The One Where I Attempt To Drink 32 Cocktails in 2.5 Hours

I know some of you probably read the title to this post and thought, “Simone, didn’t you just write a post about how you stopped drinking? So, does that mean that’s no longer on the books?!” Well, yes and no.

A few months ago when I wrote how I had drastically reduced my alcohol intake and started buying art instead, what I should have emphasized was that I didn’t just cut back on booze, I cut back on going out period. While I still spend time with friends regularly, for the most part, my party dresses and stilettos have been gathering dust for the past year.

I’d love to be able to say that this decision was 100% motivated by a desire to be healthy, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I wasn’t just avoiding alcohol, I was avoiding the people I associated with alcohol – namely, Party Guy (remember him?) When I started dating SA, Party Guy and I had an ugly falling out, which lead to another falling out with a mutual friend. While I’m on the path to reconciling with said friend, my falling out with Party Guy was so unsettling that I have zero desire to the him (unless he’s in a burning house fire. Kidding. Kind of. Not really.) So, I’ve been avoiding local social events and bars where he’ll likely be, which is pretty much all of them.

I regularly receive emails from young women who’ve reached out to let me know that this blog has inspired them to be more confident and bad-ass in their own love lives. These emails make my week/month/year. They give me the fuel to keep writing, creating and being a voice that other women can relate to. So, while my health has definitely benefited from not drinking as much, it feels lame to admit that the impetus for this all comes down to avoiding a dude. Not very bad-ass right?

At the time though, it just felt easier to avoid certain social situations than risk running into someone that I no longer felt safe around. Whenever I’d receive an invite for a high-profile social event I’d immediately press delete without a second thought. I was fine with this, until I wasn’t.

Avoiding alcohol in the summer is easy for me. I don’t really like day drinking and I’d rather be up early reading on my patio/at the beach/lounging by the pool than hungover in bed. However, now that Fall is in full swing, I’ve been feeling much more social. When a friend suggested I come with her to Art of the Cocktail, I said yes.

In it’s 8th year running, Art of the Cocktail is a giant cocktail party where you can sample about 35-40 different (mini) cocktails and appetizers from local Victoria chefs, regional distilleries & international brands. I love me a good craft cocktail, so I threw caution to the wind, purchased a ticket, got dolled up in my favourite Tibi skirt & slinky heels; knowing full well that I would probably run into everyone I (wish I didn’t) know that night.

Surprise: I did!

The official theme of the event was “Havana, 1955” but it really should have been “A retrospective of Simone’s questionable dating decisions circa 2011-2014.”

Within the first five minutes of walking into the venue with my lady friends, I saw Fitness Guy (I don’t think he recognized me. Again. Go figure), bumped into Young Dude (we hugged it out because we’re cool like that) before rounding the corner to use the bathroom and coming face to face with Party Guy. After agonizing over this moment for over a year, when it happened it wasn’t that bad. Armed with my favourite red lipstick and some sick finger waves, I was feeling myself that night. I gave him my best resting bitch face – the one that says “I see you but if you want to make contact with me you need to call 1-900-I’mOutOfFucksToGive” (perfected for generations by Eastern European women before me) and kept on walking.

And, it. wasn’t. a big. deal.

It was like the Universe was saying, “we’re going to get all of the awkward stuff out of the way within the first 5 minutes so you can enjoy the rest of your night” because aside from that brief, intense trip down memory lane, the evening went off without a hitch. I had a great time!

I drank and ate all of the delicious things.

I made some new lady friends.

I posed for photos.


art of the cocktail event in victoria, bc

art of the cocktail event in victoria, bc

art of the cocktail event in victoria, bc

I chatted & hung out with SA who was there as well (because apparently, I’ve dated everyone at this party.)

And I got followed around all night by a creepy 60-year man who looked like a cross between Drew Carey and the Glad garbage bag man, minus the charm (because I’m a weirdo magnet ….but seriously, WHY DUDE WHY?)

I finished off the evening with a nightcap of shrimp tacos with my lady friends (new & old.)


(Me: terrible at bathroom selfies)

Originally I was going to wrap this post up with something cliche about facing your fears or how everything is better with girlfriends by your side, but the truth is far more simple. Sometimes the stuff that used to seem like a big deal 1.5 years ago, doesn’t really matter anymore. Also, cocktails are delicious.

Here’s 10 Guys That I’d Like To Meet

Hi, it’s me. Still single. Still 35 (at least for another 12 days.) A few weeks ago, authors Blythe Roberson and Jason Adam Katzenstein posted in the New Yorker an illustrated article titled Types of Guys I Would Like To Date, If Someone Could Please Introduce Me to Them. I couldn’t help but giggle. I mean, what 30-something woman hasn’t yearned to date a guy that owns a rug? (“a huge achievement, as rugs cost millions of dollars and require vacuuming“). The piece also made me ponder the kinds of guys I would like to be introduced to. (Because, let’s face it — the singles in Victoria leave quite a bit to be desired.)

Because I don’t have the artistic skills of a New Yorker cartoonist, Joe the Intern and his friends have stepped in to help with this post.

So, gather around my friends while I cue up Michael Buble’s “I Still Haven’t Met You Yet” and press the repeat button. Here’s some men I’m interested in getting to know.

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

40-something Musical Yogis with 20-something rockstar dreams, need not apply. Whether it’s a full time job or a side-hustle, this guy likes making things and he wants to make things with you (websites! music! photos! smoked meat! pickles! A new fence! Stop animation with Joe the Intern!) I know you’re out there. If your idea of a great Saturday is brunch, followed by creating something together, I want to be your Ride and #DIY. (photo credit)

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

Sure, he mainlines kale juice and eats sandwiches that are made with thinly cut organic tempeh steaks instead of bread, but he doesn’t need to talk about it. He’ll never shame you for not drinking as many vegetables as he does, because he totally gets the concept of balance. I.e. there’s a time for kale chips and a time for diving face first into a stack of chicken and waffles.

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

When I was in university, it wasn’t uncommon to meet guys who’d say stuff like, “oh, you like 2Pac? I only listen to conscious hip-hop or stuff from the 80’s.” These guys are still around. They read Pitchfork and the only Kendrick Lamar song they think is relevant is the one you’ve never heard of because “it’s so obscure.”  The Guy Who Isn’t Afraid to Shamelessly Rock out to Lil’ Wayne is the opposite of that guy. He’s politically aware and understands why something might be offensive but isn’t opposed to dancing around the living room with you as Weezy chants “a milli a milli a milli.”

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

The stack of Prince LPs and his turntable are the only church he needs. He thinks “Call My Name” is one of the sexiest, most romantic, panty-dropping songs of all time and to your delight, insists that you go as The Kid and Apollonia for Halloween. When you fidget in your costume, he says, “I don’t care that you’re not an ingenue of indeterminate ethnic origin, you look amazing in that leather bustier.”

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

No, I’m not talking about one of those greaseballs on Millionaire Matchmaker that owns a yacht. I’m thinking of something more organic, like you meet at a record store in Silverlake and you catch each other’s eye because you’re both wearing the same Prince pin on the lapel of your matching leather jackets. Flash forward to the future where you’re sitting out by your backyard pool perched high in the Elysian Hills, eating tacos and writing dialogue for Joe the Intern.

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

He’s like Feminist Ryan Gosling, but he’s Idris Elba. He would never use the hashtag #NotAllMen seriously and often says stuff like, “Hey, girl, you’ve worked really hard today. Let me do the dishes while you kick back and photograph your collection of weird Ken Dolls.”  

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

He’s like Colin Miller meets Jesse Williams. He’s tough, but kind & empathetic, and he’s unafraid to stand up for what he believes in. He’s not the guy who “doesn’t give a fuck,” he’s the guy who gives all the fucks. You catch each other’s eyes across a crowded movie theatre after a documentary about a depressing social issue has just let out. When you walk towards him, you realize he’s wearing a t-shirt that says #FreeEdwardAtes. (photo credit)

“I thought you only existed on the internet” you say to him.

He smiles and replies, “I thought you only existed on the internet.”

You spend lots of time listening to wrongful conviction podcasts together and admiring how he looks good in hats that aren’t fedoras.

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

Recently I texted my friend, “So, if a man is in his late 30’s and he’s still sleeping on a mattress on the floor, that’s a deal breaker, right?” She responded, “please tell me that’s a rhetorical question.” A few years ago I went on a couple of dates with a smart, very successful 30-something man who kept all of this non-perishable food in a small heap next to his bed (which was also just a mattress on the floor) so he’d never have to get up while watching Netflix to grab snacks. I know there are lots of men out there who have mastered the art of #adulting, but clearly there aren’t enough to go around. If you own a dresser that isn’t covered in stickers and you don’t use a upside down laundry basket as a nightstand, let’s talk.

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

Here’s a gentleman who is no stranger to having his hand all up inside some green felt. On Sunday mornings you like to create elaborate puppet shows that include lots of original songs and are heavy on  character development (“I mean, Barry the Sloth is basically a decent guy. He only drinks and bites people because he’s misunderstood – and that thing that happened when he was in the circus.”) 

Online Dating in Victoria BC: 10 Guys That I'd Like To Meet

It’s easy to find men who love dogs, but I’d like to meet someone who is crazy about felines just to see what he’d be like. I know he’s out there somewhere, happily whistling away as he meticulously cleans his couch cushions with a dust buster. Call me. 

When Your Life Becomes an Alanis Morissette Song


(photo credit)

A few months ago, I was wandering around Value Village, late on a Tuesday night looking for records (as one does when you’re single and childless at 35.) I was digging through the crates of dusty LPs in hope that maybe, just, maybe I might find a copy of Prince’s Purple Rain. I had a copy with my childhood record collection but it’s since gone MIA – which has been distressing me to no end.

He saw me first.

He was digging through a crate a few feet away.

“I’ve looked through everything, so if there’s something you’re looking for I can probably tell you if it’s there” he said.

I told him about my Purple Rain record conundrum and we bonded over the fact that our town is basically sold out of all things Prince – except for commemorative magazines (one glance at my local newsstand and it’s clear that those are multiplying like gremlins.) This fed into a conversation about how it’s hard to find good soul music in Victoria. Our thrift shop adventures. Hip hop. Record shopping in LA. The best places to eat in Harlem. Music, music and more music.

I told him I’d gone to see the Miles Davis movie while was playing at the local repertory theatre.

“What was the crowd like?” he asked.

“What you’d expect. A theatre full of white haired senior citizens, one elderly black man and a hippie guy eating lentil stew out of a tupperware container.”

He then told me that he’d found an unopened copy of Guns and Roses’ Appetite for Destruction on vinyl for a $2 at a thrift store recently.

“I have so many questions for the previous owner of this record, starting with WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?” I replied.

That’s around the time that I noticed that he was kind of cute. White guy. Horn-rimmed glasses. Small nose stud. Denim vest. Black baseball cap. It was clear that he was trying to cultivate a 1980’s Beastie Boys vibe and I wasn’t hating it.

I was in awe. It’s so rare that I meet anyone in this town, let alone someone with common interests that I can immediately jump into a conversation with without it feeling weird. This guy seemed cool – or at the very least, extremely musically literate.

I’m sure my face looked like the emoji with the heart eyes.

He confessed, “it’s kind of embarrassing, but I like to collect new age CD’s. There’s so many of them here and some of them are really cool if you actually listen to them. Weird, but good.”

“Hey, no judgement” I replied. “If it makes you feel any better, I collect  ken dolls of 90’s celebrities. I have an MC Hammer doll that sits on my desk.”

“No way. I have that exact doll – STILL IN IT’S ORIGINAL PACKAGING!”

Clearly, this man was my soulmate. 

That’s when my phone buzzed and I saw that my Mom was looking for me in the store. (She’s my #1 thrift shopping sidekick.)

I floated over to the other side of the store, found my mom, and floated back towards the cash register where he was getting ready to pay for a stack of new age CDs.

“Enjoy your CDs!” I said.

“Thanks! Hey, you won’t believe what I found!”

I looked down to see a copy of a Little Sambo book (if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you can read up on the history here.) On the cover was an illustration of a small white child, leading a small black child on what appeared to be a leash.

“OH DEAR LORD” I gasped.

At first I assumed he was going to turn the book in to the staff so they could take it off the shelves. That’s what I would have done. But, then he spoke.

“Isn’t it awesome?! I collect all of this shit. I have a whole room of black face stuff at home. I love it!” he said.

My face turned from heart eyes to whatever emoticon signifies “OH HELL NO.”

“Nice meeting you!” he said as he strolled out the door and into the night.

People always ask me what it’s like to be 35 and single.

I think Alanis Morissette said it best when she sang, “It’s like meeting the man of your dreams, then meeting his collection of super racist artifacts.”



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