5 things I thought would be different when I left home

37942414

It has been almost 10 years since I left home and went out into the wild, scary, unknown world of adulthood living. I feel like I was truly and utterly underprepared for what was out there, and had I known, I’d have pulled a jew-dude (TM) and stayed at home until I was thirty.

But just like with black, there’s really no going back once you have fled the familial nest.

I just had so many misconceptions on what I thought living away from my parents would look like.

skeptical-baby

  1. “I can eat whatever I want!”
    Oh, oh…ohhh how I dream of the lovingly prepared home cooked meals of yesteryear. So angry and angsty was I, when a meal was NOT EXACTLY what I felt like eating, but instead an equal measure of vegetables, meat and grains. MEAT! Do you know how expensive that shit is?! What I would give, to have two middle aged people cooking for me three times a day…
  2. “I can stay up SO late”
    Want to know what I did Friday, Saturday and Sunday night this past weekend? Binge watched The Wire (because I’m about 15 years behind in my television programming at this point). I am a morning person, so around 10/10.30pm I start to fade fast. I used to think living away from my parents would be sooooooo wicked because I could just drink and party and watch movies all night long…Turns out my favourite thing these days is sleep. Yeah. I’m pretty cool actually.

    Screenshot_2016-06-13-09-50-18-1

  3. “I do what I want!”
    So long as it doesn’t cost money. Seriously. Sometimes over the last few years I have had all of the freedom and none of the money (funemployed/between contracts) and other times I have had some of the money and none of the time (J.O.B). When can I have all of the money and all of the freedom? (right…right…when I rob a bank Oceans Eleven style…got it…have you guys SEEN that movie? It just came out recently in 2001)
  4. “I can date whoever I choose!”
    Remember when your parents hated that guy you were dating in High School and you were like IHATEYOUWEAREINLOVEyoudon’tunderstandmeGETOUTOFMYROOM! Yeah well. Turns out they were right. Man when I was single, I would have given my left ovary (she’s the gimpy one I suspect) for my parents to be hovering over my shoulder as I swiped like: “No. No. No. Yes Paris. No he will have a weird thing for feet. No. No. What about that nice boy from the coffee shop?” It turns out I just wanna date guys that my parents will like and not weirdo’s with spider-man face tattoo’s. Go figure.
  5. “I’m going to get a creative job and YOU CAN’T STOP ME!”
    In grade 12 when picking degree time came, my mother said to me: “Do a degree with the name of a job in it” and I laughed in her face as I applied for my Bachelor of Arts. I guess, if you were to squint your eyes, choke yourself a bit until no oxygen went to your brain and then smoked some meth – you could really consider my whole life one elaborate “Art”. “So what do you do Paris?” oh me? I’m Art. Yeah I studied it at University. In reality, life has been interesting in the working world (#noregrets) but I definitely find myself veering more towards the corporate world as I see all my fellow creatives struggling and think fucccckthatshit. Oh you live in a basement apartment with your sibling, sister and co-business partners and you work in a deli 3 days a week but your new album just dropped on myspace? Cool dude, Imma go over here and work on my excel skills though….

So many people I know have babies now. Literally holding an infant a week ago and thinking: “this adorable squishy baby girl is going to slam a door in your face some day.”

I wish I could go back ten years and slap some sense into my 17 year old self. Eat my free meals, get my free laundry, and remind myself that unfortunately…your parents were right. Uh! Gross.

Give me a Hand

funny-greeting-card-middle-finger

I stare at the back of my hands a lot because I mostly work at a computer and when I’m not staring at the glowing screen, I am staring at the body-tools that do almost everything, every day of my life.

Do you appreciate how much your hands can do for you? (Mind’s out of the gutter please)

In the summer of 2012 I met a guy with no arms who did everything with his feet. That was pretty incredible. And while he can play the drums with his feet and I can’t, I think I’ll stick to my hands thanks. Although his stomach muscles were AMAZING and my abs look like raw cookie dough.

And I’m so glad I have two hands because lots of times the tasks we need to perform require the pair, but there is a huge difference between your right and left hand, and as I started to think about this, I started to get all philosophical and junk (you know how I do).

Recently I’ve started wearing two rings, one on each hand. On my right hand is the ring my Grandmother gave me for my 21st birthday that is a Family heirloom (supposedly) and on my left, most recently, I’ve started wearing a ring my Roommate gave me that is funky and in the shape of a wish bone. With rings, for me it was a case of “where does the ring fit?!”

And then I started to get deeper into the functions of the left and right hands (hello bored-on-public-transport-mind-rambles).

I am right handed, so I do all my hand-written stuff with my right hand. What is it that I hand write these days? Not much! Signatures on things, work-related things that need to be filled out and sent back. I use my right hand for handshakes (as is custom), and most tasks, like using a computer mouse, brushing my teeth/hair. The right hand is for business and leads the way. And if you are right handed what does your left hand do?

Well, your left hand has the traditional western wedding-ring finger. For women, the second finger from the left is adorned with a ring when the woman becomes engaged, and Men and Women typically where rings on that same finger to signify that they are married.

Does this mean that my right hand is for business and my left hand is for family/love?

Hands are often symbolic of friendship, but after a brief google search and a quick skim, I also found this:

Left Hand Right Hand
Passive Assertive
Justice Mercy
Lunar Solar
Emotion Logic
Receiving Giving
Unconscious Conscious

Which is kind of interesting and totally backs up what I was saying.

Yay Science/Internet browsing!

If we didn’t have hands we couldn’t:
-Open Jars of Nutella
-Clean ourselves after eating an entire jar of Nutella
-Give people the middle finger when they judge us for eating all the Nutella before we get to the checkout
-Smack bitches who comment on how much Nutella we’ve been eating and how fat we are now
(This post sponsored by Nutella, just kidding but hey Nutella call me….)

All in all, I’m glad for hands, and I’ll definitely be more thankful for them on a daily basis. Especially since my feet are gross and I don’t want to have to learn how to play the drums with them. Like I can’t play the drums anyway…but yeah!

End ramble.

 

 

Cosmo Sex Tips are ruining my life

Amy-in-Mean-Girls-amy-poehler-7197257-640-480

As an English Major I’ve read a lot of literature in my time, and I continue to read everything from the Game of Thrones series, sci-fi books like Enders Game, biographies and all the chick-lit in between. So for me a Magazine is like junk food for my brain. 

I mean who doesn’t want to look at pictures of chicks wearing hot stuff, with perfect makeup and hair, and be like pfffft I could be a model.

And there are articles in Magazines too. Some of them are great. Many of them relate to sex. Because thats all I’m into as a woman, clothes, and how to please my man. I just had to double check it’s not the 1950’s. Nope. phewph. 

Some of the sex tips are eyebrow raisers, some of them will outright get you punched in the face.

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 8.05.20 PM

 

…..there are no words. I’m trying to picture the guy I likes reaction if I tried this. Like, hey baby I want to fork you REALLY hard…in the butt. This one will definitely get you a punch in the face. Next tip from cosmo? Heat a spoon and stick it right up in there. Guys love this. Tonnes of nerves up there. Okay I may have gone a bit far. I’m gagging.

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 8.10.09 PM

Me: I TOLD you I like SUNFLOWERS. It remembers my favourite flower or else it gets the wax again.

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.50.11 PM

 

I feel like this is unhelpful. Because it’s lacking some very important information, like, when is this appropriate and kinda can you be more specific. I can’t wait to taste your toes. MMMMMM especially if you just got done sport or the gym. Nummynummy sweaty feet tastiness. I can’t wait to taste your beard. It’s…crunchy and delicious. I can’t wait to taste your elbow. Nibble nibble. Somebody call Lays, I think I just came up with their newest flavours. Also, when is this applicable. Dinner? Family dinner? At the bank? I need more information.

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.53.41 PM

 

Seriously? Should I just walk around being like WHOOPSIES?

shutterstock_87005120-e1319492522904

Why stop at water? Why not jelly? Or Ham? Why not whoopsie wet ham down the front of my shirt? That outta get his attention.

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.57.42 PM

 

Okay Cosmo. What I’m visualizing right now is I’m a lip licking, moaning clumsy babe, walking around with her butt poised in your general direction at all times, like entering rooms backwards, constantly kind of at a 90 degree angle. Batt eye-lashes. Now I’m irresistible?

 I’m pretty sure the guys I know would back slowly out of the room and then have me committed if I acted like this. Somewhere with soft walls and plenty of electromagnetic pulses. Which I’m sure the writers at cosmo would be totally into.

Eg:

Tip 18: next time he has you committed to a mental facility, try to sexy up the mood by playfully biting at your restraining straps. Arch your back seductively when they zap you with electricity. Those straight jackets are totally hot because they push your arms under your boobs making them look TOTES big.

No Cosmo.

Just no.

 

Winterizing my Life

Bu0zNLiving through a Canadian winter changes everything you thought you knew about winter.

Trust me.

It’s fucked.

Not only have you never been so cold in your life, but you’ve also never felt like such a pussy about never having been so cold in your life. The first time the temperature dropped into the minus digits, I literally put on every piece of long covering clothing I possessed. I was more layered up than seven fruit roll ups and I was STILL shivering.

What did my Canadian boyfriend wear that day?

A t-shirt, jeans and a light jacket.

It was -5 degrees and I thought I was going to die. My skin ached in the exposed bits, and I was so cold I felt like my bone marrow was freezing. And then it went down to -15.

Now, people from further North, or Montreal, will tell you that -15 aint nothing to write home about. It’s when it gets to -30 that you got to start worrying.

MINUS….30 Degrees…CELSIUS…

Doesn’t the thermometer stop working at -20!? How is -30 a thing? How can we go negative times 30 of the freezing temperature of things??!

CANada Can.

I’ll never forget having a chat to the Mother of a friend of mine. Lovely Mrs Deck from Red Deer, Alberta, an all Canadian little place that looks a little something like this:

RedDeerCountyABHP

Mrs Deck is an avid running enthusiast, and when I began asking her if she continued to run outside during the winter she replied, “Oh yes. You have to wear a balaclava and gloves, but it certainly is nice to get oot and aboot.”

Okay fine she didn’t really say oot and aboot, she said it was nice to get OUTSIDE. But the point is the same. They’re nuts. The whole country.

And you start to become more nuts the more winter days you live through.

For example, last week when it was 1 degree, I asked myself, “do I really need a scarf?”

You start to think it’s normal to walk past huge piles of white (or dirty brown depending on how many days its been there) snow and not scream with delight and jump in it.

You think it’s normal to bring an extra pair of shoes with you to work (you know, snow shoes for the outside and nice clean dry shoes for the inside.)

It takes you 5 minutes to get up from a meal before you exit the establishment (because you have to put on hats, gloves, scarf, winter jacket…)

You minimize any and all walking outside unless it is strictly necessary and all activities move indoors.

When it’s above zero, you start referring to the weather as “warm”.

I’m not going to lie, I love the snow (always have always will) and after building two snowmen over the weekend, going sledding in a park, and having my very first snowball fight, I can safely say there are some perks to living in the “great white north”…

But I will never accept that -30 is a temperature in which humans are supposed to live.

Except Eskimo’s…

Those guys are CRAY

24 things they don’t warn you about before you turn 24

24. You can’t handle your alcohol like you used to:
When I lived at College for 3 years, my liver was a hardened criminal, used to taking no shit from no bitches, and handling, on average, 7-8 drinks a night 6-7 times a week (sometimes we didn’t drink on Sundays…sometimes). Now my liver is a Pussy, and it has made the rest of my body soft and weak. Stupid age.

23. Some things that were cute when you were 18, are not cute now you are a hop skip and a jump away from being thirty:
Like losing all your stuff on a night out (oh darn, you lost your phone again? WOOPSIES! You fucking moron) or getting caught in the rain with no umbrella (YOU CHECKED THE WEATHER ON YOUR COMPUTER BEFORE YOU LEFT!) We’re too smart now to do dumb things like this. Or, we’re just too dumb and evolution needs to sort that out.

22. People are going to start settling down, and shit:
Check my blog from Monday where I detailed the stuff I don’t know about weddings. But weddings aside, people are getting engaged, their moving in with each other, they’re not going out as much any more because they’re saving for things. WTF mate.

21. Your health is more important:
But I WANNA eat that cheesecake at lunch and still get frozen yogurt after my dinner of pizza and mozzarella sticks. WHAT THE HELL IS A CLOGGED ARTERY AND WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT IT?! You’re also going to get fat as fuck with your metabolism peaking out on you.

20. People are going to ask you what you do…all the time:
When I was 18, people assumed I was at University. I didn’t know people that weren’t. I might have asked them what they were studying if I was trying to be polite or trying to make out with them, but I didn’t really care (it was just the pre-hitting on them move). Now people ask me all the time what I do. What shall I tell them? “I WAS working in retail (which I hated) and then I found out my visa had an error on it so now I’m just interning and mindlessly cruising the internet. Is this the part where I ask you and you can tell me even though I don’t really care?”

19. At first paying your own bills and doing your own laundry was exciting and fun. Now it isn’t.

18. There are people younger than you, more successful and more famous than you. And you should feel bad.

17. You won’t live forever:
This shocked me. I went to my first funeral this year and where I used to think 50 was sooooooo old, now I can’t help thinking my friends mum died SOOOOOO YOUNG. I’ll be fifty in 26 years. That’s not enough time to do all the things I need to do! Maybe i’m not invincible…

16. Every year – things seem to speed up and go a little faster:
I can’t believe I just had another birthday. Didn’t I just have one last month? See number 17.

15. All that talent you displayed in High School – when people told you how unique and creative you were…
Well there’s lots more competition now.

14. Your parents protected you from a lot of the crazy out there.
It’s going to rattle tins at you on the corners, it’s going to knock on your door and try to tell you about jesus. Someway, some how, each year the crazy is going to try and seep into your life and you are going to become more and more aware of a) how scary it is and b) how not difficult it would be to join those ranks.

13. Cliques and Bitchyness didn’t end in High School:
Best to have a “Fuck it” attitude and just be you. Cos Heyoooh, if you don’t like you, no one else is going to buy into your crap.

12. You should have done a degree with the title of a job in it:
Like Accounting or Law. Your wishy washy arts/liberal/science degree ain’t gonna get you no where easily. Having read all of Jane Austen’s novels is not something you can put on your resume.

11. You’re getting too old to accept some of these new music types:
Skrillex.

10. There are lots of lame things you need to do to survive:
Like taxes, keeping your eye on your bank account and getting health check ups.

9. People are going to judge you on what wine’s you drink:
“I drink to get drunk” is no longer an acceptable or funny answer.

8. Some of the best paying jobs sound boring as shiiiiiit:
Account manager for a paper company. Sales and Marketing Division leader at Do You Hate Your Life Yet LTD.

7. Your tastebuds are changing and things you used to hate you might start to like and things you used to love might make you go “Meh.”

6. You can’t believe everything you see on TV:
BUT BUT! Everything always has a happy ending!

5. You are going to lose touch with some of your best friends:
As everyone’s lives adapt at a different pace and people move all over the world. But don’t worry because there are always amazing new people to meet, and you never know what they are going to bring to your life.

4. You are going to make mistakes, and you are going to be okay:
I used to think I had to have all the answers all the time, but now in my period of waiting and watching and applying and sighing, I realize that I’m allowed to fall down and make mistakes and take this moment of question-mark-ness. Now I realize that if I fall, I just have to get back up, and if I fall again, I’m just going to have to get back up again. That’s the journey.

3. You only have to answer to you – when it comes to life decisions:
I used to think I had to keep up with the crowd, do cool things, impress my parents, reach a certain status. Now I’m starting to learn that I couldn’t be something I’m not, that that is where my life path is. See #17. When I die, I’, hoping that in the split second before I expire, when my life is all laid out in front of me like a patch work quilt, I tried my best as a person to be good and love those around me, but also that I tried my best to listen to my heart and do what was in it.

2. If you want something, you have to ask for it.
No body is just going to hand you your dreams and ambitions. It’s a hard, slippery, scary path, but you have to walk it because nobody else is going to walk it for you. Remember in school when if you wanted to join a sports team or do the play, your parents had to sign something, or they could call the teachers and complain if you didn’t get in? Now it’s you that has to make the fuss, ask for things, fight for yourself.

1. You are going to have SO much fun!

And those are my 24 things. Some are rude, harsh, cynical. Some are sappy and some were just me scrabbling. But there they are laid out for you.

Enjoy.

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night…and other Meat Loaf lyrics

So I may have mentioned that I am working in retail lately…and that I loathe it.

I’m subtle, so you probably haven’t picked up on it really, but there it is. I am not the retail industries number one fan. I have a new-found respect for people who work in this industry full-time, people who have to deal with people every day. BRRRR. Worst. Take me back to the cold lonely office.

No no. I jest (somewhat) people aren’t all bad, and neither is retail. The 50% off discount is pretty sweet (oh wait, did I need to pay my rent this month with that money? Woopsies!) and on occasion, it has allowed for some pretty creative ideas to form in my mind (like… lets start a family band!) as all those mindless hours folding clothes and getting sizes, and scanning and bagging let my mind roam of the great plains of imagination.

And as I have mentioned… I occasionally get to interact with human beings that make me think that we’re not all bad (just some of us).

This week was insanely long, and yet surprisingly quick, if that is at all possible. I think it was because the Thanksgiving long weekend loomed, and I had a whole lot of hanging around looking cool to do. The store I work in had a big sale Thursday and Friday and I racked up 18 hours of standing at a cash register processing people’s purchases. I felt like a zombie and forgot how to even have a real conversation with people or how to make connections with them, because the line to check out was out the shop and around the corner. One of the girls spent hours just standing guard at the lines to make sure people didn’t just walk off with stuff.

But earlier in the week I had two very strange and yet special encounters with people. One was a deaf lady who wanted to buy a leather Jacket. I am an extremely good lip reader, so conversing face to face was not a problem with this customer, but difficulties arose when she went into the change room and wanted to try different things on. Usually we only need knock and hand things over. Not possible in this case. The woman was very nice, petite and short with a big sparkly ring on the 2nd last finger of her left hand. We also ran into difficulties as she spoke with the accent of someone that has clearly been deaf their entire life. The word medium bewildered the both of us for a good thirty seconds and I was definitely the more embarrassed.

But she found what she needed and she was happy. Off she went into the world…leaving a piece of herself with me to think and muse about.

Then the following day, a woman with dark glasses and a gorgeous black labrador came in. Well dressed, nicely groomed, I noticed her standing in the middle of the shop fingering a couple of things here and there. I finally approached her and asked if I could help her. She asked me if we still had any of the gray work pants with the blue stripe through them that we used to have in the window. This woman was completely blind.

Her beautiful black lab wagged his tail slowly and I scratched his nose, aware that you are not meant to really fuss over guide dogs as they are working. I then spent a very strange half an hour with this woman, trying to gage what she might like by asking questions (we no longer had any more of the gray pants with the blue stripe through them). When I asked her if she was after anything in particular she replied:

“No, I’m just looking around.”

She wasn’t trying to be funny (you’ll notice that when I asked if she was after anything in particular I studiously avoided the word “look” because there have been instances in my life where I have been extremely insensitive and said things I shouldn’t have in the wrong settings. Like the time in Year 9, the first year at my new school in Hong Kong, when a young boy in a wheelchair asked if he could race a friend of mine the distance of the oval, and as they began I screamed at the top of my lungs “RUN DAVID RUN!” much to the horror of my politically correct Year 9 friends who were obviously, even then, more sensitive than I will ever be.)

So I didn’t laugh. Which was good. And instead I brought her things, described them the best I could (for a writer and someone who uses a lot of words…my vocabulary is shit…and I suck at life) and basically helped her “Look around”. She was so lovely, and was very thankful. For me, it was a surreal experience that I have been processing since the start of the week.

So there it is.

Tiny, weird exceptions to the I hate retail mantra I have taken up.

Oh yeah, and happy Thanksgiving…and stuff

Tell me I’m Pretty

If there is one saving grace to retail (and it’s a stretch to even suggest there is) it is not, as may be expected, the 50% discount on clothes (because it just makes it that much easier to SPEND your hard-earned cash there), for me, it is in fact the customers.

I guess I haven’t been working in customer service long enough to have a horror story about a crazy that walked off the street and into a rage at me because they were having a bad day (although there was a lady a few days ago who yelled at a co-worker of mine when she tried to “return” a pair of pants my store doesn’t carry with the tags snipped off).

I am a people person, a curious writer, and generally a nosy mole, who likes to try and find out what makes people tick. Don’t worry, I have already quizzed all my co-workers about their life stories (and stealthily tried to figure out how they got stuck in retail after having degrees…more out of horrified fascination than anything else…like looking at the blue flame welders use..bad for the senses but impossible to look away) and a part of the selling gig is to try and figure out what the client wants and how to get it.

The shop/chain I work for sells only women’s clothes and accessories and they are kind of corporate, but on the reasonably priced side. The shop is also located in an underground shopping mall on the PATH system (a rabbit warren-like affair that stretches underground through parts of downtown Toronto to prevent people from having to go outside in the freezing cold. It is like an underground city with clothing stores, banks, food courts…waxing places…juice bars…there’s probably a car dealership down there somewhere. I’m not sure why there would be…but I’m sure there is) and most of the customers we get work in the corporate offices stacked on top of us.

The ladies range in age from Intern-types fresh out of Uni, to the older working woman. And while there are customers I have connected with, and those that I haven’t, my favourite age group is the late thirties to mid forties/early fifties. These are women who ACTUALLY listen to what I have to say, ask my opinion, want to open the fitting room door and show me what they got.

Some of these women remind me of my Mum. They are mostly patient and not used to shopping for themselves so they are willing to listen to suggestions. They have money so they aren’t horrified by a sweater that costs $30.

A lot of them have body issues. A lady today who was gorgeous, Indian skin but with a cool British accent, told me she’d recently lost 19 pounds on some German diet I think she called the “Dukan”? She liked a little black corporate dress and she tried on the Small and the XS. She had a petite frame but you know what? She had a bit of a wobbly bit on front.

“My Kids did that”

She told me. And she tried on both sizes, got a belt to try to jazz it up, put a cardigan over it to see…and she just couldn’t sell it to herself. My approach to this crappy job is that I never want to be pushy. I am a natural talker and I’m honest. I am competitive so, I want to do well in any situation, but I REFUSE to lie and act like a simpering idiot. I was straight with her and told her it looked great but that it was a personal preference. I too happened to be wearing a little black corporate number and you know what? I have a jiggle round the middle too. AND I HAVEN’T EVEN HAD KIDS! No excuse.

This lady, who was super nice and interested in my Aussie accent told me that she hadn’t worn form-fitting clothes in a long time. She was getting used to her body again. She didn’t buy the dress, but I think she felt a little bit confident and sexier having tried it on.

Same deal with the lady who came in on Friday and need an after work drinks type shirt for a last-minute reunion at a pub. She grabbed an XL shirt and I made her get a large. She was shocked. I made her try it on and it wasn’t even tight. It was more form-fitting for sure. I told her the truth, that she had a great waist and that she should emphasize it. We chatted for quite a while and when she left, (after buying the shirt) she turned to my manager and said “I hate shopping, but i’ll be back because of her”, and she smiled and waved, even gave me a cheeky wink!

These women, who are still attractive, functioning, smart, hardworking people, come into a shop for 15-20 minutes and talk to me – blah, under functioning, retail-bum, Masters-holding random (who by the way used to dress appallingly), and they can walk away feeling good because somebody told them that something looked good on them?

I want to stand on the street corner stopping random people and tell them they look nice today, or that that colour suits them. If an item of clothing can put a spring back in their step, then maybe retail ain’t so bad.

Anyway, I’ll keep getting up and going back because I need to support myself while I do this internship and figure out WTF I am doing with my life…but if these ladies keep coming back…then maybe I’ll even learn to smile about it…

a bit…

Paris