Monday, April 25, 2011

Scribe and the Evil Skip-It

It looks innocent. Don't let it fool you. It's evil in lemon packaging.

I may have mentioned my tousle with the evil skip-it but I don't think I've told the story with all of the gory details. The writing prompt for Studio 30 Plus suggested we talk about our family gatherings this past Easter Weekend. There were no skip-its this weekend, but the misshap did occur one fateful day after Easter Sunday.

It was an Easter Sunday like many other. I was with my parents having dinner at my brother's house. My neice and nephew were outside mucking about, riding their bikes and skipping. At 35, I felt still nimble and quick so I had a turn on the skipping rope and it went exceedingly well. It was like riding the bike and I demonstrated the skipping skills I had perfected in my childhood and through a few years of boxing. Even June Cleaver got in on the act and showed my neice how at 73, she could still wield a mean rope. The Skip-It came out next and I slayed it, jumping circles around my neice who still couldn't believe that her grandmother and aunt not only knew how to skip but had once owned both a skipping rope and a Skip-It (called a Lemon Twister in my day, but the premise was still the same).

Fastforward to the next day. Still confident from the previous day's experience, I grabbed my Skip-It out of the basement and had a few turns around the living room. It felt like a fun way to exercise and it was a nice day so outside I went. I set myself up for the first step, not looking at the uneven patio stones that had shifted during the winter months. One skip, two skip...

And then Scribe was down. For the count and for about four months after. I had landed wrong on one patio stone. Actually it was two patio stones with one of them being uneven. My ankle buckled, twisted, turned and it was over. Embarrassed and incredulous that I had forgotten I was indeed accident prone, I removed my shoe (mistake number 2, the first was actually touching the Skip-It again). It swelled instantly and I could no longer put my shoe back on. I was also very stoic and told myself to "suck it up Princess" and went about my day like nothing had happened.


My denial caused me to think that it was the perfect time to continue with the housekeeping  chores that I had already started. A sprained ankle couldn't keep me down, but apparently a chipped bone can.

As my doctor and subsequent x-ray revealed that my fifth lucky sprain on that ankle had also resulted in a chipped bone and four months of swelling. Purple, blue, black, yellow... my ankle went through many stages, and to this day, it still pains me when it rains.

I should have known it would end badly, as did the speed bump, roller skating evening and escalator. And, while those other things happened a long time ago (and still proves my landlubber's ineptness), the fact that I was 35 and playing with a Skip-It makes this one instance even more monumentous. Just ask Anasatan who keeps threatening to buy me lemons as a present. I just turn it around and make lemonade and I stay away from any Lemon Twisters. They're evil, you know.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have you heard the truth?

Truth... we all strive for it but when it comes up upon us we sometimes want to put our head in the sand and ignore it. The creators of Studio 30 Plus posed the question about what truth is and what it means to us as a potential jumping point for our own musings. I think it's a great question but one that scares the crap out of me.

Is it because I don't want to admit the truth to myself or is it because I haven't found my own truth yet? Both is true. I grew up in an environment in which I learned it's easier to please everyone rather than listen to what I want. I wasn't allowed to want. I was expected to do everything right according to someone else's rules. Don't rock the boat. Don't push the envelope. Conform. To do otherwise would mean silent treatments, disapproving looks, the tut-tuts when I lifted one finger out of place, stepped out of line. Or, it meant hearing how difficult, overly independent and unworthy I had become. After years of doing what is expected I'm struggling to find my authentic self. I'm learning bit by bit as I realize that my laugh is mine and not the unattractive guffaw I've been told. I realized that while I find the usual things amusing, it's the off-colour humour that really gets me going. I've discovered that it's okay to say no and to go about doing what I like with no apologies and without looking to others for confirmation that I'm doing things right, and according to whose  rules.

Yet, I still have the urge to go with the flow. It's something I still fight with, day to day. I now take a few minutes not to think "what would Oprah do" but what it is I really want - out of life, work, my own self.

I was reminded today that it will be a long, hard haul. And, it's bound to be a journey of many regresses as I resist the urge to go with what is expected of me, always the agreeable little girl of my past. The truth of the matter is that I must stop questioning myself and looking to others for approval, to mother myself.

So, I've taken a lover... Myself. And, I vow to love myself warts and all and find my true, authentic self no matter the consequences to my existing relationships because the most important relationship is the one I have with me, whoever she may be.

That is my truth.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yin and Yang

I'm not feeling very original today, so much so that I'm actually borrowing (okay, stealing) words that only minutes before were uttered by someone else. I'm very disappointed in myself, I know. Me, a supposed writer, not coming up with my own witty copy, new dialogue so fresh and so full of perspective that you can not help but look on me in wonder.

We were talking about balance, in life, in relationships, in nature, I suppose, and I was at a loss for another word to describe this precarious walk of life, of finding a lid to fit your pot (yes, I also stole that too, but this time from a book and I'm not telling you which one so you'll spend all of your free time wondering how you can find your own gems - stolen gems, that is).

So, what did I use? Yin and yang, the traditional symbol of balance, of good and evil, light and dark. It fit, it was just too bad that those words had just left my friend's mouth. And yes, I was accused of stealing, and I looked on sheepishly and felt shame, but not so much that I would admit to outright stealing. After all, it's not copyrighted and who would be able to prove that such a daliance took place, a thievery of words and phrases. I sure as hell wouldn't own up to it - I have a rep to manage.

One could say that I was merely in agreement and wanting that person to feel accepted and understood. Imitation is supposed to be a  form of flattery after all, and all I want is for people to know I understand them and empathize.

The yin and yang of it is that although I consider myself to be a good person, I sometimes slip up. Word Thievery is among  my charges. The others may be too many to list completely but the top ones are (get ready for this):

  • Taking the last of the toilet paper and not changing the roll;
  • Idling my car as I wait in the line-up at the Tim Horton's drive-thru (I know it's probably faster to go inside the store but sometimes I don't feel like it);
  • Leaving packages in my car that I think I will take out next time or until I have to put someone in the back seat;
  • Getting sucked into really bad straight-to-TV (and not even video) sappy, chick flick movies;
  • Channel surfing - my dad did it and now I do it - I'm afraid I'm going to miss something (and I really detest commercials);
  • Leaving the popcorn bag and empty pop cup at my seat at the movies for others to clean up;
  • Emitting a huge burp and then giving myself the highest rating on the burp-o-meter;
  • Calling my mother June Cleaver (to her face and while calling into her office) because she always dressed up for Dad coming home and told me never to leave the house without lipstick;
  • Getting a fake nose ring while away on a  trip to prepare the fam for the real thing;
  • Tying my nephew's and niece's socks together EVERY  TIME I saw them;
  • Letting one rip as the waiter walked by and waiting as my friend blamed him;
  • Leaving just enough time to get anywhere and thinking that half an hour is really enough time to drive to Scarborough... or Burlington... or Ajax - you get the picture;
  • Forcing friends to watch said chick flicks, or better yet, musicals like West Side Story and then threatening to recreate them in the grocery store.
I think that's enough for now.  Rest assured, there is the yin to yang. After all, I'm the most balanced person I know...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I stoled this...

Yep, bad grammar and an admittance of thievery. Scribe is at her very best. And, since it's 2 a.m. in the goddamn morning and a late-night coffee has held my eyelids hostage, I thought there was no better way than to inspire you.

I was inspired tonight by an old college friend, Psychic Chick. After four years of no one-on-one, in yer face contact, we conspired to meet. To Swish. To chatter at each other. And then I was inspired to steal this gem from Lulu of Earwig Sandwich fame since it communicated how I feel about friendship.

"I want all my friends to come up like weeds,
and I want to be a weed myself,
spontaneous and unstoppable.
I don't want the kind of friends one has to cultivate."

I hadn't seen Psychic Chick in four years. We met for some chicken and convo at the Swish in Scarborough and as soon as I walked in, it was like we left each other only days, minutes, hours before. Everything picked up right where we left it, draining in the kitchen sink, resting on the stair, lingering on our lips. Four years and four hours later, we were refreshed yet a little stiff from sitting in a small booth. We didn't have to cultivate conversation. Segues sprouted, tangents were embraced and I left with a promise that it won't take another four years to find our way back. We were never really gone.

Now, do yourself a favour and take a trip to Earwig Sandwich and read the Chair Saga. You won't be disappointed. Lulu is a good weed, just like me.

Ma testicles...

I really don't have a lot to write about, unless you want to know about the countless resumes I've sent out, the courses I'm considering taking to up my mad skillz, or the fact that even my volunteer efforts have garnered few results.

I'm in the position to volunteer my services. For free. To keep me relevant and away from the daytime television gods. I've done my work and will continue to plug away. Tomorrow, I'm headed to the Big Smoke to do some reading. Outloud. It's an audition for VoicePrint, the organization that provides voice recordings of news articles, textbooks and books to the visually impaired. It should pan out. After all, I did earn my balls on college radio.

So that's where I left my balls...

I'm not paid in balls, though Boyo the Boxer would like this. Forget about testicles too. I already have them. My radio instructor told me so. You may be aware that I used to be shy. Really. Seriously. I had a soft voice that would come out even softer when in the spotlight. Forget public speaking. Ears would strain to hear my vocals. That is until my second year of college when I had to take to the airwaves to deliver the news that I and my classmates re-wrote from the newspaper and wires for radio consumption. Every Friday afternoon one of us would take the stories written by our peers and deliver them to the masses. It didn't matter that it was Friday at 4:30 and most students were gone. We were the radio gods, or in my case a semi-god. After afternoon upon afternoon of soft speech and the radio techs turning my mic way up, something changed. It was my voice. It was clear, succinct, beautiful. And full of balls. Judy the instructor hugged me, and to commemorate, presented me with fuzzy balls to hang on the rear-view mirror of my non-existent car.

I have no fear tomorrow. I will read the news or whatever tomb they present to me and I will be clear, concise  and testicle-strewn. Because  once you've found your balls it's hard to misplace them again.