Love Letters to Me

Last week at the gym I was on the stepper developing my carpal tunnel (I opt to take most of my body weight through my poorly conditioned forearms while convincing myself I’m shredding booty) reading the February 2012 issue of Shape magazine. There was article that discussed the results of an interesting study. Apparently writing a love letter to yourself once a day for a week can have highly positive effects. I say “highly positive effects” because I can’t actually remember the positive outcome they were looking at. It was probably something like (please don’t quote me), “you’ll have really great sex”. Or, “your skin will have the bronzed glow of an Oscar’s statue or a Jennifer Lopez”. Or, “you will have more energy and burn more calories”. Or, “you will meet the man/woman of your dreams”.

[Pick your favorite, and yes, that’s what the outcome was.]

Either way, the “highly positive effects” lasted six months in the study. For only one week of sexy love notes to myself? I gotta get on this.

So here it goes.

Saturday, March 12, 2012

Dear HOAR,

My love for you is so strong that, if I could, I would bring you flowers every day. Even though I know you couldn’t possibly keep them alive and, let’s face it, you couldn’t name three different types of flowers if you tried. But I would still do it because in our culture, dying plants mean “I love you”. And I do. Love you.

Sunday, March 13, 2012

My darling HOAR,

What is that? Is there a dead animal on your shower wall? A toupee? No. That’s the mat of dead hair that falls out of your precious, dried scalp during your vigorous deep conditioning process. But rather than let the nest clog the drain, you stick the matted handfuls to the wall. Brilliant! How thoughtful! Sure, sometimes you forget to wipe it off afterwards. Sometimes it’s still there when company comes over. But if they love you, like I do, they will consider your unique wall art endearing.

P.S. You look great today. Whoever told you Walmart flannel pajamas are less sexy than Victoria’s Secret lingerie was lying.

Monday, March 14, 2012

Hey there, sexy HOAR,

Whatcha wearin’, there? Oh, the cords again? You treasure. Those beige Joe Fresh corduroys you bought while grocery shopping in Thunder Bay five years ago might seem dated to some. But gosh, you manage to wring every ounce of… je-ne-sais-quoi out of everything, don’tcha you little thrift-kitten? Sure they end slightly above the ankle bones but hey! Who doesn’t like capris? And the trendy high-waist and extra large buttock pockets just…give that butt so much space to…exist. Looking at it just…gives me time to think. About life.

You should have bought a pair in every color.

Tuesday, March 15, 2012

Dearest HOAR,

You really do go above and beyond in everything you do. And I want you to know how much I appreciate that. Don’t think I didn’t notice you digging through bins of multicolored candy with a scoop to pick out just the green ones for St. Paddy’s day. I saw you break a sweat and I may have even heard a gentle grunt or two as you really got in there. And just for me. I am very lucky. Some might argue you would only put forth such an effort for food but no, they’ve pegged you wrong. I’m not one to name names, but in the wise words of a woman who may or may not have grown me in her uterus, “you’d tear out your arsehole and shit through your ribs” for a great glass of red as well. You work and you suffer for what you want. Admirable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2012


Loving the “born-again” thick hoop you’ve had re-jammed in your nose for only $50 of the grocery money. When paired with your work pants and that adorably fuzzy, low-set bun in your hair, you look nothing like a thirty-year-old having an identity crisis. But, perhaps, your gut instinct is correct and it should be changed to a demure stud as soon as you’ve waited the mandatory six weeks. Only because “understated” is the new “please look at me” in accessorizing. Not that you’re not gorgeous.

Thursday, March 17, 2012

To the HOAR of my life,

I can’t help but notice how strong and unbreakable your nails are lately. Some might compare their thickness to toenails and attribute them to the new brand of birth-control pills you just started (hi, dad!). But I just think they’re the outward projection of your inner strength. And the fact that the white part starts so close to the large cuticles? To me that says “whimsical” and “fun”. You should be waving those babies in the air right now!

Friday, March 18, 2012

I/You/We love wine. Winey wine wine. I love you. You love I. Love love. And wine.

Saturday, March 19, 2012

Darling HOAR,

Has it been a week already? I could have gone on forever. What I love most about you is your bravery. I remember that fateful day seven years ago when you were not totally unlike William Wallace himself…

Of course you hadn’t had a cold sore since you were a child, so how were you to know when you felt that delightful tingle you shouldn’t gnaw at it with the corner of your crooked upper front tooth like it was a scratch-n-win? And when the thing ballooned to the size of a brussel sprout and the allergic reaction caused the left side of your lower lip to swell until it gently caressed your chin, what were you do to but keep on truckin’? And that’s just what you did. Nevermind that you had just won the prestigious Summer Undergraduate Research Award and were doing cancer research in a meticulously sterile lab at the Health Sciences Centre. Nevermind that your brilliant, little Japanese supervisor had the drive of a worker bee, the patience of Christian Bale having his eyeline crossed, and a voice that could pierce the bottom of the great Atlantic. Nevermind that you worked in a lab full of attractive grad students a few years older than you. And nevermind that when you mustered up the gut-wrenching courage to walk into the lab, your supervisor pointed and screamed “Herpes! Get out!”. What’s important is that you survived. After a week of social isolation and self-administered food therapy you walked into that lab with your head held high. That shows great courage. And for that, I love you.

Whew. I’m gettin’ a little misty here. I had no idea how much I loved myself.

[Of course I did.]

Having re-read those letters… I feel like slipping into my sexiest pair of beige corduroys, throwing on the ol’ iPod headphones and taking a stroll in the sunshine. Spring starts tomorrow and I’ve got six beautiful months of great sex/J-Lo sheen/a slimmer waistline/whatever to look forward to. Chee-ya!

Your turn!

What’s the Happiest Blood-Type?


[This and other knee-slappers brought to you by the sweet nun who taught me in elementary school.]

Be positive. That’s the universal advice, right? But not always so easy to abide by. While still stewing in the pungent revelations of election-time deception here at home…

[I like to imagine Harps and Robocop lying in a sweet, post-coital embrace; Stevey, smokin’ a stogie; Robo-Peter-Weller, makin’ a few phone calls. Adorable.]

…you watch in horror as epically heartbreaking events unfold in crimson-stained Baba Amro.

And then there are all the little things… You forgot to do laundry on Sunday, so you’ve had to resort to full-arsed drawers which are extra apparent as your pants are fitting a little too snug because cheese tastes so good. In lieu of the gym, you eat the leftover pizza dipped in Rancher’s Choice, pass out before brushing your teeth and wake up to a sensation not unlike ten Mexicans having just taken ten, proud dumps in your mouth before stuffing it with cotton balls to hold in the aroma and rob it of any pacifying moisture.

[You’re wrong, that’s not racist. I simply chose Mexicans because they have a delightfully spicy cuisine. I likewise could have said ten members-of-my-extended-family-after-eating-mom’s-homemade-cabbage-rolls. But no one likes a run-on sentence.]

And to top things off, the check-out guy asks you if you’d like bags for the $220 worth of groceries you’ve just purchased (and can’t really afford).

Oh no. No thank you. I’m just gonna go ahead and put this all in my pants. Would you be a dear and stuff this pork tenderloin into my arse crack? That’s right, just atop the horror that is a 30-year-old wearing “50%-off” Ardene jeggings. 

Life: you sure can suck massive balls.

We cling to whatever faith we have that these stagnancies, these shit-clots of corruption and grievance in the natural flow of things will dissolve. And the intended, peaceful rhythm of the universe will resume.

But sometimes, we bail on even the effort of faith. For the petty daily annoyances, we resort to the ever-dependable rage blackout and project our frustrations onto whatever poor bugger crosses us. For the larger, global crises, we opt for the happier lull of feigned blindness. We turn off the tv, kill the radio, resume ignorance.

Although the former is toxic and self-defeating, we might actually be onto something with the latter.

For either burp of negativity from the world, the wisest and most productive reaction is… love.

[I know. You just puked a little.]

I don’t mean drawing hearts and skipping. I mean consciously choosing the reaction that maintains or creates peace. It is obvious why this route would benefit you and your personal woes. When it comes to the larger issues, however, we often feel bad about turning a blind eye. But there is a school of thought that suggests: if there is no immediate action you can personally take to right a large-scale wrong, you can benefit the universe more with positivity than with worry.

And the one-quarter hippie-granola in my blood (thanks, mom) – enhanced by the burned copies of Wayne Dyer talks I stole from dad – allows me to believe this whole-heartedly.

I’m not saying this is easy. I get the rage sweats as much as the next purple-faced hot-head. Often we react without thought until it’s too late. Positivity takes practice. And so I thought I’d start a list to help myself (and maybe you) along; just some things we can think about when we’re feeling defeated. Or helpless. Or hopeless. Or pre-menstrual…

[My friends (mom): there is so much forward thinking coming up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Dyer himself incorporated some of these ideas into his future lectures.

You’re welcome, Wayne Dyer.]


HOARish Thoughts for a Brighter Tomorrow:

1. Gross words

Often offensive. Mostly crude. Ever hilarious. Usually sexually connoting.

Gross words rock.

For example: I will never feel enough like a 60+-year-old pervert to say the word “panties” seriously. They’re underwear. “Panties” is a word reserved for girls ages 10-years and younger. Any other demographic exercising use of this word? Questionable. And super funny.

Likewise (and yes, I realize, I’m not helping the case of me not being an old perv): “horny”. Gross. I can never bring myself to say this word aloud. And if I hear someone else say it, any legitimacy of its use in that moment will be immediately extinguished. “Horny” is a sticky situation (pun-tastic!) because there aren’t many usable synonyms for the denoted phenomenon here. “Aroused”? Haha. And, yuck, b’y. “Stimulated”? What is this a science experiment? Either way, at the risk of completely killing the mood, laugh out loud if you hear any of these words (provided no one is offended).

Horny panties. Double the comic value. The world is infinitesimally a better place.

2. Ice cream with peanut butter in it

I don’t really feel I need to elaborate on this… But when you’ve got a chocolate peanut butter cup melting in your mouth and your spoon has just found the start of one of those never ending cold sheets of faux-peanut butter? That shit’s enough to bring a tear to your wooden eye. I’m getting emotional just typing this. Bliss.

3. This car

The other day I was driving home from work and saw this gem cruising along in front of me. Oddly enough, it stayed in front of me for quite some time and actually arrived at my building. The entire time I thought, “man, I wish I could take a picture of this”. We both had to stop to allow the underground parking door to squeak its way open, so I figured that was the universe’s way of saying, “fuckin’ do it”. So I did. I tried to be as casual as possible, so the photo’s of grade Q quality. But what you’re seeing is the car of a fully-grown adult with stuffed animals strategically aligned in the back windshield. Facing outward. That shit is mind-blowing. Potential serial killer? No! Just plain ol’ funny.

Next time you accidentally walk into the leg of the couch barefoot so you get the crotch-numbing zing of toe-spread impact (the worst!), don’t react immediately. Take a breath and think: somewhere out there, there is an adult with stuffed animals aligning his/her windshield. You will feel better.

[Note: Laugh out loud in private. Never at someone else’s (knowing) expense. Unless, of course, someone’s fart reverberates off the acoustically brilliant instrument that is a wooden pew at Christmas Eve mass. In such a circumstance, throw your head back and belly-laugh without abandon.]

4. Barbecues on hot days

You’ve lost your winter’s palor. You’re vitamin D-riffic and, thus, less D-pressed. Your alcoholic beverages are cool, crisp and usually involve slices of fruit. And also: barbecued meat. I realize I am simply stating the obvious. But sometimes “the obvious” is what makes life so delicious.

[Cue the “Family Ties” intro song.]

5. Coffee and Bailey’s on cold days

It’s soothing, it’s yummy and it’s the most acceptable way to consume alcohol in public.

6. Long weekends

I’ve decided that I would not want every weekend to be a three-day weekend. It takes a long build-up of exhausting, soul-callousing five-day work-weeks to harness that fall-on-your-knees-in-gratitude reflex when an extra day off finally arrives. No better time to have left-overs for breakfast and see how many movies you can squeeze into ten hours than on a work-free Monday.

7. Sex. Bill Murray. Betty White.

Three (seemingly) unrelated things. All in existence to remind us that the world is a beautiful place.

8. Homemade bread

Especially when it’s my mom’s and it’s cinnamon raisin. And while I’m here, you get a bonus smile in knowing that I had to use spell-check for both “cinnamon” and “raisin”. Brain my have sleep think not.

[End of list.]

Eight is not even a sensible number to stop at but I will because it’s late, my brain just melted, and I think you feel me. Even though you dream of arm-barring Harper or your boss, deserting your tantrum-dipped youngsters at Walmart, flipping your crabby neighbour the bird; even though you’re numbed with grief by the state of the world… You’ve gotta dredge up and proclaim love. Everything’s gonna be alright.

[It’s best if you read that last part aloud with a Jamaican accent.]

And it all starts with a smile.