January 2, 2015 by rebelwithalabelmaker
This is not a real post. This is just a yearly summary, cut and pasted, for the boys who keep asking “Read us the stuff from Facebook” and I don’t want to scroll through, so I made them a book for the year. Also for my parents, who are not on Facebook. But then it occurred to me that some blog readers might find these bits of “micro blogging” interesting… or not, as it is mostly stuff that doesn’t make the cut for the blog…
This morning I was out jogging and thinking about my role in social change and I saw a worm wriggling off of the pavement towards the grass and I thought “Yay, worm! You’re going to make it!” and then I saw a robin swoop down and eat the worm and I thought “Yay, robin! You found food!”. Maybe, I am a little too empathetic and a little too optimistic to be effective…
Yesterday was an extremely unremarkable day. Did some work in the morning… Emails about an activist thing, cleaning house, a little writing. Sat in my chair and looked out the window… Music lesson in the afternoon (just started. It ROCKS)… Spent a little time on the trapeze, then more cleaning. Played kaiser with the boys after school, and then Gary came home and we all had supper and then went for a walk on the *}%@ing awesome riverbed beside our house. Boring, right? Didn’t I tell you? And then, as I’m drifting off to sleep I realize that if you’d asked me when I was fifteen to describe what I hoped my life would be like I would have described Exactly. This. Day. In every little detail. Right down to which sandbar I would have sat on with my kids and husband. I would never have imagined it would happen, but this is EXACTLY what my rock star dream was.
I came across Gary ironing this shirt for work the other day.
Me: Are those RAINBOW BUTTONS??? For pride???
Me: Oh awesome. I can’t believe it!
Gary: (a little hurt) Why can’t you believe it?
Me: It’s not that I didn’t think you’d agree with pride week, it’s just that you usually don’t seem like much of a bumper sticker t-shirt direct action kind if guy.
Gary: (in a “so there” tone) Well I am.
Gary: So this pride thing. It happens for a whole week, then?
I love this conference. I love meeting new UUs. I love being an extrovert. I have work hard to keep from being obnoxious. I keep reminding myself that not everyone wants to make a new friend in every moment. Sometimes, they just want to get through the lineup and go pee…
Me: And I have all this stuff I have to do after the UU conference. I have to read a sermon by Theodore Parker, and watch a youtube video called “Dick in a Box”.
David: That’ll be great. Then you’ll be all caught up to the year 2000.
Me: (With smug superiority) Do you even know who Theodore Parker IS?
David: Do you?
Me: because of, you know, the “homosexual agenda”.
Gary (looks confused)
Me: don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the homosexual agenda.
Gary: it’s not really an agenda, Liz. They just like to make appointments.
Michael Brown, I am thinking Gary will, at some point, need a second gay friend.
Grateful to Michael Brown for watching my boys so I could have a holiday away with Gary. A lively debate between Gary and I ensued in New York over the etiquette around purchasing a thank you souvenir for such an act of selflessness… Covering topics such as how hard it is to pull a cab over in New York, and that they have perfectly good souvenirs at the airport, and that probably Mike wants us to catch our flight (possibly more than he’s ever wanted anything in his life). Also, some members of our marriage do not understand why Mike needs a plaque that reads “I’m not actually a bitch, I just play one in your life”. We settled the debate over whether to stop via good old fashioned vote (pre women’s suffrage style). We got to the airport in tons of time, and then Gary wandered off to some store called Duty Free, declaring “I just spotted a souvenir that he WILL be in dire need of, by the time we see him…”.
I do not have favourites amongst my sons as a general rule. Except when strawberry picking. Then, it is no contest. Nathan always at the berries which just got in the way of my eating the berries. Eric spends too much time suggesting that we make spinach salad with the berries instead of pie because it would be healthier. David got in the doghouse today by interrupting my monologue about precise and correct language as having nearly no value beyond its tool as a class identifier to point out that I had not listened to the U pic staff, and was picking in the wrong spot. Anthony, though, is the perfect U pic companion. He spent the morning describing each berry as he picked it, animatedly rejoicing in the treasure that he found under each leaf. Then he kept up a steady monologue as he are most of a basket (there is nothing as fun as watching kids eat fresh berries!). And then he zested all the lemons. Intrepid berry enthusiast.
Well that was embarrassing. Halfway through lecturing Anthony on appropriate language for a restaurant he interrupts me with “no, mom. I said it tastes like PEANUTS with a touch of sugar.”
That giant hot air balloon shaped like a slot machine is in the sky over Saskatoon again. Made me grumpy until I heard my nine year old exclaim “look mom, a tardis!”
Insults beginning with “son of a” and “your mother” have no place at family game night…
Note from family game night. Kaiser is an acceptable game. Charades is an acceptable game. Kaiser-Charades is not a game. It is just cheating.
Family kaiser night:
Me: how could you have taken a trick already?
Anthony: I don’t know. Wait… Oh, it’s the other half of my hand. I was wondering where it was.
Me: are you really paying attention?
Anthony: picachu, I choose you!
Me: are we even all playing the same game here?
Eric: each pickle has 10% of your daily allotment of sodium.
Me: nobody is going to invite you to parties when you become a teenager. Remember, everything good contains either salt or sugar.
Eric: well. That is just factually inaccurate.
Me: name one thing.
Me: why am I even bothering?
Sometimes it is a lot of work to keep my kids off of drugs.
Anthony: Pleeeeease can’t we keep going with family game night for a few more minutes? (editor’s note: instead of reading to calm down before bed which is what we are supposed to be doing at eight thirty)
Eric: Family game night is very calm and soothing.
Me: This family game night is about as soothing as a herd of rampaging buffalo.
Anthony: So is your reading.
Eric: I am so tired from the Terry Fox Run today.
Anthony: That’s because you did it wrong. I did it the right way.
Me: What’s the right way?
Anthony: You run for a little bit, and then you hide under a picnic table.
Me: Can I put that on the internet?
Eric: I think it’s pretty much assumed that if we say it to you, we are saying it to the internet.
Me: You are supposed to wear your winter coat OVER your sweater.
Anthony: Mom. This sweater was made by hand. It took someone hours and hours and it is filled with their love. It needs to go where people can see it.
Hard to argue with logic like that…
Me: Have fun at school. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
Anthony: There are things you wouldn’t do?
Eric: Sure, there are things she wouldn’t do. I was planning to do one of them.
Me: What? What were you going to do?
Eric: We have a math test today. I was going to get a hundred percent.
This morning, I went on to Minecraft Realms with my boys for the first time in a while. At spawn, I noticed the chicken pen had been moved, and went to investigate. I found row upon row of gravestones, each with a poppy, and a sign with a name on it. My 11 year old explained to me how I could dig up the dirt in front of each grave to find personal effects of each “soldier”, and he’d been working for days to gather enough xp to name the items with the “soldier”s’ names. He explained that it’s for a ceremony he is designing which we are all going to attend in mine craft personas on November 11th. He explained that the wearing of a poppy and the observance of remembrance day means many different things to people, so during the ceremony each of us is going to be given a minecraft poppy and a book to write in, and we’ll write what rememberance day and it’s rituals means to us in the book and put in a chest he is going to create for these types of rituals. Wow.
When I was a kid, I thought I was all clever complaining that “boy shoes” and “girl shoes” didn’t make sense as categories in the store, since shoes don’t have the relevant parts that make something a boy or girl. I try to impress my kids this point, and I get back “Mom. You do have a point, but remember that boy and girl is not just about bodies. There’s your genetics, and then there’s also your gender, which is a social construct”.
Kids these days.
Also, I now understand where the phrase “don’t be smart” comes from.
Thinking today about the trans people murdered this year. Also thinking about the energetic, charming, generous little trans boy I know, and hoping for a bright and safe future for him. And of my own child who I would not categorize as trans… Who I have taken to saying “is a very creative kid” because that seems to be the best description I can find. This morning I woke up and came out to see a kid in pink sparkles singing show tunes with delighted exuberance. I said “today is…” And then the words died in my throat and I paused for a moment and then I said “Thursday. Let me make you some cereal.”
Humph. Once they reach a certain age, they just aren’t into family costumes, not even if you come up with the perfect thing for a) Gary has nothing, b) Liz found a wedding dress in the closet and the hotel has towels, and c) we are at a Unitarian conference. But no, Eric insists on being a calculator and you totally can’t make a trinity out of the father, the calculator, and the Holy Spirit. And Anthony is declaring that he cannot go as the son because he does not subscribe to binary ideas of gender. Humph.
No, honey, I can’t check the math on your costume. I have been in seminary too long and I no longer remember what bedmas stands for. Don’t worry, there is a ministerial way to deal with this. You say it out loud from a pulpit (Facebook will do in a pinch) and then wait to be corrected.
Me: A skull mask that oozes blood, claw hands, and several types of swords. What kind of a hallowe’en costume is that? What are you supposed to be?
Anthony (my hot pink loving show tune singing super cuddly child who ran out of Mrs Doubtfire when the parents started arguing, yelling “THIS MOVIE IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN”): I’m not really sure. Can you be “violence” for Hallowe’en?
Me: No. They don’t allow it at school, and that weekend we’ll be at the Unitarian Gathering, and I highly doubt they’ll allow it there, either.
Eric (takes a breath to speak)
Me: And DON’T you start quoting the seven principles at ME. #worldscrappiestminister, #notthebestmothereither
Me: And what are YOU supposed to be.
Eric: I already told you. I’m going as a Calculator.
Me: And why do you need THAT stuff?
Eric: I’m going as a Calculator that carries Samurai Swords.
Reaching a new parenting low… <grin>. I am sick in bed, but not so sick that I can’t be on my computer. Of course. Also not so sick that I can’t put my dear children (who I can hear playing computer games in the next room) to bed VIA EMAIL. Eric and I just had multiple exchanges negotiating after supper chores, then bedtime, and now they are brushing their teeth. I am not sure if this is grounds for a mothering prize (you know, for creativity), or grounds for calling Social Services. I guess this is one of those both/and situations we keep hearing about at seminary. In other news, if they start handing out mothering prizes for creativity, I am SO all over that category.
Me: Anthony Owen Edward James. Calling people “Douche Canoe” is never appropriate at Tea Parties. This is not negotiable.
I was quiet staring to space for maybe ten seconds before Eric looked at me in utter confusion and declared “uh, mom? Are you muted?”
Gary: what’s for supper?
Me: can’t talk. Writing manifesto.
Anthony: what does manifesto mean?
Eric: that we are having sandwiches for supper.
Okay, this never happened. It is a cautionary tale in my mind.
True story from about a month ago:
Anthony: Mom. You look so BEAUTIFUL! Where did you get that dress?
Me: It’s my wedding dress. Isn’t it lovely?
Eric: Why are you wearing your wedding dress?
Me: Because I feel like it.
One of the best things about being over thirty is you get to wear whatever the absolute heckles you want.
Also, don’t bother reading this stupid article. There is nothing in there that you were planning on wearing anyways.
(Also, truth be told, it wasn’t JUST that I felt like wearing my wedding dress. I’d also run out of clean pants)
Eric (referring to the ordering from Boston Pizza): Mom. When dad is gone, it falls to you to set a good example.
Me: Dad being gone is when I DON’T have to set an example. Eat your pizza.
Eric: Who will set an example for Anthony and I?
Me: That is why I had TWO of you.
Now he’s off writing in his healthy eating journal. Man, I sure hope that thing is an actual assignment and not sophisticated passive aggressive pre-teen-ey-ness. Although if it is, I’m a little impressed. Either way, looks like I’m in for a repeat of David’s adolescence, which mostly featured him forwarding me parenting research and trying to teach me about math.
The downside of getting involved in a lot of cool social justice projects is that sometimes one gets very excited and distracted and brushes one’s teeth with leave in conditioner. The upside is that when this happens, one is well equipped to put the trauma in appropriate perspective.
When dealing with Church volunteers, one gets what one pays for. The good news is I have successfully enlisted Anthony as half of my posse for the Cambridge Platform Rap set to the tune of Ice Ice Baby. The bad news is that when one is working with nine year olds, it is inevitable that the phrase “Congregational Polity” gets turned into “Congregational Poop-on-thee”. Boo-yuck.
Our family bursts into song a lot. We are our own soundtrack.
In related parenting news, I like to explain things about the world to our children. So this is why, at 8:30 this morning, I stopped midway through hauling the old floor rug to the dumpster with my children to explain why I kept bursting into renditions of “Will you help me hide a body” by Disney. (That may not be the original lyrics. I haven’t seen Frozen yet, so I don’t know). This is how it came to be that the elevator doors opened to a lobby full of workers there to do renovations as I said to the children “So that’s why, if you’re going to murder a lot of people, you need to either have many good friends, trustworthy children, or not live in a condo”. The workers looked surprised. I looked embarrassed. Then my children helped me haul a VERY large piece of carpet to the dumpster.
Me (texting Gary, who is away): Good morning. I love you. In other news, if I am arrested today you can use my Facebook status to prove my innocence.
No answer. I assume he figures this is the latest in my long series of ploys to try to convince him that Facebook is a Tangibly Useful Tool.
I really hope nobody murdered anybody in the building last night. I mean, I always hope that, but I hope it extra this morning.
I was going to write this blog post about how we are the creators of the soundtracks of our children’s lives… it was going to be so touching. I was going to talk about the memories I have of singing Christmas Carols with my family while we did dishes, and of gathering around my mom’s guitar and singing Bob Dylan. I was going to talk about the brilliant songs that I’m so inspired by, and so excited to share with my own children.
Instead I am posting to Facebook, with a much shorter message:
Family music night is neither a competitive sport nor a contact sport. It should not be easily confusable with a game of lacrosse.
Anthony: Shhh… My mom doesn’t like being surprised…
Me: THAT IS TRUE I DO NOT.
Kid who is visiting (haughtily): We are not hunting you, anyways. We are hunting tigers.
Anthony: Yeah, we’re just using you for practice.
Back from the hospital. Again. We are out of the Anaphylaxis danger zone now, but Eric is now dealing with an infection in his arm.
Me: There is a reasonable chance these oral drugs won’t work, and you’ll need an IV. Do you want me to ask if Dad can do that if needed?
Eric: No, I want to come back here.
Me: It’s okay, honey, your dad is more than capable of…
Eric: I really think I need to come back here. It is so important to get good medical care–even if it does mean missing some sleep and some school. Also, I’m almost done my Minecraft machine. Can you check if they have more popsicles?
On the upside, I have never been so active in social media.
On the bright side, I have remembered every. single. dose. of my son’s antibiotics, despite all bets placed to the contrary. On the negative side, I may have undermined my bragging rights by exuberantly yelling “HA HA HA!! Look who just good mothered the poop out of YOU!!!”. And now we are having a conversation on the definition of irony. I am going to go have a nap.
Eric: How do you open these stupid bottles?
Anthony: It’s easy!
Eric: No it’s not, it’s–… Mom. WHY are you laughing?
Me: You are clearly getting too old to open childproof bottles. This is one of the rules of the Universe. Ask your brother to help you. He is young enough to be able to do it. See how he is hopping up and down yelling “me try me try me try”?
Eric: Anthony? Do you really know how to open these?
Anthony: AbsoLUTEly. What I do is, I throw them really hard at the floor.
Me: Did you read that love poem I wrote for you?
Gary: What love poem?
Me: It’s on your email.
Gary: I didn’t see it. Can you look through the fridge and see if we have more butter?
Me: It might be attached to the email with the grocery list.
Gary: Did you text the plumber?
Eric (in what I might optimistically describe as the “background”): Die Zombie Pigment, DIE!!!
Me: Aren’t you going to go read the love poem?
Gary: Right now? The chicken would burn.
Anthony: MATEYYYYO!!! Stop being such a butt-crack!!!
Me: Look. What is more important. True love or supper?
Gary: I’m hoping to play my cards right and have both.
Me: I lost the vacuum.
Me: I didn’t take it out of the house. I never do.
(Pause). Note: we live in a 2 bedroom condo. It is a pretty big condo, for 2 bedrooms. That said, it’s a pretty big vacuum.
Gary: you could use the broom.
Me: maybe I’ll post to Facebook instead. That might help.
Note: it did. Gary is now sweeping.
Gary: You have been using a lot of sports metaphors lately. “Monday morning Quarterback”… “End Run…”
Me: Those are sports metaphors?
Gary: Where did you think they came from?
Me: I thought they were Policy Governance words. What do they actually mean?
Gary: I am PRETTY sure they are from sports…
Me [deathly ill with virus]: Those last pills you gave me were great. I want more pills.
Gary: You have had all you need of those pills for a while.
Me: Give me some placebos then. Those work great on me. Hey, are you listening or are you cleaning the kitchen?
Gary: Placebos. Sure. Go take whatever you want.
Me: I do not think you understand how to do science.
Just so you all know that it’s not just GARY putting up with MY idiosyncrasies around here all the time:
Me: You know how the one space that I have truly organized in the whole house is that little bin where I put my toiletries and every morning I stick my hand in there, and pull out my toothbrush and my hairbrush and then I get ready for the day?
Me: I am very meticulous about it not being cluttered. Because I use it every day. I know what I leave in that basket. And I very sure that I DID NOT LEAVE A RAZOR BLADE IN THERE.
Gary: Oops. Sorry. Are you, uh, hurt?
Me: Not physically, but I am OFFENDED that you left a RAZOR BLADE in my daily toiletries basket.
Gary: It was a scalpel blade.
Me: ARE YOU GAROO-ING WHAT TYPE OF BLADE YOU BOOBY TRAPPED THE BATHROOM WITH?
Gary: It wasn’t a trap. It was for… For if we need it for things.
Me: What things? What things? What impromptu operations would I need to perform with a scalpel as part of my morning routine???
Gary (looking a bit confused): Didn’t you just see me making last minute alterations undoing a seam on my shirt?
Me: I AM PUTTING THIS SCALPEL IN THE SEWING AREA WHERE IT BELONGS!!!
Me (dancing in the kitchen, while doing a singing/rapping thing): You know I’m all about the grace, ’bout the grace, no devil. All about the grace, ’bout the grace, no devil…
Gary: Good morning.
Me: Since you asked, what I am doing is I am cleaning the kitchen while simultaneously reading about the history of Universalism.
Gary: I didn’t ask. (pause) I just thought you were singing that all about the base song.
Me: No. All about the GRACE. Universalism. I like to sum up what I have read in spoof versions of pop songs. It helps me absorb what I’ve been reading.
Me: I haven’t actually read anything YET. I’m more warming up for reading.
Me: But I know what it’s GOING to say. That’s how studying history works.
Being socially appropriate for long stretches makes me tired.
Anthony: I can’t empty the dishwasher, because of this cancer on my hand.
Gary: No, honey, that’s an infection, from scraping it on the playground. Remember how–
Anthony: Infection, cancer, whatever. Same thing.
My children are sorting socks with a level of giddiness that is usually reserved for drunk people.
Me: those two are the same.
Eric: not EXACTLY the same. Some of the atoms are different. (Hysterical laughter).
Me: sigh. What idiot taught you about atoms.
Eric: you did. When I was in grade three, you taught me about the periodic table, and now I am DELIRIOUS WITH POWER.
I find it hard to believe his story. Teaching him about the periodic table does not sound like me. For one thing, I do not understand said table.
This is why kids have two parents. (Edit: Or three, or four, or a whole village…)
“Who is Eric Garner?” asked Anthony, in response to something Gary and I were talking about.
I quickly recounted the story ending with “and then he died.” I didn’t even get to the part about the lack of indictment when I looked over to see my son looking at me with blank horror, and beginning to shriek. His whole body crumpled, and he slid onto the floor, sobbing with this horrible sick sound coming from his gut. I picked him up and carried him to the couch, trying to reverse what I had done.
“Mom.” Eric said. “He doesn’t know the world is like that. You have to be careful.”
“But there’s been protests… and there’s a twitter hashtag… and…” I said frantically, trying to put a better spin on the whole thing.
There is no spin to be had.
“Mom!” Anthony sobbed, “That story is VERY HORRIBLE!!”
I know that non-white parents have to start having safety conversations with their boys when they reach the age my kids are at, and I resolved I wouldn’t leave the ball entirely in their court. I resolved to have fix-the-problem-at-the-root conversations with my white children.
I had no idea it would be so hard. I had no idea how soul crushing it is to tell your kid that this is how the world is. I had no idea how tempting it would be to just stop talking (because it’s not my kids life on the line–so I have that option). And, having committed in my mind to saying something, I had no idea how absolutely terrible I’d be at it. I had no idea what to do when the inevitable horror filled my kid’s face.
This is why they have two parents.
Gary walked over to Anthony, who was now curled on the couch, with his arms over his head, sobbing, and picked him up.
“I know how you feel.” he said. “That’s exactly how I felt inside when I heard this story. I’m so sorry. I’m just so sorry.”
It’s been a rough couple of months in a lot of ways. The words “when mommy’s feeling better…” which broke my heart to hear when I was a child, kept coming out of my mouth, and I hated it.
We messed around trying to change various things, and then suddenly—either because of our changes or out of random chance—things have been really turning around. I’ve been hesitant, shuffling, like someone testing new ice. But it’s held.
And once again, we have wiggle room. We are dancing in the evening while we do the dishes. We are shouting out the words to Emma’s Revolution songs while swigging carbonated apple juice right out of the bottle, table talking our way through endless (and I mean ENDLESS) kaiser games, and setting up the massage table for family spa night. We are becoming ourselves again. We’re not back to 100%, but we have something to work with, and we’re working with it.
For years I have told my children that this is the Christmas story: That the images of the baby in a manger surrounded by piles of hay and a ragtag cast of characters means this: You create family where you are, out of what you have. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Sorry Chalica, nothing personal. Christmas is just a tough act to follow.
Me: We had the surprise Christmas party for the Upstream staff the other day. I love the Christmas season. I love the lying.
Gary: I’m sorry? [translation note for Americans: In this context, he does not mean “I am sorry”. He means “What you just said is stupid”]
Me: You know, the surprise parties, and the making of gifts… it’s the one time when you get a free pass on being deceitful. About what you’re giving people, or your plots and schemes. It’s like ethical lying season.
Gary: I never thought about it that way.
Me: I’m so committed to honesty—I really believe in it.
Gary (wincing a little): Yeah, I know.
Me: But I also really love lying. And I’m so good at it! But I never get the chance. This is the season of the ethical lying. I love it so much.
Me: Why are you looking at me like that? This conversation should be reassuring to you.
Let’s get this out of my system, shall we? “I KNOW this outfit is BEAUTIFUL, right? Value village. Thirteen dollars. I freakin’ kid. You. Not.” Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I am ready for the department of surgery party. “Oh thank you. You look lovely too… Going anywhere warm for the holidays?” Yup. I’ve got this.
Christmas decorating with the Groot James family:
Eric: this is not going to work.
Me: sure it will. Bring me the drill
Eric: I do not bring power tools to people who ignore the laws of physics.
Curse #1 of being the mother of little geeks: they are singing to the tune of Christmas Carols, but their lyrics are zeroes and ones. “We are singing in binary!”
Curse #2: I know they aren’t. Those are just random strings of zeroes and ones.
Eric: The reason this is not going to work is that these are clearly not pieces of the same tree. It will not be possible to assemble them.
Me: Don’t tell me how I can celebrate Christmas. GAAAARRRRYYY! Eric is religiously oppressing me.
Eric: I am not oppressing you. I am merely pointing out the laws of physics.
Me (haughtily): I am a Unitarian. I do not have to obey the laws of physics. I merely affirm and promote the SUGGESTIONS of physics.
Eric: I see that all of the stuff over there just fell down.
Eric: When you write this on Facebook, please include the part where the lights, the room divider, the chair, and the candle thing-ey all fell down immediately after you said that.
Me: I tells the story I WANTS TO TELL!
Me: Yeah, I want to tell that part.
“ONE MORE WORD ABOUT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS, KID, AND I WILL DUCT TAPE YOU TO THE WALL ALONG WITH THIS &%^&&ING TREE!!!!”
Christmas decorating with the Groot James Family, part four.
Me: I am grumpy because of my elbow.
Gary: Take some Advil.
Me: I do not need to take Advil.
(pause, like Gary is thinking “I need you to take Advil”).
Me: I am not grumpy from pain. I am grumpy because I don’t get to write. I can’t live without writing. All the words build up and there is nowhere to put them. It is like being spiritually constipated.
Me (being humorously ironic, here): Also, the world is deprived of my gifts, and…
Gary: I don’t think you can mix those metaphors.
When you go to train to be Minister, they do all these tests on your personality. It’s super interesting. Here’s how my evaluation went:
Guy: Your scores are mostly excellent, there are only three areas I want to point out. The first has to do with the high scores… you scored as slightly dishonest… that you were bending the truth a bit to look good.
Me: I wasn’t. I don’t do that. Your test is mistaken.
Guy: Well, er, you do get that with positive scores. Secondly, you scored a bit delusional on the optimism. You might have a bit of a Pollyanna syndrome, where you think the world is a better place than it is.
Me: I don’t do that either. Your test is American, calibrated on American audiences, who are inherently more fearful and pessimistic than Canadians. I am optimistic, but I can back my claims up with research.
Guy: Um, okay. You also score highly on psychopathic deviance.
Me: I’m sorry? [note: Not an apology. In this case, the Canadian “I’m sorry” translates to “take that back, or I will cut out your spleen”, which guy appeared not to realize.
Guy: It’s okay, you don’t have to feel bad.
Me: Oh good because I don’t.
Guy: In this context, it means that your behaviour is not heavily governed by social norms. Also, you don’t have much respect for authority.
Me: Again, Canadian attitudes around authority are different. Your test is–
Guy: (raises eyebrows)
Me: Okay. Your test may have a point in this area.
Guy: You’re going to be a Unitarian Minister, though, right?
Guy: You should be fine, then.
I have now studied Jesus, Servetus, Channing, Emmerson, Parker… I am starting to see his point…
After years of discernment and soul searching, I have to face up to the truth of the situation. There is a reasonable chance that the sorting hat would have put me in Slytherin.
Me: this walking in minus forty thing sucks. On the way home, we are taking the bus. I am telling you what.
Sister who is visiting from Virginia and doesn’t like being all transcribed on Facebook: blah blah blah.
Me: no, because “I’ll tell you what” would imply that I am about to tell you more what, which I am not going to do. And so then you’d be all “what. What????” While waiting for me to tell you the what like I said I was going to. The tense is more accurate when you say it my way.
Sister: blah blah blah.
Me: look. I don’t tell you how to apologize for stuff, just because I am Canadian.
Sister: blah blah blah.
Me: well, you are American now. You took the flag oath about bearing arms and everything.
Sister: blah blah blah.
Me: see, this is a perfect example. You shouldn’t have just ended with “I will tell you what” because that is totally inaccurate. You should have ended with “I just told you what”.
Sister: blah blah blah
Me: aw, thanks! Bless your heart too!
Sister (gives me The Look)
Me: you look unhappy. Would you like to tell me some more of the what?
In preparation for my trip to Chicago, i am brushing up on my American. I think it’s going well.
Note: this conversation has been slightly photoshopped. What with the laryngitis, I have been having my most witty dialogues in my head.
I love the point in the party where everyone is drunk enough that my natural personality fits right in…