I? Do not get how people do it. Because I? Am poor.
By "it" I do not mean anything dirty. I mean I get how people do that - and it doesn't have to involve money yo.
By "it" I mean all the glorious things that I hear about in the interwebz. It seems that everysingleperson on Twitter has an iPhone/iTouch/blackberry. I? Have a pink Razr that was the epitome of coolness and trendiness about 8 years ago. Note: I got mine 2 years ago.
And everysingleperson with a blog seems to be jetting off around the world to visit each other. I? Have met people in Winnipeg. And by the grace of God, my father took me on a family vakay to Florida, so I got to meet Britt and Hilly.
Everyone and their dog seems to have the latest, shiniest, prettiest new laptop with all the latest technology attached to it. I? Have a two year old desktop that keep shutting down firefox periodically despite my person's DH's best efforts.
I have a special assessment on my condo to the tune of almost $2,500.00. I have an almost $1,000.00 bill on my car. (That I just bought 2 years ago. Used.)
For my birthday? I decided that I wouldn't buy any souvenirs in Florida and I would save up to buy myself an awesome present. I had the order in with Wendy and everything. I mean they're silver rings people. NOT extravagant. But apparently the condo people needed that cheque by June 1.
Now I admit, I do not hoard money like ...well like someone who hoards money. But I don't throw it away either. Are people just living constantly in debt? Or do I just have a really skewed perception, and I just really am bad with money.
I picture bad with money being...well my brother. Utilities cut off. Missing bill payments etc. I'm all good there. Mortgage paid. Good credit. But I just have so little extra.
Perhaps I should consult with someone about this. Have them give me a weekly allowance. Cause I really want those rings....
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I? Do not get how people do it. Because I? Am poor.
Monday, June 29, 2009
When I look at my life and my attitudes towards it, I realize that I drift along predominantly feeling two emotions: anger and guilt.
Often the guilt comes as a result of the anger. And sometimes the anger is because of the guilt. Either way, those two emotions glide beside me hand-in-hand all day every day. They love each other those two feelings. They cherish their time together and giggle gleefully while they torment me with their mischief and competitiveness.
Who will win today? Anger? Guilt? A tie?
They've become virtually indistinguishable from each other - like couples who start to look alike.
Or perhaps they're siblings. Who knows?
All I know is that those two feelings are what won't let me rest.
Anger has made me leave jobs. But guilt is what has kept me there for so long in the first place.
Guilt has made me do things that I don't want to do - for my brother, for co-workers, for friends - and anger is the result. I should perhaps add a little sister to the mix - anger's mini-sibling: resentment.
I volunteer for an organization, and I feel guilty that I haven't given it my all. Yet, I resent and get angry when they ask me to do more.
My brother makes me angry for being so irresponsible and inconsiderate, yet I feel guilty when I lash out at him for simply being who he is.
I confide in friends about some of my unhappiness and feel guilty for burdening them. Then am angry when they don't seem to care enough to follow up. Or when they offer advice that I don't want to hear. The I feel guilty because I am not immediately grateful for the fact that they even took the time to listen and offer their thoughts on the matter.
I feel guilty because I said something on this blog that caused me to lose friends. Then am angry because the punishment seems disproportionate to the crime. Then feel guilty again for not respecting their feelings enough to not be understanding without having an undertone of anger on top of it.
I don't know how to untangle myself from these emotions. They are my constant companions with everything I do. The guilt is what makes me monitor and censor every word I ever say to anyone. The anger is what makes me not want to answer the phone most nights.
I am constantly tired from this battle that is constantly occurring in my head. I know that these feelings shouldn't taint everything I do and say. I know that I should probably print out this post and take it to a therapist. I know that most people don't live their lives this way.
I try so hard to be good all the time. And I think these feelings are a side-effect of that. Trying to be good means that you feel guilty when you're not. It results in anger at others at the fact that they don't know just how hard you're trying. But why should they know? Why should they know that in my head is a constant battle of propriety and consideration.
It's exhausting. I can never figure out why all I want to do at my very core is sleep. Sleep well. Not toss and turn and wake up constantly. Perhaps it's to try and escape the battle. Escape the giggling siblings and their torments. Escape a life of appropriateness.
Anger and Guilt. I hate them both. Yet they seem to love me.
Posted by Princess of the Universe at 12:23 pm
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
When I think about lawyers, sadly the first thing that comes to my mind is Matlock and John Grisham. Because I? Have really never needed a lawyer for anything monumental. Yes, signing condo papers. Yes, to write a letter for me once. But on the whole? I live relatively lawyer-free.
So this past year when I found that I was on a committee with a lawyer I didn't really think much about it. I don't really have opinions on them either way. Do they actually make all that much money? We don't really have commercials up here promoting the ambulance-chasing lawyer, so I don't really consider them to be particularly slick or annoying either.
Really, all I think is that they're probably pretty smart. Because I do have an inordinately healthy respect for studying and education. The fact that I didn't go any further than an honours degree means that I really admire those who found the energy and perseverance to go further.
This lawyer? Is a criminal defense lawyer. Again, I think popular TV and books. Cause really? Is it interesting fiction to focus on real estate law? Doesn't sound too interesting to me. Anyways, I didn't really think much about what he did other than a vague - "oh, so he works with criminals? OK."
But then I heard about a case that he was working on. It was quite high profile and since I sorta knew him I decided to read up on it.
And was promptly ill.
It involved a child. And he was defending one of the people involved in the abuse of that child.
So then? I started thinking about lawyers. Criminal defense lawyers specifically.
But this man? He's on a plethora of committees and boards. Because he's interested in them - not because he has to. And he's hilarious. And he gives you rides to your car. And he bakes brownies for the meetings. And he notices when you're struggling with your bag and helps you with it. And have I mentioned that the meetings are way more fun and hilarious when he's there?
But I couldn't understand how anyone could work with people who hurt a child. Who possibly raped women. Who possibly murdered who knows how many people.
How could your conscience let you defend a person when you know they've done these things? Why should you work so diligently to make sure they don't get punished? Don't they deserve punishment?
He struggled to explain it to me - and I could tell by the smooth tone of his voice that it wasn't the first time he'd had to do so.
He explained that the responsibility was on the Crown to prove his clients' guilt. He explained the various kinds of cases that he worked on, and that sometimes people end up in situations outside of their control that lead to them needing his defense.
"But what about when you know they're guilty?" He explained about the intellectual challenge, and the fact that everyone has the right to a defense.
I even had another lawyer ask me how I would feel if I was in the situation that required his expertise and it was denied to me because I was allegedly "guilty" ? And that that's not how the Canadian legal system works.
I still couldn't wrap my head around it.
I was at my Dad & Stepmom's for dinner the other night, and brought up this topic. My stepmom stated that he must be immoral. That all criminal defense lawyers must be.
And then I got angry. I don't get it. And there is no way that I could explain it to them in a way that made sense for that reason. But I can't wrap my head around the fact that an entire of population of people who work within the confines of law and the crown and helping people are immoral.
This man who heard that I'm throwing a candle party and said that he would come to be supportive. This man who offers to get me cookies and wine when I'm stressed about making public speeches. This man who insists on walking me to my car when it's dark because it's over a block away.
No. I refuse to believe that he's immoral.
But how many times has he been labelled as such? How many times a day does he have to defend his choice of career to people who have already passed judgement on him?
It's so easy for those of us who aren't in there doing it, to pass judgement. On both him and the people he defends. Is he guilty by association? Of all the crimes that he's defended people for?
Did he abuse that child? Rape that woman? No.
I still don't understand how someone can do what he does. I doubt I ever will. But isn't that the root of prejudice and intolerance? A lack of experience and understanding of what another person does? Fear? Confusion?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Hey Look! A Post dedicated to my Dad on Father's Day!
I am absolutely the
queen princess of originality!
Yesterday I was begging my brother to take me to Costco so I could buy some bulk allergy meds. Since I have to take it forever, I may as well load up. As siblings tend to do, he was being difficult while actually intending to take me all along. In the meantime - my Dad went into his medicine cabinet and grabbed me some of his meds and handed them to me.
That is my Dad. No big deal. But taking care of you. He doesn't want accolades or a fuss made.
After I got home, my Dad called to let me know that he forgot to give me a gift that we had purchased for my cousin's graduation. He knew that I would want to wrap it.
That's just the way my Dad and I roll. With him I can be...calm. I can feel comforted and cared for. He does it in such a quiet, unobtrusive way that it's almost unnoticeable - until you really think about it. And this feeling of trust and warmth comes over you when you think about him.
I see how my step-sisters talk to my step-mom almost daily. Occasionally I wonder if I don't talk to my Dad enough. But I don't have to feel guilt like that. Nor does my hatred of talking on the phone ever have to extend to him. We can talk for 5 - 10 minutes once a week and feel that we've reported in. He doesn't want excessive fluffiness, which is a great comfort to me. Cause when I say I hate the phone? I really do.
All my childhood memories of him are of the warm & fuzzy variety. Him taking me for ice cream. Him taking me to my grandma's. Him bouncing me on his knee playing "horsey." Him playing catch with me. Him listening to stories that I had made up, and then us both agreeing that the ending doesn't really make sense. Him buying me 16 roses for my 16th birthday. Me calling him every day before he came home from work to discuss what we should have for dinner. Him attaching stupid vanity license plates to his car that I had proudly bought him for a gift. Him volunteering at my high school graduation. Him going away for the night so I could throw a crazy 18th birthday party. Him tolerating me calling him "father" all the time because the formality of it amuses me.
Some people might find him a touch too quiet or unassuming - but in my mind, he was the perfect dad to have.
Happy Father's Day Daddy.
I love you.
Posted by Princess of the Universe at 9:17 am
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I had to speak in public at Alumni events twice in less than a week.
And I? Did not do well.
One speech was mediocre.
The other was less so. (And by "less so" I don't mean it was "better.")
And that whole mantra about picturing your audience in their underwear/naked/dead?
1. By the time I am frozen in panic with everyone staring at me, THAT idea is completely gone from my terrified little head.
2. Does that really work anyhow?
I just don't get how people can do the whole speaking in front of people thing. And I don't necessarily even mean at something like a big event. I mean jobs like being a teacher, or any kind of instructor-type person. Impossible.
One of the guys who also had to do a speech at this event had no clue what to say, and since I have a baby crush on him, I offered to write something for him. He took what I wrote - condensed it down to key words and delivered a kick-ass, completely natural-sounding and hilarious speech.
He's a lawyer.
And I'm too angry and resentful and jealous of his accomplishment to have a crush on him anymore.
I can guarantee though, that when it comes to performance review time - I bet it will be one of the things that my boss tells me to work on. Urgh. Does anyone else do Toastmasters other than old men?
Monday, June 15, 2009
So when I started this blog I was all about the “girly.” It seemed that I was in the midst of a hardcore spa phase, and every second post seemed devoted to the newly polished state of my toes, the newly buffed and rubbed down state of my back, or the sparkly state of my fingers.
Then I remembered that I am not an heiress and that sort of behaviour fell by the wayside.
Shall we talk about money for a moment? $2,500.00 for a bloody condo special assessment on floors, and almost $1000.00 on the car I’ve only had for 2 years. Le sigh.
Anyhow, this weekend I brought it all back. The girliness I mean. Not the money-spending. (See above). Not that I went to the spa. Oh no. One doesn’t need to get her girly on by getting buffed, polished and sparkled. I found other ways my pretties.
Let’s look at some of the uber stereo-typed definitions of “girly” shall we?
- Cute Boys
- Drinks with excess fruit and/or garnish
- Lamenting about how evil men are
- Sex Toys
- Wrapping pretty things up in cellophane (this may be Princess-specific)
Yup, I did all of the above this weekend. (Please note, I did not do a cute boy this weekend – see #7)
Now I won’t bore you by explaining each point in excruciating detail (thereby simply turning this into a “what I did over the weekend” post) but will simply point out some of the highlights.
Dinner with a girlfriend that I only see once a year or so involved the drinking, giggling, gossiping AND lamenting about mens’ evils (mostly on her part as she’s going through a divorce).
Saturday? Involved me making a concerted effort to stay home and “clean” and NOT spend money. Tidying and neatening count as cleaning right? Running the dishwasher? Essentially I ended up having a spectacularly impressive depression-fest that day which involved me getting all teary with my person on the phone, talking about how all men suck (in this case I meant my brother and male friends). Then proceeding to sit on the couch for hours watching “Angel” (=cute boys) and eating chocolate cake.
Then because I was so proud of my abstinence of the day before, I went shopping on Sunday. And bought things I needed people. Don’t be so judgy. Chocolate & cellophane: I am doing an Alumni event which involves me having to wrap up little packets of Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses in ribbon & cello. (What’s torture for one person, is absolute bliss for our Princess).
All in all? A pretty girly weekend.
Today, though is a whole new era.
Men not so evil.
I threw out the rest of the chocolate cake.
All the chocolate is wrapped.
I won’t be seeing that friend again for another year.
I am marginally less teary/depressed.
How was your weekend?
Friday, June 12, 2009
I was reading a post today at Nat's and it got me thinking about things that define you. Just getting through life is a challenge, and the decisions that we make each moment of each day come as a result of all our cumulative experiences.
Just talking to someone new involved filtering all their lifetime of experiences and joys and pains through your experiences and joys and pains to find some kind of common ground.
On the whole, I think that people are pretty resilient and understand that everyone goes through suffering and happiness - hopefully in relatively equal measure - even better if it's tipped a bit on the happiness side.
But aside from all the minute decisions about what to wear, to not buy a bag of M & M's, to say something positive rather than snarling - there are the big things. Big decisions, and big occurrences that are taken completely out of our hands. Life changing moments if you will.
If I had to consider which moments were those for me - the list would look something like the following:
1. My mother dying when I was 11.
2. Begging to leave private school to go to public because I was bullied so badly.
3. Having lost all four grandparents by the time I was 17.
4. Choosing to break up with my Ottawa boyfriend
5. Deciding that I didn't want to go to Graduate School - yet finishing up my honours degree/thesis anyhow.
6. Choosing my last job over the other job offered to me the same day.
7. Leaving my last job.
Those are the big ones. Seven major things in my life that I would say define me. Five out of the seven were choices. The other two? Traumatic events that colour my core.
For the most part, I think I've made some good decisions. But looking at them? I can see how so much of my entire life would be altered if I had chosen otherwise. Perhaps I would be in Ottawa with kids right now. Perhaps I never would have met some of my best friends from high school and University? Perhaps I would have more credentials and a completely different job?
The thing is, I didn't always know at the time that I was making a "defining" decision. How could I know at age 9 that leaving private school would still mean something at age 34? How could I know that choosing the one job would cause me therapy and crazy pills?
But it's what makes life interesting isn't it?
I'd be really curious to know about all your lists. Even just emailing me....
Sunday, June 07, 2009
My Dear Anon and I were talking today about the wear and tear that can be inflicted on our souls. Coincidentally, right after I got off the phone with her from that conversation - my soul got a major tear in it in the form of a call from my brother.
My brother and I get along pretty well. To the point where we even are willing to spend time together voluntarily. Once I hit the ripe old age of 18, suddenly the 12 year age difference between us became less- as at that point (and possibly beforehand) I became more mature than him anyways.
Our mother had a spending habit. I remember a childhood filled with her buying marble tables, and fur jackets for herself and her lavishing little diamond and opal and emerald rings on me. I'm not married, but I already have two sets of china and an antique china cabinet to store it all in. My father had taken on a second job, and our bills were essentially paid by him- leaving her to spend her money freely. I imagine things got much easier financially when she passed away.
My brother inherited some of this. But what makes it worse, is that you can't even see the tangible evidence of what he spends his money on. I don't see fur jackets and marble coffee tables. What I see is a 3 bedroom condo with two empty rooms. A kitchen that is only half finished because he ran out of money prior to completion.
My father sold the house I grew up in to my brother. He was left with a house with a small mortgage, a finished basement, and many of my mother's antiques and dishes. By the time he sold that house, the basement was gutted, the antiques were sold or simply gone somehow.
And now? I get calls. And lies. Lies that are so transparent to me, it's like they come across the phone line in bright lights and flashing colours. Screaming at me. Blinding me. Bruising me.
So when he tells me that he has to borrow my computer because his is acting funny? I know that means that his TV/internet has been cut off. When he starts asking me to call his cell all the time? His phone is cut off too.
Sometimes he admits it to me. He told me recently about how his wages are being garnisheed because of owing money for taxes. He can only use limited hydro because, while it's not legal to cut him off completely, they can minimize his usage.
When he's not lying to me, he's demanding that I don't tell our father about any of this. He frequently borrows money from our father, and while my Dad doesn't like to talk about it - I always know when it happens because I end up with a gift at the same time. (My Father is determined to be fair).
But it hurts. Somewhere in the area of my heart I feel a tightness. I struggle to hold back the tears when I think about my brother. I think about the fact that he's alone and living in a half renovated condo. The fact that this must be humiliating for him. The fact that he can't seem to pull himself out of it.
And I get angry. I want to shake him and demand to know why it has to be this way. You don't get utilities cut off for being a month late. It takes time, and warnings for it to get that far. I don't make any more money than him- yet I've never missed a bill payment. Why can't he do the same?
And then my heart hurts more. At the thought of the futility of that lecture. That it wouldn't change anything. At the fact that I want so much to be kept in the dark like my father. I don't want to hear about this. But how can I deny him the ability to unburden himself onto me? I'm the only person that he can share with. That's the difference between friends and family.
But the tightness and weight won't go away. As much as I try to shut it out, it's constantly a shadow looming over me. The fact that he is the beneficiary on my meagre insurance policy. The fact that when asked what I would do if I won the lottery, my internal response is that it would go to him. All of it if necessary. Followed by doubts that anything I do would ever be enough - or that it would only be a temporary fix.
How do you turn away the pain of your own flesh and blood? The tiny remnants of my family that remains? I want to protect my father from the knowledge, and make it alright for my brother.
But it hurts so much. It's crushing and debilitating to have this information. To have this love for a person whose attitudes and behaviours are so completely alien to my own. I don't understand...anything. Why he can't seem to catch up. What his priorities are. Why he seems to always be in a position that in his mind forces him to lie.
Are the lies his version of protecting us from pain? Or to save his own pride?
My soul? Is torn. And aching right now.
Posted by Princess of the Universe at 8:35 pm
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
So on Monday evening I officially met the lovely Miss Kyla Roma. I am constantly on a quest to find
the man of my dreams Winnipeg bloggers who post about things other than their annoyance at the mayor for our lack of rapid transit (FYI - I take the bus people, and I do OK! Leave him alone!) and Kyla fit the bill.
Now I'll be honest - the other day she twittered about how she was eating homemade Oreos for breakfast. This is awesome on so many levels. A) Hello- she makes homemade oreos! B) I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds cookies to be an acceptable breakfast meal C) Once we're bffs she'll totally give me home made Oreos.
I immediately sent her an email demanding that we become best friends - and oh yeah, why don't we meet for dinner or something first
so we know what each other looks like just to sign the bff contract so it's all official k?
We met at the fabulously starch-filled utopia of Nico's greek restaurant. Now for some reason she didn't bring any Oreos with her. I was momentarily confused by this until I realized...obviously she had to hold something in reserve. I mean she clearly adored me and was paranoid that I would just be meh about her. So she held onto the Oreos as a bribe in case I wasn't into seeing her again. OK. I can deal with that. (But Kyla? Next time? Oreos in hand right from go, mmmkay?)
So here's where I give you all advice on exactly what to do to impress a blogger (or anyone really) upon first meeting:
1. Totally talk up your adventures on adult websites so she has no doubt in your mind about how promiscuous you are. Cause even though she's married, she can totally use all these gems of knowledge that you've gleaned from these experiences. (Here's where I remind everyone that I haven't had sex in 6 months thank you)
2. Be sure to mention therapy/meds/being crazy several times throughout the meal, you know, in case she missed it the first time or two. Again, though she is clearly sane, it's good for her to know that she has crazy that she can call up whenever the need arises.
3. Stare at her eyelashes/eyes in a completely mesmerized and borderline creepy manner ALL evening. No, don't actually ask her about her mascara and compliment her on how awesome her eyes are, just stare. You're bff's now right - she'll somehow just intuit what the gazing is all about.
4. Whenever you're not creepily eyelash gazing, be sure to keep looking over at the table where your ex-roommate thatyourecentlytoldyoucouldn'tbefriendswithanymore is sitting. Cause when you're not staring, you should look like you're totally not into what she's saying at all.
5. When the meal is over and you walk outside and find that it's raining, be sure to ask a really involved question that can't be answered with less than 100 words. The bonding experience of simultaneously getting drenched will make you that much closer.
6. Be sure, after offering her a ride to the bus stop, to have the Village People blaring out of your car stereo. I mean the Village People are cool right? Of course she loves them too and will be delighted with how much you have in common.
7. Drop her off at a corner just far enough away from the bus stop so that she's completely soaked through by the time she gets there. Be careful to time it just right so that it begins to hail just as she's leaving your car. She'll know that it's a character-building experience and you're really trying to make her a better person.
8. Never, even until this moment, give her your last name or your phone number or anything. It's not like you need to actually exist in reality. Maybe she'll think that it was all just some sort of dream she had.
Who wants to meet me next?
Monday, June 01, 2009
I dated this guy once who actually told me what he thought of me upon first meeting. Apparently it was something along the lines of "I don't think she's dumb, but she kind of acts that way." Or something like that - I've paraphrased poorly there.
It may have been because within an hour of meeting me, I was telling him stories about Princess Me, and how the village children sing songs of my glory. What made me fall in love with him was when he asked in complete seriousness "what did they sing?" Awesome.
Anyhow, I get that a lot. People think I am in fact flaky. Now I don't mind it so much when people don't "get" me. That way I can just say that they don't understand me and move on with my life. But I've come to the realization lately that there are some people in my life, very close to me who think that I either genuinely am kind of dumb, or am a flake.
And that? Is unacceptable.
My own self-schema can't even reconcile the idea that people would actually think of me that way. I am the smart responsible friend/child/employee. And as much as I might aspire to be the cute, fun friend/child/employee - it's simply not the case.
I realize though, that what people think of me - has to do with how I present myself. If people think I'm a flake, I have no one to blame but myself for this.
I suspect it has to do with my lack of confidence. I can feel the respect I lose from people when I fail to stand up for myself or let things slide or sit quietly. Or even when I say something funny and not take things too seriously.
A couple of posts ago I went on and on about how I get things. I do. I really do understand most things around me. I mean if you want to talk about Physics or hedge funds, I'm clueless - but people situations? I get. How to do well in a job? I get.
But sometimes? The fact that I get that a situation just doesn't need to be taken too seriously causes people to think I'm dumb. Sometimes when I try to diffuse situations by saying something off the wall creates confusion. And sometimes, when I am blindly obedient or quiet because I don't think it's worth it to argue- causes people to think I don't know any better.
The job that I left? I realized once I was gone that both my bosses thought I was kind of dumb. Competent yes. But in a nice, sweet girl kind of way.
They didn't realize that I could tell when they were lying to me. They didn't realize that I often strongly disagreed with them. They didn't realize that I had to bite my tongue so many times when they were wrong. And they were. Often. Quite often making themselves sound like morons without even realizing it.
But I don't have the same kind of power hungry ego that alpha executives have. I am not bursting with ambition and drive and resolve to run the world. I am content to be an obedient little soldier. Cause you know what? I get for the most part what my bosses are trying to accomplish.
I get that my friends feel very strongly about this or that. I get that some of my family members feel smarter and somewhat superior to me. Even if they're not.
What I don't get is how to not look like a bitch when I do finally get annoyed with people talking down to me and putting them in their place. That? Is a bigger challenge. Cause for all the TV shows that have a final scene showing the timid little girl getting angry and putting everyone in their place, and people are in awe of them? And finally show them the respect they deserve? Yeah it never works that way in the real world.
I'm not dumb. I just respect your ego and don't wish to argue. I know when things aren't that big a deal. People? Quit making assumptions about others -cause that's what's dumb.
Posted by Princess of the Universe at 12:35 pm