5 types of cereal

I love my boxing crew. And yes, they are still my crew even if I no longer box; I do the weightlifting and conditioning class 2x a week with Coach (re: Dr. Booté and Dr. Booté strikes again) and realistically, it is only a matter of time until I put the gloves back on. My home away from home. My happy place.  Anyhow, my boxing crew likes alcohol. And to party. And to be loud. And to occasionally throw chairs and start fights with scary bikers (I can’t elaborate, I wasn’t there. It remains something of a myth at the gym). Basically, I’ve never been to a party with my boxing peeps that didn’t involve piss-in-your-pants laughter and good times. Last Saturday was one such party.

At the party was a former boxer, who I will call Cereal due to his habit that night of walking up to people and randomly asking them to name 5 types of cereal in 10 seconds – go! (Surprisingly entertaining, as far as gambits go.) Cereal is as Québecois as they come. Think a rougher version of Patrick Huard, from my favorite movie, Bon Cop Bad Cop:

Cereal and I have bumped into each other at the gym for close to 5 years, he even acted as my coach in my corner for one fight, but this was the first time we actually partied together. Cereal is renown for becoming slightly colorful when he drinks, making him a perfect fit with my crew because #chairthrowing y’all. I was prepared to be entertained.

It was after midnight, when well-“hydrated” Cereal explained to the room at large (in loud, beautifully vulgar and vivid Québecois that I will never be able to adequately replicate),

For the longest time, I really didn’t like eating pussy. Wait, no, that’s not true. I was young, tsé, and I thought sex was just about cumming, I didn’t particularly care about the girl, but then I got wiser, and I learned that girls LIKE having their pussy eaten! Yeah, they really like that shit! No, its true! So, I started training for it. No, really. I trained for it. I’m ok with being honest, I’ve got nothing to hide: I wasn’t very good at it. I had to practice and practice. Like boxing! Repetition makes perfect. And I practiced a lot! I’m fucking good at eating pussy, like you wouldn’t believe. And now I tell all the young guys at the gym: eat pussy.

Cereal decided it was only right that he show one of the younger guys in the room some of his tongue techniques, despite Young Dude protesting that really, no, he was quite good with his own skill set. Cereal would not be deterred from his altruistic purpose. He approached Young Dude with intent, and right as he was about to brandish his tongue in Young Dude’s face with impressive bravado, Young Dude yelled at him, “5 types of cereal – go!” Cereal started naming all the cereals he could think of. Young Dude’s face of relief, tho. LOL.

[Now we get to the part of the story that I am less comfortable with my father reading. Hi Pa! Stop reading! Aunts and Uncles, y’all can stop too!]

Cereal approached me, as I was talking to Nene. Man on the prowl. “Vanilla, can I ask you a question?” Of course. “It’s a bit of a confidential question.” That’s cool. Me and Nene, we tight. Anything you want to say to me, you can say in front of Nene. “Yeah, that’s true. Nene is a gentleman, esti! Ok, so here goes. Vanilla, do you like getting your ass eaten? Yeah? You do? On a scale of 1 to 10, Vanilla, how much do you like it? 7.5?! Wow, you like it a LOT.” Nene’s face of comical dismay, as he turned to stare at me, his impression of Vanilla completely shattered, is LOL#2 of the party. [Disclaimer: I did say this part shouldn’t be read by my father. Ok. So Pa, if you are feeling nauseous right now reading this, it’s NOT MY FAULT.]

And now for the coup-de-grâce. “Ok, Vanilla. Here’s my offer. Any time you feel like it, between now and the end of the night, you just ask me, and I will eat your ass so good, you won’t just like it 7.5, no. You’ll like it at least 8. Maybe even 8.5. Oh yeah! You’ll like it THAT much. 8.5! That’s a pretty good number. So any time you like, just let me know. That’s what I am prepared to do for you. And you don’t need to worry, I’ve been single for 3 years, and I’ve been tested for all the STDs, I’m squeaky clean, calisse. So yeah. Let me know if you want me to eat your ass. Offer expires at the end of the night. (sotto voice:) Actually, it expires in 2-3 months, because I am generous like that. Yeah. That will be our little secret. (normal voice:) So, you just think on that, Vanilla.  It’s not every day you get that kind of offer. Think on that real good. I don’t want you making any snap decisions.” Turning to Nene, who listened to this entire exchange with a look of rapt incomprehension, Cereal fist-pumped him, “So tell me, Nene, have you ever heard an approach so sincere, so honest, and so nasty?” Cue LOL #3. Cereal stayed true to his word, and gave me time to think about it. He walked tipsily away, leaving me and Nene in helpless giggles.

I did say piss-in-your-pants laughter, yeah?

P.S. No ass was eaten that night. [Ok Pa! You can start reading again! It’s safe now!]

P.P.S. I am not being a Mean Girl by writing this post. By Monday night, this story had spread all over the gym. I am not sure who got teased more, myself or Cereal. But the general consensus is that, no, no one has ever heard an “approche aussi sincère, honnête et cochonne.”


The accidental chastity belt

Immediately after the best trick-or-treating session ever, I attended a friend’s Halloween house party. There was a good cross-section of friends and strangers (a ninja, a sexy bumblebee, a priest, a steampunk rocker, a cowboy with a flesh-wound, Will Smith from Independence Day, DD as a dirty cop, Nene wearing a mask that can be found in Justin Bieber’s music video What Do You Mean – don’t ask me how I know that…)

My eye was drawn to the tallest guy in the room. Good posture, filled out a suit nicely, all things that are important when being superficial and judging someone purely on their looks. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one impressed… most of the ladies in the room were around him. That rankled – I refuse to compete for a guy’s attention. So, after chatting with him briefly, I drifted away to have a great convo with the wounded cowboy and the steampunk rocker. While I occasionally interacted with the Designated Hottie, long enough for him to hear the Vegas stories straight from DD herself and be intrigued by her “vanilla with chocolate sprinkles” comment, I was a social butterfly, and talked everyone present. A hot guy does not make me lose my manners. #mymommaraisedmewell

As the night progressed, Designated Hottie drifted more frequently into my orbit. Many drinks later, Designated Hottie suggested we step outside, to cool down, as it was quite warm in the house. Smirking, I followed him out, and we went on a walk that inevitably resulted in a torrid make-out session. I hadn’t kissed a guy in 17 months – that is how bad my dating life has been. I was worried for about 10 seconds that I had forgotten how it works, but then I relaxed and had a lot of fun. He definitely knew what he was doing.

After a protracted spit-swapping session, Designated Hottie asked me to go home with him. I said no. More making out. He asked again. I said no. He asked why? The first thing that came to mind was chagrin that I hadn’t taken more time during my morning shower to properly “groom” myself. But seriously now, with my history – why bother? Obviously, I wasn’t about to tell Designated Hottie that. So, instead I told him the second truest reason why I wouldn’t go home with him: I don’t sleep around.

Designated Hottie tried every possible gambit in the book:

  • He really liked me, he didn’t necessarily want to sleep with me, we could just spend time together. After all, he couldn’t force me to sleep with him. I laughed, thinking he was being funny, pointing out my relief that he was aware of that, because otherwise it would be rape. He got irritated with me for saying the R-word;
  • Why was I breaking the flow? He was a big believer in flow;
  • Why couldn’t I give him a real, GOOD reason why I wouldn’t spend the night with him? He couldn’t accept such a flimsy reason as the one I was giving him;
  • Why was I so scared to take a risk and trust? If I always lived life so cautiously, I would miss out on great things!

That last one is a frequent topic of discussion with my therapist. I decided, why not? I could take a risk! Maybe I should let loose and see where the night took me? I accepted Dedicated Hottie’s offer.

Just prior to re-entering my friend’s house, I suddenly got very angry. Here I was, about to let some dude play on my insecurities about my Vanilla lifestyle and convince me to do something that was against my values. This same dude seemed unaware that recognizing that rape wasn’t an option is not, in itself, something commendable, just as he was unaware that RANKING MY REASONS FOR NOT WANTING TO SLEEP WITH HIM IS NOT OK. NOT OK, DUDE. 

So I told him: I was done, and that was that. We re-entered the house party, and I ignored him.

I had trouble having fun. I was shaken by what had just happened. I kept my distance from him, stayed long enough to convince everyone I was a happy party animal, and left.

He’d noted my mood, and asked to speak to me before I left – I expected an apology. Instead, he tried convincing me one last time to spend the night with him, asking WHY I would walk away from something that was bound to be good and special. Exasperated, I told him that I firmly believed in a universe where a guy might find me special enough to wait for, even if he didn’t understand my reasons for not sleeping with him right away. Anything else didn’t interest me. Humbled, he understood. He told me he would text me the next day, and that he wanted to see me again. We kissed goodnight. I went home. Alone. 

He added me on Facebook the next morning. He liked a picture I was tagged in. He texted me while I was out with friends; I told him I would text him later on. He didn’t respond to any of my subsequent texts. I noticed he’d added all of the girls present at the party.

Curious, I asked DD if Designated Hottie had returned to the party after I’d left. He had. He’d also cornered DD outside and kissed her, and then harrassed her to go home with him. When she refused, he asked her what her reason was. She told him she was too drunk, and he told her that wasn’t a good enough reason. DUDE, YOU NEED TO REVISIT THE CONCEPT OF CONSENT. STAT.

Also, can somebody explain to me his thought process? He’d just spent 5 hours partying with me & DD. He’d seen and heard just how good friends we were. What was he thinking? Did he not expect us to talk to each other about our night?! I feel that was poor planning on his part.


I just don’t understand them.


This is why I am single. #vanillaftw

Nene has long expressed a desire to meet Alphonse. Happy to oblige, Alphonse accompanied me to the gym last night.

Nene didn’t show. 

Alphonse was understandably disappointed, but he made do, and squeezed in a decent workout.

He performed his kettlebell swings with perfect form.


Alphonse likes lifting heavy things: he ain’t worried about bulking up.


Excellent deadlift, Alphonse. Well done!

As Alphonse was working through his deadlift set, I heard Coach mutter, “I think Vanilla just killed my desire to coach. Yup, a little part of me just died.”

#thisiswhyimsingle (Coach concurs)




Getting hit in the solar plexus

I got a haircut yesterday! And unlike last time, I actually do resemble Anne Hathaway, and no one will mistakenly assume that my inspiration was Jamie Lee Curtis from True Lies. My hairdresser is brilliant. In just a few snips and choppity chop chops she saved me from the outgrown, middle-aged, soccer mom look I’d been sporting, and made me beautiful.

She is good for the soul. My soul happens to be very vain.

What was less good for my soul was the experience I had with the assistant who washed my hair and gave me an excellent scalp massage. She was young (under 25?) and charming. She told me she used a special shampoo/conditioner combo for people with thin hair – reasonable, since not only do I have baby hairs, but I also don’t have many of them. I’ve struggled to accept my thin hair over the years – luscious flowing locks is the second most feminine imagery after tits and ass – and have accepted it much more easily ever since I found my hair dresser who is skilled in constructing hair cuts that deceive the eye and create volume… before even being styled!

Aaaaaaaaaaanyhow, after the shampoo station, I spent a few minutes discussing various shampoos for thin hair with the assistant, and as she led me towards my hair dresser’s station, she politely asked me what had caused my thin hair, as I surely must not have always had so little. Did the thinness happen as a result of the pregnancy?

What? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat did you just say, wench?

“Is it because of the pregnancy? Some women experience extreme hair loss after giving birth!”

No, I managed to croak out. No, it is not because of the pregnancy.

The assistant seemed skeptical. Without quite asking me if I was sure,  she did ask what, therefore, was the cause of my thin hair? So I explained how I had 10 surgeries in 6 years during my adolescence, including 6 requiring general anesthetics, and how the repeated shock to my system of those invasive drugs had resulted in permanent hair loss. I didn’t bother explaining that I was not, had never been, preggers, because I couldn’t face the risk of her making a further comment about my body-type or age that might be unintentionally brutal. I hoped that my explanation of medical difficulties would illicit some kind of compassionate reaction.

Instead, she shrugged, “Anesthetics can cause hair loss? I didn’t know.”

I gave up.

On the plus side, my hair dresser made me look beautiful, young, and not pregnant.

I think I need to commit to that diet

Note to self: sexting is a bad idea

Introducing V

Last May, I met a boy, which we’ll call V. He was from NY, visiting Montreal with some mutual friends. He was attractive, witty and attracted – close to perfect, really. Unfortunately for V, the night I met him was a mere few hours after the biggest trainwreck of my dating career, so I was very wary of anything with a penis. I acknowledged the attraction and promptly ignored it, apart from adding him on Facebook. 2 weeks later, I vacationed in NYC, and I flirted with the idea of meeting up with him. However, I was still recovering from the fall-out of Trainwreck, and V’s enthusiastic interest in me was tangible and made me nervous, so I bailed on him every single night. #dontjudgeme

The following months were uneventful. V and I would exchange the occasional flirty Fbk message and a few compliments. 

If you have an itch, don’t scratch it

2 months ago, I was in a mood. V happened to text me flirtily. That is all it took for me to have a serious lapse in judgment: I embarked in a torrid 2 day sexting fest with V. No, no, I did not send any nudie pics/videos – I am not stupid (anymore). But we most definitely gave each other a graphic laundry list of the various things we would like to do to each other should we ever be in the same room. It was fun, slightly ridiculous (as all quality sexting should be!) and lighthearted, or so I thought. He was in NY, and I was in Montreal. With a 6 hour buffer between us, clearly this exchange was to remain in the realm of wishful thinking, right? Wrong.

I didn’t get too worried when he started discussing the possibility of driving up to Montreal with friends in July for the Montreal Jazz Festival. Afterall, the Jazz Fest is Montreal’s biggest tourist attraction, and my favorite time of the year. Completely reasonable that he’d want to experience it, and reasonable that his friends would want to as well. I figured that his presence in Montreal might lead to a hookup, but maybe not – why not wait and see?

I got anxious when his rate of texting increased: good-morning texts, mid-morning “how are you” texts, afternoon “just checking to see how your day is going” texts, and good night texts. I tried subtle hints (“I am working, can’t text”) and the not-so-subtle hints (not answering for hours, and then just responding with a smiley face). I got seriously anxious when V suggested that waiting till July to see each other was too long, why not go on a weekend getaway to Albany? I seemed to have skipped over the fun flirty stage, and found myself in the long-distance relationship phase! I explained to him that I have anxiety and major commitment issues (slight exaggeration), and that while I was comfortable with the idea of hanging out with him if he happened to be in my city on holiday with friends during a major tourist season, ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HOWEVER MUCH I HAD SEXTED HIM I WAS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO HOOKUP OR EVEN KISS HIM, I was not at all comfortable with dedicating an entire weekend to him in a city I had zero inclination to visit. Yes, I wrote all of that, explicitly – it was a bit too brutally assertive for my tastes, but I wanted to be fair and give him all the information required to not faceplant. 

The part where nothing I said made an impact 

V promised me he had zero expectations. I relaxed. I stopped relaxing when he asked me if there were any books he should read so that we could have something to discuss when he visited in July. When I unhelpfully told him that there were no doubt aplenty of books to be read, he explained he wanted to know my top 5 books.

That triggered a small meltdown.

He asked for my input when selecting the AirBnB apartment for his Montreal stay, to help chose the best location. Reasonable. Except it stopped being reasonable when he also asked for my feedback on which interior décor most suited my tastes. In desperation, I reminded him that I didn’t care about interior décor as it was highly unlikely that I would ever see the inside of his apartment. To be sure there could be no misunderstandings, I reminded him that I would be working during the weekdays that he was planning to be in Montreal, and that I have commitments on the weekend, so that really, there would be little opportunity to see each other. To which he responded, “But I was hoping for a Vanilla saturation.”


I didn’t write that. Instead, I reminded him once again that I had in no way committed to anything, least of all a hookup, and that I was prone to anxiety and excelled at the disappearing act. 

The Jazz Fest

V came to Montreal, as planned, last week. He asked me to please go on a date with him – one with no assumptions. Feeling trapped, since he had made it abundantly clear for over 2 months that this trip was to see me, and not to be on vacation in a beautiful city with friends, I agreed to spend Saturday evening touring the city with him. He tried to see me on Thursday, even offering to drive to my side of town, but I told him “not to bother, I want an early night, big day at work tomorrow.” Sledge-hammer techniques. Vaguely, I wondered if the only reason he wanted to see me for the date was to murder me and cut me into little pieces as payback for the months of awful, humiliating set-downs I’d been giving him. I made sure to tell Nene and my roommate my plans for the evening, and gave both of them a deadline to call the cops if they hadn’t heard back from me by a certain time. Funny? No. Morbid. But that is what 2 months of being not listened to will do to a gal.

The date itself was awkward and ok at the same time. Part of me felt slightly bad, because it was almost romantic: dinner at my favorite wine bar, walk to the Old Port to watch the International Fireworks competition, outdoor concert at the Jazz Fest with a perfect balmy starry night sky… I figured, when planning my night, that I shouldn’t miss out on the glories of the city, just because I was faced with an awkward date!

Poor V. I can see how that date confused him. Although I refrained from being flirty, I couldn’t help but enjoy parts of the conversation, and relax (wine and romantic outdoor concerts will do that to me). He must have felt my signals were mixed. And perhaps they were – had his expectations not been so palpable, I would have been inclined to hookup with him, since he was a fun dude. But that is the thing: I could feel his expectations, and that made me very resentful. Because of that, he got two kisses on the cheek (à la française), and nothing else.

My boxers’ feedback

I told this saga to Coach and Nene, and their feedback was very simple: I blew it the second I sexted V. There was nothing I could say from that point on that would ever get through to him: it would just be interpreted as playing hard to get. As for my skepticism that a guy would really drive 6 hours just for a potential hookup, neither Nene nor Coach saw anything odd about that. (I think that’s insane!!!!) Coach told me that if I wanted to avoid these situations, I shouldn’t be a tease. Valid point. He also said my sledge-hammer techniques were too cute: the only way I could have avoided this two-month long anxious saga was to have completely cut ties with V and ignored all his messages and texts. 

Y’all, I think that’s nuts. I can’t, for the life of me, believe that both Coach and Nene honestly feel that it is normal for a guy to repeatedly ignore blatant, explicit, direct statements from me stating that I am not interested in a hookup. And yet, clearly, V did that. I also can’t believe that the only options I had, after making the initial mistake of sexting V, was to either hookup with him or ignore him. Why is no one proposing a 3rd option, that V LISTEN TO WHAT I WAS SAYING AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAID IT?! 

Coach made an analogy. A guy and a girl drunkenly hookup, and the next day the guy tries to explain to the girl that it was a mistake, they should just be friends, and the girl refuses to accept it, causing drama – Coach says that I did the Vanilla version of that.




Stuffed lobster vs bacon: bacon wins! (Obvi!)

Ok, so fine. I love Alphonse Le Comptable. And fine, I am aware that I am slightly unusual in granting him such a huge presence in our very corporate, serious finance department. Most grownups do not invent complete personalities for stuffed animals, at least, not publicly. I think my coworkers found me cute at first, then odd when my infatuation didn’t end. Granted, it is odd. But what can I do? Alphonse makes me smile.


Yesterday morning I joined 3 of my coworkers for coffee, in our company cafeteria. However, when I met with them, they were each in the process of ordering themselves a huge breakfast platter: eggs and bacon and sausage and ham and hashbrowns and toast, oh my! So much food. I decided to stick to my coffee, so as to leave room for jellybeans later in the day (#savvydieting).

One of my coworkers kindly offered me a piece of his bacon. A GIFT OF BACON!!! That, my friends, is a sign of selfless generosity. Did I ever mention that I work in the best company in the world? No? Well, I do. Bacon brings everyone together.  The moment of truth

I texted Nene, a notable foodie, to tell him of this bacontastic work environment. “Nene, I have the best coworker ever! He gave me some of his bacon! Isn’t that the greatest thing you ever heard?” I expected Nene to make noises of jealousy and/or approval. Instead, he replied, “Vanilla, I’m worried for you at this point.” Confused, I asked why? “This whole lobster thing!”

I never thought I would have to specify that I am capable of differentiating between human and stuffed lobster.





If it is good enough for Arnold, it is good enough for me

I chopped off all my hair on Saturday. (That sounds impressive, except my hair was already shortish – around chin or ear length.) I was aiming for an Anne Hathaway variation, adjusted for the fact that I have 63% less hair than her – she has SO MUCH hair.

My hairdresser did a good job, and I thought I looked fabulous.

On Monday, I expected a small brouhaha from my coworkers about my hairdo. Nobody mentioned it. Not one person. Silence. Crickets. Of course, that could only mean one thing – they thought my hairdo was hideous, 63% less awesome than Anne H’s mop-do. Dejected, I dragged myself to the gym after work, only to be met by Nene, who immediately noticed my hair, and commented, “You cut your hair! Looks good!” What a good man, that Nene.

“It looks like the hair of that actress, what’s-her-name, in that movie, you know which one I am talking about?” Ummm, no, Nene, you’ll have to be more specific.

“That actress, in the movie with Arnold.” Still lost, but at least Nene didn’t think I’d modeled my hair after Schwarzenegger himself, that’s a plus.

“Jamie Lee Curtis! That’s her name – In True Lies.” Nene, did you just say I look like a 40 year-old actress in a 90s action movie? Walk away, Nene, walk away.


No. That is NOT what my hair looks like.

But Nene gets full points for noticing I’d done anything with my hair at all. Despite being completely wrong about my source of inspiration, or even the supposed resemblance, Jamie Lee Curtis is awesome, and True Lies is one of my all time favorite movies. So, I’ll take it.