Save the last dance for me…

This song has a special relevance for me.  I always believed I should’ve been born 20 years before I was born.  I was hatched in 1969.  Yup…quite a crazy year…but being a newborn, it had no relevance for me.  I have always LOVED music from the 50’s and the 60’s.  Actually I have loved music from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s…well you get the idea.  Being raised in a European family, we learned to dance.  We learned to polka and waltz.  We did the “heritage/folkore” dancing so we had the dancing bug early on.  Now, imagine my lucky stars when I met Wiseguy and HE was also a dance fanatic!  This was not disco dance machine stuff…this was Polka at it’s best.  Really?  Really Maryann?  Oh yes!

I am sure you have watched…wait a minute…you probably haven’t.  There used to be an old tv show with accordion music where someone played “Roll out the barrel”.   This is not the same.  Wiseguy and I are all about the super circular speed.  We are velocitous (?) spheres spinning around the dance floor.  We are twirling around without a care in the world.  We dance, we spin, we have eyes only for each other…unless we might collide with other couples.  Very rarely.  The dance floors of today, with bodies only gyrating in one spot…booooooring!  Dancing is all about moving around the dance floor and just enjoying life.  Super sweaty time but so much fun!  Why do I mention this?  I had a recall moment of when I was going to leave hubby for three weeks to hang out with my dad in Europe.  It was the first time we would be apart for this long and we were at a fantabulous (my favourite made-up compound word of fantastic and fabulous…feel free to use it) family wedding.  The kiddies were with us and we were having fun, but also counting down the time to when we would be apart.

Songs and song meanings are very integral in our lives.  I am sure they are part of your life as well.  There are songs that are triggers.  They are reminders of events in your life.  As I mentioned, Wiseguy is a big song guy.  More 70s rock than anything (ugh), but then I am the yang to his yin with my love of pop music.  So imagine me and Wiseguy after two years of marriage, with kidlets in tow, knowing that I had to be at the airport by 2 a.m. to catch my flight to Europe.  Imagine my surprise when I heard one of my absolute favourite songs:  Save the last dance for me.   Initially this was a “Drifters” song, but then Michael Buble sang it…a bit more up-tempo.  Kind of more polka-meets-rhumba.  The last song of the night.  Wiseguy guided me to the dance floor.  Little did we know that our “Princess” (9 yrs old) was taking pictures of us the whole time.

Wiseguy and I have danced at many occasions (weddings, banquets, birthdays, etc.).  Wiseguy’s only rule is:  We are the first on the floor to start the dancing and the last to leave the floor.  We have survived waltzes, polkas, two-steps.  We have done the chicken dance and gagnam style and in the old days we did the YMCA. …ugh to these favourites.  We are glad that some songs have left the DJ list forever.  I now bring you back to this song of mine:  “Save the Last Dance” by The Drifters.  The songs they did have been remade over and over again because they are classics and still apply to every day and every time.  They were and are wonderful!

So, here we were, hubby and I, dancing as the wedding was winding down.  Many of the guests had already left.  No surprise.  It was 2 am.  They had music in the background as the band was starting to pack up.  Suddenly, I heard Michael Buble start singing, “Save the Last Dance”. I looked at my husband.  He looked at me.  We went to the dance floor.  I had removed my high-heeled shoes.  I, 5’5″ and he, 6’4″.   We began to dance.  The floor was ours.  We both knew I was leaving in about 6 hours and we wanted to enjoy our last night (morning) together.  Princess took pictures of us.  We didn’t know until we developed the film in our camera (yup…old day stuff).  Each picture shows how we moved with each other, silently, in the moment.  Joyous.

I do love many, many songs. There are songs to relax to.  There are songs to exercise to.  There are empowering songs.  Songs are here to feed us inspiration.  The reason why I love this particular song (Save the Last Dance) is two-fold:  1)  The beat is incredible and 2) The lyrics are all about love and trust.  Go flirt.  Go have fun.  Go enjoy your night.  I know you will come back to me and come home with me.  Why?  Because we are meant to be together.

Maybe to some it sounds like a stalker situation, but I find this song to be supportive of  a healthy relationships.  You don’t have to be glued to each other.  You can talk to other people.  You can dance with other people.  Why?  In the end, we both know that we love each other and will always end up in each other’s loving arms.  Trust, faith, love.  The bestest (my made up word that should be in the dictionary) kind of relationship.

Moral of the story:  DANCE!

Not “dance like no one’s watching” because everyone will be watching, but who cares?  Just DANCE!  Feel that music in your body.  Feel the buoyancy in your body!  Move across that floor and just live!  Your body is full of electricity and vibrations and it knows that dancing feel awesome!  And…as a small favour…Save the last dance for me.  XOXO.

 

 

 

Can you do me a favour?

I am sure that many of you have been asked, “Can you do me a favour?”  Harmless right?  You might have been the person asking this yourself.  In most cases, it is a quicky, easy request that you probably would have done anyway.  However, what if it is something more than you thought?  This is one of the hardest favours to fulfill.  You don’t want anyone to be offended.  You want to please others and make sure there is peace.  The older I get, the more I realize that saying “no” is something that I won’t feel bad about saying.  Why?

I am not sure if you had the same upbringing as I had, but “no” was not in our vocabulary.  We would impinge on our own family time in order to make other people happy.  My mother’s theory was that God would pay us in heaven later.  I still knew that, in many ways, she wanted praise and accolades from others.  That took me a long time to understand.  She seemed to be very helpful, but like many others, we do want to be thanked and appreciated for what we have done.  It makes us feel better as human beings; being helpful to others.   My perspective on this subject has changed dramatically over the years.

I always loved helping people.  It got so bad that I would give up my time and the daily living of my life in order to accommodate the wishes of others.  I dated a hypochondriac that would have me with him in the emergency room at least three times a week for illnesses that never existed.  All he wanted was attention.  It was actually my boss at the time, who pointed it out to me.  I thought I was being helpful and a good girlfriend, where my boss pointed out that he was just using illness as an excuse to keep me from being at work and giving him (the unemployed) more attention.  The relationship ended.  That was in my early 20s.  I dated many “fixer-uppers”, hoping to save the world one person at a time, and then finally realized that I couldn’t fix people.  I could only take care of myself and make myself happy.  Enter Wiseguy.

My hubby of 20 years was (and is) always supportive of me.  I had given up on finding someone to spend the rest of my life with.  One night I finally asked the heavens / God / the universe / all other gods…”I just want to meet someone who can make me laugh.  I want someone to have my weird sense of humour.”  Then, I decided that I would give up.  There was no one on the universe like that.  Again…enter Wiseguy.

I met my funny mate.  I met the man who would make me laugh.  I met the man who never demeaned me or made me feel stupid.  This man always elevated me and backed me in whatever I wanted to do.  Feminism?  Yes…he always wanted me to be me and pushed me to believe in myself.  Now THAT my friends is what a true mate and friend is like.

Now, you many not have found your perfect match, or you may be working on the relationship you are in…but always remember that in order for any relationship to work, you need to love yourself first.  It may sound corny or weird, as we have been taught to love others, but loving yourself and taking time for yourself let’s you be more loving to others.

And…when people ask for favours, remember, in most cases, it is a one way street.  The “favour” you do does not mean that they owe you anything back.  You do it out of the kindness of your heart.  Do NOT expect anything in return.  If you do, you might be disappointed.  This is the old lady of wisdom speaking now.  I have done many favours for many people.  I have received some thanks, but in most cases it ends up becoming “Thanks, but what have you done for me lately.”  In other cases it becomes expected and routine that you will be there so it’s not appreciated.  Be mentally and emotionally prepared for that.  If you feel that you need the accolades and believe you won’t get them, then feel free to take a deep breath in, exhale out, and kindly say, “NO.”  It is one of the hardest things to say, but saying YES all the time and being miserable about it is not good or right for you either.

Old lady lesson (yes, I am considering myself an old lady and I’m fantastically proud of it):

  • YOU CAN SAY NO!  It hurts at first, but it’s not the worst.

P.S.  Hmmmmm, sounds like a good slogan for a t-shirt

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P.P.S.  Double Hmmmm…anyone out there is the t-shirt industry…”Can you do me a favour?”

Transmogrified, Evil Villain…

Life is great!  I am happy!  Cough…Happy!  Cough cough!  What the heck is going on?  Hmmm, there is a wee tickle in my throat.  Ahem, ahem…cough cough.  HACK-COUGH!   My nose is itchy.  What is this?  There is leakage from my nasal passages.  Grab a facial tissue and blow my nose.  Blow again.  One more time!  Phew!  Think I got it all.  Great!  Wait a minute.  I can’t hear anymore.  What is going on?  I don’t have a fever or anything.  What new strain of evilness is this?  Yes, it appears I have a cold.  If it is so normal then why do I feel so AB-normal?

I have become a transmogrified evil villain!  I am usually the upbeat “Pollyanna” type rooting for everything good in the world!  “You can do this!”  I exclaim.  “Live in denial!” I yell to myself.  This self-lie usually works to trick my body into thinking that I am not ill.  It’s not real.  I can get past this.  Yet, here I am on day 9 (yes day 9) and I have managed to get hearing back in one ear.  The Super Cough has diminished to a mere whisper of its previous potency.  My bruised ribs have finally stopped screaming at me so I guess I actually did not crack any ribs in cough-a-lot episodes.  My sinuses…oh my…those beauties made my eyes look like fish eyes…all bulgy and watery.  Why am I describing my ailments?  I believe it is vitally important to share information that might make others feel better about their life situation, knowing that there are “others” like them.

To be honest, the reason I bring up my gross illness is because I have become a horrible human being.  I have become an uber, ugly, vindictive “reality show” type personality on the person I love.

When you get sick as a parent, you are not allowed to show weakness.   You are the doctor.  You are the nurse.  You are the most patient and understanding person in their lives.  When they say their teardrop hurts their cheek, it’s a reality you need to remedy to make them sleep.  However, when the children are out of the house and you become ill, you finally get to plead illness (and insanity).  Who gets the brunt of your illness woes?  Your bestie!  The person who will always be there for you through thick and thin.  It’s true right?

Think about it.  Wiseguy told me right from the beginning that one crucial element of a good relationship is:  COMMUNICATION!  For those of you who do not understand what that means, I shall simplify.  If there is something that is bothering you and you are holding it inside instead of talking about it, that means you are NOT communicating.  This would be a perfect example of my parent’s household.

In my parents house if you were upset, you held it in because there was no point in discussing issues.  Parents were always right.  Siblings?  No talk…more about actions and getting even (bwahaha!).  So, now I had to learn this “talk” thing.

For those of you who were taught manners and behaving properly and “be sure not to offend anyone” this was a difficult task.  After several years I got the hang of it.  It’s not about yelling and picking on each other, it’s actually discussing things, in adult words, no F-bombs.  It’s sharing thoughts, ideas, opinions.  It really does work.  Well, it works while you are both of sound mind.  When one gets sick, sense and sensibility gets thrown out and the evil “sick” monster takes over.

As previously mentioned, I have been the caretaker for many.  If I did get ill (i.e.”West Nile Virus), I still had my father-on-law come to me whilst I was lying on the couch and ask me: “What’s for dinner?”  Yes, it’s true.  When children get sick, parents don’t get timeouts.  It doesn’t matter how tired you are, the children are most important and one day you hope you will have time to sleep.  So, here I am, 20 years later, sick myself, and I am incorrigible.

I have been apologizing to Wiseguy on an almost hourly basis!  Why?  Because I am yelling at him for not speaking loudly enough for me to hear him.  My ears are plugged.  When my one ear canal finally opened up I complained that he was talking too loudly.  Even better… he now has whatever ailment I have and I am complaining when he can’t hear me!  I am agitated.  I am irritated!  I can’t hear properly.  I keep throwing verbal darts at Wiseguy.  He can do nothing right.  He made me a beautiful breakfast and I complained about the pan he used.  Cruel!?  For sure!

So, this little story is two-fold:

To Cold Sufferers:  You are not in your normal state of mind.  When you find that you are going crazy and verbally assaulting those you love, remember to apologize for being an intolerable pain.

To my hubby:  You are the best!  You should get hazard pay for dealing with my psycho-sicko mood swings.  I’m here for you.  (I hear you coughing right now.  Thanks for letting me share my unhealthy goodness with you!  Bwahaha!)

P.S.  Although I am of the elder-world, I find that many children’s books can simply explain life’s difficulties.  As adults we find “big words” to explain our life situations.  Over the past few days, in my whiny state of mind, I thought about how “horrible” I felt and recalled one of my all time favourite stories.  It made me laugh out loud (nowadays known as LOL):  Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Do you have a favourite storybook?  If so, what is so special about it?

 

Just One More Please…

I am sure you will recall my story about my peculiar “crack” addiction.  Shopping at Sephora or The Crack Store as I refer to it.  Besides being addicted to beauty creams and magic lotions and colour palates for my face, there is one other thing that I just realized I can’t get enough of.  No, no it’s not kitchen appliances (though THAT would be a good guess and also a great story for another day).  As I was vacuuming today, I went room by room by room by room (you get the idea) and I noticed one of these in each room.  Whenever I saw one, I glowed with joy and happiness to see their cuddliness there…just waiting for me to snuggle in.  What was this resplendent item?  A baby blanket.

Now, you may be wondering, “What is so special about a baby blanket?”  You may also be wondering, “What is a baby blanket?”  I shall explain both.  I call my “throw” a baby blanket.  You see, blankets are larger and are used for covering such things as beds.  My “throw” is half the size of a blanket, but it is still soft and cuddly and has all the characteristics of a regular blanket.  Why are they called throws?  Well, I guess decor persons would “throw” them onto a chair for a pop of colour or to add chic-ness to a room. To me it sounds like someone is throwing away a comfort cloth.  So, logically,  I have decided to rename it a baby blanket.

There are electric blankets and there are wool blankets and there are cotton blankets.  What makes my baby blankets special?  They have that soft cashmere feel to them.  Your hand smooths over them and you can feel the tiny little fibres brush languidly against your palm and fingers.  It’s like the peace you get with yoga, but without the stretch.  No downward dogs here.

B-blankets are personal sized.  Room for one and no more.  Well, maybe one adult and a chihuahua.  Then again, two children could snuggle under one.  These are helpful at bedtime if one person doesn’t need many layers of warmth and you do.  Wiseguy and I have a King size bed (oh glory be!) and he doesn’t like being buried under mountains of blankets and comforters.  Solution?  My amazing new fake chinchilla wee blankie!  It is 100% fake chinchilla and also 100% polyester!  It is incredible how soft this man-made plastic throw is!  It feels like lamb’s wool on the one side…warm and knotty like a real wool blanket except no itch to it.  The other side is even more cool!  Literally…more cool.  That chinchilla soft fur feel, but it’s cool to the touch.  Incredible!  How do they make these!

Ok, besides the fact that my winter hands need a good manicure, observe the soft, cushy, cool blue layer.  Seriously…does it not look like blue-dyed fur?  Yet it is not!  Totally fake.  You can also see the fake lamb’s wool too!  Honestly, it’s incredible!  So why I am writing about fake fur blankets…ahem…baby blankets?

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As mentioned previously, I never really realized how many of these wonderful little snugglers I possessed.  I have this lovely ice blue one which is my latest acquisition.  It definitely reminded me of Elsa from “Frozen”.  I went through a brown phase.  A really large brown phase.  I believe I have three different brown bitty blankets.  I have an uber soft navy blue one and there is an off-white one somewhere in my humble abode.  Why do I keep purchasing these throws?  They are portable hugs!

I have been a hugaholic all my life! When I meet people for the first time and, if it feels right, I go right in for the hug!  Blankets are usually too large to be able to swirl around you and somehow transform into a comfortable warming position.  They usually awkwardly overhang and some part of your body gets left out.  With a mini-blanket you can quickly yank it up in the air and it will swiftly land on your person in the most pleasant and accommodating hug-type position.

As you can see, there are many great features to the semi-blanket:  perfect size, lightweight, fabulous feel, colour variety, fits one and all.  They also make great housewarming gifts.  Who would NOT want to get a petite blanket?

The cold weather has set in.  It’s nice to know that the days are getting longer.  We will be heading into the worst of winter and happily looking forward to the days of spring.  I am very pleased to have my plethora of small blankets to warm my winter-worn body.  I lazily sit down on the couch and curl my legs up under me.  I pull the blankie off the back of the couch and wrap myself in it.  Happy.  Content.  I grin with joy.  I know Wiseguy is happy that I have all these woolies in each room.  He is ecstatic!  (Not really…but he has told me NO MORE!)  Sadly, the feeling is short lived.  I am watching tv and I see the new spring colours appear that would definitely brighten up one (or many) of my rooms.  So many new potential fuzzy hugs to have in each room and I have luxurious space for them!  I am sure that Wiseguy would LOVE to have more colourful, soft, cuddly, fuzzy, love blankets.  Right?  Dearest….sweetheart…love of my life… JUST ONE MORE PLEASE!

Yolks on you…

I am a lover of eggs.  Eating eggs, that is.  I appreciate the variety of meals that can be made with eggs.  Restaurants caught onto this and started putting eggs on hamburgers.  Oh yes, the value of that golden, runny yolk is something to behold.  You would think that with all my culinary experiences in making appetizers and main meals that I would have a stellar advantage when making myself eggs for breakfast.  Sadly, the truth remains that the simple egg always seems to find a way to make me fowl up (haha, get it?) my breakfast plan.

My initial favourite type of egg for breakfast was the over easy egg.  As a child, my mother would make this ideal breakfast for me.  Mom’s recipe:

  1. Put a gallon of oil in the pan
  2. Crack egg shell with side of fork and drop egg into swimming pool of oil
  3. Use a spatula to splash boiling hot oil over the egg yolk
  4. Remove egg once there is a white film on yolks and yolks are still runny

What would happen if a yolk broke?  Well, that was the end of my day.  (I still believe this to be true.)  I used to gently nudge my fork tines against that whitened outer yolk and watch as the liquid began cascading around the rest of the fried egg white.  Every part of that egg needed to have yolk on it.  Of course, there were many other ways that she prepared this delicacy.

Sometimes a soft boiled egg.  What if she over-cooked it and the yolk slightly hardened?  Doomsday.  Hard boiled eggs...yummy!  Devilled eggs were the bonus to the hardboiled egg.  Eggs and mayonnaise!   My heart is screaming listening to its arteries harden.  Scrambled.  I didn’t like scrambled eggs at first.  They always seemed rubbery and had no flavour.  That was until Breakfast Man came into my life.  My beloved Wiseguy is Breakfast Man!  He can make any kind of egg I desire and it’s PERFECTLY PERFECT every time!  (Maybe fate brought us together for just for this reason.)  What kind of breakfast can Breakfast Man make?

Scrambled eggs.  My goodness they are fluffy and creamy and buttery and…are you salivating yet?  Yes, they are that good.  Eggs over easy?  You can shake the plate and watch those yolks jiggle with delight.  Omelette.   When Breakfast Man makes a cheese omelette you never know what kind of surprise you will find inside.  Spinach?  Mushrooms? Peppers? Chunks of leftover barbecued chicken?  Genius!  The fridge is Wiseguy’s muse; waiting for him to pluck something from obscurity and lead it into Breakfast Nirvana.  I know, I know, I sound like I have never eaten eggs before, but when you have had eggs prepared by Breakfast Man, you would drool as well.  Now, I told you these wonderfully, appetizing tales to share with you what happened yesterday when my breakfast desire was to make a nice soft boiled egg.

I put the egg in the pot of boiling water.  The egg cracked!  Darn it!  I pulled out a second egg, lost my grip and it fell on the counter.  Slight crack.  AAAARRRRGHHHHH!  Well, I turned off the pot of water and decided to make sunny side up eggs.  So, I took out a THIRD egg to add to my hairline fractured egg in hopes that one of them would turn out with a nice, runny yolk.  I added butter to my pan and the two eggs.  They fried for a bit and put the lid on the pan to steam them.   I put a nice thick slice of bread into the toaster.  I made myself a tea.  I LOST TRACK OF TIME AND OVERCOOKED THE EGGS!  The whites were rubbery.  The yolks were hard.  Prediction:  crappy day.  I was irked by my failure to procure the perfect yolk.  I severed one of the eggs and put into a container hoping I’d MacGyver it tomorrow morning via breakfast sandwich.  I decided to add the boiled egg to that mess.  I started to peel off the shell and discovered that the yolk was soft.  Perfectly cooked.  How did I miss that?

I am sure you have had days like that.  You might be a horoscope reader so you peruse your prediction for the day.  It says you will have challenges.  What happens?  You fulfill that destiny.  You have a crappy day because your horoscope said so.  My awful eggs?  I was predicting that I would screw them up and so I thought I had.  In my despair I had actually overlooked the good that had happened by focusing on all the bad that I had endured.

I think life is like my egg cooking journey.  (It’s a stretch but follow along.)  There are so many things we want perfect in our lives.  Perfection means we have control and can make sure everything is in its place.  We wake up wanting to be happy, but more often than not, we focus on all the things that are wrong and that need to be fixed in order to make our lives better.  If we actually stopped and focused on all the marvellous things in our lives, we would find the gold nugget (or egg yolk).  That little thing that would put a smile on our faces and make the things that aren’t perfect seem less awful.  Nugget by little nugget, we would find our lives becoming happier and our imperfect nuggets would not be as devastating.  There may be hard cooked times you are going through, but there is also a soft centre that will make you happy and comfortable and appreciative.  (Ok, ok enough with the eggsplanations.  haha!)

“May your life always be sunny side up!”  I think that’s what my egg was trying to tell me.  Then again, it might have been laughing hysterically and thinking:  “Yolks on you!”  Either way, it got me smiling.