Laundry Room Confessional

Posted by CrushGirl in Uncategorized on 22-01-2012

I was born with the curse of being a nice person.  “You’re such a NICE person.”  “You’re too nice.”  “You’re nicer to everyone else than you are to yourself.”

Hmmmmm.

Though I appreciate the kind words, they make me uncomfortable.  Compassionate, yes.  Emotional, yes.  Heart wide open, of course.  But, nice?  Nice is a curse, a burden to carry, day-in and day-out, I am nice.

Until I am not.

I tend to find myself deep in thought around water…next to the sea is the best place to ponder, but it happens to me even near a running tap.  In the shower, I have splendid ideas for the “perfect” existence…epiphanies, I think they call these.  Washing the dishes is where I tend to dredge up my darkest demons.  Rubber-gloved and rinsing grease-soaked suds down the drain makes me remember things that make me angry, times when I was wronged, or worse, times when I wronged.  Folding warm laundry next to chugging and gushing washing machines, raises question marks.  Big giant looming question marks.

This morning’s question: “How DO you let these things happen?”

You see, in being such a “nice girl”, I do my best to be just that.  I look out for, and look after, others.  I tirelessly care more about what other people think of me than what I think of myself.  I smile like an angel, and never let them see the sparkle drain from my eyes.  Except…the mean streak has to come out at some point, doesn’t it?  I mean everyone has one, don’t they?  For me these show up, albeit rarely, in the most spectacularly, uncharacteristically, bad-ass dose of “I-don’t-care”.  At these times, if my soul could cackle, I’m sure it would.

This morning next to the waft of fabric softener, I remembered one such episode at a little neighbor girl’s birthday party, circa 1976.  I have seen pictures of myself at these parties.  Pink-cheeked, cherubic, and as sweet and delicate as a mini-cupcake.  I also remember the dread feeling; being terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing, of feeling like I never really “fit” with all the noise, hoopla and societal pressure to “celebrate”.  And so, at four years of age, I ushered in my first remembered instance of “I don’t feel like being nice today.”  At a party where unlimited hot dogs were being served, I very firmly insisted that I did NOT like hot dogs…more specifically, that they made me sick.  A TOTAL lie.  And this in the day when nobody but nobody had “food allergies”.  I sat resolute, in my braids and red plaid dress, and uttered my distaste until the poor frazzled mother presented me with an egg salad sandwich, made especially for me.  On white bread no less.  Yay me!  I felt strangely satisfied in how I had played this little game…that is, until word got back to my mother.

“Why did you DO that, you terrible child?  Why did you LIE?!”  Oh, the head-hanging shame.  Why did I, indeed?  How DO I let these things happen?

Who knows. And if “who” does know, I wish he’d fill me in.  Just as suddenly as it comes on, the whole madness passes, like a thundering hail storm in August.  The sun comes out, the niceness returns, and life as it were goes on.  I’m back to giving you all of my heart, and smiling at you with all of my soul.  All is forgiven and forgotten…that is, until the next time that I wash the dishes.

“Do I detect a look of disapproval in your eye? Tough beans buddy, ’cause that’s the way it’s gonna be.” - Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What it’s all about…

Posted by CrushGirl in Beautiful Life on 05-07-2011

I used to blog for money.  Typing it out actually sounds kind of dirty.  But because it was through a very established online “institution”, there were certain blogging rules and regulations that needed to be followed.  For one, the title of this post would not fly.  A post without an image was pointless (insert pic at left). And digressing from the topic at hand was not cool (nor pay-worthy).  And starting sentences with “And” was just NOT done (don’t even get me started on “But”).  And talking in the first person was a veritable sin.  I’ve never liked being told what to do.  And I quietly relish doing exactly the opposite.  But, I digress…

At the risk of divulging a very unglamorous non-CrushGirl-like secret, I would like to talk about the fact that I have a chronic condition.  MS, or multiple sclerosis, or as Teri Garr calls it: “my mother-effing MS”…well it’s a bit of a bitch, really.  I am lucky enough to have the relapsing-remitting type, which is more of the “whiny little bitch” variety.  In other words, just effing irritating more than debilitating.

Why do I bring this up now?  Well, it’s been one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where you stop and question all that you are, all that you have been, all that you want to be.  One of those weeks for taking stock of what’s super super important, and dropping what is just nattering irritation.  After three years of my right hand being annoyingly tingly, I have been granted respite, only to have it switch, full force to the left hand, arm, torso, scalp…earlobe.  This tingly-pins-and-needly sensation does not hinder me.  Not at all.  I defy it.  But it IS a bit of a whiny little bitch.

I have a favourite necklace.  Everyone who knows me knows what it is.  It’s the key to my thoughts, the key to my secrets, the key to my future secrets, and was given to me by one of my favourite friends…ever.  Tonight as I was removing the necklace, the deficit of sensation in my fingertips caused me to fumble…twice.  Which makes one’s heart sink, just a little.  As I finally re-clasped the chain, and laid it flat in its evening home, it dawned on me that I have a lot to be thankful for.  I can be thankful for the fact that I am a happy girl.  I can be thankful for the fact that I have my favourite necklace to remove at the end of the day.  I can be thankful for my favourite friends…ever.  AND, I can be thankful for the fact that I go to work everyday, and can still make my living whilst sitting on my left hand (typing time excluded) until this passes.  And it will pass.  I don’t have to worry about working with tiny little tools, or operating on tiny little brains, or anything that requires me to lose any sleep over the possibility of fumbling.  And that makes me feel like the luckiest girl alive.

When this whole MS thing happened a mere 4 years ago, it changed everything…my strange little gift that came in the most unexpected package, and changed me in the most extraordinary ways.  My gift comes in the form of a whiny little bitch, which actually, in a way, saved my life.

Is there anything better than a free butter tart?

Posted by CrushGirl in Beautiful Life on 01-07-2011

Maybe.  But today it felt like a gift from heaven.

It’s been an awful week.  A tragedy so monumental befell a colleague of mine, which left us all speechless and gutted.  Yesterday afternoon, a beautiful sunny and hot summer afternoon, we sat stunned through the most heart-wrenching “goodbye” memorial I’m sure most of us had ever attended.  Our colleague has the most amazing head of big curly hair, and a laugh that comes from down past the soles of her feet.  A laugh you can hear at one end of the office even if you’re way at the other end.  Throughout the service, I had a clear line of sight to the back of her thick mane in the front pew, and I wondered how long it would be until she experienced another laugh like that.  A laugh that bubbled up from her pinky toenails, through her tummy and out through her sunny smile and joyful eyes…so raucous she can’t stand upright.  Would she ever laugh like that again?

There’s nothing more pristine, more pure and beautiful than a mother’s love.  Nothing more thankless than a mother’s job.  And certainly nothing more soul-shaking than a mother’s grief.  A grief so palpable, so evident, that you could sculpt a replica of her with the substance of it.  Though I have no children of my own, I have never been more aware of what it takes for another human being to get through each day with such a heavy yet delicious load on her heart.

These thoughts, swirling around and around in my swimming brain, lured me out on this July 1st onto the street where I live.  I needed a walk to help clear my mind and to remind me again as to what living is all about.  The sun is out, doing its bit to make us happy once again and it’s one of those perfect days when the scent of over-ripe wild roses hits your nostrils and makes you turn to look for them.  Admittedly in a haze, not even aware where I was, or where I was going, suddenly a butter tart was thrust in front of me.

“Happy Canada Day!” said the young lady in a baker’s uniform, standing shaded under the awning of our local artisan bakery.  I blinked, staring down at the pastry, filling oozing over the side.  “Er, thank you.” I stammered, and received the tart.

I kept walking up the street, carrying my treat as if granted by angels.  I wondered how I even was worthy of this perfect yet unexpected gift.  Having no vessel to carry it home in, there was nothing to do but to eat it.

As I took the first bite of the gooey, crunchy, buttery delight, I fluttered my eyes up to the bright hot sun and whispered:
“Thank you.”

Sexy Women Eat

Posted by CrushGirl in Books, Diet on 28-06-2011

Sexy Women Eat by Divya Gugnani

Why yes, of course they do.  And cover girls fart.  And even George Clooney wakes up with that cruddy stuff in his eyes and morning breath…on second thought…scratch that.  I’m sure his morning breath smells like spring dew…sigh.

Blame it on the fever of 102 degrees, but…WHY DID I FEEL I NEEDED THIS BOOK???  And why, why, why did I waste more than a half hour reading it??!  Oh the bevvy of wonderful pretty things I could have done with my reading molecules that day…

It had a chocolate covered strawberry on the cover…it lured me.  My febrile hazed brain said to me: “This Divya Gugnani chick is gonna give you all the answers.”  Namely, how to have your chocolate covered strawberries and devour them too…washed down with champagne…and chocolate cupcakes.  “She’s gonna make it ALL okay.” I told myself.  Ya well, I lied.

No offense Divya Gugnani, but you’re full of shit.  Sexy women eat. But here’s what sexy women DON’T do:

 

Sexy women do not namedrop. [Everything from her shoes, to her computer, to her frickin' suitcase. Thanks for sharing.]

Sexy women also do not talk out of both sides of their mouths. Page 50-51 – Eat avocados.  Enjoy them everyday, in salad, in guacamole, on their own, ‘cuz they’re a super food. Page 128 – “Avocados are what make guacamole so high in calories” which “can turn deadly”.  What the what???  I can’t help thinking of that poor little avocado: “…sniff…but you said I was special…”.

OR…early on in the book she gets on her high and mightiness of sipping her lemon and cinnamon water in the morning while all her doh-headed co-workers NEED coffee.  She says: “There’s no real point in starting my day bitter and dark like the brew I’m sipping” (p. 42).  La-di-dah.  But wait!  Page 58 (a mere 16 pages later): “I add a bit to my morning coffee for extra flavour.”  Riiiight…I thought you said…I mean, like just a minute ago you said……??

But most of all, sexy women don’t talk trash to other women.  There are so many don’t-be-stupids, and “pullleaase”s, that halfway through the book I realized that I must be stupid to keep turning the pages.  She started this relationship off by telling me that sexy women eat; yay us, we’re sexy because we eat!  Except, [caveat alert] if you eat anything with cheese, with sugar, with caffeine, with alcohol, with chemicals…that you are a an idiot and deserve to be fat and rotting inside.  DANG!  Divya, you’re not my friend anymore.  Okay, I’m paraphrasing just a little.  However, I drew the line at Chapter 18: “How to Not be a Heifer this Holiday”.  Thwap!  [Sound of tiny waste-of-time book thwapping shut]  Maybe I WANT to be a heifer this holiday.  Snap!

In the end, it’s the same old diet advice that is in every diet book.  Eat wisely, don’t eat too much and exercise; packaged in the most self-righteous little bundle of lecturing and rambling BS.  I think she thought she’d throw us off…and with a coy little giggle, she turned on her Jimmy Choo and disappeared.

This one’s headed for the blue bin…

So you were saying?

Posted by CrushGirl in Uncategorized on 27-06-2011

Yes, I was.

What of this revamped blog theme?  This started as a half-hearted attempt at a beauty blog.  Actually, a full-hearted go-of-it which quickly became half…and then (obviously) null.  I realized pretty quickly, that although I may have a somewhat overzealous  fascination with the only “art” supply that I remain in close contact with, I also realized just as quickly that in order to talk about the products, I’d actually have to USE said products…which would require purchasing…and a lot of disposable cash.  I also realized that I am not so interested in using or reviewing the products, as I am with just looking at glossy pics of them and pondering if that one product might Change. My. Life.  [Insert guffaw]

Um.  Ya.  But it IS fun to ponder on such ridiculousness.  And to consider life-changing attributes as something that’s always possible.

Which brings me to the reason I’m here:  A “life made pretty” means so many more things than the perfect mascara (though trust me, never discount the merit of the blackest-black, and illegally-lengthed lashes, with just the right amount of upswing).  Which is why I found myself falling off course so many times that I almost gave up.

Not so fast, little one.

What makes life pretty?  A good whole helluva lot o’ things.  Things that despite the narcissistic cry of the “look-at-me” blogger, tweeter or status updater, I feel I would like to talk about.  More publicly than to myself.  The silent mutterings, nay musings, of a bleary-eyed shampoo-er at 6:30 am, are pretty much washed down the drain.  And isn’t that a waste of joy?

I think so.

It’s only been 476 days…

Posted by CrushGirl in Uncategorized on 25-06-2011

I’ve been sick.  Not for 476 days, mind you, but for the past 3 days.  Stuck inside, mostly, aside from the initial early morning visit to emerg 2 days ago, and the quick dash out to the pharmacy yesterday where I stupidly got caught in a downpour of Noah-etic proportions (which, as it turned out, nearly ended me).

Anyhoo, this blog.  This albatross of a creation that I put so much heart and effort into creating, and then ditched like a boyfriend with halitosis.  It has been haunting me for 476 days.  And given that today my boredom reached an almost deafening level after 59 hours of my own company (I am fun, but not THAT fun), I took a deep breath and logged in.

What I was greeted with first was 1,502 spam “comments”.  I was well aware that this would be the case, which is just ONE of the reasons why I’ve been avoiding this for the aforementioned amount of days.  But, 1,502???  I’m impressed that 1,502 spambots figured they could infiltrate the world and flog their back alley viagra, porn and bootleg movies from my humble little site (which had, at it’s lowly peak, MAYBE 15 readers…total).  Yet, I persevered.  In clumps of what seemed like 30 at a time, I “marked as spam” and deleted all my lovely new friends who haven’t yet learned that they should get a decent translator if they want to be taken seriously.  My eye happened to catch one comment (which appeared twice) and all it said was “Why aren’t there bullet proof pants?”.  Indeed!  Why aren’t there?!

So, she’s back, and she does intend to stay “back”.  And why is she suddenly speaking in the third person?

Look forward to a revised theme though…”Life Made Pretty” remains, it’s the reasons why that will delight and amaze…(or “mildly interest” will suffice.)

Cheerio!

CG

PS  FYI, I have activated a spambot CRUSHER!  Wheeeee!  Let’s see if it works…

Courting the Long-Term Relationship

Posted by CrushGirl in Beauty Products, Hair on 06-03-2010

http://www.herbalessences.ca/en_CA/collections/long_term_relationship/default.jsp

Commitment + Loyalty = Compromise.

Compromise: (noun) The acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable.*

Am not a fan of the word compromise, no matter how many times I am implored “In relationships, you have to COMPROMISE!”.  Has no one heard of a “compromising position”?

Compromising: (adj)  Likely to lead to discredit or scandal.**

Though scandalous does have a certain cachet.

A good friend once told me that I have the inability to commit to anything.  Owie.  As my daily activities, thoughts and interests bounce from one thing to the next, as frenetically as a 3-year-old on three bowls of sugar puffs,  I cannot deny that my friend may have a point.  This non-committal tendency only naturally bubbles over into face washes, shower gels and shampoos.  When it comes to beauty products, my refusal to be “locked down” continues to threaten the health of my bank statements.  Why would I commit to one eye cream when there are at least 25 others out there (at at least $25 a pop) with different benefits (or that smell prettier) than the one I use now?  Hmmm, food for thought…

Imagine my shock (and dismay) to discover that a DRUG STORE brand of shampoo and conditioner (and leave-in treatment) woos me with its wily ways (and caress-able curls) every time I drop in for a visit.  Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship, Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Split End Protector, are ruining my reputation as a beauty product philanderer and elitist.  I am drawn to the ruby red bottle (amongst the many in my shower) and the red raspberry fragrance seduces me…as do the coos of my co-workers “Why does your hair look so amazing today” (which, of course, I take as a compliment).  Add to all of the above, the curls are perfect, spirally, and not a crunchy bit in sight…and the sultry scent lasts well into the day, and evening.

Can I commit?  Maybe.  For the time being.  Though the fear lingers that eventually, even the perfect haircare situation will disappoint.  Ah well…there are plenty of split-end protectors in the sea.  Whether they smell as pretty, remains to be seen…

“I can’t even commit to a long-distance carrier.” – Stanford Blatch, Sex and the City

* New Oxford American Dictionary
** The Penguin Concise English Dictionary

But, what about Arianna?

Posted by CrushGirl in Blogging, Fashion on 05-03-2010

makeupIt would seem that I am suddenly surfacing from an existential crisis, a thirty*blank* year existential crisis  (if you’ve just done the math, it’s true, I was a brooding child).

Having heard through the “grapevine” that blogging is a pointless waste of time, I started to question the vim and vigour I felt upon launching.  Sure, I have (had) a readership, larger than I ever expected (gotta love them spambots!), but somehow when I heard this “nugget” (from an I-would-have-to-assume reliable source), I tried to tell myself it wasn’t true.  But, is it true?  Am I throwing my thoughts, fantastical ideas (relax, they’re coming) and energies out into the vast cyberspace just to be chuckled at by a few, offered discount meds for erectile dysfunction from the rest, and promptly forgotten like a coffee ring wiped from the kitchen counter?  All the while carrying around this mindful disquiet, like a handbag I’m not sure I really wanted, I have not yet decided what this blog is REALLY about.

But I DID know when I started this mission.  And somehow, as I am wont to do, I lost my way…just as I am wont to start sentences with “and” and “but” (pssst…it gives me a secret thrill to break grammar rules).  No more flip-flopping…but Bliss FitFlops Electra Bronze?  That I can do.

Carrying on…CrushGirl must prevail!

Bridget Jones would be proud

Posted by CrushGirl in Beautiful Life, Eyes, Skin Care on 10-01-2010

I am bucking my own tradition and not going to bother with a photo on this here posting…and the prose may be (perhaps) not as flowery as the last (maybe that’s a good thing?)…

The “life made pretty” had it going on yesterday, had it locked up!!  But then today?  Total face plant.  That’s what happens when a lass gets too cocky with her audacious New Years declarations.  Not that I don’t have all the best of intentions to keep them, all of them, and even started to put a couple of them into play this weekend [case in point: my pretty bathroom has NEVER looked better, with all my complexion combating tools displayed close at hand...more on this at a later date...because frankly, my complexion MOCKS me...hourly...]

Anyhooooo…
I figure that every 5 years or so, I need to find myself wracked with unreasonably core-shaking sobs, tears pooling on my pillowcase on a Sunday afternoon in early January, just because it’s…well…early January.  And I’m a year closer to 40 (sssshhhhh).  And I have no idea who I want to be when I grow up (double sssssssshhhhhhhhhh).  And in a fit of perfection-seeking I canceled my cable last month.  And I have a pimple on my face the size of El Capitan.  And I’m a year closer to 40.  And it’s early January.

Not to fret, I am okay now.  I snuffled my way towards pulling it together, slid “When Harry Met Sally” into the DVD player, and placated myself with some lavender-hued Gatorade and a bowl of $7.99/lb organic cherries.  What?

Quel nuit…tomorrow morning will invariably bring new sunshine, even if it’s through the clouds and in the minus-something-or-anothers…and undoubtedly my eyelids will be a little less puffy…here’s hoping.

Here she stands, resolute…

Posted by CrushGirl in Beautiful Life, Blogging on 31-12-2009

New Years 2010Sitting here on the afternoon of the eve of the dawning of a new decade, and reflecting upon the year(s) past, I stop to consider where I’ve been, and where I am going.  Heck, where are we all going?

I send out this “beauty” blog into the atmosphere and hope that I have retained some readers over the past few months, and resolve to gain new ones, despite the inner and outer voices that make one pause…’cuz I have yet to really start “blogging”, um, yet…ick, there, I said it.

There is a course I took with some now less-than-new friends about 3 years ago, a time when my life completely altered itself, despite my necessarily wanting it to.  In it, we learned about making “declarations” out into the world, in order to make our dreams a reality.  Anyone who has taken this course will surely recognize this.

So today, on this December 31st, I make the following shamefully audacious “Top Ten” New Years declarations:

10.  I will be a better friend – but what does that mean?  I will do the research and get back.  What I know now is that my life has been blessed with the most lovingly awesome and magnificently giving people.  My fear is that I have been less than stellar in showing my appreciation to those who have stuck with me through thick…and thicker.

9.  I will embrace what it means to be selfless (though not claiming I will ever be so), and I will also embrace what it means to be self-confident and self-aware.  It has come to my attention recently that though we may all endeavour to be unselfish, there truly is no such thing.  But we CAN pay attention, especially to how our own actions may impact others.

8.  I will follow my own plan.  Be the navigator of my own ship.

7.  I will lose those last 10 (15?) pounds, take better care of the skin that houses my body, take better care of the body inside it, and treat my head of naturally curly hair with the love it deserves…even if that means carefully taking the curl away a few times a month.

6.  I will find the perfect red lipstick.  And pair of jeans.

5.  I will have a secret…and keep it.

4.  I will get a new pair of expensive and elegant eyeglasses.  And go to the dentist.  And floss everyday.  And I will never take seeing, or eating (cupcakes especially), for granted.

3.  I will take yoga.  And drink more water.  And drink in happiness.

2.  I will be someone that I would look up to, admire, and aspire to be…if I were someone younger (or older) than me.

AND

1.  My ballet teacher used to tell me to “Stop apologizing”…for pretty much everything I put out there.  No more apologizing, no more holding back.  Less needing, more giving.  More me.  More you.

Happy New Years!!!  May 2010 start your best decades yet!

Heart,
CrushGirl