Dating Myself

I had this really good post planned for today about Threesomes but, I totally chickened out after I found out that apparently one of the kids I used to babysit for has been reading my blog (OH GOD). He’s 20 -something but, still (OH GOD). Yup, that’s me…corrupting the youth.

It makes me wonder, who else is reading this?!

So in lieu of another tawdry story about my shady dating history, I thought I’d share the story about how I learned to stop dating other people…and instead learned to date myself.

As the oldest of two children, I’ve always been pretty independent. When I was growing up I loved socializing. I was the kid who was so busy talking during the lunch-hour that I’d actually forget to eat my lunch. I was also a goody-two-shoes (work with me here). The only time I ever got in trouble was for talking too much (some things never change). With that said, I was also the kind of kid who could spend hours in her room, playing with her stuffed animals & barbies, working on art projects, making up dance routines, completely content to amuse myself for hours on end. As a teenager I also loved spending time alone: writing, listening to records, going for walks on the beach. My family is small and close knit and while I was growing up I always had a tight circle of close friends. Being alone wasn’t lonely because I knew that whenever I didn’t want to be alone, I was surrounded with all these wonderful people who had known me my own life.

I’d always dreamed of leaving my sleepy seaside town for some big, strange, exciting place. When I was 18, I did exactly that. Instead of going to University, I signed up for some college classes and bought a one-way ticket to Toronto, a city thousands of miles away where I knew virtually no one. Once I started “living my dream” I realized something: I was completely alone…and for the first time, alone felt lonely.

I was so desperate to meet people, that I would literally be friends with ANYONE. If you were a weirdo or mentally unstable in 1999, I would probably be your friend. During this time of my life I met a few really wonderful people (who later became good friends) however, the majority of people I met were less than wonderful. I just didn’t see it at the time because I was young, naive, desperately lonely and hadn’t quite figured out that a lot of people just didn’t have good intentions. That’s how I ended up hanging out with people like The Worm. However, getting Tequila’ed up & molested by The Worm in his Porsche, was just the tip of the ice-berg when it came to bad experiences. I was wracking up disturbing life experiences like it was going out of style. Maybe at some point I’ll actually start to get into detail about what actually happened, but for now its just safe to say that by the end of my first year in Toronto I was kind of a mess emotionally.

I realized early on that school year that a “good” way to deal with my problems was to party. As hard and as often as possible. I’m not really sure how much of this had to do with me wanting to run away from my problems or whether this is something that all people feel when they are young but, I had this strong desire to always be OUT. Staying at home, doing quiet things was absolutely unbearable. I felt like if I was home I was a missing out on something and obviously a total “loser” (something that now seems pretty ridiculous now that I am older). If I was at home alone, then it would mean that I would actually have to stop and reflect on what was going on with my life. I wanted to avoid that at all costs… so instead I went to great lengths to ensure that never happened. I went to University full time and worked 25-30 hours a week. I scheduled all my shifts so that I would never be home alone on the weekends. I’d work all weekend, party all night, and leave myself just enough time during the week to study & maintain a B average. Even if it meant that I went to my part time job hung-over beyond belief (or god forbid, still kind of drunk from the night before), working a 9 hour shift in this state was actually preferable to being home alone with my thoughts.

When it came to partying, I wouldn’t just have a few. I’d drink to the point that bordered on oblivion, where I was comfortably numb. Where I didn’t have to feel anything. I also loved to dance, so I would consume to the point where it would just be me, the music and whoever I was dancing with. My self-destructive behavior extended into other areas of my life, mainly boys. I dated a drug dealer. I dated a drug addict. I spent a year being some guy’s mistress because on some level I didn’t think I deserved any better. It’s like I searched out these situations that were destined to end painfully. I like to call these my “train-wreck years”. There were signs along the way that I should have stopped what I was doing but I chose to ignore them.

The real wake-up call happened in September of 2003, shortly after my 22nd birthday.

My paternal Grandma, who I had always been very close with, passed away.

I was heartbroken.

My grandma was one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever known (of course, maybe this is the way most people feel about their grandma’s). Losing her gave me this weird feeling that my childhood was now officially over.

September of 2002 was a bad month. To add insult to injury, right after my grandma passed my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. Looking back, this was a blessing in disguise however, at the time it sucked. It felt like someone was taking my already bruised, bleeding heart & was stabbing it repeatedly with a butter knife.

Shortly after the break-up, the leaking started. I noticed that water was squirting out of the light fixture in my bedroom ceiling (why this happened in the first place remains a mystery). I figured I didn’t need to add “accidental electrocution” to my list of problems so, I packed an overnight bag & decided to stay on my friend’s couch until building maintenance could come and fix the leak. The maintenance people never showed up. Three days later I returned to my apartment to find a 4ft x 4ft hole in my ceiling, and the “ceiling” (pieces of wood, insulation, plaster) on my BED.

I looked up at the hole & saw my upstairs neighbor looking down at me.

him: “So, like… your ceiling fell through while you were away”
me: “Yeah I noticed”

I actually laugh whenever I tell this story because, it is kind of funny. It felt like my world was imploding…and then it actually did.

Even though my heart hurt & I felt overwhelmed, for the first time in years I didn’t feel like partying that feeling away. Have you ever had one of those moments where you wake up and say “What the fuck am I doing with my life?”. I’ve had a few. This was one of them. I knew that if I was going to get through this I would need to STOP everything.

I stopped drinking. I stopped partying. I stopped dating. I stopped sleeping with my ex. I started to systemically to cut off all of my friends that reminded me of any of these things (even if they were good people). I didn’t want to face them. I didn’t want to talk about how I felt. I didn’t want to fake being happy any more. When I am truly upset this what I do: I hibernate. I also decided I needed to learn how to do the one thing I used to fear so much: I needed to learn how to be alone. And, this was exactly what I did.

I forced myself to stay home on the weekends. It was hard at first. I’d feel shaky & jittery, like I couldn’t sit still. Even though I knew I didn’t want to be out partying, I felt like I was scratching at the walls. But, once I eventually got over the initial anxiety and I realized, THIS IS AWESOME.

I COULD DO ANYTHING I WANTED.

Since I wasn’t spending my weekends wasted or in the emergency room sitting bedside as my boyfriend had his stomach pumped, I HAD SO MUCH SPARE TIME. I re-discovered what it felt like to wake up on a Sunday without a hangover (omg you have so much energy!). I started to fill my Friday & Saturday nights with things that I enjoyed. I’d borrow my neighbor’s VCR (I was a broke student) and rent videos that only I wanted to see. I discovered Sex and the City, and was like “Whoa! I’m not the only one having all these bizarre dating experiences…and they are laughing about it!”. I substituted food for booze. On Friday nights I’d go to the grocery store & I’d buy WHATEVER the hell I felt like eating. I’d get brie, avocados, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, cookies, gummi bears, croissants, pepperoni sticks, popcorn & cheezies. I learned that eating all of these things in succession isn’t that great an idea. I stopped being underweight. I put on a well-needed 5-8lbs. My body filled out in a good way. I spent a lot of time at the library because it made me feel less lonely. My B-average turned into an A-average. I started my first blog & met people who I are still my friends today. Did I still feel lonely through any of this? OH HELL YES. Sometimes I felt totally lonely. It was hard but, I worked through it. I decided to embrace the feeling of being a bit lonely because I knew what I was doing was healthier than what I was doing before (minus the new found gummi bear & pepperoni problem)

That winter, I found the perfect solution for what to do on my free Saturday nights: I got a job working at (what was at the time) a high end club/cigar lounge. I started making more money than I had ever made before. FYI. Want to wean yourself off of alcohol? Get a job somewhere where YOU’RE SOBER and everyone around you is WASTED. It’s eye-opening. And hilarious.

Working at the club was a good thing because it broke me out of the shell I had been living in. I started to feel better. I started to make new friends & connect with old ones. I started to date again. I realized that I could still go out, have a few drinks & have fun with my friends without being self-destructive. I started to smile & laugh again…but this time, real smiles, not the fake-smiling-eventhough-I’m-sad-ones. Most importantly, on the nights when I wasn’t working at the bar I loved going home to my apartment alone, kicking my feet up and saying “I’m OK with this” because I was. I learned to sit still. I learned to be alone again and love it.

So, what is the point of all this? Lately, I’ve been going through a hard time emotionally. The circumstances are completely different & don’t worry – no one has died. Still, its been difficult. Looking back on this other era of my life I’ve realized this: sometimes shitty things happen. Very shitty things. But, sometimes its these really hard times that push us forward…push us to make changes…push us to get to know ourselves better…push us to face things that we fear. And, if history repeats itself (as I’m hoping it will), its these struggles that lead us to better things.

xox

(Photo found via Rebecca Thuss)

Can anyone else relate to this?

Making Sex Make Sense

A few months ago, a good friend of mine & I were at a bar having a drink. As usual, our conversation eventually wandered over to the topic of Sex:

“It took me a while to really understand Sex. I was having sex but I didn’t really GET sex. I had to sleep with a few different people before I really started to enjoy myself”

I can’t remember who actually said this (many martinis were involved at this point), just that we both AGREED.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who has sex for the first time with their soul-mate. They end up having amazing chemistry with this person & they fall in love & stay together & never look back as they walk off into the sunset towards a life together filled with love & orgasms & interesting conversations. Cue movie credits.

Obviously, I’m not one of these people (If I was, this blog wouldn’t exist)

I always knew that SOMEDAY I would have amazing, mind blowing sex. It just didn’t happen for me right away. My experiences with relationships and sex have involved A LOT of trial and error.

Because I’m in the mood to do some over-sharing today, lets take a look at the evidence:

Guy #1: I won’t tell you the full-story of how I cashed in my V-Card. Instead, here is the Coles Notes version: It happened with my first real boyfriend in High School. The experience was sweet & loving but also awkward, bumbling and most of all painful. I felt like my insides were being pried open by the jaws of life. Luckily though, it only lasted about 60 seconds. After it was over, I remember staring at the ceiling thinking:

“So, THIS is what I have been waiting for?”

(honestly, I would love to meet a woman who’s first time was a mind-blowing, awesome, multiple- orgasm filled romp. Maybe that’s an oxymoron?)

Guy #2: This is the guy I started dating near the end of high school. I was really into him. We spent most of the summer after Grade 12, lying on his bed, fooling around. There was a lot of kissing, touching and…orgasms. And as you probably guessed, the orgasms turned me into a bit of a dum dum…enough to overlook stuff like how we had nothing in common (besides enjoying making out with each other) and that he had a speech impediment that made words like “sailboat” come out sounding like “twailboat” (oh the things you don’t notice when you’re permanently lip-locked). Despite all the fooling around, I made him wait 4 months to actually sleep with me. When the special night arrived, he climbed on top of me, pounded away like a rabid jackrabbit and passed out 3 minutes later (HUH?). My thoughts at that moment were:

“I waited 4 months for this?!”

Guy #3. He was older, devastatingly handsome, and much more experienced than I was. Thanks to this guy, I discovered that sexual positions OTHER than missionary weren’t just stuff from the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine, but stuff people actually did in real life. WHO KNEW. We ended up having sex in many new & exciting ways in many new & exciting places (we both lived at home, so actually having sex in a bed was usually off limits). Our little adventures were thrilling but, most of the time I didn’t really come. Sure there would be flutters of pleasure & those little blips of orgasms, but never anything like the earth-moving-mind-altering-OMG-I-found-the-BIG-O-all-consuming-waves-of-pleasure that I had heard existed (also thanks to Cosmopolitan). Partly, I think this is because I was so enamored with this guy that the following soundtrack would always be playing in my head whenever we were having sex: OMG, I LIKE HIM SO MUCH AND HE’S SO HOT AND I CAN’T BELIEVE WERE ACTUALLY DOING THIS TOGETHER OMG HE CHOSE ME TO DO THIS WITH AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? WHY ISN’T HE MAKING EYE CONTACT? I distracted myself to the point where it was like my body forgot to come. The other part of this was that he never tried to please me. He was a selfish lover. I realized this many years later when I slept with him again as an adult.

Guy #4. FINALLY GOOD SEX. With this guy, the emotional & the physical finally connected and there were orgasms… pretty good ones. The only problem was that I was dating a closet case. Even though the sex was actually pretty good, getting him bed was a struggle. We’d only have sex once every three weeks if I was lucky. Which, as you know is not enough-especially when you’ve just started dating. Most of the time I was left feeling like a cat in heat, scratching my nails on the wall of my poorly lit basement apartment. When I expressed my concerns, his response was:

“I’m OK with you sleeping with other people if you want”

(Not exactly what you want to hear from the guy you’re supposedly in love with)

What this really means is “I want to sleep with other people, but I just don’t have the balls to tell you this”.

Eventually, I did take his advice & slept with someone else (As did he: the cute guy in his acting class)

NEXT!

Guys #5-#7 were a motley crew of individuals that included a guy I’ll call “THE BITER”, a cute French Canadian (more jackrabbit action) and a guy who wanted to try out “moves” he’d learned from an “instructional porn video”. This didn’t go over well. To borrow a line from Seinfeld, “it felt like I was being probed by aliens”

FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL.

Which brings us to Guy #8. Have you ever met someone that you have been, instantly, insanely, attracted to? Yeah, that’s #8. We met on the eve of my 21st birthday at a bar I used to go to. One minute we’re dancing together, the next we’re pressed up against the packed bar, making out passionately, his hands reaching up under my skirt.

him: “Can I take you home?”
me: “I’m not that kind of girl. I don’t do those kinds of things”
him: “Ok, well do you want to come outside and have a cigarette with me?”

So, I followed him outside into the alley adjacent to the bar. He never ended up smoking the cigarette. Instead, the kissing continued. Then he kneels down, pulls my underwear down & begins going down on me, while my back is pressed up on the graffitied wall of the alleyway. Barely Concealed by the darkness from the passers by on Queen St: ORGASM. It was totally sleazy & inappropriate & hot.

him: “Can I take you home now?”
me: “No. How about this: I’ll take YOU home. My turf. My rules. And I’m NOT sleeping with you”

We spent the next four hours in my bed, mostly with his heads between my legs.

I counted the orgasms 6….7….8……….9

(where did he learn to do this?!)

When the clock struck 6 am, he resurfaced for air. Out of breath & exhausted I said to him:

“I GIVE UP”

We finally had sex. We came together as the sun rose over Toronto.

I was THAT KIND OF GIRL after all.

FINALLY….SEX MADE SENSE.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

The year I spent trying to date Mr. Magic Tongue, was a total disaster. Outside of the bedroom, he was completely wrong for me. I just didn’t see it. The Sex had turned me into Blind Dum Dum in love. But, that’s beside the point. What’s important to understand about this experience is that it changed me. I became confident in bed, I learned to express myself and ask for what I wanted & finally I understood what it was like to be consumed in that I -need- to-have- you- I- don’t -care- if- we’re -in- an-alleyway- or- on -top -of- a -washing- machine- we -need- to- have- sex -right- now -kind -of passion. Take THAT Cosmopolitan magazine!

Years later, I slept with Guy #3 again. I remember he was on-top of me, doing what I like to call “slow-mo jackrabbit action” aka “barely moving” . Frustrated, grabbed his ass & called out:

“FASTER! HARDER!” (Jesus. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING)

His eyes nearly popped out of his head, he looked at me and said,

“You’ve CHANGED”
“Yeah, I’m no longer 18”

I had changed. Although #3 didn’t fully appreciate this, I’m sure the guys who came after him (no pun intended) did. The transformation into the sex-blogging-lingerie-loving-self-proclaimed-brazen-hussy I am today was already on its way.

By the time I got to Guy #13… Well, I won’t tell you what happened there YET, but I’m pretty sure we broke a few laws the first time we hooked up.

The rest is history.

All these stories come full circle back to a conversation I had recently with another friend. She said to me:

“I feel kind of embarrassed about the number of people I’ve slept with”

I used to feel the same way too. I used to beat myself up about it. Call myself a slut. But, as I’ve realized, negative self talk gets you nowhere. Somewhere around the time when I moved in with my boyfriend, I decided to say FUCK IT and decided that my “number” no longer mattered. Looking back on the past, I realize that my “number” (which I’ll never reveal but I can say doesn’t stop at 13) matters less and less. As long as you’re taking care of yourself, respecting yourself & the people around you what’s the big deal? What’s the point of constraining your own sexuality because you feel like you need to fit in with some arbitrary definition of what’s a socially acceptable number of people to have slept with? Because you know what? That number doesn’t exist. Why make yourself feel bad? If I had decided to stop sleeping with people at Guy #3, or #5 or worse #7 (that video he watched should really be banned. for reals) because I was afraid of being labeled a “slut” and instead thought I should just “wait for the right person”, then I would have missed out on a lot of the experiences that have made me who I am today. The irony of this all was that I WAS “waiting for the right person”. He just didn’t come along for a very, very long time.

If you’re still waiting, or trying to make sense of it all: don’t worry. Sometimes it takes a long time to get things right. It did for me. Take a deep breath. Re-Group. Hug yourself. It will all work out. And in the mean time, don’t be afraid to embrace your inner Brazen Hussy. She’s a lot of fun.

{Today’s photo is from We Heart It. And no, I don’t condone wearing socks in bed. ever.}

Can anyone else relate to this?

Goodbye Old Friend

Last night I said goodbye to an old friend. Well, technically it was a pair of old friends. I finally threw out the gold shoes.

Let’s all take a moment of silence for Simone’s crazy gold shoes.

You’re probably wondering “what’s the big deal with these shoes?!”. As you can see from the photo, they’re worn out, they’re dirty, they’re pretty fugly. They have DEFINITELY seen MUCH better days. But I guess that’s the point: the days they were around for were GOOD DAYS. Very good days. As much as the shoes have lost their luster, the memories I have of wearing them are golden (pardon the corny pun). Which I think explains why, even though I haven’t worn them in a good 4 1/2 years, I’ve been unable to purge them from my closet.

I bought the shoes in 2002-2003, (when I was 22-23) at Eaton’s- a Canadian department store that no longer exists (sign #1 that maybe your shoes are past their expiry date). That spring, I wore these shoes everywhere. I wore them with dresses, with skirts, with jeans, I even wore them with cargo pants during a fashion era I call my “Heels & Cargo pants, Jenny from the Block phase”. Ask my friends, it really wasn’t as scary as I make it sound. REALLY.

I wore these shoes (with my “dressy cargo pants”) to a housewarming party, when the first of my friends bought their own home. When one of his friends tried to hit on me, they used the opening line “Those are some very interesting shoes”. The fate of the shoes was sealed. If there was a party to be had, these shoes were in attendance. And boy, did these shoes party..and DANCE. I spun around the dance floor, I white-girl salsa’ed, I grinded, I shook and shimmied to Roy Davis Jr & jumped up and down to Mark Farina, I blistered my feet again and again…all while wearing these shoes.

I was wearing these shoes the night I was literally swept off my feet. I was dancing with a handsome stranger at Nasa. We stepped outside to get some air and talk. Our friends had long since abandoned us. We were enjoying each others company so much that we decided to walk a few blocks to go check out another bar. He looked down at my feet, accessed the 5 inch heel and said,

“Those shoes are ridiculous. How do your feet feel?!”
“They kind of hurt. A lot”
“You can’t walk in those”

Without hesitation he grabbed me, picked me up in his arms and carried me down 4 blocks of Queen St. Yes, it was a bit of a caveman move. And yes, drunk people on the street were staring at us: a 100lb girl being carried down the street by a man twice her size. But I liked it. I felt special. I was the only girl getting carried down the street in gold shoes. This was also the night I fell head over gold shoes for this handsome stranger.

I wore the shoes the night I went to go hear Dimitri from Paris spin at Sunnyside Pavillion. Instead of dancing the night away, I spent the most of the night making out with a cute guy, ignoring the world around me. The shoes were latter shed by the entry way to his front door, along with various other pieces of clothing. I slipped the shoes back on in the early morning sunlight and together we walked the walk of shame.

I liked these shoes so much that I even wore them the day I graduated university. While other girls chose conservative Nine West pumps to accessorize their cap and gown, I chose ridiculously bright gold shoes. When I look at the photos from that day, part of me cringes (seriously, what was I thinking?!) and part of me pats myself on the back. I was bold but at least I wasn’t boring.

The shoes were a bit ridiculous, but I always felt amazing wearing them. Like a Star.

Eventually though, the shoes became tattered, the gold finish started to fade off in parts, the soles became caked in grime from one club floor too many. The shoes stopped serving a purpose in my life yet, I couldn’t let go of them. They reminded me of a really great era of my life: the last two years of university, where I had finally grown up a bit (and was no longer in my Lindsay Lohan, train-wreck, falling down wasted phase) but I was still having lots of fun. I was doing well at school, I had a part time job I liked and I still managed to have lots of interesting escapades. This was a relatively carefree time in my life, before I had responsibilities, debt and a “real” job.

After university I held on to that era of my life for a long time. I’d look back on it and think that somehow it was “better” than my current reality, that I was “so much happier back then”.For so long I think I felt like if I let the shoes go, I’d somehow lose these memories. That I would forget about that carefree girl. That I would never be able to find my way back to that place. But I’ve since realized that the shoes are not the memories. I’ll always have the memories. And, I’ve realized that being happy doesn’t mean going back in time. I’m not that girl anymore. I’ve finally accepted that. I’m older. I’m happy. I have new shoes. There are many new adventures to be had.

It was time to let go.

Last night I picked up the shoes, I put them on my feet and I did one last victory strut around the apartment before I placed them in a hefty bag. BF and I hopped in our neighbor’s car and drove 6 hefty bags full of old clothes & shoes over to the Salvation Army. I’m pretty sure that when they find the shoes they will throw them in the trash. I hope they do. I would have chucked them in a dumpster myself but I was afraid I’d get sentimental, lose my nerve and fish them out. It was time. They had to go.

Adios, Gold Shoes.

We had good times together but it was time for you to journey on up to The Great Big Shoe Tree in the Sky.

R.I.P

Love,

S.D

Does anyone else have an item like this? shoes? a sweat shirt? something you’re embarassed you still own?

Because this Needs to be Said:

I had this weird epiphany when I was in LA last week:


People are actually reading this blog & they are making judgments about my life & my writing.

I knew this would happen when I started publicly writing about certain aspects of my life online. However it didn’t really hit home until last week, when I received my first anonymous comment (see below)

“An interesting post. I’ve been reading your blog from the very beginning, but I’ve reserved comment until now.

Honestly, I think you have a certain talent, and your efforts have potential. Your themes are well-chosen, and you write with a type of candour that’s very appealing (let’s call it impulse, even unabashedness at times). Actually, it might be best to say that there’s a teasing element to the writing, a push to the precipice, then a quick withdrawal before too much is said without opportunity to retrieve.

Since your endeavour here is by its very nature open, I hope you don’t mind if I share some thoughts with you. First, there’s a level of aggression in your writing that could do with being tamed (not always, but sometimes). This post (the first “ex letter”) is good but your resentment clouds the more interesting things you allude to (e.g. how you felt when you were influenced to act contrary to your own tastes and interests, etc.). Your writing is much more successful when it tends toward the funny, or the perceptive, or, at times, the ironic.

Second, how about going topsy-turvy and revealing the shortcomings in your own character that have caused you to stumble? And I mean in relationships or family, not the triter facets of life. For example, it would be interesting to read of some of your experiences where the fault was not his but yours. Stories like these often seem more honest, more true to the notion of revelation.

Anyway, listen, I hope this wasn’t off-putting or ostensibly arrogant in any way. I think your work is great, and the whole Carrie Underwood meets the T-Dot thing works well. You’re obviously an interesting and engaging person, and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this project. If you have any questions or care to hear further insight, touch base via your blog”

I’m really glad that this person left this comment because I feel like they brought up some interesting points. I knew that by posting the first Ex-Boyfriend letter completely out of context, I was opening myself up to further feedback and questions. Namely WHY DID I DATE THIS GUY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHY DID I STICK AROUND? Here is a bit of background information in case you were wondering:

I think Stevie from Seattle said it best: “I was young and insecure”. I dated this guy 6 years ago, when I was 23. Up until I met him my dating rap sheet consisted of a variety of romantic disasters and experiences dating “Kermit types” (people I liked more than they liked me). This guy seemed so DIFFERENT. He was 12 years older than me, smart, nice, good job. Most importantly, he lavished me with attention and made it very clear from the beginning that he wanted us to be together. For someone who was not accustomed to this kind of attention, it was very, very flattering. It feels really good to be wanted and needed. We all want to be loved/liked. With that said, being 23-24 was a very confusing time. I had just graduated university, and was taking my first foot steps in “the real world”. Although I had a pretty good idea of who I was as a person, I was completely confused about what I wanted to do with my life. Now, imagine someone comes along who is older, and seemingly wiser and decides you take you under their wing. One minute they are telling you how wonderful and beautiful you are and the next, they are telling you that in order to fit in with this real world you need to change things about yourself, that your interests and parts of your personality aren’t appropriate or suitable. It’s very, very confusing especially when you are young and confused about so much already. Although I had dated alot, I had very little actual relationship experience. I listened to him at first because I thought this was what people meant when they said you had to “compromise” in a relationship. I wanted him to continue to like me, so I started bending, changing or silencing little things about myself. But its a slippery slope: I kept bending and bending and bending until finally I realized I wasn’t really me anymore. I felt so utterly and completely lost during this period of my life. As much as he never stood up to his friends, I never stood up to him. When I realized what had happened I was mostly just mad at myself.

Just to clarify: I don’t think The Guy from Letter #1 is a bad person. We just were searching for different people. Both of us made the mistake of dating each other. I’m sure If I’d had the self-confidence and self-awareness I have now back then, things probably would have gone a lot differently. Instead, I ended up learning a lot from this experience:

1) ALWAYS BE YOURSELF. LIVE BOLDLY AND COLOURFULLY . The right person will like you just as is. Vice versa, if you find you’re always trying to change someone, you probably don’t love them for who they really are.

2) If something doesn’t feel right, its probably because it isn’t right. If something bothers you, SPEAK UP. I never stood up to that guy because I just didn’t want to “cause problems”, but in the end the only person who suffered was me. Now I say what’s on my mind. Just ask BF. He gets an earful every day. (He also does the same with me and I think that’s what keeps us together-4 years and counting)

After I broke up with Guy from Letter #1 a lot of awesome things happened: I started to do really well at my job, I built up a great social network, and most of all I really embraced who I am (bright colors, rap music, animal print & all). All of this lead me to meet the person I am with today (BF).

So, here are my comments for you Anonymous Commenter:

If you think I’m trying to assign Blame to the guys I dated, you’re obviously missing the point of this blog. Most of these situations are 100% my fault. Meaning, I CHOSE to date people who were totally wrong for me. I’ve obviously made some huge mistakes in my love life. But, haven’t we all? I think Julie Klausner says it best in her book:

“I wrote these stories strewn with romantic collateral damage because I think they’re funny now that I’ve stopped crying, and because I’ve learned things from them I hope will resonate with women [or men] who’ve snacked on similarly empty fare when it comes to guys [or girls]”

I’m writing about my mistakes, with a touch of humor because I’m ready to laugh about them and let them go. I’m hoping that other people who have made similar mistakes will read the blog, and do the same.

As for the “level of aggression” in my writing: I’m not trying to write a Pulitzer winner. I’m not even trying to be a journalist here. I’m just trying to write a PERSONAL BLOG that is true to my feelings and experiences. I’m not always happy, I’m not always funny, sometimes I’m straight up angry. I’m not interested in being “tamed”, especially in my own personal blog space. Read the letter again: I’ve been there, done that. This is me, ugly scars, anger, resentment and all. If any of this doesn’t work for you or you feel the content of the blog is too “trite” then maybe this just isn’t the blog for you. Maybe you’d enjoy reading something that is more journalistic in nature.

This blog is still relatively new. I haven’t fully determined the scope of subjects I’m willing to talk about yet. Currently, I’m writing a lot about my past romantic entanglements, because that is what I have to get off my chest right now. However, this blog has already changed a lot since I first started it and I’m sure it will continue to evolve, as I do as a person. If you’re still interested in reading, I hope that you stick around for the process!

With that said, I’m DYING to find out what I have in common with Carrie Underwood. I’m honestly drawing blanks. I’m not a blonde, I’m not into country music, I don’t have giant sparkling white teeth and I’m definitely not America’s Sweetheart.

Please enlighten me!! I’m dying of curiosity over here!!!

Thanks!

S.D

{PS. Today’s photo was taken last week in Santa Monica, CA. in front of a small liquor store/bodega. I love how in California some of the liquor stores also sell condoms. I think the Americans are on to something…}

How do you feel about your own personal blog space?

The People We Date in our 20’s (part 1)

This blogger is one tired monkey. Between work, socializing, working on Tiny Ocean and staying up late every night working on a fun new project for this blog…I’m pretty beat. Today is my day off from both of my jobs. This morning I got up with intention of dyeing my roots & then sitting down for a few hours to write like a mad woman. My hair got done but instead of blogging this afternoon, I took a (much deserved) afternoon nap. Now I have some coffee & I am ready to go.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write about for my next dating column. Last night my friend Melissa came over. After dinner we were sitting out on my balcony drinking wine, smoking and brainstorming. She suggested that maybe I should write about the different “types” of guys you date in your 20’s. This prompted me to rattle this list off to her:

(A few “types” I’ve dated in my 20’s)

1. The consistently inconsistent, reliably unreliable guy: You’re never sure if he’s going to call or show up. And if he does show up, you’re not sure whether he’ll be sober. But you love him anyways because you’re addicted to the drama. Haven’t we all dated this guy?

2. The Lost Boy: I feel like this guy (along with #1) is a quintessential part of the 20-something dating scene. His favorite book is Siddhartha and he’s always talking in vague terms about “higher levels”, “expanding consciousness” and “the meaning of life”. Typical break-up lines include “I just really need to find myself” “I’m just too messed up right now”. Sound familiar? Move on ladies. There is no room for you in this guy’s existential crisis. Trust me.

3. Mr. “I’m Just Not into Titles”: You spend all your time together. He’s banging you. Yet, he still refuses to call you his girlfriend. His excuse is that he “doesn’t believe in TITLES because they’re old fashioned” and he suggests that you should “embrace modernity with him”. This guy just wants to have his cake and eat it without taking responsibility for his actions. If he wanted you to be his girlfriend, he’d say it. It’s really not that difficult. Walk Away.

4. Closet Cases & Bisexuals . For a few years I definitely had the “Oops, my boyfriend is Gay” curse. If you’ve read THE LIST you’ve probably guessed this. There is nothing like having a relationship end when your boyfriend admits to you he just made out with his (male) dentist. True story. Move on. Its not your fault you don’t have a penis.

5. Old Dudes. In my early 20’s I found older guys irresistible. Daddy issues? Perhaps. Older guys lost their appeal when I realized the reason they were dating me was because women their own age didn’t want them. NEXT!

6. The Coke-head: I feel like everyone in Toronto in the early 2000’s was drinking life up through their nose. Am I wrong here? Along with my “gay curse” I also had the “Oops, my boyfriend is hooked on drugs curse”. Having your date interrupted yet again by your boyfriend’s chronic nose bleeds is just well…gross.

7. Guys who get off on having a token white girl friend. No one likes being treated like someone’s exotic flavor of the month. Nor is it fun to be constantly reminded that you are “white” and that you “just don’t understand what its like to be a Black (or Asian or Mixed Race) man in Canada” (although I will try my best to understand…how could I?! I’m a white woman). One minute I’m your arm candy, the next I’m your emotional punching bag/scapegoat for your complicated identity issues. If you honestly feel this way, you shouldn’t be dating someone who looks like me. Been there. Done that. A few too many times.

8. Alcoholics Life is all one big party… until one night he gets belligerent, gets you kicked out a family restaurant and pukes in your friend’s car. True Story folks.

9. The Secret Life Guy: Once you’ve been dating for a while you discover he has a secret wife, girl friend, or baby mama on the side. Or in the case of #2: a secret gay crush on their dentist. This guy’s favorite line is “My wife/girlfriend/baby-mama just doesn’t understand me“. They never do.

10. The Spaceman: This guy’s favorite line is “I just need space“. What does that mean exactly? Have you ever dated someone and felt like if you added anymore “space” into the relationship you wouldn’t even be dating them anymore? Yeah, that’s the whole point. Any time I’ve requested “space” its been because I think the other person is nice but, for whatever reason I’m just not into them enough (usually because they’re clingy or needy). Instead I request “space”, keep them on the back burner (because I enjoy sometimes fooling around with them & the fancy dinners/nights out/gifts) and hope they eventually get the message. I’m sure the Spacemen out there are thinking the same thing.

After I finished reciting my list, I looked at Melissa and said:

“Hmm, that’s funny…”
her: “What?”
me: “I actually dated a guy who was ALL of those things
her: “Only in your life would that happen…or on a TV show”
me: “I need my own TV show”
her: “Blog about it!!”

And I will blog about it all. It’s all coming soon.

Talking to Melissa, I was reminded that my dating experiences have been slightly…out of the ordinary. There are a lot of stories that still need to be told. I feel like up until now Skinny Dip has only grazed the surface. So, over the next few weeks I’m going to challenge myself to dig a bit deeper. The new project I alluded to at the beginning of this post is going to be a regular feature on Skinny Dip …and it will involve me getting a bit more naked on here (figuratively speaking.) Because naked is good. So, stay tuned! I’m hoping to premiere it on Friday.

(Today’s image was found here.)

I feel like each of the “types” I described above could be expanded into full blog posts/articles. What do you guys think?

Do you have a certain “type” that you feel you have dated? (Guys are welcome to answer this question too)

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