Is the ” Promise Ring” a Hint or a Stutter?

The dialogue of a lady and her child as I rang through their purchase…

“What should I say, mum? I don’t want to give it away!”

“I don’t know, what’s wrong with the one you had before? I wouldn’t get it.”

“That’s because you’re not a fan, mum. ‘One ring to rule them all’ I think he’ll get it.”

“What is this for?” I asked.

The girl looked at me for a moment. “I’m giving my boyfriend a hint but I don’t want him to get it. I got him a ring-“

“A promise ring,” piped in her mother.

“Yes, and he got me one except I already guessed that he got me one so I got him one in return and he wants a hint ‘cause he doesn’t know that’s what I got him.”

“Oh, how exciting! Well, if it was me I would definitely get that hint, especially because he already got you one. Why don’t you just tell him you got him something shiny?”

She considered it, “hmm that could be good.”

“You have lots of time to think about it anyways-“ said the mum, “how much is this?”

“Two dollars. When are you seeing him?”

“Oh, not for a month. He lives in Michigan.”

“Oh wow that’s far! How did you meet?”

“Through friends-“

“It’s a long distance thing,” piped in her mother again, “they’re only kids anyways. She’s going to stay with his family for a while, all nice people. His parents are both surgeons!”

“Oh-“

“And his one brother is an entrepreneur, has his own business, and the other one does something to do with apps. He’s making a deal with Facebook right now.”

“Oh great, good catch! So what does yours do?”

They looked at each other for a moment.

“He dropped out of college-“

“But he’ll find his way eventually-“

“Lots of time!”

“Of course,” I laughed.

“I think I’ll tell him it’s shiny.”

Two men walk into a bar…

Two men walked into a bar. One had been famous; the other finding himself in his career. One shook hands with the bouncer and walked into the bar, the other was astonished but followed anyways. The more popular of the two spent a good hour laughing and catching up with people eager to greet him. The other stood by his side embracing the atmosphere and watching the star shine. They went on like this until a brighter star walked into the bar.

Two men sat down at a bar. One was dejected; he wondered why nobody was paying attention to him. The other was glimmering with creativity; something he had been looking for was finally presenting itself. The optimist looked over at the pessimist and said to him “this is what I want you to be. This man. Be this man.”
Believe it or not, this is a true story. I love when people from new walks of life share snippets and snapshots of their lives. Little stories are what form a greater reality for all of us. And as many of us strive to become more confident in the decisions we make, we can rest assured that no measure of success will guarantee happiness.
If you are an avid “Friends” watcher, then it might interest you to know that the Pessimist in this story is non other than Matthew Perry. 
The Pessimist is non other than Canadian writer and filmmaker Harris Goldberg. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at a discussion panel at McMaster University.

En Route to Calgary

There was nobody sitting beside me on the airplane, so I decided to listen to the couple in front of me.

At first I believed they were a couple, or family members, or at least a pair that knew each other. The one was describing her latest adventure as a journalist, the other his adventures fishing. They had seemingly nothing in common but their relationship.

It turned out they didn’t even have that.

At one point in the flight, I heard her say it. “Don’t you love meeting people in transit? I think its so fun, such a great opportunity to talk to people you don’t know!”

He laughed and agreed with her.

They were connected.

One humid evening, a boy went to war…

Traveling is my favourite release from reality. You can wear a façade like it’s your new best friend and break it down in ways no friend or foe at home would believe. You can become closer to your true self, using the mask to unveil a truth you were afraid of before. When I travel, I experience the lie and the truth, and back and forth I go. I always find myself again.

One humid evening in the Dominican Republic, I met a boy from the East Coast of Canada. He seemed ordinary, his voice fading into the roar of his friends’ laughter and stories. When I turned to talk to him, I found out that his tribulation and his passions were so much more intense than his buzzed friends who held no cares in the world.

I started with the most basic of questions, one of which was about his future plans. This boy had a fire in his eyes when he spoke about his future, a sort of resolution in which he knew his path as if it were laid out in front of his feet, clear and concise. Life is usually unpredictable, but he exhaled confidence in every dream. The boy was an avid hockey player, but he severed himself from the dream he once had to play professionally, and told me that his friends who thought they would make it were fools.  He knew that his footprint was not guided by an ice skate, and so he saw himself perhaps teaching hockey one day, if only to hold on to nostalgia.

For now, he looked towards the ominous task of paying for college.  As the next words escaped from his lips, he oozed positivity and the fear in decision making fell away right then and there. It was just between him and the truth now. He told me that he decided to join the army. I wanted to cry for him. Was he sealing his fate here? I had a million questions, and yet could utter not one single sound. All I could do was listen as he explained to me in impeccable detail how his dreams moulded his future, his fate. A boy who played hockey would melt into a man designed for violence. Sure, army doesn’t necessarily equal killing. But the innocence would soon be gone.

I asked him if he realized that life would never be the same. He smiled- he didn’t want it to be.

He talked about fate and destiny. There was a secret passion that he held onto, and he told me he wasn’t sure how to explain. He had never been to New Zealand before, but he could picture himself being happy there. He would be a farmer, and live with his family off of the land they tended. Perhaps he had seen it once in a movie? Captivated, he placed his heart in the hands of snowy mountain tops.  That was enough for him. The pure confidence in which he spoke these ideas made me think that fate might grant him his wish. With a kiss of determination, I felt this boy seal his dreams.

Who’s to say it won’t happen this way?