Unfortunate Note Taking and Political Outbursts

Moving is amazing. The only thing better than packing up all your belongings and schlepping them to a completely different place is the process of rebuilding your social circle from scratch. We officially moved into our new community over a month ago and life is going swimmingly. The only problem is, well, I can’t recognize people. Children are easy to discern- they’re always running around shouting their names and declaring that so and so hit them, so remembering their names and differentiating little people is a snap. Adults? Not so much.

It’s to the point where if a man of similar size and build approached me on the street and was like “Hey sweetie, ready to go swimming with dolphins?” I’d be all “Dad! You always forget that I’m terrified of dolphins.” And “Is that moustache new?”

Our small community was rocked by a scandal recently. Our local provincial representative found himself at the epicenter of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Gross. Super gross. But I was delighted because it’s a small community, meaning that I would see this knave, and could therefore take him to task.

I love telling off politicians. It’s my second favourite activity after eating hamburgers while watching people on ellipticals. I enjoy telling politicians off even when they haven’t done anything wrong. All that I require is that their political views that differ from mine. By the way my political views are that everyone should share everything always and belt out the 90’s heartthrob band Hanson once a day. Super reasonable and mainstream.

But in order for me to recognize the politician in question, the creep would have to be standing next to one of his election signs, sticking out his hand saying “I’m so and so, elected official for the area and confirmed dirty old man.”

Even then, I’d probably take in that scene and scratch my chin saying “I feel like I know you from somewhere.”

For serious most men look similar. They compound this problem by constantly dressing the same- shirt and pants or a suit for fancy occasions. My heart goes out to all those baby mamas on Jerry Springer who had their husband’s brother’s baby. When the women on daytime TV screech “Puddin’ I had no idea it was your brother- I thought it was you! I’m sorry five of our eight babies are his.” I nod in solemn solidarity because there but for the grace of God go I. For the longest time, I tried to date only men with sisters to avoid this problem.

So though I was all fired up and ready to rip the local MP a new one, even I recognized that calling out this man on his actions was a poor choice. I could even see it in my head. Last Tuesday evening, there was a massive town event. Everyone was in attendance. I pictured myself spotting the miscreant from across the curling rink.

“Oy! Pervert! You think you can harass women in private? Well I’m here to bring you your come uppance in public! Times up jerk!”

And there’d be an uncomfortable murmur through the crowd and some nice woman with a blonde bob who would later claim that we have multiple times would whisper in my ear.

And then I’d sheepishly say “Pastor Kent, I’m so sorry. I didn’t recognize you without your robe on, obviously I need to review to your last sermon about finding tranquility through God.”

So in spite of my great desire give our local politician what for, I’m going to focus my energy on learning the names of everyone in the community. Currently I have a list going by our front door. I add to it whenever I meet someone new. It looks something like this:

Sharon- grocery store, highlights, likes macrame

Max –church, tallish, weird gait, hockey buff

Cherise – church, chubby, toe ring, bakes

Fern – bowling alley, three children; one is a disappointment

Alex – park, black dog, unibrow

I’m not sure what I’ll do when Cherise takes off her toe ring or Max finally gets the orthopedic shoes he needs but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. In the meantime, I’m blending in and trying not to introduce myself to the same person for the eighth time that week at the park and inquiring gently about Fern’s middle child. Also I should have made a note as to whether it was Alex who had a unibrow or his dog.

Remembering Who You Are While Going Pee

It’s a thing. And not just for Moms who finally get a moment of privacy to think. In rural places, while there is some reflection involved, that statement is a reminder of the lack of anonymity in a small town.

In my marriage, I’m known for my willingness to drop trou anywhere to relieve myself. A habit that previously, was more likely to bother a black bear ambling by than a neighbor. While Smokey’s cousin might have taken umbrage with my lack of decorum in his living room, peeing in the bush had few if any consequences. The obvious ones being awkwardly located mosquito bites.

By contrast, on the prairie, where plants are plentiful but by and large short, peeing anywhere particularly by the side of the road is problematic. Tex and myself both work for the government, rendering our mugs somewhat higher profile within the community. Add in our unique cargo trike and you’ve got yourself an embarrassing story should anyone pass by whilst I crouch in the weeds.

So there we were, pedaling along the road to the national park when nature started calling. This urge coincided with Mini-Tex’s need to get out and stretch his legs. So we pulled the bikes over to an entrance to a farmer’s field and commenced exploring the roadside. The pickings were slim; a bare field, knee high weeds next to the field or a ditch. Crossing my legs and hopping from one foot to the other, I squeaked “It can’t wait”.

“Just remember who you are” Tex cautioned as he stood watching for a break in traffic. Having only just lived down my performance in the high school the day after we moved to town, when I showed up looking like a homeless person and yelling about childcare, I wasn’t keen on becoming the resident exhibitionist. After two pickup trucks and a hatchback passed, Tex gave the go ahead “there’s a break”. Already poised in the ditch I quickly dropped my pants. “Hurry that semi’s gaining speed” my husband called from the other side of the bikes. As the tractor neared, I hurriedly pulled up my capris, chuffed that in my haste, I didn’t even pee on my shoes.

After that we continued on our forty kilometer bike ride and hike. Though pleased with my ability to excrete with speed, I rationed my liquid intake so I wouldn’t have another similar pit stop on the ride home.

Man Eating Fish, Bakery Theft and KKK Heaven: Let’s Introduce the Contestants

Tex is applying for new jobs. Which means we are potentially moving. I’ve listed the possibilities in order of how much I like them.

  1. Where we currently live

There is a job opening here that Tex is applying for. Because who wouldn’t want to remain in a community where people question what types of knives are necessary to cut up a moose in the Canadian Tire? Also, where else is it normal for one of your band mates call in sick because they have eight stitches in their hand from a jackfish bite? I love our tiny, northern home.

  1. A smaller version of where we live

This spot would totally be number one on the list if not for the move because in addition to the risk of losing digits to unruly jackfish while fishing here, there is the opportunity to both downhill and cross country ski nearby. If that isn’t nine fingered heaven, I don’t know what is. However, getting a job here would involve moving, which involves lifting, a task that is against my religion, or that I hate so much that it ought to be in the good book somewhere.

  1. Charm City

Not the cake place.

ace-of-cakes

Everyone would want to come to my house. (Photo Credit: CBS Baaltimore)

Although living in a bakery would totally also be nine fingered heaven where I’d help myself to a ten fingered discount everyday on my way out the door after sleeping next to the piping bags. But number three was succinctly and accurately described by Tex as “charming”, before we visited it. He was right on the money, from the cute shops on the main street, to the quirky ice cream place, to its storied history, this place oozes charm. A top pick for sure.

  1. The place with an indoor playground

I didn’t actually hear all of the other strengths of this city after Tex mentioned that it has an indoor playground. Y’all, I live in a place where it’s so cold that the mercury routinely curls up in a frozen ball at the bottom of the thermometer because it’s too frigid out for this element to do its job and rise up the glass to show what temperature it is. The idea of moving somewhere with mini trampolines and slides where there isn’t the threat of losing multiple digits to frostbite (because the cold is meaner than jackfish) warms the cockles of this mother’s icy Canadian heart. Irrespective of the beautiful nature around our current home, there is no indoor playground to speak of, so I am STOKED at the idea of taking a rowdy toddler somewhere that he can launch himself off of structures which aren’t our fireplace or antique tables.

  1. The town with the German name

One word. Oktoberfest. Yes, I recognize that I’m breastfeeding, and old, and therefore can’t get raucously drunk like some sort of undergrad, but once a year, I could pretend that I was going to, then back out at the last minute citing ringworm or some other equally disgusting childhood ailment that makes people run in the opposite direction.

  1. The place that I always get the name wrong

I can’t tell you much about this place. It is, however, close to my Aunty Betty, so it gets points for that. But not much else, it probably has a store, also a gas station, possibly indoor plumbing.

  1. Where we are likely to end up

Tex likes this place. I don’t. We visited because Tex knew his job was ending and was all “What do you think of this spot?” and I was a good wife and didn’t say “The restaurant can’t even make decent fries and the mall smells funny” but I’m telling my thoughts to you dear readers, so that you can pray for me. Because there is nothing here. Remember how that last place might have had indoor plumbing? I’m 98% certain this place doesn’t. I didn’t use the bathrooms at the mall, but they likely had some sort of medieval set up with a outhouse trough near the horses so all of creation could do their business together. Admittedly I didn’t see any horses and have no evidence of this trough set up that I’ve described but it’s one of those things that a person knows in their soul.

  1. The place that I always forget about

I can tell you even less about this place than about number six. It’s possible that I myself will stop existing if my family moves there because it’s so forgettable.

  1. The KKK believe that if they are very good, after death, their members end up here

Once upon a time, a yuppy turned to another yuppy, and said “Hey I like hanging out with you, shall we go to place where we can hang out alone?” So they drove, a really long time, but they could still hear the other poor and multicultural people, hence the Caucasian yuppies continued to drive for another hour and a half. And thus this community was born. It’s far, far away from anything resembling civilization. It looks like it’s been dropped in the middle of the prairie like some sort of city planner’s version of a joke. The inhabitants consist entirely of labradoodle walking, seven-dollar-boxes-of-organic-seed-based-cracker-eating, white people who drive their kids to hockey practice even though it’s thirty seconds away by car. Based on the layout of the place, I think the city planners thought peyote was a food group. Housing prices here are ABSURD, given that it’s four hours away from anything and has limited amenities. It’s like the old rich white people, turned to the other rich white people and asked “How can we only let in yuppies to our club in the middle of nowhere?” and then decided to make homes laughably expensive and all the roads highways because there’s nothing that white people like better, myself included, than driving to the store which is two minutes away in their oversized vehicles, feeling pious for remembering their reusable bags.

What do you think readers? What would be YOUR pick for a place for me to live? Leave your choice in the comment section below.  Come back tomorrow evening and I’ll let you know where we end up. And again, pray for me, otherwise I’m going to end up using the loo next to Black Beauty.