Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let her go mom - just let her go

I have often wondered if I don't give my daughter enough credit when it comes to her social skills and manners. As parents, we don't always see how they interact in the world when we are not present to encourage them, correct them, or speak up on their behalf. It is as though I can't imagine she has a voice of her own sometimes. I know I am guilty of treating her like a child in this regard and that is why it came as such a lovely surprise today when I got a call from the volunteer co-ordinator of a local seniors' residence where she is about to start spending some time. As part of her high school community service requirements, she will spend a couple of hours a week helping out with various social programs for the residents of the home. Last night she attended a three hour orientation that introduced them to the facility and the staff and briefed all the volunteers on their duties and responsibilities and the minimum commitment they expect. When I dropped her off, I did the usual motherly lecture - be polite, shake hands, try not to appear too shy, ask questions, pay attention and on and on ad- nauseum. She was about to fly alone on this one - I was not staying with her to hold her hand - she would be making her own impression without any input from "mom". When I picked her up 3 hours later and quizzed her as to what she had learned - she was vague and not too forthcoming. It had been a long day for her and it did not surprise me that she was tired and didn't feel like talking about too much. I let it alone. She has one more interview prior to being given a work schedule. She still has to be interviewed before she knows if she will be chosen for the job. So, imagine my delight when the co-ordinator called to change her appointment time and then proceeded to tell me how lovely she was, and how she had presented herself confidently, was polite, mannerly and attentive and thought she would fit nicely into their volunteer group. Was she talking about my daughter? Don't get me wrong - I think very highly of her as well, (as have most of her teachers) but hearing it from another adult that had no reason to praise her, other than wanting to share her opinion with me was one of those "proud mother" moments that are all too rare and most welcome. Like I said, I really don't give her enough credit and this was a little wake-up call for me. She's way more ready to fly than I think. Not that my work is done, but I may be getting closer to retirement here than I realized. All these years, you wonder if all the nagging and teaching have sunk in and then something like this happens and you get your answer. She's turning out OK. Better than OK.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Long and Winding Road to Authenticity

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot
I recently came across a book on my shelf called The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life. It surprised me when I came across it because I had completely forgotten buying it. It got put in the collection pile on the bottom shelf of my night stand and never resurfaced until a recent clean up. It was as though when I bought it, I wasn't quite ready to tackle some of those questions, but a little voice in my head told me to buy it anyway for some future date. Lately, I have been considering that very concept, asking myself if I do indeed live my life authentically and where I might be able to tweak it a bit. We all play roles in our life that can feel natural, or in the case of some, not so natural. I think we all want to present ourselves to the world as decent, kind and caring citizens and most days I think I do. But what of some of our other roles? The role of mother has presented it challenges along the way. Setting a good example for everything, everyday, in every category can be a stretch on the best of days. How many times have I stopped myself from using the "F" word or flipping the bird to some rude driver or held back a criticism in the name of being a shining example for my daughter? Now that she is a bit older, I do let the occasional profanity fly but it always seems like it is outside the "role" I have created - the one I decided from the onset I wanted to present to her. But have I been authentic? Is that woman who I really am? I have a friend whose mother has a mouth like a truck driver and whenever I have met her, it amazes me how she lets it rip in front of her daughter, in front of me and in front of anyone who happens to be within earshot. This is not some trail-trash broad either. In fact, she is quite wealthy, self-assured and funny as hell. I admire her. I come away from an encounter with her thinking - wow! - she really doesn't give a fuck what anyone says about her and that she is authentic. Of course, it goes beyond potty-mouth and the brazen courage to spew whenever you feel like it. And frankly, it would be inauthentic for me to let the fucks fly whenever and to whomever all the time. I do think some boundaries are necessary in certain social situations and certainly in work situations, but I suppose one could reach a stage in life where none of that matters either. I don't think it would be respectful to speak that way all the time and I do choose my moments. So what is authentic for one person is not necessarily authentic for another. The book is divided into chapters or areas of your life to examine. Family. Friendships. Intimate Relationships. Work. Money. Creativity and finally Spiritual Life. There's a lot to cover. The questions are long and require quite a bit of thought and honesty. It could take me months to answer them all. I have a bad habit of flipping to the end of a book to read the final paragraph and in this case the final question. The last question in the book is What would I want to be written in my obituary or said about me in a eulogy? Maybe after I answer the gazillion other questions leading up to that one, I will have the answer to that one or a least a clearer idea of what I would want it to be. I do know I will want at least part of it to read that she lived life to the fullest and didn't waste time living in fear of the opinions of others. I think I'm getting there, one blog at a time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game, Set.......New Match?

Generally speaking, there is usually a trade-off when one makes a change in their life. Changing one's weight requires one to give up their current way of eating. Changing one's addiction to drugs or alcohol requires changing one's coping mechanisms. Changing jobs requires a leap of faith that the new job will be more fulfilling. Going from owning your own business to working for someone else requires forfeiting some freedoms. As I am about to embark down the latter path, this is the one aspect that has me slightly rattled. Yesterday I had to announce to my tennis group that I would no longer be available to play our weekly Wednesday tennis match as we have been doing for the last 8 or 9 winter seasons. Months ago, I wrote a blog about just such routines, the ones we look forward to, not the ones we abhor. This group of 5 women (myself included here) have been a constant in my life that I have come to appreciate more with each passing year. As I would have expected, they were happy for me and the changes I am about to embark upon, but they were also disappointed that our group dynamic would be changing. There was some talk about trying to change our permanent court time to another day that would suit me better but the likelihood of that happening is slim. I did appreciate that they wanted to try to hold the group together and were willing to adjust, but it may not be possible. It's not like I will never see them again, but it won't be the same, and as much as I like to imagine that we will all still manage to arrange playing together, the fact of the matter is it will be harder and less frequent. It is a reminder to me to never take my friendships for granted. Sometimes we think things will remain the same forever, that our established routines will never end and we skip along merrily, never imagining the things we love doing will be affected, but inevitably, change comes. It comes with illness, death, marriage, divorce, moving and changing jobs, to mention a few. Beginnings and endings are part of life. It's the time in between that counts. The now. Looking back over the years with my "tennis ladies", I am happy to say I did appreciate our matches and our time together. I didn't take them for granted and I still don't. We started out strangers and became friends. Although I may be playing less tennis with them, they won't become strangers again. They will always be my friends. There are some things that are impermeable to change and that is one of them. The ball will definitely be in my court to book games with them now. If I can ace that, things might be different, like an old racquet with new strings, but it puts a more positive spin on this change with barely a service break. Maybe it will be game on....after all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debramac Interiors - Closed for Business

It's never too late. How often have you heard someone utter those words? It can apply to a myriad of things. It's never too late to find love. It's never too late to go back to school. It's never too late to come out of the closet. Go ahead - pick one. In my case, I recently discovered it's never too late to take a new career direction. Having run my own business the last ten years, it seemed unlikely I would start over again, but last fall's downturn in the economy forced me to consider my options. All signs were pointing in the direction of working for someone else and packing it in. Then spring and summer arrived and business picked up, so I put that idea on the back burner with the intention of re-visiting it in September. As much as I wish it were otherwise, when it comes to finding employment, it is often who you know, not what you know, and in my case a combination of both. An old school-mate I graduated with, rang me up about 3 weeks ago to ask if I would be interested in talking to the company she worked for about a position that had become available. Her timing couldn't have been better. I agreed to talk to them. The initial interview impressed me and evidently I impressed them, so a second session referred to as a "design exercise" was scheduled. I spent a day doing what I do best (in terms of my work) putting a room together for a fictitious client. I had to do the to-scale drawings by hand (to prove I could I suppose) and that was a bit nerve-wracking as I have been doing computer-generated floor plans for years now, but like riding a bike, it all came back to me and I pulled it off. I then had to select all the furnishings, fabrics, window treatments and accessories and create a vignette for my "clients" and present the plan. I was there most of the day. It was so much fun, it made me feel like I was back at school again. It also reminded me of the part of my work I enjoy the most - pulling it all together. Playing with fabrics, textures, colour, scale and balance. Recently I have been more of a contractor "babysitter" than an interior decorator and that was not what I originally set out to do. This took me back to the path I had veered off and it felt good to be back on it. My potential new employers seemed quite pleased with the work I did and said they would be in touch, likely with an offer soon. They now had to convince the C.E.O. of the company that I was a good hire. Yesterday, the offer came and I couldn't be happier. I start my new job on October 13th. Just like that! Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I believe things happen for a reason and this is no different. Let's face it, this just bloody landed in my lap. I'm lucky. I know there are people who spend months, sometimes years looking for work, so I am grateful I did not have to endure that stress. Change can be a wonderful thing and "change" seems to be my mantra this year. I am currently putting Debramac Interiors to rest. As part of my agreement, keeping it going would be a conflict of interest. I thought I might feel sad about this, but oddly I am not. I think it has run it's course and it was time to go. I had just re-designed my logo, business cards and created a website last spring, but had decided to wait until this fall to print or launch anything. I must have had a sixth sense about this that prevented me from following through with that plan. I had just run out of business cards and my website was waaaay overdue. Now it will never see the cyber-world. So, as you can see, it's never too late for fresh starts and new beginnings. I am living proof.
Debramac Interiors 1999-2009 R.I.P.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Purple - Fall's Fashion forward Colour!

Is September crazy or what? It's always such a huge adjustment after summer. The return of routines and schedules puts me off somewhat, especially when the weather is still warm and I still want to wear white pants and sandals, but suddenly the whole of Toronto it seems has donned their black, grey and this season's hot colour - purple. I don't want to wear black and grey and purple yet, unless it is a bruise from getting hit by a golf or tennis ball, which is also still in full swing. I do this every year. I go down kicking and fighting, resisting the change like a cougar facing menopause. As I sit writing this, the ceiling fan is rotating overhead, a warm balmy breeze blows through my window and it is still summer in theory, for now. The pool is still open. It is not autumn already, dammit! I know, there are signs of it everywhere. The film festival is over for god's sake, what other sign do I need? I actually tried on a winter coat in a shop today. It was not the best idea on a humid day, but the stores are full of winter clothes now, so there is no getting around it. On the other hand, I played tennis this morning and the humidity was so thick, the number of double faults by all four of us were oddly higher than usual - we blamed the thick air for them. (well, it could have been - you never know). I bought two huge pots of fall mums for my urns last Friday, but still haven't planted them - it would be a sign that I have caved. Given in. And worst of all, the stores are full of Halloween candy and mountains of other useless crap they think people actually want to buy for that lame holiday. I nearly succumbed to a bag of chocolate eyeballs today, thinking I would put them away until October 31st, but I resisted that as well. No need to have temptation lingering behind my cupboard doors especially as I am heading into the PMS zone any minute now. The truth is, I actually enjoy the fall. There's nothing like a walk in the woods on a cool crisp fall day, leaves crunching underfoot and the last blush of late summer flowers before the first frost. It's this in between time that I don't like. The transition between summer and fall, that limbo-like zone when you don't know what to wear, you haven't put away your summer clothes and it can be 10 degrees in the morning and 30 degrees by afternoon. That's what I'm talking about. It's like fall just needs to make up it's bloody mind - you're either here or you're not - enough of this wavering wishy washy nonsense. Take a stand autumn. Be a man. Stop wimping out. Grab a rake and start using it. Make me get up in the night to close my window. Insist I wear a jacket or a woolly sweater. Force me to put socks on. Make me believe you are here, or I swear, I'm gonna wear white.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Space - the Final Frontier

As an avid gardener, I have rarely participated in the ritual referred to as "spring cleaning". In the spring I am so busy "cleaning" my garden, that the inside of my house takes a back seat until much later in the year. It is not unusual for me to start my gardening season in March as soon as the last bits of snow and ice are melting. Why wait? Most perennials can handle the exposure and my garden being the size it is takes weeks to start up every year. Once September hits, and the interest in gardening wanes, that is when I do my "spring cleaning". By then it is an absolute necessity, the interior spaces having been ignored for the summer months. Today, I continued my purge of design and decorating magazines that I had started months ago and abandoned as soon as the first tips of tulips and daffodils poked their pointy tips up toward the sun. I tackled the stacks of Architectural Digest and House and Home with ruthless abandon, any emotional attachment I once had, gone! After that, I tackled my closet, long overdue for a cleanse. Now that I am two sizes smaller, I pitched anything that no longer fit, no longer appealed to me or no longer stood a chance of ever being worn again in this century. There is something very liberating about this sort of exercise. I received an email from a friend recently that suggested that ridding your space of unwanted or unused items was tantamount to freeing space for other things to enter your life. Not sure what the "other" thing(s) may be, but now that there are some open spaces on the shelves, there is room - so come on in! As a final hurrah to the purge, I descended to the basement closet where my last purged items landed. Now it was their turn to leave. I considered taking some of the lesser worn and newer items to a local consignment shop, but I knew if I decided to do that, they would just end up sitting around in bags and boxes and the chances of me ever getting around to actually making an appointment and doing it were slim to none. Garbage bags to Goodwill were more likely to make a clean and quick exit out the door, so that was a no-brainer. The other great thing about freeing up the space, is the ease it creates to find things. And this time, I don't plan on filling the spaces. I want to contemplate the emptiness like a meditating mind. Ohhhhmmmmm.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, Turn and Face the Strain

In Elizabeth Lesser's book, Broken Open, she refers to times of extreme change in our lives as Phoenix Processes. Times when the events in your life cause you to transform the way you feel or think or even how you look. In most cases, some life crisis or upheaval is the catalyst for such a process and depending on your own individual perspective it can be monumental or less so. As I have been reading her book recently, it has shed much light on my own Phoenix Process that is taking place right now in my own life and given me much food for thought. I am in a state of heightened awareness 24/7 it seems these days. I have been seeing a wonderful therapist that has been helping me navigate my mid-life crisis as I question just about everything I once thought to be true or certain in my life. I started down this path many years ago when my first marriage ended, but somewhere along the way, I veered off the path, and now I have gotten back on that road and it is the most alive I have felt in as many years. It is also frightening and demands close attention. Recently, in my many conversations with other women my age, I have found I am far from alone at this crossroads in my life. My therapist has suggested that my Phoenix Process has been jump-started by the simple fact that my daughter is now an adolescent. When children begin to need us less, it gives us the opportunity to take a look at our own lives and reassess, something we have not had the luxury of time to do as we were all caught up with the priority of raising them. When that spotlight turned on me last fall, the light was so harsh, I knew I had to do something. I had been so lost in my role as a mother, I had forgotten who I was. I started to take steps toward rediscovering Deb. It had been awhile, so I had my work cut out for me. At the time, I wasn't sure exactly what I needed to do, other than some of the obvious things like lose some weight, change my hair, exercise more - the simple things. My fear of aging - or becoming redundant pushed me toward social media - Facebook, LinkedIn and starting this blog. I was certain of one thing - I would not be left behind - I was moving forward with the times and would never become my parents. Re-connecting with the world in that way has been a wonderful journey. Old friends and acquaintances I might never have been in contact with again, have resurfaced and I have even gotten together with some over lunch or dinner to reminisce. My friendships with my female friends have become deeper and more meaningful as we all seem to be charting this unfamiliar territory together in one way or another. Last fall as the financial markets tumbled and it seemed life would never be the same again, I tumbled along with them. I sank into that dark hole right along with the TSX and as the markets began to slowly recover this year, so did I. However, I don't watch those numbers any more as I have come to the realization, I have absolutely no control there. It has reduced the importance I once placed upon money and I now know that no matter what happens, somehow I will survive. (with fewer pairs of shoes perhaps, but not destitute) As I sense I am only about half way through my current Phoenix Process, I am hopeful that the bumps and potholes along the road will eventually lead to a smoother surface to cruise along. I also know there are no guarantees that road will be obstacle-free. There is a chapter in Lesser's book that addresses one of those bumps in the road, in this case more like a giant pothole, with little chance of driving over it unscathed. It is the story of a family facing the journey of a child diagnosed with leukemia. If you have ever known or experienced this type of crisis in your life, you know it is something that can act as a catalyst to put just about everything in your life in perspective. The following excerpt from Lesser's book is worth sharing in my humble opinion. "So much of what we do each day is a diversion from what our lives are really about. A traumatic event is like a knife slicing through our diversionary tactics and exposing the vein of truth-the truth of what we really want, of how we really feel, of the wrongs we have visited upon each other, of the love we crave from each other. In our habitual lives, we exercise the foolish luxuries of complaining, avoiding, and blaming. We gossip about the annoying behavior of friends or colleagues, shutting them out of our hearts, turning our backs on their complicated beauty in favor of their obvious flaws. It seems easier to do this than to move toward each other, to take responsibility when it is ours to take, or to speak directly to others when it is theirs. All the while, the truth waits patiently, until it shows up in the eyes of a frightened little boy." As I stumble and trudge along my current path, these will be words well worth remembering. Thank you Elizabeth Lesser - your book is extraordinary.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fifteen Years Later - Baby no More!

September 13 - fifteen years ago today, I gave birth to Emma, my one and only child. In many ways it seems like yesterday, but it also seems like a long time ago. If I close my eyes, I can see the hospital room, the nurses, coming and going, hear the music that was playing (the soundtrack to Out of Africa - it was the only music that would soothe me through my 10 hours of labour) , I can recreate the entire day. It was a day that only happened once in my life and will never happen again. The most important day of my life. Nothing has changed my life more than being a mother. I was 36 when she was born, a bit late in life for sure, but not too late. By 36, I was a bit set in my ways in terms of how I functioned day to day. Life was neat, tidy, predictable, scheduled, just like the phases of the moon. In retrospect, it was also a bit boring. Nice, but boring. I definitely felt like something was missing. It was her. From the moment she came home, boring left my vocabulary. It left my life. Oh sure, some days, the monotony of diaper changing and feeding and just trying to maintain some semblance of order would get to me, but something would always happen to jolt me out of the tedium of those tasks. Mainly it was moments when my heart would be so full of love for her, I was certain it would burst. On the other hand, it would be moments of worry. Worry about her development, her safety, her social life, her boo boo's. I used to wonder how parents of more than one child managed to cope. I still do. She was the one child I always wanted and she was enough. Maybe it was my age. Maybe it was fate. I just knew that she was it for me, for us. And it still is. I still worry some times about her being alone once we're gone, with no brothers or sisters to rely upon, to call, to reminisce with. But I remind myself that not all siblings grow old together, some don't even see each other or speak to each other and there is no guarantee that having one will see you through to the end. She has many advantages being a singleton. Advantages she is well aware of and is grateful for. Over the years, I have asked her if she wishes she had a brother or sister and her answer has been consistently - no. She enjoys her elevated status within our small family and has always told me she is disturbed by a lot of noise and chaos, something she rarely experiences here in our home. When she spends time with friends who live that way, she is always glad to come home to her space, her peace and quiet. I believe in fate, and I don't think a large family would have suited her personality, so perhaps this was meant to be. In a few short years, she will be leaving this house and the comfort and seclusion she has always cherished. I hope she will be ready. I think it would be good for her to experience a little noise and chaos. I even hope she ends up with someone who has a large family so she can see what that is like. In a very short while, we are heading to her favourite restaurant for dinner and then home for a very small birthday cake with two candles - a one and a five, the same ones we used in the opposite direction for my last birthday. She had her real party last night with her friends, the days of pool parties and loot bags far behind her now. Her birthdays used to be extravaganzas with Britney Spears or Barbie impersonators, or amusement park outings for the whole gang. I can honestly say I don't miss those events. It required much effort and planning on my part and after her 12th, we toned things down a bit as she requested. Whew! What a relief that was! So the last three years have been far less work for me, but I sense that Sweet Sixteen may require Mom to get creative once more. So, Happy Birthday baby - you are my best cause for celebration.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Undisputed Queen of Mean

I have come to the conclusion that Jane Lynch will go down in history as one of the greatest character actresses of all time. Her most recent gig as Sue Sylvester on the new show Glee has taken a piece of every past character, tossed them into a blender, mixed them on high and churned them into her most acid-tongued, venom- spewing, mistress of Lucifer we have seen to date. In her most recent role prior to Glee, as Charlie Harper's shrink on Two and a Half Men, she appears all too infrequently. For those of you wanting more of this talented actress, Glee seems to be giving her more camera time, so tune in. She is certainly a powerful part of this ensemble cast. As always she plays an over-the-top, overly-full-of-herself character, in this case, the ego-centric coach of the multi-award winning high school cheer-leading squad. She is overly competitive, self-centred, spiteful and mean, and I cannot get enough of her scenes. I first noticed Lynch in the movie Best in Show a few years back and since then she has slowly been working her way along the road to becoming a familiar face in Hollywood. She was recently asked if she related to her new character and told reporters, "Even though I don't walk through the world like that, I admire her shamelessness and her entitlement," Lynch says. "What other people do around here doesn't ever affect her. She stays exactly how she is, and I love that about her." She also said she feels so bad about what she is going to do to one of the other characters in the upcoming episodes that she literally hugs the actress who plays her every morning on the set as a way of apologizing in advance for what she is about to do to her on set. The question viewers will want answered at some point of course, is will they get some insight into Sue Sylvester and her obvious deep-rooted reasons for her heinous behaviour. The director of Glee has revealed there will be some slight redemption for Sue, but that it will just give her carte blanche for at least "eight more episodes of mean." I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Invisible New Me

I felt good today. You know - like I looked good and woke up with that hollow feeling in my stomach. The day was laid out before me with plans to play tennis in the morning (always a great way to start the day) followed by shopping and lunch out with my daughter so she could spend a little of her birthday money and pick up a couple of new things for back to school tomorrow. One of the best things about today is that tomorrow I finally have my house back to myself - husband back to work, kid back to school, the official first day of a new routine. I wanted to start off this new season with a little something fresh for myself as well, so while Emma was off looking at stuff that interested her at the mall, I decided it was time for a new look myself. My old glasses have gotten to the point where I can actually see better with them off, they are so scratched. I refuse to get that scratch resistant coating on them as the one time I gave in to that sales pitch, I regretted it until the end of that pair's life. If you have never had that coating put on, you won't know what I'm talking about, but if you have then you know that every little smudge of a finger or speck of dust requires a thorough cleaning with a special cloth, and that just drove me nuts. So now, I just tell them - no coatings, just the bare lenses and when they get scratched, I'll get new ones, which I do anyway every two years, so why bother? So as promised, my new progressives were ready in one hour and I went from dark framed edgy looking frames to a much lighter look. The lower half of the frame is unframed and the top half of the frame is gold. I look completely different. A handsome looking couple next to me in the shop watched as I tried on several different styles and they agreed with my choice. They also provided me the laugh of the day. As I modeled the various choices, the wife would yeah or nay and the husband sat quietly saying nothing. Then she turned to her better half and prompted him for his opinion. He looked over at me and said, and I quote, "Well the truth is, the first thing I usually notice about a woman is her ass, but those frames look the best on you, I agree with my wife." "Well, at least you're honest," I said as I laughed. I couldn't help but wonder if he had checked out my ass earlier in the shop, but I wasn't about to ask his opinion on that. I figured I'd better quit while I was ahead. So I have been wearing my new specs for a couple of hours now and Emma and I are waiting to see how long it takes for my husband to notice. I should just say something to him and get it over with, but instead I will simmer and stew about his complete oblivion to what I consider a major change in the way I look. So, this is a shout out to all men out there. You NEED to notice these things. Not only do you need to notice them, you need to dole out a compliment or two. It's not bloody rocket science. It is SIMPLE. When you come through the door at the end of the day, take a quick survey of your surroundings. Look at your significant other for any obvious differences. It only takes a second. Did she get her hair cut? Is she wearing something new? Did she go from brunette to blonde? DID SHE GET NEW GLASSES???? Seemingly simple. Apparently not.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You're never too old or too jaded to learn something New

I saw a movie last night that made me question myself somewhat. Overall the film was fairly lame from a critic's point of view, but I was in the mood for something light and non-thought provoking. As it turned out, it did provoke some thought. Thoughts about how I found myself laughing (quite heartily I might add) at the most sexist jokes and then even found myself liking the guy who was spewing them. If you haven't seen it, I wouldn't go so far as to say you should, but if you do, (and I am talking to my female readers here), I would be curious to know what you felt and if you found his approach attractive in any way. Of course the director did a good job of making his character somewhat sympathetic, but I found myself almost embarrassed to be laughing at what were clearly very crude one-liners coming from his mouth. The fact was, the cruder he got, the more I liked him. Initially you did not know if he was serious about his opinions or if he was just doing it for shock value, so there was a short segment of the film where sympathy toward him had not yet developed. That's when, upon review, I had to ask myself, did I like him even then? There was something about his blatant raw macho honesty about what he believed men wanted that was almost refreshing in this age of equality and political correctness. He was a walking talking version of that old joke about the "perfect woman". You know the one - What is a guy's idea of the perfect woman? After sex she turns into a case of beer and a pizza. If that joke offends you, do NOT go see The Ugly Truth, because it is rich with exactly that kind of humour. I didn't notice anyone walking out of the theatre, and I did hear a lot of laughter, especially from the women in the audience, so maybe I am not alone. Mike, cast perfectly by Gerard Butler (most recently appearing in 300) was the perfect foil for the lovely and politically correct Abby (Katherine Heigl). The story was completely predictable and we all knew they would both change their tunes by the end, but it was fun to watch and even more fun to listen to the dialogue. And just when I thought I had heard every possible description of the female anatomy, I learned a new one when Mike asked Abby just how often she "flicked the bean". I'll let you figure that one out ladies - but it should be pretty obvious. Apparently this guy had no qualms about asking or saying anything and that is why that type of humour works. It's why comics like Chris Rock, George Carlin, Richard Pryor all succeed(ed). They don't hold back. They say what others are afraid to say and the shock of their words hits you as hard as the images they conjure. I will also add, (and this may make it worth paying the admission ladies), there is a scene toward the end of the movie where Mike and Abby dance that is possibly one of the hottest dance scenes I've seen in some time. Katherine Heigl is truly at her peak beauty these days, and she is wearing a white dress that fits her like a glove, accentuating every perfect curve of her body and Gerard Butler's eyes completely devour her the entire time.....and it turns out, he can dance too. That scene alone is almost enough to get any woman thinking about "flicking the bean." I may even have to rent this one when it comes out. A second look can't hurt.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If you don't have anything nice to say.......

Tomorrow will be the day - I can feel it. I came as close as I ever have to breaking 90 on the golf course yesterday, but I fell apart on the back nine and didn't quite get there. I was all my husband's fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I shot a 44 on the front and was feeling pretty cocky and confident and despite the fact that it was a personal best for me, SOMEONE felt compelled to point out what I was still doing wrong. My husband is my coach and I know that anyone who has ever tried coaching their spouse will attest, this is not always a good plan. As much as his advice over the years has helped my game enormously, I am getting to a stage in my game and in my life where I am not really all that interested in his pointers. We golf together quite a bit and it has been nice to have a common interest, but there are times when it can be a recipe for disaster. Yesterday was one of those days. So tomorrow as we head out once again for a round of 18, he has promised to keep his comments to himself. I think that is a great idea as I am still trying to keep the image of my nine iron wedged in the back of his cranium out of my head. Or was it my five? It's all a little blurry now. The problem with spousal advice on the links is not the advice itself, it is how the advice is delivered. I said to him - "If I were a stranger, you would say things to me in a more diplomatic fashion." I was told that coaches are hard on their students in every sport. That may be true, but I'm not training to get into the LPGA here, I just want to be able to golf well enough that I don't embarrass myself and can feel good enough about my game to join in with anyone. He acts like he's grooming me for the big leagues. My new approach will be - "Don't say anything unless I ask you. One more word and I'm hiring the guy in the photo above." We'll see how that works. I'll keep you posted.