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March 2014

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Read this beautiful 40 year old missed connection right now

While we spend a lot of time here dishing on awful missed connections it is worth it every once in a while to pause and remember that the medium exists to help people find more than a cheap fling.

This missed connection — now 40 years gone since the time they first met — is a beautiful example of the reason that people write these things. Check it out and let us know what you think and if you have any suggestions to help him reconnect with her.

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Grand Central – November 1973 – m4w – 58 (Midtown)

In the fall of 1973 I was studying as a freshman at NYU, and after failing to make my initial train home to Maine, I was rushing through Grand Central on the evening before Thanksgiving 1973 when I spotted you, emerging from one of the railways, with a look of utter confusion on your face. You had the blondest hair I had ever seen, and a plaid dress. I had never seen a plaid dress before.
I was, in those days, terribly shy, and if I am honest with myself, I’ve never shook that stubborn sense of timidity or loneliness in crowds. To this day, trying to explain the uncharacteristic courageousness that seized me in that moment, and inspired me to walk up to you and say “are you lost?” is almost completely beyond me.
You were studying at Olberlin, and on your way to spend Thanksgiving with your aunt in Jersey City. After explaining to you where you could get a bus, I asked, in spite of knowing it would mean sacrificing my last chance to spend the holiday with my family (and likely infuriate my over-protective mother), if you wanted to get a drink and you said yes.
We walked out into a rainy Manhattan street and ducked into the first (cheap) bar we saw, where I ordered us two bottles of beer. Now in my 50’s, when with any luck a man might finally begin to acquire that elusive thing called wisdom, I know that there is nothing more exciting yet rare in life than making a true connection with someone. I have always been too sentimental for my own good, but in all honesty, I have never felt more at ease with anyone than I did laughing and talking to you that dimly lit midtown bar.
When I confessed that I purposefully missed my train to keep talking to you, you smiled slyly and said “well I guess it’s only fair that I miss my bus.” With no money for a cab, we walked to my Lower East Side dorm room, which was deserted aside from my German classmate Franklin, who kindly gave us a half-finished bottle of red wine.
We made love that night, and in the morning coached one another through shaky phone calls to our angry relatives back home. With the November cold turning the night’s rain into a dreary wintery mix, we stayed in bed all day, sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes, discussing politics and philosophy. You told me you had never felt “so New York before.”
That evening, you took a bus to Jersey City. A few weeks later I received a letter from California. You sent no return address, and I never saw you again.
I have been married twice since then – once divorced, and once widowed. I have had a successful career as an English professor, and am a proud father. My life has known its share of triumphs and heartaches, of love and loss. Against my better judgement, I haven’t forgotten that day – and, at least once a year, while mowing the lawn, or reading a newspaper, the details come back to me.
Perhaps, if life’s strange circumstances can permit it, we can have a second drink.

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There is nothing sadder than the ghost of what could have been, but the author of this missed connection treasures the time they spent together nonetheless.

 

Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

No jail time for female B.C. teacher who molested 11 year old boy

A former school teacher from Langley, B.C. received a conditional sentence after pleading guilty to sexual interference with an child between the ages of 11 and 13 between 1998 and 2000. The teacher, who was 43, 44, and 45 at the time the crimes took place, will be submitting to 18 months of house arrest, community service, and a curfew.

The difference between this case and the moral outrage that normally accompanies cases of child molestation is that the teacher, Deborah Ralph, now 59, is a woman and her victim was a young boy.

TheProvince reports that her crimes included kissing, touching, cuddling, and oral sex with the child, who was not her student at the time. Like many high profile cases of child molestation where the perpetrator is a female teacher and the child is a young boy a psychiatric report portrayed Ralph as a woman who saw herself in a consenting romantic relationship with the boy.

Justice Selwyn Romilly didn’t view Ralph as a typical predatory child molester saying that she was at a low risk of re-offending and that “she is at a very different point in her life after a great deal of introspection and emotional growth.”

The decision handed down by the judge clearly notes that the sex of the offender influenced the ruling, stating that  “Ms. Ralph’s sexual behaviour with the victim was not consistent with that of a predatory paedophile. Instead the category of female sex offender into which her offending falls is recognized in the literature as the “teacher/lover” who sees herself as part of a consenting romantic relationship with an adolescent and does not recognize any abusive behaviour. However the behaviour clearly violates the normal boundaries present in the teacher/pupil relationship”

What many people fail to realise is that this situation and ones like it show a problem with the advances of modern feminism. While women have fought for years to dispel the image of the mother, the child, the nurturer, or the emotional and docile female the case of Deborah Ralph shows that the courts haven’t yet caught up.

Feminists need to be fighting not only to dispel these notions to protect the advancement of women in the workplace and society, but to ensure harsher penalties for sexual predators who happen to be women to protect our own families, the families of others, and the community as a whole.

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Let us know what you think. Should female paedophiles receive equally harsh sentences?

CAREERS: 3 tips for breaking into a new field

by Liesl Jurock

A young woman comes into my office and sits down with a sigh: “I think I want to do something completely different. My dream since I was a kid is to be an agent for someone famous, and I want to figure out how to get there.”

I hear the passion in her voice, and my first thought is, “I know nothing about the entertainment industry. How can I help her?” But then I realize that the rules are the same when you’re at the bottom of the barrel in any field.

Whether you’re planning a slight shift, say from sales to marketing in the same industry, or want to break into something new, like agency work, there are some key places to start.

1. Research, research, research!

Obviously, find out everything you can about the field. But go beyond Google and look for industry publications, professional associations, and even academic papers.

Some key questions to answer:
What are the jobs that interest you in the field?
Who are the successful people in these roles?
What skills, prior experience, and education do these positions require?
What is the future predicted for this field?
Who are the big organizations hiring in this field?

2. Find someone in the field to talk to

Some of your research questions can best be answered by people working in the field. Put the word out to everyone you know that you are looking to connect with someone in this industry. Go to events where you might run into these people. Or resort to the old favourite: Cold-calling. Politely request 15 minutes for an information interview. Most professionals are happy to help out people starting out. Take them for coffee and ask them a few prepared questions, including, most importantly, what their journey was to their current career. Try and get other contacts to talk to, and meet with as many people as you can. Not only will you get answers to your questions, but you’ll start building your network. Make sure to show your gratitude with a thank you e-mail or quick note.

3. Figure out the links

Once you’ve figured out the skills, experience, and education needed for the role you desire, figure out where you match and where your gaps are. For skills, take stock of the skills involved in your current job, as well as all the jobs and volunteering you’ve done before. For experience, see if you can volunteer or intern somewhere to gain some additional time. For education, research the options and costs, and do what you can within your budget.

The path to a new career may not be quick or simple, but in this day and age, it is certainly possible.

 

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Do you have any tips for breaking into a new field of work?

5 questions with Sarah Thomson on debate night

Full disclosure: Sarah Thomson is publisher of Women’s Post and also in the running to be the next mayor of Toronto. We had a chance to ask her a few questions about her platform as the other candidates debate tonight on CityTV.

What is the best solution to Toronto’s transit problems right now?

The best solution for Toronto’s transit is the Yonge Street Relief line. The Yonge line is the most important aspect of our system and until the overcapacity issue on that line is fixed people will continue to use their vehicles. We have to channel riders off the Yonge corridor and the Relief Line is key to doing that. Once building is in place we must look at other priorities – like the Scarborough extension.

Do you have a plan to pay for the relief subway line analysts say we need?

My plan is to put tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway for all non-residents commuting to Toronto. Non-residents don’t pay into our city for the water/road infrastructure they use and this places a toll on Toronto taxpayers. Tolling nonresidents is the right, responsible, and reasonable solution. Tolls will raise approximately $200 million that should be dedicated and go directly to building the Yonge Street Relief Line – immediately.

What can the city government do better to best protect residents living in poverty?

We must restructure Toronto Community Housing Corp (TCHC) and bring more charities and nonprofits in to help us solve the dilemma of TCHC. Portable rental subsidies can be used to move people out of the failing system and give them a choice in where they live. We have to break up the pockets of poverty created in the 1970s and push for 10% affordable housing in all new developments.

You gained a lot of traction the last time you ran for being the lone woman among the front runners, what sets you apart from the other candidates this time around?

I am the only candidate who has given my life for the past 4 years to pushing for dedicated transit funding and the Yonge Street Relief Line. I am the only candidate who has built a multimillion dollar company from the ground up And the only candidate who has changed the direction of an industry – the convenience stores in gas stations today are a result of work my company did 25 years ago. Toronto needs change at city hall we must create the drive to build our city. There is a cultural shift that needs to occur at there and we need a leader who knows how to bring this about. I have the experience. I have real idea, real solutions and will bring in real change.

You are against the Billy Bishop airport expansion on Toronto Island. With the issue moving onto a council debate next week what would you do to prevent the expansion if elected in October?

I believe all tax dollars should go to the Yonge Street Relief Line and don’t think people are aware that their tax dollars would go to fund this expansion so that a private company – Porter can benefit. I would do all I can to make sure that the expansion does not occur and that all tax dollars are put towards the Yonge Street Relief Line.

 

Newsflash: March 26, 2014

In honour of tonight’s Toronto mayoral debate Yahoo News came up with Mayoral Debate Bingo, complete with all the phrases you love like Old Politics, Jack Layton, Downtown Relief Line, Pride Parade, Scarborough Subway, and Bike Lanes. This might be the easiest game of bingo you’ve ever played.

Pauline Marois was schooled by a bunch of high school kids who know what they’re talking about. The Quebec Charter of Values has been a debate in the province and around the rest of the country for a while now and the popularity of the charter others view as racist or bigoted has helped the PQ even in the midst of endless bad press. Good thing these kids have a decent understanding of rights and liberties and throw down the hammer by quoting Marois’ own 1997 education act’s enshrining of respect for other cultures. Hey Mme Marois, maybe it’s time to go back to school.

John Tory says he has a plan for a new north-south subway in Toronto. The details are sparse, but he says he can pay for it somehow and we’ll find out how… sometime before the end of the campaign.

Rob Ford has been snubbed from the Garrison Ball this year after becoming famously (and belligerently) drunk when he attended last year. Although he’s hinted he might crash the party organizers have made it clear that only ticket holders are welcome and RoFo certainly does not have a ticket.

One of Ontario’s most controversial mayors has taken leave. No, not Ford. Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell is the highest paid mayor and has been under fire recently for lavish expenses and also taking a secret pay cut. former MPP Linda Jeffrey left the Ontario cabinet to run against her in the upcoming municipal election.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin broke up and were immediately made fun of by everyone because they called in ‘conscious uncoupling.

There is going to be a Miss Congeniality TV series produced by Gracie Hart herself Sandra Bullock and it will be amazing.

This video explains the uncomfortable topic of FGM using cupcakes

Many women in the western world may not be familiar with the horrors of female genital mutilation, often shortened as FGM and sometimes called female circumcision, but these two women made a video to explain the often dangerous procedure with the visual aide of cupcakes while still managing to convey the serious tone that this topic requires.

What do you think, did this video give you more insight into the issue of genital mutilation?

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

There’s a Snickers ad about empowering women that’s actually a bit sexist

Snickers Australia decided to have some fun with the idea of construction workers putting aside cat calls and lewd remarks for empowering statements and encouragement to professional women.

Christopher Hooton at Independent, however, thinks the commercial spot might have sexist undertones.

In the last frame of the advertisement the Snickers tagline “You aren’t you when you’re hungry” shows up, undermining the message that the commercial set out.

“The advert concludes with the slogan ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ however, suggesting that their actions have been those of someone driven crazy by hunger, and leaving a sour (and faintly peanuty) taste in the mouth of the viewer.

Let’s hope those builders get a Snickers in them soon so they can return to their usual lecherous antics eh? Maybe a Yorkie before they start treating everyone like equals!”

While the intention probably wasn’t to come across as sexist, when you take into account that previous ads in this campaign have included obnoxious celebrities acting awful when they don’t have their Snickers it does stand to reason that the nice behaviour of these construction workers might be viewed as another thing to be remedied with a quick snack.

 

What do you think, is the ad empowering, poorly executed, or sexist in the end?

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Prayers do come true: Sandra Bullock to produce Miss Congeniality TV show

Today there was finally definitive proof of a just and caring God, one who heard the countless prayers from women and gay men and looked down on us and said “Let there be more Miss Congeniality, and let it be plentiful and weekly” and it was so.

Yes, Hollywood sources say Sandra Bullock is planning on producing a comedic television series based around her character Gracie Hart from Miss Congeniality and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.

Fans of the original two movies thought they had hit the jackpot when Bullock donned an FBI bulletproof vest, albeit as a different character, in last summer’s The Heat, but just as soon as we were ready to accept it as an unofficial third installment in the Miss Congeniality franchise we learned that Gracie Lou Freebush will live on in the Bullock produced series.

A source told TheSpec “Sandra loved her ‘Miss Congeniality’ FBI agent character Gracie Hart and the concept so much that for years she has continued to keep up friendships with FBI agents she met while researching it. Sandra loves that real FBI agents, particularly female ones, continue to respond to and write her letters about both ‘Miss Congeniality’ and ‘The Heat’.”

Yes please.

 

Newsflash: March 24, 2014

Burning money, Quebec Liberals pull ahead, mayoral candidates talk jets, there’s a new Girl Scout cookies record, Wynne shuffles cabinet, how to shuffle on a dance floor, and don’t tweet at Reimer’s wife.

An Alberta radio station is coming under fire for burning $5,000 in cash after letting voters choose what happened in their “Bank It or Burn It” contest. The hosts on AMP radio in Calgary have received criticism across the board after charities came forward saying they could have used the money. I think we can all fairly say that the money could have found many better uses.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois might not be in charge much longer. A new poll with the largest sample yet in the Quebec provincial election puts the Liberals in majority government territory with voters turned off by issues of a separation referendum and the nomination of media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau.

The debate around jets raged on at City Hall today in a meeting on island airport expansion. WP Publisher and mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson was pushing against the airport expansion and one of the two of the top five candidates present at the meeting  — Rob Ford was present and wants a speedy approval. Council is divided on the issue but many councilors have been vocal in their opinions on the matter, although the hubub around the issue is louder than a jet right now.

A grade six girl in Oklahoma broke the record for the most boxes of Girl Scout cookies. The top notch Scout sold 18,107 boxes, breaking the record of about 18,000 in the mid 1980s. That sounds delicious.

Kathleen Wynne shuffled her cabinet today. In the wake of Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffreys departing to run in the Brampton mayoral race Wynne has replaced her with Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro along with some other small changes. With a budget and possible election looming NDP Leader Andrea Horwath likened the change to “shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.” Jack and Rose would make welcome additions to Queen’s Park.

The Leafs’ James Reimer fired back today at those who sent nasty tweets to his wife saying if they have anything bad to say they can say it to his face, not to his wife online. Tyler Bozak came to April Reimer’s defense too. Word to the wise, don’t pick fights with the wives of guys who could beat you up with their hands tied behind their backs.

Scientists have determined which dance moves attract women to men as potential mates. The study concluded that “women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Speed of leg movements also mattered, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee.” Somewhere Dimitri the Lover just got a subscription to scientific journals.

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.