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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Know Your Place

Okay. This weekend I had an encounter that left me annoyed.

I went to an amazing party called #Gumbo on Saturday night. I went alone, but that’s the beauty of Toronto…you can go somewhere and see at least three people you know*.

(*and apparently one who knows you but that’s another story…)

At the party, I get to bump into one of my favourite people, the insanely talented Tanika Charles, freshly back (safely!) from the US. Big hugs and we immediately try to catch up on life stuff. In the middle of story, we get this:

“Excuse me…but why do you have Mandarin Chinese characters? What do they mean?”

About once a year, I’m asked about my tattoos. Yes. They’re in Chinese. Yes. I’ve confirmed that they mean what I wanted them to mean. Yes. I know what style they’re written in…

I explain politely what they mean and why I have them.

Dude proceeds to interview me Dateline style about my tattoo. I feel like each time I’ve answered, that my tone conveys that “okay, we’re done yes?” subtext. If not, there’s my facial expression: bored. My body language: turned away. My eyebrow: definitely arched at some point.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Mr. Journalism 101 continues asking questions.

Please remember, we’re at a party and it’s loud. Which means half of this convo excludes Tanika.

Oh. Mr. Journalism 101 has not even asked my name.

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Finally he asks my name. I gave him one of my nicknames. He then turns to Tanika and asks her name…

Me: “you don’t know the voice of Canadian RnB? Whaaaa?”

(Shameless plug: BUY SOUL RUN RIGHT NOW)

Ms. T demurs…but she’s never been a braggart about her talent. I on the other hand, brag every chance I get (see above)…Journo 101 admits that he doesn’t know her. I’m about to go into my full pitch (it’s a reflex), but Ms. T gives the clue that she doesn’t want to be “on” at the moment, and I pipe down. I say to him, “here, give me your phone…”, which he does eagerly.

Silly rabbit.He thought he was gonna get my number. I only gave him three letters of my name, why would I give him ten digits?

I google Tanika’s name and screen cap it on his phone.

“Here. Tomorrow look her up. Listen. Buy the album.”

“You think I would forget this conversation?”

“Yes. I think you would.”

“You think I would forget all that you told me about your tattoos…?”

“Definitely.”

(please do…please forget)

He then turns to Ms. T and chats for a moment. He turns back to me and says, “…hopefully I haven’t intruded on a conversation or that I should go…?”

He gives me a hopeful smile.

“Yes. And…yes.”

He FINALLY realizes he’s not wanted and says his g’byes. Promises Tanika he will look her up. Thanks her for the convo and gives a half handshake, half hug thing that totally catches her off guard. He turns to me for a hug and…

I hold my hand out.

He shakes it while thanking me for the education in tattoos.

“You’re still holding my hand…”

He makes a hasty retreat.

Dude… KNOW YOUR PLACE**

 

**”Know Your Place” will now be the title of my future memoirs…thank you Tanika for the title!

I Had The Strangest Dream…

(But…it involved alcohol)

There’s a guy I know. The night we met, he did flirt…but it never really went beyond that. (I wasn’t encouraging it)

In my dream, we’re hanging out with a group of people. He’s being his usual gracious and charming self. He asks me if I know about the Mac truck. I respond that I know about mack trucks in general.

No. There is a truck…like a food truck…but for Mac Cosmetics.

Plus the truck has a bar.

(WHY CAN’T THIS DREAM COME TRUE?!?!)

But the truck isn’t a public truck…you have to be invited. He smiles.

“What are you doing tomorrow night?”

I ask how HE knows about a makeup truck, and he explains that he helped facilitate the alcohol service.

(AGAIN…WHY ISN’T THIS A REAL THING?!?)

Fade to black. Fade up and it’s daytime.

He’s come to pick me up at my house. I live in a lovely townhouse; but it’s the kind you find in England. I invite him in for a drink and we start talking. I can’t remember what he said or what I said, but I remember that conversing with him felt warm…comfortable. We’re lounging in the kitchen in front of my powder blue Aga. My sister walks in to get something from the counter. As she leaves, she whispers, “I LIKE this one” and saunters out.

This is an aga stove. http://www.agamarvel.com/aga/

(Look. I’ve never SEEN an Aga in real life. I know about them because they’re mentioned in almost every book I’ve ever read set in England. I don’t even like cooking! Why am I dreaming about a stove..? As for my sister…I miss you. What are you trying to tell me?)

We go outside to head to the Mac Truck. It’s windy as fuck and my hat blows away. I look in the direction of my hat and see an all-black food truck…I turn to him and smile.

This dream so needs to come true.

p.s. decided to google the elements of my dream to see what they meant:

To dream of a stove represents your focus on progress, momentum, or getting something done. Slow, careful, or long term preparations. Preparing something important or special in your life. 

To dream of an ice cream truck (closest thing I could find to a food truck) represents a person or situation that feels good dropping everything for. Making yourself feel good about negativity or a negative situation a top priority. 

To dream of makeup represents the appearance or impression we present to others. Putting on your best face forward. Trying your best to appear more honest, intelligent, qualified, or experienced. Makeup may also reflect a wish to be more interesting to others.

Strong winds may reflect the stress or anxiety of unpleasant changes. Feeling that too much is going on. A turbulent adjustment to something unpleasant. Facing pressure to stop doing something you want or a person that doesn’t like what you are doing. You may feel forced to reconsider a situation or choice.

To dream of siblings represents an alternative or competing perspective.
Positively, a sibling may reflect confidence, hope, or someone with more experience than you. A better idea than yours.

To dream of drinking alcohol may represent the potential to go too far with your ideas or interests. Positively, it may reflect how you are enjoying yourself with something you really like.

The Kindness of Strangers

It’s cold outside.

Can’t wait to get on the train. Why couldn’t I be on vacation with the rest of the family…?

WHAM

Stars all around me.

Damm that was embarrassing.

The man in the blue suit asks if I’m okay; he tells me not to move.

There’s a girl by my feet. “Hey girl, you alright?” I turn to look at her.

Damn. My head hurts

The man in the suit tells me not to move: I’ve hit my head. I hear the girl by my feet say to someone that she’s on the phone with 911. It’s not that bad. I can get up. The man in the suit rubs my back and tells me not to move. There are more people

Seriously, this is getting embarrassing. I reach to where my head hurts. It’s wet. Is that…?

I hear the girl on the phone, “…she’s bleeding, please hurry!”

Ow.

Okay, seriously. This ground is cold.

OH SHIT! I’m going to be late. Where’s my phone? I reach into my bag. The man in the suit asks if he can make the call. Is it family? No. My students. They’ll be waiting for me. I just started this job. I can’t just not show up. I make the call and tell them what happened. Great. Now I’m going to be late on top of everything else. Lemme just move…

Ow.

The girl by my feet has shooed away bystanders. Tells someone to go inside the pharmacy to get me a compress. Another man shows up. The man in the blue suit continues to rub my back. I tell him it’s cold. The girl by my feet says that the 911 operator said I couldn’t be moved. The man from the pharmacy asks if I need anything else and holds a cold compress to my head. That’s really going to keep me warm. I tell him I’m cold. A woman brings me a jacket and they drape it over me. People walk by and ask if I’m okay. The girl by my feet explains that they’ve called an ambulance.

She starts to pace up and down beside me. “Where ARE they?”

 “Is there anyone we can call for you?”

“My entire family is out of the country on vacation. Unfortunately there’s no one…”

Mikey! I can call Mikey! He lives close by. The girl sees me reach for my phone.

“Actually. Can you call my friend Michael?” I unlock my phone and hand it to her. The man from the pharmacy continues to talk to me. It’s cold. I just want to close my eyes. Or get up off this ground. I move a little to the left.

More stars. This is really hurting. I can feel the bump throbbing.

“What’s your name…?” the girl asks. I tell her.

“Dang. Wrong Michael.”

I hear a man describe me to someone on the phone. The girl asks him if that was 911. They’ve called again. How long have I been down here? The man in the blue suit is still rubbing my back. The girl is still pacing by my feet. It hasn’t been THAT long has it?

”Is this Michael…?” I hear her say. “We’re with your friend…she’s had an accident, and we’ve called an ambulance, but SHE’S OKAY (am I?). We’re right by Simcoe on Queen. She’s hit her head. Yeah. We’ll be here.”

“I got the right Michael. He’s on his way luv…”

Black boots appear in place of the girl.  “Ma’am? Can you hear me? Are you okay?”

Well. Y’know. I’m on the ground. My head is bleeding. Maybe…not?

Matching black boots appear. A radio crackles. They’re cops. I hear the girl say, “YES. We’ve called 911 twice now. It’s been over 15 minutes since I called. She’s been conscious and responsive. She’s even used her phone. How long will the ambulance take?”

The black boots shuffle around me. The woman who brought me a coat is talking to the man in the blue suit. She’s a security guard and needs to get his info. He gives the information and leaves. The man holding the compress to my head talks to the security guard. I hear her ask the girl by my feet for her info. One of the cops says that she can go. She refuses to leave until the ambulance arrives. “Work is work. It’ll be there when I get there…”

“Most people don’t think that way these days.” Says the cop.

“I learned the hard way…”

Sigh. Late for work. My head is killing me. I can’t move. It is FREEZING down here. How long do I have to wait?

Mikey arrives. “Ohmygodareyouokay?” I ask him to call and give him my phone.

The black boots start to shuffle. I think I see flashing lights. The girl by my feet says “FINALLY!”

Finally a lady paramedic is helping me up. I see all the stars.

“Okay. We’re just going to get you to bend your knees. You’ve been down there for some time…”

(REALLY? Hadn’t noticed.)

They wrap me in a warm blanket and wheel me to the ambulance. Mikey is by my side.

Why couldn’t I have been on vacation?

The Vagina Dialogues…

So. Yesterday I’m walking home from the new gig and feeling groovy.

I decide, after a week of eating healthy to have some chicken wings from Popeye’s because…yes.

I spot a fine looking brotha and realize… I KNOW HIM.

Picture it. Toronto. 4 years ago…

We know each other through people in the city. Bump into each other at things like Manifesto and rooftop parties. We’d kind of flirt. We had each other’s numbers. One day he randomly texts me and we text chat the whole day. I have plans with a girlfriend that night.

2 am. My girl is wasted. She’s lost her phone (possibly at McD’s), and needs to sleep on my couch. It’s when she’s getting ready to sleep that she realizes she doesn’t have her phone. I now head back out to McD’s to retrace her steps. Dude calls…CALLS…invites me to an after hours and I had to curve him…

The texts trickle off after that… we lose touch.

Le sigh…

Yesterday, I find out he’s opened his own business…. In his own space downtown. He says twice in our curb side convo “you look good”… I tell him I’m going to be in the area of his new establishment tomorrow (true, I was having brunch 5 mins away). He won’t be there though. He says “take my number…” I do. I give him mine. I tell him that I’ll check out the spot post brunch and follow up. He points out that the prices listed won’t be the price I’ll pay.

Oh. I get a discount?

Yeah (smiles)

Oh. That. Smile.

What’s the catch…?

(smiles)

Those are our parting words.

I’m pleased. Then…I remember.

He used to work with Le Ex...like same company/division as Le Ex. The circle of people I know him from … all people who are friends with Le Ex.

I’m going to see HOW close they were. Because.

I know it’s not logical or fair to hold myself in Judgement since a) I didn’t know Le Ex back then and b) I haven’t been in touch with this guy in over 4 years (like – not even FB friends…I even thought he had moved), so it’s not like he would’ve even come up in conversation with Le Ex, because this dude left that company years ago.

But I would know. And that would bother me. Like I’m violating the code.

As I said to T last night…if I find out that I wasted a coochie credit on Le Ex…

Am I being too hard on myself?
My vagina is threatening to leave me. 

She can’t take this neglect anymore.