You can’t go home again, especially after you’ve suffered embarrassment on reality TV. A few years ago, I was a contestant in Season 1 of The Bachelor Canada. I didn’t last long, so I empathize with the women about to get dumped on TV.
After my first-and-only rose ceremony, I was hungover or, more probably, still drunk. The cocktail party wrapped filming as the sun came up and I hadn’t slept a wink. I was put in a white van filled with skinny women with puffy eyes and wine breath.
Disneyworld, the happiest place on Earth? I think not. Forget the lines jammed-packed with Crocs, khaki shorts, and sugar-high children who can’t stand still. Never mind the crowds, and dodging strangers’ family photos like landmines on your way to a restroom. Let’s talk about the rides. The nightmare-inducing, deep-rooted-trauma-causing rides of my childhood.
“Honey, I’m terrible at memoir writing,” I say, forlorn, my bare feet plopped on the leather couch near K’s lap, my Kindle hiding my distressed expression.
“Being aware of your fears will improve your life,” the fortune cookie reads.
That’s probably true. I feel, lately, there is something off, deep-seeded in my core operating system. Like a computer virus, downloaded surreptitiously with a Game of Thrones torrent.
Sisu is a Finnish term that lacks a direct translation in English. It’s a package of grit, determination, and resilience, which defines the Finns’ national character.
In other words, Finns are tough f#ckers. Tough enough to fight off the Russians and the Nazis. For fun, they cross-county ski, literally across the country, in minus 40 degrees Celsius. If you don’t know what minus 40 degrees Celsius feels like, it’s snot-freezing cold. So cold, your eyelashes grow icicles. All your caloric energy goes towards warming your bladder so your piss doesn’t solidify.
People from Thunder Bay are lunatics. This is what I determined after my Calgary-raised boyfriend met my parents at our camp in rural Northwestern Ontario.
It’s difficult to feel like an empowered entrepreneur, ready to assert oneself on an important conference call, when you are wearing pyjamas, shovelling cereal into your mouth before it gets soggy with milk, cat meowing at your feet.
Welcome to the World of Working from Home.
I’ve lived on this planet for 28 years, without one friend to show for it. I’d have better luck on Mars: excavating rocks with the Rover, gossiping about their composition over brunch.
“Don’t bother with shale. It has a reputation for being flakey,” I’d gab, sipping a Mimosa in low gravity.
The Rover would squeak back a “hell ya!”, and give me a high five with its little robotic arm.
Four months after moving in with my boyfriend, I never expected to be left alone, tending to his pregnant dog. He bought Cadence, a golden Labrador Retriever, on a breeding contract, meaning any heat, the breeders may summon her to Gilead to partake in the Ceremony.
Dating is tough in Calgary when you’re female, nearly 30 and a pipeline protester.
Whereas I was once fluttering my eyelashes, preaching Naomi Klein over kombucha in an East Vancouver juice bar, I am now trying not to choke in a Calgary pub when my Tinder date breaks the news to me that climate change isn’t real.