Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Because I can!

So there's a rumour at my kid's school...well not so much a rumour, but just how I'm regarded by some of the mothers. Like any sort of world, there is a clique and in many parts of society, those cliques are mean and way too nosy for their own good. One day a mother from this clique hoping to stir up some drama came to inform me that the other mothers thought my style of dress was inappropriate and that they've seen men over at my house during the evening. My first thought was the song "Harper Valley PTA". I didn't bite, I didn't struggle to justify all these men at my house (all of whom drive the same car with the same exact license plate and look very much alike) or my style of dress. But for those who don't know me, it's rare to see me in jeans, I only wear track/yoga pants if I'm going to work out and you bet your bippy that I'm not spending $90.00 on them! I almost always wear heels and I wear dresses and skirts, a lot. Most of them are knee length, I have a couple that skirt an inch or two above my knees. I'm not big on cleavage, and I love those stylist cardigans, so I almost always have one on. My hair is usually done and I normally have my makeup on, which consists of eyeliner, mascara and some tinted lip balm. Anyone else, might assume that I'm going to work at an office, but apparently, my style is inappropriate. Holy shit! I forgot my most important item of clothing...my purse, which is almost always Coach (I have a slight addiction).

So this clique has two moms who really don't like me. I had a run in with one years ago when my dog had the nerve to poop in front of her home, I scooped, but that set her off. I apologized and kept on my way despite her trying to bully me into God knows what. I guess she carries a grudge. Considering she nearly hit me and the dog to confront me with her van, I have a bit of one too. So she and her friend not too long ago came up to ask me why I dressed the way I did, because they wanted to "understand" my need to show off my body and wear heels as they were concerned feminists. Yup! Again, I didn't bite. I just said that I dressed this way because I liked it and kept on moving. Of course I have a mouthful to say, but instead of giving the satisfaction of the drama, I'll let you guys know what is on my mind.

"Dear other mothers. You asked me today why I dressed the way I did. Why I always wore heels that were meant to subjugate women. Why I felt the need to show off my body in form fitting clothes and skirts. One mom thought it was dishonourable to women's bodies to dress the way I do. Well let me tell you something about my body. This body has seen me through a tough life. With an abusive father and a mother who struggled just to make ends meet. I grew up downtown in a neighbourhood where you had to learn how to defend yourself quick, or run very fast. As I'm sure you've seen me walk with my two left feet, defense became my only option. I also had to do this on a pretty poor diet thank you very much. Poverty doesn't allow for a lot of organic, locally grown fruits and veggies, nor filtered water, a billion supplements and yoga times 900.

My body has seen me through 10 years on non stop infections from every sort of cold, flu and strep life could throw at me. I have asthma and allergies and on days like today it simply hurts to breathe. I have flat feet and I can't see five feet in front of me without corrective lenses of some sort.

Despite all of this, I managed to go to school, get an education working with others and requiring a great deal of empathy. I got married young, experienced love, put my life on hold to support my partner build his dreams. I scrimped and saved when we were in debt times a million, I would grocery shop with a stroller walking several kilometers to do so, I'd get up in the middle of the night to comfort, I'd iron, sweep, garden, repair you name it.

This body managed to deliver three beautiful children. To grow and nurture a life, I'm sure you know takes a toll, try it three times in 5 years. My weight fluctuated wildly and it has left me anemic, with constant low blood pressure and the urge to pee every five minutes. Nevermind what it's done to my figure! I've lost 70lbs, and I've also modified my body with surgery and ink to get it to where it is truly mine. This body used to struggle with body image problems and the owner has finally only just begun seeing that she is beautiful.

It has managed to get me through an awful period of my life where I suffered through terrible post partum depression. It was at this time that my husband and partner of 16 years had decided to leave me for someone much younger, thinner and with a lot less mileage. It took abuse as I refused to eat weeks at a time, went on total autopilot for two months. Felt numb for 2 more months. Went through godawful pain and anguish and fought tooth and nail not to sink into serious depths of depression. It's cried til my eyes are red and chest heaving, it's been angry beyond my own comprehension, but restrained enough to not go take out a small village. It has survived a car accident though when, very upset and driving my way down to mediation I managed to hit a bus...with in small part thanks to Honda's safety engineering. Thankfully this body has an awesome support staff in loving children, friends and family.

This body has learned to laugh again. This body has had to rebuild life as I know it. It's had to recreate home to three scared and confused little boys...well not so much the youngest, nothing scares him. It's had to work tirelessly for the past year and change now to fight, rebuild and thrive. It's learned that it can take blows and come back, ready for another day. It's learned to throw a few itself.

So why do I dress and get all dolled up every day? Because I fucking can! Because after all my body has gotten me through, it deserves to look good and feel good. I'd wear a sandwich board listing all that my body has gotten me through, but there isn't one big enough. I've only walked this Earth 33 1/2 years, but I've been through enough for a lifetime and my body still gets back and says "Is that all that you've got!?". I'm tired, so tired, my bones creak and I'd love nothing more than to spend a week in bed, yet every day I'm up at 6am til about 11pm and I am alert, supportive, loving and keeping up with 3 boys, 2 cats and a dog. I go to school, I do well in school, I have a social life, a great boyfriend and even manage to fit in some pretty regular exercise too!

So you think I dishonour my body? I disagree. I honour my body, I stand tall, walk proud and draw attention to myself because I'm am alive, I'm well, I'm happy despite all of the hell I've been through. If I manage to turn a few heads because of that knowledge and the confidence it brings, good for me! And if you and the rest of your yoga pants, mall walking, communal grocery shopping and petty gossiping tribe cannot deal, too freaking bad!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I generally try to see the best in people, I feel that having faith in others is a symbol of my spiritual faith. It's been a long slog, but I've generally prevailed without coming out too wounded or bitter. I feel like I've picked myself off the mat after every good left hook, wiped the sweat away, spit the blood out and beckoned life to come on, try again. Why? Because that faith sustained me.

Tonight, I'm not having such an easy time getting up.

I'm left wondering why people do things to hurt others. Never mind your friends, family, children, but complete strangers. I try to go through life, thinking about my footprint about how what I do might affect someone directly and indirectly. And if I hurt someone, I try to make amends, apologize, or if I cannot, at least have some humility in how I behave further so that I don't negatively affect them anymore than I have to. I try to have faith that others do the same, at least most of the time.

I'm struggling with that.

I just don't understand why the hits keep coming. I try to make sense of it, but no matter how much I play by the rules, no matter how much I try to take the higher road, it's not having the desired effect of being treated with some compassion or honour. I was sitting on my couch tonight trying to blank out with a video game, but slowly and tearfully I might add, coming to the conclusion that so many people only live this life with themselves as the giant main focus and its very depressing.

I think I've lived a very charmed life, yes it's been hard, but I've always been very fortunate in my family and friends that I haven't had many opportunities to become too jaded when it comes to dealings with other people in the microlevel. But I dunno, tonight just took a strip out of me and try as I might, I lose a little more faith in the world that people generally stop and think about what sort of impact they may have, before wantonly stepping in and hurting others.

I'm trying to regroup and focus on all the awesome people in my life and hopefully how I try to treat them and plod forward might somehow be repaid at least a little. It does in spades when it comes to friends and family, but I'd really like to see some results in other areas too. In the meantime, I'm going to surround myself with people I love and who love me and try to remind myself of people who go forward carefully, considering their moves in life and how they may effect others, and maybe indirectly themselves when they look back on their actions.

One of my favourite things to think of when I'm feeling low is a few lines from the movie "The Two Towers" part of the Lord of the Rings epic.

When an exhausted Frodo says to Sam, his companion "I can't do this" Sam replies

I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.Frodo replies "What are we holding onto Sam?"And Sam says

"There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for."