General posts.

On Podcasts…

So, I realize I am entering the world of podcasts very late in the game… I occasionally might listen to a book on tape while I am driving, but I’ve pretty much always been more of a music in the car kind of gal. Several months ago, The GingerBeard Man made the comment that he likes to listen to sports podcasts while he commutes and I thought to myself “There are still podcasts? Like, those are still a thing?”  And oh my gosh, they are totally still a thing.
Oddly enough, not long after that conversation, Heather Armstrong took a step back from Dooce and announced that she and John Bray were doing the podcast Manic Rambling Spiral. I’ll admit I was annoyed that Heather had the audacity to leave me high in dry with one of my near daily reads. But, a few weeks later, she mentioned something about a podcast they had done and curiosity got the better of me.  Having never listened to any podcasts, I didn’t even know that my iphone had a handy built in podcast app. After a little bit of fumbling around, I managed to get it going. I can’t remember which episode I started with but it didn’t take long for me to roll back to episode one and listed through all of them. Here’s the thing, I will admit that I didn’t think I would like listening to Heather talk. This makes me an asshole, but her blog (which I really enjoy) is sometimes written in an all caps kind of way that made me think she would be kind of annoying to listen to in person. I will readily admit how wrong I was. Heather is actually pretty great to listen to. She is funny and well spoken and oddly enough, I felt like after a few episodes that I wanted to be friends with her. John Bray is also adorable. I wish he would stop using the R when he introduces himself but that’s just me.
I’ve made it through all of their available podcasts now and I look forward to the new ones coming out each week. The first few episodes felt a little like John interviewing Heather, but that faded into more of a comfortable chatting between the two and it’s super nice. They are both single parents right now, which I have some pretty extensive history with so I find many of the topics relatable both that way and just as a parent in general. I’ve even written in a few times and frankly I have to keep myself from becoming this crazy fan who writes in every single week with my opinion and feelings about each topic.
When I ran out of MRS episodes to listen to, I started listening to Modern Love, which The Social Chick recommended to me. Each Modern Love episode is read by a different celebrity and each essay is a completely different take on a story of “love, loss, and redemption.” While I cannot always relate to these, the stories are so very well written and narrated that I find myself completely entranced and often in tears. They are heartwarming or sad or both and I thoroughly enjoy them.
This foray into podcasts sent me off in search of more. I read a bunch of buzzfeed lists (I like buzzfeed, sue me) and added several different types of recommended podcasts to my feed. Limetown had some pretty good reviews and so I sped through that in about a week of commuting. It was ok. I also listened to the first episode of True Murder, which I enjoyed. But my current favorite is Call Your Girlfriend. I absolutely love listening to Ann and Aminatou chatting away, often over a bottle of wine. I feel like I am hanging out with two chicks who are way cooler than me, but I still love listening to their take on things. I have to admit that I enjoy starting things at the beginning so I am still listening to episodes from 2014, but even dated as they are, I really enjoy them.
It’s funny how just a few months ago, I wasn’t even remotely interested in listening to a podcast and the last few weeks, I’ve been wondering if Tales From The Chicks should do one… So tell me, what podcasts am I missing out on, readers? I have a new addiction that needs feeding!

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?