“Funny Little Quirks” or: A Brief Glimpse into my Crippling Neuroses

Ever notice little things about yourself that are a bit odd? Not necessarily quite ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’, but just funny little details that help you set yourself apart from the rest of the herd on those depressing Monday mornings when you realize those cute shoes you bought are about as unique as the fake Louis Vuitton purses sported by the frumpy office moms who apparently also thought that sensible ballet flats were special and different this year?

*pause for breath*

Ugh. Nothing I love more than the constant reminder that to the average onlooker, I’m just part of the flock. I put on pants nice enough to qualify as ‘business’, avoid open toed shoes or tops that leave my shoulders bare.  But in reality, I fall into the category of apathetic gen-Y office dweller. I’m not quite the post high-school slacker just working hard enough to not get fired, uselessly pushing the dress code with black sneakers and nailpolish. I’m not the razor sharp, well dressed, killer heeled Career Woman with expensive accessories. I’m not a Frazzled Office Mom with a mismatched pantsuit and the wrong sandwich in my knockoff purse that isn’t fooling anyone. I don’ t have a kid and/or mortgage, and I’m not stuck here doing my frantic best to make it through to retirement, realizing that one day I’m going to wake up amidst sit-com reruns, wondering where my youth went.

No, I’m just paying my rent, happy enough that I usually like my job and get to work with my best friend, before secretly running away to live in the south and save up for a trailor.

This last option actually kind of terrifies me. No, no, not the trailor thing. I mean, that’s scary, but crazy exciting. No, it’s turning into a Frazzled Office Mom that scares me. Because Slacker Girl won’t be able to pay bills, but at least she’s hip and cares not for ‘the man’. Career Woman may not have her looks forever, but for now she kicks a lot of ass. But Frazzled Office Mom? There’s plenty of  ladies sporting kids and bellies and mortgages wandering around my office looking lovely and ridiculously pulled together, but somehow I don’t think I’d be able to pull this off. I’m already flying around by the seat of my pants without throwing kids and “caring about my career” in there. And I seriously do not want to turn into my cubicle dwelling mother, shouting at the kids to hurry the hell up and get in the minivan, poking my eyes with mascara at stoplights and hating every minute of it.

And so this is why my morning arrival into the elevator banks is often nothing short of a brief, dizzying bout of introspective crisis. If I see in my fellow ascenders enough terrifying glimpses into the possible future to remind me that it’s a slippery slope from ‘just paying the bills’ to ‘stuck here for life’, it makes me want to throw down my latte and run, shrieking “I’m not one of you! I just have to wear these pants!”

Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea since while waiting to eventually say “Screw this noise!” and run away to the wilderness, I happen to enjoy at least electricity and a roof over my head. So I wear my pants and drink my latte and remind myself that aside from my crippling neuroses, I’ve got a few other traits that, at least internally, set me apart from the herd:

– I used to have eight barbells in the back of my neck. I didn’t take them out for my job, I took them out because it turned out I’m allergic to nickle and it would have cost an assload to have them plated in titanium and put back in (see: cost of roof and electricity). I still have the jewelery though – just in case.

– I get a sick kick knowing that even when I’m pushing the ‘doors close’ button on the elevator, it looks to the rushing fat guy that I’m pressing ‘doors open.’ The elevators are lined with mirrors, perfect for displaying the vaguely frantic expression of  ‘oh, so close!’

– I value my sleep enough that I’d rather show up with wet hair, put my makeup on at work and greet my clients blotchy-faced and blurry-eyed than show up looking professional and have someone ask me for stuff before 9am.

– Somehow, my ‘desk job’ involves an awful lot of ‘moving desks.’ Not sure how that happened. In fact, my ‘white collar’ job is actually about 25% blue collar. I feel this gives me the right to scratch and burp in a manner that would otherwise be deemed inappropriate for an office environment.

– At least once a day I belch fairly loudly at Talea. She usually belches back.

– I can pretend to give a shit in four different versions of engrish.

– While Josh enjoys my occasionally sexy corporate wear, he really wishes I’d dress like Joy from ‘My Name Is Earl.’ Secretly (in that ‘I just said it on the internet’ kind of way), I think I could pull it off.

– I get ridiculously annoyed at bathroom dwellers, like that ugly chick from across the hall who stands in front of the mirrors for upwards of ten excruciating minutes, morosely adjusting her ill-fitted clothes. I hate her. Yanking on your shirt will not make it fit, get out and let me pee in private!

– I consider corner cutting to be an efficient skill worthy of honing. Sort of along the same lines of “If you ignore it long enough, it will fix itself.” I’m also of the belief that sometimes, violence is the answer – particularly in relation to the Xerox machine.

– I sent one of my superiors the so NSFW links to ‘Like a Boss’, ‘I’m on a Boat’, ‘Powerthirst’ and ‘Powerthirst2’ because I felt he was not adequately in the cool kids club. I like my bosses to know when I’m making fun of them, or at least understand the humour of being ‘uncomfortably energetic’.

– Freaking out about something completely unnecessary is a part of my balanced breakfast.

There you have it. A little bit of me, myself and my brain. I hope this has been an enlightening or at least amusing adventure. At the very least, if any of you have the good fortune of meeting me in person, particularly at work, you may be less perturbed when I suddenly bust out with The Lonely Island. Because, you see, it’s very important to my peace of mind. So until I can kick this creased-pant habit and start wearing slutty tank tops, I’ll be here, drinking my latte, directing workflow.

(Like a boss.)

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Tick…Tick…Tick…

It’s starting to hit me. Our vacation is almost here.

Don’t get me wrong, June is still sucking so far. The morons are worming their way out of the woodwork faster than I can squish them appropriately and diplomatically deal with them. At the office, on the train, out on the street. Tourist season is upon us and nobody will get the hell out of my way. I still want to knock a few people down. But it just dawned on me last night that in less than one week I’ll be on my way to the airport.

Holy crap.

I have so much to do! I’ve been so busy just trying to keep my head on straight and not walk in front of an oncoming bus that I haven’t actually sat down and, oh, for example – packed. I have bags of new clothes littered about the place, a new suitcase full of paper stuffing and packing tape from whence it came at the mall, and thats pretty much it. New bra? Still at the store, waiting to be tried on thirteen million ways. New tiles to put down so my landlords don’t have to venture into my bedroom? Still mostly in the box. I did manage to rearrange the apartment to my greater liking, but now I’ve got more crap to throw out, and yet more tiles to put down where furniture used to be. Also, I still have to get the um…waxing…done.

OH DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THEY DO TO YOU???

Yeah, I’m a little bit scared about that part, but I’ll suck it up.

I also have to go get travel insurance. I’m going to the states, after all. I don’t want to have to pay for a broken arm with a leg. (And of course, if you don’t get insurance, you’ll get hit by a bus, because thats how it works.) It’s not expensive, and only takes five minutes of your time at the bank, but really? When the hell did I start having to worry about insurance?

So I’m spinning around in circles right now just trying to remember everything I have to remember. I couldn’t find a decent clip or even pic on the internet, but does anyone remember that episode of the Simpsons where there’s a fire drill at the power plant? And one guy in the background just kind of panics, running in a circle going “fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire…”? I kind of feel like that – trying so hard to keep track of everything I have to do that I’m not actually getting anything done. I haven’t even dyed my hair! Honestly, this skunk stripe is getting ridiculous.

And as for Josh? I haven’t seen him for more than a half hour here and there late at night for about a week now. We’ll be staying at his brother and sister-in-law’s place (who I like to call my almost-in-laws, have I mentioned how awesome these kids are? I heart them) and they’re converting the car-port into a spare room. Red tape abounded for so long that they only recently got the go ahead to start building, and so they’re busting ass just about round the clock to get it done. The time apart iss rough on Josh and I, being so used to spending most of almost every evening together, but it’ll be worth it once I get down there. Poor Josh is seriously going to need this vacation after all that work!

At least he has time off from his job this year. He had to work through the week during our last vacation, so it’ll be more than awesome to actually get to spend so much time together. And unfathomably, after how long it took to get here, it’s now just days away. I’ll just have to not bite my nails down to nothing in the meantime while watching the clock!

Hurry up or I'll get the hammer!

Hurry up or I'll get the hammer!

Almost there….almost there…

Weekend At Bernie’s (Or My Place, Whatever Works…)

Okay, this is when I start getting really sick and tired of the snow.

It’s post-Christmas, post-New Years, and Josh and I aren’t doing anything for Valentines (It’s a Saturday this year, he’s in jail on weekends, it’s kind of hard to celebrate these holidays long distance unless you ship gifts, we’d rather save the money, and it’s a retarded Hallmark holiday anyways.) Any excitement that may have come with the first snow of the season is now long gone, replaced with “OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, WHY?!?!? WHY MORE SNOW?!?!?”

There was a massive power out in Toronto last Thursday/Friday covering most of the west end of the city. I’m smack ass in the middle of this ginormous area, and yet not only did I retain power, I  had wireless internet. Some poor schmuck in my vicinity is apparently not too concerned with how secure his connection is. Sweetbombs, I totally rule.

Or not.

Saturday rolls around, and my apartment is as cold as all the witches teat, mother in law, puritan housewife, and any other frigid jokes you can think of combined. So I plug in my electric heater. It roars along nicely until I also get hungry and zap a bit of leftovers in the microwave. The only thing I zap is my breakers. Out go the lights. Out goes the heat. And outside, it is a blizzard. I call the guy who lives across the hall from me, he’s normally the dude to handle this type of everyday snafu. But he doesn’t answer, and I’ve been seeing his mail pile up. He’s not there, and won’t be any time soon.

Oh crap, I’ve got to call my landlords. I hate having to call my landlords. I’m sure they’re very nice, but I can never understand their heavy accents. This makes communication very difficult, and for a neurotic second-guessing ball of nerves such as myself, when I can’t communicate with someone it freaks me out. You can only say “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that” so many times before you have to start guessing and worrying about saying something totally stupid. We’ve all seen a hilarious episode of Seinfeld, I’m sure. And I’m sure it’s hilarious if you’re a nasally comedian.

I also really don’t like having people in my space. It’s a small space, and I haven’t done too much to liven it up, but there are as many touches of me as I can work into such a tiny, temporary place. The dresser I dragged up the stairs, the trunk rescued from the curb, the plants I coddle, and of course, the rabbits. It’s my itty bitty world, and when people I don’t know or like are in it, it’s an unwelcome intrusion. And not just for those few minutes. If someone bumps your arm it doesn’t hurt, but it bugs you right? Visitors can bump my day; it will irritate me to the point of all day pissiness to have an unwelcome body in my home.

I also have a ridiculous fear of getting kicked out of my apartment. It’s mostly unfounded, but not completely so. You see –

1) It’s so cheap it’s retarded, and I’m convinced that the landlords will one day realize that they may not be able to raise my rent 80%, but they could sure jack it up for a new tenant.

2) I had a few checks bounce once upon a time. Like four. That was a rough year.

3) There were a few loud/messy roomies what seems like eons ago. Same rough year, only one of them paid rent.

4) I stole a garbage can from the not-foyer, which is what I’d like the call the two foot space between the front door and the winding magenta stairs. I was poor, lazy, the roomie was messy, I needed a bigger garbage can and some fucker was keeping not-rinsed wine bottles in there. Sure, someone left bottles outside my door for a week, but I still have that garbage can!

5) I’ve had way more pets than is necessary and/or healthy, and while I’ve done much improvement, there are still telltale signs. Like chewed walls.

6) Oh, and I sort of half reno’d and then half reno’d back what I’m sure was intended to be a bedroom and is instead…well, I’ve got a dust pile in there that I was planning on sweeping up sometime this week.

Anyway this was mostly years ago, but I still feel particularly unliked, like they’d be happy to get rid of me if they had half an excuse. I’ve read the books and there are plenty of loopholes to get rid of a tenant if you really want, especially in smaller buildings. I’m pretty sure that the chewed up walls could be the final straw for anyone wanting someone out of their highly coveted property.

So the landlord is on his way down from way north of the city, and I’m sure he’s going to knock on my door to see if everything is okay and notice the –

1) Chewed up patches on the walls.

2) Missing floor tiles (sure they come up pretty easily, but so do hangnails and pantyhose runs – I pick at both.)

3) The horrible state of the windows due to the old and cracking sealant that I really should have had him replace but would rather ignore.

4) The scent of what one could guess as a handful of bunnies, really only two bunnies just very close to the door (and on the day before litter cleaning day.)

5) A ridiculous amount of wiring very obviously responsible for his 45 minute trip into the city (I’m sorry, I live on the internet!)

6) The seriously, seriously gross bathroom walls. I take super hot showers, there is no fan, and the bathroom door has to be closed when it’s dark (otherwise a small, vaguely Asian ambisexual child will come get me because I’ve seen way too many movies and my brain forgets to forget.) Sure, I could alter any of these factors if I really cared about the state of the walls. But I don’t, I only care about someone else seeing them.

Right, except the landlord is on the way. Like now. Shit, shit, shit. Panic, panic, panic. I’m gonna get evicted if for no other reason than I’m a ridiculous neurotic moron pacing around her cold, dark apartment worrying about pissing off someone who should have fixed the damn windows and ventilated the damn bathroom before I moved in. I will be so glad when I have Josh around to –

1) Stop me from being so ridiculous.

2) Keep the house in good condition in the first place .

3) Provide ample sexy times.

4) An assortment of other fun past times

So what seems like hours of standing and spinning later, the lights pop back on and there is an inevitable knock at the door. I do the foot-half-out door-blocking shuffle and thank my stolen garbge can full of candy wrappers that my hips have gotten a little wider as of late. There’s the initial “oh thank you” and “oh, yes, so funny this situation, sorry I made you drive 45 minutes in a blizzard but it’s kind of not my fault.” I’m pretty sure he told me not to run my coffeemaker and my toaster at the same time. (I don’t have a coffeemaker.) Some chitchat about how the tenant who is away should have his mail taken care of, and then “okay, yeah, I’ll call if it goes out again, yeah, safe drive now, okay, yeah bye, yep I can still see you on the next landing down, okay byyyyye!”

I don’t think he noticed the walls or floor. But as soon as he left I painted over every chewed patch in the place and a good chunk of the bathroom as well. Yeah, just pulled that can of paint right out of the closet with the brush right next to it, just where I’ve left it every weekend for months. And then on Sunday I mopped the melted paint off the bathroom floor (right, the humidity in there, hence the state of the walls in the first place) repainted, and set up my rotating fan to dry it. Then I made a trip to Canadian Tire where they didn’t have peel n’ stick floor tiles, and a trip to Honest Ed’s where they didn’t have them either. But they did have caulking guns and caulk, and yes my hands are sore.

*pause for laughter*

Sooooo. Yeah. That’s how I spent my Sunday. Next Sunday will be spent recaulking the windows after I dry them properly. *ahem* And these things will henceforth be Josh’s job. Oh, and floors. I really need floors.

So, am I totally nuts for spending a day fixing shit instead of calling my landlord and having him unintentionally ruin my day? Or for spending not really a lot of money occupying myself while the man is away and making my place at least a little bit nicer? Maybe. But even if all I did was take something that’s totally falling apart and make it pretty enough to stand while it continues to fall apart until after I move out and someone else has to deal with what’s growing under the paint, well at least I don’t have to deal with it.

Oh great, it’s snowing AGAIN. Stupid snow. I’d say at least I’m moving to North Carolina, but guess what? It’s due to snow there too. Bah post-holiday humbug!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish peeling caulk off my windows.

Stupid caulk.

*pause for laughter*

Ugh. Thanksgiving.

Okay, so for those of you south of the ol’ US – Canada border, we Canucks celebrate our Thanksgiving in October, not November. Reason being is that it’s very clearly based around the harvest, and ours comes much earlier than our southern neighbours. It’s cold up here, you know.

Here’s the thing – I don’t like Thanksgiving. Sure, I have plenty to be thankful for, and at least once a day I stop and think for a few minutes about how lucky I am to have a job, (I job I actually really like! Even though I’m still surrounded by morons…) some great friends, an AMAZING boyfriend, and yes even a relatively non-dysfunctional family. In fact, I’m probably the most dysfunctional one in the family. So yes, I have much to be thankful for.

I’m plenty grateful. I just don’t see why I have to express this gratitude by spending four days with my family, in a car, driving to a different province, to be poked and prodded and heaped under miles of awkward silences and forced conversation.

https://i2.wp.com/www.hypeful.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/thanksgiving.jpg

I don’t even like phone calls, or spending more than an hour or two with my family. What the hell made anyone think I would enjoy a family car trip? Did I mention I’m vegetarian?

Well there’s my grandmother, first and foremost. She’s overall an incredible woman, and very awesome. If you cross her, she will crucify you and everyone you love. She’s fought a hard life and I would say she won. You couldn’t even guess her age, she looks that great. She is, however, very draining at times. You don’t get an invitation to these family events, you get an informational phone call telling you what time you’re expected.

There’s my grandfather too. He has Parkinson’s and is getting more frail and confused, which I’m sure is going to be upsetting because he really is quite wonderful, and when the time comes I will miss him terribly. But the way I try to look at it, in his mind it’s 1947 again and I’m sure by the end he’s going to be back in a very happy place. He turns to my grandmother once in a while and says “You know, I married the most beautiful woman in the world. You would have just loved her.” She doesn’t bother to correct him, but instead laughs and takes the compliment he doesn’t know he’s giving her (which is the most sincere way, I guess.)

My grandparents are awesome, I’m glad to be seeing them.

As for the rest of my family. Well, of course I love them too. I just don’t like spending a lot of time with others in my immediate vicinity. And with the family, of course, you have to suck it up and put up with all those little annoyances, those little annoyances that would be my swift exit from any other such situation. You can’t say “Wow, and you manage to tie your shoes?” or “Hey, can we not discuss my finances?” at the dinner table – at least not without hearing about it for the next six months. There is an increased level of inhibition, and I hate the shit out of it. I hate pretending to care about other people’s day, I hate pretending to listen, I hate pretending like I have anything to talk about, I hate pretending that I wouldn’t rather be at home on my couch with my boyfriend, my weed, my bunnies, and a family that loves me from the other side of the city. https://i1.wp.com/www.pastdeadline.com/images/sesame_street_thanksgiving.jpgWhen did ‘giving thanks’ turn into flooding the stores for the biggest pre-stuffed bird, jamming up the highways trying to get somewhere that will still be there next weekend, and exhausting ourselves putting on game faces? Ugh. Maybe it’s just me – it usually is.

When Josh and I are together, I’m all about spending Thanksgiving making out in the kitchen amongst food that may or may not get finished.

I’ll stop complaining now, before I bring some instant-karma whoop-ass on myself. I’m just saying that I’ll be giving my thanks when I arrive safely back home.

And really, does ANYONE like the idea of spending four days in close quarters with immediate family? Yeeeesh.