Tag Archives: Growing Up

I Live Alone

I bought a condo last year. I’ve been set on moving out since I was 19 so I was really stoked. I wanted to rent an apartment but my parents were all, “Italian people don’t rent.” They don’t? That can’t possibly be right. Anyway, I bought my place before it was built; that way, I got it for cheap (I don’t think I could get a closet in NYC for the price I paid), I got to customize how I wanted it to look and I had time to save extra cash. I actually saved over $20,000, which is pretty epic for me. Speaking of epic things, I used words like “mortgage”, “down payment” and “backsplash” for the first time. Those are adult words! But it’s cool; that’s just stuff you say when you’re a grown up.

I officially moved in a week ago.  After all these years of anticipation, I finally did it. And so far, it’s been fun. I mean, it’s not exhilarating – I don’t have cable or internet yet – but it’s fun. I ride Bixi bikes. I hang out in my underwear every day. I sit around. I drink a lot of beer. I eat the outer chocolaty layer of my Swiss Rolls, then open up the cake part, then lick off the cream, then eat the cake. I fart a lot. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m living the dream…

But there’s a problem. I can only live the dream during the day. I’m scared shitless at night. I was fine for the first couple of nights, but then someone knocked on my bedroom window at 4 o’clock in the morning. Who does that? I’m on the bottom floor (which is a nice way of saying I’m in the fucking basement) so I feel like this has the potential to happen often. Now when I go to sleep, I subconsciously force myself to wake up every hour to make sure I’m alive. There is a knife and an extremely bright flashlight in my night table; I don’t think I could ever stab someone but I could definitely try to blind them. I’m thinking of getting a gun. Again, I probably won’t ever use it (except at the shooting range because I’m kind of a bad ass) but I think it’ll be good to have. And I could call it my ‘piece’, you know.

I hate that I’m so paranoid. Since I’ve moved, I’ve seen a shirtless man smoking crack, three shirtless men with mental health problems, and 15 to 20 shirtless men drinking 40s. Does no one work or wear shirts in this neighborhood? I also found a syringe on the ground and saw a cyclist get hit by a car. Oh, and I read that a crazy guy randomly stabbed three people, including a 74 year old man, at a cafe a short walk from my place. Oddly, none of this scared me. It’s really the knocking on my window that freaked me out. You have no idea how terrified I was. I was covered in sweat (even moreso than usual). I somehow brought myself to look outside but it was too dark to see anything. My friend Vince tried to calm me down by saying it was a ghost but that made it worse.

How can I stop worrying at night? Will I be a scaredy cat forever?

-Melissa

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Smart Girls Have More Fun

Some of you must think that I’ve spiraled into a deep depression that has changed and muted me. While this is true on some days, I assure you that I’m quite content and not suicidal most of the time. Yes, I’ve had an extremely hard few months (tough breakup! SAD). Yes, there are equally hard times ahead (moving out! STRESSFUL). However I’ve managed to stay grounded thanks to a perfect mix of friends, television, alcohol and of course, internet usage.

I’ve come to tell you all about a website that is restoring my faith in humanity. It’s had such a positive impact on me that I’m actually reconsidering my whole children-are-gross thing. In fact, I think I may now want a child – on condition that he or she try as hard as possible to be as cool as the girls featured on this site. Smart Girls at the Party is run by Amy Poehler (of SNL and assorted crappy movie fame – sorry, girl) and her two BFFs. Or at least one BFF, I’m not quite sure how the third girl fits in. Together they interview young girls about their beliefs, hobbies and aspirations. The kids are all so amazing. Ruby is a seven year-old feminist, Rachel is a 12 year-old robot builder (!) and Care Bears on Fire is a three-girl rock band that refuses to wear bikinis and be back-up dancers. Why wasn’t I this cool growing up? Why aren’t I this cool now?

Anyway, enjoy the website. I already plan on showing it to my little cousin. It’s more important than ever for kids (especially girls) to have positive role models in their lives – and it’s even better if these role models can subtly call bullshit on society’s double standards. I think Amy and her girls are doing that quite well.

-Melissa

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Can Punk Rock Pay The Bills?

Sometimes I think about how the teenage version of me would hate me now. I mean,  I have a reasonably high-paying office job, I listen to more Cat Power and less Adicts, and I’m about to graduate from university – the same university I dropped out of a few years ago. I even bought a condo. It’s like I’m a grown up or something.

When I was 15 or 16, if someone asked me where I thought I’d be in ten years (or even less, really), I would have probably said something like, “Dumpster diving with one of my nine roommates, then heading back to our gross Ontario St. apartment.” That actually sounds pretty awesome, but it’s just not me. Not anymore, anyway.

I may dislike the idea of having responsibilities and a mortgage, but I am excited to have quiet time in which I can read or listen to records without being interrupted by anyone; I can’t wait to bike to work; and I’m really looking forward to decorating my own place.

Spending my spare cash on piercings and tattoos was fun (really fucking fun), and though I’m sure I’ll still do that once in a while, I’ve come to terms with the stability my life now has. The truth is that I’ve grown into an old lady – a really old lady. I’m basically a 90 year old trapped in a young, beautiful body. Don’t believe me? I go to bed at 9:30 p.m. I can’t make it through the night without getting up once or twice to take a piss. I have grey hair. I’m playing a crossword puzzle RIGHT NOW. I read Canadian Living. I don’t realize how loud I’m talking. I don’t know what an iPad is (seriously, what is it?). I have lower back problems. I put Metamucil in my water. METAMUCIL.

In fact, I was talking with Hiba and Bianca last week, and Hiba was trying to get us to go to Jordan with her. She was like, “Come, it’s amazing. There’s this two-day festival on the beach with Paul van Dyk and Armin van Buuren. It’s packed with people and everyone’s on drugs!” Bianca was all into it. I was like, “That sounds terrible.” Large masses of people, electronic music (I had to Google both those DJs, by the way) and drugs? Who likes that stuff? I think I’d rather die.

OK, OK, I’ll admit it: I do kind of miss the fun I used to have – so I’m really hoping there are amazing times ahead of me. There must be, right? I figure the worst that can happen is being doomed to a life of solitude and boredom, but it just so happens that I like both those things. So I think I’ll be just fine.

-Melissa

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Baby Talk

Lately, the topic of babies has been coming up left and right. The truth is that I’m fast-approaching what would hypothetically be my ideal baby-having age. I have friends who live together, others who are already married and others who are expecting their first child. Actually I lied about that last part – no one I particularly care for is having a baby; I just threw it in for emphasis. However, I do have friends who are considering getting pregnant. Always one to resist peer pressure, I decided a long time ago that I don’t really want children. Ever. This has always been a huge turn-off for the men in my life. It’s not like they want me to pop out a kid right away, but knowing that they won’t be able to spread their seed down the line hurts. My decision has been branded everything from “immature” to “stupid”.

Really? Am I a big monster for not wanting kids? Has all this rendered me less of a woman; or even worse, inhuman? Not every woman wants children. I don’t think I should be judged or insulted for knowing what I want.

Sometimes, though, there are little moments that make me reconsider. My four year old cousin Lia came over today and kept gushing about her new BFF, a little boy named Justin. When I asked her what he looked like, she nonchalantly said, “He doesn’t have hair on his back.” WTF? Then my mom asked her if she would ever marry Justin (because I mentioned that Cory Matthews and Topanga knew each other when they were kids) and she said, “No, I think I’m gonna marry my mom.” So cute! Maybe I’ll have a kid strictly for comedic value.

Better yet, maybe I’ll have a baby for the sake of bringing someone into this world who isn’t an idiot. I think about that sometimes. We, as a society, definitely have too many assholes roaming around. Maybe I’ll have a whole slew of kids, Angelina style, to even out the ratio a little.

Or not. Like I said, I am for the most part not interested in having kids. If I reach a point where I feel I need to love something unconditionally, I’ll get a dog. Until then, let me live in my cold, baby-less world.

-Melissa

P.S. I’m not into marriage either.

P.S.P.S. On a somewhat related note, here I am as a kid (yeah, I eventually got braces) with my wonderful cousin Sara. Memories.

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YM: Say Anything

I tend to use this blog as an outlet to complain. After reading many of my posts, you may think that I hate being a woman and that I bear a huge grudge against men. Well, that’s only partially true. In reality, I think being a girl is pretty awesome. Being able to indulge in juicy gossip, shopping to cheer myself up and experiencing the joys of multiple orgasms (a rarity, I’ll admit) are some of the more positive aspects of being a chick. My fondest girly memories are from that awkward pre-teen phase, where you’re on the brink of womanhood but are still pretty immature and childish.

Leo DiCaprioBeing a 12 year old girl meant innocent crushes, raisin sized boobs , your first ever period and an urge to be “cool”. My walls were plastered in BSB posters and magazine cut outs. I even had laminated pictures of Nick Carter and Leo DiCaprio (think Basketball diaries, pre-Titanic). Sleepover parties happened on a weekly basis and sending anonymous, glittery love notes to cute boys was something every girl did at least once a month or daydreamed of doing.

For my 12th birthday, I got some hair mascara, a walkman, a Garbage tape and best of all, a subscription to YM. I know what you’re thinking; yes, hair mascara. Mine was blue. Remember that stuff? Anyway, back to YM. It was your typical teen mag, filled with personality quizzes and tips on how to handle your first period. My fave YM section was ‘Say Anything’, which was a collection of embarrassing stories submitted by readers. I’m positive that if you’re a girl reading this you know exactly what I’m talking about. I can vividly remember sitting on my bed with my neighbor D reading out loud about other girls’ most humiliating moments. The formula was always the same: crushes, periods and involuntary flashing, but it always guaranteed a few gasps and giggles.

britDuring lunch one day, Melissa and I were reminiscing on how much we loved YM and how disappointed we were when the mag folded in 2004. Later that day, I scoured the net to see if I could find some reminder of YM’s existence. I was hoping their URL might still work. Maybe there was a chance someone had posted a few of our beloved Say Anything stories on a blog but no luck there either. Finally, I was lucky enough to find a book by the editors of YM called “YM: The Best of Say Anything” on Amazon but unfortunately for me, they didn’t deliver this particular book to Canada. I hate when that happens! My longing for nostalgia grew so strong that I decided to order it from Barnes & Noble, even though I had to dish out more money for delivery and for the conversion rate. Ten business days later, here I am holding the preteen bible of mortifying experiences.

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Period Pants

I hate my period. When my monthly gift comes along, I’m irritable, inexplicably sad and horny all at once. I scarf down Advil in a manner that can only be compared to the method in which the Cookie Monster gobbles down treats. I get cramps so excruciating that they’ve often caused me to throw up. And when someone tries to excuse my behavior and bad mood by saying something like, “Oh, she’s just on the rag”, I get even more upset. I don’t care if all this is natural and womanly or whatever, it’s my worst time of the month, every month. Fuck that commercial; I’ve never had a happy period.

I remember the first time I got it. I’d just turned thirteen, had never been kissed and had only recently started sprouting boobs. It was summer. Because my parents never believed in air conditioning, I would sleep in a tank top and underwear. One morning, my mother came to wake me up. I wouldn’t budge, so she shook me and moved my sheets around. I told her to go away. That’s when she surprisingly asked me, “Did you shit yourself?” Um, what? I freaked out and ran to the bathroom. When I got there, I realized that it wasn’t poop; it was what I’ve grown to refer to as ‘that brown stuff you get before your period’.

When my mom realized that she’d just witnessed my first menstruation, she decided to throw me a huge congratulatory party. JK, guys. She thankfully didn’t seem to care. If I remember correctly, she brought me a pad and told me to strap it around my underwear. That was that.

Since then, I’ve noticed that you always get your period at the worst times, no matter what. If you’re having a one night stand, you’ll stain a stranger’s sheets. If you’re wearing white pants, get ready to tie a sweater around your waist.

tampOver the years, I’ve learned to deal with my period in several ways. Like I’d mentioned before, I have a medicine cabinet stocked with Advil, Anaprox, Midol and even codeine. I also have a drawer full of period undies. Boys, don’t act surprised; every girl has this. Period undies are undies you don’t care about, so it’s no big deal if they get bloodied. And they will get bloodied. It happened to me last night, actually. Going for a morning piss and noticing that you have a big stain on your underwear puts you in a horrible mood and sets the tone for the rest of the day. How big do the pads have to be? Should I just be like, “Fuck it” and wear diapers?

I have somewhat of a confession to make, actually: sometimes I sleep with a tampon in. I move around so much in my sleep, I have to! I don’t want to have to wake up and scrub blood out of my mattress, you know. I’ve been trying to cut down on it because I’m scared of getting the period disease, also known as TSS.

I’m wondering if the Diva Cup will make my period a little more bearable. I think someone should write a guest post about it. Hint, hint.

-Melissa

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You’re So Vain (I Bet You Think This Post Is About You)

I don’t go out as much as I used to. It got to a point where getting drunk and doing drugs got mundane and repetitive. Partying at the same bars, hearing the same [lame] music and making fake conversation with the same people got on my last nerve.

I started getting sick of it on one particular outing. It was a Saturday at some club, a couple of years ago. That night, it dawned on me that certain people aren’t partying to be with friends, meet new people or even get laid. No, some people go out to post pics of themselves on Facebook or Myspace the next day, thereby oddly upping their social status. You might think I’m crazy, but I know I’m not. I’ve discussed this theory with a few of my friends and they’ve all noticed and agree.

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