Thursday, February 3, 2011

So long and thanks for all the fish!

I'm not sure why, but I don't think it really hit me until today that I'm leaving Vancouver for good.  I have been so focused on my upcoming train trip and the new life I'm anxiously waiting to start in Newfoundland, but I somehow managed to completely ignore everything I'm leaving behind.  I'll get back to dating in a moment, but let me just take some time to address the sadness I have been fighting off all day.

I think I may have mentioned in my previous post how difficult it was for me to decide to move back to Newfoundland.  Oddly enough, it wasn't the thought of leaving Vancouver behind me that made the decision difficult, it was the fear that I was somehow incapable of staying anywhere longterm without getting bored and running away.  It took me three months of contemplation before I was finally satisfied with my reasoning for wanting to move home.  I had already booked a ticket to go home for Christmas, but instead of simply moving back then (which would have been a hell of a lot cheaper), I decided I would "test the waters" over my Christmas holiday.  I thought maybe I just needed a relaxing break as I hadn't had one since the pre-olympic era of my life.  (I like to imagine that when the massive meteor hit earth millions of years ago during the pre-cambrian era or the jurassic period or whenever it was ... the dinosaurs probably felt like I did.  They were running around the earth choking on all the dirt in the air that had been churned up from the meteor and freezing from the lack of sunlight.  I was running around our warehouse choking on all the dirt that been churned up from the 10,000,000 boxes of red mittens that hit us and suffering from a vitamin D deficiency due to the 20 hour work days spent in the afore mentioned warehouse.  Pre-olympic, pre-cambrien ... po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.)

It wasn't until a week into my Christmas vacation that I finally started to relax, and it was then I realized how much my life had changed over the past couple of years: In some ways for the better, but in other ways for the worse.  I spent a couple of days visiting my best friend who had just had a baby girl, and I couldn't believe how different her life was from mine.  She lived in a beautiful community surrounded by friends and family.  She had built a home for herself and her new family.  She had neighbors that she could actually borrow a cup of sugar from.  Life just seemed to move at a slower pace and I felt like I was actually living in the moment instead of constantly and frantically planning for tomorrow, next week, next month.  That's when I realized I wanted that kind of life for myself too.

Now don't get me wrong, once a workaholic ... always a workaholic. I'm not saying I want to plant myself on Fogo Island and have 12 children.  However, the thought of having my family and longtime friends around me, of having a family of my own, of spending weekends at my parents' cabin ... it just became too much to ignore.  I don't know if I will ever find a job that is as exciting or challenging at home, but no matter how much I love a job, it is never going to love me in return.  My family, on the other hand, will.

After all this festive soul searching, I still decided to give myself another two weeks back in Vancouver ... just to be 100% sure that this was what I wanted.  Obviously, it was.  And once I made the decision once and for all, it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  It just felt right.  I felt so positive about the whole thing, and that feeling of certainty and conviction stayed with me until this morning.  That's when the first twinge of heartache hit.

I think I knew all along that at some point I would have to start saying goodbye to friends, coworkers, routines, habits, places, etc.  You don't just go from one side of the country to another, from one life to another, without giving something up.  But after saying my first goodbye today, I was struck with how much I am giving up.  It isn't just a job I'm leaving, it's the city where I went on my first online date (Shocking, I know ... you thought I'd been a pro for years now, didn't you?), where I trained for my first marathon, where I ran with the Olympic Torch, where I cursed and swore my entire way up the grouse grind, where I learned to love sushi, where I spent my first Christmas alone, where I cried tears of frustration at work more times than I can count, where I cried tears of laughter at work more times than I could count, where I sun tanned on the beach while looking at the snow capped mountains in the distance, and so much more.

None of this has made me second guess myself or regret my decision to leave.  To put it quite simply, it all feels very bittersweet.  Every twinge of excitement for the weeks and months to come is equaled by a twinge of grief for the life I'm leaving behind.  I know this is probably way more than what you bargained for from an online dating blog, and I apologize if you feel you've been cheated out of a light-hearted read.  I promise I will have many, fun-filled dating adventures to report back on once I've reached my native land!  However, Vancouver has been good to me and I feel I owe her a proper send off.  In the ever ingenious words of Douglas Adams ... So long and thanks for all the fish!

Until next time and happy fishing ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

A new year ... a new sea.

Well, I guess I didn't make good on my "one post a week" promise, did I?  I was all "Ain't nothin' gonna keep me from writing!  I'm gonna follow my passion!" ... almost two months later, here I am!

It's funny how life has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it.  To be quite honest (and a little blunt), shit hit the fan for me in December.  I won't go into too much detail, but by the time I went home to my parents' for Christmas, I had developed a pulsating twitch in my left eye, I wasn't sleeping and I had loss my appetite.  Now folks, if there is one thing that keeps me going in this world, one thing that gets me up in the morning, one thing that stokes the fires of my passion for life ... it is food.  I live for food.  When I make plans to go see a movie with friends on the weekend, I spend the entire week daydreaming about the buttery popcorn to come.  When October 1st shows up on my calendar, I start counting the days until I can pour that thick, delicious gravy all over my turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  When the Christmas baking season begins ... well, I don't even think it's appropriate for me to describe what happens.  What I'm getting at here is that a loss of appetite in my world equates losing my reason for being.  That's how dismal December was for me.

Never fear for I am right as rain now and back to my normal, foodie self.  I am however, on a detox that eliminates all sugar, which means I can't eat chocolate.  But I at least have a smoldering, all consuming desire to plow my face into every piece of chocolate I see.  It's all good.

Anyways, with all the stress going on I simply did not have time nor did I feel the need to date during December.  Again, no dating doesn't make for a very interesting dating blog.  That folks, is all about to change ...

I've recently made the decision to move back to Newfoundland to be closer to my family.  This has some positives and negatives when it comes to dating.  On the positive side, when I'm in Newfoundland, I am IN my element.  That whole small town, funny, girl next door part of me just comes flowing out.  It's not that I hide that part of me here in Vancouver.  I just don't ever feel quite myself like I do when I'm at home, and that brings a whole new sense of confidence and ease.  Another positive is that I like manly men.  I like men that build and fix things.  Men that can chop wood, light a fire and swing me over their shoulder all at the same time.  And I'm sorry Vancouver, but you just ain't cuttin' it in that department compared to Newfoundland.

On the negative side, Newfoundland only has 500,000 people total.  I think it's safe to assume there are roughly 250,000 men, 175,000 of which are probably relatives of mine.  Long story short, there is a much, much, MUCH smaller sea of fishies from which to choose.  That brings me to my next drawback.  The chances of me electronically "running into" guys I know are exponentially higher.  During my stay in this city of 2,000,000 + people, I somehow managed to "run into" several guys I know online and got matched with three coworkers on Eharmony.  Now that I mention it, I may be lucky to find anyone at all that I don't already know.

In any case, there is no turning back now!  As of yesterday, I have officially switched my POF city to St. John's ... yes by'!  I won't actually be there for another few weeks, but I thought I would give myself a head start :)  What wonderful dating adventures await me in my homeland?  Stay tuned to find out!

Until next time and happy fishing ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back in the saddle

Let me start by saying it's been a while.  I haven't written a post in a month, and I have missed it immensely.  You're probably thinking to yourself, "Well if you missed it so much, why didn't you just write a post?"

And I say to you, good question!  Allow me to attempt an explanation.  It's been a busy fall.  You may not think it, but writing 2-3 blog posts a week takes a significant amount of time and mental energy.  My real job has kept me quite busy as of late, as well.  On top of that, every weekend since Halloween has been jam packed with social events that I just HAD to attend.  After all, a single girl can't write a blog about dating if she's at home on the couch every Friday night :)

Then, there was a thing with a guy that sidetracked me for a while.  This caused somewhat of a dilemma for me.  My blog is based on my personal experiences.  I write what I know.  I knew whatever I wrote during that time would reflect on my current situation, and before this particular situation, none of the guys I wrote about ever made it past two dates.  There was no harm in writing about them or how I felt about it because they were no longer in my life.  What did I care if they happened upon my blog some day?  This was different.  I could be held accountable for anything I wrote in my real day to day life.  So, I chose not to write and now I am sorry.

I am sorry because I have preached many times about how important communication is, yet I stopped writing out of fear of being too honest and revealing too much about myself to that other person.  I am sorry because I have a tendency to start things only to drop them weeks later, and I want this to be different.  Most of all, I am sorry because I stopped doing something I love.  I stopped doing something that already made me incredibly happy for something I thought had the potential to make me happy.

Lesson learned.  The bitch is back.  And I just came home from watching "Burlesque", so I'm feeling sassier than ever. 

What does this mean going forward? It means that I will be writing every week come hell or high water.  If I'm so insanely busy that I don't have time for a social life and I'm eating peanut butter and my mother's homemade jam on rice crackers everyday for supper because I don't have time to cook or buy groceries, I will still write.  If I can't drag my single, hungover ass out of bed because I've gone out dancing every Friday and Saturday night for five weekends in a row, I will still write (from my bed with Chinese delivery). If hell freezes over, pigs fly and I actually get involved with a normal, single, honest man in a real, legitimate relationship, I will still write.  I will just warn him that anything he does may or may not end up on my blog.

Yes, if that happens my blog will have to evolve.  It will be more about relationships and less about dating. But when it all comes down to it, isn't this blog all about my narcissistic need to write about myself?  Does it really matter what the subject matter is other than me?  I'm just kidding!

Well ... mostly.

Until next time and happy fishing :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Modern Love

Aside from David Bowie not believing in it, what do we know about Modern Love?

We know modern love is at least somewhat dependent on technology.  Not only do we date via online dating sites, but we also rely on all sorts of technology for dating communication.  We send text messages back and forth, we become facebook friends (and now thanks to the new facebook "friendship" button, your entire relationship can be documented for you online where you and everyone else can see it in all it's glory), we chat on MSN, and the list goes on.  But has any of this really changed the fundamental act of dating?  Sure, we spend less time talking on the phone and more time talking via texting, but we still go out on real dates as well, right?  Sort of.

Let me put it to you this way.  When was the last time a guy or girl actually asked you out on a date?  I don't mean when was the last time you had 8 martinis and threw yourself at the person you've been crushing on who then said "Let's makeout!".  I mean when was the last time another person looked at you and said "Hey, would you like to go out to dinner sometime?"

You're still thinking right?  I'll give you a few minutes.

A few more minutes?  K ... I'll go build a shed or something while I'm waiting.  Actually, let me make it easier on you.  You haven't been asked out on a date, have you?  Don't feel bad!  There are a lot of people in the same boat!

It dawned on me a few days ago, while discussing new age dating practices with my roommate, that I don't actually remember a guy ever walking up to me and asking me out.  Neither did my roommate.  Neither do the majority of my friends to whom I've asked the same question in the past week.  I've met up with a lot of guys for dinner or coffee through online dating sites, but at some point you have to move from online messaging to a real life venue.  It's less "Would you like to go out sometime because I think you're attractive and I'd like to get to know you better?" and more "Let's meet up in person to see if we actually have any chemistry."  What ever happened to one person asking another person "Hey ... wanna go out sometime?"

I mean when it really comes down to it, "going out" could be many things.  In essence, a date is a shared activity between two people who have romantic interest in each other.  It could be dinner and a movie, it could be roller blading in the park, it could be a group belly dancing class ... whatever floats your boat.  It's not the activity that's important, it's choosing to partake in a specific activity with a specific person that is.  It's the idea that two people really like each other and are therefore choosing to spend an allotted amount of time with each other.  So, why hasn't technology made this easier?

Maybe this was always a rare occurrence and years of watching Hollywood rom-coms has rotted my brain, but it seems to me that once upon a time, guys used to ask girls on a date.  I know, I know ... it's a little sexist of me to expect a guy to do this when I don't ever intend on doing it myself.  But that's not the point!  Did guys actually do this back in the day or are women wondering why some non-existent phenomenon hasn't happened to them?  If indeed this was once a common social practice, why has it suddenly disappeared?  Has technology made us lazy, or has the whole concept of dating evolved into something else?

So many deep, burning questions for a Sunday morning.  Maybe you have the answers?

Until next time and happy fishing ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm not drunk, I'm just intoxicated by you.

Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't at least crack a smile if a guy walked up to you in a bar and pulled out this line?  We all joke about cheesy pick-up lines, but it really comes down to the delivery.  If a handsome, confident guy walked up to me with a smirk on his face and said "Hey... Didn't I see your name in the dictionary under "Shazaam!"?", or "I don't have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out?", or how about this one, "Let's make like a fabric softener and 'Snuggle", and for those with extreme confidence, "My love for you is like diarrhea, I just can't hold it in.", I would have to laugh and give him a chance.  But then again, I'm a sucker for funny guys.

I think more than anything else, the reason I find pick-up lines so endearing is that I can't imagine ever having the nerve to do this myself.  I know there are girls out there who wouldn't think twice about approaching a guy in a bar with one of these lines, but personally, I would rather spend a week in bed with pneumonia.  No, that's not strong enough.  I would rather spend a week in bed with pneumonia while being forced to watch back to back episodes of "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? Sci-Fi Island" ("Honey, you've been looking for love in Alderaan places!", "Nice buns, Princess! On your head, that is.. ", "Earth woman, prepare to be probed!") Actually ... I would probably enjoy the show.

All of this explains why online dating and I get along so, so well.  Hitting on a guy through a message online has zero repercussions.  What's the worst that can happen?  He doesn't respond. Ooooooooh it's the end of the world!  How do I ever go on living?!  Now I'm certain many of you are saying "Well what's the worst that can happen if you walk up to a guy and hit on him?  He turns you down.  Big deal."  It feels like a much bigger deal when it's face-to-face.  If you look a guy in the eyes, make a pass at him and then get turned down, you have nowhere to hide.  You SHOULD swallow your pride, suck it up and walk away with your head held high.  However, I would be more likely to choke on my pride, crawl under the bar, grab a bottle of vodka and run for the nearest exit.

Maybe it's because things never seem to come out the way I want them to when it matters.  In my normal everyday life, I would consider myself a well-spoken person who is more than capable of getting a message across.  Put me in an emotionally charged situation, or in a scenario where I feel out of my element and the words just get stuck at the tip of my tongue.  I can hear the words in my head and I can feel the exact message I want to convey, but my mouth just doesn't want to cooperate.  With a pen or keyboard in front of me, it's an entirely different story.  Every single thought or emotion I could ever want to express seems to flow effortlessly from my hands in a stylish, coherent manner.  I am the Rico Suave of online dating messaging.

Even though I, Miss Online Dating Diva, feel more comfortable laying on the charm in a digital world, that isn't to say I can't appreciate some real world flirting as well.  Like I said, I find pick-up lines are endearing when delivered with a good dose of confidence and humor.  It takes a lot of guts and I admire any man or woman who has what it takes to pull it off in style.  But don't expect it from me anytime soon.  I'll stick to my catchy, coherent online messages thank you very much.

But for those of you brave enough to attempt a pick-up line in real life ... please find some escape plans below thanks to

Until next time and happy fishing ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The worst date of my life ... a narrative

Some of my more faithful readers may remember that in my very first blog post, I said that the majority of all the dates I had ever been on through this online dating thing were very positive.  That is true.  There have been, however, a couple of dates that were not so.  No ... these dates were what some people might call ... a senseless tragedy.  More than that even.  A catastrophe of the utmost, terrible magnitude that I am only now capable of talking about thanks to many therapy sessions that involved multiple bottles of wine and nachos.  This is the story of one such date ...

Once upon a time, in the big, bustling city of Vancouver, there lived a young girl who loved to go on many dates with many suitors.  Indeed, Sally had gone on over 30 dates since moving to this vibrant city.  Now it would be worthwhile to note that although Sally had not found her prince charming, she enjoyed these dates nonetheless and looked forward to her upcoming outing with a handsome suitor she had found online.  This charming, young man had wooed Sally with his colorful and flattering inbox messages.  She had gladly accepted when he proposed they meet for drinks on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon.  And so Sunday afternoon had arrived with the bright, warm sunshine that had been fore casted.  Our dear Sally was sitting upon a wooden bench on the Isle of Granville, patiently waiting for her noble prince to arrive.

When finally he did arrive, 15 minutes late, young Sally was a little surprised to learn he looked quite different than he appeared online. The features were the same of course, but his hair was rather unkempt, his beard a wee bit scruffy, and his clothes were ... well, they were a little odd.  One could say he appeared as if he belonged on the musical fields of Woodstock with a pipe of the purest tobacco in the land.  For the faintest second, Sally thought about turning around and walking away ever so slowly, calmly and naturally.  Instead, she reminded herself that one should never judge a book by its cover and so, she stood up to greet her new, offbeat suitor.  If only she had walked away ...

The mismatched duo decided to dine on the fair patio of Sand Bar from which, it was rumored, one could see the stealth and cunning cougars in their natural habitat.  They opted for simple appetizers and a lovely Shiraz to compliment the meal.  Sally had initially protested the wine as she was scheduled to run a most difficult race  the following day, however she changed her mind upon seeing her companion dig for treasures in his nasal cavity while ordering their meal.  The two young lovers talked about his many travels, his life as an artist, his upbringing in Europe and they briefly discussed Sally's passion for running, however this quickly changed into a discussion about his recent running conquests.  All in all, there was much ado about him and not much at all about her.  Sally enjoyed learning about others as much as the next person, but she was beginning to see that this potential prince was most definitely a frog.

At every attempt to speak, Sally was rudely interrupted by this conceited man.  He cut off her story of her childhood to talk about his, he ignored her explanation of her profession and explained his newest painting instead, and worst of all, he interrupted her one attempt at suggesting he let her finish a sentence.  Sally had had enough.  She looked over her shoulder to locate the washroom and tried to determine what the best exit strategy would be.  She could excuse herself to the powder room, then jump over the hand railing next to the stairs to avoid him seeing her walk by the patio on her way out.  No, it was too risky.  The fall would break her legs.  There was no way out.  She had to remain in her seat until the bill came, at which point, she would hasten homeward.

The bill came, they walked out of the fine establishment and back into the now glaring, unbearable summer heat. Just as Sally was about to say sianara, her soon to be one-time date asked what direction she was walking in so that he might see her home.  Sally paused for a moment and tried to think of the closest destination that she could pretend was her home so that she might rid herself of this retched man for once.  Alas, she could not think of a suitable lie quick enough and thus pointed in the direction of home.  As they walked along the channel of English Bay and Sally begrudgingly listened to his musings on artistic style, she thought to herself, "Oh might the Gods of love send a sea gull to defecate upon his horrid head!"  Just as she began to feel the slightest twinge of guilt for wishing such an unpleasant experience on another human being, albeit an annoying one, he committed such an offending act so as to make Sally wish for a hundred thousand sea gulls to defecate on his head.

The shabbily clad gentleman had noticed the spiderweb tattoo on her right foot and had inquired as to it's meaning.  Sally was initially stunned that he actually wished to know something about her, but she quickly recovered and explained that it was an homage to her grandmother who had passed away and who had loved to watch spiders weaving their webs outside her window.  Upon hearing this heartfelt story, her suitor began to tell her jokes in the "Little Lucy" style which detailed the many, amusing (according to him) ways a grandmother might die.  This was the last straw.

Sally could not, and would not spend one more minute with this self-absorbed, rude, arrogant and inappropriate man.  He had previously mentioned that he lived just on the other side of the Burrard Bridge and so, Sally came to half as they were right in front of it.  She pointed to the bridge and exclaimed "This is the bridge you need to take to go home.  Walk up this street, turn left, then mount the ramp unto the bridge."  Sally was not a confrontational person, and this direct, abrupt statement was as much as she could manage in the way of putting her foot down.  Unfortunately, this statement was not abrupt enough as the naive gent decided to plant a kiss upon her firmly pressed lips.  Sally moved nimbly to the side to avoid his projected lips and the next sound she heard was that of her hand smacking his face at warp speed.  This time, it was he who was rather stunned and Sally took advantage of his brief, sudden silence and walked away.

As she strolled leisurely along the beaches of Kitsilano on her way home, she closed her eyes and listened to the beautiful sounds of the waves crashing against the sand.  She smiled smugly as it reminded her of the sound of her hand crashing ever so forcefully into the pale, white cheek of her would-be prince.  She carried on alone and lived happily ever after.

The End.

Until next time and happy fishing ;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is it all about the money?

Just read a really interesting article about whether or not women screen men on dating sites based on income level. (Click here to read!)

Personally, I can't say income level has ever entered my mind.  However, I will admit that I've screened based on profession.  I've also screened based on age (I block anyone under 25 from messaging me ... and to be completely honest, I don't usually consider anyone under 30.)

Would you turn someone down based on income level?  What else would be a deciding factor for you?