Category Archives: Awk-ward

Shit My Dad Sends

Toronto is a big city right? right? Then why does it feel so small sometimes!?

So I went on a date last night with someone I met online (gasp, I know), I’ll call him the Italian. So creative.

Pretty early on in the evening we discovered that we have some mutual friends – well friends to him, family to me.  He used to work with two of my cousins and seems to know them fairly well.  Definitely not that surprising, and the connection was easily established as I sport my Cousin’s company logo on my cell phone.

We chatted a bunch about my cousins – who are awesome, so we had tons of funny stories to discuss – and moved on to other topics.  Turns out that we have a lot in common as we have likely been a at least a dozen of the same parties, worked in the same building for a few years, were probably at some of the same concerts back in our punk days (wow, I’m old – back in the day totally applies here), and even grew up in similar suburbs.

After a few pints we headed to a different bar and during our first pint there he raised his eyebrow and said “So what do you know about Uncle Bill?”


“You mean my Dad?!”

Hysterical laughter.

Backstory: My Father is a bit of an email junky.  He loves to forward absolutely everything that he ever sees on the internet on to different groups of people.  I mostly get emails about Cats.  He has another group, however, that get the more risqué deliveries.  And by risqué, I most definitely mean Porn.

So I guess my Cousin has on occasion flipped an email to the Italian and indicated the source as ‘Uncle Bill’.

So my Dad has sent porn to a guy I just started dating.  Awesome.



Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing, Story Time

Youngest Unmarried Daughter

Get the GuyFor some reason or another, my parents have always referred to me as their Youngest Unmarried Daughter – which has always seemed like an unnecessary specification, since until this coming September their Elder daughter was also unmarried.  While at the same time, I consider myself to have been blessed with parents that generally let me do my own thing, and haven’t been on a quest to marry me off ever since I hit puberty.

However, it appears as thought my Father is starting to get concerned about a possible life of Spinsterdom in my future.  Cue this morning, when I receive the following email from my father:

Hi Honey;

This morning on Canada AM, Beverley interviewed the author of this book:

Link to Get the Guy: Learn the Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man you Want and the Love you Deserve

I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but the guy interviewed well and seems to have some excellent ideas on how girls like you can catch the man of your dreams!  I was going to order this for you, but didn’t know if you’d prefer the hard/soft cover, or the Kindle edition, so I thought I’d ask?

You’re here this weekend, so I can buy the version you want then!

Trying not to be horrified – I reminded myself that he means well and this was coming from a good place.  Really trying not to focus on and hyper analyze the ‘Girls like you’ comment.  Keeping in mind as well that my Father believes that HE should receive a dowry when he marries off a daughter, so this is likely a wealth management tactic for him as well.  Regardless of how misguided, I requested the electronic version.

Will post update on new found love shortly, I’m sure.


Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, Funny Ha-Ha

I wish it was a Tupperware party

I received a mysterious invitation via phone call last week from… well… I’ll just say an acquaintance. When he invited me over to his house with no other pretense than “I’d like to introduce you to some people” I wasn’t sure what to think. My first question was “are you going to kill me?” To which he replied “No.” Whew.

Unsure about the nature of the event, I chose a comfortable and flattering outfit for work the next day and started brainstorming with my roommates what I could possibly be in for. My favourite suggestion was Tupperware party.

  • Plain old social event – sure, that could be it, but like with every other possible suggestion why was the only information provided that he wanted to introduce me to some people?
  • Goodbye Party – Acquaintance is heading out of town for a bit, but a goodbye party on the Thursday with invite only on a Wednesday? Maybe.
  • Alone time – or what my sister so eloquently put as ‘Pound or No Pound‘, this was pretty much a zero percent chance but I still picked a cute outfit
  • Tupperware Party/Pampered Chef etc – Would be a bit out of left field, but I could always use some extra tupperware or random kitchen accoutrement that I’ll never get around to using. Plus, those events tend to have booze – bonus.
  • Ponzi Scheme – With the cover of mystery settling over the evening, more than one person brought this up.

I settled into not knowing what was happening and tried to not think about it – Type A hyper-planners such as myself are not OK with this situation, I was definitely a bit anxiety ridden that day. I sent one final text asking if I should bring anything along with me either than Pepper spray and his response only included an address. Prior to heading off into the unknown, I went for drinks with a friend (and possibly the best poutine I’ve ever had) – and was very thankful for the booze in my system later in the night.

When I arrived at the apartment, it was pretty clear that this was not a social gathering: The apartment was spotless (not that I really had a reference point, but it wasn’t ‘party clean’ it was ‘staged clean’), the seats were all arranged to face the TV and there were stacks of materials on the coffee table. It took about a minute or two for me to be able to read one of the items on the coffee table (which was upside down for me) before something clicked and I knew what was going on. The Magazine was Success From Home. Oh. Dear. God.

First sign of trouble ahead...

First sign of trouble ahead…

Over the next 45 minutes I listened to three separate presentations and watched a DVD. In truth though, it took me about 30 seconds to figure out the gist of the situation. When someone opens their presentation with stating that their background was in ‘traditional business’ and that they had slaved away working for someone else before they learned about this business model, my mind went straight to two words: Pyramid Scheme.

According to Wikipedia:

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public

Now in the interest of not bashing the company (which is actually legit, seriously) or my acquaintance’s ambition, I’m going to leave out the specifics. I will say that there were actual products and services for sale, and something at least semi tangible in return for your original investment.  However, while there really is a lot more to the business than I originally feared, it still boils down to this:  You Invest. Then you get two friends to invest. Then those two friends get two friends to invest. And so on and so forth, all while your income increase with each step (of the pyramid) that you create below you.

I don’t care what legal business practices you apply – when your compensation plan includes images like the one below, its a Pyramid Scheme:

Consider this a sideways Pyramid

Consider this a sideways Pyramid

Thankfully, when the presentation ended there was absolutely zero pressure for me to get on board or sign up for anything further. Thank God. While I realize that the right kind of person likely can profit from this type of investment, that person is definitely not me – first and foremost because I wouldn’t be caught dead inviting people over to get sucked into an evening such as this.

I really wish there was some sort of Dictaphone device that could record my thoughts – because I was doing everything I could to hold it together (especially during the DVD) and, honestly, one sideways glance would have sent me off the edge into the territory of hysterical laughter. Is this really happening? Why? Why Me?

"Overriding Residual Income" ... sure

“Overriding Residual Income” … sure

Lesson Learned: Never accept mysterious invitations.


Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, How Embarrassing, Negative Nancy

You Don’t Make Friends With Salad

Ok.  So I’m totally an epic example of a creature of habit.  I’m highly scheduled, completely predictable and at my best when I know what to expect (well by best I probably mean most calm – ‘besting’ at Nancy involves more variables than consistency alone).  Not surprisingly, I have a tendency to order the exact same thing at specific restaurants.  I figure, if I already know I like it, why risk it on something different – which is a bit ironic since I love so many different kinds of food. I digress.

Typically, my office building food court doesn’t provide a plethora of healthy options (or at least healthy options that appeal to me) so I try to avoid relying on it for lunch food.  When I do end up in the food court, one of my go to options is the Baja Salad from Wendy’s. I know, I know – doesn’t sound that healthy right? And to be honest, I could do better, but in terms of a quick lunch it’s not that bad.  The Salad is served with Guacamole, Chili, Tortilla Chips, Dressing and – my favourite – Hot Sauce.  Personally I have always found that the Chili and Hot Sauce provide more than enough to the meal, that I always ask not to have the chips dressing – which also helps improve the nutritional content slightly.  Somehow over the years, a Manager at this particular location has begun to recognize me, even saying hello at a different location I once went to on a weekend.  He also seems to understand that I’m really more interested in the hot sauce than the salad itself, and gives me a heaping pile of the little golden packages without me ever having to remind him.

Being a known customer at a Fast Food joint isn’t exactly a highlight for me – but the Manager is always so friendly that I just go with it and make sure to wave even if I’m just passing by.  I went down for my usual lunch on Monday, and as he was cheerily filling my order and joking about the quantity of hot sauce I consume (apparently, this banter doesn’t get old) he looked up at me and smiled and said “You’ve lost weight! Excellent!” I smiled, nodded vigorously, grabbed my lunch and bolted.

Is it wrong that I was slightly horrified?  And I’m not really sure why – was it because I eat at a Wendy’s often enough for an employee to notice a personal change, or was it because a veritable stranger chose to comment on my weight?  I’ll just take it as a compliment and move on – and maybe start packing my lunch more often 🙂

Nom Nom Nom


Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, How Embarrassing

Diagnosis: Lazy Ass

After all the exercising I’ve been doing this year, particularly the running, its not surprising that I’ve had my share of aches and pains.  It is common to see me limping around during the day because my legs hurt in some fashion, which can be caused by a variety of reasons, mostly:

  • Evil Squats
  • Evil Lunges
  • Anything the Irish Sadist (my Personal Trainer) thinks is ‘fun’
  • Running

And sometimes, my feet just hurt. Recently, however, I’ve been having trouble in particular with my calves.  I’ve received advice from Jillian to stretch my calves as often as possible, and possibly even get them massaged.  I’ve been trying to foam roll them frequently to work out the kinks, which is a wildly painful experience, but I haven’t been making any progress. (for some excellent info on Foam Rolling, check out this post at Me Plus My Trainer!) Out of both the fear of really injuring myself and the general knowledge that something is always wrong with me, I made an appointment with a Sports Medicine doctor.  The doctor asked a few question, and poked and prodded at my calves for a bit before confirming that my calves were incredibly tight and recommending that I see a Physiotherapist.

I spent the next week worrying about how horrific my Physio experience was going to be.  Based on the level of pain from foam rolling, and my previous history with foot and lower leg massages – there was a strong possibility that this treatment would include blackout inducing pain. Panic.

I showed up to my appointment, nervous as ever, and was greeted by my new Physio, Liz.  She asked similar questions that the Sport Med Doc had, and then got into much more specifics about my overall health and sport specific goals (Umm.. keep running?).  Once she had the basics down, she started the assessment.  She spent a significant amount of time checking my posture, my flexibility and my hips.  I then had to perform a few functional movements such as balancing on one leg, squatting, one legged squats and walking back and forth so she could check my gait.  I finally lay down on the examination table for her to get a feel of my calves.  Once the assessment was over, I braced myself – it was time for the treatment plan announcement of ‘friction massage’, ‘acupuncture’ or some other torturous technique.  Wow was I wrong.

The problem really isn’t in my calves at all.  In short, I have very flexible joints (called high mobility) meaning that my ankles, legs, elbows etc all hyper extend with ease.  Due to this, my muscles naturally have to work a bit harder because my ligaments are stabilizing my joints very well.  Ok, already knew that part – but now I understand that all of my posterior chain muscles are going to suffer from running, but in a manageable sense.  She then went on to explain how some of my Gluteal muscles (read: ass) are not engaging when they should, they aren’t taking their part of the work load in some movements. Thanks to this, parts of my Glutes are underdeveloped and have lead to a weak or ‘wobbly’ pelvis.

She spent some time having me try some movements and kept poking my Glutes to show me that they weren’t engaging at all when they should be.  After several minutes of this “Lift, What Hurts? Poke” routine, I started to giggle.  I turned around and said, “Are you trying to tell me that I have a Lazy Ass?”  Apparently that is exactly the problem.

Maybe my sister Sandy is right when she says I’m “Never just quite right“.


Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, How Embarrassing

Live! with Nancy Francis – The Backstory

So there is a possibility that yours truly is going to be on TV, and not because I’ve committed a crime or am camera bombing a news report – I’m auditioning for a Reality show!

I’ll give you the short(ish) version:

Late this summer while I was at a patio in Toronto celebrating Jillian’s birthday, sans alcohol (thanks to the Irish Sadist), a couple of ladies approached our group.  They introduced themselves as casting associates for the Canadian version of Come Date with Me – based off the popular Come Dine with Me series, but with more dating and possibly less dining.  As I was one of the only single gals in the crowd I quickly jumped at the opportunity and offered up my name and contact information.  A week or so later I received a message offering me to apply to the show – and attached was an incredibly long application form.  Some sample questions:

  • When was your last relationship? Why did it end? Whoa, how do you say ‘several years ago‘ and ‘I’m not sure, but he dumped me in an EMAIL‘ without sounding like an undateable leper?
  • What is the one thing you wouldn’t want a date to know about you? Lets start with how neurotic I am, and maybe my penchant for all things neon and animal print
  • What are your hobbies and passions in life? Hmm.. I’m going to need a more creative way to say ‘Drinking’
  • Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? My actual answer was ‘Nope. Bring on the Meat Sweats‘.  Why am I single again?

After hammering out a rough draft, Eleanor and I sat around one night and edited some of my answers – mostly the ones where I was avoiding the question (see numbers 1-3 above) or being unnecessarily critical of myself. I sent the email off the next day and promptly forgot about it – until last week when I received a call from one of the Casting directors for a phone interview, and then arranged an on camera interview with me, in my own home – for tomorrow. gasp.

Ok, so lets review why having Nancy on film (at the interview, let alone the show itself) might be a poor idea:

  • Blushing doesn’t even begin to cover it – after the phone interview I went to the bathroom and my entire neck and chest was covered in a splotchy crimson mess
  • My facial expressions are dramatic and unattractive – Think Jim Carrey, possibly not that severe but you get the idea
  • My nostrils flair when I laugh – I shit you not, every goddam time
  • High likelihood of me hitting the camera while wildly, and unnecessarily, gesturing with my hands – a legitimate concern of mine

Oh ya, and there is that ‘Camera adds 10 pounds thing’.  While I may have recently lost some weight, I have a huge fear that I will possibly be confused with a baby Orca (remember Shamu??).  It definitely doesn’t help that I found my official finish photo from the Toronto Zoo 5k I did a few weeks ago and showed it to a coworker.  Honestly, it might actually be the worst photo of me ever – so I mentioned the camera adds weight thing and he actually responded with ‘How many cameras were on you??‘  Oy. In fairness, he was kidding.

Too cute to be Killer though, right?

Nancy Francis, on camera interview with Come Date with Me Canada – T minus 1 day.

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Filed under Awk-ward, Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing, Story Time

Suspicions Confirmed

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a distinctively deep and slightly husky voice. This wouldn’t be anything worth mentioning if I was a dude, but since I’m of the female persuasion it’s definitely not my favourite trait. I wouldn’t say I fret over my voice, I’m just more than acutely aware of it – especially when I hear recordings of my own voice.  Tigger and I actually recently agreed that my voice is deeper than his, I’m not sure who was more horrified.

Earlier this month I headed up to King City for an outdoor shindig with some friends that involved an open bar and all you can eat food – on the rather large property of an insane mansion. As an added bonus, the event was actually a fundraiser, so our partying was for a good cause!

King City Carnival!

We had a great evening and then finished up with a few night caps at a friend’s house. As daylight hours were nearing, four of us piled into a cab to head home. I ended up positioned behind the driver.  We were all chatting away and found out that the driver was from India, Gurgaon to be specific – I’ve actually been there, twice!  This sparked a great conversation about both his hometown and some other parts of the country I had visited, and just how much I loved Indian food.

The driver (whose name I knew at the time and have since forgotten) inquired about how much time I had spent there, and we got into a whole discussion about why I was there and the details of my job.  He then said to me:

“Almost five months is a long time to be away from home, did you at least get to take your wife or girlfriend with you?”

This is where everyone goes quiet.  Silence.  And then I stutter

“Umm, I’m a girl.”

The driver flung his head around to confirm, and then started apologizing quickly. Laughter.  More Laughter.

In both his and my defense, it had been a long night of drinking and screaming over the loud music.  But still, with only my voice as a cue, he unquestionably thought I was a dude.

After a long night of partying, I sound like this dude.


Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing