The Reluctant Acrobat

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Friday was a professional development day.

I attended a reading conference at the Victoria Conference Centre which adjoins my favourite hotel in the world–the Fairmont Empress.

Since I hate driving downtown, I hitched a ride with my sailor on his way to work. Sailors start ridiculously early. I assumed he’d roll in late because he was dropping me off on his way to the office.

Never assume anything. He left me on Government Street almost two hours before my conference started.

His last words to me as he sped off into the darkness: “I’m sure you’ll find a Starbucks that’s open!”

Gee, thanks.

I’m going to blame later events on sleep deprivation (I had to get up at 5:00 to be ready to go with my sailor) and too much caffeine (the rent on a table at Starbucks is paid in big, strong lattes.)

The day progressed without incident until lunch.

I defied gravity and fell up the stairs.

Not a little slip, but an acrobatic tumble that left me on my hands and knees at the top of the steps, my bag sliding in one direction, my jacket another. No painful fall is complete without an audience. Mine was witnessed by about one hundred primary teachers.

Red faced and sore, I collected my bag and jacket and slunk away to my next lecture–in the large theatre. I considered sitting down near the front, but decided to hide in the back row. I was comfortably ensconsed in my seat, rubbing my aching knees and waiting for the presenter, when a woman suddenly loomed over me.

“I was sitting here this morning and I lost an earring. Can I look under your seat?”

“Sure.”

I stood and moved into the aisle. She advanced towards me so I took a step back.

Walking backwards is rarely a good idea, especially on one of those theatre aisles that’s comprised of shallow steps leading down to the stage. My heel hit the step behind me and–you guessed it–I went down…hard. This happened moments before the speaker was about to begin, so the theatre was full, giving me an optimal audience for my second spectacular fall of the day.

I don’t remember much about the final session. I mostly thought about whether I should sneak out to find a glass of wine and an ice pack.

The day wasn’t a total loss.

An hour later I was sitting in Milestones with my sailor and our boy enjoying the view and that large glass of wine.

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Shop My Closet

005It’s not secret that I love to shop. Spending a day roaming through the mall is one of my favourite things to do. I don’t always buy things. It’s just fun to look.

Of course, you’re more likely to find that irresistible _______ (insert appropriate noun: dress, shoes, jeans, top, purse, sweater, other) if you spend all your free time shopping.

Once said special item has been located, it’s almost impossible to walk away without it. After all, you might never find something as _______ (insert appropriate adjective: cute, flattering, comfortable, slimming, unique, other) again. You’d be a fool to walk away from it, even if you already have three to five similar items at home.

I’m resolving to shop my closet until my sailor returns. We have big plans for our future which include a university education for our brilliant boy, a boat for our brilliant sailor and a trip or three back to Paris for our brilliant blogger. It’s time to look ahead to the big picture instead of falling for the instant gratification of whatever catches my eye at the mall (or lately, online.)

This will be easier said than done as nothing fills the big sailor-shaped void in my life like something pretty and new, but I will do my best to limit shopping for stuff I don’t need.

Things I will continue to buy without guilt:
1. Books (did you hear about the woman who discovered live bedbugs in a library book???–ewww!)
2. Skin care items (yes, I splurge on Clarins, but skin is actually a vital organ so this technically counts as health care.)
3. Salon visits (I have challenging Ukrainian wavy hair–thanks, Dad!–that needs serious TLC from highly trained professionals!)
4. The occasional latte while I’m on the go (life is tough and everyone needs a little treat now and then–this is mine. I’ve already switched to wine from a box. I can’t give up my Starbucks fix.)

Going Bananas!

006I went for a jog today and it was hard! With the trip home for the reunion, I haven’t been in about a week. Apparently, it takes a body (well my body anyway) less than a week to revert to its original slovenly couch potato state if it’s not exercised regularly.

It didn’t help that I was running under the noon sun. I’d planned to get out earlier, right after my 9:00 Skype conversation with my Sailor, but Skype wasn’t working. It took almost two hours, a couple dozen aborted connections and several computer re-boots before we finally connected, By that time it was way past his bedtime so we only talked for about ten minutes after all that.

Rather than postpone my run until early evening when it would be cooler (translation: find an excuse not to go later and put it off for yet another day), I foolishly went plodding through the scorching heat and it was miserable.

Afterwards, as it was still too early for wine, I decided to unwind by baking. What’s more relaxing?

My boy loves banana bread, and instead of buying it like I usually do, I made a beautiful golden loaf. Commercial banana bread is filled with preservatives and artificial ingredients, right? Mine is made with fresh churned butter, free range eggs from happy chickens and a mother’s enduring love.

Me: (proudly serving a warm slice with a frosty glass of milk) How is it?

Him: (taking a miniscule bite) Meh.

Me: What??? You love banana bread!

Him: I love STARBUCKS’ banana bread. This kind not so much. It has big chunks of banana in it.

(Anyone know if ducks eat banana bread because I’ve got a loaf looking for a new home.)

Yesterday wasn’t much better. I knocked over a plant on the deck, smashing the ceramic pot and then dropped an open box of crackers on the newly-swept kitchen floor, discovering there’s a limit to the amount of Ritz crumbs a Chihuahua can consume at one sitting.

Can I just shut myself in my house and hibernate until my Sailor gets home?

Must Love Chihuahuas

What I say: Why is there a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor? I do your laundry and put it on your bed. The least you can do is put it away. Throwing it on the floor is not only disrespectful to me, it creates an unsightly mess!
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What he hears: Blah, blah, blah . . .

What I say: Things are going to change. I’m not a servant. From now on it’s your job to load the dishwasher. That’s not too much to ask since you have no chores and I do everything around here.

What he does:

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Really??? You’re welcome??? Could he be any more sarcastic? It’s too early to open the wine, so instead of drinking I try to remember my yoga breathing techniques.

What I really need is another adult to help me out here. Sure, I can vent to friends over the phone, over non-fat lattes at Starbucks and over Facebook and I can whine to my sailor over Skype, but it’s not the same as having a supportive grown-up at home with whom I can co-parent.

I’m tired of being the bad cop, setting the limits, enforcing the rules and (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) yelling until I’m hoarse. If I’d wanted to be a single mother I wouldn’t have worn that lacy white dress in front of a room full of witnesses and said good-bye to friends and family (not to mention job prospects) to follow my sailor from coast to coast and back again.

Wanted (desperately!): one co-parent. Must be kind, compassionate and sexy and must look good in a uniform. Must think I’m funny and be prepared to laugh at ALL my jokes. Must love Chihuahuas, burned food and chick flicks. Must be willing to carry my packages on shopping expeditions even when I buy heavy hardcover Nigella Lawson cookbooks, wait patiently outside fitting rooms while I try on dresses and fish my golf balls out of the ditch when I invariably hit them in there. Ability to wipe off slimy balls before returning them to me an asset. The successful candidate will assume permanent designated driver status and will interact in a positive manner with the boy providing guidance and role model-ness. Abilitiy to work evenings and weekends essential in this temporary, unpaid position.