Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Paddy's Day Pink

Edwardian Post Card c.1909

On a day when almost everyone is wearing green, I went out in pink—hair that is. I get mixed revues on my do, but this afternoon as I was filling the cargo hatch with groceries, a young guy in a hoodie flashed me the peace sign, and stopped long enough to say, “I’m diggin’ your hair. Stay rad, Man!”

Had he been into the green beer? Perhaps. Was he a time traveler from the sixties? Possibly...but I don’t care. It made me laugh. Evidently my crazy hair did something for his spirit, and his compliment did something for mine.  

Some weeks ago, Liza Fromer, a Toronto morning-show personality, asked the following question: “Is it appropriate to give a stranger a compliment?” It seems that on her way to work that day, our television host had seen a smartly dressed woman on the street, and wanted to compliment her look, but felt shy about it.

I say go for it. Show your colours. Especially on St. Paddy’s Day.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

My Modeling Career

Norma at 18 
As a nursing student in the 70’s I belonged to the glorious sisterhood known as Beta Sigma Phi, Nu Phi Mu level. In addition to selling game day programs at CFL games, one of our fundraising charitable activities involved runway modeling.

We were responsible to style the outfits with our own accessories, a task I would have no trouble with today, but back then I had no real stash of jewelry. I was able to find a cheap little gold lamé dog collar, made out of the same stuff as my shoes and clutch purse, to wear with this yellow tulle ballgown. (Those were the matchy-matchy days). I think I paid $5 for the choker, and took home the gold lamé purse and block-heeled sandals (how very 70’s) for another $25.    

The only dog collars I own now are actually used by the dog, and the shoes are so out of style they resemble the vintage collectibles I now ask other people to model for the Mobile Millinery Museum. I do miss the blonde wig, which was one of my all-time favourite fashion items.

By the time I graduated nursing, I had left sorority behind. It was hard enough passing chemistry, microbiology, and psychiatry, without being tested on secret handshakes and the Greek alphabet. I became a mom and must have modeled a few good things, because all three of my children are wonderfully charming, accomplished, and caring people today. OK, Jim might have had a bit to do with that.

I know I modeled some not so good stuff too, and I hope they will forgive me for that. My new modeling career is all about how to do 60. Please wish me luck with that.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Still Steamed, But Can't Drink My Tim Horton's Tea

You Facebook followers probably know that Jim went in for surgery yesterday—for an inguinal hernia repair. We arrived at and left at (pretty good), but by a.m. I was ready for an Earl Grey tea. (See how his pain and suffering becomes my ordeal?)

Anyway, the coffee shop in the hospital (Jo Brant) is a Tim Horton’s, so I lined up and placed my order for a travel-mug refill. I handed over the green plastic mug, but hung onto the lid.

The cashier told me I HAD to relinquish the lid, because of a safety concern (apparently, they can’t carry open hot drinks at that location).

I resisted because I’m fussy. Plus, I’ve never had this problem before. Never. Not at other Timmie’s, drive-thrus, William’s coffee shops, or Starbucks. But here’s the thing: I had seen the server sneeze, and you know what I was thinking,

Sure enough, she’s carrying my precious green comfort mug in one hand, and my home-sterilized lid in the other (yes, I’m that fussy) and the server sneezes into her arm. Anyone who has seen time-lapse photography of that scenario, knows where the shmutz goes.

I quietly told the cashier that that was the reason I wanted to hang onto the lid, and she shouts to her cohort, “This lady says you sneezed on her lid.” After that, they double-doubled me with rudeness. (Have they never heard of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and auto-immune disorders?) I grabbed my mug and left. I don't know whether I was more upset at the sneeze, or at being told I HAD to hand over the lid, but I didn’t drink the tea.   

I’ve been a happy Tim's customer for years. In fact, I was at the grand opening of the first location. (Boy, does that admission make me sound old.) I was about 12 at the time, and my friend and I were as excited about meeting Tim Horton—can you believe it?—as we were about the donuts. We showed up, autograph books in hand, expecting to find our hockey player in a Leaf’s uniform. He was sitting with a bunch of suits, though, so we didn’t know who was who.

I left disappointed and too shy to speak up for what I wanted, on that day too.

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