10 November 2011

13 Again.

I am 13 again.

When I was little, and home with the flu, there used to be that one last day where I was practically recovered, but Violet didn’t bother sending me to school. She just let me enjoy being at home, pretending to be an only child.
No  Scurvy,  Chez Vi

Today is such a day. Apart from the snoring hound, it is just the two of us at home. She made me a half grapefruit and pre-cut all the little pieces.  I rummaged around for other food and she hovered over me (slightly annoying) offering up suggestions. I settled on brown bread with cheese, and shared it with Jed.

When the phone rings, it is never for me. I politely answer that my mother is busy, and write down the message on the blackboard. Usually it’s a friend of Vi's friend confirming a hiking date, or lunch at the Vietnamese Restaurant. They seem slightly surprised to hear someone else answering the phone, but on the other hand, these gals in the 70’s don’t surprise too easily.
Lazy Boys

When I got dressed this morning , I just wore the same thing that I wore yesterday. I did this when I was young because I didn’t have any sense of style, or very many clothes. Now I do it because it’s easy.

In fact my beauty regime is pretty much like it was when I was 13. Which is, nothing.  I use a lot more moisturizer, but I’ve cut back on mascara because I don’t have many eyelashes, and I don’t want to startle the few that I have left.  Truthfully, I’ve never had great eyelashes. They're short, stiff, and boyish. I have a friend who lost her luscious long eyelashes (chemo-itis) and they grew back like mine. I’m hoping that for me, it will work in reverse and that I get eyelashes like David Cassidy.

On sick (sort of) days, my mother let me watch whatever I wanted on TV. We were flipping around last night  while eating roast chicken, and (I’m embarrassed to say) settled on Two and a Half Men. I don’t know if it was her choice, or mine, but we blamed it on each other and laughed in unison when they used the word ‘penis’.

Because it is a sick day (but not really), I don’t normally have any playmates. Luckily my friend Kathy (who lives in Ottawa) has a foot injury, so we’ve made plans to get together. She doesn’t have to stay in bed either. So we might shop, or sit by the canal looking at University boys. And once again, we knew that if we were to touch a naked University boy, it would be considered very inappropriate, and Kathy would tell everyone, and I'd write about in in my journal.

My mom offers to drive me downtown, but naturally I say that get there on my own. (It used to be a good opportunity to smoke, though I don’t do that anymore) So I change my mind, and gratefully hop into the passenger seat of the zippy blue Honda.

The world is my oyster! I have my sunglasses, a day off, a playmate and a credit card. And a mother saying, “Call me when you’d’ like to come home.”

8 November 2011

Violet Lite

Breakfast of Champions
“I’ll have whatever you’re having,” I said to my mom this morning as she poured skim milk into my coffee. She looked at me suspiciously, when I told her I don’t like cream. Then as I ate her leftover oatmeal,  and snatched away her orange, she was cautiously thinking, 'Who is this marvelous girl?'

Jed and I are in Ottawa, staying at my family home. My mother Violet, the healthiest women in all the land, has zipped off to an aquafit class in her new blue Honda, leaving me here with a treasure trove full of low fat foods.

There was a time when my sisters and I would mock my mothers cooking. We arrogantly tossed around words like ‘bland’ and  ‘flavourless’, while secretly tossing more garlic on whatever bird was cooking in the oven.  We also teased mom about her drinking habits, or non-drinking I should say. Half a light beer and she’d be ready to dance on the table. Except for the dancing bit, she’s just one barn-raising away from being Amish.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got Sober-itis, or maybe it's my treatment, but lately all I’ve wanted is my mother’s food. I’m craving the low-sodium- heart- smart- stir-frys that used to make me cringe, and the giant pot fulls of steamed rapini. Inside the fridge, everything has a number on it. 2% this, 1% this, and 1/3 reduced fat gouda that could sometimes be confused with wax.

To be fair, mom’s a good sport when we visit. Not only does she stock up on red wine, but creamy cheeses, lovely breads, and (in honour of my dad) crab cakes or other treats from the sea. But this time I told her not to, as I now share her once ridiculed tastes. I told her that whatever she wants to cook is absolutely fine with me.

Unused to my easy going nature, she can’t believe that I’m so satisfied with everything that is here. Now I'm her dream daughter, as I sit patiently while she reads me the back of a cookie package, riveted by the information. The salmon that she made me last night was perfectly seasoned, and served with a mound of things colourful and delicious.  Tonight, instead of going to Big Daddy's for martinis, I will probably stay home, and like last night, be in bed by nine. 

Now my mom is bobbing in the water, probably baffled by her perfect daughter. To complete this rosy picture, she would probably like  me to have a game of Scrabble. But that would be taking advantage of my newly generous nature. So a game of Scrabble (which I still loathe) is highly unlikely.

Mexican Bribery. Light.
And if happens, it will take a heck lot more than the other half of her light Mexican beer.

7 November 2011

Om, my God!

Sunday evening, and my friend Jo and I went to our fabulous ‘Restorative’ class at our favorite yoga studio. Normally we just lie on bolsters and let our inner light shine through, while the teacher chats about positivity and lower chakras.

Last night though, the emphasis was on inversion. “Oh f*ck”, was my first thought as I met Jo’s eyes in horror (mine, not hers).  Headstand, shoulder stand, or anything upside down was in no way good.  Physically ill equipped to stand on my head at the best of times, throw a wig in the mix and it’s the opposite of relaxing. I was relying on my blue beanie to keep everything together.

The teacher, Vicki, guided us to our starting position. Body in an upside down V, head cradled in hands, then move head around to find a comfortable resting position an inch or two below the hairline. That in itself is a problem.  I have two hairlines; the one my parents gave me, which is now a row of tiny bristles, and the $1,600 dollar one from ‘Continental Hair’.

From my upside down position, I could see Vicki’s feet padding towards me. Then her face, as she bent down to check my position. She said she couldn’t see if my head was in the right place because of my hat. I ignored her. Like a petulant five-year-old, I merely pretended she wasn’t there. 

Then I felt her fingers on the back of my neck. “Keep it curved,” she purred, as she walked her fingers slowly away from my shoulders and up towards my hair. Still I ignored her, even though her hand was just a fraction away from the band of my wig.

Positioned in my upside down ‘V’ I had to make a decision.  Did I warn her that she was about to finger-walk into a wig? Or, should I just let myself off the hook while she came to her own conclusions. Here’s what I knew for sure. Jo’s eyes were upon me, and she was half laughing, yet mentally holding my hand and saying a silent prayer for hair.

So with that support, I let myself off the hook so Vicki could experience her own little ‘wig journey’. Her gentle fingers walked up beneath my hair, nudged the elastic, and leisurely walked back to my shoulders. She knew. And in a moment she’d absorbed the idea, and already moved head.

Still upside down, I was tempted to say something, but the pendant from my necklace had fallen across my lips and I so I couldn't speak.  So providing I didn’t choke, I was taking away a few sweet lessons. Firstly there’s always someone in my corner. Secondly –

Life may turn you upside, and no explanation is required.