Accurate Greeting Cards

Congratulations…

- on wearing the same shirt twice in one week without anyone noticing
– on making the right colour choice for your manicure even though you were really, really torn between two
– on having a kid by mistake but making it look like it was on purpose
– on getting through the last season of Dexter and still being willing to watch TV

Thank you…

- for not needing to hear from me every day to know that we are still friends
– for pretending to be my boyfriend in the club
– for not judging me when I cry watching people get surprised
– for not using ringtones anymore

Condolences…

- on your 6th shattered iPhone screen
– on deciding to do a juice cleanse
– on the malignant tumor you self-diagnosed yourself with after browsing the internet for 20 minutes
– on not liking your new bangs

Love always,
S.

 

 

Accurate Wish Lists

Not knowing what to buy for people is the worst. I’ve inflicted this horror on too many people, for too long, in the name of modesty and humility…

Oh me?
Don’t worry about me!
I don’t even know what I want!
I have everything I need!
Any gift is a good gift if it comes from the heart!
Just make a donation to a charity in my name! 

All of these things are true; I generally don’t know what I want in life, I really do have everything I NEED, I appreciate any and all gifts (even gift cards, which are the pumpkin spice latte of gifts) and donating to charity is a really great way to deflect all of this materialistic attention and allow people to feel good, get a little tax break, AND knock your name off their list.

But not this year, bitches.

This year, I channeled all my early-90s-childhood-energy into curating a Christmas and/or birthday wish list (I was born 3 weeks after Christmas, just TRY giving me a 2-in-1 gift, I dare you) and sent it to my friends and family. I even used Amazon Wish List, which is basically like making a wedding registry for people who have no reason to be making a wedding registry. I left a few things off, though; abstract or absurd items that don’t exist (but should), requests that reveal the true nature of my sad little humanity, and so on.

But you get all of me, internet. Here are the secret, unfulfilled desires of my heart:

- A yoga mat that smells like pizza.
– A full-length feature documentary of Solange’s wedding.
– A no-consequence, no-judgement, no-questions-asked “raincheck” coupon for any social event or gathering in 2015 of my choosing.
– Two kittens who are best friends.
– A book of poetry from Jaden and Willow Smith.
– A wind machine.
– 500 doughnuts for my “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” account so I can buy premium items.
– The power to make Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa get back together.
– A tour of all the real life Harry Potter landmarks in England.

And last but not least, this picture of Lisa Simpson on a customized iPhone 5c case:

lisa_simpson_rebelde-1502

S.

Everything’s fine.

Daria, duh

I’ve given myself the directive (the word “goal” is way too positive) of writing something – in some form, somewhere – every day until January 14th when I turn 30 years old and inevitably morph into a rotting pumpkin of disappointment.

This should be an easy task. I currently “work” from home and have no major social or financial obligations, so the ever-elusive asset of TIME is fully available to me (in all its condescending glory). No alarm clock, no meetings, no office, no distractions.

There’s just been this one problem: everything’s fine.

For the past five months I’ve woken up when I wanted to, decided what pattern of tights I was most in the mood to wear, opened up my drawer of bras just to laugh in their faces, and then sat down in front of the computer with a cup of coffee, ready to face a new day of… whatever. My days are plagued with questions such as:

What podcast should I listen to while I spend 45 minutes doing my makeup for no reason?
Should I go back to school?
What would I even take in school?
Are 30 year olds allowed in schools?

This self-imposed sabbatical was designed to provide me with this exact scenario: a fresh field of boundless opportunity and months on end to plough through it. I could write a few new poems, I thought! I could try and get an essay or two published on my favourite blogs! Begin dabbling in fiction or scriptwriting!

I’ve written nothing. Not a single thing, besides text messages to my boyfriend about what I’ve been reading on the internet that day and a few emails to friends about my new home on the west coast, complete with ambiguous (albeit creative) answers to the omnipresent question: “so what are you going to do for work?”

I’ve written nothing because everything’s fine right now. I’m totally happy and when I’m happy, I’ve always felt like I’m just so, so boring. Unless someone is commanding me to write something very specific, anything I’ve ever tried to write on my own accord while happy has been tediously uninspiring and not even remotely interesting. PRIVILEGED HAPPY PEOPLE PROBLEMS.

For as long as I can remember, this has been an immovable roadblock between myself and writing, as I know it is for many “creative” types. Rather than some noir affliction of a tortured artist, however, it’s just one of my many excuses for a horrendous lack of self-discipline. Maybe it’s the Wisdom of 30 sneaking up on me, but I’ve realized now that I’ve been a one-trick pony, fuelling self-destructive behaviour patterns in order to remain ~iNsPiReD~ because I haven’t quite learned how to feel alive without hurting myself or those around me and I’ve simply been too lazy to push myself into writing about things other than my own self-made problems.

Some cycles are meant to be broken, and I realize that this one will furiously spin me into a ball of 30-something-year-old-resentment-and-predictability if I don’t smash (or write) my way out of it.

I’m happy and I still have lots of cool things to say. Let’s get to it.

S.

The Top 10 Lessons I Learned Backpacking Across Europe

#1. Don’t actually backpack. A suitcase will work just fine. And keep the skin on your shoulders intact.

#2. Go to the bathroom everywhere you can, even when you don’t have to. You do NOT want to be stuck somewhere contemplating the repercussions of actually peeing your pants on this train. And don’t be scared to poop. It’s going to happen.

#3. We all need next to nothing, most of the time. So remember than when you pack.

#4. Be okay on your own. You really can take care of yourself, especially when it counts.

#5. It’s okay to get homesick. Just keep it in check and think about how much you’ll regret wishing you were home when you get home.

#6. You’re not a paid photographer (unless you are), so don’t spend your trip sussing out Instagram or profile pics. BE on your trip, in the moment(s). Take photos of the things you genuinely want to remember if it happens to work out.

#7. Then print them. I’m just such a big fan of keeping up actual hard copy photo albums, I think everybody else should, too.

#8. Acidophilus. Buy it. Take it daily. Refer to #2 on this list if you need more information.

#9. Take care of yourself. In that, don’t get sick. Wash your hands, get some sleep at some point, and try to find a vegetable or two. The only thing worse than being sick is being sick anywhere that’s not home. Or being sick AND hungover anywhere that’s not home. Trust me.

#10. You may come back exactly the same as you left, and that’s fine. Don’t expect this to be some life changing holiday on which you find the meaning of life. That kind of pressure will just ruin things. If you do decide to view things a little differently during or after your trip, rad; if not, rad.

A Cohabitating ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’

It’s dinnertime! What is the most appropriate meal for two fully functioning people in their late-20s/early-30s?

A) Make pita pizzas.

B) Order pizza.

C) I dunno, what do you want to eat?

D) I DON’T KNOW, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EAT?

Hurry! It’s 5pm, which means you only have 30 minutes to come up with a creative way of saying: “Welcome home, I’m sorry I used all your hockey tape for my arts and crafts.” Do you: 

A) Answer the door wearing the last two tiny pieces of tape as nipple covers in the hopes that boobs will make everything okay, because boobs make everything okay.

B) Immediately embark on a lengthy diatribe about how recreational sport is repetitive and replaceable in comparison to your fleeting and spontaneous artistic inspiration.

C) Call in a bomb threat to every local community hockey rink in the city.

D) Boobs?

A storm has cut off your cable and Internet. As you learn to navigate this new, terrifying, Netflix-free world, do you:

A) Uncomfortably stare at one another until it dawns on you: …I have no idea what this human wants or thinks or enjoys other than Orange is the New Black and Breaking Bad I mean who IS this stranger I sleep next to does he even have a middle name have his eyes always been brown am I going to die tonight I’m going to die tonight aren’t I?

B) Play Scrabble by candlelight, with the condition that all words played be a colloquialism for sex and/or the genitals.

C) Make all of the sex! (Bonus points for role-playing as: “It’s the apocalypse and we’ve been running for our lives for hours, yet somehow my makeup and hair is perfect and I’m scared but all we have is each other and this moment so take me now, you brute, and put a bullet in my head if I go Full Zombie.”)

D) Eat absolutely every singly thing in the refrigerator out of fear and necessity.

While digging through a kitchen drawer in a desperate effort to find double-A batteries for the remote control you stumble upon various, long-forgotten relics of Girlfriend Past. Do you:

A) Curl up into a ball on the kitchen floor clutching everything you’ve found and shake silently until your partner gets home.

B) Shrug and continue rummaging for those batteries because this Chopped marathon isn’t going to fucking watch itself, is it?

C) Allow the fire of a thousand suns to consume you and spend the afternoon smearing the words “THIS HOUSE IS NOT A HOME” across every wall in your own blood.

D) See these relics for what they are – forgotten leftovers of abandoned love – and choose to acknowledge them as a token, a gift, a reminder that despite your fabled history, you haven’t always been the central plot point of his narrative. Allow them to remind you that he is a separate being, a vehicle of his own history, and even though you have traveled so far in this life together, you remain in the passenger seat, navigating but not steering. What matters now are the lessons he brought with him in the trunk and how soon you guys are going to stop for snacks on this new journey of yours.

S.

Notes to Self: 07.07.14

 

  • there is no shame in being still; plenty of life can be found in these small pockets of silence
  • putting on mascara nearly every day for over 15 years will not prevent you from getting it all over your face on a considerably consistent basis
  • you owe your body more care than you have been giving it; you deserve the full potential of its strength
  • do not let overwhelming peace and happiness wrap their arms too tightly around your chest and trick you into thinking something must be wrong
  • although delicious, pizza is not its own food group that requires daily consumption
  • avoid bearing the load of other people’s grudges
  • bras are unnecessary contraptions of discomfort that, if necessary at all, should be removed with haste
  • perform exercises of gratitude; be vocal with love

S.

My Breakups, In Memoriam

1999.

I was 14. He was a tall and lanky 9th grader and he smelled like soap, which never should have bothered me but it did. He asked me out during gym class. Our gym uniforms were heather grey squares of shame that hung like curtains off my late-blooming body. I had stuffed my bra with toilet paper before heading out to the soccer field that day, and when he motioned for me to come talk to him and his friends I knew exactly what was coming. “Hey… you got a tissue I can borrow?” would be followed by raucous laughter, high-fives and all the other forms of social currency that popular teenage boys siphon from their victims. But he asked me out and that naturally convinced me it would last forever. We kissed at his locker every day for two weeks, only once with tongue. He had one of the most popular girls in school break up with me for him in the girl’s washroom. We were in our gym uniforms.

2000.

I was 15. He was from a broken home and had an anger problem. It would take me years to realize how intrinsically tied together those two facts were.  I didn’t actually like him, but I wanted to fix him. I wanted to occupy the most prominent spot on the mantle of his memories. I was determined to leave a lasting imprint, a legacy, a mould that all the other girls after me would try to fit into and fail. We welcomed the year 2000 together sitting on a damp hill with a few friends, hoping for a good view of the city-wide blackout we all desperately hoped would be happening. We had three cans of Coors to share between the six of us. They were gone before the clock struck midnight. We left shortly after, mad about something, mad about nothing. I don’t remember how we broke up, but I can guarantee it was my fault.

2002.

I was 17. He was the boy who taught me how heavy the burden of loving me can be. We were long distance, so it happened over the phone. He broke up with me, but I had given him no other choice. He needed to protect his heart and I needed to make more mistakes. Our relationship was relegated to mixtapes of “our” songs, emotional notes scribbled on yellowing scraps of lined paper, movie ticket stubs and photographs from various disposable cameras stuffed into a shoebox-turned-time-capsule that I’ve been lugging around in secrecy from year to year, apartment to apartment, city to city, relationship to relationship. 11 years later I spontaneously invited him to come on a two week trip to Europe with me at the last minute, and he did. We moved in together last week.

2005.

I was 20. He was proof that I had yet to learn a single lesson.

2010.

I was 25. He was the first boyfriend I ever lived with. Even though we shared a roof over our heads, I was a satellite lover; constantly orbiting around him but always so distant. It’s hard to break up with someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. But there were holes in my heart that were still slowly leaking poison, and I knew staying together would only continue polluting him. I gave him space and I gave him sadness. I hope I gave him bluer skies.

2011.

I was 26. He was an artist and I was insatiably in love with the idea of him. I tried and tried – embarrassingly and unrelentingly tried – to mould him into someone he wasn’t. He had the emotional maturity of a peanut and I was poison ivy wrapping myself slowly around him. We went to New Orleans together for my 26th birthday and I drank enough red wine to convince myself it was working. He broke up with me over the phone, the weekend after he met my mom. We were only together for five months. I stayed single for 2.5 years afterwards, learning how to fall in love with the idea of myself.

S.