Archive | March 2012

Function and fantasy collide

i did it.  i rocked out my 4 inch Vince Camuto peep toe booties last night. if i do say so myself, they looked and felt great… i was embracing my high heel loving self. at 5:25pm i was at one with my renewed love affair with footwear.

at 8:32pm i fretfully glanced at the clock. there were 6 blocks of less than stellar pavement and at least a half  kilometre of tunnel between me and my 8:46pm Seabus departure. i exited the building and glanced at my watch–it was looking a bit hopeless. i attempted to quicken my step but immediately realized I had maxed out my pace. the four inches that lengthened my legs and gave me the illusion of being skinnier, taller and fabulous, significantly shortened and slowed my stride.

step by step, i could I hear my own thoughts and words mocking me….yes indeed…why don’t i rock out some heels at my earliest opportunity. why not? who needs function when you can have fantastic footwear.

at 8:44.56 pm I triumphantly clicked through the turnstile, proving that at least for one night i could live the dream.

fast cars and high heels

i love shoes, love, love, love them. at one point i had an awesome collection of high heels, perhaps not as enviable as Carrie’s but ask anyone and they would confirm i was a true shoe lover. my most often complimented wardrobe item was the shoe. one afternoon at a bridal salon where my sister and i had arrived separately she commented on a rockin’ pair of shoes she had seen at the front–she was sure  i would love them.  i did. they were mine.

this morning i realized i hadn’t donned a pair of heels in 6 days–not because it is summer and i am flip-flopping, not because i am on vacation, and not because of 6 inches of snow.  i haven’t worn them because i am not working every day and nor do my weekends consist dining and dancing. sadly the staple of my wardrobe, the heel has been nudged over to the left. i  have supplanted them with Coach high-tops, flat riding boots, Converse, pretty flats, a few Sam Edelman sandals and the ultimate in casual essentials–Uggs and Hunters.

don’t get me wrong, i still have some heels, and covet many but the appearances are fewer and fewer. sadly, i have found jumping in puddles, running after a kamikaze kid on his bike, scaling the slide, pretzeling myself through the tubes, nets and up the side of the kids rock climbing wall is easier in flat shoes.  and oddly, rockin’ the heel takes some work, you have to train those feet to gracefully glide and when you are out of practice you walk slower and your feet kill the next day.  not a word of a lie.

i don’t spend a lot of time missing the heel, except when i am debating buying a pair, just as i don’t lament the loss of my fast car daily…but every now and then i do.  as i ‘sped’ by my neighbour in his Forerunner and slid my Murano in front of him., i mentioned to J we had just passed him.  “why mamma?” he exclaimed! “well, i guess i just drive faster,” i replied. quite seriously he told me to “slow down.”  i assured him i drive safe and slow now because i have him , so i am safer–i realized how true those words were. not that i was unsafe before, but i am pretty sure  when i had a wide open space, and i confess, even when i didn’t, the accelerator got a little work out in my old (new) car.

oh, the days of fast cars and high heels–i miss you.

but then i remember a few things…sore feet, walking slowly,  delicately stepping over puddles, catching my heel in a grate, getting my shoes reheeled, breaking a heal….slithering into my low-slung car, ungracefully unfurling myself in a skirt, speeding tickets, driving stick in impossible traffic and last, but not least, not being able to see beyond the car in front of me. hmm.. yep, i still miss you.

i think the car might have to wait, but first chance i get i am rocking some high heels. bring on the wobbles.

running for the bell

as i was paying for a load of chocolate treats the other day, the cashier remarked on my healthy choice (3 bags of little Cadbury chocolate eggs & 3 small Lindt bunnies) I explained the delights were for my student.  the obvious question–what grade are they in. well these treats were not for a kindergarten or grade school class, they were for college students…yep…for my Marketing class. he kinda of smiled and gave a half laugh clearly surprised.  i shared with him my philosophy…we are never too old for fun and games.

10 minutes later i entered the classroom and felt the tiniest fission of nervous energy dancing in the air. it was presentation night and my students had stepped it up a notch– a few blazers, collared shirts and an air of sophistication. presentations began and an hour and a half later they filed out for a much deserved break.

when they came back in the room there was a wide open space. 1 table stood at the front of the room, graced by  a lone bell and 3 chocolate bunnies. a sense of relief and an edge of anticipation zinged through the room..

it was trivia night with a few simple rules:

1> work in your teams

2> when you have the answer ‘ring the bell’

3> first team to ring it gets to answer

4> the points.   CORRECT- 1 point & a chocolate Cadbury egg
WRONG – minus a point (ouch!)

the first few questions were answered tentatively and walk to the bell was a bit cautious… but towards the end of the game shoes had been changed, tables pushed back, vantage points defined and a race to ring the bell was on–there was even a little body contact.  infused by a little chocolate and sugar, a healthy competition was under way.  this was learning at its finest.

every correct answer was delivered triumphantly–even paired with persuasion and rational. as they went for it physically and mentally sparks of energy criss-crossed the room. my students rocked, they got into the game and made it happen.

as i drove home after class i reflected on how great that days work had been. not all days are awesome, not all are pages of inspiration but every now and then we get a glimpse of what great is…and i am always striving for better.

the lesson i learned that night…we should never be too serious, too lofty, or set in our ways.  there is a lot to be learned from fun and games–anything that makes us laugh and learn collectively is a good thing. i’m keeping that lesson close to my heart.

i think George Bernard Shaw had it right when he said “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

when was the last time you ‘played?’ if it wasn’t today, make it happen tomorrow.

the blind guy baffle

saturday morning arrived, grey but dry.  i silently cheered the morning and its absence of rain.  i had an arranged playdate for my son and had a few errands on my list.

we had the ‘blind guy’ coming over–yes that gave me pause the other day for about 5 very long seconds. i grappled with the ‘blind guy’ before the ‘aha’ moment–the window treatment guy. the appointment was set for 9:30 and although this is literally mid-morning in our home, at 9 i was still in my pyjamas drinking coffee and randomly tidying.  at 9:02 a car pulled into the drive.

scrambling, i surveyed my state of disarray, no makeup, hair piled on my head, coffee in hand and the pyjamas…well, it wasn’t going to get better than this. my husband and my sister were  equally attired.  just as the dogs alerted us to the visitor in the drive, we had all been making our way off to put ourselves together.

my husband answered the door and the ‘blind lady’ not guy entered our house. she was commenting on what a lovely area we lived in and was complimenting us on the interior our home whilst apologizing for being early.   we made our way into the living room continued the small talk. my sister had joined us, and conversationally commented on her temporary status in the home before her out of country, and cross-country move. in this instance the ‘blind guy’ was going to get all of our opinions as she has great taste and i wanted her advice. my husband and i apologized for the state of our dress just as  j appeared as Batman. we settle in, she continued to stand, and one of us asked what she was going to show us.

a veil of confusion swept over and her, and her smile turned tentative… after a quiet pause she countered…”what are you going to show me? i am here to look at some Frye boots.”  i started to smile, my sister laughed audibly  and my husband mirrored her earlier confusion. apparently, this visitor was not the ‘blind guy’ or blind lady’ 30 minutes early, but instead a Craigslist appointment 1 hour early.

we all had a good laugh about the mix-up, and then boots were shown and our visitor departed. with 15 minutes to spare we all went our separate ways to ‘clean up’ and my husband even got a quick vacuum in. at 9:29 when the ‘blind guy’ arrived we were dressed, tidied and sipping our second cup of coffee.

oh the subtleties of time and impressions. 30 minutes early and we were in disarray…15 minutes to spare and we transformed ourselves and a little bit of the house.  and if he had really had been the blind guy…well none of it would have mattered…

to post is to procrastinate

as my fingers skim the keyboard and the letters turn to words ready to recount a trivial everyday experience, a sliver of guilt is growing…shortly it will be a slice.

i have been quietly absent. i have been diligent. i have been devoting every moment of uninterrupted time to my real life ‘job,’  but nursing my tea tonight my mind has wondered, it has dipped, wobbled and settled elsewhere and thus, as i post, i procrastinate.

i have been elbow deep in the matrix of marketing. the world of consumption, attitude formation, target markets, consumer behaviour, strategies, tactics, mass media and finally social media.  i’m still in the abyss, but amidst all of the art and science of marketing there is the greater mystery…the psychology of us.

at 20 i was philosophical, a feminist of sorts, contemplative, decisive, flouted tradition, unbreakable, adventurous, open to debate and so sure of myself. i did not have my life planned but i predicted an unconventional life. i did not want marriage nor children. in some ways i was so certain, thoughts were black and white yet i was open to nuances of difference.

and now, much later, i am a mystery to myself in many ways, i am steeped in stereotype yet i did not stumble down this path, nor was i lead unwilling, nor did i settle or give up.

i am me. but i am a “target market”….am i the soccer mom?…not quite, but the apple doesn’t fall far from that tree. i am a married female, mother of 1 child, i work part-time, i drive an SUV, i do yoga and pilates, i run, i am fit, i like fashionable things but am no longer a fierce fashionista (well maybe i never was fierce but there was a bit more fire), i have a smartphone and i blog. how many others out there are me?  more that a few i am sure. but whether or not i am defined by what i do, how i look, what i drive or how i got here, i’m here and i like it.

almost 20 years later, i have found the problem with black-and-white writing, definitions and thinking, is that it does not reflect the complexity and intricacies of human nature.

so amidst my everyday musing, contemplations, pondering and serious procrastination i’ve decided to kick cliches to the curb. who cares if i am every one. what matters to me is the happiness, health and well being of those close to my heart.  how i chose to love, live and give matters not that i am every mom doing yoga and driving a minivan.

how’s that for procrastination?

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” Martha Graham

the indelicacy of rudeness

sometimes i get hung up on the action (or the inaction) of others.  i get a prickly feeling of agitation that ebbs and flows through me until i identify my disconcertion with the situation as rudeness. disguised rudeness is tricky, it leaves me unsettled.

daily we may encounter deliberate, determined and decisive bouts of rudeness–those who are curt, line jumpers, unnecessary tailgaters, and those who have not quite mastered the thank you. these moments, although off-putting slip in and out of my days like a floaty piece of lint–momentarily annoying but fleetingly so. easily brushed off.

the actions that are carried out under the guise of indifference, helpfulness or foresight are troublesome. they give me pause, but ultimately the tension that makes me decidedly uncomfortable is quelled and what emerges are acts that can only be described as rudeness in all of its glory.

indifference.  the dog poo, that defied the physical laws of attraction–it multiplied and ingrained itself into every conceivable space.  it spun itself under a bike tire, across the back of the seat, onto jeans, and worst fan-dangled itself into a rubber boot. no amount of baby wipes could sanitize this situation! oh but for the resilience of 3 year olds. clothes and boots shrugged off and a few loud exclamations of “disgusting.” me, well i’m still recovering. at the heart of it all, rudeness. just pick up the poop.

helpfulness. popping out of the loo and back into the yoga studio, i noted my mat, towel and water bottle had been moved significantly. not only my mine, but my sister’s as well. in a wide open space, 15 minutes prior to class, occupied by 5 people (capacity 50) our mats had been moved eight feet back. smack centre where ours used to be were two new mats occupied by 2 ladies–chit chatting. furtively i inquired with my sister –re the mat movement. nope, not a chance she moved them. in the zen atmosphere of the studio i am not about to have it out with these ladies but i was quietly flustered. sensing my unrest, one of the ladies turned and offered an “it gets busy in here.”  yes, it does. that is why we arrived early, to find our comfortable space, loosen up and to meditate. it’s been under my skin all day…that little hesitation…that unrest…that feeling of discontentment. i was put out because it was the indelicacy of the rudeness.

sometimes we need to roll around with our discomfort, if we identify so we can be mindful. i’m digging deep to let go, but as i’m digging down, i stumble across my golden rule – one should treat others as one would like to be treated.  the spectrum of r’s collide. if we respect we are not rude.

tomorrow is a fresh new start.  i need to put that energy that’s been slinking around to good use. so i’m letting go and following the continuum.