/  Friendship, Growing up  /  2 Comments

The first time I ever got a black eye

Incidentally, I think it’s also the only time I ever got a black eye.

The night before my 16th birthday I went over to a friend’s house and another friend met us there. We all thought it would be fun to jump on her giant trampoline at once, and so we did. After a while we got an even better idea: the two of them would jump at the same time, which would pop me up in the air.

Everyone reading this knows that an injury happens at this point. I’m lucky I didn’t go flying off the trampoline. What did happen was that when I popped up, I crunched up and my knee smacked me in the eye. By the end of the night I had a nice shiner coming up.

It sure made for a good story the next night at the surprise birthday party my parents threw for me.

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Glen  /  Growing up, Travel  /  No Comments

The first time I ever moved out on my own

I was 22 years old and moving out to the county from the city because I figured it was time to strike out on my own.

My friend had bought a house, was getting married in a year and was looking to rent out a few of the rooms till the wedding date.

It was the perfect opportunity for me. I remember the thrill of thinking….”Alright, you are now completely on your own…” Thoughts of paying my rent, buying food, paying for insurance, gas, truck payments went through my mind.

On the flip side, having no one to answer too and coming and going whenever I wanted was sweet.

Total responsibility for my life!

It was a very liberating feeling and one that made me scared shitless at times…LOL.

But I knew driving down the highway of life, that there was no going back home. I had officially entered the grown up world and a new adventure had just begun.

Turn the page.

This post was submitted by Glen.

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 /  Romance  /  1 Comment

The first time I dated my future wife

I asked her to to see a show in Toronto called “Forever Swing” as we were both hugely into swing dancing at the time.

This was the first time I met her dad as well. He was impressed that I had rented a car to go to T.O. as I didn’t want to put mileage on my truck. He had been used to seeing his daughter drive all her ex-boyfriends around.So bonus points for me.

The show was fantastic and we had a great time. Two amazing things were involved with that special night.

About five years after that night, I was Swing Dancing and was approached by this dude who says I would have been great in this show he had choreographed called…Forever Swing.

I say “Get out of town…” I went and saw that show on my first date with my wife, he says …”Yeah I was in the show…” sure enough his picture was on the show brochure.This was how I met my friend Stephen Lilly.

Oh and the show featured some smooth crooner singer guy….yeah …hmmmm what was his name? Something to do with bubbles or something…

Oh yeah, Micheal Buble made an appearance on our date.

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This post was submitted by Glen.

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 /  Romance  /  No Comments

The first time I went on a date with my future husband

We did things a little differently than most. After being close friends for a few years we dated for 6 weeks, got engaged and then went on our first date.

A friend was in a play and we thought it would be a great idea to go see his performance. I’d read the play in highschool and remembered nothing about it except that it was excellent. So off we went to see Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

We walked out of there a bit shellshocked. Neither of us had any idea we would be watching 2 hours of failing marriages, what Patton Oswalt once described as “the separating asshole of mutual acrimony”. But we shook it off and now we make sure to tell people never to watch that play when they’re on a date, first or otherwise.

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 /  Dancing  /  1 Comment

The very first time I ever saw swing dancing

I was working midnights at the Casino when I overheard someone talking about swing dancing. I politely interrupted the conversation and asked for more information. I grew up listening to Glenn Miller and Lawrence Welk and thought swing dancing would be a fun thing to try.

I was informed about Swing Dancing lessons on Wednesdays at the Loop, a bar downtown in Windsor. I mustered up my courage and decided to check it out.

I sat for about 45 minutes in awe of what I was seeing. People were moving around so fast and literally throwing each other around, over top of their heads and through their legs. Holy shit! I thought, there’s no F’ing way I’m going to be able to do this crazy ass stuff! So… I left.

A few weeks later I ran into the same guy who initially shared the info about the Loop. He convinced me to come try it out again. So I got up off my lazy behind and made my way over to the bar once again. This time a cute girl came over and said she would show me some steps. Of course you never say “NO” to a girl who’s asking you to dance! After a three year courtship, she’s now my wife.

Because of Swing Dancing, I have choreographed local theater productions, appeared on radio and television and in local magazines and been fortunate to learn from some of the best dancers in the world. Not to mention all the awesome people I have met and have had the honor to share a dance with through the years that I now call friends.

I guess sometimes when something looks really intimidating; you just have to give it a second chance. It just might change your life. Just think had I not giving it a second chance I might have missed out on this…

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This post was submitted by Glen.

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 /  Cars, Driving  /  No Comments

The very first time I ever tested for my driver’s license

It was winter time, there was snow on the ground and it was darn cold. I wore a heavy coat with a long scarf and toque. My cousin had been cool enough to be the one who had been teaching me how to drive. We had been using his orange 4×4 jeep.

I had asked if I could use his jeep for the test as it had been the vehicle I was used to driving. To my utter surprise he said yes! I was going to be driving that jeep with someone other than my cousin as the passenger. Woot. I was excited but nervous as well.

I picked up the ministry of transportation officer, who had on a heavy coat, a large funny looking hat as well as earmuffs because the doors and cover of the jeep was made of this flimsy material and we proceeded to test out my driving skills. Now the jeep was surely a lot of fun to drive. However it was very herky jerky when you shifted the gears. You tended to get thrown about a bit like the motion you sense when a rollercoaster has come to a stop after flying around the rails. Don’t know if it was the transmission or the fact that it was a 4X4 or that it was just really really cold outside.

Anyhow, left and right turns were performed…check. Full stop at stop sign…check. Full stop at light…check. Maintaining correct speed while switching lanes on one way street…FRICKING check!

And then it happened, the dreaded parallel parking test. I pulled up alongside a car, braked and shifted into reverse, we both lunged forward. I turned the wheel and proceeded to back into the open space, I cut too sharply, I shift into drive and we both lurch back. I’m laughing in my head at how funny we must look while doing the parallel parking dance.

I shift into reverse the officer is bracing himself against the dashboard I ease her back into the cramped space between two cars and that’s when I feel the thump on the bumper of the car behind us as we connect. CRAP, FAIL! I continue to complete the exam thinking…well I’m going to have to do this again.

Surprise is not the word I would use, more like SHOCK when we returned to the ministry of transportation and the officer says…”Well you need to work some more of you right hand turns but I’m going to pass you…congratulations on earning your license!” Whiskey, TANGO, Foxtrot! WTF!

Maybe, it was the herky jerky motion of the gears shifting, maybe it was the funny hat with the earmuffs or maybe I’m just plain lucky. But for some reason, dude did NOT notice that I tagged the car behind me while parking! Who knows?!? All I knew was that I had my license and I was going to go celebrate the way any other true cold blooded Canadian celebrates getting their license…doing donuts in an empty parking lot!

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This post was submitted by Glen.

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 /  Cooking  /  No Comments

The first time I ever cooked

I was around 10 years old, maybe younger, and I decided I wanted to cook.  As I understood it, cooking in its entirety involved putting ingredients into a pan and heating it on the stove until you were ready to eat.  I only wanted to cook an egg that I could put on toast. Piece of cake.  There was a warm pan on the stove, and I cracked an egg into it and turned on the gas burner.  It turns out that the pan in question had recently been used to cook bacon, with a healthy layer of grease left to cool before being poured out.

I will never forget how big the flames looked coming out of the pan. It was like fireworks, and while a part of me was pretty sure that this wasn’t usually how cooking went, another part of me was transfixed by the coolness of what I’d just created.

My brother wandered through the kitchen at this point, saw the fire and luckily was much more interested in keeping our wooden house from burning down than watching a colourful light show.  He put out the grease fire in the sink and was well.  It was nearly a decade before I tried again in earnest.

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This post was submitted by Ed.

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