What you miss out on if you wear sweatpants

liz

When my brother called me at 11PM to come and pick him up from an hour away, I was lying in bed with a glass of wine in the dark, scrolling through Pinterest, trying desperately to put myself to sleep.

It was Friday.

I mention that only because it’s adorable to picture me, at 11PM on a Friday, trying to lullaby myself to sleep in a pair of sweatpants over pictures of small apartment spaces decorated flawlessly.

“Yes,” I said, “I’ll come.”

Hair a mess, flannel shirt buttoned unevenly, fluffy socks, the whole nine yards. No one would see me. I would go as is.

But something stopped me just as I was about to walk out the door. It was a primal instinct that said Andria, put on real pants, k?

I know, right? How dare my instincts be so judgmental. I can wear sweats out to White Rock in the middle of the night if I want to. But I changed my pants, because everyone knows you have to listen to your gut. I put on black skinny jeans and motorcycle boots. Because that was the most comfortable option I had other than my 10 year old high school sweatpants.

I drove an hour with a wedgie. I had changed my pants but I hadn’t changed my sweatpant-worthy underwear.

When I arrived at the venue, my brother got into the vehicle high on life. He had just finished playing the (epic?) “Raise a Little Hell” with the (oldie but goodie) band Trooper. He was in no mood to go home.

Instead, we went to the casino. A place I was not dressed for, but would at least be permitted inside of.

We had a beer. We played (and lost) some penny slots. Then we put $10 on black and we won.

I HAVE NEVER WON ON BLACK BEFORE.

Granted, $20 wasn’t anything to write home about, but I’ll tell you what it was worth . . . it was worth getting out of sweatpants for.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we don’t want to put in our best effort. We want to slum around. We want to stay pimply and chubby. We want to keep picking our nose, even though there’s someone beside us at the red light. We want to go to sleep without brushing our teeth. We want to wear our bitch-face on the subway. Sometimes, no matter what our head wants us to do, we say no. And it’s in times like this we must remember Elizabeth Taylor’s famous words.

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

Hey, it might make you ten bucks.

XOYW1

Behind the bar : Your waitress is smarter than you

waitress 2

“So,” she asked me over the clanking of ice in the shaker, “what do you do in real life?”

I breathe a sigh of relief. Not that there’s anything wrong with being identified as a waitress, but I’m a shitty waitress on a good day and my maroon lipstick tells my patrons everything they need to know about how seriously I take my job. Oh, I like the small talk alright, but my ability to mix an old fashioned the same, twice in a row, is non-existent.

“I’m a writer,” I said.

Here in the dimly lit brick-enclosed space that smells of muddled oranges and spilled bourbon, I can be whatever I want. “Real life” is out there. In here is a three month overdue Telus bill and a used car with $11,000 of insurance on it’s back. In here is the blood in the veins of the hustle, and everyone knows there’s more to the story.

No one wakes up one morning and says “I’m going to be a waitress!”

Unless you’re me on Monday — I said those words because I needed some fast cash.

In here are ten fanny packs, six pouches of change and forty notepads from the dollar store, all waiting to have “medium rare, seat 1″ written on them. There’s nothing glamorous about wiping tables and spilling mayonnaise on your Chuck Taylors — but at midnight on a Thursday, The Black Keys playing through speakers above your head, shoes sticking to the splattered patterns of Jim Beam on the laminate, $120 dollars in your pocket and $70 in the bank, you feel slightly superior.

Not because $190 is enough money to pay half of your overdue Telus bill, but because this is the one job you can have that people won’t use to define you.

“How about you?” I asked her as I handed her the whiskey sour to take to a table in the back.

“I’m in my last year of neuroscience,” she said.

We all have to start somewhere.

XOYW1

 

 

Sunday Confessional: How I choose who to sit beside on the bus

you cant sit with us

Ever since that story came out about that guy who chopped up his seat partner, I’ve been a little extra cautious when I sit down on the bus. I mean the rule of thumb is that we don’t judge others — as good Christian folk we try not to notice a person making the same mistakes over and over, and we ignore the extra wing of eyeliner that in theory is a good idea but in practice just looks ridiculous. But the truth is, under every single one of our gazes lies an inner dialogue that — despite our efforts — ain’t always nice.

When I travel by Greyhound it’s because flying within Canada is stupid expensive and because my travel plans have been so last minute I couldn’t have made it to the airport in time. It’s not really by choice is what I’m saying. It’s a necessary evil of being on the go. There isn’t one single person ever, probably, who was all “man, I just had the best Greyhound trip.” That’s just not a sentence people utter.

I mean, if there’s one place in my little town that people go when they want to learn the definition of derelict — it’s the Greyhound station. It’s very transitory, very post-apocalyptic, the coffee tastes like gasoline and costs fifty cents, and absolutely everyone is traveling from somewhere like Fort McMurray or Moose Jaw.

And see? Just like that — judgement.

So how do we do it? How do we determine, through our horrible squinty eyes, which judgements take priority? I personally like to be the person at the window seat so I don’t have to be the one who decides if she’d rather have dread-locked smelly guy or sleeping mom with screaming baby — but I can only maintain my self-important bitch face for so long before someone’s pillar of judgmental priorities has me at the top.

And sometimes, I don’t have the luxury of getting on the bus first. Sometimes I have to wait my turn and — GASP — make that call.

I know we can’t judge books by the cover. I know what Jeffery Dahmer looks like and I’ll be the first to admit I think he was kind of hot in a creepy ’80s way.

I know we can’t judge the players of Big Brother by their first game.

I’ve been trying to convince my dad for years that just because someone rides a Harley doesn’t make them a criminal. I just happen to have always accidentally picked the criminal ones. My bad, dad.

People are filled with so many surprises. The beautiful 20 year old with her nose in a book — the one you think you’re safe beside — yeah, she conjured up some freaky shit after she read 50 Shades of Grey.

We just never know! Sure, the cover of a book can probably tell you what income bracket someone lives within and whether they like to lift, bro, but that’s about as far as it goes. It’s a horrible, horrible practice. And the thing we always seem to forget is that everyone knows we’re doing it.

So I’ve developed a method of madness that is still totally judgmental, but that makes the whole process a little easier. I simply sit down beside whoever looks like they wouldn’t mind having me fall asleep on their shoulder accidentally. Yeah, maybe it’s because they want to chop me up. Maybe it’s because they’re leaving Fort McMurray for the first time in 60 days. Maybe it’s because the lady is reading a Bible in her seat and she knows that the nice thing to do is just let me rest my eyes for a bit at her expense. Whatever the reason, I judge based on what I think they think of me as opposed to the other way around.

Then I get off the bus and think to myself great, now my face smells like patchouli. 

XOYW1

How to make KD without milk or margarine

DVT

This week’s InfoNews column is up and it’s all about me in the kitchen. Some of it’s embarassing, some of it’s gross, and all of it is a testimony to who I am. If you want to know how to make Kraft Dinner without milk or margarine, you can read it HERE.

xo & yw

Everything [embarassing] happens for a reason

nailsFor the past three days I have been living in fear that one of my boyfriend’s parents is going to find my fingernail in the left over broccoli salad.

This is the price one must pay for wearing self-applied acrylics — one minute you’re grating cheese over top of the whole thing and the next you notice your perfect ten are now a perfect 9.

So far, no one has died. No one has made that polite choking face you make when you know you just swallowed something gross that wasn’t supposed to be in your host’s spaghetti. No one’s pulled a perfectly almond shaped piece of plastic out of their mouth and glanced at the hands around the table. So far, no one has found my fake nail in their salad. There’s only like, one small serving left too, so I’ll probably just eat it myself in the middle of the night or stage a kitchen accident that forces it to land all over the floor.

I know my fingernail isn’t in the salad. It probably came off during a vigorous hand washing session or while I was whacking golf balls (I do that now, FYI, I’m like a pro golfer). But I’m totally the kind of person who it would happen to.

I’m the girl who flings underwear onto the face of a person in the front row at a presentation when I pull my USB out of last night’s purse. I’m the girl who trips in high heels while assuring everyone I’m perfectly capable of maneuvering cobblestone. I’m the girl who loses a bathing suit top even though I wasn’t tubing. I’m the girl who would totally choke her boyfriend’s parents with a poorly glued on fashion accessory the first time I meet them.

I call it the rom-com curse. Not that my life is a rom-com — I don’t have good enough hair for that shit — but it’s that whole falling-in-the-wedding-cake-while-stalking-your-ex-boyfriend-who’s-getting-married thing that seems to happen to some girls more than others. Maybe the clue there is that we shouldn’t be stalking our ex-boyfriends/ grating cheese with a home-manicure/ keeping thongs in our purses/ wearing bikini’s when we’re A-cups but I think removing all those things from my life would be boring.

Not that I stalk my ex-boyfriends or anything. That was just an example (good haircut though.)

I think living life to the fullest is all about opening yourself up to the discomforts of stupidity. I don’t mean you’re living life to the fullest if you leave your umbrella at home in Orlando when the weather man says there’s a tropical storm moving in, but accidentally not giving yourself enough time to get from last night’s date to this morning’s meeting makes a great story when it ends with ” . . . and then he threw my underpants back to me and gave me a standing ovation.”

Life is about these “oh shit” moments. It’s about learning not to sweat the small stuff and laughing at the stuff that — yes — may be uncomfortable, but that isn’t going to matter in 5/10/15/50 years. Life is all about learning how to deal with the fact that your boyfriend’s dad might accidentally swallow your fake nail and that you’re both [most likely] going to live through it.

Now if you’ll excuse me — I have a salad to go and finish.

xo & yw