Friday, August 24, 2012


A friend of mine recently told me he has stopped trying to impress me. From the ridiculous way he was grinning when he said it I'm pretty sure he meant it as a good thing, indicative of our having passed some sort of relationship milestone, but when phrased indelicately you have to admit the situation comes off as slightly unsavoury. I've prepared a handy table to illustrate:

Table 1 - Appropriate Phrasing of Warts & All-Type Stage in a Relationship (Platonic and Romantic Combined Results)

Note how the subtle nuances in relationship stage nomenclature elicit markedly different responses from test subjects. I'm going to call that last one a kilometerstone due to its being more or less the same thing except way more awkward when you say it.

I catch his drift, though, however dubiously it may have been phrased: we're at a good place. We're settled in for the long haul. We're never, ever going to make out because we've left that magical headspace where potential interactions stretch out in infinite shiny directions and we've gone somewhere more resembling an overstuffed corduroy couch. Maybe a little worn in, maybe a little lumpy around the edges, but exquisitely comfy. 'Hello, old friend,' we'll say, and 'aaaaahhhhh, it's always so good to chill here with you.' 

And then, 'Aw, man, did you just fart? WTF?'

Farts aside - a milestone in their own right! - I recognize that this truly does represent a crucial stage in any long-term relationship worth its salt. To all my dear friends out there whom I have long since stopped trying to impress (you should be readily able to identify yourselves based on my deteriorating behaviour over the years), this humble kilometerstone is the one I hold nearest my heart when I think of you. Mwah!

And while busting the warts & all barrier is also a crucial step in any romantic relationship that aspires to any sort of longevity, secretly, my all-time favourite romantic milestone is not this. Instead, it's the first time you zip your sleeping bags together with someone. It just seems so... Canadian, and thereby neatly encompasses several of the best things in the world: Canada, camping, and outdoor sex. Which frequently leads to another distinctly Canadian/camping/sex milestone of importance: doin' it with yer socks on. So practical sometimes!

'Nope. Rocky Mountain barking spider. Hey, make me a s'more, eh?' 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Game of Thrones

Whoever said men are scared to settle down has never seen one who needed to take a crap. They don't just settle down: they gear up, hunker down and downright nest. I once knew this guy who would actually leave work and drive all the way across town to get home if nature called. Said he needed to be comfortable, whatever that entailed - reading material... three-ply... heck, mood lighting and Barry White in the background for all I know.

Women, on the other hand, those chronic settler-downers, don't seem to be afflicted by a need for a two-hour lunch break and all the comforts of home every time they're moved to, uh, move.

(Yes, I realize it's a shock to learn that the gentle sex are, in fact, subject to the same laws of biology as you fellows out there. Now take a deep breath and get over it.)

Nope. Women are content to simply head to the nearest facility and deploy the single-ply on our delicate lady bottoms. We're super tough that way.

However, this is not achieved without considerable pre-planning. There are purses to hang just so; pre-flushings to conduct; toilet seats to sanitize and carefully line with a generous quantity of t.p.; forty six layers of clothing and accessories to variously remove, adjust and hold out of harm's way; and well-timed, delicate throat clearings to stage in order to muffle any possible affronting noises. Not to mention that the ideal time for the activity at hand must be cautiously selected to minimize the likelihood of encountering any other women performing the same function.

Because if by some feat of poor timing there are two women trying to drop the kids off at the pool at the same time, neither will ever be willing to make the first move. Both will sit in utter silence, stoically clenching teeth and asscheeks alike, waiting for the weaker woman to break. All women know there's only one rule to this war of attrition: if you go first, you lose.

This, my friends, is the real reason kegels were invented.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's a Party

You're Invited!

When: this very moment!
Where: wherever you happen to be will do
Why: I got a child support payment!
How: keep up the good work, Maintenance Enforcement Program

Additional Details:
My ex pays child support like medieval people took baths: once a year, whether I need it or not. Yup, it's pretty stinky, but you really do get used to it after a while. Truth be told, he doesn't actually even pay that willingly, it's just that his tax return comes directly to me. One year I got just under twenty-five dollars on my annual payment but 2011 must have been a whopper of a year for him: I got about three hundred bucks on his tax return. I can almost pay lunchroom supervision fees for half the school year with that! Win!

It's fun to do the math then announce the findings in an infomercial announcer voice:

'For less than the cost of one venti soy extra-hot caramel macchiato per week, you too can "support" (wink, wink) your child!'

'Many Canadians spend hundreds of thousands of dollars raising their children, but if you call now we'll give you the same amount of genetic fitness for a fraction of a fraction of the cost!'

'Why pay more when you can simply defer your responsibility to the fair taxpayers of this fine country?' (This is not the case for me but he happens to have two more children by another woman who has a far less lucrative job than I do, plus he has recently moved in with a childless twenty-something woman so I expect that additions to his brood are likely forthcoming.)

But MEP, being the terribly effective bunch they are, have imposed some Very Serious Penalties on the ol' ex in hopes of encouraging him to cough up some cash, to wit:

  • If he a) ever does any work b) that's not paid under the table c) and for which taxes are deducted d) and he files a tax return the next year, then the Government of Canada delivers his tax return directly to me.
  • If he ever is inclined to give up video games and take up hunting and fishing - legally, that is, and assuming he could ever find enough change in the couch to buy a fishing rod - boy will he be in for a surprise because he's not allowed to get a hunting or fishing license.
  • I will be paid out all the back support owed to me, 100% in full, in one easy payment... if he ever wins the lottery.

Aaaaand... that's it. That's their plan. (More announcer voice: Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program - capturing all those hard-working, hunting-and-fishing, lotto-winning deadbeats out there in one fell swoop.)

I can't help but wonder, does anyone else think the program might be more effective if its mandate was to provide vasectomies to men who clearly are unable to fulfill their legal obligations to the children they already have?

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