Innies vs. Outies (Not a Belly Button Story)

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The city in which I live has a fair number of traffic circles.

They’ve fallen out of favor in several parts of the world. Too tough to navigate. (I did a brief stint temp-ing at the city’s transportation department. Those guys have a gigantic hard-on for traffic circles. Love ’em. Think every intersection should be one. Scary stuff.)

For the uninitiated, this is how it works.

A friend and I were discussing some jackassery we’d witnessed in traffic circles of yore. Talk turned to our respective ways of tackling the Circle.

She stays in the outside lane. That way, she feels like she has more control of the situation, can watch for cars making a last minute dart out of the inside lane, predict, mitigate.

I am an inside lane person. The inside lane has the right of way. So no matter what, I’m in the right.

(Another friend says she just closes her eyes and goes as fast as she can to get the hell through.)

We decided the traffic circle is a fairly accurate personality test.

I play a defensive game. I make sure the rules are in my favor, and then go.

The friend takes control and assumes others will screw up and is READY.

(And the close eyes-go fast friend? Well…)

So how about you? Are you an inside lane, stay safe, wear the rules like a badge person? Or an outside lane, take charge person? What’s your deal?

“No, THAT’S Love.”

I have begun to tire of winter.

It is no longer charming, or a lead up to Christmas. It is cold and stupid and irrelevant, now.

So today, I thought of summer.

This past summer, we took a lovely trip to a lovely mountain town. On our last lovely morning there, we ate breakfast on a restaurant patio.

It was a quiet Sunday morning. So the sound of skateboard wheels was fairly jarring. A longboard passed by. A longboard with two riders. Both guys. The guy on the back had no choice but to wrap his arms around the guy on the front. They looked happy.

We stared at them as they rolled by.

“That? Is love” he said.

He saw I was done my bacon. He asked if I wanted his.

“Now THAT,” I said “is love.”

Lines.

What is it about line-ups that perplexes us so?

You would think that Canadians would be pretty kick-ass line citizens.  We are polite and friendly to a fault.  And we live in a quasi-socialist country, so we really don’t have any expectation of fast and/or efficient service.  This combination should, technically, make us really model citizens of lines.

Yeah, not so much.

I’m at the post office today.  There’s no good time to go to the post office.  I always encounter a line, no matter what.  And this time does not seem to be an exception.  It’s at least 14 deep, snaking down an aisle of the drug store that houses the post office,  when I get there.  And it’s not moving.

There is a gathering of people near the line.  They are milling about in all directions, distracted by everything around them.  I don’t want to step on any toes (literally or metaphorically), so I have to start politely inquiring which of these people might actually make up the line proper.  I think maybe that question will alert them to their non-linear behavior (maybe shame them, mildly?).  No.  No it doesn’t.  I get 2 blank looks and a “YEAH?!?!”

So that’s the kind of line it’s gonna be.  Ok.  Game face on.

One of them wanders clear out of the aisle, engrossed in the many varieties of bottled water nearby.  I resist the urge to inquire whether he came to drink or buy stamps, goddammit, because you can’t do both.  You just can’t.  He comes back to his “spot” which appears to be a 6 foot circle near-ish the line, and he is totally cool to share it with whoever wanders into it, completely ignoring the Code of the Line Up.

And then someone lines up behind me.

He’s not real good at personal space.  He parks himself so close to me that I can’t shift my torso without being bumped by him.

This bothers him not.

He uses this down time on-line to connect with someone on the other end of his cell phone.  Loudly.  Like, LOUDLY.

And he’s standing so close (actually, not standing.  Doing more of a mild jig/crump/rain-dance) that I can not only hear his side of things, but every word the person on the phone is saying.  They seem to be in some sort of Vapidness Deathmatch.  And they’re both winning.

The fuckery reaches its apex when the person on the other end of his call decides to put the cat on the phone.  THE GOD DAMN CAT.  (It should have come as no surprise that this improved the conversation.  Greatly.  I had to bite my tongue, so as not to yell “Please don’t go!” when the cat drifted off and was replaced by its owner.  Who detailed all the adorable things the cat had done today.  Including the super-cute poop it took in her shoe.)

One final bump to the back of the head proves to be my straw.

I make the universal sound of disgust (ok, I can’t actually spell it, I think the closest you can come is “gggcccahh!”, and it relies on all my German ancestry to get it out with the right degree of guttural oomph).  Sadly, it has no effect.

I am forced to go Full Mom on this asshole.

Shoulders square.  Eyes burning holes.  “EXCUSE ME?  CAN YOU PLEASE STOP THAT?”

He is mildly surprised.  Apparently, our “touching” relationship has affected me more deeply.  He looks like he had no idea I was there.

I let my self-righteous indignation wrap me like a nice, protective blanket for the remainder of my stay in the post office line.

And find comfort in the idea that maybe, tonight?  It would be THIS guy’s turn to get his shoe pooped in.

Back to Life, Back to Reality

It’s over.

Christmas. New Year’s.  The whole damn thing.

(I have to resist the urge to grab random strangers on the street, shake them by the shoulders, while gleefully yelling “WE MADE IT!!!!”)

The tree is down.  There’s only a few boxes of chocolates lingering.  Thanks to a late in the game bout of flu, there’s not even that many holiday pounds hanging around.

I go back to work tomorrow.  And I’m happy about it.

 

I love Christmas, these days.  It’s a good time.  And it requires some suspension of disbelief.  It’s an artificial state.  Which is awesome and magical and tiring.

 

It was great.  And I’m ready to move on.

Happy F&%#ing New Year

Everyone has spangly, sparkly plans for New Years Eve.

My children are no exception.

They are looking forward to staying up late, eating junk, drinking fake champagne at midnight.

 

But more than all that?

 

The Annual Division of The Swear Jar.

 

All year long, every time I say a bad word, 50 cents goes in.  If either of them says anything I feel is exceptionally objectionable , 25 cents comes out.  Needless to say, they make money on this deal.

 

So as we divide up the lucre, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who made this year’s swear jar fill up.

 

Thanks to the woman on the way home from work who couldn’t merge to save her fucking life.  Thanks to the goddamn idiots at TD Bank.  Thanks to the shitheaded grocery clerk who put the eggs at the bottom of the bag.  Thanks to the cocksucking zipper that wouldn’t go all the way up.

 

But really, most of the thanks goes to my kids.  Who I should try not swear around.  And without whom, I wouldn’t swear nearly so much.

 

Happy New Year, everybody!

Blogger’s Thigh: A Totally Real (and Sort of Pre-Existing) Condition

This whole “coming back to blogging” thing has been pretty cool.

It reminded me that I feel more “right” when I’m writing.

Yeah, it’s a good thing.

Mostly.

The other morning, I’m in the bathroom, doing what you do in there (well, what I do in there.  I’m not sure what you do in there.  And it’s probably for the best if we keep things that way, yes?)

I look down at my left thigh.

And give an involuntary yelp.

I yell to the Man Friend to get into the bathroom.

(To his credit, he just came, never even questioned it.  And I think that if he’s going to date an older woman, whose body comes up with a new way to disappoint and decay and desiccate on a daily basis, that bodes well for him.  And for me.  And wasn’t that a lot of “d”s in that last sentence?  And oh my, but we’ve fallen off the rails here, haven’t we?)

I present him with the evidence:

leg

And the question (as if he is suddenly a doctor of complicated leg problems), “WHAT INTO THE FUCK IS THIS?”

He mentally walks back through the last couple of days, trying to remember if his klutzy girlfriend actually bumped into anything/dropped anything/became squished between two things.  He comes up with nothing.

And then I remember.

This used to happen to me sometimes when I blogged more.  Specifically while I sat for several hours dicking around on the internet for inspiration for posts, then playing solitaire, then checking my email, then stalking people on facebook, and then finally writing a god damn blog post on my laptop.  You see, those purple dots?  Line up perfectly with the “heat holes” on the bottom of this laptop.

Totally worth it, but TOTALLY weird.

Taking Stock

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.

 

I find them depressing and a recipe for let-down.

 

But I do like to take stock, reflect over the past year.

 

THE BOY CHILD

The Boy Child spent the year growing out his hair and getting funnier.  2012 was the year he became conscious of appearances (his own, specifically).  Overnight, every natural fiber in his closet had been replaced with polyester, most of it emblazoned with logos, much to his parents chagrin.  Even as I type this, a drying rack sits in my bedroom, overburdened with Dri-Fit shorts and pants and shirts and jackets, and in a climate as dry as the one in which we live, I can’t help but feel they’re a bit of a potential fire hazard.

He also became immersed in soccer.  He talks about European dudes I’ve never heard of.  He describes kicks and moves and passes in enormous detail, and I grasp none of it.  He spends hours in the basement, working through basement-modified drills, hours upon hours.  He plays on a community league team, and wants to go up a level next year.  He is ecstatic.

 

THE GIRL CHILD

This was the year her inborn love of anarchy shifted to enjoyment of structure.  She didn’t just enter Grade One, she attacked it, memorizing schedules, adoring rules, wanting to achieve.

2012 was the year she started to ditch pink.  Not edgy enough.  She’ll tell you black is her favorite color, now (but she’ll settle for a good strong purple).

She has rejected several earnest marriage proposals, and has declared she will never marry or have kids.

She makes us laugh.  Hysterically so.

 

ME

I went through my first post-divorce break up.

I dyed my hair red.  And then I went back to blonde.

I started running.

I got to be friends with my ex-husband, again.  I also got to be friends with his girlfriend.

I took my family with me to a therapist.  (She was terrible.  So bad that we all silently agreed to get our shit together so that we wouldn’t have to go back to her.  Maybe that was her plan all along.  Well played, Dr. X, well played.)

I had an amazing weekend in the mountains that included looking up at a completely dark sky and feeling right.

I started dating a guy.  The first time I ever transitioned someone from “friend” to “boy-friend”.  It worked.

I started writing again.

 

 

 

I might not have made any resolutions for 2013.  But oh my god, am I ever looking forward to it.