Have you ever had an Oprah-esque (not sure that is a word….yet) moment when you can no longer reconcile your version of the truth with the cold hard slap in the face real life reflects back at you? It’s like waking up and realizing it is still Monday.
There you are just living your life and out of nowhere some sort of cosmic epiphany downloads to your brain which forces you to face or accept some new fact or reality. To which I always say, “Thank you real life for interrupting my regularly programmed and most enjoyable sense of contentment.”
I just would prefer to live in a softly lit bubble of fictional reality. Who wouldn’t? Truth for the most part is highly over-rated.
Sadly today, that bubble burst along with a pipe in our bathroom.
Yes folks, my home’s terrorist assault has continued and it has now begun to water board us; and by water boarding I mean rotting out my floor boards with a leaking pipe in our shower. The good news is we were able to discover the problem early when some dingy water drizzled on a friend of ours who had stopped by for a visit.
If I wasn’t before, I am now completely convinced our house is trying to break us or at the very least evict us. If my house was an animal I am certain I’d be advised to have it put down. I may have said that out loud last night…..do you think I caused this?
Regardless of who or what is responsible, we are now facing a demo and a rebuild. We considered hiring a professional to do the work, and then we just laughed and said why pay someone to do something that we can so effortlessly do ourselves? I mean how hard can it be? Some new pipe and a bit of soldering and Bob’s your uncle. Realistically, we should be able to knock this off in a day or two and be living the life of non-leakage in no time.
Now I know what you’re thinking, statistically speaking we haven’t had the best track record on home improvement projects; but practice makes perfect right? And we rarely make the same mistake three times. We make similar mistakes a lot but not the exact same ones, because that would make us complete idiots. I feel really good about this.
These are the things I’m telling myself to try and ward off the mother of all panic attack I sense is about to envelop me.
On a positive note we have decided to totally change the design of the bathroom. It was entirely too small; not even enough room to swing a cat. Not that I would, or have ever, swung a cat. (Please no letters). However, for arguments sake, I would assume that if ever the need did arise (to swing a cat) I would be unable to do so.
The new design will require us to bang out a couple of walls and re-plumb a few things….no big deal… just the toilet, sink and shower. This of course might add a day or two to the projected completion date but you know us… in for a penny, in for a pound.
I need brain Drano..I don’t know if there is such a thing but if there is I am going need to get some ASAP. Price is no object. Although it would be great if the potential side effects of the product did not list potential death and or rectal bleeding. Not necessarily going to be a deal breaker, but it would nice not to have the worry.
I am distracted and discombobulated all at the same time. I love that word. It’s just as much fun to write as it is to say. It reminds me of Mary Poppins and that song “Supercalifragilistic”; now that was a great movie. I’m going to see if I can get it on Netflix. That reminds me, I have to get some pictures printed from our Disney trip. Note to self; find memory stick.
See what just happened there? I can’t even focus my attention long enough to finish a thoug* ( ironic typo.) Who am I kidding with that ‘note to self’ comment? Lately my brain is like an etch-a -sketch every time I shake my head the last thought I had fades to grey. I never really embraced the etch-a-sketch as a child although I was fascinated by what Will Farrell drew with it in that movie Elf. I think I watch too much TV. Excuse me I have to go flip the laundry. I’ll be back in a minute. Although it’s just as likely I won’t. How will you even know? I could have started this last April and am just now returning; not obviously from doing the laundry but from doing other stuff.
Maybe that’s my problem. There is just way too much stuff to do all the time and my brain is now refusing to think new thoughts or even finish current ones. Maybe my brain is on strike? Although you’d think it would at least give me a set of demands if that were the case. Obviously its union rep is just going through the motions.
Brains are absolutely amazing though, aren’t they? No I’m not just sucking up to my brain in order to regain its cooperation. It’s true. Here are some fun brain facts.
Did you know you can’t tickle yourself because your brain can detect the difference between an unexpected external touch and your own?
The average brain thinks about 70,000 thoughts a day. No wonder mine is confused – I had no idea I was working it that hard. I am blonde though, so it’s entirely possible that number is a wee bit exaggerated.
Laughing at a joke is no small task either. It requires activity in five different parts of the brain. So if at any point while reading this, you had a giggle, you can knock five minutes off your workout. I’ll write you a note. You’re welcome.
Do you know approximately 4% of adults live with ADD and many others have never been diagnosed? You do now.
You know, I just realized something. I thought (one down 69,999 to go) maybe I was not going to have anything to write about this week. I was so distracted I couldn’t find the funny. Then just like a reprieve at the eleventh hour my brain checked back in long enough to finish my column. Let’s hope I didn’t have to give up anything too important in the strike settlement. It would be really awful if I forgot to remember to do something important like the laundry.
We humans are rather intriguing bundles of DNA aren’t we? I was thinking that thought just now. For the record I think on most days, except on Tuesdays between 8-9 PM for reasons which I will not disclose. How is it that we have managed to survive so long on this big blue marble of a planet without becoming extinct? I ask myself the hard questions sometimes and then I need to take a nap because it makes me sleepy.
But seriously, I’ve seen some people, and I’m not trying to be rude or disparaging in anyway, but there are those among us that probably should not be walking around unsupervised. I think we’ve all seen enough reality TV in the past few years that proves, with absolute certainty, that the laws of natural selection have become a wee bit lackadaisical. How do some of these people make it through the day without medical attention? Divine intervention?
I think it must be a combination of pure dumb luck and lawyers that has kept some of our brethren from dropping out of the gene pool. Instinct alone used to be enough but apparently some of us can’t rely solely on common sense anymore so we now employ people to think the big thoughts for us.
Who doesn’t remember the woman who sued McDonald’s for her coffee being too hot….and won? That, for me, was the beginning of the end of my hope for humanity. I can only imagine the shock and horror she must have felt when she made the connection that the white mist emanating from her cup was not the ghost of her dead cousin Marg.
I once saw a sign on a washing machine saying please do not use while person is inside? Now that’s just good information isn’t it? I’m sure there was somebody at least once who thought, “Hmmm …I need a bath and my clothes need a bath let’s kill two birds with one stone and call it a day.”
There is also a helpful warning sign on hair dryers to not use in the shower. Really? Is this completely necessary? I can only imagine what is going throughout that brain trusts mind (right before the obvious electrical current). “Why my hairs no dry? I be standing under all this water and it’s still be wet. This be broken?”
Don’t get me wrong I’m all for red lights, seat belts and the labeling of hazardous materials. It’s important to provide this kind of information so that we can anticipate potential threats to our person. I just think that our approach to sharing some of the more obvious dangers might be beyond the comprehension of their intended audience.
Perhaps dangerous products should come with video tutorials and worst case scenario simulations or maybe we should all just watch that show Jackass? Those guys could potentially inspire us all to some new evolutionary lows. Anyway it was just a thought I was thinking as I was using a fork to get my waffle un-stuck from the toaster this morning…note to self “next time unplug toaster first.” See how easy that was? Learn and live.
I have a feeling I am no longer cool. It is not yet official, but I have been informed by not one, but two of my children that my street cred is almost maxed out. Not sure if I can apply for additional credit, or what slippery slope I’d have to slide down to get it? Is street cred even a thing anymore?
The sad reality is I’m not sure how long I have been out of the loop; or if there is still even a loop to be out of?
I just found out that it’s not even cool to say “cool” anymore. Apparently “sick” is the new cool. Which is beyond confusing because being sick has never been something I have ever aspired to be. In fact, at the first sign of illness I usually start downing Echinacea like my life depended on it. Now I find out that I should have been embracing my “sickness” as though my reputation depended on it.
It’s not like I haven’t tried to stay current.
I listen to the latest jam (which I recently figured out is music and not a reference to a fruit preservative.) This has not been without sacrifice because listening to the repetitive nonsensical content that some popular artists spew onto the airwaves is tantamount to ear torture. Not to pick on anyone in particular but if losing my cool (aka sick) mom status means never having to hear Rhianna’s “Umbrella” ever again….it would almost be worth it. What the “Ella Ella” is she going on about anyway?
I used to have the language down. Sadly that too…”was so five minutes ago.” Actual words have now been replaced by acronyms; LOL, IDK, and OMG and of course the most banal of them all…. the letter “k”.
I have a sneaking suspicion the reason for this trend is the youth of today can no longer spell. Of course that’s just a working theory and when presented to a focus group of teenagers the idea did elicit some serious eye rolling. The good news is that they weren’t having a seizure just indicating a reticence to agree with my hypothesis.
Keeping abreast of the all the fashion fads has also been a bit of strain. I would dearly love to have a few minutes alone with the genius who came up with low rise jeans that showcased everything from tramp stamps to little Johnny’s boxer briefs. If only there were things that I could un-see.
The world is changing too fast, it’s all about emoticons, snap chats and selfies. There is even something called the vine which I was super excited about until my daughter pointed out it had nothing to do with the production of wine. I also don’t see the point of posting mindless status updates on Facebook. Do we really need to know what people are feeling and doing every second of the day? I myself prefer a little mystery.
I guess the truth of it is that I don’t want to be “sick” anymore. It’s exhausting and confusing. I’m okay letting it go. Not all of it of course, just the bits that grate on my nerves like white girls who sing along with gangster rap like it’s their personal truth. The fact is holding on to youth and youthful ideas are a bit like chasing a ghost. It seems like it might be fun because you’ve heard about it on twitter but when push comes to shove it is just way too scary.
I am famous for the five year plan that runs into a huge snag about five minutes after its conception. In truth, I am not much of planner at all. I consider myself more of a proactive reactor, which basically means that I lightly pencil things in and when that doesn’t happen, I just bounce. It’s been working so far and as I always say if it ain’t broke ….it ain’t mine.
So where am I going with this?
Recently, I was listening/eavesdropping to a conversation between two moms at the mall. One of the ladies was talking about her son who is twenty-two and will be graduating from university next year. She said he had a very firm plan for the next ten years. He would get a job, buy a house, get married and have at least two children by the time he turned thirty. She said all this with great pride and without even the tiniest bit of hesitation.
I thought of my own life and could not help but wonder if a life could actually be lived with such efficiency?
Not my life obviously.
You see, at twenty-two I had a plan too. Not quite that structured but I definitely had a few core ideas that I was going to run with. First off, I was never going to get married or have any kids. I was going to be a journalist and travel the world. I was going to be fluent in at least three languages and live with two cats. My life would never be boring, and I would be the envy of all….other cat ladies.
So let’s reflect on how that plan fleshed out.
I am married with four children. I do remember telling my husband I wanted four cats, which is usually man repellant, but we were in a loud bar at the time, so I guess he misheard me and thought I said kids? I speak one language and can swear in three others. I have never traveled the world but I have Google Earth so that’s sort of the same. I never wrote a big story but I can write a heck of a grocery list. I live with one cat and three cat/dogs. My life is definitely not boring so I guess that worked out but as for being the envy of all, I think I would say, that I am more of a cautionary tale.
So was there a defining moment where my life plan took a u turn and ended up in opposite land? Probably. Does it matter? Probably not.
You see, the one thing I can always plan on, is that any plan I make usually ends up resembling a Picasso painting version of the original idea. That’s okay though, as I have never been a destination kind of a girl. I am all about the detours and roadblocks and I firmly believe that any life worth living should always be under construction or deconstruction depending on the day…which sort of explains a few of my other posts.
Once again, my illusionary world, or as it is sometimes called, my delusionary world, just crashed into my reality like a bull in a china shop. I have always been a glass half full kind a girl but from time to time, I believe the universe likes to test my resolve. It starts out with small, seemingly insignificant blips and blunders that miraculously seem to manifest into mountains of mayhem in mere moments.
I believe I have now identified my mistake. I became overconfident, mildly complacent and even a tad bit content. The universe apparently decided that I was much more exciting and entertaining when I am none of those things. There also seems to be a bit of a reoccurring theme to my life over the past 12 months so it would appear that it (the universe) has a favorite genre.
So without further ado, I will begin my tale.
This morning I awoke to the death of yet another appliance. My refrigerator apparently decided to take its own life in the middle of the night. Sadly, it took a lot of our food with it; which is why I am calling this a murder suicide. I will probably never get over the carnage I discovered when I opened up my tub of Haagen Daz. It’s still too painful to talk about. I am crying as I write this.
I am loathed to admit I did not see it coming.
It showed no signs of depression. There were none of the usual red flags. I like to think that if I had known it was feeling down that I would have gotten it some help – called someone or arranged an intervention with some of the other appliances. I’m not saying they would have been able to intervene in a meaningful way, but maybe they could have talked it down off the ledge. If only it had stopped to consider the impact its death would have on my matching appliances and how a lack of this will inevitably impact my resell value.
Suicide is such a selfish act.
Miraculously we were able to replace it the same day. I know that might sound callous but we all grieve differently. Don’t judge me for moving on – applaud me for letting go.
Our new fridge is a beauty. It’s spacious, shiny and seems very well adjusted. At first I thought the others might not accept it as one of their own; but the stove gave it its leftovers from dinner tonight like they had been best friends since birth. I am not sure I have had a prouder moment.
We did hit a snag or three during the installation process which may or may not have led to the deconstruction of some solid oak railing, ceramic tile and the removal of some ill positioned cupboards.
I am not ready to discuss all that at this time as there is only so much one human can endure in a weekend and I maxed out on that with the murder of my caramel cone ice cream. I promise you, when I am stronger, I will over share all the repercussions of our latest failure to utilize a measuring tape.
I almost had to call an ambulance when I woke up this morning. Okay, I exaggerate … slightly. I do that sometimes.
Have you ever been so sore that you actually had to strategically plan how to get out of bed? You know, that minute when you wake up and your body screams in an ever so passive aggressive way, “Please just don’t move. I’m begging you. I have money; I will pay you to just stay still until whatever this is passes.”
Yeah, this morning that was me.
Every muscle took on a very vocal stance on movement of any kind. My legs were so done they started throwing my arms under the bus.
“Use them if you have to get up. They don’t know pain like we do. They basically do nothing. What exactly is their job, anyway? Waving and washing your hair? Please. We have been hauling your fat behind all over this planet for years while they just swing uselessly at your side all willy-nilly. It’s time they took on some real responsibility.”
My arms were like, “Easy for them to say, but we weren’t built for this kind of nonsense. You have basically ignored us your whole life and now out of the blue you decide to start using our muscles which have basically been dormant since the womb. How are we supposed to cope with the responsibility of real movement? It’s absurd.”
My stomach muscles which I always thought got a pretty good work out digesting all the delicious food I gave them were emitting the kind of sharp shooting pains which I can only liken to the early onset of acute appendicitis.
So I arose in stages. Calculated, controlled, tearful, ouch-filled stages. I may or may not have used several expletives by the time my core muscles had finally managed to move me into a seated position.
At this point I had begun planning my own funeral. Should I write an eulogy or leave that up to a loved one? What music should be played? Do I even have a favourite song that could be played in a church setting? Cremation or burial? Now my head was starting to hurt, and that was the one thing that had somehow managed to survive the recent terrorist activity that my body was waging on me.
Even with all these unanswerable questions, it seemed like dying still might be easier than figuring out how I was going to put my underwear on. However, I am a lot of things, but I’m not a quitter. Well okay, sometimes I am a giver upper, but that is totally different from a full on quitter. So I struggled, and I groaned, and finally, I managed to get myself moving in the general direction of living my life.
A good friend of mine once said to me, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” I would like to say that Weakness had better move out quick, leave no forwarding address and not expect to get its damage deposit back.
It’s week 3 of my workout challenge and I am almost convinced that I will probably survive the next 5 weeks. Regardless of the pain and necessary sacrifice I will soldier on. However in the event that I don’t, I would like Sarah McLaughlin to sing In the Arms of an Angel at my funeral, partly because it’s a lovely song, and partly because I don’t think in my current condition I’d ever get through the pearly gates on my own steam.
It’s almost my birthday. I couldn’t be less thrilled. I’m not exactly a fan of my birthday. If possible, I would love to skip the day entirely. Why do I need to celebrate the fact that I made it one more time around the sun? Is it supposed to be some kind of reward for not dying? I guess that’s an accomplishment of sorts, but is it really worthy of cake? Not in my opinion.
Speaking of cake, given the recent onslaught of forest fires it was suggested that I refrain from lighting an accurate account of candles on my cake for fear that it might cause the fire department to deploy a water bomber to my house. I told that person to just start running.
Oh birthday, how do I hate thee, let me count the ways.
1. Every 5th one I have to renew my driver’s license, and who doesn’t love a day at the DMV? I get my prison headshot taken by someone even more bitter than me and sometimes, I even get to pay outstanding speeding tickets! Good times.
2. People tell me hysterical jokes, like asking me what it was like before indoor plumbing and if I had a pet dinosaur. The answer is yes and he’s hungry so come on over.
3. You hear things like, “Wow, you look good for your age!” What is that supposed to mean? How is that even a compliment? It’s really just a reminder of how someday, very soon, I will appear exactly right for my age. It’s already starting, and I’m mostly held together at this point with smoke and mirrors. Gravity is yanking on me so hard that it won’t be too long until I’ll have to seriously consider putting parts of me on LoJack.
4. People buy me gifts. Things I wouldn’t buy for myself. Mostly because I wouldn’t want them, and I have taste. My husband bought be a vacuum cleaner for one birthday and it sucked.
5. One time back when I was single my girlfriends took me to a bar for my birthday. It was ladies night, and I saw things that can’t ever be unseen; believe me, I’ve tried. My therapist believes that in time I’ll make a full recovery, but it’s been over twenty years so I’m starting to think she might be wrong.
It’s not that I mind getting older given that the alternative is death, but there comes a time when your closer to the end than the beginning and it starts to get real. So keep your hollow happy birthday greetings, questionable gifts, and cakes that depict towering infernos. If you want to know what I want this year for my birthday it’s pretty simple, a little peace, a lot of quiet, and a number for a good plastic surgeon.
I have the directional sense of a fruit fly in a windstorm. There have been times in my life when finding my way to an unfamiliar place have resulted in tears. Not always mine. Not shocking when you consider the time I placed numerous phone calls for assistance one of which may have been to 911, stopped at two separate gas stations and slowly followed a kid on a bike asking if he knew where Shelly lived? I don’t think he did though, because he just started yelling “stranger danger”and sped off into a park.
My husband on the other hand could find his way out of a jungle with nothing more than a leaf and paper clip. He used to ask me to read the map for him when we were travelling. The reason he doesn’t anymore is because I have threatened to charge him with spousal abuse if it ever happens again. I just looked that up, and as of today it is not actually considered abuse, but laws can be changed and he knows how motivated I am to be right about stuff.
Sometimes people ask me for directions to places I am or I have been in the past. Usually we are speaking on the phone at the time and I find myself gesturing and pointing, when indicating where they they should turn left and or right. Surprisingly signing on a cellular device does not translate well and they usually just change the subject or become awkwardly silent as if waiting for me to speak or something. You can’t help everyone I guess.
Recently I got lost at a mall. Not a strip mall obviously,but one of those big crazy labyrinths of endless stores, food courts, and kiosks . I called home and told them I wouldn’t be home for dinner, It was 9:30 in the morning. I know when to be pragmatic and the kids need to eat. It’s not that the mall design folks don’t try to be helpful. They do have those “YOU ARE HERE” signs posted at regular intervals. However they are about as helpful to me as a bag of cats, because generally I don’t know where “here” is to begin with, so finding out my way to “there” is pretty much a non starter.
My mapping skills or that whole east west north south geography thing are about as honed as a dead pigeon too. When someone tells me to head north, I feel compelled to find a tree with moss on it. I was a girl guide and I learned that moss only grows on the north side of a tree. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a tree with moss on it at the mall? Well let’s just say if it’s out there I haven’t found it yet.
Not long ago someone suggested I purchase a navigational unit that is designed to verbally instruct the driver on how to get from point A to point B. This was one of the greatest days of my life followed shortly thereafter by a near death experience.
It started out so well. I programmed my unit to help me get to my brothers house in maple ridge Which is about a 5 hour drive from my home. Off I went with the nice British fellow I had selected on the device to guide me giving me helpful instructions at pivotal points along my journey.
After awhile it was nighttime and the weather turned to rain and fog. I wasn’t too worried as I was pretty close to my final destination. Looking back on how literal that last part could have been, just gave me goosebumps. I was driving down a very dark narrow road with mist as thick as glue and my visibility was limited to about two car lengths in front of me. Still felt pretty confident with Charles (I named him that because he seemed quite regal and perhaps the tiniest bit bald)
Then out of the darkness, I found myself a mere three feet away from driving directly into a lake. I was at a ferry crossing that had long since closed. I braked hard and turned the car around feeling a deep sense of shock. Charles did not like my new course and he kept telling me he was “re calculating route” and instructing me to make a u-turn as soon as possible. It became clear to me that Charles was trying to kill me.
I pulled over and called my brother. He was able to figure out where I was calling from, not sure how, because I am almost certain all I kept saying was ” I can’t believe Charles wants me to drive off a pier.”
After that happened I made peace with myself, and decided I’ll just have to be okay with getting lost from time to time. Its probably not the worst skill to not have. I can make an awesome lasagna and you can’t be great at everything, it’s obnoxious. As for Charles he is no longer a part of my life. He has been re routed back from whence he came because I am not going to reside with a homicidal machine. I have seen Transformers and the Terminator and I recognize a bad seed when I see one.