Friday, February 25, 2011

Going Off the Rails

I got to ride on one of those new-fangled C-Train cars today. In case you haven't experienced one yet, they feature two rows of seating that face the centre of the train, and lots of standing room. The arrangement allows for increased passenger-carrying capacity, which I can't argue with, as well as increased passenger awkwardness capacity, which I can.

Have I ever mentioned that I suffer from a certain degree of social awkwardness? Much like a functional alcoholic I've become adept at working around the affliction, so some people who know me are bound not to believe me, but I swear it's true. Gauged against the full possible spectrum of social awkwardness it's not too bad a case, but it does tend to result in (you guessed it!) awkward social situations on a regular basis. The matter is further compounded by my incredibly sensitive internal awkwardness alarm: at the slightest sign of social awkwardness the alarm goes haywire; adrenalin is released; fear and befuddlement further hamper my judgment; socially awkward acts are committed; additional adrenalin is released; and affected parties are sucked into an Embarrassment Vortex that can only be healed by vodka. Or the witness protection program.

One of the hallmarks of a social awkwardness problem is an impaired ability to extricate oneself from awkward social situations. Take today on the train, for instance: I entered the train with about seven million other people and jostled for a plum position, of which - on the new-fangled trains - there aren't many.

You know, during my entire pregnancy, no one ever offered me a seat on the C-Train. Today, for reasons not fully understood, the gentleman who beat me by a millisecond to the same plum position we were both gunning for - won it fair and square! - offered me the seat. The last seat on the C-Train. He stopped just short of claiming his prize, looked kindly in my eyes, and gestured toward the seat. Then we both looked toward the seat. And realized it was being overflowed by largish persons on either side and was effectively only one-third of a seat, and that there was no way in hell my also largish person was going to actually fit in the one-third seat.

Being the magnanimous person that he was, the fellow recognized that by retracting his offer for me to take the seat he would be implying that I was a lard ass who couldn't fit in the seat, so he continued to offer me the seat, while I - recognizing that by declining his offer of the seat would be conceding that I am in fact a lard ass who couldn't fit in the seat - in an adrenalin-induced haze of confusion continued to move incrementally toward the seat. The largish persons on either side of the one-third seat became aware of my intention to actually attempt to sit, and I tried not to notice the rising alarm in their eyes as I turned my rear end toward the one-third seat and began backing in. Praise the lord that I didn't start beeping.

But I did shoulder check.

Cinderella's slipper must have felt much the same way - when faced with her wicked stepsisters' grotesque feet - as those two unfortunate souls did, being completely powerless to stop the relentless descent of my bottom toward them. The difference being that largish persons tend to be squishier than feet or glass footwear, so squeeze in I did. SQUEEZE in. A completely-touching-from-shoulder-to-ankle kind of squeeze. And then we all sat there, decidedly not talking and not looking at each other and silently pretending not to notice that we were all doing wildly inappropriate amounts of touching.

Just when I thought the awkwardness had reached its zenith, I realized that, in enacting a straight-ahead-stare approach to coping with the outrageous awkwardness, the only item available in my field of view was seat-offering man's crotch. So I turned my focus toward also not-noticing his package whilst clearly staring directly at it, and that's when the true absurdity of the situation hit me:

For the love of gawd why didn't I just say  "no, thank you"? And did I actually shoulder check? I choked down a giggle. And why the hell can't this guy just do a quarter turn and get his junk out of my face? I started to shake from the strain of controlling my rising hysteria. No, don't think funny things. Don't think funny things. I think I'll play corners at the next turn. Ohmygawd that's funny stop that! Tears began rolling down my face. Deep breath. No funny things. Only serious things. What if I ripped a huge fart and pretended not to notice? A strangled squeak of laughter escaped my lips.

The largish persons actually stood up - both of them, one right after the other - and stood for the rest of the train ride.

Embarrassment Vortex accomplished. Commence vodka.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tall Drink of Water

DH and I got some new life insurance this week. (Sorry if this puts a damper on your plans to knock us off, but none of you are the beneficiaries.) A nurse actually came to our house to take our "samples" & vitals - so easy! I had no idea it would be that easy. Why aren't more businesses so customer-laziness oriented? I'd probably buy way more stuff if I could do it without getting out of my pyjamas.

Oh, wait - I do. It's called "online shopping", and actually I should probably cut back on that. Lunar New Year's Resolution #146: less shopping in my pyjamas.

As an added bonus to the nurse's visit, I found out I'm actually taller that I thought I was. I'm not five-foot-five at all; I'm five-foot-five and a half!

Sadly, and contrary to popular belief, growing taller didn't make me any thinner, but I have noticed several improvements in my quality of life over the past few days. My salary hasn't increased as much as I had hoped (or as much as if I had, say, discovered I was actually a man all this time instead of just a vertically-gifted woman), but I imagine that's primarily a function of my not hovering around my boss's office frequently enough this week for him to notice my dramatic growth spurt. I'll figure out a way to work the good news into a meeting next week and then just sit back and watch the dollas start rolling in. But I'm, like, statistically way more attractive and successful now, and pantyhose hardly come up to my armpits at all anymore. Plus I can definitely tell that I'm living longer.

Yup, being tall sure has its advantages.

I wonder if it's too late for me to pass on this fortunate bit of genetics to my children, since I only discovered my tallness after I had them? Drat. Well, I'm not giving it up now - maybe I'll leave it to them in my will. They can have a quarter of an inch each, and if they need any more than that, they'll just have to learn to backcomb their hair.

Monday, February 7, 2011

T & A & W

I took this awesome evolutionary ecology course in university, fascinated the hell out of me. But I had a terrible time maintaining focus because so much of the subject matter pertained to the large amount of study that has been conducted over in Europe... on tits. And not just any tits, but great tits. My brains nearly blew out my ears from the strain of not-laughing at the four thousand times a day my prof said "great tits". Between those guys and their tits and Darwin and his boobies - by jove it's a miracle I survived university.

I just love sort of old-fashioned words that have taken on a risqué connotation (cunning, naughty, peeler, rubber, tickled) and - even more so - words that sound dirty but really aren't (bifurcate, fagaceous, masticate, prostrate, thallus, uvula). Yea, yea, so I'm a complete adolescent, whatev. Guess I should cut Small Fry some slack for killing himself over "poop" and "fart" these days - the average two-year-old's vocabulary only stretches so far. But what he lacks in diversity, he makes up for in sheer quantity and bizarreness of usage. Dinner conversations of late generally go something like this:

"Are you enjoying your noodles?"
"These not noodles. I'm eating poop sandwiches."
(Ignore) "Mommy really likes these yummy noodles. Yum, yum."
"You like poop sandwich?"
(Correct) "That's not something we talk about at the table."
"Daddy like poop? Grandma and grandpa like poop?"
(Reprimand) "That's enough."
"Stinky bum-bum. Poop. Tomato butt."
(Distract) "So what did you do today at Jody's house?"
"I eat farts. Poop. Butt. Stinky fart head."
(Redirect) "Hmm, why don't we talk about something else now?"
"Hmm, why don't we fart poop bum-bum poop stinky head?"
(Give up) *sigh* "Yum, yum. Poop sandwiches again. My favourite."

No matter the mental agility with which you engage your small male offspring, nothing can match his single-minded determination in bludgeoning your conversations to death with potty jokes. Making mealtimes even less pleasant than they already were! (Wait - is that possible?)

Actually, I've been calling the kids to dinner lately by yelling, "Kids! Suffer time!" - my own little inside joke with myself. You can use it if you wish, 'cause if you can't laugh about it you might just have to cry. And it would never do to let the little beasts sense weakness.