Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, since my friend Dawno saw fit to out me, so to speak, I might as well post about it.

I am not going to tell you exactly how old I am. Let's just say that I officially tippy-toed past the half-way mark of my allotted five score plus ten. Yep, I'm four and half dozen years old.

Wait. Four and two-thirds.

Hmm ... apparently - unlike good looks, sexual prowess and athletic ability - math skills don't improve with age.

There's kind of a story associated with this birthday that I'll probably share down the road a bit. I don't mean to tease. I just mean to whet your appetite with a tad of titillation.

Speaking of mammary glands (writers are SO good at seg-weighing) I find myself thinking of my mother today. (Yes, I was breastfed.) We can't really celebrate a birthday without celebrating the woman who made it possible can we?

Mom died 13 years ago, in a car accident, the same day Jackie Kennedy Onassis died. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Toronto Sun commenting on the two women's similarities but contrasting the coverage of their deaths. (Mom got a couple of paragraphs - you know what Jackie got.) They featured it as their letter of the day. Dad got several copies laminated. I think, at least until my book came out, he was proudest of that little piece.

She would have been the first to call me today. She would have said she was awake at 6:10 a.m. - the time of my birth. I would have said something like, "yeah, right - you celebrated the anniversary by snoring through it." We both would have chuckled.

I have much to celebrate. I'm healthy. I have friends and family who love me.

Thanks Mom.

PS- Nearly forgot. It's also been one (1) year since I quit smoking. Thanks to those who encouraged me.

Now I just have to start chasing some frisky women to rid myself of a couple (dozen) extra pounds.

Ain't life grand?

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Importance Of Lying

In one of my early columns (no, not blog posts, columns - info on subscribing is over there on the right) I wrote about the importance of lying to our kids. It fosters a sense of security when you tell them you love them even though they just shoved your last blue M&M up their nose. And informing them of the monster under their bed that eats toes keeps them safely under the blankies for the whole night. As a bonus, it nurtures their imagination.

Caring and nurturing. That’s what lying is all about.

Few people realize it’s equally important to lie to our Significant Others if we want to maintain harmonious (not to mention reasonably frequent) relations. Fie upon those relationship “experts” who blather on about truth being the foundation of solid...blah-blah-blah.

It goes beyond “Of course not, Honey” in response to the classic fat-in-these-pants question. It means occasionally saying things like: “I don’t get all this fuss about Catherine Zeta Jones.”*

If you’re uncomfy with flat-out lying, and many of us are, having been raised and educated by Truth Nazis, start off with stretching the truth a smidge. Let’s say your SO has spent two hours showering, putting on makeup and getting dressed. You’re pretty sure a compliment is in order once the process is complete. At least, one wouldn’t go amiss. Here are a couple of sample responses when she’s done.

1 - “You look nice Sweetie.”

Pleasant and reasonably safe, despite the fact it may border on the truth. As a result, she may find it somewhat lacking.

2 - “Wow! If Marilyn Monroe was alive she’d be spinning in her grave!”

Much better. We’ve (probably) lowered the truth quotient, compared her to an icon of beauty and added a bonus element of confusion.

Every person, even the most insecure, has something about themselves of which they’re proud. It might be hair, overall physique, eye colour - something. Once you’ve identified what it is, compliment the heck out of it.

“Baby, it beats me how ankles as delicate and fine as yours can bear that weight!”

“Your smile is so shiny, like the grill of a showroom car, only somewhat smaller!”

It’s like poetry really, without the fancy-shmancy words.

Complimentary lying is not restricted to guy-type persons of the male persuasion. Although not as dependent upon flattery as the average woman, guys are not immune to its charms. We like being told we make Brad Pitt look homely and that single abs are hot. Or maybe that Shakespeare could have taken writing lessons from us. Or Darwin in theorizing.

It confirms our own secretly-held opinion.

After all, if you can’t lie to yourself, how can you expect others to believe you?

* Insert name of whomever you’re ogling in that particular movie.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tales From Testosterone Country

Some friends of mine just got back from a weekend’s fishing trip. I haven’t talked with them about it yet but I heard a couple of details from their wives. It sounded like a pretty typical guys’ weekend with an overturned canoe, a near-drowning and some fish.

It took me back. I enjoyed a few such weekends, mostly way back in the long-ago-and-far-away. And one of them involved an overturned canoe too. Without having gone along with them this time, or hearing any more details than I have, I am prepared to use my psychic powers to tell you some of the things that happened.

1 - The toilet seat was left up the entire weekend except when cradling buns.
2 - Showering was very much optional and nobody shaved.
3 - Somebody, probably more than one somebody, was glad that somebody else packed bandages.
4 - Farts and belches were delivered cheerfully and greeted with groans and hoots or, if particularly fulsome, a punch to the shoulder.
5 - Plenty of painkillers were washed down with morning coffee.
6 - The size of the fish lost increased proportionately with the number of beers drunk until every participant lost at least one record-sized fish per day.
7 - Women were discussed.
8 - Every participant shook his head and/or shrugged his shoulders at least a couple of times during the discussions about women.
9 - Not one person said the words “excuse me” the whole weekend.

Why do guys do it?

I’ll tell you.

We may be men now but we are always going to be boys. Women think that boys don’t mind getting dirty and smelly. They’re wrong. It’s not that we don’t mind, we enjoy it - like dogs. We spend most of our adult lives clean and presentable for either our mates’ or co-workers’ sakes. Every once in a while we need to do the human equivalent of rolling around on a dead fish. It makes us grin and wag our tails.

Wives and girlfriends soon learn that when their men return from these outings, there’s a natural consequence to nearly three days of unreleased testosterone buildup.

Guys soon learn that if they want their mates to wag their tails too, they’d best hit the shower first.