Dear Universe

Okay Universe… you’re being real cute right now and I don’t appreciate it. I also feel like we’ve had this conversation before. It’s not cute.

Let’s talk about money. It’s been a relatively simple ask: let me have some money. I’m willing to work for it, but it would be more fun to have it fall into my lap. Either way, I want money. Cash. Windfall. Long lost relative who leaves me something in their will. A REAL prince via email.

No.

You send me exes. You sent me the ex from TEN years ago to creep my profile on LinkedIn (why?). You sent my ex from nearly two years ago to work down the street from where I live and work…right smack in the middle of my dog’s favourite walking route.

Really?

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Not cute.

One of my friends suggests that the universe is TRYING to tell me to recognize the signs and acknowledge that it’s trying to send me a man…

Okay. Let’s roll with this. It wasn’t what I was asking for – because I don’t think I’m ready – but sure. Why the hell not?

So. Universe? I’m guessing I have to be specific. Because if you’re going to send me a man so attractive that I momentarily forget how to use words, CAN YOU MAKE SURE HE’S 100% SINGLE?!

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This guy. Well. This guy seems sweet and funny, and smart, and OH HE COOKS… but is “sorta” seeing someone.

“Sorta”

Is this the kind of “sorta” where he means that he’s just started to date someone and things are great, but like any great romantic comedy moment, our meet cute causes him to rethink that relationship with the harridan* of a girlfriend, and pursue me…or is he a typical Toronto dude, in which case “sorta” actually means that he’s been with the same chick for over a year, they live together, and just got a dog…but y’know, he’s not looking to “define what they are.

WHICH ONE IS IT?

*(Yes. She’s probably a wonderful woman…but for my fantasy, she’s a harridan and an obstacle to overcome, okay? In my head, she is a MINOR TECHNICALITY.) 

Please dear Universe: send me the dude who is tatted, bald, with strong features, nice eyes, nice smile, wonderful voice, professional, close to my age, with a sense of purpose and a sense of style. Make him easy to talk to, a little bit flirty, loves to cook, and make him 100% AVAILABLE.

If that’s too much to ask, I’m willing to settle for cash.

Thanks

xo/rr

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#MyMotherMadeMeDrink – Xmas 2016

On Christmas Eve, my mother asked me about my dating life.

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I dodged the question.

On Christmas Day, a friend of the family called.

“Auntie says Merry Christmas and wants to know when you’re getting married.”

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Blame the sorrel and spiced rum for my response: “CAN I GO ON A DATE FIRST?! Merry Christmas”

On Boxing Day, my mother casually drops that she has never liked any of the men I’ve dated.

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Wait. What?

My mother thought I was going to marry one of these dudes! I didn’t even think I was going to marry one of them!

“Uhm. You thought we’d get married…?”

“Yeah. But I realized later. He was a six at best.”

“A SIX? You’d thought I would marry a SIX?”

“Welllll. Not NOW. But you were young then. I didn’t like the cheater at all. Nope.”

“Okay. Not at first, but–”

“Not EVER. I never told anyone. Except your sister. She agreed.”

WAIT.

HOLD UP.

You welcomed these men into your home. Made meals for them. But you never once expressed your doubts to me?!?!

“I didn’t like the one from high school. The wannabe rapper.”

WAIT. We’re going into the archives?

My mother basically told me ANY dude I’ve brought home over the past 25 years has been “meh”. That is a direct quote. “Meh.”

“You know who I’d think you like? That Steph Curry. I think that would be cute.”

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“Mom. I can’t date another liteskint dude. We’d look related!”

(Let’s pause for a moment since my mom laughed for a full twenty seconds.)

“Really? Hmmm. I guess. But if you can’t date light skinned men, how you gonna date a White guy”

“I don’t LOOK WHITE mother”

“Wellllll. Wait. Why are you pouring more rum into that sorrel?”

Dinner For One…

Okay.

I get it.

What I’m happy about is that I “got it” a lot quicker than the last time.

I wanted a date. You wanted to fuck.

Now. These things aren’t mutually exclusive. Just because I wanted a date (first), it didn’t mean that you weren’t going to get fucked. But I can see how you might think that. But to forget that you had made plans for a date? While still remembering that you wanted to fuck me?

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We didn’t even get started, so I can’t even be mad…

(or even bitter) 

I AM annoyed. I wasn’t sure why at first. So I slept on it.

But I woke up. Annoyed. Thought about it some more.

Then it hit me.

It was the, “I have a lot on my plate” line.

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Cue up Sunshine Anderson, because I’ve heard that all before…

I get having a lot on one’s plate. I do. I really do.

But I’m not parsley, luv.

I’m the fucking steak.

The main course that you can’t wait to dive into. The one you make reservations for. The one you wait to be cooked to perfection. The one you’ll stand in line for when you can’t make a reservation.

I’m not drive thru.

So. Just like that (poof), you are gone.

Nope. I’m not interested in seeing the dessert menu.

I’mma just order some takeout.

xoxo

*

Beyonce’s Lemonade Explains Why I’m Single…

First, lemme get some things out of the way so that you can understand the context of this post.

  • I’m NOT a Bey stan. I’ve never seen her in concert. I’ve paid to see Solage and Hov, but have no desire to see Bey in concert.
  • I do not tear out my edges and sacrifice them on a bee-covered altar every time she releases something.
  • The first full ALBUM I’ve owned by Ms. B was her last album.
  • If the headline made you think that you’ll find hotepisms or AshyCheyB quotes scattered throughout this post, you have come to the wrong place.

Okay. Let’s proceed.

First Listen

I tuned in shortly after Lemonade dropped. I had ignored social media for the hours leading up to it for unrelated reasons. When I did tune in, my TL was covered in lemon emojis. With a sigh I thought, “what has Beysus done now?” I found a link to Lemonade (HBO Canada, who dropped the ball on this?) and listened with half an ear. Even then, I only listened to a few tracks.

Hey…this is good. The kind where you find you’re screwing up your face as you nod along.

Second Listen

Woke up the next morning and all my chats were LEMONADE focused. Found another link (seriously MTV Canada, MuchMusic…Vice…anyone? Beyoncé could very well be on the $20…she’s guaranteed to print you money) and watched again.

WAIT. “HOT SAUCE” is her BAT?!!? Wooooi. G’head Bey!

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Sidebar: when should I tell a man that I already own a bat?

(I really do. It’s a treasured memento from my days on my Junior and High school teams. First girl to play on my elementary school’s team…)

I’m am HERE for angry Beyoncé. Bat-wielding Beyoncé. Set shit on fire Beyoncé. Rip out her sternum Beyoncé.

Gone is the “Cater 2 U” Beyoncé. The “Crazy in Love” Beyoncé would “…rather be crazy” and I LOVE this.

Friends have started to ask me directly for my thoughts. But there are LEVELS. I’m not ready yet. Instead I gossip about “Becky with the good hair” (my official theory: “Becky”is a composite). One friend admits she had to google where your sternum is located…I admit that I already knew because I have threatened to rip one out before. I joke that hell hath no fury like a Virgo woman scorned. When it’s really bad, we’ll go silent and then rip you apart when you least expect it. This will happen months….YEARS later.

When you thought you were safe.

Third Listen

One of my girlfriends texts me to say we have to go for drinks and discuss Lemonade in depth.

“hahahaha, I legit thougt of you at a couple of moments hahah.” I’ve decided my favourite song is “Sorry”. But not because of Becky, but because of the hook.

“I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…”

THIS Beyoncé I love. The defiantly unapologetic Beyoncé.

That’s when I realized why I was single. Well, not REALIZED, but had something that could confirm it.

This album – and really it IS an album; there is not ONE radio-friendly song on here – examines relationships. Not just THE relationship between her and Jay, but ALL her relationships. She talks about the work, the effort, the struggle, the pain, the joy, the confusion, the conflict.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD YO.

Whenever I hear stories from my girlfriends who are in relationships I roll my eyes and say, “THIS is why I’m single. I can’t deal with this shit.”

(Again. I always forget to add “again”.)

It’s true. I’m not ready to accept a person’s failings. I’ve done that. I’m not ready to put in the effort, especially if I don’t think the effort will be matched.

You ain’t trying hard enough
You ain’t loving hard enough
You don’t love me deep enough
We not reaching peaks enough
Blindly in love, I fucks with you
‘Til I realize, I’m just too much for you
I’m just too much for you

I often say/warn people that I’m a LOT to deal with”. In the past, I’ve slowed down to match someone’s pace. Compromised to match. Conceded to match.

Notice how I frame all of these as negatives? Because that’s how I view what so many others call “balance”.

Let me be clear: I’m not looking for PASSION or CONFLICT or DRAMA. But I am looking for someone to walk in stride with me. Not behind. Not ahead. By my side. Does this make sense?

Fourth Listen

Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you

Oooh. This I know. I love fiercely. I will be your number one cheerleader. I will “Spend my life in the dark for the sake of you and me.” The very idea of giving that much and not getting that in return?

(Where’s that bat?)

Ooooookaaaaay. Lemme give “forgiveness Beyoncé a listen. On “Sandcastles”, I realize she’s playing the keyboard. I had just been reminded that Prince told her to learn piano and she’d be unstoppable. Sounds like she listened. G’head Bey…

Her voice breaks on Sandcastles, and sigh. There it is. I know that break so well. That break is when you realize that the person standing in front of you doesn’t give what you give. They don’t love you like you love them. They’ve taken all that shine and they still choose to leave you in the dark.

You’re not angry. You’re not even annoyed. You are just so, disappointed.

So very disappointed.

With yourself. Disappointed that you let this person past all your boundaries. That you conceded on things. That you compromised. That you forgave failings. That you slowed down and you are not where you want to be because you didn’t want to leave THEM behind.

That you made lemonade out of lemons..

That they KNEW all this and they STILL fucked up.

You’re not even as mad at them as you are at yourself.

These feelings apply to ALL relationships. Romantic. Friendship. Situationships.

All. Of. Them.

So begins the process of forgiveness and letting go, because YOU will never be able to move forward unless you do. You leave them behind as they cry. But another brick is added to the wall around yourself. A brick that no one else can chip away at. It’s a little piece to remind you.

Don’t hurt yourself.

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So, now I own TWO Beyoncé albums

xo/rr

*NB this post is about how aspects of this album relate to me on a personal level. If you’re looking for a good breakdown of the album and all the themes, read this piece by Sajae Elder on Noisey

Word of the Day: Transmorgrify

I have questions.

These questions have been bubbling for a minute now. But the announcement today of the #BlaccRob engagement makes me want to ask them out loud. This happened with Ciara and Russel Wilson a few weeks ago, and I’m sure has happened with other famous and non-famous folks for years now. I’m just using these two as examples.

A woman is with a dude who isn’t – let’s be fair here – great.

For whatever reason, they break up. The dude who wasn’t…great continues being not so great and living his life like it’s golden.

When they were together, the guy was celebrated by other men for having a “fine ass woman”…a woman who is a freak in the sheets. A woman who has the perfect face, the perfect hair (re: weave), the perfect whatever. When they were together, the woman may have even had a special “designation”:

She has a kid – she’s wifey/babymoms

She gets his named tattoo’d on her – she’s a ride or die

She marries him – she’s a wife

She lives with him – she’s a “girl”

Then. The breakup.

For WHATEVER REASON because that’s not what I’m here to question.

The woman starts a new relationship and this relationship is on new terms. This relationship doesn’t unfold under the same circumstances as the last one. She seems happy. New dude seems happy.

Boom. They get engaged. Or move in together. Or have a kid.

Said girl/wifey/ride or die/wife has now becomes a “hoe”. With a high body count.

This is my question: at what point does that woman transmogrify into a hoe?

Is it when the other dude has sex with her for that first time (increasing this “body count)?

Is it when they commit to each other?

Is it when he says he loves her?

Is it when they move in together?

When does it happen? I really want to know.

Oh. I have another question. When it happens to a non-famous dude – let’s say it happens to YOU –  do  you ever wonder what kind of reflection this has on your character? Your choices? Because if being with a  hoe is a bad thing for a guy to do, and you’re now worried about new guy’s reputation since he’s decided to wife up a hoe. If said hoe has been with so many dudes before she got with this guy.

WHAT. DOES. IT. SAY. ABOUT. YOU. IF. YOU. HAD. THE. SAME. “HOE”?

Do the guys that came before you not count? Are they erased? Did you penis magically transmogrify her vagina and erase all those other penises? OH MY GOD! IS YOUR PENIS MAGICAL? DOES IT HAVE THAT KIND OF POWER? Let’s say it doesn’t. Back to my original question: YOU chose her. YOU dated her. YOU may have even had a CHILD with her. What renders her a “hoe”? Because she chose poorly?

*by “poorly”…I mean she chose you at some point.

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Imma sip this tea while I wait for the answers to my questions…

Office. Crush(ed).

I’m working this contract gig (yawn), and most of my days are filled with contracts, reports, and contractors. Disappointing because not a single contractor is hot.

I thought this was the point of contractors. That they be hot. What the hell?!!?

I’ve had a tendency to work in environments that are predominately women, which is great for keeping track of your period, not so great if you want to have a little eye candy (and you’re straight). The men I have worked with have either been married (no go zone) or just not attractive.

Realizing this a while back, I had complained to my BFF that I’ve never really had a proper work crush because I’ve always worked with unattractive schlubs or married men. Never have I been able to flirt or gaze admiringly at a man I’ve worked with.

Boo.

Then. He walked in. The new guy.

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Everything. EVERYTHING about this man? The face, the smile. The horn rimmed glasses. The impeccable taste in clothing. The cologne. Then he spoke. You would think that he had David Beckham Syndrome, but no. Even his name was heavenly. I was ready. I was so ready.

I have this one problem though – I always  forget to look for the ring. Not that I’m out there looking to be homewrecker #1…I just don’t. But chances are that if I find you attractive, you’re more than likely married. Married means you (hopefully) have your shit together and own at least one suit. So I was ready to give up before I started.

Then my Office Auntie came over.

“Did you see the new guy? He’s very attractive. Do you find him attractive? Is he single? I’ll find out for you…”

(Did I mention that my Office Aunties want to see me married by the time I’m 40? Which is in 6 months? Erm…)

I sent out text messages to friends

“THEY HIRED A BLACK GUY! AND HE’S HOT!! (insert heart eyes emojis here…all of them) 

Both me and my Office Auntie tried to spot a ring on his hand. But the future father of my children is a very diligent worker. No chit chat. Buried in his work space. One day three, he had a question about his computer and the person he asked didn’t know. I passed by and our coworker said “I betcha RR knows… she’s a whiz with Macs”

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Fix the issue. Takes 30 seconds. My boss walks by to see me at Hot Guy’s desk. As I head back to my office he asks what that was about. I explain that new guy had a quick question and I was helping him (seriously, I was at his desk for about a minute and that includes being asked the question, fixing the issue and walking away).

“He’s NOT the priority. He can figure it out on his own.”

Boom. All my blessings. Blocked.

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Still. The Office Auntie tries to persevere on my behalf. But Hot New Guy doesn’t do the chit chat. Takes lunch on his own or with one of the (few) men in the office.

Yesterday, I finally get a chance to talk with Hot New Guy. I try to insert a little bit of flirt…then I remembered that my flirting usually makes me seem like a serial killer trying to get you into my white van. So, I regroup and try to keep it casual and professional…and that’s when he said it.

“…one time, my girlfriend and I went to…”

Me:

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The rest of the conversation? Dunno. He sounded like a Charlie Brown adult after that.
He lives a nice part of downtown, which means he and his girlfriend are definitely living together; which means (in my mind) married.

Girlfriend.

Girl. Friend.

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My ONE chance at an office crush. A work bae. A chance at a private meeting in my office…

Girl. Friend.

He goes back to his desk and I cue up YouTube to play some music (and to muffle the sounds of me muttering “fuck fuck fuck fuck fucking girlfriend”) “The Boy is Mine” came up…

The suggested by YouTube songs after that?
“He Wasn’t Man Enough for Me” – Toni Braxton
“Try Again” – Aaliyah
“Heartbreaker” – Mariah and Jay Z
I see what you did there universe. cute.
I told the Office Auntie that he mentioned a girlfriend.
“But that’s not married. Otherwise he would’ve said ‘partner’. She’s just a girlfriend…”
(yes. She’s ruthless)

 

Worst. Date. Ever. (3 of 5-ish)

Today, I’m going to tell you about the time I joined the Babysitter’s Club by accident.

I met Allen through a friend many years ago. While he wasn’t exactly my type, he did have a pair of gorgeous eyes. The kind of eyes that are generally described in romance novels. The kind of eyes that Debbie Gibson sang about. When we were introduced, I actually lost my words for about 10 seconds. To top it off, the man had one of those thousand watt smiles and a beautiful body. When he left us, I asked my girl what the defect was. She laughed and said, “he’s hot, and funny. But because he’s short…he doesn’t get a lot of play.”

Oh. That’s…it…?

When Allen asked me out a week later I said yes (and wore flats). We went out to a jazz club and enjoyed many many laughs over many many shots of whisky. A couple of weeks later, Allen followed up for date number two and I said yes. He suggested that coming Saturday and when I looked at my calendar to confirm, I was reminded that I had promised to take a friend’s son to the Science Centre. Could we make it another time?

Well I have my son that weekend and I have a family pass to ROM… how about we all go together?

Since the boys were the same age, I thought, “why not?” I had ended up making a play date even though I don’t have any kids. This date reminded me why that’s the case.

We agree to meet at the museum and Allen is already there. I meet his son, and the boys being 8-year-old boys, bonded within 10 seconds. Perfect. The boys will occupy each other, and I’ll have a chance to get to know Allen more.

Have you ever been around an 8-year-old boy? The last time I was around an 8-year-old boy was when I was an 8-year-old girl, and I didn’t enjoy it then. Things I learned that day:

  • It’s hard to keep up with 8 year olds when you’re wearing heels.
  • When faced with African fertility statues, 8-year-old boys will find the “boobies” hilarious and reference them every ten minutes.
  • 8-year-old boys WILL try to climb exhibits. Even if you told them in the last room that they can’t climb anything at all.
  • 8-year-old boys will challenge everything you say. You can tell them the sky is blue while pointing to a clear blue sky, and they will tell you that blue is just a name we’ve given the colour and the sky could really be purple.

While walking running, I caught the eyes of a few women around me. They were giving me a look. I didn’t recognize the look.

Maybe it was the way I repeatedly told my friend’s son, “wait until your father hears about this”, or the way I would say to each boy, “you have five seconds to get down off of that or we’re leaving!”, but it slowly dawned on me as I sat on the bench outside the kids dino exhibit, they were giving me that, “oh girl, we know” look.

A universal look of sympathy that one mother gives to another when her child is acting up in public. Because Allen, his son, and my friend’s son were all about the same shade as me…people thought we were a family…and that I was the mom.

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That moment when I realized…

Where was Allen? Well that was the other reason I was getting the “oh girl we know” look. Allen was walking at least 10 paces behind us the entire time. Allen was walking slower than the old people who exercise in the malls before they open. I swear I saw a kid with a cast move faster than Allen down a flight of stairs. The funny witty Allen from a few days ago?

Gone. Replaced by hung over Allen. Yes. Allen was hung over from partying the night before. That crippling kind of hangover…the kind where you don’t get out of bed. But Allen had his son with him, so he had to get out of bed.

But he didn’t cancel the date.

No. Not when I was “doing so well with them.”

“You’re really good with kids… you must’ve been a great babysitter.”

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FACT: I babysat ONCE when I was teenager. For my next-door neighbour. About an hour in, I called my mom in for backup and never babysat again. Until this date…

Yes. He roped me into babysitting his son. My date was spent chasing after two rambunctious 8-year-old boys through a museum. In heels.

It was time to leave the museum…we needed to feed these kids. Standing outside the museum, we debated where to go. The boys spot the McDonald’s across the street and ask if we can eat there.

In perfect unison, I say “NO!” and Allen says “yes” at the same time.

The boys plead with me to go to McDonald’s, and I insist on something with real food on the menu. Allen, Mr. “My Body is a Temple” (seriously, dude was ripped), realizes that he let his hangover do the talking and eventually agrees with me. My nephew decides to get mouthy and challenge me the way 8-year-old boys do.

“We’re not going and that’s final. If you don’t want to eat elsewhere, you can go home and eat. In fact, let me get you a cab right now and send you to your father’s”

(yes. I’m the kind of person who will uber a child home. THIS IS WHY I DON’T HAVE KIDS)

“Well fine. Put me in a cab. I’ll just tell him to take me to McDonald’s!”

“NOT IF I PUT YOU IN THE TRUNK!”

Pro tip: threatening to put a child in the trunk of a car while standing on a busy street on a Saturday? This will cause old White ladies in fur coats to whip out their cellphones ready to call 911.

We take our children to a family friendly restaurant (gawd help me) near the museum. I immediately order off the drinks menu. The boys draw boobies on the kraft paper tablecloth in crayon. But we make it through the meal and Allen (finally) contributes to the day by taking the boys to the bathroom before we head home.

Our waitress comes over to the table and says to me, “I just gotta tell you that your boys are just so adorable! The entire wait staff is in love with them!”

They’re not mine. I’m sending them back to where they came from as soon as you bring the cheque…

No other dates with Allen. Play or otherwise…

Post script: in my post date conversation with my girl I repeatedly mention the hangover.

“Oh yeah. Allen binges on the weekends quite a bit. He’s usually hungover most Saturdays and Sundays…” 

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