Heart Like an IKEA Futon

IKEA Futon

 

 

 

If all the stories I write (at least the good ones, in so much as I am even willing to consider any of them good)…

If all the stories I write are really just my stories…

If all the stories that I write are based on what’s happening but absolutely nothing is happening…

How can I justify staying in this city and prolonging this summer?

If I’m not creating any stories (except for one about the kind of sobbing that should be reserved for death but is instead being appropriated for worthlessness and the lonely)…

If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you ever expect your student loan to forgive you?

If all the stories are mine…

If I’m the owner of nothing…

If I have more degrees than men who have ever loved me…

If I have the same amount of tears as number of men who want to fuck me but maybe not openly, not in public, not like I’m worth something, not like a human being, a piece of this earth, a part of our whole, not like I could make them laugh or think or be anything other than something not worth mentioning.

If I was ever more than just a whore on the internet…

This devolution, the spiral like a drill bit, these ants crawling around in my lungs and inside my calves.

How do you not let the disappointment crush you like a bread truck, or a freight train, or the compounding interest on your student loan?

This heart like an IKEA futon. 

If all the stories I write are really just my stories then leaving Montreal a month early won’t change that.  Whether I’m running away or being a financially responsible adult, the result will be the same.  Time will pass.  And somewhere in this lull I will find a way to pull it all back together (I have to find a way to pull it all back together).

The stories after all, if they’re mine, will come with me. (She whispers, “you have to come with me”).

 

Dating a Dating Blogger: The Butterfly Effect

Panda Ponders

Welp.  I’m dating again.

Grad School is over.  Teaching and marking are done, grades have been submitted.  Summer is here, and I have just under 3 months to enjoy absolutely everything Montreal has to offer before my lease runs out and I return (temporarily) to Vancouver.

And before you close the tab on this post because you can’t stand to read another article where I’m frustrated and bitter and jaded about the state of men who are interested in me, that’s not what this post is going to be like.  In fact, it’s probably the absolute opposite.  Or, at least it would be except for one small but crucial element.

More than ever before, I’m worried about altering the trajectory of the dating in my life (see:  butterfly effect).

I should explain.

I used to keep the blog, my Twitter, and my Facebook hidden from the men I dated.

Then there was a period where I felt like my identity was really wrapped up in the blog (turns out it wasn’t the blog as much as being a writer) but either way, I wanted them to know me and to do so they had to know about the blog.  Not to mention I’m basically the world’s worst liar so if a guy asks what I write, I have a problem telling him I write travelogues for nomads (though that sounds kind of fun…no?).

Then the last few months happened (where in all honesty, I have gotten really bitter) and so I started putting my Twitter handle on my Tinder profile.  Wait.  Let me explain the logic of that because I swear there was some.  It started out because I thought that maybe (cringe for my gross ego) if men knew that I was even slightly funny and/or maybe interesting then they’d stop boring me with talk about their stupid penises and maybe try to have a conversation with me.

Then, it became about… welp if they won’t have a conversation with me because I might be awesome, maybe they’ll just be less offensive because I might make fun of them on a public platform.

For the majority of men, I doubt they even read my “profile” aka that otherwise unexplored space below a picture of me.  For reference, it currently says:

Is this app only for hooking up?

Are you trying to bore my vagina into submission?

Are you bothered that Subway lies about inches?

Twitter: @SSDated

 

That being said there have been a few cool guys who managed to check it out.  Well, technically, many guys could have read it and just thought I was the dumbest, but only a few guys have mentioned anything that wasn’t related to their cocks, so I’m making an educated guess here.

 

Now, why does this all suddenly weigh so heavily on me?

 

Because I went out with a guy.  He first contacted me through Plenty of Fish but in the time it took for me to be done with school, we had matched on Tinder.  And thus, he was exposed to my Twitter and this here blog.  And before you worry that I’m going to tear this poor guy apart on the internet and that that’s my big concern…

A.  Do I ever tear anyone apart who hasn’t been a total fucking d-bag to me?  (hint: no)

B.  Spoiler Alert:  he hasn’t been a d-bag to me

C.  Whether it’s good or bad or funny or weird or swoony and amazing, dating is a fickle bitch.  And while he’s probably too busy right now to even concern himself with reading my blog, I know he’s read posts before and possibly will again and I just don’t like the idea that something I say here could affect whatever we have going on.  Not to mention how sticky things could get if I start adding in some new characters, if you know what I mean (I just mean dating other guys, in case you didn’t feel like that was heavy handed enough).

And before you say that it’s not that serious, not that big of a deal.  I know from personal experience that it kind of is.  For those of you who have been around here long enough to remember The Vampire, that all fell to shit and I basically never heard from him after he found out I wrote about dating.  And while other guys have been more understanding…that’s not entirely the point.

After all, even at my most casual, even with a booty call, even when I couldn’t possibly have made any claim on a guy’s time or his dick, I still would’ve been upset, felt a little jilted, and honestly been kind of turned off if I had to read about a dude I’m with (however loosely) banging other chicks.  I always know, when dating, that these things are a potential reality but just like calories, I like to pretend they don’t exist.

So, are you with me so far?  Does this all make sense?  How I don’t want to fuck up my life (read: possible best summer ever!) by dropping a rock in the calm lake waters causing a ripple effect with the potential of a tsunami?  Okay, good.  But now what?

What do I do, about the website?  (which, in a bizarre side note has managed to have the highest readership I’ve ever had, even though I haven’t been posting much because of school).

Do I blog about everything anyway and hope it doesn’t change the course of whatever happens with any of the guys I go out with?  Do I write the posts now but save the posting until August?  Do I save it all and finally write that ebook that I’ve been meaning to and just release it all at once and make some money from the stories (which feels presumptuous and greedy but a girl has to eat, after all someone has to pay back this student loan to the government)?

And as a side note, if your suggestion is anything other than the first option…does that make for a summer of posting about what…feminism?  my personal weightloss?  body issues?  non-male-specific-sex-posts?  poetry?  shitty fiction?  ugh.

This Has Been a Big MisTINDERstanding!

Tinder

 

*Disclaimer:  there are lots of amazing, intelligent, enlightened, fantastic men out there (Unfortunately, for me, I’m related to most of the ones I know).  But seriously, I always hope that when I write these ranty bits that men who are awesome are just like phew! I’m awesome! (but are also a little embarrassed about humanity, as I am).

I have to admit that Tinder has me stumped.  I heard this rumor that it was a dating app, however, all evidence has been to the contrary — showing me that meh it’s probably not.  That being said, I still don’t really believe it’s a hook-up app…

Because I can’t believe anyone would have sex with the majority of these dudes!

And before you think I’m some awful judgmental bitch (I mean I probably am, but not for this), I should mention that it has nothing to do with looks.  The men who match and contact me are all mostly of one type — the absolute fucking dumbest.  This, in turn, brings up a greater issue, which is–why aren’t men more ashamed of themselves and embarrassed to be stupid and boring? (but we’ll deal with this one another time).

And while I understand the whole impetus to say bullshit nonsense like boys will be boys and dudes just want to get their dicks wet um is that really all we’re capable of a species?  I don’t understand why the world expects me to be pretty, and fit, and sexy, and smart, don’t forget funny, and interesting, kind and considerate, a real cutie pie, to smile all the time, except when I’m crying over a man obviously, gracious, empathetic, and great at all things sex related…but dudes can just be pieces of shit and no one seems to care because cock and balls and stuff.

The one upside to Tinder, so far, has been the ego boost.  For those of you who sometimes doubt your own attractiveness, Tinder may just be the thing you need.  Even while being selective (at least I think I am, I guess I’d need to sit side by side someone else making the same observations to know if I find men, on the whole, too attractive but generally speaking I’m probably swiping right for about 1 in every 20-40 guys), and with that being said I still managed to find myself somewhere around 700 matches.  Now, don’t get too excited…of those 700 matches, I probably get a message from maybe 50% (the other 50% I’m assuming were either drunk when they swiped, or didn’t realize I was as chubby as I am till they saw the other pictures).  Nonetheless, and maybe you guys are all getting way more matches or something but whatever, that’s way more men than I thought would find me attractive.

Now, I can practically hear you saying it Why don’t you just get off this app if you hate it so much?

Welp.  Because nothing is ever ALL bad, except maybe cilantro (blech! that shit tastes like handsoap!)  But, I have this fucked up sense of hope that I’ve just had bad luck thus far.  And that maybe all the really awesome guys who don’t think I’m just a piece of shit vagina that isn’t worthy of their most basic sense of decency are just around the corner.

OR…at the very least that somewhere along the way I’ll figure out why these guys are all so awful and so completely and entirely okay with that.  Either or.

Have you had some great experiences with Tinder?  Are you banging chicks left and right or meeting all the dudes that I wish I was for some great sex?  Are you the girl I thought I was but apparently no longer am who can just message up a hot dude and go meet for a drink and a fuck and have the time of your life?  If so, I want to hear all about it (but be forewarned, I’m skeptical as fuck, and will likely want to see some kind of proof lol I’m such an asshole but whatever, you still kinda love me right?!?!) anyway…email me at SomethingSheSaid@gmail.com if you want to share your story.  XOXOXOXO – Victoria

The No-Makeup Selfie: What Are You REALLY Saying?

Makeup

 

Maybe I’m missing something but isn’t the whole “no makeup selfie thing” just as bad as every other bullshit-judging-women-in-an-effort-to-keep-them-weak-and-controllable practice out there?

(and to be clear, I’m all for being proven wrong.  For example, I used to think the whole “nails of the day” trend was super fucking ridiculous and stupid…that is until I heard someone explain it in a different way.  I was listening to a podcast and one of the guests talked about how the “nails of the day” was a way for anyone to express their creativity.  She highlighted the fact that it was almost completely limitless, that truly anyone could do it, for the small price of a few dollars for a bottle or two of nail polish and a couple of toothpicks, anyone could be an artist.  And that changed my mind completely.)

But here’s the thing:  isn’t it damaging to our psyche(s) to think that going make-up less is brave and courageous?

Are we, as women, so fucking hideous that exposing our natural selves is this act of noble defiance?

Can’t we just stop judging ourselves, and each other, for a goddamn second, just long enough to feel a bit of love and appreciation for our own flesh.

Isn’t the act of daring to expose ourselves au naturel just another way of trying to one up other women?

 

Look look look at me, a woman better than all the others, a make-up less woman, I’m basically a fucking hero.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for posting selfies (if you want) and seeking attention (if you want) but what if we just cut out all the judgmental shaming nonsense?  And even more so, what if we stopped rewarding women for the way they conform or don’t conform to whatever beauty standards you subscribe to, and just let them develop into super interesting people.

Because, by the way, even if you could get past the whole look at me I’m so brave for being willing to show you my hideous face without the guise of make-up, can we be honest about what those MUL Selfies are really about?

The no-makeup selfie is just another stab at attention seeking to validate that you, in fact, were born more naturally beautiful than all the other girls.  And you know what, THAT WAS FUCKING BLIND LUCK.  If you happen to be lucky enough to be drop dead gorgeous without make-up, well congratulations.  You managed to be arbitrarily selected by a gene pool of beauty.  You didn’t earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  You didn’t work hard for it.  And fyi, it’s value is entirely relative.   So what do you say you stop trying to make other women feel incomplete or less than and just be fucking amazing in your own right.  Be interesting.  Be amazing.  Contribute something to the betterment of society.  Or at the very least, please, think about how the things you do affect those around you.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t post selfies (go right ahead, go on with your bad self!).  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t seek validation (I mean, I would caution against relying on it to feel good as its a fickle fickle thing).  I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t wear make-up.  What I am saying is that it’s hard enough being a girl/woman and trying to live up to some bullshit standard (to impress men?) and why on earth would you want to make it harder for your fellow com-madres.

Think of all the amazing things women could be doing if they weren’t so busy feeling badly about themselves?

 

Disagree?  Want to change my mind?  Give me your best argument in the comments!

Pesto, West Ho!, This is My Poetry Manifesto

Poetry Manifesto

 

During the darkest days of my degree, when it seemed as if I would never resurface from the depths of my own inadequacy and self-loathing, I was asked to write a poet’s statement.  The goal was to consider why it is that I write poetry, what I am trying to accomplish, where I am failing, where I am faltering, and to find a way out.  This piece is the unedited version of that (full of things that reveal my sadness, my ineptitude, my frustration, my arrogance, my struggle).  Enjoy.  Or don’t.  I can’t make you love me.  It is what it is.  (the poem at the end is meant to be a culmination of all my personal writing tics).

 

Academic poetry is like customer service, usually awful.

–          Anonymous (it was me)

 

My weakness is in my knees

–          Anonymous (still me)

 

Pesto, West Ho!, This is My Poetry Manifesto

My Dad recently told me that some people are brilliant writers because of how they can say a thing and others are writers because of what they have to say—the special way that they see the world and what they have to say about it.  He said that he thought I was the latter.  This is not to say that he didn’t think I was the former too but, on sobbing phone calls with your desperate daughter, a man must not be greedy when grabbing for parachutes.

He may be right.

I hate the idea of the kind of hubris it takes to say that one wants to change the world, but is there really any other reason to write poetry?  I always dreamed that one day I’d end up working in a women’s prison, or a juvenile detention for girls, or maybe even just a high school running some kind of after school writing program.  Through writing, I figured, I would find a way of showing girls that they are enough, by themselves, inherently, just the way they are.  So, it should come as no surprise that, when asked what concerns me as a poet, I want to discuss girl’s who hate their own bodies, society’s attempts to control female sexuality, the persecution of the other woman, the embarrassing idiocy of humans dating, elitism, exclusion, and an inability to talk of things as they are.  (I just want to write without all the bullshit).  Though, it’s not always as grim as it sounds.  I am also concerned with joy: creating it, spreading it, celebrating it.  Nobody ever confessed on their deathbed that they wished they had spent less time laughing.  No grave stone ever read: here lies Joe, who enjoyed being miserable.

Having very little to say for myself is an irony I am uncertain about, uncertain because I’m not sure if it’s terribly sad or hysterically funny.  A writer with nothing to say in their own defense seems to be not a very good writer at all.  Perhaps it is a parlor trick I haven’t yet figured out.

In 1994, I sat in the hallway of an elementary school and wrote a story.  Because when my seventh grade teacher had asked if he was disturbing me, what with his teaching a class and all and I paying very little attention, I had answered truthfully—yes.  I was, after all, writing a story and trying to win a competition.  He was not angry, they never were.  He was certain of my abilities, as they always were too.  He gave me a table, a chair, and a hallway of possibility.  “Come back inside when you’re done,” was all he said.  He was certain I was going to be something.  My entire life, everyone has always been so certain that I would do something important, that I was going to be somebody important, that I was going to do something with my life.  Nobody has ever not believed in me, and I have to wonder if they’ve gotten their hands on some faulty data.  I used to be certain I was going to be a writer.  Now, I wish I had tried to become an engineer.  Lately, I’ve started to wonder if my writing is like a magic trick, if my writing is just misdirection.  Look, look over here and ignore what’s behind that curtain ma’am.  I’m starting to think that maybe my writing has never really been anything other than worthless, and that I’ve somehow conned people into liking my work simply because they like me.  Though what kind of asshole thinks they are so likable as to hold such power?  It seems entirely impossible that something could be true for so many years.  And yet, I’m genuinely starting to believe that my writing might just be a long con.

I am haunted by questions of quality.  I almost want to be convinced that how I view poetry is wrong, because at least then I could finally get some sleep.  I wish someone could convince me that trying to hide, and darken, and keep secret, all the things worth knowing, in the pursuit of stimulating something abstract, value being irrelevant, is a valiant pursuit.  I don’t understand the trend to obfuscate, to obliterate.  Meaning has never been so afraid.  Poems that try to numb, poems that pare it down to the bare minimum, the absolute least amount acceptable, poems that refuse to speak because in the silence I’m supposed to come up with it all on my own, poems that hold me hostage at gunpoint.  Poems that are a thin blank it.  But, we shall come back to this.

Why do you write?  The answer is entirely too cliché and yet, very true.  I write because I have to, because no other shoe fits right (though lately it feels like wearing socks on broken glass sidewalks).  Some days it is as simple as—because I liked the way it sounded.  I wrote it because I had a thought and it seemed like magic.  I put it in a drawer, after, because what kind of egotism is it to find your own thoughts so wonderful.  Nonetheless, that’s why I wrote it.  Some days I write because I had to say a thing, because I couldn’t let the words go unsaid, because somebody had to stand up and say something.  What kind of jerk thinks they can change the world?  But maybe poetry is just that selfish and naive.  I write because I’m trying to find my place in this world.  I write because one day I will die and I want to leave behind something that says I was hereI was here; I said some things; someone will remember that I existed because of the words I wrote down; someone will remember me because of ‘something she said’.

I write for the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.  I write for the waitresses, the stay-at home moms, the girls who throw up their lunches, the women who want more.  I write for the men who do things without thinking, the men who say “I was joking” when what they mean is “I’m not very funny”, I write to find my way out of this bitterness.  I write for anyone who will listen.  I write for someone who thinks what I have to say has value, who thinks I offer a wisdom outside of their own.  I write for the person who gets my jokes.

While many don’t appreciate it, or perhaps find my poems all that funny, one of the clearest evolutions I’ve made as a writer has been incorporating humor into my writing.  Incorporating jokes and dialogue into my poetry is a relatively new advancement.  I have also started trying to write with constraints (both on form and content), something that may be seen as progress.  I guess you could say it’s a willingness to step outside my box.  I value it because it makes me uncomfortable and from discomfort great things may come.  It often bothers me though because it always feels so gimmicky.  It often feels like splattering words on a page.  It often feels entirely meaningless.

If I wrote a poem that made no sense, that offered no perspective, no wisdom of experience, no point, but it made the reader think something amazing: did I do that?

A man builds a piano.  A man builds many pianos.  Many men build many pianos.  They all play music.  One day, Beethoven strikes a key.  The rest is history.  No one ever asks the piano builder about his artistry.

He is not a magician, he is a coincidence.  An accidental breach of meaning, the day someone drew a treasure map through his mine field of nothingness.  And why would I call him poet?  The cartographer is the artist, she is the word wizard.  He is a cross word puzzle, she is the high score.  Be contrary.  Be different.  Be exactly everything the world expects of poets, but act like it is news to you.  Be Oppositional Defiance Disordered syntax.  Strain to buy the con of academic poetry.  What are we even doing here?  Do you think they laugh about us at the grocery store?  Down at the coal mine? In the coffee shop across from the police station?  Waiting in line at the airport?  I do.  I think they laugh about our oblivious elitism, how entirely worthy it’ll be one day when we starve to death because we wanted to write a poem about principals and obfuscation.  Is there a janitor who might clean up this mess?

I am desperately envious of writers who are certain that they are writers.  To have the certainty that what you have is worth sharing, is perhaps the greatest gift a person could ever have.

I am terrified that what I’ve learned in grad school is right.  I am stop calling your parents because they’ll hear it in your voice, silent and breathless full body sobs on green and peach Berber, kind of frightened.  I am no longer tethered to a certainty.  I have lost my anchor in this race.  When I first started grad school, I remember talking to many of the creative stream students about their work.  The majority of them had told me that they never share their work.

“Never been published?”

“Not even online?”

“But you’ve at least read your work, out loud, no?”

“No.”

At the time I couldn’t understand such a thing.  What was the point in writing if you weren’t going to share your work?  I now understand entirely.  People keep asking me to read at poetry nights and I keep saying no (that’s not the shocking part).  What shocks me is when they’re surprised by my answer of “no, thanks”.  Why on earth would I want to continue sharing my work?  Last term I took a fiction course and received an A.  So did everyone else in the class.  The A is worthless, entirely meaningless, a waste of tuition dollars and time spent and tears shed.  I have recently been given two interim grades, one in poetry and one in a fiction workshop, both B+.  If I had been getting B+’s in my academic courses, I would’ve dropped out by now.  This isn’t to say I don’t deserve those B+’s.  Most days I am still plagued by these markers of my quality.  There are a few days when I remember that if my A is entirely worthless, then so too are my B+’s.  Though, if everything is worthless, what are we even doing here?  Back on track though, my incredulity is then with the shock that follows.  If you tell someone their work is shit, you cannot then be surprised when they don’t want to rip their chest open and show you their heart.  You can’t be surprised.  The surprise is what gets me.  The surprise is constant.  The surprise is what is surprising.

 

 

 

I wrote a love poem for my butcher, asked him to meat me halfway

I said I had the chops if he did, to grind this thing out

We bantered across the glass case, I wasn’t sure could hold my weight

He told me about his childhood, standing beside a jar of giant pickles

I was worried my heart was already too full but he assured me

That he would take whatever room I had, would shave himself to fit

He said, “no matter how you cut me, our love is prime”

Eyes flickered with candles and surrounded by bowls of olives

I smiled and said “Sir, my loins do ache for you”

And he laughed, because it was funny.

All the Way Here: A Story of the Worst and Best Moments of My Life

The Joy of Dating

 

I’ve never liked the idea that one decision or one event can change your entirely life (mostly because it would paralyze me with fear given the pressure this would put on every choice I would ever have to make).

That being said, there is one moment that changed my entire life.  Not on its own.  Not without the other decisions and events that followed.  But like a metaphorical patient zero, I can trace the current trajectory of my life back to one moment, that changed everything for the better.

I won’t bore you with tales of teenage sadness, except to say that teenage sadness bled through the majority of my years.  I was severely, desperately, blindingly depressed from the age of 12 to 26.

14 years.  (cue GnR).  14 years is a long time to be sad.

I used to think that I would never get through it.  Somewhere along the way I convinced myself that I had been born broken, that something in my brain just didn’t work right and that was the reason that I was this way.  I still very vividly remember cutting myself because at least it made sense, if you were upset because your arm was bleeding that was logical.  If life feels hopeless, when surrounded by a family that loves you and your future is (almost inherently) bright, that can seem incomprehensible.  How do you find your way out of something when nothing makes sense?

And then, one simple thing happened…followed by another…and then another…and so on and so on until now.  A string of events, where everything pointed in the right direction.  And it wasn’t just chance, but dammit if I don’t feel lucky.

_________________

It happened the year I turned 26.  I was working at Coast Mountain Bus Company call centre, a union job, making more money than I ever had before and I was absolutely miserable.  I hated answering the phones–less because the people were awful (but just to be clear they were awful) and more because I felt like management didn’t have our backs.  It was probably just a symptom of the union/management dichotomy but the point (for this story, at least) is that I was absolutely fucking miserable.  I had been moved to day shifts (which, as a night owl, sucked big time).  I remember leaving for work at 5am and getting home around 3pm.  I had started going to bed by 5pm.  I couldn’t even pretend that I wasn’t miserable.  I couldn’t hide it.

Which, as it turns out, became a much more literal truth then I was expecting.

One day in February, 2008, I was standing in my parents’ kitchen, with my back to my mother, when she asked if I had been scratching at the back of my head.  I was irritated.  I was cranky.  I was miserable.  It seemed like an insane question.  It felt like she was hassling me.

“No,” I answered sullenly.  But she wouldn’t let it go.  I thought she was just going to give me some motherly advice about how I shouldn’t wear my hair in a ponytail all the time but instead she walked over and tried to examine it.  I went to the bathroom and used the old two-mirror-hairdresser-method until I saw what had her so alarmed.

My hair had fallen out.  In a huge round patch.  Bald.  Disgusting.  Even my own hair couldn’t stand to be around me.  I’m not sure I entirely believe it, but sometimes I like to think that this was my body speaking for me when I couldn’t speak for myself.

The great irony of my life is that the worst job I ever had, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

I started working at Coast Mountain Bus Company.

On December 25th 2008, I had my last drink of alcohol.

A month and a half later, my hair fell out.

I was lucky enough to get to go on paid medical leave.

I started counselling (that like every other counselor/psychiatrist/etc. that I had been to since I was a preteen wasn’t great – or at the very least, I wasn’t ready to let in).

I went back to work.

It was even worse than before.

One day, on the phone, after a snafu in scheduling, I yelled at my boss (nothing crazy just a raised voice).

The next shift I was fired.

By some miracle, I wasn’t technically “fired” but actually just “let go” (reason K – other) and thus I qualified for unemployment insurance.

The counselor I had been seeing was through my job and since I didn’t work there anymore, I had to find someone else.

My counselor recommended a government-subsidized mental health centre (conveniently located 10 minutes from my house).

And that’s where I found both a psychiatrist and a counselor that would help me to change everything.

I went on anti-depressants and put the CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) techniques I was learning to good use.

 

The way I am listing things here makes it seem so quick and easy but don’t get me wrong–it was a goddamn struggle.  I remember one time, after my psychiatrist was supposed to have upped my dosage again, returning from the drugstore and finding out he had mis-written the Rx and it was the same dose (and the pills were time release so you couldn’t just split them).  I remember flipping the fuck out, falling to the floor in sobs.  I was gutted.  The money it would cost to fill the prescription again.  The wasted pills.  The days it would take until the problem was solved.  Looking back now it seems ridiculous but I remember feeling like I had fallen overboard and just when the life raft was close enough to grasp it sunk.

I remember being so so fucking sad.  I felt like a complete failure.  A burden to my parents (would I ever be anything other than someone they had to worry about?).  I was living at home with my parents, had a degree I felt was useless, I’d been fired (in my mind) for the first time in my life and from a job I hated no less (it felt like getting rejected by someone you didn’t even want in the first place), I was overweight and in debt up to my eyeballs.  I was depressed and everything seemed worthless.  The world was terrifying.  I was ashamed and felt as if my life was meaningless, the only reason not to give up was my family who loved me so deeply (and I them) that regardless of the sad I couldn’t imagine leaving them with the kind of pain that a suicide would create.

When I started CBT, the goal was just to shower.  Just get up, and shower.  If I could do that, the day was a success.  And then it was about doing things.  Make a list.  Accomplish a thing.  Get dressed.  Go out and have a cup of coffee.  It was about not becoming overwhelmed.  It was about not seeing the world as a terrifying place (I don’t always succeed at this one).  I learned that I had to do things that I would eventually love, long before I would love them because when you’re depressed things are backwards and you can’t love anything.  So you just have to do…get out and DO…because it will get better.

And in time, I did get better.  Not quickly.  Not all at once.  But an inch of happiness here, and a moment of peace there, and life was just better.

 

And while all this was going on, I decided to go back to school.  I already had a BA in Psychology (let’s not discuss the irony), but I wanted to go grad school and revive my dream of being an English Professor and writer (something that seemed to have gotten lost along the way).

I had no idea if I could do it.  I needed to get another BA first though, so I applied to UBC and was accepted in.

I sold all the useless material things I owned and, in July and August, went on a 5 week solo trip to Europe (a similar trip I had tried but failed to complete ten years before–coming home after a week, hysterical and traumatized).

This time though, the trip was amazing.  It changed me.  I was stronger, more self-reliant, more durable.  I set out to do a thing and I did it.

September 2009, I went back to school.

I only took a few courses because, honestly, I wasn’t sure at all that I could do this (this being a second BA, this being going to grad school, this being anything but being the failure I felt like I was)

Thanksgiving (Canadian) 2009, my long-distance boyfriend of 6 years and I broke up.

January 2010, I started dating and because I didn’t want to keep telling the same story to different friends, I started the blog Something She Dated.

In the next two years:  I joined Twitter, I got a paid writing gig, I dated several boys, I lost weight, I gained some of it back (this one is still a real struggle for me), I started blogging for The Province Newspaper, I worked hard and got good grades (something I’d never really done up till now–I’d always just coasted).

In my final year, I applied to 6 graduate school programs.  In all honesty, I never really expected to get into any of them.  I got into 5.  I still remember calling my father in tears when the first letter arrived from Georgia State University saying that they wanted me.  Somebody wanted me!

I graduated with my 2nd BA (English Literature).

I ended up choosing Concordia (in Montreal) because they offered me the most funding and Montreal sounded like a great place to live, oui non?

I moved to Montreal.  The first week was brutal but now I feel like I could move anywhere, could do anything.

Grad school was great (even the times when it wasn’t great).  I became a TA in the English Department.  I did some teaching in the Engineering and Computer Science faculty.  And in this last term I even got a job teaching an English course all on my own (part time faculty, yo!).

In September 2013, I took my last anti-depressant. 

After a year in the academic stream of my degree, I decided that I’d rather do my thesis in Creative Writing.  While I have loved my time in grad school, I have realized it is unlikely that I will want to pursue a PhD in English (if anything, I’d be more likely to apply to law school but that’s another story).  I applied to the Creative stream, was accepted, and on March 26th my thesis was accepted.  I finished my courses and I will graduate with an Masters Degree in English Literature on June 9th.  

The plan is to stay in Montreal till July 31st when my lease runs out and then move back home to Vancouver to spend a few weeks (to a few months) chilling at my parents’ while I look for a job.  I’m hoping to move up north (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut)–for the adventure, for the writing inspiration, for the money.

I feel like this story explains everything, about me, entirely.  But I can’t really be sure, because I’m on the inside, I know what the puzzle looks like complete, and you guys all just have the pieces.

This is why, when it comes to dating and life, I’m always looking for the fun–the joy–the happy.

I want to date and have happiness.  I want to enjoy things just as they are.  I don’t want commitments and promises of happiness forever, I just want to enjoy the happy when it happens.  (now if only I could find a way to explain this to men that doesn’t sound like I’m using “fun” as a code word for fucking).  Because, believe you me, there are very VERY few men, that I come in contact with (online or otherwise), who can understand my desire for fun and can get on board with it.  I just want to date people and enjoy them for the time we have together.  I want to be treated like a human being, not a talking vagina.  But you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find someone who agrees.  Who can see the value in the middle ground.  Who has the ability (and desire) to care about someone generally as a person, or maybe even specifically, but doesn’t feel the need to tie their futures together.  I just want to laugh and talk and fuck and have more fun than anyone should legally be allowed to have.  

I want to date happy

Because I was so so sad for so so long and I’ve come so so far.  And I’m aware that others have definitely struggled more but this isn’t a competition, just (an abridged) story about how I got all the way here—-from way back there.

And I just hope, that if any of you are ever back there that you can hang on long enough to find your way up here because it is good.  Oh god, it is so good.  And even if I don’t always know how to help or make it better for you, just know that I’m here.  And that there is a way.  Ugh.  This is starting to sound all preachy and sappy and stuff but ya know, I’m actually a mushball (most evidence to the contrary) so whatever, I love you.

 

A Day in the Life: Registered Nurse

Nursing

 

A Day in the Life: Registered Nurse in a Pediatric Hospital

6 a.m.   Alarm goes off.  Firecracker out of bed, wash face, brush teeth, put on scrubs, put on oh so sexy compression stockings using special rubber gloves (waste of time*), cram breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bag, jump in car, and on the road by 6:13 a.m.

*Compression socks are basically knee high socks made of spandex, measured specifically to fit your leg and apply a certain amount of pressure.  Nurses wear them to prevent sore legs and nasty looking varicose and spider veins when we’re older.  They are really tight and I have to put them on with special gloves that have grippy things on them because you can’t just pull them on or it’ll ruin the tightness if you keep stretching them, so I kind of have to roll/massage them on with the grippy gloves.. That’s why it’s a waste of time, takes like an extra 5 mins to put socks on!!

6:30 a.m.   No free parking available on the street – ugh – I loathe construction and early birds! Begrudgingly park in the pay lot underground.

6:40 a.m.   Switch into sexy nursing clogs (I complain but they’re the best back saving purchase I’ve ever made).

6:45 a.m.   Check the list to find out which unit I’m working on 10 minutes before starting my shift (ah the life of a float nurse!*).  Please not oncology, please not oncology**… oh thank goodness, general medical floor!!

*Float nurses don’t work in the same unit every day.  I’m trained in a variety of places and basically fill in when there is a sick call or vacation coverage (unlike a ward nurse would be on the same unit all the time and have a permanent position in that one unit).

**My dislike of oncology is just a personal preference.  It is really hard/sad working with on this ward – the kids are so incredibly sick, they’re in there for such a long, and they don’t always go home any better, they often get sicker and sicker and lots of times they end up dying.

7:30 a.m.   Finish report which seems to go on unnecessarily for 30 minutes, call bell rings… already? kill me… this is going to be a long day!  It’s parents ringing me to weigh their baby’s poopy diaper… really? really? leave it on the scale… I’ll be in soon.  Ugh… new parents…

8 a.m.   Find myself a 6″ space in the tiny med room, amongst 10 other nurses, to crush 17 tablets using ancient pestle and mortar, mix with water annnnd someone bumps me! Meds on the floor!  Start again.  But wait, we don’t have any extra meds in the unit, call the pharmacy… and wait..

10 a.m.   Finish morning assessments, attempt to chart, but alas! med student has stolen my clipboard.  Hunt down med student, who then proceeds to ask me 1001 questions that could be answered by looking at the paperwork on my clipboard (that he stole), answer his questions… trying to walk away… im in a rush… steal clipboard, find somewhere quite to chart… and call bell… ugh

10:15 a.m.   Morning break (at last!).  Get me out of this mad house! Take my food and get OFF the unit… outside I go… 30 minutes to eat and do personal errands, pay VISA online, book massage, talk with friends, etc… and back to the unit.

10:45 a.m.   Back to work.  Bells ringing, parents complaining, med students taking up my precious time.

12 noon   Next round of vital signs… quick, easy, done, relax

12:45 p.m.   LUNCH!  I need to microwave my food, wait 6 minutes while the powerless microwave attempts to reheat my leftovers.  I give up, I’ll eat them cold.  Weakness setting in, too lazy to leave unit and get some vitamin D, laze on couch for 45 minutes staring at a TV that seems only to ever play TLC or food network…

2 p.m.   Parents needs a break.  Yay!!  I will gladly cuddle your baby while you go for a walk…Yay! baby time baby time baby time!!  This is the highlight of my day!!

3 p.m.   6 year old’s IV “falls out” (ugh uncontrollable orangutan).  Call IV team to restart IV, 3 nurses and 2 parents hold down 6 year old while hearing damage worsens with every second longer this takes and blood curdling screams ensue.  Failed 1st attempt, I don’t blame them, this kid is squirming like crazy!  2nd attempt, oh great, now he knows what’s coming for him.  More squirming, more force applied, deaf in one ear, success!!  Give him a popsicle and prize from the prize box, and now we’re best friends again.

4 p.m.   Check more vital signs.  Parents don’t want blood pressure or temperature done on their napping child because it will wake them (if we can’t monitor your child who is sick enough to be in the hospital, then you should probably go home and nurse them back to health yourself!).  Educate parents on monitoring, don’t give me those sad puppy eyes, I’ll come back in 30 minutes and try again.

4:30 p.m.   Child still sleeping – Sorry I need to do my job and monitor your child.  Parents hate that I’m their child’s nurse today.  Vital signs done, child still asleep!  Yes, praise me, you want me back now don’t you…Super stealth nurse…the stealthiest!

6 p.m.   Shift ending soon, watching the clock hardcore.  Charge nurse phones and wants me to take an admission?  with only an hour left on my shift?  Obligingly say yes.

6:30 p.m.   Where is my admission?!  Call Emerg…on their way up…finally!

6:40 p.m.   Start admission.  Get report, do vital signs, tour parents around, chicken scratch some charting down… the entire time I’m thinking I refuse to stay late, I refuse to stay late, I deserve to have a life, I refuse to stay late, I m leaving on time dammit!

7 p.m.   Where is the nurse I need to give handover to?  Not here yet?  Great.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Watching clock, pacing floor.  Ah there she is, still has her bag on and hasn’t settled in yet, too bad… I’m outta here… give report, and twelve hours after starting my shift, I clock out…

7:12 p.m.   Forgot I parked underground.  Wait in line to pay along with the 100 other nurses who parked in the parkade and all get off at the same time.

7:40 p.m.   Get home.  Consider spending the next two hours daydreaming…but there just isn’t enough time in the day.  Instead – eat, shower, pack lunch for tomorrow, crawl into bed

10 p.m.   Must go to sleep… alarm will go off to do it all again in 8 hours

11 p.m.   Shit!  Still awake.  Can’t stop watching Glee.

Midnight   Come on mind, turn off… go to sleep… alarm will go off in 6 hours now!

Notes on a Plane, Or Why Bullying with Kindness Isn’t a Thing

Bullying

Imagine for a moment, the following scene:

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and you’re stuck at the airport.

Maybe you’re having a bad day.  You’ve lost perspective.  You know you’re acting like an asshole but somehow can’t manage to contain yourself.

Maybe you’re worried that if you miss your non-refundable connecting flight that you’ll get stuck in some unknown city halfway between your home and your destination and given that you could barely afford the ticket price to begin with, will be shit out of luck.

Maybe your partner just left you.

Maybe you just got fired from your job.

Maybe you fall on the Autism spectrum and have abnormal responses to sensory stimuli, find it difficult to maintain social relationships or to understand social cues, or struggle to communicate.

Maybe you just found out you have cancer and have to fly home to break the news to your parents.

Maybe you’re just an entitled shitty person who maintains a total lack self-awareness.

Maybe you’re completely fictional.  (for argument sake let’s assume this isn’t the case, regardless of the fact that this is obviously the case).

It doesn’t really matter.  But there you are, at the airport on Thanksgiving and your flight is delayed and you’re acting like a total dick.  And then whew! you’re on the plane and getting set for your journey home when suddenly you get this note from a stranger on the plane…

Read the story here:  “This Epic Note-Passing War On A Delayed Flight Won Thanksgiving

So, what is so wrong with this (and the people who think it’s funny)?  Well, let me tell you.  There are really only two possibilities for what this guy must have been thinking to provoke this confrontation:

Hey, look at this total asshole who can’t possibly be upset enough.  I’m going to go out of my way to be cruel to her and taunt her and hopefully she’ll have a total fucking breakdown that I can tweet about and people will think I’m a hilarious hero.  PS. I’m going to make sure I use some language that incorporates both violence and sex to really let her know that I think her place in the world is beneath me regardless of any supposed provocation.

Or he thought

Hey, look at this woman, who is obviously pained in some way, and though I could probably try to make her day a little better (and thus in some small way improve the days of everyone around her) I’m still going to go out of my way to be cruel to her and taunt her and hopefully she’ll have a total fucking breakdown that I can tweet about and people will think I’m a hilarious hero.  PS. I’m going to make sure I use some language that incorporates both violence and sex to really let her know that I think her place in the world is beneath me regardless of any supposed provocation.

 

I almost can’t even write this because I’m so out-of-my-mind with confusion/rage/frustration/disillusionment, especially after reading Elan’s follow up statement on his blog where he starts out by admitting that he’s just an IRL Troll or as is more commonly known, a goddamn bully:

I had a great time antagonizing her, reading your responses, and just generally trying to have fun with an irritating person.

(emphasis mine)

Then, he makes an attempt to justify his bullshit behavior with some nonsense about how it’s unforgivable to be unkind to people while they’re working (which btw is nonsense not because that’s a bad idea, which it isn’t, but because the very fact that he was harassing this fictional woman on a plane – a specifically dangerous place to antagonize and provoke people, particularly on the people’s whose job it is to then have to keep them calm and placated).  He was fucking with the flight attendants and the other passengers as much as he was fucking with Diane.

Then, he reaffirms what I am already certain of, that he is, in fact, no hero.

And finally, he sums up his final point, which is that we should all be nice to each other.  wait?!? what?!?!  The guy who just harassed a woman for hours, did so to make the point that kindness should be spread and being nice is what is most important.  *brain explodes*

What I did today was just point out something we all know: Be nice. It’s Thanksgiving. Be nice.

Be nice everyday, but if you see a man or a woman working on a holiday you better respect that they would like to be with their family too.

But before I can let you go to just think about the sadness of this whole facade and how horrible people are and how maybe this is why I can’t sleep at night.  What I really want to point out is just how wrong this dude is about how to change the world.

So have some compassion and have some appreciation.

Most people do. Most people are great. And then there are a bunch of Diane’s in the world.

And it’s OUR job to tell every Diane to shut up.

It’s OUR duty to put the Diane’s of the world in their place.

We need to REMIND them about the way of things.

We outnumber them.

So, I’m really glad we had fun today, but I really hope you guys join me, look a jerk in the eye, and tell them to eat a piece of your body, because really, that’s what the holidays are all about.

And while I know this man is, in his own fucked up way, trying to make this lighthearted and just a joke, the problem is that like rape jokes or bum fights, or all the other disgusting things humanity does in the hopes of hilarity, this falls far short of actually being funny.

You know the old adages Kill them with kindness and You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?  Well, semantics aside, they are spot on.  The world doesn’t need more people telling women to eat their dicks (or whatever violent and misogynistic rhetoric might be the equivalent for men), the world needs more kindness, more empathy, more patience.  Oh, and by the way, that DOES NOT mean less jokes.  It means better, smarter, funnier ones.  Jokes that don’t sacrifice the weak.  And if you can’t write those jokes…well fuck…try harder…or find another way to share joy with the world.

If you see someone in pain, help them ease it.

If you see someone in trouble, try to help.

If they snap at you and act like a jerk, don’t react in kind.

Don’t write them snotty insincere notes in order to get a laugh at their expense, tell them a joke and send them a present.  Maybe they laugh, maybe they don’t.  Maybe they’re thankful or maybe they’re not.  But you tried.  You were a good person.  You made a sincere effort to make the world a better place.

And btw Elan, trolling someone in real life…is just bullying.  You are a bully.  But maybe I can buy you a drink someday, and you can tell me why you’re so upset at the world.  Maybe I can help or maybe I can’t.  But I’ll listen if you need me, I’d listen if any of you need me.  Because honestly, what the fuck else are we doing here, if not trying to make the world a better place for everyone else in it?

Crash Boom Bang: Disappointments Upon Disappointments

Crash Boom Bang

 

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] know that life is what you make it, that you have to decide to be happy.  I know that I’m privileged and lucky and fortunate and life really is pretty fucking beautiful for me.  But I still get sad, and things can still suck.  That being said, there can be a certain hilarity when life gets miserable all at once, when you’re piled up with disappointment after disappointment, in a very small period of time (picture a cartoon of me being buried alive by a landslide of rocks…don’t worry it’s a cartoon, I’ll survive).

And that is what happened last week.

Crash

So, I had finally started dating someone really smart.  And then he dumped me.  And I was sad.  And maybe I was sad because I had been rejected.  Or maybe I was sad because I had been rejected by someone I liked.  Or maybe I was just upset because he was smart and now that would be gone from my life.  Or maybe I was sad because of how he did it (rather than just ripping the bandaid he blamed it on academia and being busy) or maybe I was sad because I felt like I had been dumped before he’d even had a real chance to get to know me or maybe or maybe or maybe.  Who knows.  What I do know is this:  I felt sad.  I felt a huge sense of disappointment.  Like this was my one shot to hang out with someone who was seriously smart, who thought I was attractive, who wasn’t completely socially stunted, and who seemed interesting (if not hilarious).  And though my mother assures me that,

you’ll meet tons of smart people

I have to say, at 32 and in a graduate school program, WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY???

Boom

Bummed about being dumped, I went to my first fiction workshop (up to this point the classes had been a lot of discussion of published works and writing techniques).  And that’s where my Professor repeatedly called my writing “Chick Lit”, and proceeded to drone on about how men are basically all super awesome and the narrator of my story is a judgmental bitch (more on this later but the gist of it was that he couldn’t understand how a girl wouldn’t want to hear a bone-head guy discuss his favorite muscle group…all the while never asking her a single question…or how a girl could possibly be upset that an old man had lied about his age [by ten years] and shown up to a date looking like a completely different person than the images on his dating profile).  Oh, and I should mention that many people in the class agreed (so we can’t just chalk this up to some fucked up Professor).  The only conclusion I could come to was that I myself was an idiot, or I was surrounded by idiots.  Either way, I pretty much wanted to throw myself off the balcony.

One student actually said “why doesn’t your narrator stop dating if she hates it so much”

*throws self off balcony as life is hard and that is apparently the answer*

But then things seemed to be looking up.  I let someone in emotionally (okay, admittedly, it was kind of accidental, but needless to say a man called me within hours of said horrible writing workshop and I burst into tears while on the phone).  But that’s something.  You see, it was Top Secret, from just before I moved to Montreal.  He had moved to Ontario and was now coming for a visit to Montreal and had called to let me know of his plan.

At Christmas, when I came home to Vancouver, we didn’t have a ton of time but he wanted to hang out and hang out we did.  We went out for lunch.  It was fun.  It was nice.  It was real friendship shit.  But then, just as before winter break, he went right back to barely having any contact with me.  Sure we’d quick message here or there but if you want to be friends with someone and especially if you want to be more than friends with someone you have to put in that effort to get to know them, to stay in contact with them, to keep their (and yours, presumably) lust alive.  But he didn’t, we didn’t.

But here we were, visiting in his hotel room, eating pizza, watching youtube videos and getting reacquainted.  Or so I thought.  Because before I know it, he’s trying to kiss me.  Which, in theory, is fine.  But, honestly, I wasn’t really feeling it yet.  I didn’t, however, want to shut things down permanently, I just needed some time, because we had gone back to zero and I might need a couple hangouts and conversations to get back up to 60.

The next day I had to finish an already late scholarship application, and he seemed busy with work stuff, so I stayed in and said that we would meet up the next day.  Friday came, and I was running late to meet him for his show so I skipped the bus and jumped in a cab.  I made it to the show before him and when he arrived we went in.  Given that he was in the show, I was seated at a table by myself, at the front (WHY DO THEY ALWAYS MAKE ME SIT IN THE FRONT!!).

After the show we talked a bit, he basically insinuated he wanted to bone but didn’t want me to feel pressured and I finally had the balls to say, at this moment (and because of the reasons mentioned above), I just wanted to be friends and we could just see what happens.  He seemed to take it pretty well.

Because we were at the show, they told us we could go upstairs and hear the rest of the Motown show that was happening, and though I wasn’t super keen at that exact moment (I had developed an excruciating migraine) I went anyway because he wanted to go (plus I had just taken some excedrin so the headache would foreseeably dissipate).

The show turned out to be AMAZING!  I had an absolute blast.  The music, the dancers, the fact that it was free, what more could a girl ask for?!  We were joking and having fun, things seemed great.

SPOILER ALERT:  they weren’t, apparently.

Bang

After the show wrapped up, he asked so how are you getting home?

I was baffled.  Home?  It was only 11:00pm, I had assumed we’d go get some food or at least hang out and do something.  I mean shit son, I was in full hair and makeup, I’d even worn a brand new dress with uncomfortable shoes!  I said the bit about food and hanging out.  He said he wasn’t hungry and that maybe we could meet for lunch or something tomorrow.

Was he fucking serious?!?!  He expected me to wake up and do my hair and makeup for a lunch date with a dude sending me packing on a Friday night???  This dude was nuts.

I tried to convey this sentiment nicely.  I tried to convey that I thought we were friends.  After all, he’d just spent the evening telling me how awesome I was, how much more awesome it was to have a girl to hang out with and write jokes with than to have a pretty girl to just fuck, how much of a lousy lay he was to begin with…blah blah blah

(sidebar:  If I let you take a joke I wrote and then you treat me like shit, you have to take it out of your act, those are the rules)

His response:  I have enough friends

Interspersed in this dialogue was some bullshit about him being a gentleman and wanting to put me in a cab rather than have me take the bus home (which had been my original plan).  I declined and declined and declined.  However, after he said the thing about having enough friends I thought well fuck him and took the $20 he was handing me (I am a broke grad student after all, I can’t even see the poverty line let alone live above it).

Plus, I figured, as I walked for 6-10 blocks fueled by pure rage and disappointment, I would just take the bus anyway and that $20 would reimburse me for the cab I had taken earlier because I couldn’t fathom being late to his show.  I mean…

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUUUUUCCCCKKK HIM.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the week of shitty things.  Almost as soon as I got on the bus (a packed bus no less, given that it was 11:30 on a Friday night), a group of fine young gentlemen proceeded to talk loudly (though mostly in French) about how fat I was and whether or not all black guys or just some black guys dig that.  The discussion included hand and arm gestures.

And before anyone gets all well don’t listen to them and they’re idiots etc.  I know this.  This conversation didn’t ffect how I feel about myself or my body (I’m lovely).  It did, however, make me feel very uncomfortable and admittedly a bit unsafe.  You see, I’m rarely scared of being raped or murdered, however, it is a very real fear that a teenage boy might spit on me or something.  Also, it made me sad because while I’m able to block out this kind of despicable behavior, I know that there will be other girls, who will experience this, younger girls, more fragile girls, girls who don’t yet know that they are entirely enough and absolutely beautiful, and for those girls I felt the hurt a bit more.  Not wanting to give these boys the attention they misguidedly and desperately sought, I put in my ear buds and pretended as if the conversation didn’t exist.

And thus ended my week.  Undateable.  Isolated and alone in a writing program that fits like a wet wool bodysuit.  Having lost all faith in the ability of men to not be the fucking worst (hyperbole, I know, some of you are fucking wonderful, even if I’m currently having a difficult time remembering this).  Spiraling into sadness.  Blargh.

So to sum up…Dumped Crash!…Writing trashed Boom!…all faith in the male species dashed Bang!  Sorry for the downer post.  Let the disappointment really sink in tho.

 

 

 

Stripped Naked: Dating a Smarty Pants

Stripped Naked

 

After being lost for weeks (months? years?), adrift at sea, perpetually pounded by the waves of idiocy and boredom, I had met a man, the Scientist, who felt a bit like a life raft.

We had met on Thursday.

We had had a second date on Sunday.

I thanked him for having me over for dinner.

He said Glad you enjoyed.  Me too.  Thanks for coming.

For the next few days I would be busy preparing for, and then attending, a conference at Yale University, but, I suggested, Maybe when I get back from the conference I can make you dinner at my place?

He responded when are you leaving? and then Have lots of fun.

 

Okay.  Now, admittedly, I found it a tad off putting that the response wasn’t a resounding Yes, that sounds amazing you hot beautiful intelligent funny magnificent creature, you but I just assumed that it was an oversight and that responding at all in a manner that both asked a question and was considerate was good enough, no?

Five days later, home from the conference (and unfortunately having caught a cold from my travel mates), I texted him.

 

Hey 🙂 How’s it going?

Hi Victoria.  How was your trip?  I’m going crazy!  Deadlines for all postdoc fellowships are due in 10 days and I just started the whole process.

The trip was good (except the other two girls were sick with colds and now I am too – I’m really hoping it doesn’t last long.)  Yikes about the fellowship deadlines but I’m sure you’ll nail it 😉  What do you have to do for your applications?  Did you want to hang out again as soon as I’m feeling better?

Hi Victoria.  Sorry, I worked from 9 to 1am yesterday and I didn’t even look at my phone.  For my applications I have to do a million things, including writing a grant proposal, academic CV, etc.  It’s madness for me right now.  I hope I survive.  I can message you when the whole thing is over.  Glad you had a good trip.  Hope you feel better soon.

Sounds good, and good luck with all the applications 🙂

 

I mean, after all, it did sound good.  It would give me 10 days to relax and get better and he would be full of relief after completing the applications (which, as a fellow grad student, I 100% get the pressure and need to accumulate that funding).

But I will admit, I was feeling a tad, insecure.

I mean sure, our first and second dates had gone really well, hadn’t they?  And while logically, I understand putting school before…everything.  I mean hell, that’s basically the reason I hadn’t gone on a date in over a year until Skinny Jeans and then the Scientist.  Emotionally though, I’m an impatient petulant child who wants what I want when I want it.  That or I’ve just seen He’s Just Not That Into You too many times and bristle at even the slightest…slight.

I was talking about this on a phonecall to my mother, who then promptly told me You sound a bit clingy.  Hearing which set me straight within seconds.  The truth is, I think I was just so damn excited to finally be going out on dates with a man who didn’t think it appropriate and/or interesting to say things like hey hot tits and ask me questions and form full sentences and stuff, that I had gotten really wrapped up in it all.  But the moment my mom said those words, I immediately stopped checking his dating profile (after all, on OKCupid, the other person can see that shit and though I’d only done it twice, it was two times too many in my book, plus I didn’t need to know whether or not he was logging in or even if he was dating other people.  Just as I expect men to respect my freedom and privacy, I should respect theirs.  And thus I did).  I also just immediately relaxed.  It’s bizarre to think that a little bit of logic and reality can affect your emotional state so completely but in the space of a few seconds I’d gone from Eager Edith to Relaxed Regina.

 

 

He’d text or he wouldn’t, and in 10 days I would know.

 

 

 

And on the tenth day…I got this:

Rejection

 

 

And just like that it was over.  I was dumped.  My hopes of dating a smarty pants were stripped naked and thrust in the dirty hamper.  And the worst part, is that it took me awhile to see this as a full on blow off.

Upon first reading I took note of the length, the apologia, the confirmation of the pleasantries of meeting me, the well wishes.  But upon further inspection I’ve, sadly, come to see it for what it really is…a bullshit blowoff.

And because you know I can’t let a dating lesson go unmentioned, I have to say, yet again, to the rejectors, to the dumpers, and the kick ’em to the curbers…

It is 100% okay to not want to date someone

You are allowed to like or dislike anyone you want

You can make your own decisions, you don’t even need to justify your reasons

But FOR FUCK SAKES just rip the fucking bandaid like a goddamn grownup.

 

See, here’s the thing kiddo (and yes, this is me infantilizing you [in the universal form] for your infantile behavior), I don’t need your reassurance.  We went on two dates, I barely fucking know you.  I don’t need you to hold my hand, I won’t have a breakdown, no one is committing suicide on your watch.  So there’s no need to gloss it all up with how great it was to meet me or the well wishes etc.  Because while you think you’re being clear and concise, I’m thinking you’re just too polite and kind to suggest I wait around for two months to date you.

Short and sweet, rip it fast, rip it clear, be honest.

I don’t like you enough to keep going out with you.

I don’t feel a connection with you and don’t wish to go out again.

I’m no longer interested.

 

Anything along these lines works fine.  Don’t talk about friendship (unless you genuinely want it).  Don’t talk about how great they are.  Don’t wish them specific success, thus reminding them how much you were paying attention to their conversation.  Don’t give excuses (because those can so easily be excused).

Because instead of immediately going, yep, he definitely doesn’t like me, after reading that text my first thought was, oh, well maybe he’ll call in 2 months because at this rate I could potentially still be single then, or even perhaps he and I could be friends or something.

 

But he doesn’t want that.  He doesn’t want me.  And that’s totally fine.  Onto the next right?  right?  right?  hello?

 

*gets consumed by cloud of dating disappointment*