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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big City Driving

I clearly have been moulded into the small town way of life, laid back, voluntarily waving at people I don't know, no traffic to fight and no road rage to deal with. Today I had to drive through the city to take Emma to her annual check-up in St. Albert. And every year I feel more and more like small town folk. I've never liked big crowds or lots of traffic but it seems as though the city is not getting any smaller and drivers are not getting any nicer. Despite all the campaigns out there for safe driving it seems they are making an opposite reaction in the big city.

Today I learned that keeping a cars length between me and the car in front of me is only an invitation to others to cut in front of me, and not keeping a safe distance. I also learned that stopping abruptly trying to avoid being t-boned by a cab driver, will cause the cab driver to also stop abruptly but proceed to make obscene gestures and yell at you because you avoided an accident and possibly death that he would have caused. He also taught my 6 year old some words that caused her to ask what they mean, and honestly I really couldn't give her the proper definition other than...(never mind, it's a bad word do not repeat it!).

I am not a slow highway driver, I do speed but not enough to warrant a ticket, but in the city I tend to stick to the limits because of all the cameras and radar traps, I just don't want to pay the fines. And this especially goes for construction zones! But the words SPEED FINES DOUBLE mean nothing to city drivers, and quite frankly if you adhere to the limits be prepared for major road rage. I would like to thank the city driver for schooling me today in the construction zone. I sure learned my lesson when you came up on my rear end so fast and then swerved around to cut me off and slam on your brakes. That was just awesome, my kids won't have seat belt burn over that one at all. I'm sorry I didn't bet the memo that 95 was the new speed limit for construction zones. The workers must be so relieved that we can go faster so that they will be splattered all over the road instead of just in one spot.

Granted I am a small town person and have been for 4 years now. We don't have to fight traffic and we don't even have to wait for a traffic light! The only things we wait for are trains, crosswalks and the seniors in town when they make a right or a left turn. At first this used to bother me, and now I welcome it. But to brush up on my city driving maybe I'll practice some of the gestures in town and see what kind of reaction I'll get! Or I'll just take some anti-anxiety medication for each drive into the city.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is It PMS? Or is it really ME?

I'm going to open right up here and discuss my flaws that I have come to realize I actually have during that great time the medical world has dubbed PMS. For me, there is only about a week out of every month that I feel somewhat "normal" and the other three weeks I will blame on my cycle. I could just chalked it up to the three weeks being my actual self since it consumes more of my time, but then I would just look and sound like a bitch, and well if you don't live with me, then I'm not, I'm quite pleasant to be around! (or at least that's what I like to think!)

The physical pain of PMS isn't really my issue, it's my mood swings and hormones that I try to keep under wraps. Since I've been in my 30's I've noticed that these trips down the pre-menstrual highway have become a lot more bumpy and unpredictable, almost like a train derailment. You know things are bad when the simple sound of breathing makes me want to turn my head and hiss at the person that is near me making the annoying sound they must do to stay alive! Don't get me wrong, if they are across the room, I'm good but if they are sitting beside me or behind me it's like nails on a chalkboard. I know this is bad and it's even worse that I can't vocalize my problem! I would love to say, "Must you breathe so loud, I'm trying to write a very important blog entry here!" But I'm grateful that I haven't passed the point of no return just yet and made the mistake of vocalizing what I'm thinking. I know that my time will come though when I hit the journey of menopause, because by that point I really won't care what I sound like!

Another one of my not so favourite sounds is chewing. I'm not talking about rude chewing either, because then I could say something. Nope for me it's just normal chewing of the food with a closed mouth, it could be crunchy food, soft food, or even soup! For some reason the sound is amplified like I'm sitting in the front row of a Marilyn Manson concert. I have been so annoyed sometimes that I have removed myself from the table and went to eat in another room! That's right I said it for all to see!

I am an emotional person by nature, but when the hormones are turned up on high I am all over the map. Laughing one minute, crying a half second later, then angry, and back to laughing. Commercials are the worst for that trigger! No word of a lie, one time there were a sequence of commercials that made me do this in a very short time span. The DQ commercial for the flame thrower burger where the dude takes a bite then goes to talk and flames shoot out of his mouth; makes me laugh every time, then the CIBC commercial where the dad is giving his daughter away at her wedding and gives her a big fat cheque too; leaves me bawling, then the Always commercial that ends in "have a happy period", yup ANGER; then the Cadbury commercial with the clucking bunny, total laughter! If that's not an emotional roller coaster, I don't know what is! And my poor family that had to witness that, I'm sure they were searching for the Midol for me, but I happened to be out of it that day.

My vocabulary becomes very limited as well. My husband will lovingly ask, "What's your problem?" and I lovingly answer with the stink eye, "NOTHING." To which he replies, "Oh." He'll try again, and ask, "So, how was your day?" And then I don't try and say with a hiss, "FINE." Then you see the light bulb go off in his head and he knows what time of month it is, and quietly moves on. The kids ask, "What's for dinner Mommy?" I answer, "NOTHING!" "Why?" they ask scared that really aren't going to eat for the next few weeks. "Because the only thing Mommy wants to see, smell and consume right now is chocolate, and that is not good for YOU, get nothing!" Emma has been in the family longer than Elise so she gets it already, just walk away and Mommy will stop. But Elise still has a few years before she gets it, and will continue on the quest of" what's for dinner?"

Eventually they get fed, and we sit at the table like a family and talk about our day. I have" nothing" to say because it was" fine", and the sound of them breathing and chewing at the same time causes me to explode internally or like I said before leave the room entirely. Sometimes family dinners are not the way to go in our house, as the Swanson Frozen dinner people claim they do. They may keep my kids out of trouble and off of drugs later on in life, but for now, in the Jack household, they are giving them more ammo for their weekly therapy sessions. I do hope they don't do drugs, but if they do, I hope I find them, and then maybe Mommy will be easier to live with!