I just got back to Canada Wednesday night.

I have been awake since 3:30am.

So I went on Plentyoffish.

The only “man” online who is talking to me just told me that he has one full mom. And 3 half moms.

Normally I would cry a little for the human race and go offline. But there is nothing else to do this early in the morning.

So I asked him to explain this to me.

…I fucking hate people.

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It seems like whenever I travel I am having boy problems. “Problems.” Which could be also referred to as….girl drama.

Israel – I had just met my boyfriend and he had told me he loved me. Good grief.

Egypt – Said boyfriend is now practically an ex boyfriend and he is telling me he is being forced into an arranged marriage.

Iraq – 3 days before I leave said boyfriend actually breaks up with me. There was less drama here because I was hoping he was going to break up with me. (And I totally fell in love with being an exotic flower, in the Middle East.)

Now – I am leaving for Afghanistan in 2 hours (I’m about to call a cab to the airport).

The ex boyfriend is telling me he wants to get back together, it’s been 5 months since he pre-Iraq broke up with me. (But he gave me $20 to take a cab to the airport today. Yay)

The Iranian lastnight (who also broke up with me) almost cried after dinner. And kept wanting to give me more hugs and goodbye kisses and insisting that him (or his mother) host me in Iran whenever I decide to go. Becuase it will totally happen. It’s on the short list (with Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Jordan). Anyways.

The Indian. Who is by far the most annoying human being on the planet. Who won’t even give me a ride to the airport, stop by to give me a hug this afternoon and it reminds me how he is SO ATTRACTIVE even though I CANNOT STAND HIM!

So…I’m hoping that the men in Afghanistan are so beautiful that I forget all about this for the next 2 weeks.

And I hope that I fit into my plane seat

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Psychic Birthday (Did I spell that right?)

For our birthdays (mine and my moms are 2 weeks apart) my mom wanted us to have our cards read. I have zero desire for this, and while I’m not an active unbeliever, I don’t put any faith in it either. It is JUST for entertainment purposes only. And I’ve never had it done before. Curiosity.

Now, like I said, I’m a psychic agnostic, but because he was old and gay, I just believed him more. You know? Old queens just know shit! They have seen it all. So this boosted my confidence up.

We sat in on one anothers, so my mom was my audience.

Now, right before our appointment we went for coffee and we chatted about the past two years, as I had to write out some information for someone who is sending out an introduction/blurb about me before a talk I am giving at their AGM. While writing out the things I participated in, I sound super exciting and I ended up feeling a little pompous about it. (And I hate that, I do NOT sell myself well, which is why I have amazing life experiences and a super shitty job. Seriously, people should really want to hire me. I’m just not good at expressing how awesome I am in interviews and networking functions. Anyways…back to me being humble.) So my mom specifically says…your life has been amazing and different the past 2 years!

(Note: He actually records the session on a cassette, I unfortuneately do not own anything that plays a cassette. I may at some point do a transcript of it, if I find something at my moms that will allow me to do so. I would love to post it. So this is just from memory and all paraphrasing. But you can be sure there was lots of super gay finger snapping and neck weaving. Which I love.

So I went first and as I shuffled my cards I was thinking of the questions I wanted answered. And they were something like:

  • Will I be lucky enough to die young?
  • How many marriages will I have, the answer will be 0 or more than 1.
  • Will I always be poor?
  • Travel…money…

Aside from the marriage thing, which I didn’t dwell on too much, I swear I wasn’t thinking about relationships. But he literally talked about relationships for 20 minutes.

So as soon as he lays out the cards he says

The past two years have been busy and you’re ornery and just want to get things done, and your restless. But since the summer time the ball has started rolling and your only gaining more momentum. The past 2 years have been a struggle and reawakening. But you’ve finished that, (which is great because some people it takes their whole lives). – I ended my 2 year  relationship, registered for my final seminar, applied to go to Iraq, and quit a shitty job that I had worked at for so long!

You have found like minded people the past 2 years who are gathering around you, and they support and share your same goals. (At this point in my head I laughed and thought “I wonder if he is talking about all the Mennonites I know now.) And then immediately afterwards he says…they’re like your knew “flock”. I was like. Holy fuck! He used the word FLOCK? He IS talking about my Mennonites!

He also said I was not one to suffer fools, and I have a knack for not holding onto relationships that don’t need to be help onto. However, the past relationship, he will probably always be a dear friend, but I am no longer attached and affected by that person anymore. He is broken and romantically tragic.

I tend to be attracted to broken people however. (I already knew this. Lol)

I love optimists, but I am willing to do the dirty work that needs to be done to get there. He sees me as a “digging latrines and bloody hands wrapping wounds” kind of person, because the word is full of shit and blood. But you know that and you aren’t afraid of it.

I think lots of people would find this insulting. I loved it.

He also said he saw me living in the east, I started to worry that he meant Toronto, or Nefoundland…and then he said the “eastern hemisphere”….thank Jesus. Pakistan and Afghanistan trump Toronto or St.John’s any day of the week!

He sees lot’s of kids in my future…but not like my babies. He made it sound like a teacher-y type thing. Although I have a feeling if things don’t work out…it might have meant cats.

My moms was really boring, the only thing I remember from the end was that she asked if there was going to be any “big events” in the near future and he mentioned a wedding for a young couple (true dat), but no funeral, and no losses. So I guess I’m not dying in Afghanistan!

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Stupid Coworker: Take Two

I was complaining…about my relationship (of course) and how he annoyed me, one of the things is the racism. OH HEAVENS!

And my relationship before him was with someone not originally from Canada, and he had some prejudices from back home which I could kind of understand because there were personal things that happened during a fairly recent war of independence. (And he didn’t say he hated all these people, it was more he hated that country and the government and military of 2 specific countries.)

And i just commented that I couldn’t fault him for that because it did have a direct impact on him and his whole family.

And this coworker, in all of his wisdom says,

“That’s ridiculous, so, are you saying it’s understandable if I say I hate Indians because they ask me for change everytime I pass them on the street?” – And then of course he walks away before I can respond.

Actually, it would be like a native person saying that he hated settlers maybe 10 years after they received smallpox blankets.

Understandable, yes? (Or am I crazy?)

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It’s My Party….

It’s almost my 31st birthday. I am old. I am behind on everything. And I just keep being reminded!

Example from work while bitching about my “relationship”.

Coworker – How do you just end up in a relationship without knowing how it happened?

Me – I don’t know! I used to make fun of people that did this.

Coworker – I did that, when I was 23…but aren’t you like THIRTY?!

Me – ….


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This makes me sad because my 20’s were boring, and while I got lots of travelling under my belt, I also did not get married, or have a baby or work on a career. So now in 2 weeks I will be having my 31st birthday and nothing to show for it but….debt? I don’t even have a house! And that was a main goal after I graduated highschool. I still might put it before a man goal….definitely.

At least I’ll be spending my birthday in Kabul with a bunch of strangers… even more importantly I might even forget about it I’ll be too busy having an adventure!



Maria Gagliano

Book editor at Penguin and co-founder, Slice

I was recently feeling down about turning 31. I couldn’t believe how quickly I’d gotten here, with my 20s firmly in the rear-view mirror and my 30s in full swing. My 20s were everything I’d hoped for. I spent the first year living in Italy, and the rest running amuck in New York, building a career in book publishing, meeting friends, and starting my own literary magazine with those amazing friends. I even met a dorky guy and married him, fulfilling my long-time dream to shack up with an awkward boy in glasses. My teenage self would have certainly approved, although I did spend more nights home watching Netflix than I’d like to admit (and that’s ok, because teenage me doesn’t know what Netflix is).

I entered my 20s fully intending to conquer New York, become a professional bookworm, and make…

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Smart Coworkers

Me – Oh, are you talking about the crazy lady?

Smart Coworker – She’s not crazy. She is schizophrenic.

Me – ….

I couldn’t even respond.

You should probably not be dating if….

(Before I start, we already had a “relationship talk” where we discussed that we should just be good friends. However, he texted me the next morning with “Goodmorning sweetheart.”….Faaaack.)

If you start dating someone that sells them-self as a “humanitarian”, who is simple and humble, intelligent who doesn’t believe in stereotypes or a class system. He believes in intelligent conversation (apparently) and also appreciates it when people don’t say “fuck” continuously. (I have this written in my profile. It just makes people sound dumb!) And it’s really important to treat everyone (including those in the service industry, as that is where I work) with respect and understanding.

He’s probably a liar (or confused) if you start dating and these are your observations:

  • Fuck is every second word.
  • He walks into a store with an air of entitlement and talks down to waiters and counter staff.
  • He has used the word “faggot” on multiple occasions. (I HATE this word! More than fuck!)
  • He is constantly talking about how terrible women are as drivers, ok…usually this is right after a woman does something stupid who is behind the wheel. And this happens regularly, if not frequently. But still!
  • He answers the question “How are you?” with “Sexy and awesome.”  And is perfectly aware and let’s everyone know how pretty drunk girls at the bar find him. Or the tacky girls at the Wal-Mart checkout. (I’m not saying all wal-mart girls are tacky, but the one that hit on him infront of me was.)
  • OH! He uses the word “chinkey”. Even more frequently than “faggot”. And it is embarrassing. (Maybe he gets away with it with other people because he is brown?)
  • He actually talks about how things don’t go his way because he is smarter than everyone around him. He also tells people he has a Masters degree. (He doesn’t.)

And because he never let’s you join in on the conversation (the conversation usually being a lecture on how smart he is or the types of cars his parents had, in order of their purchase), he then complains that you are boring and he doesn’t know anything about you.

Except he continuously tells you that you are sweet and kind and a dear friend,  and sometimes he cries about being homesick….so  you can’t point out all of the above and how it makes him sound like a rere.


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I Look Better in My Passport Photo.

I do!

I think this makes me sad? I’m happy I look good in any photo, but I hate when I show my passport photo and people say “Oh! You look so cute!”

Um…thanks, I guess.

I also usually look bald in my photos…maybe I should shave my head. This idea is very exciting to me, I have lots of scarves…. and I’m too fat to look sick! I’m single…I don’t have to worry about anyone elses opinion.

Oh! Plus I’m going grey. Which I don’t really see as a bad thing, becuase it’s awsome shiny silver, not dull pepper of salt’n’pepper hair. And it’s all over one temple….I kind of want to cultivate a cruella deville stripe.

I just want really short hair, and then purposefully grow it out. Rather than just, ignore it for a long time. It’s very damaged. 😦


I do also have a family wedding this spring. My cousin will be fatter (as she is pregnant….she’s also fat too….and is also very judgemental) and she’s never been able to grow her hair out long…so…maybe I’ll keep it for the wedding just to be spiteful? Then cut it off?

I like this plan.

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Scat Happens!

We get bored at work. Not at the bar. Well…the coffee bar I guess.

Have you ever noticed how ridiculous any Starbucks playlist is? It is stupid. Currently there is a song about how “you get no bread with one meatball”. And it’s some bluesy-jazzy sad song about how some guy is so poor he can only buy one meatball at the restaurant, and you get no bread with one meatball.

Holy jesus.  Just thinking about it got it in my head.

If it’s not that, it’s some old man with something caught in his throat singing about how  he is so lonely. (Which I can’t quote because I’m singing the meatball song in my head). But there is scatting galore.

Which lead us to create and write (titles) for our very own album.

Scat Happens: Songs of Hopeless Frustration and Stupid People

Featuring local favourites:

There’s a Rock In My Shoe (I tried to take it out once, but my laces broke and no one cares anyways)

Venti Vanti (Learn to pronunciate.)

You’re Whispering (So just stop talking becuase I’m tired of trying to hear you.)

I’m not Fluent in Mumblefuck

We’re Too Pricey? But you still bought it!


I hate customers.