Is Everyone Finished Grunting In Public and Picking Chia Seeds Out Of Their Teeth?

You are? Excellent, then let’s talk. I’m a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, January first is a great time to try and improve one’s self and become a better person. Normally I have about three or four personal goals to start the year, this year is a bit different though, there are twelve. Based on the sheer number of them, we can conclude that I was a pitiful human being last year.

None of my resolutions have to do with dropping pounds or fitness. Losing weight has only ever made me chronically hungry, so I walk around all day feeling like Oprah only with less money. Also chia seeds result in an excessive amount of flossing- there’s no need to make my dentist that happy. As for fitness, if spending an hour or more a day sweating next to people throwing heavy objects about and giving sideways glances to the woman who spends her entire life on the same elliptical is your happiness, more power to you. My personal take on all that is- it’s what hell looks like, only with air conditioning. The music is probably the same though.

I tend to make resolutions for my own happiness, or so that my life aligns better with my personal beliefs. For example my first and biggest resolution was about my phone.

  1. 40 Screen Unlocks a Day And Less Than 90 Minutes Of Usage Including Phonecalls

Ostensibly I was given a smartphone to take photos and videos of my son. While I have filled my phone with videos of Mini-Tex whacking every item in our house with his xylophone mallet, the majority of the time, I use my phone to check what these girls are up to

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Hey ladies, lookin’ good! (Photo Credit : pintrest.com)

and whether this man has died.

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This man is getting on in years, I have little time left to meet him ( Photo Credit: kokosoup.com)

Which is concerning, a little macabre and worst of all takes attention away from the little boy creating a symphony using the kitchen table legs. Initially I downloaded the “Break Free” app, but that only tracks a person’s data usage. Now I’m using the “Quality” app which locks smartphones for agreed upon periods of time. Before anyone gets upset, unless something in on fire, people can wait to talk to me. In addition, I should not be the first point of contact, my firefighting training is limited to the time I ran past the crazy guy in the park making a bonfire.

 

  1. Pinch Tex’s Butt More Often

I spend a chunk of the day carrying, holding, hugging, snuggling and touching my son. This has coincided with a steep drop off in the number of times I hug my husband. So I vowed to hug/grab/pinch and just basically show Tex that I love him more often each day. I aim for about five hugs. I’m managing four on average.

 

  1. Abusing Canada Post’s Good Natured Attitude And Mailing Bizarre Items

Sending cards to everyone and their distant second cousin who I met once at an opening for a hair salon is my hobby. Recently, with my new lack of free time due to raising a child, I’ve become complacent in my environmentalism. To combat this laziness, I’ve decided to reuse all paper, envelopes and wood pulp products that come my way. My personal goal is to reuse and repurpose items to the point that Sula would be mortified by my sending them to the government. She once saw the package I was sending my tax return in and remarked that the Canadian Revenue Agency would take it for a joke. Come to think of it, this may be why I was audited twice in the past year. Moving on.

 

  1. Hug a Homeless Person

Then give him five bucks. I’m on extended mat leave, in other words, I’m raising my son while making bupkis, but the thing is, I have everything; a loving husband, an adorable little baby, a roof over my head and a metric tonne of farm squash grown by my mother-in-law  (Would anyone like a butternut the size of a smart car?). I’d be hard pressed to find a luckier person. Consequently, no matter my means, it’s my job to give back. So sometimes I find a homeless person and hand them whatever is in my pocket, other times I choose an artist to support on Patreon. Whatever the act is, sharing my good fortune makes my life better.

 

So those are my resolutions that are bringing me joy this year, for all of you still sweating it out at the gym, eating kale and chia seed salad like it’s going out of style, good-o on you, someone needs to able to strut the runways and beaches, and it certainly won’t be me. Mostly because I’m a vampire, the beach is an exquisitely painful place for me.

What are your resolutions for this year my Unwashed public? Share them in the comments below!

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Travesty Tuesdays The Arctic Edition – Part One

Occasionally my weirdness can’t be contained to those who know me and I branch off into writing to complete strangers. Happily, Sula, my closest friend is keen to deliver my nonsense to the people that she works with in the Arctic for three months out of the year. Theoretically these letters were meant to comfort her crew members and remind them that the South and civilization is actually not all that, whether or not they accomplished their goal is another thing. Here are a couple bits of correspondence that I penned to Sula’s crew. To celebrate the middle of the season, they open my writing and read it aloud to one another.

Dear Mara,

You’re like a horse that’s coming back to the barn right now. Is that the correct phrase? I think what I meant to say was that you’re on the homestretch, so you are going faster, or time is going faster, or you’re eating hay. Wait, that came out wrong, I’m sorry. I might need to review my sayings. Regardless, it’s like in a marathon when you pass the halfway mark and start speeding towards the finish line.

I’m here to tell you to slow down, the South, it isn’t all that. For starters people have all these unrealistic expectations, like one should wash more than once a week. Up in the Arctic you’re like a fresh-faced, rock star of hygiene if you rub a wet cloth over one or two parts. And smelling good isn’t ever a requirement. Can we both just agree that this particular aspect is awesome? With all the showering I have to do down here, I feel like I’m never dry. Also nobody congratulates me for washing my underarms. So take a moment, stop and smell the mild body odor, you should enjoy the unwashed benefits while you can.

With warmth and just a touch of greasiness,

The person who inexplicably has trouble making friends- they always seem to move away from me when I get close to them.

 

Apparently after Mara read this letter aloud to the crew, Luke one of the other crew members said “Unwashed is so right,” It would seem that I am not the only person who feels society’s cleanliness expectations are excessive.

When Sula gets home, she regales everyone with tales of the tundra. While it all sounds exciting and heroic, I know in my heart that I have never been and never will be that tough. I won’t even take my seat belt off in a car, let alone remove it on a tiny twin otter airplane the way that Sula’s crew does only to then throw their own sense of safety to the wind as they make a human seat belt for the equipment bouncing about in the small aircraft.

 

Dear Leslie,

I get it; home and the feel of those freshly laundered garments are so close, that you can almost smell the faint scent of “Dewy Rain” on your shorts. But before you get too excited about indoor plumbing and cell phone reception, let’s take a second to appreciate the wilderness street cred you’re building here.

Every minute you spend roaming the tundra, is a minute more of life experience that you have to lord over your friends and family. Or maybe you are a nice person and don’t do that- I’m not, I ran marathons for a decade for the simple reason of bragging rights. When you stroll into any party after this you can be all like “What did you do this summer? Costa Rica? Oh how exciting, I just went to the Arctic and kept myself alive on the frozen tundra through a combination of my wit and determination, but you had to sleep under a mosquito net- that sounds exotic.”

Or at least that’s what I would do, if I was brave enough to live in a remote camp, each chilly step of the day would be adding to my tome of “Why I am Awesome and was Possibly Partially Raised By Polar Bears.”

Kind regards,

Someone who once cried because their feet were cold on an overnight back packing trip.

One of Sula’s crew members was a giant. Like Hagrid but only skinnier. Please note, I am only exaggerating slightly.

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Robby after a couple hundred hamburgers and a donut feast. (Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org)

After having seen a photo of the crew’s lodgings with each bunk bed jammed right up next to the following one, like some sort of sleepy game of human Tetris, I pitied Robby and imagined trying to sleep an entire three months in the frigid cold packed up like a folding chair. However, there are some benefits to being the largest human around, so I chose to focus on those in his letter.

Dear Robby,

I know this is exactly what you wanted this morning- a letter from a random lady who has no clue about what it’s like to live in the Arctic. I’m here to tell you Robby, that it’s ok. I totally understand what you’re going though. Well actually not, I’m super short, not so short that I receive sweet, sweet government compensation for my lack of height but short enough that my feet never touch the ground and every shelf is the high shelf. So really our worlds could not be more different.

Getting back to the heart of the matter, the end is in sight, I know, and while it would be nice to be back in civilization, where else in the world would you be king of the smaller people. Here in the Arctic you’re the tallest man around, you alone decide who eats dessert if the cookies are stored on the top shelf. That’s a kind of privilege that should be valued and revered. So yes, home has washing machines and socks that haven’t been worn every other day for six weeks, however it also has NBA players. As long as you are in the Arctic Robby, you are the tallest thing going, because I heard that even the shrubs are bowing to your height up there.

 

Sincerely,

The woman who needs an adult booster seat in order to safely drive a car.

Dear Facebook, Please Stick It Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine

I didn’t mind when you called me fat and lonely. The fat part was correct, winter and my vast consumption of marshmallows has led to a rather large and noticeable change in my weight and size. But I’m not going to sweat it Facebook, or at least I won’t sweat it until about April after which point I’m going to sweat it all off.

I even got the lonely part Facebook, it was your way of helping. Like my grandfather Facebook, you would prefer that everyone come in pairs. It was nice of you to try and help, but I’ve got this whole relationship thing under control.

However, your most recent trend of showing me bridesmaid dresses? I don’t even know where you’re getting that information from Facebook. What part of searching for Google images of ponchos leads you to believe that I’m going to always be the bridesmaid from now on and die in a house full of hungry mewling cats? That’s just mean Facebook, and completely uncalled for. Also the dresses are ugly. You have terrible taste. Please go back to showing me ads of women sporting A lines with the words “Now in size twelve to twenty-four” because you’re right Facebook, I never wear pants.

Not sincerely, and in fact quite angrily not yours,

The Great Unwashed