The Wrongs We’re Doing for Mr. Right

Ottawa XPress, Shotgun, December 15, 2005

And sometimes the most lost and wasted
attract the most balanced and sane
And the wild and reckless take up
with the clock and the timed
and the mixture is all of us
and we’re still mixing.

From “She Came Along to Me,” Wilco, Bragg and Guthrie

Sometimes when I’m chillin’ with my male friends, I get a bit wonky. And that’s okay. ‘Cause like many single Ottawans, I’m in training.

Cue Rocky theme song.

Like the other Saturday night, I was hanging out at Mario’s place with him and his buddies. We were listening to super great tunes, enjoying the wicked view from the all-glass condo downtown, sharing hilarious stories, laughing at how low-waist jeans show off your bum crack, and eating pizza. Super fun!

The dudes were mixing up some cold adult beverages and my ginger ale was pretty damn refreshing, let me tell you. A perfect Saturday night, really, until…

…I went to bite into my pizza slice and the tomato goop squirted McCain Pizza Pockets-style down my wrist. And all hell broke loose.

It wasn’t that I was embarrassed by the physical mess. It was the mental one in my messed-up head that ensued, post squirting. See, the problem was that I expected Mario to fetch me a Kleenex to clean up and he didn’t. What an asshole, right?

Was he that distracted by my brilliant commentary upon Wilco, Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie? And when I was, like, “Shit!” when the sauce spillage occurred and he jumped up to go to the other room saying, “I’ll get it,” surely he was coming to my rescue, boyfriend-style, right?

Wrong. He came back with a CD.

Reader, have you ever got pissed at someone for not doing something they had no idea they were supposed to do? In my fantasy re-enactment where Mario plays an awesome boyfriend, he was failing miserably.

But I’m not alone in my psychosis. Actual real couples in Ottawa get into real fights because of phantom expectations just like mine.

Remember when your husband didn’t answer his mobile on Valentine’s Day, and you assumed he was too busy overseeing the famous chef who was cooking you an exquisite surprise dinner? When he showed up with McDonald’s, you kicked his ass.

Or how about when you outlined a master plan for a nice romantic night to your boyfriend as he was half-baked or falling asleep and you perceived his silence as compliance? How pleased were you that Friday night, coming home to a house full of men and a hockey game? You ignored him all weekend.

That was me in relationships. And the maniacal thinking slips into my innocent friendships with the opposite sex sometimes, reminding me that I’m either still a fucking nutter or that it’s high time to fix the problems.

Problems, say, like fortune telling. I have this habit of fast-forwarding into the future to screen what life will be like with a dude I just met. And with Mario, within seconds of my secret drama, I predicted that if he was too absorbed and careless to get me a tissue, can you imagine how he’ll treat me as a lover? He’ll be one of those “I don’t like condoms” guys and with his slut sperm, he’ll impregnate me with four loser children. On top of raising Mr. Lazy Ass’s children, I’ll end up taking extra jobs to pay the maid (who he’ll fuck in front of little Dante, Giovanni, Sylviani and Bonita, poor souls) to clean up our house ’cause he’s a filthy pig.

He’ll abandon us all. He’ll move back into his condo (with his secretary), which will give him a good view of me and our half-Mediterranean brats dumpster-diving behind Lapointe’s and stealing turnips from the Byward Market farmers’ stalls. I’ll have to form a mother-and-kids gypsy band and busk for coins on Rideau. Don’t even request Wilco, man – the painful memories will exacerbate my eczema.

Wow. In two minutes, and unbeknownst to Mario, I had had sex with him, got married and divorced, and started a band with our mixed-breed children with horrendous names all because of a fantasy freakin’ Kleenex.

Is it any wonder I’m single for the first Christmas since 2000! But thank Christ! I’ve got a few wrongs to right before I inflict them on any living male in relationship form. Obviously I haven’t fully detached from my system the bombs that blew up my past relationships, such as impatience, assuming, projection and, the worst of all, insane fantasizing.

And that’s why single guy friends are so important to us chicks. They’re like guinea pigs or a test ground, an outlet and means to diffuse our freakiness. They help us help ourselves clean up our own messes and store our baggage before Mr. Right comes along. Without knowing it, they force us to look at things differently.

Like when a guy forgets your Kleenex, but brings you a great CD instead – cut the fucker some slack already.


Ok, Rick Upton, you got me. The Sigur Ros show at the Sauna Centre was hot like a Bronson. I mean, like a bitch – give or take 52.5 degrees Celsius.


Thanks to all of you Shotgunners who supported the near sell-out Second Annual Feed the Homeless benefit at Zaphod Beeblebrox last month. The event raised a record-breaking $3,000 plus.

– Sylvie Hill