Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sometimes we have to say “goodbye”

Once again you’ve been wondering where in the world I have been. Usually it doesn’t matter where in the world I am because no matter where that big bird in the sky takes me I always have my trusty computer by my side for the sole purpose of writing this blog. And playing games. But here’s something I may not have mentioned in the past. Not only do I pride myself for being shallow, I am also brutally honest. Well most of the time. So you should believe me when I tell you that while I have been a little busy lately the truth behind my rather prolonged absence is that I’m having some trouble coming up with things to write about. I suppose that’s not surprising because it’s been two years now and I am a shallow person. How much do you really think we have to say? At any rate, I’ve come up with something so here I am.

We bought a car. Now for most people that’s nothing to write home about. Or certainly to write about in a blog unless it’s one of those blogs about cars. Which this isn’t. But for us, buying a car is an RBD! (Really Big Deal!) Because you see, it’s not something we do everyday. Or every decade for that matter. Over all of the years we have been buying cars (and that’s quite a few) I can count the number we have bought on one hand. Along with a couple of fingers on another. And since I actually am counting we’re talking seven cars over five decades. Most of the time we have two parked in our garage at once. At least one of our cars lived with us for almost twenty-one years while our current boarders have clocked in twelve and fourteen respectively. Suffice to say, for us walking into an automobile dealership is akin to travelling to a foreign country. Bluetooth? Lane assist? Nav what? We simply don’t speak the language. Hence the RBD.

Wait a minute! I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “I thought she liked cars!” “Small, foreign ones.”  “How can this be?” “What kind of enthusiast drives around in a twenty-one year old car?” Well therein lies the problem. I do love cars. So much so that once I get one I don’t want to let it go. I know that for some people cars are just a few thousand pounds of steel and rubber (with a hint of plastic depending on your taste). Transportation, plain and simple. But give that hunk of steel a name and a birthday and now you have a horse of a different colour. Now you have a relationship, a bond of sorts. A new friend. Which explains the longevity. I mean who gets rid of a dear old friend just because they get a little rusty or find themselves with a dent or two? Well, to answer that rhetorical question, every once in a while we do. Because sometimes we just have to say “goodbye”.

Now this outpouring of affection may seem a little strange coming from the shallow gal but keep in mind that we’re talking about a car here. So I’m comfortable with it. We’re pretty sure we’ve found a good home for our “Little Fella” which makes us all feel just that much better about the whole thing. And now we wait, just a little anxiously, for our new arrival, a red and black Mini. Or as our mini loving friend DB would have it, a Bini. Unfortunately it will be a few more months before our new friend pulls into her (his?) new home, but we’re nothing if not patient. Besides, I figure it’s going to take us just about that long to come up with the perfect name for our shiny new friend.

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There is such a thing as a free lunch

freeI’m afraid I’ve been remiss but please don’t mistake this for an apology. It’s more of an explanation really. The thing is I started this blog for a couple of reasons. The first was to help people better understand the benefits of living life as a shallow person. I hope I have done that by sharing with you some of the stories of my life. The second was to provide those of you inclined to follow in my steps with some tricks and tips for doing so. And this is where I think I may have stumbled just a bit. Because I haven’t really focused on the “how to’s” which isn’t all that surprising since I have never been one to tell people what to do. Except of course the kids. But that’s to be expected. So, I was quite pleased the other day when I came upon a situation that reminded me what this blog was all about and how I might have gotten slightly off the path I was trying to beat. It was, as they say in my world, a teachable moment.

It all started with a coffee meeting set up to discuss some really important work stuff. A little before we were to meet, my wonderful colleague (yes, she reads the blog) let me know that if she arrived before I did she would pick up my drink for me. My immediate reaction was “how lovely of her” followed closely by “so what would it hurt if I’m a couple of minutes late?”. And sure enough, when I arrived I found both her and my drink waiting patiently for me. It was at that moment I realized there really is such a thing as a free lunch, or at the very least, a coffee and that perhaps this particular skill of mine was something to be shared with others. Because, as you can see, it’s about the timing. Late enough to ensure she would get there before me but not so late to cause her to become irritated. Or let my drink get tepid. But while the timing is critical, what is even more important in a situation such as this, is to shed any shred of guilt you might feel about pulling this off. Which, goes without saying, is not all that difficult for a truly shallow person.

Let’s look at another example. You’ve just finished a delish repast with a friend you haven’t seen for perhaps forty years or so. You’ve exchanged the requisite numbers of stories about kids, travel and first husbands when it occurs to you that a moment even more uncomfortable than the conversation you have just experienced is still to come. Let’s face it. You know the server will place the cheque strategically at equi distance between you and your lunch partner so here’s what you need to do. Hesitate for just a moment. If you have to, save that last forkful of desert for this very purpose and when your new found friend reaches to pick up the cheque, resist any urge you may have to suggest a different solution to this problem. No matter what that little voice inside your head tells you just say “how nice”, and “thank you”. To assuage any twinges of guilt you may have at this juncture, think of it this way. Either she has enjoyed your company so much that she’s happy to pay or she has way more money than you do. One way or the other it’s a win-win and you just got a free lunch. Remember, timing and guilt.

Of course it won’t always go this way. There are those who prefer a more collaborative arrangement, a “round robin” of sorts where they get this one and you get the next. Go ahead and make that deal. But may I respectfully suggest that before your next date you take another boo at “Forgetting…it’s an art”. I’m guessing that little refresher will come in handy right about now.

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