Tag Archives: g&t

I Hate Hallowe’en

12 Oct

I have a confession to make. It’s not a super-secret-feelings confession, or a oh-my-god-politics-feminism-whatever confession, or anything cool like that. It’s this: I hate Hallowe’en.

Everyone I know loves Hallowe’en. They start planning their costumes weeks, even months in advance. They have parties and events lined up for October 31st, and often begin celebrating several days before. They glory in the chance to be someone else, to go out and see friends, to gorge on candy, and above all to have fun.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m sitting alone, uncostumed and super jealous.

I can’t remember the last time I had fun on Hallowe’en. Maybe it was sometime in university? Maybe high school? Maybe kindergarten? Who can say, really. I haven’t even bothered dressing up for the last few years. When someone starts to tell me about their awesome costume ideas, I just glower at them. When they tell me about all the fun parties they’ll be attending, I pointedly say that I have plans to stay home and do my nails. I am the Hallowe’en equivalent of a grinch, whatever that might be.

Part of the problem is that I’m not sure how to do Hallowe’en as an adult. I guess I’m just not sure what the point of the holiday is? I mean, yeah, you get the chance to be someone you’re not, which sounds great, in theory, but never seems to work well for me in practice. My costumes always end up being half-assed, uncomfortable and too obscure, so that I spend the whole day adjusting my hair/dress/tights/whatever and explaining over and over who or what I’m supposed to be. Parties always end up being too big and filled with people I barely know or don’t know at all, which is kind of a social nightmare for me.

On top of all that, I have some kind of Hallowe’en curse that means that something shitty always happens on Hallowe’en. The most memorable one was the year my ex-boyfriend kissed me on the dance floor at a bar and, when I asked for an explanation, promptly fled. Being the rational person I am, I followed him. This resulted in me running around Halifax’s North End at midnight dressed as Jackie O., yelling that he would have to talk to me eventually so he might as well just turn around and get it over with.

I hate Hallowe’en.

This year, Matt and I have been talking about doing costumes again, but really, what’s the point? We’re not doing anything on the 31st other than taking Theo out trick-or-treating and then stealing all his candy afterwards. Matt will dress up for work because they have some kind of contest, but I will probably just bundle my grinchy self up in a giant sweater and when people ask me who I’m supposed to be, I’ll yell that I’m dressed as an exhausted yoga teacher/mother/writer who can’t get her shit together.

All joking aside, I feel like this is something that I can (and should) overcome, possibly with copious amounts of booze and candy corn. I’m hopeful that having a kid will remind me of why I used to love Hallowe’en so much – I really want to start enjoying it again, I swear. I want to be out there having just as much fun as the rest of you, but I think I need help.

For those of you who love Hallowe’en (so, basically all of you) – what do you get out of it? Why do you dress up? Any tips on how to stop being such a killjoy and start getting into the spirit of things? Most importantly: what the hell should I dress up as?

Dressed up as Frida Kahlo in 2006, which is the last time I bothered thinking up a Hallowe’en costume

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How I Met Your Father (or, guess what my favourite feeling is? the answer is nostalgia)

12 Sep

Today is my wedding anniversary. Three years ago today I got married.

Matt and I first met in early 2005. We were in a one-act play festival together (I almost wrote one-cat play festival, which would be AWESOME), and we met when I was hanging out backstage with my friend Debs. Matt walked in and immediately took off his shirt (because he had to change, not because he wanted so show off his sweet abs), and I remember thinking three things:

1. He is totally my type

2. He looks super young, though

3. Don’t let him catch you staring at him

Later, during the same festival, I came backstage and saw him sitting alone. For some reason I’d gotten it into my head that he was 18, and I felt super gross that, at 22, I had a giant crush on an 18 year old.

One thing that you have to know about me is that I have a history of saying awkward things at awkward times. This explains why, when I found him there, I immediately blurted out, are you really only 18?

No, he said, giving me a weird look, why? Did someone say I was?

No reason! I said, trying to sound super casual and not like a possible cougar. But, um, how old are you?

20, he replied.

Oh. 20. Well, that was do-able (literally, heh).

Okay, I said, starting to back away from him. Well, that’s good! Good to know, I mean. Okay bye!

At the cast party a few days later, we kissed. Then we kissed some more. This was all well and good, except that the party was at the apartment of someone I didn’t really know, and now we were making out on a stranger’s bed. So I asked Matt if he wanted to come back to my place, and he said yes.

Here’s the thing: I was 22 and had never had a one night stand. Though I’d had a succession of roommates who had brought the occasional stranger (or familiar face) home from the bar or a party, I’d never been brave enough to try it myself.

As we walked back to my place in the wee hours of a bitterly cold early spring morning, I couldn’t help doing a little silent preening.

This is it, gloated my inner monologue. My first one-night stand. I am finally a cool grown up who does cool things like bring strangers home. Home to my BED, that is. 

(Oh God I hope my mother isn’t reading this)

The problem with the whole one night stand thing was that it turned out that I really liked Matt. I realized this the next morning when we went out to The Spartan (the greasiest of greasy spoons) for breakfast. We were all messy morning hair and bleary, happy eyes, and the old Greek women clucked their tongues scoldingly as they brought us our food.

We giggled as the women retreated behind the counter, occasionally throwing us dark looks while muttering in a language neither of us understood. We know what you’ve been up to, their eyes seemed to say.

It probably didn’t help that Matt had several large hickeys on his neck. Whoops.

We had so much to talk about that morning. I don’t remember any of what was said, but I do remember thinking, this is good.

We saw each other fairly frequently over the next couple of weeks. At some point Matt started to want to define our relationship, but I was hesitant. I’ve never been great at relationships, and I figured that what we had was so nice, why should we risk screwing it up?

Plus, I really loved how grown-up it sounded to say, Oh, him? No, he’s not my boyfriend, he’s just the guy I’m sleeping with.

Then, after several months of not paying the utilities bills, my power was shut off and everything kind of went to hell. We had no electricity, and no hot water. Until we got our shit together and figured this out, my roommate and I needed to find other places to stay.

I called Matt in tears, expecting him to say that he didn’t have room for me.

Come on over, he said. Just come whenever and stay as long as you want.

Later that day I showed up at his front door with a knapsack full of clothing and frozen food. He hugged me and carried my bag upstairs.

At that moment, I realized that he was definitely my boyfriend.

Even after my power was turned back on, I stayed on at Matt’s place, all through that spring and summer. When I think back to that time, it has this sort of enchanted, hazy in-between feel to it. The days were cold and wet, even well into the month of June, and we spent most of our time together in bed. We drank wine and ordered in Chinese. We rented the first two seasons of The O.C. and watched episode after episode, pretending we were sitting in the warm California sun.

We were so young. 20 and 22. That’s crazy.

On September 12th 2009, I walked down the aisle of a tiny stone country church while my friends Rachel and Caitlin played the cello and clarinet. I had a crown of flowers in my hair and Matt, who was waiting for me at the altar, wore a kilt. My smile was impossibly huge; he had tears in his eyes.

Afterwards we went to the Officer’s Mess at the Royal Military College, which had this wonderful feeling of old-world shabby-gentility. We ate, we drank, we danced, we sat by the water and watched someone  set off fireworks on Wolfe Island.

Our wedding wasn’t big, or fancy, but it was perfect. I’m a big believer in not thinking of your wedding as the happiest day of your life but, you guys, it was so happy.

And here we are, three years later. This morning I was woken up in the dark hours of the night by Theo wanting to nurse, something which would usually bother me. Today, though, it was different. Waking up to feed my baby reminded me how far we’ve come since we first met, how happy I am that we’ve been on this journey together, and how amazed I am that we made this tiny, sturdy, independent little person. So instead of my usual grousing at having to get up late at night, I leaned over, kissed Matt, and said, happy anniversary.

I love you, Matt. I’m so happy that you’re in this with me.

What I looked like after I found the open bar.

In case you were wondering, this is the song we danced our cheesy first dance to:

And then the next day I got really fucked up on Ativan and flew to Paris for the Best Honeymoon Ever, but that’s another story for another time.

Dirty Thirty

12 Aug

A week ago it was my birthday. A week ago I turned thirty. As F. Scott Fitzgerald would say, I am standing before the portentous, menacing road of a new decade. Yes, I am pretentious enough to start out a post about my thirtieth birthday with a quote from the Great Gatsby. High five, lit nerds!

I would be lying if I said that I haven’t been thinking about this birthday. I mean, I haven’t been giving it a ton of though, and I certainly haven’t been agonizing over it or anything, but yeah. Thirty. I mean, it’s a milestone, right?

I’ve been thinking that things are good. I am mostly in a good place. And I can say with confidence that I am in a much better place than I was when I turned 20. I mean that both literally and figuratively – I spent my 20th birthday working in a cookie factory in Kitchener. I had to wear a hairnet and a mustard yellow smock. My fellow cookie workers bought me a fancy Tim Horton’s donut and stuck a candle in it.

This year I began my birthday celebrations with dinner and a movie with Matt (and sans bébé). We went out to a fancy restaurant, where I proceeded to prove myself to be the cheapest cheap drunk in the history of ever. I wore a fancy silk dress and my favourite necklace from Paris and we played bloody knuckles and laughed at penis jokes. Basically it was just the best. Then we saw Moonrise Kingdom, which was also basically the best. High five, Wes Anderson!

But anyway. I digress.

I am happier now. I am more confident. I am more comfortable in my own skin. My body is actually stronger, firmer and more flexible than it was 10 years ago. I like the way I look, which is a nice change from how I felt about my appearance a decade ago. And I have Matt. And Theo.

I might not be as naively, wondrously optimistic as I was at the beginning of my last decade. I still believe that the future is bright, although I am more cautious about it. I am better at living in the present than I have ever been, and that’s a huge relief.

There are things that I miss about the self I left behind a decade ago. I miss the sense of awe I had, the sense of wonder. I miss the sense of potential that I felt about myself. I miss the sense of potential I felt about life in general. There were so many blanks to be filled in back then. Now there are less. I am mostly happy with how I’ve filled those blanks. I think that’s the most that anyone can say.

And now there are new blanks to fill, ones I didn’t expect. There are new challenges, and new doors that have opened for me. If life is not as full of magic as I once thought, then it’s also far, far less terrible than I have believed at times.

This is good. Thirty is good. I am excited for this decade.

“So we drove on toward death in the cooling twilight.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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(this is what thirty looks like, in case you were wondering)