Red Flags

Online dating, ugh. I know it’s a necessary evil, but I’m only a couple weeks in and already over it.

I’ve been on three dates so far. The first was Guy With Dog. He was much cuter in person than in his pictures, had a super nice body, and dressed and smelled nice. I was impressed! We had decent conversation, although there was one painfully awkward silence where my brain went completely dead and I couldn’t think of a THING to say – a sign that I’m out of practice. It only lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like five minutes. But we recovered and it was fine. I thought things had gone well and he even texted me after the date to say he had a good time, but I haven’t heard from him since. I’m not gutted or anything, but still. Disappointment #1.

The second date was Guy With Kid. He was cute but had a bad chinstrap beard and the face of a 12-year-old. We had a pleasant enough time, but he talked non-stop about his kid and how much he loves being a dad and how he’s looking for someone fully on board with his kid-centred life, and I immediately felt pressured. Being a good father is an amazing quality, don’t get me wrong. But #dadlife is just not something I’m ready to jump into. So overall, our incompatibility was a letdown, because I know that a large chunk of the local dating pool is made up of single dads just like him. Disappointment #2.

Now the biggest disappointment of all! Date three was with a guy I was really excited about from our two weeks of texting back and forth. Normally I don’t wait that long before meeting someone in person due to the inevitable letdown when they’re not as cool in person or we don’t click as well in real life. But this guy lives in Victoria, so we had to wait to meet. The first red flag was when he bragged about his blog and then shared a link. First of all, the blog was nothing special – his writing wasn’t as great as he seemed to think it is. Second of all, his recent posts were tone-deaf takes on all the sexual assault cases coming out in the media recently, and white privilege and discrimination. He came across as a nice-guy/Men’s Right Activist. Looking back, I wish I’d stopped talking to him then. But I thought “Cool, an opportunity to debate and have interesting conversation about our conflicting views.” He promised he was all about equality between sexes and races, so I chalked up his posts to him trying to be “edgy” and intellectual.

The second red flag waved when he got butthurt that I didn’t want to spend the entire weekend with him. All along I’d only planned for a long day date, but he kept talking about all the things he wanted to do throughout the weekend. I told him no, I’m staying at a friend’s regardless of how the date goes, and normally my first dates don’t go longer than 2 hours, so he didn’t need to plan for an entire weekend of events. He got really defensive and went on a big “nice guy” tirade about how I was already anticipating wanting to “escape” him and that I was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that the date wouldn’t go well. To be fair, the way I worded it wasn’t great, and he explained that I struck a nerve because of his history of dates “putting on the brakes,” pulling the “let’s just be friends” card, him being enthusiastic and them being meh, and blah blah blah. I really should have listened to what he was saying and taken it as the warning it was. But no. I was blinded by hope.

The final red flag was when I went for drinks and a dance class with some friends on Friday night, and after I told them about my long-distance date, my friend asked me to show her the guy’s picture because he sounded familiar. She said they’d been messaging awhile ago and he did something that really annoyed her and kinda creeped her out, but didn’t elaborate. Sure enough, it was the same guy. She assured me it was a long time ago and maybe he would be cooler in person. I almost pulled the plug the next morning, but in the interest of being brave this year, I decided to go through with it.

So, I drove to Victoria, hope and fear mixing in my guts. The second he walked up to me, my heart sank. He was a dud. He looked like his photos, but he had an annoying voice, and pierced ears – not the cool hipster kind, but little diamond studs like the ones *I* wear. And he was awkward. I should have left right then, but I’d come all that way! Plus he offered wine in a to-go mug for our trip to the museum, and I knew that would take the edge off.

We went to the museum and I tried to make the best of it. The wildlife photography exhibit was incredible and the museum’s permanent exhibits were super cool. But god, was he ever a bore. He would talk and talk and talk every single point to death. He barely asked any questions about me, but was happy to blather on about himself. At one point he proudly showed me a Facebook comment he made that got a whole bunch of likes. It was just awful.

I agreed to go to dinner after the museum only because I was starving, and looked longingly at the other cool young people having dates and nights out. Even the table of middle-aged team of hockey players behind us obnoxiously yelling “YARRRRRRR” every time they took a shot seemed more appealing to me. To add insult to injury, he didn’t pay for anything that day, so not only did I waste half a tank of gas, but I blew my weekly budget for no good reason (ask me how my 2018 financial goals are going…). Mercifully, the night ended around 7 PM. I drove home thinking back over all my poor choices and wondering why I STILL haven’t learned to listen to my gut when it comes to men.

And that’s my online dating experience so far this year.


Goodbye 2017

2017 was a dumpster fire of a year for a lot of reasons – not personally, although I faced a lot of challenges and had some real rollercoaster moments, but for the world in general. I know a lot of people are happy to see it go and are hoping that 2018 will be saner. I’m not holding my breath that things will get much better thanks to our orange overlord Fuckface von Clownstick down yonder, but I’m open to being pleasantly surprised.

As for me, I’m looking forward to the new year. Early in 2017 I lost my Oma and then packed up and moved my entire life across the Strait of Georgia to start a new career, two very big and emotional events. Moving to the island was a great choice, and I don’t regret it at all, but it’s been extremely difficult financially and I’m ready to move forward now that I’m settled here and finally done with my paralegal program.

Every year around this time I sit down and reflect on what I achieved in the past 12 months and what I need to work on in the coming year. I was surprised to realize that I actually accomplished most of my goals for 2017, even though it didn’t feel like it. Moving and starting my new career were the main ones, but I did fairly well with my fitness and personal development ones too. It was a good reminder that it’s important to focus on the positives, and also that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself just because I’m not where I think I should be in some areas of life.

In 2018, I’ll keep working on the usual things: being a better friend and daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece/cousin, exercising and eating well consistently, trying new things, getting more/better sleep (ha), and finding a man I can stand for more than 2 months (double ha). The new goals are to do more outdoor exploring on the island (hike! camp! snowshoe! kayak! visit all the islands!), write more, start meditating, continue learning guitar, volunteer, and sort out the mess that is my current financial situation 😩. I’m also making it my mission not to buy or use any plastic water bottles, takeout coffee cups, or plastic shopping bags, which I anticipate will be a bit of a challenge until I’ve trained myself to always have reusable versions of each on my person at all times. Finally, in January I plan not to eat any meat except fish. I’m not sure if I’ll make the full switch to vegetarian or even pescetarian, but we’ll see how January goes.

As part of my “write more” goal, I expect you’ll see a few more posts (2-week instead of 2-year gaps 🙄) – I’ll share a few vegetarian recipe fails and successes and hopefully some entertaining dating stories. Until then, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that 2018 is more of a pleasant bonfire than the raging dumpster fire of 2017. 😙

Confessions of a Serial Dater

Back by popular demand (OK, maybe by like 2 people), here’s a little update on my dating life since moving to the island.

Guy 1: Meter Reader

This was my first foray back into dating. I met him on OKCupid and we went for a drink. He was really nice and we had a ton in common from music to an affinity for IIFYM; he was reasonably tall and not unattractive, but didn’t have that alpha male thing that I’m so drawn to. I also really felt the age difference – he was 41, and although he didn’t act old, I felt like I was putting on my “responsible adult in the workplace” persona instead of being myself.

We went for a hike as a second date, and I knew it was doomed when he tried to get close to me and I physically recoiled. He texted a few more times after that trying to set up another date and I 100% pulled a fade on him. I’m not proud.

Guy 2: Quebecois Builder Dude

(My nickname skills have gotten seriously rusty in the last couple years, sorry.) This guy was pretty cute and more on my level maturity-wise, but he was also my height and worst of all, not a hockey fan. I realize how ridiculous a dealbreaker that is, but it matters to me. We got a coffee and walked the waterfront and had a nice chat, but there wasn’t anything there for me. He’s been bugging me to hang out again for weeks, and we have tentative plans for tomorrow, but meh.

Guy 3: Too Good to Be True

Met this dad of two on Tinder and went for drinks after a week or two of regular texting. There was major chemistry and he said and did everything right – flirty touching, compliments, confident but not cocky, held my hand and didn’t hesitate to kiss me as we were leaving the pub. Even at the time I felt like he was TOO good, but I ignored my instincts, so thankful to finally find someone who made me FEEL something. By the end of the night, he convinced me to let him come over and we had a grand old time. I hadn’t slept with anyone for a LONG time, so I can’t say I didn’t want it, but it was definitely not in the plan. The second it was over, he was snoring loudly and I started to feel a tinge of regret: the magic spell was broken.

We texted a little in the days following, and on Friday night he invited me over to watch a movie (I know, I know). He gave me his address and everything, and then literally as I was walking out the door, texted me “Hey, I’m going to a friend’s instead.” I haven’t heard from him since. 😐

I did some bitter Googling that night and found out he has over 1000 Facebook friends, many of them women leaving fawning comments, and he’s all over social media humble-bragging about what a great dad he is and blah blah blah. It made me think back to a few of the stories he told me on our date, about a scorned lady bartender he once dated staring daggers at him while he was out with drinks with his friends, or the newly engaged woman who was sending him inappropriate Facebook messages. It all clicked: dude is a player, and I totally got played. It was a good reminder to trust my goddamn instincts.

Guy 4: No More Old Dudes

Last weekend I went on a date with another dad, who was also over 40. He was short and reminded me so much of Ryan facially that I was a bit distracted. We had a nice time and he took me for dinner to an amazing Greek place I’ve been wanting to try, so that was enjoyable. Again, I had a pleasant time but there was nothing there, and there was a noticeable difference in maturity, so I’ve decided 40 year olds are not for me. I figured he wasn’t interested in me either as I hadn’t heard from him all week, but he texted me last night to suggest drinks. This time I’m not bothering with a second date.

Guy 6: The Principal

Oh look, another dad! MANY guys here have kids and ex-wives, and I wanted to be open-minded, but I do think this might be a soft dealbreaker for me. This guy was a high school principal and was super nice, cute, AMAZING blue eyes, fit, all that… but short and TINY. I’d break him for sure. We went for sushi and beer and had great conversation, although again I felt like I was on a job interview and had to be on my best behaviour. He tried to kiss me at the end and I gave him the cheek – it was awkward as hell. He had already asked me out again by the time I got back to my place, but I don’t think it will happen.

You may have noticed I skipped Guy 5.

I don’t want to jinx it. Let’s just say I’m really, really into him, and I think it might be mutual. 🙂

I’ve been a busy girl!

Boys Boys Boys

So I joined Tinder two weeks ago, and it’s been quite the trip.

First off, I enjoy it so much more than OKCupid, mostly because only guys I’ve swiped right and deemed reasonably attractive can message me. No more junk mail or feeling guilty for not responding to great messages from fugly guys!

Unfortunately, December is a stupid time to wade back into the dating pool. This has been a crazy week, and I doubt the upcoming one will be much better.

Last week I went on three Tinder dates.

Date 1

The guy was 20 minutes late. I’d already left to catch the bus home when he messaged me to apologize, saying he’d missed the Seabus and then had to deal with a work emergency. Feeling benevolent, I headed back to our meeting spot and went on the date anyway. We ended up having a fun time, so it wasn’t a bad choice.

He was short. Like, maybe one inch taller than me, and I’m only 5’5. (That’s one of Tinder’s flaws – there’s so little information aside from a picture that you never know what you’re gonna get.) But he was okay-looking and fun to talk to, owns an HVAC business, runs and surfs. We got tacos and then went to a dive bar to play foosball and arcade games. We didn’t have a ton in common (he doesn’t eat meat, parties a LOT, and sounded a bit casual about the whole dating thing), but we had interesting conversation. I said I’d see him again, but I’m not sure that it’s worth it since I feel like we’re looking for different things. For a first Tinder experience, it wasn’t terrible. He told me I’m way prettier in person than in my pictures, not that my pictures were bad. I should tell that to my friend Ben who thinks my profile picture is “too fancy” and gives the wrong idea of what I look like. Pffft.

Date 2

A pharmacist who lives in Yaletown, the yuppie part of downtown, which made me a little wary, but he did not confirm the stereotype. We met for drinks on Granville on Friday night, for which he was late because a lady outside of his building tripped and cut her head open and was bleeding everywhere, so he played the hero and called an ambulance then waited with her with towels. He was very cute, like a husky, dark-haired John Krasinski with dimples. Conversation was easy and fun and the night flew by, so when he suggested we go to the Roxy for the LOLs, I was more than willing. First we got a slice of pizza at Romano’s, where two super-drunk sisters told us how cute we were, and when one of them asked how long we’ve been together, he immediately said “7 months”. All night long I kept worrying we’d run into Greg, since all three places we went are some of his favourites, but fortunately there were no sightings and no drama. At the Roxy we danced a little but mostly people-watched, and then we kissed and I was dizzy from how good it was. He was super-affectionate and made references to future hangouts. It was hard to say no when he invited me up to his place around the corner, but he was sweet and hailed me a cab right away when I eventually did.

We’ve texted a bit since Friday and I can’t wait to see him again. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a first date and the most stoked I’ve felt about anyone I just met, including Greg. I’ve been telling myself to get a grip but keep catching myself smiling like a dumbass thinking about Friday night. Even if things don’t work out, I want to remember this: dating can be fun and magical.

Date 3

The triathlete. This guy was calling me on the phone almost every day before we met, which started to feel a bit much by the end of the week. In person, I wasn’t very attracted to him. He looks like Andy Samberg with a buzz cut, and while I do find Andy cute, with the triathlete it was more of a platonic feeling. Nevertheless, we have a ton in common and spent most of the date (drinks and snacks in New West, a middle ground between the two of us) chatting about running, training, and food prep. He’s a super nice guy and I could tell he was really into me, but it wasn’t mutual, and I don’t think it would have been even if I hadn’t had the amazing date with the pharmacist the night before.

I will probably see him again, just to give him a chance to grow on me (and to not put all my eggs in one basket), but I don’t know… I really felt like I’d met a new friend and nothing more.

And that’s my Tinder experience thus far! So far so good.

Book 34


China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (Fiction)

This is the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, and apparently a third book is in the works. I didn’t like this as much as CRA, although it was mildly entertaining until the stupid, dramatic event at the end that made no sense (I won’t spoil it, but it was seriously dumb).

CRG basically consisted of endless, almost pornographic descriptions of Asian foods. We get it! Chinese food is delicious! Like the first book, there were also pages upon pages describing clothes and name-dropping designers, jewelers, architects, and artists. There was hardly any plot at all!

I’ll still read the third one when it eventually comes out, and I’m crossing my fingers for a decent movie adaptation with a non-whitewashed cast. If you liked the first book, you should still check this out. But I hope the conclusion is much more interesting!

One book left to finish my challenge before the end of the year! I’ve already started, and it’s gonna be a doozy, I can tell… Stay tuned.

Hello, It’s Me

Uh, yeah. So it’s been almost a month since my last post. Sorry about that.

November has been pretty rough, I’m not gonna lie. My social life has slowed down significantly, and it seems like half my time is spent thinking about Greg and feeling sad. There’s been some serious regression in my journey through the 5 Stages of Grief. Thankfully, the holidays are now here, and I’ve decided to throw myself into the Christmas spirit instead of throwing myself off a bridge. I’m gonna barf Christmas spirit all up in this bitch!

So yeah. Christmas activities. More KonMari organizing of my house. Researching medium-sized cities for future relocation (more on that another time). Scoping out the job situation here and elsewhere. Researching for my Europe trip. And doubling down on running and gymming to make up for all the Christmas treats and booze I’m most definitely going to have in the next 35 days.

Two things that didn’t suck about November: Justin Bieber and Adele.

I don’t even care anymore – Justin Bieber may be a horrible human being, but he’s put out some solid tunes on this latest album. The first 3 singles are all amazing: Where Are U Now, What Do You Mean, and Sorry – my current fave. Off the top of my head, Love Yourself, Company, and Children are also fucking awesome. The best part is that he released videos for all of the songs and he’s featured in almost none of them; instead, it’s this amazing dance troupe from New Zealand. I’m not kidding, these songs are great and the videos are too. Go check them out – I linked them so you have no excuses!

And Adele. Oh, my sweet Jesus. Me on the bus this past week:


Okay, not really, because the songs are more about her breaking up with a dude than being broken up with, so I don’t currently relate. But still.

25 is so fucking good, I can’t. I liked a handful of songs from her previous albums, but this one is solid all the way through for me. Current repeaters: Send My Love, Water Under the Bridge, River Lea, Million Years Ago, Sweetest Devotion. Ugh, all of it. Not only is she beautiful and talented, but she’s adorable and funny, too. Did y’all see this?

Their reactions at the end are priceless. I love her. I love music. I love Christmas. Please let December be better.

Talk soon.

Books 31-33

Book 31


The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza (Fiction)

This was a cute and satisfying read. It’s about a highly admired but technologically-challenged magazine editor in her 40s who returns from medical leave only to find that the magazine that she runs has been taken over and turned into an app by her former assistant Eve, a social media-obsessed, Type-A bitch. I enjoyed the nod to the movie “All About Eve,” which I recently watched on Netflix. Although book Eve is purely one-dimensional, it only makes hating her character and rooting for Imogen (the protagonist) all the more enjoyable. I liked this. Mindless, frothy fun.

Book 32


Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford (Fiction)

I’m not gonna lie, I picked this book because of the cover. *heart eyes emoji* Honestly, the cover is the only thing going for it. Evelyn, the main character, is a 26-year-old social climber struggling to keep up appearances and blend in with the elite East Coast old-money crowd. She becomes an insufferable asshole right quick, and there just wasn’t enough story or development to make me empathize with her. In fact, I was happy to see her fail and be humiliated. Maybe that was the point, I don’t know. I don’t recommend this book.


Book 33


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I actually finished this before the two above, but I didn’t want to write about it until I’d actually tried some of the methods described in the book. It’s a quick, short read and I’m warning you now that it will inspire you to tear your house apart and start organizing all the things!


The premise is that you go through everything you own, item by item, one category at a time, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is yes, you keep it – then you put it away in a nice, organized way as described in the book. If the answer is no, you chuck or donate it. But first you thank the item for its service. I’m not kidding. There’s some weird shit in this book. It’s kind of cute, though. Especially when you picture the adorable author doing it:


Anyway. I admit that I haven’t followed the rules exactly (although I did take notes!), but I’ve already gotten rid of 4 or 5 bags of stuff, and while my life may not have been magically transformed as of yet, I AM pretty excited about how nice my closet and dresser look. I finally got rid of university textbooks and notes I’ve been lugging around with me for the past 10 years, and I’m even in the process of paring down my CD collection (something that would horrify my teenage self). It feels very freeing to let go of things I’m not totally in love with or things I’ve kept for ages for sentimental reasons or because I was too indecisive to make the call. Plus:

Obviously there are some things in your home that don’t spark joy but are essential nonetheless. Like I said, I bent the rules a little in some cases. But if you have a tendency to hoard or hold on to things for sentimental reasons or “just in case”, or if you’re like me and have a ton of storage space that helps you justify keeping shit you don’t need, this is a book for you. The hype may be a bit unwarranted – and I’m still going to roll my socks into a ball, dammit! – but there’s a reason it’s such a popular book. I really liked it and can’t wait to continue working through all my stuff and decluttering my life for 2016.