The Tiers

"The wedding cake comes as three tiers. We can either keep them separate, or pay $100 to stack them together," I explained at the dinner table at our mini celebratory engagement BBQ with my family. I pointed my chin at my mom as I added, "the guy at the store said the stacking would be…

The Language Barriers

Language. It separates us from animals. It facilitates communication of complex and abstract thought. It's highly technical and nuanced, yet mostly automatic and natural. Language barriers exist in any instance where the language of the participants doesn't match up precisely, for whatever reason. If you don't know the right language in print, at your job…

The Critique

I was flying through my post-graduate Teaching English as a Second Language program. I'd figured out the secret to good grades just the year before in my fifth year of my traditionally four year undergraduate degree program. That's how long it took me to figure out learning, just in time for me to learn how…

The Chickens

"Paul got chickens???" My best friend Cynthia texted me one afternoon. "Chickens?" I texted back. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. "Like, as pets?" She sent me a screen shot of Paul's instagram, the latest picture featuring five chickens outside on grass beside my estranged cat, Zart. "Chickens!" I texted back.…

The Knock

I was curled under a blanket on the couch watching Friends and marking essays. My boyfriend Ant had long gone to bed, but I had at least another hours’ worth of work before I could join him.  “I’ll be there for you..” played on my television as the next episode began.  Then there was a…

The Dress

It was beautiful. With its wisping swirls of aqua, violet and peach, I could swear this dress was designed specifically with me in mind. I adored the abstract pattern, and I adored its unique look. This dress was perfect. And best of all, it was 75% off. There was a catch, however. This dress was…

The Faces

I was walking through the mall when I noticed someone staring at me across the crowded corridor. She looked somewhat familiar, with long brown hair and scrutinizing eyes. I'd only made eye contact for a second by accident, but suddenly she was coming toward me. Her face transformed into a bright smile as she greeted…

The Chase

One of my grandma's favourite stories to tell was about how much of a little rascal my brother Michael was as a child. Out of the three (and much later even four) of her grandchildren, Michael was the one that caused her the most grief. Her story began innocently enough, on a snowy afternoon when…

The Complaints

We sat in the rickety old van we rented in Montevideo cruising along the Uruguayan highway. From the backseat, I admired the angled tree trunks with green leaves exploding far into the sky. Farms paraded past us one after the other. The sun bathed us through the windows. Throughout the ride, when she wasn’t asleep,…

The Opportunist

Although my birthdays are often joyous occasions, there is one incident that was rather hard to swallow. It happened on the eve of my 23rd birthday. That night, I worked a late shift at the steakhouse, The Tap. After I finished my shift, I sat at the back corner of the bar with some coworkers,…