10 Things That Happen When You Get Engaged

A few months ago, I got engaged.

Exciting for sure, but also a little bit terrifying.

Because with my shiny new accessory, I was thrust into the weird and wonderful world of wedding planning – a veritable parallel universe where words like “charmeuse” and “pave” abound, and everything is made from precious unicorn hair and costs $10 thousand dollars.

For a girl who has spent more time envisioning her ideal rap name  than her dream wedding (“DJ Breezy Beatz”, in case you were interested), this was completely overwhelming.

So to save you from the same shock I experienced, here are 10 things that happened to me- and will very likely happen to you- after getting engaged.

1. You Will Have To Use The Word “Fiancé

2. You Will Join The Pinterest Army

Even if you’ve never considered joining the visual bookmarking site; even if- to borrow a phrase from Lena Dunham- you think you’re “not that kind of girl”, within weeks of getting engaged, chances are you’ll be pinning your little heart out- perusing photos of elaborate centerpieces and DIY crocheted ring pillows until your eyes cross. You will feel a new-found sense of social media validation every time someone follows your carefully curated “Rustic-Modern-Victorian-Tropical-East-Meets-West Wedding” board. You will question what this says about you, but you won’t be able to stop. Before you know it you will be down a rabbit hole of mason jar snow globes and  mini lights; seriously contemplating giving your guests live Maltipoo puppies as wedding favors.

RESIST the urge, ladies.

3. You Will Watch Wedding Shows with a new-found purpose and enthusiasm.

Because staying in on Friday night to watch Say Yes To The Dress is no longer sad.. it’s productive.  (Ok, it’s actually still just sad).

4. You Lean More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Flowers

If you’re a horticultural rookie like I was, prepare to be SCHOOLED in the art of wedding flowers. Hydrangeas, Calla Lillies, Amarylis, Briar Rose, Gladiolus, Sage Moonblood.

(Ok, so at least two of those are actually celebrity baby names. But god help you if you can guess which ones).

By the time you’re finished visiting with florists and decorators you will feel like you’ve received an unofficial Bachelor’s Degree in botany. And, incidentally, the perfect name for the protagonist in that Victorian Romance Novel you’ve been working on.

5. You Will Discover “The Wedding Premium”

The bridal industry is one giant racket. Like the world’s suckiest magic, whenever you attach the word “wedding” to a good or service, the price skyrockets 300%.  No matter your budget, chances are you’re probably going to blow through it. Hope you like eating Campbell’s soup for every meal!

6.  You Will Become an Expert At Telling Your Proposal Story

Like an unofficial ToastMasters class, getting engaged teaches you the art of telling the same damn story 17,000 times over- condensed, edited, and maybe even hyperbolized to its pithy, climactic perfection. Which is great, because for a while, it’s all you’ll want to talk about.

But  no matter how amazing your story is, you will eventually begin to feel a simultaneous sense of dread and validation every time someone asks you about it. It’s how I imagine Tony Bennett must feel every time he gets on stage with Lady Gaga.

7. You Will Realize How Horrible and Sexist Most Wedding Publications Are.

Guys, I’m convinced the target audience for wedding magazines is solely Aspiring Disney Princesses and contestants on The Bachelor.  

With their glossy-paged depictions of elaborate, $100,000 celebrations, and articles like: How to Lose 6 Pounds in 6 Days!” and “Choosing the perfect scent for your big day!“, these publications seem to suggest that if you’re not absolutely losing your sh*t about your wedding 24 hours a day and dreaming of giant Kim-and-Kanye-inspired flower walls, well then my friend, you’re doing it wrong.

This is totally reasonable, right?

8.  You Will Surrender All Privacy

Wearing a ring on your left hand is like an unofficial beacon that screams “Please, come ask me detailed questions about my personal life!” Before you know it you will be awkwardly navigating questions with near complete strangers about whether you’re going to change your last name, when you are planning to have kids, and- in the case of your Great Aunt Martha- if you’re nervous for the “big night”.

9. You’re Going to Think You Lost Your Ring… Like All The Time

76% of brides-to-be suffer from (<— made up statistic) Hyper Ring Awareness- a manic, irrational condition where you constantly check your left hand to make sure you haven’t somehow lost your ring (Spoiler Alert- You didn’t. You’re just crazy.)

10. You Will Feel A Compelling Desire To Use The Bride Emoji Gratuitously

Fight this compulsion at all costs.

Question of the Day: If you’re engaged -any tips?

Featured post

Love In The Time Of Shoe Racks

I  moved in with my boyfriend recently, and for the most part, it’s been great. Not only have the number of nights I’ve spent watching Teen Mom and crying into my Haagen Dazs drastically decreased, he’s also teaching me how to be more of a real-life adult. He cooks, he cleans, he flosses…. he even uses that fancy glass Tupperware that only grown-up people use.

I know, back off ladies.

Cohabiting in a 500 square foot space has not been, however, without its challenges. There was that time, for example, when I used the “special TV cloth” to wipe down the counters (SHAME). Or his continued refusal to accept the fact that books are like my children; they cannot simply be “given away”.

The biggest issue hands down, however, has been storage. Specifically, our shoes. As per my birthright as a female, I’ve got a lot of them. Surprisingly, he’s got even more (I try not to be too concerned about this). In an effort to get ahead of this problem and save our neighbors from experiencing the wrath of a full-on domestic, we purchased this over-the-door shoe rack from Bed Bath and Beyond.

The installation couldn’t have been easier- we hung the rack over the door, loaded all of our shoes on it, and did a little high five/victory dance.

We were feeling pretty smug- until we realized the fatal flaw in our design. The rack was not fully secured to door, which meant that every time we opened and closed it, one or more shoes would fall out onto the floor- or worse, our waiting heads. After a solid two days of being pelted by rogue Nikes, we were both beginning to see stars – Sylvester and Tweety styles.

Obviously we needed a solution.

Luckily, we discovered some tiny holes where you could insert screws to secure the rack to the door, so my boyfriend immediately ran out to the hardware store to pick some up. (He literally ran. To Canadian Tire.  Between periods of a Montreal Canadiens game. This story would only be more Canadian if he’d snowshoed there.)

He came home, sweaty but determined, only to realize the screws he had purchased were too big. Dejected, he settled in to watch Coach’s Corner, vowing to tackle the problem the next day.

Since I’m generally content to let household chores linger, I thought little of it, carefully sidestepping the pile of shoes on the ground, telling myself he would take care of it. I even used the discarded shoes as inspiration for this impromptu photo shoot of my Nikes.


But then, I received this fateful e-mail:

Hey babe I’m pretty sure Canadian Tire won’t have the screws we need. Any chance you could  hit up Home Depot on the way home? It closes at 7. You know what we need – a really narrow screw that’s long enough go through the plastic space and into the door. No worries obviously if you can’t swing it.

I took a long, hard look at the the screen. A hardware store? He wanted me, to go to a hardware store? Well, I guess this is my life now, I thought. Home Depot. Shoe racks. Maybe we’ll hit up Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend.  Have a nice little Saturday.

The last time I had been in a hardware store was in grade 6, and I have been trying to repress it ever since. My parents were building a new house and insisted on dragging my ass around for every piece of the torturous process. I remember sneaking off to a quiet corner in the light fixtures department to read my book, while my mom and dad debated extensively between two identical pieces of crown moulding in the background.

Needless to say, I was less than thrilled about the idea of returning.

Since I was late leaving work, Home Depot was already closed- so I googled around and found another independent hardware store in the area that kept late hours. Let’s just call it “Studleys”.

The bell jingled as I walked in the door, and I was immediately overwhelmed by the labrynthian aisles and 10 foot high ceilings- each filled with implements I couldn’t identify if my life depended on it. I worried I’d missed a turn and somehow ended up in Diagon Alley (<— lame Harry Potter reference).I jiggled a few screwdrivers, just to make sure they weren’t trap doors.

“Can I help you?”  asked a skinny, 40-ish man with serial killer glasses and a non-ironic moustache. He wore high-waisted pants and a polo shirt; and bore a striking resemblance to Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, only slightly creepier.

“Oh, I was just looking for some screws” I replied, instantly regretting the “that’s what she said” opportunity. Kip remained unphased. “What kind of screws are we talking?” he asked.

He listened intently as I explained my problem, stroking his chin, and lisping “Yes, Yesss” at random intervals.

Hollow door. Miniscule screws. I could tell from his furrowed brow we had a real doozy on our hands here.

“Well, I do have these small screws, but you probably won’t have the right screwdriver for them.” he mused,  furrowing his brow even deeper. Actually,” he said, a proverbial light bulb going off above his head, “What about double sided tape? Have you tried that?”

“No,” I said, surprised, “You think that would work?”

“Oh sure,” he said, “That stuff is like superglue. We have some here I can sell you”

“No, that’s ok,I uh…. have some at home,” I replied,  failing to mention that it was the “Hollywood” variety, used it to guard against “wardrobe malfunctions”.

“Thanks so much!” I exclaimed “You’ve really been a big help”

“No problem,” he said, interlacing his fingers behind his head and leaning back on his heels. “I just love problem solving, you know? That’s kind of my thing. I just want to help people.” I noticed that Kip was moving precariously close to my personal space zone.

“Yeah….ok” I replied awkwardly, backing out of the store. “Well, thanks again!”

I walked home feeling satisfied with myself. Not only had I successfully entered a hardware store, I had also found a cheap and easy solution. With the exception of eavesdropping on my neighbours, never before had I invested so much energy in a domestic project.

I put my boyfriend to work as soon as he got home, double-sided taping the hell out of that thing. Kip had advised us to let the tape cure overnight, and we awoke the next morning like two kids on Christmas- anxious to check if our experiment worked. We jiggled it a little, and it seemed solid.

Cue second high-fiving sequence.

Double sided tape! It was so simple! WHY had we not thought of this before! Thank you, Kip!

Back went all of our shoes, and for a few days, everything worked fine.

………….Until it didn’t.

Slowly the  illustrious tape began to give way, releasing its tenous hold on our footwear. Soon I was seeing stars again, and found myself defeated, standing amongst a pile of discarded pumps, sandals and golf shoes.

In a curious case of life imitating art, mine was beginning to resemble a prolonged scene from the movie “GroundHog Day”.

Damn you Kip and your “problem solving!”

I began to worry that this delinquent shoe rack was some sort of cautionary metaphor for our relationship. Were we, too, destined to fail? To come unglued, to fall apart, no matter what we tried?

No, I decided. I am not going to go down that easy.

So I marched my ass back to Studley’s- this time with a purpose. I blew through the door, past the walls of unfamiliar tools, and slammed my roll of Hollywood tape down on the counter.

“This? I asked? THIS was your solution?”

“I….I don’t know what that is?” replied Kip, staring confused at the roll of pink and purple adhesive.

“Uh, double sided tape?” I spat “your big solution to my shoe rack problem? Well, it didn’t work at all, and now I’m back to square one. How you gonna solve this one, problem solver?”

Kip looked taken aback. It had probably been some time since he had seen this much female aggression inside the walls of Studley’s. A part of me felt badly; but in my mind, he and his dusty little shop of horrors had become the sole authors of my misfortune. There was no turning back now.

“Whatever, it doesn’t matter.” I continued, “Just give me those tiny screws and the screwdriver I need for them. How much is it?”

Flustered, he grabbed the necessary implement “Uh… three fifty” he said.

“Three hundred and fifty dollars?” I choked, trying not to lose my cool.

“No, three dollars and 50 cents?”  He replied, looking at me like I had three heads.

“Oh ok,” I sighed. “That I can do”.

I walked out feeling like I had won a small victory. Ordinarily, I would have given up on the whole thing; tossed the errant piece of plastic down the garbage chute and lived out the remainder of my existence in a sea of disorganized footwear. Not this time, though. The new, domesticated BreezyK was triumphant.

I took home my bounty, and together, we nailed the rack into the door until it was as secure (and by “we” and “together”, I mean I ate FroYo and provided colour commentary while he did all the work).

Although our relationship with the shoe rack is in a state of détente right now, we’re well aware that this could change at any moment. There are one or two screws struggling to come loose, and every few days we have to nail their delinquent asses back in.

If I were a contestant on The Bachelor, I would draw some sort of analogy here between our shoe rack debacle and the continued effort it takes to maintain a stable and loving relationship… But I’m not. So I won’t… but… you get the picture.

Question of the Day: Have you had any household projects from hell?


Featured post

The Fantasy Boyfriend Draft

It’s that time of year again, folks- when body paint, beer and tailgate parties abound, and the men in your life fall into a state of temporary insanity for the next few months.


That’s right it’s football season!


How do I, a girl whose only knowledge of football stems from the movie The Water Boy, even know this, you might ask?


Because for the past two weeks, I have listened to nothing but my male coworkers and friends discuss their fantasy football leagues.


While at first I sat there bored to tears, praying for imminent death, after a while the idea of a fantasy draft started to sound kind of appealing to me. Not the football part of course – more the plotting, scheming, strategizing and overall shit-talking involved. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a fantasy draft focused on something I actually cared about?

…. like boys.

You guys… what if there was A FANTASY BOYFRIEND LEAGUE??

A dream-like place where a roster of all of your ideal boyfriends would compete against teams of other ladies’ choosing in all of the manliest of activities? I’ m talking wood chopping, moustache growing, outdoor survival skills, shirtless acoustic guitar playing, and of course- the manliest of all artisinal crafts: furniture making.

Or maybe they would just fan you with palm fronds and feed you bunches of grapes all day. I haven’t quite figured it all out just yet.

But what I HAVE figured out, is who would make up my team. Hold onto your hats ladies, because the draft is about to begin!

Round 1: Ryan Gosling


You knew it was coming. Like 99.999% of the other women on the planet, I’ve loved this piece of sexy Canadian man-candy since he first stole my heart as Sean on Breaker High.


That pleather jacket! My heart be still.

Round 2: Bradley Cooper


In the event that the reigning Sexiest Man Alive happened to still be available, you better believe he’d be coming home with me as a second round draft pick. Not only has homeboy got the whole rugged, charmingly befuddled thing going on, he also loves his mama.


Round 3: Seth Meyers


The lovable SNL head writer and Weekend Update host always had a special place in my heart- despite the fact that he is already engaged to a (different) sexy lawyer. Well, Seth- I just have one thing to say about that:

Really? Really?


Round 4: Joseph Gordon Levitt


Hey JGL, what’s that vest made of? Oh yeah… BOYFRIEND MATERIAL.

Ever since I saw him rocking out to The Smiths in 500 Days of Summer, I knew the indie heart-throb had to be mine. In fact, I’d take him even with this haircut:

That’s love.

Round 5: Rafael Nadal


Since every fantasy boyfriend team needs at least one professional athlete (<– I just made that rule up right now), I have chosen the 12-time Grand Slam winning tennis star and sexy Spaniard that is Rafa. Admittedly- his English is a bit touch and go – but something tells me I could learn look past that.

…..with these biceps. (Please ignore the fact that he looks a bit like Michelangelo in this pic)


Round 6: Jason Sudeikis


Damn you and your perfect cheekbones, Olivia Wilde! Why must you take my perfect man away from me!

Round 7: Colin Firth


This one needs no explaining. If my boy Mark Darcy isn’t the penultimate boyfriend, then I really don’t know who is.

Yes, I like you very much, Colin – just as you are.

Round 8: Chris O’Dowd


This one falls into my “up and comer” category. I first developed a crush on this Irish hottie when he portrayed Kristin Wiig’s love interest in Bridesmaids. This crush later blossomed into a full-on stalker flower while watching him HBO’s Family Tree. He’s cute, tall, funny, loveable- and I kinda wanna pinch his cheeks.

It’s not weird.

Round 9: Joel McHale


Joel for me falls into the “underrated” category. He cracks me up every day on The Soup and is hella handsome, but for some reason hasn’t reached leading man status just yet. Don’t worry Joel.. you’re a leading man in my heart.

Round 10: Thomas Mars


This might seem like a strange pick, given that he is not all that conventionally good-looking, but I’ve been seriously crushing on the Phoenix lead singer since I saw him crowd surf at Lollapalooza.


Plus, he’s married to Sofia Coppola which officially makes him 1/2 of the coolest couple of all time. Sigh.


P.S. Did I just use the expression “seriously crushing”?


Round 11: Jay Baruchel


I’ve loved the Canadian funny man since I used to watch him on “Popular Mechanics For Kids” alongside Elisha Cuthbert.

Popular Mechanics for Kids l-r Alisha, Jay
Yes, this really happened.

Since he only lives a few hours away in Montreal, I actually kind of like my chances on this one. It’s all about pipe dreams, kids.

Round 12: Prince Harry


I was about to cut it off at 11, but then I remembered that every fantasy boyfriend team needs a royal! Enter Prince Hot Ginge (or “PHG”). While the reality of ginger babies would be a risk I would have to take, I’m confident PHG’s playfullness, charm and winning smile would outweigh the potential downsides. Plus, I just love attention. Bring on the paparazzi!!

Question of the Day: Who would be on your fantasy boyfriend (or girlfriend) team?

Love Lessons From My Childhood Pen Pal

I got a letter in the mail the other day. It was a bit of an unexpected thrill, considering my mailbox is usually filled with nothing but Domino’s pizza flyers. (Which, don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate.) 


While reading it, I was reminded of a time in my life when letters weren’t quite so infrequent.

………. Cue the flashback (you knew it was coming)


The year was 1995: I was 9 years old, bookish, and heavy into Blossom Hats and The Babysitter’s Club. I was teetering on the verge of what would soon become my five-year “awkward phase”, but didn’t know it yet. Life was good.

It was also the year I made my first Pen Pal.

*Not me or my dog.
*Not me or my dog.

I acquired my Pen Pal through somewhat unusual circumstances. My father, the son of Croatian immigrants, liked to keep ties with his Eastern European heritage. This manifested itself mostly in three ways: cooking obscene amounts of cabbage, hoarding things, and subscribing to a Croatian newsletter called  Zajedničar. 

Zajedničar, as I recall it, was a bizarre publication filled with ads for life insurance, way too many consonants, and people in weird costumes playing Tamburitzas.


 I never paid much attention to it until one day, my dad showed me an ad offering a PenPal service connecting Croatian children across North America.  

Now this was something I could get down with. The opportunity to correspond with a real live girl in another country? Sign me up!

I immediately submitted my information to the magazine, and a few weeks later, received my first letter.  It was from a girl named Jessica in Erie, Pennsylvania. She was 10 years old, and loved Barbies, gymnastics and stickers- in that order.  She even sent me her school photo, in which she was wearing one of those Western bolo shirts that were popular at the time.

This was the best I could do on Google images. In reality, she looked nothing like this.
This was the best I could do on Google images. She actually looked nothing like this.

Her long, sandy blond hair was tied into a side braid with a fluffy white scrunchie on the end, and she accessorized with dangly troll earrings, gummy bracelets and a toothpaste-commercial smile.


To me, she was impossibly cool.

I immediately began crafting my response. Besides just telling her my entire life story, I also spent hours researching her hobbies and interests in order to prove what a thoughtful and conscientious Pen Pal I could be. I even had my dad pull out the atlas to show me where Erie was on the map. 


I was certain she would be impressed by such informational gems as:

Did you know your town is named after a lake??!”; and 

I heard toothpaste is great for removing sticker residue!” 

We corresponded for the next few months, sending letters as well as other totems of our respective 90’s childhoods: stickers, colorful erasers, POGS, temporary tattoos.We never spoke a single word about Croatia, but that was OK. 

Eventually, things kind of fizzled out. Ok, I’m lying. Jessica just straight-up stopped writing to me. I don’t really know what happened. I mean, maybe I was a little overzealous in my pursuits- spending hours drafting elaborate letters, consulting atlases and whatnot. And maybe I should’ve seen this one coming when my 10-page anthologies met with only a few measly paragraphs in response. “Maybe she’s busy practicing her tumbling,” my mother would say. But deep down, I knew the score. 

While being blown-off so coldly hurt at the time, in a way I’m thankful, because it probably prevented me from becoming a full-on stage 5 clinger in future romantic relationships.  


Now I’m just incredibly closed-off and distant. I think it’s working out pretty well for me.


So thank you, Jessica, for teaching me that there is such a thing as coming on way too strong. I  hope you finally found that Sailor Moon sticker sheet you were looking for, and that somewhere, out there, you and your side braid are tumbling off into the sunset.

Question of the Day: Did You Have A Pen Pal Growing Up?

The Friend Zone

I love you guys. Really, I do. That’s why today, I’m giving you a break from hearing the sound of my own virtual voice (be thankful you never have to hear my actual voice.  I sound like a 6-year-old on coke) and instead, I’m giving it over to the beautiful, funny and talented Miss Karen from The Chronicles.

She wrote a great guest post for me about dating, so check it out below! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll emotionally eat ice cream….and at the end everyone will be richer from the  experience.  Promise. And make sure to head on over to her blog to read some more when you’re done. If this post wasn’t enough to convince you, well…sometimes she posts pictures of herself.  Yeah, that’s what I thought you said.

K I’ll stop being such a scene stealer now and just let you read it. Here goes!


Hello everyone! So some of you may know me from The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans wearing Toronto girl and the others may now me as Breezyk’s eternal stalker and not so secret admirer. I’ve known Breezy for a few months now and through numerous brunch dates, major girl crush and hopeless love only begins to scratch the surface.

When Breezyk asked me to write a post for her I got all anxious. Mainly because her blog is amazing (but you already knew that right?) and whatever I wrote would have to be nothing short of perfect. Well, that was an impossible task and after a month of struggling, this is all I came up with. And I’m honored that she wants to feature this J

The Scourge of the Friend Zone

You guys all know how much I like joshing around making fun of people, judging them through my judgmental eyes (in this case, fingers) and such. And so the inspiration for this post came from none other than my favorite josher, Barney Stinson: 

The proverbial friend zone. On one hand, at least you’re friends. On the other hand, Cupid has no more arrows in his nappy for you and friends is all you will ever be. Unless you’re a time-travelling caveman or an asexual plant, all of us at some point will have done our time in this miserable middle ground of hell. Hell as we all know is just another word for unrequited love…and bikini waxes.

Ever since man learnt to walk upright and speak in full sentences, the Friend Zone has basically been understood as a male populated island surrounded by Lake Testosterone.

But while I would absolutely LOVE to sit here forever and spend the next ten thousand words bitching about the stupid bitches that put them there, I’m here for a bigger purpose. Because whether you fellas realise this or not, there IS a female version of the friend zone. It exists and is no more a myth than gravity or the five second rule.

The female friend zone unbeknownst to many is more popularly known as “the mother zone” and in certain circles the “sister zone”. Mother and sister. Important roles in a woman’s life. None of which you want to be playing when you’re seeing a guy you want to knock socks with.

So because I’m a nice girl, I will offer myself as a prime example of how women get a one way ticket to the non erogenous zones of mother and sister.

Case Study #1: The Hug-a-bug

Dated this guy for a month and a half. Of the many red flags that were burning holes into my corneas, the biggest and brightest one was that we never kissed. Just hugged all the time. And how did I respond? I made him a bunch of cutesy birthday coupons promising the world (and more hugs).

The Aftermath: He broke up with me, the reason being that “he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship and that I was the sweetest girl ever”. Two weeks later he started dating a close friend of mine and now they’re married.

Moral of the Story: Most guys like to hug their “sweetest girl ever” sisters, not date them.

Ed note: Thank you Karen, for teaching me never to trust this man.

Case Study 2: The best friend.

I walked in to my first lecture of my Humanities class and took a seat next to the cutest boy my eyes could scan. Two weeks later we became inseparable. And obviously by the end of the semester I was hopelessly in love. I could completely be myself around him, argue with him, and even yell at him when he was being a dick.

The Aftermath: I did eventually tell him how I felt. He responded by telling me how he’d always be there for me and how I’m the kind of girl any man would be lucky to settle down with.

Moral of the Story: Maybe the only thing worse than being in the sister zone is being in the mother zone and sister zone at the same time.

Case Study 3: The worker.

Having learnt nothing from Case Study 1 and 2, I moved on to my next male encounter with The Worker. He worked the craziest hours in the world. Sometimes he’d leave at 4am and come home exhausted by 8pm. Sometimes he’d be so tired that he would fall asleep at the wheel. And despite all that, sometimes if I had a bad day, he would still drive all the way to my place just to give me a hug. He made me happy. And I made him elaborately packed lunches so he would save the time it took to pack a lunch to sleep in a few extra minutes.

The Aftermath: Things didn’t work out for the mere fact of it being shitty life circumstances. But he did say that not even his mother took care of him the way I did.

Moral of the Story: You’ll probably need therapy when you realize that perhaps the biggest reason the relationship even lasted as long as it did was because you took care of him like a mother.

Ed note: Listen to the woman and never pack that man a lunch. Especially not this one. Nothing says “mother zone” like a dinosaur shaped, crustless sandwich.

And what did I learn from this all? Nothing. In fact, I never really thought about this till at this very moment at 1:00 in the morning unable to sleep. Over the past three years that I’ve been single, I read all the latest fad books on dating…He’s just on that into you, It’s called a breakup because its broken, Why Men love bitches…you name it.

All of these told me to act the exact opposite of the way I did in my innocent unjaded past. And I listened to them and completely bought into that idea. I drank it all in. I scolded my girlfriends when they came to me with complicated boy problems, telling them to cut it off and be single, telling them not to be so weak (in not so many words). I loved the idea of flirting with guys but could never bring myself to think anything past that. Hence was born my debilitating condition of Dating ADD.

And it was not until this very moment after just going back and reading it again that I found out why I did those things. With each of these guys I became creative, I wasn’t afraid to be myself and most of all, I was happy.

There is a paradox about happiness that holds true for every aspect of life:

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

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

And so from this 2am epiphany, here is what I’m going to try to take from it. Maybe you’ll laugh at me. Maybe you’ll call me naive or just maybe for some crazy reason you may even agree with me but the truth is.:

I didn’t make coupons because I was blissfully unaware of not being kissed. I did it because I wanted to in spite of it.

I didn’t argue and give my two cents on everything because I thought that’s a sure-fire way to a man’s heart. I did it because I was made to feel comfortable enough to do so.

And I certainly didn’t pack a lunch because that’s the motherly thing to do. I did it because I was happy. And when you’re happy, you become creative in finding ways of making someone else happy.

And I know that when I find someone who makes me happy, makes me want to get creative and isn’t scared off when I am myself, I’ll still be jaded. I’ll still panic and remember everything I read in dating books. But you know what? Of all the million things that could go wrong with trusting someone, I’d like to remember that something could go right.

So is this all too idealistic for this world? You bet it is. But I’m not asking you to adopt the same thought process. Perhaps one night when you can’t sleep, you may come up with a formula that works for you better. But maybe consider just one thing out of all this, when you do find someone who brings out a side of you that wants to be unjaded and innocent, throw away those dating books, make those coupons and pack those lunches and risk being in the friend zone. Because in the end, it’s not just him that deserves a fair shot. You do too.

And that`s my two cents on the friend zone. I`m not an award-winning author of a dating book or about to make millions on my late night findings. Just some uncool schlep who’s been stuck in the friend zone since 1986. And you what? For now, I`m okay with that.

Question of the Day: Have you ever found yourself in the Friend Zone?

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

Ahh the boy next door. Wholesome, unassuming, and of “average” masculinity, he has stolen many a heart with his  sweet, shy demeanor, and extensive collections of vintage comic books, graphic tees, and subtitled films.

Perhaps hardened by his status as the perpetual underdog, the boy next door is also known for being somewhat elusive, and difficult to pin down.. or at least that’s what Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen Videos tell me, anyway.

So that’s why, when my girl Karen from The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans Wearing Toronto Girl recently discovered the boy she had been stalking seeing around and pining over for the past two years was actually her NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR… she enlisted my help to come up with some ideas for getting his attention and making him hers.

Probably cause she knows I’m really good at writing blog post titles that could double as Seventeen magazine headlines.  Anyway, if you want to hear my really serious and not-at-all sarcastic tips- Click this link to check out my guest post on her blog! Enjoy 🙂

Question of the Day: Have you ever fallen for the Boy (or Girl) Next Door?

Cereal: A Love Story

I’ll be the first to admit it-  I have a slight (ok, major) obsession with cereal.

Not only do I eat it for breakfast every morning, I also have it for dinner far more often than is socially acceptable for a 25 year old woman. Frequently I’ll polish off a serving or two as a late night snack (true story: I am enjoying a nice, hearty bowl (or 4) of Kashi GoLean Crunch as I write this post), and the number of times I find myself running a dishwasher filled solely with bowls and spoons is much higher than I’d like to admit. 

There’s just something about it that always hits the spot- that perfect ratio of cereal to milk…  that feeling of complete euphoria when the spoon hits your lips… the taste of nostalgia- more powerful than any artificial sweetener- that cannot be replicated by any other food.

A few days ago, I somehow found myself having a discussion with a coworker about cereal (Ok, so it was because I was admitting I had no idea how to cook.. so what).  The conversation had already gone on for about 20 minutes, and I had no shortage of material left (we had only just begun touching on our favourite varieties. Next would come preferred level of  crunchiness), when I realized that, perhaps my love for cereal ran deeper than even I knew.

And so I began tracing it back to its roots…. (Cue the Flashback scene…. feel free to picture the rest of this post with a slight, sepia tone)

Our love story began not unlike so many others- Cereal and I were childhood sweethearts.  Hit by the arrow of the Breakfast Cupid, it was love at first bowl of Lucky Charms. We were inseparable- never spending a morning apart. Some of my fondest memories as a child even involved cereal. I remember waking up to the sound of spoons clanging against bowls, as my brothers made sure every last corn pop was sufficiently saturated with milk before consumption. (Because I was the baby, not only did I get to sleep in a bit later, my mom would also pour my cereal a few minutes before waking me up, because she knew I preferred it light on the crunch. Now THAT’s the love story right there… or a sad story. I’ll let you decide).   

Now, if you’ve ever seen an After School Special, you know that Childhood and adolescence are no walk in the park. Just getting through a day without being pressured into doing cocaine to perform better as a child gymnast, or  being kidnapped by your own mom was a cause for celebration.  But no matter what kind of day I had, knowing that I always had an after school snack of cereal waiting at home for me, served up by one of many potential loveable cartoon mascots (with the exception of Count Chocula…  cause let’s be honest, homeboy was downright creepy) made life seem a little more bearable.

As I grew older, my relationship with cereal changed. Suddenly my tastes had grown; expanded. I no longer craved the sugary goodness that seduced me as a child- now I longed for something more… sophisticated.

Luckily, cereal was changing too; it’s varieties becoming more plentiful; it’s milk choices now far more advanced than just 2% or skim. Soy? Almond? Coconut? POTATOE MILK? The world was becoming a crazy place, but cereal was my constant. We went through it all together; from Fruity Pebbles and Reese Peanut Butter Puffs, to Millet Rice and Spelt Flakes. And take it from someone who’s been there:  Potatoes? Should stick to being mashed (Or being used as stamps. I think Martha Stewart does that).

It wasn’t all marshmallows and sugar coating, though… like all good love stories, Cereal and I have had our fair share of ups and downs.  For a brief period, we even broke things off. It wasn’t cereal- it was me. I was too needy with my love; too clingy to its milky deliciousness; and it’s sweet, sweet, loving was having unwanted effects on me. Although I wanted desperately not to believe it, Fat Bastard’s astute observation that “carbs are the enemy” turned out to be true. I had to accept it when I could no longer button up my jeans- I had gained what they call the “honeymoon 15”.

Unable to control myself, I swore off cereal, and vowed to never touch the stuff again.

Well, anyone who’s been through a breakup knows how tough this can be. Thoughts of cereal consumed me.. I thought I saw cereal everywhere- at school… at the gym.. in my cupboards. It even infiltrated my dreams. Once, I dreamt that I was naked in public, save for a few strategically placed mini wheats.

 I searched in vain for a love like the one I had lost. I tried toast, oatmeal, eggs, even something called a “breakfast bake”-  all rendered inedible by the salty taste of my tears.

It was all together about a year we were apart, when I was staying at a friend’s house, and she offered me a bowl of cereal for breakfast. What seemed like a simple offer set off a complex web of feelings and anxiety deep within me. Oh how I wanted to say yes…to envelop myself in its carby goodness. But we’d been down this road before…….

What harm can one bowl do? I thought.

And there it was- our epic reunion- bathed in light, and set to the soundtrack of angels singing; even the household pets were crying tears of joy.  It was like the reunions of Ross & Rachel, Luke & Laura, and NKOTB all wrapped into one.

We were back, baby.

Since then, things have been better than ever before. We see each other most days; and slowly, we’re making up for lost time. Looking back, its funny that we would ever think we could deprive ourselves of being together when we are such a perfect match…. we’re so silly sometimes.

And so what if I still  indulge a little too much? Whoever says that a love this intense can’t last clearly hasn’t met us… or Sid & Nancy 

….. Wait… that didn’t end well??

Question of the Day: Do YOU love cereal?? And if so, what’s your favourite kind?  (basically, I’m just imploring you to make me feel a little less like a freak, here)

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