Shopping, shopping and more shopping!

I looooove to shop! For anything, especially shoes! (ok, and purses) As far as I’m concerned a woman never has enough shoes (and purses), and all closets should be expandable.

Sadly, my husband doesn’t see things quite the same way when it comes to shopping. He hates it (because it means spending money and he hates that more than anything) and goes to great lengths to avoid it. On the rare occasion when he has no choice and we have to shop for something he plans it very strategically. Find a parking spot closest to the store we need, run in, find only what you came to look for (if they don’t have it leave immediately) and buy it. Proceed immediately to the nearest exit, beeline for your car and go straight home. No window shopping, cause God forbid you should find something else to buy. No coffee or lunch cause you can get it at home for free and eating out might give you time to glance around at other shops.

Several years ago I visited the Macey’s store in New York and came upon their ‘shoe floor’ – a whole floor for only shoes.  I felt like I’d returned to my mother ship. My heart was light and the air felt fresher as I gaily strolled the aisles fantasizing about buying all of them. I was in heaven and I knew that for my husband, this would be hell.

My husband has had the same 3 pairs of shoes for over 15 years. Every so often, usually when they leak, he takes them to a local cobbler and has them resoled for about $30.00. It would never occur to him to buy new shoes “when these are perfectly fine….they’ll last another 10 years”.

I, on the other hand, see it as my responsibility to contribute to our economy. I’d like to think I am providing employment to wannabe shoemakers all over the world. (I simply couldn’t live with myself knowing there could be shoemakers children going without because their father couldn’t sell any shoes). I’m nothing if not compassionate.

I also enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I need to feel the material, try it on, mull over where or how I would use it. It rocks my world. What I don’t like however, is todays’ sales strategy. The minute you enter a store now you’re swarmed by no less than 3 people offering to help you find what you want. They have walkie-talkies hooked onto their backsides through which they maintain regular contact with eachother “the old lady in aisle 3 doesn’t want our help …keep an eye on her” and “I’m going on a smoke break, if the blonde with the Guess handbag makes a purchase it’s my commission”. Do they not get the concept of window shopping? Gimme space to browse and maybe I’ll buy something. Smother me the minute I walk in and you’re guaranteed no sale.

Ok, so occasionally maybe I go a little overboard (I have been known to buy several pairs of shoes at one time) and it got to the point where I’d have to sneak my purchases into the house otherwise I’m afraid  the next days headline would read “Housewife beaten to death with her own shoe by irate husband”.

I know for a fact that I am not alone. Most women I know have a shopping thing whether it be shoes, clothes, furniture, whatever – we just love stuff. Every now and then I’ll meet one that doesn’t share a passion for shopping and I feel sorry for them. They have to be missing a chromosome or something – it’s just not normal. (are there any support groups to help these poor hapless soles?……get it? Souls….soles…shoe soles? I kill me!)

Everyone needs a hobby and shopping is mine, and until something more interesting comes along I feel compelled to continue to support our economy in the only way I know how. (I will also continue to hide it so as not to cause my husband unnecessary angst) In the interim you might want to invest heavily is the stock of Softmoc, Shoe Company and Town Shoes cause I feel a spree coming on……

 

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Ye Old Irish!

 

With the St Patrick’s Day hangover still in recovery, I thought I’d do a little tribute to the Irish. What a delightful people they are! Among their many claims to fame, the Irish are known for their infectious sense of humour, lively music and very active imaginations…all that and a stat holiday every March 17!

Interestingly enough, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was actually not Irish. Born to a wealthy family in Britain in the fifth century he was captured by Irish pirates from his home and sent as a slave to Ireland, where he tended animals for six years before escaping and returning to his family in Britain. After becoming a cleric, he later returned to northern and western Ireland where he was active as a missionary during the second half of the fifth century. It was long after his death that he would be regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland and named as a Saint. (I’m guessing he was also an active supporter of whisky and green clothing given that the holiday named after him boasts ample quantities of both)

Leprechauns, faeries, shamrocks, and (I suspect) a healthy dose of Irish Whisky lend to an endless library of legends, myths and folklore ranging in themes from ominous and creepy, to charming and delightful.

‘Faeries’, according to Irish legend, are born when a new baby laughs for the first time, and since there are always new babies being born there are always new fairies. In ancient times, fairies were seen as Gods and Goddesses but their impish behaviours quickly derailed their reputation.  The fairy population in Irish folklore is very much alive and they can take various forms, from angelic and beautiful, to elf or gnome-like, depending on the tale. They have been known to bring good luck to some and wreak havoc on others, hence their mischievous notoriety. A banshee, a type of fairy, in the form of a wailing woman (is that anything like a hollering housewife?) appears to foretell of a death.

Leprechauns, the most widely known type of fairy living in Ireland have been in existence in Irish legend since the medieval times. Depicted as little green men who love a good practical joke, they are descended of humble shoemakers but are better known for their love of collecting gold, which they hide in a pot at the end of a rainbow. According to legend, If a human catches a leprechaun, he must grant the human three-wishes to be released or surrender his pot of gold.

Irish stew is the most commonly known food of Ireland, and their menu is largely meat, cabbage, and potato based. Irish ale and Irish whisky are the liquid of choice and the more they ingest, the better they tell a joke, and no one tells a joke better than an Irishman (ok, maybe a Newfie)

The Irish and their love of music have given us The Irish Rovers, The Dubliners and Bono. They can also lay claim to Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson neither of which can sing but they’re good looking, so who cares.

Their traditional music includes a variety of stringed instruments, flutes, and drums that come together in a toe-tapping rhythm guaranteed to make you learn a jig or two (is this an ad for tourism Ireland?) and you can’t help but admire their zest for life (especially living in a climate that boasts an average of 225 rainy days each year – jeez, no wonder they drink)

They celebrate the living, the dead, and everything in between because they just love fun. We could learn a lot from the Irish – Eat, Drink and Be Merry! (oh, and bring an umbrella)

May the Irish hills caress you.

May her lakes and rivers bless you.

May the luck of the Irish enfold you.

May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

 

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The Gender Battle

Why is there a battle of the genders? What does it matter what ones’ sexual orientation and/or preference is. If ‘Bruce’ is happier as ‘Caitlin’, and ‘Chastity’ happier as ‘Chas’ who are we to judge, and why do we care? How do people with a non-traditional sexual orientation negatively impact our lives? Society as a whole? We were all put on this earth to fulfill our own destiny – that doesn’t include judgement.  So why do we continue to persecute those who are different, simply because they are not mirror images of ourselves? I don’t get it. Don’t we have enough personal challenges to fill a lifetime agenda without taking up battle for causes that are none of our business?

I believe we are all eternal souls of neutral gender, and having lived many lives in various ‘bodies’, both male and female, is it reasonable to think perhaps some return to this plane as either or, with an option to select their preferred gender?

At various times in my life I wished to be born male; not for sexual preference, but because they seem to get all the breaks. Mothers baby their boys and fathers put them on pedestals because they ‘carry on the family name’. Daughters provide a free labour force, helping to clean house, cook and ‘learn how to be a good wife’. Fifty years ago that was all that was expected of us; now we’re required to contribute to the household income IN ADDITION to maintaining the home and family so in my next life I want to be a male – I need the rest.

While each generation improves upon these conditions; men sharing paternity leave, cooking and household tasks, it is by no means equal, not yet, and it won’t be as long as women continue to manage their increased workload. If we would sit back and complain a little more, perhaps they’d cut us some slack, or at least pick up more of it. Until then we are destined to carry more than our fair share, simply because we can. Sadly, capability and competency have become our curse. On the up side, it has made us stronger. We live longer and cope better in a crisis. (ok, I digress, again…..but I am a woman and if I didn’t bitch, I’d explode))

Is it reasonable then to think there could be many out there who feel better suited to life as their opposite sex? I know a number of women who would prefer to have a career over a family. They want children but not if it means giving up their professional identity, hence the recent influx of ‘Mr Moms’ in society. With male cooperation women can now have it all, and many men are enjoying their newfound status as primary caregiver to the children. Women aren’t the only ones to be loving and nurturing, much to the benefit of all families.

So if men and women can be equally good partners and parents, what difference does it make if their partner is or isn’t the same sex? As long as we provide a positive and loving environment to our partners and children, haven’t we fulfilled our destiny as human beings?

And if, one of these beings felt more comfortable in the role opposite to that to which they were physically born, are they not entitled to make the changes or choices they deem necessary to fulfill their destiny?

At the end of the day, we are all entitled to happiness, in whatever form it takes, and I for one am delighted to be a woman in love with a man, and luckily for me society is accepting of that. If your happiness comes from a same sex relationship, a sex change, or even the choice of no relationship, I wish you a lifetime of peace and fulfillment. Let anyone who challenges you look themselves in the eye and ask ‘who made you God?’

 

 

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Superstitions

 

Superstitions are irrational beliefs based on consequence and coincidence, arising largely, from ignorance. (according to the dictionary) They instill fear in many causing them to take unnecessary precaution in their day to day lives in order to avoid certain doom…..or maybe they’re just silly outlets for our imagination. In any event, there are any number of ways to tame the message of some of the more common superstitions…..like maybe putting another spin on their meaning.

If your left ear itches it means someone is saying something nice about you. Ergo, the opposite is true if your right ear itches, right? (or maybe you just have really itchy ears) 

If your nose itches, you’re going to kiss a fool (wow, I should have a crater in the centre of my face by now)

If you drop a fork, it means a female visitor, drop a knife, a male visitor. Dropping a spoon means a visitor with gossip (and dropping all three means you’re bloody clumsy and should just give up utensils altogether)

If a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband (would that make him a ‘crummy’ guy? Muhahahaha,,,,get it? Crummy, cake crumbs,,,, I kill me!)

To ensure the birth of a son you must make love with rubber boots on (so what would happen if you made love in socks and sandals…would you just give birth to an old European?)

If you dream of poop it means a financial windfall (hence the expression “he’s rolling in it”)

If you dream of death it’s a sign of a birth, if you dream of birth, it’s a sign of death. (does this mean you’re dyslexic?)

If you use the same pen to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pen will remember the answers. (especially if you used it to write them in your palms)

A swan’s feather, sewed into the husband’s pillow, will ensure fidelity. (especially if he’s allergic to feathers and his face swells up – who’d want him?)

If you bite your tongue while eating, it is because you have recently told a lie (I knew it! My husband bit his tongue twice at dinner last night – gonna smack that lying SOB as soon as he gets home)

Put salt on the doorstep of a new house and no evil can enter. (it also wards off the neighbourhood cats and corrodes your doormat)

Three seagulls flying together, directly overhead, are a warning of death soon to come (it could also mean the imminent onslaught of bird poop)

If a bee enters your home, it’s a sign that you will soon have a visitor. If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant. (if you don’t kill the bee, it will likely sting you and that’s just stupid,,,,kill the bee already)

Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose and hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog. (or pass out, whichever comes first and then you’d better hope that ambulance sticks around)

I guess it all comes down to perspective. If you buy in to the whole doom and gloom scenario then by all means take precaution when faced with a superstitious situation, but that kind of vigilance requires 24/7 energy and it’s exhausting and stressful. Better to stay positive with your outlook; see the light side of anything. Have you ever actually met anyone who suffered from ignoring a superstition? What’s the worst that could happen? You end up with a cheating fool of a husband, itchy ears, a bed full of crumbs, a house full of bees, ambulances circling the neighbourhood and a flock of birds with IBS just waiting for you to leave the house without a hat on…..yup, that’s better!

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