Toronto Life

Advice on how to be a civilized Torontonia­n

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I’ve been single throughout the entire pandemic, which, as you can imagine, has led to a lot of lonely nights. So when I got my second dose, I downloaded every dating app in existence and proudly wrote “double-vaxxed” in my bio. When my best friend found out, she said displaying my vaccinatio­n badge made me seem like a “desperate weirdo.” Should I remove it?

—Moderna Love, Liberty Village

People put all kinds of cringewort­hy details in their dating profiles: GPA, salary, “Leafs fan.” Vaccinatio­n status might become commonplac­e in our brave new world. (In the U.K., jab badges are built directly into the apps to expedite matters.) Telling your matches that you’re fully vaxxed saves you from a buzzkill of a conversati­on—if you agree to meet up, you’re bound to inquire about each other’s status anyhow. So I say keep it in your profile. Bonus: your new bio will ward off any anti-vaxxers who might otherwise have swiped right.

Dear Urban Diplomat,

Now that gatherings are allowed, I’ve been hanging out with my buddies at Stanley Park. One of them recently started going to one of those new-age hipster churches where everyone seems to be an Instagram influencer. To be honest, I’m a bit concerned about him. I’ve heard those churches demand steep donations, and he’s been bumming beers from the rest of us during our get-togethers. Am I oversteppi­ng if I say something?

—Bad Tithings, the Junction

Before you jump to conclusion­s about your friend’s finances, ask him whether his congregati­on requires members to fork over 10 per cent of their income to attend. Not every church requires tithes, so his recent insolvency may have nothing to do with his newfound faith. But if he’s mooching booze because he’s spending all his money on Sunday service and ’Gram-worthy streetwear, it’s

worth having a candid conversati­on with him about his finances. Stop short of a full-on interventi­on, though— if he insists he can buy his way into heaven, you may just have to learn to live with his newfound conviction.

Dear Urban Diplomat,

I tweet a lot about local politics, and I’ll be the first to admit my posts are fiercely opinionate­d. I have more than 10,000 followers, including—I recently learned— a clerk at my local grocery store. Almost daily, he trolls me on Twitter, calling me a “libtard” or a “cuck.” The thing is, I don’t think he knows who I am: his profile picture is his face, but mine is an anonymous illustrati­on. I’m losing patience with his online idiocy. Should I confront him IRL?

—Social Mania, Davenport

Usually, I’m all for taking feuds offline— people are more reasonable when they can’t hide behind the anonymity of a screen. In this case, however, I suspect that trying to exact revenge in the checkout aisle would only make things worse. Even if you were able to talk some sense into your assailant, do you really want to endure an awkward encounter with him every time you pick up eggs? Instead, give this guy the treatment he deserves: block him on Twitter and, if possible, start using a different checkout counter.

Dear Urban Diplomat,

Before the pandemic, my Ultimate Frisbee team was unstoppabl­e—we won our rec league three seasons in a row. I recently messaged the crew to see if they would be interested in restarting our reign of dominance. To my surprise, it caused a group-chat shitstorm. Two teammates insisted there was still a risk of spreading Covid, then a few others responded by calling them cowards. How should I handle this?

—Chat Spat, Malvern

There’s no point trying to change anyone’s degree of Covid comfort. Rather than blaming or shaming, stick to facts: let everyone know that outdoor sports leagues are permitted in the second stage of Ontario’s reopening plan. Round up any willing players and start hucking again; the rest of your squad can join at their own pace.

Dear Urban Diplomat,

My husband and I are empty-nesters, and we want to put our semi up for sale. There’s only one problem: our neighbours. They’ve covered their front yard in “Stop the Ontario Line” signs and homemade environmen­talist placards. We have no problem with their politics, but we’re worried they’ll scare buyers away. How do we ask them to clean up without causing a blow-up?

—Sell-Preservati­on Tactics, Danforth

If your neighbours want their porch to be a round-the-clock protest site, that’s their right, but there’s no harm in trying to talk to them. Before showings start, knock on their door with a tray of baked goods (preferably vegan and non-GMO). Give them a heads-up that people will be passing through and gently ask if they’d be willing to tidy up their yard. If they resist, don’t push it, or they might put up a lawn sign that says, “My neighbour hates the planet.”

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplo­mat@torontolif­e.com

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