city from our fair Queen West. The district has a distinct vibe, Dougie will take you to every single hot spot in the District, all the bartenders know him by name. If you live in the Distillery, everyone likely knows your name too, so it works, you’ll be like the Duke and Duchess of the Distillery. But what about the break up? You’ll need a prenup over who gets the district and who will be looking for some new digs.
  12. PhD x3. There are some phenomenal Universities in this part of Canada. And as a former academic I get the appeal of being able to get not just one PhD, but 3 of them. The downside? Well he will be in his head constantly re-evaluating his latest thesis, the results of his research, challenging the board. If you aren’t also in the University scene it might be a bad fit, but if you are, nothing wrong with getting a tip or two from your ‘Doctor’

We could go on, maybe next year we will do a part 2, we didn’t even touch on who you might find in the Annex, Yorkville, or the Danforth.

Happy Dating you single folks, and Happy Holidays to all.

metanoia. (year of firsts)

 One year ago, I started this blog. Crazy right?

The  original intention of the blog was to give healing, recovering, rebuilding a voice, in the sense of the quirky, random, adventures that happen once you’ve crawled out of the marriage gone wrong cave, and into post divorce living. I wanted to observe, digest, learn and laugh.

The blog. Fuelled by at a crazy year, involving  a work trip a week, conclusions drawn from observations, a whole heck of a lot of self analysis, and a deep dive into the dating abyss. 

The theme, the purpose, well from the beginning it was about me putting pen to paper about my journey, that what can happen and what does happen when Plan A just doesn’t pan out. That to wallow in the disappointment is a severe waste of time. And for me, at that moment, or during those moments, of the shock, denial, sadness, grief, fearing that I was at risk of losing touch with myself and who I really wanted to be, and yet working through it all. The reality is, the discovery and recognition, both within and beyond, that is what brings us back to connect with our true selves.

One year ago, I knew what I wanted, I wanted peace. Now, I have peace. One year ago, I wanted love, now I have love. I have a love that is exactly what love should be, big, bold, fun, kind, ambitious, ever evolving love. 

Love, and the blog, well, the intention of course when I started, was to prove that I, and anyone can come back from a detour. Be fearless about your intention, your goal for recovery, and beyond. 
My biggest fear when I started running marathons was injury, what would happen if something bad happened? Without missing a beat I knew the answer I would finish the race. So with that metaphor in mind, this detour, my detour, was no different, I was going to run with the boys, and get to exactly to where I needed to be.

12 months on, one run may be over, but there are others I am just lining up in the corral to start. This was not going to be my only year of firsts, I now as a result of this year of firsts commitment, I had a list, the fire was lit, there is so much more to come. I now know I am capable. 

And, with new found strengths is of course being polite and paying attention to this year of firsts, what did I get out of it all? Lessons were learned, strength was discovered, understanding what I wanted became clear, and the biggest epiphany, well every year can be a year of firsts… if you let it.

lessons in black coffee & psychopathology.

There was a study that emerged last year that cited those who drink black coffee are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies that those who take some form of milk in their coffee. All of a sudden baristas everywhere were having a hard time hiding their judgey pants faces when someone ordered an Americano, no room.  It was all very ‘I see you and your crazy’. There was a surge in ‘coffee dates’, what a better way to determine if your prospect was Patrick Bateman, and if so, coffee dates are easy to escape from. 

The benefit of being a hop skip and a morning stroll  enroute to work is the people watching, the journey along (allegedly, according to Vogue) one of North Americas trendiest hoods. (Gratitude bitches). 

But, with being trendy, up and coming, comes the characters. Those who have inhabited this part of town long before it was called out as being cool. 

This of course, is not my first rodeo when it comes to dealing with characters. I learned fairly quickly when taking the tram from home to Uni when I was living in Melbourne, that some folks saw this as a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation. Ugh, do they not know the cardinal rule, do not speak to strangers, unless it is Brad Pitt. My solution? You can’t sit with us sunglasses and head phones on, even if they aren’t plugged in (your crazy meet my Americano).

Anyway,in one week, a work week that was otherwise known as stress on steroids, and none of us could figure out where it was coming from (speculations ranged from Mercury in Retrograde being in her last hurrah, to the official start of fall, meaning that lazy hazy summer was so over) a week where going postal actually seemed like a pretty good option I encountered crazy not seen since the cringeworthy dating days. Except this crazy, this is all out in the open, you don’t even need to go on a coffee date. Nothing here is hidden under some shiny facade that pulled back, reveals socially inept simpletons, or poor hygiene bogan leeches who consider Denny’s to be fine dining. 

There is so much courtesy in putting it all out there beforehand so the other person can run the other way. Because as a curious person we all understand the cost/benefit ratio associated with testing the waters. 

Anyway, what I was witnessing and to preface, this is at no fault of their own, because, you can’t judge a person without knowing their story, that’s just bad manners. What I was witnessing was people putting it all out there, letting their version of normal shine bright. Like, Superman, who understands that bedsheets double quite nicely as a cape, or the best of both worlds biker- you can be half bad ass, half pretty woman with your biker beard on top and thigh high boots on the bottom, never be afraid to go hybrid. 

And my favourite lesson from the week, channelling one of the best affirmations from Gabby Bernstein, that there is a way through every block, well sometimes that block is a traffic jam, and the way through that block is to pull a fast one and ride your bike sans helmet against traffic, hands free, throwing French fries at oncoming traffic like laser beams. Must have been one heck of an Americano.