Maybe it’s a phase, maybe I should take up knitting or Sudoko, maybe I should read books like a New Earth and achieve the enlightenment everyone is talking about on Oprah (purchased on the side of my bed, unopened) or maybe I should rejoice in the fact that any aspirations I had of social compliance have gone out the window. The term social compliance is new to me, it’s a bit like having an ache in your belly for years and years and when the doctors finally diagnoses you and gives your condition an actual name, you wake up the next day and it’s gone. Like most people I have spent a lot of my years trying to make people happy, just going along with things in order not to ruffle any feathers and I would say it’s mostly a good thing. Then there’s the other twenty percent where you do that even when you are getting terrible service in a restaurant, or some insurance company is giving you the run around or it’s dinner time and a call center says they just need two minutes of your time and half an hour later the fire alarm is shrieking because the chicken is scorched in the oven and you are still on the phone. It is then when social compliance is on par with the flesh eating disease munching away on your self respect inch by inch. Last week I was standing in the Toronto airport for hours waiting to be assigned a seat on my flight to Halifax, as the gate was about to close they finally called me and the only other person standing there and said we were lucky to get on the flight and stuck us both in dreaded middle seats. At that point I really didn’t care less about where I sat I just needed to get on the plane but the other woman asked why she hadn’t been assigned a seat at check in. They brushed her off and said it was oversold as if it was her fault, she was trying to explain that she booked her ticket months ago when the agent snapped at her and said it was likely she didn’t get a seat because her fare was so cheap and that was when I achieved my moment of enlightenment and I was silent no longer. Needless to say the lady got her aisle seat and I didn’t even have to get arrested. I guess the key to effective non social compliance is having a smile on your face, it is the best offence and defence all at the same time.
There was an Irish God (I happen to know most of them are Irish and mostly women actually) who planned that in the year 2008 the world would stop for four whole days to celebrate the exodus of snakes from Ireland, of course the god knew there were never actually any snakes just people who had been drinking car bombs (guinness with a shot of Jagermeister in it) slithering on the floor trying to get a taxi home. No one is sure of the significance of this particular year and I don’t think they cared they just shut off their computers on Thursday night, emptied their fridges of still fresh vegetables, drank incredible amounts of water and prepared themselves to greet their friends on the battle ground the next morning. Even though St Patricks day was officially on Monday, the celebrations kicked off on Friday at about eleven forty five am. even those who vow to never drink before noon were standing hand on hip, leaning on the bar, standing on tip toes as if they were waiting for the gun to be fired in a long distance race. They were trying to execute their long studied strategy of starting fast, keeping pace in the leading pack but not at the front, let some other fool be the leader and watch him drop out come dinner time, it is a bit like an Olympic showdown readying yourself to keep in the game for four straight days. It is as clear to me now as it was in junior high when I was briefly on the basketball team and was running ( please hear the sarcasm in my tone as I liberally use the term running) down the court to score the only point I ever would in my life, though it was sadly against my own team and a girl in the stands shouted ” what is she doing here?” that I am no athlete. I comforted myself with this fact as I skipped the visit to the pub after playing The Ireland Fund of Canada luncheon on Friday afternoon and instead went for a wee little nap.I am not sure the last time St Patrick’s was on a Monday but I am sure I wouldn’t remember it if I did, a bit like the old saying of love sick couples around the world ” every day is valentines day”
anyone who has ever frequented George Street knows that everyday is actually St Patty’s day.
I am a bit of an odd duck, a little weirdness here and there is my calling card. I am the person who will put the “do not disturb” sign on their door for days when staying at a hotel, instead of taking advantage of it. I get uncomfortable with anyone cleaning up after me even though as my friends and family can attest I really, really need someone to clean up after me. I have this thing about needing to do everything for myself and that is why I have single handedly painted about ten apartments ten hundred colors but when I moved into my house last year I realized it was too big of a job and I was actually going to hire someone to do it for me. I had a consultation and found someone I could trust in my house, I felt excited, liberated and actually a little proud that I was getting over a bit of a phobia — and then he quoted me the price. To say I just about fell over would be an understatement, I felt like Archie Bunker sitting back in my chair going ” You’ve got to be kidding me” as if the price of ham went from a dollar a pound to twenty overnight. It was a reasonable enough quote but as someone who subscribes to the modern girl’s guide to hunting and gathering including shopping at Winners (Adrienne Clarkson does it, I’ve seen it with my own eyes), I quickly resolved that I would once again do it myself. So I have spent the last week cursing and aching as I try to paint my stucco ceilings white. Stucco as anyone who’s tackled it knows is its own beast and what a beast it is. Plaster falling like raindrops onto my hair, the floor and until I put on some goggles, my eyes, with each gallon of paint only covering one square meter like it was the desert. Last night at two in the morning I screamed out that horror movie scream as my shoulder locked in place above my head and the roller slipped from my grip and at that moment I would have paid a burglar five times the quote to finish the job .
This morning however I am fresh with extreme amounts of caffeine, coupled with Vitamin d and b12 and I am gonna show this rest of the ceiling who’s boss and I am going to enjoy every minute of it if it kills me.
Are you as confused as I am? I must confess I am confused about a million things including what to eat, what not to eat, what to drink and what not to drink. For years there have been alien like forces laying out a proper diet for us, spelling out it’s ever changing mantra through commercials, branding and dire warnings in the news, not to mention the occasional UFO spotting.
You’ve got to hand it to the powers that be, they know how to get information out there, for years any self respecting person who dared to eat something with fat in it for breakfast instead of eating three “Low Fat”
bagels did so in seclusion for fear of being considered an outcast who was reckless with their health. People invented little sprayer machines to limit the amount of oil in a pan, so much so that the pounds of pasta would stick to it within seconds, let alone butter which was vilified and replaced by its surgically enhanced stepsister margarine. Little did we know that in fact margarine would end up being the worst thing in the world for us , killing us slowly with each spread of the knife. Not to mention the process of getting off sweetener is as painstaking as getting off crack (as the new show ” Intervention- a Sweet and Bitter Story” can attest to). Then overnight the information changed, apparently it was the very thing we were gorging ourselves on that was making us fat and slamming our arteries. We thought we were living in a dream when we were told that we should be eating fat and tonnes of it, so like the sheep we are we ran out and bought every steak we could find grilled it for two minutes and slathered it with deep fried onions. We had bacon and eggs for breakfast and as long as we didn’t have toast with our butter we were laughing. The weight fell off and people were walking around with an air of superiority that masked the green pallor that started to creep up as the meat settled into the lining of our intestines. I am not a scientist but when someone recommends an animal based diet, and gives you the stink eye for eating an orange because of its high sugar content, you know they bought their diploma on eBay. So now I don’t listen at all. I just follow one simple rule, if it’s from the earth and I can identify it, I’m good to go with a cherry on top!