Dented Self-Esteem; Fifty-Nine Weeks In

That’s A Dent To The Self-Esteem

I was asked if I wanted the seniors’ discount last week at Shoppers, so perhaps my skin-care routine isn’t working the way I had hoped.

The worst part is that I didn’t even get the discount. After the woman said “Are we doing the seniors’ discount today?” in the pleasantest voice, unaware of my dented self-esteem, I hesitated and said “Um, sure,” at which point she looked at me suspiciously and told me, sternly that I needed to be 55 plus. The only thing that would have been more awkward about this exchange is if she asked for proof of ID, and I would have been exposed as a liar for a discount that I never asked for in the first place, while a lineup of people idled behind me. I mean, it’s only ten percent, what price my dignity here? How badly do I want that extra $4.50?

Why did you ASK then? I did NOT say, but thought, because kindness is important even when a person is implying that you are nine years older than you actually are, and working in customer service is difficult at the best of times, and we have been in a global pandemic for fifty-nine weeks. I admitted that no, I was not 55, and then the woman proceeded to ask three times if I wanted a bag, which I did not, and I took my Advil and my nail polish remover and left the premises, only a little bit shattered.

Two things: I worked as a waitress for years while in university, and I never ONCE asked if a person required the seniors’ discount. I applied it only when asked, or if someone was obviously an octogenarian, or if they were regular customers who always asked for the discount. Believe me, with a last name like MacPherson, I will ASK for my ten percent off at Shopper’s the second I am eligible. The other thing is that I was at the garden centre a few weeks ago and I overheard the cashier asking the couple buying fertilizer for proof of age in order to get the discount. These people were 80 if they were a day. Apparently the garden centre has problems with people claiming the seniors’ discount who aren’t actually seniors, which, well. I love a good discount so I am not going to criticize, but it was odd to see this elderly couple dig for their driver’s licenses, and my paranoia about being asked for proof of age is based on real-life experiences.

Not In Our Lifetime, Clifford

My husband has a new toy:

He’s wanted an espresso machine for years, and after working from home for so long, and the Starbucks down the street closing, AND a highly-rated model going on sale at Costco online, he finally purchased one. He’s really missed his afternoon Americano and his latte and what have you, and meanwhile I am happy because I can drink my morning pot of coffee in peace, without someone trying to pour a cup at 8:00 am and finding there are only two ounces left in the pot, leading to the question did you drink all the coffee? Of course I drank all the coffee, by 8:00 am I’ve been up for hours, I am a quantity-over-quality girl when it comes to my pot of not-strong black Kirkland Signature. Anyway, he loves his new toy, I love my copious amounts of weak coffee, we have marital harmony, all is good.

Sometimes when we get an item like this in our house, I think of a conversation between my grandparents, years ago. My grandma had bought a bread machine, and my grandpa wondered if the machine would pay for itself in cost savings, by making bread at home instead of buying it. My grandma replied Not in our lifetime, Clifford, which should be embroidered on a pillow somewhere. Not in our lifetime, Clifford pops into my head when I think of the vegetables I am hopefully going to harvest from my new, not-cheap raised beds. Will they pay for themselves? Not in our lifetime, Clifford. Will the espresso machine pay for itself in homemade Americanos instead of Starbucks runs? Well, Starbucks is pretty expensive, so MAYBE in our lifetime, Clifford. But probably not.

Bananas for Bananas

The only complaint I have about the espresso machine is that it takes up space on the countertop that used to be where I kept the bananas. This might seem insignificant to most of you, and from Sunday through Tuesday it’s not a huge problem, but on grocery day and beyond things get a little crowded.

What can I say, we go through a lot of bananas in this house. I’d say we average 25 a week, depending on the season and what other kind of fruit is in the house. Twenty would be the absolute minimum, although we have gone as high as 35. Anyway, after reading Suzanne’s blog about bananas (HI SUZANNE) I had a craving for banana “nice cream.” Usually I blend together frozen bananas with cocoa powder and almond milk, and top it all off with homemade magic shell, but I was jonesing for a little chocolate-peanut butter action.

People. I blended together frozen bananas with peanut butter and almond milk, then stirred in mini Reece Pieces, and swirled the whole thing with homemade chocolate sauce and it was like a choir of angels burst into my kitchen and started singing.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into The Water

I got my period for the first time in a very long time; it had been so long since I’ve had a Ladies’ Holiday that I was actually wondering if that was it, if I was entering the Change of Life. My period tracker on my Garmin app kept cheerfully reminding me that it was almost that time, and to make sure I log my symptoms, and I kept having to adjust the calendar, until I wondered if the app was going to blow up and uninstall itself.

The weird thing is that I had absolutely zero warning; I was as taken aback by its sudden appearance as a young teenager who wears white pants to school and doesn’t carry supplies in her backpack. In the days prior I didn’t feel like stabbing anyone for not putting the empty toilet paper roll in the recycling, even though it’s RIGHT THERE, I didn’t have breasts swelling out past my tank tops and bras, I didn’t have to surreptitiously use my sons’ acne medication, I wasn’t even a little bit emotional. I mean, I heard Landslide on the radio and I did NOT burst into tears. Am I a robot now? You might think the moderate craving for peanut butter and chocolate could be correlated with the upcoming Ladies’ Holidays, but I make a big Sunday dinner with dessert every week, and every week that dessert is just what I feel like having, and so I think any correlation would be coincidental. Anyway, I was startled to wake up to Aunt Flo knocking at my door with her suitcase in tow.

The excitement I felt at the possibility of entering my Next Stage of Womanhood probably goes against my feelings about being asked about the seniors’ discount, but emotions are complex, and here we are.

Outfit of the Week

The snow has melted – for now – and I was able to get a bit of gardening and yard work in this week. This week’s outfit features a t-shirt I bought in Maui for FIVE AMERICAN DOLLARS back in 2016, or possibly 2015.

You cannot expect a lot for five dollars, but this top has served me well. The only thing is that it’s quite short, and so I always wear a tank top underneath as this is not 1993 and I am no longer a person who wears crop tops, no matter how fashionable they may be right now. The tank top and jeans have made appearances on OOTW before; and those shoes are my designated garden shoes because they have a flower design on them. Dress for the job you want, people, and the job I want is to work in my back yard.

Pandemic Reading

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club. This was highly recommended to me by a friend (HI TARYN) and the writing really is excellent; the characters are complex and intertwined. It is also literally the saddest book I have ever read in my entire life, and I’ve read some doozies. Like, this blows Of Mice and Men completely out of the water, in terms of sadness, and that is my measuring stick. HOO BOY. It is as bleak, dismal, depressing, dark, and gritty as February in Newfoundland, which is where this book takes place.

Brave New World. Ugh. My older son is studying this in English and so I pulled out my own copy to reread and discuss with him. I last read it when I was a teen and now remember why I haven’t read it since. I know, I know, it’s an important book, but to me it’s a total snore. Me: I don’t like this book. My husband: why, was it written by a man? Why yes. I remember when I first read this, back in the 90s, I was puzzled as to why they refer to women as being “pneumatic.” I looked it up in the dictionary and it didn’t make sense. People, I was 46 years old before I discovered, as my son says, that they are referring to her breasts. And ass. Of course they are. Male writers, am I right? I know, I know, it was incredible for its time, satire, the dangers of population control and consumerism, etcetera, but ugh all the same. Oh! The only other thing I remembered from this book – other than the puzzling pneumatic statements – is the saying “Spending instead of mending” which isn’t even correct. It’s “ENDING instead of spending,” which, my way makes more sense.

The Mothers. Now THIS is a book! This was an excellent read about friends, secrets, and the different definitions of mothering. It was so good; I liked Bennett’s The Vanishing Half but I think this was even better. I highly recommend it.

Happy May, everyone! May your week be filled with sunshine. xo

I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot; Fifty-Eight Weeks In

Thank you everyone for the lovely birthday wishes; it was a beautiful day. It was the rarest of Calgary spring days: warm and sunny, and without the gusting winds that often accompany warmer temperatures. I filled the day with all my favourite … [Continue reading]

Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Pro-Aging Skin-Care Edition

It was my birthday this week! I love birthdays so much; mine, obviously, but also everyone else's. I mean, it's the day you came into the world, let us celebrate! And as I said in my last post, every day we are alive is a gift, every birthday we … [Continue reading]

Pro-Aging; Fifty-Seven Weeks In

I really hate the term anti-aging. I know it's just semantics, really, but I hate it. What a ridiculous concept, anti-aging. We are all aging every single moment; as they say in Les Mis, at the end of the day you're another day older. The only way to … [Continue reading]

Two Steps Back; Fifty-Six Weeks In

My older son gets terrible hay fever - May is the worst month for him - and although I'm hopeful that his outdoor-mask-wearing habit will help, I am fully stocked up on the allergy medications that, over the years, we have found to work for him: … [Continue reading]

Magic; Fifty-Five Weeks In

I have discovered an enormous upside to the physical aging process, other than the "not dying" part of the aging process. Not dying is a pretty big upside, but this new discovery is also huge. First, some background. Every morning, because I am … [Continue reading]

This Is Not An April Fool, I Really Am Cross As Two Sticks

I have been Quite Cross this week; not Constantly Cross, but Intermittently So. Some of my You're On My Last Nerve feeling could probably be attributed to hormones and upcoming ladies' holidays, the looming "third-wave" of Covid cases, the super-slow … [Continue reading]