We all do it. Zara has a sale. You notice one night when you’re at the mall, picking up a half price calendar weeks after the new year because you’re in January self-deprivation mode. With your sock monkey calendar tucked under your arm (Indigo/Chapters – whatever Heather’s calling it – charges now for plastic bags, so it was an opportunity to save the environment and 5 cents) you tell yourself not to go into Zara. Weeks later, you can’t get that five dollar rack out of your mind. It taunts you, even as you congratulate yourself, then console yourself. Then you have to go back to the mall to exchange a Christmas gift – figure skates — that don’t fit. Since you never figured out how to deal with the scary sudden braking issues on girl skates you exchange them for hockey skates and try to get the hell out of the mall. Now you’ve left it so long the Bauer super pro $300 skates are down to $100? Fine, that’s great. The beginning of your hockey career coincides with the NHL renaissance. Go Flames Go and all that. We’re not bitter about the billionaire strike. What? They want to sharpen those skates for you? Umm. They want you to come back when?? Can you kill forty minutes in the mall? You casually stop in to Zara, thinking you’ll be safe, since your size must be sold out by now. It’s fate. It’s destiny. It’s… $$$$$ later. Actually, only about $$ later. Definitely worth it.
In Calgary, people don’t mess around. They’re friendly, forthright and I don’t want to bum them out by waxing medical. Especially when it’s that burly guy leaning out the window of his F-350. Suddenly, there’s an Opening For Smalltalk. So why get all serious?
“You should see the other guy,” I say.
Telling the truth would be a downer. People aren’t expecting to hear the real reason. Just like I never expected it to happen to me.
Sometimes, when I’m trapped in an elevator, a stranger will get the party going first. “How’s the other guy look?” And I oblige by saying, “Worse than me!”
When my bandage was bigger, someone pointed out to me that if I was a victim of domestic abuse, this type of chit-chat would be a uncool. It all kind of is, but what can you do?
It’s been an experience in human reaction. After surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma and a skin graft to cover the wound, when I had huge, white bandages on my nose and ear, I tried not to leave my house, but sometimes I had to. Children stared and didn’t return my smile. Adults averted their eyes. For the most part, I tried to scurry by people without connecting.
One question gets under my skin, so to speak. Because I loved my nose. I even doubled for Sharon Stone in Beautiful Joe (straight to video, if you’re wondering) who is extremely particular about her profile. Which I can totally understand.
So when people ask me, “Did you get a nose job?”
– and someone does, almost every day –
I’m usually pretty blunt: “No, I had skin cancer.”This limited edition collection of Mickey Mouse Band-Aids has a good selection for these type of scenarios, like the one I’m wearing in the top photo, with Ms. Mouse socking it to the Mister. Because that Minnie, she doesn’t take shit from anyone.
Mid January in Calgary: my boots sink deeper into the snow. But the snowshoe hare that keeps crossing my path doesn’t have the same problem.
The long feet that allow this bunny to skip along the surface of the snow were the inspiration for the original hardwood, rawhide snowshoes designed by indigenous peoples all across the snowy regions of North America. Don’t let the leather laces on my Vero Cuoio boots fool you — they have no such function. But since they were crafted in Italy, way beyond my rabbit’s turf, it all makes perfect sense. Ciao coniglio!