Irreverent Mama

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Long weekend walks are a summer tradition for Matthew and me. Down the path by the canal through the centre of the city, to our favourite coffee shop, there to imbibe our favourite iced coffee. The path is reasonably wide, paved, and even has a yellow line down the centre.

Ah, the decadence of urban life!

The path along the canal is increasingly popular, though, which means that the glories of the path are shared with other pedestrians, cyclists, and roller bladers.

"Shared" being a generous term for some.

People stroll in clusters. They meandre in clumps. No harm in that, so long as the path is clear. Common courtesy, of course, dictates that when someone approaches you, the clumps and clusters must dissolve into something approaching single file. Or at least, they should shrink their amoebic form so as to fit on their side of the line.

Common courtesy, however, as we have all had cause to lament, isn't so common any more. And don't be thinking this kind of oblivion is restricted to groups of teens. Nuh-uh. Chattering groups of middle-aged women are awful for this. Awful! (I'm 46. Why?) As are clusters of steaming, hard-bodied thirty-something men, pounding by on their daily "aerobic workout". Decorative as the latter may be, they are less than pleasing when one is watching their passage from the bushes at the side of the path where one has leapt, gazelle-like, in sheerest self-defense.

I am at an age and level of ornery-ness where I am unwilling to swish to one side to allow a cluster of five to pass in a clump, completely oblivious to my presence.

I HAVE a presence, dammit, and you WILL take heed!

So I simply don't cede the space. With the teens and the women, I square my shoulders and continue in my course. Mostly, they leap out of MY way moments before impact. Which has a certain amount of satisfaction. But - and this will tell you something unfortunate about my character, I'm sure - I rather prefer it when there's an impact.

I am prepared for it, you see. They are expecting mild-mannered me to leap aside. When I don't, they thud into my unyielding shoulder. They careen off to one side. They have a look of shock on their faces. They are astonished.

"Oops!" I say, with a cheerful, kindly, middle-aged-lady smile. "Ignore ME, would you!" shrieks my blood-thirsty, vengeance-driven Inner Crone.

With the hard-bodied steamers, to continue walking into their sweaty midst would be little short of suicidal. Instead, I stand utterly still. It's best if you can make firm eye contact with the alpha-male in the group, but not always possible. It takes some courage to stand your ground as the steaming horde approaches, but I've never been mowed down yet. The group splits and they steam on around me. Some have been known to stumble a little in the shock of having a body suddenly loom into their oblivion. A few drops of man-sweat spattered on my arm are a small price to pay for claiming my right to my half of the damned path.

No more will this polite woman be held hostage by the rude of the world. Or at least the oblivious of the canal path.

I am here, and YOU can get off MY side of the damned path.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stolen from John.


1: DRINK: Irish cream ales. In the summer, margaritas, Mike's hard lemonade, and sangria, though not all at once.

2: FOOD: Thai wet coconut curries.

3: FILM: Sense and Sensibility

4: BOOK: I have absolutely NO IDEA where to start. I read at a ferocious rate. Ten to twenty or more books a month, usually.

5: SPORT: Not much interested in 'em. Did watch some of the Stanley Cup playoffs, because the local team was in in, thus making it inescapable!

6:BLOGGER: Oh, goodness... That would be playing favourites.

7:MUSIC: Blues. Or chamber music. Depends on my mood.

8: BIRD: Cardinal

9: ANIMAL: For appearance? Cats, wild and domestic. Nothing as sleek, strong, and elegant as a cat. But for personality? Orangutang. (Hey! Beauty is only skin deep, you know. Orangs are smart and funny in their cumbersome way. I like 'em.)

10: HERO: John, of course.... Someone who doesn't think I'm a creep.