Boston Pizza

Written February 2015

Apparently Mercury is in retrograde. I don’t really know what that means but based on my research (my friends + google) weird shit happens and your intuition is heightened.

So I had an upcoming date that I was really excited for. Re: my last blog post. Via text and FaceTime I hit it off with this guy. I know – you can’t really say you’ve hit it off with someone you haven’t met, but in the land of Tinder FaceTiming felt like a big step. Not to mention we had been talking for three weeks and nothing he had said sent any red flags up for me. I had a good feeling about him. He said he had a good feeling about me.

[Lesson: Don’t believe anything anyone says to you]

Because of his work and my impromptu girls trip to Phoenix/Vegas [blog coming soon] we couldn’t get together until this weekend.

Date night rolls around.

For no logical reason I had some serious anxiety late in the afternoon. My intuition, thanks to Mercury I guess, was screaming at me. I just had a bad feeling. My heart was pounding and I felt exactly how I felt when I realized that I had been stood up last spring by camping guy.

Negative energy. Bad vibes. Impending doom.

I texted a couple of my friends and told them about my bad feeling. Obviously they all told me I was being irrational.

“You’re being crazy.”

“He’s been so excited to meet you this whole time – tonight is going to be great! Relax.”

“He is NOT going to stand you up. That’s already happened to you – twice. You can’t have that bad of luck.”

Etc, etc.

I get a text from him around 6:00pm.

“Finally got back into town. Drinking at Boston Pizza tho lol”

First of all what’s with the ‘lol’? Nothing about that is funny. It’s actually quite sad. I should have told him to fuck off right then and there but I’m too nice, so I played along for awhile.

He tells me, “We can still go on our date but I might be a little tipsy. I’ll need to cab it.”

[again, fuck you]

I asked if he still wanted to get dinner.


Then I gave him a chance to stop bullshitting me. “I was really looking forward to tonight, but if you don’t want to go you can just say so.”


Everyone I’ve told this story to has had the same reaction: Who gets drunk at Boston Pizza????


I will not even attempt to understand or ask why. All I know is that this was the last straw. Everything I said in my last blog post I take back. Don’t download Tinder – ever. I am no longer a supporter of online dating or dating at all for that matter. (We all know this isn’t true. I love love. I just need to let myself be angry about this for a day or so)

So I went out for dinner with my friends instead. Things started looking up when I saw that double mojitios were on special.

A couple hours later while dancing around my friends penthouse to yes, Taylor Swift, a charm on my necklace fell off, unbeknownst to me. This necklace was a birthday gift from a couple of years ago. The charm that fell off said: believe in love.

I must have been in the washroom or maybe just in my own world because I missed my friends finding it on the floor, reading it, pondering whether to give it back to me, and then coming to the conclusion to throw it off the balcony.

That’s a metaphor if I’ve ever seen one.

Klara admitted to me in the morning that it was she who chucked the charm into oblivion.

She felt bad. I laughed. It was too perfect.

I’m not sure if it was before or after the destruction of the love charm when I sent my Tinder flake one last message: “I hope Boston Pizza treated you well. And I hope next time you try and convince some girl what a gentleman you are you remember what a coward you were in this situation. Thanks for wasting my time.” Followed my two emojis: a passive aggressive thumbs up and a pizza slice. [Jill’s brilliant idea].

Pizza emoji. Take that asshole.

Other strange occurrences since Mercury has been in retrograde include me hearing about a strangely high number of break ups and a very unexpected blast from the past.

Guess who texted me last night?

No, not “Come over” guy though it’s been a week so I should be expecting a text soon.

Camping guy – the first guy to ever stand me up. He picked a bad time to ask me what was new.

Cut it out Mercury. The irony is that I’m sitting on my bed writing this wearing an oversized t-shirt that says “Love Is In The Air”

No. No it is not.


Three’s A Crowd

An Experiment.

There are a lot of good things that come in three. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, BLT’s, or being three sheets to the wind on a Friday night. All great things. There’s even a Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum” which means everything that comes in three’s is perfect.

But what if the thing that’s coming in three is men?

A little while ago a friend said to me, “You should try dating three guys at once.”

“Three!?” The good-girl in me disapproved.

Also, who has time for that?

“You’re not sleeping with three-just casually dating.” She clarified.

“And how long am I supposed to continue seeing three?”

“Until one of them declares his undying love for you, obviously.” What she really meant was date three until you get what you want.

After some pondering and the weighing of pros and cons, my roommate and I decided to give it a go. Dating one at a time wasn’t proving successful. I was starting to think I had a 30 day expiry date written on me. I truly felt like Taylor Swift was speaking to me when I first heard the lyrics, Find out what you want; be that girl for a month; wait the worst is yet to come.

Amen sister.

Story Time.

After a couple weeks of attempting this my roommate came home from one of her dates and tried to wake me up. I didn’t wake up–probably because I was exhausted from my own string of dates that week–but I did recall panic in her voice and I remember picking up on a lot of negative energy. In the morning I found out why.

She had been at a movie with Bachelor #1 who we had nicknamed Nice Matt because there was literally no other adjective to describe him. He was just so, nice. She had a tiny anxiety attack before the date, probably a sign that 1. She didn’t really like him and 2. Something bad was about to happen.

They sat down in their seats and Nice Matt put his arm around my roommate. Then, to her horror, Bachelor #2 sat down in the seat two rows in front of her.

She got up to head to the washroom, needing a moment alone. As she stepped into the crowded hallway the first person she laid eyes on was Bachelor #3.

I’m not kidding. This is a true story.

Bachelor #3 had been around for awhile. He had pulled the I-Don’t-Want-A-Relationship card awhile back but she kept him around for his…skills. By the way, when I learned about the birds and the bees in Sex Ed I really wish someone had warned me about all of the grown men in my future that would tell me they didn’t want to be in a committed relationship but would still like to have sex with me. What is that!?

So she bumped into Non-Committal Bachelor #3. He smiled his cocky grin and she briefly thought about running away with him. But she couldn’t do that to Nice Matt.

“Calgary is TOO small for this,” She vented to me. “I’m exhausted, I give up.”

But, like so many things in life, the moment when you want to give up is the moment you have a breakthrough. Spin instructors yell that at me all the time. My roommate is now seeing someone exclusively who is pretty much everything she wants. She’s really happy, and he’s not too nice.

Why This Might Work.

The trouble with focusing on one, especially if you fall for them quite quickly, is that it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. You’re cool and collected until Cupid’s arrow strikes. Suddenly your inner peace is in the hands of this one girl or guy texting you back. You turn into a social media stalker. Nobody likes obsessive social media stalker.

This kind of tunnel vision can lead to trouble because you stop thinking rationally and start ignoring red flags. I literally had a guy tell me that he had no interest in any of the things on my bucket list and didn’t see the point in spending money on travel or experiences; he’d rather buy nice things like his new $800 coffee table. To each their own, but I prefer experiences. And I’m not big on coffee tables. But I ignored this big red flag because I thought I was falling in love with him.

That was me having tunnel vision to the MAX.

I chatted with Debra Macleod, Calgary based relationship expert, about this Date-Three-Theory. She pointed out that whether it’s in a career or a relationship, when we have options and choice we’re more confident and we don’t put up with crap. According to Debra, it’s all about getting your power back in a world where dating has taken a turn for the worse.

Not putting all your eggs in one basket too quickly is one way to do so. By having three potential suitors on the go my aforementioned tunnel vision was eliminated. Yes my roommate and I were tired, but not once did we feel insecure about whether or not one of these guys was into us. We were too busy and preoccupied for that nonsense.

I had some of the best dates during those few weeks. All that serious “Does he like me? Where is this going?” stuff fell away and I actually had the mental space to just be myself and have a great time. Dating became fun again. Not to mention I probably gave off that mysterious unavailable [I don’t give a shit] vibe that makes men magically flock in your direction.

Why it might not work.

There was a down side. Dating three was bad for my health and productivity. I was missing spin class in favor of pints and bottles of wine. I spent my Saturday mornings eating brunch instead of cleaning my condo. The hangover from my Friday night date was sabotaging my Saturday morning coffee date because I couldn’t remember which conversation I had had with what guy.

But the real fear was “What happens when I meet someone I actually really like?” Dating multiple people, no matter how casual, went against everything I had ever done.

Enter in the guilt.

In Debra’s opinion this is the biggest con and a risk you take. “If you do meet a really decent guy in this process, he could get the wrong idea and think that you’re not serious about finding someone.” But Debra also points out that when it comes down to it, dating is a screening process and if you’ve only gone on two dates with someone, there is nothing to feel guilty about.

“You owe people honesty-that’s it.”

Her rule of thumb is that if you meet someone you really like, don’t let things go longer than three dates with the rest of them. Put things on hold to see where things go with the one you’re really into.

See, another good rule of three!

So yes, it was exhausting and I was really unproductive for a couple of weeks. I missed a few spin classes and broke my No-Drinking-on-Tuesday’s rule. And as my roommate found out, our city is quite small. But I have to admit that for the first time in a long time dating felt fun again. My mindset was totally different. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t excited when I met someone I really clicked with, it just meant that this time I wasn’t going to put all my eggs in his basket until I was more certain that we were compatible. Any mention of expensive coffee tables and I’d be out of there.

Attitude is everything. We hear that in more words or less everywhere now and there’s a lot of truth in it. So it makes sense that shifting something in your love life that leads to a better mindset might be worth trying.

The Bad Boy

As seen in Branded Magazine’s “The Rise”

Christian Grey, Jude Law, Mr. Big, Damon in the Vampire Diaries … they all have two things in common.

1. They’re bad

2. They make us weak in the knees

Every girl has liked her fair share of bad boys, but dating one is a different story. There’s a change in the air. In this city, nice guys won’t finish last.


Urban dictionary defines a bad boy as something like this: “He does what he wants when he wants. He’s unapologetic. He’s independent. He’s a heartbreaker with 5 o’clock shadow.  He’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who sees women as little more than sexual conquests to brag about or mere objects that are there for his pleasure.”

I mean, if I had to summarize the personality of the “baddest” guy I’ve ever dated, that nails it on the head, right down to the 5 o’clock shadow.

When I told a couple of guy friends that I was about to write a piece on bad boys, I was told that I should meet Bad Boy X. A mutual friend called him to propose the idea and Bad Boy X was down to chat about all things manipulative and reckless. As my friend was on the phone with him I made sure to yell, “I’m never going on a date with you – so don’t get any ideas!” We texted back and forth a bit, trying to decide on a time to meet up. I was having some mutual friends over for some drinks and then a skating rendezvous so I invited him.

I knew I might be in trouble when I got this message: “Are you going to be able to interview me while I’m skating circles around you?”

I smirked.

Shit! No! This is where it starts.

The Allure

They sass you and you kind of like it.

They compliment you and you melt.

Even worse, they know the effect they can have on you. When a bad boy makes you feel good you feel really special. As if you’re somehow different than all of the other girls he’s jerked around over the years. For whatever reason, daddy issues maybe, the validation we get from these guys does wonders for our ego.

It’s a dangerous little game. When a nice guy compliments you? Eh. They’re nice to everyone aren’t they?

Here’s the honest truth about bad boys: Usually you can’t stay away from them. Usually they’re hot as f*ck.  Usually they leave you heartbroken.

Honesty: The Ultimate Excuse

The thing is, some of them have qualities that women really like.

Personally, I love human beings who are unapologetically themselves. I’m attracted to them – as friends and as potential future boyfriends. I appreciate people who are brutally honest about who they are and what they want; it’s refreshing.

But this doesn’t excuse being an asshole in the name of honesty.

My old roommate was sleeping with a guy who prided himself in being “straight up” about what he wanted from women. He was everything your mother warned you about: A cheater, a liar, he expected an open relationship with his ex, he spoke crudely about other women, etc, etc.

After some horrible pillow talk about yet another one of his sexual conquests, my roommate called him out: “You know Paul, just because you’re honest about being an asshole doesn’t make it okay to be an asshole.”

Calgary based relationship expert Debra Macleod, and probably the most brutally honest woman you’ll ever meet, had a lot to say about this.

“These guys use honesty as a manipulative tool. They think it excuses their lack of compassion and tact.”

But actually, it just shows that you have no tact.

Talk is Cheap

In today’s dating world where finding a new prospect is as easy as a swipe of a finger, we’re treating each other as more disposable than ever. We say “Next” with little or no explanation to the poor soul waiting for a text back.

My best guy friend is probably considered a “bad boy” by a good chunk of girls in southern Alberta. Not exaggerating. Yet he tells me all of the time how much he misses sex that actually means something. This guy wants a great relationship. And I actually believe him.

But the thing is, how we’re treating each other says something different. If deep down we all want the same thing – a great connection, great sex, a drinking/Netflix buddy – we sure have a funny way of going about finding it.

We want to meet a “great guy” but we’ll indulge the behavior of jerks like Paul in the mean time. My best guy friend wants true love but he’ll take home a different girl every night.

To each their own – if what you want is all of the sex all of the time, go for it. But from what I can see in my own friend circle there’s a disconnect between what we want and how we’re acting.

I told Debra about my bestie and argued “But he really does want to meet a great girl.” She reminded me once again that talk is cheap. “When people show you who they are – listen.”

She has a point. Sure maybe deep down his intentions are good and one day I bet he’ll make some girl really happy, but I feel bad for the girls sticking around in the mean time hoping to be the one who changes him.

A tough pill to swallow:

Here’s something you might not want to admit to yourself.

Most likely, you knew what you were getting yourself into. Whether it was the tiniest of gut feelings that told you, or he did something that made it blatantly obvious, you knew he was “bad” from the start.

I chatted with some girls about their bad boy drama:

“I knew right away I was in trouble”

“The baddest guy I’ve dated is also the one I couldn’t resist”

“He mistreated me the DAY I met him; but I couldn’t stay away from him”

“UGH. What a waste of a handsome face he was!”

“I knew it on the first date. My gut said, this guy is going to hurt me.”

So why don’t we listen to ourselves?

Well aside from them being all alluring and shit, Debra bluntly tells me, “Our fear of being alone can be louder than that gut feeling.”

Ouch. That one stung. And I didn’t like it.

So, will the nice guys finish last?

But do not fret! It looks like true bad boys are losing their charm.

In her book ‘The Modest Minx’ Debra talks about the double-standard between the way we view promiscuous women versus men. We’ve all heard it. “She’s a whore” yet he’s a “ladies’ man”.

Ok I actually haven’t heard the term “ladies man” since 2002 but you know what I mean.

“More and more I see this double-standard loosening it’s grip, and rightly so” writes Debra. “The concept of the “playboy” has gone from glam to gross and I think the trend will only continue. Most women nowadays have a very low opinion of men they see as promiscuous.”

The allure of the bad boy might still be there, but we’re starting to really question a persons values, character, and self-restraint if how they’re treating the opposite sex is not much better than how they treat garbage.

I know a plethora of happy single women who will admit they love a good bad boy, but there’s no way in hell they’re going to settle for one when it comes to actually choosing which guy to take home for Christmas next year. Girls want a guy with strength of character, and vice versa.

You can still be hot as fuck, have a 5 o’clock shadow, be witty, honest, charming, masculine AND be a kind person.

At least I hope that’s possible or I’m in for a lifetime of girls nights and probably a second cat.

I never did meet up with Bad Boy X. He had too many dates that week and I was playing a little flaky. It’s probably for the best as he likely would have taken the brunt of my dating frustrations and I would have just gotten angry and mean.

Or, fallen stupidly in love with him.

Vanity & Tinder

Vanity & Tinder

Thoughts on the dating apocalypse.

In Vanity Fair September 2015, Nancy Jo Sales wrote an article titled “Tinder is the Night.”

When I finished reading it my overall feeling was, ‘Thank GOD I am not single anymore.’ It made me cringe, it made me feeling disgusted, it made me vow to never download that app ever again, no matter what.

With pull quotes like “Hit it and quit it” and, “It’s like ordering Seamless but you’re ordering a person,” as a woman, it’s hard not to feel like a commodity.

Yet, she didn’t write anything that I didn’t already know through my own experiences. Rather, it just proved my own personal findings to be true. It wasn’t just me. Yet after every failed date, fling, or almost-relationship, I continued to fully participate in the whole thing – dating via Tinder.

The article interviews groups of twenty-something girls and guys living in New York City. The stage is set: “It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout everyone is Tindering … Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening … ‘Tinder sucks,’ they say. But they don’t stop swiping.”

After reading the section where she chats with a group of girls post-Saturday night hookups, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of what they were saying was a facade.

They talk about being on the app nonstop, the disgusting messages they receive, but also admit that it’s a confidence booster. (Even though some of the guys that Nancy interviewed admitted to swiping right (yes) on every picture in order to increase their chances of getting laid.) The girls also laugh about how so many of the guys they hook up with are terrible in bed. They make fun of their hookups who can’t get hard, or who finish in two minutes. They laugh it all off with this breezy I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude.

It reads almost as callous as the guys’ interviews.

Do these girls really feel that way? Or are they just trying to impress each other and fit into what they think they’re supposed to be?

I know far too well how it feels to go back and forth between “Fuck it – whatever” and, “I know in my heart this isn’t fulfilling me.”

The article definitely gets this point across: It’s a competition to see who cares less.

And I’m calling bullshit.

“I slept my way across Europe,” said with pride by a girl I met through friends one night out. Soon after meeting her I found out what the catalyst for this was: Some guy had told her she was bad in bed when she was 16. I don’t have to have a degree in psychology to know that she most definitely cares.

It happens all of the time – Choosing sex over our self worth. Choosing the instant gratification of feeling wanted over taking a stand for what we really want.

Matthew Hussey, NY Times best selling author and columnist for Cosmopolitan, wrote an interesting response to this Vanity Fair article on his blog, Get The Guy

His message to all of us: We need to take responsibility for our love lives. “When did we get so awful at reading early signals in an age where everyone is so blatantly obvious with them?” asks Matthew.

Perhaps we are addicted to the challenge.

From my experience, we are not often honest about our real intentions. A frustrated twenty-five-year-old guy in the Vanity Fair article talks about the girls he’s been meeting. “They act like all they want is to have sex with you and then they yell at you for not wanting to have a relationship. How are you gonna feel romantic about a girl like that? I met you on Tinder,” he emphasizes.

I can understand his frustration about getting mixed messages. But, “A girl like that.” That pisses me off. Like what exactly? Is it that she gave it up too quickly, or is it that she’s using the app. There are double standards everywhere you look. 

But Matthew also points out, “It’s unacceptable for men to shrug off responsibility by saying ‘the app made me do it’ – If you’re a shitty guy on Tinder, you’re a shitty person. Period.”


“Human beings were this way before apps came along,” says Matthew. “They’ve just found the technological liquor cabinet, that’s all.”

But were we always this bad? To everyone’s horror, Calgary got second place on Ashley Madison, a dating site for married people. Not a silver medal that we should be proud of. Does having choice at our fingertips make us more likely to behave like these men and women in New York City that Nancy interviewed, or more likely to cheat when we do find someone we want to commit to? Or, were we always this way and just got caught less?

It’s a question I’m not sure I want the answer to.

At least Matthew has some kind of solution for us: “As always, the way to stand out is not to play the same game everyone is playing, and right now the most valuable commodities in the dating marketplace are authenticity and a backbone.”

His advice is that social skills are where it’s at.

Again, I can’t help but feel like our dating success or failure is being directly related to ‘self improvement’, and that feels icky in and of itself. 

In short, dating can be a minefield. But as with a lot of things, the solution is usually simple.

I remember grappling with the questions, “Is it me? Am I single because I’m choosing not to settle? Or am I single because I’m incapable of attracting the right person? What am I doing wrong?”

And then a particularly sickening conversation with the last guy I “dated” before my current relationship. He voiced every self-doubt I had ever had. “Poor you, you want it all, the relationship, true love … and you can’t find it.”

Needless to say, I never saw him again after that. The funny thing about life is that usually when you feel like you’ve hit a wall and you want to give up, that’s when there’s some kind of breakthrough. 

I met someone awesome a couple of weeks after that horrifying conversation. Falling into a relationship with him was a breeze. I didn’t have to pretend like I didn’t care. I didn’t have to perfect my social skills. And I didn’t have to be anything other than myself. It was simple, as it should be.

The solution to the ‘dating apocalypse’ might require something radical. Perhaps what we should do is put our phones away, be our imperfect honest selves, and call bullshit when we see it.

An Attempt To Understand the Universe

The last time I tried to go camping I decided to drive out alone late on a Saturday evening to where my brother and our mutual friends were.

Except Google maps took me to a dead end on a dirt road with no cell service. By the time I hit the dead end it was pitch dark out.

‘THIS is how horror movies start’, was all I could think. And later, ‘fuck you Google.’

Luckily no axe murderer appeared in the truck behind me and I didn’t let myself cry until I had cell service and could see signs of civilization. So no camping for me that summer.

The next chance I had to go camping was a few months ago. I said yes to this opportunity for a few reasons. I really liked the douche bag that invited me and surely I wouldn’t get lost this time because I wouldn’t be driving, he would. I felt better knowing there wasn’t a chance of reliving my dead end nightmare because he had taken me up to the camping spot for the day the weekend before; no dead ends. I was excited.

Except he never came to pick me up.

In fact, I never heard from him again.

I went through various stages of anger as the days went on with no sign of him. I went from making excuses for him, to disbelief, to thinking ‘maybe he’s dead,’ to hoping he was dead, to planning on killing him myself.

But this story isn’t about him. It’s actually about a neck injury I endured the week after scheming about killing him. And about my theory that the Universe just doesn’t want me to go camping.

It’s the best conclusion I could come to. One other possible theory: Perhaps I’m meant to stay single for another Calgary stampede. I do love a rowdy July.

So about my neck injury. I wish I could tell you something serious had happened to me, or that I was in a really difficult & impressive yoga pose, or at the very least had fallen down the stairs. But no-I hurt my neck so badly that I had to take time off of work because apparently shaving your armpit in the shower is actually quite dangerous.

The worst part is that I was unnecessarily shaving my armpit. But my thought process went like this:

‘They’re still perfectly smooth’

‘But I probably won’t shower tomorrow and then they won’t be in condition for going out tomorrow night’

‘If I see that idiot tomorrow night I’m going to give him a piece of my mind and look really pretty doing it’

‘Better shave them now.’


Then I almost threw up.

Somehow I managed to put a shirt on and arrive at work without shoulder checking. Sitting hurt, walking made me cry, talking was frequently interrupted by flashes of pain. My coworkers insisted I go home, rest, and think of a better story as to how I hurt myself.

My friends are wonderful; I was very well taken care of. I even received homemade chocolate chip cookies with a note that said, Rx: take 3 cookies daily until neck pain subsides which obviously I overdosed on that afternoon.

But the best diagnosis I got came from my energy healer friend. She fixed me up with magnesium, some energy healing magic, a bean bag, and the root of my problem:

“Honey, has anyone been a real pain in your neck lately?”

That ASSHOLE, I immediately thought.

I have heard many, many times that stress causes illness. But never have I actually recognized it working that way in my life. I’m a generally stress free person. Until I start dating cowardly camping ditchers.

It does seem fishy that I hurt my neck that badly by turning my head slightly to the left to perform a task that most females do every other morning. I run, I work my butt off in spin classes, I take power yoga classes, and I party like a rockstar.

So how I cracked my neck shaving my armpit is beyond me. So I’ll take her assessment of the situation as correct. “This guy was nothing but a pain in your neck, literally”.

When the neck pain finally subsided and I still hadn’t heard from him I got a little too drunk with my roommate and impulsively got an eharmony account. I swore off Tinder.

This was a bad decision. Don’t let those well-crafted commercials convince you. I went on the worst dates of all time. I would have rather relived my first date with that French guy who wouldn’t stop calling me baby. That says something.

This series of bad dates ended with a bang when I got stood up for the first time. I was at my hairdressers house; we were hanging out on the front porch. This guy was meant to pick me up from her place at 7:00. 7:30 rolls around and he’s not responding to my text so I call a cab.

My hairdresser tries to make me feel better. “Maybe he died too.”

On the way home I decided three things.

1. eHarmony had already paid for itself; I had been taken out for enough dinners and drinks and coffees to make it worth it.

2. The All Mighty Universe doesn’t want me to go camping.

3. And it wants me to stay single.

I paid my cab driver and felt kind of sad that only my hairdresser and him got to see my cute date outfit. But I also felt at peace with my conclusions. After a string of bad dates and a neck injury, I was ready to pack it in for the summer and dust off my cowboy boots.

But as I approached my building a handsome man was running across 11th Avenue towards me.

“Hey! Is Sunterra closed? I’m starving and there’s nothing in my fridge.”

“I hope so; I’m hungry too.”

It was closed.

Two starving strangers stood at the doors of Sunterra. I blurted out to him why I was so hungry-he was the first person I told about being stood up for the first time.

“Oh no, it wasn’t Tinder was it?”

Then he asked me if I wanted to get a coffee. What the fuck Universe. We literally just decided no more dates. That included coffee dates.

…stay tuned.

Shania Twain & The Australian Invasion

My last blog post ended with that handsome neighbor offering to buy me a coffee outside of Sunterra after I had been stood up.

What happened next was he took me for coffee and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Just kidding.

What actually happened next was that I said “No, it’s okay” which I immediately regretted as soon as I stepped into my elevator. I guess I had had a shitty enough day and wasn’t interested in a pity coffee. I just wanted to curl up on the couch and watch The Mindy Project.

My energy healer friend told me, “You need to learn how to be a better receiver”.

My roommate called me an idiot. “He lives in the LOFTS!? Those are expensive!!”

Coworkers shook their heads in disappointment.

I know!! I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I was being stubborn with the pact I had only moments ago made with the universe to stop dating for the rest of summer. But it’s okay because the next weekend the British Army was in town. And I was practicing being a better receiver.

Enter Stew. I actually don’t really like the British accent except for a select few people. My roommate, Bridget Jones, and my roommate’s handsome friend that she FaceTimes on a weekly basis. They are charming and intelligent. Most often I find the accent quite arrogant and snobby sounding.

So Stew’s accent wasn’t doing him any favors. But the drinks I had were working and I was trying to be a good receiver of his affection. I thought he was quite handsome but my coworker kept telling me, “He is NOT handsome Katie”.

I concluded that we must just have different types.

So my three friends, Stew, and the rest of the British Army ended up at Cowboys. I should grow up, I know. But it’s the only place I really like to dance. Or maybe I should just move to the South. I should also note that Stew and all of his friends were wearing literally the same thing. Blue jeans and baby blue checkered button ups. You couldn’t tell who was who.

Stew got real sloppy so I wandered off. There was a handsome guy in a striped sweater that caught my eye. I went up and said hello. Also British. Also sloppy drunk.

Then my roommate and I spotted a tall guy from across the room. She bet me ten dollars that he was also British. Even though this bar seemed to be bursting with the UK I was still skeptical. How could she possibly tell? He wasn’t wearing a checkered blue shirt.

But sure enough when I went up to speak to him I was greeted with the same accent. This one’s name was Robert. My roommate and Robert got talking as I wandered the crowd of British men in checkered shirts. Turns out Robert lived in the lofts across the street from our building.

Roommate: “Katie got asked out by a guy that lives in your building after she got stood up one night, but she was rude and said no.”

Robert: “No way! I’ve heard that story before. I know the guy!”

Robert may or may not have been pulling our leg. His friend who we all thought may have been the same guy who asked me out was supposedly from Australia but I’m pretty sure I would have remembered an Australian accent.

Remember, I wasn’t drunk at the time. I was hungry, pissed off, and dead sober.

I learned a few things about British men that night. They are very convincing; whether it’s to let them buy you a drink, kiss you, or convince you they know the guy you regret shutting down.

That night will forever be known as the British Invasion because of the three of us, we were at the very least kissed by one (or two) and there may or may not have been a few British men in my apartment that night.

So that was the British Invasion, but we’re not finished with Australia yet.

On Sunday, July 13th, a little after midnight, my phone kept buzzing. It was the last night of Stampede. Snoop-dog was playing in the Cowboys tent across the street and all I could hear were sirens-most of them headed towards the tent. I watched the fireworks from my balcony. Despite a bad case of FOMO I had convinced myself to stay in and drink a detox tea because Stampede 2014 took a serious toll on my body. I had enough stories and I had lost my voice; I couldn’t handle one more night.

Usually I watch the last set of thundering fireworks and feel like crying knowing that I have to wait three hundred and fifty five more days to do it all over again. But on this summer night I felt content and complete, besides the hoarse smoker cough. It had been a fun, eventful year full of questionable decisions and new memories.

So my phone was buzzing nonstop.

“Hey it’s the Bear from Cowboys” Of all the pretend cowboys this year by far my favorite was the man wearing a stuffed animal bear head. I spotted him on the dance floor and wanted nothing more than to two step with this adorable fuzzy bear with great biceps. I don’t know what his name is. He knows mine because I’m in his phone as “Katie She Likes Bears”

Then there was small town Ontario guy. In our drunken stupor he had said to me, “I haven’t had a kiss like that in a decade”. I wonder how many people think they’ve found love in that tent. We definitely thought we had. I smile at the blurry memory of it. It was like being eighteen and in love on the Cowboys dance floor all over again.

And then there’s Tom. It was the night of Shania Twain’s first show. A Wednesday. The plan was to have a few drinks at my condo, go see the concert, and be home at a respectable hour. I should know better. Those nights never, ever, turn out as such.

I almost want to skip to the part, seven hours later, where there’s three Australian men on my balcony.

We drank a few spiked Twisted Tea’s before heading over to Shania. Obviously, she was UNREAL. To the annoyance of the old people behind us we belted out her entire concert and even got to touch her hand.

“SHE LOOKED AT ME!!” was what I texted nearly my entire contact list.

The Twisted Tea’s had worn off but the buzz we had got from Shania wasn’t going anywhere so obviously we thought it was a good idea to head to one of the tents. “The night is young!” we screeched. My voice was already starting to go.

I saw him in the lineup. He had the jawline of a model, dark brown hair, and piercing come at me eyes. That’s the best way I can describe them. Way too good looking, so I looked away. My wimpy signature move.

Inside I was standing at a bar waiting for a drink when he turned around and grabbed at my nose. An odd yet slightly charming gesture. Up close I saw that he had a lip ring. Not sure how I felt about that, but then he spoke.

“You’re gorgeous.”

Shit, Australian.

“I saw you in line…” he continued.

He was thrilled to meet a born-and-raised Calgarian girl and his friends were just as excited to meet my friends. Before long we were in the middle of the dance floor singing the Canadian anthem with a bunch of good looking Aussies.

I would like to mention that I have never had a one night stand.

I never really felt the need to. Take the night of Stew and the British Invasion for example. I was satisfied with a few hours of flirting and kissing. To his frustration I insisted on walking home without him. I’ve done this many, many times.

Until Australia.

Usually in order for me to be attracted enough to someone to take them home I have to be somewhat emotionally invested. I’ll give it four or five dates. I have to find you intriguing and intelligent.

Unless we’re on the Cowboys dance floor and you have an Australian accent and a lip ring that seems to serve the purpose of a “peacock effect.”

Yes I’ve read the book The Game. It’s genius.

It was nearing the end of the night and Tom kept tugging at my cut offs. I glanced at my friend Amanda and telecommunicated “Should I do this?” with my eyes. She nodded a definite yes.

Ten minutes later Tom, one of his friends, Amanda and I were drinking on my balcony watching the lights from the rides and the drunks stumble across Macleod Trail. It wasn’t long until my roommate walked through the door with a man behind her. I don’t remember his name, but he was also from Australia, yet not from the same Australian posse as Tom and the redhead on my balcony.

How she happened to find another Australian in that gigantic tent beats me. Obviously this night will be forever known as the Australian Invasion and yes we’ve already half-jokingly pondered what country will be next.

I’m not really sure if there’s a lesson in any of this. Perhaps this: If one is feeling frustrated with the lack of men in her life she should simply make a pact with the universe to stop dating and then prepare to be showered with a variety of men with accents.

Or maybe I was right in thinking that I was meant to stay single for another Calgary Stampede because of all the summers and tents I’ve romped around in, this has been the most memorable, and not just because Shania locked eyes with me.

I’ll be forever grateful to Dean Brody’s incredible kick off on Canada Day (I wish I could remember him singing Canadian Girls; I was really excited for that), my roommate who is the only friend I’ve ever had that can keep up with me, and to Cowboy’s serving chicken fingers & fries. And to Tom of course.

Alternative Shania Twain song titles for this blog:

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

Rock This Country

I’m Not in the Mood (To Say No)