Christine’s Extensive List of Pros and Cons

Recently I’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions. Like, a lot. Like, more than ever in my life. And tbh, it’s left me feeling kind of discouraged and unsure about myself, which is not something I’m used to (I generally think I’m pretty great.)

Anytime I feel unsure about a decision in my life, I make a pros and cons list. People, places, things, events, whether or not I should go see my upstairs neighbour at 3am to tell him to stop wearing steel toed boots around his apartment, the usual.

So because I’ve been feeling so unsure about myself lately, I spent my Sunday morning drinking coffee and hand-writing a list of all of my strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you need to address your faults in order to truly appreciate the good things about yourself. It was extremely cathartic, highly recommend. And, because I’m an oversharer (con), I decided to publish it for everyone to see! Let’s start with the bad stuff.

Cons

  • Pretty extensive commitment/trust issues
  • Sometimes I don’t make another pot of coffee at work if I take the last cup
  • Bad at talking about my feelings
  • Find it hard to make friends with other girls
  • Pretty obsessed with taking selfies
  • Bad at telling people when I’m upset because I don’t like confrontation
  • My parents still pay for my car insurance and registration
  • Generally bad at budgeting my money
  • Probably drink too much
  • Definitely drink too much
  • Gossip but like to pretend I don’t
  • Sometimes I leave the bar without saying goodbye to the people I’m with
  • Hate being babysat when I’m drunk
  • Never been in a meaningful romantic relationship
  • More of a follower than a leader
  • Spend too much time on Facebook at work
  • Constantly getting myself into bad romantic situations
  • Very bad at beer pong
  • Don’t have enough faith/confidence in myself
  • If I think I’m gonna be bad at something I bash it so that if I really am bad at it, it seems like I didn’t really care to begin with
  • Pretty competitive
  • Have a hard time cutting off toxic friendships/relationships
  • Don’t do my dishes until they are overflowing in my sink
  • Forgive people too easily
  • Probably addicted to social media
  • Road rage
  • Consistently tired yet refuse to go to sleep at a reasonable hour
  • Continue to have loud sex no matter how many times my neighbours bang on my wall
  • Have never stuck to a diet
  • Generally bad at doing my makeup
  • Bite my nails
  • Don’t have a puppy
  • Bail on going to the gym if anything more interesting presents itself (including cleaning my apartment)
  • Watch too much Netflix
  • Bad at reversing into parking spots
  • Already wear reading glasses and I’m not even that old
  • Smoke when I drink
  • Bad at math
  • Drink too much coffee
  • Compare myself to others
  • Mild hypochondriac
  • Never have cash on me
  • Have a hard time saying ‘I love you’
  • Have a hard time saying ‘I’m sorry’
  • Still don’t really know how to use a Mac
  • Prefer talking about things via text rather than face-to-face
  • I tell people I don’t like oranges but really I don’t eat them because I find peeling them to be too much work (seriously why does it take 30 minutes to peel it and 30 seconds to eat it, that’s a horrible work vs. reward ratio)
  • Hate crying
  • Grammar nazi (or is it grammar alt-right these days? Can’t keep up.)
  • Will never have abs
  • Refuse to watch sad movies/TV shows
  • Read my horoscope every day, even though I don’t believe in them
  • Read horoscopes of all the important people in my life to see if I can predict their daily mood/behaviour, even though I don’t believe in them
  • Bad at ordering at restaurants
  • Worry about whether or not I’m good enough for the people around me
  • Sometimes don’t pay my rent on time

 

Pros

  • Overly nice to waiters/waitresses/nurses/people who work in retail, no matter how bad the service is
  • Freakishly loyal to friends and family
  • Literally if you hurt anyone I love I will not hesitate to physically harm you
  • Seriously.
  • Always very hydrated
  • Have a very nice apartment and a very comfortable bed
  • Put the wants and needs of others before mine
  • Adventurous when it comes to food and/or sex
  • Take great selfies
  • Share extremely well with others
  • Pretty decent taste in white wine
  • Really enjoy a good steak dinner
  • Great driver, sometimes
  • Always give spare change to homeless people
  • Never brag about it
  • Really good with words (I know a lot of them)
  • Always tell people when they have something in their teeth
  • Switched from beer bottles to cans so that the man who goes through my recycling doesn’t have to lug bottles around on his bike — they make it hard for him to balance
  • Truly enjoy rainy days
  • Will say yes to any outdoor activity
  • In love with the ocean
  • Great team player
  • Once helped my best friend cut her cat’s nails even though I’m allergic to cats
  • Have embraced my cute, chubby body
  • Love every puppy I see
  • Enjoy feeding people
  • Will give my last elastic to anyone who asks for it
  • Pack a great picnic
  • Like making people laugh when they’re having a bad day
  • Get genuinely excited when good things happen to the people in my life
  • Make great coffee even though I only own a half-functional french press
  • A great mom to my fish, Abbi (with an i)
  • I smell really good
  • Willing to help any drunk girl in a bar bathroom
  • Brunch is my favourite meal
  • Really good at building Ikea furniture
  • Would help any of my friends move
  • Would drive any of my friends to/from the airport
  • Give blood and like doing it
  • Huge bookworm
  • Not a great dancer but that doesn’t stop me
  • Floss my teeth every day
  • Kids love me, even when I find them annoying
  • Amazing wedding date (see point about dancing)
  • Could listen to people talk about things they’re passionate about for hours
  • Great at parties
  • Great with moms
  • Always down for ice cream, no matter what time of day
  • Good at painting
  • Once sang ‘Give Me One Reason’ by Tracey Chapman at a karaoke bar with my best friend and we got a standing ovation
  • Have very recently become a cuddler and I think I’m pretty good at it
  • Eternally grateful for my amazing parents
  • Love my job, even on bad days
  • Can rap Lil Wayne’s part in ‘Look At Me Now’
  • Try as hard as I can to see the best in every situation, even though outwardly I might be complaining about it
  • Love my freckles and red hair no matter how many times people have yelled GINGERS HAVE SOULS at me
  • Most happy when I’m driving with the windows down blasting music
  • Constantly use my friends and family as motivation to be a better person
  • I make really great nachos and guac
Advertisements

Things I’ve learned about being a semi-adult

Since I’ve been an Adult™ for anywhere from six months to the past four years, depending on who you ask – don’t ask my mother – I’ve gathered some interesting information for any of those who feel like they are bad at being an adult. Here is some of that wisdom.

1. Sometimes you won’t want to adult and that’s fine

Being an adult comes with a ridiculous amount of pressure. For someone who hates crying, I sometimes let myself just give into it and let loose. And I’m not talking a quiet sob while prompted by an unsuspected Adele song. I’m talking full-out, Kim K. ugly-crying while my neighbours watch me from the second floor balcony for a bit before shutting their blinds. It’s fucking hard to have it all together. Find something you like to do that makes you feel like Not An Adult sometimes. For me, it’s walking through the mall and rolling my eyes at cute old couples sitting on benches, or dancing in my kitchen with the curtains open and not caring that my neighbours are pointing and laughing, or drinking a bottle of wine alone on a Saturday night after telling all my friends I had plans while I binge-watch old episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or writing this blog. You don’t have to adult all the time, it’s okay to let it go for a bit and just breathe.

2. You will probably think about quitting your job at least twice a week

I love my job. I really do. I work with a team of what can best be described as fucking characters, but they’re my fucking characters. That being said, sometimes they get on my last fucking nerve. Sometimes I go sit in the kitchen and stare out the window and contemplate how much money I could potentially make freelancing, or hooking, or selling badly-knit headbands on Etsy that my mom describes as “cute!….very unique!” Sometimes I go sit in my car and look at Instagram fit-tea models just to get out of the office and remember that at the end of the day, at least I don’t have to explain to my dad that I’m selling tea on Instagram using my body. There are tons of ways to make your work day a bit better. Having a work bff is a big help and it also helps if they think every other person is a fucking character as well. Get up and moving, remind yourself you have a heartbeat, go out for lunch even if it’s by yourself, make use of those personal days and always remember that you work to live and not the other way around.

3. You will never be an adult in the eyes of your siblings

While your parents stand around and take credit for the fully-formed, only slightly damaged adult you have turned into, your siblings will always see you as their older or younger brother or sister. One recent weekend I jumped on my sister’s bed after a long day of skiing and I accidentally landed on her knee so, in retaliation, she pushed me off the bed and I ended up with a disgustingly green bruise under my kneecap and an equally ugly green one smack in the middle of my right ass cheek. We’re 25 and 19. We have our own cars and legitimate jobs. We’ve made our own doctor’s appointments and we pay off our own credit cards. All that to say, your siblings have seen you at your worst. My sisters witnessed the mom jeans I wore in the fifth grade. They witnessed my half-hearted emo phase (turns out studded belts and Good Charlotte merch isn’t a cute look for chubby 13-year-old gingers). They witnessed my Twilight obsession days. That was a dark time. They’ve basically witnessed every mortifying event in my life and it has rendered me completely un-adult-like in their eyes. And I have to admit it’s pretty nice.

4. Buying and cooking your own food is like, the worst thing

I tend to leave groceries to the absolute last minute, which you should never do if you want to get actual, real adult food as opposed to a dozen chocolate croissants and seven packages of Uncle Ben’s rice. One grocery day, I was so hungry that when I got home I ripped the resealable zipper off a bag of tortillas and took a huge bite out of all of them. A stack of tortillas. That’s like, a dozen tortillas. My mother would be horrified to think of me standing in my doorway, grocery bags all over the floor, a dozen flour tortillas clutched in my grubby hands, not even completely out of the plastic bag, a perfectly clearly-had-braces-for-four-years-as-a-young-adult shaped crescent bitten into the side of them. As I was chewing, all I could think was, “You’re better than this, Christine.” Making a grocery list of appropriate foods, having a good mix of vegetables but also allowing yourself a spoonful of Nutella every now and then, learning how to cook chicken so you don’t get salmonella, cleaning up after yourself, owning a meat thermometer, none of it ever gets easier to process.

5. Living alone is the greatest but kinda also lonely sometimes

I love living alone. Literally ask anyone. I recently saw some of my extended family, who learned for the first time that I had moved out. Obviously, one of the first questions they asked was, “Who did you move out with?” to which I had to say, “Oh no, I didn’t move out with anyone, I live alone!” Which, apparently, is a sad answer. I wanted to scream, “I HAVE FRIENDS! I COULD HAVE A ROOMMATE! I JUST LIKE WALKING AROUND IN MY UNDERWEAR!” Sometimes it feels like I have a roommate when I play my music too loud and my neighbours knock on my wall. It can be lonely sometimes, especially if you’re going through a stressful time, or if you accidentally decide one night to look through a bunch of old pictures taken at your parents’ house which is definitely a big mistake don’t do it. If you do get lonely, I suggest ….. drinking a lot of white wine. Anyways, I digress.

I am a fairly sociable person and I generally love being around people, but I also really like being on my own. Here are a list of some things I love being able to do in my own space:

1) Be naked whenever I want
2) Leave my stuff wherever I want
3) Let my dirty dishes pile up in the sink
4) Sing in the shower
5) Never have to close any doors
6) Never being judged when I spend a beautiful day inside on my couch hungover with the blackout curtains drawn, eating sweet chili and sour cream Miss Vickies straight out of the bag while binge-watching Friends.
7) Have I mentioned that I can be naked whenever I want?

My love life summed up in six quotes

What a better time to make a comeback? The most viscerally-felt of all 365 days of the year. The most useless of all holidays. The worst day if you hate all forms of PDA. The best day if you love crying alone in your car on your lunch break about how alone you are and always will be. VALENTINE’S DAY. I know, I know, valentine’s day blogs are overdone and rife with underlying messages of sadness.

But we won’t talk about VD today.

I’m not a very sad person. I’m honestly not a very ~anything~ person. I have a lot of feelings and choose not to show any of them – denial is a great place to live. It’s honestly a miracle I haven’t had a nervous breakdown in the middle of a Forever 21 yet, but I know the day is coming.

But one thing I do feel a lot is happy, because sometimes, the people I love say funny things to me about my love life. Here are some of those things.

1. “Are you a lesbian?” – my mother

Nope, pretty sure I’m riding this D train for life, Mom. I’ve briefly considered ~batting for the other team~ as I’m sure most girls who have ever been asked out and subsequently dumped over Snapchat have, but those sweet, sweet trouser snakes just keep drawing me back in.

2. “Please don’t have children.” – one of my best friends

I once went apple picking with my friend, and I may or may not have made the decision to do so very drunkenly the night before. My friend bounced back with gusto whereas I stood under the shower head for 20 minutes drinking gatorade and silently pleading for the sweet release of death. Once we got to the orchard, I was hungry and tired and it took me a solid fifteen minutes to figure out how many pounds of apples I was willing to carry (zero, but I settled for eight) through an orchard full of people I didn’t want to be around. Included in these people I didn’t want to be around was children. They all looked sticky and dirty – their parents looked worn out and run down, like they would much rather be at a bottomless-mimosa brunch than at a fucking orchard with their three kids and their kids’ friends’ parents who they are now forced to hang out with because they don’t have time to make real friends. On the tractor I loudly exclaimed “Oh my God, do children ever shut the fuck up?” and my best friend looked around, completely embarrassed, to see if anyone heard before turning to me and begging, “Please never have kids.”

3. “When are you gonna find a nice boy and settle down?” – my extended family

The chances of me finding a nice boy are probably about the same as my chances of not snapchatting anyone I shouldn’t after four vodka 7s, or successfully waking up after my first of six alarms go off in the morning, or fighting off a bear alone in the wilderness. I do believe there are nice guys out there, I’ve dated many of them, I just don’t like them. If a guy shows too much interest in me, I’m automatically turned off. As soon as they start drifting away, I’m reeled right back in. Yeah, baby, I like it when you ignore all my texts and then tell me you “fell asleep” even if it was at 5pm. Ooooh, tagged in a picture with another girl on Facebook? Christine likey. You’ve decided to get back together with your ex after months of leading me on? Come to mama.

4. “Get your shit together.” – another one of my best friends

I went to a bridal shower once, hungover, as I like to attend all important milestones in my friends’ lives. So hungover, in fact, that I forgot to put on mascara and forced my best friend to bring me some because without it I look like an albino rat that escaped from a testing lab somewhere deep in a forest. There was a make-your-own-mimosa bar at the bridal shower and I firmly cemented myself next to it for a solid 30 minutes. That, coupled with copious amounts of candy and pigs-in-a-blanket, left me feeling a little melancholic about my – at the time – somewhat chaotic love life. “I’m never going to find a love like they have,” I said to my friend, throwing back what was probably pure champagne with a splash of pink lemonade. She turned to me, gave me a look that could kill a small child and said, “We’re at a bridal shower. This day isn’t about you. Get your fucking shit together.” And I have never loved her more than in that moment.

5. “Oh, Nini…” – my sisters

My two baby sisters are both in beautiful, committed, long-term relationships with boys who are kind and nice and funny and who buy them jewelry. It makes family dinners very fun because we all get to joke that my boyfriend is the 1.5L bottle of corner-store wine I brought with me. Despite being three and six years younger than me, respectively, they are infinitely wiser than I am. So whenever I tell them anything about my love life, it affords them the opportunity to shake their heads and scold me, which I did a lot to them as a teenager. So technically I’m doing them a favour because now they get revenge…….right…….yeah, we’ll go with that.

6. “So, what’s going on in the boy department??” – anyone who hasn’t seen me for more than six months

I find it really funny when people ask me this because I picture my brain like a big company housed in a big, tall, glass building. One day, a small, spindly intern runs into a large office, out of breath and sweating through his short-sleeved, ill-fitting white dress shirt. “The Boy Department,” he pants, “they’re, they’re -” he gets cut off by a broad-shouldered man smoking a cigar sitting behind a large oak desk: “Let me handle this, Jenkins!” He puts his cigar down in an ashtray sitting next to a tumbler of amber liquid. His moustache twitches as he picks up the phone and moves his fat fingers around the keypad with ease. “Hello, yes, Boy Department? What’s going on down there?” he barks.

Cut to the Boy Department – it’s on fire and none of the employees know what they’re doing.

That’s what’s going on in the Boy Department.

An ode to the single lady who likes being single

For the longest time, I’ve tried to convince myself that I need to be in a relationship. I go on dates with people, really nice people, and then just never speak to them again. I try to date people who are clearly not trying to date me, and then get upset when they don’t want something more meaningful. I am in a perpetual cycle of “Why don’t I like these amazing people?!” and “Why doesn’t this person see how amazing I am?!” It is, to say the least, shitty.

I don’t know why I’m telling myself that I need a companion. I’ve never been a relationship type of person, and if you know me, you know that I mean that honestly and truthfully. I’ve never needed the reassurance, the dependence, the vulnerability, the time devotion, the dedication that comes with having a significant other. So why am I telling myself that I need it now?

Long story short, it’s because of my bitch-ass friends (and I say that in the nicest way possible, because I love all of you so so much, even though you’ve all found love and I’m still making out with guys who have been to prison in the hopes that they will buy me shots.)

I am a perpetual third wheel. I hang out with a lot of couples, I guess they feel no kind of threat when I’m around. But watching couples interact with each other, you kind of can’t help but to want what they have. The hand holding, the whispering, the giggling, the all-around adorableness of couples.Watching my bitch-ass friends be so in love is kind of heart-wrenching. I’ve started wondering if I will ever find that kind of love.

When I bring this up with my coupled friends, they all have different opinions on why I hadn’t found the love of my life yet. Apparently I’m dating “emotionally unavailable men”. This is a common excuse we give ourselves and other women when we want to avoid the truth: that we kinda fell for an asshole. Apparently I’m not “looking in the right places”. I’m told to stop looking for guys at bars, guys at the gym, guys on Tinder, by girls who have found their boyfriends at the bar/at the gym/on Tinder. Then it’s that I’m not looking for the “right type of guy”. I like guys who are independent, who make their own rules, who might be a bit more passionate about their jobs rather than their relationships – it just so happens that all of those characteristics are unmistakeably found in guys who are douchebags. Long story short, there is always something I’m doing wrong – but there is one very prominent opinion.

“You need to make someone value you,” my friend’s boyfriend told me one day.
“What do you mean?” I prompted him, sadly knowing what he was going to say next.
“You need to have, like, a five-date rule. For … you know. Like, save yourself, kind of.”

It took all of my strength not to roll my eyes. The “saving yourself for someone” reasoning is truly the most barbaric and outdated of practices. Don’t get me wrong, I also have girlfriends say this to me, not just men. But I won’t lend myself to such an antique school of thought. The right guy will not equate your willingness to have sex with your worthiness to become their girlfriend. Sex isn’t the reason guys don’t want to commit to me. If anything, it’s the reason they stay (ayoooo).

Then, I was talking to one of my co-perpetually-single friends and she hit the nail on the head.

“I don’t think we want to be in a relationship,” she said. “We’re dating half-heartedly; it takes us weeks to plan out dates with guys we don’t even want to see. We convince ourselves to date them just because they have a good job, their own place, a nice car and we think they’re secure and stable and safe. They just turn out to be boring. I think we just want to have fun.”

And she was totally right. I realized that I had been telling myself I wanted something without putting the necessary effort into it. It’s like telling yourself you want tickets to a Beyoncé concert then peacing out when you see the $300 price tag. I don’t know if I like Beyoncé that much. What if I spend $300 on the tickets and the show isn’t as good as I thought it was gonna be? What if I spend $300 on the tickets and then something better pops up that night that would have only cost me $50 and is much more enjoyable? What if I spend $300 on the tickets and then tomorrow Beyoncé tells me she doesn’t love me anymore? Like, you get it. Some people spend $300 on the tickets and they would gladly do it over and over again, no matter the debt, the time, the place, and they have the time of their lives. There’s nothing wrong with that. And one day I’ll be able to do that too! Maybe. Maybe not.

Now, women who “like to have fun” don’t necessarily have the best reputations. I know that because I don’t have the best reputation with certain people. Even my own friends have made jokes at my expense. Even I have made jokes at my own expense. But I won’t apologize because I’m living my life the way I want to and you’re stuck in a relationship you decided to get yourself into when you were 16 and are now too comfortable and/or chubby to get yourself out of and find something more exciting. That’s not how I roll.

I debated writing this because I didn’t want to be seen as bitter, cynical, old-maidish, etc. But I’ve realized, while writing this, how empowering it is to just own all of the things you love about being single. I like making my own money and not having someone judge me for spending it on stupid things like self-tanner or Yves St. Laurent mascara or that weird star-shaped fruit I’ve never tasted and will probably rot after I forget that I bought it or acai-berry-flavoured vodka or a $33 phone case with a picture of a slice of pizza on it, or … you get it. I like having my own schedule, I like not being forced to go to family dinners/reunions/activity days. I like being able to go out with my friends and drink, dance, have fun, then grab pizza with a guy at 3am. I like climbing into my warm bed and not having to share space and covers with another person. I like waking up and having the whole day in front of me to do whatever I want. I like spending nights awake, alone with myself, writing essays like these and not worrying about who is going to judge me for them. I like powering through a plate of fries and washing it down with a whole pitcher of sangria without worrying about how I’m going to look naked, how I’m going to keep our sex life alive and fun and exciting, how I’m going to “keep” my boyfriend. I like a lot of things about being single. And if those things make me bitter, cynical, old-maidish, etc. then I guess they are titles I’m willing to accept.

So, for the time being, I’m not going to stress over finding the love of my life. I’m not going to stress over being in a relationship. I’m not going to stress about finding the right guy or finding him in the right place. I’m not going to stress about why a guy thinks I am or am not having sex with him. I’m not going to stress about what people think I’m doing. I’m just gonna do me. And you should too.

How to be single on Valentine’s Day

I hate Valentine’s Day. Not because I’m always single for it (okay maybe a little bit because I’m always single for it) but because I think it’s dumb. I think it’s the dumbest holiday in the world. I used to work in retail and I can tell you that Valentine’s Day is good for nothing unless you like fighting with your partner about exactly you want out of Valentine’s Day. Some people want a big sha-bang with roses, chocolates, a night of intense and passionate lovemaking. Others want to order Chinese food, drink boxed wine, stay in their pajamas and fall alseep on the couch together re-watching Making a Murderer. I’m not saying one is wrong and the other is right ……. but I think we all know which one I would choose. Valentine’s Day is also a great way to hate all of your friends who are in relationships. “We’re not even doing anything that special,” your friend will say, “he just rented a cottage in Vermont and we’re gonna spend the weekend skiing and having sex. I, like, don’t even want to go to be honest. I’d rather stay here with you and eat cheap chocolate hahaha.” NEWS FLASH. NO ONE FUCKING BELIEVES YOU. Fuck outta here with that bullshit. We all know it’s gonna be the best weekend of your life, just own it. I don’t need your pity.

See? I’m not bitter at all.

Anyways. Here is a play-by-play of how to be single on Valentine’s Day.

1) Pretend it’s not happening

I love living in denial. Ask any one of my friends or any single one of my professors from university. Whether it’s an impending writing deadline or the gas light has come on in my car or I see a customer in line who looks like they’re going to yell at me, you bet your ass I’m just going to trick myself into thinking it’s not even happening. So I do the same thing with Valentine’s Day. Anytime someone mentions it, my eyes glaze over and I just stare off into space until my brain registers a shift in the conversation. If I see heart-shaped chocolate, I just pretend that chocolate has always looks like that. If I see cute little teddy bears holding signs that say stupid shit like, “I love you BEARy much,” I just pretend that the person who designed it is in jail now for murder. Just normal things like that.

2) Use it to your advantage

When I get over the fact that it’s actually happening, I use it as an excuse to do whatever the fuck I want to do. Going on a Tinder spree? Valentine’s Day. Spending $35 on chocolate at Bulk Barn? V-day, motherfuckers. Going to see a cheap movie alone? It’s fucking Valentine’s WEEK, brah. Watching 14 hours of Netflix documentaries in one day? Valentine’s. Day. Driving by your ex’s house in the hopes that he’s outside and hopefully looks filled with remorse about ever letting you go and looks like he’s gained 20 pounds? You know why. VALENTINE’S DAY, YO.

3) Make better plans

I find that being single on Valentine’s Day opens a lot of doors. Chances are, if you go out, the couples will only be out until about midnight when they’ll all want to change out of their fancy clothes and/or want to go home to sex each other. Then it will only be fun, single people left! There’s nothing more fun, hilarious or, quite frankly, dangerous than a single person who is trying to drink away their loneliness. If there’s one thing drunk single people like more than shots it’s doing shots off of another drunk single person’s body. That sounds like a night that could never go badly, right? And if you don’t want to drown your sorrows, go do something you like to do. Make this into a V-day between you and you. If you like mini-putt, go fuckin’ putt, girl. If you wanna go see a movie, round up four other friends who don’t have plans and go see that movie! If you wanna eat a whole lobster dinner by yourself, fucking go for it!!! You do you, booboo!

4) Reflect on your past

Valentine’s Day is a great day to look back on past relationships and think about the good times, the bad times and all the times in between. Think of it as a January 1st but for your love life. A rejuvenation of sorts. Remember that time you threw a full can of peanuts at that one guy? Yeah, probably don’t do that ever again you crazy bitch. Remember that time you spent way too much time pining over one guy when he clearly didn’t reciprocate those feelings? You don’t deserve that! Don’t do that again. Remember when you and that guy built a bonfire and drank beers all night? Yeah, do more shit like that. Remember when that guy taught you how to skate and didn’t even mind having to pick you up off an icy surface for like two hours straight? Hang around more guys that would do that for you. Set yourself some relationship goals and crush them!

5) Celebrate with your best friend

Who said that Valentine’s Day was just for couples? Maybe they meant a coupla’ hotties who know how to have a good time, am I right?! Okay yeah that was bad we’re not all perfect let’s just move on. I had a really good conversation with one of my really good friends this weekend. We were both kinda tipsy but the underlying message was there; we’re in love. Love comes in so many shapes and sizes, so use Valentine’s Day as a way to say I love you to everyone you have any kind of feelings for. Your postman. The guy who works at the corner store near your house. The girl who told you that dress looked fierce on you when you didn’t bring a friend to the changing rooms with you. Your bestie, who always thinks you are your most beautiful and genuine self.

6) Hit up them thangs

And by that I mean text some dudes who you know are single. Notice how I said text some dudes who you know are single. Don’t be that girl hittin’ up them taken thangs. Even guys get lonely on Valentine’s Day – they have feelings too! So show them some love and maybe they, in turn, will show you some love. There’s nothing better than two non-committed, slightly intoxicated single people getting what they truly deserve on Valentine’s Day: some looooooooove (ifyaknowwhatimean).

At the end of the (v)day, don’t let a shitty Hallmark holiday ruin your week. Hit me up if you’re feeling sad and I’ll pump you full of cheap pink wine and corner store chocolates, like a true friend <3

Things working at a gym has taught me

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the gym. Mainly the problem was that I wanted to be fit but I hated a medley of things associated with being fit, such as sweating, lifting things, going faster than a pace one would usually use to take a leisurely Sunday stroll, eating healthy and going to the gym. So, as you can tell, getting fit wasn’t really something I was willing to work for.

I did alright in college mainly because I had super long and gruelling days that meant making my own lunch, not having enough money to buy anything from the cafeteria and mandatory gym classes. But then university hit and I started going to school less, working more, going out more, glasses of champagne out on the dancefloor, hanging with some girls I’ve never seen bef- … wait, wtf, how did I get here?

Anyways, you get it. I got super fat. It was actually pretty fun. I ate a lot of pasta, I drank a lot of beer, I didn’t give a fuck about working out because I was playing rugby. It was actually the best two years of my life. But then my coach called me fat one day and when I stopped foaming at the mouth and screaming profanities I was like, “Oh yeah okay I see what you’re saying yeah maybe I’m getting a bit chubs.” So I started volunteering at a gym. I would go maybe twice a week. Once to volunteer and once to work out. I was still drinking excessively and being a generally horrible contribution to society, so that still took up a lot of my time. But it was a stepping stone.

Then they offered me a job there. It was a snowy afternoon in February and as I settled into my little nook at the front desk, the girl working asked why I looked so angry and sad. Despite that just being my normal face whenever I have to go outside on snowy afternoons, I told her that I hated my job, the past five years in retail had completely worn me out and I needed a change. She immediately asked if I wanted a job and ten seconds later I was in a pre-interview with her boss.

It was great, but the whole time I was like, “Have you seen me? My diet consists of five different types of cheese usually spread or melted onto some kind of white bread. I can’t work at a gym.” But I did. I started working at a gym. It was hard in the beginning. I found myself having to motivate others to come to the gym when I couldn’t even motivate myself to go to the gym. I found myself saying “Three to five times a week, minimum 30 minutes each time! That’s all it takes!” to members when I wasn’t even committing to it myself. What a fucking dummy, eh?

Then something changed. I quit some vices that were holding me back and started getting super into cardio. Eventually a couple of other girls at the front desk started working out too. Then we started working out together. Then we befriended an older, hilarious, literally insane personal trainer who made us programs that included things we had never heard of, like Turkish Get-Ups and Good Mornings and Preacher curls. He also taught me the importance and necessity of hamstring massages. It was great. I started feeling better, I started losing weight really fast and I started noticing my new-found strength when I was doing simple things like opening doors or going upstairs. My butt started to look even better and my tummy got flatter. I was happier, people started complimenting me more, guys at the gym started hitting on me. How could I ever have lived without this feeling? How could I ever have lived without muscular men hitting on me while I worked? I never want to go back to not having that in my life.

Now, I know it’s resolution season so I figured I would make a list of things I’ve learned from working at a gym in the hopes that maybe one of you will read it and decide to change your habits. Here they are.

1) No one is fucking looking at you when you’re working out

This was, weirdly enough, my biggest fear. I didn’t want to work out where people could see me. At the gym everyone feels watched, everyone feels like they’re not doing something properly and someone is going to call them out on it. Honestly, the first time I ever worked out in the weight room I was astounded by how many people were worried about being watched but then did nothing but watch themselves. Seriously. The number of guys in there doing thirty minutes of tricep dips followed by fifteen minutes of flexing their triceps in the mirrors is frankly commendable. And hilarious. No one cares what you’re wearing, no one cares if you have Lululemon pants, no one cares if you are wearing a gray shirt and you sweat through it. You look ugly in the gym so you can look good outside of the gym. Ight?

2) Even if you’re doing something wrong, you’re still doing something right

I’m not telling you to hit up the squat rack, strap on four plates for your first go and see where you end up. Because it will definitely be the hospital. But even if you’re doing an exercise with small little inconsistencies or imperfections, you’re still exercising, you’re still sweating and you’re still putting in work. Exercising doesn’t have to be elaborate. There’s this guy at the gym who, whenever I’m working out, has corrections for me. It gets frustrating because I honestly don’t care. If I’m doing it with proper form I really don’t think I need to lift it half an inch higher in order to hit some super obscure muscle in my back that will probably never appear no matter how hard I work. Know your limits, do your work, don’t listen to fuckboys in the weight room. Simple.

3) You do need to eat well, but not super well

I’m planning on eating my body weight in sushi tonight. And I’m not even going to feel bad about it. I’ve put in three days of exercise this week and I’ve eaten relatively well. New studies have come out showing that the pursuit of perfectly healthy eating is in fact kind of unhealthy. Which makes sense if you think about it. I know a girl who stopped eating cheese (friendship almost over) because someone told her it was the reason that she wasn’t losing weight. At a barbeque a year later she had one slice on a hamburger and spent the rest of the night puking. That seems more unhealthy than continuing to eat cheese in the first place, don’t you think? By demonizing foods and making them seem “bad”, we’re taking away things that we need to survive. You need cheese to survive, people, it’s not that fucking hard of a concept.

4) Celebrate the little steps

I once took off half of my shirt at work to send a Snapchat of my bicep to a friend. It ended in me hearing someone coming, then being caught under my desk by the janitor – my shirt safely on again but my dignity completely gone. I tried to play it off like I had lost my earring for a solid two minutes before he realized I still had all my earrings in. But I was still really proud of my new baby bicep. And I was upset that I didn’t get to send my Snapchat. You need to celebrate the little victories, like being able to make it to the third floor and still be breathing like a normal person, or seeing a semblance of a teardrop on your quad. Or not silently giving up halfway through sex while still having to pretend that you aren’t dying from physical exhaustion.

5) Don’t quit

I’m not about that motivational gym life so I’ll keep it short. Don’t quit, keep going, you got this.

Resolutions: 2016 edition

It’s that time of year, y’all! You go to the bar, the mall, the salon, a McDonalds anytime after 2am on a Saturday and it’s just buzzing with women saying things like, “Stacy, this year is my year. It is the year of Melanie and NO ONE WILL RUIN IT!” or “New year, new me, babe!” Fast forward to mid-March and Stacy is texting Melanie, “Girl I told you to stop me from going home with Mark last night and also why did I wake up with a half-eaten vegetarian pizza shoved into my bag and also I’m not wearing the same underwear I started the night in.” Long story short, resolutions are fucking bullshit. But here are a list of mine.

1) Be more professional

I am, potentially, the least professional person you’ve ever met. I recently got a new job (thank you, thank you) and I was invited to a holiday lunch with my boss and literally all of his bosses. It was terrifying and I freaked the fuck out. Below is a screenshot of a text I sent my best friend the morning of the holiday lunch that I think will do all of the explaining for me.

Screenshot_2015-12-10-12-01-18-1

Professionality is never something that I strive for. I find being professional has a time and place. I’ve always gotten people to open up to me by being the most unprofessional version of myself. I think it’s weird that we pretend we’re not all huge weirdos with weird thoughts and weird feelings. No one should ever be that professional. But I’m a big girl now. And big girls don’t talk about blow jobs over turkey lunches.

2) Stop going out with guys because “I feel like I should”

I do this a lot, where I’ll start talking to a guy who I don’t really see a future with but who I appreciate as a conversationalist or a pretty-alright friend. Then he’ll casually mention hanging out and I’ll agree. Next thing I know he’s making a reservation at a restaurant and figuring out a time to pick me up at my house. What?! When did this jump from talking about our ideal number of pets (unlimited dogs, every time) to a straight-up date? Do I call him out on it? Do I tell him I just want to be friends? What could be the harm in just going? What have I got to lose? What if this is his version of a chill friend hang? And even if it is a date, why should I say no? He’s put in a lot of effort to get to know me! What if I go on the date and develop feelings for him and we fall in love and get engaged and live happily ever after? I’ll never know unless I go, right? Wrong. Those nights always end in awkward kiss-dodging and extreme regret in having not been upfront.

3) Learn how to get over someone

How? Like, how does this happen? It’s so hard. It’s weird when someone comes into your life and makes an impact on it – no matter how big or how small – and then all of a sudden they’re gone. And you’re left trying not to associate them with that song on the radio that was popular when you were together or trying not to think of them every time you see Oreos because they loved Oreos or trying not to think of that time they kissed you for the kind-of-first-time in front of your garage every time you open your garage. It’s frustrating for me because I don’t like to admit that I am hung up on someone. I like to just pretend that I am okay with someone not being in my life anymore but the truth is that it fucking sucks. So I promise, in 2016, to translate that hurt and sadness into something productive, like my writing. Or painting. Or making voodoo dolls … joking! … kind of.

4) Start buying nicer clothes

Here’s the thing. I like buying clothes. I like buying very cheap clothes. I have about 54684516835 of the exact same t-shirt from Forever 21 in like a million different colours because they were on sale for $3 each. I have a cubby full of shoes at work and every pair of them cost me less than $5. I like it when someone compliments me on something and I can be like, “I bought this for $0.25 at a gas station!” But the thing is, these things don’t last very long. I need to get some quality clothes. This goes back to my first point about being a bit more professional. I realized when I got my new job that I wouldn’t be able to wear stretchy pants and oversized shirts to work anymore, so I shed a tear and bought a $50 blazer. Lord help me.

5) I want to learn how to fight someone

For real. I’ve only ever thrown a punch once in my life and I consider myself pretty lucky that it actually landed. Because I have very shitty hand-eye coordination. I don’t want to learn how to fight someone because I want to actually fight someone. Well, maybe because I want to fight someone, but more because I think I need a violent outlet on days where I feel a bit down, you know? I used to have rugby, but I haven’t played in a couple of seasons and my body and mind definitely feel it. Something about bringing someone to the ground just using your own force and momentum is actually really liberating. So if anyone out there wants to teach me how to fight, hit me up.

6) Be more confident

I consider myself a pretty confident person. More confident than most, I would say. Most days, if I were to be asked how I feel about my general self I would probably respond with something like, “How dare you ask me that, obviously I am the shit and you need to take a seat.” Or something along those lines. But there are still times when all of that confidence goes out the window. Example: I hate it when I’m meeting someone somewhere and I don’t know where they’re situated. I hate it when I’m going on a date with a guy and we’re meeting at a restaurant and he texts me, “I got us a table! See you soon.” LIKE NO, COME GET ME PLEASE. I hate looking around for people. It’s weird, I know, I’m weird, get over it. Also, when I talk to boys who I’m interested in, I’m like a scared baby deer. All wide eyes and unstable footing. I was once trying to tell a cute boy at work that I had been there too long and it was time to go home so I said, “I’m past my due date,” and just kind of walked away. Like WTF CHRISTINE now he thinks you’re pregnant! What a goose.

7) Read more

I used to work at a bookstore and I would know all the cool, new books that were coming out and I got a sick discount on all of them and I would read all the goddamn time. Now I work at a gym and I never read and I spend all of my time on Facebook or looking at pictures of dogs or reading my own Twitter feed because I’m fucking hilarious. Seriously I waste so much time on social media when I could be getting lost in books and it makes me kind of sad to think about that. So I’m gonna start reading more! Just gotta check Facebook first. And maybe Instagram.

8) Learn how to go on a real date

This was actually on my resolutions list last year but clearly it never happened. I hate dates. You all know this. But I think it’s about time I learn how to go on one in like a normal way. Dinner? Sure! Coffee? Why not! A drink? Let’s do it! In reality all of these dates sound super fucking boring and I would rather watch 14 hours of Justin Bieber music videos on repeat. But I think there is a way to find a happy medium when it comes to going on dates. Especially in Montreal; there are so many weird, beautiful, unconventional date ideas. I just need to find them. (And if any of you want to go on a weird beautiful unconventional date with me, you know, just for like, experimental purposes ……. lemme know.)

9) Eat less cheese

Who are we kidding this is never happening.

10) Eat more cheese

That’s better.