Lessons in Love


I try to be the most compassionate person I can be.

Instead of donating money to worthwhile charities, I will go out of my way to update my Facebook status to reflect what color bra I’m wearing (usually just a modest pair of Hello Kitty nipple tassels).


Innocent, yet whorish.

Also, while waiting in line at the grocery store, I make it a point never to yell at old people who pay for their $100 purchase in spare change and bus transfers.

If humanitarianism was a sport, obviously I would win the Olympics.

While my heart bleeds everywhere I go, I find that I do my best work in bar bathrooms. This is where my compassionate nature really shines through.

One night, while out on the town, I was in the bathroom powdering my nose when I heard a woman crying in one of the stalls.

“Are you okay?” I asked, peeking through the crack between the partition and the door.

I could tell by the way she said, “I’ll be fine I just need a minute,” that she was hurting something fierce.

I knew I had to do everything in my power to help this woman. The safety of my brand new True Religion jean skirt* with vintage patches and unique stitching detail that cost me $227.96 (with tax) the last thing on my mind, I went into the adjoining stall and crawled under the partition.

“What are you doi–”

“Shh…it’s okay,” I said, kneeling in front of her. “I’m here to help.”

According to Annie, the love of her life had just dumped her via text message. When she asked him why, his response was “Because I’m just not attracted to you.”

It was true, Annie was not attractive in the least. But since I’ve been known to suffer from reverse-beer goggles, I decided it would be best not to say anything. 

Instead, I lovingly placed my arm around her hunched back and led her out to the sink.

Annie: How could he do this to me?

Me: Because he’s an asshole, that’s why. Guys like that don’t deserve your aesthetically-unpleasing tears.

Annie:  (blows nose) I know. I know….It’s just that I really thought Mike was the one you know? It’s funny, my–

Me: Wait a minute. This Mike…he’s not an exotic dancer, is he?

Annie: No. Why?

Me: …A stock broker?

Annie: No.

Me: ….Does he sweat a lot? And have a Pilgrim fetish?

Annie: Not that I noticed.

Me: …Is his name Ian?

Annie: No. It’s Mike.

Confident that I hadn’t slept with this particular Mike, I moved on.

Me: So where did you guys meet, anyway?

Annie: Well, I was doing volunteer work at this animal shelter, and one da–

Me: Annie, wait. (places hand on Annie’s ginormous shoulder) Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason he dumped you is because your stories are really boring?

Normally I wouldn’t be so blunt, but I could tell that she needed tough love. Unfortunately my plan backfired, as she started to cry even harder.

Me: Annie, believe it or not, I was once like you.

Annie: How were you like me?

Me: Before I answer that, let me ask you something. (squats down) If I go like this, can you see my underwear?

Annie: No.

Me: (opens legs wider) How about now?

Annie: Uh, yeah. Kind of.

Me: Great. (pulls out jiffy marker, writes “Thighway 2 The Danger Zone” on upper leg) …Now, what were we talking about again?

Annie: You were telling me how you used to be like me.

Me: Oh, right. Well, the bad news is I was lying. But the good news is that one day you’re going to forget all about this Ian guy.

Annie: His name is Mike.

Me: See? I’ve forgotten about him already. Look, I’m sure there are tons of guys out there who don’t care about things like attractiveness. Have you thought about internet dating?

Annie: Yes, but I’m a little leery. I mean, do you really think it’s possible to find love online?

Me: How should I know?? (sighs, , grabs paper towel and writes on it) Okay, here’s what you need to do. Go to your computer and type this into the search engine. Then forward it to ten friends.

Annie: Just Making Convo…is that a dating site?

Me: Uh, yeah. But it’s like a secret dating site. It attracts relationships through laughter. Also, kickass photoshopping. (looks at imaginary watch) …Look, Annie, I’d love to chat more, but  last call ends in three hours.  (starts walking toward door) If you need anything, just call me. I mean it.

Annie: Wait! You didn’t give me your phone number.

Me: Er, you know how to whistle, don’t you? Just put your lips together and…

By the time I finished, it was too late. I was already long gone.

I never saw Annie again.

But I trust that my advice has changed her life for the better.

(*thx, mistyslaws)



  1. I love this story so much, I wish I had my very own crying toilet troll so I could live it out myself!

    • I can totally make you one!

      Only her shoulders won’t be as ginormous. …And she won’t have the hunched back. Also, because I’m not really good at crafts, she might look more like a transgendered hobbit with an apple for a head.

      But when you’re as compassionate as we are, looks are irrelevant.

      • I think by virtue of standing next to hot-as-hell unconditional givers such as ourselves, most people look like deformed gargoyle werepigs (like a werewolf but fatter) so don’t you worry your pretty little head about your craft skills. Like you say, the looks don’t matter.

  2. Leanne Moffat says:

    The kindness you show to your fellow man and random ugly bar bitches never ceases to amaze me. You are a true angel among humanity. Wow. Just wow.

  3. How would you have helped Annie if she was dropping a deuce??

  4. Your empathy to this “Annie” left me with a wrenching feeling in my stomach. No wait, that was the three burritos and two beer bombs I had at lunch. Maybe I got something from the toilet seat, is that possible?

    • If this is who I think it is, then I’m pretty sure the toilet seat got something from you. (As did the ceiling, and probably the guy sitting in the stall next to you.)

      …Um, if this isn’t who I think it is, I totally meant that as a compliment.

  5. Please tell me Ian IS NOT the one with the Pilgrim fetish. We may have more in common than I ever dreamed…

  6. You’ve inspired me. My New Year’s resolution is going to be to help more people in bathroom stalls.

  7. It takes a village. Really, it does. Glad you’re on board. With the helping and the humanitarianism.

  8. I finally get to see the Hello Kitty tassels that you mentioned on Twitter. I agree… tasteful. Love that you took time out of your day to help that poor girl. I am sure she forgot all about Mike after your pep talk.

    • Thanks, DGIT. I think you’ll agree that the little bows really bring out my tastefully-covered areolas. (…Or is it areolae?)

      I like to think that right now Annie is saying to herself, “Mike who?”

  9. elizabeth3hersh says:

    True story: while in seventh grade I found a very fancy and skimpy ‘bra’ with a huge amount of fringe hanging off of it in my mother’s dirty clothes. I couldn’t find the bottoms and I honestly thought she was dancing at some joint bottomless! I remember being extremely upset (it wouldn’t be the first time) and disgusted. Bschoooooooled, pleeeeeease tell me you have matching bottoms!!

    • Ha! Is there such thing as a bottomless club? If so, I need to go there. Stat. True story, I once made my boyfriend take me to a topless bar, just so I could see what all the fuss was about. I don’t think he appreciated the attention he got when I stood at the front with the asians, and started throwing loonies at the lady dancing on the pole.

      I wish I could tell you I have the matching bottoms, but I only wear underwear on special occasions. Like when I go to the bar. Or at church.

  10. True humanitarianism as demonstrated by this story is seen much too rarely these days. Is it because the toll of everyday life leaves most people too jaded or fashion-conscious to crawl under the stall door to help their fellow man (in this case, a woman)? Is it because the crack between the stall and the door is too small to see through clearly? Is it… society?

    I know I’m asking a lot of tough questions. But these questions need to be asked. And more importantly, someone else needs to be answering them. The world is full of crying unattractive people but we can’t change anything by sitting here in front of our computers typing long and pointless comments.

    No, we need to get out there and seek out these unattractive people and remind them that for every Mike/Ian in the world, there is also a bschooled or an upskirt photographer who are more than willing to risk an expensive pair of jeans in order to intrude on another person’s private pain/thighway to the danger zone.

    As for me, I’m no longer going to sit idly by in the next stall, in completely the wrong restroom listening to unattractive women cry over their cell phones. I’m going to get out there and think about possibly attempting to make a difference in someone else’s life (weather permitting). And at that point that I possibly move past the consideration point and form a committee to discuss the possibility of tabling a motion in favor of forming a committee to formulate an action plan towards the goal of forming a loose coalition of concerned citizens to engage at some point in the future with the aim of creating a firm letter-writing campaign to other concerned citizens, I will think of this story. And Ian.

    • elizabeth3hersh says:

      Whoever takes the minutes in CLTs meetings will deserve their own humanitarian reward after ending up with carpel tunnel syndrome.

    • You really do ask the tough questions. Thankfully, because of my compassionate nature/above average IQ, those are the ones I know the answers to.

      It’s a combination of society and the stall crack being too small. And Ian. Also, McSweeney’s. (But that goes without saying.)

      I guess the only question that’s left to ask is, “Does the weather ever really permit? Ot does it just remain the same pompous asshole, replying to submissions with redundant comments like, “I’ll pass. Thanks for the look, though.”

      Always great to see you, CLT. You’re a true martyr to the cause. (I don’t really know what that means, but still it doesn’t change the fact that it’s always great to see you and you’re a true martyr to the cause.)

  11. nice blog. i am new at blogging. carefor link exchange?

  12. Thank you for photo shopping me out of the hello kitty pasties photo! You are a true humanitarian in my book for that alone.

  13. I don’t know if your advice worked for Annie but it worked for me. I’m writing on my thighs as we speak

  14. You are a giver. Truly. I bow to your absolute selflessness and true altruism.

    I’m confused though . . . were you were jeans or a skirt. I need this important and life changing question addressed immediately.

  15. Where are you when I’m hunched over in a bar bathroom??

    Really, you should simply stick to writing a dating advice blog. Between this post and the last one, you could even help people who speak Mexican.

    • I wish! The problem is, even the Mexicans don’t really speak Mexican. At least to me, they don’t.

      Rather, they speak a kind of thickly-accented and incomprehensible Canadian, which for some reason they think makes more sense than me speaking in their language (even though I’ve been studying it for five years).

  16. You rock. You really do. And not just because I have wanted to say the same exact thing to guy friends who have gone through the whole “why did she leave me?” weepy drunken barfing discussions. But it did remind me of all of the shit you think and cannot say, like
    “She left you because you suck in bed.”
    “Because you defer every decision in your life to someone else. Really, you don’t have to ask if it’s OK if you have pepperoni on your pizza.”
    “You work in an office next to a cemetery.”
    “You DO look ridiculous now that you’re balding. I KNOW you didn’t want to hear that, but what are friends for? I don’t know, wait until more men your age are bald, too.”
    “Yes, I DO think she’s sleeping with someone. Actually, I know she is. Because it’s me.”
    “Stop apologizing when you get up to use the bathroom. Everybody has to use the bathroom. Just go the fuck to the bathroom already.”

    • HA! I love all of these. Especially the last one.

      I think it’s a Canadian thing, but for us, the word sorry is like a greeting. In fact, immediately after exiting my Mother’s womb, I apologized profusely for the pain I caused her, then after the umbilical cord was severed I personally thanked each and every one of the medical staff involved in my birth.

      It’s comments like these that make me wish I had balls. (Both literally and figuratively.)

  17. i swear on my grave, you’re the most hilarious person alive.

    • I swear on BOTH our graves that my family would strongly disagree.

      But don’t worry, G, I won’t let their negativity stop me from quoting your comment incessantly at the next reunion. Only because I’m a survivor that way…;)

  18. No one has a soul that bleeds for their fellow man quite like you do. I can only sit in admiration and hope that someday, I might be half the person you are.

    Also, I am getting your updates out here on the road (or more precisely, the swamp), but half the time, I can’t leave comments. Is it just me? Am I unworthy? Or has WordPress invented a new way to torment bloggers?

    • Thanks BTBNL. Between you and me, there are times when my soul bleeds so much that I worry I might need a transfusion. But now that Mother Theresa is gone, who on earth am I going to find with type B (for “Benevolent”) blood? Oprah? Angelina Jolie? The Kardashian sisters? I’m pretty sure they have enough on their plate, what with their CSI guest appearances and all…

      As for the comments, I’ve given up trying to figure it out. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve written a long, soul-blood containing comment, only to hit send and then have it disappear into cyberspace for the less fortunate to read. And I don’t even get the updates on my homepage anymore….

  19. Scholar Mel says:

    Rule #1 in men’s bathrooms: Do Not Talk To Each Other.
    Rule #2 in men’s bathrooms: Look Straight Ahead.


    • So, does that mean you talk to the wall?
      At the risk of sounding creepy, I’ve always found the whole urinal ritual fascinating. I can’t fathom the idea of having a stranger stand that close to me while I’m urinating.

      Now, if I was sitting in a stall and they climbed underneath, well, that’s another story…

  20. This was heart rending narrative. But there are some unresolved elements.
    1) Where can I buy this so called “nose powder” which women seem to need so much of? I would like a 25 kilo sack.
    2) Can I get 3 pairs of the Hello Kitty tassles with that order?
    3) Editorial suggestion: At the climax of the story, reveal that Annie’s real name is Ian (!), and Mike doesn’t really exist, except as one of Bschooled’s multiple personalities that, thankfully, was expunged after several years of ECT and strong psychoactive drug therapy.

    One time I heard a guy crying in a stall in the men’s room. I figured he was just constipated. I mean that’s the logical conclusion, right?

    • I’m so glad you asked! (Mostly because I like answering questions. It makes me feel needed.)
      Okay, here goes.
      1- Try the place next to the men’s sportswear store. I think I saw some there when I was picking up my weekly shipment of jock straps. (I buy them in bulk. Really, it’s more a hobby than anything else.)
      2- If you want those, you’ll have to buy the jock straps. Three Nipple tassels included with every order! (Singles, mind you, not pairs.)
      3- ECT! I never thought of that! I think the whole “being able to read minds” thing will really kick up my personalities a notch!
      4- I just realized there isn’t a 4.

      As for the constipation, I wouldn’t know. Girls don’t get that stuff.

  21. My Christmas wish is for Kenny Loggins to record “Thighway to the Danger Zone.” But, I mean, realistically, that would never happen. Because I’m Jewish.

  22. You had me at “Hello Kitty nipple tassels.” Now please let me go so that I can get something work-related accomplished today.

  23. I was just saying to myself how I really need to be a kinder more accepting person. Then, you go and write this. Next time I’m in a bar and hear a sad and lonely woman crying, I’ll be sure to crawl into the stall with her and make sure she’s okay. The only problem is that with my luck she’d have food poisoning and not just been dumped.

    • HA! With my luck, I’ll be the one with food poisoning! Of the alcohol variety, of course. (I don’t believe in eating at the bar. Only because the food soaks up too much alcohol.)

  24. The best part of this was that I was imagining it happening in a very particular bathroom, where I have witnessed many girls try to be there for drunk, sobbing, messes. . . None of them really had the skills you had. They really miss the ‘tough love’ aspect of dealing with restroom disasters.
    My approach when I found an unattended sobbing mess who had progressed to a passed out mess before I left the bathroom, was to find a bar employee to deal with it.
    I don’t do people with problems. I stick to animal problems.

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