Monday, May 21, 2012

What Not to do When You're PMS-ing

Last week, I had this whole post planned out in my head - What Not to do When You're PMS-ing, but I was soooooo filled with rage, I let it sit for a day or two to calm down.  Now, a week later...I still remember what pissed me off, but I can't really put my finger on why.  I had to delete the whole post because it just wasn't filled with the level of angst that I had felt just 7 days earlier.  So, evidently, the thing you really shouldn't do when you're PMS-ing is write a blog post.  Although, I bet it would have been really funny.  In case you're wondering, the top 3 on the list were:  Driving, Parenting and was a bad week...

So instead, I am going to talk about why I think I'm still single.  I'm really very introspective today and have been thinking about this for quite some time.  And time I've had, my friends...5 years to be exact.  Okay, 5 1/2 years if we're going to be *exact* exact, but whatever.  

I am an independent woman.  It's one of my best qualities (if you ask me...), being independent gives me a confidence I didn't have ten years ago.  I am totally not bragging when I tell you that I can fix vacuum cleaners, unclog drains, unplug toilets, wrap up wounds without batting an eye, I pay the bills, I can plan a party, I get the job done, kids.  And I'm super proud of the fact that I can do it all on my own.  It was a daunting task just even a few years ago.  Corny, but true...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  And stronger I am.

Being independent wasn't a choice.  It was an adaptation due to my circumstances.  There was a time in my life where I would have loved to have someone else do all those things for me.  I would have loved to just buy the Ikea furniture and have someone else put it all together while I browse Pinterest and drink a glass of wine.  I would have loved to have someone else fix the toilet when the thingy doesn't flush anymore, because putting your hand in that water, even though you *know* it's clean is super gross, no matter what any body says.  I would love to have someone else take the car to get the oil changed because to me it's just a hassle until the car doesn't work anymore.

So with every independent thing I have had to do, my heart grew a little harder, just a little bit more bitter.  Every time I do something for myself, I realize I don't need someone else to do it for me.  I don't believe in love stories anymore.  Guys, can you believe that I didn't cry when I watched The Notebook?  I scoffed.  I rolled my eyes.  My heart has become hard.

I don't even give men a chance anymore.  Attractive men, available men, give me 15 minutes and I can find a reason why they don't make the cut.  And this is because my heart has become hardened.  I don't want to give anyone the chance.  I don't want to fail at something (a relationship) when I know how fantastic I am on my own.

I don't want my heart to be hard.  I want a soft heart.  I want to be open to the possibilites of love.  But I just cannot find a reason to soften.  Being tough and jaded gets the job done. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The *Really* Real Housewives of Vancouver

Oh my goodness.  I am still so outraged by that stupid, stupid show.  Not only is it a completely insulting show for housewives everywhere, it's also a horrible representation of women in general.  The more I think about it, the more angry I become.  This idea that a bitchy woman is a strong woman is just so offensive to me, possibly because it is nowhere near the truth.  In my experience bitchy, rude, in yo' face women are not strong, they are incredibly weak and have built up this rough exterior in an attempt to hide their weaknesses.  Women who possess true strength are calm, yet passionate.  Kind, yet firm.  They speak words of strength, exude an air of strength, and their actions speak for themselves.  So, what I see on The Real Housewives of Vancouver is a bunch of insecure, rich bitches who run around putting others down in an attempt to look better themselves.  Two of them don't even meet the definition of housewives, seeing as how they're both divorced - and that makes me mad.  They shouldn't even be on the show.  They lose by default and definition. 

I began to think about the *housewives* in my life- women who have devoted their lives to their families and their husbands.  In this day and age, saying a woman has devoted herself to a man starts a whole gaggle of arguments about the merits of feminism, but for this post, and for the women that I am about to speak of, I use the word *devoted* in its true definition and as a positive description of their choices.  In taking vows to the men in their lives, they have devoted, promised their lives to their betrothed.  These are the really real housewives of Vancouver, and I am filled with pride that they are in my life.  It's sad that we as a society chose to idolize the rich in money, poor in spirit.  We sit and watch housewives yell at each other and back stab each other and pump their lips and enhance their boobs and call this entertainment.  All the while, the really real housewives of Vancouver are the unsung one's watching them, except for little ears and little eyes...

I have decided to showcase the really real housewives of Vancouver.  I have been blessed with some amazing women in my life.  And one of them I met in what was absolutely the darkest time in my life.  I've been pretty vocal about suffering from post partum depression after the birth of Q.  I'm vocal because I don't want other women to go through the same thing and think that they're alone, or that there's no hope, or that there is something wrong with them.  I met E in a post partum depression support group.  I imagined I would find all these crazy women in this group, but instead I found these amazing kindred souls, wise, smart and wonderful.  She had a newborn, and was working on her Masters.  I mean this woman is incredibly smart. What makes E so amazing as a housewife is that she stuck it out.  There were times she looked at her husband and hated him, looked at her daughter and thought she was not mother material.  But she stuck it out.  In a world where so many people give up, she worked at loving her husband again.  She fought every voice inside her head that said she couldn't be a good mother.   I think one of the reasons I admire E so, so much is that after how difficult a time she had after the birth of her first child, she pushed through her fears and doubts and had another baby!!  That is incredibly awe inspiring for me!  She has two beautiful, smart, well adjusted children, a wonderful husband, a FULL TIME job, and she is one of the kindest souls I have ever met.  She is a really real housewife.

C has four children all under the age of 8 and three of them are boys.  I know that at least one of you just went crazy reading that sentence.  C's son is best friends with my Q and even though we went to the same university, we didn't meet each other until almost 15 years later. After university, C met her husband, had some kids and decided to stay home and raise them.  I know, novel idea, huh?  They raise them all on one income.  In this era, a one income home is almost unheard of, unless you're a single momma with a deadbeat baby daddy.  And her husband is the pastor of a church, so you know he's not getting paid crazy amounts of money!  So what, they cut coupons and eat dinner at home most nights, she is there for her children.  She's teaching her children about God, and about how to live a life worth living, and she's leading by example.  Her children are happy.  Her children are kind.  Her children are polite and well mannered.  Her job is thankless, and she won't see the true impact of all her hard work and dedication until her children are much older.  How many times as a new mother did I just wish for some adult time!  How often do we tell ourselves how important *things* are!  More important than time and devotion! She is amazing to me.  She is a really real housewife.

M!!  Ah, M is my girlfriend with the Latin flair.  I love how she says "terrible" like "terrival".  M has a beautiful marriage.  She married her best friend.  Coming from South America when she was a young woman, she married young - I want to say she didn't know English when she moved to Vancouver, but I can't remember for sure.  Anyways, her family a million miles away and she's starting a new life.  M and her wonderful husband E are so fun to be around.  Their love and humour is infectious and you just feel so special in their presence.  Just over 5 years ago, the unfathomable happened when their baby girl, just two years old, died suddenly.  As a mother, I cannot imagine anything more devastating as the loss of a child.  But M, with two small toddlers, chose to take that pain and sadness and become stronger for it.  She made her family stronger, made her marriage stronger.  Of course, the pain of losing a child never ever goes away, but her smile is amazing and she makes me smile!  Her children are such a delight to be around!  The very first time they met me they came over and gave me a big kiss on the cheek!  How welcoming is that?!?  She has a relationship with her children, and a beautiful portrait of her angel, who is never far from her mind.  She is a really real housewife.

S taught my son to talk!  As an SEA in my son's kindergarten class, she saw Q's struggle and frustration.  When the health authority said, 'Oh don't worry, it'll come' and the school board said, 'Oh we don't have time...' S said to me, 'Give me 10 minutes a day, 3 times a week.  I'll fit it in to my schedule."  Within a month, easily, Q could say his own name without people wondering what he was trying to say (Quinn sounds like Twin when you can't say your C,K,Q's).  We struck up a friendship and I learned so much about this amazing woman.  Her husband left her when she was pregnant with her third child, and so she raised three boys on her own, but the most amazing thing is that she also took in 3 foster children to raise as well.  So, here is this single momma raising 6 kids on her own!  She waited until her three sons had grown up and moved out to marry her long term boyfriend, and she's now the proud grandma of one smiley little boy.  S still works with children who have special needs and she gives them a voice no one else even thinks they have, sometimes working two or three jobs just because she can't say no to children who need her.  Last summer, S and her husband took in their newborn great-nephew, after momma had a few issues to deal with.  They're now raising this 8 month old little guy, when really they've already paid their dues tenfold.  I really wish there were more people like them, willing to devote time to plant a seed in the lives of our young children.  S is a really real housewife.

These are the really real housewives of Vancouver.  I haven't even touched on the really real housewives of Calgary, like my BFF who stood at the side of a pool early, early one Saturday morning for 30 minutes while her beautiful, head strong daughter decided to not join in her swimming lessons because the teacher was a boy!  Or my girlfriend who's facebook status read, "breastfeeding newborn number 4, while holding a puking number 3..." This just after she made an amazing birthday cake castle for child number 2 the week before.  I guess reality like this doesn't sell.  Unless you're one of 4 sister wives married to the same man,  or you're plotting the demise of your ex while getting your botox injections, no one really cares if you're a good wife or mother or both. 

I am so proud to call these women my friends.  I think I have been blessed to have them in my life, and they've all come just when I've needed them the most.  I feel that just one paragraph doesn't even begin to describe how amazing they are.  Think about the amazing housewives you have in your life.  Thank them for their efforts, for often their job is thankless.  No one appreciates the dinner, til there isn't one there.  We take these women and their devotion for granted.  I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful housewife raise me, and look how fabulous I am!  That wonderful woman, my momma, is still in my life (in fact, in my house!!!!) after all these years, and our relationship has grown from mother/daughter to friends and roomies.