Archives for the month of: May, 2013

I spent some time working on my first school assignment this week-end only to review the instructions and realize that I completely forgot the second step. Ack!

I put off re-doing the assignment becuz…I was feeling lazy. And I didn’t really have plans for these unplanned days off…and truthfully I didn’t want plans. So, if I put off doing my assignment, re-doing my assignment, I could avoid all attempts at plans with the simple excuse “I have to work on my assignment for school!”

It also served as a reasonable way to get me up and out of bed at a reasonable time for my last day away from work – get up early, work on my assignment, hand it in.

So, yeah, woke up at a reasonable time, eat a quick breakfast and worked for 3 hours straight on my assignment. I did my best and followed all steps. I handed it in 9 hours before it was due.

And then I completely forgot about it.

My prof emailed two minutes before the due time and said “Thank you, bex. Well done.”

So, you know, go me!

I spent some time trying to figure out if I should go see a movie or rent a few. I chose renting, still not feeling to being out and about and around people, I guess. And then discovered that our DVD player is so old and out of date that the laser squeaks as it reads the DVD and 3 out of 3 of the movies refused to play.

Seriously? A squeaky laser? How does that even happen?

No worries though, I ordered a new player online and it will be in my hot little hands right after tomorrow’s trip to the gym.

I know I’m going to completely forget about it, so I’ve got the map and written it in my date book.

With all the stuff that happened last week and the emotional fall-out, I completely forgot about a strange discussion that I had towards the end of the week with a colleague/friend about candy.

We talked and tried to find a mutually agreeable time for our directors to meet and chatted about candy.

She had, to my great dismay, never heard of rockets.

Rockets.

Rockets are awesome and my favourite candy.

I have a whole jar of them on my desk that gets magically re-filled on a regular basis.

So, you can understand my surprise and dismay that she had no idea what I was talking about.

No worries, though.

I thought of a solution.

I grabbed an interoffice mail envelope and filled it with Rockets.

Then I marked the envelope “Personal and Confidential”, so no one else would get into the Rockets.

And then I completely forgot about that.

She received them today and wrote me an email at home – me being away from work – to say “thank you” and that she ate all the Rockets except, for like, 2. (her poor tummy!) (her poor teeth, those things are just sugar and food colouring!!)

It was so great to hear from her and know that even as I was trying to deal with a crisis and emotionally falling apart, I somehow managed to do something to make another person laugh and smile and eat too much sugar.

And then completely forget about it.

 

 

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On the whole, I consider myself to be a tough chick.

I mean, I rock climb. For fun, no one makes me climb. I fight against gravity to get to the top of every Saturday morning, when most people are getting coffee and nursing hangovers from Friday night. I bump, I bruise, I scrap. I bash my knees, tear my nails and split my skin.

And I’m afraid of heights and do it anyway! That is what makes me tough.

Only.

Then.

Something like happened the other day at work comes along and suddenly, I’m not all that tough. I lose most of my appetite, my sleep schedule is in disarray and I can’t pull myself out of that moment.

I’m.

Well.

I’m bothered by what happened.

And I’m bothered that someone needed to tell me to take some time to deal with things. As if I’m someone who couldn’t pull things together. As if I’m someone who needed some space and time to deal with something so upsetting.

I’m.

I’m irritated that it happened, that problem behaviour wasn’t addressed sooner and the result was this great big…mess. This horrible thing that happened all over a meeting.

The weather is unsettled. There are these sounds in the air that sound like…warm-ups to thunder. I don’t even know if that is like a thing or what, but that is what it sounds like. I hear it not so much in my ears, but in my body. Like the sky is growling.

I’m.

Well, I’ll just say it, shall I?

I’m sensitive.

It’s mortifying and doesn’t fit with the mental image I have of myself, it doesn’t make the list of things I like about myself.

I don’t want to be known as “sensitive”.

It somehow implies that I’m fragile or delicate or…weak.

And I’m not.

I’m bendy and springy. I deal with problems and problematic people, I have a reputation of loving those who are troublesome and difficult. I take trouble and spring back into form. I tackle challenges and try to right wrongs.

I’m sensitive.

I’m bothered and upset by wrongs and violence. I am harmed when people I care about are harmed or threatened. I dislike people yelling and shouting and confrontation.

I take a while to process upsetting events and happenings.

I like quiet and when people get along and when people negotiate and communicate diplomatically.

So, yeah, ok. I’m sensitive.

And yeah, I guess I needed a couple of days away to deal with things.

 

 

 

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is directed by J.J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof based on ideas and characters by Gene Roddenberry.

Well, well, J.J. Abrams does it again.

This time, a re-telling of “The Wrath of Khan” that allows the characters to be challenged, grow and question the relationships that they are in the process of forging.

I can’t objectively review this film. I loved it.

It had the right balance of action and explosions and hand-hand combat, introspection and character growth. There was humour and props to the original series and movies.

Abrams once again proves that he is a film-maker of the geeks, for the geeks. He provides all characters moments in such a way that the audience isn’t overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters to track. These are characters he loves and he provides them moments and challenges.

The film isn’t as funny as the first re-boot, I laughed,  although the audience I saw it with was not as easily amused. My watching companion and I were mostly quiet as the story and action moved along at a bouncy speed.

Although I’m still not sold on 3D, we saw this movie in 3D to get the best sound and I was happily surprised that the 3D wasn’t gimmicky and provided a very nice depth of visual field that was used to not only expand the scene and world but also served to provide some character moments. Nice.

While I found “Iron Man 3” disappointing, this film lived up to the franchise and can be considered the official start of the summer blockbuster season. If the rest of the summer manage to meet this standard, it is going to be a good one…

So, is this film a must-see?

Yep. Especially if you are a fan of Abrams or Star Trek or love seeing things explode.

Actually, I enjoyed this film so much that I’m going to see it again.

I wish this review sounded more like a review and less like I’m gushing. Sorry about that.

In times of crisis or trouble, I guess it is true – we send out a burst of invisible, telepathic butterflies and they fly straight to the people we love and who love us and deliver the messages that we are unable to speak.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I suddenly, randomly heard from a few friends I have been out of contact with and many of my colleagues at different locations called for no reason.

I didn’t realize that I sent those butterflies until people started calling and saying “Thinking about you, miss you, get in touch, how about drinks tonight”. I didn’t mean to send them, but I’m happy they flew and touched the people they needed to touch. I needed those messages. I needed to hear from the people who love me.

I have been reminded moment to moment since that thing that happened that I am loved and valued and there are spaces for me.

And no, it wasn’t me, but witnessing violence, seeing something upsetting, it upsets us and causes us harm.

I realized today that I’ve constructed a mental map of my workplace, which resembles many other mental maps that I keep – it shows the “safe” and “unsafe” spaces. Where I know I go and be protected and those spaces that I’m afraid to go.

On the map, this map in my head, I revert to colour coding – green is “safe”, red is “unsafe”.  IT is a safe space and I brave the scary back stairs to avoid the front stairs becuz they now make me nervous, as does the reception area. I’m friendly with the receptionists, so this makes me sad – I don’t visit them as often as I did before this all happened, becuz the last time I saw the manager was at reception so the space is now shaded in red. Project Management Office is a safe space – I have a bunch of friends over there and it is totally unrelated to what happened.

I run into problems at my managers’ office, it is red. Her office is beside my desk, so bleeds red into my desk space, which makes being there for my usual amount of stretches of time uncomfortable. I can feel the red seeping into my lovely green space.

Where I eat lunch is still safe as are the places I get water.

But there are two meeting rooms and a couple of hallways that are in red.

And I’m not sure what to do about that.

I’ve never had red spaces at work before.

I’ve never needed strategies to avoid spaces at work.

We had a meeting with the new manager of that team today. And she is really supportive and cool-headed. And I think she will be very good for the team. And one of the questions the team asked was if I was staying with them and they were happy that the answer was “Yes!”

A lot of people have said to me since this messed-up thing happened that “Things happen for a reason.” and you know, I just don’t think that way. It seems to me that things just happen randomly and we impose a narrative on it and rationalize it to make ourselves more comfortable. I think that humans are wired for narrative, we are story junkies and when we don’t understand why something happened, we just say “Things happen for a reason”. This thing happened for no reason and is without reason.

But.

I think if it makes someone feel better to say that, then I’m willing to hear them and take them to mean that they are offering support or whatever and I will accept hearing it, no matter that I disagree.

I think the reaching out, the expression of support, I think that matters, I think maybe those invisible, telepathic butterflies, they cast a wide fly zone and the people in our lives try to understand the butterflies and do the best they can with those confusing telepathic messages.

And that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things that I love most about my job, about working in healthcare, is that sometimes I get in on a project where I can add my input.

For example, sometimes I get asked to write copy for a program or design a form for use or something similar.

When I do this, I try my best to be critical and inclusive and imagine how someone reading or using it would feel. Does it include people in a way that they like? Does it marginalize someone or some group? If so, I try my best to correct, I figure that certain skills and circumstances have put me in the position and I need to honour that and how I honour that is to serve.

Healthcare, especially in my job, is not glamorous nor especially well-paid. I support well-paid people who sometimes know less than I do and rely on me to give them good advice and alternate perspectives. I don’t follow blindly, I try to lead and be an example both to the people who I support and others in the organization, I think that it is a responsibility.

One of my teams is a group of Mental Health and Addictions Nurses who offer support to school-age children – from child to adolescents – and I really love working with this group. We are in the midst of formalizing processes and making forms for the program to use.

One of the forms I’m working on is a form that notes the history of the young person and this one section about sex, gender and sexuality. I was very happy that the team asked the appropriate question between “sex” and “gender” but there is this other question about sexual orientation/sexual preference, “are you attracted to boy? girls? or I am confused about who I’m attracted to.”

I’ve read this question over a few times and you know, it needs to change.

‘cuz you know, I think that there are people in the world who aren’t attracted to boys or girls and aren’t confused either. And I decided this week that I would talk to the team about this and get the form changed, so “neither” was also a possible answer to this question of attraction.

I figure, logically it is possible that if there are people in the world who are attracted to both boys and girls and they aren’t confused about it, that there are people in the world who aren’t attracted to either boys or girls and they aren’t confused about it.

So, here is me getting ready to stand up and say something. I’m ready.

But.

Well, one of my other teams fell apart. The manager went off her nut, yelled at the team, wouldn’t let a team member leave, grabbed a team member by the wrist and behaved in an all-round horrid way.

I went to HR. I said what I saw, I agreed with the parts that I believed to be right.

And.

My colleagues, my friends on that team were all very impressed that I stuck by them, that went against the person that I work for and stood up for them. They talked about brave I was to do this and how much they respect and admire me for this.

And you know.

I don’t think I did anything special at all. I think I did exactly what I had to to, I think I did the right thing.

I think beyond standing up for people who I don’t know, for whom I can make a difference, it is also important to stand up for the people I know and love and to stop the wrongs I see happening in front of me.

I’m not proud of what I did or how I acted, in fact, I wish I done much, much more, but I was frightened and confused as much as anything.. But. I’m happy that I did what I did and stood up to the person who had authority over me and final say over my job and employment.

This thing that happened has only strengthened my resolve to continue to try to speak out and up for others, regardless of my status, standing or identification.

And I know that Niemoller is often read as a caution against political apathy, I chose to take it as a caution against all forms of apathy.

The past 21 days of my life has been strangely filled with labels.

Clothing labels, diet labels, relationship labels, identity labels, and whiskey labels.

So many labels.

And you know, I think it is pretty easy to get caught up in them and what they mean, how they help and how they hurt.

Like my shoes.

I bought some amazing shoes, designed by John Fluevog. And, yes, I got them in pink. They are comfy, beautiful and I wear them with everything. When I wear them people come over to me and ask about them, some people even come right up and say “Are your shoes Fluevogs?!”

They are so wonderful and beautiful that I bought a second pair in denim.

Woo!

Does owning 3 pairs (2 shoes + 1 pair of boots) of Fluevogs make me a “Fluevoger”? Does it make me a fan? Does it mean that I have anything in common with Mr. John Fluevog? Does it mean that I have anything in common with other people who wear Fluevog shoes?

I think it just means that I like those shoes.

And the boots, don’t forget the boots.

Like my dresses.

I wear a lot of dresses.

I find dresses, especially for work, professional, easy to wear and worry-free. No matter how I feel, I pull on a dress and I’m ready for work – I look professional and in-charge. Mostly I wear modified sheath dresses. I find they suit my figure and I can pull on a blazer or sweater and wear them either with shoes or boots and be dressed-up or dressed-down. I even own one from Peach Berserk that I had custom-made. It is pretty wonderful too, a demure retro-cut in pink raw silk with black ink of The Beatles.

When I wear this dress, people stop and stare. They come over to meet me and talk about The Beatles. They want to talk about music and their favourite songs or memories. They want to know where I got my dress and gush over how amazing it is.

Does owning so many dresses make me a “girly girl”? Does it mean I’m feminine? Does wearing dresses at work make me more professional? Does spending money to have a dress made mean I’m shallow or rich? Or does it mean I know something about fashion or that I have style?

I think it means that I’m hopeless at putting outfits together and wearing dresses is just way easier.

Then there is the diet thing.

Currently I’m eating an increased protein, reduced carbohydrate, reduced gluten diet. It started out as trying to disprove my friends who were eating this way and all the things they said were happening: “I don’t feel as bloated”, “My skin is softer” , “I’m not breaking out anymore”,  “I have more energy” and “I’ve lost so much weight!”

Funny thing is, in my attempt to disprove, I managed to prove a couple of things. I do feel less bloated, not that I walked around feeling bloated all the time. And my skin, damaged from that bout of zombie-plague virus I got in the fall, cleared up – no more red damage left behind. I don’t know about losing weight and I already had a lot of energy.  Added to the “no eating mammal” thing, this makes for a lot of things I don’t eat.

One friend recently started The Paleo Diet and another swears by The South Beach Diet that she started 2 weeks ago.

Does this make us shallow? Are we health nuts? Are we dieters?

I think it means eating out is now a challenge.

In the romance realm I’ve gone from single, to dating, to in a romantic relationship, to out of a romantic relationship, to doubting whether I ever want to be in a romantic relationship again in the matter of 3 weeks.

Does being single mean I’m a lonely person? Does dating mean I’m a fun person? Does being in a romantic relationship mean I’m a stable person? Does being out of a romantic relationship mean that I’m a failure at forming human connections? Does doubting if I want to be in a romantic relationship again make me a pessimist or a loner?

As I was waiting for my friends to see the movie yesterday, I was asked to participate in a survey to find out some information about people coming to the TIFF Bell Lightbox. A voucher for a free small popcorn was the reward. I was seeing the movie with 2 popcorn-lovers (ack! how I label!) so I decided to spend some time I had anyway. The last questions were demographic questions and one asked a question about “Where are you ancestors from?” and you could click as many selections as you like.

I clicked  “Canadian” ‘cuz really this is how I see myself, but I also like to click “West Indian” ‘cuz I also see myself this way as well.

I looked on the list.

No “West Indian”.

Not on the list.

And I looked again and I found “Caribbean/African”.

I clicked it, but I called one of the survey people over and I said “Hey, look your selections are wrong. Caribbean and African aren’t the same thing, they don’t belong together.”

The person agreed and I said “Look, I’m not insulted or anything, this just isn’t how West Indians and people from the Caribbean identify, some of us have African heritage, but some of us don’t and some of us don’t know. It just isn’t the same thing and my dad would be really angry about this.”

The person agreed with me and called over her colleague and we explained my concerns. Both women agreed with me and I asked them to talk to the survey designers for me and express my concerns. They said they would.

Is the question “Where are your ancestors from?” racist? Does my answer mean that I’m Black? Or white? Or Indian? Or Asian?

I think it means that it was a poorly designed survey whose results will be incorrect for at least one person and those assumptions may lead to an error in programming. Possibly.

This past Saturday, Dad, Uncle Shane and I attended The Spirit of Toronto, which is Toronto’s annual whiskey tasting event. An all-round excellent event and wonderful evening. Everyone cleans up and dresses-up and tries some whiskey. Yum! You can check out all my pics from the event on my photo stream, below, if you are at all curious to see a bunch of whiskey drinkers having a night out.

The event has become strangely deceiving too, as I was waiting in line to try one particular brand, I got into conversation with a woman who was there offering tastes of gin. She offered me some and I told her “Look, I’m at a whiskey tasting event, I didn’t come here to try gin.”

She told me a bit about the gin “Infused with the usual orange, lemon peels and juniper berries but it has one unusual ingredient.” ”

“Oh yeah?” I said “What?”

“Rose petals.”

I laughed my brains out at this, she is standing at this event and I’m waiting to try a whiskey with a good amount of peat – my Uncle Shane says it tastes “like burnt wood” – and she is trying to sell me on rose petals? I can’t make this stuff up!

She says “It makes for a very smooth, lovely gin.”

Huh.

I’m not sold, but you know, she seems so into it and proud of her product that I say ok. If nothing else, it will get me out of the line quicker, even if I’m not getting the whiskey that I want.

Victoria Gin.

I swirl, I smell and…well, it smells lovely. I sip.

I’m amazed.

This stuff is so smooth and subtle and lovely that I can see myself drinking it, without tonic, just like a whiskey, neat.

Huh.

By the end of the evening, I consider the gin the best drink of the night.

Even better than that Bourbon Margarita.

We argue about the merits of peat vs smooth and we concede personal taste to each other. You take smooth, I’ll take peat, thanks!

I don’t know what any of that means, but I figure that any time you can share time with people you love, you should count yourself lucky. Peat or no peat.

I’m not sure that I understand the need to label as anything other than short-handing things for other people and finding fast ways of connecting with each other. I don’t know that the fact that I self-label as a girl-geek (grrrl-geek) has any deeper meaning then to quickly tell someone how I see myself or a  few things that I like. It gives a few hints, but it says very little about what I really think and all the various things in which I’m interested. It reduces me to one little piece of information.

My friend says “You are a Renaissance grrrl-geek! You know geek-stuff, but you also know all that other stuff too – fashion, music, literature, art, history, trivia, rock climbing, food, drink…You belong here and can do anything!”

I think labels are useful when we search for simple definitions of ourselves and others, but I’m not convinced that beyond something simple and quick, that they are very useful.

Tell me your label and I will challenge you and strive to find your inconsistency and your complexity and your many colours, label me and I will show you I am more than a simple label and knowing me is not something that is quick or can be short-handed, reduced or is easily understood.

I think that although these labels we put on others and ourselves help define superficial meanings, they don’t say much about our deeper selves, our secret places, our inner lives or the contradictions that we reconcile ourselves with daily in our lives.

I think maybe what we all want is to be seen and understood for our authentic selves, in any given situation. We want acceptance and respect for the people we are, forgiveness for the people we were and excitement for the people we are becoming.

I accept and respect you for who you are today. I accept and respect myself for who I am today.

I forgive your past. I forgive me my past.

I’m excited about the person you are becoming.

I don’t know who I’m becoming, but I’m excited for that too.

You are a unique, beautiful expression of the Universe and the Universe loves you. No matter the labels others put on you or the labels you put on yourself.

I am a unique, beautiful expression of the Universe and the Universe loves me. No matter the labels that others put on me or the labels I put on myself.

I’m going to stop worrying about the labels and finding people who have similar labels. I’m going to take myself as I am and when we meet, I will take you as you are. I will ignore the labels and leave the rest behind, I will see you clearly, without the fog of those labels. I will quit wondering about belonging and fitting in and meeting other people like me and my place in the world. I will create space in my heart to make others feel welcome, give them shelter from any storm or sun. I will give people pieces of my heart and watch them go walking away from me, into the world, and my heart will be a better place for loving and letting go.

And, yes, there will be cake.

 

 

“Room 237” is directed by Rodney Ascher with voice overs from Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner and Buffy Visick.

The term “directed” is used loosely here. I suggest that either compiled or curated would be alternate terms.

An alternate title for this film could be “Seeing this movie will not help you understand what Kubrick’s The Shining was about, but you will be amazed by some of the theories out there…”

The first time I saw “The Shining” it messed me up. It was an uncomfortable film to watch and I could not get a sense of the time nor space that the narrative occupied. More than that, I could not get a sense of the narrative – what the hell was it about? I didn’t have any insight, all I knew was that someday, when I wanted to feel deeply unsettled and uncomfortable, I would watch it again.

Maybe.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe I wouldn’t. I mean. It made me very uncomfortable and that is saying a lot, I see a load of movies and some of them are messed up, but none of them have ever made me feel uncomfortable for a reason that I couldn’t articulate. Not like “The Shining”. But, I never forgot it.

So, this was a strange film for me to suggest to see, but I saw a preview and read a review and it became very clear to me that I should see this film and even if it wasn’t going to help me figure out a movie that I saw once, it would give me an interesting experience.

When I suggested this film to two friends, they were enthusiastic about joining me. Both likes docs, but turns out one of them loves “The Shining” and hadn’t even heard of this film. Cool, two companions for this time out.

The technique is clever and intriguing. Ascher uses footage from “The Shining”, other films by Stanley Kubrick and other source material (shout out to “An American Werewolf in London”!) and allows the speakers to simply talk about their theories. Some scenes you see a few times, but with each new theory and speaker, the scene becomes more complex and interesting, rather than feeling like you are viewing the scene again and again.

I loved that Ascher didn’t spend any time on set up, he doesn’t give you a re-telling of who Stanley Kubrick is or any historical or contextual information about “The Shining” film. The voice over starts over a scene from “Eyes Wide Shut”  and the film just goes from there.

The theories, the observations these people make are pretty incredible. There is something in me that respects that level of obsession and dedication to a theory. To endlessly watch a film, to try to get inside someone’s head and find hidden meanings is incredible.

After the film, the three of us had a debrief and argued a bit about coincidence, film technologies and process – one of my companions is in the industry – and shared our reactions to the first time we saw “The Shining”.

This film was riveting. The clips, the speakers and theories and original music fit together like a fine…puzzle…

I didn’t want to say “puzzle” there, that word is used again and again, but my problem was, that my alternate phase “like a lock and key” was also used, so sorry about that…

The original music is haunting and wonderful and worth the price of admission alone, it didn’t stand out or detract from the film or the theories, but complemented it beautifully.

If you plan on seeing this film, you need to see “The Shining” first. Also, you may, like me, want to see it again.

And this film will not help you understand what “The Shining” is about, but it will be an incredibly enjoyable ride.

This review may contain spoilers.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black, screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black based on the comic books by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby.

The third and final installment of the Iron Man trilogy does not come problem-free. The story line is the most pensive yet, beginning and ending with a self-reflective narrative that book-ends the movie and gives the film a darker, more introspective quality than the previous Iron Man films and last summer’s The Avengers.

This darker feel isn’t always successful and the story-line has some pretty impressive plot holes, namely, where are The Avengers while Tony Stark’s, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., world is falling apart and the United States is being threatened by a terrorist. A one-line of dialogue could have addressed this nicely, “Oh The Avengers are doing other stuff now and can’t help Tony.” But the writers and directors don’t seem to have enough regard for the audience to address the existence of a larger universe inhabited by other heroes.

The film is filled with spectacular explosions and wreckage, but in 3D, some of the fight sequences were too close and the choreography too easily became confusing and unclear. The visual effects of the suits flying and the humour from some of effects were clever.

There are some funny one-liners although when measured against the earlier Iron Man films, they aren’t as frequent nor as funny. The film was uneven and may of the characters felt out of character, notably the use of “Pepper Potts”, Gwyneth Paltrow’s recurring character. Paltrow wears the Iron Man suit almost as much as Downey and in the final battle sequence appears wearing only a sports bra and shorts – her abs were simply distracting. Paltrow looks great, but the costuming highlighted only Paltrow’s strict diet regime and not the character of Potts.

Enjoyable film, very happy I saw it, but, for me, the very best part of the film was the out-take at the end.

The ending of the film also poses a problem for any future Avengers movies…

 

The conversation didn’t go like that.

And there may have been tears.

There was certainly confusion. When he asked “Why? You seemed happy the other night.” I told him I wasn’t and he said’ “Sorry. I didn’t know. You looked happy.”

But there is a difference between looking happy and being happy. And I think I have one of those faces that falls easily and naturally into a smile. Most of the time I look happy.  I smile a lot so I look happy. Even when I’m not particularly happy. Even when I’m completely not happy.

So, I explained, “No I am not happy.”

He was sorry, explained that he didn’t know, said he wouldn’t call me again.

Ok.

He called back half and hour later and asked if we could be friends. And I thought of him touching my legs, kissing my hand and calling me “Sexy” and it seemed to me that I don’t want in a friend. Maybe these are traits that other people really dig in their friends, but not me.

So I declined.

And I think, maybe, that hurt him a bit. As much as someone can be hurt by a complete stranger. And I’m sorry for that, I’m sorry that I wasn’t clearer when I said “I don’t want a boyfriend and I don’t want to be a relationship.”, I just didn’t know to be clearer.

So, now I have an ex-boyfriend. I mean, as much as a complete stranger who claimed he was my boyfriend can be be an ex-boyfriend.

I already think of it as “do you remember that time that I tried dating again and what a complete disaster that turned out to be?”

 

 

 

Two dates later and I’m confused about this whole thing.

On the second date I thought I was clear in terms of not wanting to date and certainly not wanting a boyfriend. Someone must have misunderstood something ‘cuz by the end of the date he was doing this crazy dance telling me he was my boyfriend.

Look, I’m probably a menace to dating and to relationships.

And you know, this isn’t a reflection on how I feel about myself or what I think about happiness and if I do or don’t deserve happiness or someone to love me.

I am just not sure my version of happiness includes a boyfriend.

And seriously, why do I have to define anything now anyway?

I mean, I don’t actually even know this guy. We are still strangers. And I’m letting him hold my hand and touch my knee. Someone I don’t even really know.

I feel kind of ridiculous about it.

I’m not good at this sort of thing and I don’t think it is from lack of practice but simply from just not being good at it. The people in my life are aware that I’m socially awkward and you know, I’m actually pretty comfortable with my awkwardness. I figure I dress appropriately, I know my manners and I’m friendly – whether I know exactly what is going on in any given social situation is beside the point, people are generous and if you treat them with respect and let them know you don’t understand or feel lost, most people will forgive your mistakes, at least, this is what I have found.

But dating, I don’t have a clue.

It seems very intense to me – he talks about feelings a lot and the future and about what he needs when he comes home from a day at work. And you know, I’m trying my best to enjoy just getting to know him and figure out if I want to keep getting to know him or if I want to not date.

I need space and silence and I need time alone with my friends and family and by myself. I want time by myself and it seems like sometimes he intrudes on that. I turn my phone on and I’ve got a text from him, calling me “Sexy” and saying he hopes I have a great day.

I’m ungrateful.

I think a lot of people, a lot of women, would love someone who did that – a “no-special-reason-just-thinking-about-you text”. But all I can think is “Seriously, that text just cost me 75 cents. Also, ‘Sexy’ is not my name.”

Which I don’t think is what I’m supposed to think.

I’m probably supposed to think “Oh, look, my boyfriend was thinking about me while he was at work and thought about me so much that he decided to hope that I was having a good day. And he thinks I’m sexy. Or perhaps he has forgotten my name…how lovely!”

Perhaps my wiring is faulty?

The third date he wore a cologne that I’m mildly allergic to, so I spent the entire night hoping that he wouldn’t get too close and put me into anaphylaxis. In the morning I woke with a very dry throat and felt kinda crappy and felt like that all day.

This, of course, was only topped by our second date when he tried to kiss me and I had a full-blown panic-attack – tears, hyperventilating, the whole bit.

So, I know what I’m saying when I say “I’m a menace to dating.”

Which of course is only topped by his daughter phoning me after our first date asking me what I like about her dad.

This is such a mess. And I still barely know the guy!

i just thought that I was ready to do this dating thing again, get to know someone with the intention of entertaining a romantic-type attachment and relationship. And here I have this guy in my life who wants to do that, who wants to be that to me and all I keep thinking is “I think I’d like you better if you dated someone else who isn’t me”.

How is that conversation supposed to do anyway?

me: Look I think you should see other people.

him: I don’t want to see other people. I only want to see you.

me: I don’t want to see you, so I think that other people is your only choice.

him: Do you want to see other people?

me: I don’t even want to see you. I want more time alone. I want my time back.

him: But –

me: Look, you are probably a really great guy, you just aren’t a great guy for me.

And look! No tears.

Must be off – family BBQ and dinner and movie with a dear friend tonight!