High School Confidential

If I hear this comment just one more time, I’m going to spit:  “why are you spending your energy on horses when women and children need your support?”  As I recall, the first time I was reproached in writing about this was in a response from Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette; that was about eight or ten years ago.

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Yah, I Get that a Lot

Yah, I Get that a Lot

Aren’t you…um…whatsername?”  “Didn’t you used to teach at (Nortel, Bell Helicopter, Johnson & Johnson, Imperial Tobacco, Harris Farinon, etcetera)?”  “Weren’t you on a cable TV show in Ottawa…yuh know, a show about card-reading and stuff like that?”  “Weren’t you my Teaching Assistant at Carleton U…the one we called, ‘Attila the T.A’…you were tough, man!..wasn’t that you?”  “Aren’t you one of those bra-burners who ran that Women’s Centre at Dawson College in the late 70s?…was that you?”  “Aren’t you the girl that Quebec Cine-film wanted to be a double for actress Carole Laure…you know when she was still famous for ‘Night Magic’, that incredibly strange but wonderful film she made with that other Quebec actor, Nick Mancuso?”  I know you’re somebody–or were somebody–I just can’t remember who.  Who are you…exactly?

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Creature Comforts

I can’t pinpoint when creature comforts became important to me:  maybe it was some time after I stopped teaching…or maybe after my divorce.  I was married to a man–no that’s not it; it had nothing to do with him, preceded him by many years.  In fact, that’s probably why he felt safe enough to approach me.  I had a very good job as Senior Writer at the Cdn Dental Association and lived in a decent townhouse in Manor Park in Ottawa which was as ascetic as a monastery:  few pictures, no plants (I was the serial killer of houseplants at that time, wanted in ten states), few knick-knacks, and home only when it was bedtime.  Working was my god and the workplace was heaven.  No need of anything extraneous, superfluous, extravagant:  I had a good car and relatively nice clothes (I wore a size six then so I looked good in pretty much anything).  Creature comforts depend on who you are–but more importantly, where you live on the planet, what you’re used to, what the culture you’re born into thinks is important, and, as a luxury, what you can afford (or for some people, what you think you can afford).  I have a cousin who spends more money on the quality of the sheets on his bed than I do on the mortgage.  He has to, simply has to, sleep in a bed sublimely comfortable and cushy, no expense spared, money no object.  I did once have a down-filled duvet custom-made only to find it excessively heavy and impossible to maneuver easily into place, waking in the wee hours sweating from dragging this thing hither and thither.  It’s long gone now…  

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Epitaph for Relationships that Once were

Epitaph for Relationships that Once were

I was at a baby shower today–a truly lovely one–full of serene, joyful women celebrating the imminent coming of a new life.  The women were lovely (lovely in the way Australians use the word:  a sweet, pretty, pleasant person); women who exuded a wholeness, a self-containment and a comfortableness with those around them and the world in general, which makes them a pleasure to be with.  There was a contretemps at one point which reminded me of all the woman-to-woman relationships I’ve had (and there have been many), all of them intense, some of them fraught with difficulty or fragility or an inherent opposition or oppositiveness which would inevitably dead-end the relationship before either of us were ready to admit it, breathless with arguments to keep it going, long after the death-knell had sounded.  I have very few women friends left.  But in the same way that I am grateful for them, I am grateful for those I once knew, probably too well when I think about it now.  

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