I Took Etiquette Lessons – Asshole

gone…that’s the beginning of the punch-line to my favourite Southern Belle joke.

Etiquette.

Hmm? What on earth is that?

As the world has come to worship the almighty dollar, and take life itself for granted, etiquette has become a lost art, much like kindness, compassion and patience.

Civilization as we know it has come to judge the measure of a person, not by how they treat one another, but how much wealth they can amass, always at the cost of another.

Despite our access to a multitude of communication platforms, our language has been degraded to social statements of 140 characters or less, emoticons (think cave drawings), and text lingo.

We are living in the dark ages.

Instead of being beholden to a corrupt church, we are beholden to the corrupt 1%  who hold the purse strings. Being corrupt in the name of God is no more heinous than being corrupt in the name of the almighty dollar.

Etiquette my friends, is no longer valued or displayed. It is a dinosaur in the age of prized individualism. Grace needs space, and with our stretched commitments, more and more people are losing their ability to be kind, live with grace, and practice etiquette.

These things  are the foundation of civilization, and the foundation is crumbling.

With our pressured lifestyles, and expectations of instant gratification, a new epidemic seems to be taking over the GTA.

It’s true, Assholeitis is spreading. Reliable sources report that becoming an Asshole is highly contagious and infects the young and old alike.  Often passed on by those infected during rush-hour traffic, store line-ups or any other interaction with another human being.

Just remember you are never more important than another driver, customer, someone else’s schedule, or someone else’s sense of self-worth. In other words, don’t drive like an obnoxious moron, take 20 items through the 8 items or less lane, or treat any other person disrespectfully. If you do, I hope someone has the backbone to put you in your place darling, because keeping one another accountable is civilized.

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Tinder- I’m on Fire

firemanThis post is dedicated to my partner-in-blogging, Ralph, of BlueFishWay.

Yes, he’s older, he’s as crazy as me, and he’s absolutely fabulous darlings.

Life, is a carnival, and Ralph is going to enjoy the rides!

A while ago he posted a blog, exposing his human heart to the brutal world of love and romance, putting his ego on the line, and asking for our assistance to promote his single and oh-so-eligible-status. Go ahead, click the link above, and pass it on.

Well, his ballsy and honest self-promotion got me to thinking, and of course talking.

My wonderful gal-pal encouraged me to sign up for Tinder, an APP, that finds other Tinder users within a set proximity.

You swipe left if  you’re not interested, and right if you are. There’s not  the unending paragraphs of nauseating pooh that everyone posts; I love red wine. I’m into photography, travel and cooking. Can you keep up? Give me a break!

Some say it’s shallow, but no more shallow than that common drivel. Ick.

I declined my friend’s attempt to get me back out there on the dating scene, until this weekend after a night out on the town.  A fellow behind me at the pub was using Tinder, and I asked him how it worked. He was a cutie girls (too young for me, but had a lovely demeanor and knock-out smile), and he took the time to show me how the APP worked.

So, the next day, while having my Sunday hangover, I downloaded the APP.

Best of all, as I pulled into the office yesterday, I realized…wait for it…

I work next to a Fire Station…..

Shiver-me-Tinder, there is a God. Somebody call 911, I’m on fire!

 

Ready for the Weekend

glamperI’m always ready for the weekend.

More precisely, I’m always ready for a day off.

More recently, with my new gig, weekends are a day, or day and a half long at best, but I make the most of them.

So, today as you head out, if you’re looking forward to a couple of days off, or maybe just one, be sure you set aside some time for something that makes your spirit come alive.

If it’s art, writing, music, dance….do that. And don’t feel guilty about taking the time for yourself.

If it’s special time with someone whom you have a deep connection with, go see them. Set a breakfast date, take a sandwich and bottle of wine to the park, and catch up.

Whatever you choose to do,  savour every moment.

When you’re getting up Monday morning, recall how you feel in your moments of greatest joy, and live in that feeling the rest of the week.

Wishing you a fabulous Friday my tart little rhubarb crisps.  Don’t be afraid to shine.

The Ultimate Destination

 

The fair Port of Not Giving a Shit.

It’s a fabulous destination I think I should  visit more often. It’s as near as a tub full of steamy bath water, or a lawnchair under the shade of an older than old maple tree.

After a while, it takes less time to get there, and it’s further away from where you started.

Being a ‘Woman of a Certain Age’, I know that I’ve settled some deep unconscious niggling when I arrive there, completely unattached and content.

It took me years to realize that relationships are not what I wish them to be. They are what they are, whether it’s a friendship, a job, or a lover.  I used to live in the fantasy of the potential I saw, and end up being disappointed with the reality as it failed to blossom into that ever-optimistic-potential that I fantasized about so often.

Le sigh indeed my darlings.

But it’s not a bad ‘le sigh’. It’s just le sigh. A ‘le sigh’, as in, ‘oh well, pour me another please, and don’t be shy’.

Ever the optimist, I like to believe in people. I like to believe that people are, at their most basic element, good, just, and loving.

Although I refuse to budge from that perspective, I have learned to accept that sometimes, despite potential, people are assholes. Pardon my French…perhaps I should say…no, wait, they’re just assholes.

So, tonight, as I kicked back with an icy, sparkling, wine spritzer, I  found myself snuggly harboured in the Port of Not Giving a Shit. And I liked it there.

Why don’t you come by and say hello?

Making a Name for Yourself

humpdayawesomeIt’s so very true. All we have in this world is our name and reputation.

Although in my writing life, I have a reputation of being sassy, single, and full of beans, the real me is a significant degree different.

Writing gives us an opportunity to be multi-personalitied (yes, that’s a word here in andshelaughs-world ) and creative.

Real life gives us the same opportunity, but often, when you’re working in a highly respected professional field, you become your name and reputation.

So today, regardless of the attitude you might get from that negative-ninny at your office, the sloppy work of some of your colleagues, or the seemingly endless stream of annoying questions, go out there and be awesome.

Unlike people who are born into family businesses, or have been fortunate enough to ‘know-somebody-who-knows-somebody’, you and I my darlings only have our name and reputation. At the end of the day it comes down to character.

Breathe deeply, recognize and respect your own value, and don’t be afraid to be kind.

 

Blog Dating

" You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know." ~Unkown~

” You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know.”
~Unkown~

Blind dating, on-line dating, serial dating, I’ve done it all.

I’ve dated until I’m out-dated, fed-up, and quite seriously amused by the absurdity of it all.

Having grown tired of primping the girls and spending cash on twenty-dollar martinis, I had left the speed and direction of Cupid’s arrow up to the fates.

I’d been feeling kinda sorry for myself lately because my dating life had been derelict except for the occasional younger man, and acquiescence to boredom with no good intention other than not getting into my flannel nightie until after 10pm.

Having given up on-line dating a few years ago after having dated someone for almost three years who turned out to be trolling on-line dating sites prior to our break-up, I decided that the caliber of man to be met ‘on-line’ was not really the quality of lover I wished.

I’d decided to stick to real, in-the-flesh-men-brave-enough-to-have-a-face-to-face-conversation over the ones you meet on-line from gawd-only-knows-where, wanting gawd-only-knows-what.

As luck would have it, it’s the young ones who are ballsy enough and not-yet-jaded-beyond-hope who have done the asking. That’s a wonderful turn of the sheets darlings, but nothing that can satisfy a woman of a certain age for more than a couple of hours at a time.

This weekend I had my attitude adjusted just a little bit. A fellow blogger posted the sweetest, most sincere blog about his desire to find companionship and love. He inspired me to rethink going after what I want. Hell, I do it professionally, why not on the beautiful, river of love?

Ralph, author, master and keeper of  BlueFishWay,  posted his heart’s desire to find true love. Please click-through the link, because who knows, you could be the next Mrs. Ralph, or know someone who is interested.

Now, Ralph, the master of BlueFishWay, was not shy about letting the world know that he wants a companion, someone to share his life and joy.

This past weekend, I went to visit friends, and they had kindly invited a possible mate to their home as well. The Possible Mate was unfortunately tied up with family commitments in Quebec, but nonetheless, they had thought of me. Much appreciated. Please try again.

Seriously – keep trying!

So, for all of my friends out there, or readers who have single pals, do your duty to introduce us to eligible partners.

Caveat; you may be held responsible for either party being disappointed. More Significant Caveat;  you will be held responsible for dealing with our dead bodies and dozens of cats if you fail at this social duty.

I’m available for coffee, dinner engagements and social outings.

Darling, have your people call my people, and let’s make this happen.

 

 

A Writer’s Slow Torture

cohenIf you’re a writer, you’re likely reading this, thinking to yourself, “I’ll just finish this and then write.”

Writers are inevitably readers. To write well, one must read. A lot.

Unfortunately, one must also pay the bills. This often means, for those of us posting blogs, scratching out articles, and completing the novels our souls just can’t let us forget, that we must also work at something other than writing.

Fortunately, I happen to have a very full-time gig doing something that I’m good at, and that I feel called to do. Instead of being a cog in a corporate machine, I get to do meaningful work. But it’s not pounding out the stories, ideas or observations that constantly rap at my concentration and drive me to distraction.

Alas, it’s not writing, and writing is what I crave.  The more I do it, the more I want to do it. It’s a vicious cycle darlings.

Between the craving, the suppression of my creative observation of mundane life and fascinating people, and having to work for a living, well, let’s just say, it’s enough to drive a girl to wine, men and ballads sung by Aretha Franklin played at a startling high volume.  Le sigh….

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then nine-tenths of it is thanks to writers and artists who, like myself, must also work at something else for a living.

So, if you’re a writer like me, I hope that you make a promise to yourself to set aside some time to perfect your craft.  The real challenge is to set aside time when you feel rested,  and full of energy, not just the 10pm onward time when all you really want to be doing is snuggling in, or sound asleep.

Without writing time I feel like I’m being smothered. I feel like a part of me is dying a slow, painful death. It’s time to re-establish my routine, and to commit to what brings me joy and vitality.

 

 

 

What’s your Heroin?

andshelaughs

Assorted cosmetics and tools

“Men with good manners and Bordeaux on weekends, Rom coms and lattes, long weekends in Nassau, long warm wet kisses that last ’til tomorrow….these are a few of my favourite things!!!”

Bookstores, the used-all-hardwood-flooring type are the equivalent of a soft, warm, blankie for me. I used to love spending time in Eliot’s Bookshop on Yonge during my lunch hours. Most days I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just a little comfort. 

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, by Neuroscientist Mark Lewis  is a book about addicts. You’re an addict right?

Whoa – wait a minute there tiger. Not an addict? No? Think again.

According to Lewis we’re wired for addiction. He begins his exploration of addiction by siting the presence of opioids in mother’s milk. The long and short of it is, we all just want to be loved. We have an innate emptiness about ourselves that needs to be sated. Maybe…

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The Letters I Never Sent to You

coffee and writingI still have one of them.

It’s in a book that has been in my overflowing bedside drawer since I moved here almost seven years ago. Before that, it was in my bedside drawer where I used to live.

Time and again I had put pen to paper trying to express my emotions in a way that you might understand.

I thought about whether to print or write, what kind of paper to use. I must have ripped up a thousand pages before I finally put it aside and closed the cover of the notebook.

After pouring my heart out in words, one of my friends told me never to send the letter to you.

So I didn’t.

Instead I was the coy girl. The smart, sarcastic one. The one with a wall just high enough you thought maybe you could climb it, but half-way there, you decided it wasn’t worth it.

Over a relaxing meal with old friends today, we reminisced about some of the silly things that we did in our youth. We were daring and carefree, and a bit naughty at times. Despite it all, I have very few regrets.

But I regret not sending you that letter.

I regret letting someone else’s opinion limit my emotional risk-taking. For without great risk, there can be no great love, no grand fulfillment, and no happily ever after.

So my darlings, as the sun casts long shadows and the dusk strokes the awakening spring buds, I think of you, out there somewhere. Perhaps that letter is my only regret, and the space in your heart that does not know you were loved.