Canadian Down Under

Monday, January 30, 2006

I didn't think the world was big enough...

...but there's more than one of me! MANY more!!

A fellow Laura Ryan commented on my blog just last week - just saying hi from the Laura Ryan in the UK - which reminded me of something that happened when I first arrived here in Oz.

It was at my first flat. First flat, first phone line. I called to get it hooked up and had to go through all the 'process' stuff: name, serial number.... The conversation went like this:

Phone Company (PC): Last name?
Me: Ryan

PC: First name?
Me: Laura

PC: Hmmmm. Birthdate?
Me: May 9, 19xx (No, I don't feel like telling you...)

PC: Hmmm.

Long pause.

PC: Middle name?
Me: Jane

Another long pause.

PC: Ever had a phone with us before?
Me: No.
PC: Queensland?
Me: Nope. Definitely not.

PC: Hmmm. Seems like you may have a clone.


I guess the world IS big enough.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Newest Aussie!!

Here's me:

Receiving this:

That's the short version of the story. The long version:

6:00 am start, followed by a
7:00 am breakfast, followed by a
8:00 am registration and a
8:30 am ceremony with a
9:00 swearing in, followed by a
9:30 am champagne cocktail (or two) and a
10:00 baton relay presentation for the Commonwealth Games.

I did more by 10 am than I usually do all day! But it was great.

Thomas Keneally - the author of Schindler's Art (yup, made into the movie Schindler's List) was the speaker at our naturalisation ceremony and he said one of the nicest things: that Australia was built on immigration from other countries and this history meant that becoming Australian was not about forgetting your heritage but incorporating it into your new life.

I agree with him whole heartedly - and though there are many Australians who don't agree (including my colleague at work who believes I should rescind my Canadian citizenship). I'm choosing to take what he said to heart - and by my actions, show the vocal doubters here that different heritage is not a distraction or negative - but actually something that makes us all something more. (Just don't ask me how yet - I haven't quite worked that one out....)

I feel that moving here need not only be a broadening experience for myself - but also for those whom I live amongst. That's how I viewed ethnic and cultural diversity at home in Canada. That view won't change now that I've made a new home here in Australia!

Thomas Keneally also gave an interesting and welcome piece of advice: be stroppy and be demanding new citizens. He explained that this was the way for Australia to continue to grow and mature - by learning from its new citizens. I thought that was great advice - and to be honest - not much of a challenge for me - I'm almost always stroppy and demanding!

It all sounds very serious and some of it was - but mostly it was just great fun. (The champagne didn't hurt!)

My stomach was dodgy all morning with nerves and I was so surprised by that. But luckily one of my oldest friends in Australia came with me. We had a great time (he has a wicked sense of humour) and he sat behind me during the ceremony, cracking jokes and making the entire back row laugh.

After the ceremony, this lady came up and congratulated him on becoming a citizen and she was so pleased because he was so excited. We were both surprised because he wasn't part of the ceremony (because he's a Kiwi and doesn't need citizenship), but we didn't have the heart to correct her because she was so pleased with him - never mind the fact that he was so jovial because he was taking the piss most of the time...

So we had dignitaries, the mayor and council member, famous authors and my very first Australian Bush Band - See:


And to top the day off? A call from my drunken brother and a group of his friends singing "C'mon Aussie C'mon" and ending with a rousing rendition of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, Oi, Oi!"


Happy Australia Day!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Favourite Line of the Night

Him: Wanted to have a nap before coming out tonight but couldn't sleep.
Me: I guess you were too excited about seeing me huh?


Him: What's it like to live in your world?
Me: Usually it's pretty good, thanks for asking. And sometimes the sky is even blue.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Are you pregnant?

That's what she wanted to ask me. Who? My mother. Who else?

It seems the fascination for seeing psychics is not held by me alone in my family..... My mom went with a friend the other day and apparently the woman told her that one of her children would be getting married and having a baby. Her response? Not "wow that's great" or "who?", it was "which one first?" Because my traditional mother would be horrified by an unmarried pregnant child. But then when the woman asked her if it really mattered, she relented then called me to tell me it was okay.

Mom. For the record? I'M NOT PREGNANT. And as far as I know? It's not time for another immaculate conception...

P.S. Yes, I will post about yesterday's events soon, just need to download some photos..

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day..

I got a package in the mail today that contained the following:
  • a deck of cards - with an Australian flag on the back
  • a mouse pad with 'typical Aussie Sheila' sayings
  • 32 Australian flag stickers
  • a beer cooler with 'Australia' written on it, a map of Oz and a kangaroo pictured
  • a super bright flashing magnetic button in the shape of an Australian flag
  • an Australian flag rubber baggage tag


  • a greeting card with a picture of a pair of thongs - Australian thongs- with an accompanying message that explains that Australian thongs are NOT to be called flip flops.

So why the big hoopla? Well, yes tomorrow is Australia day - but even more important - tomorrow, at Manly Lagoon - in a ceremony with a bunch of other people with funny accents - I officially become Australian!

Will write all about it later - but wanted to share my anticipation with the rest of you.

(Oh yeah - and the package? Care package to celebrate becoming an Aussie from my bro who lives in Melbourne and his Aussie wife. And although most things originate from my sister-in-law (she's great by the way), I think that this time my brother may have even contributed!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Who are you?

I'm not the greatest with technology (Don't believe me? Just talk to my friends about what I was like when I needed to buy a tv/mp3 player/digital camera. Annoying doesn't even begin to describe it - but add insecure and uncertain and you're getting closer....) but even I have figured out how to put a site reader on my blog.

The thing is - it's pretty simple. Basically it just tells me how many people visit. I don't look very often, but sometimes I remember its there and then check to see if anyone's visiting. For the life of me I can't figure out how you know who is visiting, but sometimes its nice to be oblivious.

However... I was looking at my traffic today (just out of curiosity) and noticed someone's logged on from Jacksonville Florida and in this instance I don't want to be oblivious. Truthfully? I'm wondering who you are. I only know one person from there - and granted, it's very unlikely that this person would have found me - but I'm wondering if its you.

If it is? I'm sorry I actually wrote about you, but at the same time, I'm sorry I didn't write more. But mostly, I'm sorry I didn't get around to writing my "Men in December" entry.... I'd love to know if you had the guts to comment. But then again, I already know the answer to that, don't I?

Not even 15 seconds

Interview, sminterview.

They ended up putting in a picture of a Danish backpacker and quoting him. Though I have to say - he sounded suspiciously like me in some instances.... "don't tell my mum it's permanent" (tangent - why 'mum'? it should be 'mom'). Yeah sure. He said it. Right.

Hmmm, famous, but not acknowledged methinks!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I touched it

I had just finished putting my laundry away, had folded up my drying rack and was going to put it away in the cupboard. I reached out to the handle and I touched something. It fell off the handle and it was THE HUGEST MOTHER F*CKING COCKROACH I HAVE EVER SEEN! (Yes, the language is necessary....)

So, so, soooooo disgusting.

It scurried its way across my kitchen floor and is now hiding in my laundry room. If you don't see what the problem is then you need to read here, here and here to understand.

I was reading this blog last night - and I gotta tell you - yes, dead children in horror movies can be scary - and I'm very sorry they're keeping you up Jay - but they aren't real.

This cockroach, however, is very big, very real and now living in my laundry room.

I have a telephone book on the kitchen counter and one huge ass boot should it decide to venture out of the laundry room again, but if you clicked the links, you know at least 50% of me is hoping we never have to have a showdown.

No boyfriend to call, no bug spray (as if I could actually use it) and my bug killing friend is out of town. Man, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown.

I'm never going to sleep tonight.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

I have become a juvenile!!

Seriously. It's shocking that someone who is closer to 40 than 30 (God that hurts just writing it.....At least I'm still closer to 35 than 40) thinks like a teenager.

One kiss. One little - and I do emphasis the little - kiss and I've turned into a freak.

I've tried not to think about it at all this weekend, but I'm just sitting there minding my own business when - wham - all of a sudden I'll realise I'm thinking about it again. It's ridiculous. And the things its making me thing! Questions! Some examples of which are:
  • Did he really mean to kiss me?
  • Did he just kiss me because he felt like he should?
  • Does this mean he likes me?
  • Will I see him again?
  • When will I see him again?
  • Did he like the kiss?'
  • Is he thinking about me/it/what to do next?
  • Does he regret it?

And those are only the questions I'll fess up to.

Man - you'd think this was the first guy I'd ever met! And the thing is, I'm not sure how much I like him and/or whether I really want anything. (Hmmm, I've been telling myself that all day and now that I've written it done, even I can see I've just been lying to myself....)

I'm so ridiculous I had to write about it. The need to mock myself is very strong...

Damn. I hated high school - didn't think I'd ever have to re-live it.

I miss the NFL

Sad, but true. Miss it so much that when I was in the Vancouver airport, I sat and watched the third quarter of the Giants/Raiders game on a tv that flicke on one second, off one second - (sounds like nothing, but you try it!) Guys in the airport lounge kept making comments like "you must really be a fan to watch it on that".

They're right.

I miss the NFL.

Must try to find a place to watch the Superbowl.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Seven Degrees????

In Toronto? In January?

What's going on???????

Friday, January 20, 2006

And then he kissed me.

So, the dating game continues: (see below post for the rules)

Moment 1
He smiled when I said I wanted a dog and I wanted to name it puppy,

Moment 2
Splitting the bill yet again.

Moment 3
Walking along the beachfront on the way home.

Moment 4
Stopping where he turned off last time and chatting for a while.

Moment 5
Him saying "You're looking at me funny."

Moment 6
Me laughing and saying, "I always look at you funny."

Moment 7
Read the title of this entry.

Any thoughts?


I've thought of a new game and called it : Date/ No Date?

The game basically consists of me providing a bunch of 'moments' from an evening out between a boy and a girl (yes, it could be boy and boy or girl and girl - and there's nothing wrong with that - but since its me, it's going to have to be a boy and a girl.... Man! Being politically correct can be very tiring...) and it's up to you - my fearless readers to determine if its a date or no date.

First installment will either begin with a drunken blog entry tonight or I'll try to scrape myself together sometime tomorrow to post.

Okay. Okay. I'll start you off with one to think about:

Moment 1
Girl arrives at restaurant and boy is already there with bottle of wine chilling.

Moment 2
Bill arrives and when girl says she has no cash and she'll have to put it on credit, boy says 'I'll give you the cash for half"

Moment 3
Boy and girl walk along beachfront on way home after dinner and stop (please no gagging sounds permitted) to look at the stars. (God - that makes me want to vomit just typing it!!)

Moment 4
In the middle of beachfront walk, boy abruptly says "Right, I live this way. Bye." And walks off.

All moments happened in the same evening.

Date or no date?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My 15 minutes

I was going to write about this on the day, but I'm too excited about my potential 15 minutes to save up the story until then....

See, January 26th is Australia Day. And on Australia Day this year I officially become an Australian citizen. (I think they give me a commemorative plant or something.)

Apparently the local council gave my name to the a local reporter and I was just interviewed about the upcoming ceremony.


The funny thing is though - for all my literary genius - I seemed at a complete loss for words as to describe why I wanted to become a citizen. Last time I was interviewed by a paper, I was 10 years old and despite taking 17 rolls of pictures, none appeared in the paper and I wasn't even mentioned.

Will let you know if that happens again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Once a week, a colleague and I go swimming on our lunch hour. This originally started as just a way to incorporate some exercise into both of our hectic schedules - but it also turned out to be a fun way to get to know someone and begin a friendship.

Until she took it too far......

Nah, just kidding, but what she has done is signed us up for a corporate triathlon taking place in late March. As a consolation and/or a way to get me to agree, another colleague has developed a training schedule for us. So, last night, in order to at least make an effort to not completely embarrass myself in March, I went for my first official training run.

How I hate running.

With each and every step.

With each and every step I think of a gazillion reasons not to take another step. But now with a goal in sight and a training schedule someone has worked so hard to put together, I feel obliged to keep going. Though, after what happened last night, it's pretty hard to keep going.

See, I'd just started out - was jogging along the beach front, heading toward Shelley Beach and already thinking of quitting despite having only been jogging for a few minutes - when out of nowhere this, this, this little pert thing jogs by me.


In her teeny, tiny little shorts, and miniscule strappy toppy thing WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING JIGGLING THAT SHOULDN'T BE.

In that moment, I understood hate.

I also realised jealousy has a taste to it. It's very bitter. This pert, skinny, young thing ran by me, but I refused to let her defeat me.


Because when she had to quit running at Life Saving Club, it made me feel good. It made me feel good because although I was probably 20 years older than that little thing- I could at least run farther.

Warped I know. But I'll take whatever motivation - in whatever form it presents itself - I can find.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Froot Loops

Wasn't allowed to have them as a kid.

Was grocery shopping tonight and just happened to notice them.

Having them for dinner.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I never usually make resolutions, but this year I decided I might. I turned my back on the usual, standard resolutions like losing weight, eating better, drinking less - because hey - I'll just break 'em. So I thought I'd set myself some more achievable ones. I meant to only make one, but then I decided two.

1. Wear less black.

I don't know if I recently watched Four Weddings and a Funeral and the still single chick at the end (who ends up having an affair with Charles) - once having make the decision to give up on Hugh Grant's character (can't remember his name, but who cares...) decides to never wear black.

Now, since I had decided on setting achievable resolutions, I couldn't just go to 'never' black, but I decided 'less' black was appropriate. For a couple of reasons: 1. because all black in this country in summertime is just too damn hot, and 2. because I think I wear too much black (it's my comfort 'skinny' colour) and it's time to maybe break the old mould a little bit. (Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?)

2. Stop beating myself up about money.

Now for those of you who don't know me, you don't know what a big deal this is. I set completely unrealistic budgets (the wealthy barber suggested saving 10% of your gross income as an achievable goal, but I've been doing 30% lately because I'm trying to save for a downpayment - hard to do when you're single, but I digress....) and then nearly kill myself sticking to them. (Now, you do realise that I've managed to basically stick to my budget for the last year and in that time have gone to Vietnam and Canada (twice) - never mind the other frivolous ways I spend money - so don't feel too badly for me). But what does end up happening is that - say I get paid on a Thursday (I do) and I get my next 'allowance allotment' for miscellaneous items, but on the Wednesday prior to pay day, I have a meeting with my staff and we go out of the office for a change of scenery and I have no money to pay for coffee. (This happened once, and I did pay by credit card, but it 'should' have come out of my cash spend...) Anyway, I had to change the meetings to Thursdays so it never happens again. So for the day before payday, I really can't do anything.

Now see, I do have money in the bank, but won't let myself touch it. It has to be an emergency. Really.

I truly am a freak about money. Or at least a freak about the way I worry that I have foolishly spent it and not saved enough....

So why this year has everything changed? Well, I used to laugh about what a freak I could be in regards to budgets, but it wasn't until two of my friends out here decided as part of their New Year's resolutions that they needed to set budgets and start saving, yadda, yadda, yadda that maybe I go too far.... Budgets are good really, but these two people make a serious ton of cash (so don't need to worry about the pennies so to speak) and have always been loose and fancy free about spending (mind you, they've always managed to pay bills etc). The problem isn't that they want to make budgets (although, it is strange..) it's that hanging out with me has turned them into spendthrifts!! It's like they're completely different people.

And ya know? It's not pretty.

Now, in my own defense, although I'm conscious of budgets - and I will screw myself over a few dollars - I am not a spendthrift when out with friends or my mother. (My brothers, a different story...) Ask my friends - they'll concur.

So how am I doing on my resolutions?

Well, today I went to the mall and bought a bunch of shirts to wear with some suits (all my stuff is too hot for summer working) and let's see - the shirts were: aqua green, chocolate brown, peach and a purple maroony colour (wearing it right now and I love it!! goes great with jeans). What else? Hmmm.... Oh yeah - white and navy towels (got a guest coming - need new towels.....)

So NO black!!!

And what's even better? I'm not stressing at all about what I spent. I needed it. They were not only practical purchases, some of them are even pretty.

I think I've been possessed by aliens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Side Effects

Got some.

It's a bit of a family secret that I'm taking Niprivil as a migraine preventative. Reason being, my mom's a retired nurse and is COMPLETELY opposed to taking any kind of medication unless absolutely necessary. Now, my mom's definition of absolutely necessary? You pretty much need to be close to death, so I'm thinking this preventative medication wouldn't really fit the bill.

So, now that I've written the disclaimer, I'll get back to the original story: my side effects.

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I've been a little under the weather (nothing like a little jet lag plus contact with office lurgy to put you off your game...). I've chalked most of it up to the lurgy, but yesterday kind of unnerved me so I went to the doctor today (No, you can't get a same day appointment with a doctor here... I don't get why anyone thinks Ontario's health care system is bad - they should try living in countries with private health....)

So the bad side effects?:
  • dizziness (even fell down once)
  • low blood pressure
  • hot flashes
  • nightmares (although I consider them night terrors - I mean what else makes you get out of bed to check to make sure someone hasn't broken in three nights in a row?)
  • back pain (kidney ache - being investigated still - will keep you updated)

though to be honest - only I think they're all related to Niprivil - my doctor thinks the last three are related to the lurgy....

Good side effects? (And yes there can be some...):

  • no headaches. None. Nada.
  • An overall calmness and sense of well-being. (Being such a hot head, this is a very strange feeling...)

Those ones I can actually prove - but the best of all? I think it's helping me lose weight. Probable? Who knows - but with the amount of food I consumed over the holidays and have continued to consume without any adverse weight gain, I'm thinking its possible. But hey, as long I believe - who cares?

I think that might even make the nightmares worth it.....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Me Sick


I've been lying on my couch since getting home from work hoping the dinner making faeries will suddenly appear to no avail....

The wonderful delusions of a fever.....

Really people. If you're sick. STAY HOME AND DON'T GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!

Oh, that wasn't directed at you really. Just the guy at work who I think I've got this from. I have a new theory: stay away from sick people while experiencing jetlag because it's hard to resist their germs when tired.

I hate being sick.

but it seems I love feeling sorry for myself.....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Crap! I've been tagged!

Thanks to expat I now have to share "Five Weird Things About Me".

When I first was tagged, I figured it'd would be a piece of cake. I mean five normal things about me would've been a little harder. I even commented to Expat that the hardest part of it all would be thinking of only five.

Me and my big mouth.

So, after some thinking, this is the best I've got:

Five Weird Things About Me

1. I apply sunscreen with a spatula. But if you've been reading my blog (or more specifically this entry) at all, you would've already known that, so I won't explain again.

2. I don't like to be spoken to while watching tv. I mean at all. Not a word. I will pretend not to hear people in the hopes that they go away. If they don't (say... if you're my mother) I will either rudely grunt in answer, sigh loudly in an extreme exaggerated way or throw a hissy fit in the hopes that they'll (she'll) go away. It takes a lot to get me to answer civilly. It's best to tape a show if you want to disturb me.

3. When I'm hungover, I can't drink water. Not a drop. It's the surest way to make me vomit.

4. I don't fully function in the morning. I can do anything except talk; I can shower, dress, cook, cleanup, but can't hold a conversation. If spoken to, I lose the ability to do all the above. My old flatmate thinks that's weird.

5. I unknowingly stare at people. It's not until they call me on it that I realise that I've been doing it. Take Vancouver airport for instance: a stewardess and pilot were talking while we were waiting for our plane to arrive (just 30 minutes late, no big deal.... Tell me - does Air Canada actually make money?) and their conversation seemed so animated that I was fascinated. Didn't realise I was staring until the guy who looked like a pilot said: "Can I help you?" I answered "No". And then apparently I forgot to look away because the guy who looked like a pilot asked me again "Are you sure I can't help you." I felt like answering "Well no, many people have tried to no avail, but thanks anyway." But I didn't. I just mumbled 'no' and looked away. Can I help it that I like to people watch?

So, to be honest, I don't actually think that the list above is all that weird, because well.... it's what makes me... "me".

Is that weird?

Now let's see if tomama, mitch or dodge are weirder than me. Yup, I've just tagged them.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Me. From my brother's house. Christmas Eve.

This is one of those many stories from Christmas that I've debating as to whether I should blog about. Until today, the little good angel on my shoulder saying," it's about family" "be nice" etc. had been winning. Today I muzzled her.

You knew there had to at least ONE snag this year.

Mom and I had plans to go to my best friend's for Christmas Eve (which we did and had a really nice time). But Mom wanted to drop off some gifts to my brother before Christmas so she co-ordinated with my brother and set it all up for us to drop by on Christmas Eve. Just a fly-by quick drop in on our way elsewhere - but also an extra chance to see my niece and nephew.

(Long story short? My sister-in-law is not my biggest fan so everything becomes a production...)

What I didn't know was Mom had originally made plans to go up the day before Christmas Eve but by the time she informed me, I had already made other arrangements so we had to re-schedule. (See the trouble you get me in tomama ?)

And that's where the problem arose.

So Christmas Eve morning my brother shows up at Mom's to pick up the gifts. I'm still in bed but from my room I ask him what he was doing at Mom's when we were going by his place later.


"Uh well, crazy bitch (my pseudonym...) has other plans."

Other plans?
On Christmas Eve?
That changes confirmed plans with family?

Oh right. Not a problem. I'll just drop by some other time when its more convenient FOR YOU. I mean Australia's only a days air travel away and not expensive at all. And hey, Christmas isn't really a time you're supposed to spend with family anyway....

FYI - her plans? Nada. She was just mad that the re-scheduling from Friday to Saturday wasn't at her initiative.


Told you my family was fucked.

Friday, January 06, 2006

"Too sexy for the job -

at the top, that is"

Here's a little
gem from 'The Age' in Oz.

The whole thing bugs me, but the real kicker? This statement:
"advice for women: the closer to the CEO you are, the more
conservatively you should dress."

Uggh. I could discuss, but what a waste of energy....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Nowhere to Go and Nothing to do...

It was my first day in Vancouver. And you know what? It was wonderful.

I had one of those 'moment'. You know the ones - the ones where whatever you're doing - you stop; whatever you're thinking about - you let it go; and it's all replaced by that wonderful sense of peace that really just means you're happy? And the moment being that you've actually stopped and realised it? become consciously aware of it?

All it took was a Starbuck's Zen tea, some maple coffee cake, and a pen and paper and a huge comfy chair.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do and blissfully happy.

It Bit Me.

I'm done. No more visits with friends with kids. The party's over.


Not for the reasons you think. Not because my friends' kids don't intellectually stimulate me (some are smarter than me...). Not because being with my friends' kids mean I have to share the spotlight. Not because my friends' kids beat me at cards (they can't - I won't let them). Not because spending time with my friends' kids sometimes makes my heart break at the thought of what I'll never have.

Nope. None of the above. It's because my friends' kid bit me.
Through my leather jacket and long-sleeved shirt.
It broke skin.

It. Broke. Skin.

The little shit bit me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I've got it.

I have so many things I wrote about on the plane ride home but I'm far too tired to type any of them.

Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A little bit of hockey

It's New Year's Eve and I'm in Vancouver airport. 90 minutes to departure and this place is desolate, but lucky for me, Tim Horton's is open and hockey is on. Not just any hockey, Junior's hockey. Not just any Junior's game, but the Canadian/American game.


French Canadian accented announcers talking about pulling the goalie.

What a nice farewell from my home and native land.

Even better? Canadian team just scored in the final minute to win the game!

Beautiful!! (Unsportsmanlike elbow by American player - not so pretty. Game winner? Definitely beautiful!)

Monday, January 02, 2006


def'n: Dreaming about Wade.

I've been doing it a lot lately, dreaming about Wade. I don't know exactly what's brought it on, but being home has made me think of him a lot.

What to tell first? The story of Wade or the Wading?

Maybe I'll start with the story of Wade, which will explain why I've actually named him (something I so rarely do....)

The (hi)story of Wade
I met him ten years ago at business school. He was in my Section. My housemates and I threw a party the first weekend and he was there. He had a party the next night and I wasn't there (too hungover from my party...) At school the next week he sought me out and asked why.

And I guess that was the beginning. The beginning of our friendship. he was always upbeat, always happy to see me and very good to me. Sometimes he even bought me tea for class when he knew I was running late (me+class-caffeine=very ugly). But through it all he was a guy. A guy's guy. Never sappy, never clingy, just there. Always there. Just a friend.

In second year he went away on exchange for a semester and came back different. Gone was the happy-go lucky guy. He'd been replaced by a more serious version of Wade: a study-hard, job-seeker. He was noticeably less social - almost reclusive but we stayed friends. More effort on my part - a balancing of effort/initiative really - and it worked for us. We stayed friends throughout his hermit stage.

After school ended we became housemates and shared with one other from school. Wade had a girlfriend, I had a boyfriend, but still we hung out.

One of my favourite "Wade" memories from that time was actually not one of my finer moments I had recently been dumped and was not taking it so well. (Talk about being the Queen of Understatement!) Wade came home from work one day to find me moping about misty-eyed. I cornered him just as he came in saying I had a question that needed an answer from a guy's perspective. Why he didn't run screaming from the room, I'll never know. Instead he sighed slightly then patiently sat down and listened. I don't remember what the exact question was now - but it was some kind of self-serving poor-me kind of question - to which he patiently answered along the lines of "No Laura, there's nothing wrong with you."

Despite answering the question correctly, I still started to cry and went to my room. I went to my room because by that point even I realised I was being ridiculous and I started to clean and tidy up to occupy myself. It didn't stop the tears though, which Wade discovered when he came to my room to say goodbye before going to his girlfriend's.

The tears stopped him dead in his tracks. He walked away after saying goodbye but then he came back and offered to stay with me instead of going out. (Imagine how much the girlfriend would have like that? Her boyfriend not coming over because he's consoling his newly single FEMALE housemate?) I said no but I was deeply grateful. It made me feel better because it was in that moment I realised I really had a friend.

Time passed. Wade broke up with his girlfriend, got a new job and could afford to live elsewhere. He was moving out. The weekend before we left we went out to celebrate. Far too many tequila shots and Corona chasers later (we danced like ANIMALS, I tell you, ANIMALS!) Somehow we only found his room when we got home.... A few awkward days later we had a chat (in the dark - we just couldn't seem to face each other in broad daylight) and he expressed how he only wanted to be friends. So that's how we continued. He moved out, but we still hung out. He continued to be my back-up date for work functions (which led to a second slip) but we stayed friends. Through moves, job changes, new love interests. In fact, I was really good friends with his next long-term girlfriend. We went together to support him at the Lake Placid Ironman and the three of us had a ball (a platonic ball).

Life continued and Wade was single again. He bought a house. I planned a move to Australia. Still friends He even helped me get rid of my stuff and move. We were okay until that. Until that comment.

It was a week before I left. I was at his place watching the SuperBowl.
I said something.
To this day I don't know what I did or said but he got mad at me. For the first time ever, even-keeled Wade was mad at me. So mad he wouldn't speak to me. Wouldn't even say goodbye when I left. Not when I left his apartment that night, not when I had a goodbye drink at the Maddy, and not when I phoned him from the airport.

All those years and suddenly he was no longer my friend. Something I said, something I tried to apologise for but couldn't take back because I didn't know what it was.

It's funny, I thought I always knew how much I appreciated him, but it wasn't until he was really gone that I realised just how much he meant to me. What a constant he was in my life. I missed him. I still do.

Many theories abound as to what caused the fracture. Most of my girlfriends think it wasn't something I said, but that he was actually mad at me for leaving, but I've never thought that that was it. But with all the recent Wading going on, I'm beginning to wonder....

The Wading (aka the Dreams)
I'm too embarrassed to go into specifics, but let's just say they all involve declarations of love (on his part) and hot, hot, HOT sex.


And this from a woman who usually doesn't remember a moment of dreams.

Wading. Don't know what started it, but in no rush to make it stop.