Archive for the 'Rants' Category

Back Handed Compliments

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

The other day I was seeking a hat to protect myself from further sun damage. I used to get a sprinkling of freckles across my face when I was younger that are now joining together and looking more blotchy than cute. My misspent youth of skipping school to sunbathe while chain smoking has caught up with me.  I have a complexion that is becoming more mottled and marbleized by the day. My vanity is affronted by the indignity.

Trying to find a hat has proven to be a challenge. I don’t have that breezy ability to don a hat without looking like I am trying too hard. Sporty baseball caps ruin cute outfits. I fear looking like a middle aged hipster wannabe, and I don’t want to look like a granny taking a break from gardening. There are few options for a mottle-skinned, vain peacock like myself.

As I was sighing over hat options I was approached by a man who opened with, “You look like a European girl. I was watching you and thought to myself, she doesn’t look like a Canadian girl.” I was instantly pleased, imagining that I must look coquettishly French or perhaps coolly statuesque and Nordic. “Why thank you,” I murmured, hoping that I sounded vaguely exotic. There was a strained pause while I awkwardly fondled hats, wondering if I would have to fend off a cheap pick-up attempt. After a moment of us both staring at a straw fedora the man continued,“Do you go to the gym a lot? Because you have very strong looking hands.”

Any temporary ego boost I had enjoyed was instantly squashed. Strong hands? Does that mean man-hands? I stared at my hands with their non-existent fingernails, horrified, my self image as a French ingenue dashed. Perhaps this man was a kinky freak who enjoyed being mauled by brutish women with catcher’s mitts for hands. When he said I looked European I had imagined looking mysterious with a certain je ne sais quoi flair. Suddenly memories of watching the Olympics in the Seventies came flooding back, particularly the steroid ridden female athletes from the Soviet Union. Instead of feeling like an ingenue from a Godard film, I felt like a Russian shot-put champion with meaty paws and a mustache.

I assembled my most haughty expression, dropped the hat from my giant paws, said a quick good bye and left the store. Compliments can come in different forms I suppose. If I were a delicate flower of a woman I may be offended if someone commented on how wispy I looked. Perhaps someone else would feel pleased to hear that her hands look muscular. Being a woman of a certain age I guess I should be pleased that anyone notices me at all. Even if it is a stranger with a Russian shot-putter, man-hand fetish.

Cranky Sunday

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I woke up crabby this morning. It may be because I couldn’t sleep and ended up contorted on the couch. I woke up to find the cat with his nails embedded in the couch determined to stick a claw in my face. He looked furious that I wasn’t placed at a more convenient angle for him to swat me.

The real reason I am crabby is because I am going to an all day Reiki course today. It seemed like a good idea at the time when I signed up. My astrologer had recommended this particular course, mentioning that he practices Reiki on the neighbourhood cats. I was thrilled by the idea of being a Pied Piper, bestowing healing energy on dogs and cats I would encounter. I imagined myself in a pet parade, my adoring furry companions marching by my side.  Now that the day is here I am regretting my choice. I am resentful that The Sweetie and I can’t have our usual Sunday croissant walk. I am anxious that the course will run late and interfere with me being able to watch the red carpet before the Academy Awards. It also might cut into my crucial caramel corn preparation time. I am resentful about the notice I received informing me that we are not allowed to bring coffee to the course. What kind of course is this if I can’t be sipping a coffee while getting spiritual? I fear that I will be cornered by someone who will drone on about her environmental allergies and stare at me for too long. I suspect that I will be surrounded by new age people who will talk about their chakras and how they feel energy coming out of me. Meanwhile, I will be rolling my eyes, thinking of lunch and craving caffeine. Despite the fact that I have admitted that I have an astrologist and want to energetically heal cats, in general, my new agey-ness is limited to liking crystal necklaces because they look pretty. I don’t relish the idea of nodding meaningfully about feeling other people’s energy pouring from their fingertips. Not today. It looks cold outside. I would much rather be making soup than getting enlightened.

Hellish Germs

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I spent last weekend in Boston visiting my sister, niece and nephew. My niece is a living doll with sumo wrestler thighs and my nephew has a tiny voice that makes any of his chatter completely endearing.

Alas, the wee rug rats were riddled with germs, and I returned to a doozy of a virus that has left me flattened, barf bucket by the bedside.

“Remember that I always loved you,” I’d croak tragically from the bed when The Sweetie would check on me.

“Can I get you anything?” He’d ask, his mouth covered protectively, keeping a safe distance away from my toxic germs.

“Just a gun. I’m ready to go,” I’d whisper.

“In that case can I eat your Cadbury’s chocolate egg?” He asked.

I am slowly mending, although when I do a mental inventory of food groups, most still make my stomach churn. Not the long gone Cadbury’s egg, though. I feel pretty confident that I could stomach some therapeutic chocolate. It is disconcerting for someone like me to want to shun food. Sadly, I checked the scale and my suffering hasn’t yielded a smidgen of weight loss. Sometimes there is no justice.

Got To Get Out of Here!

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a weird beast.  I was pulling out my summer clothes to pack for my free beach vacation, mere days away, and suddenly I felt so overwhelmed and dejected that all I could do was crawl under the covers, under my heaps of summer clothes and cry. Logically I know I should be polishing off my maracas, jumping for joy and hugging my beloved summer frocks, but instead I am crushed by this weight of winter misery.

It is comforting to know that I suffer from SAD rather than when I didn’t know what it was and spent the winter convinced that I was losing my mind. Relief will come. The days will get longer again and the darkness, heaviness and fog will release me. In the meantime, I take it hour by hour, relishing the things that make me smirk before I sink back again.

I love the brilliant Travelocity commercial from last year involving the crazed gnome. His maniacal singing while sitting with his Cheetos feels eerily familiar. I’d love him to drop by and sit on the couch with me. We could eat snacks and hum together.

Toronto Elects Right Wing Blowhard for Mayor

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Nice going Mutha Uckers.

Suck it Autumn

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Along with bracing myself for cooler temperatures and shorter days, I have to endure the autumn apologists. There are always those who have to share their misguided love of fall with me.

The glory of blazing coloured leaves? Great. Enjoy them while they last because after one big gust of wind they are gone, leaving nothing but bare ghostly branches, shivering squirrels and rain in their wake. Not the warm summer rain that makes everything sultry and steamy but the cold, dreary kind that runs down the back of your neck like nasty, clammy fingers. Likewise, there is always talk about the joys of crisp air. You can call it what you like but crisp is really a sneaky way to say cold. Cold makes my shoulders rise to my ears and the tips of my fingers icy so that people recoil when I touch them.

I am tired of the apple cheerleaders. Just because apples are plentiful and portable doesn’t make them great. They are not plump little bursts of sweetness like berries. They are tart, boring and insufferable, an overrated fruit if ever there was one. And need I remind anyone which fruit caused Adam and Eve to be cast out of Eden? It wasn’t the juicy strawberry now was it?

As far as comfort goes, the sandal beats the boot any day. Do feet really want to be stuffed into confining boots when they can be wiggling in delight and enjoying fresh air in a sandal? Is crunching through dry, dusty leaves that could be harbouring all kinds of mites really preferable to frolicking through soft grass with bare feet?

A friend tried to be helpful and suggested I cheer myself up with patterned tights. I spit on the patterned tight. I am not blessed with gazelle-like, slender legs and do not need to be drawing attention to that area. Pulling on a pair of tights is an ordeal. Inevitably they get twisted halfway up my legs and as soon as they are up I start feeling the horrible waistband digging into my tummy. A flimsy summer dress with bare legs is much more comfortable.

How can I jump on the bandwagon for shorter days? Why rejoice over a day that sees so little sunlight that it feels like bedtime at 5pm?  I suppose the autumn apologists prefer to chop the day off at the knees.

What do fall lovers have against chirping birds? Because you know they are leaving soon. Birds know better than to stick around when the icy weather arrives. Who would prefer to wake up in darkness and silence rather than light and chirping? Most animals are burrowing into holes knowing that the only way to survive this dreadful time is to crawl into a den, sleep and hope when they wake up again it’ll be all over.

Halloween and Thanksgiving? That is all you offer me in the way of fall holidays? Ghouls and slaughtered turkeys? How about the fact that every day feels like a celebration in the summer?

Perhaps I sound a trifle negative. Do I have to remind everyone what season comes after fall? Is everyone so short sighted? A few crunchy leaves, apples pies and gourds are supposed to make that nightmare around the corner more palatable?  I am not that easily swayed. If autumn lovers want to merrily ride on a harvest wagon to doom, they can be my guest, but I am not going to drink the cider.