He’s a boy

Yesterday T and me, we went shopping. I had not been in awhile and although the freezer selection of meat was fine, I had run low on lunch supplies. Side dishes. And I needed some more fish. And the Top Sirloin Roasts and Steaks, they were on for a great price. So I had to. But this is not about my shopping trip or the fact I overspent once more but got a ton of Air Miles, not this, this is about T.

On the way to the store, T found the old wipers I had taken off of the car and replaced last weekend. He was pretending that one was a gun. Our drive is approximately 5 minutes. During that time he killed I do not know how many bad guys, all the while with a running commentary so that I was kept safe.

No problemo. Get to the store and there is a small rule I have. This is where I work. Please do not run amok and act like a moron. In other words, for the 20 minutes it will take us to shop, please pretend that you are an alien who is inhabiting my child’s body; who watched Miss Manners while trying to learn our culture. Alas, it was not meant to be. There were bad guys everywhere.

I stopped to grab vitamins. Requested that T stay with the cart. Turn around and who is behind be? Sans cart? T! I roll my eyes and ask where the heck the cart is. Here mom, I moved it two rows over, it is safe here. The logic of a 9 year old boy.

My eyes got a great workout while we were shopping. I was rolling them. Hissing his name every 30 seconds it felt like as he whipped around corners. I get gargling my threats, as I silently shrieked watch out at him. He was immune to my silent glares. I apologized to so many customers that he almost sideswiped.

In T’s defense, he was using the cart as a shield and attacking the bad guys. He was keeping the shopping world safe.

Realized that I forgotten butter. Made him promise not to move from the bakery section. Came back to find him in the meat department visiting with the lobsters.

I explained to him that despite his apparent dislike for grocery shopping that the more he misbehaved the more times he was going to have to come with me. He stared at me like I had grown three heads and I could suddenly see the hamsters achurnin’. How much worse would he have to be before I would stop making him come? I quickly shut those hamsters up by explaining that until such time as he can act like a human being, he will be continuing to shop with me.

This goes against everything T has been taught. Behave badly and get what you want. Yell and scream, mom or dad will let me go out. Not now. Mom and dad are on the same page. No more bad behaviour. And it is my responsibility not to beat a dead issue, to ensure that when I release him into the world, that he knows how to behave as a member of society.

We got to the till and T takes off with the bags while I am unloading. I stand up and wth? Where did he go? My supervisor found him and I am again hissing at him. I must have sounded like a snake half the time. Get over here with the bags please. Sent him off to get me a flyer. Turn around and he is sitting down with two bags and the flyer.

My supervisor bagging is chortling to herself. She is newly married. I looked at her with a raised eyebrow and gave her my best advice ‘avoid children at all costs.’

We finally got out of there and home. T helped by carrying in the two lightest bags on his windshield wiper bow. Than he was off. I was texting with a friend and grumbling to him about the behaviour in the store when he stopped me dead in my tracks:

‘Jay he is a 9 year old boy being a 9 year old boy. Hopped up on sugar and grocery shopping with his mom. Of course he was obnoxious.’

And there you have it. Sudden shift of perception. He is not even a human being at the moment. He is a 9 year old boy who sees bad guys and guns everywhere. Trucks and cars and loud noises are his forte. Fart jokes and things like ‘why did the girl fall off the swing? ‘Cause she was dead!’ sends him into spasms of laughter.

No matter how often I cringe, the words balls, nuts, etc are now a part of the lexicon in my household. And not by choice.

Yes it is my job to make him that alien who can go shopping, but it is also my job to let him be this alien who is a rambunctious child filled with joy and innocence for as long as I am able.

 

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Slothism

Picture courtesy of CITPrincess.deviantart.com (Found on Internet)
Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. It is the most difficult sin to define, and to credit as sin, since it refers to a peculiar jumble of notions, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states.
Yes, I looked it up because I wanted to make sure that I was using it in the correct context. I am a sinner. I once practiced the sin of sloth. A sin so insidious that you do not even know that you are a practitioner.
I once used my days off and weekends to lounge around. Doing nothing more strenuous than a load of laundry because I needed clean clothing. I also used those days to recover from a hangover or malaise of spirit that was brought on by my drinking. It is not that I did not do what was required because I did, I just would not make a further effort. I existed, I was not living.
****I think I should insert here that while some of this is serious, some of this, such as my calling myself a sinner and mocking myself is done in sarcastic humor. It is how the voice in my head talks as I write. 
You might be thinking that this was only during the time of my depressive episode which lead to me going back on my medication. And yes, the malaise was lifted, but not the drinking. I was still hiding and in doing so, was continuing to harm myself. So while I was moving forward, the energy, the desire to do more was slow in coming. In July I decided to quit drinking because of, well, I have issues. I did have a couple during birthday celebration and on holidays.
I also discovered in mid-September that I have a fatty liver, which has been brought about by my drinking. It has also lead to my hoarding of iron in my body. I made another decision once I found this out. I am going to take a year off from drinking and see where my liver situation is and also because, well that is another part of this story.
In July when I decided to quit drinking, I discovered a few things. I could still write. That had been a huge fear. Another of them. The first had been could I still write without the emotional and painful upheaval that my depression and anxiety brought along with a burst of  creativity.  I could.  Next was without alcohol.  Would my imagination, my ability to create still be there?  And again, it was.
Next I discovered that I had a great deal of excess energy. I was always on the go. And I felt great. I spent a lot of time laughing and talking with coworkers and friends. For awhile I was concerned I was on a false high in the cycle of my depression, but as each week passed I realized it was that I felt clearer. My mind was working better. My memory was better. Everything and anything was providing me with inspiration to write.
And I began and stuck with a workout regime. I make it sound like I am spending hours in the gym, I am not. I have a stationary bike at home that I ride and I spend another half hour on toning exercises of my own design. Part of the exercising to begin with, was to help lower my blood pressure. Yet as I began to see results, as I began to feel even more energized and hopeful in every aspect of my life, I was struck by how different I am from even three months ago.
My girlfriends believe that I am possessed by some evil spirit. Since I have quit drinking my sleep patterns have changed. I am no longer staying up until 1 a.m. drinking my dreams and desires away. I now go to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. and I am up between 4:30-5:30 a.m. on my days off and late starts. Let me be very honest here, I am not getting up at 3 a.m. on the days I work at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to work out, I can do that when I get home.
I realized as I was cycling away this morning that I really like this new me. I enjoy getting up early and getting everything I need to do done early. Than I have my day to write, to read, to chat with my friends. I can put my feet up and sip my coffee playing games on Facebook or checking my emails. And I can do it without feeling any guilt.
This is a huge thing for me. Alcohol has been a very large part of my life. In the last few years it was how I coped with my problems. With my fears.  It lead to me making some dubious decisions. Alcohol also made me feel less. Less of myself. Less creative. A crutch and a parasite on my being.
It has been two weeks since I made this decision. Two weeks where I have not had a glass of wine. But the thought has crossed my mind. Eventually each week is going to pass and I will think of it less and less. I will continue to catalogue the good that has come out of this decision to quit.
1)So much energy that sometimes it is hard for me to stand still.
2)A desire to eat healthily.
3)A desire to exercise. Both for health and because omg I actually enjoy it.
4)Inspiration is everywhere.
5)I am more present. I do not look at the clock and count how long it will be until I can have that first sip of wine. Rum. Whatever it was going to be.
6)Creativity that pours from my fingers.
7)I like me. The every part of me. From my brain down to my toes there is no longer a malaise of spirit.
8)I can forgive. I no longer hang onto bitterness and past mistakes. They ate at my soul and that is not who I want to be.
9)I have realized I am not perfect nor do I need to be. I am better for all my little quirks and folliables.
10)There really is no ten but the list would look a little off without a 10th thing.
As I reread this I realize most of you are lost by now. Wondering what the hell my decision to quit drinking has to do with slothism. And you have every right to. This became one of my rambling conversations where a lot of things have been storing up and I finally figured out how to write them. I apologize.
My slothism took the guise of alcohol. It numbed me. Helped me to rationalize why I was the way I was. How I continued to feel the same despite having tackled my depression head on. It allowed me to be. It helped to shadow the woman I am. The woman I have always wanted to be.
I needed to be slothful. I needed to sin per se so I could repent (tongue in cheek) with a lifestyle change. I am not a religious person so this is my stab at humor. Snort or shake your head in despair I admit it is bad.
I am now the opposite of slothful. I am the friend who gets up early by choice while everyone else is still asleep. Not sure what the proper term for it is. My friends all tell me it makes me crazy. But they still love me. 🙂

Rules for Customers

I have been working in Customer Service for 28 years. That is a long time to work with the public. I do not even know how I ended up in a career that deals with actually serving and talking to people on a daily basis, for 40+ hours a week.  And it does not even stop there.

I live in a city of approximately 15,000 or so. It still has a small town feel to it, and the grocery store where I work is one of three.  There are multiple times that I have been in doing my own grocery shopping, dressed in street clothes (as opposed to the uniform that graces my body all week long) and will be stopped in the aisles. And asked for help finding items. They all say the same thing ‘Oh I know that you are not working but it would save me time.’

Sure. Alright. I will smile and send you off in the right direction because it is the appropriate thing to do.

But I wonder what makes someone think that it is okay to ask me a question about work when I am clearly not working?

It is one thing when my staff do so, I understand and even applaud them for asking me questions when I am in shopping so we are all working from the same page. But customers? That would be like me expecting the gas attendant to pump my gas solely because he is there and it is his job. This, despite the fact that he is clearly putting gas into his own vehicle and wearing street clothes.

Working the Front End and being the last line of defense before our customers leave the store is not an easy job. We are the last ones that can turn around a bad experience. We are the ones who make sure that you have found everything that you are looking for. If you haven’t, we will do our best to find out if it is in stock and on the shelf. We are always smiling and laughing and even if our day is crap, you will never know.

But there are things, things that all customers do and they must stop. For the sanity of all cashiers please please stop.

Rules all customers need to follow (in no particular order):

  1. Do not ever say to your cashier when an item does not scan: Well if it does not scan it must be free . Than chortle like you are three and just discovered knock knock jokes. Not funny. We hear this statement over and over again. Have you ever looked up and your cashier is staring at you unblinkingly? That is because he or she is trying to summon up enough energy to smile as though it is the first time ever hearing that. Usually you get a grin full of teeth, gritted together so any smartass comments are kept in the vault.
  2. Please make full use of the conveyor belt on the till. Once the person in front of you has moved forward, please to unload your groceries. Believe it or not, but I am the one who is going to be yelled at by the five customers behind you because now they are late for some appointment or other. Also if tap is available on your card, use it. It makes life faster and easier for us all.
  3. When you are asked how your are paying, we actually need to be informed of the card type. I do not want to play guess my card type with you.
  4. I can understand your concern with how your groceries are packed. Bread and eggs should not be squashed. Pizzas should not be turned upside down. I know that cold stuff goes with cold stuff. I have been bagging groceries for 30+ years having done so when I went shopping as a kid with my mom.  (I know that there are going to be those of you who think that I am exaggerating. Here is one example: A gentleman came through my till and I was trying to talk to him. I get to the pizza and he yells at me ‘put that pizza in a bag upright will you!’ My eyes blinked rapidly and out shot: ‘Oh I am sorry sir but the only way I know how to bag pizza is upside down so all the toppings fall off.’ Yes he still shops in the store. And he still comes through my till when I am in one. But now he smiles and talks to me.)
  5. In reference to #4 please also refrain from saying to me ‘oh you do know what you are doing.’ I do believe that you might think that this is a compliment but it is not. As well I have been bagging your groceries for well over five years on a weekly basis.
  6. When using your own bags, please have them out before your order. Do not hand them to me at the end of your order and expect me to repack them from the plastic that I just put everything into.
  7. I know that you are in a hurry. And so are the other 20 people who are patiently waiting in the line ups. We are working as hard as possible to get you through. Please do not now by-pass everyone waiting in the express line up and think that I am going to serve you because you can not manage your time. You will be sent to the back of the line up and made to wait. (Again you think I exaggerate, I wish. I have customers who throw tantrums because they have to wait. And we work very quickly to get through the line ups. I have had more than one customer also thank me for the way that we handle our express lines and the fairness rule. LOL)

I spend a lot of time censoring what comes out of my mouth at work. And despite the above rules I absolutely love my job. The company I work for is wonderful. My boss whom I have written about in regards to my depression is fabulous. He makes me a better manager to my staff. I may be a little biased, but I believe I have the best staff ever. And I am always laughing and smiling.

Honestly, I love my customers too. I have so many regulars. I cannot walk through the store without someone saying hello and wanting a chat. Those are the people who make my job a pleasure to do.

My rules are really for that 1% who labor under the delusion that they are the most important people around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Ex

A while back I wrote about how my ex and me were getting along and I realized how much I had matured. Well today I took that one step further. Today I looked passed the man who made me unhappy and spoke to my friend.

This is a man who at one point and time I loved. It is not his fault nor is it mine that in the end we just were not happy together. We are such very different people with little in common. 

Today was the first time that we had a conversation in a long time. And we both laughed. Not the fake ‘yeah get out of my face you are annoying me’ laugh but a real laugh. One that sets the other to laughing. 

We also still have inside jokes and can say things to one another that we are unable to say to anyone else. There have been a few times, where I have been spitting mad and the only one I can vent to is him.

In talking with a girl friend today, she informed me that I was taking the mature route with him. All I had said was his girlfriend was good for him.

And I no longer had to take care of him.

This man is helpless as a baby attempting to organize a tea party. I sent him numerous texts regarding the dates he had T over the summer. I also sent him several screen shots of my calender so he had it. Finally his girlfriend messaged me asking what the dates were. 

That is only one example. 

I can afford to be nice and decent to him. I am happy and in a great place in my life. And I really am working hard to let go of negativity.

It was easy to be angry with my ex when I left. I was blaming him for my unhappiness. Which really is unfair because I had a hand in my own unhappiness. I could have stood firm when I tried to leave three months prior to everything imploding. 

Now though…I am in my own space. I am writing daily. My relationship with my son and mom are amazing. 

So yes, I can afford to be kind with M2. And I even like his girlfriend even though we have not really spoken. But she is excellent with T and that more than anything makes me like K3.(Lol too many K’s- best friend, Auntie and now M2’s girl friend. M1 being my bestie.)

M2 loves T with all his heart. And at the end of the day that is all that is important. He is doing his best to be a great dad. Our failure to make our marriage last aside he will always be my friend. 

Oh so pretty

I am finally a real adult.

No seriously.

Paying all those bills. Supporting myself and T. None of that is really as adultish as what occurred last week. I got a real matching bed set. Not hand me down comforters, not comforters from when I was 17. Not mismatched sheets and pillow cases that I have picked up over the years. But a real bed set.

King size comforter. Two pillows, two shams, 4, count them 4 different pillowcases. Fitted and flat sheet. And it is purple. I love the color purple.

The minute I got home, the sheets and pillow cases were in the wash. I wanted my smells on them, not that plasticy smell from the bag. My old sheets and comforter, the pillow cases, striped off and tossed into the corner. (Not really mom, stop hyperventilating, I washed them and put them away). I was excited. I could not wait to see my vision come to life.

Last year, I got my first adult bed frame. It is romantic and gorgeous and totally me. A me that no one knew existed but does now. Before that, my mattress had rested on the old wooden frame of the waterbed we use to have. When I moved, I threw the wooden frame out and hunted around until I found this one. This was last year’s birthday present to myself. And while it did make me feel a little more adult-like, I was not still truly there.

I have a vision of what my bedroom should look like. It is soft colors and romance. It is my escape from the world. I go there to read, for quiet and sleep. As I am in an apartment I am not able to paint the walls a different color but if I could they would be a light grey with mauve trimming. A light mauve. The lighting would be scones on the walls. And sheer drapes covering the blinds.

Much like when I was younger, I get an image and I know what it is I want. I just do not know where or when I am going to find it. I have been yearning for the same pair of boots since I was 14 years old. They have yet to be designed. Although I can see them just fine in my mind.

On Thursday I went into the city with a friend and we went to Kildonan Place. I had not been in there in years. Over 20 so the changes were immense and surprising. We wandered through the mall, stopping to check out Bath and Body and various of the bedding places. Each one I took a quick look and shook my head. What I was looking for was not there.

On a whim, and one last shot, we meandered into Sears. I was not holding out much hope that I was going to find anything for my bed. We found a nice cotton bed set with a darker purple accent on white. Although it was a reversible comforter, it did not sit right with me. It did not call to me.

I walked towards the back wall and there it was. The color. The sheen. I looked at it and looked away. I was not really certain that I was seeing what I was seeing. It was perfect. The perfect color. And it called to me.

I went back to look at the first one but my heart yearned for the other. I decided then and there which one I wanted. And my first ever adult bed set came home with me.

I feel like a queen when I crawl into bed at night. The comforter is puffy and soft. The sheets are new and crisp and matching. The pillows, something which once I thought was a silly affectation make me giggle and smile. I burrow into the pillows, the comforter pulled up around my shoulders and I fall asleep with ease.

Ohhhhhhhhh and I want to make my bed, every morning because it is so pretty.

Next up, the upsizing of pillows so they fill the pillow cases.

Parent=Antithesis of Cool

***Picture is mine taken Aug. 19/17 my bro and nephews.***

There is literally only one thing that any older sibling wants to do in their lifetime. And that is to crush an illusion that a younger sibling holds so that they are unable to ever hold onto it again. Last night I got to do just that with my baby bro. With the help of his children.  Apparently he has been suffering under the delusion that he is cool.

You read that right.

My 38 year old brother, father of 3 teenagers, believed he was cool. You will notice the past tense I am using.

Myself, my nephews and my niece, disabused him of that notion.

The conversation started off innocently enough. He had been texting me while I was at work and once I got home and settled we continued to talk. He was having a great evening with his therapist Wayne. Wayne Gretzky that is. Apparently the great one makes rye. Who knew?

First he thought that he could trick me. We were having a conversation about spelling. He told me he was a great speller. I informed him that auto-correct does not count towards his ability to spell. D than said to me ‘go ahead, give me any word and I can spell it correctly.’

At some point time in his life, D fell under the belief that he could trick me. Thus far, I have a score of about 1000 to his 0. My response, ‘dude if I give you the word it will already be spelled correctly and you will just copy it.’

I am sure he was sitting in the corner of his couch chortling away, thinking that he had finally caught me out.

Than he did something that drives me absolutely nuts. He began to shorten words and misspell them. When you are a writer that is enough to drive the knife in and twist it. I finally corrected his spelling and was informed that this is a new thing that the kids are doing these days. Shortening words. Cool lingo.

As far as I am concerned they just look illiterate.

I love my niece and nephews. I love my son. But they are kids. And kids are assholes. They think that they know everything and anything. I know this because I once was a kid. I was the biggest asshole around.

When I informed my bro of the fact that he just looked illiterate, he laughed and said ‘doesn’t matter I am still cool.’ I nearly fell off the couch I was laughing so hard. It is a good thing that I can type through tears because they were threatening to fall as I howled.

I made him ask his children if they thought he was cool. I also let him know that if they did say he was cool, they were liars. ‘You are a parent. You are the antithesis of cool.’

D asked. His children broke his heart. At 38 years of age, D must finally reconcile the facts. He is no longer cool. His children and me, we are cruel creatures he informed me. Crushing his dreams. All I could get out of him was that the kids told him ‘dad is not cool.’

It had to be done. D could not be allowed to suffer under this delusion any longer. After crushing his coolness dream, we discussed our weirdness. And how that is just who we were. And how it is kinda cool to be weird. But the kids cannot see that because to them normal is ‘cool.’

So with our weird freaks flying free D and me, we are cool. It is the kids that are not.