Saturday 21 January 2017

Me vs Some Unsettling Shit

I am Canadian. I didn't vote for Trump, I couldn't vote against him, I don't live in his kingdom, and the internal workings of his country are his to shit on, not mine. 

But this isn't that simple, and I can't leave this one alone.

The day the news broke that this demagoguing cheeto had won the election, I broke down and cried. I ugly cried. This terrified my husband, as I'm not a crier, and he could not for the life of him figure out what was wrong. And for a while, neither could I.

I didn't care about the fucking politics. I mean, I'd like him not to shit on foreign policies and health care for the sake of humanity as a whole, but that wasn't it. 

It was people. It was the utter lack of compassion he showed for others that was so unsettling. I couldn't (and still can't) wrap my head around how anyone could listen to his hate filled rhetoric and be ok with it. How could anyone choose to be ok with a leader who lies and hates so much? Who encourages his followers (sheep) to hate, and express their hate publicly and violently? Who considers women to be there for his enjoyment so sexually assaulting them is ok? Who finds LGBT people abhorrent? And who takes joy in telling women what parts of their bodies are no longer under their control? The people who voted for  and otherwise supported him basically said "Yeah, I'm good with all that. He has the best words!" I just couldn't. It was too much. 

And it still is. 

But then today happened, and I cried again (this is becoming a deeply disturbing pattern). My computer was flooded by images of the Women's March all around the world. People, millions of people, coming together to say this shit isn't ok. The signs people held up were simple and strong, and said everything I'd been trying to. It was amazing. 

So, well done humans.  I think there's some hope for us after all. 

Monday 16 January 2017

Me vs The Accidental Date

I've been with Husband for a long time now. It follows then, that I've also been out of the dating scene for an equally long time. I don't consider this a bad thing, because as far as I can tell the actual act of dating is equivalent to wilfully pulling out your own hair while sitting on a bed of hot coals. Sure, there is the honeymoon period when everything is unicorns shitting rainbows made especially for you, but getting to those unicorns seems like boundless drudgery and torture. 

Me and Husband 13-ish years ago.   
Occasionally I see people in sparkly new relationships and reminisce about earlier times, feeling a pang of jealousy for the newness that has long since passed. But then I remember the drunk idiots out there trying to pick up girls at the bar by drugging them into submission, and it reinforces my relief that I'm done trying to secure a mate. No more chest-thumping primates arguing over who's got the bigger....banana. I don't have to consider them as possible long-term companions. 

So imagine my surprise when I ended up on a disturbingly date-like encounter, compliments of my 7 year old. 

My daughter and I had planned to go out for dinner at a local restaurant together (she's 7, so think inedible fast food). We went in and she was instantly hug-tackled by another girl, who she knew from school.  This greeting was then inevitably followed by the realization that they could now eat together. Goody!

I tried to explain to my daughter that her friend and her friend's dad probably wanted to eat together, and that we should do the same. Alone. Without them. I was categorically ignored. I'm not sure why I even bothered using words.  Finally agreeing, or more accurately, acknowledging defeat, I made incredibly awkward eye contact with her father, and we did the parental "we won't win, so just let it happen" head nod. The girls ran off to find a table, and we got our food.

In a passable reprisal of a scene from Dead Man Walking, I went hunting for the table the girls had chosen. They had picked a booth. Of course they had.  And they were sitting on one side together leaving the opposite side for the two adults to wedge into. Yup, of course they were.

So the dad and I snuggled into our side of the (surprisingly small) booth, because really, what options were left at that point, and my date and I had a lovely dinner filled with floundering small talk and peppered with shrieking laughter from the girls who were all but ignoring us; one big happy blended family out for a night on the town. We were just darling.
A much more recent (and awesome!) picture. 

To this day, what surprises me most is that no one saw us out on our date, as this is a small town, and the percentage chance of seeing someone you know is surprisingly high. And while I went home and laughed about it with my husband (because I'm nothing if not good at the retelling of awkward situations), I fully expected that at some point down the road he would come home with a report about how I was treacherously sneaking around with another man, albeit poorly, as who takes their kids with them on a clandestine date?

And so, however accidentally, I got to briefly revisit the dating world, and forever cement in my mind why I never want to reenter it. The joys of new relationships are exciting and fun, but the awkward conversations, bizarre dating rituals, and the "Does he tend towards psychopathy?" guessing games don't seem worth it to me anymore. Instead I'll take my husband, who maybe isn't as new and shiny, but who helps make kids lunches, lets me sleep in on the weekends, and probably does more laundry than I do. He is still my unicorn.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Me vs Icebergs and Ditches

This afternoon I experienced what I like to call a "Titanic Event".

This title in no way references the actual scale of the event, but more the calamity of it. I believe "Titanic Events" occur when an otherwise simple situation goes completely tits up for stupid and entirely preventable reasons, in much the same way it did for the actual Titanic. If only they'd hadn't ignored iceberg warnings, had binoculars, had enough life boats, actually filled the lifeboats they did have to capacity, et cetera, then maybe 1500 people wouldn't have died. You know, little things.

In my case, no one died, boats didn't sink the the bottom of the ocean, and I can safely promise that there won't be a theme song. It was, however, extremely stupid, and far more aggravating that it had any right to be.

First, it was fucking cold outside: -20 C assuming my thermometer wasn't lying to me. I had just taken my youngest down to the bus stop to pick up my daughter after school, and we were driving home, coming up the hill to our driveway. 

Normally this would be no big thing, except a couple of days ago we got a new vehicle, and it is significantly bigger than the old one. As an added not-benefit,  it doesn't have the studded tires I'm accustomed to. No big deal, right. (I can see an iceberg in the distance.....)

And I'm sure it wouldn't have been a big deal if I hadn't misjudged the overall girth of said new vehicle, caught the edge of the snow filled ditch at the side of the road, and been unable to get enough traction with my un-studded tires to pull myself and my now panicked kids out of the ditch.

Now, imagine if you will, me and two unhappy children stuck at a rather concerning angle in a new and unfamiliar vehicle, surrounded by air-that-hurts-your-face. Good times. Add to this (remember Titanic...) the fact that I was wearing pyjama pants because I hadn't ever intended to get out of the car, my 3 year old wasn't wearing shoes because we had hoped for an uneventful bus pick up, and that we live in a place where we can't see our neighbours and therefore had no easily accessible means of rescue. Super good times.

It was at roughly this point that the kids learned it was ok to use oh shit and for fucks sake in a sentence as long as your car was stuck in a ditch.

So we did the only reasonable thing we could and abandoned the car to its fate to begin hiking home (depending on your fortitude either a mere or ponderous 400 m); me carrying a very unhappy and shoeless 3 year old, and my daughter stoically trudging along beside me, rehearsing how her version of the story was going to go when dad got home.  I spent much of the hike promising hot chocolate with marshmallows, while mentally calculating how much Baileys I could get away with in my own. 

And then, as though things weren't already enough of a cluster fuck, I felt a draft. My jacket's zipper had split open providing me the winter jacket equivalent of a crop top. Because of course it had. 

And with that, the Titanic finally went down. 

To keep the analogy going however, the metaphorical life raft of this arctic adventure came in the form of a well timed neighbour who happened to be passing by in his giant truck. Luckily, he was able to take us back to our car, and tow us out. 
He even promised not to tell anyone. 
My kids made no such promise though, so I'm sure it will be common knowledge by morning that mom can't keep it on the road. 

And with that, I'm off to find the Baileys.