In Which I am Magic AND Dull, Surprising No One

I was at the mall with Fresco yesterday. He wanted a ride on the Cars car so I said, sure, go ahead, ride it.
He said, but but but but but but but but (this is a new thing. It is quite irritating) MOMMY. I need a loonie.
(that’s a dollar for all you non-Canadians)
I said, well, I don’t have a loonie. Present company excepted. Har. Har.
He said, Oh MOMMMMMY.
I said, oh look here, I have found a pretend loonie.

I pretended to put the pretend coin in the slot. I pressed the button. I said, vroom! Vroom!

And the ride started for real!

Virtual internet HIGH FIVE I am the best parent on the PLANET.

Speaking of which, does anyone else ever just want to get the kids buckled into their car seats and then walk away? Not *far* away, just…across the parking garage of our building, maybe. To check the mail.

Getting into our car goes like this, please add your own echo because we are underground:

Scream scream scream
yell yell yell
shove push yell shove push yell
scream cry cry cry scream
door slam
door slam


I am not the only one, I know I’m not. Sometimes when SA and I get the kids in the car, we close the doors and have lovely, normal-voiced conversations across the roof while the children’s mouths squawk and wail. Sometimes we don’t even talk, we just stand there. Because we can.

I went to the Vancouver International Writers Festival at Granville Island on Sunday. I spent the whole day there. I went to a workshop in the morning with Lynda Barry of Ernie Pook’s Comeek fame and she taught us fun writing techniques. She was hilarious and adorable and I was reminded of the first time I saw Ani DiFranco play; it was the same sort of irrepressible, squeezable energy.

Then I had lunch and then spent an hour and a half listening to short story writers talk about short stories. It was quite an awesome day. I only talked to two people the entire time. Wait, three. But I smiled a lot.

People didn’t really smile back because it was raining and rain makes people on Granville Island sad. It makes them wince and run for shelter. I felt vindicated because I had worn boots and a raincoat, anticipating rain and then when I was on my way there the sun started to come out and I was all, really? I am wearing rain clothes and the sun is coming out? So when the rain started to pour from the sky like some kind of movie special effect I just put up my hood and splashed in the puddles and smiled more.

You know one thing about staying at home with kids that had never occurred to me until Sunday? My shoes are rarely on for longer than two hours at a time. Ever. I was on the bus coming back and suddenly I realized I had been wearing my boots for 8 hours. My feet hurt. I wanted to take my boots off. But you shouldn’t take your boots off on the bus.

One of the questions asked of the short story panel was something like “where do you get your ideas” and the writers all said “we eavesdrop and notice things” which I didn’t find particularly revelatory but then – I did, actually, find it revelatory because I realized that if someone was asking the question that meant there were people in the world who *didn’t* eavesdrop and notice things.


Really. Not everyone is inspecting everyone else for minute details. Not everyone is storing seemingly meaningless information like squirrels hide nuts.

I mean, of course. Everyone is different, processes information differently, takes in what they consider to be relevant, and so on. It is how we survive, otherwise our brains would go ka-boom!

What this means is: 90% of the people on the bus didn’t even know I was there, let alone notice that I was tall and had sore feet and wore a simple wedding band but no other jewelry except the skull ring on my right hand and I had kind of bad hair and a rain jacket that was very practical and that I carried an old, frumpy metallic purse with a red spiral-bound notebook in it, in which I was writing things, probably things about the guy across from me.

Lots of people are not writers and they just don’t give a damn. There are also, probably, writers who don’t give a damn. It is much easier to assume that no one gives a damn than to assume, as I have been doing, that everyone does.

Next time I am taking my shoes off on the bus. That’ll give you something for your spiral notebook, weird scribbling lady.

Oh, wait.

(psst. Stop talking.)

This entry was posted in and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to In Which I am Magic AND Dull, Surprising No One