Fall Love

crisp mornings
balmy afternoons
crunchy, brown leaves
damp, dewy grass
hot apple cider
stew and biscuits
flannel sheets and billowy duvets
clouds of breath hanging in the night air
thick socks nestled in tall boots
hot bubble baths
porters and oatmeal stouts
early sunsets
children practicing soccer
condensation on car windows
sweaters that cover your bum
Sunday dinners
mugs of tea
soft, plush robes and slippers
setting the thermostat
watching movies under a blanket
hot chocolate
jackets with a lining
magic gloves
infinity scarves
steamed milk
spiced whiskey
hockey
Thanksgiving
oatmeal

Those things on my chest

Can we chat about breasts for a moment? They’re great, they look nice, they’re fun to play with blah blah blah, okay we’re done with that part.

I sprouted breasts stupidly early, and because young men and women aren’t taught about puberty and respect for one another’s bodies early enough, my breasts were a fascination to everyone else but me. I wanted to tape them down until I was old enough to wear a bikini and let them fulfill their true purpose (I was ten, that’s the only thing boobs seem to be good for when you’re ten.) I dreaded PE and anything that made it obvious that I had breasts. Boys said stupid things like, “Those aren’t real. You’re stuffing.” What do you even say to that? If I bothered to comment on their authenticity, it was often met with, “Prove it.” My mom taught me to tell boys to fuck off at young age.

I was also unusually tall when I was ten. I was the same height as the two tallest boys in my grade, who were very tall. My stepdad walked me to my first day of grade four, looked in the classroom and declared that we were in the wrong place; the children were way too small to be my classmates. The teacher checked my name against her list and assured him that we were in the right place and that his daughter was an exceptional height.

Let’s all take a moment and laugh at the situation. I grew to be a giant 5’3″ and stopped.

But back then, I stood out.

I was tall for ten years old, and I had breasts that garnered unwanted attention. I dressed like a boy for a year in huge t-shirts and track pants; girl’s clothing wouldn’t have fit anyway. I don’t even want to talk about how my parents bought my clothes so that I would grow into them. I didn’t. I wore big clothes for a long time.

I also learned that if I hunched over, my breasts were less visible. Almost 20 years later and I’m still trying to correct my posture.

Puberty is awkward as fuck.

Being an adult is awkward as fuck. Does every affordable bra have to be covered in hot pink zebra print with level 10 push-up? Do I seriously need to have cleavage up to my neck? Why are visible bra straps so risqué? I get mixed messages about breasts all the time. You’re not attractive unless you have big, full breasts. If you have big full breasts, you’re supposed to want people to notice them. If you have small breasts, you should want them to be bigger so people will notice them. Breasts are for the enjoyment of other people, but you can’t enjoy your own breasts without being a show-off. You should be modest about your breasts. You have to wear a bra, but you’re totally indecent if anyone can tell that you’re wearing one. You should be proud of them, except when there is an infant attached, and then they’re gross, please put them away. Pushup bras are fine, but bra straps are a no-no. Gratuitous cleavage is fine, but visibly cold nipples are not. I’m 29 years old and I’m still brutally uncomfortable with my nipples poking out, and I’m not sure why. That’s what nipples do when it’s cold. It’s fine for everyone else to have nipples, but my own are strange to me. Who decides this bullshit? All the things we’re taught about breasts are wrong.

I just made an investment in being a woman and spent $345 on nine bras. I went to a lingerie shop that wasn’t LaSenza and was properly fitted. I’m not a 34, I’m a 30. I’m not a C, I’m an E. And before you lose your marbles, it has everything to do with where the underwire sits. For years and years I’ve been wearing the wrong size and the underwire has been sitting on top of breast tissue. NO WONDER WOMEN HATE WEARING BRAS, it’s not supposed to be that way. I compensated for the wrong cup size by wearing a band size that was much too big. My natural waist is a 27, and now that I think about it, there is no way that the band size under my breasts is seven inches bigger.

I also ditched the molded cup and went for lace. For the first time in my life, my breasts don’t look like they’re sitting on a shelf. They look much more natural and soft than pretend implants. And… the buttons on my shirts are staying closed because my breasts aren’t sitting artificially high on my chest. I also said no to a soft cup, because nipples are real and we should stop pretending they don’t exist. I think I’m confident enough to tell someone to stop looking at them, or at least I will be with some practice. Do one thing every day that scares you, and for a while that will be wearing an unlined bra.

After twenty years, I think I’ve accepted that I have breasts and that I don’t need to dress them up or down for anyone other than myself. I have breasts, they are on my body. And really, they are none of your business.

An important message: Consent still applies to pregnant ladies

The following is from my dear friend affectionately known as Nurse Nathalie, or @howetolove on the Twittersphere:

This maternity shirt was lovingly given to me by an amazing coworker as a jest to my disdain for people touching my belly since being pregnant, but it brings forward the important concept of consent. A wise nurse once modelled to me the importance of obtaining consent from a patient before ever touching her breasts, abdomen, or private areas before an exam, and since then, I’ve always tried to model this for newer staff. It may seem like the abdomen is a normal place to touch or rub a pregnant woman, but truthfully, would you do that to anyone else? I believe that usually it is an area reserved for a consensual intimate relationship, and that fact doesn’t change in pregnancy just because a baby is kicking away. It’s not that you CAN’T touch a pregnant belly, but more that you should gain consent before doing so, even if already implied to close friends, immediate family, and your partner. Imagine for a second, a woman who had been sexually assaulted at some point in her life; a point where consent was taken away from her. Imagine bringing those feelings back, even if your touch was well-intentioned. This is why you have to ask, and respect the answer immediately. This is not a hormone fueled rant, but more a peaceful, thought provoking piece on consent, based on my observations and feelings so far as a pregnant woman.

I know many, many times over how amazing it is to share in the life being created by a woman during pregnancy, but if you weren’t invited to do so, all you have to do is ask. :) <3

can't touch this

Consent: Not actually that complicated

Ro:

Required reading.

Originally posted on rockstar dinosaur pirate princess:

http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517 http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517

A short one today as my life is currently very complicated and conspiring against my preference to spend all of my days working out what to blog. But do you know what isn’t complicated?

Consent.

It’s been much discussed recently; what with college campuses bringing in Affirmative Consent rules, and with the film of the book that managed to make lack of consent look sexy raking it in at the box office. You may not know this, but in the UK we more or less have something similar to ‘affirmative consent’ already. It’s how Ched Evans was convicted while his co-defendant was not – and is along the lines of whether the defendant had a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented. From the court documents it appears that while the jury felt that it was reasonable to believe that the victim had consented to intercourse with the co-defendant, it…

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Giving up Twitter for Lent, Again

I’m giving up Twitter for Lent again. It officially starts on Wednesday February 18th and continues for 40 days and nights, but I just deleted it from my phone in preparation. I need a break from broadcasting my thoughts for a while. I did it last year, and I literally carried around a book and documented all the random little bursts of would-be tweets. You don’t understand how pathetic it feels to write these things down with a pen and paper, especially when there is no one else to validate me.

Anyway, the following was brought to you by Lent 2014:

March 5th – Not stalking is harder than I thought it would be.

March 5th – I’d be the best 16 year old ever.

March 6th – OMG! Glitter everything! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/116671446568878687/

March 6th – Pinterest is broken. My life is over. Goodbye cute crafts and hairstyles that I was never actually going to try anyway.

March 6th – LET THERE BE INTERVIEWS!

March 6th – I made the most amazing mock pad Thai for dinner. I say mock because instead of noodles I used spaghetti squash again.

March 7th- HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

March 7th – Sorry, but the last people I’d send to Mars are a bunch of depressed people that aren’t LIVING on Earth http://digg.com/video/mars-one-way-on-vimeo except maybe the bee keeper.

March 7th – Is it rude if I unfollow my own posts on Facebook?

March 7th – Let sing about the stars
Let’s drive into the night
Forget about the day
And look forward to tonight

March 7th – Up to no good.

March 7th – I learned that the nearest four square check in is the bust stop near my house. So I checked in there for Untappd and now I can’t stop laughing.

March 8th – CREEPY AS FUCK http://www.tickld.com/x/20-two-sentence-horror-stories-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night-7-gave-me-chills

March 8th – Procrastination level 5000 unlocked. I’m going all the way, kids.

March 9th – Attended the scene of a bad car accident last night. Turns out one of the people hurt was my mom’s friend. Small world.

March 9th – Who needs friends when you have chips?

March 9th – It’s soooo sunny, why oh why did I leave homework until today? I’m an idiot.

March 9th – You’re my favourite mistake.

March 9th – Generate is the greatest photo app. Loving it.

March 9th- The women in my family have a lot of balls. Proud of all of them. Especially my sister.

March 11th – Started my day by watching strangers kiss for the first time http://sploid.gizmodo.com/watching-complete-strangers-make-out-is-actually-awkwar-1540921129?utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow <3

March 12th – Sun burnt. Oops.

March 13th – I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music lately, this is great http://www.wimp.com/coinsurprise/

March 13th- Found out the video of strangers kissing is a fake. Feeling jaded.

March 13th- Day 8 of the 100 days of happy challenge and I am grumpy as fuck. Just…. stay away.

March 14th- My Irish drinking name is Filthy McDrunkerson wrote at 9:12am

March 14- I dislike hearing that cars were broken into near my house while I was home alone last night. I need a dog.

March 14th- I told Keiran I was a disaster today and he looked at me sympathetically and told me I’m in good company. I have a lot of love for him right now.

March 16th- Tonight we’re American. I’ve made coleslaw, fried chicken, and waffles. #thisiswhyyourefat

March 16th- It’s been a while since Bill Withers broke my heart

March 17th- Kiss me, I’m actually Irish.

March 17th – Screw #100daysofhappy I’m happy every day and I don’t need photographic evidence to prove that to myself

March 17th- What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear. Yeah, I’m totally not sorry for that one.

March 17th- When someone pushes you away, it’s not an invitation to try harder to stay.

A few days went by and the thoughts became less and less…

March 2oth- playing on twitter for school, legitimately

March 21st – Studying on a Friday night BLOWS.

March 22nd- 30 is not the new 20 <— a compelling TED talks video. Feeling a lot better about *most* of my adult life choices

March 22nd – the blog got a new title and a makeover

March 22nd – I put too much tequila in my drink, but I’m wrapping up final assignments and studying on a Saturday night so I’m going to roll with it

March 23rd – I have no one to share my Buzzfeed quiz results with :( I got John Bender from the Breakfast Club, btw

March 23rd- I’m going to try my hand at a bacon spinach frittata for lunch

March 23rd- It’s really refreshing to clear your browsing history, especially when certain things that are bothering you keep coming up in past searches

March 23rd- For a while I thought I was going to end up like Olivia Wilde’s character in Drinking Buddies. Disaster averted.

March 24th- *hangs head in shame* the hairspray that I love is heartbreakingly expensive. Thank god I have an insider. Even so, I just spent $21 on hairspray.

March 25th- It’s been a long time since I wanted to slow dance, but this song does it. #allthefeels

March 25th- You’re beautiful, and your mind is fucking beautiful. And I can’t pretend that doesn’t mean a thing to me

……..

And that’s when I stopped documenting all the things I would have tweeted. It lost its appeal when there was no one to respond to me. I can tell you that the first few days were very isolating, and it wasn’t pleasant. The people who cared found ways to check in, and of course I had contact information for everyone that I wanted to stay in touch with.

If you really can’t live without me, you can drop me a line stopdropandro at gmail dot com and I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, this is goodbye for now. I hope to be in a better frame of mind when I return. Stay well.

Messy inside

Oh yeah I’m a reaper man
Every good thing, I kill it good
Oh yeah I’m a hooligan
Out in the street making a mess

Fuck yeah I’m a deviant
When I go to the store I go undressed
Oh yeah I’m a sexy mess
Go on the date just to get the dress off

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost
Everybody out there on the job
But not me

Oh, but not me

Oh yeah I’m an ugly mess
Not in the face, but in the head
I’m thinking that was best not said
But I say it anyway, then I say it again

They took a little look at my brain,
they come to find, all is sane
They took a little look at my heart
They found a prince living behind bars

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost
Everybody out there on the job, but not me oh no
How’d I ever get so indiscreet, how’d I ever get so freakly
Everybody out there on a leash
But not me

Oh

I know I got no choice, got no choice, but to love myself
I know I got no choice, got no choice, but to love myself
God knows, you got no choice, got no choice, but to love yourself
God knows, I got no choice, got no choice, got no choice

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost (who knows)
Everybody out there on the job, but not me oh no
How’d I ever get so indiscreet, how’d I ever get so freakly
Everybody out there on a leash
But not me

Oh, but not me

(Reaper Man by Mother Mother)

I have a confession to make. When my life gets out of control, I don’t eat. And when I don’t eat, I don’t have enough calories to keep me asleep at night. And when I can’t sleep, I slip into really bad anxiety and then I get sad. It’s hard to make rational decisions when I’m sleep deprived, and it’s not an easy cycle for me to break. Every now and then a song comes along and sticks to you like the gluey residue from an old BandAid, that was Reaper Man for me. I identify with the above lyrics, probably more than is healthy.

I start to wonder if this is my new normal, but then I look back and think how did I get in this place? Is this forever? Has anyone noticed how fucked up this is? You better believe people notice when you’ve become a shell of your former self. I try to hide when I am unwell inside, but it seeps out in the most interesting, and sometimes outlandish, ways. I can’t keep this shit inside, no matter how hard I try.

I know what it is like to be weird inside. I know what it is to be fucked up and make a bad decision or two, or three, or four. I know the self-loathing that comes with making bad decisions, feeling like you don’t deserve the good things in life, entrenching further and further that I am not a good person. In my experience, forgiving and loving yourself again and again is hard work and seems so far out of reach at times.

This I know: I’m a strong woman and I have won many battles on my own, but depression and anxiety are not one of them. I have relied on a therapist and a doctor more than once in my life, and I continually count on a vast support network. People are fallible. Oh God, am I ever fallible. My struggles with depression and anxiety are not over; at the moment I just happen to be on even ground. I know the signs, and I know earlier and earlier when things start to slip for me. But it still happens.

I am human, I am fallible, I am imperfect, I make bad decisions, I hurt people. I don’t pretend to be anything more than this, because I’m not.

I eat well and I exercise because I know I need to take care of my body. I feel like this is a general rule we’re all aware of, because society talks about it all the time. But not enough people talk about taking care of our mental health. You’d go to a doctor if something in your body hurt or malfunctioned, so why do we sweep a mental health crisis under the rug and hope that it goes away on its own? Why is one kind of medical care covered by our government’s provided medical system but one isn’t? Why are they any different?

Unless people talk about it, there won’t be a push for a mental health strategy. I don’t love that it takes a corporation like Bell to get the conversation started, but something needs to happen to make mental health matter. If Bell is willing to help encourage us to speak up and keep the conversation going, it’s a step in the right direction. Talking about it drops the stigma.

I’m a little messed up, but when it comes down to it, we all are. I’m just willing to talk about it.
And I hope it encourages you to talk about this kind of stuff too. I’m here.

An open letter to Jian Ghomeshi, written by Ro

Jian Ghomeshi is raging through my mind this morning.

Maybe it’s because my family is embroiled in its own baseless legal battle where innocent and good people are being dragged through the mud, but Jian Ghomeshi is the scum of the earth.

Dear Jian,

What you did was WRONG and you tried to cover your tracks by puffing out your chest and intimidating people into silence. You hired a big PR firm because once again, you believed that if you beat people down hard enough, they would slither away, like so many of the women that you preyed upon. You used your pseudo-celebrity status to dazzle young women, and then you hurt them and shamed them into silence. You are a predator.

You should have to pay the CBC back for the legal expenses you incurred, but I feel like you owe the CBC far more than $18,000. Your claims were baseless, and while you were being an asshole, you continued to further victimize the women you abused and led your fan base to believe that you were innocent. The damage that you have incurred is priceless, and no amount of money is going to make any of those women feel safe and whole again.

So many of your fans stood up for you and cried for your innocence. You made a mockery of thousands of Canadians. You used your dead father to garner sympathy. You victim shamed innocent women and you called them jilted exes. You attempted to manipulate the situation, and for once, it backfired tremendously.

Everyday people like you walk away from situations like this, unscathed. In your wake you were willing to leave honest and truthful people to rot in the web of lies you’ve created to keep yourself elevated. You disgust me to the core.

Enjoy the legal process, you coward. Enjoy having your words used against you and having holes poked into everything you’ve ever said. Privacy is no longer yours, and you too, can enjoy what it’s like to feel little and helpless like so many of the people you’ve silenced over the years.

Fuck you.

From Rochele, on behalf of Canadians everywhere