Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Afterthought

I haven’t had a good rant lately so here we go. As I predicted not long ago, I’m already sick of dating again. It’s been all of about a month but I’m tired of playing Tinder. I met some really cute guys but no one of note, so as usual, I’m back to hanging out with my exes. It’s fun, I still get to go on “dates” just with no kissing, cuddling or sex.  

Now, every time I decide to date again, I know that half of the problem is me. I love the 27 year olds. Literally every guy I meet, the first question my girlfriends ask is “How old is he?”.

The 27s of the world are just so cute. :) But yes, usually we are looking for different things. I always have a lot of fun but most of them are not "dating to settle down" just yet, especially not with a grown-up girl like me.

So sometimes I swing the other way and date the “40-ish” crowd. Makes sense right? These guys are settled into their careers, snappy dressers, have hobbies and interests…you can’t help but think that all they are missing is you!

It’s become increasing clear though, that at that age there are 2 distinct categories in this group. There’s the guy who has been married or lived with someone long-term. He’s looking for the same thing you are: someone to meet up with for Friday “date night”, go for brunch with on the weekend. He’s not afraid to introduce you to his family or make plans more than a few days in advance. All this stuff is par for the course, been there, done that.

My problem is I keep dating the other category: The Bachelor. Now, I’m not saying there’s something wrong with someone who is approaching 40 and not in a relationship. There are reasons, maybe he’s been focusing on his career, maybe he’s had other interests or ambitions to pursue before settling down.

The issue here, from what I’ve seen, is now they have no idea how to do that. They think they want a relationship, but the “relationships” that have prepared them for you do not really line up with your definition of that word. So work still comes first. Then their friends and family (who of course you will not meet for months and months), then the gym, their hobbies and interests and then almost as an Afterthought…there’s you.

The Bachelor doesn’t really like to make plans. He’s used to waiting until the end of the day, and deciding what HE feels like doing tonight. Your best friends’ kid’s birthday party? That doesn’t sound like how he’s going to spend his Saturday. Your mother’s in town for the weekend? See you Monday, darling!

Now, his aversion to making plans will only apply to YOU. Try not to be disappointed when you ask if he wants to do something only to find out he’s got boy’s night/a work dinner/he’s out of town this weekend. Didn’t he mention that? Nope.

The classic example of course is Carrie and Big from SATC. But I look around at the girls I know and I think we all seem to be dating Big at some point or another. Which in our 30s gets frustrating. We have our own careers, friends, families, interests, we don’t need a boy to hang off our every word or be around every minute of the day. What we are looking for though, is just to not be that Afterthought who doesn’t even factor in to your plans unless…it’s convenient for you.

It’s our own fault of course, when we wait around all day Saturday to hear from you instead of just turning our phone off and going to yoga, but hey, we are girls! This is what we do. Very few of us could be called “Bachelors”. In our relationships, we’re thoughtful. We make plans and we keep them. We don’t expect our girlfriends to just be free at our whim to come out and give us some attention/affection whenever we feel like it.

You can’t change a man and the more years of Bachelorhood he has on you, the tougher that fight will be. Eventually it seems, the “Big”s of the world do come around, but Carrie had to spend 10 years being his Afterthought first and she was our age when the whole story began. If you’re determined to snag yourself a Bachelor, you might be in for a bit of a wait. :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Triple Threat!

Gawd, I love Saturdays.

Last weekend was the worst weekend ever. The Triple Threat. The good thing about when bad things come in threes is that then you're absolutely, positively in the clear for awhile. The storm is over and now everything is calm. It's a beautiful, gorgeous fall day in Toronto. It almost doesn't matter that it's November 16th and I still don't have heat in my apartment. (Law suit pending...)

I was talking to my brother about this and I really think that everything bad that happens to us in life is a test, to see how we will react, what choices will we make, will we give up? Sometimes, I won't lie, you want to just throw back your head and scream at the gods that be and ask them why they are such assholes when you are just trying to be a good person.

Buddhists believe that nothing is permanent and we need to detach from our suffering. I'm a newbie at it, but I've been reading Jack Kornfield when I can't sleep and practicing. I have a panic attack and I just think...I'm not my body. I'm not my job. I'm not this date I'm about to go on. Because we are all part of something much bigger than that.

It helps to put on something that makes you want to dance in the living room. So I have a Saturday morning song for you. Here ya go. 

Listen to this and then enjoy your morning run, yoga, coffee, walk in the park, whatever you're up to. Every day is a gift, every day we lose a little more time. Let's *shine* while we're here, for what it's worth. :)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Love in the time of Tinder

Ok y'all have read way too many sad posts lately about Cat (may she rest in peace) so new topic. As you know, I recently acquired an iPhone and it enables me to play a really fun new game called Tinder. As you may or may not know, Tinder is straight Grindr. One of my gay friends was oh so happy for us that we can now play the game too. He told me that he can't even have coffee with his friends without them checking their phone every five minutes and assured me I would now turn into a gay man. We'll see.

But it is super fun for online dating, no wasting time reading profiles or messages from guys you really don't care to hear from. It's just a picture, a name and an age and you swipe left for no or right for yes.

It's hard to take it seriously though because it really does feel like you're playing a game. You don't look at a guy and think, could this be that last relationship I ever have? Nah, you're just like, would I kiss him? Yes? Swipe right, No? Swipe left. Sometimes I get so caught up in swiping left I have to stop and think, man that guy was cute. Oh well, now he's gone. Back to the game.

I actually found my brother on there the other day when I was in a left swiping frenzy and he was gone before I realized who it was. I was disappointed about that because I always end up matching up with him at some point on online dating sites.

Oh well, if I keep playing I'm sure I'll find him again some day and I will not make the same mistake twice! :)

Now I'm not a big fan of online dating. But hey, once all your friends have settled down into relationships and you're still single, where do you meet new people? At yoga? Nope they are all either gay or coming with their girlfriends/wives. (Side point: those rare straight single dudes at yoga have really tapped into to unexplored market of girl meeting potential. My advice to you, single men of Toronto who want to meet someone? Start working on your downward dog.)

At work? Too messy. At bars? That's almost worse than online dating. I've been to a few meet up groups but those people are mostly weird. (No judgment meetup group junkies.) There's a new group I've been meaning to get to, and I planned to go many a time, but it just never seems to work out. When Cat passed away on Saturday and I called one of my friends to tell her about it, her first response was, man you will do anything to get out of going to that meetup group! That's not why I put her down, but my friend does have a point...

I have met a couple of guys from the game and as always, they were nice. Matthew Hussey says we need to meet two new people a week if we are serious about finding the elusive "one" but what does he know? He's still single.

At the end of the day, it's all a game. Dating, relationships, work, friendships, etc. I guess it just depends whether or not we take it seriously and if we're in it to win or if we're just doing it to have fun.

I am absolutely sure that I will get sick of Tinder eventually, like I do with all online dating sites. In the meantime, if you're a really nice guy, you've got your shit together and you know what you want out of life, if we cross paths on the most superficial dating site in the world, swipe right. :)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest we forget...

I keep vacillating on this one.  Do I write one more blog about how depressed I am that my Cat died. Tell y'all how hard it was not to cry at my desk today at work? Or do I do a fucking inspirational it's Remembrance Day, we should be grateful for what we have, what our grandparents fought for speech. I never met one of my grandfathers, but he fought in the war and I'm sure he was awesome, just like my Dad. 

Hmm. I am grateful for what I have. Except for the dead cat and the new stalker. (Stalker, I don't blame you for being in love with me, I'm pretty awesome. But the fact that you somehow got my cell phone number and called me the other night really makes me very nervous. Please don't do that again.)

The Cat wasn't just another friend that I lost, she was the last real link I had to that past life. She was with me when I found Travis, married him, divorced him. She was with me through those absolutely terrible years. 

Living in the past will never get us anywhere we really want to go in life. And if life hasn't killed me yet, then it really should be worried because there's nothing left to take away from me at this point. I'm like Liam Neeson is any of his movies. Scary. I'm going to leave it to the true artist here to say what I really want to say, but seriously: You're gonna hear me roar. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

Ok perhaps I was being a bit dramatic with that title. But I honestly can't remember the last time I've been this sad. What does one do on a Saturday night after they kill their Cat?

I was up most of Friday night with her so I took a nap. I would say after the events of this morning, I could justify splurging and ordering in instead of cooking. But I don't feel like eating. I don't feel like going out but I don't feel like staying in either, the apartment is way too lonely now. Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

Friday, 8 November 2013

So long, old friend.

I don't cry anymore. I remember back in the day, after everything happened, Stuart would call me to check in and the first thing he'd ask is, Mahhhhhhhrgaux, do you still cry at your desk?

No. I did yesterday though and I totally got caught. Crying at my desk. I have to say, one of the most difficult things about owning a pet is deciding when to let go. They have great lives. We feed them, pet them, clean up their poo.

But they give us so much back all that shit is totally worth it. Those people who never own pets really cannot be trusted. It's a commitment, similar to having kids, I believe you're in it for the long run once you adopt someone who needs a home.

Cat has been here for 14 years now. And she was already an adult when I got her, so she is very old. The average age they live is 12-15 years. So I got lucky with her. But I was probably a really bad cat-mom so it goes without saying it's no doubt a good thing I never ended up with those kids I so desperately wanted. I'm sure kids are more work than a cat.

She's put up with a lot. Roomates. I married and divorced a guy who really hated cats. She has outlived all my apartments, jobs, boyfriends, friends, even my marriage. She was there when I was kicked out of the j-dubs and completely alone. I cried a lot and barely left the house, but I think she kinda was ok with it because we had lots of cuddle time in bed.

Animals are truly loyal companions, they don't complain, even when they're in pain, which as it turns out, Cat has been dealing with for a long time although I didn't know. Us humans could learn something from them.

I knew the way things were going, but I still wasn't completely ready for the call I got tonight from the vet with her test results. There's nothing they can really do for an 18 year old dying cat. They wanted me to bring her in tonight but I was like, hell no. Give me some time to process this. So they gave me 14 or 15 hours. I could tell them to go eff themselves but she's obviously in pain and suffering and after everything she's given me, I will not make her wait days or weeks to end that for her.

Tonight, we're just at home, cuddling. She knows what I know, and she's not fighting it anymore. She's been crying the past couple of days asking me to take care of this for her. So tomorrow morning I will. But for now, we've got tonight.

Chat Noir, you really are the best cat ever. You will be missed.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Face Time

This is exciting. Thanks to my brilliant boss, I've figured out how to enhance my blog to make it totally better. Check it out: on the right side: most popular blogs from the past month. So you don't have to read the crappy ones. :)

Please click on the ads, apparently I've made a whole $12 without even knowing it because I didn't know how to set that up properly. Now that it's done, Google will be sending me a check. I'm going to spend it wisely.

At the bottom of the page, you can hit buttons to share me on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+. If you help me out I'll give you my $12. Remember: if Dumb and Dumber taught us anything, it's that an IOU is better than money.

And the best part - for all you Europeans, Asians, South Americans, is that there is now a translate button at the very bottom so you can read me in your own language. I'm sure something gets lost in the translation though, as a warning. It's like trying to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez in English, or worse yet, watching the movie version of Love in the Time of Cholera (El amor en los tiempos del cólera).

Speaking of love, I've decided to dispense some more relationship advice this time around. I know what you're thinking and you're right. Why should you listen to me? The one girl who always ends up single while all her girlfriends constantly "relationship". Have you thought though, that maybe that's exactly the reason why I'm the best person to tell you this?

I've been listening to y'all bitch and moan about what you aren't getting from your current (seemingly fine) relationship. And what I would like to tell you is that: no relationship is perfect. Far from it actually. In the world of FaceBook and Instagram, we all look at each other and envy what the other person has. We compare our lives to everyone else's and obviously they are succeeding where we are failing. One person has someone who is there all the time, to do family dinners and take them on trips and build a home together but craves the emotional intimacy they feel lacking. Another one, has the seemingly perfect partner, while they are secretly sad said partner never thinks in couple terms about the future, and only lives in the single-life mindset. Or what about the relationship with the guy with the great job, who owns his own property and wants to settle down and have a family, but refuses to be affectionate?

I'm going to do you all a favour and make it very simple to understand. There are just a few basic wants and needs your woman has and here they are:

1) Emotional Intimacy: a deep, personal attachment and connection. She can tell you how she feels and you understand and communicate your feelings, needs, emotions back to her. Easier said than done, I know, but without this, she feels lonely and misunderstood.

2) Affection. This has nothing to do with sex. (Although, gawd, you're an adult, have sex with your girlfriend already.) Hugs, a kiss on the cheek or forehead, hold her hand when you're walking home from work. That's it, this one is easy.

3) Commitment. It's not easy to love you if we feel like we might wake up tomorrow and you're not going to be there. Be there. We need reassurance and consistency.

4) Validation and acceptance. We need to know our feelings and opinions matter and you will take those into account when we make decisions together. Even if you make a decision that contradicts ours, we need to know you considered all our inputs as valid. We need to have a voice that's heard.

5) Quality time. Men and women are very different in this respect. It's been proven that men feel that they've spent quality time with their partner when they've spent the night watching tv together on the couch. Women need that connection, that conversation to feel like it's been a quality interaction. That doesn't need to happen every night, but it needs to factor into how you view the quality of your relationship. Face Time.

Face time is something women are good at, and I'm not just talking about the iPhone app. I did recently get an iPhone though, as y'all know, and for me and my girlfriends who aren't in Toronto, we all know how important it is to make that tiny special effort to look each other in the face and feel our bond, even of only for a few minutes. It kicks the ass of text messages, emails and even phone calls. Do it. She'll feel oh-so-special and love you for it.

Now, I'm not saying you have to do all the work. But this is some pretty basic, free advice that I'm giving you here, and at $150 a pop at relationship counselling, you should at least think about it. Men and women, we're programmed differently. We don't get each other but we can keep trying.

And PS don't feel bad for me that I'm home alone writing blogs while y'all are cuddling on dates. If things don't work out here in Toronto, maybe I'll end up marrying the American or Vienna so the time I spent alone working, going to school and learning to speak German and American will really pay off. It's all going to work out in the end if we stay true to ourselves and remember, when you choose to really be in a relationship, life stops being about you and starts being about someone else. And when they're happy, you'll be happy too. Trust me.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Few Good Men

I have another funny date story from the weekend. I met up with 27 yesterday (This is a new 27, not the one from last year. He's 28 now, even though I'm still just 27.). :)

We went for brunch, he's super cute but as I had anticipated, a little too 27 for me. We went back to his place which was around the corner and watched funny videos, laughed, talked. He has THREE roomates, guys walking around half naked from the shower in a towel or eating scrambled eggs with way too much ketchup. I accidentally let the cat out and ended up chasing her/him around the block because God forbid I lose a guy's cat on the first date.

As he's surfing the net for fun stuff to watch he pulls up my blog. Apparently I'm not as well hidden as I mean to be. I thought you'd have to at least know my last name to find me on Google but apparently "Margaux+blog+Toronto" can get you there. My blog, right there, first option on the list.

So now the gig is up, but I'm not really all that worried about it. First date, would I prefer you find out who I am by spending a little bit of time with me instead of reading my entire life story on the internet? Sure. But reality with Margaux means you'll hear the whole thing eventually, so if you can't handle it, best you move on now before I care about you too much.

I wrote a blog awhile back called The X Factor, and at that time, I really did believe you could stay friends with someone you've been romantically involved with. Now though, especially after the events of the past few weeks, not so much. You can, until you decide to move on, get back in the game, then apparently you become the worst person they have ever met.

I have to interject here, after spending some significant amount of time listening to girlfriends complain about their current relationships, that I do believe it is the brave and honest thing to do when you end a relationship that's not what you're looking for and decide to be alone again instead of living a dissatisfied and un-true to yourself life. But that's just me.

Anyways. There is one guy who was an awesome boyfriend and never pulled the after break-up shit. I was thinking about him today when he popped up on FaceBook chat. This is the guy who was not only a great boyfriend, he was a great after-boyfriend. He never read my blog and sent me nasty messages because I was seeing someone new. He never called me names or deleted me from FB or made me feel bad for going back out there to try to find what I wanted.

I know what y'all are thinking, ohhhh The American is always the perfect guy on this blog. But he pretty much is. And now he's coming to New York which is a hell of a lot closer than he ever was since he left Toronto.

Would I like to move to New York and marry a lawyer? Hell yah. But I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed. Most of the guys I've dated the past couple of years have been pretty nice (with the exception of the lying, sociopathic, shit-disturber, you know who you are) but at the end of the day, there really are only a few really good men out there. Don't let them get away!  

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Fairy Princess

I'm only putting this out there because A) y'all have read too many serious Margaux blogs lately and B) I'm sure this happens all the time and none of us talk about it, but if we did we'd all feel less idiotic.

Last night I had a date. Let's call him...Halifax. So the first time we met things were pretty laid-back, maritimers always get along, especially when some whisky is involved. Yesterday, he texts me and this is how it went:

Him: If you want to grab a drink downtown after work let me know.

Me: Can I wear a costume?

Him: Yes.

Me: Will you be wearing a costume?

Him: Yes.

Me: Yay! I love it. What time?

Then I go home and spend the next 2 hours evolving into a fairy princess. My bestie picked me up a $5 dress from Walmart which was way, way too big so a million safety pins and a couple of hours later, I am all dressed up and doused in sparkles.

I head down to the bar and order a drink. About ten minutes later, he walks in, coming straight from work...wearing a suit. Fairy Princess dies a slow, painful death.

And then I suck it up. Because the best part about Halloween is you can be anyone you want to be. And fairy princesses probably really don't care what anyone else is wearing, no matter how ridiculous you look, even if it is only the second date.