TROY LAWRENCE/THE VARSITY

The lady on the screen above the dated stainless steel washer said it was going to start snowing at 2:00 pm — and start snowing it did.

Everywhere I look, I see you.

As the snow falls, I am transported to the Brooklyn bar under the highway where I held your hand and asked you to follow me. Reaching for your beer, you say, “You’re going to move here.”

You look down at your beer rolling it between your palms. “But I can’t come with you, I just can’t.” I look past you at the snow lit red by the neon light. My throat tightens.

I wake up in a cold sweat in a tiny Bushwick apartment. In my dream, a tiny blonde slipped out of your bedroom, while I, a stranger, slipped on my shoes down the hall.

I don’t think of you anymore. Except when it snows. Or a certain song comes on. Or when someone says, “It’s a toss-up.”

I wanted you to feel pain when it ended, but that would have required you to first feel passion.

You felt nothing and I felt everything. I told you nothing and you told me everything. I became the kind of woman I thought you might love. You became the kind of man people would call a ‘good boyfriend.’

You never knew me. I never fell in love with you.

So allow me to send my love letter from New York. I’ll keep it simple. I am happy you left me. I am happy I left town. I am happy that you are finding yourself.

I hope you find the passion too. I know you’ll find love. I hope she knows how precious you are. As for me? I did it babe, and I am so happy.

— Chantel Ouellet

 

If you’re reading this, I don’t care.

What is typically gleaned from years of therapy can be told with three simple words: thank you, next. Pop sensation Ariana Grande tells her listeners to dump the douche and love yourself. 2019 is a year of possibility, devoid of that I’m-trying-to-figure-myself-out love, followed by a don’t-worry-I’ll-only-spend-weeks-neglecting-you-because-of-it love.

Yet 10 missed calls and a “I wish I could kiss you at midnight” voicemail does not scream ‘thank you’ nor ‘next.’ Not everybody can be grateful for a cheating, manipulative “I’ve just been really busy” type of ex. But you can start a new page. The next chapter doesn’t have to be ripped from the spine of a Nicholas Sparks novel, nor does it have to come from the ambitious pages of The Alchemist. You don’t need to be bursting with love or dripping with inspiration to be important.

Real treasure doesn’t need to be sought out, and a man is not what’s glowing in your gold-encrusted chest. If I could do it all over, I’d stop guessing why he hadn’t texted back and instead simply say, “Thank you, next.” His vacant words will not draw you any closer to your goals.

They won’t tie you to a storyline or secure the future you doodled into the pages of your childhood diary. Choosing a person who always puts themselves first will only force you to put yourself last each time. It’s important to know how to accept love, but also to know when to admit Ariana is right. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re drafting an escape route for your toxic relationship.

My advice: this year, skip the bull. Tell the flighty dude, “Thank you, next,” even though 2019 is the year when we’re so grateful for ourselves. Don’t waste your time with greentext paragraphs or old Instagram photos. Simply put down the phone and make 2019 noteworthy.

— Grace Meany

 

I guess it’s kinda sad that we broke up. The time and money that neither of us had in the first place but used on each other essentially went down the drain as the long distance coupled with our growing irritability toward one another resulted in the inevitable demise of our relationship.

But I’m glad that we did when we did, because if one thing was made painfully clear to me as frosh week turned into reading week and then exams, it’s that the difficulty of the academic transition between high school and university, along with the availability needed to build new social relationships and my own attempts at keeping a part-time job, would have only erupted into a disastrous mess, had I also set aside the time and energy needed to keep our relationship going.

I can’t lie though, there are times when I — and my entire body writhes as I say this — miss you. For one, I’m no longer part of the elite Spotify premium class and am instead an ad-listening pleb. I see posts from people I didn’t like in high school and have no one to readily trash talk to, and no one else will willingly listen to me rant about how the MLB is committing corporate suicide in the face of younger generations.

However, I know you’re still present in my life in many really crucial and meaningful ways, including your HBO account that I still use to watch The Sopranos, the comfy rag & bone sweater I stole from you and doubt that you’ve missed, and finally your contribution to my oral health with that electric toothbrush you gifted me last Christmas.

And with that, it’s time for me to pursue my 2019 dream boyfriend — that sexy sexy 4.0. I can’t wait for him to stop playing hard to get.

— Angie Luo

 

One of the most basic new year’s resolutions, other than getting fit, is finally cutting out that ex you know is no good and I, unfortunately, am one of the countless girls who brought in the new year to “thank u, next,” promising to cut out the toxic ex. Here’s hoping I stick to it this semester.

I’ve been back in Toronto for a little over a week and I’m already so deep into my university routine I can barely remember lying in a queen-sized bed and not having to do laundry or eat cereal for dinner. In first year, going home for winter break brings up a wide range of emotions, some which make you question your sanity, one of them being nostalgia. Maybe it’s something about going back to places with so many memories, but somehow there is always some sort of communication with your ex, and I know I’m not the only one who got the “Hey how’s uni?” text.

I was in a long, confusing relationship for most of high school and I was just about done with it, and university was the perfect exit point, a point where we both decided that we had a good run in each other’s lives. But it was time to move on and go separate ways. So my question is why was it necessary for me to get a reply to my Snapchat story of my airplane window, asking me when I was reaching home.

Unfortunately, I am not completely innocent, having replied and indulged polite conversation until the point the conversation escalated from “How are your classes?”  to ”Do you want to hang out?” too quickly.

Thinking back, I realized that it’s always the one ex who hasn’t really met anyone or who has had a bad experience in university who texts first. If you’re the one who hits your ex up, shame on you. If my friend can meet a guy, and 20 minutes into the conversation be asked if she’s going to have an arranged marriage just because she’s brown, and still not hit up her ex, I’m pretty sure you can do the same.

— Krisha Mansukhani

 

One day, my then-girlfriend suggested those four dreadful, short-circuiting English words: “We need to talk.” Naturally, this came as a surprise, so I asked, “What’s wrong?”

She explained that she loves me, that her family and friends like me a lot, and she assured me that, she hopes, the issue is something I’m totally unaware of. She claimed, when we’re out and about, for example, on campus, that I walk through other people’s photos. She hoped that I was just scatterbrained and unaware of my actions and demanded from me an acknowledgement and explanation.

I replied that I like her for all the same reasons. However, I’m totally aware of my actions and insisted that I had a great argument to support them. Firstly, most are using digital cameras; if it were film, I’d genuinely feel guilty, since the price and patience required mean something more.

Secondly, the world doesn’t revolve around them. When I take photos, I wait for gaps, aim high, and don’t expect the world to stop for my self-indulgence — I’m just not that self-important. I thought hard about my argument and developed a provisional conclusion, since, honest to goodness, I’m open to change in light of more compelling evidence, really.

She retorted, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What if this lady taking a photo is from, say Chile, and when she returns home and shows off her travels on a slideshow to her family, and in every Toronto photo there’s this tall bearded guy? Her family would rightly ask if that’s how Torontonians look and act, eh?”

She said, “I love you, but you need to be a better ambassador for where you live.”

“At the very least, when you’re photobombing the poor people’s photos, you can smile!”

These days, I smile every time I do it!

— Oscar Starschild


If you are interested in contributing to “Let’s talk about sex,” email arts@thevarsity.ca.

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