Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gratitude Journal 2014

Let us take a moment, Dear Reader, to reminisce fondly on all the good things that happened to me in 2014...

This year I wanted to focus on relationships. I wanted to improve the ones that were worthwhile and I wanted to jettison the ones that were toxic. This is not to be taken lightly, or in some sort of idiot rage. As we get older, especially women, we lose our weak friendships to marriages and divorces and new eating fads and exercise regimens and cults and jobs that require them to move. And finding new women friends is never easy. My circle is small - it always has been - but for those lucky enough to be on my Christmas card list, I believe I am worth the effort. 

Jan 11-12: Good friendship weekend!
Mar 1 -2: Ditto!

As for relationships with the opposite sex, well... It's always something. Let's just say that I meet a lot of really nice men, not all of them make this blog and that is a good thing. I would never rip a person apart unless I truly felt they deserved it. But this is a list of the things I am GRATEFUL for so ...let's carry on. No year would be complete nor would I be completely honest if I didn't nurse some sort of Fantasy Relationship. This is the unattainable, bad-for-you, unbelievably handsome and often unavailable man in your world that you dream of one day... you don't know what. This year it began at a work function where he (almost) spoke to me first, put his arm around me and ...nothing! Nothing happened! That is why they call it a Fantasy Relationship! A few days later I winked at him in the revolving door (because I am a saucy Lil minx) but my feminine wiles were no match and he proceeded to ignore me the whole year through. Fantasy Relationships (FR) are always lessons and for this I am grateful.

Free floor-seat basketball tickets! Ballin'.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, my co-worker gave me Godiva chocolate-dipped strawberries. And old winter boots. I have a history with choco-dipped strawberries: they once made me sick. But I enjoyed them, and the boots (it was the coldest winter in a hundred years or something) and the co-worker. I have certainly had worse working relationships. Later in the year, she jumped in and did a project that was keeping me up at night. For this I am grateful. Speaking of which, I am grateful that I can feel happy even when the corporate world is ugly. [UPDATE: She quit on January 2nd. Hilarious]

To paraphrase a certain book-turned-movie, my mother is the Love of My Life. I am often astounded that the Universe was kind enough to put us together, and for so long. Hardly anyone I know is that lucky. She is my Hero, my guiding light, I look to her flawless guidance in all things I am terrified of one day being without her. I have said this before and I will say it again, she is the funniest, coolest person I have ever met. For her, I am grateful.

I put a big dent in my mortgage this year. Mostly due to another millionaire tenant. Also, if my calculations are correct, I made a tidy investment profit this year. For this I am grateful. 

After four years of singing with the church choir and travelling to Rome to sing for the Pope, I decided to take a year off. I rec'd a free music education and learned to read music to the point where I can almost sight sing. We even recorded a CD but it was very, very hard work and is prolly the reason they invented Auto Tune. The choir was hard, full of weird bitches - male and female - and I am grateful that part of my life has come to an end. For this, I am grateful. 

I am one of those people who likes working bankers hours. I also like doing nothing. The high point of my week is drinking tea and reading books in bed. So, I am grateful for snowy Saturday afternoons to go window shopping and banana shakes, tans and outdoor skating and HOT yoga and learning to run a mile on the treadmill, Spring (including but not limited to: Forget-Me-Knots, Daisies, Tiger Lilies) and clean laundry, vision boards and talking about abnormal psychology (because my neighbours give me so much raw material!), sushi and shopping on perfect October Saturday afternoons, which are not to be confused with ballet and opera tickets and champagne cocktails on gray November Saturday afternoons.

I received two pieces to add to my Tiffany collection this year;
1. A Tiffany-blue pen I keep in my purse to sign cheques. It's so elegant!
2. A silver heart pendant from a new friend (see above: Friendships, female). I was so touched when I rec'd it that I felt adrenaline cracking in my veins and I turned red.

I got new sheets. Choosing new linen makes me feel like a 1950s hausfrau in all the best ways and for this I am grateful.

I have on this list that I am grateful for my cat, but this is probably a typo because my cat is an asshole. He allows The Vile Woman Who Always Wears Sweatpants and Leaves The House With Wet Hair (Even In The Winter) to pet him. He is the worst kind of asshole, an asshole with no loyalty.

We went skiing in Quebec and it was the last weekend of the year and everything was melting, then there was this giant snowstorm and we skied 7km in powder. Standing at the top of a mountain on a perfect day is to be one with the Universe. Infinite gratitude.

I am grateful for Tina Fey and Maggie Smith, for Second City and English dramas like Pride and Prejudice and Downtown Abby.

I bought a(nother) Gucci purse. I am grateful for luxuries.

Speaking of luxuries, I went to Hawaii this summer. It is like paradise on Earth. Like Bali, I am drawn to places that make it easy to be spiritual and Hawaii is all spirit. We were rewarded with a "mountain view" room instead of the usual "ocean-view". If the ocean breeze was strong, the view flat and unrelenting, then the mountain was inviting, mystical and peaceful. It was the best thing that could have happened.I also bought a new suitcase and it is so pretty that it made this list. I am grateful for American money, which made the trip possible. OK enough about Hawaii (but dude...)
One final thing, though.
I have a deep and painful history regarding a bracelet of pearls, my late father and something that was unfairly kept from me. The universe saw fit to right this wrong. For a few dollars I became the proud owner of not one, but two of the largest pearl bracelets I have ever seen in life. They are so large that I feel weird wearing them on the subway. Pearls are a sign of purity and they came at the best time. A few months later I walked into Birk's and in the window were exact copies of my bracelets. I asked how much they were and they were easily 10x the price I paid. I am so grateful.
I had never finished a degree I started at University and it always bugged me. Of course, I graduated, there was just one thing I started that I did not finish and so I went back. I handed in 4 assignments and I rec'd A's on all four of them. I am so grateful I did this for myself. I graduate (again) in June.

I fixed the brakes in one of my cars RIGHT BEFORE a giant winter storm. I am grateful.

I am grateful that I handled my own panic attack.

I am grateful for the Russian dude at that cool party who kept saying "my iguana".

I am grateful for those two guys back in September.

I tried to crack my own shell and be a joiner this year.
I volunteered to climb the CN Tower, raised almost $500 AND went to New Orleans to build a house in the 8th Ward with Habitat for Humanity. On Sept 25 I saw a NOLA marching band and got drunk. It was so amazing I hope I remember that on my death bed. I practiced not being addicted to good feelings this year, and trust me, climbing the CN Tower with a bunch of sweaty bank employees is the way to feel bad feelings. 

As you may have noticed, food plays a large part of my gratitude journal and this year is no exception. The following food events are notably for various reasons and are listed in no particular order:
I ate a delicious Italian dinner with A_____ uptown during a summer rain storm.
On December 23rd, I had dinner with some co-workers at an amazing restaurant. If you read this blog, you may be interested in my restaurant reviews under the same name on Urbanspoon. One girl was a total prick, but to balance the karma another girl was the very essence of grace and charm. I hate making a mistake when I invite someone out and having little bitches ruin my appetite at restaurants. Nothing is more annoying than paying for food that you no longer feel like eating. Who can think of what wine goes with braised lamb when there is a bitch in your midst? For her, I am grateful.

I had a quiet perfect Christmas and five and a half days of absolute silence. I am grateful for Christmas.

And now for the most important thing. On July 24th I met a lovely, kind, thoughtful man and he and I are still together. He makes it fun to get dressed up and he gives me confidence to speak up. I will say no more, except this: I am grateful for 28 July 2014. He will understand. 

You may remember that my last Gratitude Journal included a shout out to my pregnant friend Adrienne. I am pleased to announce that she was delivered of a son in the middle of year and yes, I am grateful for little babies.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trolling for Apples

We are not amused.

Dear Reader, I need you to read something with me. I need you to take a moment to understand that if a woman this misguided is trolling the websites, then it's no wonder online dating has a bad rep. 

If you want it read it: 

Here goes…

Growing up, I always believed in fairy tales and bought into the idea that Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet and I would live happily ever after. After the age of 15, I started to realize that this love thing may be much more complicated than Disney ever led us to believe.

First off, try and stop me from laughing. Dear Reader, you already know what I am going to say. I am going to say, "Where was this poor girl's mother to offer her guidance and support to dis-abuse her of these silly notions?" Women have to help women and women have to help girls. This is stupid from the jump.

I observed that teenage guys liked the "hard to get" and "in demand" girls.

When and where did you observe this? You are asking us to become emotionally invested in a story that has no background. This is manipulative. Maybe guys don't like you because you are manipulative.

So, without realizing it, over the years and through a lot of bad encounters and relationships, I adapted and went from sweet and innocent to sexy vixen with an edge. If you say so. My self-respect went down hill and I thought all men just wanted was sex and a hot chick they could show off to their buddies. That was YOUR assumption. Again you are not telling us HOW or WHY this happened. It's just a bunch of clich├ęs linked together. I undervalued my body and what I had to offer as a smart, loving and successful woman. This pattern of abusive and one-sided relationships continued. Whose "side" was the relationship on? I often chose the hot guy because he was my "type." GOOD I am glad you are honest about being superficial. This is a major problem with women getting in their own way. This pattern continued for years, hunting for men on dating websites for endless hours, lining up several dates each day and creating an image for myself that I thought was desirable. HOLY SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? You need therapy. And Jesus. I aimed to be the sexy, in demand girl who no one could resist. You honestly sound like a fucking sex addict. You should not be giving advice to anyone. Do you have someone you can call?

By my 30s, I finally realized that something needed to change. Good start, that is how it started for me, tooI wasn't getting any closer to having a family and/or meeting the love of my life. I realized that grown up men wanted that sweet and innocent Disney princess they could take home to their mom and dad. HOLY SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! You haven’t changed at all. You are a liar. That sexy vixen was only good for dating and not for anything long term. So, I adapted and came to terms with who I really am. I may not be an innocent princess, but I am a sweet, beautiful, loving and loyal girlfriend. That sexy vixen still lives within me but is now only on display for one wonderful man who I love deeply and genuinely.

Stop. Now she is being dangerous. She is supporting incorrect beliefs about gender and femininity. These are not words one uses to describe a full grown woman, they are words to describe make-up styles: "The Vixen, The Princess, The Loyal Girlfriend". Everyone just stop it. You can have sex and not be a vixen. You can have sex and still be a princess. You can not have sex and be both or none at the same time. If you are ever in the presence of a man who labels you or another woman, fucking run away. And if you are doing it on your own to other women, just stop it. If you need permission, here it is: you should have as much sex as possible until you find what you like. If you are still hunting, he's prolly not giving you an orgasm. You need to be honest about that. You need to be honest with yourself. You are ultimately on this journey with yourself. I know that’s scary. Get over it.

Now that I am in a happy and committed relationship, OH OK CRISIS AVERTED THEN? How the fuck did this magic happen? I have some valuable advice (Reader's Note: it is not valuable) for all of those single girls out there. I wish I had this kind of wisdom when I was on the hunt for my Prince. STOP IT. Stop calling him that, he is JUST a man. He is not a wizard. Can you imagine the kind of pressure you are putting on him every time you tell strangers on the internet that you are married to a Prince?

1. Within the first few dates, most men quickly label a women into different categories: Dateable (reader's note: this is not a word), Casual Sex (he labels a woman "Casual Sex"?), Possible Marriage Material, Crazy and Clinger (what’s the diff between the last two?). Once he decides which category you fall into, it is next to impossible to change his mind. The very idea that this woman with her very strange ideas knows anything that a man (not a Prince!) is thinking is laughable. First of all, No, men don't do this and IF a man does this, just run away because you are in the presence of a psychopath. Google it. People (men) who make quick instinctual judgments are doing so in order to manipulate and connive you. The first step will be to make you insecure. Be warned.

2. Most men want to marry a sweet and innocent girl who is a prize that no other man has touched before. Although they realize that is next to impossible, they still like to believe it. So, even if you are not a perfect angel (and he knows it), don't tell him anything he doesn't need to know. Let him believe you are as innocent as he wants you to be. No they don't and this is so stupid I really shouldn't respond to it. She is saying that men will only marry virgins. This is untrue and besides, who cares? He can marry an 18-year-old foreigner if he wants that. He can get a doctor to inspect her hymen since she won't know what her rights are. It doesn't mean she didn't blow half her village before she left. A man who is hung up on a full grown woman knowing how to make full grown love is a bit weird if you ask me. Also, this has no reflection on the strangers he is MEETING ONLINE.  I do agree that people are too open about their sex lives in general and should wait to get to know someone before dropping shocking stories, but any sense she is making is drowned out by her sex-negative opinion.

3. Become a man's friend before sleeping with him. Most men will throw one night stands to the curb, but he will do anything for his friends. TRUE; try and become friends with the stranger you meet online before you are alone in the dark with him. Good advice. Thanks for coming out, @HotelYoga.

4. If a guy really cares about you, he doesn't want to hear about how many guys you are sleeping with, how many guys you dated, how many guys are chasing you etc. Major turnoff. Uhm, you already covered the slut-shaming in Point#2. This point is redundant.  Also, since when have women ever framed themselves as "chasing" a guy to make themselves seem Dateable (as you spell it. I would have gone with Date-Able because it's more ridiculous)? This sounds like the advice of someone deeply out of touch. Do you still read Tiger Beat?

You see, Dear Reader, this poor women obviously has a significant sex hang up and wants to burn herself pure in the fires of the internet. We get it. You think that you used to be loose. Now you think that you are not. Something about the magic dick you met (on the internet) made you stop. Cool. Consider your pot washed, Sister.

5. The first three to six months of any new relationship should be relatively fun and easy. After that get ready for the real man to show his true colours. He can only go to that vegan restaurant with you for so long until he wants to hit the pub with his buddies. HAHAHA. If you get to date number 4 without him showing his true colours, I have a couple of reasons why: 1. He is dating more than one woman. 2. He is a psychopath who can keep up a charade for an extended period. 3. He is REALLY a vegan and perfect for you. Also, what the hell is wrong with going to a pub? Can't girls, or vixens, or princesses, or loyal girlfriends go drink beer? I am positive I have seen them do this. Positive.

6. Guys are just as insecure as women. They buy new clothes for dates, they strategically plan their approach with you and they hurt deeply when things don't work out. Most of them don't show their emotion or talk about their pain. They generally suffer in silence or with one friend they can confide in. Maybe, but what the fuck does this have to do with fucking dating?!?

It took me 37 years to realize that fairytales only exist in movies and books. HOLY SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS? I did eventually find my Prince, (stop it) but it was a painstaking and difficult process to get there. Didn't need to be.  No matter how many self-help books or advice columns you read, it all comes down to truly loving yourself and not compromising your self worth to be something you are not. At times, it will seem like battling a wicked witch or an evil step mother would be much easier than going through the pains of dating. I'm dying. Of laughter.

Eventually, your Prince will come and he may not be your "type." Be prepared to be break patterns and love will come.

Since the conclusion makes literally no sense and has no relation to the piece I am tempted to believe that a computer wrote this. A stupid computer. Her main problem is that she has no idea what the purpose of dating is, and she basically giving tips on how to protect herself from psychopaths. Only 1 in 9 men is a psychopath (1 in 4 in prison – which I do not recommend, dear Reader) so it's overkill. (ahah punnnnn)