Please Stay

After 27 years of being told the ultimate lie – ‘I love you’ – please forgive me if I no longer hold those three words in high regard.

Of course I love my children and I tell them I love you as often as I can, but that’s a sacred bond between parent and child, where the love is pure.

As for hearing it from someone I don’t share DNA with? Not so much. Will I ever trust those words from a man again? I won’t know until it happens.

Besides, there are far better ways to tell someone they are important to you. The one that sits on top of my list is ‘please stay.’

Please stay trumps I love you in so many ways.

When you sincerely ask someone to please stay, you are making a choice, not tossing meaningless words out of your mouth.

Please stay implies that when you are here with me, my life is more enjoyable. You matter to me. I enjoy you. I enjoy being with you. You are wanted and I want to be with you. 

“Must you go already? Please stay”, to someone who has come to visit you is the best approval rating for their visit you could ever offer them. It tells them you enjoyed their company and you don’t want their visit to end.

“Please stay, you haven’t told me about your ______ yet”, is the subtle praise of your presence and that you are interesting.

Please stay and work this out means right this moment, you are the most important person in my life. We are the most important thing to me at this particular time and space.

Please stay also requests that you share one of your most precious possessions – your time. It’s a gift that is instantly given and received, no wrapping required.

Also, it won’t take you long after telling the wrong people to please stay, out of politeness or obligation, before you learn to use it judiciously. After a few miserable long-lasting encounters you won’t be throwing those words around again anytime soon. Especially on social media, lest you have your best friend’s Grade Two neighbour’s grandmother’s sister-in-law sleeping on your sofa. For six months.

A sincere please stay is about the kindest thing you can say to one another.

When I left on my latest journey, I got lots of ‘I love you’ and ‘going to miss you’ but no one asked me to please stay.

I have a friend who has terminal cancer. There will come a time I can’t ask her to please stay anymore. That’s where the please stay becomes selfish; I’d only be asking her stay to make my life easier, not hers.

When she can no longer stay, all I will have are the memories of her, and at which time I will ask those memories to please stay.

Please stay, forever and a day.

I will know the moment that I have found The One, when after spending many hours together and it’s time for me to leave, he asks, “Do you really have to go? Please stay – shall I order us one more glass of wine?”

I hope I don’t cry.

Just Shut Your Cake Hole


People like to hand out free advice or opinion, especially if you are going through a life event. Unless you have been specifically asked, such as “What do you think?” or “What would you do?” please, for the love of Gods, keep your opinion to yourself.

People just want to be helpful, I get that. But have you ever considered your particular quip might be the third or fourth person that day who has chimed in? Do you like to be reminded how wrong or stupid you are, two, three, or four times in a day?

Or that the person has figured shit out but hasn’t said anything?

Or that you may just be adding fuel to the fire?

OR that your advice is just plain dumb?

Not to mention that one person who feels it’s their duty to inform me with a tidbit or gossip about my previous partner. That’s just an asshole thing to do. Unless I ask you about him, shut your cake hole, would ya? Newsflash: I don’t care. Also, I don’t care. In addition, I don’t care. [Also makes me wonder if you are passing information along to him about me. Hmmm…]

I’m not exactly sure why some people feel they are Dr. Phil or CNN, spewing crappy advice or news at will. But it’s annoying as hell. So stop it.

Sure, if you know I’m about to sign a document that will wipe out my savings, stop me. If I’m about to get messed up in a scam, please, say something! If you feel I’m in danger, by all means, speak up. But for the life skills and day-to-day living and struggles, let me be. Let me learn MY way.

I have stopped telling people my personal battles in fear that I’m doing it wrong. In fear I’m stuck listening to their advice ad nauseam. But especially in fear that I will have to cross off one more friend.

If you know someone who is struggling, whether it’s an illness or a life event, do your best to refrain from telling them what to do or what you think they should do. If they trust you enough to talk to you about their problems, just listen.

Just listen, without mentally forming your reply. Be that person who is a witness to the words and thoughts that are expressed. Be that person that acknowledges the pain, sorrow and worries – a simple yes nodding motion will do. Be that person they know won’t tell them they are doing it wrong.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, most people like to know you are interested in hearing their thoughts. And most people won’t answer if they don’t want to, but for the most part, they like the questions, it shows you are paying attention.

And NEVER, EVER, EVER, say or reply with, “Everything happens for a reason.” Ever. There is never a good time for that rubbish saying. Well, maybe that one instance in time which is appropriate, Never O’Clock. But other than that…

Just listen for their specific request for your opinion before handing out yours. Otherwise, the only words they want and need to hear from you are, “How do you like your coffee?” or better, “Shall I open another bottle?”

Two Things That Terrify Europeans


Europeans are terrified of being cold.

I landed in Madrid on a nice, hot, sunny +29C day, jeans, sweater and NorthFace down jacket firmly wrapped around my hips. What was I thinking? Europeans, and especially Spaniards are terrified of being cold.

And I suddenly remembered, in October, all air conditioners are shut down en masse across Europe.There was no way in hell the airport would be air conditioned simply because it was October. And it wasn’t. It was sweltering.

Certainly my hotel room, in a world-wide hotel chain, at an international airport with world traveler passing through, would be air-conditioned. Wrong. Big nope. My room was +27.5C and the lowest you could set it was +21C! The lowest! A quick call down to the front desk realized my greatest fear. “I’m sorry, the aircon is now shut down for the season.”

I was dying. The only option left was to get into my car rental and run the AC, I just had to cool off somehow. My thick Canadian blood was boiling in more way than one.

Europeans loathe air conditioning and refuse to turn it on, that is if they have it, until late May and only if it’s over +30C. It’s shocking how many malls and stores you walk into and the temperature is clearly indicating at least +26, if not warmer, as if they are bragging how much they are keeping you nice and toasty warm. In July.

They even advertise here in the summer not to turn your air conditioners on lower than +26C to save on electrical costs. Not the temperature outside at +26, the setting on your air conditioner is not to be lower than +26C. What the hell is the point, then?

But in the winter, the stores blast the heat as if money was no object. (They frequently complain about how much it costs to run an air conditioner.) Malls proudly display a +27C indoor heat comfort. I just about die from heat exhaustion.

In December, if someone walks past quickly, creating a momentary breeze, the patio heaters are on and blankets passed around like free cigarettes, even if it’s a sunny +20C outside.

They don’t wear scarves to be stylish, it’s because they are imagining they will be soon freezing to death.

Yes, Europeans, especially southern Europeans, are terrified of being cold.

The second terror in a European’s life is running out of sugar. Especially sugar in your coffee.

The looks I get when I say I don’t need sugar in my coffee range anywhere from horrified to perplexed. It usually goes like this:

Uno cafe con leche, por favor.


Sin azucar.

No azucar?

No azucar.

No azucar?


Uno azucar?

Vally, uno azucar.



[Throws out sugar packet.]

Uno vino tinto, por favor…….