Fake Happy 

There’s been an article circulating online that a few of my friends have tagged me in, mostly because it’s something I’d relate to. 

Feminista Jones, an authour and social worker, encouraged women to agree with a man when they complimented her. The results weren’t terribly surprising. Anyone who is familiar with my online dating trolling on my personal Facebook page knows all about what happens when you say “no thank you” or agree with a compliment. I thought maybe I was just a bitch, but no, apparently this is a thing. 



I’ve seen this in my previous long term relationships, and even the workforce. Weak men do not like it when women are confident. My ex husband once made his own Facebook fan page with photo albums of “his” cover stories. They were all written by me. His answer was that he was the reason I was a good writer, so they were kind of his. Before I started at my new job, a male colleague at my old job told me not to get a big head when my performance was commended, it was a team effort and don’t think you’re so perfect. Agreeing with a compliment makes you a vain bitch. We’re taught that a woman only has worth if a man sees it, and that is bullshit. 


I read a lot of comments from men about why women should just say thank you, be humble, stop being full of themselves. But why is it that when a woman thinks she is smart and pretty and worthy of love an attention, she’s suddenly unworthy of attention. This trope is common in pop culture. Look at One Direction. The girl is only beautiful BECAUSE SHE HAS NO IDEA THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. Had she known, then Zayn wouldn’t have found her so attractive (sorry Gigi). Every teen movie is the same; the pretty, popular girl is a bitch and the nerd is only pretty when a guy tells her that she is. What a great lesson girls! You’re only amazing when a boy tells you that you’re amazing!

It makes me wonder why the world continuously forces the idea that women who are assertive and aware of their value are somehow bad. Why should we only feel pretty because a man tells us we’re pretty? Why should we only giggle and say thank you? Why can’t we know our own value? We wonder why girls have low self esteem, but then they’re inundated with the idea that confidence = lack of humility and women are only desirable when they’re innocent and unaware of who they really are until their prince comes to sweep them off of their feet. Why do we need that? To me, that feels like we’re encouraging low self esteem and breeding controlling and abusive relationships. That’s how we end up being told “without me, you’re nothing,” and we believe it. Why? Because we’re taught that feeling good about who you are makes you vain and conceited and no one wants that. Be the quiet, meek, girl who doesn’t know she’s gorgeous. That’s how you end up with Freddie Prinze Jr. instead of all alone. 

We need to start telling ourselves that we’re beautiful and stop waiting for Freddie Prinze jr. or an online creeper to tell us that we’re pretty. Like Ms. Jones said, agree with compliments. It’s a good way to weed out the men from the weak minded jerks. The one who respects your confidence is the one who will elevate you to be the best version of you, by supporting you, not trying to reshape you into some stepford simpleton who giggles and falls at their feet because they said you’re pretty. 

I know I’m pretty. I’m really smart too. I’m good at my job. I’m pretty okay at crossfit and my running times improve. I can carry a tune pretty well and my hair is super cute. I don’t need anyone to tell me these things and you don’t need anyone to tell you either, because despite what Harry Styles says, you DO know you’re beautiful & that’s what makes you beautiful. 

Try Everything

Welp, it’s that time of year again, where we look back at our year. I started 2016 at a restaurant, where a man & I went online and selected what was to be my engagement ring. I’m ending it standing on my own, working on an article that I pitched, and despite the odd start, it was still one of the best years of my life. 

Why? Because I was blessed with the opportunity to finally prove that I could do it on my own. I turned personal sadness into professional success. I took risks and built my portfolio up and it was rad. I made some of the most amazing friends. And most importantly, I accomplished the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. Then I wrote something and people listened. Not just one person. Over 1000 people listened. They commented, they agreed. For the first time in my life, I felt like the journalist I’m meant to be. This was the most successful year of my professional life. I realized any monster who would build a family to abandon it with no explanation (or even a breakup) isn’t worthy of my love. So I’m content to build my empire and when a man worthy of me comes along, I’ll be ready. But most importantly, I discovered who I’m supposed to be without my friends, without a man, on my own. And I learned that the woman I’m meant to be is a writer and a leader. Someone who loves everyone. And nice. Way too fucking nice. I’m a crossfitter who loves food and I am so unapologetically proud of the woman I am. Each of these moves helped me become the happiest girl in the world. I took my life back and it was so amazing. So, it was the best year ever. 

As always, here’s a look at my year (without photos of my daughters to protect their privacy).  I hope you had the best year ever & 2017 is even better. 



Someone in St. Albert kept stealing my pink pen, so my manager gave me a bunch for my new store to make me happy. It was so silly, but it made me feel valued.



My 9yo told us her bunny hung out with PM Trudeau at Pride. We helped her out when no one believed her



I am the boss
Oh nothing. Just an article published by Postmedia
 

That time I reviewed a bunch of plays like a cool kid



Click the photo to read the article.


All hail Crossfit Jesus
Erica is always far away, but she is my human, so here’s an exerpt from our Snapchats





TBooth pro tip. Blue tastes like shit.


Still my favourite

That time Nikki Bella & I casually discussed feminism on Twitter. No big.

If you ever want to follow my zany adventures*, make sure you follow me on Snapchat (unless I’ve blocked you on Snapchat)! I’ve added my snap code below. 


*actually not zany. Largely boring 

Attention 

Looks like we’ve got another edition of “what really grinds my gears.”

Tonight, why the continued use of slut shaming in WWE concerns female fans like me. 

Before I get started, let me explain that this isn’t a shot on male fans who defend the angle. Male fans have a different perspective than female fans about certain things & we are going to identify a different way. I remember laughing when Chris Jericho called Stephanie McMahon THAT name as a kid because I didn’t understand what women go through every day. They don’t either. This is about informing, not attacking. 


My daughters love WWE programming, but most notably the women. They own piles of merchandise, they waited in the snow for five hours hoping to meet Sasha Banks and Bayley. My youngest has a countdown to the next live event where she hopes to meet her idol Nikki Bella. But one of their favourite personalities is Lana. Yes, Lana. Two years ago, they squeaked with delight, pledging allegiance to mother Russia if it meant she would take selfies with them. They cheered for Lana through her husband Rusev’s match. Lana was the best thing ever to them. When I asked why, it was because Lana was strong, unafraid, when she spoke, people listened & she wasn’t just another girl, she was Rusev’s equal & he treated her that way.  Lana was amazing. 


For little girls, Lana represented more than just a Russian woman that was hot. She was an eloquent speaker, Rusev listened to her, respected her, and everyone cared what she had to say. Men had Paul Heyman, women had Lana. Even during that disastrous love triangle storyline, my girls would plead with Lana to get back in her business suits and tear everyone apart.

“Mommy! Take a picture of Lana!”

Recently, WWE started a storyline where resident loudmouth Enzo Amore flashed Lana. Instead of apologizing, he flirted with her. Then, he spent weeks telling her husband Rusev that Lana wants him, fantasizes about him because he’s just soooooo manly. The story played out where Lana decided to show Enzo how it felt to feel ashamed, helpless, victimized. She offered him a chance to come to her hotel room, stripped him down, and Rusev beat him up, which of course in wrestling land meant Big Cass, Enzo’s partner needed to settle things by having a match, not like, calling the cops. 

Last night when I got home from work, the PPV event Roadblock had already started and I asked my girls what I missed. They proceeded to tell me it was awful, the New Day lost! But my nine year old also said “Enzo called Lana a bunch of bad names and I don’t like him anymore.”

When I read an excerpt of what he said, I was floored. 


How is he the good guy? Is it just because the character of Lana is Russian and Rusev is Bulgarian?! How does any man saying that to another human make him the guy to cheer?!

I understand for male fans, it’s hard to understand, but for female fans, we deal with Enzo Amore’s three times a month. I recently just wrote about how a man harassed me for WEEKS because I said no. When I decline a date, I get “well you weren’t that hot anyway,” “you led me on by saying you liked video games and wrestling,” “I bet you’re a cheap hoe.” This is the behaviour that Enzo Amore is exhibiting. He was told no and he proceeded to tell Lana for weeks that she didn’t mean no, she wants him. When she set up what many women have fantasized about, flipping the script on their harasser, she was the villain. Rusev is defending his wife from a creep, how is he the villain? He seems like a great guy, trying to protect his wife. But in WWE land, he’s a jerk and Enzo is just trying to have fun.  Okay.  


This sort of thing needs to stop. I’m all for TV and people getting it’s make believe, but it’s obvious that WWE doesn’t know how to write for women. Women don’t see Enzo as a funny guy. To us, he’s every guy at the bar that stalked us to our car (after calling us fat & a slut to get high fives from his friends) because we said no. Girls are watching and being shown this behaviour is okay. That if a woman says no, she’s the bad guy. Women fans deserve better. 

In WWE land, women are consistently marginalized when they are accomplished. Big Cass’s real life girlfriend (& former manager) Carmella was recently written as a catty girl jealous of Nikki Bella. Carmella was written to say a promo where she credited all of Nikki’s success to her boyfriend John Cena. And male fans nodded in approval. Yes, this is what happened. My seven year old screamed at our TV to stop because Nikki worked so hard to come back and girls shouldn’t say this about other girls. But this is considered status quo. 
Yes, Nikki got her revenge, by beating Carmella and proving that she is the better athlete (to the delight of my seven year old), but the damage is done. Places like Reddit belittle Nikki, talking about how she keeps her job by opening her legs. No mention of how she worked for months to come back to a full time schedule after a debilitating neck injury that could have left her paralyzed. More attention is paid to her two second hip wiggle. Nikki’s marketability as a role model is questioned. My youngest will tell you Nikki is strong and brave and athletic and she & her sister Brie could best everyone because they outsmarted them. No mention of a hip wiggle. But lots of mention of Nikki’s determination, bravery, kindness, athleticism. Maybe we need to listen to kids. 

You can have great storytelling without women bringing each other down. Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair have done it for months. They just wanted to be the best. Carmella & Nikki could have done the same without the tired mean girl is jealous schtick. Rusev could have been praised by the announce team for being a stand up guy, defending his wife from inappropriate behaviour and condemning the frat boy antics. But alas, WWE went another way. However, I do hope male fans understand that while to them, it’s a funny storyline, for female fans, it’s a daily reality for us, that our success will always be marginalized to build up a man, or that when we say no to creeps, we are somehow in the wrong. Maybe, WWE will listen to the fans (and Lana herself, who has been very vocal on Twitter that she finds this distasteful) and we will see Rusev and Lana be celebrated for standing up to the bullies. But more likely, we’ll see a new shirt emblazoned with one of the catch lines designed to humiliate her. 

False Alarm

Let me tell you a story. 

I have an online dating account. I’ve had it forever. I used to use it to troll creepers. Now I use it to (kind of) try to meet people. I’ve been getting to know the guy we’ll call the stage five clingy soldier for awhile now, but that’s a story for another day, when I feel like talking about my love life. I got kind of burned so I leave my relationships out of my blogging life. 

Anywho, back to the actual story. Most of my adventures in online dating look a lot like this: 


Or this 


Or this

Or this 


My personality is rather snarky on a good day & my guard is up after being led down the yellow brick road and left alone in the woods to find my way home alone, but again, another story for another day. But I can be polite too. However, today’s story involves a man I said no to, & why some women struggle to say no. 

See, I said no to a guy awhile back. Then he mocked my career. So I questioned his being self employed. After some harassment, I blocked him. Tonight, I was met with him (on a new account) seeking me out and sending this gem. 


This is just part of it. There’s a bunch more, including threats to ruin my career, etc. All because I told a guy no. 

Sadly, this is a harsh reality women face when they are dating. No can turn into a dangerous situation (here’s a link to a story about 14 other women who found themselves in far more dangerous situations). People ask why women don’t say no/stay with their abusers/go back to their narcissistic exes, well here’s why.  No can be dangerous. No can lead to violence. Smear campaigns. Verbal abuse. All because we said no. 

The end of my story is simple. I told the guy off, blocked him and laughed about  it on Twitter. But for a lot of women, that’s not an option. They’re stalked. They’re harassed. Bullied. And people defend this behaviour. So I decided to share this story as a harsh reminder of the realities that women face when they say no. Not all men do this stuff, but all women have a story like this one. Whether it’s a catcall, a stranger telling her to smile, or the guy who follows her down the street, every woman has a story about a man who didn’t take no for an answer. So, before you say “not all guys are like this” or “why don’t women say something,” take a moment and remember that this is why. 

I hope the take away from this story is that threatening to ruin a woman professionally isn’t the way to her heart. Also, that apparently editors are very wealthy. I didn’t know this. When I was an editor, wealthy was not the word I would have used (unless he has pictures of Spider-Man. Maybe that’s why he’s rich?). Perhaps try tact. Or not being a raging doucher. I know, strange concept, but try it, it might work!

The Divine Zero

Despite my fascination with pop culture, I must admit I do not keep up with the Kardashians, mostly because everything they say and everything they do annoys the shit out of me. 


From Kim’s baby talk to Kris’s whining, whenever I see them on social media or TV, I immediately flip to something else. If I had to pick one that didn’t annoy me to no end, it would probably be Kendall, as she at least to have a job of some kind, as well as some talent or a skill (modelling is a skill). I feel like Kendall may also be smart. The rare times that I hear them speak, she seems to be the only one that has her shit together. So, good for Kendall. 

I googled “Kendall Jenner” and saw lots of pics, but this one stuck out. She looks so fresh faced and lovely

Now that I’ve made it clear that I don’t keep up with Kardashians, I am also late to the party when it comes to their “projects.” I casually flipped over to People Magazine’s website to read the gossip (because celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure, fight me) and I discovered that Khloe Kardashian has a show called “Revenge Body!” Basically Khloe plucks people from obscurity to teach them health and fitness tricks so they can get a slamming body to get back at an ex boyfriend, mean parent, or childhood bully. Wait till they see how HOT YOU ARE?! THAT WILL TEACH THEM!

What. The. Fuck. 

As a someone who worked to lose a ton of weight, gained some of it back and am working to lose it again, it must sound weird that I’m saying this show’s concept sounds bloody God awful. Well, here’s why. The concept of a “revenge body” is fucking stupid. Do you really think a shitty ex boyfriend is gonna magically say “I shouldn’t have been the shittiest boyfriend ever because she has a fantastic squat ass!” No. He’s probably playing house with the girl he was cheating on you with while you were trying to save the relationship or on Tinder swiping right. You shouldn’t give a shit about what that guy thinks. Or your high school bully. Or your douchebag dad. Why? Because not a single one of these people matter in your life. “Shamers” are not real. Words only have power over you if you allow them to. And besides, by losing weight to “shut them up,” they’ve won! They made you feel badly until you changed! Don’t be that person. Change to grow. 


When I chose to get healthy, I chose this to be a role model to my girls and for me. Not the shitty ex husband who abused me. Not the shitty ex boyfriend who treated me like shit and abandoned me. Not the shitty guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl. Not the asshole coworker who shit talked me when I left the room. Not the girl who bullied me in grade nine math so much that I refused to try out for basketball because she made me feel badly. Why? Because these people are irrelevant. They are simply chapters in my life that I’ve closed. I wanted to get in shape for me. I wanted to live longer. I wanted to look cute in leggings. I wanted to feel more confident. I wanted to be the best MHC ever so that I was happy with me. But it was my choice for me & I want everyone in life to be confident in their choices for themselves. When you need revenge, you are letting someone else take up space in your mind. Every second you waste on them is a second that you could be loving yourself. Why waste those seconds on shitty people who treat you badly when you could use them on yourself!

Still a work in progress, but always progress

Maybe I’m totally off base, and Khloe Kardashian is helping these people let go of their painful pasts and focus on their incredible futures, but the promo shows people announcing who they’re getting “revenge” on. But from one human to another, the best revenge is letting go, moving on, and investing in you, for you. You don’t need revenge. You need to love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Because if you do it for revenge, once you get the killer body, you’re still empty. They still treated you badly. You didn’t get back at them, or get them back. Chances are you don’t really want them back because they are sucky people! The shamers won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll piss on you for something else. Then you’ll go right back to your destructive, unhealthy habits because nothing changed. You need to change. Change your habits and your mindset so that you can be better for yourself. When you do that, you’d be surprised at how far you’ll come. 


Khloe herself admits she started working out to stop people from calling her the fat & ugly sister and stick it to them. That’s so sad. She’s a beautiful woman and while I don’t keep up with her or her family, I believe everyone is good somewhere. She’s a sister, aunt, friend and tried very hard to make a toxic marriage work. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just hope she’s found better motivation.  Maybe she’s learned to love herself. But I’d hate to think that with all of her success, loving family, wealth and the like, she’s letting faceless internet trolls or the ghosts of husbands past rent space in her mind.

So, screw the idea of the revenge body. How about we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts?! I’m gonna keep working on mine. I hope you work on yours too, but because you want to, not to stick it to someone else. 

A Better Place

Over the last few months, I haven’t had much faith in humanity. Mostly, because humanity hasn’t given me much to have faith in.

It all started about three months ago, when some teen girls tried to rob my teenage daughter. Suddenly, I didn’t feel as safe in my neighbourhood. Then, I was blindsided and abandoned, subjected to some of the most manipulative mind games & cruelty from a man who claimed two days earlier that he loved me & to remind me of a conversation we were having once we were married, because he couldn’t wait to marry me. Fast forward to 48 hours later, when I woke up extra early for my long commute to get ready for a date we had planned for when my shift was over. 48 hours earlier, he told me he couldn’t wait for date night. I was so excited to finally have time alone with him without work, as I was beyond over work taking over our romance…only to find he erased me from his life, and a cold text saying he was angry & if I gave him space & a little time & did what he said, everything would be fine. I began obeying his commands, both stated and unstated. I felt like a dog, like I was being punished. And nothing I did made it better. He still wouldn’t talk to me. I apologized for what he said was bothering him, because I am a firm believer in owning your shit, I  offered to take steps to resolve the slight, even transferred at my job to help give space, but not a word. I’m not perfect, but no one deserves this treatment. I used to believe he could never hurt me. But it was like the man I love; the kind, gentle, man who sought me out & begged for my affection & loved me so much died and a monster stole his face. It shattered me in ways that I still haven’t really recovered from, and sometimes I’m afraid I never will. I refuse to be a victim, I knew better but I wanted to believe he had changed & would allow us to communicate when he was angry. Bad shit happens, you get up, you kick ass. But it leaves scars. Horrible scars. I don’t know if I’ll ever trust another man again, as I am absolutely terrified of this man I loved. I built up huge walls to keep him away from me, as well as anyone else.

When I build a wall, I make sure its impenetrable. I also have thirty people blocked on Twitter. And emails. I also block your personal, work & even some coworker’s phone numbers. I don’t play
Sometimes I’m still in denial, like there is no way this man that swore I knew him best could do this. He couldn’t be this hateful. I keep thinking he’ll want to fix it like before, but the thought of him coming near me actually terrifies me, something it never did before (even though he would never harm me).  And sometimes, while my friends, therapist, all insist he is emotionally abusive (sending me article after article to back it up), I still squeak out tiny defenses. He’s not mean. He just can’t do anger. I bet he feels badly & just doesn’t know how to come tell me. They ask me how he’d feel if someone treated his daughter as he treated me, because he’s teaching her that this is okay & I still try to defend him. Sometimes at night, I still cry confused tears because I literally just don’t understand how a man went from holding me and telling me that I was the love of his life to never speaking to me ever again in 48 hours & was seemingly proud of destroying my heart & self esteem while I sobbed on his voice mail to please just talk to me. How did we go from looking up engagement rings on New Years Day to feeling like I needed to change everything about me (even though I didn’t want to) just so he’d speak to me. I would delete blogs after minutes for fear of offending him. I would have done anything just for him to talk to me & I still just want him to talk to me, even though I know I deserve a man who would never dream of treating a woman this shamefully. But I still sometimes feel worthless because he won’t talk to me & even though I’m terrified to let him near me, I just want him to fix it like he said he always would. But I don’t ever want to be a woman who meekly kowtows to a man. That is NOT who I am not who I will EVER be. I don’t want to be controlled. So I move forward, focused on being the most bad ass MHC I can be. And despite how harsh this may sound, I don’t believe he’s a bad person. I think he’s a good person who struggles with anger management and commitment & conflict. He made some very poor choices & they are on his conscience, not mine.

A few weeks later, I was robbed, my purse stolen from my workplace. I lost all of my ID and I’m still trying to get it all back. The whole experience left me reeling, I had just transferred and now I didn’t trust my own coworkers. The mall security didn’t help. I have little faith in the police. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly feel safe at work or walking home from work. I feel violated and I look over my shoulder a lot. But I focus on the good things I have; my family, my health, crossfit. My amazing friends who rallied around me during those tough few weeks, including a really cool coworker who became my bodyguard & protector. My super cool therapist. So many awesome people who made this whole experience bearable. By focusing on the good, I could get through the bad. I have so many good things. I am lucky to have these things. I am happy.

(This isn’t a pity me trip. Bad shit happens every day, you get up & keep on going. But I just talked about why we need to be our authentic selves. That means I need to be able to talk about the times life kicked me in the metaphorical balls. It just sometimes takes me a bit, until some of the hurt subsides.)

This isn’t all of you, but you know who you are
But to say it didn’t make me question my faith that people were essentially good would be wrong. It did. I didn’t trust anyone. At one point, after a particularly cruel trick he played,where he messaged Erica claiming he wanted to talk to me, which never happened, I almost stopped trusting Erica & shut her out for a few days, even though she’s the most important person in my life. I shut out everyone for awhile, except for those good friends who forced me to talk. I stopped writing, I had nothing to say. I felt like everything I had believed about humanity was wrong. People aren’t good. I watched people get busted for shoplifting many times a day, road rage assaults, murders on the news & my neighbours got robbed.My house got egged. And I waited for a conversation that I was told he wanted until I realized it was just another manipulation to keep me hanging on to nothing. Everything I had ever staked my beliefs on felt wrong.


Then, little things happened to help me see that most people are good & not to let some bad apples spoil that. My girls & I started attending a new church here in the city. We were welcomed with open arms. My teenager attends youth group. She’s learning and growing. The pastor drove her home because it rained. Suddenly, we felt like part of the community. My district manager, who did everything she could to make my work life tolerable, pulled me aside on one particularly trying day and said “I sought you out to hire you because you are a strong, talented, energetic, genuinely kind hearted person. If he can’t see your value, then he’s missing out.” My new manager did all he could to make me feel welcome. He’s been great fun to work with. My teenager’s teacher went above and beyond to help her with math. My coworker drive me home after working 15 hours. And when my cat went missing this past week, my neighbours formed a search party to help me find my beloved kitty. Each day, something new happened that helped me see that people are good.

If you live in Edmonton, keep an eye out for Peachy
Each day, I saw a little more kindness from people. The cab driver that didn’t charge me because I looked tired. The coworker who gave me a hug because I was so drained I burst into tears at work. The crossfit coach who called me the day after a hard class to check on my hip. The stranger who walked an old lady down the street. The principal who consoled my nine year old when she got sick at school. All restoring my faith in humans. How could you not have faith in the planet with so many cool people around?!


Finally, this weekend, I saw how truly good people could be. After a forest fire displaced many of my fellow Albertans, I saw kids with lemonade stands. People paying for the groceries of the person behind them. A man donating $200 to Red Cross. The same people who were cussing each other out in the street were helping each other. WWE Superstars Kevin Owens & Tyler Breeze created a GoFundMe to help bring people together to raise funds during their personal time (Mr. Owens once did an amazing thing for my daughters during a WWE Live Event last year, so I already knew he was a great guy). And my dearest Bree reminded me that humanity is good, I just need to remember where to look.

This is the wisest person that I know
It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring out the best in humanity. We should all aspire to be good to each other every single day. And we also need to not lose sight of the good things people do for us, who’s there for us, the random strangers who have your back. Don’t lose sight of them because of a few bad people. Don’t let the bad people of the world take away your belief in humanity. People are good if you believe they are good. And even if they aren’t, be a good person because it costs you absolutely nothing to be a good person, but you will gain so much from it.

Humans ARE good. Yes, some are bad. Some are good, they just do dumb things. But you’ve gotta look around & see the good. It’s there; you’ve just gotta make sure you see it…and live it.

Rule The World

January sucked. 

That’s all. Just sucked. Everyone I love had things to deal with. My life sort of fell apart & I don’t even know what’s happening with any of it. But I refuse to be made to feel like I cannot do the things that made me happy, so I’m gonna write about stuff that helps me smile & screw everything else. 

Since I was little I’ve never handled anger well. I simper & cry & beg them to talk to me & I beg them to forgive me & I’m always the only one trying. Ew. First of all, I’m a legit bad ass. I may run out of bad ass, but there is always more. I’m the most beautiful, witty, funny, articulate, and patient person I know. Those who know me should feel blessed to have my love & friendship. I am a prize, not some snivelling wimp. Nope. But yet, I keep falling back into old patterns when people get mad at me, because I value people more than ego. But I need to be the woman I am; strong, bright, beautiful, I need to get mad. I need to know I can stand up for myself. I love who I am. I fought to become her. And those who say they love me love her. But I need to know that I can be myself & stand up for myself & be heard. I’m also not afraid to own my mistakes. If I fucked up, I’ll own it. Right now, I need to value my ego. And I need to focus on my health & well being. I matter. I matter a great deal. And I deserve to feel like I matter, even if it’s just to myself. So, I’ve decided that my life matters to me & I am going to start making it better. 

The physical aspect is hard. I have to trust doctors. I have to wait. I can’t exercise. I have to stay in bed on my days off. This makes parenting a little challenging. But we are getting it done because I’m a bad ass. 

  
The next was mental. I’m reclaiming control of my life. I’ve let too many people control it & I’m tired of walking on eggshells to please them. That’s not who I am. I need to be myself. I need to be able to get angry. I need to be able to assert myself & have that assertion respected. I need to be able to resolve conflict. So, I started resolving the number one conflict in my life. 

My mom has been the major source of my stress. She’s negative, doesn’t like it here & her relationship with the girls is becoming emotionally abusive. My friends keep telling me how grumpy she is all of the time & the last straw was when she made my 8yo cry in front of her friends by saying she didn’t care of her beloved cat died. My mom wasn’t a loving mom to me as a kid, I ended up in a foster home for a reason. That reason is why I pick myself up when I’m sick to go to work. Why I cry at 3am. My daughters will know their mother’s strength, not her weaknesses. And I will not allow them to grow up around poison. So I told her when my lease was up, she was moving out & I would stand on my own. My daughters will grow up surrounded by joy alone. And I won’t let them feel hurt or slighted. Her negativity left me with a feeling of having no control in my life. I want to be in control of my home. So I took it back. 

The next was I called about counselling. Clearly being here alone with only a handful of close companions has taken its toll on me. I felt like I was relying on my few friends to be my support system. I don’t want that. I want to be in control of my own happiness & I am. I saw a dog with a puffy tail. I’m so happy because I saw that puffy tailed dog. When I get back to the gym, I’ll set PR’s. But until then, I need an outlet to focus on retaining my independence. So I started counselling again. I don’t feel badly. I’m not ashamed. I want to be the kind of person I can be proud of. When you struggle, you ask for help or you destroy everyone & everything you love. I love my family. I want to be better for them. So, I’m going to retool myself to be better for them. 

I will not be controlled, by my mom, by life, by anything. So, whenever I feel like someone or something is trying to control me, I will stand up & take steps to become stronger, more bad ass & the people who truly love me will love me for it, like my daughters, who get a better example to look up to. 

  

Big & Loud

This has not been my week. I’ve been sick. I’ve had xrays. It’s actually super shitty. But I will figure this out in a few days & all will be well. 

But I refuse to let dark times cloud my awesome life. My life is the raddest. I’ve lost six pounds this month. My gym dues are paid & I can train. My kids got rad report cards. Oh, and I got some much needed time with some friends this week. It was just what I needed. 

  
But enough about my life. Let’s talk about mindless drivel. Today’s mindless drivel is why the WWE Divas Division continues to piss me off. 

It has not been since 2014 that WWE has had a true babyface Diva in Brie Bella. Brie was beloved by fans, as they hoped she would defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon & avenge her husband Daniel Bryan & sister Nikki (she didn’t. She was defeated & aligned with Nikki to reign as bad girls in Team Bella & now is used to elevate the NXT Divas). 

  
Since then, all of the dominant women have been stereotypes. Bad girl Nikki Bella. Jealous geeky girl AJ Lee. Manipulative Paige. Daddy’s spoiled brat Charlotte Flair. All until the unexpected rise in popularity of Becky Lynch. 

  
Becky Lynch has gone through many phases since her debut, but the core of her main roster character has remained the same; she wants to be a champion of integrity. Someone little girls can look up to. She wants to win the right way. All three of my daughters watched the Royal Rumble with baited breath, to see if Becky would overtake Charlotte Flair & become the Divas Champion. 

She didn’t. 

Instead, Charlotte’s father forced himself on her, she was pinned in dirty fashion, tossed out of the ring like trash by villainess Sasha Banks & left to sob alone. 

  
As a mom & a feminist, I find it horrifying that male “advocates for women’s wrestling” like Jim Ross & Mick Foley are more concerned about whether or not the word Diva is problematic than the actual treatment of the women. An old man forcing himself on a woman is a humourous plot point in 2016. Every woman except Becky Lynch is a stereotype, from mean girl to cat lady. They are booked as catty, jealous bimbos who are self serving & petty. Even my 14 year old daughter, who wanted to be a Diva, no longer wants that. She feels like she would have to become a character that her sisters couldn’t be proud of, or end up humiliated like Becky Lynch. 

  

WWE has an obligation to their female fans to give them a hero. I’m not necessarily about kids role modelling from TV people, my kids look up to me, my strength, tenacity, my work ethic. But little girls deserve to see the heroine win in the story. Celeste Bonin’s Kaitlyn was humiliated by man eating villainess AJ Lee. Brie Bella was felled by her evil twin and then joined her. Paige fought the good fight, but turned bitter. WWE finally has a chance to give little girls a chance for their hero to win, like John Cena or Roman Reigns for boys, as Becky is still fighting the good fight against two evil stereotypes. As the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania approaches, I hope WWE finally shows that nice girls can finish first, and the big moment can go to the character who wants to show that you can become champion & keep your soul; Becky Lynch. 

  

Begin Again From The Beginning

For the last five years, I have revelled living on my own. I like that my space is my own; I decorate, I’m responsible for it, it’s MINE. But I have to admit that lately, I don’t like living alone. 

I chose my house without viewing it. I keep telling myself that it’s just one year & in the summer, I’ll find a place in a better neighbourhood. My commute home has been dangerous sometimes, with me texting friends expressing fear that I was going to get hurt. Then, my teen daughter ran an errand for me (a friend was supposed to go with her) & she was nearly robbed.  After we filed the police reports & I asked my friends how to break my lease to find a safer home, my daughter expressed how much she wished we didn’t live alone, because we’d be safer if my boyfriend were here full time. And I won’t lie; there are nights I get home from work & wish he was there because I would feel safer if he were. 

  
I kind of feel like I failed as a parent. Parents protect their kids. My child was in danger & I indirectly put her there by asking her to run an errand. Yes, she did the right things. She called the police. She ran. She screamed for help. Most of her anguish stemmed from the passer by’s ignoring her pleas for help. She didn’t lose anything of value, but she’s lost a little bit of that innocence. Suddenly, she’s felt like every other woman has felt at some point. The police asked her why she didn’t give the muggers her phone, did she call attention to her device? She was being forced to apologize for being victimized. She was forced to learn the reality that women are often forced to explain why they didn’t deserve to be victimized more than why the bad people shouldn’t be attacking people. There was her loss of security. My daughter started looking up dogs on kijiji, big ones (we found this one. We have the perfect name for it!). Despite my firm belief in gun control, I suddenly wanted a gun. Or a husband. Or all three. I just don’t feel safe in my neighbourhood anymore. I don’t feel like my kids are safe & for the first time in five years, I worry if a single mom living alone with three young girls & a cat is a target for stranger danger. I fully intend to move when my lease is up, maybe sublet this place in the interim, but right now, I worry about us going out at night. 

*Mama Bear is also in full “let me find these people & cut a bitch” mode, but that’s not constructive & I’ll let the police handle it*

  
I guess I just hate that my kid had to discover that the world can be a scary place for a woman at the young age of 14. I hate that the police asked if her dad was home, so she & her mom wouldn’t have to be alone in the house, as ladies shouldn’t be left alone. But mostly, I wish neither of us felt like we wanted a man to be here to protect us, but we both do. I have never wanted my boyfriend to be here at night than I do right now, because somehow, the physical nearness of him would make this alright (she insisted on calling him tonight, as he would make this okay somehow). 

But instead, tomorrow we will learn the importance of reclaiming control. She is not a victim; she is a bad ass. And she will not hide in her house afraid that someone will hurt her. We will do the shopping. We will live our lives. She will not let anyone who does her harm have power over her & direct her life with fear. Obviously, we have a plan about her going out at night (which is rare), but we’ll need to be more mindful. Her faith in humanity has taken a hit, but hopefully, in time, it’ll be restored. Sadly, every woman has that moment when they realize the world isn’t as safe as they’d hoped it was. She will bounce back. 

In the interim, both of us (sadly) feel like damsels in distress, wishing we had someone here to protect us tonight. 

  

 

My Reply

Sometimes I read stuff & get cranky & pull a Peter Griffin & play “What Really Grinds My Gears.”

  
Today’s edition: why women are catty bitches & I’m so over it. 

Last night, I watched the Golden Globes because I have worked as an entertainment reporter for many years & I like pretty dresses God dammit. I could comment on the show, Ricky Gervais, but instead, I’ll address why women are catty bitches & why it drives me nuts. 

Actor (& super hunk if you ask all of my friends) Jason Statham & his girlfriend of five years, Rosie Huntington-Whitely announced their engagement at the event last night, with full attention on Ms. Huntington-Whitely’s sparkly new bauble. As always, the comments on this story included why Statham, 48, shouldn’t be dating Huntington-Whitely, 28, because the age difference is gross & of course, why the ring was too small, ugly, etc. I’m sure Ms. Huntington-Whitely cares so much that random women online hate her ring, but it was sad to see few positive well wishes, just women taking shots on another woman. Similar things happened when photos of Blake Lively’s engagement & wedding ring hit the Internet, only that ring was too big, gaudy & why was it pink?! Kevin Costner was forced to address the price tag of the ring he chose for his wife Christine Baumgartner (Joan Rivers famously made Baumgartner cry by mocking her ring, prompting her husband to purchase her a much larger one). But why does it matter to the masses? Unless Ryan Reynolds or Jason Statham is buying you an engagement ring, it doesn’t matter. Those rings are gifts from them to their wives, maybe we should back off. Even on FB, I see people snarking at women about the size of their wedding rings, their homes, their Pinterest crafts. No building each other up, just a sick game of one up-manship. Why? I know when the time comes, I wouldn’t care what my boyfriend bought me, or if it met my “dream ring” criteria (if I really had that. I’m so indifferent hahaha). If he picked it out for me, it could be a garbage tie & to me, it would be the most beautiful thing on the planet because he bought it for me & wanted to marry me & much like thee women, I wouldn’t even notice the cattiness. 

 

We live in a society where wage inequality is still a thing, women’s rights are being marginalized in my neighbour’s land, Planned Parenthood is under attack. Women are still being forced to choose between career & family & told to “keep their legs closed” to prevent sexual assault or unwanted pregnancy. Girls are sent home because their clothing might distract boys, we blame women for their own sexual assaults & child support gets clawed back, leaving women in a cycle of poverty. Meanwhile, instead of taking up for one another, we are belittling each other for things that don’t matter & superficial bullshit that means nothing at the end of the day so women can feel like they’ve “topped” each other. Women are even attacking each other for such things as feeding their babies, as Alyssa Milano learned when talk show host Wendy Williams (who made headlines when she claimed actress Jennifer Lawrence deserved to have her privacy violated and her private nude photos leaked online last year) told her that breastfeeding should not be done in public, as breasts are meant for sexual enjoyment. Ms. Milano shut her down, by why are women constantly defending their basic rights or things that should bring them joy…to other women?

Even when women are successful, we tear them down. Look at the comments about Taylor Swift representing the wrong type of feminist because of her friends. They build each other up, celebrate their uniqueness. So, we cattily tear them apart for being friends because they’re too pretty, they’re models, etc. Okay. 

 I don’t compete with other women. I teach my daughters that we don’t compete with other women. I compete with myself to be a better woman. When I see women belittling other women, I often wonder why they are so insecure that they can’t celebrate the achievements of other women. Women wonder why we’re still fighting the same battles, it’s because of us. We’re attacking each other! Either because we’re the wrong type of feminist, or because they fed their kid or they may possibly have something you don’t. If women spent half as much time building each other up as you did questioning if they understood what feminism means to you or snarking about looks, fashion, etc. women’s rights wouldn’t be something we were still fighting for. 

  
I’m sorry for the rant, but I guess I’m sick of seeing women have their joy trampled by catty women, women who should be supporting other women, famous or not. Perhaps if you can’t be nice, maybe you should just be quiet.