For Christmas in 2020 I was given an Ancestry DNA kit from my mother. It was a very thoughtful gift from a parent who has always given me very thoughtful gifts my entire life. However, almost all of my mother’s digital life – from her home automation, to the last 3 laptops she’s owned, to her on-site NAS, to most things she owns that have a plug & screen are things I’ve given to her. I’m her tech-wizz son so it’s pretty suiting and I enjoy it. Unsurprisingly she’s not exactly “up-and-up” on technology – however she’s pretty damn keen on a lot of other things. She’s a smart cookie – just not with tech.
It’s for that reason I thanked her for the really thoughtful gift but explained that I wouldn’t be willing to use it for privacy reasons. She seemed perplexed as there’s a lot of mystery surrounding my father’s side of the family (no, he didn’t run off in the middle of the night to get a pack of smokes and never return). There’s basically nothing known about anyone prior to my grandfather, and there’s also another much more relevant question that pertains to me a lot closer which I’ll (very likely) never know the answer to. She was giving me the gift of curing curiosity. Am I curious – absolutely! But, I’m not willing to pay the price of admission.
Before I get into this, I want to make it perfectly clear. I am 100% pro-vaccine, pro-mask, pro-lockdown, and this post is in no way trying to downplay the effects or severity of getting COVID. It’s no joke, and if you need any sort of proof of this, feel free to head over to the COVID-19 Darwin Awards at https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/
Of as writing this – Jan 12th 2022 – It’s been 2 years since this virus landed in Canada, depending who you ask. Many think COVID started in March 2020, but the first COVID case in Canada on record is Jan 25 2020. My mother caught something the first week of Jan 2020 that basically took her out for the better part of 6 weeks. Nobody could tell her what she’d caught and for the first time ever I genuinely feared for her health with how she was describing her symptoms and the very slow rate of recovery. She wasn’t alone – there were a lot of cases of this mysterious long lasting flu going around during that time – was it COVID, we’ll never know.
So, despite spending the past 2 years being responsible, social distancing, keeping my bubble very small (and at times not seeing people for weeks on end), getting my vaccines as soon as they were available to me, and being diligent with my mask, I caught COVID. I can’t know for sure, but it was just before Christmas. I suspect the Omicron strain.
What kind of person would say that? On the surface, and at first glace, I can’t think of many. But I can think of many reasons why other people out there should date my ex-girlfriends. For a variety of reasons.
I’ve dated a wide list of women over the years, some for a few weeks or months, others for years. Some were batshit insane, one was wildly abusive, and one was fucking her friend behind my back for months. Pretty cool, eh? One, I cheated on. I was 21, and I wasn’t proud of it. Some we just didn’t have the same life goals in the end, and others that “spark” just died over time. I’m talking about people I actually connected with and spent real time with, not some random Tinder date who insisted we go to Jack Astors.
I love these women, at least most of them. Don’t mistake that as being in love with them, but I love them. Each in a specific and individual way. They, just like me, are humans. They’re people searching for someone to love them back the way they love. I am too. That’s what this whole thing is about, right? But with these women, every single one of them, it didn’t line up. Sometimes I determined that, other times they did. Even in some cases I was going to break it off but they beat me to the punch. But that too isn’t what this is about.
The thing is most people talk shit about their ex’s. I don’t.
I’m not a woman. I don’t know (or will ever) know what it’s like to spawn a child inside my body. I’ll never know what it’s like to give birth, or for that matter, terminate a birth that’s inside me. But I do know what it’s like to terminate a birth from the male side of the equation.
When I was in my early 20’s a former partner and I got pregnant, completely by accident. She was on the pill, but as they say, they’re not 100% effective – apparently especially so when you miss a pill. The relationship – while long term at the time, was on the rocks. We were in absolutely no position to have a child. Our respective parents knew about the pregnancy and there was a lot of discourse prior to making the choice to terminate. I was there when she took the pill the night before, and was there with her to, during, and from the hospital. It was absolute hell from my side of things and one of the more horrible experiences I’ve had to endure in my life. I can’t even begin to think I could equate that to what my partner went through. At the time I fully believed it to be the right choice. I have never waivered from that. If we hadn’t have made that choice, that child would now be 17 years old today.
You know the ones.. “Hello Sir, this is MICHAEL and I’m calling you for the air duct cleaning service”. You know all the replies people give… “Yes, clean all my ducks. I have 12 of them. They are a bit fowl”, “FUCK YOU DON’T EVER CALL ME AGAIN YOU ASSHOLE”, and of course my personal favorite “Sure thing, come tomorrow! I’m at 6 Tettenhall Road, Etobicoke”. If you Google that address you’ll see why it’s funny – at least it is for me. Any thought of inconveniencing the residents of that home is something I feel warm and fuzzy about.
About a year ago I wrote my initial post shortly after I’d signed up to be an UberEats delivery “driver”, but instead of using a bike or car, I did it on foot. Walking. It’s a much lesser known way and I can tell you the past year has been a whirlwind of learning how challenging of a gig this really is. I’m going to try and remain fairly diplomatic in fear of retribution from Uber – which should tell you all you need to know right out of the gate.
Where I left off was after my second night out delivering. I was in pretty good spirits realizing I could make a couple bucks on the side just for walking around the city dropping off relatively crappy takeout food to people while burning calories. My views now are… well.. far different. As it stands today, I’m up to 1700 deliveries since late September 2020. I stopped somewhere in early May 2021 save for a few days afterwards where the weather wasn’t all that warm. I decided slugging a food delivery bag around town in the heat & humidity just wasn’t for me. As the weather got colder in October of this year, I’ve been back out getting my steps.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way.