The Girlfriend Zone

So I have been debating on whether or not to share this with you guys for a while. Maybe I felt kind of shy telling the whole world about the man that completely changed my whole world. Maybe on some level I am superstitious and did not want to jinx it.

This is basically what convinced me to write about it: The Friend Zone. It’s a post I wrote on February 2, 2012. Exactly one year after I wrote The  Friend Zone, I met Allister on February 2, 2013.

*Author’s Note: It just occurred to me that this was post I wrote on February 2, 2012: Reality check: Why I’m going to be the next Bachelorette. Either post works really. They both speak to my hopeless humorous situation at the time. 

As a lot of you may have come to know about me, I had my own views of what relationships should be like. I had never been in a serious relationship but I had a lot of friends who were in a lot of serious relationships and observations taught me many things.

People in average relationships seemed happy enough. People in great relationships, however, seemed…quiet. People in great relationships knew what it took to make it to where they were. I always wanted a great relationship. I knew it would take work.  But that’s okay…every great thing takes a lot work to obtain, right?

Against all the odds that I imagined there to be in this world, I actually found someone that also seemed to want a great relationship.

I am by no means an expert in relationships. I could have somehow gotten away before by telling you guys I was an expert at being single. But to being relationship-savvy I have no claim to fame.

As practical as I would love you guys all to have believed, I had very skewed, Hollywoodized ideas of a great relationship. Things were really not what I thought they would be when I finally got into one. Unlike what I imagined real relationships are like, there was no drama, no waiting by the phone and there was no sleeping around with a million people until one of us had life-changing epiphanies.

Allister and I met at a dinner arranged by a couple of girlfriends a year ago. He thought my plans for starting a business of writing online dating profiles was preposterous. I thought he was hotter than two rabbits in a wool sock. He offered me a ride home that night. I invited him to my place for house party the week after.

Three weeks after Allister and I started dating, he told me point blank that he wanted to be my boyfriend. Had I been the practical person I wanted to believe I was, I would not have wanted run for the hills. After years of being single, I had almost developed a Stockholm syndrome towards the Friend Zone. But he saw that. He told me that when I was ready, send him a postcard and he’d be there…still wanting the same thing. (All paraphrased)

Eventually our first major fight happened four months in. There was a lot of crying on my part and a lot of listening on his before he addressed what bothered me.  Contrary to how great I thought I was at being reasonable, he was better at deflecting fights before they escalated to destructible levels.

That was also the night he said I love you for the very first time. He told me later that it may have been the least romantic moment to me, but he never meant it more.

I turned 27 last September. He celebrated it like he was making up for for the last 26 birthdays he missed. That was when I knew that I would never ever be able to celebrate another birthday without him.

Everything about dating Allister was unexpectedly alarmingly easy. I was not sure if it was because years of failure had lead me to believe relationships couldn’t be drama free but I would always wonder if we were going wrong somewhere.

Where was the downside of being in a relationship that everyone talks about? People always told me to enjoy my single days. Being in a relationship has its rewards but it is SOOO MUCH WORK.

They were NOT lying when they told me it would be a lot of work.

Over the past year it took a lot of arguments, heated discussions and flat out fights with each other for me to realize that relationship are a LOT of work….on myself.

I learned just how blinded I am to my own faults. I pout, I fight, I bitch and I yell when I don’t get my way. Oftentimes, I found that the arguments we have had were born out of a sense of injustice I felt when someone else failed to do things my way and when I assumed the worst of my partner not realizing that having two people in a relationship ALWAYS means there are two sides of a story.

It took a lot of work for me to admit that I am a far cry from the perfect person I thought I was. And it takes a lot of work to fix it.

At the end of it all, the paradox of happiness that I stated in The Friend Zone remains true:

In order to be happy, you have to make someone happy.

In order to make someone happy, you have to be happy yourself.

If at all somehow by some fluke of the Universe, the fates are kind and bless you with someone that makes you happy, you best do everything you can to be the person that makes them happy. Even if it means you lay down your pride. Especially if it means if you have to lay down your pride. Because according to the paradox, that’s happiness.

And as someone who strives to make this guy happy, I can definitely attest to that.

PS: You can’t see her in this picture, but there was a thousand year old woman sitting on the side who came up to us with these pearls of wisdom for Allister: 1) Always wash your hands. 2) Never be mad at each other

So I will ask you this: What have you learned from your relationships? Here’s a  poll to help, but I would love to hear from you as well!

Willing to lie about how we met: A guide to keeping it real with online dating

I think it’s about time I came clean and confess something. For the past few months or so, I have resorted to the realm of online dating. Well, this was not so much a confession as it is what I thought would be a good segway into giving you folks a play-by-play into the stupid monkey dance I do in my valiant efforts at finding everlasting true love.

From the very start, the one problem I had with online dating was that it took away my fairytale. Now when people asked, I wouldn’t be able to tell them we met when he rescued me from a urinating homeless man on the subway, or that my hot neighbour knew it was love at first sight when he saw me innocently washing his car in my daisy duke shorts that I specifically bought for the occasion.

Regardless, the thought of the immense potential I have of becoming a cat owner, or worse my Indian mother searching for a worthy suitor for me were incentives enough to swallow my pride and bite the bullet.

In my findings, online dating basically is a four-stage, blindfolded journey through the jungles of modern-day MTV love. And if you ever decide to get on this bandwagon, don`t be afraid embarrased. I`m here to give you a taste of what you possibly could be getting into:

Stage 1: The Hunt

Also known as: The Profile Search

Real Life Equivalent: Scanning the bar for people who don`t look like they conduct secret gatherings in their basement to read out the Communist Manifesto.

Much like in real life, your profile search will lead you to find both decent and douche alike. You can tell decent by a normal smiley picture taken at a wedding, usually including a puppy in the background. Douche by a shirtless, Instagram photo taken in the bathroom mirror, usually including a tank of protein supplements in the background.

It’s at times like this that you have to remember that you are here because you couldn`t get a date in real life to save your life. Beggars can`t be choosers. Even douches deserve everlasting true love. Even if only for their excellent photog skills.

Once you have picked a profile that looks like it could have potential to go far…and by ‘far’ I mean enough to make you overcome the urge to fling your laptop at your plant Penny, you will find yourself in Stage 2.

Stage 2: The Size up

Also known as: Scanning a profile for character flaws by subconcisouly judging their grammar

Real Life Equivalent: Making eye contact with someone who looks like they hail from a decent gene pool while trying to see if you can find hints of axe murderer in their eyes.

Reading through profiles is a crucial step in finding your soulmate, let me tell ya! By now after scanning through hordes of profiles, you would have found a few key similarities in everyone who joins dating sites:

1) They’re ALL loving their single life.

2) They ALL love to travel.

3) Their ALL are on this site because their sick of the bar scene.

While this ALL sounds dreamy, let me  bitchslap you out of online oblivion. People who LOVE being single are usually found in cloistered convents and Siberian mountain caves…not online dating sites.

And perhaps it WOULD be better to meet someone at a bar, because if you are anything like me, you’d be more inclined to talk to them when you are blissfully unaware of ‘they’re’ inability to properly use contractions and possessive pronouns.

Yes. It is THAT simple.

That being said, please don’t be like me. Give people a break and move on to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Establishing interest

Also known as: Swallowing your pride and showing the lucky POI (person of interest) you think they’re rad enough to warrant 3 more seconds of your time.

Real Life Equivalent: Letting decent gene pool lover buy you a drink while knowing they’re probably mentally undressing you.

You swallowed your pride, charged your credit card and spent countless hours stalking a wide array of photos, wondering who’s worthy enough to see your 50 shades of cray. You made it this far, you might as well go in for the kill. Shoot an email. Take a stab at a corny joke to break the ice. Even take a jab at yourself if that starts the ball rolling.

Please note that the homicidal terms of “kill”, “shoot”, “stab” and “jab” are not an indication of how you are subconsciously feeling at this point. Obviously.

And if you’re too shy or illiterate, there’s always The Wink. This is perhaps the greatest thing about online dating. You do not have to put yourself out there and risk rejection. In real life: you buy someone a drink; in cyber life: you wink.

In most online dating cases, a wink has usually gotten me a date. In most real life cases, a wink would have most likely gotten me a restraining order.

So send that email. Its more likely you’ll get to Stage 4 if you do.

Stage 4: The Meet up

Also known as: The date

Real Life Equivalent: Going out on a date.

There are several things that could have gone wrong with your email exchange:

1) The loser never responded.

2) The corny joke I asked you to make was too corny. Or not corny enough.

3) Their response was something like this: “hey ya, haha gud joke. where u frm? maybe we cud get like a drnk or somethin ur hot txt me bak”

But let’s be optimistic here and assume none of that happened and you scored a date with an awesome possum.

Congratulations you little love warrior! You did it! :) See? Online dating isn’t so bad.

The Aftermath:

Unfortunately, I cannot guide you any further on the actual date. Perhaps I’d be a little more qualified if I had an actual success. However, there are only three ways it could go:

1) Really well.

2) Really not well.

3) Limbo- Stop reading this and refer to the book “He’s just not that into you”

For the sake of optimism again and to end this post on a high note, let’s say that over a pitcher of sangria, you both saw your unborn children in each other’s Pinot-glazed eyes.

Huzzah! Success!

This does indeed happen (sometimes), and all you singletons out there HAVE to believe that this will happen to you one day. 

Whether you find your dreamboat lover online or offline, there IS someone out there who will accept you for the complicated, delusional, imperfect, crazy bitch that you are. Someone that will make all the hours of wasted time scouring profiles worth every second.

And when that happens, shoot me an email to thank me for guiding you through that dark moment in your life when you whipped out your credit card in quiet resignation.

I’ll even take a wink.

The Friend Zone

This is what happens when I’ve been away for far too long. You lucky ducks get to read TWO posts in a row! Imagine that. You’re welcome all you chronic insomniacs!

You may all know my lovely and talented REAL LIFE fellow WordPress blogger friend BreezyK who’s praises I sing at every chance I get. Well, about a month and a half ago, Ms. Breezy asked me to guest post for her fabulous blog The Camel Life. Obviously I was pretty freaking flattered but as soon as that wore off, I was filled with anxiety about what to write about.

After a whole month of struggling with this post, it took me one night of insomnia to finish it.

So what was it that I struggled with so much to write about? It was a dreaded world where we all at some point either had to live in…or in my case, had to set up shop: The Friend Zone. This is one of my rare personal philosophical posts filled with my 2:00am epiphanies. I hope you will read it and maybe on some level even relate to it.

Without further ado, here is my post about The Friend Zone on BreezyK’s The Camel Life

 

Guest Post: How to Snag the Boy Next Door in 10 Minutes or Less

What a treat all you lucky ducks are in for today!

Some way, somehow a few months ago, I managed to convince the beautiful and funny BreezyK from The Camel Life to drink wine with me. Our love blossomed over wine- related drunkness, appetizers and the table of good-looking men next to us. We sealed the deal with a drunken subway ride home.

Months later, Breezy wrote the most humorous post that I’m happy and excited to feature on The Chronicles. For those of you who would like some context for this post, please check out my previous post: Because the Greatest Cockblock of all is happening to me.

Without further ado, here’s Breezyk’s take on my cockblocking stories. Enjoy!

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Holla peeps- For those of you who don’t know me, I’m BreezyK from The Camel Life, where I blog about finding the humour in everyday life.

I’ve been a follower of The Chronicles for quite some time now, and am proud to say that after only a few short months of stalking correspondence, I have successfully managed to turn what was once merely an unrequited internet girl-crush into an actual, real life friendship with Karen.
And kids- let me tell ya- she’s just as sweet, funny, and gorgeous as she is on her blog. Which also makes me kind of hate her.

Just look at that face! Now there's a girl you could bring home to mom.

Anyway, when we’re not making each other friendship bracelets or redecorating our secret best friend hideout, we sometimes like to eat Eggs Benny at various hipster brunch spots around Toronto and pretend to be as cool in real life as we are on the internet.

During one such meet-up a few Sundays ago, Karen was giving me an update on the infamous (and subject of frequent blog posts) Astro Boy. When she told me that she had recently discovered Astro-Boy was her NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR- I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Your crush is the boy next door?? I exclaimed. “You have to do something- he’s RIGHT THERE! You probably share a goddamn wireless connection!”
Unconvinced, she replied: “Well what am I supposed to do, go knock on his door?”
“Pfft…” I replied “No. There are tons of things you could do to get his attention”.
“Like what?” she asked.

I then proceeded to ramble off a list of what I thought were foolproof suggestions, in my probably (ok, definitely) still-drunk-from-the-night-before state. Since we got a good chuckle out of them, we thought it might be fun to share them with you all, in case any of you have a boy next door you want to snag.. or maybe just a pesky neighbour that you want to scare away. Cause that could work too.
So here goes:

BreezyK’s Guide to Snagging the Boy Next Door in 10 Minutes or Less:

Set up a lemonade stand. Screw Milkshakes- these days, it’s lemonade that brings all the boys to the yard. Set up an inviting looking stand, complete with a pitcher and glasses for two, wear something slutty, and before you know it, it’ll be more than just the lemons getting squeezed, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Move over Kelis… there’s a new drank in town.

Have a yard sale, at which you sell only your unmentionables. This might require an initial investment, since you’ll probably have to go and buy some sexy shit to “sell” ( lets be honest, the stuff in your drawers right now probably isn’t gonna cut it). But what’s a couple hundred bucks at Victoria Secret if it helps you secure the love of your life??

Wash your car suggestively in your yard. Think Jessica Simpson, “These Boots are Made for Walking” styles. Again, this may require an initial investment- particularly if you don’t own a car. Obviously you’ll have to buy one. But hey, no one ever said love came cheap.

Bake things that smell delicious. Harness your inner domestic diva and use it to whip up several dozen batches of cookies and muffins. If you’re lucky, the sweet scent will hypnotize the object of your affection and draw him to you like a moth to a flame… or Lindsay Lohan to an open bar. Bonus points if you leave a fresh apple pie cooling on the window sill in plain sight. You little June Cleaver, you.

If June Cleaver were a cat.

Regular, good old fashioned stalking. This is the least expensive, and arguably, most foolproof way of securing your man. It works like this: hide, out of eyesight, in your living room window. Wait (Bring snacks, cause this could take a while). If he is a runner do this dressed in full workout gear. When you see him leave his house, dash out of your front door and immediately begin jogging into step beside him.. and then BAM! Serendipitous encounter.

Have the sudden urge to borrow something. You could go with the standard cup of flour or sugar, but why not create an air of mystery by asking for something really obscure- like two 48-inch diameter plywood discs for that hovercraft you’re building in the backyard. Can he see it? No, it’s not… uh…. ready yet. But maybe once it’s done you can take him for a “ride”. wink wink. nudge nudge.
Feign a lost pet. Print up some signs, complete with a picture of your “lost” Golden Retriever puppy, and ask him to help you put them up all over the neighbourhood. Cause really, who could say no to little Cooper?


and if none of these suggestions work, then I guess as a last ditch effort you could:
Talk to him like a normal person. But that’s way less fun. And way more awkward. I’d go with the lemonade stand.
Good luck, and happy creeping!
xo,
BreezyK

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And there you have it. How jealous are you of me now that you know she’s my real life friend?! If you want to read more of BreezyK, CLICK ON THIS LINK—–> The Camel Life. Because she’s awesome.

Look what you have done, WordPress!

No, this is not another shameless bid to get WordPress’ attention to get myself Freshly Pressed. Although, who am I to protest and complain if they do after reading this?

By now, if you are a WordPress blogger you would have realised that there truly isn’t a better platform from which to springboard your innermost thoughts and fantasies to a whole bevy of strangers around the world. And even then, everyday I discovered new nifty little tricks and features that WordPress keeps adding to enhance my TMI sharing experiences with even more strangers I ever imagined possible.

But I’m not going to waste an entire blog post praising the WordPress features that you already have come to know and love. Today, I’m going to show you how WordPress is awesome in a totally different way: Connecting People in real life.

It came to be realised that there were quite a few of us 20-something Torontonian bloggers, most of whom were somehow connected and subscribed to each other. From this fact was born our very ambitious mini-blogger convention. Sadly our first convention only consisted of three people (hence mini). You may or may not recognise these amazing bloggers:

Breezyk from The Camel Life

Janice (Cafe23) from Your Daily Dose

and of course, yours truly, Karen from The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans-wearing Toronto girl

It all began like any potentially good online dating story (or the stuff  good reality TV is made of). I started reading Breezyk’s The Camel Life sometime last year when I came across her post about going to some Wine and Food convention. I was effectively hooked after reading her ‘About Me’ section. I have no idea what she saw in me at the time but we decided to meet up for a glass of Pinot. I was never one to turn down a fellow wino.

Three glasses of classy juice later, we knew we would be BFFs. Well I was thinking we would be. She was probably thinking about how she was going to be hungover at work the next day. Regardless, we knew that the only thing that would make this even better the next time was if we actually had more awesome bloggers in the mix.

Janice from ‘Your Daily Dose’ was another blogger who I started following fairly recently. I think the first post I read of hers was about the Kingston Penitentiary. This was really strange because after reading her ‘About Me’ section, the first thought that came to mind was “what the heck is a sweet girl like her doing in King Pen?!” Then I found out she was a Criminology major after which I promptly hit the Follow button. Anyone who is drop dead beautiful, likes week-long hikes and camping in the wilderness, has the voice of an angel and writes posts about King Pen definitely is a blogger to be reckoned with.

You mix all of us together and you get an evening of wine, Italian food goodtimes! Here’s some photographic evidence that this actually happened.

Left to Right: Breezy, Karen and Janice. There were no Cut, Paste or gun point threats involved in the making of this photo

It’s always wonderful when we as bloggers follow each other and support each other’s blogs with follows, comments and likes. But there’s really nothing like actually getting to meet these wonderful people in person and laughing and sharing stories. Breezyk and Janice, you guys rock! Here’s to many more blogging years and mini conventions in the future!

And more importantly, if any of you bloggers are Toronto-based or close to the GTA, drop us a line! This could only get better from here.

 Have you ever met a fellow blogger who is a complete stranger in real life? How did it turn out?

Family Matters

I love long weekends. Especially when they involve sunshine and a whole lot of uninterrupted Facebook ex-boyfriend stalking time in my jammies. But some long weekends are different from others. Easter long weekend is one of them.

I moved to Canada when I was 17. My family unfortunately couldn’t come along for the ride. If I told you that my life was incredibly wonderful without having to deal with parental controls on everything, you would be believing a big fat lie.

The truth was that I was miserable about having no one to nag me for quite a long time before I started to appreciate it. Today at 25, after 8 years of being on my own, I don’t think I could ever move back with my parents. And I will guiltily admit that I don’t always miss them as much as they miss me. But there definitely are some days in the year that really get to me. Birthdays are a big one, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Thanksgiving weekend, Family Day- which is Canada’s cruel way of giving people without families a day off to lie in bed and cry, Easter weekend and most Sunday evenings.

This Easter weekend is no exception. But this year I decided that instead of being mopey about my family not being here, I’ll share you guys how awesome they are and celebrate them instead!

My parents are from a little state in India known as Goa.

My beautiful mother and my dotting, expert camera timer setter father on their honeymoon.

My mom met my dad at a New Year’s dance. She told me that he had a small bottle of an adult beverage in his pocket when he asked her to dance. He also stepped on her several times during said dance. Some 7 or 8 years later they got married proving that it is indeed possible to overcome mediocre first impressions, even if takes 7 years.

Dad:

My mother couldn’t have picked a better guy to have me with. My dad is one of the most hard-working, honest and affectionate people I know. When I was kid, he would wake me up at the crack of dawn on weekends and take me to the beach with him for a swim. I loved everything about those days. We would spend hours together in the water and come home at sunrise to the smell of freshly made breakfast.

My father skillfully keeping my head from falling off.

As I grew older and no longer cared much for early mornings, my dad replaced our beach dates with trips to my favorite place on earth- The Family Bookshop. He would let me spend hours in there perusing Enid Blyton books. He would let me buy a couple and now I’m pretty sure this was his sneaky way for steering me clear of video games. Till today I’ve never played a single video game. Tetris is not a video game.

Years later, when I was 17, my father held back tears and let his only daughter go off to college all her own in a strange country a million miles away from him. I think this was his biggest sacrifice as a father. Perhaps even bigger than the billion dollar bill he footed for my university degree.

Mom:

This photo was taken while there were bombs and gunshots outside during the Iraq/Kuwait war. My mother in her Sunday best, me with a big smile and my brother ready to punch someone

If you ever wondered where I got my sarcastic streak, you can thank this woman for it. My mother is as affectionate as my dad but she had her own way of showing it. Although she was never very vocal about her feelings, it was not hard to see her selflessness in everything she did for her family. After the birth of my brother, and the rise in the mischief and noise levels in the household, my mother’s aim at throwing  random objects such as hairbrushes, slippers, shoes, books and erasers at her unruly children reached expert levels. I’m sure she would have made us proud if throwing random objects were an Olympic sport.

 She was also the proverbial good cop in her and my dad’s parenting stratergies. For example, that one time when I threw the entire contents of my lunch in the garbage my dad’s way of punishing me was to cut off my food supply altogether. My mother’s way on the other hand, was to patiently tell me that when I died, I wouldn’t be allowed to go to heaven until I ate every morsel of food I’d ever thrown away in my lifetime. Till today I lick away the crumbs of my potato chip bag and would rather be sick than throw away a perfectly good fifth slice of pizza.

Years later, when I became a foolish teenager, my mother and I butted heads over everything and I used to think we would never be friends again. It took thousands of miles between us for me to realise that my mother was the best friend I could have ever had. And there was nothing I could tell her about myself  would ever change that.

 

Kevin:

Kevin and I at the Jack Johnson concert in Toronto.

My brother Kevin was born in Kuwait on August 3rd, 1990, just one day after Iraq invaded Kuwait. This earned him the nickname, Saddam Hussein. Although, this was a terrible nickname, Kevin was kind of a terror when he was a kid. Before he even learnt how to talk, he knew how to manipulate situations to his advantage. He would wack me in the face with a spoon and run crying to my mother with his hand on his face. Guess who got some beatings with a stick disciplined for that one!

I bullied him all the time but with the price of his own crafty revenge tactics. We used to share a room together and one weekend, he woke up early at around 6am and started vacuuming our bedroom. Specifically the space around my bed. Our vacuum cleaner had a decible index high enough to wake up the dead and small animals from hibernation. In an obvious fury, I complained to my mother, who immediately yelled at me for being such an ungrateful lazyass and that I was lucky to have a brother who was nice enough to do my chores.

Such was the nature of our hate/hate relationship growing up. And then, much like my relationship with my mother, everything changed when life separated us. Four years after I went off to college, Kevin finally joined me in Canada. Today, I barely recognise him from the mischievous little boy I grew up with. He stands at 5’10″, has a ridiculously sarcastic sense of humor and better taste in music than me. He is also the most awesome concert buddy and the only one in the world who can put up with me on an airplane. And even though our parents are still far away on major holidays, I still have Kevin.

I could go on and on about these three people in my life, but I know I should probably stop here. As much as I miss them, I am grateful to this distance for making me realise how much they mean to me and how lucky I am to have them. Perhaps some day when life works out, we will all be together and distance will no longer be there to teach me gratefulness. But until then, you will have to hear the endless antics and anecdotes that only serve as proof of how lucky I am to have such an awesome family.

Because the Greatest Cockblock of all is happening to me

Urban Dictionary, the new Webster for those of you who didn’t get the memo, defines  the word cockblock as: “The act of obstructing one person’s advances towards another.” My best friend Bernice describes a cockblock as ANYTHING that comes in the way of things going the way you planned. A flat tire, hailstones, bad hair days, the Toronto Transit Commission, and chlamydia are shining examples of the many cockblocks one can encounter.

If however, you are still unsure of what a cockblock is and the kind of humorously terrible situations it creates, you’re in for a treat. Today, all you lucky ducks get to read a pretty freaking compelling post on it.

People always ask me why I’m single. For future reference, please note that this is a horrible question to ask single people. Regardless, I know I’m single because I suffer from a peculiar condition known as Dating ADD. I have no patience to explain what that means because that’s not what this is about. Until fairly recently I stopped blaming men for my relationship failures and realised it would be colossally narcissistic of me to blame the Universe. The universe had more important things to tend to then to get in the way of my sexytimes. I’m starting to reevaluate that theory now.

The whole story actually begins two and a half years ago when I moved closer to the city where possibilities of having an awesome life were endless. The first thing I did back then was join the gym because that’s what kinesiologists do. Barely two days later I saw the man who made me weak in the knees despite all the rigorous quad strengthening exercises I did.

For the purposes of convenience we will call this man Astro Boy. Because of his astronomically beautiful smile of course. So intrigued was I by Astro Boy that he guest starred as the “Lat Pull Down” guy in my first Freshly Pressed post “Karen’s Guide to Maximising Gym Workouts”. Anyway, for months after that all I could do was worship from afar. I may come off as a straight talking bitch on my blog, but I’m a gigantic pansy in real life.

It was love at first stretch

I saw Astro Boy everywhere. At the gym, at the subway station, walking home from work, at the grocery store..

Finally last summer, fate dealt me a sweet card. I was coming home from work one tired afternoon and from a distance I saw a shirtless douchebag running on my street. I judge anyone who runs outside without a shirt as a douchebag. Since douchebag and I were moving towards each other, it wasn’t long before I realised that the douchebag was Astro Boy.

For the rest of the summer, Astro Boy ran around the block without a shirt and everytime this happened I heard the song “I only have eyes for you” by The Flamingos play in my head. To be fair to him, it was a pretty hot summer. I found out later that he lives in the house that is directly across the street from mine. All this time, Astro Boy was literally the boy next door.

And all this time, not a word was exchanged between us.

If only life were this simple

Now that you know this back story, I can proceed to educate you on the concept of cockblockism.

 It was Friday night and I was in a frenzy to get to the Greyhound station. I was scheduled to be on the 12:30am night bus to Montreal. Yes, this happened last week. The elevator doors opened to the Greyhound station and the first face I saw sitting in the waiting area with a large suitcase of his own was Astro Boy.

I tried to keep a cool head, which is not easy when you’re freaking out. And because life is humorous, the only two available seats was either one next to a crazy man who was talking to himself or one next to Astro Boy. For a second of pure insanity, I seriously debated sitting next to the crazy guy.

But I regained my senses and sat next to Astro Boy. I could sense him looking at me but I did what any nervous person would do. I pretended that I had a thousand text messages to respond to. A quick glance at the bus schedule on the screen told me there was only one bus scheduled to depart from Toronto at that time. And that was the 12:30am night bus to Montreal. After two and a half years of  gaping creepily and listening to The Flamingos, the Universe was finally handing me an opportunity on a silver platter by putting both of us on the same bus for the next 8 hours.

He finally got up to join the bus line outside and as he passed by, he looked straight at me and smiled. It took me a while to collect myself and join the line too. We were five people away from each other in the line up and those 10 minutes were spent stealing glances. He finally got to the front of the line and sat at the window seat. 

There comes a time in one’s life when you have to overcome your fears and go for it. And when that time comes, you have to not care about the aura of dumbassery that will inevitably surround you when you do go for it. With that in mind, I stood there in that line with a firm resolve to go up to him and introduce myself. There was a feeling of peace that surrounded this decision and I knew the time had come. I handed my ticket to the driver trying to think of witty ways I would begin the fateful conversation with Astro Boy.

Where are you going Miss?” I heard the driver ask.

Montreal.” I say in a dream-like voice. “This is the 12:30 bus to Montreal, is it not?”

It most definitely is ma’am“, said the driver. “But you’re not on this bus.”

What?

I looked at the driver confused while he proceeded to explain to me how he was going to cockblock me from Astro Boy.

Miss, you have a ticket for the Greyhound. This is Megabus. Megabus and Greyhound are two completely different companies. I’m sorry. I can’t let you get on this bus. The Greyhound is the next bus. You’ll have to join that line“.

I stared at the driver dumbly. “Can I not just get on this one? They’re both going to the same place. I already have a ticket”.

Sorry. You’re not getting on this bus.”

“I only have eyes for you” abruptly stopped playing. I walked over to the next bus and didn’t look back.

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There were several cockblocks at play that night and till today I am unable to decide which was the biggest one. One thing I know for sure, summer is coming. And its a lot harder to muster the courage to talk to someone attractive when they’re shirtless. I’m sure all of you, male and female, can attest to this fact.

Until an opportunity slaps me in the face again two years from now, I will continue come home from work everyday with hopes of seeing a shirtless douchebag Astro Boy running down my street.

Reality check: Why I’m going to be the next Bachelorette.

We are officially in the month of February and the fact that this is Valentine’s Day month is not lost on me this year. In previous years, Valentine’s Day was just like the Good Friday before Easter. It was a day when I avoided wearing red and waited with bated breath for the resurrection of half price chocolate so as to indulge my fat face in all its forbidden sugary goodness. February 15th was Diabetic Coma day, a far better excuse for “a holiday” in my opinion.

This year though is different. My mother has already informed me that she’s praying for me to find a ‘good man’. This year her good man prayer surpassed my immigration prayer on her prayer list. I wondered at why this phenomenon had come about all of a sudden. And then I knew why: This year, I’m 25.

You see, 25 in regular girl years equals 35 in Indian girl years. For all my older Indian aunties, to be 35 and still single can only mean that you’re  either not “fair and b’ful” enough to find an eligible suitor or your family struck some kind of shady deal with Satan when you were born. 

There’s no pressure from my mother at all though. Just worry and anxious curiosity.

I did not have the heart to tell her that from the way my life is going right now, her good man prayer might not be answered till I’m 35 (which in Indian girl years means I’m dead). So I put on my best fairy god mother face and Meryl Streep voice and said: “Don’t worry, it will happen when the time is right.”

To which she answered, “You know, your father and I will be more than happy to help if you need. There’s no shame in it.”

She meant arranged marriage and a little piece of me died. Now, I don’t mean to be a killjoy about arranged marriage but the first images my ignorant brain conjures up when I hear those words are nasty shocks and surprises on the wedding night and having to spend the rest of your life with a balding 45-year-old teetotaler (who is some sort of engineer no less) with a penchant for dramatic Bollywood music and curry-stained wife beaters. (key word here being beater)

But long gone are those archaic days of 17 chicken and buffalo dowries and your mother-in-law picking out your wedding night trousseau. These days arranged marriages work differently. There’s Facebook stalking prior to the meet and city bylaws against hoarding chickens and buffaloes in your backyard. And if I thought I had very little true knowledge of arranged marriage in my parents’ generation, then I knew absolutely nothing about arranged marriages in this day and age.

In a nutshell, how arranged marriages work now (from what I hear) is that your parents, relatives, cousins, nosy neighbours and their dogs bring it to the attention of your parents that they may know an eligible man suitable for their daughter. The suitor is then introduced to the daughter and they are allowed to date LIKE REGULAR PEOPLE. If it doesn’t work out, no worries. It’s just a case of an unsuitable match. You subsequently move on to the next eligible suitor that Aunt Bossy throws your way.

You can expect the usual awkwardness that comes with dating someone the rest of your village knows more about than you do. But let’s be honest, when is it not awkward?

Does this sound familiar at all? No? Okay, well then let’s pretend your Aunt Bossy is Chris Harrison. And instead of the whole world being up in your business about your second one-on-one with Bachelor number 3, just your whole village is minding your business. Yes, girls. This maybe what they now call arranged marriage in India. But really, you’re on The Bachelorette.

(You'll have to click on the image to read their highlarious voice bubbles). Let's face it: the only reason this is not working out is because between her Aunt Bossy's pink dress and his polio legs, no one's climbing that bridge.

The best part about all of this is that the work is done for you. These guys (I would assume) (hopefully) are devoid of contagious diseases, pedophile tendencies and/or previous incarcerations. How terrible can it be….right?

Let’s face it. I’m 25 …err 35. In five years, I’ll be 40 …err barren, and in another five years after that I’ll be 45 …dead. There’s no escaping this. Being a single Indian girl has never looked bleaker. The novenas are honing in and pretty soon, I will have to take matters in my own hands. And by “in my own hands” I mean in my parents’, aunts, uncles, neighbours, and village stray dogs’ own hands.

So if it absolutely has to be and fate deals me a cruel hand by not opening up the heavens and throwing down the perfect man at my doorstep, then I will (very reluctantly) let you guys watch my season of The Bachelorette. I might even let the audience vote on who should stay and who should go. After all, this might be the only dating instance where I would know the assholes in the running.

Everything I know about dating, I’ve learnt from public transit

This post is dedicated to anyone who has ever lost a piece of their soul to the Toronto Transit Commission, York Region Transit or dating.

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The dating world for a single 25 year old girl these days is a pretty scary place. It seems like every where you turn there are drama queens, cheaters and serial killers.  Coincidently, these are exactly the kind of people who ride the TTC #36 at 6:45 in the morning. Wait, maybe I should put that in a more charitable way. At 6:45 in the morning,  public transit swallows up the human soul and spits out a social ogre on to the little red seat. Come to think of it, I don’t know how that’s charitable to anyone…except maybe ogres.

This has been my first week back at work after my 7 week hiatus of foot recuperation, and never before in my life did the similarities between 21 century dating and my commutes on the Animal Express hit me so hard as it did this morning.

Ain’t nothin magical about this school bus!

After my first two bus transfers, I waited to take my third and final bus to work, the York Region Transit. Quick Note: Did you know that in a shamefully non-scientific study that was done this year, the YRT was found to be the single leading cause of murderous rage and/or high-risk suicidal behavior? People who steal your stapler at the office and  stupid girls who try to pick up change at the check-out counter with curly 17 inch nails that have kittens  and palm trees drawn on them tied in for second place.

This morning the YRT was doing what it does best, standing everyone up when they needed it the most. There was an assortment of society’s finest who were bracing the long wait with me. Among them were the confused deaf guy, the young intern guy, the curly haired office worker girl and my personal favorite, the Indian girl talking really loud on the phone with her mother in a really thick Indian accent.

It was somewhere between the deaf guy running around convinced that everyone was keeping top secret bus information from him and the Indian girl talking loud enough for every man, woman, child and stray cow in India to hear her that I realised I have been in every dating public transit situation there was to be. And since my bus wasn’t going to be there for at least another hour, I mapped out my whole dating journey into a blog post.

My dating journey began some years ago with:

 Short Turn Steve.

Short Turn Steve was a streetcar who appeared sooner than I expected him to.

What’s right with Short Turn Steve?: He was open, accomodating and had no funky odors. I wondered at my luck in snagging this one.

What’s wrong with Short Turn Steve: Steve shortturned after 5 stops, unable to take me any further. Then he turned around and went back to where we started.

Moral of the Story: Ditch you best friend, Over Analyzation and get off the Island of Why-the-hell-is-he-not-calling-me after 5 wonderful dates. If there is any lesson you can learn from Streetcar Steve, its that there’s probably too much construction ahead for this to go anywhere.

Trampy Train Trevor

If you have done the locomotion that is the Toronto subway train, you will understand my relationship with Trampy Train Trevor.

What was right with Trevor?: He was always available, generally showed up on time and took me where I wanted to go.

What was wrong with Trevor?: If you stayed with this guy long enough, you’d realise that you were just going around in circles. Not to mention, Trevor would stop at EVERY station…EVERY five minutes…and let EVERYone have a go with him. 

Moral of the story: Charming cassanovas like Trevor might take you to see the night lights of a beautiful metropolitan city but could care less about bringing you home safe if you stay late. In the end, he’s screws you over…just like he screws EVERYone else.

Stand you up Sven:

What’s right with Sven?: Sven was the out of towner whose bandwagon I got on because a large portion of my life is spent at work out of town. Plus, he’s foreign.

What was wrong with Sven?: He had no concept of how to deal with a fast-paced city girl like me and only seemed to show up when he felt like it. He was super nice, super comfortable to be with and super unreliable. Also, what kind of a name is Sven anyway?

Moral of the Story: There’s nothing worse than having to wait for two hours in the cold winter for Silly Sven to show up, right? It could only get better from here, right? Wrong.  

Bus of Bullshit Bobby:

Bullshit Bobby was the miserable shuttle bus that replaced Sven.

What was right with Bullshit Bobby: Nothing. He just happened to be there when I was cold, tired and desperate.

What was wrong with Bullshit Bobby: Everything. He had too much baggage, too many people and no space for me. I was pushed around, forced to deal with everyone else`s drama and the ride was so bumpy that this whole journey started to literally become a pain in the ass. Eventually, Bobby broke down with all the weight and the drama and I decided to just walk home.

Moral of the Story: In the end, I learnt that the one mode of transportation that didn’t fail me when I needed it the most were my own two feet.

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I’d like to say the journey ends here but something tells me that come tomorrow morning, this shit cycle will begin all over again. And it won’t end until I save up enough money to buy a car and get over my nervousness of driving.  Sure, a car is a commitment and maintence and is emtionally and financially demanding. But so is dating taking the bus. The only difference is, if you treat a car right, they will always bring you home. No matter which hole in the wall you are stuck at.

So here’s hoping that one day, some day…us singletons will have a car all to ourselves. And when that happens nothing and no one, (except traffic) will make us wait out in the cold anymore.

Writing the perfect Maid-of-Honor Speech

My best friend Bernice is getting married. I don’t specifically recall the logistics of our dream weddings when they were  girlishly discussed over the past 12 years of our friendship, but I’m pretty sure it was a given that we would hold big right-hand-maid titles in each other’s weddings. And finally now that the time had come, I was to be her maid of honor.

That’s right, bitches. Maid of Honor.

Now I’ve never been anyone’s maid of honor before. The very term held a quality of grandeur to it, but quite honestly after the afterglow of this bestowed title wore off, I was left scratching my head. As a nuptial newbie, I was a little curious as to exactly what was a maid of honor and what did this title entail?  I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was totally ready to take on this position. After some research, I dug up some loose definitions:

* The maid of honor is usually “the primo position among the bridal attendants. The bride has chosen you most likely because she considers you her closest and truest friend”. Check.

*The duties of a maid of honor depend the bride and her needs, this role could be anywhere from extremely involved, to simply being there to emotionally support her, listen to her and reassure her when she is anxious or stressed.” Check.

*In addition, older definitions of maid of honor seemed to indicate a “maiden that was single and/or unmarried, and was usually young.” Yeh. Check and Check.

They might as well have put my picture beside those definitions.

Now that we have established that I’m the perfect man maid for this job, let’s move on to the real matter of this business: the maid of honor speech.

Having had zero experience in being maid of honor and even lesser experience with speeches, I’ve been taking on this task being done to perfection with much gusto. After all, she is my best friend.

I won’t make you read my unwritten speech right now but let me tell you a little about my bff. Bernice and I met in Grade 8. Our parents were friends first and we bonded over our mutual love for Spice Girls. She loved Posh Spice’s ten storey platforms, I loved Baby Spice’s pin straight blond hair. We both loved Irish and Canadian boybands. She loved the gorgeous Irish boys of Westlife; I loved the grungy Canadian boys of The Moffatts (keep your judgements to yourself).  We both wore glasses, her hair was impossibly long and mine was impossibly short.

And later on, when life got serious, she became an Occupational Therapist, helping people physically function with dysfunctional limbs; I became a Kinesiologist helping people exercise their dysfunctional limbs. We were different and yet the same.

Bernice has always been one of those go-getters who knew exactly what she wanted in life and went for it. And it was this quality that she possessed that brought my maid of honor duties down to the simple task of just being her best friend…and making the wedding toast. So here I am, coming up with a game plan for this task.

I recruited the help of a handy maid of honor speech guidance counsellor–youtube. After reading many sample speeches and watching countless youtube videos, I realised a few things about wedding speeches:

- It is very hard to be funny while making wedding speeches. You either look like you’re trying too hard to be funny or it ends up being more of a roast toast, which then makes you look like a douchebag who’s trying too hard to be funny.

- Unless you are a heartless puppy-killer who hates the bride, the groom, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, crying while making a maid of honor speech is about as sure a thing as breaking your face while trying to fly off a 10 storey building. Or breaking your foot while trying to hop like a bunny in a blanket.

- Wedding speeches needed to be short enough so people won’t fall asleep face first into an REM cycle in their dessert bowls but long enough so you don’t look like some stupid schmuck who only showed up for the free food and open bar.

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Well all this seemed simple enough. But where did that leave me? I wanted this to be special. I prided myself at being able to write anything, but somehow mere clichéd words strung along in a sentimental sentence was not good enough. If I was going to write a cliché speech, it would have to be the best damn thing I’ve ever written in my life. It then occurred to me and my impossibly high perfectionist tendencies that I could employ one of the biggest wedding clichés to aid my clichéd words: a photo slideshow.

It was perfect, right? Pictures to supplement my funny comments. Also, wasn’t a picture worth a thousand words anyway? I probably wouldn’t even have to talk. But then I realised two things:

1) Photo slideshows are cop-outs.

2) Bernice would kill me if I showed the world our highschool photos. Actually, let me speak for myself…I would kill myself before I showed the world our highschool photos.

This is the closest thing you will see to a highschool photo of us.

As Bernice would say “…but we were so small and ugly in highschool”. Sure, our highschool photos have been shared and viewed by a select few on Facebook, namely our over-zealous highschool friends. But majority of our University and post-University life has been dedicated to destroying and/or untagging ourselves from these photographic crimes.

Yeh. No slideshow happening there.

So I guess my words for now would have to suffice. Because what exactly do you say to the sister you always asked for on her big day?… to the one who grew up with you and shared your troubles. The one who you shared your deepest secrets and dreams with over a Baskin Robbins milkshake. And the one who saw  the best and worst of you and still thought you were the bees knees.

The truth was that I had to accept that there was going to be nothing I could say to encompass how I really felt about her. (Although, I might use that little schpeel I did above). My mere cliché speech would have to be enough for now and maybe she would be happy with just that.

So here’s the game plan that I think can work for me and could probably work for all you other aspiring maids of honor out there: Probably nothing you say will come close to what you actually mean to say. Hollow wedding clichés barely scratch the surface, but they are what you have to work with. If you were beautiful in highschool and didn’t have a visible unibrow then all power to you; you can lean on a decent slideshow.

But for the rest of us, let’s take these clichés and make them into the best darn maid of honor speech EVER. The kind that barely begins to explain how happy and excited you are for her. The kind in which you are unable to express the joyous and yet bitterweet feeling you have. The kind that inspires the gals to shed happy tears and the guys to talk about their feelings.

After all, it’s the least we can do for our sisters and best friends….second of course to holding their dresses while they pee. (which I REALLY don’t mind doing, Bernice)