Blind Date

friends

 

Okay, not so much blind as stage four glaucoma.

I belong to a page on Facebook for expats in Santo Domingo. People looking for advice, selling stuff, you get it. A few months back I saw a post from someone who was going to be moving here and she was asking if anyone wanted to meet up. I have managed to go months without talking to anyone, thank you very mucho, wasn’t in any hurry to change that, so I didn’t pay that much attention to it.

But later I decided to bite, why not, right? She mentioned she was moving here in July so I said, well, give me a poke when you’re settled, we can go for a coffee or something. She replied right away, she said she was here now and did I want to meet. Like, now.

No.

We did exchange our digits (I know) and I semi-committed to meeting. I’m not very social and find these kinds of situations far easier to just say no to than actually commit to. After a lot of pushing on her part and a lot of balking on my end, we finally set ‘the date’. I did bail on the first one.

She came to pick me up in her rental car and as I had checked out her Facebook profile, I had a good idea which one she would be. Likely the white woman picking me up.

I got in her car and she immediately launched into a diatribe I honestly felt like I was joining already in progress. Something about her car, her luggage, her hotel or BnB or what actual I have no idea. It was confusing and all consuming. I remember her saying hello and before we actually pulled away from the front of my apartment building, she just started yakking.

“So, I booked my flight…”  Dear gawd, save me. I wanted to leap from the car and get back upstairs to my boxer shorts and my cats and whatever I was binging online.

I had to interrupt her about five times just to give her directions to a restaurant two blocks away. We managed to get parked and sat down in the restaurant without her having to stop her narrative for more than about seven seconds at a time. I wasn’t even certain how she was managing to do it.

At some point I heard something I could relate to, I tried to jump in and play along but she shot that down in a hurry.

Just let me finish, she said, with a slight hint of pity, and once I’m finished you can talk allllll about you. (I added the extra L’s there because that’s how she said it.) (P.S. She never finished)

We somehow managed to order, even with her banging her jaw like a war drum. She stopped long enough to point to the menu for the benefit of our waitress. Our waitress was confused and started talking in Spanish. I asked The Gabber if she spoke Spanish and she said, ‘pequeno’. Annoys me no end. Knowing the Spanish word for ‘little’ doesn’t mean you speak Spanish. Just say ‘No’.

I said to the waitress, who looked as if she were ready to bolt – wait for me!- que? She looked relieved and started off on the item’s biography while Yapps-A-Lot said ‘si’ a lot and nodded her head knowingly.

She didn’t know.

I won’t keep you. I’ll summarize here with a simple list of my pet peeves she managed to step on.

Never shuts her gob. Never.

Hyphenated Name. Please.

Posted a picture of her feet on the beach. Beach, please.

She’s from Texas. Ego much?

She likes the Orange Psycho Monster who shall not be named. Strumpet The Trumpet.

She had a couple of small tattoos and even though I have several, she had to talk about hers. She had two names written on the inside of each wrist. Her kids, it turns out. When I asked about them she put her hand over one of them, like it was a delicate orchid or something and then did this bit where she bites her lower lip, like it was so precious and sacred, as if covering it would stop me from stealing it or it being lost. Idiot.

It was when she pulled out the vape equipment was when I lost it. I wanted to slap this thing right off her stupid Texan face.

We finally got the bill which she took complete control over and just took the money I offered and slipped it in her wallet. It cost me $15 for a soda water and a dish of fries.

I offered to walk home as it was just around the corner but she said she needed to find a grocery store and needed help. I couldn’t say no, could I? Even though I was close to tears at this point.

We got to the store, her still chewing my ear. During the evening she told me about four times she was “So independent” It felt more like a mantra rather than anything she believed. I didn’t believe it.

When we finally pulled up outside my building, I was so happy to have this nightmare over with. My head was spinning from her nonstop blathering about herself and how wonderful she was.

I’d lost track about half an hour in to our ‘date’. It was clear to me that regardless of the situation, she would be the only interesting person in the conversation, I didn’t even try. At one point I did managed to slide in that I had been a stand up comic and she immediately wanted to hear a joke, but she wanted a street joke, not a bit I had written.  I tried to explain it didn’t work that way and she just stared at me until I told her one. She didn’t laugh.

As I was getting out of the car she she asked me my name.

I told her, she repeated it back tome.

Wrong.

Twice.

There was no second date.

 

Renewal

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These little sprigs of greenery all propped up and protected show up all over the place. I love them. Not the greenery so much as the loving and thorough effort. In the area I first lived when I moved here, there was a little triangle of grass, not really a park or parkette, but just a grassy bit that separates the streets.  I would often see these kind of beginnings and then they might be gone.

Sometime I go past one that has been knocked over or removed. Not sure if its wanton destruction or it just wasn’t making it. I just find them to be achingly beautiful in their simplicity. The effort, the sticks and rocks. Renewal.

I’ve been feeling the need for renewal lately. It started several months ago, back with the move. I think it’s important to keep moving ahead, keep peeling off layers. Several months ago I was chatting online with my friend. he was housebound and we had been chatting a fair amount, but when he talked, I listened. When it was my turn to talk, I could see two things: Him drift off to another computer screen and me disappear.

I wasn’t really upset with him, just the act. The truth is, no one is talking to me because they don’t want to ‘hear it’. I wrote the same thing some time ago, about how my friends were avoiding talking to me because they compare their lives to mine. That’s a mistake.

I posted some pictures of a walk I took the there day through a glorious park not far from me. It’s one of those forest escapes in the city that are so soul-saving. I did a ‘selfie’ and posted it and one of my friends said she envied me. I thought that was nice, because I see her posts and think the same. But we shouldn’t wish our lives away.

 

But here’s something we should do.

 

Renewal.

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Big Worries In Little Town

We all worry and stress over things in our lives that, quite frankly, mostly turn out fine and then are soon forgotten.

Mine have been financial of late, as are many people’s. Most people, whether they have money or not, worry about it. Even when I had it I worried about it, so I guess it’s just something I do.

In fact I was stressing so hard about all this crap I made myself sick. So sick I just had to come out the other side of it all. The problem hasn’t gone away, but I refuse to let it consume me any longer.  I’ve reached out, and some are reaching back.

Some have offered advice, which just kills me. How arrogant that they know my situation better than I. I know they mean well, but come on!

Anyhow, yesterday as I was doing a lap through my Facebook feed, this popped up.

Sign

I can’t even tell you how much pleasure this gave me. A family member posted it, it’s a new three-way (make your own joke) sign in my home town. The population might be around 1000. Or 67, I don’t know. The picture caused quite the discussion, around 40 comments last time I checked.

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? As you see from the surrounding area it was likely put up just in time, all that traffic confusion and near mayhem.

I’m not being disparaging, if they think it’s important, it is. Just like my shit storm of the day. I have to say this cheered me greatly and it’s always nice to get a glimpse of home.

Happy Homecoming!

One Year of Love!

chanceis

Cute

Can it really be a year ago? Yes. A year ago today, my friend drove all the way across the island to deliver this sweet little tuxedo three-legged beauty. He still seems so new, although Jango has been with me almost 12 years and I still marvel that I get to have such an amazing furry friend.

Chance has come along way in the past year. I remember his first day here and he was up on my lap. I gave him a little scratch on the sweet spot at the base of his tail, the ‘tramp stamp’ stop and he completely freaked out! Now he lets me do it and loves it.

He tries to scratch himself with the missing leg, so when I notice him do it, I go give him the full, two-hander kitty scratching. He seems to come and do it in front of me now…

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Too Heavy

 

Cloud

 

I was walking home with groceries this morning, heavy ones and in my mind I said, ‘My life is too heavy’.  Then I tried really hard not to cry.

Truth is life has been very heavy lately. I’ll try not to make this all ‘sitting in the garden eating worms’ but sometimes a little self-mewling is in order. It’s financial, isn’t it. I’m out of money in a country I can’t legally work in and don’t speak the language and likely won’t learn much Spanish because statistically, being over forty greatly reduces that as a reality and as I’m over fifty I’d be happy to remember the grocery list I wrote ten minutes for I left for the store without it.

But it gets you down. Last month I had to borrow two hundred pesos from my only friend here, (Nobody likes me, everybody hates me… sing along if you know it) just to have water for the week. I actually went several weeks without cash, in the bank and on hand. I had spent the very last of it, the bits I’d been hoarding on cat food and litter. I also had to carry it home, which was brutal.

I’m looking online for work, really my only option, but it’s bits and pieces. I use several websites but recently had a falling out with one of them. I got offered a job, and the pay was good, very good, in fact. Not just for this website, but in general. The guy wanted to chat through Skype, but only instant messages, never laid eyes on him.

He came across as a bit of a prick but I persevered. I got the first assignment, finished and set it to him thought the website where he hired me. It was a job writing articles and for those of you who have done or are doing it now, it’s horrendous. Mostly, I want to punch my own spleen out. The job was up to five articles a day, finish it, do the next one.

I never heard from after  the first one and then the next day saw him on Skype and asked what was going on. He immediately started in on me about how I was way too late and he didn’t work like that and blah blah shut the fuck blah.

I pointed out I had sent the article within an hour of getting it the day before and if he would kindly stop swing his cock about and maybe put it back in his purse he would see said article in his account inbox.

He said we both had a bit of a misunderstanding (he) but we soldiered on. I did a few of more articles, some were fine, a few of them just a nightmare, but I got through them. I was sending them to him through Skype but also through his account on the actual site, and using their system of tracking my hours. The last one I sent wouldn’t go in to his account and when I checked it, it said it had been closed.

Super.

I contacted their ‘chat’ customer service do-ma-jiggy, to find out what’s going on. It’s at this point I’ll mention that;

a) I’ve had wretched service on this particular site before

b) I’m fucking mad

c) there is no alcohol in my house

I live in a third world, or developing country and customer service here is ghastly but still makes theirs seem like silver service.

This twat I’m talking to immediately started blaming me and telling me I was at fault and then things just got all white and hot and it spiraled in to several ‘fuck yous’ (mine) and then I got an OFFICIAL FIRST AND FINAL WARNING and I asked her to poke that up one of her smelly hairy holes as well and then they took the whole five dollars out of my account. I mean, really.

To top it off, because that’s not enough, they sent me an electronic invoice, just to show me the money I could presumably poke up one of my smelly holes.

I started to walk/run in the early mornings. I started a few months ago. It’s mostly really nice, somewhat quiet, not too much traffic, I see the ocean and other walkers/runners and beautiful scenery but also rats and dead animals and garbage and that is really hard to take.  Mostly the dead animals.

My body is getting lighter.  My life is getting heavier.

 

 

Olds

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I recently joined Twitter. I put it off as long as I could, but I don’t have much for a news source except Facebook, and well, you know. Twitter isn’t much better, mostly I keep waiting to see the post about Trump going to jail, impeached, shot, what-evs. I can’t say I like it all that much, it’s a bit surreal, to be honest, what with having first hand access to celebrities, kind of takes the sting out it all… but more about that at a later date.

The one thing I do like about it, there isn’t a lot of tolerance for shit-talking in the comments. Commenting on actions, policies, that’s fine but to just call someone fat or ugly is a cheap, easy hit and it’s not tolerated. I applaud that. Someone made a comment about KellyAnne Conway’s looks, called her ugly and the commenter was tackled pretty promptly and thoroughly. Good. A friend of mine puts a birthday wish for friends and famous alike on his Facebook everyday, it’s great, and one day one of his friends referred to a birthday recipient as ‘ugly’. I made a comment about it and was immediately blocked. Again, what-evs.

Fine for you, to sit in your house without mirrors in your cloud of breath-taking beauty and not raising kids to be decent human beings to go about calling people ugly. First of all, it’s not up to you, asshole. Up to a certain point, we can’t help what we look like and while I may not be your cup of tea, I am still loved and beautiful in someone’s eyes. So is everyone. So fuck off with that.

But it’s the commenting on stuff I wanted to address. It drives us all nuts, I had to take off the CBC and Toronto Star Facebook page because the comments people make were so horrible.

Another friend of mine made a comment after the Women’s March about how some men still didn’t get it. I made a flip comment about it, always trying to go for the laugh, the comment was “Boys are dumb and they smell” Fine. I’m 55 so clearly trying to use the voice of a six year old. This comment was fine for everyone. Everyone except her new daughter-in-law. She kept coming back to it, trying to make something out of that wasn’t there. That’s these Millennia’s for you. No one was upset by the comment except her. And she was like a pit bull on a toddler about it. I don’t know her from Suzy Q, and frankly could care less.

She kept trying to make that the comment was about her husband, whom I have never met and therefore can not comment to his intellectual prowess nor can I comment as to his malodorous misgivings. She’s in the house, not me.    When it became apparent no one was going to back her, she parted with a comment calling us OLD, like this was an insult. Ummm…. Derrrrr.

She’s young, beautiful with a new husband and new baby. I can’t say what her motivation was, and to be fair,  couldn’t give two tiny shits. But hear this. As a young wife and mother you better hope to fuck you make it to be this ‘OLD’. In most cultures, old is revered, respected, honoured. With age comes, wisdom, intelligence, beauty, refinement, betterment.

The phrase Aging Ain’t for Sissies is very true. Age shaming is like fat shaming or Ugly shaming and has no part in a society where young people take their own lives rather than face harassment, so be mindful of your asshole comments.

You know not whereof  you speak, fuckface.

Kathy’s Desk

Going back about 500 years when I lived in Calgary, I was at my friend Brad’s place, (you’ve met her, she comes for hols) we were just hanging out and having tea and a chat. He was talking about a social gathering he had been at recently and he mentioned that someone we both knew had been there with his new boyfriend. I asked what the new boyfriend was like and Brad replied, “Maybe  a bit of S and P to taste, she’s a bit bland.”  We had a good chuckle over this and carried on chatting but what happened was, that phrase got planted in my brain.

It comes to me , mostly without realizing it. When I myself use the S n P, to taste, I hear him saying it. When someone is boring the tits right off me, same.

So, going back another 500 years past that day, back to when I was in Grade One, yes, I remember, my friend Kathy, (her real name) sat across the aisle and one up from me, she was a front row kid. The worst. Brats. Ever. I could see in to her desk, and although neat, it was full of paper. I clearly remember one day her sliding her books in to the desk, old fashion type, and even though the books slid in easily, they were on top of a ton of paper.

So the bottom layer of her desk was all these papers she had never gotten rid of; Very Important Papers, like coloured ducks and some nonsense about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot. It had been in this state for some time, and for some reason it was really cool to me. This layer of trash with plenty of room for the other stuff on top, stuff like books about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot and sandwiches in paper bags.

Mrs. Rogers, our teacher, called her on it one day. Mrs. Rogers, if you will, picture Godzilla with a tartan dress and maybe some glass pearls. Horrid Hound From Hell! She made me go to the from of the class once to throw away my gum and then SPANKED ME in front of everyone, but I’m not ready to talk about that yet. So she made Kathy take down her mountain of papers, important or not and toss them.

Kathy’s Desk is also a yardstick in my life. Like if I can’t get through the crowd in the grocery store, or the cards in my game of solitaire are all built up and I can’t get the ones I need out, sometimes just a cluttered mind, it has been Kathy’s Desk.

I moved here to the Dominican Republic with the gentle guidance of my friend, Will. He died Sunday.

I don’t know how to process it yet.

It’s all Kathy’s Desk.

 

will

 

William, easing in to his day.