This week has been a seemingly endless series of irritations, both of the minor kind and of the more sweeping variety, and I have been – possibly due to Female Cyclical Emotional Upheaval – unable to keep my usual Om Shanti outlook and am instead empathizing with Cersei Lannister. Yesterday, I felt that I, too, could happily burn the whole city down while pouring myself a glass of wine.
I won’t go into the sources of all my various irritations, just know that they ran the gamut from pinprick to outright rage-inducing, and yes, I am putting some of the responsibility on myself and my Lady Emotions, but honest to god, encounters like I’ve had this week make me despair for Common Sense and Logical Thought Processes. How does one not suffocate from having one’s head up one’s own ass all the time?
Anyway. Deep breathing and on to less rage-inducing subjects. It is Teacher’s Convention right now, and Family Day is Monday, so the kids are home from school. Yesterday I took Mark to get a haircut at the barber shop in our neighbourhood that we have been frequenting lately (and by “we,” I mean “the kids.”). I walked inside and went to sit down and lo, on the table next to me was a large pile of pornographic magazines. I have so many questions. For one thing, why is porn in barbershops still a thing? It’s pretty awkward when walking in with your twelve-year-old son, who is, happily, oblivious to it. Or so it seems. But really, how many people are going to the barbershop for porn and a haircut? It’s always made me wonder, who are these men (I assume men) who walk in, ask for a trim, and open Penthouse to the centrefold, tilting their heads to get the full view? For another thing, who buys porn anymore? Has the barber never heard of the internet?
Coincidentally enough, I was driving home from yoga and I had the News Talk Radio on, for reasons that I do not understand myself. The radio host mentioned that Playboy is going back to nudes now. Going back to nudes? I thought – and honestly, I am not a person who has ever bought or even really looked at a Playboy, so it could be my own naivete – that Playboy was all nudes. I know people used to say they “bought it for the articles” but I always thought that was just a weird excuse to look at Kaitlyn, age 21, who likes margaritas, movies, and walking on the beach. But I could be wrong, and I probably am, and in any case it was pretty early in the morning so I could have misheard the whole thing. I am not about to look it up, you can believe that. I don’t want anything like that on my search engine and I most certainly don’t want that kind of advertising popping up in my Facebook algorithm.
Last week I was at Costco, and when I was leaving, the older man who checks the carts – and flirts with me – said I had the healthiest cart he had ever seen, and that compliment has been a source of pride and happiness all week. All week. Clearly I have issues that go far beyond the excessive amount of fruit and vegetables I load up with. In a week of annoyances, the memory of that exchange has made me stand straight, with my head up high, even more so than when the drunk guy in front of Walmart said that I sure am a pretty lady.
Well, we all like a good compliment, don’t we? Even when the giver of the compliment is inebriated at 10:30 in the morning.
I was at the salon getting my hair cut and coloured – my hair seems to be growing more rapidly now, which is gratifying but also results in more startling roots – and I spent much of my time reading The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. If you haven’t heard about it, the backstory is that Keegan was a rising star in the literary world, and had just graduated from Yale when she was killed in a car accident. When I say “just graduated,” I mean that she died FIVE DAYS after graduation. This book is a compilation of her stories and essays, and is tragic in that she was a beautiful, thought-provoking writer already, at age 22. It’s worth a read, although I found I liked her non-fiction essays much more than her fictional stories. Perhaps I am too old to appreciate the type of fiction that she was writing.
In her title piece, that went viral after her death, she says, quite poignantly in retrospect, “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time…What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.” Despite the fact that I am NOT so young – in fact, I am two decades older than the stated age – this spoke to me, as someone who has reinvented her life a number of times. We can do anything, you guys. We can.
And on that note, I am going to get my Friday started, and hopefully it will be less angst-filled than this week has been. It will definitely end with wine though, and I haven’t yet burned the city down OR commissioned sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, so things are looking up. Have a good weekend, my friends. xo