I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nickel and dime

Recently, a friend and I went on a trip and it was agreed to use her Uber account to curtail on pricey cab fares.  After the trip, we'd split the fares evenly and I'd write a cheque for my half.  Approximately a month after we return, I get an email with the invoices (as per my request) to reimburse her.

To my surprise, the amount was way, way larger than anticipated.  In fact, it was impossible that we took 12 Ubers in two days (this doesn't include the rides I took by myself on the same trip).  How was that even possible?

Being the part-time accountant that I am, I go through every charge, item by item, and add up the numbers. To my surprise, I see my friend overcharged me by almost $50.  She included rides that I wasn't even on in the cluster of charges and thought I wouldn't notice.  I noticed.  Oh yeah, I noticed.

Presumably, she saw all the invoiced rides with Uber in the heading - over a spread of several days - and added them together.  That was her mistake.  I wasn't going to let it be mine.  But, since we're both adults, I was going to let this go and pay for my half.
To start, I removed the extra charges that had nothing to do with me, then I removed half of the charges she shared with me (i.e. cab fares), added them up, divided the amount in half, multiplied it by 1.5 (rather than the actual US exchange rate of approximate 1.35, because I was feeling generous) than rounded up the number by a few dollars.

In the end, she ended up getting more than she should've received, as per the correct calculations.

Not long after she collects the cheque (she wanted me to personally deliver it, but I wasn't going to travel 45 minutes - 1.5 hours if you include return travel - to the other side of the city), I got a passive-aggressive text a week later that referred to my accounting practices.

In the text, phrases like "I wouldn't try to nickel and dime you my friend" and "money issues break up way too many friendships" are thrown about.

My reaction was WTF.  I don't reply.  She got her money.  I was done.

When I meet my sister the next week for lunch, I tell her about what happened.  Then I show her the text.

"Whatever." She rolls her eyes.  "Are all of your friends idiots?" She passes the phone back to me.

I don't know, but I certainly wouldn't nickel and dime them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Gold digger's accomplishments

On more than one occasion I've heard of people talk about their accomplishments.  Brag is a more appropriate definition, though.

It's all about the big house they live in, the luxury car they drive, the designer clothes they wear, the exotic trips they take, the four-star restaurants they eat at, and so on.  The #blessed hashtags basically write themselves on social media.

The thing is, none of this would've happened if they weren't dating (or married) someone with a lot more money then they have.

All of these people mentioned in the generalist of terms has a richer partner is the one who pays for everything.  True, when it comes to partnerships, one person usually makes more than the other; it's never a marriage of equals.  But, when one person makes 4x the income of the other, it's another story.  Inevitably, you'll hear the - defensive - story of when the couple who went out to dinner and less affluent one paid the tab.  That's a tiny drop in very large bucket, to be honest.

Of course, not everyone is like that.  Some happened to date/marry another person who has money.  Others, make it a goal to date/marry another person who has money.  Who knew that being a gold digger with an agenda is an accomplishment?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The human embodiment of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

For the launch of patio season, many bars and restaurants host small parties to celebrate the fact that many people - especially those who don't live in cities with long summers - have been hibernating for the past 6-8 months and are excited to get some sun with a side of rum and coke.

After my friend J and I enjoy a few too many cocktails on the patio, we walk towards the exit and run into J's Russian friend.  She's standing with an older man, dressed like a captain of a yacht (navy blazer, white dress shirt, opened midway down his torso) only without the jaunty cap and a lot more gold chains and grease in his hair.

As the Russian turns her attention away from the grease captain and towards me, he leans toward her, his face inches from mine, and says to her, "You can do better."

Ballsy, yet incredibly rude.

"Well, I just heard that," I say loud enough for our group to hear.

"Yes, that was rude," says the Russian.

With that comment still lingering in the hot summer air, the three of us (J, the Russian and myself) turn around and walk away from the human embodiment of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  We talk for a few minutes before I head out.  When you're drinking for over two hours and don't have a thing to eat, your body reminds you it's time to call it quits.

Before I head off, I lean into the Russian and say, "By the way, you look amazing in that dress."

"Oh, thank you." She's flattered.  That's something that greaseball wasn't able to do.  It doesn't matter, though.  As I walk out, I notice he quickly found another group of hot women to hit on.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I did not get plastic surgery

It's a balmy night and my friend D and I are sitting on his rooftop patio having a drink.  We've been talking for the past half-hour about work, but in the middle of our conversation about something, he leans forward, about to say something and semi-pauses.  He's cautious.

"I have to ask you something and I hope you won't be offended," he asks.

"Ok," I sit back.  I was expecting something lurid, but it was close to it.

"Have you had any..." he does a finger gesture for a needle injecting and points it to his forehead.

"Work done?"

"Yeah, have you had any Botox, or anything?"

"Nope.  I mean, I would like to have some for my 11s, but I haven't done anything."  The 11s are the two parallel lines between the brows that can be deep if someone furrows their forehead a lot.


I nod.

"You don't have any wrinkles," he says.

"If you think I look good, you should look at my dad.  He never used anything, or sunscreen, and he probably has a few lines on his face."

"Ahhh, genetics."  D leans back in his chair.

While some people are offended if they're asked about their plastic surgery, I'd be one of those to tell everyone what I'd done (not to mention talk about the experience in detail).  But when my face falls, I'll find a way to pull it back up.  Time to put away some money for an emergency slush fund.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

You should water your plants

Last year was the first time I had some greenery on my patio.  In previous years it was barren; no plants, no pots, no nothing.  Last year I bought some trees and potted flowers (I'm not allowed to dig into the concrete).  It looked great and I loved sitting outside surrounded by nature, rather than glass and steel.

Unfortunately, even though the plants were all designed to tolerate sun, they weren't designed to tolerate the amount of south-facing sun they received.  Last year was a dry year, and coupled with 12-hour days of - mostly - direct sunlight, left them... parched.

"They wouldn't have died if you watered them," is what my father said, repeatedly, after I told him I was buying new greenery for my patio. 

"I had direct sunlight for a full day and I watered them daily," was my stock answer.

"You should water your plants," he'd say.

"I did water them," I'd reply.

"No, you didn't because they died."

"Do you really think I'd spend the entire summer not watering the plants?"

"They died, didn't they?"

This conversation loop continued for weeks.

After purchasing new plants, I hear my father say the same thing:  "Make sure you water your plants this time, or else they'll die."

If they do die, I'll make sure to buy plastic ones for next year.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get me off this plane (an L.A. story)

Plane rides are never comfortable for me. There are numerous reasons for this: an enclosed and crowded space filled with crabby people, little lavatories, foul food with shitty service, and of course, crying children.

Throw in some concrete and barbwire fencing and you’ve got an inner city school.

On my way back from L.A., I’m surprised the flight isn’t that bad up to this point. Even though I don’t get the window or aisle seat (as per my request and reservation), the seat is comfortable, I don’t need the loo, I don’t eat a thing since it’s a short flight, and the children remain quiet (even the babies).

Unfortunately, I’m sitting beside someone who is making it very uncomfortable for me and the other passengers on the plane.

If the doors could open mid-flight, this bitch would be thrown out. It’s not that she does anything in particular to irritate me, but she does everything to irritate me.

Let’s call her Mirrita.

During the flight, Mirrita fidgets in her seat, leans forward and back to get things that slide off her lap, gets up several times and removes her bag from the overhead bin to get some things (a strong sedative isn’t one of them), eats messy snacks which leave crumbs all over her and me, fidgets some more, talks to every person who walks down the aisle (creating a pissed off group of people who have to use the can), fidgets again, and wraps herself in several support appendages to keep her fuckin’ immobile (talk about irony) for the rest of the flight.

That's not all.

The worst part comes when she pays for her $5 in-flight snack with change nickels and dimes. She pulls out a small bag that makes a ka-chunk sound when she places on her folding tray (which makes the front seat recline backwards another three inches) and begins to count. "Twenty cents, thirty cents, thirty-five cents…" she says while placing each coin in her palm.

By the time she gets to $4.10, the steward snaps, takes the money and gives her the damn snack.

Mirrita falls asleep soon after. Thankfully, she's lucky I don't smother her with the dinky airline pillow.

The plane arrives in Toronto and everyone is happy to be back on terra firma. The passengers who are sitting behind Mirrita, wait for her to take her bag out of the overhead bin. She pulls and pulls and can’t seem to get it out. Instead of letting everyone pass, she crates the same line-up of pissed off people (only they didn’t have to use the loo this time).

When we get to the connecting tunnel, I run past her and nudge her to the side with my bag, making her hobble a little.

Fuck, I hope customs finds that eight ball of coke I planted in her purse and gives her a full cavity search.


Note: These circa 2006 writings are personal observations of a wide-eyed Canadian, and are not reflective of the residents of L.A.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sticking out (an L.A. story)

When traveling, it is always a good idea to blend in with the people of the area. You don’t feel like an outsider and you don’t turn into a mark for potential kidnapping attempts by bumbling and inept fools wanting to make a fast buck off you because they think you lay around a large bed, writhing in money, like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.

When in Rome…

Only, I’m not in Rome. I’m in L.A.

And, L.A. is not Rome.

When speaking of my physical attributes, I'm sticking out and look out of place. This world is filled with Paul Walkers, and I resemble Paul Giamatti by comparison.

Having a healthy body image, I never thought there was anything wrong with my physical presence. Back home, I look normal, but normal is a relative term and doesn’t exist here.

Within a few hours in L.A., I’m realizing that…

- I am fat and out of shape and should join a gym stat
- I am pale and require a lot of sun/sunless tanning product/a tanning bed
- I have bad skin that need a series of creams/surgical procedures to eliminate the ravages of time
- I have lousy hair and the colour needs to be fixed since black isn’t the new black
- I am hairy and should get shaved/waxed/tweezed/lasered

And, that’s only a small smattering.

God forbid if I went on to talk about the rest of my body.

But, what’s odd is most people are accepting of this high maintenance. They enjoy going to the gym and working out. They like the sun, then removing the traces of sun damage with trips to the dermatologist. They want to spend money on their hair – getting it done and removed.

Fuck. It already takes me too long to look average. I don’t want to spend the rest of my days in front of the mirror trying to achieve a tiny semblance of perfection, while never quite reaching it.

It’s like climbing Mount Everest using only your teeth to scale the rocks.

Anyway, it wouldn’t matter what would happen to my choppers since they’re small, crooked and yellow.


Note: These circa 2006 writings are personal observations of a wide-eyed Canadian, and are not reflective of the residents of L.A.