My Week 213: Speaking My Mind, I Am Your Sunshine

I, like many people, have difficulty speaking my mind. I’m usually a pretty polite person, and I’d prefer to engage, as one does, in passive aggressive banter rather than outright conflict:

Me: So I haven’t seen you all week, but you’re going away to a conference this weekend?
Ken: Is that OK?
Me: Fine. Whatever.
Ken: Are you sure? It doesn’t sound fine.
Me: No, Ken, it’s perfectly OK. You go be you. Don’t worry about me all alone here.
Titus (from other room): I’ll be here!!
Me (yells back): That’s right, you will! At least SOMEONE wants to spend time with me!
Ken: Sigh.

But we all know that passive aggression is not the best way to problem-solve, and as I write this, Ken is merrily enjoying himself in a place called Bolton instead of working on the porch with his loving wife sitting inside where it’s warm. I’m actually not really mad about it though because he had to sleep in a sleeping bag last night and that’s his karma.

But wouldn’t life be a lot simpler if we just asked for things outright? Case in point: last Friday, I was taking the subway from work to the train station with a couple of colleagues. It was standing room only, and we were holding onto the poles by the door to prevent ourselves from flying around the subway car every time it pulled into a station. There WOULD have been a seat right next to me, but it was occupied by the leg of a woman who was sitting in the seat next to it. She obviously didn’t want anyone sitting near her. Also, she was muttering to herself and pulling wads of used Kleenex out of one coat pocket and stuffing them into her other coat pocket. When she was finished, she would repeat the process in reverse. Anyway, I was standing there talking with my colleagues when the woman suddenly reached up, punched me in the arm, and yelled, “You need to stand over there! You’re too close to me. Go away!”

I was happy to oblige. Now, at first, I was kind of annoyed, but then I realized something: THIS WOMAN IS MY HERO. How many times have I been in a situation where I wanted to shout the exact same thing, but my politeness allowed me to suffer in silence? Just the week before, I was in Shoppers Drug Mart looking for hair styling products and it seemed like every single person in the Eaton Centre had decided to do the exact same thing. And for some reason, they were mostly men, so I couldn’t see over them, let alone reach anything on the shelves. Wouldn’t it have been fantastic if I could have just yelled, “You all need to f*ck off and go buy vitamins!” Or on a packed elevator to demand, “Everybody out on 15. No, I don’t care if it’s not your floor, LINDA—just get out!” Or at a meeting: “I don’t care how crowded it is around this table–if your chair bumps into mine one more time, I swear I will throat punch you, Bob.”

I feel better already just thinking about it. And in the spirit of throat punching and yelling at people to f*ck off, I’m happy to announce that I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, which is “peer recognition for bloggers who inspire positivity and joy”. The irony is not lost on me. I was nominated by a very cool guy, Simon Farnell of Planet Simon. Check him out—he writes about science, technology, inventions, and also writes great sci-fi fiction. He’s also very upbeat, positive, and engaging, which explains why he was given the award before nominating me. In keeping with things of this nature, I have to answer some questions, but as usual, I’m going to answer some of his questions but mostly the ones I created for myself:

1) What country do you come from?

This is an easy one. Canada. That’s why I’m so full of humour and vigour, and extra ‘u’s, and maple syrup. And it’s ‘zed’ not ‘zee’.

2) Have you solved the mystery of the mouthguard you found on the floor?

No, I have not. I even called the dentist to find out if we had gotten another mouthguard made for Tristan and forgot about it. The receptionist said no and was a little freaked out by the story when I told her about finding the mysterious mouthguard in the middle of the floor where it had suddenly, magically appeared. I feel like I need to try it on again one more time, just to make sure it’s not mine, but that could just be an excuse to swish wine around in my mouth.

3) What place are you in currently in the hockey pool?

I’m in second place. I WAS in first but one of my Andersons got injured and can’t play for a few days. What a baby.

4) Have you discovered how you are like Jeffrey yet?

No. I finally got up the nerve to ask my colleague and he laughed gently and said, “Oh, I don’t know. You both have the same…persona.” He wouldn’t say any more than that. But Jeffrey is in our hockey pool, and guess who’s in first place ahead of me? So maybe we’re both really good at hockey stuff.

5) What is your dream destination?

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Ken and I have already booked our trip there for next summer.

6) Why did you burst out laughing in a meeting on Thursday?

We were looking at a prototype for an approval process and one of the managers said, “See—if I click this we can see the work flow” and he did, and the screen said, “Your flow is running”. So I snickered, but then I looked around the room and no one else was laughing so I didn’t make the joke I was going to make. I’ll bet that lady on the subway would have said it though.

7) What is your favourite movie?

I have a LOT of favourite movies. Right now it’s a tie between Alien Vs. Predator, Pitch Black/The Chronicles of Riddick, and Mad Max: Fury Road. You’d never guess I actually have a minor degree in Film Studies. Also, I just saw Venom yesterday, and as someone with a minor degree in Film Studies, I can give you my professional opinion: it sucked.

8) What crazy thing did you do on Friday night?

Ken and I went out for dinner and I had a couple of glasses of wine, so I made him take me to get my ears double pierced.

9) Are you happy with your current life?

Well, I just got my ears double-pierced, so yeah, I’m living my best life, obvs. Seriously though, I decided a few weeks ago (the week I met Gary Numan all by myself even though I was full of anxiety) that I was going to do things even if the thought of them scared me.  And there is nothing scarier than letting a total stranger punch holes in your ears.

10) Do you have any new and interesting bathroom stories?

Somebody’s a little anal.

Why, yes I do. A couple of weeks ago, I was in a professional office building and needed to use the facilities. As I sat there, I realized that this sign was on the inside of the stall door. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a more micro-managed bathroom in my life. I mean, how many rules do you need to have? What kind of people normally utilize this facility that warrants a poster like this? Were there problems in the past with people just throwing their used TP on the floor in disdain, or having riots like in the movie Carrie where the other girls attack Sissy Spacek with tampons? At the bottom in very small print, it says, ‘Help and support Little Miss Tidy’. I don’t know who that is, but she deserves a good swirly.

Now, according to the rules, I’m supposed to nominate other people for this award. Frankly, I follow a lot of people, and you all make me happy, so it’s really hard to narrow the list down without me worrying that I’ve left someone out, but here are some people who are very positive and would probably never throat punch anyone–but they can tell you that for themselves. Also, my nominees have to answer question 1 and 5-10, but 2, 3, and 4 are yours to create.

Often Off-Topic

SKYEENT

Ms Graceful…Not!

Candidkay

BiffSockPow

The Lockwood Echo

Was That My Out Loud Voice?

Greater Than Gravity

Superman Can’t Find a Phone Booth

I’m Sick and So Are You

 

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72 thoughts on “My Week 213: Speaking My Mind, I Am Your Sunshine

  1. I normally speak my mind about things but then I sometimes think I’d better shut my mouth . Then there are times when I chose silence, and I wish I hadn’t.

    Although I get your point about the woman from the train, such people freaked me out in Toronto (sorry), screaming at me – Don’t touch me, don’t touch my kid (you pedophile!), I’ll sue you for sexual harassment, and so on…And though I did not say anything back then, just staring in shock, I’d so tell me loud and clear now – Fuck off.

    Great read, as ever. Said by sb who knows passive aggression inside out.

    Liked by 7 people

    • That’s a very vivid image! The only time I’ve ever really lost my shit was with my son’s grade 1 teacher. I can’t even get into the details of why I did it without getting upset, but let’s just say that as a teacher myself, I would never have done it if it wasn’t absolutely warranted. I caught him on the playground when T told me what was going on and tore him a new one. It felt great, and I hope he was charred for life. (He was fired at the end of the year–I wasn’t the only parent who was extremely unhappy).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am soooo like the Kleenex subway lady, but I too (sometimes) choose politeness over speaking my mind. El Paso isn’t as big as Toronto so we don’t have a subway system. I (thank God) drive to work but that doesn’t mean we don’t have peeps that don’t irritate us on the interstate. Case in point, Silver Mustang girl, I have the unfortunate luck of getting on the interstate just as this woman drives by. She drives while putting on her makeup AND texting. I fantasize that she rear ends someone while applying her mascara and stabbing herself in the eye with the mascara wand. Then stopping, getting out of my car while she’s writhing in pain, walking over to her crappy car, opening the door and shoving the mascara wand deeper in the space in her head where her brain should be and getting back in my car and driving to work knowing I did the citizens of I-10 a favor and go about my. But that’s just me, maybe we all have the Deadpool alter ego in us, hence Kleenex subway lady. Love this post!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Oh, I love this! What is it with people who try to drive and put make-up on? Although, a few months ago, I saw a guy actually shaving while he was driving. Unfortunately, it was electric, not a blade, or we could have hoped for a sudden brake and slice!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m with ya sister, and I beg to ask, where are the cops during these driving shenanigans? I mean really WTF? If shaving/driving dude did (by sheer luck have a straight razor) who would have helped him? Or Silver Mustang girl and her mascara wand sticking out of her head? But one drives 2 miles over the speed limit while driving responsibly and I have and OJ Simpson cavalcade of police lights behind me. Meanwhile electric shaving guy and Silver Mustang girl are free to wreak havoc on the driving population with no repercussions what so ever? Where is the justice here!?!? Okay, I’m done. 😈

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I usually speak my mind, I don’t necessarily mean to, I just lack a filter. I need photographic proof that this Jeffrey person exists. I look forward to checking out the blogs you mentioned I do follow BiffSockPow – need to check out the rest.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. It’s good to see your answers… But some of the questions changed. Cheeky lol.
    I know what you mean about being direct with people, sometimes you just wish you could say it like it is.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Excellent post. If I ever feel the need to vent, I will bide my time, construct an articulate response and try to inject a bit of humour to help me get out of it alive. I rarely react to in the moment anger because I fear the Red Mist. I’m all or nothing, if I feel anything, it consumes me, good or bad. I find any kind of cross word or conflict, even if not my own, so distressing and debilitating that it can haunt me forever, so I admire anyone that justifiably bites back. And thankyou for spreading your Sunshine (keep it clean people!). Schucks ;). Did I ever let you know I popped your name on an award list a while back? There was nothing for you to do, just wait for new adoring fans. I don’t always play by the rules, but I do try to pay them forward at least. I love that you made up some of your own questions. Like a little conversation with yourself in your head ;).

    Liked by 5 people

    • Wow! No, I didn’t see that, and I’m sad because I would have rocked the “What do you always stop to look at when you’re out walking around” question! (The short answer is “weird signs and poop”. There’s a much longer explanation for that!) I think the last time I spoke my mind was on the train when I told the maitre d that I was NOT going to sit with anyone at breakfast. Man, that felt good! Otherwise, I hate conflict too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • How neglectful of me to not give you the heads up. Though there is never any obligation forwarded, I just name and shame the people and blogs I love rather than ‘nominate’. So now you’ve read that, you realise I may or may not play by the rules, though I do keep a list of the lovely folks that have given me a shout out and at some point it will all get acknowledged publicly, with a pay it forward element. I remember the train story. Good for you!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m usually pretty cool with people. I have this weird empathy thing coupled with this ridiculous level of self-importance where I tell myself “ah, they probably have it harder than I do and I’m strong enough to take it for both of us.” Maybe I’m just a coward with a really eloquent inner voice, though, so who knows. 😎

    I would have offered you a seat and a kleenex and snickered in the meeting with ya, but I would have gone to the conference in Boston and pronounced every word as “zee-ly” as possible, so I’m cool in some ways and not so much in others.

    Since you asked, I’m from America, have no real “dream destination,” have a literal tie between “Serenity” and “The Avengers,” and just scored my second consecutive 97.5% on Tom’s Unique Quality of Life Scale. I’m happy as a Ram. 🙂

    Planet Simon sounds delightful. I’m setting course for there now. Thanks for the reco’!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. OMG. Thanks for the laugh. I got such a kick out of this post. I’m an overly shy introvert, but I loved vicariously speaking my mind at everyone with you. And congrats on the award. I’ve never heard of anyone making up their own questions. Lol. Great fun.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yeah, I always make up at least some of my own questions–I find some of the standard ones hard to answer like “What’s one thing that could make the world a better place?” One thing?! I have a freaking list–it would take more than one blog post for that:-)

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Normally I’m extremely easygoing but there are times in meetings when the boss says, “Well, we’re at an hour now and I think we’ve covered everything,” and someone brings up something they’d like to add to the topic that was discussed at the beginning of the meeting and I think my head will explode like that guy in “Scanners”. The plus side of that is most of the mess will hit the offending person.
    Of course being in Canada you now have a significant advantage for dealing with stress, since yours is now only the second country in the world where you can legally smoke marijuana. The other is Uruguay and I find that it relieves my stress to imagine taking a vacation to Uruguay–not for the marijuana, but simply because it would just be a cool place to visit.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. First of all, TY for the free press and nomination :D. Secondly, I am on the complete opposite end of the spectrum about speaking my mind, unfortunately everyone seems to think I am kidding all the time because of my sarcasm….smh
    To answer your questions though…
    1. Not sure what country I come from exactly ( none will claim responsibility), though for as long as I can remember I have lived in the US, more specifically northern Illinois.
    2. Oh look a squirrel
    3. another squirrel
    4. and yet another
    5. I don’t think I have a dream destination, more places I would like to avoid…doctors, hospitals, the courthouse, traffic school etc
    6. My thursday meeting consisted of a post op visit with the surgeon, who again wanted me to climb the stairs for my xray…this time I didn’t argue, but I did laugh and say they surely know how to drum up repeat business. On a positive note, I can now take the boot off a couple times a day and I am learning to “walk again”….I sure I will have stories about this in the future
    7. Favorite movie…. How to lose a guy in 10 days and 10 things I hate about you
    8. Crazy thing on a Friday….sleep, because of all the crazy things I do during the week 😛
    9. While there is always room for improvement, I am happy that I am currently on the right side of the dirt 😀
    10. I could ( and do) write many stories about the bathroom, mostly about the urgency, but no I can’t think of just one.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. many congrats — you totally deserve! ” I’m actually not really mad about it though because he had to sleep in a sleeping bag last night and that’s his karma.” lololol — & what’s a ‘swirly’?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Well…I don’t think I have to worry about winning the Sunshine Award. I am too sarcastic and drop too many F Bombs for that. Congratulations, though! That’s really awesome!

    I, too, suffer from passive aggression, which usually turns into aggressive aggression when people don’t respond the passive one. I guess maybe I’m afraid to ask for what I really want because there are a lot of nut jobs out there and in a state where everybody owns a gun, that’s not a fun combo. Does flipping the bird from the relative safety of my car count as “asking for what I want”? Asking for a friend!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Suzanne, as ever you have me laughing out loud. I really do need to get back on track and read you on Sunday mornings. You could have been writing about an LA bus, which alarmed me a bit because it burst my bubble of Canada being less nuts….but, I will get over it!!!!! I kind of love the tissue woman too; I can’t tell you how many times I want to scream and tell people to get out of my way and let me the fuck off the bus……You and Jeffrey are #’s 1 and 2? Clearly both very Hockeyish. I love the chat with Ken (those are my faves), but of course have never had that kind of conversation with Joe…..just don’t ask him. You are wildly creative and wonderful and inventive and I am coming to stay with you in Toronto very soon to get some writing tips, have a glass (or 3) of wine and spend a week laughing!!!!! You will recognize me by all the tattoos and the bottles of wine strapped to my back!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I can’t totally rule out a throat punch. Actually, yes, I can. But that doesn’t preclude me thinking about doing it to a deserving individual, does it? Still positive?? I am positively glowing that you included me in such elite company. Thank you so much for this recognition, and for reading. The internet is a crazy place, but every so often its stars align and bring people together for just the right reasons at just the right time. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Suzanne,
    Major congrats on your award! Cuz you’re sunshiney-ish! As with anything worth doing, it’s important to hone one’s communication skills: never underestimate the power of passive/aggression and also, being able to give The Look, which is sometimes all the communication one needs — direct, no words necessary, efficient and often lethal, if you do it correctly! Shaking a pointed finger or folded arms accompanied by The Stance, to be used at your discretion. 😎 Mona aka Epithet

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You post made me crack up (with laughter. I’ve did the other sort of cracking up earlier in the day when I realised it’s now winter.) I’ve had to learn to be a polite person but way down it’s not really in my nature. I don’t know how I’d have coped with paper tissue woman, probably would have kicked her and then run (or, knowing me, tripped over her leg!) There used to be a couple of ‘bag ladies’ where I lived a couple or so decades ago and their… er… mannerisms and manners were rather similar. With them, though, I just pretended to be invisible. It usually worked. It’s my superpower.

    Liked by 2 people

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