I wouldn’t call them chips exactly.

March 15, 2012

So kale is the darling of food bloggers this year it seems.  You can’t read a food blog or visit some sort of food/recipe site without someone rhapsodizing about how great kale is.

Ok.  I’m good with how good kale is for  you.  It’s some kind of superfood, protecting against heart disease and diabetes and probably other stuff but I’m too lazy to finish reading the article.  

The problem, for me anyway, is that kale isn’t exactly what you’d call tasty.  Not without adding a bunch of stuff to it.  Like nuts and seeds and fruit.  Which means the Hubs will not eat it.  He’s not a picky eater he claims, yet I’ve never met a grown man who has so many rules and restrictions as to what he will and will not eat and how he’ll eat food.  Eeeesh.

But still.  Kale = goodness.  And 2012 is supposed to be the Year of Me, although that plan is getting off to a sloooooooow start.  Anyway, I figure that it can’t hurt and hey, I might actually like it.

So imagine my surprise to find a recipe for kale chips.  It’s actually from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter (which is surprisingly good).  I like chips.  A lot.  So I was pretty stoked to find a way to make my favourite unhealthy snack well, healthy.

After a failed first attempt (it would help to have the recipe book with me not upstairs in my office) I decided to try again.  I also “massaged” the kale, something I read somewhere on a food blog that explained it would make the kale tastier.  Odd but it can’t hurt.  

I oiled it up (the kale…this is a PG blog you know), salted it and baked it at 400C for 12 minutes.  The end result was, well, strangely good, but it’s not a chip.  More like a crispy leaf that’s been salted.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad tasting by any stretch, but a potato chip it is not.  And never will be.

But it is a oddly addictive snack that IS better for me than potato chips.  And a little goes a long way.  One bunch of kale makes a big container of “chips” and as much of a salty/savoury/food fan that I am, even I can’t eat that much salted baked kale.  And it’s probably a good thing given all the fibre in it.  Tomorrow might be unpleasant.

So I’ll give you this one food bloggers.  You’re right.  Kale is good.  But it’s not a chip.  


Thanks but no.

January 16, 2012

So after a disastrous job move last spring (which has resulted in this looooong period of non-working-no-money suckage) and a questionable job change the year before, I’ve decided to be very picky about where I apply to.  I’m looking for something local, or reasonably local, something that pays a decent wage (I’m amazed at how little I can live on now) and something that is fairly interesting.  Sure there are boring parts to any job and I understand that, but I would like something that makes me reasonably interested in getting out of bed in the morning and not wanting to call in sick every day.  Oh, nice co-workers would be a nice bonus too.  Not too much to ask for I don’t think.

Well, last week I applied for a job, that appeared to be in my field. It was advertised on my grad school’s job board and the job description was all about what I do.  The downside was that it was a little further than I wanted to travel BUT, a change in the Hubs’ work means that if this job worked out, we could commute part of the way together before I got on the commuter train and that would save us both time and me money.  Plus it would be  nice to start my day off with the Hubs.

A few hours after I applied I got a call from the contact.  Cool.  She spoke about the job, which turned out to be nothing like very different from the posted ad.  Well, um ok, but we both had concerns about the location of the job and apparently it was not a job that could be done from home.  Well, actually it is, but their office doesn’t work that way.  But whatever.

It still sounded kind of interesting and she told me she’d call back at the end of the month (when the job closed) for an interview.  Perfect.  Time for me to scrounge up an outfit and prepare to impress the interviewing panel.  Except that two days later she called and said they were interviewing that Saturday and could I come in?

Well, the Hubs and I had made plans to go into The Big City on Saturday to see an exhibit but due to the timing of this interview, we’d either have to go very early (yuck), go late and have hardly any time to see it (yuck) or me not go at all.  Which is what happened.

Anyway.  We went in separately, I had my interview and Hubs saw the show.  All good.  Except it wasn’t.  The interview went well.  If you consider the vague, non-committal answers to my questions going well.  If you consider the crappy salary, too long hours and cramped office space going well.  If you consider the fact that I caught the interviewer in an outright lie going well.  Oh, and that job ad.  Let’s just say that whoever wrote it isn’t living in this reality.  It’s a job ad for a job that doesn’t exist.

She told me they wanted to do one more round of interviews this week and that I “have legs”, which I take to mean they are interested in me.  While I’d like to go back to work sooner rather than later, I am not interested in them.  Remember what I said about being picky about where I apply to?  Well that goes for what job I accept.  If they make a request for a second interview I will be turning it down.  I left the frying  pan for the fire.  I’m not going from the fire into the furnace.


September 13, 2011

I like white.  A lot.  I think it’s clean and crisp and looks sophisticated.  It’s easy to match too.  I have several sets of white sheets and towels.  And duvet covers.    I’d even have white furniture if I could get away with it.

It’s not a particularly sensible colour to decorate with.  And yes, I know technically it’s a “shade” not a “colour”, but whatever.  And it’s definitely not practical as I have a black cat and a dirty husband.  But that’s what the “whitest whites” setting and Borax is for.

Lately though, I’m beginning to crave colour.  I’ve introduced hot pink and orange and lemon yellow hand towels into our ensuite.  Which is, black and, you guessed it, white.  In my defense it was decorated that way when we moved in and The Hubs and I weren’t prepared to rip down a roomful of tiles, physically or financially.

About a month ago, I bought blue sheets.  With pink roses on them.  There’s barely any white at all in them.  And I like it that way.


October 13, 2010

ExpectANT not expectING.  I’m not pregnant.  I’d have a much better post title than that.

Do you ever have the feeling that something is going to happen?  Like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop?  Jumpy when the phone rings?  Anxious every time you open your inbox?

That’s how I’ve been feeling for the last month or so.  I can’t really figure out why I’ve been feeling expectant.  I don’t expect any big news from anyone about anything.  I don’t play the lotteries either so it’s not like I’m having a premonition of winning the big one.  That would be nice though.   The Hubs is unlikely to be sent out of town for work either so I’m not waiting for that news.  I just feel weird.  Like I’m waiting for something.  But I don’t know what I’m waiting for.

It’s like a cloud hanging over me.  Not a dark cloud of impending doom but a cloud of, well, expectation. 

And to be honest, it’s driving me nuts.  Whatever it is that I’m waiting for better hurry up and get here.  I may be expectant but I’m definitely not patient.

Some days you are the statue

September 17, 2010

So this week the universe seems to be conspiring against me, the hubs, various people at work and some of my friends.  Seems like EVERYONE has had something nasty happen to them or someone they love.  And I’m pretty sure Mercury is out of retrograde so I really don’t know what’s going on.

The hubs and I have  spent the past week cleaning out the weirdest stuff and lots and lots of garbage from the outlaws rental property.  Last night we found a bunch of brand new, never been used stuff – a Wii, a high end coffee maker, a space heater among other things.  And their wedding album.  Who leaves this kind of stuff behind?  Especially since it was already boxed up in the first place?  At least we didn’t find anything dead so that’s a bonus I suppose.

Also, it turns out that despite thinking otherwise, I can’t seem to get the FL out of my head.  I don’t actually want to see him, I am just weirdly obsessed with knowing all the small details of his life.  Some stuff I have managed to ferret out with my mad research skillz, but most of it I just imagine.   Which is silly because I will never share a life with him (and this is a good thing) and in the end who really cares what kind of car he drives and what colour it is.  This really better pass soon because I’m getting kind of tired of it all and I’m sure it’s not even remotely healthy.  But I can’t stop.  It’s like some sort of fever I can’t shake.  And no, I’m not going to stalk his house or office.  I’m not that crazy. Or interested.  Besides, cyber stalking is a lot more fun than sitting in a car for hours on end.  

We’ve been up and down and up and down all week and will likely be up and down again several times over for the rest of the month about our own renters at the cottage.  They’re staying, they’re going, they’re going but coming back, they’re not coming back, they’re maybe coming back.  It literally changes every minute and I don’t want to keep up anymore.  Just tell me when it’s finally decided.  Yeah we’ll keep the place but it means more pasta for dinner and less yarn for the next year or so.  And no big trips (again) next year.  Siiiiiigh.  And yeah, Marakesh is off sadly.  No Arabian nights for me.

I hurt my thumbs making a swap present for my Four Seasons Swap partner and have hardly been able to knit.  This is driving me crazy, all that yarn taunting me.  I used some stash yarn to make the bag and let me tell you Briggs and Little  Atlantic should be avoided at all costs if you value having skin on your fingers.  I have no love for you B&L, made in Canada or not.

I have deadlines at work I am in no way shape or form going to meet.  And I don’t care either. And speaking of work, it’s 15C (59F for those of you in the US) outside and my office still has the A/C on.  I am FREEZING.  Apparently they don’t turn the heat on until October here either so I am going to have dig out every freaking shawl and sweater I own and pray for warmer weather.  Maybe I should bring in that space heater we found.

We have to go and see some friends who just had a baby and I can’t get excited about it.  I feel bad but I have no desire to see this child.  Or knit for him.  I just want to crawl into my bed, pull up my duvet, curl up to the hubs (or even the cat) and sleep for the next 247 hours.  Straight.

Ok Universe, I know my life is pretty good most days but maybe you could make it be a little better and stop throwing all this annoying stuff at me.  Just for a while ok.  I gotta get some work done and can’t afford to be distracted by google search strings for the FL.  I am done sorting through other people’s crap and really, if you could make it so I can get by on six hours sleep a night again I will be forever grateful.

There is a special place in Hell reserved for these people

September 16, 2010

So it’s not exactly a secret that the outlaws are not my mostest favouritest people on the planet.  I don’t like either of them very much and with the FIL at least, I’m sure the feeling is mutal.  But this past week I have to say I have felt very badly for them.  No one deserves to be treated this way.

Many many years ago, they got an excellent deal on a rental income property.  Apparently the owner died and his children wanted nothing to do with the house.  The kids didn’t live in the city, didn’t want to rent it and basically sold it at a firesale price.  The outlaws snapped it up, rented it out and life was grand.

The house isn’t great.  It’s quite small; six rooms and a basement which isn’t finished.  But it sits on a great piece of property and is close to major bus routes and shopping centres.  Plus, they don’t charge a lot of rent for it.  And, as much as I complain about the outlaws, as landlords they are pretty good.  They’ll let you paint the walls whatever colour you want.  If you want to do minor improvements they’ll either knock money off your rent or pay for the materials.  They’ll even give you a break if you’re a few days late with your rent, so long as you have a good excuse and tell them as soon as you know you can’t make the full amount.  They’ve been in financial straits before so they get it.  They’re not happy ab0ut it, but they get it.

Anyway, about three years ago their long-term tenants left.  The outlaws let the house sit empty over the winter and rented it out to a couple who kind of abused them.  They didn’t pay rent on time, their cheques often bounced, they rarely paid the full rent amount but apparently always had money for beer, cigarettes and taxis.  They left the following fall and the outlaws, who have some weird ideas, let the house sit empty until spring, because in their mind “no one decent rents a house in the winter”.  Whatever.

They also don’t believe in doing reference or credit checks because the former is a pain and the latter costs money.  They prefer to hold an “open house” viewing of their place and won’t show it if you call and ask to see the place.  Fair enough but people who need a place to live on short notice don’t have time to wait for your open house in two weeks.  We all know the saying that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks…well that’s the outlaws.

Anyway, this last pair of tenants played them.  Badly.  They gave the outlaws a song and dance about how they wanted to plant a garden and didn’t have pets and were looking for a place to call their own.  They said they were gainfully employed.  They lied about it all and the outlaws bought it.  They paid rent for the first few months and that was it.  They had two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, fish and who knows how many lizards.  They bounced cheques, they changed the locks, they refused the outlaws (and any service people) entry without 24 hour written notice (notice is required but it doesn’t have to be written in my province), they made pointless demands (finish the basement), they called the city and the police claiming they were being abused.

In short, they made the outlaws’ lives hellish for eight months.  Finally, the outlaws had no choice but to evict them.  They followed the proper procedures, even down to hiring a lawyer, but the tenants still wouldn’t go.  They went before the Landlord and Tenant Board and won their case.  The Sherrif served them with eviction papers and the tenants dug in their heels and refused to leave.  On the actual eviction day they still hadn’t packed up their belongings.  They were given six extra hours to get out.  It still wasn’t enough.

You should have seen the state of the house.  Now, I lived in student housing and partied in many a house in the student ghetto of my university town so I’ve seen a lot of grossness.  I’m not really all that squeamish.  But this place was beyond disgusting.

These people left piles of dirty clothes, garbage, half used food, dirty plates on the floor and I swear they hadn’t vaccuumed the joint for at least six months….even though there was a vaccuum cleaner in the basement.  They left behind books and furniture, all kinds of personal care products, CDs, video games, toys, clothes, aquariums, dishes, small appliances, a TV and a computer monitor.  The list goes on.  And let’s not talk about medical waste we found. 

The FIL was prepared to set fire to the house when he saw the state it was left in.  The MIL started to cry.  The hubs, me, his cousin and her mother have spent the past week just picking up crap.  Honestly, it looked like they let their dogs at garbage bags. 

How do people do this?  How do you walk away from half your possessions?  How do you live in squalor if you don’t have to?  How do you make it so that decent people have to spent all of their free time picking up your shit?  DH’s cousin found a dead lizard in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Something was clearly not right with this couple.

We’ve picked up what we can.  Some stuff has been donated to shelters and food banks.  We’ve recycled what we can.  We divvied up the stuff that was left behind that was useful to us.  We’ve given away things.  We’ve tossed out 18 garbage bags, filled three blue bins (twice) and a giant green bin (twice) and there’s still more to come.  There will be dump runs and more dump runs.  And nothing has actually been cleaned.  For that we’re calling in a company who specializes in heavy duty industrial cleaning.  Or crime scenes.  I have many hippie treehugger leanings, especially where food and cleaning products are concerned, but honestly, I’m not even sure that 100% bleach will disinfect this place.  I’m pretty sure the carpets will have to be pulled up and burnt and God only knows what manner of filth and germs the bathroom holds.

The outlaws, understandably, don’t want any part in this.  They are immensely saddened and angered by the blatant disrespect shown to them.  And I have to say I agree.  Sure they’re annoying and out of touch but no one deserves to have their property treated this way.  No one.  While they can’t help clean they will throw money at the problem until it goes away.  And that’s fine.  The stress of being in that house every day would likely make him stroke out.  She’s just had eye surgery and can’t bend over.  Both of those things aside, neither are all that young anymore and neither deal well with stress.  It’s best to keep them away.  While I don’t want them in my life any longer than need be, no one in the family would be well-served by one (or both) of them having a heart attack or stroke right now.

Even after all of this though, they are determined to rent again.  Another cousin has a few people who would be interested.  And I hope they are.  And I hope they’re normal.  The outlaws cry poor all the time, despite the fact that they are likely sitting on a pot full of money.  I understand that they came from impoverished backgrounds and need the financial security that the rental income provides.  But I really hope that this next tenant works out.  The outlaws health (and the rest of the family’s sanity) is worth so much more what than the rent money brings in.  But they don’t see it.  Can’t teach an old dog new tricks I guess.  I just hope we don’t have to bury the old dog because they’re too stubborn to learn.

Here’s looking at you kid

September 1, 2010

So my SIL, who can be a bit pretentious at times, has decided to celebrate her upcoming milestone birthday in Marakesh, Morocco (and yes I know the quote is from Casablanca but it was the closest I could find).  Normally she spends it in London or New York.  But I guess when it’s gonna be a big one, you may as well do it up in style. 

Morocco is somewhere DH and I have always wanted to go.  I am, unsurprisingly, all over the souks.  And the desert tours.  DH is all over the history.  It was a contender for our honeymoon destination.  You’d think DH would be all over going.  This trip will have history, exotic-ness (is that even a word?), family and friends.  But he’s balking. 

We have several rooms to paint in the house and stuff to do at the cottage.  We need to buy carpeting for the stair case and the chimney needs to be repointed.  The driveway needs to be repaved.  His job is very stressful and he doesn’t know if/when he can take the time off and let’s not even go down the I-feel-sorry-for-me-because-I-have-no-children road.  That being said, if he doesn’t take time off, I see a big hot meltdown coming and soon.

I really want to go on this trip.  For a number of reasons.  Let’s start with the fact that DH hasn’t had a decent holiday since he went to Greece this time last year.  He’s worn out and stressed out and heading for some alone time in a nicely padded room if he doesn’t watch out. 

Also he hasn’t seen his sister since Christmas and even then they didn’t spend much time together as she spent several days mysteriously wrapped up in “meetings” in the big city all the while staying with her “friend”.  (I suspect she’s dating this “friend” who happens to live there but that’s just my take on things.  Afterall, wouldn’t your company put you up in a hotel if you’re there on company business?  Just sayin).  His sister and their cousin just spent a few weeks together in Europe and DH was green with envy.  I would have been happy for him to join them but he’s under the impression that his company will fall apart if he leaves for any length of time, so he stayed home and worked.

Also, come on it’s Marakesh.  The home of the biggest markets in Africa.  Since we didn’t buy a rug in India you can be damn sure I’ll be purchasing one if we go.  Maybe more.  Especially since we’re in the market for some area rugs.  And I’ve done the math, the dirham is a very good deal right now and things are inexpensive in Morocco.  It’s a shopper’s dream.  And I’m a shopper.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there will be few if any babies/children on this trip.  While I’m sure some people travel to Morocco with babies, I can’t imagine why you would.  Even if the SIL’s friends have children, it’s highly likely they’ll be left at home.  So it will be a perfect trip for DH  to just relax and not stress out about why everyone has kids and we don’t.  Yes, he is still stressing about that.  And yes I know, he really should be talking to someone about it.  You can lead a horse to water and all that.  Besides, being around people who don’t have kids will hopefully remind/show him that you can have a full and happy life even if you don’t have kids.  Or at least that’s my hope.

So to sweeten the deal, I’ve told him I’ll deal with painting some of the rooms while I’m on vacation next week.  If you know me you’ll know what a HUGE deal this is as I loathe painting.  But it will save us $1000.  Maybe more.  And I’ll stop nagging about how craptastic the unpainted rooms look if I don’t get to them.  There’s always next year.  Which will be when we redo the driveway and repoint the chimney.  Or maybe the year after.  Both need to be done but another few years of waiting won’t hurt.

Finally, I told the hubs I’d hold off on buying yarn for the rest of the year.  I know.  No more yarn in 2010 (the KW Knitter’s Fair doesn’t count…the yarn diet starts AFTER September 11).  It will be tough.  But I have a giant stash and really should be knitting that down.  And think of the yarn buying bender I can go on in 2011 and all the space I’ll have for that new yarn.  It would be totally worth it.

So cross your fingers for me.  DH is thinking about it.  He’s already talked about going a week early and spending it on the coast in a resort.  And maybe even spending some time in London, England as we’d connect through there.  The kicker will be work.  If I am very lucky his projects will slow down and he’ll be able to take a few weeks off.  He can spend time with his sister and immerse himself in all the Moroccan history he can handle.  I can compare carpets to my heart’s content and look for hidden treasures in the souks.  Win-win.  Cross your fingers for me and think desert-y thoughts.

Stir it up

August 21, 2010

I’ve been meaning to post several times this week but I’ve been out of sorts.  Granted, with each passing day I feel more “in sorts” but I still feel weird.  Turns out, on Monday, during my semi-regular internet stalk (don’t judge…you know you do it too) of the three men who profoundly affected my life, I found out that my First Love (“FL”) has moved back to my province.  More specifically to the town where we met.  Good times.

Now, when I say moved back to my province, it turns out he’s been here for two years already.  But in another city.  Which oddly enough DH and I spent a lot of time in last summer.  But I didn’t know that, seeing as how I only irregularly internet stalk.  (Clearly I am an epic failure as an online stalker.)  Prior to that he lived two provinces over and really far north.  And I was fine with that.  Far away was good.  Far away was comfortable.  Far away meant that aside from the occasional fantasy, I would never, ever see him again.  Of course I am the Queen of the X degrees of separation and random co-incidental meet up, especially if I am looking particularly bad that day, so all bets are off on the seeing again part.  But let’s just say the chances of us meeting up are slim to none and slim just left town.

I am the first person to say that there is no reason why I should feel this put out.  We dated literally half my lifetime ago and haven’t spoken for 16 years.  And I’m happily married.  And he’s been married since at least 2002, maybe even longer.  I’m assuming happily as well.

I don’t harbour any illusions that he’s pining for me either (although weirdly he did marry a woman who looks a heck of a lot like me….but I’m going with the rationale that he has a “type”) or that he moved back to find me and beg me to take him back.  That kind of stuff only happens in movies and bodice rippers.  The reality is, he’s back because he got a very good promotion and high profile job.  This guy is climbing the corporate ladder (if the military has one) and will be a general before you know it.

After much thought and discussion with friends this week, I think I feel so odd about it all is because the pot has been stirred up and baggage I thought I had checked and stowed (how’s that for mixing up metaphors?) has clearly shifted during the flight.  And it’s causing me some grief.

We met during my first year of university and had the kind of relationship that only unsupervised 19 year olds living away from home for the first time can have….hot, intense and all consuming.  Let’s just say there wasn’t a heck of a lot of talking that went on when we were together.  And because we were 19 we weren’t particularly experienced in adult communication anyway.  When it ended it wasn’t pretty.  Tears were shed (me), alcohol (and lots of it) was drunk (also me) and grudges were held (ummm, me again).

Second year passed (we both found others to be with) but I couldn’t get him out of my head.  I brooded and moped and wished and prayed and begged whatever power that was out there to make him want me again.  Also I bored my housemates to tears by never shutting up about him.  I must have been painful to live with.

Finally, at the start of my third year and newly singly, my housemates staged an intervention.  They were sick of hearing about FL.  If I didn’t call him, they would.  These women didn’t mess around.  So I sucked it up and called and waited.  Back in the day, if you wanted to reach someone at the military college you called the general squadron number, left a message with the duty officer, the message was passed on and you were called back when your party found a free pay phone.  Cell phones didn’t exist outside of movies back then and land lines weren’t allowed for the cadets.  Life was hard for those boys I’m sure.

The relief I felt after making that call was unbelievable.  He would either call me back or he wouldn’t and either way I’d have my answer.  I had taken the first step toward exercising FL from my mind and I was ready for whatever happened next.  And what happened next was that he called back.  And we had a good chat.  And we settled into a routine of calling each other, once every two or so weeks.  He was busy with 40+ hours of class and military obligations a week.  I was not quite as busy with only 15 hours of class a week but as a history major I had probably 100 hours a week of reading and researching and writing.  Not to mention all that other important university student stuff like drinking, partying and sleeping.

Talking on the phone is both more and less intimate than talking face-to-face.  You can’t see the other person’s expressions so it’s less intimate but you can ask them things you’d probably turn beet red asking them to their face.  And it’s been my experience that questions asked over the phone are likely to be answered honestly, if only for the fact that you are nowhere near close enough to beat the living tar out of the person on the other end for giving you an answer you don’t like.

So we talked.  And there was no pressure.  We got to know each other in a way that was no longer distracted by the can’t-keep-our-hands-off-each-other way from the first go around.  Life was good.  I looked forward to FL’s calls but didn’t live for them.  It looked like I was growing up.  And also falling deeper in love.

Part of the problem of getting to know someone you only know on an intimate level was finding out that you actually really liked them and wanted to see if you liked them on that intimate level again.  Although in our case I expect it was going to be a resounding yes if the flirting and innuendos and stomach butterflies (at least on my part) had anything to do with it.

We were inching towards meeting up when the beginning of the end happened.  Against my better judgement, I went out with one of my housemates one night and met a guy (BF).  Who was available every day.  Who pursued me relentlessly.  Who treated me like I was the most precious thing on earth.  He didn’t give me quite the same goosebumps FL did but hey, close enough and he was there for me all the time, unlike FL who had a harsh mistress in the Air Force.

But the heart wants what the heart wants and I kept talking to FL, even though BF and I were clearly a couple.  I couldn’t help it.  FL has never been easy to exercise from my brain.  And the little voice, the one that whispers to you in the dark of night, kept telling me that BF wouldn’t dump me come April like FL did.  BF would never rip my heart out and stomp on it either.  BF was the bird in the hand and while he wasn’t FL, he was a sure thing.

I held off listening to the little voice for a long time but in the end it won out.  I chickened out on meeting up with FL (at my house, alone…and yes it was my suggestion) after Christmas vacation and I stopped calling him so much.  Our last phone call was what did it though.  FL called as BF, my housemate and I were just heading out the door to the movies (I think it was the Lion King but imdb.com just isn’t agreeing on the release date with me so maybe it was something else) and I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.  And weirdly like I was having an out of body experience too.  I remember looking down at myself as I was talking to him and having time pass very very slowly although it was all over in a matter of seconds.

FL asked me how I was and I replied fine.  I told him I was just on my way out to the movies and I’d call him back, probably the next day.  He said fine.  Then BF yelled to  me and here’s where the six words that changed my life occurred.  In response to BF I said Ok baby, hang on, I’m coming.  As soon as they were out of my mouth I would have sold my mother to get them back.  I never called BF baby.  Ever.  I have no idea to this day why I said that.  Probably self-sabotage so that the relationship ended and I didn’t almost die from heartbreak again.

FL’s tone became icy and he couldn’t get off the phone fast enough.  And that was it.  We were done.  I didn’t bother to call back, why should I?  Choosing BF was the right choice.  Uh huh.  Sure he was the right choice….for mind games and manipulation until four years later we imploded with the fire-y heat of a thousand suns and I left the province to start my life over.

So the like the first time we met, I started it but this time  I ended it.  And now, after all these years, he’s close by.  Not close enough that I’ll see him on a daily basis (holy crap no word of a lie I’d put the Money Pit up for sale and tell DH to accept the first available transfer to Australia), but close enough by in a town we visit often.  DH has good friends who live there and I went to school there and it’s the perfect place to stop on the way from our house to Montreal.  Which we do.  It was a place we were considering going for our anniversary.  It’s a place my old housemate and I discuss going to for a girl’s weekend.  Now, because I am the Queen of co-incidental run-ins, I am going nowhere near it.

I don’t want to see him.  I don’t want to know if the sparks are still there.  Well, truth be told, I do want to know but I don’t want to be put in a position where I’d act on it.  Or make it obvious to anyone around me (his wife, my husband) that I’d act on it.  And it shames me to admit that if FL showed any interest it’s very likely I would act on it.  And then where would we be?  Without a doubt, in divorce court.

Of course all of this emo whining business is predicated on him wanting to jump me as well and I don’t know if that’s true.  It could be.  But it’s probably not.  I’m probably just a nicely faded memory that he occasionally thinks about when he runs past my old residence or the bar we met at or some other place where we spent some time together.  Maybe he sees a tallish blonde and thinks she looks familiar and can’t quite place her but that’s probably about as far as it goes.

Like I said, I don’t really have any grounds for feeling this way and I really need to suck it up and move on.  We made choices and we have to live with them.  I’m not prepared to put my marriage at risk for a wisp of memory.

People change and who’s to say I’d even like FL now.  I’ve spent a lot of time walking down memory lane this week, remembering our time together.  After dinner today DH  was doing something dorky and annoying and I got snappish with him because of it.  As he walked into the other room, I uncharitably thought FL wouldn’t do that.  And then it occurred to me…I have no idea what FL would or wouldn’t do.  And more importantly I realized, that for every husband who is drop dead gorgeous and breathtakingly beautiful, there’s a wife who doesn’t want to put up with his crap anymore.

And that my friends was the kick in the pants I needed.  Yes, I will continue to think about FL.  Probably for a few more days and then he’ll sink back to the depths of my memory.  Yes I’ll also keep stalking him.  He’s bound to take another promotion and move away again and then I can visit my old university town with no fear of an awkward encounter.  Or maybe I’ll drag DH with me regardless of where FL is.  It’s a free country and I can go where I please.

No, there will likely never be closure for me with respect to FL.  You never forget, and probably never get over your first love.  And he will likely continue to be smoking hot for the rest of his life, which is patently unfair.  But life goes on.  I love DH and he loves me.  It’s time to exercise some ghosts.

Slow Burn

July 30, 2010

This week I was starting to feel a little guilty about not liking the MIL.  Dinner on Monday wasn’t as craptastic as usual and her company was almost pleasant.  This happens sometimes when the Monday dinners go reasonably well and I start to think that maybe I’m being too hard on her.  Maybe she’s not as bad as I think she is.  But then, something ALWAYS happens and I realize she’s worse than I thought.

Last night DH called her and early on in their chat it became pretty clear she was angling for something.  Turns out her BFF’s husband’s mother had died and the MIL, via the BFF’s husband, wanted DH to be a pall bearer.  Now, I’m sure this is going to get me flamed and I mean no disrespect to the dead woman, but here’s why I am angry and 110% against this. 

DH has never mentioned the woman who died EVER.  She  may have, like a whole bunch of other old Greek ladies, looked after him when he was a child, but in the five and half years we’ve been together her name has NEVER come up.  Which to me, means that she hasn’t played a big role in his life for at least 30 years.  Also, the MIL has never mentioned her.  And this is the woman who was the MIL to her BFF.  If they were close, my MIL would have talked about her.  Believe me.  So DH’s “family is important to me” refrain doesn’t ring true here.  More importantly, I could tell he was hesitant about agreeing to do this.  He danced around saying no until she basically dragged a “I guess” out of him.   This is another one of those “for the show” events.   Which means that everyone has to do something they don’t want to do because it will look good.  Damn the consequences, they’re providing a united front and making everyone else in the local Greek community jealous.  Please.

All that aside, and this is the real reason I’m aginst the pall bearer thing, DH does not deal well with death.  Not at all.  Even the death of a distant relative/family acqaintence he hasn’t seen in many many years will make him maudlin.    So he will be a mess for at least a week over this.  A hot-I’m-going-to-sit-in-the-basement-and-listen-to-The-Smiths-and-play-with-razor-blades-and-pout mess.  And I’m the one who will have to deal with it.  Who will have to try and jolly him out of his melancholy.  If this was a close friend of the family or someone who meant a lot to the DH I’d be ok with him being a pall bearer.  And I’d be ok with the whole basement-Smiths-pouting thing.  Not happy about it but I’d deal because that’s what marriage is about…for better or for worse.

But what really burns my ass is that MIL knows how DH is with death.  We’ve had a few discussions where I’ve told her flat out to stop asking him to do this stuff.  I’ve told her how upset he gets and how hard it is for him (and me) for days after the funeral.  She nods and agrees and then proceeds to keep asking him.  And I proceed to pull out all my hair.  Her excuse is that if she’s asked by a family for DH’s pall bearing services, she can’t not tell DH  because he’s the one who needs to decide.  Except he’s going to say yes because he’s looking for approval (which never comes) from his parents.  He wants to be the dutiful son, even when he doesn’t want to be dutiful.  It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone except his mother who gets to preen about her son and how devoted he is and all the rest of that crap.

I’m not against DH going to the funeral.  Fare from it.  In fact I’m all for it.  Especially since I don’t have to go.  What I don’t like is that his mother has completely disregarded my wishes and has bullied him into doing something he’s not really comfortable doing.  Plus she’s not going to be there for the fallout afterwards – the moping and complaining and pouting that will go on for days. 

But, I guess that second part is his problem.  He’s got to realize, that as his parents and their friends age, funerals are going to become more and more common and he’s just got to deal with it.  Death isn’t always sad and tragic, especially if the person has lived a long and happy life.  And if he doesn’t want to play an active role in the funeral, he’s going to have to speak up about it. 

As for me, I’ll bring it up with the MIL the next time I see her.  Another “gentle reminder” probably won’t change anything in the long term but my MIL is passive-agressive and doesn’t like it when people stand up to her.  And making her miserable pretty much always makes me happy.  Especially on this particular matter when it clearly upsets the son she professes to adore. 

Since I’m not going to the funeral I figure I’ll spend my day in the garden, surrounded by living and growing things, listening to happy,fun, upbeat pop music, doing something I want to be doing.  Afterall, one of us should be happy on this long weekend and it may as well be me.

I have a dream

July 21, 2010

Yesterday I called in sick to work.  I was sick.  Sort of.  I had some GI issues and I’ll leave it at that.  Nothing too unpleasant, just uncomfortable.  And I needed to sleep in.  And clean my bathrooms.  And do laundry.

Which is exactly what I did.  And you know, despite the fact that I’m not house proud, I enjoyed every minute of it.  Including the 2 hours I spent scrubbing down the bathrooms.  

I don’t know why, but I’m much more productive on my “sick” days than I am on the weekends.  On “sick” days I generally don’t mess around on the internet (that’s saved for work ha hahaha!) and I don’t often knit, unless I’m under a deadline.  Turns out, I don’t mind cleaning the house and I and I enjoy making fiddly dips and breads when my time is my own.  I even like ironing and weeding the garden.  I know the cat REALLY likes it when I’m home.

For a long time now, DH and I have discussed me not working a full week.  I have always been on board with this and would happily work three days a week, although it looks like four days will be the way it goes when it does come to pass.  Unfortunately, with a pay cut and starting a fundraising campaign at work, it’s not going to be feasible this year.  Or next year for that matter.

But it will happen.  I am already dreaming of the things I will get done.  I’ll have a clean house, an organized home office and I will even have time to sew again.  I also imagine that my freezer will be stocked with soups and casseroles and home made breads.  I will finally have time to spend with my nieces and I hope to read books again.  Maybe even catch up on that huge stack of magazines and cookbooks I have beside my bed.

But then again, maybe I’ll just sit my self down and knit on my days off.