Tag Archives: writing

dating etiquette

Hello, friend…

It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting at home going  over a conversation I had with my friend Becky at dinner tonight: the fact that when it comes to dating these days, everything just seems so disposable. How we toss away things has now resulted in tossing away romantic possibilities left & right. We’re just swiping everything!

Great dates never to be heard from again!

Plans made to be broken at the 11th hour!

Guys who aren’t interested in dating but just want to “keep things casual and hang out!”

I’m starting to wonder… is there a blackhole filled with the men I’ve been on one date with? Did they just get sucked into some vacuum and tossed into space? And also… is it okay that I’m not keen on “just hanging out”? I’m 39 years old for Pete’s sake! So I decided to consult one of my etiquette books (‘Etiquette for Everybody’, copyright 1952) to gain some perspective and offer these tips below to incorporate into your daily routine. Maybe it’ll make our road to romance less rocky… maybe? Probably not, but it’s worth a go.

  • when a man is accompanying a woman, he should walk on the curb side (yes this was started to protect us ladies from being hit by random, run-away horse drawn carriages but I still love the idea)
  • a man should rise when a woman enters the room and remove his hat (got that, Tinder? Pants ON, hat OFF!)
  • a woman should be able to invite a man someplace without making him think she is pursuing him ( le sigh… god forbid we ask you to out and you think it’s code for “I want to get married”- it’s just a coffee, calm the f**k down)
  • a woman should not accept a valuable present from a man or an article of wearing apparel even from her fiance (… exhibit number one, Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman Pt. 1”)
  • when out, a couple should not talk loudly with their companion (given the advent of smartphones- this really isn’t a problem in 2017)

SO there you have it! Men… take off your hats and head to the curb! Ladies… do not accept that fancy present, you can buy it yourself! Basically, let’s try to bring some manners back, okay? Maybe it’ll help and get us really connecting once again.

Next week… how to properly announce your engagement is off! (Here’s a hint… it’s ALWAYS “by mutual consent.”)

xo.

 

to my nephew on his 1st birthday

Hello, friend…

If you’ll permit me, let me share a birthday greeting to my 1 yr. old nephew, Cohen.

 

Dear Cohen,

It’s been a whole year since you came into the world. I hope you like it here, because it’s certainly a cooler and better place with you in it. I was absolutely speechless when I first saw you, I think my heart grew ten sizes… you were the most precious little person I’d ever seen. You probably won’t remember my telling you that I was glad you were here & that I’d try to make the world a great place for you to grow up in, but I did whisper that to you. And I still stand by that. The world is kind of a nutty place right now, but it’s a pretty cool place and there’s SO many adventures you’re yet to go on…  I think everything will be just fine. After all, you’re here! You have the potential to go anywhere and be anyone.

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There is a Winnie the Pooh poem that I love (well, I love a number of them as you’ll come to know)… but the line ‘When I Was One, I Had Just Begun’ rings especially true today. You are ONE! What a cool thing. Soon you will be two… soon I will be 40, but this isn’t about me so let’s not remind ourselves of that… A 1st birthday is pretty darn awesome, if you ask me.

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As long as I am able, I’ll write you a birthday letter every year. Because when I’m WAY old, and you’re coming to meet me on my space pod for our weekly lunch (because I’m convinced I’ll be in a space pod one day- I don’t know why really) we can read through these and laugh.

I am so excited to hear you talk and watch you figure out all the things. I think we will get along very well. We already do! You like books, I am a writer… You love food, I love food… yes, Cohen… I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship. Happy 1st birthday, little Zemnickis.

 

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Love you lots, Your Auntie Kelly.

sand in my shoes

Hello, friend…

I’m just back from a little vacation to Miami. I can’t immediately think of when I was last in Miami, perhaps it was 2010 but I do recall it involved my travelling to Florida to meet my friend Laura to see an NKOTB concert (oh, what fun it was telling that to the border guard asking me about the purpose of my trip). ANYHOOOZIES. This trip didn’t involve anything more than my wanting to see my brother (who lives in Miami) & take a bit of time for myself (which I don’t do a whole lot of , to be honest).

And from top to bottom, it was a fantastic vacation. I almost didn’t go because my trusty Weather Network app told me the weather was going to be shit* the entire time I was to be away. (* not the exact words used) But it barely rained, the sun won out and I am now sporting something called “a tan”. So I’m now thinking maybe I need to get out of my co-dependent relationship with the Weather Network app… but I’ll leave that for another blog. The point is, my flight down had me sitting next to a very very cute guy & for reasons I still do not know, that flight down showered upon me anything I wanted. It was weird. Pizza! LOTS of wine! An iPad to use for my flight! The cutie beside me was able to benefit on this, too merely by seat assignment, and I learned a very very important lesson… when a handsome man is offered hot nuts there is no appropriate way to ask how his nuts are. BUT it all lead to us having a fantastic conversation and plans for a date while I was in Miami. So, thanks for all that Air Canada Rouge! Hot nuts all around!! 😉

What meant the most to me though, really, was seeing my brother whom I don’t see very often. For no real good reason, either… granted, I’m not very keen on flying but I’m getting better at jetting around (thanks to the documentary I’m co-producing)… no, it’s just a fact that Robert & I don’t see each all that much. We are the single siblings amongst the 4 Zemnickis kiddos, so it was nice to commiserate over the men we spotted on Tinder and such… and how our love lives are in general. There was such hope and joy over my date with the Hot Nuts Guy! And I’m glad my brother was there when HNG messaged me later that night (after our awesome date) to tell me he didn’t feel enough to see me again while I was in town. We sat in that hot Miami night in the courtyard & agreed that tomorrow was indeed another day. Small stuff, but important… mainly because it’s tiny moments like that that help us bond. It’s just not logistical for me to “pop over” for dinner or for him to see if I’m free for a Sunday brunch and have stuff like that happen.

Sure, Robert thinks I’m 39 going on 65 because I say things like “she looks fetching!” or because I mumble “Crumbs!” when I’m annoyed… but it’s nice to be teased like that. Primarily because we’re in the same room when it happens, which is rare.

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A night out with my brother (and a friend).

I’m back in Toronto and even more grateful for the proximity I have to my one sibling who lives in Toronto, too. But I’m also home with determination to not let it be SO long to go between visits to Miami (to see Robert) or Montreal (to see Debbie). Because as nice as it is to connect electronically, there’s something to sharing space at the dinner table together or staying in to watch a documentary together. My older siblings and I still have a lot to learn about each other, our connection somewhat fractured because we share a dad but have different mothers… but they are a part of me. It felt like a small weight off my shoulders to confess to Robert the other night that I’ve always carried a guilt that I grew up with dad around but he didn’t. And he assured me that it wasn’t a guilt I needed to carry, but he understood where I was coming from.

Miami was good for my skin (did I mention I have a tan? I did? Okay, cool)… but it was good for the soul, too. Really, my Uber driver’s choice of song when I got in the car summed up my trip perfectly… I indeed had the time of my life. 😉

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… with love from South Beach! xo

 

xo.

 

p.s. I’m seeing NKOTB next week. But in Toronto this time. With my sister in law.

north pole, south pole

Hello, friend…

Just a quick thought before I go to bed tonight. How life swings from one extreme to the other, how the heart and spirit can soar before the proverbial balloon is popped and everything falls to pieces.

This time last week, I was settling in for the night at my sister’s home in Lachute, Quebec and preparing for my first batch of stand-up shows outside of Toronto! I had always thought my first gigs outside of Toronto would be in Barrie, Ontario or whatnot… not miles and miles away in my home province of Quebec. But I had a fantastic Quebec debut in Gatineau, Quebec and cannot wait to go back!!

A year ago, I could not have fathomed my stand-up career would be moving along as nicely as it has been. A year ago, I could not have fathomed I could say “my stand-up career” with a straight face.

Then fast forward to tonight, I am digesting the news that my dear friend Ray has passed. His death is not a surprise, he was not well at all, but it is still a tough reality to digest. I will be at his funeral in a few days, to wish his family love and Ray peace as he goes to infinity and beyond.

A year ago, I met Ray as part of the documentary I’m co-producing on a phenomenal man named John Feal & his fellow 9/11 first responders. I recall John telling myself and the crew we’d be meeting Ray that day, and I loved him from Hello. Despite the cancer that had invaded his body, Ray was light & love. I was able to call him a friend for one year, 365 days.

Such extremes, but such a perfect example of where life can take you. A girl came into the bakery so sad, only letting me know that she was having a very bad day and we agreed a cupcake would help perk her spirits. Hopefully it’s sweetness would counteract her tears.

As my heart nurses its wound, I take immense pride in recalling how days before I went up on stage in my hometown and made people laugh. At one show, friends were in the audience. My sister and my nephew as well. I marvel at where my life path has taken me, and wonder where it will continue. If I will ever remember what it feels like to be kissed at the end of a date, because I think I’m starting to forget how nice that can feel. But that’s the beauty of a new day, isn’t it? New opportunities present itself… as my friend Ray would have said, that’s a good thing.

I have lost two beautiful friends to cancer this year, Ana-Alecia & now Ray. But while it took my friends, it can’t take away the impact they had on me and those who knew them.

Because that’s all that matters really, how you impact people & the impression you leave behind.

xo.

i left my heart in hicksville

Hello, friend…

You might have let out a chuckle when you spotted the title of tonight’s blog, and I can’t blame you really, but it’s a place. It’s in the state of New York. It’s the residence of someone I love a lot. I got some sad news today, news I knew I’d be receiving sooner than later (but hoping it would be MUCH MUCH later) but I received it during my shift at the bakery I work at. It wasn’t a place I could yell and punch a bag of flour, really (though ohmygod do I want to do that when I get asked some of the questions I get asked by customers)… and then I had to head off to a meeting for the board of directors for my apartment building (because I’m the Treasurer)… and THEN I had to go to a comedy show and do a bit about a douchebag I met online dating (because I am a single lady, with a plethora of such stories to tell).

And now I’m home, and I have a space to yell my lungs out… but I can’t. I am, however, crying as I write this. Though technically I can blame that on my mascara, which sometimes makes me tear up at the end of a long day. But truthfully, we can all call bullshit on that because the truth is my friend Ray is likely not long for this earth and that is why I am crying. I have written about Ray before and I likely will many more times. I have been listening to U2’s Everlasting Love a number of times tonight.Where life really flows / No One really knows…. His friendship is not one I’ve had for long, about a year really, but knowing where I am now in 2017 and knowing where we both were on September 11, 2001… that our paths crossed 15 years later? Wow. I’m a lucky lady.

So, if you’ll permit me… I just want to address one person in particular right now…

Ray, I tell you this now because I know you’re still here and hopefully Caryn or Taylor will be able to pass on what I told you when I last saw you in April… I love you deeply, and still shake my head at my good fortune that I met you. When we began filming No Responders Left Behind, I had no fucking clue it would lead me to the people I’ve met. One of whom, is you. I am so sorry we won’t have the film finished in time for you, but I know when we do bring it to festivals next year you will have a REALLY good seat at the premiere. We both share a belief that you have to keep telling your stories, if you can tell your story or the story of someone who has passed so their memory is kept alive it’s a good day. Your positive outlook will be on repeat in my head for the rest of my life. When I’m down about x, y or z… when someone asks me “What’s in a chocolate chip cookie?”, I will take a breath and mutter ‘Chocolate and cookie’ only to myself, as I tell them with a smile what’s in… (sigh)… a chocolate chip cookie…. THE POINT IS, Ray. I will miss you greatly. But I’m here to keep telling your story, and the stories of your fellow First Responders. I will do that, and promise you that. Thank you for helping me find my voice as a filmmaker and as a storyteller. xo, Kelly.

Because my journey for this documentary started by my watching The Daily Show, I’ll end things tonight with my Moment of Zen. It’s from when we wrapped our first block of filming in May 2016… Ray is the dude in the center… rocking the FDNY uniform.

xo.

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for the benefit of mr. ray

Hello, friend…

I found as I woke up this morning not 100% certain of what happened the night before. It’s not that the previous night was a booze filled Saturday night, but rather… well. I’ll try to explain. As I’ve alluded to at times, I’m making a documentary (my first!) and about a year ago now we started filming (we being my amazing core team of Rob, Kristine, Jaime & Nic – and other awesome souls along the way). I’ve traveled with them over the year, as we follow this unbelievable man named John Feal (a 9/11 Responder and the president of the FealGood Foundation). In the course of getting to know John, we’ve gotten to know some phenomenal men & women, First Responders and their families. It has brought so much love into my life, this horrible horrible event has brought proverbial flowers growing through cracks in cement… I’ve gotten to know people who need more help now than you could possibly imagine because of what they did that day in September.

And on Saturday I found myself at a pub in a part of Long Island I’d never been to before, amongst more people than you could count, celebrating the sunshine that is a beloved 9/11 First Responder named Ray Pfeifer. For the first time, I was there without my core crew but with a new friend, my camera guy Jimmy… and we just soaked in all this love. Ray has Cancer, he’s been kicking its ass since 2009 when he (& a lot of 9/11 Responders, actually) learned of their diagnosis and it’s relation to Sept. 11th. But as I say, this is my first documentary and I came into it so very accidentally (watching the Daily Show & sending a Tweet). I began following John because I was astounded to learn of what he’s been doing and continues to do for his fellow Responders. And little by little, trust was granted and given, and they have welcomed us into their community.

As photos flashed all through the venue, it struck me that we have been woven into the fabric with our little documentary that could. I saw pictures of myself, our director Rob, Jaime… I saw us flashing amongst these photos of years previous as the guys lobbied in Washington… and amongst all of their history was us.

Short of what I was wearing on 9/11, I remember almost everything about that day. I remember how scared I was as I watched the TV with co-workers at the CBC in Toronto. There is no way on Earth I could have foreseen myself crossing paths with people like John and Ray. But it’s an example of the good that has come out of the horrors they experienced, and I witnessed. There has been so much bad, but there has been so much good too. But it’s come at a cost, and I’m aware of that.

With our little film, I’m trying to throw as much good as I can into the world. The world needs it, stories of good hope and people doing the right thing simply because the right thing needs to be done. For as hard of a time as I’m having with finding love, for the mess I’m making of that (though yes, I know it makes for “good material for my stand-up”)… the event yesterday reminded me that I’m helping to tell stories that need to be told. And that is a good thing.

I wish so much I could make Ray’s Cancer go away.  I wish I could bring back my dear James & my friend Ana-Alecia who lost their fights to Cancer, but I cannot. But I can help by telling stories.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say here tonight. What point it was to post this, except that … well… we all have stories to tell. YOU have a story to tell. So you should go tell it. Because by speaking up, it could help someone. Jon Stewart spoke up on The Daily Show, and it moved me to speak up on social media and offer help to strangers. Who are now my friends.

xo.

sugar & spice

Hello, friend…

I am hours into my 39th year. I am amazed that my 30s have gone by as quickly as they have. 10 years ago, I fretted about turning 30 and worried that I wasn’t where I should be in life and I should be more of an adult (even though at the time I was a homeowner) etc etc etc.

Last night I did an open mic at a long-established open mic in the city, sitting with my joke book and slice of pie (I didn’t bring pie with me- it was being offered to the comics) and catching up with an old friend who couldn’t quite figure out what happened to me. “When I saw you last you were quiet, and working at CBC TV…” he recalled, “and now you’re here telling jokes?!” My friend was happy to see me, don’t get me wrong, but he was also kind of confused. And I get it, the Kelly he knew before would NEVER have done stand-up. She NEVER would have had tattoos.

So here I am, 10 years later, seeing 40 on the horizon. I’m more certain of myself than ever before. I 100% never could have told jokes to strangers when I was 29. As much as I’ve always wanted tattoos, I was prevented from getting them sooner because it didn’t fit the image people had of me.

It’s taken time to find my footing. I’m still off-balance, but I have perfected my fall! I get up quickly. I dust myself off.

While yes, I’m more aware of time than ever before… and yes, I have days where I feel like I knew more then than I do now… I’m also aware now more than ever that things will happen when they are meant to.  My life is filled with things I NEVER DREAMED COULD  ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It’s kind of nuts.

So… my unsolicited advice? Live each day to the absolute fullest because there are SO many places to go. Trust that you’ll be okay. You’ll make mistakes because you’re supposed to make mistakes.

 

xo.

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