While I generally do not care to discuss my relationship with my boyfriend (as I like having that part of my life fairly private), since he pretty much suggested this entire post (complete with the title), I kind of have to.

He’s an interesting & captivating man, compassionate & smart & sweet & pretty much every good adjective you can think of. He supports my crazy desire to become the world’s greatest reporter/cell phone princess & reads literally every word I write. But, in addition to all of these amazing things, he entertains my needs to ask questions.

I’m an inquisitive sort; I need to know everything about the world around me. So, I ask a million questions; about the world, my family, etc. I ask him a million questions every day; how is your day, your life, your daughter, tell me about your job, etc. and he answers them all. I think it’s because he’s like me; he likes information. Whether it’s sports, politics, current events, world religion, he likes to know. I think that’s why we work; he’s the intellectual and I’m the journalist, the supplier of information. He loves to learn & I love to inform, we’re quite the pair. Also, he hasn’t complained about my inability to shut up ever, so either he’s mastered tuning me out or is a glutton for punishment.

However, he possesses dual citizenship & unlike most Canadians, he would actually prefer to be American. We have conversations about when Thanksgiving is supposed to be (pro-tip; he’s wrong) & I often end conversations with “YOU WERE BORN HERE.” So, we tend to differ on the “American” vs. “Canadian” way.

Today’s horrible shooting in Ottawa put a halt to our mock fights about national pride to listen & read about what was happening. This was a horrible thing & a young man lost his life for no good reason. He’ll never have another birthday or Christmas. His beloved dogs will never see their master again. His parents will never hear his voice on the phone & my heart breaks for them. No 24 year old should be taken from this world in such a terrible way & I hope that we as a nation will stand by the Cirillo family through this horrific time.

I wanted to know why this happened, what measures will be taken to protect our Prime Minister & Members of Parliament going forward, how did a man with a gun get into Parliament, is there a second shooter, etc. The RCMP was mum. The Canadian Press seemed mute except about the lockdown. Meanwhile, CBS already had the identity of the shooter & breaking news site heavy.com had a bunch of facts about him, before the Canadian Press knew what was up. I was so frustrated, because as a journalist (albeit a fluffy celeb journalist) I didn’t understand why no one was informing us & why we as Canadians seemed to be okay with that. I texted my beau a huge rant, which prompted my epiphany that perhaps his “American” thought process wasn’t so off base & he told me to write this because I’m a genius.

The truth is; we get the media we deserve.


My American friends are not afraid to question everything they hear. My Facebook timeline is inundated with them questioning their government, their police, the FBI, Mark Zuckerberg, and the list goes on & on. They live in a “stranger danger” sort of world. When the Boston Marathon was horrifically bombed, we had real time updates from every reliable news agency in the world, as the American media kept people appraised. We knew who, why, who was at large in hours & people knew what was happening. Today, people in Canada sat questioning how this happens here & when I would ask why it happened, I was told I was nitpicking the coverage instead of the tragedy & shame on me.

Actual quote from cbc.ca's live blog. This MAY have been what started my rant
Actual quote from cbc.ca’s live blog. This MAY have been what started my rant

While Americans live in stranger danger, we in Canada do the opposite; we don’t care. We’re ostriches. Political scandals are overlooked (one of my colleagues once wrote an amazing piece for a magazine we all wrote for about Canada’s apathy to political corruption) because that doesn’t happen here (yes it does), we flip out whenever there’s a major crime because it doesn’t happen here (a prime example was when a meth lab blew up near my old house right before I moved & everyone freaked because that doesn’t happen here), and we’re so focused on being perfect utopia Canada that we miss that bad things happen here & we need to accept that so we can learn from it so it doesn’t happen anymore. People get murdered, there is crime, there is corruption & pretending it doesn’t happen won’t make it any less true. While my feelings towards Prime Minister Harper’s politics follow “I don’t agree with anything he says ever,” he was very realistic when he said we are not immune to terrorist attacks. We are not. Fortunately our Nation escaped this horrific day with only one tragic loss. But we need to be smart and arm ourselves with information, we need to ask questions so we won’t be shaking our heads wondering how this happened because it doesn’t happen in Canada. I love my Nation; I think it’s a beautiful place and I am so proud to be Canadian, but we are not a utopia and the biggest lesson we need to take from this tragedy is like Mr. Harper said, we are not immune to tragedy, so we need to stand in the face of these things and not hope it just goes away.

Perhaps we do need to borrow a page from our American brethren and accept that bad things happen and start asking questions. It is perfectly okay to question your government. It is okay to question law enforcement. It is okay to ask what is happening in the world around you, if you are safe, because when all is said and done, these people work for us to preserve our way of life and for the most part, they do a damned good job. But if we as Canadians are not asking, we won’t be informed and we’ll have to learn from our neighbours what’s happening in our own backyard. We cannot peer over the fence and ask America who is attacking us. We need to find out for ourselves.

So, ask questions. Seek knowledge. Make the media answer those questions. Hold them accountable and let’s make it a point to make sure we aren’t ostriches as the world goes to Hell around us, because it CAN happen here.


Day Four: Parenting

The actual topic is my relationship with my parents, but my father has long passed away & my relationship with my mother is both complex & interesting & very hard to explain. Also, my mother regularly reads my blog (waves to my mother), so I’d rather not say anything good or bad, as I’d just rather not.

However, my relationship with my children is different. It’s a source of pride for me. As their only stable caregiver (as their dad has his own issues and anger management problems & is more concerned with other things than being a dad, which is why he doesn’t pay child support or like schedules or routines or anything constructive), it’s important to me to be the role model. I went through a period last year when I wasn’t the role model, so now it’s even more important to me to be the role model. I need to go to work every day & not miss a single day. I need to work hard. I need to think of my career & how continuing to work at building a portfolio helps me show them to work towards their goals. I have to be careful who I date, as that person will the be the person they build their standards around. This is something that comes up a lot with my tween and her penchant for liking bad boys on TV. She says love will fix them, sadly, it doesn’t.

Maybe I take this too seriously, but I feel like it’s my job to teach them the right way. It’s my job to teach them how to become strong young women & I need to live that example. So, each day I need to model myself as the type of woman I want them to grow up to be. That means live healthy, be healthy. Focus on being emotionally strong & confident in myself & that I’m setting the right example. This is important to me. This is my job as a mother.

Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to have been given three smart, beautiful & compassionate girls to raise. They care about others, they’re helpful & kind. They all get good grades in school & are talented musicians & love to read. They’re all growing into young women & I want them to become strong & proud women who reach for the stars, focus on their goals & know they can do everything. Society will try to pigeon-hole them into vapid morons who have to be barefoot & pregnant while also maintaining a bikini bod & live to serve their husband. The media will make them think they should want a career & a husband while maligning both. Other women will teach them to tear down other women. That’s why I need to live the example I want to set for them. If I want them to feel they can have a career & don’t need a man to complete them, then that’s how I must feel. If I want them to respect their bodies, then I mustn’t go out & have one night stands or whatever (no disrespect to moms who do. Everyone’s thoughts are different). If I want them to choose a partner that will cherish & respect them, then this is the partner I must choose. I must walk my walk every day so my good, wonderful girls do not turn towards influences that will only tear them down. So, yes, maybe I take it too seriously, but that’s okay. I’d rather be “too focused” on being a role model than not at all & when my children are struggling, wonder where it went wrong, knowing they emulated my poor choices & the example I set for them.