Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meet the Teacher

E-harmony is a process.  I guess this is fair - any relationship you embark upon is a series of steps that lead to a friendship or an acquaintance or whatever.  E-harmony has just laid the steps out for you in point form so you can prepare for what is coming next.  Once you've completed the first 4 steps in "guided communication" you read a nice (albeit long) message from Dr. Warren.  Basically, it's a know, the standard...we don't do background checks, follow your intuition, be extra cautious of anyone asks for money (er...there goes that idea...) and then you reach "open communication."  I'm not going to lie, this is a little intimidating.  For the past month or so, you've been guided thru the communication.  They give you a list of questions you can ask and then (these guys have thought of everything...) they give you answers to pick from.  You hardly have to think.  Plus, there's this build-up to the open communication.  This person liked the answers to your first questions, liked the answers to your second (long answer) questions, they've read the warning advice from Dr. Warren, and they still want to talk to you.  What do you talk about?  You know, besides the, seriously...what???

I've reached this step with one guy who's a high school teacher.  For this reason, I shall call him Mr. Kotter (Can you believe this is the only reference to a high school teacher I can think of?  And I've been thinking all day...this is all I've got.  I think it's important to mention, though, that it's really Mr. Kott-ah or Mr. Kot-tair...depending on your level of cool vs. geek.  I also think it's very important to point out that I have only watched this in re-runs...I think I was 2 when it first came out...)

Mr. Kotter is tall (6 feet)...this is good.  Mr. Kotter has a 6 year old daughter.  This is also good.   Very good.  Mr. Kotter is 36.  He likes to laugh (well that's a relief...) and is physically active.  He feels chemistry is very important and can tell within the first few dates if said chemistry is there.  If he could do anything with no consequences, no cost, and no one would ever find out he would 'paint the town red.'  Yup.  You know as much about Mr. Kotter as I do.  Almost a month of "guided" communication and I know that he likes to laugh.  Who - dare I ask - doesn't like to laugh? 


So, he asked about my day, and I mentioned the unusually warm weather we're experiencing right now.  I'm waiting with bated breath for his response...

It's a start.  A beginning, really.  Who knows what may happen.  I'm trying to remain absolutely neutral, but I will say that in the little recesses of my mind I am hopeful.  What if it works out?  Wouldn't it be great to be a stepmom to a little girl only a year older than Q?  And he's a teacher.  That is so fabulous.  Not only is he inspiring young minds, but he can also help Q with his homework!  It's perfect, right?

And I'm only just a little planning our wedding in my head...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Girl Just Couldn't Resist...

I had such a fabulous Christmas.  It was so relaxing.  I was spoiled rotten.  Q went shopping with my mom and picked out this beautiful butterfly necklace.  Q picked it all by himself.  My mom says that as soon as he found it, he just knew.  Even when the sales lady showed him other ones, he just knew that mommy would love the one he had chosen.  And I do.  I so do.  I got a beautiful cashmere sweater and suede boots (great for a soccer mom such as myself!!)

And it was peaceful.  Unlike millions of people who hate their family, I am fortunate enough to like mine!  I had my beautiful son, my lovely momma, and all was right with the world.  If my brother had been there, it would have been perfect. On Christmas Eve, Q fell asleep to "T'was The Night Before Christmas" and me singing him Christmas carols.  We left cookies out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.  I love that innocence about Q.  The innocence of believing in Santa.  It's something I don't ever remember.  I remember pretending to believe when I was little.  But I don't ever remember believing.

My plan for Boxing day - of course - was to fight for the last of this, or the size 10 in with the masses of people who didn't get what the wanted on Christmas.  Or maybe they did, but the lure of bargains and the desire for things got the better of them.  We woke up early in the morning, put on some coffee, made some scrambled eggs and decided that shopping was the absolute last way we wanted to spend the day.  The funny thing was, there was really nothing I could think of that I wanted.  I had everything that I needed.  Instead, I took Q to a movie.

Peace.  That's what I'm talking about.

Nothing...I didn't need a thing...


...then I went on e-bay.

Turns out, I needed a new messenger bag for work (it's super cute), perfume (Ralph Lauren Romance, my favourite scent ever), and a Coach bag. I kinda feel really very guilty about the last purchase, because when all was said and done it was $175.00.  And I really don't need it...but, it's pink.  And it's Coach...Coach!!  Really, it's more of an investment.  Pieces like this are classic, you have them for years and years.  And c'mon - ME is that?

Holy Crap.  I just spent $175.00 on a purse. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow I am going to begin my Christmas shopping.  Okay, I guess technically it's later on today, but it's still tomorrow to me.  I mean seriously, Christmas shopping on Christmas Day is soooo Alex P. Keaton.  Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, however, is unfortunately just like me.  In my defence, I've been so busy at work, exhausted all the time, and I had to wait for pay day which just happened to fall on Christmas Eve (oh the joy of single motherhood!!) 

This is how I am going to approach shopping tomorrow (  I am, first and foremost, making a pitstop at Starbies for a fabulous Creme Brule Latte.  I think I'll even spring for a Grande!  I am going to park far, far away from the mall and walk in so I don't have to fight with 15 different cars for the same coveted close parking spot.  I have a list in my head that I have been going over and over (and over and over....) so I know exactly what I'm looking for, exactly where to find it, and exactly what it will cost.  I am planning to spend at least an hour in a line up, who knows...maybe even two line ups.  I figure if I plan for a large line up, nothing will get to me.  Thirty people in front of me?  No problem.  The person behind me has one item?  Of course you can go in front of me.  The person in front of me is paying with rolled coins and is short fifty two cents?  I will have fifty two cents in my pocket to give them.  I will hum Christmas carols as I shop.  I will wish every one a Merry Christmas because, dammit, this is MY holiday, and I am going to celebrate it.  If you're offended, well suck it Mister.  And Merry Christmas to you, too!  I will be complete Zen.  I will be the epitomy of Christmas spirit and joy. 

My Christmas wish for you is peace this holiday season.  Genuine peace.  That on Christmas Day, amidst the chaos of presents and family and food, you will feel a moment of peaceful bliss.  That you will have a moment where you realize how fortunate for everything and everyone that surrounds you.  And that you will say a quiet prayer of thanks. 

Merry Christmas, my blogger friends. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Careful What You Wish For

Like father, like son

My relationship with my ex is volatile, to say the least.  Usually when I describe him, the first word that comes to mind starts with an 'a' and ends with an 'ss'.  There are two things about him that drive me absolutely insane.  The first is the fact that he does not possess any common sense what-so-ever.  Like none.  At all.  The second is his inability to have normal relationships, in part because he is the most selfish person I have ever met.  Many an argument has been started due to his stupidity or selfishness. 

I've often wished that he would just disappear (haha, that is soooo putting it mildly!)  Here's the little life lesson for today:  Be Careful What You Wish For.  After facing the 3rd layoff in as many years, he has decided to look overseas for work.  And I feel sick.  Not for me, of course...the further he is from me, the greater chance I have at sanity.  I feel sick for my little boy.  Sick because one day last week as Q was falling asleep he said quietly, "I don't think Daddy loves me anymore."  Sick because I don't want my son to grow up without a father figure, no matter how annoying I find him. 

Mr. Ex grew up without a mother and a distant father (who, coincidentally was overseas...)  He grew up in boarding schools.  His relationship with his father is next to non-existant, and his relationship with people in general sucks. 

I know I can carry Q on my own.  I know that I can raise him to be a strong, carrying man.  I know that I have the patience to be a full-time mommy.  Unfortunately, I  cannot be a father.  I can't be an example of what a good father is.  I can't take away those fears of not being good enough or those feelings of abandonment.  It makes me sick.  As a mother, I want to shield him from those feelings for as long as possible.   And I don't want his father to be the one who wounds this perfect little being.  I don't want him to grow up like his father. 

An example of no common sense:  The guy wants to sign the house over to me, so he won't have to pay taxes in Canada.  He says he'll pay the mortgage while I'm living there. sign the house over to me...I'm selling it, taking the money, and running.  Okay, just joking, but why would I want to live there?  It has sooooo many horrible memories for me from when we were together.  And it has his stuff.  Everywhere.  Can you even imagine, bringing my new boyfriend over?  Oh,'s not about me.  It's about what's most convenient for him.  What an ass.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Blind Date

It was bad.

Like really bad.

In hindsight though, I guess I should have asked a bit more about him than just his name.  I'm compiling a list of questions to ask in the event that one of my friends decides to set me up on a blind date in the future.  I'm sure this list will come in handy.  Just so you know, what you are about to read is real. It has not been made up, exaggerated or altered in any way.  The names, however, have been changed to protect...oh screw it...his name was James and I think he was 5 foot 4.

First of all, if you don't drink coffee do not suggest 'going for coffee.'  But I'm just nitpicking here.  While we're waiting for said coffee, I find out he's an insomniac.  No biggie.  Also while we're waiting for our coffee, I find out that he moved to Vancouver recently to be with his mom.  Evidently she has some health issues and he wanted to be able to take care of her.  Openminded me thinks that's noble.  He's short, but he's a caretaker.  But, he continues to say, "she hasn't changed at all.  She's the same old witch she always was.  A drug addiction can do that to you."  I wouldn't know.  Of course, she's clean now but (I learned a lot about drug addictions today....) the damage has been done.  She kicked him and his son out because they ate too much bread.  I'm kinda with her on that one...hasn't he heard how bad carbs are for you?  Hello, Atkins would be horrified, too.  Phew...that was the frst 5 minutes.

He didn't even mention his dad.  I think he's in jail.  That's totally second date conversation though.  You don't bring stuff like that up on the first date.  You wouldn't want to scare anyone away.

We get our coffee (yes, he ordered coffee....) and sit down.  Why'd he live in Calgary?  Family?  A job? Nope.  He was living in Canmore when his ex (mother of child) stayed with him while she looked for a place to live herself.  The only trouble is, she's an alcoholic.  A crazy alcoholic, apparently....she broke into the apartment below his and stole their alcohol.  He got kicked out.  So, a buddy said he could stay with him for a Calgary. 

He bought a house in Calgary with a guy he worked with.  He was the co-signer and the mortgage got approved right away because his work buddy's sister worked in a bank.  The plan was to flip the house in three months and sell it for twice the price.  Except...the guy decides he wants to rent it out instead, takes off to Lebanon (of all places!!!) with the rent money, and leaves Buddy ( I can't call him Mr. Mom....Mr. Mom makes me think of a man who's got his shit together....) with a $9000.00 mortgage payment.  The bank gets mad and decides they want to sue him for $416,000.00, so he declares bankruptcy.

It gets better folks.  Right now he is on unemployment insurance while he figures out what he wants to do with his life.  He really wants to be a personal trainer, but his employment officer talked him out of that dream.  '"Shot that dream down", he says.  I can't imagine why.  I'd have a personal trainer who weighed maybe 100 pounds, wouldn't you?  But I'm a girl.  What guy wants to look like a stick figure?  If you're a trainer, isn't your body a walking advertisement?  I'm just saying....

He's really into martial arts.  He's volunteering right now at a place, and they're gonna hire him real soon.  So he took this opportunity to 'get clean' because narcotics really slow the reflexes. "Yes,"  I say.  "I imagine they would."  Sometimes, I'm just to polite for my own good.

"So, you wanna meet on Friday?"  he asks. 

"Uh. I'm really busy Friday."  I say.  "You know, Christmas and all." 

All of this, disclosed in a mere 40 minutes.  And that's just the stuff he felt comfortable talking about.  What didn't he mention.  Oh my mind doesn't even want to go there, folks.

In case you ever find yourself being blindly set up, I am sharing my list of questions to ask before you agree to meet.

  1. How tall is he?  (I believe this one is the most important question, but that's just me...narcotics smarcotics, I say)
  2. What's his last name?  (For google searches and such...)
  3. Does he have a job?
  4. Does he have a place of residence?
  5. Has he declared bankruptcy in the last 5 to 7 years?
  6. Does he have a history of drug or alcohol addiction?
  7. What was his family life like?  Is he close to his mother?  Does he have a dad?
  8. Is he bondable?  (We didn't even get around to was only 40 minutes...we ran out of time to discuss criminal history...)
  9. Does he have a crazy alcoholic ex that arbitrarily pops in and out of his life, causing chaos and mayhem along the way? (Leave out the crazy...I'm pretty sure every guy on the face of the earth thinks his ex is crazy...)
It's a work in progress, my list...but I do think it may come in handy. 

The kicker?  I paid for coffee.  Mine and his.

My landlord feels really bad.  She had no idea, so she says.  Hmmmmmm, I could forgive it all for a month's free rent. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Set Up

I have a blind date  Well, it's not exactly blind thanks to the marvels of modern technology and phones that take pictures and then allow you to send them.  So, technically...I kinda know what he looks like.  Which isn't saying much. that I mean that I'm the least photogenic person on the face of this earth.  If I had a team of 20, perfect lighting and Annie Leibovitz I'd still have some stupid look on my face.  Eons ago, I was watching Oprah and she told me (well...I guess me and a million other people...) that when you're having your picture taken, to put your chin up.  It takes away any other chins that you may not want photographed.  So I went thru a phase where I looked like a turtle.  Turns out, if you put your chin out too far all you see is chin, and you look like a turtle.  To compensate, I decided it would make sense to pull the chin back in, but then you can't see any definition between my neck and my face.  Let's just say that after 32 years, I've yet to see a picture taken of me that looks anything like I think I look.  I'm still trying to find that happy medium.  Sending Mr. Mom (I'll get to the name...) a picture of me, taken by me, on my phone isn't saying much.  I expect that he probably doesn't look as scary in person (here's hoping, anyways....)

We spoke on the phone today for about 15 minutes, and (I love this...) he texted me first to see if it was okay to call.  I thought that was considerate.  I made him wait a few hours., honestly I was getting Q ready for school.  Talking on the phone with a nosy 5 year old is not fun.  For some reason, they decide that very minute they need you for something very reading a book, or helping them know life-or-death type things.  For this very reason, I no longer take baths either.  The minute I get in there, he's got a crisis.  Back to Mr. Mom tho...we're both from Alberta, we both live in Van (obvious...) He's a full-time dad (hence the Mr. Mom...) to a 7 year old boy.  He's currently unemployed, looking for a job as a rehab councillor (anyone hiring???)  And he was waiting for his son's Christmas concert to start.  He had the video camera all charged and ready to go.  That is cool.

We're meeting for coffee, and I'm so nervous I want to cancel.  It seems so silly to be set up (this is the landlord set up, btw.)  No one ever sets you up with friends..."Oh, I have the most fabulous friend for you.  You just have to meet her."  Isn't the whole point of being with someone that you feel that spark when you're around them?  Isn't it backwards that you're meeting someone on the off chance that you might feel that spark?  The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced I'm in love with the idea of love.  Moreso than love itself.  And maybe I'm just freaking out that I'm meeting a stranger tomorrow.  A bald stranger with a long goatee.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've been busy...

I have come to the realization that the world is filled with procrastinators.  Everyone knows that Christmas is December 25.  It's not like it changes every year.  It's not like it just springs up on us.  And yet, the three weeks before Christmas are the busiest at the post office.  I'm not judging.  I'm one of the biggest procrastinators out there.  I know how long it takes for mail to get from point A to point B and all the little pitstops it *may* take along the way and I still haven't mailed my stuff yet.  I've still got time.  In my defense though, I wait til the last minute because otherwise people would be getting gifts all through the year.  Seriously, if I was one of those people who started buying Christmas presents in August, I wouldn't have any of them left by December.  I'd be too excited to wait.  I love giving presents.  And besides, nothing says 'Christmas Spirit' like being in an insanely busy mall on Christmas Eve fighting over the last size 8 cashmere sweater.

Anyways, all that preamble was my excuse for not blogging over the past week.  I've been busy.  I've been exhausted.  I've been dreaming of forklifts and trucks and parcels.  Just in case you're wondering, that is NOT my idea of a restful sleep.

E-harmony is not living up to its commercials.  I believe it's because all the good guys from eharmony are in all the commercials they do.  There are none left.  Have you noticed the dates in the commercials?  Met in 2007, or Married in 2006...nothing recent.  Where are the 2009 commercials?  Hmmmmm.  Right.

Meet Patrick (yes, that is his real name....)  His reply for "What's one thing only your best friend knows about you?"  was "I'm in heart failure."  Oh great, I think...just what I need.  Some guy who's not over his last girlfriend.  But futher down in his profile he clarifys...he really, truly is in heart failure.  He's had three open heart surgeries and is waiting for a transplant.  But he hopes that I'm the type of person who can look past that (and the weight he's gained from the medication) because there's nothing he can do about it.  Uh...I'm sooooo trying to be open minded here, I really really am...but c'mon.  I know, even people with life threatening illnesses need love too, I know that.  But how responsible of me would it be if I invited this man into my life (and Q's) just to have him die on us.  That would really suck, don't you think?  I don't have to worry too much about it though, because he closed the match. 

The rest are all just blah.  Blah.  No one who really intrigues me.  I am communicating with one guy who's profile picture is him with a life size green M&M.  Remember, open mind...and maybe I'd feel differently if it was the yellow M&M, but I'm just not feeling the love.  It doesn't help that he has glasses from the early 80's and looks like he should be working in the produce section of the grocery store.  Ahhhhh, there I said it.  Superficial - I am superficial. I can't help it.

My landlord is setting me up with a guy though.  His name is James, he just moved to White Rock and he has a 7 year old child.  She met him in a course she's taking offered by Unemployment Insurance for people who have been laid off.  She says it's soooooo amazing to listen to him talk, apparently he's got quite the story.  She says he's gone through sooooooo much and come soooooo far.  And he's 'kinda' cute.  Whatever that means.

So, the skeptic in me thinks....drug addict, alcoholic who has no job.  The optimist in me is thinking....oh, what the hell. 

p.s.  mail your parcels already...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Terrible Two's

I thought bad things come in three's.  And so I really should be grateful that, for me, this week bad things happened in two's.  The proof is as follows:

  • Two parking tickets.  Two.  At work, we have to pay for parking.  You can only pay for 3 hours at a time, so you have to run out 3 hours into your shift and plug the meter.  I always, always forget - as evidenced by the parking tickets.  That meter maid is stalking my car, I just know it.  I don't think it's coincidence that I get a ticket mere minutes after the meter expires.
  • Two conflicts with employees.  Another huge one this evening.  Sometimes I cannot believe the things that I have to say to adults, but these words actually came out of my mouth tonight, "If you yell at a supervisor again, you will - at the very least - be issued a 24 (disciplinary) for insubordination.  Do you understand me?"  In the unbelievable file:  One day I had to tell an employee three times that my expectation was that he stayed awake during his shift.  THREE times.
  • Twice I was putting an elastic band around tags with it snapped and hit my thumb in the exact same place.  It stings the first time.  It really makes you want to swear the second time around.
  • Two is the number of fingers I slammed in a drawer.  Not just any drawer, but one of those old desks that is solid wood.  I said a certain word that starts with "F" and ends with "uck" after that one.  Twice.  My finger still hurts, by the way.
  • Two times this week I had to scrape my windows.  I know, I know I shouldn't complain.  Especially since Alberta is getting slammed with a snow storm as we speak (or as I write...)  But, ugh...after 8 hours at work and an hour on the train (both ways)- the absolute last thing I want to do is scrape ice off my windows.  Oh, and -2...coincidence?  I think not.  (That's -2 degree's celcius of course.  I have no idea what that is for my US friends)
  • Two people I will be missing very much this weekend.  I was so super excited that my best friend and her newborn baby girl were coming for the weekend.  Disclaimer:  (Best friend reads this) The content of item #6 is in no way meant to make said BFF have feelings of guilt, sadness, or any other negative type feelings.  I mean, if my doctor told me, "If it was my baby, I wouldn't be taking her on an airplane during flu season,"  I wouldn't either.   Oh, who am I kidding?  I probably would take that to mean that it was not safe to leave the house for the next 3 months.  But I was really looking forward to meeting baby K, and having some girl-bonding time with my best girl.  The next time will be even sweeter!!
  • Two supervisors.  That's how many we're short right now.  A fond farewell to KS, who leaves us three weeks before Christmas.  Then there were two (supervisors that is.  Two.  Doing the work of 4).  Fabulous.  More work for me.  Yay! Work.  Ohhhhh, I can't wait.  (Did you catch that sarcasm?  It was suble)
It about two minutes it will all be okay.  And this is why....two is also the number of little blue pills I just stuck under my tongue.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Gift

I had a horrible day at work tonight.  Horrible.  I think that it was actually so bad that horrible doesn't even begin to describe it.  And it started from the moment I walked in the door. Now, this is really saying something because, as some of you know, I worked in the airline industry for 10 years.  In those 10 years, I had my share of delays.  Like 24 hour delays with 300 passengers who were on their way to Cuba before the aircraft decided to crap out, and spent 6 hours in an enclosed space before it was determined that the aircraft was indeed broken.  I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain this, but 300 people who were expecting to be in Cuba, but instead are spending the night in the airport...well, lets just say they can be a little grumpy.  Ya, today...was worse.

It all began with an argument with an employee.  Asked him to do a task, simple enough (or so I thought, but what do I know...I'm just the supervisor...) He thought said task was dumb, or too much work, or I don't know what, and pretended to do it.  I watched him pretend to do it, then asked him what part of the instruction he didn't understand, so in an attempt to infuriate me further he stared me down as he deliberately did the bare minimum of the request.  Then he yelled.  I don't like yelling.  I avoid conflict at all costs.  Truly I do.  However, you make me look like a fool in front of my employees and customs officials inspecting the mail....I take the challenge.  And I win.  I always win.

Not even 10 minutes later, an employee (thankfully a different one) takes a huge (yet surprisingly aerodynamic) parcel  and throws it at another (unsuspecting) employee and narrowly misses his head.  Conflict number two and I haven't even been there for half an hour.

"Dude,"  I say. "Not cool." 

To which he responds, "What?  Not cool that I missed?" 

*SIGH* (oh, for clarification...this would be my sigh...)  "Was that your intention?  To hit him?" 

"Uh, no..." grin is gone from his face. 

"Okay, so here's the will not throw mail.  And you will not try to hit co-workers.  You do it again and you're going home."  Just so everyone is on the same page, I do not work in a sweat shop with children.  These are adults. 

Fast forward through the night...pull two licences for 'unsafe' forklift driving.  Inadvertantly lie (which if you don't mean to lie, is it really a lie?  Or a miscommunication?) to an employee and then have to fess up.  Oh, and then there's this little thing called MAIL which is ever increasing in volume as we lead up to Christmas and I was just ready to...well, I don't know.   I went outside to get some fresh air(and by fresh air, I mean I had a cigarette.)  I contemplated standing in front of a bus, but there was no driver so I could have been there for a while.  And it was cold.  So I went inside. 

All this, and a last minute rush to get the end of shift paperwork completed, when an employee on the next shift comes over and begins talking to me. 

"Did you get to enjoy the sun today?"

"A lil"  I mutter, thinking 'can't you see I'm busy here??????!?!?!?'

"Wasn't it a wonderful gift?"

Full stop.


In November, we've had record rainfall...which for Vancouver is saying a whole lot.  It's rained every day for what feels like a year.  I was beginning to understand how Noah felt.  Just when we thought we were all going to trade our cars in for canoes, the sun came out.  And it's been out for two glorious days.  It is a gift, a fabulous gift.  And I almost forgot to be thankful.

So, I don't know how your day was today.  But if it was anything like mine, all I have to say is this...

"Wasn't it a wonderful gift?"