Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's talk about men

There’s been a lot of talk about men within the past 48 hours.  On-line and off.  I have tried to get my point across and failed miserably.  I can understand why some are confused about me.  On the one hand I readily admit that I don’t like men; yet in the same breath I state that I get along very well with them.  How to explain this?

Jack Nicolson was looking for a few good men. Women all over the world are joining him that quest. How do women know when they find a member of the male species that it's a good one?  They can’t squeeze him for ripeness; they can’t examine him (like they would apples and tomatoes) for brown spots showing signs of decay.  
It seems to me that women, where it comes to men, are rather reckless.
Before taking a job, a candidate can research the company on-line or talk to past and present employees.
Before buying kitchen appliances, most women read the reviews.
Before buying clothes or shoes, the chosen item is tried on for fit and comfort.
So why are women who deal with an item they are supposed to keep for life, take a man they meet at face value?

Some might say they don’t, that that’s what dating is for, to get ‘a feel’ for the guy.  True, but not exactly accurate.  How many people – men and women alike - show their true self while dating?  I think it’s safe to say that before going on a date, a man will shower and shave, comb his hair and put on something nice.  In other words, he will show himself from his best side. 

If he steps over the line and swears, gets upset or worse gets a little violent, he will state that he was not himself or that ordinary he is not like that.  And women swallow it.  They are so in love that they don’t see the ‘brown spots’.  And even if they do, the sight of the flowers they get presented with, or the size of the diamond in the engagement ring, will cloud their vision. 

When I say that I don’t like men, it’s because I’ve seen too many bad apples.  Hence my hesitation to ‘buy’ one. 

Over the weekend I talked with Vicky (not her real name).  She got tearful when she admitted to me that she was afraid she was going to end up an old maid.  “Vicky,” I said, “you can’t end up an old maid, you were married and the term old maid is so passé.”  “You know what I mean,” she said, “I’m afraid I won’t find anyone to grow old with, to take care of me.”

That’s when I started to wonder ... why do women get married?  Is it because of love or is it to have some company in their golden years?  Is it for financial reasons?  Is that all that men are good for?  A body to share a space with and to keep the bank account in the positive?  Is that why I steer clear of men?  Because I don’t feel the need for male company and I don’t need to be taken care of?

Do men feel this when they are in my company?  I can laugh and joke around with them.  They know that, unlike Vicky, I don’t want anything from them.  I'm not going to chase them and I don't want to be chased.  They can be themselves, without me being shocked or getting stars in my eyes.

Do I get my point across?  Do you get it?  If you do ... good; if you don’t then I guess you have to know me to understand me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

End of summer lament

I select a turtleneck instead of a shirt, pull on a jacket and wrap a scarf around my neck. Outside it's chilly. Not really cold, but there is a definite nip in the air. The wind makes me turn up the collar of my jacket.

When I look up I see a gray sky packed with low hanging, fast moving clouds. I feel like turning around, going back inside and crawling into bed. I feel like joining the bear and the squirrels that hibernate until March or even April.

As I leave the subway station and climb the stairs to street level, I zip up my jacket and walk facedown, looking at the pavement. Instead of a flimsy skirt, I now wear slacks. Sandals have been replaced with shoes. Soon shoes will have to make way for warm boots.

On my way to work, I see plenty of people who are dressed like me. They wear sweaters, jackets and scarves. They no longer sashay, but stride with a sense of purpose and urgency. They no longer look around, checking if they are seen. Now they, too, walk with bended heads.

Looking up, I don't like what I see. Some trees are still green, but they are thinning. Others are turning yellow. Were they yellow yesterday, or has this happened overnight? Leaves in various shades of gold and brown rush along the pavement and swirl around my feet. When I step on them they make a crunchy sound and turn to bits.

The lilies in the flowerbeds are hanging their heads. They look sad, like they know their days are numbered. The geraniums are still there, but they don't look as radiant anymore as they once did. They have not seen the sun in a few days and they seem to suffer from a lack of warmth.

I suffer from lack of warmth too. It is bad enough that fall has arrived; but, that we have not had a proper summer makes it all the worse. We had a few warm days, but those days felt more like spring than summer.

Where are the days when it was already warm early in the morning and one could just feel that it was going to be scorching hot later on? Where are the days that people were sitting in the shade, huffing and puffing, fanning themselves against the heat? There has been no heat this summer.

Although I am not a big fan of the scorching heat, and I moan and groan at the sun like everybody else when it is really hot, the notion of heat when one is desperate with ice cold hands and feet is a nice prospect. It's something to get one through the moment, through the day and through the long winter. But somehow we have been cheated. Summer has passed us by.

As I stand in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil, I look out the window. It has suddenly gone very dark, it is raining and drops of water are steadily trailing down the glass. It is like Mother Nature is crying. Down below the red and white lights of traffic contrast against the wet, black street. The reflected colors remind me of a lit-up Christmas tree.

During lunchtime I go outside to clear my head. There is some blue in the sky now, but still far too many gray clouds. A few intrepid souls are braving it and are going for a walk. I have no such intentions. I would rather stay inside and go in search of a hot bowl of soup.

The park, usually packed with lunchtime office workers and tourists, is now almost empty. There is nobody strolling along the gravel paths; nobody squatting on the grass; nobody sitting under a tree on a shaded bench. Now there are only pigeons and seagulls pecking at whatever they can find. A few people are standing around in a watery sun, bundled up with coats and scarves.

Just before I go back inside I look up and see a flock of Canadian geese. Are they heading south already? I wish I could grow wings and join them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

TTC driver in possession of drugs

In Canada you can do just about anything you like, as long as you don’t smoke regular cigarettes.

If you’re a smoker, prepared to be hated, but if you’re an alcoholic or a drug user, that’s okay, you can even bring your booze and drugs to work.

You have the full backing of the Ontario government and union.  Three years ago random alcohol and drug testing for TTC drivers was suggested, but the politicians vetoed this request. 

Earlier this week a TTC bus driver hit a crane, leaving one woman dead and 18 people injured.  When police examined the scene of the accident, they found drugs in the driver’s bag.

When last have you heard that it’s allowed to bring drugs to work?  It would be bad enough for office or factory workers to pack a lunch, a drink and some marijuana on the side, but bus drivers!  It’s an accident waiting for a place to happen, and it did.