Pass It On

 

It’s innocent. It always, always starts off innocently, often in those vulnerable hours when you are asleep. You are going about your business. You are doing what has to be done in the dark despair that may be your life. You are suffering. You don’t know what to do, so you pass it on because you need someone to help carry the burden, you can’t do it alone.

 

I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me… 

That’s right.

 

You wake up with a FN jingle in your head.

 

And it’s not just a jingle. Oh no. It’s one from your childhood. One that you possibly no longer have access to, unless you look for it on YouTube.

 

The jingle beats the last week in which I’ve woken up with Rockwell’s “I Always Feel Like (Somebody’s Watching Me)” song in my head, which is enough to make anyone go into a killing rage. (Now you’ll have that song in your head for the rest of the day … passing it on.)

 

I love jingles. Seriously, if there was ever a child whose entire early state of being was driven by TV, it’s me. I’m your girl. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls (even if her sister Mary kinda’ creeped me out and Nelly? Hello, stereotype? She was just waiting to be tied down to train tracks by Dirk Dastardly, man.) I loved TV as a kid.

 

I remember some crap Stallone/Bullock film called Demolition Man. It was the future and the radio station only played ads from the 1970’s and 80’s. That’s my kind of radio, man. I’m all about jingles.

 

I sent out an email and wasn’t let down. I put the Band-Aid jingle on and was rewarded with the greats, including:

(The Peanut Gallery all contributed and I’m not sure if some of the folk who emailed me want to be mentioned here or not, so I’m opting for the safe option and letting them remain anonymous). Some of the beauties were:

 

My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R? 

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame bun…. 

What would you do-o-o for a Klondike bar?

I’d like to teach the world to sing. 

The killer was: Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow.

 

Help me out here. What other ads or jingles am I missing from our childhood? I need a pick me up, so a little help here.

 

And until then, I leave you with:

I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me…

 

 

The Zone

Saturday morning I was in a fantastic mood.


The sun was shining bright. It was hot. So hot, in fact, that I opened all the windows and let the house flood with warmth.

 

I looked around the house, sipping coffee, and I thought: Good Lord I’m happy.


It hit me. I was happier than I could have imagined I could be. Here I was, barefoot in a messy house, a day of packing ahead of me, and I was giddy.

 

You can call it serenity. Me, I call it hormones.


I was in what I call The Zone. When I am in The Zone everyone around me can be dying of typhoid fever and I can helpfully point out that at least they can drink rum instead. When I am in The Zone I get a lot done, often to the sound of my iPod in my ears, and generally while doing said activity – say baking muffins – I will be so far into The Zone that I won’t realize that I’ve forgotten to add the baking soda to the muffin mix. I feel happy and alive and that I’m getting so much done while in The Zone.

 

Too bad my Zone doesn’t come with traffic cones keeping me off the bumpy gravel.

 

Skyped

I’ve determined that I’m getting old. It’s come on gradually, much like age itself has, but I am definitely aging. Case in point – recently one of our neighbours had a party for their teenager, and the party’s noise levels could be heard all the way over in Saint John. Speakers blaring, people laughing, girls screaming, arguments and taunts had…it was 150,000 decibels at least. The music blared at top volume, which might not have been so bad had they not kept changing the station mid-song. It happened constantly – a song would start, someone would decide that song did not, indeed, rock their world, and then there’d be the noise of someone searching for a new song. It drove me wild.


The screaming was really grating on me, too. One loud, long scream drew me onto the back deck to check that the girl was ok, and at the end of the song there was a silence and then huge laughter and then the girl making some kind of joke that invariably included the words “Ohmigod! That was so funny!” I wanted to go up to these girls and put my hands on their shoulders and tell them that these screams, they’re the serious kind. Don’t waste them now, babe, because that patronizing story about “never crying wolf” comes to mind, and someday you may need that scream.


I truly realized I had moved on in age when the party continued on well after midnight. I didn’t want to complain, but the noise was too much, I was really getting wound up.

“You’re getting old,” I muttered to myself. Actually, I’ve always been one of those people who is sensitive to noise at bedtime and can’t fall asleep if it’s too raucous outside (or I can, but it involves sedatives and/or alcohol). “It’s ridiculous! Don’t they have any respect for their neighbours?” I fumed.

 

And I realize that I am moments away from pink sponge curlers, house coats, and a broomstick handle I use for coaxing my dozens of cats out of trees.


I’m old in other ways, too – I send many, many more texts than I do emails or phone calls. But I’m a bit of a stickler about texts – I can’t stand text abbreviations. If you want to text me the message “See you later, meet at Tim’s!” then you’d better text me the message “See you later, meet at Tim’s. If I get a text that says “C U l8ter, meet @ TH!” then I’m going to delete the FN thing and wait until you text me a message spelled the grown-up way. It drives me crazy, that abbreviated text talk.


Similarly, I’m skipping another big trend that’s going on. I ran into an old co-worker the other day, she asked me for my skype address.
“I don’t do skype,” I said, smiling.
The sound of her jaw hitting the floor caused many people to look over. “You don’t do skype?” she nearly shrieked, with a degree of severity on par with “you don’t do deodorant?” or “you don’t advocate the prevention of cruelty to animals?”

 

I have a confession: I don’t really even know what skype is. So yes. I’m old. I’m old and grouchy and any day now I’m going to start re-using my coffee filters three and four times and I’ll smell like government cheese.


All because I don’t do skype.

 

 

Sports

Here’s something you may or may not know about me: I don’t give a flying F%#@ about sports.

 

This is one of many reasons why being with my husband is good – he’s not into sports either*. He’ll watch the Olympics or the NHL finals, but he’s not really that crazy about it.

 

I see sport as something that robs TV of so many other things it could be showing. Not only will I not watch sports on TV but I don’t watch sports in real life either. My take is simple:

 

– Tennis. I don’t have a clue how it’s played. It’s all quiet and polite and ball boys and a ref in a lifeguard chair. They throw words around like “deuce” and “love” and the like. I actually watched the end of the Wimbledon because I wanted to watch a grown man cry. I am fairly sure that the “edge of the seat ending” stayed “edge of the seat” for almost an hour. And when he did win I didn’t see any man tears. I felt let down. The premise of the game is two (or four) people smacking a fluorescent thing back and forth over the net. Why not remove the net, it just gets in the way? In fact, why hit a ball back and forth, it could just cause injury? Perhaps skip the rackets? My proposal: stand there and drink gin and tonics. Much more fun.

– Baseball. The longest game in history. I get it, it’s all tradition and hot dogs and peanuts and cracker jacks, its stats and America does good and yada yada yada. It’s also hours and hours out of your life. Average game is, what? Five hours? I don’t even want to shop for 5 hours straight, why on earth would I want to sit in uncomfortable bleachers shouting at men with tobacco in their mouths?

 

– Golf. I love it when I hear men say, “I play golf to enjoy the scenery.” Right. That’s like “I read Playboy for the articles.” It’s like a chick saying she goes shopping to hear the elevator music. PASS.

 

– American football. I never really got the game. Sure, I get the premise. I mostly understand. Strap pads on. Get big beefy guys to crash into other big beefy guys. Skinny dude streaks down the side, hoping to avoid big beefy dude attention. One man throws an elliptical ball at him. People shout. There are downs. There are lots of downs. We love this game why exactly?

 

– Rugby – where brain cells go to die.

 

– Hockey.  Oh I’m probably un-Canadian for saying so but I don’t get this game either. They’re allowed to fight and they’re allowed to punch each other. Fighting should only be allowed in UFC or Boxing. The players suddenly skate to the side while the network has a commercial break which, let’s be real, is kinda messed up. Too bad the sport’s so popular.

  

– Basketball. One of the few games where hey – size does matter! I’ve never enjoyed basketball because if you’re there watching, the court reeks of copper-smelling sweat. There are endless sirens and bells going off. And the constant squeak of the soles of the basketball shoes on the court does my head in.

 

– Cricket. Stickety wickets, rules that you need a degree in physics to understand, and a game that can take 3 days yet have no winner. Don’t even get me started.

 

See? Sport is pointless. It’s all about chasing random balls around random environments. The point of all that is, what?

 

 

 

*Arrrgh … my husband has taken up golf, sort of, he’ll go to the course and drive a basket of balls. <Sigh> At least he doesn’t watch golf on TV.

Afraid, Very Afraid

I look back at the life I’ve lived as though I’m a war veteran standing on the edge of a very large cliff. From the view of the cliff, I can see it all. My childhood, where I was locked inside of eyes that didn’t fit, where the embarrassment and inadequacies first set in. My teens, where I ruthlessly seized the path of not belonging, and made it my mission to further making myself as distant as possible. My early adult years, where it was obvious to all just how detached I was, just how much was invisible from the surface. My late 20’s, where I started to implode. The many, many hours I spent trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


I look down over my cliff and the sea smells of dysfunction, as screaming taunts, addictions, nightmares, emotional violence, and that whine of the TV at 5 am as it plays only humming white noise churn below me. I am none of those people now, but they are all in me, I have reconciled them and moved on. I survived it all, but even more than that, I survived myself. The battle to get over how broken I was, is over. I am proud that I survived myself.


And now I feel kicking. It’s gentle but insistent. It comes in the mornings, it comes in the late evenings, it comes when I am still. There is noise in my head.


I have dreams that I am a warrior, battle-weary and scarred, trying to get three children out of a war-torn country. I have figured out, in typical Freudian bullshit fashion, that the three children in my dreams are Smart Girl, Chicklet and Kidlet. I don’t know what to make of this, but then I often don’t know what to make of anything.

I do not fear death. I do not fear love. But I do have a fear now, and it is scarier than anything I have ever felt. It punches me in the gut and takes my breath away.

My fear is unexpected.
My fear is honest and terrifying.
My fear is simple.

My biggest fear in the world is that my children will turn out like me.

 

Time to Live, Time To Die

If we were born with an expiry date or just like a DOB ( date of birth) we had a DOD ( date of death ) written in our birth certificates would our lives be any different?

 

I wonder.

 

We would not need a death certificate; they could just add a field for reason of death that could be filled out once we die. It could help reduce the load of paperwork for our loved ones once we are gone.

 

On a more serious note though, would we be more daring and experience more living or would we be apathetic towards life. Human beings tend to live thinking that they will live forever until they actually get old or just die suddenly. The first thing that comes to mind is that people with shorter life spans would get discriminated against. They would become undesirable for marriage, jobs and even buying things in instalments. Which most probably would lead to a whole new world of forgery. We would probably read books and watch movies about love stories where couples would fight for their love because one person knew he would only live for another year or two and the other decades but they would still choose to get married and be together for whatever time they had. Genetic studies would explore the human genome to find if they can modify your unborn baby’s genes to get a longer living baby. Would people who knew they would live longer take better care of their health?  Would they make more friends and try more things because they know they have enough time to change their mind? Would decisions be harder or easier to make?

 

It is a blessing that we do not know.
 

Opinion

As time has passed I’ve found that my opinions get more and more scant. It’s as though a cork has been popped into me and plugs up anything that might be coming out. Over the length of seconds, minutes, days, weeks and months, years this has turned me into someone that I don’t like. Nobody else likes it either.

 

I feel like a caricature sometimes – “Do you want vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla or chocolate? Huh? Tell me!”. My response is usually: “Umm…I dunno. Neither? Both? You decide. No really. Just pick whichever one causes the least amount of contention. That’s the one I want.”


What I should be doing, is speaking my mind. As in “Frig, all you have is vanilla or chocolate? I’m a strawberry kind of girl.”

This is my fault, my problem.

 

And I’m sick of it.

 

I need a voice.

 

Its time I started to make myself heard when something happens I don’t like. I need to say what I want and don’t want. I need to stop shutting up and start being clear, no one wants to be around someone who can’t choose her FN ice cream. I will have my say on everything from groceries to which politician I support to which gasoline to buy. The meek don’t inherit anything apart from a personality complex.


I’ve been hiding how I’m feeling to everyone, including myself, in an effort to avoid arguments with everyone about everything. This is my fault, I’ve brought this on myself, no one made me stop talking. But I’m tired of this peaceful life, because it’s anything but peaceful. I’m not going to go around picking a fight with everyone, that’s not how it works, but when something bothers me I’m going to deal with it.

 

I’m not angry … I’m free. As are my opinions.