The Gender Divide – Hugs Edition

Something has been bothering me for awhile.

Hugs.

And I bet Winnie the Pooh wouldn’t find this so bothersome. But I do.

Actually, I love hugs. When you care about someone, I think they are a great expression of that feeling. They can make me feel better when I’m sad or upset.

Here is what I don’t love: sexism. You heard me. How can hugs be sexist? Simple. Say Shelly and John have known Ben equally well for a couple of years, and are friends, but not really very good friends. Where John and Ben would shake hands, Ben will, generally, expect a hug from Shelly. Don’t believe me? Just observe. I’ve seen it happen over, and over, and over again. And every time it makes me just a little more uncomfortable.

Just because I am a woman, and you are a man, doesn’t mean I want to hug you. Please get out of my personal space. Please treat me equally as you would a man in the hugging regard. I like hugging. I don’t like hugging people I don’t know well enough. I’m sensitive about that.

However! In the event that the men do hug, they still don’t do it the same way. They always do that weird locked fist thing first, so that their chests don’t touch. Because obviously that chest touching would ignite fierce homosexual longings that they would be unable to ignore. That’s the only reason I can think of for doing that. And if you don’t actually have a good reason, hug fist-free! Isn’t that locked fist kind of uncomfortable anyway? I bet you didn’t know that my heart melts a bit when I see men hug properly.

So melt my heart, dammit. Then, maybe, you can give me a hug.

Doing All The Things

An odd feeling has struck me over the past 2 weeks. I have been motivated. Not to write a blog (obvoiusly) or to get more exercise or to fold laundry (it is quite the pile). No, I have been motivated to make our new home perfect.

I planned out how we could put up the ribbon wall behind our bed in the bedroom. But, that would require a headboard, because otherwise we might pull it down inadvertently with a misplaced pillow. Should we buy a headboard or make it? Or maybe just spruce up a second hand one? Also, we need reading lights, because the switch for the ceiling light is WAY too far away from the bed (and it’s not very good for reading).

We also need curtains. And the curtains need to go with all of the aforementioned details. Not too mention a bedskirt to cover up the unsightly bedframe we have…

And that’s just the bedroom.

We moved the office furniture into the den and out of the second bedroom. It was an empty and sad looking room and the office furniture fit in perfectly colour-wise. Now all of the blacks are basically in one room. I’ve decided I prefer lighter colours for everywhere else.

Of course, that means that now the second bedroom is mostly a storage space, and it’s only redeeming qualities are a bookshelf and some pictures we preemptively put on the wall. In preparation for a future sofa bed. Probably. But, there’s a big pile of “stuff to deal with” on the floor, that we still haven’t dealt with. And I really want to, so we can at least see the floor.

Most importantly, that second bedroom has enough room for a craft table. A real one. With storage and a solid workspace in all its beauty. And that in itself kind of scares me–if I commit to this craft space, I have to use it. I have to sit down and use it. In reality, I can’t do that. I can’t sit and craft for long periods of time without even longer-lasting pain. Most of my crafting is done in an impromptu fashion in front of the tv. Maybe I’m focussing on all these other things so I can avoid dealing with this one.

This doesn’t include the big list of furniture that my partner intends to make for our new home, although he may, in fact, build me that craft table (if I can ever decide on it).

I can’t seem to focus on one item for longer than a few days, before flitting to another item like a hummingbird. I want to fix everything, and I want it to be the perfect home, now. Why can’t it just be good enough as it is? It’s a perfectly functional home.

But why be perfectly functional when you can be perfectly beautiful as well?

Goodbye, Wedding Dress

I bought my wedding dress on my first official wedding dress shopping trip. Everyone was in love with it. I felt like a princess.

If only all the photos could have looked as good as this one...

If only all the photos could have looked as good as this one…

Gorgeous, impractical, soft and embellished, the dress was irresistible.

Unfortunately, I can barely look at any of my wedding pictures without cringing a little.

You see, the dress was beautiful, with a heart shaped neckline. On me, that neckline was a little lopsided. I was assured that it would be easy peasy to fix and it…wasn’t. Balking at the $500 price tag, I opted for the simpler fix of making the dress into a halter top.

It didn’t fix it.

The halter was put on lopsided, which just accentuated the problem. I was assured by my entourage that it looked fine, no one would notice, and maybe that was true at first. But after the dress had settled a bit…it’s all I can see in nearly every single picture.

It is a beautiful dress. I thought I would treasure it and want to keep it forever.

But I don’t. I don’t want to put it on to remind myself of the day. I don’t want to keep it just in case my future daughter wants it. I want to remember how wonderful that day was, and hopefully, with time, I will forget that little wardrobe malfunction…or at least find it humorous.

So today, my dress will be posted to The Brides’ Project — a fantastic charity that sells dresses at reduced cost, and all proceeds go to cancer-related charities, which is a cause that is dear to my heart.

It’s the best use for it I can imagine.

I just hope the next person who falls in love with it isn’t “lopsided” like me.

What did you do with your wedding dress?

Bubbles

Bubbles are wonderful. I love trying to blow the biggest one possible, or just a million tiny ones. The way they lazily float up into the sky, colours constantly shifting. Then they disappear, and I blow some more.

bubble-221733_640

I even live in a bubble.

(No, not literally, although that would be super awesome.)

I live in a safe neighbourhood. I always have. Things like homelessness are something I pass by uncomfortably. I feel enormous guilt every time I walk by a pan handler. I have so much, and they have so little…but I was warned over and over by my parents that giving a little is never enough. If you give to one person, then the next will expect it, or the same person the next day will expect it. I don’t know entirely if this is true, but I haven’t tested it. And I don’t really want to give someone the money to make their lives worse. I have contemplated many times buying grocery store gift cards and giving those out instead. I haven’t actually done it. Does that make me a bad person?

Violence is something that I read about in other people’s lives, I have never experienced it. I hope I am lucky enough to never experience it. I hope no one I care about ever does or ever has. And yet, statistically speaking, at least one of my friends is hiding something. 1 in 4 women are the victims of sexual assault. 1 in 4. That statistic terrifies me. Which one of them is hiding a harrowing past?

I have popped a few of my bubbles, over the years. The biggest being the reality of the treatment of animals in today’s agriculture. I had been avoiding knowing the truth because I didn’t want to give up the holy grail of non-veganism: cheese. But I did. And it was totally worth it. If it weren’t for going vegan, we may not have found our amazing (raw vegan) wedding caterer. And there are so many wonderful vegan/vegetarian stores and restaurants and the people there are so wonderful. It’s this little community that I get to be a part of and it makes me a bit teary. People have asked me whether I still like being a vegan and the truth is that actually LOVE it! I cannot even remotely imagine going back. Being vegan is awesome (and not as hard as I thought it was!).

I’ve also popped smaller bubbles, like thinking I’d have to give up on things that I truly want in a relationship (like spending an inordinate amount of time with one person). Or that university after high school is the only way to go.

Some days I think that I should pop some more bubbles, and live in the reality of the world. But the reality of the world is so devastating, that I don’t know if I could take it day in and day out. There’s a reason I avoid watching the news and reading newspapers.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the media was less concerned about viewership/readership and more concerned with actual news. Then, maybe, my bubbles wouldn’t feel so necessary.

What’s your biggest bubble? Do you want to keep it or are you struggling to let go of it?

Going for broke…literally?

I apologize for leaving everyone hanging after my frustrated post a few weeks ago. The good news is, we got it! In less than a month we’ll have the keys to our very own place! We are both very excited, and just love the place so much. The bad news is that we’re scraping towards the bottom of the barrel for savings to throw at a down payment at what would otherwise be way too big of a mortgage.

And then…we discovered a miraculous place called the ReStore. A non-profit thrift store full of building supplies and furniture needing some lovin’. In it, we discoverd a chandelier that matches another lighting unit in our new home. Apparently the previous owners didn’t care much for matching lighting, so there are barely any lights that match. And then we discovered a gorgeous solid wood dining set (extendable table and 6 chairs) that just needs a bit of help…okay maybe a bit more than a bit…for $100. Such a good deal! How could we pass that up? We knew we’d need a dining table anyway. I wonder what other cool things they have there…

And then…our car got written off. Yes, that’s right, the always cheap lovely insurance company has decided that a couple of dents in my wonderful, dependable little Echo aren’t worth fixing, and so after 6 glorious years, we have to say goodbye. They are giving us a bit of money for it, but not enough to buy a car that wouldn’t put us in the same position in another year or two. So out of the money for the down payment comes money for a new car. We think we’ve found one, and it’s a cute, slightly bigger zippy car. With features like power windows and a working stereo. Revolutionary, I say. So it’s exciting, but also sad. The Echo has been with me through a lot of good times and hard times. I’ve bonded with it, and while my practical side has won in getting the new car now (when even the mechanic said take the money, I knew it was time), I still am not ready to sever my emotional connection with that car. It’s going to be a sad day.

And I hear that moving costs money too, go figure. Sigh. I just hope we don’t actually manage to break the bank in the next couple of months.

P.S. Since we’re moving soon and need to get rid of stuff, is anyone interested in 70 tulle pompoms? …no?

 

I Hate Waiting

I. Hate. Waiting.

It’s that stomach-clenching feeling when I don’t know how something’s going to turn out. When I can’t do anything about it. When all I can do is wait. I hate it.

It’s the racing mind that wakes me up too early, going over ALL THE THINGS in an endless loop. I hate that, too.

It’s the inability to focus on any thing but the one, super stressful thing that consumes everything.

It would be easier to hate that part if it wasn’t so awesome.

The best things in life require waiting. I know this, and yet, I still don’t like it. So many things can go wrong in the meantime! For instance, we started looking for a place to buy of our very own. Not expecting to find something early on, we were shocked and confused when on our second outing we saw a place that made us want to put an offer in right now. Practicality has prevailed, though, and we are going with a second set of eyes tonight. You know, in case we were so wrapped up in OMG THIS IS AMAZING to notice the gaping hole in the wall or the rampant mould everywhere.

In the meantime, while we’re waiting for this second viewing of the most perfect-ist place ever, which may never come up again at such a reasonable price, someone else could snatch it up. They could win, while we were trying to be practical. Which, obviously, is an unacceptable outcome. And yet, here I am, still waiting.

I hate waiting.

What’s the most awesomest thing you hated waiting for?

May Contain Traces of Sarcasm

I get a lot of questions about veganism. Some are more about lifestyle, but most are about food, and what is and isn’t vegan. I appreciate these questions, because usually it is someone either trying to understand, or even better, trying to include my dietary preferences in something they’re making.

One of the most common that I get is whether a food that “may contain [traces of]” something non-vegan (milk, whey, egg, etc.) is vegan or not. (“May contain” means that the given food item was made on the same equipment that also handles a different food item containing that non-vegan ingredient.)

My answer is usually, “it is to me!” Why do I make this distinction? Because this is one of those borderline issues, where it’s really a choice for each person to decide. Some people aren’t comfortable with (or, are allergic to) cross-contamination. And that’s totally fine. For me, I decided to let this one pass, after I read someone say, “If vegans avoid all products that “may contain” non-vegan ingredients, no one will make them, because it won’t be financially worth it for them avoid cross-contamination.” It makes sense for me, because I really want people to make vegan things! More vegan items facilitates a possible transition into a state where it is financially viable to avoid cross contamination.

And now, some of my favourite vegan items, which may (or may not) contain traces of non-vegan ingredients.

  • Annies Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Bunny Cookies – okay, they’re not quite like snickerdoodles, but they’re tasty and highly portable
  • So Delicious Coconut-Based Ice Cream – Definitely the type we get when we are too lazy to make ice cream in a pinch! Also, I’m just noticing how many delicious-looking flavours aren’t available here. For shame.
  • Camino Fair Trade Drinking Chocolate Mix – Chocolate. So much chocolate.
  • Larabars – I have been off these for awhile, but recently rediscovered them. They are awesome, wholesome, and portable.
  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese Slices – no gluten, no soy, and it melts. However, don’t go in expecting an exact cheddar cheese replica, or you will be sorely disappointed. Think Kraft Singles and Cheez Whiz. (Do they even still sell Cheez Whiz?)
  • Earth’s Own Almond Fresh – this almond milk is hands down the best out there. It’s fortified and it doesn’t have any of those weird bad-tasting chemical thickeners. Their chocolate milk makes me all kinds of happy, but usually I stick to unsweetened.

Do you have a favourite vegan product? And, for the non-vegans–when’s the last time you had Cheez Whiz?