I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time. Yet, somehow, despite my love of angry words and yelling at and about men, I just couldn’t bring myself to put fingers to keyboard. And now, in no small part thanks to the bravery of fellow blogger and Abbey Park High School alum, Brianna Wodabek (which occurred ages ago now but, you know, chronic procrastination makes writing things real hard), I’ve finally decided to throw caution to the wind. Brianna, thank you for breaking the silence I and everyone else were too afraid to breach. Read her piece here. Especially in our post-Weinstein world, this conversation has never felt so necessary. So, as scared as I am to pen (pixelify?) these words, there’s no better time than the present to burn some high school bridges. Let’s dive right into the fire.
Dear random old man I passed on the street-corner one morning,
The morning began like many others: I woke up, ruing the three glasses of wine and four gin and sodas I’d consumed the night before, not to mention the chicken nuggets I’d subsequently drunkenly shame-eaten in my bed. The empty ripped-apart McDonald’s bag lay on the floor, eliciting as much regret as a used condom beside a college girl’s bed the morning after a questionable Tinder date. I pulled myself together best I could and mentally prepared myself for the long day of peddling mediocre vegan food that lay ahead.
Dear human embodiment of a yeast infection,
Coming home after a long day at work to a party that isn’t yours is rarely ideal, and this particular Friday evening was no exception. I arrived home from my shift selling mediocre vegan food to find my house filled with strangers. I’d had enough interacting with strangers for one evening, so I promptly shut myself in my bedroom, ready to enjoy a wild night of folding laundry.
About a year ago, while hanging out with a friend of a friend, I was complaining about how emotionally exhausted I was by online dating and seeking romance in general. She mentioned how she’d been speaking to a couple guys herself, and that she’d be happy to pass one along to me. She gave me the guy’s number and let him know someone would be contacting him. Thus began one of the most confusing experiences of my life.
Sometimes even I need a break from feminist rants and the horrors of the world. Shocking, I know. So, in light of this, I thought I’d copy the idea of a much greater blogger than I: Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. In her 2013 book of the same name, one of the segments consists of her writing letters to her past selves of various ages to question their decisions and to offer advice. It is hilarious. Go read it now.
In the same vein, I thought I would also write letters to Past Sam, because Past Sam was pretty dumb and I question her motivations every day. Not to say that Present Sam isn’t also kind of dumb, but I digress…
In the days since the Earth-shattering victory of sentient Cheeto Donald Trump in this year’s US presidential election, the swirl of, well…things happening has been constant. Thinkpieces galore, Facebook and IRL friendships crumbling, protests, and the rise of hate crimes against racial minorities. Overwhelming media and celebrity support made it seem like Hillary was a shoo-in for Prez. Thus, many of us were left devastated and reeling from the results, leading us to all collectively shout, what the fuck happened?
Really, there’s a million and one reasons why Hillary missed the long overdue title of First Female President. Sexism, racism, general bigotry, a (misguided, IMO) desire for someone outside the system to enter the system, the DNC shut-out of Bernie Sanders (side note: remember when we had an inkling of hope that Bernie might be our next president? Ah, the follies of early 2016), media that misled us to believe Hillary was going to win regardless so not voting or voting third party wouldn’t doom us to a Trump presidency…the list goes on. But in the process of trying to untangle this very complicated web, one man places the blame almost solely on one thing: Political Correctness.Read More »
One year ago today, we suffered the devastating loss of Deb Burr, studio director of The Dance Exchange and second mom to myself and dozens of other girls.
Deb, we think of you and miss you every day. It’s still so weird not to hear your hoots and hollers from backstage as your girls continue to kill it at every performance. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.
But, because I know she’d tell us to stop crying about it if she were here, I wanted to share a couple of my personal Deb memories:
- When I was 16, I borrowed someone else’s costume for my solo. It was at least a size too small and was thus incredibly unflattering, but I didn’t notice until I saw pictures of my performance from one of the competitions. I looked like a stuffed sausage. Horrified, I went out and bought something else to wear. I told Deb that I’d gotten a new costume for myself because the original one made me look disgusting, and, immediately putting on her Protective Mom Voice, she demanded, “Who told you that?” Deb was fully ready to clap whatever bitch called me fat. Of course, I had called me fat, but I’ll always remember how she was ready to defend my honour at a moment’s notice.
- My final year competing, to Deb’s exasperation, I insisted upon doing a musical theatre solo. The number required me to wear a floor-length feather tail. Deb (and everyone else) knew that I was (and still am) incredibly clumsy, and she was skeptical that I would get through it unscathed. Before I went on stage with it for the first time, she said, “Sam, don’t trip on your tail.” I made it through the whole dance without tripping, and, feeling like the baddest bitch on the block, I hit my ending pose and strutted offstage. I saw Deb cheering in the wing, ready to give me her customary post-performance hug. About two steps away from the curtain, disaster struck. I somehow caught one foot on the other and went tumbling forward, almost face-planting into the wing. I just barely caught myself on my hands and knees. I was momentarily horrified by what Deb would say, but I looked up to see her doubled over laughing. I started laughing too as I crawled out of the wing, and she helped me up, both of us now teary-eyed with laughter.
These two memories demonstrate just a couple of the many wonderful facets of Deb; she was fiercely protective of her girls and her studio, and she was always good for a laugh. She was tough on us at the studio, but as long as we tried our best in our performances, even if we bombed it, she was always still so proud. She was passionate about her craft and her kids, and more than anything, she was one of the strongest women I’ve ever had the privilege to know.
Rest in peace, Dancin’ Deb.
Dear Toronto Nice Guy™,
I am writing in response to the lovely message you’ve been leaving us Ladies™ around the city, as seen here:
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your obviously very sincere concern. It’s been so long since such a Classy Gentleman™ has shown any regard or respect for me as a person. In fact, whenever I pass men on the street, I have become accustomed to being punched in the face, thrown into a nearby garbage can, and spat on. It’s so comforting to know that there is someone out there, fedora at the ready, who is just waiting to “crush the life out of other men that would do me harm”.
I am so sorry that your proposals for “friendly evening chats” have been rejected by all those nasty women on their way home from a tiring day at work or standing in line at Starbucks, minding their own business. How dare they not grant you, a random stranger, their time and undivided attention! As we all know, those women have spent their entire days – nay, entire lives – just dreaming about being chatted up by a Nice Guy™ like you…only to shun the opportunity without a second thought! Those bitches!
And I, for one, would be ever so grateful if a big, strong man such as you offered to help me, a Fragile Delicate Lady™, carry my two bags of groceries to my car. Whenever I go to the grocery store, if there are no Men™ around to help me, I have no choice but to put my grocery bags on the ground and kick them across the lot to my car. My Delicate Lady Hands™ just can’t handle the stress. This method is unfortunately very inefficient and results in a lot of damaged goods. I don’t even bother buying apples or bananas anymore. But with you…I’d be able to have all the easily-bruised fruit I could ever eat!
It’s true; there are far too many men in this world who are, indeed, scum. And we, with our delicate and naive Lady Brains™, need help protecting ourselves from them. Thankfully, it’s clear that you are one of the Good Guys™. One who, for the extremely admirable act of treating Ladies™ like human beings, only asks for one tiny thing in return – sexual and/or romantic validation! After all, you were Nice™ to us! You held open the door, didn’t catcall or degrade us (to our faces, anyway), and walked us five steps to our cars! We OWE you! As we all know, each act of Niceness™ earns you one coupon for a sexual and/or romantic favour, to be cashed whenever you see fit. And of course, if the Lady™ refuses to accept your coupon, it absolutely entitles you to a tantrum. After all, why would you be nice to anyone if you didn’t get anything in return? What would be the point? General human respect? Pfft.
To think that you are losing sleep over women’s personal life choices…oh, how it pains me so! If only these women could see that you are our true saviour, our true knight in shining armour. Mark my words, I have seen the light. Please, Sir Nice Guy™. I am your damsel in distress, waiting atop my tower of despair, where I was locked by a band of Asshole Other Men™. Come free me. I promise, for the noble act of treating me like a human being, I offer you unlimited blowjobs for as long as we both shall live.
My panties are dropping as I type, fuelled by the sheer force of desire emanating from my vagina.
All of my love,
If you’d like to read more on my thoughts about Nice Guys™, please click here!
Due to the fact that it’s 2015, I am not ashamed to publicly announce that I have dabbled in the wondrous world of online dating. At this point, if you are a single person between the ages of 18 and 28 and haven’t at least had a Tinder account for two hours as a joke, you are probably an alien doing a poor job of fitting in with human society.
There are a great number of benefits to meeting people online, such as the potential to be exposed to people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. For me, a huge benefit is the lack of initial face-to-face interaction. I am absolutely horrible at face-to-face interaction with new people. I get all anxious and my brain goes blank. I end up either coming off as unsociable and unfriendly, or else I start babbling word vomit and tell the hilarious but inappropriate story of the time I got really drunk and puked on one of my best friends while we were sleeping in my bed (sorry, Brittany). Through text, I am able to thoughtfully compose replies and edit as I see fit, thus enabling me to present myself as charming, articulate, and humorous, which is only sort of lying. Then, if I actually end up meeting the person in real life, they will still think I am charming and hilarious, no matter how many puke stories I tell (I have a collection, you see).
One of the downsides of online dating is that it often tests your faith in the male population, if not humanity as a whole. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve absolutely met some nice people online, and even the ones that didn’t work out were due more to a lack of conversational compatibility than anything (or they didn’t have anything more compelling to say than “hey watsup” and “lol”). But, I’ve had more than enough…um…interesting experiences to make signing into my online profiles an emotionally exhausting endeavour. What will happen today? Will I be sexually harassed? Negged? Propositioned and subsequently insulted by a man old enough to be my father? Bombarded by a myriad of white guys holding up dead fish? Every swipe, click, and/or tap is truly an adventure!
So, without further ado, I invite you to follow me into the realm of fuckboys, douches, man-babies, and custy old dudes, if you dare.