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Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Open Letter to Miss Miley

I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for a couple of weeks - life has been consistently kicking my ass and my involvement in many of my circles - the blogsphere included - has diminished. So, I'm back...just in time for Six Word Saturday.  You know how it works, so play along if you dare.  (The button will take you there.)

Six Word Saturday: My Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Hey Miley,

I feel as though I owe you an apology.  I got caught up in it all - just for a second - and allowed myself to feel as though I had the right to judge your actions and outfits and music....and by extension - you (a little bit). And, really, one could argue that I do indeed have every right to pass judgement on a product that you contribute to the public forum for large-scale consumption.  One could take that argument a step further and say that you, yourself, are a type of produced commodity, and therefore fair game for judgment as well.  This is all a little bit besides the point.  So let me get to it.

You're 20 years old. I couldn't really care any less that you used to be Hannah Montana. I have no investment in you manitaining a squeaky clean image for our sake or that of you father's achey breaky heart. We all know what happens to Mickey Mousers and Family Channel child stars - they grow up - just like the rest of us.

We make crappy, shocking and controversial choices in behaviour, wardrobe and, if we are blessed with a record deal, music. When we are 20 years old, we are sometimes desperately, sometimes tragically, often hilariously, usually awkwardly, but almost assuredly testing out adulthood.  At 20, most of my friends were playing beer pong and flunking out of college....I was preparing to give birth to my first child. Test, test, test. For halloween they dressed as football players (see: jerseys and daisy dukes) and Army recruits (see: cropped shirts and fatigue-print daisy dukes). My friends went to clubs and participated in wet t-shirt contests and experimented with drugs. Sounds a bit like your music videos and performances.  The only difference is that we didn't do it on t.v. (well, not usually and not on purpose - whole different story).

So, here's the point of my letter: you're 20. You're creating/developing/testing your identity and we get to watch.  We may not like it.  We don't have to buy it.  Most of us are going to judge it -- it is an occupational hazard as an entertainer.  But I'd just like to say that I think I get it. You have the resources to twerk your way into adulthood under very different circumstances that most of us did/do. You have resources like Justin and Britney and Christina....all of whom have gone under public scrutiny for issues from hair to wardrobe and beyond.  At the end of the day, our lives are no better or worse because of their fluctuating diets, latex dresses or a flopped singles.

In short: my experience tells me that the public won't be talking about this (or you) forever. So, (as the cool kids say) let the haters hate! Your album sales are booming because of it and the longer you're on our minds and blogs, the more lucrative your career.  And that's the point, isn't it, Miley?....at least for now.

The Single Chick

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Should you trust a "gut feeling?"

Emotionally, things are great.  When you're together he makes you feel special, beautiful, like the only woman in the world.  He speaks to you kindly, shows you physical attention, opens and holds every door for you. He says he wants to be your best friend, to be the one you can confide in. He wants you to feel as though you can tell him anything,  because you can he says. He walks closest to the road so that you feel safe. He calls you his lady and stands to greet your friends.  He may have genuinely never heard the news bulletin that chivalry has apparently kicked the bucket - nope, in his world it is alive and well, and training to participate in the Iron Man challenge next month.  This man makes you feel really, really good in your heart.  You just may be able to fall for this guy.

Intellectually, things make sense.  He is gainfully employed in his field of choice.  You are well aware of the economic reality of your society and that employment is not guaranteed these days, but he is also fairly level-headed and ambitious.  He's shared his plan B. He works hard - that's a plus.  He asks about your son and family. He is financially responsible.  There are a few areas that need some work - communication, for example.  However, he is also aware of his areas for improvement and you are comfortable with giving him the space and time to make the improvements that he has identified that he would like to work on.  Self-directed self-improvement - you can get down with that.  Intrinsic motivation, you go boy!

So then, why is your gut still unsure.  There is not logical or emotional reasoning to it, but something between your sternum and your pelvis is unsettled at the thought of the possibility of true exclusive commitment and longevity with this person.

When everything else adds up, how much stock should we put in a gut feeling?

Join in the Six Word Saturday party that's happening over in Call Me Cate's part of the world. The button will take you there. (It's almost magic!)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

6WS: To Invest or Not To Invest?

Who? And when? And how do you know if it's worth it?  Investing your time, energy and feelings into someone, that is.  I've been trying to gather some perspective from my mentors and friends and this vast and seemingly endless blogsphere, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus.

"Jump in with both feet!"

"Fall hard - the bruises are worth it."

"Be careful....you can't trust anyone really."

"Take your time and go slowly, but give folks a chance."

"What's the point? Even if things lead to a ring, chances are you'll get divorced anyways...."

(These are just a few of the highlights.)

So now I'm appealing to those of you who have stumbled across my little pice of the cyberworld. I've recently started dating someone.  He's lovely, but things are still new. (I'm not practicing my married signature or anything.) Here's my dilemma: he's not from the same city as me.  Actually we hail from two different countries, but his profession has brought him to a city near me until the end of the year.  There is a chance he could be back next year, but we won't know until we know.  Here's the question: is it worth it to even get to know this person, understanding that we are (to seal a line from Miss Carrie Bradshaw) "expiration dating?"  It's already time-stamped. And since, ultimately, I'm not just dating for kicks and giggles, is spending my time with the Globetrotter a waste?  Or is it always worth the time if you're happy?

That's the question.  Your thoughts are appreciated....


Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday's Must Nots....kinda

I've had a very poetic weekend. It was magic. And the magic and has spilled over onto this beautiful Monday morning wherein I am going to slightly hijack my own blog and post some poetry of my own creation.  I've taken a writing prompt from Warsan Shire's poem 34 Excuses for Why We Failed at Love

So, instead of a list of things I must not do this week, I am giving you a list of reasons that I must not date a poet....enjoy!

16 Reasons I Could Never Date a Poet

1. Because I fall deeply in love with words and every time I heard a dope poem I would feel like I'm cheating on you
2. Because I couldn't bear the jealousy of watching you speak your magic to anyone else
3. Because I need you to work out our issues with me and not through ink
4. Because I don't want our life to be reconstructed for and performed to dimly lit rooms of strangers against the backdrop of string basses and snapping fingers
5. Because I'm not actually a great speller
6. Because I'd love and hate to read myself in the pages of your notebook
7. Because I can't handle the pressure of giving birth to a poem and trying to raise her into a legend
8. Because you will always make far more sense in similes, matter more in metaphors and appear far more accurate in intentionally-crafted imagery than in flesh
9. Because I'm not sure that I will ever measure up to the way you write about me
10. Because the way my heart gets taken, my words could never belong to just you
11. Because we both write to escape and we would spend our lives running to and from each other
12. Because I would want you to speak to me with the eloquence that you do in performance and I know better
13. Because you probably write about love because you're still trying to figure it out
14. Because I write about love because I'm still trying to figure it out
15. Because at least one of us needs to have feet firmly planted....we can't both be dreamers
16. Because life isn't long enough for me to write you into existence

Saturday, August 17, 2013

6WS: Head-scratcher

But if not at work, where?

I made a decision a while back that I was no longer going to get involved with anyone I worked with. I have done it on multiple occasions and it has always ended badly.

During my stint with The Player, we kept our relationship secret at work and played some real-life version of a great escape video game every time we left shift together.  I'm serious...he would leave out the back, I would pick him up on the corner.  We would only communicate in the elevator or in über-business like fashion when under the watchful eye of co-workers or our clients. It was exhausting. And not at all fruitful.  When things ended, we still worked at the same place...and so did the woman he left me for. (Whole other story...) But it was awkward.

Scene two: The Fiancé. We didn't work at the same place, but our companies worked together on a lot of projects and therefore we were often in the same building, shared a lot of the same colleagues and generally spent quite a bit of paid time together.  It evolved into a relationship, a ring, an abusive hot mess and many many questions from mutually known people about what went down. Private? Not exactly.

Scene Three: The Professor.  Now, we weren't ever truly in a relationship, but we dated for eight months and went on a trip together before he decided he only wanted to be friends.  Much like the Fiancé, we didn't have the same employer, but met at work because we shared the same physical space for our jobs.  I must be really good at dancing, because we two-stepped around each other in that building, maintained an air of professionalism and hid our personal relationship (friends or otherwise) from everybody around.

I'm all about maintaining boundaries between my work life and my private life, but I'm also super sick of feeling like somebody's dirty little secret.  So, I decided to stop dating men that I work with...and then it hit me.

All I do is work.  So, if I'm not going to meet men during working hours.....how the hell am I ever going to meet anyone?

This is not a rhetorical question (entirely). I truly am curious: for the working professionals out there - maybe you have a child like I do, maybe you have a full-time job and are also building a business like me.  Where do you find the time?  Where do you find that person - anybody - to spend your very scarce down time with, to get to know them and to not have to act out the deleted scenes from Mission Impossible to hide it from those around you?  I'd appreciate some insight.

Oh, and this message will self-destruct in 5....4.....3....2.....


One day. Six words. Play along.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Single Chicks and Dangled Carats


Guess who's got a bunch of exclamation points to spare and is the guest blogger is over at Dangled Carat today??  This chick!!!!!! Hope on over to Hillary's space and check it out.  And hey, while you're there, poke around and read the stories of love and lessons and commitment-phobia that are all to familiar to may of us.  Hillary has got a fantastic blog and a book to go with it -- head on over, check it out, weigh in on the topic....you can thank me later.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday's Must Nots....

You have only one job this week.  Only one this you must not do.....

Take your damn hand off the self-destruct button. 

Ain't no undoing that....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Six Word Saturday - In Poetry

She wrote my DNA in words.

Warsan Shire is a 25-year old Kenyan-born Somali poet who currently lives in London.  I was introduced to her poetry recently, but she isn't new to the art - her poetry already translated into multiple languages other than English and (wait for it).....she's coming to TORONTO!!  I can't wait to hear her words live, PLUS, I will be in attendance at a writing workshop she will be holding the day before.  

Ever since I heard this poem, I can't get it out of my head.  It speaks to my core like no other poem ever has.  I'm even considering the last lines for a tattoo....

"...you are terrifying and strange and beautiful; something not everyone knows how to love."

Have a listen....


It's Saturday...and you know what that means.  The gang is gathered over at Call Me Cate's place and they're started on another round of Six Words.  You can play along too.  Share your six.
(The button will take you there!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

100 Words... #tbt

Another throwback...to not that long ago, actually, but it was another blog from another time. Anyways, the poem is exactly 100 words. That was the challenge....not 101, not 99. Its a good writing prompt. 50, 100. Pick a number and stick to it. I'd love to read some of yours if you take me up on the challenge....


Once I could again breathe,
I didn't know whether to be angry or ashamed.
I had been hit with every name in the book
And both of his fists...
I'd been thrown into the wall, then onto the bed -
Last vision was him overhead
Before hands unclenched
(Just enough to fit my neck)
And then pressed down.
Time slowed.
He did not --
Holding my gaze
And my breath hostage.

And then it was over.

"I should go," he said,
Taking the stairs
And my pride.
But leaving the ring.

And then an hour later, he came back for that, too.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday's Must Nots

1. Don't believe the hype

Words. Actions.  Throw them on either side of the scale and see which one is worth its weight in gold.  Tell them all to put up or shut up.  Then believe that.

2. Don't get wooed into the idea that you "don't need labels"

Okay, this is a personal preference, but I need clear lines and language.  I mean, we don't have to define things three minutes into our first date, but once we've been hanging out for some time on a fairly regular basis, I see nothing wrong with making sure both parties are on the same page.  (Or at least reading the same book!!)

3. Don't lose sight of the big picture

Things are fun, light, easy....and that's super awesome.  Don't throw away the non-negotiables you set out in those sober, rational moments.

4. Don't allow the search for a partner to trump everything else in your life

Remember your life?  Your friends and family and career and fitness goals and travel plans and......

5. Don't check your phone too often

Ok, this one may seem a little out of left field....and it kinda is.  But seriously, how often do we all check our phones? Text messages, missed calls, voice mails, email, internet, wiki-this, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless other social media outlets that I'm not nearly cool enough to be a part of.  Its kinda liberating to giver yourself permission NOT to check them for a little while.  Try it out.  Report back.

That's it for me.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

6WS: It's Raining Men (No Hallelujah here!)

After calling off my engagement last year, I went through a bit of  a dry spell in the romance department.  Sure, I needed time to heal blah, blah....but by the time I was ready to put myself back out there, I really started to wonder where the heck all the good men had run off to.  There was that moment with The Professor that turned out to be a big waste of everybody's time and energy, but beyond that - nada.

And then something happened....I'm not exactly sure what the catalyst was for this change, but suddenly there are a number of men vying for my attention.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it???

It's not.  

I have never been the girl who can date more than one guy at a time.  Maybe that's (insert some negative adjective here) of me, but I just don't know how to do it.  I like to get to know people without feeling like I'm on some damn game show.  I don't want to have to balance an overflowing social calendar with all the other stuff I have going on in my life.  I don't even know that rules of multiple man dating.  Do I keep that information private?  Should I be up front and let them know I'm dating other people?  What if I start to like one of them...how do I end things with the others?  Is there a responsibility for full disclosure at that point?  What if someone starts to like me??

Seriously, I'm exhausted just thinking about the logistics of all of this.....

You know the 6WS drill by now.....visit Call Me Cate and show everyone a bit of comment luv, won't ya?!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday's Must Nots

This week has a bit of a theme.....I bet you can guess it :)

1. Do not confuse fun with love

He makes you smile and laugh. You have a good time one-on-one and with your friends. You can be goofy, silly, ridiculous and feel oh-so comfortable. This feeling is called happiness.  You are having something called "fun". Now, as much as this may seem like a bit of a foreign concept to you, this in and of itself does not mean that you have found love.  Remember that. 

2. Do not confuse respect with love

He holds your hand not your ass. She enjoys your thoughts as much as your kisses.  You've agreed to maintain certain boundaries and neither of you have tested the line.  He keeps his word. She speaks with respect. You can disagree without needing to call in a referee.  These are respectful interactions. These in and of themselves do not mean that you have found love.  Remember this, too.

3. Do not confuse sex with love

Something about kisses, endorphins and oxytocin that can make you forget that sex -- even good sex -- in and of itself does not mean that you have found love.  Remember this before, during and especially after. For reals.

4. Do not confuse the word love with the action of love

Ever heard the phrase "actions speak louder than words?" Well, take that to the bank on this one.  "I love you" coupled with disrespect is not the act of loving. "I love you" followed by abusive language or behaviour is not the act of loving. "I love you" without concious regard for your needs and wants is not the act of loving. "I love you" on its own sounds good, feels empty and is not enough.  Remember this.

5. Do not substitute anything for what you actually want

He or she may be fun, respectful and kiss like the french...may even toss the L-word out there every once in a while, but if it doesn't feel right, it isn't.  Don't stop having fun, expect to be respected and well, do what you want with our own body, but please remember never to substitute these things for what it is that you ultimately want.

Gotta remember these.....


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Six Word Saturday

How long to fall in love?

Those are my six words.....I welcome any number of words in your response.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday's Must Nots

The aim of this week's edition of Monday's Must Nots is not necessarily to be inspirational.  Should you be inspired by it - bonus!  However, this is a list of reminders for all the single ladies out there (sure, myself included) who wish to find themselves in a meaningful, respectful, reciprocal relationship of any kind.  The list was inspired by some interesting conversations that I have had with single friends, from my own past experiences and from story after story of counterintuitive behaviour patterns by women in every facet of my life.  Let's go!!

Things not to do this week:

1. Do not mess around with anyone who is married.

Let me define a few terms here: "Married" can be substituted in this case for "in a committed relationship," "living with a partner," "engaged to be married," and "planning to leave, but still in a romantic relationship." Also: "mess around" can be used interchangeably with "sleep," "have sex," "kiss," "date," "make future plans," and "physically or emotionally connect."  Now that we have that out of the way...it has been my experience that (a) more often than not, you stay the side dish and never move to being the main....after all, you're willing to settle, so why would they give up having the best of both worlds - comfort and excitement?? (b) If they do leave for your, remember: if they cheated with you, they'll likely cheat on you and (c) even if they are 100% faithful to you, your relationship started with a lie.  Can you ever really trust them?  Hey, this is only if you want to be in an exclusive, monogamous, respectful relationship....and this is just my opinion.

Moving on...

2. When you have a partner, avoid situations that kinda-sorta look (or feel) like they may be covert dates.

So the handsome pre-med student in your human anatomy class has asked you out to lunch five or six times now and you've communicated that you have a guy in your life.  He knows this, insists that he is very interested in you but respects that and asks you out to dinner anyways....at his house. No, no...its so we can go over the lecture notes after dinner.   *WARNING* Dr. McSchemey there wants to see what he can get away with...and if your boundaries aren't clear or maybe if your curiosity is a little piqued, things can get hectic. Quickly. Proceed with caution.

3. Do not add alcohol or any other mood- or decision-altering substances into scenarios one or two.

Do I really need to elaborate on why this is a bad idea?

4. Stop telling yourself the lie that you can't, won't and aren't able to find someone to meet your standards.

Lowering them isn't going to make you any happier. You'll just find that you're settling for a situation that doesn't satisfy you. My motto (which I really should remember to follow): keep your head, heels and standards high.

5. Don't forget that lonely moments are just that - moments.

They won't last forever, so try not to make decisions in that feeling that you know you'll regret later.

That's it for today, folks! Happy Monday!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

6WS: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This week has been one full of setbacks.  Unforeseen financial obligations, business-building hurdles, I even spilled coral nail polish on my light grey carpet. It seems that just as my life starts moving in the direction I want it to, something pops up to remind me that it's not yet time to let down my guard and bask in the rays of my success.

...and then there's the silly little issue of falling into familiar, unhelpful coping strategies.  Yeah, I did some of that too.  But today is a new day and a new chance to move forward again.


~ ~ ~

Play Six Word Saturday along with CallMeCate and all her friends.  Six Words - that's all you need.

 (Oh, and this little button to get you there)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday's Must Nots....

I posted a list of 'must not do's last week and was pleasantly surprised at the emails I got from folks who felt that the message resonated with them.  So I'm bringing sexy back.....if you find lists sexy.  I appreciate  your comments, whether via email or right under the post :)

1. Don't underestimate yourself today

Mondays tend to do that to people. We're all carefree and confident on the weekend and then - BAM! Monday hits us in the face with sobering responsibility and we tend to get overwhelmed.  (Or maybe responsibility didn't quite sober us up and we're all still a little punch drunk from that Sunday brunch sangria....)  Either way, you've got what it takes to conquer that paperwork, rock that presentation, sell that cheeseburger...whatever you do - do it well! YOU ARE ENOUGH!

2. Do not try on those "thinspiration" jeans after a weekend of calorically dense food-ing

Seriously...why do that to yourself?

3. Don't let laziness/convenience/fear make you forget what is really important to you.

You want to tone up? Go to the gym.  You want to save for a house? Leave the Michael Kors store now.  You want an A on your paper?  Turn off the television and write!!  Choose between what you want now and what you want most. Act accordingly.

4. Don't worry about tomorrow. 

Today has enough issues of its own for you to deal with.  Plan for what is on the horizon, but fret not, m'love. Take this week one day at a time and you'll get there.

5. Finally, don't forget that you are loved

It is oh-so easy to do. But remembering that there is someone who absolutely cannot live without you sometimes gives you the push you need when it seems like you're all pushed out.  When your boss is ungrateful and your coworkers are inconsiderate and your friends and family seem too caught up in their own stuff to realize that you are standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming for your life -- remember you dog Twinkles, who depends on you for his livelyhood.  Remember your niece who lights up when you come around.  Remember the lady on the bus last week who almost fell over when you told her to have a nice day, because nobody else had spoken to all week.  Please, please remember that your importance is not always spoken by the ones who value you......and carry that in your heart when it gets hard.

Or write to me and I'll remind you.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

6WS: Miss J to the L O

Jennifer Lopez.   

Some know her as J-Lo or Jenny from the block. Others refer to her as a triple threat of mediocrity - singer, dancer and actor. And still others will always remember her as the flyest of all Fly Girls (see: In Living Color circa 1991). As for me, Jennifer Lopez will always be Mary Fiore, Wedding Planner, in the role of my life.

You know the story: a freakishly chance encounter brings soulmates together. They face seemingly insurmountable obstacles and then (spoiler alert) the stars align for them and we are left to believe that they live happily and fatefully ever after.

It is the ultimate chick flick....and my eternal saga.  Well, except for the happily ever after, fateful conquering part. Everything up to that is a version of dead on.

Okay....let me paint the picture for you:

At one point in the movie, Mary is standing at the door of her apartment while the man she is falling in love with (played by southern charmer, Matthew McConaughey) professes his deep seeded and intense feelings for her.  At this point in the movie, he is engaged to another woman.  Mary looks at him and says, “I am a magnet for unavailable men. And I’m sick of it. Please go away.”

Tell him, sister!  I’m right with you.

I have dated/been engaged to every molecular configuration of unavailable that humanity has to offer.  They were emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobic, honesty-deficient and even out-and-out abusive. For years I’ve wondered if I’m displaying a sign that says “Come work your shit out here!!”

And then it hit me.  I wear that sign everyday....intentionally.  In fact, I get paid to do it. 

I’m a helper. I choose to work everyday with angry, hurt, often violent people who struggle with addictions, hygiene and sometimes even basic communication. And I love it. I have always said that God-given gift is my ability to genuinely love people who are difficult to love. (I bet you’re beginning to see where I’m going with this....)

It occurred to me that my attitude of acceptance of whatever my clients bring with them had extended into my personal life.  Beyond personal history and some skill deficits, they bring prejudice, abusive behaviour, disrespect and vulgarity.  I can easily see through the hard exterior to the hurt that is, more often than not, been the source of their lashing-out for quite some time. Many have suffered terrible loss as well as the same types of hurtful treatment which they now pass on to others.  So, I accept a few more profane conversations than the average bear in order to work on the real issues.

And then I come home.....to the same thing.  At least I used to.  I would keep my Social Worker hat on, see the pain in the poisonous presentation and look past it.  I accepted their shit and let the men in my life work it out with me, through me, on me.  And when they were all whole and healed (or when I was too exhausted to endure anymore) we parted ways.  

But yet my sign stayed up.

Well, now I’m choosing to take down the sign.  Like Miss Mary Fiore, I am deciding that I am sick of attracting into my personal life men who are not prepared to be in a healthy, relationship with a partner - not a therapist.  Feel free to make an appointment to see me when I’m working if you’d like professional help.  I promise to accept the brokenness, hear past the anger and help you with what you need.  But when I’m off duty....

Please, just go away.



Play Six Word Saturday along with CallMeCate and all her friends.  Six Words - that's all you need.

 (Oh, and this little button to get you there)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday #tbt

Today's throwback blog post is a spoken work piece born out of a breakup letter that I actually gave a guy I was seeing once.  When I ran into him a year later he was still carrying it around in his wallet.  It was originally posted in 2010 on my first blog and was the second spoken word piece I ever performed.  Please keep in mind that it was written (and performed) during a much angrier time in my life.  (and also, please excuse the profanity....)


Dear Mr. Broken Promises,

A fuck buddy (much like luck money) is not the same as when you put in work. It is often used, discarded or lost; the user then regarded as an ungrateful jerk (not you baby, let the piece do its work). It's the tears and sweat, forgive and forget that make the bond grow stronger, longer, deeper and taller and measured in ways other than August 28th until....time stands almost still – frozen by the chill that now laces your tongue. Not like when your heat would lick and suck and make me hum. Right before you were an audience of one, when your words and my hands would make me cum....and then lie in our sweat and talk about that daughter and how gorgeous she'd be. Whether she would have my ass and your face or your charm and my patience – she would have been beautiful.

But now that promises have fleeted and my number (probably deleted) is to be called no more, I'm left to wonder how I got demoted from your queen to your whore. No, that's not fair, it was never just about ass. You and me, baby, we were much more than that. We had love, we were friends, could've been best, as a matter of fact.....yes, I remember, it was you who said that. You also said you couldn't be with her if we couldn't remain friends. But my, my how quickly that song did end....and you said you were never gonna dance again. Mr. Guilty feet. Well you and George had more in common than just your names, except he really got tired of playing games, while you just got tired of getting caught cheating.

Aww baby, now why'd you have to go there? Because I've got a point as sharp as that chocolatey brown suit you used to wear. The one you changed into the night of our last kiss in the first round. And my point is (ladies and gents, stay tuned for the finale), I never asked you to swoop in to play step daddy. Not as my saviour or chef, my meal ticket or my rent. I got that. I never asked you to take me in your arms or your eyes and understand my body in ways that I cannot verbalize. I just wanted us to be friends, You wanted more, opened and held that door and said that how you had treated me had hurt you all along. And now the scars are open, scabs ripped off and I'm lying here, bleeding love. (My God, Leona Lewis would be proud!)

Maybe one day you'll look back at this letter and our history together and realize that bargaining with you and crying for you and wiping even your silent tears was never part of a show. I never threatened to burn down all that you have because you said you would go....and maybe you'll wish it didn't end. You might want to rinse and repeat the tired old feat of typing "I'm sorry" and pressing send. But let me save you from remorse (and embarrassment, of course).  Mr. Broken Promises, we will never be friends.

Ms. Never Again



Monday, July 8, 2013

Manic Monday: A List of Sorts

Monday's Must Nots

1. Don't think about the ones who got away

...or the ones who let you get away. Regret is a useless emotion.  So is whatever feeling makes you call them all idiots and want to kick them in the shins when they tell you how much they loved you back then and what a mistake it was that they couldn't get their poop in a group long enough to lock it down.  Yeah, that emotion is a waste of energy, too.

2. Don't play the comparison game

Yes, most of your friends are married.  Yes, your mother was married at this age and had 2 children already...as did both of your sisters-in-law. (Well, one of them had three....but that fact isn't really helping anything, is it?) And so what if most of the people you work with - nay, ALL of the people you work with are in committed relationships?  Now that we've done that inventory, how much better off are you?  That's what I though.  Deal.

3. Don't forget about the good things

You own your own company.  You have a gorgeous son.  You are embarking on a challenging new career opportunity, just over the horizon.  And don't forget all the yummy eye candy you saw yesterday at the street festival, reminding you of all that this great city has to offer:  Music and food and handsome professionals.  Tally-ho!

4. Don't beat yourself up over the things you can't control...or (for that matter) the things you can. (For the latter - just do something about them. Details to come on a subsequent list.)

But for reals -- if you can't control it, worrying certainly isn't going to change anything.  For example: The Past.  I'll give you six million dollars right now if you can tell me anything you can do to change any single item from your past....or anyone else's.  I'll even give you time to think about it...

Go on....think.

Nothing, right?  Take a breath. Set your sights on something within your control. Resume productivity. (It feels so good!)

5. Don't miss today

You only get one of them and this is it.  Be here now. Savour it. Roll it around on your tongue and exhale it through your nose.  Enjoy the moments of nothingness that tie the chaos together. Smile at the cashier. Hold the door for someone and wish them a good day.  Give yourself permission to walk a little bit slower.

6. Don't forget to be grateful 

for everything.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

I think I'm just about done

I think I'm just about done being sorry
for wanting more than I get
for demanding less than I deserve
for being uncomfortable with the feeling of knowing I need more.

I think I'm over that feeling --
That maybe-I-shouldn't-rock-the-boat feeling
the one that worries about you getting wet
but ignores the nagging notion that I should just jump ship.

I'm pretty sure I'm through
and sculpting beautiful images from the bullshit
and calling it art.

And as much as there is a piece of me that wants you to return the feelings I've sent your way...

I think I'm pretty much finished waiting
for you.


Yeah....it was that kind of weekend.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Make Up Your Freakin' Mind, Already

I went on a bit of a weekend road trip recently with The Professor. (Feel free to refer to my earlier post about my relationship resume for context.) We went to one of the USA's major metropolitan cities for a couple of days (as friends) and had a pretty good time.  We checked out the city, hit up a museum and popular park, went dancing and even took in a movie.  It was a good weekend.

On our last day in the city, when our bags had been loaded into the car, but before we hit the highway, we stopped for lunch.  Now, for the entire weekend, one of the trends had been our inability to decide what to do, where to eat and when to move. Over lunch, my semi-plutonic travelling companion asked me about my comfort level when it comes to making decisions.  This question evolved into a 30-minute conversation about the responsibility of being the "decision-maker" in a family or relationship.  I shared that, as a single parent, I make all of the decisions all of the time and it's nice to sometimes share that responsibility with someone else or, in some cases, relinquish it altogether.  He also shared his perspective of how that responsibility often becomes unequally distributed between genders in relationships. Blah blah blah....its was a good conversation.

Fast forward to yesterday, when it hit me - "it" being one of the (probable) reasons my relationships have never been.....fulfilling (to say the least).  I've taken the idea of compromise to new lows of spinelessness, accepted that which is unacceptable (with hopes that they will one day get better) and, essentially, allowed myself to settle for far less than I deserve or even want.

Let's take The Professor, for example: he's got all the checks and balances covered on my list - everything is even wrapped up in a big, strong and handsome bow, BUT I've somehow managed to convince myself that I am fine settling for some undefined, obscure "friends +" status (not to be confused for friends with benefits.....at least that I would understand).  In actuality, what I want is a way of relating to each other that has more clarity than he can/will provide.

So now the million dollar question is: what exactly am I hanging on to?  The hope that one day he'll wake up and realize how much he can't live without me?  Not bloody likely, lady....and in the meantime, he's made his decision and is contently living his life.  I think I should follow suit. And here is my decision: I need a clear position on one side of the line - just friends or building something more...

...and a turkey burger with a side of sweet potato fries for lunch.



Play along with Call Me Cate and all her friends every week. Six Word Saturdays is as easy as it sounds: 6 words, one day - explain it or don't, Cate's not picky.  Click on her cute-as-a-button button to head on over to ShowMyFace.com and join the party!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Six Word Saturday - Starbucks Eavesdropping

In Emotions vs. Logic, who wins??

"I'm very pro public scenes..."

This was the line that initially caught my attention.  I had been trying to get some work done at a Starbucks downtown, waiting to meet up with my cousin after work.  It had become almost impossible to stay focussed on my own laptop while the angry vulgarities of what I can only assume to be a woman once scorned flew out from behind her MacBook and landed squarely between me and my mine.  She seemed to be one half of a problem-solving (or exacerbating....you be the judge) session with a friend who was on the other end of the phone call.  I couldn't hear the specifics of the issue they were discussing, but what I could hear piqued my interest.

"He's all about talking in private.  He won't say anything in public.  He'll just sit there and stare at his laptop, shaking his leg, but when he get's home he f***ing rips you apart on Facebook."

I had to look up. Ooh...she's gesticulating!

"I don't want to tell you what to do....because I'm a woman who likes to be chased.  I like a reaction.  If I'm mad and you don't give me the reaction I want, I'm gonna just keep poking at you and keep it up until you react. So, I don't want to tell you to do something and then it ends up being bad advice."

The first rational thing I had heard all conversation.

20 minutes later she had moved the conversation out of earshot, but not so far that I had lost sight of waving arms and pacing around the general vicinity.  She was amped up.

This isn't the first time I've experienced first- (or second-) hand, the emotional response to conflict that is often stereotypically attached to the female approach.  Men are logical. Women are emotional.  This is what we are often socialized to believe....and there are definitely individuals who fit the mould.  (I'd like to submit the raging Starbucker as Exhibit A) A lot of my male friends have attributed this emotional lens as the source of much conflict and stress within their relationships.  It got me to thinking about the bar fights, basketball court fights and hockey fights men get into with each other and I realized that it isn't that men aren't emotional, their emotions just come out differently.  The Starbucker's conflict wasn't that her friend's partner was unemotive, it was that he chose to emote in a virtual public forum instead of an actual public place.  What initially seem to be a lack of an emotional response (perhaps even logical) was just a delayed emotional response.

So are men really all that much more logical, in general?  Are we all just emotional creatures with feelings manifesting in different ways at different times? And when it comes to the battle between logic and emotions, in the end do emotions ever really win??


Play alongs with Call me Cate and all her friends each week as we embark on 6WS....hop on over to her blog. (She'll tell you how to get in on the action!!)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Manic Monday - TSC's Hierarchy of Needs

An exercise I was once given in counselling was to create something of a visual representation of my needs/wants in a partner.  It was something akin to Maslow's hierarchy of needs - on the bottom were the non-negotiables, the things that  I could not live without and would not overlook to assess if additional characteristics were present.  The next tier would be the less critical things, but still highly important.  And on and on until we reach the smallest, top section which would have traits that were desirable but not deal-breakers.  I completed this activity over a year ago, amid the ruckus that was that time and I thought I would revisit it now to see if anything has changed.

(Note: Last time I did this exercise, I learned just as much about me as I was setting limits and parameters for what I would and would not accept.  It was quite a handy tool!)

Give it a try....what are your needs?


TSC's Hierarchy of Needs 2013

Bottom Tier (i.e. initial Deal-breakers):
Respectful | Kind | Ambitious | Emotionally Stable | Christian | Single |Supportive | Accepting of my child | Open/Willing to talk | Intelligent | Thoughtful  |Sense of Humour | Wants to get married eventually | Friendly | No Drugs

Second Tier (i.e. Important and to be assessed early on):
Gentle | Smart | Self-aware | Strong communication skills | Desire to communicate/problem-solve | Social | Affectionate | Attends church | Family-oriented | Empathetic | Educated | Funny | Wants Children | Willing to wait for sex | Balanced (together time/own life) | Responsible | Mature | Confident

Third Tier (i.e. Semi-negotiable, but highly desirable):
Romantic | Punctual | Adventurous | Spontaneous | Wants to travel | Reads | Open to adopting children | Tries new things | Fights fair* (*Note: "Fight's fair" isn't negotiable per se, however, it is on the third tier because I imagine needing to be somewhat involved to really have a blow up in which this skill can be demonstrated)

Top Tier (i.e. icing on the cake):
Sensual | Active | Handsome | Tall

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reclaiming My Smile

I've always been afraid to be too nice to people for fear of sending the wrong message.  I didn't want anyone to think I was naive or vulnerable, nor did I want to give off an "I'm interested" vibe when I was only being friendly.  So, I kept things pretty neutral...or at least I thought I was. Instead I was communicating (and yes, this is actual feedback) "scary," "serious," "tough," "stuck-up," "bully," and "mean." But it served its purpose - people kept their distance.  But...that meant that when I wanted to get close to people, I had to go above and beyond to disprove the reputation of coldness that I had established.  There were many ways that I was able to accomplish that - not all of which were the healthiest or most productive choices for me.
Then I discovered something, I could be nice to people just to be....nice. How liberating!!

Ok, Single Chick....what the hell is the point of you writing about this?

I had to remind myself about this lesson learned in high school recently.  My last romantic relationship was very abusive. I had become accustomed to averting my eyes from contact with strangers, keeping my socialization to a minimum and my conversations brief, and always avoiding any undue friendliness that could be misread (by anyone) as "flirting."  So ingrained in my was this mindset, that even after we broke up, I didn't realize that I had forgotten to reestablish my default facial expression to a smile.  It took months of introspection (and psychotherapy) to reconnect with my genuine joy and find ways for that to be communicated.  And I remembered again while I was travelling recently.  The customs officer asked my travelling companion if I am "always that serious." A security guard told me that I "should try to have fun and smile more." Even just walking down the street in New York I heard a man comment that he bets that "there's a smile under there somewhere."  Each time I heard the comment I had to remember that my smile is meant to be shared and shone.

And let me tell you...once I started to not only enjoy the city and the people, but to lead with my social spirit, I had a blast!!  I met some amazing New Yorkers (who, I might add, are some of the friendliest people I've met on this earth....)  I'm so glad I didn't miss it!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

New York, Old Me - 6WS

Always discern your voice from others'

I just spent the last five days in the city that never sleeps.  It was my first time there, so of course I wanted to do some of the obligatory touristy things - Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza....I did much more walking than sleeping for sure.  It was pretty amazing....but not for the reasons that I thought.

I found myself in a quaint restaurant on the Lower East Side, chatting with two of my girlfriends about relationships, challenges, lessons and choices.  I was explaining my pattern of people-pleasing and acquiescence and throughout the conversation, found myself returning to the phrase "I don't even know what I want anymore."  All of a sudden, one of the women I was with snapped, "Stop saying that you don't know.  You DO know! You know what you want for everything else in your life...it's the same voice, it's just talking to you about something else."

So maybe it isn't so much that I don't know what I want as much as I have to learn to listen harder to be able to recognize my own voice amongst the many others I have trained myself to listen to and listen for.

The sound probably hasn't changed as much as I think it has...


Play 6WS along with Call me Cate at Show My Face by clicking on the button below....

Monday, May 6, 2013

Just to clarify...

When I decided to start this blog, I did it because I know that many of my failed romantic relationships (and sometimes even friendships) have been unsuccessful because of what I have brought to the table. And yes, eventually I would like one of these whirlwind romances to withstand the hurricane and settle into a gentle, sustainable breeze. What I didn't realize in all my self-exploring glory, was how this quest to get my poop in a group (to get my s**t together) may be viewed as an intense husband-search project.

Let me assure you....that ain't it.

Ultimately, yes, I'd like to be a part of a partnership. But right now, and through this blog, I just want to - no, I need to - do ME. I need to watch the game film of my relational life (the highlights and the blooper reel) and assess the attitudes and actions that have me where I am today - single, a little emotionally bruised, a not-so-hopeless romantic and many dreams deferred for those who didn't deserve it.

If anything, I'm realizing just how far away I am from being alter-ready....

...now I just need to figure out what to do with all of that info.

Hope that clears things up!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Haven't seen any job postings yet...

I have just completed the first exercise of my will-be blog-chronicled experiment/journey - my relationship resume.  And just like the first time you exercise any major muscle group, I am feeling the burning fatigue of hard work. It's not so easy, I realized, to take a real look at my assets as well as the areas I still need to work on. I had to dig through some tough memories to figure out the positive I am carrying forward with me and what mouldy old baggage I need to leave behind.  With that exploration came the acknowledgement that I have indeed carried some of my old stuff along from relationship to relationships, leading me to (a) expect the worst, (b) settle for less than I wanted or (c) contribute to the unhealthy dynamics I have often found myself in.  "Hurt people hurt people" is a common addage for a reason - and I think it's just as fair to say that broken people are often drawn to other broken people.  I know that I often recognized the brokenness in my suitors and tried to be their fixer (word to the wise, folks - this is not a good place to build from).  I used my Social Work skills not as a partner, but as a counsellor. I allowed people to work their stuff out on me...and guess what?  Many of them took the opportunity and are better off for it.  As for me - I have some insight, plenty of what-not-to-do stories, and (thankfully) a clearer idea of what I will not stand for.  The key is to remember that lesson when days turn into very long, lonely nights and fun weekends with the girls stack up into months without the companionship I crave.

As for the result of my experiment....the resume is below.  Not quite ready to submit it for consideration....but maybe one day! ;)

The Single Chick (Resume)

To fulfill my role as helpmeet, mother and virtuous woman in a powerful marriage partnership with an influential man of God
Girlfriend, The Jamerican 2001-2006
Gained invaluable practical experience in negotiation, compromise and effective communication. Developed ability to integrate into various social circles and build rapport with family and friends.  Experienced true vulnerability and honesty in a reciprocal relationship. Nurtured a child through the pregnancy, labour and delivery process. Readjusted expectations through transition from role of girlfriend to fiancé and mother. Parted ways and manage to maintain an amicable co-parenting friendship.
Almost Girlfriend, The Athlete 2007-2008
Performed duties of girlfriend (commitment, support, encouragement) without insisting on reciprocated exclusivity or a defined title.  Attended sporting events, integrated with social circle and spent countless hours of quality time with friends, family and one-on-one in various settings.  Developed an appreciation for being spoken to with respect.  Equally developed an understanding of the importance of being at the same emotional place as a partner.  Was able to part ways when need for exclusivity became paramount and could not be guaranteed.  Maintained platonic friendship for many years post-romantic involvement.
Female companion (not otherwise specified), The Player 2008-2009
Performed duties of a girlfriend under a non-disclosure clause and without definitive language surrounding relationship status.  Supported “partner” though emotional trauma stemming from external relationship. Provided benefit-of-the-doubt advantage in doubtful scenarios. Maintained professional interactions when paths crossed for work purposes, both during and after tenure in this role.   
Fiancé, The Controller 2010-2012
Further developed skills of compromise. Subordinated own wants and needs to that of partner. Honed ability to compartmentalize conflict and resolve privately. Integrated partner and child into a cohesive unit.  Supported partner though multiple lay-offs and financial hardship.  Was able to identify increasingly abusive patterns (verbal, emotional, financial, physical) and seek support for self and partner individually and as a couple. Developed ability to assess risk and end engagement despite potential negative social impact. Isolated self from social supports to reduce conflict in these relationships regarding partner.  Redefined standards for future partners.
Friend, The Professor 2012-present
Learning new process of healthy social interaction.  Established and tested boundaries for physical intimacy. Willing to share appropriate amounts of personal information. Maintains awareness of expectations related to respect, communication, honesty and acceptance.  Breaking pattern of reading more into friendship than is there.  Keeping options and lines of communication as exclusivity has not been communicated from either party.  Enjoying the process, continuing to discover myself. 
Formal: College Diploma in Social Services field, completing Liberal Arts Degree currently
Informal: Girlfriends, Exes and Every-Mistake-I’ve-Ever-Made — B.A. in Realistic Expectations and sobering self-awareness

Ambition- founder and CEO of youth charity
Nurturing and Caring - as demonstrated in role of friend, mother and (formerly) partner
Self-Improvement - actively and consistently engaged in formal and informal venues of self-improvement
Spontaneity- Known to jump on stage during audience participation or plan a road trip on a whim
Observation and Intuition - intentional in attempts to assess partners' needs and communication style
Sense of Humour - easily laughs at self, slightly sarcastic, rolls with the punches, appreciative of intelligent and/or organic humour (a la Dave Chappelle or Vince Vaughn)
Conflict Management - aware of conflict style, prefers to deal with conflict to a resolution rather than avoid it

Contact any one of my exes, married male friends or girlfriends....they’ll vouch for the journey, the highs and the oh-so-lows on the way to this ever-evolving level of self-awareness


Play along with Six Word Saturdays at Show My Face by clicking on the cute little button (that's cute as a button).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Manic Monday - Exercise the first....

The challenge: make a resume.

Easy enough, right? I've done it a million times before. Find the job, tailor the resume to highlight my relevant experience, qualifications and skills for the position.  No sweat.  Here's the catch: the position I am applying for with this resume is "Wife."

The purpose: personal inventory.

What do I bring to the table? What are my assets? My transferrable skills?  What is my related education?  I've also encouraged my cousin (another 30-year old, gorgeous, educated single woman) to participate in this challenge with me.  Feel free to join in the fun - I'd love to hear how the process goes for others.

I'll post my resume here by the end of the week.

The Married Guy's Best (girl)Friend

I am your quintessential married guy's platonic girlfriend -- safe, fun, wife-friendly, and open to talking about just about anything without the (not-so) subtle 'it-should've-been-us' subtext or worse yet - an air of 'it-still-could'.  I'm the "good girl" who is going to make some man a great wife...someday.  Well, that's what they keep telling me - the many, many men who count me as the one who got away.  I've even been engaged - twice, in fact. Once when I was too young to make good decisions and once when I was old enough to change my mind before I made a bad one.  So, now I'm keeping track of it all --my mistakes and theirs -- and hoping that somewhere in all the blogging, I'll find my way to someday. To Mr. Right. To my very own happy wedded ending.

I'm embarking on a quest of self-awareness, self-improvement and self-disclosure.  I welcome your comments, feedback, suggestions and observations.  I also encourage you to join me on some of my personal challenges and share yours, too!!

Buckle your seatbelt.....here we go!!