Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Over Easter weekend, Jon and I went to help out a very nice friend of ours that runs a one of a kind international natural body building show. We went to help out last year when it was in Edmonton at the U of A. We were more than happy to heft the weights up to the back of the stage, cover everything in sight with paper so the fake tan that the competitors wear doesn’t rub off on anything, and fold the 300 t-shirts that are for sale. This year the show was in Calgary, and since Jon and I were already going to be in Calgary to visit Heather and her very cute family, we volunteered again.
The competitors came from all across the country to take a blood test, complete a lie detector, and flex their muscles on stage. I was once again tasked to cover everything with paper. So my assistant and I went about covering doorknobs, chairs, the floor and the walls in paper to ensure the fake tan didn’t stain anything at SAIT. We were working along just fine, and then we ran out of tape. I ran back up to the room with all the supplies and where all the competitors were focusing in search of another roll of packing tape. They are so intense! All the men were lying on the floor with their legs in the air, listening to music, and staring at the ceiling like it may just disappear. While I was rummaging around to look for another roll of packing tape, I looked up to ask someone where it may be only to see a partially dressed man squeezing himself into the smallest speedo I have ever seen in my life. HELLO! I am a woman and the door is wide open – what the heck are you doing? Apparently no one else seemed to notice, so I fled the scene with bright red cheeks and no tape in hand. I made an executive decision that we had papered enough things, and that was that. Heck as if I was going to go back in there again!
I had completed my task, and the show had yet to start. Since I have a big mouth, I asked what else needed to be done. Apparently everything was done except the competitors needed some help with the application of their fake tan. I didn’t know what to say and I was there to help, so I gave myself a small pep talk, “I can spray paint a muscled man – no problem”, and then promptly agreed to help. I showed up to where all the men were getting ready to go on stage and asked who needed to be sprayed. They all looked at me like I had two heads. Apparently the spray tan is bad, and they all use ‘dream tan’ which is basically a lotion that stains your skin. So, there I was with a bunch of muscle men, just me, and jars of fake tan.
Do you have moments in your life where time pauses? Well, this was one of those times for me. I just paused, looked around for help and there was none to be found.
Since I had already agreed to help the men with their tans, I couldn’t really back out. Besides, some of them were quite pale, and looked rather desperate for some help. So I looked at the man closest to me, gathered my courage, and asked where his ‘dream tan’ was. Then I began one of the most awkward tasks of my life. I let him know every move that I was making, so as not to startle him.
DLH – Ummm…I guess I am just going to rub this all over your back.
Muscle Man – OK. Great. (Severe focus on his face)
DLH – Sorry, I am going to put this in your armpit now. I guess it’s good you’re not ticklish. Perhaps not being ticklish is a prerequisite of bodybuilding? (So nervous to be touching this strange man all over)
Muscle Man – Sure, uh huh (Not at all impressed with my high level of awkwardness)
DLH – Ok, um….I have to get the back of your legs here, and your…bum…uh…I’m just going to touch you here….ummm…!!
Those ‘shorts’ as one of the men called them are SO SMALL! My gosh! I was mortified. When I finally finished ‘dream tanning’ the non-talking, severely focused man, another short, muscle man needed help.
Luckily he was skilled enough to do most of his own ‘dream tanning’, all I had to do was his neck, face, and receding hairline. He was about 5’2”, so it was easy enough to see what needed to be done there. While I ‘dream tanned’ him, an alarm went off which meant it was time for him to eat his favorite snack - 1 tbsp of all natural almond butter. He was so excited, and couldn’t wait. It was somewhat complex to get his face to have a consistent color while he gulped down his almond butter.
I finally thought that I was home free, but a very tall man came running through backstage in an absolute panic. He was on in 15 minutes and he had no tan at all and needed to eat! Apparently they have to eat at very specific times, and there was no way he could wait 15 minutes to eat. So while he dipped rice cakes in natural peanut butter and dripped and crumbed all over the place, including me, I slathered him in dream tan. Let’s just say it wasn’t my best work! He also had rice cake crumbs that just became part of the tan on his chest. There wasn’t much I could do about that.
Finally everyone was tanned, and I was home free. I didn’t ask for a new way to help, just went out to watch the show at that point. I did have a very interesting tan line on my arms for the rest of the weekend, which served to remind me that being extra helpful may be extra awkward at times!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I found myself standing in the locker room in my workout clothes and socks without my shoes, so I emailed in a huff and demanded she return them ASAP. They were returned the next day with a very apologetic note. Apparently this woman’s sister decided that my shoes were her sister’s shoes because they had mud on them. Huh? How is mud a factor in deciding if a pair of random shoes in a cubby hole at the local YMCA are yours or not…?
So, I promptly put my name on the inside of my shoes and made all the women in the change room were aware of the situation. Bizarre, but apparently it happens.
THEN. I was at the gym a few weeks later. One moment my shoes were there, and then moments later they were not. While I was at the gym, a woman took them right from under my nose! How the heck is a woman supposed to work out if her shoes keep going missing? As of that moment, I was officially upset and unsure about the kind of women that work out at the YMCA. While I got ready for work after not working out because my shoes were MIA once again, I devised a plan. I decided to go out and look at all the women’s feet that were working out and make a scene when I found the perpetrator.
While applying my mascara, I notice one of the women that I run with covertly motioning to me. She quietly let me know that a somewhat confused looking woman just walked in with shoes that looked like mine.
So I staged a confrontation.
I found the woman standing next to the shoe cubby holes looking bewildered. I minced no words and asked her if she was wearing my shoes, and if so, why?
Apparently she was. She couldn’t find her shoes, so she opted to use mine. They looked similar to her shoes and since she didn’t know where hers were, she used mine. WITHOUT SOCKS. The shoes were still warm when she handed them back to me.
My favorite part was the fact that my shoes appeared to be about 3 sizes too large for her. She had to batten those suckers right down to get them to stay on, which resulted in a Ronald McDonald-esque look for her.
I have one question – who are these people and how do they not know what their runners look like??!?!!?
Apparently I have the most popular shoes at the YMCA. I’ve always wanted to be popular, but if this is popularity, I think I’ll pass.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning my alarm goes off at 5:17 am.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I press snooze twice and am late for the ridiculously early morning run.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I get dressed in my work clothes, throw the cold weather running outfit in my gym bag, and run out the door with a granola bar in hand.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning the in shape running women are forced to wait 3 - 8 minutes for me to quickly change into my running outfit and grab a drink of water. They are very nice. They have never said anything about my propensity towards lateness, although it must be severely annoying. I know this because I annoy myself almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and if you annoy yourself it’s got to be pretty bad.
So I came up with a plan to stop annoying the running women. I laid out all my running clothes and put my work outfit, shoes and accessories in a very cute green tote bag. I was NOT going to make anyone wait for me this day. Nope. I was organized.
I got up at 5:27 after only one snooze, drank a tall glass of water, had a multi-vitamin, and took some time to make toast. I was able to have such a leisurely morning because I was just SO dang organized. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the lack of a crazed clothes changing event that took place this morning.
After surviving the early morning run, I grabbed the cute green tote bag and pulled out my work outfit to get dressed for the huge day that loomed ahead. While getting dressed and chatting with the other women I suddenly had a small moment of panic. Did I remember everything I needed for the day? What if I forgot something??! Some days I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which meant I had to dump out all the contents and see what was missing. To my absolute horror, something was missing, something that every girl needs, something that is non-negotiable. I forgot my bra.
There are times in my life when I can’t keep the panic to myself, and I announce my latest fiasco to everyone. This was one of those events…suddenly all of the women in the change room knew of my current crisis.
DL – “Oh. My. Gosh. I decided to be prepared and very organized last night. But I was so organized that I didn’t put my bra in my bag. How is that even possible? A girl needs a bra in her day! My gracious.”
*Huge pause in the change room*
DL – “Well, I guess I’ll just have to go home and get my bra, nothing like being late for work. What am I going to I tell them, that I forgot my bra? All the men in the office would really like that one! Can you only imagine how that conversation would go? ‘Hey there….It’s Donloree here. Yup, I am just running late, need to go home to grab my bra…hope to be in around 8:45…’”
After many unhelpful suggestions, including to just go without a bra, there was an actual solution – even if it was unexpected and strange.
Cathleen – Do you want to borrow a bra? I have an extra in here.
DL – Uh…no, that’s ok. I mean, it’s kind of weird, don’t you think?
Cathleen – No, not at all. I have a ton of extra things in here for such an occasion. The worst thing to forget is your pants. Now there’s something you absolutely can’t go without!
I took a quick look at the clock and saw that it was 7:58. I had to be in work in 2 minutes and still didn’t even have a bra to wear. The situation was getting quite dire…what’s a woman to do?
DL – Ok…only if you are sure and it’s not totally weird.
Cathleen – Nope, here you go. Just give it back on Thursday. Remember, there was that one day I forgot pants, now that was quite the day!
All the women laughed as I announced that Cathleen is the most prepared running woman in all of history. Then despite my hesitation, I put the bra on, hardly filled the thing out, and called it a morning. I did what I had to do to be at work on time.
Now I know that pants and a bra are an absolute must! This is definitely something that everyone woman should know.
Monday, June 09, 2008
No one talks on the bus in the morning because most people haven't had coffee yet and are barely coherent. If I managed to actually do my hair and get a lunch thrown together before the bus arrived, it was a very good morning. The trip home from work was exactly the same at the trip to work. Everyone’s caffeine had long worn off and they were tired from dealing with difficult people and silence reigned over the bus...for the most part. Some people have spent years riding the bus with the same people and have formed 'bus friends'. So now and again some people talked, some people talked very loudly. Usually these people talked about things no one else ever wants to know about, but the whole bus ended up having to hear about it.
Bertha: Morning Gertrude. How are you?
Gertrude: Oh Bertha, my psoriasis is really acting up again!
Bertha: Don’t I know it?! My joints are positively aching and I barely made it to the washroom to put my teeth in this morning. If I wasn’t meeting my new boyfriend, Wally, this morning at the Southgate Seniors’ Drop in Centre I would have just stayed in bed!
Gertrude: Wally? My Wally?!??!
Bertha: Um, yeah. I thought you broke up after he moved out of your lodge…
Gertrude: Well, if we weren’t broken up before, we certainly are now!
On one particularly quiet afternoon, a man found one of his long lost bus friends and started an extremely loud conversation. His running commentary on the sad state of the public school system and 'what are they teaching those kids these days anyways?' was so loud that I couldn't get my cat nap in before I arrived home. So I came up with a plan of action. I decided to give him the no-bus-talking-glare. I've used this specific glare before and it works wonders. It's a mix of disgust and surprise at the audacity of the loud bus-talker.
As I turned abruptly in my seat to give the no-bus-talking-glare, I was unable to pull it off due to shock. I got a full, head on view of one of the biggest comb overs I have ever seen in my life. He had even dyed it a reddish blonde that only enhanced the ridiculousness of his hairdo. I was stunned. I couldn’t stop staring for quite some time. He caught my eye and smiled, mindless of the horror frozen on my face. I managed to curtly nod and look away before bursting into hilarious giggles and having to smother the laughter in my coat.
How and when do men start combing it over? At what age does the comb over start to be acceptable? Does it sneak up on men like crows feet and grey hair does for women? I mean, do men wake up one day and all of the sudden notice that they've got a comb over? Would this result in un-manly screaming?
Just for the record, there is something that is actually worse than the comb over. I am sure many people think the comb over is the worst possible hairdo for a man, but the comb forward is even worse! It lifts up like a garage door in a severe wind and has a daily requirement of half a bottle of hairspray. And how do they get level bangs? Do comb forward men have to trim their bangs every day after it gets plastered down?
If you are tempted to comb it over, STOP. Embrace your baldness and know that the comb over doesn’t fool anyone, it only shocks the general public.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
After 10 years of living in the Great White North, I think I can officially be considered a true Camerican. What is a Camerican, you ask?
Camerican – (Kah-mare-ick-en). Noun. A Camerican is a person that has duel citizenship in both America and Canada and has spent large amounts of time in both countries. This person can also be referred to as a ‘duly’.
I am very proud to be a ‘Camerican’. There aren’t many of us out there. We bridge the divide between Canadians and Americans. We are the ambassadors that help Americans and Canadians to respect and learn about each other’s country. I help Canadians understand that America doesn’t want to conquer and take over their country and I am living proof to Americans that people do live and survive in northern Canada, don’t live in igloos, have normal jobs and homes and we travel via car, not dogsleds.
An issue that most Camericans deal with is that they are always told they have an accent. In Canada, I am ‘SO American’ in the way I speak. When I go home to America, I am told, ‘You have such a Canadian accent!’ I just can’t win.
Having gleaned so much information about Canada in the past 10 years, I think it only prudent for me to share some tips for Americans that want to visit Canada.
Pronunciation Guide for All Americans Traveling up North
- Asphalt – (Ash-fault) Apparently Canadians don’t want to appear to be swearing…even if it’s how the word is spelled…
- Project – (Pah-roe-ject) Something to get done
- Vase – (vah- zuh) At least you get to feel sophisticated while talking about your home décor items.
- Pasta – (passed-uh) It is most important to say it correctly while ordering in a loud restaurant so as not to confuse your waiter.
- Mario – (Mare-ee-oh) Just go with it.
- Decal – (deck-uhl) rhymes with freckle…
- Z – (zed) This is how Canadians pronounce the letter ‘Z’. If you have to spell something, make sure to do so correctly.
“How do you spell your last name Mrs. Maritzo?
- Measure – (meh-zure) To be honest, this may be a Donloree issue, not an American/Canadian issue. I pronounce this ‘may-zure’…but then so does my family, so I have lumped it in here for your reference. If you do pronounce it the way I do, woe to you! You will be severely mocked while in Canada!!
- Garage – (Gah-rah-juh) A place to park your car.
Words to use, so they don’t know you are American
- States – You ARE NOT from America, you are from the ‘States’.
- Eh – Put this at the end of some phrases here and there. It can be used to ask a question, agree with someone or just fill in dead conversation space.
- Hey – To be used synonymously with ‘eh’.
- Bum – This refers to your posterior, not a homeless person.
- Chesterfield – A couch. Use this word sparingly, and only around people that are older than 70. Though, when used in the correct context, people will be amazed at your knowledge of the Canadian language.
- Toque – Beanie or stocking hat
You are now fully prepared to travel up to the Great White North…and when it drops to -40 Celsius, don’t forget to wear a toque, hey?!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Every non-pregnant woman that has ever been asked this question is emotionally scarred for…well, life really. Every woman knows what a horrible question this is; you would think they would never, ever ask it of another woman.
Women should only ask their friends after they drop hints like, “So after the baby comes” or only when they are obviously pregnant. The 8 month mark is a safe time to ask, and even then it is still only marginally safe.
A few years ago I was running some errands downtown after work and I happened to see Alice, one of my over 60 year old friends. I popped over to say hello to her and a woman whom I had never met. As Alice and I were chatting away, I felt an odd sensation on my stomach. I glanced down to find a hand that was not my own rubbing my stomach in wonder. I immediately stopped talking. The strange woman noticed the pause and burst into our conversation exclaiming, “You’re pregnant!”
I froze and stared at her with my mouth open.
Alice froze and stared at her with her mouth open…and then she hit her.
Once I got my mouth snapped back into place, I calmly removed her hand and told her that I wasn’t in fact pregnant but a bit chubby around the middle. I tried to put this obviously misinformed woman at ease despite her epic faux paus. After all, if I were to make such a glaring mistake, I would hope for some grace.
Do you know what she said next?
“Well, you sure look pregnant.”
There needed to be some back pedaling or severe remorse at this point! Even blank, uncomfortable silence would have been better than her snappy comment. Appropriate responses include:
"Of course you aren’t. I am severely delusional and off my meds.”
“Oh. My. Gosh. I am SO sorry.”
“No…no you are not…have I mentioned how much I like your outfit?”
In the code of womanhood, there should be a clause about never informing a non-pregnant woman that she looks pregnant.
I went home that night and had celery for supper.
Once a strange woman rubs your chubby tummy, you’ll even give up chocolate for a day or so in an effort to make yourself look less pregnant-esque.
Friday, January 11, 2008
In my opinion, bowling is a ridiculous sport. Fun, but ridiculous – and for several reasons.
Reason #1 You have to rent shoes! There is no other sport so stringent on attire while sporting. I could wear a down filled parka in +48 Celsius while golfing, there are no swimsuit specifications at the local swimming pool (unfortunately people can wear Speedos and bikinis despite what the mirror tells them), and I could run a marathon in flip flops if I so desired. When you go bowling you HAVE to wear shoes that 8,000 other people have worn and are still warm and a bit gooey from the disinfectant that was just sprayed in the shoe. Why? It’s not like I arrived in 4 inch stiletto heels! What are my non-marking tennis shoes going to do out there in bowling land??! Not only do you have to wear the horrible shoes, but you have to PAY the bowling alley to wear them! Somehow, it just doesn’t add up.
Reason #2 There are so many rules regarding the wooden floor area that makes up the bowling lanes. Above every lane a sign is posted that reads, “Do Not Cross White Line.” Why? If you step across the line, what’s going to happen? Is there a secret infrared light that detects even a toe that has broken the rule? Does a silent alarm go off and the bowling police come escort you out of the bowling alley? It seems a bit over the top. Nor can you have food in the bowling area. If you want a snack, you have to sit about 20 feet back from your friends. Eating people are segregated from the non-eaters. It’s not really fair. If you want to share a plate of nachos with someone you have to notify them when you’re leaving the snacking area to go bowling and that they better come supervise the snack. Usually this involves loud yelling that people 3 lanes over can hear. “Hey Frank, I am up next – do you want any of these nachos?” It’s important to notify your friends that you are leaving the snack post, lest the server come and take your nachos away!!
Reason #3 The whole point of the game is to huck a heavy rock straight down a very long strip of hard wood to knock down the 10 pins (or 5 pins, depending what country you’re in) all at once. I have a feeling that this sport was created about 300 years ago in a small village somewhere. Back then, I am sure it was quite the sport!
So, there we all were…the whole family with ridiculous clown shoes on and bowling balls in hand. We began hucking our bowling balls down the long lane with much hilarity.
When I was about 13 years old, I got over the fear of sticking my fingers in the dark, unknown bowling ball holes and began to throw the ball like most normal people. No longer was I relegated to walking up to the white line, bending over at the waist and rolling the ball down the lane with a good heave-ho! This particular day, I was bowling with confidence. I grabbed my 10 pound purple and green psychedelic colored ball, took a few confident strides and hucked the ball with flair down the lane.
My husband, sportsperson extraordinaire, is always telling me how important follow through is when playing sports. I could hear his patient voice in my head and continued my forward stride when I released the ball, after all, I wanted to get a strike! Then, unbeknownst to me, my right foot crossed that sacred white line of the bowling lane only to be followed by my left foot. Suddenly it was as though I was on ice skates! The bowling people had that lane waxed to a high sheen and my rented clown shoes were no match for it. My follow through was now pushing me forward down the bowling lane towards the pins. I was unable to get any footing and was tripping forward due to the immense amount of momentum my follow through created. I made a split second decision to lean backwards to counteract the forward motion in order to stop the crazed, head first careening down the bowling lane.
Sometimes these quick decisions you make in life, aren’t always the best ones. I was quite panicked, so I over compensated on the mid flight correction. I ended up going straight backwards onto my butt with my head cracking the bowling lane a split second later. It happened so fast that I didn’t even put out my arms! I don’t think many people noticed the deafening noise my head made on the lane, because it was so similar to the sound of the many bowling balls hitting the ground.
Once I stopped seeing stars, I opened my eyes to see my whole family peering down at me in complete horror and shock. I laid there for a moment, unable to move from pain and embarrassment. I am sure I was quite the sight all sprawled out on the bowling lane 8 feet from the white line. The craziness of the situation hit me and I laid there giggling, but unable to get up due to pain radiating from my head and the large amount of wax on the lane.
I was a quite shaky from the trauma of the whole situation, so the family decided to push me down the lane on my butt – they were able to do it with ease since the lane was so slick! As I was being delivered to my seat, I noticed that 10 lanes of people had stopped bowling to watch my latest fiasco. The lady at the front desk ran over in a tizzy to make sure I was ok while I was being slid down the lane. In between my giggles and embarrassment I assured her that I was ok. She seemed quite relieved, mostly because she realized that I wasn’t going to sue her. What would I sue for? Allowing ridiculous and clumsy people such as myself into the bowling alley?
The next day when I could barely move my neck due to the whiplash I gave myself while bowling, all could see in my mind’s eye was that sign mocking me:
“Do Not Cross White Line”
No kidding! Who knew that not following such a silly rule would cause a person to get whiplash while bowling?!
I think my new motto in life needs to be “Do what the sign says, no matter how ridiculous it seems!”
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I wear clearance shoes from Winners.
I purchased a great pair of classic black high heels for work from Winners, Anne Klein nonetheless. I loved them and wore them about 3 times a week since they went with everything. One day I noticed that the heel of the shoe was a bit wobbly, but thought nothing of it and continued on my way. A week or so later as I was getting off the elevator at work my right leg seemed quite a bit shorter than my left leg all of the sudden. I thought my heel got stuck in the crack between the elevator and the floor and continued on. Unfortunately, my right leg remained shorter, and then I realized that my shoe broke and the heel was taking a joy ride up and down in the elevator without me.
Do you have any idea how many times you have to push the ‘up’ button before the right elevator comes back? It seemed odd to all the people riding the elevators as well. I kept pushing the ‘up’ button and waiting for an elevator. Then when one arrived, I didn’t want to take it. Many nice people work in my building and they kept holding the elevator doors open for me. After explaining my situation to one of the many nice people, I realized the explanation was weirder than my not riding the elevator, so I kept silent.
Finally, the elevator that was taking part of my shoe on a joy ride arrived. I hobbled in, grabbed my heel. While trying to make a quick retreat, I ran smack into someone trying to use the elevator. I didn’t look up, I just kept going. Looking back, I should have just rode the elevator back to my office, but I was in panic mode. What was I going to do??! Then I remembered…there is a shoe repair place across the street!! In order to keep people from noticing the missing heel, I tip toed on the foot that was missing a heel. If you looked at me, it was an optical illusion – one shoe with a heel, one without! So instead of looking lopsided, I looked like I had a severe limp….you win some and you lose some….
The shoe repair guy fixed them up so they were good as new…until I was running across a busy downtown intersection in the middle of winter to make a light. At first, I thought I stepped in a hole in the street, but then I realized that there probably aren’t 4 holes in a row exactly where I am running and only on my right side. I stopped, quickly looked at my shoe and noticed I was missing quite a bit of it! That heel had fallen off once again! I turned, ran back for the heel, nearly got smooshed by a large delivery truck turning left and ended up in the intersection holding part of my shoe just as the light turned red. Just so you know, there are better ways to stop traffic!
If I weren’t a fate tempter, I would have trashed the shoes the first time they broke, but I got them cobbled together and went on wearing them as though nothing were wrong.
Aren’t we all glad that I don’t participate in death defying activities? It would just be too epic for everyone involved!! But be warned, I have been known to stir my blender while it’s blending…
*Note: I still thoroughly enjoy Winners and hold no ill regard for them…Anne Klein on the other hand, she’s got a thing or two coming from me!
Monday, August 20, 2007
After I cleaned up the latte mess, I sat in my very wet skirt shivering to death. The office is usually the temperature of a refrigerator, but when the latte isn’t extra hot any more and all over your skirt, it makes you cold...extra cold. Since I no longer had any dignity left, I opted to put on my walk to work pants rather than catch pneumonia. I am very fashionable with my red high heels, navy capri running pants and a black blouse.
Hopefully the skirt dries enough to put it back on before my meeting this afternoon!
Monday, August 13, 2007
The college aged man handing out the free Edmonton newspaper, The Metro, decided to Ma’am me on my walk into work.
Metro Man – Morning Ma’am. Would you like a Metro?
Donloree – Uh…no. Thanks though. (I was trying to be gracious, despite the obvious Ma’am-ing)
Metro Man – Have a great day Ma’am.
Not only did he Ma’am me, but he did it twice! That morning I started out feeling peppy, but after being Ma’am-ed twice within 3 seconds, I felt old and haggard.
I don’t appreciated being Ma’am-ed. I am currently 27 years old, which is no where near the Ma’am-ing zone.
I understand that it’s hard to know what to say sometimes, but call me something other than Ma’am! Here are some options:
Or, better yet, perhaps don’t address me at all if the only thing you know how to do is Ma’am me!
I do have grey hair, but I dye it back to my natural color so I don’t look silly. You can Ma’am a woman when she has jet black hair and it’s obvious that she shouldn’t. When I am at that point in my life, I will appreciate being Ma’am-ed, because “Hey!”, “Hey you!”, “Lady” and “Miss” will all be demeaning and rude. But for now, please refrain from the Ma’am-ing…it’s actually quite disturbing.
Friday, July 20, 2007
The woman that owned the condo previous to me had...interesting….taste. I had to rid myself of the pre-existing living room colors of navy, bright red, tangerine and lemon yellow. It kind of looked like the circus exploded, and that really wasn’t the look I was going for. She also thought the master bedroom would be good lime and navy and that the spare room would be lovely painted purple. It hurt my head. So I painted, and painted and then painted some more – thank goodness I have so many great friends that came to my rescue.
Once I could stand in the living room and not expect Bobo the Clown to come traipsing through, I started on other projects like replacing the plastic (yes, I said plastic) bathroom sinks. Who the heck has plastic sinks? My uncle came over and helped me replace two of the three sinks, the third sink had a huge bow in it, so back to Home Depot it went. While at Home Depot, I decided to pick up a pipe wrench and the other necessary tools so I could replace the third sink all by myself. So I went in search of a customer service person to help me pick out the best pipe wrench possible. I found a short man in the plumbing section and asked for help, it went something like this:
DL: “Hello, I am looking for a pipe wrench, can you tell me where they are?”
Short Home Depot Man: “Uh…you don’t need a pipe wrench.”
DL: “Yup, I sure do. I am replacing a sink.”
Short Home Depot Man: “You’re replacing a sink.”
DL: “YES. Where are the pipe wrenches?”
Short Home Depot Man: “What kind of a sink?”
DL: “A bathroom sink.”
Short Home Depot Man: “Oh, you need a basin wrench.”
DL: “Fine, basin wrench, pipe wrench, the tool for the job – just point me in the direction of the wrenches.”
Short Home Depot Man: “Uh…I will walk you there.”
DL: Upon arrival at the wrench section I exclaimed happily, “Yup! That’s the one I need,” pointing at a pipe wrench.
Short Home Depot Man: “Nope, you need this,” (pointing to crappy looking wrench).
DL: “Uh…no. I have to disconnect the pipe at the bottom of the sink, you can’t do that with that wrench.”
Short Home Depot Man: “I don’t know what the man that is putting this in for you told you, but you don’t need a pipe wrench.”
DL: “Well, first of all I am the one putting the sink in and I do know that I need a pipe wrench.”
Short Home Depot Man: “No, you need this.”
After arguing for quite a long time about the fact that I was indeed the person that was going to be replacing the sink, he insisted on having me draw a diagram of the sink. I then had to explain how to take out and replace the sink.
Short Home Depot Man: “So, show me what you are going to do.”
DL: “Well, after I turn off the water, I am going to remove this pipe and these clamps and take out the sink. I have to tighten the pipes, here, here and here. That ‘basin wrench’ looks like it will break if I use it for that.”
Short Home Depot Man: “So you’re taking the whole sink out?”
DL: “YES! How else the heck am I going to replace the sink? I have to take it out to replace it, don’t I?”
Short Home Depot Man: “So you aren’t just changing the taps?”
DL: “No, the whole thing – the whole kit and caboodle is coming out and everything is going in new.”
Short Home Depot Man: “Oh. So you need a pipe wrench then…”
I about had an aneurysm at this point! Just because I am a girl, it doesn’t mean that I am silly! Just let me purchase what I asked for and send me on my way! For goodness sake!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Landlord – Hi. How are you? How’s the house?
DL – Oh hello, how are you doing? The house and I are just fine. (Meanwhile, all I can think is why in the world are you calling?? You never call!)
**Uncomfortable pause in conversation**
Landlord – That’s good to hear….so are you free on Friday afternoon?
DL – Umm…my in-laws are visiting and I work, so not really….why, what’s up?
Landlord – Oh...you know, just wanted to do a house inspection, my sister is here from Toronto and wants to see the house….so does Friday work for you?
DL – Not the best day for me….but I guess she’s only here for a few days, so it will have to work, right?
Landlord – Yeah…so we’ll just let ourselves in and I’ll leave a detailed checklist for you.
DL – Oh…OK…thanks?
Once I hung up, a mini panic attack started. HOUSE INSPECTION??! What’s that all about? And I’m not going to be there for the inspection – that’s horrible! I am being forced to allow some woman that I barely know and her sister to go through my home. They have free reign to look through things like my underwear drawer and medicine cabinet while I am at work. I won’t be able to hide the disorganized room that acts as our basement since we don’t have one, the cluttered storage closet, the missing paint from the molding in the master bedroom or the chip in the wall from my bike – everything is just out there in plain sight for her to view! And to top it all off, just this week my husband brought home scads and scads of paper – 6 FULL BOXES – from his office to sort and go through. I won’t be able to explain why it’s reasonable that we have 17 stacks of papers and laugh about how quirky those Hoffmans are!!
So last night I spent my evening cleaning weird things, things that people don’t clean on a regular basis. I cleaned under my kitchen sink, washed some base boards, swept under the stove, cleaned the tracks of my windows in the kitchen and dining room, rinsed out the crisper drawers in my fridge – you know the unimportant stuff that most people rarely care about, unless you’re a landlord! Then I proceeded to walk into every room and pretend that I was the landlord and her sister. I desperately tried to think like they would and have the same reaction they will have once they begin to ‘inspect’ my home. There is only one good thing in all of this; at least my tub is soap scum free. Thank you Scrubbing Bubbles! They really are as good at the bottle proclaims! I may be somewhat disorganized, but at least I am soap scum free – that’s got to be good for something! Right??!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Sometimes first thing in the morning I don’t have the smartest thoughts. It must be because all of my synapses are not firing and only my body is awake. This morning, on my way to the shower, I looked out the window and wondered when my neighbors put a white roof on their house. I could have sworn that just yesterday it was black shingles, but I thought that they must have decided to do something crazy in the middle of the night. Once I started to brush my teeth and the fresh mint taste revived me, I realized that God decided to do something crazy in the middle of the night, not my neighbors! I abruptly pulled up the Venetian blinds in the bathroom and realized, to my dismay, that it was SNOWING outside. Yup, that’s right, snow on April 19. Oblivious to the date, the snow was happily coming down, making the world white and chilly once again up here in the arctic.
So far this year, spring has come about four times, each time tricking me in the believing that it is here to stay. Then it pulls some stunt like this! It’s so disheartening to go from riding your bike in the warm spring sun to frantically searching for your scarf and mittens so you don’t freeze while waiting for the bus! I think I have to keep an arctic-proof outfit handy at all times now. You just never know what’s going to happen up here!