Friday, February 11, 2011

Skeletons in the closet

It has not been the best of days today.

First, the early morning wake-up from the boys was not welcome.

Then the crappy weather set me off to a bad start.

And we had two showings scheduled for tonight - right at the dinner hour.
I spent most of the day - save an outing to get the boys' hair cut - running around the house cleaning, making sure it was show ready.

The boys were out of their minds with boredom and I did not have the energy or the desire to engage them at all.  I truly sucked at the single parent role today.

This evening, after the boys were in bed, I decided it was time to tackle my closet and my dresser.  What started as a cathartic purging experience ended with me sitting on the bed close to tears.  Why?

Because I came across those skinny jeans that I have not been able to wear for the last 8 years.  The skeleton in my closet.

I was in love with those pants - so in love with them that I bought 3 pairs.  They moved with me from Toronto to Calgary, even though I was already pregnant with Westin and I knew it would be a while before I could wear them again. Then they moved again from Calgary to Surrey, even though I knew that my body would never be the same again after 2 kids and getting closer to 40.

But tonight, I had to let them go.  And a little part of my skinny youth died.  I know that sounds dramatic, but the last time I wore those jeans I was a completely different person.  I can remember how I felt the day I tried them on and how they made me feel whenever I wore them.  I think I sighed out loud as I put them in the garbage bag. And I am still feeling sad about them now.

As dumb as this sounds, I will never forget those jeans.  Just like I have not forgotten the fab embroidered capris that I wore to death more than 10 years ago.  It's harder to let something go when you can no longer serve it's purpose than when that something can no longer serve your purpose.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When you really listen, people have great stories to tell

I have been blessed with the gift of listening.  My whole life, strangers have felt the need to tell me more information than I asked for.

A simple "Hi, how are you?" resulted in a cashier telling me about her 7 kids and how one of them is very ill.

But last week, a posting on Craigslist brought a really interesting man to my house.  We'll call him G.

G had answered my listing on Craigslist for free VHS movies.  He was the first to call, so he was the first in line to come and get them.  I did not imagine that 2.5 hours later I would know his whole life story, with such incredible intimacy, and I never dreamed my husband would be chummy with him.

While G browsed the movies and packed boxes, here's what I found out.


  • He lives not far from our house.  That night he was having dinner with his family at the in-laws'.  G and his brother-in-law do not get along, and his BIL was being a "goof" so G left the dinner to go home.  When he got home, he started cruising Craigslist and found the movies.
  • He grew up in Calgary and went to Queen Elizabeth Elementary.
  • His brother is an RCMP officer in the Yukon and he really wants G to join the force and move out there.
  • G just got laid off 2 weeks ago.
  • He has 3 kids and his wife is a SAHM.
  • He lives in a rancher.
  • He thinks maybe he would like to be a firefighter.
The list goes on.

But today, G is back at my house to pick up some more stuff.  And while he was here, another man showed up to buy the exercise bike we are selling.

G was kind enough to help the gentleman get the bike out of basement and into his truck.  In the process, he proceeded to talk about what has happened since we last saw him.

Today, we know that G
  • is 38 years old
  • got a 46-inch plasma TV and a pool table from Cragislist for free
  • his wife signed him up to be a volunteer firefighter
So here's where it really gets interesting.
"Really?" says the man with bike when he hears about the firefighting.
"Yeah, somewhere in Surrey", G says.
"Well, I'm a firefighter in Vancouver."

For a good fifteen minutes, I stood there listening to two complete strangers talk about firefighting.

What struck me was this random meeting between two men could possibly set G on a new course in his life.

And all because I posted something free on Craigslist.



Thursday, February 3, 2011

The countdown is on

Moving sucks.

I can say this with some authority since in the last 7 years we have moved from Toronto to Calgary, Calgary to Surrey and now we are getting ready to move back to Toronto.

But moving especially sucks when your husband moves ahead of you and you have no idea when the house you are living in will sell.  To add salt to the wound, all your family is in Toronto.

I was fine with everything until this morning, when I realized that come Sunday, I will really be missing my husband.  He has slowly been falling apart for weeks and now that he is ready to go, I can fall to pieces.

I'm not going to whine about being a single mom, because I am not.  My mom was a single mom, and I know it completely sucks a lot of the time.

I'm just going to be lonely for a while.  Hopefully, the weather will change soon and I can hang out in the back lane with the other wine-drinking moms.  I think this time I will have the biggest glass.