Monday, August 31, 2015

This Week In Online Dating: Actual Potential, Disappointment, & Miscellaneous Grab Bag

Yes, believe it or not, this week I actually found someone with a bit of potential. Naturally I was way more excited than I could show, because we all know that the wrong level of enthusiasm from a female tends to drive men away.

As my friend said the other week, "Men are like deer. Say and do the right thing and they're eating out of your hand. Say the wrong thing and they're bounding off into the woods, scared as fuck."

So anyway, I'd been talking to "Brad" on Tinder since May. We matched way back when and started chatting, but our messages were never instant. He'd send a message late at night, I'd respond the next day, I'd hear from him a week later, etc. It was more like correspondence than chatting.

Then I went away for a week-long work event, followed up immediately by a wedding (you remember how that turned out) and then two weeks of vacation. I'd forgotten about Brad, even though we seemed to have a good rapport via Tinder messages.

Last Sunday I got a Tinder message from him out of the blue asking how I'd been, how was my summer, etc. After a few reconnecting messages, he asked me to go for a drink on Saturday. I said yes, and we switched to text.

Our texting connection was great. We joked, we told stories, we exchanged hilariously bad puns, I knew at the very least we'd have fun in person over that drink. We made the tentative plan for Saturday. He had a family event that would take up most of his day, but we'd meet around 6:30-7 in the evening. Cool.

The entirety of Friday passed without a text from him. My female intuition kicked in. Personally, if I'm about to meet someone, I'd at least keep some casual contact going until then. But hey, everyone's different in their communication styles, so I let it be.

Saturday rolled around and by noon I hadn't heard anything. I was owed some contact now. It was the day of the date. Come on now. So I texted, asking if we were still on. An hour and a half later I was told how sorry he was but his family event was running longer than expected. Raincheck?

"I'm sorry, I can't make it on the day and time that I, myself, suggested."

I took a deep breath. I had anticipated he would flake out and here it was. I told him these things happen, no problem, and raincheck for sure. He followed up with extreme gratitude at my understanding, then asked how my weekend was going. It felt pretty sincere. After all, these things DO happen.

After a quick exchange the convo ended. I didn't hear from him at all on Sunday. It's Monday, and still nothing. Now, of course there's a chance he'll pop up this week and try to reschedule, but my instincts tell me that if he wanted to meet me, he woulda made the plan immediately upon cancelling. I know that's what I would do to prove to someone that I wasn't flaking, just changing the plan.

I have sent the last text, and he was the one that cancelled. I think anyone with any social skills at all would agree that the ball is in his court to make a new plan with me. If in fact that's what he wants to do.

If he doesn't, I'll be left sitting in yet another cloud of confusion going "Huh? What? I just... I dunno..." Can someone help me out here? Why does someone make the effort to reach out to you, to ask you out, to make the plan, then flake? A friend tells me she suspects some people in the world of online dating get close to meeting someone for the first time then have a sort of freak-out and bail. The digital interaction is about to become real and they decide it's too nerve-wracking. Valid theory.

But this just brings me back to a concept that I feel is very important if you're going to call yourself an adult. Know thyself. If internet "blind" dating is too scary for you, don't put yourself out there only to disappoint others. If your life is too busy, if you're not emotionally ready, stay away from those of us that are.

Anyways, to be fair, Brad might still pop up thinking nothing is wrong and still want to meet me, to which I will say yes. But that doesn't change my frustration with this first impression.

On to the fun stuff...

Let's start with the positive! Profiles I liked!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How To Be Good At Being Dumped

You can feel it coming. The time between texts is longer. There are more excuses for why you can't hang out. Your women's intuition is ringing alarm bells, or your male gut feeling is trying to tell you something. There is less eye contact, less intimacy, and you know what's on the horizon. You're about to be dumped. Fuck.

Hey, that's recyclable!


Does this sound familiar? Do you suspect your partner is about to pull the plug on you? As horrible as this is, it can sometimes be unavoidable, and you may as well go through the motions with the most dignity and class as possible. This is where I'm going to help you.

Take note that my advice is not for married couples, people with children, or people in decades long relationships, and for that matter it's not for people whose relationships are going out with a traumatic bang like infidelity. That stuff is way messier and is above my pay grade as a... well I'm nothing really. I've been dumped before. Just listen.

What follows is the best course of action for the fizzle-out type endings of short term relationships. Been seeing that guy for six months and you can feel him pulling away? Has that girl you've been semi-serious with for three months started to ghost on you? Then listen up. Here's how you can take back control in what can feel like a very powerless situation. Trust me, I've been there. And I handled things all wrong. Then the next time I found myself in this conundrum, I did everything right. And it made a huge difference in the recovery process.

Steel yourself. This ain't gonna be easy. If you were growing quite attached, this is gonna suck big time. But trust me, how you handle the actual social interaction of being broken up with will give you the ability to hold your head high afterwards, which is important when you're otherwise feeling like a sack of shit.

Induce Labour

Sometimes you can feel that the end is nigh, and that anticipation can be torture. It's understandable that your partner is dreading doing this and can't seem to pick his or her moment. Most people, assuming they aren't sociopaths (I've dated a few, it happens) don't want to hurt others, especially if nobody fucked up and the relationship has just run its course for one of the participants. In this scenario, feelings of affection usually remain (even if the romance has died), no there's no ill-will. Try to remember this even though your heart might be going through the proverbial ringer. Intent is 9/10ths of the dump. Okay, I just made that up, but it works.

"I just don't see a future for us, Sally Stock-Photo."


This is just good relationship advice overall, but it particularly applies when you can sense the other person is just being a chicken-shit and delaying making their move. Communicate. Ask the other person what is wrong. Tell them flat-out you've noticed a difference. Take no bullshit.

Force the conversation. Give particular examples of what has changed. Don't let them tell you everything's fine, unless of course they have some legitimate reason that they aren't themselves lately, like an illness or other personal problem. If that's the case, you should really be more sensitive, asshole. /justkidding.

You're 50% of the relationship and you deserve to know why the dynamic has shifted. If you're feeling that something is wrong, you don't have to sit around and say nothing for fear of looking needy or crazy. This is the problem for a lot of women - we're dismissed as crazy by men every time we have a not-so-great feeling. We will deal with crap for way longer than we should because we're afraid of the crazy label.

Chances are the dumper's mind is made up and it's just a matter of informing you of the decision. If the other person doesn't respect you enough to tell you they want out, respect yourself enough to demand answers.

Take It Like A Champ

When the moment comes and the conversation begins (let's assume this is in person), try to rein in any explosive emotions. Just as you strive to make a good first impression, the best way to get through this in tact is to make a good last impression.

Take a deep breath and try to calm your heart rate which is probably racing after they've said, "I think we should see other people." Hear them out as much as possible. Let them give their reasons.

The most important thing to remember is that if someone sits you down calmly to break up with you, the decision is likely final and the issue is not up for debate. So do not debate. Do not argue. Do not beg. If you predicted that this was coming, then it means this was not a rash decision. Hold your head high and try to tell yourself that this is the right move. Because you don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you. This is a classic case of fake it till you make it, because nobody feels this way when it's happening.

Obviously you have things to say as well. It's a conversation, not a monologue. This about you, too. What you say here is what's going to leave the final impression in your partner's mind. If there's any hope of a future re-connection, this will also be the moment they point to if you behave like a lunatic.

Ask any questions you may have, as it's important to get as much closure in this moment as you can. If they weren't the perfect partner, use the opportunity to let them know the ways they wronged you or let you down. Try to keep anger to a minimum. Everyone knows that anger is just pain's bodyguard.

I'm not saying show no emotion, but my advice for a relationship under six months or so is always the same - don't let them see you cry. Not only does it make the moment even messier than it already is, but the power balance is in favour of the dumper, not the dumpee. Don't add to the imbalance. It will only make you feel worse.

Aftercare

While you shouldn't be putting too much thought into it, what you do when the breakup's all said and done can effect the possibility of future reconciliation (i.e. act a fool, never be called again). More important than considering a future with the person who hurt you is that these tips will help you get the hell over it, and hopefully not even want a future with them. This is all assuming, of course, that you give a shit that you were dumped. If you don't, move along and enjoy your life. But some people need a bit of help picking themselves up after something like this.

Temporarily opening the comms

Immediately after the dumping conversation, you are permitted one email. You have 48 hours to send it. Anything after that gives off the wrong vibe. It needs to be pretty fast. And it must be an email. Phone calls are too personal and texts are too instantaneous. An email suggests you're okay with them opening it and responding whenever they get around to it. It also allows for expanded thoughts instead of a back and forth that could lead to arguing. An email implies less urgency and desperation on your part.

Subject: YOU JUST LOST THE BEST THING YOU EVER HAD

If you're taken by surprise by the breakup (or at least the exact moment it was executed) you often don't think of everything you wanted to say right then and there. The next day, you'll usually wish you'd said this or that and be kicking yourself. Note that if all you want to do is call them a bitch or a bastard, don't bother with this email. It would do more harm than good.

If you thought of a question or statement that you feel really needs to be put out there, go for it. A reasonable person will allow for one act of closure-seeking behaviour. Another important note - don't ask to get together for the sake of closure. As much as you might want to try to see this person, you'll be hurt when this invite is rejected, and I promise you this - if they agree to it, seeing them will only be a setback for you.

No contact

After your email, you'll most likely get a response, as long as the person is relatively decent. Once you get the reponse, this is it. No more replies. No more contact. It's time to fall off the face of the Earth as far as your ex is concerned. This can feel like going off a drug-cold turkey, and hey - science says it is! Bonus! You're not crazy!

So now you're off the grid. This means removing your ex from all social media, deleting text conversations, and at the very least hiding physical mementos from the relationship (I won't suggest destroying things, because you may not always feel crappy about it).

The no contact rule is important because it allows you the space you'll need to heal, and if you're really upset at this stage it eliminates the likelihood you're gonna go Glenn Close on your ex. Better to say and do nothing than to say or do something mental.

Let this not be you.


No contact also gives you back the sense of power that you lost when you were chucked. Feeling powerless is a huge part of what people complain about when they're heartbroken, so this way you get to tell yourself you've chosen not to speak to him.

In the off chance there's hope for the relationship down the road, your ex has to miss you. So this time spent flying under the radar is beneficial all around - it either makes them wonder about you, or enough time passes that you don't give a rat's ass what they think.

Let's look at things from the perspective of the dumper for just a moment, because your post-breakup behaviour isn't just about making you feel better. It's also about not being a nuisance to the other person. Don't be the crazy ex that calls when you're drunk and hurts their current relationships with your stalker-ish ways. Leave them in peace. The dumper is usually not a villain. I know it can feel that way, because what kind of MONSTER doesn't want to be with you?! But the truth of the matter is they are probably just a regular person trying to get on with things. Don't be that ex.

And hey, even if you're feeling like a piece of garbage, having no contact at all can still give you that piece of confidence you need because your ex is out there with no idea of how you're handling it. For all they know, you've won the lottery and are now banging your favourite celebrity in Saint Maarten. You're a mystery now. Revel in it.

"This is totes my ride now. Or is it? You'll never know!"


Bucking up

When a person is depressed, their hobbies and interests often fall by the wayside. Well I'm here to tell you to fight the impulse to sulk (I'll grant you a few days of self-pity time for sure, we all need just a bit of that) and make a conscious effort to keep up with the things you love.

The dopamine (feely goodness, in layman's terms) caused by feelings of love and infatuation is gone, and boy oh boy that shit stings. You have to replace it with something else, even though every impulse in your body is saying "just lay here and watch Netflix."

Another useful tip is to do something you've been wanting to do for a while. Especially if that something was impeded by your relationship, for example your ex had no interest in visiting Tokyo. Well what's stopping you now? Get on a plane. Travel, especially, is good for heartache as it provides you with totally new and foreign surroundings, unmarred by memories of that jackass. 

"I'm not thinking about my ex at all! Aw shit..."

Traveling alone is also a good idea at this stage because it forces you to be independent, as sometimes in relationships we lose our personal identities a little. It's a pleasant distraction and it'll force you to spend time with you and hopefully remember how awesome you are. If you're a crappy person, don't do this because you'll have a bad time. /jokeyjokes And I won't lie. There's always the possibility that your ex hears you're off somewhere in Indonesia and thinks "What the fuck? She's supposed to be languishing right now!"

"What about a rebound?" you ask. Well, that strategy works for some, and is disastrous for others. Generally speaking, I say do what you gotta do with your own genitals. Try to know yourself a little. Will a random hook-up make you feel better? Worse? Up to you.

Rebound with your private bits (or not) to your heart's desire. But DO NOT rebound with feelings if you aren't ready. You'll just be dragging someone else into your mess, and remember - the whole point of this is how to be good at being dumped. If you fuck with someone's emotions for a quick pick-me-up, you're not good at any of this.

To Sum Up 

Being good at being dumped is easy. It boils down to not making a spectacle of yourself during, and keeping a healthy distance after. If someone decides their life will be better without you in it, that's exactly what you give them - a life without you. And you wait for the person whose life was incomplete until you were in it.

The benefits of heeding this advice are numerous. Not only will following these rules make you feel better during a difficult time, but later on you won't have to look back with regret and cringe at the memory of begging someone to be with you and promising to change to suit anyone but yourself. In summary, you'll leave that relationship knowing you went out with class, and you'll be proud of yourself.

I'm already proud of you for reading this far.

So if you feel like your relationship is on its last legs and someone might be able to bail on you, think about what I've said. Chin up. Show them what you're made of. Go out with a bow, not a bang.

 

Book Report: The Girl On The Train

 I've decided this review will be very spoilery. Yes, that's a word. Because I say it is. I have the power.

So if you didn't read The Girl On The Train and would like to save the mystery for a later date, don't read ahead. If you did read it, or just don't give a shit about finding out what happens, read on.

This book was heavily marketed as the next Gone Girl, which sets the bar pretty darn high, since that book was da bomb. (Do people still say 'da bomb?') Anyways, if you didn't read Gone Girl then what follows will spoil that shit for you too. Also, do some fucking reading. It's good for you, I swear.

So, if you decided to join the Quirky Canuck book club as I recommended last week, good for you. Here we go.

My first impression of the book was "bleeeghhh noooo!"

Let me tell you why using the example of two funnymen I seriously respect, because their opinions match my own:


I am immediately turned off when I realize a book is written this way. It takes me some time to get into it and stop noticing that part of the author's style. To me it feels more like the cheesy narration of a student art film. "I splay my arm across the cool cotton sheets and ponder what a waste my life has been." -FIN-

Usually I check this out by flipping to a random page before buying a book, but this one was bought at a thrift store and it just slipped my mind as I was too busy finding four books so the fifth would be free. I snatched this one up at the last second as my freebie.

Present tense takes away from that feeling of someone telling you a story. It would seem very obvious that such a storyteller vibe is the most appropriate tone for the format of a novel, especially one written in the first person. "This is what happened to me." Instead of "here is what's happening to me that I'm somehow relaying to you in real time." It feels unnatural. Because nobody speaks that way. But some authors still choose this present tense weirdness to tell their stories, and it seems I'm not alone in thinking that it blows.

With that bit of crabbing aside, I was very intrigued by the format of the book, at least in the beginning. I enjoyed the whole "morning" and "evening" entries, showing us the daily train commute of Rachel, our protagonist, going to and from London. There's something dark and sinister about her observations that made me want to stick with her to find out just what the hell her deal was. And it's worth finding out.

Let me just say that the protagonist is the character you relate to and through whose eyes you view the story, and whose perspective you experience. You usually (not always) like the protagonist. But this wasn't the case in The Girl On The Train. Rachel is more like the protagon-ish, because she's written to be an unreliable narrator, not to mention the fact that she's a raging alcoholic whose behavior makes you full-on cringe many times. I wanted to punch the book at a few points. "No, Rachel! Don't call your fucking ex AGAIN!"

The format of the book also keeps you on your feet with its shifting narrator. You get to see things, (sometimes the exact same event) from different eyes, which will fill in the narrative blanks left by one character's limited perspective.

Our narrators are Rachel (pathetic alcoholic hot-mess), Anna (Rachel's ex's mistress turned new wife and baby mama, also a hot mess), and Megan (bored housewife who goes missing, hot mess number three). Thanks for the variety, Paula Hawkins.

As an average, non-fucked up woman, it was hard to relate to any of these women. One is full out stalking her ex while her life goes down the loo (because the book is British, you see), one is completely proud of having been the 'other woman,' and one is unfaithful and dishonest about her past to her husband. Yeesh!

This abundance of hotmessness is probably the reason the reader feels compelled to continue, now that I think about it.

SPECIFIC SPOILER TIME: Megan goes missing and boozy Rachel finds herself blacked out and covered in blood during the same timeframe. And she happens to know she was in the same area at the time of the disappearance. We suspect her of foul play immediately because she's just all round cray-cray. Even Rachel doubts herself and spends a good chunk of the book trying to put together the pieces of fragmented memories (are they memories?) of that night.

As the reader, I was totally with her in spirit as she attempted to shed light on her black-out to find the truth, even though her methods leave you wanting to slap her, i.e. texting her remarried ex yet again, showing up outside his house, lying to Megan's husband, and even going for a session with Megan's therapist/suspected kidnapper.

Unfortunately the whodunnit aspect of the novel was ruined for me when I figured out... well... whodunnit pretty early on. I saw all the red herrings for what they were, as I'm sure many readers did. But again, Hawkins' ominous style and time-shifting storytelling kept me invested. I also absolutely needed to find out how Rachel was going to come out of all this in the end, because DAYUM that woman has problems.

I felt a twinge of annoyance when it was revealed that - SPOILER - missing Megan was pregnant when she - SPOILER - was killed. It felt like a blatant plundering of Gone Girl's plot, and it also made me a little miffed that as a society we need to make a dead woman pregnant in order for it to be considered a REAL tragedy.

Although I have my complaints about this book, it was clearly well written and interesting enough to keep my attention right to the end, and if I hadn't read Gone Girl, I would have thought it was very unique, and probably not have accurately anticipated some of the plot points.

I'm deducting 2 quirks from my rating. One for lack of originality and the fact that I was able to make accurate predictions fairly early, and one for the usage of present tense. Otherwise, an enjoyable read.






Up next in the Quirky Canuck book club, The Martian by Andy Weir. Read along with me this week, won't you?

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Report: Practical Demonkeeping, by Christopher Moore

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000GCFBYW/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B000GCFBYW&linkCode=as2&tag=quircanu-20
Christopher Moore is, without a doubt, one of my favourite authors. After reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, (how's that for a catchy title?) I knew this was a dude I was going to like. I moved on to Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art, and I was hooked.

After enjoying those two novels immensely, I decided to go back to the beginning, to Moore's debut novel Practical Demonkeeping (originally published in 1992).

Moore's style in general is irreverent and sarcastic and clever, and every other adjective that describes the things I find funny. He mixes real world situations and characters with the impossible, mythical, and magical. You have to be able to suspend belief for a while in order to enjoy his stuff. I, personally, have no problem doing so.

In Practical Demonkeeping, Moore tells the story of Travis, a former seminary student, who accidentally winds up the immortal master of a demon named Catch, over whom he has minimal control. Essentially, Catch must eat (humans), and Travis tries to steer him towards those that society won't miss. Sort of a Dexter-style approach, I suppose.

The story keeps you hooked as you're itching to find out the backstory for this odd couple, and Moore weaves a few little bits into the story that you're eager to see wrapped up and explained.
Overall, I suppose the theme would be... oh I dunno... maybe good versus evil? Stepping up to do what's right? There are a few characters who are dragged into the mess created by Catch and Travis' "relationship." These people have nothing to do with anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and have to risk a hell of a lot to try to stop some crazy shit from going down in their small, peaceful town. I won't say more because spoilers suck.

There are some substance abuse issues tackled very lightly, and one character, Robert, watches his life go down the shitter and has the revelation that maybe it's time to straighten up and right a few wrongs. Another character, Augustus Brine, is pulled into the insanity and does some deep thinking about what he's doing with his life and if his fate is to do more. Travis, the titular demonkeeper, never asked to be the master of a nightmarish man-eating lizard and has spent his life trying to minimize the damage caused and send the hellspawn back from whence it came. So maybe this means Moore was trying to make a statement on personal destiny. Who knows? All that's for sure is that it's entertaining.

The only negative I could find was the lack of serious character development, meaning there weren't any characters I felt a connection to, but I can also concede that this wasn't Moore's intention. He's a storyteller above all, and his novels are a nice reprieve from those that delve too deeply into the human condition and try to analyze every thought and action of a character. Sometimes it's nice to just get on with the story!

Moore can also turn a phrase like nobody's business. Here are some memorable moments:

“I've seen more intelligence in the crotch lice of harem whores.”

“May the IRS find that you deduct your pet sheep as an entertainment expense.”

“The netherworld is timeless and unchanging, and boring -- much like a doctor's waiting room.” 



I'm in love with Christopher Moore's style and would recommend that anyone who isn't too sensitive about religion begin their Moore-Quest with Lamb. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll see Jesus (aka Josh) in a whole new light.

UP NEXT...

Join the Quirky Canuck book club! This week I'm reading The Girl On The Train because when I jump on a bandwagon, I like to do it VEEEERY late. Read it with me this week and I'll post a book report next week, then we can discuss.

I know what you're thinking. I'm just like Oprah.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why I Had a Breast Reduction (Hint: Big Boobs Can Be A Curse)

Our society values big boobs. It's just a fact. Young girls often can't wait for their titties to arrive, and sometimes when they don't they pay exorbitant amounts of money to have some falsies stuffed in there.

I have very large breasts. Remember that the rest of what follows is from the perspective of someone with double-Ds.

Why you do dis to me, boobies?

Evolutionarily speaking, men decided that women should have big boobs. This isn't some raging feminist opinion, it's science! If you look at the other apes you'll notice the females don't have D cups swinging around once they mature sexually. They pretty much just have nipples to feed their young. That's all that's actually required.

So why do human beings break the mold in this department? Let me explain in crude I'm-Not-A-Scientist terms.

For most of our history, we were having sex doggy-style. Or rather ape-style. From behind. You get the idea. Males fornicated and procreated staring down the back end of their partner. As we started to walk upright, and thus have sex facing each other, males began favoring the females with bigger breasts. Why? Because of the visual similarity to the mounds of butt cheeks they'd been making it with for millennia. Females with bigger breasts had the procreative advantage. Males (although not picky in general) were selecting big tatas, and so the genes propagated more often.

In simplest terms, human men have genetically modified women over time to have ridiculously big breasts. Ridiculous in comparison to all other species who nurse their young.

(Men, don't get too angry. Human women have also been selecting men for bigger penises. Check out a gorilla sometime. Their weewees are teeny-weenie relative to body size. You, as human males, are the exception to the ape-rule. You're welcome.)

Why the grass is not greener on the busty side

Personally, I matured later than my friends. At first I was upset, like any young girl, that I was losing the rack-race. And then all of a sudden,  HOLY SHITBALLS, I was a double D at age 15. Although girls are usually looking forward to the arrival of their boobies, the following is NEVER what they have in mind.

They hurt when they're growing

While my boobs were coming in, left and right at uneven paces I might add, I experienced a phenomenon called "breast buds," or at least that's what my family doctor called them. I had hard lumps behind my nipples that were aching and tender and were generally a huge pain. If I remember correctly (I ain't googling), it was the tissue of my future breast being born in a concentrated wad that would eventually blossom outwards and even out.

They did in fact mellow out and even out over time, but that was just one more part of puberty that sucked. As if females didn't have enough crappy things to deal with

Zero aesthetic appeal

Most 14-15 year olds haven't even heard of stretch marks, but before my sweet sixteen I was already well versed in the art of being ashamed of my body. The stretch marks were numerous, they were dark purple in colour, and they were covering an area of my body that, although I was young, I knew was supposed to be sexually appealing. These scars all over my brand new body parts were anything but pretty.

My mother took me to the pharmacy to buy vitamin E oil, which I slathered on every night before bed, but it didn't do a damn thing. As anyone who's ever had a baby knows, stretch marks can be prevented and minimized by keeping skin moisturized with oils and such, but you're pretty much fucked once they arrive.

Because of the enormous size of these new mounds of flesh, the skin stretched, and so did the nipples. This stretching caused the pigmentation to be affected. They had no colour whatsoever. It was like not having nipples at all, just pointy things. Pointing down, I might add.

Clothing is a nightmare 

I went to a Catholic high school where we wore uniforms. If I chose the white polo shirt, it had to be of a size that draped over me like a tarp and made me look fifty pounds heavier than I was. If I chose the button up shirt, same deal. If I wore the size that fit my arms and waist, the buttons were desperately pulling apart, and a few times even popped right off. There were several times where I caught people (both boys and girls) looking into the keyhole of my open shirt, right at my boobs. Undershirts became a necessity.

My mother, bless her, used her meager sewing skills to re-position the buttons for me on my shirts so that I could wear the correct size without spilling out.

On the rare dress-down day I could wear the same outfit as a fellow B-cup student, but be told I was violating dress code. Basically, I looked provocative in absolutely everything except a turtle neck. And even then. You can't hide 'em when they're that size.

Don't get me started on swimwear. I looked like a hussy in a two-piece, I would be bursting out and getting all kinds of stares, from both men and women. Even in a one-piece I was bulging because, let's face it, bathing suits aren't designed to really cover you up. As if teenage girls don't have enough to feel self-conscious about.

And I know some people will say they were just as self-conscious because they had no tits at all at that age, but I'm telling you - it is ABSOLUTELY not the same thing. If you were flat-or-small-chested you weren't spilling out of your suit. People weren't gaping at you and making comments about your body and telling you to cover it up. Basically your lack of boobs made pretty damn sure you weren't noticed. Which, trust me, is preferable to being noticed at that age, for that reason.

If you had no boobs or small boobs as a teenager you weren't humiliated at the pretty bra store when the saleswoman went into the back to try to dig out your mutant size, then came back to tell you that they don't actually carry it. If you had no boobs, you could fake them in a variety of ways. If, like me, you had huge boobs, you just couldn't hide them.

Christina Ricci in Now and Then totally got me. You bind those suckers, girl! Fuck 'em!

Unwanted attention from boys, and grown men alike (hell, women too)

In grade 10 drama I was stuck with a class full of boys who had taken the course thinking it was bullshit and it would be easy. I took it because I was a theatre nerd. I was the only female.

The teacher made us play a murder mystery type game wherein she turned off all the lights at one point. I can't remember the objective, just that it was totally dark.

I'll never forget the day when the lights went out and a grubby teenaged hand came out of nowhere and squeezed my breast. I swatted around trying to land a punch to no avail. The lights came on and I let fly my rage. The teacher was sympathetic and I demanded to know who had done it. Of course nobody fessed up.

The incident was reported to the main office. The administration put on a show of interviewing each boy. After they all said it wasn't me, guess what happened? Fuck all. No suspensions, no lecture about sexual assault, no repercussions whatsoever. Because boys will be boys and we all know they turn into drooling mindless idiots around big boobs and their actions can't be helped, or taken too seriously for that matter.

I recently ran into a classmate who was there that day and he reminded me of it. He said it still bothered him and he had always suspected one guy in particular. I was genuinely touched that after ten years he still felt bad about the way his peers had treated me. I was also a little embarrassed that my teenage boobs had lived on in his memory.

One dress-down day I was wearing a t-shirt. Not a v-neck, not a crop top, nothing scandalous. It fit me like a shirt should fit me. But that doesn't hide huge boobs. I remember one guy passing me in the hallway, blatantly staring at my chest and announcing "Holy shit, she's stacked!" I immediately put on a sweatshirt that I had in my locker. In June. That phrase has been burned into my brain ever since.

I remember a social function I attended with my family where an old creepy man was starting at my breasts and making mumbled comments to his buddy. I was totally oblivious but my father was not. Although my dad didn't confront the man (who probably thought I was 22 years old based on my chest size, not 15), he was very uncomfortable and kept trying to shepherd me away. My mother told me about my dad's discomfort years later. My underage tits affected more than just me.

One time I went to the movies with my first real boyfriend. The layout of this cinema involved buying your ticket on the main floor and ascending a set of stairs to reach the screens. We raced up the stairs, laughing and pushing each other. A grown-ass woman employee, a managerial type, was standing at the top of the staircase watching us ascend.

"Whooaaa," she yelped as I reached the top. "Careful now, or you'll bounce right out of your top!"

I was so absolutely stunned that I said nothing and we went to see our movie. I cried the whole time. My boyfriend later called the theatre to lodge a formal complaint. I was too embarrassed to do so myself. The woman then called me to apologize. Her excuse? She was "just looking out for me, girl to girl." Fuck you, lady. Drawing attention to someone's body for no reason is not looking out. I was given two free movie tickets. Gee thanks. That totally erases the psychological damage from the brain of a 16 year old.

Living with them is a literal pain

My breasts were probably in the E-F cup range by the time I was 16 years old and, although I wasn't stick-thin, I wasn't obsese and therefore they weren't in proportion to my form at all. They were so big that gravity had taken hold and was dragging them to the ground. Yes, they were pretty much brand new boobs that sagged. It was like skipping several decades of my life, jumping right to the end where I had gross pancakes.
Because of the sag, I pretty much had two extra armpits. I had to wear antiperspirant under each breast in an attempt to curb the sweating.

I had to wear at least two bras every day. I wore my mutant-sized ugly granny wonder bra, and a sports bra on top of that to try to bind them down a little.

My shoulders and back hurt all the time. My part time job as a cashier was miserable because standing up for more than one hour was agony. My shoulder muscles pulled and burned and ached. The extra weight on my body even made my feet hurt. Holding my upper body upright was a lot of work, so my posture was bad. This in turn made my whole body sore.

To this day I have indents in my shoulder blades because of the excessive weight pulling down the bra straps for several years.

I was 15 when I knew I wanted and NEEDED a breast reduction. Unfortunately (but for good reason) doctors won't perform this surgery until you're finished puberty. No sense chopping them off if they're not even done growing yet!

The Operation

I was 18 and finally ready (and medically approved for) a breast reduction. Part of the process was having my breasts measured. I was told one of the determining factors is the sag. No word of a lie.

They actually measured the overlap where my breasts sagged down onto my waist, basically how much skin on skin contact is happening. If you reach a certain measurement, you qualify. And in Canada, that means it's deemed medically necessary (not just cosmetic) and therefore it's paid for by our national coverage. SOCIALISTS!

The operation's procedure itself (don't google images if you're considering having it done) is a messy mess and quite terrifying. Your breast is essentially exploded open on the operating table, trimmed down, and reassembled. The nipple, which is not entirely removed, is lifted into a position much higher up.

The literal trimming of the fat and skin, meant that a lot of my stretch marks were physically chopped away. Hoorah! My surgeon assured me that the colour in my nipples would return to normal after a few years. And it has. Huzzah for coloured nipples! Don't laugh. You don't realize how important that is unless you don't have it. It makes you feel like a weird mannequin that isn't quite anatomically correct.

The surgeon removed four pounds total. FOUR. POUNDS. Don't think that sounds like a lot? Go to the store and buy four sticks of butter, a pound a piece. String them onto a rope and wear them around your neck all day. You'll be annoyed. Trust me.

As invasive as the procedure sounds, it's actually just day surgery. I woke up in recovery in very minor pain (kinda felt like bad bruises) sat around chilling for a few hours, and then the nurse came to get me in the wheelchair and get my ass outta there. They had told me to bring a zip-up hoodie for the ride home. It had to be zip-up because I wouldn't be able to lift my arms high enough to wear a pullover.

I remember as clear as day when the nurse did up the zipper, easily, smoothly. I hadn't worn that hoodie in years because my humungo boobs wouldn't allow it. I was just too girthy. But not anymore. That was the first time I cried of relief.

The second time I cried of relief was a month later when I tried on a pretty bra from the pretty bra store. C-cup. I looked at my breasts and thought "they're actually nice." They were cradled wonderfully in a lovely pink embroidered frilly thing, instead of a custom ordered white clinical looking thing. Waterworks.

The third time I cried with relief was six months later while brushing my hair. One of my nipples had sensation immediately after the surgery. The other was totally numb. I was told it was 50/50. It might come back from the dead, or it might not. I dragged the bristle brush through my hair which was draped over my chest. I had gotten used to being numb so I was reckless. The wire bristles assaulted my nipple and I almost hit the roof in pain. OOOUUUCHHH YAAAAAYYY I CAN FEEL MY NIPPLE! Tears.

Post-Op

Although I'm left with what they call "anchor scarring," partial numbness on the underside of my breasts, and the slight possibility that I won't be able to breastfeed (me no want babies anyway), I believe this was the best decision I ever made. My emotional and physical comfort outweighs all of those things.

I've gone from the post-op C-cup to a D or double-D (depending on the store) due to a bit of weight gain, but my breasts are in proportion to my body now, and they are nice and perky due to a part of the procedure which uses my own bodily tissues to create an inner flesh bra of sorts. That sounded way grosser than I intended it.

Ahoy maties! Here we have the anchor scar. Arrrr!
Standing up for periods of time no longer hurts. One bra is enough for any situation. I don't have four pits in which to apply deoderant anymore.

My self-esteem skyrocketed after the procedure and although I still have body issues, my breasts are not the problem they used to be. Most of my sexual escapades occurred after the reduction (only one man has the distinction of having seen them pre-op, and trust me - taking off my shirt the first time was a REAL hurdle), and no man has ever noticed the scars, or at least no man has cared enough to say a word about it. In fact, I tend to always end up with "boob men" who have nothing but love and compliments for them.

I know this isn't an oft-discussed topic, but just in case you were ever thinking of shaming someone who has had a breast reduction, please.... fucking don't. Superbad would have us think that breast reduction was like "slapping God in the face." But that's just nonsense. When us ladies hack off our boobs, there are a bazillion legitimate reasons to do so that don't involve us trying to take away something you love. You men are but one one of the many reasons, so watch what you do and say to the busty young ladies out there. Your attention is usually unwanted in that area.

But mostly we're in pain, physically as well as emotionally. It's a huge burden that we literally carry around with us every day, and unless you're hauling around a giant heavy penis (that people can see and comment on), you just can't relate. If you are, I'm really sorry because I don't think there's a surgery for that, unless Waiting for Guffman was right.  

(skip to 1:30)

Monday, August 3, 2015

This Week in Online Dating: Schlongs, Cuckolds, & Fifty Shades

It must have been a full moon or something because this week was an absolute treasure trove of awesomeness on OkCupid and Tinder. Not the kind of awesome like "oh my god, I met this awesome guy and we really hit it off!" but the kind of awesome where I get such a ridiculous message that I have to take a screenshot and share it.

EXHIBIT A)  BIG ONE
Not only did this guy send me pretty much the exact same message twice (proof of copy/paste behaviour), but on his second attempt he threw in somethin' a little spicy. I couldn't help myself.


Instead of just ignoring him, as I'd done the first time, I tested out my interview skills. Now, do I believe for a nanosecond that this was his first try with penis-baiting? Doubtful. Will he never repeat this? Not a chance.

EXHIBIT B) Time for a photoshoot! or not...



This guy is certainly playing the odds. I would bet anything he's just sending this message to every user and hoping for maybe one in ten to respond for some pic-trading action.

While I think this comes on a little strong, I commend him on putting his real intentions out on display and not wasting anyone's time. Maybe if I'm bored some evening and really feeling my look I'll revisit this message.


EXHIBIT C) My fish is in a book!


Seeing a fish in every other profile is nothing new, in fact it's so common that I'm going to stop showing you every single fish I come across, but I found this one to be interesting. Not only is it friggin' humungous and therefore noteworthy, but I had a good laugh knowing that this guy had his catch published!

What makes me really giggle is that this guy got himself and his fish in a magazine or something, perhaps Fisheries Research Cooperative, and then thought "This shit's gonna make an AWESOME profile pic! Chicks dig published fishermen, right?"

Lots of dudes like to post photos of their accomplishments (marathon pics are abundant, and getting boring, just FYI) but this one is unique. I enjoy imagining him holding the magazine open and pulling out his phone to snap this pic of a pic.


EXHIBIT D) Variety is the spice of life

cuck·old
ˈkəkəld,-ōld/
noun
archaic
  1. 1.
    the husband of an adulteress, often regarded as an object of derision.
verb
  1. 1.
    (of a man) make (another man) a cuckold by having a sexual relationship with his wife.


While I find this approach to be a bit abrupt, I applaud him for putting his kinks out there right off the bat. I would suggest to him that he strike up a normal conversation first and bring up his fetishistic nature a little later, but I am a proponent of putting your weird shit on the table early. No sense in getting invested emotionally only to find out that your beau wants you to bang other dudes and humiliate him for his sexual gratification. I mean, assuming that's not your thing too. If it is, well then match made in heaven!


EXHIBIT E) The vintage net-slang dater

Props to the 52-year-old for messaging a 29-year-old. I politely declined but felt his out-of-touch usage of the term 'e-dating' deserved some recognition. It's adorable and sounds like something you would have seen on the internet in its early days, after logging into AOL through the phone line to chat on ICQ.



EXHIBIT F) This write-up is really

Sin #1 - Fuck your stupid group photo. I'm not into solving mysteries.

Sin #2 - You tried to write some trite saying that you feel embodies your whole outlook on life (and is sadly completely unoriginal and I've probably seen it on ten other profiles) but you fucked it up and didn't even take the time to proofread your profile before hitting save. So now instead of looking like some deep intellectual with a clever personal philosophy, you look like a guy in too much of a rush to edit his shit.




EXHIBIT G) Som's Schlong

Holy cow! Look at that thing! I appreciate the statements this photo makes.


1) I'm looking for sex and probably only sex. Let's not waste each other's time with false pretenses;
2) I'm so confident about my genitalia that I will post it online in a medium that includes my first name;
3) I'm saving you the embarrassment of asking if I'm circumcised.

Good for you, Som. And congrats to Som's Tinder matches. 



EXHIBIT H) Erotic Mike

I think Mike needs to consider a new career, assuming he isn't already an erotica author. 


Still better than Fifty Shades, but I love the addition of "you gasp in surprise." Sorry to break it to you, Mike, but most of us know what a dick feels like.

_____________________

Onwards and upwards. Here's to a new week of matches, mismatches, laughs, and disappointment!