Saturday 26 September 2015

Me vs Anniversary Gifts and Alcohol

I was getting drunk with my parents last weekend when we made a rather entertaining discovery regarding the gifts that tradition says we should get our partners on each wedding anniversary. Most are outdated or weird (Optical goods for the 48th or Conveyances for the 32nd), but one is so mind-bogglingly stupid that I felt it needed some attention. 

My stunning parents on their wedding day, 44 years ago
My parent’s 44th wedding anniversary is fast approaching, and in our inebriated state, we decided we should look up what the official gift for the year was supposed to be. I can’t account for how or why we decided to do this, suffice to say that it just happened. We were not sober.

We all knew the major ones:
The 1st anniversary is paper, or as I like to look at it: deciding not to get each other gifts because you’re still using cheques (or “paper”) to pay off the wedding debts. The 50th is gold; You’ve earned it, go spend some money. The 60th anniversary is the diamond anniversary, which I only know because the Queen of England recently celebrated her diamond anniversary of being a figurehead overlord for a country that I could drive across in a day but that still took over most of the world throughout the course of history.

And that’s about it.

The shell goes with the
prawn anniversary
My mother took out her phone and began drunk-dialing google to find out what tradition dictated was appropriate for our upcoming anniversaries. This was information that up until that point I hadn’t known I’d needed. And like an internet cat video, it didn’t disappoint.

She started with Husband and I, who are heading towards our 8th year of marriage.  Evidently 8 years of bliss can and should be commemorated by bronze or lace.  This is fine, except I heard prawns rather than bronze, so as far as I’m concerned, the 8th wedding anniversary will now forever be known as the seafood anniversary. Nothing says I love you like dead crustaceans.

The 44th anniversary gifting recommendation makes prawns look romantic.

Leading up to the 44th, one can look forward to such delights as “land” on the 41st(…this is very vague), improved real estate (….um, put a shed on the land?) for the 42nd, and travel for the 43rd.  These are good. I would not complain about a vacation house and a trip to Thailand after 40-odd years of marriage. These would be really nice gifts. Maybe by then I’ll be rich enough to actually afford them. Or maybe a picture of one of them.

And then the 44th year arrives, and with it the coveted bag of groceries.

Yes. That’s right. Tradition dictates that my parents, after 44 years of wedded bliss, should exchange bags full of food. This is how I imagine that exchange would go:

Here honey, I got you something.

*Hands my mother a Safeway bag full of condiments, pasta, and assorted veggies*

*My mother slowly accepts this bag as if touching it is going to cause her to contract a venereal disease*

You’ve really gone all out this year sweetie. I guess I’ll go start dinner.

*My father is never seen again*

Happily, my dad is smarter than this. And fair warning, if Husband showed up on our 44th anniversary and handed me a bag of kraft dinner and sauerkraut, there would be no 45th anniversary, and

no one would ever find the body.

Basically, I can’t think of much that is more insulting than gifting someone a bag of work, which is more or less what groceries are. Here babe, go put these away and make me some dinner.

My wedding flowers, because pictures
in posts are good
As far as I’m concerned, gifts aren’t even necessary, so please, just don’t. Really, if you value our marriage, never show up with food in a bag unless it has been cooked by someone else, and we’re going on a picnic.

In our intoxicated state, this was all hysterically funny. I mean, what an absolute failure of human brain function sat down and thought yes, a bag of groceries would be the perfect way to say I love you on this special occasion! Some poor person was obviously having a stroke when they came up with this. Or they had recently gone through a divorce and wanted everyone else to suffer.

And while we’re on the topic of all things wedding anniversary related, did you know there is a 100th year anniversary? For those of you who think you may ever actually achieve this mile stone, please make sure you keep to tradition and get your loved on a 10 karat diamond, as you are supposed to. They will probably be too old and feeble to actually wear a 10 karat diamond, as the weight of it will likely be too much to lift, but that’s not really the point.   

I feel like this is not only is this a lazy repeat of the 60th diamond anniversary, but who in the living fuck actually achieves this milestone? And more importantly, HOW OLD WERE YOU when you got married in the first place to make it to 100 years of marriage, let alone just to survive that long?
Husband and I almost 8 years ago

Well of course this required some research…and by that I mean the internet and 2 minutes of skimming a webpage or two.  According to Wikipedia, the longest marriage is just shy of 90 years, and the couple was married in 1925 (born in 1905 and 1912). It looks like they are still alive (again, believe what you want from the internet), but that would make them around 110 and 103 years old, so I’m not sure I trust this completely.

Anyway, in summary, try harder than a bag of groceries if you make it to your 44th wedding anniversary, or the chances of making it to your 100th decreases even more dramatically….unless of course your partner really, really likes sauerkraut.   

Friday 18 September 2015

Me vs Climbing Up a Wall

Back in the day...
Since having kids, Husband and I have not been able to get out rock climbing anywhere near to as often as we’d like.  Back in the glory days we climbed indoors at least twice a week, outdoors whenever we could, and had rock-hard climbing physiques. (Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, and more wishful thinking than actual truth)

My oldest on the wall
While my oldest is finally starting to enjoy climbing, and is able to follow basic safety directions when the mood strikes her, the youngest (who just turned two) may as well be a lemming looking for the nearest cliff to jump off of. His desire to do whatever it is he’s doing knows no bounds and the only way to have him acknowledge you is to scream “CAKE” at which point he may look in your direction briefly. Not ideal when he’s heading off into the rattlesnake-infested bush while you’re halfway up a rock face trying to get his attention.
My smallest climber

So when both kids went away for two weeks to hang out with grandparents, Husband and I figured we’d take the opportunity to get some climbing in. In theory, this sounds good. In practice, it could’ve gone more smoothly.

First, we had to put the trip off for the first week the kids were away because of my unfortunate encounter with the step stool who was being kind of a dick sitting in the middle of my kitchen. My toe didn’t allow me to put my regular shoes on, let alone the foot prisons that are climbing shoes. (As I write this weeks later, my toe still aches. Fucking step stool.)

We finally headed out to the bluffs after work one afternoon, when my toe said it was ok. It was a nice day….in OUR town.  The weather at the wall (a few towns over) was a little more suspect. There were gloomy looking clouds but no rain, so we set off.

For some reason that I’m having problems rationalizing now, I went first up the trail. And by trail, I mean goat track. An overgrown, bushy, grassy, goat track.

Now, I was intellectually aware that snakes existed in Skaha park, but I’d never seen one and therefore I imagined that they wouldn’t dare come out to ruin my happy place. Not true. Snakes are assholes, and I swear they take some kind of macabre pleasure in coming out to ruin my day.
Just as I was about to put my foot down on the path, the slithery bastard went shooting out from under the tuft of grass I was going to step on, and rocketed off the path and into the underbrush.

I had a heart attack.

Once I had recovered from that heart attack, I got curious and peered into the bush to see what kind of snake it was, because, you know, stupidity. Jerk had a rattle. I was pretty much ruined for the rest of the hike, and Husband had to take the lead. I wanted a stick. A big one.

But we pressed on because we’d come all this way, and besides, the snake was back there and I wasn’t going back there again. Ever. This would make the trip home…difficult, but this was a problem for future-me.

And then it started to rain. And then it started to rain more. And then the thunder came.

Me: Honey, maybe this isn’t the best time to climb a rock face with a bunch of metal gear strapped to your mid-section, you know, given the thunder storm developing immediately over us?

Husband: It’ll be fine.

Me: Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the same line of reasoning everyone uses just before things become not fine.

Husband: It’ll be fine.
And up he went.

Luckily by this point the worst of the storm had moved beside rather than directly over us, however it was still perhaps the most intense thunder I’ve ever heard. It was almost constant, with only 30 seconds or so between rumbles. This gave the impression of climbing in a war zone, with bombs going off around us regularly.

The sun in the background is a total lie.
I'm also aware selfie sticks are ridiculous, but this
is the only way to successfully capture this view.
Please forgive me.
We both eventually made it up and down the climbs without suffering an untimely death due to lightening strike, and managed to avoid snake bites for the duration of the trip. The weather eventually granted us quarter, and it turned into a reasonably nice evening. 

That said, Husband’s pants were not so lucky. Their life ended right there on the mountain when he, though some feat of gymnastic prowess, managed to tear the ass out of his pants. 

I chose to be kind and didn’t make him get out to fill up the gas tank at the gas station on the way home. I did, however, forget his pin code and locked out his credit card.

It was a good trip.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Me vs Jem....thanks Netflix

I've been reliving my youth watching Jem and the Holograms on Netflix over the last couple of days with my 6 year old (who now sings the theme song on a loop), and I've made a couple of observations about what was once my favourite show as a child: 

1. Jem/Jerrica pretty much pushes her boyfriend Reo to cheat with herself at the beginning. He resists at first and then goes ahead anyway, because why the hell not? For some reason that I can't fathom, this isn't a problem for Jem, and she actually feels bad for not telling him who she is. This is confusing and stupid.  

2.  It seems like almost every episode has Jem in at least one, if not multiple, life threatening situations. Bombings, car accidents, fires in the recording studio, gargoyles falling off of buildings onto your photo ops, kidnapping, catastrophic property destruction......who knew being a Battle of the Bands contender was such a daily struggle for your life and well being. I had no idea. 

3. The Misfits should have been arrested approximately 62 times within the first 5 episodes. They are destructive, and on more than one occasion very nearly commit manslaughter. If any group or individual pulled as many dick moves of sabotage as they did, they would be in jail.

4. It occurs to no one to call the police about the Misfits and their management company's very definite criminal behaviour. Wouldn't this pretty much solve all the problems? The scheming is almost painful to watch, and blatantly stupid, however no one seems to think that consequences beyond losing the above mentioned Battle of the Bands are necessary.  

5. The music is just bad. I can still sing along to it, but whereas that used to be something I was proud of (like the ability to lip sync convincingly to Ice Ice Baby), now it's just sad. 

As a connoisseur of children's programming (which I've apparently become since having kids) I have to say that I would give Jem at best a 3 out of 10, most of which is given due to nostalgia, and not due in any part to quality. 

But it's still better than Caillou or Max and Ruby. Those shows were shit out by a parent-hating sadist who wanted to watch the world burn.

To summarize: Go read a book.