Friday, September 21, 2012

Treat others the way you want to be treated...

Kris Doubledee, Winnipeg Free Press Photo
All week I have been inspired by Kris Doubledee, the Winnipeg Transit driver who stopped his bus in the middle of his shift, got off, and gave the shoes off his own feet to a barefoot man in downtown Winnipeg.

"I had to help him, anyone would have done it," he said in an interview with the Free Press.

Wow. Such a simple, yet heroic act of kindness.

I keep wondering if I would do something like this? I mean, I would like to say that this is something I would do without hesitation, but honestly I'm not sure that it is. In fact, as bad as this sounds, looking at the shoes on my feet right now, I know that I would have a hard time giving them to someone else, no matter what the circumstance. (I would lend them, perhaps. But I love these shoes...)

I know this sounds awful; it's a true testament to my character and to Doubledee's character. It's also a wake up call for me.

This omission and self-realization is enough to make me want to change things about myself. It should be a no-brainer that if I have the ability to help someone, whether it means outwardly giving them something tangible or giving them something intrinsic, I should. (This includes parting with my beloved shoes if I ever found myself in the same kind of situation as Doubledee.)

It seems to have become so easy to overlook other people in need, whether they are friends or strangers. But that's not the person I want to be. Am I desensitized? Am I bad person? Am I just selfish?

Last week I taught my four-year-old niece what the word 'respect' means. Since she just started nursery school, I wanted to make sure that she knew how to treat other people in a kind and compassionate way. I know I'm one of her role models and I know that she listens to me whole heartily.

"Treat others as you want to be treated." I told her.

Like the little sponge of knowledge that she is, she absorbed the message and we made a video. (We always make videos. We're both camera hams and it's our thing...)


Flash forward to today, and my selfish omission that I probably wouldn't give the shoes off my feet to someone in need, I feel like an absolute heel. (Pun intended.) That certainly isn't treating someone the way I would want to be treated. I'm teaching the kid values that I don't necessarily follow myself all of the time.

It's simple: Treat others as you want to be treated.

A four-year-old gets it, and so should I.

The funny thing about life, and people like Doubledee is that his good deed not only helped a man who was down and out, it also helped someone like me. I may never be in a situation where I will give someone the shoes off my feet, but I am sure that many opportunities to help people will be presented, and perhaps I will be a little more apt to recognize and respond to them.

PHOTO SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The single gal's thoughts on boys and spaghetti...

I was making myself some spaghetti for dinner tonight; something I don’t do very often, as I’m usually the extra place-setting at somebody else’s dinner table, or if I’m not, I usually eat toast and anything not rotten and easy in my fridge. (Usually that is wine, diet Pepsi and maybe some kind of fruit...) 

So, back to the story: I was making spaghetti, and I pulled out this big pot that I never use. (Seriously, I don’t cook.) Instantly it reminded me of the guy I dated before the last guy; probably because he was the last person to actually use that big pot (three plus years ago) when he would cook us dinner.

I started to get all wistful and think of the short, immature relationship that ex-boyfriend (We’ll call him The DJ for the sake of not using real names...) and I had. 

Awwwe, I miss The DJ, I wonder what he’s doing?” I thought to myself as I poured spaghetti sauce into the big pot. 

I came up with the bright idea that I should send him a message on Facebook or something, just to see what he’s up to, but quickly realized what I was doing: I don’t really miss The DJ. (No offence DJ, you’re cool, and I actually like you.) But, the only reason I even thought about The DJ is because I’m single, and I’m cooking myself a giant batch of spaghetti that I’ll never finish whilst imagining how great a night everyone else in the world, including The DJ, is having.

It’s a good thing I don’t have internet. Message aborted.

I got to thinking about the life of a single gal, and how hilarious it can be. -- I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hesitated putting this online for fear the the most recent ex will stumble upon it and laugh at me (or worse, feel sorry for me) for how much of a “train wreck” my life seems to be right now, considering that he’s happier than happy with the replacement. But, meh, it’s funny and I don’t really care (that much) what that guy thinks of me. 

Being single is funny. It can be awesome and pathetic all in the span of five minutes. While cooking for one, or trying to find something to do can be a challenge at times, the thoughts and experiences of that single gal life is hilarious.

It’s Sunday night, who wants to drink a bottle of wine? Anyone? Hello?...

My single girlfriends can probably attest to these awkward single gal moments when you Facebook creep the ex-boyfriends that don’t really have an emotional hold on you anymore, or when you think it would be a good idea to reach out, and establish contact. 

“What’s a little poke between former lovers? Maybe a text, just to see how he’s doing?!”

For the record, this is mostly never a good idea. The past is the past. 

I ate my spaghetti and laughed at myself for even thinking about messaging The DJ. (He’s the guy who told me he didn’t believe in love about six months into our relationship. I kinda figured, at that point, it wasn’t going to work...) I can only imagine that he is happy and wouldn’t even know how to respond (if at all) to an out of the blue message from me. 

Um, awkward. 

Ah well, There’s no real moral to the story. Rather, it’s just a glimpse into the way we (single girls) think sometimes. Most of us would never admit this to anyone, except maybe the girls over a couple glasses of wine, while we’re all taking turns one-upping each other on our most pathetic and humbling moments. (It’s a girl thing) But, this is the stuff that most of us pretend we’re better then. We’re not, we all do it. It’s funny. Own it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our little girl is growing up...

My little girl started school today.

OK, she's not mine per se; she's my niece, but we're close and I think of her as my own. I've never loved anyone (aside from her sister) as much as I love her. -- I know, I know, I'm not her mom. I don't pretend to be either. You'd be surprised how many parents seem to be offended when I make that statement. Often I am met with the: "It's not the same [kind of love]. When you have your own children you'll understand." OK, fine. I love Kennedy and Mia almost as much as you guys love your kids. Almost.

Sorry for the rant.

Anyway, the kid started nursery school this afternoon, and I got to be there, along with her mom and dad and Mia, as we walked her to school. It was probably one of my proudest moments as an auntie; seeing Kennedy enter into this new "big kid" chapter of her life.

I got to their place early, because I didn't want to accidentally miss anything. I helped Heather and Jay get the girls ready, and took lots of pictures of this milestone day. It was so nice to see how excited she was; she couldn't wait to finally get to school.

My oh my, how time flies.

I remember the night Kennedy was born; she was this little bean with the high-pitched cry, big pouty lips and blond hair. I couldn't believe how quickly I fell in love with her; here's this tiny little human, brand new to the world, and already she made me love her more than I'd ever loved anybody in my entire life. It was an incredible feeling. I was the first one (aside from my sister and Jay and the hospital staff) to hold her, and I knew that she was going to be auntie's little girl.

I've enjoyed every second of being Kennedy's auntie, even the trying times. Having her in my life, the way that Heather and Jay have allowed me to has been one of the greatest gifts anyone can ask for. She is such a special little girl; clever, kind, sensitive and very imaginative. It's hard to imagine what life was like before she was born. Honestly.

Today she starts nursery school, tomorrow it will be something else. Her world is only beginning to open up, and quite honestly she has the ideals and potential to do whatever she wants with her life. She's a kid which means that she's eager and willing to learn new things. As she grows, I hope she always holds onto that.

I love being an auntie, I'm really good at it. At this stage of my life, I'm not sure if I will ever have kids, it's all a matter of love and opportunity I guess-- If I met the right person at the right time of my life I would like to, but if I don't, it's not meant to be. I'm happy and feel extremely lucky to already have the two best little girls around. (Like I said, I feel like they're mine anyway...)

Kennedy: I'm proud of you kid, I can't wait to watch you through more milestones in your life.


Auntie S.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Bon Jovi 'Always' moment...

So I've spent a great deal of summer hoping to have my  Bon Jovi 'Always' moment. You know the one; Jack Noseworthy (the hot blond guy in the video) realizes how badly he fucked up with Carla Gugino, and he's so messed up about it that he's sitting alone, tortured and shirtless, in his meager Spanish villa looking at old pictures of her. Memories of their relationship and his betrayal play over and over again in his head like a tragic love story, and after all that he sees a mirage of her at the foot of his bed that he tries to embrace, but she disappears and he is alone. Yeah. I was kind of hoping that was going to happen to the guy who burned me.

No really, don't judge me, I was really hoping that said fella was going to have some kind of grand epiphany about how much he loved and needed me, because that's the kind of "love" I thought we had. No really.

Now, like anyone who goes through a breakup, I was a disaster. Verbal diarrhea about him and us spewed from my mouth at every opportunity my friends would give me to talk. I tried my hardest not to make my breakup and feelings evident on social media. (I mean hey, I kept the relationship on the down-low, I should be able to do the same with the breakup, right? No. Thanks to a good friend who called one morning to ask about it, I realized just how obvious I was.) And I tried to just be OK, even when I wasn't. I'm human, I was heart-broken.

I spent the first few weeks of my breakup hoping he would leave an "I'm sorry, you're the only one I've ever loved and I'll die without you" note on my car; or that he'd be waiting outside my apartment door with flowers and an apology-- Maybe even wearing a tuxedo, with a crumpled, tear-soaked picture of me in his inside pocket that he'd spent the entire breakup gazing at, feeling empty. He'd probably even be gently crying because he felt so bad about hurting me...

Delusional, yes. But I only kind of believed (and have believed with every single breakup I've ever had) that something like that might happen. I mean really, you guys don't understand; this relationship was different...He was different...We had all these plans...He'll regret it... No? Shit.

That, my friends, is a cocktail of deep seeded emotion mixed with desperation and denial. It happens to the best of us, don't judge me.

After the initial shock, hurt and drastic life change of not having him in my life anymore became the new norm, things started to change. Life started to get good, and my mindset and feelings changed dramatically. As they say, time really does heal all wounds. My love and sadness have been replaced with indifference and a new sense of humor about the guy and the entire relationship. It's made for some fantastic and hilarious wine night conversations with the girls, and forced me to change things about myself that I didn't like.

Hey,if you can't laugh at yourself with your friends, then your life isn't very fun. (Hence the blog post: It's funny, and maybe a little awkward. Things in hindsight are often funny and worth writing about.)

As they say: If you love someone let them go, if they come back to you run away and hide. 

Life is short, be kind to yourself. Go on dates, do some cardio, dance and drink wine with your friends, and for God sakes buy yourself some new shoes and panties. You may never get the Bon Jovi 'Always' moment, but that is probably for the best.