Tuesday, June 24, 2008

heyday to greyday

June 24th, 2008. A day that will live in infamy. The at-home work in the morning and the eternal 25 minute ride to the call-centre. A day beginning like any other; better in fact, for several reasons. When in the washroom just before my shift started: the sudden flash, the loss of equilibrium: one hair, a silver filigree, daring me to toss it back with the others.

I looked back on my life in that mirror this morning and thought of all the disappointments and regrets I've collected since my first few memories. This is not unusual for me, particularly before work, and since my birthday is roughly three months away, that dreadful inevitability has been bearing down on me for some time.

I thought of the stress that could have caused it, but this year is nothing to two-thousands four and six, each of which landed me in the care of disturbed and wonderful medical practitioners. I irrationally thought it was someone else's until I pulled it out and felt the poing from my own scalp.

I love my hair. It's one of the few features I have that I have never questioned, second-guessed or had any problem with. It saw me through every change the rest of my body, face and general appearance. I could always end a disparaging comment with, 'but I have great hair' and feel better. Am I about to lose my appearance's most powerful ally?

I thought of my boyfriend, the man who had unexpectedly changed my life for the better. Who was always sympathetic, happy for me and proud of everything I endeavoured. Who calmed me when I raged and took me seriously in the craziest of frenzies.

"This is all your fault!" I rationally yelled in my head. "All of your beatific peacefulness, your neverending encouragement and unwavering loyalty and insistence on making me laugh even in the face of disappointment and total failure has caused me nothing but stress and anxious incomprehension!" And now my hair is grey.

It's so unfair. More unfair than my friend Dan who started losing his hair at seventeen? Of course! He's had 13 years to make peace with it, and he's a director. Shaving his head and getting square glasses only gives him street cred. My friend Dave might sympathize, but he's been graying and losing his hair since he was a lad of fifteen years. He's a veteran grey grower and probably doesn't even remember what it was like to have soft, luxurious, chocolaty curls that lift and sway on windy afternoons. Asshole.

My hair is going grey. This September will mark three decades of pain, failure and disgust by me, with me and around me.

At least I have a good hairdresser.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Summer Bling

I don't have summer bling. It's forty degrees with one hundred percent humidity, I have rounded toe flats with sticky insides, a black sarong and hair in a clip. Shirt optional. The bling saw me today, sneered at my black cotton ensemble from across the subway. It never looks like it's supposed to. Across from me in the metro, gold shoes shone along the outside of red, blistered toes. A tight leopard tube top rolled out over itself, exposing the top of the strapless bra beneath. A matching tan canvas and brown leather bag frayed out of its season, hastily ripped from the closet this first day of summer. Iridescent eyeshadow glinted out from acne-studded faces, lips swelled with cherry gloss and plump sun-sores. Arms dimpled with freckles and lightly burned bustle me on and off the cool, underground trains. It might be the fluorescents, or just me that is unkind, but the only summer bling that has delivered on its promise is the strobing, glitter covered cell phone, smooth and skinless, held to an oily ear.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

bubble from the water cooler

We all have days where we know we should be doing something else with our lives. We all have moments where we think to ourselves, I could be doing more than this. I myself am a gigantic Hitchhiker's Guide nerd, so my main adage is to tell my friends and compatriots that I am having a Marvin day. "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to pick up this piece of paper..." It is with this that I introduce to you the most recent assignment by blondezilla to the mermaid, after having had an uncomfortable conversation about productivity in the new office. I am going to be challenged more! I am going to be responsible for more things. What she was talking about got finished in about an hour and a half, and then I frantically checked my google account again all afternoon. Today it was a list. We all use them, we all gripe about having to fill them in, but they are a staple of office life. Without them we would be daydreaming poets, or possibly CFOs. I am used to dealing with lists, particularly ones that help me to get things done. It was in that spirit that I made my own list and included on it such things as who else was involved in the project, what status the project had acheived, the event date, the shipping date, you know, things that need to remain hidden and top secret from anyone not directly involved in setting these dates. So in order to keep my things on track I made myself a list which I happily read from when anyone asks me any question about anything. In this way, I have gained a stranglehold on all office information, bwa ha ha! (In the interest of full disclosure, I have mentioned more than once that we need to share information in order to avoid many of the difficulties we currently run into. Usually in these conversations I'm told to stop complaining.) So today I was a little taken aback to hear that I would be making a new list. This one would go back in time to every event we have hosted since January and determine whether all relevant materials were in or still needed to be processed. I made mention of the fact that we have two databases with all this information at our fingertips, along with a folder marked Done on the server, but it appears my list-making abilities are second to none and they had to have them. On the day before a shipping day, when certain priorities should be, well, prioritized, an assignment such as this took me from 9:30am until 4pm with several interruptions to see if I was done yet. My arm felt like it was going to fall off from repeatedly typing the same few letters over and over, and I never want to see an excel spreadsheet ever again unless I get to actually write a formula that takes....thought. Is your boss accountable to you? Yes. The boss must demonstrate some idea of what the job is, listening skills and the ability to make reasonable decisions based on the situation inherent in the office. My boss is still asking me to pick up the piece of paper.