Friday, December 4, 2015

My near arrest experience

So while off work over the last couple of months...trying to get past the sudden unexpected death of my biological father and all the emotions that brought up to the surface which is not at all where I like to keep my emotions. I'm more of a shove that shit down kinda gal...I had to visit my doc a fair bit and on this one particular day I was running late. Because I always am. There is no good excuse other than I always underestimate how long it will take me to get someplace, or I can't get my eyebrows just right. 

So I get to the underground parking at my doctor's office and I'm five minutes late but five minutes late is on time for me so I'm high-fiving myself all check me out! I made it! And then the parking machine which spits out the ticket won't work. The older feller working there says he will write down my license number and come find my car and put the ticket on my window so I can pay when I leave. Righto! 

Behind my car he goes to WRITE down my license plate number. He takes 4 minutes. It's 6 digits people. He wasn't memorizing it!! PEN AND PAPER. I'm now gonna be ten minutes late and that really is late, late not just Colie pretty much on time late. I park and book it to the doctor where she confirms I'm crazy. Kidding. I'm not completely bonkers, just enough issues to make me one of her favorite patients and a very good social worker.

Did I mention the only parking spot I could find was two levels down and wedged between a wall and a giant concrete post and may have said motorcycles only? Yeah, that. I had to crawl out the passenger side and couldn't fit my purse out at all. My purse is bigger than my butt! Yay! And getting back in was even more troublesome. As though my butt GREW?! NAY NAY to that. Only Flat Stanley would have been able to get in the driver's side - - or my 11 year old, he's a twiggy little thing. 

I get the ticket he has left on my window and go to pay. Take ticket to pay station and...wait for SUCKS THE MOFO TICKET RIGHT IN and says "CALL CASHIER - your ticket is invalid." SONOFABITCH.  

At this point I want out of this underground Hell. Like right now. It's hot and smelly and people are coming and going paying their tickets and trotting off, yes TROTTING, all LA LA LA watch us go while you sit here ticket-less STUCK in hot pee smelling PARKADE! LATER SUCKA!! 

I push the little help button and say ticket got sucked in. "That's never happened before" they say. Like I'm making it up? Well, it happened now so can someone come let me out please. "Sure, sure our maintenance guy will be right there. Oh and where are you?" I'M IN THE PARKADE AT THE PAYSTATION *MOTHER EFFERS* (*that part was in my head). Where did they think I was?

No one comes.

Buzz buzz. Me again, still stuck in *FUCKING* PARKADE (*also in head). 

And then he comes. The license plate man. This does not make me hopeful that I will get out of the parkade in 2015. He's so slow he's Tim Conway shuffle slow. 

He opens the machine - finds my ticket - HOORAH!!! Then goes to close the machine and every alarm known to man screeches so loudly that I'm quite certain my ears are bleeding. Tim Conway looks frazzled. Keeps opening and shutting door. Pushing all buttons. The most annoying high pitched BAAARRRRRMP BAAAARRRRRMMP alarm I've ever heard continues. I'm holding my ears now. It's beyond ridiculous. I yell, "can you just open the gate? I need OUT. I have to get my children". "Oh no, dear" he says. NO? NO?!! What the fucking fuck fuck?!

About twenty five minutes passes and Tim is making no progress and I've gone deaf. I ask again to be let out. "Oh no dear, you have to pay to get out." 

BUT I CAN'T PAY!!!! I scream.

"You'll have to wait dear".

"The gate CANNOT open without a paid ticket dear".

Have I ever told you how much I HATE being called "dear"? Every time he said it I mentally throat punched him. HARD. And I actually envisioned slamming his head in the door of the machine a time or two. May need to go back to doctor for anger issues?  Or insane alarm ringing has tipped me over edge. 

So my sighs got louder and louder - - although completely pointless since he couldn't hear them over the incessant alarm screeching. 

I finally stomp off and go get my car. I drive it right up to the exit gate. I park. I glare at shuffley Tim. I very seriously contemplate busting through the gate. I'm getting later and later to pick up my kids. Would I get arrested? I'm pretty sure my sister told me someone she knew got arrested for a gate bust. Today is not a good day to be on the news, I have a hole in my leggings and not enough highlight on my cheeks to give me that J-Lo glow.

So I walk outside to the little ticket taking machine and buzz the buzzer there. I say I have been trapped in this MUTHA FUCKING parking garage for over a half an hour with the alarms going off and if someone doesn't LET ME OUT RIGHT NOW I'm gonna lose my mind and Tim Conway is gonna be the first one to get a punch. 

She says she'll open the gate. 

HOLD UP. The gate that shuffle footed Timmy said can't possibly be opened without a paid ticket? Yuh, that gate. 

I go back to my car and Tim yells angrily - so loud I actually heard him over the alarms still blaring - "SHE IS OPENING THE GATE!! GET IN YOUR CAR RIGHT NOW! AND GET!! OUT!!"

Seriously Tim? I was TRYING TO DO JUST THAT for the last 45 minutes!! Was it your $4 I didn't get to pay? Jeeeeebus. Chill out Timster. 

I walked over and punched him in the throat and then very calmly walked back to car like Walt from Breaking Bad when he blows shit up. Or I gave him the stink eye and did one of the boomboom fist bump swears from Friends and got in my car and left *Side note: may be watching too much Netflix.

I didn't get arrested. But it was close peeps. Close. 

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I've got 99 problems, but a gnome ain't one

I have this problem lately. I find it absolutely hilarious to make people think I'm plotting to steal things. 

I do it constantly - - in a restaurant if I like the pretty glub glub fish shaped water jug I'll make room in my purse, and that swizzle stick with the colorful wooden bird on top, oh yes, that will fit perfectly up my sleeve. Where else would I get a parrot stir stick? I have to take it. No question. And that tiny little wine glass perfect for orange juice when I'm feeling fancy, yep, I'll have that. My ongoing commentary of the things I intend to steal makes my partner nervous and I find that even funnier. I'm all "So, I'll be taking that funky chair over there by the door when we leave this restaurant so be a sugar lips and pull the car up while I create a diversion." " can't just take things", she says*. Ppppfffftttttt. I say if I paid for my meal, the cutlery should at least be mine now. And I really need a good steak knife. Give me yours too. 

The pure joy I get from seeing her mind racing, questioning whether kleptomania is yet another issue we have to tackle is slightly twisted I know, but real. 

All summer we walked Dixie the wonder dog (furry addition to the family) past this house in my neighborhood where there was a sleeping garden gnome. If you read the "about me" section of this blog you'll know I used to have a fear of garden gnomes. If you haven't read it, don't do it yet. I have to update it. Whoa. Hold on. I said no! Get back here. Not yet. In the meantime, can I get a "Hells yeah" for overcoming one of my 6 bonkatrillion fears? Because I've developed a fondness for the gnome my lovely readers. 

And I want to make that napping gnome my own. 

He's just chilling out in the garden 

He's my kinda gnome. 

So I started out telling the kidlets and my partner how I am going to take the gnome because the family already has about 15 in their yard and they wouldn't even miss that one. In fact they'd probably WANT me to have it. They can't take care of all the gnomes. It's neglectful.  It's impossible. I'd be doing the neighbor a favor. See how his gnome hat is getting all chippy? I'll paint that bad boy up. He'll be the envy of all the gnomes. 

Each day that we'd walk past, my love of the lazy garden gnome grew and I'd get a little more detailed about how I planned to gnome-nap it. I'd run up to the fence and hang off the side and talk about how I just needed to work on my cardio to make the leap right over over under the cover of darkness. 

The wise, but foolish, eight year old asked why I didn't just buy myself a garden gnome. Silly child, this napping gnome and I have a connection and no other gnome will do. The eleven year old would walk far ahead and pretend he didn't know me (not unlike any other non-gnome-thieving-day) while I rambled on about my gnome relief mission. I'm actually rescuing the gnome; I have a much better spot for him in our Momma garden. Even she would want me to take the gnome! Yeah, that's right. I brought my momma into it. Sure, she is not here to defend herself but I did pack her house and I happened upon a few sugar dishes I'm quite certain once belonged to the Steak and Stein. So yeah, she'd be on board. 

Sensible eleven year old underestimates me and suggests I do it when the eight year old is not with me because she can't run fast enough. I said oh ho ho eleven year old, not to worry, I'm not going to get caught. There will be no running required. I'll be stealth like. A gnome stealing ninja. But you are correct that there can be no accomplices. This is a mission I must complete on my own. 

We walked past the house again recently - bundled up in mittens and hats now because Nova Scotia (!!!) - and what do you know... the napping gnome is gone. 

The eight year old's face was a combination of shock and curiosity. Would her mother be sent off to the clink?! 

I whisper, "See, I told you that gnome would be mine." 

They nervously laugh and ask where the gnome really is. I say "He's in our shed of course, he can't come out until next Spring. He'd freeze his little gnome pants off." The kidlets look at each other with one of those 'our mother is batshit crazy' looks that I love so much because these moments, when your kids think you may have stolen a napping garden gnome, are the stuff the really good memories are made of.

My partner continues to say she's going to check the shed with her worried eyes and brow furrowed, secretly hoping there are no Ruby Rose look-alikes in the local jail and wondering how she'll fit trips to the penn into her schedule when her girlfriend is arrested for gnome theft. 

Only time will tell...

*Yes, you read that right. My partner is a she. And SHE is spectacular. But that's for another day.  

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Friday, November 13, 2015

And then she took a nice long soak in my bathwater

When I was a little girl, I clearly recall getting into my mother's bathwater AFTER she bathed. I would play with my Barbies while she got ready to leave for work as a bartender, our face cloths laid out on the sides of the tub as beach towels and the tub the Barbie's ocean; I can still smell the Ivory soap and her Patchouli perfume and remember how I longed for my cheeks to be all bronzed and glowing like hers - yep, she "highlighted" long before all those YouTubers taught us how. 

As I got older, I realized I was basically bathing in the filth she washed off her own body but at the time, it was perfection. 

And then last night I was soaking in the bathtub covered in bubbles and my daughter popped in to tell me three riddles because a peaceful bath is non-existent with children. After a discussion about why I cover my boobs with a cloth (because they get cold peeps!) - she asked to get in my water after I got out. At first I thought...eeew. Hells no. And then I thought damn water bill was outrageous this month (because I'm pretty sure my sister is stealing my water) and it never killed yes. 

While she bathed - which included a full 360 naked spin with legs in the air - we talked about make up and skin care and she asked me to braid her hair into tiny braids for curls the next day - and I wondered what my mother and I talked about when I was exactly my daughter's age, taking a nice long soak in her dirty bathwater. 

Enjoy the little moments, my sweet readers. Even if they're soaked in dirt.   

Colie xx

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Things I'll Never Say

My father died.

My biological father. Just like that. We had just spoken in the weeks before. By email of course. Because that was the relationship we had. A life in writing.

He joked that my emails were longer than Tolstoy. I joked that he should grab a snack before reading.

I don't think I replied to his last message. We talked about lawn mowing I think. His fondness for it. Enjoying the mindlessness of it. My hatred for it. Given my hell lawn. But I didn't reply.

Because I thought I would have time.

Our messages sometimes started mid sentence and likely would make little sense to anyone but us. His shenanigans often made me laugh out loud. Our emails read much like the ramblings of a crazy person with a lot of "..." and never ending sentences. And they could not have been more similar. I could read an email he wrote and think it was my own writing.

But the last one, I didn't reply.

And then he died.

Leaving me no more time to show him that I am good enough to be included among the daughters he left behind. Good enough to tell the whole town who loved him, that he had more than two daughters. He had more than two grandchildren.

By his choice, for his own reasons, he never met my children. My almost 12 year old son. My boy who has the same little cleft in his chin which my father kept covered by a beard, he never saw that he has his blue eyes with a puff of skin underneath like he's tired no matter how rested, he never met my boy who is an amazing artist with the kind of humour that would have lit him up. And he never met my daughter; my dramatic, adorable, funny, compassionate little eight year old. He never looked in her eyes that are the exact same brown as mine, or heard the way she loves telling stories, often exaggerated to make them a tad more interesting,  just the way I do. The way, I think, he did too.

He chose to have no funeral which is quite fitting for someone who hid in the attic when company came to his house. Not unlike my own personality. But in choosing no funeral, I was left floundering. Confused. Unsure.


So I went to his town. I walked the streets he walked. I threw a stone in the ocean for him. Offering peace. Remembering the many stories he told me about his office, his work, all the people in his life. He had told me all about them over the many years we wrote. Twenty five years. And some years, we wrote every single day. Several times a day. I feel like I know his colleagues, his wife "the sensible one", his in-laws, his daughters, his grandchildren. He told me about them often.

And he told them nothing about me.

And so I'm left alone in my sadness. The only one in my life who feels this loss.

Left wondering as I have since I was eighteen years old and my whole identity changed in an instant. Left wondering why I wasn't good enough for him to talk about? Left wondering why he would leave me out of his obituary that he wrote himself? Knowing, surely knowing, that it would cause another little piece of me to disappear. That it would cause my heart to break into a thousand pieces.

I'll never know. I can't ask him. But I do know what he would tell some point, everyone feels like they don't belong. Because he felt it too. He knew.

I should have insisted that he meet my children. They are so worth knowing. I should have visited. I should have...

I know he would tell me to write more. And to publish my writing. Which is so much like his. In one of the last messages he said to me "you are hilarious you know......somewhere out there is a magazine that would publish your material..." Words he had said to me many times before. Publish. Write. Publish.

I wonder now if I had published my writing, would he have said my name in his final words?

I know now that someday I will hunt down that illusive magazine he swore was out there, just waiting for my writing.

Until then I'm left with these things I'll never say...

That I was his daughter too.

That I loved him.

That every word he wrote to me was important and special and that I will miss him. My confidant. My friend. My father.

Every single day.

We saw a hummingbird on one of the few times we saw each other in person. Him in his ever present Tilley hat. Me nervous and rambling. Since then, we've sent each other gifts and little reminders with the tiny bird a symbol of that day in the park together. He sent me a hummingbird necklace and joked it was so ugly that I'd never wear it . But to me, then and  even more now, it is beautiful.

"Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation." - Papyrus 

Savour each moment my lovely readers. Do the things that make you happy. Now. Always. Life is short but even in sadness, there is love. I remind myself today that even if I remain unknown, even if I am completely alone in my grief,  our connection had meaning. And that is enough. 

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

A birthday letter to my Mother

Dear beautiful Momma:

It's been four short years since I've heard your voice saying how much you love me. Next week you would turn 75. Or maybe fake 66? But don't worry, I'll keep that on the down low (read: share it with the worldwide interweb, just as you would have wanted).

True love
Your birthday is strangely all wrapped up in the day you last said goodbye but because you wouldn't want me to focus on the weight of that sadness, I will celebrate your very full, strong life instead of mourning the end of it. Taken far too quickly by such an awful disease, it is so easy to get lost in the sadness. To be honest, sometimes it's a celebration with a l'il side of the ugly cry. I can still hear you asking Sissy "What is WRONG with her?" all hysterical, while clutching your heart dramatically, whenever you witnessed the infamous Colie ugly cry, because my pain was your pain. And that is the love of a mother.

And you were a bit of a nut.


To celebrate your birthday this year, we're having a girls night (we'll miss you bro!) at the Comedy Festival (good one, right?) because that was your favorite. Well, that and gambling but you know how that gives Sissy heart palpitations. So in honor of you, I will laugh too loud and possibly blow my nose during the one moment when the entire place is completely silent. Because that's how you rolled. I'll also overdose on poutine, fake lose my keys at least 32 thousand times, encourage everyone to go to the casino, and secret eat some cheesecake at 2 am. Because there's a little lot of you in me.

Missing our (crazy) glue but sticking together. 
I want you to know I am okay. In fact, most of the time, I'm really happy. I have a lot less chances of getting shot at work now. Oh how I wished I could call you with my super spectacular new job news. But I sort of feel like maybe you had a hand in it? Life seems to be falling into place. Maybe I'm just ready?

I know, I're getting confused by the errrr...switcheroos (for lack of a better word) that I've been pulling in the romance department...and yes, I maaaaay have too many balls in the air at times (hardy har har)...which I'm sure would have you on the phone daily to my sisters and brother talking about how I need to "get a grip" but...I'm finding my way, Mom. I'm living my life with passion now, and with love. I like to think you'd understand.  

Over the years, I've taken your locket of ashes with me to New York City, Italy, Paris and lots of smaller stops in between on this crazy road I'm travelling. Maybe Hawaii next? Sometimes I bring you along because I think you would love to be there experiencing it with me - to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up and flickering for just a brief moment, to see Times Square bustling and taste the thrill of the city in the air, and to see Italy, to just soak it all up...the art, the churches, the amazing food. I know 3 gelato a day was a bit much but hey! I was grieving. More often though, I bring you along when I feel like I need you. And I do. I still need you. 

The coolest kid EVER! He misses you.
I know you would be his biggest fan - bragging about how talented and funny and brilliant he is to all your friends
(and of course, strangers on the street)
I need you most when I'm ready to pull my hair out as a mother hear you laugh at my stories and wash away all my self doubt. To remind me that I can do it and that I'm a really good mom. And of course, to hear you moan about how you had to do it with FOUR children all alone. I know now how hard that was and that you did the very best you could. Leaving us all with enough of the crazy to make us a little more interesting and with enough love to last us long after you've gone.
Look at her now! Oh how you would laugh together Momma.
She is me.
She is you. 
So...happy happy happy birthday my irreplaceable Momma. I miss you. I hope you're proud of me. And I love you more than words could ever say. 

I carry your heart.

I can still hear you singing this one

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