The Second Flight: a sequel to Fan Boys & Fear Boners

July 27th, 2014

She wonders how she ever got here as she goes under again…

Nassau, Bahamas If this blog is good for one thing, it’s all the sordid details from my escapades on the road to the NHL and beyond. But have you ever wondered what happens when I meet someone in my hockey travels on a night when I am or he is quickly leaving town immediately after the game? The following is a cautionary tale about the dangers of not “getting it out of your system” on hockey night and letting the sexual tension drag on for years and years. Enjoy!

As you know, I’ve been aboard for over four years. And I know I’ve mentioned before that the guys back in NHL Land love to talk a big game when I’m overseas, but then magically disappear as soon as I’m back in Canada because they no longer have a 9000 km buffer zone to hide behind. I caught on to this game early on – we’re talking in my Korea days – and I learned to take all their flirtations with a grain of salt, and basically assign it to the “not worth my time” pile. So imagine my surprise when one of these guys decided to finally put his money where his mouth is – literally.

A couple months ago, the fan boy in question announced that he had come to the realization that if he was ever going to get a shot with me, he was going to have to actually do something to make it happen before I head back to the Middle East. You see, our NHL ports are quite far apart, so even when I’m not abroad I’m still kind of abroad. And the last time I was in his port of hockey was in 2011. But he kept in touch with me all through Japan and Saudi, and I’m sure there was more than a few stretches of time where he was one of my only links to life back in Hockey Land.

Anyway, he claimed that our first date couldn’t just be any ordinary first date, it had to be totally epic. He told me he was thinking about going to the Bahamas in July and offered to fly me there with him, if I was bold enough to go. Of course, I thought it was crazy, but I couldn’t say no. You see, I’ve been saying for years that the perfect guy for me was the guy who was ballsy enough to follow me through all my crazy travels around the world. I didn’t want to be the girl who was too blind to see the good thing that was right in front of her. This guy could have been exactly what I was looking for, and I just hadn’t given him any serious thought because I always assumed he was another one of those guys who just likes to “talk” when I’m away. And, to be fair, on paper this guy was the real deal – allegedly adventurous, HOT, and, well, could provide me with an endless amount of NHL tickets (as long as I was willing to start following his team, that is). I figured he was worth a shot. Besides, I’ve never been able to refuse a new and crazy adventure!

Naturally, he never mentioned it again, and once more my theory about “distance flirting” seemed to hold up – he was totally full of shit. However, two weeks ago he brought it up again, and this time he followed through and bought me a ticket to Nassau. I was shocked. For the 10 days that followed I practiced my best Scarlett O’Hara impersonation, “Oh fiddledeedee! I never knew that I was the type of girl that a man would just fly to the Islands on the first date! I do declare I may even let him kiss me goodnight!” I’m sure that got annoying after the first 100 times I said it.

Anyway, once the ticket was booked, Fan Boy seemed to be putting me under the microscope. It became painfully clear that he was psychoanalyzing and reading into pretty much everything I said. He apparently feels he’s a part-time psychiatrist, doctor, and all sorts of other things he isn’t actually qualified to be. And if anything, he was the one with a personality disorder. The guy probably sent me 5 selfies a day, and they weren’t even sexy selfies, just idiotic head shots from inside his car. If that doesn’t scream narcissistic personality, then I don’t know what does! Anyway, I was starting to get majorly turned off and definitely started regretting my decision to go away with him. But my friends just kept slapping me on the wrist and telling me that I was being stupid, and that I should be excited because he is, in their opinion, perfect.

A day before we were supposed to leave for the Bahamas, disaster struck, or perhaps it was a blessing in the disguise. Fan Boy messaged me claiming his father was seriously ill and in the hospital. Now, I don’t want to sound insensitive, but without getting into all the details, trust me when I say the whole thing was full of inconsistencies and reeked of bullshit. I gave him the out early in the day, and told him I understood that family comes first, and that I was OK with cancelling. Truthfully, it was a relief. However, he wouldn’t cancel officially until 11PM on Tuesday, and my flight was at 6AM on Wednesday, so he kept me waiting all day as he vacillated.

Being the naughty type, I toyed around with some travel websites to see if I could still make use of this free flight. Unfortunately, it seemed the whole area was booked solid! Even Fan Boy claimed that “when he called Atlantis to cancel his reservation,” they told him they were happy because they had overbooked the hotel and needed the room. So, it seemed I wouldn’t be going to the Bahamas after all.

Since I didn’t have to be at the airport, I slept in on Wednesday and woke up depressed because I wasn’t in the Bahamas! Eventually, I rolled out of bed, threw on some clothes, and hit the Tim Hortons drive-thru to start my day. I felt it was necessary to go on a date that evening to at least hope that someone MIGHT get to appreciate my wasted, fresh pre-beach Brazilian wax! However, around 7PM, I got a strange text message.

Evidently, daddy was no longer ill, and Fan Boy had decided to go to Atlantis again, and asked me if I would get on a plane in the morning, if he bought me yet another ticket! I told him I would (this time mostly to just see if he would actually buy a SECOND flight since the first flight was non-refundable), but that I wasn’t confident he could find a place to stay now, especially after what Atlantis had allegedly said to him. “I work miracles!” he said. Apparently, apart from being a self-proclaimed doctor and psychiatrist, he’s also Jesus. Anyway, the Magic Man pulled through, and I was sent yet another flight to the Bahamas!

This time I just couldn’t get excited about it. It seemed really fucking strange, and I sensed that he was definitely hiding something. On top of it he seemed extra “happy” while he booked my second flight…happy as in “I’ve been in the Bahamas this whole time and drinking at the pool all day.” Once more, I expressed my concerns to my friends, and was basically told I was being a raging bitch who was just looking for reasons to tear him apart. But something wasn’t right, and on top of it, he was dodging all my questions about his flight information and which tower he would be staying in at Atlantis. Eventually things went quiet on his end, but I couldn’t be sure if I was being ignored because he had said he was hopping a “late flight” that night to get to Nassau.

When 3AM rolled around, a game time decision was needed. I knew something was wrong, but being a decent human being, I knew that I couldn’t use my doubts as an excuse not to get on that plane. I mean, this guy dropped over $1000 just to fly me to the Bahamas for our “romantic and spontaneous” trip as he called it. I’m not going to be the bitch who doesn’t show up! Besides, maybe my friends were right and I was just being irrational about him. I decided to do the right thing, but I still needed a pep talk first. I had a heart-to-heart with myself that morning. I reminded myself that I was a traveller, and that no matter what happened, I knew what I was doing and I would be fine. I told myself to go, and take the risk, and have a little adventure, but I also made myself promise that if he did fuck me over, I wouldn’t let it kill my spontaneous spirit.

After 2.5 hours going through customs, I was finally on the plane. I still hadn’t heard from the Fan Boy, but I figured he was still asleep. Anyway, once our plane had taxied from the gate it was grounded for a good 40 minutes because a “bird?” hit a plane in front of us!? The problem was my connection in North Carolina was only 40 minutes, so being a decent person, yet again, I texted the Fan Boy to let him know there was a good possibility I might miss the next flight. The response I got blew me away…

“Sorry, I’m not going to be here now.”

Seems Freud over there made a little typo. Did he forget the T in ‘there,‘ or did he really mean ‘here‘ as in “I’ve been here this whole fucking time, bitch!” He would give me no explanation as to why he wouldn’t be there, and when I told him I was already on the plane all I got was, “Totally sorry.”

You see, Fan Boy thought flashing the cash was “romantic,” but I’d much rather a guy buy me a $2 coffee and be a considerate person on our first date, than drop a grand and think that gives him a licence to be a thundercunt. I mean, he claimed he was flying out the night before, so going with that story, he knew hours before I went to the airport that he “didn’t go.” Why was I not informed?! Thundercunt.

As you have probably guessed, I already gave Fan Boy his walking papers, so I will likely never know the secret behind the mystery of the two flights. Is he married? Did he go to the Bahamas and meet some bronzed set of implants in a thong bikini at the pool the night before, and decided I was no longer needed like so many modelizers before him? I’ll never know. However, some have speculated that he was simply afraid. That he was, in fact, all talk, and when game day finally arrived he chickened out – both times. For some guys it’s enough just to know that you would get on that plane, but actually seeing you when you get off is a totally different thing.

So you’re probably wondering what I did now that I was stuck on a plane bound for a destination where I had no place to stay. Well, the initial feeling was like being at the top of the hill on a massive roller coaster, and you’ve just discovered your seatbelt doesn’t work. I mean, I was still in Toronto, but I was so far from the gate that getting off the plane was no longer an option. So close, yet so far. Luckily, the hockey gods smiled on me that day, and there was wifi (that actually worked) in the cabin. I consider this to be pretty damn lucky. I mean, I travel A LOT, and I’ve only been on a flight with wifi a handful of times, and only twice did it actually work properly.

Anyway, once we were up in the air, I started iMessaging down to my grounds crew, and had them on the task of finding me a place to stay. However, it wasn’t as easy as that sounds. Like I said, Nassau was booked, and because of the delay I didn’t even know if I was making my connection. So, I had people looking at hotels in Carolina and Nassau. But the possibilities were endless. I could hop a plane to Charelston, or I could rent a car and drive up the coast. However, since I’m doing the drive between Vancouver and LA in 12 days, I thought that was a bit of a waste. Sadly, once we landed in Carolina, my flight had just started boarding. So after a quick Skype call on my phone, and a secure reservation (found a room via Priceline eventually), I was running onto the plane and heading to the beautiful Bahamas.

Let’s just say I had a great time on this trip, if you know what I mean. Yeah, you can probably imagine that a tale of woe, such as mine, is like catnip for guys. They just couldn’t wait to volunteer to show me “how a real man treats a lady.” So, guys, if you really want to screw over your lady friend, don’t leave her with a crazy story that is sure to get her laid again and again – especially on the trip you were supposed to take with her hmmmmmm!

So, at the end of the day, I guess I wasn’t the type of girl that a man just flies to the Bahamas on the first date, after all. And what was supposed to be the story of my craziest first date ever, turned out to be the story of the craziest way I’ve ever been stood up for a date! I think it was actually the first time, and if we’re being honest, it was kind of fun. Anyway, I can only hope that, after this whole experience, I didn’t learn a goddamn thing. Because the next time some crazy, spontaneous guy wants to do something epic for our first (or any) date, yeah, I’m still definitely going along with it. I know I’m crazy, but I try to live in the spirit that, if there was ever a film made about my life, the entire soundtrack couldn’t be anything but Duran Duran.

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One rink to rule them all…

June 2nd, 2014

You shook me like I’ve never been. Now show me how to live again.

Montreal, QC The morning after the Habs’ epic Game 5 victory over the Rangers was not a pleasant one for me, but none of them are these days. It’s safe to say I’ve been hungover every single day that I’ve been back in Canada, and since today is my birthday, it’s going to get much worse before it gets better. Anyway, it was hard not to, you know, go hard after the insanity that was the fifth game in the Eastern Conference Final. So, it wasn’t totally unheard of that I couldn’t quite recall all the details of the night before, as I slowly made my way through the hotel lobby to seek sanctuary in a welcoming Deville Dinerbar poutine. However, when I got downstairs all the hotel staff members excitedly ran up to me to ask me how I liked the game. At first I thought this was just part of the wave of excitement that had swept the city after what transpired at the Bell Centre the night before, but then the pangs of embarrassment began to hit me – I didn’t remember telling ANYONE that I was heading to the game the night before! Which made me wonder just how the staff had learned of this, and more importantly WHAT ELSE they had learned about me in the aftermath of Game 5! Was there a noise complaint or something?!?! ;)

Nothing quite like starting your day with an unexpected walk of shame, eh?! However, I suppose if there was ever a time to forgive a girl for being her old, scandalous road warrior self, a do-or-die victory for the home crowd was definitely that time. I mean, it was impossible not to get swept up in the emotions that were running high all over the streets of Montreal. It may have been a Tuesday, but the people were flooding the town, and partying all night long, as if it was the most epic Saturday night in the history of Saturday nights! Riot police were stationed on every corner, and there was more than one occasion where firetruck sirens could be heard in the distance. This WAS Montreal, after all. They have a history of rioting even when they win! Yep, electricity was definitely in the air that night, so yeah, cut a girl some slack, already!

Last year, after I finally completed my NHL tour, I declared that my favourite rink of them all (atmosphere wise) was Winnipeg. It’s true, Winnipeg during the regular season is totally unmatched, and I’m sure someday they will get to show the hockey world just how insane they can be, if they were to experience a deep Stanley Cup playoff run. Of course, for the typical Ontarian, who has maybe visited Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit, Ottawa, and Montreal, Montreal is always the obvious favourite – even for the most devout Leafs fan. To me, the Bell Centre was always a pain in the ass that I tried to avoid. I’m not sure why, really, but perhaps my Toronto upbringing ensured that I despised all things Montreal both hockey-related and non, and I was just totally incapable of appreciating the Bell Centre due to the bad blood that has always existed between our two cities. But, I developed a newfound respect for Habs fans during game 5, and now I have to change my vote for favourite game day experience.

I saw things in the stands that I’ve never seen before. In my section, for example, a chant of, “Fuck you, Rangers!” had broken out. I guess some parental types had expressed their concern for their children’s virgin ears to Bell Centre security. But when the security guy went to deal with the situation, the naughties simply said, “But they are Ranger fans!” while pointing to the six or so blue shirts that were occupying the seats a few rows in front of them. The security guard suddenly understood, patted the guys on the back, and walked away as the chants continued with his blessing. And I loved it!

After the game, I nearly got killed, as speaking English automatically meant that I was from New York. Now, to be fair, I had been busting out the French earlier in the day, but my hangover headache was intensified by the insane noise levels at the game, so by the time a drunk and happy Habs fan had grabbed me on the street corner, and started saying God-knows-what, all I could manage was, “Nope! Just no!” To which he responded, “YOU ARE A RANGERS FAN!” Which then got the attention of other Habs fans, and soon I had five guys surrounding me saying, “YOU ARE!!!!!!???????” I tried to explain that I was not, in fact, a Rangers fan. I consider myself an NHL fan above all else, after all. But they didn’t buy it, and told me that the worst thing of all was that I was too afraid to admit it, “JUST SAY IT! SAY THAT YOU ARE A RANGERS FAN!!!”

Oddly enough, later in the night I would discover that claiming to be from New York was actually safer than telling the truth and admitting I was actually from Toronto. You’d think that wouldn’t be the case, since the Leafs suck and all, and you might expect that the people of Montreal would rather gloat than hate. Nope. New York may have been the headache of the week, but Toronto will always be the one true enemy!

Anyway, the final component to change my opinion of the Montreal game experience occurred in the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere between the shots, the good times, and a sneak attack from one of the world famous Montreal strippers, who came out of nowhere, and decided I needed a hug and that my “new friend” needed to be informed that he wasn’t good enough for me (it wasn’t true, of course, but I enjoyed that she said it anyway!), I started to think about what would happen in my town, if they Leafs were ever to get back to the Conference Finals. I was too young to be out on the town the last time the Leafs made it that far! I started combing the streets of Toronto in my mind, trying to imagine where the fun would be hiding. And, sadly, I just couldn’t imagine a night like the night I was having there in Montreal. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe after 4 years abroad, I’m just out of touch with my city. But whether I’m wrong or whether I’m right, one thing will not change. Montreal has earned itself the Psycho Lady Hockey stamp of approval for ultimate game day experience! Make sure you check out the Bell Centre next season, if you haven’t already!

And, P.S., you’re gonna wanna stay thirsty for that one!

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