Men Lie, Women Lie, Panties Don’t.

10 Signs She’s Planning On Sleeping With You Tonight.

I know, I know. I don’t call, I don’t write, I’m never around. I’m always neglecting you guys. For some reason I never post when I’m in love. My creative expression seems to always be stifled by my vaginal expression. Those two really need to learn how to get along someday. But thankfully for y’all my WordPress account always seems to last longer than my relationships so let’s get down to business.

Ahhh, the good ol’ world of dating.

After getting thrown back into it recently I noticed it’s really like riding a bicycle, isn’t it? No, I don’t mean you never forget how. That’s trite. Give me some credit – I’m single, not lame. What I mean is, you have to ride a bunch to find one that doesn’t hurt your crotch.

Ayoooo! And, she’s back.

Seriously though. While my self-deprecation might have you believe I’m mad about it, I actually do enjoy being single once I’m here. I’m the type of person who would meet someone new every day if the opportunity presented itself without making me look like a giant creep. My curiosity fuels my extroversion and being single is a great way to feed that. But what happens when you meet someone you actually like? After the flirting, the texts, the giggles and the late-night phone calls?

Don’t think so hard, this isn’t a rhetorical question here. You bang. The answer is you bang.

I would hope by now most of you men know that when you’re dating a woman for a while and finally get some, it is by no deed of your own. You didn’t wear the right outfit. You didn’t choose the right cologne. Honey, she knew she was going to sleep with you tonight before you even asked her out. Sure, once in a while we have a few too many drinks and end up sleeping with you before we actually mean to. But 9 out of 10 times we’ve planned it days, sometimes weeks, in advance. Our girlfriends know we’re going to get naked with you before you do. In fact, next time you’re having sex with a woman for the first time, pause for a moment to think about the fact that at least 2 or 3 women you haven’t even met know what you’re doing. And they’re going to hear about your performance as soon as you’re done. No pressure though.

Some of you cockier men are probably thinking right about now, “Nah, you’re wrong. Maybe for other dudes but my style and well-groomed beard and use of the proper ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ got me the cookie.”

Ok stupid, whatever helps you sleep at night. But next time you get some first-time sex from a woman you’re dating, look out for these signs and email me and let me know when you recognize a few, wouldya?

  1. The Matching Bra & Panty Combo

This one is obvious but I couldn’t leave it off the list. I can’t speak for all women – just normal ones – but rarely do I ever buy matching bra and panty sets. I have 4837 pairs of underwear and maybe 10 bras. The bra staples include 1 or 2 black bras, 1 or 2 white bras, maybe a nude bra, a strapless bra and 1 or 2 lacy, sexy [enter the colour you think is sexiest on you here] bras. Leave room for a handful of random coloured bras you bought because they were on sale or you were bored and happened to walk into La Senza or Victoria’s Secret. Those lacy bras, those ones most likely have a matching panty. Or if you’re like me, you make sure you have a bunch of black panties that you can mix and match with your black bras (those are for second-tier guys – you want to match and be cute but you’re not trying to impress them). Fellas, if her bra and panty sort of match the first time she undresses in front of you – #ShePlannedIt. If her bra and panty are a perfect match – same colour, same pattern – #ShePlannedIt and she really likes you. Don’t mess this up.

matching bra and panty sets

If you see something like this, she really likes you.

  1. She Shaved Her Legs

This one is definitely seasonal as during those warmer months a woman’s legs are usually always shaved. But if it’s pants weather outside and you get down to business and her legs are silky smooth – #ShePlannedIt. Trust me. If you ever sleep with a woman and her legs aren’t shaved, not only did she have no intentions of sleeping with you that night, but she probably didn’t shave her legs on purpose to prevent herself from sleeping with you. Been there. Done that. If you get that hairy leg sex, props to you homie. This is one of the rare times it very well could have been your outfit or the cologne.

But most likely it was the tequila.

shaving-foam-legs

Yep. She’s definitely having sex tonight.

  1. She’s Freshly Waxed. Above Her Legs.

This one is not seasonal my friends. Pubes are a pain in the ass, aren’t they? Not only do they require constant upkeep, but everyone has a personal preference. At the end of the day, you just gotta go with what you feel most comfortable with and hope you find your pubic match, ya feel me? (Hmm. I just got an idea for a dating site…) Whether your girl shaves or waxes, if you notice it’s fresh the first time you sleep with her, #ShePlannedIt. This one actually requires more planning than you think. To get it smooth, she may have had to wait a few days to shave and sometimes weeks to get that perfect wax. So fellas, you’re special if you catch a glimpse right after she got her [pubic] hurr did. She probably planned it around your date.

There is a catch though. If she books her appointment after you make plans, she likes you. Sometimes though, a girl just doesn’t want to waste that perfect wax. If she had the appointment first, she may just be showing off a job well done. Sorry kid. You just ain’t the one. Lucky for you you’ll never know the difference.

Pubic

Oh, she planned it.

  1. She Cleaned Her Apartment

This is one of the few that may not be a sure sign, so don’t write me an angry letter if you didn’t get any in a clean apartment. Some of us crazy Italians just clean the entire apartment because the cable guy is coming. Most people will do a quick clean up at minimum if they have company of any sort coming by. If however the place looks spotless, she definitely planned on having you come up. Don’t reach for those condoms yet though. This is just a sign she’s going to let you into the ballpark, it doesn’t mean you’re getting to home base just yet. But a spotless apartment can often mean #ShePlannedIt. Just be on your best behaviour because whatever “it” ends up actually being may depend on it. Godspeed.

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“I’m even going to clean the counter in case we get wild!”

  1. She Cleaned Her Room

Like the clean apartment, this could simply mean she wanted to be comfortable and away from a loud bar or movie theatre and likes a tidy home. The spotless room though is much more likely to be a clue. Unless she’s just avoiding a roommate – or parents depending on how much of a pedo you are – going to her room in itself is probably a good sign. Now a clean room may just be that – a clean room. But if she got that bitch looking like it came out of a catalogue with scented candles, mood lighting, crisp sheets and deliberately placed throw pillows – #ShePlannedIt. Even if she’s one of those weirdoes who insists on making her bed every morning, (if I don’t do it it’s weird, okay?) nobody has a room that perfect that doesn’t expect to be sharing it with someone for a little while. Just make sure to check if those candles have been used before. If they have, she a ho!

(That was a joke, stop crying in the corner and go get it.)

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“Oh, this? This is how my room always looks.”

  1. She’s Constantly Checking Her Watch

Unless she wants to be home in time to watch a TV show (which by the way, is probably a bad sign), this girl has a plan and she intends for it to go exactly how it’s supposed to. Dinner at 7, drinks at 9, sex at 11. She will be making sure the conversation doesn’t go too long and the drinks go down fast. As far as she knows, there’s still a chance you may not be a minute-man so she wants to make sure she’s horizontal by a decent hour so that she’s not up until 4 am and has to write the next day off. If she was checking the time more than she ever has before, especially if it’s a weeknight, #ShePlannedIt. If you know you are indeed a minute-man, you may want to try and drag the date out a bit. The less time she has after the sex to tell all her friends, the better. Although you’re really just delaying it a few hours anyway.

watch

“Hmm. 5 minutes for parking, carry the one… I should be naked in 87 minutes.”

  1. She Cares More or Less Than Usual About What You Guys Have Planned

If she seems to be more or less concerned than usual about what you guys are going to do when you see each other, it’s likely that she’s got her own plans for the night whether you’re aware of them or not. If she cares more, it’s because she wants the night to be perfect. No, she didn’t want to come by and watch you and your friends smoke and play video games even though she did it twice last week. If she wanted a nice dinner and for you to wear that blue sweater she likes, #ShePlannedIt. If she seems less interested in the details than usual, it’s because she doesn’t care what happens beforehand she’s just looking forward to finally seeing if you were worth the wait. If you wanted to watch football for 4 hours at your place and she was cool with that… #ShePlannedIt.

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“I don’t care who wins as long as I score!”

  1. She’s Making More Sexual Jokes/References Than She Usually Does

When sex is on the mind, sex is on the mind. For women in their 30s, and men in their 1-100s, sex may very well always be on the mind. If, however, sex also starts being in the texts, the emails, the phone calls and the tweets, it’s probably also going to soon be in the bedroom. If you notice her making way more sexual references than usual, guess what? #ShePlannedIt.

woman-flirting-on-facebook

“I can’t believe I just sent that text…”

  1. She’s Drinking More/Faster Than Usual

Sometimes drunk sex is more fun. Sometimes having a little buzz gets rid of those first time nerves. Sometimes she’s just an alcoholic. Whatever the reason, many women (and men) enjoy having a few drinks before they have a few orgasms. The only time I’ve ever gotten drunk in a movie theatre happened because I had planned to sleep with the guy I was seeing that night (if you’re reading this, hiiiiiii). It doesn’t matter that we were going to see Anchorman 2. Nor did it matter that it most definitely was not a late show. No. All that mattered was that I was going to have sex with him that evening and I preferred to be drunk. So me, him, and a bottle of Bacardi Gold enjoyed a nice movie together that night before we went back to my place for the encore. If homegirl is drinking more or faster than she has before, trust me, #ShePlannedIt.

woman drinking

“It’s Tuesday! Let’s celebrate!”

 1.She Sent You an Outlook Invite with the Subject “Meet Me For Some Sex.”

Ok, if this ever happens you probably won’t need me to translate it for you. If it does, she’s a keeper. But to be honest, I just put this here to fill out the list because a list of 9 is never as good as a list of 10, #amirite?

Shut up.

datenight

Do I have to spell this one out?

 

Posted in Dating | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Get Your Bush Out of My Face

The 5 Types of Weirdos You Meet in Women’s Locker Rooms

 

There’s been a huge shift by the masses towards health and fitness in the last few years. Fitness ‘experts’ have become a ubiquitous presence in the world of blogging and social media seemingly out of nowhere. Of course, people have been squattin’ and flexin’ forever, but they either started talking about it more or the abundance of big asses and six packs on Instagram has influenced a lot of people to hit their local YMCA. I’d definitely rather hear someone tell me what they did this morning in the gym over of how many drugs they did this weekend (just because I’d be much more jealous of the latter than the former) but there’s also a thin line between knowledgeable and know-it-all-able. Please, learn the difference (which you can have spelled out for you with this previous post).

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to drink all night (or at all) on a weeknight and go to the work the next day, or eat a really greasy, deep fried, delicious, heaven-sent meal without keeling over in pain while still chewing the last bite. You know what that means? V-Block is getting OLD. After a few years of denial, I’ve finally decided to give this ‘new craze’ – based around living a healthier and less awesomely fun lifestyle by eating better and, sigh, going to the gym – a try.

yogging

Don’t let the sigh fool you. It’s actually been a [mostly] pleasant process. I have so much more energy throughout the day and the pride you feel from knowing you’re finally being a [mostly] responsible adult is a perk of its own. But you know what’s [mostly] not a perk? Having a stranger’s bush in your face. No, I don’t think it’s ok to walk around a locker room rockin’ your bush like it’s 1979 and you want to show off your new perm. Nor is it okay to eat spaghetti and meatballs next to me while I’m trying to awkwardly put on a sports bra. The basic rules and etiquette of society don’t magically disappear because you’re in a locker room. You leave your coat at the door, not your manners.

In my modest 6 weeks or so of consistent gymmery, I’ve concluded that there are 5 different types of locker room occupants, varying from mildly inconveniencing to flagrantly intrusive. Here they are, in no particular order, as they’re all equally annoying.

1. The Free-For-All-er

This person’s personal motto is ‘No F*cks Given.’ If you’ve ever been bent over tying your shoes and wondered what that flash of darkness you noticed out of your peripheral was, it was most likely the aforementioned ‘70s bush flying by you without a care in the world. I think it’s inspiring that in our hypercritical, shallow, aesthetically-obsessed society some people still find enough peace within themselves to ignore it all and wiggle, jiggle and hang like it ain’t a thang. Seriously, I can dig that personal philosophy, that there should be no shame in being proud of the skin we were born in. 100%. You go girl.

With that being said, you can enjoy that bush like it’s nobody’s business while still respecting that we’re sharing a very small space. There is NO need to be spread eagle on a bench, spreading lotion over your entire body like you’re auditioning for a Silence of the Lambs interpretive dance troupe. The other day I walked into the shower area and a woman was going to town lathering herself up in the shower… with the curtain open. I wasn’t offended, just confused. There was a curtain, but she didn’t use it. Again, no matter how comfortable you are with being naked around strangers, it’s just POLITE to behave like perhaps, just maybe, there’s a small chance that not everyone wants to watch you rub soap between your no-no folds. Just think about it. I beg you.

 

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What’s a towel?

 

2. The Multi-Tasker

Hey, good for you. You’ve taken a stand against laziness and waste nary a minute of your day. You spend every moment being productive and getting your shit done. Good on ya. But can I maybe suggest that perhaps you eat your dinner in the waiting room-esque portion of the locker room? You know, where there are chairs and a couch and a TV? Hey look, there’s even a table! It would almost be like eating at home, actually. No naked bodies ruining your desire to refuel or anything. It’s just really hard to try and get past you to my locker when you have a 3-course meal set up on the bench. Oh, you’re done eating? Great. Thanks for moving – wait, what? What are you doing now? YOUR HOMEWORK? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Why? Why do these women choose the uncomfortable, narrow wooden benches in between sweaty, smelly, nude strangers to complete their tasks? Sure, have an apple while you’re undressing. Maybe snack on a protein bar while you’re getting your stuff packed up. But sitting on a bench to eat a full meal while people are changing within 6 inches of every direction of your face is not normal. You know what else it isn’t? Sanitary. People come swinging into the locker room literally dripping with sweat, and you’re holding your open Tupperware at crotch level because, what? You don’t want to walk 10 feet?

Please go eat your dinner, do your homework and make your annoyingly loud phone calls in the other room.

 

chris-bosh-reading-in-locker-room

I should really get a lava lamp in here to get the mood right.

 

3. The Private Room User

There’s no clever name for this one. Look, I’m not gonna bash you. You’ve probably got some insecurity issues. Maybe you’re missing a leg or are just really shy. Maybe it’s that time of the month. I don’t know what it is, but there’s some reason that you don’t feel comfortable getting undressed in front of other women. I can somewhat understand that – I still don’t go to the gym at work because I don’t want the people I see 40 hours a week picturing me naked when I’m in a meeting with them (no one said my reasoning was rational). I wish you didn’t feel the need to hide though, because you’re beautiful and unique and should be proud of whatever you’ve got going on under those clothes. But enjoy that private room if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Unless you’re just trying to escape the other people on this list. Then you’re just a stuck-up asshole.

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Are they gone yet?

 

4. The Prom Queen

If you’re like me, the only way you can commit to a consistent gym routine is if you go during your lunch break at work. I hate getting home late after the gym and then having to cook and then basically go to sleep because it feels like it’s 10 pm before I’ve even taken my shoes off. I like to enjoy my evenings. Now the reason I mention this is because The Prom Queen could possibly use the fact that she’s going back to work as an excuse for why she’s doing 4 layers of make-up and curling her hair for an hour in a public locker room. But not bloody likely. This is the type of woman that probably wears heels to go grocery shopping. Sure, I like to clean up before going back to work. I also wear jeans and Chucks to work so I don’t necessarily have to look as office-appropriate as many women do. But there is no office – at least not since 1962 – that requires a woman to have on 13 shades of eyeshadow and salon-grade hair without some sort of serious HR nightmare risks, so there is no need for the beauty marathon.

Perhaps my issue is actually with women who just wear too much make-up and hair products to begin with, but trust me, there are locker room-specific qualms I have with these women. First of all, your make-up bag is the size of a carry-on. You could probably skip the gym all together because you’re getting a workout lugging that thing around as it is. You’re taking up the entire length of counter space that is intended for 3-4 women. Plus, you’re there for an hour. I can understand the times where maybe you have a date or some sort of special occasion directly after your workout, but I see some women a few times a week doing this every time they’re there. It just makes me sad. There is a very thin line between telling yourself you take pride in how you like and admitting to yourself that you’re insecure without your makeup and hair done. I wish more women would learn the difference.

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Don’t worry, I’ll be our of your way in a few hours.

 

5. The Creeper

This person is actually what inspired this post. I was getting changed after a yoga class a week or so ago and there was a young Asian girl, probably 23 or 24, fully dressed and packed up but still just sitting there. She was attempting to do some sort of action or movement here or there, to make it seem less obvious that all she was doing was blatantly checking out every other woman’s body while they changed. She’d fix her shoe laces. Grab her brush and brush her hair for a minute. Make sure something was in her bag. Then make sure it was REALLY in her bag just in case she was wrong the first time. The only reason I noticed her was because she was sitting right next to my locker and I was trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. You know, like a normal person. She was already dressed and packed when I walked in, and was still there after I walked out. I went back to work thinking – what is her deal?

Now, maybe the Creeper is actually just really curious girl or woman who doesn’t know it’s rude to stare. I imagine she probably grew up in a very conservative household where being naked wasn’t something you did unless you were alone, even if it was just you and your siblings. Maybe all her friends grew up the same way and it’s just what she’s used to. Now, here she is, surrounded by all of these other female bodies, big and small, black and white, young and old, perky and saggy, so of course she might take it as a free anatomy lesson.

WELL IT’S NOT. USE THE INTERNET TO JUDGE AND OVER-ANALYZE YOUR BODY BY COMPARING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE’S LIKE THE REST OF US DO.

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Hey, don’t mind me. Just gonna stare at you, naked stranger.

 

Posted in V's World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Behind The Laughter.

With everything that’s been going on the last little while I’ve been finding it hard to be able to separate, organize and understand my own thoughts, let alone string them together for any sort of comprehensible sentences. With my name in a couple of local papers right now, I figure it’s time I officially address what’s been going on through the medium that has had a huge role in a lot of it.

I’ll start from the beginning.

On August 6th, 2013, I lost one of the closest, most cherished and important human beings to me on the planet. After battling for a decade with bi-polar disorder, my younger brother took his own life. The loss of a loved one is probably the hardest thing a person deals with throughout his/her life, but suicide throws in many curve balls in many stages of the grieving process.

I’ve avoided talking about what has happened with my brother because I wanted this blog to ooze with the parts of my personality that I like to share most – the witty, sarcastic and wry humour that has become who I am over the last 3 decades. The reasons I love writing are the same reasons I love meeting people – I find joy in sharing experiences, learning, and relating and connecting to people. Most of all though, I love to make people laugh. I love to make people laugh because I love to laugh. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve realized recently, however, that there are some stories that need to be told even if they don’t result in laughter. Even if they aren’t stories that make me smile. I’ve convinced myself somehow that anyone who reads my blog is looking for the same thing as anyone meeting me for drinks on a Wednesday night – a fun and often ridiculous time. But what I haven’t thought about until now is that maybe there are people out there who need to be able to relate to the not-so-good experiences too. Maybe writing about the hardships in life as well as the frivolous parts would benefit someone, whether by making them think, see a new perspective or even just realize that they’re not alone. Regardless of how many people I may or may not touch with this blog, writing about my experiences whether good or bad also aligns with the reason I started it to begin with – as an outlet for me to decompress – and I can have it both ways.

If there’s one thing that has crept up on me since losing my brother, it’s the feeling of being alone. While I do have many AMAZING friends and family members, grieving is a crazy thing. It’s something that is so personal and unique to each individual that it’s hard to experience it together even when you’re… experiencing it together. It’s like doing shrooms – you can both eat the same amount from the same batch, but you’re going to experience completely different trips. Some of my family members don’t want to talk about it at all. Some of them are angry. Some of them have completely fallen apart. The majority of my friends just don’t know what to say, which is 100% understandable. Even if they asked, I couldn’t tell them what would help. Some of them have never experienced loss, let alone a loss this traumatic.  I find some of them casually change the subject when I bring it up simply because it’s an uncomfortable topic and more often than not people tend to avoid topics that produce any amount of discomfort. Sometimes I need to vent for hours, sometimes I just need to sit in silence in someone’s arms and cry. I can watch South Park and be fine (one of his favourite shows) but then I’ll cry at my desk at work for 10 minutes without knowing what triggered it. I haven’t gotten it even close to figured out, and I don’t know if I ever will, but I’m definitely working on it. It will soon be the 6-month mark, and where I am today is somewhere that took a lot of work – a lot of crying, a lot of talking and a lot more crying after a lot more talking.

I’ve gone to 5 individualized Survivor Support sessions through the Toronto Distress Centre, and I cannot even begin to describe how much they have helped. As you would expect, the first session was the hardest. Sitting in a room with two complete strangers and discussing the most personal tragedy you’ve ever experienced is not an easy thing to do. I’m not sure they understood half of what I said during the first (or second or third) session because I was crying harder than I’d have ever expected to cry outside of my own bedroom. But they listened. I could not have predicted how amazing that would feel, to be able to just talk about what I was feeling, what I wasn’t feeling, what I wanted to feel and what I didn’t want to feel for an hour without interruption. Without feeling guilty. Without feeling ashamed.

Immediately after I walked out of the building, I felt like a 100-lb weight was lifted off my heart. After the first session, I went home and continued to cry for a while afterwards (shout out to Erin, Wendy’s and the $0.50 cent horror movie we watched that night).  It took a lot out of me. I was emotionally and physically exhausted in the same way I was after the viewings and funeral, a way I had never experienced before we lost CB. But the way I felt the next day and for a couple of days afterwards was a surprise for me. I felt good. Not “good” in the way it meant before the loss, but as “good” as a person can feel in this situation. I had had a good cry (understatement of the year) and I had gotten to talk about CB and who he was, not just what his last days here consisted of, and talking about who he was always makes me smile. It’s a hard feeling to put into words, but the best way I can describe it is satisfaction, maybe pride. I felt the way you do after you’ve accomplished a daunting or difficult task. I had taken the first step towards tackling my loss.

I didn’t go to another session for about 4 weeks after the second one. They were supposed to be weekly, but I kept coming up with excuses and canceling. As much I wanted to feel that post-session relief, I just didn’t want to face the crying and emotional exhaustion I felt during and after. I was anxious and uncomfortable every week, knowing Thursday evening was coming and what it would mean. I would try motivating myself but Thursday morning would come and I would find myself writing an email with some sort of excuse as to why I couldn’t go. I was sick. I was busy with work. I was double booked. Every time I hit send I felt guilty and disappointed in myself. This may come off as arrogant or self-serving, but I really am more resilient than your average person. I have dealt with a lot in my life, and more than the rest of my life combined in the last 12 months. I have stayed positive and strong and have pushed through. But canceling my sessions was changing that. It was making me feel weak. It was making me feel like I couldn’t face my demons. After our first Christmas and New Year holidays without CB, I went back.

This time, something was different. I was starting to really dig into my feelings. I discussed my feelings, what I thought other people were thinking, what was hardest, what has changed, my mom, my dad, my other brothers, my friends, my job, guilt, anger, helplessness, the loss of the ability to breathe sometimes. Everything. I got into it all. But what was different was with very simple but precise questions from the volunteers, I would step back and think about why and how. I had only been focusing on what. What am I feeling, what am I missing, what am I doing, what is everyone else thinking had turned into why am I feeling this? How do I stop feeling this? Why do I feel I’m alone or that I can’t talk to my friends? How do I start opening up to them? How can they make me feel better? Why does that make me feel better?

If I wanted to use clichés, which I never do… OKAY, OKAY I LOVE THEM….. I would say the 3rd session was my breakthrough. I still cried a lot, but I was able to speak while crying. It didn’t overpower me. After the third session I started writing about everything we talked about when I got home. I didn’t want to forget anything. I thought it could help me down the road if I was ever feeling something similar. I guess I was starting to prepare for the end of the sessions because I finally realized how important they were. This was also when I started being able to actually recognize progress, which was a small feat in itself. I was still dreading the sessions and I skipped a week in between the 3rd and 4th sessions. But again, I went back. Going in to the 4th one I had given myself a challenge. I wanted to see if I could go an entire session without crying. I never felt judged or embarrassed by the crying, but I just decided it was something I wanted to attempt. That challenge went out the window as soon as I sat down, which is where most feelings or thoughts I’ve attempted to create and control beforehand go while I’m there. I still cried, but so much less than usual that we can just say I didn’t to appease my ego. After that session something crazy happened – I stopped dreading them. And even crazier, I spent the next week actually looking forward to Thursday night. I could not believe it.

My 5th session, which was this past Thursday, was a bit different because I was in the middle of dealing with a separate beast; being a victim of an online harassment case (next time, kiddies). But it was business as usual after my initial update about that, and once again we hit some really key points and topics. I came sooooooo close to going an entire hour without crying this week but got a little teary-eyed at the very end. I had been explaining to them everything I just got into; how this was the first week I looked forward to the session, how I’ve been feeling more in control of my feelings more often, how our talks have helped me become more able to sort through my feelings and how I am even getting, dare I say it, excited for the group sessions after my last individual one (there are 8 in total). I initially thought the group sessions would be corny and awkward, but now I’m actually excited about them. Such a weird word to describe it but it’s true, I’m excited to meet people who know EXACTLY what I’m going through.

The sessions have almost always ended awkwardly – I look at the clock and realize I’ve been talking for an hour and then say something along the lines of “Uh, oops. Ok I guess it’s time to go. Um, thank you. Bye.” But this week I must have subconsciously channeled my inner Jerry Springer because the session ended with my ‘Final Thought,’ which was what made me fail at my no-crying challenge (I’m most often the person that makes me cry). Without remembering exactly what I said, this was the sentiment, as I’m sure when I said it on the spot it didn’t sound nearly as coherent:

At first the hardest thing to deal with besides not having CB around was the idea that my life has changed completely without my consent. Everyone who has been through this has said the same thing whether they are people I know or people who have written blogs or books on the topic of loss – your life will never be the same. That was something I couldn’t deal with – the conclusiveness and finality of that fact. I am a person who needs to understand ‘why’ to be able to process something fully. I’m also a person who feels most comfortable when in control. I thought I would never be able to get through the fact that I couldn’t change or control what happened. But after these sessions, I’ve realized something. It’s true that my life will never be the same. But that doesn’t have to sound so terrifying. Every experience we have changes our lives, if you think about it. That shouldn’t be what I’m so scared of. The hard part is not having him around. And while that will never change and may never get easier, DEALING WITH IT will get easier. Talking it through has made it easier to tackle my feelings from within. I have been having a lot of existential freak-outs. I sometimes felt like I was watching myself from the outside. I couldn’t control my feelings or thoughts and I didn’t know how to cope with that.

So, I can finally understand what people mean when they say you’ll never be the same. I won’t ever be the same. But I will still be me, I’ll still be happy and I’ll still be able to enjoy my life. I’ll just have to learn to accept that it will be different than the one I had planned.

 

 

 

 

(And yes, I did title a very serious blog post after a Simpsons episode. I can’t help it, it’s who I am.)

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Don’t Call it a Comeback – I’ve been here for years.

Man, let’s skip the theatrics. It’s been a long time since I posted and y’all know why. I had a crazy year, with many ups and downs (What up love! What up stalker!) Looking back on the last 12 months, I gotta say it was mostly down filled like a duvet, son.

But what goes down, must spit. And then come up. And up I have come. I’ve finally got my shit together and it’s a nice feeling. It’s also a strange one, to feel like most of the seemingly random puzzle pieces you’ve been carrying around in your pocket for years finally start to fit together. You wonder if you weren’t able to see that the pieces already fit or if they somehow changed shape while you did. I know they say it’s not about the destination but the journey…well EFF THAT. This destination is one to be proud of, and makes me want to smile a lot more than the events that took place on the way here to Bawseville, population: me.

This blog started as a place to vent about the TTC and bad dates (yo, she’s deep, right?) and somehow, as if to test my faith (read: cynicism), I fell in love. Falling in love is tricky as f*ck when you do it right. It has to be the perfect blend of holding on and letting go; letting go of your past, your baggage and your qualms, and holding on to yourself. I usually fail miserably at the former and excel in the latter, albeit sometimes remaining a little too much like myself with no room for compromise. But this time around my tendencies were reversed. I gave myself completely to the idea of love and without realizing it until the bitter end, I also lost myself for the first time in my LIFE. Me. Vanessa. V-Block. The loud-mouthed, opinionated as eff, yo-I-hate-those-boyfriend-chicks chick barely recognized herself anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. I learned that I can cook, succeed at (and actually enjoy) that #WifeLife, and Martha Stewart the shit out of a home. But most importantly I learned that I can love with everything I’ve got. I can listen, forgive, and wait patiently for someone to get it right (where I got it wrong was how long I waited patiently, but that’s another post for another time). And while clichés make me sick to no end, this one I gotta big up – a relationship, no matter how good or bad, is all about LEARNING. Learning what you like and what you don’t like about your partner and potential future partners, but even more useful is what you learn about yourself.

Men (or women) are like perfumes – you can spray yourself with the exact same perfume as your girl but y’all are gonna smell different because your essence is gonna be different than hers. A man can be amazing on paper; romantic, sincere, thoughtful and an all-around good guy. But if dude doesn’t mix well with your essence, it’s just not gonna work. You can wear that $300 bottle of man and still end up smelling like a cheap bathroom spray. The key is to acknowledge when your nose is reacting to that shit like a bartender just took her shoes off in your car after a 12 hour shift (you’re REAL lucky if that reference doesn’t make sense to you). Instead of sticking around on some ‘yo, let me just be SURE it’s her feet and not the air outside’ tip, trust your gut. If there is one thing I have learned from EVERY relationship I have ever been in, long or short, it’s TRUST. THAT. GUT. Trust that quiet voice inside your head (and those loud af voices coming from your homegirls) telling you maybe this dude ain’t the one. Maybe you don’t have to let anything else slide because you love him. Maybe you shouldn’t ignore the fact that you have nothing in common because he’s a nice guy. Maybe you shouldn’t have to be okay with the fact that in a year you haven’t had ONE deep conversation because he’s ‘just a simple guy.’ If you like those deep convos once in a while, if you NEED those deep convos once in a while – don’t you settle for anything less.

There are some things we can compromise and some things we can’t and SHOULDN’T. Sure, maybe he doesn’t think Anchorman is the funniest comedy of all time (who is this jerk?). Maybe he likes sweet more than salty. Maybe he squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube. Relationships, whether with your boss, mom, roommate or partner are all about picking your battles. Some things you just gotta let go. But some things you gotta put on that weird Roman type helmet with that broom shit on top and go to war for (I’m so historical).

About a week after this relationship finally came to an end, I went out with some work folks and a couple of friends. The night was about everything I’m about – my homies, drinks, GOOD music (specifically hip hop this particular night) and fun times. After a perfect night, one that USED to be a typical evening out for me, I got home and immediately got emotional. It finally hit me – I had been pretending to be someone else for the better part of the last year of my life.

Let me explain – I was still me. I enjoyed cooking, I enjoyed taking care of my man, I enjoyed quiet Saturday nights in. Finding new interests is what makes a relationship great – you should be with someone who is always teaching you and introducing you to things (even if indirectly). The problem wasn’t what I gained, it was what I lost.

Music. I lost music in my life. The one thing (besides writing) that has been consistent in my life for as long as I can remember (I mean that literally), was gone. It didn’t happen overnight. It started with music opinions that clashed. Whatever, I ain’t gotta hate on someone for not knowing better, right? Slowly it then became not being able to listen to the good shit unless I was alone, which became less and less often. Then the desire to download anything new started disappearing because I couldn’t really listen to it at home or discuss it, so what was the point? Then it moved on to missing out on concerts because he clearly wasn’t into that last one we went to or the one before that x10 (I should have ran when I realized I was with a man who couldn’t appreciate D’ANGELO). Do you see where this is going?

There were many ways this could have been avoided. I could have still kept on top of this passion of mine, enjoying it alone or with my friends, as I always had. But my relationship world slowly became my only world. Dare I say it – my worlds had collided – and music took a backseat to love.

As usual though, I digress. This story is not another ode to music (although we are back together and better than ever, thanks for asking). This tale is one of remaining true to your ESSENCE, whatever it is. Love is a beautiful thing. It is one of the things that make life worth living (I’m gonna barf all over myself if I use one more cliché). But there is one simple lesson you have to learn in order to make a relationship work and it’s this: loving another person is one of the best feelings on earth, but loving yourself and staying true to everything you are can NEVER be compromised in order to achieve that feeling. Never. You can lie to the world and get away with it, but you can’t lie to yourself. If you don’t think you can respect a man who listens to 2Chainz, you probably can’t.

And just like that, she’s back folks.

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12 People You Probably Follow on Instagram

Now that I’ve been @vee_block for a while – 41 weeks to be exact – I have grown to love and loathe the many faces of Instagram (pun intended).

This right hurr is a comprehensive Guide to Douchery, one that will make sense to anyone who’s been on Instagram for more than 5 minutes, which should be anyone who is reading my blog here on the worldwideinternetz. If you don’t have Instagram yet, you probably fall into one of these categories:

  1. You have a Blackberry.
  2. You’re 90.
  3. You’re scared of technology (those first three are probably more related than you’d like to admit).
  4. You’re running from the law (although in that case your IG is probably just private).
  5. You’re part of a dying breed that enjoys ‘privacy’ (I can barely type that word without being confused).

For anyone who lives under a proverbial rock, Instagram is a photo-sharing app that is part Facebook (sharing photos, being able to ‘like’ posts) and part Twitter (the use of @names, following other users and #hashtags). In short, it’s another tool preventing me from ever picking a book up again.

So let’s just jump right in, shall we? These, my friends, are the 12 types of people you probably follow on Instagram:

*Please note, to keep this post from being as many pages as the Holy Book, I’ve left out the expected and usual suspects like The Food or Pet Poster, The New Mom, The Promoter, The DJ, The Celebrity and The Drama Queen.

#1 – The Narcissist

While we can all admit to moments of narcissism, there are some people that are their own #1 fan. In real life, these people usually don’t have many friends. Nobody wants to chill with that asshole that never stops talking about himself. In the world of Instagram though, these people somehow get a pass, probably because we don’t have to listen to them so much as ogle them into the wee hours of the night. As long as they look good, people are going to continue liking their posts. “Ooh, she’s wearing a blue hat now! Looks even better than the red one she was wearing 2 hours ago!” The Narcissist feeds off ‘likes’ and the more they get, the more bathroom mirror shots you’re going to see. It’s one of those problems that you know you’re partially to blame for but you just can’t help it, she really does look good in those jeans. *taps heart*

Tip: Be selective when liking The Narcissist’s posts. Forget ‘less is more.’ In this case less prevents more.

Me! Look at me!

#2 – The Stripper

Although The Stripper shares many qualities with The Narcissist, the difference here is that clothes are optional on this account. While Twitter has made celebrities lose some of their appeal, Instagram has created an adverse effect by making thousands of nobodies instant celebrities. IG is the only place in the world, besides strip clubs and the dreams of prepubescent boys, where strippers are idolized. While few people would openly admit to following The Stripper on Instagram, I will say that while I don’t follow any myself, I’m glad a lot of my friends do. The Stripper gives me something to look at in those rare moments where I want to judge, feel good about myself and feel bad about myself all at once.

Tip: Never ‘like’ The Stripper’s posts, if only because it will show up in your followers’ newsfeeds. Scrolling through all those pictures of ass and titties should be a secret that remains between you and your inner voyeur.

The Stripper

The world is her pole.

#3 – The Most Boring Man (or Woman) In The World (MBMW)

MBMW is Jonathan Goldsmith’s adversary. While The Stripper is someone you go out of your way to cyber creep, you would block MBMW’s posts if you knew a way to do it without offending them by unfollowing. The Stripper is someone who posts things you would never admit that you want to see while MBMW posts things that nobody gives a shit about. His or her posts are so mundane you think to yourself with every post “WHY would this person think that ANYONE cares about this?” Oh, you drank an apple juice for lunch? Call the press. Sure, if that bottle of apple juice had a story behind it things might be different. Maybe it’s from some remote part of the world where the apples are super-fantastically-grown in some way we’ve never heard of. In that case, cool, post a picture of your apple juice. Otherwise, do something interesting with your life or GTFOI.

Tip: Unfollow. Now.

The MBMW

Fascinating. Tell me more.

#4 – The Noob

The Noob doesn’t mean to annoy or offend anyone, they just don’t know what they’re doing yet. Every single one of us has been The Noob at one point or another but just like IRL, some of us progress faster than others. The Noob is actually really interesting to watch, like those nature shows about jungle life on The Discovery Channel.

 *Narration in a whisper*

The Noob is about to post his first picture. Shh, don’t scare him away. Here it comes. Ok, it’s a picture of his dog. Let’s take a closer look now. It looks like The Noob is attempting to use a hashtag. Here it comes… wait for it… “#dog.” Nice.

 Tip: Just sit back and enjoy.

Noob

#MyFirstHashtag

# 5 – The Person Who Just Doesn’t Get It

This person is probably in the ‘doesn’t get it’ category no matter the social medium. Facebook, Instagram, emoticons in text messages – they just can’t keep up. Not to be confused with The Noob, this person has had an IG account for a while but she still just doesn’t ‘get it.’ She’s figured out the basics; how to ‘like’ a picture, how to post her own pictures, even how to comment on pictures. She uses hashtags but doesn’t really understand why and she leaves comments but don’t understand why everyone keeps using her name when they respond. The Noob is like your cousin whose parents were wayyyyy more strict than yours – nice, but just not ‘in the know,’ you know?

Tip: Nicely fill her in on everything she missed while knitting hats with her mom. Like her teenage years. Keep it PG, though. You don’t want her mom telling your mom you’re corrupting her with your suggestions to secretly creep The Stripper.

 

# 6 – The Reposter

This person probably hasn’t had an original thought since… ever. They’re too busy trying to be the first person to know about everything (ironic, isn’t it?) They spend more time on Instagram (and the Internet) than anyone else on this list and while they consider it being “current,” most of us assume it’s because they don’t have any friends IRL. Or a RL, period. You check their profiles out when you feel like laughing at memes, jokes with cultural references, funny ecards or emo quotes pulled from some 14-year-old girl’s Tumblr. They do have some of the most interesting posts and they’ll probably post things days before anyone else you know does but sometimes you just want them to post a picture of a mediocre meal or something so you know it’s not a robot’s account.

Tip: Repost their pictures every once in a while so people think you’re the one in the know. That way, you get to have a life and you’re the first one to post those Maury memes in circles with no Reposter.

Reposter

Look ma, no originality!

# 7 – The Over #Hashtagger (OH) / The Anti #Hashtagger (AH)  

These people are both extremists. They either use 400 hashtags every time they post a picture or for some strange reason are totally against them (Lippo, I’m looking at you here). The OH is like the person you can’t go drinking with because they never know their limit. They drink and drink and drink until you have to pay a cabbie an extra $50 on top of the fare just to let them into his cab. These people make the people who like to use a hashtag or 5 look bad. The AH, however, feel that using hashtags somehow makes them seem like sheep, or desperate for ‘likes’ or maybe even starving for attention. I don’t really know the reason that they are so scared to add a little hashtag love into their lives so I can only assume, but the funniest part is that most of them are perfectly fine using hashtags on Twitter. #Hypocrites

Tip:  For the OH you know, just comment on every picture with #bitchdontkillmyhashvibe

For the AH in your life, comment on all their pictures using hashtags just to piss them off. #Hey #this #is #a #really #nice #picture #of #your #new #car. #Let #me #know #when #youre #taking #me #for #a #ride.

Hashtags'R'Us

#are #you #having #a #seizure #yet

# 8 – The Creeper

The Creeper follows a bunch of people and even has [hopeful] followers but has 0 pictures posted.

Tip: Unfollow. Or break into their account and post a bunch of pictures of Asian girls in school uniforms.

Creeper

Post something, ya freak!

# 9 – The iPhotographer

This person is convinced that he was a photographer in a past life. Granted, some of his pics are really cool and your Android doesn’t seem to have filters that do that thing he did in that one picture of the streetlight during that snowstorm at sunset, but there’s only so many close-ups of colourful, texturized shit or leaves with water droplets you can take. If I want my timeline to be filled with pseudo-photography I’ll follow TMZ.

Tip: Write #CoolPictureBro on every picture they take until they do you the favour of blocking you.

iPhotographer

The most interesting rain on earth.

# 10 – The Expert

This person may (or may not) be an expert in whatever area they may (or may not) excel in like fitness, cooking, interior design, photography, or even getting dressed every morning (seriously, we don’t give a fuck what you wore to work today unless it included a cape or muumuu). Even if they have reached #ExpertStatus, too much of anything gets boring. If they’re one of the 489,398,283 people that are suddenly fitness gurus, 49 pictures a day of their weights, protein shakes, or beads of sweat are just unnecessary. We get it. You work out. You’re all about that #GymLife. How about you post a list of your workouts, or maybe a recipe for the shake you take a picture of 4 times a day? You know, something… useful? Posting the same picture of you sitting on an exercise ball in front of a mirror at the gym isn’t going to interest many people for long.

Tip: If you follow them, you’re probably interested in their field of [self-proclaimed] expertise. When things get repetitive, just ask them for something you want to see. If they don’t oblige, follow one of the 8000 people who will.

The Expert

This picture…. 8 times a day.

# 11 – The Tweeter

This person, in my opinion, is the most annoying of all the people on this list. These are the people who use apps like TextGram to write messages and then post those in lieu of actual photographs. On Instagram. A photo-sharing app. HEY FUCKERS, TAKE THAT SHIT TO TWITTER. 99% of the time these messages make me want to bang my head against a table. Not only do I NOT sign in to Instagram to read your semi-retarded attempts at thoughts, but your messages are usually as redundant as your lives. “What should I eat for dinner tonight?” “All you bitches complaining about thirsty dudes are the ones who post naked pictures of yourselves” (which is a true statement, but ironically the guys who always bash these women are the same ones always jerking off to their pics via the like button). GTFOHWTBS. Prick.

Tip: Post a picture or die please.

The Tweeter

WHERE THE PICTURES AT BRO?

# 12 – The Walking Erections

This final lame isn’t annoying for what he’s posting like the other ones, but what he’s looking at.  The Walking Erections are the guys (and occasionally girls… Rochelle) who show up in your feed 8 times a day liking 8 pictures at a time consisting of 16 tits and 16 ass cheeks. These guys only follow The Narcissists and The Strippers and most of my cyber creeping is due to their constant erections and thirst. I don’t think I would have ever stumbled upon The Stripper at all if it weren’t for these people.

Tip: Keep them around to point you in the direction of the nastiest Strippers and IG hoes. So you know how to stay away, I mean…

 

 

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My first time getting laid

…off.

Sorry to mislead you, but I gotta get those page views from the freaks, yo – they make up like 89.9% of the internetz. If you really want, I could tell you the story about losing my virginity, but I’m trying to entertain you on your lunch break and that’d leave you with 58 minutes to read someone else’s blog.

But seriously folks, it’s been a minute. A long one. I know, I know. I’m a filthy liar. I got all ‘wise and enlightened’ after my 30th birthday, promising to post more often and travel the world and sheeeeeit. Now look at me. Haven’t posted in two months and the only traveling I be doin’ is between my bedroom and living room. I would give you your money back but this shit is free, so suck it.

40 days and 40 nights – of unemployment. It’s been 40 days since they took me into that goddamn little room to let me know my role was being eliminated. (For the record, every meeting room at my old workplace had a name; Galileo, Kubrick, Bowie. Guess which one they use to give you bad news so everyone avoids it like the plague? Rosa Parks.) 40 days since I was officially baptised into the church of advertising with my first layoff. All my industry (God, that term is so douchey) friends and colleagues tried to make me feel better with kind and gentle words;

“Get over it, it happens to all of us. I’ve been laid off three times.”

“That’s why I always say, never keep anything you like on your desk.”

“Welcome to advertising. Make sure you’re prepared next time.”

I guess I missed that part of orientation.

To go along with my lovely layoff, I was also given one week’s working notice. Do you know what that shit means? It means for one more week, you have to wake up every morning and get on that bus and sit at that desk for 8 hours. You have to go to work for a company that just took a huge shit on your life. You have to sit next to some asshole, who a week from now will still be getting a pay cheque, knowing you won’t be. People act realllll funny, too. One broad who I had been super cool with for two years literally never said a word to me again after I got my notice. NOT. ONE. WORD. She would awkwardly smile as we passed in the halls and then quickly look away as if she might catch unemployment from me. As I like to say since TLC’s Breaking Amish came into my life – I was shunned.

As awkward as it was going in after I had gotten the news, I have to admit, it was the best three days of work I’ve ever had in my life (yeah, three. By the Wednesday I let them know there was no way I’d be back after I left that day). Imagine going to work knowing you can’t get fired. The possibilities were endless. For those three days, I wandered to the desks of the people I liked. I would spend the hours before lunch socializing and gossiping (suddenly everyone wants to tell you who they always really hated). I would spend my lunch hour[s] socializing and gossiping. I would spend the hours after lunch sitting on MSN and Facebook and Twitter, socializing and gossiping. (Don’t even start with the ‘who still uses MSN?’ I do, son!) But do you know what the best part of those 3 days of ‘working notice’ was? The burden of any sort of accountability flying out that window faster than my EI application was submitted. Coming in to work late and leaving early. My lunch and non-lunch activities being indistinguishable. Going to meetings and texting my friends with nothing else to say except that I was sitting in a meeting and texting them (albeit to avoid smashing a chair in anyone’s face). Every time my conscience questioned whether what I was doing was going ‘too far’ my logic would respond with ‘what are they gonna do, fire me?’ Lying to Misleading people about work was something I came to enjoy in an almost disturbing way. For three days I had someone chasing me around for some copy. Every time he asked me, I told him I was on it. Yes, definitely at the top of my to-do list before I go. Totally. First priority, man. Won’t forget. If he’d come by my desk, I would go so far as to pretend to pull up the document on my desktop. Those three days became an ongoing game of “How many times can I pretend that I’m doing this work before he realizes I don’t give a shit,” and I was always beating my high score.

Since my last day at work, there has been a lot of Maury. In 40 days, I’ve probably learned the results of about 9653 paternity tests.  I have forgotten what my alarm clock sounds like; there has been a lot of sleep. I think I’ve slept more in the last 40 days than I did throughout my ‘20s. I finally got my almost-6-year-old dog and 1-year-old puppy house trained. I’ve had time to watch some shit I never had time to watch, like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. I’ve eaten at a bunch of restaurants I always wanted to try but never seemed to have ‘the time.’ I’ve enjoyed dates upon dates upon dates with my friends and family. I’ve had time to actually work at being in a relationship (crazy, right?) It’s a lot easier to plan to see people when there is only one schedule (theirs) to work around. I’ve cooked almost every day, rearranged my living room and organized my storage room. I can see how people can get used to not working as a living.

Being unemployed has been a strange contradictory trip thus far. While half my time is being completely wasted watching bad TV and sleeping, the other half is being spent enjoying some of the most quality time I have ever experienced. When I was working, it was always go-go-go. I had to fit in seeing my friends, seeing my family, dating, my dogs, cooking, binge drinking, cleaning, shopping, entertainment, errands, planning my world domination and everything else into my weeks. So even while I was with my friends, I was thinking about my doctor’s appointment the next day or a meeting at work I’m not prepared for. Everything essentially gets done half-assed. These 40 days have been a fantastic example of quality over quantity and I don’t want it to end anytime soon.

Well, that’s what I’d say if I didn’t miss shopping and frivolous spending so much. Maybe I’ll get started on that resume next week, there are a few more seasons of Sons of Anarchy I have to get through.

 

Werd ta Big Bird.

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