The firsts

Last week when I left work at 8pm, it was dark outside. It was also 20 degrees out, but it was still DARK AS FUCK and you know what that means – it’s fucking fall. Summer is dead. It’s over. There’s no going back. Pack up all your sundresses and shorts, bring on the boots and hats and jackets and mittens cause soon it’s gonna be -40 degrees every goddamn day and summer will be a very distant memory.

I had a great summer. I met new people and I tried new things and I only got kicked out of two different public parks after 11pm. I sang songs on a beach with the people I love the most and then I got to spend a week sailing around two of the most beautiful provinces known to man. I went pool hopping in Hudson and I spent a lot of time and money dancing and drinking with beautiful-souled girls I get to call my friends. A summer well-lived, most would say. This fall I’m not going back to school because I have graduated – I know, what the fuck? – so I have nothing to look forward to but work, work and more work. I thought that maybe I would have had some huge existential crisis in the past couple of weeks but so far it basically just feels like I spend less of my life complaining about studying and more of my life complaining about work.

I really like fall because it feels like while everything around us is dying, all of us are kind of starting over again. We’re getting back into the zone and getting more serious after a summer of debauchery. It’s weird but every fall I start thinking about maybe looking for a more serious, romantic relationship.

Fall just has so many cute couple activities, like apple picking and pumpkin carving and, like, raking leaves and jumping into a huge pile of them. If I had a boyfriend I probably wouldn’t do any of those things but it’s nice to know that the possibility is there. I think I like the idea of a relationship because I like firsts.

Here are a list of my favourite firsts

1. The first time you hang out one-on-one

I hate the idea of first dates, everyone who has ever even breathed in my direction knows that. But once I’m actually present in the moment, I love it. Especially if it just flows and you don’t need to think about what to say or how to act or whether or not you could potentially escape if he tried to kidnap you. Your body language is similar, you’re laughing at his stupid jokes, he’s interested in all of your stories – even that one about how you thought you could convince your mom you had broken your arm when you were five by wrapping it in toilet paper like some kind of ghetto cast in order to get out of going to kindergarten – and you eventually just want to do one thing and one thing only …

2. The first kiss

First kisses are terrifying but so great seriously you will never have a better kiss with someone than the first kiss. It’s all downhill from there. Well, not really, but it definitely feels that way while it’s happening. Even a bad first kiss is a good first kiss. If that makes sense. From the moment you see each other you’re kinda like okay when is this going down, like should I wait until the end or should I get on that ASAP? Is he gonna go for it or should I go for it? How am I gonna know when it’s happening? What if I pass out? What if I’m such a good kisser he proposes to me on the spot? Should I say yes? I guess we could have a December wedding … ha jk (kinda.)

3. The first time you have sex

So much pent-up energy. So much awkward fumbling. So many giggles. But for real, the first time having sex with someone you have actual feelings for is kind of romantic – regardless of whether it happens in the back of a car or in a California king bed, regardless of whether you’re pushed up against the wall or if they’re looking deep into your heart and soul. You all know what I’m talking about, and it’s fucking amazing. The best. A+. Mind-blowing, even … scuse me I need to go take a cold shower.

4. The first time you have a big fight

Christine, why are you calling a fight a good thing? Are you insane? Do you even know what you’re talking about? I don’t trust your blog anymore! Yo, hold up. The first fight is fucking crucial. You need to have complimentary fighting styles. When I’m angry, I need someone who’s going to bust their way into my life and be like “What the fuck is up, you crazy bitch?” because I’m sitting in my room listening to old-school Eminem in a beat-up hoodie debating whether or not I should give up, run away and join an all-female, underground rap group. Everyone needs something different, but chances are you’ll be able to learn and mold and adapt to each other. Fights also give you the a-okay to eat full cartons of Ben and Jerry’s Half-baked because calories don’t count during fights (little known fact). Also, “the first time you have make-up sex” gets a complimentary nod here.

5. The first time you meet their friends

I’ve always gotten along really well with friends of guys I’ve dated. It’s very easy to get a group of dudes to accept you. The first thing you need to do is not be crazy, as much as you really really really want to. Let him hang out with his friends and don’t text him the whole goddamn time, simple. Second, you just need to bring them something. A bag of carrots? Some crackers? Turns out, trying to win over a group of dudes is just like trying to win over a herd of bunnies. Also, having them meet your friends is also pretty bomb. Chances are they co-wrote every text, Facebook message or Snapchat you’ve sent this person in the past three months; letting them hang out with him is the least you could do to acknowledge all of their hard work.

6. The first time you call them your boyfriend/girlfriend

Exclusivity is a very weird thing. When do we bring it up? When do we demand it? Should we be upfront about what we want from day 1? Should we just see where it goes? What am I down for? What is he down for? Should I just eat a Snickers and calm the fuck down? Probably. It takes a lot to decide that you want to be exclusive. In a society that seems to have collective ADHD when it comes to focusing on one person, it feels pretty fucking good to have someone say they wanna be with you and only you.

7. The first time you say I love you

Just thinking about this is giving me heart palpitations. I don’t wanna get sappy because that’s not really an emotion I do unless there are sloths involved. Or puppies. Or baby sloths. Sloths or puppies. But saying I love you to another human being feels pretty fucking chill.

Rules were made to be broken

Do you know how much horrible advice I have gotten from people over the years? I love talking about dating and relationships and sex and all that good stuff, so people feel like they can be open with me, which I love, I really do. But sometimes they’ll be like “What do I do if the guy I like texts me to hang out?” And I’m like well unless you are in a horrible accident within five minutes of that text and your thumbs fall off, you should probably text him back and follow up on that offer. And they’re like “But what if he wants to hang out that same day?” So I’m like if you are doing nothing but watching Netflix and eating sour cream and onion chips in bed alone all day, you should probably hang out with the dude you’re crushing on. Then they’re all like, “But my friend told me that means he doesn’t care about my schedule and thinks I’m just sitting at home waiting for him to text me.”

Girl. Girl, please. How have you gotten this far in life? You like a guy. He texts you to hang out. As early as within the next hour. Fucking do it. As if that guy is sitting around with all his friends like “Hey, man, look, I texted this girl today to hang out and she said yes. What a fucking loser.” In what world?!

Here are some stupid dating games and rules y’all need to chill on.

1) Pretending you’re cool with shit you’re not cool with in order to seem cool

Stand up for yourself. If someone you are dating is doing something you’re not cool with, tell them. On one of the worst dates I’ve ever been on, a guy got mega-stoned halfway through and fell asleep while we were watching a movie. I left and got a text from him at 4am saying, “Dude I just woke up, when did you leave?” I pretended to be super chill about it because I didn’t want to come off as a bitch, but that fucking sucked. Here was a guy I blew off my friends for, drooling next to me while Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story played on his laptop at the end of his bed, the room reeking of weed and the sound of him snoring making me want to punch him in the fucking face. It went on like that for another couple of weeks before I realized that I wasn’t even remotely happy being someone’s stoned hang. Also, the amount of times I’ve friend-zoned my own damn self by being “the girl who can chill with the dudes” is astounding. If you’re not cool, don’t act cool.

2) Playing hard to get

I never understood this one at all. People act like this is the defining factor of every casual dating relationship. Chances are you aren’t going to notice when someone is playing hard to get with you. Example: I don’t text a guy I like for 24 hours. Am I playing hard to get? Or am I involved in a 24-hour paintball battle? Or did I take a 24-hour vow of silence? Or did I get eaten by a fucking bear in the forest? Who the fuck knows. Definitely not the guy I haven’t been texting. Look, if you like someone, act like you like them. Take an interest in what they’re doing. Ask them how their day went. Text them when you see something that reminds you of them. Comment on their social media game. If they don’t like the fact that you’re engaging them in random, day-to-day conversation because you come off as “needy” or “too attached”, you need to re-evaluate who you’re dating. (Side note: also, text people back if you have your phone on you. So simple. Waiting five minutes isn’t gonna make them more interested in you. You aren’t coming off as mysterious, you’re coming off as a bag of dicks. If it takes you a while to text back, apologize, then engage. So simple. So fucking simple. Rant over.)

3) Thinking that willingness to perform sexual activities correlates directly to the value of a person’s character

Sex is probably the most natural thing you could ever do other than, like, breathe in and out. We want to have sex; it’s in our blood, it’s in our history, it’s in everything that we interact with on a daily basis. The difference between someone having sex with you the first day they meet you or 475 days later is simply 475 days, nothing more and nothing less. Judging a guy or a girl on how quickly or how passionately they will have sex with you is not a judgement on them, it’s a judgement on you. As someone who is pretty outspoken about their love life, I often find myself in situations where guys assume that I’m easy because I’m willing to talk about sex. As if because I’m comfortable with my sexual history, I will have sex with anyone. I’m comfortable enough with my sexual history to know what I want and what I don’t. When I find something I want, I take it. If that makes me easy, sign me up.

4) Girls can’t ask guys out

Bitch please. If a guy or a girl is intimidated by you because you took control of what you want, they need a reality check. A lot of my friends hate it when guys give them their numbers because it forces them into making the first move. “What should I text him? What do guys like? Do they like cheese? Should I talk about cheese? What’s a natural way to mention cheese? I had a great brie the other day maybe I could buy him a wheel of it?” As you can see it’s a clear downward spiral into cheese madness. (Side note: if any boys who have my number are reading this and wanna text me first, you can totally talk to me about cheese. I could talk about cheese for days.) I kinda like it when a guy gives me his number. I like calling the shots and I like it when the ball is in my court. It obviously makes me a bit nervous and it’s obviously going to be awkward, but we need to embrace those moments in life and not let them hold us back from getting the things we want (that D.) (lol jk.) (kinda.)

5) Expecting the person you’re dating to read your mind

I’ve never met a mind reader. I don’t really think they exist. So the chances that you’re dating one are pretty slim. Look, if you’re upset with someone, tell them. I’m particularly bad at this. I’m bad at confrontation and I’m bad at feeling upset, so I just push it to the side and forget to deal with it. But, looking back on the sparse arguments I’ve instigated, I don’t regret having those conversations. Ultimately, they’ve brought me closer to the person. Also, a lot of the time, people forget things. Just today I forgot the code to my own garage that I use literally a million times a day. If I can’t even remember the 4-digit code to my garage how am I supposed to remember another person’s birthday? Or favourite colour? Or dog’s name? I mean, come on.

6) Expecting guys to pay for everything

Hold up, hold up. If you make your money, pay for your shit. I get that sometimes it’s nice to be treated. I treat my friends sometimes, I treat the people I date sometimes, but I never expect anyone to pay for me, and I wouldn’t like to think that people expect me to pay for them. I have a job that I work hard at (sometimes) and I have money in my bank account to prove it (sometimes). Assuming that the man in the relationship is the only one that needs to hustle and make money and provide is ridiculously outdated and sexist. Be proud of your man and his money, be proud of yourself and your money. Boom.

At the end of the day, be with someone who makes you happy and who makes you feel like you don’t need to play any of these silly games or abide by any of these silly rules. It’s all about who you miss at 2pm when you’re surrounded by people, not 2am when you’re alone and bored (and probably drunk.)


Why first dates suck

Dates are the worst. In my mind, they are three-hour interviews for a job you don’t even want. What do you wear? What do you ask? What do you say? How do you convince them you’re just the right amount of every positive personality trait combined mixed with just the right amount of quirk? It’s literally impossible. I think it’s hard for me to date because I’m a very hard person to date. My friend once dismissed advice I was giving another friend who recently started dating someone because “if a guy slouched on a first date you would never speak to him again.” Which is fucking true. Posture is key. I would much rather not refer to a date as a date and just see it as a casual hang with no strings attached to see if two people are compatible and on the same wavelength. A longer but more encompassing name, I find. Because here is why the traditional idea of “dates” are kinda terrifying:

1) What the fuck do I wear?

I work at a gym, meaning 99% of my pants are stretchy and 75% of my shirts have had the arms cut off of them with a pair of Crayola scissors I leave on my headboard. That leaves very little by way of clothes that I can actually wear out in public. Usually I have to start getting ready for a first date three hours ahead of time just so I have time to rip apart my closet and exhaust every option. It’ll go from being jeans and a nice shirt to being leggings and a tank top to being half of a halloween costume I wore three years ago with a white blazer thrown over it. My mind runs wild. Does it look too trashy? Does it look too prude? Do these colours clash? Why do I own so many shirts with sequins on them? Am I secretly a poorly-paid escort? How tall is he? Will I look like his mom if I wear heels? There are so many things to consider. Then, three hours later when I’m actually on the date I realize how little clothes matter when every other thing goes right. Which leads us to …

2) Where the fuck are we gonna go?

I live on a suburban island. There are a severely limited amount of places to go on a date. Let’s start with the worst of them: the movies. Firstly, we aren’t 12. Should I get my dad to sit three rows behind us to chaperone? Going to the movies is something you do when you’ve been comfortably dating for a couple of months and you wanna hang out for two hours but have nothing to talk about. On a first date you want to be able to look at each other, talk to each other and laugh at each other. None of those things are possible at the movies. (I really hate movie dates, I don’t know if that’s obvious yet?) Second, there’s the bar date. Which is cool, if you pick the right bar. Anything with a terrace is a fucking win, because chances are it’s quiet enough that you can have a conversation but you can still hear the music and the people inside. Although bars can be risky. I was once on a date with a guy and the waitress asked me what I wanted first so I obviously ordered a pint of something delicious that came with a fruit slice in it and when she asked for his order he got a Diet Coke. I nursed that beer for two painful hours. Thirdly, there’s dinner. Dinner is nice because you can talk, eat, drink, the best of all worlds. But dinner is expensive, and I actually feel really bad allowing a guy to spend money on my – let’s be honest – excessive appetite. Spinach dip? Sign me up. Calamari? Done. Lobster bisque? We’re doing it. Entrecôte? Yes fucking please. That pairs well with this super old and super expensive bottle of wine? Bring it on. That being said, the best date I ever went on was a walk around the lake drinking wine straight from the bottle. It was low-key, spontaneous and really picturesque. The only problem was …

3) What the fuck do we talk about?

I’m a ridiculous over-sharer. The mention of something small and insignificant will result in a ten-minute one-sided discussion about where I see myself in ten years. I have no conversational flow and I will take a subject and just kill it. Forget about awkward silences. In journalism we were taught to wait out awkward silences because that’s usually when people get nervous, try to fill the silence and say something juicy on record. I didn’t really need to be taught this because it’s just my normal life. And, as a classic Maritimer, I will not hesitate to bring up the weather in every conversation I have. Our people love talking about the weather. I recently stumbled upon a Twitter feed of ridiculous first-date questions and I’ve been dying to try them out in real life. Some of these include:

Do you think lizards can fall in love?
How many jelly beans do you think I can fit in my mouth before I suffocate?
Do you think bugs have best friends?
What’s your favourite type of bread?
What’s the worst thing you would do for some free guacamole?
Do you think giraffes ever get lonely?
What if you accidentally forget your phone before going into the bathroom; how long do you think you’d last before you died?

I urge you to fill a tiny notebook with all of your favourite questions and sneakily use them as a guide to having the best first date ever. Although that might hinder …

4) How the fuck do we end this thing?

Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t wanna have sex with you. Well, chances are I probably do. But not today, my friend. It’s going to sound horrible, but I’m going to say it. Every time I have heard a guy talk about a girl he hooked up with on a first date, it was talked about with a mixture of both disgust and fascination. “All I had to do was buy her dinner, bro! But I’m not gonna see her again cause obviously she’s kinda slutty.” Followed by a 30-second masculinity-defining handshake. In my mind, the girl lucked out that night. She got dinner, didn’t spend a penny, then had what I’m assuming was some pretty decent sex. Regardless, if you were nice to me, let me talk my brains out, didn’t comment on my clearly horrible outfit and brought me somewhere I could get to know you, I’m gonna want to hold your hand. And kiss you for like an appropriate amount of time. Or an inappropriate amount of time depending on how good of a kisser you are.

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How technology is ruining my love life

I love technology. I use it everyday, whether I’m at school, work, home, on the train, on my bike, in a park, on a plane … you get it. I like the connectedness I feel when I’m on my phone. I love posting pictures of my food/myself on Instagram. I love checking in somewhere on Facebook. I love scrolling through Tinder matches at 3 a.m. after eight long hours of a Netflix binge. I love getting news updates from Twitter. I love looking through the Vines I’ve favourited in public places and laughing like no one is watching me. Spotify is constantly open on my computer, 8tracks is my go-to girls-night playlist-finder, I’ll pull over on the side of the road to Shazam a song on the radio. Snapchat is my favourite app ever invented. I love this blog and the people it has allowed me to reach out to. Technology is an integral part of my life. It is also the fucking worst.

1) Facebook stalking

Do not even act like you’ve never stalked a Facebook profile before because I know you’re a fucking liar. We’re all guilty, this is a safe space, you can admit it. Put your hand up if you’ve ever put a guy’s phone number into Facebook’s searchbar to see if you could find his profile. Yeah, most of you. Put your hand up if you’ve ever lost track of time and somehow ended up looking through the past three years of his timeline. Thought so. Put your hand up if you’ve ever looked through a potential mate’s profile pictures to see if they’ve kept the ones with their exes. And then proceeded to stalk those exes. Mhmm, I know you better than you know yourself. I once had a guy on a date tell me he looked through all my “likes” on Facebook beforehand so he would know what to say. There’s something so fundamentally wrong with that, I don’t even know where to begin. Chances are if you need a crutch to get through a first date, you shouldn’t be on the date in the first place. Also, I liked most of those pages when I was 17. Seriously, here are just a couple of pages I’ve “liked”:

Panicking every time your finger gets stuck inside something stupid
Khloe Kardashian
Pretending to text in awkward situations
The weekend (not the musician … just like, the end of the week)
Pabst Blue Ribbon
My sister said if I get 1 million likes she will name her baby Megatron

Are these really what I have to rely on when someone goes on a date with me? I mean, I think weekends are great and who would say “meh” to a baby named Megatron? But if I had to go by that list, I’m a 16-year-old boy with a crush on Khloe Kardashian. Bottom line: Facebook will not give you an accurate representation of the person you are stalking, so don’t even bother.

2) Read receipts

Aka the worst part of technology ever invented. I have an Android, so I don’t have to deal with that iMessage ridiculousness, but I had a Blackberry for about three years when I thought I was hot shit and that shit was rough. I’m somewhat known to get drunk and text people I shouldn’t. It’s a part of who I am and instead of changing myself this far into my life (debatable but we’ll go with it) I’ve decided to just live with it. There’s nothing worse than texting a guy “Hey, what’s up?” and he immediately reads it and never writes back. Like not only does he not want to deal with you right now, he doesn’t even care enough to tell you that he doesn’t want to deal with you. And we all like to feel cared for. What devil spawn was sitting in a tech-startup boardroom one day, looked at their phone full of unanswered messages and was like “Hmm. I wish all these fuckers knew I was ignoring them. That should be a thing. Yep. It’s gonna be a thing now.” LIKE HOW ABOUT YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP and let me believe that he just dropped his phone in the toilet and hasn’t gotten a new one yet.

3) Dating apps

Tinder, my dear dear Tinder. You’ve given me countless hours of pure, unadulterated joy. Through all the nightmares, you’ve stayed true to your promise of offering up only the finest douchebaggery one could hope for. Despite my love for the craziness of Tinder, it has made our generation impossibly complacent. I can sit at home, swipe my hand over my phone and find someone in a 10km radius who wants to fuck me based off five pictures and a 100-character sentence about my love of pizza. I once matched with a guy at 9 a.m. and the first thing he did was ask me for nudes. Have you seen my skin? I have the complexion of Casper the Friendly Ghost. If I take a nude in the daylight you will look at it and say, “This girl is sick, she needs to go to a hospital.” And it will ruin the beautiful ambiance we could have created. Also, why have we become a generation of people who are willing to ask strangers for a picture of their naked body? Imagine how dumb that would look in real life. Like I’m walking down the street looking at guys going “Mhmm, mhmm, yep so if you could just take your clothes off for me right now that would be great, thanks. You’re at work? Nah, you’re a lil bitch. NEXT!”

4) Snapchat

I like that recently Snapchat has been allowing users to live-snap events from around the world, like cheese-rolling contests in Britain and Diwali in India. As if, Snapchat. You’re good for one thing and one thing only: topless pics you send dudes for three seconds so they can’t take a screenshot. Snapchat is the worst culprit of nude-sharing around the world. The app has made it inexplicably easy to be lying in bed one minute and the next be positioning your tits and ass into a forgery of sexiness for a guy who is probably not even worth it. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there. It’s gotten to a point where we’ll settle for a picture as opposed to the real thing. I recently got a booty call text and debated writing back, “Can I just send you a nude? I’m already in bed and I’m in the middle of downloading the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

5) Texting in general

I’m not the kind of person who can have a text conversation with someone I just met. In my mind, texting should be used for one thing when it comes to dating: setting up a date. One of my friends recently referred to a text conversation she was having with a potential dude as a “pre-date”. What? There’s no such thing as a pre-date. You either go on a date or you don’t. The date is when you figure out whether or not you want to continue seeing them, naked or otherwise. I don’t need you to text me good morning, I need you to text me and tell me you’re buying me wine later. That is what I want to hear because it is straightforward and to-the-point and very sweet of you. I also get really confused when it comes to waiting to text someone. Should I wait three hours? Three days? Three weeks? I’m personally a fan of texting a guy as soon as he gives me his number, preferably face-to-face, that way I can see by his facial expression whether or not he is scared of me or mildly entertained by me. If you think I will be more interested in you in three days, you are wrong. By then I have already fallen in love with a million other things. A cheeseburger, for example. Or a dog I saw on the street. Or a bottle of blueberry vodka I found while cleaning my room. All things that have presented themselves to me in less than three days.

Resolutions: 2015 edition

Ah, a new year. That time of year that has you reflecting on all the horrible choices you made in the past 365 days and your vows to make the next 365 mean something more. I never understood the point of making resolutions. I make myself resolutions every day: Get out of bed. Go to work. Don’t murder anyone. Go to school. Eat a salad. Okay, eat a salad and a chicken burger. Okay, eat a salad, a chicken burger and maybe seven Hershey kisses. Okay, 10 Hershey kisses and an extra three minutes on the stairmaster.
We can make resolutions whenever we goddamn please. I could wake up on July 2 and decide that the next 365 days are going to be meaningful and beautiful, but for some reason we focus on the first of January. So this year, I’ve decided I’m making some resolutions. Here they are.

1) Learn how to make foods that don’t come in a box with instructions written on them

I wanna be the kind of person who has three tomatoes and a bunch of kale in their fridge and makes something worthy of being served in a five-star restaurant. How do people do that? They’re like, “Oh I had a really simple breakfast – homemade greek yogurt with natural honey and three handfuls of fresh spinach from my garden on top of a bed of raspberry preserve my grandmother taught me how to make.” And you’re like “Yeah I had a sausage McMuffin with an extra cheese slice. It cost me an extra 25 cents so it must have taken some effort to get it on there.” I also don’t necessarily wanna be healthier. There’s nothing I love more than coming home from some drunken debauchery and eating a whole bag of Sun Chips and then feeling no guilt about it the next day. But I feel like if I eat foods that sometimes don’t come from a box then being healthier comes along with that. And maybe I’ll get used to that.

2) Write more

I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but it’s true. I used to write every day – every goddamn day. Whether it was just weird thoughts like, “I wonder how the first kiss ever went down – was it awkward? When was tongue introduced? Did those people then have to show other people how to do it? Was it widely accepted? I think I would have liked to be the person to invent kissing.” or possible titles for my eventual novel, like “We Should Do More Shots!” or “Am I Doing This Right?” I never understood people who didn’t like writing – who hate writing e-mails or letters or lists. It’s so liberating and natural and beautiful. So I vow to do more of it, in abundance, without hesitation.

3) Do things slower

I’m not a slow person. I walk fast, I type fast, I speak fast, I write fast, I get my work done fast. I don’t like it when people are slow, it makes me really angry and makes me feel like I just can’t wait until the whole world is made up of robots who do everything super efficiently. You know how everyone takes baths? I get like a million Snapchats every Sunday night of people’s feet in bath water with a candle and a mug of tea on the ledge with a caption like, “Gettin’ my bath on” or “Sunday night relaxation station” and I just don’t get it. I tried to take a bath two weeks ago. I lasted a solid five minutes before I thought to myself, “I’m sitting in lukewarm water doing absolutely nothing when I could be not sitting in lukewarm water doing something.” So I want to try taking things easy. Doing things a bit slower, maybe with a bit more ferocity and a bit more passion. A fast life does not indulge passion.

4) Stop going out with guys who, at any point in any conversation, say we should get drunk together

Believe it or not, this happens to me way more often than it should. I’ll go on a couple dates with someone and then boom: “We should get drunk together.” Oh, ’cause we’ve been on three dates and I haven’t slept with you yet so now we should get drunk together so that maybe I’ll touch your penis? No thanks. If I need drinks in order to see what’s in those pants, you shouldn’t want to go out with me. But sometimes I’ll do it for the sake of just going out and seeing what happens. And it never ever ever ends well. It either ends in an awkward “Please stop kissing me, I don’t want this to be happening right now.” Or the even worse option: “That wasn’t the right time to do that and now I don’t like you.” So from now on, only dates with boys who appreciate my sober, somewhat quirky discussion topics.

5) On that note, stop being so stressed out by dates

I could be going out with a hermit who spends his days drinking Mountain Dew Code Red and playing Diablo III and I would still be worried that he would think my necklace looked gaudy. I don’t know why I stress myself out so much. I think it might be because I hate the idea of dates. Two people in a room being forced to talk to each other about stuff for the VERY FIRST TIME. Who the fuck came up with that idea? Then I have to make myself sound impressive. What impressive things have I done?? The answer is nothing. I have done nothing impressive. The things that I think are impressive, like cleaning my room every three months and actually getting myself to the gym on a regular basis, are not impressive to other people. But all that needs to end. I can’t be stressed out by dates, I’m a grown-ass woman. And cleaning your room every three months is impressive. Kinda.

6) Drink better wine

My mom likes to make fun of me because at one point in my life I liked to mix Gallo (a ridiculously cheap rosée that tastes like juice) with 7up and call it a wine spritzer. Apparently that’s in bad taste. I want to become more educated about wine and not just buy whichever bottle is as close to $10 as possible. Don’t get me wrong – I still love that sweet, sweet metallic taste of corner-store wine, but I would like to have a viable option for when I’m invited to fancy things like dinner parties and … other fancy things.

7) Stop spending so much money

I have no idea where all my money goes. Oh wait, I do. Food. So much food. All the food. I just love food. I used to work a mid-shift. For those of you who don’t know what a mid-shift is, it’s the worst fucking possible shift you could ever work. It usually runs from 10am-6pm, 11am-7pm or 12pm-8pm. It chews up your whole day and ensures that you will be A) not willing to get up before 10am to get anything done, and B) too tired by 7pm that you will not want to do anything once you get home. So, I never made my own lunch and spent all my money on Tim Horton’s coffee and Subway cookies. 2014 was all about those great life choices, as you can see. So this year I promise to make and eat my own lunch, regardless of how gross it looks when I pull it out of the work fridge at noon and how easy it is to walk across the street and get myself a crispy chicken. Please help me, baby Jesus.

8) Get over my fear of missing out

I’ll say yes to any party or outing you invite me to. I love being around people and socializing and hearing peoples’ stories and being a part of something. But, I’ve come to realize that most of the time I attend an event I don’t even have that much fun. Either I’m too tired and I forced myself to go out or I felt like I needed to go because I said yes to someone. But the biggest reason I go is because I’m afraid I’m gonna miss something if I don’t. Miss what? I don’t know. I think a lot of people in our generation have this fear of missing out (FOMO) and it’s being perpetuated by social media, naturally. You see your friends checked in somewhere and you think “Oh God, that sounds like so much fun. They’re probably all telling stories. I wonder how drunk they are. I wonder what I’m missing.” In actuality, they’re probably all sitting there telling the same stories you’ve heard multiple times and trying to come up with different topics to work with. Social media only tells the fun, shiny part of the story. Not the truth.

9) Get more sleep

I’m a classic case of sleep-for-four-hours-pound-two-coffees-and-I’m-good-to-go. For my entire two and a half years in CEGEP and my first two years of university I didn’t even drink coffee, I found it so disgusting. And I think I still do. I never used to go to bed before two in the morning. All of my best writing and work I got done between 10pm and 2am – how could I give that up?? There’s so much to do at night! So many links to click and books to read and boys to stalk! This might be my hardest resolution; I love staying up late and I always have. (In all seriousness, if anyone can recommend a tea that makes you sleepy I would be eternally grateful.)

10) Be able to properly round-out my top-ten lists?

10 things I’m tired of hearing as a #singlelady

1) “Are you seeing anyone?”

I hate this question. It usually comes after the usual tirade of useless small talk: How’s school? Are you still working at the gym? How’s rugby? Are you writing anything right now? etc. etc. Truth be told, I ask people this too. It’s juicier than hearing about a presentation they prepped for over the course of four nights for a class with a title like “Intro to Marketing 202” and makes no sense to you. I like hearing about peoples’ love lives and I guess other people like hearing about mine. But when someone asks me this question, I always say no. Even if I am seeing someone! I get very superstitious and I convince myself that if I tell anyone I actually like a member of the opposite sex it’s going to end in flames. But maybe that’s just because I’m a horrible person, not because I verbally put it out there in the world.

2) “Have you tried Plenty of Fish/Tinder/”

Yes, yes I have. Do you know who signs up for Plenty of Fish? Guys who are too cheap to pay for Online dating is the new meeting-a-girl-in-a-bar. Everyone has tried it, everyone has done it, everyone has an aunt who met the love of her life on J-Date. Meeting a guy online is just not my style. You could be a 6-foot-5 25-year-old who sold his first start-up for three billion dollars and I would still be sketched out by the fact that you have a Plenty of Fish profile. K maybe not, but you get the point. It’s really really hard to get a feel for someone over a computer or a smartphone.
Also, as someone who takes pride in grammar, seeing a message from someone reading, “heey, i reead ur prof n u look super kool, wanna meet up 4 a drink?” makes me so angry I need to breathe into a paper bag for three minutes. And you all already know that the only people who are interested in me when it comes to online dating are unilingual French dudes and old Indian men.

3) “You’ll find someone.”

As if I’ll be frolicking around the fucking woods one day, lift up a rock and be like “OH SHIT MAN! I’m so sorry, how long have you been under there?” Who came up with this stupid saying? Most of the time when people say this, they forget how incredibly demeaning it is. It’s extremely rare for me to actually go looking for men. Most of the men I’ve dated have kind of just landed in my lap (literally? lollll.) I’m not about to go searching the globe for my one true love and think that it will make me happy. There are so many other things I want to “find” in life. Like a good job. And a healthy lifestyle. And a car that is both environmentally friendly and badass. And a perfect colour to dye my eyebrows. AND a pair of leggings that don’t become see-through as soon as I bend over. All of those things would make me a very happy person, regardless of whether or not I have someone to share them with.

4) “I should introduce you to my brother/friend/landlord/gardener.”

I’ve seen pictures of your brother. He looks like you, but a dude. Ain’t about that life. The worst is when you’re talking about your love life with someone and they’re like “Ooh I’m such a great match-maker, what kind of guys do you like?” and you’re like “Any guy who has a beard and will buy me at least one beer when we go out.” And they laugh and laugh as if you’re joking. Then they walk away and you’re like “So?! Do you know anyone that fits that criteria?!”

5) “You should take some time for yourself.”

OMG YOU’RE SO RIGHT. I SHOULD JUST BE BY MYSELF FOR RIGHT NOW. Funny, cause I’m by myself a lot. Like I’m by myself almost ten hours a day.

6) “You shouldn’t be doing that if you’re trying to find something real.”

Sometimes, in moments of weakness, I’ll make bad life decisions. Like hooking up with a friend of someone I used to date. Or hooking up with someone I used to work with. Or hooking up with someone I currently work with. Now, these may or may not be bad life decisions and lead to seemingly awkward morning-after encounters, but I don’t see them as mistakes, necessarily. One of the perks of being single is not having to worry about what you’re doing (while remaining safe, of course)! And having someone else tell me that I shouldn’t do something makes me want to do it even more. So bring it.

7) “You’re so great, I don’t know how you’re still single.”

As if I’m the greatest person on earth and it is a national emergency that I haven’t found a boy to hang out with on a semi-regular basis. I know I have really great qualities. I’m a great baker. And I would do anything for a friend. I like beer and most sports where you’re allowed to hit people. I like to stay up late and read, I’m really good at brain teaser apps, I can make scrambled eggs in the microwave, I pull off bows really well and I’m really good at Scrabble. I’m good at making/eating nachos and I know all the words to Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 hit “I’m Goin’ Down”. But there are also a lot of bad things about me. I don’t like confrontation. I send a lot of drunk Snapchats, I procrastinate, sometimes (most of the time) I don’t believe in myself and am convinced I’m going to be a huge failure. I always take the long way when I drive somewhere, I can’t multitask when I’m on my phone, I take too many selfies, I’m that person that uses all the hot water just before you wanna take a shower. Sometimes I get really scared in the middle of the night and make a lot of noise running from my room to the bathroom because I think there’s someone standing in my dark living room waiting for the moment when I have to pee so he can sneak into my room, hide under my bed and murder me. Also I have a crazy imagination. Relationships aren’t about finding the GREATEST person on earth, it’s about finding a person who’s great for you.

8) “Do you think you’re being a bit too picky?”

I’m not going to lie, I’m insanely picky when it comes to boys. If you’re too nice to me, you’re out. If you’re too much of an asshole, you’re out. If I don’t like your hair one day, you’re out. If you call me Chris instead of Christine, even by accident, you’re out. If you get a table at the restaurant before I get there and make me look around for you, you’re out. It’s not the best way to do things, but it’s my way. And you should never ever settle. Ever. Being picky is good, don’t let people tell you it’s bad.

9) “Whatever happened to you and <boy’s name here>?”

Yayyyyyyy you know what my day was missing? Someone reminding me of my ex. I’m so happy you brought that up! You should go climb into a hole and stay there.

10) “You’re young, you have time”

That’s where you’re wrong. Literally every second I’m getting older and older. And those seconds add up to minutes and those minutes add up to hours and hours turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. I could find love in the next five minutes or I could find it on my 42nd birthday. Love doesn’t happen when you’re young, it happens when you’re ready.

So fuck what people tell you and continue dating guys you’re not serious about and having sex with people on picnic benches.

Boat Tales: The First 36

My dad has finally done what he has been telling us he is going to do for the past fifteen years. He bought a boat. Not just any boat, a 41-foot yacht.
Now, when I was a child I used to eat Eggos and Cheez Whiz for breakfast. Does that sound like the kind of meal a child should be having if their parents can afford a 41-foot yacht? No, it doesn’t. I should’ve been having salmon-and-asparagus Eggs Benedict every morning before kindergarten based on the kind of lifestyle my parents now live.
But that’s “not the point, Christine.”
My dad bought this boat in Michigan, from a man referred to in our home as The Doctor. Mainly because he used to be a doctor – we’re real original. I asked my dad why The Doctor sold his boat and my dad responded, “Well, I think his wife made him sell it. He’s getting a bit Alzheimery,” as if one can turn a degenerative disease into an adjective.
The reason why I asked my dad this is because The Doctor 100% did not want to sell his boat. He insisted on accompanying my dad to Buffalo and wouldn’t let my dad repaint the bottom of the boat in order for it to withstand the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This is what we call First World Yachting Problems.
My sisters, who went to Michigan with my dad to pick up the boat, did not like The Doctor. Mainly because his tagging along meant they had to share a room – something they haven’t done in four years. He was a cranky old man who had a lot of rules and thought that the boat was still his. They also did not appreciate The Doctor insisting they drive the boat overnight in a thunderstorm “because if you don’t do it now, you never will!”
“I never want to,” Cass said, shaking her hands wildly like she does when she’s upset, “so that’s not even a valid argument!”

The plan was for my sisters to go from Michigan to Montreal with my dad and then I would go from Montreal to New Glasgow, my mom’s hometown, with him. Claire lasted 22 days on the boat. She’s insanely helpful and likes to be involved. Cass, on the other hand, is just insane. She only lasted 16 days on the boat.

So when it was my turn to get on the boat, I asked my sisters, “What did you wish you had on the boat but didn’t?” thinking that I would be one step ahead of the game and not forget ANYTHING (I’m a horrible packer – like, morning-of, always-forget-my-toothbrush kind of packer).
They both answered “Wi-fi,” with straight, deadpanned faces, which didn’t help me one bit.

The first day on the boat was pretty cool. We had been chugging along for about an hour so, I was already a bit more freckly than when we set off and I was jamming to some Iggy Azalea, so I turned to my dad and I was like “Hey, are we in New Brunswick yet?” and he literally laughed in my face and didn’t even answer me. He thinks I was joking but I definitely wasn’t. I shortly realized that we had only reached Kahnawake and part of me wanted to cry. I was thirty minutes from home and we’d been travelling for what felt like hours.
We pulled up to a dock so that we could wait for someone to open up the lock for us and travel through the canal and my dad promptly and swiftly rammed the side of his brand new baby into the metal edge of the otherwise wooden dock.

“NO NO NO NO NO NO,” I heard him shout and immediately thought we were sinking.
    I’m not wearing a lifejacket, I thought, I’m going to die thirty minutes away from home and no one will know. They will think I am in New Brunswick.
A Frenchman in the boat opposite ours heard my dad’s cries and immediately came rushing over and started asking me profusely if I was alright. Already, this Frenchman was more concerned about my well-being than my own father was. When he found out my dad was screaming about the boat, he started pushing us away from the dock and made sure my dad hadn’t ‘injured’ his boat.
This, looking back, was foreshadowing. If I had a dollar for everytime a Frenchman has helped my unilingual dad out of a bind on this trip, let’s just say I could fly to Nova Scotia instead of being on this boat.

Once we got through some more locks and canals, my dad decided it was time to actually put the sails up. Now, I’ve been around boats for a lot of my life. Boats such as canoes, kayaks and power boats. Never sailboats. Sails freak me the fuck out. How do you control the wind? You can’t. Boom. I just made a valid argument as to why sailboats are a ridiculous form of transportation.

“Steer the boat into the wind, Christine.”
“What? What does that mean?”
“Steer the boat in the direction of the wind.”
“How do I know where the wind is coming from?”
“Use your face.”
“Aren’t there things on the boat you can use to tell where the wind is coming from?”
“Yeah but none of them are as good as your face.” He stuck his face out a little bit and said, “Look, just feel it out.”
I watched him wiggle his face around in the wind a bit and realized that I am directly blood-related to this man.

I eventually figured out where the wind was coming from (using something other than my face) and promptly went to make sandwiches when it was all over. That night, we anchored next to a bird sanctuary, which was also foreshadowing, but that’s a story for another day.

The next morning, we were up-and-at-em at 7am, a time I never knew existed due to being lazy and hungover most of the time. I put on a pair of shorts, made some eggs and I was ready to face the day.
Despite me hating putting the sails up, my dad was super-pumped to get those pieces of fabric up in the air again. It was a bit tumultuous, the boat was a bit shaky, but I agreed. After about twenty minutes of the sails being perfectly fine where they were, he decided he wanted to try a jibe. He had told me the night before what a jibe was but he always describes things in such a minute way, giving very small, specific details when a broad overview would do. So I didn’t really understand what was going on. However, he did tell me what an accidental jibe was in regular human terms. That is when you capsize your boat.
So when my dad said, “Hey, Christine, we’re gonna jibe now,” I heard, “Hey, Christine, are you ready to die?”
I was not ready to die.
As soon as the jibe was attempted, the boat started literally spinning around in the water. Waves were crashing against the side of the boat, I couldn’t stand up straight let alone hold onto the steering wheel and my dad was running around trying to get the sails lined up.

I immediately pictured him trying to guess the wind’s direction with his face and I started laughing. But, because I was also on the verge of tears thinking that I was going to die, it came out more … maniacal than intended.
So here I was, tears streaming down my face in the middle of the St. Lawrence River and my laugh resembling that of a woman in a mental hospital on Pudding Day; my dad scurrying around the boat trying to figure out how not to kill his firstborn AND keep his brand new yacht from capsizing.
Eventually we just went aground aka ran ourselves into a pile of sand.

And that was my first 36 hours on a boat with my dad.