Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How Do YOU Spell SUCCESS?????

Is it getting to the bathroom just in time?
Is it by having a clean house for the first time in 5 years?
Is it by writing that perfect memoire and someone wants to publish it?
Or is it by remembering where you put your keys?
Or by getting through another hectic school year?
Is it by the car you drive?
The house that you live in?
The fact that you are married?
With child?
Full of dreams?
Having a dream come true?

When I first moved in with my boyfriend who later became my husband I became a 'Denmother' of sorts. He owned a house and all these guys lived with him. All these guys were in good paying jobs with corporate companies and me...
We at one time had four guys living in our three bedroom abode.
It was certainly an interesting time...
There was one guy Dr. Jekyl, in particular that had a love/hate realtionship with me.
You see the guy had a drinking problem. He could avoid drink for weeks but when he drank...
He was self destructive. And living in a house full of guys they thought the behaviour was odd... but none of them were going to get involved...
Well, one morning, I awoke early and found blood smeared across the hallway. At the entranceway to our house a wee pool of blood.
My boyfriend was showering when I made the grim discovery of blood.There was a mad scramble around the house due to the fact we were all embarking on a roadtrip/ wedding.
Mr. Jekyl meekly comes down the stairs. He has been beaten up. He has blood caked in his hair, he has a wound on his face from a guy who punched him with a big honking ring.
Now, I could bore you with all the details of our love/hate thing and how our fight really began there. I could point out that I just wouldn't let it go as I cleaned and dressed his wound.
I could point out that I called him a liar.
I called him a lot of things.
I could point out that I was the only one who got involved...
I got my hands dirty.
Everyone else just kinda said to lighten up and would retort that these things kinda happen...
Did not know what planet they were from.
From that day on, for four months we fought. He quit drinking to prove me wrong.
We fought continually. He hated me.
And I can not remember the litany of crap I put up with at the time but I put up with a lot.
All because I spoke up about his aloholism. It was the elephant in our house and for some unknown reason I cared.
He moved away. And I thought'Good Riddance'
And after a month or two he started calling..ME... Not any of the guys...Not his buddies... ME...
He would phone at ungodly hours(drunk) but somehow I knew I had to listen...
I would love to say there was an epiphany moment but there was none...
There was just me listening to him...
He then, decided to go on an adventure...He couldn't like life in our country or maybe he just couldn't find himself through the confines of our society, I have no idea.He has never said why, he does, what he does.
The man got on his bike and cycled from England to India.
No prep work. He just did it...
And from that day he has been travelling.
He only nurses one beer a month. Does not drink at all.
His last adventure was from Terra Del Fuego up to Alaska and across Canada all on bike.
He comes to visit on occasion.
And the last time he came he apologized for all he put me through.
He gave no excuses just an apology. And I gave him forgiveness.
He is now residing in Korea teaching English.
He is coming to stay with us in a few days.
And now when I think of him.
I think of Success...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just click your heels together three times...

Are You Really What You Wear?

I suppose we all have a costume that we wear in one way or another... We all play a role. In a neat and tidy world. Dorothy had her role woth Toto in a beautiful blue ginham dress, Charlie Chaplan was approachable in the oversized pants and bowler hat. June Cleaver in the fities style dress and high heeled shoes.

We all have a costume or uniform that states what 'we do'...

The butcher wears his white robes laced with pieces of meat stuck on the front, the crossing guard with the giant orange vest and stop sign, the policeman that has to taken to wearing baseball cap so that he would be more approachable, and a doctor who wear the big white lab coats for goodness knows what reason... probably the same as the butchers.. .

My costume of life is that of jeans, running shoes, Doc Martans, t-shirt, sweater, hair tied back, no make up and sunglasses. I have my daughter on my right side singing at the top of her lungs and I have my black, small, approachable black dog who is wearing all his dog tags that say that he is owned and is not the carrier of rabies. Basically in my mind's eye I am like a Mrs. Cleaver minus the green apron and the perky disposition.

My daughter seems to replicate my uniform, except that she likes her hair down, and she will wear lipgloss on occasion. Part of her ensemble is a knapsack that is larger than her upper torso which gives her the appearance of a purple hunchback going to school.

My husband's uniform is that of black jeans, or blue jeans, an undershirt and dress shirt, he carries a black nylon swiss army briefcase that holds his lunch and reading materials.
In his dress shirt pocket he carries his Nano that have white, dangling, earplugs and he wears dark Ray Ban sunglasses. The ensemble makes him look like a secret service agent...

My daughter purchased a pair of shoes for me this past Christmas... They were patent leather, three inches high, and scarlet red... She was so happy giving them to me... I just looked at them in disbelief.. I looked at the box, looked at the shoes, looked at my daughter who's face was full of anticipation and looked beseachingly over at my husband who just said...'She saw them, and HAD to get them for you!'

My daughter then shrieked...'You can wear them, when you come to pick me up from school!'

Oh yeah. What costume are we talking here... Albeit I have the black dog...

Well, the shoes stayed in their box. And my daughter would continually ask 'when are you going to wear my present???'

The day arrived when I was going to attend a big party at a new, fancy, hip, club/hotel. I was to meet my husband at the club and from there we were going to rendez-vous with the larger group of people... A grown up party!

I decided that my Christmas shoes would work for this occasion.

So I dusted them off... Searched the closet for an costume that would compliment the shoes.
I chose... a black Ellen Tracy tuxedo blouse, a red, Georgio Armani skirt, fishnet stockings and my new red shoes.
I seem to put myself into a whole new aura with just a change of clothing. A groovy girl. A gal who is hot. A gal who is going to meet her man. I was a funky, hip, young, chick! The outfit screamed no responsibilty...Look out!

My daughter squealed with delight when she saw that her Christmas shoes were on my feet and I was taking flight.

With all the encouragement from my cheerleader daughter I left with my house with my head held high and my high heel shoes clicking with great purpose on the sidewalk. I was out of my Doc Martans, I was out of my jeans, I was feeling cool and I was heading to the new and cool club/hotel in a grown up costume without the props of dog or daughter.

My husband is always late. Always. There is always an excuse but he would be late for just about anything... He always saunters in with a smile, unplugs himself from the sanctum of the nano and joins in with an apologetic smile.

This was the grand opening of the hotel and I should have known this would not be any different than any other time meeting him.

He was late. Very late.

I was just waiting in the lobby, pacing in my red high heel shoes, with fishnet stockings aimlessly looking around. I had no idea where I was to go so I was left in the lobby to pace. I was just pacing in my mini shirt. I was just pacing in my fishnet stockings. I was just pacing in my three inch high red shoes. I was looking at the ceiling, watching the people enter on the red carpet and then it happens....

'Excuse me Maaaaaam... But... we have a.... no loitering policy at the hotel.'

No Loitering???
No Loitering???

I look at this young whippersnapper in his hot black pants, his crisp black shirt, surfer blonde hair, his gold bracelet, his gold earing and his Maui tattoo ...

Ohhhh Myyyyy Gaaaawwwddddd....

The Dolce&Gabbana consierge/the bouncer/the young/goodlooking/suave/hipster/thought I, ME,
Mrs. Doc Martan,
Mrs. Sensible,
Mrs June Cleaver with attitude,
was a HOOKER!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing, what I appear to others, when I am without my props!

Maybe next year, for Christmas, I may get the green apron! or the blue, gingham, dress....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just What Is With a 'Bad Boy'?

If there was not a market for the Badboy, would the Badboy not exist?

As a young girl I was on occasion, attracted to what may be construed as the BadBoy. The Badboy could be anything that would seem forbidden, from the look, the perpetual sneer, ripped jeans, messy hair, to the brooding artist who was terribly misunderstood. The Badboy who only wore black. The Badboy that wore dreadnoughts, the Badboy that dyed his hair blue, the Badboy that shaved his head.The Badboy with the Harley. The Badboy with the tattoo. The Badboy musician. The Badboy, ahhhh...

I do not think there was a real dress code per say it was more... an aura. I did not necessarily go out with all these type of guys but I was definitely attracted to them.

My husband is afraid of the future.

He is afraid that one of these boys may end up on our doorstep and want to court our/HIS daughter. He feels as though, the Badboy attraction, could be inherited through my genes. My husband is attempting to 'train' my daughter into what she may want in a boyfriend, ions from now. He is thinking along the lines of nurture versus nature.

The training began by watching the Pirates of the Caribbean. The movie with Orlando Bloom, as the dutiful, Will Turner and Johnny Depp, as sexy, Captain Jack Sparrow. I listened as my husband gave a commentary on how wonderful Will Turner is as a person. He works hard, he has a craft. Will Turner is patient, kind and only has one love and that is that of Elizabeth.
My husband, would then go on about Captain Jack Sparrow and how he was a philanderer, how he didn't even bath, his teeth were made of gold and he seems to drink way toooo much.

He thinks the point is driven home to our eight year old.

After the movie we head up to bedtime routine.

I read my daughter her stories and then we turn out the light.

'Momma, it's about that pirate movie. '

'Yes, love.'

'You know the pirate that Daddy liked? '

'Yes. '

'Well, he was good. He was nice, I mean. '

'Yes, honey. '

'Well, you know that other pirate? '


'You know the one with the hair, the eyes, the teeth, and the crooked smile? '

'Yes .'

'Momma, I like him... I mean I liked him ALOT, ALOT!!!! '

Serves my husband right... Keith Richards is just a few years away!

Nurture versus nature!!!! HA!

There'll always be a market for the least at our house...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Kismet Fate? Do You Believe in it?

I wrestle with this question or maybe I have come to terms with it...

While on my honeymoon in Greece, I met a soulmate of mine. You may find this odd as I was on my honeymoon with my husband and there HE was... Another piece of my destiny...
My husband and I were on an island that worshipped the sun. Mykonos had not seen so much rain. I felt as though my husband and I brought on the great floods. Or at least fate did.

It all seemed to begin when my husband found a pub that was on higher ground. We were finally away from the wrath of Poseidon.The bar was owned by a wonderful, eccentric, Scot who had the delightful sense to offer a litre of retsina to entice all kinds of patrons to his BBQ in the rain.

It became a giant cocktail party.Everyone was in the mood to socialize, partly due to the wine and partly due to the inclement weather. We were on an island that worshipped Helios and the nightlife and since there was no sun god for the past week, the natives were only too willing to patronize Dionysus.

I had just introduced my husband to a couple sitting next to me... and luck would have it they lived in the SAME city as us. My husband and the couple were getting along famously and I was enjoying the ambiance when HE bound into my life wearing a flightsuit. The most handsome man in the joint. The one everyone seemed to want to know...

HE strode right over to me in the crowded bar and said that HE needed to meet me.

I cannot tell you what we talked about. I cannot tell you how long we chatted. But it marked the course of our lives.

After corresponding for a year, he invited me first back to Greece which I declined and then he invited me to his hometown New York. I knew nothing about him really. All I knew was a feeling. A strange old soul feeling. I knew him and nothing about him. My husband thought of me as crazy for wanting to embark on a journey to a foreign country to visit a man I barely knew on an old soul notion... He tried to reason with me'What did I really know of this man. Where did HE live? Would I have to sleep on the kitchen floor?' and my favourite 'I would be sold to the white slave trade and I had only myself and my old soul feeling to blame'

I just knew I had to go and ignored the detour signs along the way. I was not dissuaded when my boss called me in for a last minute meeting, or when my luggage desinigrated on the way to the airport and had to be bound together with electrical tape, or when my flight was rerouted to Pittsburgh and I was three hours delayed.

And then there was the cab ride. When I gave my cabbie, the address he informed me that I must be very rich since I was certainly not famous... And the location as to where we were going... I had to be one or both...
I told him that I was not/am not and that I know how much it is to my friend's place...
The cab driver then informed me that the friend I was visiting was not gay, but leading me to his place under uncertain pretences, or that my husband was not going to the Formula One race as he did every year, my husband was actually having an affair!!!!!and that not one of these guys could love me like my Columbian Cab driver could love me..

By the time I reached his door and he flung his arms around me...I had so many stories to tell him that it could not help but blossom into a never ending friendship...

We packed a great deal of history into a four day weekend . A history that caused us to get into eachother's bones.

I have endless moments with HIM to follow and to fill my life.

He filled with anticipation when my husband and I told him we were expecting. He made certain that we would have one last vacation as a couple before the baby. He indulged us. And I often wonder what we had to give in return... Middle class morality with all its fixins?

When the baby arrived he made certain he came when we were all settled in so that he could pamper us as a family. He filled our family with endless vacations with him. We all got along famously and how often does that happen???
When he would come to our sleepy city, I would be filled with angst as to what I was going to show him...
and his only retort would be the festival of you and your family.

We had years of vacations together. And my daughter spent 26 per cent of her life in New York visiting him. He spent countless adventures up here. He even flew up for my daughter's first day of junior kindergarten .

And then he got sick. We were with him every step of the way. We saw bravery like no other. We loved him and there was no way he was going through this alone.

He had a 'good' year of recovery.

And then he died.

The autopsy came back recently that told us that he would have been blind and he would have had to have his legs amputated had he survived the last go around... A fate he would never had wanted...

When the 'anniversary' of our meeting, nine years later, the stuff from HIS estate showed up at our house...
It was raining.
There was an inch of water on the ground,
The delivery GAL was a...... Well, she was a, a Dwarf.
A determined dwarf,who insisted on no help delivery my goods...
I watched her dumbfoundedly from my porch... All the stuff was larger than her...
A dwarf, in the rain, on the anniversary of our meeting?

Fate interceded? Fate brought him to me and fate took him away... and brought him back again...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Are You the Age You Are? Or????Are YOU, just Faking IT?

My Dad has this theory that you are born the age you are.

Some people were just born old...
Some are born young etc.

I had this actor friend that recently passed away. It made the news. And while I marveled at his obituary on the radio I was struck by his age. I never knew how old he was... I never defined him by an age. And there it was. His age forever more on the radio and I couldn't believe it.
He had a presence of spirit. He had a mischievous twinkle to his eye. He could laugh like no tomorrow. He could tell a good story AND listen to one. He took chances and learned new things. He loved life and life loved him back. A light gone. But while he was here for 72 short years that light burned brightly.

I have a grandmother. She was old before I met her. She lived in the past. She complained about her joints . She complained about the pain of growing old. The misery of it all. 'Youth is wasted on the youth' she would often say. This quote when I do the math... Was said when she was 48 years of age. She is now 83 and she is dying. But was she dead before I met her?

I wonder about this. I still see myself as a gal that loves to skip rope. I can still see myself riding my absolutely favourite banana bike with the wind blowing through my hair. I still love to sing songs. I still feel that tingling insecure girl feeling when walking into a new situation. I still bite my lower lip if I am feeling insecure. I still can cry.And I sometimes I just need a hug to make it better. And I can still laugh. I still will call my mom in times of trouble. I still turn up the stereo to new levels of high when my 'favourite song' causing me to squeal with delight, sing and dance all at the same time....And sometimes I still need to gab on the telephone for hours with a grrrrrfriend... I still see myself as a girl of twelve.

And then, I pass a shop window and I see this woman? When did I grow up? I don't remember doing that? I have a husband, a kid, a dog, a house and debt??? Am I playing make believe? Or have I grown up?
Are we defined by our age? Or does our age define us?

Just asking.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I wake up...

Sluggishly look at the clock with one eye...I purposely only open my right eye, as my dog is on my left side and if he sees this subtle movement of an eye opening, it wakes him... And his enthusiasm for my being awake is NOT reciprocated initially.
And once he is awake... The day begins...
And sometimes a gal just needs a minute of consciousness without another being conscious of her existence.
My dog does rise. I do not know how he has the canny perception that I am awake. Maybe the sound of the eye crust breaking free as I opened my one eye, or perhaps smells the scent of the liquid of my eye? Have no idea but he always is wakes. I lie as still as possible just for a minute and he knows. A sixth sense he has... And it drives my crazy...
He just sits. He stares at me at eye level with his tail wagging. He whimpers. He wags his tail. He is only concentrating on me. and when he gets the go ahead he throws himself onto the bed . All this is just too much for my husband and me. I relent and get up.

I stumble over a heap of clothes that I have been meaning to launder for what seems like weeks. I give myself heck about being so tardy.
I then venture down the stairs with my posse of one.

He is let out immediately.
I listen to the news while getting my daughter's breakfast and listen for the weather.

Weather is a pretty important thing if you are a Canadian... Weather gives us purpose. It can be an opener in any crowd. A Canadian is not uncomfortable about opening a cocktail conversation about the weather...

Whoa, what weather we having,eh?
Cold enough for you, eh?
The chill can cut you to the bone.
God, feel that humidity?
I can not breathe for the humidity.'
And so it goes.

It affects our moods, or general disposition towards life. So when hear 22 degrees Celcius with ten per cent chance of showers is announced by the weatherman in the morning one feels relieved. It gives you a warm tingle feeling. You can carry on with confidence. You can walk with a stride. You do not have to fight against the weather. It is one with you. The force is with you.

The sun is shining, it is a beautiful day good morning, good morning, good morning, yah!

I wake the troupes, my husband and daughter with the weather news and off I go...
It is going to be a good day.

I motivate my kid to wake up, with the weather.....Oddly enough, she is not transfixed with the weather as this Canadian.
Waking a child to go to school is like trying to put a sock on a cat's head... It is possible but with a lot of elbow grease.

She finally gets it together... Or should I rephrase that to..."We" get it together.

I do the quick run outside to check weather report... That's another thing, we do not have much faith in the weatherman.

But today he is right!
Blue skies...

Kiss my husband good bye, wish him a good day... And we are off to conquer the trails as we know them.

Daughter has found her homework, back pack is on, dog waiting patiently with his leash and I found my keys! One last look at the clock.... AHHHHH... We are running late, but not too late.

We will make it in time if we hustle! We will not need to get the dreaded late slip...

Somehow the late slip is... Well, it is just a reflection of parenting. Let's face it. A kid is not going get to school on their own. They are not going to rise...It is either the mother or father's 'job' to get them there on time. So if you screw up and have to go to the office continually for your 'kid's tardiness... It's just... Well... Just bad...
When I have gone into the school office with my daughter the secretary always casts a glance my way, she puts her glasses on the edge of her knows and says... 'Oh, late again honey? What's the excuse this time?'
Not that many lates but enough to make you want to avoid the condescending look.
I digress, but you can see the motivation.

We are walking along, when a few drops of rain start to fall. Still a clear sky. But the rain starts. We could go back... But there is that late slip hovering its nasty head over us. So we plod on. A few more blocks, that's all it is...
The clouds roll in. From NOWHERE!!!!
The rain comes down in buckets, we are four blocks from school. The point of no return!
We can not turn back and we are just drowning, as we are walking. The running shoes that my daughter has on are squeaking and squishing as she walks. Her hair is matted down on her face.
The mascara that I neglected to wash off my face from the night before is trickling down my face.
Parenting awards will not be handed my way.
But, by golly, we are not going to be late!
And just when I thought it couldn't get worse.
I feel my loose shirt clinging to my body I remember that I neglected to put on a bra today just as we pass a road crew, a crew full of heavily 'testosteronized' men...
10 per cent showers! My ass!