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Monthly Archives: April 2016

~ No Sharesies ~

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I’m not a fan of sharing. There, I said it.

More specifically, I’m not always a fan of sharing. I can be very protective of my stuff, my friends, my personal space, my time, especially when others treat them carelessly. Maybe I’d been done wrong too many times. Like when I was in junior-high and I lent one of my favourite pairs of one-size-too-small, lie-on-bed-with-hips-thrust-in-air, pull-zipper-up-with-hanger, randomly-bleached-on-purpose jeans to a friend. When she finally gave them back (after my asking way too many times), they were unrecognizable to me. They didn’t look or fit the same, the denim felt weird and the zipper was busted. HELLO?! I wanted to cry. She gave me a lame excuse, like, “I don’t know what happened. The zipper just busted,” and that was that. I mean, what was I supposed to do? We were 14 and we were “friends.”

When I started dancing I entered a big giant world of sharing, and not just any sharing but super touchy feely, right up in your face, with good amounts of B.O., kinds of sweaty sharing. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem sharing say, a bag of nuts. The problem isn’t with the concept of sharing the nuts, but the method. Since the nuts are in a bag and many dancers aren’t washing or sanitizing their hands before reaching into that bag, well, you can imagine the nastiness growing with each grubby handful. Honestly, I want to share my nuts, but my eyes and brain are frantically darting dirt, feet, sweat, hands, dirt, feet, sweat, HANDS! Don’t get me started on people who’ve asked for a swig from my water bottle. That’s just all kinds of inappropriate. Yes, as previously blogged, I’m a tad OCD too. And what am I supposed to say when asked for a swig of this or a handful of that? “Sorry, I’m uptight and you’re gross?” I don’t want to be that person, but I’m so clearly that person.

For the most part, we dancers are very generous with our stuff and our time, especially when we’re young. Forget your dance pants, socks, t-shirt? “No problem, you can borrow mine!” Want me to work past the end of rehearsal, put up these show posters on the other side of town, wear my best pants as a costume and do a fitting during lunch without any extra compensation? “Of course!” Me? I became increasingly bothered by these things, or the assumption/expectation that I would be happy to do these things. Look, I barely ate during my third year at dance school and the year after that and the year after that… I sacrificed enough for my fucking art!

I like birthdays. I like celebrating my birthday with friends over dinner, drinks – low-key, all good. But a milestone birthday is different. When I turned 40, there was another gal in the company where I worked whose birthday was the same day, but it wasn’t a milestone. There was chatter amongst our colleagues about a potential “shared,” celebration. Now as much as I like a certain amount of attention (after all I am a dancer and, apparently, a “show off,” according to my sister), I generally don’t make a big deal over a standard birthday. But for my 40th, I had to pull a Diva and declare, “NO SHARESIES!” 20 was good, 30 sucked, and 40 was ahhhhhh angels singing awesome, so YAY ME!

As a 40th present to myself, I saved enough money over a few years, to take a long-wished for trip to Italy. I put the word out to a few potential travelling pals, but their hemming and hawing and lack of urgency to commit, not to mention having to accommodate their needs/likes/dislikes was bringing me down. Damnit, this was important to me! This was my Eat, Pray, Love trip (sans India and Indonesia), and I didn’t want to compromise. I went on my own and spent more than three weeks doing only what I wanted to do, which was the most liberating way to jump start my 40s. I’ve always cherished my alone time, and I’m very content doing things solo, but I can’t deny that I didn’t miss catching up with someone over a meal at the end of the day. It’s not that food tastes different when eating alone, I just think the experience of eating is that much better when it’s shared.

Though it sounds trite, I do value my time more and more as I get older, and since we all seem to have so little of it these days, I’m supremely pissed when it’s infringed upon or mistreated. Like, being around people who aren’t very nice or have little joy or are idiots; or buying a ticket, putting on some make-up, negotiating traffic and going to see a dance performance where the choreographer seems to NOT have considered me (the audience), at all. It’s like inviting me to your party and then ignoring me all night.

The truth is, some of the best moments of my life are the encounters I’ve shared with good people, the ones I wish the best for and they for me. Scenic road trips with M, rented convertible, sun, salty air; girlfriends around my kitchen counter, gossip, way too much wine; group hugs before performing, deep breaths, racing hearts; multiple hands digging into big pots of drunken mussels, messy platters of nachos; laughing with friends till my body collapses; games nights; winning games nights; 14-hour dates with lots of kissing; dancing with dad at my wedding.

Do good people equal good times? It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I like the odds. Plus it tends to bring out the best in me, so it’s a pretty good place to start.

~ The One Before 50 ~

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Snippets and general musings as I begin my 49th year.

Everyone who knows me well is aware of my severe phobia of bedbugs. That being said, I love hotels. Ever since I was a kid, I get excited when I walk into a beautiful hotel. I suppose it’s the anticipation of exploring everything new – city, country, lifestyle – and a dreamy home away from home that someone else cleans every day. Throw in a sexy lobby bar, and hello happy hour! I also have a thing for office buildings during Christmas, with the lights and the trees and the shiny marble floors…

On the other hand, motels have always made me feel sad. Something about being in a stale room, next to a remote highway with nothing to do but stay inside your stale room. That and the lonely plastic lawn chair outside the front door. Cue the Counting Crows’ Raining in Baltimore and pass the vodka.

~

The 49-year-old neck. Enough said.

~

Making all my connections on public transit is a great way to start the day. As an added bonus, it’s fantastic when I get a seat, the seat is clean, there are no inappropriately close-standers (especially when there’s plenty of room), and the door to the train, streetcar or bus stops directly in front of me.

Another great way to start the day is with a killer poop! Sorry, but it’s true and you know it. Especially the kind (and I’ll try not to get too graphic here), that is astoundingly voluminous and thoroughly purging. The kind that amazes me so much, I almost feel like calling M in to witness my dinasauric ever-loving feat! I’m lighter, less bloated and ready to kick up my heels! For a gal who gets backed up just by saying, “backed up,” these rare moments are golden.

~

Wheel-trans buses can be late; friends can get side-tracked; doctors can get swamped. But a sincere, “I’m sorry for being late,” really can buffer my irritation… as long as it doesn’t become habitual.

I’m genuinely perplexed by the perpetually late. I’ve read numerous theories and psychological profiles about the chronically late. Whatever the underlying reasons, the bottom line is absolutely, positively and without question NO ONE likes to be kept waiting, even the person who is (wait for it), ALWAYS LATE. What really chafes my ass is when there’s no apparent effort to remedy the lateness, no effort to find a solution. Because then it feels like you don’t give a shit about me, and that’s not cool at all. It’s like bad breath. If you have it, I’ll always think of you as the person with bad breath.

~

Any act of kindness genuinely moves me. Not to get all Kumbaya about it but seriously, when the customer service rep or the parking attendant or the receptionist for that perpetually late doctor is kind, I get tingly happy feelings. I was at the airport flying to the States awhile back and all of humanity seemed to be flying out the same day. Airport staff corralled us in a holding area and only let us line up for customs based on our departure times (so much for arriving 2.5 hours before my flight, thinking I could get through the rigmarole, then lollygag in book stores and duty-free).

Departure time 8:00am!” an agent called out. “Please line up now.” They continued this process every so often, in 5 minute increments. My departure time was 9:10am. No lollygagging for me!

When I finally reached security, there was a gem of a female security agent there to greet me. So friendly and easygoing, her smile and breeziness made the previous 1.5 hours a fading memory.

Despite my conscious effort to be a breezier person, I can turn on a fucking dime, and it’s all I can do to channel my inner peace and fucking calm. Like when M and I were crossing the street in front of the ACC before a Raptors game and it was insane with traffic (meaning cars were not moving), and there was a gap in front of a stopped cab that M and I walked through, and the cab driver randomly honked and scared the shit out of us! I mean where the hell was he in a hurry to go? One more inch forward? I lost my shit and after some erratic hand gestures indicating how pissed off I was, I went up to his window and yelled, “Shut up!” Nothing too serious or threatening, but it’s kind of scary how quickly I can go from breezy to fuck you!

How we cope when confronted with shit, really speaks to the kind of person we are, doesn’t it? I mean bad things can happen, and they can happen to even the best people. I know two people who have faced unimaginable, truly devastating shit, and yet they somehow persevere, maintain their light and positivity without blame, bitterness, fanfare or Facebook. They are my constant beacons of what I hope to be like, during and after, those epically shitty times.

Based on my breezy to fuck you acceleration, I have a ways to go.

Onward to 50.

 

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