Here’s a little song I wrote…

So it’s come to this, has it?

I don’t know why I phrased that so ominously. I’m elated. Look, I may be a sincere person, but I’m rarely if ever sentimental. Today is my last day of daily writing. So it goes. This writing project was been a necessary part of my life for many years. Having a creative outlet during the tough times helped immeasurably. I’m not gonna begin to pretend I always wanted to write. Maybe I actually wanted to write five times per year. The other 360 times were under my own duress. Then multiply that by seven. I decided that I would write every single day irrespective of what I had going on. If I was tired, it was 3am, and my organs were seeping out of my skin from fatigue? Too bad. Writing still needed to happen. This also meant that most days, I really didn’t feel like it, but forced myself. I might not be sentimental, but I can be quite disciplined if I tell myself I have no other option. I’m not kind when it comes to diligence, I just decide that I don’t have a choice and suffer through it.

The best part, is that I essentially did my summation entry yesterday, so today I can be back on my usual brand o’ bullshit. I dunno. My brain is a little loopy at the moment, which feels fitting. We’re moving house. I’m surrounded by detritus, which is an unkind way to refer to our belongings. To be fair, on a long enough timeline we’re all detritus. I’ve been throwing things away all day, which is one of my favourite things to do. There’s little I love more than shedding the past and moving on. I don’t really like owning stuff. I hate that I gradually accumulate more things. Fortunately, my trash can be another man’s trash. Or woman. Or anyone along the gender spectrum. Gender is a construct, and wholly irrelevant when we’re talking about things I may have cared about at some stage. Then again, at some stage gender was a thing I cared about. Plus ça change, eh?

Mostly, it’ll be weird for my parents. Seeing an entry posted every day is the only way they know I’m still living. I think my girlfriend reads too? I never really accrued much of an audience, but that also wasn’t the point. The point was to have somewhere to jot down thoughts, work on improving as a writer, and finally figure out some kind of stance on the Oxford Comma. Obviously, I’m pro. I didn’t even write the sentence that way on purpose, it just happened.

I’m also thrilled that the summation of this project lined up with me getting my shit together. I’m in a great place. My girlfriend and I are about to move into an all new apartment together. I’m leaving the only Toronto home I’ve ever had. I have an expansive circle of friends I adore. I’m stoked to be working in Described Video. It’s challenging, creative, and ever evolving. I’ve done a lot of work on my mental and physical health over the years, and they’re both paying dividends. Moreover, I’ve learned how better to process, accept, and move forwards. I’ll struggle again, and again, and life will be riding those waves. It’s what we do, no?

I remember going out for dinner with my mum once. We used to do that kind of thing. Go out to the movies, get dinner. We were homies. We went for a fancy dégustation, because we both share a love of food. It was a fantastic meal, and a lovely evening. At one point I levelled with her. “Mum, you need to understand that I’m never going to be truly happy. I know that there’ll always be something holding me back, and that’s okay. I’ve made my peace with it, and I think it would be healthy for you to stop having that expectation.” It was a horrible thing to say. I don’t think she took it well, but I meant every word of it.

Sorry mum. I lied.

Penultimate Showdown of Penultimate Destiny

PENULTIMATE.

Do you know how rarely I get to use that word? You can bet your sweet cheeks I’ll shoehorn it in at any possible juncture. Other words I’ll rabidly attempt to “make happen” include:

  • Zenith/nadir
  • Fortnight
  • Penumbra (partial shadow)
  • Incidence
  • Myriad

But why Penultimate? Because I’ve only got one more daily entry after this, baybee! Seven years of [questionably -Ed] hard work, and discipline. Spending at least 30 minutes every single day putting finger to keyboard. I’ve written on trains, planes, and in automobiles (which, given my low level motion sickness, was undoubtedly a terrible idea). I’ve written in restaurants, cafes, watering holes. I’ve written in the city, the country, and in tents. I’ve written through sunshine, sleet, snow, hail and the Toronto wild winter storm of 2013. I’ve written across cities, countries and continents. I feel like this is a Dr. Seuss book in the making. Have you written in a car? Have you written in a bar? I’ve written sober, drunk (rarely) and high (still rarely, but surprisingly somewhat less). Did you know that this entry was written after my friend and I made weed caramel chocolate slices for her birthday and took them to the zoo? It should be far more obvious in retrospect.

Between the time I started, way back in March 2013, and now, I’ve grown up [debatable -Ed]. What started out as a way of hopefully loosening up my creative juices so I could write stand-up, became a weird, sometimes starkly honest, catalogue of my life. I moved across the world from New Zealand to Canada. I left family and friends behind in the hopes of finding myself [yeah yeah, lay it on thick Elizabeth Gilbert -Ed]. I started in the wake of a long term relationship coming to an end, and discovered a whole new world of dating, sex, and longer term commitment. I started polyamory, and while it’s come in waves (and basically doesn’t exist in the midst of a pandemic), it’s something that I’ve slowly come to appreciate within my life. My attitudes and approaches to different aspects of life have morphed over the years. I’d like to think I’ve generally become more tolerant, accepting and empathetic as time has passed.

I’ve struggled, but who hasn’t? I moved away from a cushy job into vast periods of uncertainty. Finding work that fulfils me took almost the entire seven years. I took on menial part time jobs when I first arrived in Canada, got helplessly stuck in a comfortable but draining position for the better (or worse?) part of five years. I went to therapy. I’ve (mostly) overcome the body image issues that borderline controlled my entire life. I came to terms with my depression, rather than assuming/ignoring it as I had for the past few decades. I take anti-depressants now, and they’ve totally changed my outlook. My income has fluctuated, and it’s caused me to hold a greater appreciation for how fleeting money is. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but I care a lot less about money’s worth than I used to. “Value” is a nebulous term that’s entirely individual. For me it’s having love in my life, a base level of stability to have my needs met, and being surrounded by people I care about deeply.

Also I co-hosted a dumb podcast about the Air Bud Cinematic Universe. If you’re looking for extra-curricular content, there you go.

I know it’s not perfect, but I’m hoping this penultimate (YUS, ONE MORE TIME!) entry serves as a nice little ribbon on this project. If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that when shit hits the fan I shit the bed, and tomorrow’s entry will probably be a shitshow.

P E N U L T I M A T E

Would you? Could you? With a harpy?

Today I heard one of the worst lines ever in a show. Just monumentally bad.

A specialised police department was hunting a man who’d committed a series of violent rapes. One of the officers spoke up: “It’s like Groundhog Day… From Hell.” Who thought that was this was clever, funny or poignant enough to make it to the screen. This is a major network primetime television show. And while any number of violent sexual assaults are too many, the total number was sub ten. The pattern was similar, but it’s not like this was an identical recurring situation. Why use Groundhog Day as an example, if not out of lazy writing? Lots of things happen in similar ways fewer than ten times. Like, I dunno, serial crimes? Sunrises? Formulaic network television shows? Is that a bit too on the nose? For sure it’s no worse than Groundhog Day from Hell.

I finally got around to watching The Shape of Water last night. Fun movie, gorgeous visuals. Of course, being Del Toro, there was a sweet heart beating throughout the film. A touching story with loveable characters, gore, and glorious creature work. I went in expecting merman sex and got what I expected. Plus an engrossing story. I was incredibly surprised how nonplussed everyone was when they heard about the mer-sex. Not even mildly bemused, they all took it in stride. One day I hope we can all live in a world where sexual relations between a mute woman and aquatic non-human creature induce no more than a blink. Would I have sex with a non-human entity? As long as it was safe and consensual and pleasurable for both parties, I don’t see why not. In all honesty, it’s not a fantasy I’ve ever had, but I’ve watched enough hentai to know that others have worked out the logistics. I feel like I don’t want claws anywhere near my genitals, but tentacles seem to have been peer reviewed [more like “perv reviewed” -Ed]. I know that “goo girls” are popular. Pterodactyl porn wasn’t exactly my fetish. I feel like anything with legs that isn’t bipedal would start to get too complicated. To be real, some size differentials with humans are difficult to overcome. I can’t imagine how you’d make things work with a centaur. I mean, would satyrs be pansexual by default? Hell, isn’t COVID pretty limited to humans? Perhaps it’s downright immoral not to try to have blindfolded sex with a gorgon.

A groundhog though? That sounds like a day from Hell.

Love in the time of Corona

How was my date? I got stood up.

That’s not entirely fair, but it is more attention grabbing. What really happened was failure to communicate. The last text I got from this gal was on Tuesday, suggesting the time for us to get tacos/margaritas. I’d sent a few messages to check in and confirm other stuff. I’d gotten no response. I’ve never been great at texting stuff. It’s weird, considering how often I write. That said, I’m way too verbose. I don’t send short, snappy, cool texts, I’m ever verbose. Loquacious should be my middle name, but my parents didn’t see how talkative I’d be in the ultrasound. So anyway, I’d sent maybe four texts with zero responses. I was like great, I’ve overplayed my hand, she thinks I’m a dork, and she’s ghosting me now. I’m going to get to the restaurant and drink a vat of margarita solo. That’s not what happened. In either case. I had no margaritas last night. What did happen is that I got to St Andrew station and got a text that said “Did you not get my text at noon”? She was exhausted, and had cancelled a bunch of stuff all day. She sent me through a screencap, which showed her responses to each of my texts. None of which I’d gotten. She wasn’t ghosting me, the texts had just slipped into the aether. She felt terrible and offered to buy me an uber home, but I said she could just grab the first round when we eventually went on the date.

So I took myself on one.

Here’s something about me, I’m insufferable when it comes to food decision making. I don’t know what I want, but I know decisively what I don’t want. If I’m left to my own devices, I will wander for hours, looking for the place that fits my exact desires. Once I knew the date wasn’t happening, I had a smoke and started wandering. I walked up to Queen and strolled west, looking through storefronts. I paused at Hooters, noticing the $9.99 half rib rack and chips deal they had going. I’d never been to a breastaurant. I’ve never had a strong desire to go to a breastaurant, and going to one because a date didn’t work out seemed like Bad End incarnate. I kept walking. I wanted something dense and heavy. Part of me wished for a juicy burger, but that also felt very norm-y. I love eating weird or contextually unusual stuff, why not get something a date would otherwise raise an eyebrow to? I walked past Thai places, a Mexican spot, too many sports bars. A bar’s sandwich board caught my eye. Meatloaf. Meatloaf? Meatloaf! I looked up, the place had a quiet divey atmosphere. What kind of dive bar serves meatloaf? What does dive bar meatloaf look and or smell like? How many things could go wrong? If I was ever in a mood to fall on my own sword, it was after being “stood up”. Squirly’s meatloaf it was! I ordered a pint of Guinness, and even got the minestrone as a side. Dense Things Only.

Then I did something bold. I surprised even myself. As I was sitting at the table, listening to a podcast and enjoying my meatloaf, I looked up to the bar and saw a woman on her own. She’d been there since I arrived, half picking at her food, every so often pulling out her phone, then putting it back in her bag. I wondered what her deal was. Had she been stood up? Was she just there having an enjoyable time eating a meal on her own? Was she a traveller? I spun a bunch of narratives, and pondered which fit. I thought to myself I’m just sitting alone listening to a podcast. If she’s alone too and would rather talk to a stranger, nothing romantic or sexual, would we both get more out of sharing a table? I hummed and hawwed for about ten minutes, then I got up and walked over to her.

“Hi there. This is not a come on or anything. I got stood up for a date, and I’m just hanging on my own listening to a podcast. I don’t know if you’re waiting for someone, or just doing your own thing. If you’d rather hang out with a stranger with no romantic connotations, you’re welcome to join me. Zero pressure. If you’d rather do your own thing, that’s totally fine too.” She said that honestly, she probably would’ve, but she had a work project on her mind and was stuck in that headspace. She asked about the podcast I was listening to, and we chatted amicably for a few minutes, before I graciously excused myself and let her get back to her night. She looked over and smiled a few times, while I enjoyed my podcast/meatloaf combo. I was proud of myself for trying something out of my comfort zone, while feeling okay that it didn’t seem like I’d ruined her night by being intrusive.

Then I went home, played Magic and made peppermint mocha white Russian milkshakes. Fuck yeah, I’d date me.

Can I give myself a Pobody award?

Who’s ready for a “dating” entry?

Contrary to how it may sound, I don’t date a lot. I love dating. I love consuming dating or relationship adjacent content. I love inserting myself vicariously into romantic situations and imagining how I’d deal with them. I think dating is this wondrous intersection of a ton of things I’m interested in. I’m fascinated by interpersonal connections and compatibility. I’m enthralled by banter, whether I’m in it or not. I like seeing people being playful, and dates are this combination of playfulness with having skin in the game. There are stakes, albeit quite low, and maybe it’s because those stakes are so low that I get sucked in. I don’t like competition, either as a participant or audience. I don’t believe in the concept of winning or losing in romance. There’s this hetero concept that shits me to the core of “taking” something from someone else in a date. Often it’s the idea of a guy “winning/earning” sex. That’s fucking dumb. Either you both want to have sex, or you don’t have it. If you’re not both into it, go get your rocks off with other people who want it. Sex doesn’t exist within a scarcity model. It’s not a limited resource, and stop treating it like it is.

It’s also easy for me to sit back and say that now. Ten years ago I had a completely different outlook. I think I was a virgin until I was about 20. I had limited experiences with sex, but basically after maybe one or two times in my first relationship, I didn’t have sex again for about three years. I wanted it, other people weren’t interested. Back then, I definitely thought the scarcity model existed. These days I’m older. I’ve had a ton more relationship experience. I’ve had exponentially more sex. It doesn’t feel like something that’s lacking, but more value added. Most importantly, I’ve been imbued with a renewed confidence that’s made dating so much easier. I’m on anti-depressants, and that’s been a massive change. I love my job, so I don’t have that mentally damaging psyche going on at all times. I like myself, I feel like a complete, self-possessed person, and it’s nice to see how I fit with others. I’m not trying to take anything from anyone, I just want to share experiences.

Tonight, for instance, I have a date. I’m excited. I have no idea how it’s gonna go. We met at an event, we flirted, made out and exchanged numbers. It might be a date that goes nowhere. It may lead to more dates. It may lead to sex but not more dates. It may lead to more dates and more sex. I’m not worried which it is. I know that I liked hanging out with her last time, that she’s cute and interesting. If we have a fun conversation, that’s great. If we have sex, that’s great too. If we don’t, and it turns out we were just hot for each other because we were drunk? Also 100% fine. We can have a nice meal, a margarita or two, and go our separate ways. I’m not invested in the outcome, other than being present and seeing what happens. It’s taken me many years, lots of anxiety, emotional breakdowns, and bad experiences in general to understand what the stakes are. Honestly, worst possible outcome at the moment is she gives me COVID-19. Bad end.

Also as an addendum to something I wrote yesterday. I was talking about having conversations with gay guys, and eventually dating them. I highlighted dating a Magic player as a possibility. Firstly, it’s not like only dudes play Magic. My first girlfriend did too. It’s how we met, and that part of the relationship was great. I also realised that while I’d love to date a Magic player, I have a legit fear of dating a Magic player who’s significantly worse than I am. That would be a fucking horrorshow. Imagine having to constantly explain shit about the game without being condescending? Imagine having to take the game slow, or teach someone about limited? Playing this game is a big part of my life, and making something I love into a chore would actually be a total nightmare. I would exponentially rather date a non-player than having to deal with experience inequality on that scale. I’m not defending this, but it’s 1000% true.

Nobody’s Nerfect, y’know?

Not *just* a sentient fuckhole, by any means

Quelle surprise, I’m actually having a nice conversation with someone on Grindr.

I dunno, I’ve been on for a few weeks, and I’m learning over time. I’ve only had two hookups so far, and they were drastically different. I’m open to more, but I also haven’t found a super intense pull towards many folks yet. I’m very happy to take my time and continue with a “fuck yes or no” mentality. It’s become abundantly clear that Grindr hookups do not function on a scarcity model. If I wanted to have sex, realistically I could probably be doing it (literally) within the span of an hour [zero to one hung dude in 60 minutes? – Ed]. Gay guys be thirsty, yo. Everyone’s on there to throw down, and it’s rare to find anyone whose looking for section on their profile doesn’t have “right now”. The honest truth though is that it’s cold out, I like playing Magic, and the concept sex on tap without any of the fun dating stuff rarely entices me enough that it’s worth leaving the house solely to bone. Sex is great, but I don’t think that there’s anyone in the world attractive enough for me to drop everything just for the sake of a fuck. Not yucking anyone’s yum, it’s just not my style.

So imagine my delight when someone actually wants to have a conversation. None of this “hey” bullshit, or shooting directly for hookup central. Instead we’ve been chatting. I’m always honest on Grindr about what I’m looking for, and happy to talk if people seem interesting. To me, it’s having a conversation for the sake of it. Maybe it’ll lead somewhere, maybe it won’t. I don’t think that if someone talks with me like a normal human, they’re instantly entitled to have sex with me. If the conversation takes a weird turn, or I feel less safe/secure around them, I’ll drop it like it’s hot. There was some guy in early days that I was interested in meeting up with, but at the 11th hour I got weird vibes and noped out. Once or twice a week he messages me saying “hey stud”, which feels worse. Stud? STUD? The word just feels so antiquated to me. What’s next? Hunk? I don’t identify with it. That’s for sure.

Instead, this dude and I are talking about puns, experiences we’ve had, etc. I mentioned how nice it was to not be treated like a sentient fuckhole for once. He said that as a black guy, he tends to be shoehorned into people’s specific fantasies, with his humanity often disregarded. To others, he’s BBC and that’s it. Which seems a goddamn shame because he’s been cracking jokes and has a sense of humour. What a bloody waste if folks don’t see that. I have no idea whether or not we’ll hook up or not, but it hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t, but it’s literally the first time I’ve had this experience since I’ve been on this app. It gives me some hope that once I figure out what kind of stuff I’m into, there will be guys who I’d enjoy dating.

Maybe I’ll even meet a dude who likes playing Magic. Will the wonders never cease?

Intentional women, stay

It’s International Women’s Day 2020. Today I’m gonna talk about some great women. Not gonna lie, I’ve planned nothing and this will probably end up a shitshow. It’s the thought that counts?

My girlfriend is great for manifold reasons. She’s emotionally considerate up the wazoo. She’s a goddamn goof who’s always up for a dumb, dumb joke. She’s smart, funny and perceptive. She’s stuck around me for almost six years, so she’s probably a masochist. She also points out any grammatical errors I make, which honestly I appreciate (’cause I love learning). She loves popcorn, singing, Buffy and musicals. She also loves quality time together, and going on adventures. She’s sexy and romantic, thoughtful and adventurous. I have never been in another relationship where we could solve issues by just talking about them, and it’s entirely changed the game. Sorry to any haters, but she’s not going anywhere anytime soon if I can help it.

Pamela Adlon is great. She’s an excellent voice actor who seems game for anything. She did a phenomenal turn on Louie, which was what catapulted her onto my radar. Obviously I couldn’t care less what C.K. does next, but the show gave Adlon the profile to launch Better Things, a series that seems like a panacea in these grim times. It’s a wonderful show focused on a family of women with different generational issues. It’s absurdly funny and stacked to the brim with heart. Pamela sits at the eye of the storm keeping everything ticking over, often thanklessly. Rather than just being a martyr, she does a fantastic job of showcasing a genuine portrait of women of a certain age. I’m so stoked that the new season is just about to start.

The woman at the alterations place close to my house is great. She’s this older Asian woman who has no time for bullshit. Her alterations are decent and her services are super affordable. At the same time, she has no qualms about pushing me out the door if I have unreasonable requests. This one time I came in with a white shirt covered in fake blood. She took one look at it and was like “no no no no no.” She ushered me out of her business. It was very, very funny. Most of the time she’s fine to tackle whatever, and I really appreciate her.

I have so many great friends, and I immediate thought of one in particular when this topic came up. She’s so goddamn smart and considerate it’s unreal. The kind of person who would balk if I didn’t ask to borrow her car, y’know? Bends over backwards to take care of others. She’s doing multiple degrees simultaneously, after deciding she wanted a late game career change. She’s into psychedelic assisted therapy to deal with deep set trauma. This one time I was riding with her and she threw on this utterly fascinating podcast on the topic. She has so much insight, primarily because she’s one of those people who’s incurably curious, one of my favourite personality qualities in the world. Also if she knew I was saying nice things about her she’d FUCKING HATE IT. Which only makes it more fun.

I don’t know if you know this, but there are an absurd amount of great women on Earth. So many of them, and I have so little time to write this. So long, pals.

The Circle is time in a flat

I’ve been cooped up, and it’s actually nice today. I think I’m contractually obliged to leave the house.

I’ve been watching so much of The Circle. I’m much more into the show than I expected. As a friend so adroitly put it, The Circle has its contestants doing all the stuff we love doing: Trolling, shit talking, catfishing and flirting. People can subvert social expectations and manipulate them. It’s all so insidious and conspiratorial. It’s also incredibly engrossing, because it’s accessible. We’ve all been hooked up to social media for long enough now that we’re used to how it plays out. We understand the medium, conventions, and how to use it. I can’t imagine anyone has watched this show without questioning how they’d act on the show. Would you catfish? Flirt shamelessly? Play as a heightened version of yourself? Would you just be yourself? The show has folks playing as themselves, but with attractive pictures of someone else. Is that a winning strategy?

Naturally I’ve been playing this game with myself. Who would I be? I turned the show off last night, then spent hours in bed with my eyes closed and my gears turning. What aspects of myself would I try to play up? I feel like saying I’m a New Zealander would earn instant goodwill, but I’ve rarely if ever tried to capitalise on that in real life. I don’t mention it in dating profiles, because I’d rather have it as value added than an expected part of my personality. If people were messaging me just because I’m a Kiwi, then maybe they wouldn’t be giving me a fair appraisal. My personality is much more important than my heritage. But if I was playing a game with money on the line, would I be able to resist making myself a little more endearing? Feels cheap, but maybe?

Moreover, what parts of my personality would I lean into? I don’t like the idea of being insincere or dishonest. I wouldn’t dull my weird edges. I don’t know if I’d play it super safe either. I feel like I’d get more of a kick out of being authentic, doing my weird puns and jokes. I’d try to smooth out conflict if I could, and be friendly. You know how people in reality tv aren’t “here to make friends”? That would 1000% be my goal. Many contestants put “single” as a way to open up other strategies. I’d probably mention that I had a girlfriend, that we were open and poly, but I wasn’t really interested in flirting. It’s not that I dislike dating and its general ephemera, but I don’t think that would be leaning into my strengths. I’m not unattractive, but to lean on looks rather than personality would be a massive misstep.

Which begs the question of what kind of profile pictures I’d put up. It’s a big part of the series. As it goes on, contestants can add more pictures to showcase different parts of themselves. Invariably, people tend to go for a nice shot for the first one, something racier for their second, and an endearing photo for their third. I’ve got a couple of pleasant profile photos, I’d bank on fun costume-y shots for other ones. My goal would be to highlight my eccentricities without being alienating to “normies”. I think.

I do wonder how much goes on behind the scenes. I’m curious which private conversations we don’t see. I have no doubts that the selection of scenes we’re shown has been deliberately depicted to carry a narrative, and showcase certain characters. I’d just love to know who I would be within that narrative.

So while I do want to leave the house, I also kinda want to finish this series…

What’s it called when you go on a date to shop for horizontal window coverings?

I’ve been watching too many dating shows.

Part of it has been work. I’ve had a stack of Blind Date episodes to DV, and it’s putting me into a dating mood. The show has been rebooted, and the premise is very simple. Two people meet and are left to go on a pre-organised date. They do some kind of daytime activity, then get drinks/food at a restaurant, then go to a pool/hot tub to see if they get more intimate and/or want a second date. Like I said, straightforward. Nikki Glaser does the voice overs, they’re punchy and make fun of weird things people say/do. The show isn’t amazing, and neither is it terrible. Compared with something like Love is Blind, they generally do a decent job of showcasing personalities. They point out awkward moments or inappropriate things folks say, unrealistic expectations, etc. Formulaic? Yes. Easy to watch? Also yes.

Today’s episodes had a few things I really liked. First, the current episodes are filmed in Atlanta, and Atlanta folks seem to have personality to spare. The women, at least, have been fantastic at advocating for their needs. They do these little cutaway piece to camera segments with each participant during a date. One of the women was a passionate writer set up with a nerdy dude who had no aptitude for spontaneity. “He’s not my usual type” she said to the camera “but I’ve been dating my type for so long and I’ve gotten nowhere. Why not give something else a try?” The date wasn’t amazing by any stretch, but that was a pretty great outlook to have. I think a ton of us have this idea of what we’d want that doesn’t reflect the reality that we’re only partially cognisant of what we really want/need. “Types” are often indicative of desire and pattern recognition. We notice that previous partners have similarities, and a bunch of the time we assume that these similarities are why the relationships succeeded as much as they did. But, I dunno, maybe if those relationships of a type all ended, the type wasn’t quite right?

In other episodes, I noticed a few women really standing up for themselves. Whether it was calling dudes out on inappropriate comments, or misjudging a situation, a few of them straight up dictated the date. A 40 year old woman was on a date, and took zero bullshit. She’d done this for long enough that she had no interest putting up with lacklustre behaviour. I wish more people would take up this attitude and actually tell people what they’re into. A ton of people are wishy washy on dates, or let their boundaries slide so as not to seem unappealing or stuck up. Knowing what you want is such a powerful position on a date, because it actually helps good dates go better. If the fit wasn’t going to be right with you asking for things, then how would a relationship succeed under the same parameters? We need to be able to be honest with partners and broadcast our needs, elsewise they’ll go unfulfilled. What’s the point in getting stuck in an unfulfilling relationship? You’re doing yourselves a disservice. Be honest, and if the date doesn’t work out, a relationship likely would not have either.

But also, now I’m jonesing for friends to set me up on a blind date. They know me pretty well. Surely something like that could be arranged?

Key’n as a being

I have a quiet afternoon coming up. Pretty much the only thing I need to do is pick up our apartment keys.

Oh I’m sorry, was my humblebrag not resonant enough? WE FOUND A GODDAMN APARTMENT. In Toronto, this is a feat. Of course we’re paying much more than we wanted for it. The market sucks beyond belief, and prices have shot up exponentially. I’m now paying monthly basically the entire cost of the two bedroom apartment my girlfriend and I currently share. That’s my portion of the new rent. It’s fucking insane. Our new place charges $50 per month just to have a laundry machine in house. So between the three floors of tenants, they’re being paid $150 each month to run a washer/dryer. It’s legalised robbery, and things are bad enough that we just have to fork over the cash.

That was an unnecessarily negative way to celebrate our new pad. So here’s the brightest fact. It’s over. The search is over. More importantly, the process is over. It’s been nerve wracking for weeks, because we’ve had to go back and forth with emails, forms, getting credit score details, etc. We’ve basically had the place for the past 2-3 weeks, but nothing had been signed on the dotted line, so we didn’t technically have the place yet. Trying not to talk about it has been a cause of frustration, because naturally we’re excited. Yes, we’re paying too much, but also we love the place.

Our new place is 1km away from our old place. Entirely by design. I’ve been living in this area for six years and I adore it. My girlfriend has been here for the past three, and she’s also taken to it, though admittedly I think it mattered a little more to me. I wanted to stay close to my favourite dive bar for Sunday brunch. We have friends in the area, and having close proximity to them is a big part of our lives. There are amenities close by. A handy bike path to get to work is now right at our doorsteps. Commuting time should be slightly quicker, we’re closer to the subway station, and our favourite local cafe is sub five minutes’ walk away. Sure, there’s a tangible cost, but we can maintain a certain quality of life we’ve come to love.

Also, the place is bigger than our current spot. There’s a self-contained kitchen instead of a kitchen lounge. Every room has a door that closes. There are two big bedrooms, and an actual lounge. The bathroom is covered in these cute yellow tiles. There’s an actual bath. I checked the toilet’s flusher and it’s solid. There’s cupboard space in the kitchen, and it gets nice afternoon sun. There’s a massive balcony, about the width of two bedrooms. It’s all covered, and should be an amazing space in the summer. We might be paying $50 per month for laundry, but not having to leave the house to do it is an enormous relief. For once, we’re at the top level of the place, so we won’t hear footsteps above. Unlike our current abode, this is a space we’re going into together. I already lived here when my girlfriend moved in, and while we tried to make it into a shared space, it was hard to entirely move beyond the structure I’d created. This time we have so much opportunity to make something together. It’s fresh ground for both of us, and we can compose a space that feels mutually tailored. While I’m not looking forward to the physical move, I’m so excited to collaborate with my girlfriend, and find a new place to call home.

DOES THAT MEAN IT’S TIME TO PICK UP THE KEYS?