Give ’em the good new fashioned

My girlfriend had been telling me for months that there was something secret and special planned for the wedding.

“Is it a flashmob?” I asked. “It’s probably a flashmob.”
“A secret is what it is.” She replied.
It was a flashmob.

As the years have passed, I’ve naturally attended more weddings. Each a little different, each their own. What I’ve come to appreciate the most is how each couple tailors their marital unity to their distinct personalities. It’s neat to see all the little touches they add, whether in presentation, vows, even food. This wedding was entirely the summation of these two individuals tying the knot together.

The vows were incredibly sincere, and made absolute sense for a couple who’ve been together for the past 15 years. While distinct people, they’ve grown together in many ways. A myriad of nicknames and bits found their way into the vows, while I didn’t know the couple well enough to be in on them, I still got the gist. I don’t know that I managed to straight up cry, but there were definitely a bunch of moments that yanked on the ol’ heart strings. The vows made sense in a modern context, talking in a wider sense of trust and understanding, a desire to grow together, work as a team and see the best intentions in one another. I mean, they were worded much more sweetly than that, but the gist is there.

Everyone involved in the running of the wedding was absurdly pleasant. Nothing close to any drama. There was the wedding party (denoted by their silly tiny hats), helping out with little tasks around the place. Making sure the bridegroom ate, drank and had anything they needed.  The servers taking around finger foods were lovely, incredibly friendly and super helpful. The bar staff were great, and the DJ kept things rolling on. I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a wedding where both the Tetris theme and Die Antwoord have played, but it was that kind of wedding. Get on board already, geez.

The food was excellent. Instead of a personal meal, they had servers coming around with all sorts of hors d’oeuvres. The bride assured us all that nobody would go hungry. She was right. The hors d’oeuvres did not stop coming. There were calamari sticks, meat and veggie skewers, potato cake things, mushroom risotto, pad thai in takeout containers, these amazing fig and blue cheese concoctions, warm pumpkin soup in little shot glasses, and my favourite, the seared tuna. Even with my reduced appetite, I still managed to try everything. Except maybe the desserts. There was a literal wall of desserts, and I had no hope in trying more than three or four things.

We had such a great time. The music kept going until the early hours of the morning, and the dance floor stayed full the entire time. All of the couple’s friends were great, very easy to get along with. There was nothing contentious whatsoever, just a wonderful night of excellent people getting hitched. And a flash mob.

If you have to ask, it’s probably a flash mob. And it was a fun one.

The neighbourhood watchman

I think it’s dawned on me that I’m actually moving out.

I’ve been at the same apartment since I arrived in Toronto. It was a Craigslist find, a stranger looking for a flatmate. The rent was a steal, and I lucked into a great place. Utilities included, on-site washer/dryer. Central heating/AC. Close to a 24 hour bus route and supermarket. Quiet neighborhood. At street level. Eventually my flatmate moved out, I stayed on and a friend moved in. After a year or so, he bought a condo and moved out. I got a new flatmate off Craigslist. She was lovely, but eventually moved in with her girlfriend. My own girlfriend moved in, and we’ve lived there together ever since.

There’s a sense of loss in moving. I’ve grown so comfortable here. The proximity to friends and amenities is amazing. It has everything we need at a price we’ve been able to afford. Toronto isn’t a cheap city, and Ontario laws abolishing rent caps for recently built homes means things are likely to get worse. It’s not like the place we’re currently in (until April 1st) is perfect, but I know that a certain fear has kept me from the thought of moving. Whatever the rest of Toronto holds, at least I know where I stand with this current place. I’m not worried about accidentally scratching the walls or chipping paint. It’s comfortable specifically because it’s so worn.

There’s a realisation that leaving means saying goodbye to a time in my life. I’m almost 33, I’m not “young” anymore. The years I’ve had at this house have been emblematic of an exploratory period. I arrived in this country and got to know this city. I met so many people and established community. Trying to find my place. It’s not a revelation that I’m easing into a new stage of my existence. I’m in an established long-term relationship. I have an interesting job that pays me what I’m worth. Like it or not, my girlfriend and I are adults who have to make adult decisions. I don’t know what the next few years will bring, but I imagine there’ll be a certain amount of stability.

Altogether it’s bittersweet. While we obviously would’ve preferred to have the choice to move out, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t have done it. Maybe it just would’ve been on a longer timeline. It’s the first time we’ve moved together. I had this place before my girlfriend joined me. As much as we’ve made it ours, there was a base structure that was mine, with her things slotted in around it. This time we’ll make the choices. We’ll find something that fits our needs, as a collaborative process. We’ll build a home together, with new locales and neighborhood based traditions. That is something I’m looking forward to. Putting that kind of intentionally of teamwork into the hunt. Helping each other out, easing the burden.

Even if it’s not the primary way I’m looking at it, this is an opportunity. It’s so easy to get stuck in your ways or develop habits based around how things have always been. The smallest difference can spark huge change, and there are likely to be a lot of big differences. I’m sure there are a myriad of features in a house I’ve never experienced, and didn’t know I wanted. I can’t imagine how many workarounds I’ve created that I’ve stopped noticing. There must be detractors of my current abode that I regularly blank out. What will I discover in this new place that I’ll grow to love? Only time will tell.

And the hundreds of listings we’ll have to pore through. Pray for Mojo.

Three more years on here until I get tenure

I’m sure this deserves a little more pomp and a lot more circumstance than I’m giving it, but 2019 is coming to an end. A decade closing out. For all I know I could be talking out of my arse, but I’d be surprised if this doesn’t end up being the best decade of my life. From 22 to 32, it’s been ten years of freedom and exploration. I came into 2010 an apple cheeked dreamer, and I’m signing out 2019 with saggier cheeks. I think the dream, miraculously, may still be alive. It was a tumultuous time, searching for meaning, passion and connection. I jumped between jobs, industries and countries. I fell in love, experienced heartbreak, fell in love again and again. Sharp and pointed intelligence gave way to wisdom and understanding. I made more than my fair share of mistakes, and tried to learn from them. I’m beyond a doubt a more compassionate, empathetic person than I was. I’ve met so many people who have shaped the person I’ve become, and I’m so thankful to have had them in my life.

A decade is a ton to cover. So here are some loose things that happened:

  • Friends and I went to New York for New Years. I met Four Loko and begun a long term tryst. I got beyond drunk and was almost kicked out from Katz’s Deli for crying too loudly and being a menace.
  • People I went to high school with began getting married and having kids. I’m still yet to check off either of those marks.
  • I started drinking coffee, which may have been my first step down a long dark path.
  • I worked in a university radio archive. We digitized National Radio shows spanning 1960-1999. I got 1-4 emails per month and listened to hundreds of podcasts.
  • I went to Lollapalooza with a friend, then zig-zagged over to my brother’s wedding in Whistler.
  • I had my first adult relationship with a wonderful woman. Our breakup was the catalyst for my life-changing move from New Zealand to Canada.
  • I started this project back in 2013, just to get better at writing. The jury’s still out on whether that happened.
  • I taught children gymnastics, in a weird part time job. At this job I also fell through a roof, and fed lizards.
  • I took on writing opportunities to see if I could expand into that professionally. I wrote live music reviews and had a brief stint as a ghost writer for a food blog. Turns out it wasn’t my calling.
  • I started dating here in Toronto. A couple of those dates ended up introducing me to communities that defined my life here, and ultimately led me towards meeting my girlfriend of 5+ years.
  • We’re still together, we live together, and I grow more in love with her with each passing year. We’ve helped each other grow, been supportive during difficult times, and approached new life challenges as a team. She’s fostered a kind of communication I haven’t found with anyone else. Instead of things blowing up, we talk through them and look for compromise. I’ve never harboured the illusion that things in a long term relationship have to be rosy all the time, but we’ve got an eerily solid track record. I don’t think a good relationship just happens, it’s maintained. Some people make that easier than others, and it’s hard to imagine waking up next to anyone else day after day.
  • I launched the Air Bud Pawdcast with a friend, and it’s possibly the most work I’ve put into something dumb in my entire time breathing.
  • I met so many amazing friends who have become integral to my life. I love them utterly, and my Toronto friend circles have become family. We’ve had weeeeird experiences together, but by GOD have we experienced things.
  • I became an uncle. MULTIPLE times.
  • After years of death by a thousand cuts, I became depressed and totally lost my will to live. I started taking anti-depressants, and they entirely turned my life around.
  • I saw Cats (2019).
  • I once found Waldo in the world of Waldos.

Mostly though, I say “y’all” now. What a world.

See y’all on the other side.

How does this thing work again?

Let’s face it, I’ve lost track of how to keep this place neat and tidy. I’ve been writing for years, and at first there was some semblance of organisation. I did a catch up every 100 posts. I’d do a NYE round up of the previous 365. It’s not the 31st of December, but I can’t be bothered waiting. I used to be considerably more strict about order, and it was likely for the better. I’m not saying that I Have My Doubts has dissolved into a flagrant dung pile, but that I’ve steadily lost interest as the years have continued. I’m honestly toying with the idea of closing up shop at some point in 2020, unless sentimentality takes over. This project has been by my side through the wonderful, weird and woeful, and I regularly question whether I still need it. Who’s to say? But that’s not anything I need to decide today.

Today is about getting the band back together and reliving a tradition that dissipated years ago. 2019 has been a mixed bag of mostly highlights. While many suffered heavily this year, I found myself buoyed by some life changing upswings. Let’s get into those topics.

Career:

Egads, things turned around. I had a bunch more disappointment flow through from 2018. Application after application gave me rejection after rejection. I did interviews and came away with good impressions, which failed to materialise. So of course the one job I didn’t interview for was the one I got. It involved a bunch of last minute hustle, which all came up Milhouse. Now I work in Described Video. I love my job. I’m happy to go into the office. I get to be creative all day long. It’s a combination of writing, performance and audio production that seems to be at a crux of every skill I wanted to harness. What a weirdly fitting position to be in. The pay is excellent, and the work life balance of four days on/four days off is unbelievable. After struggling for years, the gratitude I have for this role is staggering. If anyone expresses the slightest curiosity for my work, I’ll gladly talk their ear off. I’m passionate about it, I love the craft and I’m so happy to finally be doing something that helps others. It’s Ikigai pure and simple, and I still can’t believe I’ve found it.

Health:

This was a big one. After years, maybe decades, of suffering through undiagnosed depression, I finally got a diagnosis. Turns out all that time I thought I was depressed, I was. Getting my diagnosis was a cluster of factors. Firstly, a couple of friends posted openly about their experiences with medication. On some small level, I had a personal stigma against trying it. I’ve long carried a deep seated mantra that if I can’t do something on my own, I don’t deserve to have it. Stupidly, mental health got sucked into that moronic morass. Secondly, I’d been seeing an OHIP sponsored therapist, and we weren’t clicking. We’d been looking into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a method, and the results were minimal. During one session, the therapist talked candidly. She said that I was entirely understanding CBD and using elements of it myself, but the methods weren’t helping. She said that there’d be nothing wrong with bouncing between therapists, but I’d be wise to consider that maybe medication was the way to go.

I talked to my GP, and she was amazing. She consulted me on every decision, carefully taking the time to explain anything and everything I could want clarified. She gave advice, but ultimately left choices up to me. Together we worked out which medication would be best, and it worked. My bioaccumulation period was mercifully gentle, and the medication did what it needed to. It softened sharp edges. It froze spiralling thoughts quickly enough that I could work out what was worth caring about, rather than getting overwhelmed. It helped me take stock of my life, and turn things around. I’m not gonna say the power of positivity was my saviour, but releasing the constant tension in my brain did wonders for me. I worked through my issues slowly and methodically. I came to terms with what I had the power to change, and things that weren’t worth the significance I gave them. In no small terms, it turned my life around. It was the best decision I’ve made in years.

Comedy:

I know “less is more” is a common enough expression, but it sounds like quitting talk. In 2019 I did very little comedy, and mostly gave up. The desperate creativity my depression forged fell away with the medication. My thoughts are less jagged, but my mind feels less sharp. It’s been a worthy sacrifice, but it has driven away my thirst to do comedy. I’d wager that while I became happier, 2019 has been a low point for my writing in general. It’s felt obligatory to an extent that it hadn’t in previous years. The saving grace, I guess, is that I’m producing a friend’s podcast at the moment. Perhaps that’ll ignite something, or at least I’ll get the joy of enabling someone else.

Relationships:

2019 felt like the first year that poly paid off for me. I’ve been able to more adroitly narrow down what I’m wanting out of it, and that’s really helped. I’ve realised that I don’t have a ton of bandwidth for full on relationships. What I’ve been seeking are close friendships that may or may not involve sex/romance. To that end, 2019 has been a resounding success. I’m going into these connections without expectations. Some of these people I’ve kissed, some I haven’t. Some I’ve gone further with than others. They remain in flux. Just because I’ve shared romance or sexual activity with someone, it doesn’t mean that’s a mainstay of our friendship. Maybe we’ll do it again, maybe we won’t. In either case, it doesn’t change the friendship. I’ve been enjoying that kind of intimate entanglement with others, to whatever extent it encompasses. Finally, after years of instability, it’s felt like I’m starting to understand how poly fits into my lifestyle. All good things.

Pop Culture:

Look, I’ve watched a fair bit in 2019, but most of it was Pre Cats. Cats was an insane fever dream that should not have happened, but defined the laws of nature and decency to exist in abundance. The screening was unreal, a collapse of order in the highest level. It was thrilling and unexpected at every turn. This film is unquestionably abysmal, and I will see it again in theatres. I cannot wait for it to become a mainstay of midnight screenings, in the vein of The Room and Rocky Horror. Also I think I made a personal pact not to see Disney movies in theatres anymore. We’ll see how long it takes me to break that oath. I’m fucking tired of big tentpole franchise films. It’s cool that they exist, but I’m okay with Marvel sitting a few years out. These live action Disney remakes are needless nonsense, and Star Wars films have stopped being special.

It’s almost 2020. I ordered a nice new cheese slicer. Things are looking up.

If you’re a pick up artist, you can pick up the bill right?

I was thinking earlier about that book The Game.

Y’know, the Neil Strauss pick up artist book? When I was 20 and lonely, that book hit hard for me. I was stuck in a weird place. On one hand, I loved this idea of being attractive and enticing to women. I craved the knowledge of how to be so, so charming that they’d want to sleep with me. I read these accounts of men sleeping around, dating up and connecting with a range of women. It sounded so exciting and scandalous. I didn’t like the methods. They felt dehumanising, turning intimacy into a numbers game. There was something odd and cult-like about the way they’d live in what start-up folks these days would call “incubators”. The idea of having a routine felt awful and mercenary. If clicking with someone was turned into finding the right thing to say to unlock a puzzle, what was the point? I’ve always been attracted to people the more I learn about them, and if reciprocal engagement was based on me running social tricks that others had made up, then it wouldn’t really be me they were interested in, would it?

There’s a concept in a lot of artistic endeavours of finding your voice. In stand up it’s working out how to be true to the unique standpoint you have. To do the type of comedy that both gets laughs and makes you laugh. In clowning people find their archetype, work out their status and how to play with it. Writers often find their calling and style. I think what I’ve discovered lately is that I’m starting to find my voice in life. There are so many better writers. I’m not being self-effacing. I know how to put words together okay, but I’d never say that writing is my forte. I’m not the funniest person, and I don’t really know that I have the soul of a comedian. I’m okay looking, but there are more handsome men out there. I have a solid moral compass, and also I see others doing kind things without thinking that I’d love to have as a natural reaction. I don’t always own a room. I make mistakes. Hell, it’s insane I’m not better than I am at Magic considering the amount of time I’ve spent playing over the past almost two decades. That said, I’m finally at the point where I’m comfortable with myself, and leaning in.

Recently I’ve been going on dates and getting closer to people a lot more often. I don’t use pick up lines or try to get people into bed. I’m just me. I joke around and treat people with kindness. I have a weird sense of humour, and I don’t sell out my values to try and impress people. I’d rather just date someone else. I know that money doesn’t impress me, and I’m not drawn to those who think it’s important. I’m very happy being vulnerable and letting people vent. I enjoy spending time hearing about others’ problems, learning about their lives. The people who I tend to be drawn to are quite different, and sync with varied parts of my personality. I know that I’m a human cartoon character, and that this is unlikely to change with time. I’m becoming the person I both admired and didn’t know existed when I was a kid.

If I think back to all that The Game kind of stuff now, I realise I have the kind of life that I sought from that lifestyle, but it’s one that makes sense for me. I don’t pressure anyone into sexual encounters, and instead operate on a Fuck Yes or No philosophy. If they’re actively looking to connect intimately, then fuck yeah we will. If not, zero harm. If they never want to, who cares? We’ll just spend time together hanging out. If they do, then that’s great. If I’ve shared intimacy with someone previously, I have no expectations that they’ll want to each time, or even again. Sexual play has become the icing on the cake of making deep friendships where sometimes we want to kiss. I’m certainly not standoffish or emotionally distant, but I let my partners dictate how physically affectionate they want to be.

I think it’s important to regard your trajectory. To see who you’ve become, and where it could lead. To sit in your identity and analyse it. None of us are truly immutable, and we all have the potential for happiness.

Except, well, pick up artists can go fuck themselves. I’m sure they’ve got a routine for it.

If your date solely eats red meat, get the fuck out of there

A friend of mine works as a dating coach. Jumping on the 2009-2019 trend, they started a post wondering what dating advice people had learned in that time.

I’ve got nothing else to write about today, so why not this?

I feel like in 2009 I’d barely started dating. At that time I’d been in one relationship, and it was kind of disappointing for all involved. I think we liked each other, but we certainly weren’t deeply in love. We were drawn to the idea of being in a relationship. We had fun together, but sparks had trouble getting off the runway. I’ve always been a weird dude, but I was far more of an off-putting kind of weird than the innocuous and endearing kind of weird I am now. I didn’t draw women in. Not to mention, I reeked of desperation. It wasn’t a good look. Or smell. Now it might sound that I’ve taken to being unnecessarily rough on my past self. The truth is, I had so much to learn, and that’s taken the better part of a decade. I feel like I’m still learning. So what lessons have I learned?

Firstly, it’s okay to not have great dates. I’m not talking the kind of shitty stuff that happens to women constantly, where they feel threatened or unsafe. I’m talking about dates that feel meh all over. You just don’t get the butterflies, or getting conversation rolling feels Sisyphean. Maybe you have an okay time, but neither of you are excited. That’s not a bad thing, it’s part of the process. Average dates help you learn what you do and don’t want in a partner. After an average date, can you pinpoint what it was that put you off? Or things that you did like, but less than the things that you didn’t? That stuff all helps you to get a picture of your desires, and ways they manifest. Then you can start looking for those aspects in others.

Kind of a corollary to that, not all dates will be winners. That’s kinda the point, and it’s entirely okay. Personally I find an unremarkable date to be a gift. The sooner you know you’re not into someone, the quicker you can both go your separate ways and seek people who light you up. I’d much rather have an average date that results in knowing where I stand, than someone appealing in many ways who also carries a load of red flags. Mixed signals are tricky to parse (and unfortunately are also part of the whole deal), they can really mess with your head. Finding people who really click with you is hard, and we all want instant gratification. Sorry, dating isn’t that easy. Even if you’re ravishingly attractive, you still need to wade through a lot of bullshit.

Next, get used to not taking rejection personally. I know it seems like the most personal thing in the world, but I can assure you it’s more about that person than it is about you. We can’t expect that others will be drawn to us just because we’re drawn to them. We all have a complex network of desires, and some things are quite specific. If you’re not hitting the marks for someone, would you want the kind of relationship that resulted from it? A constant imbalance where you wondered how long you could hold onto that person, irrespective of what they sought? It’d be worse than you think. I’ll put it this way. Say you just don’t like flaky pastry. There’s just something about the texture and buttery nature that feels weird in your mouth. If someone offered you a high end croissant, would you expect to like it? Maybe it’d be okay for you, but it wouldn’t hit the spot like a great cookie or doughnut for you. That wouldn’t mean the person who made that croissant was bad at making croissants, they just weren’t your thing. Everyone has a flavour, and everyone has different tastes. It’s unfair to expect them to always align. I know rejection seems like it’s gonna tear you into shreds, but most of the time people don’t like being mean. Rejection is more innocuous than you’d think. Often, this is how rejection plays out:

You: Hey, you have a really endearing smile. Would you like to grab a drink?
Them: Oh sorry, I’m really busy at the moment (unless they follow up with a legit attempt to propose an alternate time, this is a gentle let down nine times out of ten).
You: No worries, have a lovely day.

For all the notion of waiting for the right time, it’s not usually about the right time, it’s about whether or not there’s interest. If there isn’t, that’s not something you can force or manipulate. In fact, that’s a great lesson too. When it comes for dating, don’t manipulate. Just don’t. Anything fake won’t last, or be truly satisfying.

Be yourself. It’s common advice, but so often it comes off as cheesy. It’s doesn’t have to be. I tend to think of it more as not wasting your time trying to be things you’re not. Don’t try and delude someone into thinking you’re different than you are. What’s your goal? Entrapment? Are you trying to make them fall for someone who doesn’t exist, then hoping they’ll love you so much that when you turn out to be someone else, it’s too late for them to escape? Fuck that noise. Be authentic. Don’t post photos in your profiles that look wildly different from your everyday. Don’t wear clothes that make you feel uncomfortable. Don’t say things you don’t believe because you think they make you sound cool. Don’t agree with sentiments you oppose just because they’re coming from someone you’re attracted to. Let’s go back to the first point. It’s okay if things don’t work out, and the sooner you know, the sooner you can stop wasting each other’s time.

Most importantly, be compassionate. Everyone’s having a hard time, be gentle when you can. Learn to communicate your feelings in a mature fashion. Own what you feel, use “I” statements and don’t try to push blame on others. If you want a relationship to succeed, then work together on it. If you’re making earnest attempts to understand one another, and consider each other’s feelings, then you’ll be able to deal with difficult situations without breaking every time. If you’re not, then maybe it’s a sign that the compatibility simply isn’t there, and you’d both be better with others.

I’ve certainly learned a lot more than that, but I don’t have time to write another book tonight. Plus Jordan Peterson ruined white dudes writing advice books for everyone.

Unless your show is called Lovesick, that is

Okay. Just one day left of shift, and I can be as sick as I want.

It’s coming. I’ve got the phlegm-y throat. My energy is drained. I’m sweating in bed and sleeping tons more. Despite the previous sentence, I’m not taking this lying down. I’ve been doing salt water gargles. I’m mainlining fluids and peeing heaps. I’ve been bringing bone broth to work. I’m drinking tea like a fancy lady. I’ve tried to be considerate to my body, because I have to. There’s so much freedom that comes with being an independent contractor, and I love it. Almost everything about it is an improvement. The only thing that’s lacking is sick pay. I don’t get sick days. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. No middle ground. Worse, my job is directly contingent on my voice. So no karaoke or screaming into the void anymore. If I’m coughing, if my throat is raw, it all affects my ability to do my job. I like my job. I like doing a good job at my job, and if I can’t, it sucks.

But I only work four day shifts. If I can hold on for one more day, I’m in the clear. I can be as sick as I want. I can lie in bed with popsicles and finally finish the second half of Toni Erdmann. I could even watch the 2015 film Happy Hour, in its five hour long glory. I can sup on bone broth, and hack up all the phlegm my body seeks to offload. I can break down into primordial goop and reform into a functional human at the end of my four day break. I can scatter my brain to the aether, play among the stars, and align every single one of my chakras, then crash down to earth. I’ll still have a day or so left to recover. Four days off at a time is unreal. One more day.

For today though, I’m a working boy. I did four episodes of this dating show last night. The Blind Date reboot. It was hosted (well, voice over-ed) by Nikki Glaser, who I like. The show? Well it was kinda standard reality TV dating fare. The thing I liked, is that they gave their participants all the rope to hang themselves that they needed. Some of these dates were insanely cringeworthy, with some truly odd matches. It was interesting seeing how much the subjects leaned into the date, trying to give content for the show. I wonder if half the kisses, for instance, would’ve happened if not for the televised element. The most cringeworthy part, however, was the endless parade of graphics, animated thought bubbles and tag lines they posted over the dates. Someone would say something, then an animated thought bubble [sounds like something a virgin would say] or whatever would pop up. Meh. It did help me make interesting descriptions, and challenged me to think of how to convey them to a partially sighted audience. So that aspect made the show fun to do.

Being on a dating show is 100% on my bucket list. I’d love to take part. I mean, I like dating. It’s fun to get to know someone on a deeper element. It’s even more fun when you’re actively engaging in neat activities. Whether that’s getting drinks, going bowling, doing paintball or what have you. Placing people in scenarios that’re outside their norm and seeing how they adapt helps you gauge them better. I almost had a chance once or twice. The first time, I applied for Beauty and the Geek Australia. I got shortlisted, but the audition was on a date where my friend and I had booked a holiday. I wasn’t gonna leave my friend in the lurch, so I opted out. The second time, my girlfriend and I were in London. She went to a drag show, and I hung out in a nearby bar to drink and mess around on my phone. I sat alone, and a woman approached me. She said she was in casting for a dating show, and wondered if I was interested. I said that I absolutely was, but I was poly/partnered and that turned out to be a no-go. Alas. Will lightning strike again? Will I get my chance? I think what I’m saying is, if you have a dating show and need a male contestant, call me.

Just let me recover from my plague first.