Archive for December, 2009

The other day I ventured into the Bay, downtown Toronto, looking for a specific item that, as it happens, I didn’t find. Walking around the store searching for a Plan B gift it occurred to me that the reason I’m a late Christmas shopper is because I only enjoy holiday music on actual Christmas Eve and Day. I don’t know if this is a bi-product of spending so many Christmases working in retail or if it’s a December-birthday protest. But I can tell you that the more holiday music that’s played the faster I high-tail it outta the store.

On this particular day, it didn’t matter where I went, a sad Christmas song followed me. “What do the lonely do on Christmas,” plaintively played in the Bay; another store a  male hip-hop singer whined, “My girl forgot about me this Christmas.” In the absence of a decent newly penned Christmas song, I’ll take a good ol’ Jingle Bells or Let it Snow.

“What do the lonely do on Christmas,” is not a song you want to hear as you cruise through a mall, knowing that the last few Christmases have been a kind of lonely you find hard to speak about, and clearly there’s been not much progress in these last 365 days. Sure, I have family and friends. But there’s something extra special missing at this extra special time, that seems to last an extra special longer time with each passing year.

I didn’t even have the energy to feel insulted by such a song. What do the lonely do indeed?

“The Lonely”

As a kid I loved the season, most kids do, and having those memories are what makes solo Christmases sorta sad. In theory I still do enjoy the holidays. In practice, I try to make the most of them.  But if the stores must serenade us, please don’t let it be with a song that puts me back in the mood I work so hard to cajole myself out of at this time of year.

Stupid song!


Read Full Post »

Last night I was out for some birthday’s eve drinks with a gal pal. I’m in my late 40s, she’s in her mid-2os. I have a few younger friends and always seem to fall into a mentor type relationship with them, giving them career advice, lending my ear on relationship worries. I enjoy hearing about their struggles and triumphs in the world — the same, and yet so much different from mine, based on being born decades apart. Though I am a nurturing person in general,  I wouldn’t say I mother these young women.

So, I was surprised when my pal and I were mistaken for mother and daughter. A first it was a vanity thing, I suppose. You know, mid-life birthday sensitivity. People never tire of being shocked when they find out my age because apparently, so I’ve been told regularly, I do not look it. (Believe me, I know how old I am when I look in the mirror in the early A.M.!)

AHA, I thought, I caught the lot of them in a lie! I said as much to my friend. Her reaction was to say that she gets mistaken for older than she is, which only made me feel worse! (after all, not too long ago a corner store clerk asked me if my request to buy a transit pass was for adult or senior!!!)

But anyway…

I realized later the true reason why I bristled at the mistake. This innocent observer (who, by the way, was a street person who had sadly, but with savvy, set up a temporary shelter on a very cold night in the ATM vestibule of a bank), couldn’t have known that I am not a mother, and that I’m still getting square with that in my mind. Some days it’s ok, sometimes – and the passing of another year might be one of those times – it’s not.

The truth is, had I brought forth life, he or she may well have been early to mid-twenties by now. I’d be enjoying a companionship whose bond goes way beyond even the best friendship.

There’s no way my young friend, with so much promise and life in front of her, could understand this. It’s my issue and one that comes to roost for  women (and probably some men) who, by choice or by circumstance, haven’t had children.

It makes me sad, but also relieved that I am not so superficial as to be worried about looking at least my age.

Thank goodness for small mercies!

Read Full Post »