Posts Tagged ‘relationships


Girlfriends and comic books

Vancouver Comicon at Heritage Hall, Nov 14 2010. Robyn Hanson photo

There are certain things you don’t immediately let on to someone you’ve just started dating. Unless, that is, you’re totally clueless (something I can definitely lay claim to in the past… and probably again sometime in the near future as well. Maybe even in this blog post).

These include (off the top of my head): your negative opinion of your mother’s cooking; the fact that most of your wardrobe comes from indie-rock shows; and that your comic book collection could fill a regular-size closet.

Each long (and semi-long) term girlfriend I’ve had has had to come to terms with the fact that yes, their boyfriend is a comic book loser. Not that I have tried to hide it, though maybe I should have. But it’s one of those male things women seem to accept in guys, like hockey jerseys, Rush albums and a crush on actress Paz de la Huerta.

I recall a number of years ago when I was going through a geeky process of filing all my comics away in special protective bags (with special cardboard backing, of course). There I was, a grown man (in his late thirties!) in the middle of the living room of his tiny one-bedroom East Van apartment, surrounded by copies of The Invisibles and The Uncanny X-Men and who knows what else, when my cousin came in and said, “Wow. If ___ is still dating you after seeing this, she must really like you.”

One of my exes actually drew her own comics on a semi-regular basis. They were pretty good, too, even if they didn’t have the Hulk or Spider-Man in them.

Comic-book nerd selling off his comics. Robyn Hanson photo

The reason I bring all this up is that R., my girlfriend, got a first-hand taste of comic-book geekdom this weekend. With another move, the second in three months, coming up I had decided that it was time to sell of my collection, or at least a major portion of it. So I rented a dealer’s table and hauled six boxes over to a local Sunday afternoon comic convention. This is not something you want to do alone, plus I figured the presence of comely lass at my side couldn’t hurt sales, especially in the comely-lass deficient (except for the odd Emma Watson type) environment of a comics convention. Hence, I recruited R.

To her credit, she stuck it out ’til the very end as collector after collect (almost all male) pawed through my boxes of comics, most selling for 50 cents or a buck. Fortunately, it turned out that she knew the people at the table next to us. They were selling T-shirts, not comics, so they were even more out of place than we were.

So this blog post is going out to R., for sticking it out and being a good sport (as well as my gopher). And to any ex that I ever dragged to an X-Men movie: I’m sorry.

Read more about my experience selling off my collection here.



boys are like buses

When I was offered this blogging gig, I was a little concerned that I might not have enough material to write about. My dating life wasn’t that exciting and I hoped that the fact that I was going to have to write about it would mean that I’d put more effort in to actually searching for a man. For whatever reason, suddenly my dating life has got a bit exciting and I’m really not sure how to handle things.

I am not good at this whole dating a few people at once thing. I feel like that kind of dating has a whole different set of rules of engagement, and I don’t have the playbook in my possession. Suddenly, there are a couple of interested parties in my life and it worries me. Thrills me and excites me as well of course, but is a tad stressful. I met someone last week that made my heart flutter, and he is totally interested, but I’m flying out to BC to spend time with Bali Boy on Monday.

I’m also worried because obviously whatever I write about my love life is fairly easy to find online, so I’m forced in to a position of being totally honest and upfront with people. But then, that’s kind of how I am anyway.

This is a rambling post, with no real point so I should probably end it. But I have a really awesome post I want to write about what happened with this new interest, I just have to work out if I’ll shoot myself in the foot by doing so.

On another unrelated note, I just spent 24 hours in Finland on assignment and feel compelled to mention that the Finnish men almost knocked the Montreal men out of the water looks wise. If you are attracted to 6’5 blonde Nordic God types. Which, I kinda float my boat. I came close to getting intimate one with a very hot Finn this week, but decided that two boys messing with my mind was enough. Sigh. My love life feels just like waiting for a bus, none in sight for ages and then three come along at once.



I was downtown today with my daughter and decided on a whim to take her over to Dartmouth on the ferry, because that’s the kind of thing that two-year-olds get a kick out of. As we were waiting to board the ferry, this guy I went on a few dates with about six months ago comes over and says hello. I always feel a bit awkward at meeting up with men when I’m in mommy mode, but this guy (lets call him Danny) has a kid himself so I felt okay about it. Danny was cute, funny, charming and I had really liked him. When we started dating I could see myself being with him, but three dates in I realized that he didn’t have a job, lived with his parents and was really not over his ex. So, I ended things.

Chatting with Danny today, I found out that he now has a decent job, and although I didn’t know if he was out of his mom’s basement or over the ex, I presumed that at least one of those things might have happened since I saw him. Danny is a good looking guy – he is tall, blond, built and dresses well, so I couldn’t help thinking I might have made a mistake in finishing things. Anyway, despite the residual chemistry, but I said goodbye and took my daughter up on the deck to look at the water while he went to sit inside. For all of the fifteen minutes it took to get from Halifax to Dartmouth, I wondered whether I should say anything about going out again some time.

I didn’t get a chance, because he was gone by the time we got off the ferry, but as we walked past the liquor store out he came. We chatted again and he walked us to a nearby playground. It got awkward when he told me that he thought he ex was getting married today (RED FLAG RED FLAG!), but he seemed okayish about it. We both said that we should meet up sometime and then he left. I watched him walk away, lighting up a cigarette as he turned the corner, then I remembered what the ultimate dealbreaker had been.

It wasn’t that he smoked, although I hate smoking, it was that he told me he smoked in front of his eight-year-old kid because he didn’t want to hide anything from him. This repulsed me, because for one that meant he was exposing his son to second-hand smoke, but also that he was modeling a behavior that I thought was wrong. Now I’m not a super judgmental parent, truly I’m not, but that just struck me as so incredibly dumb that there was no way I could see the guy again.

So, I’m glad I saw him sparking up that cigarette, because otherwise I would probably emailed him and suggested we meet, which would have just been a complete waste of time.


Running in to Mr Superlover

The sun is shining in Halifax at last, people are out in their gardens and it seems that spring is actually here. So, I knew it was just a matter of time before I ran in to a mistake I made: the neighbor I was in lust with last summer, Nick. What we shared wasn’t even a fling, he was supposed to be a friend with benefits but the friendship never really happened and the benefits were of questionable quality.

Nick is beyond hot. Tall, muscular, smart and employed (doesn’t live with his mum either, bonus!), the first time I saw him up on scaffolding and bare-chested as he fixed up his house I swooned. He really is an absolutely beautiful specimen of mankind. We’d actually been fixed up by a mutual friend on Facebook when I first moved to Halifax last June, he’d pissed me off with some comment and I’d decided not to pursue him, but then I ran in to him two blocks away from my house, where he lived. Because he was so incredibly gorgeous, I invited him over for a beer.

We hooked up, it was nothing special but I put it down to the fact that it was our first time and thought it might get better. Nick came round and helped me fix some stuff in my house, he was a sweetheart, I looked after his dog one day and he asked if he could come round later. He did, we did, but the second time was pretty bad.  Then I had a date with the guy who called his mother a bitchwhore and I was feeling so crappy I invited Nick round to make it feel better. The hook-up was okay, still not that special but I felt a connection. (There I go again being a girl, of course I’d started to like him, especially compared to the rest of the losers I was meeting.) We got on really well and were talking about doing other stuff together, no way was there any relationship talk but I thought the friendship side was going to happen.

Then nothing. I’d run in to him outside his place, which I have to walk past to go ANYWHERE, including to take my kid to daycare, and we’d make small talk but I’d been given the brush off. I invited him over and felt like an idiot when he wasn’t interested. Then he contacted a friend on lavalife with some cheesy message about how big and strong he was and I wanted to gag. I got fed up of notices coming up on my Facebook feed from girls to him about how much they were looking forward to seeing him and so I unfriended him (not because I was jealous so much as I was starting to feel like the least liked member of his Facebook hareem). Nick loved himself, but had every right to I guess, he had so much going for him and obviously no problems attracting girls.

However, like I said, I have to walk past his house at least twice a day and I don’t want awkwardness so I asked for a ride to Home Depot one day (we are both renovating houses, one of the things we had in common) to clear the air and let him know we were cool. We went it was fine, but awkward. That was in September. I was genuinely sad that we couldn’t be friends. On Christmas Eve I emailed to say that I was hoping we could go for a beer sometime, he emailed back the next day to say sure, but he was in Mexico so he would call me when he got back. Of course he didn’t.

So, today as I dragged my daughter to the store in her wagon, wearing track pants and with no make-up on, there he was in his yard. I tried to walk by but he called me over and started making small-talk, I was polite but when he said he hadn’t seen me around I just had to leave. At least the first awkward encounter is over. And, I totally don’t find him as hot as my mind had built him up to be over the past five months. Maybe I’ll just have to cross the street before I get to his place from now on, and remember not to play so close to home next time.

Oh, and for light relief you might want to check out this video, cheesy but too true One of my girlfriends sent it to me because she thought it rang true of some of my experiences!


Driving: a contentious issue

So what about driving? How important is it to dating/relationships/intimacy? Let’s look at this phenomenon one by one:

Dating: When you’re dating, it’s important to have a car, especially if you’re a guy. Not necessarily because your date might demand it—though she might secretly be thinking, “What a putz, he doesn’t even have a car”, if you don’t—but because it adds to the dude’s confidence. Many a time I’ve been paralyzed about going on a date with someone that involved public transportation. Nothing kills romance more than riding a bus full of crackheads and juvenile delinquents, which are the two demographics with which public transit seems most suited.

It’s also important to drive fairly well. Like it or not, your date is judging you on your driving skills, and whether or not you’ve just backed into that nice BMW with your piece-of-crap Ford Escort. Parallel parking? You do this right, and she’s 95 % in the bag. Swearing at motorists? You’re back at square one, or worse.

Don’t drive drunk! Not for any namby-pamby reasons like you might hit someone, but because it’s just bad form. Although there are always those girls whom you’ve just met at a rocker bar who might be excited by the prospect of the “bad boy” who gets behind the wheel of his SUV and plows home after eight pitchers of draft, most women will be turned off at the prospect. Also, you might get pulled over, and that’s just not sexy. Unless you manage to talk your way out of it, or the cop recognizes you from the TV show you were in. Women, also, shouldn’t drive drunk, unless they’re mothers.

Remember, driving during the dating stage is one way of impressing your prospective mate, and one that doesn’t involve cash (after the initial investment, natch), wit or brawn.

Relationships: Driving, like money, sooner or later becomes a contentious issue. She doesn’t like the way you speed up at yellow lights, say, or he doesn’t like that, to see where you’re going, you have to lean so far over the steering wheel your nose is touching the front windshield. All this stuff seemed cute at first, but six months in you’re thinking, it’s time to get a bike.

Intimate: Well, outside of the fact that just having a car can be an aphrodisiac in the right circumstance, never mind something that’s actually kind of sexy (i.e. not a Ford Escort), the automobile offers plenty of opportunity go get frisky with one another. Our parents knew this, and their parents, and Meat Loaf sure as heck knew it. Now, of course, you can rent giant stretch SUVs that look like Tommy Lee’s kitchen, complete with with hot tubs and stripper polls. That takes some of the fun and innocence of parking at a Lover’s Lane-type area, but it’s nice to know that no one in that staggering party of stagettees is doing the driving.


Swiftly, annoyingly domesticated me

I haven’t left Jimmy the Pirate’s lair in weeks, and it would be shocking, except the time passes so easily and calmly, it doesn’t feel like weeks at all. Also I have an  excuse: my laptop died a couple weeks ago and without his computer, I’d be lost.  What is surprising is that, in spite of both of us having zero recent experience co-habiting with someone else, we have taken to it so happily.

Granted, we aren’t quite the conventional domesticated twosome: I urge him to go out drinking with his friends at night so I can have peace and quiet to work.  He calls me from various places (the hairdresser, the grocery store, etc.) to tell me about all the hot pieces of Hollywood ass that are giving him the eye.  I got a large shipment of Astroglide goodies sent to his office, festooned with ribbons and bows.  It goes on and on. We are both shamelessly appreciative of eye candy, horny as teenagers, and thankfully though we’re each protective of the other, neither of us are “the jealous type.” (I’ve actually always been pleased to see other women looking at my man–it proves I have good taste.)

I do wonder if things are going to change and I’ll become a typical nag, harshing on my poor beleaguered pirate about everything from his wandering eye to his middling-serious tattoo addiction. I wonder if, when the first glow fades, I’ll stop pointing out other hotties to him, or find it annoying rather than funny when one of his exes appears from the past to propose marriage. My sisters and other women would probably warn me that this is a possibility, and say that I’m only so lenient because it’s new and still “fun.”

My response is…well, I was this way when I was 20, more so at 25, and after a few years of being a singles writer and advocate of the unconventional but true-to-one’s-self lifestyle, I could never forgive myself for suddenly embracing the status quo. It wouldn’t feel right. And I don’t think I could stick with it. Actually, looking at my past relationships, I know I couldn’t. One of the greatest things about this relationship is that I don’t have to hide the fact that I used to frequent the Spearmint Rhino, that I have close working relationships with several “adult toy” manufacturers, and that I’m the proud author of such stories as “Relationship Recycling: My Earth Month Amendment” and the classic “A Blowjob, A Sandwich, And Silence.”  For once, that side of me can coexist with the cuddly little girlfriend who just wants to stay home and watch movies on a Friday nite…and forgive me if this makes you puke, but I think it’s pretty rad.

August 2020

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