The City Chick

City Girl World Traveller Professional ▪▪▪ What Zodiac do you belong to? AQUARIUS ▪▪▪ If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be? FRENCH - partly there - still a work in progress! ▪▪▪ What talents do you have? PHOTOGRAPHY... and I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue (it's surprisingly easy to do - I can teach you!) ▪▪▪ What type of music do you like? ALTERNATIVE and pretty much everything else. I like smart music that makes me think, and silly music that makes me dance! ▪▪▪ What phrase do you use the most? OMG (the full version). ▪▪▪ What was your best subject in school? DRAMA (OMG that makes so much sense now!) ▪▪▪ What song do you play the most on your iPod? Appearently it's Glee's version of I Dreamed a Dream, followed by Taylor Swift's Blank Space. ▪▪▪ What is the one physical feature that you get complimented on most often? MY HAIR. ▪▪▪ What is your favorite book? THE PAPERBACK PRINCESS ▪▪▪ How do you manage stress? ALCOHOL AND RUNNING ▪▪▪ What is your favorite sundae topping? SPRINKLES ▪▪▪ How superstitious are you? KINDA BUT NOT REALLY ▪▪▪ What football team do you support? MAN-U ▪▪▪ Do you think people talk about you behind your back? YES - CUZ I'M AWESOME.

The most horrible thing about being a parent…

…when you’re cut off from your child for whatever reason.

I’m the mother to a sixteen year old who recently decided to leave. And not just leave. He left and has decided he isn’t going to speak to me.

I haven’t spoken to my son for a month. He won’t text, email, call. And what’s worse is he’s cut off everyone in my entire family. The family that has been there every step of the way, when his own father refused to be.

He won’t tell us why either. I wish I could say it was because “something” happened. But nothing happened. Nothing more than the normal teenaged drama (I couldn’t possibly understand him, he should be able to skip school with impunity, he should have unlimited allowance). And then one day he didn’t come home from school. He disappeared. And when I tracked him down at close to 11pm he was at a friends house. When I called the house to ask the parents to send him home, the mother was aggressive and rude with me and told me he wasn’t coming home. He left a note the following day saying he was going to stay there for a few days. A few days later he shows up with his father and packs up some things and leaves.

That was 4 weeks ago.

Nothing since.

I’m sad. My heart is broken.

 

 

Who Pays?

Twice over the weekend I had a conversation with two single friends about who pays for meet-ups vs. dates vs. ongoing relationships.

Let’s get this out of the way:

  • I don’t think there is a correct answer
  • I’m a feminist
  • I have money issues (usually with people who have more than I do)

So knowing all this and knowing that dating in 2016 isn’t what it was 30 years ago. We’re meeting online and then meeting in person. We’re not “dating” as “dating” was traditionally known. Women make more money then they ever have. They can pay their own way and some don’t like feeling “bought”. And you never know if there’s going to be a spark until you meet in person.

When you meet someone online you might agree for a coffee or drink or even dinner right off the bat. I think if it’s a coffee or a drink, it’s fair – you can pick up, he can pick up, or you get separate cheques. I don’t think there should be any expectation for anyone to pick-up the bill on a first-meet. It gets a little trickier for dinner, which is why I try and avoid that for a first-meet. My friends agreed that if they weren’t interested in seeing the gentleman again they would insist on splitting the bill or paying for it 100%. I’d be less inclined to pay 100% but would be happy to split evenly – working out to the penny is so tacky.

For second dates and beyond it gets a little trickier. I don’t think that any man in 2016 thinks that if he pays the dinner bill he’s going to get lucky (and I’ll make sure he understands this clearly if its even hinted at). I always expect to pay half when I go out to dinner with someone new, my reach for my wallet is not a coy attempt at him insisting on paying. But if he insists heartfully then I’ll go with it. Often I’ve dated men that make significantly more then I do and for them treating me for dinner is their way of sharing their successfulness. They can’t/won’t go out and slay a deer for me to show they can provide – so they buy me dinner instead. This is where I can get a little uncomfortable – I’m a woman with a great job and my own money… so if they won’t allow me to buy dinner once in a while, then I’ll cook for them – wine, appies, dinner, dessert in my home.

In longer term relationships its always kind of gone in a you pay sometimes, I pay sometimes and it will all equal out in the end. The exception being my last major relationship where I was paying 100% for everything… because he was spending $900 in online gaming and porn… but that’s another story..

One of my friends dates had said he’s got a 60/40 rule – he’ll pay for 60% of drinks/dinner and expects his date to pay 40%… I have no idea where this calculation came from – but it feels offensive!

What are your thoughts on who pays for a first-meet vs. a first date vs. ongoing relationship?

 

When the stars align and come crashing down around you… (or Dating in the City)

I’ve been back on a couple of sites to try and expand my network of available men (i.e. online-dating sites or as I refer to them: online-introduction sites). I met a guy a week ago – let’s call him B – on a popular site. Smart, fun, great job, seemed happy. We agreed to meet for a coffee and set up a meet up not far from my house. I walked down to meet him, he texted to say he would be a tad late due to traffic, but immediately on arriving he told me he spilled something on his shirt and went to a store to get a new one! Which, I thought, was so incredibly adorable! Aside from being adorable, he  had lovely eyes, with a perfect crinkle when he smiled, he was funny! Omg so funny! And we sparked – I felt it instantly, he told me later he felt it too. We ended up walking down to the beach and walked for 2 hours – walking and talking and trading stories and laughing and questioning… it was just amazing.

We sat down on a bench facing the water and then it came…the boom I was waiting on… he recently lost his wife, the mother of his children, the woman he had been with most of his adult life… I asked him how recently… he told me. Five months. Five months after a long illness.

We didn’t get into the details…

We walked more, he told me that he had recently reached out to a friend and told him he was ready… and then, out with me, he told me he realized he wasn’t ready at all.

My heart cracked just a little. I knew he wasn’t ready – I don’t typically date men who haven’t been separated for at least a year, let alone a man who had lost his wife only 5 months before. The crack came for two reasons:

  1. he was lovely, and amazing, and sweet, and kind, and attractive and we had that !spark! which is so rare! And I lost him before I even had a chance to have him…
  2. and because he has had so much to deal with, and I can imagine how lonely he is, has been, as he gone through all he’s gone through.

And for those two reasons I reached out after our amazing date and told him I had a great time, I like him and I hoped that he would reach out when he is ready.

And I went back to my online-introduction websites…

He’s engaged.

My ex, he of the Dark Triad (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad) is engaged. I found out on Friday. I was devastated… and not for the reasons you think I would be. There’s no jealousy, no “why not me”, no regret. There is only sadness and fear and again not for the reasons you think.

My ex, (let’s call him Moldy), is a Narcissist, Psychopathic, Machiavellian – The Dark Triad. Read up on that. I can give you examples of each and every aspect of the three personality traits, things that would shock and stun you. Some things I knew about while we were together, and some I didn’t know until after we had broken up. When I started talking to people about some of the issues I was asked “how could you stay?” and I would answer honestly – in a 5 year relationship these thing were spread out, he controlled some of the message and I believed him. I thought he was my forever – that’s what he told me, that’s what I believed.

It wasn’t until we had broken up and I had moved out that I fully understood the depth of his depravity.

The tears I cried on Friday weren’t for a lost love, it was for knowing this poor woman he’s now engaged to will be destroyed to a much deeper level then she could ever expect. We were never married, so I was protected by law in his attempts to steal the money I had put into our house… she’s marrying him… and will lose everything… and I’m heart broken for her and her two special needs kids. I know there is nothing I can say or do to help her. I also know I’ll get a phone call in a couple of years asking me what happened and just like Moldy’s first ex was a saviour to me in helping me understand they abuse I suffered at his hands had nothing to do with me, I’ll do the same for her. I just wish there was something I could do for her now.

On finding out you have been used…

A friend and I got into an argument in September. It was silly, and started with me being angry about being lied to… it escalated through emails and texts and was awful and ugly  and terrible and a perfect example why people should never argue over text and email and save it for in person, because no body would say in person the things they say on text and email. She was wrong. I was wrong. A week after it was over I went over to her place and apologized for my part in the whole thing. She never did. But we moved on… or so I thought.

Another thing happened a few weeks ago and I was really upset, it wasn’t that she had done something to me, but both her husband and BFF had and she didn’t stand up for me. She’s allowing these two people who are extremely close to her to speak badly about me and to me, and it hurt that she’s not defending me. When confronted she defended them both, started throwing things at me that we had never spoken about and finally admitted that she wasn’t over the argument we had in September (remember the one she started by lying… ya that one).

And I’m beyond hurt now. I said sorry – something she never said to me. I thought it was over. And now I know it wasn’t. And I feel so used. Who dislikes someone so much they allow two people close to them to tear them down repeatedly while accepting kindness and generosity from the person they hate so much? Who allows someone to throw them 2 parties, loan them their car, among all the other normal friends things if they dislike you so much? Who does that?

A hard lesson I keep having to learn… kindness is not always repaid with kindness, sometime its taken advantage of and sometimes people are totally okay with using you… I mean me.

My Teeny-Tiny City Balcony

I live in an 800 sf condo just outside of the downtown core. I moved in here about a year ago and LOVE it. The view is kinda incredible (city skyline to the west, and the lake to south) and it completely uninterrupted. When I was looking at condos I knew there was no way I could live anywhere with out outdoor space. So while my balcony is only 30 sf I’ve made the most of it.

Flooring

I started0237434_PE376790_S5 with the flooring. The floor of the balcony is plain concrete – which is okay, but can be dusty and hard to clean. I went to Ikea and purchased these amazing floor tiles.

The Boy installed them in 15 minutes. There are a few advantages to using a product like this. First is the dust issue, no need to worry about concrete dust in your home! Second is that it just feels nicer on your feet when you walk out barefoot like I often do. Third is the over all look. My condo has dark hardwood floors, visually the floor tiles make it look like the dark hardwood continues to the outside. And lastly if it rains, the water dries off the floor tiles faster then it would off the concrete.

 

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Furniture

Next up was the furniture. I wanted something I could curl up and read in. Considering the size and the width (only 3 feet) I went with something that was as wide as possible. Mission accomplished with this amazing set that I ordered online at Home Depot and had delivered right to my condo door (wahoo for free delivery!). The set is dark grey, with a lighter grey cushion. It came with a coffee-table cube, that also acts as storage! Double duty furniture is the best for condo living!

 

Plants

0313296_PE514252_S5No outdoor space is complete without plants! And since I like to cook I love to have fresh herbs close by. Again, double duty, looks great and we can eat them too! This year the Boy went with my dad to the garden centre, choose out all the plants and repotted them. The plant stand is from Ikea and it’s brilliant! Its a tiered design with space for 13 pots, and the levels of the plants is adjustable. I’ve got it set up flat at one end of my patio, but you can adjust it so it’s at a 90 degree angle as well. This year I’ve got basil, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, some ivy and a couple of flowers. The pots that you buy from Ikea don’t have holes in the bottom, so the Boy drilled a hole in to the bottom of each to allow for drainage. He added in some pebbles and then some potting soil, then the plants and we’re all set!

 

Lighting and Accents0880756_1

Bird-Brain-Firepot-Pele-Small-Sepia-Pearl-11504573_LRGNo space is complete without your personal touch! The interior of my condo is all greys and turquoise blue accents. In order to help make the balcony feel like part of the whole space and not a teeny-tiny self-contained space, I continued the colour scheme
to the outdoors as well. The accent pillows are outdoor fabric, safe to leave out in the sun and rain. I actually have three sources of light – first is an old set of filament style string bulbs I bought at Target before they left Canada (sob, sob, sob…), second is the fire-pot and lastly is a set of solar fairy lights. I also have some lanterns for candles if I feel like that’s the right mood.

 

And Voila! My tiney-tiny balcony space!

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Sources: 
Ikea Floor tiles: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/90238111/

Ikea plant stand: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/60308209/

Ikea pots: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/10155671/

Conversation Set (no longer available at Home Depot): http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/progarden-progarden-etna-3-piece-outdoor-lounge-set-black-bcf74/10300482.aspx

Lights: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/solar-string-lights-0526076p.html#.VzZuLqv0UyE

Accent Pillows: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/canvas-santorini-patio-toss-cushion-0880756p.html#.VzZu_av0UyE

Ikea, Home Depot, Best Buy and Canadian Tire have paid me nothing to promote their goods. I’ve done so out of the goodness of my heart for you to be able to create your own amazing tiny little outdoor space!

 

Dating in the City

I live in a really big city – about 10 million including the suburbs. I live in one of the city neighbourhoods about 30 minutes by transit to the downtown core – driving would take you about 15 minutes. I meet a lot of people, I have since the time I decided to stop being shy. I love to hear peoples stories, to find out what make them tick, to help lift them up and just share a moment of common interest. Add alcohol to the mix and I’m everyone’s best friend. So it’s not really hard for me to meet people, and not hard for me to meet men in particular. It’s as easy as a sincere compliment and question and then it’s on.

A couple of weeks ago I met a guy at a wine bar I was at with a friend, and ended up giving him my email address. He had said something about wine tastings and I love the way wine tastes so I was all in! Turns out alcohol was a pretty strong driver on that one, so our meet up later that week was a one time thing.

Later that weekend I had a meet-up with a guy I met on one of the two online site I’m on. He seemed sweet online. I knew he was short, but was really surprised that he seemed surprised that at 5’4″ I was taller than him. Listen I’m not height-ist. I have dated several gentlemen who were shorter than average. But I’m always stunned when shorter guys question my height in relation to theirs – like the guy a couple of weeks ago that asked it I was wearing 4 inch heels (nope – maybe 1 1/2 to 2 inches). His being surprised at his own height was not the deal breaker, it was the fact that we met for an hour and he talked about himself for 50 minutes. Like monologue talking. YAWN….

Later that day I met up with another guy. There were no sparks so it was going to be a short date anyway. And then I found out that he works at the same very large company I work at. So NOOOOO. HELL NO. Because did I mention that The Cyclist also worked at the same company? And so did his former-ex-now-current-girlfriend-who-he-was-cheating-on-me-with? The woman I met at an event before I knew he was cheating on me with her, and then ran into her again last week?? So nope. No way Jose. Not going to happen. No more dating guys who work at my work.

I’m lined up for 2 more dates this weekend. And 3 volunteer events in the coming 6 weeks to open myself up to more people.

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Thursday is the “new” Friday.

In my city the weekend starts on Thursday after work. People go out in droves and hit the bars around the downtown core and financial district like money grows on trees. This past Thursday was supposed to be “a” drink with my coworkers at the bar across the road from our office. Turns out we were all slammed last week and the drink was cancelled. So I found myself without plans. Luckily my BFF texted me “my date bailed, and I’ve got a babysitter, want to meet for a drink?” Why yes PrettyChick – I would LOVE to! So off we went to a fancy hotel lobby bar and had a few drinks.

I’ve kinda got a thing for ginger beer (which isn’t beer at all but more like a more sophisticated, spicier ginger ale with a bite) so when the oh-so-adroable-and-tattooed bartender suggested this drink I said “YES!”. Which was fine until they started going down really fast! Also chatting at the bar with my BFF and the adorable bartender was a great way to pass the night away!

We moved on to located #2 – a bit of a dud, so we quickly moved to spot #3.

3 bars. Met 3 men (only one got the digits – and he’s already asked me out – I might be on fire right now – the right mix of jaded and not quite ready to get into a relationship). Home by 9pm.

Friday was a tad rough but I made it through with the help of copious amounts of caffeine, a delicious sausage and egg breakfast sandwich and more caffeine!

How I get to work.

I live across the street from the subway. In total it takes me about 30 minutes door to door from home to work – and for about 20 minutes of that I get to read in silence (no wifi/signal in the tunnels yay!), stare at the walls, sleep or play on my phone. There’s a part of the journey where we pop outside on the underside of a street over a valley. As part of trying to be more mindful I always try and observe this outside part of the journey. Yesterday I was at the front of the train and captured this time-lapse.

Enjoy!