Three hundred and fifty-five

“Blasts from the past”

I went for a three-hour walk around the city yesterday.  I always find a long walk gives me inspiration and ideas.  I kept seeing places that I visited this past year.

Do you remember these moments (some are more cryptic than others)?

(Burritos in the park with The Director in date month)

(I entered Anthropologie in Yorkville dressed as a “total hussy” – my highest views all year – and one week later dressed as a “total bum”.  See here for photos on me in the changing room on both occasions.)

(JustEat.ca – the good, the bad, and the ugly during Online Shopping Month)

(The Concert Date at the Tranzac)

(Panacea – vegan store I visited at Bloor and Bathurst, which is very sadly closing.)

(The social experiment date at David’s Tea)

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One hundred and fifty-seven

Lying

Yesterday I tried to lie as much as I could (which turned out to be not very much).  First, I’m a bad liar.  I act weird.  I get very uncomfortable, I look away, I laugh, I feel like a weight is on my shoulders making me hunch my body.  I hate lying.  Why should anyone lie when the truth is usually more interesting?  I like being an honest person.  I also feel bad telling someone a lie – that I’m somehow disrespecting them and their intelligence by not telling them the truth.

I had myself all worked up to lie.  I made up stories that could be believable.  I tried to lie to myself in the mirror to watch my body language.  But, I couldn’t do it!  Every time I opened my mouth the truth just came out – even when I planned to say a lie.  I kept kicking myself and trying to tell myself to lie.  It just didn’t work.  Every time I did finally get a lie out, it came out awkward and so obvious.  One person even asked if there was anything wrong because I looked stressed.  It was sort of funny if anyone had known what I was trying to do.  After awhile I tried to lie about everything.  I would tell obvious fibs, like “there is not someone in the corner of that room” even though there clearly was.  My friends just thought I was being sarcastic.  It was ridiculous!

There are so many people who lie every day.  I was just talking to my friend today about all the men (or women) who cheat on their wives (or husbands) and come home to them afterwards saying they had stayed late at work or had beers with the boys. What is the point?  Lying is awkward – whether it’s a small lie or a big one.

When I finally decided I had enough and stopped trying to tell lies, I felt so much better.  I could be myself again.  Thank you to all my friends and workmates who put up with my weird behaviour yesterday.  Don’t worry, I didn’t lie about anything serious.

One hundred and fifty-five

The start of Out of My Comfort Zone month

This month I will be putting myself Out of My Comfort Zone every day.  Stretching my boundaries.  Doing things that challenge me and make me (and sometimes other people) feel uncomfortable, but ultimately I will learn from them.  And it will be hilarious to read about!

Day one – Lunch with a stranger

Yesterday, for my first day of the month, I went and had lunch with a stranger.  I went into the Eaton Centre (that mall is generally out of my comfort zone – can people walk any slower?!), got lunch at the cafeteria and looked around for someone sitting alone.  I found a girl in her twenties and asked if I could join her at her two-person table.  She agreed and I started a conversation.  We started with small talk – how busy the mall is, the New York fries she was eating, my Thai food.  I asked her why she was in the mall.  Then the conversation developed from there.  She’s from Winnepeg, is a part-time student deciding whether she wants to stay in Toronto.  She’s studing Latin.  She lived in Montreal and Quebec City.  We spoke about our lives, our goals, where we have lived, what languages we speak. All while we ate lunch.  In the city of Toronto, where rarely will anyone make eye contact with you, let alone share a full conversation over lunch, it was very strange.  But really lovely.  More people should do this.

When we were done our lunches, we went our separate ways.  A random interaction with a complete stranger with nothing before and nothing after.  A beautiful moment that I think made both our days a little brighter – with no strings attached.  Just a moment of connection.  And after the initial fear of rejection and nervousness at speaking to a stranger, it was actually quite easy.

Tonight

Karaoke!  I am FREAKING OUT.  I have been trying to find a good song to sing all day and I can’t find one.  I am so nervous.  Ahhhhh!!!

An update on online shopping

I got my red rubber boots today in the mail from Beyond The Rack.  I was so excited, as I love the colour red and I really needed a pair of rubber boots.  This was also my first buying experience with Beyond The Rack and has been four weeks since I ordered the boots (after an e-mail saying they were “PENDING” because they hadn’t received them yet).  I received them through Canada Post and tried them on right away.  Well, the boots were in two different sizes!  They were both labeled size 9, but the left was clearly way smaller than the right in width and length (it didn’t fit my foot and my feet are the same size as each other).  I’m a little bit annoyed.  I called customer service, sent an e-mail and am sending them back.  Hopefully they have another pair that are both size 9, if not I better get a full refund (including shipping).  I will most likely never shop with Beyond The Rack again.  And I’ve heard other horror stories of things taking 5-6 weeks to arrive.

One hundred and fifty-four

Making it through Only Online Purchases month

I made it through a month of buying everything online – except a couple of ‘cheats’ that were unavoidable (transportation costs – my one allowable area of cheating, the fuel cap replacement for when I drove from Orangeville to Burlington forgetting it on the roof of my car, and the antibiotics for my crazy bug bites) and one that was avoidable (I was asked to buy ice on my way over to my friend’s house and I felt bad for always asking people for money for things, so I just bought it…oh the shame of cheating!).

Recap of the month

I’m going to do my recap a little differently this month…

My top fourteen reasons why you should shop online:

#14. We might be programmed to shop.  Why not do it online and not have to get off our sofas? (ABC Science)

#13. Rare objects to rural areas. (interview with my friend from Gibsons BC)

#12. Between the kids, the career and the house, who has time to grocery shop anymore? (Grocery Gateway, Front Door Organics)

#11.  Trying to communicate an order over the phone and actually interact with another human being is so hard.  With online food ordering, there’s no room for error.  Or is there? (online pizzaJustEat)

#10.  The most asked question of this month: what about tampons?  Yes, ladies, you can buy tampons online and have them delivered to you. (Well.caFront Door Organics)

#9.  You can buy a virtual space station in a virtual land online for only $100,000.  What a deal! (virtual economies)

#8. You can also auction off a 10-year-old, partially eaten grilled cheese said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary for $28,000. (eBay)

#7.  Craigslist comedy shopping.  Search the online classifieds and have a laugh. (Best of Craigslist)

#6. Cheap travel.  Cheap events tickets.  Need I say more? (airlines, accommodation, tickets)

#5.  Now you can see the tall, thin model walk around with the dress that will never fit you the same as it fits her. (catwalk videos)

#4.  No need to strap to your bike those four cases of beer you bought for the house party of the century on Friday night and try not to fall into traffic while riding them home.  You can have beer, wine and liquor delivered to your house! (The Beer Guy)

#3. Having flowers delivered to yourself at work (then keeping the vase and wrapping up the flowers for a gift) is only embarrassing when you tell everyone what you’re doing.  My advice – pretend you have a secret admirer. (online flower delivery)

#2.  Where else could you find pubic lice to punish your cheating ex or buy real estate on the moon? (bizarre online shopping sites)

And the number one reason you should shop online is…

#1. After three weeks of waiting to hear about red rubber boots you bought online, “PENDING” is so comforting. (Beyond The Rack)

What did I learn?

On Saturday my brother gave me money to pick up toilet paper from the store (I live with my brother and it was his turn to buy tp, but he is a lazy brat and left me money to buy it instead before he went away for the weekend!).  I was walking by a Shopper’s Drug Mart after a lovely brunch with a friend who’s visiting from Shanghai and popped in to get the tp.  I was a bit afraid to go in there.  Last time (when I went to the pharmacy to get my antibiotics at the beginning of the month because of my bug bites) I had such a hard time resisting all the aisles of things I could buy I had to sit down and talk on the phone with my friend.  Yesterday, when I finally got the nerve to enter Shopper’s, I didn’t have a problem at all.  I walked to the aisle to get the toilet paper, walking past the makeup and the hair products and the snacks.  I wasn’t tempted to buy any of it.  I wasn’t interested at all.  I hadn’t planned to buy anything else.  I didn’t need anything else.  They say it takes 30 days to break a habit. I have lost my desire to buy random stuff that I don’t need.  The effort it takes to buy things online, choose what you need, and have it shipped or delivered to you in the time frame you need it, has taught me about patience, planning and selection of things I actually need.

I’ve also learned a whole lot about different websites to shop at (some useful, some not so useful), statistics, and crazy things people spend money on online.

Where do I go from here with Only Online Purchases?

I’m still waiting on a few things that I bought online during this month.  My eBay purchases (bike lights) are still being shipped from Hong Kong.  I haven’t heard about one of my dresses I bought and my red rubber boots should be on their way soon (I hope).  I will let you know if anything interesting comes from those purchases.

I will probably buy more things online now that I know where to find them.  If I’m lacking in time one week, I know that I can go online to order groceries or toiletries and have them delivered for a small fee.  But when I do have time, I still enjoy the communal experience of shopping at a store and interacting with other humans.  With clothing I still would rather try things on before buying them, so if I have this option (unless it’s a really good deal online) I would prefer to take the time to head to the shop.

Today I start a month putting myself out of my comfort zone.  I’m both excited and dreading the next 31 days!

One hundred and fifty-three

It’s late and I’m tired.  Too many long shifts and two glasses of wine after work have made me unmotivated and extremely ready for bed.  The comfort of my pillow-top mattress and soft sheets are calling to me: “Who cares about the blog?  Come enjoy me.  Dream of fairies and cool swimming pools (my house is a sauna).”  Alas, I will have to give in slightly.  The allure of Hypnos (Greek mythological personification of sleep) is too strong right now.  Tomorrow I will do my major wrap-up of the month.  Tonight, though, I leave you with a fad that has me completely baffled.  They are called ‘haul’ videos and is where people (mostly teenage girls) post themselves talking about what they bought.  The example video below has 1,212,333 hits.  The ‘host’ holds up what she bought and talks about each product and how much she spent.  Please don’t watch the whole thing or I’m afraid you might lose brain cells.  Who are these over one million people who are interested in this?  It’s not all bought online, but definitely involves the internet and shopping. Scary!