Monday, December 15, 2014

Pre-holiday whine (make mine chardonnay...)

SPOILER ALERT:  Last week was the series finale of Republic of Doyle, a CBC-TV comedy-drama series set in Newfoundland about a father-son private detective team. It ran for six seasons, and I probably started watching somewhere around season 3. The plots have sometimes been a bit silly and unrealistic (who knew there was so much crime on the Rock??), but I have loved the beautiful scenery (each episode is like an hour-long travel ad for Newfoundland), the dry humour, the sharp dialogue and the colourful characters, particularly the interplay between the father (Malachy) and Jake, his rogue of a youngest son.

Towards the end of the finale, Jake's romantic interest, Police Sgt. Leslie Bennett, lay unconscious in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound. Jake had just learned she was pregnant with his child -- and his stepmom, Rose, with a grave face, told him the doctor needed to talk with him. Cut to a commercial (of course).

Naturally, given my own personal history, my first inclination was to wail, "She can't be having a miscarriage, not with 15 minutes left in the show!!"  Then the obvious dawned on me. "No -- wait -- DUH!! It's twins! The doctor wants to tell him it's twins!"

And sure enough, in the final moments of the show, we see a happy (and very pregnant -- again!!) Leslie with Rose (and Jake nearby), each holding an adorable toddler (boy & girl). Television can be so predictable sometimes... 

*** *** ***

Friday afternoon, we headed to the mall for haircuts (and some colour & highlights for me). Generally, it's great to be at the mall on a weekday -- much preferable to weekend crowds, especially at Christmastime...! -- but being a Friday afternoon just before Christmas, the parking lot was noticeably much fuller, there were lineups outside the Pandora & video game stores, and our stylist was already running well behind schedule, swamped with women having their hair cut, coloured and styled before Christmas parties later that night.

My appointment was for 12:30;  I didn't get into the chair until past 1 p.m. while she worked on two other women ahead of me, and while we had been told that someone else already had the slot between me & dh, she worked on two other women before he finally had his turn (and my husband is NOT good at waiting around... if your appointment is for 12:30, he thinks your butt should be in that chair by 12:35 at the latest).

(She is the wife of an old friend of dh's, so no, we will not be switching stylists. She also does our hair really well, lol. And she's been flexible with us when we've been running late to an appointment because of commuter train delays, etc.)

It was not entirely poor planning or overbooking on her part or the salon's.  "Everyone showed up late," she complained to me later, "and then they all HAD to leave by a certain time to pick up their kids from school." While I could relate to demanding customers and holiday pressures (having worked in retail at Christmastime myself, once upon a time), as a childless-not-by-choice woman (not to mention a longtime customer), what I heard was that my time and hair was considered less important than a mom's. I don't have kids to pick up;  therefore, my time is more flexible (and less important) and I must take a backseat.

In fact, it's assumed that I WILL take a backseat -- that I will understand & be willing to accommodate them. Put up & shut up. And I usually will. But it would be nice to be asked, not just assume.  Or it would be nice if, just once, someone who was late (mom or not) was told something like, "Sorry, you're late, I'm behind schedule myself and I have another client whose appointment was ahead of yours and she's still waiting. I can get to you in half an hour, or you can reschedule with the receptionist." 

By the way, it's been an eye-opener for me to witness the whole afternoon pickup phenomenon firsthand. I had heard about it from others -- but dh & I drive past several schools going to & from the local mall, often just as school is letting out in the afternoon (which can be as early as 2:30 p.m.!!). The streets are lined for blocks with cars full of travel mug-toting parents, pecking at their cellphones as they wait, while others walk by with their young charges.  Cars pull up to & away from the curb, sometimes without signalling.

It's ridiculous. It's also somewhat dangerous.  I can see why parents are nervous about having their kids (particularly the younger ones) walk home by themselves with all those cars & buses around -- but at the same time, by driving to school to pick them up (and most of them probably live within a reasonable walking distance anyway), they become part of the problem and not part of the solution.

I always walked to & from school by myself or with my sister (once she started school too), starting in kindergarten. (Six blocks, across a highway) (albeit not a particularly busy one -- it was a rural community in the 1960s).  So did all my classmates (unless they lived on a farm outside of town, in which case they rode a bus). I only ever remember my mother dropping us off &/or picking us up if we were running late, heading to an appointment after school, or if the weather was really crappy.  One more sign of how much times have changed (and not always for the better).

*** *** ***

Over the weekend, we headed to BIL's to celebrate Oldest Nephew's 26th (!!!) birthday. SIL wrapped her arms around her son & hugged him, saying, "These boys are my greatest accomplishment."

She has every right to be incredibly proud. She & BIL have raised two fine young men.  They have both grown up to be tall, handsome, smart, thoughtful, kind, generous and funny, and have never given their parents trouble (aside from the usual kid complaints about messy rooms and money that presumably grows on trees, etc.).

But dang, that was an "ouch" moment if there ever was one. :(


  1. Republic of Doyle sounds really interesting. I'm in a TV rut right now because there's very little I'm interested in watching on at the moment.

    Your experience at the salon sounds infuriating. I'm not good in the patience category either, and to feel devalued because you are childfree makes it even worse. Hubs and I have been eating a lot of takeout recently because I refuse to go shopping and deal with the crowds.

    I cringed at your "ouch" moment. I'm sorry.

  2. @BentNotBroken, I believe ROD is available in the States through BBC America.

  3. From last to first:

    4. Ouch indeed.

    3. I had to laugh at your comments about school pick-up. A few weeks ago, I visited my sister and went to the school pick-up with her. It was a bit different, because she lives in the country, and a six year old isn't going to walk several kilometres home on a rural road alone. But I was astounded to see all the parents hanging around outside the classrooms. Not at the school gates, but outside the classroom doors! Outrageous! I was a bus kid, so when I was six, I had to remember to bring home my school-bag and jacket and lunch-box etc. But all these Mums, including my sister, went inside the entrance to the classroom and got their bags and coats etc for them. "Kids these days ..."

    2. I think I would have complained to the hairdresser. I'm with your husband - if you have an appointment, she shouldn't be taking people in between and pushing your appointment back. And I would have said "well, if they HAD to leave to pick up their kids from school, they should have been on time." Well, I like to think I would have said all that! lol

    1. Yes. Television (and film and books) is very predictable, when it comes to their definition of "happily ever after." (With the welcome exception of Grey's Anatomy and Christina!)

  4. dear Loribeth,
    Yes, I cringed at your "ouch" moment too. I have heard this comment quite some times in the last decade. And it always hurts.

    BentNotBroken wrote on her blog so beautifully what your post meant to her.

    Thank you for writing it.


  5. I feel as though my "infertile lens" as I like to call it, will always be there. I say this because your accounts of the hairdresser scene and your SIL's moment reminded me that I will always be looking at those things through my experiences, not as isolated happenings. I'm forgoing the goal of neutrality in my life, as I fear it may be futile.............

  6. Oh, and how could I forget.....I LOVE Chardonnay!!! Preferably a big nervy oakey as hell one with strong vanilla notes.....

  7. Ah, yeah, TV shows are really predictable and sometimes I'm fed up with those. We saw "Chuck" series and I thought it would end up the typical way, with the main female character being pregnant, but I'm SO SO SO glad it didn't have a typical ending. Phew!

    I'm SO sorry to hear about your ouchy moment. That's a HUGE ouch moment because even though she didn't mean anything bad, it feels like saying to someone who's lost a leg, "I'm SO glad I have both legs intact".