Here we document our way to 1,000 dates – the joys, challenges, growing pains – and all the in-betweens.
Welcome home treats
Date #299 – Monday, June 2, 2014
B: On our last date, during our FaceTime call, I told with A about how I used to have a sombrero and lost it. I got it in high school at an event but left it on the train on the way home. For some reason I was still sad by this. Whenever I see ponchos and sombreros I think Clint Eastwood and Western films.
A brought back this amazing sombrero for me and it only cost $5. The best part was probably all the pictures she sent me of her wearing it around Ottawa. They were hilarious and awesome!
A: A few dates ago at the VCTO, Brian put on a poncho and, because of the video I made, the poncho became a thing Brian wears. Naturally. Well, I went to the Ottawa Little Theatre garage sale in Ottawa and, although there were no ponchos, I got this sweet sombrero for $5! I’m not sure if B ACTUALLY likes it, but it was a funny thing to carry around all weekend.
Face time date!!!
Date #298 – Friday, May 30, 2014
A: I headed to Ottawa for the weekend on a ticket I’d bought months ago because it was so cheap. When I got there, Brian FaceTime’d me. I propped my phone up on the counter and it was as though he was in our conversation. It was weird. Yes, technology still weirds me out. It was cool to have him there. Somehow it happened that the three of us were eventually wearing hats so we sent Brian on a venture to find one at his parents house where he was.
A weird and funny hour. Yes… Hour!
B: I’ve never really FaceTime’d in a way that feels natural…until now. I was surprised at how I actually felt like I was with A and her friends in Ottawa.
I was at my parents’ house sitting and going stir crazy. It was fun to talk to A and her friends and for them to actually participate in the conversation and treat me like one of the gang. The hat part was fun.
Side Streets Production Meeting
Date #282 – Friday, May 9, 2014
A: We both had the day off and hung around B’s place for a bit. He rode my bike for the first time and said he could tell why I’d like to cruise on it. It’s more upright than his. B bikes so fast on his bike I can hardly keep up but he’s also head first like a racer or something so it’s like he has no choice but to submit to speed or something. I don’t know.
We had our second production meeting for my short film this day, too, and that was exciting and nerve wracking. I was still unsure of what exactly I wanted and was really nervous about articulating my vision. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how invested the team was and how much I should put myself out there. In retrospect, the answer is always put yourself out there. Don’t hold back. This was a learning experience for me and I loved every minute of it. The first of many meetings, I hope, and I’m glad I had B there to be a part of it.
B: Riding A’s bike was really interesting. It gave me a lot of perspective in to her biking experience. Also, I realized that she needed air in her tires. Sometimes we argue because I think she is going too slow. I have to remember I’ve been biking longer and so I’m more comfortable on a bike.
The production meeting went really well. I know A has a strong vision and that she can articulate it well. I knew she was nervous so I tried to encourage her to take charge. I also told myself to support her and do everything I could to show others that she is in charge.
…Oh, A must have forgot that we were supposed to go on our third roadtrip for autoshare‘s #discoverON program. We were going to a conservatory and paint. I got really worked up and then we didn’t go. We talked outside and then made up and I rode A’s bike. I was actually happy we didn’t go (despite the weather being perfect) because I think we both were under a lot of pressure with A’s film coming up.
Matt Pond PA – loveeeee!
Date #281 – Thursday, May 8, 2014
A: One of my favourite artists, Matt Pond PA, came to Mod Club and I interviewed Matt Pond for TSR which was interesting. He didn’t really seem into the interview although he was honest and told me he’d eaten an unreasonable amount of food beforehand and was extremely full. It was funny to hear him pause and say, “Sorry, the van is really moving here and I’m so full and I shouldn’t really be paying attention to that but I’m so full…” or something like that. I was picturing him in this van where everyone was listening to this conversation and was super quiet and probably also full and they’re on tour in Cincinnati or wherever they were and there I was sitting on my couch in my sweats thinking this phone call was the coolest thing… Anyways. B and I went to the show and B was on his phone for the first four or five songs until I said something. It was weird and it really irritated me. I wanted him to love the music as much as I did but I know that’s unreasonable and unfair. I still felt kind of sad about it though, and I still do. But you can’t force anyone to love something like you do. Matt Pond’s music represents a large part of my life that I love to coddle and remember fondling, and it means very different things to other people. I just have to remember that it’s not just me and my memories in this world!
I hope B enjoyed the show. We didn’t really talk much about it, besides me saying how incredible it was over and over again and B just listening.
B: I didn’t know A is such a big fan of Matt Pond because I couldn’t recall her mentioning him. She did make a big deal about the show and the interview and an even BIGGER deal when we got to the show.
I listened to some of his music before the show and was impressed. The show itself was really great an intimate. I thought it was so sweet when A bought the limited screen-printed show poster for her friend from Ottawa. She didn’t even buy anything for herself!
A and I also had a conversation about going to concerts with other people. We talked about how excited both of us get at live shows and that a lot of people can’t handle that. I told her I was really nervous about our first concert, Loon Choir at NXNE (Date 10 or 11), and we laughed because that was also when she met my entire family (my sister is the violin player). Apparently A also thought my older sister was some woman flirting with me.
BJ’s and writing cheques!
Date #280 – Wednesday, May 7, 2014
A: I got my very first check for getting published and I wanted to do this “ten things for $10” session to celebrate my accomplishment so I bought a beer at the BJ game and then my project totally fizzled out in the days following. I think I kind of forgot, actually. But the beer was delicious and a well-deserved treat!
The first photo is from the morning before I went to work and I think it’s funny because B is always so sleeping in the morning whereas I am get up and go (but only once I’m awake… which doesn’t take long).
Also this game the Jays won with 10 runs against Phili which was kind of hilarious.
B: I am a big sleepy head…especially recently. I think this is because I’m a freelancer and motivating yourself takes a lot of energy. I’ve started mediating for ten minutes at the start of each day, and that helps.
The Blue Jays game was amazing. The Blue Jays play one series against the Phillies every year and I’ve been going to one of these games for the past 4 years. It’s important to me because I have family in Philadelphia.
We almost didn’t go, nearly opting for another event. A recognized the importance and said the game was more important than the other event. When the Jays scored 9 runs in one inning I totally lost my mind.
A good partner recognizes the things you really value (like weird traditions) and supports them.
Hot Docs after-party and lazy Sunday
Date #277 – Sunday, May 4, 2014
A: It was the last day of Hot Docs and B had to work at 5:30 so I made salad and stayed on the couch. I don’t think I left the couch. I wasn’t hungover at all, I think I just had a case of the Sundays. I know B did too, but it was harder for him because he had to mentally party over to the movie theatre.
I know one thing B and I spoke about on this day was the reaction we get every so often when we’re interacting with the world independently and the people we’re interacting with find out we’re in a relationship. I’m saying, for example, women who find out B isn’t single. When this happens to me, and the person reacts negatively or distances themselves from me when they find out I’m in a relationship, I feel uncomfortable and guilty. I know most people want partnership, acceptance, and love, and I think society has sculpted us to believe we can only get this out of a sexual/intimate relationship. Once we learn that the person is “off limits,” it sometimes changes the dynamic. In moments like this I want to shake the world while also making teddy bears and ice cream sandwiches appear so whoever is interacting with whoever can feel happy, and accepted and loved and not guilty like I sometimes feel. I am rambling and being somewhat vague about this topic of conversation. I guess I’m just saying that I know what it feels like to be single and to have my eye out for every person I am attracted to and how unlucky I felt to find whichever person was “off limits.” I wish that I was able to view people as people – potential friends first, instead of potential partners/boyfriends/lovers. But B says we’re animals and animals like to mate. So that’s probably why it’s such a hard topic to separate, I suppose. B…. thoughts on this???
B: I know the exact feeling A is describing. I think I feel something similar. To give context, I was working the final day of Hot Docs and then was attending the after-party with all the various staff of the festival. I spoke to A later in the night about my the evening and how, even before everything began, the air was filled with sexual tension and anticipation.
I love connecting with people. I also love honesty and openness. I think people want this but sometimes a lot of things can get in the way. When I am talking with someone and they seem to loose interest when they find out I’m not available (people loose interest in conversations with me for other reasons too) it definitely hurts a bit. Parties sometimes can be hard that way.
Most people there want to connect, they just want to connect on different levels. When you find someone else on your level (say a plutonic, philosophical, deep conversation level….or an intense make-out level) it can be amazing. I got some amazing hugs that night and had some amazing conversations. I love Hot Docs and the staff.
Hot Docs Shifty
Date #275 – Friday, May 2, 2014
A: B and I worked another shift together during Hot Docs. I actually loved it. I love that when we’re in situations like this we don’t have to be couple-y. I know it might sound silly but I feel a lot of pressure to be whatever people think I am. The way I see things is that I have control over how people see me via the way I act and present myself. It’s important to me. I want to be seen a certain way because I want to be a specific type of person and I know my actions and ideas directly reflect that.
When I’m a part of a relationship, I’ve always been very unsure about how to be in public. I don’t want to disappear. I always want both of us to have identities that are our own (I understand how funny that sounds considering this blog) but it’s extremely important to me that we are both our own brands, as well as one together. I don’t want to only exist as one part of a relationship. In no way am I saying it is wrong to be that way, but just that I specifically don’t want that. So working with B is great because we know what our relationship is like and what it means to us and I like that we don’t need to bring that to work. It means we can work together. This is new and great to me and it’s what I’ve always hoped I’d find in a partner. It may seem little, but it’s a really big make it or break it factor and this one’s makin’ it. And makin’ it hard.
B: I like working with A. She is focused and responsible and it’s great to be around her. Usually, after a long day, you hope there is someone you can tell about things and they that get the little jokes or funny things that happened in your day. Working with A means I know she’ll get all those little details because she was there.
A gets sick and B gets busy
Date #189 – Feb 4, 2014
B: A was feeling sick and went home from work early. I was troubleshooting some tech issues with a client but I promised to come over after and take care of her. As the Crossfit Games are coming up soon, I headed to Academy of Lions to do a strength warm-up followed by Metabolic Conditioning:
Strength: 3 snatches at 70% of one-rep-max (85lbs) every minute, on the minute, for 12 minutes – 36 total
MetCon: 10 Double-Unders, 10 sit-ups, as many rounds as possible for 10 minutes (I did 17 rounds)
When I got to A’s I brought some coffee to grind for her (she doesn’t have a grinder) and I did some work on this blog. The next morning we drank said coffee and it was great. A seemed to be feeling a bit better.
A: Mentally and physically in the dumps this season. I went my entire life not getting sick and now I’m contantly coming down with something. Boourns. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves. My personal favourites are oil of oregano (see our hardcore fix here) and paleo chocolate chip cookie treats (both of which we’ve discussed before, but here is the recipe again!).
Youthful Cities – Date #176 – Jan 22, 2014
B: After an intense Olympic Lifting session at Academy of Lions (I did 1 front squat at 180lbs, 4 at 160lbs, and 9 at 140lbs) I met up with A at The Great Hall for the Toronto launch of Youthful Cities. Youthful Cities is basically a world-wide community of people trying to improve youth leadership and ensure that the world is catering to the needs of youth. The whole thing started with the startling realization that ½ of the world’s population is under 30!
So, we went and had some food and met some people and heard some interesting talks. There were presentations from the organizers explaining how they determined that Toronto is the most youthful city out of those surveyed, where we are “youthful” and where we need to improve.
Some of the areas Toronto did well in are:
Diversity (representation of religion, languages in which you can vote, cultural celebrations, etc.)
Arts & FIlm (# of film festivals, # of cinema seats per capita, etc.)
Food and Nightlife
Fashion and Art
Some areas Toronto did poorly in are:
Safety and Mental Health
The poor ranking in Safety and Mental Health was disturbing, as this is measured by homicides and suicides per capita.
On a brighter note, we got to hear presentations from some amazing youth organizations, including:
After we were tired and tense, so we rushed to the grocery store to get food and then home…and then got in a fight.
A went to put the frozen pizza in the oven and I went to my room. When I entered I realized I handn’t folded my clean laundry, so my room was covered in clean clothes. I was embarrassed and wanted to get it put away ASAP.
A said she’d go read in the kitchen and I needfully asked, “why?” I hate laundry and I was hoping she’d read on the bed and keep me company. The second I asked the question I knew I shouldn’t have. I knew A was kindly staying out of my way and that if she read on my bed I’d probably get irritated. I did. I was taking some clothes to my closet and A got off the bed and stood right in my way. I got frustrated and she got frustrated and she asked, “why did you ask me to read in your room then?” and I said, “you don’t have to be here!” and it was bad.
She told me she was going to leave and I didn’t say anything. And then she took the pizza and left. We didn’t talk until the next day. Stewing in my room I realized I had taken her for granted and made it seem like she was an inconvenience.
The next day we spoke about all of that and I apologized for how I acted. I said that I let her leave because I didn’t know if she needed space. Writing this now I know I could have said something like, “If you need to go then I support that. I’ll be here, waiting for when you’re ready to talk.” But I didn’t. I was actually upset about her leaving, or at least not assuring me that we would talk.
I think couples need space some times and that is OK, but it is important to say to the other person that you will come back and you will talk about things. We both let each other down at the end of that night. (not at the beginning, we were really great for most of that night).
A: It was literally a single moment that set both of us off. And yes, I took a half-cooked pizza out of the oven, put it in a box, and took a streetcar home. I must have looked ridiculous.
I try really hard to be there for B and to respond properly to him. He’s very unique in his reactions but it’s easy to understand where he’s coming from if I pull my head out of my selfish little ass and pay attention to him. Being an only child, I’ve never had to do this. Or, I should say, I have chosen (subconsciously) not to do this until this point in my life. I don’t know what I’ve been doing all these years.
If I could have had the will that night to stay, I would have. But I was so mad that he made me feel so unwelcome and, when I said that, he just sat on the bed shaking his head. There’s no way, in how I was feeling, I could have stayed. It’s hard when you spend so much time with one person to not take them for granted sometimes and that’s exactly how I felt. I do it to B, too. I know I do. And this is when we need some space.
People are people. People are going to argue and disagree and have opposing values and weird reactions. But, if the relationship means anything to us, it’s important that we talk about them. If we can’t talk about them, then maybe it’s not meant to be.
The pizza was still good, if you were wondering.
B’s b-day surprise – Date #162 – January 4th
A: I. Love. Birthdays. Especially if they’re not my own. I can’t wait to throw birthday parties. For this one, I didn’t go as all out as I would have liked due to monetary reasons, but it was fun. I wasn’t even sure if B wanted a party until the Friday night when he was texting his lovely friend Marla and said, “Should I…. have a birthday get together?” I thought, “PHEW. He’s considering a gathering. This is good.” I told him I had planned a date Saturday night and it would just be us two so to think about having people get together Sunday. I wasn’t overly supportive though. Ha. Ha. Jokes on him, I thought.
Anyway, everyone was late except for a two people whom I love (Patrick and the aforementioned Marla who I actually just met when she knocked on the door). It was good though. B put on a million layers because I told him we were going outside so that made me laugh. It was such a nice night. I love having people over. I find it hard in Toronto, maybe because I haven’t been here for very long, but also because all my friends are SO BUSY.
I felt very lucky, though. Seeing everyone and socializing and laughing and spying on my neighbours and playing with my cats and having good, honest conversations was so relaxing and fun. Sometimes I can’t believe I have that here… in Toronto. I guess because I haven’t entertained in so long, I thought maybe I was rusty. But B and I both have such great, funny, welcoming, and funny (yeah I said that but they are) friends. And I think B was happy. That makes me happiest above all.
B: I had no idea what to expect. Skating? A Show? Dinner? I went to my place and then back to A’s after shooting Kevin Drew’s new music video bundled up and ready for just about anything. A was working away in the kitchen when she asked about melting chocolate, so I figured, “hot chocolate and ice skating.”
Then the doorbell rang!? And I thought, “Oh great, another solicitor.” But it was our friend Patrick! I was so happy because I didn’t expect to see anyone around my birthday (I never do). He said he was just passing through on his way to visit a friend. Sitting, talking to him, I thought about how my childhood friend Marla asked me if I was doing something for my Birthday and how, now, I wish I was.
THEN MARLA ENTERED THE ROOM!!!! More and more people showed up with love and gifts and smiles. It was fantastic. A made a tone of food and basically contacted all of my friends. Even later in the week people who couldn’t come out would come up and ask how my birthday went!
Later we ended up at a sweet bar with a secret drawer and secret notes. I had read about this online and was stoked to be there. The whole night felt amazing and not at all like my usual blasé attitude around birthdays. Thank you A, my family and friends for making this birthday so fantastic!!