Buddhas, Black Friday, and Bikinis

I’m torn between not wanting time to go any faster than it already does, living mindfully in the moment, savouring every day, and also counting down the next three weeks until Christmas vacation. On the one hand – mindfulness! On the other – hoo boy, am I looking forward to the break.

Were you on the edge of your seat, wondering how the white chocolate fudge turned out? Well, wonder no more! IT DID NOT GO WELL.

I was so optimistic until the time came to cut it; it was not dissimilar to cutting into a thick pudding. Which is to say, it was messy and weird. Again, how? How did this happen? How do two things that become solid when frozen become a non-Newtonian fluid when mixed together? Why do I need a degree in chemistry to make fudge? At any rate, I was very disappointed. By this time, I had sunk approximately $15 worth of ingredients into that little pan, and I was loathe to throw it out. It’s like throwing $15 in the compost bin. I put the pan back in the freezer and took the dog for a walk.

Taking a walk is great for generating ideas, isn’t it? The little loop Barkley and I walk takes about thirty minutes, and it is good thinking time for me. It’s also a good way to practice mindfulness and notice my surroundings. For example, there is one house on our loop that has a Buddha statue on their front step; it’s not just any Buddha statue, either. There is a jagged edge where the head used to be. This headless Buddha has been there for many months, and the strangest thing is that the head sits on the drain spout directly beside its decapitated body. To my inexpert handywoman eye, it seems like it would be easily fixed with some Gorilla Glue, but no. I can’t help wondering why. It cannot be unnoticed by the residents of the house. Is it some kind of statement? Mere laziness? We may never know the answer.

In any case, as I was walking, I wondered why I was so attached to the idea of little squares of fudge. Practice non-attachment, Nicole. I came up with the idea of rolling the fudge-like-substance into little balls and then dusting with cocoa powder, like a truffle. I tried later that day and it was incredibly messy and oddly difficult, but it somewhat worked.

They did not hold shape particularly well, but my younger son assured me that they were delicious and that he would volunteer as tribute to eat the entire thing, if no one else wanted them. Always willing to sacrifice, that’s him.

I made a coffee date last Friday with a colleague of mine; we both had a brief window of time and she had an appointment in my quadrant of the city. For those of you who I have had actual coffee dates with, you already know that I never have any clue about cool and interesting coffee shops. I never know where anything is and I’m always at a loss to suggest a venue. But for this coffee date, I suggested the Starbucks at a nearby mall; my colleague’s appointment was just down the hill from it, and I live about five minutes away. Normally I do not set foot in the mall after mid-November, but I thought 10:30 on a Friday morning, how bad could it be?

It was Black Friday.

Later, when I was relating this story, a friend (HI ALANA) said to me How could you not know it was Black Friday? Didn’t you get all the emails? Well, yes. My inbox had been exploding over the past week, and yet I never made the connection between the mall and Black Friday. Neither did my colleague, which is how I ended up circling the road-rage-filled parking lot, trying to find a spot, and having to allow an extra twenty minutes to leave the parking lot, so that I wouldn’t be late for my class.

It’s ridiculous, really. Black Friday ISN’T A THING IN CANADA. Well, I guess it IS a thing now, no matter how much I deny it. The parking lot was similar to Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, with the exact kind of panicked, I must buy all the things attitude that one might see on those days. It was insane. The only upside is that I got to see all the pretty Christmas decorations that were not up when last I was in the mall, such as a gigantic sparkly moose.

And as much as I deny the existence of Black Friday, I am not made of stone. The endless barrage of emails from various retailers wore me down, and I actually clicked on the one from La Vie En Rose. I was in the market for a new bikini, anyway, and they had absolutely ridiculous prices. The one I fell in love with was obtained for a mere $22. Twenty-two dollars! Of course, my husband looked at the photo and pronounced it “ugly” and that the “embroidery looks old-ladyish.”

Well. I do not think it’s UGLY but he may have a point in terms of old-ladyish-ness. A few years ago I realized that triangle-and-string bikinis were really not suitable anymore, for a few reasons, most notably that they were no longer flattering – hello, gravity – and also they were not providing the, shall I say, coverage that I think is appropriate for a woman my age who is the mother of two teenage boys. Since I refuse to wear one-pieces for the same reasons I refuse to wear rompers or jumpsuits, more modest bikinis are my new jam. The key word here is COVERAGE. I don’t want to end up dressing like Stacy’s Mom.

Speaking of teen boys, this week I took them to the dentist for their cleaning and checkups. They are still going to the same pediatric dentist we’ve been patronizing for a decade. It occurred to me for the first time that perhaps it might be time to switch dentists; not because I have any issues with the actual dentist practice, in fact, it’s the opposite. I love their whole office. However, I thought maybe it was time to move on when I looked at my sons and their feet hanging off the small purple dental chairs, their heads popping up above the headrests. I asked the dentist at what point should we say good-bye to them, and he said that he sees kids up to age eighteen. I pictured their future six-foot-plus frames squished into the child-sized dental chairs.

The thing is, their office is so convenient. It is literally a three-minute drive from my house, and approximately that long from their school. They had an 8:00 appointment and both were back at the school by 8:25. I mean, you can’t buy that kind of convenience. Maybe I will keep them there until they are 18, their deep voices will be a change from the usual high-pitched screaming that is de rigeur in any given pediatric dental office.


  1. HI NICOLE 😉
    I also suffer the old lady bikini Catch-22. I want something flattering but the tiny string bikini tops just aren’t gonna get it done.

  2. My kids– including the 17 year old– still go to a pediatric dentist. He doesn’t seem to mind (and I think the chairs are regular-sized). But we do need to get him a new dentist pretty soon. He’ll be 18 in May.

    One nice thing about our tradition of Black Friday shopping in Rehoboth– not at the outlets– is that we can just walk from wherever we’re staying to all the shops. No need to park. It’s sometimes a little crowded but not too bad. And when you get tired of shopping, the beach is right there. (Sigh. I am having a little withdrawal).

  3. I am SO SAD that the fudge didn’t work out! Good save, though. And that moose is amazing.

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