Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dating Redux, Summer Edition

I’ve been dating a little over the last few months. I’m hesitant to discuss it sometimes because I feel like the perpetual single girl who only ever finds temporary Gentleman Friends, and I’m not quite sure how I ended up here! I would very much like to have a cuddle-buddy/assumed Saturday night date/person that I make soup & tea for when they’re sick/emergency contact that isn’t my dad. But I won’t find them without some dating shenanigans. Of which there’ve been a few since May!

  1. Richy Rich the financial advisor: We met on POF and bonded over our mutual ability to spell circles around the other fish and geek out on insurance products. We met for coffee at 8pm on a Tuesday. He showed up in a suit & tie, having come directly from work. He was nice but talked nonstop about how successful he was. Half an hour in, he told me he had to go because he was scheduled for a 10k training run that evening for an upcoming marathon. Who works till 7:30, goes directly to a first date without adjusting your dress at all, then directly to a 10km run late at night?! He said I was nice but he didn’t think I could keep up with him. Lucky for me, I had no interest in trying!
  2. The Bobblehead: We met on eHarmony and flew through the 4 stages of communication in one day, no messing around. He gave me his email right away and asked if I wanted to meet up. I did, and we had dinner at a local restaurant. He was really interesting, though I was disconcerted by a habit that he repeated several times throughout our date: I would answer a question of his with my opinion or a story, and when I’d finished speaking, he would pause for an awkwardly-long period of time in contemplation of what I’d said with an amused smirk on his face, before finally answering. Also, I could never get over how big his head was. You might think I meant his ego, but alas, I mean the actual circumference of his head.
  3. Bore McSnore: This one was from OKCupid. He was artsy and had written passionately about photography exhibits, music and films he loved. Had some great photos there too, as well as an admission I should’ve treated as the warning it really was that he is “a bit of an introvert.” We met at a beer tasting room, and while getting ready I got that familiar pit in my stomach that feels like a bad omen. OMG, how does my gut always know if a date will be awful? He showed up 15 minutes late and didn’t smile once. I have never worked so hard to keep a stilted conversation moving along… and he made no effort whatsoever. I left starving, realizing within the first 5 minutes that ordering food would have prolonged the date for far too long. Inexplicably, he seemed to want to order second drinks, but I made excuses about needing to head home, settled up, and headed directly to a nearby restaurant where I regaled the server with the tale of my Most Boring Date Ever. I ordered mini-corn dogs and apple pie to drown my sorrows, thinking things were looking up. But then the corn dogs were mediocre, I dropped one of them on the floor, and they forgot to put in my dessert order. Least satisfying date night in my entire relationship history.
  4. Cafe Owner: Oh, this guy. I’m still shaking my head. I met Mr. Cafe at the new coffee shop around the corner from my house about 3 months ago. He’s adorable and always made a point to talk to me and my friends when we came in. After several visits, I had quite the raging crush on him that I enjoyed for what it was: a fun excuse to spend too much on coffee that would never amount to anything. Until I found his cafe’s Facebook page and liked it, and then he friended me from his personal account, and we started talking and he asked me out to a movie. We had one super fun evening hanging out outside of his work, and then it quickly became obvious he wanted me to be his booty call girl. He threw a toddler-style temper tantrum over text message when I made it clear that he couldn’t have his cake and eat it too. I miss the coffee & scones at his cafe.
  5. And drumroll please…. Firemedic! The only guy I have eyes for right now. He’s a firefighter & paramedic, works crazy shifts, and lives an hour away from me… which is tough, because I would like to see him all the time if I could. We have some amazing chemistry. Our first date, we had dinner. God, he smelled so good, I remember that specifically. He talked nervously about himself a lot, and then caught himself and made a joke about it at the end, which I found totally adorable. We went out on his speedboat for hours with a couple of his friends on our second date. There were hotdogs cooked over an open campfire, and swimming in the lake. YOU GUYS, HE SAW ME IN A BIKINI ON OUR SECOND DATE. And I felt oddly comfortable with this! Third date: night market and fun street food. We couldn’t say goodbye when we got to our cars, and stood there talking in the street for 45 minutes. He came over and watched movies with me at my house on our 4th date, and we finally kissed. Here’s hoping date #5 is soon.

There you have it. I’m very hopeful that Firemedic will limit my need to come up with any monikers for other dates for the foreseeable future – I really like this one! He may put out fires, but he generates all sorts of sparks here 🙂

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For My Grandmother

My amazing maternal grandmother finally passed away about three weeks ago at the age of 101 – yes, she lived over a century and even got a card from the Queen on her 100th birthday (and champagne in her nursing home bed!) This is what I wrote to be read at her memorial service, which happened last Wednesday:

Growing up in Canada, thousands of miles away from my grandmother, I wasn’t able to get to know her well, as many here today will have. This is a sadness for me, but has also been an unexpected blessing in that the rare times I have spent with her have taken on a magical and very special quality. You appreciate with a certain awe the lovely things in your life that you know are rare and precious, and that became the way I treasured time and memories with my Granny.
I’ve sifted through the special memories I have of my Granny in preparation for today, thinking which I could share. There’s the memory of the warm closet where she kept her towels, so at age 5 when I was visiting at her house, she would always have a perfectly warm towel for me when I got out of the bath. I remember how much I loved that simple pleasure.
We don’t have clotted cream in Canada, where I live and grew up, so I remember her going out of her way to serve it with dessert whenever we were visiting, and the ensuing adventure of one particular container of clotted cream as my brother Andrew tried to smuggle it back home on the plane!
There was the time when I was 12 years old and had a crush on a boy for the first time, and I remember thinking that maybe I shouldn’t tell her about him because she might think it was inappropriate or I was too young (even though it was all very innocent!) But when Granny heard that I liked a boy she got quite a sparkle in her eye and wanted all the good gossip! We talked for what seemed like hours that day, sitting in lounge chairs in her back garden.
I saw my Granny for the last time when I came over to travel through Europe for a few months four years ago. She was 97 years old, but still a force to be reckoned with. My uncle and I had afternoon tea with her at her house, and I tried to help out with the food and some light cleaning, but she wouldn’t have any of it – she was still running her own house and very proud of it at that time! I have nothing but admiration for my amazing gran.
More than anything, I’ve always held up my Granny & Grandpa’s relationship as a shining example of what real love looks like. I didn’t get to witness much of it in person, but through stories and my Granny’s actions and words, I knew that what they had was something special. I know that she’s been without the love of her life for 22 years now and she’s been looking forward to seeing him again, and now I’m sure they are together again at last. I only hope to be as lucky as they have been.

I’m not sure I can convey how or why these memories mean so much to me… they are but small, everyday moments in my Granny’s life. But each one shows a snippet of the love, kindness, humour, and tenacious spirit that were all such defining parts of who she was, and that is the woman I hold in my heart as my grandmother. 

I lost my Grandpa on my mother’s side when I was just 10 (the husband of my 101-year old granny who just passed) – he was actually born in 1899 if you would believe it! But I had the rest of my grandparents until last year, and all three of them seem to have gone in fairly quick succession. My Granddad on my father’s side in January 2011 to lung cancer that progressed and took him very quickly, and then my Grandma (his wife)’s body just about collapsed a few months later… I reckon she died of a broken heart later last year. And now that my Granny is also gone, I no longer have any living grandparents. Last year I was still blessed with three.

The realization hit me full force today for some reason, and by chance my aunt came into the office with a ring that had belonged to my Grandma. I already have one from my Granny. Now I have one from both of my grandmothers. I love it!

From my Instagram feed