How to Get Married in Twelve Easy Steps

Step One: Get Engaged

I don’t know how your story goes, but mine is a little something like this:

I’d threatened him long ago that if he ever proposed at a sporting event that I would say no, but if we wound up on the JumboTron I would not only refuse but also be forced to kill him and bury the body in a shallow grave, which is really more work than I’m up to on any given day. It wasn’t something I worried much about, considering the fact that I once had him 85% convinced that Quidditch was a real sport, but still. Better safe than sorry.

When it happened, it was in our living room. There were no candles, no rose petals. He didn’t get down on one knee. The cat, involved as she was by having the ring box nestled between her paws, looked at us contemptuously as I somehow breathed in the affirmative that yes, I would, of course I would.

We spent a blissful hour as an engaged couple. And then we told people.

Step Two: Tell People

Congratulations! This part is so much fun. Everybody was thrilled for us, and they will be for you too. We’d already decided what we wanted to do. A simple morning ceremony, followed by dinner with our parents and a casual party later in the evening with assorted family and friends. What could be more charming?

Step Three: Have People Tell You All the Ways In Which You Are Doing It Wrong

“What do you mean, no dance? Where are you having this, a Russian gulag?”
“Your grandmother will throw a fit if there isn’t a proper reception. She’s already making noise about haunting you once she’s dead.”
“You’re not legally married in this country if someone isn’t crying with frustration by the end of the day. You’re marrying a lawyer, you should know that.”

Step Four: Eat a Pillow Out of Anxiety

Wash it down with a nice bottle of wine. I personally chose a cabernet sauvignon, but I don’t want to tell you how to live.

Step Five: Give In Compromise

Okay. So G’s dad only asks that his (seven) brothers be invited. Great. And yeah, maybe the morning wedding isn’t convenient for getting ready. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to get all the family together for a happy occasion instead of a sad one, and who doesn’t love dancing?

This is how it starts. If this isn’t how you want it to go, I suggest you shut down your computer right now and run to the nearest city hall. No, faster than that.

Step Six: Ask Your Bridesmaids

You will find out that it is popular to find cute ways to do this, including keepsake handkerchiefs and handmade paper dolls. What actually happens is a little closer to pouring a shot for your oldest friend and saying “SO YA WANNA BE MY MAID OF HONOUR OR WHA?”

Like the trouper she is, she pounds the shot back and gives you a hug. “I FUCKIN’ LOVES YOU AND I WILL DESTROY ANYONE WHO GETS IN THE WAY OF YOUR HAPPINESS SO LET’S DO THIS, BITCH.” Later, at the wedding, she will give a speech that makes all your aunts sniffle, but this one, just between the two of you, is the one closest to your heart. You might not be sisters by blood, but sisters by blood alcohol count must mean something.

Step Seven: Get Vendor Quotes

Bridal etiquette books will tell you that it is not polite to laugh until you cough blood when you receive a catering quote of roughly the GDP of a small country. I say etiquette books lack imagination and must come from old money because seriously, fuuuuuuuuuck that. BBQ buffet it is.

Book a great photographer. The rest will come together later, once you start running out of pillows.

Step Eight: Say Yes to the Dress (and Various Accessories)

Here’s your chance to be the fairytale princess you’ve always wanted to be, if you were the owlish kid whose parents read you all the German versions. Some of the shoes they try to sell you on will put you in Aschenputtel territory quick-smart.

You’ll promise yourself not to get caught up in the whole thing, but the look on your mother’s face when you step up onto the pedestal make you think there’s something special about it, underneath all the ridiculous fuss. Once the veil goes on, it’s all over. You’re a vision in lace and there’s no turning back.

Step Nine: Pinteresting

You’ll find many beautiful wedding ideas on Pinterest. You will, however, have to wade through people who think carving a lace pattern into a watermelon is a perfectly valid use of one’s time.


Tread wisely. Gaze too long into the abyss, and the abyss will hand you a glue gun.

Step Ten: Be Our Guest

I will say this now: there is literally no way to do this without a) going way over budget or b) mortally offending a family member. My advice is to cut something inconsequential and pony up the dough for an extra chicken dinner for that great aunt nobody ever sees. She’s not starting the Seven Years’ War with your mother-in-law, you get a nice card out of it, everyone feels good. Life is too short.

Have pillows on hand for snacking when you do your seating chart, because some relatives won’t sit with other ones on account of the whole feud started at the last goddamn wedding. Thanks a bunch, Cousin With Strong Feelings About Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays That You “Accidentally” Unfriended on Facebook. Thanks a fucking bunch.


Before you know it, the day will be upon you. You’ve hunted people down for their RSVPs, you’ve sold a kidney (not your kidney, but a kidney) to pay for everything, and you’ve buffed your skin to that new car shine. It’s time to get married.

Of course, the morning of the wedding you will be so nervous that you inform your maid of honour that you are about to hork. She will pitilessly throw you, fully clothed, into a cold shower. You will be reminded of why you chose her for the job.

Your hair will be kind of awful. One of your bridesmaids will hand you scissors to fix the raggedy bits. Your photographer will note that not many brides can be found cutting their bangs an hour before the ceremony.

Your dad will cry when he sees you in your dress. Your mom’s hands will shake as she fixes your veil.

You will be late to the ceremony. Your husband-to-be will check his pocket watch at the altar, but you won’t know until later when your father-in-law confides that he had a moment of panic. Just a little one.

You will see him at the end of the aisle and wonder how you ever lived without him, this man with the green eyes who knows your heart like no other. When you say your vows, you will feel an invisible thread that connects you not only to him, but to everyone who’s ever stood in front of their loved ones and said these words, this covenant of something so much older and more sacred than you have ever imagined before this moment.

You will laugh during all your photos, toasting with chicken nuggets procured from Wendy’s by the best man’s brilliant wife. You will laugh harder still at the toasts and jokes and Bill Cosby impressions at the reception. You and your entire bridal party will rap the entire theme from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

You will cry during your first dance. It will only get worse when you dance with your father.

You will dance until the lights come on and they kick you out, guests partying all the way out the door in their glowstick bracelets and crowns.

Step Twelve: Happily Ever After


Step Thirteen: “So When Are You Gonna Have a Baby?”

Buy more pillows.

A Truth Universally Acknowledged

In every age of mankind, philosophers and scientists have pondered the unknowable nature of reality and the universe. Though I cannot lay claim to being either, with all our paradigms shifting into post-something, I find myself holding steadfast to the several irrefutable and objective truths I have come to know in my life.

The Drunk Girl Theorem: As the value of x (the number of drunk girls in a group at a club) increases, there is a positive correlation with the value of y (the amount of shots taken). Where x reaches a value of 3 or higher, the probability of z (at least one girl crying in the bathroom) approaches 1. If the y value represents Jägermeister, the z value expands to include physical aggression including, but not limited to: pushing, slapping, weave-pulling, eye-gouging.

Fig. 1: "Why isn't Chad texting me back?"

The “In Both Cases, Directions Help” Law: Nobody drives or gives oral sex as well as they think they do. Present company included, since the way I do both tends to involve me mixing up my right and my left. That trick of the left hand making the L-shape will only get you so far and some people become offended.

Fig 1.2: Yeah, it LOOKS easy.

The Nice Guy Paradox: I’ve gone over this before, but if he has to say he’s a nice guy, he probably isn’t. The corollary of this is that if he says he’s messed up/bad at relationships/a serial killer with mommy issues, he almost assuredly is. In either case, not worth the aggro. Just buy your own drink and invest in some AA batteries. (For the men screaming “But wait! What should we say about ourselves then, eh, smart guy?”: I don’t know. Just don’t say anything. Go find a guy doing and saying things that make him look like a goatse-level gaping asshole and then don’t do or say those things. I’m barely spinning my own plates here, dude.)

Fig 1.3: An all-too-common refrain.

The Long-Distance Problem: Long-distance relationships suck. They just do. You’ll find yourself missing all these things about your partner that you didn’t know you ever noticed, like their handwriting and the way they pronounce the word “delightful”. Over the winter months, you will begin to feel that body hair maintenance is a pointless exercise and you need it for the extra warmth in your empty, empty bed so what’s the damn point? You will start questioning all you ever knew about the concept of home and start thinking it could just as easily apply to a person instead of a place.

Fig. 1.4: Bigger than you think it is.

The Red Wine Effect: If you have been used to liquor for all of your drinking life, you will not view wine as real booze. This will be your first mistake. At some point after your third glass, you will realize that the insides of your lips feel cottony and you will start thinking that it’s really weird that you know so many people whose names begin with the letter L. By the time the last few drops have been drained from glass number five, you will be telling all present, loudly and often, about your genius plan to build an entire house out of Legos. When the bottle is empty, you will be wearing Betty Boop pajamas and a paper crown and you will be crying about a childhood movie about a dog that you haven’t seen in fifteen years. You will forget your habit of chewing on the lip of your glass generally only works when said glass is not as thin and delicate as spun sugar, and you will wind up halting all conversation in the room with a shattering sound. Every head will turn and see you spitting shards of glass out of your mouth with an audible “pleh!” sound and a nonchalant expression that implies this happens every single day. You will pass out on a futon and wake up the next day wishing for the baby Jesus to come and hold a pillow over your face with his tiny, holy arms until you slip into a blissful oblivion that does not contain sunlight or the smell of bacon.


Um. Yeah. Totally universal.

Busting Out All Over

There are three little words that every big-busted woman out there has grown to know and love. “I’m up here.”

In the interest of precision and honesty, I will tell you that at current measurements, I am a 36H. To give you a bit of context for that, picture a fairly normal ribcage and stack two cantaloupes on it side by side. I don’t blame you if you can’t quite picture it, though. Even Google has a hard time with it. For comparison, I just typed “36C” into Google Images.

Mostly breast-related, right? Now try “36H”.

After several pages of results, there’s nary a tit to be seen. When I typed in “36H breasts” (an activity I highly recommend if you’re at work, by the way), the results may as well have come back like this.

It’s aggravating, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my body. Aside from the back problems, I kind of dig the buxom look. Strap those suckers up right and I can fill out a sweater so well you’d speak in tongues. It’s not the breasts. It’s the accompanying… unpleasantness.

The indignity starts as soon as I get dressed in the morning. Where a woman of more modest proportions has bras, I have buttresses. I open the drawer to see plain black and beige staring back at me like a stern German governess. The odd bit of cheerful bright lace peeks out, but the price tag relegates them to special occasion status. Sorry, flirty blue, sultry red, pretty purple. I can’t play today. You are a Sometimes Bra. Fräulein needs to go to work now.

Wait, let me back up a second. Did I mention the price tag? Because shelling out the equivalent of one of my utility bills to look like someone’s tattooed grandmother under my clothes is not an experience I particularly relish. It is of no help whatsoever that when I go into La Senza (the Canadian equivalent of Victoria’s Secret and just as incompetent, if not moreso), I am set upon by some clueless salesgirl who is dead set on selling me whatever bra is the next big thing. The last time I was there looking for underwear, this exchange followed.

Perky Salesgirl: Hi! Can I interest you in the new WatersexxxTek bra? It features a triple push-up with water-filled inserts and a clever hidden atomizer filled with our newest perfume, Fancy Pomegranate Slut!

Me: No thanks. I’m just here to look at the underwear. Where are those little Brazilian cheeky things that are really ass-flattering?

Perky Salesgirl: Are you sure? It’s available in all 216 hexadecimal colour codes!

Me: No thank you. You guys don’t actually carry my size, so I’ll just continue looking at the underwear, thanks. Where are the ones I was looking for?

Perky Salesgirl: (confused) We don’t carry your size? We have everything up to DD-cup!

Me: Ha. Hahaha. No. I’m an H-cup. The underwear…?

Perky Salesgirl: …are you sure a DD-cup wouldn’t fit?

Me: I… what? Yes, I’m sure. Having had them since elementary school, I know where my tits are and are not willing to go. They will bound cheerfully into well-fitted bras, the odd corset, and into the capable hands of professorial-looking dudes in glasses. They will balk like a spooked horse at going into strapless dresses, halter tops, games of strip poker since 2007, and I can tell you as sure as I’m standing here that they are not going anywhere close to a DD-cup bra.

Perky Salesgirl: I can check in the back for an E-cup…

Me: No. Please find me an employee who will help me find what I’m looking for. Preferably one that is of voting age.

And so forth.

It’s the comments that really seal it, though. What’s weird is that the worst of it doesn’t come from men. Men stare too long sometimes, but only the most juvenile and crass will say something. Pretty much all the worst and most demeaning comments come from other women.

“Ugh, thank God I don’t look like that. I don’t know how she stands up.” (Just fine, thanks. You’d find it doesn’t impede my right hook much, either.)

“Holy shit, you’ve got really big boobs.” (Holy shit! So I do. I managed not to look down once since puberty.)

“Wow, Jugs! No trouble to tell what the guys like you for, is it?” (Thank you! I didn’t realize intelligence and a daffy sense of humour was as obvious upon first glance as being a shallow bitch!)

“Are they real? Can I touch them?” (They are imaginary and no you may not.)

I probably sound bitter and I don’t mean to. It’s just that I’ve had a total of seventeen years of this kind of bullshit, and it gets tiresome.  It’s not much fun being remembered by casual acquaintances as “the one with the tits”. It’s kind of irritating to be treated like Sideshow Boob by strangers.

Still, it’s hard not to smile on those good days, the tight sweater days. A little vexation and a whole lot of va-va-voom. Not the worst trade-off.

Nice Boys Don’t

Being single agrees with me for the most part. I get to plan my weekends without having to have the conversation of I Didn’t Know It Was Your Mother’s Birthday, You Need To Tell Me These Things More Than Two Days Before. I get all the pillows to myself.  No one makes fun of me for watching Colin Firth movies for an entire afternoon. I’ve had a couple of flirtations and flings in the last few months, but nothing too intense. I simply didn’t want to date.

Of course, it’s late May and spring has sprung, and with it came spring fever. The world is shiny and new and maybe, just maybe, it’d be nice to have someone to share it with. Unfortunately, I’m at that stage in life where most of my friends have paired off and are only friends with other paired off people. Not being possessed of the patience necessary to wait it out until people’s starter marriages begin failing, I dipped a toe into online dating.

It’s harrowing, of course. The city I’m in is relatively small and doesn’t have the selection that a place the size of, say, Toronto or Vancouver would. I get a fair amount of messages, but I don’t pretend that it’s because I’m special in any way. Sure, I’m moderately attractive and can string a sentence together, but anyone with a vagina can attract a certain amount of attention online simply by nature of having a place on the body in which to insert a penis. Frankly, I’d wager the same amount of success could be achieved by a sentient Fleshlight, or even a lukewarm bag of Spaghetti-Os. The messages are mostly unobjectionable, if somewhat lacking in good spelling, but mostly the problem is not having anything in common.

Unless, of course, the problem is the Nice Guy. Ohhhhh, how I loathe the Nice Guy.

A Nice Guy is not to be mixed up with a nice guy, of course. I know nice guys. I’ve dated some of them. They let me sleep on their couches when I’ve had too much to drink, bake me pie for my birthday, and send me animations of bouncing breasts when I’m feeling down. The Nice Guy is the guy who says and does all the things he thinks he needs to do to get in your pants and then considers you the problem when it doesn’t work. The problem clearly isn’t that they are either transparent as hell or that they never made anything constituting an actual move. Oh, no, clearly the problem is you, the fickle and stupid woman, for actually appreciating the more direct approach.

Courtesy of A Softer World

“All women want are jerks,” they grump. “They talk about how all they want is a nice, sweet guy who will treat them like a queen and then turn around and go for the hot guy who treats them like shit.” Oh, fuck off out of it, Lloyd Dobler. In the first place, I’ve never asked to be treated like a queen. I want a guy with a sense of humour and a spark and a personality that meshes with mine, a guy who will treat me with respect. Me, the person I am. Not as some generic woman. The reason I don’t want your flowers and sonnets is because that’s not who I am and if you’d bothered to get to know me beyond the fact that I have a matching pair of X chromosomes, you’d understand that. Romance is fine, but when you’re acting as if all women are the same, it’s not romantic. It’s bullshit, and we can usually smell it from a mile away. How is it respectful to me or you to live your life as though you’re holding a sign up that says “Will Act As Doormat For Pussy”? Is that what being nice means to you? Maybe that’s why you’re striking out.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that women can’t be hypocrites or stupid or what have you. Of course we can. I’ve known some girls who were horror stories enough that they’d curl your hair. But seriously, don’t act as if I’m stupid and then be offended when I don’t swoon at you trying to clumsily pluck out “Crash Into Me” on your acoustic guitar. I have enough experience now to know what I want, and it isn’t someone who thinks so little of me that they assume I don’t know what’s good for me. Slow your roll, Prince Smarming. I have a weekend with Colin Firth planned and it doesn’t involve you.


Hypothesis: Any relationship between any two people lasting longer than a month will have at least one long-running argument that spans the entire course of said relationship.

Corollary: Said argument will be over something absolutely bone-fuck stupid. The level of viciousness of said argument will be directly proportional to the stupidity of the topic at hand.

Example 1: The parking lot outside my office does not have delineated parking spaces. A co-worker of mine (I will call him Patrick, as that is his name) showed up one morning at the same time as me. I pulled into a spot next to the one he was backing into at a glacial pace. At halfway in the spot, I saw him mutter something and pull out to move several spaces down. I shrugged and gathered my stuff to go inside, but he caught up with me.

“You cut me off,” he pouted. “I was backing into that spot.”

“Er, no,” I said, “You were backing into the spot next to mine.”

He pointed back at the space between my car and the next one, asking testily how he was expected to fit his car in there. I looked at the sizable empty space.  I looked back at him. I looked at his car, a Ford Focus. I asked him which breakfast cereal he’d gotten his driver’s license out of, hazarding a guess that he was a Cocoa Pebbles kind of guy. Things only escalated from there, with a day-long argument involving impartial observers being pulled away from their desks to look at how I’d somehow prevented him from putting a mid-sized car into a space spanning roughly the size of Iceland. (Alright, maybe not Iceland. Equatorial Guinea, then.)

That was roughly two months ago. Now as we get coffee from the break room, he narrates his every movement to make sure I don’t cut him off. I tell him that his car, like so many other things in his life, is not as big as he thinks it is. I anticipate that this will continue until one of is fired or killed.

Example 2: My parents, desperately in love as they are, come close to divorce at least once a year over one of the following things:

  • Tinsel on the Christmas tree (my father says it’s festive, my mother argues that it looks like robot diarrhea)
  • Bubble wrap (my father says it’s fun to pop for hours, my mother has started to get a twitch whenever it’s nearby)
  • The video camera (my mother says it’s important to document important moments in our family, my father quite reasonably says that him drinking his morning coffee in a robe that leaves little to the imagination is NOT an important family moment)

Example 3: I have not even the words to get into the debacle from my relationship with J, but I assure you that if you ever play the word “za” in Scrabble for 24 points and triple word score, it’s probably best if you leave before the cops show up because shit is about to get very real indeed.

Conclusion: Long-running arguments provide a sense of comfort and familiarity in a relationship, a home base to return to when other conflicts get too hard to deal with. It can be about nostalgia, foreplay, or just plain fun, but the fact is that a relationship needs at least one good conflict to be able to survive.

Alternate conclusion: People are sort of dumb and za is NOT A WORD.

The Internet Is For Porn

I watch porn now and again. For obvious reasons, I don’t bring it up often in conversation. For starters, it’s rare to have the opportunity to discuss the comedic merits of Evan Stone, the greatest pirate hunter in the world, around the water cooler at work. For another, it’s one of those things that people often find disconcerting in a woman. Either I’m trying too hard to appear cool and sexually liberated or I’m single-handedly (no pun intended) destroying the feminist movement. I could write a whole essay on the subjugation of women in the porn industry or how sexual freedom has become somehow culturally synonymous with being open-minded, but it’s been done before and likely better than I could do it justice. I get both arguments, but personal-is-political aside, I feel like what happens between me and Tube8 in the privacy of my own home isn’t really the concern of lecherous dudes or Catharine MacKinnon, so aside from the obvious irony of writing a blog post about it, I don’t so much mention it.

That said, I have to speak up and talk about certain persistent problems I’ve seen that need to be addressed.

Bad dialogue. I know, I know. Saying you like porn but hate the cheesy dialogue is like saying that you love the Mona Lisa but you think she could stand to wipe the smug look off her face. I’m not making a complete blanket statement here. If the pizza guy knocks on the door during a game of truth-or-dare at the cheerleader camp sleepover, you would be simply disappointed if said delivery did not somehow offer meaty sausage. This guy works customer service and will never get an opportunity like this again, let’s cut him a little slack. Between So Terrible It’s Actually Amazing and Huh, This Is Actually Decent, there’s a bleak no-man’s-land where someone thinks it’s actually acceptable to say the words “hot snatch”. Unless you’ve just stolen some baked goods fresh out of the oven, no. Just no.

Ugly sets. Pool? Fine. Office? Fine. Generic but otherwise inoffensive bedroom? Fine. Futon with wood paneling in the background? Not fine. Some guy’s garage? Not even allowed within 100 yards of fine. Hang a drape, use some cushions, invest in some lighting. No, a guy holding an Itty Bitty Book Light just off-camera is not lighting, I don’t care if he is union.

Long fingernails. I guess I should be up-front and say that this is something that skeeves me out in general. I appreciate a pretty French manicure as much as the next girl, but I cannot and will not accept talons near the gentle areas. Actually, this leads me to my next point.

Misuse of the clitoris. For those of you just joining us in ninth-grade biology, the clitoris is a bundle of nerves at the crest of the labia that has roughly 8000 nerve endings. To put that in perspective, that is twice the amount of nerve endings contained in the head of the penis. It is sensitive. It is like a landmine whose mother you just insulted. Every woman is different in how she prefers hers to be treated (though I’ve heard “to the left a little bit” is usually a good bet), but I can tell you right now that it does not like to be poked at like you’re testing it for signs of life. You’re not sending an angry text to an ex-boyfriend. A genie is not going to come out. You do not pull back the hood and go to work like you’re fixing the transmission, you approach that bitch with respect or you risk getting kicked in the face, so you step lively and ask firmly but politely how its day was.

Wardrobe. I accept that a certain amount of rayon is inevitable. I get that all schoolgirl uniforms are going to look like they came straight from class at St. Bambi’s Whore Academy. I will immediately turn off any clip that shows a man naked except for his socks. I have to have some standards here.

It’s not all bad. Some people obviously have had the same thoughts I’ve had and have set out to make the wide world of erotica a better place. I can appreciate that there are varying tastes in the world. I just don’t like wading through a sea of dreadful XXX’s in search of a decent O.

Wires Crossed

It is next to impossible to recreate the smell of a hospital. People talk about how hospitals smell like antiseptic, which is true, but it’s only the most easily identifiable base note. The real complexity is in the impossible-to-articulate scent of illness and death and anxiety and sadness shot through with the faintest whiff of hope, like Pandora’s box come to life.

I’ve never liked hospitals, despite my childhood aspirations of becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, I had a scary fainting spell last November that nobody could explain using words other than “holy shit”, so I’ve had to become quite familiar with them. The ER couldn’t figure it out, so they sent me to the neurology department. After several tests, one of which required me to be sleep-deprived and have bright lights flashed in my face (which I’m pretty sure is against the Geneva Conventions), Dr. Mumtaz told me that I was completely normal, brain-wise.

I had the good manners not to laugh in his face.

Anyway, the good doctor continued as I bit the inside of my cheek, the EKG from the ER wasn’t normal so likely it’s some sort of heart problem that’s gone undiagnosed for a while. He did not seem to have an answer as to why they didn’t mention it to me at the time, so I can only assume they did not think it would be the kind of thing to ever come up. You know, because guns shown in the first act never go off in the third.

Long story short, my blood pressure goes down all the time, you know, whenever it feels like it. The lackadaisical slut.

The reason I was at the hospital today was to get a Holter monitor attached so they can figure out what the hell my heart is doing that it’s so unpredictable, which is a fine adjective for loopy manic-pixie-dreamgirls in movies that are all about teaching uptight bankers how to seize the day through the power of feng shui or whatever, but not so much for one of your major organs. The monitor is a sexy little get-up that has about seven different electrodes and wires hanging off various points in my torso. You do not get a photo, since it is not that kind of blog, but this gentleman should give you an idea of what I’m dealing with here. I look like something a bomb squad would be dispatched to deal with, the observation of which prompted my mother to remark that today would be a fun day to go to the airport, because I guess Mother’s Day cards that come from a maximum security prison are just that much more sentimental. Even my boss deadpanned asking if he’d seen me in The Hurt Locker. (Everybody’s a goddamn comedian.)

I really hope they figure out this thing soon. I’m tired of the hospital smell. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go outside and scare the neighbourhood children. I might be able to convince one of them I’m a cyborg.

The Wall

I moved out of the house I shared with my ex a couple of weeks into January. After spending a week gratefully crashing on the couches of kind friends and feeling like the Littlest Hobo, I was becoming a little desperate and decided to reply to an ad online about a room for rent. The rent was reasonable, the neighbourhood was close to where I needed to be, and the two girls living there seemed nice. Within a day or two, it was a done deal, and I moved all of my worldly goods into a basement bedroom. Sitting on the twin bed and looking around the bare walls, I told myself that it would be fine for the next several months. Why, I thought, it could be an adventure!

Looking for an apartment is kind of like playing minesweeper. There’s something awful waiting, but you don’t know when or where you’re going to discover it. Sure, it’s energy-efficient and great on utilities, but there’s no laundry hook-up. The hardwood floors are beautiful, but the ceiling leaks. The location is fantastic, but your next-door neighbour is Rape Clown.  You know how it is. There’s always a catch. I don’t know whether it’s lucky or not, but I discovered the catch when the ink on the lease was barely dry.

I noticed I was hearing voices.Voices having conversations about dinner plans and whose turn it was to pick up the milk and that whore at work. My first thought was that I was finally having a complete nervous breakdown brought on by extreme amounts of stress. After I realized that my subconscious couldn’t possibly know that much about Twilight, I was left with the sinking realization that the wall separating me from the people in the basement apartment may as well have been constructed from tissue paper.

Hours later, listening to squeaking bedsprings and a nasal, shrill voice begging “Greg” to fuck her harder, I came to the conclusion that I would have preferred the psychosis.

Every day I learn more about my ever-present friends, my resentment grows just a little. I hear entire conversations, can pinpoint the exact stupid thing he says that’s going to cause an argument, and from there it’s just the waiting game for the inevitable makeup sex theatrics. Some of the people I have explained this to have said that it must be entertaining at least. I can understand how it would seem that way, but I assure you, it is not. I would rather give unmedicated birth to a passel of hedgehogs than listen to this woman’s clumsy attempts at dirty talk. Hearing her ask for the fourth time if he’s going to come or not makes me want to set my vagina on fire rather than risk even the smallest degree of association with the whole ghastly affair. Any entertainment value gleaned from the first couple of times vanishes once you realize that it’s just never going to stop. Dante himself couldn’t have dreamed this up. Neighbours or not, I guarantee you that if Fred Rogers had to listen to King Friday and Lady Elaine getting down in detail this graphic, he’d have hung himself by the sleeve of his goddamn cardigan.

And yet, when I give the slow golf clap afterwards, I’m somehow the rude one. Well, I’m sorry, but Emily Post never addressed this. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Also, if you don’t know whether he’s come or not, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.