Love Notes To “The One”

On the 1st of January, I reached out to all the husbands I knew (and didn’t really know so well) to hear their answer to: “When did you know she/he was the one?”

MANY, as I expected didn’t even reply. Several didn’t feel they were the right people to contribute but the three who jumped on the opportunity to answer were enough warm my frozen heart and smile like someone who smiles a lot. Jack Nicholson? Yeah, like him.

I told them I could post anonymously if they preferred, but each man was on board to let their lovelies know the story….though I’m sure they knew it already.

Without further adieu, here’s a little sweetness to start your Valentine’s Day:

For Melissa:

When I realized that she loved the “nerd” in me way more than the “cool” Kirk that most of the world sees. At that point I knew it was unconditional and that she was too good for me. It doesn’t hurt that she is gorgeous, strong and passionate. You can’t not love her – everyone can’t be wrong, right?

Melissa & Kirk

Melissa & Kirk

For Jen:

I met Jen at a fairly young age. We both worked in the bar/entertainment scene and weren’t looking to settle down. Like, at all. Upon meeting though, we instantly fell in love and a quick 4 years flew by before we even knew it. We had a house, a dog, and everything a couple could have except a “title”. It was amazing for both of us, but oddly enough we never really talked about marriage. Being a man and succumbing to my natural instincts I got really scared to make that final commitment. I thought that after 4 years, I should just know for sure. We decided to part ways and move on….

After picking up the pieces and getting used to a whole new way of life, I made my akward return to the “dating game”. One night while out to dinner with a nice young girl, I found myself with very little to say. Infact, as she gracefully tried to keep the conversation going i started picturing Jens face in my mind. It was at that point that I realized that I had never experienced a person (male or female) that I could talk to so easily, and with such passion. I knew she was the one I wanted to talk to for the rest of my life.

9 years later I still enjoy our conversations. We’re happily married and have 2 wonderful children.

Sometimes its things in life that you don’t have, that make you realize exactly what you need.

Ian & Jen

Jen & Ian

For Breeyn:

On our first date, I was nervous as hell and trying to suppress my awkward tendencies to tell dumb jokes or act goofy to break the tension. I failed at playing it cool(as per usual) by making a lame joke about The Situation from Jersey Shore. Instantly I wanted to take it back but to my delight, she let out an amazingly loud and adorable laugh. It may sound odd to some that a laugh let me know she was the one, but to me it was a sign that I could be my lame, nerdy self around her and she accepted me for who I am…and also had the same sense of humour as me. My nerves were calmed instantly, the rest of the night went great and 4 years later we’re married and I still love that laugh as much as the first time I heard it.

K&B

Breeyn & Kristian & Kristian’s beard. (Photo by Angela O’Callaghan of Gemini Photography)

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Untitled (#BlackLivesMatter)

Here’s the good and bad of it: I really don’t think this conversation will stop. Nor do I think people will ever be able to see past the black and white because we’re so inside of the “black and white” of it all.  So this is by no means an end-all/be-all post, but it’s a few thoughts I needed to get out of my head on the matter of what is happening right now.  It’s not that it hasn’t been happening before the murders of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Mike Brown and countless others.  It’s not to take away from the lives lost of individuals, young or old, from any other race or culture out there.  This is coming down to the simple facts of the matter.

Photo by: GIORDANO CIAMPINI from Torontoist

Photo by: GIORDANO CIAMPINI from Torontoist

The world consists of the good and bad despite your upbringing. I can only speak from my own experience as a black person growing up in Canada. Was it all bad? Of course not. Do I look back and realize why some things happened the way they did? I sure do.  Am I more aware of the injustices, prejudices and discrimination now that I’m an adult? 100%. People…the fact is, whether you want to believe it or not, whether you are like this or not, black people are not valued the same way as white people.  I wish I didn’t have to make such a blanketed statement, but there just isn’t enough time or words in this post to break it down any more.

Now, here are some things I need to point out:

Being black is not a weapon. Being black is not a crime. I mean, are we saying that because evil and bad things are associated with things that are dark in colour/nature, we’re going to use this mentality to dictate how we treat……..HUMANS? I mean, black people have done it to ourselves for years. People with lighter skin were and still are coveted more often than those who are darker. People who are darker are using lightening agents to achieve this for whatever reasons.  Light = good, dark = bad. C’mon, 2014, we’re better than this. Listen, I’ve dated interracially since I began dating. I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t think white men or latino men or aboriginal men are better than black men. I’ve dated black men. But I can tell you from my experience (and only my experience), when we’re getting to know each other and the music I dig, the fashion that gets me off, the sports I “stan” for…more often than not, these black men don’t necessarily relate. I don’t hold it against them, I don’t care. There are black men I’m friends with who love the same things I love, but I can assure you, they are not interested in me romantically. Do I hold THAT against them? NO! Why? Why can’t everyone like who they like despite race, religion, instilled childhood beliefs, blah blah blah. There is a difference between being interested in someone BECAUSE of the colour of their skin (curiosity, fetishism) & falling for someone who happens to be a different race. Intent is a huge things, folks and more people need to focus on this. It would solve a million issues from the get-go.

Standing up for black rights does not mean you are anti-white people in any way. There are those who take it to that extreme, and I’m not in that category. The same way there are many white people who don’t fall under the category of “racist.”  White does not equate to racist and I really wish some of the people fighting for the #BlackLivesMatter cause would refrain from infecting the movement with that hatred. It doesn’t help the cause; it doesn’t help anyone.

White privilege isn’t a myth. Many white people take offence to this term because it shines a spotlight on a life they may take for granted. There are a lot of white people who had hard lives growing up, so hearing the term “privilege” doesn’t sit right with them. How were they privileged when they were/are homeless, had abusive parents/spouses, dropped out of school, on welfare, etc? The only way I can try to explain this is if a black person had the same set of circumstances they would be looked upon as “ghetto” or automatically assumed to be criminals or bad people even if they’ve never done anything wrong. A watchful eye would always be around because “they must be up to no good.” Whereas when the person is white and they DO something illegal, there seems to be this underlying understanding : “They fell on hard times,” “they always meant well,” “they deserve a second chance,” “I never would’ve thought…”  That’s privilege. Not having to second guess your outfit when you leave the house because of how you might be treated is white privilege. Then realizing it doesn’t really matter what you wear WHEN you leave your home is white privilege. It just is. It’s just facts. And if that makes you feel weird or uneasy, THAT is the feeling we want you to have to help us bring equality to EVERYONE.

Guys, I fear for this world. It keeps me up at night. It seems everyone’s true colours (no pun intended) are coming out full force. I, for one, have unfriended/blocked people whom I thought were my friends. Not even for saying anything TO me but just what they’re putting out there in the world. If they disagree with something I feel so passionately about, then they can’t be here to support me. It’s…impossible.

There is a lot of good coming out of these protests and people organizing raising awareness to the inequality and injustices. People are tired. All people. That’s encouraging to see. But there’s a lot of work to be done. There’s a lot of educating to be done and lessons to be learned.  Everyone out there isn’t doing it for the greater good. There are disturbers of peace and vigilantes who are using their anger in a negative way. While I sometimes feel like I want to smash something because I’m going to be seen as a criminal anyway, I know that’s not the way to help the cause. For anyone.

These are a scattering of my thoughts. I needed to get some of it off my chest. I realize the people who are set in their ways, will immediately fly off the handle and not read the words I’m saying. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m not saying that I’m jealous of your lives, I’m just saying this is the world we live in. And if you can’t see that….THAT is privilege.

I hope for so many solutions to be found in my lifetime & I hope the world keeps me alive long enough to see some of these happen.

#BlackLivesMatter to us and we just want them to matter to you too.

The Wedding Invitation Joke That Went Wrong…Fast

Y’all know I love a good laugh. It’s one of my favourite things about life and it never lets me down. So when I’m involved in something I find KNEE-SLAPPINGLY HILARIOUS, I always assume anyone who knows me would join me in the slap.

Picture it: last Thursday, just before lunch; a fine man walks into my office. I met him a year ago and we took a photo together. Though I didn’t know him at the time, it was a fabulous pic. Listen, I may be lonely, slightly grumpy 24/7 and sexually-frustrated but what I’m NOT, is an idiot. Those arms of his were gonna be around me if I had to sedate him myself!

Obviously, I had my mind set on getting another great photo of “us” to add to my collection of one. A friend & co-worker took the picture (and I only realized how many he took after they were gone). MY. OH. MIGGITY-MY! I loved all of them! I dropped the images into every photo editing app located on my phone to make them perfectly dreamy for me to look at in my darkest hours. Now here is where hilarity was supposed to ensue…

After work, I headed to my volunteer placement. On my travels, I spliced two of the photos together (see below), added “SAVE THE DATE” right at the top and sent it to a really close friend. There’s no actual date indicated on the image so I assumed (maybe I AM an idiot, jury’s still out) she would know this was a super-cute and funny-as-all-heck thing I was letting her in on.

 EXHIBIT ‘A’

photo-2

…but don’t, actually.

She did not. She did not find the humour at all. She didn’t find the humour so much that I had missed calls, voicemails, WhatsApp messages waiting for me by the time I finished volunteering. I opened the WhatsApp messages first to see an all-caps “CALL ME!!!!!!!” I checked my voicemail; a very frantic friend pleaded with me to answer my phone and return her call immediately.  You can see where I’m going with this.

The grin on my face vanished when I realized she thought I was serious. Not having any battery power, I couldn’t reach out to her until I was home where I finally filled her in on the big ‘joke’ that seemingly went awry. She was devastated. When I was left with my own thoughts it dawned on me how much my friends, who’ve seen me at my highest highs/lowest lows relationship-wise, want me to find a real love. I looked at the photo again and we genuinely look like an honest-to-goodness happy couple. This man who I’ve known for approx. one hour, collectively, got my dimple to show. My dimple is quite elusive, it doesn’t just pop up all willy-nilly. He got this dark-skinned lady to blush. He made a chick glow.

Men, understand what you’re capable of. My reaction came from a stranger all because he made an effort to be part of my happy moment. Do you understand the SUPREME POWER we could exchange if you weren’t just attacking me for my bod from the moment we spoke??!!?!!? Think of the possibilities – we’d rule the world.

In conclusion, it’s confirmed that my wonderful friends will, apparently, be more ecstatic for my coupledom than I’ll ever be. That’s a strangely weird and great feeling. Also, I still really, REALLY like man-arms around me; I’d forgotten what it felt like. I didn’t think I had a heart still beating inside of me, so…………………progress.