Anxiety and Lime Green Cars

Green carI have a theory.

It is my belief that people who buy brightly coloured cars can’t possibly suffer from anxiety. For 3 weeks we’ve been test driving cars. Finally I’m getting rid of the Impala (complete with wood grain interior). We’ve had it for 10 years and the only reason I agreed to it back then was it had a sunroof, spoiler and tinted windows. Back then the only people who drove Impala’s were old people and cops, which I can only guess was because they could fit a fraternity of drunken university boys in the back seat comfortably. But I liked the car. It was way better than driving the dreaded van. Plus, the upside to driving a cop car is never being pulled over, which is more than I can say about the Caravan. Who gets pulled over in a Caravan? This girl.

What can I say? I’m a bad ass.

A bad ass who can’t stick to a topic…

Anyway, buying a new car stresses me out, well really buying a shirt stresses me out… but in this situation…Which car? Is it safe? Is it sexy? Will it fall apart in 5 years?  Will it make me look 20lbs lighter? So I did what any decision challenged, anxiety ridden person would do in today’s social media world. I asked Facebook for opinions. Here’s what I learned.

Ford people hate Chevy.

Chevy people hate Ford.

Both of them hate Foreign.

I got no help what so ever because it’s a personal decision and sadly I suck at those.

We finally decided on the car. I’m not posting what kind because first, I don’t want to offend anyone… but really I’m afraid of receiving comments. Something else I’ve learned is that people love to tell you their car horror stories, especially if you just purchased the same car. Just know this, we went with the car that gave us the most bang for our buck, good warranty but sexy enough to satisfy, unfortunately though we did sacrifice our patriotism. Please forgive me Canada, but the way I see it the employee who sold it to me was Canadian, so you know food on his table and the tables of all the service workers at the dealership. I can rationalize anything. Try me.

I shouldn’t have said that. I’m going to get emails.

Now here is where the decision got really hard and the whole reason for this rambling post.

What colour?

How could colour be such a hard decision? I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. We jumped back and forth for a week. Now get this, it wasn’t even a bright colour we were deciding on. It was black or white.

BLACK or WHITE!

Because I knew neon green, bright red or even a simple blue would just stress me out. This is where the theory comes in. I looked at all the brightly coloured cars on the lot and I thought, “Not a chance in hell could I ever be comfortable in that.”

I started paying attention to the brightly coloured cars driving around. I would look at the driver and think, now that’s a person who’s comfortable with themselves and knows what they want. I want to be like that.

I’m not.

Black is super sexy and happened to be the floor model sitting there all sleek and shiny with its tinted windows, calling my name and I did like the look of it better. But as my sister so lovely (not so much) reminded me, I’m not exactly great at keeping things clean. Black shows everything. I know because all I could base my decision on was what was around me and what was around me was a dirty, dented, scratched BLACK Dodge Caravan.

Plus my daughter pointed out that cosmically we didn’t want two black vehicles. Buying another black one could screw with our universe. “Go with white,” she said, “Ying and Yang and all of that.”

True. True. Plus the husband will be driving the black van and me the white car, making me good and him evil.

We went white. It’s a balance thing.

If I was really serious about facing my fears maybe I should’ve got the lime green car. If I drove around in a bright car would I develop some kind of sureness about myself? …Or end up in an ugly lime green car questioning my ability to make a rational choice?

Someone with more credibility than me should do a study on the anxiety levels of people in bright colours. I need to know if I’m on to something. Then I can do one of those magazine survey things. “What Your Car Colour Says About You.”

What colour of car do you drive?

Customer Service Excellence: Horseshoe Valley Resort

11718515_sAm I nuts or are our customer service expectations a little out of whack?

Whether it be hotels, restaurants, or the corner drug store it seems the one thing that guarantees returning business has been dropped. It’s like it isn’t even expected anymore and we all seem to be adjusting, no questions asked. Maybe it’s not even intentional, sometimes more than not; we are met with no personality at all, just pushing people through the money machine as fast as they can because actual engaging could slow up the line.

I have essentially been in customer service since I was fifteen years old. Through my teenage years you can bet there were times behind the cash when I was less than enthusiastic to be there. I’ve been guilty of judging customers, feeling put out or producing a heavy sigh now and then. Let’s face it, people can be super annoying and we at times can be completely self absorbed. So I get the teen with the part time job who would rather be anywhere else but working, but it doesn’t mean its okay.

I hate to sound so negative but we’re now at a point if we are given good customer service we are actually astounded.

Case in point, we just took a trip to Barrie, Ontario for a hockey tournament. One of the group activities off the ice was to go tubing at Horseshoe Valley Resort.  We got to the front desk to get our tickets and were met with warm greetings and instant service. Without being asked they directed us to the tubing hills and told us what to expect.

What I expected was to ride up with 15 overly hyper kids, to be met by three or four annoyed teenagers whose job it was to let us know when the track was clear with a slight nod from their expressionless heads.

What we got were enthusiastic teenage boys who stood all weekend at the top of a tubing hill in freezing temperatures, pulling and spinning hundreds of pounds of people down a hill on a tube. It’s tough work. It would be easy to be moody; especially when you have an entire hockey team of sugar filled ten years olds yelling orders at you. But, they laughed, smiled and accommodated us for two hours and not once did I see an eye roll or a bad attitude.

“Hey guys, why you don’t try going backwards in a train?”

“Do want to go fast, faster or warp speed?”

“Big spin, little spin or no spin?”

Every. Time. For two hours.

Their manager was never too far away. He was involved, engaged and probably worked harder than the kids. He acknowledged you, laughed with your kids, yet his eyes and ears were open and throughout our time he helped and chatted with many people. The bottom line, he led by example and it was working.

We were so impressed we went back the next day. The kids went tubing and I decide to rent some shoeshoes and give it a try. Again we were greeted with enthusiasm. I had never snowshoed before so there was a level of anxiety around doing something new. Before I even got to a trail I had one person stop me to put them on properly (because I’m an idiot). Then a few more directed me to the trails, suggest scenic routes and generally made me feel welcome. It was a great experience.

I want to go back and try the cross-country trails and spa. The kids want to go skiing and tubing and to spend the night in the hotel. In the summer there’s golf, biking, zip lining and an adventure park.

You see how customer service works?

So in honour of spectacular customer service I thought I would write a blog, but then I thought why not write about every good customer service experience I come across? Maybe it could generate a little cosmic movement. So I’m dedicating a column to outstanding customer service. I mean the stuff that really stands out. I’m putting it where my book reviews used to be because let’s face it; it has taken a nose dive.

So if you have had a recent (or not so recent) great customer service experience, let me know in the comments, maybe I’ll take a visit (if it’s close) and add them to the list. And if you get a chance to check out Horseshoe Valley you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t believe me check out the many positive reviews here.

They’re doing something right.

Spanx (Images May Be Larger Than They Appear)

© John Takai - Fotolia.comMy body is out of control. I’ve been working out for seven weeks, six times a week and can’t lose a single pound. I have no clothes that fit me and I don’t want to buy any because I plan on losing it. It’s just my body isn’t going along with the plan. My thyroid is fine, I’m drinking green tea, I’m eating my fiber; still my body betrays me.

This past weekend Homer and I were invited to a private function at Ki Modern Japanese Restaurant in Toronto.  I mention the name because it was fantastic and the staff was fabulous and I like to give shout outs when I get good customer service. It’s so important because people just don’t seem to give a shit anymore so when you actually get good service it stands out.

Anyway, another blog for another day.

It’s been about two sizes ago that I’ve gone anywhere dressy. I combed the closet and found a black, kind of stretchy cotton dress I thought I could get away with.

I thought wrong.

I’m not one for girdles or tight control panties, I opt for comfort every time but there was no way I could go anywhere in that form fitting monstrosity. At least, not without some help. I didn’t want to buy anything new because I’m determined to lose the weight so I did what I swore I would never do. I broke down and bought Spanx.

Did I mention I hate tight things? How I value my comfort? These are desperate times people!

I pulled it out of the bag and presented it to Homer. I don’t know why, I guess I just wanted him to have the heads up that we’ve turned a corner. Of course, by this time we were running late so I stepped into them with no time to change my mind. Homer stood there watching me squeeze my flesh into this sausage casing. It wasn’t pretty.  In fact, it was downright fugly. We can never divorce because I don’t want his second wife to give me the “I know you look hideous getting into Spanx” look. I actually hopped across the hall and lured The Girl from her room to assist in hoisting upward and tucking the folds of flesh spilling out the top. She protested but I insisted it was a valuable lesson in reality.

With no time to think about what I was doing we left the house. I really should have thought it through. I figured if all those people at the Oscars could do it, so could I. I just have to pretend I’m going to the Oscars, I told myself, which isn’t easy sitting shot gun in a four year old Caravan.

I don’t know if anyone can fully prepare themselves for the Spanx experience. Just the logistics of such a contraption alone are exhausting. Standing was good for a while, I could at least squeak in the odd breath, but ten minutes into the sit down meal my legs went numb. And it never occurred to me that going to the bathroom might require an escape plan.

I held it as long as I could, which wasn’t long since my bladder was constricted to half its size from being wedged into my spine. If you’re going to do this you might want to consider bringing a friend and a drink to the can because you’re going to be a while.  I shut the stall door behind me and for the first time that evening thought something through. This time I didn’t have The Girl to help me, so I had to go into old school bush party mode and move the crotch of my Spanx to the side to pee and pray for no spillage. It all went well and I think I actually heard my vagina thank me for the breather.

By the time we got home I practically shoved the babysitter out the door and shed my dress right there in the foyer. I tore at the material and released my belly. At first I think it was in shock and then all sorts of unladylike bodily functions happened.  There I was overcome with a huge sense of relief until the cramps came and then the pain.

Clearly my body was punishing me.

I’m pretty sure I may have some internal injuries.

So the moral of this story is, use at your own risk because unless I’m ever attending the Oscars, you can count me out Spanx. I’m either wrapping up in a huge tensor bandage (hey, at least there some elasticity) or I’m going full on blubber.

Karma VS Kid Asshole

KID ASSHOLE
KID ASSHOLE

The Boy is equal parts appalled and fascinated with what other kids get away with. He’s caught between wanting to do something fun and rude but not sure if it’s worth paying the price. He’s forever pointing out kids who cut line or say nasty things…there is nothing more fascinating then hearing a 10 year old swear. Recently when a little boy in a store gave his Mom the middle finger, his jaw hit the floor, then he looked at me like “What the hell, how can he get away with that?”

By far the worst is when the bad behaviour is directed at him or his friends.  When he feels he’s been mistreated he initially looks around for someone to correct the child, but what he’s learning is the older he gets the more he has to figure out how to deal with it himself…no one is coming to his rescue. You can see his brain working overtime and when he comes to me for guidance, nine times out of ten, I tell him to walk away. I talk all about Karma and the laws of cause and effect. The more kindness you send out the more you will receive in return. And I truly believe in what I’m telling him…I do, even though I’m not the best at practicing what I preach.

For a couple weeks he’s been complaining about a kid in his hockey skills class who insists on being first in the drills. It doesn’t matter if he’s passed and someone else gets to the finish first, this kid comes up and steps in front, sometimes shoving his way there. Since I’m never there to be a witness to this I told him to let him be, no big deal, if he really feels the need to be first, let him, let it roll off your back…Karma will take of it.

“You’re better than that.”

And I felt good about saying it, until last week when Hubby was late and I had to go. We had just left the dressing room and were walking to the ice when I was shoved from behind into the wall by this kid in a green jersey who bolted passed me to get on the ice before anyone else.

Kid asshole and I had just been introduced.

Interesting, I thought, as I glanced over at his father to get a sense if he possibly saw what happened. He did. He said nothing, which explains a lot.

As the hour passed green jersey (aka kid asshole) time and time again step in front of every kid to be first in line. I watched him elbowed and shove just enough to get his point across, but not enough to get caught by the twenty something year old coach who couldn’t care less anyway.

I watched his father have no reaction.

He took off to start every drill and The Boy slowed his pace to stay behind him, sacrificing his own work out to avoid confrontation.

I began taking deep cleansing breaths.

His father (Bigger Asshole) stood up against the glass yelling directions. I felt for green jersey, it was obvious he was just trying hard to impress his father. Just let it be, I told myself and bit my tongue.

A drill was beginning right in front of me and I watched green jersey come up from behind and push my son in the shoulders, shoving him back so he could be first. Then, once in front and I guess just for good measure, he turned and gave him another little shove, kind of like a warning.

The Boy looked at me like “you see” and I did see…and then I lost my shit.

Karma took a backseat as I ripped off my rose coloured glasses and slammed on my Mommy goggles. The Boy and I made eye contact, I could tell he was angry but he shrugged, trying (for me) to be Zen about it, exactly how I taught him to be.

Now what comes next wasn’t my best moment. You can ask my husband who had shown up about two minutes before. I glared at Big Asshole who was too far away to yell at so I told him off telepathically because it was his fault for what was about to take place. I looked at The Boy and with every ounce of Motherly love gave him the international sign for “elbow the bastard.”

At first he looked confused, then amused; until he figured out I was stone cold serious. I rambled loudly and tapped on the glass. Screw that father and his kid asshole. If you’re going to teach your child to be a pushy little jerk then, be prepared to get pushed back. How dare he think he can push my son around and get away with it?

“Push him back,” I said like a manic through the glass, not caring at the moment about the arena full of onlookers…like I said, not my best moment.

He thought about it, I could tell he really wanted to but his cool head prevailed. Or maybe it was the look of absolute horror on his father’s face. I left because what else could I do? I’m sure I was the topic of dinner conversations that evening. “You should have heard this Mom lose her shit tonight…”

When he got home I apologized for not taking his complaints seriously and I asked him if he wanted me to talk to the coach.

“No, it’s fine. The kid has it tough enough with his Dad always yelling.”

Maybe I haven’t done to bad of a job with this kid.

So I left him to fight his own battles, but before I did I let him know how proud I was of him. I turned to him and in a very calm and loving tone told him that if he feels the need to give kid asshole a little shove next week…I wouldn’t be mad and neither would Karma.

Working Through My Fear

I’m going crazy trying to figure out what to write about. I start a million things and abandon them. My passion, enthusiasm and motivation are at a standstill. My therapist says I’m a perfectionist pussy…without the pussy part, but I know he’s thinking it. Apparently, I put such high demands on myself that I’m too scared to produce anything. Because, “Oh My God it could suck.”

Or scariest of all, what if it doesn’t? What if it’s good?

Shiver.

What makes that scary? I can’t answer that because it would have to be the perfect answer and there isn’t one. The short answer I don’t know, but I’ve been trying to figure it out.

The thing is the best writing, the stuff that really speaks to you whether it touches your deepest soul or makes you pee your pants with laughter is done by an author who is honest and shows vulnerability. It’s when you can relate that makes it good…makes it real. The trouble is society shakes its finger at realism. Vulnerability is weakness, not human.  We put on a front to save our dignity while watching scripted reality television folks.

Yay us!

I’m scared to actually be real and that’s holding me back. Once something is out there, it’s out there, which means friends, employers, kids can read it and it doesn’t go away. If you choose a public forum to lay out your opinions, idiosyncrasies or God forbid your skeletons you open yourself up to criticism which isn’t exactly something a perfectionist can overcome easily.

Plus, my Mom would have a shit fit. On a side note, it’s amazing how your Mother’s opinion still influences all your decisions…even in your 40’s.

I keep thinking the time will come when I’ll stop caring what people think and just write what goes on in my wacky head…but what if you hate it? What if you like it? Is the glass half empty or full? It’s a vicious circle. Sometimes I want to just give it up and go on with being an employee, wife and Mother. It would be easier, but would it be right?

Then I think of all the great things that could happen if I score a best seller…like going on a book tour and getting asked to write the screen play.  I’ll go to lunch with John Cusack and we’ll have witty intelligent banter before he agrees to play the leading man.  And let’s not forget having martini’s with Kelly Ripa the night before I guest host Live. We’ll giggle and give each other knowing looks the next morning throughout the broadcast. Oh, that Kelly, you couldn’t possibly know the time we had…

So. Much. Fun.

These are things I actually think about. Don’t even get me started on charades with Ellen and Portia.

The unfortunate part to this fantasy is when I get a free moment and sit in front of a blank screen; my funny, witty thoughts and creativity take a detour. It’s so frustrating. I wish I could make a career out of snappy Facebook retorts. One, two lines and I’d have it made, but putting the time in to write another novel or even this blog seems impossible sometimes. I’m tired.  I work a full time job. I have two kids with multiple extracurricular activities, my dog needs walked, I manage to exercise, despite and because of the 20lbs I’ve gained this year. I’m slightly depressed. Plus, I’m only on season 2 of Breaking Bad for shit sake and you expect me to find time to write?

Related: I hate reality.

It’s all fear.

Fear is an asshole. A mother fucking asshole.

I almost erased the cursing for fear of you judging me, but there it is anyway; my first step out of fear.

Sorry, Mom.

Movie Theater Snobbery – The Snob Being Me

I am a complete and utter movie theater etiquette snob. I admit it. I’m uber anal about my experience.  Are we still using uber? I feel a little silly about it. I think I heard somewhere that it’s no longer a thing…If it offends, I’m sorry but at the moment I’m at a loss for more hip sounding slang.

Going to the theater is my favourite thing and because I’m a bit of an introvert (sometimes…when I’m sober) going by myself kicks ass. Having a practically empty theater, kicks the largest ass in existence…I won’t mention any names.

I need my space. People’s behaviour distracts me. Sometimes I swear they do it on purpose, like some hidden camera show or something. I half expect Howie Mandel to jump out and declare it was all a joke on me. Of course it never happens but my mind goes there, I won’t lie. I know my impatience with people is not your problem, or theirs necessarily, but I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed.

I don’t think of myself as hard to please, if fact I’m fairly adaptable. I rarely send a meal back, I eat the stupid birthday cake even if I don’t want it because I don’t want to make a scene about being on a diet…you know, I try to be versatile, just don’t screw with my movie experience.

What happens to people when they get in a dimly lit theater?

From the woman explaining every single little thing to her husband, to the old man with the gigantic mitts digging into his popcorn and grabbing up handfuls so big he has to strategically maneuver it around his face until every single piece is lodged in his mouth. And who can ignore the typical teenager who can’t stop texting, giving iPhone related migraines to everyone forty and over? They all drive me insane and I will admit there have been times I’ve given Karma the night off and lodged some kernels in their hair, but usually just the young ones…because I’m bitter about their youth and carefree nonchalance.

Last weekend I went in with a good attitude, but as the theater filled my anxiety grew and then the lady beside me picked up her popcorn. I know what you’re thinking, she was probably a cruncher. But she wasn’t. Actually I’ve had plenty of experience with the cruncher and the shoveller…in fact, I married him and I’m not far behind, but only when people aren’t around.

You see? I’m sensitive to other people and I guess it’s my own problem that I expect others to play along and be considerate. I try to chew slowly if I’m sitting close to people, I put the popcorn in my mouth and if it gets really quiet I just silently suck the butter off until I can swallow. If someone I’m with talks to me I’m extremely uncomfortable and worried we will disturb someone. Don’t get me wrong when there’s no one around I’m giving the man with the big mitts a run for his money, until I’m sick to be honest and still I look for stray pieces in my bra.

But the woman this weekend was unique. She was a slammer. Every time she took a handful of popcorn she’d lift her entire arm, grapple around in the bag and then slam her elbow down on the arm rest. Every ten seconds…SLAM, SLAM, SLAM…

Fucking kill me.

Finally she put the popcorn down and I got a 5 min break before the lady with her pulls out a plastic bag from the Bulk Barn and start dragging out baggies and baggies of candy. It was a freaking buffet. Those two alternated between popcorn and candy the entire movie. I didn’t know if I was angry or jealous.

So please, now that the Oscar worthy films are upon us and the theaters will be packed…can we all just agree to some movie etiquette? How about we start with something easy, the thing that dries me absolutely bat ass crazy? The next time you’re leaving take a look around at the garbage people leave behind.

Take your freaking garbage with you. I mean you walk right by the bin when you exit. I know it’s someone’s job to do it but do it anyway. It’s just the right thing to do.

Please?

For me?

I Got Nothing

It’s been a bit of an adjustment the last couple of months with the full time job thing. This blogging stuff isn’t as easy as it looks and it takes time. Time I don’t have until ten at night when I’m just to dang lazy after completing all the other responsibilities that come with being a working Mother. I know, I’m whining…

So, just when I’m beginning to beat myself up for neglecting my blog, the one thing that is truly my own…Kyla over at www.mommyisweird.com reminds me I wrote a post for a guest spot on her blog and she published it today, giving me another week to think of something to write for this page.

Related: Kyla is my new best friend and can be found at the link above and also at Twitter https://twitter.com/Mommyisweird and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MommysWeird

I recommend her blog because she is HIGHlarious and because she’s my new bestie…She’s probably totally freaking out now thinking I’m some crazy girl. And she might have reason to, but it’s too late now because she already posted it. (Insert evil laugh here).

Anyway, if you’re at all still interested after that shameful ranting…check it out.

http://www.mommysweird.com/2013/04/good-girls-wear-thongs.html

 

 

 

 

 

You want Spring? Wear Your Shorts.

It’s the last week of March and if you live in Ontario, Canada that means you start the Spring push. It’s the time of year we’re so frustrated with snow and cold that we cosmically try to change the weather by wearing inappropriate clothing. This morning I saw a couple of people walking their dogs in long sleeved shirts, hats, scarves and shorts. It was still below zero, but I understood their game plan. If Winter is being stubborn, as Canadians we must take matters into our own hands and push back. So get mad people! Get out your flip flops and suck it up.

There’s a reason Winter is portrayed in movies and fairy tales as a grumpy old man.  Just like any grumpy old man, at first you find him amusing, you play along doing your best to ignore his cackling. Then he starts to wear on you and you begin to mirror his grumpiness. Finally you can’t take it anymore and you snap (hence, shorts with hats) and you seek some more enjoyable company.

The good news is Spring is coming and if Winter is a grumpy old man, Spring is an overly enthusiastic aerobics instructor with a pony tail. It’s bouncy, light, and airy and she’s heading our way. You know how I know? At my house there are always tell tale signs.

  1. There’s only a pin head size dot of polish on my big toe leftover from my August pedicure.
  2. The snow is melting in the back yard and I can see all the land bombs (dog poop) I’ve neglected to pick up in three months
  3. Baseball hats are littering the house. On every level. On every surface.
  4. The big stinky hockey bag that is always in the dining room has now been replaced by a big stinky baseball bag.
  5. The Boy has stopped wearing pajama pants and is walking around the house shirtless. Related: I see a reality show in his future.
  6. I’m starting to hoard exercise videos again.
  7. The dirt on the windows is mocking me.
  8. The winter boots have gone from being an unorganized pile in front of the door, to a heap in the bottom of the closet along with hats, mitts and scarves waiting to be shoved into one big “Winter” bag.
  9. MUD – on the floor, on the dog, on the car…
  10. I have an intense need to paint everything and have already begun my weekly trips to Home Depot.

Yup, it’s coming. And it’s not just me. These kinds of posts are showing up on Pinterest.

So have no fear, Spring will be here soon in all her yoga pants and scrunchie glory and the only one who can take her down is the Biotch, the mean girl we call Summer who brings the heat and takes her out, so jealous of Spring she frizzes her hair and makes her cry all the way home.

Nostalgic Tears

© west7megan - Fotolia.comI’m crying like a big blubbering baby this morning. My Aunt died yesterday. An Aunt I haven’t seen in over 15 years. It wasn’t sudden. She was very sick, but I guess it’s what it represents that has me in a puddle.

On the surface I struggled with the decision of whether to drive the 3 hours to her service. In the end, with Homer working this weekend and the kids needing to complete projects for school on Monday, I decided not to go. It’s a logical decision but one that makes my heart hurt. In some respects I would feel a little hypocritical. Like I said, I haven’t seen her in years, who am I to just show up like the big hero from the big city and start blubbering now? It’s not like I was never in her area to visit. I’d thought about it many times over the years, it could’ve been done, I just didn’t and I have no excuse. I loved her, she was a kind woman who deserves the best of a final tribute and I’m sorry I’m not going to be there for her two sons, my cousins, whom I miss immensely even though it seems we barely know each other anymore.

And cue the tears. Over the years our entire family has dissolved. Meeting for Sunday dinners, playing catch in the backyard and hide and seek in the basement over time just disintegrated.  It all started with one untimely death, and then another and another.

Our fathers were brothers, good guys with hearts of gold who died of a family heart condition too young, leaving those two boys, my sister and I devastated. We all grew apart, got married and had our own families. We no longer had any reason to get together, busy with kids and life and let’s face it our own lack of effort. We don’t get together to share memories, break bread and catch up we just simply moved on and when I think about it my heart breaks.

I’ll be honest, for years I’ve miss those boys, those people who share half my heritage. I was proud to be a Medd, so proud that I refused to change my name when I was married because my father (having had two girls) didn’t have anyone to carry on the name on his behalf. Plus, I secretly think he wanted me to be a boy.

I did my tomboy best, I rode mini bikes and snowmobiles, but it was on those Sunday visits when those two cousins would take me outside and teach me the proper way to catch a baseball or shoot a puck when I felt special and a part of something. I would have followed them anywhere and in some cases I did. I went to their hockey games because I just wanted to see them, even if we didn’t get the chance to talk. A quick wave from the ice was enough for me to feel connected.

So today I guess I’m mourning the loss of that connection. I’m mourning the little girl in me who misses her family, Sunday dinners and specifically her cousins. I feel extreme pain for them in the loss of their wonderful, loving mother and wish them all the peace that comes with knowing she is no longer suffering.  And I’m hopeful for a future meeting of the Medds’ at a place other than a funeral home where we can once again break bread, get through the awkward silences and get to know each other again.

Peace out Aunt Sheila, thanks for all the Sunday roasts.

Tips for the Job Hunting Woman

Being a small town girl interviewing in the big city is intimidating, no if ands or buts, it sucks. Every job I’ve ever gotten has been a result of word of mouth. In a small town your family, friends and mechanic are your resume. Even my last job of sixteen years in Toronto was the result of my reputation from that same town.

**Cue John Cougar Melloncamp**

Over the past several months while looking for work my eyes have been opened to the stress of doing just that. It can get old real quick and before you know it you’re knee deep in a vat of self pity inhaling chocolate chip cookie dough.

Rejection is hard; actually getting an interview is harder. My search is finally over. Proof it does happen. It takes time, don’t let it get to you and remember:

  1. Don’t get discouraged –So much easier said than done, but take my word for it, buy some chocolate and relax. Try not to anticipate a timeline because as soon as you pass the magic date your self confidence takes a hit and you risk losing focus. Avoid compromising on positions of lesser quality. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Unless, you’re desperate then I’m afraid you’re going to have to buck up and take what’s available keeping in mind it’s only a stepping stone to what you really want.
  2. You will learn humility – When I left my last job I wasn’t thinking further ahead than a year. I wanted a break. I had the money for a break. I took a break and I don’t regret it. Besides I had a plan. I was going to be a blogger and earn just enough money to keep me in my PJ’s. Needless to say, it’s been a long road of self discovery with a side of humble pie. Sometimes we have to step back, refocus and live in the real world.
  3. You will have to send out A LOT of resumes. You will hear from almost none of them.
  4. Get help with your resume, even if you don’t think you need to. Don’t be so stubborn, you don’t know everything. There are tricks of the trade I never knew existed.  I have four resumes and up to ten different cover letters.
  5. Tweak your resume and cover letter with every application. It’s a pain in the ass, but necessary. Pick words out of the job description, pull out your thesaurus and switch some words around or Google similar job descriptions and find something that matches your talents. Use it. No one is going to enforce copyright laws over a resume.
  6. For God sake make sure you know what you put in your resume. If you look like a deer in headlights in an interview when they ask you about something you wrote, you might as well walk out.
  7. Practice your interview techniques with someone. I know it sounds cheesy and it is…but do it anyway. Look up typical interview questions on the internet and practice them until they are comfortable.
  8. If you’re a woman looking for work in a business dominated by men, consider getting a penis. Trust me. With my resume and a penis, the sky’s the limit in the world of industrial products. Of course I’m kidding; you obviously can’t afford the operation if you’re out of work, so you’re going to have to go in full vagina. Full badass vagina. My point is self confidence, even if it’s not real. There is a lot to be said for, “fake it until you make it.” If you’re feeling down about the process it’ll show in your body language. Give yourself a pep talk, throw your shoulders back and be proud. If they don’t want to hire your vagina then they’re the ones missing out.
  9. Personality goes a long way. So does honesty. Be yourself, if you don’t get the job there’s a reason, believe it. They did you a favour. You don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t get you. Remember you need to be comfortable there to…which leads me too…
  10.  Don’t discredit the importance of interviewing your potential employer as well. Have questions for them, they like that. Look interested in your future and they will be to.

It’s sometimes a long, frustrating process. There is truth to the saying, “Looking for work is a full time job.” I look at it the same as finding a husband; put yourself out there, try some on for size and in the end pick the one that feels right and appears to have some sustainability.

In the words of Jon Bon Jovi circa 1992, “Keep the Faith.”