Monthly Archives: June 2010

Lots of Maxi Pads, Tampons and Pantiliners? Donate Them to Shelters!

Dear Valued Readers,

I have been inspired to write this post as a result of reading one in the previous weeks. The post itself was mostly centered around a man taking advantage of coupons and buying 39 packages of pantiliners. Suffice to say, this man had no use for so many pantiliners and many readers echoed my own thoughts… why not donate any extra maxi pads, tampons or pantiliners you have lying around? Having volunteered at shelter’s in the past (both genders), shelters often find themselves low on feminine hygiene products, especially if they have a larger intake of menstruating females (a la Women’s Shelter).

https://i0.wp.com/organizations.bloomu.edu/nsslha/images/womens%20shelter.gif

Women's Shelters needs your help! Please donate your NEW sanitary napkins and tampons to your local locations!

I will say though, for some odd reason, I find that many shelters but in their “needs list” that they request for sanitary pads (maxi or thin) but will omit tampons. I do not understand why, since both have their own merits, although I guess someone who uses strictly pads would not be comfortable using tampons, but those who use tampons at the very least will use pads. This never came to my mind, although if any of you work or have worked at a women’s shelter and know the “proper” answer to this, feel free to let me know!

I think when it comes to donating to shelters, sometimes these items tend to get overlooked. I know that when I volunteered (though they did not mention to the male-helpers) to female volunteers that if they could spare maxi pads to donate them. There are times when I have these great coupons that are “Save $5 on any 2 purchases of Stayfree, Carefree or O.B.” that if I catch a good sale at Shoppers Drug Mart, “$5.99 for any two Stayfree, Carefree or O.B.”  – I could actually get 2 items for only $0.99 (well plus tax and stuff) and then donate them to local shelters. I don’t live in a particular affluent city and I know there are many (although unknown to many) small shelters, particularly abused-women centers. I don’t want people to start thinking I’m a pervert or something just because I happen to know of even the “hidden” women’s shelter, but I have a lot of connections within my community who happen to sometimes have “less public” information.

https://i1.wp.com/www.hospeco.com/_images/photos/feminine_hygiene.jpg

Hospeco Sanitary Napkin and Tampon Dispenser

On a funny note, I found one particular shelter on the internet that requested for “maxi pads” and on several lines underneath, put in “Tampax”… I would hope to imagine they meant “tampon” since it’d be kind of strict to say they only want Tampax-brand products, LOL. Unfortunately, I have noticed that none of the women’s shelter needs-list I have looked at so far indicate the request of donation for any type of reusable products, but I would imagine that might be a bit too much work or too much discomfort to be used in a public shelter. I would think that if plausible, using something like Lunapads or Gladrags would help encourage re-usability of menstrual products since these women aren’t generally well-off enough to (sorry to those who may be offended by this) afford feminine hygiene products every month. Remember many of these women may be in shelters as a result of rape, physical/sexual abuse, emotional instability, homelessness, struggling single-mother’s, etc. who are in need of assistance and something as simple as those who live in a more luxurious environment take for granted, feminine hygiene products.

It dawned upon me that one time https://i2.wp.com/www.khas.com.my/khas/products_pictures/B106129.jpgwhen my friend was cleaning up his aunt’s house who passed away, he found a load of feminine hygiene products in her washroom. It did not cross our minds to donate them to charity to local shelters and instead, we gave them to his fellow family/friends. Now that I think about it, I’m sure that these would’ve been a lot better in the hands of those who are really needy. I don’t want to generalize that all women who show up in these shelters as being poor or anything like that, I simply know just from experience and listening around that shelters often lack feminine hygiene supplies because many people overlook donating such products.

The next time you happen to get free pads or tampons or even when there are good sales, don’t forget to get some extra and help the many women who are down-on-their-luck or under unfortunate circumstances, require our lending hand and products that we can spare. Don’t forget, if you’re one of those people who are considered in a decent financial position, you are a lot better off than many other! Take the time to donate to international and local charities. If you’re not in the habit of donating feminine hygiene supplies, everything from pots and dishes to monetary assistance is greatly appreciated by organizations and of course the recipients of it! With your help, we can lift at least one thing off a woman’s mind to help them concentrate on getting back up on their feet!

Although I am not affiliated with any particular charities, I can certainly thank you on their behalf.

Advertisements

Ontario HST – How Will It Affect Your Feminine Hygiene Products?

This article is just some FYI for (Ontarians) regarding the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) implementation on July 1, 2010. Luckily for many of us who purchase feminine hygiene supplies, you should be pleased to know (not that a tax-hike is exactly anything ‘good’) that there will be point-of-sale rebates for the provincial portion of the HST (8%) for several categories of items, one of which, includes feminine hygiene products.

As per the Ontario Ministry of Revenue,

Point-of-sale rebate

Other products will be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate for the provincial part of the HST. This means you will only pay the 5 per cent federal portion of the HST. These include print newspapers, books (including audio books), diapers, children’s clothing and footwear, children’s car seats and booster seats, feminine hygiene products, and qualifying prepared food and beverages sold for $4.00 or less.

The bottom line is that the new changes with HST implementation in 2 days will not affect your purchase of pads, tampons or reusable menstrual hygiene products in Ontario. The current tax rate for feminine hygiene products are staying steady at 5% (the GST portion).

Of particular interest to those who may require the use of incontinence products should also be relieved as there are also no changes to the existing tax rates. Adult incontinence products currently are not taxed by GST or PST and will not be taxed under the new HST terms.

Health Products and Services

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Adult Incontinence Products No GST No PST No HST

All this HST is bullshit anyways, but at the very least, ladies and flow-lovers should be happy to know that we won’t have to pay attentional taxes for feminine hygiene, incontinence products and diapers.

Anyways, the government does a great job of hurting law-abiding taxpayers, so I can’t wait to see everything start going underground to avoid taxes. It’s been happening since day 1 that taxes were implemented, and now that they’re hurting people even more with this, they can sure as hell expect a lot of cash and black-market transactions happening more and more to avoid that nasty 13%. Do they think there’s more corrupt citizens than the number of auditors they have? Way to encourage more people to think of “alternate” methods!

My Weekend Stuffing My Face

Ah, another weekend gone already! Damn, two days is way to short! However, I guess I do have Tuesday off for vacation day (the last of my overtime) and then I we have Thursday off for the upcoming Canada Day!

Past Canada Day Niagara Falls, ON - Fireworks

So I have a pretty engaging weekend, in fact, I must say it actually felt long since there was so much done! On Saturday, my friends and I arranged to meet up at a Canadian-Chinese buffet. Actually to be fair, it is a Canadian-Chinese-Japanese buffet, lol. They had your usual “basic” Chinese food like battered shrimp, wonton, fried chicken, fries, salads,  desserts and etc. They also had a small selection of Japanese sushi, salmon, California and avocado. Obviously it is not a place you’d go to “impress people” but every once in a while the group of us likes to hang out for “Chinese food” at places that our parents would mock us. The price is $6.99 and while you should not expect amazing decor and perfect service, the food quality surpasses the $6.99 expectations. It was a bit of a drive since I had to go out to Mississauga (about 35 minute drive), but I think I go out there more than I hang out in my own city, haha.

After lunch, we went to a mall and shopped around a bit. I’m not much of a “buyer” of things, so I just pretty much tagged along and just chatted while a couple of my other friends bought stuff. We happened upon a store that had these crazy clearances. Could you imagine, $2.50 for a robed-hoodie (not sure if that’s actually what it’s called – that’s what my friends called it, haha). It was so cute and came in grey or blue! I really wanted to buy one for my girlfriend, only to realize I don’t know what she fits in, LOL. Isn’t it sad? haha. I supposed XS and S would’ve done it, but the last thing you ever want to do is the buy a girl the wrong size (especially if it’s too big – ‘cuz then she thinks you’re calling her fat)! I know she’d like it because it’s definitely something she would wear (based on tastes of her clothing that I pick up on 😛 – I’m not totally retarded, haha).

However, I ended up not getting it because I don’t know when she’ll get over the cold shoulders and start talking to me again 😦 It has been a month of unhappiness and partial anger – bleh. I know this time it has only been a month and a bit, compared to 6 months of last time… but still, my temper and patience has limits. I don’t understand why I give her the “best of myself” and my happy-face but she wants to see my anger and vengeance side so much. I thought most people would much rather see someone happy than when they’re a volcano waiting to erupt. I suppose if I could answer every question about what/why people think the way they do, it’ll be the day I can answer the meaning of life.

The Blind Side (2009)

Anyways, we returned to my friend’s house and we all watched a movie. Most of us fell asleep on the first one because we all felt fatigued after a buffet lunch! My friend’s boyfriend had to go to work, so the rest of us watched Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. This was the first time ever that I thought Sandra Bullock was so damn attractive – perhaps enhanced by the role she played in the movie. Watching Sandra Bullock throughout the movie was just ‘wow’! You might think that most of us watched this for “the hot woman” – but hardly, as the movie was actually picked by a girl and there was no revealing clothing or suggestive scenes. I’m not sure whether a movie like this would fall under the category of chick-flick, but I thought it was one of those movies with your typical “I want to cry”-happy endings. None of us fell asleep during this movie because it was great and probably because we were more awake now that we had our little snooze during the previous movie.

One of the girl’s were completely exhausted and then I ended up finding out that she was on her period and she tends to be more tired when that happens. Unfortunately having some previous health issues a few years ago, whenever she has her period and loses blood, she is not as energetic and easily-tired out. She didn’t tell me but I ended up finding out when I went to the washroom, the wastebasket was stacked up high with wrapped up pads and tampon applicators. It had been quite a few days since she got it and she barely had the mood to tackle emptying out the garbage. I offered to empty it out for her and bring it to the garbage chute, but she blushed and said she wouldn’t want me to have to get so close to her “dirty things” – not that I would’ve minded anyways. A few minutes after the 2nd movie ended, her boyfriend came home so we spent a bit of time decided what to do for dinner.

Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side

We all decided we wanted to go to Denny’s, since it was my friend’s fav and after all, we have to spoil her when she’s on her period (lol – I don’t think anyone else knew, just me… but I was enough to “sway the votes” haha). This is my first time trying Denny’s and it was excellent. The last time I saw it was in Niagara Falls and I’ve never had the chance to eat there (since we usually do a picnic or buffet there), so I finally got my chance 😛 Is it bad when I spoil my girls and girlfriend when they’re on their period? LOL… tsk tsk. I really wanted to try the milkshake there, but it was $4.29 (geezz) and it was like 9PM already so I really didn’t want to get too full and kill my daily calorie count (although the lunch buffet probably massacred that already :lol:).

As we were driving home, we couldn’t decide whether to call it a night or not. It was about 10:30 and their hot-tub/sauna/pool closes at 11, so we decided to soak ourselves for half an hour. I didn’t bring my shorts but luckily her boyfriend had one I could borrow and they had plenty of spare towels. We enjoyed our 1/2 hour steaming the fat outta ourselves due to spending a whole day stuffing our faces with food. It was about 11:20 when we got back upstairs (she lives in a Condo). I asked her boyfriend if I could “borrow” his girlfriend for a bit because I really wanted to take a walk outside just to spew about things and my relationship problems to her and listen to her worldly advice. We walked two condos over, which happens to be the same one where I dropped off my girlfriend last time to her friend’s. It was wonderful, I smiled and felt really happy. I remember the night I dropped her off after a beautiful dinner in Mississauga followed by a great weekend for the both of us. She was so cute as I got her luggage from my trunk and gave it to her. I remember the smiles, the warmth, her beauty, her shyness with not knowing how to ‘end the night’ and how happy I felt inside. I cannot wait until I can feel that same happiness again. We talked for a bit and then returned to her place. It was almost midnight but everyone was still up for a few rounds of The Beatles: Rockband, so we played that. We were surprized we managed to get through it without getting a call from security for disturbing the peace. We did try to tone it down of course out of courtesy of other tenants. I did vocals as usual and even attempted expert-mode (which I did successfully :D)!

One of the girl’s just crashed and we all decided it was time to call it a night. We all thanked them for hosting the party (rather casual one) and we all took our ways. I had to go pick up my mom from my aunt’s house, then headed on home. It was just shy of 2AM as I got home and I only spent about 1/2 hour on the computer mopping up from missed Facebooking, Twittering and MSNing as I had a ton of messages I needed to reply to… but, a few of them I left them for the next day since they weren’t urgent. I had no energy left to update MiM, so I apologize to those who received late replies from me 😛

Today I did not do much expect wrap up some paper-work for my business and play games on the computer. I woke up early to talk to Amy on Skype before she had to go to sleep and then my mom dragged me out later in the evening to mow the lawn and do some gardening. I painfully had to chop yet another (miniature) tree down and it totally killed me. We have this really shitty compliment of tools which aren’t “fit to do the job” … a 15 year-old axe that isn’t even sharp anymore. If you were to hit someone with that axe, you’d likely do more blunt damage than slashing damage. So this small little stump and it took me like 20 minutes to break through it. Also, it was low to the ground so I was crouched all that time and causing me to get some massive leg cramps. I thought it was really stupid because my mom sometimes likes just to “waste my time” as the stump didn’t need to be removed. NEED – being the keyword. I should mention that even being clothed in thick material and doused in mosquito-repellant, I still managed to get TWO black-fly bites square on my back and it’s HUGE – I haven’t even scratched it yet! I get annoyed with staying out too long because of mosquitoes, not because I dislike being outside.

Having done all that made me hungry, so as she made dinner, I didn’t have enough time to start a game with my friends yet, so I decided just to sit there and daydream about my girlfriend (lol… shhh…). I equate this to the way that Poh Ching just goes gaga over Taylor Lautner and how impossible it is for a guy to be as perfect as him… and I think how impossible it is for bebe to be so beautiful (inside AND out) that it blows my mind. Sometimes I even let out (MANLY!!!) giggles and yelps when I think of all the cute things she does and how awesome it is that she’s rather shy, LOL. I don’t even know what I want… do I want a shy girl or an outgoing girl? 😆 Men eh, we can’t make up our minds!

So yep… here I am, typing this now. I gotta get back to my TVB drama, so I’ll update here again soon! I’ve been working on getting the media transferred over to my Youtube account so that I can start sharing playlists and favourites on here. It’s hard to integrate it to here because of media restrictions for the “unpaid” version of WordPress, but oh well, I’m sure I can get around it!

Toodles for now, night everyone.

Judging Someone Hastily May Be Costly To Yourself

Hrm… something happened to me the other day that made me ponder how judging someone hastily may end up costing yourself! Suffice to say, we all judge people immediately from the first time we see them to the last time we see them – but some judgments are more educated than others. On Tuesday, I had a day off and decided with nothing better to do, I joined my aunt, uncle and mom to lunch which they originally had planned. Since it was not a “formal gathering” I decided to dress simple (especially on a day-off where I don’t have to wear “work clothes”), a t-shirt and jeans. This is definitely a rare treat for me to be able to dress-down since other times I’m either in dress pants/dress shirt or at the very least, business-casual collared shirt w/ slacks or khakis. To be honest, I think in a way, I’ve grown out of dressing down, even by choice. Perhaps to me, I want to ensure I maintain a professional-look even on my “off days” because you never know who you may bump into, whether an existing or potential client.

Nevertheless, we had a lunch at a nearby family dining restaurant, one of our favourites because they have 5.49 lunch specials (Includes coleslaw, choice of potatoes and an entree)! We’re also regulars there, so we also get our VIP card “stamped” for a free meal on the 5th visit and as well we have a $5 off coupon on each of our visits (with minimum restrictions of course). After the meal, we decided we didn’t want to head home since I had a day off and our aunt/uncle had came all the way in from Mississauga, so we wanted to go wander around a nearby mall.

My mom enjoys walking at this mall every day because it is close-to-home and to her, all it matters is that it’s an “indoor mall” because she does it for her morning exercises and a place to have a muffin and coffee. We passed by one of her favourite jewelry stores. Recently, my side job has been providing me with some extra income so I thought I’d spoil my mom with something nice. We usually aren’t very picky with our salesperson, but out of all the ones available (about 5-6 on the front counter), we only knew 1 of them. I would hardly say we’re “regulars” but my mom goes into the mall a lot and is recognized by many of the employees there.

As I walked in, I noticed several salespeople who looked up and simply put their heads back down. It was very unusual because of the many times I’ve walked into this establishment, I’ve always been greeted and asked if I needed assistance. The lady who we usually deal with was busy with another customer and it isn’t like we “had” to talk to her, so any other person would’ve done. At that point, we didn’t have a plan of buying anything, but certainly, even random people who walk in to browse usually get a lot better treatment. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t wearing a suit or “looked rich” and therefore received no attention. The lady who we normally dealt with saw us, smiled, waved and politely gestured that she was attending to another customer.

My mom peered into the displays as usual, checking out a variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. We looked from everything from the cheapie stuff (a couple dollars) to the more expensive thousand-dollar ones. Yes, I realize there are also diamonds which exceed the $10,000 amount, but it wasn’t like we were planning on buying those. My mom and I spent about 20 minutes looking at all the displays and all the salespeople just seemed to have ignored us. Suffice to say, it wasn’t like I was dressed “off the street” like a bum, unruly, dirty and smelly – I didn’t feel like having to “dress up” just to go for lunch.

The lady who we normally dealt with finished and she approached my mom and I. She looked around and thought it was weird that none of the other salespeople asked if we needed assistance. We explained the usual pleasantries and we said we were just browsing but would let her know if we wanted to see something out of the display case. The several times I’ve been to this shop, I had been looking at getting a bracelet for my mom since I had already gotten her a necklace, ring and pair of earrings. I always ask her why she doesn’t wear them, but she says she likes to save them for occasions and also because those accessories are easier to lose. She said a bracelet might be a bit easier to match with her clothing. I noticed this one…

It’s not “the best of the best” but I have been looking at it for a while. It was rather expensive at it’s original price of $750CAD, but was on sale so I asked my mom if she wanted me to buy it for her! It’s a nice 10kt yellow gold, but unfortunately the diamond wasn’t a full carat 😦 I did spot a 1 carat diamond ring, but she said she didn’t want me to spend that kind of money.

Actually, the last time I bought my mom something, I was also eyeing something for my girlfriend and you know what’s great about her? It’s the fact she doesn’t try to “compare” herself with my mom. I told her the one I thought that would look great on her wasn’t as expensive as the one I got for my mom, but she said it’s very normal for me to prioritize my mom over her. She also mentioned she wouldn’t be jealous if I had spent more on a present for my mom rather than her. She’s understanding and holds family hierarchy and traditional values tightly and that’s amazing. It’s very rare that you hear girls being so 大方 (generous attitude towards something). Honestly, one of the greatest pains about being a son when it comes to family is the fact he always has to be stuck in a position where he has to chose girlfriend/wife or mom. Something like that is the bane of every son in this world (with a living mother). Luckily for me, I can happily know (err.. hope) they won’t get into petty squabbles, because I care about both of them in different ways. In jest though, women always “say one thing and think another” so although she says she wouldn’t be jealous, I have a feeling if something like that happens in the future, I’m sure that night I’ll be sleeping on the couch 😆 HAHAHA.

Ah shit, back to the story. So trying to get service was pretty hard and you know, I’m used to walking into a store and being asked if I needed help. This has nothing to do with me being “high up” – it’s just that I dislike bothering people if they are engaged in other matters. I will usually wait for a salesperson who is free before I ask them something, whether it is in a jewelry store or the supermarket. The lady who went usually dealt with noticed that my mom and I were discussing whether we wanted it (in Chinese) and she came over asking us if we wanted to see something. My mom tried it on and she liked it, so we proceeded with the purchase. As the lady took it to the counter to perform the transaction and wrapped it up, all the other salespeople suddenly flocked over and asked us if there was more we needed assistance. Funny that just moments ago, they didn’t even bother to lift their heads and acknowledge our presence until we actually bought something. We received the bag and we happily left the store.

It’s interesting how we as humans often perceive people based on outward appearances. I will not say I’m one of the guys with impeccable tidiness or dress-for-success (when I go out casually), but I’m certainly presentable and clothed. I dress for the ocassion and I dislike it when people make the assumption of whether I look “fit to purchase something.” I suppose all the other salespeople didn’t bother serving us because I looked poor (not that I’m claiming to be rich either though) or even if I did buy something, it would be something cheap where it wouldn’t be worth their effort to serve us. In the end, we bought something that could easily equate to commission worth a full days of work or at the very least, half a days pay for your average household (in a matter of 30 minute serving us). I understand when it comes to serving customers, there are no guarantees they will buy something and many “experienced salespeople” will say they can spot those who are truly interested in browsing or ones who are actually buying. Maybe these people just weren’t experienced enough to spot us or perhaps a misjudgment on their part, but it was a foolish act because any other one of those salespeople could’ve been the one to win this transaction had they taken the time to even reach out their hands in assistance.

I learned this lesson at a young age, that it is a grave mistake to judge people too hastily. I remember when I went to meet one of my dad’s friend (we respectfully call our elder male friends “uncle” in Chinese relations) at a high-class hotel for lunch. We did not pick the place (since we’re not of that wealth-level) and I thought it was very awkward that when uncle arrived, he was dressed in some shaggy shorts, had sandals on and looked like he just got out of bed. I quietly whispered into my dad’s ear whether that is “actually the person we’re meeting” and sure enough, it was. It turns out this uncle owns about 3 buildings in Hong Kong and is a major shareholder across many 5-star HK hotels. What I also didn’t see was that he arrived in a personal limo, the CEO of the hotel came down to greet him and call him by name when he arrived and that all the workers bowed their heads and called him Mr. ____ as he walked by – all this, I did not see and could not fathom for a man who could easily pass as a guy who picked up cans off the street. From then on, it was a great lesson at a young age to not judge people by exterior means, unless you have something to back up those judgments. “Wealth” is not always something that can necessarily be seen either. As I was told by my dad later, uncle’s bank account balance more trailing 0’s (zeroes) than the number of holes I had on my belt.

The next time (especially for people involved with sales) you decide to judge someone based on exterior appearances, think again for they may have surprizes you don’t know about. Don’t overlook people until you have the facts!

Judge Judy.... tsk tsk

First Time I’ve Felt an Earthquake in Canada – Toronto-Ottawa (Magnitude 5.5)

I must say… this is the first time I’ve felt an earthquake before. I was sitting in my office when I could feel the ground shaking. We usually have a lot of workers patching up our building, construction outside our building and sometimes even large trucks pounding through the street, but it lasted almost a minute before it stopped, much longer and consistent than any construction or jack-hammering.

I did have an immediate thought that, “wow, this feels like an earthquake” – but I could not imagine something like this happening here, since it is rare that Ontario gets such noticeable quakes. Suffice to say as I’m typing this, my mom just called to make sure I was ok. Of course as a son, I would call her to check-up on her, but she also attends water aerobics in the morning and is usually out of the house and she doesn’t have a cell-phone so I wasn’t able to get a hold of her. Also, had it not been for some talk around the office, I wouldn’t even know that really was an earthquake. The heavier items in my office didn’t move, but I noticed some lighter items, especially my business cards were off to the right side of the holder (ya, I notice things like that, I’m anal about the way I organize things)! My mom told me that she got a bunch of calls from friends in Toronto and stuff who “felt it greatly” but she says she didn’t even know or could feel anything. I’m glad we have a good foundation and a sturdy house but damn, this is rather shocking.

I just messaged my bebe just to make sure she was ok, but it’s pretty expected I won’t hear a response, lol… girls and their cold shoulder-syndromes =\ Oh well, I guess I could always check up on her just to make sure she’s ok. 😛 I have an appointment with my financial advisor in an hour, so time to pack-up at work and head there. I figured if I die in this earthquake, at least all my finances will be in-order 😆 I wonder if it’ll take something really bad to happen to bring us together 😐 I sure as hell hope not! I want to still live my life happily with her… LOL – I know, it’s just a small earthquake compared to many places around the world, I’m just exaggerating a bit!

Stats:

# Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 17:41:42 UTC
# Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 01:41:42 PM at epicenter
Location    45.862°N, 75.457°W
Depth    18 km (11.2 miles) set by location program
Region    ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA
Distances

* 38 km (24 miles) N (356°) from Cumberland, Ontario, Canada
* 44 km (28 miles) NNE (21°) from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
* 51 km (32 miles) NNE (26°) from Hull, Quebec, Canada
* 53 km (33 miles) NNE (21°) from OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada

Could you imagine this is happening at such a coincidental time as the G20? Maybe this is indicative of the discontent our creator (whoever that may be).

5 Reasons to Look Forward to Having Your Next Period (via Beat the Syndrome)

I realize from a guy’s standpoint and not knowing what the pain/inconvenience of periods feel like, I assure you just as this author does, that having your period CAN be something you can learn to appreciate. Men, given that we really have little comparison to make between what girls go through during their menstrual cycle, we should be understanding and compassionate. We should be a positive support for our female counterparts. After all, if we’re negative towards a situation, that negativity will only make things worse. Likewise, being positive may influence those around us to feel positively or at the very LEAST, not feel worse. Menstruation is a blessing which nature have gifted us, the ability for our sperm to meet with the female egg to produce a new life. Without menstruation, we would not be alive today. Don’t you owe it to your girlfriend, wife and mother to have some practical knowledge of what menstruation is all about? Such, is the beauty of menstruation.

5 Reasons to Look Forward to Having Your Next Period

If you go to Google and ask it what the benefits of having a period are, the results are not as informative as you would think. Many hits lead you to sites that explain how to make the time between each cycle longer. There are many reasons why a woman would want to space out her periods (pain, mood swings, discomfort) but I wonder if this attempt to alter a cycle (if it is regular in the first place) is another method to try and make any references to menstruation disappear.

Perhaps we, as a society, need to focus on promoting the benefits of menstruation instead of always focusing on the negative.

Aside from pregnancy (and some women will argue that that is not necessarily a benefit), what else does the menstrual cycle do to a woman’s body?

  1. Guards against Cancer: the shedding of the uterine lining helps stop excess cell division so that these cells do not become malignant/cancerous.
  2. Lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease: the menstrual cycle gets rid of excess iron as well as bacteria from the reproductive tract.
  3. Slows the aging process: less iron means that there are less “free radicals” in the blood, which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
  4. Could prevent other forms of disease: the color, odor, and texture of menstrual blood can reveal signs of developing illness.
  5. Improves mood and appearance: “The hormonal recipe that kicks in on or about day three or four triggers a significant improvement in how women feel and look,” says Dr Rebecca Booth, author of The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of your Cycle…at Any Age.

These are things to celebrate. Yes,  premenstrual symptoms are not always the most delightful things to experience, but the actual act of menstruation is not dirty, or unclean, or demeaning, or shameful. It is a disease-fighting, age-fighting, mood-enhancing marvel.

via Beat the Syndrome

Stayfree Secure Beltless Sanitary Napkin

Stayfree Secure Beltless Sanitary Napkin Package

Ok, so it has been a while since I’ve made a periodtastic post and after all, isn’t this why most of us read this blog anyways? … not to read about my life, but to read about the fun of menstruation and feminine hygiene 😀

I wanted to test out the Stayfree Secure that I’ve been reading so much about. According to what I’ve read, Stayfree Secure was supposed to be the “lower-end version” of the regular Stayfree which we are so accustomed to in North America. With the ones I’ve found in the Asian mart’s, they did not appear to be of lower grade, but in fact, had contours and patterns even better than the standard Stayfree. Suffice to say, I really wanted to test them out since I wanted to see how much “lower grade” that it really is, but the version in the picture above is different than the one I had expected. I had found this at a farmer’s store and these ones seemed like the ones you would imagine when maxi pads first became available. They looked like something that your mother or grandmother would have likely used. Even from the package itself, the fact it is still labeled as a “sanitary napkin” (which is rare in Canada) and that they specifically state “beltless” really makes you wonder how old this package really is, haha. The markings on the package says it was packaged in 2004 yet it says best used within 3 years of production. Suffice to say, this would make the package 6-years old. From what I understand, Stayfree Secure is a prominent line of Stayfree products in India, providing a low-cost sanitary napkin solution for women who do not have the money to buy “better grade” menstrual products.

The Stayfree Secure package I aimed for but instead, got this one in-hast... tsk tsk, my fault.

When I got home and took a closer look at the package, I then realized the minor detail, lol. However, I did not feel there were any noticeable quality degradation as a result of being older than the package recommendation. They were selling the package next to laundry detergent, so the pads had a scented smell even though they were unscented natively 😆 Having noticed the fact the package used the terms sanitary napkin and beltless really made me think what I was in-store for when I opened the package – expecting this really flimsy and unimaginable-to-use product. The shape of the pad was quite interesting, resembling a lack of creativity during the design process! All this sanitary napkin is, is seriously a rectangular wad of cotton stuffed between an adhesive bottom and a top-cover. Although I was not overly impressed with the design of the pad itself, I can definitely say that the cottony cover made it worthwhile! I’m sure Maysea and Poh Ching will agree that cottony covers rule too! 🙂

Back of the Stayfree Secure Package

The absorbency and “lock in” feature was quite amazing given the appearance of the quality. I found that this pad would even give some current-day-brand-name pads a run for their money. Their claim of the adhesive system was questionable however. There’s quite a bit of potential movement because the adhesive at the bottom of the pad was, 1) not sticky enough, and 2) did not cover enough area. Should the user be wearing tight underwear, this should not be an issue, but I think its ability to stay-put without wings, tight underwear and good adhesives under rapid activities such as sports would pose quite a leak risk. The tapered end of the pad certainly does help with any front-overflows or rear-overflows. I believe these pads would be inconvenient for use outside of the house though because they are not individually-packaged like we’re all used to, perhaps what one would call a luxury because even when I saw pads for the first time 21 years ago, the pads then were all just out-of-the-package like as shown below. Imagine having to carry a pad in your purse or bag without a separate wrapper and in full-size! Yep, this is definitely the evolution of pads since disposable/beltless pads were made available. The pad is extremely rectangular and it’s literally like a “brick in your underwear” 😆

Stayfree Secure Package opened up and sanitary napkins revealed without individual-packaging

Although the back of the package gave it away how the pad looks and how serious I was when I say it is “very rectangular” – but here it is… the real-deal.

Stayfree Secure Sanitary Napkin (Top-View)

This is your typical pad you’d find in pad dispensers that dispense “last resort” pads. It has little design and contour, but a huge wad of cotton packed in between the top and low layers. The cottony soft cover feels nice and does not feel abrasive or sticky, even when wet. The thing that seemed to bug me the most was the fact that because the cotton is not packed-tightly like modern pads, when wet, the cotton within shifts around which may cause discomfort and also a potential for menstrual flow to “come back up” or the bunching action may result in uneven distribution of flow/cotton, resulting in an accident. Because of how rectangular the pad is though, after bunching or crunching, the pad does “revert to its original shape” due to the rigidness. Given that this is supposed to be a “low-quality” pad, I certainly cannot be comparing this to brand-name products and expectations. Given that these pads were extremely inexpensive, the comfort and absorbency is definitely on-par!

Stayfree Secure Pad flipped over, revealing the adhesive strip. However, the adhesive portion is not as large as the strip itself.

I’m not quite sure whether the lack of stickiness of the adhesive is as a result of the “expiry” of the pad, but the strip itself is quite thin and would not survive well with loose underwear or rapid movements. This would be a great pad to use at-home since it does not have individual packaging and requires a more watchful eye since the quality may not be as reliable. One thing I will not undermine is the comfort of this particular version of the Stayfree Secure, although I must say this is exactly the type of pad that tampon-users would dub, “feels like wearing a diaper” since it is fairly long, thick and is in the shape of a brick! The pad is not very weighty since after all, it’s just cotton and some light cover material.

Look at the thickness of the Stayfree Secure - I think that'd scare most pad-users, lol.

Ya, those are my ugly fingers holding it up, haha. But as you can see, this is definitely not a thin pad by any means and would definitely cause a bit of a bulge through underwear (but not visible through pants of course). Let’s just wrap it up and say this pad is definitely worth the cost, but don’t expect miracles out of it. Comfort in terms of thickness is not all that great, but comfort in terms of the feel and texture is excellent. The potential moving cotton within the pad may be of concern, but the absorbency is superior for a low-grade pad. Wrapping the pad for disposal is quite hard due to the lack of adhesiveness and the thickness just compounds the difficulty. It is best just to throw it away as-is, but I’m sure that’d be an unsightly vision for some. Folding it in half also seems like a good way to “cover the mess” but make it compact enough for disposal. I suppose given that these type of pads were more of the 1980’s, early 1990’s development, “getting rid of the evidence” wasn’t on their list of top-priorities when it came to menstrual hygiene.

I can’t wait to get an opportunity to try one of the nicer Stayfree Secure’s that I can get from the Asian mart with the blue/yellow packaging. Those seem to be much closer version of modern Stayfree maxi pads that people use nowadays without the thickness, better contour/design and security through enhanced adhesive and wings.

譚詠麟 -朋友 (Alan Tam – Friends)

I really wanted to find a good song for my Wednesday post, but couldn’t find one that really I could use. Apparently after reviewing most of my music collection, many of them are Chinese love songs which really wouldn’t be suitable for the occasion, haha. Found an excellent one that fits the bill perfectly! Holy, this is a timeless classic. For those who have grown up in a Chinese family, I’m sure you’ll have heard this song a million times already, LOL.

Translation by: thekeck

譚詠麟 -朋友

Alan Tam – Friends

繁星流動    和你同路
All the stars floating here and there, I walk this road with you
從不相識開始心接近
We never met each other in the past, but now our hearts begin to move closer
默默以真摯待人
Quietly, we treat each other with true sincerity

人生如夢    朋友如霧
Life is like a dream, friends are like a mist
難得知心几經風暴
It is rare to find friends who intimate understand you, and will weather the storms and rain with you
為著我不退半步正是你
It is because of you then I will not take a step backward

遙遙晚空點點星光息息相關
In this faraway night sky, the scatter of stars appear so closely connected
你我那怕荊棘鋪滿路
You & I, even if this road is lined with thistles and thorns
替我解開心中的孤單
You will help me (literally translation is ‘on my behalf’) undo the loneliness in my heart
是誰明白我
It is you whom understands me best
情同兩手一起開心一起悲傷
Our friendship like two hands, passing through the good times and the times of pain
彼此分擔不分我或你
Share each other’s worries and responsibilities, with no differentiation between you and I
你為了我     我為了你
You for me, and I for me
共赴患難絕望里緊握你手
Together, we will pass through trials and troubles and overcome all hopelessness, as I tightly grip your hand
朋友
As friends

Can YOU Live on $18,000 a Year? I Sure as Hell Can’t.

This entry is definitely not “on-topic” of my blog theme, but after reading it, I really thought it was worthy of being posted. Please note that everything between the quotes have been dumped directly from the news article and I take no credit for the contents. A lot of the times, I consider my financial situation. I ask myself, am I making enough? Am I saving enough? Am I reducing my quality-of-life by being too frugal? If I spend more, does that equate to my happiness? Am I spending on the right things? Do I think too much before I spend? Do I have money for a rainy day? Am I truly keeping reliable spending records? Am I overestimating how much I really have available to use?

I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks of these things on a regular basis. Suffice too say, I am not in a situation where I must watch every penny that goes out, but certainly, it is a wise thing to be wary of where a person spends their money. Unlike one point in my life, I know that earning money is quite difficult. Maybe for some, you can sit on your ass and money is being earned every second, but that is not the case for me. Every dollar I earn is from sweat, blood and tears (metaphorically).

Feel free to check out the original entry on MSN.CA by clicking on the link which I embedded into the title of the article below. This is amazing… I really wish I could live a comfortable lifestyle and only spend that much! Imagine how much money I could put away every year – sheesh. Right now, I’m pretty content with living within my means, but I always want to strive and become more efficient. After all, there’s always space for improvement!

By Liz Pulliam Weston, June 16, 2010

Living on $18,000 a year — by choice

Meet three people who live on that amount (or much less) while following their dreams. They’re thrifty, sure, but also content.

The term “low-income” is usually a synonym for “poor.” But I just interviewed three people who wouldn’t use that word to describe themselves, even though they live on $18,000 a year or less — in two of the cases, much less — without going into debt.

Their ages are 25, 44 and 60. They’re all college-educated and have chosen to live frugally so they can pursue their own interests.

Their stories are relevant for a couple of reasons. First, they show what’s possible when you let go of consumerism and the hamster wheel of spending too much and then having to work to pay off your debts.

Second, their thrifty habits offer lessons on how you may wind up having to live if you don’t get cracking on building up your retirement savings. That figure, $18,000, is about what you’d get over a year if one were to draw average U.S. Social Security benefits (now about $1,200 a month) and tapped 4% of a $100,000 nest egg.

(Four percent is usually considered a “sustainable” withdrawal rate, meaning you’re unlikely to run out of money before you die. The $100,000 nest egg at retirement age may be a stretch for some; Employee Benefit Research Institute surveys indicate half of all U.S. workers have less than $25,000 saved (.pdf file).)

Here’s who these three frugal folks are:

Tyler Tervooren, 25. Until recently, Tervooren earned $56,000 a year as a construction manager. But he lives so thriftily in Portland, Ore. — his expenses are about $14,000 a year — that he was able to save the bulk of his salary. He’s now enrolled in a state program that allows people to collect unemployment benefits while they launch their own businesses — in Tervooren’s case, a blog called Advanced Riskology that encourages people to take more risks in their lives.

“Since I earned so much but spent so little, the amount of unemployment insurance I get covers all of my living expenses and actually allows me to still save a little bit,” Tervooren explained. “My savings cushion can support me for almost four years — (even) until I’m 30, if I need it to — before I have to start earning money again.”

Nancy Tudor, 44. Tudor earns about $10,000 a year from two part-time jobs, and she says it’s enough to meet her needs. She’s earned more in the past — she recently returned from a job teaching Renaissance history in London that paid about $30,000 a year — but prefers her simpler life in Albuquerque, N.M.

“I had the apartment overlooking the Thames and the flat-screen TV. It just felt really empty,” Tudor said. “I decided to come home to the desert and be a lot simpler.”

Carol Holst, 60. Once upon a time, Holst was married to a corporate executive and raising two daughters in Beverly Hills, Calif. When the marriage ended two decades ago, she turned down the court-ordered alimony, figuring she didn’t need the money but that he did.

“It would have reduced his lifestyle and wouldn’t have changed mine,” Holst said. “I’d still be living in a one-bedroom apartment in Glendale, and he’d be cursing me.”

Holst said she’s figured out how much is “enough” and lives happily on the $18,000 she nets from her part-time job as an office administrator. She enjoys the work but really likes the time it allows for her true passion, which is sharing what she’s learned about voluntarily simplicity. From the bedroom of her apartment, Holst runs the website Postconsumers.com, which promotes the idea that you don’t have to buy to be happy.

All three credit their parents for helping to instil the ideals of thrift and careful money management. Tudor also remembers grandparents who talked about the Great Depression and a prevailing ethic “that if you wanted something, you saved up for it.”

That includes education. Tervooren attended an in-state university with inexpensive tuition for residents, and he worked several jobs to pay for it. Tudor got a master’s degree on a scholarship that included student housing and a $1,000-a-month stipend, which was enough to cover her expenses and those of her now-grown daughter.

Tudor asked the girl, who was 6 at the time, to identify what was most important to her, explaining that they didn’t have money to buy everything they wanted.

“She wanted money to buy books . . . and to take dance lessons,” Tudor remembers. So Tudor carefully budgeted money to cover those expenses. Tudor believes that explaining their financial situation and soliciting her daughter’s input staved off demands for more stuff.

“She understood,” Tudor says. “It wasn’t ‘I want, I want, I want’ all the time.”

The three have other things in common that allow them to live, and save, on tiny incomes:

Cheap housing. Holst has a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Glendale, Calif., that costs her $780 a month. Tervooren shares a four-bedroom home with his girlfriend and four friends, splitting the $1,200 rent six ways. Tudor rents a room in a retired couple’s home, sharing the upstairs bathroom with another tenant, for $400 a month including WiFi and utilities.

By contrast, the typical single person spends $1,074 a month on housing, while couples spend an average $1,521 and families with kids spend $1,947, according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Renting is often a lot cheaper than owing, and sharing a home with other people can lower your costs still further. Homeownership is tough to pull off on a low income unless your mortgage is equally tiny or paid off. You also would need to be protected from big property-tax increases, either because home values don’t grow much in your area or because such taxes are capped, as they are in California. Even then, you have to find a way to pay for repairs and maintenance, which can total thousands of dollars a year.

Cheap transportation. Holst owns an 8-year-old, paid-for Prius that costs her about $1,500 a year, including insurance, maintenance and fuel. Tervooren has a 20-year-old pickup that he’s learned to maintain and repair himself, but he says he usually walks or bikes wherever he needs to go, spending less than $1,200 a year on transportation. Tudor doesn’t own a car and instead uses Albuquerque’s bus system.

By comparison, the typical American household spends $8,604 a year to finance, fuel, repair, maintain and insure a car or cars, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Cheap thrills. The three keep a handle on the other costs that tend to bust the budget, including clothing, technology and food. Clothes come from thrift stores, and all three cut their own hair. Holst has broadband Internet access and cable TV but no cell phone. Tervooren does without television.

“I make a hobby out of finding hobbies that I can do for free,” Tervooren said. That keeps him “from having any need for the distraction of a TV and its expensive cable service.”

Eating out is not a big part of the budget for the two women. Holst budgets $30 a week for food. Tudor spends even less — $99 a month — deducting the costs of dinners out from the total so she knows how much she has left to spend.

Tervooren’s spending on food — about $350 a month — is closer to the U.S. average spent by single people. He and his girlfriend take advantage of local theatre pubs that offer drinks, dinner and a movie for a reasonable price.

“I don’t try to cut a lot of costs on food,” Tervooren said. “I like it too much.”

The trio diverge in how they handle another budget buster for many U.S. households: health care.

Holst has health insurance through her part-time job but doesn’t have dental insurance; she budgets $1,000 a year for dental care. Tudor is lucky enough to live next to a teaching university, which offers dramatically discounted health care to low-income residents.

“A visit to the doctor costs $5. A visit to the emergency room costs $25,” Tudor said.

Tervooren had health insurance at his job, but now goes bare and hopes he doesn’t get sick. It’s a risky choice, because one accident or illness could result in crippling bills.

You may not want to live like these folks, but you could still learn a few things from them. Such as:

* You’ve got to know where the money is going. All three know exactly how much they spend on housing, utilities, transportation, food — you name it. Their money doesn’t slip through their fingers but instead is carefully and consciously deployed. Tracking what you spend is a great way to become conscious about your money and whether your spending reflects what you really want most from life.

* A lot of the costs we think of as “fixed” really aren’t. If you want to improve your finances in the long run and save more for retirement, then consider reducing big expenses like housing and transportation.

* Debt can be a trap. A moderate amount of home or student loan debt can help you get ahead, but those who want to live on less tout the importance of being debt-free so they’re not shackled to payments. At the very least, you should be getting rid of your toxic debt, such as credit card balances, because they erode your financial well-being.

* A lot depends on your attitude. I emerged from these interviews with a big smile on my face. These three people were so delighted with their lives — and excited about the future — that it was positively contagious. I don’t think I’ll ever live on as little as they do, but knowing how happily they do so makes the prospect of living on a shoestring a lot less scary.

Little Boy in the Big City – Toronto, ON

Easily identifiable picture of important Toronto, Ontario Landmark

So this is where I went yesterday evening. My journey starts off with a peaceful day in my quaint little city. The prior week, my ex and I had made plans to have dinner together, after not having seen each other for a year or two. She lives quite a busy lifestyle, so it’s hard for us to get together. Also, there have been many barriers in the past and it has always been tough for us to communicate after we had broken up. Undoubtedly, both of us has had to put an amazing amount of effort in to solidify our footing. I have of course mentioned casually to her to meet up and maybe do something small, have a lunch or a dinner – but to no avail. Finally as time progressed, she took the initiative to ask me to meet up for dinner. I was ecstatic as I haven’t seen her for quite a while.

For those who follow my blog, you’ll know that we got into a minor “argument” with trying to get things going for us, more importantly, I’m one of the type who don’t like to explore outside of my comfort zone. With that being said, I’ve relied on my vehicle to transport me everywhere, and taking public transport has been long ago. I had wanted to meet her half way, in Mississauga, although she would not be able to make it with time to spare for dinner. So, I sucked it up and went out to Toronto. Suffice to say, it was a great experience. I told her how prestigious it was for me to visit her there, because I don’t even go out to Toronto for my dear cousin (whops, I’ll have to do that, LOL), let alone an ex-girlfriend.

I was supposed to take the 4:42PM train towards Toronto and really, I’d a complete newb-cake when it comes to this stuff. I left my house early because I didn’t know whether the parking lot there would be full. I left my house at 3:30 – which was beyond early (but was pressured by my mom who fretted – duh!) and arrived at 3:50 and even had parked by then. I bought my ticket and I wanted to die having to wait another 50 minutes before I could get on the train. The particular station I started at – let’s just say, is not exactly “big” and except for a newsstand, there was nothing more to peruse. I had overheard another individual talking to his friend about catching the “4:10 train” and my ears perked up immediately. Yes yes, eavesdropping is bad, but the station is not exactly big and you can crisply hear every conversation.

I had checked my ticket and rather than having a definitive time on it, it said it could “be used within 4 hours of issuance” which I understood as that I could take any train within 4 hours of the timestamp on my ticket which was heading to the allotted location I paid for – so there we go, I found an earlier train! The ride is 1 hour and so I proceeded to hop on the earlier train designated to arrive at 5:10PM. My friend (henceforth known as “L”) agreed to meet up at 5:50-6PM at Union Station in Downtown Toronto, therefore, I’d be arriving at least 40 minutes earlier – however, I knew that being a bigger station, there was bound to be more things to look at than the small station where I departed from.

One thing I’ll tell you that I learned, is try to find a seat facing the direction of travel! It sucks when the train is moving one way and you’re facing backwards because it makes you sick. I’m not particular to motion sickness, but it wasn’t as “comfortable”. The train seating was relaxed, after all, people live in small cities and work in big cities, so traveling towards the big city at the end of the day is irregular. I noticed keenly that random people would strike conversations on the train, probably to kill time. Some where “regulars” and some weren’t, but were comfortably engaged in conversations ranging from kids, family life to their work. Not being someone accustomed to riding on a train, I would only say a few words and smile/facial reaction to things said.

Part way through the train ride as we approached a more Asian-influenced area, several Asian girls boarded the cart. I avoided looking at them, only because I find it to be a rude gesture to stare someone down. Also, the last thing I want to look like is one of those train-perverts. Everyone took their seats and the two Asian girls sat in the seat opposite of me. I looked up and smiled, just to acknowledge their presence, but not offend them. Part way to the next station, they struck up a conversation with me. I must say, at first, it was weird to talk to someone just because you happened to be sitting across from them – but it’s quite a good time-killer. They were your typical modern, fashionable Asian girls. They seem to have an understanding of Cantonese, but still spoke in non-accented English. It’s rather weird how comfortable you can become talking to random people on the train. Soon enough, I arrived at the station. I thanked them for the conversation and said my goodbyes. They asked me if I ride the train regularly (probably since they’ve never seen me or I looked less-than-knowledgeable about the train-system) and which I responded that this was, “my second time ever.”

As I got off the train and checked my clock, it was right-on-schedule, with at least 40 minutes to spare. I messaged L to let her know I arrived and that I’d be wandering around Union station. The last time I went there on the train was also to meet up with her, after we broke up. I never got time to “explore” the area, so decided this was a great opportunity. The place was bustling – people booting it for their trains, trying to connect their transfer, business people trying to talk on the phone over seas of loud voices and people pushing/shoving their way through. I got shoved a few times and responded with less-than-admirable force back, lol. I’m one of those people who do not like bumping into people or at least will apologize when it happens. Most of these rushing people didn’t… and trust me, when they pushed, I pushed even harder. I know you should never “fight fire with fire” – but I dislike being treated rudely and if some people feel that is ok, then I shall return the favour.

The funniest thing that happened in the station, was that it was almost a scene from a cliché Hong Kong TVB drama, where two people “don’t have fate” – lol. We waited for each other, only to realize we had both been sitting there the whole time.

We didn't realize we were sitting on the other side of a post, lol.

I was worried that she was not going to come (although I could not imagine that would be the case – but the thought passed my mind), so I got up off my seat to see her impatiently sitting there too and checking her phone, lol. Oh god, she was gorgeous, my eyes wanted to explode – haha… she’s just as beautiful, if not more, than the last time I’ve seen her!

The conversation started immediately and as we walked our way out of Union, it was pretty non-stop, lol. We really did take full advantage of the night, we enjoyed (err… well I did, dunno about her, LOL) the evening and it was spectactular. We talked about so many things and I really can’t even recall some of it due to (she likes to call me ‘old’ all the time) my poor short-term memory… ask me 2 years from now and I’ll remember every word 😀 We ate at Hot House Cafe on Church St. and for those who know Toronto, Church street is well-known for being the larger community of gays and lesbians. Maybe it was where we were, but I sure as hell didn’t identify most of the people passing by as falling into these orientations explicitly. They did not have your stereotypical “sissy boy attitude” or “butch girl” demeanor one would imagine to expect in on Church St. I had told L I wanted to go to Canyon Creek but I decided against it only because I really want to take my girlfriend there when we visit Niagara Falls or something – and she was fully understanding of that!

The weather was amazing so we took a patio seat. The area was away from the more “hustle-and-bustle” area of the city so it was quieter (although you could hear the sirens, large trucks and stuff coming through) and we could easily carry out a private conversation (private, as in not that we had anything to hide, but more that it didn’t feel like people could hear everything within earshot) without screaming over the noise. This has been by far, the most engaging time we’ve had good quality conversations since our breakup. To be honest, there were a lot of obstacles for us as I really didn’t have the heart at that time to listen to her talk about her relationship life with “her new boyfriend.” I hated the guy and moreover, I was jealous that he had what I didn’t had to keep her. Let it be known, that L is one hell of an amazing girl, even though we’re not together anymore. We used to tip-toe around each other, topics that I couldn’t touch on, and topics she wouldn’t touch on, because we did not want to anger each other. This time, we actively shared discussions on our relationships comfortably. She helped me understand things too from a female perspective, especially because I’m encountered with so much resistance from my girlfriend at the moment. Having L being there to reassure me and our relationship as a whole, really adds value, especially because she is an ex-girlfriend – making those words just that much more special.

One of the funny things she commented on the fact she noticed I seem to keep close contacts with my ex’s and she wondered whether my girlfriend had problems with that. I’m a logical person, so I approached this question with logic. I said essentially, we date people because they’re good people, so even though they might not work out as a couple, beneath it all, they’re still good individuals – therefore, there’s nothing awkward about wanting to carry-forth a friendship with them. Maybe it makes sense to me but not to other people, but really, think about it! Suffice to say, this doesn’t work for situations where it involves a case of bad breakup like infidelity or something like that. I said that if my girlfriend did have a problem with it, I’d certainly want her to tell me in which I’d for sure keep more distant between my ex’s and I. Nevertheless, there is usually no threat about ex’s – after all, they’re a “past” and “before” so there really isn’t much of a concern. Had we been a good couple, we would’ve stayed together!

No doubt if my girlfriend did have a problem with this, I would respect her opinion. In fact, L and I can comfortable “talk about our past” in good-nature now and oddly enough, she seems more open, receptive and comfortable with me now since she knows I’m committed to another girl. It’s funny isn’t it, how girls are less defensive when they know the guy who previously liked them is already with someone? LOL. I told her the night before as a joke that I’d meet her with “candy and flowers” and she said that since I’m with someone now, she would’ve just seen that as a sign of friendship and good graces – not that I did bring that anyways, but it was a good laugh for the both of us just to see each others reaction 😛

We talked for 4 hours, gosh that was long, but felt only like moments. I had a total of 6 cups of coffee, it was nuts, lol. We were totally going to be wired for the rest of the night and luckily for her, she had projects to complete anyways so being alert for the rest of the night would’ve worked out great for her. I don’t believe she tried to pay… she does this every time, lol. Worse off, she insisted to pay for her portion in which I rolled my eyes and held firmly to the bill, haha. I wouldn’t even let her see it until I paid for it. What kind of self-respecting guy would expect/let a lady pay? MY GOD – haha! It’s nice that waiters/waitresses know to give the guy the bill, so he did get extra tip (and for friendly service of course). She walked me back to Union station, which was quite awkward only because I’m usually the one accompanying girls home – LOL – it was weird for me to be the one “being walked back” haha. I really didn’t want the evening to end, but of course it had to. We could truly be ourselves and be genuine with each other – which we haven’t been for a long time.

Being foreign to taking the train, I was obsessed with finding out which platform I’m supposed to and make sure I don’t miss it (since the trains were 1 hour apart, ouch!) or take the wrong one. Well, as you can see now, I’m home, alive LOL, so I must’ve taken the right one, haha. But as the platform number showed up on the digital board, she escorted me all the way before the “paid area” (where only those who have paid for fare may enter) before we departed.

Last time, she freely hugged, but this time, she froze for a moment. It was a really cute moment (it’d make you go “awwww” for sure, haha), but she quietly asked, “Do you think it would be ok to hug you? I’m not sure if your girlfriend would mind.” — it was very thoughtful of her to consider something like that. Not knowing how long it would be before I’d see her again, I opened my arms to give her a hug. It was nice, although I could tell she definitely left reservation in it, probably as not to ‘cross the line’ in worry that if my girlfriend found out, she’d be angry. I don’t hide things like this from bebe anyways and it’s not unusual for a male and female friend to embrace each other in an expression of friendship. There’s a distinct difference between a “I’m glad we’re friends“-hug and a “I want you forever“-hug, lol. I will really miss the special bond that L and I once had, but we have created a new bond, one where although we will not live our life together, we will definitely cherish what we’ve been through and future opportunities to chat over a hot coffee and a slice of cake. We can share with each other, sometimes burdens of our mind and exchange ideas on things in life.

As I got on the train, I recollect my composure and thoughts to think – what blessings I have been graced with to have at one point, dated such a wonderful girl. No doubt, we both believe we will make amazing girlfriends/boyfriends, wife/husband – maybe not for each other, but for the two special someone in our life. We have both found who we believe to be someone who is worth our love, commitment, efforts and faithfulness. I believe we both, wish the best for each other, whether in health, finances or relationship. We smiled, when I said, that I hope our kids will one day together, play with each other – while the parents smile upon them knowing that we have both walked the same path at one point, went our separate ways, but reunite through the powers of friendship and compassion.

Though we leave the past behind, it is never forgotten and has made us the great people we are today.

%d bloggers like this: