Aunty Ant Takes Her Revenge

Earlier in the week I was so tired; it was the kind of exhaustion that makes me wonder if something is seriously wrong. Why am I so tired? I kept saying, over and over, like the world’s most boring broken record. My husband gently reminded me that every so often I DO get this tired, and every time I get this tired I wonder why, and possibly I shouldn’t run myself at full throttle every single day? Well, it turns out he was correct. I am generally a Jack Russell terrier, but every so often I need to embrace my inner Basset hound. A few days of extra sleep and an afternoon spent gardening in the sunshine, and I seem to be back to my usual self.

Generally speaking, the more things I have to do, the more energized I get. It’s like I have my own little contest going on, trying to squeeze in one more thing every moment of every day. Can I bake a batch of muffins while washing the floor and folding the laundry? And then read this collection of short stories while I make pasta sauce? At some point I become like the airplane headed for Carnival in Rio in Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World; I explode with the addition of Aunty Ant.

Looking back over the past couple of weeks, I realize that I might have been going at even higher speed than normal; every single day that the sun has shone I’ve been doing yard work on top of running 23 kilometres a week, spin classes, daily yoga practice, and dog walks, not to mention my teaching schedule. Oh, and grocery shopping, food preparation, running a household, parenting, and all of those things we all do every day without thought. A few days of rest is definitely a good thing; if I was talking to a friend or a student, I would tell them to be gentle to themselves and to take rest to restore their bodies and souls. Every once in a while I should really take my own advice.

This past long weekend we travelled to visit my mother-in-law, adding “packing” and “taking dog to kennel with all his prepackaged food and medication” to last week’s to-do list. Packing is a job that I find myself obsessing over; my husband packs his own things and my kids choose the clothes that they need, but my need for order and control means that I alone am in charge of the suitcases. Or, the Orange Suitcases of Sadness, as we call them in this house. The moment the Orange Suitcases of Sadness come out of storage, Barkley is on High Alert and will either be found sitting beside one or be completely underfoot, so that I’m tripping over him while unloading the dishwasher or stepping over him as I neatly roll up all the clothes in order to maximize packing space. I heard a woman talking on the plane about how her friend spent six weeks in Europe with only a single piece of carry on luggage, and I was amazed. A weekend away necessitates a huge suitcase plus carry on for me. I mean, how do you even pack enough toiletries without checked baggage? I guess there are pharmacies and shops in Europe but still.

My sister-in-law and I bonded this weekend with our mutual disdain for travellers who sneak too-large pieces of carry on luggage onto the plane and then cannot fit said pieces into the overhead compartments. Just spend the $25 and check your damn bag, I always think to myself, watching them nearly take out people as they swing their giant distended roller bags overhead. You people are the worst. Perhaps that’s how that woman got through six weeks; with a contraband oversized carry on.

I like to pack a lot even for a weekend, because as you well know, I love clothes. My friend Jen (HI JEN) mentioned that she is going to start her own One Year Shopping Challenge, and for a few minutes I wondered if I have been appreciating all my clothes enough; should I too do another challenge? Nothing makes you appreciate what you have like not being able to purchase new things. However, I am pretty sure my husband would stop speaking to me and my mother would disown me, so I won’t. Maybe I’ll quietly do my own six-month challenge, though, now that my wardrobe has been supplemented over the last nine months of restocking. Maybe.

Speaking of clothes, I noticed a few very interesting outfits yesterday. First, as I was walking the dog, I noticed an older gentleman mowing his lawn wearing nothing whatsoever but a pair of white shorts, the type favoured by basketball players in the 1970s, black socks, and work boots. This was especially odd given that the outside temperature was only about 15 degrees; it didn’t feel like “only shorts and nothing else” weather but then again, I tend to be cold most of the time. Then at my son’s drum lesson, a young boy came in wearing a Garfield hoodie and shorts set. It was bright yellow, adorned with the lasagne-loving cat, and the hood was made to look like Garfield’s head. This I found intriguing; is Garfield still relevant? I guess he must be somewhere, since the outfit looked quite new and bright. That is some longevity for a cartoon feline.

The most interesting outfit was really the third in a series. The young woman who gives voice lessons at the same place that my son takes drum lessons is absolutely fascinating to me. The first week I took him, she was dressed exactly as an anime character: shiny bobbed black hair with a hairband adorned with two big pompoms, a short colourful dress, and tall, shiny, white platform boots. The next week her hair was still black, but soft and wavy, and she was wearing a flowing flowered dress; the type your grandma might have worn as a housedress, but longer. Then yesterday her hair was greyish-lavender, curly except for straight bangs, and she was wearing a long grey and white see-through lace dress over top a short white dress, with black lipstick. I honestly can’t wait to see what happens next week. The mom of the Garfield-clad boy looked at me and said, “Every week, she looks different!” which seemed like a vast understatement.

I cannot recall ever purchasing anything from the Venus catalogue, and so it is for reasons unknown that I have been the recipient of said catalogue for many years. I find it fascinating just how many different iterations there are of star-spangled bikinis. The catalogue is mostly filled with swimwear and beach accessories, but a good third of it contains “street wear” and that, my friends, is the best part. Better even than star-spangled bikinis, the pages are filled with “butt-lifting” jeans and really startling spandex dresses and loosely-knit cropped sweaters worn over sparkly tank tops. There is also a whole section on “work wear” which very much differs from my idea of office-appropriate attire. Although, who’s to say work wear is synonymous with office wear? After all, my work wear consists of yoga pants and tank tops. Perhaps other people have jobs that necessitate cold-shoulder bell-sleeved blouses, off-the-shoulder wrap dresses, or wildly low-cut zipper-front sheath dresses. Who am I to say?

And the sun is shining so yard work is calling; off to embrace my inner Jack Russell. Enjoy the sunshine, sunshines. xo

Comments

  1. We used to have a cat who would panic whenever we packed. Our current two are obvious to human packing behavior, even though one of them’s always mad when we get home.

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