Slowing Down the Seasonal Speed of Life

I’ve got the post-Christmas hang-over. The get-me-the-fuck-away-from-those-stores blues.

I’m that breed of individual that shops because it takes care of necessities. I don’t need the latest gadgets. I do spend more than I should because I’m also a snob – about just about everything. Still, I hate shopping.

The problem with shopping is simple: People. A lot of them. The kind that missed the brief lessons spent on things like “Excuse me” and “Thanks for holding the door”. I know, I’m a geek, but I was in class those days. I’m so polite it hurts. I’m also blunt, unapologetic, brash, and unexpected, but with a nice air of manners about me. Yes, I know, a catch!

Snicker.

Shopping. Oh, dude, I’m so burnt out from people. I’m sick of the masses, tired of the shoving, and fed right up to here with the stupid people who keep standing in the middle of my fucking aisle, staring at some unlikely object, as if some trance is going to unveil for them whether or not the 40% off sticker price compensates for the absolutely total LACK of reason to buy the fucking useless thing.

I’m at that point now where I find myself standing around and looking at my kitchen in the hopes that some unwitting culinary masterpiece lies in wait behind those doors. A-ha! With just ever so slightly the right combination of “Gee, I wouldna thunk it!” and “In an alternate universe, this would be the bomb!” I might just be able to concoct a mystery dinner and not have to go to the store. Sure, I’m out of bread, eggs, milk, cereal, and vegetables of all kinds, but I swear to God, there’s enough for a meal in there… somewhere. Isn’t there?

There’s no fucking way I want to step into another store today. So, today I will not. Instead, I will bravely – no, brazenly – attack Foodland Canada, aka the Granville Island Public market, tomorrow morning in order to whip up something delectable for dinner tomorrow.

Grudgingly. I know: What was I thinking? Invite people over and actually cook for them? Not many, just three, but still! I’ve not had a dinner party of any sort in months… or at all in 2006. Holy shit. At all? My bad. See, deep down inside me lurks a combination of Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray and punk rock, but I’m much cooler than either of them. I can put on a dinner party like no one’s business. I’m a terrific hostess ‘cos my mommy raised me right. I grew up in a house where my mother would single-handedly throw a party for 40 and not even break a sweat. And the dishes would be cleaned before bed!

Now, I know, tis the season for socializing and public love-ins, but really, it’s also the season of the remote control, all right? And I’m torn between wanting to be social and wanting to curl up in a ball under a bunch of blankets and hide from the remainder of the year.

A friend of mine was going through the whole “oh, god” fear that sets in shortly after your first kid, when you realize how much of your life you’ve signed away, except he’s bought the house, the car, the wife, the kid, all within three years. Happy, yes, but a little longing for the simple times of old crept up on him. I wrote him an email that said, “Sure, I’m sitting around in my boxers and a t-shirt, my feet up on my coffee table, a giant bowl of Chinese on my lap as I watch whatever the fuck I want, but, really, it leaves a little to be desired.”

But I lied. Sitting around in a t-shirt and some boxers with an endless supply of leftovers, noplace to go, a stack of DVDs for the TV, and the phone turned off sounds about as sexy a night a girl like me can handle right now. I’m in an Atwoodian “woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” phase. I’m on the cusp of a new job, a new phase of life, a possible relationship might loom, and things seem on the verge of drastic change. You’re fucking right I’m enjoying slowing this train down long enough to be chained to the couch with a remote in hand. I’m loving it.

It can’t go on, of course. A life needs to be lived, and this is no way to live it. But it’s a fucking great way to spend a week!

I’m thinking. A lot. And I’ve nothing I wish to share with you. As I see it, my life may possibly be drastically changing in the very near future. I’m taking a page from Ferris Bueller and stopping to drink it all in. Very, very privately. However, as is usually the case with dinner parties around this neck of the woods, much of that will likely come tumbling out during a good, smart, open dinner conversation tomorrow night. I suspect I’ll be needing to write afterwards. I wonder what I’ll have to say. As of now, I wouldn’t even know where to begin… probably why you’ve seen so little from me in the past couple of weeks.

I have that sensation of standing completely still and having the world spin around me. Sort of the opposite of finding your land legs at the end of a long sea voyage. Everything’s moving so fast that I just can’t believe I was ever able to keep the pace. Now, though, it’s starting to feel even odder. Like I’m on a train and it’s starting to take off at a nice speed, while the world’s starting to slow down, and soon, I think the speeds will match, and I’ll be lost in the motion again. It’s a nice thought. For now, though, this train’s still at the station and everything is before me. I know how rare these moments of “yet to come” are, and I’m enjoying this while I can.