Apparently there are limits!

When boy midget is 30, I will tell him that when he was 13 yrs old, I pulled a dastardly evil April Fool’s joke on him.

I’m quite the prankster on April 1, which means that by now everyone suspects me of pulling pranks that day and so I am unable to fool anyone. To get around that for this year, I laid the ground work early. I planted the seeds, if you will. I sprung upon boy a fake letter from a local catholic school (all boys, uniforms, etc.) that told him he would have to attend this September. Why is this dastardly? Because boy does not want to go to this school, and has his heart set on the local high school that all of his friends are attending.

I created a fake envelope too, and had boy retrieve it from our mailbox on Friday. Yesterday, Monday, I told him he needed to read it and then we would talk. I waited for the cries of protest and outrage but instead I saw tragic tears of despair. This behaviour continued all of last evening. This morning he and I briefly chatted some more about the letter, along with husband, and it became clear that boy barely slept last night because he was so upset about the school situation.

To preserve my credibility, I texted him midday today to tell him I had worked it all out and he would attend the high school he had wanted after all, and not to worry about it. His little heart leapt with joy and he immediately texted me back his relief.

I hadn’t realized the amount of power I have over my midgets. I didn’t expect him to believe this fake letter, or get so upset about it. I didn’t understand he hangs on my every word and depends on me to help him through life. The reason for my lack of understanding is because I feel like I tell my midgets what to do over and over, and see them do the exact opposite, or act as if I haven’t even spoken. It’s good to know my words penetrate and my actions make an impression.

Tomorrow morning is April Fool’s morning. I do have a joke planned.

Last year I voiced my goal of ridding our house completely of animal products, but I ended up not being able to complete this. I guess I could have, but that would have created a hostile environment and I would have to endure the dramatics of my midgets, for what? They eat animal stuff with their dad and their caregiver anyway.  As a result of this failed attempt, my midgets made sure to point out my failure to follow through. This April 1 they shall receive their comeuppance when I take a garbage bag and throw out all products from our shelves that contain anything derived from animals. I broached the subject this past weekend, telling them that because they pointed out this shortcoming, I decided they were right that I should follow through with my plans.  This was met with the expected melodramatic reactions. I’m expecting my daughter to behave like Mt. Vesuvius when I clear out the goldfish crackers…

Marry, Fuck, Kill

Marry, Fuck, Kill!

Also, if you’re feeling particularly snarky today, I recommend Go Fug Yourself. Hours of snark, like having a snark faucet in your home or office. One of my fave saying (Sweet Cracker Sandwich) is from this site.

 

 

 

 

Happiness is My Writer’s Block

It’s easy to complain and find fault; not so easy to express intellectually stimulating joy 🙂

The Fickle Heartbeat

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A beautiful feature post by Single Strides.

Words would once spill out of me like an overdose of caffeine from a broken coffee machine. They would pour out from my heart with such overworked sadness that my soul broke trying to hold it in its cup. It was always full – so, so full.

But now my caffeine addiction has subsided and I am not thirsty for more. I am content. I am free. I am energized from simply peace. And now this is a problem for me.

Heartbreak was my biggest muse, but now I no longer have you. I no longer need you. So the words have run dry because I have nothing more to say about what once was the only thing that mattered.

So, you see. Happiness is my writer’s block. I was fueled to inspire the broken and the helpless that were crawling for…

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Do This and Your Home (and therefore life) Will Be Perfect

But be careful not to be too perfect! Case in point: Article from Apartment Therapy.

Seriously?! Who goes around telling people not to be perfect. Now we have to worry about being too perfect?! Fuck and No. I have already been dealing with keeping the devil way down in the hole, the one that tells me I’m not good enough. Now I have an angel on my shoulder scolding me for being too perfect? HFS I can’t deal.

Lately I’ve been so effing tired. I feel like I’m trying to walk through the shallow end of a pool. Husband offered to lend me his brain for the weekend, but I don’t think I could handle having such an even temper. My creativity might be stifled. I’ve been drinking coffee, my personal Hail Mary, trying to get back up on top of my body. Currently, my head is laying on the ground and the rest of me is as inert as one might expect when one’s brain is repeating ‘Two Weeks’ like the costume Arnold Schwarzenegger wears in The Terminator.

This weekend I’m going to visit my parents, sister and her family, as well as my gramma who lives in a nursing home. My gramma used to be a beacon of light for me; she thought I was amazing no matter what I did. I suspect she still does, but at age 91 and after 2 strokes (that we know of), she can barely get the words out. My gramma was not a person to me while I was growing up; she was the physical embodiment of unconditional love. Too busy to listen to my silly stories and dreams? Never. Too busy to cuddle? Impossible. Too busy to notice what I like to eat, play with, and do? Ha, that’s ridiculous. It’s these memories that make her current state so difficult for me to get my brain around. Her latest antics in the nursing home make her seem like a virtual stranger to me. I’m not proud of that feeling, but there it is. I can’t even tell myself that I’m improving her life by visiting her. Sure, she knows who I am. She usually sits and looks at me. She has a raft of nurses, doctors, and attendants, plus my parents, tending to her physical and emotional needs, providing her with all the basics and then some. What does she need me for? She is trying (and sometimes failing) to comprehend what her life has become, I suspect.

Don’t worry, I will suck it up and continue to visit her, and I’ll thank myself for it later when she is gone. I’m nothing if not dutiful, and just in case I’m helping her in some way, it’s worth it for me to see her. Am I being too perfect though? I remember really resenting false politeness, and still do I suppose. I want people around me who WANT to be there, not because they think they HAVE to be there. Want to vs. Have to is a recurring theme for me. As the butt of many jokes in my family while growing up and well into adulthood, I recognize my role is essential. Someone has to be a foil for the hero, and that person is me. Mostly I don’t give a crap about this but when a family visit is imminent, I start to reflect a bit too much. Usually I keep all of that angst/pity under a thick coat of varnish. The problem is I’m no longer a kid, and I don’t suffer fools gladly. But I also don’t like to make waves if there is no accompanying progress. Plus my brain is tired these days. Family dynamics are fun!

 

 

The Baby

Since the day she was born and every day after, girl midget has been the baby of the family. This moniker has remained despite her being nearly 12 years old. 

Last week she sprained her ankle while skiing, which I still do not understand. Wouldn’t ski boots prevent her ankle from bending?  The result is painful walking for her. She walks but not far and not quickly. In my head I decided to let her be a baby this week due to her ankle. What does this mean? It means this week I drive her to places I would usually expect her to walk. What does ‘usually’ mean? It means if she whines enough or looks pathetic enough or if she is running late, she can sometimes convince me to give her a ride. Other times, if she has pissed me off by not doing a task I asked her to do, or if she has used my makeup without telling me, or if I feel like she should be more mature than she is acting, I make her walk. Sometimes I will walk with her, for example to school. 

Now that it’s all on paper? I can see she’s spoiled. This is because she will always be the Baby. Boy midget pointed out to me this afternoon that I’m too easy on her. I take this statement with a grain of salt. 

My little bro, 4 years younger than me, is still a Baby, even though he is married and had a baby daughter of his own. In practical terms this means expectations for him are lower. I am so proud of him for being a great husband, father and provider, but is this so exceptional? Isn’t this what is expected of a 40-yr old man in a long term relationship? I’m happy for him but maybe I should tone down the fanfare. Is anyone particularly impressed that I am gainfully employed with a successful marriage and children who will (probably) not grow up to be axe-murdering psychopaths? No. 

Is anyone impressed that boy midget gets himself to weekend classes via subway? At first yes but not anymore. Once when he forgot his glasses on a field trip to a museum, he went to pick them up on his own on the following weekend. He also takes great care to live up to expectations for cat sitting for friends, getting himself there and back on his own steam. Now he will need to do something else independently to make me take notice. 

This July I expect girl midget will work part time at husband’s store, if for no other reason than to keep her busy and cut down on the debauchery (sleeping in until 11, logging many hours of computer time and grazing. That girl can go through a box of crackers like a woodchipper goes through tree limbs.)  A question arises from this plan: how will she get to and from his store? What would my expectations be of boy midget? Would I expect him to take the bus and subway on his own at that age? I don’t know. Plus, he isn’t a pretty little girl. Not that boys are exempt from molesters, murderers, and kidnappers; they are just as vulnerable. So why do I hesitate to treat them equally? 

(I must confess when boy started getting to scout meetings on his own, I followed him in my car. He didn’t see me because he wasn’t meant to. He made good choices; looked both ways at every intersection and was overall careful. His independence came at a price. But I sucked it up for the greater good of his increased maturity.)

It’s easier for me to do things for my children than it is to explain how to do it themselves. It’s easier, mentally, for me to drive them everywhere and monitor their every move. But that’s not practical or healthy for any of us. Pain = gain. Some day I’ll thank myself for this.  

 

You Know You’re White…Right?

This is the comment I hear very often, because I sometimes use the following phrases:

  • Dolla Dolla Bill, y’all
  • Takin’ Care ‘a Bidness
  • Ah-ight
  • Mashallah
  • Zei Gezunt
  • Menches Kint

No, these are not the most professional words to use, but that’s why I’m not in management. I have a lot of freedoms not afforded to people who have an image to uphold. I’m not naive enough to think my off-kilter sense of humour doesn’t affect others’ perception of me, but then again, even if I was a ‘proper’ serious person, I sincerely believe I would be in the same professional position as I am now. My skill set is mostly measured upon the words I smith and deadlines I meet.

I’m a white Christian who married a Jew, who lives in a multi-cultural city and works in an office with many different ethnicities. My weekday lunch time foods are atypical compared to what I grew up eating. It makes sense for me to have varied phrases in my vocabulary, but even I laugh at myself when I say to my very Jewish brother-in-law on a Friday afternoon: Good Shabbas.

Girls

HFS I love that HBO show, Girls. This week’s episode featured the aftermath of Hannah, the main character (played by Lena Dunham who also writes and directs the show) talking to her recently self-proclaimed gay father for brunch. Her father and mother have been married for about 30 years and for the moment are staying together while they figure out this new situation.

During the brunch, her father sympathizes with Hannah, telling her he knows this information must be difficult for a child to hear about a parent. Hannah replies indignantly that she isn’t a child. This conversation goes on for a few lines, and then Dad pulls out the trump card that will show Hannah how much of a child she still is: He asks her if she brought her wallet. When she says Yes, he asks to see it. She demurs, saying she doesn’t need to show it to him.

Eventually, she says just came from the gym (didn’t bring wallet).

Take Me To Whatever The Opposite Of Contentment Is

Yes. I understand all of this.

Thought Catalog

Unsplash / Jessica PolarUnsplash / Jessica Polar

I never want to be where I actually am. Sometimes I think it’s just me trying to find the greenest of all the grasses. Other times I think I’m built this way, like contentment isn’t a comfortable state for me. I’m always wanting more, more, more, and contentment is a standstill. If I’m satisfied, what else is there to work towards? If I have everything that I need, what else is there to do? I think I always leave a little room for dissatisfaction, so I have more to get excited about, otherwise I’d just get bored. I’m competitive. I don’t do shit just to do it. I want to gain something if I complete something and I don’t know if I’m prepared to let that part of me go. Maybe I don’t need to self-help everything out of my system. I like my hunger. It…

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My Kijiji problem

I have a Kijiji problem, a very serious one. Most people browse in stores; I browse on Kijiji. Most people who visit Kijiji are looking for something specific. I peruse the furniture section quite often, just in case there is a good deal to be had that I don’t want to miss out on. FOMO at its finest.

This is all rooted in my less-than-average decorating skills. It’s also related to my small decorating budget. I might find a furniture piece that isn’t the perfect colour or size, but it’s close enough and is free or at least very cheap. My search then continues for the correct item, but meanwhile my family has a much-needed piece of furniture. I may have mentioned the dresser, wardrobe, and nightstand we got for a total of $30, simply because the seller was desperate. These pieces are circa 1960s, coloured green with mirrors on the drawer fronts. Soooo very cool and when I get tired of them I can put them out in front of our house for someone else to take, without feeling the least bit wasteful.

I sometimes find items on residential sidewalks. I’ve also left my own discarded items on the sidewalk in front of our house at times for others to pick up. Last week I left a non-functioning dryer (we had tried to repair it and failed) and an under-performing washer out on the front sidewalk. Someone picked them up and I hope were able to use them.

Husband I frequent Restore (Habitat for Humanity) often as well, even if we don’t need anything in particular. I marvel at the old wooden doors there, and full kitchen cabinet sets. There are appliances there too but we’ve never taken the risk of buying them.

Craigslist used to be my go-to, and I still look there occasionally. For some reason, there aren’t as many nice items on that site as there used to be. Most of the items wouldn’t be welcome at a rummage or garage sale; they are full of cat scratches/pee/fur, or very dirty upholstery, or missing important parts, or are already out at the curb. The curb posts are the most unreliable, because probably that item has already been taken and if it hasn’t that’s because it has been rained or snowed on, and so I don’t want it anyway.

Last night Husband and I went to look at a sleeper couch for sale that I thought would be great in the basement apartment.  We often get inquiries for renting the place from 2 adults plus a child, or 2 adults who are not in a romantic relationship and so would prefer not to share a queen-sized bed. The mechanics of getting the couch out of the seller’s apartment, and then into the elevator, and then across the large courtyard out to the street and into our car were so complicated that I said No Thanks. Onward and upward, the search continues…

 

Using my Powers for Good

This morning I wrote a quick user guide for husband’s point of sale software at his store. Boy midget will be using these instructions because he’s working at the store this week. He and girl midget will share the job, each making $5 an hour for their efforts.  Thanks to me, boy midget can now answer the store phone intelligently, create a work order, check on work order status, and process payments. They won’t be working full days, but enough to occupy their time and force them to put on clean clothes and brush their teeth while on March break.

I finished another bunch of Barbie clothes, and will get some photos done this week. This will be girl midget’s job, because she offered to do it and I need her help. Now that my midgets no longer require daycare, I like to keep them busy in other ways when they are off school. Also, now that they no longer require constant supervision, their help is actually contributing to our family in a positive way, instead of just taking. As my energy wanes, theirs waxes. As the blossom of youth slowly and surely wears off my face, I watch it unfurl on theirs. Speaking of youth wearing away, Ellie is getting old. This morning I walked her 3 km and there was very little energy left in her body by the time we returned home. I get a great feeling from seeing her tired though, knowing I have done one of my jobs today. Pickle didn’t even peak her head out of the blanket when Ellie and I headed out, and that’s not because Pickle is old; it’s because she’s allergic to snow, ice, and temperatures less than 10C.

More good news around here – the ice boulders are receding and our basement is dry.