Sunday, May 25, 2008

So long, farewell, yes those pants do make you look fat

I need help and I'm accepting resumes.

The last few times I've gone out for drinks with friends, I've noticed that I tell a lot of stories that are, in fact, neither funny nor interesting. I also talk WAY too much.

On Friday a bunch of us went to a nearby pub to say goodbye to two co-workers who are leaving the compnay. Here are just some of the things I said that night that probably would have been best left unsaid.

Said to someone who I've only talked to at work, who was drinking Hoegaarden:
• That beer you're drinking tastes like cat pee. Why do you drink cat pee beer?

Said after a friend accidentally brushed again my arm and commented on my skin:
• My skin's soft? I know! It's because I use cheap, no-name lotion.

Said to a co-worker who has a pretty high opinion of himself:
• I know you think you're all hot and stuff, but I don't think you're attractive. Like at. All.

Said to the table in general, at a time when most of my co-workers feel they are vastly underpaid:
• They pay me a ridiculously huge amount of money to do my job!

Said to a friend who is my age:
• My mom think you're hot. Too bad you didn't know her a year ago - I could be calling you dad now.

Said to a very good friend who is in a newish relationship:
• In university, a friend of mine dated your boyfriend. They didn't go out long, though. She said he was creepy.

Said at the end of the night:
• I'm not gonna pass out in the bathroom. I just want to have a little nap here.

I shudder to think of what I said that I no longer remember.

So yeah, send your applications by e-mail to me and I'll get back to those I feel qualify for an interview. Your job will to be to follow me when I go drinking and to make me shut the hell up.

At least I didn't ride the pig in front of the pub like one of my co-workers did.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May-day! May-day!

It's May and that means something fantastic - MY BIRTHDAY! Can you hardly stand the excitement? I know, I know - how old am I? Ten? The big day isn't until Friday but In anticipation of the momentous occasion, I thought I'd offer you a glimpse of birthdays past.

May 9, 1975 - I was born. It was a Friday. According to the poem, Friday's child is loving and giving. That's something I try to be every minute of every day. Sometimes it's tougher than others but overall I think I do alright for myself.

May 9, 1976 - Oh my poor mom. 1976 was a leap year and so my 1st birthday fell on Mother's Day. She spent the day cooking and cleaning and throwing a barbeque for a couple dozen members of my extended family. Since then, my birthday has fallen on Mother's Day an additional 4 times (when I turned 7, 18, 24, and 29). The next time this will occur will be 2010 when I turn 35 (eep!).

May 10, 1980 - I did something bad before family arrived to celebrate my birthday and as a result, was grounded to my room. I remember my 2 older cousins hanging out with me but not for long. Outside my room seemed like much more fun to them than being stuck inside my room with a mopey, sullen Nat. Of course, I completely forget what it was I did that was so bad and my mom thinks I'm making up the whole story.

May 11, 1991 - Star, a friend I've had since high school, has a birthday on May 1. My other friend Lynn had the brilliant idea to throw her a surprise Sweet Sixteen party. As the preparations got more and more elaborate, I got more and more bitter. I felt unloved and left out and was so jealous that all this fuss was being made over her and not me. I had community band practice the day of the big party and by the time I was done I was hot, tired, sunburned, and even more upset. I decided that I should just skip the party due to "not feeling well" but my mom would have none of it. She practically had to drag me out the door and over to the my friend's house. I walked down the stairs to the party room and everyone yelled "Surprise!" "No - wrong person," I laughed. But nope - turned out the party was for me, too. Lynn, the sneaky monkey, had turned it into a joint bash for the both of us and a good time was had by all.

May 9, 1995 - This was my first birthday away from home. I was taking a month-long class on Quebec politics at Laval University. The class had just started a few days earlier and my awesome new classmates helped me celebrate from the moment I woke up (to off-key strains of the happy birthday song) until the moment I collapsed into bed (after eating, drinking, and dancing like a crazy woman).

May 9, 2000 - This was my second birthday away from home. As a convocation gift, my fabulous mother bought me a train pass so that I could travel out to the east coast and back for the month of May. On May 9 I found myself, again, in the lovely province of Quebec - this time in Montreal. My mom told me to listen to Richardson's Round-Up on CBC that day. She had asked him to play "Mario Takes A Walk" by Jesse Cook (a favourite) and to dedicate it to me, who was taking my own kind of walk. Awww. Later that night my friend Lime (who was traveling with me at the time) and some crazy guys from Mexico we met at the hostel went and drank La Fin du Monde until we believed we were fluent in French.

Thanks to my beautiful, strong, brilliant, generous friends and family, I've had many other memorable birthdays. I'm sure this year will be no exception. Thank you to everyone for walking with me through these past 33 years.

But enough about me - tell me about you! More specifically, tell me about a fabulous birthday you've celebrated in your past. Oh, and don't call me before noon on Saturday, okay?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Of snowflakes and friends

Have you ever tried to keep a snowflake? It's so beautiful and delicate and it seems the harder you try to stop it from melting, the faster it melts. At first you can still see the shape in the water but then even that grows hazy.

I have (had?) a friendship like that. It was beautiful yet incredibly delicate and it took me a long time to nurture it into being. My friend didn't open up easily and only lately started giving me glimpses of the soul that lies beneath that sarcastic outer shell. And then I went and did something stupid and the whole thing melted before my eyes. The trust my friend had in me was broken. The respect was gone.

My hope is that my friend feels there's something worth hanging on to. It may take a while to get back what we had but maybe, just maybe it's not completely over. I think it's this stupid little spark of hope, the one that says that my friend isn't ignoring me and this is all just a coincidence, is what makes everything worse. It tells me that maybe my friend is just busy. Maybe feelings haven't changed at all and it's just that taxes are due, or a house needs renovating. The spark of hope flickers and grows in my chest and I check for that familiar string of entertaining, though-provoking, insightful e-mails...only to find nothing. The spark shrinks, but never completely goes out. If it did extinguish, I could go about the grieving process because I'd know that snowflake is gone forever. But it's a stubborn spark that flickers like a distant star that refuses to die and it makes breathing painful.

I wish I could say that I couldn't imagine doing something so awful that a wonderful, precious friendship changes forever but I'm afraid I know exactly what that's like.

I'm sorry. I hope you forgive me before I forgive me. But how do you fix a melted snowflake?