Sunday, April 30, 2006
Monday, May 1st marks two years that I have been writing the most intimate details of my life here. In honour of this day, I give you a Top 10 List, as I am apt to do from time to time, of my favourite entries from the past two years. (Unfortunately I lost all of the great comments people had left when I switched to Haloscan commenting last year)
Feel free to comment and suggest others fun entries I may have missed. Vote for your favourite one. Whatever you feel like. Anyway, enjoy the trip down memory lane. I hope you've enjoyed my sloppy wordy cocktails as much as I've enjoyed writing them.
My personal faves, in mostly chronological order:
10. The post that started it all: Welcome to Mommyland
9. A Womb with a View
8. Top 10 Surefire Ways to Piss Off a Pregnant Lady
7. Moments with my crazy Armenian mother: Harry or Harriet tied with Mother May I
6. A Letter to My Son
5. Memories of our early days: Introducing Nathaniel Jan Dislioglu Silverthorne tied with Gross...But Funny
4. I Love You From the Bottom of My Nether Regions
3. Waiting For the Ball to Drop
2. Kiddie Cult
1. A Tale of Two Titties
Honourable Mentions (I'll add your suggestions here)
The Thin Blue Line
Jesus and Nate are My Homeboys
Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag
Friday, April 28, 2006
This week’s challenge is Open Letter Week. I challenge those who are game to write an open letter (at least one) to anyone, anything, anyplace that you either hate or love. Then leave me a comment so I know where to find your open letter. I’ll start with one below as an example.
I was truly shocked when you lost to Furonda on ANTM this week. I thought you were pretty cool with your bald, international flare. Furonda, though far more hilarious and likeable than you, looks like a twig with a hair weave. You had the most high fashion potential, but at the end of the day, you're just not a Covergirl. On top of that, you're totally boring. Your boyfriend drama? What gives? You are way too hot to let some dickhead talk to you like that. For. Hours. On. End. You're better off making out with male models.
Nnenna, you needed to bring on some real diva antics like Miss Jade, who everyone hates, but secretly loves because she's the most fun reality show participant in a long time. (Oh those Jadeisms..."cutthroatingness" anyone?) Plus, I gotsta wonder, if they didn't shave your head, would you have been all that? Did everyone think you were so cool because you sported a bare head and a cool accent?
Oh Nnenna, you'll do alright. You'll probably get some modelling jobs regardless of winning or losing the show. But if you don't keep that boyfriend and your hair permanently out of your life, the next time we see your face will be behind the cash at Banana.
~ a Joanie Fan
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Kill me now.
There are so many things I've wanted to write about all week. Yesterday marked the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Normally I don't get political or historical, but I wanted to write about my thoughts and my family history. Started a paragraph, went nowhere.
Wanted to write an update about how my Friday Challenge of Threes was going (three sheets of toilet paper=tough). Again. Zzzzzz.
Wanted to write something on a conversation I had with Marla on what she coined the Beige-ification of Toronto. I wanted to write about how Marla and I were possibly "spotted" at the playground in our first quasi-blog-celebrity sighting and how weird it was. These posts may come, they may not. All I know is I am dying to write, write, write, but I haven't slept in two nights because some cute little mofo is sick again.
Don't you just love daycare and all the lovely germs that come with it?
It's easy to blame daycare though, isn't it? I mean, he got sick plenty of times before daycare. We are an extended family of kissers. Open-mouth slobbery kissers. Well, the open-mouth slobbering was started by my little homeboy. Before him, we were on-the-cheek kissers for the most part. Anyway, the kind of kissing that easily transmits germs runs rampant in my family. But it's so much easier to blame daycare, than to analyse why we seem to have brainwashed our son into kissing people, open-mouthed on-the-mouth, on command.
So as usual, I am tired from being up all night trying to keep him breathing, and sorta sick from kissing his cute snotty face all day. And as usual, the Dog has been off work for the past few days and eventhough we really haven't done anything "meaningful" together (well, we've had sex, but no dates or stimulating conversation), we've been around each other too much or something. He's out for a bike ride right now, a sure sign that we're quietly driving each other to madness.
Earlier this afternoon, we stood in our messy kitchen. "When are we going to get it together, Scarb?" Ok, he doesn't actually call me Scarb, but for some reason, I'm always shy to put up my real name here. I pretend not to know what he was talking about. "What do you mean?" But I know what he's going to say before he says it. The house is a mess. We try to make plans to clean it, but somehow, we can't keep up. My clothes are in a pile in a corner of my bedroom floor. Clean laundry mixed with dirty laundry. Clean laundry in the dryer for two days waiting for someone to remember it's there and fold it. The white melamine cabinets in the kitchen are covered in tomato sauce stains. The dust bunnies under the bed are asking for carrots and lettuce. The floor in the bedroom is partially unfinished. The garden needs to be tended to. The entire house needs to be repainted. The fence is a tetanus shot waiting to happen. We only just remembered to do our taxes today.
Living this way causes anxiety and stress, A cluttered house is a cluttered mind and all that shit. I get it. But something's gotta give. I cannot write everyday and then keep up with everyone else's writing. I cannot keep up with every hip show on TV and still have time to read all the books I should read for work and for my brain. I cannot cook meals for my family and still find time to dust the ceiling fans. How do people do it? Which thing falls off the plate? I feel like I'm doing a bunch of things half-assed, instead of a few things really well. The Dog clearly feels the same way and it sucks ass. It's like running with your head against the wall. We're going nowhere and we feel like we suck at everything. So how does one do it? Seriously here. I need advice on time management or something.
I thought about the Dog's question as I scarfed down the best beef patty in the T-dot (Mr Patty on Kingston Rd, just before Morningside), making sure to dust up the crumbs so I wouldn't piss him off further with my slovenliness. I responded with the only thing I could think of, "Well, if we were perfect, we'd have nothing to strive for would we? And then life would be pretty fucking boring."
We were both bummed that neither of us could muster a solution better than that half-assed answer. I walked away with the intention of doing something productive around the house. Instead of doing what I thought I should be doing (cleaning the dirty ass floors), I snuggled up on the couch with my sick toddler and a book. He was sick enough to actually want to lie there in the crook of my arm, contentedly sucking his thumb and alternately trying to breathe through his conjested nose. And as I sniffed the top of his brown head, I suddenly felt 100% confidence in something. We ARE good at something! We actually have the most important parts of parenting nailed down so far. Our son is LOVED and happy and he manifests what he feels from us everyday as he hugs and kisses various stuffed animals. He is a great kid, rarely complaining and as easygoing as a perfect pair of jeans. He has a smile for just about everyone he meets.
When Nate is grown, he will not remember how sparkling (or not sparkling) we kept our kitchen, but he may subconsciously remember the feeling of having both parents in that kitchen. One cooking, the other cleaning, while he happily "helped" by pulling plastic containers out of drawers, babbling as we giggled at his adorable nonsense.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
After the whole Bridget Jones's Diary explosion, it seemed like every one and their monkey were putting out books with pink covers bearing purses, shoes and cocktails. I read a bunch of them hoping to recreate that moment with Bridget, but like anything, save sex, it's never as good as your first time. I gave them up at roughly the same time I gave up trying to get Madonna's cowboy look down.
I admit that when I started this site, I was a purse, shoe, cocktail whore. Working in media, making my way through the haze of a month of binge drinking, sex and many late nights out. I had a scary new boss. And oh wait, I wasn't throwing up from too much tequila--I was actually preggers. I was living a chicklit life and the name for this blog was directly derived from seeing myself in that box (except my cover was teal, not pink), and the discovery that the fun frilly downtown gal life that I adored was about be jerked to a halt. Like when you're rushing back from shopping on your lunch hour and your stiletto heel gets caught in a subway grate.
I haven't read a "pink cover book" in a few years now. Upon my friend Ragdoll's insistance that Gemma Townley was different, I picked up her book. Well that and the fact that I was told I should probably read it before we had lunch with the author on Tuesday. Regardless, my amiga was right, Gemma Townley does write fabulous chicklit. Her characters have brains. (I'm in the midst of reading Little White Lies and that makes two books where the heroine doesn't work in publishing. Phew!) They have dirty sex and they say Fuck! They are so very real.
Jennifer Bell is the socially-conscious daughter of a hippie, entrepreneur mother, and a high-powered, highly absent father. She has a penchant for scruffy activists and lost causes of any nature. So when her mother ropes her into covertly doing an MBA at her estranged father's company... well I thought, now this is interesting. How can any writer make a romantic comedy out of a business degree scenario?
I've always thought myself to be socially-conscious, and yet I'm struggling with being responsible in a commercial, consumerist world. I like nice things as much as the next gal. I cringe when I see something is made in [insert poor asian country here], but that guilt tends to fade a bit when I look at the cheap price tag. I scoff at the evil ways of the corporate world, but there are elements of doing business that I rather get a thrill from.
When Jennifer Bell feels uncharacteristically drawn to a black suit, I found myself mentally screaming to her "YES, do it!" I have long wanted to buy a black suit, but the idea of a suit feels so anti-me. I am a seperates girl, a layering girl, and for the longest time, the girl who wore nothing but iron-on tees to work and got asked if she was the intern. (Thank you Clinton and Stacey!) I am almost 32, maybe it's time I "suited up".
The morning I was to meet Gemma Townley, I also had to take Nate to daycare. Hence, my day turned into chicklit central. He knew something was up, so he emptied my makeup case contents onto the floor, sending irridescent Mac eyeshadows rolling away under furniture. Being that Little White Lies had to do with expensive shopping, I assumed Ms. Townley would be an English super-fashionista. I tried everything in my closet and hated everything. Between Nate and I, my bedroom looked like it threw up on itself.
In the midst of this chaos, my sister called to let me know that Gemma Townley was on Breakfast Television. I quickly ran downstairs to check her out and summed her up as a down-to-earth, quirky, brit-chick. I stopped stressing out about what I should wear and threw on a Zara skirt and v-neck "jumper". I slinked into our downtown office super late and hid out in the temp desks until Ragdoll came to collect me for lunch. Ragdoll and I meandered down King Street towards the restaurant, giddily prattling on our excitement, when suddenly, I was catapulted forward mid-step. My kitten heel got caught betwixt two sidewalk stones and I stood stunned, with one bare foot like Cinderella. We spent a good 10 minutes squatting in skirts out front of the BMO building, trying to pry the plastic replaceable part of the heel out of the street using keys and the closest thing to brute force we could muster. It was classic clumsy Scarb and completely hilarious.
Gemma Townley sat between us at the lunch and we chatted comfortably about the differences between Canadians and Americans ("Canadians are more international") and what makes British street fashions so cutting edge ("If you go to other large cities, people are stylish but essentially well put-together. I think in London, we just don't care. It's not so much about what's in fashion, but about expressing yourself as an individual."). She was positively delightful, the kind of person you immediately want to be your friend. She says "knickers" and "rubbish" and looks you right in your eyes when she speaks to you. What an enchanting, inspiring soul.
Before reading Learning Curves, I has a deep conversation with Crabby Kate's husband (also a closet writer) about hesitating to refer to myself as a writer. "It's like faith," he said brilliantly, "You just have to say you believe something and the rest will come." We talked about writing fiction in Canada and how every novel these days seems to be a sad east coast period piece. What does it say about a country who's only current urban stories are bound in "pink covers"? "I could write chicklit, but is that going to feed my soul? Is that what I really want to do?" He replied that in a mature society, you could explore a variety of genres and not be judged for your choices. I think my "learning curve" this past week has been that I should really drop the intellectual snob act (Who am I kidding? I like Kelly Clarkson for crying out loud!), stop hindering myself by thinking that if I can't write the "great Canadian novel" I should give up, and just get writing already. Fuck, in two years on this site I've probably written two books worth.
This is my vow before you all: I will have something mostly finished by the end of the year. I have various ideas on what this might be, but it hasn't completely taken shape yet. I may ask to use you all as a sounding board over the coming months, but more importantly I will need your encouragement to keep me focussed. You have been a great audience over the past two years. You have kept me writing, kept me trying to hone what I write so that you will keep reading. You give me a reason to put words together everyday. I hope I can keep you laughing forever.
I love how my book reviews always end up about ME. Heh.
Friday, April 21, 2006
So to kick off the Friday Challenge, I present you with the THREE Challenge. Earth Day is upon us, so this week I want you all to try to conserve as much energy as possible, assuming you are up to the challenge.
1. Try to only have 3 items requiring electricity in your household on at one time. This is HARD. Some suggestions: Turn the lights off while you watch TV or use the computer. In fact, be good about turning lights off in rooms you’re not using. Put items that have stupid LED lights, even when they are off, on Power Bars that you can switch off and on easily to control this stupid nuisance.
2. Replace at least 3 lights with energy efficient light bulbs
3. Take inspiration from dual flush toilets. With a 3L flush for pee and 6L for the other one, they are super awesome and smart. I challenge you to use only 3 pieces of toilet paper for pee. (I ain’t messin’ with how much you need for that other business.)
4. Try to take 3 alternative methods of transportation. Walk to the store. Ride bikes with your family. Take public transit. I will also accept carpooling as an option.
5. Replace 3 battery-powered items with rechargeable ones.
6. As Jack Johnson says, “3 is a magic number…” Duh, the obvious –- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! You’d better not be throwing cans and old clothes in your trash. I will personally come and kick yo ass.
Come on this is easy. Try it. I dare you! Post your progress here. And prepare for more Friday Challenges.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Then there is a knock at the door. And you remember that the gas company was sending someone over to cut an old gas pipe that is no longer used. You pick up your 25 pound child, who manages to pull your saggy shirt down and expose your bare breast just as you answer the door for the repair person. Dontcha just hate that?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Anyway, I will try to report weekly here, for now, about the idiots in my neighbourhood.
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day, as anyone on the North Eastern end of our hemisphere can probably attest to. I had to spend the second half of the day at the dentist, so I made sure to take Nate out and have some quality time with him. My BF Queen Nomad (who shall be in Toronto in TWO WEEKS!!) often says, "Bad things happen in threes." So here are three dumbass things that happened that I probably shouldn't be telling you if I want to protect the resale value of my home.
I was not out for more than thirty seconds when I noticed something that made me recoil in horror on the curb of our street. Nope, not a condom, which would be gross but I could live with. Nope, not someone's used up panties, which I saw, er, rather stepped on as I was getting out of my car a few weeks ago. Out of guesses? Oh you could try all day folks, but I can almost GUARANTEE you've never seen one of these on the side of the road before.
It was a urine sample.
That's right, somebody's golden lab juice somehow fell outta her purse on the way to the docta. Oh shame. Oh Lawd! Oh Jezus help me please.
What does one do when one sees a urine sample on the ground? I debated this for a while? Do I go get my latex gloves and pick it up? But then what? Do I attenpt to unscrew it and flush it down the toilet? Um been down that strange road when I used to have my prenatal appointments. They check your pee for sugars and protein at each visit and then hand you the sample back and you're all like, um, OK, now what? But that's in a hospital at least. There is hand sanitizer all over the place. And the pee was mine in that case. This pee didn't even have a name on it! So I couldn't even make broad sweeping judgements about who's pee it might be and whether it was from the type of name who's pee I could trust.
Do I call some sort of authority and mention that there is a random urine sample on the side of my road and could they puh-leez send someone to deal with it? It all got to be too much and Nate really wanted to get to the park... so I just left it there. Like a pair of mittens, in case the owner would be looking for it and what if he/she came back to that spot and the pee was gone. That would suck. And what if it was for some sports guy, who needed to prove he wasn't doping so he bought this clean pee to use or some dumbass thought like that. So I fucking walked away. And now I can't sleep because I know the pee is still out there, taunting me, making me feel guilty about not taking action to make it go away.
I turn the corner onto the India Bazaar strip. It is sunny and warm and saris are blowing in the wind. I feel the joy of springiness and smile at an elderly gentleman holding what looks like a gift box from a distance. "You wanna buy some hand crafted soap carvings?" he asks gruffly. Before I can object, he opens the no-name pizza box to reveal bars of Lever 2000 with some primitive engravings on them. I realize he's got no teeth and a strange look in his eye, reminiscent of Deliverance . "Um, no thank you," I reply and continue towards Coxwell -- the sketch corner. A large woman in her 50s pushes past us. from far, she looks like somebody's sweet grandma. On closer inspection, she's holding a smoke and has fucked up split ends and a split lip. She recognizes some other skid on the corner. "My ex old man did this to me," she chuckles, half smoker's cough, half laugh.
On the way back from the beautiful brand-spankin-new playground (in the Beach of course), I meet up with my mother-in-law who had the courage to enter the dreaded Coffee Time on the bizzarro corner while waiting for me. "The neighbourhood is just lovely," she remarks, "but that one corner is so weird!" I smile as I notice that my fave weirdo, with the prosthetic leg, has got some shiny new Pumas on. Nice! I pass him and he utters his usual message. "Spare some chaynge? Thay cut-off ma leg!" I throw him what I got in my pocket, because I know that new soles can heal a weary soul.
Who are the people in YOUR neighborhood? Bring it.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The interweb allows freaks to come out of the closet and find each other. People who like to get cosmetic surgery to look like animals. People who've had so much cosmetic surgery they look like animals by accident. (Oh puh-leez Mrs. Wildenstein -- as if any fool is taking plastic surgery advice from you! Is she not rich enough to own a mirror?) People who get off on people in mascot costumes. Yes, I found all these freaks on Google.
And here we are, a bunch of freaks, babbling about children and celebrity gossip and shopping, finding each other on this network of virtual webs and getting tangled up in it all. What did we do before this again?
1. Reveal six weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag six people. (SIX!)
2. Leave a "You're Tagged!" comment to let the people you have tagged know they have to reveal six things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be their fault).
3. Leave me a comment letting me know that you have completed your mission (if you have chosen to accept it!).
Six Things That May Make You Like Me Less
1. I love mayo. On just about anything. I will eat it out of the jar with a spoon. Some people think this is gross. I think it’s a quick snack when I need a fat fix. It can’t be that bad – it’s made of eggs right?
2. I love to pop things. Bubble tape, zits, in-grown hairs. Oh man, I get high off a good in-grown pop.
3. Sometimes I like porn. Or at least, I think I like porn. Then I watch it and get totally disgusted with myself for even getting mildly turned on by that awful crap. Does no one make good porn? I wish there was such a thing. The only alternative to hardcore male-centred porn is that female-skewed crap where a shower scene takes 20 minutes.
4. I haven’t waxed or shaved “down there” since [wait for it] October! I am Middle Eastern people! I am hairy. This is not good.
5. Shortly after I got married, I quit my job in the film industry (don't get excited, I answered phones and fetched half-caf lattes). I didn't leave the apartment for days at a time. I would be scared to go out because I feared people were looking at me. In the dead heat of summer, I would sit in my underwear, sweating on the fake leather desk chair and downloading songs off Napster. For days. The Dog would come home and look at me like, "Who the fuck did I marry?"
6. Sometimes I force my son to sleep in against his will by cuddling him up close to me until he falls back asleep. Usually because I have stayed up too late the night before and don't feel like parenting alone when I am ass tired. On Sunday he woke up at 6:30 am and I used this technique until my sister called us at 10 to tell me to get ready for church. Bad mommy.
And now the evil tag. SIX people? OK. Mixing it up this time.
1. Niks at First or Only
2. Urban Mummy
4. LQ who just moved to Paris
5. KJ at Raising Devils
6. Deb at Deblite
Monday, April 17, 2006
Nate got some nice stuff. Things he can use for sure. But the surprise gift came from my sister, who celebrated the Crucifixion by heading to Holt Renfrew, a store that has tourist status and can stay open, making for a Good Friday for those inclined to shop. She ended up in the new children's section and presented Nate with a hot pink box for Easter. Inside was a stylish t-shirt that had two things wrong with it: it was hot pink and emblazoned with the words "Diesel: For Sucessful Living"
I expressed my apprehension about the shirt. I never thought I'd be the type of mom that would wafer at putting her son in pink. I mean, I've made my husband wear a baby pink tie before (to match my dress of course!). But hot pink? Tante swore it was red and I was crazy, but I could not get into the shirt. The following is the email chain that ensued after Tante discussed the dilemma with her gay coworker.
From: Tante [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 11:58 AM
Comments from Finley on the Diesel shirt…
“If Nate is to be a fashionista metrosexual then it is best to start him at a young age! And besides if he has the same colourations I'm sure he could pull off Pink and still look studly.”
From: Scarbie [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 12:03 PM
Subject: RE: pink
Alright, but you have to keep his *ss in lube if he converts from 2% to homo. The fact that I’m teaching him all the words to the Sound of Music… probably not helping. Oh well, at least he’ll always want to go shopping with me.
…So long, farewell, auf weidersein, adieu…
From: Tante [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: pink
Funny… but seriously if it’s bothering you that much let’s go and exchange it – I just didn’t think you would be that kind of mom…
From: Scarbie [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 12:12 PM
Subject: RE: pink
Ouch! That was below the belt.
OK, I was using pink as the excuse so you wouldn’t be offended. Although I am not as opposed to the colour pink as I made it out to be, the real problem I have with the shirt is that it says “Diesel: For Successful Living.” Frankly, I do not want to send that message to my child, the message that says, “You need this shirt to live successfully.” No matter how tongue in cheek it’s meant to be (and it’s one of those half-joke, half-truth things I believe.) Especially from such a young age. The world will be sending him those messages regardless. I don’t need to reinforce them.
But hey, it’s truly the thought that counts. I really appreciate that you got him something cute that you liked. I don’t want this to cause a riff between us. I’ll just go to Holt’s and swap it for something less logo-y – does that even exist these days?
From: Tante [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 12:20 PM
Subject: RE: pink
Less logo at Holt’s is not going to happen – perhaps you can get something more graphic that is less overt but I thought that you wouldn’t go for that. It’s not like Nate knows what he is wearing – I mean you don’t seem to have a problem with Gap or Burberry so I am just surprised that you are so anti Diesel. I am not mad riff between us styles I am just trying to understand it. I know this is sounding bitchy so try to think (hee hee haa haa) I just think that if you can’t be a half hippie – either you denounce all material things or not.
I guess I’ll stick to white shirts from now on….
I can’t come over tomorrow night but can come Wednesday to watch Race/Model/Idol if you are free
Wow, a lot to discuss there, n'est pas Blogizens? What do you think? Do you have to denounce all material things and labels, or just the ones that particularly offend you? And contrary to what she thinks, I do have a problem with Gap and Burberry. For example, I needed to buy Nate a new baseball cap. I was at Yonge & Eg and had no idea where to go. The sun was in his eyes and the situation was dire. A small boutique I went into had $50 Burberry tartan caps. Wasn't gonna happen. The only option was Gap Kids where the only option were hats that said GAP. You can't win.
If there was a plain baseball cap, I woulda got it!
Anyway, what I love most about being sisters so close (in age and every other way) is that we can piss each other off and still want to watch 3 hours of TV together. Now that's worth more than any designer goodies.
You are trying to explain to these fools that Mini-Eggs, while extremely delicious, are small, round, and have a very hard shell. Just the sort of thing that loves to get stuck in a baby’s throat. Does no one on this side of your family have your back? Just then… a voice from the corner. “Actually, that IS a bad idea. Those things even get stuck in MY throat.” It’s my sis-in-law. The other mother. The voice of reason. My sis-in-law is the coolest cucumber on the planet when it comes to parenting, so when she says something is bad, everyone listens. I have the utmost respect for her when it comes to the Mom department. She has raised a great kid, mostly on her own, and has always known when to call on the “village” and when to go it alone.
The problem is, I always feel like “the freak”. Why is it that when I say something is bad, everyone thinks I’m flying off the handle again? “Oh, there she goes again with her info on childhood allergies and [insert latest parenting issue here]” I know I shouldn’t give a fuck, but I do. Today, I am feeling the sugar crash and feeling too tired to really flush this idea out further.
Easter often kills me more than Christmas does. With the Dog’s birthday hovering around the Jesus’ death anniversary mark, I usually need my own resurrection by the time it’s all over. We usually see too many friends and drink too much; followed too closely by seeing too much family and eating too much crap. And with all the hullabaloo of the Dog’s naissance, I ALWAYS forget to buy chocolate for the kids who can actually eat it and end up handing out twenties in repentance. Your wee son can't eat anywhere near the amount of chocolate he is given (at least not responsibly), so you end up "helping him out" much to the chagrin of your scale and your naked self. My old relatives, who think everything can be refrigerated forever, give us rotten eggs that were dyed weeks ago and turn my boy’s hands blue for days. Church is hot and packed beyond fire code limitations by people like me who get religious twice a year. Hanging on a cross suddenly seems like a way to get much-needed alone time.
They say God is in the details, and it’s the details that make this time of year so worthwhile. Like using Daddy Dog’s birthday as an excuse to try something in the city we never have before. A day trip to Allan Gardens Conservatory, smack in the middle of our metropolis: a beautiful glass castle filled with tropical plants and flowers; fragrant freesia signalling SPRING! The fact that few people were there and we could let Nate “off-leash”, giggling and giddily in love as we watched his walking/babbling combo. Or getting my sis to babysit while we snuck off for some adult time at the movies (Tsotsi, the South African Oscar winner – MUST SEE! Bring tissues!) Or the peaceful, content look on my son’s face, as he watched and listened to the choir belt out their gorgeous Armenian hymns. Cheeks flushed pink from teething and too many people sharing the same air. All decked out in his Easter finery, an ensemble reminiscent of a mini Ivy leaguer or a proper English schoolboy. (photos to come) Moments that make me think, “Amen and Hallelujah! Life is good.”
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Nobody ever said life was fair, or even. But why must there be such a great divide between men and women? Am I just prone to getting myself into sitchamuations that highlight how fucking different we are? Am I trying too hard?
Sunday night, Nate and I (OK, just me) decided to make Daddy Dog a card for his birthday. The Dog detests storebought cards. Well, he doesn't mind them if they are from other people and are inscribed with something somewhat thought out. There is nothing either of us hates more than a card that says, "Happy Birthday. Love Joe and Margie" Like save your $2.75 people, because that ain't doin' anything for us.
I found some pink construction paper in the basement. It was the only colour I had so we went with it. Also found some unopened red and black finger paint in the craft drawer. Grabbed the parts of Saturday's paper I never read (Wheels section) and went up to Nate's room for his first experience making art.
You all know what happened next.
Just to get a damn hand and footprint on some paper! Oh sure, it looked damn cute at first. Then the little fucker got away from me before I could throw him in the tub. He left his secrets like the dead museum curator in the Da Vinci Code.
Sneaky little shit. I managed to get him cleaned up. We both got in the bath again and I gotta say, bathtime feels like less of a chore when I'm in the tub instead of on the side of it. Squeeky clean, in bed, check. Time to clean the evidence? No. (Well sure. but then I wouldn't get to read blogs)
So I had to give the card to the Dog Sunday night instead of on his actual birthday. The card was filled with sappy stuff similar to what I wrote here yesterday. I thanked him for all the time he put into making our family work. Even though I bitch about him, he truly is a fantastic, hands-on father (just wish he was a little more hands-on with me). Though he's mighty irresponsible, forgetful and selectively deaf, he is present in our marriage when it counts and the best guy-friend a girl could have. In honour of that, returned the favour and gave him the gift of time. Time to himself, time to recharge, time to rediscover himself and get inspired again. I had enough airmiles for one ticket to Vancouver, so that's where he's going. The friend he considers his soulmate lives there, and if they don't get to get all weird and artsy together once a year, the Dog gets all depressed.
OMIGOD! I'm sending him on a "fishing trip", aren't I? Kidding. Sorta. Gulp.
Anyway, he's been kissing my ass ever since I gave him the eticket. Suddenly he's all smitten with me again. "Just when I think I have you figured out, you completely take me by surprise." I came home from work today to a homemade card for me. The Dog watched Nate all day (no daycare today). And what do you think Nate looked like after doing crafts with Daddy?
That's right, pretty damn clean. And extra cute to boot. What am I doing wrong here? I read the card as the Dog left for work and got a bit teary. Aw shucks. Oh wait a minute, no one's cleaned those paint marks all over the bathroom. Nobody's made any dinner for anybody. "Sorry babe, but I was watching Nate, so I couldn't." SAY WHAT? What do you think I'm gonna have to do fool? So into the kitchen I go with the wee Pup (who refuses to leave my side since this daycare thing) and decides he will busy himself by helping me prepare dinner. Here's the mess I made.
And here's the mess Nate made.
I go to put the mess into the dishwasher and I realize that Daddy Dog has done it again: selective emptying of the dishwasher. Does your man do this? Somethings in there are clean, or were clean before he put some dirty shit in there.My mom tells me to shut the fuck up, at least you have a man who will empty and fill the dishwasher even if it's half-assed. But that's just the Armenian talking. The feminist me demands more from my men. Equality doesn't mean I pay the bills AND cook all your food. Nuh-uh.
Me and the Pup eat together and then go upstairs for bathtime. I take off his diaper, go to deposit it in the Diaper Genie... lo and behold... someone has cut the bag in the Diaper Genie, but not actually followed through and emptied it of its contents. I hold my breath, after some grumbling, and decide I must do it myself. I pop the bottom open to release the string of bags that kinda look like a garlic chain when you take them out. HOLYFIKEWHATTHEHECKISTHATYELLOWBROWNJUICESTREAMINGFROMTHEBAG?
I see and smell the putrid liquid and all love for my husband leaves my body faster than Nicole Ritchie's dinner. Ladies and germs, we have us a sitchamuation.
I act hastily and irresponsibly and leave Nate naked on the change table, drinking a bottle of milk as I run downstairs to get a HEFTY garbage bag. He is still there when I return and manage to move the diapers into the black plastic bag before the brown fluid can spill onto Nate's carpet (oh and you KNOW I had gloves on). There is still juice in the Diaper Genie however, so I manage to dump it into the tub and no one gets hurt. Except it's bathtime and I'm guessing it's no good to bathe your 15-month-old in shit water. So I have to clean the tub. Quickly, because Nate is still on the change table, though the cat has joined him on the small precipice to make matters even more Fear Factor-esque. I want to call the Dog and shit on his head, but I know he's busy at work. I figure that I'll wait until he calls and has time to get shat on. Not because I'm nice, but because there is nothing worse than ripping him a new asshole, only to get mumbles as responses since people are in his edit suite.
I tell him this when he calls and he laughs his hearty laugh, the one that makes me laugh no matter how mad I am. He apologizes and tells me he loves me. Nate and I are bathed and in our bathrobes. He is sitting up on the change table, wrapped in a towel with a dinosaur head and he's giggling because the cat is up there, beside him once again. His dad is on speaker phone, laughing that laugh, encouraging Nate to communicate with him. I am just one woman. One woman with a soft heart, who has no resistance against this organized crime family. I want to stay mad, but my defences are weak and I can't fight the Cute Mafia. I'll just pay them the vig and get on with it.
Monday, April 10, 2006
33 years ago today, Daddy Dog was born. 33 years before that, someone was putting the finishing touches on the tub that now sits in our lovely bathroom. 8 years ago today, the Dog drunkenly told me that the reason he didn't let Miss Popular Slut put the moves on him was because he liked me. 2 years ago today, The Dog and I went on a magical adventure through this city that we love with our whole hearts. That walk left us so inspired, so full of love, that when coupled with some lobster tails from St. Lawrence Market and a wedding gift bottle of Dom Perignon...OK, OK, and maybe a small "pinner" too... we made Nate.
So today is a special day. A Red Letter Day. A day I will never forget, and other "day" cliches. Because Valentine's may be the day everyone else celebrates affairs of the heart, but in this house, it's April 10.
Happy Birthday Doggy. I love you from the bottom of my pencil case.
Anybody else feel like they're doing an eye exam when they have to type in those letters on people's comments? Sheesh! It's getting harder and harder. CZQPMJT! Oh no -- that wasn't right? Oh no -- I closed the window and my long ass comment is now gone? Aaaah!
Sometimes blogging feels like work. Me no rikey.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Well last night was a blast. The Moms showed up with Indian food and wine and the best Winners' find of all time: a bust of a man's torso with, as T.O.Mama called it, an "angry-inch". Oh and a funny thong which I should have put on the statue for laughs. Though they left the price on so I could exchange it, I think we should pass it around. You know, take it to the home of whoever's hosting the next outing. "Oh, like the conch!" Mommy K said laughing. Yup, we're a sorority now. We have our first new member. We're excepting applications and name suggestions. Let the hazing begin.
The three of us are a cesspool of dysfunction, so we tend to talk over each other and clearly have come from households where this rude behaviour was acceptable. If you wanted to get a word in growing up, you had to spit it out fast before someone interrupted you. If someone was saying something that triggered a thought in your mind, you had better have cut in to say what you had to before you forgot your golden nugget of wisdom. Our honoured guest clearly comes from a more polite background and I think we were all worried that we would scare her off with our frightening exhuberance.
Though it felt like she barely got a word in, she held her own, offering up some of her trademark sarcasm and wit. She was just as lovely in person as she is on her blog. It got us thinking about ways we could connect more cool women. Something is in the works, but the idea is still in its infancy, so I'll fill you in once we have a more concrete plan.
Several times last night I found myself convulsing with laughter. That's the sign of a good time. I basically had to kick those bitches out so I could get some sleep before another day of work.
After work today, I picked up Nate at daycare. He was in his eating chair with his back to the door and the second he heard me breathe he started to cry. It took him a while to settle down, which made Clara, age almost-4, defensive. "I didn't do noffing to bodder him." So then I sat with the kids, asking them what their favourite part of their day was. Amazingly almost all of them, after spending a whole day playing with their friends, said something about their parents. "My favowite pawt was when my daddy gave me a waisin." Dude, a fucking raisin? Is that the best you could do? You're telling me that getting stickers and singing "10 Little Monkeys" isn't what rocked your day? It was your dad giving you dried fruit? Sheeyit. It just goes to show how important (as if you didn't know, but still) the role of the parent is to the life of a child. (More guilt) Nate clearly wanted my attention so he started making out with me (aka slobbering on my mouth), showing off his Casanova skills to the kids.
I stay so Nate can feel like it's a cool place to hang out. So that he feels secure and safe being there. And it seems like he does. The one thing I can't seem to do anything about is making him miss me less. But I kinda dig that. Not that he's sad or anything, but this feeling that no one can replace you... well that's rare in this life. When we come home, it's love time. Tonight he toddled about while I fixed his milk (with downers. How do you think I get him to bed at 7 each night?) and then his dinner. We ate together and then went upstairs for bathtime. That's when I decided to do something I hadn't done since last summer -- I got in the bath with him.
Holy mother of fun! What a different experience from trying to stay cool last summer in the apartment. (See photo) Back then he couldn't even hold himself up very well. Now he's practically doing cartwheels in the tub. So we laughed and sang, slashed and tickled. Then I read him the awesome Baby Einstein (I don't ordinarily recommend their shit but this thing is good) bath book "Who Lives in the Pond?" Being that it's an old clawfoot, the water got cold in a hurry. I turned the hot water on behind me and not only did the water warm up, it stayed warm. That's when an energy-efficient spiral lightbulb went off over my head. Once you get cast iron tubs to wam up, they stay warm forever. OK, well a really long time anyway.
We got out and I turned on the hot only, on top of the existing warm bathwater (hey, it's baby bathwater. If it's good enough for him to drink, it's good enough for me to recycle). Then I went about getting Nate in his PJs and putting him to sleep. I almost thought he would sense my excitement and foil my plan, and believe me, he tried. But I prevailed and by 7:30 I was in the Savon de Marseillaise Pamplemousse scented tub with a glass of red and my creepy book on Jonestown. For an HOUR!Heaven. Then I watched this friggin sad episode of 20/20 about twins needing heart transplants and the dead baby that provided one of the twins with a new heart. Then both sets of parents met. What a bawl-fest. The perfect alone night in.
Oh, I forgot, you wanted to see the bathroom didn't you? And I promised it would be this week? Hmmm... must have some photos to show you...
TaDa! Isn't it pretty? I wish I had proper before pictures to show you how butt ugly it was. Well, we couldn't shower together, so that oughtta tell you how much the old tub was falling away from the wall. Oh yeah, and there used to be a wall between the sink and the tub. It made the bathroom so dark. The clawfoot solved the need to have a wall there. The sink used to stick out so much the back of your legs touched the toilet when you brushed your teeth. And oh, there was two layers of vinyl peel-n-stick tile on the floor. Nasty.
That paint-whore Debbie Travis put out this really cool line of stuff at Canadian Tire. I got this metal carrying bin thingy that matches the tub and houses my non-toxic* cleaning supplies until we get a cabinet in the hallway for that shit. It's the downside to having a pedestal sink, but with the bathroom being less than four feet wide, we had to give the look of space wherever we could.
*Save your hate mail, Nate is ALWAYS supervised in the bathroom.
Oh poor little duck. I'm guessing this isn't a good thing.
Maybe the duck was having a hard time competing for attention with my bespoke British bath fittings. These were the big splurge since North American's don't really use these old tubs on a regular basis, but from the taps, sorry--faucets, to the rain shower head, so totally freakin' worth it. Except Nate is drawn to them and they don't fit the regular tap safety devices, which means I have to use extra caution when giving him a bath.
A 6L water efficient toilet (regular toilet uses 13L and this one's doing a better job using less than half the water.) and some awesome bathroom reading. The lovely Jennifer Margulis sent me her fab books, Toddler: Real-life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love and her latest, Why Babies Do That: Baffling Baby Behavior Explained she'll be stopping by here on her book tour May 23rd. I'll keep y'all up-to-date on that exciting event.
Just to clarify, Jennifer's books are far from shitty. I'm reading Toddler first and it's a beautiful and hilarious anthology of various writer/parents' thoughts on toddlers. The first story alone, a mother'd description of her baby's desperate need to join the walking, had me in tears (yes, on the can). I am not embarassed to say I do my best reading on the can. Mostly because the Dog somehow respects the need to take a dump in private. So I often hide in the john (now you can see why) for 30 minutes pretending to be backed up so I can get some reading time in. But I digest, er... digress.
I will probably get killed for this photo of the Dog sans chemise, but I'll risk it because I am in love with this photo. And I am in love with this bathroom. I am so glad we did it. (I'm really glad we did it before Oprah's debt diet episodes hit the screen. Yay Presiden't Choice bank and their awesome loans!)
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Me and the Moms have been psyched for weeks about the new Winners opening at G-Square. Tonight was the night! Not only were we going to go shoe shopping and get drunk afterwards, but we were adding a new Mom to the mix. The Mom who is probably the Kevin Bacon of Canadian Mom Bloggers. She is the nucleus of this Canuck Mom-Blogging operation. (Now if only one of us could think how to make a living out of this thing without selling our souls...)
Anyways, I've said it before, blogging is like high school. There are cliques, there are cool kids. Something Blue wrote about this phenom of Blog A-Listers recently, so I won't bother repeating it. So when the most-popular girl in high school wanted to hang out with us, we at the so-alternative-we-wear-lots-of-black-and-act-like-we-don't-give-a-shit-but-we-really-want-you-to-like-us table were secretly enthused. She may have just said she wanted to hang out with us to be nice, but we basically badgered her into it--in a similar letter-writing campaign employed in the Peoples Temple cult. She finally gave into our harassment and agreed to come.
So tonight was the night, except guess what? The Dog is working. And though I tried to get people to babysit on a school night, all I got were a lot of hums and haws. After all, Nate usually falls alsepp around 7pm, and strangely enough people don't want to babysit when the baby is alseep. Especially when I don't have cable and my DVD player's in the shop. When potential babysitters asked what I was doing, I was immediately embarassed. "Um, you know, I'm uh... I'm just going to this uh...opening thing... and you know how it is... I don't know how late it will go. Uh...uh--I'll call you back!" Click.
We discussed every possibility. But everything seemed to border on child abuse. Sleeping at my sis-in-law's till I was done would mean picking him up when he would already be asleep, putting him in the car seat and then taking him out of the carseat and putting him back in bed. Too much mess to put Nate in -- JUST SO I COULD GO SHOPPING! Taking him to the store would be another issue all together. He's not just falling asleep in the stroller like he used to. And he wants to party. The other night when Tante was over he partied till 9 pm. He would start to fall asleep in her arms and then suddenly start clapping. He was so bloody tired it was like he was drunk, but he was determined to be P Diddy. So bringing him to the store at bedtime was out too.
I often get flack for being anal about Nate's bedtime, and maybe I am a little bit freakish about getting him to sleep before Corrie comes on. But I've seen him on 12 hours sleep and I've seen him on 6 hours sleep and I gotta tell ya, it's way easier on everyone if he's slept for 12 hours. So I came to the conclusion that I just wouldn't be going. We decided that the Moms would come here after shopping for food and drinks.
So here I am. Waiting for them to show up so the party can begin. I really shouldn't complain. Though it's fun to put on some face paint and go out for some grape juice, it's almost nicer to hang out with good peeps in your slippers. Oh, here they are!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
When you move into a new house, you realize that the Open House made the house look better than it actually is. The same goes for daycare. Suddenly you notice things. Not quite cracks in the foundation, but the peeling paint and mildew level of not-so good. The types of things that can make a neurotic new mom worry about her decision. Suddenly the kids are throwing temper tantrums, the room feels a little third world and you start to wonder what kind of food she's serving your child. (Please let it not be chicken fingers?)
Because I only work 7 hour days, I am usually the first parent to arrive at pick-up time. It usually coincides with snack time. The toddlers are sitting in their high chairs (placed at floor level) and the preschoolers are at a proper kid table with moveable chairs. This means the preschoolers can get up and do their thing once the caregiver is in full-chat-mode with me. On one particular day, an adorable 2 year-old was sitting in his high chair while everyone else was off playing. "I'm all done," he said to the caregiver. "Just a minute," she replied and continued her convo with me. I could see him getting more and more restless. "I think he wants out," I told her, hoping to free the child. Nope, she kept on talking. For what felt like 10 minutes!
OK, it's not a huge deal. He wasn't crying or anything, but it bothered me. Whatever. I get it. It's because someone else is doing my biological job. (Did I mention that the other kids call her MOM?) Perhaps I am extra-critical as a result. No one is ever going to be perfect for Nate. (Did I just say that? Note to future girlfriends: Watch Out!) No, it's because I am a psycho and have to quell the thoughts that these people are pedophiles in disguise. Why would they want to spend 8 hours a day with children who aren't theirs? If you find my mind, shoot me an email, will ya?
Each time I leave him there, he bawls his eyes out. Then he cries for every single parent that drops their child off and leaves. He also cries when he sees us, or anyone who walks by the window that looks sorta like us, in the late afternoon. So of course, I feel guilty. Am I giving him abandonment issues? Can I afford to really think about this and feel bad about it? No. That's why you can usually catch me at 8 am, running out the back door and into the car, burning rubber to drown out the screams you can hear from the parking lot.
But enough about me. Nate-Dawg does actually enjoy some of his time there. They are all learning his habits and getting used to him, as he is in them. The Puppy is developing an interest in the kids, particularly 3-year-old Taylor, who repeats, "He's so cute!" the way Chinese kids chant, "We are too many." She chases him all day, petting him and getting up in his grill. Normally, he pushes her away and gives her the "Get away from me ya crazy-ass bitch" look, but it seems she finally broke him. On Monday when she was squeezing the life outta him (and naming him George), he was grabbing her nose and mouth and smiling at her. She giggled, kissed his head, stroked his face, then looked up at me with big eyes and said, "He's so cute!" It was pretty adorable so I gave her a hug.
Her close-talkerness, however, freaks Daddy Dog out more than it bothers Nate. "She's always all over him. She never gives him any space." he grumbles. Sensing this, clever Taylor conceived of a way to break Daddy Dog down too. As we were leaving, Taylor mustered all her charm, batted her eyelashes at "Nate's Daddy" and asked, "Can you hug me too?" My kinda girl.
I HAVE to work, otherwise we'd have to move in with my parents or my in-laws. And that ain't happening. And yes, part of me feels guilty because I am enjoying my time away from Nate in Adultland. I know things will improve and soon enough he'll be crying because he doesn't want to leave the kiddie paradise, but man, is this stage ever hard.
I'm not alone right?
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
* SaturDAY was spent assembling Ikea furniture in my baby sister's new pad. Tante officially grew up as she left my parents' comfortable, suburban, rent-free home (where she even had her laundry done for her) for a life of bills and the coin wash. I know this move was tough for her, not being one to readily embrace change, so I'm super proud of her for taking the plunge. And I'm glad that I'll have a swank bachelorette pad to hang out in and pretend I'm SJP. Plus they have cheap yoga in her building and a free gym and pool, so I can maybe get some much-needed exercise on. (damn weaning is making me fat. And yes, dammit, we're still not 100% weaned and it's because I'm a pussy!)
* I got to have romantic alone time with the Dog, which included some major naked snuggle time and brunch at a little-known 60s diner in tha 'hood. We sat at the counter, just like in the movies, and dreamt of future visits involving Nate, milkshakes and conversations about life.
* My best friend Queen Nomad announced that she will be a nomad no longer (well, at least for a trial period) and has a one-way ticket to Toronto on May 3rd! (= I have a month to train Nate to say her name.) I can't believe that she's coming home and we can finally be part of each other's lives again -- in a normal, mundane way. Oh how I've learned to never underestimate mundanity in the past 4 years. What I would have given to do something as boring as laundry with QN over the past 4 years. I'm so glad we can start again and she can really get to know her amazing godson.
* Speaking of laundry, I made the Dog do the laundry last week and it was a wise move. He finally admitted that the dinosaur machines that came with the house made laundry take way too long and agreed to look at new machines with me. Looking at new machines (which I had been researching for months in anticipation of this moment) lead to buying new machines on some wickedly ghetto equal-payment plan. Anyway, they are arriving tomorrow. Yippee!
UPDATE: W/D came as scheduled. Except in our excited haste to be buying our first appliances, we forgot to consider that they may not fit through the narrow corridors of our old house. So the shiny new appliances were sent back before they even left the truck. Gotta go back Saturday to get the "apartment size". Does growing up ever get easier?
* Nate turned 15 months old Sunday. He does such funny things now.
- He says, "Nyo, nyeeo, neyo" when he doesn't want something. He sputters, "Miggy miggy mee!" when he doesn't get his way, which I think is Baby for "Eff you mom!"
- He has discovered his tongue and likes to chew it, or roll it up between his teeth.
- He is walking/running in his little rubber-bottomed Adidas instead of his soft-soled Robeez. I put off big-boy shoes for so long because it seemed way too grown-up for him. Each step in his new kicks is a step closer to leaving the baby behind and embracing the big boy. Wow that happened fast.
- He is identifying body parts, like noses and mouths, on Mama and Dada's faces, but not yet his own.
- When he notices you, or recognizes a face, or wants to acknowledge something that has come into his field of vision that he thinks is cool, he makes this giant open-mouthed smile that shows he's thinking, "Haaaaaaaay!" This is his dad's favourite.
- My favourite is how he snuggles into me now, perfectly content to suck his thumb and be near me, his head on my shoulder -- until he sees something cool and gets the "Haaaaay!" look. Then he squirms his way free and takes off running.
- When I withhold something from him, like his milk or a toy and say, "Give me a kiss and I'll give it to you." he turns his head as if to say, "Yo bitch, how 'bout you kiss me and then give me what I want." His dad loves that he won't just give into my manipulation.
- But sometimes, when I least expect it, I feel Nate overcome by love for me. At that moment he has decreed that he will grab my face and plant a wet one on my smacker, making a thirst-quenching "Ahhh" sound when he's done. Then he looks his dad in they eye, as if to say, "Top that mofo!"
Oh man, this stage is indeed the best. We just watch him all day and then look at each other with disbelief. "Look at him! Look at him now. And now. Ohmigosh! Did you see that? LOOK! AT! HIM!" WE smash our heads with our hands and beat on pillows, because we don't know how else to process the immense love and pride we feel for our son. Nate is two feet, five inches of love. Pure love. Love as enormous as his eyes and as infectious as his smile. Love you wish you could bottle and sell to the world.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Blondie and I shelled out for some semi-good champagne (read:not Freixnet, but not Dom either) for this pair who enjoy the finer things, have the hugest hearts and are generous beyond words. We parked and tried to figure out which house was theirs, even though we’d been there before. We did NOT recognize the house.
We walked into a home that made a Benjamin Moore showroom look dull. Every wall was painted a bold, vibrant and daring colour. My first thought? What a wonderfully stimulating environment for a child to grow up in.
Teddy Bear got our attentions and informed the crowd of about 30 people that we would be splitting up into six groups. Oh dear lord. Blondie and I would be separated and forced to mingle. I promptly filled my glass with champagne and frozen berries. I needed fortitude. Then Teddy Bear explained the rules. Six stations were set up around the house, each with a different game and snacks that were colour-coded to the room the game was in. The apple green sitting area with tan chairs housed Trivial Pursuit speed round (every correct answer got you a pie), as well as green apple rings and sesame snacks to nosh on. The Asian-themed burgundy and apple green room (looks waaay better than it sounds) housed Chinese Checkers, prawn chips and Wasabe Peas. Taylor’s lavender and apple green room housed Chutes and Ladders and colour-matched kiddie candies. And the list goes on. By the time the chocolate fountain came out, I was ready to pull a Katy and go into a diabetic coma. It was as gay as you could get without being on Queer Eye. Truly awe-inspiring. (can I invite them to a lame BBQ now?)
Teddy Bear got sappy and started to thank Tattoo, pointing out that when Tattoo moved in six months into their relationship, it was Teddy Bear’s house. Now three years later, they had rebuilt it as their house. He said although renovations usually cause problems between couples, the experience had only made their bond stronger. He asked us to raise a glass to Tattoo. “A toast,” he said, “Or maybe… how ‘bout a proposal instead?” And he busted out a Tiffany box and got down on one knee!
As one guest remarked, “All the women need tissues. Surprisingly, all the gay men seem to have dry eyes.” Indeed, Blondie and I are prone to crying on the best of days, so there was no way we were holding them back. I could not breathe. How awesome was that? To be invited to witness such a momentous event between two people who truly love each other. Two people who don’t HAVE to get married due to parental or societal pressure. Two people whose very subculture leans towards promiscuity and “open” relationships. Two people whose love the world is against. They don’t HAVE to do this, they WANT to do this. And we live in a country that allows them the freedom to make that choice. I just hope that Evil Stephen doesn’t get his hands on that law before these two have the chance to tie the knot.
I don't normally head out while Nate is still awake, but this was a truly special occasion. I left him in his high chair. Kidding. I left him in his high chair with his adorable dad feeding him dinner and looking forward to alone time with his son. Intending to get my drink on I took I headed to the bus stop. The man with the slur and the prosthetic wooden leg in front of the Coffee Time asked for change and I obliged. As I walked away, I heard him ask the next person to pass by. “Sorry man, I don’t got no change,” the voice replied. “You take Visa?” This made me laugh aloud and before I new it, the handsome young mystery voice was beside me. “You takin’ the bus?”
I giggled nervously and said yes. He continued to chat me up, telling me where he was headed (to buy the new Godfather video game) and asking where I was headed (a gorgeous, glorious, so-far-from-my-new-normal pub). That’s when he tried to Mac me. “Well, um, I drive a tow truck, so if you’re ever intoxicated and stranded somewhere, you could take my number and I’ll come pick you up for a good rate.” (Interestingly enough, he was taking the bus with me at the time.)
“That’s OK, I usually plan well. But thanks.”
“A’ight, a’ight. (pause) Well maybe you could take my number and we could go for a coffee sometime.”
I smiled. This was too fun. I was gonna have to come clean about who I really was. The Cute Girl at the Bus Stop mask had to come off. Damn.
“Um… I’m married actually.” I flashed my little ring that I have to wear on my plumper right hand, since Nate somehow breastfed the fat out of my left ring finger. This didn’t seem to phase my suitor. “Oh, oh well I didn’t notice. (pause) We could still have a coffee as friends.”
I had to take out the big guns. “Actually, I’m a mom too.”
His light eyes lit up like the tree at the Rockefeller Center. “Oh SNAP! YOU’RE A MOM? I would have never guessed. You don’t look like a mom. How old is your kid?”
15 months I tell him, but thanks. I’m flattered.
“You ain’t lost none of your beauty though. Most moms usually let themselves go.”
What does one say to this?
“Thank you. Um…I don’t look like this every day. I’m only on the first one though. After I have another one, all bets are off. Hehe.” Say what?
I got to READ on the subway! How awesome was that? I am currently reading Seductive Poison by Deborah Layton, a defector of Jonestown who lost her family in the 1978 massacre. Her brother is in prison for shooting Congressman Leo J Ryan, while the whole drinking of the kool-aid was taking place. Riveting stuff. It makes you think about the kinds of situations growing up that lead people to seek attention from father figures and make them more likely to join cults. I’ll review it here when I’m done, but in the meantime, you may want to check it out. It’s an easy, yet haunting read.
I got to the pub close to 7 pm. What a joyous reunion. The group of us had such a unique situation, an affection for each other that’s rarely found in the workplace. It felt so good to see everyone. I had quite a few Vodka Sodas, but they were perfectly spaced out so I managed to maintain a nice buzz without being a total idiot. I was free to be my old, semi-obnoxious self, complete with generous use of my favourite word (that I will soon have to give up) FUCK (as if you couldn’t guess).
Out of the department of 20+ people, all of us under the age of 40, only 3 males in the management team were parents back in the day. (That never stopped them from coming out and getting loaded with the rest of our young team.) Now V and I were the only two to add parenting to our resumes in the past few years. I took advantage of our new status and began negotiating playdates for us. “Oh, wealthy Ex-VP with your pompous attitude…You’d like us to come out to your buttfuck suburb and get drunk while your teen neighbours watch our kids? Are you paying for our cabs back to the city?” “OK Mr. Gourmet, ex-cooking channel guy…We’ll come over to your quaint suburb with the boys, swim in your pool with your adorable young daughters, but you must cook for us.” I shouldn’t joke. I heart (read: have a weird crush on) Mr. Gourmet AND his cooking.
We cajoled each other for hours. Blondie tried to escape many times with no luck. “You’re not fucking going anywhere,” I bellowed belligerently. The love in the room was palatable. V nudged me at 11 pm, “Let’s go.” And I listened to her because she was the sober mom and if it were up to me I would have stayed longer, ended up at a second venue and broke my own rule: Leave the party on a high note. I left tipsy, but sober enough to read some more of my book on the subway home and remember to get off at my stop.
I collapsed into bed in a fit of giggles, recounting my tow-truck driver pick up story for the Dog, drunkenly declaring that he should feel lucky to be married to a mom who’s still got it.