28 December 2005

How Old Are You?

I just heard of a theory that a person reverts to a certain age when faced with their parents. For instance, as I reflected upon this, I think I become 16 again when I am with my parents. I'm independent, yet still need them and still seek their approval. I'm still trying to prove to myself - and to them - that I can do this myself. Although I am self-sufficent, I still feel the need to return to the nest.

This theory got me to thinking a number of thoughts...

No one ever feels their real age. Although our bodies age, our minds do not. In my mind, I am still a hot little 21 year-old. In reality, I'm looking down the barrel at 40.

(One of the funniest lines, to me, ever is in When Harry Met Sally. She's sobbing on Harry's shoulder and she says "And I'm going to be 40!" He asks her when and she replies "Someday..." But I digress.)

I wonder if we each become a certain age with everyone we encounter in our lives? I am still in my twenties when I am with my husband. I think I become younger still when I am with my brothers; I fall into the grade-school ages as I was the baby. I definitely become a high-schooler, sometimes even a middle-schooler, when I'm with my friends.

But then I feel OLDER than my age when I'm wearing my Supervisor/Manager Hat. How does that play out in the theory?

So, I'm putting it out into the Universe for consideration.

What age are you?

And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

I received dishes and silverware for Christmas. No, it's not glamorous or romantic and no, I'm not a newlywed. I'm not even much of a cook. But I am slowly becoming a grown-up. *shudder*

My parents gave me the dishes. I had requested "grown-up" dishes, which simply means "not plastic and from the early 1990's" Plastic dishes, yes, as my husband has an aversion to glass dishes. Although he can mysteriously tolerate them at restaurants and other people's houses. Hmmm. A mystery.

Since moving into the Malibu Barbie Dream House, I've found the need to have grown-up dishes.
I have chosen a stoneware-type of dishes, with a hunter green trim. It matches the new house, thank you very much, I feel very mature.
It makes me strangely happy while using my new dishes. I'm not sure why but it does. And now I've been keeping an eye out at second-hand shops for matching...or not quite matching...dishes. (so very Oprah!) It's a fun little treasure hunt!

My husband gave me a grown-up, 81-piece silverware set, complete with steak knives. I find it a little odd that we didn't have steak knives in the first place, but then we don't eat steak so I guess the math works out.
Part of his motivation is that the Malibu Barbie Dream House came with a dishwasher, which we didn't have before. (it seemed frivolous to me as there are only the two of us. Well, and the dog and she rarely uses the dishwasher) With this new-fangled technology, it seems we've run out of spoons on occasion as I only run the dishwasher if it's full.

Leave it to my husband to purchase a $100 silverware set from Macy's instead of just washing a darn spoon. It's a good thing he's cute. Oh and it's a nice present.

I wonder what's next on my list of things to own now that I'm becoming a grown-up? One can only wonder.

A Final Gift

My dad came home from "doing errands" (definition=old man goofing off) and began to tell my mom and I a story. Apparently, he had a friend named Arnold who has recently passed away, as has been happening more and more recently.

While my dad was at the bank, a mutual friend saw him and took him to the Legion. (another old man activity) The friend told the bartender that he was going to steal a glass. Thinking he was kidding, she just teased him back and told him not to take the big glasses.
Turns out, he needed one of the smaller glasses anyway. When my dad asked him what he was going to use it for, the friend told him "It's for Arnold."
My mom interjeced and said "He's playing a trick."
"No" my dad said "He's going to put it in his coffin"
"With a bottle of booze?" my mom asked.
"NO!" my dad replies, almost seeming insulted at the very implication. "It's in case he wants a snack!"

Turns out that in their younger days, Arnold would finish his drink and then eat the glass. Yes, you read that correctly EAT THE GLASS.

What's more interesting?...the fact that he regularly ate glass or the fact that my dad had a friend that ate glass. Of that, I'm just not sure.

16 December 2005

Time changes everything

When I was a kid, a million years ago, I remember Teen Beat and Tiger magazines, complete with Shawn Cassidy, Scott Baio, and Leif Garrett. I was never much into the whole being a “fan” thing but secretly, I loved looking at Shawn Cassidy. I tended to be attracted to surfer boys back then.

As I got older, it became a fascination with Jon Bon Jovi’s smile and rock star persona.
Now, even further into my life, I am attracted by George Clooney’s smile and little mischievous boy persona. My attention was caught by the bad boys, no longer the surfer boys.

If I were an older woman, I think I would have swooned at Cary Grant. He embodies suave, charm, and cool to me. When I was born, Elvis was all the rage. There was no one bigger than Elvis. Both of these men embodied sex appeal and confidence.

When my mom was young, it was Bobby Darin or Marlon Brando or James Dean or Frank Sinatra. (As I was writing about this, I realized that they’re all bad boys too. That must up the attractiveness quotient. Well, other than Bobby Darin, he was more of a surfer boy...)

Now two of the men she admires, other than my husband whom I think she loves more than me, is Jeff Foxworthy and Alan Jackson. She calls them a tall drink of water, which makes me giggle.

Funny how our tastes change, as we grow older. My mom said when I was younger, what I found attractive then wasn’t necessarily what I would find attractive always.
I remember mentioning that I didn’t like a certain physical attribute to her and she asked “What happens if you fall in love with someone but they have that attribute?” Of course, in my teenaged, all-knowledgeable self, I said that I would NEVER be attracted to that attribute.
As always, she was right. Whereas my husband doesn’t have that attribute, I’ve certainly found men attractive who have it.

I used to like the surfer boys but I married a tall, dark and handsome man. I used to be attracted to the bad boys but I've married a fine upstanding citizen.

Strange how our tastes change as time goes by.

Funniest thing Ever

We work with young children and every once in a while they surprise us.

This little man is very stoic and serious. He has huge green eyes and they seem very wise, holding all the secrets of the world.

As he was playing, he found something in his pocket. He struggled to get it out for a few seconds and then proudly produced it from his little pocket …a bright green packaged Trojan condom.

The teachers fell out laughing. They gently retrieved his contraband and brought it to us. It gave us one of the best giggles, possibly ever. A funny aside is one of the teachers projected Joey Tribbiani onto him with a “How YOU doin?” A few comments were made along the line of always be prepared.

Now, keep in mind that this serious little man’s mother is extremely shy and demure. Of all the people to have this happen to!

At the end of the day, we caught her and explained what her son had brought into school. She died a thousand deaths as we showed her his contraband. Imagine her horror, dismay, and amusement as she saw what her darling boy had brought to school to share.
Her face was the color of Santa’s suit and I was afraid she was going to need oxygen. In fact, days later, she can barely look us in the eyes.

Gotta watch out for those little ones. Never know what they are going to put into their pockets!

The Nicest Thing Ever

One of our staff struggles with the holiday season. She lost her mom a few years ago and her family lives on the opposite side of the United States. As much as she tries to put on a brave face for everyone, every once in a while the facade cracks. She does so much for others; it breaks our heart that she is sad during what should be a joyous time.

Two clients noticed that she was having a difficult time and became concerned. Upon learning of her circumstances, they immediately wanted to know how to help, what to do. They decided to get her a Christmas tree, as she couldn't afford one this year. "What is Christmas without a tree?" one of them said to me. They made a few calls and arranged for a tree farm to donate a tree. She could go and choose whatever tree she wanted. This tree farm was the only one that said yes, by the way.

They made a hand-made card and snuck it into my office. We hid it on her car for her to find at the end of the day. About an hour after the end of her shift, she telephoned and thanked us for the tree and the card. She was humbled and grateful.

The part of the story that I am leaving out is that the clients who arranged for the tree live in a homeless shelter for families of domestic violence. They have very little, yet they provided joy for someone else's Christmas.

Isn't that just the nicest thing ever? The very spirit of Christmas.

13 December 2005

It's the Holiday Season!

The Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, on our Columbus Day. It actually makes more sense to me that Thanksgiving would be on the day that we were actually “discovered” rather than some random day that was chosen by our government.

I am Chandler Bing when it comes to Thanksgiving. I love the premise of the day: being thankful for all the good things in our lives. I think this is important. In a perfect world, one would be thankful and grateful every day. One would live their life like the Tim McGraw song “Live like You were Dying.”
But reality intrudes and it is difficult to be thankful when the person just cut you off in traffic or the store clerk is rude or the telemarketer calls during dinner.

In my case, it is forced family fun. It’s a holiday so we’re all going to be together and have fun, damn it! However, I celebrate with two Thanksgiving dinners in one day, this probably skews my attitude with an overabundance of family and food. In this case, overabundance and thankfulness not so much a good thing.

I thinking blending the holidays into one long season is a great idea. Let’s not call it Winter anymore. It’s the Holiday Season. It starts with Halloween and ends with New Year’s Day. What a fun season! Beginning with a holiday and ending with a holiday. Now we just need Halloween to be a federal holiday and we can have the day off! AND…if we call it the Holiday Season, it encompasses all Holidays: Kwanza, Hanukah, and Ramadan. etc. How much more politically correct could that be! It’s a win/win situation!

But then, people say that the holidays have become trite and commercialized. If we were to have an entire season to celebrate, would it lose its specialness? For example: I always loved Christmas lights and as a child wished we could have them always. I remember saying this to my mom one time and she gently explained that if we had Christmas lights all the time, they wouldn’t be special anymore, they would be ordinary. This made Christmas even more special in my eyes.

Now there are holiday lights for more than just Christmas. There are Halloween lights and I have even seen lights for Valentines Day. My dad has lights for Independance Day.

Now when I travel into Canada, it is a little odd, as an American, to see Christmas lights up in October. I am used to hearing people grumble that the Christmas decorations are in the stores on Halloween so to see people embracing an early Christmas celebration is a little bit of a mind shift. But I like it!

I’ve also noticed in Canada, they have all different colored Christmas lights; where we tend to have the icicle lights or multicolored strings. Purple seems to be very popular there. I haven’t noticed purple lights “down” here so I’m curious if there is significance.

As I was chatting with a Canadian hostess last night, I found it interesting that the Canadians…at least the BC ones…begin celebrating Christmas as early as the day after Halloween. We agreed about how fun it is to have two months to prepare and celebrate the Christmas holiday. She was nearly done with her shopping and preparations so she had all of December to just relax and enjoy. That sounds perfect to me! I think we should do it too!

Let’s embrace the example our Northern friends have given us. Winter is so dreary, let’s pep it up a bit! Bring on the Holiday Season!