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October 2012

Fifteen.

All right, all right, this is good, this is fine. I can do this. I’m good. Yeah. This is cool.

I like that girl’s outfit. Oh, who are her friends? This is good. This is cool. I wish I had a group of girlfriends who hung out all the time like that. Are they dressed alike? Cute. It’s working for them. I like it. That’s fucking adorable.

Wait.

What’s going on?

Why do they seem to be getting into a circle? This look choreographed –

HOLD ON!

No…no…did she just snap? Is she SNAPPING? Why is she snapping?

OMG THEY’RE GONNA SING, AREN’T THEY?!

Oh, it’s happening.

Why are they singing? Who does that? Nobody does that!* Okay, this isn’t cool anymore. I’m not cool. I’m not good. Let’s stop singing. Don’t dance – now they’re dancing! DON’T DANCE! Why are they dancing? Who does that? Nobody does that!* Let’s stop dancing.

Please make it stop. Please make it stop. Please make it –

All right, they stopped. Thank god. Okay. I’m okay. I’m good. This is all right. Still diggin’ the outfits.

Oh, who’s he? Hello.

…Why does that guy have a gleam in his eye?

OH MY GOD, HE’S GONNA –

And that, my friends, is how I experience the musical.**

It’s gotta be some deep-seated issue or something. I have no idea why, but you put me in front of a musical – on TV, the big screen, or live – and I panic. I feel mild anxiety just anticipating the singing, and then when the singing starts? My blood pressure rises, my jaw clenches, sometimes I even feel nauseous or light-headed.

Once, one of my BFF’s made me watch an episode of Glee with her. I don’t even remember what happened in the episode or I’d tell you, but I think I blacked out. All I remember is being shaken from my stupor by her saying, “My god, Andrea – it’s over, you can unclench your fists!”

I had, in fact, been gripping my hands in fists the entire time.

But I keep trying, because musicals are fun, right? They’re lighthearted! They’re a whimsical romp, if you will!

I tried again last weekend.

Nope.

No, gracias.

No can do.

Lesson learned.

xA

*Except weird theatre school kids. Trust me. I know them. This is their life and they love it, so go for it, I say.

**Except for: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Black Rider, and, oddly enough, Grease. I cannot explain this. Well, I can explain the first three like this:

Wait…
a…
second.

Maybe I just like boys in makeup…

Oh, who am I kidding? I LOVE BOYS IN MAKEUP!

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Fourteen.

You know how when you’re a teenager, you “find yourself”?

I was a weirdo goth kid who had way too many pictures of Marilyn Manson up in my junior high locker and had a different colour of hair every 3-5 weeks.

And then when you’re in your 20s, your university years, you’re supposed to like, travel and “find yourself” again?

Well, I finished my Bachelor’s degree and then went on a crazy amazing adventure to Glasgow, Scotland, to get my Master’s in Playwriting and Dramaturgy, with some stops in and around Europe along the way.

But all of a sudden, here I am at 26 and I’m kind of feeling like honestly, I got nothin’.

I’ve been working toward a huge weight loss goal this year, and I’ve lost about 65 pounds and counting. If you don’t see me often, you probably have no idea, because I’m not very vocal about it. I totally get why people shout about their weight loss from the rooftops, and I know what a huge accomplishment it is, and how much work it is, and therefore how much it should be celebrated, but I think it’s just such a personal thing for me that I tend to keep it on the DL. If someone asks me, I’m more than happy to chat, but I would never bring it up otherwise.

Except here I am bringing it up now. (Oops.) Because it’s presented an unexpected – and yet fairly intense – hurdle in my life.

I’ve shrunk out of all my clothes.

I know, it’s awesome, right? For the first time (literally) since I was a child (literally), I can now shop in the non-plus-size stores (I call them “normal” stores – it’s fat-girl lingo that actually makes no sense, because what’s normal?) I’ve always dreamed of shopping at. I can buy things at Victoria’s Secret instead of paying way too much for bras at specialty shops (yeah, my tits have shrunk – it’s hilarious, but true). It’s like I have an entire world of options to choose from, and I know I should be thrilled about it.

I’m not.

I mean, okay, I am, but also, I’m really, really not. Because here’s the thing: all of a sudden, I feel like I can finally choose my own style rather than settling on one from very limited options, and all of a sudden I feel like I have no idea who I am. I think I’ve cried more in the past three months trying to get ready to go out than I ever have before, and I get doubly sad because I know I’m crying over something I should be happy about, and because I’m somehow simultaneously the most comfortable and uncomfortable I’ve ever been in my own skin.

It’s complicated.

It feels messed up.

I’ve never had the choice to just be who I want, present myself exactly the way I want to and in a way that feels right, because I’ve always had like, two stores to shop at, often with very little that appealed to me in stock. And the few things that I did love, that I really felt like “myself” (?!) in, have now been donated away because they’re 3-5 sizes too large for me.

Yay.

But also not.

So, weight loss, I have discovered, is kind of like a giant mind fuck. It’s a daily identity crisis I fight with and against, and it has somehow made me more stressed about shopping than ever before.

For example:

This Shirt.

This is what I wore today. In this photo, I am wearing a pair of hand-me-down jeans from one of my dearest friends (who has also shrunk a lot and has – THANK GOODNESS – passed lots of clothes down to me, saving me tons of $$), and a thermal shirt that I bought last week.

I bought the shirt because (a) I liked the colour, (b) I liked the pattern, and (c) it looked really warm and potentially comfortable to sleep in, too. That’s how lost I feel sometimes; I couldn’t decide if I was buying a shirt to wear or sleep in. (Are you allowed to do both?)

So today I needed a quick outfit to run two errands in, and I threw it on.

And then I stood in my mirror for at least five full minutes (that might not seem long, but try to look at something for five minutes, especially when you’re stressed about it – it feels like AGES) wondering, is this me? Is this my style? Am I a girl who goes out to run errands in thermal shirts? Who is a girl who goes out to run errands in a thermal shirt? Does it even make a difference? What is WRONG WITH ME? And I freaked out and worried and freaked out and worried and then I decided to try to get the fuck over it and get on with my day.

(And then I tried to not look distressed and snap a sassy shot of it in my bathroom. Because I decided it was time to write this blog post. Pure class.)

So it’s kind of like that’s become my goal now: trying to get the fuck over it and get on with my day every day. But I will keep hoping for the day I feel like I know who I am on the outside (because I know who I am on the inside, and always have – again, THANK GOODNESS). I’ll also keep hoping for the day I can escape the fat-girl mindset (SPOILER ALERT: I never will, and I’m okay with that, but also not.)

It’s complicated.

It feels messed up.

But it’s gonna be okay, I guess, right?*

xA

*Thanks for talking me through that, guys. Who needs therapy, AMIRITE?!**

**I’ll try not to be so emo tomorrow. Maybe I’m PMSing, etc., [insert other stereotype about women here].

Thirteen.

Okay, SRSLY.

Here’s one for the what-am-I-thinking-on-a-day-to-day-basis-and-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me-sometimes?! top 10.

So I know I mentioned I’m a Zumba® instructor. Well, every other month we get DVDs of choreography sent to us, either to straight-up use in our classes or just to use as inspiration. So I watched the latest installment, and while I loved the songs, I wasn’t crazy about much of the choreo, and to top things off, there was this one instructor on it whom I found exhausting to watch.

She has what I call a hair-flip-twitch. I know because I used to have one. See, when I was really little – like, pre-grade 2 when I decided to make rash decisions about my hair for the rest of my life – I had long hair. Really long. And because it was long, it was always in the way, and because it was always in the way, I was always flipping it out of the way. Left side flip, then right side flip. CONSTANTLY.

(Then I saw a home video of myself at some school friend’s birthday party, and I literally said, “what am I doing?” and my mum pointed out that I flipped my hair CONSTANTLY, and from that point on I felt weird about it.*)

Anyway, so I’m with a friend and we’re talking about the DVD after her class, and I’m being all bitchy and making fun of this girl’s hair-flip-twitch, and I decide to reenact it a couple times, just to demonstrate how annoying I find it, because apparently I think I’m the perfect queen of the world. Haha, so funny. I make fun of people – hilarious, right?!

WRONG AGAIN. Woke up the next morning feeling like a 100-year-old IDIOT, because I gave myself total whiplash! Guys, that was Friday. It’s Monday and I’m still totally seized up and in pain!

And THAT, my friends, is KARMA.

xA

*But didn’t stop, because you JUST CAN’T.

Twelve.

When I was little, I wanted MC Hammer pants. SO badly.

My brother had them, and he looked so cool. (And we’ve already established how amazingly cool big brothers are.) So I wanted them, too.

‘Nuff said.

That was when I was really little, and if I remember correctly, I did end up getting some MC Hammer pants. I think they were made by my maternal grandmother, who was a clothing designer and maker her whole life, and I think they were made out of fabric that made a very distinct “whooshy” noise between my chubby legs when I walked. I was like, four, but I’m pretty sure I’m not making that up.

SIDENOTE: If you have thunder thighs,* stay away from “glossy” fabrics and corduroy. Corduroy is the devil.

During the time that I was in grades 5-7 or so, those sporty Adidas snap pants became all the rage. You know the ones. They’re black with the white strips along the outer seam, and they have snaps all up the side so that you can rip them off like Gob in Arrested Development. Now, why any child would have to spontaneously rip off their pants is a complete mystery to me (and in fact, it made the threat of being pantsed so much more terrifying), but all of a sudden everyone had these pants. So naturally, I wanted them too.

The notorious snap pants.
A handy demo. I wish this were Gob Bluth…

SIDE NOTE: We wore these pants with our Spice Girl shoes to look extra cool. You know the ones.

I’m getting heartburn just looking at ’em…

SIDENOTE CONT’D: And suddenly, writing this post, looking at these pictures, I want to die a little bit.

Anyway, where were we? Right, So naturally, I wanted them.

But as I’ve mentioned before, I was a super cool kid and I was also a fat kid who didn’t fit into most of the trendy clothes I pined after. So I turned to my grandma. And we couldn’t quite find the right fabric to make snap pants in black, so they had to be navy blue. And it seemed silly to put actual snaps on them or something, so instead my grandma just sewed a couple white stripes along the sides, but only two, not three like the Adidas ones had.

And of course, everyone could tell they weren’t Adidas snap pants, so of course I got picked on mercilessly for them and of course I felt like a mondo-loser for not being able to spontaneously rip my pants off should the occasion arise. (Of course it wouldn’t.)

(Thank goodness.)

But the point isn’t that I got picked on (because blah, blah, who didn’t, and also I have a lot of work to get done today and I don’t feel like delving into the emotional trauma and my childhood at school), the point is that I was trying to force trends.

They don’t work on everybody (see: every body). Like, the whole over-sized sweater thing. Love it, but who the hell can actually rock that look without looking 50 pounds heavier? (If you can, good for you – own it and know that I both admire and hate you.) Skinny jeans? Tricky. And all of those loose, flowy summer tops that you can’t really wear bras with?

Don’t even get me started.

xA

*Term of endearment. Thunder thighs are the bomb. Embrace ’em. UPDATED TO ADD: Thighs ’til I die!!!!

P.S. I own two pairs of these Isabel Marant rip-offs in different colours, and I don’t care what you say, I LOVE THEM. Also, they’re the most comfortable EVER, they make me taller without anyone knowing, and they give me that toned leg/bum feel without having to wear actual heels. I LOVE THEM. YOU CAN’T TAKE THEM AWAY FROM ME.**

And I bought them on eBay for CHEAP.

**There’s a distinct possibility I may try to deny owning these in a decade. I’m totally okay with that.

Eleven.

I had a big brother growing up.

Wait, wait, that came out all wrong. I still have a big brother now, but it’s not really the same once you get to your 20s, having a big brother. Okay, well, it is in the sense that he’s got a great job, cool degrees, way too much talent, and he’s married and like, totally has his shit together, while I still feel like I’m 13 in a lot of ways, but when you’re 5 and your brother’s 8? Get out of town. So cool, right?

And his friends! He and his friends were part of this untouchable group known as the “big boys.” They’re so grown up, hip, funny – basically they’re just out of this world. They know all the words to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air opening credits (and the dance!), they wear fashionable matching sweatsuits, they listen to the Beastie Boys. Insane. Too much. Can’t handle it.*

And you’re desperate for them to like you.

At least I was.

Kid A – 5 years old!

So my brother would have his friends over, and I would spend the ENTIRE time trying to impress them. Luckily, I have the best brother in the world, so he never got too mad at me, but looking back, I’m sure it was mega-embarrassing for him to have his little sister chasing after him and his bros (that’s how guys talk, right?) and doing desperate things like telling lame knock knock jokes and – GASP – drawing ugly kid drawings with smelly felts for his friends to take home with them.

Mortifying.

I think some of his friends were even nice enough to smile awkwardly and tell me how awesome my drawings were. Some of them might have even been nice enough to TAKE THEM HOME! And then my 5-year-old giganta-crush would like, explode to epic proportions because OMG, right? MAYBE HE THINKS I’M COOL.

I was trying way too hard.

Be cool, Andrea. Be cool.

xA

*These are still the traits I look for in men today.

Ten.

I once had a university professor actually tell me straight up that he had to give me a low grade on my class presentation, because even though it was full of great points and useful information, no one could tell because, “it was clear that you were incredibly nervous, Andrea – it sounded like you were hyperventilating at times.” That’s some real talk, right there.

And it was totally true. Public speaking wasn’t my thing. Truth be told, it wasn’t really because I was shy. It was because I was self-conscious as hell. I would prepare a presentation, know my facts, be confident in what I had to say, and feel great about it. But as soon as I got in front of a class of “cool” people (I was not a cool person – I think I was still a loser kid in my head. A lot of the time, I think I still am.), my brain and my body would completely betray me. My thoughts would immediately go the the judgement I assumed my classmates were feeling toward me. I’d be speaking externally, but panicking internally about how I sounded, how I looked, if everybody thought I was stupid, fat, ugly – you name it, I worried about it. Of course, the worrying would make me unable to breathe properly, which would make my heart race, which would make me sweat, and then I’d worry about the fact that I was sweating.

And so on. UGH. I feel gross just thinking about it.

I ran (well, still run, but we’re on hiatus) my own indie theatre company, and even though I have spent the last six years directing theatre, I still felt a lot of those feelings through the majority of the rehearsal process. I felt like the loser kid trying to boss cool people around, and I really struggled with that. I definitely didn’t assert myself enough, and often, the result was a play that was almost what I wanted, but not quite. And that made me sad a lot of the time. Like I was letting myself down.

I kind of just thought I would always feel that way in front of people or when I had to be “the boss” of people.

Then I became a fitness instructor. Zumba®, to be exact.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to sell Zumba® to you or anything – that’s not what this is about (but if you’re ever interested in knowing how amazing and fun and good for you I think it is, you let me know and I will talk your ear off). This is about the process.

Because here’s the thing: I started out as a totally out of shape participant, and then I realized, hey, I like this and I’m good at it, and hey, I can pick up and memorize choreography like nobody’s business, and hey, I love the music, and hey, I am losing tons of weight and feeling good, and hey, I’d love to be up there teaching people my own choreography! Cool!

So I signed up for teaching certification. I did it. I started preparing my own choreography, and it was going awesome. I was discovering my personal flavour, my dancing style. I was feeling good.

Then I had to teach a song to a class and I almost peed myself.

I got on stage at a World Health and was suddenly acutely aware that I was standing in front of a lot of people – some of them like, super model levels of sexy – in fitted spandex and other workout gear, sweating profusely, wearing no makeup, and I literally wanted to pee. Or cry. Or both.

But I DID IT!

I messed up a bit.

WHATEVER!

Cool, so I got that done and I was like, “Okay! I can do this!” and I started to prepare my first class. I set up a schedule of free classes so that I could get lots of practice in front of lots of friendly faces, and I worked my ass off to choreograph/learn an hour’s worth of songs.

And then I had to teach my first hour by myself and I almost DIED.

Like, seriously, guys, if I hadn’t gotten my cardio health up, I probably would have had a heart attack. My heart rate was ALL KINDS OF CRAZY because I was ALL KINDS OF NERVOUS. I could barely breathe. My body did that betrayal thing again. Good thing it was socially acceptable at that time to be pouring sweat, because boy, did I ever.

But I DID IT!

I messed up a bit.

WHATEVER!

That was three months ago. I still get nervous sometimes when I’m teaching new songs, because like, what if I forget all the choreography all of a sudden? But that’s never happened. Not completely, anyway. And you know what? You figure it out! And you know what? Nobody’s hating on you for it! They’re following your lead, so if you do the wrong thing, they just do it along with you! It’s a beautiful thing!

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, you know how when you’re at the doctor and they’re like, “take off your shirt,” and you weren’t quite expecting it and you realize you forgot to shave your armpits, but you’re like, what can I do? So you take your shirt off and just swallow your pride?

Being a fitness instructor’s kind of like that – you can’t really have much shame.*

Because before you know it, you’re standing in front of a class in spandex or other workout clothes, and you’re dancing in front of them, which means you’re totally shaking and jiggling in front of them, and you’re sweating in front of them, and if you’re smart you have no makeup on (because ew, your pores would hate you otherwise), and then you start to do ab crunch moves and you get to show off the fat rolls that form on my (I mean YOUR – what a fitting typo!) stomach when you do that, and then halfway through class you realize you’ve totally worn the wrong underwear and you’ve got the WORST wedgie in the world, and you totally can’t readjust, and that, my friends, is that.

And you know what?

WHATEVER!

Because it doesn’t matter! It totally doesn’t! And when you can embrace that, you’re golden. And you’ll be a better instructor for it. And that’s some more real talk right there, because I guarantee you, when you go to a class where your instructor’s more concerned about how (s)he looks while (s)he teaches, you will be able to tell, and chances are the class will suck.

And you know what? I’ve recently started teaching non-fitness classes, too. Classes in my field of work (creative writing, playwriting, etc.). And I discovered that I have totally gotten over my public speaking thing. There’s no more brain and body betrayal here. I actually really love teaching.

So I DID IT!

All I had to do was find that thing that got me out of my shell. And I’m really glad I did!

Now, who wants me to speak in front of a room?! Anyone? Anyone?!

‘COS I’LL DO IT!**

xA

*This is probably not the same for all my instructor friends who are like, super model levels of sexy.

**I attended a crazy awesome Zumba® class tonight and am still on a total endorphin rush. I also taught a playwriting class this afternoon. I’m happy, give me a break.

Nine.

I’ve had very few issues with my skin in my life, which I feel lucky to be able to say. I went through the whole teenage hormonal thing, but for the most part, it’s been minor. I’ve always been super oily, but it’s never led to many crazy breakouts. Plus, it keeps the wrinkles away, so YAY OIL!

Until the last few months. I think it may be because I’m working out so much and sweating a lot more on a daily basis. On one hand, the fitter I get, the less over-oily my skin seems to be (as in, it’s still oily, but I’m not like, HOLYSHITSHINY every five minutes), but on the other hand, I keep breaking out. I’m not as smooth and clear as usual, and it’s been driving me crazy.

First world problems, I know, I know. If you can’t tell yet, this post will be categorized under “beauty,” among other things, so stop reading if you don’t want to hear about the revelation I had about my skin.

Anyway, so I started trying to deduce why this was happening. Yes, sweat, for sure, but the sweat would never stay on my skin for a long time. I finish my workout/teaching my class, get home within the hour, and wash my face/shower. Sometimes if I know I’ll be chatting or making a quick stop before home, I’ll even use one of those disposable face cleaning cloths.

So then I realized that maybe the opposite was true. Maybe my ultimate problem is that I was washing my face too much and that’s what was causing the breakouts. Oily skin can be tricky like that: it seems like it’s still oily, but you get dry patches that become problem skin.

This brought me to an issue that has been troubling me my entire life: moisturizer.

As an oily-faced gal, I have basically never moisturized my face. In addition to making me break out because of all the added oil (even oil-free creams do this) on my face, I have super sensitive skin and am often allergic to the moisturizer, too. So moisturizer = bad skin. That’s always been my rule.

But then I flip through beauty magazines and read beauty blogs and have my makeup done for weddings and all I hear is: oily or not, you must moisturize your face if you want to keep it young and beautiful.

Okay, okay, okay. I would very much like to stay looking as young as possible for as long as possible, so every time I read/hear shit like that, I get scared into thinking that I, too, must moisturize my face.

So that’s what I did again, recently, when I started breaking out. I decided that despite seeming fine, my face was probably too dry from too much washing and sweating and washing again, and I vowed to find a perfect moisturizer.

Cut to: earlier this week, I’ve been playing this moisturizer game for probably between three and five months on and off. I’ve had about two short (like, three days short) phases of perfect skin, but mostly I’ve been breaking out and unhappy. I tried to take extra care of my face, use gentle exfoliants, make a big to-do out of my nightly skincare routine: wash with only-the-best, tone, and MOISTURIZE.

Nothing has worked. It kept getting worse. I kept getting angrier, more self-conscious, and more tedious about my skincare.

And then I said FUCK IT!

I don’t care if magazines and blogs say EVERYONE has to moisturize, because I DON’T, ALL RIGHT?! Maybe once in a while, when I actually feel dry (see: three times a year), but not every day, surely!

So I stopped. I went back to my old skincare routine: wash, tone, and LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE.

That was last night, and I shit you not, kids, my skin is already clearer today.

LESSON LEARNED.

xA

P.S. Are you oily? Tell me about it. Seriously!

Eight.

So I started babysitting when I was around 11 or 12. It’s insane when I look back at it. I was a crazy mature kid for my age, but the fact that I was working 9-5 or 6pm taking care of small children and infants (sometimes every day for two weeks at a time or more) WHEN I WAS 12 is NUTS! But you know what? I was damn good at it.

I started wanting kids like, when I was a kid, basically. That’s one of the reasons I got into babysitting and child care at such a young age. I just loved being around kids (babies especially), and they loved me, too, so it was always a win-win situation. I totally had the motherly instincts, and my mum was (is) a preschool teacher, so I was used to being around wee ones. When I think back to 13, 14, 15 year old me, rocking crying babies, sometimes for four, five, six hours straight while they cried, I’m kind of in awe of myself. Where did that patience come from?

It must have been love. (Foreshadow: but it’s ooooover now!)

I wanted babies so badly at that age that I would work myself up about possibly not having babies. I wanted babies so badly that I would worry that fate would be cruel to me and I wouldn’t be able to have children, and sometimes I would even cry about it. I knew that adoption would always be a possibility, but I was outright petrified of the idea of never getting to be pregnant in my lifetime.

At that time, I wanted at least three kids. (Cue present-tense me going, “AHHHHHH!”)

Then something happened.

I don’t say ‘something’ as in a terrible incident took place that made me change my mind. I say ‘something’ because I’m still not certain what happened, just that it did. The desire started to fade. I started to see babies as more expensive and exhausting than I could handle. Maybe I became more realistic? I got two puppies – that changed a lot (whole other story). I had a pregnancy scare just after landing in a foreign country for my master’s degree. Maybe it was a combination of everything. All I know is that my need to have babies shrank from OHMYGODIMUSTHAVETHEM to WELLMAYBE to WELLMAYBENOT to IDONTWANTTHEM. I would still never turn down the opportunity to hold or cuddle one (have you smelled a baby lately? It’s crack levels of addictive.) but I was just as happy to give them back to their parents and walk away at the end of the visit.

So at that time, I wanted no kids.

That was the last 2-3 years.

Then something happened.

It was about a month ago, maybe two, and this time I say ‘something’ with partial specificity. You see, I think it sounds crazy when I say it out loud, so I’d like to think it cannot possibly be the only reason I had a change of heart, but maybe it was.

I had a dream.

What’s funny is in my dream, the circumstances weren’t great. I had had a baby with some guy with whom I totally did not want to be involved (he was younger than I and way too immature to be a dad), and I hadn’t even told him it was his. And I had no plans to. So I was on my own.

But damn, that baby made me feel happy.

He was so cute! He was so tiny. He was so mine and I felt indescribable when I looked at him in his little baby beanie and little baby socks. I woke up and suddenly I was all OHMYGODIMUSTHAVETHEM. My uterus was like, begging me to go find a baby RIGHT THEN.

So at that time, I was certain I needed at least one.

Yup. “At that time.” Past tense.

It’s faded again. It’s still there a little bit, but when I flew to Toronto two weeks ago and a baby started crying on the plane, I wasn’t like, “Aww!” I was like, “Ugh, here we go.” And then when I was out to dinner with my sister-in-law and a baby started crying, I thought, “God, who brought a baby here?” before I silently scolded myself and thought, “Give them a break – people with babies need to go out to dinner, too.”

I didn’t mention this earlier, but when I was a teen and I wanted children, I thought I would have my first by about 25, and I wanted to have all of my kids before I was about 30-32. Basically, I had a strange, overwhelming desire to be a baby machine for a few years.

Now all I can think is 25, holy shit. As if. I wasn’t ready to have a baby at 25, and I’m not ready now, at 26. And I may never be ready to have a baby. (I’ll always be ready to be a killer aunt though, let me tell you.) And you know what? I’m finally okay with that. I don’t feel like I’ll be a failure either way.

I’m okay with drawing a big circle around maybe on the yes, no, maybe scale.

Things change. People change. It may be a total cliché, but que será, será.

You don’t always need to have a life baby plan.

xA

P.S. Neither my instincts nor my magic touch have faded, so if you’ve got a whiny/crying baby you need help with, I got that shit under control.

Seven.

When I decided to get dogs, I always said that I would never be one of those people who dresses their dog up for fun. I knew I was getting a temperature-sensitive breed – the Boston Terrier – so I stressed to family and friends that any clothing in my house would be strictly weather-related. (Also I live in Canada. It’s cold here 13 months of the year.*)

Then I met my dogs and this happened:

I LASTED ONE WEEK.
Pac Man and Lobster Head.
Matchy Matchy.
They’re just SO CUTE.
I mean SRSLY!
This shouldn’t be legal.
AMIRITE?!
Clothing as a birthday present. They just want snacks.
A “summer dress.”
The “look what mama bought you in Vancouver!”
Basically, I just need help.
NECESSITY WEAR!

I’d love to say that I black out when I get to the store and wake up with new puppy clothing in my possession, but the truth is I often bee-line to the clothing section to see what they have that would look cute on Oscar and Lucy. (And I mean, come on, clearly I have the CUTEST DOGS IN THE WORLD – what wouldn’t?!) I have a problem.

But I would like to disclaim partial responsibility based on the fact that I have an enabler: my mother, A.K.A. “gramma.” She goes places and returns with sweaters and t-shirts for my dogs and not a single gift for me! So let’s talk about how awful that is, right?!

So what I’m trying to say is, NEVER SAY NEVER.

And also, spoil your dogs. They love you unconditionally, make your life better, lower your blood pressure, and they’re fucking adorable. Why not make their lives awesome too?

xA

*This is a stereotype most of the time except never.

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