the swing of things

30 Sep

No, I have not decided to swing, at least not yet🙂 I’m going to preface this Tale with a little personal insight, otherwise it may seem well a little lame.

Recently coming out of an ugly break up, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and reflection. My mind will be on work one minute, and then all of a sudden, I get flashbacks of me in the Sahara, wearing a burka and drinking mint tea during sunset – higher than a kite on life instead of my usual vodka redbulls in Vancouver. Ever wonder about your life path and decisions? I have been doing a lot of this lately.

Being freshly single I could go one of two ways. I could turn into a raging slut and have a lot of fun or I can focus on me and be somewhat of a hermit. Right now I’m balancing between the two options, carefully weighing out my decision. Do I want flashbacks of meaningless but fun sex when I’m eighty? Or do I want to remember my prime years pining over some weak man who couldn’t get it together? Pretty sure I know which option I’d regret.  Until what age are drunk nights at a bar a few times a week appropriate? Is there an age limit to this? Does it depend on whether we are also making steps towards our future during other times?  I’m not going to lie, I judged my ex for his Roxy going ways. Oh the fights we had over the “having fun versus being ambitious” scale. Questions I’m sure we all have and all have to answer independently. Balance and choice are tricky topics. If only they had wine and bar stools in the Sahara, I’m sure I would have stayed.

So this Tale is about me getting my mojo back. It’s about going out as a single girl again after a year of not, hitting the bars, meeting men – all while feeling pretty sad and insecure on the inside and quite frankly, wanting to cry a little into my Merlot.

The Charles

The Charles by foodandtell

We started off at The Charles Bar, a new bar in the Woodwards development in Gastown. The restaurant itself is nothing special and has a low key atmosphere. The menu is okay if you like poutine and the servers are b-grade. However, it was opening weekend and we had heard that Ryan Reynolds was there the night before. Who isn’t a sucker for his boyish good looks and abs?

I was out with SA and my good friend Mia. Mia is also recently single and we’ve been supporting each other through the “be strong, they suck” phases. As you do. The three of us plonked down at the bar and promptly ordered some wine. We were all fairly tired and definitely needed a good low-key girls night out.

I’m pretty sure the three of us poured our souls out to each other over the course of three hours. There is really nothing like good friends in this world. I often contemplate and dream of leaving Vancouver and making my home in other cities. Living here my whole life definitely makes me stir crazy. But friends and family make this city my home.

After our therapy session… I mean, conversation, we were three glasses of wine in and I was feeling a little perkier. I had noticed that our bartender seemed like a nice guy and since I am one guy down in my life, thought maybe I should start with more men as friends. Yes, I needed some manfriends. I’m sorry girls, but it is also great to get a testicular opinion once in a while and nothing quite beats a good manly hug.

So I boldly asked our bartender if he would like to be my friend, my manfriend. He flashed me a killer smile and said he would willingly apply for that position. I handed him my iphone and a minute later had his number. Who knew it could be that easy? Although it did occur to me later that I knew nothing about this man and, being a busy girl, I will have to try and prioritize my men going forward.

After spending our early hours with Charles, we headed over to a friend’s birthday party at the Century House. I personally love this venue. If you ever want a nice, private, low key party this is the place to rent out. Historic charm meets Latin warmth.

It was Krista’s big 3-0 and by the time we showed up, her crew was in full swing. Krista’s not a close friend, I met her playing poker one night and really liked her vibe. That being said, I’m guessing the feeling was mutual as I got the invite to her party. Scanning the crowd, the three of us knew no one else, which doesn’t happen that often in this small city.

I headed towards the bar and ordered my signature Singapore Sling. After providing the bartender with the list of ingredients (I should market this drink), I was off to make some new man friends. Quickly spying a wandering eye my way, I smiled and motioned with my index finger  (classic come hither move) for the ogling man to come over. This, my lady friends, has never failed me and is an easy move for those of you starting out on the “make new man friend” path.

Greg turned out to be a nice guy: good career, fairly good looking, but definitely not rebound material since he was looking for a relationship. X off my list, but I brought him over to SA and Mia, who may want to become emotionally available. I quickly departed that threesome on the search for new friends. I briefly came across the cutest newlyweds and did my best to tell them they were the cutest couple ever. I actually meant it, they were. I remember them saying that life had just started after they met. Gawd, I wonder what it’s like to be a newborn again, think about how much more trouble I would want to get into. Okay, I suppose that wasn’t their point.

After a few more cocktails at Century we headed to Opus to check out their new 100 Days concept. I was a bit disappointed and still prefer the Keefer for decor and ambiance; however, Kwesi, their lovely doorman assured me that their menu was great and, well, he’s always a charm to flirt with.

My Lessons from a Bar Stool:

Lessons for the ladies:

1. Nothing replaces a good girlfriend. Try your hardest not to lose touch.

2. Be lighthearted. No one is worth wasting your time being upset over.

3. Surround yourself with people who make you a stronger, happier, better person. Let go of those who stand in your way of these three qualities.

Lessons for the men:

1. Do approach girls deep in conversation, even we need breaks from our very important topics.

2. Have dreams and goals, nothing is more unattractive than a playboy wannabe. Don’t end up a washed up an old man at the Roxy. All females are silently mocking and avoiding those men.

3. It’s important to have a balance of both male and female friends. Too much of one or the other, probably isn’t a good thing.

-WT

This is a song/video I stumbled across that I love. It reminds me of how important people are in your life and how connected we are.

black lamb

28 Sep

My night started out on the Fortes patio for a co-worker and now good friend, Cleo’s, goodbye party. She was moving on to greener pastures and what better way to celebrate than with the clink of a wine glass on a patio, with hot rich men in suits picking up the tab?

We had made reso’s for five, skipped out early on work on a nice hot summer day and nestled up to what I think is one of the nicest bar stools in Vancouver. Half an hour later our intimate party of five had grown to twenty (I blame the crackberry) and I had Frenchie screaming at me in French as he was now way over capacity. Two glasses of wine in, I smiled at him and politely told him to chill out, in french. Yes, I was in a devilish mood and quite frankly it wasn’t my job to stop people from coming up, didn’t he run this place? He gave me an exasperated look and left. Ok, I admit it was a bit of a Yaletown princess move. It also was not my fault that everyone was coming to Fortes and buying bottles of Dom at 4:00 in the afternoon. Or was it?

Tired of being surrounded by my coworkers and old British men, a few of us branched out to Goldfish for dinner. By a few of us, I mean two of my best girlfriends and a certain dapper Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown is a man of mystery – I’m not quite sure what he does and I’m not going to find out. All I know is he has lots of green, is a lot of fun, is very classy and knows everyone in this city. Perhaps family money?

The four of us were enjoying the small patio in the back and another delicious bottle of wine when Mr. Brown noticed a friend inside. He went over and came back with a ‘Slick’. Yes, this man had on tight jeans, a dress shirt half buttoned up, was way too tanned and his hair was long and shaggy. I admit… I was intrigued.

The five of us were on fire – drinks were flowing, conversation was great, the night was beautiful. My girlfriend J, known for breaking out into an impromptu dance party, dragged me and Cleo out for a breath of fresh air (well, in her case, a smoke). In front of Goldfish we noticed a black Lamborghini. Totally not my type of ride but I have to admit I’m attracted to anything black. Mr. Slick came out to join us and, of course, opened the car door and told us to jump in. Hmm… ok.

We hopped in his car and I asked for the keys.  I was envisioning myself tearing off with night vision goggles down the street at neck breaking speeds, when I realized I probably was in no shape to drive. My mind went from speed to sex (obviously) and I asked him if he’d ever ”christened” his car. Honest question… not so sure if I got an honest answer.

Slick helped us out of the car and we wandered down to Glowbal… of course. This is where the night went from good to great. Jo broke out her signature dance party in the center of Glowbal with Mr. S. It was gold. People were staring like the two were aliens; so I, of course, joined in and pulled over Mr. Brown and Cleo. GT’s were happening.

A few more cocktails and what I call “fun talk with randoms”, and we left for Bar None. As we were walking out, Mr. S looked around and mumbled to me, “I wonder where my bodyguards are at”. Was he for real? He told me he always has two guys on him at all times. Now although I was having a good time, this little fact definitely sobered me up for a second… was I in any danger? And then, always trying to find the positives in life,  I wondered, were his bodyguards hot?

We arrived at Bar None and were ushered right into the VIP. If I were in LA, London, New York or Paris I would be impressed, but Bar None is by far my least favorite place to be. Maybe if they redecorated?

We partied like rock stars that night – dancing and laughing, and from what I remember, enjoying a great connection with good friends and new interesting people. And no, I didn’t christen the Lambo. No matter how black it was, I’m still not a fan of the “old man, too unbuttoned shirt” look. Plus, the bodyguards weren’t hot.

My Lessons from a Bar Stool:

Lessons for the Ladies:

1. Mature and classy men don’t expect you, or pressure you, to put out after picking up the tab.

2. Initiate dance parties whenever the mood hits.

3. Don’t sleep with a man because of the car he drives, no matter how black it is.

Lessons for the Men:

1. Do up your shirt, don’t risk looking like a douchbag. Two buttons undone max is the rule.

2. If you don’t feel safe without bodyguards, perhaps reconsider what’s going on in your life?

3. Always pick up the tab, it’s just classy.

~ WT

As previously published on Vancity Buzz.

If you like this Tale, you may also like The Freaks Come Out at Night.

i touch myself

23 Sep

Playa del Carmen. Destination wedding. Tropical oasis. Sandy beaches. Margaritas. Sexy men. Crabs.

Wait… what?

Last spring thirty people from Europe to Prince George to Vancouver descended upon Playa to witness the wedding of one of my dearest and oldest friends.  I was one of perhaps just 4 single girls in the party and we were determined to put our wedding woes behind us and bag a vacation fling.  Unfortunately, the five star resort we were staying at mainly catered to honeymooners and couples. Bleh.

It was halfway through our week when luck struck – ten men were sent to stay at our resort from an overbooked neighbouring hotel. Did I mention it was ten hot men from New York on a stag?

After dinner, our group opted to lounge about in the large lobby area to imbibe on free cocktails and get up our mojo to hit the town.  The lobby was where the nightly performances were held, and had a large seating area with a couple of pool tables.  One of the best inventions for picking up has to be the pool table.  It’s actually quite sexual – balls, sticks, holes… And have you observed the stance one must take to make a shot? It’s basically an invitation to stare at one’s bootay.

While I sat with my friends, I had one eye on the men from New York playing pool, and when I saw a game coming to an end, I made my move – a challenge  Canada vs. US.  Girls vs. boys.  Two tables, two games.  They were up for the “challenge”, sensing it was a chance to prove their manhood.  Did they not sense that it was also about to get crushed?  It’s not like we’re a bunch of pool sharks or anything.  But the boys weren’t drinking water in those shot glasses and I had already seen quite a few go down before we even started.

During the game, I had set my sights on one member in the group (obviously). His name was Conrad – tall, dark and handsome with one of those harsh New York accents.  He was also a lawyer; in fact, most of them were lawyers.  Judging by his lingering eyes and hands, he had already chosen his preference as well.

As mentioned earlier, our hotel was overflowing with honeymooners, most of whom had already moved on to their rooms to have as much sex as they could muster.  The lobby had cleared out and only The Blonde (yes… she was on this trip too) and my girlfriend, K, were left from our group.  Rather than wallow in our discontent, we decided to join the New Yorkers in their venture into town, where we waltzed into the Blue Parrot located directly on the beach, our go-to bar in Playa.

The NYers bought a round of Coronas and we separated into small groups of conversations.  I found myself with Nick, a very obnoxious, very attractive, power hungry lawyer, and K.  Nick regaled us with stories of his secretary and his recent affair with her.  Going into details of how she had instigated it all by following him home one night.  Hearing him talk made me a bit sick to my stomach.  He was a little too American Psycho in his storytelling.

My eyes wandered to Conrad, who was deep in conversation with one of his boys.  I watched as his hand reached into his pocket, made some rather aggressive adjustment motions and slip back out.  Continue reading

up yer kilt

21 Sep

Some would say SA and I have a drinking problem. I prefer to think of it as a preference to eat out. Really, how satisfying is it to make a meal for one? Exactly. How can we fully experience dining at Vancouver’s finest without a glass of wine? This being one of those nights, we met at our favourite half way point between our places, and cozied up at the bar.

It was a cold night so we ordered a half litre of red wine and an assortment of appies. Walter, one of our favourite barmen in this city, brought over some samples, which we nibbled on while we caught up on the niceties.

I couldn’t help but notice the man two stools down from us was listening in to our conversation (wouldn’t you?). He was an elderly man, probably pushing late 70’s. I wouldn’t call him attractive, yet he had a very kind and approachable aura about him – like Santa Claus. Eye contact was established and he swooped in for the ‘kill’. Moving over to the seat next to us, he struck up a conversation. We liked Duncan instantly. Most likely because he was Scottish, and SA and myself have a huge weakness for accents and foreign men – both the Grandfatherly kind and the “I just want to rip off your clothes” kind.

He was quick to refill our wine and before we knew it, it was past his bedtime. During the course of the evening, Duncan had convinced us to join him the following week for a Robbie Burns supper. (Obligatory history lesson for those of you who don’t know: Robert Burns is a highly celebrated Scottish poet and a lyricist, who was regarded as the pioneer of the romantic movement.  After his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism)

The idea of seeing men in kilts was almost too much for us. SA and I were sure it was going to blow our minds and we really enjoyed the adventure of doing something completely new in our city… we were about to infiltrate Vancouver’s Scottish clan.  Let’s hope the Scots that awaited were younger and burlier than our new friend. Continue reading

french kisses

16 Sep

The bar was quiet and had a low hum of intimate conversation. The fireplace and candles cast a comfortable ambiance, while outside it was cold, dark and wet. Sound like the beginning of a Sherlock Holmes mystery? Tucked away off of a main artery, this spot is frequented by very few locals and is a well hidden treasure in Vancouver. If you enjoy a somewhat British ambiance with an eclectic clientele, we suggest visiting the Gerard Lounge in the Sutton Place Hotel on a rainy Vancouver night.

We sat down not expecting more than a warming glass of red wine to up our spirits on the cold dreary night. As soon as I looked up from the wine list I couldn’t help but notice him sitting across at the bar, his eyes cast towards us with an interested glance. Was it the twinkle in his eye, or the confident smile of a man who has experienced life more than most?

Staring intently at our table, he came right over. His introduction had just enough intensity to make us realize that he was different than any other man we had ever come across. He was an elderly man with dark French Italian looks, wearing a black designer suit (Hermes, as we later discovered) with a white handkerchief and a distinguished newsboy cap. A little more European than your regular Vancouver denizen.

The chemistry at our table was instantaneous and we couldn’t help but wonder how this was all going to unfold. He ordered us more wine and chocolate covered strawberries from the chocolate buffet… the key to any girl’s heart.

Our night continued on with the Frenchman to the Italian Kitchen, where we were treated to even more dessert and intelligent conversation about life, literature (I’m not talking about Judy Blume) and culture. We were practically eating out of his hands.

Just this one happenstance melted into many more nights of charming conversation combined with just the perfect amount of wine and lavish meals. The discussions we had with this man were endless and full of body. Over the course of our time together he would fluently educate us on artists, fine wines, fashion, poets, writers, lifestyles around the world, and best of all relationships. It was overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. As he ordered us the finest French dishes and wines, one coming after another, we sat and listened for hours to the wealth of knowledge pouring from a refreshingly deep soul. His table manners were impeccable and with the finest of form, he would consistently ensure that our experience each night was to be memorable, and he always delivered.

One night, as we made our way from dinner, we stopped in at one of Vancouver’s landmark restaurants for a nightcap. Here we met his nemesis, a man who is very well known to the elite in this city. We quickly determined that their relationship was one of love to hate. While he spent the next few hours teasing and taunting his companion in a way that only a French man could do while not passing as gay, we sat sipping wine and enjoyed the banter. They were like fire on fire, exchanging exaggerated looks and teasing words in French. North American men rarely pull off this almost flirtatious behaviour between men. It was eye opening and entertaining to see it happen right before our very eyes.

As we sat and appreciated our lively company, the fine wines and the superb service, I wondered if people thought we were escorts. Continue reading

the fantasy continues – brazil part II

14 Sep

We were five days into our Brazilian fantasy and decided to leave Rio for some R&R. Yes, even I need to get out of an amazing city once in a while to be surrounded by beautiful beaches and island men. Not big on making a long journey, we opened up a travel book our new Irish friend had provided and looked at the map. Should we head north or south? These are my favorite type of decisions. An eeny, meeny, miny, mo later and we pointed south to a town called Paraty, a small colonial Portuguese town on the southeast coast – perfect.

Four hours (or so) on a bus and we rocked up to the town just before midnight. A quick broken English conversation with a lovely local lady and minutes later we arrived at a gorgeous little place on the beach called Sereia-do-Mar. I highly recommend. Very inexpensive, perfect location, with your very own private little beach house. We settled in at the open air restaurant at the bar with two large glasses of red wine in front of us, soft reggae in the background and the ocean lapping across the street.

Hmm… now what? Oh yes – relaxation. It had been a few busy days in Rio and my lips were definitely a little tired. I was also a little worried about catching mono. Having random men grab you and kiss you (full tongue) over and over again is bound to catch up with a girl.

Pretty soon we had made friends with a hot Italian man who was working at the hostel… with his wife (bummer). Turns out he was 40 and she was 30, they had quit their jobs in Italy and had traveled through Central America the year before. After returning to Italy they thought to themselves, “Why settle down again? Let’s see South America.” So after a bit of scrimping and saving they started on their one year journey around SA. I heart people like this. Maybe I just relate to them because I really do not want a ‘traditional’ life. I’m really glad it’s becoming more of the norm for people to pick up and be vagabonds at 40.  Out with the traditional views and in with the new. This couple was happier than they had ever been and were having experiences most people only dream of having.

Around 2am, a crew were heading to the one local bar to party, and as tempted as we both were, we declined and went back to our cabin. I’m pretty sure I was out in 2 seconds flat. Yes, Rio had been a ‘handful’. In hindsight, I should have looked for the Brazilian version of redbull and sucked it up, -there was a cute young barman that I was making eyes with.

The next day we walked through the cobblestone town, where no cars are allowed, and admired all of the historic Portuguese architecture. Buildings there haven’t changed in over 250 years. We felt as though we had been pulled back in time with men hauling supplies with horses and carts down the streets, and long boats being used to commute along the river.

After a bit of shopping, we decided to head back to the place where we were staying and have some lunch along the beach. We quickly spotted a beachfront bar with a gigantic rastaman statue outside. Done. We were greeted by a guy who didn’t speak much English, but he decided quite quickly that he was in love with me.  Continue reading