The Jabbering She-Twit

” I prefer tongue-tied knowledge than ignorant loquacity.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero~

“I can gut a fish.” Yes, I actually said that during a conversation with a man who, quite likely could be the next Mr. ANDSHELAUGHS.

Wait, nope, not likely. Not after that conversation bomb.

You see, I, Ms.HasAnOpinionAboutEverything, have a flaw. Yes. Yes. I know, you’re stunned my darlings aren’t you? Don’t fret or shed any tears, it’s time you heard the truth.

The her-truth, and nothing but the truth. I, Ms.HasAnOpinionAboutEverything , become a jabbering twit when it comes to talking to any man I find attractive.  Mind you, their breed is rare, and encounters are few.

There is only one man from my past who still leaves me babbling like a large child. I think that’s why we stay in touch. Because, as humiliating it can be to blush, it’s nice for a gal  to be in the presence of a man who naturally emanates strength and confidence.

The caveat about my small disability is that I only get tongue-tied when we’re talking about personal things, things that are frivolous, you know, the stuff of small talk and polite conversation. Like fishing. I was raised as a child being told that civilized people did not talk about politics or religion at the dinner table or during more professional functions.

But I’m good at politics and religion, like really good.  Or philosophy, or ethics, or science, or economics, current events and culture.

Bring me a drop dead gorgeous portion of man-steak and I can debate away, not even noticing that perhaps he had Mr.Next potential. That’s how much I enjoy a good conversation.

Today, surrounded by a group of colleagues who know I have a professional crush on this Mr.Next man, I was tongue-tied. Somehow we got talking about the spawning fish in the river that snaked through the landscape behind said Mr. Next who is sorta cute in that geeky way that I find so hard to resist.

In a much needed effort to help me out, my work-mate suggested that I knew a thing or two about fishing and I had suggested that perhaps because the fish were spawning, it was not legal to fish for them at this time of year.

She handed me a platter abundant with conversation potential, and I literally passed it along, becoming my anorexic-conversational alter-ego. Merde.

Although I have strong opinions about the Canadian blue-blood political heir Justin Trudeau throwing his hat into the federal leadership ring, the over use of the term “red-line” in Canadian/Israeli/Iranian relations,  and how 44 transferred  TTC custodial jobs translate to 43 million dollars in savings, I could not have had an intelligent conversation with that man today.

Perhaps in the right setting, relaxed with no prying eyes it would be different.  It’s so much easier to chit-chat with men I could care less about. You know the kind of man I’m talking about ladies. The kind you rid from my life with a few forced tears and the wave of  your hand.  

It’s also easy for me to speak to  men who engage me in intelligent conversation so I forget about their yummy bodies and concentrate instead on the very heated exchange of ideas.

Ah, alas, speaking in front of  a hundred people leaves me energized,but  under the smirking scrutiny of my gal-pals, speaking to that rare and elusive breed of men they know I like, or may potentially like, I’m left tongue-tied. Yes, the jabbering she-twit.

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Friend or Foe?

Five facts about good friends & friendships,

1)      As in the definition, really ‘support’ing a friend does not come at a cost to the other friend

2)      They endure the test of time, even if time has passed without interacting.

3)      They make you laugh, instead of cause stress at home or work.

4)      They strengthen over time, cups of tea, knowing one another’s spouses and children.

5)      They are stronger than blood, whether friends are family or not, friendship is a choice.  

Friendship is defined as; n: 1) a person who knows and likes another. 2) a person who favors and supports. 

I like the people I call friends. Even with all of their idiosyncrasies, misguided advice, and issues, I love them all. I do have to question their support though. After all, a friendly hello is only a text away, or an email, or an invitation for a cup of coffee or dinner. 

I have hosted dinners, emailed, mailed and texted countless hellos, in an effort to be a good friend. But I’m tired. I’m just tired of being the one everyone goes to when they need help. Now, I acknowledge my past need to be the person to help, to fix things, to go out of my way, even when it was uncomfortable and costly to me to fix things. But that me no longer exists.

As in romantic relationships, I seek, no wait, I need balance. 

I made my mind up a while ago not to be that person – the one who ran to everyone’s aid at the expense of my own well-being. I wasn’t as surprised to note how few of my good friends made the effort to maintain our  friendships. 

On the other hand, I was very happy to realize how many true good friends I do have who are willing and able and open to real conversation, genuine caring and not so needing of a one way highway of support that leads only in their direction.

The reality is, that sometimes in life women must re-evaluate the health of their friendships. If the living organism that is friendship does not breathe easily, laugh often, and find nourishment equally among the members, it will die an ugly death.

The following facts may come as a shock to some of my friends;

1)      I like spending time with my kiddo. Shocking, I know. Just because the kiddo is ‘old enough’ to be alone, does not mean that I want to leave home whenever I’m not working so I can spend time with you. Kiddo time and work are important in that order. Do not assume your priorities are more important than mine.

2)      I don’t get off on driving folks around the city in the constant bumper to bumper traffic that I deal with daily. Yep, it’s a fact. Expecting me to haul your ass around town during my time off is selfish.

3)      I do not exist to do favours for you. If you haven’t cared enough to ask how I’m doing this month, don’t ask me to spend my time off doing ‘stuff’ for you.

4)      I too have to work for a living. I don’t get paid if I don’t work, and if I take time off, I have to make it up – it’s not a free gift.  Again, do not assume your schedule is more important than mine.

5)      I actually like it when my friends come over for a cup of tea, or invite me over, or suggest we just hang out with our kids. I don’t like it when the only time I hear from you is so you can ask me to do something for and you expect me to drive all over hell’s half acre to meet you. All of my friends either have two income households or no kids or both. Give me a flipping break, and get off your lazy ass to make an effort to come  see us.

Where is all of this coming from?! Oh dear, the goddess of holding the sisterhood together must have gone mad! Help!!! 

RELAX -I haven’t gone mad. In fact, I’m just mad. Mad like angry, not mad like I’m sending a zillion spiders to infest your mattress and deliver a poisonous bite in the middle of the night, causing you a swollen limb and a trip to the doctor. I have done that before though, and it is, in a very primordial way, satisfying.

I have prided myself on the quality of my friendships throughout the years, but it seems that pride does in fact cometh before the fall. 

All five of the above irritants have been issued forth coutnless times throughout the past few months from my ‘friends’, which leave me to say a very sarcastic thank you.

Thank you. Thank you very much. The old friend you knew has left the building.

Girls These Days

I think Adam Cohen captures our hearts with this song, Girls These Days on his album Like a Man.  Even though he refers to us wonderfully sensual women as ‘girls’, he gets my vote. After all, doesn’t a real man make you feel like a girl again?

Girls These Days

by:Adam Cohen

Girls these days, they wanna come first
To know who they are, to know what they’re worth.
They wanna have nights where everything works,
Keep it light, nobody gets hurt.
They wanna smile when they press rewind,
They don’t want life to pass them by,
They wanna feel, they wanna touch,
Girls these days, they want so much.
They’ll fool you into thinkin’ that you’re gonna drive,
Then you’ll be looking over from the passenger’s side,
Girls these days.
Girls these days.

Girls these days, they wanna control,
When they say stop, wait, go.
They put your number in and leave you wonderin’ if it’s yes or no.
What they got is so good you’ll be runnin’ red lights.
It could be jackpot if you play your hand right.
Girls these days.
Girls these days.

These days they’ll tell you what their name is
These days they’ll walk right up to strangers
Girls these days.
Beautiful…
Girls these days are beautiful…
And guys like me are barely keepin’ up
Guys like me are still fallin’ in love
With these girls, these girls, these girls, these girls, these days
Girls these days.
Girls these days.

Show you their intimate pages
Take you private place
Show you their intimate pages
Take you private place
_______________________________

He’s right, we do want to smile when we press rewind. Consider it a great tip from a lady’s man who was trained by the best.  Be the kind of man we want to rewind to again and again.

Chain LinkedIn

My inbox has been a veritable menagerie this week thanks to a popular professional networking website’s ability to access my personal email and contact list.

Not only has it succeeded in mailing out an invitation to “Join Me”, to everyone on my contact list, it has rather insidiously emailed contacts that I have removed from my contact list. Including those pesky fellas who just didn’t make the grade. Even one of my most recent ex-boyfriends  responded to the automatically generated email within minutes asking if I had intended to email the invitation.

“Of course not you tool”, was the automatic reaction in  my head. Instead, I emailed a brief apology, and carried on with the sinking feeling that this was just the beginning of something awful. Kinda like Scrooge after his visit from the first ghost on Christmas eve.  I knew that was the first of many ghosts of the past to visit me.

This was going to get ugly. Fabulous. Just what a gal needs.

I can’t express my delight at what a wonderful feeling it is to receive reciprocal emails from those once-upon-a-time-potential-partners. Likely because it is not a delight.Not at all. It certainly has not been a delight when I see that they have accepted the invitation to “Join Me” in my professional network, or emailed me a friendly, “Hey, how are you? Want to get together sometime?”

Ah, no.

 I can’t think of anything worse. Perhaps someone removing the hair from my girly bits with a blow torch could be issued to substitute the pain which the networking site has inflicted.

It’s not just because I don’t want to talk to those guys who provided me with such, um, ….interesting experiences, but because I really, really don’t want anything to do with them at all.

Like my ex’s for example. If I wanted to contact them, I could have called, emailed or showed up on their doorsteps. Meat will have time to rot off the bone before I ever consider contacting any of them. So, I’m kinda pissed off that this networking site took the liberty to do that for me, – especially since I have deleted ALL of their contact  information.

That goes for the other men on the roster of “Didn’t Quite Make The Grade”.

On the other hand, I have re-connected with men whom I had great, fun, rollicking friendships with. But the key word is ‘had’. We had a fun, friendly relationship, not a professional one. 

A few of the people rather confused by the automatically generated invitation include my son’s previous nanny, my minister, my sifu at the temple, a slew of men I dated, friends, dragonboat teammates and their spouses, my running partners from last summer,relatives I haven’t spoken to in forever and anywhere I’ve ever applied for a job or placed on order on-line. Oh the joy!

So, if you’re reading this and you got a “Join Me” email from a professional networking site, my sincere apologies. I did not mean to barge into the professional lives of the parent’s of my child’s sports teams, my dragonboating teammates, douche-bag ex-boyfriends, one-off hot dates,  relatives or the SPCA.

A Priceless Gift of Friendship

There is nothing more precious to a writer than a place to write without distraction. To be gifted space to write which is inspiring, warm, and charming inspires gratitude beyond words.

 Thank you (You know who you are!).  Thank you for giving me the gift of a quiet, beautiful, inspiring place to write.I love you both!

 

Getting Mr.WantYouNeedYouGottaHaveYou & My Priorities Straight

Oneroom bathroom

Oneroom bathroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once upon a time there was a man. A very handsome, powerful, kinky man. And I wanted him. All the time. Even when I didn’t feel  like moving or eating or breathing, the thought of him made my body feel like it was on fire. In a good sort of way, not like I’d caught some weird V.D. It was more like I was on a long, slow burn from the inside out, and his body was the only thing hot enough not to burn inside of it.

Everything about him turned me on. He was the only man I had ever met, EVER, who made me feel like a tongue-tied, fumbling little girl. Exhausted, and at my wit’s end, I would make time for him, steal moments to call, to email, to get my bikini line waxed and read up on foot fetishes, being submissive, and other wonders that took me away from single-parenthood and my work.

I didn’t see him often. Being unavailable was part of the charm that had me spellbound. He was a wizard of titillating anticipation always leaving me wanting more.

My  friends, I am going to tell you a story of how disastrous a hunger like this can be for a mysterious, powerful, man. It’s not nearly as dangerous for a mother, because us moms have our priorities straight.

Way back when, I had turned the tables on my Mr.Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, and had become somewhat aloof and unavailable. Truth be told, I was beginning to realize that no, I would not change this power-hungry man. Instead, I would just keep getting more and more hurt by his lavish love-making, and cruel absences.

My aversion made him even more determined to have me fall head over heels for me. In his quest for being craved, he made plans with me for a Saturday evening. Curious to know what his motives were, and hankering for a thorough and proper….evening, I arranged to get a sitter, and have him over for a few hours. I never arranged for a sitter. But this, him, the thought of being lost in his wild fantasies for a couple of hours was too much to resist.

The day before he was supposed to come over, I came down with a wicked cold-fever and all.  I called to let him know that I was not well, and that I didn’t think seeing one another would be a good idea.  To my utter surprise, he said, “ Let me come over and take care of you.”

What? Was this really happening? Was this finally turning into something special? Was my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You turning into Mr.I-Can’-Live-Without-You? Wow. Another shining example of why, at any moment, a single-gal’s bikini line should be immaculately groomed.

After I got my kiddy packed up for a few hours with his great auntie, I came back home. My kiddy was psyched for a few hours of play time, and for the very first time since I’d met Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, I was excited in a relaxed way to see the number one guy on my man-list.

I slipped into some jeans and a cozy sweater. It was a far cry from the high heels, garters, and wicked lingerie that usually made it’s way to his fingertips. He was coming over to take care of me after all, and it was time, so it seemed, to let my guard down and be taken care of.

He called on his way, and asked what he could bring me. Not knowing the first thing about being taken care of, I said that I didn’t’ need anything. He arrived at my door with my favourite tea latte, and a stack of magazines and books that he bought, hoping that I might like some of them. A girl could get used to this.

With my stuffy nose, and jitters from my feverish chills, we snuggled up together on my duvet, and set about the business of cuddling, reading, and tea-sipping. This was the tenderness that I imagined couples indulged in nightly. I have such a good imagination don’t I ladies?

After a few minutes into the snuggling, he softly  kiss my parched lips, taking my chin in his large, strong hands. Surely to God this must be love, I thought, hoping that he wouldn’t take too long, because I couldn’t  breathe out of my nose.  I was snotty, and fevered, and he was kissing me! Yay! Triumph!

During round two of the tender, I-need-to-kiss-my-sweet-baby-girl-to-make-her-feel-better,  the phone rang. Now, any mother knows that when your kid is away, you jump at the sound of the phone ringing.

Who else could it be? All of my friends knew what was happening at my place, and wouldn’t dare call and interrupt.They would be far too busy crossing their fingers, chanting ancient incantations, and praying I didn’t say anything stupid and ruin it.

Nope the phone ringing could only mean one thing. My baby needed me.

I picked up the phone, “What’s wrong?” I panicked as I heard my son’s crying in the background.

“Something is wrong with the kiddy, he’s burning up.” I could hear the panic in my aunt’s  voice.

“I’ll be right there. Put a cold cloth on his head and make sure he’s not covered up.”

In an instant I turned from women-to-be-delicately-cared-for to scorpio-mom-on-a-mission. “Get up and get in the car!” I yelled at Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened.

“I’ll just go home and let you do what you need to do,” he said, getting up and heading for the door.

“Get in the god-damned car. I might need to hold him and you need to drive.”

He knew by the sound of my voice that there wasn’t a choice. I would tear his testicles off with one swipe if he disobeyed. Within a moment we were in my car, and racing down the city street to get to the most important guy in the world.

Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened  was tall. Very tall. Like over 6’4” tall. In his shock, and hurry not to lose his life to my mother-rage, he had stuffed himself in the front passenger’s side of the car, and hadn’t thought to move the seat back. With his knees touching  his ears, he looked like someone had abducted him at gunpoint. This was not the evening of manly caring for his little woman that we’d agreed to.

At my auntie’s home, I ran in, scooped up my kiddy and fastened him, his snotty nose, and screaming, fevered self into the car seat, and made a bee-line home.

At home, I stripped him down to nothing. “Ah, is there anything I can help you with, or should I just go now?” my servile sexy man asked nervously, still in his shoes at the front door.

His tone was obviously pleading, and although I knew he was out of his depth, I looked at him disgustedly, thinking, “You testicle-deficient coward. Of course I need you! I’ve got a sick, screaming kid and you’re just standing there like a dork.”

“Run a cool bath,” I said, as I took my baby’s temperature. 103.5. He needed a dose of acetaminophen and cool bath to bring this temp down.  My wee little kiddy walked to the bathroom, shivering from the cold he felt from being so fevered. His crying had subsided with some cuddles, knowing that mommy was going to take care of him.

Mr. I-Will-Never-Ever-Date-A-Woman-With-Children was so keyed up, that when he tried to turn the water on in the tub, he pulled the cold water off. OFF. Like, totally off the wall.

When I walked in the bathroom, my sexy man was standing there with the cold water knob in his hand, and my wonderful kiddy in his fevered state was taking a wiz on Mr.Wonderful’s designer pant leg.

This night had turned into more entertainment than I had bargained for.

“I think you should just go home,” I said, taking the knob from my man’s  hand and screwing it back into place.  I didn’t follow him out, instead I helped my wee little kiddy into the tub, and washed his little body down until I could feel that he was cooler to the touch.  I didn’t’ even hear the door shut.

I dried my kiddy off, got him in some light jammies, and tucked him in beside me, moving the swath of books and magazines that my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You had brought for me to make me feel better.

With my little bruiser snoring quietly in my arms, two tea cups sat cold on the night table. Although I knew that the chance for the night we had planned would never happen again,  looking down at my child, I could have cared less. Dozing off with my babe in arms, I giggled out loud at the sight of my little one peeing on that man’s legs.  And the world was good.

You’re Not Stupid

Baby Don't Call Me Baby

Baby Don’t Call Me Baby (Photo credit: theaterculture)

“I’m not stupid.” Words that you may find yourself  saying whilst in a heated argument with your lover. You know, the lover who needs to passively aggressively beat you up.

Of course you’re not stupid. You’re a wonderful, intelligent, worthy woman.

A comedian made a joke that if your partner has to tell you that they’re “not stupid” during an argument, that they probably are. Really?

I doubt it. You’re likely a highly intuitive being who has had enough of someone else’s crap. You’re not stupid.

You may be a bit attached, in love, lonely, or insecure, but not stupid.  Stupid may take over if you stay too long with someone who makes you feel stupid, or who does indeed make you think that they really do think you’re a dipstick.

If you find yourself in a heated argument, and your wonderful and undervalued intuition is knocking frantically, I have a few suggestions. First of all, skip saying, “I’m not stupid.” You don’t have to prove your IQ to anyone. Instead of arguing with someone who is obviously on the defensive, walk away.

Save your energy. Think about why you feel the way that you do. It’s likely because that special someone has done something to tip-off your intuition.

Your intuition should not be ignored. It should be nurtured and cherished like the priceless part of your sensual being that it is.

So, if your partner makes you want to say those three words, “I’m not stupid”. Realize that they have the power to undermine your self-confidence, and crumble your sense of self-worth.  It’s exactly what the ego of someone who makes you feel stupid needs to grow into even more of an ugly monster than it is.

Who wants to be around that kind of destructive ego?  Surely not strong, intelligent, fun and sensual people like you and I darling!

Don’t worry if it’s time to leave.  We’ll be here to rescue you, envelope you in reassuring hugs, deck you out in leather and feathers and fabulous shoes and remind you just how delightfully intelligent you are!

One of my favourites….share with your cafe-loving, writer friends…heartwarming!!!

andshelaughs

Dear Daniel P.,

I hope this message finds you well and happy. How are you? Did you ever get back on your feet after you decided to quit your job and follow your dream? I hope so.

Daniel, I’ve thought of you often and wanted to apologize for not getting back to that very sweet email  you sent me months and months ago.  The night that we met in my favourite coffee shop, you were a light in the darkness. I remember that night quite well.

I had run in from the rain, happy to be inside, and out of the winter chill.  It was very unusual for me to be heading out to my favourite coffee shop on a weeknight. Usually I only go on the weekend. But I was unsettled that night, and hoped that getting out would give me a new perspective.  After I walked through the double…

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Dating Tips for Men 40+

“My boyfriend used to ask his mother, ‘How can I find the right woman for me?’ and she would answer, ‘Don’t worry about finding the right woman- concentrate on becoming the right man.”
~Anonymous~

Last night one of my friends commented that my blogs were “too girly”, and suggested that I dedicate one to manly concerns like engines and fishing and icky things like that.

Why on earth would I, a wonderfully fluffy and delicate girl care to enter into the dirty, greasy domain of the man-cave? That’s for you, you big, strong, sumptuous man-beasts, not me. 

In return for not invading your intellectual man-space, I will not beg and plead with you, breasts heaving under the weight of my need for you to stick your nose in our pretty little business about bubble baths, nail polish and keeping the house happy and homey.

I will however dedicate this blog to the single (and married) men out there who are dedicated readers.  You don’t have to confess in public that you read this, but we know you’re out there. 

I was surprised when my friend’s husband  embraced me, saying, ” I just love your blog. I subscribe,and read every one of them. Boy oh boy I can relate.” I was a bit surprised that a male septuagenarian had so much in common with my delicate female interests. Who knew?

This blog is dedicated to the odd ideas men have about dating and mating, and how those ideas need just a little bit of tweaking.

Today I heard one 40 something,recently engaged, childless woman speaking to another 40 something, single childless woman. The conversation went something like this,

Single Woman #1 – If you don’t mind short bald Chinese men, I have someone for you.

Single Woman #2 – Silence.

Single Woman #1 – He just can’t seem to find someone his own age without baggage. You know what I mean.

Single Woman #2 – Silence

Single Woman #1 – Yah, he’s been dating women in their early thirties, but he doesn’t enjoy their company so much. His mother doesn’t mind because she’d like grandkids, but she might not like it if he meets someone and moves out.

You will note that Single Woman #2 maintained a modicum of restraint by not replying, ” I hope you’re not serious. Do you listen to yourself?”  Foolish, foolish Woman #1.  Shame on you. Women of a certain age who  are single,  should  not be corralled to rescue every loser over 40.

I myself  have baggage. Children are apparently considered baggage by those who have made it into their late thirties and beyond still single and childless. Hmm?  Curious. Someone who has been able to maintain a relationship and raise a child is being judged by someone who has not navigated those adult waters of commitment and responsibility. Curious indeed.

I’m sure any woman in her thirties, forties, fifties and beyond should consider herself lucky to be partnered with a short, bald man, who apparently lives with his mother. Something smells funny in the State of I Still Live With My Mother. Smells kinda like baggage.

Advice for men over 40 looking for a partner;

1) First and foremost remember that you are no longer 25 years old.  Do not dress like you’re 25, and pride yourself on your drinking and partying habits.  This is unattractive, and leads available women to the conclusion that you are an immature loser who never matured enough to be in an adult relationship.

2)Expect women in their 30’s and 40’s to have had relationships, marriages and/or children. It’s called adulthood. You have the option of a free membership; join the club.

3)Living with your mother, sibling or roommate is not attractive. No woman wants a man who cannot look after himself, or like a mamma’s boy, bear to spend time in his own company. If you don’t like you enough to be alone with you – women won’t either.

4)Understand that educated, employed women are looking for those very same qualities in a man. Who cares what you do, just do something that is self-sufficient, with enough left over to take us on a date.

5)Groom. Properly and well. Nobody wants to date a slob. We don’t care about designer clothes and a buffet of fragrances, in fact it’s a fine line between manly grooming and being a sissy. Manscaping is juvenile. Grooming is masculine.

6)Ask women out. Don’t pussy foot around the issue. If a woman has given you the signals like saying she doesn’t have plans on the weekend or mentions anywhere in your conversation that she’s  single – she’s single.

7)Expect friendship. We know your loins are as fiery as ours, but at this age, friendship is as sexy as a six-pack. Friendship is the spark that starts a very hot partnership.

8)Take some risks. Yes, I’ve dated some men that didn’t initially make my lady parts blush, but as I got to know them, their personalities made them sexy as hell. Get over yourself, just let you be you, and understand that you may think you’re a hunk, but you’re an old hunk.

9)Socialize. It’s hard to believe, but Ms. Right is not going to come banging on your door while you’re slugging back beer in your tightie whities on your couch. You need to be visible, available, and lend  yourself to mingling.

10) Cultivate joy. A happy man is an irresistible man.

You’re a Big Ol’ Weirdo

“People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history” ~ Dan Quayle ~

“What’s that smell?”, I hear my son holler from the front door.

“The cat has set himself on fire again.”

“Oh gross!!!”, my son leaves, shutting the door behind him, leaving me to comfort a re-traumatized feline. We’ve been through this before, and it’s something he knows I can handle on my own.

Ah yes, burning cat hair, one of the nuances of home. Our house would not be a home without a cat. A very eccentric one who loves to eat roasted seaweed, popcorn and ketchup chips. He will, at least once a year, find it necessary to try and show dominance by getting too close to the flame of a candle, leaving his glorious white coat scorched.

The first time this happened, years ago, I had just tucked my then 4 year old son into bed, and was preparing a much needed hot bath. I had the music on, the water was steaming in the tub, and the candles had just been lit on the vanity. I had gone to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine, and was on my way back to the bathroom when I smelled the ungodly aroma of burning hair.

“What on earth?” I thought to myself as I stepped through the doorway of my bathing retreat. There stood the cat on the toilet seat, tail aglow, looking at me as if I had just set him on fire. In fact, he had just set his glorious tail on fire. Now, my cat does not just have a tail. He is fourteen pounds of male je ne sais quoi. His tail is in a constant state of erection, much like the ever-amorous Pepe Le Pew.

I do not allow the cat in the bathroom while I’m taking a bath for a number of reasons. First of all, he wants out of the room before I’m ready to get out of the bath, which means I have to get up, dry off, open the door and then climb back in the tub. Secondly, he stands on his hind legs, front paws hanging over the edge of the tub like he’s standing at a bar and stares at me, which kinda feels wrong. Thirdly he drinks the bath water while I’m in it, and finally, he swats at the bubbles. His company is not quite as relaxing as the old boyfriend I had who used to pour my wine and read William Blake and Pablo Neruda to me while I soaked.

Knowing that he was not welcome in my bath boudoir, the cat, (aptly named Leonard Cohen) had nonchalently trotted in, waving his ferile tail through the flame of the candles that were burning on the vanity.

When I arrived at the door, the cat’s eyes were huge, and looked at me in a pathetic accusatory stare. He seemed to be saying, “See you selfish woman?! Why can’t you just let me come in here and lap water out of the tub while you relax? See what your selfishness has done to my beautiful white coat?!”

“Leonard!” I gasped, pulling the towel I had wrapped around myself a little tighter as I bent down to rescue the poor creature. He bolted, smoking tail held high. I bolted after him, losing my towel and glass of wine as we rounded the corner between the living and dining room.

“Mommy, what’s that smell? ” my son hollered from his bunk bed.

“It’s ok honey,” I answered back, trying to sound calm.”The cat’s just on fire. Don’t come out because mommy doesn’t have any clothes on”. All of the running had essentially fanned the flame, and left a smelly trail of fur smoke wafting through the apartment. We still laugh about that today.

Ah yes, home. The place that we’re most comfortable, vulnerable, and content. The place I almost set on fire after closing the fireplace flu the first winter we spent here, causing our entire home to fill with smoke, and earning my son the nickname, “Bacon” at school because our clothes smelled of woodsmoke the next day.

We’re weirdest at home. Long ago I came to the conclusion that people are weird. W.E.I.R.Duh. Even after knowing someone for years and years, they can say or do something that catches me off guard, leaves me with my mouth gaping, and wondering what the hell is wrong with them.

Weird is the new normal, and we’re never as weird in public as we are at home. For instance, when I colour my own hair, I walk around the house in my hair-colouring nightie, plastic grocery bag clipped to my head, squinting at everything because I don’t have my glasses on. It’s sexy in an earthy kind of way I suppose.

I also like to trot around pantless when I’m home alone, and tend to enjoy Indian take out with a cold beer in my skivies on the couch while watching Coronation Street.

This is something I don’t share with my company. Not even company I’ve known since I was a kid.

I also have to make my bed completely – pillows and everything – before I climb in for the night, at which point I toss and turn, throw one pillow on the floor, and roll myself up like a Pillsbury weiner roll and immediately fall asleep.

We save weird for our loved ones, and introduce it slowly to new people coming into our lives. Oddly enough, weird is everyone’s normal. Weird is what we wait to come home to do every day.