Evolution Makes its Mark

I can’t complain, really.  I have it good.  A good job, nice house, great husband family and friends but something is just not right.  I feel as though I am drowning in a sea of should-do’s.

To turn all this around, I have decided to commit to the evolution of me.  I hope to find in myself the creativity and inspiration that eludes me in the hum-drum role of appropriate Western woman.  I don’t believe that I was cut out for this, and that I find myself in this position is of my own doing.  See I have never had the courage to break free from this pack-not really-until now.  As the wave of confidence and assurance that doing anything is better than doing nothing floods over me, I know I am moving myself toward the life I want to live.


The Girl with No Name

I have very long hair.  Very very long, dark, thick hair.  It’s quite nice, actually.  You should see it after a deep conditioning treatment.  Very shiny.  What can I say? I’m lucky.  But that’s not my point here.

The other week I was listening to a story from a coworker.  She was relaying the time when another coworker was unsure about who handled my portfolios.  She replied the girl with the loooong, dark hair.  To which he replied lots of women in this place have long dark hair.  What’s her name? to which she replied ya, but hers is the longest.  So that’s my name? I’m now the girl with the longest dark hair? Pft.

I get it. My name is stupid. It’s an old lady name, but in case you care to know, I’m named after my grandma.  In her native country, her name was beautiful but it didn’t sound so nice on the North American tongue, so here I am stuck with the English translation of a beautiful Eastern European name.  But it’s still my name.

So if you see me, address me, or reference me, please use my real name.  I have no nick names, no abbreviations and no alternatives.  Heck, I didn’t even change my maiden name when I got hitched.  So get it right.  It’s short, simple and easy to pronounce.  And if you really can’t be bothered to do that, don’t tell me that you refer to me as the girl with the beautiful, flowing, long, luscious dark locks, because that’s how I’ll hear it.  And you really needn’t boost my ego.

Please & Thank You

I walked to the restaurant from my office with a colleague for lunch, and upon reaching the place, my coworker opened the door.  Instead of walking in, a young man walked out so involved in his smart device that he couldn’t take a second of precious time to acknowledge that someone had dutifully held the door open in his exit.  My colleague loudly voiced, ‘you’re welcome’.  Then we had lunch.

It drives me absolutely mad when people don’t exercise common manners.  How difficult is it for you to just say please, thank you, excuse me, you’re welcome?  How much of your precious day is wasted acknowledging someone else’s thoughtfulness?  Is it such a burden on you to articulate those simple multi syllabic words that your world would crumble?  Perhaps it is that your existence is beyond reproach and to dignify another’s existence is to diminish your own.

To drive my point home in the need for basic manners I refuse to acknowledge those that disregard them.  Ask me to pass the salt? Didn’t hear you.  Ask me to please pass the salt? Why I’d be happy to.  Let the door close on me as you shuffle yourself inside the theatre and you bet I’ll bring that to your attention.

The thing is, how much happier would people be if those that surround us at every corner would just smile, appreciate each other’s existence and try just try to be civil?  It would lower tempers, diffuse bad moments and clam anxieties.  Do people not realize the power of a few common manners? You bet I take note of good and bad manners in job interviews, performance evaluations, prospective employee meetings and overall social settings.  Good or bad, I will remember.

So the next time we meet up for coffee and I ask how you’re doing include a thank you in your response, because I didn’t have to ask.  Turn off your phone and leave in your pocket since you’re here to visit with me and not the 5 dozen virtual conversations you have on the go.  Hold the door for the little old lady who’s only 5ft behind you.  You won’t get rich from being kind, but good manners go a long way and at one point or another, poor manners are likely to cause slammed doors to the face.

Broken Neck

Despite my background in health sciences, human anatomy and physiology, I have come to determine evolution is setting in faster these days.  I’m starting to wonder if we should be documenting cases of neck paralysis or rotational dysfunction.  See, I notice this daily on my drive in out of the city for work and really all times on the road in between.  I think people are losing their ability to shoulder check.  It’s really leaving me baffled.

When I was 15 I took a driver’s education course.  It was required where I lived; no learner’s permit until the driver’s ed course had been successfully satisfied.  Lesson number one: pay attention to your surroundings.  To support that lesson came instruction on checking mirrors and blind spots frequently and especially in anticipation of lane changes.  It was the rule.

So now I wonder, as people decide they prefer your lane and move on over without so much as a glance in their mirror or blind spot to verify available space, what to do in the event I am side swiped? Don’t laugh, we’ve already written off one car in the past 12 months because of this. So frequent are these crashes that emergency services have moved from Motor Vehicle Accidents to Motor Vehicle Collisions…because it is someone’s fault.

And so I must deal.  There just isn’t enough adrenaline in the day to get worked up over the ever increasing poor judgment of road-worthy drivers.  I will continue to turn chin to shoulder at every lane change and prevent myself from at the very least causing said MVC.  But don’t expect me to be nice and understanding when your apologetic ass gets out of the car wondering how in the world this happened as we survey  the damage to my little gun metal grey baby.  I noticed you didn’t shoulder check and barring a collar in proof of your disability, I’m expecting a doctor’s note to vouch for your rotational short comings.  You can fax it direct to my insurance company.

Stay Outta My Sex Life

I married my husband almost six years ago, now.  I told him many a time, and gave him one last ‘out’ the night before our nuptials about the children thing.  I don’t want them, I have never wanted them, and if it was something he may even possibly want at some point, then we shouldn’t go down the isle.  I didn’t want him to resent or regret anything.  But he was happy with our life together and so we met at 3.00pm the next afternoon at the alter for a beautiful joining of the families.

By 8.00pm that same evening though, the questions started: when were we going to start a family? How many kids did we plan to have? How happy would our parents be to have grandkids?  It really ruined parts of my night and left me avoiding guests for fear of having to have that conversation. When did it become acceptable to stick your nose in other people’s sex lives?

We had only been married for a matter of hours.  Not even enough time to digest dinner and yet the questions loomed over us like the plague.  Sure, we married young but we had been together since my second year of undergraduate school.  Yes, we were planning a life together but why did everyone assume we would favour the path so often chosen?  Perhaps, I thought, the questions would calm down with time.

I was wrong.  The longer we’re married without children, the more often we are asked.  Just the other week someone was so bold as to address my age and the quality of offspring I could produce.  Beyond the fact that this was just plain rude, my husband stepped in and replied it was our business and to stay out of it. But I was not satisfied with this response; I have already hit my wits’ end.

What goes on between the sheets is of concern to two people in my life: my husband and I.  Imposing your belief that having children is the single best thing a human can do is akin to Jehovah’s Witness knocking on my door.  It is intrusive, invasive and unacceptable, and I will not tolerate it anymore.  This is my body, my life and my decision to make.  I do not want to hear anymore that I need to feel the miracle of life, or that children are the raison d’être.  Maybe they are to you; I’m glad you have found your calling.  For me, it is travel, experience and a glass of wine on my backyard patio unencumbered by toys, dirt or noise.  Now, if you would please excuse me, it’s time for my birth control.

The Best of the Overpaid

I almost ran my car off the road this week when the radio DJ started talking about salary arbitration and NFL players.  Specifically one particular running back that seems to think he is uber valuable; 30million dollars valuable, to be clear. Don’t get me wrong; I love to be entertained as much as any other human being on this planet.  Sometimes that entertainment comes from movies, tv or professional sports.  I enjoy heading out to an NHL or MLB game just like any other fan and I often include a trip to the theatre in a date night.

Alright, so I didn’t really almost run myself off the road but I was pretty infuriated.  Who is this guy that thinks his running around the field carrying pigskin is really worth that much?  Why would anyone even consider paying him that kind of cash to simply entertain people? When did egos become so overinflated that pro athletes can refuse to play unless demands are met?  This sounds more like extortion than arbitration to me.

I get that *some* of the guys in leagues such as the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB are the best of the best in the world.  I understand that there is more to playing in these leagues than just game day.  I am very well aware that these leagues are businesses looking to increase their profit margin; in order to charge a family of four the equivalent of a used car for a day at the game, they can & will pay players well beyond their worth. But c’mon this is ridiculous.

What is often being overlooked here is this: for every guy that sits in his pouty corner waiting to get his way like a five-year-old child walking past a candy store, there are a dozen more.  The players that throw these temper tantrums are forgetting one vital thing; they did not get to this point on talent alone, and if they really have to stomp their feet and threaten to walk out, then they’re not truly worth the salary they believe is owed them.  With an excellent team of trainers, physicians, physios and research these guys become the competitors we see on the fields.  So why not just pull up someone from the minors, train him under the guidance of an educated team of allied medical pros and be done with it.

With the dismal amount of education these players have and the profound lacking of, well, much else useful to working society I say call his bluff.  Let him sit on the bench with a box of tissue, arms folded and woe is me face on.  See how far he gets when you stop revering him and treat him just like any other working professional who is expected to perform for monetary compensation agreed upon at the hire date.  Let entitled, spoiled, selfish athletes learn the hard way that they are just humans like the rest of us and if they don’t want to play nice in the sandbox, then maybe kitty litter is more suited to them.

Seriously, it’s Just Coffee

I am the kind of person that wakes up, gets ready for my day and immediately hits the coffee pot.  I don’t actually need coffee to get going, but it has become my morning ritual and I love it.  I love the smell of fresh ground beans, the taste of a good medium bodied roast first thing in the morning, and the rhythm of a day started with familiarity.

I will be the first to admit I have become somewhat snobby about my coffee.  There are brands I just won’t touch, roasts that offer too little complexity and blends that should have perhaps been left in the fields.  I enjoy a grande non-fat, no-foam latte treat just as much as the next gourmet coffee lover does. I have become somewhat of a sommelier to coffee, as ridiculous as that sounds.

There are those however, that take it to the extreme.  The people that want their coffee made just the perfect way and absolutely cannot stand to have it messed up.  I understand that first sip every morning, I know the sigh of relief when it hits your lips and you know you’re starting off your day just the way you like.  But please, if you frequent your local barista’s coffee stand and s/he happens to let a little foam sift onto the top: deal with it.

Your life is not going to be perfect all the time.  Mishaps will come up, and you will adjust.  I promise that if you inadvertently get cream instead of full fat milk Monday morning, you will not instantly cease to exist.  The world will not fall down around you, and you do not need to ream out the barista at full volume in an already packed store.

So how about picking and choosing your battles, or understanding that we are not computers programmed to perfection.  Appreciate what you hold in that little cardboard cup; so many places in this world will go a lifetime without so much as knowing the taste of a beverage you hold in high esteem.  Respect the process that got your day going and the people that made it possible. And if you’re that hyped up over a little coffee mishap I’m pretty sure caffeine is the last thing you should be having.