Monthly Archives: October 2011
Last night’s Ugly Sweater Singles Mixer (a brilliant concept – by the way) yielded one dinner date for next week that I am really excited about.
The gentleman who invited me is funny, bright, interested in politics and used to work for Journalists for Human Rights. All reasons to look forward to getting to know him better.
But mostly? I’m excited about the food. (What? I really like trying new restaurants!)
So here’s my question:
He’s perfect BUT he has the exact opposite taste in food from yours. In fact, he is so grossed out by what you eat that you actually have to eat separately. And you can forget going out to restaurants together.
Could you keep him?
I have a confession to make.
(don’t judge me)
Most of my phobias revolve around (fairly routine) medical procedures. I pass out like a champ whenever I have blood taken, I break into a cold sweat at the idea of stitches, I refused to look at or use my IV-clad hand for the entire week I was hospitalized, and I will do just about anything to avoid going near a doctor’s office.
Pap smear? Definitely made the top five on my list of evil necessities to avoid.
My colleagues learned this the hard way when discussing everyone’s favourite exam only to find me on the floor, head between my legs, with a complexion to rival Voldemort’s. As with most of these phobias, I couldn’t tell you exactly why they provoke such a strong reaction with me. Just, I don’t know, don’t poke me with metal stuff, okay?
Because of this phobia, (don’t judge me) I put off ever having one until this week.
All right, you can judge me a little.
Yes, I know about cervical cancer and Chlamydia and all of their horrible relatives.
I know that early detection saves lives.
Didn’t matter. For 26 years, the phobia won.
You’re probably thinking this is just way too much information for a weekday. Or any day. And for most of you it probably is. The reason I am (over)sharing is because I know there is no way I am the only grown-ass woman out there who has been putting this off and I wanted to let them know that it was totally, utterly, completely fine (the smear – can we call it something less horrible? That might help – not the putting it off).
I admitted to my doctor that I had never actually had one before and she was really cool about it. She didn’t lecture or look at me like I was a moron, and she gave me just enough information to make sure I was comfortable while it was all going on. It didn’t hurt, I didn’t feel nauseous or dizzy, and it was only mildly embarrassing.
In fact, the most distressing part of the appointment was when she informed me that I am not 5’2″, as previously assumed, but 5’1/4″.
Oh! And to add insult to, well, insult, when she was done with the exam she offered me a prescription “for my face.”
I have one, barely noticable (or so I thought) zit.
Add topical gels that can bleach pillowcases and the idea that I might have severe body dysmorphia causing me to believe I’m human-sized and clear-skinned when I’m really a 4″-tall toad-creature to my list of phobias thank you very much!
When I was a wee girl, I had life figured out.
I was going to grow up, be a ballerina-princess-ninjaturtle-mermaid, and of course, I would be married to Michael Jackson or the paperboy by age 25.
A solid plan, to be sure.
Still, I hear that even the best laid plans of mice and five-year olds are wont to go awry from time to time. With my 25th year come and gone, and my ballerina dreams crushed by, go figure, ballet class, I’m starting to wonder if perhaps it might be time to head back to the drawing board.
To be fair, even as a kindergartener, I was aware that the ninjaturtle-mermaid aspect of the plan was a bit of a gamble.
Married by 25 however, took a good, oh, 20 years to die.
It’s not that I’m an incorrigibly optimistic romantic. OK, I totally am. But It’s not just that.
You see, I suffer from the affliction of having happily married parents.
Don’t get me wrong, they are humans and they have plenty of human moments, but at the end of the day, you can still find them snuggled up like teenagers on the couch, making each other laugh, and just being best buds in general.
Sickening, I know.
But here’s the thing. They give me hope. And it’s not just me either, I have numerous friends who’ve told me that if my parents ever split, they’re fully prepared to give up on the concept of marriage and of love in general (no pressure, guys).
And, being single and testing the perplexing, oftentimes ridiculous, waters of dating for the first time in my adult life, I can use a little hope.
Happy 3oth, lovebirds.
Oh, and I haven’t given up on princessdom either. After all, this guy is still single.
On a recent road trip, my friends and I decided to put aside our maps and put our faith in the GPS that conveniently came with our rental car.
What’s that? You’re laughing already?
Who knew there was a function that forced the thing to avoid all toll roads, traffic, u-turns, green lights, populated areas, paved roads annnd basically all of civilization?
Suffice it to say, the trip took a weensy bit longer than expected.
Fortunately, my travelling companions are nothing if not creative and we made good use of the extra six hours, reading aloud from Bossypants, singing along with Gaga and finally, out of desperation, making up and playing truly inspired games such as “Name every fruit.”
By far the most entertaining game we played, was one aptly named “He’s perfect, but…”
One of us would name a flaw and then we all had to decide whether that flaw was forgivable enough in a partner who is otherwise a perfect fit.
It sparked some lively debate, I can tell you.
“Seriously? A tail? You’d stay with him if he had a tail?”
“A non-removable tail, fyi.”
“I don’t know, it could be endearing! Plus he’s smart and funny and he gets me!
“Wait. What kind of tail? Like, could he hide it?”
“No. It is the kind of giant bushy tail a squirrel would have if it were the size of a human. He has to cut holes in the back of his pants.”
I could go on.
It’s a game I find myself playing more in reality now that I’m single for the first time in six years.
Granted, the tail thing is not one I’ve had to deal with yet, but I’ve definitely come across a couple of those little things that just set your teeth on edge and make you wonder if it could ever be worth enduring whatever it is to be with the person in question.
Some of these things are undoubtedly totally insignificant to others and are such a tiny part of the person as a whole. Some of them could even be charming on someone else. Nonetheless, I think they are important to pay attention to, because with the right person, I know the whole will outweigh those little details.
Even if that detail is a guy who can’t be de-tailed.
In my past life, Sunday afternoon could typically find me curled up on the couch with a crochet hook beside a pile of 90s sitcom DVDs. That is, if I wasn’t on assignment covering, say, a scarecrow festival.
Heady stuff, I know.
These days Sundays are a little less predictable.
This particular Sunday, for example, some girlfriends and I had just settled in for a cozy afternoon of boardgames, sweaters and cookies, when one of the ladies got a call from an actor friend asking if we’d mind being extras in a short film bar scene.
He promised free drinks.
One closetful of clothes strewn across my bed and about a stick of eyeliner later, four of us snap, crackle, stomped our stilletos through the autumn leaves to a basement bar downtown.
Turns out, being an extra? Not so glamourous.
Despite the excellent backstory I came up with for myself involving my character and a terribly flirty off-camera coffee table, there was something decidedly unnatural about dancing on cue with a roomful of strangers while pretending to drink alcohol.
Yeah. Turns out the free drinks were club soda and cranberry juice.
Fortunately, we brought our own wine.
What can I say? We’re method.
I used to be a small-town newspaper reporter.
I owned a car and rented an apartment and spent my days ambling from village to village, covering tractor festivals and 100th birthdays and town council meetings.
I used to buy my eggs from the farmer down the road.
I used to take dance classes with menopausal women at the YMCA.
I used to live with a man I was in love with for six years.
I used to be a little lonely and unsure of myself.
I used to write a blog.
Then, as it does, life started to pull the rug out from under me. Never a fan of falling, I opted to take a flying leap instead. And then I kept right on leaping.
Now I’m a city-dweller. I take public transit and rent a more expensive apartment and spend my days working in a shiny glass rectangle.
Now I buy sushi from the place around the corner. Or the one up the street. Or the one down the street.
Now I do hot yoga with trendy 20-somethings and go dancing with my girlfriends.
Now I go on first dates.
I’m lonely and unsure of myself in new ways.
Now I laugh more.
And now I write a blog.