make pretty

Difficulty makes us do interesting things. My father just recently ended up in hospital not in a dramatic, emergency, house on fire kind of way but rather in a slow, painful, more and more and more of the same kind of chronic low grade sadness kind of way that accompanies long term illness.

Because it was not a full on emergency- we got up, ate breakfast, went for an early swim and let my mom come to it in her time. We could no longer manage him, move him, raise him or motivate him.

The paramedics came in we helped put him onto the stretcher and then they asked if we could carry their heavy bags and equipment  up to the ambulance. You know you are calm and strong when the helpers ask for you to help. My mom went in the ambulance- everyone moving slowly- nothing about this illness is swift. People always complain about swift. Slow has its own painful meter. Swift is a bus hitting you unexpectedly and knocking you flat and lifeless. Slow is a wolf of sadness at your door, knocking hard everyday, trying to break the door down relentlessly.

My girls went inside and made cookies.They were really pretty and had the shapes for everyone’s initials. I started sweeping. My mom had cleaned the basement that morning. Usually she irons the bed linens in these moments. This is what you do when you can’t do anything. You try to find order, make order or make beautiful.

When my father almost died in June 2008-I was in the hospital with my mom and we went to get a bite to eat because she had had nothing for several hours. We sat dazed in a busy cafeteria, the emotion of the event unavailable because it still felt unreal. We weren’t speaking. Finally my mother said angrily “Why on earth would anyone choose a carpet colour like that? It is disgusting. Honestly.” I turned to her and said ” Yes, if we are going to spend any real time here mom, you are going to have to whip this place into shape” We both laughed hard.

This is what we do when we can’t do anything.

what currency do you trade in?check out my other post on urbanmoms by clicking here

six degrees of separation

When you separate everyone at some point will try to convince you to try on line dating. My mother, of all people, sent me a site  a while back and said -‘you should give it a whirl’ .

It is very peculiar but highly efficient- if your idea of death is wearing leather pants and feisty animal prints and perching yourself high up on a bar stool as you twist and wink and smile coyly at every single thing with a pee pee that comes into the room-this is another option. You can work, sleep, travel, go to the dentist  while this dating machine  does the winking for you.

Here the premise is simple- you find a picture of yourself that is good, true but not too good. You answer some questions or write a description of yourself and what you love to do- an experience that is both self revealing and freaky. Then you post it while you blush. Then you run from the computer.

Days later, when you get up the nerve, you open up your messages from said site and you shiver. Suddenly all these strange men in my kitchen. Where my children eat. And do math.

Not necessarily from experience, and not necessarily not from experience, I would say the following takes the experience of on line dating to a dark and sombre place-

1. You are matched with your ex husband

2. You find the person you are currently dating is there, “shopping” and is matched with you

3. You are matched with your brother’s best friend

4. You are matched with your single brother

5. You are matched with your grade 5 History teacher. Who used to be a woman.

6. You are matched with your father’s old business partner

7. You come up with zero matches

Other moments that are a little disconcerting-

1. Being matched with someone whose picture includes their mother

2. Being matched with someone whose profile shows an up close picture of themselves and a camel, a person of the cloth, or a large  teddy bear.

3. Being matched with someone whose online moniker is 911 after their Porsche, who claims to model in their spare time when they are not running large multinational conglomerates or saving the rainforest. Methinks……

4. Even if you never say “hey I like moustaches” (who likes these? please help me on this) every other guy will likely have one, his name will be Youssef, Ari, Yentyl, Bernie or Gus and you may question whether he was your cab driver the other day.

Anyway, give it a whirl. 100’s and 1000’s of people meet there soul mates on line every minute  of every day and twice on Wednesdays.

more tales from the dark side of dating on my other site-click here

corner store part two

time is flying

As much as there are many things I never want to change – there are more which I love to change. Change is a catalyst for greatness, for newness and an  appreciation  that we only have today for sure.

I have a game I call “expiry date” that is about the power of change. I look at a date on something and then I think what great things can I make happen by that date. What will my life look like by that date? Then I make a plan. One of my greatest fears is to have someone say “what’s new ?” and have nothing to say.

This does not happen at the corner store.

There are three kinds of people

People who make things happen

People who watch things happen

And people who wonder what happened

We are all likely all of these people at different times but we are frequently one.

See what you can do before the cream cheese goes bad. If it’s processed you have  more time than you need.

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