History is important

This morning as I was laying awake in my bed next to husband convincing myself to get up, I marvelled at how I got to this place called a Happy Marriage. It has been a long road and although definitely painful at times, well worth the effort, and not for the reasons you think.

I learned a lot about myself including my behaviours and tendancies by the time I split from my first husband in 2005. When I was growing up I learned about marriage from my parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, sister and brother in law, etc. It seemed that compromise was the name of the game and occasional unhappiness and dissatisfaction are part of the deal. I’m not saying my parents didn’t love each other and demonstrate that love, because they definitely did. To say they were a unified front would be accurate as well. From my mother I learned (among other things) how women win their arguments and make their way in this world (a man’s world during the 70s). From my father I learned that men are tough and even though they show kindness and humour, their moods are mercurial and can change without notice. Women help men see the bright side of things and support them/prop them up when they are feeling grumpy or low. I didn’t even know I learned this until 2004 or so when I was well into my 30s.

I met my first husband (FH) when I was 24 and not finished growing up yet although I sure thought I had. FH was what he called a realist and what I called a pessimist. We clicked right away. I am an optimist and definitely saw a ‘project’ in him, plus I mistook his gruffness for protectiveness and maturity. In my mind, opposites attracted and we were definitely opposites although we shared common goals and interests. We didn’t own a car for some time and so we biked everywhere. We loved dogs and so adopted a dog together. We loved camping and were very eco-minded in our daily lives. We spent our time in the evenings cooking dinner and discussing the importance of our fledgling careers. He liked that I was ‘difficult’ since I was different from him. I slowly but surely lost my will to argue every point in a conversation with him and even more slowly (but still surely) became softer and softer in my words and actions. At home at least. At work I was a firecracker, dedicated to proving my worth and anxious to move ever upward through the dint of my hard work.

We had many discussions about marriage and what we thought marriage would be like. Both of us had parents that by that time were at odds with each other. In our simplistic view that only people in their 20s can muster, we decided our parents just didn’t work hard enough at keeping a happy marriage going. My parents had split up and his parents were (and are still) together but appeared to be miserable. By the time we got married I was relenting more and more while ignoring the way he treated my parents, his parents, and everyone else around us. His father remarked that FH didn’t treat me very well. I ignored this and figured he didn’t know the ‘real’ FH the way I did.

That’s right. All of my friends and my parents too thought I should not be with FH. But I kept thinking they didn’t know him like I did, and besides that we loved each other and were determined to fight to keep our relationship going. And that we did during several more years and the birth of our two children. This is info I have already shared, nothing revelatory here.

It was when we visited his parents for Easter in 2005 that I finally woke up to what was going on and what he and I were creating for ourselves. I saw his parents in the kitchen, with his dad directing his mom around EXACTLY like FH did with me. Of course I had noticed his father was extremely domineering and I attributed some of FH’s personality to that influence but this was the first time I saw that we were no better than them. FH and I were emulating their marriage and that of my parents: strong critical man and soft bending woman. I had bristled against this for years and thought I was so smart and so strong, no one could ever boss me around. Wrong!

It took until I was nearly 35 to fully understand that I had always sought 1 type of man – dominant, pessimist, stubborn, good with his hands/fixing things. If I hadn’t married FH I would have definitely married someone else just like him. I know that now but I didn’t when I was in my 20s and early 30s.

Here I was, thinking it was marriage that didn’t agree with me. Not true. I had been sabotaging any chance at a successful relationship by choosing the wrong type of man to make a life with.

When I finally figured out that what FH thought love was contradicted what I had grown to think it was, and that his father treated me better than FH ever would, my decision to end the relationship was easy. Especially when I figured by staying with FH we would be teaching our own children to seek this version of marriage, I knew the time had come to open that door. I wasn’t even angry anymore. I had spent years being angry, blood boiling while I walked the dog to blow off steam. I stayed for so long because I thought love and loyalty were enough to sustain us in the long run. What I ended up realizing is that no matter how fiercely you love and how loyal you are, no one can live 60 years repressing their ideas or defending them constantly. I had gotten very good at convincing him to go my direction on some decisions because I learned how to ‘play’ him (much like our mothers learned to do this with our fathers).  

It has taken me years to be able to express my feelings and experiences this clearly. I attempt to share my wisdom with others who are going down a similar path to mine, and I am just now starting to understand my advice falls on deaf ears. This is the lesson I’m currently learning.


Tis a Good Friday indeed

Amazingly enough, husband and I had nothing much to do today. We went to a morning yoga class and then got bagels at a local place we love. Then a nap! Then watched some downloaded tv shows, and now watching The Office season 5.

Dinner is cooking in the oven and we are feeling pretty amazing at the moment. Life is good. I know this post will please my mother, ha ha.

Tomorrow is back to normal with husband at his store and me at home doing housework.

From reading this post you might get the impression that my life is all neatly wrapped with a big bow on top.


Instead of Whining

I’ve sent an email to a reputable iPhone developer and I’ll see where this action takes me. 

Yesterday I was driving over to my exercise class near husband’s store and it was around that time of day when parents are picking up their kids from daycares. School had long since been let out, but now the in-school daycares were closing up for the day. Heaven forbid you should show up 1 minute late lest you be charged an outrageous fee for them taking care of your offspring. I don’t blame the daycares; you have to draw the line somewhere. And some parents are chronically late, so there should be penalties for inconveniencing one’s fellow humans.  I don’t know if these penalty fees make up for taking care of someone else’s children overtime.

The 2012 Sunshine List is being published today at 1 pm. This is traditionally a day of low morale around here combined with surprise at how little or how much salary our managers and colleagues are taking home. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2013/03/28/ontario-sunshine-list.html)

The point of this post was to opine on whether most parents and children are happy with the current routine of daycare-school-daycare-home. Am I alone in hating this structure/race to fit everything in plus earn a ‘decent’ income for my family? We rush to get to daycare or school to drop off the young, they face a day of learning and socializing while we cyberserfs/lily-white-handed office workers go to our workplaces to create documents, processes, notes, and plans plus attend meetings that at the time seem terribly important. I’m trying to use neutral language here but it’s difficult for me.

There are many parents who successfully work from home and home-school their children. I’m not necessarily advocating either of these. I fear I would become a shut-in if I didn’t have a good reason to leave the house every day. It’s unbelievable that, while living in a densely populated area there is still the possibility of feeling and being completely alone.

The problem with me is I have too many choices. The main factor reining me in is that I have to maintain close proximity to midgets’ father so he can see them regularly. Otherwise I don’t know what I would be doing or where I would be living. But also this is a yoke around my neck keeping me from leading an adventurous life with my children.  It’s a mixed blessing obviously. The way things are going, the midgets are going to lead the same life I am, and I’m not sure I want some of that for them. The stress and pressure to be ‘a certain way’ and follow ‘a certain path’ is not all that desirable.

I told them I don’t care what they do after they get a degree/diploma/trade certification, and I told them they should do something daring and adventurous with their lives. Time will tell the tale.


Grade 4 math homework…in French

Girl midget is in French immersion school. You would think mathematics transcends language, but you would be wrong. Sorry to rain on your parade, everyone.

Usually she does her math homework with no assistance from me, but this time she called upon me. Usually Ivan very very very (or at least I think so!) good at bluffing my way through her French homework. This trick of mine is getting more difficult to pull off. This morning I discovered girl midget had not finished her homework. Ooops. Due today. Hurry. Ack.

Suffice to say math problems in French are taxing my brain. There are certain words I have to look up in a dictionary just to figure out the overall question. I did it. I succeeded yay. Homework done and midgets off to school. Phew!

Going Green [shudder]

Has there ever been a more over-used phrase? This meme is going on longer than the laser phenomenon of the early 90s. You are selling something in the 90s? Better add laser technology to the description.

Earlier this morning I was reading Twitter posts and one from Fast Company caught my eye. I generally like the FC posts because they are interesting, innovative, and cater to a generation that is willing to embrace change.
Check this out: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672193/10-excellent-ads-for-green-living-from-top-designers?utm_source=twitter#1

I was underwhelmed. I don’t see much if any wit being used, and the approach is so very earnest. Isn’t the best way to get people to do you bidding to make them laugh/think/remember your ad? Some of these creations contain such obscure references as to be uninteresting to me, the person being targeted, which looked at each of these an average of 5 seconds.
The guy in the giant sweater is mildly amusing, but again, so nerdy (in a bad way – yes there is a bad way) and uncool. The part of the ad that makes it unattractive is that he thinks he IS cooler than thou.

There was another twitter post, days ago, that I enjoyed and could easily be spun as an environmental message. FC could learn something here:

Rather than trying to be esoteric and mysterious, try being witty.

Don’t say you’re sorry. That’s boring.

If you haven’t watched Girls on HBO then you are probably not the target audience. It’s a pretty specific demographic but there are some real zingers most people can relate to and enjoy. See title of this post.

It is so easy to say Sorry. The proverb “it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission” will forever be true. And we have all witnessed a child being forced to say I’m sorry. It’s fake, everyone knows it’s fake, and the child then learns to say Sorry even when he or she doesn’t mean it. That’s fucked up.

Another example of a great quotable line: She wears those floral capris like her hymen is still intact.” These lines are not showcased; they are put into speedy, casual conversations where they could easily be overlooked. That is why I watch the episodes over again, to see what I missed the first time. My attention span is fairly good but my focus is not. I have at least 10 other thoughts in my mind when participating in a leisure activity, probably while working too, if I’m honest.

I watched the British Office episodes over and over again too, for the same reason. Subtitles gave me even more enjoyment and insight into the world of the weary office worker and their quick mumbled conversations. I guess that’s why I’m such a big fan of this long ago tv series; there are unplumbed depths and innuendo that largely go unnoticed at first glance. It’s as if I’m finding a secret meaning that few others ever discover.

All the small things


That is the blown-out tire that occurred during our drive to Washington DC. The damage was pretty impressive.

This morning husband left to do some work and as he was leaving he asked if he could bring me back anything. When he asks that question, he really means he would bring back anything I want/need. 

This afternoon, since I’m working from home today, I’ll be home when midgets arrive from school. I love being here when they get home.

Yesterday we ate Chinese food for dinner with our good friends that we hadn’t seen in a while.

This morning is sunny!

Later today I’m taking another exercise class at Bomb Fitness (www.bombwellness.com). This is my 3rd class there and so far I am enjoying going there. I don’t dread or avoid, and that’s a big deal for me. My goal is to increase my strength and stamina.

All the major housework is finished for a few days!

CSR @ Joe Fresh

You probably can’t tell from the pic so take my word for it there is just one cashier and a big line of people. I had just finished paying after waiting for the 1 cashier to finish talking on the phone.

She said in response to a complaint that she was the only person working today who can do cash. Is she also the only one who can speak on the phone?