Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Mrs. Chicken over at Chicken and Cheese had the idea to create a slice of collective blogger fiction. I stumbled across it and surfed around the web reading all the additions. As a last minute request I am thankful that she let me throw my twist into the story.
The Mother Of All Memes
(by Mrs. Chicken of Chicken and Cheese)
I thought I saw him at the grocery store. It was raining that afternoon, and he had an umbrella. The red and white triangles that made up his portable shelter partly obscured his face, but I caught a glimpse of his eyes. Those eyes. Huge, blue and empty.
When he left me I remember searching their vast cerulean expanse for some sign, some flicker of love. It rained that day, too. Why does it rain when you lose someone you love? My tears left him unmoved. I don’t know why that surprised me.
The baby kicked in my cart and I let my gaze fall on her face. Her father’s eyes stared back at me. Green eyes, warm and full of life."Mamma?" she said. "Mamma!"
(by Binky of 24/7)
The question-turned-exclamation jarred me out of my reverie. There was pressure in my temples and behind the hazel tint of my colored contact lenses. "Mamma's here," I cooed. My voice was a manufactured kind of soothing. I leaned in and brushed a kiss over Bethany's forehead, where a drop of rainwater hung like the tiniest Swarovski pendant. Its chain was made of fine blond locks.
"What do you think, baby girl?" I asked as I pulled her into my arms. "Is it time to go home?" Her searching legs and center of gravity found all the right contours as she settled atop the jut of my hip. I tugged at her coat until the hood framed her face, then I stepped into the rain. A small deluge of water streamed off the curve of the lowercase "o" on the Save-A-Lot sign and landed at the back of my neck. I could feel the tag from my shirt sticking sharp and soggy to my skin.
I sighed against Bethany's face and tried to avoid the bigger puddles on our way to my twenty year old Civic, which was miraculously close. One row over and three cars ahead, I saw a familiar red and white umbrella spanning the gap between an open door and the driver's seat of a rusty 4Runner that had to be as old as my own piece of junk. The guy I'd mistaken for Paul sat sideways and watched the rain as he talked into a cell phone.
(by Tony of Creative-Type Dad)
Hastily reaching into my purse holding Bethany firmly, I could faintly hear the sound of his voice. His mumbled words were almost too reminiscent of Paul’s. The way he laughed as he said "Gouda" into his plastic phone brought back imagery of the two of us, sitting together last winter on the living room floor, sipping Merlot watching "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Occasionally Paul would jokingly burst out vocabulary in his comedic English accent – expressions like "Don Perignon!" and "Caviar Dreams!" oh, how I loved Caviar and that faux bear skin rug.
With keys finally in hand, stumbling to open the rusty car door, I could sense this stranger's stare against my cheek. His phone chatter abruptly ended and I could hear the sounds of squeaking cowboy boots crushing the wet pavement.
(by Occidental Girl of The Occidental Tourist)
My mind was suddenly full of so many thoughts vying for my attention at the same time that I couldn't think straight.
It can't be him, I thought, no way. What would I say? What do I look like? What am I wearing???
The answers came in rapid succession: It could be him, it's okay if it's him because I'm not angry anymore; I could talk about my fulfilling life that I've enjoyed since knowing him, like this beautiful child I created with someone else, without him; I look like shit but since I'm too hard on myself in general, I probably look just fine; men - especially Paul - don't notice what women are wearing unless it's nothing at all. Then, they notice.
When you coincidentally encounter someone you loved once, a long time ago, the traitorous mind tends to retrieve only the good memories and leave the battles and frustrations out of it. This leaves us to wonder what in the world we ever thought was wrong and maybe it was a mistake to end the relationship. After all, doesn't every relationship have ups and downs? Ours certainly did. It was passionate, without a doubt, but in every area: the loving AND the fighting. It was when the fighting overtook the loving that we fell apart. I wonder if he ever thought about all of that, even now. Paul didn't seem to notice many things unless they were stark - naked or otherwise.
And yet, here he was - maybe - coming over to talk after all this time. I took a deep breath, then turned around.
(by Meg of Maine-ly Megin)
"Hey." He practically whispered.
Oh. My. God.
"Hi." Was it relief or despair?
"I wasn't sure you'd remember me."
"No, I..." Not Paul. Not Paul. Not Paul. Who the hell was it?
"Peter Johnston, I sat behind you in statistics freshman year.
Peter freakin' Johnston. I felt my pulse in my neck, and I focused my breathing the way I had 15 short months ago in labor. Not Paul.
Peter held his umbrella over me and the squirmy Bethany. Idle chat. Wife, 3 kids, new job, just moved into town, wife hasn't met anyone yet. Not Paul. Not Paul. Peter was bursting with the need to share his happiness, which allowed him to simply see an old acquaintance, not someone's former lover plagued by mere memory.
"Dinner sounds great, I'd love to meet Lisa and the kids."
With the baby buckled in and my door as close to closed as it got, I watched Peter close his own door. The rain rushed down the window and distorted the images. It blended the head and brake lights of the cars winding their way through the parking lot.
(by Bethany of mommy writer)
The seven-thirty hour, the one right after dinner, is always the worst. Waiting for Daniel to come home, feeding and changing Bethany for bedtime, cleaning the kitchen. It's a nuisance and a routine all the same.
That is, until Daniel comes stumbling into the back door in nothing short of drunkeness.
"Hi honey," he chirped balancing himself against the cracked linoleum counter kicking off his shoes, "Sorry I'm late."
When isn't he late?
"S'okay," I look up from the over-used skillet I'd been tackling with a worn Scotch pad for the last 15 minutes, "Had a good time tonight?"
Daniel only tripped past my shoulder to the spaghetti, waiting in the stained Tupperware and fixed himself a plate of dinner.
It's just as well. I didn't have the energy to congratulate him on an obvious vacuum sale. Not today. The office post-sale drinks in celebration are too habitual, if not an excuse. And it isn't as if he'd just made a commission worth writing home about. It was more like we'd be able to splurge on groceries. Or buy Bethany the expensive diapers.
"This is good," he chewed, spilling sauce to the edges of his lips. The edges I used to adore when he spent more time smiling.
"Bethany went to bed easily tonight," I said more to myself than Daniel. "For once anyway."
Daniel shoveled another tangle of noodles into his mouth. He was either too drunk to realize I was trying engage him in conversation, or plain ignoring me.
I rinsed the pot and placed it beside the sink where the drying rack should be, the one I was too lazy to take from the bottom cupboard. Patting my hands on the stretched blue jeans that hugged my legs for the last two days, I pecked my husband on the forehead and walked towards the bedroom.
Just before leaving the hallway, I called back to him, "Your nemesis, Peter Johnston is back in town. We're having dinner with him, wife, and kids this weekend."
(Heather of Cool Zebras)
I paused for a moment just inside the bedroom door. Ahhh. There it was, the choked sputter of breath, then silence.
I allowed my thoughts to wander while I pulled on my well-worn flannel nightie.
Peter and Daniel had been at odds since they were five. Preschool battles over who got the first cracker evolved into teenage hostilities on the basketball court. B Squad basketball at that. If there was something they could compare, you could bet there would be a pissing contest about it.
I’d avoided both of them in high school.
I continued my bedtime routine and tried to ignore the clink of bottles from the kitchen. I pulled at the corners of each eye and slipped out my contacts. Even to me my eyes looked tired, my skin drawn. It has been too long since I’ve dyed my roots.
The woman in the mirror looked sad, but then one corner of my mouth started to twitch.
I loved that Peter had no idea that I married Daniel.
(by Christy of yankeeinontario)
As I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, I thought about the fireworks that were sure to happen during dinner next week. I wondered about Peter's wife. Would I like her? Would she like me? What would I wear? Could I possibly get myself poured into a pair of slacks without the 2% lycra content that allowed me into my jeans? Would I be able to carry on an intelligent conversation about something besides the newest Fisher Price offering or the latest guest star on Sesame Street?
I worried myself into a wide awake tizzy until I heard Peter dragging himself up the steps in his drunken stupor. He slammed the bedroom door against the wall and the baby woke up, howling with the injustice of being awakened. "Now you've done it, you ass!", I hissed at Peter. I hauled myself out of bed, cursing my husband, too drunk to tend to his daughter. He was snoring, face down on the bed, when I returned after quieting Bethany. And here I am, 1 a.m. Still awake.
(by Tater and Tot)
It took 2 full hours before I fell into a deep sleep. My buddy anger had given up and dosed off, but my good friend discontent was up and ready for a party. I tossed and turned while the tides of thoughts surged through my mind. Is this really as good as it was going to get? Was this life to its fullest? This certainly wasn't what I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I never thought to add dirty dishes, laundry, half-nights of sleep, poopy diapers and stained Tupperware to my pretend play. Nor did I think that my thoughts would drift toward a "what if" life with an ex instead of spending time with any of the other 25 letters. I’ve watched enough Dr. Phil to know that I only think about Paul because I can make the pretend relationship however I want it to be.
But then there is real life - and Daniel. Complacency is his best friend. He’ll sell Kirbys door to door for the next 30 years and never be bored - or promoted. He’ll have the same celebratory drinks at the same bar with the same guys and revel in the predictability. He’ll be obliviously happy and expect the same from me.
"If only it were that easy," I whispered out loud before drifting off into a hard, dreamless sleep.
But not before I felt the very first quickening deep in my womb. Sixteen weeks. Right on schedule.
(by Michelle of NewDotMom)
The days of our week tripped by, falling and stumbling over one another like my own emotions. The dreaded sameness wearied me as it sustained me - I could drift on the eddies of the routine without thought. And then, finally, it was Saturday night. Bethany was bathed and fed earlier than usual - there was no way I'd be trying to feed a cranky toddler in someone else's home. It was basically asking for a full-body dousing in applesauce and strained peas. Of course, I thought, getting drenched in baby food might be a step up on the fashion scale if a miracle didn't occur in my closet sometime soon.
Silence greeted me from the den, where dual screens vyed for my husband's attention. The television screamed, the XBox roared, and the man I'd pledged to love, honor, and cherish all the days of my life sat open mouthed between the two. "Daniel! What are you doing in here? We need to leave soon, I'm not dressed, and you need to watch Bethany while I get ready." Still, silence. Either he was deliberately ignoring me again, or he was starting to experience hearing loss from all those surround-sound speakers he kept blaring at top volume. I finally stepped between Daniel and the TV, positioning my body so that he couldn't see the game.
"What the hell!? Laura, move your wide load outta here. I'm trying to watch the Skins."
"Look, you need to watch Bethany for a little while. I have to get dressed - and we are leaving in forty minutes. Dinner with Peter and Lisa, remember? We never go out anymore - we are not cancelling this. So I don't want to hear it, okay? Just... here!"
I plopped Bethany onto her father's lap, and smiled in spite of myself. Seeing her beautiful green eyes and their older, larger counterparts in Daniel's face reminded me of what was good and right in our house. Maybe not every day, maybe not every minute, but mostly. My hand involuntarily sought out the soft curve of my belly, and I sighed. Then I turned on my heel and stomped up the stairs to wrestle with my clothes decisions. I was going to have fun tonight, no matter what Daniel did or said.
(by Kristi of A Beautiful Mess)
Wiping away my tears of frustration, I pulled my tousled hair into a clip. I walked over to the small closet that Daniel and I shared, and picked out the newest outfit in my wardrobe, which was hardly new at all. It didn't matter; the night was destined to be a failure anyway and whether I looked good or bad wasn't going to change a thing.
My stomach began to flutter, reminding me of the growing life in my womb. The innocent baby that would be born into this miserable marriage. I sat down on the unmade bed, the tears flowing, my thoughts racing. How did I get here? I'm not in love anymore. Was I really ever in love with Daniel in the first place? Something needs to change; I just can't do this anymore.
Simultaneously, the chiming of the clock and the cry of a neglected child snapped my mind back into focus. Bethany stood in the doorway, tears staining her cheeks. I hollered for Daniel, but was met with only stiff silence. Already knowing what that meant, I went to check on him anyway. Of course, there he lay, passed out on the sofa, with cold bottle still in hand. There would be no waking him. I was all too familiar with this routine.
Stoically, I collected Bethany and my purse and headed out the door alone.
(by Desitin's Child)
In the car, I had time to take stock. To my credit, I was not late. I had planned ahead and had a fed, rested, clean child; and a diaper bag with everything she'd need in it. My clothes were presentable, if not fashionable, and there was even gas in the car. I am a competent person, I reminded myself. Then I remembered Daniel on the couch, and thought, I deserve better than this.
I turned onto Arrowood, deliberately taking the slow route to give myself more time to think. Crazy scenarios hummed in my ears like movie music, simultaneously seductive and ridiculous.
Peter and Lisa and I will become really close, and when they hear about Daniel's habits, they'll insist that I leave him and come and live with them. Our kids can all share toys and clothes, and... No, what would I do for money? I'm pregnant and have a toddler.
Peter and Lisa will propose a menage-a-trois, and then... No. With all those kids around? that's just impossible.
They'll be so taken with my level-headedness that they'll make me their business partner and... Come on, I can't even balance my checkbook.
This dinner is just an elaborate ruse. There is some dramatic surprise waiting for me. There's somebody they want me to meet, a handsome widower, or - maybe it's actually Paul. Okay, stop it already.
I forced myself to turn off the movie music and think like the serious scientist I used to be. I had a phone, a change of clothes for Bethany in the trunk, and $40 in cash. And I had just turned onto Peter's street.
(by Mrs. Maladjusted)
As I tumbled awkwardly out of the car door in front of Peter's house, I cursed the forgotten clumsiness that comes with pregnancy. I already felt many more months pregnant than I was, but that was all too much to think about at the moment. All I wanted was a nice glass of Chardonnay to settle my nerves, knowing full well that regardless of recent studies about a glass of wine or two being okay during pregnancy according to some doctors, I wasn't willing to risk the stirring and developing life inside me. Not when there was the chance it could come out much like the amazing child currently waiting surprisingly patient in the back seat for me to rescue her from the cage of her car seat.
I pulled Bethany out, along with my bag of tricks as I liked to think of it, containing all we could possibly need to get through the evening (you know, aside from a new husband, a new situation, a new life...). "Stop that!", I told myself.
I tucked her onto my hip and headed for the door, ringing the doorbell of the gorgeous and impressive two story cape cod in a neighborhood I dreamed of living in my entire life. Complete with white picket fence and playset off to the side yard, Peter and Lisa appeared from the outside to have it all. Fancy home, expensive SUV parked in the drive. Such lucky people in such an unlucky world it seemed. How could I have possibly have anticipated the very different story waiting to great me once I walked through that fateful door.
Peter welcomed us as he lightly bounced their youngest child. The first thing that struck me was the sight of this cherub with rosy cheeks and big blue eyes. He had to be six months old. Past the impeccably decorated entrance, my gaze fell on the graceful figure. I saw her standing in the living room. I stood frozen like a deer in headlights wondering if I could bolt. My mind was racing. Without a doubt I knew that Peter's wife was Paul's Lisa.
I took a deep breath and regained my composure. I had never met Lisa. The piercing pain had only slightly dulled from when I found the letter that she wrote to Paul. It ultimately triggered the beginning of our inevitable demise. With the evidence in hand I had confronted him and he confessed that he was seeing his ex-girlfriend Lisa. Paul had been convinced that she was going to leave her husband and they would live happily ever after. I had seen her photo in the pewter frame that he had kept turned over in his desk drawer. I had always wondered if he had it on display when I wasn't at his apartment.
Here I was now standing in her new house being greeted by her husband and this perfect child.
(Stay tuned... The conclusion will be written by Mrs. Chicken)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Every time I asked Strawberry what she wanted for Christmas she gave me a different answer. It might have been a smart move to get more stuff but it actually was that commercialism hasn't hit her yet. She didn't know what she wanted.
She ended up getting an Aquadoodle Mat and her little sister scored a new Little People set. They both got books, movies and music. Buttercup oooh'ed and aaaah'ed as every item was unwrapped.
It was an iPod for Colin. He's been up to all hours organizing his music. Our digital camera started acting up and I've wanted to upgrade for a while. Lucky me. I got a new one! Now we all have new toys to play with.
There was one thing that I wanted even more and I got it too! Our seventeen month old Buttercup took two steps on her own. I burst out sweet tears of joy!
On a sad note, Colin's family dog Koira passed away on Christmas day. We discovered that her lungs were full of liquid and a lump on her chest turned out to be cancer. Koi was the fastest dog in the park. She was calm, trusting and dearly loved.
We couldn't help pondering why Boxing Day Sales didn't extend to all businesses. Colin and I spent a little time coming up with some places that we'd like to see have super specials. We want blow out sales at liquor stores, gas stations and Tim Horton's. That would make us happy campers.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Metro Mama asked for my five favourite Christmas songs. I decided to share five times that because I want to demonstrate just how much holiday cheer I have uncovered.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Oh Holy Night
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
The First Noel
Away in a Manger
The Christmas Song
Rockin Around The Christmas Tree
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Frosty The Snowman
Jingle Bell Rock
Merry Christmas, Baby
Holly Jolly Christmas
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Now I just need to cheer up these sad little elves. I'm hoping Santa leaves them something that makes them smile because I don't want to have to spike their sippy cups.
I hope the day is filled with happiness for you and yours!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
You can read about how I have been feeling at Mommy Blogs Toronto.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Oh the sharp pain - I am now acutely aware of just how much saliva I produce. Even though it feels like there are a thousand razor blades in the back of my throat every time that I swallow, I desperately want to move far away from the experience in my last post. Enough about sickness. I need a good dose of festive cheer. Kittenpie to rescue! She offered up a Holiday Meme.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Could I have a non-fat gingerbread latte no whip instead please? Thanks!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just place them under the tree?
I think his elves wrap them. He doesn't have time to do all the work.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Pretty multi-colored lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, that's much too dangerous.
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Oh right! I should do that! Our naked Christmas tree sits in our living room like it is just another plant. A really tall seven foot plant.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Perogies soaked in butter and onions.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
Getting together with my mom's side on Christmas Eve and then traveling to my dad's side on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve was always rambunctious with plenty of anticipation. On Christmas Day I couldn't wait to see what my Grandma had drawn on their windows.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What? Did he have an affair? No, not Santa! Say it isn't so.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Growing up we always got to pick one present from under the tree to open on Christmas Eve. Lately we've been exchanging gifts with Colin's side of the family on the 24th.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Lights first, strings of beads, then all the ornaments with a final shimmer of icicles. I might add that they are put on one by one as I'm an insane perfectionist.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it as I watch from the warmth of being inside.
12. Can you ice skate?
I used to be quite good at it as I was in lessons since I was four years old. Once I got to the stage where I had to go before and after school, I dropped out.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I loved them all. I honestly don't remember not liking a present as a child. Unfortunately all the years are starting to blend together. I do remember not wanting to part for a second with my record player.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being together with family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I love a large selection of bite sized sweets on festive holiday trays. I really need to gather the recipes so that I can recreate these dainties.
I used to love throwing an annual party. We really should continue to do that. You never outgrow the need for holiday "spirits" to toast the Season.
17. What tops your tree?
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
The classics are all so good but an untraditional choice would be "Thanks for Christmas" by XTC.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
I've never been a fan but Strawberry loves them!
If you so desire, spread the holiday cheer. Don't forget to get in on the goodness at Her Bad Auction.
by ms blue at 11:50 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I was feeling invincible. Sure I had battled a constant nagging sickness for three weeks. It was something that felt like I was sure to live with for at least a dozen years. I had resigned myself to get used to the feeling of being slightly under the weather. When you never get enough rest and are exposed to an insane number of germs, this is to be taken for granted.
Then a new bug emerged. First Buttercup got this awful strain of yuck. Then Colin. Little did I know that Strawberry was starting to fall ill. After a particularly long day, I crashed next to her and was awoken by projectile vomit Into. My. Mouth. I will be using this episode for the next fifteen years. No you cannot go to the movies with Isabella because you puked in my mouth. No you cannot go on the school ski trip because you puked in my mouth. No you cannot have those new designer jeans because you puked in my mouth.
Three days after this horrific experience I still was feeling like I might escape this nasty bug. Not so. I'm down for the count. Yesterday I couldn't even sit up. I couldn't imagine sleeping any longer so today I decided to give it a go but I hurt. Everywhere. I will be toasting good health this season with zealous vitality.
If you haven't already checked out Her Bad Auction, you will want to get on that! Please dig out the credit card and find it in your heart to buy some raffle tickets. Here is a chance to win while 100% of the proceeds will support Muscular Dystrophy research.***********************************
Also if you could have your child write a letter or draw a picture for Tanner it would make the world that much brighter. Get all the details here.
by ms blue at 2:54 PM
Friday, December 08, 2006
There are things that I'm passionate about in life. I hope that my children will love certain things as much as I do. Already I can see that we all share a fondness for chocolate. Really, how could we not?
Music is something that I equate to air. It surrounds me. I don't think I could live without it. Dancing, singing and listening are daily activities. Experts have said that playing an instrument will make you smarter. I can imagine that to be true. There is definitely a correlation between music and mathematics.
The other thing that I have encouraged is a love for reading. There is nothing like escaping with a great novel. I could never have too many books. In a fantasy world I live in a mansion with many walls lined with books. There would also be an out of this world wine cellar but I digress.
Books are a wonderful thing to collect. When I shop for them I can always find one that I want and they never make me feel fat! I love having books piled up in my living room and bedroom waiting for me. It's like knowing a great adventure is awaiting me.
Today teachers, librarians and parents around the world will be celebrating Scholastic's 8th annual Read for Life by reading for 2,007 seconds (33 ½ minutes). I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of Strawberry's current favourites.
Kiss Kiss! by Margaret Wild and Illustrator Bridget Strevens-Marzo - A sweet tale about a baby hippo that forgets to kiss his mommy but is reminded by the other animals in the jungle.
Miss Spider's ABC by David Kirk - One of her first favourites, this brightly coloured board book tells the story of a variety of bugs preparing for a surprise birthday party for Miss Spider. Strawberry still loves this book because she participates by announcing the letter on each page.
Disney's Little Einsteins: Music of the Meadow by Susan Ring and Illustrators Katie Nix and Kelly Peterson - She's recently become enthralled with this Disney show. The book combines her love of reading, as well as music and even her desire to be an astronaut.
I Love You: A Rebus Poem by Jean Marzollo and Illustrator Suse Macdonald - A sweet poem with images for her to read.
The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz - This poor hippo has a bad case of the hiccups. This book is a lot of fun with made up words to rhyme.
Thomas and the Shooting Star by W. Awdry and Illustrator Tommy Stubbs - A super bedtime story that leaves her dreamy. Thomas can't fall asleep so he goes off on a search to find a shooting star that will tell him the secret to get to sleep.
Bambi (Little Golden Book) by RH Disney - Even though I find this book hard to read, what with Bambi falling in love with his cousin and Disney's love of killing off all mothers, Strawberry often asks me to read it to her.
I think Buttercup will also be asking for this classic book, because when we went to the grocery store the other day she noticed the many reindeer that they have as decorations. She kept pointing and shouting "Deer!" with her eyes all aglow.
Some of my best moments are spent reading to my children. I love that quiet time spent cuddling and sharing stories. Strawberry already knows that I'm wrapped around her finger and has found the best way to delay bedtime. She'll innocently ask, "One more book mummy?"
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
(Hey it's me niloc. Check it out! I'm no longer a guest.)
I’m on the lam!
I am not a criminal. I didn’t wake up this morning and say: “This is it! Today I’m going to become a fugitive!”
After a typically long day I’m the one who picks up the girls from daycare. I fight rush hour traffic and seek the refuge of our little home. Today though I also had an assignment. I had to stop by a Post Office that was in the back of a store to pick up a package for the wife. We had received the notice in our mailbox the day before and since it’s on the way home for me, I was asked to tackle the job.
After I pick up the girls I find the store and park illegally. I tell the girls to sit tight and that I’ll be right back. I know it’s a big no no but I could see them from the store and this would only take a minute. I run inside and hand them the notice. They find it and ask for my ID. I hand over my Driver’s License. Both of the addresses match so no problem right? The guy behind the counter asks me who the package is addressed to. I say my wife. He then points out that her last name does not match mine therefore he could not give me the package. I look at him. wtf? I have picked up packages for her there before and have never had an issue. He repeats himself. I am sorry but your names do not match. My mind races. What is this? The 1940’s? Women these days don’t always change their name. Jana did add my surname (she now has five names) but she still goes by her maiden name in regards to work and other things. I repeat myself. She’s my wife! The package is a couple of pairs of leggings for our girls. The address on my ID matches the address on the package perfectly. What’s the issue? He goes on about something totally stupid but I’m thinking out the situation. The girls are in the car. I’m in a hurry. I am given a simple task by the wife and I am somehow failing that task. I want to get home and be done with this. I would like nothing more than to scream vile obscenities at this civil servant for being ignorant over some trivial detail. I am still talking in a calm tone and have a gentle demeanor.
He then goes on saying that my wife will have to pick up the package… but that’s why I’m here. Jana works later than I do and she would never make it. Further proof that I’m failing this simple task. We all live busy lives. To have to repeat this task in some manner somehow was unacceptable. And that’s when I calmly lost it. I took the package out of his hands and said "Thank You!" I didn’t run for the door. I slowly turned and started walking away. He said I can’t do that. He also added that he was calling the police. I offered to stand there and wait for them in some useless attempt to sound self righteous. He repeated himself about calling the cops and that he had my address. He held up the little notice that was left at our door the previous day. I asked him… "The same address that’s on my Driver’s License?" He stood there failing to grasp the humour of it so I continued my way out of the store.
Now I know my mistake the second I made it. Falling back on me being tired, frustrated and hurried or whatever does not justify me taking the package no matter how gentle I took it from his hands. I did something I’m not proud of. I have even gone through the stress of regretting it and wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Jana got home and quickly pointed out that there was $8.23 owing. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about with the cops showing up because I nabbed the package. Now I can also get pegged for theft under $100.00 (Do they even have that charge anymore? Or have they simply raised the limit to under $1000.00?) I have this image of Cliff Claven lecturing me on the seriousness of my offence and that the mail is a Federal Issue not to be taken lightly.
So now Jana is going to swing by there tomorrow morning to try and straighten things out. Who knows… maybe they just let the issue drop. The only problem with that is the $8.23 that’s owed is for Customs. Maybe the cops are too swamped with priority cases and will be knocking at the door at 3 AM. I don’t know but this is all crazy for something as insignificant as improper ID or being a stickler for detail. I don’t even know if I’ve managed to convey the frustration properly. Until then I’m on the lam from the law.
I can’t believe I’m getting bailed out by Jana.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Colin has been going on about the Hammerhead, pods and fingers. He has complained incessantly about being tired from never-ending walking. As the big project is nearing completion, he couldn't wait to show us where he's been spending his days.
This past Sunday we toured the new Pier F at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. It will become a hub of commuters between North America and the world as of January 30th. It was a real treat to have a sneak peak at the place that will see millions of travelers. It was magnificent and gleaming. Without the hordes of scowling people rushing to their gates, it was beyond spacious.
Of course we made the long trek out there and realized that we forgot the camera at home. In this day and age, you'd think one of our cell phones would at least be able to snap a few shots but technology advanced we are not.
Strawberry got to test out the moving walkways and climb on dozens of green seats. The highlight was the acoustically superb art. Richard Serra's Tilted Spheres is wondrous. We stomped, clapped and sang our way through the curved steel sculpture numerous times. The girls got to sit on Gwynn Murrill's Tigers.
I know the next time that I'm taking an international flight I'll be leaving from Gate 179. (One of the furthest possible gates on the Hammerhead.) However I'll be sure to arrive early so that I can take in the experience again with awe.
Friday, December 01, 2006
It's the first of December! What the H. E. double hockey sticks am I doing writing already? Well, I need to honor one of the best posts I have ever read. Indeed I wouldn't even call it a post. It's a beautifully written piece and it is something that needs to be read.
(This) Girl's Gone Child is a consistently brilliant blog. Rebecca makes me laugh myself silly. She introduced me to Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers. How did I live before applying this lip balm every few minutes? She has a complete doll of a son. She exudes coolness through her every word.
When I read "When The Children Disappear" I wept uncontrollably. Still through the sadness I am filled with understanding and hope. Her gift for writing is truly remarkable.