Onion Boy and his Hot Dog

My first minimum wage job at the age of fifteen was  working the late shift  at a small town convenience store .  On the night shift one of my duties was to clean the dreaded hot dog machine. I would take the hot dogs out that had been sitting there for fifteen hours, drain the water,  try not to gag, and  then clean it.

I can still smell the putrid aroma of rotting hot dogs floundering on the edge of hell. It was disgusting.

onions

Another part of that job was dealing with a wide array of customers renting and returning videos. My favorite customers were the ones who would attempt to rent a video while they had a  fifty dollar late fee for not returning the latest porn video on time.  Usually, they would blush,  give you a good  reason for it being late , and with  a “one time only” warning  I would waive the fee.

However, there was always the exception to that  rule with  the one belligerent jerk that insisted on berating you, calling you names, and then wait for you to remove the late fee.

It would never happen – I would get the very scary manager and she would tell him off.

Problem  solved! He would storm out of the store flabbergasted that: 1) He was out of line for verbal abuse 2) Expected to pay the late fee 3) And now looked like a complete asshole in front of everyone at the store.

So when I go to my local convenience store for odds and ends I remember being swamped at the cash, dealing with a wide array of people in the public, and all of the dirty jobs of keeping the store clean while working for very low wages.

Just the other day I felt lucky and popped into the local convenience store to purchase a lotto ticket.  I waited my turn in line as the clerk worked to serve each customer. It is when I heard one angry gentleman yell across the store, “Onions! Where are the onions?”

The clerk politely smiled “I will be with you in a minute.”

“There are no onions for my hot dog!”

“Just one minute, Sir!”

He huffed! He stomped! And he huffed some more! I was waiting for him to blow the store down.

As I watched his silly gesturing and anger I thought only one thing  - you sir are a huge asshole!

This  lovely clerk working by herself did not deserve to be bullied into rushing to the rescue with onions.   What I wished for this clerk was that her manager was standing close by to usher onion boy out the door.  No one deserves to be treated like a doormat over the simple case of missing onions.

So as I watched onion boy hold his hot dog all I could think of was the putrid smell and how long that hot dog had been sitting in the machine. I imagined the pain he would feel in his  stomach and  the sudden rush to go to the washroom countless times that night. One can only hope his stomach is weak!

If he had only been polite maybe someone would have warned him not to eat the hot dog.

The Horror of Shopping for the One Piece Bathing Suit

If you were to peek into my swimwear drawer you would see an array of colors in bikini and tankini styles for fun in the sun. The one piece that is missing is the dreaded Speedo bathing suit.  It’s not that I have not tried to purchase that perfect one piece but fate has it that all swimwear companies are against me!

Back to the Beach 1-1

I believe there is a swimwear conspiracy were long-waisted curvy women are doomed never to have the leisure of finding that perfect one-piece for their active lifestyle. I say this as I have gotten back into swimming my tankini’s just are meant for more fun in the sun and not swimming laps. Everything moves and I am constantly readjusting my top in the middle or at the end of each lap.

The worst part is there is someone always looking from above at all of us lane swimmers which means I have innocently flashed a lurking bystander watching from above while attempt to do my back stroke.

I dream of a one piece that goes above my chest line! The effort of struggling into the contraption is almost as bad as SPANX except once pulling the bathing suit on I would make Pamela Anderson blush because it barely covers my nipples.

So if Speedo, Nike, TYR, or any other swimwear company is listening I want you to think of me in my plight in finding the perfect one piece bathing suit. It just has to cover my breasts and keep the girls in place for one hour of swimming three times a week. If you create this miracle suit I will forever be in your debt and will an add an extra day of swimming to my routine just for you!

The Presence of Swimming

I love the feeling of swimming laps  as I glide across the water erasing my busy thoughts as I focus on my breath and stride. The water lulls my aches and soothes my  spirit as I disappear into the water.

DSC_0477 I push-off the wall, stretch out , rotating my arms,  relaxing, and  begin to count 1,2,3,4 breathe, 1,2,3,4 breathe, 1,2,3,4 breathe.

It’s the  of edge  of the pool that waits for me  to do my flip turn and push-off the wall -  1,2,3,4 breathe.

The last few weeks my knees have been disagreeable and I decided it was time to ease up on them by returning to the pool.  I have not swam laps for months and dreaded the thought of not being conditioned enough to swim without gasping for air.

I hopped into the fifty meter pool  awkward, unsure of myself, but pushed off the wall  gliding into a front crawl.

Every four strokes I would take a breath and count.

1,2,3,4 Breathe.

I made it half way before I was gasping for air.

I switched to a scissor kick and swam on my side to save my drowning face.

I gave myself a pep talk after reaching the other side of the lane.

You can do it! It has been a while but you know what to do!

I switched into a back stroke, catching my stride, my bathing suit had grown a size, and one of my lady parts started to fall out.

You have got to be kidding me!

Red in the face, I straightened up, and tightened my tankini top. I felt humiliated!

Damn it! I am going to swim for forty minutes even if it was going to kill me regardless of swimsuit malfunctions!

I switched back into front stroke finding my stride but my mind wandered from counting the breath. Again, at the three-quarter mark I had to switch to the scissor kick.

I reached the end of the lane and decided to focus on the butterfly as I slowly glided through the water.  I heard a splash from behind me and it was a man trying to pass me in his formidable front crawl.

Something competitive launched from within and I was not going to let that man pass me. I had pride. I use to be a strong swimmer.  I picked up my arms and immediately resumed into front crawl.

At this point it was a race and I was not to be defeated.

I found my rhythm, my breath fell into place, and I won!  I made it to the end of the lane pushing a good distance between the two of us. It was that moment I knew I could swim a whole lap and had  finally found my stride.

As I finished my last lap someone told me “You look very calming when you swim.” I blushed and clearly thought he must have been watching the wrong person reaching out for the edge of the pool. I was reminded that day that there is a reward when you force yourself out of your comfort zone.  It is in the movement of your stride, the perfect pace when everything falls into place, and the present moment which allows you to treasure your breath.

This post was inspired by Andra Watkins “A Change Would Do You Good” series.

Hilary Grossman on Opening Your Heart and Writing

In Hilary Grossman’s  charming  debut memoir Dangled Carat, she opens her heart sharing her story of finding love and the follies that many relationships face on the road to commitment. It is the story of the “not so perfect romance” and one we can all relate too. Hilary, gives an honest look at finding love as she patiently attempts to manage the commitment-phobic man from running out the door.

I had the pleasure to speak with Hilary about her memoir and the valuable insights she has gained from writing about her life.

Hilary, I loved your debut memoir Dangled Carat! It revealed some very personal and intimate details of your life in this novel. Was that hard for you to write? 

hilary grossman

Thanks Darcie!

It was actually easier than I would have thought it would be!  It is funny, but ever since I started blogging, I find it simple to open up and share my deepest thoughts and feelings. I am able to write things that I don’t know if I would be comfortable talking about in person.  In a way writing is therapeutic to me…

That said, there was one part that was very difficult to write….  The sex scene!  In my first draft I never mentioned S-E-X.  My editor told me that a relationship book really needed to have a little sex in it.  I trusted her completely, and knew she was right.  However actually writing that scene took forever.  I literally couldn’t do it.  I stared at my blank screen for hours….. It was so awkward and uncomfortable!

The one thing I noticed throughout the book is that you have a strong connection with your family and friends. Have they taken a sneak peek at your memoir? And if so what are their thoughts?

Yes and no.  When I started writing the book I eagerly gave the first half of the original draft to several of my closest family and friends (including many of my “characters”).  They all gave me valuable advice on additional stories to include or parts of my relationship to elaborate on.  However as the manuscript took more shape, and became a finished product, I kept it very close to my heart, and only gave it to a very select few people to read.  So far everyone has been extremely supportive and seem to enjoy the story a lot….

You have a special bond with your Mother and she seems to be your lighthouse that guides you throughout the storm. What is the best piece of advice she has ever given you?

“Lighthouse that guides you through the storm” I love that, because that is an accurate description.  My mom and I are very close.  We have always been, but after my dad passed away, when I was fourteen, our bond became even stronger.  She has given me so much advice over the years, it is hard to pick out the best….

Before dating “Mr. Commitment-Phobic” I was involved in a turbulent relationship. One day I would be madly in love and the next I would be miserable, crying my eyes out.  My mom would tell me that love shouldn’t feel this way. Love should make you happy, not sad.  She also said if I felt this way during the “good times” what would happen if something really went wrong?  Would he support me or would he just add to my sorrows…

If you were a relationship columnist – what would be your one piece advice for people looking for that special someone?

I hate to sound  cliché but I would tell them not to look too hard, but instead just be very open to meeting new people.  Also, don’t judge a person too quickly. “Mr. Commitment-Phobic” and I had a very unique how you met story, which of course I share in DANGLED CARAT.  I often kick myself that I didn’t have an open mind the first time I could have met him. If I did, I probably would have enjoyed a great year with him (and have missed out on a year of stress and aggregation with the other guy).

The one thing I adore about you is your sense of style and love of shoes. What do you think is the perfect first date shoe?

Hmm… Tough question… I think you need to go with something that makes you feel confident and good about yourself. Normally I am of the opinion that it is better to look good than to feel good, especially when it comes to shoes.  I make one exception to this rule – a first date.  You need to be somewhat comfortable. Not only do you have to be prepared for whatever the night may bring, you also need to be able to make a speedy get away just in case Mr. Maybe turns out to be Mr. Wrong!

Excellent advice, Hilary! I think we can all relate to a speedy get away! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me and I want to congratulate you on the success of your book launch!

Open your heart to Dangled Carat at Amazon!

Open Your Heart to Dangled Carat

In Hilary Grossman’s  charming  debut memoir Dangled Carat, she opens her heart sharing her story of finding love and the follies that many relationships face on the road to commitment. It is the story of the “not so perfect romance” and one we can all relate too. Hilary, gives an honest look at finding love as she patiently attempts to manage the commitment-phobic man from running out the door.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F55HITQ/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

She divulges the one fear many of us face:

I still don’t ask for much. I have always feared disappointment and rejection.  If you don’t ask, you can’t be told no.  At my core, even though I may pretend otherwise, I am an insecure girl.  And if I am honest with myself, I think that is the reason why I have been willing to accept my relationship with Marc completely on his terms.  I didn’t feel like I deserved a guy like him and I was afraid if I pushed my wants and needs too hard he would end the relationship.  I felt settling was better than losing him.

I suspect at one point and time if we are all honest with ourselves there is that voice in our head that never wants to ask for too much. Sometimes the fear of rejection is just too much and it hurts more than one can ever expect. The key is getting over those insecurities and no longer be willing to just settle.

Life is about taking risks and Hilary takes the big leap to open her heart to find love. She proves that love does happen when you least expect it. It is a reminder that nobody is perfect and it is never easy to give up your heart. But when you do find the right love it is worth it in the end.

Open Your Heart to Dangled Carat at Amazon!

My Week of Uncensored Tweets

I have a Twitter rule which is attempt to be upbeat and positive with most of my tweets. However, I recognize at times that I can be borderline snarky and sometimes cranky.  So if I am having one of those “special weeks” I think before I compose and tweet.

So I thought I would share with you all of my past week of uncensored tweets that never made it to my Twitter Profile.

to tweet

Day 1

Dear God! What is that smell? OMFG! What the hell is it?

Day 2

People it is a girl swinging on a wrecking ball. Big Whoop! Please divert your attention back to Syria.

Day 3

CRUNCH is the sound of my front bumper in the parking lot.  I think I might effing vomit.

Day 4

Holy Hell! It is 3 am in the morning and someone just tried to break into my basement window.  Holy Hell!

Day 5

In celebration of Friday the 13th I am becoming agoraphobic. Did I spell that right?

Day 6

You did not just say that! You did not just say that! #angry #weepy

Day 7

Wiping drool from my mouth after a long nap on the couch. Why is my dog on TV? Wait! I am on TV! I am a CBC rerun! #squeal

As I look back through the list I realize they are just the day and a life of an average person going through a very bad week.  Also, I actually would have tweeted Day 7 but I couldn’t find my phone (that was stuck in the middle sofa cushion next to the stale Cheetos).

My only hope for this week is a warm cup of coffee each day because my standards for the good life have succumbed to being very low. Can I  Tweet that?

Why ‘This is Forty’ Scared the Hell Out of Me

I was sipping wine, smiling, and  having one of those moments of feeling out of the loop when my friends started discussing This is Forty.  They were kind enough to tip toe over  any of the important details with me and just exclaimed ” You have to see it!”

I saw it.

It scared the bejesus out of me! It was not a sweet romantic comedy. It was my worst nightmare! Nightmare! I am still breaking into sweats over it.

Spoiler Alert: Do not continue reading if you have not seen this movie. I am not that kind and will not be tip toeing over the details. In fact, I wish someone had told me!

I am in my mid-thirties and have always been looking forward to turning forty.  I am saving up for a National Geographic Photo Safari for when I turn forty. I am going to do my Master’s degree in my forties. I am also positive that vanity will take its toll on me and several of my body parts  will be surgically lifted. It is also  in my forties I am fully aware that my husband will have a mid-life crisis  get hair plugs and purchase a motorcycle.

Since watching This is Forty I have a new fear! A horrible fear! Waking up to realize my husband has injected his old sperm in me and WHAM I am pregnant!

Perhaps, I am over-reacting but the fact of the matter is I had my kids in my  early twenties and I have dreamed of  forties being that magical time sans kids.

As I watch the movie with unease as Debbie discovers  she is pregnant at forty while almost being over the hump of raising her two children out the door.   You can see the agony and pain on her face. We all know it. Debbie knows it. One more child ruins the game plan.  It ruins everything except Debbie is trapped because it is wrong to say one more child ruins everything.

I know pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time for everyone. But I am going to say  it for Debbie “It sucks. Pregnant at forty would suck.”

Thank you This is Forty for giving me nightmares for the next five years and I will be evaluating all birth control options in defense of old sperm. I have got plans!

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